REPLY TO FAUSTUS THE MANICHAEAN

CONTRA FAUSTUM MANICHAEUM A.D. 400

BOOK XIII

FAUSTUS ASSERTS THAT EVEN IF THE OLD TESTAMENT COULD BE SHOWN TO CONTAIN PREDICTIONS, IT WOULD BE OF INTEREST ONLY TO THE JEWS, PAGAN LITERATURE SUBSERVING THE SAME PURPOSE FOR GENTILES. AUGUSTIN SHOWS THE VALUE OF PROPHESY FOR GENTILES AND JEWS ALIKE.

1. FAUSTUS said: We are asked how we worship Christ when we reject the prophets, who declared the promise of His advent. It is doubtful whether, on examination, it can be shown that the Hebrew prophets foretold our Christ, that is, the Son of God. But were it so, what does it matter to us? these testimonies of the prophets that you speak of were the means of converting any one from Judaism to Christianity, and if he should afterwards neglect these prophets, he would certainly be in the wrong, and would be chargeable with ingratitude. But we are by nature Gentiles, of the uncircumcision; as Paul says, born under another law. Those whom the Gentiles call poets were our first religious teachers, and from them we were afterwards converted to Christianity. We did not first become Jews, so as to reach Christianity through faith in their prophets; but were attracted solely by the fame, and the virtues, and the wisdom of our liberator Jesus Christ. If I were still in the religion of my fathers, and a preacher were to come using the prophets as evidence in favor of Christianity, I should think him mad for attempting to support what is doubtful by what is still more doubtful to a Gentile of another religion altogether. He would require first to persuade me to believe the prophets, and then through the prophets to believe Christ. And to prove the truth of the prophets, other prophets would be necessary. For if the prophets bear witness to Christ, who bears witness to the prophets? You will perhaps say that Christ and the prophets mutually support each other. But a Pagan, who has nothing to do with either, would believe neither the evidence of Christ to the prophets, nor that of the prophets to Christ. If the Pagan becomes a Christian, he has to thank his own faith, and nothing else. Let us, for the sake of illustration, suppose ourselves conversing with a Gentile inquirer. We tell him to believe in Christ, because He is God. He asks for proof. We refer him to the prophets. He asks, What prophets? We reply, The Hebrew. He smiles, and says that he does not believe them. We remind him that Christ testifies to them. He replies, laughing, that we must first make him believe in Christ. The result of such a conversation is that we are silenced, and the inquirer departs, thinking us more zealous than wise. Again, I say, the Christian Church, which consists more of Gentiles than of Jews, can owe nothing to Hebrew witnesses. If, as is said, any prophecies of Christ are to be found in the Sibyl, (1) or in Hermes, (2) called Trismegistus, or Orpheus, or any heathen poet, they might aid the faith of those who, like us, are converts from heathenism to Christianity. But the testimony of the Hebrews is useless to us before conversion, for then we cannot believe them; and superfluous after, for we believe without them.

2. AUGUSTIN replied: After the long reply of last book, a short answer may suffice here. To one who has read that reply, it must seem insanity in Faustus to persist in denying that Christ was foretold by the Hebrew prophets, when the Hebrew nation was the only one in which the name Christ had a peculiar sacredness as applied to kings and priests; in which sense it continued to be applied till the coming of Him whom those kings and priests typified. Where did the Manichaean learn the name of Christ? If from Manichaeus, it is very strange that Africans, not to speak of others, should believe the Persian Manichaeus, since Faustus finds fault with the Romans and Greeks, and other Gentiles, for believing the Hebrew prophets as belonging to another race. According to Faustus, the predictions of the Sibyl, or Orpheus, or any heathen poet, are more suitable for leading Gentiles to believe in Christ. He forgets that none of these are read in the churches, whereas the voice of the Hebrew prophets, sounding everywhere, draws swarms of people to Christianity. When it is so evident that men are everywhere led to Christ by the Hebrew prophets, it is great absurdity to say that those prophets are not suitable for the Gentiles.

3. Christ as foretold by the Hebrew prophets does not please you; but this is the Christ in whom the Gentile nations believe, with whom, according to you, Hebrew prophecy should have no weight. They receive the gospel which, as Paul says, "God had promised before by His prophets in the Holy Scriptures of His Son, who was made of the seed of David according to the flesh." (3) So we read in Isaiah: "There shall be a Root of Jesse, which shall rise to reign in the nations; in Him shall the Gentiles trust.'' (4) And again: "Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel," (5) which is, being interpreted, God with us. Nor let the Manichaean think that Christ is foretold only as a man by the Hebrew prophets; for this is what Faustus seems to insinuate when he says, "Our Christ is the Son of God," as if the Christ of the Hebrews was not the Son of God. We can prove Christ the virgin's son of Hebrew prophecy to be God. For the Lord Himself teaches the carnal Jews not to think that, because He is foretold as the son of David, He is therefore no more than that. He asks: "What think ye of Christ? Whose son is He?" They reply: "Of David." Then, to remind them of the name Emmanuel, God with us, He says: "How does David in the Spirit call Him Lord, saying, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit Thou at my right hand, till I make Thine enemies Thy footstool? " (6) Here, then, Christ appears as God in Hebrew prophecy. What prophecy can the Manichaeans show with the name of Christ in it?

4. Manichaeus indeed was not a prophet of Christ, but calls himself an apostle, which is a shameless falsehood; for it is well known that this heresy began not only after Tertullian, but after Cyprian. In all his letters Manichaeus begins thus: "Manichaeus, an apostle of Jesus Christ." Why do you be lieve what Manichaeus says of Christ? What evidence does he give of his apostleship? This very name of Christ is known to us only from the Jews, who, in their application of it 'to their kings and priests, were not individually, but nationally, prophets of Christ and Christ's kingdom. What right has he to use this name, who forbids you to believe the Hebrew prophets, that he may make you the heretical disciples of a false Christ, as he himself is a false and heretical apostle? And if Faustus quotes as evidence in his own support some prophets who, according to him, foretell Christ, how will he satisfy his supposed inquirer, who will not believe either the prophets or Faustus? Will he take our apostles as witnesses? Unless he can find some apostles in life, he must read their writings; and these are all against him. They teach our doctrine that Christ was born of the Virgin Mary, that He was the Son of God, of the seed of David according to the flesh. He cannot pretend that the writings have been tampered with, for that would be to attack the credit of his own witnesses. Or if he produces his own manuscripts of the apostolic writings, he must also obtain for them the authority of the churches founded by the apostles themselves, by showing that they have been preserved and transmitted with their sanction. It will be difficult for a man to make me believe him on the evidence of writings which derive all their authority from his own word, which I do not believe.

5. But perhaps you believe the common report about Christ. Faustus makes a feeble suggestion of this kind as a last resource, to escape being obliged either to produce his worthless authorities, or to come under the power of those opposed to him. Well, if report is your authority, you should consider the consequences of trusting to such evidence. There are many bad things reported of you which you do not wish people to believe. Is it reasonable to make the same evidence true about Christ and false about yourselves? In fact, you deny the common report about Christ. For the report most widely spread, and which every one has heard repeated, is that which distinctly asserts that Christ was born of the seed of David, according to the promise made in the Hebrew Scriptures to Abraham and Isaac and Jacob: "In thy seed shall all nations be blessed." You will not admit this Hebrew testimony, but you do not seem to have any other. The authority of our books, which is confirmed by the agreement of so many nations, supported by a succession of apostles, bishops, and councils, is against you. Your books have no authority, for it is an authority maintained by only a few, and these the worshippers of an untruthful God and Christ. If they are not following the example of the beings they worship, their testimony must be against their own false doctrine. And, once more, common report gives a very bad account of you, and invariably asserts, in opposition to you, that Christ was of the seed of David. You did not hear the voice of the Father from heaven. You did not see the works by which Christ bore witness to Himself. The books which tell of these things you profess to receive, that you may maintain a delusive appearance of Christianity; but when anything is quoted against you, you say that the books have been tampered with. You quote the passage where Christ says, "If ye believe not me, believe the works;" and again, "I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me;" but you will not let us quote in reply such passages as these: "Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think that ye have eternal life, and they are they that testify of me;" "If ye believed Moses, ye would believe me, for he wrote of me;" "They have Moses and the prophets, let them hear them;" "If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they believe though one rose from the dead." What have you to say for yourselves? Where is your authority? If you reject these passages of Scripture, in spite of the weighty authority in their favor, what miracles can you show? However, if you did work miracles, we should be on our guard against receiving their evidence in your case; for the Lord has forewarned us: "Many false Christs and false prophets shall arise, and shall do many signs and wonders, that they may deceive, if it were possible, the very elect: behold, I have told you before." (1) This shows that the established authority of Scripture must outweigh every other; for it derives new confirmation from the progress of events which happen, as Scripture proves, in fulfillment of the predictions made so long before their occurrence.

6. Are, then, your doctrines so manifestly true, that they require no support from miracles or from any testimony? Show us these self-evident truths, if you have anything of the kind to show. Your legends, as we have already seen, are long and silly, old wives fables for the amusement of women and children. The beginning is detached from the rest, the middle is unsound, and the end is a miserable failure. If you begin with the immortal, invisible, incorruptible God, what need was there of His fighting with the race of darkness? And as for the middle of your theory, what becomes of the incorruptibility and unchangeableness of God, when His members in fruits and vegetables are purified by your mastication and digestion? And for the end, is it just that the wretched soul should be punished with lasting confinement in the mass of darkness, because its God is unable to cleanse it of the defilement contracted from evil external to itself in the fulfillment of His own commission? You are at a loss for a reply. See the worthlessness of your boasted manuscripts, numerous and valuable as you say they are! Alas for the toils of the antiquaries! Alas for the property of the unhappy owners! Alas for the food of the deluded followers! Destitute as you are of Scripture authority, of the power of miracles, of moral excellence, and of sound doctrine, depart ashamed, and return penitent, confessing that true Christ, who is the Saviour of all who believe in Him, whose name and whose Church are now displayed as they were of old foretold, not by some being issuing from subterranean darkness, but by a nation in a distinct kingdom established for this purpose, that there those things might be figuratively predicted of Christ which are now in reality fulfilled, and the prophets might foretell in writing what the apostles now exhibit in their preaching.

7. Let us suppose, then, a conversation with a heathen inquirer, in which Faustus described us as making a poor appearance, though his own appearance was much more deplorable. If we say to the heathen, Believe in Christ, for He is God, and, on his asking for evidence, produce the authority of the prophets, if he says that he does not believe the prophets, because they are Hebrew and he is a Gentile, we can prove the truth of the prophets from the actual fulfillment of their prophecies. He could scarcely be ignorant of the persecutions suffered by the early Christians from the kings of this world; or if he was ignorant, he Could be informed from history and the records of imperial laws. But this is what we find foretold long ago by the prophet, saying, "Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the princes take counsel together against the Lord, and against His Christ." The rest of the Psalm shows that this is not said of David. For what follows might convince the most stubborn unbeliever: "The Lord said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten Thee. Ask of me, and I will give Thee the heathen for Thine inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Thy possession." (1) This never happened to the Jews, whose king, David was, but is now plainly fulfilled in the subjection of all nations to the name of Christ. This and many similar prophecies, which it would take too long to quote, would surely impress the mind of the inquirer. He would see these very kings of the earth now happily subdued by Christ, and all nations serving Him; and he would hear the words of the Psalm in which this was so long before predicted: "All the kings of the earth shall bow down to Him; all nations shall serve Him.'' (2) And if he were to read the whole of that Psalm, Which is figuratively applied to Solomon, he would find that Christ is the true King of peace, for Solomon means peaceful; and he would find many things in the Psalm applicable to Christ, which have no reference at all to the literal King Solomon. Then there is that other Psalm where God is spoken of as anointed by God, the very word anointed pointing to Christ, showing that Christ is God, for God is represented as being anointed. (3) In reading what is said in this Psalm of Christ and of the Church, he would find that what is there foretold is fulfilled in the present state of the world. He would see the idols of the nations perishing from off the earth, and he would find that this is predicted by the prophets, as in Jeremiah, "Then shall ye say unto them, The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth shall perish from the earth, and from under heaven;" (4) and again, "O Lord, my strength, and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction, the Gentiles shall come unto Thee from the ends of the earth, and shall say, Surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and things wherein there is no profit. Shall a man make gods unto himself, and they are no gods? Therefore, behold, I will at that time cause them to know, I will cause them to know mine hand and my might; and they shall know that I am the Lord." (5) Hearing these prophecies, and seeing their actual fulfillment, I need not say that he would be affected; for we know by experience how the hearts of believers are confirmed by seeing ancient predictions now receiving their accomplishment.

8. In the same prophet the inquirer would find clear proof that Christ is not merely one of the great men that have appeared in the world. For Jeremiah goes on to say: "Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord: for he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places of the wilderness, in a salt land not inhabited. Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is: for he shall be as a tree beside the water, that spreadeth out its roots by the river: he shall not fear when heat cometh, but his leaf shall be green; he shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit." (6) On hearing this curse pronounced in the figurative language of prophecy on him that trusts in man, and the blessing in similar style on him that trusts in God, the inquirer might have doubts about our doctrine, in which we teach not only that Christ is God, so that our trust is not in man, but also that He is man because He took, our nature. So some err by denying Christ's humanity, while they allow His divinity. Others, again, assert His humanity, but deny His divinity, and so either become infidels or incur the guilt of trusting in man. The inquirer, then, might say that the prophet says only that Christ is God, without any reference to His human nature; whereas, in our apostolic doctrine, Christ is not only God in whom we may safely trust, but the Mediator between God and man--the man Jesus. The prophet explains this in the words in which he seems to check himself, and to supply the omission: "His heart," he says "is sorrowful throughout; and He is man, and who shall know Him?" (1) He is man, in order that in the form of a servant He might heal the hard in heart, and that they might acknowledge as God Him who became man for their sakes, that their trust might be not in man, but in God-man. He is man taking the form of a servant. And who shall know Him? For "He was in the form of God, and thought it not robbery to be equal to God.'' (2) He is man, for "the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us." And who shall know Him? For "in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." (3) And truly His heart was sorrowful throughout. For even as regards His own disciples His heart was sorrowful, when He said, "Have I been so long time with you, and yet have ye not known me?" "Have I been so long time with you" answers to the words "He is man," and "Have ye not known me?" to "Who shall know Him?" And the person is none other but He who says, "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father." (4) So that our trust is not in man, to be under the curse of the prophet, but in God-man, that is, in the Son of God, the Saviour Jesus Christ, the Mediator between God and man. In the form of a servant the Father is greater than He; in the form of God He is equal with the Father.

9. In Isaiah we read: "The pride of man shall be brought low; and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day. And they shall hide the workmanship of their hands in the clefts of the rocks, and in dens and caves of the earth, from fear of the Lord, and from the glory of His power, when He shall arise to shake terribly the earth. For in that day a man shall cast away his idols of gold and silver, which they have made to worship, as useless and hurtful." (5) Perhaps the inquirer himself, who, as Faustus supposes, would laugh and say that he does not believe the Hebrew prophets, has hid idols made with hands in some cleft, or cave, or den. Or he may know a friend, or neighbor, or fellow-citizen who has done this from the fear of the Lord, who by the severe prohibition of the kings of the earth, now serving and bowing down to him, as the prophet predicted, shakes the earth, that is, breaks the stubborn heart of worldly men. The inquirer is not likely to disbelieve the Hebrew prophets, when he finds their predictions fulfilled, perhaps in his own person.

10. One might rather fear that the inquirer, in the midst of such copious evidence, would say that the Christians composed those writings when the events described had already begun to take place, in order that those occurrences might appear to be not due to a merely human purpose, but as if divinely foretold. One might fear this, were it not for the widely spread and widely known people of the Jews; that Cain, with the mark that he should not be killed by any one; that Ham, the servant of his brethren, carrying as a load the books for their instruction. From the Jewish manuscripts we prove that these things were not written by us to suit the event, but were long ago published and preserved as prophecies in the Jewish nation. These prophecies are now explained in their accomplishment: for even what is obscure in them--because these things happened to them as an example, and were written for our benefit, on whom the ends of the world are come--is now made plain; and what was hidden in the shadows of the future is now visible in the light of actual experience.

11. The inquirer might bring forward as a difficulty the fact that those in whose books these prophecies are found are not united with us in the gospel. But when convinced that this also is foretold, he would feel how strong the evidence is. The prophecies of the unbelief of the Jews no one can avoid seeing, no one can pretend to be blind to them. No one can doubt that Isaiah spoke of the Jews when he said, "The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib; but Israel hath not known, and my people hath not considered ;" (6) or again, in the words quoted by the apostle, "I have stretched out my hands all the day to a wicked and gainsaying people;" (7) and especially where he says, "God has given them the spirit of remorse, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear, and should not understand," (8) and many similar passages. If the inquirer objected that it was not the fault of the Jews if God blinded them so that they did not know Christ, we should try in the simplest manner possible to make him understand that this blindness is the just punishment of other secret sins known to God. We should prove that the apostle recognizes this principle when he says of some persons, "God gave them up to the lusts of their own hearts, and to a reprobate mind, to do things not convenient;" (1) and that the prophets themselves speak of this. For, to revert to the words of Jeremiah, "He is man, and who shall know Him?" lest it should be an excuse for the Jews that they did not know,--for if they had known, as the apostle says, "they would not have crucified the Lord of glory," (2) --the prophet goes on to show that their ignorance was the result of secret criminality; for he says: "I the Lord search the heart and try the reins, to give to every one according to his ways, and according to the fruits of his doings."

12. If the next difficulty in the mind of the inquirer arose from the divisions and heresies among those called Christians, he would learn that this too is taken notice of by the prophets. For, as if it was natural that, after being satisfied about the blindness of the Jews, this objection from the divisions among Christians should occur, Jeremiah, observing this order in his prophecy, immediately adds in the passage already quoted: "The partridge is clamorous, gathering what it has not brought forth, making riches without judgment." For the partridge is notoriously quarrelsome, and is often caught from its eagerness in quarreling. So the heretics discuss not to find the truth, but with a dogged determination to gain the victory one way or another, that they may gather, as the prophet says, what they have not brought forth. For those whom they lead astray are Christians already born of the gospel, whom the Christian profession of the heretics misleads. Thus they make riches not with judgment, but with inconsiderate haste. For they do not consider that the followers whom they gather as their riches are taken from the genuine original Christian society, and deprived of its benefits; and as the apostle describes these heretics in the words: "As Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so they also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest to all men, as theirs also was." (3) So the prophet goes on to say of the partridge, which gathers what it has not brought forth: "In the midst of his days they shall leave him, and in the end he shall be a fool;" that is, he who at first misled people by a promising display of superior wisdom, shall be a fool, that is, shall be seen to be a fool. He will be seen when his folly is manifest to all men, and to those to whom he was at first a wise man he will then be a fool.

13. As if anticipating that the inquirer would ask next by what plain mark a young disciple, not yet able to distinguish the truth among so many errors, might find the true Church of Christ. since the clear fulfillment of so many predictions compelled him to believe in Christ, the prophet answers this question in what follows, and teaches that the Church of Christ, which he describes prophetically, is conspicuously visible. His words are: "A glorious high throne is our sanctuary." (4) This glorious throne is the Church of which the apostle says: "The temple of God is holy, which temple ye are." (5) The Lord also, foreseeing the conspicuousness of the Church as a help to young disciples who might be misled, says, "A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid." (6) Since, then, a glorious high throne is our sanctuary, no attention is to be paid to those who would lead us into sectarianism, saying, "Lo, here is Christ," or "Lo there." Lo here, lo there, speaks of division; but the true city is on a mountain, and the mountain is that which, as we read in the prophet Daniel, grew from a little stone till it filled the whole earth. (7) And no attention should be paid to those who, professing some hidden mystery confined to a small number, say, Behold, He is in the chamber; behold, in the desert: for a city set on an hill cannot be hid, and a glorious high throne is our sanctuary.

14. After considering these instances of the fulfillment of prophecy about kings and people acting as persecutors, and then becoming believers, about the destruction of idols, about the blindness of the Jews, about their testimony to the writings which they have preserved, about the folly of heretics, about the dignity of the Church of true and genuine Christians, the inquirer would most reasonably receive the testimony of these prophets about the divinity of Christ. No doubt, if we were to begin by urging him to believe prophecies yet unfulfilled, he might justly answer, What have I to do with these prophets, of whose truth I have no evidence? But, in view of the manifest accomplishment of so many remarkable predictions, no candid person would despise either the things which were thought worthy of being predicted in those early times with so much solemnity, or those who made the predictions. To none can we trust more safely, as regards either events long past or those still future, than to men whose words are supported by the evidence of so many notable predictions having been fulfilled.

15. If any truth about God or the Son of God is taught or predicted in the Sibyl or Sibyls, or in Orpheus, or in Hermes, if there ever was such a person, or in any other heathen poets, or theologians, or sages, or philosophers, it may be useful for the refutation of Pagan error, but cannot lead us to believe in these writers. For while they spoke, because they could not help it, of the God whom we worship, they either taught their fellow-countrymen to worship idols and demons, or allowed them to do so without daring to protest against it. But our sacred writers, with the authority and assistance of God, were the means of establishing and preserving among their people a government under which heathen customs were condemned as sacrilege. If any among this people fell into idolatry or demon-worship, they were either punished by the laws, or met by the awful denunciations of the prophets. They worshipped one God, the maker of heaven and earth They had rites; but these rites were prophetic, or symbolical of things to come, and were to cease on the appearance of the things signified. The whole state was one great prophet, with its king and priest symbolically anointed which was discontinued, not by the wish of the Jews themselves, who were in ignorance through unbelief, but only on the coming of Him who was God, anointed with spiritual grace above His fellows, the holy of holies, the true King who should govern us, the true Priest who should offer Himself for us. In a word, the predictions of heathen ingenuity regarding Christ's coming are as different from sacred prophecy as the confession of devils from the proclamation of angels.

16. By such arguments, which might be expanded if we were discussing with one brought up in heathenism, and might be supported by proofs in still greater number, the inquirer whom Faustus has brought before us would certainly be led to believe, unless he preferred his sins to his salvation. As a believer, he would be taken to be cherished in the bosom of the Catholic Church, and would be taught in due course the conduct required of him. He would see many who do not practise the required duties; but this would not shake his faith, even though these people should belong to the same Church and partake of the same sacraments as himself. He would understand that few share in the inheritance of God, while many partake in its outward signs; that few are united in holiness of life, and in the gift of love shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who is given to us, which is a hidden spring that no stranger can approach; and that many join in the solemnity of the sacra-merit, which he that eats and drinks un-worthily eats and drinks judgment to himself, while he who neglects to eat it shall not have life in him, (1) and so shall never reach eternal life. He will understand, too, that the good are called few as compared with the multitude of the evil, but that as scattered over the world there are very many growing among the tares, and mixed with the chaff, till the day of harvest and of purging. As this is taught in the Gospel, so is it foretold by the prophets. We read, "As a lily among thorns, so is my beloved among the daughters;'' (2) and again, "I have dwelt in the tabernacles of Kedar; peaceful among them that hated peace; " (3) and again, "Mark in the forehead those who sigh and cry for the iniquities of my people, which are done in the midst of them." (4) The inquirer would be confirmed by such passages; and being now a fellow-citizen with the saints and of the household of God, no longer an alien from Israel, but an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile, would learn to utter from a guileless heart the words which follow in the passage of Jeremiah already quoted, "O Lord, the patience of Israel: let all that forsake Thee be dismayed." After speaking of the partridge that is clamorous, and gathers what it has not brought forth; and after extolling the city set on an hill which cannot be hid, to prevent heretics from drawing men away from the Catholic Church; after the words, "A glorious high throne is our sanctuary," he seems to ask himself, What do we make of all those evil men who are found mixed with the Church, and who become more numerous as the Church extends, and as all nations are united in Christ? And then follow the words, "O Lord, the patience of Israel." Patience is necessary to obey the command, "Suffer both to grow together till the harvest.'' (5) Impatience towards the evil might lead to forsaking the good, who in the strict sense are the body of Christ, and to forsake them would be to forsake Him. So the prophet goes on to say, "Let all that forsake Thee be dismayed; let those who have departed to the earth be confounded." The earth is man trusting in himself, and inducing others to trust in him. So the prophet adds: "Let them be overthrown, for they have forsaken the Lord, the fountain of life." This is the cry of the partridge, that it has got the fountain of life, and will give it; and so men are gathered to it, and depart from Christ, as if Christ, whose name they had professed, had not fulfilled His promise. The partridge gathers those whom it has not brought forth. And in order to do this, it declares, The salvation which Christ promises is with me; I will give it. In opposition to this the prophet says: "Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved." So we read in the apostle, "Let no man glory in men;" (1) or in the words of the prophet, "Thou art my praise." (2) Such is a specimen of instruction in apostolic and prophetic doctrine, by which a man may be built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets.

17. Faustus has not told us how he would prove the divinity of Christ to the heathen, whom he makes to say: I believe neither the prophets in support of Christ, nor Christ in support of the prophets. It would be absurd to suppose that such a man would believe what Christ says of Himself, when he disbelieves what He says of others. For if he thinks Him unworthy of credit in one case, he must think Him so in all, or at least more so when speaking of Himself than when speaking of others. Perhaps, failing this, Faustus would read to him the Sibyls and Orpheus, and any heathen prophecies about Christ that he could find. But how could he do this, when he confesses that he knows none? His words are: "If, as is said, any prophecies of Christ are to be found in the Sibyl, or in Hermes, called Trismegistus, or Orpheus, or any heathen poet." How could he read writings of which he knows nothing, and which he supposes to exist only from report, to one who will not believe either the prophets or Christ? What, then, would be do? Would he bring forward Manichæus as a witness to Christ? The opposite of this is what the Manichæans do. They take advantage of the widespread fragrance of the name of Christ to gain acceptance for Manichæus, that the edge of their poisoned cup may be sweetened with this honey. Taking hold of the promises of Christ to His disciples that He would send the Paraclete, that is, the Comforter or Advocate, they say that this Paraclete is Manichæus, or in Manichæus, and so steal an entrance into the minds of men who do not know when He who was promised by Christ really came. Those who have read the canonical book called the Acts of the Apostles find a reference to Christ's promise, and an account of its fulfillment. Faustus, then, has no proof to give to the inquirer. It is not likely that any one will be so infatuated as to take the authority of Manichæus when he rejects that of Christ. Would he not reply in derision, if not in anger, Why do you ask me to believe Persian books, when you forbid me to believe Hebrew books? The Manichæan has no hold on the inquirer, unless he is already in some way convinced of the truth of Christianity. When he finds him willing to believe Christ, then he deludes him with the representation of Christ given by Manichæus. So the partridge gathers what it has not brought forth. When will you whom he gathers leave him? When will you see him to be a fool. who tells you that Hebrew testimony is worthless in the case of unbelievers, and superfluous to believers?

18. If believers are to throw away all the books which have led them to believe, I see no reason why they should continue reading the Gospel itself. The Gospel, too, must be worthless to this inquirer, who, according to Faustus' pitiful supposition, rejects with ridicule the authority of Christ. And to the believer it must be superfluous, if true notices of Christ are superfluous to believers. And if the Gospel should be read by the believer, that he may not forget what he has believed, so should the prophets, that he may not forget why he believed. For if he forgets this his faith cannot be firm. By this principle, you should throw away the books of Manichæus, on the authority of which you already believe that light--that is, God--fought with darkness, and that, in order to bind darkness, the light was first swallowed up and bound, and polluted and mangled by darkness, to be restored, and liberated, and purified, and healed by your eating, for which you are rewarded by not being condemned to the mass of darkness for ever, along with that part of the light which cannot be extricated. This fiction is sufficiently published by your practice and your words. Why do you seek for the testimony of books, and add to the embarrassment of your God by the consumption of strength in the needless task of writing manuscripts? Burn all your parchments, with their finely-ornamented binding; so you will be rid of a useless burden, and your God who suffers confinement in the volume will be set free. What a mercy it would be to the members of your God, if you could boil your books and eat them! There might be a difficulty, however, from the prohibition of animal food. Then the writing must share in the impurity of the sheepskin. Indeed, you are to blame for this, for, like what you say was done in the first war between light and darkness, you brought what was clean in the pen in contact with the uncleanness of the parchment. Or perhaps, for the sake of the colors, we may put it the other way; and so the darkness would be yours, in the ink which you brought against the light of the white pages. If these remarks irritate you, you should rather be angry with yourselves for believing doctrines of which these are the necessary consequences. As for the books of the apostles and prophets, we read them as a record of our faith, to encourage our hope and animate our love. These books are in perfect harmony with one another; and their harmony, like the music of a heavenly trumpet, wakens us from the torpor of worldliness, and urges us on to the prize of our high calling. The apostle, after quoting from the prophets the words, "The reproaches of them that reproached Thee fell on me," goes on to speak of the benefit of reading the prophets: "For whatsoever things were written beforetime were written for our learning; that we, through patience and comfort of the Scriptures, might have hope." (1) If Faustus denies this, we can only say with Paul, "If any one shall preach to you another doctrine than that ye have received, let him be accursed.'' (2)

BOOK XIV.

FAUSTUS ABHORS MOSES FOR THE AWFUL CURSE HE HAS PRONOUNCED UPON CHRIST. AUGUSTIN EXPOUNDS THE CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE OF THE SUFFERING SAVIOUR BY COMPARING OLD AND NEW TESTAMENT PASSAGES.

1. FAUSTUS said: If you ask why we do not believe Moses, it is on account of our love and reverence for Christ. The most reckless man cannot regard with pleasure a person who has cursed his father. So we abhor Moses, not so much for his blasphemy of everything human and divine, as for the awful curse he has pronounced upon Christ the Son of God, who for our salvation hung on the tree. Whether Moses did this intentionally or not is your concern. Either way, he cannot be excused, or considered worthy of belief. His words are, "Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree." (1) You tell me to believe this-man, though, if he was inspired, he must have cursed Christ knowingly and intentionally; and if he did it in ignorance, he cannot have been divine. Take either alternative. Moses was no prophet, and while cursing in his usual manner, he fell ignorantly into the sin of blasphemy against God. Or he was indeed divine, and foresaw the future; and from ill-will to our salvation, he directs the venom of his malediction against Him who was to accomplish that salvation on a tree. He who thus injures the Son cannot surely have seen or known the Father. He who knew nothing of the final ascension of the Son, cannot surely have foretold His advent. Moreover, the extent of the injury inflicted by this curse is to be considered. For it denounces all the righteous men and martyrs, and sufferers of every kind, who have died in this way, as Peter and Andrew, and the rest. Such a cruel denunciation could never have come from Moses if he had been a prophet, unless he was a bitter enemy of these sufferers. For he pronounces them cursed not only of men but of God. What hope, then, of blessing remains to Christ, or his apostles, or to us if we happen to be crucified for Christ's sake? It indicates great thoughtlessness in Moses, and the want of all divine inspiration, that he overlooked the fact that men are hung on a tree for very different reasons, some for their crimes, and others who suffer in the cause of God and of righteousness. In this thoughtless way lie heaps all together without distinction under the same curse; whereas if he had had any sense, not to say inspiration, if he wished to single out the punishment of the cross from all others as specially detestable, he would have said, Cursed is every guilty and impious person that hangeth on a tree. This would have made a distinction between the guilty and the innocent. And yet even this would have been incorrect, for Christ took the malefactor from the cross along with himself into the Paradise of his Father. What becomes of the curse on every one that hangeth on a tree? Was Barabbas, the notorious robber, who certainly was not hung on a tree, but was set free from prison at the request of the Jews, more blessed than the thief who accompanied Christ from the cross to heaven? Again, there is a curse on the man that worships the sun or the moon. Now if under a heathen monarch I am forced to worship the sun, and if from fear of this curse I refuse, shall I incur this other curse by suffering the punishment of crucifixion? Perhaps Moses was in the habit of cursing everything good. We think no more of his denunciation than of an old wife's scolding. So we find him pronouncing a curse on all youths of both sexes, when he says: "Cursed is every one that raiseth not up a seed in Israel." (1) This is aimed directly at Jesus, who, according to you, was born among the Jews, and raised up no seed to continue his family. It points too at his disciples, some of whom he took from the wives they had married, and some who were unmarried he forbade to take wives. We have good reason, you see, for expressing our abhorrence of the daring style in which Moses hurls his maledictions against Christ, against light, against chastity, against everything divine. You cannot make much of the distinction between hanging on a tree and being crucified, as you often try to do by way of apology; for Paul repudiates such a distinction when he says, "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us; as it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree." (2)

2. Augustin replied: The pious Faustus is pained because Christ is cursed by Moses. His love for Christ makes him hate Moses. Before explaining the sacred import and the piety of the words, "Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree," I would ask these pious people why they are angry with Moses, since his curse does not affect their Christ. If Christ hung on the tree, He must have been fastened to it with nails, the marks of which He showed to His doubting disciple after His resurrection. Accordingly He must have had a vulnerable and mortal body, which the Manichæans deny. Call the wounds and the marks false, and it follows that His hanging on the tree was false. This Christ is not affected by the curse, and there is no occasion for this indignation against the person uttering the curse. If they pretend to be angry with Moses for cursing what they call the false death of Christ, what are we to think of themselves, who do not curse Christ, but, what is much worse, make Him a liar? If it is wrong to curse mortality, it is a much more heinous offense to sully the purity of truth. But let us make these heretical cavils an occasion for explaining this mystery to believers.

3. Death comes upon man as the punishment of sin, and so is itself called sin; not that a man sins in dying, but because sin is the cause of his death. So the word tongue, which properly means the fleshy substance between the teeth and the palate, is applied in a secondary sense to the result of the tongue's action. In this sense we speak of a Latin tongue and a Greek tongue. The word hand, too, means both the members of the body we use in working, and the writing which is done with the hand. In this sense we speak of writing as being proved to be the hand of a certain person, or of recognizing the hand of a friend. The writing is certainly not a member of the body, but the name hand is given to it because it is the hand that does it. So sin means both a bad action deserving punishment, and death the consequence of sin. Christ has no sin in the sense of deserving death, but He bore for our sakes sin in the sense of death as brought on human nature by sin. This is what hung on the tree; this is what was cursed by Moses. Thus was death condemned that its reign might cease, and cursed that it might be destroyed. By Christ's taking our sin in this sense, its condemnation is our deliverance, while to remain in subjection to sin is to be condemned.

4. What does Faustus find strange in the curse pronounced on sin, on death, and on human mortality, which Christ had on account of man's sin, though He Himself was sinless? Christ's body was derived from Adam, for His mother the Virgin Mary was a child of Adam. But God said in Paradise, "On the day that ye eat, ye shall surely die." This is the curse which hung on the tree. A man may deny that Christ was cursed who denies that He died. But the man who believes that Christ died, and acknowledges that death is the fruit of sin, and is itself called sin, will understand who it is that is cursed by Moses, when he hears the apostle saying "For our old man is crucified with Him." (3) The apostle boldly says of Christ, "He was made a curse for us;" for he could also venture to say, "He died for all." "He died," and "He was cursed," are the same. Death is the effect of the curse; and all sin is cursed, whether it means the action which merits punishment, or the punishment which follows. Christ, though guiltless, took our punishment, that He might cancel our guilt, and do away with our punishment.

5. These things are not my conjectures, but are affirmed constantly by the apostle, with an emphasis sufficient to rouse the careless and to silence the gainsayers. "God," he says, "sent His Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, that by sin He might condemn sin in the flesh." (4) Christ's flesh was not sinful, because it was not born of Mary by ordinary generation; but because death is the effect of sin, this flesh, in being mortal, had the likeness of sinful flesh. This is called sin in the following words, "that by sin He might condemn sin in the flesh." Again he says: "He hath made Him to be sin for us who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him." (1) Why should not Moses call accursed what Paul calls sin? In this prediction the prophet claims a share with the apostle in the reproach of the heretics. For whoever finds fault with the word cursed in the prophet, must find fault with the word sin in the apostle; for curse and sin go together.

6. If we read, "Cursed of God is every one that hangeth on a tree," the addition of the words "of God" creates no difficulty. For had not God hated sin and our death, He would not have sent His Son to bear and to abolish it. And there is nothing strange in God's cursing what He hates. For His readiness to give us the immortality which will be had at the coming of Christ, is in proportion to the compassion with which He hated our death when it hung on the cross at the death of Christ. And if Moses curses every one that hangeth on a tree, it is certainly not because he did not foresee that righteous men would be crucified, but rather because He foresaw that heretics would deny the death of the Lord to be real, and would try to disprove the application of this curse to Christ, in order that they might disprove the reality of His death. For if Christ's death was not real, nothing cursed hung on the cross when He was crucified, for the crucifixion cannot have been real. Moses cries from the distant past to these heretics: Your evasion in denying the reality of the death of Christ is useless. Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree; not this one or that, but absolutely every one. What! the Son of God? Yes, assuredly. This is the very thing you object to, and that you are so anxious to evade. You will not allow that He was cursed for us, because you will not allow that He died for us. Exemption from Adam's curse implies exemption from his death. But as Christ endured death as man, and for man; so also, Son of God as He was, ever living in His own righteousness, but dying for our offences, He submitted as man, and for man, to bear the curse which accompanies death. And as He died in the flesh which He took in bearing our punishment, so also, while ever blessed in His own righteousness, He was cursed for our offences, in the death which He suffered in bearing our punishment. And these words "every one" are intended to check the ignorant officiousness which would deny the reference of the curse to Christ, and so, because the curse goes along with death, would lead to the denial of the true death of Christ.

7. The believer in the true doctrine of the gospel will understand that Christ is not reproached by Moses when he speaks of Him as cursed, not in His divine majesty, but as hanging on the tree as our substitute, bearing our punishment, any more than He is praised by the Manichæans when they deny that He had a mortal body, so as to suffer real death. In the curse of the prophet there is praise of Christ's humility, while in the pretended regard of the heretics there is a charge of falsehood. If, then, you deny that Christ was cursed, you must deny that He died; and then you have to meet, not Moses, but the apostles. Confess that He died, and you may also confess that He, without taking our sin, took its punishment. Now the punishment of sin cannot be blessed, or else it would be a thing to be desired. The curse is pronounced by divine justice, and it will be well for us if we are redeemed from it. Confess then that Christ died, and you may confess that He bore the curse for us; and that when Moses said, "Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree," he said in fact, To hang on a tree is to be mortal, or actually to die. He might have said, "Cursed is every one that is mortal," or "Cursed is every one dying;" but the prophet knew that Christ would suffer on the cross, and that heretics would say that He hung on the tree only in appearance, without really dying. So he exclaims, Cursed; meaning that He really died. He knew that the death of sinful man, which Christ though sinless bore, came from that curse, "If ye touch it, ye shall surely die." Thus also, the serpent hung on the pole was intended to show that Christ did not feign death, but that the real death into which the serpent by his fatal counsel cast mankind was hung on the cross of Christ's passion. The Manichæans turn away from the view of this real death, and so they are not healed of the poison of the serpent, as we read that in the wilderness as many as looked were healed.

8. It is true, some ignorantly distinguish between hanging on a tree and being crucified. So some explain this passage as referring to Judas. But how do they know whether he hung himself from wood or from stone? Faustus is right in saying that the apostle obliges us to refer the words to Christ. Such ignorant Catholics are the prey of the Manichæans. Such they get hold of and entangle in their sophistry. Such were we when we fell into this heresy, and adhered to it. Such were we, when, not by our own strength, but by the mercy of God, we were rescued.

9. What attacks on divine things does Faustus speak of when he charges Moses with sparing nothing human or divine? He makes the charge without stopping to prove it. We know, on the contrary, that Moses gave due praise to everything really divine, and in human affairs was a just ruler, considering his times and the grace of his dispensation. It will be time to prove this when we see any proof of Faustus' charges. It may be clever to make such charges cautiously, but there is great incaution in the cleverness which ruins its possessor. It is good to be clever on the side of truth, but it is a poor thing to be clever in opposition to the truth. Faustus says that Moses spared nothing human or divine; not that he spared no god or man. If he said that Moses did not spare God, it could easily be shown in reply that Moses everywhere does honor to the true God, whom he declares to be the Maker of heaven and earth. Again, if he said that Moses spared none of the gods, he would betray himself to Christians as a worshipper of the false gods that Moses denounces; and so he would be prevented from gathering what he has not brought forth, by the brood taking refuge under the wings of the Mother Church. Faustus tries to ensnare the babes, by saying that Moses spared nothing divine, wishing not to frighten Christians with a profession of belief in the gods, which would be plainly opposed to Christianity, and at the same time appearing to take the side of the Pagans against us; for they know that Moses has said many plain and pointed things against the idols and gods of the heathen, which are devils.

10. If the Manichæans disapprove of Moses on this account, let them confess that they are worshippers of idols and devils. This, indeed, may be the case without their being aware of it. The apostle tells us that "in the last days some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and to doctrines of devils, speaking lies in hypocrisy." (1) Whence but from devils, who are fond of falsehood, could the idea have come that Christ's sufferings and death were unreal, and that the marks which He showed of His wounds were unreal? Are these not the doctrines of lying devils, which teach that Christ, the Truth itself, was a deceiver? Besides, the Manichæans openly teach the worship, if not of devils, still of created things, which the apostle condemns in the words, "They worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator." (2)

11. As there is an unconscious worship of idols and devils in the fanciful legends of the Manichæans, so they knowingly serve the creature in their worship of the sun and moon. And in what they call their service of the Creator they really serve their own fancy, and not the Creator at all. For they deny that God created those things which the apostle plainly declares to be the creatures of God, when he says of food, "Every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it is received with thanksgiving." (3) This is sound doctrine, which you cannot bear, and so turn to fables. The apostle praises the creature of God, but forbids the worship of it; and in the same way Moses gives due praise to the sun and moon, while at the same time he states the fact of their having been made by God, and placed by Him in their courses, --the sun to rule the day, and the moon to rule the night. Probably you think Moses spared nothing divine, simply because he forbade the worship of the sun and moon, whereas you turn towards them in all directions in your worship. But the sun and moon take no pleasure in your false praises. It is the devil, the transgressor, that delights in false praises. The powers of heaven, who have not fallen by sin, wish their Creator to be praised in them; and their true praise is that which does no wrong to their Creator. He is wronged when they are said to be His members, or parts of His substance. For He is perfect and independent, underived, not divided or scattered in space, but unchangeably self-existent, self-sufficient, and blessed in Himself. In the abundance of His goodness, He by His word spoke, and they were made: He commanded, and they were created. And if earthly bodies are good, of which the apostle spoke when he said that no food is unclean, because every creature of God is good, much more the heavenly bodies, of which the sun and moon are the chief; for the apostle says again, "The glory of the terrestrial is one, and the glory of the celestial is another." (4)

12. Moses, then, casts no reproach on the sun and moon when he prohibits their worship. He praises them as heavenly bodies; while he also praises God as the Creator of both heavenly and earthly, and will not allow of His being insulted by giving the worship due to Him to those who are praised only as dependent upon Him. Faustus prides himself on the ingenuity of his objection to the curse pronounced by Moses on the worship of the sun and moon. He says, "If under a heathen monarch I am forced to worship the sun, and if from fear of this curse I refuse, shall I incur this other curse by suffering the punishment of crucifixion?" No heathen monarch is forcing you to worship the sun: nor would the sun itself force you, if it were reigning on the earth, as neither does it now wish to be worshipped. As the Creator bears with blasphemers till the judgment, so these celestial bodies bear with their deluded worshippers till the judgment of the Creator. It should be observed that no Christian monarch could enforce the worship of the sun. Faustus instances a heathen monarch, for he knows that their worship of the sun is a heathen custom. Yet, in spite of this opposition to Christianity, the partridge takes the name of Christ, that it may gather what it has not brought forth. The answer to this objection is easy, and the force of truth will soon break the horns of this dilemma. Suppose, then, a Christian threatened by royal authority with being hung on a tree if he will not worship the sun. If I avoid, you say, the curse pronounced by the law on the worshipper of the sun, I incur the curse pronounced by the same law on him that hangs on a tree. So you will be in a difficulty; only that you worship the sun without being forced by anybody. But a true Christian, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, distinguishes the curses, and the reasons of them. He sees that one refers to the mortal body which is hung on the tree, and the other to the mind which worships the sun. For though the body. bows in worship,--which also is a heinous offence,--the belief or imagination of the object worshipped is an act of the mind. The death implied in both curses is in one case the death of the body, and in the other the death of the soul. It is better to have the curse in bodily death,--which will be removed in the resurrection,--than the curse in the death of the soul, condemning it along with the body to eternal fire. The Lord solves this difficulty in the words: "Fear not them that kill the body, but cannot kill the soul; but fear him who has power to cast both soul and body into hell-fire." (1) In other words, fear not the curse of bodily death, which in time is removed; but fear the curse of spiritual death, which leads to the eternal torment of both soul and body. Be assured, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree is no old wife's railing, but a prophetical utterance. Christ, by the curse, takes the curse away, as He takes away death by death, and sin by sin. In the words, "Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree," there is no more blasphemy than in the words of the apostle, "He died," or, "Our old man was crucified along with Him," (2) or, "By sin He condemned sin," (3) or, "He made Him to be sin for us who knew no sin," (4) and in many similar passages. Confess, then, that when you exclaim against the curse of Christ, you exclaim against His death. If this is not an old wife's railing on your part, it is devilish delusion, which makes you deny the death of Christ because your own souls are dead. You teach people that Christ's death was feigned, making Christ your leader in the falsehood with which you use the name of Christian to mislead men.

13. If Faustus thinks Moses an enemy of continence or virginity because he says, "Cursed is everyone that raiseth not up seed in Israel," let them hear the words of Isaiah: "Thus saith the Lord to all eunuchs; To them who keep my precepts, and choose the things that please me, and regard my covenant, will I give in my house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters; I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off." (5) Though our adversaries disagree with Moses. if they agree with Isaiah it is something gained. It is enough for us to know that the same God spoke by both Moses and Isaiah, and that every one is cursed who raiseth not up seed in Israel, both then when begetting children in marriage (for the continuation of the people was a civil duty), and now because no one spiritually born should rest content without seeking spiritual increase in the production of Christians by preaching Christ, each one according to his ability. So that the times of both Testaments are briefly described in the words, "Cursed is every one that raiseth not up seed in Israel.'' (6)

BOOK XV.

FAUSTUS REJECTS THE OLD TESTAMENT BECAUSE IT LEAVES NO ROOM FOR CHRIST. CHRIST THE ONE BRIDEGROOM SUFFICES FOR HIS BRIDE THE CHURCH. AUGUSTIN ANSWERS AS WELL AS HE CAN, AND REPROVES THE MANICHÆANS WITH PRESUMPTION IN CLAIMING TO BE THE BRIDE OF CHRIST.

1. FAUSTUS said: Why do we not receive the Old Testament? Because when a vessel is full, what is poured on it is not received, but allowed to run over; and a full stomach rejects what it cannot hold. So the Jews, satisfied with the Old Testament, reject the New; and we who have received the New Testament from Christ, reject the Old. You receive both because you are only half filled with each, and the one is not completed, but corrupted by the other. For vessels half filled should not be filled up with anything of a different nature from what they already contain. If it contains wine, it should be filled up with wine, honey with honey, vinegar with vinegar. For to pour gall on honey, or water on wine, or alkalies on vinegar, is not addition, but adulteration. This is why we do not receive the Old Testament. Our Church, the bride of Christ, the poor bride of a rich bridegroom, is content with the possession of her husband, and scorns the wealth of inferior lovers, and despises the gifts of the Old Testament and of its author, and from regard to her own character, receives only the letters of her husband. We leave the Old Testament to your Church, that, like a bride faithless to her spouse, delights in the letters and gifts of another. This lover who corrupts your chastity, the God of the Hebrews in his stone tablets promises you gold and silver, and abundance of food, and the land of Canaan. Such low rewards have tempted you to be unfaithful to Christ, after all the rich dowry bestowed by him. By such attractions the God of the Hebrews gains over the bride of Christ. You must know that you are cheated, and that these promises are false. This God is in poverty and beggary, and cannot do what he promises. For if he cannot give these things to the synagogue, his proper wife, who obeys him in all things like a servant, how can he bestow them on you who are strangers, and who proudly throw off his yoke from your necks? Go on, then, as you have begun, join the new cloth to the old garment, put the new wine in old bottles, serve two masters without pleasing either, make Christianity a monster, half horse and half man; but allow us to serve only Christ, content with his immortal dower, and imitating the apostle who says, "Our sufficiency is of God, who I has made us able ministers of the New Testament." (1) In the God of the Hebrews we have no interest whatever; for neither can he perform his promises, nor do we desire that he should. The liberality of Christ has made us indifferent to the flatteries of this stranger. This figure of the relation of the wife to her husband is sanctioned by Paul, who says: "The woman that has a husband is bound to her husband as long as he liveth; but if her husband die, she is freed from the law of her husband. So, then, if while her husband liveth she be joined to another man, she shall be called an adulteress; but if her husband be dead, she is not an adulteress, though she be married to another man." (2) Here he shows that there is a spiritual adultery in being united to Christ before repudiating the author of the law, and counting him, as it were, as dead. This applies chiefly to the Jews who believe in Christ, and who ought to forget their former superstition. We who have been converted to Christ front heathenism, look upon the God of the Hebrews not merely as dead, but as never having existed, and do not need to be told to forget him. A Jew, when he believes, should regard Adonai as dead; a Gentile should regard his idol as dead; and so with everything that has been held sacred before conversion. One who, after giving up idolatry, worships both the God of the Hebrews and Christ, is like an abandoned woman, who after the death of one husband marries two others.

2. Augustin replied: Let all who have given their hearts to Christ say whether they can listen patiently to these things, unless Christ Himself enable them. Faustus, full of the new honey, rejects the old vinegar; and Paul, full of the old vinegar, has poured out half that the new honey may be poured in, not lobe kept, but lobe corrupted. When the apostle calls himself a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, this is the new honey. But when he adds, "which He promised before by His prophets in the Holy Scriptures of His Son, who was made of the seed of David according to the flesh," (3) this is the old vinegar. Who could bear to hear this, unless the apostle himself consoled us by saying: "There must be heresies, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you?" (1) Why should we repeat what we said already? (2)--that the new cloth and the old garment, the new wine and the old bottles, mean not two Testaments, but two lives and two hopes,--that the relation of the two Testaments is figuratively described by the Lord when He says: "Therefore every scribe instructed in the kingdom of God is like an householder bringing out of his treasure things new and old." (3) The reader may remember this as said before, or he may find it on looking back. For if any one tries to serve God with two hopes, one of earthly felicity, and the other of the kingdom of heaven, the two hopes cannot agree; and when the latter is shaken by some affliction, the former will be lost too. Thus it is said, No man can serve two masters; which Christ explains thus: "Ye cannot serve God and Mammon." (4) But to those who rightly understand it, the Old Testament is a prophecy of the New. Even in that ancient people, the holy patriarchs and prophets, who understood the part they performed, or which they were instrumental in performing, had this hope of eternal life in the New Testament. They belonged to the New Testament, because they understood and loved it, though revealed only in figure. Those belonging to the Old Testament were the people who cared for nothing else but the temporal promises, without understanding them as significant of eternal things. But all this has already been more than enough insisted on.

3. It is amazingly bold in the impious and impure sect of the Manichæans to boast of being the chaste bride of Christ. All the effect of such a boast on the really chaste members of the holy Church is to remind them of the apostle's warning against deceivers: "I have joined you to one husband, to present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear lest, as the serpent deceived Eve by his guile, so your minds also should be corrupted from the purity which is in Christ." (5) What else do those preachers of another gospel than that which we have received try to do, but to corrupt us from the purity which we preserve for Christ, when they stigmatize the law of God as old, and praise their own falsehoods as new, as if all that is new must be good, and all that is old bad? The Apostle John, however, praises the old commandment, and the Apostle Paul bids us avoid novelties in doctrine. As an unworthy son and servant of the Catholic Church, the true bride of the true Christ, I too, as appointed to give out food to my fellow-servants, would speak to her a word of counsel. Continue ever to shun the profane errors of the Manichæans, which have been tried by the experience of thine own children, and condemned by their recovery. By that heresy I was once separated from thy fellowship, and after running into danger which ought to have been avoided, I escaped. Restored to thy service, my experience may perhaps be profitable to thee. Unless thy true and truthful Bridegroom, from whose side thou wert made, had obtained the remission of sins through His own real blood, the gulf of error would have swallowed me up; I should have become dust, and been devoured by the serpent. Be not misled by the name of truth. The truth is in thine own milk, and in thine own bread. They have the name only, and not the thing. Thy full-grown children, indeed, are secure; but I speak to thy babes, my brothers, and sons, and masters, whom thou, the virgin mother, fertile as pure, dost cherish into life under thine anxious wings, or dost nourish with the milk of infancy. I call upon these, thy tender offspring, not to be seduced by noisy vanities, but rather to pronounce accursed any one that preaches to them another gospel than that which they have received in thee. I call upon these not to leave the true and truthful Christ, in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge; not to forsake the abundance of His goodness which He has laid up for them that fear Him, and has wrought for them that trust in Him. (6) How can they expect to find truthful words in one who preaches an untruthful Christ? Scorn the reproaches cast on thee, for thou knowest well that the gift which thou desirest from thy Bridegroom is eternal life, for He Himself is eternal life.

4. It is a silly falsehood that thou hast been seduced to another God, who promises abundance of food and the land of Canaan. For thou canst perceive how the saints of old, who were also thy children, were enlightened by these figures which were prophecies of thee. Thou needest not regard the poor jest against the stone tablets, for the stony heart of which they were in old times a figure is not in thee. For thou art an epistle of the apostles, "written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not on tables of stone, but on the fleshy tables of the heart." (7) Our opponents ignorantly think that these words are in their favor, and that the apostle finds fault with the dispensation of the Old Testament, whereas they are the words of the prophet. This utterance of the apostles was a fulfillment of the long anterior utterances of the prophet whom the Manichæans reject, for they believe the apostles without understanding them. The prophet says: "I will take away from them the stony heart, and I will give them a heart of flesh." (1) What is this but "Not on tables of stones but on the fleshy tables of the heart"? For by the heart of flesh and the fleshy tables is not meant a carnal understanding: but as flesh feels, whereas a stone cannot, the insensibility of stone signifies an unintelligent heart, and the sensibility of flesh signifies an intelligent hurt. Instead, then, of scoffing at thee, they deserve to be ridiculed who say that earth, and wood, and stones have sense, and that their life is more intelligent than animal life. So, not to speak of the truth, even their own fiction obliges them to confess that the law written on tables of stone was purer than their sacred parchments. Or perhaps they prefer sheepskin to stone, because their legends make stones the bones of princes. In any case, the ark of the Old Testament was a cleaner covering for the tables of stone than the goatskin of their manuscripts. Laugh at these things, while pitying them, to show their falsehood and absurdity. With a heart no longer stony, thou canst see in these stone tablets a suitableness to that hard-hearted people; and at the same time thou canst find even there the stone, thy Bridegroom, described by Peter as "a living stone, rejected by men, but chosen of God, and precious." To them He was "a stone of stumbling and a rock of offence;" but to thee, "the stone which the builders rejected has become the head of the corner." (2) This is all explained by Peter, and is quoted from the prophets, with whom these heretics have nothing to do. Fear not, then, to read these tablets--they are from thy Husband; to others the stone was a sign of insensibility, but to thee of strength and stability. With the finger of God these tablets were written; with the finger of God thy Lord east out devils; with the finger of God drive thou away the doctrines of lying devils which sear the conscience. With these tablets thou canst confound the seducer who calls himself the Paraclete, that he may impose upon thee by a sacred name. For on the fiftieth day after the passover the tables were given; and on the fiftieth day after the passion of thy Bride-groom--of whom the passover was a type--the finger of God, the Holy Spirit, the promised Paraclete, was given. Fear not the tablets which convey to thee ancient writings now made plain. Only be not under the law, lest fear prevent thy fulfilling it; but be under grace, that love, which is the fulfilling of the law, may be in thee. For it was in a review of these very tablets that the friend of thy Bridegroom said: "For thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not murder, Thou shalt not covet, and if there be any other commandment, it is contained in this word, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law." (3) One table contains the precept of love to God, and the other of love to man. And He who first sent these tablets Himself came to enjoin those precepts on Which hang the law and the prophets. (4) In the first precept is the chastity of thy espousals; in the second is the unity of thy members. In the one thou art united to divinity; in the other thou dost gather a society. And these two precepts are identical with the ten, of which three relate to God, and seven to our neighbor. Such is the chaste tablet in which thy Lover and thy Beloved of old prefigured to thee the new song on a psaltery of ten strings; Himself to be extended on the cross for thee, that by sin He might condemn sin in the flesh, and that the righteouness of the law might be fulfilled in thee. Such is the conjugal tablet, which may well be hated by the unfaithful wife.

5. I turn now to thee, thou deluded and deluding congregation of Manichæus,--wedded to so many elements, or rather prostituted to so many devils, and impregnated with blasphemous falsehoods,--dost thou dare to slander as unchaste the marriage of the Catholic Church with thy Lord? Behold thy lovers, one balancing creation, and the other bearing it up like Atlas. For one, by thy account, holds the sources of the elements, and hangs the world in space; while the other keeps him up by kneeling down and carrying the weight on his shoulders. Where are those beings? And if they are so occupied, how can they come to visit thee, to spend an idle hour in getting their shoulders or their fingers relieved by thy soft, soothing touch? But thou art deceived by evil spirits which commit adultery with thee, that thou mayest conceive falsehoods and bring forth vanities. Well mayest thou reject the message of the true God, as opposed to thy parchments, where in the vain imaginations of a wanton mind thou hast gone after so many false gods. The fictions of the poets are more respectable than thine, in this at least, that they deceive no one; while the fables in thy books, by assuming an appearance of truth, mislead the childish, both young and old, and pervert their minds. As the apostle says, they have itching ears, and turn away from hearing the truth to listen to fables. (1) How shouldest thou bear the sound doctrine of these tables, where the first commandment is, "Hear, O Israel, the Lord thy God is one Lord," (2) when thy corrupt affections find shameful delight in so many false deities? Dost thou not remember thy love-song, where thou describest the chief ruler in perennial majesty, crowned with flowers, and of fiery countenance? To have even one such lover is shameful; for a chaste wife seeks not a husband crowned with flowers. And thou canst not say that this description or representation has a typical meaning, for thou art wont to praise Manichæus for nothing more than for speaking to thee the simple naked truth without the disguise of figures. So the God of thy song is a real king, bearing a sceptre and crowned with flowers. When he wears a crown of flowers, he ought to put aside his sceptre; for effeminacy and majesty are incongruous. And then he is not thy only lover; for the song goes on to tell of twelve seasons clothed in flowers, and filled with song, throwing their flowers at their father's face. These are twelve great gods of thine, three in each of the four regions surrounding the first deity. How this deity can be infinite, when he is thus circumscribed, no one can say. Besides, there are countless principalities, and hosts of gods, and troops of angels, which thou sayest were not created by God, but produced from His substance.

6. Thou art thus convicted of worshipping gods without number; for thou canst not bear the sound doctrine which teaches that there is one Son of one God, and one Spirit of both. And these, instead of being without number, are not three Gods; for not only is their substance one and the same, but their operation by means of this substance is also one and the same, while they have a separate manifestation in the material creation. These things thou dost not understand, and canst not receive. Thou art full, as thou sayest, for thou art steeped in blasphemous absurdities. Will thou continue burying thyself under such crudities? Sing on, then, and open thine eyes, if thou canst, to thine own shame. In this doctrine of lying devils thou art invited to fabulous dwellings of angels in a happy clime, and to fragrant fields where nectar flows for ever from trees and hills, in seas and rivers. These are the fictions of thy foolish heart, which revels in such idle fancies. Such expressions are sometimes used as figurative descriptions of the abundance of spiritual enjoyments; and they lead the mind of the student to inquire into their hidden meaning. Sometimes there is a material representation to the bodily senses, as the fire in the bush, the rod becoming a serpent, and the serpent a rod, the garment of the Lord not divided by His persecutors, the anointing of His feet or of His head by a devout woman, the branches of the multitude preceding and following Him when riding on the ass. Sometimes, either in sleep or in a trance, the spirit is informed by means of figures taken from material things, as Jacob's ladder, and the stone in Daniel cut out without hands and growing into a mountain, and Peter's vessel, and all that John saw. Sometimes the figures are only in the language; as in the Song of Songs, and in the parable of a householder making a marriage for his son, or that of the prodigal son, or that of the man who planted a vineyard and let it out to husbandmen. Thou boastest of Manichæus as having come last, not to use figures, but to explain them. His expositions throw light on ancient types, and leave no problem unsolved. This idea is supported by the assertion that the ancient types, in vision or in action or in words, had in view the coming of Manichæus, by whom they were all to be explained; while he, knowing that no one is to follow him, makes use of a style free from all figurative expressions. What, then, are those fields, and shady hills, and crowns of flowers, and fragrant odors, in which the desires of thy fleshly mind take pleasure? If they are not significant figures, they are either idle fancies or delirious dreams. If they are figures, away with the impostor who seduces thee with the promise of naked truth, and then mocks thee with idle tales. His ministers and his wretched deluded followers are wont to bait their hook with that saying of the apostle, "Now we see through a glass in a figure, but then face to face." (3) As if, forsooth, the Apostle Paul knew in part, and prophesied in part, and saw through a glass in a figure; whereas all this is removed at the coming of Manichæus, who brings that which is perfect, and reveals the truth face to face. O fallen and shameless! still to continue uttering such folly, still feeding on the wind, still embracing the idols of thine own heart. Hast thou, then, seen face to face the king with the sceptre, and the crown of flowers, and the hosts of gods, and the great world-holder with six faces and radiant with light, and that other exalted ruler surrounded with troops of angels, and the invincible warrior with a spear in his right hand and a shield in his left, and the famous sovereign who moves the three wheels of fire, water, and wind, and Atlas, chief of all, bearing the world on his shoulders, and supporting himself on his arms? These, and a thousand other marvels, hast thou seen face to face, or are thy songs doctrines learned from lying devils, though thou knowest it not? Alas! miserable prostitute to these dreams, such are the vanities which thou drinkest up instead of the truth; and, drunk with this deadly poison, thou darest with this jest of the tablets to affront the matronly purity of the spouse of the only Son of God; because no longer under the tutorship of the law, but under the control of grace, neither proud in activity nor crouching in fear, she lives by faith, and hope, and love, the Israel in whom there is no guile, who hears what is written: "The Lord thy God is one God." This thou hearest not, and art gone a whoring after a multitude of false gods.

7. Of necessity these tables are against thee, for the second commandment is, "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain;" whereas thou dost attribute the vanity of falsehood to Christ Himself, who, to remove the vanity of the fleshly mind, rose in a true body, visible to the bodily eye. So also the third commandment about the rest of the Sabbath is against thee, for thou art tossed about by a multitude of restless fancies. How these three commandments relate to the love of God, thou hast neither the power nor the will to understand. Shamefully headstrong and turbulent, thou hast reached the height of folly, vanity, and worthlessness; thy beauty is spoiled, and thine order perished. I know thee, for I was once the same. How shall I now teach thee that these three precepts relate to the love of God, of whom, and by whom, and in whom are all things? How canst thou understand this, when thy pernicious doctrines prevent thee from understanding and from obeying the seven precepts relating to the love of our neighbor, which is the bond of human society? The first of these precepts is, "Honor thy father and mother;" which Paul quotes as the first commandment with promise, and himself repeats the injunction. But thou art taught by thy doctrine of devils to regard thy parents as thine enemies, because their union brought thee into the bonds of flesh, and laid impure fetters even on thy god. The doctrine that the production of children is an evil, directly opposes the next precept, "Thou shall not commit adultery;" for those who believe this doctrine, in order that their wives may not conceive, are led to commit adultery even in marriage. They take wives, as the law declares, for the procreation of children; but from this erroneous fear of polluting the substance of the deity, their intercourse with their wives is not of a lawful character; and the production of children, which is the proper end of marriage, they seek to avoid. As the apostle long ago predicted of thee, thou dost indeed forbid to marry, for thou seekest to destroy the purpose of marriage. Thy doctrine turns marriage into an adulterous connection, and the bed-chamber into a brothel. This false doctrine leads in a similar way to the transgression of the commandment, "Thou shall not kill." For thou dost not give bread to the hungry, from fear of imprisoning in flesh the member of thy God. From fear of fan-tied murder, thou dost actually commit murder. For if thou wast to meet a beggar starving for want of food, by the law of God to refuse him food would be murder; while to give food would be murder by the law of Manichæus. Not one commandment in the decalogue dost thou observe. If thou wert to abstain from theft, thou wouldst be guilty of allowing bread or food, whatever it might be, to undergo the misery of being devoured by a man of no merit, instead of running off with it to the laboratory of the stomach of thine elect; and so by theft saving thy god from the imprisonment with which he is threatened, and also from that from which he already suffers. Then, if thou art caught in the theft, wilt thou not swear by this god that thou art not guilty? For what will he do to thee when thou sayest to him, I swore by thee falsely, but it was for thy benefit; a regard for thine honor would have been fatal to thee? So the precept, Thou shall not bear false witness, will be broken, not only in thy testimony, but in thine oath, for the sake of the liberation of the members of thy god. The commandment, "Thou shall not covet thy neighbor's wife," is the only one which thy false doctrine does not oblige thee to break. But if it is unlawful to covet our neighbor's wife, what must it be to excite covetousness in others? Remember thy beautiful gods and goddesses presenting themselves with the purpose of exciting desire in the male and female leaders of darkness, in order that the gratification of this passion might effect the liberation of this god, who is in confinement everywhere, and who requires the assistance of such self-degradation. The last commandment, "Thou shall not covet the possessions of thy neighbor," it is wholly impossible for thee to obey. Does not this god of thine delude thee with the promise of making new worlds in a region belonging to another, to be the scene of thine imaginary triumph after thine imaginary conquest? In the desire for the accomplishment of these wild fancies, while at the same time thou believest that this land of darkness is in the closest neighborhood with thine own substance, thou certainly covetest the possessions of thy neighbor. Well indeed mayest thou dislike the tables which contain such good precepts in opposition to thy false doctrine. The three relating to the love of God thou dost entirely set aside. The seven by which human society is preserved thou keepest only from a regard to the opinion of men, or from fear of human laws; or good customs make thee averse to some crimes; or thou art restrained by the natural principle of not doing to another what thou wouldst not have done to thyself. But whether thou doest what thou wouldst not have done to thyself, or refrainest from doing what thou wouldst not have done to thyself, thou seest the opposition of the heresy to the law, whether thou actest according to it or not.

8. The true bride of Christ, whom thou hast the audacity to taunt with the stone tablets, knows the difference between the letter and the spirit, or in other words, between law and grace; and serving God no longer in the oldness of the letter, but in newness of spirit, she is not under the law, but under grace. She is not blinded by a spirit of controversy, but learns meekly from the apostle what is this law which we are not to be under; for "it was given, "he says, "on account of transgression, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made." (1) And again: "It entered, that the offence might abound; but where sin abounded, grace has much more abounded." (2) Not that the law is sin, though it cannot give life without grace, but rather increases the guilt; for "where there is no law, there is no transgression." (3) The letter without the spirit, the law without grace, can only condemn. So the apostle explains his meaning, in case any should not understand: "What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. For I had not known sin but by the law. For I had not known lust unless the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. But sin, taking occasion by the command-merit, deceived me, and by it slew me. Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, wrought death in me by that which is good." (4) She at whom thou scoffest knows what this means; for she asks earnestly, and seeks humbly, and knocks meekly. She sees that no fault is found with the law, when it is said, "The letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life," any more than with knowledge, when it is said, "Knowledge puffeth up, but love edifieth." (5) The passage runs thus: "We know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but love edifieth." The apostle certainly had no desire to be puffed up; but he had knowledge, because knowledge joined with love not only does not puff up, but strengthens. So the letter when joined with the spirit, and the law when joined with grace, is no longer the letter and the law in the same sense as when by itself it kills by abounding sin. In this sense the law is even called the strength of sin, because its strict prohibitions increase the fatal pleasure of sin. Even thus, however, the law is not evil; but "sin. that it may appear sin, works death by that which is good." So things that are not evil may often be hurtful to certain people. The Manichæans, when they have sore eyes, will shut out their god the sun. The bride of Christ, then, is dead to the law, that is, to sin, which abounds more from the prohibition of the law; for the law apart from grace commands, but does not enable. Being dead to the law in this sense, that she may be married to another who rose from the dead, she makes this distinction without any reproach to the law, which would be blasphemy against its author. This is thy crime; for though the apostle tells thee that the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good, thou dost not acknowledge it as the production of a good being. Its author thou makest to be one of the princes of darkness. Here the truth confronts thee. They are the words of the Apostle Paul: "The law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good." Such is the law given by Him who appointed for a great symbolical use the tablets which thou foolishly deridest. The same law which was given by Moses becomes through Jesus Christ grace and truth; for the spirit is joined to the letter, that the righteousness of the law might begin to be fulfilled, which when unfulfilled only added the guilt of transgression. The law which is holy, and just, and good, is the same law by which sin works death, and to which we must die, that we may be married to another who rose from the dead. Hear what the apostle adds: "But sin, that it might appear sin, wrought death in me by that which is good, that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful." Deaf and blind, dost thou not now hear and see? "Sin wrought death in me," he says, "by that which is good." The law is always good': whether it hurts those who are destitute of grace, or benefits those who are filled with grace, itself is always good; as the sun is always good, for every creature of God is good, whether it hurts weak eyes or gladdens the sight of the healthy. Grace fits the mind for keeping the law, as health fits the eyes for seeing the sun. And as healthy eyes die not to the pleasure of seeing the sun, but to that painful effect of the rays which beat upon the eye so as to increase the darkness; so the mind, healed by the love of the spirit, dies not to the justice of the law, but to the guilt and transgression which followed on the law in the absence of grace. So it is said "The law is good, if used lawfully;" and immediately after of the same law, "Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man." The man who delights in righteousness itself, does not require the restraint of the letter.

9. The bride of Christ rejoices in the hope of full salvation, and desires for thee a happy conversion from fables to truth. She desires that the fear of Adoneus, as if he were a strange lover, may not prevent thy escape from the seductions of the wily serpent. Adonai is a Hebrew word, meaning Lord, as applied only to God. In the same way the Greek word latria means service, in the sense of the service of God; and Amen means true, in a special sacred sense. This is to be learned only from the Hebrew Scriptures, or from a translation. The Church of Christ understands and loves these names. without regarding the evils of those who scoff because they are ignorant. What she does not yet understand, she believes may be explained, as similar things have already been explained to her. If she is charged with loving Emmanuel, she laughs at the ignorance of the accuser, and holds fast by the truth of this name. If she is charged with loving Messiah, she scorns her powerless adversary, and clings to her anointed Master. Her prayer for thee is, that thou also mayest be cured of thy errors, and be built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets. The monstrosity with which thou ignorantly chargest the true doctrine, is really to be found in the world which, according to thy fanciful stories, is made partly of thy god and partly of the world of darkness. This world, half savage and half divine, is worse than monstrous. The view of such follies should make thee humble and penitent, and should lead thee to shun the serpent, who seduces thee into such errors. If thou dost not believe what Moses says of the guile of the serpent, thou mayest be warned by Paul, who, when speaking of presenting the Church as a chaste virgin to Christ, says, "I fear lest, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his craftiness, your minds also should be corrupted from the simplicity and purity which is in Christ." (1) In spite of this warning, thou hast been so misled, so infatuated by the serpent's fatal enchantments, that while he has persuaded other heretics to believe various falsehoods. he has persuaded thee to believe that he is Christ. Others, though fallen into the maze of manifold error, still admit the truth of the apostle's warning. But thou art so far gone in corruption, and so lost to shame, that thou holdest as Christ the very being by whom the apostle declares that Eve was beguiled, and against whom he thus seeks to put the virgin bride of Christ on her guard. Thy heart is darkened by the deceiver, who intoxicates thee with dreams of glittering groves. What are these promises but dreams? What reason is there to believe them true? O drunken, but not with wine!

10. Thou hast the impious audacity to accuse the God of the prophets of not fulfilling His promises even to His servants the Jews. Thou dost not mention, however, any promise that is unfulfilled; otherwise it might. be shown, either that the promise has been fulfilled, and so that thou dost not understand it, or that it is yet to be fulfilled, and so that thou dost not believe it. What promise has been fulfilled to thee, to make it probable that thou wilt obtain new worlds gained from the region of darkness? If there are prophets who predict the Manichæans with praise, and if it is said that the existence of the sect is a fulfillment of this prediction, it must first be proved that these predictions were not forged by Manichæus in order to gain followers. He does not consider falsehood sinful. If he declares in praise of Christ that He showed false marks of wounds in His body, he can have no scruple about showing false predictions in his sheepskin volumes. Assuredly there are predictions of the Manichæans, less clear in the prophets, and most explicit in the apostle. For example: "The Spirit," he says, "speaketh expressly, that in the last times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and to doctrines of devils, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their conscience seared, forbidding to marry, abstaining from meats, which God has created to be received with thanksgiving by believers, and those who know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving." (1) The fulfillment of this in the Manichæans is as clear as day to all that know them, and has already been proved as fully as time permits.

11. She whom the apostle warns against the guile of the serpent by which thou hast been corrupted, that he may present her as a chaste virgin to Christ, her only husband, acknowledges the God of the prophets as the true God, and her own God, So many of His promises have already been fulfilled to her, that she looks confidently for the fulfillment of the rest. Nor can any one say that these prophecies have been forged to suit the present time, for they are found in the books of the Jews. What could be more unlikely than that all nations should be blessed in Abraham's seed, as it was promised? And yet how plainly is this promise now fulfilled! The last promise is made in the following short prophecy: "Blessed are they that dwell in Thy house: they shall ever praise Thee." (2) When trial is past, and death, the last enemy, is destroyed, there will be rest in the constant occupation of praising God, where there shall be no arrivals and no departures. So the prophet says elsewhere: "Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem; celebrate thy God, o Zion: for He hath strengthened the bars of thy gates; He hath blessed thy children within thee." (3) The gates are shut, so that none can go in or out. The Bridegroom Himself says in the Gospel, that He will not open to the foolish virgins though they knock. This Jerusalem, the holy Church, the bride of Christ, is described fully in the Revelation of John. And that which commends the promises of future bliss to the belief of this chaste virgin is, that now she is in possession of what was foretold of her by the same prophets. For she is thus described: "Hearken, O daughter, and regard, and incline thine ear; forget also thine own people, and thy father's house. For the King hath greatly desired thy beauty; and He is thy God. The daughters of Tyre shall worship Him with gifts; the rich among the people shall entreat thy favor. The daughter of the King is all glorious within; her clothing is of wrought gold. The virgins following her shall be brought unto the King: her companions shall be brought unto thee; with gladness and rejoicing shall they be brought into the temple of the King. Instead of thy fathers, children shall be born to thee, whom thou shall make princes over all the earth. Thy name shall be remembered to all generations: therefore shall the people praise thee for ever and ever." (4) Unhappy victim of the serpent's guile, the inward beauty of the daughter of the King is not for thee even to think of. For this purity of mind is that which thou hast lost in opening thine eyes to love and worship the sun and moon. And so by the just judgment of God thou art estranged from the tree of life, which is eternal and internal wisdom; and with thee nothing is called or accounted truth or wisdom but that light which enters the eyes opened to evil, and which in thy impure mind expands and shapes itself into fanciful images. These are thy abominable whoredoms. Still the truth calls on thee to reflect and return. Return to me, and thou shall be cleansed and restored, if thy shame leads thee to repentance. Hear these words of the true Truth, who neither with feigned shapes fought against the race of darkness, nor with feigned blood redeemed thee.

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