Part 4
Chapter 4—Of Efficacious  Grace

Section 12—Hilarius Pictaviensis. A.D. 360.

Hilary of Poietiers affirms, that all good things spring from the grace of God: “What room,” says he,[1] “is left for boasting in us, when we remember that all things are of God?” “The services of our tongue and mouth, he says,”[2] “are not sufficient to give praise to God; we have changed crimes for innocence, vices for virtue, ignorance for knowledge, destruction for immortality; et hoc a Dei gratia, and this is from the grace of God.” Faith in Christ, the knowledge of him, he frequently[3] intimates, are the gifts of God. He ascribes regeneration to the secret and powerful, yea, irresistible efficacy of divine grace; “Obtaining” says he[4] “the faith of my regeneration, I am ignorant; and what I know not I now hold, sine sensu enim meo renascor, for without my perception I am born again.” And in another place he says,[5] “The operation of God hath raised Christ from the dead, et haec eadem Dei operatio, and the same operation of God quickens us with Christ.” And elsewhere he says,[6] “We are indeed children to God, but by the workmanship of the Son; for we were sometime children of wrath, but are made children to God by the spirit of adoption. We were not born so, but made; not generated, but acquired.” He represents the grace of regeneration as making persons new, and without which they cannot receive new things. On Luke 5:36 and 37, he has this note:[7] “Souls and bodies infirm through the oldness of sins, do not take in the mysteries of the new grace, for the rent will be worse, and the wine being shed, the old bottles will perish; for the guilt of such will be double, since besides the oldness of their sins, they will not bear the power of the new grace; and therefore the pharisees, and the disciples of John, could not receive new things, nisi novi fierent, unless they were made new;” which they could not be without the power of God, to which all things are possible, and so this; for, as he says,[8] “What is so possible to the power of God, than that he can save through faith? That he can regenerate by it?” And, indeed, such is his power, that it is not to be resisted, which is proper and peculiar to him; for as this father somewhere observes,[9] “To God alone it agrees to do all things which he wills; for sole perfect power is hindered by none, so that he could not do what he wills; and no difficulty occurs to him from whom are all things.”


[1] Enarr. in Psalm 123, p. 540.

[2] Ibid. 125, p. 547.

[3] De Trinitate, 1. 6, p. 74; 1. 11, p. 174. Comment. in Matthew can. 16, p. 296; in Psalm 119. Vau, p. 472.

[4] De Trinitate, 1. 12, p. 197.

[5] Ibid. 1. 9, p. 119.

[6] Ibid. 1. 12, p. 185.

[7] In Matthew can. 9. p. 271.

[8] Ibid. can. 20, p. 305.

[9] In Psalm 134, p. 581.