Early Church Fathers
26 Augustin's carefulness to explain that he is only indulging in personification is doubtless due to the fact that with the Manichaeans the sun and the moon were objects of worship.-A. H. N.
27 In his Retractations, Augustin explains that he did not really regard this as an open question, but speaks of it as such only so far as this particular discussion is concerned. He simply declines to enter upon a consideration of it in this connection.-A. H. N.
28 Here also the use of the word "nature" gave Augustin trouble in his later years. He claims in the Retractations that he uses the word in the sense of "nature that has been healed" and that "cannot be vitiated," and seeks to show that he did not mean to exclude divine grace.-A. H. N.
30 Praecipiti. .
31 This purpose Augustin accomplished in several works. See especially Contra Adimantum, and Contra Faustum Manichaeum. On Augustin's defense of the Old Testament Scriptures, see Mozley's Ruling Ideas in Early Ages, last chapter.-A. H. N.
1 This Disputation seems to have occurred shortly after the writing of the preceding treatise. It appears from the Retractations that Fortunatus had lived for a considerable time at Hippo, and had secured so large a number of followers that it was a delight to him to dwell there. The Disputation is supposed to be a verbatim report of what Augustin and Fortunatus said during a two days' discussion. The subject is the origin of evil. Augustin maintains that evil, so far as man is concerned, has arisen from a free exercise of the will on man's part; Fortunatus, on the other hand, maintains that the nature of evil co-eternal with God. Fortunatus shows considerable knowledge of the New Testament, but no remarkable dialectic powers. He appears at great disadvantage beside his great antagonist. In fact, he is far from saying the best that can be said in favor of dualism. We may say that he was fairly vanquished in the argument, and at the close confessed himself at a loss what to say, and expressed an intention of more carefully examining the problems discussed, in view of what Augustin had said. Augustin is more guarded in this treatise than in the preceding in his statements about free will. He found little occasion here, therefore, to retract or explain. Fortunatus often expresses himself vaguely and obscurely. If some sentences are difficult to understand in the translation, they will be found equally so in the Latin.-A. H. N.
1 The word used is oratio, by which is evidently meant the religious services to which Auditors were admitted, prayer (oratio) being the prominent feature.-A. H. N.
2 The allusion here is doubtless to the probably slanderous charge that the Manichaeans were accustomed to partake of human semen as a Eucharist. The Manichaean view of the relation of the substance mentioned to the light, and their well-known opposition to procreation, give a slight plausibility to the charge. Compare the Morals of the Manichaeans, ch. xviii., where Augustin expresses his suspicions of Manichaean shamelessness. See also further references in the Introduction.-A. H. N.
3 This is, of course, a mixture of two passages of Scripture.-A. H. N.
4 John xiv. 8, 9.
5 John v. 24.
6 As remarked in the Introduction, the Manichaeans of the West, in Augustin's time, sustained a far more intimate relation to Christianity than did Mani and his immediate followers. Far as Fortunatus may have been from using the above language in the ordinary Christian sense, yet he held, by profession at least, enough of Christian truth to beguile the unwary.-A. H. N.
7 Philipp. ii. 5-8.
8 Fortunatus could not surely have used this language with any proper conception of its meaning. He seems, against Mani, to have identified in some sense the Jesus that suffered with Christ. Yet even in this statement his docetism is manifest.-A. H. N.
9 1 Cor. i. 24.
10 John i. 3.
11 Ps. cxlviii. 5
12 Matt. xv. 13, and iii. 10.
13 Eph. ii. 1-18. There are several somewhat important variations from the Greek text in this long extract. The attentive reader can get a good idea of the nature of the variations by comparing this literal translation with the revised English version.-A. H. N.
14 There are three readings here, "wearied out," "deceived," and "worn out." The latter is preferred by the Benedictine editors.-A. H. N.
15 Rom. xi. 1.
16 Rom. i. 1-4.
17 Isa. vii. 14.
18 John iii. 6.
19 1 Cor. xv. 50.
20 This little side remark lends reality to the discussion, and enables us to form a vivid conception of what doctrinal debates were in the age of Augustin.-A. H. N.
1 Liberum voluntatis arbitrium.
2 1 Tim. vi. 10
3 Matt. xv. 13, and iii. 10.
4 John xv. 22.
5 Rom. viii. 7.