Part Three: The Pelagian Crisis (411–430)
Article 329: Leporius (1)
According to Augustine in De correptione et gratia, no one should be so blind or ignorant of the faith as to say Christ was born merely a man from the virgin by the work of the Holy Spirit and had merited to become God’s son by living sinless from his own free will.2 Cassian attributes this teaching to a group of whom Leporius was a principal protagonist.3 In a later retraction Leporius clearly confessed he had maintained this doctrine.4 Augustine played a major role in his renunciation of this teaching which most likely occurred before Contra Iulianum opus imperfectum. In that work Augustine attributes this error or something quite near it to Julian.5 Augustine may well have known this error from another source.
Leporius was a Gallic monk.6 He lived chastely but following Pelagian teaching with attribution of his virtue to his own free will, not to divine help.7 Apparently he learned these notions from Pelagius himself. He fell into a greater misfortune by advancing Pelagian principles to their ultimate conclusion.8 He renewed ancient Ebionism in its more recent version Nestorianism.9 Christ was born a mere man not God. He had not possessed divinity from birth but had later been chosen by God. By his works and as a recompense for his suffering, he acquired divinity.10 He had lived sinless, not by union with God but by the strength of the human will. At his baptism he had been made...