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Chapter XVIII.

How we are protected by the grace of God not only in our natural condition, but also by His daily Providence.

Not alone giving thanks to Him for that He has created us as reasonable beings, and endowed us with the power of free will, and blessed us with the grace of baptism, and granted to us the knowledge and aid of the law, but for these things as well, which are bestowed upon us by His daily providence; viz., that He delivers us from the craft of our enemies; that He works with us so that we can overcome the sins of the flesh, that, even without our knowing it, He shields us from dangers; that He protects us from falling into sin; that He helps us and enlightens us, so that we can understand and recognize the actual help which He gives us, (which some will have it is what is meant by the law);10711071    The allusion is to the Pelagians. Cf. S. Jerome Contra Pelag. I. c. ix.; and in Jerem. c. xxv.; and S. Augustine De Gratia Christi contra Pelag. that, when we are through His influence secretly struck with compunction for our sins and negligences, He visits us with His regard 286and chastens us to our soul’s health; that even against our will we are sometimes drawn by Him to salvation; lastly that this very free will of ours, which is more readily inclined to sin, is turned by Him to a better purpose, and by His prompting and suggestion, bent towards the way of virtue.

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