Early Church Fathers
1078 Letter CXXXV. sec. 2, p. 472.
1079 Ecclus. xviii. 6.
1080 We follow the reading of nine Mss., mirata, instead of that of the text, ingrata.
1081 Cicero, Quaest. Tuscul. i.
1082 See Pliny. Nat. Hist. Book vii. 2: "In India sub una ficu turmae conduntur equitum." See also Book xii. c. 5.
1083 John xx. 26.
1084 This sentence having been misunderstood by Bishop Evodius, who quotes and comments upon it in Letter CLXI.. Augustin, in replying in Letter CLXII., writes a few sentences, which, as the letters then exchanged with Evodius have been omitted in this selection, we here insert:-"Our sense of wonder is excited when either the reason of a thing is hidden from us, or the thing itself is extraordinary, that is, either unique or rare. It was in reference to the former cause of wonder, namely, the reason of a thing being undiscovered, that, when answering those who declare it to be incredible that Christ was born of a virgin, and that she remained a virgin notwithstanding, I said in the letter which you refer to as read by you, `If the reason of this event is sought out, it will be no longer a miracle,0' for I said this not because the event was without a reason, but because the reason of it is hidden from those to whom it has pleased God that it should be a miracle.... For all the works of God, both ordinary and extraordinary, proceed from causes and reasons which are right and faultless. When the causes and reasons of any of His operations are hidden from us, we are filled with wonder at the event; but when the causes and reasons of events are seen by us, we say that they take place in ordinary course and in harmony with our experience, and that they are not to be wondered at since they occur, because they are only what reason required to be done.... As to the latter cause of wonder, namely, that an event is unusual, we have an example of this when we read concerning the Lord that He marvelled at the faith of the centurion: for the reason of no event whatever could be concealed from Him, but His wonder has been recorded here for the commendation of one whose equal had not appeared among the Jews, and accordingly the Lord's wondering is sufficiently explained by His words: `I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel0' (Luke vii. 9). As to examples of events similar to the miraculous birth of Christ, you are wholly mistaken in supposing that you have found such in the production of a worm within an apple, and other examples which you mention. For instances of a certain degree of resemblance, more or less remote, have been with considerable ingenuity alleged: but Christ alone was born of a virgin; whence you may understand why I said that this was an event without parallel, adding in the letter already referred to the words: `If an example of a precisely similar event is demanded, it will no longer be unique0' " (Letter CLXII. sec. 6, 7).
1085 Homo quippe Deo accessit, non Deus a se recessit.
1086 1 Cor. i. 24.
1087 Wisd. viii. 1.
1088 1 Tim. ii. 5.
1089 Pherecydes, a native not ot Assyria, but of Syros, one of the Cyclades, was a disciple of Pittacus of Mitylene, and teacher of Pythagoras. He flourished B.C. 544.
1090 "Assyrium vulgo nascetur amomum."-Eclogue iv.
1092 Letter CXXXV. sec. 2, p. 472.
1093 1 Kings xvii. 22; 2 Kings iv. 35.
1094 Ex. vii., viii. 8.
1095 John i. 1.
1096 Gen. xii.
1097 Matt. i. 22.
1098 Matt. xxii 37-39.
1099 Letter CXXXVI. sec. 2, p. 473.
1100 Augustin's four stages of human life are: Pueritia, adolescentia, juventus, senectus.
1101 Ps. xvi. 2. o_ti tw=n a0gaqw=n hou ou0 xreian e/xeij, LXX; quoniam bonorum meorum non eges, Aug.
1102 Observe Augustin's definition of the word sacramentum as used by him: "cum ad res divinas pertinent sacramenta appelantur."
1103 Ps. cii. 26,27.
1104 Ps. xvi. 3. ou0 mh0 sunaga/gw ta0j sunagwa0j au0twn ie aimatwn, LXX.
1105 Ps. l. 9.
1106 Jer. xxxi. 32.
1107 Letter CXXXVI. sec. 2, p. 473.
1108 Rom. xii. 17.
1109 Matt. v. 39-41.
1110 "Accepta injuria ignoscere quam persequi malebant."-Sallust, Catilina, c.9.
1111 "Oblivisci soles nihil nisi injurias."-Cicero, pro Ligario, c. 12.
1112 Matt. 5:39.
1113 Luke vi. 29.
1114 John xviii. 23.
1115 Luke xxiii. 34.
1116 Acts xxiii. 3-5.
1117 Luke iii. 14.
1118 Sallust, Bell. Tugurth.