LETTERS OF ST. AUGUSTIN

LETTERS XXIII TO XXXV

(BEGINNING OF SECOND DIVISION)

LETTER XXIII (A.D. 392.)

TO MAXIMIN, MY WELL-BELOVED LORD AND BROTHER, WORTHY OF HONOUR, AUGUSTIN, PRESBYTER OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH, SENDS GREETING IN THE LORD.

1. Before entering on the subject on which I have resolved to write to your Grace, I shall briefly state my reasons for the terms used in the title of this letter, test these should surprise either yourself or any other person. I have written "to my lord," because it is written: "Brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another."' Seeing, therefore, that in this duty of writing to you I am actually by love serving you, I do only what is reasonable in calling you "my lord," for the sake of that one true Lord who gave us this command. Again, as to my having written "well-beloved," God knoweth that I not only love you, but love you as I love myself; for I am well aware that I desire for you the very blessings which I am fain to make my own. As to my adding the words "worthy of honour," I did not mean, by adding this, to say that I honour your episcopal office, for to me you are not a bishop; and this I trust you will take as spoken with no intention to give offence, but from the conviction that in our mouth Yea should be Yea, and Nay, Nay: for neither you nor any one who knows us can fail to know that you are not my bishop, an,d, I am not your presbyter. "Worthy of honour I therefore willingly call you on this ground, that I know you to be a man; and I know that man was made in the image and likeness of God, and is placed in honour by the very order and law of nature, if by understanding the thin s which he ought to understand he retain his honour. For it is written, Man being placed in honour did not understand: he is compared to the brutes devoid of reason, and is made like unto them."' Why then may I not address you as worthy of honour, inasmuch as you are a man, especially since I dare not despair of your repentance and salvation so long as you are in this life ? Moreover, as to my calling you "brother," you are well acquainted with the precept divinely given to us, according to which we are to say, "Ye are our brethren," even to those who deny that they are our brethren; and this has much to do with the reason which has made me resolve to write to you, my brother. Now that the reason for my making such an introduction to my letter has been given, I bespeak your calm attention to what follows.

2. When I was in your district, and was with all my power expressing my abhorrence of the sad and deplorable custom followed by men who, though they boast of the name of Christians, do not hesitate to rebaptize Christians, there were not wanting some who said in praise of you, that you do not conform to this custom. I confess that at first I did not believe them; but afterwards, considering that it was possible for the fear of God to take possession of a human soul exercised in meditation upon the life to come, in such a way as to restrain a man from most manifest wickedness, I believed their statement, rejoicing that by holding such a resolution you showed yourself averse to complete alienation from the Catholic Church. I was even on the outlook for an opportunity of conversing with you, in order that, if it were possible, the small difference which still remained between us might be taken away, when, behold, a few days ago it was reported to me that you had rebaptized a deacon of ours belonging to Mutugenna! I was deeply grieved both for his melancholy fall and for your sin, my brother, which surprised and disappointed me. For I know what the Catholic Church is, The nations are Christ's inheritance, and the ends of the earth are His possession. You also know what the Catholic Church is; or if you do not know it, apply your attention to discern it, for it may be very easily known by those who are willing to be taught. Therefore, to rebaptize even a heretic who has received in baptism the seal of holiness which the practice s of the Christian Church has transmitted to us, is unquestionably a sin; but to re-baptize a Catholic is one of the worst of crimes. As I did not, however, believe the report, because I still retained my favourable impression of you, I went in person to Mutugenna. The miserable man himself I did not succeed in finding, but I learned from his parents that he had been made one of your deacons. Nevertheless I still think so favourably of you, that I will not believe that he has been rebaptized.

3. Wherefore, my beloved brother, I beseech you, by the divine and human natures of our Lord Jesus Christ, have the kindness to reply to i this letter, telling me what has been done, and [so to write as knowing that I intend to read your letter aloud to our brethren in the church. This I have written, lest, by afterwards doing that which you did not expect me to do, I should give offence to your Charity, and give you occasion for making a just complaint against me to our common friends. What can reasonably prevent you from answering this letter I do not see. For if you do rebaptize, you have nothing to apprehend from your colleagues when you write that you are doing that which they would command you to do even if you were unwilling; and if you, moreover, defend this by the best arguments known to you, as a thing which ought to be done, your colleagues, so far from being displeased on this account, will praise you. But if you do not rebaptize, hold fast your Christian liberty, my brother Max;rain; hold it fast, I implore you: fixing your eye on Christ, fear not the censure, tremble not before the power of any man. Fleeting is the honour of this world, and fleeting are all the objects to which earthly ambition aspires. Neither thrones ascended by flights of steps,' nor canopied pulpits? nor processions and chantings of crowds of consecrated virgins, shall be admitted as available for the defence of those who have now these honours, when at the judgment-seat of Christ conscience shall beg.in to lift its accusing voice, and He who is the Judge of the consciences of men shall pronounce the final sentence. What is here esteemed an honour shall then be a burden: what uplifts men here, shall weigh heavily on them in that day. Those things which meanwhile are done for the Church's welfare as tokens of respect to us, shall then be vindicated, it may be, by a conscience void of offence; but they will avail nothing as a screen for a guilty conscience.

4. If, then, it be indeed the case that, under the promptings of a devout and pious mind, you abstain from dispensing a second baptism, and rather accept the baptism of the Catholic Church as the act of the one true Mother, who to all nations both offers a welcome to her bosom, that they may be regenerated, and gives a mother's nourishment to them when they are regenerated, and as the token of admission into Christ's one possession, which reaches to the ends of the earth; if, I say, you indeed do this, why do you not break forth into a joyful and independent confession of your sentiments? Why do you hide under a bushel the lamp which might so profitably shine? Why do you not rend and cast from you the old sordid livery of your craven-hearted bondage, and go forth clad in the panoply of Christian boldness, saying, "I know but one baptism consecrated and sealed with the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost: this sacrament, wherever I find it, I am bound to acknowledge and approve; I do not destroy what I discern to be my Lord's; I do not treat with dishonour the banner of my King"? Even the men who parted the raiment of Christ among them did not rudely rend in pieces the seamless robe; 3 and they were men who had not then any faith in Christ's resurrection; nay, they were witnessing His death.' If, then, persecutors forbore from rending the vesture of Christ when He was hanging upon the cross, why should Christians destroy the sacrament of His institution now when He is sitting in heaven upon His throne ? Had I been a Jew in the time of that ancient people, when there was nothing better that I could be, I would undoubtedly have received circumcision. That "seal of the righteousness which is by faith" was of so great importance in that dispensation before it was abrogated 4 by the Lord's coming, that the angel would have strangled the infant-child of Moses, had not the child's mother, seizing a stone, circumcised the child, and by this sacrament averted impending death.s This sacrament also arrested the waters of the Jordan, and made them flow back towards their source. This sacrament the Lord Himself received in infancy, although He abrogated it when He was crucified. For these signs of spiritual blessings were not condemned, but gave place to others which were more suitable to the later dispensation. For as circumcision was abolished by the first coming of the Lord, so baptism shall be abolished by His second coming. For as now, since the liberty of faith has come, and the yoke of bondage has been removed, no Christian receives circumcision in the flesh; so then, when the just are reigning with the Lord, and the wicked have been condemned, no one shall be baptized, but the reality which both ordinances prefigure--namely, circumcision of the heart and cleansing of the conscience- shall be eternally abiding. If, therefore, I had been a Jew in the time of the former dispensation, and there had come to me a Samaritan who was willing to become a Jew, abandoning the error which the Lord Himself condemned when He said, "Ye worship ye know not what; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews; "6 ... if, I say, a Samaritan whom Samaritans had circumcised had expressed his willingness to become a Jew, there would have been no scope for the boldness which would have insisted on the repetition of the rite; and instead of this, we would have been compelled to approve of that which God had commanded, although it had been done by heretics. But if, in the flesh of a circumcised man, I could not find place for the repetition of the circumcision, because there is but one member which is circumcised, much less is place found in the one heart of man for the 'repetition of the baptism of Christ. Ye, therefore, who wish to baptize twice, must seek as subjects of such double baptism men who have double hearts.

5. Publish frankly, therefore, that you are doing what is right, if it be the case that you do not rebaptize; and write me to that effect, not only without fear, but with joy. Let no Councils of your party deter you, my brother, from this step: for if this displease them, they are not worthy to have you among them; but if it please them, we trust that there shall soon be peace between you and us, through the mercy of our Lord, who never forsakes those who fear to displease Him, and who labour to do what is acceptable in His sight; and let not our honours --a dangerous burden, of which an account must yet be given- be a hindrance, making it unhappily impossible for our people who believe in Christ, and who share with one another in daily bread at home, to sit down at the same table of Christ. Do we not grievously lament that husband and wife do in most cases, when marriage makes them one flesh, vow mutual fidelity in the name of Christ, and yet rend asunder Christ's own body by belonging to separate communions? If, by your moderate measures and wisdom, and by your exercise of that love which we all owe to Him who shed His blood for us, this schism, which is such a grievous scandal, causing Satan to triumph and many souls to perish, be taken out of the way in these parts, who can adequately express how illustrious is the reward which the Lord prepares for you, in that from you should proceed an example which, if imitated, as it may so easily be, would bring health to all His other members, which throughout the whole of Africa are lying now miserably exhausted? How much t fear lest, since you cannot see my heart, I appear to you to speak rather in irony than in the sincerity of love! But what more can I do than present my words before your eye, and my heart before God?

6. Let us put away from between us those vain objections which are wont to be thrown at each other by the ignorant on either side. Do not on your part cast up to me the persecutions of Macarius. I, on mine, will not reproach you with the excesses of the Circumcelliones. If you are not to blame for the latter, neither am I for the former; they pertain not to us. The: Lord's floor is not yet purged--it cannot be! without chaff; be it ours to pray, and to do what in us lies that we may be good grain. I could not pass over in silence the rebaptizing of our deacon; for I know how much harm my silence Z might do to myself. For I do not propose to i spend my time in the empty enjoyment of ecclesiastical dignity; but I propose to act as mindful of this, that to the one Chief Shepherd I must give account of the sheep committed unto me. If you would rather that I should not thus write to you, you must, my brother, excuse me on the ground of my fears; for I do fear greatly, lest, if I were silent and concealed my sentiments, others might be rebaptized by you. I have resolved, therefore, with such strength and opportunity as the Lord may grant, so to manage this discussion, that by our peaceful conferences, all who belong to our communion may know how far apart from heresy and schism is the position of the Catholic Church, and with what care they should guard against the destruction which awaits the tares and the branches cut off from the Lord's vine. If you willingly accede to such conference with me, by consenting to the public reading of the letters of both, I shall unspeakably rejoice. If this proposal is displeasing to you, what can I do, my brother, but read our letters, even without your consent, to the Catholic congregation, with a view to its instruction ? But if you do not condescend to write me a reply, I am resolved at least to read my own letter, that, when your misgivings as to your procedure are known, others may be ashamed to be rebaptized.

7. I shall not, however, do this in the presence of the soldiery, lest any of you should think that I wish to act in a violent way, rather than as the interests of peace demand; but only after their departure, that all who hear me may understand, that I do not propose to compel men to embrace the communion of any party, but desire the truth to be made known to persons who, in their search for it, are free from disquieting apprehensions. On our side there shall be no appeal to men's fear of the civil power i on your side, let there be no intimidation by a mob of Circumcelliones. Let us attend to the real matter in debate, and let our arguments appeal to reason and to the authoritative teaching of the Divine Scriptures, dispassionately and calmly, so far as we are able; let us ask, seek, and knock, that we may receive and find, and that to us the door may be opened, and thereby may be achieved, by God's blessing on our united efforts and prayers, the first towards the entire removal from our district of that impiety which is such i a disgrace to Africa. If you do not believe that I am willing to postpone the discussion until after the soldiery have left, you may delay your answer until they have gone; and if, while they are still here, I should wish to read my own letter to the people, the production of the letter will of itself convict me of breaking my word. May the Lord in His mercy prevent me from acting in a way so contrary to morality, and to the good resolutions with which, by laying His yoke on me, He has been pleased to inspire me!

8. My bishop would perhaps have preferred to send a letter himself to your Grace, if he had been here i or my letter would have been written, if not by his order, at least with his sanction. But in his absence, seeing that the rebaptizing of this deacon is said to have occurred recently, I have not by delay allowed the feelings caused by the action to cool down, being moved by the promptings of the keenest anguish on account of what I regard as really the death of a brother. This my grief the compensating joy of reconciliation between us and you may perhaps be appointed to heal, through the help of the mercy and providence of our Lord. May the Lord our God grant thee a calm and conciliatory spirit, my dearly beloved lord and brother!

LETTER XXIV.

This letter, written in 394 to Alypius by Paulinus, owes its place in the collection of Augustin's letters to the notice of the treatises written by Augustin against the Manichaeans, and its connection with the following letter addressed by Paulinus to Augustin himself. It is obviously one of those which, in making a selection of letters, may be safely omitted.

LETTER XXV. (A.D. 394.)

TO AUGUSTIN, OUR LORD AND BROTHER BELOVED AND VENERABLE, FROM PAULINUS AND THERASIA, SINNERS.

1. The love of Christ which constrains us, and which unites us, though separated by distance, in the bond of a common faith, has itself! emboldened me to dismiss my fear and address a letter to you; and it has given you a place in my inmost heart by means of your writings-so full of the stores of learning, so sweet with celestial honey, the medicine and the nourishment of my soul. These I at present have in. five books, which, through the kindness of our i blessed and venerable Bishop Alypius, I received, 1 not only as a means of my own instruction, but. for the use of the Church in many towns. These books I am now reading: in them I take great delight: in them I find food, not that which perisheth, but that which imparts the substance! of eternal life through our faith, whereby we are' in our Lord Jesus Christ made members of His body; for the writings and examples of the' faithful do greatly strengthen that faith which, not looking at things seen, longs after things not seen with that love which accepts implicitly all things which are according to the truth of the l omnipotent God. O true salt of the earth, by which our hearts are preserved from being corrupted by the errors of the world! O light worthy of your place on the candlestick of the Church, diffusing widely in the Catholic towns] the brightness of a flame fed by the oil of the seven-branched lamp of the upper sanctuary, you also disperse even the thick mists of heresy, and rescue the light of truth from the confusion of darkness by the beams of your luminous demonstrations.

2. You see, my brother beloved, esteemed, and welcomed in Christ our Lord, with what intimacy I claim to know you, with what amazement I admire and with what love I embrace you, seeing that I enjoy daily converse with you by the medium of your writings, and am fed by the breath of your mouth. For your mouth I may justly call a pipe conveying living water, and a channel from the eternal fountain; for Christ has become in you a fountain of "living water springing up into eternal life."1 Through desire for this my soul thirsted within me, and my parched ground longed to be flooded with the fulness of your river. Since, therefore, you have armed me completely by this your Pentateuch against the Manichaeans, if you have prepared any treatises in defence of the Catholic faith against other enemies (for our enemy, with his thousand pernicious stratagems, must be defeated by weapons as various as the artifices by which he assails us), I beg you to bring these forth from your armoury for me, and not refuse to furnish me with the "armour of righteousness." For I am oppressed even now in my work with a heavy burden, being, as a sinner, a veteran in the ranks of sinners, but an untrained recruit in the service of the King eternal. The wisdom of this world I have unhappily hitherto regarded with admiration, and, devoting myself to literature which I now see to be unprofitable, and wisdom which I now reject, I was in the sight of God foolish and dumb. When I had become old in the fellowship of my enemies, and had laboured in vain in my thoughts, I lifted mine eyes to the mountains, looking up to the precepts of the law and to the gifts of grace, whence my help came from the Lord, who, not requiting me according to mine iniquity, enlightened my blindness, loosed my bonds, humbled me who had been sinfully exalted, in order that He might exalt me when graciously humbled.

3. Therefore I follow, with halting pace indeed as yet, the great examples of the just, if I may through your prayers apprehend that for which I have been apprehended by the compassion of God. Guide, therefore, this infant creeping on the ground, and by your steps teach him to walk. For I would not have you judge of me by the age which began with my natural birth, but by that which began with my spiritual new birth. For as to the natural life, my age is that which the cripple, healed by the apostles by the power of their word at the gate Beautiful, had attained.2 But with respect to the birth of my soul, mine is as yet the age of those infants who, being sacrificed by the death-blows which were aimed at Christ, preceded with blood worthy of such honour the offering of the Lamb, and were the harbingers of the passion of the Lord.1 Therefore, as I am but a babe in the word of God, and as to spiritual age a sucking child, satisfy my vehement desire by nourishing me with your words, the breasts of faith, and wisdom, and love. o If you consider only the office which we both hold, you are my brother; but if you consider the ripeness of your understanding and other powers, you are, though my junior in years, a father to me; because the possession of a venerable wisdom has promoted you, though young, to a maturity of worth, and to the honour which belongs to those who are old. Foster and strengthen me, then, for I am, as I have said, but a child in the sacred Scriptures and in spiritual studies; and seeing that, after long contendings and frequent shipwreck, I have but little skill, and am even now with difficulty rising above the waves of this world, do you, who have already found firm footing on the shore, receive me into the safe refuge of your bosom, that, if it please you, we may together sail towards the harbour of salvation. Meanwhile, in my efforts to escape from the dangers of this life and the abyss of sin, support me by your prayers, as by a plank, that from this world I may escape as one does from a shipwreck, leaving all behind.

4. I have therefore been at pains to rid myself of all baggage and garments which might impede my progress, in order that, obedient to the command and sustained by the help of Christ, I may swim, unhindered by any clothing for the flesh or care for the morrow, across the sea of this present life, which, swelling with waves and echoing with the barking of our sins, like the dogs of Scylla, separates between us and God. I do not boast that I have accomplished this: even if I might so boast, I would glory only in the Lord, whose it is to accomplish what it is our part to desire; but my soul is in earnest that the judgments of the Lord be her chief desire. You can judge how far he is on the way to efficiently performing the will of God, who is desirous that he may desire to perform it. Nevertheless, so far as in me lies, I have loved the beauty of His sanctuary, and, if left to myself, would have chosen to occupy the lowest place in the Lord's house. But to Him who was pleased to separate me from my mother's womb, and to draw me away from the friendship of flesh and blood to His grace, it has seemed good to raise me from the earth and from the gulf of misery, though destitute of all merit, and to take me from the mire and from the dunghill, to set me among the princes of His people, and appoint my place in the same rank with yourself; so that, although you excel me in worth, I should be associated with you as your equal in office.

5. It is not therefore by my own presumption, but .in accordance with the pleasure and appointment of the Lord, that I appropriate the honour of which I own myself unworthy, claiming for myself the bond of brotherhood with you; for I am persuaded, from the holiness of your character, that you are taught by the truth "not to mind high things, but to condescend to men of low estate." Therefore I hope that you will readily and kindly accept the assurance of the love which in humility we bear to you, and which, I trust, you have already received through the most blessed priest Alypius, whom (with his permission) we call our father. For he doubtless has himself given you an example of loving us both while we are yet strangers, and above our desert; for he has found it possible, in the spirit of far-reaching and self-diffusing genuine love, to behold us by affection, and to come in contact with us by writing, even when we were unknown to him, and severed by a wide interval both of land and sea. He has presented us with the first proofs of his affection to us, and evidences of your love, in the above-mentioned gift of books. And as he was greatly concerned that we should be constrained to ardent love for you, when known to us, not by his testimony alone, but more fully by the eloquence and the faith seen in your own writings; so do we believe that he has taken care, with equal zeal, to bring you to imitate his example in cherishing a very warm love towards us in return. 0 brother in Christ, beloved, venerable, and ardently longed for, we desire that the grace of God, as it is with you, may abide for ever. We salute, with the utmost affection of cordial brotherhood, your whole household, and every one who is in the Lord a companion and imitator of your holiness. We beg you to bless, in accepting it, one loaf which we have sent to your Charity, in token of our oneness of heart with you.

LETTER XXVI. (A.D. 395.)

TO LICENTIUS2 FROM AUGUSTIN.

1. I have with difficulty found an opportunity for writing to you: who would believe it ? Yet Licentius must take my word for it. I do not wish you to search curiously for the causes and reasons of this; for though they could be given, your confidence' in me acquits me of obligation to furnish them. Moreover, I received your letters by messengers who were not available for the carrying back of my reply. And as to the thing which you asked me to ask, I attended to it by letter as far as it seemed to me right to bring it forward; but with what result you may have seen. If I have not yet' succeeded, I will press the matter more earnestly, either when the result comes to my knowledge, or when you yourself remind me of it. Thus far I have spoken to you of the things in which we hear the sound of the chains of this life. I pass from them. Receive now in a few words the utterance of my heart's anxieties concerning your hope for eternity, and the question how a way may be opened for you to God.

2. I fear, my dear Licentius, that you, while repeatedly rejecting and dreading the restraints of wisdom, as if these were bonds, are becoming firmly and fatally in bondage to mortal things. For wisdom, though at first it restrains men, and subdues them by some labours in the way of discipline, gives them presently true freedom, and enriches 'them, when free, with the possession and enjoyment of itself; and though at first it educates them by the help of temporary restraints, it folds them afterwards in its eternal embrace, the sweetest and strongest of all conceivable bonds. I admit, indeed, that these initial restraints are somewhat hard to bear; but the ultimate restraints of wisdom I cannot call grievous, because they are most sweet; nor can I call them easy, because they are most firm: in short, they possess a quality which cannot be described, but which can be the object of faith, and hope, and love. The bonds of this world, on the other hand, have a real harshness and a delusive charm, certain pain and uncertain pleasure, hard toil and troubled rest, an experience full of misery, and a hope devoid of happiness. And are you submitting neck and hands and feet to these chains, desiring to be burdened with honours of this kind, reckoning your labours to be in vain if they are not thus rewarded, and spontaneously aspiring to become fixed in that to which neither persuasion nor force ought to have induced you to go? Perhaps you answer, in the words of the slave in Terence,

"So ho, you are pouring out wise words here."

Receive my words, then, that I may pour them out without wasting them. But if I sing, while you prefer to dance to another tune, even thus I do not regret my effort to give advice; for the exercise of singing yields pleasure even when the song fails to stir to responsive .motion the person for whom it is sung with loving care. There were in your letters some verbal mistakes which attracted my attention, but I judge it trifling to discuss these when solicitude about your actions and your whole life disturbs me.

3. If your verses were marred by defective arrangement, or violated the laws of prosody, or grated on the ears of the hearer by imperfect rhythm, you would doubtless be ashamed, and you would lose no time, you would take no rest, until you arranged, corrected, remodelled, and balanced your composition, devoting any amount of earnest study and toil to the acquisition and practice of the art of versification: but when you yourself are marred by disorderly living, when you violate the laws of God, when your life accords neither with the honourable desires of friends on your behalf, nor with the light given by your own learning, do you think this is a trifle to be cast out of sight and out of mind ? As if, forsooth, you thought yourself of less value than the sound of your own voice, and esteemed it a smaller matter to displease God by ill-ordered life, than to provoke the censure of grammarians by ill-ordered syllables.

4. You write thus: "Oh that the morning light of other days could with its gladdening chariot bring back to me bright hours that are gone, which we spent together in the heart of Italy and among the high mountains, when proving the generous leisure and pure privileges which belong to the good ! Neither stern winter with its frozen snow, nor the rude blasts of Zephyrs and 'raging of Boreas, could deter me from following your footsteps with eager tread. You have only to express your wish." '

Woe be to me if I do not express this wish, nay, if I do not compel and command, or beseech and implore you to follow me. If, however, your ear is shut against my voice, let it be open to your own voice, and give heed to your own poem: listen to yourself, O friend, most unyielding, unreasonable, and unimpressible. What care I for your tongue of gold, while your heart is of iron? How shall I, not in verses, but in lamentations, sufficiently bewail these verses of yours, in which I discover what a soul, what a mind that is which I am not permitted to seize and present as an offering to our God ? You are waiting for me to express the wish that you should become good, and enjoy rest and happiness: as if any day could shine more pleasantly on me than that in which I shall enjoy in God your gifted mind, or as if you did not know how I hunger and thirst for you, or as if you did not in this poem itself confess this. Return to the mind in which you wrote these things; say to me now again, "You have only to express your wish." Here then is my wish, if my expression of it be enough to move you to comply: Give yourself to me- give yourself to my Lord, who is the Lord of us both and who has endowed you with your faculties: for what am I but through Him your servant, and under Him your fellow-servant?

5. Nay, has not He given expression to His will? Hear the gospel: it declares, "Jesus stood and cried.' ....Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: so shall ye find rest to your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."2 If these words are not heard, or are heard only with the ear, do you, Licentius, expect Augustin to issue his command to his fellow-servant, and not rather complain that the will of his Lord is despised, when He orders, nay invites, and as it were entreats all who labour to seek rest in Him ? But to your strong and proud neck, forsooth, the yoke of the world seems easier than the yoke of Christ; yet consider, in regard to the yoke which He imposes, by whom and with what recompense it is imposed. Go to Campania, learn in the case of Paulinus, that eminent and holy servant of God, how great worldly honours he shook off, without hesitation, from neck truly noble because humble, in order that he might place it, as he has done, beneath the yoke of Christ; and now, with his mind at rest, he meekly rejoices in Him as the guide of his way. Go, learn with what wealth of mind he offers to Him the sacrifice of praise, rendering unto Him all the good which he has received from Him, test, by failing to store all that he has in Him from whom he received it, he should lose it all.

6. Why are you so excited? why so wavering? why do you turn your ear away from us, and lend it to the imaginations of fatal pleasures ? They are false, they perish, and they lead to perdition. They are false, Licentius. "May the truth," as you desire, "be made plain to us by demonstration, may it flow more clear than Eridanus." The truth alone declares what is true: Christ is the truth; let us come to Him that we may be released from labour. That He may heal us, let us take His yoke upon us, and learn of Him who is meek and lowly in heart, and we shall find rest unto our souls: for His yoke is easy, and His burden is light. The devil desires to wear you as an ornament. Now, if you found in the earth a golden chalice, you would give it to the Church of God. But you have received' from God talents that are spiritually valuable as gold; and do you devote these to the service of your lusts, and surrender yourself to Satan ? Do it not, I entreat you. May you at some time perceive with what a sad and sorrowful heart I have written these things; and I pray you, have pity on me if you have ceased to be precious in your own eyes.

LETTER XXVII. (A.D. 395.)

TO MY LORD, HOLY AND VENERABLE, AND WORTHY OF HIGHEST PRAISE IN CHRIST, MY BROTHER PAULINUS, AUGUSTIN SENDS GREETING IN THE LORD.

1. O excellent man and excellent brother, there was a time when you were unknown to my mind; and I charge my mind to bear patiently your being still unknown to my eyes, but it almost--nay, altogether--refuses to obey. Does it indeed bear this patiently ? If so, why then does a longing for your presence rack my inmost soul ? For if I were suffering bodily infirmities, and these did not interrupt the serenity 'of my mind, I might be justly said to bear them patiently; but when I cannot bear with equanimity the privation of not seeing you, it would be intolerable were I to call my state of mind patience. Nevertheless, it would perhaps be still more intolerable if I were to be found patient while absent from you, seeing that you are such an one as you are. It is well, therefore, that I am unsatisfied under a privation which is such that, if I were satisfied under it, every one would justly be dissatisfied with me. What has befallen me is strange, yet true: I grieve because I do not see you, and my grief itself comforts me; for I neither admire nor covet a fortitude easily consoled under the absence of good men such ins you are. For do we not long for the heavenly Jerusalem? and the more impatiently we long for it, do we not the more patiently submit to all things for its sake? Who can so withhold himself from joy in seeing you, as to feel no pain when you are. no longer seen ? I at least can do neither; and seeing that if I could, it could only be by trampling on right and natural feeling, I rejoice that I cannot, and in this rejoicing I find some consolation. It is therefore not the removal, but the contemplation, of this sorrow that consoles me. Blame me not, I beseech you, with that devout seriousness of spirit which so eminently distinguishes you; say not that I do wrong to grieve because of my not yet knowing you, when you have disclosed to my sight your mind, which is the inner man. For if, when sojourning in any place, or in the city to which you belong, I had come to know you as my brother and friend, and as one so eminent as a Christian, so noble as a man, how could you think that it would be no disappointment to me if I were not permitted to know your dwelling? How, then, can I but mourn because I have not yet seen your face and form, the dwelling-place of that mind which I have come to know as if it were my own?

2. For I have read your letter, which flows with milk and honey, which exhibits the simplicity of heart wherewith, under the guidance of piety, you seek the Lord, and which brings glory and honour to Him. The brethren have read it also, and find unwearied and ineffable satisfaction in those abundant and excellent gifts with which God has endowed you. As many as have read it carry it away with them, because, while they read, it carries them away. Words cannot express how sweet is the savour of Christ which your letter breathes. How strong is the wish to be more fully acquainted with you which that letter awakens by presenting you to our sight ! for it at once permits us to discern and prompts us to desire you. For the more effectually that it makes us in a certain sense realize your presence, the more does it render us impatient under your absence. All love you as seen therein, and wish to be loved by you. Praise and thanksgiving are offered to God, by whose grace you are what you are. In your letter, Christ is awakened that He may be pleased to calm the winds and the waves for you, directing your steps towards His perfect stedfastness.1 In it the reader beholds a wife2 who does not bring her husband to effeminacy, but by union to him is brought herself to share the strength of his nature; and unto her in you, as completely one with you, and bound to you by spiritual ties which owe their strength to their purity, we desire to return our salutations with the respect due to your Holiness. In it, the cedars of Lebanon, levelled to the ground, and fashioned by the skilful craft of love into the form of the Ark, cleave the waves of this world, fearless of decay. In it, glory is scorned that it may be secured, and the world given up that it may be gained. In it, the little ones, yea, the mightier sons of Babylon, the sins of turbulence and pride, are dashed against the rock.

3. These and other such most delightful and hallowed spectacles are presented to the readers of your letter, -- that letter which exhibits a true faith, a good hope, a pure love. How it breathes to us your thirst, your longing and fainting for the courts of the Lord ! With what holy love it is inspired ! How it overflows with the abundant treasure of a true heart! What thanksgivings it renders to God ! What blessings it procures from Him! Is it elegance or fervour, light or life-giving power, which shines most in your letter? For how can it at once soothe us and animate us ? how can it combine fertilizing rains with the brightness of a cloudless sky ? How is this ? I ask; or how shall I repay you, except by giving myself to be wholly yours in Him whose you wholly are? If this be little, it is at least all I have to give. But you have made me think it not little, by your deigning to honour me in that letter with such praises, that when I requite you by giving myself to you, I would be chargeable if I counted the gift a small one, with refusing to believe your testimony. I am ashamed, indeed, to believe so much good spoken of myself, but I am yet more unwilling to refuse to believe you. I have one way of escape from the dilemma: I shall not credit your estimate of my character, because I do not recognise myself in the portrait you have drawn; but I shall believe myself to be beloved by you, because I perceive and feel this beyond all doubt. Thus I shall be found neither rash in judging of myself, nor ungrateful for your esteem. Moreover, when I offer myself to you, it is not a small offering; for I offer one whom you very warmly love, and one who, though he is not what you suppose him to be, is nevertheless one for whom you are praying that he may become such. And your prayers I now beg the more earnestly, lest, thinking me to be already what I am not, you should be less solicitous for the supply of that which I lack.

4. The bearer of this letter 3 to your Excellency and most eminent Charity is one of my dearest friends, and most intimately known to me from early years. His name is mentioned in the treatise De Religione, which your Holiness, as you indicate in your letter, has read with very great pleasure, doubtless because it was made more acceptable to you by the recommendation of so good a man as he who sent it to you.4 I would not wish you, however, to give credence to the statements which, perchance, one who is so intimately my friend may have made in praise of me. For I have often observed, that, without intending to say what was untrue, he was, by the bias of friendship, mistaken in his opinion concerning me, and that he thought me to be already possessed of many things, for the gift of which my heart earnestly waited on the Lord. And if he did such things in my presence, who may not conjecture that out of the fulness of his heart he may utter many things more excellent than true concerning me when absent ? He will submit to your esteemed attention, and review all my treatises; for I am not aware of having written anything, either addressed to those who are beyond the pale of the Church, or to the brethren, which is not in his possession. But when you are reading these, my holy Paulinus, let not those things which Truth has spoken by my weak instrumentality, so carry you away as to prevent your carefully observing what I myself have spoken, lest, while you drink in with eagerness the things good and true which have been given to me as a servant, you should forget to pray for the pardon of my errors and mistakes. For in all that shall, if observed, justly displease you, I myself am seen; but in all which in my books is justly approved by you, through the gift of the Holy Spirit bestowed on you, He is to be loved, He is to be praised, with whom is the fountain of life, and in whose light we shall see light,1 not darkly as we do here, but face to face? When, in reading over my writings, I discover in them anything which is due to the working of the old leaven in me, I blame myself for it with true sorrow; but if anything which I have spoken is, by God's gift, from the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth, I rejoice therein with trembling. For what have we that we have not received ? Yet it may be said, his portion is better whom God has endowed with larger and more numerous gifts, than his on whom smaller and fewer have been conferred. True; but, on the other hand, it is better to have a small gift, and to render to Him due thanks for it, than, having a large gift, to wish to claim the merit of it as our own. Pray for me, my brother, that I may make such acknowledgments sincerely, and that my heart may not be at variance with my tongue. Pray, I beseech you, that, not coveting praise to myself, but rendering praise to the Lord, I may worship Him; and I shall be safe from mine enemies.

5. There is yet another thing which may move you to love more warmly the brother who bears my letter; for he is a kinsman of the venerable and truly blessed bishop Alypius, whom you love with your whole heart, and justly: for whoever thinks highly of that man, thinks highly of the great mercy and wonderful gifts which God has bestowed on him. Accordingly, when he had read your request, desiring him to write for you a sketch of his history, and, while willing to do, it because of your kindness, was yet unwilling to do it because of his humility, I, seeing him unable to decide between the respective claims of love and humility, transferred the burden from his shoulders to my own, for he enjoined me by letter to do so. I shall therefore, with God's help, soon place in your heart Alypius just as he is: for this I chiefly feared, that he would be afraid to declare all that God has conferred on him, lest (since what he writes would be read by others besides you) he should seem to any who are less competent to discriminate to be commending not God's goodness bestowed on men, but his own merits; and that thus you, who know what construction to put on such statements, would, through his regard for the infirmity of others, be deprived of that which to you as a brother ought to be imparted. This I would have done already, and you would already be reading my description of him, had not my brother suddenly resolved to set out earlier than we expected. For him I bespeak a welcome from your heart and from your lips as kindly as if your acquaintance with him was not beginning now, but of as long standing as my own. For if he does not shrink from laying himself open to your heart, he will be in great measure, if not completely, healed by your lips; for I desire him to be often made to hear the words of those who cherish for their friends a higher love than that which is of this world.

6. Even if Romanianus had not been going to visit your Charity, I had resolved to recommend to you by letter his son [Licentius], dear to me as my own (whose name you will find also in some of my books), in order that he may be encouraged, exhorted, and instructed, not so much by the sound of your voice, as by the example of your spiritual strength. I desire earnestly, that while his life is yet in the green blade, the tares may be turned into wheat, and he may believe those who know by experience the dangers to which he is eager to expose himself. From the poem of my young friend, and my letter to him, your most benevolent and considerate wisdom may perceive my grief, fear, and care on his account. I am not without hope that, by the Lord's favour, I may through your means be set free from such disquietude regarding him.

As you are now about to read much that I have written, your love will be much more gratefully esteemed by me, if, moved by compassion, and judging impartially, you correct and reprove whatever displeases you. For you are not one whose oil anointing my head would make me .afraid.3

The brethren, not those only who dwell with u's, and those who, dwelling elsewhere, serve God in the same way as we do, but almost all who are in Christ our warm friends, send you salutations, along with the expression of their veneration and affectionate longing for you as a brother, as a saint, and as a man.4 I dare not ask; but if you have any leisure from ecclesiastical duties, you may see for what favour all Africa, with myself, is thirsting.

LETTER XXVIII. (A.D. 394 OR 395.)

TO JEROME, THE MOST BELOVED LORD, AND BROTHER AND FELLOW-PRESBYTER, WORTHY OF BEING HONOURED AND EMBRACED WITH THE SINCEREST AFFECTIONATE DEVOTION, AUGUSTIN SENDS GREETING.1

CHAP. I.- 1. Never was the face of any one more familiar to another, than the peaceful, happy, and truly noble diligence of your studies in the Lord has become to me. For although I long greatly to be acquainted with you, I feel that already my knowledge of you is deficient in respect of nothing but a very small part of you, -- namely, your personal appearance; and even as to this, I cannot deny that since my most blessed brother Alypius (now invested with the office of bishop, of which he was then truly worthy) has seen you, and has on his return been seen by me, it has been almost completely imprinted on my mind by his report of you; nay, I may say that before his return, when he saw you there, I was seeing you myself with his eyes. For any one who knows us may say of him and me, that in body only, and not in mind, we are two, so great is the union of heart, so firm the intimate friendship subsisting between us; though in merit we are not alike, for his is far above mine. Seeing, therefore, that you love me, both of old through the communion of spirit by which we are knit to each other, and more recently through what you know of me from the mouth of my friend, I feel that it is not presumptuous in me (as it would be in one wholly unknown to you) to recommend to your brotherly esteem the brother Profuturus, in whom we trust that the happy omen of his name (Good-speed) may be fulfilled through our efforts furthered after this by your aid; although, perhaps, it may be presumptuous on this ground, that he is so great a man, that it would be much more fitting that I should be commended to you by him, than he by me. I ought perhaps to write no more, if I were willing to content myself with the style of a formal letter of introduction; but my mind overflows into conference with you, concerning the studies with which we are occupied in Christ Jesus our Lord, who is pleased to furnish us largely through your love with many benefits, and some helps by the way, in the path which He has pointed out to His' followers.

CHAP. II.--2. We therefore, and with us all that are devoted to study in the African churches, beseech you not to refuse to devote care and labour to the translation of the books of those who have written in the Greek language most able commentaries on our Scriptures. You may thus put us also in possession of these men, and especially of that one whose name you seem to have singular pleasure in sounding forth in your writings [Origen]. But I beseech you not to devote your labour to the work of translating into Latin the sacred canonical books, unless you follow the method in which you have translated Job, viz. with the addition of notes, to let it be seen plainly what differences there are between this version of yours and that of the LXX., whose authority is worthy of highest esteem. For my own part, I cannot sufficiently express my wonder that anything should at this date be found in the Hebrew Mss. which escaped so many translators perfectly acquainted with the language. I say nothing of the LXX., regarding whose harmony in mind and spirit, surpassing that which is found in even one man, I dare not in any way pronounce a decided opinion, except that in my judgment, beyond question, very high authority must in this work of translation be conceded to them. I am more perplexed by those translators who, though enjoying the advantage of labouring after the LXX. had completed their work, and although well acquainted, as it is reported, with the force of Hebrew words and phrases, and with Hebrew syntax, have not only failed to agree among themselves, but have left man), things which, even after so long a time, still remain to be discovered and brought to light. Now these things were either obscure or plain: if they were obscure, it is believed that you are as likely to have been mistaken as the others; if they were plain, it is not believed that they [the LXX.3 could possibly have been mistaken. Having stated the grounds of my perplexity, I appeal to your kindness to give me an answer regarding this matter.

CHAP. III.-- 3. I have been reading also some writings, ascribed to you, on the Epistles of the Apostle Paul. In reading your exposition of the Epistle to the Galatians, that passage came to my hand in which the Apostle Peter is called back from a course of dangerous dissimulation. To find there the defence of falsehood undertaken, whether by you, a man of such weight, or by any author (if it is the writing of another), :causes me, I must confess, great sorrow, until at least those things which decide my opinion in the matter are refuted, if indeed they admit of refutation. For it seems to me that most disastrous consequences must follow upon our believing that anything false is found in the sacred books: that is to say, that the men by whom the Scripture has been given to us, and committed to writing, did put down in these books anything false. It is one question whether it may be at any time the duty of a good man to deceive; but it is another question whether it can have been the duty of a writer of Holy Scripture to deceive: nay, it is not another question -- it is no question at all. For if you once admit into such a high sanctuary of authority 'one false statement as made in the way of duty,1 there will not be left a single sentence of those books which, if appearing to any one difficult in practice or hard to believe, may not by the same fatal rule be explained away, as a statement in which, intentionally, and under a sense of duty, the author declared what was not true.

4. For if the Apostle Paul did not speak the truth when, finding fault with the Apostle Peter, he said: "If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?" -- if, indeed, Peter seemed to him to be doing what was right, and if, notwithstanding, he, in order to soothe troublesome opponents, both said and wrote that Peter did what was wrong;2-- if we say thus, what then shall be our answer when perverse men such as he himself prophetically described arise, forbidding marriage,3 if they defend themselves by saying that, in all which the same apostle wrote in confirmation of the lawfulness of marriage? he was, on account of men who, through love for their wives, might become troublesome opponents, declaring what was false,-- saying these things, forsooth, not because he believed them, but because their opposition might thus be averted? It is unnecessary to quote many parallel examples. For even things which pertain to the praises of God might be represented as piously intended falsehoods, written in order that love for Him might be enkindled in men who were slow of heart; and thus nowhere in the sacred books shall the authority of pure truth stand sure. Do we not observe the great care with which the same apostle commends the truth to us, when he says: "And if Christ be not risen, then is our: preaching vain, and your faith is also vain: yea, I and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ; whom He raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not." 5 If any one said to him, I "Why are you so shocked by this falsehood, when the thing which you have said, even if it were false, tends very greatly to the glory of God ?" would he not, abhorring the madness of such a man, with every word and sign which could express his feelings, open clearly the secret ' depths of his own heart, protesting that to speak : well of a falsehood uttered on behalf of God, was a crime not less, perhaps even greater, than to speak ill of the truth concerning Him? We must therefore be careful to secure, in order to our knowledge of the divine Scriptures, the guidance only of such a man as is imbued with a high reverence for the sacred books, and a profound persuasion of their truth, preventing him from flattering himself in any part of them with the hypothesis of a statement being made not because it was true, but because it was expedient, and making him rather pass by what he does not understand, than set up his own feelings above that truth. For, truly, when he pronounces anything to be untrue, he demands that he be believed in preference, and endeavours to shake our confidence in the authority of the divine Scriptures.

5. For my part, I would devote all the strength which the Lord grants me, to show that every one of those texts which are wont to be quoted in defence of the expediency of falsehood ought to be otherwise understood, in order that everywhere the sure truth of these passages themselves may be consistently maintained. For as statements adduced in evidence must not be false, neither ought they to favour falsehood. This, however, I leave to your own judgment. For if you apply more thorough attention to the passage, perhaps you will see it much more readily than I have done. To this more careful study that piety will move you, by which you discern that the authority of the divine Scriptures becomes unsettled (so that every one may believe what he wishes, and reject what he does not wish) if this be once admitted, that the men by whom these things have been delivered unto us, could in their writings state some things which were not true, from considerations of duty;s unless, perchance, you propose to furnish us with certain rules by which we may know when a falsehood might or might not become a duty. If this can be done, I beg you to set forth these rules with reasonings which may be neither equivocal nor precarious; and I beseech you by our Lord, in whom Truth was incarnate, not to consider me burdensome or presumptuous in making this request. For a mistake of mine which is in the interest of truth cannot deserve great blame, if indeed it deserves blame at all, when it is possible for you to use truth in the interest of falsehood without doing wrong.

CHAP. IV. -- 6. Of many other things I would wish to discourse with your most ingenuous heart, and to take counsel with you concerning Christian studies; but this desire could not be satisfied within the limits of any letter. I may do this more fully by means of the brother bearing this letter, whom I rejoice in sending to share and profit by your sweet and useful conversation. Nevertheless, although I do not reckon myself superior in any respect to him, even he may take less from you than I would desire; and he will excuse my saying so, for I confess myself to hay, more room for receiving from you than he has. I see his mind to be already more fully stored, in which unquestionably he excels me. Therefore, when he returns, as I trust he may happily do by God's blessing, and when I become a sharer in all with which his heart has been richly furnished by you, there will still be a consciousness of void unsatisfied in me, and a longing for personal fellowship with you. Hence of the two I shall be the poorer, and he the richer, then as now. This brother carries with him some of my writings, which if you condescend to read, I implore you to review them with candid and brotherly strictness. For the words of Scripture, "The righteous shall correct me in compassion, and reprove me; but the oil of the sinner shall i not anoint my head,"1 I understand to mean that he is the truer friend who by his censure heals me, than the one who by flattery anoints my head. I find the greatest difficulty in exercising a right judgment when I read over what I have written, being either too cautious or too rash. For I sometimes see my own faults, but I prefer to hear them reproved by those who are better able to judge than I am; lest after I have, perhaps justly, charged myself with error, I begin again to flatter myself, and think that my censure has arisen from an undue mistrust of my own judgment.

LETTER XXIX. (A.D. 395.)

A LETTER FROM THE PRESBYTER OF THE DISTRICT OF HIPPO TO ALYPIUS THE BISHOP OF THAGASTE, CONCERNING THE ANNIVERSARY OF THE BIRTH OF LEONTIUS,2 FORMERLY BISHOP OF HIPPO.

1. In the absence of brother Macharius, I have not been able to write anything definite concerning a matter about which I could not feel otherwise than anxious: it is said, however, that he will soon return, and whatever can be with God's help done in the matter shall be done. Although also our brethren, citizens of your town, who were with us, might sufficiently assure you of our solicitude on their behalf when the), returned, nevertheless+ the thing which the Lord has granted to me is one worthy to be the subject of that epistolary intercourse which ministers so much to the comfort of us both; it is, moreover, a thing in the obtaining of which I believe that I have been greatly assisted by your own solicitude regarding it, seeing that it could not but constrain you to intercession on our behalf.

2. Therefore let me not fail to relate to your Charity what has taken place; so that, as you joined us in pouring out prayers for this mercy before it was obtained, you may now join us in rendering thanks for it after it has been received. When I was informed after your departure that some were becoming openly violent, and declaring that they could not submit to the prohibition (intimated while you were here) of that feast which they call Laetitia, vainly attempting to disguise their revels under a fair name, it happened most opportunely for me, by the hidden fore-ordination of the Almighty God, that on the fourth holy day that chapter of the Gospel fell to be expounded in ordinary course, in which the words occur: "Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine." 3 I discoursed therefore concerning dogs and swine in such a way as to compel those who clamour with obstinate barking against the divine precepts, and who are given up to the abominations of carnal pleasures, to blush for shame; and followed it up by saying, that they might plainly see how criminal it was to do, under the name of religion, within the walls of the church, that which, if it were practised by them in their own houses, would make it necessary for them to be debarred from that which is holy, and from the privileges which are the pearls of the Church.

3. Although these words were well received, nevertheless, as few had attended the meeting, all had not been done which so great an emergency required. When, however, this discourse was, according to the ability and zeal of each, made known abroad by those who had heard it, it found many opponents. But when the morning of Quadragesima came round, and a great multitude had assembled at the hour of exposition of Scripture, that passage in the Gospel was read in which our Lord said, concerning those sellers who were driven out of the temple, and the tables of the money-changers which He had overthrown, that the house of His Father had been made a den of thieves instead of a house l of prayer.4 After awakening their attention by bringing forward the subject of immoderate indulgence in wine, I myself also read this chapter, land added to it an argument to prove with how much greater anger and vehemence our Lord 'would cast forth drunken revels, which are everywhere disgraceful, from that temple from which He thus drove out merchandise lawful elsewhere, especially when the things sold were those required for the sacrifices appointed in that dispensation; and I asked them whether they regarded a place occupied by men selling what was necessary, or one used by men drinking to excess, as bearing the greater resemblance to a den of thieves.

4. Moreover, as passages of Scripture which I had prepared were held ready to be put into my hands, I went on to say that the Jewish nation, with all its lack of spirituality in religion, never held feasts, even temperate feasts, much less feasts 'disgraced by intemperance, in their temple, in which at that time the body and blood of the Lord were not yet offered, and that in history they are not found to have been excited by wine on any public occasion bearing the name of worship, except when they held a feast before the idol which they had made.1 While I said these things I took the manuscript from the attendant, and read that whole passage. Reminding them of the words of the apostle, who says, in order to distinguish Christians from the obdurate Jews, that they are his epistle written, not on tables of stone, but on the fleshly tables of the heart,2 I asked further, with the deepest sorrow, how it was that, although Moses the servant of God broke both the tables of stone because of these rulers of Israel, I could not break the hearts of those who, though men of the New Testament dispensation, were desiring in their celebration of saints' days to repeat often the public perpetration of excesses ,of which the people of the Old Testament economy were guilty only once, and that in an act of idolatry.

5. Having then given back the manuscript of Exodus, I proceeded to enlarge, so far as my time permitted, on the crime of drunkenness, and took up the writings of the Apostle Paul, and showed among what sins it is classed by him, .reading the text, "If any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one (ye ought) not even to eat;" 3 pathetically reminding them how great is our danger in eating with those who are guilty of intemperance even in their own houses. I read also what is added, a little further on, in the same epistle: "Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God." 4 After reading these, I charged them to consider how believers could hear these words, "but ye are washed," if they still tolerated in their own hearts--that is, in God's inner temple--the abominations of such lusts as these against which the kingdom of heaven is shut. Then I went on to that passage: "When ye come together into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's supper: for in eating, every one taketh before other his own supper; and one is hungry, and another is drunken. What! have ye not houses to eat and to drink in, or despise ye the church of God ?" s After reading which, I more especially begged them to remark that not even innocent and temperate feasts were permitted in the church: for the apostle said not, "Have ye not houses of your own in which to be drunken ? "--as if it was drunkenness alone which was unlawful in the church; but, "Have ye not houses to eat and to drink in?" --things lawful in themselves, but not lawful in the church, inasmuch as men have their own houses in which they may be recruited by necessary food: whereas now, by the corruption of the times and the relaxation of morals, we have been brought so low, that, no longer insisting upon sobriety in the houses of men, all that we venture to demand is, that the realm of tolerated excess be restricted to their own homes.

6. I reminded them also of a passage in the Gospel which I had expounded the day before, m which it is said of the false prophets: "Ye shall know them by their fruits." 6 I also bade them remember that in that place our works are signified by the word fruits. Then I asked among what kind of fruits drunkenness was named, and read that passage in the Epistle to the Galatians: "Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murder, drunkenness, revellings, and such like; of the which I tell you before, as I have told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God." 7 After these words, I asked how, when God has commanded that Christians be known by their fruits,' we could be known as Christians by this fruit of drunkenness ? I added also, that we must read what follows there: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance."s And I pied with them to consider how shameful and lamentable it would be, if, not content with living at home in the practice of these works of the flesh, they even wished by them, forsooth, to honour the church, and to fill the whole area of so large a place of worship, if they were permitted, with crowds of revellers and drunkards: and yet would not present to God those fruits of the Spirit which, by the authority of Scripture, and by my groans, they were called to yield, and by the offering of which they would most suitably celebrate the saints' days.

7. This being finished, I returned the manuscript; and being asked to speak,' I set before I their eyes with all my might, as the danger itself constrained me, and as the Lord was pleased to give strength, the danger shared by them who were committed to my care, and by me, who must give account to the Chief Shepherd, and implored them by His humiliation, by the unparalleled insults, the buffetings and spitting on the face which He endured, by His pierced hands and crown of thorns, and by His cross and blood, to have pity on me at least, if they were displeased with themselves, and to consider the inexpressible love cherished towards me by] the aged and venerable Valerius, who had not scrupled to assign to me for their sakes the perilous burden of expounding to them the word of truth, and had often told them that in my coming here his prayers were answered; not rejoicing, surely, that I had come to share or to behold the death of our hearers, but rejoicing that I had come to share his labours for the eternal life. In conclusion, I told them that I was resolved to trust in Him who cannot lie, and who has given us a promise by the mouth of the prophet, saying of our Lord Jesus Christ, "If His children forsake my law, and walk not in my judgments ) if they break my statutes, and keep not my commandments j then will I visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes: nevertheless my loving-kindness will 12 not utterly take from Him." 2 I declared, therefore, that I put my trust in Him, that if they despised the weighty words which had now been read and spoken to them, He would visit them with the rod and with stripes, and not leave them to be condemned with the world. In this appeal I put forth all the power in thought and utterance which, in an emergency j.. so great and hazardous, our Saviour and Ruler was pleased to supply. I did not move them' to weep by first weeping myself; but while these things were being spoken, I own that, moved by the tears which they began to shed, I myself could not refrain from following their example. And when we had thus wept together, I concluded my sermon with full persuasion that they would be restrained by it from the abuses denounced.

8. Next morning, however, when the day dawned, which so many were accustomed to devote to excess in eating and drinking, I received notice that some, even of those who were present when I preached, had not yet desisted from complaint, and that so great was the power of detestable custom with them, that, using no other argument, they asked, "Wherefore is this now prohibited? Were they not Christians who in former times did not interfere with this practice?" On hearing this, I knew not what more powerful means for influencing them I could devise; but resolved, in the event of their judging it proper to persevere, that after reading in : Ezekiel's prophecy that the watchman has delivered his own soul if he has given warning, even though the persons warned refuse to give heed to him, I would shake my garments and depart. But then the Lord showed me that He leaves us not alone, and taught me how He encourages us to trust Him; for before the time at which I had to ascend the pulpit,3 the very persons of whose complaint against interference with long-established custom I had heard came to me. Receiving them kindly, I by a few words brought them round to a right opinion; and when it came to the time for my discourse, having laid aside the lecture which I had prepared as now unnecessary, I said a few things concerning the question mentioned above, "Wherefore now prohibit this custom?" saying that to those who might propose it the briefest and best answer would be this: "Let us now at last put down what ought to have been earlier prohibited."

9. Lest, however, any slight should seem to be put by us on those who, before our time, either tolerated or did not dare to put down such manifest excesses of an undisciplined multitude, I explained to them the circumstances out of which this custom seems to have necessarily risen in the Church, --namely, that when, in the peace which came after such numerous and violent persecutions, crowds of heathen who wished to assume the Christian religion were kept back, because, having been accustomed to celebrate the feasts connected with their worship of idols in revelling and drunkenness, they could not easily refrain from pleasures so hurtful and so habitual, it had seemed good to our ancestors, making for the time a concession to this infirmity, to permit them to celebrate, instead of the festivals which they renounced, other feasts in honour of the holy martyrs, which were observed, not as before with a profane design, but with similar self-indulgence. I added that now upon them, as persons bound together in the name of Christ, and submissive to the yoke of His august authority, the wholesome restraints of sobriety were laid -- restraints with which the honour and fear due to Him who appointed them should move them to comply -and that therefore the time had now come in which all who did not dare to cast off the Christian profession should begin to walk according to Christ's will; and being now confirmed Christians, should reject those concessions i to infirmity which were made only for a time in order to their becoming such.

10. I then exhorted them to imitate the example of the churches beyond the sea, in some of which these practices had never been tolerated, while in others they had been already put down by the people complying with the counsel of good ecclesiastical rulers; and as the examples of daily excess in the use of wine in the church of the blessed Apostle Peter were brought forward in defence of the practice, I said in the first place, that I had heard that these excesses had been often forbidden, but because the place was at a distance from the bishop's control, and because in such a city the multitude of carnally-minded persons was great, the foreigners especially, of whom there is a constant influx, clinging to that practice with an obstinacy proportioned to their ignorance, the suppression of so great an evil had not yet been possible. If, however, I continued, we would honour the Apostle Peter, we ought to hear his words, and look much more to the epistles by which his mind is made known to us, than to the place of worship, by which it is not made known; and immediately taking the' manuscript, I read his own words: "Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh arm yourselves likewise with the same mind for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries."' After this, when I saw that all were with one consent turning to a right mind, and renouncing the custom against which I had protested, I exhorted them to assemble at noon for the reading of God's word and singing of psalms; stating that we had resolved thus to celebrate the festival in a way much more accordant with purity and piety; and that, by the number of worshippers who should assemble for this purpose, it would plainly appear who were guided by reason, and who were the slaves of appetite. With these words the discourse concluded.

11. In the afternoon a greater number assembled than in the forenoon, and there was reading and praise alternately up to the hour at which I went out in company with the bishop; and after our coming two psalms were read. Then the old man [Valerius] constrained me by his express command to say something to the people; from which I would rather have been excused, as I was longing for the close of the anxieties of the day. I delivered a short discourse in order to express our gratitude to God. And as we heard the noise of the feasting, which was going on as usual in the church of the heretics, who still prolonged their revelry while we were so differently engaged, I remarked that the beauty of day is enhanced by contrast with the night, and that when anything black is near, the purity of white is the more pleasing; and that, in like manner, our meeting for a spiritual feast might perhaps have been somewhat less sweet to us, but for the contrast of the carnal excesses in which the others indulged; and I exhorted them to desire eagerly such feasts as we then enjoyed, if they had taste

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