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Of the Catechizing of the Unlearned

S. AUGUSTINE

OF

THE CATECHIZING OF THE UNLEARNED'

Retr. ii. 14. There is also a book of mine ' on the catechizing of the unlearned,' so entitled. In which book where I have said, ' Nor did the Angel, who, with other spirits his servants, in pride left the obedience of God, and became the devil, in any wise harm God, but himself. For God knoweth how to order souls that leave Him:' it were more fitly said, ' spirits that leave Him,' since angels were in question. This book begins, ' You bave asked me, brother Deogratias.'

You have asked me, brother Deogratias", to write you De something which might be of use to you, on the subject ccah*" of catechising the unlearned. For you have told me, that"»",» at Carthage, where you hold the office of a deacon, persons Bus. are often brought to you, to receive instruction in the first {. rudiments of the Christian Faith, in consequence of your being judged to possess a rich power of catechizing, the result both of knowledge in the Faith, and of sweetness of speech: but that you yourself on almost every occasion feel yourself to be in a strait, in what manner profitably to set forth that very doctrine, by the belief of which we are Christians; at what point to commence, and up to what point to carry on the narration; whether when the narration

» Written about the year 400. Ben. Augustine writes about 406, in answer b This Deogratias is perhaps the to questions from Pagans sent to him «ame with the Priest to whom St. frnm Carthage. Ep. cii. Ben.

188 The Catechiser often ill conient with himself.

De is ended we ought to use any exhortation, or merely to add

"ciif-" tnose precepts, by the future observance of which he whom

ziNDis we are addressing may understand that the Christian life and

Bus.' profession is maintained. Then again you have confessed

and complained that it hath often happened to you, that in

a long and luke-warm discourse you grew to be worthless

and wearisome to yourself, much more to him whom you

were by your speech endeavouring to instruct, and to the

rest who were present as hearers: and that this necessity

hath compelled you to press upon me, by that love which

I owe you, that I refuse not among my occupations to write

you something on the present subject.

2. I for my part am bound not only by that love and service which I owe to you as my friend, but also by that which I owe on all occasions to my mother the Church, if in any thing by help of mine, which by the bounty of our Lord I am enabled to render, that same Lord commands me to assist those whom He himself hath made my brethren, in no way to refuse, but rather to undertake it with a ready and devoted will. For the more widely I desire that the riches of our Lord may be dispensed abroad, the more is it my duty, if I perceive the stewards who are my fellowservants feeling any difficulty in dispensing it, to do all that lies in me, that they may be enabled to perform easily and readily what they desire strenuously and zealously. ii. 3. But to return to that which respects your own opinion of yourself, I would not have you be moved because that frequently your discourse has appeared to you to be mean and wearisome. For it is possible, that it may not have appeared so to him whom you were instructing, but that because you felt desirous that something better should be heard, therefore, what you were saying appeared to you unworthy the ears of others. For I too am almost always displeased with my own discourse. For I am greedy of something better, the sense of which I often enjoy in my 'sonan-mind, before I commence setting it forth in actual1 words; and then, when I find that I cannot express it adequately as I know it, I am grieved that my tongue hath not availed to prove sufficient for my heart. For all that Thought, even as seen in the face, swifter than speech. 189

I understand myself, I wish him who hears me to un- De derstand also, and I perceive that I do not so speak as ccfJ£" to effect this, principally because conception, as by az^NDis rapid flash, spreads itself over the mind, but speech on Bus." the other hand is slow and long and far other, and whilst it is being put forth, the conception hath by this time hid itself in its secret recesses; yet inasmuch as it hath in a wonderful manner impressed certain traces of itself upon the memory, those traces continue together with the pauses1 of'moruHs syllables; and for these same traces we form vocal signs, which are called either the Latin, Greek, Hebrew, or any other language, whether their signs be thought on, or whether they be also uttered by the voice; whereas those traces are neither Latin, nor Greek, nor Hebrew, nor peculiar to any other nation whatever, but are so made in the mind, as looks in the body. For anger has one word to express it in Latin, and another in Greek, and is again expressed differently in different languages. But the look of the angry man is not Latin or Greek. Therefore all nations understand not, if any one say, I am angry, Iratus sum, but the Latins only; but, if the feeling of the mind becoming enraged go forth into the face, and produce a certain look, then all who see the angry man understand. But neither is it so in our power to lead forth, and, as it were, to hold out to the senses of the hearers by the sound of the voice those traces which this conception impresses on the memory, in the same manner as the look is clear and evident; for they are within in the mind, this without in the body. Wherefore we must conjecture how greatly the sound of our mouth differs from that rapid stroke of conception, since it corresponds not even to the impression made in the memory. But we for the most part, greatly desiring to benefit our hearer, wish so to speak as our conception then is, when by reason of its very intensity we are unable to speak at all; and because this fails us, we are pained, and, as though we were labouring to no purpose, we are wearied and pine away, and then this very weariness makes our discourse more languid and more dead, even than it was when it of itself led to weariness.

4. But in my own case, I often perceive by the eagerness of them who desire to hear me, that my discourse is not so 190 Men speak best of what they delight in.

DE frigid as to myself it appears; and that my hearers derive from Chi- it some advantage, I understand from their taking pleasure;

Zandis gjjj j Jq mv utmost ^th myself not to be wanting in offering Bus. a service, in which I see that they take kindly what is offered. And so you also, from the very fact that persons are very frequently brought to you to be instructed in the Faith, ought to understand that your discourse does not fail in pleasing others, in the same manner as it fails in pleasing yourself; nor ought you to esteem yourself unfruitful because you do not explain, as you wish, those things which you see, since it may be neither are you able to see as you wish. For who

},Cor" in this life sees, save only as in a riddle and in a glass? Nor is love itself so mighty, as that, having burst through the darkness of the flesh, it should penetrate into that eternally calm heaven, whence even the things which pass away draw whatever brightness they possess. But because good men are day by day advancing onward to see day wherein is

l Cor. n0 cloud in the sky, no inroad of night, which eye hath notseen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man: there exists no greater reason why whilst we are occupied in teaching the unlearned, our discourse should grow to seem worthless to us, than this; that it is pleasing to see in an unwonted manner, and tedious to utter to others in an ordinary way. And in reality we are listened to with much greater pleasure, when we ourselves are at the same time delighted with our occupation; for the thread of our discourse is affected by the very joy which we feel, and goes forth more easily and more acceptably. Wherefore it is no difficult task, in respect of those things which are sought to be taught as the objects of Faith, to advise, from and up to what point they are to be set forth, nor again in what way the narration is to be varied; so that at one time it may be shorter, at another longer, and yet at times full and perfect; also when it will be suitable to use the longer and when the shorter; but by what means it is to be brought about, that each man may catechize with pleasure to himself, (for the more he shall be able to effect this, the more pleasing will he be to others,) this is a subject of very great care. The precept indeed for this is easily found. For if in carnal wealth, how much more in spiritual does God love

Narration of chief points from the beginning till now. 191

a cheerful giver? But that this cheerfulness may be present De at the time when it is needed, is the gift of His pity Who CHI." hath given us these precepts. First therefore, as I knowZAKDIs

•i11 • 1 "RUDI.

you wish to be done, concerning the manner of narration, next, Bus. concerning precept and exhortation, afterward concerning the obtaining this cheerfulness, we will discourse, so far as God shall put it into our mind.

5. The Narration is full, when each is at first catechized iiifrom that which is written, In the beginning God created the Gen. l, heaven and the earth, down to the present times of the Church. It does not, however, follow that we ought either,

if we have learnt the whole Pentateuch, the whole of the books of Judges and Kings and Esdras, and the whole of the Gospel and of the Acts of the Apostles, to repeat them by memory, or by narrating in our own words all things which are contained in these volumes, to put them forth and expound them. Which neither the time allows of, nor does any necessity demand it of us, but to embrace all things summarily and generally, in such a way as to select certain of a more wonderful character, which are listened to with more pleasure, and which were set in the very turning periods in such wise, as that it is not fitting to shew them, as it were, wrapped up, and straightway to hurry them out of sight, but by delaying on them somewhat as it were to open and unfold them, and to hold them forth as objects for the minds of our hearers to inspect and admire; but for the rest, rapidly running them over to insert and weave them into the narration. So both those things, which we wish to be especially urged upon the attention, stand forth the more from the others being kept back, and he whose interest we are wishing by our narration to excite, does not come to them with feelings of weariness, nor again do we render confused his memory whom by our teaching we ought to instruct.

6. Iu all things indeed not only ought we ourselves to

look to the end of the commandment, which is charity o«<iTim.i, of a pure heart, and a good conscience, and faith unfeigned, to which to refer all things which we speak, but to this we must turn and thitherward direct his gaze also whom we arc instructing by our words. For of a truth for no other purpose before the coming of our Lord were all things written which

192 The Headfirst, though coming after other parts.

De we read in the Holy Scriptures, than that His coming might °c1n^" ^e urged upon our attention, and the future Church be

Zandis pointed out beforehand, that is, the people of God throughout Bus." all nations, which is His body, having joined and numbered with it all the Saints, who even before His coming lived in this world, so believing that He should one day come, as we believe that He is come already. For as Jacob, at the time of his birth, sent forth his hand first out of the womb, by which also he was holding the foot of his brother that was having birlh before him, next the head followed, and then of

Gen. 25, necessity the rest of the members. But yet the head in dignity and power precedes not only those members which followed, but even the very hand which in the time of birth went before, and, although not in time of appearing, yet in order of nature, is first: so also the Lord Jesus Christ, although before He appeared in the flesh, and in a certain manner out of the womb of His mystery came forth before the eyes of men, the Mediator between God and men, Man,

Rom. 9, Who is over all God blessed for ever, in the holy Patriarchs

6- and Prophets sent before Him a certain portion of His body, by which, as by a hand, announcing His own future birth, by the bonds of the Law, as by five fingers, He supplanted the people going before Him in their pride, (in that both

'Enchir.' during five periods of times His future coming ceased not to

§• 81. be the subject of preaching and of prophecy, and agreeably to this he through whom the Law was given wrote five books;

Kom.io, and proud men, being carnally minded, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, were not filled with blessing from Christ's open hand, but had that hand closed and shut, and were thereby restrained. Therefore their feet were tied,

Ps.20,8.and they fell, but we are risen, and stand upright;) although, therefore, as I have said, the Lord Christ sent before Him a certain portion of His body, in the Saints, who in respect of their time of birth were before Him, yet is He Himself the

Col. i» Head of the body, the Church, and all they have been joined together to that same body, of which He is the Head, by believing in Him Whom they foretold.* For they were not separated from Him in that they went before Him, but rather fixed to Him in that they obeyed Him. For although the hand may be sent before by the head, yet is its connection God shews His love to us that ue may love Him. 198

beneath the heail. Wherefore all things which were written Dr before, were written that we might be taught thereby, and °CAJ*" were figures of us, and happened in their case in a figure; Zandm and were written for our sake, upon whom the end of times Bus.

hath come. Rom.

7. But what greater reason exists then of our Lord's l £0j coming, than that God might shew in us His Love, com-10;11mending it mightily, in that whilst we were yet enemies Rom" 6 Christ died for us? And that for this cause, seeing that love 8.10. is the end of the commandment and the fulfilling of the Law,n\m.\, that we also may love one another, and in like manner asR^ He laid down Hi? life for us, so we also may lay down ouri3,10. life for the brethren; and in respect of God Himself, since3 °6.n He first loved us, and spared not His own only Son, but gave 1 Jol1n Him up for vs all, that, even if to love Him were irksome, *, i°yet that, now at least, it may not be irksome to return His 33, '' love. For there is no greater invitation to love, than loving first, and that soul is sterner than it ought, which, even if it were unwilling to bestow love, is also unwilling to repay it. But if, even in evil and sordid loves, we see that they who seek to be loved in return, make nothing else their business than to shew and declare, by all the proofs in their power, how much they themselves love, and endeavour to cloak what they do with that appearance of justice, as in some sort to demand that a return be made them by those souls which they are aiming to ensnare: and themselves are the more enkindled, when now they see those minds also which they are aiming to affect, moved by the same fire: if, therefore, both the soul which was before torpid, is aroused as soon as it hath perceived itself to be the object of love, and that which was already warm, is the more enkindled as it hath learnt that its love is returned, it is clear that there exists no greater cause either for the beginning or for the increase of love, than when he who as yet loves not perceives that he is beloved, or he who loves before, either hopes that he may be, or is already assured that he is, loved in return: and if this is the case even in shameful loves, how much more in friendship? For what else do we guard against in that which causes disconteut in friendship, but this, that our friend may,not judge that we either do not love him at all, or love

o

194 All Scripture points to Christ, and to His Law of Love.

De him less than he loves us? Tf he shall come to believe this, CAt*" he will be more cold in that love in which men enjoy mutual Sandis intimacy with one another; and if be be not so weak of "bus1, purpose, as that this cause of discontent make him to grow cold in all manner of affection, he yet confines himself to that, in which he so loves, as to seek to benefit rather than to enjoy. But it is worth while to observe, how, (although superiors too are willing to be objects of affection to inferiors, and are pleased with their zealous service paid to themselves, and the more they perceive this, the more do they love them,) notwithstanding with how great love the heart of the inferior burns, when he perceives himself beloved by his superior. For there is love more pleasing, where it is not parched from the dryness of want, but flows forth from the fulness of goodness. For the one comes from misery, the other from commiseration. Still further, supposing the inferior to have despaired even of the possibility of being the object of his superior's love, he will be unspeakably moved to love, if that superior shall have deigned of his own accord to shew how much he loves him who dared not in any way to promise to himself so great a good. But what is there superior to God as judging? what more desperate than man as sinning? who had so much the more surrendered himself up to the dominion and yoke of proud powers, which cannot bless him, as he had been led to despair of the possibility of his being an object of care to that Power, Which doth not in evil will aim to be exalted, but is in goodness exalted.

8. If therefore for this cause especially Christ came, that man might understand how greatly he is beloved of God; and to this end might understand it, that he might grow fervent in the love of Him, by Whom he was first loved, and might love his neighbour, at His bidding and His shewing, Who was made man's neighbour, in that He loved him when not his neighbour, but far off sojourning; and if all divine Scripture which was written before, was written to proclaim beforehand the coming of the Lord; and whatever afterwards was committed to writing, and confirmed by divine authority, telleth of Christ, and admonisheth of love: it is clear that on these two commandments, of the love of God, and of our Mat.2-2, neighbour, hang not only the whole Law and the Prophets, Love to be drawnjorlh by love. Fear, at least, necessary. 195

which as yet, when our Lord thus spake, formed the whole Db of Holy Scripture, but also whatsoever portions of the divine CHI." volume have since been written for our health, and com-ZANDIS

RUDI

mitted to our remembrance. Wherefore in the Old Testa- Bus. ment there is a veiling of the New, in the New Testament there is an unveiling of the Old. According to that veiling carnal men understanding after a carnal manner, both then and now, have been bowed down by a penal yoke of fear. But according to this revelation spiritual men, both then as many as knocking piously had even hidden things opened to them, and now as many as seek not proudly, lest even open things be closed to them, understanding after a spiritual manner, have been made free by that love with which they have been gifted. Wherefore seeing nothing is more opposed to love than envying, and that the mother of envying is pride, that same our Lord Jesus Christ, God-Man, is both a token of the divine love towards us, and an example of the divine humility among us, that thus our great swelling might be healed by a more powerful remedy counteracting it. Great misery indeed is it, proud mau; but greater commiseration, God humbled! This love therefore being taken by you as your proposed end, to which to refer all things which you say, whatever you narrate, do you so narrate it, as that he whom you are addressing may by hearing believe, by believing hope, by hoping love.

9. On the foundation also of the very severity of God, by v. which men's minds are affected with most salutary fear, is love to be budded up; in order that, rejoicing that he is beloved of Him Whom he fears, he may dare to love Him in return, and even might he do it with impunity, may yet religiously fear to displease His love towards himself. For it very rarely happens, or rather, one should say, never, that any one comes with the wish to be made a Christian, but who hath been stricken with some fear of God. For if in the expectation of some good from men, whom he judges not that he shall please by any other means, or for the avoidance of any evil from men, whose displeasure or enmity he dreads, a man wish to be made a Christian; it is not to be made a Christian that he wishes, but to feign to be one. For Faith is a matter not of the body which does reverence ',)"]£' 196 How to treat one who comes not well disposed*

De but of the mind which believes. But evidently the mercy of Cate- Q0(l is 0fIen present through the ministry of him who cateiBANDrs chizes, so that, moved by the discourse, one now wishes "bus to De ma(ie tnat which he had determined within himself to feign: when he shall begin thus to wish, we may then judge him [really] to have come. And indeed it is hidden from us, at what time he comes to us with the mind, even when in the body he is already present before us. Notwithstanding we ought so to treat him, as to produce this wish to him, even although at present it do not exist. For nothing of this sort is lost, seeing that, if the wish exist, it is certainly strengthened by this act of ours, although possibly we may be ignorant of the exact time or hour at which it began. It is indeed of use to receive information beforehand, if possible, from those who know him, of the state of mfnd of our hearer, and of the causes which moved him to embrace religion. But in the case of there being no other person from whom we may learn this, then the hearer himself is to be questioned, that from his replies we may draw the commencement of our address. But if he is come with a feigned heart, desiring human advantages, or seeking to avoid human losses, in that case he will certainly speak what is false, and yet from this his very falsehood you should take your beginning, not with the view of convicting his falsehood, as if that were known to you, but, supposing him to say that he came with such a purpose as is of itself truly praiseworthy, (whether he speak truly or falsely,) in order that, by an approval and praise of such a purpose as that with which he states himself to have come, we may bring it to pass that he takes pleasure in being such, as he is desirous of appearing to be. And if, on the other hand, he shall answer other than what ought to be present in the mind of one who is about to receive instruction in the Christian Faith, by gently and kindly reproving him as though he were unlearned and ignorant, and again by pointing out, and commending in few and serious words, that which is the very true end of Christian doctrine, in order neither to occupy the time designed for your coming discourse, nor again to venture to impose it on a mind not first duly set to receive it, you will essay to make him wish that, which through error, or through dissimulation, he did not as yet wish.

Sacred hittory from beghining down to preterit time. 197

10. But if it shall so happen that he shall answer, that he Db hath been led to become a Christian by some divine ctti'~ admonition or alarming warning, he herein affords us a Zandu most welcome point at which to commence our discourse, BUs, on the greatness of God's care for us. Certainly it will be vi. for us to turn his attention from things of this nature, be they miracles or dreams, to the more sure path and more certain oracles of the Scriptures, so that he have understood, before applying himself to the study of Holy Scripture, how mercifully that very admonition also hath been first granted him'. And he must by all means be shewn, how that the' praroLord Himself would not thus admonish him, or urge him 8 to become a Christian and to be incorporated into the Church, or teach him by signs and revelations of this nature, had He not willed him to enter upon a more secure and sure path, a path, already prepared in Holy Scripture, wherein he should not seek after visible miracles, but accustom himself to hope for things invisible, and receive admonition not in sleep, but awake. From this point we must now commence our discourse, how God in the beginning Gen. 1, made all things very good, and continue it down, as we31have stated, even to the present times of the Church, in such sort, as that we give the causes and reasons of each of the things and events which we relate, so as by them to refer them to that end of love, whence neither the eye of him that doeth any thing nor of him that spcaketh is to be turned away. For if, in respect of feigned fables of the Poets, and such as are devised to please minds which feed on trifles of this sort, such as are esteemed and called good grammarians do notwithstanding endeavour to refer them to some use, although that use be itself vain, and greedy of the grossness of this world; how much more careful ought we to be, lest those very truths, which we relate, (there being no well-ordered setting-forth of their proper causes made,) be believed with a pleasure which is without fruit, and, it may be, an eagerness which is fatal. Not however that we are so to append their causes, as that, leaving the course of the narration, we allow either our heart or our tongue to digress into knotty points more difficult of discussion; but so that the very truth of the reason which we employ may be, as it

I98 The learner to be fortified against scandals and attacks.

Db were, gold linking together a chain of jewels, and yet not cchie- disturbing by any excess of itself the order and series of the Zandis ornament. BUS- 11. When the narration is finished, the hope of the vij Resurrection must next be signified, and according to the capacity and powers of the hearer, and according to the measure of the time allowed, discourse must be had, in opposition to the vain scoffs of unbelievers, concerning the Resurrection of the body, and concerning the future Judgment, its goodness in respect of the good, its severity in respect of the bad, its truth in respect of all; and when the punishments of the ungodly have been declared with loathing and horror, then must we preach with longing desire concerning the kingdom of the just and faithful, and that City which is above, and its joy. And this will be the time to fortify and animate man's weakness against temptations, and causes of offence, whether from without, or from within in the Church itself: from without, against Gentiles, or Jews, or Heretics: from within, against the chaff of the Lord's threshing-floor. Not so as to dispute against every particular class of perverse men, or to refute all the erroneous opinions by propounding definite subjects for arguing, but shortly, according to the time allowed, we must shew that it was so foretold. And again, of what benefit temptations are in the instructing of the faithful, and what remedy is to be found in the example of the patience of God, Who hath determined to allow them even to the end. At the same time also that he is fortified against those, of whom the perverse multitudes fill with their persons the Churches, let there be briefly and in due order set forth the commandments of a Christian and honest conversation, that he suffer not men that are drunkards, covetous, deceivers, gamesters, adulterers, fornicators, lovers of the public shows, who bind on their bodies profane charms, enchanters, astrologers, or diviners using any such evil and vain arts, and all other such like, thus easily to lead him astray; or allow himself to think thatit shall be unpunished in himself, because he sees many who are called Christians loving these things, making them their business, defending

c Of the character of these see Ter - On the grace of God. Tr. p. 5, 6. S. tnllian I>e Spect. Tr. p. 187. S. Cypr. Aug. Conf. vi. §. 7, 8.

All to be ascribed to God. Of u ell-informed learners. 199

their use, and endeavouring to persuade, and actually per- De snading others. For he is to be fully instructed by proofs out of the divine books, what is that end appointed for them that Zandis persevere in such a manner of life, and how they must be 'BUs1~ endured in the very Church, out of which they are in the end to be separated. He must be told also beforehand, that he will find in the Church many good Christians, most true citizens of the heavenly Jerusalem, if only he himself shall begin to be such. And finally, he is to be admonished diligently, that he place not his hope in man: because neither is it easy for man to judge, what man is just; and even were it easy to be done, the examples of just men are not therefore proposed to us, in order that by them we may be justified, but that imitating them we may understand that we also are justified by Him Who is their Justifier. For by this it will be brought to pass, (what especially merits approval,) that when he who hears us, or rather who by our mouth hears God, shall have begun to advance in disposition and knowledge, and to enter upon the way of Christ with alacrity, he will neither venture to ascribe it to us, nor to himself; but both himself, and us, and whomsoever else, being his friends, he loves, he will love in Him and for His sake, Who loved him when an enemy, that by justifying him He might make him a friend. And here I conceive that you have no further need of any one to advise you, that, when either your own time, or that of those who hear you, is occupied, you treat briefly; and, on the other hand, speak more fully when more abundant time is allowed you. For this the very necessity of the case teaches, without your having any one to advise you.

12. But another case I must certainly not pass over; viii. supposing one to come to you to be catechized, instructed in all liberal knowledge, who hath already determined within himself to be a Christian, and hath come with the purpose of being made one; it can hardly be, but that he hath acquainted himself with much of our Scriptures and our literature, from which having already received instruction, he is now come only to be made to share in the Sacraments. For it is the custom of such men, not at the very time at which they are made Christians, but before, to inquire

ram.

200 Books iobe duly distinguished,false impressions corrected.

De diligently into all things, and to communicate and discuss Chi- with whomsoever they can the feelings of their own minds.

Zandis Your mode of proceeding therefore with these must be brief, Bub. and that not in the way of tediously urging upon them what they already know, but modestly and lightly touching on such points; saying, that we believe that they already know this and that point, so as in this way to go through cursorily all which require to be urged upon the ignorant and unlearned; so that, in case the man of education shall already know any thing, he may not hear it as from a teacher; or, in case he be yet ignorant, he may learn it, whilst we are recounting those things which we already believe him to know. Nor indeed is it without its use to inquire of such an one, by what circumstances he was moved to wish to become a Christian, in order that, if you shall perceive that he was moved thereto by books, whether canonical, or written by

"Trac-profitable expounders', you may in the first place speak somewhat of these, commending them according to the different claims, of canonical authority, and of the ablest diligence on the part of those who expound; and in the canonical Scriptures especially commending that most salutary lowering down of their admirable loftiness, and in those others, according to the proper ability of each, a style of more sounding, and, as it were, of more well-turned eloquence, fitted for minds which are prouder and therein weaker. He must also draw from him what author he chiefly read, and with what books he was more intimately conversant, which wrought in him the wish of becoming a member of the Church. Upon his telling us this, then, if the books are known to us, or if even by the common report of the Church wc have understood that they are the writings of anyone well-known Catholic man, let us gladly express our approval. If, on the other hand, he hath fallen upon the writings of any heretic, and, in ignorance, it may be, hath laid hold in his mind of what the true faith condemns, and supposes it to be Catholic, in that case we must diligently teach him, setting above such opinions the authority of the Universal Church, and of other most learned men, esteemed highly both as disputants and writers in its truth. Although even they who have passed out of this life in the Catholic Faith, and Even Scripture abusedby Heretics. Of the half-educated. 201

have left to posterity any Christian writings, in certain places Db of their works, either through not being understood, or (such "h,*" is human infirmity) unable with the mind's eye to pene-ZANDis trate into the more hidden things, and erring from the truth Bus." whilst following what was like the truth, have by the pre- ~ sumptuous and bold been made occasion for projecting and giving birth to some heresy. Which is not to be wondered at, seeing that in the very canonical Scriptures, in which all things are spoken with perfect soundness, not indeed through understanding certain things in a way other than the writer thought, or than the true meaning is, (for if there were nothing but this, who would not willingly pardon human infirmity when willing to admit correction ?) but by taking all opportunity of upholding with sharpest vehemence and obstinate conceit the opinion which they have erroneously and ill conceived, many men have given birth to many fatal doctrines, having cut asunder the unity of Communion. All these things we are to discuss in modest conference with him who seeks to enter the society of the Christian People, not as an illiterate man1, so to say, but with his mind polished "idiota' and cultivated by the works of the learned, so far assuming authority in advising that he guard against the errors of vain confidence, as his humility, which led him to us, is now seen to admit of. All other things however according to the rules of saving doctrine, whether it be concerning the Faith, whatever we have need to state or discuss, or whether it be concerning conduct, or concerning temptations, going through them in the manner I have said, we must endeavour to refer to that more excellent way'. c 9

13. There are also certain, who come from the ordinary ix. schools of grammarians and rhetoricians, whom you can neither venture to class among the uneducated, nor, on the other hand, among the very learned men just noticed, whose minds have been exercised in questions of great moment. When therefore these men, who seem by their art in speaking to excel the rest of mankind, come for the purpose of being made Christians, this difference we ought to make in what we communicate to them above what we do to those other unlearned men, in that it is our duty carefully to admonish them, that, being clothed with Christian humility,

CAtE-
CHI-

202 A little learning makes men conceited and critical.

Db they learn not to despise them whom they shall find more careful in avoiding faults in conduct than in language;

Zandis au(l that they venture not even to compare with a pure heart, Bus. what they have been accustomed even to prefer to it, a _ practised tongue. But especially are such to be taught to listen to the divine Scriptures, that so solid eloquence grow not vile in their eyes, because it is not inflated; and that they judge not, that the words or actions of men, which are read in these books, and which are wrapped up and concealed in carnal coverings, are to be so taken, as the very words sound, and not rather to be unfolded and opened, that they may be understood. And on the subject of the real use of the hidden meaning, (whence also such are called mysteries,) what power dark and obscure sayings possess of sharpening the love of the truth, and of shaking off the torpid feelings of weariness, such men must have this taught them by actual experience, when some doctrine, which, when openly set before them, failed to affect them, is drawn forth by the unravelling of some allegory. To such men it were of great use to understand, that meanings are to be preferred to words, in the same way as the soul is preferred to the body. A consequence of which is, that they ought in like manner to prefer to hear discourses which are true, rather than such as are eloquent, as they ought to prefer friends who excel in wisdom to such as excel in personal beauty.

Let them also understand, that the only voice which reacheth to the ears of God, is the affection of the soul; for so they will not be disposed to mock, if haply they shall perceive any prelates or ministers of the Church, either calling upon God in barbarous or ungrammatical language, or failing to understand the very words which they utter, and using their pauses so as to disturb the sense. Not because there exists not every necessity for such things being corrected, that the people may say Amen to that which they clearly understand, but it is the duty of all to bear with these things in a spirit of piety, who have learnt, that, as in the

. , , Forum it is the sound, so in the Church it is the wish, that Ceremonies to be explained. Catechizing why tedious. 203

or the

well- makes the benediction3. Therefore that of the Forum may speak- haply sometimes be called bona dictio, [good speaking,] yet ■ bene- never bene-dictio. Now concerning the Sacrament which

they are about to receive', it suffices for the more intelligent, De that they hear what is the meaning of the act; it will be 0HI. necessary however, with those who are duller of apprehen- Zandis sion, to treat at greater length, and to employ similitudes, in Bus. order that they may not despise what they see. 'i.e.the

14. Here perhaps you require some discourse by way of^teoh*. example, in order that I may shew you by an actualmensinstance, in what manner what I advise is to be effected. xAnd this 1 will do, as far as, with the Lord's assistance, I shall be able. But first 1 ought, according to promise, to speak on the subject of acquiring that cheerfulness which I mentioned. For in respect of delivering rules for forming your discourse, in the case of catechizing a person who comes to you with the purpose of being made a Christian, I have already, as far as seemed to me sufficient, performed my promise. For surely I am under no promise myself to do in this volume, what I advise as fitting to be done. In case therefore of my doing thus, it will be in the way of over-measure; but how can I possibly pour on an overmeasure, before I have fulfilled the measure of what I owe? And indeed your chief complaint which I hear is no other than this, that your discourse seems to you poor and worthless, as often as you are employed in instructing any one in the Christian name. Now this I know is caused not so much by want of matter necessary to speak of, (with which I know that you are sufficiently prepared and furnished,) nor again of language, but by weariness of mind, either from that cause, which I have noticed, that we are more pleased, and have our attention more fixed, by that which we perceive mentally and in silence, and wish not to be called away from it to a noise of words which is very unequal to it; or because, even when discourse is pleasant, we are more pleased to listen to, or read, such things as have been better expressed, and which are uttered without any care or anxiety on our part, than to combine suitable words on the sudden for the understanding of another, without knowing the issue; whether, on the one hand, we find such as will express our meaning, or, on the other, whether they be received so as to profit; or because, from the very fact that those things which are communicated to the unlearned, are such as are every

204 Varioushindrancesonthepartofthe TeacherSf theHearer.

Ee way well-known to us, and no longer necessary for our own ad

Chi-" vancement,we feel it irksome to be thus constantly recurring to

z Andis them, and our niind, now of somewhat more advanced growth, Rcdi- . . ... .

Bus. experiences no kiud of pleasure in going through things so

common-place, and, as it were, childish. And again, it creates a sense of weariness in him who speaks, to have a hearer whom he cannot move; either because such an one is moved by no feeling, or because he gives no bodily sign of understanding, or being pleased with what is said. Not because it is fitting that we be greedy of human praise, but because what things we minister are of God, and the more we love them to whom we speak, the more anxious are we that those things be pleasing to them which are held forth for their salvation; and when this fails to take place, we feel pained, and are weakened and dispirited in the midst of our course. Sometimes also when we are called away from some other business which we wish to proceed with, and which either was a more pleasing occupation, or appeared more necessary; and are compelled, either by the command of one whom we are unwilling to offend, or by some persons' importunity, such as we cannot escape from, to catechize any one, we approach a matter which requires great calmness, with feelings already disturbed; pained, that it is neither allowed us to continue that order in our occupations which we wish, nor again can we possibly be sufficient for all things: and so out of very sorrow our discourse which proceeds is less pleasing, in that out of the dry soil of sadness the stream issues not full and' overflowing. At times again sorrow hath taken possession of our breast in consequence of some cause of offence, and then it is said to us, ' Come, speak with this man, he wishes to be made a Christian.' For they, who speak to us, know not what is consuming us within; if therefore they are such as that we ought not lo disclose to them our feelings, we undertake what they wish with no pleasure, and feeble indeed and unpleasing will that discourse be, which has past through the channel of a chafing and reeking heart. From among so many causes therefore, whatever it be which clouds the clear calm of our heart, we must seek in accordance with God's will for remedies, such as may make to expand the heart which is shrunk up, and cause that we rejoice in Outness of Hearer, met by Charity and Chrisft example. 205

fervor of spirit, aud be glad in the calm of a good work, For Db God l.veth a cheerfid giver. Cc17i^*

15. For if the cause of our sadness be this, that our hearer ZAND,S

1 " • il1.- BVDI

does not enter into our conception, so that descendmg in a Bps. way from its lofty summit, we are compelled to linger in the2Cor.9, tediousness of syllables on a much lower level, and are full of anxiety how that shall proceed out of-our mouth of flesh by long and perplexed windings, which the mind drinks in with a most quick draught, and then because our utterance is so unlike, speech is made irksome and silence pleasing; let us meditate on what we have received from Him Who has shewed us an example that we may follow His steps. Fori Pet. a, however much our articulate speech may differ from the' vividness of our perception, much more does mortal flesh differ from equality with God. And yet when He was in the same form, He emptied Himself, receiving the form of a servant' &c so far as to the death of the Cross. Wherefore,' th.e.

omission

but that to the weak He became weak, that He might is pergain the weak? Hear His follower in another place alsoJwoI'*saying, For tvhether we be beside ourselves, it is to God; or ist. Ben. whether we be sober, it is for your cause. For the love qf6 '^' Christ constraineth us, judging this, that one died for all.cfi Cor. For how could he be prepared to be spent for their souls, if2Cor!5, he were unwilling to bend himself to their ears? Hence13,14* therefore was he made a little child in the midst of us, as 1 Thess.

2 7.

a nurse cherishing her children. For whether is it pleasing,' unless affection bid us, to lisp in short and broken words? And yet men desire to have infants to whom to render this office. And it is sweeter to a mother to feed her little son with small pieces of meat, moistened and prepared by her own mouth, than to eat and swallow large pieces herself. Neither let your heart ever lose the thought of the hen, who Mat. 23, covers her tender young with her ruffled feathers, and calls to her her chirping brood with a broken voice, from whose kind wings they who in their pride turn away, become a prey to birds. For if understanding be pleasing in its purest recesses, let it be pleasing also to understand this, how that charily, the more readily it descend to the lowest things, so much the more strengthened does it return to the most

206 Mistakes should humble us. How to correct them.

DE inner things, through good conscience, in that it seeks nothing CHI." from those to whom it has descended, but their eternal Zandis welfare.

RT7DI

Bus. 16. But if we are anxious rather either to read or to xi. listen to such things as have been already prepared and better expressed, and therefore feel it irksome in ignorance of the issue to put together for the time what we have to say, only let not our mind err from the truth in the things themselves, and it is easy, supposing any thing in our minds to offend our hearer, for him to learn from the very circumstance, how entirely unimportant it is, when the matter itself is rightly understood, whether there were any thing imperfect or incorrect in sounds which had utterance given them solely for this cause, that the matter might be understood. But if the aim of human frailty have erred even from the truth in the things themselves; (although in catechizing the unlearned, where one must keep the most beaten path, this can hardly happen;) yet supposing it by any chance so to happen that even on this ground our hearer is offended, this also we should judge to have befallen us from no other quarter, than that God hath willed to prove us, whether we receive correction with gentleness of mind, that so we be not carried headlong by a worse error into the defence of our error. But in the case that no one tell us of it, and that it have escaped altogether the notice both of ourselves and of those who hear us, there is then no cause for sorrow, unless it take place again. But for the most part we ourselves, when we think over what we have said, discover something wrong, and are in doubt, how it was received at the moment it was said, and are the more pained, in that love is fervent within us, if, being false, it was received readily. And therefore having found an opportunity, as we find fault with ourselves in private, so must we take heed that they also be by degrees set right, as many as, not by the words of God, but evidently by our own, have fallen into any error. But if again certain blinded by mad envy Rom.i, rejoice that we have erred, whisperers, slanderers, hateful to God, let such afford us matter for the exercise of patience with pity, because that also the patience of God leadeth

The event is with God. His leading to be followed. 207

them to repentance. For what is there more detestable, Db and more of a character to treasure up wrath in the day pHI." of wrath, and of the revelation of the just judgment of God, Z*ndis than to rejoice in the evil of another, therein evilly following BC9. the likeness and pattern of the devil. Again at times, Rom. 2, even when all things are truly aud rightly stated, something4-5' which is either not understood, or which, as opposed to some ancient erroneous opinion or habit, sounds harshly, offends and disturbs the hearer. In case this is seen, and he shew himself capable of cure, it is our place to heal him by abundance of authorities and reasons. If on the other hand the offence be secret and hid, the medicine of God is able to relieve it. But if he shall start back, aud refuse to be healed, let that example of our Lord be our comfort, Who, when men were offended at His word, and shrunk from it as a hard saying, said thus even to them that remained, Will ye also go away? For this ought to be retained John 6, fully fixed and immoveable in our hearts, that Jerusalem67" which is in captivity is in the full course of times freed from the Babylon of this world, and that no one from out of her shall perish, because whosoever shall perish was not of her. For the foundation of God standeth firm, having this2 Tim. seal, The Lord knoweth who are His, and, Let every one' that nameth the Name of the Lord depart from iniquity. Whilst we think on these things, and call upon the Lord to enter into our hearts, we shall less fear the uncertainty of the issues of our discourse caused by the uncertainty of the feelings of our hearers, and even the very sinTering annoyances in a charitable work will be pleasing to us, if only we seek not our own glory in it. For then is a work truly good, when the purpose of the doer is shot forth from love, and, as if returning to its own place, again rests in love. But the reading with which we are pleased, or any listening to eloquence better than our own, (through preference of which to the discourse which we ourselves have to deliver, we speak unwillingly and with pain,) will find us in better spirits, and will come to us more pleasantly after our labour, and we shall with more full assurance pray that God will speak to us as we will, if we submit cheerfully that He speak by us as we are able; so is it

208 The Teacher, through love,hears Tru th as new in the Hearer.

De brought to pass that to them that love God all things come

c*hi^" togetner for good.

Zandts 17. Then again if we feel it irksome frequently to repeat Bus. things commonplace and suited to children, let us unite xii. ourselves to them by a brother's, a father's, a mother's love, and then when our hearts are linked with theirs, to us also will these things appear new. For so powerful is the feeling of the mind which sympathises, that, whilst they are moved as we speak, and we as they learn, we have our dwelling in one another, and so, both they as it were in us speak what they hear, and we in a certain way in them learn what we teach. Is not this constantly the case, that, when we are shewing to persons who have never before seen them, certain

1 •<,«»" large and beautiful prospects1 either of cities or fields, which we from often seeing had come to pass by without any pleasure, our own delight is renewed in the delight which novelty causes to them. And so much the more in proportion as they are our friends, because in proportion as by the bond of love we are in them, so to us also do things become new which before were old. But, if we have made any progress at all in contemplation, we seek not that those whom we love feel delight and astonishment, when contemplating the works of human hands, but we seek to lift them up to the very skill and counsel of their author, and hence to rise to the admiration and praise of the all-creating God, in Whom is the most fruitful end of love: how much more therefore ought we to feel delight, when men approach us now to learn to know God Himself, in order to Whom all things, whatsoever are to be learnt, are to be learnt, and ourselves to be renewed in their newness of feeling, so that, if our usual preaching be chilled, it may grow warm by their unusual hearing. And there is this additional to cause delight^ that we consider and reflect, from out of what death of error the person is passing into the life of faith. And if we are wont to pass through streets to which we are most accustomed with the cheerfulness of doing good, when we are shewing the way to any one who before was distressed from having lost his way; how much more readily, and with how much greater joy, in that which is saving doctrine, ought we to go up and down even those paths which for How to win attention from a hearer who seems unmoved. 209

our own sakes it is unnecessary to go over again; when Db we are leading a wretched soul, and wearied by the wan- C*J,*" derings of this world, through the ways of peace, at His Zawdm bidding Who Himself gave us that peace? Bus.

18. But indeed it is much to continue speaking on to xiii. the set period, when we see our hearer continue unmoved, because he either dares not, as being restrained by religious awe, express his approval by word, or motion of body, or

is repressed by reverence for man, or fails to understand, or despises what we say. Since this must be matter of uncertainty to us, in that we see not his mind, it behoves us in our address to make trial of all things, which may possibly avail to rouse him, and, as it were, draw him forth from his hiding-place. For both such fear as is excessive, and hinders his expressing his opinion, we must remove by kind and cheering words, and suggest our common brotherhood so as to attemper his reverence for us, and seek to ascertain by questioning whether he understand us, and inspire him with confidence to utter freely any objection which he has to make. We must also ask him whether he has already at any time heard these things, and so they fail to move him as being well-known and commonplace. And we must be guided by his answer, either to speak more simply, and more by way of explanation, or to refute some opinion opposed to us, or, omitting the fuller unfolding of such things as are known to him, to embrace them briefly in a few words, and to select certain of those things which are spoken in a mystical sense in the sacred books, and especially in the narrative, by opening and unfolding which to make our discourse more pleasing. But if he be very slow of understanding, and unsuited for and disinclined to all such methods of pleasing, then must we bear with him in pity, and, having briefly gone through all other points, we must carefully impress upon him such things as are especially necessary, concerning the unity of the Catholic [Church], concerning temptations, concerning Christian conversation with a view to Judgment hereafter, and must rather speak to God for him, than speak many things to him of God.

19. But it often happens, that he who at first was a willing hearer, through being fatigued either by listening or 210 Care needed to prevent weariness from standing.

Db by standing, now yawns and gapes instead of expressing

°chi-" approval, and even against his will shews his wish to depart.

zAvmsUpon perceiving this, we ought either to refresh his mind by Bus. saying something seasoned with discreet cheerfulness, and ~~ suited to the matter in hand, or something very wonderful and amusing, or, it may be, something painful and mournful: and such as may affect himself rather than another, in order that being pinched by concern for self he may continue watchful; and yet such as not by any harshness to give offence to his spirit of reverence, but rather by a friendly manner to conciliate him; or we ought to relieve him by offering him a seat, although without doubt it were better, where it can be done with due regard to propriety, that from the first he sit and listen; and certain Churches beyond sea act with much greater wisdom and foresight, in which not only the chief ministers address the people sitting, but seats are provided also for the people themselves, that so the weak be not wearied with standing, and thus have their minds withdrawn from that attention which is most profitable, or even be compelled to depart. And yet it makes a great difference, whether it be one of a great multitude who withdraws himself to recruit his strength, such an one being already bound by participation in the Sacraments, or whether the person departing be one who has to be admitted to the first Sacraments, (for the most part unavoidably compelled, lest he even fall to the ground, overcome by weakness within,) for such an one through shame does not state the reason of his going, and by weakness is not allowed to stand. I speak this from experience, for a certain man from the country acted in this way, when I was catechizing, whence I have learned how greatly it is to be guarded against. For who can put up with our haughtiness, when we suffer not to sit in our presence men who are our brethren; or, what calls for even greater care, who are thus to be made our brethren, and yet a woman sat and listened

Lukeio, to the Lord Himself, Whom angels stand and minister to. Certainly if there is to be only a short discourse, or the place be inconvenient for sitting, let them stand and listen; but then, let it be when the hearers are many, and are

1 Mniti- not then to be admitted1. For when they are one, or two,

uncJi.'

What remarks arouse. fVeknownotwhatisbestlobedoing.il 1

or a few, who are come for the purpose of being made Db Christians, it is dangerous to speak with them standing. CHI." However if we have begun to speak with them in thatZAND,s

RUDI

way, at any rate, when we see that our hearer is wearied, Bps. we ought both to offer him a seat, nay, rather to urge him by all means to sit down, and to address to him some remark which may refresh him, and at the same time, if any anxiety haply hath entered into his mind and begun to withdraw his attention, may put it to flight. For, seeing that the reasons are unknown to us, why he still continues silent and refuses to listen, now that he is seated, we may speak to him against the thoughts of temporal affairs which suggest themselves, either in a cheerful, as stated above, or in a serious manner, in order that, if these are the very thoughts which have occupied his mind, they may give way, as if arraigned by name; or, if they are not, and he is wearied with listening, then that, when he hears us speaking of them as if they were (since in truth we know not) in an unexpected and unusual way, as I have stated, his attention be restored from weariness. But let it be short, especially seeing it is inserted out of order, lest the medicine even increase the disease of weariness which we wish to relieve; and we should do right to hasten forward what remains, and to promise and hold out a nearer end.

20. But if the omitting some other employment, on xiv. which as more necessary, your mind was now set, hath broken your spirit, and therefore sorrowing you catechize without pleasure; you ought to reflect, that, excepting that we know, that, in all our dealings with men, we are to deal mercifully, and out of the purest charity; with this one exception, it is quite matter of uncertainty to us, what is more useful to be done, or what again more fitting to be postponed, or altogether omitted. For in that we know not of what sort with God are the deserts of men, for whose good we are acting; what may be expedient for them at a given time, this we cannot be said to understand, but rather to guess, with none, or very slight, and very uncertain conjecture to guide us. Wherefore it is indeed fitting that we order what things we have to do according to our ability;

212 Pain at men's sin eased by a convert, useful for warning.

»b then if we are enabled to effect them in the manner in which

TM' we have proposed, let us be glad, not that it hath been our

Zandis will, but that it hath been God's will that they be so effected;

Bus. but if any necessity happen to disturb that order of ours, let

us readily submit to be bowed that we be not broken, and

let us make that order ours, which God hath preferred to

ours. For it is more just that we follow His will, than He

ours. Seeing that, as respects order of proceeding, which

we wish to maintain according to our own will, that surely

is to be approved in which such things as are more excellent

come first. Why then do we feel pained that the Lord

God, Who is so much more excellent, should come before us

men, so as out of very love for our own order to wish to

violate order? For no one orders for the better what to do,

unless it be he who is prepared rather to leave undone what

he is by the Divine power prevented from doing, than eager

to do what his own thoughts, which are human, design. For

Prov. many are the thoughts in the heart of a man, but the

''counsel of the Lord abideth for ever.

21. But if our mind, disturbed by some cause of offence, be unable to deliver a calm and pleasant discourse; so great ought our love to be towards those for whom Christ died, willing by the price of His own blood to redeem them from the death of the errors of this world; that this very fact, that word is brought us in our sorrow, that there is at hand one who desires to become a Christian, ought to avail to console and dissipate that sorrow, as joy caused by gains is wont to soothe grief for losses. For we are not pained by the offence of any but only as we either believe or see him to be perishing himself, or made the occasion that some weak one perish. Let then him who comes to us to be admitted, in that he leads us to hope that he may go forward, wipe off the sorrow for him who fails us. Because even if that fear Mat. 23 suggest itself to us, lest our disciple be made a child of Hell, 15, seeing that many such are before our eyes, from whom arise those offences by which we are concerned, this ought not to go to keep us back, but rather to excite us and spur us on, so far forth as we admonish him whom we are instructing, that he shun to follow those who are Christians, not in very truth, but in name only: nor be so moved by their numbers,

Our own sin lightened by charity of catechising. 213 as either to wish to follow them, or to be unwilling to follow »b

• CAtE"

Christ on their account; and either be unwilling to be in CBI.

the Church of God, where they are, or wish to be there suchZANDIS

. . . nuDi

as they are. And, I know not how it is. in admonitions of Bus.

this sort, that discourse is ever more glowing which has fuel furnished it by a present sense of pain; so that, so far are we from being rendered more dull, that this very thing makes us utter with more enkindled and vehement feelings, what in time of greater security we should speak with coldness rather and tardiness; and causes us to rejoice that opportunity is given us, that the feelings of our minds pass not away without bearing fruit.

22. But if for any fault or sin of our own sorrow hath taken possession of us, let us not only remember that ' thep»-51, sacrifice of God is a troubled spirit,' but also that saying, that like as water quencheth fire, so alms sin, and that /Ecclus. will have mercy, says He, rather than sacrifice. As there- Hos. 6, fore, if we were in danger from fire, we should certainly run6to obtain water, that it might be quenched, and should be thankful if one offered it to us near at hand, so if from our own stack any flame of sin hath risen up, and we are thereby troubled, when occasion has been given us for a most charitable work, let us rejoice as if a fountain were offered us, whereby to extinguish the flame which had burst forth. Unless haply we are so foolish, as to believe that we ought to be more ready to run with bread, to fill the belly of him that is hungry, than with the word of God, to instruct the mind of him that eateth it. And there is this further, that, if it would merely benefit us if we did it, and not injure us in any way to leave it undone, we might despise a remedy offered us at an unhappy moment, when now the salvation not of our neighbour, but of ourself, was in danger. But when out of the mouth of the Lord that so threatening voice is heard, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou shouldest Mat.25, give my money to the exchangers; what madness, I pray26'27, you, is it, because our sin torments us, therefore to wish to sin again is not giving the Lord's money to one who wishes and seeks to receive it? When by these and such like thoughts and considerations the mist of irksomeness which overshadows has been dispelled, the attention is fitted to the

214 A specimen to be given. Different speech/or divers cases.

De work of catechizing, so that the hearer pleasantly drinks in CAtE" what bursts forth readily and cheerfully out of the rich fulness Zandis of love. And this it is not so much I that say to you, as

RVDI

BUS.

the love itself says to us all, which hath been shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost Which hath been given us. xv. 23. But perhaps, what before I made any promise I was under no obligation to render, you now demand as a debt, that I consent to unfold and submit to your view some discourse by way of example, as if I were myself catechizing. Now before I do this, I wish you to bear in mind, that the mental effort is other, when one is dictating with a future reader in one's thoughts, than what it is when one is speaking with the presence of a hearer to draw one's attention; and in this latter case again, that it is different when one is admonishing privately, with no other person near to form a judgment of us, from that, when one is teaching openly, surrounded by an auditory of persons who hold very different opinions: then again, when we thus teach, there is a difference whether one is being taught, and the rest stand by as listeners judging or attesting what they well know, or all in common be expecting what we shall set before them; and then again in this very case, whether it be, as it were, a private meeting for the purpose of mutual conference, or the people in silence and attention be looking to an individual to speak from a higher position; and it makes much difference also, when we are thus speaking whether there be few present or many, learned or unlearned, or made up of both; citizens or rustics, or both together, or again, a people mingled of all classes. For it cannot be, but that they affect in different ways the man who has to speak and address them, and that both the discourse which is delivered carries as it were a certain stamp of feature expressive of the feeling of the mind from which it issues, and according to this same difference affects the hearers in different ways, they again in their turn by their very presence affecting each other in different ways. But since we are now speaking of instructing the unlearned, I can testify to you of myself, that I feel differently when T see standing before me to be catechized, an educated man, a dull man, a citizen, a stranger, a rich, poor, private, noble, man, one set in some office of authority, a person of this or Alan's praise not to be soitght. The supposed hearer. 215

that nation, of this or that age or sex, coming from this or De that school, coming from this or that common error, and CHI." accordingly as I feel differently moved, does my discourse Z*ndis set out, advance, and conclude. And because, when all have Bus. a claim on us for the same love, yet is not the same medicine to be used for all; so love itself in like manner is in travail with some, is made weak together with others, some it seeks to edify, others it trembles to cause to offend, to some it stoops, to others it carries itself erect, to some it is gentle, to others severe, to none as an enemy, to all as a mother. And he who has not tried what I say with the same feeling of love, when he sees us, because some little ability bestowed upon us affords pleasure, become known with praise in the mouth of the multitude, hence thinks us happy: but may God, into Whose presence the groaning of them that are in bondage Ps »9 enters, behold our humiliation and labour, and pardon us all itour sins. Wherefore if any thing in us has pleased you, so is.'' as to make you seek from us some directions for your discourse, you would be better able to learn thoroughly by seeing and hearing us when actually so employed, than by reading when we thus dictate.

24. But let us suppose one come to us, who wishes to be xvi. a Christian, one of the class of ordinary persons, yet not a rustic, but a citizen, such of whom you must necessarily meet with many in Carthage, and that, upon being asked whether it be for the sake of any advantage in this present life, or for the sake of that rest which is hoped for after this life, that he desires to become a Christian, he have answered that it is for the sake of rest hereafter, we might perhaps proceed to instruct him in some such address as this: "Thanks be to God, brother: I heartily give you joy, and am glad on your behalf, that in the so great and so dangerous storms of this present world you have come to think on some true and assured safety. For even in this life men endure great labours seeking rest and safety, but through evil lusts find them not. For they seek to rest in things which are unquiet and which abide not, and because as time passes on, these are withdrawn from them and pass away, therefore are they disturbed by fears and griefs, nor suffered to remain at rest. For whether a man seek to rest in riches, he is rendered proud rather than

216 Vanity of earthly honours, riches, and pleasures.

Db secure. See we not how many have lost them on a sudden, CHI." how many also have perished because of them, either

Zandis through desiring to possess them, or through being overcome Bus. and spoiled of them by men more covetous than themselves. And even if they continued with a man through his whole life, and never deserted their lover, yet would he desert them at his death. For what is the life of man, even if he grow to be old? Or, when men wish for old age for themselves, what else do they wish for, but lengthened infirmity? So also the honours of this world, what are they but puff, and emptiness, and peril of falling? For thus says holy Scrip

Isa. 40, ture, All flesh is grass, and the brightness of man as the flower of grass. The grass is withered, the flower fallen, but the ivord qf the Lord abideth for ever. Wherefore he who desires true rest and true happiness, ought to remove his hope from things that are mortal and pass away, and to set it upon the word of God, so that cleaving to that which abides for ever, he also himself may with it abide for ever.

25. "There are also men who neither seek to be rich, nor go about to obtain the vain splendours of the honours of office; but who seek to have their pleasure and rest in places of feasting and fornications, and in theatres and spectacles of frivolity, such as in great cities they have without cost. But so these also either consume in luxury their poor means, and then afterwards through want break out into thefts and burglaries, and some even into open robberies; and so on a sudden are filled with many and great fears, and they who a little before were singing gaily in the tavern, are now dreaming of the wailings of the prison. But so eagerly are their minds set on the games, that they become like unto devils, by their cries exciting men to wound one another, and to have violent conflicts with those who have never harmed them, seeking to gratify thereby a maddened people, and then, if they perceive them to be peaceably-minded, they hate and persecute them, and demand by their cries that they be beaten with clubs, as if they had combined to deceive them, and this iniquity they compel even the Judge, who is the avenger of all iniquity, to commit: but if, on the other hand, they perceive them practising fearful acts of hatred against one another, whether they be what are called Sinta;, or actors

Those truly blessed who become Christians for rest above. 217

or buffoons, or charioteers, or hunters, wretches whom they »b cause to contend and fight, not only men with men, but also CHI." men with beasts: the greater the hatred with which theyZANDIS perceive them to rage one against another, the more they Bus. like them, and are pleased with them, and applaud them when thus set on, and set them on by their very plaudits, the very spectators madly raging one against another, each in behalf of some one, even more than those whose madness they madly are provoking, and in their madness desire to be spectators of. How then can the mind retain the soundness of peace, which thus feeds on strifes and contests? For such as the food is which is taken in, such will be the state of health which is consequent on it. Finally, although frantic joys are not joys, yet let them be what they will, and delight how much soever they may, the boastfulness of riches, and the swelling of honours, the riotous expenditure of the tavern, and the contests of the theatres, the impurity of fornication, and the lust of the baths, all these things one slight fever takes away, and withdraws from men even yet continuing in life all their false happiness: there remains a void and wounded conscience, about to feel that God as a Judge, whom it would not have as a Protector, and to find a stern Lord, in Him whom it would not seek and love as a gracious Father. But thou, in that thou seekest the true rest which is promised to Christians, after this life, shalt even have among the most bitter troubles of this life, taste of its sweetness and pleasantness, if only thou love His commandments, Who hath promised thee that rest. For you will soon feel that the fruits of righteousness are sweeter than those of iniquity, and that a man has more true and pleasant joy in a good conscience in the midst of troubles, than in an evil conscience in the midst of delights, seeing that you have not come to be joined to the Church of God, with the view of seeking any temporal advantage from it.

26. " For there are those who therefore wish to be Chris- xvii. tians either that they may oblige men, from whom they expect temporal advantages; or because they are unwilling to offend those whom they fear. But such are reprobate; and, although for a time the Church bears them, as the threshing-floor the chaff even until the time of winnowing:

218 Heavenly rest must be our aim, not earthly good.

Db such if they amend not themselves, and begin to be ChrisCHI." tians in order to that future eternal rest, shall in the end be Zandis separated. Nor let them flatter themselves, because that in

RUDI

the threshing-floor they may be together with the wheat of Matt.3, God: seeing that they shall not be together with it in the barn, but are designed for the fire which is their due. There are also others of better hope indeed, yet in no less danger; such as already fear God, and do not mock the Christian name, nor enter the Church of God with feigned heart, but who expect happiness in this life, who look to be more happy in earthly things, than those who do not worship God: and therefore when they see certain wicked and impious persons prevailing and excelling in that worldly prosperity, and themselves either in a less degree possessing, or else losing these things, they are disturbed, as if their worship of God were without cause, and readily fall away from the faith.

27. "But he who seeks to become a Christian in order to that eternal blessedness and perpetual rest, which after this life, it is promised, shall be for the Saints, that he go not into fire everlasting with the devil, but enter with Christ

Mat.26,into His everlasting kingdom, he truly is a Christian;

34.41. watchful in every trial, that he be not corrupted by prosperity, and that he be not overcome by adversity; both sober and temperate in the abundance of worldly goods, and strong and patient in tribulations. And such an one will go forward and come at last to such a mind, as to love God more than he fears hell; so that, although God were to say to him, Enjoy the pleasures of the flesh for ever, and sin as much as you can, you shall neither die nor be sent into hell, only you shall not be with Me, he would be greatly afraid, and altogether refuse to sin, not now to avoid falling into that which he once feared, but to avoid offending Him Whom he

l Cor. 2 so loves, in Whom alone is rest, which eye hath not seen,

9- nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man, what God hath prepared for them that love Him.

28. "Concerning which rest Scripture signifies, and is not silent, how that from the beginning of the world, from the

Gen. 2, time that God made the heaven and the earth and all things

1—3* that are in them, in six days He worked, and on the seventh

day rested. For it was in the power of the Omnipotent even God's Rest in His Saints. All things created good. 219

in one moment of time to create all things. For He had De not laboured, that He should require rest, for He spake, and""' they were made; He commanded, and they were created; Zandis but to signify, that after six ages of this present world, in BUS. the seventh age, as though on the seventh day, he will P». 1*6, hereafter rest in His Saints, in that they also will rest in' Him after all the good works, wherein they have served Him, which Himself worketh in them, Who calls them, and charges them, and puts away their past sins, and justifies him who before was ungodly. But as, when they, of His gift, work what is good, He is rightly said Himself to work in them; so when they rest in Him, He is rightly said Himself to rest. For as far as concerns Himself, He, in that He feels not labour, seeks not for cessation. For He created all things by His Word; and His Word is Christ Himself, in Whom the Angels and all the spirits of heaven most pure do rest in holy silence. But man fallen by sin, lost that rest which he possessed in His Godhead, and receives it again in His Manhood: and therefore in due time, when He Himself knew it fitting to be done, He was made Man, and born of a woman. From the flesh assuredly He could receive no defilement, being about rather Himself to cleanse the flesh. His future coming the ancient Saints by the revelation of the Spirit knew and prophesied of: and so were saved by believing that He will come, as we are saved by believing that He is come: that we might love God Who hath so loved us, as to send His only Son, that He, clothed in the humiliation of our mortal nature, might die both by sinners and for sinners. For now long ago from the earliest ages, the depth of this mystery ceases not to be prefigured and prophesied of.

29. " Seeing that Almighty God, Who is both good, and xviii. just, and merciful, Who made all things good, whether they be great or small, whether they be high or low, whether they be the things which are seen, as are the heavens, the earth, and the sea; and in the heavens the sun and the moon and the rest of the stars, and in the earth, and in the sea, trees and plants and animals each after their kind, and all bodies whether celestial or terrestrial; or whether they be the things which are not seen, as are spirits by which bodies are

220 State of Paradise. God's good purpose for man.

11 K fraught with motion and life; He made man also after His

""_" own image, that, as He Himself by His Almighty power rules

ZANmsover the whole creation, so man by his understanding, by

Bus. which also he knows and worships his Maker, might rule over

~ all animals of the earth. And He made woman also as a

helpmate for him, not for carnal concupiscence: since

neither did they then possess corruptible bodies, before that

mortality came upon them as the punishment of sin; but that

both the man might have glory of the woman in going before

her to God, and might be to her an example of sanctity and

piety, as he himself was the glory of God in following His

wisdom.

30. "Therefore he set them in a certain place of perpetual blessedness, which Scripture calls Paradise; and gave them a command, which if they transgressed not, they were to continue ever in that blessedness of immortality; but if they transgressed it, they were to pay the penalties of mortality. God however knew before that they would transgress; but, in that He is the Creator and Author of all good, He the rather created them, seeing that He created beasts also, that He might fill the earth with earthly good things. And assuredly man, even a sinner, is better than the beast; and His command, which they were not about to obey, He the rather gave them, that they might be without excuse, when He began to execute judgment upon them. For whatsoever man doeth, he findcth God in all His doings worthy of praise; if He do well, he findeth Him worthy of praise for His righteous rewards, if he sin, he findeth Him worthy of praise for His righteous punishments; if he confess his sins and return to a right life, he fiudeth Him worthy of praise for His merciful indulgence towards him. Why then should God not create man, although knowing before that he would sin, whom standing firm He might crown, falling correct, arising assist, Himself at all times and in all circumstances glorious in His goodness, justice, clemency? especially in that he foresaw this also, that from the lineage of his mortality there would be born Saints, who should not seek their own, but give glory to their Creator, and being, through the worshipping of Him, freed from all corruption, should merit to live for ever, and to live in blessedness with the holy

Free will a good, and, though abused, turned to good. 221

Angels. For He Who gave to men freedom of choice, that De they might serve God, not, as slaves, of compulsion, but, as C*J*" free men, voluntarily, gave it also to Angels, and therefore Zandis neither did that Angel, who with other spirits his followers in BUS. his pride, deserted the service of God, and became a devil, in any sort harm God, but himself. For God knew how to' rather correct the souls' which deserted Him, and out of their just ^e'Remisery to furnish the inferior parts of His creation with most?TM0'* fitting and suitable laws in His marvellous dispensation, cited at Therefore neither did the devil in any sort harm God, either in the h-e"

J > ginning

that he fell himself, or in that he seduced man to his death; °f this nor did man himself in any sort take away from the truth, orp- 197. power, or blessedness of his Creator, in that, when his wife had been seduced by the devil, he of his own will consented unto her to do that which God had forbidden. For by the most just laws of God all were condemned, God shewing Himself glorious in the justice of His retribution, they being Gen. 2, put to shame by the disgrace of their punishment, that so' both man turning away from his Creator might be subdued and made subject to the devil, and the devil might be set forth for man hereafter returning to his Creator to overcome; in order that whosoever should continue with the devil even to the end, might with him go into eternal punishment; and, on the other hand, whosoever should humble themselves before God, and by His grace overcome the devil, might merit eternal rewards.

31. " Neither ought, this to move us, that many continue xix. with the devil, and few follow God, seeing that the wheat also, in comparison of the chaff, is very much less in number2. 'Butler, But as the husbandman knows what to do with a vast heap art 'j_ of chaff, so is the multitude of sinners nothing in the eye of «• 6God, Who knows what to do with them, so as in no way to disturb and defile the government of His kingdom. Nor must we therefore think that the devil hath prevailed, because he hath taken with him many, that with them he be overcome by a few. Thus two cities, one of the wicked, the other of the Saints, are carried down from the beginning of the human race even to the end of the world; now united in their bodies, but separated in their wills, but in the day of Judgment destined to be separated in their

222 Example of mercy and judgment in the Flood. Its types.

Db bodies also. For all men who love pride and temporal °cm- nile,w1tn varaglorying and pomp of arrogance, and all spirits Zandis wno delight in such things, and seek their own glory in the Bus. having mankind as their subjects, are all found together in one fellowship, nay although they often strive one with another for these things, yet are they cast headlong into the same abyss by like weight of desire, and united to one another by similarity in habits and deserts. And again, all men and all spirits who humbly seek the glory of God, not their own, and religiously follow Him, belong to one fellowship. And yet God is most full of mercy, and is longsuffering with ungodly men, and affords them place for repentance and amendment.

32. " For in that also He destroyed by a flood all men, except one just man and his family, who He willed should be saved by the ark, He knew assuredly that they would not amend themselves; nevertheless, whiles during a hundred years the ark was built, herein certainly was still preached Gen. 6, to them the wrath of God about to come upon them; and if they would return to God, He would spare them, as He spared in after times the city of Nineveh upon its doing Jonah3. penance, when by His Prophet He had foretold their coming destruction. But this God does, granting opportunity for repentance even to them who He knows will go on and continue in their sin, in order by His own example to exercise and instruct us in patience; that we may understand with how great long-suffering we ought to bear with the bad, seeing that we know not what kind of men they will hereafter be, since He spares them and suffers them to live, from Whom nothing future is hidden. And yet further in that Sacrament of the Flood, wherein the just were delivered by the Wood, the future Church was prophesied of, which Christ its King and God hath by the mystery of His Cross upheld and kept from the drowning of this world. For God was not ignorant, that even from them who had been preserved in the ark, evil men would be born, who should a second time fill the face of the earth with their iniquities, yet notwithstanding He both set forth a pattern of the future Judgment, and foretold the setting free of His Saints by the Sacrament of the Wood. For even after these things evil Sainls sought heavenly things, common Jews earthly. 223

ceased not to spring up again through pride and lusts and Ds unlawful impieties, when men having deserted their Creator, CHI. not only fell as low as the creature which God had created, ZANDI»

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so as to worship in the place of God that which God had Bus. made; but they also bowed down their souls even to the works of men's hands, and to the devices of craftsmen, that herein the devil and evil spirits might triumph over them more shamefully, who take pleasure in that themselves in such vain devices receive adoration and worship, feeding their own errors by the errors of mankind.

33. "Nor were there wanting then just men, such as sought God devoutly and overcame the pride of the devil, citizens of that holy City, whom the coming humiliation of their King Christ, revealed to them by the Spirit, healed. From among whom Abraham the devout and faithful servant of God was chosen, that to him should be shewed the Sacrament of the Son of God, that so in following his faith, all the faithful of all nations might be called in future ages his children. From him was born a People who should worship the One true God, Who made heaven and earth, at a time when all other nations served idols and demons. And manifestly in this People was the future Church much more clearly prefigured. For in it there was a multitude who were carnal, and who worshipped God in order to obtain blessings such as may be seen; but in it also there were a few, whose thoughts were of a future rest, their desires set on a heavenly country, to whom was revealed in prophecy the future humiliation of God, our King and Lord Jesus Christ, in order that by that faith they might be healed from all pride and haughtiness. But of these Saints, who lived before the time of the birth of our Lord, not only their discourse, but their life also, their marriages, their sons, their actions, were a prophecy of this present time, in which through faith in the Passion of Christ, the Church is gathered together from among the nations. By the hands of those holy Patriarchs and Prophets were ministered to the carnal People of Israel, who afterwards were called Jews, both these visible blessings which they carnally desired of the Lord, and such chastisements of punishments for the body as might for a time affright them, as was fitting 224 Salvation through Christ before He came. Types.

Db for their hardness of heart. And yet, in all these, spiritual Chi-" mysteries were signified, such as related to Christ and His Zandis Church; of which Church these very Saints also were Bus. members, although in this life they were before that Christ our Lord was born according to the flesh. For He Himself, the only-begotten Son of God, The Word of the Father, equal and coeternal with the Father, by Whom all things were made, was made Man for us, that of the Church, as of the whole body, He might be the Head. But as at the time of the birth of the whole man, although the hand be put forth first in the birth, yet is it united and joined together with the whole body under the bead, as certain also among the Patriarchs themselves, to signify this very thing, were Gen.25,born when the hand had been sent forth first: so all the 27I-30.' Saints who were upon earth before the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, although born before, yet to that one Body, of which He is the Head, they were united under the Head. xx. 34. "This People then having gone down into Egypt were in subjection to a very cruel King; and taught by their grievous labours, sought for God to be their Deliverer; and there was sent unto them one from among the people themselves, God's holy servant Moses, who in the might of God terrifying by miracles the then ungodly nation of the Egyptians, led out thence the People of God through the Red Sea, where the water divided and made a way for them to pass through; but when the Egyptians pursued them, the waters returned upon them, and overwhelmed them, and they perished. So, in like manner as by the flood the earth by water was cleansed from the wickedness of sinners, who were then in that overflowing of waters blotted out, aud the Just escaped by the Wood: so when the People of God went out of Egypt, they found a path through the very waters by which their enemies were swallowed up. Nor was the Sacrament of the Wood wanting there also. For Moses smote with a rod, that so that miracle might come to pass. Now both these things are a sign of holy Baptism, in which the faithful pass into a new life, and their sins, as it were their enemies, are blotted out and die. But more openly was the Passion of Christ prefigured among that People, in that they were commanded to slay and eat a

The Law given the Jews us carnal. Signs ofh igher Truth. 225

lamb, and with part of his blood to mark their door-posts, »b and to celebrate this every year, and to call it the Lord's cni." Passover. Surely most clearly does prophecy say of our ZANDIs Lord Jesus Christ, that, He was led as a lamb to the Bcs. slaughter. With the Sign of Whose Passion and of Whose la0;t,7Cross thou art to-day to be signed in thy forehead, as on the door-post, and all Christian people are thus signed.

35. "After this, that People were led during forty years Numb. through the Wilderness; they also received the Law written De'ut.2'9 by the Finger of God, by which word the Holy Spirit is^; signified, as is most clearly shewn in the Gospel. For God24, I2; is not limited by any bodily form, nor are we to conceive of yiv1?', parts and fingers in Him in the same manner as we sec 20. them in ourselves; but because through the Holy Spirit . God's gifts are divided to the Saints, in order that, being endued with different powers they yet may not separate from the bond of love, and that in fingers especially is seen a certain division, and yet no cutting off from unity; whether

it be for this, or for whatsoever other cause, the Holy Ghost is called the Finger of God, yet must we not, when we hear this, have in our thoughts the form of a human body. This People, then,received the Law written by the Finger of God, and that in tables of stone, to signify the hardness of their hearts, in that, they were not about to fulfil the Law; seeing that through desiring temporal gifts at the hand of the Lord, they were held by carnal fear rather than by spiritual love; but the Law, nothing save charity can fulfil. Therefore were they laden with many visible sacraments, that so they might be weighed down by a servile yoke, in observances of meats; and in sacrifices of animals, and numberless other things; which yet were signs of spiritual things relating to Out Lord Jesus Christ and the Church; which at that time a few Saints both understood so as to gain from them the fruit of salvation, and observed as was suited to the times, whereas the multitude of carnal men merely observed, and did not understand them.

36. " Thus through many and various signs of future things, all which things it would take time to mention, and which we now see fulfilled in the Church, that People were led to the Land of Promise, wherein to reign after a temporal

Q

2*26 King David a type of Christ; Babylon, of the world.

Br and carnal fashion according as was their desire; which Chi- ve,T earthly kingdom notwithstanding bore an image of an

Zandis heavenly Kingdom. There was built Jerusalem, that most Bus. famous City of God, serving in bondage as a sign of that

Gal. 4, free City which is called the Heavenly Jerusalem, which is

25 2U .

a Hebrew word, and by interpretation the 'Vision of Peace.'

The citizens of which are all sanctified men, who have been,

and who are, and who hereafter shall be; and all sanctified

spirits, even all whosoever iii the highest heavens obey God

with godly devotion, and follow not the impious pride of the

devil and his angels. The King of this City is our Lord

Jesus Christ, the Word of God, by Whom the highest Angels

are ruled, and the Word taking to Himself Man, that by Him

men also might be ruled, who all together with Him shall

reign in eternal peace. To prefigure this King in that

earthly kingdom of the people of Israel king David was

especially set forth, of whose seed according to the flesh

should come our very and true King, the Lord Jesus Christ,

ltom. 9, Who is ocer all, God blessed for ever. Many things in that

d' Land of Promise were done to be a figure of Christ Who