LETTERS OF ST. AUGUSTIN
LETTERS LVI TO LXXV
(INCLUDING JEROME'S ANSWERS)

LETTERS LVI. AND LVII.

are addressed (A.D. 400) to Celer, exhorting him to forsake the Donatist schismatics. They may be omitted being brief, and containing no new argument.

LETTER LVIII. (A.D. 401.)

TO MY NOBLE AND WORTHY LORD PAMMACHIUS, MY SON, DEARLY BELOVED IN THE BOWELS OF CHRIST, AUGUSTIN SENDS GREETING IN THE LORD.

1. The good works which spring from the grace of Christ in you have given you a claim to be esteemed by us His members, and have made you as truly known and as much beloved by us as you could be. For even were I daily seeing your face, this could add nothing to the completeness of the acquaintance with you which I now have, when in the shining light of one of your actions I have seen your inner being, fair with the loveliness of peace, and beaming with the brightness of truth. Seeing this has made me know you, and knowing you has made me love you; and therefore, in addressing you, I write to one who, notwithstanding our distance from each other, has become known to me, and is my beloved friend. The bond which binds us together is indeed of earlier date, and we were living united under One Head: for had you not been rooted in His love, the Catholic unity would not have been so dear to you, and you would not have dealt as you have done with your African tenants6 settled in the midst of the consular province of Numidia, the very country in which the folly of the Donatists began, addressing them in such terms, and encouraging them with such enthusiasm, as to persuade them with unhesitating devotion to choose that course which they believed that a man of your character and position would not adopt on other grounds than truth ascertained and acknowledged, and to submit themselves, though so remote from you, to the same Head; so that along with yourself they are reckoned for ever as members of Him by whose command they are for the time dependent upon you.

2. Embracing you, therefore, as known to me by this transaction, I am moved by joyful feelings to congratulate you in Christ Jesus our Lord, .and to send you this letter as a proof of , my heart's love towards you; for I cannot do more. I beseech you, however, not to measure the amount of my love by this letter; but by means of this letter, when you have read it, pass l on by the unseen inner passage which thought I opens up into my heart, and see what is there felt towards you. For to the eye of love that sanctuary of love shall be unveiled which we shut against the disquieting trifles of this world when there we worship God; and there you will see the ecstasy of my joy in your good work,an ecstasy which I cannot describe with tongue for pen, glowing and burning in the offering of praise to Him by whose inspiration you were made willing, and by whose help you were made able to serve Him in this way. "Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift!" 7

3. Oh how we desire in Africa to see such work as this by which you have gladdened us [done by many, who are, like yourself, senators in the State, and sons of the holy Church! It is, however, hazardous to give them this exhortation: they may refuse to follow it, and the enemies of the Church will take advantage of this to deceive the weak, as if they had gained a victory over us in the minds of those who disregarded our counsel. But it is safe for me to express gratitude to you; for you have already done that by which, in the emancipation of those who were weak, the enemies of the Church ! are confounded. I have therefore thought it sufficient to ask you to read this letter with friendly boldness to any to whom you can do so on the ground of their Christian profession. For thus learning what you have achieved, they will believe that that, about which as an impossibility they are now indifferent, can be done in Africa. As to the snares which these heretics contrive in the perversity of their hearts, I have resolved not to speak of them in this! letter, because I have been only amused at their imagining that they could gain any advantage over your mind, which Christ holds as His possession. You will hear them, however, from my brethren, whom I earnestly commend to your Excellency: they fear lest you should disdain some things which to you might seem unnecessary in connection with the great and unlooked for salvation of those men over whom, in consequence of your work, their Catholic Mother rejoices.

LETTER LIX. (A.D. 401.)

TO MY MOST BLESSED LORD AND VENERABLE FATHER VICTORINUS, MY BROTHER IN THE PRIESTHOOD, AUGUSTIN SENDS GREETING IN THE LORD.

1. Your summons to the Council reached me on the fifth day before the Ides of November, in the evening, and found me very much indisposed, so that I could not possibly attend. However, I submit to your pious and wise judgment whether certain perplexities which the summons occasioned were due to my own ignorance or to sufficient grounds. I read in that summons that it was written also to the districts of Mauritania, which, as we know, have their own primates. Now, if these provinces were to be represented in a Council held in Numidia, it was by all means proper that the names of some of the more eminent bishops who are in Mauritania should be attached to the circular letter; and not finding this, I have been greatly surprised. Moreover, to the bishops of Numidia it has been addressed in such a confused and careless manner, that my own name I find in the third place, although I know my proper order to be much further down in the roll of bishops. This wrongs others, and grieves me. Moreover, our venerable father and colleague, Xantippus of Tagosa, says that the primacy belongs to him, and by very many he is regarded as the primate, and he issues such letters as you have sent. Even supposing that this be a mistake, which your Holiness can easily discover and correct, certainly his name should not have been omitted in the summons which you have issued. If his name had been placed in the middle of the list, and not in the first line, I would have wondered much; how much greater, then, is my surprise, when I find in it no mention whatever made of him who, above all others, behoved to be present in the Council, that by the bishops of all the Numidian churches this question of the order of the primacy might be debated before any other!

2. For these reasons, I might even hesitate to come to the Council, lest the summons in which so many flagrant mistakes are found should be a forgery; even were I not hindered both by the !shortness of the notice, and manifold other important engagements standing in the way, I therefore beg you, most blessed prelate, to excuse me, and to be pleased to give attention, in the first instance, to bring about between your Holiness and the aged Xantippus a cordial mutual understanding as to the question which of you ought to summon the Council; or at least, as I think would be still better, let both of you, without prejudging the claim of either, conjointly call together our colleagues, especially those who have been nearly as long in the episcopate as yourselves, who may easily discover land decide which of you has truth on his side, that this question may be settled first among a few of you; and then, when the mistake has been rectified, let the younger bishops be gathered together, who, having no others whom it would be either possible or right for them to accept as witnesses in this matter but yourselves, are meanwhile at a loss to know to which of you the preference is to be given.

I have sent this letter sealed with a ring which represents a man's profile.

LETTER LX. (A.D. 401.)

TO FATHER AURELIUS, MY LORD MOST BLESSED, AND REVERED WITH MOST JUSTLY MERITED RESPECT, MY BROTHER IN THE PRIESTHOOD, MOST SINCERELY BELOVED, AUGUSTIN SENDS GREETING IN THE LORD.

1. I have received no letter from your Holiness since we parted; but I have now read a letter of your Grace concerning Donatus and his brother, and I have long hesitated as to the reply which I ought to give. After frequently reconsidering what is in such a case conducive to the welfare of those whom we serve in Christ, and seek to nourish in Him, nothing has occurred to me which would alter my opinion that: it is not right to give occasion for God's servants to think that promotion to a better position is more readily given to those who have become worse. Such a rule would make monks less careful of falling, and a most grievous wrong would be done to the order of clergy, if those who have deserted their duty as monks be chosen to serve as clergy, seeing that our custom is to select for that office only the more tried and superior men of those who continue faithful to their calling as monks; unless, perchance, the common people are to be taught to joke at our expense, saying "a bad monk make: a good clerk," as they are wont to say that "a poor flute-player makes a good singer." It would be an intolerable calamity if we were to encourage the monks to such fatal pride, and were to consent to brand with so grievous disgrace the clerical order to which we ourselves belong: seeing that sometimes even a good monk is scarcely qualified to be a good clerk; for though he be proficient in self-denial, he may lack the necessary instruction, or be disqualified by some personal defect.

2. I believe, however, that your Holiness understood these monks to have left the monastery with my consent, in order that they might rather be useful to the people of their own district; but this was not the case: of their own accord they departed, of their own accord they deserted us, notwithstanding my resisting, from a regard to their welfare, to the utmost of my power. As to Donatus, seeing that he has obtained ordination before we could arrive at any decision in the Council as to his case, do as your wisdom may guide you; it may be that his proud obstinacy has been subdued. But as to his brother, who was the chief cause of Donatus leaving the monastery, I know not what to write, since you know what I think of him. I do not presume to oppose what may seem best to one of your wisdom, rank, and piety; and I hope with all my heart that you will do whatever you judge most profitable for the members of the Church.

LETTER LXI. (A.D. 401.)

TO HIS WELL-BELOVED BROTHER THEODORUS, BISHOP AUGUSTIN SENDS GREETING IN THE LORD.

1. I have resolved to commit to writing in this letter what I said when you and I were conversing together as to the terms on which we would welcome clergy of the party of Donatus desiring to become Catholics, in order that, if any one asked you what are our sentiments and practice in regard to this, you might exhibit these by producing what I have written with my own hand. Be assured, therefore, that we detest nothing in the Donatist clergy but that which renders them schismatics and heretics, namely, their dissent from the unity and truth of the Catholic Church, in their not remaining in peace with the people of God, which is spread abroad throughout the world, and in their refusing to recognise the baptism of Christ in those who have received it. This their grievous error, therefore, we reject; but the good name of God which they bear, and His sacrament which they have received, we acknowledge in them, and embrace it with reverence and love. But for this very reason we grieve over their wandering, and long to gain them for God by the love of Christ, that they may have within the peace of the Church that holy sacrament for their salvation, which they meanwhile have beyond the pale of the Church for their destruction. If, therefore, there be taken away from between us the evil things which proceed from men, and if the good which comes from God and belongs to both parties in common be duly honoured, there will ensue such brotherly concord, such amiable peace, that the love of Christ shall gain the victory in men's hearts over the temptation of the devil.

2. When, therefore, any come to us from the party of Donatus, we do not welcome the evil which belongs to them, viz. their error and schism: these, the only obstacles to our concord, are removed from between us, and we embrace our brethren, standing with them, as the apostle says, in "the unity of the Spirit, in the bond of peace,"2 and acknowledging in them the good things which are divine, as their holy baptism, 'the blessing conferred by ordination, their profession of self-denial, their vow of celibacy, their faith in the Trinity, and such like; all which things were indeed theirs before, but "profited them nothing, because they had not charity." For what truth is there in the profession of Christian charity by him who does not embrace Christian unity ? When, therefore, they come to the Catholic Church, they gain thereby not what they already possessed, but something which they had not before,- namely, that those things which they possessed begin then to be profitable to them. For in the Catholic Church they obtain the root of charity in the bond of peace and in the fellowship of unity: so that all the sacraments of truth which they hold serve not to condemn, but to deliver them. The branches ought not to boast that their wood is the wood of the vine, not of the thorn; for if they do not live by union to the root, they shall, notwithstanding their outward appearance, be cast into the fire. But of some branches which were broken off the apostle says that "God is able to graft them in again."' Wherefore, beloved brother, if you see any one of the Donatist party in doubt as to the place into which they shall be welcomed by us, show them this writing in my own hand, which is familiar to you, and let them have it to read if they desire it; for "I call God for a record upon my soul," that I will welcome them on such terms as that they shah retain not only the baptism of Christ which they have received, but also the honour due to their vow of holiness and to their self-denying virtue.

LETTER LXII. (A.D. 401)

ALYPIUS, AUGUSTIN, AND SAMSUCIUS, AND THE BRETHREN WHO ARE WITH THEM, SEND GREETING IN THE LORD TO SEVERUS,2 THEIR LORD MOST BLESSED, AND WITH ALL REVERENCE MOST BELOVED, THEIR BROTHER IN TRUTH, AND PARTNER IN THE PRIESTLY OFFICE, AND TO ALL THE BRETHREN WHO ARE WITH HIM.

1. When we came to Subsana, and inquired into the things which had been done there in our absence and against our will, we found some things exactly as we had heard reported, and some things otherwise, but all things calling for lamentation and forbearance; and we endeavoured, in so far as the Lord gave His help, to put them right by reproof, admonition, and prayer. What distressed us most, since your departure from the place, was that the brethren who went thence to you were allowed to go without a guide, which we beg you to excuse, as having taken place not from malice, but from an excessive caution. For, believing as they did that these men were sent by our son Timotheus in order to move you to be displeased with us, and being anxious to reserve the whole matter untouched until we should come (when they hoped to see you along with us), they thought that the departure of these men would be prevented if they were not furnished with a guide. That they did wrong in thus attempting to detain the brethren we admit,- nay, who could doubt it ? Hence also arose the story which was told to Fossor,3 that Timotheus had already gone to you with these same brethren. This was wholly false, but the statement was not made by the presbyter; and that Carcedonius our brother was wholly unaware of all these things, was most clearly proved to us by all the ways in which such things are susceptible of proof.

2. But why spend more time on these circumstances! Our son Timotheus, being greatly disturbed because he found himself, altogether in spite of his own wish, in such unlooked for perplexity, informed us that, when you were urging him to serve God at Subsana, he broke forth vehemently, and swore that he would never on any account leave you. And when we questioned him as to his present wish, he replied that by this oath he was precluded from going to the place which we had previously wished him to occupy, even though his mind were set at rest by the evidence given as to his freedom from restraint. When we showed him that he would not be guilty of violating his oath if a bar was put in the way of his being with you, not by him, but by you, in order to avoid a scandal; seeing that he could by his oath bind only his own will, not yours, and he admitted that you had not bound yourself reciprocally by your oath; at last he said, as it became a servant of God and a son of the Church to say, that he would without hesitation agree to whatever should seem good to us, along with i your Holiness, to appoint concerning him. We ;therefore ask, and by the love of Christ implore you, in the exercise of your sagacity, to remember all that we spoke to each other in this matter, and to make us glad by your reply to this letter. For "we that are strong" (if, indeed, amid so great and perilous temptations, we may presume to claim this title) are bound, as the apostle says, to "bear the infirmities of the weak." 4 Our brother Timotheus has not written to your Holiness, because your venerable brother has reported to all you. May you be joyful the Lord, and remember us, our lord most blessed, and with all reverence most beloved, our brother in sincerity.

LETTER LXIII. (A.D. 401.)

TO SEVERUS, MY LORD MOST BLESSED AND VENERABLE, A BROTHER WORTHY OF BEING EMBRACED With UNFEIGNED LOVE, AND PARTNER IN THE PRIESTLY OFFICE, AND TO THE BRETHREN THAT ARE. WITH HIM, AUGUSTIN AND THE BRETHREN WITH HIM SEND GREETING IN THE LORD.

1. If I frankly say all that this case compels me to say, you may perhaps ask me where is my concern for the preservation of charity but if I may not thus say all that the case demands, may I not ask you where is the liberty conceded to friendship? Hesitating between these two alternatives, I have chosen to write so much as may justify me without accusing you. You wrote that you were surprised that we, notwithstanding our great grief at what was done, acquiesced in it, when it might have been remedied by our correction; as if when things wrongly done have been afterwards, so far as possible, corrected, they are no longer to be deplored; and more particularly, as if it were absurd for us to acquiesce in that which, though wrongly done, ill is impossible for us to undo. Wherefore, my brother, sincerely esteemed as such, your surprise may cease. For Timotheus was ordained a subdeacon at Subsana against my advice and desire, at the time when the decision of his case was still pending as the subject of deliberation and conference between us. Behold me still grieving over this, although he has now returned to you; and we do not regret that in our consenting to his return we obeyed your will.

2. May it please you to hear how, by rebuke, admonition, and prayer, we had, even before he went away from this place, corrected the wrong which had been done, lest it should appear to you that up to that time nothing had been corrected by us because he had not returned to you. By rebuke, addressing ourselves first to Timotheus himself, because he did not obey you, but went away to your Holiness without consulting our brother Carcedonius, to which act of his the origin of this affliction is to be traced; and afterwards censuring the presbyter (Carcedonius) and Verinus, through whom we found that the ordination of Timotheus had been managed. When all of these admitted, under our rebuke, that in all the things alleged they had done wrong and begged forgiveness, we would have acted with undue haughtiness if we had refused to believe that they were sufficiently corrected. For they could not make that to be not done which had been done; and we by our rebuke were not expecting or desiring to do more than bring them to acknowledge their faults, and grieve over them. By admonition: first, in warning all never to dare again to do such things, lest they should incur God's wrath; and then especially charging Timotheus, who said that he was bound only by his oath to go to your Grace, that if your Holiness, considering all that we had spoken together on the matter, should, as we hoped _might be the case, decide not to have him with you, out of regard for the weak for whom Christ died, who might be offended, and for the discipline of the Church, which it is perilous to disregard, seeing that he had begun to be a reader in this diocese, -- he should then, being free from the bond of his oath, devote himself with undisturbed mind to the service of God, to whom we are to give an account of all our actions. By such admonitions as we were able to give, we had also persuaded our brother Carcedonius to submit with perfect resignation to whatever might be seen to be necessary in regard to him for the preservation of the discipline of the Church. By prayer, moreover, we had laboured to correct ourselves, commending both the guidance and the issues of our counsels to the mercy of God, and seeking that if any sinful anger had wounded us, we might be cured by taking refuge under His healing right hand. Behold how much we had corrected by rebuke, admonition, and prayer!

3. And now, considering the bond of charity, that we may not be possessed by Satan,-- for we are not ignorant of his devices,-- what else ought we to have done than obey your wish, seeing that you thought that what had been done could be remedied in no other way than by our giving back to your authority him in whose person you complained that wrong had been done to you. Even our brother Carcedonius himself consented to this, not indeed without much distress of spirit, on account of which I entreat you to pray for him, but eventually without opposition, believing that he submitted to Christ in submitting to you. Nay, even when I still thought it might be our duty to consider whether I should not write a second letter to you, my brother, while Timotheus still remained here, he himself, with filial reverence, feared to displease you, and cut my deliberations short by not only consenting, but even urging, that Timotheus should be restored to you.

4. I therefore, brother Severus, leave my case to be decided by you. For I am sure that Christ dwells in your heart, and by Him I beseech you to ask counsel from Him, submitting your mind to His direction regarding the question whether, when a man had begun to be a Reader in the Church confided to my care, having read, not once only, but a second and a third time, at Subsana, and in company with the presbyter of the Church of Subsana had done the same also at Turres and Ciza and Verbalis, it is either possible or right that he be pronounced to have never been a Reader. And as we have, in obedience to God, corrected that which was afterwards done contrary to our will, do you also, in obedience to Him, correct in like manner that which was formerly, through your not knowing the facts of the case, wrongly done. For I have no fear of your failing to perceive what a door is opened for breaking down the discipline of l the Church, if, when a clergyman of any church has sworn to one of another church that he will not leave him, that other encourage him to remain with him, alleging that he does so that he may not be the occasion of the breaking of an oath; seeing that he who forbids this, and declines to allow the other to remain with him (because that other could by his vow bind only his own conscience), unquestionably preserves the order which is necessary to peace in a way which none can justly censure.

LETTER LXIV. (A.D. 401)

TO MY LORD QUINTIANUS, MY MOST BELOVED BROTHER AND FELLOW-PRESBYTER, AUGUSTIN SENDS GREETING IN THE LORD.

1. We do not disdain to look upon bodies which are defective in beauty, especially seeing that our souls themselves are not yet so beautiful as we hope that they shall be when He who is of ineffable beauty shall have appeared, in whom, though now we see Him not, we believe i for then "we shall be like Him," when "we shall see Him as He is."1 If you receive my counsel in a kindly and brotherly spirit, I exhort you to think thus of your soul, as we do of our own, and not presumptuously imagine that it is already perfect in beauty i but, as the apostle enjoins, "rejoice in hope," and obey the precept which he annexes to this, when he says, "Rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation:"2 "for we are saved by hope," as he says again; "but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it."3 Let not this patience be wanting in thee, but with a good conscience "wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord." 4

2. It is, of course, obvious that if you come to us while debarred from communion with the venerable bishop Aurelius, you cannot be admitted to communion with us; but we would act towards you with that same charity which we are assured shall guide his conduct. Your coming to us, however, .should not on this account be embarrassing to us, because the duty of submission to this, out of regard to the discipline of the Church, ought to be felt by yourself, especially if you have the approval of your own conscience, which is known to yourself and to God. For if Aurelius has deferred the examination of your case, he has done this not from dislike to you, but from the pressure of other engagements; and if you knew his circumstances as well as you know your own, the delay would cause you neither surprise nor sorrow. That it is the same with myself, I entreat you to believe on my word, as you. are equally unable to know how I am occupied. But there are other bishops older than I am, and both in authority more worthy and in place more convenient, by whose help you may more easily expedite the affairs now pending in the Church committed to your charge. I have not, however, failed to make mention of your distress, and of the complaint in your letter to my venerable brother and colleague the aged Aurelius, whom I esteem with the respect due to his worth; I took care to acquaint him with your innocence of the things laid to your charge, by sending him a copy of your letter. It was not until a day, or at the most two, before Christmas,s that I received the letter in which you informed me of his intention to visit the Church at Badesile, by which you fear lest the people be disturbed and influenced against you. I do not therefore presume to address by letter your people; for I could write a reply to any who had written to me, but how could I put myself forward unasked to write to a people not committed to my care?

3. Nevertheless, what I now say to you, who alone have written to me, may, through you, reach others who should hear it. I charge you then, in the first place, not to bring the Church into reproach by reading in the public assemblies those writings which the Canon of the Church has not acknowledged; for by these, heretics, and especially the Manichaeans (of whom I hear that some are lurking, not without encouragement, in your district), are accustomed to subvert the minds of the inexperienced. I am amazed that a man of your wisdom should admonish me to forbid the reception into the monastery of those who have come from you to us, in order that a decree of the Council may be obeyed, and at the same time should forget another decree6 of the same Council, declaring what are the canonical Scriptures which ought to be read to the people. Read again the proceedings of the Council, and commit them to memory: you will there find that the Canon which you refer to 7 as prohibiting the indiscriminate reception of applicants for admission to a monastery, was not framed in regard to laymen, but applies to the clergy alone. It is true there is no mention of monasteries in the canon; but it is laid down in general, that no one may receive a clergyman belonging to another diocese [except in such a way as upholds the discipline of the Church]. Moreover, it has been enacted in a recent Council,8 that any who desert a monastery, or are expelled from one, shall not be elsewhere admitted either to clerical office or to the] charge of a monastery. If, therefore, you are in any measure disturbed regarding Privatio, let me inform you that he has not yet been received by us into the monastery; but that I have submitted his case to the aged Aurelius, and will act according to his decision. For it seems strange to me, if a man can be reckoned a Reader who has read only once in public, and on that occasion read writings which are not canonical. If for this reason he is regarded as an ecclesiastical reader, it follows that the writing which he read must be esteemed as sanctioned by the Church. But if the writing be not sanctioned by the Church as canonical, it follows that, although a man may have read it to a congregation, he is not thereby made an ecclesiastical reader, ['but is, as before, a layman]. Nevertheless I must, in regard to the young man in question, abide by the decision of the arbiter whom I have named.

4. As to the people of Vigesile, who are to us as well as to you beloved in the bowels of Christ, if they have refused to accept a bishop who has been deposed .by a plenary Council in Africa,' they act wisely, and cannot be compelled to yield, nor ought to be. And whoever shall attempt to compel them by violence to receive him, will show plainly what is his character, and will make men well understand what his real character was at an earlier time, when he would have had them believe no evil of him. For no one more effectually discovers the worthlessness of his cause, than the man who, employing the secular power, or any other kind of violent means, endeavours by agitating and complaining to recover the ecclesiastical rank which he has forfeited. For his desire is not to yield to Christ service which He claims, but to usurp over Christians an authority which they disown. Brethren, be cautious; great is the craft of the devil, but Christ is the wisdom of God.

LETTER LXV. (A.D. 402.)

TO THE AGED 2 XANTIPPUS, MY LORD MOST BLESSED AND WORTHY OF VENERATION, AND MY FATHER AND COLLEAGUE IN THE PRIESTLY OFFICE, AUGUSTIN SENDS GREETING IN THE LORD.

1. Saluting your Excellency with the respect due to your worth, and earnestly seeking an interest in your prayers, I beg to submit to the consideration of your wisdom the case of a certain Abundantius, ordained a presbyter in the domain of Strabonia, belonging to my diocese. He had begun to be unfavourably reported of, through his not walking in the way which becomes the servants of God; and I being on this account alarmed, though not believing the rumours without examination, was made more watchful of his conduct, and devoted some pains to obtain, if possible, indisputable evidences of the evil courses with which he was charged. The first thing which I ascertained was, that he had embezzled the money of a countryman, entrusted to him for religious' purposes, and could give no satisfactory account of his stewardship. The next thing proved against him, and admitted by his own confession, was, that on Christmas day, on which the fast was observed by the Church of Gippe as by all the other Churches, after taking leave of his colleague the presbyter of Gippe, as if going to his own church about 11 A.M., he remained, without having any ecclesiastic in his company, in the same parish, and dined, supped, and spent the night in the house of a woman of ill fame. It happened that lodging in the same place was one of our clergy of Hippo, who had gone thither; and as the facts were known beyond dispute to this witness, Abundantius could not deny the charge. As to the things which he did deny, I left them to the divine tribunal, passing sentence upon him only in regard to those things which he had not been permitted to conceal. I was afraid to leave him in charge of a Church, especially of one placed as his was, in the very midst of rabid and barking heretics. And when he begged me to give him a letter with a statement of his case to the presbyter of the parish of Armema, in the district of Bulla, from which he had come to us, so as to prevent any exaggerated suspicion there of his character, and in order that he might there live, if possible, a more consistent life, having no duties as a presbyter, I was moved by compassion to do as he desired. At the same time, it was very specially incumbent on me to submit to your wisdom these facts, test any deception should be practised upon you.

2. I pronounced sentence in his case one hundred days before Easter Sunday, which falls this year on the 7th of April. I have taken care to acquaint you with the date, because of the decree of Council? which I also did not conceal from him, but explained to him the law of the Church, that if he thought anything could be done to reverse my decision, unless he began proceedings with this view within a year, no one would, after the lapse of that time, listen to his pleading. For my own part, my lord most blessed, and father worthy of all veneration, I assure you that if I did not think that these instances of vicious conversation in an ecclesiastic, especially when accompanied with an evil reputation, deserved to be visited with the punishment appointed by the Council, I would be compelled now to attempt to sift things which cannot be known, and either to condemn the accused upon doubtful evidence, or acquit him for want of proof. When a presbyter, upon a day of fasting which was observed as such also in the place in which he was, having taken leave of his colleague in the ministry in that place, and being unattended by any ecclesiastic, ventured to tarry in the house of a woman of ill fame, and to dine and sup and spend the night there, it seemed to me, whatever others might think, that he behoved to be deposed from his office, as I durst not commit to his charge a Church of God. If it should so happen that a different opinion be held by the ecclesiastical judges to whom he may appeal, seeing that it has been decreed by the Council, that the decision of six bishops be final in the case of a presbyter, let who will commit to him a Church within his jurisdiction, I confess, for my own part, that I fear to entrust any congregation whatever to persons like him, especially when nothing in the way of general good character can be alleged as a reason for excusing these delinquencies; lest, if he were to break forth into some more ruinous wickedness, I should be compelled with sorrow to blame myself for the harm done by his crime.

LETTER LXVI. (A.D. 402.)

ADDRESSED, WITHOUT SALUTATION, TO CRISPINUS, THE DONATIST BISHOP OF CALAMA.

1. You ought to have been influenced by the fear of God; but since, in your work of rebaptizing the Mappalians,2 you have chosen to take advantage of the fear with which as man you could inspire them, let me ask you what hinders the order of the sovereign from being carried out in the province, when the order of the governor of the province has been so fully enforced in a village ? If you compare the persons concerned, you are but a vassal in possession; he is the Emperor. If you compare the positions of both, you are in a property, he is on a throne; if you compare the causes maintained by both, his aim is to heal division, and yours is to rend unity in twain. But we do not bid you stand in awe of man: though we might take steps to compel you to pay, according to the imperial decree, ten pounds of gold as the penalty of your outrage. Perhaps you might be unable to pay the fine imposed upon those who rebaptize members of the Church, having been involved in so much expense in buying people whom you might compel to submit to the rite. But, as I have said, we do not bid you be afraid of man: rather let Christ fill you with fear. I should like to know what answer you could give Him, if He said to you: "Crispinus, was it a great price which you paid in order to buy the fear of the Mappalian peasantry; and does My death, the price paid by Me to purchase the love of all nations, seem little in your eyes ? Was the money which was counted out from your purse in acquiring these serfs in order to their being rebaptized, a more costly sacrifice than the blood which flowed from My side in redeeming the nations in order to their being baptized?" I know that, if you would listen to Christ, you might hear many more such appeals, and might, even by the possession which you have obtained, be warned how impious are the things which you have spoken against Christ. For if you think that your title to hold what you have bought with money is sure by human law, how much more sure, by divine law, is Christ's title to that which He hath bought with His own blood ! And it is true that He of whom it is written, "He shall have dominion from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth," shall hold with invincible might all which He has purchased/ but how can you expect with any assurance to retain that which you think you have made your own by purchase in Africa, when you affirm that Christ has lost the whole world, and been left with Africa alone as His portion?

2. But why multiply words? If these Mappalians have passed of their own free will into 'our communion, let them hear both you and me on the question which divides us,-- the words of each of us being written down, and translated into the Punic tongue after having been attested by our signatures; and then, all pressure through fear of their superior being removed, let these vassals choose what they please. For by the things which we shall say it will be made manifest whether they remain in error under coercion, or hold what they believe to be truth with their own consent. They either understand these matters, or they do not: if they do not, how could you dare to transfer them in their ignorance to your communion? and if they do, let them, as i have said, hear both sides, and act freely for themselves. If there be any communities that have passed over from you to us, which you believe to have yielded to the pressure of their superiors, let the same be done in their case; let them hear both sides, and choose for themselves. Now, if you reject this proposal, who can fail to be convinced that your reliance is not upon the force of truth? But you ought to beware of the wrath of God both here and hereafter. I adjure you by Christ to give a reply to what I have written.

LETTER LXVII (A.D. 402.)

TO MY LORD MOST BELOVED AND LONGED FOR, MY HONOURED BROTHER IN CHRIST, AND FELLOW-PRESBYTER, JEROME, AUGUSTIN SENDS GREETING IN THE LORD.

CHAP. I. -- 1. I have heard that my letter has come to your hand. I have not yet received a reply, but I do not on this account question your affection; doubtless something has hitherto prevented you. Wherefore I know and avow that my prayer should be, that God would put it in your power to forward your reply, for He has already given you power to prepare it, seeing that you can do so with the utmost ease if you feel disposed.

CHAP. II. --2. I have hesitated whether to give credence or not to a certain report which has reached me; but I felt that I ought not to hesitate as to writing a few lines to you regarding the matter. To be brief, I have heard that some brethren have told your Charity that I have written a book against you and have sent it to Rome. Be assured that this is false: I call God to witness that I have not done this. But if perchance there be some things in some of my writings in which I am found to have been of a different opinion from you, I think you ought to know, or if it cannot be certainly known, at least to believe, that such things have been written not with a view of contradicting you, but only of stating my own views. In saying this, however, let me assure you that not only am I most ready to hear in a brotherly spirit the objections which you may entertain to anything in my writings which has displeased you, but I entreat, nay implore you, to acquaint me with them; and thus I shah be made glad either by the correction of my mistake, or at least by the expression of your goodwill.

3. Oh that it were in my power, by our living near each other, if not under the same roof, to enjoy frequent and sweet conference with you in the Lord ! Since, however, this is not granted, I beg you to take pains that this one way in which we can be together in the Lord be kept up; nay more, improved and perfected. Do not refuse to write me in return, however seldom.

Greet with my respects our holy brother Paulinianus, and all the brethren who with you, and because of you, rejoice in the Lord. May you, remembering us, be heard by the Lord in regard to all your holy desires, my lord most beloved and longed for, my honoured brother in Christ.

LETTER LXVIII. (A.D. 402.)

TO AUGUSTIN, MY LORD, TRULY HOLY AND MOST BLESSED FATHER,1 JEROME SENDS GREETING IN CHRIST.

1. When my kinsman, our holy son Asterius, subdeacon, was just on the point of beginning his journey, the letter of your Grace arrived, in which you clear yourself of the charge of having sent to Rome a book written against your humble servant.' I had not heard that charge; but by our brother Sysinnius, deacon, copies of a letter addressed by some one apparently to me have come hither. In the said letter I am exhorted to sing the <greek>palinwdia</greek>, confessing mistake in regard to a paragraph of the apostle's writing, and to imitate Stesichorus, who, vacillating between disparagement and praises of Helen, recovered, by praising her, the eyesight which he had forfeited by speaking against her.3 Although the style and the method of argument appeared to be yours, I must frankly confess to your Excellency that I did not think it right to assume without examination the authenticity of a letter of which I had only seen copies, lest perchance, if offended by my reply, you should with justice complain that it was my duty first to have made sure that you were the author, and only after that was ascertained, to address you in reply. Another reason for my delay was the protracted illness of the pious and venerable Paula. For, while occupied long in attending Upon her m severe illness, I had almost forgotten your letter, or more correctly, the letter written in your name, remembering the verse, "Like music m the day of mourning is an unseasonable discourse." 4 Therefore, if it is your letter, write me frankly that it is so, or send me a more accurate copy, in order that without any passionate rancour we may devote ourselves to discuss scriptural truth; and I may either correct my own mistake, or show that another has without good reason found fault with me.

2. Far be it from me to presume to attack anything which your Grace has written. For it is enough for me to prove my own views without controverting what others hold. But it is well known to one of your wisdom, that every one is satisfied with his own opinion, and that it is puerile self-sufficiency to seek, as young men have of old been wont to do, to gain glory to one's own name by assailing men who have become renowned. I am not so foolish as to think myself insulted by the fact that you give an explanation different from mine; since you, on the other hand, are not wronged by my views being contrary to those which you maintain. But that is the kind of reproof by which friends may truly benefit each other, when each, not seeing his own bag of faults, observes, as Persius has it, the wallet borne by the other.1 Let me say further, love one who loves you, and do not because you are young challenge a veteran in the field of Scripture. I have had my time, and have run my course to the utmost of my strength. It is but fair that I should rest, while you in your turn run and accomplish great distances; at the same time (with your leave, and without intending any disrespect), lest it should seem that to quote from the poets is a thing which you alone can do, let me remind you of the encounter between Dares and Entellus,2 and of the proverb, "The tired ox treads with a firmer step." With sorrow I have dictated these words. Would that I could receive your embrace, and that by converse we might aid each other in learning!

3. With his usual effrontery, Calphurnius, surnamed Lanarius,3 has sent me his execrable writings, which I understand that he has been at pains to disseminate in Africa also. To these I have replied in past, and shortly; and I have sent you a copy of my treatise, intending by the first opportunity to send you a larger work, when e I have leisure to prepare it. In this treatise I have been careful not to offend Christian feeling in any, but only to confute the lies and hallucinations arising from his ignorance and madness.

Remember me, holy and venerable father. See how sincerely I love thee, in that I am unwilling, even when challenged, to reply, and refuse to believe you to be the author of that which in another I would sharply rebuke. Our brother Communis sends his respectful salutation.

LETTER LXIX. (A.D. 402.)

TO THEIR JUSTLY BELOVED LORD CASTORIUS, THEIR TRULY WELCOMED AND WORTHILY HONOURED SON, ALYPIUS AND AUGUSTIN SEND GREETING IN THE LORD.

1. An attempt was made by the enemy of Christians to cause, by occasion of our very dear and sweet son your brother, the agitation of a most dangerous scandal within the Catholic Church, which as a mother welcomed you to her affectionate embrace when you fled from a disinherited and separated fragment into the heritage of Christ; the desire of that enemy being evidently to becloud with unseemly melancholy the calm beauty of joy which was imparted to us by the blessing of your conversion. But the Lord our God, who is compassionate and merciful, who comforteth them that are cast down, nourishing the infants, and cherishing the infirm, permitted him to gain in some measure success in this design, only to make us rejoice more over the prevention of the calamity than we grieved over the danger. For it is a far more magnanimous thing to have resigned the onerous responsibilities of the bishop's dignity in order to save the Church from danger, than to have accepted these in order to have a share in her government. He truly proves that he was worthy of holding that office, had the interests of peace permitted him to do so, who does not insist upon retaining it when he cannot do so without endangering the peace of the Church. It has accordingly pleased God to show, by means of your brother, our beloved son Maximianus, unto the enemies of His Church, that there are within her those who seek not their own things, but the things of Jesus Christ. For in laying down that ministry of stewardship of the mysteries of God, he was not deserting his duty under the pressure of some worldly desire, but acting under the impulse of a pious love of peace, lest, on account of the honour conferred upon him, there should arise among the members of Christ an unseemly and dangerous, perhaps even fatal, dissension. For could anything have been more infatuated and worthy of utter reprobation, than to forsake schismatics because of the peace of the Catholic Church, and then to trouble that same Catholic peace by the question of one's own rank and preferment? On the other hand, could anything be more praiseworthy, and more in accordance with Christian charity, than that, after having forsaken the frenzied pride of the Donatists, he should, in the manner of his cleaving to the heritage of Christ, give such a signal proof of humility under the power of love for the unity of the Church? As for him, therefore, we rejoice indeed that he has been proved of such stability that the storm of this temptation has not cast down what divine truth had built in his heart; and therefore we desire and pray the Lord to grant that, by his life and conversation in the future, he may make it more and more manifest how well he would have discharged the responsibilities of that office which he would have accepted if that had been his duty. May that eternal peace which is promised to the Church be given in recompense to him, who discerned that the things which were not compatible with the peace of the Church were not expedient for him!

2. As for you, our dear son, in whom we have great joy, since you are not restrained from accepting the office of bishop by any such considerations as have guided your brother in declining it, it becomes one of your disposition to devote to Christ that which is in you by His own gift. Your talents, prudence, eloquence, gravity, self-control, and everything else which adorns your conversation, are the gifts of God. To what service can they be more fittingly devoted than to His by whom they were bestowed, in order that they may be preserved, increased, perfected, and rewarded by Him? Let them not be devoted to the service of this world, lest with it they pass away and perish. We know that, in dealing with you, it is not necessary to insist much on your reflecting, as you may so easily do, upon the hopes of vain men, their insatiable desires, and the uncertainty of life. Away, therefore, with every expectation of deceptive and earthly felicity which your mind had grasped: labour in the vineyard of God, where the fruit is sure, where so many promises have already received so large measure of' fulfilment, that it would be the height of madness to despair as to those which remain. We beseech you by the divinity and humanity of Christ, and by the peace of that heavenly city where we receive eternal rest after labouring for the time of our pilgrimage, to take the place as the bishop of the Church of Vagina which your brother has resigned, not under ignominious deposition, but by magnanimous concession. Let that people for whom we expect the richest increase of blessings through your mind and tongue, endowed and adorned by the gifts of God,-- let that people, we say, perceive through you, that m what your brother has done, he was consulting not his own indolence, but their peace.

We have given orders that this letter be not read to you until' those to whom you are necessary hold you in actual possession.' For we hold you in the bond of spiritual love, because to us also you are very necessary as a colleague. Our reason for not coming in person to you, you shall afterwards learn.

LETTER LXX. (A.D. 402.)

This letter is addressed by Alypius and Augustin to Naucelio a person through whom they had discussed the question of the Donatist schism with Clarentius, an aged Donatist bishop (probably the same with the Numidian bishop of Tabraca, who took part in the Conference at Carthage in 411 A.D.). The ground traversed in the letter is the same as in pages 206 and 297, in Letter LI., regarding the inconsistencies of the Donatists in the case of Felicianus of Musti. We therefore leave it untranslated.

LETTER LXXI. (A.D. 403.)

TO ME VENERABLE LORD JEROME, MY ESTEEMED AND HOLY BROTHER AND FELLOW-PRESBYTER, AUGUSTIN SENDS GREETING IN THE LORD.

CHAP. I.-- 1. Never since I began to write to you, and to long for your writing in return, have I met with a better opportunity for our exchanging communications than now, when my letter is to be carried to you by a most faithful servant and minister of God, who is also a very dear friend of mine, namely, our son Cyprian, deacon. Through him I expect to receive a letter from you with all the certainty which is in a matter of this kind possible. For the son whom I have named will not be found wanting in respect of .zeal in asking, or persuasive influence in obtaining a reply from you; nor will he fail in diligently keeping, promptly bearing, and faithfully delivering the same. I only pray that if I be in any way worthy of this, the Lord may give His help and favour to your heart and to my desire, so that no higher will may hinder that which your brotherly goodwill inclines you to do.

2. As I have sent you two letters already to which I have received no reply, I have resolved to send you at this time copies of both of them, for I suppose that they never reached you. If they did reach you, and your replies have failed, as may be the case, to reach me, send me a second time the same as you sent before, if you have copies of them preserved: if you have not, dictate again what I may read, and do not refuse to send to these former letters the answer for which I have been waiting so long. My first letter to you, which I had prepared while I was a presbyter, was to be delivered to you by a brother of ours, Profuturus, who afterwards became my colleague in the episcopate, and has since then departed from this life; but he could not then bear it to you in person, because at the very time when he intended to begin his journey, he was prevented by his ordination to the weighty office of bishop, and shortly afterwards he died. This letter I have resolved also to send at this time, that you may know how long I have cherished a burning desire for conversation with you, and with what reluctance I submit to the remote separation which prevents my mind from having access to yours through our bodily senses, my brother, most amiable and honoured among the members of the Lord.

CHAP. II.-- 3. In this letter I have further to say, that I have since heard that you have translated Job out of the original Hebrew, although in your own translation of the same prophet from the Greek tongue we had already a version of that book. In that earlier version you marked with asterisks the words found in the Hebrew but wanting in the Greek, and with obelisks the words found in the Greek but wanting in the Hebrew; and this was done with such astonishing exactness, that in some places we have every word distinguished by a separate asterisk, as a sign that these words are in the Hebrew, but not in the Greek. Now, however, in this more recent version from the Hebrew, there is not the same scrupulous fidelity as to the words; and it perplexes any thoughtful reader to understand either what was the reason for marking the asterisks in the former version with so much care that they indicate the absence from the Greek version of even the smallest grammatical particles which have not been rendered from the Hebrew, or what is the reason for so much less care having been taken in this recent version from the Hebrew to secure that these same particles be found in their own places. I would have put down here an extract or two in illustration of this criticism; but at present I have not access to the Ms. of the translation from the Hebrew. Since, however, your quick discernment anticipates and goes beyond not only what I have said, but also what I meant to say, you already understand, I think, enough to be able, by giving the reason for the plan which you have adopted, to explain what perplexes me.

4. For my part, I would much rather that you would furnish us with a translation of the Greek version of the canonical Scriptures known as the work of the Seventy translators. For if your translation begins to be more generally read in many churches, it will be a grievous thing that, in the reading of Scripture, differences must arise between the Latin Churches and the Greek Churches, especially seeing that the discrepancy is easily condemned in a Latin version by the production of the original in Greek, which is a language very widely known; whereas, if any one has been disturbed by the occurrence of something to which he was not accustomed in the translation taken from the Hebrew, and alleges that the new translation is wrong, it will be found difficult, if not impossible, to get at the Hebrew documents by which the version to which exception is taken may be defended. And when they are obtained, who will submit, to have so many Latin and Greek authorities: pronounced to be in the wrong? Besides all this, Jews, if consulted as to the meaning of the Hebrew text, may give a different opinion from yours: in which case it will seem as if your presence were indispensable, as being the only one who could refute their view; and it would be a miracle if one could be found capable of acting as arbiter between you and them.

CHAP. III.-- 5. A certain bishop, one of our brethren, having introduced in the church over which he presides the reading of your version, came upon a word in the book of the prophet Jonah, of which you have given a very different rendering from that which had been of old familiar to the senses and memory of all the worshippers, and had been chanted for so many generations in the church.' Thereupon arose such a tumult in the congregation, especially among the Greeks, correcting what had been read, and denouncing the translation as false, that the bishop was compelled to ask the testimony of the Jewish residents (it was in the town of Oea). These, whether from ignorance or from spite, answered that the words in the Hebrew MSS. were correctly rendered in the Greek version, and in the Latin one taken from it. What further need I say? The man was compelled to correct your version in that passage as if it had been falsely translated, as he desired not to be left without a congregation,-- a calamity which he narrowly escaped. From this case we also are led to think that you may be occasionally mistaken. You will also observe how great must have been the difficulty if this had occurred in those writings which cannot be explained by comparing the testimony of languages now in use.

CHAP. IV. --6. At the same time, we are in no small measure thankful to God for the work 'in which you have translated the Gospels from the original Greek, because in almost ever), passage we have found nothing to object to, when we compared it with the Greek Scriptures. By this work, any disputant who supports an old false translation is either convinced or confuted with the utmost ease by the production and collation of Mss. And if, as indeed very rarely happens, something be found to which exception may be taken, who would be so unreasonable as not to excuse it readily in a work so useful that it cannot be too highly praised? I wish you would have the kindness to open up to me what you think to be the reason of the frequent discrepancies between the text supported by the Hebrew codices and the Greek Septuagint version. For the latter has no mean authority, seeing that it has obtained so wide circulation, and was the one which the apostles used, as is not only proved by looking to the text itself, but has also been, as I remember, affirmed by yourself. You would therefore confer upon us a much greater boon if you gave an exact Latin translation of the Greek Septuagint version: for the variations found in the different codices of the Latin text are intolerably numerous; and it is so justly open to suspicion as possibly different from what is to be found in the Greek, that one has no confidence in either quoting it or proving anything by its help.

I thought that this letter was to be a short one, but it has somehow been as pleasant to me to go on with it as if I were talking with you. I conclude with entreating you by the Lord kindly to send me a full reply, and thus give me, so far as is in your power, the pleasure of your presence.

LETTER LXXII. (A.D. 404.)

TO AUGUSTIN, MY LORD TRULY HOLY, AND MOST BLESSED FATHER, JEROME SENDS GREETING IN THE LORD.'

CHAP. I. -- 1. You are sending me letter upon letter, and often urging me to answer a certain letter of yours, a copy of which, without your signature, had reached me through our brother Sysinnius, deacon, as I have already written, which letter you tell me that you entrusted first to our brother Profuturus, and afterwards to some one else; but that Profuturus was prevented from finishing his intended journey, and having been ordained a bishop, was removed by sudden death; and the second messenger, whose name you do not give, was afraid of the perils! of the sea, and gave up the voyage which he E had intended. These things being so, I am at! a loss to express my surprise that the same letter! is reported to be in the possession of most of the Christians in Rome, and throughout Italy, and has come to every one but myself, to whom alone it was ostensibly sent. I wonder at this: all the more, because the brother Sysinnius aforesaid tells me that he found it among the rest of your published works, not in Africa, not in your possession, but in an island of the Adriatic some five years ago.

2. True friendship can harbour no suspicion; a friend must speak to his friend as freely as to his second self. Some of my acquaintances, vessels of Christ, of whom there is a very large [number in Jerusalem and in the holy places, suggested to me that this had not been done by you' in a guileless spirit, but through desire for praise and celebrity, and eclat in the eyes of the people, intending to become famous at my expense; that many might know that you challenged me, and I feared to meet you; that you had written as a man of learning, and I had by silence confessed my ignorance, and had at last found one who knew how to stop my garrulous tongue. I, however, let me say it frankly, refused at first to answer your Excellency, because I did not believe that the letter, or as I may call it (using a proverbial expression), the honeyed sword, was sent from you. Moreover, I was cautious lest I should seem to answer uncourteously a bishop of my own communion, and to censure anything in the letter of one who censured me, especially as I judged some of its statements to be tainted with heresy.' Lastly, I was afraid lest you should have reason to remonstrate with me, saying, "What ! had you seen the letter to be mine, --had you discovered in the signature attached to it the autograph of a hand well known to you, when you so carelessly wounded the feelings of your friend, and reproached me with that which the malice of. another had conceived ?"

CHAP. II.--3. Wherefore, as I have already written, either send me the identical letter in question subscribed with your own hand, or desist from annoying an old man, who seeks retirement in his monastic cell. If you wish to exercise or display your learning, choose as your antagonists, young, eloquent, and illustrious men, of whom it is said that many are found in Rome, who may be neither unable nor afraid to meet you, and to enter the lists with a bishop in debates concerning the Sacred Scriptures. As for me, a soldier once, but a retired veteran now, it becomes me rather to applaud the victories won by you and others, than with my worn-out body to take part in the conflict; beware lest, if you persist in demanding a reply, I call to mind the history of the way in which Quintus Maximus by his patience defeated Hannibal, who was, in the pride of youth, confident of success.2

"Omnia fert aetas, animum quoque. Saepe ego longos Cantando puerum memini me condere soles. Nunc oblita mihi tot carmina: vox quoque Moerin Jam fugit ipsa." 3

Or rather, to quote an instance from Scripture: Barzillai of Gilead, when he declined in favour of his youthful son the kindnesses of King David and all the charms of his court, taught us that old age ought neither to desire these things, nor to accept them when offered.

4. As to your calling God to witness that you had not written a book against me, and of course had not sent to Rome what you had never written, adding that, if perchance some things were found in your works in which a different opinion from mine was advanced, no wrong had thereby been done to me, because you had, without any intention of offending me, written only what you believed to be right; I beg you to hear me with patience. You never wrote a book against me: how then has there been brought to me a copy, written by another hand, of a treatise containing a rebuke administered to me by you? How comes Italy to possess a treatise of yours which you did not write ? Nay, how can you reasonably ask me to reply to that which you solemnly assure me was never written by you? Nor am I so foolish as to think that I am insulted by you, if in anything your opinion differs from mine. But if, challenging me as it were to single combat, you take exception to my views, and demand a reason for what I have written, and insist upon my correcting what you judge to be an error, and call upon me to recant it in a humble <greek>palinwdia</greek>, and speak of your curing me of blindness; in this I maintain that friendship is wounded, and the laws of brotherly union are set at nought. Let not the world see us quarrelling like children, and giving material for angry contention between those who may become our respective supporters or adversaries. I write what I have now written, because I desire to cherish towards you pure and Christian love, and not to hide in my heart anything which does not agree with the utterance of my lips. For it does not become me, who have spent my lift from youth until now, sharing the arduous labours of pious brethren in an obscure monastery, to presume to write anything against a bishop of my own communion, especially against one whom I had begun to love before I knew him, who also sought my friendship before I sought his, and whom I rejoiced to see rising as a successor to myself in the careful study of the Scriptures. Wherefore either disown that book, if you are not its author, and give over! urging me to reply to that which you never wrote; or if the book is yours, admit it frankly; so that ! if I write anything in self-defence, the responsibility may lie on you who gave, not on me who am forced to accept, the challenge.

CHAP. III.-- 5. You say also, that if there be anything in your writings which has displeased me, and which I would wish to correct, you are ready to receive my criticism as a brother; and you not only assure me that you would rejoice in such proof of my goodwill toward you, but you earnestly ask me to do this. I tell you: again, without reserve, what I feel: you are challenging an old man, disturbing the peace of one who asks only to be allowed to be silent, and you seem to desire to display your learning. It is not for one of my years to give the impression of enviously disparaging one whom I ought rather to encourage by approbation. And if the I ingenuity of perverse men finds something which ! they may plausibly censure in the writings even of evangelists and prophets, are you amazed if, in your books, especially in your exposition of passages in Scripture which are exceedingly difficult of interpretation, some things be found which are not perfectly correct? This I say, however, not because I can at this time pronounce anything in your works to merit censure. For, I in the first place, I have never read them with attention; and in the second place, we have not beside us a supply of copies of what you have written, excepting the books of Soliloquies and Commentaries on some of the Psalms; which, if I were disposed to criticise them, I could prove to be at variance, I shall not say with my own opinion, for I am nobody, but with the interpretations of the older Greek commentators.

Farewell, my very dear friend, my son in years, my father in ecclesiastical dignity; and to this I most particularly request your attention, that henceforth you make sure that I be the first to receive whatever you may write to me.

LETTER LXXIII. (A.D. 404.)

TO JEROME, MY VENERABLE AND MOST ESTEEMED BROTHER AND FELLOW-PRESBYTER AUGUSTIN SENDS GREETING IN THE LORD,

CHAP. I.-- 1. Although I suppose that, before this reaches you, you have received through our i son the deacon Cyprian, a servant of God, the letter which I sent by him, from which you would be apprised with certainty that I wrote the letter of which you mentioned that a copy had been brought to you; in consequence of which I suppose that I have begun already, like the rash Dares, to be beaten and belaboured by the missiles and the merciless fists of a second Entellus1 in the reply which you have written; nevertheless I answer in the meantime the letter which you have deigned to send me by our holy son Asterius, in which I have found many proofs of your most kind goodwill to me, and at the same time some signs of your having in some measure felt agrieved by me. In reading it, therefore, I was no sooner soothed by one sentence than I was buffeted in another; my wonder being especially called forth by this, that after alleging, as your reason for not rashly accepting as authentic he letter from me of which you had a copy, the fact that, offended by your reply, I might justly remonstrate with you, because you ought first to have ascertained that it was mine before answering it, you go on to command me to acknowledge the letter frankly if it is mine, or send a more reliable copy of it, in order that we may, without any bitterness of feeling, address ourselves to the discussion of scriptural doctrine. For how can we engage in such discussion without bitterness of feeling, if you have made up your mind to offend me ? or, if your mind is not made up to this, what reason could I have had, when you did not offend me, for justly complaining as having been offended by you, that you ought first to have made sure that the letter was mine, and only then to have replied, that is to say, only then to have offended me? For if there had been nothing to offend me in your reply, I could have had no just ground of complaint. Accordingly, when you write such a reply to that letter as must offend me, what hope is left of our engaging without any bitterness in the discussion of scriptural doctrine? Far be it from me to take offence if you are willing and able to prove, by incontrovertible argument, that you have apprehended more correctly than I have the meaning of that passage in Paul's Epistle [to the Galatians], or of any other text in Holy Scripture: nay, more, far be it from me to count it aught else than gain to myself, and cause of thankfulness to you, if in anything I am either informed by your teaching or set right by your correction.

2. But, my very dear brother, you could not think that I could be offended by your reply, had you not thought that you were offended by what I had written. For I could never have entertained concerning you the idea that you had not felt yourself offended by me if you so flamed your reply as to offend me in return. If, on the other hand, I have been supposed by you to be capable of such preposterous folly as to take offence when you had not written in such a way as to give me occasion, you have in this already wronged me, that you have entertained such an opinion of me. But surely you who are so cautious, that although you recognised my style in the letter of which you had a copy, you refused to believe its authenticity, would not without consideration believe me to be so different from what your experience has proved me to be. For if you had good reason for seeing that I might justly complain had you hastily concluded that a letter not written by me was mine, how much more reasonably may I complain if you form, without consideration, such an estimate of myself as is contradicted by your own experience! You would not therefore go so far astray in your judgment as to believe, when you had written nothing by which I could be offended, that I would nevertheless be so foolish as to be capable of being offended by such a reply.

CHAP II. -- 3. There can therefore be no doubt that you were prepared to reply in such a way as would offend me, if you had only indisputable evidence that the letter was mine. Accordingly, since I do not believe that you would think it right to offend me unless you had just cause, it remains for me to confess, as I now do, my fault as having been the first to offend by writing that letter which I cannot deny to be mine. Why should I strive to swim against the current, and not rather ask pardon? I therefore entreat you by the mercy of Christ to forgive me wherein I have injured you, and not to render evil for evil by injuring me in return. For it will be an injury to me if you pass over in silence anything which you find wrong in either word or action of mine. If, indeed, you rebuke in me that which merits no rebuke, you do wrong to yourself, not to me; for far be it from one of your life and holy vows to rebuke merely from a desire to give offence, using the tongue of malice to condemn in me that which by the truth-revealing light of reason you know to deserve no blame. Therefore either rebuke kindly him whom, though he is free from fault, you think to merit rebuke; or with a father's kindness soothe him whom you cannot bring to agree with you. For it is possible that your opinion may be at variance with the truth, while notwithstanding your actions are in harmony with Christian charity: for I also shall most thankfully receive your rebuke as a most friendly action, even though the thing censured be capable of defence, and therefore ought not to have been censured; or else I shall acknowledge both your kindness and my fault, and shall be found, so far as the Lord enables me, grateful for the one, and corrected in regard to the other.

4. Why, then, shah I fear your words, hard, perhaps, like the boxing-gloves of Entellus, but certainly fitted to do me good ? The blows of Entellus were intended not to heal, but to harm, and therefore his antagonist was conquered, not cured. But I, if I receive your correction calmly as a necessary medicine, shall not be pained by it. If, however, through weakness, either common to human nature or peculiar to myself, I cannot help feeling some pain from rebuke, even when I am justly reproved, it is far better to have a tumour in one's head cured, though the lance cause pain, than to escape the pain by letting the disease go on. This was clearly seen by him who said that, for the most part, our enemies who expose our faults are more useful than friends who are afraid to reprove us. For the former, in their angry recriminations, sometimes charge us with what we indeed require to correct; but the latter, through fear of destroying the sweetness of friendship, show less boldness on behalf of right than they ought. Since;" therefore, you are, to quote your own comparison, an ox1 worn out, perhaps, as to your bodily strength by reason of years, but unimpaired in mental vigour, and toiling still assiduously and with profit in the Lord's threshing-floor; here am I, and in whatever I have spoken amiss, tread firmly on me: the weight of your venerable age should not be grievous to me, if the chaff of my fault be so bruised under foot as to be separated from me.

5. Let me further say, that it is with the utmost affectionate yearning that I read or recollect the words at the end of your letter, "Would that I could receive your embrace, and that by converse we might aid each other in learning." For my part, I say,-- Would that we were even dwelling in parts of the earth less widely separated; so that if we could not meet for converse, we might at least have a more frequent exchange of letters. For as it is, so great is the distance by which we are prevented from any kind of access to each other through the eye and ear, that I remember writing to your Holiness regarding these words in the Epistle to the Galatians when I was young; and behold I am now advanced in age, and have not yet received a reply, and a copy of my letter has reached you' by some strange accident earlier than the letter, itself, about the transmission of which I took no: small pains. For the man to whom I entrusted it neither delivered it to you nor returned it to me. So great in my esteem is the value of those of your writings which we have been able to procure, that I should prefer to all other studies the privilege, if it were attainable by me, of sitting by your side and learning from you: Since I cannot do this myself, I propose to send to you one of my sons in the Lord, that he may for my benefit be instructed by you, in the event of my receiving from you a favourable reply in regard to the matter. For I have not now, and I can never hope to have, such knowledge of the Divine Scriptures as I see you possess. Whatever abilities I may have for such study, I devote entirely to the instruction of the people whom God has entrusted to me; and I am wholly precluded by my ecclesiastical occupations from having leisure for any further prosecution of my studies than is necessary for my duty in public teaching.

CHAP. III. -- 6. I am not acquainted with the writings speaking injuriously of you, which you tell me have come into Africa.. I have, however, received the reply to these which you have been pleased to send. After reading it, let me say frankly, I have been exceedingly grieved that the mischief of such painful discord has arisen between persons once so loving and intimate, and formerly united by the bond of a friendship which was well known in almost all the Churches. In that treatise of yours, any one may see how you are keeping yourself under restraint, and holding back the stinging keenness of your indignation, lest you should render railing for railing. If, however, even in reading this reply of yours, I fainted with grief and shuddered with fear, what would be the effect produced in me by the things which he has written against you, if they should come into my possession! "Woe unto the world because of offences !"1 Behold the complete fulfilment of which He who is Truth foretold: "Because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. "2 For what trusting hearts can now pour themselves forth with any assurance of their confidence being reciprocated? Into whose breast may confiding love now throw itself without reserve? In short, where is the friend who may not be feared as possibly a future enemy, if the breach that we deplore could arise between Jerome and Rufinus? Oh, sad and pitiable is our portion! Who can rely upon the affection of his friends because of what he knows them to be now, when he has no foreknowledge of what they shall afterwards become? But why should I reckon it cause for sorrow, that one man is thus ignorant of what another may become, when no man knows even what he himself is afterwards to be? The utmost that he knows, and that he knows but imperfectly, is his present condition; of what he shall hereafter become he has no knowledge.

7. Do the holy and blessed angels possess not Only this knowledge of their actual character, but also a foreknowledge of what they shall afterward become? If they do, I cannot see how it was possible for Satan ever to have been happy, even while he was still a good angel, knowing, as in this case he must have known, his future transgression and eternal punishment. I would wish to hear what you think as to this question, if indeed it be one which it would be profitable for us to be able to answer. But mark here what I suffer from the lands and seas which keep us, so far as the body is concerned, distant from each other. If I were myself the letter which you are now reading, you might have told me already what I have just asked; but now, when will you write me a reply? when will you get it sent away? when will it come here? when shall I receive it? And yet, would that I were sure that it would come at last, though meanwhile I must summon all the patience which I can command to endure the unwelcome but unavoidable delay ! Wherefore I come back to those most delightful words of your letter, filled with your holy longing, and I in turn appropriate them as my own: "Would that I might receive your embrace, and that by converse we might aid each other in learning," -- if indeed there be any sense in which I could possibly impart instruction to you.

8. When by these words, now mine not less than yours, I am gladdened and refreshed, and when I am comforted not a little by the fact that in both of us a desire for mutual fellowship exists, though meanwhile unsatisfied, it is not long before I am pierced through by darts of keenest sorrow when I consider Rufinus and you, to whom God had granted in fullest measure and for a length of time that which both of us have longed for, so that in most close and endearing fellowship you feasted together on the honey of the Holy Scriptures, and think how between you the bright of such exceeding bitterness has found its way, constraining us to ask when, where, and in whom the same calamity may not be reasonably feared; seeing that it has befallen you at the very time when, unencumbered, having cast away secular burdens, you were following the Lord and were living together in that very land which was trodden by the feet of our Lord, when He said, "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you; "' being, moreover, men of mature age, whose life was devote to the study of the word of God. Truly "man's life on earth is a period of trial." 2 If I could anywhere meet you both together -- which, alas, I cannot hope to do --so strong are my agitation, grief, and fear, that I think I would cast myself at your feet, and there weeping till I could weep no more, would, with all the eloquence of love, appeal first to each of you for his own sake, then to both for each other's sake, and for the sake of those, especially the weak, "for whom Christ died," s whose salvation is in peril, as they look on you who occupy a place so conspicuous on the stage of time; imploring you not to write and scatter abroad these hard words against each other, which, if at any time you who are now at variance were reconciled, you could not destroy, and which you could not then venture to read lest strife should be kindled anew.

9. But I say to your Charity, that nothing has made me tremble more than your estrangement from Rufinus, when I read in your letter some of the indications of your being displeased with me. I refer not so much to what you say of Entellus and of the wearied ox, in which you appear to me to use genial pleasantry rather than angry threat, but to that which you have evidently written in earnest, of which I have already spoken perhaps more than was fitting, but not more than'. my fears compelled me to do, -- namely, the words, "lest perchance, being offended, you should have reason to remonstrate with me." If it be possible for us to examine and discuss anything by which our hearts may be nourished, without any bitterness of discord.

I entreat you let us address ourselves to this. But if it is not possible for either of us to point out what he may judge to demand correction in the other's writings, without being suspected of envy and regarded as wounding friendship, let us, having regard to our spiritual life and health, leave such conference alone. Let us content ourselves with smaller attainments in that [knowledge] which puffeth up, if we can thereby preserve unharmed that [charity] which edifieth.4 I feel that I come far short of that perfection of which it is written, "If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man; "s but through God's mercy I truly believe myself able to ask your forgiveness for that in which I have offended you: and this you ought to make plain to me, that through my hearing you, you may gain your brother? Nor should you make it a reason for leaving me in error, that the distance between us on the earth's surface makes it impossible for us to meet face to face. As concerns the subjects into which we inquire, if I know, or believe, or think that I have got hold of the truth in a matter in which your opinion is different from mine, I shall by all means endeavour, as the Lord may enable me, to maintain my view without injuring you. And as to any offence which I may give to you, so soon as I perceive your displeasure,I shall unreservedly beg your forgiveness.

10. I think, moreover, that your reason for being displeased with me can only be, that I have either said what I ought not, or have not expressed myself in the manner in which I ought: for I do not wonder that we are less thoroughly known to each other than we are to our most close and intimate friends. Upon the love of such friends I readily cast myself without reservation, especially when chafed and wearied by the scandals of this world; and in their love I rest without any disturbing care: for I perceive that God is there, on whom I confidingly cast myself, and in whom I confidingly rest. Nor in this confidence am I disturbed by any fear of that uncertainty as to the morrow which must be present when we lean upon human weakness, and which I have in a former paragraph bewailed. For when I perceive that a man is burning with Christian love, and feel that thereby he has been made a faithful friend to me, whatever plans or thoughts of mine I entrust to him I regard as entrusted not to the man, but to Him in whom his character makes it evident that he dwells: for" God is love, and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him ;"7 and if he cease to dwell in love, his forsaking it cannot but cause as much pain as his abiding in it caused joy. l Nevertheless, in such a case, when one who was an intimate friend has become an enemy, it is better that he should search out what ingenuity may help him to fabricate to our prejudice, than that he should find what anger may provoke him to reveal. This every one most easily secures, not by concealing what he does, but by doing nothing which he would wish to conceal. And this the mercy of God grants to good and pious men: they go out and in among their friends in liberty and without fear, whatever these friends may afterwards become: the sins which may have been committed by others within their knowledge they do not reveal, and they themselves avoid doing what they would fear to see revealed. For when any false charge is fabricated by a slanderer, either it is disbelieved, or, if it is believed, our reputation alone is injured, our spiritual wellbeing is not affected. But when, any sinful action is committed, that action becomes a secret enemy, even though it be not: revealed by the thoughtless or malicious talk of one acquainted with our secrets. Wherefore any, person of discernment may see in your own; example how, by the comfort of a good conscience, you bear what would otherwise be insupportable -- the incredible enmity of one who was i formerly your most intimate and beloved friend; and how even what he utters against you, even what may to your disadvantage be believed by some, you turn to good account as the armour of righteousness on the left hand, which is not less useful than armour on the right hand' in our warfare with the devil. But truly i would rather see him less bitter in his accusations, than see you thus more fully armed by them. This is a great and a lamentable wonder, that you should have passed from such amity to such enmity: it would be a joyful and a much greater event, should you come back from such enmity

to the friendship of former days.

LETTER LXXIV. (A.D. 404.)

TO MY LORD PRAESIDIUS, MOST BLESSED, MY BROTHER AND PARTNER IN THE PRIESTLY OFFICE, TRULY ESTEEMED, AUGUSTIN SENDS GREETING IN THE LORD.

1. I write to remind you of the request which I made to you as a sincere friend when you were here, that you would not refuse to send a letter of mine to our holy brother and fellow-presbyter Jerome; in order, moreover, to let your Charity know in what terms you ought to write to him on my behalf. I have sent a copy of my letter to him, and of his to me, by reading which your pious wisdom may easily see both the moderation of tone which I have been careful tb preserve, and the vehemence on his part by which I have been not unreasonably filled with fear. If, however, I have written anything which I ought not to have written, or have expressed myself in an unbecoming way, let it not be to him, but to myself, in brotherly love, that you send your opinion of what I have done, in order that, if I am convinced of my fault by your rebuke, I may ask his forgiveness.

LETTER LXXV. (A.D. 404.)

Jerome's answer to Letters XXVIII., XL, and LXXI.

TO AUGUSTIN, MY LORD TRULY HOLY, AND MOST BLESSED FATHER, JEROME SENDS GREETING IN CHRIST.

CHAP. I.--1. I have received by Cyprian, deacon, three letters, or rather three little books, at the same time, from your Excellency, containing what you call sundry questions, but what I feel to be animadversions on opinions which I have published, to answer which, if I were disposed to do it, would require a pretty large volume. Nevertheless I shall attempt to reply without exceeding the limits of a moderately long letter, and without causing delay to our brother, now in haste to depart, who only three days before the time fixed for his journey asked earnestly for a letter to take with him, in consequence of which I am compelled to pour out these sentences, such as they are, almost without premeditation, answering you in a rambling effusion, prepared not in the leisure of deliberate composition, but in the hurry of extemporaneous dictation, which usually produces a discourse that is more the offspring of chance than the parent of instruction; just as unexpected attacks throw into confusion even the bravest soldiers, and they are compelled to take to flight before they can gird on their armour.

2. But our armour is Christ; it is that which the Apostle Paul prescribes when, writing to the Ephesians, he says, ','Take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day;" and again, "Stand, therefore, having your loins gin about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked: and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God." ' Armed with these weapons, King David went forth in his day to battle: and taking from the torrent's bed five smooth rounded stones, he proved that, even amidst all the eddying currents of the world, his feelings were free both from roughness and from defilement; drinking of the brook by the way, and therefore lifted up in spirit, he cut off the head of Goliath, using the proud enemy's own sword as the fittest instrument of death? smiting the profane boaster on the forehead and wounding him in the same place in which Uzziah was smitten with leprosy when he presumed to usurp the priestly office; 4 the same' also in which shines the glory that makes the saints rejoice in the Lord, saying, "The light of Thy countenance is sealed upon us, O Lord."1 Let us therefore also say, "My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise: awake up, my glory; awake, psaltery and harp; I myself will awake early;" ' that in us may be fulfilled that word, "Open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it; "3 and, "The Lord shall give the word with great power to them that publish it." 4 I am well assured that your prayer as well as mine is, that in our contendings the victory may remain with the truth. For you seek Christ's glory, not your own: if you are victorious, I also gain a victory if I discover my error. On the other hand, if I win the day, the gain is yours; for "the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children." s We read, moreover, in Chronicles, that the children of Israel went to battle with their minds set upon peace,6 seeking even amid swords and bloodshed and the prostrate slain a victory not for themselves, but for peace. Let me therefore, if it be the will of Christ, give an answer to all that you have written, and attempt in a short dissertation to solve your numerous questions. I pass by the conciliatory phrases in your courteous salutation: I say nothing of the compliments by which you attempt to take the edge off your censure: let me come at once to the matters in debate.

CHAP. III. -- 3. You say that you received from some brother a book of mine, in which I have given a list of ecclesiastical writers, both Greek and Latin, but which had no title; and that when you asked the brother aforesaid (I quote your own statement) why the title-page had no inscription, or what was the name by which the book was known, he answered that it was called "Epitaphium," i.e. "Obituary Notices:" upon which you display your reasoning powers, by remarking that the name Epitaphium would have been properly given to the book if the reader had found in it an account of the lives and writings of deceased authors, but that inasmuch as mention is made of the works of many who were living when the book was written, and are at this day still living, you wonder why I should have given the book a title so inappropriate. I think that it must be obvious to your own common sense, that you might have discovered the title of that book from its contents, without any other help. For you have read both Greek and Latin biographies of eminent men, and you know that they do not give to works of this kind the title Epitaphium, but simply "Illustrious Men," e.g. "Illustrious Generals," or "philosophers, orators, historians, poets," etc., as the case may be. An Epitaphium is a work written concerning the dead; such as I remember having composed long ago after the decease of the presbyter Nepotianus, of blessed memory. The book, therefore, of which you speak ought to be entitled, "Concerning Illustrious Men," or properly, "Concerning Ecclesiastical Writers," although it is said that by many who were not qualified to make any correction of the title, it has been called "Concerning Authors."

CHAP. III.-- 4. You ask, in the second place, my reason for saying, in my commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians, that Paul could not have rebuked Peter for that which he himself had done, and could not have censured in another the dissimulation of which he was himself confessedly guilty; and you affirm that that rebuke of the apostle was not a manoeuvre of pious policy,s but real; and you say that I ought not to teach falsehood, but that all things in Scripture are to be received literally as they stand.

To this I answer, in the first place, that your wisdom ought to have suggested the remembrance of the short preface to my commentaries, saying of my own person, "What then? Am I so foolish and bold as to promise that which he could not accomplish? By no means; but t have rather, as it seems to me, with more reserve and hesitation, because feeling the deficiency of my strength, followed the commentaries of Origen in this matter. For that illustrious man wrote five volumes on the Epistle of Paul to the Galatians, and has occupied the tenth volume of his Stromata with a short treatise upon his explanation of the epistle. He also composed several treatises and fragmentary pieces upon it, which, if they even had stood alone, would have sufficed. I pass over my revered instructor Didymus9 (blind, it is true, but quick-sighted in the discernment of spiritual things), and the bishop of Laodicea,10 who has recently left the Church, and the early heretic Alexander, as well as Eusebius of Emesa and Theodorus of Heraclea, who have also left some brief disquisitions upon this subject. From these works if I were to extract even a few passages, a work which could not be altogether despised would be produced. Let me therefore frankly say that I have read all these; and storing up in my mind very many things which they contain, I have dictated to my amanuensis sometimes what was borrowed from other writers, sometimes what was my own,! without distinctly remembering the method, or' the words, or the opinions which belonged to each. I look now to the Lord in His mercy to grant that my want of skill and experience may not cause the things which others have well spoken to be lost, or to fail of finding among foreign readers the acceptance with which they ha.re met in the language in which they were first written..If, therefore, anything in my explanation has seemed to you to demand correction, it would have been seemly for one of your learning to inquire first whether what I had written was found in the Greek writers to whom I have referred; and if they had not advanced the opinion which you censured, you could then with propriety condemn me for what I gave as my own view, especially seeing that I have in the preface openly acknowledged that I had followed the commentaries of Origen, and had dictated sometimes the view of others, sometimes my own, and have written at the end of the chapter with which you find fault: "If any one be dissatisfied with the interpretation here given, by which it is shown that neither did Peter sin, nor did Paul rebuke presumptuously a greater than himself, he is bound to show how Paul could consistently blame in another what he himself did." By which I have made it manifest that I did not adopt finally and irrevocably that which I had read in these Greek authors, but had propounded what I had read, leaving to the reader's own judgment whether it should be rejected or approved.

5. You, however, in order to avoid doing what I had asked, have devised a new argument against the view proposed; maintaining that the Gentiles who had believed in Christ were free from the burden of the ceremonial law, but that the Jewish converts were under the law, and that Paul, as the teacher of the Gentiles, rightly rebuked those who kept the law; whereas Peter, who was the chief of the "circumcision,"' was justly rebuked for commanding the Gentile converts to do that which the converts from among the Jews were alone under obligation to observe. If this is your opinion, or rather since it is your opinion, that all from among the Jews who believe are debtors to do the whole law, you ought, as being a bishop of great fame in the whole world, to publish your doctrine, and labour to persuade all other bishops to agree with you. As for me in my humble cell,' along with the monks my fellow-sinners, I do not presume to dogmatize in regard to things of great moment; I only confess frankly that I read the writings of the Fathers,3 and, complying with universal usage, put down in my commentaries a variety of explanations, that each may adopt from the number given the one which pleases him. This method, I think, you have found in your reading, and have approved in connection with both secular literature and the Divine Scriptures.

6. Moreover, as to this explanation which Origen first advanced,4 and which all the other commentators after him have adopted, they bring forward, chiefly for the purpose of answering, the blasphemies of Porphyry, who accuses Paul of presumption because he dared to reprove Peter and rebuke him to his face, and by reasoning convict him of having done wrong; that is to say, of being in the very fault which he himself, who blamed another for transgressing, had committed. What shall I say also of John, who has long governed the Church of Constantinople, and holding pontifical rank,s who has composed a very large book upon this paragraph, and has followed the opinion of Origen and of the old expositors? If, therefore, you censure me as in the wrong, suffer me, I pray you, to be mistaken in company with such men; and when you perceive that I have so many companions in my error, you will require to produce at least one partisan in defence of your truth. So much on the interpretation of one paragraph of the Epistle to the Galatians.

7. Lest, however, I should seem to rest my answer to your reasoning wholly on the number of witnesses who are on my side, and to use the names of illustrious men as a means of escaping from the truth, not daring to meet you in argument, I shall briefly bring forward some examples from the Scriptures.

In the Acts of the Apostles, a voice was heard by Peter, saying unto him, "Rise, Peter, slay and eat," when all manner of four-looted beasts, and creeping things, and birds of the air, were presented before him; by which saying it is proved that no man is by nature [ceremonially] unclean, but that all men are equally welcome to the gospel of Christ. To which Peter answered, "Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean." And the voice spake unto him again the second time, "What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common." Therefore he went to Caesarea, and having entered the house of Cornelius, "he opened his mouth and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons, but in every nation he that feareth Him and worketh righteousness is accepted with Him." Thereafter "the Holy ! Ghost fell on all them which heard the word; and they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. Then answered Peter, Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we ? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord.' .... And the apostles and brethren that were in Judea heard that the Gentiles had also received the word of God. And when Peter was come up to Jerusalem, they that were of the circumcision contended with him, saying, Thou wentest in to men; uncircumcised, and didst eat with them." To] whom he gave a full explanation of the reasons of his conduct, and concluded with these words ! "Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as He did unto us who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, what was I, that I could withstand God? When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life."' Again, when, long after this, Paul and Barnabas had come to Antioch, and "having gathered the Church together, rehearsed all that God had done with them, and how He .had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles, certain men which came down from Judea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved. When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small! dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto] the apostles and elders about this question. And when they were come to Jerusalem, there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying that it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses." And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, with his wonted readiness, "and said, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe. And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as He did unto us; and put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear ? But we believe that, through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, we shall be saved, even as they. Then all the multitude kept silence;" and to his opinion the Apostle James, and all the elders together, gave consent.3

8. These quotations should not be tedious to the reader, but useful both to him and to me, as proving that, even before the Apostle Paul, Peter had come to know that the law was not to be in force after the gospel was given; nay more, that Peter was the prime mover in issuing the decree by which this was affirmed. Moreover, Peter was of so great authority, that Paul has recorded in his epistle: "Then, after three years, I went !up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days."4 In the following context, again, he adds: "Then, fourteen years after, I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also. And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles ;" proving that he had not had confidence in his preaching of the gospel if he had not been confirmed by the consent of Peter and those who were with him. The next words are, "but privately to them that were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain." Why did he this privately rather than in public ? Lest offence should be given to the faith of those who from among the Jews had believed, since they thought that the law was still in force, and that they ought to join observance of the law with faith in the Lord as their Saviour. Therefore also, when at that time Peter had come to Antioch (although the Acts of the Apostles do not mention this, but we must believe Paul's statement), Paul affirms that he "withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. For, before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew, and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision. And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation. But when I saw," he says, "that they walked not up-rightly, according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, 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?" s etc. No one can doubt, therefore, that the Apostle Peter was himself the author of that rule with deviation from which he is charged. The cause of that deviation, moreover, is seen to be fear of the Jews. For the Scripture says, that "at first he did eat with the Gentiles, but that when certain had come from James he withdrew, and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision." Now he feared the Jews, to whom he had been appointed apostle, lest by occasion of the Gentiles they should go back from the faith in Christ; imitating the GoOd Shepherd in his concern lest he should lose the flock committed to him.

9. As I have shown, therefore, that Peter was thoroughly aware of the abrogation of the law of Moses, but was compelled by fear to pretend to observe it, let us now see whether Paul, who accuses another, ever did anything of the same kind himself. We read in the same book: "Paul passed through Syria and Cilicia, confirming the churches. Then came he to Derbe and Lystra: and, behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timotheus, the son of a certain woman which was a Jewess, and believed; but his father! was a Greek: which was well reported of by the brethren that were at Lystra and Iconium. Him would Paul have to go forth with him; and he took and circumcised him, because of the Jews which were in those quarters: for they knew all that his father was a Greek."' O blessed Apostle Paul, who hadst rebuked Peter for dissimulation, because he withdrew himself from the Gentiles through fear of the Jews who' came from James, why art thou, notwithstanding thine own doctrine, compelled to circumcise Timothy, the son of a Gentile, nay more, a Gentile himself (for he was not a Jew, having not been circumcised)? Thou wilt answer, "Because of the Jews which are in these quarterS.?" If, then, thou forgiveth thyself the circumcision of a disciple coming from the Gentiles, forgive Peter also, who has precedence above thee, his doing some things of the same kind through fear of the believing Jews. Again, it is written: "Paul after this tarried there yet a good while, and then took his leave of the brethren, and sailed thence into Syria, and with him Priscilla and Aquila; having shorn his head in Cenchrea, for he had a vow."2 Be it granted that he was compelled through fear of the Jews in the other case to do what he was unwilling to do; wherefore did he let his hair grow in accordance with a vow of his own making, and afterwards, when in Cenchrea, shave his head according to the law, as the Nazarites, who had given themselves by vow to God, were wont to do, according to the law of Moses?

10. But these things are small when compared with what follows. The sacred historian Luke further relates: "And when we were come to Jerusalem, the brethren received us gladly;" and the day following, James, and all the elders who were with him, having expressed their approbation of his gospel, said to Paul: "Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe; and they are all zealous of the law: anti they are informed of thee, that thou teachest all the Jews which are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children, neither to walk after the customs. What is it therefore ? The multitude must needs come together: for they will hear that thou art come. Do therefore this that we say to thee: We have four men which have a vow on them; them take, and purify thyself with them, and be at charges with them, that they may shave their heads: and all may know that those things, whereof they were informed concerning thee, are nothing; but that thou thyself also walkest orderly, and keepest the law. Then Paul took the men, and the next day purifying himself with them, entered into the temple, to signify the accomplishment of the days of purification, until an offering should be offered for every one of them."30 Paul, here again let me question thee: Why didst thou shave thy head, why didst thou walk barefoot according to I Jewish ceremonial law, why didst thou offer sacrifices, why were victims slain for thee according to the law? Thou wilt answer, doubtless, "To avoid giving offence to those of the Jews who had believed." To gain the Jews, thou didst 'pretend to be a Jew; and James and all the other elders taught thee this dissimulation. But thou didst not succeed in escaping, after all. For when thou wast on the point of being killed 'in a tumult which had arisen, thou wast rescued by the chief captain of the band, and was sent by him to Caesarea, guarded by a careful escort of soldiers, lest the Jews should kill thee as a dissembler, and a destroyer of the law; and from Caesarea coming to Rome, thou didst, in thine own hired house, preach Christ to both Jews and Gentiles, and thy. testimony was sealed under Nero's sword.4

11. We have learned, therefore, that through fear of the Jews both Peter and Paul alike pretended that they observed the precepts of the law. How could Paul have the assurance and effrontery to reprove in another what he had done himself? I at least, or, I should rather say, [others before me, have given such explanation of the matter as they deemed best, not defending the use of falsehood in the interest of religion,5 as you charge them with doing, but teaching the honourable exercise of a wise discretion;6 seeking both to show the wisdom of the apostles, and to restrain the shameless blasphemies of Porphyry, who says that Peter and Paul quarrelled with each other in childish rivalry, and affirms that Paul had been inflamed with envy on account of the excellences of Peter, and had written boastfully of things which he either had not done, or, if he did them, had done with inexcusable presumption, reproving in another that which he himself had done. They, in answering him, gave the best interpretation of the passage which they could find; what interpretation have you to propound? Surely you must intend to say something better than they have said, since you have rejected the opinion of the ancient commentators.

CHAP. IV.-- 12. You say in your letter: 1 "You do not require me to teach you in what sense the apostle says, ' To the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews ;' ' and other such things in the same passage, which are to be ascribed to the compassion of pitying love, not to the artifices of intentional deceit. For he that ministers to the sick becomes as if he were sick himself, not indeed falsely pretending to be under the fever, but considering with the mind of one truly sympathizing what he would wish done for himself if he were in the sick man's place. Paul was indeed a Jew; and when he had become a Christian, he had not abandoned those Jewish sacraments which that people had received in the right way, and for a certain appointed time. Therefore, even when he was an apostle of Christ, he took part in observing these, but with this view, that he might show that they were in no wise hurtful to those who, even after they had believed in Christ, desired to retain the ceremonies which by the law they had learned from their fathers; provided only that they did not build on these their hope of salvation, since the salvation which was fore-shadowed in these has now been brought in by the Lord Jesus." The sum of your whole argument, which you have expanded into a most prolix dissertation, is this, that Peter did not err in supposing that the law was binding on those who from among the Jews had believed, but departed from the right course in this, that he compelled the Gentile converts to conform to Jewish observances. Now, if he compelled them, it was not by use of authority as a teacher, but by the example of his own practice. And Paul, according to your view, did not protest against what Peter had done personally, but asked wherefore Peter would compel those who were from among the Gentiles to conform to Jewish observances.

13. The matter in debate, therefore, or I should rather say your opinion regarding it, is summed up in this: that since the preaching of the gospel of Christ, the believing Jews do well in observing the precepts of the law, i.e. in offering sacrifices as Paul did, in circumcising their children, as Paul did in the case of Timothy, and keeping the Jewish Sabbath, as all the Jews have been accustomed to do. If this be true, we fall into the heresy of Cerinthus and Ebion, who, though believing in Christ, were anathematized by the fathers for this one error, that they mixed up the ceremonies of the law with the gospel of Christ, and professed their faith in that which was new, without letting go what was old. Why do I speak of the Ebionites, who make pretensions to the name of Christian? In our own day there exists a sect among the Jews throughout all the synagogues of the East, which is called the sect of the Minei, and is even now condemned by the Pharisees. The adherents to ]this sect are known commonly as Nazarenes; they believe in Christ the Son of God, 'born of , the Virgin Mary; and they say that He who suffered under Pontius Pilate and rose again, is the same as the one in whom we believe. But while they desire to be both Jews and Christians, they are neither the one nor the other. I therefore beseech you, who think that you are called upon to heal my slight wound, which is no more, so to speak, than a prick or scratch from a needle, to devote your skill in the healing art to this grievous wound, which has been opened by a spear driven home with the impetus of a javelin. For there is surely no proportion between the culpability of him who exhibits the various opinions held by the fathers in a commentary on Scripture, and the guilt of him who reintroduces within the Church a most pestilential heresy. If, however, there is for us no alternative but to receive the Jews into the Church, along with the usages prescribed by their law; if, in short, it shall be declared lawful for them to continue in the Churches of Christ what they have been accustomed to practise in the synagogues of Satan, I will tell you my opinion of the matter: they will not become Christians, but they will make us Jews.

14. For what Christian will submit to hear what is said in your letter? "Paul was indeed a Jew; and when he had become a Christian, he had not abandoned those Jewish sacraments which that people had received in the right way, and for a certain appointed time. Therefore, even when he was an apostle of Christ, he took part in observing these; but with this view, that he might show that they were in no wise hurtful to those who, even after they had believed in Christ, desired to retain the ceremonies which by the law they had learned from their fathers." Now I implore you to hear patiently my complaint. Paul, even when he was an apostle of Christ, observed Jewish ceremonies; and you affirm that they are in no wise hurtful to those who wish to retain them as they had received them from their fathers by the law. I, on the contrary, shall maintain, and, though the world were to protest against my view, I may boldly declare that .the Jewish ceremonies are to Christians both hurtful and fatal; and that whoever observes them, whether he be Jew or Gentile originally, is cast into the pit of perdition. "For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth,"' that is, to both Jew and Gentile; for if the Jew be excepted, He is not the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. Moreover, we read in the Gospel, "The law and the prophets were until John the Baptist.''2 Also, in another place: "Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill Him, because He had not only broken the Sabbath, but said also that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God." Again: "Of His fulness have all we received, and grace for grace; for the law was given Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus: Christ." 4 Instead of the grace of the law which' has passed away, we have received the grace of the gospel which is abiding; and instead of the shadows and types of the old dispensation, the truth has come by Jesus Christ. Jeremiah also prophesied thus in God's name: "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah; not according to the covenant which I made with their fathers, in the day that I took them by the hand, to bring them out of the land of Egypt." s Observe what the prophet says, not to Gentiles, who had not been partakers in any former covenant, but to the Jewish nation. He who has given them the law by Moses, promises in place of it the new covenant of the gospel, that they might no longer live in the oldness of the letter, but in the newness of the spirit. Paul himself, moreover, in connection with whom the discussion of this question has arisen, delivers such sentiments as these frequently, of which I subjoin only a few, as I desire to be brief: "Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing." Again: "Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace." Again: "If ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law." 6 From which it is evident that he has not the Holy Spirit who submits to the law, not, as our fathers affirmed the apostles to have done, feignedly, under the promptings of a wise discretion,7 but, as you suppose to have been the case, sincerely. As to the quality of these legal precepts, let us learn from God's own teaching: "I gave them," He says, "statutes that were not good, and judgments whereby they should not live." 8 I say these things, not that I may, like Manichaeus and Marcion, destroy the law, which I know on the testimony of the apostle to be both holy and spiritual; but because when "faith came," and the fulness of times, "God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons," 9 and might live no longer under the law as our schoolmaster, but under the Heir, who has now attained to full age, and is Lord.

15. It is further said in your letter: "The thing, therefore, which he rebuked in Peter was not his observing the customs handed down from his fathers, which Peter, if he wished, might do without being chargeable with deceit or inconsistency." 10 Again I say: Since you are a bishop, a teacher in the Churches of Christ, if you would prove what you assert, receive any Jew who, after having become a Christian, circumcises any son that may be born to him, observes the Jewish Sabbath, abstains from meats which God has created to be used with thanksgiving, and on the evening of the fourteenth day of the first month slays a paschal lamb; and when you have done this, or rather, have refused to do it (for I know that you are a Christian, and will not be guilty of a profane action), you will be constrained, whether willingly or unwillingly, to renounce your opinion; and then 'you will know that it is a more difficult work to reject the opinion of others than to establish your own. Moreover, lest perhaps we should not believe your statement, or, I should rather say, understand it (for it is often the case that a discourse unduly extended is not intelligible, and is less censured by the unskilled in discussion because its weakness is not so easily perceived), you inculcate your opinion by reiterating the statement in these words: "Paul had forsaken everything peculiar to the Jews that was evil, especially this, that 'being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, they had not submitted themselves to the righteousness of God.' 11 In this, moreover, he differed froth them, that after the passion and resurrection of Christ, in whom had been given and made manifest the mystery of grace, according to the order of Melchizedek, they still considered it binding on them to celebrate, not out of mere reverence for old customs, but as necessary to salvation, the sacraments of the old dispensation; which were indeed at one time necessary, else had it been unprofitable and vain for the Maccabees to suffer martyrdom as they did for their adherence to them.' Lastly, in this also Paul differed from the Jews, that they persecuted the Christian preachers of grace as enemies of the law. These, and all similar errors and sins, he declares that he counted but loss and dung, that he might win Christ.'' a

16. We have learned from you what evil things peculiar to the Jews Paul had abandoned; let us now learn from your teaching what good things which were Jewish he retained. You will reply: "The ceremonial observances in which they continued to follow the practice of their fathers, in the way in which these were complied, with by Paul himself, without believing them to be at all necessary to salvation." I do not fully understand what you mean by the words, "without believing them to be at all necessary to salvation." For if they do not contribute to salvation, why are they observed? And if they must be observed, they by all means contribute to salvation; especially seeing that, because of observing them, some have been made martyrs: for they would not be observed unless they contributed to salvation. For they are not things indifferent--neither good nor bad, as philosophers say. Self-control is good, self-indulgence is bad: between these, and indifferent, as having no moral quality, are such things as walking, blowing one's nose, expectorating phlegm, etc. Such an action is neither good nor bad; for whether you do it or leave it undone, it does riot affect your standing as righteous or unrighteous. But the observance of legal ceremonies is not a thing indifferent; it is either good or bad. You say it is good. I affirm it to be bad, and bad not only when done by Gentile converts, but also when done by Jews who have believed. In this passage you fall, if I am not mistaken, into one error while avoiding another. For while you guard yourself against the blasphemies of Porphyry, you become entangled in the snares of Ebion; pronouncing that the law is binding on those who from among the Jews have believed. Perceiving, again, that what you have said is a dangerous doctrine, you attempt to qualify it by words which are only superfluous: viz., "The law must be observed not from any belief, such as prompted the Jews to keep it, that this is necessary to salvation, and not in any misleading dissimulation such as Paul reproved in Peter."

17. Peter therefore pretended to keep the law; but this censor of Peter boldly observed the things prescribed by the law. The next words of your letter are these: "For if Paul observed these sacraments in order, by pretending to be a Jew, to gain the Jews, why did he not also take part with the Gentiles in heathen sacrifices, when to them that were without law he became as without law, that he might gain them also? The explanation is found in this, that he took part in the Jewish rites as being himself a Jew; and that when he said all this which I have quoted, he meant not that he pretended to be what he was not, but that he felt with true compassion that he must bring such help to them as would be needful for himself if he were involved in their error.s Herein he exercised not the subtlety of a deceiver, but the sympathy of a compassionate deliverer." A triumphant vindication of Paul! You prove that he did not pretend to share the error of the Jews, but was actually involved in it; and that he refused to imitate Peter in a course of deception, dissembling through fear of the Jews what he really was, but without reserve freely avowed himself to be a Jew. Oh, unheard-of ! compassion of the apostle ! In seeking to make the Jews Christians, he himself became a Jew ! For he could not have persuaded the luxurious to become temperate if he had not himself become luxurious like them; and could not have brought help, in his compassion, as you say, to the wretched, otherwise than by experiencing in his own person their wretchedness! Truly wretched, and worthy of most compassionate lamentation, are those who, carried away by vehemence of disputation, and by love for the law which has been abolished, have made Christ's apostle to be a Jew. Nor is there, after all, a great difference between my opinion and yours: for I say that both Peter and Paul, through fear of the believing Jews, practised, or rather pretended tb practise, the precepts of the Jewish law; whereas you maintain that they did this out of pity, "not with the subtlety of a 'deceiver, but with the sympathy of a compassionate deliverer." But by both this is equally admitted, that (whether from fear or from pity) they pretended to be what they were not. As to your argument against our view, that he ought to have become to the Gentiles a Gentile, if to the Jews he became a Jew, this favours our opinion rather than yours: for as he did not actually become a Jew, so he did not actually become a heathen; and as he did not actually become a heathen, so he did not actually become a Jew. His conformity to the Gentiles consisted in this, that he received as Christians the uncircumcised who believed in Christ, and left them free to use without scruple meats which the Jewish law prohibited; but not, as you suppose, in taking part in their worship of idols. For "in Christ Jesus, neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision, but the keeping of the commandments of God." 4

18. I ask you, therefore, and with all urgency press the request, that you forgive me this humble attempt at a discussion of the matter; and wherein I have transgressed, lay the blame upon yourself who compelled me to write in reply, and who made me out to be as blind as Stesichorus. And do not bring the reproach of teaching the practice of lying upon me who am" a follower of Christ, who said, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.", It is impossible for me, who am a worshipper of the Truth, to bow under the yoke of falsehood. Moreover, refrain from stirring up against me the unlearned crowd who esteem you as their bishop, and regard with! the respect due the priestly office the orations i which you deliver in the church, but who esteem lightly an old decrepit man like me, courting the retirement of a monastery far from the busy haunts of men; and seek others who may be more filly instructed or corrected by you. For the sound of your Voice can scarcely reach me,, who am so far separated from you by sea and land. And if you happen to write me a letter, 5 Italy and Rome are sure to be acquainted with' its contents long before it is brought to me, to! whom alone it ought to be sent.

CHAP. V. -- 19. In another letter you ask why a former translation which I made of some of the canonical books was carefully marked with asterisks and obelisks, whereas I afterwards published a translation without these. You must pardon my saying that you seem to me not to understand the matter: for the former translation is from the Septuagint; and wherever obelisks are placed, :they are designed to indicate that the Seventy have said more than is found in the Hebrew. But the asterisks indicate what has been added by Origen from the version of Theodotion. In that version I was translating from the Greek: but in the later version, translating from the Hebrew itself, I have expressed what I understood it to mean, being careful to preserve rather the exact sense than the order of the words. I am surprised that you do not read the books of the Seventy translators in the genuine form in which they were originally given to the world, but as they have been corrected, or rather corrupted, by Origen, with his obelisks and asterisks; and that you refuse to follow the translation, however feeble, which has been given by a Christian man, especially seeing that Origen borrowed the things which he has added from the edition of a man who, after the passion of Christ, was a Jew and a blasphemer. Do you wish to be a true admirer and partisan of the Seventy translators? Then do not read what you find under the asterisks; rather erase them from the volumes, that you may approve yourself indeed a follower of the ancients. If, however, you do this, you will be compelled to find fault with all the libraries of the Churches; for you will scarcely find more than one Ms. here and there which has not these interpolations.

CHAP. VI.-- 20. A few words now as to your remark that I ought not to have given a translation, after this had been already done by the ancients; and the novel syllogism which you use: " The passages of which the Seventy have given an interpretation 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 the Seventy could have been mistaken."'

All the commentators who have been our predecessors in the Lord in the work of expounding the Scriptures, have expounded either what was obscure or what was plain. If some passages were obscure, how could you, after them, presume to discuss that which they were not able to explain ? If the passages were plain, it was a waste of time for you to have undertaken to treat of that which could not possibly have escaped them. This syllogism applies with peculiar force to the book of Psalms, in the interpretation of which Greek commentators have written many volumes: viz. 1st, Origen: 2d, Eusebius of Caesarea; 3d, Theodorus of Heraclea; 4th, Asterius of Scythopolis; 5th, Apollinaris of Laodicea; and, 6th, Didymus of Alexandria. There are said to be minor works on selections from the Psalms, but I speak at present of the whole book. Moreover, among Latin writers the bishops Hilary of Poitiers, and Eusebius of Verceil, have translated Origen and Eusebius of Caesarea, the former of whom has in some things been followed by our own Ambrose. Now, I put it to your wisdom to answer why you, after all the labours of so many and so competent interpreters, differ from them in your exposition of some passages ? If the Psalms are obscure, it must be believed that you are as likely to be mistaken as others; if they are plain, it is incredible that these others could have fallen into mistake. In either case, your exposition has been, by your own showing, an unnecessary labour; and on the same principle, no one would ever venture to speak on any subject after others have pronounced their opinion, and no one would be at liberty to write anything regarding that which another has once handled, however important the matter might be.

It is, however, more in keeping with your enlightened judgment, to grant to all others the liberty which you tolerate in yourself for in my attempt to translate into Latin, for the benefit of those who speak the same language with myself, the corrected Greek version of the Scriptures, I have laboured not to supersede what has been long esteemed, but only to bring prominently forward those things which have been either omitted or tampered with by the Jews, in order that Latin readers might know what is found in the original Hebrew. If any one is averse to reading it, none compels him against his will. Let him drink with satisfaction the old wine, and despise my new wine, i.e. the sentences which I have published in explanation of former writers, with the design of making more obvious by my remarks what in them seemed to me to be obscure.

As to the principles which ought to be followed in the interpretation of the Sacred Scriptures, they are stated in the book which I have written,' and in all the introductions to the divine books which I have in my edition prefixed to each; and to these I think it sufficient to refer the prudent reader. And since you approve of my labours in revising the translation of the New Testament, as you say,-- giving me at the same time this as your reason, that very many are acquainted with the Greek language, and are therefore competent judges of my work,--it would have been but fair to have given me credit for the same fidelity in the Old Testament; for I have not followed my own imagination, but have rendered the divine words as I found them. understood by those who speak the Hebrew language. If you have any doubt of this in any passage, ask the Jews what is the meaning of the original.

21. Perhaps you will say, "What if the Jews decline to answer, or choose to impose upon us ?" Is it conceivable that the whole multitude of Jews will agree together to be silent if asked about my translation, and that none shall be found that has any knowledge of the Hebrew language? Or will they all imitate those Jews! whom you mention as having, in some little town, conspired to injure my reputation? For in your letter you put together the following! story: --" A certain bishop, one of our brethren, ! having introduced in the Church over which he presides the reading of your version, came upon a word in the book of the prophet Jonah, of which you have given a very different rendering from that which had been of old familiar to the senses and memory of all the worshippers, and had been chanted for so many generations in the Church. Thereupon arose such a tumult in the congregation, especially among the Greeks, correcting what had been read, and denouncing the translation as false, that the bishop was compelled to ask the testimony of the Jewish residents (it was in the town of Oea). These, whether from ignorance or from spite, answered that the words in the Hebrew Mss. were correctly rendered in the Greek version, and in the Latin one taken from it. What further need I say? The man was compelled to correct your version in that passage as if it had been falsely translated, as he desired not to be left without a congregation,-- a calamity which he narrowly escaped. From this case we also are led to think that you may be occasionally mistaken."'

CHAP. VII. -- 22. YOU tell me that I have given a wrong translation of some word in Jonah, and that a worthy bishop narrowly escaped losing his charge through the clamorous tumult of his people, which was caused by the different rendering of this one word. At the same time, you withhold from me what the word was which I have mistranslated; thus taking away the possibility of my saying anything in my own vindication, lest my reply should be fatal to your objection. Perhaps it is the old dispute about the gourd which has been revived, after slumbering for many long years since the illustrious man, who in that day combined in his own person the ancestral honours of the Cornelii and of Asinius Pollio,3 brought against me the charge of giving in my translation the word "ivy" instead of "gourd" I have already given a sufficient answer to this in my commentary on Jonah. At present, I deem it enough to say that m that passage, where the Septuagint has "gourd," and Aquila and the others have rendered the word "ivy" (<greek>kissos</greek>), the Hebrew MS. has "ciceion," which is in the Syriac tongue, as now spoken, "ciceia." It is a kind of shrub having large leaves like a vine, and when planted it quickly springs up to the size of a small tree, standing upright by its own stem, without requiring any support of canes or poles, as both gourds and ivy do. If, therefore, in translating word for word, I had put the word "ciceia," no one would know what it meant; if I had used the word "gourd," I would have said what is not found in the Hebrew. I therefore put down "ivy," that I might not differ from all other translators. But if your Jews said, either i through malice or ignorance, as you yourself suggest, that the word is in the Hebrew text which is found in the Greek and Latin versions, it is evident that they were either unacquainted with Hebrew, or have been pleased to say what was not true, in order to make sport of the gourd-planters.

In closing this letter, I beseech you to have some consideration for a soldier who is now old and has long retired from active service, and not to force him to take the field and again expose his life to the chances of war. Do you, who are young, and who have been appointed to the conspicuous seat of pontifical dignity, give yourself to teaching the people, and enrich Rome with new stores from fertile Africa.' I am contented to make but little noise in an obscure corner of a monastery, with one to hear me or read to me.

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