Friday, November 14, 2014

Alcuin of York on Grace

“Therefore, God is near the good by nature and by grace: by nature in that he makes them human; by grace in that he justifies those same sinners. By nature, through which he begat them from humans; by grace, through which he gave them power to become children of God (John 1:12). By nature, through which he causes them to live; by grace, through which he causes them to live soberly, justly, and piously (Titus 2:12). By nature, through which he causes them to remain in this world for a short time; by grace, through which he makes them to reign in heaven forever. However, in the bad, there is only the natural immensity and omnipotence of God, through which he made them to exist, to live, to feel, to be reasonable, and also to have free choice of the will, but free not freed. For, free will remains even now in all humans through nature. What God wants in them, he deigns to free through grace lest they have a bad will. For, through that free will the first man was sold under sin; therefore, the freedom of man began to be bad, because the goodness of the will was lost through free will itself. From then on, no one is able to have goodness of will from oneself unless he would have it by being helped by the grace of divine mercy. Without its help, free will is neither able to turn to God nor advance in God. We ought to believe in both the grace of God and the free will of man. For, if there is no grace of God, how can the world be saved? And if there is no free will, how will the world be judged?”

Alcuin of York (735-804), On Faith and the Undivided Trinity 2.8

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