REPLY TO FAUSTUS THE MANICHAEAN

CONTRA FAUSTUM MANICHAEUM A.D. 400

Written about the year 400. [Faustus was undoubtedly the acutest, most determined and most unscrupulous opponent of orthodox Christianity in the age of Augustin. The occasion of Augustin's great writing against him was the publication of Faustus' attack on the Old Testament Scriptures, and on the New Testament so far as it was at variance with Manichaean error. Faustus seems to have followed in the footsteps of Adimantus, against whom Augustin had written some years before, but to have gone considerably beyond Adimantus in the recklessness of his statements. The incarnation of Christ, involving his birth from a woman, is one of the main points of attack. He makes the variations in the genealogical records of the Gospels a ground for rejecting the whole as spurious. He supposed the Gospels, in their present form, to be not the works of the Apostles, but rather of later Judaizing falsifiers. The entire Old Testament system he treats with the utmost contempt, blaspheming the Patriarchs, Moses, the Prophets, etc., on the ground of their private lives and their teachings. Most of the objections to the morality of the Old Testament that are now current were already familiarly used in the time of Augustin. Augustin's answers are only partially satisfactory, owing to his imperfect view of the relation of the old dispensation to the new; but in the age in which they were written they were doubtless very effective. The writing is interesting from the point of view of Biblical criticism, as well as from that of polemics against Manichaeism.--A. H. N.]

BOOK I.

WHO FAUSTUS WAS. FAUSTUS'S OBJECT IN WRITING THE POLEMICAL TREATISE THAT FORMS THEBASIS OF AUGUSTIN'S REPLY. AUGUSTIN'S REMARKS THEREON

1. FAUSTUS was an African by race, a citizen of Mileum; he was eloquent and clever, but had adopted the shocking tenets of the Manichaean heresy. He is mentioned in my Confessions,(1) where there is an account of my acquaintance with him. This man published a certain volume against the true Christian faith and the Catholic truth. A copy reached us, and was read by the brethren, who called for an answer from me, as part of the service of love which I owe to them. Now, therefore, in the name and with the help of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, I undertake the task, that all my readers may know that acuteness of mind and elegance of style are of no use to a man unless the Lord directs his steps.(3) In the mysterious equity of divine mercy, God often bestows His help on the slow and the feeble; while from the want of this help, the most acute and eloquent run into error only with greater rapidity and willfulness. I will give the opinions of Faustus as if stated by himself, and mine as if in reply to him.

2. FAUSTUS said: As the learned Adimantus, the only teacher since the sainted Manichaeus deserving of our attention, has plentifully exposed and thoroughly refuted the errors of Judaism and of semi-Christianity, I think it not amiss that you should be supplied in writing with brief and pointed replies to the captious objections of our adversaries, that when, like children of the wily serpent, they try to bewilder you with their quibbles, you may be prepared to give intelligent answers. In this way they will be kept to the subject, instead of wandering from one thing to another. And I have placed our opinions and those of our opponent over against one another, as plainly and briefly as possible, so as not to perplex the reader with a long and intricate discourse.

3. AUGUSTIN replies: You warn against semi-Christians, which you say we are; but we warn against pseudo-Christians, which we have shown you to be. Semi-Christianity may be imperfect without being false. So, then, if the faith of those whom you try to mislead is imperfect, would it not be better to supply what is lacking than to rob them of what they have? It was to imperfect Christians that the apostle wrote, "joying and beholding your conversation," and "the deficiency in your faith in Christ."(1) The apostle had in view a spiritual structure, as he says elsewhere, "Ye are God's building;"(2) and in this structure he found both a reason for joy and a reason for exertion. He rejoiced to see part already finished; and the necessity of bringing the edifice to perfection called for exertion. Imperfect Christians as we are, you pursue us with the desire to pervert what you call our semi-Christianity by false doctrine; while even those who are so deficient in faith as to be unable to reply to all your sophisms, are wise enough at least to know that they must not have anything at all to do with you. You look for semi-Christians to deceive: we wish to prove you pseudo-Christians, that Christians may learn something from your refutation, and that the less advanced may learn to avoid you. Do you call us children of the serpent? You have surely forgotten how often you have found fault with the prohibition in Paradise, and have praised the serpent for opening Adam's eyes. You have the better claim to the title which you give us. The serpent owns you as well when you blame him as when you praise him.

BOOK II.

FAUSTUS CLAIMS TO BELIEVE THE GOSPEL, YET REFUSES TO ACCEPT THE GENEALOGICAL TABLES ON VARIOUS GROUNDS WHICH AUGUSTIN SEEKS TO SET ASIDE.

1. FAUSTUS said: Do I believe the gospel? Certainly. Do I therefore believe that Christ was born? Certainly not. It does not follow that because I believe the gospel, as I do, I must therefore believe that Christ was born. This I do not believe; because Christ does not say that He was born of men, and the gospel, both in name and in fact, begins with Christ's preaching. As for the genealogy. the author himself does not venture to call it the gospel. For what did he write? "The book of the generation of Jesus Christ the Son of David.''(1) The book of the generation is not the book of the gospel. It is more like a birth-register, the star confirming the event. Mark, on the other hand, who recorded the preaching of the Son of God, without any genealogy, begins most suitably with the words, "The gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God." It is plain that the genealogy is not the gospel. Matthew himself says, that after John was put in prison, Jesus began to preach the gospel of the kingdom; so that what is mentioned before this is the genealogy, and not the gospel. Why did not Matthew begin with, "The gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God," but because he thought it sinful to call the genealogy the gospel? Understand, then, what you have hitherto overlooked --the distinction between the genealogy and the gospel. Do I then admit the truth of the gospel? Yes; understanding by the gospel the preaching of Christ. I have plenty to say about the generations too, if you wish. But you seem to me now to wish to know not whether I accept the gospel, but whether I accept the generations.

2. AUGUSTIN replied: Well, in answer to your own questions, you tell us first that you believe the gospel, and next, that you do not believe in the birth of Christ; and your reason is, that the birth of Christ is not in the gospel. What, then, will you answer the apostle when he says, "Remember that Christ Jesus rose from the dead, of the seed of David, according to my gospel?"(1) You surely are ignorant, or pretend to be ignorant, what the gospel is. You use the word, not as the apostle teaches, but as suits your own errors. What the apostles call the gospel you depart from; for you do not believe that Christ was of the seed of David. This was Paul's gospel; and it was also the gospel of the other apostles, and of all faithful stewards of so great a mystery. For Paul says elsewhere, "Whether, therefore, I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed."(2) They did not all write the gospel, but they all preached it. The name evangelist is properly given to the narrators of the birth, the actions, the words, the sufferings of our Lord Jesus Christ. The word gospel means good news, and might be used of any good news, but is properly applied to the narrative of the Saviour. If, then, you teach something different, you must have departed from the gospel. Assuredly those babes whom you despise as semi-Christians will oppose you, when they hear their mother Charity declaring by the mouth of the apostle, "If any one preach another gospel than that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed."(3) Since, then, Paul, according to his gospel, preached that Christ was of the seed of David, and you deny this and preach something else, may you be accursed! And what can you mean by saying that Christ never declares Himself to have been born of men, when on every occasion He calls Himself the Son of man?

3. You learned men, forsooth, dress up for our benefit some wonderful First Man, who came down from the race of light to war with the race of darkness, armed with his waters against the waters of the enemy, and with his fire against their fire, and with his winds against their winds. And why not with his smoke against their smoke, and with his darkness against their darkness? According to you, he was armed against smoke with air, and against darkness with light. So it appears that smoke and darkness are bad, since they could not belong to his goodness. The other three, again--water, wind, and fire--are good. How, then, could these belong to the evil of the enemy? You reply that the water of the race of darkness was evil, while that which the First Man brought was good; anti so, too, his good wind and fire fought against the evil wind and fire of the adversary. But why could he not bring good smoke against evil smoke? Your falsehoods seem to vanish in smoke. Well, your First Man warred against an opposite nature. And yet only one of the five things he brought was the opposite of what the hostile race had. The light was opposed to the darkness, but the four others are not opposed to one another. Air is not the opposite of smoke, and still less is water the opposite of water, or wind of wind, or fire of fire.

4. One is shocked at your wild fancies about this First Man changing the elements which he brought, that he might conquer his enemies by pleasing them. So you make what you call the kingdom of falsehood keep honestly to its own nature, while truth is changeable in order to deceive. Jesus Christ, according to you, is the son of this First Man. Truth springs, forsooth, from your fiction. You praise this First Man for using changeable and delusive forms in the contest. If you, then, speak the truth, you do not imitate him. If you imitate him, you deceive as he did. But our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, the true and truthful Son of God, the true and truthful Son of man, both of which He testifies of Himself, derived the eternity of His godhead from true God, and His incarnation from true man. Your First Man is not the first man of the apostle. "The first man," he says, "was of the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven, heavenly. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy; as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. As we have borne the image of the earthy, let us also bear the image of the heavenly."(4) The first man of the earth, earthy, is Adam, who was made of dust. The second man from heaven, heavenly, is the Lord Jesus Christ; for, being the Son of God, He became flesh that He might be a man outwardly, while He remained God within; that He might be both the true Son of God, by whom we were made, anti the true Son of man, by whom we are made anew. Why do you conjure up this fabulous First Man of yours, and refuse to acknowledge the first man of the apostle? Is this not a fulfillment of what the apostle says: "Turning away their ears from the truth, they will give heed to fables?"(5) According to Paul, the first man is of the earth, earthy; according to Manichaeus, he is not earthy, and is equipped with five elements of some unreal, unintelligible kind. Paul says: "If any one should have announced to you differently from what we have announced let him be accursed." Therefore lest Paul be a liar, let Manichaeus be accursed.

5. Again, you find fault with the star by which the Magi were led to worship the infant Christ, which you should be ashamed of doing, when yon represent your fabulous Christ, the son of your fabulous First Man not as announced by a star, but as bound up in all the stars.(1) For you say that he mingled with the principles of darkness in his conflict with the race of darkness, that by capturing these principles the world might be made out of the mixture. So that, by your profane fancies, Christ is not only mingled with heaven and all the stars, but conjoined and compounded with the earth and all its productions,(2)--a Saviour no more, but needing to be saved by you, by your eating and disgorging Him.

This foolish custom of making your disciples bring you food, that your teeth and stomach may be the means of relieving Christ, who is bound up in it, is a consequence of your profane fancies. You declare that Christ is liberated in this way--not, however, entirely; for you hold that some tiny particles of no value still remain in the excrement, to be mixed up and compounded again and again in various material forms, and to be released and purified at any rate by the fire in which the world will be burned up, if not before. Nay, even then, you say, Christ is not entirely liberated; but some extreme particles of His good and divine nature, which have been so defiled that they cannot be cleansed, are condemned to stay for ever in the horrid mass of darkness. And these people pretend to be offended with our saying that a star announced the birth of the Son of God, as if this were placing His birth under the influence of a constellation; while they subject Him not to stars only, but to such polluting contact with all material things, with the juices of all vegetables, and with the decay of all flesh, and with the decomposition of all food, in which He is bound up, that the only way of releasing Him, at least one great means, is that men, that is the Elect of the Manichaeans, should succeed in digesting their dinner. We, too, deny the influence of the stars upon the birth of any man; for we maintain that, by the just law of God, the free-will of man, which chooses good or evil, is under no constraint of necessity. How much less do we subject to any constellation the incarnation of the eternal Creator and Lord of all! When Christ was born after the flesh, the star which the Magi saw had no power as governing, but attended as a witness. Instead of assuming control over Him, it acknowledged Him by the homage it did. Besides, this star was not one of those which from the beginning of the world continue in the course ordained by the Creator. Along with the new birth from the Virgin appeared a new star, which served as a guide to the Magi who were themselves seeking for Christ; for it went before them till they reached the place where they found the Word of God in the form of a child. But what astrologer ever thought of making a star leave its course, and come down to the child that is born, as they imagine, under it? They think that the stars affect the birth, not that the birth changes the course of the stars; so,if the star in the Gospel was one of those heavenly bodies, how could it determine Christ's action, when it was compelled to change its own action at Christ's birth? But if, as is more likely, a star which did not exist before appeared to point out Christ, it was the effect of Christ's birth, and not the cause of it. Christ was not born because the star was there; but the star was there because Christ was born. If there was any fate, it was in the birth, and not in the star. The word fate is derived from a word which means to speak; and since Christ is the Word of God by which all things were spoken before they were, the conjunction of stars is not the fate of Christ, but Christ is the fate of the stars. The same will that made the heavens took our earthly nature. The same power that ruled the stars laid down His life and took it again.

6. Why, then, should the narrative of the birth not be the gospel, since it conveys such good news as heals our malady? Is it because Matthew begins, not like Mark, with the words, "The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ," but, "The book of the generation of Jesus Christ?" In this way, John, too, might be said not to have written the gospel, for he has not the words, Beginning of the gospel, or Book of the gospel, but, "In the beginning was the Word." Perhaps the clever word-maker Faustus will call the introduction in John a Verbidium, as he called that in Matthew a Genesidium. The wonder is, that you are so impudent as to give the name of gospel to your silly stories. What good news is there in telling us that, in the conflict against some strange hostile nation, God could protect His own kingdom only by sending part of His own nature into the greedy jaws of the former, and to be so defiled, that after all those toils and tortures it cannot all be purged? Is this bad news the gospel? Every one who has even a slender knowledge of Greek knows that gospel means good news. But where is your good news, when your God himself is said to weep as under eclipse till the darkness and defilement are removed from his members? And when he ceases to weep, it seems he becomes cruel. For what has that part of him which is to be involved in the mass done to deserve this condemnation? This part must go on weeping for ever. But no; whoever examines this news will not weep because it is bad, but will laugh because it is not true.

BOOK III.

FAUSTUS OBJECTS TO THE INCARNATION OF GOD ON THE GROUND THAT THE EVANGELISTS ARE AT VARIANCE WITH EACH OTHER, AND THAT INCARNATION IS UNSUITABLE TO DEITY. AUGUSTIN ATTEMPTS TO REMOVE THE CRITICAL AND THEOLOGICAL DIFFICULTIES.

1. FAUSTUS said: Do I believe in the incarnation? For my part, this is the very thing I long tried to persuade myself of, that God was born; but the discrepancy in the genealogies of Luke and Matthew stumbled me, as I knew not which to follow. For I thought it might happen that, from not being omniscient, I might take the true for false, and the false for true. So, in despair of settling this dispute, I betook myself to Mark and John, two authorities still, and evangelists as much as the others. I approved with good reason of the beginning of Mark and John, for they have nothing of David, or Mary, or Joseph. John says, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God," meaning Christ. Mark says, "The gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God," as if correcting Matthew, who calls him the Son of David. Perhaps, however, the Jesus of Matthew is a different person from the Jesus of Mark. This is my reason for not believing in the birth of Christ.

Remove this difficulty, if you can, by harmonizing the accounts, and I am ready to yield. In any case, however, it is hardly consistent to believe that God, the God of Christians, was born from the womb.

2. AUGUSTIN replied: Had you read the Gospel with care, and inquired into those places where you found opposition, instead of rashly condemning them, you would have seen that the recognition of the authority of the evangelists by so many learned men all over the world, in spite of this most obvious discrepancy, proves that there is more in it than appears at first sight. Any one can see, as well as you, that the ancestors of Christ in Matthew and Luke are different; while Joseph appears in both, at the end in Matthew and at the beginning in Luke. Joseph, it is plain, might be called the father of Christ, on account of his being in a certain sense the husband of the mother of Christ; and so his name, as the male representative, appears at the beginning or end of the genealogies. Any one can see as well as you that Joseph has one father in Matthew and another in Luke, and so with the grandfather and with all the rest up to David. Did all the able and learned men, not many Latin writers certainly, but innumerable Greek, who have examined most attentively the sacred Scriptures, overlook this manifest difference? Of course they saw it. No one can help seeing it. But with a due regard to the high authority of Scripture, they believed that there was something here which would be given to those that ask, and denied to those that snarl; would be found by those that seek, and taken away from those that criticise; would be open to those that knock, and shut against those that contradict. They asked, sought, and knocked; they received, found, and entered in.

3. The whole question is how Joseph had two fathers. Supposing this possible, both genealogies may be correct. With two fathers, why not two grandfathers, and two great-grandfathers, and so on, up to David, who was the father both of Solomon, who is mentioned in Matthew's list, and of Nathan, who occurs in Luke? This is the difficulty with many people who think it impossible that two men should have one and the same son, forgetting the very obvious fact that a man may be called the son of the person who adopted him as well as of the person who begot him. Adoption, we know, was familiar to the ancients, for even women adopted the children of other women, as Sarah adopted Ishmael, and Leah her handmaid's son, and Pharaoh's daughter Moses. Jacob, too, adopted his grandsons, the children of Joseph. Moreover, the word adoption is of great importance in the system of our faith, as is seen from the apostolic writings. For the Apostle Paul, speaking of the advantages of the Jews, says: "Whose are the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law whose are the fathers, and of whom, according to the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever."(1) And again: "We ourselves also groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption of the sons of God, even the redemption of the body."(2) Again, elsewhere: "But in the fullness of time, God sent His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons."(3) These passages show clearly that adoption is a significant symbol. God has an only Son, whom He begot from His own substance, of whom it is said, "Being in the form of God, He thought it not robbery to be equal to God."(4) Us He begot not of His own substance, for we belong to the creation which is not begotten, but made; but that He might make us the brothers of Christ, He adopted us. That act, then, by which God, when we were not born of Him, but created and formed, begot us by His word and grace, is called adoption. So John says, "He gave them power to become the sons of God."(5)

Since, therefore; the practice of adoption is common among our fathers, and in Scripture, is there not irrational profanity in the hasty condemnation of the evangelists as false because the genealogies are different, as if both could not be true, instead of considering calmly the simple fact that frequently in human life one man may have two fathers, one of whose flesh he is born, and another of whose will he is afterwards made a son by adoption? If the second is not rightly called father, neither are we right in saying, "Our Father which art in heaven," to Him of whose substance we were not born, but of whose grace and most merciful will we were adopted, according to apostolic doctrine, and truth most sure. For one is to us God, and Lord, and Father: God, for by Him we are created, though of human parents; Lord, for we are His subjects; Father, for by His adoption we are born again. Careful students of sacred Scripture easily saw, from a little consideration, how, in the different genealogies of the two evangelists, Joseph had two fathers, and consequently two lists of ancestors. You might have seen this too, if you had not been blinded by the love of contradiction. Other things far beyond your understanding have been discovered in the careful investigation of all parts of these narratives. The familiar occurrence of one man begetting a son and another adopting him, so that one man has two fathers, you might, in spite of Manichaean error, have thought of as an explanation, if you had not been reading in a hostile spirit.

4. But why Matthew begins with Abraham and descends to Joseph, while Luke begins with Joseph and ascends, not to Abraham, but to God, who made man, and, by giving a commandment, gave him power to become, by believing, a son of God; and why Matthew records the generations at the commencement of his book, Luke after the baptism of the Saviour by John; and what is the meaning of the number of the generations in Matthew, who divides them into three sections of fourteen each, though in the whole sum there appears to be one wanting; while in Luke the number of generations recorded after the baptism amount to seventy-seven, which number the Lord Himself enjoins in connection with the forgiveness of sins, saying, "Not only seven times, but seventy-seven times;" --these things you will never understand, unless either you are taught by some Catholic of superior stamp, who has studied the sacred Scriptures, and has made all the progress possible, or you yourselves turn from your error, and in a Christian spirit ask that you may receive, seek that you may find, and knock that it may be opened to you.

5. Since, then, this double fatherhood of nature and adoption removes the difficulty arising from the discrepancy of the genealogies, there is no occasion for Faustus to leave the two evangelists and betake himself to the other two, which would be a greater affront to those he betook himself to than to those he left. For the sacred writers do not desire to be favored at the expense of their brethren. For their joy is in union, and they are one in Christ; and if one says one thing, and another another, or one in one way and another in another, still they all speak truth, and in no way contradict one another; only let the reader be reverent and humble, not in an heretical spirit seeking occasion for strife, but with a believing heart desiring edification. Now, in this opinion that the evangelists give the ancestors of different fathers, as it is quite possible for a man to have two fathers, there is nothing inconsistent with truth. So the evangelists are harmonized, and you, by Faustus's promise are bound to yield at once.

6. You may perhaps be troubled by that additional remark which he makes: "In any case, however, it is hardly consistent to believe that God, the God of Christians, was born from the womb." As if we believed that the divine nature came from the womb of a woman. Have I not just quoted the testimony of the apostle, speaking of the Jews: "Whose are the fathers, and of whom, according to the flesh, Christ came, who is God over all, blessed for ever?" Christ, therefore, our Lord and Saviour, true Son of God in His divinity, and true son of man according to the flesh, not as He is God over all was born of a woman, but in that feeble nature which He took of us, that in it He might die for us, and heal it in us: not as in the form of God, in which He thought it not robbery to be equal to God, was He born of a woman, but in the form of a servant, in taking which He emptied Himself. He is therefore said to have emptied Himself because He took the form of a servant, not because He lost the form of God. For in the unchangeable possession of that nature by which in the form of God He is equal to the Father, He took our changeable nature, by which He might be born of a virgin. You, while you protest against putting the flesh of Christ in a virgin's womb, place the very divinity of God in the womb not only of human beings, but of dogs and swine. You refuse to believe that the flesh of Christ was conceived in the Virgin's womb, in which God was not found nor even changed; while you assert that in all men and beasts, in the seed of male and in the womb of female, in all conceptions on land or in water, an actual part of God and the divine nature is continually bound, and shut up, and contaminated, never to be wholly set free.(1)

BOOK IV.

FAUSTUS'S REASONS FOR REJECTING THE OLD TESTAMENT, AND AUGUSTIN'S ANIMADVERSIONS THEREON.

1. FAUSTUS said: Do I believe the Old Testament? If it bequeaths anything to me, I believe it; if not, I reject it. It would be an excess of forwardness to take the documents of others which pronounce me disinherited. Remember that the promise of Canaan in the Old Testament is made to Jews, that is, to the circumcised, who offer sacrifice, and abstain from swine's flesh, and from the other animals which Moses pronounces unclean, and observe Sabbaths, and the feast of unleavened bread, and other things of the same kind which the author of the Testament enjoined. Christians have not adopted these observances, and no one keeps them; so that if we will not take the inheritance, we should surrender the documents. This is my first reason for rejecting the Old Testament, unless you teach me better. My second reason is, that this inheritance is such a poor fleshly thing, without any spiritual blessings, that after the New Testament, and its glorious promise of the kingdom of heaven and eternal life, I think it not worth the taking.

2. AUGUSTIN replied: No one doubts that promises of temporal things are contained in the Old Testament, for which reason it is called the Old Testament; or that the kingdom of heaven and the promise of eternal life belong to the New Testament. But that in these temporal things were figures of future things which should be fulfilled in us upon whom the ends of the ages are come, is not my fancy, but the judgment of the apostle, when he says of such things, "These things were our examples;" and again, "These things happened to them for an example, and they are written for us on whom the ends of the ages are come.''(1) We receive the Old Testament, therefore, not in order to obtain the fulfillment of these promises, but to see in them predictions of the New Testament; for the Old bears witness to the New. Whence the Lord, after He rose from the dead, and allowed His disciples not only to see but to handle Him, still, lest they should doubt their mortal and fleshly senses, gave them further confirmation from the testimony of the ancient books, saying, "It was necessary that all things should be fulfilled which were written in the law of Moses, and in the Prophets and Psalms, concerning me."(2) Our hope, therefore, rests not on the promise of temporal things. Nor do we believe that the holy and spiritual men of these times -- the patriarchs and prophets -- were taken up with earthly things. For they understood, by the revelation of the Spirit of God, what was suitable for that time, and how God appointed all these sayings and actions as types and predictions of the future. Their great desire was for the New Testament; but they had a personal duty to perform in those predictions, by which the new things of the future were foretold. So the life as well as the tongue of these men was prophetic. The carnal people, indeed, thought only of present blessings, though even in connection with the people there were prophecies of the future.

These things you do not understand, because, as the prophet said, "Unless you believe, you shall not understand."(1) For you are not instructed in the kingdom of heaven, -- that is, in the true Catholic Church of Christ. If you were, you would bring forth from the treasure of the sacred Scriptures things old as well as new. For the Lord Himself says, "Therefore every scribe instructed in the kingdom of heaven is like an householder who brings forth from his treasure things new and old."(2) And so, while you profess to receive only the new promises of God, you have retained the oldness of the flesh, adding only the novelty of error; of which novelty the apostle says, "Shun profane novelties of words, for they increase unto more ungodliness, and their speech eats like a cancer. Of whom is Hymenæus and Philetus, who concerning the faith have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already, and have overthrown the faith of some."(3) Here you see the source of your false doctrine, in teaching that the resurrection is only of souls by the preaching of the truth, and that there will be no resurrection of the body. But how can you understand spiritual things of the inner man, who is renewed in the knowledge of God, when in the oldness of the flesh, if you do not possess temporal things, you concoct fanciful notions about them in those images of carnal things of which the whole of your false doctrine consists? You boast of despising as worthless the land of Canaan, which was an actual thing, and actually given to the Jews; and yet you tell of a land of light cut asunder on one side, as by a narrow wedge, by the land of the race of darkness, -- a thing which does not exist, and which you believe from the delusion of your minds; so that your life is not supported by having it, and your mind is wasted in desiring it.(4)

BOOK V.

FAUSTUS CLAIMS THAT THE MANICHAEANS AND NOT THE CATHOLICS ARE CONSISTENT BELIEVERS IN THE GOSPEL, AND SEEKS TO ESTABLISH THIS CLAIM BY COMPARING MANICHAEAN AND CATHOLIC OBEDIENCE TO THE PRECEPTS OF THE GOSPEL. AUGUSTIN EXPOSES THE HYPOCRISY OF THE MANICHAEANS AND PRAISES THE ASCETICISM OF CATHOLICS.

1. FAUSTUS said: Do I believe the gospel ? You ask me if I believe it, though my obedience to its commands shows that I do. I should rather ask you if you believe it, since you give no proof of your belief. I have left my father, mother, wife, and children, and all else that the gospel requires;(1) and do you ask if I believe the gospel? Perhaps you do not know what is called the gospel. The gospel is nothing else than the preaching and the precept of Christ. I have parted with all gold and silver, and have left off carrying money in my purse; content with daily food; without anxiety for tomorrow; and without solicitude about how I shall be fed, or where-withal I shall be clothed: and do you ask if I believe the gospel? You see in me the blessings of the gospel;(2) and do you ask if I believe the gospel? You see me poor, meek, a peacemaker, pure in heart, mourning, hungering, thirsting, bearing persecutions and enmity for righteousness' sake; and do you doubt my belief in the gospel? One can understand now how John the Baptist, after seeing Jesus, and also hearing of His works, yet asked whether He was Christ. Jesus properly and justly did not deign to reply that He was; but reminded him of the works of which he had already heard: "The blind see, the deaf hear, the dead are raised."(3) In the same way, I might very well reply to your question whether I believe the gospel, by saying, I have left all, father, mother, wife, children, gold, silver, eating, drinking, luxuries, pleasures; take this as a sufficient answer to your questions, and believe that you will be blessed if you are not offended in me.(1)

2. But, according to you, to believe the gospel is not only to obey its commands, but also to believe in all that is written in it; and, first of all, that God was born. But neither is believing the gospel only to believe that Jesus was born, but also to do what He commands. So, if you say that I do not believe the gospel because I disbelieve the incarnation, much more do you not believe because you disregard the commandments. At any rate, we are on a par till these questions are settled. If your disregard of the precepts does not prevent you from professing faith in the gospel, why should my rejection of the genealogy prevent me? And if, as you say, to believe the gospel includes both faith in the genealogies and obedience to the precepts, why do you condemn me, since we both are imperfect? What one wants the other has. But if, as there can be no doubt, belief in the gospel consists solely in obedience to the commands of God, your sin is twofold. As the proverb says, the deserter accuses the soldier. But suppose, since you will have it so, that there are these two parts of perfect faith, one consisting in word, or the confession that Christ was born, the other in deed or the observance of the precepts; it is plain that my part is hard and painful, yours light and easy. It is natural that the multitude should flock to you and away from me, for they know not that the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power. Why, then, do you blame me for taking the harder part, and leaving to you, as to a weak brother, the easy part? You have the idea that your part of faith, or confessing that Christ was born, has more power to save the soul than the other parts.

3. Let us then ask Christ Himself, and learn from His own mouth, what is the chief means of our salvation. Who shall enter, O Christ, into Thy kingdom? He that doeth the will of my Father in heaven,(2) is His reply; not, "He that confesses that I was born." And again, He says to His disciples, "Go, teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, teaching them to observe all things which I have commanded you."(3) It is not, "teaching them that I was born," but, "to observe my commandments." Again, "Ye are my friends if ye do what I command you;"(4) not, "if you believe that I was born." Again, "If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love," (5) and in many other places. Also in the sermon on the mount, when He taught, "Blessed are the poor, blessed are the meek, blessed are the peacemakers, blessed are the pure in heart, blessed are they that mourn, blessed are they that hunger, blessed are they that are persecuted for righteousness' sake,'' (6) He nowhere says, "Blessed are they that confess that I was born." And in the separation of the sheep from the goats in the judgment, He says that He will say to them on the right hand, "I was hungry, and ye gave me meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink" (7) and so on; therefore" inherit the kingdom." Not, ''Because ye believe that I was born, inherit the kingdom." Again, to the rich man seeking for eternal life, He says, "Go, sell all that thou hast, and follow me;" (8) not, "Believe that I was born, that you may have eternal life." You see, the kingdom, life, happiness, are everywhere promised to the part I have chosen of what you call the two parts of faith, and nowhere to your part. Show, if you can, a place where it is written that whoso confesses that Christ was born of a woman is blessed, or shall inherit the kingdom, or have eternal life. Even supposing, then, that there are two parts of faith, your part has no blessing. But what if we prove that your part is not a part of faith at all? It will follow that you are foolish, which indeed will be proved beyond a doubt. At present, it is enough to have shown that our part is crowned with the beatitudes. Besides, we have also a beatitude for a confession in words: for we confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of the living God; and Jesus declares with His own lips that this confession has a benediction, when He says to Peter, "Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona; for flesh and blood hath not revealed this unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven." (9) So that we have not one, but both these parts of faith, and in both alike are we pronounced blessed by Christ; for in one we reduce faith to practice, while in the other our confession is unmixed with blasphemy.

4. AUGUSTIN replied: I have already said that the Lord Jesus Christ repeatedly calls Himself the Son of man, and that the Manichaeans have contrived a silly story about some fabulous First Man, who figures in their impious heresy, not earthly, but combined with spurious elements, in opposition to the apostle, who says, "The first man is of the earth, earthy;"(1) and that the apostle carefully warns us, "If any one preaches to you differently from what we have preached, let him be accursed," (2) So that we must believe Christ to be the Son of man according to apostolic truth, not according to Manichaean error. And since the evangelists assert that Christ was born of a woman, of the seed of David, and Paul writing to Timothy says, "Remember that Jesus Christ, of the seed of David, was raised from the dead, according to my gospel" (3) it is clear what sense we must believe Christ to be the Son of man; for being the Son of God by whom we were made, He also by His incarnation became the Son of man, that He might die for our sins, and rise again for our justification. (4) Accordingly He calls Himself both Son of God and Son of man. To take only one instance out of many, in the Gospel of John it is written. "Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour cometh, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and they that hear shall live. For as the Father hath life in Himself, so He hath given to the Son to have life in Himself; and hath given Him power to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of man." (5) He says, "They shall hear the voice of the Son of God;" and He says, "because He is the Son of man." As the Son of man, He has received power to execute judgment, because He will come to judgment in human form, that He may be seen by the good and the wicked. In this form He ascended into heaven, and that voice was heard by His disciples, "He shall so come as ye have seen Him go into heaven.''(6) As the Son of God, as God equal to and one with the Father, He will not be seen by the wicked; for "blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." Since, then, He promises eternal life to those that believe in Him, and since to believe in Him is to believe in the true Christ, such as He declares Himself and His apostles declare Him to be, true Son of God and true Son of man; you, Manichæans, who believe on a false and spurious son of a false and spurious man, and teach that God Himself, from fear of the assault of the hostile race, gave up His own members to be tortured, and after all not to be wholly liberated, are plainly far from that eternal life which Christ promises to those who believe in Him. It is true, He said to Peter when he confessed Him to be the Son of God, "Blessed art thou, Simon. Barjona." But does He promise nothing to those who believe Him to be the Son of man, when the Son of God and the Son of man are the same? Besides, eternal life is expressly promised to those who believe in the Son of man. "As Moses," He says, "lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life."(7) What more do you wish? Believe then in the Son of man, that you may have eternal life; for He is also the Son of God, who can give eternal life: for He is "the true God and eternal life," as the same John says in his epistle. John also adds, that he is antichrist who denies that Christ has come in the flesh.(8)

5. There is no need, then that you should extol so much the perfection of Christ's commands, because you obey the precepts of the gospel. For the precepts, supposing you really to fulfill them, would not profit you without true faith. Do you not know that the apostle says, "If I distribute all my goods to the poor, and give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing?"(9) Why do you boast of having Christian poverty, when you are destitute of Christian charity? Robbers have a kind of charity to one another, arising from a mutual consciousness of guilt and crime; but this is not the charity commended by the apostle. In another passage he distinguishes true charity from all base and vicious affections, by saying, "Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and a good conscience, and faith unfeigned.''(10) How then can you have true charity from a fictitious faith?(11) You persist in a faith corrupted by falsehood: for your First Man, according to you, used deceit in the conflict by changing his form, while his enemies remained in their own nature; and, besides, you maintain that Christ, who says, "I am the truth," reigned His incarnation, His death on the cross, the wounds of His passion, the marks shown after His resurrection. If you speak the truth, and your Christ speaks falsehood, you must be better than he. But if you really follow your own Christ, your truthfulness may be doubted, and your obedience to the precepts you speak of may be only a pretence. Is it true, as Faustus says, that you have no money in your purses? He means, probably, that your money is in boxes and bags; nor would we blame you for this, if you did not profess one thing and practise another. Constantius, who is still alive, and is now our brother in Catholic Christianity, once gathered many of your sect into his house at Rome, to keep these precepts of Manichæsus, which you think so much of, though they are very silly and childish. The precepts proved too much for your weakness, and the gathering was entirely broken up. Those who persevered separated from your communion, and are called Mattarians, because they sleep on mats, -- a very different bed from the feathers of Faustus and his goatskin coverlets, and all the grandeur that made him despise not only the Mattarians, but also the house of his poor father in Mileum. Away, then, with this accursed hypocrisy from your writing, if not from your conduct; or else your language will conflict with your life by your deceitful words, as your First Man with the race of darkness by his deceitful elements.

6. I am, however, addressing not merely men who fail to do what they are commanded, but the members of a deluded sect. For the precepts of Manichæus are such that, if you do not keep them, you are deceivers; if you do keep them, you are deceived. Christ never taught you that you should not pluck a vegetable for fear of committing homicide; for when His disciples were hungry when passing through a field of corn, He did not forbid them to pluck the ears on the Sabbath-day; which was a rebuke to the Jews of the time since the action was on Sabbath; and a rebuke in the action itself to the future Manichæans. The precept of Manichæus, however, only requires you to do nothing while others commit homicide for you; though the real homicide is that of ruining miserable souls by such doctrines of devils.

7. The language of Faustus has the typhus of heresy in it, and is the language of overweening arrogance. "You see in me" he says, "the beatitudes of the gospel; and do you ask if I believe the gospel? You see me poor, meek, a peacemaker, pure in heart, mourning, hungering, thirsting, bearing persecution and enmity for righteousness' sake; and do you doubt my belief in the gospel?" If to justify oneself were to be just, Faustus would have flown to heaven while uttering these words. I say nothing of the luxurious habits of Faustus, known to all the followers of the Manichæans, and especially to those at Rome. I shall suppose a Manichæan such as Constantius sought for, when he enforced the observance of these precepts with the sincere desire to see them observed. How can I see him to be poor in spirit, when he is so proud as to believe that his own soul is God, and is not ashamed to speak of God as in bondage? How can I see him meek, when he affronts all the authority of the evangelists rather than believe? How a peacemaker, when he holds that the divine nature itself by which God is whatever is, and is the only true existence, could not remain in lasting peace? How pure in heart, when his heart is filled with so many impious notions? How mourning, unless it is for his God captive and bound till he be freed and escape, with the loss, however, of a part which is to be united by the Father to the mass of darkness, and is not to be mourned for? How hungering and thirsting for righteousness, which Faustus omits in his writings lest, no doubt, he should be thought destitute of righteousness? But how can they hunger and thirst after righteousness, whose perfect righteousness will consist in exulting over their brethren condemned to darkness, not for any fault of their own, but for being irremediably contaminated by the pollution against which they were sent by the Father to contend?

8. How do you suffer persecution and enmity for righteousness' sake, when, according to you, it is righteous to preach and teach these impieties? The wonder is, that the gentleness of Christian times allows such perverse iniquity to pass wholly or almost unpunished. And yet, as if we were blind or silly, you tell us that your suffering reproach and persecution is a great proof of your righteousness. If people are just according to the amount of their suffering, atrocious criminals of all kinds suffer much more than you. But, at any rate, if we are to grant that suffering endured on account of any sort of profession of Christianity proves the sufferer to be in possession of true faith and righteousness, you must admit that any case of greater suffering that we can show proves the possession of truer faith and greater righteousness. Of such cases you know many among our martyrs, and chiefly Cyprian himself, whose writings also bear witness to his belief that Christ was born of the Virgin Mary. For this faith, which you abhor, he suffered and died along with many Christian believers of that day, who suffered as much, or more. Faustus, when shown to be a Manichæan by evidence, or by his own confession, on the intercession of the Christians themselves, who brought him before the proconsul, was, along with some others, only banished to an island, which can hardly be called a punishment at all, for it is what God's servants do of their own accord every day when they wish to retire from the tumult of the world. Besides, earthly sovereigns often by a public decree give release from this banishment as an act of mercy. And in this way all were afterwards released at once. Confess, then, that they were in possession of a truer faith and a more righteous life, who were accounted worthy to suffer for it much more than you ever suffered. Or else, cease boasting of the abhorrence which many feel for you, and learn to distinguish between suffering for blasphemy and suffering for righteousness. What it is you suffer for, your own books will show in a way that deserves your most particular attention.

9. Those evangelical precepts of peculiar sublimity which you make people who know no better believe that you obey, are really obeyed by multitudes in our communion. Are there not among us many of both sexes who have entirely refrained from sexual intercourse, and many formerly married who practise continence? Are there not many others who give largely of their property, or give it up altogether, and many who keep the body in subjection by fasts, either frequent or daily, or protracted beyond belief? Then there are fraternities whose members have no property of their own, but all things common, including only things necessary for food and clothing, living with one soul and one heart towards God, inflamed with a common feeling of charity. In all such professions many turn out to be deceivers and reprobates, while many who are so are never discovered; many, too, who at first walk well, fall away rapidly from willfulness. Many are found in times of trial to have adopted this kind of life with another intention than they professed; and again, many in humility and steadfastness persevere in their course to the end, and are saved. There are apparent diversities in these societies; but one charity unites all who, from some necessity, in obedience to the apostle's injunction, have their wives as if they had them not, and buy as if they bought not, and use this world as if they used it not. With these are joined, in the abundant riches of God's mercy, the inferior class of those to whom it is said, "Defraud not one another, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency. But I speak this by permission, and not of commandment." To such the same apostle also says, "Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, that ye go to law one with another;" while, in consideration of their infirmity, he adds, "If ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the Church."(2) For in the kingdom of heaven there are not only those who, that they may be perfect, sell or leave all they have and follow the Lord; but others in the partnership of charity are joined like a mercenary force to the Christian army, to whom it will be said at last, "I was hungry, and ye gave me meat," and so on. Otherwise, there would be no salvation for those to whom the apostle gives so many anxious and particular directions about their families, telling the wives to be obedient to their husbands, and husbands to love their wives; children to obey their parents, and parents to bring up their children in the instruction and admonition of the Lord; servants to obey with fear their masters according to the flesh, and masters to render to their servants what is just and equal. The apostle is far from condemning such people as regardless of gospel precepts, or unworthy of eternal life. For where the Lord exhorts the strong to attain perfection, saying,"' If any man take not up his cross and follow me, he cannot be my disciple," He immediately adds, for the consolation of the weak, "Whoso receiveth a just man in the name of a just man shall receive a just man's reward; and whoso receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet, shall receive a prophet's reward." So that not only Be who gives Timothy a little wine for his stomach's sake, and his frequent infirmities, but he who gives to a strong man a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, shall not lose his reward.(3)

10. If it is true that a man cannot receive the gospel without giving up everything, why do you delude your followers, by allowing them to keep in your service their wives, and children, and households, and houses, and fields? Indeed, you may well allow them to disregard the precepts of the gospel: for all you promise them is not a resurrection, but a change to another mortal existence, in which they shall live the silly, childish, impious life of those you call the Elect, the life you live yourself, and are so much praised for; or if they possess greater merit, they shall enter into melons or cucumbers, or some eatables which you will masticate, that they may be quickly purified by your digestion. Least of all should you who teach such doctrines profess any regard for the gospel. For if the faith of the gospel had any connection with such nonsense, the Lord should have said, not, "I was hungry, and ye gave me meat;" but, "Ye were hungry, and ye ate me," or, "I was hungry, and I ate you." For, by your absurdities, a man will not be received into the kingdom of God for the service of giving food to the saints, but, because he has eaten them and belched them out, or has himself been eaten and belched into heaven. Instead of saying, "Lord, when saw we Thee hungry, and fed Thee?" the righteous must say, "When saw we Thee hungry, and were eaten by Thee?" And He must answer, not, "When ye gave food to one of the least of these my brethren, you gave to me;" but, "When you were eaten by one of the least of these my brethren, you were eaten by me."

11. Believing and teaching such monstrosities, and living accordingly, you yet have the boldness to say that you obey the precepts of the gospel, and to decry the Catholic Church, which includes many weak as well as strong, both of whom the Lord blesses, because both according to their measure obey the precepts of the gospel and hope in its promises. The blindness of hostility makes you see only the tares in our harvest: for you might easily see wheat too, if you were willing that there should be any. But among you, those who are pretended Manichæans are wicked, and those who are really Manichæans are silly. For where the faith itself is false, he who hypocritically professes it acts deceitfully, while he who truly believes is deceived. Such a faith cannot produce a good life, for every man's life is good or bad according as his heart is engaged. If your affections were set upon spiritual and intellectual good, instead of material forms, you would not pay homage to the material sun as a divine substance, and as the light of wisdom, which every one knows you do, though I now only mention it in passing.

BOOK VI.

FAUSTUS AVOWS HIS DISBELIEF IN THE OLD TESTAMENT AND HIS DISREGARD OF ITS PRECEPTS, AND ACCUSES CATHOLICS OF INCONSISTENCY IN NEGLECTING ITS ORDINANCES, WHILE CLAIMING TO ACCEPT IT AS AUTHORITATIVE. AUGUSTIN EXPLAINS THE CATHOLIC VIEW OF THE RELATION OF THE OLD TESTAMENT TO THE NEW.

1. FAUSTUS said: You ask if I believe the Old Testament. Of course not, for I do not keep its precepts. Neither, I imagine, do you. I reject circumcision as disgusting; and if I mistake not, so do you. I reject the observance of Sabbaths as superfluous: I suppose you do the same. I reject sacrifice as idolatry, as doubtless you also do. Swine's flesh is not the only flesh I abstain from; nor is it the only flesh you eat. I think all flesh unclean: you think none unclean. Both alike, in these opinions, throw over the Old Testament. We both look upon the weeks of unleavened bread and the feast of tabernacles as unnecessary and useless. Not to patch linen garments with purple; to count it adultery to make a garment of linen and wool; to call it sacrilege to yoke together an ox and an ass when necessary; not to appoint as priest a bald man, or a man with red hair, or any similar peculiarity, as being unclean in the sight of God, are things which we both despise and laugh at, and rank as of neither first nor second importance; and yet they are all precepts and judgments of the Old Testament. You cannot blame me for rejecting the Old Testament; for whether it is right or wrong to do so, you do it as much as I. As for the difference between your faith and mine, it is this, that while you choose to act deceitfully, and meanly to praise in words what in your heart you hate, I, not having learned the art of deception, frankly declare that I hate both these abominable precepts and their authors.

2. AUGUSTIN replied: How and for what purpose the Old Testament is received by the heirs of the New Testament has been already explained.(1) But as the remarks of Faustus were then about the promises of the Old Testament, and now he speaks of the precepts, I reply that he displays ignorance of the difference between moral and symbolical precepts. For example, "Thou shalt not covet" is a moral precept; "Thou shalt circumcise every male on the eighth day" is a symbolical precept. From not making this distinction, the Manichæans, and all who find fault with the writings of the Old Testament, not seeing that whatever observance God appointed for the former dispensation was a shadow of future things, because these observances are now discontinued, condemn them, though no doubt what is unsuitable now was perfectly suitable then as prefiguring the things now revealed. In this they contradict the apostle who says, "All these things happened to them for an example, and they were written for our learning, on whom the end of the world is come."(1) The apostle here explains why these writings are to be received, and why it is no longer necessary to continue the symbolical observances. For when he says, "They were written for our learning," he clearly shows that we should be very diligent in reading and in discovering the meaning of the Old Testament Scriptures, and that we should have great veneration for them, since it was for us that they were written. Again, when he says, "They are our examples," and "these things happened to them for an example," he shows that, now that the things themselves are clearly revealed, the observance of the actions by which these things were prefigured is no longer binding. So he says elsewhere, "Let no man judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holy day, or of the new moon or of the sabbath-days, which are a shadow of things to come.''(2) Here also, when he says, "Let no one judge you" in these things, he shows that we are no longer bound to observe them. And when he says, "which are a shadow of things to come," he explains how these observances were binding at the time when the things fully disclosed to us were symbolized by these shadows of future things.

3. Assuredly, if the Manichæans were justified by the resurrection of the Lord,--the day of whose resurrection, the third after His passion, was the eighth day, coming after the Sabbath, that is, after the seventh day,--their carnal minds would be delivered from the darkness of earthly passions which rests on them; and rejoicing in the circumcision of the heart, they would not ridicule it as prefigured in the Old Testament by circumcision in the flesh, although they should not enforce this observance under the New Testament. But, as the apostle says, "To the pure all things are pure. But to the impure and unbelieving nothing is pure, but both their mind and conscience are defiled."(3) So these people, who are so pure in their own eyes, that they regard, or pretend to regard, as impure these members of their bodies, are so defiled with unbelief and error, that, while they abhor the circumcision of the flesh,--which the apostle calls a seal of the righteousness of faith,--they believe that the divine members of their God are subjected to restraint and contamination in these very carnal members of theirs. For they say that flesh is unclean; and it follows that God, in the part which is detained by the flesh, is made unclean: for they declare that He must be cleansed, and that till this is done, as far as it can be done, He undergoes all the passions to which flesh is subject, not only in suffering pain and distress, but also in sensual gratification. For it is for His sake, they say, that they abstain from sexual intercourse, that He may not be bound more closely in the bondage of the flesh, nor suffer more defilement. The apostle says, "To the pure all things are pure." And if this is true of men, who may be led into evil by a perverse will, how much more must all things be pure to God, who remains for ever immutable and immaculate! In those books which you defile with your violent reproaches, it is said of the divine wisdom, that "no defiled thing falleth into it, and it goeth everywhere by reason of its pureness." (4) It is mere prurient absurdity to find fault with the sign of human regeneration appointed by that God, to whom all things are pure, to be put on the organ of human generation, while you hold that your God, to whom nothing is pure, is in a part of his nature subjected to taint and corruption by the vicious actions in which impure men employ the members of their body. For if you think there is pollution in conjugal intercourse, what must there be in all the practices of the licentious? If you ask, then, as you often do, whether God could not find some other way of sealing the righteousness of faith, the answer is, Why not this way, since all things are pure to the pure, much more to God? And we have the authority of the apostle for saying that circumcision was the seal of the righteousness of the faith of Abraham. As for you, you must try not to blush when you are asked whether your God had nothing better to do than to entangle part of his nature with these members that you revile so much. These are delicate subjects to speak of, on account of the penal corruption attending the propagation of man. They are things which call into exercise the modesty of the chaste, the passions of the impure, and the justice of God.

4. The rest of the Sabbath we consider no longer binding as an observance, now that the hope of our eternal rest has been revealed. But it is a very useful thing to read of, and to reflect on. In prophetic times, when things now manifested were prefigured and predicted by actions as well as words, this sign of which we read was a presage of tim reality which we possess. But I wish to know why you observe a sort of partial rest. The Jews, on their Sabbath, which they still keep in a carnal manner. neither gather any fruit in the field, nor dress and cook it at home. But you, in your rest, wait till one of your followers takes his knife or hook to the garden, to get food for you by murdering the vegetables, and brings back, strange to say, living corpses. For if cutting plants is not murder, why are you afraid to do it? And yet, if the plants are murdered, what becomes of the life which is to obtain release and restoration from your mastication and digestion? Well, you take the living vegetables, and certainly you ought, if it could be done to swallow them whole; so that after the one wound your follower has been guilty of inflicting in pulling them, of which you will no doubt consent to absolve him, they may reach without loss or injury your private laboratory, where your God may be healed of his wound. Instead of this, you not only tear them with your teeth, but, if it pleases your taste, mince them, inflicting a multitude of wounds in the most criminal manner. Plainly it would be a most advantageous thing if you would rest at home too, and not only once a week, like the Jews, but every day of the week. The cucumbers suffer while you are cooking them, without any benefit to the life that is in them: for a boiling pot cannot be compared to a saintly stomach. And yet you ridicule as superfluous the rest of the Sabbath. Would it not be better, not only to refrain from finding fault with the fathers for this observance, in whose case it was not superfluous, but, even now that it is superfluous, to observe this rest yourselves instead of your own, which has no symbolical use, and is condemned as grounded on falsehood? According to your own foolish opinions, you are guilty of a defective observance of your own rest, though the observance itself is foolish in the judgment of truth. You maintain that the fruit suffers when it is pulled from the tree, when it is cut and scraped, and cooked, and eaten. So you are wrong in eating anything that can not be swallowed raw and unhurt, so that the wound inflicted might not be from you, but from your follower in pulling them. You declare that you could not give release to so great a quantity of life, if you were to eat only things which could be swallowed without cooking or mastication. But if this release compensates for all the pains you inflict, why is it unlawful for you to pull the fruit? Fruit may be eaten raw, as some of your sect make a point of eating raw vegetables of all kinds. But before it can be eaten at all, it must be pulled or fall off, or be taken in some way from the ground or from the tree. You might well be pardoned for pulling it, since nothing can be done without that, but not for torturing the members of your God to the extent you do in dressing your food. One of your silly notions is that the tree weeps when the fruit is pulled. Doubtless the life in the tree knows all things, and perceives who it is that comes to it. If the elect were to come and pull the fruit, would not the tree rejoice to escape the misery of having its fruit plucked by others, and to gain felicity by enduring a little momentary pain? And yet, while you multiply the pains and troubles of the fruit after it is plucked, you will not pluck it. Explain that, if you can! Fasting itself is a mistake in your case. There should be no intermission in the task of purging away the dross of the excrements from the spiritual gold, and of releasing the divine members from confinement. The most merciful man among you is he who keeps himself always in good health, takes raw food, and eats a great deal. But you are cruel when you eat, in making your food undergo so much suffering; and you are cruel when you fast, in desisting from the work of liberating the divine members.(1)

5. With all this, you venture to denounce the sacrifices of the Old Testament, and to call them idolatry, and to attribute to us the same impious notion. To answer for ourselves in the first place, while we consider it no longer a duty to offer sacrifices, we recognize sacrifices as part of the mysteries of Revelation, by which the things prophesied were foreshadowed. For they were our examples, and in many and various ways they all pointed to the one sacrifice which we now commemorate. Now that this sacrifice has been revealed, and has been offered in due time, sacrifice is no longer binding as an act of worship. while it retains its symbolical authority. For these things "were written for our learning, upon whom the end of the world is come." (2) What you object to in sacrifice is the slaughter of animals, though the whole animal creation is intended conditionally in some way for the use of man. You are merciful to beasts, believing them to contain the souls of human beings, while you refuse a piece of bread to a hungry beggar. The Lord Jesus, on the other hand, was cruel to the swine when He granted the request of the devils to be allowed to enter into them. (1) The same Lord Jesus, before the sacrifice of His passion, said to a leper whom He had cured, "Go, show thyself to the priest, and give the offering, as Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them."(2) When God, by the prophets, repeatedly declares that He needs no offering, as indeed reason teaches us that offerings cannot be needed by Him who stands in need of nothing, the human mind is led to inquire what God wished to teach us by these sacrifices. For, assuredly, He would not have required offerings of which He had no need. except to teach us something that it would profit us to know, and which was suitably set forth by means of these symbols. How much better and more honorable it would be for you to be still bound by these sacrifices, which have an instructive meaning, though they are not now necessary, than to require your followers to offer to you as food what you believe to be living victims. The Apostle Paul says most appropriately of some who preached the gospel to gratify their appetite, that their "god was their belly." (3) But the arrogance of your impiety goes much beyond this; for, instead of making your belly your god, you do what is far worse in making your belly the purifier of God. Surely it is great madness to make a pretence of piety in not slaughtering animals, while you hold that the souls of animals inhabit all the food you eat, and yet make what you call living creatures suffer such torture from your hands and teeth.

6. If you will not eat flesh why should you not slay animals in sacrifice to your God, in order that their souls, which you hold to be not only human, but so divine as to be members of God Himself, may be released from the confinement of flesh, and be saved from returning by the efficacy of your prayers? Perhaps, however, your stomach gives more effectual aid than your intellect, and that part of divinity which has had the advantage of passing through your bowels is more likely to be saved than that which has only the benefit of your prayers. Your objection to eating flesh will be that you cannot eat animals alive, and so the operation of your stomach will not avail for the liberation of their souls. Happy vegetables, that, torn up with tire hand, cut with knives, tortured in fire, ground by teeth, yet reach alive the altars of your intestines Unhappy sheep and oxen, that are not so tenacious of life, and therefore are refused entrance into your bodies! Such is the absurdity of your notions. And you persist in making out an opposition in us to the Old Testament, because we consider no flesh unclean: according to the opinion of the apostle, "To the pure all things are pure;" (4) and according to the saying of our Lord Himself, "Not that which goeth into your mouth defileth you, but that which cometh out." (5) This was not said to the crowd only, as your Adimantus, whom Faustus, in his attack on the Old Testament, praises as second only to Manichæus, wishes us to understand; but when retired from the crowd, the Lord repeated this still more plainly and pointedly to His disciples. Adimantus quotes this saying of our Lord in opposition to the Old Testament, where the people are prohibited from eating some animals which are pronounced unclean; and doubtless he was afraid that he should be asked why, since he quotes a passage from the Gospel about man not being defiled by what enters into his mouth and passes into his belly, and out into the draft, he yet considers not some only, but all flesh unclean, and abstains from eating it. It is in order to escape from this strait, when the plain truth is too much for his error, that he makes the Lord say this to the crowd; as if the Lord were in the habit of speaking the truth only in small companies, while He blurted out falsehoods in public. To speak of the Lord in this way is blasphemy. And all who read the passage can see that the Lord said the same thing more plainly to His disciples in private. Since Faustus praises Adimantus so much at the beginning of this book of his, placing him next to Manichæus, let him say in a word whether it is true or false that a man is not defiled by what enters into his mouth. If it is false, why does this great teacher Adimantus quote it against the Old Testament? If it is true, why, in spite of this, do you believe that eating any flesh will defile you? It is true, if you choose this explanation, that the apostle does not say that all things are pure to heretics, but, "to the pure all things are pure." The apostle also goes on to explain why all things are not pure to heretics: "To the impure and unbelieving nothing is pure, but both their mind and conscience are defiled." (6) So to the Manichæns there is absolutely nothing pure; for they hold that the very substance or nature of God not only may be, but has actually been defiled, and so defiled that it can never be wholly restored and purified. What do they mean when they call animals unclean, and refrain from eating them, when it is impossible for them to think anything, whether food or whatever it may be, clean? According to them, vegetables too, fruits, all kinds of crops, the earth and sky, are defiled by mixture with the race of darkness. Why do they not act up to their opinions about other things as well as about animals? Why do they not abstain altogether, and starve themselves to death, instead of persisting in their blasphemies? If they will not repent and reform, this is evidently the best thing that they could do.

7. The saying of the apostle, that "to the pure all things are pure," and that "every creature of God is good," is not opposed to the prohibitions of the Old Testament; and the explanation, if they can understand it, is this. The apostle speaks of the natures of the things, while the Old Testament calls some animals unclean, not in their nature, but symbolically, on account of the prefigurative character of that dispensation. For instance, a pig and a lamb are both clean in their nature, for every creature of God is good; but symbolically, a lamb is clean, and a pig unclean. So the words wise and fool are both clean in their nature, as words composed of letters but fool may be called symbolically unclean, because it means an unclean thing. Perhaps a pig is the same among symbols as a fool is among real things. The animal, and the four letters which compose the word, may mean the same thing. No doubt the animal is pronounced unclean by the law, because it does not chew the cud; which is not a fault but its nature. But the men of whom this animal is a symbol are unclean, not by nature, but from their own fault; because, though they gladly hear the words of wisdom, they never reflect on them afterwards. For to recall, in quiet repose, some useful instruction from the stomach of memory to the mouth of reflection, is a kind of spiritual rumination. The animals above mentioned are a symbol of those people who do not do this. And the prohibition of the flesh of these animals is a warning against this fault. Another passage of Scripture speaks of the precious treasure of wisdom, and describes ruminating as clean, and not ruminating as unclean: "A precious treasure resteth in the mouth of a wise man; but a foolish man swallows it up."(1) Symbols of this kind, either in words or in things, give useful and pleasant exercise to intelligent minds in the way of inquiry and comparison. But formerly people were required not only to hear, but to practise many such things. For at that time it was necessary that, by deeds as well as by words, those things should be foreshadowed which were in after times to be revealed. After the revelation by Christ and in Christ, the community of believers is not burdened with the practice of the observances, but is admonished to give heed to the prophecy. This is our reason for accounting no animals unclean, in accordance with the saying of the Lord and of the apostle, while we are not opposed to the Old Testament, where some animals are pronounced unclean. Now let us hear why you consider all animal food unclean.

8. One of your false doctrines is, that flesh is unclean on account of mixture with the race of darkness. But this would make not only flesh unclean, but your God himself, in that part which he sent to become subject to absorption and contamination, in order that the enemy might be conquered and taken captive. Besides, on account of this mixture, all that you eat must be unclean. But you say flesh is especially unclean. It requires patience to listen to all their absurd reasons for this peculiar impurity of flesh. I will mention only what will suffice to show the inveterate folly of these critics of the Old Testament, who, while they denounce flesh, savor only fleshly things, and have no sort of spiritual perception. And a lengthy discussion of this question may perhaps enable us to dispense with saying much on some other points. The following, then, is an account of their vain delusions in this matter:--In that battle, when the First Man ensnared the race of darkness by deceitful elements, princes of both sexes belonging to this race were taken. By means of these princes the world was constructed; and among those used in the formation of the heavenly bodies, were some pregnant females. When the sky began to rotate, the rapid circular motion made these females give birth to abortions, which, being of both sexes, fell on the earth, and lived, and grew, and came together, and produced offspring. Hence sprang all animal life in earth, air, and sea.(2) Now if the origin of flesh is from heaven, that is no reason for thinking it especially unclean. Indeed, in this construction of the world, they hold that these principles of darkness were arranged higher or lower, according to the greater or less amount of good mixed with them in the construction of the various parts of the world. So flesh ought to be cleaner than vegetables which come out of the earth, for it comes from heaven. And how irrational to suppose that the abortions, before becoming animate, were so lively, though in an abortive state, that after failing from the sky, they could live and multiply; whereas, after becoming animate, they die if brought forth prematurely, and a fall from a very moderate height is enough to kill them! The kingdom of life in contest with the kingdom of death ought to have improved them, by giving them life instead of making them more perishable than before. If the perishableness is a consequence of a change of nature, it is wrong to say that there is a bad nature. The change is the only cause of the perishableness. Both natures are good, though one is better than the other. Whence then comes the peculiar impurity of flesh as it exists in this world, sprung, as they say, from heaven? They tell us, indeed, of the first bodies of these principles of darkness being generated like worms from trees of darkness; and the trees, they say, are produced from the five elements. But supposing that the bodies of animals come in the first place from trees, and afterwards from heaven, why should they be more unclean than the fruit of trees? Perhaps it will be said that what remains after death is unclean, because the life is no longer there. For the same reason fruits and vegetables must be unclean, for they die when they are pulled or cut. As we saw before, the elect get others to bring their food to them, that they may not be guilty of murder. Perhaps, since they say that; every living being has two souls, one of the race of light, and the other of the race of darkness, the good soul leaves at death, and the bad soul remains. But, in that case, the animal would be as much alive as it was in the kingdom of darkness, when it had only the soul of its own race, with which it had rebelled against the kingdom of God. So, since both souls leave at death, why call the flesh unclean, as if only the good soul had left? Any life that remains must be of both kinds; for some remains of the members of God are found, we are told, even in filth. There is therefore no reason for making flesh more unclean than fruits. The truth is, they pretend to great chastity in holding flesh unclean because it is generated. But if the divine body is more grossly shut in by flesh, there is all the more reason that they should liberate it by eating. And there are innumerable kinds of worms not produced from sexual intercourse; some in the neighborhood of Venice come from trees, which they should eat, since there is not the same reason for their being unclean. Besides, there are the frogs produced by the earth after a shower of rain.(1) Let them liberate the members of their God from these. Let them rebuke the mistake of mankind in preferring fowls and pigeons produced from males and females to the pure frogs, daughters of heaven and earth. By this theory, the first principles of darkness produced from trees must be purer than Manichæus, who was produced by generation; and his followers, for the same reason, must be less pure than the lice which spring from the perspiration of their bodies. But if everything that comes from flesh is unclean, because the origin of flesh itself is unclean, fruits and vegetables must also be unclean, because they are manured with dung. After this, what becomes of the notion that fruits are cleaner than flesh? Dung is the most unclean product of flesh, and also the most fertilizing manure. Their doctrine is, that the life escapes in the mastication and digestion of the food, so that only a particle remains in the excrement. How is it, then, that this particle of life has such an effect on the growth and the quality of your favorite food? Flesh is nourished by the productions of the earth, not by its excrements; while the earth is nourished by the excrements of flesh, not by its productions. Let them say which is the cleaner. Or let them turn from being unbelieving and impure to whom nothing is clean, and join with us in embracing the doctrine of the apostle, that to the pure all things are pure; that the earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof; that every creature of God is good. All things in nature are good in their own order; and no one sins in using them, unless, by disobedience to God, he transgresses his own order, and disturbs their order by using them amiss.

9. The elders who pleased God kept their own order by their obedience, in observing, according to God's arrangement, what was appointed as suitable to certain times. So, although all animals intended for food are by nature clean, they abstained from some which had then a symbolical uncleanness, in preparation for the future revelation of the things signified. And so with regard to unleavened bread and all such things, in which the apostle says there was a shadow of future things, neglect of their observance under the old dispensation, when this observance was enjoined, and was employed to prefigure what was afterwards to be revealed, would have been as criminal, as it would now be foolish in us, after the light of the New Testament has arisen, to think that these predictive observances could be of any use to us. On the other hand, since the Old Testament teaches us that the things now revealed were so long ago prefigured, that we may be firm and faithful in our adherence to them, it would be blasphemy and impiety to discard these books, simply because the Lord requires of us now not a literal, but a spiritual and intelligent regard to their contents. They were written, as the apostle says, for our admonition, on whom the end of the world is come.(1) "For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning." (2) Not to eat unleavened bread in the appointed seven days was a sin in the time of the Old Testament; in the time of the New Testament it is not a sin. But having the hope of a future world through Christ,who makes us altogether new by clothing our souls with righteousness and our bodies with immortality,to believe that the bondage and infirmity of our original corruption will prevail over us or over our actions, must continue to be a sin, till the seven days of the course of time are accomplished. In the time of the Old Testament, this, under the disguise of a type, was perceived by some saints. In the time of the New Testament it is fully declared and publicly preached. (3)

What was then a precept of Scripture is now a testimony. Formerly, not to keep the feast of tabernacles was a sin, which is not the case now. But not to form part of the building of God's tabernacle, which is the Church, is always a sin. Formerly this was acted in a figure; now the record serves as testimony. The ancient tabernacle, indeed, would not have been called the tabernacle of the testimony, unless as an appropriate symbol it had borne testimony to some truth which was to be revealed in its own time. To patch linen garments with purple, or to wear a garment of woollen and linen together, is not a sin now. But to live intemperately, and to wish to combine opposite modes of life,--as when a woman devoted to religion wears the ornaments of married women, or when one who has not abstained from marriage dresses like a virgin,--is always sin. So it is sin whenever inconsistent things are combined in any man's life. This, which is now a moral truth, was then symbolized in dress. What was then a type is now revealed truth. So the same Scripture which then required symbolical actions, now testifies to the things signified. The prefigurative observance is now a record for the confirmation of our faith. Formerly it was unlawful to plough with an ox and an ass together; now it is lawful. The apostle explains this when he quotes the text about not muzzling the ox that is treading out the corn. He says, "Does God care for oxen?" What, then, have we to do with an obsolete prohibition? The apostle teaches us in the following words, "For our sakes it is written." (4) It must be impiety in us not to read what was written for our sakes; for it is more for our sakes, to whom the revelation belongs, than for theirs who had only the figure. There is no harm in joining an ox with an ass where it is required. But to put a wise man and a fool together, not that one should teach and the other obey, but that both with equal authority should declare the word of God, cannot be done without causing offence. So the same Scripture which was once a command enjoining the shadow in which future things were veiled, is now an authoritative witness to the unveiled truth.

In what he says of the uncleanness of a man that is bald or has red hair, Faustus is inaccurate, or the manuscript he has used is incorrect. (3) Would that Faustus were not ashamed to bear on his forehead the cross of Christ, the want of which is baldness, instead of maintaining that Christ, who says, "I am the truth," showed unreal marks, after His resurrection, of unreal wounds! Faustus says he has not learned the art of deceiving, and speaks what he thinks. He cannot therefore be a disciple of his Christ, whom he madly declares to have shown false marks of wounds to his disciples when they doubted. Are we to believe Faustus, not only in his other absurdities, but also when he tells us that he does not deceive us in calling Christ a deceiver? Is he better than Christ? Is he not a deceiver, while Christ is? Or does he prove himself to be a disciple not of the truthful Christ, but of the deceiver Manichaeus, by this very falsehood, when he boasts that he has not learned the art of deceiving?

BOOK VII.

THE GENEALOGICAL QUESTION IS AGAIN TAKEN UP AND ARGUED ON BOTH SIDES.

1. FAUSTUS said: You ask why I do not believe in the genealogy of Jesus. There are many reasons; but the principal is, that He never declares with His own lips that He had an earthly father or descent, but on the contrary, that he is not of this world, that He came forth from God the Father, that He descended from heaven, that He has no mother or brethren except those who do the will of His Father in heaven. Besides, the framers of these genealogies do not seem to have known Jesus before His birth or soon after it, so as to have the credibility of eye-witnesses of what they narrate. They became acquainted with Jesus as a young man of about thirty years of age, if it is not blasphemy to speak of the age of a divine being. Now the question regarding a witness is always whether he has seen or heard what he testifies to. But the writers of these genealogies never assert that they heard the account from Jesus Himself, nor even the fact of His birth; nor did they see Him till they came to know Him after his baptism, many years after the time of His birth. To me, therefore, and to every sensible man, it appears as foolish to believe this account, as it would be to call into court a blind and deaf witness.

2. AUGUSTIN replied: As regards what Faustus calls his principal reason for not receiving the genealogy of Jesus Christ, a complete refutation is found in the passages formerly quoted, where Christ declares Himself to be the Son of man, and in what we have said of the identity of the Son of man with the Son of God: that in His Godhead He has no earthly descent, while after the flesh He is of the seed of David, as the apostle teaches. We are to believe, therefore, that He came forth from the Father, that He descended from heaven, and also that the Word was made flesh and dwelt amongst men. If the words, "Who is my mother, and who are my brethren?" (1) are quoted to show that Christ had no earthly mother or descent, it follows that we must believe that His disciples, whom He here teaches by His own example to set no value on earthly relationship, as compared with the kingdom of heaven, had no fathers, because Christ says to them, "Call no man father upon earth; for one is your Father, even God." (2) What He taught them to do with reference to their fathers, He Himself first did in reference to His own mother and brethren; as in many other things He condescended to set us an example, and to go before that we might follow in His footsteps. Faustus' principal objection to the genealogy fails completely; and after the defeat of this invincible force, the rest is easily routed. He says that the apostles who declared Christ to be the Son of man as well as the Son of God are not to be believed, because they were not present at the birth of Christ, whom they joined when He had reached manhood, nor heard of it from Christ Himself. Why then do they believe John when he says, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made," (3) and such passages, which they agree to, without understanding them? Where did John see this, or did he ever hear it from the Lord Himself ? In whatever way John learned this, those who narrate the nativity may have learned also. Again, how do they know that the Lord said, "Who is my mother, and who are my brethren?" If on the authority of the evangelist, why do they not also believe that the mother and the brethren of Christ were seeking for Him? They believe that Christ said these words, which they misunderstand, while they deny a fact resting on the same authority. Once more, if Matthew could not know that Christ was born, because he knew Him only in His manhood, how could Manichaeus, who lived so long after, know that He was not born? They will say that Manichaeus knew this from the Holy Spirit which was in him. Certainly the Holy Spirit would make him speak the truth. But why not rather believe what Christ's own disciples tell us, who were personally acquainted with Him, and who not only had the gift of inspiration to supply defects in their knowledge, but in a purely natural way obtained information of the birth of Christ, and of His descent, when the event was fresh in memory? And yet he dares to call the apostles deaf and blind. Why were you not deaf and blind, to prevent you from learning such profane nonsense, and dumb too, to prevent you from uttering it?

BOOK VIII.

FAUSTUS MAINTAINS THAT TO HOLD TO THE OLD TESTAMENT AFTER THE GIVING OF THE NEW IS PUTTING NEW CLOTH ON AN OLD GARMENT. AUGUSTIN FURTHER EXPLAINS THE RELATION OF THE OLD TESTAMENT TO THE NEW, AND REPROACHES THE MANICHAEANS WITH CARNALITY.

1. FAUSTUS said: Another reason for not receiving the Old Testament is, that I am provided with the New; and Scripture says that old and new do not agree. For "no one putteth a piece of new cloth unto an old garment, otherwise the rent is made worse.'' (1) To avoid making a worse rent, as you have done, I do not mix Christian newness with Hebrew oldness. Every one accounts it mean, when a man has got a new dress, not to give the old one to his inferiors. So, even if I were a Jew by birth, as the apostles were, it would be proper for me, on receiving the New Testament, to discard the Old, as the apostles did. And having the advantage of being born free from the yoke of bondage, and being early introduced into the full liberty of Christ, what a foolish and ungrateful wretch I should be to put myself again under the yoke! This is what Paul blames the Galatians for; because, going back to circumcision, they turned again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto they desired again to be in bondage.(2) Why should I do what I see another blamed for doing ? My going into bondage would be worse than their returning to it.

2. AUGUSTIN replied: We have already shown sufficiently why and how we maintain the authority of the Old Testament, not for the imitation of Jewish bondage, but for the confirmation of Christian liberty. It is not I, but the apostle, who says, "All these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our admonition, on whom the ends of the world are come.''(3) We do not therefore, as bondmen, observe what was enjoined as predictive of us; but as free, we read what was written to confirm us. So any one may see that the apostle remonstrates with the Galatians not for devoutly reading what Scripture says of circumcision, but for superstitiously desiring to be circumcised. We do not put a new cloth to an old garment, but we are instructed in the kingdom of heaven, like the householder, whom the Lord describes as bringing out of his treasure things new and old.(4) He who puts a new cloth to an old garment is the man who attempts spiritual self-denial before he has renounced fleshly hope. Examine the passage, and you will see that, when the Lord was asked about fasting, He replied, "No man putteth a new cloth to an old garment." The disciples had still a carnal affection for the Lord; for they were afraid that, if He died, they would lose Him. So He calls Peter Satan for dissuading Him from suffering, because he understood not the things of God, but the things of men.(5) The fleshly character of your hope is evident from your fancies about the kingdom of God, and from your paying homage and devotion to the light of the sun, which the carnal eye perceives, as if it were an image of heaven. So your carnal mind is the old garment to which you join your fasts. Moreover, if a new cloth and an old garment do not agree, how do the members of your God come to be not only joined or fastened, but to be united far more intimately by mixture and coherence to the principles of darkness? Perhaps both are old, because both are false, and both of the carnal mind. Or perhaps you wish to prove that one was new and the other old, by the rent being made worse, in tearing away the unhappy piece of the kingdom of light, to be doomed to eternal imprisonment in the mass of darkness. So this pretended artist in the fashions of the sacred Scriptures is found stitching together absurdities, and dressing himself in the rags of his own invention.

BOOK IX.

FAUSTUS ARGUES THAT IF THE APOSTLES BORN UNDER THE OLD COVENANT COULD LAWFULLY DEPART FROM IT, MUCH MORE CAN HE HAVING BEEN BORN A GENTILE. AUGUSTIN EXPLAINS THE RELATION OF JEWS AND GENTILES ALIKE TO THE GOSPEL.

1. FAUSTUS said: Another reason for not receiving the Old Testament is, that if it was allowable for the apostles, who were born under it, to abandon it, much more may I, who was not born under it, be excused for not thrusting myself into it. We Gentiles are not born Jews, nor Christians either. Out of the same Gentile world some are induced by the Old Testament to become Jews, and some by the New Testament to become Christians. It is as if two trees, a sweet and a bitter, drew from one soil the sap which each assimilates to its own nature. The apostle passed from the bitter to the sweet; it would be madness in me to change from the sweet to the bitter.

2. AUGUSTIN replied: You say that the apostle, in leaving Judaism, passed from the bitter to the sweet. But the apostle himself says that the Jews, who would not believe in Christ, were branches broken off, and that the Gentiles, a wild olive tree, were grafted into the good olive, that is, the holy stock of the Hebrews, that they might partake of the fatness of the olive. For, in warning the Gentiles not to be proud on account of the fall of the Jews, he says: "For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles. I magnify my office; if by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them. For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead? For if the first fruit be holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root be holy, so are the branches. And if some of the branches are broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; boast not against the branches: but if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in. Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not high-minded, but fear; for if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest He also spare not thee. Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in His goodness; otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be grafted in; for God is able to graft them in again. For if thou weft cut out of the olive tree, which is wild by nature, and weft grafted contrary to nature into a good olive tree; how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree? For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery (lest ye should be wise in your own conceits), that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in; and so all Israel shall be saved."(1) It appears from this, that you, who do not wish to be graffed into this root, though you are not broken off, like the carnal unbelieving Jews, remain still in the bitterness of the wild olive. Your worship of the sun and moon has the true Gentile flavor. You are none the less in the wild olive of the Gentiles, because you have added thorns of a new kind, and worship along with the sun and moon a false Christ, the fabrication not of your hands, but of your perverse heart. Come, then, and be grafted into the root of the olive tree, in his return to which the apostle rejoices, after by unbelief he had been among the broken branches. He speaks of himself as set free, when he made the happy transition from Judaism to Christianity. For Christ was always preached in the olive tree, and those who did not believe on Him when He came were broken off, while those who believed were grafted in. These are thus warned against pride: "Be not high-minded, but fear; for if God spared not the natural branches, neither will He spare thee." And to prevent despair of those broken off, he adds: "And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be grafted in; for God is able to graft them in again. For if thou weft cut out of the olive tree, which is wild by nature, and wert grafted contrary to nature into a good olive tree, how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree." The apostle rejoices in being delivered from the condition of a broken branch, and in being restored to the fatness of the olive tree. So you who have been broken off by error should return and be grafted in again. Those who are still in the wild olive should separate themselves from its barrenness, and become partakers of fertility.

BOOK X.

FAUSTUS INSISTS THAT THE OLD TESTAMENT PROMISES ARE RADICALLY DIFFERENT FROM THOSE OF THE NEW. AUGUSTIN ADMITS A DIFFERENCE, BUT MAINTAINS THAT THE MORAL PRECEPTS ARE THE SAME IN BOTH.

1. FAUSTUS said: Another reason for not receiving the Old Testament is, that both the Old and the New teach us not to covet what belongs to others. Everything in the Old Testament is of this kind. It promises riches, and plenty, and children, and children's children, and long life, and withal the land of Canaan; but only to the circumcised, the Sabbath observers,those offering sacrifices, and abstaining from swine's flesh. Now I, like every other Christian, pay no attention to these things, as being trifling and useless for the salvation of the soul. I conclude, therefore, that the promises do not belong to me. And mindful of the commandment, Thou shall not covet, I gladly leave to the Jews their own property, and content myself with the gospel, and with the bright inheritance of the kingdom of heaven. If a Jew were to claim part in the gospel, I should justly reproach him with claiming what he had no right to, because he does not obey its precepts. And a Jew might say the same to me if I professed to receive the Old Testament while I disregard its requirements.

2. AUGUSTIN replied: Faustus is not ashamed to repeat the same nonsense again and again. But it is tiresome to repeat the same answers, though it is to repeat truth. What Faustus says here has already been answered. (1) But if a Jew asks me why I profess to believe the Old Testament while I do not observe its precepts, my reply is this: The moral precepts of the law are observed by Christians; the symbolical precepts were properly observed during the time that the things now revealed were prefigured. Accordingly, those observances, which I regard as no longer binding, I still look upon as a testimony, as I do also the carnal promises from which the Old Testament derives its name. For although the gospel teaches me to hope for eternal blessings, I also find a confirmation of the gospel in those things which "happened to them for an example, and were written for our admonition, on whom the ends of the world are come." So much for our answer to the Jews. And now we have something to say to the Manichaeans.

3. By showing the way in which we regard the authority of the Old Testament we have answered the Jews, by whose question about our not observing the precepts Faustus thought we would be puzzled. But what answer can you give to the question, why you deceive simple-minded people by professing to believe in the New Testament, while you not only do not believe it, but assail it with all your force? It will be more difficult for you to answer this than it was for us to answer the Jews. We hold all that is written in the Old Testament to be true, and on joined by God for suitable times. But in your inability to find a reason for not receiving what is written in the New Testament, you are obliged, as a last resource, to pretend that the passages are not genuine. This is the last gasp of a heretic in the clutches of truth; or rather it is the breath of corruption itself. Faustus, however, confesses that the Old Testament as well as the New teaches him not to covet. His own God could never have taught him this. For if this God did not covet what belonged to another, why did he construct new worlds in the region of darkness? Perhaps the race of darkness first coveted his kingdom. But this would be to imitate their bad example. Perhaps the kingdom of light was previously of small extent, and war was desirable in order to enlarge it by conquest. In that case, no doubt, there was covetousness, though the hostile race was allowed to begin the wars to justify the conquest. If there had been no such desire, there was no necessity to extend the kingdom beyond its old limits into the region of the conquered foe. If the Manichaeans would only learn from these Scriptures the moral precepts, one of which is, Do not covet, instead of taking offence at the symbolical precept, they would acknowledge in meekness and candor that they suited the time then present. We do not covet what belongs to another, when we read in the Old Testament what "happened to them for examples, and was written for our admonition, on whom the ends of the world are come." It is surely not coveting when a man reads what is written for his benefit.

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