Tuesday, March 03, 2009
Augustine: God Determines Conversion
“As to the reason why He wills to convert some, and to punish others turning away, - although nobody can justly censure the Merciful One in conferring His blessing, nor can any man justly find fault with the Truthful One in awarding His punishment (as no one could justly blame Him, in the parable of the laborers, for assigning to some their stipulated hire, and to others unstipulated largess), yet, after all, the purpose of His more hidden judgment is in His own power. So far as it has been given us, let us have wisdom, and let us understand that the good Lord God sometimes withholds even from His saints either certain knowledge or the triumphant joy of a good work, just in order that they may discover that it is not from themselves, but from Him that they receive the light which illuminates their darkness, and the sweet grace which causes their land to yield her fruit.
...For God is put to no shame or trouble when we do not obey Him, nor are we able in any wise to lessen His very great power over us.”
--Augustine. On Merits, Forgiveness of Sins and Baptism. Book II, chapter 32; 36