Augustinian sympathizer Alister E. McGrath admits:
‘The pre-Augustinian theological tradition is practically of one voice in asserting the freedom of the human will.’
This is actually true for all the divergent branches of early church theology, in all areas into which the church was carried…Not a single church figure in the first 300 years rejected it and most of them stated it clearly in works still extent. We find it taught by great leaders in places as different as Alexandria, Antioch, Athens, Carthage, Jerusalem, Lycia, Nyssa, Rome, and Sicca. We find it taught by the leaders of all the main theological schools. The only ones to reject it were heretics like the Gnostics, Marcion, Valentinus, Manes (and the Manichaens [the followers of Manes and the sect that Augustine had been involved with for nine years prior to his conversion to Catholicism]), etc. In fact, the early Fathers often state their beliefs on “freewill” in works attacking heretics. Three recurrent ideas seem to be in their teaching:
1. The rejection of freewill is the view of heretics.
2. Freewill is a gift given to man by God – for nothing can ultimately be independent of God.
3. Man possesses freewill because he is made in God’s image, and God has freewill.”
(Forster and Marston, God’s Strategy in Human History, pg. 296, italics mine- the entire section [pp. 289-344] called “Early Teaching on Free Will and Election” is excellent in documenting early church beliefs in contradistinction to the later radical novelties of Augustinian and Calvinist teachings, among other things).
Also See: Church History and Calvinism