Early Church Fathers
1 Ps. cxvi. 16, 17.
2 Ibid. xxxv. 10.
3 Ibid. xxxv. 3.
4 Volebas, though a few Mss. have nolebas; and Watts accordingly renders "nilledst."
5 Matt. xi. 30.
6 Ps, xix. 14.
7 Archbishop Trench, in his exposition of the parable of the Hid Treasure, which the man who found sold all that he had to buy, remarks on this passage of the Confessions: "Augustin excellently illustrates from his own experience this part of the parable. Describing the crisis of his own conversion, and how easy he found it, through this joy, to give up all those pleasures of sin that he had long dreaded to be obliged to renounce, which had long held him fast bound in the chains of evil custom, and which if he renounced, it had seemed to him as though life itself would not be worth the living, he exclaims, `How sweet did it suddenly become to me,0' " etc.
8 His love of earthly things was expelled by the indwelling love of God, "for," as he says in his De Musica, vi. 52, "the love of the things of time could only be expelled by some sweetness of things eternal." Compare also Dr. Chalmers' sermon on The Expulsive Power of a New Affection (the ninth of his "Commercial Discourses"), where this idea is expanded.
9 "In harvest and vintage time had the lawyers their vacation. So Minutius Felix. Scholars, their Non Terminus, as here; yea, divinity lectures and catechizings then ceased. So Cyprian, Ep. 2. The law terms gave way also to the great festivals of the Church. Theodosius forbade any process to go out from fifteen days before Easter till the Sunday after. For the four Terms, see Caroli Calvi, Capitula, Act viii. p. 90."-W. W.
10 Ps. lxxxiv. 6.
11 Ps. cxx. 3, 4, according to the Old Ver. This passage has many difficulties we need not enter into. The Vulgate, however, we may say, renders verse 3: "Quid detur tibi aut quid apponatur tibi ad linguam dolosam,"-that is, shall be given as a defence against the tongues of evil speakers. In this way Augustin understands it, and in his commentary on this place makes the fourth verse give the answer to the third. Thus, "sharp arrows" he interprets to be the word of God, and "destroying coals" those who, being converted to Him, have become examples to the ungodly.
12 Rom. xiv. 16.
13 In his De Vita Beata, sec. 4, and Con. Acad. i. 3, he also alludes to this weakness of his chest. He was therefore led to give up his professorship, partly from this cause, and partly from a desire to devote himself more entirely to God's service. See also p. 115, note.
14 Ps. xlvi. 10.
15 See vi. sec. 1, note, above.
16 Luke xiv. 14.
17 . cxxv. 2.
18 Phil. ii. 27.
19 Literally, In monte incaseato, "the mountain of curds," from the Old Ver. of Ps. lxviii. 16. The Vulgate renders coagulatus. But the Authorized Version is nearer the true meaning, when it renders Myenmnbn
, hunched, as "high." The LXX. renders it teturwme/noj, condensed, as if from hgu#&ir#&/n
, cheese. This divergence arises from the unused root bag
, to be curved, having derivatives meaning (1) "hunch-backed," when applied to the body, and (2) "cheese" or "curds," when applied to milk. Augustin, in his exposition of this place, makes the "mountain" to be Christ, and parallels it with Isa. ii. 2; and the "milk" he interprets of the grace that comes from Him for Christ's little ones: Ipse est mons incaseatus, propter parvulos gratia tanquam lacte nutriendos.
20 See. v. 16, note, above.
21 See vi. 17, note 6, above.
22 Though Augustin, in his Quaest. Evang. ii. qu. 38, makes Abraham's bosom to represent the rest into which the Gentiles entered after the Jews had put it from them, yet he, for the most part, in common with the early Church (see Serm. xiv. 3; Con. Faust. xxxiii. 5; and Eps. clxiv. 7, and clxxxvii. Compare also Tertullian, De Anima, lviii), takes it to mean the resting-place of the souls of the righteous after death. Abraham's bosom, indeed, is the same as the "Paradise" of Luke xxiii. 43. The souls of the faithful after they are delivered from the flesh are in "joy and felicity" (De Civ. Dei, i. 13, and xiii. 19); but they will not have "their perfect consummation and bliss both in body and soul" until the morning of the resurrection, when they shall be endowed with "spiritual bodies". See note p. 111; and for the difference between the adhj of Luke xvi. 23, that is, the place of departed spirits,-into which it is said in the Apostles' Creed Christ descended,-and ge/enna, or Hell, see Campbell on The Gospels, i. 253. In the A. V. both Greek words are rendered "Hell."
23 See sec. 37, note, below.
24 Ps. xxvii. 8.
25 As Christ went into the wilderness after His baptism (Matt. iv. 1), and Paul into Arabia after his conversion (Gal. i. 17), so did Augustin here find in his retirement a preparation for his future work. He tells us of this time of his life (De Ordin. i. 6) that his habit was to spend the beginning or end, and often almost half the night, in watching and searching for truth, and says further (ibid. 29), that "he almost daily asked God with tears that his wounds might be healed, and often proved to himself that he was unworthy to be healed as soon as he wished."
26 These books are (Con. Acad. i. 4) his three disputations Against the Academics, his De Vita Beata, begun (ibid. 6) "Idibus Novembris die ejus natali;" and (Retract. i. 3) his two books De Ordine.
27 That is, his two books of Soliloquies. In his Retractations, i. 4, sec 1, he tells us that in these books he held an argument,-me interrogans, mihique respondens, tanquam duo essemus, ratio et ego.
28 Several of these letters to Nebridius will be found in the two vols. of Letters in this series.
29 Luke iii. 5.
30 Ps. xxix. 5
31 Reference may with advantage be made to Archbishop Trench's Hulsean Lectures (1845), who in his third lect., on "The Manifoldness of Scripture," adverts to this very passage, and shows in an interesting way how the Psalms have ever been to the saints of God, as Luther said, "a Bible in little," affording satisfaction to their needs in every kind of trial, emergency, and experience.
32 Ps. xix. 6.
33 Ps. iv. 1.
34 Ibid. ver. 23.
35 Eph. i. 20.
36 Luke xxiv. 49.
37 John xiv. 16, 17.
38 Acts ii. 1-4.
39 John vii. 39.
40 Ps. iv. 1.
41 See v. 16, note, above.
42 Rom. viii. 34.
43 Eph. iv. 26.
44 See iv. 26, note, above.
45 Rom. ii. 5.
46 Ps. iv. 6.
47 See v. 12, note, above.
48 Ps. iv. 6.
50 John i. 9.
51 Eph. v. 8.
52 Internum aeternum, but some Mss. read internum lumen aeternum.
53 Ps. iv. 5.
54 Ps. iv. 7.
55 That is, lest they should distract him from the true riches. For, as he says in his exposition of the fourth Psalm, "Cum dedita temporalibus voluptatibus anima semper exardescit cupiditate, nec satiari potest." He knew that the prosperity of the soul (3 John 2) might be injuriously affected by the prosperity of the body; and disregarding the lower life (bioj) and its "worldly goods," he pressed on to increase the treasure he had within,-the true life (zwh/) which he had received from God. See also Enarr. in Ps. xxxviii. 6.
56 Ps. iv. 7.
57 Ibid. ver. 8, Vulg.
58 Ps. iv. 8; in his comment whereon, Augustin applies this passage as above.
59 I Cor. xv. 54.
60 Ps. iv. 9, Vulg.
61 Compare the beautiful Talmudical legend quoted by Jeremy Taylor (Works, viii. 397, Eden's ed.), that of the two archangels, Gabriel and Michael, Gabriel has two wings that he may "fly swiftly" (Dan. ix. 21) to bring the message of peace, while Michael has but one, that he may labour in his flight when he comes forth on his ministries of justice.
62 In his Soliloquies (see note, sec. 7, above), he refers in i. 21 to this period. He there tells us that his pain was so great that it prevented his learning anything afresh, and only permitted him to revolve in his mind what he had already learnt. Compare De Quincey's description of the agonies he had to endure from tooth ache in his Confessions of an Opium Eater.
63 That is, on the waxen tablet used by the ancients. The iron stilus, or pencil, used for writing, was pointed at one end and flattened at the other-the flattened circular end being used to erase the writing by smoothing down the wax. Hence vertere stilumsignifies to put out or correct. See sec. 19, below.
65 In his De Civ. Dei, xviii. 29, he likewise alludes to the evangelical character of the writings of Isaiah.
66 "They were baptized at Easter, and gave up their names before the second Sunday in Lent, the rest of which they were to spend in fasting, humility, prayer, and being examined in the scrutinies (Tertull. Lib. de Bapt. c. 20). Therefore went they to Milan, that the bishop might see their preparation. Adjoining to the cathedrals were there certain lower houses for them to lodge and be exercised in, till the day of baptism" (Euseb x. 4).-W. W. See also Bingham, x. 2, sec. 6; and above, note 4, p 89; note 4, p. 118, and note 8, p. 118.
67 In his De Vita Beata, sec. 6, he makes a similar illusion to the genius of Adeodatus.
68 This book, in which he and his son are the interlocutors, will be found in vol. i. of the Benedictine edition, and is by the editors assumed to be written about A.D. 389. Augustin briefly gives its argument in his Retractations, i. 12. He says: "There it is disputed, sought, and discovered that there is no master who teaches man knowledge save God, as it is written in the gospel (Matt. xxiii. 10), `One is your Master, even Christ.0' "