Monday, August 31, 2009

Cardinal Newman on Luther and St. Augustine's Opposition

"The main point is whether the Moral Law can in its substance be obeyed and kept by the regenerate. Augustine says, that whereas we are by nature condemned by the Law, we are enabled by the grace of God to perform it unto our justification; Luther [and Calvin equally] that, whereas we are condemned by the law, Christ has Himself performed it unto our justification — Augustine, that our righteousness is active; Luther, that it is passive; Augustine, that it is imparted, Luther that it is only imputed; Augustine, that it consists in a change of heart; Luther, in a change of state. Luther maintains that God's commandments are impossible to man Augustine adds, impossible without His grace; Luther that the Gospel consists of promises only Augustine, that it is also a law, Luther, that our highest wisdom is not to know the Law, Augustine says instead, to know and keep it — Luther says, that the Law and Christ cannot dwell together in the heart. Augustine says that the Law is Christ; Luther denies and Augustine maintains that obedience is a matter of conscience. Luther says that a man is made a Christian not by working but by hearing; Augustine excludes those works only which are done before grace is given; Luther, that our best deeds are sins; Augustine, that they are really pleasing to God" - Venerable John Henry Cardinal Newman (Lectures on Justification, ch. ii, 58)

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