This treatise must have been written A. D. 396 or 397, as it occurs in the 3d place in the 2d book of his Retractations, amongst his earliest works in the office of Bishop, which lie received late in 395. In cap. 29, where he urges as a reason for not joining the Donatists, that as Donatus had tried to divide Christ, so was he himself divided by the frequent subdividing of his party, he yet does not mention the reception ofPra?textatus and Felicianus by the Donatists, after they had been expelled by him for their crimes by the well-known scntenoe of the Council of Uagaia. Now this reception took place about the beginning of 397.
The book is entitled ' on the Christian Conflict,' as instructing Christians for their warfare with the devil. The invisible enemy, he teaches, is to be overcome by right faith and good practice. Hence he begins by warning us to fight against our desires, and bring our body into subjection, and make ourselves subject to God. Then since we begin to be subject to God by Faith, he exhorts us to hold the Rule of the Catholic Faith, rejecting the contrary heresies, mentioning several sects, but especially aiming at the Manichees, as in the first part he refutes their notion of the Race of darkness fighting against God, and in the latter part defends against their ridicule the simplicity of the Christian Faith. It is mentioned by the Senator Cassiodorus in his book 'De institutione Divinarum Literarum,' c. 16, as ' most needful to those who have trodden the world underfoot, and labour in the Christian contest.' Ab.from Ben.
Retr. ii. §. 3. ' My book on the Christian conflict was written in a humble style for brethren not learned in the Latin tongue. It contains the Rule of Faith and precepts of life. In which the statement, " Neither c. 32. let us hear those who deny that there will be a resurrection of the body, and allege what the Apostle Paul says, Flesh and blood shall not inherit
160 The Word took Flesh, in It to overcome Satan.
the kingdom of God; not understanding what the same Apostle says, This corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality; for when this is done, it will be no more flesh and blood, but a celestial body;" is not to be understood as though there should be no substance of flesh; but by the name of flesh and blood the Apostle is to be understood to have meant the very corruption of flesh and blood, which will assuredly be no more in that kingdom where the flesh will be incorruptible. Though it may also be otherwise understood, taking the Apostle to have called the works of flesh and blood, flesh and blood, and meant that those who persevered in loving these should not inherit the kingdom of God. The book begins, " A crown of victory."
Db 1. A Crown of victory is not promised, save to them who
cams- strive. But in the divine Scriptures we constantly find a tIAN0- crown promised to us, if we shall have orercome. But, not to mention many places, which were tedious; in the Apostle 2Tim.6, Paul we most clearly read, / have accomplished my work \ 1Gr.and I have finished my course, I have kept the faith; there now E. V. remaineth for me a crown of righteousness. We ought then fought to understand who is that very adversary, whom if we shall ^^oorfhave overcome, we shall be crowned. For it is he himself and so whom our Lord hath overcome before us, that we also abiding u 8" in Him may overcome. And certainly the Power and Wisdom of God, and the Word by whom all things were made, Who is the Only Son of God, continueth ever unchangeable above every creature. And seeing that beneath Him is even that creature which hath not sinned, how much more beneath Him is every creature that sinneth? Wherefore seeing that beneath Him are all the holy Angels, much more beneath Him are all angels who are transgressors, whereof the devil is chief. But because he had deceived our nature, the Onlybegotten Son of God deigned to take upon Him that our very nature, that of that very nature the devil might be overcome, and that He might make him, whom He Himself hath ever beneath Him, to be beneath us also. He it is whom He Johni2, signifieth, when He saith, Tlie prince of this world is cast out. 31, Not that he was cast out beyond the world, as some heretics suppose, but out from the souls of those who adhere to the Word of God, and love not the world whereof he is prince: because he ruleth over them who love temporal goods, which Satan's rule is through hint. He devours sinners. 161
are contained in this visible world: not because he is himself »b the Lord of this world, but the prince of those lusts whereby CHRiSevery thing that passeth away is lusted after; so that they TTMTM°are subject to him, who neglect the everlasting God, and love things which change and have no abiding. For the l Tim.
root of all evils is lust; which certain coveting after, have' erred from the faith, and have brought themselves into many sorrows. Through this lust the devil reigns in man, and keeps possession of his heart. Such are all those who love this world. But the devil is cast out, when with the whole heart renunciation is made of this world. For thus renunciation is made of the devil, who is the prince of this world, when renunciation is made of his seductions, his pomps, and his angels. And therefore the Lord Himself, bearing man's nature even now trinmphant, says, Know ye, that I have Johni6, overcome the world.
2. But many say, How can we overcome the devil whom ii. we see not? But we have a Master, Who hath deigned to shew us, how invisible enemies may be overcome. For con- Col. 2, cerning Him saith the Apostle; Unclothing Himself oj'flesh1, i t'aking He made a show of principalities and powers, confidently *he ®r. triumphing over them in Himself. There therefore are over- reflex, come the invisible powers hostile to us, where are overcome the invisible lusts: and therefore because within ourselves we overcome the lusts of temporal things, of necessity within ourselves also must we overcome him, who through those very lusts reigneth in man. For when it was said to the devil, earth shalt thou feed on; it was said to the sinner, earth art thou, and into earth shalt thou ao. Wherefore the Gen. 3,
. 14. 19
sinner was given as food unto the devil. Let us not be earth, if we would not be fed on by the serpent. For as that which we feed on we turn into our own body, so that the very food according to the body is made that which we ourselves are: thus by evil habits through wickedness, and pride, and impiety, each one is made that which the devil is, that is, like him; and is made subject to him, as our own body is subject unto us. And this is that which is said,' To be fed on9 by the serpent.' Whosoever therefore fears that fire'manduwhich is prepared for the devil and his angels, let him take jJarkV, good heed that he triumph over him within himself. For **•
162 Kingdom of Darkness not eoeternal with God.
De those who assault us without, we overcome within, by over
J°TM coming the lusts whereby they rule over us. And those
tiaNo. whom they shall find like unto themselves, they drag with
them into punishment.
iii. 3. Thus also the Apostle says, that within himself he
Eph. 6» warrcth against powers without. For he so speaks, We have
not to wrestle against flesh and blood, but against princes
and powers of this world, the rulers of this darkness, against
spiritual things of wickedness in heavenly places. For the
name of heaven is given also to this air, wherein winds and
clouds and storms and whirlwinds have place; as also
Ps. 18, Scripture saith in many places, and the Lord thundered
Ps' 8 8 frwn heaven; and birds of heaven, and fowls of heaven,
Mat. 6, when it is clear that the birds fly in the air. And we also
26 L'1t *
'are in the habit of calling this air heaven; for when we inquire whether it be clear or cloudy, we say at times, How is the air? at times, How is the heaven? I have noticed this, that no one may think that the evil demons dwell there
i al. and where God hath set in their order the sun and moon as1 stars. Which evil demons the Apostle therefore calls spiritual, because in the divine Scriptures even evil angels are called spirits. But therefore doth he call them the rulers of this darkness, because he calls sinful men darkness, over whom
Eph. 5, these rule. Therefore also in another place he says, For ye were sometime darkness, but now light in the Lord: because from being sinners they had been justified. Let us not therefore suppose that the devil with his angels dwells in the highest heaven, whence wc believe him to have fallen, iv. 4. For such has been the error of the Manichees, who assert, that before the world was framed there existed a nation of darkness, which was in rebellion against God; and in this war the wretched men believe that the Almighty God could in no other way succour Himself, save only by sending a portion of Himself against them. And, as these state, the princes of this nation ate up a portion of God, and were attempered so as that of them the world might be formed. Thus they assert that God attained unto the victory with great losses and tortures and miseries of His own members; which members they assert were mixed up with the dark entrails of those princes, in order to attemper them, and Nor is Ood, or a part of Him, involved in it. 163
restrain them from their fury. And they understand not De that so sacrilegious is their sect, as to believe that that CHKIS. whereby Almighty God warred with darkness was not a tIAN0created being which He made, but His own very Nature; which thing it is impious to believe. Nor merely this, but further also, that those who were conquered were made better, in that their fury were restrained, but that God's Nature which conquered was made most miserable. Also they assert that it by its very admixture lost its proper understanding and happiness, and became entangled in great errors and losses. Now, even if they should assert that at some time or other, this Nature were cleansed, even the whole of it, yet would they affirm what is a great impiety against Almighty God, in believing a part of Him to have been so long time tost to and fro in errors and pains without any charge of offence. But, as it is, the unhappy men dare yet further to assert, that neither can the whole be cleansed; and that that very part, which cannot be cleansed, makes progress towards a chain, that so it may be bound, and tied into a grave of wickedness*; and that thus there be even there the very portion of God miserable, (albeit it hath never sinned,) and be evil entreated for ever in'' the prisonhouse of darkness. Thus these affirm, in order to deceive simple souls. But who is there so simple, as not to perceive that these things are impious, wherein they affirm that Almighty God hath been overcome by necessity, so as to give up a part of Himself, good and innocent, to be overwhelmed with so great losses, and denied by so great impurity, and to be unable to set the whole free; and that, which He could not set free, to bind with everlasting chains. Who then but must execrate these things? Who but must perceive them to be impious and not to be uttered? But when those men seek to carry others away with them; these are not the first things which they affirm; for if they affirmed these, all men would mock them or flee from them: but they choose out certain passages from the Scriptures, which simple men do not understand; and by means of these deceive souls unused to them, inquiring, ' Whence is evil? As is their wont to do
* So Ben. sepulcro. MSS. ' sepal- wickedness may be enrolled and bound.' chram,' * that therewith the grave of b al. ' fastened for ever unto.'
164 We, in a heavenly calling, strive with powers of the air.
De in that passage, where the Apostle writes, Rulers of this
Chris* darkness, and spiritual things of wickedness in heavenly
Tiano. places. For those deceivers inquire, and ask of one who
Eph. 6, understands not the divine Scriptures, How it comes to pass
that there are in Heaven rulers of darkness? in order that,
when he shall be unable to answer, he may be seduced by
them through curiosity; for every unlearned soul is curious.
But he who hath learnt well the Catholic Faith, and is fortified
by right habits and true piety, although he be ignorant of
their heresy, yet answers them. For neither can he be
deceived who already knoweth what pertains to the Christian
Faith, which is called Catholic, spread abroad over the
whole world, and against all impious men and sinners, yea
and against those of her own who neglect her, by the
governance of the Lord, secure.
v. 5. Since then we were saying that the Apostle Paul had
said that we have to wrestle against rulers of darkness, and
spiritual things of wickedness in heavenly places, and have
shewn that that very air which is nearest the earth is called
Heaven: we ought to believe that we are striving against the
devil and his angels, who rejoice in our being disturbed.
For the Apostle himself also in another place calls the devil
Eph. 2, the prince of the power of this air. Although that place,
in which he says, Spiritual things of wickedness in heavenly
places, may also be understood in another manner, as that
he said, not that the offending Angels themselves are in
heavenly places, but rather ourselves, of whom in another
Phil. 8, place he affirms, Our conversation is in Heaven, that we, The body to be subdued, lest God justly punish it. 105
being settled in heavenly places, that is, walking in the spiritual commandments of God, may strive against spiritual things of wickedness, who labour to withdraw us thence. That therefore is rather the question, in what manner we may be enabled to fight against, and overcome those whom we see not; that fools think not that we have to fight against the air. vi. 6. Therefore the Apostle himself teaches us, saying,
l Cor.9, jf0t so fight I, as beating the air; but I chasten my body,and bring it into subjection, lest haply, preaching unto
i Cor. others, I myself be found a reprobate. Also he says; Be ye '' followers of me, as I also of Christ. Wherefore we are to
understand that the Apostle also himself in himself trinmphed Da over the powers of this world, as he had asserted of the *°TM* Lord, of Whom he professes himself to be follower. There- Tiano. fore let us also follow him, as he exhorts us, and let us^TMchasten our body, and reduce it unto subjection, if we Col.3,5. would overcome the world. Forasmuch as by means of its unlawful delights, and pomps, and deadly curiosity, this world may have rule over us, that is, those things which are in this world by the destructive delight which they minister bind captive the lovers of things temporal, and compel them to serve the devil and his angels; wherefore, if we have renounced these, let us reduce our body unto subjection.
7. But, in order that we have not this very question put to vii.
us, how it is brought to pass, that we submit our bodies unto
subjection: it may easily be understood and done, if we
first subject ourselves to God, with a good will, and sincere
love. For every created being, whether he will it, or not, is
made subject to his one God and Lord. But this we are
admonished, that with our whole will we serve the Lord our
God. Seeing that the just man serves as a freeman, the
unjust in fetters. Yet do all serve the Divine Providence:
but the one obey as sons, and with It do what is good; the
other are bound as slaves, and there is done of them what is
just. Thus Almighty God, the Lord of the whole creation,
Who made all things, as it is written, very good, hath so Sen. i,
appointed them, as both of the good and of the evil to doS1
well. For that which is done justly, is done well. But
justly are the good blessed, and justly do the evil suffer
punishment. Wherefore both of the good and of the evil
God doeth well, seeing that justly He doeth all things. But
they are good, who with their whole will serve God; but the
evil serve of necessity; for no one escapes the laws of the
Almighty. But it is one thing to do what the law commands,
another, to suffer what the law commands. Wherefore it is
according to the laws that the good do, according to the
laws the evil suffer.
8. Nor let it move us, that, in this life, according to the flesh which they bear, the first suffer many things grievous and harsh. For no ill do they suffer, who can already say that wherein that spiritual man the Apostle exults and pro166 Body of the righteous to be changed. Wages of sin.
De claims, saying, But we glory in tribulations; knotting thai Chri* tribulation uorketh patience, and patience experience*, and tiaNo. experience hope, and hope confoundeth not: because the J^?'5' love of God hath been shed abroad in our hearts, through 'Lat. the Holy Spirit, who hath been given unto us. If therewoo/: fore in this life* wherein are so great torments, good and just men are enabled, when suffering such things, not only to endure thein with equanimity, but also to glory in the love of God; what ought we to think of that life, which is promised to us, wherein we shall feel no annoyance from the body? Inasmuch as the body of the just will not rise again for that, whereunto will rise again the body of the ungodly: l Cor. as it is written, We shall all rise again, but we shall not 52'. 'all be changed. And, that no one may think that that not to the just that change is promised, but rather to the unjust, and may think it to be penal, he goes on and says, And the dead shall rise again incorrupt, and we shall be changed. "ordi-Whosoever therefore are evil, have been thus placed*; because both doth each one injure himself, and all injure one another. For they desire that, the love of which is fraught with death, and which may easily be taken away from them; and this they take away one from another, when they persecute one another. And so they, from whom things temporal are taken away, are greatly pained, because of their love of them: but they who take them away, rejoice. But such joy is blindness and supreme misery: for this very joy involves the soul the more, and leads it unto greater torments. For the fish also rejoices, when, not seeing the hook, it swallows the bait. But, when the fisher hath begun to draw it unto himself, its entrails are tormented first; next, from all its joy, by means of that very bait wherein it joyed, it is dragged unto destruction. In such like condition are all, who think themselves blessed by reason of temporal goods; for they have received a hook, and with it they 3< sibi wander their own way8: a time will come, for them to perturb"1* ceive how great torments they have greedily swallowed. And therefore not at all do they injure the good; seeing that they take from them this which they love not: for that which they love, and whence they are blessed, no one can take away from them. But bodily torture miserably afflicts God governs through the wills of His creatures. 167
evil souls, but the good it strongly cleanses. Thus is it De brought to pass, that both the evil man and the evil angel cu°n\s. serve under the Divine Providence; yet know not what good tIAN0God worketh of them. Therefore not according to their deserts of service, but according to their deserts of sin, do they receive wages.
9. But, as these souls, which possess a will whereby to viii. injure, and reason whereby to reflect, have been set in place under the divine laws, that each man suffer not any thing unjust; so all things, both those which have souls and those which have bodies, in their own kind and in their own order,
are set under the laws of Divine Providence, and are so governed. Therefore the Lord saith, Are not two sparrows Mat. 10, sold for a farthing1, and one of them falleth not to //<eia'„e ground without the will of your Father. For this He spake, willing to shew that whatsoever men esteem to be of least value, is governed by the Almighty Power of God. For thus, that both the fowls of the Heaven are fed by Him, and M»t. 6,
7 * 26 30.
the lilies of the field clothed by Him, the Truth spcakctb, Which saith that even our hairs arc numbered. But since Mat. 10,
pure* reasonable souls God Himself by Himself taketh carej^u1i. of, whether it be in His most good and great Angels, or indasmen who serve Him with their whole will; and all other things He governs by their means; most truly could that also" be said by the Apostle, For not for oxen hath God care, i Cor.9, For in the Holy Scriptures God teaches men how to act in9their doings with men, and how to serve God Himself; but how to act in their doings with their cattle, they know of themselves, that is, how to administer the well-being of their own cattle, by use, and experience, and natural reason; all which things indeed they have received out of the great riches of their Creator. Whoever therefore can understand how God the Creator of the whole creation governs it by means of holy souls, who are His ministers in the Heavens and in the earth; because both the holy souls were themselves created by Him, and in His creation hold the first place: whosoever therefore can understand, let him under-Mat.25, stand, and let him enter into the joy of his Lord.
10. But, if this we cannot, so long as we are in the body, ix. and are absent from the Lord, let us at least taste how|Cor'B' 168 Fulness oflhe Spirit. Man changed by grace or sin.
Be sweet the Lord is, Who hath given unto us as a pledge the Chris- Spirit, that in Him we may perceive His sweetness: and tIAN'0- may long for the fount of life Itself, that therein with a 2Cor.'i 'sober inebriation we may be overflowed and watered, like 22- the tree which is planted by the water-courses, and giveth Ps. i, 3. fruit in its season, and its leaves shall not fall off. For the Pe. 36, Holy Spirit saith, Bui the sons of men, beneath the covering of Thy wings shall they hope; they shall be made drunken with the fatness of Thy House, and of the full river of Thy pleasure shalt Thou wake them to drink. For with Thee is the Fount of Life. Such drunkenness overthroweth not the mind, and yet carryeth it by force upward, and causeth a forgetfulness of all earthly things: but only provided we can rs.42,i. already say with entire affection, Like as the hart longeth -unto the founts of waters, so longeth my soul unto Thee, O God. *" 11. But if haply as yet, by reason of the sicknesses of the
soul, which from the love of the world it hath contracted, we are unable even to taste how sweet the Lord is; let us however believe the divine testimony, which He hath willed Rom. i, should be in the Holy Scriptures concerning His Son, Who was made unto Him of the seed of David according to the flesh; as the Apostle speaks. For all things were made by John 1, Him, as in the Gospel it is written, and without Him was nothing made. Who had compassion on our weakness, which weakness not by work of His, but by our own will Wiad.2, we have deservedly gotten. For God created man not liable to be destroyed, and gave unto him the free choice of will. For he would not be most excellent, were he to obey the commands of God of necessity, not of his own will. It is altogether an easy thing, as far as I suppose, which they are unwilling to believe, who have deserted the Catholic Faith, and wish to be called Christians. For whereas they confess with us, that our nature is not healed except by acting aright; they must confess that it is not weakened except by sinning. And therefore it is not to be believed that our soul is this same thing which God is; for if it were this, neither by its own will, nor by any necessity whatever would it suffer change for the worse; forasmuch as God is understood to be in every way unchangeable, by those,
The perverse find fault with Christ's humiliation. 169
however, who do not in contention and rivalry and desire of Db vain glory love to speak of that of which they know not, but Chbisein Christian humility have thoughts concerning God in good- Tiawo. ness, and in simplicity of heart seek Him. This weakness ^Iad-1, therefore of ours the Son of God deigned to take upon Himself, and The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among John i, us; not because that Eternity was changed, but because unto men's eyes that are subject to change, a Creature subject to change He shewed, Which in unchangeable majesty He took upon Himself.
12. But there are fools who say, Could not the Wisdom xi. of God any otherwise set men free, than by taking man's nature1 upon Him, and being born of a woman, and suffering all those things at the hands of sinners? To whom we say, He could assuredly, but were He to do it in other manner, He would in like manner be displeasing unto your folly. For were He not to appear unto the eyes of sinners, assuredly His eternal light, which is seen through the inner eyes, would not be able to be seen by polluted minds. But now because He hath deigned in a visible form to admonish us, that He may prepare us for things invisible, He is displeasing unto the covetous, because He had not a body of gold: He is displeasing unto the unchaste, because He was born of a woman; (for the unchaste hate greatly, that women conceive and bear children;) He is displeasing unto the proud, because He most patiently endured insults. He is displeasing to them of soft lives, because He was put to the torture of the Cross*; He is displeasing to the fearful,3 crocibecause He died. And, in order that they may not seem to defend their own vices, they say that this is displeasing to them, not in a man, but in the Son of God. For they understand not what is the Eternity of God, Which assumed to Itself human nature, and what that very human creature which by the changes which it underwent was being recalled unto its ancient stedfastness, that so we might learn, by the teaching of the Lord Himself, that the weaknesses, which by committing sin we have gathered around us, can by acting aright be healed. For it was to be shewn unto us, unto what frailty man by his own fault had arrived, and out of what frailty by the Divine help he is set free. Therefore the Son
l 70 Manhood of Christ a remedy suited to all.
»b of God assumed unto Himself Man, and therein suffered the Chbis^ things which belong unto man. This Medicine for men is Tiano. so great, as that thought cannot reach unto it. For what pride can be healed, if it be not healed by the humiliation of the Son of God? What covetousness can be healed, if it be not healed by the poverty of the Son of God? What wrath can be healed, if it be not healed by the long-suffering of the Son of God? What ungodliness can be healed, if it be not healed by the love of the Son of God? Finally, what fearfulness can be healed, if it be not healed by the Resurrection of the Body of Christ the Lord? Let the race of man lift up its hope, and learn to know its own nature; let it see how great a place it has in the works of God. Despise not yourselves, ye men; the Son of God took upon Him the nature of a man. Despise not yourselves, ye women; the Son of God was born of a woman. Yet love not the things of the flesh. For in the Son of God are we Gal. 3, neither male nor female. Love not the things of time; for if it were well to love them, the Manhood' which the Son of God took upon Himself, would love them. All this exhortation, which is now every where preached, every where reverently received, which heals every soul that obeys, would not be in human affairs, unless all those things had been done, at which men most foolish are displeased. Whom doth corrupt boasting deign to imitate, that so it may be led unto the partaking of virtue, if it blush to imitate Him, of Whom, before yet He was born, it was said, that Luke i, He shall be called the Son of the Most High, and Who now, 32, throughout all nations, (as no one can deny,) is called the Son of the Most High? If we think much of ourselves, let us deign to imitate Him, Who is called the Son of the Most High: if we think little of ourselves, let us dare to follow fishermen and publicans, who followed Him. O Medicine, that provideth for all, that restraineth all swelling things, that restoreth all things that are wasting away, that cutteth off all things needless, and guardeth all things needful, that re
» ' Homo.' It has been thought tractations a phrase ol'like appearance,
well to translate this' Manhood' rather in his commentary on the Psalms,
than ' Man,' where it might otherwise But the Latin idiom will bear it better
bear the appearance of a distinct per- than English, sonnliry. St. Aug. corrects in his Re
neweth all things that be lost, and correcteth all things that De be amiss. Who now shall set himself up against the Son of Jg°"* God? Who despair of himself, for whom the Son of God Tiano. willed to be made so low? Who shall judge a blessed life to stand in those things, which the Son of God hath taught us are to be despised? To what adversities shall he give way, who believes that man's nature in so great persecutions was guarded in [the Person of] the Son of God? Who shall think that the kingdom of God is shut against him, who understands that publicans and harlots followed the Son of God? From what going astray shall not he be free, who looks into and loves and follows the actions and sayings of that Manhood1, wherein the Son of God rendered Himself' homiunto us as an eusample of life? n'a
13. Therefore already both males and females, aud every xii. age, and every rank of this world, hath been moved unto the hope of eternal life. Some, neglecting temporal goods, fly together unto divine. Others yield to the excellencies of those who thus act, and praise what they dare not follow. But some
few yet murmur, and are tormented with fruitless envy; either they who seek their own things in the Church, although they seem Catholics, or heretics seeking glory from the very name of Christ, or Jews desiring to defend the sin of their ungodliness, or Pagans fearing to lose their overcuriousness of vain licence*. But the Church Catholic,«oneMa. throughout the whole world far and wide spread abroad, in j former times breaking in pieces their assaults, hath been more and more strengthened; not by resisting, but by longsuffering. But now these crafty questions by her faith she mocks at, by her diligence she dispels, by her understanding she unravels: them who charge her chaff she heeds not; for the time of harvest, and the time of the threshing-floors, and the time of the garners she cautiously and carefully distinguishes: but them who charge her wheat, she either corrects, if in error, or if through envy, counts among the thorns and tares.
14. Therefore let us subject the soul to God, if we would xiii. subject our body unto obedience, and trinmph over the devil. It is Faith which first bows down the soul to God; next precepts concerning life, by observing which our hope
is strengthened, and our love nourished, and that begins to
172 Purity of heart needed to see the Trinity in Unity.
Db beam on the sight, which before was only believed. For, Chris^ whereas knowledge and action make a man blessed; as in Tiano. knowledge we must shun error, so in action must we shun wickedness. But he is in error, whosoever supposes that he can know truth, whilst as yet he is living wickedly. But it is wickedness to love this world, and to esteem as great, those things which are born and pass away; and to lust after these things, and to labour for them, in order to acquire them ; and to rejoice, when they are abundant; and to fear, lest they perish; and to be rendered sad, when they perish. Such a life cannot see That pure, and undefiled, and unchangeable Truth, and cleave unto It, and for ever now no more be moved. Therefore before our mind be cleansed, we ought to believe what we are not yet able to understand; LXX9 s'nce ni0St truly is it said by the Prophet, Unless ye shall believe, ye shall not understand.
15. Tn very few words is the Faith delivered in the Church, and in it are set forth things eternal, which cannot as yet be understood by carnal men; and temporal things, past and future, which the Eternity of the Divine Providence hath accomplished, and will hereafter accomplish, for man's salvation. Let us therefore believe in the Father, and in the Son, and in the Holy Ghost: these things are eternal and unchangeable, that is, One God, of one Substance a fiOI36 trinity eternal; God of Whom are all things, through
Whom are all things, in Whom are all things. xiv. 16. Nor let us listen to them who say that there is only the Father, and that He has not a Son, and that there is not with Him the Holy Ghost; but that the Father Himself is called, at times the Son, at times the Holy Ghost. For such are ignorant of the Beginning, of Whom are all things, and of His Image, through Whom are all things, and of His Holiness, in Whom are all things set in order. xv- 17. Nor let us listen to them who arc indignant and angry, because we say that there are not three Gods to be worshipped. For they are ignorant what one and the same Substance is; and are mocked by their own phantasms, because they are wont to see after a bodily manner, either three animals, or any three bodies whatsoever, to be set in their places apart one from the other; in this sense they think that they are to understand the Substance of God;
Eternal Generation mysterious. Heresy carnal. 173
and are much in error, because they are proud; and are D■ unable to learn, because they are unwilling to believe. Chrv*.
18. Nor let us listen to them who say that the Father alone is Tiano. True God and Eternal; but that the Son was not Begotten xvi. of Him, but made by Him out of nothing, and that there was
a time when He was not, and yet notwithstanding that He hath the first place in all creation'; and that the Holy Ghost1 'inomis of less Majesty than the Son, and was Himself made after turaT*" the Son; and that of These Three there are different sub-Col. i, stances, just as gold, and silver, and brass. But Ihey know 6' not what they say, and of those things which they are wont to see through the eyes of the flesh they transfer vain images unto their disputations. Forasmuch as in reality it is a great thing to behold with the mind a Generation, which takes not place from any time, but which is eternal; and that very Love and Holiness, whereby the Begetter and the Begotten are in an unspeakable manner joined together; it is a great and difficult thing to behold these things with the mind, even although it be at peace and still. It cannot therefore be that they should see these things, who look too much to earthly generations, and unto that darkness add further the smoke which they unceasingly cause to arise unto themselves by their daily strifes and contentions; having souls flowing abroad in carnal affections, as logs of wood saturated with moisture, in which the fire vomits forth smoke alone, and cannot have bright flames. And this indeed may most rightly be said concerning all heretics.
19. Believing therefore in the Unchangeable Trinity, let us xvii. believe also in the Dispensation in time for the salvation
of the human race. Nor let us listen to them who say that the Son of God, Jesus Christ, is none other than Man, yet so righteous as to be worthy of being called the Son of God. For these also the discipline of the Church Catholic hath cast forth; forasmuch as, being deceived by a desire of vain glory, they have willed to contend in a spirit of strife, before that they understood what is the Power of God, and\Cor.i, the Wisdom of God, and in the beginning the Word, through^4Whom all things were made, and how the Word was made \°£\i. flesh, and dwell among us.
20. Nor let us listen to them who say that the Son of God xviii.
174 ChrisVs Manhood real in body, soul, and spirit.
db took not upon Him true Man, neither was born of a woman, Chris- but shewed unto them that beheld Him an unreal flesh and a tIAN0- feigned image. For they know not how the Substance of God administering the whole Creation is altogether incapable of being polluted: and yet they profess that that sun which we see scatters its rays through all dregs and filth in bodies, and preserves those rays every where clean and pure. Seeing therefore clean things which are seen can be touched by unclean things which are seen, and yet not be polluted; how much more the Unseen and Unchangeable Truth, taking upon Him through the Spirit a Soul, and through the Soul 'Man' a Body, having assumed the whole of Manhood1, hath He, without any contamination of Himself, set it free from all weaknesses? Therefore they are in great straits, and, whereas they fear, (what cannot happen,) lest by human flesh the Truth be defiled, they assert that the Truth hath lied. Matt. 5, And whereas He gave command, saying, Let there be in your '' mouth, Yea, Yea; Nay, Nay; and the Apostle crieth 2 Cor. aloud, There was not in Him Yea and Nay, but in Him was Yea; they contend that His whole body was an unreal flesh, and seem not to themselves to follow Christ, unless they lie to their hearers. xix. 21. Nor let us listen to them who confess indeed a Trinity in One Eternal Substance; but dare to say that the Manhood, Which in the Dispensation in time was assumed, Itself had not the mind of a man, but only the animal soul and body. That is to say, It was not man, but had the bodily members of a man. For beasts also have a soul and body, but have not reason, which is the peculiar property of mind. But if they are execrable who deny that He had a human body, which is the lowest thing in man; I wonder that they blush not, who deny that He had that which is the best thing in man. For great must be our mourning for the mind of man, seeing that it is overcome of its own body; if in very truth it hath not been formed again in that Man, in Whom the human body itself hath already received the dignity of an heavenly form. But far be it from us that we believe this, which rash blindness and proud talkativeness hath devised. xx. 22. Nor let us listen to them who say, that the Man which Manhood in Christ glorified not as in other men. 175
was born of a Virgin, was by That Eternal Wisdom so taken Db unto Himself, in like manner as by It other men also become *°TM* wise, who are perfectly wise. For they know not the pecu- Tiano. liar mystery of That Man, and think that this alone It had more among the rest which are most blessed, that It was born of a Virgin. Which very thing if they consider aright, haply they may come to believe that therefore It obtained1 "memthis beside the rest, because that very taking unto Himself1ase' hath in it somewhat peculiar beside the rest. For it is one thing merely to become wise through the Wisdom of God, and another thing to bear the very Person of the Wisdom of God. For although the nature of the body of the Church be thessustisame, who understands not that there is a great intervalnere-' between the Head and the rest of the members? For if the Head of the Church is that Man by the taking unto Himself of Which the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us; but the rest of the members are all Saints, by whom the Church is perfected and made up. In such manner therefore as the soul animates and gives life to our whole body, but in the head perceives both by sight, and hearing, and smell, and taste, and touch, but in the rest of the members only by touch; and therefore all are set under the head to labour, but it is set above to exercise forethought; because in a certain manner the head bears the person of the soul itself, which exercises forethought for the body; for in it every sense is seen: thus unto the universal people of the Saints as unto one body the Head is the Mediator between God audi Tim. men, the Man Christ Jesus. And therefore the Wisdom of '' God, and the Word in the beginning through Whom all things were made, did not so take unto Himself that Man as the rest of the Saints: but in a way much more excellent, and much more sublime; in the way in which it behoved that It alone should be assumed, that therein Wisdom should appear unto men, as it was fitting that It should be visibly shewn forth. Wherefore in one sense are they wise, the rest of men whosoever are so, or have been, or shall be, enabled to be so; and in another sense The One Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, Who of That very Wisdom, through Which are made wise whosoever of men are made so, not only hath the benefit done unto Him, but
176 Flesh of Christ real, and really assumed.
De also beareth the Person. For of the rest of wise and spiritual AaoNE souls it may rightly be said, that they have in them the Word
CHRIS- JO. > J
Tiano. of God through Whom all things were made: but in none
of them can it rightly be said, that the Ward was madeflesh,
and dwelt among us; which is rightly said in our Lord
Jesus Christ alone.
xxi. 23. Nor let us listen to them who say that a human
body alone was taken unto Himself by the Word of God,
and so understand what is said, And the Word was made
Jlesh, as to deny that that Man possessed either soul or
any thing of man, except the flesh alone. For they err
greatly, and understand not that therefore was the flesh
alone named in that which was said, The Word was made
flesh, because unto the eyes of men, for whose sake that
taking unto Himself had place, the flesh alone could appear.
For if it is absurd and highly unworthy, that that man should
have possessed not a human spirit, as we have treated of
above; how much more absurd and unworthy is it that It
should have possessed neither spirit nor soul, and possessed
that only which even in cattle is the viler and the remoter
part, that is, the body? From our faith therefore let that
ungodly doctrine also be excluded, and let us believe that
whole and perfect Man was taken unto Himself by the Word
xxii. 24. Nor let us listen to them who say that our Lord had
such a body as appeared in the Dove, which John the
Baptist saw descending from heaven and abiding upon Him
in sign of the Holy Ghost. For thus they essay to persuade
that the Son of God was not born of a woman; ' Because if
it behoved that He should be shewn unto carnal eyes, He
could, they say, thus assume a body, in like manner as the
Holy Ghost.' For neither was that Dove, say they, born of
John i, au egg; and yet It could appear to human eyes. To whom
"'"" this first is to be made answer, that we read that the Holy
i6- ' 'Ghost appeared unto John in the form of a Dove, there,
Matt, i, where we read that Christ was born of a woman; and it
18—25. benoveth not in part to believe the Gospel, and in part not
to believe it. For whence believest thou that the Holy Ghost
was shewn in the form of a Dove, save because thou hast
read it in the Gospel? Wherefore I also thence believe that The Dove a true body, but not assumed as Our Lord's. 177
Christ was born of a Virgin, because I have read it in the Dk Gospel. But wherefore the Holy Ghost was not born of aCHu',s. dove1, in such manuer as Christ was born of a woman, the tIAKOreason is this, because the Holy Spirit came not to set free b£olum" doves*, but to signify unto men innocent and spiritual love,scoiUmwhich was visibly figured in the form of a Dove. But the110a. Lord Jesus Christ Who came to set free men, in the number of whom both males and females pertain unto salvation, disdained neither males, in that He took on Him the male; nor females, in that He was born of a female. Unto this is added a great mystery, that, since through a female death had happened unto us, life unto us through a female should be born: that so of either nature, that is, the female and male, the devil being overcome might be put to torment, seeing that he was rejoicing in the overthrow of both; unto whom it had not been enough for punishment, if both natures in us were set free, unless also through both we were set free. Nor this do we so say, as to say that the Lord Jesus Christ alone had a true body, but that the Holy Ghost after a deceitful manner appeared unto the eyes of men: but both those bodies we believe to have been real bodies. For as it behoved not that the Son of God should deceive men, so it was not seemly that the Holy Ghost should deceive men; but to Almighty God, Who framed out of nothing the whole creation, it was not hard to form the true body of a Dove without the help of other Doves, as to Him it was not hard to frame a true body in the womb of Mary without the seed of a man; whereas bodily nature3 was'al.creaservant of the power and will of God, both in the bowels of ure' the female in order to form the Man, and in the world itself in order to form the Dove. But men, fools and wretched, what either themselves are not able to do, or what in their own lives they have never seen, that even by Almighty God they believe not could have been done.
25. Nor let us listen to them, who therefore would compel us xxiii. to number the Son of God among creatures, because He suffered. For they say: If He suffered, He is subject to change; and if He is subject to change, He is a creature, because the Substance of God cannot be changed. With whom we also say, both that the Substance of God cannot be
178 Body of Christ real, though its acts miraculous.
Db changed, and that a creature is subject to change. But it is
Chris- one thing to be a creature, and another thing to take unto
tIAN0- Himself a creature. Therefore the Only-Begotten Son of
God, Who is the Power and Wisdom of God, and the Word
through Whom all things were made, because He is altogether
incapable of change, took upon Himself the created nature of
1' hu- man1, which He deigned to set up now that it was fallen, to
creat*TM renew now that it was grown old. Nor in it through His
ram.' passion was He changed for the worse, but it rather through
His resurrection He changed for the better. Nor on that
account must we deny that the Word of the Father, that is,
the Only Son of God, through Whom all things were made,
was born and suffered for us. For of Martyrs also we say,
that they have suffered and died for the kingdom of heaven's
sake; and yet neither in that their passion and death were their
Mat. 10, souls slain. For the Lord says, Fear not them which kill
Lit 19 ^ie body, but can do nothing to the soul. As therefore we
4. 'say that the Martyrs suffered and died in those bodies which
they bore about with them, without any slaughter or death of
the souls: so we say that the Son of God suffered and died
lit. in that Manhood* which He bore, without any change or
death of His Divine Nature.
xxiv. 26\ Nor let us listen to them who deny that there arose
such a body of our Lord, as was laid in the sepulchre. For
had it not been such, He would not Himself have said to the
Luke24, disciples after His resurrection, Handle, and see, for a spirit
"hath not bones and flesh, as ye see Me have. For it is a
sacrilegious act, to believe that our Lord, being Himself the
Truth, hath in any thing lied. Nor let it move us, that it is
John20, written, that when the doors were shut on a sudden He
appeared unto His disciples, that therefore we should deny
it to have been a human body, because we see it to be
contrary to the nature of this body to enter through closed
Mat.i9, doors. For all things are possible unto God. For itis clear
that the walking upon the waters also is contrary to the nature of this body; and yet not only did the Lord Himself
Mat. 14, before His passion walk, but also He caused Peter to walk.
2o. 29. -pnus therefore after His resurrection also He made of His own body what He would. For if He was able before His
Mat. IT, passion to make His body to shine as the brightness of the
He alone, Who descended,ascended to God's Right Hand. 179
sun; wherefore could He not also after His passion in an De instant of time reduce it unto how subtile a nature He would, CHRig. so as to be able to enter through closed doors? Tiano.
27. Nor let us listen to them, who deny that our Lord xxvraised His very body with Him up into heaven, and repeat what is written in the Gospel, No one hath ascended into John 3» heaven, save He Who came down from heaven; and say, because His body descended not from heaven, that it could
not ascend into heaven. For they understand not, how that the body ascended not into heaven: for the Lord ascended, but the body ascended not, but was raised up into heaven, He raising it up Who Himself ascended. For if one descend, for example, from a mountain naked, but after having descended clothe one's self, and being clothed again ascend, surely we say iightly, No one ascended, save he who descended, nor do we regard the clothes which he took up with him, but say that he who was clothed alone ascended.
28. Nor let us listen to them, who deny that the Son xxvi. sitteth at the right hand of the Father. For they say,' What, hath God the Father a right or left side, in like manner as bodies have?' 'Neither do we conceive thus of God the Father: for by no form of body is God inclosed and shut in.
But the right hand of the Father is everlasting blessedness, which is promised to the Saints; as that is most rightly called His left hand, everlasting misery, which is assigned to the ungodly: so that not in God Himself, but in His creatures, in this way whereof I have spoken is understood the right hand and the left hand. Because also the body of Christ, which is the Church, will be hereafter at the very right hand, that is, in very blessedness, as the Apostle says, that He hath both raised us together, and made us sit together in heavenly places.' For although our body be not yet there, yet is our hope there already. Wherefore also the Lord Himself after His resurrection bade His disciples, whom He found fishing, to cast their nets on the right side. Which, when they had done, they caught fishes, and these all were great, that is, John2i, signified the just, unto whom the right hand is promised. And this is also signified, in that He said that in the Judg- Mat25,
N 2 TM
180 No Scripture really denies the Judgment.
»b ment He will set the sheep on Mis right hand, and the goats
Chuis- on H's 1°h hand.
tIANO- 29. Nor let us listen to them, who deny that there will be xxvu. a day 0f Judgment, and repeat what is written in the Gospel, John 3, that he 'who believeth in Christ, is not judged; but whoso believeth not in Him hath been already judged.1 For they say, If both he who believeth shall not come into judgment, and he who believeth not hath been already judged; where are they whom He will hereafter judge in the Day of Judgment? They understand not that the Scriptures so speak, 1' insi- as that they represent1 a past time for a future; as we said EUehnt'2 above, what the Apostle spake concerning us, that He made 6. us sit together in heavenly places, is not yet brought to pass, but, because it will most surely be hereafter, it is so spoken, as if it were already brought to pass. In such manner as Johni6, the Lord also Himself said to the disciples, All things which I have heard of My Father, I have made known unto you: Johni6 aud a little after He says, I have many things to say unto you, 12- but ye cannot bear them yet. How then had He said, All things which I have heard of My Father, I have made known "unto you, save that because of that, which through the Holy Ghost He was most surely about to do, He spake, as if He had already done it? In like sort therefore when we hear, 'He that believeth in Christ shall not come into judgment;* let us understand, shall not come into condemnation. For judgment is put for condemnation, as the Apostle says, Rom.H, Whoso eateth not, let him not judge him that eateth: that is, Matt. 7 ^et ^m I)0t tnTMk evil of him: and the Lord saith, Judge not, l. that ye be not judged. For He taketh not away from us the understanding of judging, whereas also the Prophet saith, Ps.58,i. If of a truth ye love righteousness, judge things which be John 7, right, ye sons of men. And the Lord Himself saith, Judge 24- not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment. But in that place where He forbids us to judge, He gives us this admonition, that we condemn not any one, either whose thoughts are not laid open to us, or of whom we know not what kind of person he may be about hereafter to be. Thus therefore when He said,' shall not come into judgment;' He said this, that he shall not come into conWhen the Holy Ghost came. The Church not in Africa only.\K\
demnation. But whoso believeth not hath been judged De already; this He said, that he hath been already condemned *£«" by the foreknowledge of God, Who knoweth what hangeth "a»o. over them that believe not.
30. Nor let us listen to them, who say that the Holy Ghost, xxviii. Whom in the Gospel the Lord promised to the disciples, came either in Paul the Apostle, or in Montanus and Priscilla, as the Cataphryges say, or in some, I know not who, Manes or Manichaeus, as the Manichaeans say. For so blind are these, that they understand not clear Scriptures; or so careless of their own salvation, that they altogether read them not. For who, when he hath read, but must understand even in the Gospel that which after the Lord's resurrection was written, the Lord saying, / send the promise of My Father Luke24, upon you; but do ye remain here in the city, until ye be*9endued with power from on high? And in the Acts of the Apostles, after that the Lord departed from the eyes of the disciples into heaven, after ten days were past, on the day of Pentecost they mark not that the Holy Ghost in a most open mauner came: and when the disciples were in the city, as He had before admonished them, filled them, so that they spake with tongues. For different nations, which were then Acts 2, there, understood, each hearer his own tongue. But those1~ 1I-' men deceive such, as neglecting the Catholic Faith, and that their very Faith which is in the Scriptures most clearly set forth, are unwilling to learn, and, (what is worthy of win the heavier and great sorrow,) living heedlessly in the Catholic [J,6""" (Church1) lend a heedful ear to heretics. 'thf Cu
31. Nor let us listen to them, who deny that the Holy £2) Church, which alone is Catholic, is scattered throughout the xxix. world, and judge that it prevails in Africa alone, that is, in the portion* of Donatus. So deaf are they against the words2 parte. of the Prophet, My Son art Thou, I this day have begotten £a-2,7Thee: Demand of Me,and I will give unto Thee the nations for Thine inheritance, and for Thy possession the bounds of the earth. And many other things, in the books whether of the Old or of the New Testament, which were written in order most openly to set forth that the Church of Christ hath been spread abroad throughout the whole world. Which thing when wo object to them, they say that all those things had been
182 Tliose who wilfully divide perish by the ' sword.'
Db already fulfilled before the portion' of Donatus existed, but Chbis- afterwards they contend that the whole Church perished, Tiano. and that in the portion of Donatus did remains of it continue. 1 Pars- O tongue proud and impious! no not even if they truly so lived, as even among themselves afterward to maintain peace! But now they mark not that already in Donatus himself hath Matt.7, that been fulfilled which was said, In whatsoever measure ye shall have measured, in that shall it be measured unto you again. For in like manner as he strove to divide Christ, so is he by his own followers daily cut in sunder and divided. Mat. 26, To this pertains also that saying of the Lord, For ivhosoever shall strike with the sword, by the sword shall he die. For the sword in that place, seeing that it is put in an evil sense, signifies a tongue which causeth discord, wherewith at that time the wretched man struck the Church, but slew it not. For the Lord said not, Whosoever shall slay with the sword, by the sword shall he die; but, Whosoever shall use the sword, saith He, by the sword shall die. Wherefore he struck the Church with a tongue full of strife, whereby now himself is cut in pieces, that he may altogether perish and die. And yet at that time the Apostle Peter had thus acted, not through any pride of his own, but through affection, although carnal, for his Lord. Therefore he, being admonished, put again his sword into its sheath; but the other did not so, no not when vanquished. Forasmuch as, when he pleaded his cause with the Bishop Ciucilianus, in the hearing of the Bishops at Rome, whom he himself had sought, he was unable to prove any of the charges which he had brought; and so he remained in schism, that by his own sword he might die. But his own people, in that they hear not the Prophets and the Gospel, wherein it is most openly written that the Church of Christ is spread abroad throughout all nations; and hear schismatics, who seek not the glory of God, but their own; give sufficient signs that they are a servant, not a free man, and that they have the right ear cut off. For Peter, erring in affection for the Lord, cut off the right ear of the servant, not of the free man. Whence it signifies, that they, who are cut off by the sword of schism, both are the servants of the desires of the flesh, not yet led forth into the liberty of the Holy Ghost, that so Donatists slaves and ill hearers. Pride of Luciferians. 183
they may now not trust in man1; and hear not what is on the De right', that is, the glory of the Lord, through the Catholic J*°B*'. Church most widely caused to traverse, but hear the left Tiano. hand error of human inflation. -But yet when the Lord says Asue^ „'n in the Gospel, that, when the Gospel shall have been preached Ps. 10. throughout all nations, then shall the end be; in what manner tru^,. do they assert that already the rest of the nations have fallen from the faith, and that in the portion of Donatus alone the Church hath continued, seeing that it is manifest, that, since the time that that part was cut off from unity, certain nations have afterwards believed, and that there are yet some who have not yet believed, unto whom daily the Gospel ceases not to be preached? Who but must wonder that there is any one, who would have himself called a Christian, and yet be carried away by so great impiety against the glory of Christ, as to dare to assert that all the peoples of the nations, who only now are approaching unto the Church of God, and are hasting to believe in the Son of God, do so to no purpose, because some Donatist baptizes them not? Without doubt men would execrate these things, and leave them without delay, if only they were seeking Christ, if they loved the Church, if they were free, if they had the right ear sound.
32. Neither let us hear them, who, although they rebaptize xxx. no one, have yet cut themselves off from unity, and have preferred to be called Luciferians rather than Catholics. For in that they understand that the Baptism of Christ is not to be repeated, they do right. For they perceive that the Sacrament of the holy Laver is no where, save of the Catholic Church; but that the branches when cut off have with them that form, which in the very vine, before they were cut off, they had received. For these are they of whom the Apostle says, Having the form of godliness, but denying the power 2 Tim. thereof. For it is a great power of godliness, peace, and3'6unity; because God is One. This these have not, because they are cut off from unity. Wherefore if any of them come into the Catholic Church, they repeat not the form of godliness which they have, but they receive the power of godliness which they have not. For that even branches which have been cut off may be graffed in afresh, if they shall not
184 Keys given to a Penitent to be used mercifully.
D" continue in unbelief, the Apostle most openly teaches. Now cHRisf- whereas the Luciferians understand this and rebaptize not, Tiano. we blame them not: but that they have willed themselves
fiOI23 a*s0 lo **e cut off h°m tne root' w^o Dut must perceive it to be a thing to be abhorred? And on this account especially, because this hath displeased them in the Church Catholic, which truly belongeth unto Catholic holiness. For no where ought the bowels of mercy to be so strong as in the Catholic Church, that, as a true mother, she neither proudly trample on her sons when in sin, nor hardly pardon them upon amendment. For not without cause among all the Aposdes doth Peter sustain the person of this Church Catholic; for
Mat. 16, unto this Church were the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven given, when they were given unto Peter: and when it is
John2i, said unto him, it is said unto all, Lovest thou Me? Feed
17' My sheep. Therefore the Church Catholic ought willingly to pardon her sons, upon their amendment, and confirmation
Mat.u,jn godliness; when we see that Peter himself, bearing her person, both when he had tottered on the sea, and when with carnal feeling he had sought to call back the Lord from suffering, and when he had cut off the ear of the servant with the sword, and when he had thrice denied the Lord Himself, and when afterwards he had fallen into superstitious dissembling, had pardon granted unto him, and after amendment aud strengthening attained at last unto the glory of the Lord's suffering. Therefore after the persecution which was brought about by means of the Arian heretics, after that peace, which truly the Church Catholic holds in the Lord, was by the rules also of this world restored, the Bishops who in that persecution had consented to the faithlessness of the Arians, many of them were amended and chose to return into the Catholic Church, condemning that which they had either believed or feigned to believe. These the Church Catholic received in her maternal bosom, like Peter after his tears for his denial, when admonished by the crowing of the cock, or as the same, after his evil dissembling, amended by the voice of Paul. This, their mother's charity, they proudly taking, and impiously blaming, because they have not
Mat.26, welcomed Peter rising after the cock-crowing, have deserved
is. 14, to fall with Lucifer, who arose in the morning.
All sin remissible. Widows may marry. True Resurrection.185
33. Nor let us hear them, who deny that the Church of Db God can remit all sins. Therefore they wretched, uot under- Chris^ standing in Peter the Rock, and being unwilling to believe tI*N°that unto the Church have been giveu the keys of the xxxi. Kingdom of Heaven, have themselves lost them out of their hands. These are they who condemn as adulteresses their widows, if they marry again, and proclaim that they are more pure above the teaching of the Apostles. Who, if they l Tim. would recognise their own name, would call themselves' worldly1 rather than pure*. For in that they are unwilling,' 'munif they have sinned, to receive correction, they have chosen ^a" nothing else than to be condemned with this world. Fordos-' them, to whom they deny forgiveness of their sins, they guard not with any healthful discipline, but being sick they withdraw from them their medicine, and compel their widows
to burn, as not allowing them to marry. For they are not to
be esteemed more prudent than the Apostle Paul, who had\ Cor. 7,
rather that they should marry than burn.
34. Nor let us hear them, who deny that there will be axxxii. resurrection of the flesh, and make mention of that which
the Apostle Paul says, Flesh and blood shall not inherit thel Cor" Kingdom of God; not understanding what the Apostle 53! himself says, This corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. For when this shall have taken place, it will no longer be flesh and blood, but an heavenly body3. Which the Lord also promises, when He'seeBesays, They shall neither be given in marriage, nor marry Jf80*'-1' wives, but shall be equal to the Angels of God. For not Mat.22, any longer unto men, but unto God shall they live, when30' they shall have been made equal unto the Angels. Therefore flesh and blood shall be changed, and shall be made a heavenly and angelic body. For the dead also shall rise again uncorrupted, and we shall be changed; that both the one may be true, that the flesh shall rise again; and the other be true, that flesh and blood shall not inherit the Kingdom of God.
30. With this simple and pure faith fed as with milk bexxxiii. we nourished in Christ; and, being little ones, seek we not the food of elders, but with most wholesome nourishments grow we in Christ, a good life and Christian righteousness
186 Perfect love conquers earthly desires and/ears.
De being added, wherein is the love of God and of our neighbour Chri^ perfected and confirmed: that each one of us may trinmph in Tiano. himself over our enemy the devil and his angels, in Christ Whom he hath put on. Because perfect love hath neither the desire of this world nor the fear of this world; that is, neither desire, that it may obtain things temporal, nor fear, lest it lose things temporal. By which two doors the enemy enters in and reigns, whom we must drive forth, first by the fear of God, next by love. We ought therefore so much the more eagerly to seek a most open and clear knowledge of the truth, the more we find ourselves to make progress in love, and in its simplicity to have our heart purified, for it is Matt. 5, with the very inner eye that truth is seen: for, Blessed are the £ h_ pure in heart, for they shall see God. Tltat, being rooted 17- i8. 'and grounded in-love, we may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth; to know also the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that we may be filled unto all the fulness of God: that, after these contests with an unseen enemy, since to Mat.n them who are willing, and love, the yoke of Christ is easy, 30' and his burthen light, we may win a crown of victory.