Early Church Fathers
1 Ps. xxxv. 10.
2 Ps. xix.6.
3 St. Paul speaks of a "minding of the flesh" and a "minding of the spirit" (Rom. viii. 6, margin), and we are prone to be attracted and held by the carnal surroundings of life; that is, "quae per carnem sentiri querunt id est per oculos, per aures, ceterosque corporis sensus" (De Vera Relig.. xxiv.). But God would have us, as we meditate on the things that enter by the gates of the senses, to arise towards Him, through these His creatures. Our Father in heaven might have ordered His creation simply in a utilitarian way, letting, for example, hunger be satisfied without any of the pleasures of taste, and so of the other senses. But He has not so done. To every sense He has given its appropriate pleasure as well as its proper use. And though this presents to us a source of temptation, still ought we for it to praise His goodness to the full, and that corde are opere.-Bradward, ii. c. 23. See also i. sec. 1, note 3, and iv. sec. 18, above.
4 Augustin frequently recurs to the idea, that in God's overruling Providence, the foulness and sin of man does not disturb the order and fairness of the universe. He illustrates the idea by reference to music, painting, and oratory. "For as the beauty of a picture is increased by well-managed shadows, so, to the eye that has skill to discern it, the universe is beautified even by sinners, though, considered by themselves, their deformity is a sad blemish" (De Civ. Dei, xi. 23). So again, he says, God would never have created angels or men whose future wickedness he foreknew, unless He could turn them to the use of the good, "thus embellishing the course of the ages as it were an exquisite poem set off with antitheses" (ibid. xi. 18); and further on, in the same section, "as the oppositions of contraries lend beauty to language, so the beauty of the course of this world is achieved by the opposition of contraries, arranged, as it were, by an eloquence not of words, but of things." These reflections affected Augustin's views as to the last things. They seemed to him to render the idea entertained by Origen (De Princ. i. 6) and other Fathers as to a general restoration !a/pokata/stasij@ unnecessary. See Hagenbach's Hist. of Doct. etc. i. 383 (Clark).
5 "In Scripture they are called God's enemies who oppose His rule not by nature but by vice, having no power to hurt Him, but only themselves. For they are His enemies not through their power to hurt, but by their will to oppose Him. For God is unchangeable, and wholly proof against injury" (De Civ. Dei, xii. 3).
6 Ps. cxxxix. 7.
7 Gen. xvi. 13, 14.
8 Wisd. ii. 26. Old ver.
9 He also refers to the injury man does himself by sin in ii. sec. 13, above; and elsewhere he suggests the law which underlies it: "The vice which makes those who are called God's enemies resist Him, is an evil not to God but to themselves. And to them it is an evil solely because it corrupts the good of their nature." And when we suffer for our sins we should thank God that we are not unpunished (De Civ. Dei, xii. 3). But if, when God punishes us, we still continue in our sin, we shall be more confirmed in habits of sin, and then, as Augustin in another place (in Ps. vii. 15) warns us, "our facility in sinning will be the punishment of God for our former yieldings to sin." See also Butler's Analogy, Pt. i. ch. 5, "On a state of probation as intended for moral discipline and improvement."
10 Ps. lxxiii. 27.
11 Wisd. xiii. 9.
12 Ps. cxxxviii 6.
13 Ps. xxxiv. 18, and cxlv. 18.
14 See Book iv. sec. 19, note, above.
15 He makes use of the same illustrations on Psalms viii. and xi., where the birds of the air represent the proud, the fishes of the sea those who have too great a curiosity, while the beasts of the field are those given to carnal pleasures. It will be seen that there is a correspondence between them and the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life, in I John ii. 16. See also above, Book iii. sec. 16; and below, Book x. sec. 41, etc.
16 Ps. viii. 7, 8.
17 Deut. iv. 24.
18 John i. 3.
19 Ps. cxlvii. 5, Vulg.
20 I Cor. i. 30
21 Matt. xvii. 27.
22 In Sermon 123, sec. 3, we have: "Christ as God is the country to which we go-Christ as man is the way by which we go." See note on Book iv. sec. 19, above.
23 Isa. xiv. 13.
24 Rev. xii. 4.
25 Rom. i. 21.
27 Rom. i. 22.
28 Rom. i. 23.
29 Rom. 1. 25.
30 What a contrast does his attitude here present to his supreme regard for secular learning before his conversion! We have constantly in his writings expressions of the same kind. On Psalm ciii. he dilates lovingly on the fount of happiness the word of God is, as compared with the writings of Cicero, Tully, and Plato; and again on Psalm xxxviii. he shows that the word is the source of all true joy. So likewise in De Trin. iv. 1: "That mind is more praise-worthy which knows even its own weakness, than that which, without regard to this, searches out and even comes to know the ways of the stars, or which holds fast such knowledge already acquired, while ignorant of the way by which itself to enter into its own proper health and strength....Such a one has preferred to know his own weakness, rather than to know the walls of the world, the foundations of the earth, and the pinnacles of heaven." See iii. sec. 9, note, above.
31 Rom. i. 21.
32 Prov. xvii. 6, in the LXX.
33 2 Cor. vi. 10.
34 Wisd. xi. 20.
35 Job xxviii. 28 in LXX. reads: Idou' h9 qeose/beia/ e0sti sofi/a.
36 This claim of Manichaeus was supported by referring to the Lord's promise (John xvi. 12, 13) to send the Holy Ghost, the Comforter, to guide the apostles into that truth which they were as yet "not able to bear." The Manichaeans used the words "Paraclete" and "Comforter," as indeed the names of the other two persons of the blessed Trinity, in a sense entirely different from that of the gospel. These terms were little more than the bodily frame, the soul of which was his own heretical belief. Whenever opposition appeared between that belief and the teaching of Scripture, their ready answer was that the Scriptures had been corrupted (De Mor. Ecc. Cath. xxviii. and xxix.); and in such a case, as we find Faustus contending (Con. Faust. xxxii. 6), the Paraclete taught them what part to receive and what to reject, according to the promise of Jesus that He should "guide them into all truth," and much more to the same effect. Augustin's whole argument in reply is well worthy of attention. Amongst other things, he points out that the Manichaean pretension to having received the promised Paraclete was precisely the same as that of the Montanists in the previous century. It should be observed that Beausobre (Histoire, i. 254, 264, etc.) vigorously rebuts the charge brought against Manichaeus of claiming to be the Holy Ghost. An interesting examination of the claims of Montanus will be found in Kaye's Tertullian, pp. 13 to 33.
37 Eph. iv. 13, 14
38 See vi. sec. 12, note, below.
39 Sec. vii. sec. 15, below.
40 "This was the old fashion of the East, where the scholars had liberty to ask questions of their masters, and to move doubts as the professors were reading, or so soon as the lecture was done. Thus did our Saviour with the doctors (Luke ii. 46). So it is still in some European Universities."-W. W.
41 We have referred in the note on iii. sec. 10, above, to the way in which the Manichaeans parodied Scripture names. In these "fables" this is remarkably evidenced. "To these filthy rags of yours," says Augustin (Con. Faust. xx. 6), "you would unite the mystery of the Trinity; for you say that the Father dwells in a secret light, the power of the Son in the sun, and His wisdom in the moon, and the Holy Spirit in the air." The Manichaean doctrine as to the mixture of the divine nature with the substance of evil, and the way in which that nature was released by the "elect," has already been pointed out (see note iii. sec. 18, above). The part of sun and moon, also, in accomplishing this release, is alluded to in his De Mor. Manich. "This part of God," he says (c. xxxvi.), "is daily being set free in all parts of the world, and restored to its own domain. But in its passage upwards as vapour from earth to heaven, it enters plants, because their roots are fixed in the earth, and so gives fertility and strength to all herbs and shrubs." These parts of God, arrested in their rise by the vegetable world, were released, as above stated, by the "elect". All that escaped from them in the act of eating, as well as what was set free by evaporation, passed into the sun and moon, as into a kind of purgatorial state-they being purer light than the only recently emancipated good nature. In his letter to Januarius (Ep. lv. 6), he tells us that the moon's waxing and waning were said by the Manichaeans to be caused by its receiving souls from matter as it were into a ship, and transferring them "into the sun as into another ship." The sun was called Christ, and was worshipped; and accordingly we find Augustin, after alluding to these monstrous doctrines, saying (Con. Faust. v. 11): "If your affections were set upon spiritual and intellectual good instead of material forms, you would not pay homage to the material sun as a divine substance and as the light of wisdom." Many other interesting quotations might be added, but we must content ourselves with the following. In his Reply to Faustus (xx. 6), he says: "You call the sun a ship, so that you are not only astray worlds off, as the saying is, but adrift. Next, while every one sees that the sun is round, which is the form corresponding from its perfection to his position among the heavenly bodies, you maintain that he is triangular [perhaps in allusion to the early symbol of the Trinity]; that is, that his light shines on the earth through a triangular window in heaven. Hence it is that you bend and bow your heads to the sun, while you worship not this visible sun, but some imaginary ship, which you suppose to be shining through a triangular opening".
42 Joel ii. 26.
43 Ps. xxxvii. 23.
44 See iii. sec. 6, note, above.
45 Ps. cxlii. 5.
46 See vi. sec. 2, note, below.
47 I Cor. xv. 22.
48 Eph. ii. 15, and Col. i. 20, etc.
49 The Manichaean belief in regard to the unreal nature of Christ's body may be gathered from Augustin's Reply to Faustus: "You ask," argues Faustus (xxvi. i.), "if Jesus was not born, how did He die?...In return I ask you, how did Elias not die, though he was a man? Could a mortal encroach upon the limits of immortality, and could not Christ add to His immortality whatever experience of death was required?... Accordingly, if it is a good argument that Jesus was a man because He died, it is an equally good argument that Elias was not a man because he did not die.... As, from the outset of His taking the likeness of man, He underwent in appearance all the experiences of humanity, it was quite consistent that He should complete the system by appearing to die." So that with him the whole life of Jesus was a "phantasm." His birth, circumcision, crucifixion, baptism, and temptation were (ibid. xxxii. 7) the mere result of the interpolation of crafty men, or sprung from the ignorance of the apostles, when as yet they had not reached perfection in knowledge. It is noticeable that Augustin, referring to Eph. ii. 15, substitutes His cross for His flesh, he, as a Manichaean, not believing in the real humanity of the Son of God. See iii. sec. 9, note, above.
50 See i. sec. 10, above.
51 See also iv. sec. 8, above, where he derides his friend's baptism.
52 Ps. li. 19
53 I Tim. v. 10
54 Watts gives the following note here:-"Oblations were those offerings of bread, meal, or wine, for making of the Eucharist, or of alms besides for the poor, which the primitive Christians every time they communicated brought to the church, where it was received by the deacons, who presented them to the priest or bishop. Here note: (1) They communicated daily; (2) they had service morning and evening, and two sermons a day many times," etc. An interesting trace of an old use in this matter of oblations is found in the Queen's Coronation Service. After other oblations had been offered, the Queen knelt before the Archbishop and presented to him "oblations" of bread and wine for the Holy Communion. See also Palmer's Origines Liturgicae, iv. 8, who demonstrates by reference to patristic writers that the custom was universal in the primitive Church:-"But though all the churches of the East and West agreed in this respect, they differed in appointing the time and place at which the oblations of the people were received." It would appear from the following account of early Christian worship, that in the time of Justin Martyr the oblations were collected after the reception of the Lord's Supper. In his First Apology we read (c. lxvii.): "On the day called Sunday !tou= h9li/ou legohe/nh h9me/ra,@ all who live in cities or in the country gather together to one place, and the memoirs of the apostles or the writings of the prophets are read, as long as time permits them. When the reader has ceased, the president !o9 proestw'j@ verbally instructs, and exhorts to the imitation of these good things. Then we all rise together and pray !eu0xa'j pe/mpomen@, and, as we before said, when our prayer is ended, bread and wine and water are brought, and the president in like manner offers prayers and thanksgivings according to his ability [Kaye renders (p. 89) eu0xa'j o9moiwj kai' eu0xaristiaj o_sh su/namij au0tw=, a/nape/mpei, "with his utmost power"], and the people assent, saying Amen; and there is a distribution to each, and a participation of that over which thanks had been given, and to those who are absent a portion is sent by the deacons. And they who are well-to-do, and willing, give what each thinks fit; and what is collected !to' sullego/meno!\ is deposited with the president, who succours the orphans and widows, and those who, through sickness or any other cause, are in want, and those who are in bonds, and the stranger sojourning among us, and, in a word, takes care of all who are in need." The whole passage is given, as portions of it will be found to have a bearing on other parts of the Confessions. Bishop Kaye's Justin Martyr, c. iv., may be referred to for his view of the controverted points in the passage. See also Bingham's Antiquities, ii. 2-9; and notes to vi. sec. 2, and ix. secs. 6 and 27, below.
55 See above, iii. 11, 12.
56 Ibid. iii. 12.
57 Luke ii. 19.
58 Ps. cxviii. 1.
59 See iv. sec. 1, note, above.
60 iv. sec. 26, note 2, above.