due reward of his deeds. "The Lord is not slack concerning His promise as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance" (2 Pet. 3,9).46 So far from blaming men for what they can't help, He is loth to condemn them for what they can help, and is always ready to listen to an excuse or covering for what they have done, "when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him" (Luke 15,20).47
What a relief to turn from the murky fog spread round the Truth by the Bishop of Rome, St. Augustine, to the purer air of the British Theologian Pelagius! It has been a grievous tragedy that Augustine was able to pollute the pure water of life with the two foul streams of "Original Sin" and "The City of God." The former has misled generation after generation of Christians into the follies of Infant Baptism, and besmirched the reputation of the Almighty with injustice and stupidity: the latter laid the foundation upon which the dreadful edifice of the Roman Catholic Church was later raised.
Pelagius reacted violently against the Augustinian theory of Original Sin, and for his temerity suffered excommunication and the confiscation of his goods: but unfortunately he rushed, to the other extreme, teaching apparently that man was not affected by Adam's fall, but only followed his bad example, being able to refrain from sin by his own strength of will. This is much nearer the truth than Augustine's theory, and has the merit of making man responsible for his actions and so justly under the wrath of God if he sins. It is strange that the ministry of Angels to children of which Our Lord speaks in such emphatic terms is entirely neglected in the consideration of this matter. It is only the child who sins in spite of the helpful presence of its Angel that is under the wrath of God.
Pelagius, however, seems to have omitted (a) the real change brought about in the flesh of children through the sin of Adam. "For I know that in me, that is in my flesh, dwelleth