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The Life of Augustine of Hippo

Part Three: The Pelagian Crisis (411–430)

Frederick Van Fleteren

The seventeenth century was the century of Saint Augustine. In 1695, Louis Sébastien, Le Nain de Tillemont, finished volume 13 of his Mémoires ecclésiastique, entitled La vie de saint Augustin. The volume consisted of approximately 1200 pages wherein Louis Sébastien gathered from the works of Augustine and elsewhere all extant passages relevant to the biography of Augustine of Hippo. Completed in 1695, the biography was published posthumously in 1700. The work lies in the tradition of Jansenism from Port-Royal and the Leuven. Though an ascetic recluse on the family estate for the last twenty years of his life, he was in touch with important French scholars and the ecclesiastical movements of his time. Louis’ work is the first modern biography of Augustine and the most comprehensive of all Augustinian biographies, even today. Modern authors consult him and frequently adopt his theories without citation. His method exercises influence on contemporary Parisian scholarship on Augustine. This English translation has been divided into three volumes covering three time periods: part 1: birth to episcopal consecration (354–396); part 2: the Donatist controversy (396–411); part 3: the Pelagian controversy (411–430).
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Note 68: Pelagius’ Confession


NOTE 681

Pelagius’ Confession

By uniting what Augustine reports in De peccato originali V, vi, 23 with Sermo 191, Garnier claims to find among Augustine’s works the confession of faith Caelestius presented to Zosimus.2 By universal acknowledgement, this sermon contains not Caelestius’ but Pelagius’ confession of faith. However, Garnier denies this contention without proof. He thinks it to be Caelestius’ confession because it gives only an approximation of Pelagius’ confession of the Trinity and several other uncontested matters. Garnier gives no assurance that this confession contains anything more than what is found in Sermo 191 and other passages cited by Augustine. He adjusts the passages badly in placing first what Augustine assures us to have been last. ← 450 | 451 →

1     See Art. 273.

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