Synod of Orange (AD. 529)

Canon 1: If anyone says that by the offence of Adam’s transgression, not the whole man, that is according to body and soul, was changed for the worse, but believes that while the liberty of the soul endures without harm, the body only is exposed to corruption, he is deceived by the error of Pelagius and resists the Scripture which says: “The soul, that has sinned, shall die” (Ezekiel 18:20]; and: “Do you not know that to whom you show yourselves servants to obey, you are the servants of him whom you obey?”(Romans 6:16); and: Anyone is adjudged the slave of him by whom he is overcome (2Peter.2:19).

Canon 2: If anyone asserts that Adam’s transgression injured him alone and not his descendants, or declares that certain death of the body only, which is the punishment of sin, but not sin also, which is the death of the soul, passed through one man into the whole human race, he will do an injustice to God, contradicting the Apostle who says: Through one man sin entered in the world, and through sin death, and thus death passed into all men, in whom all have sinned (Romans 5:12).

Canon 3: If anyone says that the grace of God can be bestowed by human invocation, but that the grace itself does not bring it to pass that it be invoked by us, he contradicts Isaiah the Prophet, or the Apostle who says the same thing: “I was found by those who were not seeking me: I appeared openly to those, who did not ask me” (Romans 10:20; cf. Isaiah 65:1).

Canon 4: If anyone contends that in order that we may be cleansed from sin, God waits for our goodwill, but does not acknowledge that even the wish to be purged is produced in us through the infusion and operation of the Holy Spirit, he opposes the Holy Spirit Himself, who says through Solomon: “Goodwill is prepared by the Lord” (Proverbs) 8:35), and the Apostle who beneficially says: “It is God, who works in us both to will and to accomplish according to his goodwill” (Philippians 2:13).

Canon 5: If anyone says, that just as the increase of faith so also the beginning of faith and the very desire of credulity, by which we believe in Him who justifies the impious, and by which we arrive at the regeneration of holy baptism is not through the gift of grace, that is, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit reforming our will from infidelity to faith, from impiety to piety, but is naturally in us, he is proved to be antagonistic to the doctrine of the Apostles, since blessed Paul says: We trust, that he who begins a good work in us, will perfect it unto the day of Christ Jesus (Philippians 1:6); and the following: It was given to you for Christ not only that you may believe in Him, but also, that you may suffer for Him (Philippians 1:29); and: By grace, you are made safe through faith, and this not of yourselves; for it is the gift of God (Ephesians 2:8). For those who say that faith, by which we believe in God, is natural, declare that all those who are alien to the Church of Christ are in a measure faithful.

Canon 6: If anyone asserts that without the grace of God mercy is divinely given to us when we believe, will, desire, try, labour, pray, watch, study, seek, ask, urge, but does not confess that through the infusion and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in us, it is brought about that we believe, wish, or are able to do all these things as we ought, and does not join either to human humility or obedience the help of grace, nor agree that it is the gift of His grace that we are obedient and humble, opposes the Apostle who says: What have you, that you have not received? (1Corinthians 4:7]; and: By the grace of God, I am that, which I am (1Corinthians 15:10).

Canon 7: If anyone affirms that without the illumination and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, who gives to all sweetness in consenting to and believing in the truth, through the strength of nature he can think anything good which pertains to the salvation of eternal life, as he should or choose, or consent to salvation, that is to the evangelical proclamation, he is deceived by the heretical spirit, not understanding the voice of God speaking in the Gospel: “Without me, you can do nothing” (John 15:5); and that of the Apostle: Not that we are fit to think everything by ourselves as of ourselves, but our sufficiency is, from God (2Corinthians 3:5).

(James R Hamilton, written May 2020)

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