Letters - Vol. V

Letters - Vol. V

Letters - Vol. V

Letters - Vol. V

Excerpt

The remaining letters (204-270) of St. Augustine with which this volume concludes, form an unassorted group, not so theologically technical in tone and more likely to interest the general reader. The last dated letter is No. 231, and the remainder of the collection comprises those for which no reliable date can be assigned.

Letters 204-231 show an Augustine still fighting a sharp battle with heresy, dealing the death blow to Donatism, repulsing the rear-guard action of Pelagianism, and sometimes defending himself against his own ecclesiastical brethren by whom his arguments on grace, free will, and predestination were not always favorably received. In Italy, in Sicily, and especially on the Island of Lerins in southern Gaul, there was lively opposition to his rigorist views, ranging all the way from a simple difference of emphasis to an open acceptance of quasi-Pelagian ideas (225, 226). Even in Africa he had to contend with misinterpretation on the part of Abbot Valentine and the monks of Hadrumetum (214- 216).

Problems of Church discipline continued to trouble him to the end of his life. In 209 he appeals to Pope Celestine to uphold his disciplinary action against Anthony of Fussala, . . .

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