FAITH AND WORKS.
S. Aug. Retract, ii. 38, mentions this work as written soon after that' De Spiritu et Litera,' i. e. at the beginning of A.D. 413. "At that time were sent me by some lay Brethren, studious however of the Divine oracles, some writings which so sever Christian Faith from good works as to maintain that without it one could not, hut without them one rould attain eternal life. In answer to whom I wrote a book entitled ' De Fide et Operibus.' In which I have set forth not only how they should live that are by the grace of God regenerate, but also what sort of persons should be admitted to the laver of Regeneration."
Some have thought the ' writings' mentioned were St. Jerome's on Isaiah or on St. Paul's Epistles, but St. Jerome does not go to the length of holding what is here refuted. Ab.from Ben.
1. It is the judgment of certain, that all men withoutDefide distinction are to be admitted to the laver of regeneration,^TM^' which is in Christ Jesus our Lord, even although they shall \be unwilling to change an evil and shameful life, rendered notable by sins and scandalous crimes, and shall even declare and make open profession, that they will continue therein. For instance, if any one is joined to a harlot, that he be not first charged to leave her, and then to come to be baptized; but even continuing with her, and confidently purposing, or even professing, that he will so continue, that he be admitted and baptized, and be not hindered in becoming a member of Christ, even although he shall continue to be a member of an harlot; but that he be afterwards taught how evil this is, l Cor.6, and when now he hath been baptized, be instructed con-15, cerning the change of his manner of life for the better. For they think it a perversion, and out of due order, first to teach how a Christian ought to live, and after to have him baptized. But it is their opinion that the Sacrament of Baptism ought to go first, that there may follow after teaching concerning the life and morals: which if he shall be willing to hold and guard, he will do what is for his interest; but if he shall be unwilling, retaining the Christian Faith, without which he would perish for ever, let him continue in what sin or
SSSomewouldBaptizemen in known sin,rather than not at all.
"bfide impurity soever he will, that he will be saved as if through
iCor.3,fire, as one who hath built upon the foundation, which is
~~ 'Christ, not gold, silver, precious stones, but wood, hay,
stubble; that is, not righteous and chaste ways of life, but
unrighteous and shameless.
2. But they seem to have been moved thus to dispute, as concerned at those not being admitted to Baptism, who have put away their wives and married others, or of females who have put away their husbands, and been married to others; because of these the Lord Christ without any doubt testifies, Mat. 19, that they are, not marriages, but adulteries. For whereas they could not deny that to be adultery, which the Truth, without leaving place for evasion, affirms to be adultery; and (yet) wished to forward them toward their receiving Baptism, whom they saw to be so caught in a snare of this sort, as that, if they were not admitted to Baptism, they would choose to live, or even to die, without any Sacrament, rather than to burst the bond of adultery, and be set free; they were by a certain human sense of pity moved in such wiseto undertake their cause, as to judge that all, together with them, men of evil and scandalous lives, even unrebuked by any prohibition, uncorrected by any instruction, unchanged by any penitence, were to be admitted to Baptism; thinking that unless it were done, they would perish for ever; but that, if it were done, even should they continue in those evil things, they would be saved through fire, ii. 3. In answer to whom, this first 1 say, that no one so understand those declarations of the Scriptures, which either point to as present, or speak of beforehand as future, the mingling of the good and evil in the Church, as to believe that severity of discipline, or the diligent keeping of it, is to be altogether loosed and set aside; not so taught by those Scriptures, but deceived by his own imagination. For neither, because Moses, the servant of God, endured most patiently that mingling in the first People, did he therefore not take vengeance on many even with the sword. And Numb. Phinees, the priest, thrust through with the avenging sword 26,5-8. tne a(luiterers whom he found together. Which very thing it was signified was to be done by degradations and excommunications at this time, when in the discipline of the Church the visible sword was to lie by. Nor, because the
St. Paul suffered not evil living in the Church. 39 blessed Apostle groans with all long-suffering in the midst Et Ope
of false brethren, and certain even driven on by the devilish stings of envy, he yet allows to preach Christ; does heii.26. therefore think that he must spare him, who had his own P*1'1- ii father's wife; concerning whom he gives charge, that, when the Church hath been gathered together, he be delivered over unto Satan, unto the destruction of the flesh, that the1 Cor. 5, spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus: or did he therefore himself not deliver over others unto Satan, that they might learn not to blaspheme: or does he say in vain, l Tim. / wrote unto you in an epistle, not to company with' fornicators, yet not altogether with the fornicators of this 9—13.' world, or the covetous, or robbers, or idolaters; otherwise ye had need to go forth out of this world: but now I have written unto you not to company, \f any brother be named either a fornicator, or an idolater, or a covetous man, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such no not to eat. For how does it concern me to judge concerning them that are without? Do ye not yourselves judge concerning them that are within? But concerning them that are without, God will judge. Take away the evil (man,)'maium, from out of yourselves. Where indeed some so understand r„'V the phrase, from out rf yourselves*, as that each man take*«.rt,o4i* away from out of himself the evil; that is, that he be himself'^*"" good. But in whichever way it be understood, whether that by the severity of the Church the evil be rebuked by excommunications, or that each man, by rebuking and correcting himself, take away from out of himself the evil; yet that which is said above admits not of any doubtful sense, wherein he gives a charge not to company with those brethren, who in any sin mentioned above are 'named,' that is, are known, and spoken of. But with what in. spirit and what charity that merciful severity is to be made use of, he shews, not only in the place where he says, That the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus; but clearly in other places also, saying, .(/^Thess. any man obey not our word through our epistle, mark3'1*'15' this man, and company not with him, that he may be ashamed: yet count him not as an enemy, but rebuke him as a brother.
40 Our Lord commanded to exclude obstinate offenders.
Iiefide 4. And the Lord Himself, a singular example of patience,
Who even among His twelve Apostles still endured a devil
Mat. 13, until His Passion; and Who said, Suffer both to grow until
29.30. ihe harvest, lest haply, whilst ye would gather up the tares,
ye root out the wheat also; and Who foretold that those
nets, which were a figure of the Church, should have good
and evil fishes, even unto the shore, that is, even unto the
end of the world; and all other things whatsoever He spake
either openly or by way of figure concerning the mingling
of the good and the evil: yet did He not therefore judge that
the discipline of the Church was to be set aside: yea, rather,
He admonished that it was to be made use of, when Ho
Mat. 18, said, Take heed unto yourselves: if thy brother shall sin
16—18" against thee, go, and rebuke him between thee and him alone.
If he shall hear thee, thou wilt have gained thy brother.
But if he shall not hear thee, take with thee one or two, that
in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may stand.
But if he shall not hear them, tell it unto the Church. But
if neither will he hear the Church, let him be unto thee as an
heathen man and a publican. Next, a most weighty terror
of that very severity He added also in that place, saying, What
things ye shall loose on earth, shall be loosed also in heaven;
and what things ye shall bind on earth, shall be bound also
Matt. 7, in heaven. He also forbids that what is holy be given unto
dogs. Nor is the Apostle contrary to the Lord, in that he
iTim.5, says, Them that sin rebuke before all, that the rest may have
0- fear; whereas He says, Reprove him between thee and him.
For either thing is to be done, according as we arc admonished
by the diversity of their disease, whom we have undertaken
assuredly not to destroy, but to correct and heal; and one
man we must cure in this way, another in that. Thus also
1 ratio there is a way ' of passing over, and bearing with, evil men
in the Church: and there is again a way of chastising and
rebuking them, of not admitting them to, or removing them
from, the Communion.
iv. 5. But men err, through not observing a mean; and when
they have begun to descend rapidly in one direction, they
loi'k not back on other declarations of divine authority, such
as may recall them from that their purpose, and cause them
to stand fast in that truth and moderation which is attempered Error qf looking only to one side in Holy Scripture. 41
of both together: and that, not in this matter only, which isET0Pb
now in question, but also in many others. I<or certain,
looking to the declarations of the divine writings, wherein One God is put into our minds as the object of worship, have thought that the Same' Who is the Son, is the Father, and the Holy Ghost: others again, as it were, suffering under the contrary disease, fixing their attention on those things whereby the Trinity is declared, and being unable to understand how there is one God, when as neither is the Father the Son, nor the Son the Father, nor the Holy Ghost either the Father or the Son, have thought that they must maintain differences also of substances. Certain, looking to the praise of holy virginity in the Scriptures, have condemned marriages: certain, on the other hand, following those declarations wherein chaste marriages are commended, have set marriage on a par with virginity. Certain on reading, It is good, Kom. brethren, not to eat flesh, nor to drink wine; and some other u'31" like words; have thought the creature of God, and what meats they would, to be unclean: whereas certain, reading, Every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refected, iTim.4, which is received with giving of thanks, have fallen into greediness and drunkenness; not having it in their power to remove from themselves sins, unless there should succeed to them as great, or greater, sins on the opposite side.
b*. Thus in this matter also, which we have in hand, certain looking to the precepts of severity, whereby we are admonished to rebuke the unruly, not to give what is holy unto dogs, to hold as an heathen man one who despises the Church, to pluck. away from the frame of the body the member which causes offence; so distort the peace of the Church, as that they endeavour before the time to separate the tares, and, blinded by this error, are themselves rather separated from the Unity of Christ. Such as is the case which we have against the schism ofDonatus. And this, not with those, who know that Caecilianus was assailed, not by true, but by scandalous, charges, and who, through a shame which works death, refuse to relinquish their fatal opinion; but with those unto whom we say, What though they
» Latin writcw constantly thus indicate ' Person' by the masculine pronoun.
42 Some evil to be borne with for unity's sake.
i,K Fide had been evil men, by reason of whom ye are not in t'.e Church, still ye ought by bearing with those, whom ye could in no wise correct or set apart, to have continued in the Church. But certain, making the opposite hazard, having seen clearly that the mingling of the good and evil in the Church is pointed out and foretold, and having learnt precepts of patience, (which so render us most sure, as that, even if there seem to be tares in the Church, yet is not either our faith or our charity hindered, so as that, because we see that there are tares in the Church, we ourselves depart from the Church,) think that the discipline of the Church is to be abandoned, assigning to them that are set over it a certain most perverse absence of care, so that there pertain not unto them, save only to say what is to be shunned and what to be done, but whatsoever each man may do, never to heed. v. 7. But we judge that it pertains unto sound doctrine out of - *? , both declarations' to attemper our life and opinion, so that
monus, r r'
texts, we both endure dogs in the Church, for the sake of the peace of the Church, and, where the peace of the Church is safe, give not what is holy unto dogs. When therefore through the negligence of them who are set over it, or through some necessity such as admits of excuse, or through their secretly creeping in, we find in the Church evil persons, whom we cannot correct or restrain by ecclesiastical discipline; in that case (lest there arise up in our heart an impious and fatal presumption, as that we suppose that we are to separate ourselves from them, lest we be polluted by their sins, and so we endeavour to draw after us, as it were, pure and holy followers, separated from the whole frame of unity, as if from fellowship with the evil) let there come into our mind those figures out of the Scriptures, and those divine oracles or most sure examples, whereby it was shewn and foretold, that there will be evil persons in the Church mixed with the good even unto the end of the world and the time of the Judgment, and that the good, who consent not to their deeds, will be in no way hindered by them in unity and participation of the Sacraments. But when those by whom the Church is ruled, with safety to the peace of tho Church, have at hand the power of exercising discipline on evil and ungodly men, then again, that we sleep not through Preparation for Baptism, best time for correction. 43
indolence and sloth, we must be excited by the spurs ofitOPEother precepts, which have respect unto severity of restraint; aiBUsl that, directing our steps in the way of the Lord out of both declarations, (He being our Guide and Helper,) we neither grow listless under the name of patience, nor be cruel under the pretext of diligence.
8. This moderation then being observed which is accord- vi. ing to sound doctrine, let us look to the point at. issue, that
is, whether men are to be so admitted to receive Baptism, as that no diligence keep watch in this case, lest what is holy be given unto dogs; to such an extent as that it should seem that not even they, who are guilty of most open adultery, and who make profession of continuing therein, are to be kept from a Sacrament of so great holiness; unto which, without any doubt, they would not be admitted, if, during those very days, (on which, being about to partake of that grace, after their names have been given in, they are under cleansing by abstinence, fastings, and exorcisms,) they were to make profession that they would lie with their lawful and true wives, and that in this matter, although at another time allowed, they would during these few solemn days observe no continence. How then is the adulterer, who refuses correction, admitted unto those holy things, whereunto the married is not admitted, if he refuse observance?
9. But first, they say, let him be baptized; afterwards let him be taught what pertains unto a good life and morals. This takes place, when it so chances that the last day of life constrains any one, so that he believe after the fewest possible words', (wherein yet all things are contained,) and receive i adverthe Sacrament; in order that, if he shall pass out of this life, j£ ?*u" he may go forth set free from the guilt* of all his past sins.*reatu But if he ask it in health, and there is space for learning, what other time can be found more opportune, wherein to
heai- in what manner he ought to become a believer and live, than that, when, with a mind more intent, and, through very religious awe, anxious, he is seeking the Sacrament of most saving Faith. What? do we to that degree dissemble from our own consciousness3 that we either remember not our3 a senown selves, how intent we were and anxious what precepts Dostii». 44 Old Man to he put off for Baptism, not after.
i)r.Fide they, by whom we were being catechized, would give us, when we were petitioning for the Sacraments of that fount, and on this account were also called Competentes; or mark not others, who, year by year, run Jo the laver of Regeneration, what kind of'persons they are on the very days on which they are catechized, exorcised, examined; with how great watchfulness they come together, with how great zeal they glow, with what anxiety they are held in suspense? If then be not the time for learning, what life is suitable to that so great Sacrament, which they desire to receive; when will it be? What? when they shall have received it, in so great crimes continuing even after Baptism, not new men, but old offenders? So that forsooth it be first said unto them by a strange perversion, ' Put on the new man;' and, when they shall have put it on, it be after said,' Put off the old Col. 3, man;' whereas the Apostle keeping a sound order says, Put Eph 4 °ff *ne o'^ man, and Put on the vew man; and the Lord 22. 24. Himself cries aloud, No man seweth a new piece unto an 16.17. 'otd garment, and no man putleth new wine into old bottles. For what else is the purport of that whole time, during which they hold the place and name of Catechumens, except that they may hear what the faith, and of what kind the life, of a Christian ought to'be; that, after they shall have proved their own selves, they may then eat of the Table and drink J Cor. of the Cup of the Lord? Seeing that He that eateth and 29! drinkelh unworthily, eateth and drinketh condemnation unto himself. But what is done during the whole time, at which it is the wholesome appointment of the Church, that they, who are approaching unto the name of Christ, be in the rank of Catechumens, this is done much more diligently and urgently 011 those days, on which they are called Competentes, when they have already given in their names in order to receive Baptism, vii. 10. What, if, they say, a virgin hath been married unknowingly unto the husband of another? If she continue in ignorance of this for ever, she will never be by reason of this an adulteress: but if she come to know it, from this very moment will she begin to be an adulteress, from the time, that is, that she hath knowingly lain with another's husband. As in the law of estates, each man is most rightly said to be Adulterous Marriaye, when known as such, is Adultery. 45
the possessor in good faith, so long as he is ignorant that heEtopEis in possession of what is another's: but when he shall R1BU?i come to know it, and shall not withdraw from another's possession, then is he held to be of ill faith, and is justly called unjust. Far be it therefore that with a feeling clearly not human, but clearly vain, we so grieve when scandalous crimes are corrected, as if it were the putting asunder of marriages; especially iu the City of our God, in His Holy Hill, that is, in the Church, wherein of marriage, not the Ps.48,1. bond alone, but the Sacrament is so set forth1, as that it is1' comnot lawful for a man to deliver his wife unlo another; which "," a" in the times of the Roman Republic, Cato is reported to have done, not only without any blame whatever, but even with praise. Nor is there need now to treat any more at length on this point, when even they, to whom I am replying, dare not to affirm that this is no sin, and deny not that it is adultery, that they be not openly convicted of opposing the Lord Himself, and the Holy Gospel. But whereas it is their will that such be first admitted to partake of the Sacrament of Baptism, and unto the Lord's Table, although they shall in most plain language refuse correction: nay further that it behoveth not that they be at all admonished on this matter, but be afterward taught; so that, if they shall receive to observe the precept, and shall correct their fault, they be counted among the wheat; but, if they shall contemn it, be borne with among the tares: they sufficiently shew that they themselves are not defending those crimes, or acting as if they were light crimes or none at all. For what Christian of good hope could esteem adultery to be no crime at all, or a slight one?
11. The order, however, in which these things in others are either corrected or borne with, they think that they bring forward out of the holy Scriptures, when they say that the Apostles so acted; and from their letters they bring forward certain texts2, wherein they are found to have first introduced* te»tithe doctrine of faith, and after to have delivered precepts ofmon,a morality. And hence they would have it understood, that we are to make known only the rule of faith to them who are to be baptized, and afterward, when now they have been baptized, are to deliver unto them precepts also concerning
46 Faith why placed before rules qf life in the Epistles.
De Fide the change of life for the better; as though they read certain Apostolic Epistles addressed to men about to be baptized, wherein they treated of faith only; and others, unto men already baptized, wherein are contained precepts concerning the avoiding evil, and the entering upon good, habits of life. When, then, it is certain that they addressed letters unto Christians already baptized, why are these woven together of both discourses, both that which relates unto faith, and that which relates unto a good life? What? is it, haply, now their will that we cease to give both to them who are to be baptized, and restore both to them who have been baptized? But, if it be absurd to say this, then let them confess that the Apostles set in their Epistles their doctrine made perfect of both; but that they for this reason generally first introduced faith, and after added what pertains unto a good life, because, in man himself, unless faith go first, a good life will be unable to follow. For
WHATSOEVER A MAN SHALL HAVE DONE, AS IF ARIGHT, Unless
it be referred to that piety which is toward God, it ought not to be called right. But if some foolish and very unlearned men judged that the Epistles of the Apostles were addressed to Catechumens, certainly even themselves would confess, that unto them who are not yet baptized, we are to make known precepts concerning the manner of life which is suitable unto faith, together with rules of faith: unless haply these by their argument draw us to this strait, that they would have the first portions of the Apostolic Epistles wherein they speak of Faith, to be read to the Catechumens; but the latter, to believers, wherein now charge is given how Christians ought to live. But if to speak thus be most foolish; there is then no proof of this opinion out of the Epistles of the Apostles, why we should therefore judge it right to admonish them who are to be baptized concerning the faith, and them who have been baptized concerning the manner of life, because they in the former portions of their letters set forth faith, and afterward in due order exhorted that believers should live well. For although that be first and this after, yet very often in one continuous discourse are we with most sound and diligent teaching to preach both unto Catechumens, both unto believers, both unto them Repentance, put before Faith, implies Christian practice. 47
that are to be baptized, both unto them that have beenEtOPRbaptized, whether it be in order that they be instructed, or n,BP9, that they forget not, or that they make profession, or that they be strengthened. Therefore unto the Epistle of Peter, unto the Epistle of John, out of which they allege certain texts, let them add the Epistles of Paul also and of other Apostles: the fact which they have noted, that they speak first of faith, and after of manner of life, is to be taken in that sense, which, if I mistake not, I have most clearly set forth.
12. But, they say, Peter, in the Acts of the Apostles, so viii. addressed those, who, upon hearing the word, were baptized
in one day three thousand, as that he preached unto them faith alone, whereby to believe in Christ. And when they had said, What shall we do? he answered them, Repent,Acts2, and be baptized every one of you in the name of the Lord^^' Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins, and ye shall receiveagite the gift of the Holy Ghost. Why therefore do they not notef,^,''**" that it was said, Repent. For in that is the stripping off of the old life, that they who are baptized may be clothed with the new. But to whom is the repentance, which is from dead works, fruitful, if he continue in adultery and other crimes, wherein is involved the love of this world?
13. But, they say, of that unbelief alone, whereby they believed not in Christ, he willed them to repent. Wonderful presumption! (I would not give it a heavier name,) when, Jipon that being heard which was said, Repent ye, it is said to have been of unbelief alone, whereas the evangelic teaching delivered a change of life from the old unto the new, wherein certainly that also is contained which the Apostle lays down
in that sentence, Let him that stole, steal no more; and the gph. 4, rest, wherein he follows out what it is to lay aside the old 28man, and to put on the new. But in these very words of Peter they have whence they might be admonished, if they would attend diligently. For after that he had said, Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For unto us' is this*Gr.you, promise and unto our children, and unto all who are afaryour' off, whomsoever the Ix»rd our God shall call; the writer of the book straightway added and said, And with many other
48 Argument from silence of Holy Writ proves loo much.
Depidf. words testified he, saying, Save yourselves from this perverse generation. But they most eagerly caught and received his
1 «i ere- words, (and believed1,) and were baptized; and there were added on that day three thousand souls. Who would not here understand, that in those many other words, on which, by reason of their length, the writer is silent, this was the object of Peter, that they should save themselves from this perverse generation; since the sentence itself is given briefly, in order to persuade to which Peter urged them with many words. The sum and substance, that is to say, was set down, when it was said, Save yourselves from this perverse generation. But, in order that this might be done, Peter with many words testified. Among these words was the condemnation of dead works, which they who love this world work evilly, and the setting forth of a good life, for them to hold and follow, who save themselves from this perverse generation Now therefore, if the)' will, let them endeavour to maintain, that he saves himself from this perverse generation, who only believes in Christ, although he continue in what scandalous sins soever he will, even unto the making profession of adultery. Which if it be impious to assert, let them who are to be baptized hear, not only what they ought to believe, but also how they may save themselves from this perverse generation. For in that case it is necessary that they hear how, believing, they ought to walk. ix- 14. The Eunuch, they say, he, whom Philip baptized,
Act* 8, said nothing more than, / believe that Jesus Christ is the
36—38'• Son of God; and in this profession straightway was baptized. Is it then their pleasure that men make answer this alone, and straightway be baptized? nothing concerning the Holy Ghost, nothing concerning the Holy Church, nothing concerning the Remission of sins, nothing concerning the Resurrection of the dead; that, in fine, concerning our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, nothing, save that He is the Son of God, not concerning His Incarnation of the Virgin, not concerning His Passion, concerning His Death of the Cross, concerning His Burial, concerning His Resurrection on the third day, concerning His Ascension and Seat at the right hand of the Father, is there to be any thing for him that catechizes to say, or for him that believes to make profession
Preaching Christ implies teaching Christian practice. 49 of? For if, when the Eunuch had made answer, / believeEt0PE
that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, this seemed to him
sufficient, so that straightway being baptized he departed; why do we not follow this? Why do we not imitate it, and away with the rest, which we account it necessary, even when straitness of time is urgent on us to baptize, to draw forth by questioning, so that he that is to be baptized, shall make answer to all things, although he have not leisure to commit them to memory? But if Scripture hath been silent, and hath left for us to understand the rest of what Philip did with the Eunuch about to be baptized, and, in that it sailh, Philip baptized him, hath willed that we should understand that all things were fulfilled, which although they be passed over in the Scriptures for the sake of brevity, we yet by the line of tradition know are to be fulfilled; in like maimer also, in that it was written, that Philip preached' unto theWngeEunuch the Lord Jesus, we are in no way to doubt that 1ZMaB those things also were said in the teaching2, which pertain "incateunto the life and manner of him who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ. For this is to preach Christ, not only to say what things are to be believed concerning Christ, but also what things are to be observed by him who approaches unto the frame of the body of Christ; yea rather, to say all things, which are to be believed concerning Christ, not only Whose Son He is, from Whom according to His Godhead, from Whom according to the flesh He was begotten, what things He suffered and wherefore; what is the power of His Resurrection, what the gift of the Spirit which He promised and gave to believers; and yet further, what kind of members, unto whom to be a Head, He seeks, informs, loves, sets free, and leads safely unto everlasting life and honour. When these things are said, at times more shortly and concisely, at times more largely and more fully, Christ is preached; and yet, not only that which pertains unto the faith, but that also which pertains unto the life of believers, is not omitted.
15. This may be understood also in that saying of the x. Apostle Paul which they make mention of, / determined foiCor.2, know nothing among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. Which they suppose to have been spoken in
50 'Christ Crucified1 implies Crucifixion to the world.
De Fide such a sense, as if nothing else had been made known to
1 *I•'*'*'them: so that1 they might in the first place believe, and
afterwards being baptized, might learn whatsoever pertaineth
unto life and morals. This, they say, was enough and more
than enough to the Apostle, who told them, that, although
they had many schoolmasters in Christ, yet not many
Fathers, because .that in Christ Jesus through the Gospel
l Cor.4, himself had begotten them. If therefore he, who begat
them through the Gospel, although he return thanks that he
had baptized none of them save Crispus and Gains and the
lCor.i, house of Stephanas, taught them nothing further than Christ
crucified; what if one shall say that neither did they hear of
the resurrection of Christ, when through the Gospel they
were begotten? Whence then is it that he says to them,
i Cor. For I delivered unto you in the first place, that Christ died
'' 'according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and
that He rose again on the third day according to the
Scriptures, if he had taught nothing, save that He was
crucified? But if they do not so understand it, but contend
that this also pertaineth unto Christ crucified; let them
know that in Christ crucified men learn many things, and
Rom. 6, especially, that our old man hath been crucified with Him,
Gal. 6 *nat *ne body of sin may be made void, and that henceforth
!4- we serve not sin; whence also of himself he says, But from
me, far be it that I should glory, save in the Cross of our
Lord Jesus Christ, through Whom unto me the world is
crucified, and I unto the world. Then let them observe and
see in what manner Christ crucified is taught and learned,
and they will know that it pertaineth unto His Cross, that
we also in His body are crucified unto the world: wherein
is understood all the restraining of evil desires; and thus it
cannot be brought to pass, that unto them, who are formed
by the Cross of Christ, professed adulteries be allowed.
For the Apostle Peter also concerning the mystery of the
Cross itself, that is, of the Passion of Christ, admonishes
that they who are by it consecrated cease from sin, thus
iPet.4, saying, Christ therefore having suffered in the flesh, be ye
also armed with the same thought; for he who is dead in
the flesh, hath ceasedfrom sin, that now not according to the
desires of men, but according to the will of the Lord God, he Love of God implies the love of Out Neighbour. 51
may for the future live in the flesh. And what follows, Et Opewherein he shews in order, that he pertaineth unto Christ u' crucified, that is, (unto Christ) Who hath suffered through the flesh, who in His Body, having his carnal desires crucified, lives well through the Gospel.
16. What, that those two Commandments also, whereon the Lord says that the whole Law and Prophets do hang, are by those judged to favour this their opinion? And they so make mention of them, as that, since the first Commandment
is said to be, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God out of My Mat. 23, whole heart, and out of thy whole soul, and out of thy whole 40* mind; but the second is like unto this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself; the first they believe to pertain unto them who are to be baptized, wherein the love of God is enjoined; but the second unto them who are already baptized, wherein there seem to be moral rules of human life and conversation. Thus forgetting what is written, If thy brother whom thou seest thou lovesl not, God, Whom Uohn4, thou seest not, how unit thou be able to love? and that' other in the same Epistle of John, If any one love the world, JJ<*n>, there is not the love qf the Father in him. But unto what pertain all the crying sins of evil living, save unto the love of this world? And thus that first Commandment, which they judge to pertain unto them who are to be baptized, can in no way be observed without good living. I am unwilling to continue more at length: for those two Commandments, being carefully considered, are found to be so connected the one with the other, that neither can the love of God exist in a man if he love not his neighbour, nor the love of his neighbour if he love not God. But for our present subject, what we have said concerning these two Commandments is sufficient.
17. But further, the people of Israel was first led through *1• the Red Sea, which is a figure of Baptism; and afterward received the Law, wherein to learn after what manner to Ex. 14, live. Why therefore to them who are to be baptized do we201.17deliver even the Creed, and demand that it be given back to
us? For no such thing was done towards them, whom through the Red Sea the Lord set free from the Egyptians. But if they rightly understand that this is signified by the 52 'Repentance from dead works' a first principle.
De Fide mysteries which went before concerning the blood of the Ex-12, lamb stricken on the door-posts, and concerning the un1 Cor. 5, leavened bread of sincerity and truth ; why do they not in 8- order understand that also, that the very separation from the
Egyptians signifies a departing from sins, whereof they who are to be baptized make profession. For unto this pertaineth that saying of Peter, Repent, and be baptized each one of you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ: as though he should say, Depart from Egypt, and pass through the Red Sea. Whence also in the Epistle which is entitled to the Hebrews, when mention is made of the principles belonging to them who are receiving baptism, there is set H«b. 6, repentance from dead works. For thus he says: Wherefore i"2- leaving the word concerning the principles of Christ, let us look unto the full accomplishment, not again laying a foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith in God, of the doctrine of the laver, of imposition of hands, of the resurrection also of the dead, and of eternal judgment. Therefore that all these things pertain unto the principles of Neophytes is sufficiently and clearly borne witness to by Scripture. But what is repentance from dead works, save from those works which must be made dead, that we may live? Which if adulteries and fornications are not, what any longer is to be named among dead works? But a profession of departing from such works is not enough, unless also all past sins, which are, as it were, pursuing us, be blotted out by the Laver of Regeneration, just as it was not enough unto the Israelites to depart from Egypt, unless that multitude of enemies, which was following upon them, perished in the waves of the same sea, which opened for passage and deliverance unto the people of God. He therefore, who professes his qnwillingness to change from adultery, how shall he be led through the Red Sea, when as yet he refuses to depart from Egypt? Next they observe not, that, in the Law, which after the passage of the Red Sea, was given unto that people, the firsth Commandment is, Law, given after Red Sea, contains faith with practice. 58
h St. Aug. in Exod. QuEDSt. LXXI. three of duty to God, and seven of dutyspeaks doubtfully of the division of the toman. He adds that in the tenth, which Decalogue, but prefers taking the 1st he reads as in Deut. 5, 21. the beginand 2d Commandments (in our divi- ning, Thou shall not covet, is repeated, »ion) as one, because then there are as if for two commandments corresponding to the seventh and eighth Origen; one, the number ten is incomplete. And Horn. viii.on Exodus; is of theeontrarv his argument holds of the text in opinion, because if these two are made Exodus xx. even in the Vulgate.
There shall not be unto thee other gods besides Me. Thou Et Ope* shalt not make unto thyself idols, nor any likeness, what- Ex' soever things there are in heaven above, and whatsoever 3—6. things there are in the earth beneath, and whatsoever things in the water and under the earth; thou shalt not worship them, neither shalt thou serve them: and all else which pertains unto this Commandment. Therefore let these affirm, if they will, against their own very assertion, that we are to preach concerning the worship of the One God, and the shunning of idolatry, not unto men who are yet to be baptized, but after Baptism: and let them no longer say, that unto them, who are about to receive Baptism, we are to set forth only faith which is in God, and after the reception of that sacrament are to instruct them concerning manner of life, as if concerning that second Commandment, which pertains unto the love of one's neighbour. For both are contained in the Law, which the people received after the Red Sea, as though it were after Baptism; nor was there any such appointment of the Commandments made, as that before the passage of that sea the people should be instructed concerning the shunning of idolatry, and, after they had past, should hear that their father and mother were to be honoured, that adultery was not to be committed, that they were not to kill, and all other things which belong to a good and innocent intercourse with men.
18. If therefore each one shall so come to seek the holy xii. Laver, as to make profession that he will not depart from the sacrifices of idols, save haply hereafter when it shall so seem good to him, and yet demand baptism straightway, and require that he be made the temple of the living God, being not only a worshipper of idols, but also continuing in some so impious priesthood; I ask of them, whether it is their opinion that he is to be made even a catechumen; and this without any doubt they will cry out ought not to be done. For we may not judge otherwise of their heart. Let them then give a reason according to the testimonies of the Scriptures, which
54 Fornication as ill suits God's Temple as Idolatry,
De Fide they think ought thus to be understood, in what manner they will dare to refuse this man, and affirm that he is not to be admitted, crying out and saying,' I have learnt and I worship Christ crucified, I believe that Christ Jesus is the Son of God, put me off no further, require nothing further of me. Them, whom through the Gospel the Apostle begat, he willed should then know nothing further than Christ crucified; after the words of the Eunuch, wherein he said that he believed that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, straightway Philip deferred not to baptize him; why doest thou restrain me the worship of idols, and admittest me not unto the sacrament of Christ, before I have departed thence? That worship I have learned from my childhood, therein I have on me the most heavy weight of custom; I will do it, when I shall have the power, when it shall be convenient; and yet, although I shall do it not, yet not without the Sacrament of Christ let me close this life, lest God demand my soul at your hands.' What answer think they is to be given to this man? Is it their pleasure that he be admitted? Far be it; in no manner would I believe that they advance thus far. What then will they answer to one who thus speaks, and who adds that nothing ought to be said to him concerning the leaving idolatry at any rate before Baptism, in like manner as that first people heard nothing on that subject before the Red Sea, seeing that this is contained in the Law, which they received after they were now set free from Egypt.
1 Cor.6,Surely they will say to him: Thou art to be the Temple of
God, after thou shalt have received Baptism; but the Apostle
2 Cor. 6, says, What agreement hath the Temple of God with idols?
Wherefore then do they not see that they must say in like
manner: Thou art to be a member of Christ, after thou shalt
have received Baptism; the members of Christ cannot be the
members of a harlot? For this also the Apostle says, who
i Cor. 6, also in another place, Be not deceived, saith he, neither for
'10' nicators, nor idolaters, and the rest which he there numbers
up, shall inherit the kinydom of God. Why therefore do we
refuse to admit unto Baptism idolaters, and yet think that we
are to admit fornicators, whereas unto these and the rest of
l Cor. 6, evil men, he says, And such were some of you; but ye were
1I- washed, but ye were sanctified, but ye were justified in the St. John Baptist taught good works from thefirst. 55
name of our Lord Jesus Christ, and in the Spirit of our God. EtopeWhat cause is there therefore, why, when the power of restraining RIBUs' both is open to me, I allow one coming unto Baptism to remain atfornicator, and do not allow an idolater; when both to the one and to the other I hear it said, And such were some of you, but ye were washed? But this it is that moves them, that they think that their salvation is in safety, although through fire, whosoever shall have believed in Christ, and received His Sacrament, that is, shall have been baptized, although they be so neglectful of correction of morals, as to live wickedly. On which question I will bye and bye see, with God's help, what opinion according to the Scriptures is to be held.
19. At present I am still occupied in this question, wherein xiii. it appears to them right to admonish them that are already baptized concerning the morals which pertain unto a Christian life, but in the case of them who are yet to be baptized to introduce faith only. Which if it were so, besides so many things which we have said, John the Baptist would not say unto persons coming unto his baptism, Ge- Matt 3, neration of vipers, who hath pointed out to you to flee from coming wrath? Produce therefore worthy fruits of repentance. Which admonitions of his are surely not on the matter of faith, but of good works. Whence also unto the soldiers who said, What shall we do, he said not, In the mean time believe and be baptized, afterwards ye shall hear what ye ought to do; but he before said, he before premonished them, that as a forerunner he might cleanse the way, for the Lord Who was to come into their hearts: Do violence to no Lute 3, man, bring false accusation against no man, let your own12 14pay suffice to you. In like manner unto the publicans who asked what they ought to do, he said, Exact nothing further than what is appointed unto yon. In briefly making mention of these things, the Evangelist (for he needed not to insert whole Catechisms) hath shewed sufficiently, that it pertaineth unto him who catechizes one about to be baptized, to teach and admonish him concerning morals. But if they had made answer to John,' We will not at all produce worthy fruits of repentance, we will accuse falsely, we will do violence, we will exact those things which are not owed to us;1 and yet
56 Our Lord's answer to the Young Man teaches practice.
Deftde notwithstanding he were to baptize them after this profession; yet not even thus could it be said, (what is the present question,) that it is not proper to the time at which each man is to be baptized, to discourse unto him first after what manner he ought to lead a good life.
20. What the Lord Himself, to pass over other things, wheu that rich man sought of Him, what good thing he should do, that he might attain life eternal, let them call to
Mat. 19, mind what He answered; If thou wilt come, said He, unto life, keep the Commandments. But he said, What? Then the Lord made mention of the Commandments of the Law, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not commit adultery, and the rest. Whereupon when he had made answer that he had performed these from his youth, He added also a Commandment of perfection, that he should sell all that he had, and give in alms unto the poor, and have treasure in heaven, and follow the same Lord. Let them then see that it was not said unto him that he should believe and be baptized, by the aid of which alone those men think that a man comes unto life; but commandments of morals were given unto the man, which certainly without faith cannot be guarded and observed. Neither, however, because in this place the Lord appears to have been silent as to the suggestion of faith, do we lay down and contend, that we are to state commandments of morals alone to men who desire to attain unto life. For both are connected the one with the other, as I said before; because neither can the love of God exist in a man who loveth not his neighbour, nor the love of his neighbour in him who loveth not God. And so at times we find that Scripture makes mention of the one without the other, either this or that, in place of the full doctrine, so that even in this way we may understand that the one cannot exist without the other: because both he who believes in God ought to do what God commands; and he who therefore does it because God commands it, must of necessity believe in God.
xiv. 21. Wherefore let us now consider that, which ought to be cast forth from the hearts of religious persons, that they lose not their own salvation through evil security, if they shall think faith sufficient in order to attain to it, and shall Faith good without works before, not after. 57
neglect to live well, and in good works to hold the way ofEtOPEGod. For even in the times of the Apostles, through the
not understanding certain rather obscure sentences of the Apostle Paul, certain judged that he thus spake, Let us doRom.3, evil things, that good things may come; because he had said,8' The law entered, that the offence might abound; but whereRom.6, the offence abounded, grace over-abounded. Which is for20' this cause true, because men, who were most proudly presuming on their own strength, receiving the law, and not obtaining through right faith the Divine help for the overcoming of their evil desires, were weighed down by more and heavier offences through the further violation of the law: and thus, through compulsion of great guilt', fled for refuge i reata unto faith, whereby to obtain* a merciful pardon, and help^MUtyfrom the Lord, Who made heaven and earth; that, loverentor. being shed abroad in their hearts through the Holy Ghost, j131* they might with affection perform those things which they Rom. 5, were bidden against the lusts of this world, according to that which had been foretold in the Psalm, Their weaknesses were Ps.i6,4. multiplied; afterward they made haste. When therefore the Apostle says, that he judges that a man is justified through Ron1,3, faith without the works of the law; this is not his object, that, after the delivery and profession of faith, works of righteousness be despised, but that each man may know that he can be justified through faith, although the works of the law have not gone before. For they follow after one who is justified, not go before one who shall be justified. On which subject there is no need to discuss more fully in my present work, especially since I have very lately put forth a long work on this question, entitled ' Of the Letter and Spirit? Whereas therefore this opinion had at that time arisen, other Apostolic Epistles of Peter, John, James, and Jude, direct their aim chiefly against it, so as with vehemence to maintain3 that faith without works profiteth3astrunot: in like manner as Paul himself hath laid down, that notant* any faith whatsoever whereby God is believed in, but that whose works proceed of love, is saving, and truly according to the Gospel; And faith, he says, which worketh through Gal. 5, love. Whence that faith which seems to some to be sufficient unto salvation, he so asserts to be of no avail,
58 St. Peter guards St. Paul's words from misconception.
De Fide as that he says, If I have all faith, so as to remove I Cor. mountains, and have not love1, I am nothing. But where 1 carita- faithful love worketh, there without doubt is a good life, for tg£" love is the fulness of the law.
13, io. 22. Whence clearly Peter in his second Epistle, exhorting unto holiness of life and morals, and foretelling that this world is about to pass away, and that new heavens and a new earth is waited for, which should be given unto the righteous to inhabit, that from this they might observe how they ought to live, so as to be made worthy of that dwellingplace; knowing that of certain rather obscure sentences of the Apostle Paul certain unrighteous men had taken occasion, so as to be careless about a good life, as though secure of the salvation which is in faith, made mention that there are certain things difficult to understand in his Epistles, which men perverted, as also they did other Scriptures, unto their own destruction: when notwithstanding that Apostle held the same as the other Apostles, concerning eternal salvation, as what was not given save to them who live a 2Pet.3,good life. Thus then Peter; Seeing therefore, saith he, 'that all these things do pass away, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, waiting for and hasting unto the presence of the day of the Lord, whereby the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements through fervent heat shall be melted away! but new heavens and a new earth according to His promises look we for, wherein righteousness dwelleth. Wherefore, most beloved, seeing that ye are looking for these things, be diligent that ye be found with Him in peace, unharmed, and without spot. And account that the long-suffering of our Lord is salvation, even as our most beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom which was given unto him, wrote unto you, as also in all his Epistles, speaking in them of these things: in which are certain things hard to be understood, which the unlearned and unstable pervert, in like manner as they do the rest of the Scriptures also, unto their own destruction. Ye therefore, most loving, seeing that ye know these things beforehand, beware lest being led astray by the error of unhappy men ye fall from your own sledfastness: but increase in grace and in the knowledge of our St. James against dead faith. Salvation through fire. 59
Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To Him be glory, both Etopenow and unto the day of eternity. -—
23. But James is so vehemently opposed to them who think that faith without works avails unto salvation, that he likens them even unto devils; Thou believest that there tsJames2, One God; thou doest well: the devils also believe and tremble. What could be said more shortly, more truly, more strongly, when in the Gospel also we read that the devils, Mark i, when they confessed Christ and were rebuked by Him, said Matt.8 the same thing which obtained praise in the confession of29- 16, Peter? What will it profit, saith James, my brethren, if a Jame»2, man say that he hath faith, and have not works? will faith14
be able to save him? He saith also that faith without works James2, is dead. How l°ng then are they to go on being deceived, who of a dead faith promise unto themselves life everlasting?
24. Wherefore we ought diligently to take heed in what xvsense we are to take that sentence of the Apostle Paul, which
is clearly hard to be understood, where he says: But other l Cor.s, foundation can no man lay, beside that which is laid, which ~ is Christ Jesus. But if any one build upon this foundation, gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble, each man's work shall be made manifest. For the day shall declare it, because in fire it shall be revealed, and the fire shall prove each man's work of what kind it is. If any man's work shall abide, which he shall have built upon it, he shall receive a reward. But if any man's work shall burn, he shall suffer loss: yet himself shall be saved, yet so as through fire. Which some think is to be so understood, as that they should seem to build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, who unto the faith which is in Christ add good works: but they, on the other hand, hay, wood, stubble, who, possessing the same faith, are evil workers. Whence they judge that through certain fiery pains they may be cleansed unto the obtaining of salvation, by the merit of the foundation.
25. If this be so, we confess that they with praiseworthy love do strive that all without distinction may be admitted unto Baptism, not only adulterers and adulteresses, against the sentence of the Lord putting forth the plea of false marriages; but also public prostitutes, continuing in their 60 Scriptures unmeaning if the unclean are saved ai last.
Pefide most shameful profession, whom at any rate no Church, not even the most careless, has been wont to admit, unless after they were set free from such their prostitution. But on that view, why they are not altogether admitted, I am entirely unable to see. For who would not choose rather that they, having laid the foundation, although they should pile together wood, hay, and stubble, should be cleansed by a fire, although it be for a somewhat longer time, than that they should perish for ever? But then those things will be untrue, which have in them nothing obscure and ambiguous:
J Cor. Although 1 have all faith, so as to remove mountains, and
Ja'mes2 have not love, I am nothing: and, What will it profit, my 14- brethren, if a man say that he have faith, and have not works? What, will faith be able to save him? Untrue l Cor. 6, also will be that saying: Be not deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with men, nor drunkards, nor revihrs, nor extortioners, shall inherit the GaI- *» kingdom of God? Untrue also that other saying, The works 'of the flesh are manifest, which are, fornications, uncleannesses, lasciviousness, luxury, idolatry, witchcrafts, wrath, strifes, emulations, hatreds, -variances, heresies, envyings, drunkenness, re veilings, and such like, of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. These things will be untrue. For if only they believe and are baptized, although they continue in such evil practices, they shall be saved through fire: and therefore, being baptized in Christ, even they who do such things shall inherit lCor.6, the kingdom of God. But in vain is it said, And such were some of you, but ye were washed; seeing that even after they have been washed they are such. Vain also will appear 1 Pet. 3, that saying of Peter, Titus you also in a like manner1 baptism iforma doth. save, not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, • inter- but the answer* of a good conscience; if indeed, even rogatio. although they have most evil consciences full of all sins and wickednesses, and unchanged by repentance for these evil things, yet notwithstanding Baptism doth save them; for by reason of the foundation which is in this same Baptism laid, they shall be saved, although it be through fire. That other Christ's sentence, for evil works, to eternal punishment. 61
also I see not wherefore the Lord said, If thou wilt come Etopeunto life, keep the Commandments; and made mention of^j—-~
_ . _ • • -* * iH i1l" J "7j
those which pertain unto a good life and morals, if; even 17—19. although these be not kept, a man may come unto life through faith alone, which without works is dead. Next, in what manner is that true which He will say unto them whom He will set on his left hand, Go ye into everlast- M»t.2s, ing fire, which is prepared for the devil and his angels?*1' Whom He rebukes, not because they have not believed in Him, but because they have not done good works. For assuredly, in order that no man may promise unto himself life everlasting, of faith, which without works is dead, therefore said He that He will separate all nations, which were mixed together, and were wont to use the same pastures: that it may be evident, that they will say unto Him, Lord, when saw we Thee suffering this and that, Mat.26, and ministered not unto Thee, who had believed in Him,44but had not been careful to do good works, as if of their very dead faith they should attain unto eternal life. What? and will they haply, who have omitted to do works of mercy, go into everlasting fire, and will they not go who have taken away other men's goods, and by corrupting the Temple of God within them,have been unmerciful towards themselves? As if works of mercy were of any profit without love, whereas the Apostle says, If I distribute all my goods to the poor, i Cor. and have not love, it profiteth me nothing; or as if any man' love his neighbour as himself, who loves not himself? For Whoso loveth unrighteousness hateth his own soul. NorPs.ii,5. will that allow of being here said, wherein some deceive themselves, saying, that the fire is said to be everlasting, not the punishment itself everlasting: insomuch as they judge that through fire, which is everlasting, they will pass, unto whom, on account of a dead faith, they promise salvation through fire: evidently, that the fire itself be everlasting, but that their burning, that is, the operation of the fire on them, be not everlasting; whereas the Lord, foreseeing this also, as the Lord, thus ended His sentence, saying, Thus they »Aa//Mat.25,
go into everlasting burning', but the righteous into l\fe ever-t %',\atn lasting. Therefore the burning will be everlasting, in like 5^^" manner as the fire; and the Truth hath said that into it they V.
62 A dead faith saves not even through fore.
Pefidb will go, not whose faith, but whose good works, He hath declared to have been wanting.
26. If therefore all these sayings, and the rest which may be found without number throughout all the Scriptures, spoken without any doubtful sense, shall be untrue; then will it be possible that that interpretation be true concerning the wood, hay, and stubble, that they shall be saved through fire, who holding faith alone in Christ have neglected good works. But if those other are both true and clear, without doubt in that sentence of the Apostle we must look for another interpretation, and we must account it among those things, whereof Peter says, that there are certain in his writings hard to be understood, which men ought not to pervert unto their own destruction, so as in opposition to the most manifest testimonies of the Scriptures to set free from all anxiety concerning the obtaining of salvation the most wicked men, most obstinately clinging to their wickedness, and unchanged by amendment or repentance, xvi. 27. Here perhaps I may be asked, what my own sense is of this same sentence of Paul, and in what way I think that it ought to be understood. I confess that on this point I should rather hear men of more understanding and learning than myself speak, who so expound it, as that there remain true and unshaken all those passages which I have made mention of above, and whatsoever other passages I have not made mention of, wherein Scripture most openly testifies that faith availeth nothing, save that faith which the Apostle hath
Gal.6, defined, that is, which worketh through love; but that without works it cannot save, neither beside fire, nor through fire: because if it save through fire, then assuredly itself
James saves. But it is said absolutely and openly, What doth it '' pro/it, ifa man sag that he hath faith, and have not works? What, will his faith be able to save him? I will however declare, in as few words as I can, what my own sense is of that sentence,' hard to be understood,' of the Apostle Paul: only let that be especially kept in mind, which belongs to the profession which I made, that I had rather on this subject hear persons speak who are better than myself. Christ is the Foundation in the building of a wise masterbuilder; this stands in no need of exposition; for it is openly
Chief duties part of Foundation, Perfection built thereon. 63
said, But other foundation can no man lay beside that which Et Opeis laid, which is Christ Jesus. But if Christ, then without RIBUs' doubt faith in Christ: forasmuch as through faith ChristEph.3, dwelleth in our hearts, as the same Apostle says. Further, if faith in Christ, then surely that which the Apostle defined, which worketh through love. For not the faith of devils, whereas they themselves both believe and tremble, and confess that Jesus is the Son of God, can be taken as a foundation. For what reason, save because that is not faith which worketh through love, but which is wrung out through fear? Thus the faith in Christ, the faith which is of Christian grace, that is, that faith which worketh through love, being laid as a foundation, suffereth no one to perish. But what it is to build upon this foundation, gold, silver, precious stones, and wood, hay, stubble, this, if I endeavour to discuss more exactly, 1 fear lest there be more difficulty hi understanding the exposition itself: yet I will strive, so far as the Lord helps me, shortly and, as much as 1 may, clearly to set forth what my own sense is. Lo, he who sought from the good Master, what good thing he should do, that he might have life everlasting; both heard it said, that, if he would come unto life, he must keep the Commandments; and, upon asking, what Commandments? had it said unto him, 77to«Mati9, shalt not kill, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother, and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. These things doing in faith in Christ, he would without doubt hold faith which worketh through love.. For neither would he love his neighbour as himself, save after having received the love of God, without which he would not love himself1. Further, if he were also to do what the' »ee §.
Lord added, saying, If thou wilt be perfect, go, sell all things which thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me; he would build upon that foundation gold, silver, precious stones; for he would have no thoughts, save of the things which are God's, how to please God, and these thoughts are, as I think, gold, silver, precious stones. Further, if he were possessed by a certain carnal affection about his riches, although he should give much alms of them, and should 64 'Fire,' the pain of carnal affection not fully mastered.
DEfIpE neither form plans of fraud or violence in order to increase them, nor through fear of lessening or losing them fall into any sin or act of guilt, (were he to do otherwise, he would be thus now withdrawing himself from the assuredness of 1sed. That Foundation,) still1 by reason of a carnal affection, as tence is I said, which he had in them, whereby he could not without imper- pam suffer the loss of such good things; he would build upon That Foundation, wood, hay, stubble; chiefly if he possessed a wife too, so as for her sake also to have thoughts of the things which are of the world, how to please his wife. Therefore inasmuch as these things, being with carnal affection loved, are not lost without sorrow, for this reason, they who so have them, as to have as a foundation faith which worketh through love, and who do not in any way, or through any desire, prefer these things to that faith, having suffered harm in the loss of these things, attain unto salvation through a certain fire of sorrow. From which sorrow and loss .each one is so much the more secure in proportion as he has loved them less, or had them as though he had them not. But he who for the sake of retaining or gaining these things, shall have been guilty of murder, adultery, fornication, idolatry, and such like, shall not, by reason of the foundation, be saved through fire, but having lost the foundation shall be in everlasting fire tormented.
28. Wherefore also in that which they assert, as though
desirous of proving of how great avail faith is, where the
l Cor. 7, Apostle says, But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart;
for a brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases;
that is, that on account of the faith of Christ even the very
wife joined in lawful union may be left without any fault, if
she shall be unwilling to continue with her husband being
a Christian, for the reason that he is a Christian: they
observe not that in this way she is most rightly suffered to
depart, if she shall say to her husband, I will not be your
wife, unless you heap me up riches even by robbery, or
unless, even now that you are a Christian, you exercise the
wonted lewd practices whereby you used to maintain our
Momum house-keeping*; or if she have known any thing else in her
traJu" husband, either criminal or disgraceful, by the delight whereof
gebas. s}ie was wont to fill her lust, or had a more easy provision Future temporaryfire,ifsnch there be,saves not the wicked. 65
for life, or, it may be, went more richly attired. For then heEtoPEunto whom his wife says this, if he truly repented from dead IBVg' works when he came unto Baptism, and hath as a foundation faith which worketh through love, will without any doubt be held more by love of divine grace, than of his wife's flesh, and the member, which causeth him to offend, he courageously cutteth off. But whatsoever sorrow of heart in this separation he shall sustain by reason of his carnal affection for his wife, this is the loss which he will suffer, this is the fire through which, the hay burning, he himself shall be saved. But if he already had his wife as though he had her not, not of desire, but of mercy, that haply1 he'neforte might save her, rendering rather than exacting the debt of marriage; certainly neither will he grieve after the flesh, when such a marriage shall be taken from him: for neither in her" had he any thoughts, save of the things which are'soMss. of God, how to please God. And thus in so far as he wasjt'» by these thoughts building upon the foundation gold, silver, iCor.7, and precious stones, thus far he would suffer no loss, thus far his building, which was not of hay, would be consumed by no burning.
29. Whether therefore it be in this life only that men suffer3 v. note these things, or whether after this life also certain such*^b°f judgments follow, the sense in which I understand this the treasentence is not, as I judge, alien from the manner of truth. However, if there be another sense, which occurs not to myself, such as should be taken in preference; yet, so long
as we hold this, we are not obliged to say to the unjust, the disobedient, the wicked, the impure, murderers of fathers, 1 Tim. 1, murderers of mothers, manslayers, whoremongers, defilers of themselves with mankind, menstealers, liars, perjured persons, and if there be any other thing which is contrary to sound doctrine, which is according to the Gospel of the glory of the Blessed God; ' if only ye believe in Christ, and receive the Sacrament of His Baptism, although ye change not that most evil life of yours, ye shall be saved.'
30. Whence neither doth that woman of Canaan make
a precedent against us*, because the Lord gave her what she* " praasked, when He had before said, It is not good to take away sc'b1bs'' the children^ bread, and to cast it unto dogs; because He, Mat. 15, 66 Woman of Canaan penitent before favoured.
DEfiDEthe Seer of the heart, saw her to be changed, when He praised her. And therefore He says not, 0 dog, great is thy Mat.i6,faith; but, 0 woman, great is thy faith. He changed the term, because He saw a change in the affection, and understood that that rebuke had come to bear fruit. Bui it is a wonder to me if He praised in her faith without works, that is, faith not such as that it was already capable of working through love, dead faith, and, what the Apostle James had no hesitation in saying, faith, not of Christians, but of devils. Lastly, if they arc unwilling to understand 1 perdi- that the woman of Canaan changed her abandoned conduct', res.TM" wnen Christ brought her to a sense of her guilt by His neglect and rebuke; whomsoever they shall find believing merely, and so far from even concealing, as that they make free profession of a most impure life; let them heal their sons, if they can, in like manner as the daughter of the woman of Canaan was healed; yet let them not make them members of Christ, when they themselves cease not to be members of an harlot. In this indeed they judge not ill, that he sins against the Holy Ghost, and is without pardon s reum. under condemnation2 of everlasting sin, who even unto the end of his life shall refuse to believe in Christ; but this, provided they understood aright what to believe in Christ is. For this is not to have the faith of devils, which is rightly accounted dead; but faith which worketh through love.
30. Such being the case, when we refuse to admit such
persons to Baptism, it is not that we are endeavouring before
the time to pluck out the tares, but that we are unwilling,
like the devil, to sow tares upon the wheat: neither are we
hindering them who are willing to come to Christ, but are
by their own very profession convicting them of unwillingness
to come to Christ: nor are we forbidding them to believe in
Christ, but are shewing them that they are unwilling to
believe in Christ, who either deny that to be adultery which
He declares to be adultery, or believe that adulterers can be
9. io.' 'His members, who He declares through the Apostle inherit
ifw!',,not the k'r)gt'om of God, and are contrary to sound doctrine,
'which is according to the Gospel of the glory of the
LukeU Blessed God. Whence such are not Io be accounted among
16. Sec. them who came to the marriage feast; but among them who
Budmen may enter theChurch,but as professingamendment.67
were unwilling to come. For when these very men dareEtOPE
most openly to contradict the doctrine of Christ, and to be —
contrary to the holy Gospel, they are not thrust back from coming, but despise coming. But they who renounce the world, at least in words, even if not in deeds, come indeed and are numbered among the wheat, and are heaped together into the garner, and are joined unto the same flock with the sheep, and enter the nets, and are mixed with the guests at the feast; but within, whether they lie hid, or appear, then will there be a reason of bearing with them, in case there be no power of correcting them, nor due grounds for a presumption of separating them. For far be it that we so understand that which is written, that there were brought unto the marriage feast, whomsoever Mat.22, they found, good and bad, as to believe that they brought unto it them who made profession of continuance in evil. Otherwise it was the very servants of the householder who sowed the tares, and that saying will be false, But MeMat.13, enemy who sowed them is the devil. But forasmuch as this cannot be untrue, the servants brought unto the feast good and bad, whether it be them who lay hid, or them who appeared after that they had been brought and let in; or whether the expression ' good and bad' be used according to a certain life and conversation of the natural man', l humawherein even they who have not yet believed, are wont tonam be either praised or blamed. Whence also is that advice which the Lord gives to the disciples, whom He originally sends to preach the Gospel, that into whatsoever city they come, they inquire who therein is worthy, that they may dwell at his house, until they go out thence. Who in truth will be this man that is worthy, save he that shall beMat.i0, accounted a good man in the judgment of his fellow-citizens? And who unworthy, save he who shall be known unto them as an evil man? Of both kinds men come unto the faith of Christ, and thus both good and bad are brought thither; because those bad ones also refuse not to repent from dead works. But, if they refuse, they are not thrust back when they are desirous to enter in, but of themselves by open contradiction depart from the entrance.
32. Therefore also that servant will be safe, and will not
68 The Church not answerable for those who reject her.
D■fiDEbe condemned among the slothful, in that he would not 'erogareexpend1 his Lord's talent; since in truth it was they who were unwilling to receive what he would expend. For it is Mat.25, for their sakes that this parable is set forth, who are unwilling s s ° t0 ^e upon themselves the office of steward in the Church, Chrys. using as a pretext the slothful excuse, that they are unwilling in Piin.'to have to give an account for other men's sins; who hear Actor. an(l d0 not, tnat is, wno receive and do not make a return. But when the faithful and diligent steward, being most ready in expending, and most greedy of the gain of his Lord, says to the adulterer, ' Be no longer an adulterer, if thou wilt be baptized; believe in Christ, Who declares that which thou art doing to be adultery, if thou wilt be baptized; be no longer a member of an harlot, if thou wilt be made a member of Christ;' and the other replies,' I obey not, I do not:' it is he himself who will not receive the true money of 3 adulte- the Lord, but will rather carry his own adulterated3 money into the Lord's treasures. But in case he were to make profession of doing, and were not to do, and it were after impossible in any way to amend him; a way would be found of disposing of him, so as that he, who was of no use *inutilis. to himself, should not be hurtful * to others; so that if within the good nets of the Lord he were an evil fish, yet should he not ensnare the fishes of his Lord in evil nets; that is, so that, if he should in the Church retain an evil life, yet should he not there set up evil doctrine. For when such persons defend such their deeds, or making most open profession of their intention of continuing in them, are admitted unto Baptism; it seems that nothing else is proclaimed, than that fornicators and adulterers, even unto the end of this life continuing in that sin, shall inherit the kingdom of God, and by the merit of faith, which without works is dead, shall come unto everlasting life and salvation. These are evil nets which fishers especially ought to beware of: that is, if in that parable in the Gospel by fishers are to be understood bishops, or others of lower rank who are set over the Matt4,Churches: because it is said, Come, and I will make you 19- fishers of men. For by good nets may be caught fishes both good and evil; but by evil nets cannot be caught good fishes. Since in good doctrine there may be the good who Custom of the Church against admitting open sinners. 69
hears and does, and the evil who hears and does not; butEtopsin evil doctrine, both he who thinks it true, although he obey RIBUSit not, is evil; and he who obeys it, is worse.
33. This indeed is matter of wonder, that brethren, who xviii. think otherwise, whereas they ought to depart from that, whether old or new, at any rate pernicious opinion, of themselves assert moreover that the doctrine is novel, whereby men most wicked, making open profession of their intention of continuing in their scandalous sins, are not admitted unto Baptism; as though they were sojourning in a foreign laud, I know not where, when harlots and stage-players, arid any other persons whatsoever who are engaged publicly in shameful professions, are not allowed to approach the Christian Sacraments, save after they have set themselves free from, or broken off, such bonds: who certainly according to their view would all be admitted, were it not that Holy Church retained her ancient and unbending' custom, coming1 robusas it does from that most clear truth, whereby she knows um' of a surety, that they who do such things, shall notGa1,6, inherit the kingdom of God. And unless they shall haveiCor.6, repented from these dead works, they are not allowed to9-10, approach unto Baptism: but in case they shall have crept in unawares, yet, unless, even after, they shall be converted and repent, they cannot be saved. But drunkards, covetous men, slanderers, and if there be any other damnable sins such as cannot by open deeds be brought to proof and conviction; yet are these strongly lashed by commandments and catechizings, and all such seem as having their wills changed for the better to approach unto Baptism. But if haply, as respects adulterers, whom not human law but divine condemns, that is, who have other men's wives for their own, or women, who have other women's husbands, they have observed these in any place to be admitted without due care; these things they should endeavour to amend from those other which are right, that is, so as not to admit even these persons; not from these latter, which are wrong, to make wrong those other, which are right, so as to hold that the Competentes are not to be catechized even on the subject of correction of life: and, in consequence, to judge, that even all those who publicly exercise those shameful and sinful
70 If some sins be passed over, yet must not adultery.
Defidb professions, that is, harlots, panders, gladiators, and such like, even whilst they continue in those evil practices, yet ought to be admitted. For all those things which the Apostle reckons up, saying at the end, that they who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God, they who act more strongly rebuke, as is becoming, when brought to their knowledge, and admit not to receive Baptism them who oppose themselves, and make profession of their intention of continuing therein, xix. 34. But they who think that all other sins are easily atoned for by alms, yet have no doubt of three being deadly, and such as require to be punished by excommunications, until they be healed by a greater humility of penance, namely, unchastity, idolatry, murder. Nor is it now necessary to inquire of what nature that opinion of theirs is, and whether it be to be amended, or approved, that we lengthen not out the work which we have in hand, in order to that other question, which is no way necessary for the solution of this one. For it is enough, that if all sins are to be refused admission into the Sacrament of Baptism, among these all is adultery; or if only those three are to be excepted, even among those three is adultery, upon which the present discussion arose.
35. But because the conduct of evil Christians, which has been before this of the very worst character, yet seems not to have had in it this evil, that men married other men's wives, or women were wedded to other women's husbands; hence perhaps in certain Churches this neglect hath crept in unawares, that in the catechizings of the Competentes these sins were not inquired into or rebuked; and hence it hath come to pass, that they have begun even to be defended: which sins however among the baptized are rare as yet, if we ourselves by our neglect make them not to be frequent. In fact, it would appear probable that it was such neglect in some, want of skill in others, ignorance in others,
Mat. 13, that our Lord meant by the term sleep, where He says, But while men slept, the enemy came, and sowed beside tares. But from this fact we are to think that these things appeared not at the first in the conduct even of evil Christians, that the blessed Cyprian in his letter concerning the Lapsed, Even doubtful marriayes to be avoided, though spared. 71
when making mention of many things by way of lamentation Etopeor rebuke, whereby he saith that the wrath of God hath been tt,Btiajustly moved, so as to suffer His Church to be scourged by a persecution such as could not be borne, altogether omits to mention these in that place, when even on that other point he is not silent, and affirms that it pertaineth unto the same evil conduct, namely, to form the bond of marriage with unbelievers, affirming it to be nothing else than to prostitute unto the Gentiles the members of Christ: which in our times are not any longer thought to be sins; since in truth there is no commandment on the subject in the New Testament, and therefore it was either believed to be lawful, or left as doubtful. Just as that also is uncertain, whether Herod married the wife of his brother, after his death, or Mat. 14, during his lifed: and so it is not so clear, what John declared '' to be not lawful to him. Also in the case of a concubine, if she shall make profession that she will know no other man, even although she be put away by him unto whom she is in subjection, it is with reason doubted, whether she ought not to be admitted unto Baptism. Whosoever also shall have put away his wife, having taken her in adultery, and shall have married another, it seems not right to place him on a level with them who, for other causes save that of adultery, put away and marry: and in the divine sentences themselves it is so obscure, whether he also, who may without doubt lawfully put away an adulteress, is yet to be counted as an adulterer, if he shall marry another, that, as far as I think, each one who is in this matter deceived commits a venial fault'. Wherefore those which are manifest sins of un- lvenialichastity, are in every way to be restrained from Baptism,ter qfu!a" unless they be amended by a change of will and by repent- latur. ance: but where they are uncertain, we must every way endeavour that such unions be not formed. For what need is there to thrust one's self into so great danger of uncertainty? But if they have been formed, I know not whether it seem not that they who have formed them, ought in like manner to be admitted unto Baptism.
d Josephus, Antiq. xviii. 7. states, in the Roman Breviary on the Feast of that he married his brother's wife the Beheading of St. John Baptist, during his life, and the same is chanted Ben.
72 One still an adulterer not'niadc whole.'' ScripturePrecedenls.
Defide 36. So far therefore as pertains unto the wholesome xx. doctrine of the truth, in order that unto any deadly sin there be not given a most destructive security, or even be assigned a most pestilent authority, the order of the process of healing is this, that they who are to be baptized believe in God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, in that form wherein the symbol is delivered; and that they repent from dead works, and doubt not that they shall receive entire remission of all past sins whatsoever: not that sin may be lawful unto them hereafter, but that past sin may not injure them; that there may be a remission of what was done, not a permission so to do. Then can it be truly said, even in a spiritual John 5, sense, Behold, thou art made whole, sin no more: which the Lord therefore spake of bodily soundness, because He knew, that in his case whom He had healed, the very sickness of the flesh had happened as what his sins deserved. But these men, where the man enters to receive Baptism an adulterer, and goes forth, being baptized, an adulterer, it is a wonder to me in what sense they think it said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole. For what is there that is a grievous and deadly disease, if adultery shall be soundness? xxi. 37. But among the three thousand, say they, whom the Apostles baptized in one day, and among the so many Rom. thousands of believers, among whom, from Jerusalem even ''unto Blyricum, the Apostle fully preached the Gospel, there were surely some men united to other men's wives, or women united to other women's husbands: among whom the Apostles ought to have established a rule, to be after observed in the Churches, whether or not they should be refused admission unto Baptism, unless they amended those adulteries. As though it may not be said against them in. like manner, that they find not mention made of any one, who, being such, was admitted. Or as though in truth the sins of individuals, a thing which were without any end, could be made mention of; whereas that general rule is enough and more than enough, where Peter, with many words testifying, said unto them that were to be baptized, Acts 2, Save yourselves from this froward world. For who can doubt that adulteries, and they who have chosen to persist in the same unrighteous way, pertain unto the untowardness of The Jews punished for wrong acts as well as unbelief. 73
this world? But in like maimer it may be said, that public Btopeprostitutes (whom assuredly no Church admits unto Baptism, '
save after they have been freed from that shameful state) might have been found among so many thousands of those who then believed throughout so many nations, and that the Apostles ought to have established precedents concerning the receiving or rejecting these. However, we may conjecture the greater from certain lesser things. For if publicans coming to John's Baptism were forbidden to ask Lake 3, any thing more than what had been appointed unto them;13it were a wonder if unto them who came unto the Baptism of Christ adultery should be allowed.
38. They have made mention also that the Israelites had committed many and grievous offences, and had shed much blood of the Prophets, and yet that not by reason of these things deserved they altogether to be blotted out, but by reason of unbelief alone, whereby they would not believe in Christ; not considering that their sin was not this alone, that they believed not in Christ, but also that they slew Christ; whereof the one pertains unto the charge of unbelief, the other unto the charge of cruelty. The one therefore is contrary to a right faith, the other is contrary to a good life. But he is free from both faults, who hath the faith of Christ, not that which without works is dead, which is found even jamea in devils; but the Faith Of Grace, which worketh through *» 19.20. love. 6-'
39. This is that faith, concerning which it is declared; The kingdom of heaven1 is within you. For this kingdom L^u they take by force, who do violence by believing, asking and ilreceiving the Spirit of Love, wherein is the fulfilling of the v. < of law, without which Love* the law in the letter made them to ^°a',a
', Rom. 13,
be under the condemnation because of transgression. We 10. must not then think, that it was therefore declared, 7%e< which kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and they who efofnlfilviolence, take it by force; because even the bad, merely Mat.il by believing and living the very worst lives, attain unto the 12kingdom of heaven; but because that state of condemnation by reason of transgression, which the law alone, that is, the letter, caused by giving commandment without the Spirit, is by believing done away, and by the violence of faith the
74 Faith of Grace is living, and works by Love.
De Fide Holy Spirit is asked and received; through Whom, Love Rom. 8, being shed abroad in our hearts, the law is fulfilled, not from
fear of punishment, but from love of righteousness. xxii. 40. Therefore let not the incautious mind be at all deceived, so as to think that it knows God, if it confess Him with a dead faith, that is, without good works, after the manner of devils: and on this account entertain no further doubt of attaining unto life everlasting, because the Lord Johni7, says, But this is life everlasting, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ Whom Thou hast sent. In truth, that other also ought to come into his mind, which 1 John is written, Herein know we Him, if we keep His Command'' ' men Is; whoso saith, 1 know Him, and keepeth not His Commandments, is a liar, and in him the truth is not. And, that no one may think that His Commandments pertain only unto faith; (although no one has dared to assert this, especially in that He spake Commandments, and lest these Mat22,by their number should dissipate the thought, On these two 40, hangeth the whole Law and the Prophets;) albeit it may be rightly said, that the Commandments of God pertain unto faith alone, if not dead faith, but that living faith be understood, which worketh through love; yet after did John himself l John declare his meaning, when he said, This is His Command'' ment, that we believe in the Name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another.
41. This then is profitable, to believe in God with a right
faith, to worship God, to know God, that we may both obtain
1 mere- from Him help to live well, and, in case we sin, may earn'
pardon from Him; not continuing carelessly in the things
which He hates, but departing from them, and saying unto
Pu.4i,4.Him, / said, O Lord, have mercy on me; heal my soul, for
I have sinned against Thee: whereas they have not any one
to whom to say it, who believe not in Him; and they say it
* tam in vain, who, being so far2 from Him, are alien from the grace
on8e- 0f ^g Mediator. Whence are those words in the Book of
Wisdom, which I know not how a security fraught with ruin
Wisd. interprets; even though we sin, we are Thine; since in truth
16,2- we have a good and great God, Who is both willing and able
to heal the sins of them who repent, not One Who dares not
to destroy utterly them who continue in their evil mind. The Judgment, threatened to evil life, is damnation. 75
Finally, after having said, we are Tliitte; he added, knowing Et OveThy power: that power certainly from which the sinner can