Concerning freewill it is taught, that to some extent man has freedom of will, to lead a life outwardly honest, and to choose between things which reason comprehends; but without the grace, assistance, and operation of the Holy Spirit, that he is unable to become pleasing to God, or to fear God in heart, or to believe in him, or to cast out of his heart innate evil; and that these things are effected through the Holy Spirit, who is given through the Word of God; for Paul says, 1 Cor. 2, 14: “The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God.”

And in order that it may be known, that nothing new is taught in this Article, the expressive words of Augustine, concerning freewill, are introduced here, as transcribed from the Hypognosticon, lib. III.: “We acknowledge, that in all men there is a freewill; for they all, indeed, have natural, connate understanding and reason; not that they are able to act in things pertaining to God, such as to love and fear God from the heart; but only in external works of this life have they freedom to choose good or evil. By good I mean, that which nature is able to perform, as to labor in the field, or not; to eat, to drink, to visit a friend, or not; to clothe or unclothe, to build, to take a wife, to carry on a trade, and to do any similar act that is useful and good; none of which, however, either occurs or takes place without God, but each takes place of Him and through Him. On the contrary, from his own choice, man may also engage in evil, as to bow down before an idol, to commit murder,” &c.