ENCHIRIDION TO LAURENTIUS
FAITH, HOPE, AND CHARITY.
St. Augustine enumerates the Enchiridion addressed to Laurentins amongst his latest works, and after the six books against Julianus written about 421, in his second book of Retractations. In cap. 87, he alludes to the death of St. Jerome, which took place Sept. 30, A.D. 420.
Laurentius is called the brother of Dulcitins in the book on Dulcitins' eight questions, q. 1. n. 10. Nothing is said that proves him not to have been a layman, though his learning and piety are highly praised. One Ms. in the heading calls him a Deacon, others Primicerins, or Primicerins Notariorum urbis Roma?, another Primicerius Romance Ecclesiae.
The Author admits the name of Enchiridion, but usually speaks of the work as ' on Faith, Hope, and Charity,' to which heads he reduces the questions of Laurentins. The first he treats in the order of the Creed, refuting, without naming, the heresies of the Manicheeans, Apollinarians, Priscillianists, Arians, and especially of the Pelagians. The second is in the form of a brief exposition of the Lord's Prayer. The third part is a short discourse on Charity. Ab.from Ben.
Retract, ii. 63. 'I also wrote a book on Faith, Hope, and Charity, on the request of the person to whom I addressed it, that he might have a work of mine which should never he out of his hands, such as the Greeks call an Enchiridion. In which I think I have pretty carefully treated of the manner in which God is to be worshipped, which knowledge divine Scripture defines to be the true wisdom of man.'
1. Beyond all expression am I pleased with your learning, Enchimy very dear son Laurentins, and long for you to be wise ; „-£ p'"^ not of the number of them concerning whom it is said, si»e Bt Where is the wise? where the scribe? ivhere the discoverer Tate. 'if this world? Hath not God made foolish the wisdom O/t'cot.i, 8fi Man's wisdom comprised in Faith, Hope, Charity.
ENctii- this world? but of them concerning whom it is written, The ,,-.,,. multitude of the wise is the soundness of the world; and 24. such as the Apostle wishes them to become, to whom he Rom. writes, But I wish you to be wise indeed in what is good, but simple in what is evil. But as no one can of himself be, so no one can of himself be wise, but of Him, enlightening, Eccius. concerning Whom it is written, All wisdom is from God'. ii. But man's wisdom is piety. You have this in the book of holy Job: for there we read, that Wisdom Herself said to Job 28, man, Behold, piety is wisdom. But if you enquire, what piety she there spake of, you will find more clearly in the Greek, dsoa-ifietav, which is the worship of God. For in the Greek there is another word also for piety, that is, eu<re'|3eia, by which word is signified good worship, although this too is especially referred to the worship of God. But there is nothing more suitable than that word, by which evidently the worship of God was expressed, when it was said, what was wisdom for man. Seek you any thing to be said more briefly, you who ask of me to speak briefly of great things? Or haply you desire to have this very point briefly opened, and brought together into a short discourse, in what manner iii- God is to be worshipped. Here if I shall answer that God is to be worshipped by Faith, Hope, and Love; you will certainly say, that this is a shorter statement than you wished; and then you will ask, that what things belong to each of these three, may be briefly explained to you; that is, what is to be believed, what to be hoped for, what to be loved. Which when I shall have done, therein will be all these things which in your letter you set down by way of enquiryb, a copy of which if you have with you, yon may easily turn over and read them again; if however you have iv. not, you may remember them as I repeat them. For your wish, as you write, is," that I should write you a book, which '- Enchi-you may have as a manual1, (as it is called,) and never suffer to leave your hands; containing the things demanded, that is, What is chiefly to be followed; what, by reason of diverse heresies, mainly to be avoided; how far reason contends for religion, or what in reason is unsuitable, when faith is Grounds of belief. Christ the Foundation. 87
* several Ms?, omit' But as no one,' b ' quscrendo,' al. 'qu.Trenda,' ' as &c. questions to be asked.'
alone •; what is held first, what last; what is the sum of the Defide whole prescribed form '; what the certain and proper found- "f R*J ation of the Catholic Faith." All these things which you Tate. inquire after you will without any doubt know, by knowing '.definicarefully what ought to be Believed, what to be Hoped, what to be Loved. For these things especially, nay rather alone, are in religion to be followed. These things whosoever contradicts, is either altogether an alien from the name of Christ, or an heretic. These things are to be defended by reasoning, either having11 their foundation in the senses of the body, or discovered by the power of understanding in the mind. But what things we have neither experienced by corporeal sense, nor either have been, or are, able to attain to by mental powers, these without any doubt are to be believed on their testimony, by whom was composed that Scripture which hath by this time deservedly come* to be'meruit, called divine; who, by divine help, whether through the body, or through the mind, were able either to see, or even to foresee these things. But when the mind hath been v. imbued with the beginning of faith, which worketh by love, it goes on by living well to arrive at sight3 also, wherein is3speunspeakable beauty known to holy and perfect hearts, thec1em' full vision of which is the highest happiness. This is assuredly what you are inquiring after, " what is held first, what last:" to be begun in faith, to be made perfect in sight. This also is " the sum of the whole prescribed form." But the " certain and proper foundation of the Catholic Faith" is Christ. For other foundation, says the Apostle,wo one can lay, l Cor. 3, beside that which is laid, which is Christ Jesus. Nor must that therefore be denied to be the proper foundation of the Catholic Faith, because it may be thought that this is in common to us with certain heretics. For if those things which pertain to Christ be carefully thought on, as far as the name, Christ is found among certain heretics, who wish to be called Christians; but in reality He is not among them. Which to shew is too long; inasmuch as all heresies have
c ' Quid in ratione, cum fides sit sola, 'in ratione cum fide, si sit sola, non
non conveniat.' al.' quid in rationem, conveniat.' 'What in reason, by itself,
cum fides sit sola, non veniat.' ' why it agrees not with faith.'
is not taken account of when faith d some Mas. ' qua! vel,' 'such as
stands alone.' Amaldus ap. Ben. conj. either have.'
88 Hope and Love closely linked with Faith.
Enchi- to be noticed, which either have been, or are, or have been• ; , -" able to be under the Christian name, and the truth of this
be able, to be poinled out in each: which discussion is one for so
*'*• many volumes that it may seem even endless. You however
demand of us " a manual," that is," what may be grasped by
the hand, not what may load the bookshelves." To return
therefore to those three things, by which we said that God is
to be worshipped, faith, hope, love; it is easily said, what is
to be believed, what to be hoped for, what to be loved; but
in what manner it may be defended against the false charges
of those who think differently, is matter of more laborious
and copious teaching; in order to possess which there
needeth, not that the hand be filled with a short manual, but
that the breast be inflamed with great zeal.
TU- 2. For see, you have the Creed and the Lord's Prayer:
what shorter to hear or read? what more easy to commit to
memory? For in that by reason of sin, the human race was
weighed down by heavy misery, and needed the Divine
mercy; the Prophet foretelling the time of the grace of
Joel 2, God, says, And it shall be, every one that shall call on the
Name of the Lord, shall be saved: for this reason is the
Prayer*. But the Apostle, after that, for the recommending
of Grace itself, he had recounted this testimony of the
Rom. Prophet, immediate adds, But how shall they call on Him,
in Whom they have not believed? for this reason is the
Creed. In these two things view those three; faith believes,
hope and love pray. But without faith they cannot be; and
by this means faith also prays. Hence in fact it was said,
How shall they call on Him, in Whom they have not
VU1- believed? But what can be hoped for, which is not believed?
Further, something also which is not hoped for, may be
believed. For who of the faithful does not believe the
punishments of the ungodly? yet he hopes not for them;
and whosoever believes them to hang over him, and shudders
at them with a shrinking feeling of mind, is more rightly
said to fear than to hope for them. Which two things a
» 2 Mm. certain one" distinguishing between, says,' May it be allowed
"Lucaii. one fearing to hope3.' Another poet however, although a
Phars. hetter, hath said, not properly,' This so great grief if I have
c al.' The Lord's Prayer.' 'i. e. as superior to the Law.
Faith is of good and evil, Hope, of future good. 89 been able to hope for1.' In short, certain in the art Oi'dbfidr
_ . _ . , SPE Ft
grammar use this word as an instance to pomt out an CAB,'_ improper expression, and say, he said " to hope," for " to Tate. fear." There is faith, then, both of evil things and of good ; '.T"?" seeing that both good things are believed, and evil; and this 419. by faith, itself good, not evil. There is also faith both of past things, and of present, and of future. For we believe that Christ was dead, which is now past: we believe that He is sitting at the right hand of the Father, which now is: we believe that He will come to judge, which is future. Also faith is both of one's own things, and of the things of others. For each man believes both himself at some time to have begun to be, and not certainly to have been from all eternity; and other men- likewise, and other things: nor concerning other men only do we believe many things which pertain to religion, but concerning angels also. But hope is not, but only of things good, and also future, and relating to him who is considered to entertain hope of them. Which things being so, for these reasons it will be right to distinguish faith from hope, as by word, so also by reasonable difference. For as respects the uot seeing, whether they be the things which are believed, or the things which are hoped for, this is Common to faith and hope. In fact, in the Epistle to the Hebrews, which illustrious defenders of the Catholic Rule* have used as a witness, faith is said to be • the proof** al. of things not seen.' Although, when any one says, that he and has believed, that is, hath lent * his faith to, not words, not 5u!e''
. • i i • i /. Heb. 11,
witnesses, not in short any arguments, but the evidence of l. the things present, he does not seem so out of place4, as?""' rightly to be censured for the word, and to have it said tc'acconihim,' You saw, therefore you did not believe:' whence it may s^sm^ be thought not to follow, that whatsoever thing is believed is d»s. not seen. But we better call that faith, which the Divine Oracles have taught, that is, of such things as are not seen. Concerning hope also the Apostle says, Hope which is seereKom. 8, is not hope; for what a man seeth, why doth he hope for? But if what we see not we hope for, through patience we wait for it. When therefore good things are believed to be about to happen to us, they are nothing else but hoped for. Now concerning love6 what shall I say, without which faith6»more90 Nature of Enquiry. God the sole Cause.
Enchi- profiteth nothing? but hope without love cannot be. Finally,
j'"'0N as says the Apostle James, The devils also believe, and
2,19. tremble: yet do they not hope or love; but rather what we
hope for and love, they, in believing that it will come, dread.
For which reason the Apostle Paul approves of and com
Gal. 5, mends faith which worketh by love, which assuredly without
hope cannot be. Wherefore neither is love without hope,
nor hope without love, nor both without faith.
ix. 3. When therefore it is asked, what is to be believed as
matter relating to religion, we are not so to inquire into the
nature of things, as is done by those whom the Greeks call
» Physi- naturalists'; nor are we to fear, lest the Christian be ignorant
cos- of any thing concerning the force and number of the elements;
the motion and order and eclipses of the heavenly bodies;
the figure of the heavens; the kinds and natures of animals,
plants, stones, springs, rivers, mountains; intervals of places
and times; the signs of coming storms; and other six
hundred things concerning those matters, which they either
have discovered, or suppose themselves to have discovered;
in that neither have they themselves found out all things,
excelling (as they do) in so great ability, burning with zeal,
abounding in leisure, and prosecuting their enquiries, some
2histo- by human conjecture, others again by experience of fact2,
noa- and in those things which they boast to have discovered, on
most subjects holding opinions rather than knowing. It is
enough for the Christian to believe, that the cause of created
things, whether heavenly or earthly, whether visible or
invisible, is none other than the goodness of his Creator,
Who is God, One and True; and that there is no nature
which is not either Himself or from Himself: and that He
Himself is a Trinity; the Father, that is, and the Son Evil is not in nature, but in prication of good. 91
begotten by the Father, and the Holy Spirit proceeding
from the same Father8, but one and the same Spirit of the
x. Father and of the Son. By this Trinity, supremely and
equally and unchangeably good, all things were created, and
that neither supremely, nor equally, nor unchangeably good,
t A few Mss. add ' and the Son,' ceed from the Son: for it is not without
hut this is more likely to have been meaning that He is called at once the
added than omitted. He affirms the Spirit of the Father and of the Son.'
dnctrine, De Trin. iv. 29. 'We cannot See also xv. 4fl, &c.
say that the Holy Ghost does not pro-
but yet good even each one: but the whole together veryDefide good; in that out of all these is made an admirable beauty CARI. of the whole. In which even that which is called evil, being Tate. rightly set and put in its own place, commends more^11'I' strikingly things that are good, so as that they are more xj. pleasing and more praiseworthy through comparison with things that are evil. For neither would Almighty God, as even heathens confess,' Ruler supreme of things1,' being, as' Virg. He is, supremely good, in any way suffer any evil to be in i0o." His works, were He not Almighty and good even to this, out of any evil to work what is good. But what else is that which is called evil, but a privation of good? For like as in the bodies of animals, to be affected by diseases and wounds is nothing else than to be deprived of health, (for the object is not, when a remedial system is applied, that those evils which were in the body, that is, diseases and wounds, may depart hence and be in some other place; but that they may not be at all. For wound or disease is not any substance, but the fault of a carnal substance; the substance itself being the flesh, certainly some good thing, to which those evils are accidents, that is, the privations of that good which is called health,) so also, whatsoever are the faults of minds, are privations of natural good things; which when they are healed are not transferred to any place, but those things which were there, will be no where, seeing that in that health they will not be.
4. Therefore all natures, in that the Author of all natures xii. whatsoever is supremely good, are good: but because they are not, as their Author, supremely and unchangeably good, therefore in them good may be both increased and diminished. But for good to be diminished is evil; although however much it be diminished, there must necessarily remain something (if it is still nature) whence it may be nature. For neither, if it be nature of what kind and how little soever, can the good be destroyed, by which it is8 nature, unless thecal, nature also itself be destroyed. Deservedly indeed is an!^10 uncorrupted nature praised: still further if it be uncorruptible ture.' also, such as cannot altogether be corrupted, without doubt it is much more deserving of praise. When, however, it is corrupted, its corruption is therefore an evil, in that it
92 No evil can exist but in something of itself good.
Enchi- deprives it of good of some kind or other; for if it deprive it R'PI0>f of no good, it harms it not: but it does harm it, therefore it takes away a good. As long therefore as a nature is undergoing corruption, there exists in it a good of which it may be deprived: and on this account if any thing of the nature shall remain such as cannot be any further corrupted, certainly the nature will be uncorruptible, and to this so great good it will arrive through corruption. But if it shall not cease to be corrupted, neither will it assuredly cease to possess good, such as corruption may be able to deprive it of. Which (nature) if it shall have consumed utterly and altogether, there will therefore be no good in it, because there will be no nature in it. Wherefore corruption cannot destroy what is good, except by destroying the nature. Every nature therefore is a good; a great, if it cannot be corrupted; a small, if it can: yet can it in no sense be denied to be a good, except foolishly and ignorantly. Which if it be destroyed by corruption, neither will the corruption itself remain, there existing no nature in which it may be. xiii. And for this reason that which is called evil is not, if good be not. But good free from all evil is perfect good; 'vitia- that however in which evil is, is good marred or faulty1. »itio-Te N°r can ev'l ever ^e w^ere good is not. Whence a wonderful sum. thing is brought to pass, that, whereas every nature, as far as it is nature, is a good, nothing else would seem to be said, when a faulty nature is called an evil nature, but this, that that is an evil which is a good; and that neither is there any evil, but what is a good; since every nature is a good, nor would any thing be evil, if the thing itself that is evil were not a nature. There cannot therefore be evil, except it be some good. Which however it appear an absurd thing to say, yet the connection of this reasoning, as it were unavoidably, compels us to say it. And care is to be taken that we fall not under that saying of the Prophet, wherein Is. 6,20. we read, Woe unto them who call that which is good evil, and that which is evil good; who call darkness light, and light darkness; who call sweet bitter, and bitter sweet. And Mat 12, yet the Lord says, An evil man out of the evil treasure of 36- his heart, bringeth forth evil things. But what is an evil man, but an evil nature; because man is a nature r Further,
Good and evil in one subject, though contraries. 1)8 if a man is some good, because he is a nature, what is a bad Defide
man, but an evil good? Yet when we distinguish between these two things, we find that neither is he therefore an evil Tate. because a man, nor therefore a good because unrighteous; but a good, because a man; an evil, because unrighteous. Whosoever therefore says, it is evil to be a man; or, it is good to be unrighteous; falls himself under that sentence of the Prophet, Woe unto them who call that which is good evil, and that which is evil good. For he blames the work of God, which is man, and praises the fault of man, which is unrighteousness. Every nature therefore, although it be faulty, so far as it is nature, is good; so far as it is faulty, is evil. Wherefore in those contraries which are called evils xiv. and goods, that rule of logicians ceases to hold, by which they say that nothing has in it two contraries at the same time. For no air is at the same time both dark and bright; no meat or drink at the same time sweet and bitter; no body at the same time, in parts where it is white, is there black also; none at the same time, in parts where it is deformed, is there beautiful also. And this property is found in many, and nearly in all, contraries, that they cannot be at the same time in one thing. Yet, no one doubting that goods and evils are contraries, not only can they be at the same time, but evils cannot absolutely be without goods, and except in goods: although goods can without evils. For it is possible that a man or an angel may not be unjust; but except a man or an angel there cannot be that is unjust. And that he is a man is a good, that he is an angel is a good, that he is unjust is an evil. And these two contraries are so at the same time, that, were there not the good in which the evil might be, neither would the evil at all be, in that not only would the corruption not have where to exist, but not even whence to arise, were there not something that should be corrupted, and neither could this be corrupted, unless it were a good; since corruption is nothing else than the banishing a good. Out of goods therefore have evils arisen, and except in certain goods they are not. Nor was there any other source whence any nature of evil could arise. For if it were, so far as it was nature, it would assuredly be good: and either an incorruptible nature would
94 Causes of good and evil, Man's proper study.
Enchi- be a great good, or even a corruptible nature could no way RTDI0N be otherwise than somewhat good, by corrupting which very xv. good corruption might be able to injure it. But in asserting that evils have their origin from goods, let us not be thought Matt. 7, to oppose the saying of the Lord, wherein He said, A good tree cannot produce evil fruit. For, as the Truth saith,' the grape cannot be gathered of thorns,' because the grape cannot grow of thorns; but we see that both vines and thorns can grow of the good ground. And in the same manner, as it were, an evil tree cannot produce good fruit, that is, an evil will good works; but out of the good nature of man, will, both good and evil, can arise; nor was there absolutely any source whence originally evil will should arise, except from the good nature of Angel and Man. Which the Lord Himself most clearly shews in the same place, where He Mat.12, Was speaking of the tree and its fruits: for He says, Either make the tree good, and its fruit good, or make the tree evil, audits fruit evil: sufficiently admonishing us, that indeed of a good tree evil fruits cannot grow, nor good of an evil tree; yetthatfrom the earth itself, to which He was speaking, either tree may. xvi. 5. These things being so, when we are pleased with that Georg. verse of Maro, " Happy, who hath been able to learn the ii. 490. causes 0f things;" let us not imagine that it hath an influence on the obtaining of happiness, if we know the causes of great movements of bodies in the world, which are conGeorg. cealed in the most hidden recesses of nature; "Whence 80_ 'trembling to the lands, by what force the deep seas swell, having burst their barriers, and again sink back into themselves," and all other things of this sort: but the causes of things good and evil we ought to know, and these so far as, in this life most full of errors and anxieties, it is granted to man to know them, in order to escape these same errors and miseries. That happiness assuredly is to be the end of our course, wherein we are to be shaken by no misery, deceived by no error. For if the causes of the motions of bodies were necessary for us to know, it would be right for us to know none rather than the causes of our own state of health. But inasmuch as, being ignorant of them, we betake ourselves to Physicians, who but must see with how
Error, what, and in what cases a real evil. 95
great jjatience we must be ignorant of what is hidden from De Fide us of the secrets of heaven and earth? For although error be ^at^.to be avoided with all the care in our power, not only in Tate. greater, but also in lesser things, and, although except xvii. through ignorance of things, error cannot take place; yet it does not follow that he straightway errs whosoever is ignorant of any thing, but whosoever thinks himself to know what he knows not; seeing that he approves what is false as true, which properly belongs to error. Nevertheless it makes a great difference, in what each man errs. For in one and the same thing both he who knows is with good reason preferred to him who knows not, and he who errs not to him who errs. In different things however, that is, when this man knows certain things, and that others; and this man the more useful, that man the less so, or even hurtful; who will not in those things which that man knows, prefer before him the man who knows them not? For there are certain things which it is better not to. know than to know. And also it hath been good to some at some time to err, but 'that in the way of the feet, not in the way of the life. For it happened to ourselves that we were deceived in a certain cross-way, and went not by that spot where an armed band of Donatistsh lay in ambush waiting for us to pass; and so the result was that we came whither we were bound, by a circuit out of the way; and having learnt of them lying in wait, congratulated ourselves on our error, and returned thanks to God on occasion of it. Who therefore would hesitate to prefer a traveller erring thus, to a robber not erring thus? And it may be for this reason, that a certain wretched lover, speaking in the writings of our great poet, says," When I saw, when I was lost, when evil error carried Virg. me away;" seeing that there is good error also, such as not41." only is no injury, but even some profit. But if the truth be carefully considered, when as to err is nothing else than to think that true which is false, and that false which is true; or to esteem as certain instead of uncertain, or as uncertain
1» Possidins states that the ' Circum- tine, and mention* this instance of his celliones' more than once beset the being in danger from them. Life, c. road in arms, laying wait for St. Augus- 12. Ben.pagebreal?
JH> The deceiver deceived. Every lie a sin.
Enchi- instead of certain, whether it be false, or whether it be true: Riri0N and this be in the mind as unshapely and unbecoming, as Matt.6,we esteem 'yea, yea; nay, nay;' to be beautiful and be37' coming, either in speaking, or in assenting: assuredly even on this very account is that life, wherein we now live, miserable, because that to it at times, in order that it be not lost, error is necessary. Far be it that such be that life, where the Truth itself is the life of our soul; where no one deceives, no one is deceived. But here men deceive aud are deceived; and are more miserable when they deceive by lying, than when they are deceived by believing them who lie. Yet so greatly does reasonable nature shrink from what is untrue, and, as much as it can, avoid error, that even they who love to deceive are unwilling to be deceived. For he who lies seems not to himself to err, but to send another man into error who believes him. And in that matter indeed which he cloaks by a lie, he errs not, if he himself know what is true: but in this he is deceived, that be thinks that his own lie does him no injury: whereas every sin is more injury to him who does, than to him who suffers it. xviii. 6. But here arises a very difficult and obscure question, on which we have already concluded a large book, having had the necessity of reply laid upon us: whether it belong to the duty of a righteous man at times to lie. For certain' go so far, as to contend that it is at times a good and pious work, both to perjure themselves, and to speak what is false, on subjects relating to the worship of God, and on the very nature of God. But to me it seems that every lie is certainly a sin, but that it makes great difference, with what intention and on what subjects a man lie. For he does not so sin who lies with the wish to benefit, as he who lies with the wish to injure; neither again does he so greatly injure who by lying sends a traveller to a wrong road, as he who by a deceitful lie perverts the way of life. No one indeed is to be esteemed as lying, who speaks a falsehood, thinking it truth; since, as far as is in his power, he deceives not, but is deceived. Such an one then is not to be convicted of falsehood, but at times of rashness, who esteems as true, To lie worse than to be deceived, except in Faith. 97
'The Priscillianists. Ben. The work appears to be that'Contra Mendacinm
things false which he has incautiously believed. And, on the Defidb contrary, rather is he, as far as is in his power, guilty of lying, B"R" who speaks the truth, thinking it a lie. For as far as relates tAtg- * to his intention, in that he says not what he thinks, he speaks not the truth, although that which he speaks be found to be the truth: nor is he any way exempt from falsehood, who unwittingly speaks truth with the mouth, but knowingly lies with the mind. Not taking into account then the things themselves, concerning which any thing is said, but only the intention of the speaker, he is better who unwittingly says what is false, in that he thinks it true, than he who knowingly has the intention to deceive, not knowing that what he says is true. For the former has not one thing in his mind, and another in his speech; but the latter, whatever in fact that which is said by him may be of itself, yet has one thing shut up within his breast, and another ready on his tongue; which is the especial evil of lying. But taking into account the things themselves which are said, it makes so great difference, what that is in which each man is either deceived or lies, that whereas to be deceived is a less evil than to lie, as far as relates to the person's will; yet is it far more tolerable to lie in those things which are separate from religion, than to be deceived in those things, without the faith or knowledge of which God cannot be worshipped. To illustrate this by instances, let us consider what the case will be, if one man, speaking falsely, report that some man is alive who is dead; and another, being deceived, believe that Christ will again die after an interval however long; is it not beyond all comparison better to lie in the one way, than to be deceived in the other? and is it not a much less evil to lead any one into the one error, than to be led by any one into the other? Therefore in certain things we are deceived xix. with great evil, in certain with little, in certain with no evil at all, nay in certain even with some good. For a man is deceived with great evil, when he believes not this which leads to eternal life, or believes this which leads to eternal death. But a man is deceived with little evil, who by affirming as true what is false falls into any temporal inconveniences, which yet, by the increase in them of faithful patience, he turns to good account. As if one by thinking a bad man
98 All error in itself evil, though good may come of it.
ENcui- good should suffer any evil from him. But he who be
lieves a bad man good, in such a way as to suffer no evil
from him, is deceived with no evil: nof does that denunciIs. 5,20. ation of the Prophet fall on him, Woe unto them who call what is evil good. For this must be understood as said of the things themselves wherein men are evil, not of the persons. Whence he who calls adultery good, is rightly convicted by that word of the Prophet. But he who calls the person good, whom he thinks to be chaste, and knows not that he is an adulterer, is deceived not in the doctrine of things good and evil, but in the secrets of human character; calling a man good, in whom he thinks is that which he doubts not is good; and calling an adulterer evil, and a chaste man good; but calling the particular person good, from not knowing that he is an adulterer, not a chaste man. Still further, if through error any one escape destruction, as I stated above happened to us on our journey, a man receives even some good from error. But when I say that in certain things a man may be deceived without any evil, and even with some good; I say not that the error itself is no evil or some good, but that that is evil at which a man comes not, or that good at which he comes through erring, that is, either what comes not to pass, or what does result from the error itself. For the error of itself, being either in a great thing a great evil, or in a small a small, is yet always an evil. For who except in error will deny that it is an evil, to approve of things false as true, or condemn things true as false, or to esteem things uncertain as certain, or things certain as uncertain? But it is one thing to think a man good who is evil, which comes of error; and another thing not to suffer from this evil another evil, if the evil man, who was thought good, do us no harm. Also it is one thing to think that the way which is not; and another thing for this evil of error to obtain some good, as it is to be delivered from the lying-inwait of evil men. xx. 7. In truth, I know not whether errors of this kind also, when one thinks well of an evil man, not knowing what kind of man he is; or when, in place of those things which we are sensible of through the bodily senses, like things meet us, which are discerned by the spirit as if by the body, or by Some would shun the fault of error by doubting all. 99
the body as if by the spirit; such as the Apostle PeterT>bfidb thought it to be, when he supposed that he saw a vision, CARI. being on a sudden freed by the Angel from his bolts and tAt■chains; or when in actual bodily things, what is rough is*ct"12' thought smooth, or what is bitter is thought sweet, or what is rank is thought fragrant, or that it thunders when a cart passes, or that a certain one is the man when he is another, where two are very like each other, as is often the case in twins; whence he says, ' and a pleasing mistake to their parents1:' I know not, I say, whether these and such other1 Virg. are to have the name of faults' likewise. Nor have I now39£'x' undertaken to solve that most knotty question, which has2pMcata racked those most acute men, the Academicians; whether the wise man ought to approve any thing, that he fall not into error, if he shall approve as true what is false, in that all things, as they affirm, are either hidden or uncertain. Upon which at the beginning of my conversion I finished three volumes3, that I might not be hindered by a question, which3 Contra opposed, as it were, at the very entrance. And certainly there micos." had been need to put away the despair of discovering truth, which seems to be confirmed by these arguments. In their school then every error is thought a sin, which they maintain cannot be avoided, unless by suspending all assent. That is, they say that whosoever assents to things which are uncertain is in error; and that nothing is certain in the things which men see, by reason of the undistinguishable likeness of falsehood, although what seems, may perhaps be, true; this they discourse of in controversies most acute but most shameless. But with us the just liveth of faith. But if(Hab.2, assent be taken away, faith is taken away; because withoutR0m. \t assent nothing is believed. And there are truths, seen though 17they may not be, failing the belief of which, it is not possible to arrive at a life of blessedness, which is no other than life eternal. But I know not whether we ought to speak with those, who are ignorant, not that they shall live for ever, but that they are alive at the present moment; yea, who say that they are ignorant of that which they cannot be ignorant of. For no one is suffered to be ignorant that he is alive; since if he be not alive, he cannot even be ignorant of any thing; since not only to know, but also to be ignorant of, belongs
100 Errors not in faith or duty, not more than slight faults.
ENCHi-to one who is alive. But it would seem by not assenting
RIDI0W that they are alive, they seem to themselves to guard against error; when even by erring they are proved to be alive; seeing that he who is not alive cannot err. As therefore that we are alive is not only true, but also certain; so there are many things true and certain, to refuse assent to which, far xxi. be it that it be called wisdom, and not rather madness. But in things, in which it matters not at all to the obtaining of the kingdom of God whether they be believed or not, or whether they either be, or be thought to be, true or false; in these to err, that is, to think one thing instead of another,
1 pecca- is not to be judged to be a fault1; or if it be, a very little and very light fault. In fine, let it be of what kind, and how great soever, it belongs not to that way by which we go to
Gal.5,6. G0(l; which way is the faith of Christ, which worketh by love. For neither did that ' error pleasing to their parents' in the case of the twin sons, wander from this way; nor did the Apostle Peter wander from this way, when supposing that he saw a vision, he so thought one thing instead of another, as not to distinguish the real bodies, in the midst of which he was, from the images of bodies in the midst of which he supposed himself to be, until after that the Angel, by whom he had been freed, was departed from him. Nor did the Patriarch Jacob wander from this way, when he believed his son, who was yet alive, to have been slain by a wild beast. In these and such-like untruths, we are deceived without injury to the faith which we have towards God, and err without leaving the way which leads to Him: which errors, although they are not faults, are yet to be judged to be among the evils of this life, which has been so made subject to vanity, that here things false are approved as true, things true are rejected as false, things uncertain are held as certain. For although these things arc separate from that faith, through which being true and certain we are on our way to eternal blessedness; yet are they not separate from that misery in which we yet are. For in no way should we be deceived in any mental or bodily sense, if we were already in the enjoyment of that true and perfect happiness. xxii. But, moreover, every lie is therefore to be called a fault, in lhat a man, not only when he himself knows what is true, but Lying for others' good excusable, but wrong. 101
also if at any time he err and is deceived as a man, ought to Dbfid* speak that which he has in his mind; whether it be true, or "*R" whether it be thought to be so, and be not. For every one t"Ewho lies, speaks contrary to what he thinks in his mind, with the will to deceive. And surely words have therefore been appointed, not as means whereby men may deceive one another, but as means whereby each one may convey his own thoughts to another's knowledge. Therefore to use words for the purpose of deceit, not for what they were appointed, is a fault. Nor must we therefore think that any lie is not a fault, because we can at times benefit any one by lying. For this we can do also by stealing, if the poor man, to whom it is given openly, feel the benefit, and the rich man from whom it is taken secretly, does not feel the loss; yet no one on this account will say that such a theft is not a fault. And this we can do again by adultery, if it appear that any, unless we consent to her in this, will die through love, and, in case she live, will be cleansed through repentance; yet will not such an adultery be on this account denied to be a fault. But if chastity be deservingly pleasing to us, how does truth offend us, so that, in order to benefit another, the one may not be violated by adultery, while the other may be violated by lying? It is not to be denied that men have made very great progress towards what is good, who lie not except for another's safety, but in such their progress, it is their good-will which is praised, or even receives temporal rewards, not their deceit, which that it be pardoned is enough, not that it be published abroad, especially in heirs of the New Testament, to whom it is said, Let Matt. 5, it be in your mouth, yea, yea; nay, nay; for what is beyond is of evil. On account of which evil, because it ceases not in this mortal state to steal upon us, even the very co-heirs of Christ say, Forgive us our debts. Matt 6,
8. These things therefore having been treated of as this ,_::: present brevity required, seeing that the causes of things good and evil are to be known, as far as it is sufficient for the way which leads us to that kingdom, where will be life without death, truth without error, happiness without disquiet; we ought not at all to doubt, that of such good things as relate to us there is none other cause than the goodness of
102 Error and pain came into the world with sin.
■urin- God; but (the cause) of things evil is the will of a being * . mutably good1 falling away from immutable good, first that mutati- of an angel, then of man. This is the first evil of a rational lis- - creature, that is, the first withdrawing of good: then after this there found way, now even against their will, ignorance of things necessary to be done, and desire of things hurtful; in company with which are brought in error and pain: which two evils when they are perceived to be hanging over us, the emotion of the mind endeavouring to flee from them is called fear. Further, the mind when it obtains things desired, although hurtful or empty, in that through error it perceives it not, is either overpowered by morbid delight, or 'venti- fanned* it may be with vain joy. From these as it were the fountains of diseases, fountains not of plenty, but of want, xxv. all the misery of a rational nature issues. Which nature, however, in the midst of its evils could not lose the desire of blessedness. But these are the common evils, both of men,' and of angels condemned by the justice of the Lord for their wickedness. But man has beside his own punishment, whereby he was punished by the death also of the body. Forasmuch as God had threatened him with the punishment of death if he sinned; thus gifting him with free will, as yet to rule him by His control,and affright him with destruction; and placed him in the happiness of Paradise as in the shadow of a life, from whence by observing righteousness he might xxvi. ascend to better things. Hence after his sin being made an exile, his own race also, which by sinning he had corrupted in himself as in its root, he bound by the punishment of death and condemnation: so that whatever progeny should be born of him and of his wife, through whom he had sinned, condemned together with him, through carnal lust, wherein was repaid a punishment similar to the disobedience, should draw along with it original sin, whereby it should be drawn through various errors and pains, to that last never-ending punishment with the apostate angels, its corrupters, masters, Horn. 5, and partners. Thus, By one man sin entered into the world, '-" and by sin death: and so death passed upon all men, in that all sinned. By the world in that place the Apostle meaning xxvii. the whole human race. This therefore was the case; the mass of the whole human race under condemnation was
God causes good even to the fallen. Angelseach by himself. 103 lying in evils, or even was rolling on and going headlong Defide
^ C1ip J?T
from evils into evils; and joined to the side of those angels CARI.
who had sinned, was paying the deserved penalty of impious tAt*
apostacy. Forasmuch as it peitaineth to the just anger of
God, whatsoever the wicked willingly commit through blind
and unsubdued lust, and whatsoever they unwillingly suffer
by manifest and secret* punishments: the goodness of the
Creator ceasing not to minister even to evil angels life and
vital power, which ministration being withdrawn, they would
straightway perish; and as for men, although they be born
from a corrupted and condemned stock, ceasing not to give
form and life to their seeds, to dispose their members, through
periods of time and distances of place to quicken their
senses, to bestow on them nutriment. For He judged it better
to work good out of things evil, than to allow no things evil
to exist. And truly had He willed that there should be no
renewing1 at all of man for the better, even as there is none 'reforms
of impious angels, would it not be deservedly done, that the
nature which deserted God, which, using evilly its own power,
trampled upon and transgressed the command of its Creator,
which it might most easily have kept, which corrupted in
itself the image of its Creator, frowardly turning away from
His light, which evilly broke off, by its free-will, its salutary
subjection to His laws, should be all of it eternally deserted
by Him, and suffer everlasting punishment according to its
desert? Certainly He would thus act, were He only just,
and not merciful also, and shewed not much more clearly
His own free mercy rather in setting free the unworthy.
9. Certain angels therefore through impious pride deserting xxviii. God, and being cast down from their high heavenly habitation into the lowest darkness of this air, that number of angels which was left continued in eternal blessedness with God, and in holiness. For the rest of the angels were not descended from one who fell and was condemned, that so original evil should bind them, as in the case of man, with the chains of succession subject to it, and draw down all to deserved punishments; but when he, who became the devil, had become lifted up together with the partners in his impiety, and, by being thus lifted up, with them overthrown,
• ' opertis.' Bened. ' apertis,' ' open,' most Mss.
104 Heaven repeopled by Redemption. Freewill lost by sin.
Enchi- the rest with pious obedience clave to the Lord, receiving
also, what the others had not, a certain knowledge, to assure
xxix. them of their eternal and unfailing stedfastness. It therefore pleased God, the Creator and Governor of the universe, that, seeing that not the whole multitude of angels had perished by deserting God, the part which had perished should remain in eternal perdition; whilst the part which had continued firm with God, when the other forsook Him, should rejoice in the full and certain knowledge of the eternity of its future happiness: but that, in that the other rational creature which was in man, had perished entire through sins and punishments both original and actual, out of the renewal of a part of it should be supplied whatever loss that fall of the devil had brought on the fellowship of the Angels. For this has been promised to the Saints at Luke20, their resurrection, that ' they shall be equal to the Angels of God.' Thus Jerusalem which is above, our mother, the city of God, shall suffer no robbery of the multitude of her sons, or, it may be, shall reign with a yet fuller abundanceb. For we know not the number either of holy men, or of unclean devils, into whose place the sons of our holy Mother succeeding, of her who appeared barren upon earth, shall abide without any limit of time in that peace from which they fell. But the number of those citizens, whether it be that which is now, or that which shall be, is contemplated by that Artificer Bom. J, Who calls the things which are not as the things which are, •vy'jad, and orders all things in measure and number and weight. ii,20. But this p0rtion 0f the human race, to whom God hath promised deliverance and an eternal kingdom, whether can it at all be restored by the merits of its own works? Far be it. For what good does one who is lost work, except so far as he hath been delivered0 from destruction? Can it by the free choice of its will? Far be this also: for man using evilly his free will hath lost both himself and it. For in like manner as he who kills himself, assuredly by living kills himself, but lives not by killing himself, nor will be able to raise himself up again after he has killed himself: so when through free-will sin was committed, sin being Freedom to good restored to God's servants by grace. 105
b Cf. de Civ. Pei, 1. xxii. c. I. he hath been restored.'
c al, ' quando'—' repaiatus,' ' when
conqueror, free-will was lost. For of whom a man is over-Vbfidr come, to him is he made over as a slave also. This is at any sJfR" rate the judgment of Peter the Apostle: seeing then that this Tatb. is true, what kind of liberty can that be of the slave who has j9Pet'2' been made over, except when it pleases him to sin? For he serves freely, who willingly does the will of his master. And thus he is free to commit sin, who is the slave of sin. Whence he will not be free to work righteousness, unless being set free from sin he shall begin to be the slave of righteousness. This is true liberty by reason of the joy in"al.'the doing right, and at the same time godly slavery by reason of *n°Jof, the obedience to the command. But this liberty to do well, when shall it be to man, made over and sold, unless He redeem him Whose is that saying, If the Son hath set you John 8, free, then shall ye be truly free. But before this begin to have place in man, how doth any one of free-will glory in any good work, who is not yet free to work what is good, unless he exalt himself, being puffed up with vain pride? Whom the Apostle restrains, saying, By grace are ye saved'E-ph.v, through faith. And lest they should so take to themselves — *• at any rate the faith itself, as not to understand that it was given of God; (like as in another place the same Apostle says, that' he had obtained mercy to be faithful;') here alsoI Cor. 7, he hath added, and says, And this not of yourselves, but it is the gift of God; not of works, lest haply any one be exalted. And lest it should be thought that good works will be wanting to believers, again he adds; For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus in good works, which God hath before prepared, that in them we may walk. Therefore then are we made truly free, when God fashions us, that is, forms and creates us, not that we may be men, which thing He hath already done; but that we may be good men, which thing His grace now does; that we may be in Christ Jesus a Gal. 6, new creature, according to that which is said, A clean heart Ps' 61 create in me, O God. For his heart, as far as respects the 10. nature of the human heart, God hath not failed already to create. Also, that no one, although not of works, yet should xxxii. glory of the very free choice of his will, as if the desert began of himself, which received the very liberty of working what is right, as a reward due; let him hear the same herald
106 Some gifts follow man's will, but grace ever prevents it.
Enchi- of grace saying, For it is God who worketh in you both to KipI0ti will and to do, according to His good pleasure. And in 13. ' 'another place: Therefore is it, not of him who willeth, nor Bom. 9,0j-him wfto runneth, but of God who sheweth mercy. Seeing that without doubt, if man be of such age, as already to exercise his reason, he cannot believe, hope, love, unless he Phil. 3, be willing, or arrive at the prize of the high calling of God, '* unless he have run with his will. How then is it not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God who sheweth mercy, except in that the will itself, as it is written, Prov. 8, is prepared before of the Lord. Otherwise, if it was therefore 36-Lxx. 8aij^ n is nof 0y nim whg willeth, nor of him who runneth, but of God who sheweth mercy, because it is brought to pass of both, both the will of man, and the mercy of God; and we understand it to be so said, it is not of him who willelh, nor of him who runneth, but of God who sheweth mercy, as if it were said, the will alone of mau is not sufficient, unless there be also the mercy of God: therefore also the mercy alone of God is not sufficient, unless there be also the will of man; and thus if it be rightly said, it is not of man who willeth, but of God who sheweth mercy, because the will alone of man does not fulfil it; why is it not also on the other side rightly said,' it is not of God who sheweth. mercy, but of man who willeth, because the mercy alone of God does not fulfil it?' So then if no Christian will dare to say, 'it is not of God who sheweth mercy, but of man who willeth,' that he contradict not most openly the Aposde; it remains that it be understood therefore rightly to have been said, it is not of him who willeth, nor of him who runneth, but of God who sheweih mercy, that the whole may be given to God, who both prepares the good will of man hereafter to be assisted, and assists it when prepared. For the good will of man goes before many gifts of God, but not all": but those which it goes not before, among them is itself. For both are Ps. 59, read in the sacred writings, both, His mercy shall prevent ri.'23,6.me, and, His mercy shall follow me. It prevents him who All men born under wrath. Need of a Mediator. 107
* See S. Greg. Mor. xvi. 30. and Christian notion of the relation of
xviii. 62. Tr. p. 363. and note c. where, works to reward, and as 'mereri' is
in the passage cited, ' promeruit' is of repeatedly osed in the present vo
coarse to be taken according to the lame.
has not the will, that he may have the will; it follows afterDefidb him who hath, that he may not have the will in vain. For CARI. why are we charged to pray for our enemies, who assuredly tAtEhave no will to live godly, except that God may work in44* "' them the will also? And, again, why are we charged to ask Matt. 7, that we may receive, except that He, by Whom it was brought to pass that we have the will, may bring to pass that which we will? We pray, therefore, for our enemies, that the grace of God may prevent them, as it has prevented us also: but we pray for ourselves that His mercy may follow after us.
10. Therefore the human race was holden under just con-xxxiii demnation, and all were children of wrath. Concerning which wrath it is written, Since all our days have failed, and Ps.90,9. in Thy wrath have we failed; our years shall be thought on as a spider. Concerning which anger Job also says, For Job 14, man born of a woman, is short of life and full of wrath. Concerning which wrath the Lord Jesus Christ also says, He who belieceth on the Son, hath eternal life; but he who John 3, believeth not on the Son, hath not life, but the wrath of God' remaineth upon him. He says not, shall come; but reniaineth. Forasmuch as with this every man is born. Wherefore the Apostle says, For we too were by nature sons Eph. 2, of wrath, as the rest also. In this wrath when men were3through original sin, and in so much the more grievous and deadly wise, as they had added greater or more sins besides, a Mediator was required, that is, a reconciler, to appease this wrath by the offering of a singular Sacrifice, whereof all the sacrifices of the Law and the Prophets were shadows. Whence the Apostle says, For if, when we were enemies, wenom. 6, were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more," being reconciled now in His blood, shall ire be saved from wrath through Him. But when God is said to be angry, there is not implied of Him emotion, such as is in the mind of man when angry; but by a word transferred from human feelings, His vengeance, which is none other than just, hath received the name of Wrath. Therefore that through a Mediator we are reconciled to God, and receive the Holy Spirit, that of enemies we may be made sons; For as many Rom. 8, as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God;
108 Human nature of Christ came into being pure,
Enchi- this is the grace of God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
— Concerning which Mediator it were long to speak so great
things as are worthy to be spoken, although by man they cannot worthily be spoken. For who can set forth this John i, alone in suitable words, that The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, that we should believe in the only Son of God the Father Almighty, born of the Holy Ghost and the Virgin Mary? Thus, that is, the Word was made flesh, the flesh being assumed by the Godhead, not the Godhead changed into flesh. Further in this place we ought to understand by 'flesh' man, the expression from a part Rom. 3, signifying the whole; as it is said, Since by the works of the Law no flesh shall be justified; that is, no man. For it is unlawful to say that any thing of human nature was wanting in that assumption; but of nature every way free from every tie of sin: not such nature as is born of both sexes through 1 reatus the lust of the flesh with the bond of sin, the guilt' whereof is washed away by regeneration; but such as it was fitting that He should be born of a virgin, whom the faith of His mother, not her lust, had conceived; by whose very birth even were her virginity impaired, now no longer would He 'quod be born of a virgin; and falsely, which God forbid*, would the whole Church confess Him born of the Virgin Mary; she who following His Mother daily brings forth His members, and is a virgin still. Read, if you will, on the virginity of holy Mary my letters to an illustrious man whose name I 3Ep.l37.mention with honour and affection, Volusianus*. Wherefore xxxv. Christ Jesus the Son of God is both God and Man. God * stecula before all worlds*, Man in our world. God, because the John I, Word of God; for the Word was God: but Man, because unto unity of Person there was added to the Word a reasonable soul and flesh'. Wherefore inasmuch as He is Johnio,God, ' He and the Father are one;' inasmuch as He is john i4. Man, ' The Father is greater than He.' For being the only 28. Son of God, not by grace, but by nature, that He might be full of grace also, He was made the Son of Man likewise; and Himself the Same Both, of Both One Christ. For being
• lathi*, and some other expressions, rather collected than invented by it* we have the very language of the Atha- author, nasian Creed, which was evidently
Manhood even of Christ merited nothing till in God. 109
in the form of God, He thought it not robbery, what He was Db Pidb by nature, to be equal with God. Yet He emptied Himself, s£f B^. receiving the form of a servant, not losing or diminishing the Tatb. form of God. And so He was both made less, and remained *"hi1- 2, equal, Both in One', as has been said: but one thing by' utrumreason of the Word, the other by reason of His Manhood; 1ueunu» by reason of the Word, equal with the Father, by reason of His Manhood, less. One the Son of God, and the same the Son of Man; One the Son of Man, and the same the Son of God: not two sons of God, God and Man, but One Son of God; God without beginning, Man from a certain beginning, one Lord Jesus Christ.
11. Here altogether greatly and evidently is God's grace xxxvi. commended. For what merit had human nature in the Man Christ, that it should be singularly assumed into the unity of Person of the only Son of God? What good will, what good and zealous purpose, what good works went before, such as that by them That Man should deserve to be made one Person with God? Whether at all was He Man before, and was this singular benefit afforded Him, in that He deserved singularly of God? Truly from the time that He began to be Man, Hes*al-'"ie began not to be any thing other than the Son of God; and this the only Son, and by reason of God the Word, Who by assuming Him was made flesh, assuredly God: so that, in like manner as any man whatever is one Person, that is, a reasonable soul and flesh, so Christ also may be one Person, the Word and Man. Whence to human nature so great glory, freely given undoubtedly with no merits going before, unless because in this the great and alone grace of God is evidently shewn to them who contemplate it faithfully and soberly, that men may understand that they are themselves justified from their sins through the same grace, through which it was brought to pass that the Man Christ might have no sin? Thus also the Angel saluted His mother, when he announced to her her future bringing-forth; Hail, said he, full of grace! And a little after, Thou hast found, says he, Lukei, grace with God. And she indeed is said to he full of grace, and to have found grace with God, that she might be the mother of her Lord, yea, of the Lord of all. But of Christ Himself the Evangelist John, after having said, And the ?ohn J» 110 ChrisCs coming itself a grace. Holy Spirit not His Father,
Enchi- Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, says, And we
saw His glory, as of the Only-begotten of the Father, full of
grace and truth. That which he says, The Word was made flesh; the same is, full of grace: that which he says, The glory of the Only-begotten of the Father; the same is, full of truth. For the Truth Itself, the Only-begotten Son of God, not by grace, but by nature, by grace took unto Him Man with so great unity of Person, that Himself the Same was
xxxvii. also the Son of Man. For the same Jesus Christ the Onlybegotten, that is, the only, Son of God, our Lord, was born of the Holy Ghost and the Virgin Mary. And certainly the Holy Ghost is the gift of God, which indeed Itself also is equal to the Giver: and therefore the Holy Ghost also is God, not inferior to the Father and the Son. From this therefore, that of the Holy Ghost is the birth of Christ ac
1 homi- cording to His Manhood1, what else than very grace is shewn? For when the Virgin had enquired of the Angel, how that should be brought to pass which he announced to her, seeing
Luke i, that she knew not a man; the Angel answered, Tlte Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee; and therefore that Holy Thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And Joseph when he wished to put her away, suspecting her to be an adulteress, whom he knew to be with child not of him
Matt. i, self, received such an answer from the Angel, Fear not to
« natum lake Mary thy wife; for that which in her is conceived*, is of the Holy Ghost: that is, What you suspect to be of another man, is of the Holy Ghost.
xxxviii 12. Yet do we therefore at all intend to say, that the Holy Ghost is the Father of the Man Christ, so that God the Father begot the Word, the Holy Ghost the Man, of both which Substances should be one Christ, both the Son of God the Father as touching the Word, and the Son of the Holy Ghost as touching the Man; in that the Holy Ghost as His Father had begotten Him of His virgin Mother? Who will dare to say this? Nor is there need to shew by discussion what other great absurdities follow; when now this very thing is of itself so absurd, that no faithful ears are able to bear it. Wherefore, as we confess, our Lord Jesus Christ, Who is God of God, but as Man was born of the Holy Ghost and but the Creator of His Humanity. Ill
the Virgin Mary, in both Substances, the divine, that is, and Defide the human, is the only Son of God the Father Almighty, "*R" from Whom proceedeth the Holy Ghost. In what manner Tatb. then do we say, that Christ was born of the Holy Ghost, if the Holy Ghost begat Him not? Was it because He made Him? Seeing that our Lord Jesus Christ, so far as He is God, all things were made by Him: so far however as He is John 1, Man, Himself also was made, as the Apostle says: He was^om. 2 made of the seed of David according to the flesh. But3whereas that Creature which the Virgin conceived and brought forth, although It belong to the Person of the Son alone, yet the whole Trinity made; for neither do the works of the Trinity admit of being separated; why in the making of It was the Holy Spirit alone named? Whether is it that even as often as one of the Three is named in any work, the whole Trinity is understood to work? It is so indeed, and may be shewn to be so by examples. But we must not delay any longer on this. For that moves us, how it is said, Born of the Holy Ghost, when He is in no way the Son of the Holy Ghost. For neither, because God created this world, may it lawfully be said to be the Son of God, or born of God; but made, or created, or built, or founded by Him, or whatever other such expression we may rightly use. He, therefore, when we confess Him born of the Holy Ghost and the Virgin Mary, how He be not the Son of the Holy Ghost, and yet be the Son of the Virgin Mary, is difficult to explain. Without any doubt, forasmuch as He was not so born of Him as of a father, and was so born of her as of a mother. Itxxxix. must not therefore be granted, that whatsoever is born of any thing, is straightway to be called the son of that same thing. For not to notice that a son is born of a man in one sense, and in another sense a hair, a louse, a stomach-worm, no one of which is a son: not to notice then these, seeing that they are with ill grace' compared to so great a thing; surely they' deforwho are born of water and of the Holy Ghost, no one wouldTM1 er' properly say that they are sons of the water; but they are expressly called sons of God their Father, and of their mother the Church. Thus, therefore, One born of the Holy Ghost is the Son of God the Father, not of the Holy Ghost. For what we said of hair and the rest, is only of use so far,
112 Manhood deified through ' The Gift' because freely.
tNCHi- that we be put in mind, that not every thing which is born of
any one, can also be called the son of that of which it is
born; in like manner, as it follows not, that all, who are called sons of any one, be said to be also born of him: as there are who are adopted. There are also named sons of hell, not as born of it, but prepared for it, as sons of the Kingdom, xl- who are being prepared for the Kingdom. Therefore seeing that one thing may be born of another thing, and yet not in such a manner as to be a son, and again, that not every one, who is called a son, is born of him whose son he is said to be; doubtless the manner in which Christ was born of the Holy Ghost not as a Son, and of the Virgin Mary as a Son, suggests to us the grace of God, whereby Man, without any merits going before, in the very beginning of his nature in which he began to exist, was joined to God the Word unto so great unity of Person, that Himself the Same should be the Son of God, Who was the Son of Man, and the Son of Man, Who was the Son of God: and that thus in the taking upon Him human nature, in a certain way the very grace should be
1 i. e. made natural to that Man, which' should not be capable of
grace.' admitting any sin. Which grace it was therefore necessary
should be indicated by the Holy Ghost, because He properly
Acts 8, is thus God, as to be called also the Gift of God. Whereof 20. .
to speak sufficiently, even if it may be done, is matter for a
very lengthened discussion.
x"; 13. Thus begotten* or conceived through no pleasure of
natus. carnal lust, and therefore deriving no sin by way of descent; also by the grace of God in a wonderful and unspeakable manner joined, and grown together, in unity of Person, with the Word the Only-begotten of the Father, the Son, not by grace, but by nature, and so Himself also committing no sin; yet, by reason of the ' likeness of the flesh of sin' in
Rom. 8, which He had come, was He Himself also called sin, being to be sacrificed to wash away sins. Forasmuch as in the old Law sacrifices for sins were called 'sins;' which He truly
Hos.4,8. was made, whereof they were shadows. Hence the Apostle,
;?Cor,6, after he had said, We beseech youfor Christ to be reconciled to God; straightway adds and says, Him who knew no sin, He made sinfor us, that we may be the righteousness of God in Him. He says not, as in certain faulty copies is read, Christ how 'made sin.' All die to sin in Baptism. 113
"He Who knew no sin, for us wrought sin;" as if Christ Depidb Himself had sinned for us: but he says,' Him who had not CARi. known sin,' that is, Christ, ' God, to Whom we are to be tAtbreconciled, made sin for tts,' that is, a Sacrifice for sins, through Which we might be able to be reconciled. He therefore sin, as we righteousness; nor that our own, but of God; nor in us, but in Him: as He sin, not His own, but ours; which that it had place not in Him, but in us, He shewed by the likeness of the flesh of sin, in which He was crucified: that, whereas sin was not in Him, so in a certain way He might die to sin, in dying to the flesh, wherein was the likeness of sin; and whereas He had never Himself lived according to the oldness of sin, He might by His own resurrection signify our new life springing to life again, from the old death, whereby we had been dead in sin. This is that xlii. very thing which is solemnized among us, the great Sacrament' of Baptism, that whosoever pertain to that grace, may die unto sin, as He is said to have died unto sin, who died unto the flesh, that is, the likeness of sin: and may live, by being born again from the laver, as He also by rising again from the gTave, of whatever age their bodies be. For from xliii. the Utile child but lately born even to the decrepit old man, as no one is to be prohibited from Baptism, so is there no one who in Baptism dies not unto sin: but little children only unto original sin, elder persons however die unto all those sins also whatsoever by ill living they had added to that which they derived by birth. But therefore are they also xliv. generally said to die unto sin, when without any doubt they die not to one, but to many and all sins, whatsoever now of their own they have committed, either by thought, or word, or deed; since also by the singular number the plural is wont to be signified: as the poet saysa, "And fill his belly with the warrior armed;" although they did this with many warriors. And in our own writings we read, Pray therefore Numb. to the Lord that He may take away from us the serpent; iti/xx. says not, the serpents, from which the people were suffering, so as thus to speak: and numberless other such. Whereas, however, also that original (sin, which is) one, is signified by
'' Sacramentum,' perhaps here e Of the Trojan Horse. Virg. JEn, 'mystery.' ii. 20.
114 What sins may be remitted to infants.
ENcm-the plural number, when we say that little children are bap
tized for the remission of sins, and say not for the remission
of sin; that is an opposite form of speech, whereby by the plural the singular number is signified. As in the Gospel,
Mat. 2, Herod being dead, it is said, For they are dead who sought the child's life: it is not said, he is dead: and in Exodus,
Ex.32, They have made, says he, unto themselves gods of gold;
whereas they had made one calf, of which they said, These
are thy Gods, O Israel, who led thee forth out of the land
of Egypt: here also putting the plural for the singular.
xlv. Although in that one sin also, which by one man entered
Rom. 5, into the world, and passed upon all men, by reason of which young children also are baptized, more sins than one may be understood, if that one be divided, as it were, into its separate parts. For therein is both pride, in that man chose rather to be in his own power, than in that of God; and sacrilege, in that he believed not God; and murder, in that he cast himself headlong into death; and spiritual fornication, in • that the purity of the human mind was corrupted by the persuasion of the serpent; and theft, in that forbidden food was taken; and covetousness, in that he desired more than what ought to have satisfied him; and whatever else in the commission of this one sin may by careful thought be xlvi. discovered. Also that little children are bound by the sins of their parents, not merely of the first human beings, but of their own parents, from whom they are themselves born, is said not without show of reason. Forasmuch as that
Deut. 5, divine saying, / will repay the sins of the fathers upon the sons; certainly is of force in them, before that by spiritual regeneration they begin to belong to the New Testament. Which Testament was prophesied of, when it was said by Ezekiel, that the sons should not receive the sins of their fathers; and that that parable should be no longer in Israel,
Ez. 18, The fathers have eaten a sour grape, and the teeth of the children have become numbed*1. For therefore is each one born again, that in him may be loosened whatever of sin there be, with which he is born. For the sins which are afterwards committed by evil conduct, may also by repentance be healed, as also we see takes place after Baptism. Many sins in one. Sin of fathers rests on children. 115
h obstupuerunt, al. obrtipuerunt.
And therefore regeneration was not appointed, except only De Fide because our generation is corrupted; so much so that even CARi. one begotten of lawful wedlock says, In iniquities I was Tate. conceived, and in sins my mother nourished me in the womb. * '' Neither said he here, in iniquity, or, in sin, although this also might rightly be said; but he chose rather to say iniquities and sins. Because in that one sin also, which passed upon all men, and is so great, that by it human nature was changed and turned unto necessity of death, there are found, as I have shewn above, more sins than one; and other sins of our parents, which, although they cannot so change our nature, yet bind sons by a state of condemnation, unless the free grace and mercy of God come to their help. But not without good reason may it be xlvii. questioned, concerning the sins of our other parents, whom each of us succeed to as ancestors from Adam down to his own parent; whether he who is born be involved in the evil actions of all, and multiplied original transgressions, so that each one is born in so much the worse estate, the later it is; or whether it be for this reason that God threatens the posterity unto the third and fourth generation, concerning the sins of their parents, because He extends not His anger, as far as relates to the offences of their ancestors, further, through the tempering of His merciful kindness; lest they, on whom the grace of regeneration is not bestowed, might be weighed down with too heavy a burthen in their very eternal damnation, if they were obliged from the beginning of the human race to draw together by way of descent the sins of all their parents who went before them, and to suffer the punishments due to them: or whether any thing else in so great a matter, by more careful examination and handling of holy Scripture, may or may not be discovered, I do not venture to affirm unadvisedly.
14. That one sin, however, which was so great, audxlviii. committed in a place and state of so great happiness, that in one man, by way of origin, and so to say, by way of root, the whole human race was condemned, is not loosed and washed away, but only through one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, Who alone could so beiTim.2, born, as that to Him there were no need to be born again.
116 Baptism of Christ. Our Redemption by Him.
Enchi- For they were not born again, who were baptized by the RI°I°N baptism of John, by whom He also was baptized: but by Mat. 3 a certain ministry of him, as of a forerunner, who said, 6. is. Prepare a way for the Lord, were prepared for that One in Luke'3, Whom alone they could be born again. For His baptism is,
4- not in water only, as was that of John, but also in the Holy Ghost; according as of That Spirit, whosoever believeth in Christ, is regenerate, of Which Christ being generated,
Luke 3, needed not to be regenerate. Whence that voice of the ps' 2 j Father which came over Him when baptized, / to-day have Heb. 5, begotten Thee; pointed not out that one day of time in which Heb. l He was baptized, but that of unchangeable eternity, to shew
5- that That Man pertained to the Person of the Only-begotten. For wherein the day is neither begun by yesterday's ending, nor ended by to-morrow's beginning, it is ever to-day. Therefore He willed to be baptized by John in water, not that any iniquity in Him might be washed away, but that His great humility might be commended. For in like manner in Him Baptism found nothing to wash away, even as death found nothing to punish; that the devil, being overcome and vanquished by truth of justice, not by violence of power, in that he had most unjustly slain Him without any desert of sin, might through Him most justly lose them whom through desert of sin he had gotten in hold. Therefore He took upon Him both, both baptism and death, by reason of a determinate dispensation, not of pitiable necessity, but rather of pitying will; that One might take away the sin of the world, as one sent sin into the world, that is, upon the
1- whole human race. Except only that that one sent one sin into the world, this One however took away not only that one sin, but at the same time all, which He found added to it. Rom. 5, Whence the Apostle says, Not as by one man sinning, so is the gift also: for the judgment indeed was of one unto condemnation, but the grace, of many offences unto justification. Because assuredly that one sin which is derived by way of descent, even if it be alone, makes men liable to condemnation: but the grace justifies from many offences the man, who, beside that one which in common with all he hath derived by way of descent, hath added many of his li. own likewise. However, that which he says a little after, Baptism in the death of Christ, death unto sin. 117
As by the offence of one upon all men unto condemnation, so De Fide also by the righteousness of one upon all men unto justifi- s*fR*J cation of life; sufficiently shews, that no one born of Adam Tate. is otherwise than held under condemnation, and that no one is freed from condemnation otherwise than by being born again in Christ. Of which punishment through one man, lii. and grace through one Man, having spoken as much as he judged sufficient for that place of his Epistle, next he commended the great mystery of holy Baptism in the Cross of Christ, in such manner as that we understand that Baptism in Christ is none other than the likeness of the death of Christ; and that the death of Christ crucified is none other than the likeness of the remission of sin: that, as in Him true death had place, so in us true remission of sin; and as in Him true resurrection, so in us true justification. For he says, What shall we say then? shall we continue in sin, that Rom. 6, grace may abound? For he had said above, For where sin jj^* 6 abounded, grace abounded more. And therefore he proposed 20. to himself the question, whether one be to continue in sin, in order to obtain abundance of grace. But he answered, Far be it: and added, If we are dead to sin, how shall we live therein? Then, in order to shew that we are dead to sin: What, know ye not, says he, how that we whosoever have been baptized in Jesus Christ, have been baptized in His death? If therefore we are hence shewn to be dead to sin, in that we have been baptized in the death of Christ; assuredly little children also who are baptized in Christ, die unto sin, because they are baptized in His death. For without any exception it is said, We whosoever have been baptized in Christ Jesus, have been baptized in His death. And therefore is it said, that it may be shewn that we are dead to sin. But to what sin do little children die by being born again, except to that, which, by being born, they have derived? And thus to them also pertains what follows, wherein he says, Therefore we have been buried together Rom. o, with Him through baptism unto death, that, in Hie 7nanner*~n' as Christ rose from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we also may walk in newness of life. For if we have become planted together with the likeness of His death, so shall we be also of His resurrection: knowing this, that our
118 Christ died to the flesh, they that are His to its sin.
Enchi- old man hath been crucified together, that the body of sin *1DI0N may be made empty, that we serve not sin any longer. For he that hath died, hath been justified from sin. But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also together live with Him: knowing that Christ rising from the dead, now dieth not, death shall no more have dominion over Him. For in that He hath died unto sin, He hath died once; but in that He liveth, He liveth unto God. Thus do ye also judge yourselves to have died indeed unto sin, but to live unto God in Christ Jesus. For hence he had beguu to prove that we must not continue in sin, that grace may abound; and had said, If we have died to sin, how shall we live in it? Rom. 6, and, to shew that we had died to sin, had added, What, know ye not that we whosoever have been baptized in Christ Jesus, have been baptized in His death? Thus then he closed that whole passage as he began. Seeing that he so introduced the death of Christ, as to say that even He died to sin. To what sin, except to the flesh, in which was, not sin, but the likeness of sin; and therefore it is called by the name of sin? Therefore to them who have been baptized in the death of Christ, in which not only older persons, but little children also are baptized, he says, So do ye also, that is, in like manner as Christ, So do ye also judge yourselves to have liii. died unto sin, but to live unto God in Christ Jesus. Whatever therefore was done in the Cross of Christ, in His Burial, in His Resurrection on the third day, in His Ascension into Heaven, in His Sitting at the right hand of the Father; was done in such sort, as that to these things, not only as spoken after a mystical manner, but also as done, the Christian life which is here lived might be conformed. For by reason of Gal. 5, His Cross it is said; But they that are Jesus Christ's, have crucified their flesh with its passions and lusts. By reason Kom. 6, of His Burial: We have been buried together with Christ through Baptism unto death. By reason of His Resurrection: » That like as Christ rose again from the dead through the
glory of the Father, so we also may walk in newness of life. By reason of His Ascension into Heaven, and Sitting at the Col. 3, right hand of the Father: But if ye have risen again with ~~ Christ, seek the things which are above, where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God, mind the things which are
All, righteous and unrighleous, shall be judged. 119 above, not the things ivhich are upon earth: for ye have died,Defide
and your life is hid with Christ in God. However, that which we confess concerning Christ as future; how that He Tatb. is to come from Heaven, to judge the quick and dead, relates hv. not to that life of ours which is lived here; in that neither is it among the things which He hath done, but among those which He is to do, at the end of the world. To this belongs what the Apostle goes on to add: When Christ our life shall have appeared, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory. But that He will judge the quick and the dead may be lv. understood in two ways: either to understand by the quick them whom His coming shall find not yet dead, but still living in this flesh; but by the dead, them who, before His coming, have departed, or are to depart, from the body: or whether by the living the just, by the dead the unjust: since the just also shall be judged. For at times the judgment of God is used in an evil sense; whence is that saying, But they who have done evil, unto the resurrection of judgment 1: at times also in a good sense, according to that'"° (»'• which is said, O God, in Thy Name save me, and in ThyY*M,\. might judge me. Forasmuch as by the judgment of God takes place that very separation of the good and bad, that the good, being to be freed from evil, not to be destroyed with the evil persons, may be set apart at the right hand. Mat.25, By reason of which he cried out, Judge me, O God: and as if setting forth what he had said, And separate, says he, myv»A3,i. cause from a nation not holy.
15. But now when we have spoken concerning Jesus Christ lvi. the only Son of God, our Lord, what pertains to the brevity of confession, we thereunto add that we believe also in the Holy Ghost, that that Trinity may be complete, Which is God: then next the Holy Church is mentioned. Whereby it is given to understand, that, after mention made of the Creator, that is, of the supreme Trinity, it were fitting to subjoin the reasonable creation pertaining to that Jerusalem Gal. 4, which is free. Seeing that whatsoever hath been spoken26concerning the man Christ, pertaineth unto the unity of Person of the Only-begotten. Therefore the right order of confession demanded, that to the Trinity the Church should be subjoined, as to Him that dwclleth therein His own house,
120 Tlie Church in Heaven and Earth God's Temple.
Bnchi- to God His own Temple, to the Founder His own city.
RIDItm Which is here tabe understood as a whole, not only in respect
1 al. of that part wherein she soiourneth1 upon earth, from the < which . . / . . iA. r . . ., e
sojourn- rising of the sun even unto its setting, praising the name oi
Pi us t^ie ^ord, and a^ter its capt^ity °f the old estate singing a
3. 'new song; but also of that which in Heaven ever, from the
time that it was created, hath cleaved unto "God, neither hatb
experienced in itself any evil of falling. This in the holy
Angels continueth blessed, and, as is fitting, helpeth that
part of itself which is a sojourner: because both will be one
by partaking in common of eternity, and are now one by the
bond of charity, being that it was wholly instituted for the
worship of the One God. Wherefore neither doth the whole,
nor any part of it, will that it be worshipped in the place of
God, nor that it be a God to any one who belongs to the
Temple of God, which is built out of gods whom the uncreated
God creates. And so the Holy Ghost, if He were creature,
not Creator, would assuredly be a reasonable creature; for
that is the highest creature. And therefore in the Rule of
Faith He would not be placed before the Church, in that He
Himself also would pertain unto the Church in respect of
that part of it which is in Heaven. Nor would He have a
temple, but Himself also would be a temple. But a temple
l Cor. 6, He hath, concerning Whom the Apostle says, Know ye not,
that your bodies are the temples of the Holy Ghost, which is
in yov-, which ye have of God? Concerning whom in another
l Cor.6, place he says, Know ye not that your bodies are the members
16- of Christ? How then is not He God, Who hath a temple?
or less than Christ, Whose members He hath as a temple?
For neither is His temple other than the temple of God, in
iCor.3,that the same Apostle says, Know ye not that ye are the
temple of God? in order to prove which He adds, and that
the Spirit of God dwelleth in you. God therefore dwelleth
in His temple, not only the Holy Ghost, but also the Father
and the Son, Who also concerning His own Body, (whereby
He was made the Head of the Church, which is among men,
Col. i, that He may be in all things holding the preeminence,) says,
John 2, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.
1 '"'- The temple therefore of God, that iff,- of the whole supreme
Trinity, is the Holy Church, [the Church,] that is, universal What we know of Angels, and what not. 121
in Heaven and on earth. But concerning that which is inDEfiDE Heaven, what can we affirm, but only that there is in it no CABi. one that is evil, nor hath any one since fallen thence, or Tatm. is about to fall, from the time that God spared not the Angels l^ii. sinning, as writes the Apostle Peter, but thrusting them forth 4. e'' delivered them unto prisons of darkness of hell, to be reserved unto punishment in judgment. But of what nature that most lviii. blessed and lofty society is, what differences there are there of preeminences in them, so that, all being named, as it were, by a general name Angels, (as in the Epistle to the Hebrews we read: For to which of the Angels said He afHeb. 1, any time, Sit on My right hand, seeing that in this manner he shewed universally that all are called Angels,) there yet are there Archangels, and whether these same Archangels are called Powers; and so it was said, Praise Him, all His P»- u8, Angels; Praise Him, all His Powers1; as if it were 8aid,i^jriutes 'Praise Him all His Angels, Praise Him all His Archangels;'^ vand how those four words differ one from another, wherein the Apostle seems to have embraced the whole of that heavenly society, saying, Whether they be Thrones, or Col. 1, Dominions, or Principalities, or Powers*, let them speak»p0te,. who are able, yet so that they be able to prove what theytatessay: I confess that I am ignorant of these things. But neither am I assured of that other, whether the sun and moon and all stars belong to that same society; although to some they seem to be shining bodies, not bodies possessing sense and understanding. And also of Angels, who can lix. explain, with what kind of bodies they have appeared to men, so as not only to be seen, but also to be touched; and, again, not by bodily bulk, but by spiritual power, they bring certain visions, not to the bodily eyes, but to the spiritual, i. e. to minds; or speak something not to the ear from without, but within to the soul' of man, themselves also having their place there: as is written in the Book of the Prophets, And the Angel who was speaking in me said untoZech. 1, me; for he says not, who was speaking to me, but in me, or" also appear in dreams, and converse after the manner of dreams; we have for example in the Gospel, Behold, fheMat. i, Angel of the Lord appeared unto him in dreams, saying? 1 Reu. ' in animo,' ' in the mind.' Mss. aninue.
122 Hard questions. What deceits of Satan dangerous.
Enchi- For in this manner the Angels as it were point out that they
have not bodies which may be handled: and cause it to be a
Gen. 18, difficult question, how the Fathers washed their feet, how 19,2. Jacob wrestled with the Angel with handling so palpable1. 'Va?1' When these inquiries are made, and each one, as he can, Gen. 32, conjectures concerning them, the abilities are exercised not ~!" without profit, if only the disputation be moderate, and there be not there the error of them who think that they know what they know not. For what need is there, that these and such "cum like things be affirmed, or denied,or defined with contention4, mine.' when without reprehension3 one may be ignorant of them? 3 '.S1?e 16. It is more necessary to distinguish and discern when
crimine. J °
lx. Satan transforms himself as an angel of light, lest deceiving 2 Cor. us, he lead us astray unto some hurtful things. For when he