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Title: The City of God, Volume II
Author: Augustine, Aurelius
Language: English
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Libraries)



                            TO SUBSCRIBERS.


    MESSRS. CLARK have much pleasure in publishing the first issue
           of Translations of the Writings of ST. AUGUSTINE:

                          THE 'CITY OF GOD,'

                            IN TWO VOLUMES.

They believe this will prove not the least valuable of their various
Series, and no pains will be spared to make it so. The Editor has
secured a most competent staff of Translators, and every care is
being taken to secure not only accuracy but elegance.

The Works of ST. AUGUSTINE to be included in the Series are (in
addition to the 'CITY OF GOD'):--

    All the TREATISES in the PELAGIAN, and the four leading TREATISES
        in the DONATIST CONTROVERSY.

    The TREATISES against FAUSTUS the Manichæan; on CHRISTIAN
        DOCTRINE; the TRINITY; the HARMONY OF THE EVANGELISTS; the
        SERMON ON THE MOUNT.

    Also, the LECTURES on the GOSPEL OF ST. JOHN, the CONFESSIONS,
        a SELECTION from the LETTERS, the RETRACTATIONS, the
        SOLILOQUIES, and SELECTIONS from the PRACTICAL TREATISES.

All these works are of first-rate importance, and only a small
proportion of them have yet appeared in an English dress. The SERMONS
and the COMMENTARIES ON THE PSALMS having been already given by
the Oxford Translators, it is not intended, at least in the first
instance, to publish them.

The Series will include a LIFE OF ST. AUGUSTINE, by ROBERT RAINY,
D.D., Professor of Church History, New College, Edinburgh.

The Series will probably extend to Sixteen or Eighteen Volumes. The
Publishers will be glad to receive the _Names_ of Subscribers as
early as possible.

SUBSCRIPTION: Four Volumes for a Guinea, _payable in advance_, as in
the case of the ANTE-NICENE SERIES (24s. when not paid in advance).

It is understood that Subscribers are bound to take at least the
books of the first two years. Each Volume will be sold separately at
(on an average) 10s. 6d. each volume.

The second issue will be ready in a few months, and will probably
comprise:--The Volume on the DONATIST CONTROVERSY, translated by the
Rev. J. R. KING, Vicar of St. Peter's in the East, Oxford; and the
First Volume of the TREATISES in the PELAGIAN CONTROVERSY, translated
by Rev. PETER HOLMES, D.D., Rural Dean, etc., Plymouth.

They trust the Subscribers to the ANTE-NICENE LIBRARY will continue
their Subscription to this Series, and they hope to be favoured with
an early remittance of the Subscription.



                               THE WORKS


                                  OF


                          AURELIUS AUGUSTINE,
                           BISHOP OF HIPPO.


                         _A NEW TRANSLATION._


                            =Edited by the=
                        REV. MARCUS DODS, M.A.


                               VOL. II.
                           THE CITY OF GOD,
                              VOLUME II.


                              EDINBURGH:
                   T. & T. CLARK, 38, GEORGE STREET.
                              MDCCCLXXI.



                      PRINTED BY MURRAY AND GIBB,
                                  FOR
                       T. & T. CLARK, EDINBURGH.

                LONDON,        HAMILTON, ADAMS, AND CO.
                DUBLIN,        JOHN ROBERTSON AND CO.
                NEW YORK,      C. SCRIBNER AND CO.



                                  THE


                             CITY OF GOD.



                          =Translated by the=

                        REV. MARCUS DODS, M.A.



                              VOLUME II.



                              EDINBURGH:

                   T. & T. CLARK, 38, GEORGE STREET.

                              MDCCCLXXI.



Of the following Work, Books IV. XVII. and XVIII. have been
translated by the Rev. GEORGE WILSON, Glenluce; Books V. VI. VII. and
VIII. by the Rev. J. J. SMITH.



                               CONTENTS.


                               BOOK XIV.

                                                                PAGE

  Of the punishment and results of man's first sin, and of the
      propagation of man without lust, 1

                               BOOK XV.

  The progress of the earthly and heavenly cities traced by the
      sacred history, 49

                               BOOK XVI.

  The history of the city of God from Noah to the time of the kings
      of Israel, 104

                              BOOK XVII.

  The history of the city of God from the times of the prophets to
      Christ, 165

                              BOOK XVIII.

  A parallel history of the earthly and heavenly cities from the
      time of Abraham to the end of the world, 217

                               BOOK XIX.

  A review of the philosophical opinions regarding the Supreme
      Good, and a comparison of these opinions with the Christian
      belief regarding happiness, 293

                               BOOK XX.

  Of the last judgment, and the declarations regarding it in the Old
      and New Testaments, 345

                               BOOK XXI.

  Of the eternal punishment of the wicked in hell, and of the
      various objections urged against it, 413

                              BOOK XXII.

  Of the eternal happiness of the saints, the resurrection of the
      body, and the miracles of the early Church, 472



                           THE CITY OF GOD.


                          BOOK FOURTEENTH.[1]

                               ARGUMENT.

  AUGUSTINE AGAIN TREATS OF THE SIN OF THE FIRST MAN, AND TEACHES
      THAT IT IS THE CAUSE OF THE CARNAL LIFE AND VICIOUS AFFECTIONS
      OF MAN. ESPECIALLY HE PROVES THAT THE SHAME WHICH ACCOMPANIES
      LUST IS THE JUST PUNISHMENT OF THAT DISOBEDIENCE, AND INQUIRES
      HOW MAN, IF HE HAD NOT SINNED, WOULD HAVE BEEN ABLE WITHOUT
      LUST TO PROPAGATE HIS KIND.


  1. _That the disobedience of the first man would have plunged all
      men into the endless misery of the second death, had not the
      grace of God rescued many._

We have already stated in the preceding books that God, desiring
not only that the human race might be able by their similarity of
nature to associate with one another, but also that they might be
bound together in harmony and peace by the ties of relationship, was
pleased to derive all men from one individual, and created man with
such a nature that the members of the race should not have died, had
not the two first (of whom the one was created out of nothing, and
the other out of him) merited this by their disobedience; for by them
so great a sin was committed, that by it the human nature was altered
for the worse, and was transmitted also to their posterity, liable
to sin and subject to death. And the kingdom of death so reigned
over men, that the deserved penalty of sin would have hurled all
headlong even into the second death, of which there is no end, had
not the undeserved grace of God saved some therefrom. And thus it
has come to pass, that though there are very many and great nations
all over the earth, whose rites and customs, speech, arms, and dress,
are distinguished by marked differences, yet there are no more than
two kinds of human society, which we may justly call two cities,
according to the language of our Scriptures. The one consists of
those who wish to live after the flesh, the other of those who wish
to live after the spirit; and when they severally achieve what they
wish, they live in peace, each after their kind.


  2. _Of carnal life, which is to be understood not only of living
      in bodily indulgence, but also of living in the vices of the
      inner man._

First, we must see what it is to live after the flesh, and what to live
after the spirit. For any one who either does not recollect, or does
not sufficiently weigh, the language of sacred Scripture, may, on first
hearing what we have said, suppose that the Epicurean philosophers
live after the flesh, because they place man's highest good in bodily
pleasure; and that those others do so who have been of opinion that in
some form or other bodily good is man's supreme good; and that the mass
of men do so who, without dogmatizing or philosophizing on the subject,
are so prone to lust that they cannot delight in any pleasure save
such as they receive from bodily sensations: and he may suppose that
the Stoics, who place the supreme good of men in the soul, live after
the spirit; for what is man's soul, if not spirit? But in the sense of
the divine Scripture both are proved to live after the flesh. For by
flesh it means not only the body of a terrestrial and mortal animal, as
when it says, "All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one kind
of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, another
of birds,"[2] but it uses this word in many other significations; and
among these various usages, a frequent one is to use flesh for man
himself, the nature of man taking the part for the whole, as in the
words, "By the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified;"[3]
for what does he mean here by "no flesh" but "no man?" And this,
indeed, he shortly after says more plainly: "No man shall be justified
by the law;"[4] and in the Epistle to the Galatians, "Knowing that a
man is not justified by the works of the law." And so we understand
the words, "And the Word was made flesh,"[5]--that is, man, which some
not accepting in its right sense, have supposed that Christ had not a
human soul.[6] For as the whole is used for the part in the words of
Mary Magdalene in the Gospel, "They have taken away my Lord, and I know
not where they have laid Him,"[7] by which she meant only the flesh
of Christ, which she supposed had been taken from the tomb where it
had been buried, so the part is used for the whole, flesh being named,
while man is referred to, as in the quotations above cited.

Since, then, Scripture uses the word flesh in many ways, which there
is not time to collect and investigate, if we are to ascertain what
it is to live after the flesh (which is certainly evil, though the
nature of flesh is not itself evil), we must carefully examine that
passage of the epistle which the Apostle Paul wrote to the Galatians,
in which he says, "Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which
are these: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife,
seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings,
and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told
you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit
the kingdom of God."[8] This whole passage of the apostolic epistle
being considered, so far as it bears on the matter in hand, will
be sufficient to answer the question, what it is to live after the
flesh. For among the works of the flesh which he said were manifest,
and which he cited for condemnation, we find not only those which
concern the pleasure of the flesh, as fornications, uncleanness,
lasciviousness, drunkenness, revellings, but also those which, though
they be remote from fleshly pleasure, reveal the vices of the soul.
For who does not see that idolatries, witchcrafts, hatreds, variance,
emulations, wrath, strife, heresies, envyings, are vices rather of
the soul than of the flesh? For it is quite possible for a man to
abstain from fleshly pleasures for the sake of idolatry or some
heretical error; and yet, even when he does so, he is proved by this
apostolic authority to be living after the flesh; and in abstaining
from fleshly pleasure, he is proved to be practising damnable works
of the flesh. Who that has enmity has it not in his soul? or who
would say to his enemy, or to the man he thinks his enemy, You have a
bad flesh towards me, and not rather, You have a bad spirit towards
me? In fine, if any one heard of what I may call "carnalities," he
would not fail to attribute them to the carnal part of man; so no
one doubts that "animosities" belong to the soul of man. Why then
does the doctor of the Gentiles in faith and verity call all these
and similar things works of the flesh, unless because, by that mode
of speech whereby the part is used for the whole, he means us to
understand by the word flesh the man himself?


  3. _That sin is caused not by the flesh, but by the soul, and
      that the corruption contracted from sin is not sin, but sin's
      punishment._

But if any one says that the flesh is the cause of all vices and
ill conduct, inasmuch as the soul lives wickedly only because it is
moved by the flesh, it is certain he has not carefully considered
the whole nature of man. For "the corruptible body, indeed, weigheth
down the soul."[9] Whence, too, the apostle, speaking of this
corruptible body, of which he had shortly before said, "though our
outward man perish,"[10] says, "We know that if our earthly house
of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an
house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we
groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which
is from heaven: if so be that being clothed we shall not be found
naked. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened:
not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality
might be swallowed up in life."[11] We are then burdened with this
corruptible body; but knowing that the cause of this burdensomeness
is not the nature and substance of the body, but its corruption, we
do not desire to be deprived of the body, but to be clothed with
its immortality. For then, also, there will be a body, but it shall
no longer be a burden, being no longer corruptible. At present,
then, "the corruptible body presseth down the soul, and the earthly
tabernacle weigheth down the mind that museth upon many things,"
nevertheless they are in error who suppose that all the evils of the
soul proceed from the body.

Virgil, indeed, seems to express the sentiments of Plato in the
beautiful lines, where he says,--

          "A fiery strength inspires their lives,
           An essence that from heaven derives,
           Though clogged in part by limbs of clay,
           And the dull 'vesture of decay;'"[12]

but though he goes on to mention the four most common mental
emotions,--desire, fear, joy, sorrow,--with the intention of showing
that the body is the origin of all sins and vices, saying,--

          "Hence wild desires and grovelling fears,
           And human laughter, human tears,
           Immured in dungeon-seeming night,
           They look abroad, yet see no light,"[13]

yet we believe quite otherwise. For the corruption of the body,
which weighs down the soul, is not the cause but the punishment of
the first sin; and it was not the corruptible flesh that made the
soul sinful, but the sinful soul that made the flesh corruptible.
And though from this corruption of the flesh there arise certain
incitements to vice, and indeed vicious desires, yet we must not
attribute to the flesh all the vices of a wicked life, in case we
thereby clear the devil of all these, for he has no flesh. For though
we cannot call the devil a fornicator or drunkard, or ascribe to
him any sensual indulgence (though he is the secret instigator and
prompter of those who sin in these ways), yet he is exceedingly
proud and envious. And this viciousness has so possessed him, that
on account of it he is reserved in chains of darkness to everlasting
punishment.[14] Now these vices, which have dominion over the devil,
the apostle attributes to the flesh, which certainly the devil has
not. For he says "hatred, variance, emulations, strife, envying" are
the works of the flesh; and of all these evils pride is the origin
and head, and it rules in the devil though he has no flesh. For
who shows more hatred to the saints? who is more at variance with
them? who more envious, bitter, and jealous? And since he exhibits
all these works, though he has no flesh, how are they works of the
flesh, unless because they are the works of man, who is, as I said,
spoken of under the name of flesh? For it is not by having flesh,
which the devil has not, but by living according to himself,--that
is, according to man,--that man became like the devil. For the devil
too, wished to live according to himself when he did not abide in the
truth; so that when he lied, this was not of God, but of himself, who
is not only a liar, but the father of lies, he being the first who
lied, and the originator of lying as of sin.


  4. _What it is to live according to man, and what to live according
                               to God._

When, therefore, man lives according to man, not according to God,
he is like the devil. Because not even an angel might live according
to an angel, but only according to God, if he was to abide in the
truth, and speak God's truth and not his own lie. And of man, too,
the same apostle says in another place, "If the truth of God hath
more abounded through my lie;"[15]--"my lie," he said, and "God's
truth." When, then, a man lives according to the truth, he lives
not according to himself, but according to God; for He was God who
said, "I am the truth."[16] When, therefore, man lives according to
himself,--that is, according to man, not according to God,--assuredly
he lives according to a lie; not that man himself is a lie, for
God is his author and creator, who is certainly not the author and
creator of a lie, but because man was made upright, that he might not
live according to himself, but according to Him that made him,--in
other words, that he might do His will and not his own; and not to
live as he was made to live, that is a lie. For he certainly desires
to be blessed even by not living so that he may be blessed. And what
is a lie if this desire be not? Wherefore it is not without meaning
said that all sin is a lie. For no sin is committed save by that
desire or will by which we desire that it be well with us, and shrink
from it being ill with us. That, therefore, is a lie which we do in
order that it may be well with us, but which makes us more miserable
than we were. And why is this, but because the source of man's
happiness lies only in God, whom he abandons when he sins, and not in
himself, by living according to whom he sins?

In enunciating this proposition of ours, then, that because some live
according to the flesh and others according to the spirit there have
arisen two diverse and conflicting cities, we might equally well
have said, "because some live according to man, others according to
God." For Paul says very plainly to the Corinthians, "For whereas
there is among you envying and strife, are ye not carnal, and walk
according to man?"[17] So that to walk according to man and to be
carnal are the same; for by _flesh_, that is, by a part of man, man
is meant. For before he said that those same persons were animal whom
afterwards he calls carnal, saying, "For what man knoweth the things
of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things
of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received
not the spirit of this world, but the Spirit which is of God; that
we might know the things which are freely given to us of God. Which
things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth,
but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with
spiritual. But the animal man perceiveth not the things of the Spirit
of God; for they are foolishness unto him."[18] It is to men of this
kind, then, that is, to animal men, he shortly after says, "And I,
brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto
carnal."[19] And this is to be interpreted by the same usage, a part
being taken for the whole. For both the soul and the flesh, the
component parts of man, can be used to signify the whole man; and so
the animal man and the carnal man are not two different things, but
one and the same thing, viz. man living according to man. In the same
way it is nothing else than men that are meant either in the words,
"By the deeds of the law there shall no _flesh_ be justified;"[20]
or in the words, "Seventy-five _souls_ went down into Egypt with
Jacob."[21] In the one passage, "no flesh" signifies "no man;" and
in the other, by "seventy-five souls" seventy-five men are meant.
And the expression, "not in words which man's wisdom teacheth," might
equally be "not in words which fleshly wisdom teacheth;" and the
expression, "ye walk according to man," might be "according to the
flesh." And this is still more apparent in the words which followed:
"For while one saith, I am of Paul, and another, I am of Apollos,
are ye not men?" The same thing which he had before expressed by "ye
are animal," "ye are carnal," he now expresses by "ye are men;" that
is, ye live according to man, not according to God, for if you lived
according to Him, you should be gods.


  5. _That the opinion of the Platonists regarding the nature of
      body and soul is not so censurable as that of the Manichæans,
      but that even it is objectionable, because it ascribes the
      origin of vices to the nature of the flesh._

There is no need, therefore, that in our sins and vices we accuse
the nature of the flesh to the injury of the Creator, for in its own
kind and degree the flesh is good; but to desert the Creator good,
and live according to the created good, is not good, whether a man
choose to live according to the flesh, or according to the soul,
or according to the whole human nature, which is composed of flesh
and soul, and which is therefore spoken of either by the name flesh
alone, or by the name soul alone. For he who extols the nature of
the soul as the chief good, and condemns the nature of the flesh as
if it were evil, assuredly is fleshly both in his love of the soul
and hatred of the flesh; for these his feelings arise from human
fancy, not from divine truth. The Platonists, indeed, are not so
foolish as, with the Manichæans, to detest our present bodies as an
evil nature;[22] for they attribute all the elements of which this
visible and tangible world is compacted, with all their qualities,
to God their Creator. Nevertheless, from the death-infected members
and earthly construction of the body they believe the soul is
so affected, that there are thus originated in it the diseases
of desires, and fears, and joy, and sorrow, under which four
perturbations, as Cicero[23] calls them, or passions, as most prefer
to name them with the Greeks, is included the whole viciousness of
human life. But if this be so, how is it that Æneas in Virgil, when
he had heard from his father in Hades that the souls should return
to bodies, expresses surprise at this declaration, and exclaims:

          "O father! and can thought conceive
           That happy souls this realm would leave,
                      And seek the upper sky,
           With sluggish clay to reunite?
           This direful longing for the light,
                      Whence comes it, say, and why?"[24]

This direful longing, then, does it still exist even in that boasted
purity of the disembodied spirits, and does it still proceed from the
death-infected members and earthly limbs? Does he not assert that,
when they begin to long to return to the body, they have already been
delivered from all these so-called pestilences of the body? From
which we gather that, were this endlessly alternating purification
and defilement of departing and returning souls as true as it is most
certainly false, yet it could not be averred that all culpable and
vicious motions of the soul originate in the earthly body; for, on
their own showing, "this direful longing," to use the words of their
noble exponent, is so extraneous to the body, that it moves the soul
that is purged of all bodily taint, and is existing apart from any
body whatever, and moves it, moreover, to be embodied again. So that
even they themselves acknowledge that the soul is not only moved to
desire, fear, joy, sorrow, by the flesh, but that it can also be
agitated with these emotions at its own instance.


   6. _Of the character of the human will which makes the affections
                     of the soul right or wrong._

But the character of the human will is of moment; because, if it is
wrong, these motions of the soul will be wrong, but if it is right,
they will be not merely blameless, but even praiseworthy. For the
will is in them all; yea, none of them is anything else than will.
For what are desire and joy but a volition of consent to the things
we wish? And what are fear and sadness but a volition of aversion
from the things which we do not wish? But when consent takes the form
of seeking to possess the things we wish, this is called desire; and
when consent takes the form of enjoying the things we wish, this
is called joy. In like manner, when we turn with aversion from that
which we do not wish to happen, this volition is termed fear; and
when we turn away from that which has happened against our will, this
act of will is called sorrow. And generally in respect of all that
we seek or shun, as a man's will is attracted or repelled, so it is
changed and turned into these different affections. Wherefore the
man who lives according to God, and not according to man, ought to
be a lover of good, and therefore a hater of evil. And since no one
is evil by nature, but whoever is evil is evil by vice, he who lives
according to God ought to cherish towards evil men a perfect hatred,
so that he shall neither hate the man because of his vice, nor love
the vice because of the man, but hate the vice and love the man. For
the vice being cursed, all that ought to be loved, and nothing that
ought to be hated, will remain.


   7. _That the words love and regard_ (amor _and_ dilectio) _are in
       Scripture used indifferently of good and evil affection._

He who resolves to love God, and to love his neighbour as himself, not
according to man but according to God, is on account of this love said
to be of a good will; and this is in Scripture more commonly called
charity, but it is also, even in the same books, called love. For the
apostle says that the man to be elected as a ruler of the people must
be a lover of good.[25] And when the Lord Himself had asked Peter,
"Hast thou a regard for me (_diligis_) more than these?" Peter replied,
"Lord, Thou knowest that I love (_amo_) Thee." And again a second time
the Lord asked not whether Peter loved (_amaret_) Him, but whether he
had a regard (_diligeret_) for Him, and he again answered, "Lord, Thou
knowest that I love (_amo_) Thee." But on the third interrogation the
Lord Himself no longer says, "Hast thou a regard (_diligis_) for me,"
but "Lovest thou (_amas_) me?" And then the evangelist adds, "Peter was
grieved because He said unto him the third time, Lovest thou (_amas_)
me?" though the Lord had not said three times but only once, "Lovest
thou (_amas_) me?" and twice "_Diligis me?_" from which we gather
that, even when the Lord said "_diligis_," He used an equivalent for
"_amas_." Peter, too, throughout used one word for the one thing,
and the third time also replied, "Lord, Thou knowest all things, Thou
knowest that I love (_amo_) Thee."[26]

I have judged it right to mention this, because some are of opinion
that charity or regard (_dilectio_) is one thing, love (_amor_)
another. They say that _dilectio_ is used of a good affection, _amor_
of an evil love. But it is very certain that even secular literature
knows no such distinction. However, it is for the philosophers to
determine whether and how they differ, though their own writings
sufficiently testify that they make great account of love (_amor_)
placed on good objects, and even on God Himself. But we wished to
show that the Scriptures of our religion, whose authority we prefer
to all writings whatsoever, make no distinction between _amor_,
_dilectio_, and _caritas_; and we have already shown that _amor_
is used in a good connection. And if any one fancy that _amor_ is
no doubt used both of good and bad loves, but that _dilectio_ is
reserved for the good only, let him remember what the psalm says, "He
that loveth (_diligit_) iniquity hateth his own soul;"[27] and the
words of the Apostle John, "If any man love (_diligere_) the world,
the love (_dilectio_) of the Father is not in him."[28] Here you have
in one passage _dilectio_ used both in a good and a bad sense. And
if any one demands an instance of _amor_ being used in a bad sense
(for we have already shown its use in a good sense), let him read
the words, "For men shall be lovers (_amantes_) of their own selves,
lovers (_amatores_) of money."[29]

The right will is, therefore, well-directed love, and the wrong will
is ill-directed love. Love, then, yearning to have what is loved,
is desire; and having and enjoying it, is joy; fleeing what is
opposed to it, it is fear; and feeling what is opposed to it, when
it has befallen it, it is sadness. Now these motions are evil if
the love is evil; good if the love is good. What we assert let us
prove from Scripture. The apostle "desires to depart, and to be with
Christ."[30] And, "My soul desired to long for Thy judgments;"[31]
or if it is more appropriate to say, "My soul longed to desire Thy
judgments." And, "The desire of wisdom bringeth to a kingdom."[32]
Yet there has always obtained the usage of understanding desire
and concupiscence in a bad sense if the object be not defined. But
joy is used in a good sense: "Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice,
ye righteous."[33] And, "Thou hast put gladness in my heart."[34]
And, "Thou wilt fill me with joy with Thy countenance."[35] Fear is
used in a good sense by the apostle when he says, "Work out your
salvation with fear and trembling."[36] And, "Be not high-minded, but
fear."[37] And, "I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled
Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from
the simplicity that is in Christ."[38] But with respect to sadness,
which Cicero prefers to call sickness (_ægritudo_), and Virgil pain
(_dolor_) (as he says, "_Dolent gaudentque_"[39]), but which I prefer
to call sorrow, because sickness and pain are more commonly used to
express bodily suffering,--with respect to this emotion, I say, the
question whether it can be used in a good sense is more difficult.


  8. _Of the three perturbations, which the Stoics admitted in the
      soul of the wise man to the exclusion of grief or sadness,
      which the manly mind ought not to experience._

Those emotions which the Greeks call εὐπαθείαι, and which Cicero
calls _constantiæ_, the Stoics would restrict to three; and,
instead of three "perturbations" in the soul of the wise man, they
substituted severally, in place of desire, will; in place of joy,
contentment; and for fear, caution; and as to sickness or pain,
which we, to avoid ambiguity, preferred to call sorrow, they denied
that it could exist in the mind of a wise man. Will, they say, seeks
the good, for this the wise man does. Contentment has its object in
good that is possessed, and this the wise man continually possesses.
Caution avoids evil, and this the wise man ought to avoid. But sorrow
arises from evil that has already happened; and as they suppose that
no evil can happen to the wise man, there can be no representative of
sorrow in his mind. According to them, therefore, none but the wise
man wills, is contented, uses caution; and that the fool can do no
more than desire, rejoice, fear, be sad. The former three affections
Cicero calls _constantiæ_, the last four _perturbationes_. Many,
however, call these last _passions_; and, as I have said, the Greeks
call the former εὐπαθείαι, and the latter πάθη. And when I made a
careful examination of Scripture to find whether this terminology was
sanctioned by it, I came upon this saying of the prophet: "There is
no contentment to the wicked, saith the Lord;"[40] as if the wicked
might more properly rejoice than be contented regarding evils, for
contentment is the property of the good and godly. I found also
that verse in the Gospel: "Whatsoever ye would that men should do
unto you, do ye even so unto them;"[41] which seems to imply that
evil or shameful things may be the object of desire, but not of
will. Indeed, some interpreters have added "good things" to make the
expression more in conformity with customary usage, and have given
this meaning, "Whatsoever good deeds that ye would that men should
do unto you." For they thought that this would prevent any one from
wishing other men to provide him with unseemly, not to say shameful,
gratifications,--luxurious banquets, for example,--on the supposition
that if he returned the like to them he would be fulfilling this
precept. In the Greek Gospel, however, from which the Latin is
translated, "good" does not occur, but only, "All things whatsoever
ye would that men should do unto you, do ye even so unto them," and,
as I believe, because "good" is already included in the word "would;"
for He does not say "desire."

Yet though we may sometimes avail ourselves of these precise
proprieties of language, we are not to be always bridled by them; and
when we read those writers against whose authority it is unlawful
to reclaim, we must accept the meanings above mentioned in passages
where a right sense can be educed by no other interpretation, as in
those instances we adduced partly from the prophet, partly from the
Gospel. For who does not know that the wicked exult with joy? Yet
"there is no _contentment_ for the wicked, saith the Lord." And how
so, unless because contentment, when the word is used in its proper
and distinctive significance, means something different from joy? In
like manner, who would deny that it were wrong to enjoin upon men
that whatever they desire others to do to them they should themselves
do to others, lest they should mutually please one another by shameful
and illicit pleasure? And yet the precept, "Whatsoever ye _would_ that
men should do unto you, do ye even so to them," is very wholesome
and just. And how is this, unless because the will is in this place
used strictly, and signifies that will which cannot have evil for its
object? But ordinary phraseology would not have allowed the saying,
"Be unwilling to make any manner of lie,"[42] had there not been also
an evil will, whose wickedness separates it from that which the angels
celebrated, "Peace on earth, of good will to men."[43] For "good" is
superfluous if there is no other kind of will but good will. And why
should the apostle have mentioned it among the praises of charity as
a great thing, that "it rejoices not in iniquity," unless because
wickedness does so rejoice? For even with secular writers these words
are used indifferently. For Cicero, that most fertile of orators, says,
"I desire, conscript fathers, to be merciful."[44] And who would be
so pedantic as to say that he should have said "I will" rather than
"I desire," because the word is used in a good connection? Again,
in Terence, the profligate youth, burning with wild lust, says, "I
will nothing else than Philumena."[45] That this "will" was lust is
sufficiently indicated by the answer of his old servant which is there
introduced: "How much better were it to try and banish that love from
your heart, than to speak so as uselessly to inflame your passion still
more!" And that contentment was used by secular writers in a bad sense,
that verse of Virgil testifies, in which he most succinctly comprehends
these four perturbations,--

          "Hence they fear and desire, grieve and are content."[46]

The same author had also used the expression, "the evil contentments
of the mind."[47] So that good and bad men alike will, are cautious,
and contented; or, to say the same thing in other words, good and bad
men alike desire, fear, rejoice, but the former in a good, the latter
in a bad fashion, according as the will is right or wrong. Sorrow
itself, too, which the Stoics would not allow to be represented in
the mind of the wise man, is used in a good sense, and especially in
our writings. For the apostle praises the Corinthians because they
had a godly sorrow. But possibly some one may say that the apostle
congratulated them because they were penitently sorry, and that such
sorrow can exist only in those who have sinned. For these are his
words: "For I perceive that the same epistle hath made you sorry,
though it were but for a season. Now I rejoice, not that ye were made
sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance; for ye were made sorry
after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing.
For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented
of, but the sorrow of the world worketh death. For, behold, this
selfsame thing that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness
it wrought in you!"[48] Consequently the Stoics may defend themselves
by replying,[49] that sorrow is indeed useful for repentance of sin,
but that this can have no place in the mind of the wise man, inasmuch
as no sin attaches to him of which he could sorrowfully repent,
nor any other evil the endurance or experience of which could make
him sorrowful. For they say that Alcibiades (if my memory does not
deceive me), who believed himself happy, shed tears when Socrates
argued with him, and demonstrated that he was miserable because he
was foolish. In his case, therefore, folly was the cause of this
useful and desirable sorrow, wherewith a man mourns that he is what
he ought not to be. But the Stoics maintain not that the fool, but
that the wise man, cannot be sorrowful.


      9. _Of the perturbations of the soul which appear as right
               affections in the life of the righteous._

But so far as regards this question of mental perturbations, we have
answered these philosophers in the ninth book[50] of this work,
showing that it is rather a verbal than a real dispute, and that they
seek contention rather than truth. Among ourselves, according to the
sacred Scriptures and sound doctrine, the citizens of the holy city of
God, who live according to God in the pilgrimage of this life, both
fear and desire, and grieve and rejoice. And because their love is
rightly placed, all these affections of theirs are right. They fear
eternal punishment, they desire eternal life; they grieve because
they themselves groan within themselves, waiting for the adoption,
the redemption of their body;[51] they rejoice in hope, because
there "shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death
is swallowed up in victory."[52] In like manner they fear to sin,
they desire to persevere; they grieve in sin, they rejoice in good
works. They fear to sin, because they hear that "because iniquity
shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold."[53] They desire to
persevere, because they hear that it is written, "He that endureth to
the end shall be saved."[54] They grieve for sin, hearing that "If we
say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in
us."[55] They rejoice in good works, because they hear that "the Lord
loveth a cheerful giver."[56] In like manner, according as they are
strong or weak, they fear or desire to be tempted, grieve or rejoice in
temptation. They fear to be tempted, because they hear the injunction,
"If a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual restore such
an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also
be tempted."[57] They desire to be tempted, because they hear one of
the heroes of the city of God saying, "Examine me, O Lord, and tempt
me: try my reins and my heart."[58] They grieve in temptations, because
they see Peter weeping;[59] they rejoice in temptations, because they
hear James saying, "My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into
divers temptations."[60]

And not only on their own account do they experience these emotions,
but also on account of those whose deliverance they desire and whose
perdition they fear, and whose loss or salvation affects them with
grief or with joy. For if we who have come into the Church from among
the Gentiles may suitably instance that noble and mighty hero who
glories in his infirmities, the teacher (_doctor_) of the nations in
faith and truth, who also laboured more than all his fellow-apostles,
and instructed the tribes of God's people by his epistles, which
edified not only those of his own time, but all those who were to be
gathered in,--that hero, I say, and athlete of Christ, instructed
by Him, anointed of His Spirit, crucified with Him, glorious in
Him, lawfully maintaining a great conflict on the theatre of this
world, and being made a spectacle to angels and men,[61] and pressing
onwards for the prize of his high calling,[62]--very joyfully do we
with the eyes of faith behold him rejoicing with them that rejoice,
and weeping with them that weep;[63] though hampered by fightings
without and fears within;[64] desiring to depart and to be with
Christ;[65] longing to see the Romans, that he might have some fruit
among them as among other Gentiles;[66] being jealous over the
Corinthians, and fearing in that jealousy lest their minds should
be corrupted from the chastity that is in Christ;[67] having great
heaviness and continual sorrow of heart for the Israelites,[68]
because they, being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about
to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves
unto the righteousness of God;[69] and expressing not only his
sorrow, but bitter lamentation over some who had formally sinned and
had not repented of their uncleanness and fornications.[70]

If these emotions and affections, arising as they do from the love
of what is good and from a holy charity, are to be called vices,
then let us allow these emotions which are truly vices to pass under
the name of virtues. But since these affections, when they are
exercised in a becoming way, follow the guidance of right reason,
who will dare to say that they are diseases or vicious passions?
Wherefore even the Lord Himself, when He condescended to lead a
human life in the form of a slave, had no sin whatever, and yet
exercised these emotions where He judged they should be exercised.
For as there was in Him a true human body and a true human soul, so
was there also a true human emotion. When, therefore, we read in the
Gospel that the hard-heartedness of the Jews moved Him to sorrowful
indignation,[71] that He said, "I am glad for your sakes, to the
intent ye may believe,"[72] that when about to raise Lazarus He
even shed tears,[73] that He earnestly desired to eat the passover
with His disciples,[74] that as His passion drew near His soul was
sorrowful,[75] these emotions are certainly not falsely ascribed
to Him. But as He became man when it pleased Him, so, in the grace
of His definite purpose, when it pleased Him He experienced those
emotions in His human soul.

But we must further make the admission, that even when these affections
are well regulated, and according to God's will, they are peculiar
to this life, not to that future life we look for, and that often we
yield to them against our will. And thus sometimes we weep in spite
of ourselves, being carried beyond ourselves, not indeed by culpable
desire, but by praiseworthy charity. In us, therefore, these affections
arise from human infirmity; but it was not so with the Lord Jesus, for
even His infirmity was the consequence of His power. But so long as we
wear the infirmity of this life, we are rather worse men than better if
we have none of these emotions at all. For the apostle vituperated and
abominated some who, as he said, were "without natural affection."[76]
The sacred Psalmist also found fault with those of whom he said, "I
looked for some to lament with me, and there was none."[77] For to
be quite free from pain while we are in this place of misery is only
purchased, as one of this world's literati perceived and remarked,[78]
at the price of blunted sensibilities both of mind and body. And
therefore that which the Greeks call ἀπάθεια, and what the Latins would
call, if their language would allow them, "impassibilitas," if it be
taken to mean an impassibility of spirit and not of body, or, in other
words, a freedom from those emotions which are contrary to reason
and disturb the mind, then it is obviously a good and most desirable
quality, but it is not one which is attainable in this life. For the
words of the apostle are the confession, not of the common herd, but
of the eminently pious, just, and holy men: "If we say we have no sin,
we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us."[79] When there
shall be no sin in a man, then there shall be this ἀπάθεια. At present
it is enough if we live without crime; and he who thinks he lives
without sin puts aside not sin, but pardon. And if that is to be called
apathy, where the mind is the subject of no emotion, then who would not
consider this insensibility to be worse than all vices? It may, indeed,
reasonably be maintained that the perfect blessedness we hope for shall
be free from all sting of fear or sadness; but who that is not quite
lost to truth would say that neither love nor joy shall be experienced
there? But if by apathy a condition be meant in which no fear terrifies
nor any pain annoys, we must in this life renounce such a state if we
would live according to God's will, but may hope to enjoy it in that
blessedness which is promised as our eternal condition.

For that fear of which the Apostle John says, "There is no fear in
love; but perfect love casteth out fear, because fear hath torment.
He that feareth is not made perfect in love,"[80]--that fear is not
of the same kind as the Apostle Paul felt lest the Corinthians should
be seduced by the subtlety of the serpent; for love is susceptible
of this fear, yea, love alone is capable of it. But the fear which
is not in love is of that kind of which Paul himself says, "For ye
have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear."[81] But as
for that "clean fear which endureth for ever,"[82] if it is to exist
in the world to come (and how else can it be said to endure for
ever?), it is not a fear deterring us from evil which may happen,
but preserving us in the good which cannot be lost. For where the
love of acquired good is unchangeable, there certainly the fear
that avoids evil is, if I may say so, free from anxiety. For under
the name of "clean fear" David signifies that will by which we
shall necessarily shrink from sin, and guard against it, not with
the anxiety of weakness, which fears that we may strongly sin, but
with the tranquillity of perfect love. Or if no kind of fear at all
shall exist in that most imperturbable security of perpetual and
blissful delights, then the expression, "The fear of the Lord is
clean, enduring for ever," must be taken in the same sense as that
other, "The patience of the poor shall not perish for ever."[83] For
patience, which is necessary only where ills are to be borne, shall
not be eternal, but that which patience leads us to will be eternal.
So perhaps this "clean fear" is said to endure for ever, because that
to which fear leads shall endure.

And since this is so,--since we must live a good life in order to
attain to a blessed life,--a good life has all these affections
right, a bad life has them wrong. But in the blessed life eternal
there will be love and joy, not only right, but also assured; but
fear and grief there will be none. Whence it already appears in some
sort what manner of persons the citizens of the city of God must be
in this their pilgrimage, who live after the spirit, not after the
flesh,--that is to say, according to God, not according to man,--and
what manner of persons they shall be also in that immortality whither
they are journeying. And the city or society of the wicked, who
live not according to God, but according to man, and who accept the
doctrines of men or devils in the worship of a false and contempt
of the true divinity, is shaken with those wicked emotions as by
diseases and disturbances. And if there be some of its citizens who
seem to restrain and, as it were, temper those passions, they are
so elated with ungodly pride, that their disease is as much greater
as their pain is less. And if some, with a vanity monstrous in
proportion to its rarity, have become enamoured of themselves because
they can be stimulated and excited by no emotion, moved or bent by
no affection, such persons rather lose all humanity than obtain true
tranquillity. For a thing is not necessarily right because it is
inflexible, nor healthy because it is insensible.


      10. _Whether it is to be believed that our first parents in
    Paradise, before they sinned, were free from all perturbation._

But it is a fair question, whether our first parent or first parents
(for there was a marriage of two), before they sinned, experienced
in their animal body such emotions as we shall not experience in
the spiritual body when sin has been purged and finally abolished.
For if they did, then how were they blessed in that boasted place
of bliss, Paradise? For who that is affected by fear or grief can
be called absolutely blessed? And what could those persons fear
or suffer in such affluence of blessings, where neither death nor
ill-health was feared, and where nothing was wanting which a good
will could desire, and nothing present which could interrupt man's
mental or bodily enjoyment? Their love to God was unclouded, and
their mutual affection was that of faithful and sincere marriage;
and from this love flowed a wonderful delight, because they always
enjoyed what was loved. Their avoidance of sin was tranquil; and,
so long as it was maintained, no other ill at all could invade them
and bring sorrow. Or did they perhaps desire to touch and eat the
forbidden fruit, yet feared to die; and thus both fear and desire
already, even in that blissful place, preyed upon those first of
mankind? Away with the thought that such could be the case where
there was no sin! And, indeed, this is already sin, to desire those
things which the law of God forbids, and to abstain from them through
fear of punishment, not through love of righteousness. Away, I say,
with the thought, that before there was any sin, there should already
have been committed regarding that fruit the very sin which our Lord
warns us against regarding a woman: "Whosoever looketh on a woman
to lust after her, hath committed adultery with her already in his
heart."[84] As happy, then, as were these our first parents, who
were agitated by no mental perturbations, and annoyed by no bodily
discomforts, so happy should the whole human race have been, had
they not introduced that evil which they have transmitted to their
posterity, and had none of their descendants committed iniquity
worthy of damnation; but this original blessedness continuing
until, in virtue of that benediction which said, "Increase and
multiply,"[85] the number of the predestined saints should have been
completed, there would then have been bestowed that higher felicity
which is enjoyed by the most blessed angels,--a blessedness in which
there should have been a secure assurance that no one would sin, and
no one die; and so should the saints have lived, after no taste of
labour, pain, or death, as now they shall live in the resurrection,
after they have endured all these things.


     11. _Of the fall of the first man, in whom nature was created
            good, and can be restored only by its Author._

But because God foresaw all things, and was therefore not ignorant
that man also would fall, we ought to consider this holy city in
connection with what God foresaw and ordained, and not according to
our own ideas, which do not embrace God's ordination. For man, by
his sin, could not disturb the divine counsel, nor compel God to
change what He had decreed; for God's foreknowledge had anticipated
both,--that is to say, both how evil the man whom He had created good
should become, and what good He Himself should even thus derive from
him. For though God is said to change His determinations (so that in
a tropical sense the Holy Scripture says even that God repented[86]),
this is said with reference to man's expectation, or the order of
natural causes, and not with reference to that which the Almighty had
foreknown that He would do. Accordingly God, as it is written, made
man upright,[87] and consequently with a good will. For if he had
not had a good will, he could not have been upright. The good will,
then, is the work of God; for God created him with it. But the first
evil will, which preceded all man's evil acts, was rather a kind of
falling away from the work of God to its own works than any positive
work. And therefore the acts resulting were evil, not having God, but
the will itself for their end; so that the will or the man himself,
so far as his will is bad, was as it were the evil tree bringing
forth evil fruit. Moreover, the bad will, though it be not in harmony
with, but opposed to nature, inasmuch as it is a vice or blemish,
yet it is true of it as of all vice, that it cannot exist except in
a nature, and only in a nature created out of nothing, and not in
that which the Creator has begotten of Himself, as He begot the Word,
by whom all things were made. For though God formed man of the dust
of the earth, yet the earth itself, and every earthly material, is
absolutely created out of nothing; and man's soul, too, God created
out of nothing, and joined to the body, when He made man. But evils
are so thoroughly overcome by good, that though they are permitted
to exist, for the sake of demonstrating how the most righteous
foresight of God can make a good use even of them, yet good can exist
without evil, as in the true and supreme God Himself, and as in every
invisible and visible celestial creature that exists above this murky
atmosphere; but evil cannot exist without good, because the natures
in which evil exists, in so far as they are natures, are good. And
evil is removed, not by removing any nature, or part of a nature,
which had been introduced by the evil, but by healing and correcting
that which had been vitiated and depraved. The will, therefore, is
then truly free, when it is not the slave of vices and sins. Such was
it given us by God; and this being lost by its own fault, can only
be restored by Him who was able at first to give it. And therefore
the truth says, "If the Son shall make you free, ye shall be free
indeed;"[88] which is equivalent to saying, If the Son shall save
you, ye shall be saved indeed. For He is our Liberator, inasmuch as
He is our Saviour.

Man then lived with God for his rule in a paradise at once physical
and spiritual. For neither was it a paradise only physical for the
advantage of the body, and not also spiritual for the advantage of
the mind; nor was it only spiritual to afford enjoyment to man by his
internal sensations, and not also physical to afford him enjoyment
through his external senses. But obviously it was both for both ends.
But after that proud and therefore envious angel (of whose fall I
have said as much as I was able in the eleventh and twelfth books
of this work, as well as that of his fellows, who, from being God's
angels, became his angels), preferring to rule with a kind of pomp of
empire rather than to be another's subject, fell from the spiritual
Paradise, and essaying to insinuate his persuasive guile into the
mind of man, whose unfallen condition provoked him to envy now that
himself was fallen, he chose the serpent as his mouthpiece in that
bodily Paradise in which it and all the other earthly animals were
living with those two human beings, the man and his wife, subject to
them, and harmless; and he chose the serpent because, being slippery,
and moving in tortuous windings, it was suitable for his purpose.
And this animal being subdued to his wicked ends by the presence and
superior force of his angelic nature, he abused as his instrument,
and first tried his deceit upon the woman, making his assault upon
the weaker part of that human alliance, that he might gradually
gain the whole, and not supposing that the man would readily give
ear to him, or be deceived, but that he might yield to the error of
the woman. For as Aaron was not induced to agree with the people
when they blindly wished him to make an idol, and yet yielded to
constraint; and as it is not credible that Solomon was so blind as
to suppose that idols should be worshipped, but was drawn over to
such sacrilege by the blandishments of women; so we cannot believe
that Adam was deceived, and supposed the devil's word to be truth,
and therefore transgressed God's law, but that he by the drawings of
kindred yielded to the woman, the husband to the wife, the one human
being to the only other human being. For not without significance
did the apostle say, "And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being
deceived was in the transgression;"[89] but he speaks thus, because
the woman accepted as true what the serpent told her, but the man
could not bear to be severed from his only companion, even though
this involved a partnership in sin. He was not on this account less
culpable, but sinned with his eyes open. And so the apostle does not
say, "He did not sin," but "He was not deceived." For he shows that
he sinned when he says, "By one man sin entered into the world,"[90]
and immediately after more distinctly, "In the likeness of Adam's
transgression." But he meant that those are deceived who do not judge
that which they do to be sin; but he knew. Otherwise how were it
true "Adam was not deceived?" But having as yet no experience of the
divine severity, he was possibly deceived in so far as he thought
his sin venial. And consequently he was not deceived as the woman
was deceived, but he was deceived as to the judgment which would be
passed on his apology: "The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she
gave me, and I did eat."[91] What need of saying more? Although they
were not both deceived by credulity, yet both were entangled in the
snares of the devil, and taken by sin.


                12. _Of the nature of man's first sin._

If any one finds a difficulty in understanding why other sins do
not alter human nature as it was altered by the transgression of
those first human beings, so that on account of it this nature is
subject to the great corruption we feel and see, and to death,
and is distracted and tossed with so many furious and contending
emotions, and is certainly far different from what it was before
sin, even though it were then lodged in an animal body,--if, I say,
any one is moved by this, he ought not to think that that sin was a
small and light one because it was committed about food, and that
not bad nor noxious, except because it was forbidden; for in that
spot of singular felicity God could not have created and planted any
evil thing. But by the precept He gave, God commended obedience,
which is, in a sort, the mother and guardian of all the virtues
in the reasonable creature, which was so created that submission
is advantageous to it, while the fulfilment of its own will in
preference to the Creator's is destruction. And as this commandment
enjoining abstinence from one kind of food in the midst of great
abundance of other kinds was so easy to keep,--so light a burden to
the memory,--and, above all, found no resistance to its observance
in lust, which only afterwards sprung up as the penal consequence of
sin, the iniquity of violating it was all the greater in proportion
to the ease with which it might have been kept.


     13. _That in Adam's sin an evil will preceded the evil act._

Our first parents fell into open disobedience because already they
were secretly corrupted; for the evil act had never been done had not
an evil will preceded it. And what is the origin of our evil will but
pride? For "pride is the beginning of sin."[92] And what is pride
but the craving for undue exaltation? And this is undue exaltation,
when the soul abandons Him to whom it ought to cleave as its end,
and becomes a kind of end to itself. This happens when it becomes
its own satisfaction. And it does so when it falls away from that
unchangeable good which ought to satisfy it more than itself. This
falling away is spontaneous; for if the will had remained stedfast in
the love of that higher and changeless good by which it was illumined
to intelligence and kindled into love, it would not have turned away
to find satisfaction in itself, and so become frigid and benighted;
the woman would not have believed the serpent spoke the truth, nor
would the man have preferred the request of his wife to the command
of God, nor have supposed that it was a venial transgression to
cleave to the partner of his life even in a partnership of sin. The
wicked deed, then,--that is to say, the transgression of eating the
forbidden fruit,--was committed by persons who were already wicked.
That "evil fruit"[93] could be brought forth only by "a corrupt
tree." But that the tree was evil was not the result of nature; for
certainly it could become so only by the vice of the will, and vice
is contrary to nature. Now, nature could not have been depraved by
vice had it not been made out of nothing. Consequently, that it is
a nature, this is because it is made by God; but that it falls away
from Him, this is because it is made out of nothing. But man did not
so fall away[94] as to become absolutely nothing; but being turned
towards himself, his being became more contracted than it was when he
clave to Him who supremely is. Accordingly, to exist in himself, that
is, to be his own satisfaction after abandoning God, is not quite to
become a nonentity, but to approximate to that. And therefore the
holy Scriptures designate the proud by another name, "self-pleasers."
For it is good to have the heart lifted up, yet not to one's self,
for this is proud, but to the Lord, for this is obedient, and can
be the act only of the humble. There is, therefore, something in
humility which, strangely enough, exalts the heart, and something
in pride which debases it. This seems, indeed, to be contradictory,
that loftiness should debase and lowliness exalt. But pious humility
enables us to submit to what is above us; and nothing is more exalted
above us than God; and therefore humility, by making us subject to
God, exalts us. But pride, being a defect of nature, by the very
act of refusing subjection and revolting from Him who is supreme,
falls to a low condition; and then comes to pass what is written:
"Thou castedst them down when they lifted up themselves."[95] For
he does not say, "when they had been lifted up," as if first they
were exalted, and then afterwards cast down; but "when they lifted
up themselves" even then they were cast down,--that is to say,
the very lifting up was already a fall. And therefore it is that
humility is specially recommended to the city of God as it sojourns
in this world, and is specially exhibited in the city of God, and
in the person of Christ its King; while the contrary vice of pride,
according to the testimony of the sacred writings, specially rules
his adversary the devil. And certainly this is the great difference
which distinguishes the two cities of which we speak, the one
being the society of the godly men, the other of the ungodly, each
associated with the angels that adhere to their party, and the one
guided and fashioned by love of self, the other by love of God.

The devil, then, would not have ensnared man in the open and manifest
sin of doing what God had forbidden, had man not already begun to live
for himself. It was this that made him listen with pleasure to the
words, "Ye shall be as gods,"[96] which they would much more readily
have accomplished by obediently adhering to their supreme and true
end than by proudly living to themselves. For created gods are gods
not by virtue of what is in themselves, but by a participation of the
true God. By craving to be more, man becomes less; and by aspiring
to be self-sufficing, he fell away from Him who truly suffices him.
Accordingly, this wicked desire which prompts man to please himself as
if he were himself light, and which thus turns him away from that light
by which, had he followed it, he would himself have become light,--this
wicked desire, I say, already secretly existed in him, and the open
sin was but its consequence. For that is true which is written, "Pride
goeth before destruction, and before honour is humility;"[97] that is
to say, secret ruin precedes open ruin, while the former is not counted
ruin. For who counts exaltation ruin, though no sooner is the Highest
forsaken than a fall is begun? But who does not recognise it as ruin,
when there occurs an evident and indubitable transgression of the
commandment? And consequently, God's prohibition had reference to such
an act as, when committed, could not be defended on any pretence of
doing what was righteous.[98] And I make bold to say that it is useful
for the proud to fall into an open and indisputable transgression, and
so displease themselves, as already, by pleasing themselves, they had
fallen. For Peter was in a healthier condition when he wept and was
dissatisfied with himself, than when he boldly presumed and satisfied
himself. And this is averred by the sacred Psalmist when he says, "Fill
their faces with shame, that they may seek Thy name, O Lord;"[99] that
is, that they who have pleased themselves in seeking their own glory
may be pleased and satisfied with Thee in seeking Thy glory.


  14. _Of the pride in the sin, which was worse than the sin itself._

But it is a worse and more damnable pride which casts about for
the shelter of an excuse even in manifest sins, as these our first
parents did, of whom the woman said, "The serpent beguiled me, and I
did eat;" and the man said, "The woman whom Thou gavest to be with
me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat."[100] Here there is no
word of begging pardon, no word of entreaty for healing. For though
they do not, like Cain, deny that they have perpetrated the deed, yet
their pride seeks to refer its wickedness to another,--the woman's
pride to the serpent, the man's to the woman. But where there is a
plain transgression of a divine commandment, this is rather to accuse
than to excuse oneself. For the fact that the woman sinned on the
serpent's persuasion, and the man at the woman's offer, did not make
the transgression less, as if there were any one whom we ought rather
to believe or yield to than God.


  15. _Of the justice of the punishment with which our first parents
                 were visited for their disobedience._

Therefore, because the sin was a despising of the authority of
God,--who had created man; who had made him in His own image; who had
set him above the other animals; who had placed him in Paradise; who
had enriched him with abundance of every kind and of safety; who had
laid upon him neither many, nor great, nor difficult commandments,
but, in order to make a wholesome obedience easy to him, had given
him a single very brief and very light precept by which He reminded
that creature whose service was to be free that He was Lord,--it was
just that condemnation followed, and condemnation such that man, who
by keeping the commandments should have been spiritual even in his
flesh, became fleshly even in his spirit; and as in his pride he had
sought to be his own satisfaction, God in His justice abandoned him
to himself, not to live in the absolute independence he affected, but
instead of the liberty he desired, to live dissatisfied with himself
in a hard and miserable bondage to him to whom by sinning he had
yielded himself, doomed in spite of himself to die in body as he had
willingly become dead in spirit, condemned even to eternal death (had
not the grace of God delivered him) because he had forsaken eternal
life. Whoever thinks such punishment either excessive or unjust
shows his inability to measure the great iniquity of sinning where
sin might so easily have been avoided. For as Abraham's obedience is
with justice pronounced to be great, because the thing commanded, to
kill his son, was very difficult, so in Paradise the disobedience
was the greater, because the difficulty of that which was commanded
was imperceptible. And as the obedience of the second Man was the
more laudable because He became obedient even "unto death,"[101] so
the disobedience of the first man was the more detestable because he
became disobedient even unto death. For where the penalty annexed
to disobedience is great, and the thing commanded by the Creator is
easy, who can sufficiently estimate how great a wickedness it is, in
a matter so easy, not to obey the authority of so great a power, even
when that power deters with so terrible a penalty?

In short, to say all in a word, what but disobedience was the
punishment of disobedience in that sin? For what else is man's
misery but his own disobedience to himself, so that in consequence
of his not being willing to do what he could do, he now wills to do
what he cannot? For though he could not do all things in Paradise
before he sinned, yet he wished to do only what he could do, and
therefore he could do all things he wished. But now, as we recognise
in his offspring, and as divine Scripture testifies, "Man is like
to vanity."[102] For who can count how many things he wishes which
he cannot do, so long as he is disobedient to himself, that is, so
long as his mind and his flesh do not obey his will? For in spite
of himself his mind is both frequently disturbed, and his flesh
suffers, and grows old, and dies; and in spite of ourselves we suffer
whatever else we suffer, and which we would not suffer if our nature
absolutely and in all its parts obeyed our will. But is it not the
infirmities of the flesh which hamper it in its service? Yet what
does it matter _how_ its service is hampered, so long as the fact
remains, that by the just retribution of the sovereign God whom we
refused to be subject to and serve, our flesh, which was subjected
to us, now torments us by insubordination, although our disobedience
brought trouble on ourselves, not upon God? For He is not in need of
our service as we of our body's; and therefore what we did was no
punishment to Him, but what we receive is so to us. And the pains
which are called bodily are pains of the soul in and from the body.
For what pain or desire can the flesh feel by itself and without
the soul? But when the flesh is said to desire or to suffer, it is
meant, as we have explained, that the man does so, or some part of
the soul which is affected by the sensation of the flesh, whether
a harsh sensation causing pain, or gentle, causing pleasure. But
pain in the flesh is only a discomfort of the soul arising from the
flesh, and a kind of shrinking from its suffering, as the pain of
the soul which is called sadness is a shrinking from those things
which have happened to us in spite of ourselves. But sadness is
frequently preceded by fear, which is itself in the soul, not in the
flesh; while bodily pain is not preceded by any kind of fear of the
flesh, which can be felt in the flesh before the pain. But pleasure
is preceded by a certain appetite which is felt in the flesh like
a craving, as hunger and thirst and that generative appetite which
is most commonly identified with the name "lust," though this is the
generic word for all desires. For anger itself was defined by the
ancients as nothing else than the lust of revenge;[103] although
sometimes a man is angry even at inanimate objects which cannot feel
his vengeance, as when one breaks a pen, or crushes a quill that
writes badly. Yet even this, though less reasonable, is in its way
a lust of revenge, and is, so to speak, a mysterious kind of shadow
of [the great law of] retribution, that they who do evil should
suffer evil. There is therefore a lust for revenge, which is called
anger; there is a lust of money, which goes by the name of avarice;
there is a lust of conquering, no matter by what means, which is
called opinionativeness; there is a lust of applause, which is named
boasting. There are many and various lusts, of which some have names
of their own, while others have not. For who could readily give a
name to the lust of ruling, which yet has a powerful influence in the
soul of tyrants, as civil wars bear witness?


  16. _Of the evil of lust,--a word which, though applicable to many
       vices, is specially appropriated to sexual uncleanness._

Although, therefore, lust may have many objects, yet when no object
is specified, the word lust usually suggests to the mind the lustful
excitement of the organs of generation. And this lust not only takes
possession of the whole body and outward members, but also makes
itself felt within, and moves the whole man with a passion in which
mental emotion is mingled with bodily appetite, so that the pleasure
which results is the greatest of all bodily pleasures. So possessing
indeed is this pleasure, that at the moment of time in which it is
consummated, all mental activity is suspended. What friend of wisdom
and holy joys, who, being married, but knowing, as the apostle says,
"how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour, not in the
disease of desire, as the Gentiles who know not God,"[104] would
not prefer, if this were possible, to beget children without this
lust, so that in this function of begetting offspring the members
created for this purpose should not be stimulated by the heat of
lust, but should be actuated by his volition, in the same way as his
other members serve him for their respective ends? But even those
who delight in this pleasure are not moved to it at their own will,
whether they confine themselves to lawful or transgress to unlawful
pleasures; but sometimes this lust importunes them in spite of
themselves, and sometimes fails them when they desire to feel it, so
that though lust rages in the mind, it stirs not in the body. Thus,
strangely enough, this emotion not only fails to obey the legitimate
desire to beget offspring, but also refuses to serve lascivious lust;
and though it often opposes its whole combined energy to the soul
that resists it, sometimes also it is divided against itself, and
while it moves the soul, leaves the body unmoved.


   17. _Of the nakedness of our first parents, which they saw after
                     their base and shameful sin._

Justly is shame very specially connected with this lust; justly,
too, these members themselves, being moved and restrained not at
our will, but by a certain independent autocracy, so to speak, are
called "shameful." Their condition was different before sin. For as
it is written, "They were naked and were not ashamed,"[105]--not that
their nakedness was unknown to them, but because nakedness was not
yet shameful, because not yet did lust move those members without the
will's consent; not yet did the flesh by its disobedience testify
against the disobedience of man. For they were not created blind,
as the unenlightened vulgar fancy;[106] for Adam saw the animals to
whom he gave names, and of Eve we read, "The woman saw that the tree
was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes."[107] Their
eyes, therefore, were open, but were not open to this, that is to
say, were not observant so as to recognise what was conferred upon
them by the garment of grace, for they had no consciousness of their
members warring against their will. But when they were stripped of
this grace,[108] that their disobedience might be punished by fit
retribution, there began in the movement of their bodily members a
shameless novelty which made nakedness indecent: it at once made them
observant and made them ashamed. And therefore, after they violated
God's command by open transgression, it is written: "And the eyes
of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and
they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons."[109]
"The eyes of them both were opened," not to see, for already they
saw, but to discern between the good they had lost and the evil into
which they had fallen. And therefore also the tree itself which they
were forbidden to touch was called the tree of the knowledge of good
and evil from this circumstance, that if they ate of it it would
impart to them this knowledge. For the discomfort of sickness reveals
the pleasure of health. "They knew," therefore, "that they were
naked,"--naked of that grace which prevented them from being ashamed
of bodily nakedness while the law of sin offered no resistance to
their mind. And thus they obtained a knowledge which they would have
lived in blissful ignorance of, had they, in trustful obedience to
God, declined to commit that offence which involved them in the
experience of the hurtful effects of unfaithfulness and disobedience.
And therefore, being ashamed of the disobedience of their own flesh,
which witnessed to their disobedience while it punished it, "they
sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons," that is,
cinctures for their privy parts; for some interpreters have rendered
the word by _succinctoria_. _Campestria_ is, indeed, a Latin word,
but it is used of the drawers or aprons used for a similar purpose by
the young men who stripped for exercise in the _campus_; hence those
who were so girt were commonly called _campestrati_. Shame modestly
covered that which lust disobediently moved in opposition to the
will which was thus punished for its own disobedience. Consequently
all nations, being propagated from that one stock, have so strong an
instinct to cover the shameful parts, that some barbarians do not
uncover them even in the bath, but wash with their drawers on. In the
dark solitudes of India also, though some philosophers go naked, and
are therefore called gymnosophists, yet they make an exception in the
case of these members, and cover them.


       18. _Of the shame which attends all sexual intercourse._

Lust requires for its consummation darkness and secrecy; and this
not only when unlawful intercourse is desired, but even such
fornication as the earthly city has legalized. Where there is no
fear of punishment, these permitted pleasures still shrink from the
public eye. Even where provision is made for this lust, secrecy also
is provided; and while lust found it easy to remove the prohibitions
of law, shamelessness found it impossible to lay aside the veil of
retirement. For even shameless men call this shameful; and though
they love the pleasure, dare not display it. What! does not even
conjugal intercourse, sanctioned as it is by law for the propagation
of children, legitimate and honourable though it be, does it not seek
retirement from every eye? Before the bridegroom fondles his bride,
does he not exclude the attendants, and even the paranymphs, and such
friends as the closest ties have admitted to the bridal chamber?
The greatest master of Roman eloquence says, that all right actions
wish to be set in the light, _i.e._ desire to be known. This right
action, however, has such a desire to be known, that yet it blushes
to be seen. Who does not know what passes between husband and wife
that children may be born? Is it not for this purpose that wives are
married with such ceremony? And yet, when this well-understood act
is gone about for the procreation of children, not even the children
themselves, who may already have been born to them, are suffered to
be witnesses. This right action seeks the light, in so far as it
seeks to be known, but yet dreads being seen. And why so, if not
because that which is by nature fitting and decent is so done as to
be accompanied with a shame-begetting penalty of sin?


    19. _That it is now necessary, as it was not before man sinned,
   to bridle anger and lust by the restraining influence of wisdom._

Hence it is that even the philosophers who have approximated to the
truth have avowed that anger and lust are vicious mental emotions,
because, even when exercised towards objects which wisdom does not
prohibit, they are moved in an ungoverned and inordinate manner, and
consequently need the regulation of mind and reason. And they assert
that this third part of the mind is posted as it were in a kind of
citadel, to give rule to these other parts, so that, while it rules and
they serve, man's righteousness is preserved without a breach.[110]
These parts, then, which they acknowledge to be vicious even in a wise
and temperate man, so that the mind, by its composing and restraining
influence, must bridle and recall them from those objects towards which
they are unlawfully moved, and give them access to those which the
law of wisdom sanctions,--that anger, _e.g._, may be allowed for the
enforcement of a just authority, and lust for the duty of propagating
offspring,--these parts, I say, were not vicious in Paradise before
sin, for they were never moved in opposition to a holy will towards
any object from which it was necessary that they should be withheld
by the restraining bridle of reason. For though now they are moved in
this way, and are regulated by a bridling and restraining power, which
those who live temperately, justly, and godly exercise, sometimes with
ease, and sometimes with greater difficulty, this is not the sound
health of nature, but the weakness which results from sin. And how is
it that shame does not hide the acts and words dictated by anger or
other emotions, as it covers the motions of lust, unless because the
members of the body which we employ for accomplishing them are moved,
not by the emotions themselves, but by the authority of the consenting
will? For he who in his anger rails at or even strikes some one, could
not do so were not his tongue and hand moved by the authority of the
will, as also they are moved when there is no anger. But the organs
of generation are so subjected to the rule of lust, that they have no
motion but what it communicates. It is this we are ashamed of; it is
this which blushingly hides from the eyes of onlookers. And rather
will a man endure a crowd of witnesses when he is unjustly venting his
anger on some one, than the eye of one man when he innocently copulates
with his wife.


            20. _Of the foolish beastliness of the Cynics._

It is this which those canine or cynic[111] philosophers have
overlooked, when they have, in violation of the modest instincts
of men, boastfully proclaimed their unclean and shameless opinion,
worthy indeed of dogs, viz., that as the matrimonial act is
legitimate, no one should be ashamed to perform it openly, in the
street or in any public place. Instinctive shame has overborne this
wild fancy. For though it is related[112] that Diogenes once dared to
put his opinion in practice, under the impression that his sect would
be all the more famous if his egregious shamelessness were deeply
graven in the memory of mankind, yet this example was not afterwards
followed. Shame had more influence with them, to make them blush
before men, than error to make them affect a resemblance to dogs. And
possibly, even in the case of Diogenes, and those who did imitate
him, there was but an appearance and pretence of copulation, and not
the reality. Even at this day there are still Cynic philosophers to
be seen; for these are Cynics who are not content with being clad
in the _pallium_, but also carry a club; yet no one of them dares
to do this that we speak of. If they did, they would be spat upon,
not to say stoned, by the mob. Human nature, then, is without doubt
ashamed of this lust; and justly so, for the insubordination of these
members, and their defiance of the will, are the clear testimony
of the punishment of man's first sin. And it was fitting that this
should appear specially in those parts by which is generated that
nature which has been altered for the worse by that first and great
sin,--that sin from whose evil connection no one can escape, unless
God's grace expiate in him individually that which was perpetrated to
the destruction of all in common, when all were in one man, and which
was avenged by God's justice.


  21. _That man's transgression did not annul the blessing of fecundity
      pronounced upon man before he sinned, but infected it with the
      disease of lust._

Far be it, then, from us to suppose that our first parents in
Paradise felt that lust which caused them afterwards to blush and
hide their nakedness, or that by its means they should have fulfilled
the benediction of God, "Increase and multiply and replenish the
earth;"[113] for it was after sin that lust began. It was after sin
that our nature, having lost the power it had over the whole body,
but not having lost all shame, perceived, noticed, blushed at, and
covered it. But that blessing upon marriage, which encouraged them to
increase and multiply and replenish the earth, though, it continued
even after they had sinned, was yet given before they sinned, in
order that the procreation of children might be recognised as part of
the glory of marriage, and not of the punishment of sin. But now, men
being ignorant of the blessedness of Paradise, suppose that children
could not have been begotten there in any other way than they know
them to be begotten now, _i.e._ by lust, at which even honourable
marriage blushes; some not simply rejecting, but sceptically deriding
the divine Scriptures, in which we read that our first parents,
after they sinned, were ashamed of their nakedness, and covered it;
while others, though they accept and honour Scripture, yet conceive
that this expression, "Increase and multiply," refers not to carnal
fecundity, because a similar expression is used of the soul in the
words, "Thou wilt multiply me with strength in my soul;"[114] and
so, too, in the words which follow in Genesis, "And replenish the
earth, and subdue it," they understand by the earth the body which
the soul fills with its presence, and which it rules over when it
is multiplied in strength. And they hold that children could no
more then than now be begotten without lust, which, after sin, was
kindled, observed, blushed for, and covered; and even that children
would not have been born in Paradise, but only outside of it, as in
fact it turned out. For it was after they were expelled from it that
they came together to beget children, and begot them.


    22. _Of the conjugal union as it was originally instituted and
                           blessed by God._

But we, for our part, have no manner of doubt that to increase and
multiply and replenish the earth in virtue of the blessing of God,
is a gift of marriage as God instituted it from the beginning before
man sinned, when He created them male and female,--in other words,
two sexes manifestly distinct. And it was this work of God on which
His blessing was pronounced. For no sooner had Scripture said, "Male
and female created He them,"[115] than it immediately continues, "And
God blessed them, and God said unto them, Increase, and multiply,
and replenish the earth, and subdue it," etc. And though all these
things may not unsuitably be interpreted in a spiritual sense, yet
"male and female" cannot be understood of two things in one man,
as if there were in him one thing which rules, another which is
ruled; but it is quite clear that they were created male and female,
with bodies of different sexes, for the very purpose of begetting
offspring, and so increasing, multiplying, and replenishing the
earth; and it is great folly to oppose so plain a fact. It was not
of the spirit which commands and the body which obeys, nor of the
rational soul which rules and the irrational desire which is ruled,
nor of the contemplative virtue which is supreme and the active which
is subject, nor of the understanding of the mind and the sense of the
body, but plainly of the matrimonial union by which the sexes are
mutually bound together, that our Lord, when asked whether it were
lawful for any cause to put away one's wife (for on account of the
hardness of the hearts of the Israelites Moses permitted a bill of
divorcement to be given), answered and said, "Have ye not read that
He which made them at the beginning made them male and female, and
said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall
cleave to his wife, and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they
are no more twain, but one flesh. What, therefore, God hath joined
together, let not man put asunder."[116] It is certain, then, that
from the first men were created, as we see and know them to be now,
of two sexes, male and female, and that they are called one, either
on account of the matrimonial union, or on account of the origin of
the woman, who was created from the side of the man. And it is by
this original example, which God Himself instituted, that the apostle
admonishes all husbands to love their own wives in particular.[117]


  23. _Whether generation should have taken place even in Paradise
      had man not sinned, or whether there should have been any
      contention there between chastity and lust._

But he who says that there should have been neither copulation nor
generation but for sin, virtually says that man's sin was necessary
to complete the number of the saints. For if these two by not sinning
should have continued to live alone, because, as is supposed, they
could not have begotten children had they not sinned, then certainly
sin was necessary in order that there might be not only two but many
righteous men. And if this cannot be maintained without absurdity,
we must rather believe that the number of the saints fit to complete
this most blessed city would have been as great though no one had
sinned, as it is now that the grace of God gathers its citizens out
of the multitude of sinners, so long as the children of this world
generate and are generated.[118]

And therefore that marriage, worthy of the happiness of Paradise,
should have had desirable fruit without the shame of lust, had
there been no sin. But how that could be, there is now no example
to teach us. Nevertheless, it ought not to seem incredible that
one member might serve the will without lust then, since so many
serve it now. Do we now move our feet and hands when we will to do
the things we would by means of these members? do we meet with no
resistance in them, but perceive that they are ready servants of the
will, both in our own case and in that of others, and especially of
artisans employed in mechanical operations, by which the weakness
and clumsiness of nature become, through industrious exercise,
wonderfully dexterous? and shall we not believe that, like as all
those members obediently serve the will, so also should the members
have discharged the function of generation, though lust, the award
of disobedience, had been awanting? Did not Cicero, in discussing
the difference of governments in his _De Republica_, adopt a simile
from human nature, and say that we command our bodily members as
children, they are so obedient; but that the vicious parts of the
soul must be treated as slaves, and be coerced with a more stringent
authority? And no doubt, in the order of nature, the soul is more
excellent than the body; and yet the soul commands the body more
easily than itself. Nevertheless this lust, of which we at present
speak, is the more shameful on this account, because the soul is
therein neither master of itself, so as not to lust at all, nor of
the body, so as to keep the members under the control of the will;
for if they were thus ruled, there should be no shame. But now the
soul is ashamed that the body, which by nature is inferior and
subject to it, should resist its authority. For in the resistance
experienced by the soul in the other emotions there is less shame,
because the resistance is from itself, and thus, when it is conquered
by itself, itself is the conqueror, although the conquest is
inordinate and vicious, because accomplished by those parts of the
soul which ought to be subject to reason, yet, being accomplished
by its own parts and energies, the conquest is, as I say, its own.
For when the soul conquers itself to a due subordination, so that
its unreasonable motions are controlled by reason, while it again is
subject to God, this is a conquest virtuous and praiseworthy. Yet
there is less shame when the soul is resisted by its own vicious
parts than when its will and order are resisted by the body, which is
distinct from and inferior to it, and dependent on it for life itself.

But so long as the will retains under its authority the other
members, without which the members excited by lust to resist the
will cannot accomplish what they seek, chastity is preserved,
and the delight of sin foregone. And certainly, had not culpable
disobedience been visited with penal disobedience, the marriage of
Paradise should have been ignorant of this struggle and rebellion,
this quarrel between will and lust, that the will may be satisfied
and lust restrained, but those members, like all the rest, should
have obeyed the will. The field of generation[119] should have been
sown by the organ created for this purpose, as the earth is sown by
the hand. And whereas now, as we essay to investigate this subject
more exactly, modesty hinders us, and compels us to ask pardon of
chaste ears, there would have been no cause to do so, but we could
have discoursed freely, and without fear of seeming obscene, upon
all those points which occur to one who meditates on the subject.
There would not have been even words which could be called obscene,
but all that might be said of these members would have been as pure
as what is said of the other parts of the body. Whoever, then, comes
to the perusal of these pages with unchaste mind, let him blame his
disposition, not his nature; let him brand the actings of his own
impurity, not the words which necessity forces us to use, and for
which every pure and pious reader or hearer will very readily pardon
me, while I expose the folly of that scepticism which argues solely
on the ground of its own experience, and has no faith in anything
beyond. He who is not scandalized at the apostle's censure of the
horrible wickedness of the women who "changed the natural use into
that which is against nature,"[120] will read all this without being
shocked, especially as we are not, like Paul, citing and censuring
a damnable uncleanness, but are explaining, so far as we can, human
generation, while with Paul we avoid all obscenity of language.


  24. _That if men had remained innocent and obedient in Paradise,
      the generative organs should have been in subjection to the
      will as the other members are._

The man, then, would have sown the seed, and the woman received it,
as need required, the generative organs being moved by the will, not
excited by lust. For we move at will not only those members which are
furnished with joints of solid bone, as the hands, feet, and fingers,
but we move also at will those which are composed of slack and soft
nerves: we can put them in motion, or stretch them out, or bend and
twist them, or contract and stiffen them, as we do with the muscles
of the mouth and face. The lungs, which are the very tenderest of
the viscera except the brain, and are therefore carefully sheltered
in the cavity of the chest, yet for all purposes of inhaling and
exhaling the breath, and of uttering and modulating the voice, are
obedient to the will when we breathe, exhale, speak, shout, or sing,
just as the bellows obey the smith or the organist. I will not press
the fact that some animals have a natural power to move a single spot
of the skin with which their whole body is covered, if they have felt
on it anything they wish to drive off,--a power so great, that by
this shivering tremor of the skin they can not only shake off flies
that have settled on them, but even spears that have fixed in their
flesh. Man, it is true, has not this power; but is this any reason
for supposing that God could not give it to such creatures as He
wished to possess it? And therefore man himself also might very well
have enjoyed absolute power over his members had he not forfeited it
by his disobedience; for it was not difficult for God to form him
so that what is now moved in his body only by lust should have been
moved only at will.

We know, too, that some men are differently constituted from others,
and have some rare and remarkable faculty of doing with their body
what other men can by no effort do, and, indeed, scarcely believe
when they hear of others doing. There are persons who can move their
ears, either one at a time, or both together. There are some who,
without moving the head, can bring the hair down upon the forehead,
and move the whole scalp backwards and forwards at pleasure. Some,
by lightly pressing their stomach, bring up an incredible quantity
and variety of things they have swallowed, and produce whatever they
please, quite whole, as if out of a bag. Some so accurately mimic
the voices of birds and beasts and other men, that, unless they
are seen, the difference cannot be told. Some have such command of
their bowels, that they can break wind continuously at pleasure,
so as to produce the effect of singing. I myself have known a man
who was accustomed to sweat whenever he wished. It is well known
that some weep when they please, and shed a flood of tears. But
far more incredible is that which some of our brethren saw quite
recently. There was a presbyter called Restitutus, in the parish of
the Calamensian[121] Church, who, as often as he pleased (and he
was asked to do this by those who desired to witness so remarkable
a phenomenon), on some one imitating the wailings of mourners,
became so insensible, and lay in a state so like death, that not
only had he no feeling when they pinched and pricked him, but even
when fire was applied to him, and he was burned by it, he had no
sense of pain except afterwards from the wound. And that his body
remained motionless, not by reason of his self-command, but because
he was insensible, was proved by the fact that he breathed no more
than a dead man; and yet he said that, when any one spoke with more
than ordinary distinctness, he heard the voice, but as if it were a
long way off. Seeing, then, that even in this mortal and miserable
life the body serves some men by many remarkable movements and
moods beyond the ordinary course of nature, what reason is there
for doubting that, before man was involved by his sin in this weak
and corruptible condition, his members might have served his will
for the propagation of offspring without lust? Man has been given
over to himself because he abandoned God, while he sought to be
self-satisfying; and disobeying God, he could not obey even himself.
Hence it is that he is involved in the obvious misery of being unable
to live as he wishes. For if he lived as he wished, he would think
himself blessed; but he could not be so if he lived wickedly.


   25. _Of true blessedness, which this present life cannot enjoy._

However, if we look at this a little more closely, we see that no one
lives as he wishes but the blessed, and that no one is blessed but the
righteous. But even the righteous himself does not live as he wishes,
until he has arrived where he cannot die, be deceived, or injured, and
until he is assured that this shall be his eternal condition. For this
nature demands; and nature is not fully and perfectly blessed till it
attains what it seeks. But what man is at present able to live as he
wishes, when it is not in his power so much as to live? He wishes to
live, he is compelled to die. How, then, does he live as he wishes who
does not live as long as he wishes? or if he wishes to die, how can
he live as he wishes, since he does not wish even to live? Or if he
wishes to die, not because he dislikes life, but that after death he
may live better, still he is not yet living as he wishes, but only has
the prospect of so living when, through death, he reaches that which
he wishes. But admit that he lives as he wishes, because he has done
violence to himself, and forced himself not to wish what he cannot
obtain, and to wish only what he can (as Terence has it, "Since you
cannot do what you will, will what you can"[122]), is he therefore
blessed because he is patiently wretched? For a blessed life is
possessed only by the man who loves it. If it is loved and possessed,
it must necessarily be more ardently loved than all besides; for
whatever else is loved must be loved for the sake of the blessed life.
And if it is loved as it deserves to be,--and the man is not blessed
who does not love the blessed life as it deserves,--then he who so
loves it cannot but wish it to be eternal. Therefore it shall then only
be blessed when it is eternal.


    26. _That we are to believe that in Paradise our first parents
                  begat offspring without blushing._

In Paradise, then, man lived as he desired so long as he desired
what God had commanded. He lived in the enjoyment of God, and was
good by God's goodness; he lived without any want, and had it in his
power so to live eternally. He had food that he might not hunger,
drink that he might not thirst, the tree of life that old age might
not waste him. There was in his body no corruption, nor seed of
corruption, which could produce in him any unpleasant sensation.
He feared no inward disease, no outward accident. Soundest health
blessed his body, absolute tranquillity his soul. As in Paradise
there was no excessive heat or cold, so its inhabitants were exempt
from the vicissitudes of fear and desire. No sadness of any kind was
there, nor any foolish joy; true gladness ceaselessly flowed from
the presence of God, who was loved "out of a pure heart, and a good
conscience, and faith unfeigned."[123] The honest love of husband
and wife made a sure harmony between them. Body and spirit worked
harmoniously together, and the commandment was kept without labour.
No languor made their leisure wearisome; no sleepiness interrupted
their desire to labour.[124] In tanta facilitate rerum et felicitate
hominum, absit ut suspicemur, non potuisse prolem seri sine libidinis
morbo: sed eo voluntatis nutu moverentur illa membra quo cætera, et
sine ardoris illecebroso stimulo cum tranquillitate animi et corporis
nulla corruptione integritatis infunderetur gremio maritus uxoris.
Neque enim quia experientia probari non potest, ideo credendum non
est; quando illas corporis partes non ageret turbidus calor, sed
spontanea potestas, sicut opus esset, adhiberet; ita tunc potuisse
utero conjugis salva integritate feminei genitalis virile semen
immitti, sicut nunc potest eadem integritate salva ex utero virginis
fluxus menstrui cruoris emitti. Eadem quippe via posset illud injici,
qua hoc potest ejici. Ut enim ad pariendum non doloris gemitus, sed
maturitatis impulsus feminea viscera relaxaret: sic ad fœtandum et
concipiendum non libidinis appetitus, sed voluntarius usus naturam
utramque conjungeret. We speak of things which are now shameful, and
although we try, as well as we are able, to conceive them as they
were before they became shameful, yet necessity compels us rather to
limit our discussion to the bounds set by modesty than to extend it
as our moderate faculty of discourse might suggest. For since that
which I have been speaking of was not experienced even by those who
might have experienced it,--I mean our first parents (for sin and
its merited banishment from Paradise anticipated this passionless
generation on their part),--when sexual intercourse is spoken of now,
it suggests to men's thoughts not such a placid obedience to the will
as is conceivable in our first parents, but such violent acting of
lust as they themselves have experienced. And therefore modesty shuts
my mouth, although my mind conceives the matter clearly. But Almighty
God, the supreme and supremely good Creator of all natures, who aids
and rewards good wills, while He abandons and condemns the bad, and
rules both, was not destitute of a plan by which He might people
His city with the fixed number of citizens which His wisdom had
foreordained even out of the condemned human race, discriminating
them not now by merits, since the whole mass was condemned as if in a
vitiated root, but by grace, and showing, not only in the case of the
redeemed, but also in those who were not delivered, how much grace He
has bestowed upon them. For every one acknowledges that he has been
rescued from evil, not by deserved, but by gratuitous goodness, when
he is singled out from the company of those with whom he might justly
have borne a common punishment, and is allowed to go scathless.
Why, then, should God not have created those whom He foresaw would
sin, since He was able to show in and by them both what their guilt
merited, and what His grace bestowed, and since, under His creating
and disposing hand, even the perverse disorder of the wicked could
not pervert the right order of things?


   27. _Of the angels and men who sinned, and that their wickedness
            did not disturb the order of God's providence._

The sins of men and angels do nothing to impede the "great works
of the Lord which accomplish His will."[125] For He who by His
providence and omnipotence distributes to every one his own portion,
is able to make good use not only of the good, but also of the
wicked. And thus making a good use of the wicked angel, who, in
punishment of his first wicked volition, was doomed to an obduracy
that prevents him now from willing any good, why should not God have
permitted him to tempt the first man, who had been created upright,
that is to say, with a good will? For he had been so constituted,
that if he looked to God for help, man's goodness should defeat
the angel's wickedness; but if by proud self-pleasing he abandoned
God, his Creator and Sustainer, he should be conquered. If his
will remained upright, through leaning on God's help, he should
be rewarded; if it became wicked, by forsaking God, he should be
punished. But even this trusting in God's help could not itself
be accomplished without God's help, although man had it in his
own power to relinquish the benefits of divine grace by pleasing
himself. For as it is not in our power to live in this world without
sustaining ourselves by food, while it is in our power to refuse this
nourishment and cease to live, as those do who kill themselves, so
it was not in man's power, even in Paradise, to live as he ought
without God's help; but it was in his power to live wickedly,
though thus he should cut short his happiness, and incur very just
punishment. Since, then, God was not ignorant that man would fall,
why should He not have suffered him to be tempted by an angel who
hated and envied him? It was not, indeed, that He was unaware that he
should be conquered, but because He foresaw that by the man's seed,
aided by divine grace, this same devil himself should be conquered,
to the greater glory of the saints. All was brought about in such a
manner, that neither did any future event escape God's foreknowledge,
nor did His foreknowledge compel any one to sin, and so as to
demonstrate in the experience of the intelligent creation, human
and angelic, how great a difference there is between the private
presumption of the creature and the Creator's protection. For who
will dare to believe or say that it was not in God's power to prevent
both angels and men from sinning? But God preferred to leave this
in their power, and thus to show both what evil could be wrought by
their pride, and what good by His grace.


       28. _Of the nature of the two cities, the earthly and the
                              heavenly._

Accordingly, two cities have been formed by two loves: the earthly
by the love of self, even to the contempt of God; the heavenly by
the love of God, even to the contempt of self. The former, in a
word, glories in itself, the latter in the Lord. For the one seeks
glory from men; but the greatest glory of the other is God, the
witness of conscience. The one lifts up its head in its own glory;
the other says to its God, "Thou art my glory, and the lifter up of
mine head."[126] In the one, the princes and the nations it subdues
are ruled by the love of ruling; in the other, the princes and the
subjects serve one another in love, the latter obeying, while the
former take thought for all. The one delights in its own strength,
represented in the persons of its rulers; the other says to its God,
"I will love Thee, O Lord, my strength."[127] And therefore the wise
men of the one city, living according to man, have sought for profit
to their own bodies or souls, or both, and those who have known God
"glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful, but became vain in
their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened; professing
themselves to be wise,"--that is, glorying in their own wisdom, and
being possessed by pride,--"they became fools, and changed the glory
of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man,
and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things." For they
were either leaders or followers of the people in adoring images,
"and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who
is blessed for ever."[128] But in the other city there is no human
wisdom, but only godliness, which offers due worship to the true God,
and looks for its reward in the society of the saints, of holy angels
as well as holy men, "that God may be all in all."[129]

FOOTNOTES:

[1] This book is referred to in another work of Augustine's (_contra
Advers. Legis et Prophet._ i. 18), which was written about the year 420.

[2] 1 Cor. xv. 39.

[3] Rom. iii. 20.

[4] Gal. iii. 11.

[5] John. i. 14.

[6] The Apollinarians.

[7] John. xx. 13.

[8] Gal. v. 19-21.

[9] Wisd. ix. 15.

[10] 2 Cor. iv. 16.

[11] 2 Cor. v. 1-4.

[12] _Æneid_, vi. 730-32.

[13] _Ib._ 733, 734.

[14] On the punishment of the devil, see the _De Agone Christi_, 3-5,
and _De Nat. Boni_, 33.

[15] Rom. iii. 7.

[16] John xiv. 6.

[17] 1 Cor. iii. 3.

[18] 1 Cor. ii. 11-14.

[19] 1 Cor. iii. 1.

[20] Rom. iii. 20.

[21] Gen. xlvi. 27.

[22] See Augustine, _De Hæres._ 46.

[23] _Tusc. Quæst._ iv. 6.

[24] _Æneid_, vi. 719-21.

[25] Tit. i. 8, according to Greek and Vulgate.

[26] John xxi. 15-17. On these synonyms see the commentaries _in loc._

[27] Ps. xi. 5.

[28] 1 John ii. 15

[29] 2 Tim. iii. 2.

[30] Phil. i. 23.

[31] Ps. cxix. 20.

[32] Wisd. vi. 20.

[33] Ps. xxxii. 11.

[34] Ps. iv. 7.

[35] Ps. xvi. 11.

[36] Phil. ii. 12.

[37] Rom. xi. 20.

[38] 2 Cor. xi. 3.

[39] _Æneid_, vi. 733.

[40] Isa. lvii. 21.

[41] Matt. vii. 12.

[42] Ecclus. vii. 13.

[43] Luke ii. 14.

[44] _Cat._ i. 2.

[45] Ter. _Andr._ ii. 1, 6.

[46] _Æneid_, vi. 733.

[47] _Æneid_, v. 278.

[48] 2 Cor. vii. 8-11.

[49] _Tusc. Disp._ iii. 32.

[50] C. 4, 5.

[51] Rom. viii. 23.

[52] 1 Cor. xv. 54.

[53] Matt. xxiv. 12.

[54] Matt. x. 22.

[55] 1 John i. 8.

[56] 2 Cor. ix. 7.

[57] Gal. vi. 1.

[58] Ps. xxvi. 2.

[59] Matt. xxvi. 75.

[60] Jas. i. 2.

[61] 1 Cor. iv. 9.

[62] Phil. iii. 14.

[63] Rom. xii. 15.

[64] 2 Cor. vii. 5.

[65] Phil. i. 23.

[66] Rom. i. 11-13.

[67] 2 Cor. xi. 1-3.

[68] Rom. ix. 2.

[69] Rom. x. 3.

[70] 2 Cor. xii. 21.

[71] Mark iii. 5.

[72] John xi. 15.

[73] John xi. 35.

[74] Luke xxii. 15.

[75] Matt. xxvi. 38.

[76] Rom. i. 31.

[77] Ps. lxix. 20.

[78] Crantor, an Academic philosopher quoted by Cicero, _Tusc.
Quæst._ iii. 6.

[79] 1 John i. 8.

[80] 1 John iv. 18.

[81] Rom. viii. 15.

[82] Ps. xix. 9.

[83] Ps. ix. 18.

[84] Matt. v. 28.

[85] Gen. i. 28.

[86] Gen. vi. 6, and 1 Sam. xv. 11.

[87] Eccles. vii. 29.

[88] John viii. 36.

[89] 1 Tim. ii. 14.

[90] Rom. v. 12.

[91] Gen. iii. 12.

[92] Ecclus. x. 13.

[93] Matt. vii. 18.

[94] _Defecit._

[95] Ps. lxxiii. 18.

[96] Gen. iii. 5.

[97] Prov. xviii. 12.

[98] That is to say, it was an obvious and indisputable transgression.

[99] Ps. lxxxiii. 16.

[100] Gen. iii. 12, 13.

[101] Phil. ii. 8.

[102] Ps. cxliv. 4.

[103] Cicero, _Tusc. Quæst._ iii. 6 and iv. 9. So Aristotle.

[104] 1 Thess. iv. 4.

[105] Gen. ii. 25.

[106] An error which arose from the words, "The eyes of them both
were opened," Gen. iii. 7.--See _De Genesi ad lit._ ii. 40.

[107] Gen. iii. 6.

[108] This doctrine and phraseology of Augustine being important in
connection with his whole theory of the fall, we give some parallel
passages to show that the words are not used at random: _De Genesi ad
lit._ xi. 41; _De Corrept. et Gratia_, xi. 31; and especially _Cont.
Julian._ iv. 82.

[109] Gen. iii. 7.

[110] See Plato's _Republic_, book iv.

[111] The one word being the Latin form, the other the Greek, of the
same adjective.

[112] By Diogenes Laertius, vi. 69, and Cicero, _De Offic._ i. 41.

[113] Gen. i. 28.

[114] Ps. cxxxviii. 3.

[115] Gen. i. 27, 28.

[116] Matt. xix. 4, 5.

[117] Eph. v. 25.

[118] Luke xx. 34.

[119] See Virgil, _Georg._ iii. 136.

[120] Rom. i. 26.

[121] The position of Calama is described by Augustine as between
Constantine and Hippo, but nearer Hippo.--_Contra Lit. Petil._ ii.
228. A full description of it is given in Poujoulat's _Histoire de
S. Augustin_, i. 340, who says it was one of the most important
towns of Numidia, eighteen leagues south of Hippo, and represented
by the modern Ghelma. It is to its bishop, Possidius, we owe the
contemporary _Life of Augustine_.

[122] _Andr._ ii. 1, 5.

[123] 1 Tim. i. 5.

[124] Compare Basil's _Homily on Paradise_, and John Damascene, _De
Fide Orthod._ ii. 11.

[125] Ps. cxi. 2.

[126] Ps. iii. 3.

[127] Ps. xviii. 1.

[128] Rom. i. 21-25.

[129] 1 Cor. xv. 28.



                            BOOK FIFTEENTH.

                               ARGUMENT.

  HAVING TREATED IN THE FOUR PRECEDING BOOKS OF THE ORIGIN OF THE TWO
      CITIES, THE EARTHLY AND THE HEAVENLY, AUGUSTINE EXPLAINS THEIR
      GROWTH AND PROGRESS IN THE FOUR BOOKS WHICH FOLLOW; AND, IN
      ORDER TO DO SO, HE EXPLAINS THE CHIEF PASSAGES OF THE SACRED
      HISTORY WHICH BEAR UPON THIS SUBJECT. IN THIS FIFTEENTH BOOK HE
      OPENS THIS PART OF HIS WORK BY EXPLAINING THE EVENTS RECORDED
      IN GENESIS FROM THE TIME OF CAIN AND ABEL TO THE DELUGE.


    1. _Of the two lines of the human race which from first to last
                              divide it._

OF the bliss of Paradise, of Paradise itself, and of the life of
our first parents there, and of their sin and punishment, many
have thought much, spoken much, written much. We ourselves, too,
have spoken of these things in the foregoing books, and have
written either what we read in the Holy Scriptures, or what we
could reasonably deduce from them. And were we to enter into a more
detailed investigation of these matters, an endless number of endless
questions would arise, which would involve us in a larger work than
the present occasion admits. We cannot be expected to find room for
replying to every question that may be started by unoccupied and
captious men, who are ever more ready to ask questions than capable
of understanding the answer. Yet I trust we have already done justice
to these great and difficult questions regarding the beginning of
the world, or of the soul, or of the human race itself. This race we
have distributed into two parts, the one consisting of those who live
according to man, the other of those who live according to God. And
these we also mystically call the two cities, or the two communities
of men, of which the one is predestined to reign eternally with God,
and the other to suffer eternal punishment with the devil. This,
however, is their end, and of it we are to speak afterwards. At
present, as we have said enough about their origin, whether among
the angels, whose numbers we know not, or in the two first human
beings, it seems suitable to attempt an account of their career, from
the time when our two first parents began to propagate the race until
all human generation shall cease. For this whole time or world-age,
in which the dying give place and those who are born succeed, is the
career of these two cities concerning which we treat.

Of these two first parents of the human race, then, Cain was the
first-born, and he belonged to the city of men; after him was born
Abel, who belonged to the city of God. For as in the individual the
truth of the apostle's statement is discerned, "that is not first
which is spiritual, but that which is natural, and afterward that
which is spiritual,"[130] whence it comes to pass that each man,
being derived from a condemned stock, is first of all born of Adam
evil and carnal, and becomes good and spiritual only afterwards, when
he is grafted into Christ by regeneration: so was it in the human
race as a whole. When these two cities began to run their course by
a series of deaths and births, the citizen of this world was the
first-born, and after him the stranger in this world, the citizen
of the city of God, predestinated by grace, elected by grace, by
grace a stranger below, and by grace a citizen above. By grace,--for
so far as regards himself he is sprung from the same mass, all of
which is condemned in its origin; but God, like a potter (for this
comparison is introduced by the apostle judiciously, and not without
thought), of the same lump made one vessel to honour, another to
dishonour.[131] But first the vessel to dishonour was made, and after
it another to honour. For in each individual, as I have already said,
there is first of all that which is reprobate, that from which we
must begin, but in which we need not necessarily remain; afterwards
is that which is well-approved, to which we may by advancing attain,
and in which, when we have reached it, we may abide. Not, indeed,
that every wicked man shall be good, but that no one will be good
who was not first of all wicked; but the sooner any one becomes a
good man, the more speedily does he receive this title, and abolish
the old name in the new. Accordingly, it is recorded of Cain that he
built a city,[132] but Abel, being a sojourner, built none. For the
city of the saints is above, although here below it begets citizens,
in whom it sojourns till the time of its reign arrives, when it shall
gather together all in the day of the resurrection; and then shall
the promised kingdom be given to them, in which they shall reign with
their Prince, the King of the ages, time without end.


  2. _Of the children of the flesh and the children of the promise._

There was indeed on earth, so long as it was needed, a symbol and
foreshadowing image of this city, which served the purpose of
reminding men that such a city was to be, rather than of making it
present; and this image was itself called the holy city, as a symbol
of the future city, though not itself the reality. Of this city
which served as an image, and of that free city it typified, Paul
writes to the Galatians in these terms: "Tell me, ye that desire
to be under the law, do ye not hear the law? For it is written,
that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bond maid, the other by a
free woman. But he who was of the bond woman was born after the
flesh, but he of the free woman was by promise. Which things are an
allegory:[133] for these are the two covenants; the one from the
mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. For this
Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now
is, and is in bondage with her children. But Jerusalem which is
above is free, which is the mother of us all. For it is written,
Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou
that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than
she which hath an husband. Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the
children of promise. But as then he that was born after the flesh
persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.
Nevertheless, what saith the Scripture? Cast out the bond woman and
her son: for the son of the bond woman shall not be heir with the son
of the free woman. And we, brethren, are not children of the bond
woman, but of the free, in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made
us free."[134] This interpretation of the passage, handed down to
us with apostolic authority, shows how we ought to understand the
Scriptures of the two covenants--the old and the new. One portion of
the earthly city became an image of the heavenly city, not having a
significance of its own, but signifying another city, and therefore
serving, or "being in bondage." For it was founded not for its own
sake, but to prefigure another city; and this shadow of a city was
also itself foreshadowed by another preceding figure. For Sarah's
handmaid Agar, and her son, were an image of this image. And as the
shadows were to pass away when the full light came, Sarah, the free
woman, who prefigured the free city (which again was also prefigured
in another way by that shadow of a city Jerusalem), therefore said,
"Cast out the bond woman and her son; for the son of the bond woman
shall not be heir with my son Isaac," or, as the apostle says, "with
the son of the free woman." In the earthly city, then, we find two
things--its own obvious presence, and its symbolic presentation of
the heavenly city. Now citizens are begotten to the earthly city by
nature vitiated by sin, but to the heavenly city by grace freeing
nature from sin; whence the former are called "vessels of wrath,"
the latter "vessels of mercy."[135] And this was typified in the two
sons of Abraham,--Ishmael, the son of Agar the handmaid, being born
according to the flesh, while Isaac was born of the free woman Sarah,
according to the promise. Both, indeed, were of Abraham's seed; but
the one was begotten by natural law, the other was given by gracious
promise. In the one birth, human action is revealed; in the other, a
divine kindness comes to light.


   3. _That Sarah's barrenness was made productive by God's grace._

Sarah, in fact, was barren; and, despairing of offspring, and being
resolved that she would have at least through her handmaid that
blessing she saw she could not in her own person procure, she gave her
handmaid to her husband, to whom she herself had been unable to bear
children. From him she required this conjugal duty, exercising her own
right in another's womb. And thus Ishmael was born according to the
common law of human generation, by sexual intercourse. Therefore it
is said that he was born "according to the flesh,"--not because such
births are not the gifts of God, nor His handiwork, whose creative
wisdom "reaches," as it is written, "from one end to another mightily,
and sweetly doth she order all things,"[136] but because, in a case in
which the gift of God, which was not due to men and was the gratuitous
largess of grace, was to be conspicuous, it was requisite that a son
be given in a way which no effort of nature could compass. Nature
denies children to persons of the age which Abraham and Sarah had now
reached; besides that, in Sarah's case, she was barren even in her
prime. This nature, so constituted that offspring could not be looked
for, symbolized the nature of the human race vitiated by sin and by
just consequence condemned, which deserves no future felicity. Fitly,
therefore, does Isaac, the child of promise, typify the children of
grace, the citizens of the free city, who dwell together in everlasting
peace, in which self-love and self-will have no place, but a
ministering love that rejoices in the common joy of all, of many hearts
makes one, that is to say, secures a perfect concord.


          4. _Of the conflict and peace of the earthly city._

But the earthly city, which shall not be everlasting (for it will no
longer be a city when it has been committed to the extreme penalty),
has its good in this world, and rejoices in it with such joy as such
things can afford. But as this is not a good which can discharge its
devotees of all distresses, this city is often divided against itself
by litigations, wars, quarrels, and such victories as are either
life-destroying or short-lived. For each part of it that arms against
another part of it seeks to triumph over the nations through itself
in bondage to vice. If, when it has conquered, it is inflated with
pride, its victory is life-destroying; but if it turns its thoughts
upon the common casualties of our mortal condition, and is rather
anxious concerning the disasters that may befall it than elated with
the successes already achieved, this victory, though of a higher
kind, is still only short-lived; for it cannot abidingly rule over
those whom it has victoriously subjugated. But the things which this
city desires cannot justly be said to be evil, for it is itself,
in its own kind, better than all other human good. For it desires
earthly peace for the sake of enjoying earthly goods, and it makes
war in order to attain to this peace; since, if it has conquered, and
there remains no one to resist it, it enjoys a peace which it had not
while there were opposing parties who contested for the enjoyment
of those things which were too small to satisfy both. This peace
is purchased by toilsome wars; it is obtained by what they style a
glorious victory. Now, when victory remains with the party which
had the juster cause, who hesitates to congratulate the victor, and
style it a desirable peace? These things, then, are good things, and
without doubt the gifts of God. But if they neglect the better things
of the heavenly city, which are secured by eternal victory and peace
never-ending, and so inordinately covet these present good things
that they believe them to be the only desirable things, or love them
better than those things which are believed to be better,--if this be
so, then it is necessary that misery follow and ever increase.


  5. _Of the fratricidal act of the founder of the earthly city, and
           the corresponding crime of the founder of Rome._

Thus the founder of the earthly city was a fratricide. Overcome with
envy, he slew his own brother, a citizen of the eternal city, and a
sojourner on earth. So that we cannot be surprised that this first
specimen, or, as the Greeks say, archetype of crime, should, long
afterwards, find a corresponding crime at the foundation of that
city which was destined to reign over so many nations, and be the
head of this earthly city of which we speak. For of that city also,
as one of their poets has mentioned, "the first walls were stained
with a brother's blood,"[137] or, as Roman history records, Remus
was slain by his brother Romulus. And thus there is no difference
between the foundation of this city and of the earthly city, unless
it be that Romulus and Remus were both citizens of the earthly city.
Both desired to have the glory of founding the Roman republic, but
both could not have as much glory as if one only claimed it; for he
who wished to have the glory of ruling would certainly rule less if
his power were shared by a living consort. In order, therefore, that
the whole glory might be enjoyed by one, his consort was removed;
and by this crime the empire was made larger indeed, but inferior,
while otherwise it would have been less, but better. Now these
brothers, Cain and Abel, were not both animated by the same earthly
desires, nor did the murderer envy the other because he feared that,
by both ruling, his own dominion would be curtailed,--for Abel was
not solicitous to rule in that city which his brother built,--he
was moved by that diabolical, envious hatred with which the evil
regard the good, for no other reason than because they are good
while themselves are evil. For the possession of goodness is by no
means diminished by being shared with a partner either permanent or
temporarily assumed; on the contrary, the possession of goodness is
increased in proportion to the concord and charity of each of those
who share it. In short, he who is unwilling to share this possession
cannot have it; and he who is most willing to admit others to a share
of it will have the greatest abundance to himself. The quarrel, then,
between Romulus and Remus shows how the earthly city is divided
against itself; that which fell out between Cain and Abel illustrated
the hatred that subsists between the two cities, that of God and
that of men. The wicked war with the wicked; the good also war with
the wicked. But with the good, good men, or at least perfectly good
men, cannot war; though, while only going on towards perfection,
they war to this extent, that every good man resists others in those
points in which he resists himself. And in each individual "the flesh
lusteth against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh."[138]
This spiritual lusting, therefore, can be at war with the carnal
lust of another man; or carnal lust may be at war with the spiritual
desires of another, in some such way as good and wicked men are at
war; or, still more certainly, the carnal lusts of two men, good but
not yet perfect, contend together, just as the wicked contend with
the wicked, until the health of those who are under the treatment of
grace attains final victory.


  6. _Of the weaknesses which even the citizens of the city of God
      suffer during this earthly pilgrimage in punishment of sin, and
      of which they are healed by God's care._

This sickliness--that is to say, that disobedience of which we spoke
in the fourteenth book--is the punishment of the first disobedience.
It is therefore not nature, but vice; and therefore it is said to
the good who are growing in grace, and living in this pilgrimage
by faith, "Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law
of Christ."[139] In like manner it is said elsewhere, "Warn them
that are unruly, comfort the feeble-minded, support the weak, be
patient toward all men. See that none render evil for evil unto any
man."[140] And in another place, "If a man be overtaken in a fault,
ye which are spiritual restore such an one in the spirit of meekness;
considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted."[141] And elsewhere,
"Let not the sun go down upon your wrath."[142] And in the Gospel,
"If thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his
fault between thee and him alone."[143] So too of sins which may
create scandal the apostle says, "Them that sin rebuke before all,
that others also may fear."[144] For this purpose, and that we may
keep that peace without which no man can see the Lord,[145] many
precepts are given which carefully inculcate mutual forgiveness;
among which we may number that terrible word in which the servant is
ordered to pay his formerly remitted debt of ten thousand talents,
because he did not remit to his fellow-servant his debt of two
hundred pence. To which parable the Lord Jesus added the words,
"So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from
your hearts forgive not every one his brother."[146] It is thus the
citizens of the city of God are healed while still they sojourn in
this earth and sigh for the peace of their heavenly country. The Holy
Spirit, too, works within, that the medicine externally applied may
have some good result. Otherwise, even though God Himself make use of
the creatures that are subject to Him, and in some human form address
our human senses, whether we receive those impressions in sleep or
in some external appearance, still, if He does not by His own inward
grace sway and act upon the mind, no preaching of the truth is of
any avail. But this God does, distinguishing between the vessels
of wrath and the vessels of mercy, by His own very secret but very
just providence. When He Himself aids the soul in His own hidden and
wonderful ways, and the sin which dwells in our members, and is, as
the apostle teaches, rather the punishment of sin, does not reign in
our mortal body to obey the lusts of it, and when we no longer yield
our members as instruments of unrighteousness,[147] then the soul is
converted from its own evil and selfish desires, and, God possessing
it, it possesses itself in peace even in this life, and afterwards,
with perfected health and endowed with immortality, will reign
without sin in peace everlasting.


  7. _Of the cause of Cain's crime and his obstinacy, which not even
                    the word of God could subdue._

But though God made use of this very mode of address which we have
been endeavouring to explain, and spoke to Cain in that form by
which He was wont to accommodate Himself to our first parents and
converse with them as a companion, what good influence had it on
Cain? Did he not fulfil his wicked intention of killing his brother
even after he was warned by God's voice? For when God had made a
distinction between their sacrifices, neglecting Cain's, regarding
Abel's, which was doubtless intimated by some visible sign to that
effect; and when God had done so because the works of the one were
evil but those of his brother good, Cain was very wroth, and his
countenance fell. For thus it is written: "And the Lord said unto
Cain, Why art thou wroth, and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou
offerest rightly, but dost not rightly distinguish, hast thou not
sinned? Fret not thyself, for unto thee shall be his turning, and
thou shalt rule over him."[148] In this admonition administered by
God to Cain, that clause indeed, "If thou offerest rightly, but dost
not rightly distinguish, hast thou not sinned?" is obscure, inasmuch
as it is not apparent for what reason or purpose it was spoken, and
many meanings have been put upon it, as each one who discusses it
attempts to interpret it according to the rule of faith. The truth
is, that a sacrifice is "rightly offered" when it is offered to the
true God, to whom alone we must sacrifice. And it is "not rightly
distinguished" when we do not rightly distinguish the places or
seasons or materials of the offering, or the person offering, or the
person to whom it is presented, or those to whom it is distributed
for food after the oblation. Distinguishing[149] is here used for
discriminating,--whether when an offering is made in a place where
it ought not or of a material which ought to be offered not there
but elsewhere; or when an offering is made at a wrong time, or of a
material suitable not then but at some other time; or when that is
offered which in no place nor any time ought to be offered; or when
a man keeps to himself choicer specimens of the same kind than he
offers to God; or when he or any other who may not lawfully partake
profanely eats of the oblation. In which of these particulars Cain
displeased God, it is difficult to determine. But the Apostle John,
speaking of these brothers, says, "Not as Cain, who was of that
wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because
his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous."[150] He
thus gives us to understand that God did not respect his offering
because it was not rightly "distinguished" in this, that he gave to
God something of his own but kept himself to himself. For this all
do who follow not God's will but their own, who live not with an
upright but a crooked heart, and yet offer to God such gifts as they
suppose will procure from Him that He aid them not by healing but
by gratifying their evil passions. And this is the characteristic
of the earthly city, that it worships God or gods who may aid it in
reigning victoriously and peacefully on earth not through love of
doing good, but through lust of rule. The good use the world that
they may enjoy God: the wicked, on the contrary, that they may enjoy
the world would fain use God,--those of them, at least, who have
attained to the belief that He is and takes an interest in human
affairs. For they who have not yet attained even to this belief are
still at a much lower level. Cain, then, when he saw that God had
respect to his brother's sacrifice, but not to his own, should have
humbly chosen his good brother as his example, and not proudly
counted him his rival. But he was wroth, and his countenance fell.
This angry regret for another person's goodness, even his brother's,
was charged upon him by God as a great sin. And He accused him of it
in the interrogation, "Why art thou wroth, and why is thy countenance
fallen?" For God saw that he envied his brother, and of this He
accused him. For to men, from whom the heart of their fellow is
hid, it might be doubtful and quite uncertain whether that sadness
bewailed his own wickedness by which, as he had learned, he had
displeased God, or his brother's goodness, which had pleased God, and
won His favourable regard to his sacrifice. But God, in giving the
reason why He refused to accept Cain's offering and why Cain should
rather have been displeased at himself than at his brother, shows him
that though he was unjust in "not rightly distinguishing," that is,
not rightly living and being unworthy to have his offering received,
he was more unjust by far in hating his just brother without a cause.

Yet He does not dismiss him without counsel, holy, just, and good.
"Fret not thyself," He says, "for unto thee shall be his turning,
and thou shalt rule over him." Over his brother, does He mean? Most
certainly not. Over what, then, but sin? For He had said, "Thou
hast sinned," and then He added, "Fret not thyself, for to thee
shall be its turning, and thou shalt rule over it."[151] And the
"turning" of sin to the man can be understood of his conviction that
the guilt of sin can be laid at no other man's door but his own.
For this is the health-giving medicine of penitence, and the fit
plea for pardon; so that, when it is said, "To thee its turning,"
we must not supply "shall be," but we must read, "To thee let its
turning be," understanding it as a command, not as a prediction.
For then shall a man rule over his sin when he does not prefer it
to himself and defend it, but subjects it by repentance; otherwise
he that becomes protector of it shall surely become its prisoner.
But if we understand this sin to be that carnal concupiscence of
which the apostle says, "The flesh lusteth against the spirit,"[152]
among the fruits of which lust he names envy, by which assuredly
Cain was stung and excited to destroy his brother, then we may
properly supply the words "shall be," and read, "To thee shall be
its turning, and thou shalt rule over it." For when the carnal part
which the apostle calls sin, in that place where he says, "It is
not I who do it, but sin that dwelleth in me,"[153] that part which
the philosophers also call vicious, and which ought not to lead the
mind, but which the mind ought to rule and restrain by reason from
illicit motions,--when, then, this part has been moved to perpetrate
any wickedness, if it be curbed and if it obey the word of the
apostle, "Yield not your members instruments of unrighteousness unto
sin,"[154] it is turned towards the mind and subdued and conquered
by it, so that reason rules over it as a subject. It was this which
God enjoined on him who was kindled with the fire of envy against his
brother, so that he sought to put out of the way him whom he should
have set as an example. "Fret not thyself," or compose thyself, He
says: withhold thy hand from crime; let not sin reign in your mortal
body to fulfil it in the lusts thereof, nor yield your members
instruments of unrighteousness unto sin. "For to thee shall be its
turning," so long as you do not encourage it by giving it the rein,
but bridle it by quenching its fire. "And thou shalt rule over it;"
for when it is not allowed any external actings, it yields itself to
the rule of the governing mind and righteous will, and ceases from
even internal motions. There is something similar said in the same
divine book of the woman, when God questioned and judged them after
their sin, and pronounced sentence on them all,--the devil in the
form of the serpent, the woman and her husband in their own persons.
For when He had said to her, "I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and
thy conception; in sorrow shalt thou bring forth children," then He
added, "and thy turning shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule
over thee."[155] What is said to Cain about his sin, or about the
vicious concupiscence of his flesh, is here said of the woman who
had sinned; and we are to understand that the husband is to rule his
wife as the soul rules the flesh. And therefore, says the apostle,
"He that loveth his wife, loveth himself; for no man ever yet hated
his own flesh."[156] This flesh, then, is to be healed, because it
belongs to ourselves: is not to be abandoned to destruction as if
it were alien to our nature. But Cain received that counsel of God
in the spirit of one who did not wish to amend. In fact, the vice
of envy grew stronger in him; and, having entrapped his brother,
he slew him. Such was the founder of the earthly city. He was also
a figure of the Jews who slew Christ the Shepherd of the flock of
men, prefigured by Abel the shepherd of sheep: but as this is an
allegorical and prophetical matter, I forbear to explain it now;
besides, I remember that I have made some remarks upon it in writing
against Faustus the Manichæan.[157]


    8. _What Cain's reason was for building a city so early in the
                      history of the human race._

At present it is the history which I aim at defending, that Scripture
may not be reckoned incredible when it relates that one man built
a city at a time in which there seem to have been but four men
upon earth, or rather indeed but three, after one brother slew the
other,--to wit, the first man the father of all, and Cain himself,
and his son Enoch, by whose name the city was itself called. But they
who are moved by this consideration forget to take into account that
the writer of the sacred history does not necessarily mention all the
men who might be alive at that time, but those only whom the scope of
his work required him to name. The design of that writer (who in this
matter was the instrument of the Holy Ghost) was to descend to Abraham
through the successions of ascertained generations propagated from one
man, and then to pass from Abraham's seed to the people of God, in
whom, separated as they were from other nations, was prefigured and
predicted all that relates to the city whose reign is eternal, and to
its king and founder Christ, which things were foreseen in the Spirit
as destined to come; yet neither is this object so effected as that
nothing is said of the other society of men which we call the earthly
city, but mention is made of it so far as seemed needful to enhance the
glory of the heavenly city by contrast to its opposite. Accordingly,
when the divine Scripture, in mentioning the number of years which
those men lived, concludes its account of each man of whom it speaks,
with the words, "And he begat sons and daughters, and all his days were
so and so, and he died," are we to understand that, because it does
not name those sons and daughters, therefore, during that long term
of years over which one lifetime extended in those early days, there
might not have been born very many men, by whose united numbers not one
but several cities might have been built? But it suited the purpose of
God, by whose inspiration these histories were composed, to arrange
and distinguish from the first these two societies in their several
generations,--that on the one side the generations of men, that is to
say, of those who live according to man, and on the other side the
generations of the sons of God, that is to say, of men living according
to God, might be traced down together and yet apart from one another as
far as the deluge, at which point their dissociation and association
are exhibited: their dissociation, inasmuch as the generations of both
lines are recorded in separate tables, the one line descending from the
fratricide Cain, the other from Seth, who had been born to Adam instead
of him whom his brother slew; their association, inasmuch as the good
so deteriorated that the whole race became of such a character that it
was swept away by the deluge, with the exception of one just man, whose
name was Noah, and his wife and three sons and three daughters-in-law,
which eight persons were alone deemed worthy to escape from that
desolating visitation which destroyed all men.

Therefore, although it is written, "And Cain knew his wife, and
she conceived and bare Enoch, and he builded a city and called the
name of the city after the name of his son Enoch,"[158] it does not
follow that we are to believe this to have been his first-born; for
we cannot suppose that this is proved by the expression "he knew his
wife," as if then for the first time he had had intercourse with
her. For in the case of Adam, the father of all, this expression
is used not only when Cain, who seems to have been his first-born,
was conceived, but also afterwards the same Scripture says, "Adam
knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bare a son, and called his
name Seth."[159] Whence it is obvious that Scripture employs this
expression neither always when a birth is recorded nor then only when
the birth of a first-born is mentioned. Neither is it necessary to
suppose that Enoch was Cain's first-born because he named his city
after him. For it is quite possible that though he had other sons,
yet for some reason the father loved him more than the rest. Judah
was not the first-born, though he gives his name to Judæa and the
Jews. But even though Enoch was the first-born of the city's founder,
that is no reason for supposing that the father named the city after
him as soon as he was born; for at that time he, being but a solitary
man, could not have founded a civic community, which is nothing else
than a multitude of men bound together by some associating tie.
But when his family increased to such numbers that he had quite a
population, then it became possible to him both to build a city,
and give it, when founded, the name of his son. For so long was the
life of those antediluvians, that he who lived the shortest time of
those whose years are mentioned in Scripture attained to the age of
753 years.[160] And though no one attained the age of a thousand
years, several exceeded the age of nine hundred. Who then can doubt
that during the lifetime of one man the human race might be so
multiplied that there would be a population to build and occupy not
one but several cities? And this might very readily be conjectured
from the fact that from one man, Abraham, in not much more than four
hundred years, the numbers of the Hebrew race so increased, that
in the exodus of that people from Egypt there are recorded to have
been six hundred thousand men capable of bearing arms,[161] and this
over and above the Idumæans, who, though not numbered with Israel's
descendants, were yet sprung from his brother, also a grandson of
Abraham; and over and above the other nations which were of the same
stock of Abraham, though not through Sarah,--that is, his descendants
by Hagar and Keturah, the Ishmaelites, Midianites, etc.


    9. _Of the long life and greater stature of the antediluvians._

Wherefore no one who considerately weighs facts will doubt that Cain
might have built a city, and that a large one, when it is observed
how prolonged were the lives of men, unless perhaps some sceptic take
exception to this very length of years which our authors ascribe to
the antediluvians and deny that this is credible. And so, too, they
do not believe that the size of men's bodies was larger then than
now, though the most esteemed of their own poets, Virgil, asserts the
same, when he speaks of that huge stone which had been fixed as a
landmark, and which a strong man of those ancient times snatched up
as he fought, and ran, and hurled, and cast it,--

          "Scarce twelve strong men of later mould
           That weight could on their necks uphold;"[162]

thus declaring his opinion that the earth then produced mightier men.
And if in the more recent times, how much more in the ages before the
world-renowned deluge? But the large size of the primitive human body
is often proved to the incredulous by the exposure of sepulchres,
either through the wear of time or the violence of torrents or some
accident, and in which bones of incredible size have been found or
have rolled out. I myself, along with some others, saw on the shore
at Utica a man's molar tooth of such a size, that if it were cut
down into teeth such as we have, a hundred, I fancy, could have
been made out of it. But that, I believe, belonged to some giant.
For though the bodies of ordinary men were then larger than ours,
the giants surpassed all in stature. And neither in our own age nor
any other have there been altogether wanting instances of gigantic
stature, though they may be few. The younger Pliny, a most learned
man, maintains that the older the world becomes, the smaller will
be the bodies of men.[163] And he mentions that Homer in his poems
often lamented the same decline; and this he does not laugh at as
a poetical figment, but in his character of a recorder of natural
wonders accepts it as historically true. But, as I said, the bones
which are from time to time discovered prove the size of the bodies
of the ancients,[164] and will do so to future ages, for they are
slow to decay. But the length of an antediluvian's life cannot
now be proved by any such monumental evidence. But we are not on
this account to withhold our faith from the sacred history, whose
statements of past fact we are the more inexcusable in discrediting,
as we see the accuracy of its prediction of what was future. And
even that same Pliny[165] tells us that there is still a nation in
which men live 200 years. If, then, in places unknown to us, men
are believed to have a length of days which is quite beyond our own
experience, why should we not believe the same of times distant from
our own? Or are we to believe that in other places there is what is
not here, while we do not believe that in other times there has been
anything but what is now?


  10. _Of the different computation of the ages of the antediluvians,
      given by the Hebrew manuscripts and by our own._[166]

Wherefore, although there is a discrepancy for which I cannot account
between our manuscripts and the Hebrew, in the very number of years
assigned to the antediluvians, yet the discrepancy is not so great
that they do not agree about their longevity. For the very first man,
Adam, before he begot his son Seth, is in our manuscripts found to
have lived 230 years, but in the Hebrew MSS. 130. But after he begot
Seth, our copies read that he lived 700 years, while the Hebrew give
800. And thus, when the two periods are taken together, the sum agrees.
And so throughout the succeeding generations, the period before the
father begets a son is always made shorter by 100 years in the Hebrew,
but the period after his son is begotten is longer by 100 years in the
Hebrew than in our copies. And thus, taking the two periods together,
the result is the same in both. And in the sixth generation there is
no discrepancy at all. In the seventh, however, of which Enoch is the
representative, who is recorded to have been translated without death
because he pleased God, there is the same discrepancy as in the first
five generations, 100 years more being ascribed to him by our MSS.
before he begat a son. But still the result agrees; for according to
both documents he lived before he was translated 365 years. In the
eighth generation the discrepancy is less than in the others, and of
a different kind. For Methuselah, whom Enoch begat, lived, before he
begat his successor, not 100 years less, but 100 years more, according
to the Hebrew reading; and in our MSS. again these years are added
to the period after he begat his son; so that in this case also the
sum-total is the same. And it is only in the ninth generation, that is,
in the age of Lamech, Methuselah's son and Noah's father, that there
is a discrepancy in the sum-total; and even in this case it is slight.
For the Hebrew MSS. represent him as living twenty-four years more than
ours assign to him. For before he begat his son, who was called Noah,
six years fewer are given to him by the Hebrew MSS. than by ours; but
after he begat this son, they give him thirty years more than ours; so
that, deducting the former six, there remains, as we said, a surplus of
twenty-four.


    11. _Of Methuselah's age, which seems to extend fourteen years
                          beyond the deluge._

From this discrepancy between the Hebrew books and our own arises
the well-known question as to the age of Methuselah;[167] for it
is computed that he lived for fourteen years after the deluge,
though Scripture relates that of all who were then upon the earth
only the eight souls in the ark escaped destruction by the flood,
and of these Methuselah was not one. For, according to our books,
Methuselah, before he begat the son whom he called Lamech, lived 167
years; then Lamech himself, before his son Noah was born, lived 188
years, which together make 355 years. Add to these the age of Noah
at the date of the deluge, 600 years, and this gives a total of 955
from the birth of Methuselah to the year of the flood. Now all the
years of the life of Methuselah are computed to be 969; for when he
had lived 167 years, and had begotten his son Lamech, he then lived
after this 802 years, which makes a total, as we said, of 969 years.
From this, if we deduct 955 years from the birth of Methuselah to
the flood, there remain fourteen years, which he is supposed to
have lived after the flood. And therefore some suppose that, though
he was not on earth (in which it is agreed that every living thing
which could not naturally live in water perished), he was for a time
with his father, who had been translated, and that he lived there
till the flood had passed away. This hypothesis they adopt, that
they may not cast a slight on the trustworthiness of versions which
the Church has received into a position of high authority,[168]
and because they believe that the Jewish MSS. rather than our own
are in error. For they do not admit that this is a mistake of the
translators, but maintain that there is a falsified statement in
the original, from which, through the Greek, the Scripture has been
translated into our own tongue. They say that it is not credible that
the seventy translators, who simultaneously and unanimously produced
one rendering, could have erred, or, in a case in which no interest
of theirs was involved, could have falsified their translation; but
that the Jews, envying us our translation of their Law and Prophets,
have made alterations in their texts so as to undermine the authority
of ours. This opinion or suspicion let each man adopt according to
his own judgment. Certain it is that Methuselah did not survive
the flood, but died in the very year it occurred, if the numbers
given in the Hebrew MSS. are true. My own opinion regarding the
seventy translators I will, with God's help, state more carefully
in its own place, when I have come down (following the order which
this work requires) to that period in which their translation was
executed.[169] For the present question, it is enough that, according
to our versions, the men of that age had lives so long as to make it
quite possible that, during the lifetime of the first-born of the two
sole parents then on earth, the human race multiplied sufficiently
to form a community.


     12. _Of the opinion of those who do not believe that in these
           primitive times men lived so long as is stated._

For they are by no means to be listened to who suppose that in those
times years were differently reckoned, and were so short that one
of our years may be supposed to be equal to ten of theirs. So that
they say, when we read or hear that some man lived 900 years, we
should understand ninety,--ten of those years making but one of
ours, and ten of ours equalling 100 of theirs. Consequently, as they
suppose, Adam was twenty-three years of age when he begat Seth, and
Seth himself was twenty years and six months old when his son Enos
was born, though the Scripture calls these months 205 years. For,
on the hypothesis of those whose opinion we are explaining, it was
customary to divide one such year as we have into ten parts, and to
call each part a year. And each of these parts was composed of six
days squared; because God finished His works in six days, that He
might rest the seventh. Of this I disputed according to my ability
in the eleventh book.[170] Now six squared, or six times six, gives
thirty-six days; and this multiplied by ten amounts to 360 days, or
twelve lunar months. As for the five remaining days which are needed
to complete the solar year, and for the fourth part of a day, which
requires that into every fourth or leap-year a day be added, the
ancients added such days as the Romans used to call "intercalary,"
in order to complete the number of the years. So that Enos, Seth's
son, was nineteen years old when his son Cainan was born, though
Scripture calls these years 190. And so through all the generations
in which the ages of the antediluvians are given, we find in our
versions that almost no one begat a son at the age of 100 or under,
or even at the age of 120 or thereabouts; but the youngest fathers
are recorded to have been 160 years old and upwards. And the reason
of this, they say, is that no one can beget children when he is ten
years old, the age spoken of by those men as 100, but that sixteen
is the age of puberty, and competent now to propagate offspring; and
this is the age called by them 160. And that it may not be thought
incredible that in these days the year was differently computed from
our own, they adduce what is recorded by several writers of history,
that the Egyptians had a year of four months, the Acarnanians of
six, and the Lavinians of thirteen months.[171] The younger Pliny,
after mentioning that some writers reported that one man had lived
152 years, another ten more, others 200, others 300, that some had
even reached 500 and 600, and a few 800 years of age, gave it as
his opinion that all this must be ascribed to mistaken computation.
For some, he says, make summer and winter each a year; others make
each season a year, like the Arcadians, whose years, he says, were
of three months. He added, too, that the Egyptians, of whose little
years of four months we have spoken already, sometimes terminated
their year at the wane of each moon; so that with them there are
produced lifetimes of 1000 years.

By these plausible arguments certain persons, with no desire to
weaken the credit of this sacred history, but rather to facilitate
belief in it by removing the difficulty of such incredible longevity,
have been themselves persuaded, and think they act wisely in
persuading others, that in these days the year was so brief that
ten of their years equal but one of ours, while ten of ours equal
100 of theirs. But there is the plainest evidence to show that this
is quite false. Before producing this evidence, however, it seems
right to mention a conjecture which is yet more plausible. From the
Hebrew manuscripts we could at once refute this confident statement;
for in them Adam is found to have lived not 230 but 130 years before
he begat his third son. If, then, this mean thirteen years by our
ordinary computation, then he must have begotten his first son when
he was only twelve or thereabouts. Who can at this age beget children
according to the ordinary and familiar course of nature? But not to
mention him, since it is possible he may have been able to beget his
like as soon as he was created,--for it is not credible that he was
created so little as our infants are,--not to mention him, his son
was not 205 years old when he begat Enos, as our versions have it,
but 105, and consequently, according to this idea, was not eleven
years old. But what shall I say of his son Cainan, who, though by our
version 170 years old, was by the Hebrew text seventy when he beget
Mahalaleel? If seventy years in those times meant only seven of our
years, what man of seven years old begets children?


    13. _Whether, in computing years, we ought to follow the Hebrew
                          or the Septuagint._

But if I say this, I shall presently be answered, It is one of the
Jews' lies. This, however, we have disposed of above, showing that it
cannot be that men of so just a reputation as the seventy translators
should have falsified their version. However, if I ask them which
of the two is more credible, that the Jewish nation, scattered
far and wide, could have unanimously conspired to forge this lie,
and so, through envying others the authority of their Scriptures,
have deprived themselves of their verity; or that seventy men, who
were also themselves Jews, shut up in one place (for Ptolemy king
of Egypt had got them together for this work), should have envied
foreign nations that same truth, and by common consent inserted these
errors: who does not see which can be more naturally and readily
believed? But far be it from any prudent man to believe either that
the Jews, however malicious and wrong-headed, could have tampered
with so many and so widely-dispersed manuscripts; or that those
renowned seventy individuals had any common purpose to grudge the
truth to the nations. One must therefore more plausibly maintain,
that when first their labours began to be transcribed from the copy
in Ptolemy's library, some such misstatement might find its way into
the first copy made, and from it might be disseminated far and wide;
and that this might arise from no fraud, but from a mere copyist's
error. This is a sufficiently plausible account of the difficulty
regarding Methuselah's life, and of that other case in which there is
a difference in the total of twenty-four years. But in those cases
in which there is a methodical resemblance in the falsification, so
that uniformly the one version allots to the period before a son and
successor is born 100 years more than the other, and to the period
subsequent 100 years less, and _vice versâ_, so that the totals may
agree,--and this holds true of the first, second, third, fourth,
fifth, and seventh generations,--in these cases error seems to have,
if we may say so, a certain kind of constancy, and savours not of
accident, but of design.

Accordingly, that diversity of numbers which distinguishes the Hebrew
from the Greek and Latin copies of Scripture, and which consists of
a uniform addition and deduction of 100 years in each lifetime for
several consecutive generations, is to be attributed neither to the
malice of the Jews nor to men so diligent and prudent as the seventy
translators, but to the error of the copyist who was first allowed to
transcribe the manuscript from the library of the above-mentioned king.
For even now, in cases where numbers contribute nothing to the easier
comprehension or more satisfactory knowledge of anything, they are both
carelessly transcribed, and still more carelessly emended. For who
will trouble himself to learn how many thousand men the several tribes
of Israel contained? He sees no resulting benefit of such knowledge.
Or how many men are there who are aware of the vast advantage that
lies hid in this knowledge? But in this case, in which during so many
consecutive generations 100 years are added in one manuscript where
they are not reckoned in the other, and then, after the birth of the
son and successor, the years which were wanting are added, it is
obvious that the copyist who contrived this arrangement designed to
insinuate that the antediluvians lived an excessive number of years
only because each year was excessively brief, and that he tried to draw
the attention to this fact by his statement of their age of puberty at
which they became able to beget children. For, lest the incredulous
might stumble at the difficulty of so long a lifetime, he insinuated
that 100 of their years equalled but ten of ours; and this insinuation
he conveyed by adding 100 years whenever he found the age below 160
years or thereabouts, deducting these years again from the period after
the son's birth, that the total might harmonize. By this means he
intended to ascribe the generation of offspring to a fit age, without
diminishing the total sum of years ascribed to the lifetime of the
individuals. And the very fact that in the sixth generation he departed
from this uniform practice, inclines us all the rather to believe that
when the circumstance we have referred to required his alterations, he
made them; seeing that when this circumstance did not exist, he made
no alteration. For in the same generation he found in the Hebrew MS.
that Jared lived before he begat Enoch 162 years, which, according to
the short year computation, is sixteen years and somewhat less than
two months, an age capable of procreation; and therefore it was not
necessary to add 100 short years, and so make the age twenty-six years
of the usual length; and of course it was not necessary to deduct,
after the son's birth, years which he had not added before it. And thus
it comes to pass that in this instance there is no variation between
the two manuscripts.

This is corroborated still further by the fact that in the eighth
generation, while the Hebrew books assign 182[172] years to Methuselah
before Lamech's birth, ours assign to him twenty less, though usually
100 years are added to this period; then, after Lamech's birth, the
twenty years are restored, so as to equalize the total in the two
books. For if his design was that these 170 years be understood as
seventeen, so as to suit the age of puberty, as there was no need for
him adding anything, so there was none for his subtracting anything;
for in this case he found an age fit for the generation of children,
for the sake of which he was in the habit of adding those 100 years
in cases where he did not find the age already sufficient. This
difference of twenty years we might, indeed, have supposed had happened
accidentally, had he not taken care to restore them afterwards as he
had deducted them from the period before, so that there might be no
deficiency in the total. Or are we perhaps to suppose that there was
the still more astute design of concealing the deliberate and uniform
addition of 100 years to the first period and their deduction from the
subsequent period,--did he design to conceal this by doing something
similar, that is to say, adding and deducting, not indeed a century,
but some years, even in a case in which there was no need for his doing
so? But whatever may be thought of this, whether it be believed that
he did so or not, whether, in fine, it be so or not, I would have no
manner of doubt that when any diversity is found in the books, since
both cannot be true to fact, we do well to believe in preference
that language out of which the translation was made into another by
translators. For there are three Greek MSS., one Latin, and one Syriac,
which agree with one another, and in all of these Methuselah is said to
have died six years before the deluge.


  14. _That the years in those ancient times were of the same length
                             as our own._

Let us now see how it can be plainly made out that in the enormously
protracted lives of those men the years were not so short that ten
of their years were equal to only one of ours, but were of as great
length as our own, which are measured by the course of the sun. It is
proved by this, that Scripture states that the flood occurred in the
six hundredth year of Noah's life. But why in the same place is it
also written, "The waters of the flood were upon the earth in the six
hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the twenty-seventh
day of the month,"[173] if that very brief year (of which it took ten
to make one of ours) consisted of thirty-six days? For so scant a year,
if the ancient usage dignified it with the name of year, either has not
months, or its month must be three days, so that it may have twelve
of them. How then was it here said, "In the six hundredth year, the
second month, the twenty-seventh day of the month," unless the months
then were of the same length as the months now? For how else could it
be said that the flood began on the twenty-seventh day of the second
month? Then afterwards, at the end of the flood, it is thus written:
"And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the twenty-seventh day
of the month, on the mountains of Ararat. And the waters decreased
continually until the eleventh month: on the first day of the month
were the tops of the mountains seen."[174] But if the months were
such as we have, then so were the years. And certainly months of three
days each could not have a twenty-seventh day. Or if every measure of
time was diminished in proportion, and a thirtieth part of three days
was then called a day, then that great deluge, which is recorded to
have lasted forty days and forty nights, was really over in less than
four of our days. Who can away with such foolishness and absurdity?
Far be this error from us,--an error which seeks to build up our faith
in the divine Scriptures on false conjecture, only to demolish our
faith at another point. It is plain that the day then was what it now
is, a space of four-and-twenty hours, determined by the lapse of day
and night; the month then equal to the month now, which is defined by
the rise and completion of one moon; the year then equal to the year
now, which is completed by twelve lunar months, with the addition of
five days and a-fourth to adjust it with the course of the sun. It was
a year of this length which was reckoned the six hundredth of Noah's
life; and in the second month, the twenty-seventh day of the month,
the flood began,--a flood which, as is recorded, was caused by heavy
rains continuing for forty days, which days had not only two hours and
a little more, but four-and-twenty hours, completing a night and a
day. And consequently those antediluvians lived more than 900 years,
which were years as long as those which afterwards Abraham lived 175
of, and after him his son Isaac 180, and his son Jacob nearly 150,
and some time after, Moses 120, and men now seventy or eighty, or not
much longer, of which years it is said, "their strength is labour and
sorrow."[175]

But that discrepancy of numbers which is found to exist between our
own and the Hebrew text does not touch the longevity of the ancients;
and if there is any diversity so great that both versions cannot
be true, we must take our ideas of the real facts from that text
out of which our own version has been translated. However, though
any one who pleases has it in his power to correct this version,
yet it is not unimportant to observe that no one has presumed to
emend the Septuagint from the Hebrew text in the many places where
they seem to disagree. For this difference has not been reckoned a
falsification; and for my own part I am persuaded it ought not to
be reckoned so. But where the difference is not a mere copyist's
error, and where the sense is agreeable to truth and illustrative
of truth, we must believe that the divine Spirit prompted them to
give a varying version, not in their function of translators, but in
the liberty of prophesying. And therefore we find that the apostles
justly sanction the Septuagint, by quoting it as well as the Hebrew
when they adduce proofs from the Scriptures. But as I have promised
to treat this subject more carefully, if God help me, in a more
fitting place, I will now go on with the matter in hand. For there
can be no doubt that, the lives of men being so long, the first-born
of the first man could have built a city,--a city, however, which was
earthly, and not that which is called the city of God, to describe
which we have taken in hand this great work.


  15. _Whether it is credible that the men of the primitive age
      abstained from sexual intercourse until that date at which it
      is recorded that they begat children._

Some one, then, will say, Is it to be believed that a man who
intended to beget children, and had no intention of continence,
abstained from sexual intercourse a hundred years and more, or even,
according to the Hebrew version, only a little less, say eighty,
seventy, or sixty years; or, if he did not abstain, was unable to
beget offspring? This question admits of two solutions. For either
puberty was so much later as the whole life was longer, or, which
seems to me more likely, it is not the first-born sons that are here
mentioned, but those whose names were required to fill up the series
until Noah was reached, from whom again we see that the succession
is continued to Abraham, and after him down to that point of time
until which it was needful to mark by pedigree the course of the
most glorious city, which sojourns as a stranger in this world, and
seeks the heavenly country. That which is undeniable is that Cain
was the first who was born of man and woman. For had he not been the
first who was added by birth to the two unborn persons, Adam could
not have said what he is recorded to have said, "I have gotten a man
by the Lord."[176] He was followed by Abel, whom the elder brother
slew, and who was the first to show, by a kind of foreshadowing of
the sojourning city of God, what iniquitous persecutions that city
would suffer at the hands of wicked and, as it were, earth-born
men, who love their earthly origin, and delight in the earthly
happiness of the earthly city. But how old Adam was when he begat
these sons does not appear. After this the generations diverge, the
one branch deriving from Cain, the other from him whom Adam begot
in the room of Abel slain by his brother, and whom he called Seth,
saying, as it is written, "For God hath raised me up another seed
for Abel whom Cain slew."[177] These two series of generations
accordingly, the one of Cain, the other of Seth, represent the two
cities in their distinctive ranks, the one the heavenly city, which
sojourns on earth, the other the earthly, which gapes after earthly
joys, and grovels in them as if they were the only joys. But though
eight generations, including Adam, are registered before the flood,
no man of Cain's line has his age recorded at which the son who
succeeded him was begotten. For the Spirit of God refused to mark the
times before the flood in the generations of the earthly city, but
preferred to do so in the heavenly line, as if it were more worthy
of being remembered. Further, when Seth was born, the age of his
father is mentioned; but already he had begotten other sons, and who
will presume to say that Cain and Abel were the only ones previously
begotten? For it does not follow that they alone had been begotten
of Adam, because they alone were named in order to continue the
series of generations which it was desirable to mention. For though
the names of all the rest are buried in silence, yet it is said that
Adam begot sons and daughters; and who that cares to be free from the
charge of temerity will dare to say how many his offspring numbered?
It was possible enough that Adam was divinely prompted to say, after
Seth was born, "For God hath raised up to me another seed for Abel,"
because that son was to be capable of representing Abel's holiness,
not because he was born first after him in point of time. Then
because it is written, "And Seth lived 205 years," or, according to
the Hebrew reading, "105 years, and begat Enos,"[178] who but a rash
man could affirm that this was his first-born? Will any man do so to
excite our wonder, and cause us to inquire how for so many years he
remained free from sexual intercourse, though without any purpose
of continuing so, or how, if he did not abstain, he yet had no
children? Will any man do so when it is written of him, "And he begat
sons and daughters, and all the days of Seth were 912 years, and he
died?"[179] And similarly regarding those whose years are afterwards
mentioned, it is not disguised that they begat sons and daughters.

Consequently it does not at all appear whether he who is named as the
son was himself the first begotten. Nay, since it is incredible that
those fathers were either so long in attaining puberty, or could not
get wives, or could not impregnate them, it is also incredible that
those sons were their first-born. But as the writer of the sacred
history designed to descend by well-marked intervals through a series
of generations to the birth and life of Noah, in whose time the flood
occurred, he mentioned not those sons who were first begotten, but
those by whom the succession was handed down.

Let me make this clearer by here inserting an example, in regard to
which no one can have any doubt that what I am asserting is true.
The evangelist Matthew, where he designs to commit to our memories
the generation of the Lord's flesh by a series of parents, beginning
from Abraham and intending to reach David, says, "Abraham begat
Isaac;"[180] why did he not say Ishmael, whom he first begat? Then
"Isaac begat Jacob;" why did he not say Esau, who was the first-born?
Simply because these sons would not have helped him to reach David.
Then follows, "And Jacob begat Judah and his brethren:" was Judah
the first begotten? "Judah," he says, "begat Pharez and Zara;" yet
neither were these twins the first-born of Judah, but before them he
had begotten three other sons. And so in the order of the generations
he retained those by whom he might reach David, so as to proceed
onwards to the end he had in view. And from this we may understand
that the antediluvians who are mentioned were not the first-born, but
those through whom the order of the succeeding generations might
be carried on to the patriarch Noah. We need not, therefore, weary
ourselves with discussing the needless and obscure question as to
their lateness of reaching puberty.


   16. _Of marriage between blood-relations, in regard to which the
       present law could not bind the men of the earliest ages._

As, therefore, the human race, subsequently to the first marriage
of the man who was made of dust, and his wife who was made out
of his side, required the union of males and females in order
that it might multiply, and as there were no human beings except
those who had been born of these two, men took their sisters for
wives,--an act which was as certainly dictated by necessity in these
ancient days as afterwards it was condemned by the prohibitions
of religion. For it is very reasonable and just that men, among
whom concord is honourable and useful, should be bound together by
various relationships; and that one man should not himself sustain
many relationships, but that the various relationships should be
distributed among several, and should thus serve to bind together
the greatest number in the same social interests. "Father" and
"father-in-law" are the names of two relationships. When, therefore,
a man has one person for his father, another for his father-in-law,
friendship extends itself to a larger number. But Adam in his single
person was obliged to hold both relations to his sons and daughters,
for brothers and sisters were united in marriage. So too Eve his wife
was both mother and mother-in-law to her children of both sexes;
while, had there been two women, one the mother, the other the
mother-in-law, the family affection would have had a wider field.
Then the sister herself by becoming a wife sustained in her single
person two relationships, which, had they been distributed among
individuals, one being sister, and another being wife, the family tie
would have embraced a greater number of persons. But there was then
no material for effecting this, since there were no human beings but
the brothers and sisters born of those two first parents. Therefore,
when an abundant population made it possible, men ought to choose for
wives women who were not already their sisters; for not only would
there then be no necessity for marrying sisters, but, were it done,
it would be most abominable. For if the grandchildren of the first
pair, being now able to choose their cousins for wives, married their
sisters, then it would no longer be only two but three relationships
that were held by one man, while each of these relationships ought to
have been held by a separate individual, so as to bind together by
family affection a larger number. For one man would in that case be
both father, and father-in-law, and uncle[181] to his own children
(brother and sister now man and wife); and his wife would be mother,
aunt, and mother-in-law to them; and they themselves would be not
only brother and sister, and man and wife, but cousins also, being
the children of brother and sister. Now, all these relationships,
which combined three men into one, would have embraced nine persons
had each relationship been held by one individual, so that a man had
one person for his sister, another his wife, another his cousin,
another his father, another his uncle, another his father-in-law,
another his mother, another his aunt, another his mother-in-law; and
thus the social bond would not have been tightened to bind a few, but
loosened to embrace a larger number of relations.

And we see that, since the human race has increased and multiplied,
this is so strictly observed even among the profane worshippers
of many and false gods, that though their laws perversely allow a
brother to marry his sister,[182] yet custom, with a finer morality,
prefers to forego this licence; and though it was quite allowable in
the earliest ages of the human race to marry one's sister, it is now
abhorred as a thing which no circumstances could justify. For custom
has very great power either to attract or to shock human feeling. And
in this matter, while it restrains concupiscence within due bounds,
the man who neglects and disobeys it is justly branded as abominable.
For if it is iniquitous to plough beyond our own boundaries through
the greed of gain, is it not much more iniquitous to transgress
the recognised boundaries of morals through sexual lust? And with
regard to marriage in the next degree of consanguinity, marriage
between cousins, we have observed that in our own time the customary
morality has prevented this from being frequent, though the law
allows it. It was not prohibited by divine law, nor as yet had human
law prohibited it; nevertheless, though legitimate, people shrank
from it, because it lay so close to what was illegitimate, and in
marrying a cousin seemed almost to marry a sister,--for cousins are
so closely related that they are called brothers and sisters,[183]
and are almost really so. But the ancient fathers, fearing that near
relationship might gradually in the course of generations diverge,
and become distant relationship, or cease to be relationship at all,
religiously endeavoured to limit it by the bond of marriage before
it became distant, and thus, as it were, to call it back when it
was escaping them. And on this account, even when the world was
full of people, though they did not choose wives from among their
sisters or half-sisters, yet they preferred them to be of the same
stock as themselves. But who doubts that the modern prohibition of
the marriage even of cousins is the more seemly regulation,--not
merely on account of the reason we have been urging, the multiplying
of relationships, so that one person might not absorb two, which
might be distributed to two persons, and so increase the number of
people bound together as a family, but also because there is in
human nature I know not what natural and praiseworthy shamefacedness
which restrains us from desiring that connection which, though for
propagation, is yet lustful, and which even conjugal modesty blushes
over, with any one to whom consanguinity bids us render respect?

The sexual intercourse of man and woman, then, is in the case of
mortals a kind of seed-bed of the city; but while the earthly city
needs for its population only generation, the heavenly needs also
regeneration to rid it of the taint of generation. Whether before the
deluge there was any bodily or visible sign of regeneration, such
as was afterwards enjoined upon Abraham when he was circumcised, or
what kind of sign it was, the sacred history does not inform us. But
it does inform us that even these earliest of mankind sacrificed to
God, as appeared also in the case of the two first brothers; Noah,
too, is said to have offered sacrifices to God when he had come
forth from the ark after the deluge. And concerning this subject we
have already said in the foregoing books that the devils arrogate to
themselves divinity, and require sacrifice that they may be esteemed
gods, and delight in these honours on no other account than this,
because they know that true sacrifice is due to the true God.


        17. _Of the two fathers and leaders who sprang from one
                             progenitor._

Since, then, Adam was the father of both lines,--the father, that is
to say, both of the line which belonged to the earthly, and of that
which belonged to the heavenly city,--when Abel was slain, and by his
death exhibited a marvellous mystery, there were henceforth two lines
proceeding from two fathers, Cain and Seth, and in those sons of
theirs, whom it behoved to register, the tokens of these two cities
began to appear more distinctly. For Cain begat Enoch, in whose name
he built a city, an earthly one, which was not from home in this
world, but rested satisfied with its temporal peace and happiness.
Cain, too, means "possession;" wherefore at his birth either his
father or mother said, "I have gotten a man through God." Then Enoch
means "dedication;" for the earthly city is dedicated in this world
in which it is built, for in this world it finds the end towards
which it aims and aspires. Further, Seth signifies "resurrection,"
and Enos his son signifies "man," not as Adam, which also signifies
man but is used in Hebrew indifferently for man and woman, as it is
written, "Male and female created He them, and blessed them, and
called their name Adam,"[184] leaving no room to doubt that though
the woman was distinctively called Eve, yet the name Adam, meaning
man, was common to both. But Enos means man in so restricted a
sense, that Hebrew linguists tell us it cannot be applied to woman:
it is the equivalent of the "child of the resurrection," when they
neither marry nor are given in marriage.[185] For there shall be no
generation in that place to which regeneration shall have brought
us. Wherefore I think it not immaterial to observe that in those
generations which are propagated from him who is called Seth,
although daughters as well as sons are said to have been begotten,
no woman is expressly registered by name; but in those which sprang
from Cain at the very termination to which the line runs, the last
person named as begotten is a woman. For we read, "Methusael begat
Lamech. And Lamech took unto him two wives: the name of the one was
Adah, and the name of the other Zillah. And Adah bare Jabal: he was
the father of the shepherds that dwell in tents. And his brother's
name was Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp
and organ. And Zillah, she also bare Tubal-Cain, an instructor of
every artificer in brass and iron: and the sister of Tubal-Cain was
Naamah."[186] Here terminate all the generations of Cain, being
eight in number, including Adam,--to wit, seven from Adam to Lamech,
who married two wives, and whose children, among whom a woman also
is named, form the eighth generation. Whereby it is elegantly
signified that the earthly city shall to its termination have carnal
generations proceeding from the intercourse of males and females.
And therefore the wives themselves of the man who is the last named
father of Cain's line are registered in their own names,--a practice
nowhere followed before the deluge save in Eve's case. Now as Cain,
signifying possession, the founder of the earthly city, and his son
Enoch, meaning dedication, in whose name it was founded, indicate
that this city is earthly both in its beginning and in its end,--a
city in which nothing more is hoped for than can be seen in this
world,--so Seth, meaning resurrection, and being the father of
generations registered apart from the others, we must consider what
this sacred history says of his son.


      18. _The significance of Abel, Seth, and Enos to Christ and
                         His body the Church._

"And to Seth," it is said, "there was born a son, and he called his
name Enos: he hoped to call on the name of the Lord God."[187] Here
we have a loud testimony to the truth. Man, then, the son of the
resurrection, lives in hope: he lives in hope as long as the city of
God, which is begotten by faith in the resurrection, sojourns in
this world. For in these two men, Abel, signifying "grief," and his
brother Seth, signifying "resurrection," the death of Christ and His
life from the dead are prefigured. And by faith in these is begotten
in this world the city of God, that is to say, the man who has hoped
to call on the name of the Lord. "For by hope," says the apostle, "we
are saved: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth,
why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do
we with patience wait for it."[188] Who can avoid referring this to a
profound mystery? For did not Abel hope to call upon the name of the
Lord God when his sacrifice is mentioned in Scripture as having been
accepted by God? Did not Seth himself hope to call on the name of the
Lord God, of whom it was said, "For God hath appointed me another
seed instead of Abel?" Why then is this which is found to be common
to all the godly specially attributed to Enos, unless because it was
fit that in him, who is mentioned as the first-born of the father
of those generations which were separated to the better part of the
heavenly city, there should be a type of the man, or society of men,
who live not according to man in contentment with earthly felicity,
but according to God in hope of everlasting felicity? And it was not
said, "He hoped in the Lord God," nor "He called on the name of the
Lord God," but "He hoped to call on the name of the Lord God." And
what does this "hoped to call" mean, unless it is a prophecy that a
people should arise who, according to the election of grace, would
call on the name of the Lord God? It is this which has been said by
another prophet, and which the apostle interprets of the people who
belong to the grace of God: "And it shall be that whosoever shall
call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."[189] For these two
expressions, "And he called his name Enos, which means man," and "He
hoped to call on the name of the Lord God," are sufficient proof
that man ought not to rest his hopes in himself; as it is elsewhere
written, "Cursed is the man that trusteth in man."[190] Consequently
no one ought to trust in himself that he shall become a citizen of
that other city which is not dedicated in the name of Cain's son in
this present time, that is to say, in the fleeting course of this
mortal world, but in the immortality of perpetual blessedness.


            19. _The significance of Enoch's translation._

For that line also of which Seth is the father has the name
"Dedication" in the seventh generation from Adam, counting Adam. For
the seventh from him is Enoch, that is, Dedication. But this is that
man who was translated because he pleased God, and who held in the
order of the generations a remarkable place, being the seventh from
Adam, a number signalized by the consecration of the Sabbath. But,
counting from the diverging point of the two lines, or from Seth,
he was the sixth. Now it was on the sixth day God made man, and
consummated His works. But the translation of Enoch prefigured our
deferred dedication; for though it is indeed already accomplished in
Christ our Head, who so rose again that He shall die no more, and who
was Himself also translated, yet there remains another dedication
of the whole house, of which Christ Himself is the foundation, and
this dedication is deferred till the end, when all shall rise again
to die no more. And whether it is the house of God, or the temple of
God, or the city of God, that is said to be dedicated, it is all the
same, and equally in accordance with the usage of the Latin language.
For Virgil himself calls the city of widest empire "the house of
Assaracus,"[191] meaning the Romans, who were descended through
the Trojans from Assaracus. He also calls them the house of Æneas,
because Rome was built by those Trojans who had come to Italy under
Æneas.[192] For that poet imitated the sacred writings, in which the
Hebrew nation, though so numerous, is called the house of Jacob.


  20. _How it is that Cain's line terminates in the eighth
      generation, while Noah, though descended from the same father,
      Adam, is found to be the tenth from him._

Some one will say, If the writer of this history intended, in
enumerating the generations from Adam through his son Seth, to
descend through them to Noah, in whose time the deluge occurred, and
from him again to trace the connected generations down to Abraham,
with whom Matthew begins the pedigree of Christ the eternal King of
the city of God, what did he intend by enumerating the generations
from Cain, and to what terminus did he mean to trace them? We reply,
To the deluge, by which the whole stock of the earthly city was
destroyed, but repaired by the sons of Noah. For the earthly city
and community of men who live after the flesh will never fail until
the end of this world, of which our Lord says, "The children of this
world generate, and are generated."[193] But the city of God, which
sojourns in this world, is conducted by regeneration to the world to
come, of which the children neither generate nor are generated. In
this world generation is common to both cities; though even now the
city of God has many thousand citizens who abstain from the act of
generation; yet the other city also has some citizens who imitate
these, though erroneously. For to that city belong also those who
have erred from the faith, and introduced divers heresies; for
they live according to man, not according to God. And the Indian
gymnosophists, who are said to philosophize in the solitudes of
India in a state of nudity, are its citizens; and they abstain
from marriage. For continence is not a good thing, except when it
is practised in the faith of the highest good, that is, God. Yet
no one is found to have practised it before the deluge; for indeed
even Enoch himself, the seventh from Adam, who is said to have been
translated without dying, begat sons and daughters before he was
translated, and among these was Methuselah, by whom the succession of
the recorded generations is maintained.

Why, then, is so small a number of Cain's generations registered, if
it was proper to trace them to the deluge, and if there was no such
delay of the date of puberty as to preclude the hope of offspring
for a hundred or more years? For if the author of this book had
not in view some one to whom he might rigidly trace the series of
generations, as he designed in those which sprang from Seth's seed
to descend to Noah, and thence to start again by a rigid order,
what need was there of omitting the first-born sons for the sake of
descending to Lamech, in whose sons that line terminates,--that
is to say, in the eighth generation from Adam, or the seventh from
Cain,--as if from this point he had wished to pass on to another
series, by which he might reach either the Israelitish people,
among whom the earthly Jerusalem presented a prophetic figure of
the heavenly city, or to Jesus Christ, "according to the flesh, who
is over all, God blessed for ever,"[194] the Maker and Ruler of the
heavenly city? What, I say, was the need of this, seeing that the
whole of Cain's posterity were destroyed in the deluge? From this it
is manifest that they are the first-born sons who are registered in
this genealogy. Why, then, are there so few of them? Their numbers in
the period before the deluge must have been greater, if the date of
puberty bore no proportion to their longevity, and they had children
before they were a hundred years old. For supposing they were on an
average thirty years old when they began to beget children, then, as
there are eight generations, including Adam and Lamech's children,
8 times 30 gives 240 years; did they then produce no more children
in all the rest of the time before the deluge? With what intention,
then, did he who wrote this record make no mention of subsequent
generations? For from Adam to the deluge there are reckoned,
according to our copies of Scripture, 2262 years,[195] and according
to the Hebrew text, 1656 years. Supposing, then, the smaller number
to be the true one, and subtracting from 1656 years 240, is it
credible that during the remaining 1400 and odd years until the
deluge the posterity of Cain begat no children?

But let any one who is moved by this call to mind that when I
discussed the question, how it is credible that those primitive
men could abstain for so many years from begetting children, two
modes of solution were found,--either a puberty late in proportion
to their longevity, or that the sons registered in the genealogies
were not the first-born, but those through whom the author of the
book intended to reach the point aimed at, as he intended to reach
Noah by the generations of Seth. So that, if in the generations of
Cain there occurs no one whom the writer could make it his object
to reach by omitting the first-borns and inserting those who would
serve such a purpose, then we must have recourse to the supposition
of late puberty, and say that only at some age beyond a hundred years
they became capable of begetting children, so that the order of the
generations ran through the first-borns, and filled up even the
whole period before the deluge, long though it was. It is, however,
possible that, for some more secret reason which escapes me, this
city, which we say is earthly, is exhibited in all its generations
down to Lamech and his sons, and that then the writer withholds
from recording the rest which may have existed before the deluge.
And without supposing so late a puberty in these men, there might
be another reason for tracing the generations by sons who were not
first-borns, viz. that the same city which Cain built, and named
after his son Enoch, may have had a widely extended dominion and many
kings, not reigning simultaneously, but successively, the reigning
king begetting always his successor. Cain himself would be the first
of these kings; his son Enoch, in whose name the city in which he
reigned was built, would be the second; the third Irad, whom Enoch
begat; the fourth Mehujael, whom Irad begat; the fifth Methusael,
whom Mehujael begat; the sixth Lamech, whom Methusael begat, and who
is the seventh from Adam through Cain. But it was not necessary that
the first-born should succeed their fathers in the kingdom, but those
would succeed who were recommended by the possession of some virtue
useful to the earthly city, or who were chosen by lot, or the son who
was best liked by his father would succeed by a kind of hereditary
right to the throne. And the deluge may have happened during the
lifetime and reign of Lamech, and may have destroyed him along with
all other men, save those who were in the ark. For we cannot be
surprised that, during so long a period from Adam to the deluge, and
with the ages of individuals varying as they did, there should not be
an equal number of generations in both lines, but seven in Cain's,
and ten in Seth's; for as I have already said, Lamech is the seventh
from Adam, Noah the tenth; and in Lamech's case not one son only is
registered, as in the former instances, but more, because it was
uncertain which of them would have succeeded when he died, if there
had intervened any time to reign between his death and the deluge.

But in whatever manner the generations of Cain's line are traced
downwards, whether it be by first-born sons or by the heirs to
the throne, it seems to me that I must by no means omit to notice
that, when Lamech had been set down as the seventh from Adam, there
were named, in addition, as many of his children as made up this
number to eleven, which is the number signifying sin; for three
sons and one daughter are added. The wives of Lamech have another
signification, different from that which I am now pressing. For at
present I am speaking of the children, and not of those by whom the
children were begotten. Since, then, the law is symbolized by the
number ten,--whence that memorable Decalogue,--there is no doubt
that the number eleven, which goes beyond[196] ten, symbolizes the
transgression of the law, and consequently sin. For this reason,
eleven veils of goat's skin were ordered to be hung in the tabernacle
of the testimony, which served in the wanderings of God's people as
an ambulatory temple. And in that haircloth there was a reminder of
sins, because the goats were to be set on the left hand of the Judge;
and therefore, when we confess our sins, we prostrate ourselves in
haircloth, as if we were saying what is written in the psalm, "My
sin is ever before me."[197] The progeny of Adam, then, by Cain
the murderer, is completed in the number eleven, which symbolizes
sin; and this number itself is made up by a woman, as it was by the
same sex that beginning was made of sin by which we all die. And
it was committed that the pleasure of the flesh, which resists the
spirit, might follow; and so Naamah, the daughter of Lamech, means
"pleasure." But from Adam to Noah, in the line of Seth, there are
ten generations. And to Noah three sons are added, of whom, while
one fell into sin, two were blessed by their father; so that, if you
deduct the reprobate and add the gracious sons to the number, you get
twelve,--a number signalized in the case of the patriarchs and of
the apostles, and made up of the parts of the number seven multiplied
into one another,--for three times four, or four times three, give
twelve. These things being so, I see that I must consider and mention
how these two lines, which by their separate genealogies depict the
two cities, one of earth-born, the other of regenerated persons,
became afterwards so mixed and confused, that the whole human race,
with the exception of eight persons, deserved to perish in the deluge.


  21. _Why it is that, as soon as Cain's son Enoch has been named,
      the genealogy is forthwith continued as far as the deluge,
      while after the mention of Enos, Seth's son, the narrative
      returns again to the creation of man._

We must first see why, in the enumeration of Cain's posterity, after
Enoch, in whose name the city was built, has been first of all
mentioned, the rest are at once enumerated down to that terminus of
which I have spoken, and at which that race and the whole line was
destroyed in the deluge; while, after Enos the son of Seth has been
mentioned, the rest are not at once named down to the deluge, but a
clause is inserted to the following effect: "This is the book of the
generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness
of God made He him; male and female created He them; and blessed them,
and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created."[198]
This seems to me to be inserted for this purpose, that here again the
reckoning of the times may start from Adam himself,--a purpose which
the writer had not in view in speaking of the earthly city, as if God
mentioned it, but did not take account of its duration. But why does
he return to this recapitulation after mentioning the son of Seth,
the man who hoped to call on the name of the Lord God, unless because
it was fit thus to present these two cities, the one beginning with a
murderer and ending in a murderer (for Lamech, too, acknowledges to
his two wives that he had committed murder), the other built up by him
who hoped to call upon the name of the Lord God? For the highest and
complete terrestrial duty of the city of God, which is a stranger in
this world, is that which was exemplified in the individual who was
begotten by him who typified the resurrection of the murdered Abel.
That one man is the unity of the whole heavenly city, not yet indeed
complete, but to be completed, as this prophetic figure foreshows. The
son of Cain, therefore, that is, the son of possession (and of what
but an earthly possession?), may have a name in the earthly city which
was built in his name. It is of such the Psalmist says, "They call
their lands after their own names."[199] Wherefore they incur what is
written in another psalm: "Thou, O Lord, in Thy city wilt despise their
image."[200] But as for the son of Seth, the son of the resurrection,
let him hope to call on the name of the Lord God. For he prefigures
that society of men which says, "But I am like a green olive-tree in
the house of God: I have trusted in the mercy of God."[201] But let him
not seek the empty honours of a famous name upon earth, for "Blessed
is the man that maketh the name of the Lord his trust, and respecteth
not vanities nor lying follies."[202] After having presented the two
cities, the one founded in the material good of this world, the other
in hope in God, but both starting from a common gate opened in Adam
into this mortal state, and both running on and running out to their
proper and merited ends, Scripture begins to reckon the times, and in
this reckoning includes other generations, making a recapitulation
from Adam, out of whose condemned seed, as out of one mass handed over
to merited damnation, God made some vessels of wrath to dishonour and
others vessels of mercy to honour; in punishment rendering to the
former what is due, in grace giving to the latter what is not due:
in order that by the very comparison of itself with the vessels of
wrath, the heavenly city, which sojourns on earth, may learn not to
put confidence in the liberty of its own will, but may hope to call on
the name of the Lord God. For will, being a nature which was made good
by the good God, but mutable by the immutable, because it was made out
of nothing, can both decline from good to do evil, which takes place
when it freely chooses, and can also escape the evil and do good, which
takes place only by divine assistance.


  22. _Of the fall of the sons of God who were captivated by the
      daughters of men, whereby all, with the exception of eight
      persons, deservedly perished in the deluge._

When the human race, in the exercise of this freedom of will,
increased and advanced, there arose a mixture and confusion of the
two cities by their participation in a common iniquity. And this
calamity, as well as the first, was occasioned by woman, though
not in the same way; for these women were not themselves betrayed,
neither did they persuade the men to sin, but having belonged to the
earthly city and society of the earthly, they had been of corrupt
manners from the first, and were loved for their bodily beauty by the
sons of God, or the citizens of the other city which sojourns in this
world. Beauty is indeed a good gift of God; but that the good may not
think it a great good, God dispenses it even to the wicked. And thus,
when the good that is great and proper to the good was abandoned by
the sons of God, they fell to a paltry good which is not peculiar to
the good, but common to the good and the evil; and when they were
captivated by the daughters of men, they adopted the manners of the
earthly to win them as their brides, and forsook the godly ways
they had followed in their own holy society. And thus beauty, which
is indeed God's handiwork, but only a temporal, carnal, and lower
kind of good, is not fitly loved in preference to God, the eternal,
spiritual, and unchangeable good. When the miser prefers his gold to
justice, it is through no fault of the gold, but of the man; and so
with every created thing. For though it be good, it may be loved with
an evil as well as with a good love: it is loved rightly when it is
loved ordinately; evilly, when inordinately. It is this which some
one has briefly said in these verses in praise of the Creator:[203]
"These are Thine, they are good, because Thou art good who didst
create them. There is in them nothing of ours, unless the sin we
commit when we forget the order of things, and instead of Thee love
that which Thou hast made."

But if the Creator is truly loved, that is, if He Himself is loved
and not another thing in His stead, He cannot be evilly loved; for
love itself is to be ordinately loved, because we do well to love
that which, when we love it, makes us live well and virtuously.
So that it seems to me that it is a brief but true definition of
virtue to say, it is the order of love; and on this account, in the
Canticles, the bride of Christ, the city of God, sings, "Order love
within me."[204] It was the order of this love, then, this charity
or attachment, which the sons of God disturbed when they forsook
God, and were enamoured of the daughters of men.[205] And by these
two names (sons of God and daughters of men) the two cities are
sufficiently distinguished. For though the former were by nature
children of men, they had come into possession of another name by
grace. For in the same Scripture in which the sons of God are said to
have loved the daughters of men, they are also called angels of God;
whence many suppose that they were not men but angels.


  23. _Whether we are to believe that angels, who are of a spiritual
      substance, fell in love with the beauty of women, and sought them
      in marriage, and that from this connection giants were born._

In the third book of this work (c. 5) we made a passing reference
to this question, but did not decide whether angels, inasmuch as
they are spirits, could have bodily intercourse with women. For it
is written, "Who maketh His angels spirits,"[206] that is, He makes
those who are by nature spirits His angels by appointing them to
the duty of bearing His messages. For the Greek word ἄγγελος, which
in Latin appears as "angelus," means a messenger. But whether the
Psalmist speaks of their bodies when he adds, "and His ministers a
flaming fire," or means that God's ministers ought to blaze with love
as with a spiritual fire, is doubtful. However, the same trustworthy
Scripture testifies that angels have appeared to men in such bodies
as could not only be seen, but also touched. There is, too, a very
general rumour, which many have verified by their own experience,
or which trustworthy persons who have heard the experience of
others corroborate, that sylvans and fauns, who are commonly called
"incubi," had often made wicked assaults upon women, and satisfied
their lust upon them; and that certain devils, called Duses by the
Gauls, are constantly attempting and effecting this impurity is so
generally affirmed, that it were impudent to deny it.[207] From
these assertions, indeed, I dare not determine whether there be some
spirits embodied in an aerial substance (for this element, even when
agitated by a fan, is sensibly felt by the body), and who are capable
of lust and of mingling sensibly with women; but certainly I could by
no means believe that God's holy angels could at that time have so
fallen, nor can I think that it is of them the Apostle Peter said,
"For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down
to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved
unto judgment."[208] I think he rather speaks of those who first
apostatized from God, along with their chief the devil, who enviously
deceived the first man under the form of a serpent. But the same holy
Scripture affords the most ample testimony that even godly men have
been called angels; for of John it is written: "Behold, I send my
messenger (angel) before Thy face, who shall prepare Thy way."[209]
And the prophet Malachi, by a peculiar grace specially communicated
to him, was called an angel.[210]

But some are moved by the fact that we have read that the fruit of
the connection between those who are called angels of God and the
women they loved were not men like our own breed, but giants; just
as if there were not born even in our own time (as I have mentioned
above) men of much greater size than the ordinary stature. Was
there not at Rome a few years ago, when the destruction of the city
now accomplished by the Goths was drawing near, a woman, with her
father and mother, who by her gigantic size overtopped all others?
Surprising crowds from all quarters came to see her, and that which
struck them most was the circumstance that neither of her parents
were quite up to the tallest ordinary stature. Giants therefore might
well be born, even before the sons of God, who are also called angels
of God, formed a connection with the daughters of men, or of those
living according to men, that is to say, before the sons of Seth
formed a connection with the daughters of Cain. For thus speaks even
the canonical Scripture itself in the book in which we read of this;
its words are: "And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on
the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, that the
sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair [good];
and they took them wives of all which they chose. And the Lord God
said, My Spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is
flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years. There were
giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons
of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to
them, the same became the giants, men of renown."[211] These words of
the divine book sufficiently indicate that already there were giants
in the earth in those days, in which the sons of God took wives of
the children of men, when they loved them because they were good,
that is, fair. For it is the custom of this Scripture to call those
who are beautiful in appearance "good." But after this connection had
been formed, then too were giants born. For the words are: "There
were giants in the earth in those days, _and also after that_, when
the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men." Therefore there
were giants both before, "in those days," and "also after that."
And the words, "they bare children to them," show plainly enough
that before the sons of God fell in this fashion they begat children
to God, not to themselves,--that is to say, not moved by the lust
of sexual intercourse, but discharging the duty of propagation,
intending to produce not a family to gratify their own pride, but
citizens to people the city of God; and to these they as God's angels
would bear the message, that they should place their hope in God,
like him who was born of Seth the son of resurrection, and who hoped
to call on the name of the Lord God, in which hope they and their
offspring would be co-heirs of eternal blessings, and brethren in the
family of which God is the Father.

But that those angels were not angels in the sense of not being
men, as some suppose, Scripture itself decides, which unambiguously
declares that they were men. For when it had first been stated that
"the angels of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair, and
they took them wives of all which they chose," it was immediately
added, "And the Lord God said, My Spirit shall not always strive
with these men, for that they also are flesh." For by the Spirit of
God they had been made angels of God, and sons of God; but declining
towards lower things, they are called men, a name of nature, not of
grace; and they are called flesh, as deserters of the Spirit, and
by their desertion deserted [by Him]. The Septuagint indeed calls
them both angels of God and sons of God, though all the copies do
not show this, some having only the name "sons of God." And Aquila,
whom the Jews prefer to the other interpreters,[212] has translated
neither angels of God nor sons of God, but sons of gods. But both
are correct. For they were both sons of God, and thus brothers of
their own fathers, who were children of the same God; and they were
sons of gods, because begotten by gods, together with whom they
themselves also were gods, according to that expression of the psalm:
"I have said, Ye are gods, and all of you are children of the Most
High."[213] For the Septuagint translators are justly believed to
have received the Spirit of prophecy; so that, if they made any
alterations under His authority, and did not adhere to a strict
translation, we could not doubt that this was divinely dictated.
However, the Hebrew word may be said to be ambiguous, and to be
susceptible of either translation, "sons of God," or "sons of gods."

Let us omit, then, the fables of those scriptures which are called
apocryphal, because their obscure origin was unknown to the fathers
from whom the authority of the true Scriptures has been transmitted
to us by a most certain and well-ascertained succession. For though
there is some truth in these apocryphal writings, yet they contain
so many false statements, that they have no canonical authority.
We cannot deny that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, left some divine
writings, for this is asserted by the Apostle Jude in his canonical
epistle. But it is not without reason that these writings have no
place in that canon of Scripture which was preserved in the temple
of the Hebrew people by the diligence of successive priests; for
their antiquity brought them under suspicion, and it was impossible
to ascertain whether these were his genuine writings, and they were
not brought forward as genuine by the persons who were found to have
carefully preserved the canonical books by a successive transmission.
So that the writings which are produced under his name, and which
contain these fables about the giants, saying that their fathers were
not men, are properly judged by prudent men to be not genuine; just
as many writings are produced by heretics under the names both of
other prophets, and, more recently, under the names of the apostles,
all of which, after careful examination, have been set apart from
canonical authority under the title of Apocrypha. There is therefore
no doubt that, according to the Hebrew and Christian canonical
Scriptures, there were many giants before the deluge, and that these
were citizens of the earthly society of men, and that the sons of
God, who were according to the flesh the sons of Seth, sunk into this
community when they forsook righteousness. Nor need we wonder that
giants should be born even from these. For all of their children were
not giants; but there were more then than in the remaining periods
since the deluge. And it pleased the Creator to produce them, that
it might thus be demonstrated that neither beauty, nor yet size and
strength, are of much moment to the wise man, whose blessedness lies
in spiritual and immortal blessings, in far better and more enduring
gifts, in the good things that are the peculiar property of the good,
and are not shared by good and bad alike. It is this which another
prophet confirms when he says, "These were the giants, famous from
the beginning, that were of so great stature, and so expert in war.
Those did not the Lord choose, neither gave He the way of knowledge
unto them; but they were destroyed because they had no wisdom, and
perished through their own foolishness."[214]


  24. _How we are to understand this which the Lord said to those who
      were to perish in the flood: "Their days shall be_ 120 _years."_

But that which God said, "Their days shall be an hundred and twenty
years," is not to be understood as a prediction that henceforth men
should not live longer than 120 years,--for even after the deluge we
find that they lived more than 500 years,--but we are to understand
that God said this when Noah had nearly completed his fifth century,
that is, had lived 480 years, which Scripture, as it frequently uses
the name of the whole for the largest part, calls 500 years. Now the
deluge came in the 600th year of Noah's life, the second month; and
thus 120 years were predicted as being the remaining span of those
who were doomed, which years being spent, they should be destroyed
by the deluge. And it is not unreasonably believed that the deluge
came as it did, because already there were not found upon earth any
who were not worthy of sharing a death so manifestly judicial,--not
that a good man, who must die some time, would be a jot the worse of
such a death after it was past. Nevertheless there died in the deluge
none of those mentioned in the sacred Scripture as descended from
Seth. But here is the divine account of the cause of the deluge: "The
Lord God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and
that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil
continually. And it repented[215] the Lord that He had made man on
the earth, and it grieved Him at His heart. And the Lord said, I will
destroy man, whom I have created, from the face of the earth; both
man and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air: for
I am angry that I have made them."[216]


    25. _Of the anger of God, which does not inflame His mind, nor
                disturb His unchangeable tranquillity._

The anger of God is not a disturbing emotion of His mind, but a
judgment by which punishment is inflicted upon sin. His thought
and reconsideration also are the unchangeable reason which
changes things; for He does not, like man, repent of anything He
has done, because in all matters His decision is as inflexible as
His prescience is certain. But if Scripture were not to use such
expressions as the above, it would not familiarly insinuate itself
into the minds of all classes of men, whom it seeks access to for
their good, that it may alarm the proud, arouse the careless,
exercise the inquisitive, and satisfy the intelligent; and this it
could not do, did it not first stoop, and in a manner descend, to
them where they lie. But its denouncing death on all the animals of
earth and air is a declaration of the vastness of the disaster that
was approaching: not that it threatens destruction to the irrational
animals as if they too had incurred it by sin.


      26. _That the ark which Noah was ordered to make figures in
                 every respect Christ and the church._

Moreover, inasmuch as God commanded Noah, a just man, and, as the
truthful Scripture says, a man perfect in his generation,--not indeed
with the perfection of the citizens of the city of God in that
immortal condition in which they equal the angels, but in so far as
they can be perfect in their sojourn in this world,--inasmuch as God
commanded him, I say, to make an ark, in which he might be rescued
from the destruction of the flood, along with his family, _i.e._ his
wife, sons, and daughters-in-law, and along with the animals who, in
obedience to God's command, came to him into the ark: is certainly
a figure of the city of God sojourning in this world; that is to
say, of the church, which is rescued by the wood on which hung the
Mediator of God and men, the man Christ Jesus.[217] For even its
very dimensions, in length, breadth, and height, represent the human
body in which He came, as it had been foretold. For the length of
the human body, from the crown of the head to the sole of the foot,
is six times its breadth from side to side, and ten times its depth
or thickness, measuring from back to front: that is to say, if you
measure a man as he lies on his back or on his face, he is six times
as long from head to foot as he is broad from side to side, and ten
times as long as he is high from the ground. And therefore the ark
was made 300 cubits in length, 50 in breadth, and 30 in height. And
its having a door made in the side of it certainly signified the
wound which was made when the side of the Crucified was pierced with
the spear: for by this those who come to Him enter; for thence flowed
the sacraments by which those who believe are initiated. And the fact
that it was ordered to be made of squared timbers, signifies the
immoveable steadiness of the life of the saints; for however you turn
a cube, it still stands. And the other peculiarities of the ark's
construction are signs of features of the church.

But we have not now time to pursue this subject; and, indeed, we
have already dwelt upon it in the work we wrote against Faustus the
Manichean, who denies that there is anything prophesied of Christ
in the Hebrew books. It may be that one man's exposition excels
another's, and that ours is not the best; but all that is said
must be referred to this city of God we speak of, which sojourns
in this wicked world as in a deluge, at least if the expositor
would not widely miss the meaning of the author. For example, the
interpretation I have given in the work against Faustus, of the
words, "with lower, second, and third storeys shalt thou make it,"
is, that because the church is gathered out of all nations, it is
said to have two storeys, to represent the two kinds of men,--the
circumcision, to wit, and the uncircumcision, or, as the apostle
otherwise calls them, Jews and Gentiles; and to have three storeys,
because all the nations were replenished from the three sons of Noah.
Now any one may object to this interpretation, and may give another
which harmonizes with the rule of faith. For as the ark was to have
rooms not only on the lower, but also on the upper storeys, which
were called "third storeys," that there might be a habitable space
on the third floor from the basement, some one may interpret these
to mean the three graces commended by the apostle,--faith, hope, and
charity. Or even more suitably they may be supposed to represent
those three harvests in the gospel, thirty-fold, sixtyfold, an
hundredfold,--chaste marriage dwelling in the ground floor, chaste
widowhood in the upper, and chaste virginity in the top storey. Or
any better interpretation may be given, so long as the reference to
this city is maintained. And the same statement I would make of all
the remaining particulars in this passage which require exposition,
viz. that although different explanations are given, yet they must
all agree with the one harmonious catholic faith.


  27. _Of the ark and the deluge, and that we cannot agree with
      those who receive the bare history, but reject the allegorical
      interpretation, nor with those who maintain the figurative and
      not the historical meaning._

Yet no one ought to suppose either that these things were written for
no purpose, or that we should study only the historical truth, apart
from any allegorical meanings; or, on the contrary, that they are
only allegories, and that there were no such facts at all, or that,
whether it be so or no, there is here no prophecy of the church.
For what right-minded man will contend that books so religiously
preserved during thousands of years, and transmitted by so orderly
a succession, were written without an object, or that only the bare
historical facts are to be considered when we read them? For, not
to mention other instances, if the number of the animals entailed
the construction of an ark of great size, where was the necessity of
sending into it two unclean and seven clean animals of each species,
when both could have been preserved in equal numbers? Or could not
God, who ordered them to be preserved in order to replenish the race,
restore them in the same way He had created them?

But they who contend that these things never happened, but are only
figures setting forth other things, in the first place suppose that
there could not be a flood so great that the water should rise
fifteen cubits above the highest mountains, because it is said
that clouds cannot rise above the top of Mount Olympus, because it
reaches the sky where there is none of that thicker atmosphere in
which winds, clouds, and rains have their origin. They do not reflect
that the densest element of all, earth, can exist there; or perhaps
they deny that the top of the mountain is earth. Why, then, do these
measurers and weighers of the elements contend that earth can be
raised to those aerial altitudes, and that water cannot, while they
admit that water is lighter, and liker to ascend than earth? What
reason do they adduce why earth, the heavier and lower element, has
for so many ages scaled to the tranquil æther, while water, the
lighter, and more likely to ascend, is not suffered to do the same
even for a brief space of time?

They say, too, that the area of that ark could not contain so many
kinds of animals of both sexes, two of the unclean and seven of the
clean. But they seem to me to reckon only one area of 300 cubits long
and 50 broad, and not to remember that there was another similar
in the storey above, and yet another as large in the storey above
that again; and that there was consequently an area of 900 cubits by
150. And if we accept what Origen[218] has with some appropriateness
suggested, that Moses the man of God, being, as it is written,
"learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians,"[219] who delighted
in geometry, may have meant geometrical cubits, of which they say
that one is equal to six of our cubits, then who does not see what a
capacity these dimensions give to the ark? For as to their objection
that an ark of such size could not be built, it is a very silly
calumny; for they are aware that huge cities have been built, and
they should remember that the ark was an hundred years in building.
Or, perhaps, though stone can adhere to stone when cemented with
nothing but lime, so that a wall of several miles may be constructed,
yet plank cannot be riveted to plank by mortices, bolts, nails,
and pitch-glue, so as to construct an ark which was not made with
curved ribs but straight timbers, which was not to be launched by its
builders but to be lifted by the natural pressure of the water when
it reached it, and which was to be preserved from shipwreck as it
floated about rather by divine oversight than by human skill.

As to another customary inquiry of the scrupulous about the very
minute creatures, not only such as mice and lizards, but also
locusts, beetles, flies, fleas, and so forth, whether there were not
in the ark a larger number of them than was determined by God in
His command, those persons who are moved by this difficulty are to
be reminded that the words "every creeping thing of the earth" only
indicate that it was not needful to preserve in the ark the animals
that can live in the water, whether the fishes that live submerged
in it, or the sea-birds that swim on its surface. Then, when it is
said "male and female," no doubt reference is made to the repairing
of the races, and consequently there was no need for those creatures
being in the ark which are born without the union of the sexes from
inanimate things, or from their corruption; or if they were in the
ark, they might be there as they commonly are in houses, not in any
determinate numbers; or if it was necessary that there should be a
definite number of all those animals that cannot naturally live in
the water, that so the most sacred mystery which was being enacted
might be bodied forth and perfectly figured in actual realities,
still this was not the care of Noah or his sons, but of God. For
Noah did not catch the animals and put them into the ark, but gave
them entrance as they came seeking it. For this is the force of the
words, "They shall come unto thee,"[1]--not, that is to say, by man's
effort, but by God's will. But certainly we are not required to
believe that those which have no sex also came; for it is expressly
and definitely said, "They shall be male and female."[220] For there
are some animals which are born out of corruption, but yet afterwards
they themselves copulate and produce offspring, as flies; but others,
which have no sex, like bees. Then, as to those animals which have
sex, but without ability to propagate their kind, like mules and
she-mules, it is probable that they were not in the ark, but that
it was counted sufficient to preserve their parents, to wit, the
horse and the ass; and this applies to all hybrids. Yet, if it was
necessary for the completeness of the mystery, they were there; for
even this species has "male and female."

Another question is commonly raised regarding the food of the
carnivorous animals,--whether, without transgressing the command
which fixed the number to be preserved, there were necessarily others
included in the ark for their sustenance; or, as is more probable,
there might be some food which was not flesh, and which yet suited
all. For we know how many animals whose food is flesh eat also
vegetable products and fruits, especially figs and chestnuts. What
wonder is it, therefore, if that wise and just man was instructed
by God what would suit each, so that without flesh he prepared and
stored provision fit for every species? And what is there which
hunger would not make animals eat? Or what could not be made sweet
and wholesome by God, who, with a divine facility, might have enabled
them to do without food at all, had it not been requisite to the
completeness of so great a mystery that they should be fed? But none
but a contentious man can suppose that there was no prefiguring
of the church in so manifold and circumstantial a detail. For the
nations have already so filled the church, and are comprehended in
the framework of its unity, the clean and unclean together, until
the appointed end, that this one very manifest fulfilment leaves no
doubt how we should interpret even those others which are somewhat
more obscure, and which cannot so readily be discerned. And since
this is so, if not even the most audacious will presume to assert
that these things were written without a purpose, or that though the
events really happened they mean nothing, or that they did not really
happen, but are only allegory, or that at all events they are far
from having any figurative reference to the church; if it has been
made out that, on the other hand, we must rather believe that there
was a wise purpose in their being committed to memory and to writing,
and that they did happen, and have a significance, and that this
significance has a prophetic reference to the church, then this book,
having served this purpose, may now be closed, that we may go on to
trace in the history subsequent to the deluge the courses of the two
cities,--the earthly, that lives according to men, and the heavenly,
that lives according to God.

FOOTNOTES:

[130] 1 Cor. xv. 46.

[131] Rom. ix. 21.

[132] Gen. iv. 17.

[133] Comp. _De Trin._ xv. c. 15.

[134] Gal. iv. 21-31.

[135] Rom. ix. 22, 23.

[136] Wisdom viii. 1.

[137] Lucan, _Phar._ i. 95.

[138] Gal. v. 17.

[139] Gal. vi. 2.

[140] 1 Thess. v. 14, 15.

[141] Gal. vi. 1.

[142] Eph. iv. 26.

[143] Matt. xviii. 15.

[144] 1 Tim. v. 20.

[145] Heb. xii. 14.

[146] Matt. xviii. 35.

[147] Rom. vi. 12, 13.

[148] Gen. iv. 6, 7.

[149] Literally, "division."

[150] 1 John iii. 12.

[151] We alter the pronoun to suit Augustine's interpretation.

[152] Gal. v. 17.

[153] Rom. vii. 17.

[154] Rom. vi. 13.

[155] Gen. iii. 16.

[156] Eph. v. 28, 29.

[157] _C. Faustum. Man._ xii. c. 9.

[158] Gen. iv. 17.

[159] Gen. iv. 25.

[160] Lamech, according to the LXX.

[161] Ex. xii. 37.

[162] Virgil, _Æneid_, xii. 899, 900. Compare the _Iliad_, v. 302,
and Juvenal, xv. 65 et seqq.

          "Terra malos homines nunc educat atque pusillos."

[163] Plin. _Hist. Nat._ vii. 16.

[164] See the account given by Herodotus (i. 67) of the discovery of
the bones of Orestes, which, as the story goes, gave a stature of
seven cubits.

[165] Pliny, _Hist. Nat._ vii. 49, merely reports what he had read in
Hellanicus about the Epirotes of Etolia.

[166] "Our own MSS.," of which Augustine here speaks, were the Latin
versions of the Septuagint used by the Church before Jerome's was
received; the "Hebrew MSS." were the versions made from the Hebrew
text. Compare _De Doct. Christ._ ii. 15 et seqq.

[167] Jerome (_De Quæst. Heb. in Gen._) says it was a question famous
in all the churches.--VIVES.

[168] "Quos in auctoritatem celebriorum Ecclesia suscepit."

[169] See below, book xviii. c. 42-44.

[170] C. 8.

[171] On this subject see Wilkinson's note to the second book
(appendix) of Rawlinson's _Herodotus_, where all available references
are given.

[172] One hundred and eighty-seven is the number given in the Hebrew,
and one hundred and sixty-seven in the Septuagint; but notwithstanding
the confusion, the argument of Augustine is easily followed.

[173] Gen. vii. 10, 11 (in our version the seventeenth day).

[174] Gen. viii. 4, 5.

[175] Ps. xc. 10.

[176] Gen. iv. 1.

[177] Gen. iv. 25.

[178] Gen. v. 6.

[179] Gen. v. 8.

[180] Matt. i.

[181] His own children being the children of his sister, and
therefore his nephews.

[182] This was allowed by the Egyptians and Athenians, never by the
Romans.

[183] Both in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, though not uniformly, nor in
Latin commonly.

[184] Gen. v. 2.

[185] Luke xx. 35, 36.

[186] Gen. iv. 18-22.

[187] Gen. iv. 26.

[188] Rom. viii. 24, 25.

[189] Rom. x. 13.

[190] Jer. xvii. 5.

[191] _Æneid_, i. 288.

[192] _Æneid_, iii. 97.

[193] Luke xx. 34.

[194] Rom. ix. 5.

[195] Eusebius, Jerome, Bede, and others, who follow the Septuagint,
reckon only 2242 years, which Vives explains by supposing Augustine
to have made a copyist's error.

[196] _Transgreditur._

[197] Ps. li. 3.

[198] Gen. v. 1.

[199] Ps. xlix. 11.

[200] Ps. lxxiii. 20.

[201] Ps. lii. 8.

[202] Ps. xl. 4.

[203] Or, according to another reading, "Which I briefly said in
these verses in praise of a taper."

[204] Cant. ii. 4.

[205] See _De Doct. Christ._ i. 28.

[206] Ps. civ. 4.

[207] On these kinds of devils, see the note of Vives _in loc._,
or Lecky's _Hist. of Rationalism_, i. 26, who quotes from Maury's
_Histoire de la Magie_, that the Dusii were Celtic spirits, and are
the origin of our "Deuce."

[208] 2 Pet. ii. 4.

[209] Mark i. 2.

[210] Mal. ii. 7.

[211] Gen. vi. 1-4. Lactantius (_Inst._ ii. 15), Sulpicius Severus
(_Hist._ i. 2), and others suppose from this passage that angels had
commerce with the daughters of men. See further references in the
Commentary of Pererius _in loc_.

[212] Aquila lived in the time of Hadrian, to whom he is said to
have been related. He was excommunicated from the Church for the
practice of astrology; and is best known by his translation of the
Hebrew Scriptures into Greek, which he executed with great care and
accuracy, though he has been charged with falsifying passages to
support the Jews in their opposition to Christianity.

[213] Ps. lxxxii. 6.

[214] Baruch iii. 26-28.

[215] Lit.: "The Lord thought and reconsidered."

[216] Gen. vi. 5-7.

[217] 1 Tim. ii. 5.

[218] In his second homily on Genesis.

[219] Acts vii. 22.

[220] Gen. vi. 19, 20.



                            BOOK SIXTEENTH.

                               ARGUMENT.

  IN THE FORMER PART OF THIS BOOK, FROM THE FIRST TO THE TWELFTH
      CHAPTER, THE PROGRESS OF THE TWO CITIES, THE EARTHLY AND
      THE HEAVENLY, FROM NOAH TO ABRAHAM, IS EXHIBITED FROM HOLY
      SCRIPTURE: IN THE LATTER PART, THE PROGRESS OF THE HEAVENLY
      ALONE, FROM ABRAHAM TO THE KINGS OF ISRAEL, IS THE SUBJECT.


   1. _Whether, after the deluge, from Noah to Abraham, any families
               can be found who lived according to God._

It is difficult to discover from Scripture, whether, after the
deluge, traces of the holy city are continuous, or are so interrupted
by intervening seasons of godlessness, that not a single worshipper
of the one true God was found among men; because from Noah, who,
with his wife, three sons, and as many daughters-in-law, achieved
deliverance in the ark from the destruction of the deluge, down to
Abraham, we do not find in the canonical books that the piety of
any one is celebrated by express divine testimony, unless it be in
the case of Noah, who commends with a prophetic benediction his two
sons Shem and Japheth, while he beheld and foresaw what was long
afterwards to happen. It was also by this prophetic spirit that,
when his middle son--that is, the son who was younger than the first
and older than the last born--had sinned against him, he cursed him
not in his own person, but in his son's (his own grandson's), in the
words, "Cursed be the lad Canaan; a servant shall he be unto his
brethren."[221] Now Canaan was born of Ham, who, so far from covering
his sleeping father's nakedness, had divulged it. For the same reason
also he subjoins the blessing on his two other sons, the oldest and
youngest, saying, "Blessed be the Lord God of Shem; and Canaan shall
be his servant. God shall gladden Japheth, and he shall dwell in the
houses of Shem."[222] And so, too, the planting of the vine by Noah,
and his intoxication by its fruit, and his nakedness while he slept,
and the other things done at that time, and recorded, are all of them
pregnant with prophetic meanings, and veiled in mysteries.[223]


      2. _What was prophetically prefigured in the sons of Noah._

The things which then were hidden are now sufficiently revealed
by the actual events which have followed. For who can carefully
and intelligently consider these things without recognising them
accomplished in Christ? Shem, of whom Christ was born in the flesh,
means "named." And what is of greater name than Christ, the fragrance
of whose name is now everywhere perceived, so that even prophecy
sings of it beforehand, comparing it in the Song of Songs[224] to
ointment poured forth? Is it not also in the houses of Christ, that
is, in the churches, that the "enlargement" of the nations dwells?
For Japheth means "enlargement." And Ham (_i.e._ hot), who was the
middle son of Noah, and, as it were, separated himself from both,
and remained between them, neither belonging to the first-fruits of
Israel nor to the fulness of the Gentiles, what does he signify but
the tribe of heretics, hot with the spirit, not of patience, but of
impatience, with which the breasts of heretics are wont to blaze,
and with which they disturb the peace of the saints? But even the
heretics yield an advantage to those that make proficiency, according
to the apostle's saying, "There must also be heresies, that they
which are approved may be made manifest among you."[225] Whence,
too, it is elsewhere said, "The son that receives instruction will
be wise, and he uses the foolish as his servant."[226] For while the
hot restlessness of heretics stirs questions about many articles of
the catholic faith, the necessity of defending them forces us both to
investigate them more accurately, to understand them more clearly,
and to proclaim them more earnestly; and the question mooted by an
adversary becomes the occasion of instruction. However, not only
those who are openly separated from the church, but also all who
glory in the Christian name, and at the same time lead abandoned
lives, may without absurdity seem to be figured by Noah's middle
son: for the passion of Christ, which was signified by that man's
nakedness, is at once proclaimed by their profession, and dishonoured
by their wicked conduct. Of such, therefore, it has been said,
"By their fruits ye shall know them."[227] And therefore was Ham
cursed in his son, he being, as it were, his fruit. So, too, this
son of his, Canaan, is fitly interpreted "their movement," which is
nothing else than their work. But Shem and Japheth, that is to say,
the circumcision and uncircumcision, or, as the apostle otherwise
calls them, the Jews and Greeks, but called and justified, having
somehow discovered the nakedness of their father (which signifies
the Saviour's passion), took a garment and laid it upon their backs,
and entered backwards and covered their father's nakedness, without
their seeing what their reverence hid. For we both honour the passion
of Christ as accomplished for us, and we hate the crime of the Jews
who crucified Him. The garment signifies the sacrament, their backs
the memory of things past: for the church celebrates the passion of
Christ as already accomplished, and no longer to be looked forward
to, now that Japheth already dwells in the habitations of Shem, and
their wicked brother between them.

But the wicked brother is, in the person of his son (_i.e._ his
work), the boy, or slave, of his good brothers, when good men make
a skilful use of bad men, either for the exercise of their patience
or for their advancement in wisdom. For the apostle testifies that
there are some who preach Christ from no pure motives; "but," says
he, "whether in pretence or in truth, Christ is preached; and I
therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice."[228] For it is Christ
Himself who planted the vine of which the prophet says, "The vine of
the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel;"[229] and He drinks of its
wine, whether we thus understand that cup of which He says, "Can ye
drink of the cup that I shall drink of?"[230] and, "Father, if it
be possible, let this cup pass from me,"[231] by which He obviously
means His passion. Or, as wine is the fruit of the vine, we may
prefer to understand that from this vine, that is to say, from the
race of Israel, He has assumed flesh and blood that He might suffer;
"and he was drunken," that is, He suffered; "and was naked," that is,
His weakness appeared in His suffering, as the apostle says, "though
He was crucified through weakness."[232] Wherefore the same apostle
says, "The weakness of God is stronger than men; and the foolishness
of God is wiser than men."[233] And when to the expression "he was
naked" Scripture adds "in his house," it elegantly intimates that
Jesus was to suffer the cross and death at the hands of His own
household, His own kith and kin, the Jews. This passion of Christ is
only externally and verbally professed by the reprobate, for what
they profess they do not understand. But the elect hold in the inner
man this so great mystery, and honour inwardly in the heart this
weakness and foolishness of God. And of this there is a figure in Ham
going out to proclaim his father's nakedness; while Shem and Japheth,
to cover or honour it, went in, that is to say, did it inwardly.

These secrets of divine Scripture we investigate as well as we can.
All will not accept our interpretation with equal confidence, but
all hold it certain that these things were neither done nor recorded
without some foreshadowing of future events, and that they are to be
referred only to Christ and His church, which is the city of God,
proclaimed from the very beginning of human history by figures which
we now see everywhere accomplished. From the blessing of the two sons
of Noah, and the cursing of the middle son, down to Abraham, or for
more than a thousand years, there is, as I have said, no mention of
any righteous persons who worshipped God. I do not therefore conclude
that there were none; but it had been tedious to mention every one,
and would have displayed historical accuracy rather than prophetic
foresight. The object of the writer of these sacred books, or rather
of the Spirit of God in him, is not only to record the past, but
to depict the future, so far as it regards the city of God; for
whatever is said of those who are not its citizens, is given either
for her instruction, or as a foil to enhance her glory. Yet we are
not to suppose that all that is recorded has some signification; but
those things which have no signification of their own are interwoven
for the sake of the things which are significant. It is only the
ploughshare that cleaves the soil; but to effect this, other parts of
the plough are requisite. It is only the strings in harps and other
musical instruments which produce melodious sounds; but that they may
do so, there are other parts of the instrument which are not indeed
struck by those who sing, but are connected with the strings which
are struck, and produce musical notes. So in this prophetic history
some things are narrated which have no significance, but are, as it
were, the framework to which the significant things are attached.


          3. _Of the generations of the three sons of Noah._

We must therefore introduce into this work an explanation of the
generations of the three sons of Noah, in so far as that may illustrate
the progress in time of the two cities. Scripture first mentions that
of the youngest son, who is called Japheth: he had eight sons,[234]
and by two of these sons seven grandchildren, three by one son, four
by the other; in all, fifteen descendants. Ham, Noah's middle son, had
four sons, and by one of them five grandsons, and by one of these two
great-grandsons; in all, eleven. After enumerating these, Scripture
returns to the first of the sons, and says, "Cush begat Nimrod; he
began to be a giant on the earth. He was a giant hunter against the
Lord God: wherefore they say, As Nimrod the giant hunter against the
Lord. And the beginning of his kingdom was Babylon, Erech, Accad, and
Calneh, in the land of Shinar. Out of that land went forth Assur, and
built Nineveh, and the city Rehoboth, and Calah, and Resen between
Nineveh and Calah: this was a great city." Now this Cush, father of
the giant Nimrod, is the first-named among the sons of Ham, to whom
five sons and two grandsons are ascribed. But he either begat this
giant after his grandsons were born, or, which is more credible,
Scripture speaks of him separately on account of his eminence; for
mention is also made of his kingdom, which began with that magnificent
city Babylon, and the other places, whether cities or districts,
mentioned along with it. But what is recorded of the land of Shinar
which belonged to Nimrod's kingdom, to wit, that Assur went forth from
it and built Nineveh and the other cities mentioned with it, happened
long after; but he takes occasion to speak of it here on account of
the grandeur of the Assyrian kingdom, which was wonderfully extended
by Ninus son of Belus, and founder of the great city Nineveh, which
was named after him, Nineveh, from Ninus. But Assur, father of the
Assyrian, was not one of the sons of Ham, Noah's middle son, but is
found among the sons of Shem, his eldest son. Whence it appears that
among Shem's offspring there arose men who afterwards took possession
of that giant's kingdom, and advancing from it, founded other cities,
the first of which was called Nineveh, from Ninus. From him Scripture
returns to Ham's other son, Mizraim; and his sons are enumerated, not
as seven individuals, but as seven nations. And from the sixth, as
if from the sixth son, the race called the Philistines are said to
have sprung; so that there are in all eight. Then it returns again to
Canaan, in whose person Ham was cursed; and his eleven sons are named.
Then the territories they occupied, and some of the cities, are named.
And thus, if we count sons and grandsons, there are thirty-one of Ham's
descendants registered.

It remains to mention the sons of Shem, Noah's eldest son; for to
him this genealogical narrative gradually ascends from the youngest.
But in the commencement of the record of Shem's sons there is an
obscurity which calls for explanation, since it is closely connected
with the object of our investigation. For we read, "Unto Shem also,
the father of all the children of Heber, the brother of Japheth the
elder, were children born."[235] This is the order of the words:
And to Shem was born Heber, even to himself, that is, to Shem
himself was born Heber, and Shem is the father of all his children.
We are intended to understand that Shem is the patriarch of all
his posterity who were to be mentioned, whether sons, grandsons,
great-grandsons, or descendants at any remove. For Shem did not beget
Heber, who was indeed in the fifth generation from him. For Shem
begat, among other sons, Arphaxad; Arphaxad begat Cainan, Cainan
begat Salah, Salah begat Heber. And it was with good reason that he
was named first among Shem's offspring, taking precedence even of his
sons, though only a grandchild of the fifth generation; for from him,
as tradition says, the Hebrews derived their name, though the other
etymology which derives the name from Abraham (as if _Abrahews_) may
possibly be correct. But there can be little doubt that the former
is the right etymology, and that they were called after Heber,
_Heberews_, and then, dropping a letter, Hebrews; and so was their
language called Hebrew, which was spoken by none but the people
of Israel among whom was the city of God, mysteriously prefigured
in all the people, and truly present in the saints. Six of Shem's
sons then are first named, then four grandsons born to one of these
sons; then it mentions another son of Shem, who begat a grandson;
and his son, again, or Shem's great-grandson, was Heber. And Heber
begat two sons, and called the one Peleg, which means "dividing;"
and Scripture subjoins the reason of this name, saying, "for in
his days was the earth divided." What this means will afterwards
appear. Heber's other son begat twelve sons; consequently all Shem's
descendants are twenty-seven. The total number of the progeny of the
three sons of Noah is seventy-three, fifteen by Japheth, thirty-one
by Ham, twenty-seven by Shem. Then Scripture adds, "These are the
sons of Shem, after their families, after their tongues, in their
lands, after their nations." And so of the whole number: "These
are the families of the sons of Noah after their generations, in
their nations; and by these were the isles of the nations dispersed
through the earth after the flood." From which we gather that the
seventy-three (or rather, as I shall presently show, seventy-two)
were not individuals, but nations. For in a former passage, when the
sons of Japheth were enumerated, it is said in conclusion, "By these
were the isles of the nations divided in their lands, every one after
his language, in their tribes, and in their nations."

But nations are expressly mentioned among the sons of Ham, as I
showed above. "Mizraim begat those who are called Ludim;" and so also
of the other seven nations. And after enumerating all of them, it
concludes, "These are the sons of Ham, in their families, according
to their languages, in their territories, and in their nations." The
reason, then, why the children of several of them are not mentioned,
is that they belonged by birth to other nations, and did not
themselves become nations. Why else is it, that though eight sons are
reckoned to Japheth, the sons of only two of these are mentioned; and
though four are reckoned to Ham, only three are spoken of as having
sons; and though six are reckoned to Shem, the descendants of only
two of these are traced? Did the rest remain childless? We cannot
suppose so; but they did not produce nations so great as to warrant
their being mentioned, but were absorbed in the nations to which they
belonged by birth.


  4. _Of the diversity of languages, and of the founding of Babylon._

But though these nations are said to have been dispersed according to
their languages, yet the narrator recurs to that time when all had
but one language, and explains how it came to pass that a diversity
of languages was introduced. "The whole earth," he says, "was of one
lip, and all had one speech. And it came to pass, as they journeyed
from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar, and
dwelt there. And they said one to another, Come, and let us make
bricks, and burn them thoroughly. And they had bricks for stone, and
slime for mortar. And they said, Come, and let us build for ourselves
a city, and a tower whose top shall reach the sky; and let us make
us a name, before we be scattered abroad on the face of all the
earth. And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which
the children, of men builded. And the Lord God said, Behold, the
people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin
to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have
imagined to do. Come, and let us go down, and confound there their
language, that they may not understand one another's speech. And God
scattered them thence on the face of all the earth: and they left
off to build the city and the tower. Therefore the name of it is
called Confusion; because the Lord did there confound the language of
all the earth: and the Lord God scattered them thence on the face of
all the earth."[236] This city, which was called Confusion, is the
same as Babylon, whose wonderful construction Gentile history also
notices. For Babylon means Confusion. Whence we conclude that the
giant Nimrod was its founder, as had been hinted a little before,
where Scripture, in speaking of him, says that the beginning of
his kingdom was Babylon, that is, Babylon had a supremacy over the
other cities as the metropolis and royal residence; although it did
not rise to the grand dimensions designed by its proud and impious
founder. The plan was to make it so high that it should reach the
sky, whether this was meant of one tower which they intended to
build higher than the others, or of all the towers, which might be
signified by the singular number, as we speak of "the soldier,"
meaning the army, and of the frog or the locust, when we refer to the
whole multitude of frogs and locusts in the plagues with which Moses
smote the Egyptians.[237] But what did these vain and presumptuous
men intend? How did they expect to raise this lofty mass against God,
when they had built it above all the mountains and the clouds of
the earth's atmosphere? What injury could any spiritual or material
elevation do to God? The safe and true way to heaven is made by
humility, which lifts up the heart to the Lord, not against Him;
as this giant is said to have been a "hunter _against_ the Lord."
This has been misunderstood by some through the ambiguity of the
Greek word, and they have translated it, not "against the Lord," but
"before the Lord;" for ἔναντιον means both "before" and "against."
In the Psalm this word is rendered, "Let us weep _before_ the Lord
our Maker."[238] The same word occurs in the book of Job, where it is
written, "Thou hast broken into fury _against_ the Lord."[239] And
so this giant is to be recognised as a "hunter _against_ the Lord."
And what is meant by the term "hunter" but deceiver, oppressor, and
destroyer of the animals of the earth? He and his people, therefore,
erected this tower against the Lord, and so gave expression to their
impious pride; and justly was their wicked intention punished by
God, even though it was unsuccessful. But what was the nature of the
punishment? As the tongue is the instrument of domination, in it
pride was punished; so that man, who would not understand God when
He issued His commands, should be misunderstood when he himself gave
orders. Thus was that conspiracy disbanded, for each man retired from
those he could not understand, and associated with those whose speech
was intelligible; and the nations were divided according to their
languages, and scattered over the earth as seemed good to God, who
accomplished this in ways hidden from and incomprehensible to us.


  5. _Of God's coming down to confound the languages of the builders
                             of the city._

We read, "The Lord came down to see the city and the tower which the
sons of men built:" it was not the sons of God, but that society
which lived in a merely human way, and which we call the earthly
city. God, who is always wholly everywhere, does not move locally;
but He is said to descend when He does anything in the earth out of
the usual course, which, as it were, makes His presence felt. And
in the same way, He does not by "seeing" learn some new thing, for
He cannot ever be ignorant of anything; but He is said to see and
recognise, in time, that which He causes others to see and recognise.
And therefore that city was not previously being seen as God made
it be seen when He showed how offensive it was to Him. We might,
indeed, interpret God's descending to the city of the descent of
His angels in whom He dwells; so that the following words, "And the
Lord God said, Behold, they are all one race and of one language,"
and also what follows, "Come, and let us go down and confound
their speech," are a recapitulation, explaining how the previously
intimated "descent of the Lord" was accomplished. For if He had
already gone down, why does He say, "Come, and let us go down and
confound?"--words which seem to be addressed to the angels, and to
intimate that He who was in the angels descended in their descent.
And the words most appropriately are, not, "Go ye down and confound,"
but, "Let us confound their speech;" showing that He so works by His
servants, that they are themselves also fellow-labourers with God, as
the apostle says, "For we are fellow-labourers with God."[240]


    6. _What we are to understand by God's speaking to the angels._

We might have supposed that the words uttered at the creation of man,
"Let us," and not Let me, "make man," were addressed to the angels,
had He not added "in our image;" but as we cannot believe that man
was made in the image of angels, or that the image of God is the
same as that of angels, it is proper to refer this expression to the
plurality of the Trinity. And yet this Trinity, being one God, even
after saying "Let _us_ make," goes on to say, "And God made man in
His image,"[241] and not "Gods made," or "in their image." And were
there any difficulty in applying to the angels the words, "Come,
and let us go down and confound their speech," we might refer the
plural to the Trinity, as if the Father were addressing the Son and
the Holy Spirit; but it rather belongs to the angels to approach God
by holy movements, that is, by pious thoughts, and thereby to avail
themselves of the unchangeable truth which rules in the court of
heaven as their eternal law. For they are not themselves the truth;
but partaking in the creative truth, they are moved towards it as
the fountain of life, that what they have not in themselves they may
obtain in it. And this movement of theirs is steady, for they never
go back from what they have reached. And to these angels God does not
speak, as we speak to one another, or to God, or to angels, or as the
angels speak to us, or as God speaks to us through them: He speaks
to them in an ineffable manner of His own, and that which He says is
conveyed to us in a manner suited to our capacity. For the speaking
of God antecedent and superior to all His works, is the immutable
reason of His work: it has no noisy and passing sound, but an energy
eternally abiding and producing results in time. Thus He speaks to
the holy angels; but to us, who are far off, He speaks otherwise.
When, however, we hear with the inner ear some part of the speech
of God, we approximate to the angels. But in this work I need not
labour to give an account of the ways in which God speaks. For either
the unchangeable Truth speaks directly to the mind of the rational
creature in some indescribable way, or speaks through the changeable
creature, either presenting spiritual images to our spirit, or bodily
voices to our bodily sense.

The words, "Nothing will be restrained from them which they have
imagined to do,"[242] are assuredly not meant as an affirmation, but
as an interrogation, such as is used by persons threatening, as,
_e.g._, when Dido exclaims,

          "They will not take arms and pursue?"[243]

We are to understand the words as if it had been said, Shall nothing
be restrained from them which they have imagined to do?[244] From
these three men, therefore, the three sons of Noah we mean, 73, or
rather, as the catalogue will show, 72 nations and as many languages
were dispersed over the earth, and as they increased filled even the
islands. But the nations multiplied much more than the languages. For
even in Africa we know several barbarous nations which have but one
language; and who can doubt that, as the human race increased, men
contrived to pass to the islands in ships?


   7. _Whether even the remotest islands received their_ FAUNA _from
  the animals which were preserved, through the deluge, in the ark_.

There is a question raised about all those kinds of beasts which are
not domesticated, nor are produced like frogs from the earth, but are
propagated by male and female parents, such as wolves and animals of
that kind; and it is asked how they could be found in the islands
after the deluge, in which all the animals not in the ark perished,
unless the breed was restored from those which were preserved in
pairs in the ark. It might, indeed, be said that they crossed to
the islands by swimming, but this could only be true of those very
near the mainland; whereas there are some so distant, that we fancy
no animal could swim to them. But if men caught them and took them
across with themselves, and thus propagated these breeds in their new
abodes, this would not imply an incredible fondness for the chase. At
the same time, it cannot be denied that by the intervention of angels
they might be transferred by God's order or permission. If, however,
they were produced out of the earth as at their first creation, when
God said, "Let the earth bring forth the living creature,"[245]
this makes it more evident that all kinds of animals were preserved
in the ark, not so much for the sake of renewing the stock, as of
prefiguring the various nations which were to be saved in the church;
this, I say, is more evident, if the earth brought forth many animals
in islands to which they could not cross over.


    8. _Whether certain monstrous races of men are derived from the
                    stock of Adam or Noah's sons._

It is also asked whether we are to believe that certain monstrous
races of men, spoken of in secular history,[246] have sprung from
Noah's sons, or rather, I should say, from that one man from whom
they themselves were descended. For it is reported that some have
one eye in the middle of the forehead; some, feet turned backwards
from the heel; some, a double sex, the right breast like a man, the
left like a woman, and that they alternately beget and bring forth:
others are said to have no mouth, and to breathe only through the
nostrils; others are but a cubit high, and are therefore called by
the Greeks "Pigmies:"[247] they say that in some places the women
conceive in their fifth year, and do not live beyond their eighth.
So, too, they tell of a race who have two feet but only one leg, and
are of marvellous swiftness, though they do not bend the knee: they
are called Skiopodes, because in the hot weather they lie down on
their backs and shade themselves with their feet. Others are said to
have no head, and their eyes in their shoulders; and other human or
quasi-human races are depicted in mosaic in the harbour esplanade of
Carthage, on the faith of histories of rarities. What shall I say
of the Cynocephali, whose dog-like head and barking proclaim them
beasts rather than men? But we are not bound to believe all we hear
of these monstrosities. But whoever is anywhere born a man, that
is, a rational mortal animal, no matter what unusual appearance he
presents in colour, movement, sound, nor how peculiar he is in some
power, part, or quality of his nature, no Christian can doubt that he
springs from that one protoplast. We can distinguish the common human
nature from that which is peculiar, and therefore wonderful.

The same account which is given of monstrous births in individual
cases can be given of monstrous races. For God, the Creator of
all, knows where and when each thing ought to be, or to have been
created, because He sees the similarities and diversities which can
contribute to the beauty of the whole. But he who cannot see the
whole is offended by the deformity of the part, because he is blind
to that which balances it, and to which it belongs. We know that
men are born with more than four fingers on their hands or toes on
their feet: this is a smaller matter; but far from us be the folly
of supposing that the Creator mistook the number of a man's fingers,
though we cannot account for the difference. And so in cases where
the divergence from the rule is greater. He whose works no man justly
finds fault with, knows what He has done. At Hippo-Diarrhytus there
is a man whose hands are crescent-shaped, and have only two fingers
each, and his feet similarly formed. If there were a race like him,
it would be added to the history of the curious and wonderful. Shall
we therefore deny that this man is descended from that one man who
was first created? As for the Androgyni, or Hermaphrodites, as
they are called, though they are rare, yet from time to time there
appear persons of sex so doubtful, that it remains uncertain from
which sex they take their name; though it is customary to give them
a masculine name, as the more worthy. For no one ever called them
Hermaphroditesses. Some years ago, quite within my own memory, a man
was born in the East, double in his upper, but single in his lower
half--having two heads, two chests, four hands, but one body and two
feet like an ordinary man; and he lived so long that many had an
opportunity of seeing him. But who could enumerate all the human
births that have differed widely from their ascertained parents? As,
therefore, no one will deny that these are all descended from that
one man, so all the races which are reported to have diverged in
bodily appearance from the usual course which nature generally or
almost universally preserves, if they are embraced in that definition
of man as rational and mortal animals, unquestionably trace their
pedigree to that one first father of all. We are supposing these
stories about various races who differ from one another and from
us to be true; but possibly they are not: for if we were not aware
that apes, and monkeys, and sphinxes are not men, but beasts, those
historians would possibly describe them as races of men, and flaunt
with impunity their false and vainglorious discoveries. But supposing
they are men of whom these marvels are recorded, what if God has seen
fit to create some races in this way, that we might not suppose that
the monstrous births which appear among ourselves are the failures
of that wisdom whereby He fashions the human nature, as we speak of
the failure of a less perfect workman? Accordingly, it ought not to
seem absurd to us, that as in individual races there are monstrous
births, so in the whole race there are monstrous races. Wherefore, to
conclude this question cautiously and guardedly, either these things
which have been told of some races have no existence at all; or if
they do exist, they are not human races; or if they are human, they
are descended from Adam.


           9. _Whether we are to believe in the Antipodes._

But as to the fable that there are Antipodes, that is to say, men on
the opposite side of the earth, where the sun rises when it sets to
us, men who walk with their feet opposite ours, that is on no ground
credible. And, indeed, it is not affirmed that this has been learned
by historical knowledge, but by scientific conjecture, on the ground
that the earth is suspended within the concavity of the sky, and that
it has as much room on the one side of it as on the other: hence they
say that the part which is beneath must also be inhabited. But they do
not remark that, although it be supposed or scientifically demonstrated
that the world is of a round and spherical form, yet it does not
follow that the other side of the earth is bare of water; nor even,
though it be bare, does it immediately follow that it is peopled. For
Scripture, which proves the truth of its historical statements by the
accomplishment of its prophecies, gives no false information; and it is
too absurd to say, that some men might have taken ship and traversed
the whole wide ocean, and crossed from this side of the world to the
other, and that thus even the inhabitants of that distant region are
descended from that one first man. Wherefore let us seek if we can find
the city of God that sojourns on earth among those human races who are
catalogued as having been divided into seventy-two nations and as many
languages. For it continued down to the deluge and the ark, and is
proved to have existed still among the sons of Noah by their blessings,
and chiefly in the eldest son Shem; for Japheth received this blessing,
that he should dwell in the tents of Shem.


     10. _Of the genealogy of Shem, in whose line the city of God
                is preserved till the time of Abraham._

It is necessary, therefore, to preserve the series of generations
descending from Shem, for the sake of exhibiting the city of God
after the flood; as before the flood it was exhibited in the series
of generations descending from Seth. And therefore does divine
Scripture, after exhibiting the earthly city as Babylon or "Confusion,"
revert to the patriarch Shem, and recapitulate the generations from
him to Abraham, specifying besides, the year in which each father
begat the son that belonged to this line, and how long he lived. And
unquestionably it is this which fulfils the promise I made, that it
should appear why it is said of the sons of Heber, "The name of the
one was Peleg, for in his days the earth was divided."[248] For what
can we understand by the division of the earth, if not the diversity
of languages? And, therefore, omitting the other sons of Shem, who
are not concerned in this matter, Scripture gives the genealogy of
those by whom the line runs on to Abraham, as before the flood those
are given who carried on the line to Noah from Seth. Accordingly this
series of generations begins thus: "These are the generations of Shem:
Shem was an hundred years old, and begat Arphaxad two years after
the flood. And Shem lived after he begat Arphaxad five hundred years,
and begat sons and daughters." In like manner it registers the rest,
naming the year of his life in which each begat the son who belonged
to that line which extends to Abraham. It specifies, too, how many
years he lived thereafter, begetting sons and daughters, that we may
not childishly suppose that the men named were the only men, but may
understand how the population increased, and how regions and kingdoms
so vast could be populated by the descendants of Shem; especially the
kingdom of Assyria, from which Ninus subdued the surrounding nations,
reigning with brilliant prosperity, and bequeathing to his descendants
a vast but thoroughly consolidated empire, which held together for many
centuries.

But to avoid needless prolixity, we shall mention not the number of
years each member of this series lived, but only the year of his life
in which he begat his heir, that we may thus reckon the number of
years from the flood to Abraham, and may at the same time leave room
to touch briefly and cursorily upon some other matters necessary to
our argument. In the second year, then, after the flood, Shem when
he was a hundred years old begat Arphaxad; Arphaxad when he was 135
years old begat Cainan; Cainan when he was 130 years begat Salah.
Salah himself, too, was the same age when he begat Eber. Eber lived
134 years, and begat Peleg, in whose days the earth was divided.
Peleg himself lived 130 years, and begat Reu; and Reu lived 132
years, and begat Serug; Serug 130, and begat Nahor; and Nahor 79, and
begat Terah; and Terah 70, and begat Abram, whose name God afterwards
changed into _Abraham_. There are thus from the flood to Abraham 1072
years, according to the Vulgate or Septuagint versions. In the Hebrew
copies far fewer years are given; and for this either no reason or a
not very credible one is given.

When, therefore, we look for the city of God in these seventy-two
nations, we cannot affirm that while they had but one lip, that is,
one language, the human race had departed from the worship of the
true God, and that genuine godliness had survived only in those
generations which descend from Shem through Arphaxad and reach to
Abraham; but from the time when they proudly built a tower to
heaven, a symbol of godless exaltation, the city or society of the
wicked becomes apparent. Whether it was only disguised before, or
non-existent; whether both cities remained after the flood,--the
godly in the two sons of Noah who were blessed, and in their
posterity, and the ungodly in the cursed son and his descendants,
from whom sprang that mighty hunter against the Lord,--is not easily
determined. For possibly--and certainly this is more credible--there
were despisers of God among the descendants of the two sons, even
before Babylon was founded, and worshippers of God among the
descendants of Ham. Certainly neither race was ever obliterated from
earth. For in both the Psalms in which it is said, "They are all
gone aside, they are altogether become filthy; there is none that
doeth good, no, not one," we read further, "Have all the workers of
iniquity no knowledge? who eat up my people as they eat bread, and
call not upon the Lord."[249] There was then a people of God even at
that time. And therefore the words, "There is none that doeth good,
no, not one," were said of the sons of men, not of the sons of God.
For it had been previously said, "God looked down from heaven upon
the sons of men, to see if any understood and sought after God;" and
then follow the words which demonstrate that all the sons of men,
that is, all who belong to the city which lives according to man, not
according to God, are reprobate.


  11. _That the original language in use among men was that which was
      afterwards called Hebrew, from Heber, in whose family it was
      preserved when the confusion of tongues occurred._

Wherefore, as the fact of all using one language did not secure the
absence of sin-infected men from the race,--for even before the
deluge there was one language, and yet all but the single family of
just Noah were found worthy of destruction by the flood,--so when
the nations, by a prouder godlessness, earned the punishment of the
dispersion and the confusion of tongues, and the city of the godless
was called Confusion or Babylon, there was still the house of Heber
in which the primitive language of the race survived. And therefore,
as I have already mentioned, when an enumeration is made of the
sons of Shem, who each founded a nation, Heber is first mentioned,
although he was of the fifth generation from Shem. And because, when
the other races were divided by their own peculiar languages, his
family preserved that language which is not unreasonably believed to
have been the common language of the race, it was on this account
thenceforth named Hebrew. For it then became necessary to distinguish
this language from the rest by a proper name; though, while there was
only one, it had no other name than the language of man, or human
speech, it alone being spoken by the whole human race. Some one will
say: If the earth was divided by languages in the days of Peleg,
Heber's son, that language, which was formerly common to all, should
rather have been called after Peleg. But we are to understand that
Heber himself gave to his son this name Peleg, which means Division;
because he was born when the earth was divided, that is, at the very
time of the division, and that this is the meaning of the words, "In
his days the earth was divided."[250] For unless Heber had been still
alive when the languages were multiplied, the language which was
preserved in his house would not have been called after him. We are
induced to believe that this was the primitive and common language,
because the multiplication and change of languages was introduced
as a punishment, and it is fit to ascribe to the people of God an
immunity from this punishment. Nor is it without significance that
this is the language which Abraham retained, and that he could not
transmit it to all his descendants, but only to those of Jacob's
line, who distinctively and eminently constituted God's people, and
received His covenants, and were Christ's progenitors according to
the flesh. In the same way, Heber himself did not transmit that
language to all his posterity, but only to the line from which
Abraham sprang. And thus, although it is not expressly stated,
that when the wicked were building Babylon there was a godly seed
remaining, this indistinctness is intended to stimulate research
rather than to elude it. For when we see that originally there was
one common language, and that Heber is mentioned before all Shem's
sons, though he belonged to the fifth generation from him, and that
the language which the patriarchs and prophets used, not only in
their conversation, but in the authoritative language of Scripture,
is called Hebrew, when we are asked where that primitive and common
language was preserved after the confusion of tongues, certainly, as
there can be no doubt that those among whom it was preserved were
exempt from the punishment it embodied, what other suggestion can we
make, than that it survived in the family of him whose name it took,
and that this is no small proof of the righteousness of this family,
that the punishment with which the other families were visited did
not fall upon it?

But yet another question is mooted: How did Heber and his son Peleg
each found a nation, if they had but one language? For no doubt the
Hebrew nation propagated from Heber through Abraham, and becoming
through him a great people, is one nation. How, then, are all the sons
of the three branches of Noah's family enumerated as founding a nation
each, if Heber and Peleg did not so? It is very probable that the
giant Nimrod founded also his nation, and that Scripture has named him
separately on account of the extraordinary dimensions of his empire
and of his body, so that the number of seventy-two nations remains.
But Peleg was mentioned, not because he founded a nation (for his
race and language are Hebrew), but on account of the critical time at
which he was born, all the earth being then divided. Nor ought we to
be surprised that the giant Nimrod lived to the time in which Babylon
was founded and the confusion of tongues occurred, and the consequent
division of the earth. For though Heber was in the sixth generation
from Noah, and Nimrod in the fourth, it does not follow that they could
not be alive at the same time. For when the generations are few, they
live longer and are born later; but when they are many, they live a
shorter time, and come into the world earlier. We are to understand
that, when the earth was divided, the descendants of Noah who are
registered as founders of nations were not only already born, but
were of an age to have immense families, worthy to be called tribes
or nations. And therefore we must by no means suppose that they were
born in the order in which they were set down; otherwise, how could the
twelve sons of Joktan, another son of Heber's, and brother of Peleg,
have already founded nations, if Joktan was born, as he is registered,
after his brother Peleg, since the earth was divided at Peleg's birth?
We are therefore to understand that, though Peleg is named first, he
was born long after Joktan, whose twelve sons had already families
so large as to admit of their being divided by different languages.
There is nothing extraordinary in the last born being first named: of
the sons of Noah, the descendants of Japheth are first named; then
the sons of Ham, who was the second son; and last the sons of Shem,
who was the first and oldest. Of these nations the names have partly
survived, so that at this day we can see from whom they have sprung, as
the Assyrians from Assur, the Hebrews from Heber, but partly have been
altered in the lapse of time, so that the most learned men, by profound
research in ancient records, have scarcely been able to discover the
origin, I do not say of all, but of some of these nations. There is,
for example, nothing in the name Egyptians to show that they are
descended from Misraim, Ham's son, nor in the name Ethiopians to show
a connection with Cush, though such is said to be the origin of these
nations. And if we take a general survey of the names, we shall find
that more have been changed than have remained the same.


     12. _Of the era in Abraham's life from which a new period in
                     the holy succession begins._

Let us now survey the progress of the city of God from the era of the
patriarch Abraham, from whose time it begins to be more conspicuous,
and the divine promises which are now fulfilled in Christ are more
fully revealed. We learn, then, from the intimations of holy Scripture,
that Abraham was born in the country of the Chaldeans, a land belonging
to the Assyrian empire. Now, even at that time impious superstitions
were rife with the Chaldeans, as with other nations. The family of
Terah, to which Abraham belonged, was the only one in which the worship
of the true God survived, and the only one, we may suppose, in which
the Hebrew language was preserved; although Joshua the son of Nun tells
us that even this family served other gods in Mesopotamia.[251] The
other descendants of Heber gradually became absorbed in other races and
other languages. And thus, as the single family of Noah was preserved
through the deluge of water to renew the human race, so, in the deluge
of superstition that flooded the whole world, there remained but the
one family of Terah in which the seed of God's city was preserved. And
as, when Scripture has enumerated the generations prior to Noah, with
their ages, and explained the cause of the flood before God began to
speak to Noah about the building of the ark, it is said, "These are the
generations of Noah;" so also now, after enumerating the generations
from Shem, Noah's son, down to Abraham, it then signalizes an era by
saying, "These are the generations of Terah: Terah begat Abram, Nahor,
and Haran; and Haran begat Lot. And Haran died before his father Terah
in the land of his nativity, in Ur of the Chaldees. And Abram and Nahor
took them wives: the name of Abram's wife was Sarai; and the name of
Nahor's wife Milcah, the daughter of Haran, the father of Milcah, and
the father of Iscah."[252] This Iscah is supposed to be the same as
Sarah, Abraham's wife.


  13. _Why, in the account of Terah's emigration, on his forsaking
      the Chaldeans and passing over into Mesopotamia, no mention is
      made of his son Nahor._

Next it is related how Terah with his family left the region of the
Chaldeans and came into Mesopotamia, and dwelt in Haran. But nothing
is said about one of his sons called Nahor, as if he had not taken
him along with him. For the narrative runs thus: "And Terah took
Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran, his son's son, and Sarah
his daughter-in-law, his son Abram's wife, and led them forth out
of the region of the Chaldeans to go into the land of Canaan; and
he came into Haran, and dwelt there."[253] Nahor and Milcah his
wife are nowhere named here. But afterwards, when Abraham sent his
servant to take a wife for his son Isaac, we find it thus written:
"And the servant took ten camels of the camels of his lord, and
of all the goods of his lord, with him; and arose, and went into
Mesopotamia, into the city of Nahor."[254] This and other testimonies
of this sacred history show that Nahor, Abraham's brother, had
also left the region of the Chaldeans, and fixed his abode in
Mesopotamia, where Abraham dwelt with his father. Why, then, did the
Scripture not mention him, when Terah with his family went forth
out of the Chaldean nation and dwelt in Haran, since it mentions
that he took with him not only Abraham his son, but also Sarah his
daughter-in-law, and Lot his grandson? The only reason we can think
of is, that perhaps he had lapsed from the piety of his father and
brother, and adhered to the superstition of the Chaldeans, and had
afterwards emigrated thence, either through penitence, or because he
was persecuted as a suspected person. For in the book called Judith,
when Holofernes, the enemy of the Israelites, inquired what kind of
nation that might be, and whether war should be made against them,
Achior, the leader of the Ammonites, answered him thus: "Let our lord
now hear a word from the mouth of thy servant, and I will declare
unto thee the truth concerning the people which dwelleth near thee
in this hill country, and there shall no lie come out of the mouth
of thy servant. For this people is descended from the Chaldeans, and
they dwelt heretofore in Mesopotamia, because they would not follow
the gods of their fathers, which were glorious in the land of the
Chaldeans, but went out of the way of their ancestors, and adored the
God of heaven, whom they knew; and they cast them out from the face
of their gods, and they fled into Mesopotamia, and dwelt there many
days. And their God said to them, that they should depart from their
habitation, and go into the land of Canaan; and they dwelt,"[255]
etc., as Achior the Ammonite narrates. Whence it is manifest that the
house of Terah had suffered persecution from the Chaldeans for the
true piety with which they worshipped the one and true God.


   14. _Of the years of Terah, who completed his lifetime in Haran._

On Terah's death in Mesopotamia, where he is said to have lived 205
years, the promises of God made to Abraham now begin to be pointed
out; for thus it is written: "And the days of Terah in Haran were
two hundred and five years, and he died in Haran."[256] This is not
to be taken as if he had spent all his days there, but that he there
completed the days of his life, which were two hundred and five
years: otherwise it would not be known how many years Terah lived,
since it is not said in what year of his life he came into Haran; and
it is absurd to suppose that, in this series of generations, where it
is carefully recorded how many years each one lived, his age was the
only one not put on record. For although some whom the same Scripture
mentions have not their age recorded, they are not in this series, in
which the reckoning of time is continuously indicated by the death
of the parents and the succession of the children. For this series,
which is given in order from Adam to Noah, and from him down to
Abraham, contains no one without the number of the years of his life.


     15. _Of the time of the migration of Abraham, when, according
          to the commandment of God, he went out from Haran._

When, after the record of the death of Terah, the father of Abraham,
we next read, "And the Lord said to Abram, Get thee out of thy
country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house,"[257]
etc., it is not to be supposed, because this follows in the order of
the narrative, that it also followed in the chronological order of
events. For if it were so, there would be an insoluble difficulty.
For after these words of God which were spoken to Abraham, the
Scripture says: "And Abram departed, as the Lord had spoken unto him;
and Lot went with him. Now Abraham was seventy-five years old when he
departed out of Haran."[258] How can this be true if he departed from
Haran after his father's death? For when Terah was seventy years old,
as is intimated above, he begat Abraham; and if to this number we add
the seventy-five years which Abraham reckoned when he went out of
Haran, we get 145 years. Therefore that was the number of the years
of Terah, when Abraham departed out of that city of Mesopotamia;
for he had reached the seventy-fifth year of his life, and thus
his father, who begat him in the seventieth year of his life, had
reached, as was said, his 145th. Therefore he did not depart thence
after his father's death, that is, after the 205 years his father
lived; but the year of his departure from that place, seeing it was
his seventy-fifth, is inferred beyond a doubt to have been the 145th
of his father, who begat him in his seventieth year. And thus it is
to be understood that the Scripture, according to its custom, has
gone back to the time which had already been passed by the narrative;
just as above, when it had mentioned the grandsons of Noah, it said
that they were in their nations and tongues; and yet afterwards, as
if this also had followed in order of time, it says, "And the whole
earth was of one lip, and one speech for all."[259] How, then, could
they be said to be in their own nations and according to their own
tongues, if there was one for all; except because the narrative goes
back to gather up what it had passed over? Here, too, in the same
way, after saying, "And the days of Terah in Haran were 205 years,
and Terah died in Haran," the Scripture, going back to what had been
passed over in order to complete what had been begun about Terah,
says, "And the Lord said to Abram, Get thee out of thy country,"[260]
etc. After which words of God it is added, "And Abram departed,
as the Lord spake unto him; and Lot went with him. But Abram was
seventy-five years old when he departed out of Haran." Therefore it
was done when his father was in the 145th year of his age; for it
was then the seventy-fifth of his own. But this question is also
solved in another way, that the seventy-five years of Abraham when
he departed out of Haran are reckoned from the year in which he was
delivered from the fire of the Chaldeans, not from that of his birth,
as if he was rather to be held as having been born then.

Now the blessed Stephen, in narrating these things in the Acts of the
Apostles, says: "The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham,
when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charran, and said unto
him, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy
father's house, and come into the land which I will show thee."[261]
According to these words of Stephen, God spoke to Abraham, not after
the death of his father, who certainly died in Haran, where his son
also dwelt with him, but before he dwelt in that city, although he
was already in Mesopotamia. Therefore he had already departed from
the Chaldeans. So that when Stephen adds, "Then Abraham went out of
the land of the Chaldeans, and dwelt in Charran,"[262] this does not
point out what took place after God spoke to him (for it was not after
these words of God that he went out of the land of the Chaldeans,
since he says that God spoke to him in Mesopotamia), but the word
"_then_" which he uses refers to that whole period from his going out
of the land of the Chaldeans and dwelling in Haran. Likewise in what
follows, "And thenceforth, when his father was dead, he settled him in
this land, wherein ye now dwell, and your fathers," he does not say,
after his father was dead he went out from Haran; but thenceforth he
settled him here, after his father was dead. It is to be understood,
therefore, that God had spoken to Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia,
before he dwelt in Haran; but that he came to Haran with his father,
keeping in mind the precept of God, and that he went out thence in his
own seventy-fifth year, which was his father's 145th. But he says that
his settlement in the land of Canaan, not his going forth from Haran,
took place after his father's death; because his father was already
dead when he purchased the land, and personally entered on possession
of it. But when, on his having already settled in Mesopotamia, that
is, already gone out of the land of the Chaldeans, God says, "Get
thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's
house,"[263] this means, not that he should cast out his body from
thence, for he had already done that, but that he should tear away
his soul. For he had not gone out from thence in mind, if he was held
by the hope and desire of returning,--a hope and desire which was to
be cut off by God's command and help, and by his own obedience. It
would indeed be no incredible supposition that afterwards, when Nahor
followed his father, Abraham then fulfilled the precept of the Lord,
that he should depart out of Haran with Sarah his wife and Lot his
brother's son.


    16. _Of the order and nature of the promises of God which were
                           made to Abraham._

God's promises made to Abraham are now to be considered; for in
these the oracles of our God,[264] that is, of the true God, began
to appear more openly concerning the godly people, whom prophetic
authority foretold. The first of these reads thus: "And the Lord
said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred,
and from thy father's house, and go into a land that I will show
thee: and I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee,
and magnify thy name; and thou shalt be blessed: and I will bless
them that bless thee, and curse them that curse thee: and in thee
shall all tribes of the earth be blessed."[265] Now it is to be
observed that two things are promised to Abraham, the one, that his
seed should possess the land of Canaan, which is intimated when it
is said, "Go into a land that I will show thee, and I will make of
thee a great nation;" but the other far more excellent, not about
the carnal but the spiritual seed, through which he is the father,
not of the one Israelite nation, but of all nations who follow the
footprints of his faith, which was first promised in these words,
"And in thee shall all tribes of the earth be blessed." Eusebius
thought this promise was made in Abraham's seventy-fifth year, as if
soon after it was made Abraham had departed out of Haran; because
the Scripture cannot be contradicted, in which we read, "Abram was
seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran." But if
this promise was made in that year, then of course Abraham was
staying in Haran with his father; for he could not depart thence
unless he had first dwelt there. Does this, then, contradict what
Stephen says, "The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham, when
he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charran?"[266] But it is
to be understood that the whole took place in the same year,--both
the promise of God before Abraham dwelt in Haran, and his dwelling
in Haran, and his departure thence,--not only because Eusebius in
the Chronicles reckons from the year of this promise, and shows that
after 430 years the exodus from Egypt took place, when the law was
given, but because the Apostle Paul also mentions it.


  17. _Of the three most famous kingdoms of the nations, of which
      one, that is, the Assyrian, was already very eminent when
      Abraham was born._

During the same period there were three famous kingdoms of the
nations, in which the city of the earth-born, that is, the society of
men living according to man under the domination of the fallen angels,
chiefly flourished, namely, the three kingdoms of Sicyon, Egypt, and
Assyria. Of these, Assyria was much the most powerful and sublime;
for that king Ninus, son of Belus, had subdued the people of all Asia
except India. By Asia I now mean not that part which is one province of
this greater Asia, but what is called Universal Asia, which some set
down as the half, but most as the third part of the whole world,--the
three being Asia, Europe, and Africa, thereby making an unequal
division. For the part called Asia stretches from the south through the
east even to the north; Europe from the north even to the west; and
Africa from the west even to the south. Thus we see that two, Europe
and Africa, contain one half of the world, and Asia alone the other
half. And these two parts are made by the circumstance, that there
enters between them from the ocean all the Mediterranean water, which
makes this great sea of ours. So that, if you divide the world into
two parts, the east and the west, Asia will be in the one, and Europe
and Africa in the other. So that of the three kingdoms then famous,
one, namely Sicyon, was not under the Assyrians, because it was in
Europe; but as for Egypt, how could it fail to be subject to the empire
which ruled all Asia with the single exception of India? In Assyria,
therefore, the dominion of the impious city had the pre-eminence. Its
head was Babylon,--an earth-born city, most fitly named, for it means
confusion. There Ninus reigned after the death of his father Belus, who
first had reigned there sixty-five years. His son Ninus, who, on his
father's death, succeeded to the kingdom, reigned fifty-two years, and
had been king forty-three years when Abraham was born, which was about
the 1200th year before Rome was founded, as it were another Babylon in
the west.


      18. _Of the repeated address of God to Abraham, in which He
         promised the land of Canaan to him and to his seed._

Abraham, then, having departed out of Haran in the seventy-fifth year
of his own age, and in the hundred and forty-fifth of his father's,
went with Lot, his brother's son, and Sarah his wife, into the land of
Canaan, and came even to Sichem, where again he received the divine
oracle, of which it is thus written: "And the Lord appeared unto Abram,
and said unto him, Unto thy seed will I give this land."[267] Nothing
is promised here about that seed in which he is made the father of
all nations, but only about that by which he is the father of the one
Israelite nation; for by this seed that land was possessed.


     19. _Of the divine preservation of Sarah's chastity in Egypt,
       when Abraham had called her not his wife but his sister._

Having built an altar there, and called upon God, Abraham proceeded
thence and dwelt in the desert, and was compelled by pressure of
famine to go on into Egypt. There he called his wife his sister, and
told no lie. For she was this also, because she was near of blood;
just as Lot, on account of the same nearness, being his brother's
son, is called his brother. Now he did not deny that she was his
wife, but held his peace about it, committing to God the defence of
his wife's chastity, and providing as a man against human wiles;
because if he had not provided against the danger as much as he
could, he would have been tempting God rather than trusting in Him.
We have said enough about this matter against the calumnies of
Faustus the Manichæan. At last what Abraham had expected the Lord to
do took place. For Pharaoh, king of Egypt, who had taken her to him
as his wife, restored her to her husband on being severely plagued.
And far be it from us to believe that she was defiled by lying with
another; because it is much more credible that, by these great
afflictions, Pharaoh was not permitted to do this.


     20. _Of the parting of Lot and Abraham, which they agreed to
                      without breach of charity._

On Abraham's return out of Egypt to the place he had left, Lot, his
brother's son, departed from him into the land of Sodom, without
breach of charity. For they had grown rich, and began to have many
herdmen of cattle, and when these strove together, they avoided in
this way the pugnacious discord of their families. Indeed, as human
affairs go, this cause might even have given rise to some strife
between themselves. Consequently these are the words of Abraham to
Lot, when taking precaution against this evil, "Let there be no
strife between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen;
for we be brethren. Behold, is not the whole land before thee?
Separate thyself from me: if thou wilt go to the left hand, I will
go to the right; or if thou wilt go to the right hand, I will go to
the left."[268] From this, perhaps, has arisen a pacific custom among
men, that when there is any partition of earthly things, the greater
should make the division, the less the choice.


       21. _Of the third promise of God, by which He assured the
        land of Canaan to Abraham and his seed in perpetuity._

Now, when Abraham and Lot had separated, and dwelt apart, owing to
the necessity of supporting their families, and not to vile discord,
and Abraham was in the land of Canaan, but Lot in Sodom, the Lord
said to Abraham in a third oracle, "Lift up thine eyes, and look
from the place where thou now art, to the north, and to Africa, and
to the east, and to the sea; for all the land which thou seest, to
thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever. And I will make thy
seed as the dust of the earth: if any one can number the dust of
the earth, thy seed shall also be numbered. Arise, and walk through
the land, in the length of it, and in the breadth of it; for unto
thee will I give it."[269] It does not clearly appear whether in
this promise that also is contained by which he is made the father
of all nations. For the clause, "And I will make thy seed as the
dust of the earth," may seem to refer to this, being spoken by that
figure the Greeks call hyperbole, which indeed is figurative, not
literal. But no person of understanding can doubt in what manner
the Scripture uses this and other figures. For that figure (that
is, way of speaking) is used when what is said is far larger than
what is meant by it; for who does not see how incomparably larger
the number of the dust must be than that of all men can be from Adam
himself down to the end of the world? How much greater, then, must
it be than the seed of Abraham,--not only that pertaining to the
nation of Israel, but also that which is and shall be according to
the imitation of faith in all nations of the whole wide world! For
that seed is indeed very small in comparison with the multitude of
the wicked, although even those few of themselves make an innumerable
multitude, which by a hyperbole is compared to the dust of the earth.
Truly that multitude which was promised to Abraham is not innumerable
to God, although to man; but to God not even the dust of the earth
is so. Further, the promise here made may be understood not only of
the nation of Israel, but of the whole seed of Abraham, which may be
fitly compared to the dust for multitude, because regarding it also
there is the promise[270] of many children, not according to the
flesh, but according to the spirit. But we have therefore said that
this does not clearly appear, because the multitude even of that one
nation, which was born according to the flesh of Abraham through his
grandson Jacob, has increased so much as to fill almost all parts
of the world. Consequently, even it might by hyperbole be compared
to the dust for multitude, because even it alone is innumerable by
man. Certainly no one questions that only that land is meant which is
called Canaan. But that saying, "To thee will I give it, and to thy
seed for ever," may move some, if by "for ever" they understand "to
eternity." But if in this passage they take "for ever" thus, as we
firmly hold it means, that the beginning of the world to come is to
be ordered from the end of the present, there is still no difficulty,
because, although the Israelites are expelled from Jerusalem, they
still remain in other cities in the land of Canaan, and shall remain
even to the end; and when that whole land is inhabited by Christians,
they also are the very seed of Abraham.


  22. _Of Abraham's overcoming the enemies of Sodom, when he
      delivered Lot from captivity and was blessed by Melchizedek the
      priest._

Having received this oracle of promise, Abraham migrated, and remained
in another place of the same land, that is, beside the oak of Mamre,
which was Hebron. Then on the invasion of Sodom, when five kings
carried on war against four, and Lot was taken captive with the
conquered Sodomites, Abraham delivered him from the enemy, leading with
him to battle three hundred and eighteen of his home-born servants,
and won the victory for the kings of Sodom, but would take nothing of
the spoils when offered by the king for whom he had won them. He was
then openly blessed by Melchizedek, who was priest of God Most High,
about whom many and great things are written in the epistle which
is inscribed to the Hebrews, which most say is by the Apostle Paul,
though some deny this. For then first appeared the sacrifice which is
now offered to God by Christians in the whole wide world, and that is
fulfilled which long after the event was said by the prophet to Christ,
who was yet to come in the flesh, "Thou art a priest for ever after the
order of Melchizedek,"[271]--that is to say, not after the order of
Aaron, for that order was to be taken away when the things shone forth
which were intimated beforehand by these shadows.


  23. _Of the word of the Lord to Abraham, by which it was promised
      to him that his posterity should be multiplied according to
      the multitude of the stars; on believing which he was declared
      justified while yet in uncircumcision._

The word of the Lord came to Abraham in a vision also. For when
God promised him protection and exceeding great reward, he, being
solicitous about posterity, said that a certain Eliezer of Damascus,
born in his house, would be his heir. Immediately he was promised an
heir, not that house-born servant, but one who was to come forth of
Abraham himself; and again a seed innumerable, not as the dust of
the earth, but as the stars of heaven,--which rather seems to me a
promise of a posterity exalted in celestial felicity. For, so far as
multitude is concerned, what are the stars of heaven to the dust of
the earth, unless one should say the comparison is like inasmuch as
the stars also cannot be numbered? For it is not to be believed that
all of them can be seen. For the more keenly one observes them, the
more does he see. So that it is to be supposed some remain concealed
from the keenest observers, to say nothing of those stars which are
said to rise and set in another part of the world most remote from
us. Finally, the authority of this book condemns those like Aratus
or Eudoxus, or any others who boast that they have found out and
written down the complete number of the stars. Here, indeed, is set
down that sentence which the apostle quotes in order to commend
the grace of God, "Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him
for righteousness;"[272] lest the circumcision should glory, and
be unwilling to receive the uncircumcised nations to the faith of
Christ. For at the time when he believed, and his faith was counted
to him for righteousness, Abraham had not yet been circumcised.


  24. _Of the meaning of the sacrifice Abraham was commanded to offer
      when he supplicated to be taught about those things he had
      believed._

In the same vision, God in speaking to him also says, "I am God that
brought thee out of the region of the Chaldees, to give thee this land
to inherit it."[273] And when Abram asked whereby he might know that he
should inherit it, God said to him, "Take me an heifer of three years
old, and a she-goat of three years old, and a ram of three years old,
and a turtle-dove, and a pigeon. And he took unto him all these, and
divided them in the midst, and laid each piece one against another; but
the birds divided he not. And the fowls came down," as it is written,
"on the carcases, and Abram sat down by them. But about the going down
of the sun, great fear fell upon Abram; and, lo, an horror of great
darkness fell upon him. And He said unto Abram, Know of a surety that
thy seed shall be a stranger in a land not theirs, and they shall
reduce them to servitude; and shall afflict them four hundred years:
but the nation whom they shall serve will I judge; and afterward shall
they come out hither with great substance. And thou shalt go to thy
fathers in peace; kept in a good old age. But in the fourth generation
they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is
not yet full. And when the sun was setting, there was a flame, and a
smoking furnace, and lamps of fire, that passed through between those
pieces. In that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto
thy seed will I give this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great
river Euphrates: the Kenites, and the Kenizzites, and the Kadmonites,
and the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Rephaims, and the
Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Hivites, and the Girgashites, and
the Jebusites."[274]

All these things were said and done in a vision from God; but it
would take long, and would exceed the scope of this work, to treat of
them exactly in detail. It is enough that we should know that, after
it was said Abram believed in God, and it was counted to him for
righteousness, he did not fail in faith in saying, "Lord God, whereby
shall I know that I shall inherit it?" for the inheritance of that land
was promised to him. Now he does not say, How shall I know, as if he
did not yet believe; but he says, "Whereby shall I know," meaning that
some sign might be given by which he might know the manner of those
things which he had believed, just as it is not for lack of faith the
Virgin Mary says, "How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?"[275]
for she inquired as to the way in which that should take place which
she was certain would come to pass. And when she asked this, she was
told, "The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the
Highest shall overshadow thee."[276] Here also, in fine, a symbol was
given, consisting of three animals, a heifer, a she-goat, and a ram,
and two birds, a turtle-dove and pigeon, that he might know that the
things which he had not doubted should come to pass were to happen in
accordance with this symbol. Whether, therefore, the heifer was a sign
that the people should be put under the law, the she-goat that the same
people was to become sinful, the ram that they should reign (and these
animals are said to be of three years old for this reason, that there
are three remarkable divisions of time, from Adam to Noah, and from
him to Abraham, and from him to David, who, on the rejection of Saul,
was first established by the will of the Lord in the kingdom of the
Israelite nation: in this third division, which extends from Abraham
to David, that people grew up as if passing through the third age of
life), or whether they had some other more suitable meaning, still I
have no doubt whatever that spiritual things were prefigured by them as
well as by the turtle-dove and pigeon. And it is said, "But the birds
divided he not," because carnal men are divided among themselves, but
the spiritual not at all, whether they seclude themselves from the busy
conversation of men, like the turtle-dove, or dwell among them, like
the pigeon; for both birds are simple and harmless, signifying that
even in the Israelite people, to which that land was to be given, there
would be individuals who were children of the promise, and heirs of
the kingdom that is[277] to remain in eternal felicity. But the fowls
coming down on the divided carcases represent nothing good, but the
spirits of this air, seeking some food for themselves in the division
of carnal men. But that Abraham sat down with them, signifies that even
amid these divisions of the carnal, true believers shall persevere to
the end. And that about the going down of the sun great fear fell upon
Abraham and a horror of great darkness, signifies that about the end of
this world believers shall be in great perturbation and tribulation,
of which the Lord said in the gospel, "For then shall be great
tribulation, such as was not from the beginning."[278]

But what is said to Abraham, "Know of a surety that thy seed shall
be a stranger in a land not theirs, and they shall reduce them to
servitude, and shall afflict them 400 years," is most clearly a
prophecy about the people of Israel which was to be in servitude in
Egypt. Not that this people was to be in that servitude under the
oppressive Egyptians for 400 years, but it is foretold that this
should take place in the course of those 400 years. For as it is
written of Terah the father of Abraham, "And the days of Terah in
Haran were 205 years,"[279] not because they were all spent there,
but because they were completed there, so it is said here also,
"And they shall reduce them to servitude, and shall afflict them
400 years," for this reason, because that number was completed, not
because it was all spent in that affliction. The years are said to be
400 in round numbers, although they were a little more,--whether you
reckon from this time, when these things were promised to Abraham,
or from the birth of Isaac, as the seed of Abraham, of which these
things are predicted. For, as we have already said above, from the
seventy-fifth year of Abraham, when the first promise was made to
him, down to the exodus of Israel from Egypt, there are reckoned
430 years, which the apostle thus mentions: "And this I say, that
the covenant confirmed by God, the law, which was made 430 years
after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none
effect."[280] So then these 430 years might be called 400, because
they are not much more, especially since part even of that number
had already gone by when these things were shown and said to Abraham
in vision, or when Isaac was born in his father's 100th year,
twenty-five years after the first promise, when of these 430 years
there now remained 405, which God was pleased to call 400. No one
will doubt that the other things which follow in the prophetic words
of God pertain to the people of Israel.

When it is added, "And when the sun was now setting there was a
flame, and lo, a smoking furnace, and lamps of fire, which passed
through between those pieces," this signifies that at the end of the
world the carnal shall be judged by fire. For just as the affliction
of the city of God, such as never was before, which is expected to
take place under Antichrist, was signified by Abraham's horror of
great darkness about the going down of the sun, that is, when the
end of the world draws nigh,--so at the going down of the sun, that
is, at the very end of the world, there is signified by that fire
the day of judgment, which separates the carnal who are to be saved
by fire from those who are to be condemned in the fire. And then
the covenant made with Abraham particularly sets forth the land of
Canaan, and names eleven tribes in it from the river of Egypt even
to the great river Euphrates. It is not then from the great river of
Egypt, that is, the Nile, but from a small one which separates Egypt
from Palestine, where the city of Rhinocorura is.


      25. _Of Sarah's handmaid, Hagar, whom she herself wished to
                       be Abraham's concubine._

And here follow the times of Abraham's sons, the one by Hagar the bond
maid, the other by Sarah the free woman, about whom we have already
spoken in the previous book. As regards this transaction, Abraham is
in no way to be branded as guilty concerning this concubine, for he
used her for the begetting of progeny, not for the gratification of
lust; and not to insult, but rather to obey his wife, who supposed
it would be a solace of her barrenness if she could make use of the
fruitful womb of her handmaid to supply the defect of her own nature,
and by that law of which the apostle says, "Likewise also the husband
hath not power of his own body, but the wife,"[281] could, as a wife,
make use of him for childbearing by another, when she could not do so
in her own person. Here there is no wanton lust, no filthy lewdness.
The handmaid is delivered to the husband by the wife for the sake of
progeny, and is received by the husband for the sake of progeny, each
seeking, not guilty excess, but natural fruit. And when the pregnant
bond woman despised her barren mistress, and Sarah, with womanly
jealousy, rather laid the blame of this on her husband, even then
Abraham showed that he was not a slavish lover, but a free begetter of
children, and that in using Hagar he had guarded the chastity of Sarah
his wife, and had gratified her will and not his own,--had received
her without seeking, had gone in to her without being attached, had
impregnated without loving her,--for he says, "Behold thy maid is in
thy hands: do to her as it pleaseth thee;"[282] a man able to use women
as a man should,--his wife temperately, his handmaid compliantly,
neither intemperately!


  26. _Of God's attestation to Abraham, by which He assures him, when
      now old, of a son by the barren Sarah, and appoints him the
      father of the nations, and seals his faith in the promise by
      the sacrament of circumcision._

After these things Ishmael was born of Hagar; and Abraham might think
that in him was fulfilled what God had promised him, saying, when he
wished to adopt his home-born servant, "This shall not be thine heir;
but he that shall come forth of thee, he shall be thine heir."[283]
Therefore, lest he should think that what was promised was fulfilled
in the handmaid's son, "when Abram was ninety years old and nine, God
appeared to him, and said unto him, I am God; be well-pleasing in my
sight, and be without complaint, and I will make my covenant between
me and thee, and will fill thee exceedingly."[284]

Here there are more distinct promises about the calling of the nations
in Isaac, that is, in the son of the promise, by which grace is
signified, and not nature; for the son is promised from an old man
and a barren old woman. For although God effects even the natural
course of procreation, yet where the agency of God is manifest, through
the decay or failure of nature, grace is more plainly discerned.
And because this was to be brought about, not by generation, but by
regeneration, circumcision was enjoined now, when a son was promised
of Sarah. And by ordering all, not only sons, but also home-born and
purchased servants to be circumcised, he testifies that this grace
pertains to all. For what else does circumcision signify than a nature
renewed on the putting off of the old? And what else does the eighth
day mean than Christ, who rose again when the week was completed, that
is, after the Sabbath? The very names of the parents are changed: all
things proclaim newness, and the new covenant is shadowed forth in the
old. For what does the term old covenant imply but the concealing of
the new? And what does the term new covenant imply but the revealing of
the old? The laughter of Abraham is the exultation of one who rejoices,
not the scornful laughter of one who mistrusts. And those words of his
in his heart, "Shall a son be born to me that am an hundred years old?
and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear?" are not the words of
doubt, but of wonder. And when it is said, "And I will give to thee,
and to thy seed after thee, the land in which thou art a stranger, all
the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession," if it troubles any
one whether this is to be held as fulfilled, or whether its fulfilment
may still be looked for, since no kind of earthly possession can
be everlasting for any nation whatever, let him know that the word
translated everlasting by our writers is what the Greeks term αἰώνιον,
which is derived from αἰὼν, the Greek for _sæculum_, an age. But the
Latins have not ventured to translate this by _secular_, lest they
should change the meaning into something widely different. For many
things are called secular which so happen in this world as to pass away
even in a short time; but what is termed αἰώνιον either has no end, or
lasts to the very end of this world.


  27. _Of the male, who was to lose his soul if he was not
      circumcised on the eighth day, because he had broken God's
      covenant._

When it is said, "The male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his
foreskin, that soul shall be cut off from his people, because he
hath broken my covenant,"[285] some may be troubled how that ought to
be understood, since it can be no fault of the infant whose life it
is said must perish, nor has the covenant of God been broken by him,
but by his parents, who have not taken care to circumcise him. But
even the infants, not personally in their own life, but according to
the common origin of the human race, have all broken God's covenant
in that one in whom all have sinned.[286] Now there are many things
called God's covenants besides those two great ones, the old and
the new, which any one who pleases may read and know. For the first
covenant, which was made with the first man, is just this: "In the
day ye eat thereof, ye shall surely die."[287] Whence it is written
in the book called Ecclesiasticus, "All flesh waxeth old as doth a
garment. For the covenant from the beginning is, Thou shalt die the
death."[288] Now, as the law was more plainly given afterward, and
the apostle says, "Where no law is, there is no prevarication,"[289]
on what supposition is what is said in the psalm true, "I accounted
all the sinners of the earth prevaricators,"[290] except that all
who are held liable for any sin are accused of dealing deceitfully
(prevaricating) with some law? If on this account, then, even the
infants are, according to the true belief, born in sin, not actual
but original, so that we confess they have need of grace for the
remission of sins, certainly it must be acknowledged that in the
same sense in which they are sinners they are also prevaricators of
that law which was given in Paradise, according to the truth of both
scriptures, "I accounted all the sinners of the earth prevaricators,"
and "Where no law is, there is no prevarication." And thus, because
circumcision was the sign of regeneration, and the infant, on account
of the original sin by which God's covenant was first broken, was not
undeservedly to lose his generation unless delivered by regeneration,
these divine words are to be understood as if it had been said,
Whoever is not born again, that soul shall perish from his people,
because he hath broken my covenant, since he also has sinned in Adam
with all others. For had He said, Because he hath broken this my
covenant, He would have compelled us to understand by it only this of
circumcision; but since He has not expressly said what covenant the
infant has broken, we are free to understand Him as speaking of that
covenant of which the breach can be ascribed to an infant. Yet if any
one contends that it is said of nothing else than circumcision, that
in it the infant has broken the covenant of God because he is not
circumcised, he must seek some method of explanation by which it may
be understood without absurdity (such as this) that he has broken the
covenant, because it has been broken in him although not by him. Yet
in this case also it is to be observed that the soul of the infant,
being guilty of no sin of neglect against itself, would perish
unjustly, unless original sin rendered it obnoxious to punishment.


  28. _Of the change of name in Abraham and Sarah, who received the
      gift of fecundity when they were incapable of regeneration
      owing to the barrenness of one, and the old age of both._

Now when a promise so great and clear was made to Abraham, in which
it was so plainly said to him, "I have made thee a father of many
nations, and I will increase thee exceedingly, and I will make
nations of thee, and kings shall go forth of thee. And I will give
thee a son of Sarah; and I will bless him, and he shall become
nations, and kings of nations shall be of him,"[291]--a promise
which we now see fulfilled in Christ,--from that time forward this
couple are not called in Scripture, as formerly, Abram and Sarai, but
Abraham and Sarah, as we have called them from the first, for every
one does so now. The reason why the name of Abraham was changed is
given: "For," He says, "I have made thee a father of many nations."
This, then, is to be understood to be the meaning of _Abraham_; but
_Abram_, as he was formerly called, means "exalted father." The
reason of the change of Sarah's name is not given; but as those say
who have written interpretations of the Hebrew names contained in
these books, Sarah means "my princess," and Sarai "strength." Whence
it is written in the Epistle to the Hebrews, "Through faith also
Sarah herself received strength to conceive seed."[292] For both
were old, as the Scripture testifies; but she was also barren, and
had ceased to menstruate, so that she could no longer bear children
even if she had not been barren. Further, if a woman is advanced in
years, yet still retains the custom of women, she can bear children
to a young man, but not to an old man, although that same old man
can beget, but only of a young woman; as after Sarah's death Abraham
could of Keturah, because he met with her in her lively age. This,
then, is what the apostle mentions as wonderful, saying, besides,
that Abraham's body was now dead;[293] because at that age he was no
longer able to beget children of any woman who retained now only a
small part of her natural vigour. Of course we must understand that
his body was dead only to some purposes, not to all; for if it was
so to all, it would no longer be the aged body of a living man, but
the corpse of a dead one. Although that question, how Abraham begot
children of Keturah, is usually solved in this way, that the gift of
begetting which he received from the Lord, remained even after the
death of his wife, yet I think that solution of the question which
I have followed is preferable, because, although in our days an old
man of a hundred years can beget children of no woman, it was not so
then, when men still lived so long that a hundred years did not yet
bring on them the decrepitude of old age.


    29. _Of the three men or angels, in whom the Lord is related to
            have appeared to Abraham at the oak of Mamre._

God appeared again to Abraham at the oak of Mamre in three men,
who it is not to be doubted were angels, although some think that
one of them was Christ, and assert that He was visible before He
put on flesh. Now it belongs to the divine power, and invisible,
incorporeal, and incommutable nature, without changing itself at
all, to appear even to mortal men, not by what it is, but by what
is subject to it. And what is not subject to it? Yet if they try
to establish that one of these three was Christ by the fact that,
although he saw three, he addressed the Lord in the singular, as it
is written, "And, lo, three men stood by him: and, when he saw them,
he ran to meet them from the tent-door, and worshipped toward the
ground, and said, Lord, if I have found favour before thee,"[294]
etc.; why do they not advert to this also, that when two of them came
to destroy the Sodomites, while Abraham still spoke to one, calling
him Lord, and interceding that he would not destroy the righteous
along with the wicked in Sodom, Lot received these two in such a
way that he too in his conversation with them addressed the Lord in
the singular? For after saying to them in the plural, "Behold, my
lords, turn aside into your servant's house,"[295] etc., yet it is
afterwards said, "And the angels laid hold upon his hand, and the
hand of his wife, and the hands of his two daughters, because the
Lord was merciful unto him. And it came to pass, whenever they had
led him forth abroad, that they said, Save thy life; look not behind
thee, neither stay thou in all this region: save thyself in the
mountain, lest thou be caught. And Lot said unto them, I pray thee,
Lord, since thy servant hath found grace in thy sight,"[296] etc. And
then after these words the Lord also answered him in the singular,
although He was in two angels, saying, "See, I have accepted thy
face,"[297] etc. This makes it much more credible that both Abraham
in the three men and Lot in the two recognised the Lord, addressing
Him in the singular number, even when they were addressing men; for
they received them as they did for no other reason than that they
might minister human refection to them as men who needed it. Yet
there was about them something so excellent, that those who showed
them hospitality as men could not doubt that God was in them as He
was wont to be in the prophets, and therefore sometimes addressed
them in the plural, and sometimes God in them in the singular. But
that they were angels the Scripture testifies, not only in this book
of Genesis, in which these transactions are related, but also in the
Epistle to the Hebrews, where in praising hospitality it is said,
"For thereby some have entertained angels unawares."[298] By these
three men, then, when a son Isaac was again promised to Abraham by
Sarah, such a divine oracle was also given that it was said, "Abraham
shall become a great and numerous nation, and all the nations of the
earth shall be blessed in him."[299] And here these two things are
promised with the utmost brevity and fulness,--the nation of Israel
according to the flesh, and all nations according to faith.


  30. _Of Lot's deliverance from Sodom, and its consumption by fire
      from heaven; and of Abimelech, whose lust could not harm
      Sarah's chastity._

After this promise Lot was delivered out of Sodom, and a fiery rain
from heaven turned into ashes that whole region of the impious city,
where custom had made sodomy as prevalent as laws have elsewhere
made other kinds of wickedness. But this punishment of theirs was
a specimen of the divine judgment to come. For what is meant by
the angels forbidding those who were delivered to look back, but
that we are not to look back in heart to the old life which, being
regenerated through grace, we have put off, if we think to escape the
last judgment? Lot's wife, indeed, when she looked back, remained,
and, being turned into salt, furnished to believing men a condiment
by which to savour somewhat the warning to be drawn from that
example. Then Abraham did again at Gerar, with Abimelech the king of
that city, what he had done in Egypt about his wife, and received
her back untouched in the same way. On this occasion, when the king
rebuked Abraham for not saying she was his wife, and calling her
his sister, he explained what he had been afraid of, and added this
further, "And yet indeed she is my sister by the father's side, but
not by the mother's;"[300] for she was Abraham's sister by his own
father, and so near of kin. But her beauty was so great, that even at
that advanced age she could be fallen in love with.


      31. _Of Isaac, who was born according to the promise, whose
      name was given on account of the laughter of both parents._

After these things a son was born to Abraham, according to God's
promise, of Sarah, and was called Isaac, which means _laughter_. For
his father had laughed when he was promised to him, in wondering
delight, and his mother, when he was again promised by those three
men, had laughed, doubting for joy; yet she was blamed by the angel
because that laughter, although it was for joy, yet was not full of
faith. Afterwards she was confirmed in faith by the same angel. From
this, then, the boy got his name. For when Isaac was born and called
by that name, Sarah showed that her laughter was not that of scornful
reproach, but that of joyful praise; for she said, "God hath made me
to laugh, so that every one who hears will laugh with me."[301] Then
in a little while the bond maid was cast out of the house with her
son; and, according to the apostle, these two women signify the old
and new covenants,--Sarah representing that of the Jerusalem which is
above, that is, the city of God.[302]


  32. _Of Abraham's obedience and faith, which were proved by the
      offering up of his son in sacrifice; and of Sarah's death._

Among other things, of which it would take too long time to
mention the whole, Abraham was tempted about the offering up of
his well-beloved son Isaac, to prove his pious obedience, and so
make it known to the world, not to God. Now every temptation is
not blameworthy; it may even be praiseworthy, because it furnishes
probation. And, for the most part, the human mind cannot attain to
self-knowledge otherwise than by making trial of its powers through
temptation, by some kind of experimental and not merely verbal
self-interrogation; when, if it has acknowledged the gift of God,
it is pious, and is consolidated by stedfast grace and not puffed
up by vain boasting. Of course Abraham could never believe that
God delighted in human sacrifices; yet when the divine commandment
thundered, it was to be obeyed, not disputed. Yet Abraham is worthy
of praise, because he all along believed that his son, on being
offered up, would rise again; for God had said to him, when he was
unwilling to fulfil his wife's pleasure by casting out the bond maid
and her son, "In Isaac shall thy seed be called." No doubt He then
goes on to say, "And as for the son of this bond woman, I will make
him a great nation, because he is thy seed."[303] How then is it
said, "In Isaac shall thy seed be called," when God calls Ishmael
also his seed? The apostle, in explaining this, says, "In Isaac
shall thy seed be called, that is, they which are the children of
the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of
the promise are counted for the seed."[304] In order, then, that the
children of the promise may be the seed of Abraham, they are called
in Isaac, that is, are gathered together in Christ by the call of
grace. Therefore the father, holding fast from the first the promise
which behoved to be fulfilled through this son whom God had ordered
him to slay, did not doubt that he whom he once thought it hopeless
he should ever receive would be restored to him when he had offered
him up. It is in this way the passage in the Epistle to the Hebrews
is also to be understood and explained. "By faith," he says, "Abraham
overcame, when tempted about Isaac: and he who had received the
promise offered up his only son, to whom it was said, In Isaac shall
thy seed be called: thinking that God was able to raise him up, even
from the dead;" therefore he has added, "from whence also he received
him in a similitude."[305] In whose similitude but His of whom the
apostle says, "He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up
for us all?"[306] And on this account Isaac also himself carried to
the place of sacrifice the wood on which he was to be offered up,
just as the Lord Himself carried His own cross. Finally, since Isaac
was not to be slain, after his father was forbidden to smite him, who
was that ram by the offering of which that sacrifice was completed
with typical blood? For when Abraham saw him, he was caught by the
horns in a thicket. What, then, did he represent but Jesus, who,
before He was offered up, was crowned with thorns by the Jews?

But let us rather hear the divine words spoken through the angel. For
the Scripture says, "And Abraham stretched forth his hand to take the
knife, that he might slay his son. And the Angel of the Lord called
unto him from heaven, and said, Abraham. And he said, Here am I. And
he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou anything
unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, and hast not spared
thy beloved son for my sake."[307] It is said, "Now I know," that
is, Now I have made to be known; for God was not previously ignorant
of this. Then, having offered up that ram instead of Isaac his son,
"Abraham," as we read, "called the name of that place The Lord seeth:
as they say this day, In the mount the Lord hath appeared."[308] As it
is said, "Now I know," for Now I have made to be known, so here, "The
Lord sees," for The Lord hath appeared, that is, made Himself to be
seen. "And the Angel of the Lord called unto Abraham from heaven the
second time, saying, By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord; because
thou hast done this thing, and hast not spared thy beloved son for my
sake; that in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will
multiply thy seed as the stars of heaven, and as the sand which is upon
the sea-shore; and thy seed shall possess by inheritance the cities of
the adversaries: and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth
be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice."[309] In this manner
is that promise concerning the calling of the nations in the seed of
Abraham confirmed even by the oath of God, after that burnt-offering
which typified Christ. For He had often promised, but never sworn. And
what is the oath of God, the true and faithful, but a confirmation of
the promise, and a certain reproof to the unbelieving?

After these things Sarah died, in the 127th year of her life, and
the 137th of her husband; for he was ten years older than she, as he
himself says, when a son is promised to him by her: "Shall a son be
born to me that am an hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is
ninety years old, bear?"[310] Then Abraham bought a field, in which
he buried his wife. And then, according to Stephen's account, he was
settled in that land, entering then on actual possession of it,--that
is, after the death of his father, who is inferred to have died two
years before.


       33. _Of Rebecca, the grand-daughter of Nahor, whom Isaac
                            took to wife._

Isaac married Rebecca, the grand-daughter of Nahor, his father's
brother, when he was forty years old, that is, in the 140th year of his
father's life, three years after his mother's death. Now when a servant
was sent to Mesopotamia by his father to fetch her, and when Abraham
said to that servant, "Put thy hand under my thigh, and I will make
thee swear by the Lord, the God of heaven, and the Lord of the earth,
that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son Isaac of the daughters of
the Canaanites,"[311] what else was pointed out by this, but that the
Lord, the God of heaven, and the Lord of the earth, was to come in the
flesh which was to be derived from that thigh? Are these small tokens
of the foretold truth which we see fulfilled in Christ?


        34. _What is meant by Abraham's marrying Keturah after
                            Sarah's death._

What did Abraham mean by marrying Keturah after Sarah's death? Far
be it from us to suspect him of incontinence, especially when he
had reached such an age and such sanctity of faith. Or was he still
seeking to beget children, though he held fast, with most approved
faith, the promise of God that his children should be multiplied out
of Isaac as the stars of heaven and the dust of the earth? And yet,
if Hagar and Ishmael, as the apostle teaches us, signified the carnal
people of the old covenant, why may not Keturah and her sons also
signify the carnal people who think they belong to the new covenant?
For both are called both the wives and the concubines of Abraham; but
Sarah is never called a concubine (but only a wife). For when Hagar
is given to Abraham, it is written, "And Sarai, Abram's wife, took
Hagar the Egyptian, her handmaid, after Abram had dwelt ten years
in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his
wife."[312] And of Keturah, whom he took after Sarah's departure, we
read, "Then again Abraham took a wife, whose name was Keturah."[313]
Lo, both are called wives, yet both are found to have been
concubines; for the Scripture afterward says, "And Abraham gave his
whole estate unto Isaac his son. But unto the sons of his concubines
Abraham gave gifts, and sent them away from his son Isaac, (while
he yet lived,) eastward, unto the east country."[314] Therefore the
sons of the concubines, that is, the heretics and the carnal Jews,
have some gifts, but do not attain the promised kingdom; "For they
which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of
God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed, of
whom it was said, In Isaac shall thy seed be called."[315] For I do
not see why Keturah, who was married after the wife's death, should
be called a concubine, except on account of this mystery. But if any
one is unwilling to put such meanings on these things, he need not
calumniate Abraham. For what if even this was provided against the
heretics who were to be the opponents of second marriages, so that it
might be shown that it was no sin in the case of the father of many
nations himself, when, after his wife's death, he married again? And
Abraham died when he was 175 years old, so that he left his son Isaac
seventy-five years old, having begotten him when 100 years old.


     35. _What was indicated by the divine answer about the twins
          still shut up in the womb of Rebecca their mother._

Let us now see how the times of the city of God run on from this point
among Abraham's descendants. In the time from the first year of Isaac's
life to the seventieth, when his sons were born, the only memorable
thing is, that when he prayed God that his wife, who was barren,
might bear, and the Lord granted what he sought, and she conceived,
the twins leapt while still enclosed in her womb. And when she was
troubled by this struggle, and inquired of the Lord, she received this
answer: "Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall
be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall overcome the
other people, and the elder shall serve the younger."[316] The Apostle
Paul would have us understand this as a great instance of grace;[317]
for the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or
evil, the younger is chosen without any good desert, and the elder is
rejected, when beyond doubt, as regards original sin, both were alike,
and as regards actual sin, neither had any. But the plan of the work
on hand does not permit me to speak more fully of this matter now, and
I have said much about it in other works. Only that saying, "The elder
shall serve the younger," is understood by our writers, almost without
exception, to mean that the elder people, the Jews, shall serve the
younger people, the Christians. And truly, although this might seem
to be fulfilled in the Idumean nation, which was born of the elder
(who had two names, being called both Esau and Edom, whence the name
Idumeans), because it was afterwards to be overcome by the people
which sprang from the younger, that is, by the Israelites, and was to
become subject to them; yet it is more suitable to believe that, when
it was said, "The one people shall overcome the other people, and the
elder shall serve the younger," that prophecy meant some greater thing;
and what is that except what is evidently fulfilled in the Jews and
Christians?


     36. _Of the oracle and blessing which Isaac received, just as
             his father did, being beloved for his sake._

Isaac also received such an oracle as his father had often received.
Of this oracle it is thus written: "And there was a famine over the
land, beside the first famine that was in the days of Abraham. And
Isaac went unto Abimelech king of the Philistines unto Gerar. And the
Lord appeared unto him, and said, Go not down into Egypt; but dwell
in the land which I shall tell thee of. And abide in this land, and I
will be with thee, and will bless thee: unto thee and unto thy seed
I will give all this land; and I will establish mine oath, which I
sware unto Abraham thy father: and I will multiply thy seed as the
stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all this land: and in
thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because
that Abraham thy father obeyed my voice, and kept my precepts, my
commandments, my righteousness, and my laws."[318] This patriarch
neither had another wife, nor any concubine, but was content with
the twin-children begotten by one act of generation. He also was
afraid, when he lived among strangers, of being brought into danger
owing to the beauty of his wife, and did like his father in calling
her his sister, and not telling that she was his wife; for she was
his near blood-relation by the father's and mother's side. She also
remained untouched by the strangers, when it was known she was his
wife. Yet we ought not to prefer him to his father because he knew
no woman besides his one wife. For beyond doubt the merits of his
father's faith and obedience were greater, inasmuch as God says it
is for his sake He does Isaac good: "In thy seed," He says, "shall
all the nations of the earth be blessed, because that Abraham thy
father obeyed my voice, and kept my precepts, my commandments, my
statutes, and my laws." And again in another oracle He says, "I am
the God of Abraham thy father: fear not, for I am with thee, and
will bless thee, and multiply thy seed for my servant Abraham's
sake."[319] So that we must understand how chastely Abraham acted,
because imprudent men, who seek some support for their own wickedness
in the Holy Scriptures, think he acted through lust. We may also
learn this, not to compare men by single good things, but to consider
everything in each; for it may happen that one man has something in
his life and character in which he excels another, and it may be far
more excellent than that in which the other excels him. And thus,
according to sound and true judgment, while continence is preferable
to marriage, yet a believing married man is better than a continent
unbeliever; for the unbeliever is not only less praiseworthy, but is
even highly detestable. We must conclude, then, that both are good;
yet so as to hold that the married man who is most faithful and most
obedient is certainly better than the continent man whose faith and
obedience are less. But if equal in other things, who would hesitate
to prefer the continent man to the married?


     37. _Of the things mystically prefigured in Esau and Jacob._

Isaac's two sons, Esau and Jacob, grew up together. The primacy of
the elder was transferred to the younger by a bargain and agreement
between them, when the elder immoderately lusted after the lentiles the
younger had prepared for food, and for that price sold his birthright
to him, confirming it with an oath. We learn from this that a person
is to be blamed, not for the kind of food he eats, but for immoderate
greed. Isaac grew old, and old age deprived him of his eyesight. He
wished to bless the elder son, and instead of the elder, who was hairy,
unwittingly blessed the younger, who put himself under his father's
hands, having covered himself with kid-skins, as if bearing the sins
of others. Lest we should think this guile of Jacob's was fraudulent
guile, instead of seeking in it the mystery of a great thing, the
Scripture has predicted in the words just before, "Esau was a cunning
hunter, a man of the field; and Jacob was a simple man, dwelling at
home."[320] Some of our writers have interpreted this, "without guile."
But whether the Greek ἄπλαστος means "without guile," or "simple," or
rather "without feigning," in the receiving of that blessing what is
the guile of the man without guile? What is the guile of the simple,
what the fiction of the man who does not lie, but a profound mystery
of the truth? But what is the blessing itself? "See," he says, "the
smell of my son is as the smell of a full field which the Lord hath
blessed: therefore God give thee of the dew of heaven, and of the
fruitfulness of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine: let nations
serve thee, and princes adore thee: and be lord of thy brethren, and
let thy father's sons adore thee: cursed be he that curseth thee,
and blessed be he that blesseth thee."[321] The blessing of Jacob is
therefore a proclamation of Christ to all nations. It is this which
has come to pass, and is now being fulfilled. Isaac is the law and the
prophecy: even by the mouth of the Jews Christ is blessed by prophecy
as by one who knows not, because it is itself not understood. The
world like a field is filled with the odour of Christ's name: His is
the blessing of the dew of heaven, that is, of the showers of divine
words; and of the fruitfulness of the earth, that is, of the gathering
together of the peoples: His is the plenty of corn and wine, that is,
the multitude that gathers bread and wine in the sacrament of His body
and blood. Him the nations serve, Him princes adore. He is the Lord of
His brethren, because His people rules over the Jews. Him His Father's
sons adore, that is, the sons of Abraham according to faith; for He
Himself is the son of Abraham according to the flesh. He is cursed that
curseth Him, and he that blesseth Him is blessed. Christ, I say, who
is ours is blessed, that is, truly spoken of out of the mouths of the
Jews, when, although erring, they yet sing the law and the prophets,
and think they are blessing another for whom they erringly hope. So,
when the elder son claims the promised blessing, Isaac is greatly
afraid, and wonders when he knows that he has blessed one instead of
the other, and demands who he is; yet he does not complain that he has
been deceived, yea, when the great mystery is revealed to him, in his
secret heart he at once eschews anger, and confirms the blessing. "Who
then," he says, "hath hunted me venison, and brought it me, and I have
eaten of all before thou camest, and have blessed him, and he shall be
blessed?"[322] Who would not rather have expected the curse of an angry
man here, if these things had been done in an earthly manner, and not
by inspiration from above? O things done, yet done prophetically; on
the earth, yet celestially; by men, yet divinely! If everything that
is fertile of so great mysteries should be examined carefully, many
volumes would be filled; but the moderate compass fixed for this work
compels us to hasten to other things.


  38. _Of Jacob's mission to Mesopotamia to get a wife, and of the
      vision which he saw in a dream by the way, and of his getting
      four women when he sought one wife._

Jacob was sent by his parents to Mesopotamia that he might take a
wife there. These were his father's words on sending him: "Thou
shalt not take a wife of the daughters of the Canaanites. Arise, fly
to Mesopotamia, to the house of Bethuel, thy mother's father, and
take thee a wife from thence of the daughters of Laban thy mother's
brother. And my God bless thee, and increase thee, and multiply
thee; and thou shalt be an assembly of peoples; and give to thee the
blessing of Abraham thy father, and to thy seed after thee; that
thou mayest inherit the land wherein thou dwellest, which God gave
unto Abraham."[323] Now we understand here that the seed of Jacob is
separated from Isaac's other seed which came through Esau. For when
it is said, "In Isaac shall thy seed be called,"[324] by this seed is
meant solely the city of God; so that from it is separated Abraham's
other seed, which was in the son of the bond woman, and which was
to be in the sons of Keturah. But until now it had been uncertain
regarding Isaac's twin-sons whether that blessing belonged to both or
only to one of them; and if to one, which of them it was. This is now
declared when Jacob is prophetically blessed by his father, and it is
said to him, "And thou shalt be an assembly of peoples, and God give
to thee the blessing of Abraham thy father."

When Jacob was going to Mesopotamia, he received in a dream an
oracle, of which it is thus written: "And Jacob went out from the
well of the oath,[325] and went to Haran. And he came to a place,
and slept there, for the sun was set; and he took of the stones of
the place, and put them at his head, and slept in that place, and
dreamed. And behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it
reached to heaven; and the angels of God ascended and descended by
it. And the Lord stood above it, and said, I am the God of Abraham
thy father, and the God of Isaac; fear not: the land whereon thou
sleepest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed; and thy seed shall
be as the dust of the earth; and it shall be spread abroad to the
sea, and to Africa, and to the north, and to the east: and all the
tribes of the earth shall be blessed in thee and in thy seed. And,
behold, I am with thee, to keep thee in all thy way wherever thou
goest, and I will bring thee back into this land; for I will not
leave thee, until I have done all which I have spoken to thee of. And
Jacob awoke out of his sleep, and said, Surely the Lord is in this
place, and I knew it not. And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful
is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is
the gate of heaven. And Jacob arose, and took the stone that he had
put under his head there, and set it up for a memorial, and poured
oil upon the top of it. And Jacob called the name of that place the
house of God."[326] This is prophetic. For Jacob did not pour oil on
the stone in an idolatrous way, as if making it a god; neither did he
adore that stone, or sacrifice to it. But since the name of Christ
comes from the chrism or anointing, something pertaining to the great
mystery was certainly represented in this. And the Saviour Himself
is understood to bring this latter to remembrance in the gospel,
when He says of Nathanael, "Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is
no guile!"[327] because Israel who saw this vision is no other than
Jacob. And in the same place He says, "Verily, verily, I say unto
you, Ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and
descending upon the Son of man."

Jacob went on to Mesopotamia to take a wife from thence. And the
divine Scripture points out how, without unlawfully desiring any of
them, he came to have four women, of whom he begat twelve sons and
one daughter; for he had come to take only one. But when one was
falsely given him in place of the other, he did not send her away
after unwittingly using her in the night, lest he should seem to
have put her to shame; but as at that time, in order to multiply
posterity, no law forbade a plurality of wives, he took her also to
whom alone he had promised marriage. As she was barren, she gave her
handmaid to her husband that she might have children by her; and her
elder sister did the same thing in imitation of her, although she
had borne, because she desired to multiply progeny. We do not read
that Jacob sought any but one, or that he used many, except for the
purpose of begetting offspring, saving conjugal rights; and he would
not have done this, had not his wives, who had legitimate power over
their own husband's body, urged him to do it. So he begat twelve sons
and one daughter by four women. Then he entered into Egypt by his son
Joseph, who was sold by his brethren for envy, and carried there, and
who was there exalted.


          39. _The reason why Jacob was also called Israel._

As I said a little ago, Jacob was also called Israel, the name which
was most prevalent among the people descended from him. Now this name
was given him by the angel who wrestled with him on the way back from
Mesopotamia, and who was most evidently a type of Christ. For when
Jacob overcame him, doubtless with his own consent, that the mystery
might be represented, it signified Christ's passion, in which the
Jews are seen overcoming Him. And yet he besought a blessing from the
very angel he had overcome; and so the imposition of this name was
the blessing. For Israel means _seeing God_,[328] which will at last
be the reward of all the saints. The angel also touched him on the
breadth of the thigh when he was overcoming him, and in that way made
him lame. So that Jacob was at one and the same time blessed and lame:
blessed in those among that people who believed in Christ, and lame in
the unbelieving. For the breadth of the thigh is the multitude of the
family. For there are many of that race of whom it was prophetically
said beforehand, "And they have halted in their paths."[329]


  40. _How it is said that Jacob went into Egypt with seventy-five
      souls, when most of those who are mentioned were born at a
      later period._

Seventy-five men are reported to have entered Egypt along with Jacob,
counting him with his children. In this number only two women are
mentioned, one a daughter, the other a grand-daughter. But when
the thing is carefully considered, it does not appear that Jacob's
offspring was so numerous on the day or year when he entered Egypt.
There are also included among them the great-grandchildren of Joseph,
who could not possibly be born already. For Jacob was then 130 years
old, and his son Joseph thirty-nine; and as it is plain that he
took a wife when he was thirty or more, how could he in nine years
have great-grandchildren by the children whom he had by that wife?
Now, since Ephraim and Manasseh, the sons of Joseph, could not even
have children, for Jacob found them boys under nine years old when
he entered Egypt, in what way are not only their sons but their
grandsons reckoned among those seventy-five who then entered Egypt
with Jacob? For there is reckoned there Machir the son of Manasseh,
grandson of Joseph, and Machir's son, that is, Gilead, grandson of
Manasseh, great-grandson of Joseph; there, too, is he whom Ephraim,
Joseph's other son, begot, that is, Shuthelah, grandson of Joseph,
and Shuthelah's son Ezer, grandson of Ephraim, and great-grandson
of Joseph, who could not possibly be in existence when Jacob came
into Egypt, and there found his grandsons, the sons of Joseph,
their grandsires, still boys under nine years of age.[330] But
doubtless, when the Scripture mentions Jacob's entrance into Egypt
with seventy-five souls, it does not mean one day, or one year,
but that whole time as long as Joseph lived, who was the cause of
his entrance. For the same Scripture speaks thus of Joseph: "And
Joseph dwelt in Egypt, he and his brethren, and all his father's
house: and Joseph lived 110 years, and saw Ephraim's children
of the third generation."[331] That is, his great-grandson, the
third from Ephraim; for the third generation means son, grandson,
great-grandson. Then it is added, "The children also of Machir, the
son of Manasseh, were born upon Joseph's knees."[332] And this is
that grandson of Manasseh, and great-grandson of Joseph. But the
plural number is employed according to scriptural usage; for the one
daughter of Jacob is spoken of as daughters, just as in the usage
of the Latin tongue _liberi_ is used in the plural for children
even when there is only one. Now, when Joseph's own happiness is
proclaimed, because he could see his great-grandchildren, it is by
no means to be thought they already existed in the thirty-ninth year
of their great-grandsire Joseph, when his father Jacob came to him
in Egypt. But those who diligently look into these things will the
less easily be mistaken, because it is written, "These are the names
of the sons of Israel who entered into Egypt along with Jacob their
father."[333] For this means that the seventy-five are reckoned along
with him, not that they were all with him when he entered Egypt; for,
as I have said, the whole period during which Joseph, who occasioned
his entrance, lived, is held to be the time of that entrance.


     41. _Of the blessing which Jacob promised in Judah his son._

If, on account of the Christian people in whom the city of God
sojourns in the earth, we look for the flesh of Christ in the seed
of Abraham, setting aside the sons of the concubines, we have Isaac;
if in the seed of Isaac, setting aside Esau, who is also Edom, we
have Jacob, who also is Israel; if in the seed of Israel himself,
setting aside the rest, we have Judah, because Christ sprang of the
tribe of Judah. Let us hear, then, how Israel, when dying in Egypt,
in blessing his sons, prophetically blessed Judah. He says: "Judah,
thy brethren shall praise thee: thy hands shall be on the back of
thine enemies; thy father's children shall adore thee. Judah is a
lion's whelp: from the sprouting, my son, thou art gone up: lying
down, thou hast slept as a lion, and as a lion's whelp; who shall
awake him? A prince shall not be lacking out of Judah, and a leader
from his thighs, until the things come that are laid up for him; and
He shall be the expectation of the nations. Binding his foal unto
the vine, and his ass's foal to the choice vine; he shall wash his
robe in wine, and his clothes in the blood of the grape: his eyes
are red with wine, and his teeth are whiter than milk."[334] I have
expounded these words in disputing against Faustus the Manichæan; and
I think it is enough to make the truth of this prophecy shine, to
remark that the death of Christ is predicted by the word about his
lying down, and not the necessity, but the voluntary character of His
death, in the title of lion. That power He Himself proclaims in the
gospel, saying, "I have the power of laying down my life, and I have
the power of taking it again. No man taketh it from me; but I lay it
down of myself, and take it again."[335] So the lion roared, so He
fulfilled what He said. For to this power what is added about the
resurrection refers, "Who shall awake him?" This means that no man
but Himself has raised Him, who also said of His own body, "Destroy
this temple, and in three days I will raise it up."[336] And the very
nature of His death, that is, the height of the cross, is understood
by the single word, "Thou art gone up." The evangelist explains what
is added, "Lying down, thou hast slept," when he says, "He bowed
His head, and gave up the ghost."[337] Or at least His burial is
to be understood, in which He lay down sleeping, and whence no man
raised Him, as the prophets did some, and as He Himself did others;
but He Himself rose up as if from sleep. As for His robe which He
washes in wine, that is, cleanses from sin in His own blood, of which
blood those who are baptized know the mystery, so that he adds, "And
his clothes in the blood of the grape," what is it but the Church?
"And his eyes are red with wine," [these are] His spiritual people
drunken with His cup, of which the psalm sings, "And thy cup that
makes drunken, how excellent it is!" "And his teeth are whiter than
milk,"[338]--that is, the nutritive words which, according to the
apostle, the babes drink, being as yet unfit for solid food.[339]
And it is He in whom the promises of Judah were laid up, so that
until they come, princes, that is, the kings of Israel, shall never
be lacking out of Judah. "And He is the expectation of the nations."
This is too plain to need exposition.


     42. _Of the sons of Joseph, whom Jacob blessed, prophetically
                         changing his hands._

Now, as Isaac's two sons, Esau and Jacob, furnished a type of the
two people, the Jews and the Christians (although as pertains to
carnal descent it was not the Jews but the Idumeans who came of the
seed of Esau, nor the Christian nations but rather the Jews who came
of Jacob's; for the type holds only as regards the saying, "The
elder shall serve the younger"[340]), so the same thing happened in
Joseph's two sons; for the elder was a type of the Jews, and the
younger of the Christians. For when Jacob was blessing them, and laid
his right hand on the younger, who was at his left, and his left
hand on the elder, who was at his right, this seemed wrong to their
father, and he admonished his father by trying to correct his mistake
and show him which was the elder. But he would not change his hands,
but said, "I know, my son, I know. He also shall become a people, and
he also shall be exalted; but his younger brother shall be greater
than he, and his seed shall become a multitude of nations."[341] And
these two promises show the same thing. For that one is to become
"a people;" this one "a multitude of nations." And what can be more
evident than that these two promises comprehend the people of Israel,
and the whole world of Abraham's seed, the one according to the
flesh, the other according to faith?


  43. _Of the times of Moses and Joshua the son of Nun, of the
      judges, and thereafter of the kings, of whom Saul was the
      first, but David is to be regarded as the chief, both by the
      oath and by merit._

Jacob being dead, and Joseph also, during the remaining 144 years
until they went out of the land of Egypt that nation increased to an
incredible degree, even although wasted by so great persecutions,
that at one time the male children were murdered at their birth,
because the wondering Egyptians were terrified at the too great
increase of that people. Then Moses, being stealthily kept from
the murderers of the infants, was brought to the royal house, God
preparing to do great things by him, and was nursed and adopted
by the daughter of Pharaoh (that was the name of all the kings of
Egypt), and became so great a man that he--yea, rather God, who had
promised this to Abraham, by him--drew that nation, so wonderfully
multiplied, out of the yoke of hardest and most grievous servitude
it had borne there. At first, indeed, he fled thence (we are told he
fled into the land of Midian), because, in defending an Israelite,
he had slain an Egyptian, and was afraid. Afterward, being divinely
commissioned in the power of the Spirit of God, he overcame the
magi of Pharaoh who resisted him. Then, when the Egyptians would
not let God's people go, ten memorable plagues were brought by Him
upon them,--the water turned into blood, the frogs and lice, the
flies, the death of the cattle, the boils, the hail, the locusts, the
darkness, the death of the first-born. At last the Egyptians were
destroyed in the Red Sea while pursuing the Israelites, whom they had
let go when at length they were broken by so many great plagues. The
divided sea made a way for the Israelites who were departing, but,
returning on itself, it overwhelmed their pursuers with its waves.
Then for forty years the people of God went through the desert,
under the leadership of Moses, when the tabernacle of testimony was
dedicated, in which God was worshipped by sacrifices prophetic of
things to come, and that was after the law had been very terribly
given in the mount, for its divinity was most plainly attested by
wonderful signs and voices. This took place soon after the exodus
from Egypt, when the people had entered the desert, on the fiftieth
day after the passover was celebrated by the offering up of a lamb,
which is so completely a type of Christ, foretelling that through
His sacrificial passion He should go from this world to the Father
(for _pascha_ in the Hebrew tongue means _transit_), that when the
new covenant was revealed, after Christ our passover was offered
up, the Holy Spirit came from heaven on the fiftieth day; and He is
called in the gospel the Finger of God, because He recalls to our
remembrance the things done before by way of types, and because the
tables of that law are said to have been written by the finger of God.

On the death of Moses, Joshua the son of Nun ruled the people,
and led them into the land of promise, and divided it among them.
By these two wonderful leaders wars were also carried on most
prosperously and wonderfully, God calling to witness that they had
got these victories not so much on account of the merit of the Hebrew
people as on account of the sins of the nations they subdued. After
these leaders there were judges, when the people were settled in
the land of promise, so that, in the meantime, the first promise
made to Abraham began to be fulfilled about the one nation, that
is, the Hebrew, and about the land of Canaan; but not as yet the
promise about all nations, and the whole wide world, for that was
to be fulfilled, not by the observances of the old law, but by the
advent of Christ in the flesh, and by the faith of the gospel. And
it was to prefigure this that it was not Moses, who received the law
for the people on Mount Sinai, that led the people into the land of
promise, but Joshua, whose name also was changed at God's command, so
that he was called Jesus. But in the times of the judges prosperity
alternated with adversity in war, according as the sins of the people
and the mercy of God were displayed.

We come next to the times of the kings. The first who reigned was
Saul; and when he was rejected and laid low in battle, and his
offspring rejected so that no kings should arise out of it, David
succeeded to the kingdom, whose son Christ is chiefly called. He was
made a kind of starting-point and beginning of the advanced youth of
God's people, who had passed a kind of age of puberty from Abraham to
this David. And it is not in vain that the evangelist Matthew records
the generations in such a way as to sum up this first period from
Abraham to David in fourteen generations. For from the age of puberty
man begins to be capable of generation; therefore he starts the list
of generations from Abraham, who also was made the father of many
nations when he got his name changed. So that previously this family
of God's people was in its childhood, from Noah to Abraham; and for
that reason the first language was then learned, that is, the Hebrew.
For man begins to speak in childhood, the age succeeding infancy,
which is so termed because then he cannot speak.[342] And that first
age is quite drowned in oblivion, just as the first age of the human
race was blotted out by the flood; for who is there that can remember
his infancy? Wherefore in this progress of the city of God, as the
previous book contained that first age, so this one ought to contain
the second and third ages, in which third age, as was shown by the
heifer of three years old, the she-goat of three years old, and the
ram of three years old, the yoke of the law was imposed, and there
appeared abundance of sins, and the beginning of the earthly kingdom
arose, in which there were not lacking spiritual men, of whom the
turtle-dove and pigeon represented the mystery.

FOOTNOTES:

[221] Gen. ix. 25.

[222] Gen. ix. 26, 27.

[223] See _Contra Faust._ xii. c. 22 sqq.

[224] Song of Solomon i. 3.

[225] 1 Cor. xi. 19.

[226] Prov. x. 5 (LXX.).

[227] Matt. vii. 20.

[228] Phil. i. 18.

[229] Isa. v. 7.

[230] Matt. xx. 22.

[231] Matt. xxvi. 39.

[232] 2 Cor. xiii. 4.

[233] 1 Cor. i. 25.

[234] Augustine here follows the Greek version, which introduces the
name Elisa among the sons of Japheth, though not found in the Hebrew.
It is not found in the Complutensian Greek translation, nor in the
MSS. used by Jerome.

[235] Gen. x. 21.

[236] Gen. xi. 1-9.

[237] Ex. x.

[238] Ps. xcv. 6.

[239] Job xv. 13.

[240] 1 Cor. iii. 9.

[241] Gen. i. 26.

[242] Gen. xi. 6.

[243] Virgil, _Æneid_, iv. 592.

[244] Here Augustine remarks on the addition of the particle _ne_ to
the word _non_, which he has made to bring out the sense.

[245] Gen. i. 24.

[246] Pliny, _Hist. Nat._ vii. 2; Aulus Gellius, _Noct. Att._ ix. 4.

[247] From πυγμή, a cubit.

[248] Gen. x. 25.

[249] Ps. xiv. 3, 4, liii. 3, 4.

[250] Gen. x. 25.

[251] Josh. xxiv. 2.

[252] Gen. xi. 27-29.

[253] Gen. xi. 31.

[254] Gen. xxiv. 10.

[255] Judith v. 5-9.

[256] Gen. xi. 32.

[257] Gen. xii. 1.

[258] Gen. xii. 4.

[259] Gen. xi. 1.

[260] Gen. xii. 1.

[261] Acts vii. 2, 3.

[262] Acts vii. 4.

[263] Gen. xii. 1.

[264] Various reading, "of our Lord Jesus Christ."

[265] Gen. xii. 1-3.

[266] Acts vii. 2.

[267] Gen. xii. 7.

[268] Gen. xiii. 8, 9.

[269] Gen. xiii. 14-17.

[270] Various reading, "the express promise."

[271] Ps. cx. 4.

[272] Rom. iv. 3; Gen. xv. 6.

[273] Gen. xv. 7.

[274] Gen. xv. 9-21.

[275] Luke i. 34.

[276] Luke i. 35.

[277] Various reading, "who are to remain."

[278] Matt. xxiv. 21.

[279] Gen. xi. 32.

[280] Gal. iii. 17.

[281] 1 Cor. vii. 4.

[282] Gen. xvi. 6.

[283] Gen. xv. 4.

[284] Gen. xvii. 1-22. The passage is given in full by Augustine.

[285] Gen. xvii. 14.

[286] Rom. v. 12, 19.

[287] Gen. ii. 17.

[288] Ecclus. xv. 17.

[289] Rom. iv. 15.

[290] Ps. cxix. 119. Augustine and the Vulgate follow the LXX.

[291] Gen. xvii. 5, 6, 16.

[292] Heb. xi. 11.

[293] Heb. xi. 12.

[294] Gen. xviii. 2, 3.

[295] Gen. xix. 2.

[296] Gen. xix. 16-19.

[297] Gen. xix. 21.

[298] Heb. xiii. 2.

[299] Gen. xviii. 18.

[300] Gen. xx. 12.

[301] Gen. xxi. 6.

[302] Gal. iv. 24-26.

[303] Gen. xxi. 12, 13.

[304] Rom. ix. 7, 8.

[305] Heb. xi. 17-19.

[306] Rom. viii. 32.

[307] Gen. xxii. 10-12.

[308] Gen. xxii. 14.

[309] Gen. xxii. 15-18.

[310] Gen. xvii. 17.

[311] Gen. xxiv. 2, 3.

[312] Gen. xvi. 3.

[313] Gen. xxv. 1.

[314] Gen. xxv. 5, 6.

[315] Rom. ix. 7, 8.

[316] Gen. xxv. 23.

[317] Rom. ix. 10-13.

[318] Gen. xxvi. 1-5.

[319] Gen. xxvi. 24.

[320] Gen. xxv. 27.

[321] Gen. xxvii. 27-29.

[322] Gen. xxvii. 33.

[323] Gen. xxviii. 1-4.

[324] Gen. xxi. 12.

[325] Beer-sheba.

[326] Gen. xxviii. 10-19.

[327] John i. 47, 51.

[328] Gen. xxxii. 28: Israel = "a prince of God;" ver. 30: Peniel =
"the face of God."

[329] Ps. xviii. 45.

[330] Augustine here follows the Septuagint, which at Gen. xlvi. 20
adds these names to those of Manasseh and Ephraim, and at ver. 27
gives the whole number as seventy-five.

[331] Gen. l. 22, 23.

[332] Gen. l. 23.

[333] Gen. xlvi. 8.

[334] Gen. xlix. 8-12.

[335] John x. 18.

[336] John ii. 19.

[337] John xix. 30.

[338] Gen. xlix. 12.

[339] 1 Pet. ii. 2; 1 Cor. iii. 2.

[340] Gen. xxv. 23.

[341] Gen. xlviii. 19.

[342] _Infans_, from _in_, not, and _fari_, to speak.



                           BOOK SEVENTEENTH.

                               ARGUMENT.

  IN THIS BOOK THE HISTORY OF THE CITY OF GOD IS TRACED DURING THE
      PERIOD OF THE KINGS AND PROPHETS FROM SAMUEL TO DAVID, EVEN TO
      CHRIST; AND THE PROPHECIES WHICH ARE RECORDED IN THE BOOK OF
      KINGS, PSALMS, AND THOSE OF SOLOMON, ARE INTERPRETED OF CHRIST
      AND THE CHURCH.


                      1. _Of the prophetic age._

By the favour of God we have treated distinctly of His promises made
to Abraham, that both the nation of Israel according to the flesh, and
all nations according to faith, should be his seed, and the City of
God, proceeding according to the order of time, will point[343] out how
they were fulfilled. Having therefore in the previous book come down
to the reign of David, we shall now treat of what remains, so far as
may seem sufficient for the object of this work, beginning at the same
reign. Now, from the time when holy Samuel began to prophesy, and ever
onward until the people of Israel was led captive into Babylonia, and
until, according to the prophecy of holy Jeremiah, on Israel's return
thence after seventy years, the house of God was built anew, this whole
period is the prophetic age. For although both the patriarch Noah
himself, in whose days the whole earth was destroyed by the flood, and
others before and after him down to this time when there began to be
kings over the people of God, may not undeservedly be styled prophets,
on account of certain things pertaining to the city of God and the
kingdom of heaven, which they either predicted or in any way signified
should come to pass, and especially since we read that some of them,
as Abraham and Moses, were expressly so styled, yet those are most
and chiefly called the days of the prophets from the time when Samuel
began to prophesy, who at God's command first anointed Saul to be king,
and, on his rejection, David himself, whom others of his issue should
succeed as long as it was fitting they should do so. If, therefore,
I wished to rehearse all that the prophets have predicted concerning
Christ, while the city of God, with its members dying and being born
in constant succession, ran its course through those times, this work
would extend beyond all bounds. First, because the Scripture itself,
even when, in treating in order of the kings and of their deeds and
the events of their reigns, it seems to be occupied in narrating as
with historical diligence the affairs transacted, will be found, if
the things handled by it are considered with the aid of the Spirit of
God, either more, or certainly not less, intent on foretelling things
to come than on relating things past. And who that thinks even a little
about it does not know how laborious and prolix a work it would be,
and how many volumes it would require to search this out by thorough
investigation and demonstrate it by argument? And then, because of that
which without dispute pertains to prophecy, there are so many things
concerning Christ and the kingdom of heaven, which is the city of God,
that to explain these a larger discussion would be necessary than the
due proportion of this work admits of. Therefore I shall, if I can, so
limit myself, that in carrying through this work, I may, with God's
help, neither say what is superfluous nor omit what is necessary.


     2. _At what time the promise of God was fulfilled concerning
   the land of Canaan, which even carnal Israel got in possession._

In the preceding book we said, that in the promise of God to Abraham
two things were promised from the beginning, the one, namely, that his
seed should possess the land of Canaan, which was intimated when it was
said, "Go into a land that I will show thee, and I will make of thee a
great nation;"[344] but the other far more excellent, concerning not
the carnal but the spiritual seed, by which he is the father, not of
the one nation of Israel, but of all nations who follow the footsteps
of his faith, which began to be promised in these words, "And in thee
shall all families of the earth be blessed."[345] And thereafter we
showed by yet many other proofs that these two things were promised.
Therefore the seed of Abraham, that is, the people of Israel according
to the flesh, already was in the land of promise; and there, not only
by holding and possessing the cities of the enemies, but also by having
kings, had already begun to reign, the promises of God concerning
that people being already in great part fulfilled: not only those
that were made to those three fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and
whatever others were made in their times, but those also that were
made through Moses himself, by whom the same people was set free from
servitude in Egypt, and by whom all bygone things were revealed in
his times, when he led the people through the wilderness. But neither
by the illustrious leader Jesus the son of Nun, who led that people
into the land of promise, and, after driving out the nations, divided
it among the twelve tribes according to God's command, and died; nor
after him, in the whole time of the judges, was the promise of God
concerning the land of Canaan fulfilled, that it should extend from
some river of Egypt even to the great river Euphrates; nor yet was it
still prophesied as to come, but its fulfilment was expected. And it
was fulfilled through David, and Solomon his son, whose kingdom was
extended over the whole promised space; for they subdued all those
nations, and made them tributary. And thus, under those kings, the seed
of Abraham was established in the land of promise according to the
flesh, that is, in the land of Canaan, so that nothing yet remained to
the complete fulfilment of that earthly promise of God, except that,
so far as pertains to temporal prosperity, the Hebrew nation should
remain in the same land by the succession of posterity in an unshaken
state even to the end of this mortal age, if it obeyed the laws of the
Lord its God. But since God knew it would not do this, He used His
temporal punishments also for training His few faithful ones in it, and
for giving needful warning to those who should afterwards be in all
nations, in whom the other promise, revealed in the New Testament, was
about to be fulfilled through the incarnation of Christ.


  3. _Of the threefold meaning of the prophecies, which are to be
      referred now to the earthly, now to the heavenly Jerusalem, and
      now again to both._

Wherefore just as that divine oracle to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and
all the other prophetic signs or sayings which are given in the earlier
sacred writings, so also the other prophecies from this time of the
kings pertain partly to the nation of Abraham's flesh, and partly to
that seed of his in which all nations are blessed as fellow-heirs of
Christ by the New Testament, to the possessing of eternal life and the
kingdom of the heavens. Therefore they pertain partly to the bond maid
who gendereth to bondage, that is, the earthly Jerusalem, which is in
bondage with her children; but partly to the free city of God, that is,
the true Jerusalem eternal in the heavens, whose children are all those
that live according to God in the earth: but there are some things
among them which are understood to pertain to both,--to the bond maid
properly, to the free woman figuratively.[346]

Therefore prophetic utterances of three kinds are to be found;
forasmuch as there are some relating to the earthly Jerusalem, some
to the heavenly, and some to both. I think it proper to prove what I
say by examples. The prophet Nathan was sent to convict king David
of heinous sin, and predict to him what future evils should be
consequent on it. Who can question that this and the like pertain
to the terrestrial city, whether publicly, that is, for the safety
or help of the people, or privately, when there are given forth for
each one's private good divine utterances whereby something of the
future may be known for the use of temporal life? But where we read,
"Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make for the
house of Israel, and for the house of Judah, a new testament: not
according to the testament that I settled for their fathers in the
day when I laid hold of their hand to lead them out of the land of
Egypt; because they continued not in my testament, and I regarded
them not, saith the Lord. For this is the testament that I will make
for the house of Israel: after those days, saith the Lord, I will
give my laws in their mind, and will write them upon their hearts,
and I will see to them; and I will be to them a God, and they shall
be to me a people;"[347]--without doubt this is prophesied to the
Jerusalem above, whose reward is God Himself, and whose chief and
entire good it is to have Him, and to be His. But this pertains
to both, that the city of God is called Jerusalem, and that it is
prophesied the house of God shall be in it; and this prophecy seems
to be fulfilled when king Solomon builds that most noble temple.
For these things both happened in the earthly Jerusalem, as history
shows, and were types of the heavenly Jerusalem. And this kind of
prophecy, as it were compacted and commingled of both the others in
the ancient canonical books, containing historical narratives, is
of very great significance, and has exercised and exercises greatly
the wits of those who search holy writ. For example, what we read
of historically as predicted and fulfilled in the seed of Abraham
according to the flesh, we must also inquire the allegorical meaning
of, as it is to be fulfilled in the seed of Abraham according to
faith. And so much is this the case, that some have thought there
is nothing in these books either foretold and effected, or effected
although not foretold, that does not insinuate something else which
is to be referred by figurative signification to the city of God
on high, and to her children who are pilgrims in this life. But
if this be so, then the utterances of the prophets, or rather the
whole of those Scriptures that are reckoned under the title of the
Old Testament, will be not of three, but of two different kinds.
For there will be nothing there which pertains to the terrestrial
Jerusalem only, if whatever is there said and fulfilled of or
concerning her signifies something which also refers by allegorical
prefiguration to the celestial Jerusalem; but there will be only
two kinds, one that pertains to the free Jerusalem, the other to
both. But just as, I think, they err greatly who are of opinion
that none of the records of affairs in that kind of writings mean
anything more than that they so happened, so I think those very
daring who contend that the whole gist of their contents lies in
allegorical significations. Therefore I have said they are threefold,
not twofold. Yet, in holding this opinion, I do not blame those who
may be able to draw out of everything there a spiritual meaning,
only saving, first of all, the historical truth. For the rest, what
believer can doubt that those things are spoken vainly which are such
that, whether said to have been done or to be yet to come, they do
not beseem either human or divine affairs? Who would not recall these
to spiritual understanding if he could, or confess that they should
be recalled by him who is able?


  4. _About the prefigured change of the Israelitic kingdom and
      priesthood, and about the things Hannah the mother of Samuel
      prophesied, personating the Church._

Therefore the advance of the city of God, where it reached the times
of the kings, yielded a figure, when, on the rejection of Saul,
David first obtained the kingdom on such a footing that thenceforth
his descendants should reign in the earthly Jerusalem in continual
succession; for the course of affairs signified and foretold, what is
not to be passed by in silence, concerning the change of things to
come, what belongs to both Testaments, the Old and the New,--where the
priesthood and kingdom are changed by one who is a priest, and at the
same time a king, new and everlasting, even Christ Jesus. For both the
substitution in the ministry of God, on Eli's rejection as priest, of
Samuel, who executed at once the office of priest and judge, and the
establishment of David in the kingdom, when Saul was rejected, typified
this of which I speak. And Hannah herself, the mother of Samuel, who
formerly was barren, and afterwards was gladdened with fertility, does
not seem to prophesy anything else, when she exultingly pours forth
her thanksgiving to the Lord, on yielding up to God the same boy she
had born and weaned with the same piety with which she had vowed him.
For she says, "My heart is made strong in the Lord, and my horn is
exalted in my God; my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies; I am made
glad in Thy salvation. Because there is none holy as the Lord; and none
is righteous as our God: there is none holy save Thee. Do not glory
so proudly, and do not speak lofty things, neither let vaunting talk
come out of your mouth: for a God of knowledge is the Lord, and a God
preparing His curious designs. The bow of the mighty hath He made weak,
and the weak are girded with strength. They that were full of bread are
diminished; and the hungry have passed beyond the earth: for the barren
hath born seven; and she that hath many children is waxed feeble. The
Lord killeth and maketh alive: He bringeth down to hell, and bringeth
up again. The Lord maketh poor and maketh rich: He bringeth low and
lifteth up. He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the
beggar from the dunghill, that He may set him among the mighty of
[His] people, and maketh them inherit the throne of glory; giving the
vow to him that voweth, and He hath blessed the years of the just: for
man is not mighty in strength. The Lord shall make His adversary weak:
the Lord is holy. Let not the prudent glory in his prudence; and let
not the mighty glory in his might; and let not the rich glory in his
riches: but let him that glorieth glory in this, to understand and know
the Lord, and to do judgment and justice in the midst of the earth. The
Lord hath ascended into the heavens, and hath thundered: He shall judge
the ends of the earth, for He is righteous: and He giveth strength to
our kings, and shall exalt the horn of His Christ."[348]

Do you say that these are the words of a single weak woman giving
thanks for the birth of a son? Can the mind of men be so much averse
to the light of truth as not to perceive that the sayings this
woman pours forth exceed her measure? Moreover, he who is suitably
interested in these things which have already begun to be fulfilled
even in this earthly pilgrimage also, does he not apply his mind, and
perceive, and acknowledge, that through this woman--whose very name,
which is Hannah, means "His grace"--the very Christian religion, the
very city of God, whose king and founder is Christ, in fine, the very
grace of God, hath thus spoken by the prophetic Spirit, whereby the
proud are cut off so that they fall, and the humble are filled so
that they rise, which that hymn chiefly celebrates? Unless perchance
any one will say that this woman prophesied nothing, but only lauded
God with exulting praise on account of the son whom she had obtained
in answer to prayer. What then does she mean when she says, "The
bow of the mighty hath He made weak, and the weak are girded with
strength; they that were full of bread are diminished, and the hungry
have gone beyond the earth; for the barren hath born seven, and she
that hath many children is waxed feeble?" Had she herself born seven,
although she had been barren? She had only one when she said that;
neither did she bear seven afterwards, nor six, with whom Samuel
himself might be the seventh, but three males and two females. And
then, when as yet no one was king over that people, whence, if she
did not prophesy, did she say what she puts at the end, "He giveth
strength to our kings, and shall exalt the horn of His Christ?"

Therefore let the Church of Christ, the city of the great King,[349]
full of grace, prolific of offspring, let her say what the prophecy
uttered about her so long before by the mouth of this pious mother
confesses, "My heart is made strong in the Lord, and my horn is
exalted in my God." Her heart is truly made strong, and her horn
is truly exalted, because not in herself, but in the Lord her God.
"My mouth is enlarged over mine enemies;" because even in pressing
straits the word of God is not bound, not even in preachers who are
bound.[350] "I am made glad," she says, "in Thy salvation." This is
Christ Jesus Himself, whom old Simeon, as we read in the Gospel,
embracing as a little one, yet recognising as great, said, "Lord, now
lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace, for mine eyes have seen Thy
salvation."[351] Therefore may the Church say, "I am made glad in Thy
salvation. For there is none holy as the Lord, and none is righteous
as our God;" as holy and sanctifying, just and justifying.[352]
"There is none holy beside Thee;" because no one becomes so except
by reason of Thee. And then it follows, "Do not glory so proudly,
and do not speak lofty things, neither let vaunting talk come out of
your mouth. For a God of knowledge is the Lord." He knows you even
when no one knows; for "he who thinketh himself to be something when
he is nothing deceiveth himself."[353] These things are said to the
adversaries of the city of God who belong to Babylon, who presume in
their own strength, and glory in themselves, not in the Lord; of whom
are also the carnal Israelites, the earth-born inhabitants of the
earthly Jerusalem, who, as saith the apostle, "being ignorant of the
righteousness of God,"[354] that is, which God, who alone is just,
and the justifier, gives to man, "and wishing to establish their
own," that is, which is as it were procured by their own selves,
not bestowed by Him, "are not subject to the righteousness of God,"
just because they are proud, and think they are able to please God
with their own, not with that which is of God, who is the God of
knowledge, and therefore also takes the oversight of consciences,
there beholding the thoughts of men that they are vain,[355] if they
are of men, and are not from Him. "And preparing," she says, "His
curious designs." What curious designs do we think these are, save
that the proud must fall, and the humble rise? These curious designs
she recounts, saying, "The bow of the mighty is made weak, and the
weak are girded with strength." The bow is made weak, that is, the
intention of those who think themselves so powerful, that without the
gift and help of God they are able by human sufficiency to fulfil the
divine commandments; and those are girded with strength whose inward
cry is, "Have mercy upon me, O Lord, for I am weak."[356]

"They that were full of bread," she says, "are diminished, and the
hungry have gone beyond the earth." Who are to be understood as full of
bread except those same who were as if mighty, that is, the Israelites,
to whom were committed the oracles of God?[357] But among that people
the children of the bond maid were diminished,--by which word minus,
although it is Latin, the idea is well expressed that from being
greater they were made less,--because, even in the very bread, that
is, the divine oracles, which the Israelites alone of all nations have
received, they savour earthly things. But the nations to whom that law
was not given, after they have come through the New Testament to these
oracles, by thirsting much have gone beyond the earth, because in them
they have savoured not earthly, but heavenly things. And the reason why
this is done is as it were sought; "for the barren," she says, "hath
born seven, and she that hath many children is waxed feeble." Here
all that had been prophesied hath shone forth to those who understood
the number seven, which signifies the perfection of the universal
Church. For which reason also the Apostle John writes to the seven
churches,[358] showing in that way that he writes to the totality of
the one Church; and in the Proverbs of Solomon it is said aforetime,
prefiguring this, "Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath strengthened
her seven pillars."[359] For the city of God was barren in all nations
before that child arose whom we see.[360] We also see that the temporal
Jerusalem, who had many children, is now waxed feeble. Because,
whoever in her were sons of the free woman were her strength; but now,
forasmuch as the letter is there, and not the spirit, having lost her
strength, she is waxed feeble.

"The Lord killeth and maketh alive:" He has killed her who had many
children, and made this barren one alive, so that she has born seven.
Although it may be more suitably understood that He has made those same
alive whom He has killed. For she, as it were, repeats that by adding,
"He bringeth down to hell, and bringeth up." To whom truly the apostle
says, "If ye be dead with Christ, seek those things which are above,
where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God."[361] Therefore they are
killed by the Lord in a salutary way, so that he adds, "Savour things
which are above, not things on the earth;" so that these are they who,
hungering, have passed beyond the earth. "For ye are dead," he says:
behold how God savingly kills! Then there follows, "And your life is
hid with Christ in God:" behold how God makes the same alive! But does
He bring them down to hell and bring them up again? It is without
controversy among believers that we best see both parts of this work
fulfilled in Him, to wit, our Head, with whom the apostle has said our
life is hid in God. "For when He spared not His own Son, but delivered
Him up for us all,"[362] in that way, certainly, He has killed Him.
And forasmuch as He raised Him up again from the dead, He has made Him
alive again. And since His voice is acknowledged in the prophecy, "Thou
wilt not leave my soul in hell,"[363] He has brought Him down to hell
and brought Him up again. By this poverty of His we are made rich;[364]
for "the Lord maketh poor and maketh rich." But that we may know what
this is, let us hear what follows: "He bringeth low and lifteth up;"
and truly He humbles the proud and exalts the humble. Which we also
read elsewhere, "God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace to the
humble."[365] This is the burden of the entire song of this woman whose
name is interpreted "His grace."

Farther, what is added, "He raiseth up the poor from the earth," I
understand of none better than of Him who, as was said a little ago,
"was made poor for us, when He was rich, that by His poverty we might
be made rich." For He raised Him from the earth so quickly that His
flesh did not see corruption. Nor shall I divert from Him what is
added, "And raiseth up the poor from the dunghill." For indeed he who
is the poor man is also the beggar.[366] But by the dunghill from which
he is lifted up we are with the greatest reason to understand the
persecuting Jews, of whom the apostle says, when telling that when he
belonged to them he persecuted the Church, "What things were gain to
me, those I counted loss for Christ; and I have counted them not only
loss, but even dung, that I might win Christ."[367] Therefore that poor
one is raised up from the earth above all the rich, and that beggar is
lifted up from that dunghill above all the wealthy, "that he may sit
among the mighty of the people," to whom He says, "Ye shall sit upon
twelve thrones,"[368] "and to make them inherit the throne of glory."
For these mighty ones had said, "Lo, we have forsaken all and followed
Thee." They had most mightily vowed this vow.

But whence do they receive this, except from Him of whom it is here
immediately said, "Giving the vow to him that voweth?" Otherwise they
would be of those mighty ones whose bow is weakened. "Giving," she
saith, "the vow to him that voweth." For no one could vow anything
acceptable to God, unless he received from Him that which he might
vow. There follows, "And He hath blessed the years of the just," to
wit, that he may live for ever with Him to whom it is said, "And
Thy years shall have no end." For there the years abide; but here
they pass away, yea, they perish: for before they come they are not,
and when they shall have come they shall not be, because they bring
their own end with them. Now of these two, that is, "giving the vow
to him that voweth," and "He hath blessed the years of the just,"
the one is what we do, the other what we receive. But this other
is not received from God, the liberal giver, until He, the helper,
Himself has enabled us for the former; "for man is not mighty in
strength." "The Lord shall make his adversary weak," to wit, him who
envies the man that vows, and resists him, lest he should fulfil
what he has vowed. Owing to the ambiguity of the Greek, it may also
be understood "his own adversary." For when God has begun to possess
us, immediately he who had been our adversary becomes His, and is
conquered by us; but not by our own strength, "for man is not mighty
in strength." Therefore "the Lord shall make His own adversary weak,
the Lord is holy," that he may be conquered by the saints, whom the
Lord, the Holy of holies, hath made saints. For this reason, "let
not the prudent glory in his prudence, and let not the mighty glory
in his might, and let not the rich glory in his riches; but let him
that glorieth glory in this,--to understand and know the Lord, and to
do judgment and justice in the midst of the earth." He in no small
measure understands and knows the Lord who understands and knows that
even this, that he can understand and know the Lord, is given to him
by the Lord. "For what hast thou," saith the apostle, "that thou hast
not received? But if thou hast received it, why dost thou glory as
if thou hadst not received it?"[369] That is, as if thou hadst of
thine own self whereof thou mightest glory. Now, he does judgment and
justice who lives aright. But he lives aright who yields obedience to
God when He commands. "The end of the commandment," that is, to which
the commandment has reference, "is charity out of a pure heart, and
a good conscience, and faith unfeigned." Moreover, this "charity,"
as the Apostle John testifies, "is of God."[370] Therefore to do
justice and judgment is of God. But what is "in the midst of the
earth?" For ought those who dwell in the ends of the earth not to do
judgment and justice? Who would say so? Why, then, is it added, "In
the midst of the earth?" For if this had not been added, and it had
only been said, "To do judgment and justice," this commandment would
rather have pertained to both kinds of men,--both those dwelling
inland and those on the sea-coast. But lest any one should think
that, after the end of the life led in this body, there remains a
time for doing judgment and justice which he has not done while he
was in the flesh, and that the divine judgment can thus be escaped,
"in the midst of the earth" appears to me to be said of the time
when every one lives in the body; for in this life every one carries
about his own earth, which, on a man's dying, the common earth takes
back, to be surely returned to him on his rising again. Therefore "in
the midst of the earth," that is, while our soul is shut up in this
earthly body, judgment and justice are to be done, which shall be
profitable for us hereafter, when "every one shall receive according
to that he hath done in the body, whether good or bad."[371] For when
the apostle there says "in the body," he means in the time he has
lived in the body. Yet if any one blaspheme with malicious mind and
impious thought, without any member of his body being employed in it,
he shall not therefore be guiltless because he has not done it with
bodily motion, for he will have done it in that time which he has
spent in the body. In the same way we may suitably understand what we
read in the psalm, "But God, our King before the worlds, hath wrought
salvation in the midst of the earth;"[372] so that the Lord Jesus
may be understood to be our God who is before the worlds, because by
Him the worlds were made, working our salvation in the midst of the
earth, for the Word was made flesh and dwelt in an earthly body.

Then after Hannah has prophesied in these words, that he who glorieth
ought to glory not in himself at all, but in the Lord, she says, on
account of the retribution which is to come on the day of judgment,
"The Lord hath ascended into the heavens, and hath thundered: He
shall judge the ends of the earth, for He is righteous." Throughout
she holds to the order of the creed of Christians: For the Lord
Christ has ascended into heaven, and is to come thence to judge the
quick and dead.[373] For, as saith the apostle, "Who hath ascended
but He who hath also descended into the lower parts of the earth? He
that descended is the same also that ascended up above all heavens,
that He might fill all things."[374] Therefore He hath thundered
through His clouds, which He hath filled with His Holy Spirit when
He ascended up. Concerning which the bond maid Jerusalem that is,
the unfruitful vineyard is threatened in Isaiah the prophet that
they shall rain no showers upon her. But "He shall judge the ends
of the earth" is spoken as if it had been said, "even the extremes
of the earth." For it does not mean that He shall not judge the
other parts of the earth, who, without doubt, shall judge all men.
But it is better to understand by the extremes of the earth the
extremes of man, since those things shall not be judged which, in
the middle time, are changed for the better or the worse, but the
ending in which he shall be found who is judged. For which reason
it is said, "He that shall persevere even unto the end, the same
shall be saved."[375] He, therefore, who perseveringly does judgment
and justice in the midst of the earth shall not be condemned when
the extremes of the earth shall be judged. "And giveth," she saith,
"strength to our kings," that He may not condemn them in judging.
He giveth them strength whereby as kings they rule the flesh, and
conquer the world in Him who hath poured out His blood for them.
"And shall exalt the horn of His Christ." For He of whom it was said
above, "The Lord hath ascended into the heavens," meaning the Lord
Christ, Himself, as it is said here, "shall exalt the horn of His
Christ." Who, therefore, is the Christ of His Christ? Does it mean
that He shall exalt the horn of each one of His believing people,
as she says in the beginning of this hymn, "Mine horn is exalted in
my God?" For we can rightly call all those christs who are anointed
with His chrism, forasmuch as the whole body with its head is one
Christ.[376] These things hath Hannah, the mother of Samuel, the holy
and much-praised man, prophesied, in which, indeed, the change of the
ancient priesthood was then figured and is now fulfilled, since she
that had many children is waxed feeble, that the barren who hath
born seven might have the new priesthood in Christ.


  5. _Of those things which a man of God spake by the Spirit to Eli
      the priest, signifying that the priesthood which had been
      appointed according to Aaron was to be taken away._

But this is said more plainly by a man of God sent to Eli the priest
himself, whose name indeed is not mentioned, but whose office and
ministry show him to have been indubitably a prophet. For it is
thus written: "And there came a man of God unto Eli, and said, Thus
saith the Lord, I plainly revealed myself unto thy father's house,
when they were in the land of Egypt slaves in Pharaoh's house; and I
chose thy father's house out of all the sceptres of Israel to fill
the office of priest for me, to go up to my altar, to burn incense
and wear the ephod; and I gave thy father's house for food all the
offerings made by fire of the children of Israel. Wherefore then hast
thou looked at mine incense and at mine offerings with an impudent
eye, and hast glorified thy sons above me, to bless the first-fruits
of every sacrifice in Israel before me? Therefore thus saith the Lord
God of Israel, I said thy house and thy father's house should walk
before me for ever: but now the Lord saith, Be it far from me; for
them that honour me will I honour, and he that despiseth me shall be
despised. Behold, the days come, that I will cut off thy seed, and
the seed of thy father's house, and thou shalt never have an old man
in my house. And I will cut off the man of thine from mine altar, so
that his eyes shall be consumed, and his heart shall melt away; and
every one of thy house that is left shall fall by the sword of men.
And this shall be a sign unto thee that shall come upon these thy two
sons, Hophni and Phinehas; in one day they shall die both of them.
And I will raise me up a faithful priest, that shall do according
to all that is in mine heart and in my soul; and I will build him
a sure house, and he shall walk before my Christ for ever. And it
shall come to pass that he who is left in thine house shall come to
worship him with a piece of money, saying, Put me into one part of
thy priesthood, that I may eat bread."[377]

We cannot say that this prophecy, in which the change of the ancient
priesthood is foretold with so great plainness, was fulfilled in
Samuel; for although Samuel was not of another tribe than that which
had been appointed by God to serve at the altar, yet he was not of
the sons of Aaron, whose offspring was set apart that the priests
might be taken out of it. And thus by that transaction also the same
change which should come to pass through Christ Jesus is shadowed
forth, and the prophecy itself in deed, not in word, belonged to the
Old Testament properly, but figuratively to the New, signifying by
the fact just what was said by the word to Eli the priest through the
prophet. For there were afterwards priests of Aaron's race, such as
Zadok and Abiathar during David's reign, and others in succession,
before the time came when those things which were predicted so long
before about the changing of the priesthood behoved to be fulfilled
by Christ. But who that now views these things with a believing eye
does not see that they are fulfilled? Since, indeed, no tabernacle,
no temple, no altar, no sacrifice, and therefore no priest either,
has remained to the Jews, to whom it was commanded in the law of
God that he should be ordained of the seed of Aaron; which is also
mentioned here by the prophet, when he says, "Thus saith the Lord
God of Israel, I said thy house and thy father's house shall walk
before me for ever: but now the Lord saith, That be far from me;
for them that honour me will I honour, and he that despiseth me
shall be despised." For that in naming his father's house he does
not mean that of his immediate father, but that of Aaron, who first
was appointed priest, to be succeeded by others descended from him,
is shown by the preceding words, when he says, "I was revealed unto
thy father's house, when they were in the land of Egypt slaves in
Pharaoh's house; and I chose thy father's house out of all the
sceptres of Israel to fill the office of priest for me." Which of
the fathers in that Egyptian slavery, but Aaron, was his father,
who, when they were set free, was chosen to the priesthood? It was
of his lineage, therefore, he has said in this passage it should
come to pass that they should no longer be priests; which already
we see fulfilled. If faith be watchful, the things are before us:
they are discerned, they are grasped, and are forced on the eyes of
the unwilling, so that they are seen: "Behold the days come," he
says, "that I will cut off thy seed, and the seed of thy father's
house, and thou shalt never have an old man in mine house. And I
will cut off the man of thine from mine altar, so that his eyes
shall be consumed and his heart shall melt away." Behold the days
which were foretold have already come. There is no priest after the
order of Aaron; and whoever is a man of his lineage, when he sees
the sacrifice of the Christians prevailing over the whole world, but
that great honour taken away from himself, his eyes fail and his soul
melts away consumed with grief.

But what follows belongs properly to the house of Eli, to whom these
things were said: "And every one of thine house that is left shall fall
by the sword of men. And this shall be a sign unto thee that shall come
upon these thy two sons, Hophni and Phinehas; in one day they shall die
both of them." This, therefore, is made a sign of the change of the
priesthood from this man's house, by which it is signified that the
priesthood of Aaron's house is to be changed. For the death of this
man's sons signified the death not of the men, but of the priesthood
itself of the sons of Aaron. But what follows pertains to that Priest
whom Samuel typified by succeeding this one. Therefore the things which
follow are said of Christ Jesus the true Priest of the New Testament:
"And I will raise me up a faithful Priest that shall do according to
all that is in mine heart and in my soul; and I will build Him a sure
house." The same is the eternal Jerusalem above. "And He shall walk,"
saith He, "before my Christ always." "He shall walk" means "he shall be
conversant with," just as He had said before of Aaron's house, "I said
that thine house and thy father's house shall walk before me for ever."
But what He says, "He shall walk before my Christ," is to be understood
entirely of the house itself, not of the priest, who is Christ Himself,
the Mediator and Saviour. His house, therefore, shall walk before Him.
"Shall walk" may also be understood to mean from death to life, all the
time this mortality passes through, even to the end of this world. But
where God says, "Who will do all that is in mine heart and in my soul,"
we must not think that God has a soul, for He is the Author of souls;
but this is said of God tropically, not properly, just as He is said to
have hands and feet, and other corporal members. And, lest it should
be supposed from such language that man in the form of this flesh is
made in the image of God, wings also are ascribed to Him, which man has
not at all; and it is said to God, "Hide me under the shadow of Thy
wings,"[378] that men may understand that such things are said of that
ineffable nature not in proper but in figurative words.

But what is added, "And it shall come to pass that he who is left in
thine house shall come to worship Him," is not said properly of the
house of this Eli, but of that Aaron, the men of which remained even
to the advent of Jesus Christ, of which race there are not wanting
men even to this present. For of that house of Eli it had already
been said above, "And every one of thine house that is left shall
fall by the sword of men." How, therefore, could it be truly said
here, "And it shall come to pass that every one that is left shall
come to worship him," if that is true, that no one shall escape the
avenging sword, unless he would have it understood of those who
belong to the race of that whole priesthood after the order of Aaron?
Therefore, if it is of these the predestinated remnant, about whom
another prophet has said, "The remnant shall be saved;"[379] whence
the apostle also says, "Even so then at this time also the remnant
according to the election of grace is saved;"[380] since it is easily
understood to be of such a remnant that it is said, "He that is left
in thine house," assuredly he believes in Christ; just as in the time
of the apostle very many of that nation believed; nor are there now
wanting those, although very few, who yet believe, and in them is
fulfilled what this man of God has here immediately added, "He shall
come to worship him with a piece of money;" to worship whom, if not
that Chief Priest, who is also God? For in that priesthood after the
order of Aaron men did not come to the temple or altar of God for the
purpose of worshipping the priest. But what is that he says, "With
a piece of money," if not the short word of faith, about which the
apostle quotes the saying, "A consummating and shortening word will
the Lord make upon the earth?"[381] But that money is put for the
word the psalm is a witness, where it is sung, "The words of the Lord
are pure words, money tried with the fire."[382]

What then does he say who comes to worship the priest of God, even
the Priest who is God? "Put me into one part of Thy priesthood, to
eat bread." I do not wish to be set in the honour of my fathers,
which is none; put me in a part of Thy priesthood. For "I have
chosen to be mean in Thine house;"[383] I desire to be a member, no
matter what, or how small, of Thy priesthood. By the priesthood he
here means the people itself, of which He is the Priest who is the
Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.[384] This people
the Apostle Peter calls "a holy people, a royal priesthood."[385] But
some have translated, "Of Thy sacrifice," not "Of Thy priesthood,"
which no less signifies the same Christian people. Whence the Apostle
Paul says, "We being many are one bread, one body."[386] [And again
he says, "Present your bodies a living sacrifice."[387]] What,
therefore, he has added, to "eat bread," also elegantly expresses
the very kind of sacrifice of which the Priest Himself says, "The
bread which I will give is my flesh for the life of the world."[388]
The same is the sacrifice not after the order of Aaron, but after
the order of Melchisedec:[389] let him that readeth understand.[390]
Therefore this short and salutarily humble confession, in which it is
said, "Put me in a part of Thy priesthood, to eat bread," is itself
the piece of money, for it is both brief, and it is the Word of God
who dwells in the heart of one who believes. For because He had said
above, that He had given for food to Aaron's house the sacrificial
victims of the Old Testament, where He says, "I have given thy
father's house for food all things which are offered by fire of the
children of Israel," which indeed were the sacrifices of the Jews;
therefore here He has said, "To eat bread," which is in the New
Testament the sacrifice of the Christians.


  6. _Of the Jewish priesthood and kingdom, which, although promised
      to be established for ever, did not continue; so that other
      things are to be understood to which eternity is assured._

While, therefore, these things now shine forth as clearly as they
were loftily foretold, still some one may not vainly be moved to
ask, How can we be confident that all things are to come to pass
which are predicted in these books as about to come, if this very
thing which is there divinely spoken, "Thine house and thy father's
house shall walk before me for ever," could not have effect? For we
see that priesthood has been changed; and there can be no hope that
what was promised to that house may some time be fulfilled, because
that which succeeds on its being rejected and changed is rather
predicted as eternal. He who says this does not yet understand, or
does not recollect, that this very priesthood after the order of
Aaron was appointed as the shadow of a future eternal priesthood; and
therefore, when eternity is promised to it, it is not promised to the
mere shadow and figure, but to what is shadowed forth and prefigured
by it. But lest it should be thought the shadow itself was to remain,
therefore its mutation also behoved to be foretold.

In this way, too, the kingdom of Saul himself, who certainly was
reprobated and rejected, was the shadow of a kingdom yet to come which
should remain to eternity. For, indeed, the oil with which he was
anointed, and from that chrism he is called Christ, is to be taken in a
mystical sense, and is to be understood as a great mystery; which David
himself venerated so much in him, that he trembled with smitten heart
when, being hid in a dark cave, which Saul also entered when pressed
by the necessity of nature, he had come secretly behind him and cut
off a small piece of his robe, that he might be able to prove how he
had spared him when he could have killed him, and might thus remove
from his mind the suspicion through which he had vehemently persecuted
the holy David, thinking him his enemy. Therefore he was much afraid
lest he should be accused of violating so great a mystery in Saul,
because he had thus meddled even his clothes. For thus it is written:
"And David's heart smote him because he had taken away the skirt of
his cloak."[391] But to the men with him, who advised him to destroy
Saul thus delivered up into his hands, he saith, "The Lord forbid that
I should do this thing to my lord, the Lord's christ, to lay my hand
upon him, because he is the Lord's christ." Therefore he showed so
great reverence to this shadow of what was to come, not for its own
sake, but for the sake of what it prefigured. Whence also that which
Samuel says to Saul, "Since thou hast not kept my commandment which
the Lord commanded thee, whereas now the Lord would have prepared thy
kingdom over Israel for ever, yet now thy kingdom shall not continue
for thee; and the Lord will seek Him a man after His own heart, and
the Lord will command him to be prince over His people, because thou
hast not kept that which the Lord commanded thee,"[392] is not to be
taken as if God had settled that Saul himself should reign for ever,
and afterwards, on his sinning, would not keep this promise; nor was He
ignorant that he would sin, but He had established his kingdom that it
might be a figure of the eternal kingdom. Therefore he added, "Yet now
thy kingdom shall not continue _for thee_." Therefore what it signified
has stood and shall stand; but it shall not stand for this man, because
he himself was not to reign for ever, nor his offspring; so that at
least that word "for ever" might seem to be fulfilled through his
posterity one to another. "And the Lord," he saith, "will seek Him a
man," meaning either David or the Mediator of the New Testament,[393]
who was figured in the chrism with which David also and his offspring
was anointed. But it is not as if He knew not where he was that God
thus seeks Him a man, but, speaking through a man, He speaks as a man,
and in this sense seeks us. For not only to God the Father, but also
to His Only-begotten, who came to seek what was lost,[394] we had been
known already even so far as to be chosen in Him before the foundation
of the world.[395] "He will seek him" therefore means, He will have His
own (just as if He had said, Whom He already has known to be His own
He will show to others to be His friend). Whence in Latin this word
(_quærit_) receives a preposition and becomes _acquirit_ (acquires),
the meaning of which is plain enough; although even without the
addition of the preposition _quærere_ is understood as _acquirere_,
whence gains are called _quæstus_.


  7. _Of the disruption of the kingdom of Israel, by which the
      perpetual division of the spiritual from the carnal Israel was
      prefigured._

Again Saul sinned through disobedience, and again Samuel says to him
in the word of the Lord, "Because thou hast despised the word of the
Lord, the Lord hath despised thee, that thou mayest not be king over
Israel."[396] And again for the same sin, when Saul confessed it, and
prayed for pardon, and besought Samuel to return with him to appease
the Lord, he said, "I will not return with thee: for thou hast
despised the word of the Lord, and the Lord will despise thee that
thou mayest not be king over Israel. And Samuel turned his face to go
away, and Saul laid hold upon the skirt of his mantle, and rent it.
And Samuel said unto him, The Lord hath rent the kingdom from Israel
out of thine hand this day, and will give it to thy neighbour, who
is good above thee, and will divide Israel in twain. And He will not
be changed, neither will He repent: for He is not as a man, that He
should repent; who threatens and does not persist."[397] He to whom
it is said, "The Lord will despise thee that thou mayest not be king
over Israel," and "The Lord hath rent the kingdom from Israel out of
thine hand this day," reigned forty years over Israel,--that is, just
as long a time as David himself,--yet heard this in the first period
of his reign, that we may understand it was said because none of his
race was to reign, and that we may look to the race of David, whence
also is sprung, according to the flesh,[398] the Mediator between God
and men, the man Christ Jesus.[399]

But the Scripture has not what is read in most Latin copies, "The Lord
hath rent the kingdom of Israel out of thine hand this day," but just
as we have set it down it is found in the Greek copies, "The Lord hath
rent the kingdom from Israel out of thine hand;" that the words "out
of thine hand" may be understood to mean "from Israel." Therefore this
man figuratively represented the people of Israel, which was to lose
the kingdom, Christ Jesus our Lord being about to reign, not carnally,
but spiritually. And when it is said of Him, "And will give it to thy
neighbour," that is to be referred to the fleshly kinship, for Christ,
according to the flesh, was of Israel, whence also Saul sprang. But
what is added, "Good above thee," may indeed be understood, "Better
than thee," and indeed some have thus translated it; but it is better
taken thus, "Good above thee," as meaning that because He is good,
therefore He must be above thee, according to that other prophetic
saying, "Till I put all Thine enemies under Thy feet."[400] And among
them is Israel, from whom, as His persecutor, Christ took away the
kingdom; although the Israel in whom there was no guile may have been
there too, a sort of grain, as it were, of that chaff. For certainly
thence came the apostles, thence so many martyrs, of whom Stephen,
is the first, thence so many churches, which the Apostle Paul names,
magnifying God in their conversion.

Of which thing I do not doubt what follows is to be understood, "And
will divide Israel in twain," to wit, into Israel pertaining to the
bond woman, and Israel pertaining to the free. For these two kinds were
at first together, as Abraham still clave to the bond woman, until the
barren, made, fruitful by the grace of God, cried, "Cast out the bond
woman and her son."[401] We know, indeed, that on account of the sin of
Solomon, in the reign of his son Rehoboam Israel was divided in two,
and continued so, the separate parts having their own kings, until that
whole nation was overthrown with a great destruction, and carried away
by the Chaldeans. But what was this to Saul, when, if any such thing
was threatened, it would be threatened against David himself, whose son
Solomon was? Finally, the Hebrew nation is not now divided internally,
but is dispersed through the earth indiscriminately, in the fellowship
of the same error. But that division with which God threatened the
kingdom and people in the person of Saul, who represented them, is
shown to be eternal and unchangeable by this which is added, "And He
will not be changed, neither will He repent: for He is not as a man,
that He should repent; who threatens and does not persist,"--that is, a
man threatens and does not persist, but not God, who does not repent
like man. For when we read that He repents, a change of circumstance
is meant, flowing from the divine immutable foreknowledge. Therefore,
when God is said not to repent, it is to be understood that He does not
change.

We see that this sentence concerning this division of the people
of Israel, divinely uttered in these words, has been altogether
irremediable and quite perpetual. For whoever have turned, or are
turning, or shall turn thence to Christ, it has been according to the
foreknowledge of God, not according to the one and the same nature of
the human race. Certainly none of the Israelites, who, cleaving to
Christ, have continued in Him, shall ever be among those Israelites
who persist in being His enemies even to the end of this life, but
shall for ever remain in the separation which is here foretold.
For the Old Testament, from the Mount Sinai, which gendereth to
bondage,[402] profiteth nothing, unless because it bears witness to
the New Testament. Otherwise, however long Moses is read, the veil is
put over their heart; but when any one shall turn thence to Christ,
the veil shall be taken away.[403] For the very desire of those who
turn is changed from the old to the new, so that each no longer
desires to obtain carnal but spiritual felicity. Wherefore that great
prophet Samuel himself, before he had anointed Saul, when he had
cried to the Lord for Israel, and He had heard him, and when he had
offered a whole burnt-offering, as the aliens were coming to battle
against the people of God, and the Lord thundered above them and
they were confused, and fell before Israel and were overcome; [then]
he took one stone and set it up between the old and new Massephat
(Mizpeh), and called its name Ebenezer, which means "the stone of the
helper," and said, "Hitherto hath the Lord helped us."[404] Massephat
is interpreted "desire." That stone of the helper is the mediation of
the Saviour, by which we go from the old Massephat to the new,--that
is, from the desire with which carnal happiness was expected in
the carnal kingdom to the desire with which the truest spiritual
happiness is expected in the kingdom of heaven; and since nothing is
better than that, the Lord helpeth us hitherto.


  8. _Of the promises made to David in his son, which are in no wise
           fulfilled in Solomon, but most fully in Christ._

And now I see I must show what, pertaining to the matter I treat of,
God promised to David himself, who succeeded Saul in the kingdom,
whose change prefigured that final change on account of which all
things were divinely spoken, all things were committed to writing.
When many things had gone prosperously with king David, he thought to
make a house for God, even that temple of most excellent renown which
was afterwards built by king Solomon his son. While he was thinking
of this, the word of the Lord came to Nathan the prophet, which he
brought to the king, in which, after God had said that a house should
not be built unto Him by David himself, and that in all that long
time He had never commanded any of His people to build Him a house of
cedar, he says, "And now thus shalt thou say unto my servant David,
Thus saith God Almighty, I took thee from the sheep-cote that thou
mightest be for a ruler over my people in Israel: and I was with thee
whithersoever thou wentest, and have cut off all thine enemies from
before thy face, and have made thee a name, according to the name of
the great ones who are over the earth. And I will appoint a place for
my people Israel, and will plant him, and he shall dwell apart, and
shall be troubled no more; and the son of wickedness shall not humble
him any more, as from the beginning, from the days when I appointed
judges over my people Israel. And I will give thee rest from all
thine enemies, and the Lord will tell [hath told] thee, because thou
shalt build an house for Him. And it shall come to pass when thy days
be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, that I will
raise up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels,
and I will prepare his kingdom. He shall build me an house for my
name; and I will order his throne even to eternity. I will be his
Father, and he shall be my son. And if he commit iniquity, I will
chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the sons of
men: but my mercy I will not take away from him, as I took it away
from those whom I put away from before my face. And his house shall
be faithful, and his kingdom even for evermore before me, and his
throne shall be set up even for evermore."[405]

He who thinks this grand promise was fulfilled in Solomon greatly errs;
for he attends to the saying, "He shall build me an house," but he
does not attend to the saying, "His house shall be faithful, and his
kingdom for evermore before me." Let him therefore attend and behold
the house of Solomon full of strange women worshipping false gods,
and the king himself, aforetime wise, seduced by them, and cast down
into the same idolatry: and let him not dare to think that God either
promised this falsely, or was unable to foreknow that Solomon and his
house would become what they did. But we ought not to be in doubt here,
or to see the fulfilment of these things save in Christ our Lord, who
was made of the seed of David according to the flesh,[406] lest we
should vainly and uselessly look for some other here, like the carnal
Jews. For even they understand this much, that the son whom they read
of in that place as promised to David was not Solomon; so that, with
wonderful blindness to Him who was promised and is now declared with
so great manifestation, they say they hope for another. Indeed, even
in Solomon there appeared some image of the future event, in that he
built the temple, and had peace according to his name (for Solomon
means "pacific"), and in the beginning of his reign was wonderfully
praiseworthy; but while, as a shadow of Him that should come, he
foreshowed Christ our Lord, he did not also in his own person resemble
Him. Whence some things concerning him are so written as if they were
prophesied of himself, while the Holy Scripture, prophesying even by
events, somehow delineates in him the figure of things to come. For,
besides the books of divine history, in which his reign is narrated,
the 72d Psalm also is inscribed in the title with his name, in which so
many things are said which cannot at all apply to him, but which apply
to the Lord Christ with such evident fitness as makes it quite apparent
that in the one the figure is in some way shadowed forth, but in the
other the truth itself is presented. For it is known within what bounds
the kingdom of Solomon was enclosed; and yet in that psalm, not to
speak of other things, we read, "He shall have dominion from sea even
to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth,"[407] which we see
fulfilled in Christ. Truly he took the beginning of His reigning from
the river where John baptized; for, when pointed out by him, He began
to be acknowledged by the disciples, who called Him not only Master,
but also Lord.

Nor was it for any other reason that, while his father David was
still living, Solomon began to reign, which happened to none other of
their kings, except that from this also it might be clearly apparent
that it was not himself this prophecy spoken to his father signified
beforehand, saying, "And it shall come to pass when thy days be
fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, that I will raise
up thy seed which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will prepare
His kingdom." How, therefore, shall it be thought on account of what
follows, "He shall build me an house," that this Solomon is prophesied,
and not rather be understood on account of what precedes, "When thy
days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will raise
up thy seed after thee," that another pacific One is promised, who is
foretold as about to be raised up, not before David's death, as he was,
but after it? For however long the interval of time might be before
Jesus Christ came, beyond doubt it was after the death of king David,
to whom He was so promised, that He behoved to come, who should build
an house of God, not of wood and stone, but of men, such as we rejoice
He does build. For to this house, that is, to believers, the apostle
saith, "The temple of God is holy, which temple ye are."[408]


  9. _How like the prophecy about Christ in the_ 89_th Psalm is
      to the things promised in Nathan's prophecy in the Books of
      Samuel._

Wherefore also in the 89th Psalm, of which the title is, "An
instruction for himself by Ethan the Israelite," mention is made
of the promises God made to king David, and some things are there
added similar to those found in the Book of Samuel, such as this,
"I have sworn to David my servant that I will prepare his seed for
ever."[409] And again, "Then thou spakest in vision to thy sons, and
saidst, I have laid help upon the mighty One, and have exalted the
chosen One out of my people. I have found David my servant, and with
my holy oil I have anointed him. For mine hand shall help him, and
mine arm shall strengthen him. The enemy shall not prevail against
him, and the son of iniquity shall harm him no more. And I will beat
down his foes from before his face, and those that hate him will I
put to flight. And my truth and my mercy shall be with him, and in my
name shall his horn be exalted. I will set his hand also in the sea,
and his right hand in the rivers. He shall cry unto me, Thou art my
Father, my God, and the undertaker of my salvation. Also I will make
him my first-born, high among the kings of the earth. My mercy will I
keep for him for evermore, and my covenant shall be faithful (sure)
with him. His seed also will I set for ever and ever, and his throne
as the days of heaven."[410] Which words, when rightly understood,
are all understood to be about the Lord Jesus Christ, under the
name of David, on account of the form of a servant, which the same
Mediator assumed[411] from the virgin of the seed of David.[412] For
immediately something is said about the sins of his children, such
as is set down in the Book of Samuel, and is more readily taken as
if of Solomon. For there, that is, in the Book of Samuel, he says,
"And if he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men,
and with the stripes of the sons of men; but my mercy will I not take
away from him,"[413] meaning by stripes the strokes of correction.
Hence that saying, "Touch ye not my christs."[414] For what else
is that than, Do not harm them? But in the psalm, when speaking as
if of David, He says something of the same kind there too. "If his
children," saith He, "forsake my law, and walk not in my judgments;
if they profane my righteousnesses, and keep not my commandments;
I will visit their iniquities with the rod, and their faults with
stripes: but my mercy I will not make void from him."[415] He did not
say "from them," although He spoke of his children, not of himself;
but he said "from him," which means the same thing if rightly
understood. For of Christ Himself, who is the head of the Church,
there could not be found any sins which required to be divinely
restrained by human correction, mercy being still continued; but they
are found in His body and members, which is His people. Therefore
in the Book of Samuel it is said, "iniquity of Him," but in the
psalm, "of His children," that we may understand that what is said
of His body is in some way said of Himself. Wherefore also, when
Saul persecuted His body, that is, His believing people, He Himself
saith from heaven, "Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?"[416] Then
in the following words of the psalm He says, "Neither will I hurt in
my truth, nor profane my covenant, and the things that proceed from
my lips I will not disallow. Once have I sworn by my holiness, if I
lie unto David,"[417]--that is, I will in no wise lie unto David; for
Scripture is wont to speak thus. But what that is in which He will
not lie, He adds, saying, "His seed shall endure for ever, and his
throne as the sun before me, and as the moon perfected for ever, and
a faithful witness in heaven."[418]


  10. _How different the acts in the kingdom of the earthly Jerusalem
      are from those which God had promised, so that the truth of the
      promise should be understood to pertain to the glory of the
      other King and kingdom._

That it might not be supposed that a promise so strongly expressed
and confirmed was fulfilled in Solomon, as if he hoped for, yet did
not find it, he says, "But Thou hast cast off, and hast brought to
nothing, O Lord."[419] This truly was done concerning the kingdom
of Solomon among his posterity, even to the overthrow of the
earthly Jerusalem itself, which was the seat of the kingdom, and
especially the destruction of the very temple which had been built by
Solomon. But lest on this account God should be thought to have done
contrary to His promise, immediately he adds, "Thou hast delayed Thy
Christ."[420] Therefore he is not Solomon, nor yet David himself, if
the Christ of the Lord is delayed. For while all the kings are called
His christs, who were consecrated with that mystical chrism, not only
from king David downwards, but even from that Saul who first was
anointed king of that same people, David himself indeed calling him
the Lord's christ, yet there was one true Christ, whose figure they
bore by the prophetic unction, who, according to the opinion of men,
who thought he was to be understood as come in David or in Solomon,
was long delayed, but who, according as God had disposed, was to come
in His own time. The following part of this psalm goes on to say what
in the meantime, while He was delayed, was to become of the kingdom
of the earthly Jerusalem, where it was hoped He would certainly
reign: "Thou hast overthrown the covenant of Thy servant; Thou hast
profaned in the earth his sanctuary. Thou hast broken down all his
walls; Thou hast put his strongholds in fear. All that pass by the
way spoil him; he is made a reproach to his neighbours. Thou hast set
up the right hand of his enemies; Thou hast made all his enemies to
rejoice. Thou hast turned aside the help of his sword, and hast not
helped him in war. Thou hast destroyed him from cleansing; Thou hast
dashed down his seat to the ground. Thou hast shortened the days of
his seat; Thou hast poured confusion over him."[421] All these things
came upon Jerusalem the bond woman, in which some also reigned who
were children of the free woman, holding that kingdom in temporary
stewardship, but holding the kingdom of the heavenly Jerusalem, whose
children they were, in true faith, and hoping in the true Christ. But
how these things came upon that kingdom, the history of its affairs
points out if it is read.


  11. _Of the substance of the people of God, which through His
      assumption of flesh is in Christ, who alone had power to
      deliver His own soul from hell._

But after having prophesied these things, the prophet betakes him
to praying to God; yet even the very prayer is prophecy: "How long,
Lord, dost Thou turn away in the end?"[422] "Thy face" is understood,
as it is elsewhere said, "How long dost Thou turn away Thy face from
me?"[423] For therefore some copies have here not "dost," but "wilt
Thou turn away;" although it could be understood, "Thou turnest
away Thy mercy, which Thou didst promise to David." But when he
says, "in the end," what does it mean, except even to the end? By
which end is to be understood the last time, when even that nation
is to believe in Christ Jesus, before which end what He has just
sorrowfully bewailed must come to pass. On account of which it is
also added here, "Thy wrath shall burn like fire. Remember what is
my substance."[424] This cannot be better understood than of Jesus
Himself, the substance of His people, of whose nature His flesh
is. "For not in vain," he says, "hast Thou made all the sons of
men."[425] For unless the one Son of man had been the substance of
Israel, through which Son of man many sons of men should be set free,
all the sons of men would have been made wholly in vain. But now
indeed all mankind through the fall of the first man has fallen from
the truth into vanity; for which reason another psalm says, "Man is
like to vanity: his days pass away as a shadow;"[426] yet God has not
made all the sons of men in vain, because He frees many from vanity
through the Mediator Jesus, and those whom He did not foreknow as to
be delivered, He made not wholly in vain in the most beautiful and
most just ordination of the whole rational creation, for the use of
those who were to be delivered, and for the comparison of the two
cities by mutual contrast. Thereafter it follows, "Who is the man
that shall live, and shall not see death? shall he snatch his soul
from the hand of hell?"[427] Who is this but that substance of Israel
out of the seed of David, Christ Jesus, of whom the apostle says,
that "rising from the dead He now dieth not, and death shall no more
have dominion over Him?"[428] For He shall so live and not see death,
that yet He shall have been dead; but shall have delivered His soul
from the hand of hell, whither He had descended in order to loose
some from the chains of hell; but He hath delivered it by that power
of which He says in the Gospel, "I have the power of laying down my
life, and I have the power of taking it again."[429]


  12. _To whose person the entreaty for the promises is to be
      understood to belong, when he says in the psalm, "Where are
      Thine ancient compassions, Lord?" etc._

But the rest of this psalm runs thus: "Where are Thine ancient
compassions, Lord, which Thou swarest unto David in Thy truth?
Remember, Lord, the reproach of Thy servants, which I have borne in
my bosom of many nations; wherewith Thine enemies have reproached, O
Lord, wherewith they have reproached the change of Thy Christ."[430]
Now it may with very good reason be asked whether this is spoken in
the person of those Israelites who desired that the promise made to
David might be fulfilled to them; or rather of the Christians, who
are Israelites not after the flesh but after the Spirit.[431] This
certainly was spoken or written in the time of Ethan, from whose
name this psalm gets its title, and that was the same as the time of
David's reign; and therefore it would not have been said, "Where are
Thine ancient compassions, Lord, which Thou hast sworn unto David
in Thy truth?" unless the prophet had assumed the person of those
who should come long afterwards, to whom that time when these things
were promised to David was ancient. But it may be understood thus,
that many nations, when they persecuted the Christians, reproached
them with the passion of Christ, which Scripture calls His change,
because by dying He is made immortal. The change of Christ, according
to this passage, may also be understood to be reproached by the
Israelites, because, when they hoped He would be theirs, He was made
the Saviour of the nations; and many nations who have believed in
Him by the New Testament now reproach them who remain in the old
with this: so that it is said, "Remember, Lord, the reproach of Thy
servants;" because through the Lord's not forgetting, but rather
pitying them, even they after this reproach are to believe. But what
I have put first seems to me the most suitable meaning. For to the
enemies of Christ who are reproached with this, that Christ hath left
them, turning to the Gentiles,[432] this speech is incongruously
assigned, "Remember, Lord, the reproach of Thy servants," for such
Jews are not to be styled the servants of God; but these words fit
those who, if they suffered great humiliations through persecution
for the name of Christ, could call to mind that an exalted kingdom
had been promised to the seed of David, and in desire of it, could
say not despairingly, but as asking, seeking, knocking,[433] "Where
are Thine ancient compassions, Lord, which Thou swarest unto David
in Thy truth? Remember, Lord, the reproach of Thy servants, that I
have borne in my bosom of many nations;" that is, have patiently
endured in my inward parts. "That Thine enemies have reproached,
O Lord, wherewith they have reproached the change of Thy Christ,"
not thinking it a change, but a consumption.[434] But what does
"Remember, Lord," mean, but that Thou wouldst have compassion,
and wouldst for my patiently borne humiliation reward me with the
excellency which Thou swarest unto David in Thy truth? But if we
assign these words to the Jews, those servants of God who, on the
conquest of the earthly Jerusalem, before Jesus Christ was born after
the manner of men, were led into captivity, could say such things,
understanding the change of Christ, because indeed through Him was
to be surely expected, not an earthly and carnal felicity, such as
appeared during the few years of king Solomon, but a heavenly and
spiritual felicity; and when the nations, then ignorant of this
through unbelief, exulted over and insulted the people of God for
being captives, what else was this than ignorantly to reproach with
the change of Christ those who understand the change of Christ?
And therefore what follows when this psalm is concluded, "Let the
blessing of the Lord be for evermore, amen, amen," is suitable enough
for the whole people of God belonging to the heavenly Jerusalem,
whether for those things that lay hid in the Old Testament before
the New was revealed, or for those that, being now revealed in the
New Testament, are manifestly discerned to belong to Christ. For the
blessing of the Lord in the seed of David does not belong to any
particular time, such as appeared in the days of Solomon, but is for
evermore to be hoped for, in which most certain hope it is said,
"Amen, amen;" for this repetition of the word is the confirmation of
that hope. Therefore David understanding this, says in the second
Book of Kings, in the passage from which we digressed to this
psalm,[435] "Thou hast spoken also for Thy servant's house for a
great while to come."[436] Therefore also a little after he says,
"Now begin, and bless the house of Thy servant for evermore," etc.,
because the son was then about to be born from whom his posterity
should be continued to Christ, through whom his house should be
eternal, and should also be the house of God. For it is called the
house of David on account of David's race; but the selfsame is called
the house of God on account of the temple of God, made of men, not
of stones, where shall dwell for evermore the people with and in
their God, and God with and in His people, so that God may fill His
people, and the people be filled with their God, while God shall be
all in all, Himself their reward in peace who is their strength in
war. Therefore, when it is said in the words of Nathan, "And the
Lord will tell thee what an house thou shalt build for Him,"[437] it
is afterwards said in the words of David, "For Thou, Lord Almighty,
God of Israel, hast opened the ear of Thy servant, saying, I will
build thee an house."[438] For this house is built both by us through
living well, and by God through helping us to live well; for "except
the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it."[439]
And when the final dedication of this house shall take place, then
what God here says by Nathan shall be fulfilled, "And I will appoint
a place for my people Israel, and will plant him, and he shall dwell
apart, and shall be troubled no more; and the son of iniquity shall
not humble him any more, as from the beginning, from the days when I
appointed judges over my people Israel."[440]


   13. _Whether the truth of this promised peace can be ascribed to
                those times passed away under Solomon._

Whoever hopes for this so great good in this world, and in this
earth, his wisdom is but folly. Can any one think it was fulfilled
in the peace of Solomon's reign? Scripture certainly commends that
peace with excellent praise as a shadow of that which is to come.
But this opinion is to be vigilantly opposed, since after it is
said, "And the son of iniquity shall not humble him any more," it is
immediately added, "as from the beginning, from the days in which I
appointed judges over my people Israel."[441] For the judges were
appointed over that people from the time when they received the land
of promise, before kings had begun to be there. And certainly the
son of iniquity, that is, the foreign enemy, humbled him through
periods of time in which we read that peace alternated with wars; and
in that period longer times of peace are found than Solomon had, who
reigned forty years. For under that judge who is called Ehud there
were eighty years of peace.[442] Be it far from us, therefore, that
we should believe the times of Solomon are predicted in this promise,
much less indeed those of any other king whatever. For none other
of them reigned in such great peace as he; nor did that nation ever
at all hold that kingdom so as to have no anxiety lest it should be
subdued by enemies: for in the very great mutability of human affairs
such great security is never given to any people, that it should not
dread invasions hostile to this life. Therefore the place of this
promised peaceful and secure habitation is eternal, and of right
belongs eternally to Jerusalem the free mother, where the genuine
people of Israel shall be: for this name is interpreted "Seeing God;"
in the desire of which reward a pious life is to be led through faith
in this miserable pilgrimage.[443]


        14. _Of David's concern in the writing of the Psalms._

In the progress of the city of God through the ages, therefore, David
first reigned in the earthly Jerusalem as a shadow of that which
was to come. Now David was a man skilled in songs, who dearly loved
musical harmony, not with a vulgar delight, but with a believing
disposition, and by it served his God, who is the true God, by the
mystical representation of a great thing. For the rational and
well-ordered concord of diverse sounds in harmonious variety suggests
the compact unity of the well-ordered city. Then almost all his
prophecy is in psalms, of which a hundred and fifty are contained in
what we call the Book of Psalms, of which some will have it those
only were made by David which are inscribed with his name. But there
are also some who think none of them were made by him except those
which are marked "Of David;" but those which have in the title "For
David" have been made by others who assumed his person. Which opinion
is refuted by the voice of the Saviour Himself in the Gospel, when He
says that David himself by the Spirit said Christ was his Lord; for
the 110th Psalm begins thus, "The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit Thou
at my right hand, until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool."[444]
And truly that very psalm, like many more, has in the title, not
"of David," but "for David." But those seem to me to hold the more
credible opinion, who ascribe to him the authorship of all these
hundred and fifty psalms, and think that he prefixed to some of them
the names even of other men, who prefigured something pertinent to
the matter, but chose to have no man's name in the titles of the
rest, just as God inspired him in the management of this variety,
which, although dark, is not meaningless. Neither ought it to move
one not to believe this, that the names of some prophets who lived
long after the times of king David are read in the inscriptions of
certain psalms in that book, and that the things said there seem to
be spoken as it were by them. Nor was the prophetic Spirit unable to
reveal to king David, when he prophesied, even these names of future
prophets, so that he might prophetically sing something which should
suit their persons; just as it was revealed to a certain prophet that
king Josiah should arise and reign after more than three hundred
years, who predicted his future deeds also along with his name.[445]


    15. _Whether all the things prophesied in the Psalms concerning
  Christ and His Church should be taken up in the text of this work._

And now I see it may be expected of me that I shall open up in this
part of this book what David may have prophesied in the Psalms
concerning the Lord Jesus Christ or His Church. But although I
have already done so in one instance, I am prevented from doing as
that expectation seems to demand, rather by the abundance than the
scarcity of matter. For the necessity of shunning prolixity forbids
my setting down all things; yet I fear lest if I select some I shall
appear to many, who know these things, to have passed by the more
necessary. Besides, the proof that is adduced ought to be supported
by the context of the whole psalm, so that at least there may be
nothing against it if everything does not support it; lest we should
seem, after the fashion of the centos, to gather for the thing we
wish, as it were verses out of a grand poem, what shall be found
to have been written not about it, but about some other and widely
different thing. But ere this could be pointed out in each psalm, the
whole of it must be expounded; and how great a work that would be,
the volumes of others, as well as our own, in which we have done it,
show well enough. Let him then who will, or can, read these volumes,
and he will find out how many and great things David, at once king
and prophet, has prophesied concerning Christ and His Church, to wit,
concerning the King and the city which He has built.


     16. _Of the things pertaining to Christ and the Church, said
           either openly or tropically in the_ 45_th Psalm._

For whatever direct and manifest prophetic utterances there may be
about anything, it is necessary that those which are tropical should
be mingled with them; which, chiefly on account of those of slower
understanding, thrust upon the more learned the laborious task of
clearing up and expounding them. Some of them, indeed, on the very
first blush, as soon as they are spoken, exhibit Christ and the
Church, although some things in them that are less intelligible
remain to be expounded at leisure. We have an example of this in that
same Book of Psalms: "My heart bubbled up a good matter: I utter my
words to the king. My tongue is the pen of a scribe, writing swiftly.
Thy form is beautiful beyond the sons of men; grace is poured out
in Thy lips: therefore God hath blessed Thee for evermore. Gird Thy
sword about Thy thigh, O Most Mighty. With Thy goodliness and Thy
beauty go forward, proceed prosperously, and reign, because of Thy
truth, and meekness, and righteousness; and Thy right hand shall
lead Thee forth wonderfully. Thy sharp arrows are most powerful. The
people shall fall under Thee: in the heart of the King's enemies.
Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a rod of direction is the
rod of Thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hast hated
iniquity: therefore God, Thy God, hath anointed Thee with the oil
of exultation above Thy fellows. Myrrh and drops, and cassia from
Thy vestments, from the houses of ivory: out of which the daughters
of kings have delighted Thee in Thine honour."[446] Who is there, no
matter how slow, but must here recognise Christ whom we preach, and
in whom we believe, if he hears that He is God, whose throne is for
ever and ever, and that He is anointed by God, as God indeed anoints,
not with a visible, but with a spiritual and intelligible chrism? For
who is so untaught in this religion, or so deaf to its far and wide
spread fame, as not to know that Christ is named from this chrism,
that is, from this anointing? But when it is acknowledged that this
King is Christ, let each one who is already subject to Him who reigns
because of truth, meekness, and righteousness, inquire at his leisure
into these other things that are here said tropically: how His form
is beautiful beyond the sons of men, with a certain beauty that is
the more to be loved and admired the less it is corporeal; and what
His sword, arrows, and other things of that kind may be, which are
set down, not properly, but tropically.

Then let him look upon His Church, joined to her so great Husband
in spiritual marriage and divine love, of which it is said in
these words which follow, "The queen stood upon Thy right hand in
gold-embroidered vestments, girded about with variety. Hearken, O
daughter, and look, and incline thine ear; forget also thy people,
and thy father's house. Because the King hath greatly desired thy
beauty; for He is the Lord thy God. And the daughters of Tyre shall
worship Him with gifts; the rich among the people shall entreat Thy
face. The daughter of the King has all her glory within, in golden
fringes, girded about with variety. The virgins shall be brought
after her to the King: her neighbours shall be brought to Thee.
They shall be brought with gladness and exultation: they shall be
led into the temple of the King. Instead of thy fathers, sons shall
be born to thee: thou shalt establish them as princes over all the
earth. They shall be mindful of thy name in every generation and
descent. Therefore shall the people acknowledge thee for evermore,
even for ever and ever."[447] I do not think any one is so stupid
as to believe that some poor woman is here praised and described,
as the spouse, to wit, of Him to whom it is said, "Thy throne, O
God, is for ever and ever: a rod of direction is the rod of Thy
kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness and hated iniquity: therefore
God, Thy God, hath anointed Thee with the oil of exultation above
Thy fellows;"[448] that is, plainly, Christ above Christians. For
these are His fellows, out of the unity and concord of whom in all
nations that queen is formed, as it is said of her in another psalm,
"The city of the great King."[449] The same is Sion spiritually,
which name in Latin is interpreted _speculatio_ (discovery); for
she descries the great good of the world to come, because her
attention is directed thither. In the same way she is also Jerusalem
spiritually, of which we have already said many things. Her enemy is
the city of the devil, Babylon, which is interpreted "confusion."
Yet out of this Babylon this queen is in all nations set free by
regeneration, and passes from the worst to the best King,--that is,
from the devil to Christ. Wherefore it is said to her, "Forget thy
people and thy father's house." Of this impious city those also are
a portion who are Israelites only in the flesh and not by faith,
enemies also of this great King Himself, and of His queen. For
Christ, having come to them, and been slain by them, has the more
become the King of others, whom He did not see in the flesh. Whence
our King Himself says through the prophecy of a certain psalm, "Thou
wilt deliver me from the contradictions of the people; Thou wilt make
me head of the nations. A people whom I have not known hath served
me: in the hearing of the ear it hath obeyed me."[450] Therefore
this people of the nations, which Christ did not know in His bodily
presence, yet has believed in that Christ as announced to it; so that
it might be said of it with good reason, "In the hearing of the ear
it hath obeyed me," for "faith is by hearing."[451] This people, I
say, added to those who are the true Israelites both by the flesh and
by faith, is the city of God, which has brought forth Christ Himself
according to the flesh, since He was in these Israelites only. For
thence came the Virgin Mary, in whom Christ assumed flesh that He
might be man. Of which city another psalm says, "Mother Sion, shall
a man say, and the man is made in her, and the Highest Himself hath
founded her."[452] Who is this Highest, save God? And thus Christ,
who is God, before He became man through Mary in that city, Himself
founded it by the patriarchs and prophets. As therefore was said
by prophecy so long before to this queen, the city of God, what we
already can see fulfilled, "Instead of thy fathers, sons are born
to thee; thou shalt make them princes over all the earth;"[453] so
out of her sons truly are set up even her fathers [princes] through
all the earth, when the people, coming together to her, confess to
her with the confession of eternal praise for ever and ever. Beyond
doubt, whatever interpretation is put on what is here expressed
somewhat darkly in figurative language, ought to be in agreement with
these most manifest things.


       17. _Of those things in the_ 110_th Psalm which relate to
      the priesthood of Christ, and in the_ 22_d to His passion._

Just as in that psalm also where Christ is most openly proclaimed
as Priest, even as He is here as King, "The Lord said unto my
Lord, Sit Thou at my right hand, until I make Thine enemies Thy
footstool."[454] That Christ sits on the right hand of God the Father
is believed, not seen; that His enemies also are put under His feet
doth not yet appear; it is being done, [therefore] it will appear
at last: yea, this is now believed, afterward it shall be seen. But
what follows, "The Lord will send forth the rod of Thy strength out
of Sion, and rule Thou in the midst of Thine enemies,"[455] is so
clear, that to deny it would imply not merely unbelief and mistake,
but downright impudence. And even enemies must certainly confess
that out of Sion has been sent the law of Christ which we call the
gospel, and acknowledge as the rod of His strength. But that He rules
in the midst of His enemies, these same enemies among whom He rules
themselves bear witness, gnashing their teeth and consuming away, and
having power to do nothing against Him. Then what he says a little
after, "The Lord hath sworn and will not repent,"[456] by which
words He intimates that what He adds is immutable, "Thou art a priest
for ever after the order of Melchizedek,"[457] who is permitted to
doubt of whom these things are said, seeing that now there is nowhere
a priesthood and sacrifice after the order of Aaron, and everywhere
men offer under Christ as the Priest, which Melchizedek showed when
he blessed Abraham? Therefore to these manifest things are to be
referred, when rightly understood, those things in the same psalm
that are set down a little more obscurely, and we have already made
known in our popular sermons how these things are to be rightly
understood. So also in that where Christ utters through prophecy the
humiliation of His passion, saying, "They pierced my hands and feet;
they counted all my bones. Yea, they looked and stared at me."[458]
By which words he certainly meant His body stretched out on the
cross, with the hands and feet pierced and perforated by the striking
through of the nails, and that He had in that way made Himself a
spectacle to those who looked and stared. And he adds, "They parted
my garments among them, and over my vesture they cast lots."[459]
How this prophecy has been fulfilled the Gospel history narrates.
Then, indeed, the other things also which are said there less openly
are rightly understood when they agree with those which shine with
so great clearness; especially because those things also which we do
not believe as past, but survey as present, are beheld by the whole
world, being now exhibited just as they are read of in this very
psalm as predicted so long before. For it is there said a little
after, "All the ends of the earth shall remember, and turn unto the
Lord, and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before Him;
for the kingdom is the Lord's, and He shall rule the nations."


    18. _Of the_ 3_d_, 41_st_, 15_th_, _and_ 68_th Psalms, in which
        the death and resurrection of the Lord are prophesied._

About His resurrection also the oracles of the Psalms are by no
means silent. For what else is it that is sung in His person in the
3d Psalm, "I laid me down and took a sleep, [and] I awaked, for
the Lord shall sustain me?"[460] Is there perchance any one so
stupid as to believe that the prophet chose to point it out to us as
something great that He had slept and risen up, unless that sleep
had been death, and that awaking the resurrection, which behoved to
be thus prophesied concerning Christ? For in the 41st Psalm also it
is shown much more clearly, where in the person of the Mediator, in
the usual way, things are narrated as if past which were prophesied
as yet to come, since these things which were yet to come were in
the predestination and foreknowledge of God as if they were done,
because they were certain. He says, "Mine enemies speak evil of me;
When shall he die, and his name perish? And if he came in to see
me, his heart spake vain things: he gathered iniquity to himself.
He went out of doors, and uttered it all at once. Against me all
mine enemies whisper together: against me do they devise evil. They
have planned an unjust thing against me. Shall not he that sleeps
also rise again?"[461] These words are certainly so set down here
that he may be understood to say nothing else than if he said, Shall
not He that died recover life again? The previous words clearly
show that His enemies have meditated and planned His death, and
that this was executed by him who came in to see, and went out to
betray. But to whom does not Judas here occur, who, from being His
disciple, became His betrayer? Therefore because they were about to
do what they had plotted,--that is, were about to kill Him,--he,
to show them that with useless malice they were about to kill Him
who should rise again, so adds this verse, as if he said, What vain
thing are you doing? What will be your crime will be my sleep. "Shall
not He that sleeps also rise again?" And yet he indicates in the
following verses that they should not commit so great an impiety with
impunity, saying, "Yea, the man of my peace in whom I trusted, who
ate my bread, hath enlarged the heel over me;"[462] that is, hath
trampled me under foot. "But Thou," he saith, "O Lord, be merciful
unto me, and raise me up, that I may requite them."[463] Who can
now deny this who sees the Jews, after the passion and resurrection
of Christ, utterly rooted up from their abodes by warlike slaughter
and destruction? For, being slain by them, He has risen again, and
has requited them meanwhile by temporary discipline, save that for
those who are not corrected He keeps it in store for the time when He
shall judge the quick and the dead.[464] For the Lord Jesus Himself,
in pointing out that very man to the apostles as His betrayer,
quoted this very verse of this psalm, and said it was fulfilled in
Himself: "He that ate my bread enlarged the heel over me." But what
he says, "In whom I trusted," does not suit the head but the body.
For the Saviour Himself was not ignorant of him concerning whom He
had already said before, "One of you is a devil."[465] But He is
wont to assume the person of His members, and to ascribe to Himself
what should be said of them, because the head and the body is one
Christ;[466] whence that saying in the Gospel, "I was an hungered,
and ye gave me to eat."[467] Expounding which, He says, "Since ye
did it to one of the least of mine, ye did it to me."[468] Therefore
He said that He had trusted, because His disciples then had trusted
concerning Judas; for he was numbered with the apostles.[469]

But the Jews do not expect that the Christ whom they expect will
die; therefore they do not think ours to be Him whom the law and the
prophets announced, but feign to themselves I know not whom of their
own, exempt from the suffering of death. Therefore, with wonderful
emptiness and blindness, they contend that the words we have set down
signify, not death and resurrection, but sleep and awaking again. But
the 16th Psalm also cries to them, "Therefore my heart is jocund, and
my tongue hath exulted; moreover, my flesh also shall rest in hope:
for Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt Thou give Thine
Holy One to see corruption."[470] Who but He that rose again the
third day could say His flesh had rested in this hope; that His soul,
not being left in hell, but speedily returning to it, should revive
it, that it should not be corrupted as corpses are wont to be, which
they can in no wise say of David the prophet and king? The 68th Psalm
also cries out, "Our God is the God of salvation: even of the Lord
the exit was by death."[471] What could be more openly said? For the
God of salvation is the Lord Jesus, which is interpreted Saviour, or
Healing One. For this reason this name was given, when it was said
before He was born of the virgin: "Thou shalt bring forth a Son, and
shalt call His name Jesus; for He shall save His people from their
sins."[472] Because His blood was shed for the remission of their
sins, it behoved Him to have no other exit from this life than death.
Therefore, when it had been said, "Our God is the God of salvation,"
immediately it was added, "Even of the Lord the exit was by death,"
in order to show that we were to be saved by His dying. But that
saying is marvellous, "Even of the Lord," as if it was said, Such is
that life of mortals, that not even the Lord Himself could go out of
it otherwise save through death.


     19. _Of the_ 69_th Psalm, in which the obstinate unbelief of
                        the Jews is declared._

But when the Jews will not in the least yield to the testimonies of
this prophecy, which are so manifest, and are also brought by events to
so clear and certain a completion, certainly that is fulfilled in them
which is written in that psalm which here follows. For when the things
which pertain to His passion are prophetically spoken there also in the
person, of Christ, that is mentioned which is unfolded in the Gospel:
"They gave me gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar
for drink."[473] And as it were after such a feast and dainties in this
way given to Himself, presently He brings in [these words]: "Let their
table become a trap before them, and a retribution, and an offence: let
their eyes be dimmed that they see not, and their back be always bowed
down,"[474] etc. Which things are not spoken as wished for, but are
predicted under the prophetic form of wishing. What wonder, then, if
those whose eyes are dimmed that they see not do not see these manifest
things? What wonder if those do not look up at heavenly things whose
back is always bowed down that they may grovel among earthly things?
For these words transferred from the body signify mental faults. Let
these things which have been said about the Psalms, that is, about king
David's prophecy, suffice, that we may keep within some bound. But let
those readers excuse us who knew them all before; and let them not
complain about those perhaps stronger proofs which they know or think I
have passed by.


  20. _Of David's reign and merit; and of his son Solomon, and that
      prophecy relating to Christ which is found either in those
      books which are joined to those written by him, or in those
      which are indubitably his._

David therefore reigned in the earthly Jerusalem, a son of the heavenly
Jerusalem, much praised by the divine testimony; for even his faults
are overcome by great piety, through the most salutary humility of
his repentance, that he is altogether one of those of whom he himself
says, "Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins
are covered."[475] After him Solomon his son reigned over the same
whole people, who, as was said before, began to reign while his father
was still alive. This man, after good beginnings, made a bad end. For
indeed "prosperity, which wears out the minds of the wise,"[476] hurt
him more than that wisdom profited him, which even yet is and shall
hereafter be renowned, and was then praised far and wide. He also is
found to have prophesied in his books, of which three are received as
of canonical authority, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Songs.
But it has been customary to ascribe to Solomon other two, of which
one is called Wisdom, the other Ecclesiasticus, on account of some
resemblance of style,--but the more learned have no doubt that they
are not his; yet of old the Church, especially the Western, received
them into authority,--in the one of which, called the Wisdom of
Solomon, the passion of Christ is most openly prophesied. For indeed
His impious murderers are quoted as saying, "Let us lie in wait for
the righteous, for he is unpleasant to us, and contrary to our works;
and he upbraideth us with our transgressions of the law, and objecteth
to our disgrace the transgressions of our education. He professeth to
have the knowledge of God, and he calleth himself the Son of God. He
was made to reprove our thoughts. He is grievous for us even to behold;
for his life is unlike other men's, and his ways are different. We
are esteemed of him as counterfeits; and he abstaineth from our ways
as from filthiness. He extols the latter end of the righteous; and
glorieth that he hath God for his Father. Let us see, therefore, if
his words be true; and let us try what shall happen to him, and we
shall know what shall be the end of him. For if the righteous be the
Son of God, He will undertake for him, and deliver him out of the hand
of those that are against him. Let us put him to the question with
contumely and torture, that we may know his reverence, and prove his
patience. Let us condemn him to the most shameful death; for by His
own sayings He shall be respected. These things did they imagine, and
were mistaken; for their own malice hath quite blinded them."[477] But
in Ecclesiasticus the future faith of the nations is predicted in this
manner: "Have mercy upon us, O God, Ruler of all, and send Thy fear
upon all the nations: lift up Thine hand over the strange nations, and
let them see Thy power. As Thou wast sanctified in us before them, so
be Thou sanctified in them before us, and let them acknowledge Thee,
according as we also have acknowledged Thee; for there is not a God
beside Thee, O Lord."[478] We see this prophecy in the form of a wish
and prayer fulfilled through Jesus Christ. But the things which are
not written in the canon of the Jews cannot be quoted against their
contradictions with so great validity.

But as regards those three books which it is evident are Solomon's,
and held canonical by the Jews, to show what of this kind may be
found in them pertaining to Christ and the Church demands a laborious
discussion, which, if now entered on, would lengthen this work
unduly. Yet what we read in the Proverbs of impious men saying, "Let
us unrighteously hide in the earth the righteous man; yea, let us
swallow him up alive as hell, and let us take away his memory from
the earth: let us seize his precious possession,"[479] is not so
obscure that it may not be understood, without laborious exposition,
of Christ and His possession the Church. Indeed, the gospel parable
about the wicked husbandmen shows that our Lord Jesus Himself said
something like it: "This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the
inheritance shall be ours."[480] In like manner also that passage in
this same book, on which we have already touched[481] when we were
speaking of the barren woman who hath born seven, must soon after
it was uttered have come to be understood of only Christ and the
Church by those who knew that Christ was the Wisdom of God. "Wisdom
hath builded her an house, and hath set up seven pillars; she hath
sacrificed her victims, she hath mingled her wine in the bowl; she
hath also furnished her table. She hath sent her servants summoning
to the bowl with excellent proclamation, saying, Who is simple,
let him turn aside to me. And to the void of sense she hath said,
Come, eat of my bread, and drink of the wine which I have mingled
for you."[482] Here certainly we perceive that the Wisdom of God,
that is, the Word co-eternal with the Father, hath builded Him an
house, even a human body in the virgin womb, and hath subjoined the
Church to it as members to a head, hath slain the martyrs as victims,
hath furnished a table with wine and bread, where appears also the
priesthood after the order of Melchizedek, and hath called the simple
and the void of sense, because, as saith the apostle, "He hath chosen
the weak things of this world that He might confound the things which
are mighty."[483] Yet to these weak ones she saith what follows,
"Forsake simplicity, that ye may live; and seek prudence, that ye may
have life."[484] But to be made partakers of this table is itself to
begin to have life. For when he says in another book, which is called
Ecclesiastes, "There is no good for a man, except that he should eat
and drink,"[485] what can he be more credibly understood to say, than
what belongs to the participation of this table which the Mediator of
the New Testament Himself, the Priest after the order of Melchizedek,
furnishes with His own body and blood? For that sacrifice has
succeeded all the sacrifices of the Old Testament, which were slain
as a shadow of that which was to come; wherefore also we recognise
the voice in the 40th Psalm as that of the same Mediator speaking
through prophesy, "Sacrifice and offering Thou didst not desire;
but a body hast Thou perfected for me."[486] Because, instead of all
these sacrifices and oblations, His body is offered, and is served up
to the partakers of it. For that this Ecclesiastes, in this sentence
about eating and drinking, which he often repeats, and very much
commends, does not savour the dainties of carnal pleasures, is made
plain enough when he says, "It is better to go into the house of
mourning than to go into the house of feasting."[487] And a little
after He says, "The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning,
and the heart of the simple in the house of feasting."[488] But I
think that more worthy of quotation from this book which relates to
both cities, the one of the devil, the other of Christ, and to their
kings, the devil and Christ: "Woe to thee, O land," he says, "when
thy king is a youth, and thy princes eat in the morning! Blessed art
thou, O land, when thy king is the son of nobles, and thy princes eat
in season, in fortitude, and not in confusion!"[489] He has called
the devil a youth, because of the folly and pride, and rashness and
unruliness, and other vices which are wont to abound at that age;
but Christ is the Son of nobles, that is, of the holy patriarchs,
of those belonging to the free city, of whom He was begotten in
the flesh. The princes of that and other cities are eaters in the
morning, that is, before the suitable hour, because they do not
expect the seasonable felicity, which is the true, in the world to
come, desiring to be speedily made happy with the renown of this
world, but the princes of the city of Christ patiently wait for the
time of a blessedness that is not fallacious. This is expressed by
the words, "in fortitude, and not in confusion," because hope does
not deceive them, of which the apostle says, "But hope maketh not
ashamed."[490] A psalm also saith, "For they that hope in Thee shall
not be put to shame."[491] But now the Song of Songs is a certain
spiritual pleasure of holy minds, in the marriage of that King and
Queen-city, that is, Christ and the Church. But this pleasure is
wrapped up in allegorical veils, that the Bridegroom may be more
ardently desired, and more joyfully unveiled, and may appear; to whom
it is said in this same song, "Equity hath delighted Thee;"[492] and
the bride who those hears, "Charity is in thy delights."[493] We pass
over many things in silence, in our desire to finish this work.


      21. _Of the kings after Solomon, both in Judah and Israel._

The other kings of the Hebrews after Solomon are scarcely found to have
prophesied, through certain enigmatic words or actions of theirs, what
may pertain to Christ and the Church, either in Judah or Israel; for
so were the parts of that people styled, when, on account of Solomon's
offence, from the time of Rehoboam his son, who succeeded him in the
kingdom, it was divided by God as a punishment. The ten tribes, indeed,
which Jeroboam the servant of Solomon received, being appointed the
king in Samaria, were distinctively called Israel, although this had
been the name of that whole people; but the two tribes, namely, of
Judah and Benjamin, which for David's sake, lest the kingdom should
be wholly wrenched from his race, remained subject to the city of
Jerusalem, were called Judah, because that was the tribe whence David
sprang. But Benjamin, the other tribe which, as was said, belonged
to the same kingdom, was that whence Saul sprang before David. But
these two tribes together, as was said, were called Judah, and were
distinguished by this name from Israel, which was the distinctive title
of the ten tribes under their own king. For the tribe of Levi, because
it was the priestly one, bound to the servitude of God, not of the
kings, was reckoned the thirteenth. For Joseph, one of the twelve sons
of Israel, did not, like the others, form one tribe, but two, Ephraim
and Manasseh. Yet the tribe of Levi also belonged more to the kingdom
of Jerusalem, where was the temple of God whom it served. On the
division of the people, therefore, Rehoboam, son of Solomon, reigned in
Jerusalem as the first king of Judah, and Jeroboam, servant of Solomon,
in Samaria as king of Israel. And when Rehoboam wished as a tyrant
to pursue that separated part with war, the people were prohibited
from fighting with their brethren by God, who told them through a
prophet that He had done this; whence it appeared that in this matter
there had been no sin either of the king or people of Israel, but the
accomplished will of God the avenger. When this was known, both parts
settled down peaceably, for the division made was not religious but
political.


  22. _Of Jeroboam, who profaned the people put under him by the
      impiety of idolatry, amid which, however, God did not cease
      to inspire the prophets, and to guard many from the crime of
      idolatry._

But Jeroboam king of Israel, with perverse mind, not believing in God,
whom he had proved true in promising and giving him the kingdom, was
afraid lest, by coming to the temple of God which was in Jerusalem,
where, according to the divine law, that whole nation was to come in
order to sacrifice, the people should be seduced from him, and return
to David's line as the seed royal; and set up idolatry in his kingdom,
and with horrible impiety beguiled the people, ensnaring them to the
worship of idols with himself. Yet God did not altogether cease to
reprove by the prophets, not only that king, but also his successors
and imitators in his impiety, and the people too. For there the great
and illustrious prophets Elijah and Elisha his disciple arose, who also
did many wonderful works. Even there, when Elijah said, "O Lord, they
have slain Thy prophets, they have digged down Thine altars; and I am
left alone, and they seek my life," it was answered that seven thousand
men were there who had not bowed the knee to Baal.[494]


  23. _Of the varying condition of both the Hebrew kingdoms, until
      the people of both were at different times led into captivity,
      Judah being afterwards recalled into his kingdom, which finally
      passed into the power of the Romans._

So also in the kingdom of Judah pertaining to Jerusalem prophets were
not lacking even in the times of succeeding kings, just as it pleased
God to send them, either for the prediction of what was needful,
or for correction of sin and instruction in righteousness;[495]
for there, too, although far less than in Israel, kings arose who
grievously offended God by their impieties, and, along with their
people, who were like them, were smitten with moderate scourges. The
no small merits of the pious kings there are praised indeed. But we
read that in Israel the kings were, some more, others less, yet all
wicked. Each part, therefore, as the divine providence either ordered
or permitted, was both lifted up by prosperity and weighed down by
adversity of various kinds; and it was afflicted not only by foreign,
but also by civil wars with each other, in order that by certain
existing causes the mercy or anger of God might be manifested; until,
by His growing indignation, that whole nation was by the conquering
Chaldeans not only overthrown in its abode, but also for the most
part transported to the lands of the Assyrians,--first, that part
of the thirteen tribes called Israel, but afterwards Judah also,
when Jerusalem and that most noble temple was cast down,--in which
lands it rested seventy years in captivity. Being after that time
sent forth thence, they rebuilt the overthrown temple. And although
very many stayed in the lands of the strangers, yet the kingdom no
longer had two separate parts, with different kings over each, but
in Jerusalem there was one prince over them; and at certain times,
from every direction wherever they were, and from whatever place
they could, they all came to the temple of God which was there. Yet
not even then were they without foreign enemies and conquerors; yea,
Christ found them tributaries of the Romans.


  24. _Of the prophets, who either were the last among the Jews, or
      whom the gospel history reports about the time of Christ's
      nativity._

But in that whole time after they returned from Babylon, after
Malachi, Haggai, and Zechariah, who then prophesied, and Ezra, they
had no prophets down to the time of the Saviour's advent except
another Zechariah, the father of John, and Elisabeth his wife, when
the nativity of Christ was already close at hand; and when He was
already born, Simeon the aged, and Anna a widow, and now very old;
and, last of all, John himself, who, being a young man, did not
predict that Christ, now a young man, was to come, but by prophetic
knowledge pointed Him out although unknown; for which reason the
Lord Himself says, "The law and the prophets were until John."[496]
But the prophesying of these five is made known to us in the gospel,
where the virgin mother of our Lord herself is also found to have
prophesied before John. But this prophecy of theirs the wicked Jews
do not receive; but those innumerable persons received it who from
them believed the gospel. For then truly Israel was divided in two,
by that division which was foretold by Samuel the prophet to king
Saul as immutable. But even the reprobate Jews hold Malachi, Haggai,
Zechariah, and Ezra as the last received into canonical authority.
For there are also writings of these, as of others, who being but
a very few in the great multitude of prophets, have written those
books which have obtained canonical authority, of whose predictions
it seems good to me to put in this work some which pertain to Christ
and His Church; and this, by the Lord's help, shall be done more
conveniently in the following book, that we may not further burden
this one, which is already too long.

FOOTNOTES:

[343] "Has pointed."

[344] Gen. xii. 1, 2.

[345] Gen. xii. 3.

[346] Gal. iv. 22-31.

[347] Heb. viii. 8-10.

[348] 1 Sam. ii. 1-10.

[349] Ps. xlviii. 2.

[350] 2 Tim. ii. 9; Eph. vi. 20.

[351] Luke ii. 25-30.

[352] Rom. iii. 26?

[353] Gal. vi. 3.

[354] Rom. x. 3.

[355] Ps. xciv. 11; 1 Cor. iii. 20.

[356] Ps. vi. 2.

[357] Rom. iii. 2.

[358] Rev. i. 4.

[359] Prov. ix. 1.

[360] "By whom we see her made fruitful."

[361] Col. iii. 1-3.

[362] Rom. viii. 32.

[363] Ps. xvi. 10; Acts ii. 27, 31.

[364] 2 Cor. viii. 9.

[365] Jas. iv. 6; 1 Pet. v. 5.

[366] "For the poor man is the same as the beggar."

[367] Phil. iii. 7, 8.

[368] Matt. xix. 27, 28.

[369] 1 Cor. iv. 7.

[370] 1 John iv. 7.

[371] 2 Cor. v. 10.

[372] Ps. lxxiv. 12.

[373] Acts x. 42.

[374] Eph. iv. 9, 10.

[375] Matt. xxiv. 13.

[376] 1 Cor. 12.

[377] 1 Sam. ii. 27-36.

[378] Ps. xvii. 8.

[379] Isa. x. 21.

[380] Rom. xi. 5.

[381] Isa. xxviii. 22; Rom. ix 28.

[382] Ps. xii. 6.

[383] Ps. lxxxiv. 10.

[384] 1 Tim. ii. 5.

[385] 1 Pet. ii. 9.

[386] 1 Cor. x. 17.

[387] Rom. xii. 1.

[388] John vi. 51.

[389] Heb. vii. 11, 27.

[390] Matt. xxiv. 15.

[391] 1 Sam. xxiv. 5, 6.

[392] 1 Sam. xiii. 13, 14.

[393] Heb. ix. 15.

[394] Luke xix. 10.

[395] Eph. i. 4.

[396] 1 Sam. xv. 23.

[397] 1 Sam. xv. 26-29.

[398] Rom. i. 3.

[399] 1 Tim. ii. 5.

[400] Ps. cx. 1.

[401] Gen. xxi. 10.

[402] Gal. iv. 25.

[403] 2 Cor. iii. 15, 16.

[404] 1 Sam. vii. 9-12.

[405] 2 Sam. vii. 8-16.

[406] Rom. i. 3.

[407] Ps. lxxii. 8.

[408] 1 Cor. iii. 17.

[409] Ps. lxxxix. 3, 4.

[410] Ps. lxxxix. 19-29.

[411] Phil. ii. 7.

[412] Matt. i. 1, 18; Luke i. 27.

[413] 2 Sam. vii, 14, 15.

[414] Ps. cv. 15.

[415] Ps. lxxxix. 30-33.

[416] Acts ix. 4.

[417] Ps. lxxxix. 34, 35.

[418] Ps. lxxxix. 36, 37.

[419] Ps. lxxxix. 38.

[420] Ps. lxxxix. 38.

[421] Ps. lxxxix. 39-45.

[422] Ps. lxxxix. 46.

[423] Ps. xiii. 1.

[424] Ps. lxxxix. 46, 47.

[425] Ps. lxxxix. 47.

[426] Ps. cxliv. 4.

[427] Ps. lxxxix. 48.

[428] Rom. vi. 9.

[429] John x. 18.

[430] Ps. lxxxix. 49-51.

[431] Rom. iii. 28, 29.

[432] Acts xiii. 46.

[433] Matt. vii. 7, 8.

[434] Another reading, "consummation."

[435] See above, chap. viii.

[436] 2 Sam. vii. 19.

[437] 2 Sam. vii. 8.

[438] 2 Sam. vii. 27.

[439] Ps. cxxvii. 1.

[440] 2 Sam. vii. 10, 11.

[441] 2 Sam. vii. 10, 11.

[442] Judg. iii. 30.

[443] Israel = "a prince of God;" Peniel = "the face of God" (Gen.
xxxii. 28-30).

[444] Ps. cx. 1, quoted in Matt. xxii. 44.

[445] 1 Kings xiii. 2; fulfilled 2 Kings xxiii. 15-17.

[446] Ps. xlv. 1-9.

[447] Ps. xlv. 9-17.

[448] Ps. xlv. 7.

[449] Ps. xlviii. 2.

[450] Ps. xviii. 43.

[451] Rom. x. 5.

[452] Ps. lxxxvii. 5.

[453] Ps. xlv. 16.

[454] Ps. cx. 1.

[455] Ps. cx. 2.

[456] Ps. cx. 4.

[457] Ps. cx. 4.

[458] Ps. xxii. 16, 17.

[459] Ps. xxii. 18, 19.

[460] Ps. iii. 5.

[461] Ps. xli. 5-8.

[462] Ps. xli. 9.

[463] Ps. xli. 10.

[464] 2 Tim. iv. 1; 2 Pet. iv. 5.

[465] John vi. 70.

[466] 1 Cor. xii. 12.

[467] Matt. xxv. 35.

[468] Matt. xxv. 40.

[469] Acts i. 17.

[470] Ps. xvi. 9, 10.

[471] Ps. lxviii. 20.

[472] Matt. i. 21.

[473] Ps. lxix. 21; Matt. xxvii. 34, 48.

[474] Ps. lxix. 22, 23.

[475] Ps. xxxii. 1.

[476] Sallust, _Bel. Cat._ c. xi.

[477] Wisd. ii. 12-21.

[478] Ecclus. xxxvi. 1-5.

[479] Prov. i. 11-13.

[480] Matt. xxi. 38.

[481] Ch. 4.

[482] Prov. ix. 1-5 (ver. 1 is quoted above in ch. 4).

[483] 1 Cor. i. 27.

[484] Prov. ix. 6.

[485] Eccles. ii. 24, iii. 13, v. 18, viii. 15.

[486] Ps. xl. 6.

[487] Eccles. vii. 2.

[488] Eccles. vii. 4.

[489] Eccles. x. 16, 17.

[490] Rom. v. 5.

[491] Ps. lxix. 6. ?

[492] Cant. i. 4.

[493] Cant. vii. 6.

[494] 1 Kings xix. 10, 14, 15.

[495] 2 Tim. 16.

[496] Matt. xi. 13.



                           BOOK EIGHTEENTH.

                               ARGUMENT.

  AUGUSTINE TRACES THE PARALLEL COURSES OF THE EARTHLY AND HEAVENLY
      CITIES FROM THE TIME OF ABRAHAM TO THE END OF THE WORLD; AND
      ALLUDES TO THE ORACLES REGARDING CHRIST, BOTH THOSE UTTERED BY
      THE SIBYLS, AND THOSE OF THE SACRED PROPHETS WHO WROTE AFTER
      THE FOUNDATION OF ROME, HOSEA, AMOS, ISAIAH, MICAH, AND THEIR
      SUCCESSORS.


    1. _Of those things down to the times of the Saviour which have
                been discussed in the seventeen books._

I promised to write of the rise, progress, and appointed end of the two
cities, one of which is God's, the other this world's, in which, so
far as mankind is concerned, the former is now a stranger. But first
of all I undertook, so far as His grace should enable me, to refute
the enemies of the city of God, who prefer their gods to Christ its
founder, and fiercely hate Christians with the most deadly malice. And
this I have done in the first ten books. Then, as regards my threefold
promise which I have just mentioned, I have treated distinctly, in the
four books which follow the tenth, of the rise of both cities. After
that, I have proceeded from the first man down to the flood in one
book, which is the fifteenth of this work; and from that again down to
Abraham our work has followed both in chronological order. From the
patriarch Abraham down to the time of the Israelite kings, at which
we close our sixteenth book, and thence down to the advent of Christ
Himself in the flesh, to which period the seventeenth book reaches,
the city of God appears from my way of writing to have run its course
alone; whereas it did not run its course alone in this age, for both
cities, in their course amid mankind, certainly experienced chequered
times together just as from the beginning. But I did this in order
that, first of all, from the time when the promises of God began to
be more clear, down to the virgin birth of Him in whom those things
promised from the first were to be fulfilled, the course of that
city which is God's might be made more distinctly apparent, without
interpolation of foreign matter from the history of the other city,
although down to the revelation of the new covenant it ran its course,
not in light, but in shadow. Now, therefore, I think fit to do what I
passed by, and show, so far as seems necessary, how that other city ran
its course from the times of Abraham, so that attentive readers may
compare the two.


  2. _Of the kings and times of the earthly city which were
      synchronous with the times of the saints, reckoning from the
      rise of Abraham._

The society of mortals spread abroad through the earth everywhere,
and in the most diverse places, although bound together by a certain
fellowship of our common nature, is yet for the most part divided
against itself, and the strongest oppress the others, because all
follow after their own interests and lusts, while what is longed for
either suffices for none, or not for all, because it is not the very
thing. For the vanquished succumb to the victorious, preferring any
sort of peace and safety to freedom itself; so that they who chose
to die rather than be slaves have been greatly wondered at. For
in almost all nations the very voice of nature somehow proclaims,
that those who happen to be conquered should choose rather to be
subject to their conquerors than to be killed by all kinds of warlike
destruction. This does not take place without the providence of God,
in whose power it lies that any one either subdues or is subdued in
war; that some are endowed with kingdoms, others made subject to
kings. Now, among the very many kingdoms of the earth into which, by
earthly interest or lust, society is divided (which we call by the
general name of the city of this world), we see that two, settled and
kept distinct from each other both in time and place, have grown far
more famous than the rest, first that of the Assyrians, then that of
the Romans. First came the one, then the other. The former arose in
the east, and, immediately on its close, the latter in the west. I
may speak of other kingdoms and other kings as appendages of these.

Ninus, then, who succeeded his father Belus, the first king of Assyria,
was already the second king of that kingdom when Abraham was born in
the land of the Chaldees. There was also at that time a very small
kingdom of Sicyon, with which, as from an ancient date, that most
universally learned man Marcus Varro begins, in writing of the Roman
race. For from these kings of Sicyon he passes to the Athenians, from
them to the Latins, and from these to the Romans. Yet very little
is related about these kingdoms, before the foundation of Rome, in
comparison with that of Assyria. For although even Sallust, the Roman
historian, admits that the Athenians were very famous in Greece, yet he
thinks they were greater in fame than in fact. For in speaking of them
he says, "The deeds of the Athenians, as I think, were very great and
magnificent, but yet somewhat less than reported by fame. But because
writers of great genius arose among them, the deeds of the Athenians
were celebrated throughout the world as very great. Thus the virtue
of those who did them was held to be as great as men of transcendent
genius could represent it to be by the power of laudatory words."[497]
This city also derived no small glory from literature and philosophy,
the study of which chiefly flourished there. But as regards empire,
none in the earliest times was greater than the Assyrian, or so widely
extended. For when Ninus the son of Belus was king, he is reported
to have subdued the whole of Asia, even to the boundaries of Libya,
which as to number is called the third part, but as to size is found
to be the half of the whole world. The Indians in the eastern regions
were the only people over whom he did not reign; but after his death
Semiramis his wife made war on them. Thus it came to pass that all
the people and kings in those countries were subject to the kingdom
and authority of the Assyrians, and did whatever they were commanded.
Now Abraham was born in that kingdom among the Chaldees, in the time
of Ninus. But since Grecian affairs are much better known to us than
Assyrian, and those who have diligently investigated the antiquity of
the Roman nation's origin have followed the order of time through the
Greeks to the Latins, and from them to the Romans, who themselves are
Latins, we ought on this account, where it is needful, to mention the
Assyrian kings, that it may appear how Babylon, like a first Rome, ran
its course along with the city of God, which is a stranger in this
world. But the things proper for insertion in this work in comparing
the two cities, that is, the earthly and heavenly, ought to be taken
mostly from the Greek and Latin kingdoms, where Rome herself is like a
second Babylon.

At Abraham's birth, then, the second kings of Assyria and Sicyon
respectively were Ninus and Europs, the first having been Belus
and Ægialeus. But when God promised Abraham, on his departure from
Babylonia, that he should become a great nation, and that in his seed
all nations of the earth should be blessed, the Assyrians had their
seventh king, the Sicyons their fifth; for the son of Ninus reigned
among them after his mother Semiramis, who is said to have been put
to death by him for attempting to defile him by incestuously lying
with him. Some think that she founded Babylon, and indeed she may
have founded it anew. But we have told, in the sixteenth book, when
or by whom it was founded. Now the son of Ninus and Semiramis, who
succeeded his mother in the kingdom, is also called Ninus by some,
but by others Ninias, a patronymic word. Telexion then held the
kingdom of the Sicyons. In his reign times were quiet and joyful to
such a degree, that after his death they worshipped him as a god by
offering sacrifices and by celebrating games, which are said to have
been first instituted on this occasion.


  3. _What kings reigned in Assyria and Sicyon when, according to
      the promise, Isaac was born to Abraham in his hundredth year,
      and when the twins Esau and Jacob were born of Rebecca to Isaac
      in his sixtieth year._

In his times also, by the promise of God, Isaac, the son of Abraham,
was born to his father when he was a hundred years old, of Sarah his
wife, who, being barren and old, had already lost hope of issue.
Aralius was then the fifth king of the Assyrians. To Isaac himself,
in his sixtieth year, were born twin-sons, Esau and Jacob, whom
Rebecca his wife bore to him, their grandfather Abraham, who died
on completing a hundred and seventy years, being still alive, and
reckoning his hundred and sixtieth year.[498] At that time there
reigned as the seventh kings,--among the Assyrians, that more
ancient Xerxes, who was also called Balæus; and among the Sicyons,
Thuriachus, or, as some write his name, Thurimachus. The kingdom of
Argos, in which Inachus reigned first, arose in the time of Abraham's
grandchildren. And I must not omit what Varro relates, that the
Sicyons were also wont to sacrifice at the tomb of their seventh king
Thuriachus. In the reign of Armamitres in Assyria and Leucippus in
Sicyon as the eighth kings, and of Inachus as the first in Argos, God
spoke to Isaac, and promised the same two things to him as to his
father,--namely, the land of Canaan to his seed, and the blessing of
all nations in his seed. These same things were promised to his son,
Abraham's grandson, who was at first called Jacob, afterwards Israel,
when Belocus was the ninth king of Assyria, and Phoroneus, the son
of Inachus, reigned as the second king of Argos, Leucippus still
continuing king of Sicyon. In those times, under the Argive king
Phoroneus, Greece was made more famous by the institution of certain
laws and judges. On the death of Phoroneus, his younger brother
Phegous built a temple at his tomb, in which he was worshipped as
God, and oxen were sacrificed to him. I believe they thought him
worthy of so great honour, because in his part of the kingdom (for
their father had divided his territories between them, in which they
reigned during his life) he had founded chapels for the worship of
the gods, and had taught them to measure time by months and years,
and to that extent to keep count and reckoning of events. Men still
uncultivated, admiring him for these novelties, either fancied he
was, or resolved that he should be made, a god after his death. Io
also is said to have been the daughter of Inachus, who was afterwards
called Isis, when she was worshipped in Egypt as a great goddess;
although others write that she came as a queen out of Ethiopia, and
because she ruled extensively and justly, and instituted for her
subjects letters and many useful things, such divine honour was given
her there after she died, that if any one said she had been human, he
was charged with a capital crime.


            4. _Of the times of Jacob and his son Joseph._

In the reign of Balæus, the ninth king of Assyria, and Mesappus,
the eighth of Sicyon, who is said by some to have been also called
Cephisos (if indeed the same man had both names, and those who put
the other name in their writings have not rather confounded him with
another man), while Apis was third king of Argos, Isaac died, a
hundred and eighty years old, and left his twin-sons a hundred and
twenty years old. Jacob, the younger of these, belonged to the city
of God about which we write (the elder being wholly rejected), and
had twelve sons, one of whom, called Joseph, was sold by his brothers
to merchants going down to Egypt, while his grandfather Isaac was
still alive. But when he was thirty years of age, Joseph stood before
Pharaoh, being exalted out of the humiliation he endured, because,
in divinely interpreting the king's dreams, he foretold that there
would be seven years of plenty, the very rich abundance of which
would be consumed by seven other years of famine that should follow.
On this account the king made him ruler over Egypt, liberating him
from prison, into which he had been thrown for keeping his chastity
intact; for he bravely preserved it from his mistress, who wickedly
loved him, and told lies to his weakly credulous master, and did not
consent to commit adultery with her, but fled from her, leaving his
garment in her hands when she laid hold of him. In the second of the
seven years of famine Jacob came down into Egypt to his son with all
he had, being a hundred and thirty years old, as he himself said in
answer to the king's question. Joseph was then thirty-nine, if we add
seven years of plenty and two of famine to the thirty he reckoned
when honoured by the king.


     5. _Of Apis king of Argos, whom the Egyptians called Serapis,
                 and worshipped with divine honours._

In these times Apis king of Argos crossed over into Egypt in ships,
and, on dying there, was made Serapis, the chief god of all the
Egyptians. Now Varro gives this very ready reason why, after his
death, he was called, not Apis, but Serapis. The ark in which he
was placed when dead, which every one now calls a sarcophagus, was
then called in Greek σορὸς, and they began to worship him when
buried in it before his temple was built; and from Soros and Apis
he was called first [Sorosapis, or] Sorapis, and then Serapis, by
changing a letter, as easily happens. It was decreed regarding him
also, that whoever should say he had been a man should be capitally
punished. And since in every temple where Isis and Serapis were
worshipped there was also an image which, with finger pressed on
the lips, seemed to warn men to keep silence, Varro thinks this
signifies that it should be kept secret that they had been human.
But that bull which, with wonderful folly, deluded Egypt nourished
with abundant delicacies in honour of him, was not called Serapis,
but Apis, because they worshipped him alive without a sarcophagus. On
the death of that bull, when they sought and found a calf of the same
colour,--that is, similarly marked with certain white spots,--they
believed it was something miraculous, and divinely provided for them.
Yet it was no great thing for the demons, in order to deceive them,
to show to a cow when she was conceiving and pregnant the image
of such a bull, which she alone could see, and by it attract the
breeding passion of the mother, so that it might appear in a bodily
shape in her young, just as Jacob so managed with the spotted rods
that the sheep and goats were born spotted. For what men can do with
real colours and substances, the demons can very easily do by showing
unreal forms to breeding animals.


     6. _Who were kings of Argos, and of Assyria, when Jacob died
                              in Egypt._

Apis, then, who died in Egypt, was not the king of Egypt, but of Argos.
He was succeeded by his son Argus, from whose name the land was called
Argos and the people Argives, for under the earlier kings neither
the place nor the nation as yet had this name. While he then reigned
over Argos, and Eratus over Sicyon, and Balæus still remained king of
Assyria, Jacob died in Egypt a hundred and forty-seven years old, after
he had, when dying, blessed his sons and his grandsons by Joseph, and
prophesied most plainly of Christ, saying in the blessing of Judah, "A
prince shall not fail out of Judah, nor a leader from his thighs, until
those things come which are laid up for him; and He is the expectation
of the nations."[499] In the reign of Argus Greece began to use fruits,
and to have crops of corn in cultivated fields, the seed having been
brought from other countries. Argus also began to be accounted a god
after his death, and was honoured with a temple and sacrifices. This
honour was conferred in his reign, before being given to him, on a
private individual for being the first to yoke oxen in the plough. This
was one Homogyrus, who was struck by lightning.


            7. _Who were kings when Joseph died in Egypt._

In the reign of Mamitus, the twelfth king of Assyria, and Plemnæus,
the eleventh of Sicyon, while Argus still reigned over the Argives,
Joseph died in Egypt a hundred and ten years old. After his death,
the people of God, increasing wonderfully, remained in Egypt a
hundred and forty-five years, in tranquillity at first, until those
who knew Joseph were dead. Afterward, through envy of their increase,
and the suspicion that they would at length gain their freedom, they
were oppressed with persecutions and the labours of intolerable
servitude, amid which, however, they still grew, being multiplied
with God-given fertility. During this period the same kingdoms
continued in Assyria and Greece.


    8. _Who were kings when Moses was born, and what gods began to
                         be worshipped then._

When Saphrus reigned as the fourteenth king of Assyria, and
Orthopolis as the twelfth of Sicyon, and Criasus as the fifth of
Argos, Moses was born in Egypt, by whom the people of God were
liberated from the Egyptian slavery, in which they behoved to be
thus tried that they might desire the help of their Creator. Some
have thought that Prometheus lived during the reign of the kings now
named. He is reported to have formed men out of clay, because he was
esteemed the best teacher of wisdom; yet it does not appear what
wise men there were in his days. His brother Atlas is said to have
been a great astrologer; and this gave occasion for the fable that
he held up the sky, although the vulgar opinion about his holding
up the sky appears rather to have been suggested by a high mountain
named after him. Indeed, from those times many other fabulous things
began to be invented in Greece; yet, down to Cecrops king of Athens,
in whose reign that city received its name, and in whose reign God
brought His people out of Egypt by Moses, only a few dead heroes are
reported to have been deified according to the vain superstition of
the Greeks. Among these were Melantomice, the wife of king Criasus,
and Phorbas their son, who succeeded his father as sixth king of the
Argives, and Iasus, son of Triopas, their seventh king, and their
ninth king, Sthenelas, or Stheneleus, or Sthenelus,--for his name
is given differently by different authors. In those times also,
Mercury, the grandson of Atlas by his daughter Maia, is said to have
lived, according to the common report in books. He was famous for his
skill in many arts, and taught them to men, for which they resolved
to make him, and even believed that he deserved to be, a god after
death. Hercules is said to have been later, yet belonging to the same
period; although some, whom I think mistaken, assign him an earlier
date than Mercury. But at whatever time they were born, it is agreed
among grave historians, who have committed these ancient things to
writing, that both were men, and that they merited divine honours
from mortals because they conferred on them many benefits to make
this life more pleasant to them. Minerva was far more ancient than
these; for she is reported to have appeared in virgin age in the
times of Ogyges at the lake called Triton, from which she is also
styled Tritonia, the inventress truly of many works, and the more
readily believed to be a goddess because her origin was so little
known. For what is sung about her having sprung from the head of
Jupiter belongs to the region of poetry and fable, and not to that
of history and real fact. And historical writers are not agreed when
Ogyges flourished, in whose time also a great flood occurred,--not
that greatest one from which no man escaped except those who could
get into the ark, for neither Greek nor Latin history knew of it, yet
a greater flood than that which happened afterward in Deucalion's
time. For Varro begins the book I have already mentioned at this
date, and does not propose to himself, as the starting-point from
which he may arrive at Roman affairs, anything more ancient than the
flood of Ogyges, that is, which happened in the time of Ogyges. Now
our writers of chronicles--first Eusebius, and afterwards Jerome, who
entirely follow some earlier historians in this opinion--relate that
the flood of Ogyges happened more than three hundred years after,
during the reign of Phoroneus, the second king of Argos. But whenever
he may have lived, Minerva was already worshipped as a goddess when
Cecrops reigned in Athens, in whose reign the city itself is reported
to have been rebuilt or founded.


    9. _When the city of Athens was founded, and what reason Varro
                        assigns for its name._

Athens certainly derived its name from Minerva, who in Greek is
called Ἀθηνη, and Varro points out the following reason why it was so
called. When an olive-tree suddenly appeared there, and water burst
forth in another place, these prodigies moved the king to send to
the Delphic Apollo to inquire what they meant and what he should do.
He answered that the olive signified Minerva, the water Neptune, and
that the citizens had it in their power to name their city as they
chose, after either of these two gods whose signs these were. On
receiving this oracle, Cecrops convoked all the citizens of either
sex to give their vote, for it was then the custom in those parts
for the women also to take part in public deliberations. When the
multitude was consulted, the men gave their votes for Neptune, the
women for Minerva; and as the women had a majority of one, Minerva
conquered. Then Neptune, being enraged, laid waste the lands of the
Athenians, by casting up the waves of the sea; for the demons have no
difficulty in scattering any waters more widely. The same authority
said, that to appease his wrath the women should be visited by the
Athenians with the threefold punishment--that they should no longer
have any vote; that none of their children should be named after
their mothers; and that no one should call them Athenians. Thus that
city, the mother and nurse of liberal doctrines, and of so many and
so great philosophers, than whom Greece had nothing more famous and
noble, by the mockery of demons about the strife of their gods, a
male and female, and from the victory of the female one through
the women, received the name of Athens; and, on being damaged by
the vanquished god, was compelled to punish the very victory of
the victress, fearing the waters of Neptune more than the arms of
Minerva. For in the women who were thus punished, Minerva, who had
conquered, was conquered too, and could not even help her voters so
far that, although the right of voting was henceforth lost, and the
mothers could not give their names to the children, they might at
least be allowed to be called Athenians, and to merit the name of
that goddess whom they had made victorious over a male god by giving
her their votes. What and how much could be said about this, if we
had not to hasten to other things in our discourse, is obvious.


      10. _What Varro reports about the term Areopagus, and about
                          Deucalion's flood._

Marcus Varro, however, is not willing to credit lying fables against
the gods, lest he should find something dishonouring to their
majesty; and therefore he will not admit that the Areopagus, the
place where the Apostle Paul disputed with the Athenians, got this
name because Mars, who in Greek is called Ἄρης, when he was charged
with the crime of homicide, and was judged by twelve gods in that
field, was acquitted by the sentence of six; because it was the
custom, when the votes were equal, to acquit rather than condemn.
Against this opinion, which is much most widely published, he tries,
from the notices of obscure books, to support another reason for
this name, lest the Athenians should be thought to have called it
Areopagus from the words "Mars" and "field,"[500] as if it were the
field of Mars, to the dishonour of the gods, forsooth, from whom
he thinks lawsuits and judgments far removed. And he asserts that
this which is said about Mars is not less false than what is said
about the three goddesses, to wit, Juno, Minerva, and Venus, whose
contest for the palm of beauty, before Paris as judge, in order to
obtain the golden apple, is not only related, but is celebrated in
songs and dances amid the applause of the theatres, in plays meant
to please the gods who take pleasure in these crimes of their own,
whether real or fabled. Varro does not believe these things, because
they are incompatible with the nature of the gods and of morality;
and yet, in giving not a fabulous but a historic reason for the name
of Athens, he inserts in his books the strife between Neptune and
Minerva as to whose name should be given to that city, which was so
great that, when they contended by the display of prodigies, even
Apollo dared not judge between them when consulted; but, in order to
end the strife of the gods, just as Jupiter sent the three goddesses
we have named to Paris, so he sent them to men, when Minerva won by
the vote, and yet was defeated by the punishment of her own voters,
for she was unable to confer the title of Athenians on the women who
were her friends, although she could impose it on the men who were
her opponents. In these times, when Cranaos reigned at Athens as the
successor of Cecrops, as Varro writes, but, according to our Eusebius
and Jerome, while Cecrops himself still remained, the flood occurred
which is called Deucalion's, because it occurred chiefly in those
parts of the earth in which he reigned. But this flood did not at all
reach Egypt or its vicinity.


    11. _When Moses led the people out of Egypt; and who were kings
            when his successor Joshua the son of Nun died._

Moses led the people out of Egypt in the last time of Cecrops king
of Athens, when Ascatades reigned in Assyria, Marathus in Sicyon,
Triopas in Argos; and having led forth the people, he gave them at
Mount Sinai the law he received from God, which is called the Old
Testament, because it has earthly promises, and because, through
Jesus Christ, there was to be a New Testament, in which the kingdom
of heaven should be promised. For the same order behoved to be
observed in this as is observed in each man who prospers in God,
according to the saying of the apostle, "That is not first which is
spiritual, but that which is natural," since, as he says, and that
truly, "The first man of the earth, is earthly; the second man, from
heaven, is heavenly."[501] Now Moses ruled the people for forty years
in the wilderness, and died a hundred and twenty years old, after
he had prophesied of Christ by the types of carnal observances in
the tabernacle, priesthood, and sacrifices, and many other mystic
ordinances. Joshua the son of Nun succeeded Moses, and settled in
the land of promise the people he had brought in, having by divine
authority conquered the people by whom it was formerly possessed. He
also died, after ruling the people twenty-seven years after the death
of Moses, when Amyntas reigned in Assyria as the eighteenth king,
Coracos as the sixteenth in Sicyon, Danaos as the tenth in Argos,
Ericthonius as the fourth in Athens.


  12. _Of the rituals of false gods instituted by the kings of Greece
      in the period from Israel's exodus from Egypt down to the death
      of Joshua the son of Nun._

During this period, that is, from Israel's exodus from Egypt down to
the death of Joshua the son of Nun, through whom that people received
the land of promise, rituals were instituted to the false gods by the
kings of Greece, which, by stated celebration, recalled the memory of
the flood, and of men's deliverance from it, and of that troublous
life they then led in migrating to and fro between the heights and the
plains. For even the Luperci,[502] when they ascend and descend the
sacred path, are said to represent the men who sought the mountain
summits because of the inundation of water, and returned to the
lowlands on its subsidence. In those times, Dionysus, who was also
called Father Liber, and was esteemed a god after death, is said to
have shown the vine to his host in Attica. Then the musical games were
instituted for the Delphic Apollo, to appease his anger, through which
they thought the regions of Greece were afflicted with barrenness,
because they had not defended his temple which Danaos burnt when he
invaded those lands; for they were warned by his oracle to institute
these games. But king Ericthonius first instituted games to him in
Attica, and not to him only, but also to Minerva, in which games the
olive was given as the prize to the victors, because they relate that
Minerva was the discoverer of that fruit, as Liber was of the grape. In
those years Europa is alleged to have been carried off by Xanthus king
of Crete (to whom we find some give another name), and to have borne
him Rhadamanthus, Sarpedon, and Minos, who are more commonly reported
to have been the sons of Jupiter by the same woman. Now those who
worship such gods regard what we have said about Xanthus king of Crete
as true history; but this about Jupiter, which the poets sing, the
theatres applaud, and the people celebrate, as empty fable got up as a
reason for games to appease the deities, even with the false ascription
of crimes to them. In those times Hercules was held in honour in
Tyre, but that was not the same one as he whom we spoke of above. In
the more secret history there are said to have been several who were
called Father Liber and Hercules. This Hercules, whose great deeds are
reckoned as twelve (not including the slaughter of Antæus the African,
because that affair pertains to another Hercules), is declared in their
books to have burned himself on Mount Œta, because he was not able, by
that strength with which he had subdued monsters, to endure the disease
under which he languished. At that time the king, or rather tyrant
Busiris, who is alleged to have been the son of Neptune by Libya the
daughter of Epaphus, is said to have offered up his guests in sacrifice
to the gods. Now it must not be believed that Neptune committed this
adultery, lest the gods should be criminated; yet such things must be
ascribed to them by the poets and in the theatres, that they may be
pleased with them. Vulcan and Minerva are said to have been the parents
of Ericthonius king of Athens, in whose last years Joshua the son of
Nun is found to have died. But since they will have it that Minerva
is a virgin, they say that Vulcan, being disturbed in the struggle
between them, poured out his seed into the earth, and on that account
the man born of it received that name; for in the Greek language ἔρις
is "strife," and χθὼν "earth," of which two words Ericthonius is a
compound. Yet it must be admitted that the more learned disprove
and disown such things concerning their gods, and declare that this
fabulous belief originated in the fact that in the temple at Athens,
which Vulcan and Minerva had in common, a boy who had been exposed was
found wrapped up in the coils of a dragon, which signified that he
would become great, and, as his parents were unknown, he was called
the son of Vulcan and Minerva, because they had the temple in common.
Yet that fable accounts for the origin of his name better than this
history. But what does it matter to us? Let the one in books that speak
the truth edify religious men, and the other in lying fables delight
impure demons. Yet these religious men worship them as gods. Still,
while they deny these things concerning them, they cannot clear them of
all crime, because at their demand they exhibit plays in which the very
things they wisely deny are basely done, and the gods are appeased by
these false and base things. Now, even although the play celebrates an
unreal crime of the gods, yet to delight in the ascription of an unreal
crime is a real one.


    13. _What fables were invented at the time when judges began to
                          rule the Hebrews._

After the death of Joshua the son of Nun, the people of God had judges,
in whose times they were alternately humbled by afflictions on account
of their sins, and consoled by prosperity through the compassion of
God. In those times were invented the fables about Triptolemus, who,
at the command of Ceres, borne by winged snakes, bestowed corn on
the needy lands in flying over them; about that beast the Minotaur,
which was shut up in the Labyrinth, from which men who entered its
inextricable mazes could find no exit; about the Centaurs, whose form
was a compound of horse and man; about Cerberus, the three-headed dog
of hell; about Phryxus and his sister Hellas, who fled, borne by a
winged ram; about the Gorgon, whose hair was composed of serpents,
and who turned those who looked on her into stone; about Bellerophon,
who was carried by a winged horse called Pegasus; about Amphion, who
charmed and attracted the stones by the sweetness of his harp; about
the artificer Dædalus and his son Icarus, who flew on wings they had
fitted on; about Œdipus, who compelled a certain four-footed monster
with a human face, called a sphynx, to destroy herself by casting
herself headlong, having solved the riddle she was wont to propose
as insoluble; about Antæus, who was the son of the earth, for which
reason, on falling on the earth, he was wont to rise up stronger, whom
Hercules slew; and perhaps there are others which I have forgotten.
These fables, easily found in histories containing a true account of
events, bring us down to the Trojan war, at which Marcus Varro has
closed his second book about the race of the Roman people; and they
are so skilfully invented by men as to involve no scandal to the gods.
But whoever have pretended as to Jupiter's rape of Ganymede, a very
beautiful boy, that king Tantalus committed the crime, and the fable
ascribed it to Jupiter; or as to his impregnating Danäe as a golden
shower, that it means that the woman's virtue was corrupted by gold:
whether these things were really done or only fabled in those days,
or were really done by others and falsely ascribed to Jupiter, it is
impossible to tell how much wickedness must have been taken for granted
in men's hearts that they should be thought able to listen to such lies
with patience. And yet they willingly accepted them, when, indeed, the
more devotedly they worshipped Jupiter, they ought the more severely
to have punished those who durst say such things of him. But they not
only were not angry at those who invented these things, but were afraid
that the gods would be angry at them if they did not act such fictions
even in the theatres. In those times Latona bore Apollo, not him of
whose oracle we have spoken above as so often consulted, but him who is
said, along with Hercules, to have fed the flocks of king Admetus; yet
he was so believed to be a god, that very many, indeed almost all, have
believed him to be the selfsame Apollo. Then also Father Liber made
war in India, and led in his army many women called Bacchæ, who were
notable not so much for valour as for fury. Some, indeed, write that
this Liber was both conquered and bound; and some that he was slain
in Persia, even telling where he was buried; and yet in his name, as
that of a god, the unclean demons have instituted the sacred, or rather
the sacrilegious, Bacchanalia, of the outrageous vileness of which the
senate, after many years, became so much ashamed as to prohibit them in
the city of Rome. Men believed that in those times Perseus and his wife
Andromeda were raised into heaven after their death, so that they were
not ashamed or afraid to mark out their images by constellations, and
call them by their names.


                    14. _Of the theological poets._

During the same period of time arose the poets, who were also called
_theologues_, because they made hymns about the gods; yet about such
gods as, although great men, were yet but men, or the elements of
this world which the true God made, or creatures who were ordained as
principalities and powers according to the will of the Creator and
their own merit. And if, among much that was vain and false, they
sang anything of the one true God, yet, by worshipping Him along
with others who are not gods, and showing them the service that is
due to Him alone, they did not serve Him at all rightly; and even
such poets as Orpheus, Musæus, and Linus, were unable to abstain
from dishonouring their gods by fables. But yet these theologues
worshipped the gods, and were not worshipped as gods, although the
city of the ungodly is wont, I know not how, to set Orpheus over
the sacred, or rather sacrilegious, rites of hell. The wife of king
Athamas, who was called Ino, and her son Melicertes, perished by
throwing themselves into the sea, and were, according to popular
belief, reckoned among the gods, like other men of the same times,
[among whom were] Castor and Pollux. The Greeks, indeed, called her
who was the mother of Melicertes, Leucothea, the Latins Matuta; but
both thought her a goddess.


    15. _Of the fall of the kingdom of Argos, when Picus the son of
       Saturn first received his father's kingdom of Laurentum._

During those times the kingdom of Argos came to an end, being
transferred to Mycene, from which Agamemnon came, and the kingdom of
Laurentum arose, of which Picus son of Saturn was the first king,
when the woman Deborah judged the Hebrews; but it was the Spirit
of God who used her as His agent, for she was also a prophetess,
although her prophecy is so obscure that we could not demonstrate,
without a long discussion, that it was uttered concerning Christ.
Now the Laurentes already reigned in Italy, from whom the origin
of the Roman people is quite evidently derived after the Greeks;
yet the kingdom of Assyria still lasted, in which Lampares was the
twenty-third king when Picus first began to reign at Laurentum. The
worshippers of such gods may see what they are to think of Saturn the
father of Picus, who deny that he was a man; of whom some also have
written that he himself reigned in Italy before Picus his son; and
Virgil in his well-known book says,--

          "That race indocile, and through mountains high
           Dispersed, he settled, and endowed with laws,
           And named their country Latium, because
           Latent within their coasts he dwelt secure.
           Tradition says the golden ages pure
           Began when he was king."[503]

But they regard these as poetic fancies, and assert that the father
of Picus was Sterces rather, and relate that, being a most skilful
husbandman, he discovered that the fields could be fertilized by the
dung of animals, which is called _stercus_ from his name. Some say
he was called Stercutius. But for whatever reason they chose to call
him Saturn, it is yet certain they made this Sterces or Stercutius
a god for his merit in agriculture; and they likewise received into
the number of these gods Picus his son, whom they affirm to have
been a famous augur and warrior. Picus begot Faunus, the second king
of Laurentum; and he too is, or was, a god with them. These divine
honours they gave to dead men before the Trojan war.


  16. _Of Diomede, who after the destruction of Troy was placed among
      the gods, while his companions are said to have been changed
      into birds._

Troy was overthrown, and its destruction was everywhere sung and made
well known even to boys; for it was signally published and spread
abroad, both by its own greatness and by writers of excellent style.
And this was done in the reign of Latinus the son of Faunus, from
whom the kingdom began to be called Latium instead of Laurentum. The
victorious Greeks, on leaving Troy destroyed and returning to their own
countries, were torn and crushed by divers and horrible calamities.
Yet even from among them they increased the number of their gods, for
they made Diomede a god. They allege that his return home was prevented
by a divinely imposed punishment, and they prove, not by fabulous and
poetic falsehood, but by historic attestation, that his companions
were turned into birds. Yet they think that, even although he was made
a god, he could neither restore them to the human form by his own
power, nor yet obtain it from Jupiter his king, as a favour granted to
a new inhabitant of heaven. They also say that his temple is in the
island of Diomedæa, not far from Mount Garganus in Apulia, and that
these birds fly round about this temple, and worship in it with such
wonderful obedience, that they fill their beaks with water and sprinkle
it; and if Greeks, or those born of the Greek race, come there, they
are not only still, but fly to meet them; but if they are foreigners,
they fly up at their heads, and wound them with such severe strokes as
even to kill them. For they are said to be well enough armed for these
combats with their hard and large beaks.


    17. _What Varro says of the incredible transformations of men._

In support of this story, Varro relates others no less incredible
about that most famous sorceress Circe, who changed the companions
of Ulysses into beasts, and about the Arcadians, who, by lot, swam
across a certain pool, and were turned into wolves there, and lived
in the deserts of that region with wild beasts like themselves.
But if they never fed on human flesh for nine years, they were
restored to the human form on swimming back again through the same
pool. Finally, he expressly names one Demænetus, who, on tasting a
boy offered up in sacrifice by the Arcadians to their god Lycæus
according to their custom, was changed into a wolf, and, being
restored to his proper form in the tenth year, trained himself as
a pugilist, and was victorious at the Olympic games. And the same
historian thinks that the epithet Lycæus was applied in Arcadia to
Pan and Jupiter for no other reason than this metamorphosis of men
into wolves, because it was thought it could not be wrought except by
a divine power. For a wolf is called in Greek λυκὸς, from which the
name Lycæus appears to be formed. He says also that the Roman Luperci
were as it were sprung of the seed of these mysteries.


   18. _What we should believe concerning the transformations which
           seem to happen to men through the art of demons._

Perhaps our readers expect us to say something about this so great
delusion wrought by the demons; and what shall we say but that men
must fly out of the midst of Babylon?[504] For this prophetic precept
is to be understood spiritually in this sense, that by going forward
in the living God, by the steps of faith, which worketh by love,
we must flee out of the city of this world, which is altogether a
society of ungodly angels and men. Yea, the greater we see the power
of the demons to be in these depths, so much the more tenaciously
must we cleave to the Mediator through whom we ascend from these
lowest to the highest places. For if we should say these things are
not to be credited, there are not wanting even now some who would
affirm that they had either heard on the best authority, or even
themselves experienced, something of that kind. Indeed we ourselves,
when in Italy, heard such things about a certain region there, where
landladies of inns, imbued with these wicked arts, were said to be
in the habit of giving to such travellers as they chose, or could
manage, something in a piece of cheese by which they were changed on
the spot into beasts of burden, and carried whatever was necessary,
and were restored to their own form when the work was done. Yet their
mind did not become bestial, but remained rational and human, just
as Apuleius, in the books he wrote with the title of _The Golden
Ass_, has told, or feigned, that it happened to his own self that, on
taking poison, he became an ass, while retaining his human mind.

These things are either false, or so extraordinary as to be with
good reason disbelieved. But it is to be most firmly believed that
Almighty God can do whatever He pleases, whether in punishing or
favouring, and that the demons can accomplish nothing by their
natural power (for their created being is itself angelic, although
made malign by their own fault), except what He may permit, whose
judgments are often hidden, but never unrighteous. And indeed
the demons, if they really do such things as these on which this
discussion turns, do not create real substances, but only change
the appearance of things created by the true God so as to make them
seem to be what they are not. I cannot therefore believe that even
the body, much less the mind, can really be changed into bestial
forms and lineaments by any reason, art, or power of the demons; but
the phantasm of a man, which even in thought or dreams goes through
innumerable changes, may, when the man's senses are laid asleep or
overpowered, be presented to the senses of others in a corporeal
form, in some indescribable way unknown to me, so that men's bodies
themselves may lie somewhere, alive, indeed, yet with their senses
locked up much more heavily and firmly than by sleep, while that
phantasm, as it were embodied in the shape of some animal, may appear
to the senses of others, and may even seem to the man himself to be
changed, just as he may seem to himself in sleep to be so changed,
and to bear burdens; and these burdens, if they are real substances,
are borne by the demons, that men may be deceived by beholding at the
same time the real substance of the burdens and the simulated bodies
of the beasts of burden. For a certain man called Præstantius used
to tell that it had happened to his father in his own house, that
he took that poison in a piece of cheese, and lay in his bed as if
sleeping, yet could by no means be aroused. But he said that after a
few days he as it were woke up and related the things he had suffered
as if they had been dreams, namely, that he had been made a sumpter
horse, and, along with other beasts of burden, had carried provisions
for the soldiers of what is called the Rhœtian Legion, because it was
sent to Rhœtia. And all this was found to have taken place just as
he told, yet it had seemed to him to be his own dream. And another
man declared that in his own house at night, before he slept, he
saw a certain philosopher, whom he knew very well, come to him and
explain to him some things in the Platonic philosophy which he had
previously declined to explain when asked. And when he had asked this
philosopher why he did in his house what he had refused to do at
home, he said, "I did not do it, but I dreamed I had done it." And
thus what the one saw when sleeping was shown to the other when awake
by a phantasmal image.

These things have not come to us from persons we might deem unworthy
of credit, but from informants we could not suppose to be deceiving
us. Therefore what men say and have committed to writing about the
Arcadians being often changed into wolves by the Arcadian gods, or
demons rather, and what is told in song about Circe transforming the
companions of Ulysses,[505] if they were really done, may, in my
opinion, have been done in the way I have said. As for Diomede's
birds, since their race is alleged to have been perpetuated by
constant propagation, I believe they were not made through the
metamorphosis of men, but were slyly substituted for them on their
removal, just as the hind was for Iphigenia, the daughter of king
Agamemnon. For juggleries of this kind could not be difficult for the
demons if permitted by the judgment of God; and since that virgin was
afterward found alive, it is easy to see that a hind had been slyly
substituted for her. But because the companions of Diomede were of
a sudden nowhere to be seen, and afterward could nowhere be found,
being destroyed by bad avenging angels, they were believed to have
been changed into those birds, which were secretly brought there from
other places where such birds were, and suddenly substituted for them
by fraud. But that they bring water in their beaks and sprinkle it
on the temple of Diomede, and that they fawn on men of Greek race
and persecute aliens, is no wonderful thing to be done by the inward
influence of the demons, whose interest it is to persuade men that
Diomede was made a god, and thus to beguile them into worshipping
many false gods, to the great dishonour of the true God; and to
serve dead men, who even in their lifetime did not truly live, with
temples, altars, sacrifices, and priests, all which, when of the
right kind, are due only to the one living and true God.


    19. _That Æneas came into Italy when Abdon the judge ruled over
                             the Hebrews._

After the capture and destruction of Troy, Æneas, with twenty ships
laden with the Trojan relics, came into Italy, when Latinus reigned
there, Menestheus in Athens, Polyphidos in Sicyon, and Tautanos
in Assyria, and Abdon was judge of the Hebrews. On the death of
Latinus, Æneas reigned three years, the same kings continuing in the
above-named places, except that Pelasgus was now king in Sicyon, and
Sampson was judge of the Hebrews, who is thought to be Hercules,
because of his wonderful strength. Now the Latins made Æneas one
of their gods, because at his death he was nowhere to be found.
The Sabines also placed among the gods their first king, Sancus,
[Sangus], or Sanctus, as some call him. At that time Codrus king of
Athens exposed himself _incognito_ to be slain by the Peloponnesian
foes of that city, and so was slain. In this way, they say, he
delivered his country. For the Peloponnesians had received a response
from the oracle, that they should overcome the Athenians only on
condition that they did not slay their king. Therefore he deceived
them by appearing in a poor man's dress, and provoking them, by
quarrelling, to murder him. Whence Virgil says, "Or the quarrels of
Codrus."[506] And the Athenians worshipped this man as a god with
sacrificial honours. The fourth king of the Latins was Silvius the
son of Æneas, not by Creüsa, of whom Ascanius the third king was
born, but by Lavinia the daughter of Latinus, and he is said to
have been his posthumous child. Oneus was the twenty-ninth king of
Assyria, Melanthus the sixteenth of the Athenians, and Eli the priest
was judge of the Hebrews; and the kingdom of Sicyon then came to an
end, after lasting, it is said, for nine hundred and fifty-nine years.


   20. _Of the succession of the line of kings among the Israelites
                    after the times of the judges._

While these kings reigned in the places mentioned, the period of the
judges being ended, the kingdom of Israel next began with king Saul,
when Samuel the prophet lived. At that date those Latin kings began
who were surnamed Silvii, having that surname, in addition to their
proper name, from their predecessor, that son of Æneas who was called
Silvius; just as, long afterward, the successors of Cæsar Augustus
were surnamed Cæsars. Saul being rejected, so that none of his issue
should reign, on his death David succeeded him in the kingdom, after
he had reigned forty years. Then the Athenians ceased to have kings
after the death of Codrus, and began to have a magistracy to rule
the republic. After David, who also reigned forty years, his son
Solomon was king of Israel, who built that most noble temple of God
at Jerusalem. In his time Alba was built among the Latins, from which
thereafter the kings began to be styled kings not of the Latins, but
of the Albans, although in the same Latium. Solomon was succeeded
by his son Rehoboam, under whom that people was divided into two
kingdoms, and its separate parts began to have separate kings.


      21. _Of the kings of Latium, the first and twelfth of whom,
                 Æneas and Aventinus, were made gods._

After Æneas, whom they deified, Latium had eleven kings, none of
whom was deified. But Aventinus, who was the twelfth after Æneas,
having been laid low in war, and buried in that hill still called
by his name, was added to the number of such gods as they made for
themselves. Some, indeed, were unwilling to write that he was slain
in battle, but said he was nowhere to be found, and that it was not
from his name, but from the alighting of birds, that hill was called
Aventinus.[507] After this no god was made in Latium except Romulus
the founder of Rome. But two kings are found between these two, the
first of whom I shall describe in the Virgilian verse:

          "Next came that Procas, glory of the Trojan race."[508]

That greatest of all kingdoms, the Assyrian, had its long duration
brought to a close in his time, the time of Rome's birth drawing
nigh. For the Assyrian empire was transferred to the Medes after
nearly thirteen hundred and five years, if we include the reign of
Belus, who begot Ninus, and, content with a small kingdom, was the
first king there. Now Procas reigned before Amulius. And Amulius
had made his brother Numitor's daughter, Rhea by name, who was also
called Ilia, a vestal virgin, who conceived twin sons by Mars, as
they will have it, in that way honouring or excusing her adultery,
adding as a proof that a she-wolf nursed the infants when exposed.
For they think this kind of beast belongs to Mars, so that the
she-wolf is believed to have given her teats to the infants, because
she knew they were the sons of Mars her lord; although there are not
wanting persons who say that when the crying babes lay exposed, they
were first of all picked up by I know not what harlot, and sucked
her breasts first (now harlots were called _lupæ_, she-wolves, from
which their vile abodes are even yet called _lupanaria_), and that
afterwards they came into the hands of the shepherd Faustulus, and
were nursed by Acca his wife. Yet what wonder is it, if, to rebuke
the king who had cruelly ordered them to be thrown into the water,
God was pleased, after divinely delivering them from the water, to
succour, by means of a wild beast giving milk, these infants by whom
so great a city was to be founded? Amulius was succeeded in the
Latian kingdom by his brother Numitor, the grandfather of Romulus;
and Rome was founded in the first year of this Numitor, who from that
time reigned along with his grandson Romulus.


    22. _That Rome was founded when the Assyrian kingdom perished,
               at which time Hezekiah reigned in Judah._

To be brief, the city of Rome was founded, like another Babylon, and as
it were the daughter of the former Babylon, by which God was pleased
to conquer the whole world, and subdue it far and wide by bringing it
into one fellowship of government and laws. For there were already
powerful and brave peoples and nations trained to arms, who did not
easily yield, and whose subjugation necessarily involved great danger
and destruction as well as great and horrible labour. For when the
Assyrian kingdom subdued almost all Asia, although this was done by
fighting, yet the wars could not be very fierce or difficult, because
the nations were as yet untrained to resist, and neither so many nor
so great as afterward; forasmuch as, after that greatest and indeed
universal flood, when only eight men escaped in Noah's ark, not much
more than a thousand years had passed when Ninus subdued all Asia
with the exception of India. But Rome did not with the same quickness
and facility wholly subdue all those nations of the east and west
which we see brought under the Roman empire, because, in its gradual
increase, in whatever direction it was extended, it found them strong
and warlike. At the time when Rome was founded, then, the people of
Israel had been in the land of promise seven hundred and eighteen
years. Of these years twenty-seven belong to Joshua the son of Nun, and
after that three hundred and twenty-nine to the period of the judges.
But from the time when the kings began to reign there, three hundred
and sixty-two years had passed. And at that time there was a king in
Judah called Ahaz, or, as others compute, Hezekiah his successor, the
best and most pious king, who it is admitted reigned in the times of
Romulus. And in that part of the Hebrew nation called Israel, Hoshea
had begun to reign.


  23. _Of the Erythræan sibyl, who is known to have sung many things
           about Christ more plainly than the other sibyls._

Some say the Erythræan sibyl prophesied at this time. Now Varro
declares there were many sibyls, and not merely one. This sibyl of
Erythræ certainly wrote some things concerning Christ which are
quite manifest, and we first read them in the Latin tongue in verses
of bad Latin, and unrhythmical, through the unskilfulness, as we
afterward learned, of some interpreter unknown to me. For Flaccianus,
a very famous man, who was also a proconsul, a man of most ready
eloquence and much learning, when we were speaking about Christ,
produced a Greek manuscript, saying that it was the prophecies of
the Erythræan sibyl, in which he pointed out a certain passage which
had the initial letters of the lines so arranged that these words
could be read in them: Ἰησοῦς Χριστὸς Θεοῦ υἱὸς σωτήρ, which mean,
"Jesus Christ the Son of God, the Saviour." And these verses, of
which the initial letters yield that meaning, contain what follows as
translated by some one into Latin in good rhythm:

          Ι Judgment shall moisten the earth with the sweat of its
              standard,
          Η Ever enduring, behold the King shall come through the ages,
          Σ Sent to be here in the flesh, and Judge at the last of the
              world.
          Ο O God, the believing and faithless alike shall behold Thee
          Υ Uplifted with saints, when at last the ages are ended.
          Σ Sisted before Him are souls in the flesh for His judgment.

          Χ Hid in thick vapours, the while desolate lieth the earth.
          Ρ Rejected by men are the idols and long hidden treasures;
          Ε Earth is consumed by the fire, and it searcheth the ocean
              and heaven;
          Ι Issuing forth, it destroyeth the terrible portals of hell.
          Σ Saints in their body and soul freedom and light shall
              inherit;
          Τ Those who are guilty shall burn in fire and brimstone for
              ever.
          Ο Occult actions revealing, each one shall publish his
              secrets;
          Σ Secrets of every man's heart God shall reveal in the light.

          Θ Then shall be weeping and wailing, yea; and gnashing of
               teeth;
          Ε Eclipsed is the sun, and silenced the stars in their chorus.
          Ο Over and gone is the splendour of moonlight, melted the
               heaven.
          Υ Uplifted by Him are the valleys, and cast down the
               mountains.

          Υ Utterly gone among men are distinctions of lofty and lowly.
          Ι Into the plains rush the hills, the skies and oceans are
               mingled.
          Ο Oh, what an end of all things! earth broken in pieces shall
               perish;
          Σ Swelling together at once shall the waters and flames flow
               in rivers.

          Σ Sounding the archangel's trumpet shall peal down from
               heaven,
          Ω Over the wicked who groan in their guilt and their manifold
               sorrows.
          Τ Trembling, the earth shall be opened, revealing chaos and
               hell.
          Η Every king before God shall stand in that day to be judged.
          Ρ Rivers of fire and of brimstone shall fall from the heavens.

In these Latin verses the meaning of the Greek is correctly given,
although not in the exact order of the lines as connected with the
initial letters; for in three of them, the fifth, eighteenth, and
nineteenth, where the Greek letter Υ occurs, Latin words could not
be found beginning with the corresponding letter, and yielding a
suitable meaning. So that, if we note down together the initial
letters of all the lines in our Latin translation except those
three in which we retain the letter Υ in the proper place, they
will express in five Greek words this meaning, "Jesus Christ the
Son of God, the Saviour." And the verses are twenty-seven, which is
the cube of three. For three times three are nine; and nine itself,
if tripled, so as to rise from the superficial square to the cube,
comes to twenty-seven. But if you join the initial letters of these
five Greek words, Ἰησοῦς Χριστὸς Θεοῦ υἱὸς σωτήρ, which mean, "Jesus
Christ the Son of God, the Saviour," they will make the word ἰχθὺς,
that is, "fish," in which word Christ is mystically understood,
because He was able to live, that is, to exist, without sin in the
abyss of this mortality as in the depth of waters.

But this sibyl, whether she is the Erythræan, or, as some rather
believe, the Cumæan, in her whole poem, of which this is a very small
portion, not only has nothing that can relate to the worship of the
false or feigned gods, but rather speaks against them and their
worshippers in such a way that we might even think she ought to be
reckoned among those who belong to the city of God. Lactantius also
inserted in his work the prophecies about Christ of a certain sibyl,
he does not say which. But I have thought fit to combine in a single
extract, which may seem long, what he has set down in many short
quotations. She says, "Afterward He shall come into the injurious
hands of the unbelieving, and they will give God buffets with profane
hands, and with impure mouth will spit out envenomed spittle; but He
will with simplicity yield His holy back to stripes. And He will
hold His peace when struck with the fist, that no one may find out
what word, or whence, He comes to speak to hell; and He shall be
crowned with a crown of thorns. And they gave Him gall for meat, and
vinegar for His thirst: they will spread this table of inhospitality.
For thou thyself, being foolish, hast not understood thy God,
deluding the minds of mortals, but hast both crowned Him with thorns
and mingled for Him bitter gall. But the veil of the temple shall be
rent; and at midday it shall be darker than night for three hours.
And He shall die the death, taking sleep for three days; and then
returning from hell, He first shall come to the light, the beginning
of the resurrection being shown to the recalled." Lactantius made
use of these sibylline testimonies, introducing them bit by bit in
the course of his discussion as the things he intended to prove
seemed to require, and we have set them down in one connected series,
uninterrupted by comment, only taking care to mark them by capitals,
if only the transcribers do not neglect to preserve them hereafter.
Some writers, indeed, say that the Erythræan sibyl was not in the
time of Romulus, but of the Trojan war.


  24. _That the seven sages flourished in the reign of Romulus, when
      the ten tribes which were called Israel were led into captivity
      by the Chaldeans, and Romulus, when dead, had divine honours
      conferred on him._

While Romulus reigned, Thales the Milesian is said to have lived, being
one of the seven sages, who succeeded the theological poets, of whom
Orpheus was the most renowned, and were called Σοφοί, that is, sages.
During that time the ten tribes, which on the division of the people
were called Israel, were conquered by the Chaldeans and led captive
into their lands, while the two tribes which were called Judah, and
had the seat of their kingdom in Jerusalem, remained in the land of
Judea. As Romulus, when dead, could nowhere be found, the Romans, as
is everywhere notorious, placed him among the gods,--a thing which
by that time had already ceased to be done, and which was not done
afterwards till the time of the Cæsars, and then not through error,
but in flattery; so that Cicero ascribes great praises to Romulus,
because he merited such honours not in rude and unlearned times, when
men were easily deceived, but in times already polished and learned,
although the subtle and acute loquacity of the philosophers had not
yet culminated. But although the later times did not deify dead men,
still they did not cease to hold and worship as gods those deified of
old; nay, by images, which the ancients never had, they even increased
the allurements of vain and impious superstition, the unclean demons
effecting this in their heart, and also deceiving them by lying
oracles, so that even the fabulous crimes of the gods, which were not
once imagined by a more polite age, were yet basely acted in the plays
in honour of these same false deities. Numa reigned after Romulus; and
although he had thought that Rome would be better defended the more
gods there were, yet on his death he himself was not counted worthy
of a place among them, as if it were supposed that he had so crowded
heaven that a place could not be found for him there. They report that
the Samian sibyl lived while he reigned at Rome, and when Manasseh
began to reign over the Hebrews,--an impious king, by whom the prophet
Isaiah is said to have been slain.


  25. _What philosophers were famous when Tarquinius Priscus reigned
      over the Romans, and Zedekiah over the Hebrews, when Jerusalem
      was taken and the temple overthrown._

When Zedekiah reigned over the Hebrews, and Tarquinius Priscus,
the successor of Ancus Martius, over the Romans, the Jewish people
was led captive into Babylon, Jerusalem and the temple built by
Solomon being overthrown. For the prophets, in chiding them for
their iniquity and impiety, predicted that these things should come
to pass, especially Jeremiah, who even stated the number of years.
Pittacus of Mitylene, another of the sages, is reported to have lived
at that time. And Eusebius writes that, while the people of God were
held captive in Babylon, the five other sages lived, who must be
added to Thales, whom we mentioned above, and Pittacus, in order to
make up the seven. These are Solon of Athens, Chilo of Lacedæmon,
Periander of Corinth, Cleobulus of Lindus, and Bias of Priene. These
flourished after the theological poets, and were called sages,
because they excelled other men in a certain laudable line of life,
and summed up some moral precepts in epigrammatic sayings. But they
left posterity no literary monuments, except that Solon is alleged
to have given certain laws to the Athenians, and Thales was a natural
philosopher, and left books of his doctrine in short proverbs. In
that time of the Jewish captivity, Anaximander, Anaximenes, and
Xenophanes, the natural philosophers, flourished. Pythagoras also
lived then, and at this time the name philosopher was first used.


  26. _That at the time when the captivity of the Jews was brought
      to an end, on the completion of seventy years, the Romans also
      were freed from kingly rule._

At this time, Cyrus king of Persia, who also ruled the Chaldeans and
Assyrians, having somewhat relaxed the captivity of the Jews, made
fifty thousand of them return in order to rebuild the temple. They only
began the first foundations and built the altar; but, owing to hostile
invasions, they were unable to go on, and the work was put off to the
time of Darius. During the same time also those things were done which
are written in the book of Judith, which, indeed, the Jews are said not
to have received into the canon of the Scriptures. Under Darius king
of Persia, then, on the completion of the seventy years predicted by
Jeremiah the prophet, the captivity of the Jews was brought to an end,
and they were restored to liberty. Tarquin then reigned as the seventh
king of the Romans. On his expulsion, they also began to be free from
the rule of their kings. Down to this time the people of Israel had
prophets; but, although they were numerous, the canonical writings of
only a few of them have been preserved among the Jews and among us. In
closing the previous book, I promised to set down something in this one
about them, and I shall now do so.


  27. _Of the times of the prophets whose oracles are contained in
      books, and who sang many things about the call of the Gentiles
      at the time when the Roman kingdom began and the Assyrian came
      to an end._

In order that we may be able to consider these times, let us go back a
little to earlier times. At the beginning of the book of the prophet
Hosea, who is placed first of twelve, it is written, "The word of the
Lord which came to Hosea in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and
Hezekiah, kings of Judah."[509] Amos also writes that he prophesied
in the days of Uzziah, and adds the name of Jeroboam king of Israel,
who lived at the same time.[510] Isaiah the son of Amos--either the
above-named prophet, or, as is rather affirmed, another who was not a
prophet, but was called by the same name--also puts at the head of his
book these four kings named by Hosea, saying by way of preface that
he prophesied in their days.[511] Micah also names the same times as
those of his prophecy, after the days of Uzziah;[512] for he names the
same three kings as Hosea named,--Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah. We find
from their own writings that these men prophesied contemporaneously.
To these are added Jonah in the reign of Uzziah, and Joel in that of
Jotham, who succeeded Uzziah. But we can find the date of these two
prophets in the chronicles,[513] not in their own writings, for they
say nothing about it themselves. Now these days extend from Procas king
of the Latins, or his predecessor Aventinus, down to Romulus king of
the Romans, or even to the beginning of the reign of his successor,
Numa Pompilius. Hezekiah king of Judah certainly reigned till then.
So that thus these fountains of prophecy, as I may call them, burst
forth at once during those times when the Assyrian kingdom failed and
the Roman began; so that, just as in the first period of the Assyrian
kingdom Abraham arose, to whom the most distinct promises were made
that all nations should be blessed in his seed, so at the beginning
of the western Babylon, in the time of whose government Christ was to
come in whom these promises were to be fulfilled, the oracles of the
prophets were given not only in spoken but in written words, for a
testimony that so great a thing should come to pass. For although the
people of Israel hardly ever lacked prophets from the time when they
began to have kings, these were only for their own use, not for that of
the nations. But when the more manifestly prophetic Scripture began to
be formed, which was to benefit the nations too, it was fitting that it
should begin when this city was founded which was to rule the nations.


   28. _Of the things pertaining to the gospel of Christ which Hosea
                         and Amos prophesied._

The prophet Hosea speaks so very profoundly that it is laborious
work to penetrate his meaning. But, according to promise, we must
insert something from his book. He says, "And it shall come to pass
that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people,
there they shall be called the sons of the living God."[514] Even the
apostles understood this as a prophetic testimony of the calling of
the nations who did not formerly belong to God; and because this same
people of the Gentiles is itself spiritually among the children of
Abraham, and for that reason is rightly called Israel, therefore he
goes on to say, "And the children of Judah and the children of Israel
shall be gathered together in one, and shall appoint themselves
one headship, and shall ascend from the earth."[515] We should but
weaken the savour of this prophetic oracle if we set ourselves
to expound it. Let the reader but call to mind that corner-stone
and those two walls of partition, the one of the Jews, the other
of the Gentiles,[516] and he will recognise them, the one under
the term sons of Judah, the other as sons of Israel, supporting
themselves by one and the same headship, and ascending from the
earth. But that those carnal Israelites who are now unwilling to
believe in Christ shall afterward believe, that is, their children
shall (for they themselves, of course, shall go to their own place
by dying), this same prophet testifies, saying, "For the children
of Israel shall abide many days without a king, without a prince,
without a sacrifice, without an altar, without a priesthood, without
manifestations."[517] Who does not see that the Jews are now thus?
But let us hear what he adds: "And afterward shall the children of
Israel return, and seek the Lord their God, and David their king,
and shall be amazed at the Lord and at His goodness in the latter
days."[518] Nothing is clearer than this prophecy, in which by David,
as distinguished by the title of king, Christ is to be understood,
"who is made," as the apostle says, "of the seed of David according
to the flesh."[519] This prophet has also foretold the resurrection
of Christ on the third day, as it behoved to be foretold, with
prophetic loftiness, when he says, "He will heal us after two days,
and in the third day we shall rise again."[520] In agreement with
this the apostle says to us, "If ye be risen with Christ, seek those
things which are above."[521] Amos also prophesies thus concerning
such things: "Prepare thee, that thou mayst invoke thy God, O Israel;
for lo, I am binding the thunder, and creating the spirit, and
announcing to men their Christ."[522] And in another place he says,
"In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen,
and build up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins,
and will build them up again as in the days of old: that the residue
of men may inquire for me, and all the nations upon whom my name is
invoked, saith the Lord that doeth this."[523]


    29. _What things are predicted by Isaiah concerning Christ and
                             the Church._

The prophecy of Isaiah is not in the book of the twelve prophets, who
are called the minor from the brevity of their writings, as compared
with those who are called the greater prophets because they published
larger volumes. Isaiah belongs to the latter, yet I connect him
with the two above named, because he prophesied at the same time.
Isaiah, then, together with his rebukes of wickedness, precepts of
righteousness, and predictions of evil, also prophesied much more
than the rest about Christ and the Church, that is, about the King
and that city which he founded; so that some say he should be called
an evangelist rather than a prophet. But, in order to finish this
work, I quote only one out of many in this place. Speaking in the
person of the Father, he says, "Behold, my servant shall understand,
and shall be exalted and glorified very much. As many shall be
astonished at Thee."[524] This is about Christ.

But let us now hear what follows about the Church. He says, "Rejoice,
O barren, thou that barest not; break forth and cry, thou that
didst not travail with child: for many more are the children of
the desolate than of her that has an husband."[525] But these must
suffice; and some things in them ought to be expounded; yet I think
those parts sufficient which are so plain that even enemies must be
compelled against their will to understand them.


  30. _What Micah, Jonah, and Joel prophesied in accordance with the
                           New Testament._

The prophet Micah, representing Christ under the figure of a great
mountain, speaks thus: "It shall come to pass in the last days, that
the manifested mountain of the Lord shall be prepared on the tops of
the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people
shall hasten unto it. Many nations shall go, and shall say, Come, let
us go up into the mountain of the Lord, and into the house of the God
of Jacob; and He will show us His way, and we will go in His paths:
for out of Zion shall proceed the law, and the word of the Lord
out of Jerusalem. And He shall judge among many people, and rebuke
strong nations afar off."[526] This prophet predicts the very place
in which Christ was born, saying, "And thou, Bethlehem, of the house
of Ephratah, art the least that can be reckoned among the thousands
of Judah; out of thee shall come forth unto me a leader, to be the
prince in Israel; and His going forth is from the beginning, even
from the days of eternity. Therefore will He give them [up] even
until the time when she that travaileth shall bring forth; and the
remnant of His brethren shall be converted to the sons of Israel. And
He shall stand, and see, and feed His flock in the strength of the
Lord, and in the dignity of the name of the Lord His God: for now
shall He be magnified even to the utmost of the earth."[527]

The prophet Jonah, not so much by speech as by his own painful
experience, prophesied Christ's death and resurrection much more
clearly than if he had proclaimed them with his voice. For why was he
taken into the whale's belly and restored on the third day, but that
he might be a sign that Christ should return from the depths of hell
on the third day?

I should be obliged to use many words in explaining all that Joel
prophesies in order to make clear those that pertain to Christ and
the Church. But there is one passage I must not pass by, which the
apostles also quoted when the Holy Spirit came down from above on
the assembled believers according to Christ's promise. He says, "And
it shall come to pass after these things, that I will pour out
my Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall
prophesy, and your old men shall dream, and your young men shall see
visions: and even on my servants and mine handmaids in those days
will I pour out my Spirit."[528]


     31. _Of the predictions concerning the salvation of the world
             in Christ, in Obadiah, Nahum, and Habakkuk._

The date of three of the minor prophets, Obadiah, Nahum, and
Habakkuk, is neither mentioned by themselves nor given in the
chronicles of Eusebius and Jerome. For although they put Obadiah
with Micah, yet when Micah prophesied does not appear from that part
of their writings in which the dates are noted. And this, I think,
has happened through their error in negligently copying the works
of others. But we could not find the two others now mentioned in
the copies of the chronicles which we have; yet because they are
contained in the canon, we ought not to pass them by.

Obadiah, so far as his writings are concerned, the briefest of all
the prophets, speaks against Idumea, that is, the nation of Esau,
that reprobate elder of the twin sons of Isaac and grandsons of
Abraham. Now if, by that form of speech in which a part is put for
the whole, we take Idumea as put for the nations, we may understand
of Christ what he says among other things, "But upon Mount Sion
shall be safety, and there shall be a Holy One."[529] And a little
after, at the end of the same prophecy, he says, "And those who
are saved again shall come up out of Mount Sion, that they may
defend Mount Esau, and it shall be a kingdom to the Lord."[530] It
is quite evident this was fulfilled when those saved again out of
Mount Sion--that is, the believers in Christ from Judea, of whom
the apostles are chiefly to be acknowledged--went up to defend
Mount Esau. How could they defend it except by making safe, through
the preaching of the gospel, those who believed that they might be
"delivered from the power of darkness and translated into the kingdom
of God?"[531] This he expressed as an inference, adding, "And it
shall be to the Lord a kingdom." For Mount Sion signifies Judea,
where it is predicted there shall be safety, and a Holy One, that
is, Christ Jesus. But Mount Esau is Idumea, which signifies the
Church of the Gentiles, which, as I have expounded, those saved again
out of Sion have defended that it should be a kingdom to the Lord.
This was obscure before it took place; but what believer does not
find it out now that it is done?

As for the prophet Nahum, through him God says, "I will exterminate
the graven and the molten things: I will make thy burial. For lo,
the feet of Him that bringeth good tidings and announceth peace are
swift upon the mountains! O Judah, celebrate thy festival days,
and perform thy vows; for now they shall not go on any more so as
to become antiquated. It is completed, it is consumed, it is taken
away. He ascendeth who breathes in thy face, delivering thee out of
tribulation."[532] Let him that remembers the gospel call to mind who
hath ascended from hell and breathed the Holy Spirit in the face of
Judah, that is, of the Jewish disciples; for they belong to the New
Testament, whose festival days are so spiritually renewed that they
cannot become antiquated. Moreover, we already see the graven and
molten things, that is, the idols of the false gods, exterminated
through the gospel, and given up to oblivion as of the grave, and we
know that this prophecy is fulfilled in this very thing.

Of what else than the advent of Christ, who was to come, is Habakkuk
understood to say, "And the Lord answered me, and said, Write the
vision openly on a tablet of boxwood, that he that readeth these things
may understand. For the vision is yet for a time appointed, and it will
arise in the end, and will not become void: if it tarry, wait for it;
because it will surely come, and will not be delayed?"[533]


     32. _Of the prophecy that is contained in the prayer and song
                             of Habakkuk._

In his prayer, with a song, to whom but the Lord Christ does he say,
"O Lord, I have heard Thy hearing, and was afraid: O Lord, I have
considered Thy works, and was greatly afraid?"[534] What is this
but the inexpressible admiration of the foreknown, new, and sudden
salvation of men? "In the midst of two living creatures thou shalt be
recognised." What is this but either between the two testaments, or
between the two thieves, or between Moses and Elias talking with Him
on the mount? "While the years draw nigh, Thou wilt be recognised;
at the coming of the time Thou wilt be shown," does not even need
exposition. "While my soul shall be troubled at Him, in wrath Thou
wilt be mindful of mercy." What is this but that He puts Himself
for the Jews, of whose nation He was, who were troubled with great
anger and crucified Christ, when He, mindful of mercy, said, "Father,
forgive them, for they know not what they do?"[535] "God shall come
from Teman, and the Holy One from the shady and close mountain."[536]
What is said here, "He shall come from Teman," some interpret "from
the south," or "from the south-west," by which is signified the
noonday, that is, the fervour of charity and the splendour of truth.
"The shady and close mountain" might be understood in many ways, yet
I prefer to take it as meaning the depth of the divine Scriptures,
in which Christ is prophesied: for in the Scriptures there are many
things shady and close which exercise the mind of the reader; and
Christ comes thence when he who has understanding finds Him there.
"His power covereth up the heavens, and the earth is full of His
praise." What is this but what is also said in the psalm, "Be Thou
exalted, O God, above the heavens; and Thy glory above all the
earth?"[537] "His splendour shall be as the light." What is it but
that the fame of Him shall illuminate believers? "Horns are in His
hands." What is this but the trophy of the cross? "And He hath placed
the firm charity of His strength"[538] needs no exposition. "Before
His face shall go the word, and it shall go forth into the field
after His feet." What is this but that He should both be announced
before His coming hither and after His return hence? "He stood, and
the earth was moved." What is this but that "He stood" for succour,
"and the earth was moved" to believe? "He regarded, and the nations
melted;" that is, He had compassion, and made the people penitent.
"The mountains are broken with violence;" that is, through the power
of those who work miracles the pride of the haughty is broken. "The
everlasting hills flowed down;" that is, they are humbled in time
that they may be lifted up for eternity. "I saw His goings [made]
eternal for His labours;" that is, I beheld His labour of love not
left without the reward of eternity. "The tents of Ethiopia shall
be greatly afraid, and the tents of the land of Midian;" that is,
even those nations which are not under the Roman authority, being
suddenly terrified by the news of Thy wonderful works, shall become
a Christian people. "Wert Thou angry at the rivers, O Lord? or was
Thy fury against the rivers? or was Thy rage against the sea?" This
is said because He does not now come to condemn the world, but that
the world through Him might be saved.[539] "For Thou shalt mount
upon Thy horses, and Thy riding shall be salvation;" that is, Thine
evangelists shall carry Thee, for they are guided by Thee, and Thy
gospel is salvation to them that believe in Thee. "Bending, Thou
wilt bend Thy bow against the sceptres, saith the Lord;" that is,
Thou wilt threaten even the kings of the earth with Thy judgment.
"The earth shall be cleft with rivers;" that is, by the sermons of
those who preach Thee flowing in upon them, men's hearts shall be
opened to make confession, to whom it is said, "Rend your hearts
and not your garments."[540] What does "The people shall see Thee
and grieve" mean, but that in mourning they shall be blessed?[541]
What is "Scattering the waters in marching," but that by walking in
those who everywhere proclaim Thee, Thou wilt scatter hither and
thither the streams of Thy doctrine? What is "The abyss uttered its
voice?" Is it not that the depth of the human heart expressed what it
perceived? The words, "The depth of its phantasy," are an explanation
of the previous verse, for the depth is the abyss; and "Uttered its
voice" is to be understood before them, that is, as we have said,
it expressed what it perceived. Now the phantasy is the vision,
which it did not hold or conceal, but poured forth in confession.
"The sun was raised up, and the moon stood still in her course;"
that is, Christ ascended into heaven, and the Church was established
under her King. "Thy darts shall go in the light;" that is, Thy
words shall not be sent in secret, but openly. For He had said to
His own disciples, "What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in
the light."[542] "By threatening thou shalt diminish the earth;"
that is, by that threatening Thou shalt humble men. "And in fury
Thou shalt cast down the nations;" for in punishing those who exalt
themselves Thou dashest them one against another. "Thou wentest forth
for the salvation of Thy people, that Thou mightest save Thy Christ;
Thou hast sent death on the heads of the wicked." None of these
words require exposition. "Thou hast lifted up the bonds, even to
the neck." This may be understood even of the good bonds of wisdom,
that the feet may be put into its fetters, and the neck into its
collar. "Thou hast struck off in amazement of mind the bonds" must be
understood for, He lifts up the good and strikes off the bad, about
which it is said to Him, "Thou hast broken asunder my bonds,"[543]
and that "in amazement of mind," that is, wonderfully. "The heads of
the mighty shall be moved in it;" to wit, in that wonder. "They shall
open their teeth like a poor man eating secretly." For some of the
mighty among the Jews shall come to the Lord, admiring His works and
words, and shall greedily eat the bread of His doctrine in secret
for fear of the Jews, just as the Gospel has shown they did. "And
Thou hast sent into the sea Thy horses, troubling many waters," which
are nothing else than many people; for unless all were troubled,
some would not be converted with fear, others pursued with fury. "I
gave heed, and my belly trembled at the voice of the prayer of my
lips; and trembling entered into my bones, and my habit of body was
troubled under me." He gave heed to those things which he said, and
was himself terrified at his own prayer, which he had poured forth
prophetically, and in which he discerned things to come. For when
many people are troubled, he saw the threatening tribulation of the
Church, and at once acknowledged himself a member of it, and said, "I
shall rest in the day of tribulation," as being one of those who are
rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation.[544] "That I may ascend,"
he says, "among the people of my pilgrimage," departing quite from
the wicked people of his carnal kinship, who are not pilgrims in
this earth, and do not seek the country above.[545] "Although the
fig-tree," he says, "shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the
vines; the labour of the olive shall lie, and the fields shall yield
no meat; the sheep shall be cut off from the meat, and there shall
be no oxen in the stalls." He sees that nation which was to slay
Christ about to lose the abundance of spiritual supplies, which, in
prophetic fashion, he has set forth by the figure of earthly plenty.
And because that nation was to suffer such wrath of God, because,
being ignorant of the righteousness of God, it wished to establish
its own,[546] he immediately says, "Yet will I rejoice in the Lord;
I will joy in God my salvation. The Lord God is my strength, and He
will set my feet in completion; He will place me above the heights,
that I may conquer in His song," to wit, in that song of which
something similar is said in the psalm, "He set my feet upon a rock,
and directed my goings, and put in my mouth a new song, a hymn to our
God."[547] He therefore conquers in the song of the Lord, who takes
pleasure in His praise, not in his own; that "He that glorieth, let
him glory in the Lord."[548] But some copies have, "I will joy in God
my Jesus," which seems to me better than the version of those who,
wishing to put it in Latin, have not set down that very name which
for us it is dearer and sweeter to name.


    33. _What Jeremiah and Zephaniah have, by the prophetic Spirit,
   spoken before concerning Christ and the calling of the nations._

Jeremiah, like Isaiah, is one of the greater prophets, not of
the minor, like the others from whose writings I have just given
extracts. He prophesied when Josiah reigned in Jerusalem, and Ancus
Martius at Rome, when the captivity of the Jews was already at
hand; and he continued to prophesy down to the fifth month of the
captivity, as we find from his writings. Zephaniah, one of the minor
prophets, is put along with him, because he himself says that he
prophesied in the days of Josiah; but he does not say till when.
Jeremiah thus prophesied not only in the times of Ancus Martius, but
also in those of Tarquinius Priscus, whom the Romans had for their
fifth king. For he had already begun to reign when that captivity
took place. Jeremiah, in prophesying of Christ, says, "The breath
of our mouth, the Lord Christ, was taken in our sins,"[549] thus
briefly showing both that Christ is our Lord and that He suffered for
us. Also in another place he says, "This is my God, and there shall
none other be accounted of in comparison of Him; who hath found out
all the way of prudence, and hath given it to Jacob His servant,
and to Israel His beloved: afterward He was seen on the earth, and
conversed with men."[550] Some attribute this testimony not to
Jeremiah, but to his secretary, who was called Baruch; but it is more
commonly ascribed to Jeremiah. Again the same prophet says concerning
Him, "Behold the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise up
unto David a righteous shoot, and a King shall reign and shall be
wise, and shall do judgment and justice in the earth. In those days
Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell confidently: and this
is the name which they shall call Him, Our righteous Lord."[551] And
of the calling of the nations which was to come to pass, and which
we now see fulfilled, he thus spoke: "O Lord my God, and my refuge
in the day of evils, to Thee shall the nations come from the utmost
end of the earth, saying, Truly our fathers have worshipped lying
images, wherein there is no profit."[552] But that the Jews, by whom
He behoved even to be slain, were not going to acknowledge Him, this
prophet thus intimates: "Heavy is the heart through all; and He is
a man, and who shall know Him?"[553] That passage also is his which
I have quoted in the seventeenth book concerning the new testament,
of which Christ is the Mediator. For Jeremiah himself says, "Behold,
the days come, saith the Lord, that I will complete over the house of
Jacob a new testament," and the rest, which may be read there.[554]

For the present I shall put down those predictions about Christ by
the prophet Zephaniah, who prophesied with Jeremiah. "Wait ye upon
me, saith the Lord, in the day of my resurrection, in the future;
because it is my determination to assemble the nations, and gather
together the kingdoms."[555] And again he says, "The Lord will be
terrible upon them, and will exterminate all the gods of the earth;
and they shall worship Him every man from his place, even all the
isles of the nations."[556] And a little after he says, "Then will
I turn to the people a tongue, and to His offspring, that they may
call upon the name of the Lord, and serve Him under one yoke. From
the borders of the rivers of Ethiopia shall they bring sacrifices
unto me. In that day thou shalt not be confounded for all thy curious
inventions, which thou hast done impiously against me: for then I
will take away from thee the naughtiness of thy trespass; and thou
shalt no more magnify thyself above thy holy mountain. And I will
leave in thee a meek and humble people, and they who shall be left of
Israel shall fear the name of the Lord."[557] These are the remnant
of whom the apostle quotes that which is elsewhere prophesied:
"Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the
sea, a remnant shall be saved."[558] These are the remnant of that
nation who have believed in Christ.


     34. _Of the prophecy of Daniel and Ezekiel, other two of the
                          greater prophets._

Daniel and Ezekiel, other two of the greater prophets, also first
prophesied in the very captivity of Babylon. Daniel even defined the
time when Christ was to come and suffer by the exact date. It would
take too long to show this by computation, and it has been done often
by others before us. But of His power and glory he has thus spoken:
"I saw in a night vision, and, behold, one like the Son of man was
coming with the clouds of heaven, and He came even to the Ancient
of days, and He was brought into His presence. And to Him there was
given dominion, and honour, and a kingdom: and all people, tribes,
and tongues shall serve Him. His power is an everlasting power, which
shall not pass away, and His kingdom shall not be destroyed."[559]

Ezekiel also, speaking prophetically in the person of God the Father,
thus foretells Christ, speaking of Him in the prophetic manner as
David because He assumed flesh of the seed of David, and on account
of that form of a servant in which He was made man, He who is the Son
of God is also called the servant of God. He says, "And I will set
up over my sheep one Shepherd, who will feed them, even my servant
David; and He shall feed them, and He shall be their shepherd. And
I the Lord will be their God, and my servant David a prince in the
midst of them. I the Lord have spoken."[560] And in another place
he says, "And one King shall be over them all: and they shall no
more be two nations, neither shall they be divided any more into two
kingdoms: neither shall they defile themselves any more with their
idols, and their abominations, and all their iniquities. And I will
save them out of all their dwelling-places wherein they have sinned,
and will cleanse them; and they shall be my people, and I will be
their God. And my servant David shall be king over them, and there
shall be one Shepherd for them all."[561]


    35. _Of the prophecy of the three prophets, Haggai, Zechariah,
                             and Malachi._

There remain three minor prophets, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi,
who prophesied at the close of the captivity. Of these Haggai more
openly prophesies of Christ and the Church thus briefly: "Thus
saith the Lord of hosts, Yet one little while, and I will shake the
heaven, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land; and I will
move all nations, and the desired of all nations shall come."[562]
The fulfilment of this prophecy is in part already seen, and in part
hoped for in the end. For He moved the heaven by the testimony of
the angels and the stars, when Christ became incarnate. He moved the
earth by the great miracle of His birth of the virgin. He moved the
sea and the dry land, when Christ was proclaimed both in the isles
and in the whole world. So we see all nations moved to the faith; and
the fulfilment of what follows, "And the desired of all nations shall
come," is looked for at His last coming. For ere men can desire and
wait for Him, they must believe and love Him.

Zechariah says of Christ and the Church, "Rejoice greatly, O daughter
of Sion; shout joyfully, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King
shall come unto thee, just and the Saviour; Himself poor, and
mounting an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass: and His dominion
shall be from sea to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the
earth."[563] How this was done, when the Lord Christ on His journey
used a beast of burden of this kind, we read in the Gospel, where,
also, as much of this prophecy is quoted as appears sufficient for
the context. In another place, speaking in the Spirit of prophecy
to Christ Himself of the remission of sins through His blood, he
says, "Thou also, by the blood of Thy testament, hast sent forth Thy
prisoners from the lake wherein is no water."[564] Different opinions
may be held, consistently with right belief, as to what he meant by
this lake. Yet it seems to me that no meaning suits better than that
of the depth of human misery, which is, as it were, dry and barren,
where there are no streams of righteousness, but only the mire of
iniquity. For it is said of it in the Psalms, "And He led me forth
out of the lake of misery, and from the miry clay."[565]

Malachi, foretelling the Church which we now behold propagated through
Christ, says most openly to the Jews, in the person of God, "I have no
pleasure in you, and I will not accept a gift at your hand. For from
the rising even to the going down of the sun, my name is great among
the nations; and in every place sacrifice shall be made, and a pure
oblation shall be offered unto my name: for my name shall be great
among the nations, saith the Lord."[566] Since we can already see
this sacrifice offered to God in every place, from the rising of the
sun to his going down, through Christ's priesthood after the order of
Melchisedec, while the Jews, to whom it was said, "I have no pleasure
in you, neither will I accept a gift at your hand," cannot deny that
their sacrifice has ceased, why do they still look for another Christ,
when they read this in the prophecy, and see it fulfilled, which could
not be fulfilled except through Him? And a little after he says of Him,
in the person of God, "My covenant was with Him of life and peace; and
I gave to Him that He might fear me with fear, and be afraid before
my name. The law of truth was in His mouth: directing in peace He
hath walked with me, and hath turned many away from iniquity. For the
Priest's lips shall keep knowledge, and they shall seek the law at His
mouth: for He is the Angel of the Lord Almighty."[567] Nor is it to
be wondered at that Christ Jesus is called the Angel of the Almighty
God. For just as He is called a servant on account of the form of a
servant in which He came to men, so He is called an angel on account
of the _evangel_ which He proclaimed to men. For if we interpret these
Greek words, _evangel_ is "good news," and _angel_ is "messenger."
Again he says of Him, "Behold I will send mine angel, and He will look
out the way before my face: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly
come into His temple, even the Angel of the testament, whom ye desire.
Behold, He cometh, saith the Lord Almighty, and who shall abide the day
of His entry, or who shall stand at His appearing?"[568] In this place
he has foretold both the first and second advent of Christ: the first,
to wit, of which he says, "And He shall come suddenly into His temple;"
that is, into His flesh, of which He said in the Gospel, "Destroy this
temple, and in three days I will raise it up again."[569] And of the
second advent he says, "Behold, He cometh, saith the Lord Almighty,
and who shall abide the day of His entry, or who shall stand at His
appearing?" But what he says, "The Lord whom ye seek, and the Angel of
the testament whom ye desire," just means that even the Jews, according
to the Scriptures which they read, shall seek and desire Christ. But
many of them did not acknowledge that He whom they sought and desired
had come, being blinded in their hearts, which were preoccupied with
their own merits. Now what he here calls the testament, either above,
where he says, "My testament had been with Him," or here, where he has
called Him the Angel of the testament, we ought, beyond a doubt, to
take to be the new testament, in which the things promised are eternal,
and not the old, in which they are only temporal. Yet many who are weak
are troubled when they see the wicked abound in such temporal things,
because they value them greatly, and serve the true God to be rewarded
with them. On this account, to distinguish the eternal blessedness of
the new testament, which shall be given only to the good, from the
earthly felicity of the old, which for the most part is given to the
bad as well, the same prophet says, "Ye have made your words burdensome
to me: yet ye have said, In what have we spoken ill of Thee? Ye have
said, Foolish is every one who serves God; and what profit is it that
we have kept His observances, and that we have walked as suppliants
before the face of the Lord Almighty? And now we call the aliens
blessed; yea, all that do wicked things are built up again; yea, they
are opposed to God and are saved. They that feared the Lord uttered
these reproaches every one to his neighbour: and the Lord hearkened and
heard; and He wrote a book of remembrance before Him, for them that
fear the Lord and that revere His name."[570] By that book is meant the
New Testament. Finally, let us hear what follows: "And they shall be an
acquisition for me, saith the Lord Almighty, in the day which I make;
and I will choose them as a man chooseth his son that serveth him. And
ye shall return, and shall discern between the just and the unjust, and
between him that serveth God and him that serveth Him not. For, behold,
the day cometh burning as an oven, and it shall burn them up; and all
the aliens and all that do wickedly shall be stubble: and the day that
shall come will set them on fire, saith the Lord Almighty, and shall
leave neither root nor branch. And unto you that fear my name shall the
Sun of Righteousness arise, and health shall be in His wings; and ye
shall go forth, and exult as calves let loose from bonds. And ye shall
tread down the wicked, and they shall be ashes under your feet, in the
day in which I shall do [this], saith the Lord Almighty."[571] This
day is the day of judgment, of which, if God will, we shall speak more
fully in its own place.


          36. _About Esdras and the books of the Maccabees._

After these three prophets, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi, during
the same period of the liberation of the people from the Babylonian
servitude Esdras also wrote, who is historical rather than prophetical,
as is also the book called Esther, which is found to relate, for the
praise of God, events not far from those times; unless, perhaps,
Esdras is to be understood as prophesying of Christ in that passage
where, on a question having arisen among certain young men as to what
is the strongest thing, when one had said kings, another wine, the
third women, who for the most part rule kings, yet that same third
youth demonstrated that the truth is victorious over all.[572] For by
consulting the Gospel we learn that Christ is the Truth. From this
time, when the temple was rebuilt, down to the time of Aristobulus, the
Jews had not kings but princes; and the reckoning of their dates is
found, not in the Holy Scriptures which are called canonical, but in
others, among which are also the books of the Maccabees. These are held
as canonical, not by the Jews, but by the Church, on account of the
extreme and wonderful sufferings of certain martyrs, who, before Christ
had come in the flesh, contended for the law of God even unto death,
and endured most grievous and horrible evils.


     37. _That prophetic records are found which are more ancient
             than any fountain of the Gentile philosophy._

In the time of our prophets, then, whose writings had already come to
the knowledge of almost all nations, the philosophers of the nations
had not yet arisen,--at least, not those who were called by that
name, which originated with Pythagoras the Samian, who was becoming
famous at the time when the Jewish captivity ended. Much more, then,
are the other philosophers found to be later than the prophets. For
even Socrates the Athenian, the master of all who were then most
famous, holding the pre-eminence in that department that is called
the moral or active, is found after Esdras in the chronicles. Plato
also was born not much later, who far outwent the other disciples
of Socrates. If, besides these, we take their predecessors, who had
not yet been styled philosophers, to wit, the seven sages, and then
the physicists, who succeeded Thales, and imitated his studious
search into the nature of things, namely, Anaximander, Anaximenes,
and Anaxagoras, and some others, before Pythagoras first professed
himself a philosopher, even these did not precede the whole of
our prophets in antiquity of time, since Thales, whom the others
succeeded, is said to have flourished in the reign of Romulus, when
the stream of prophecy burst forth from the fountains of Israel in
those writings which spread over the whole world. So that only those
theological poets, Orpheus, Linus, and Musæus, and, it may be, some
others among the Greeks, are found earlier in date than the Hebrew
prophets whose writings we hold as authoritative. But not even
these preceded in time our true divine, Moses, who authentically
preached the one true God, and whose writings are first in the
authoritative canon; and therefore the Greeks, in whose tongue the
literature of this age chiefly appears, have no ground for boasting
of their wisdom, in which our religion, wherein is true wisdom, is
not evidently more ancient at least, if not superior. Yet it must be
confessed that before Moses there had already been, not indeed among
the Greeks, but among barbarous nations, as in Egypt, some doctrine
which might be called their wisdom, else it would not have been
written in the holy books that Moses was learned in all the wisdom of
the Egyptians,[573] as he was, when, being born there, and adopted
and nursed by Pharaoh's daughter, he was also liberally educated.
Yet not even the wisdom of the Egyptians could be antecedent in time
to the wisdom of our prophets, because even Abraham was a prophet.
And what wisdom could there be in Egypt before Isis had given them
letters, whom they thought fit to worship as a goddess after her
death? Now Isis is declared to have been the daughter of Inachus, who
first began to reign in Argos when the grandsons of Abraham are known
to have been already born.


  38. _That the ecclesiastical canon has not admitted certain
      writings on account of their too great antiquity, lest through
      them false things should be inserted instead of true._

If I may recall far more ancient times, our patriarch Noah was
certainly even before that great deluge, and I might not undeservedly
call him a prophet, forasmuch as the ark he made, in which he escaped
with his family, was itself a prophecy of our times.[574] What of
Enoch, the seventh from Adam? Does not the canonical epistle of the
Apostle Jude declare that he prophesied?[575] But the writings of
these men could not be held as authoritative either among the Jews
or us, on account of their too great antiquity, which made it seem
needful to regard them with suspicion, lest false things should be
set forth instead of true. For some writings which are said to be
theirs are quoted by those who, according to their own humour,
loosely believe what they please. But the purity of the canon has
not admitted these writings, not because the authority of these men
who pleased God is rejected, but because they are not believed to
be theirs. Nor ought it to appear strange if writings for which so
great antiquity is claimed are held in suspicion, seeing that in the
very history of the kings of Judah and Israel containing their acts,
which we believe to belong to the canonical Scripture, very many
things are mentioned which are not explained there, but are said to
be found in other books which the prophets wrote, the very names of
these prophets being sometimes given, and yet they are not found in
the canon which the people of God received. Now I confess the reason
of this is hidden from me; only I think that even those men, to whom
certainly the Holy Spirit revealed those things which ought to be
held as of religious authority, might write some things as men by
historical diligence, and others as prophets by divine inspiration;
and these things were so distinct, that it was judged that the former
should be ascribed to themselves, but the latter to God speaking
through them: and so the one pertained to the abundance of knowledge,
the other to the authority of religion. In that authority the canon
is guarded. So that, if any writings outside of it are now brought
forward under the name of the ancient prophets, they cannot serve
even as an aid to knowledge, because it is uncertain whether they are
genuine; and on this account they are not trusted, especially those
of them in which some things are found that are even contrary to the
truth of the canonical books, so that it is quite apparent they do
not belong to them.


     39. _About the Hebrew written characters which that language
                          always possessed._

Now we must not believe that Heber, from whose name the word Hebrew
is derived, preserved and transmitted the Hebrew language to Abraham
only as a spoken language, and that the Hebrew letters began with
the giving of the law through Moses; but rather that this language,
along with its letters, was preserved by that succession of fathers.
Moses, indeed, appointed some among the people of God to teach
letters, before they could know any letters of the divine law. The
Scripture calls these men γραμματεισαγωγεῖς, who may be called in
Latin _inductores_ or _introductores_ of letters, because they, as
it were, introduce them into the hearts of the learners, or rather
lead those whom they teach into them. Therefore no nation could vaunt
itself over our patriarchs and prophets by any wicked vanity for the
antiquity of its wisdom; since not even Egypt, which is wont falsely
and vainly to glory in the antiquity of her doctrines, is found to
have preceded in time the wisdom of our patriarchs in her own wisdom,
such as it is. Neither will any one dare to say that they were most
skilful in wonderful sciences before they knew letters, that is,
before Isis came and taught them there. Besides, what, for the most
part, was that memorable doctrine of theirs which was called wisdom
but astronomy, and it may be some other sciences of that kind, which
usually have more power to exercise men's wit than to enlighten their
minds with true wisdom? As regards philosophy, which professes to
teach men something which shall make them happy, studies of that kind
flourished in those lands about the times of Mercury whom they called
Trismegistus, long before the sages and philosophers of Greece, but
yet after Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph, and even after Moses
himself. At that time, indeed, when Moses was born, Atlas is found
to have lived, that great astronomer, the brother of Prometheus,
and maternal grandson of the elder Mercury, of whom that Mercury
Trismegistus was the grandson.


  40. _About the most mendacious vanity of the Egyptians, in which
      they ascribe to their science an antiquity of a hundred
      thousand years._

In vain, then, do some babble with most empty presumption, saying
that Egypt has understood the reckoning of the stars for more than a
hundred thousand years. For in what books have they collected that
number who learned letters from Isis their mistress, not much more
than two thousand years ago? Varro, who has declared this, is no
small authority in history, and it does not disagree with the truth
of the divine books. For as it is not yet six thousand years since
the first man, who is called Adam, are not those to be ridiculed
rather than refuted who try to persuade us of anything regarding a
space of time so different from, and contrary to, the ascertained
truth? For what historian of the past should we credit more than him
who has also predicted things to come which we now see fulfilled? And
the very disagreement of the historians among themselves furnishes
a good reason why we ought rather to believe him who does not
contradict the divine history which we hold. But, on the other hand,
the citizens of the impious city, scattered everywhere through the
earth, when they read the most learned writers, none of whom seems
to be of contemptible authority, and find them disagreeing among
themselves about affairs most remote from the memory of our age,
cannot find out whom they ought to trust. But we, being sustained
by divine authority in the history of our religion, have no doubt
that whatever is opposed to it is most false, whatever may be the
case regarding other things in secular books, which, whether true or
false, yield nothing of moment to our living rightly and happily.


   41. _About the discord of philosophic opinion, and the concord of
       the Scriptures that are held as canonical by the Church._

But let us omit further examination of history, and return to the
philosophers from whom we digressed to these things. They seem to
have laboured in their studies for no other end than to find out
how to live in a way proper for laying hold of blessedness. Why,
then, have the disciples dissented from their masters, and the
fellow-disciples from one another, except because as men they have
sought after these things by human sense and human reasonings? Now,
although there might be among them a desire of glory, so that each
wished to be thought wiser and more acute than another, and in no
way addicted to the judgment of others, but the inventor of his own
dogma and opinion, yet I may grant that there were some, or even very
many of them, whose love of truth severed them from their teachers or
fellow-disciples, that they might strive for what they thought was
the truth, whether it was so or not. But what can human misery do,
or how or where can it reach forth, so as to attain blessedness, if
divine authority does not lead it? Finally, let our authors, among
whom the canon of the sacred books is fixed and bounded, be far from
disagreeing in any respect. It is not without good reason, then,
that not merely a few people prating in the schools and gymnasia in
captious disputations, but so many and great people, both learned
and unlearned, in countries and cities, have believed that God spoke
to them or by them, _i.e._ the canonical writers, when they wrote
these books. There ought, indeed, to be but few of them, lest on
account of their multitude what ought to be religiously esteemed
should grow cheap; and yet not so few that their agreement should not
be wonderful. For among the multitude of philosophers, who in their
works have left behind them the monuments of their dogmas, no one
will easily find any who agree in all their opinions. But to show
this is too long a task for this work.

But what author of any sect is so approved in this demon-worshipping
city, that the rest who have differed from or opposed him in opinion
have been disapproved? The Epicureans asserted that human affairs
were not under the providence of the gods; and the Stoics, holding
the opposite opinion, agreed that they were ruled and defended by
favourable and tutelary gods. Yet were not both sects famous among
the Athenians? I wonder, then, why Anaxagoras was accused of a crime
for saying that the sun was a burning stone, and denying that it was
a god at all; while in the same city Epicurus flourished gloriously
and lived securely, although he not only did not believe that the
sun or any star was a god, but contended that neither Jupiter nor
any of the gods dwelt in the world at all, so that the prayers and
supplications of men might reach them! Were not both Aristippus
and Antisthenes there, two noble philosophers and both Socratic?
yet they placed the chief end of life within bounds so diverse and
contradictory, that the first made the delight of the body the chief
good, while the other asserted that man was made happy mainly by
the virtue of the mind. The one also said that the wise man should
flee from the republic; the other, that he should administer its
affairs. Yet did not each gather disciples to follow his own sect?
Indeed, in the conspicuous and well-known porch, in gymnasia, in
gardens, in places public and private, they openly strove in bands
each for his own opinion, some asserting there was one world, others
innumerable worlds; some that this world had a beginning, others
that it had not; some that it would perish, others that it would
exist always; some that it was governed by the divine mind, others by
chance and accident; some that souls are immortal, others that they
are mortal,--and of those who asserted their immortality, some said
they transmigrated through beasts, others that it was by no means so,
while of those who asserted their mortality, some said they perished
immediately after the body, others that they survived either a little
while or a longer time, but not always; some fixing supreme good in
the body, some in the mind, some in both; others adding to the mind
and body external good things; some thinking that the bodily senses
ought to be trusted always, some not always, others never. Now what
people, senate, power, or public dignity of the impious city has ever
taken care to judge between all these and other well-nigh innumerable
dissensions of the philosophers, approving and accepting some, and
disapproving and rejecting others? Has it not held in its bosom at
random, without any judgment, and confusedly, so many controversies
of men at variance, not about fields, houses, or anything of a
pecuniary nature, but about those things which make life either
miserable or happy? Even if some true things were said in it, yet
falsehoods were uttered with the same licence; so that such a city
has not amiss received the title of the mystic Babylon. For Babylon
means confusion, as we remember we have already explained. Nor does
it matter to the devil, its king, how they wrangle among themselves
in contradictory errors, since all alike deservedly belong to him on
account of their great and varied impiety.

But that nation, that people, that city, that republic, these
Israelites, to whom the oracles of God were entrusted, by no means
confounded with similar licence false prophets with the true prophets;
but, agreeing together, and differing in nothing, acknowledged and
upheld the authentic authors of their sacred books. These were their
philosophers, these were their sages, divines, prophets, and teachers
of probity and piety. Whoever was wise and lived according to them was
wise and lived not according to men, but according to God who hath
spoken by them. If sacrilege is forbidden there, God hath forbidden
it. If it is said, "Honour thy father and thy mother,"[576] God
hath commanded it. If it is said, "Thou shalt not commit adultery,
Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal,"[577] and other similar
commandments, not human lips but the divine oracles have enounced
them. Whatever truth certain philosophers, amid their false opinions,
were able to see, and strove by laborious discussions to persuade men
of,--such as that God has made this world, and Himself most providently
governs it, or of the nobility of the virtues, of the love of country,
of fidelity in friendship, of good works and everything pertaining to
virtuous manners, although they knew not to what end and what rule all
these things were to be referred,--all these, by words prophetic, that
is, divine, although spoken by men, were commended to the people in
that city, and not inculcated by contention in arguments, so that he
who should know them might be afraid of contemning, not the wit of men,
but the oracle of God.


  42. _By what dispensation of God's providence the sacred Scriptures
      of the Old Testament were translated out of Hebrew into Greek,
      that they might be made known to all the nations._

One of the Ptolemies, kings of Egypt, desired to know and have these
sacred books. For after Alexander of Macedon, who is also styled the
Great, had by his most wonderful, but by no means enduring power,
subdued the whole of Asia, yea, almost the whole world, partly by
force of arms, partly by terror, and, among other kingdoms of the
East, had entered and obtained Judea also, on his death his generals
did not peaceably divide that most ample kingdom among them for a
possession, but rather dissipated it, wasting all things by wars.
Then Egypt began to have the Ptolemies as her kings. The first of
them, the son of Lagus, carried many captive out of Judea into
Egypt. But another Ptolemy, called Philadelphus, who succeeded him,
permitted all whom he had brought under the yoke to return free; and,
more than that, sent kingly gifts to the temple of God, and begged
Eleazar, who was the high priest, to give him the Scriptures, which
he had heard by report were truly divine, and therefore greatly
desired to have in that most noble library he had made. When the
high priest had sent them to him in Hebrew, he afterwards demanded
interpreters of him, and there were given him seventy-two, out of
each of the twelve tribes six men, most learned in both languages,
to wit, the Hebrew and Greek; and their translation is now by custom
called the Septuagint. It is reported, indeed, that there was an
agreement in their words so wonderful, stupendous, and plainly
divine, that when they had sat at this work, each one apart (for so
it pleased Ptolemy to test their fidelity), they differed from each
other in no word which had the same meaning and force, or in the
order of the words; but, as if the translators had been one, so what
all had translated was one, because in very deed the one Spirit had
been in them all. And they received so wonderful a gift of God, in
order that the authority of these Scriptures might be commended not
as human but divine, as indeed it was, for the benefit of the nations
who should at some time believe, as we now see them doing.


  43. _Of the authority of the Septuagint translation, which, saving
      the honour of the Hebrew original, is to be preferred to all
      translations._

For while there were other interpreters who translated these sacred
oracles out of the Hebrew tongue into Greek, as Aquila, Symmachus, and
Theodotion, and also that translation which, as the name of the author
is unknown, is quoted as the fifth edition, yet the Church has received
this Septuagint translation just as if it were the only one; and it has
been used by the Greek Christian people, most of whom are not aware
that there is any other. From this translation there has also been made
a translation in the Latin tongue, which the Latin churches use. Our
times, however, have enjoyed the advantage of the presbyter Jerome, a
man most learned, and skilled in all three languages, who translated
these same Scriptures into the Latin speech, not from the Greek, but
from the Hebrew. But although the Jews acknowledge this very learned
labour of his to be faithful, while they contend that the Septuagint
translators have erred in many places, still the churches of Christ
judge that no one should be preferred to the authority of so many men,
chosen for this very great work by Eleazar, who was then high priest;
for even if there had not appeared in them one spirit, without doubt
divine, and the seventy learned men had, after the manner of men,
compared together the words of their translation, that what pleased
them all might stand, no single translator ought to be preferred to
them; but since so great a sign of divinity has appeared in them,
certainly, if any other translator of their Scriptures from the Hebrew
into any other tongue is faithful, in that case he agrees with these
seventy translators, and if he is not found to agree with them, then
we ought to believe that the prophetic gift is with them. For the same
Spirit who was in the prophets when they spoke these things was also in
the seventy men when they translated them, so that assuredly they could
also say something else, just as if the prophet himself had said both,
because it would be the same Spirit who said both; and could say the
same thing differently, so that, although the words were not the same,
yet the same meaning should shine forth to those of good understanding;
and could omit or add something, so that even by this it might be shown
that there was in that work not human bondage, which the translator
owed to the words, but rather divine power, which filled and ruled the
mind of the translator. Some, however, have thought that the Greek
copies of the Septuagint version should be emended from the Hebrew
copies; yet they did not dare to take away what the Hebrew lacked and
the Septuagint had, but only added what was found in the Hebrew copies
and was lacking in the Septuagint, and noted them by placing at the
beginning of the verses certain marks in the form of stars which they
call asterisks. And those things which the Hebrew copies have not, but
the Septuagint have, they have in like manner marked at the beginning
of the verses by horizontal spit-shaped marks like those by which
we denote ounces; and many copies having these marks are circulated
even in Latin.[578] But we cannot, without inspecting both kinds of
copies, find out those things which are neither omitted nor added, but
expressed differently, whether they yield another meaning not in itself
unsuitable, or can be shown to explain the same meaning in another way.
If, then, as it behoves us, we behold nothing else in these Scriptures
than what the Spirit of God has spoken through men, if anything is
in the Hebrew copies and is not in the version of the Seventy, the
Spirit of God did not choose to say it through them, but only through
the prophets. But whatever is in the Septuagint and not in the Hebrew
copies, the same Spirit chose rather to say through the latter, thus
showing that both were prophets. For in that manner He spoke as He
chose, some things through Isaiah, some through Jeremiah, some through
several prophets, or else the same thing through this prophet and
through that. Further, whatever is found in both editions, that one and
the same Spirit willed to say through both, but so as that the former
preceded in prophesying, and the latter followed in prophetically
interpreting them; because, as the one Spirit of peace was in the
former when they spoke true and concordant words, so the selfsame one
Spirit hath appeared in the latter, when, without mutual conference,
they yet interpreted all things as if with one mouth.


  44. _How the threat of the destruction of the Ninevites is to be
      understood, which in the Hebrew extends to forty days, while in
      the Septuagint it is contracted to three._

But some one may say, "How shall I know whether the prophet Jonah
said to the Ninevites, 'Yet _three_ days and Nineveh shall be
overthrown,' or _forty_ days?"[579] For who does not see that the
prophet could not say both, when he was sent to terrify the city
by the threat of imminent ruin? For if its destruction was to take
place on the third day, it certainly could not be on the fortieth;
but if on the fortieth, then certainly not on the third. If, then, I
am asked which of these Jonah may have said, I rather think what is
read in the Hebrew, "Yet forty days and Nineveh shall be overthrown."
Yet the Seventy, interpreting long afterward, could say what was
different and yet pertinent to the matter, and agree in the selfsame
meaning, although under a different signification. And this may
admonish the reader not to despise the authority of either, but to
raise himself above the history, and search for those things which
the history itself was written to set forth. These things, indeed,
took place in the city of Nineveh, but they also signified something
else too great to apply to that city; just as, when it happened
that the prophet himself was three days in the whale's belly, it
signified besides, that He who is Lord of all the prophets should be
three days in the depths of hell. Wherefore, if that city is rightly
held as prophetically representing the Church of the Gentiles, to
wit, as brought down by penitence, so as no longer to be what it had
been, since this was done by Christ in the Church of the Gentiles,
which Nineveh represented, Christ Himself was signified both by the
forty and by the three days: by the forty, because He spent that
number of days with His disciples after the resurrection, and then
ascended into heaven, but by the three days, because He rose on the
third day. So that, if the reader desires nothing else than to adhere
to the history of events, he may be aroused from his sleep by the
Septuagint interpreters, as well as the prophets, to search into the
depth of the prophecy, as if they had said, In the forty days seek
Him in whom thou mayest also find the three days,--the one thou wilt
find in His ascension, the other in His resurrection. Because that
which could be most suitably signified by both numbers, of which
one is used by Jonah the prophet, the other by the prophecy of the
Septuagint version, the one and selfsame Spirit hath spoken. I dread
prolixity, so that I must not demonstrate this by many instances in
which the seventy interpreters may be thought to differ from the
Hebrew, and yet, when well understood, are found to agree. For which
reason I also, according to my capacity, following the footsteps of
the apostles, who themselves have quoted prophetic testimonies from
both, that is, from the Hebrew and the Septuagint, have thought that
both should be used as authoritative, since both are one, and divine.
But let us now follow out as we can what remains.


  45. _That the Jews ceased to have prophets after the rebuilding of
      the temple, and from that time until the birth of Christ were
      afflicted with continual adversity, to prove that the building
      of another temple had been promised by prophetic voices._

The Jewish nation no doubt became worse after it ceased to have
prophets, just at the very time when, on the rebuilding of the temple
after the captivity in Babylon, it hoped to become better. For so,
indeed, did that carnal people understand what was foretold by
Haggai the prophet, saying, "The glory of this latter house shall be
greater than that of the former."[580] Now, that this is said of the
new testament, he showed a little above, where he says, evidently
promising Christ, "And I will move all nations, and the desired One
shall come to all nations."[581] In this passage the Septuagint
translators, giving another sense more suitable to the body than the
Head, that is, to the Church than to Christ, have said by prophetic
authority, "The things shall come that are chosen of the Lord from
all nations," that is, _men_, of whom Jesus saith in the Gospel,
"Many are called, but few are chosen."[582] For by such chosen ones
of the nations there is built, through the new testament, with living
stones, a house of God far more glorious than that temple was which
was constructed by king Solomon, and rebuilt after the captivity.
For this reason, then, that nation had no prophets from that time,
but was afflicted with many plagues by kings of alien race, and by
the Romans themselves, lest they should fancy that this prophecy of
Haggai was fulfilled by that rebuilding of the temple.

For not long after, on the arrival of Alexander, it was subdued,
when, although there was no pillaging, because they dared not resist
him, and thus, being very easily subdued, received him peaceably,
yet the glory of that house was not so great as it was when under
the free power of their own kings. Alexander, indeed, offered up
sacrifices in the temple of God, not as a convert to His worship
in true piety, but thinking, with impious folly, that He was to be
worshipped along with false gods. Then Ptolemy son of Lagus, whom I
have already mentioned, after Alexander's death carried them captive
into Egypt. His successor, Ptolemy Philadelphus, most benevolently
dismissed them; and by him it was brought about, as I have narrated
a little before, that we should have the Septuagint version of the
Scriptures. Then they were crushed by the wars which are explained
in the books of the Maccabees. Afterward they were taken captive by
Ptolemy king of Alexandria, who was called Epiphanes. Then Antiochus
king of Syria compelled them by many and most grievous evils to
worship idols, and filled the temple itself with the sacrilegious
superstitions of the Gentiles. Yet their most vigorous leader
Judas, who is also called Maccabæus, after beating the generals of
Antiochus, cleansed it from all that defilement of idolatry.

But not long after, one Alcimus, although an alien from the
sacerdotal tribe, was, through ambition, made pontiff, which was an
impious thing. After almost fifty years, during which they never
had peace, although they prospered in some affairs, Aristobulus
first assumed the diadem among them, and was made both king and
pontiff. Before that, indeed, from the time of their return from the
Babylonish captivity and the rebuilding of the temple, they had not
kings, but generals or _principes_. Although a king himself may be
called a prince, from his principality in governing, and a leader,
because he leads the army, but it does not follow that all who are
princes and leaders may also be called kings, as that Aristobulus
was. He was succeeded by Alexander, also both king and pontiff, who
is reported to have reigned over them cruelly. After him his wife
Alexandra was queen of the Jews, and from her time downwards more
grievous evils pursued them; for this Alexandra's sons, Aristobulus
and Hyrcanus, when contending with each other for the kingdom, called
in the Roman forces against the nation of Israel. For Hyrcanus asked
assistance from them against his brother. At that time Rome had
already subdued Africa and Greece, and ruled extensively in other
parts of the world also, and yet, as if unable to bear her own
weight, had, in a manner, broken herself by her own size. For indeed
she had come to grave domestic seditions, and from that to social
wars, and by and by to civil wars, and had enfeebled and worn herself
out so much, that the changed state of the republic, in which she
should be governed by kings, was now imminent. Pompey then, a most
illustrious prince of the Roman people, having entered Judea with an
army, took the city, threw open the temple, not with the devotion of
a suppliant, but with the authority of a conqueror, and went, not
reverently, but profanely, into the holy of holies, where it was
lawful for none but the pontiff to enter. Having established Hyrcanus
in the pontificate, and set Antipater over the subjugated nation as
guardian or procurator, as they were then called, he led Aristobulus
with him bound. From that time the Jews also began to be Roman
tributaries. Afterward Cassius plundered the very temple. Then after
a few years it was their desert to have Herod, a king of foreign
birth, in whose reign Christ was born. For the time had now come
signified by the prophetic Spirit through the mouth of the patriarch
Jacob, when he says, "There shall not be lacking a prince out of
Judah, nor a teacher from his loins, until He shall come for whom it
is reserved; and He is the expectation of the nations."[583] There
lacked not therefore a Jewish prince of the Jews until that Herod,
who was the first king of a foreign race received by them. Therefore
it was now the time when He should come for whom that was reserved
which is promised in the New Testament, that He should be the
expectation of the nations. But it was not possible that the nations
should expect He would come, as we see they did, to do judgment in
the splendour of power, unless they should first believe in Him when
He came to suffer judgment in the humility of patience.


  46. _Of the birth of our Saviour, whereby the Word was made flesh;
      and of the dispersion of the Jews among all nations, as had
      been prophesied._

While Herod, therefore, reigned in Judea, and Cæsar Augustus was
emperor at Rome, the state of the republic being already changed, and
the world being set at peace by him, Christ was born in Bethlehem
of Judah, man manifest out of a human virgin, God hidden out of God
the Father. For so had the prophet foretold: "Behold, a virgin shall
conceive in the womb, and bring forth a Son, and they shall call
His name Immanuel, which, being interpreted, is, God with us."[584]
He did many miracles that He might commend God in Himself, some
of which, even as many as seemed sufficient to proclaim Him, are
contained in the evangelic Scripture. The first of these is, that
He was so wonderfully born, and the last, that with His body raised
up again from the dead He ascended into heaven. But the Jews who
slew Him, and would not believe in Him, because it behoved Him to
die and rise again, were yet more miserably wasted by the Romans,
and utterly rooted out from their kingdom, where aliens had already
ruled over them, and were dispersed through the lands (so that indeed
there is no place where they are not), and are thus by their own
Scriptures a testimony to us that we have not forged the prophecies
about Christ. And very many of them, considering this, even before
His passion, but chiefly after His resurrection, believed on Him, of
whom it was predicted, "Though the number of the children of Israel
be as the sand of the sea, the remnant shall be saved."[585] But
the rest are blinded, of whom it was predicted, "Let their table be
made before them a trap, and a retribution, and a stumbling-block.
Let their eyes be darkened lest they see, and bow down their back
alway."[586] Therefore, when they do not believe our Scriptures,
their own, which they blindly read, are fulfilled in them, lest
perchance any one should say that the Christians have forged these
prophecies about Christ which are quoted under the name of the sibyl,
or of others, if such there be, who do not belong to the Jewish
people. For us, indeed, those suffice which are quoted from the books
of our enemies, to whom we make our acknowledgment, on account of
this testimony which, in spite of themselves, they contribute by
their possession of these books, while they themselves are dispersed
among all nations, wherever the Church of Christ is spread abroad.
For a prophecy about this thing was sent before in the Psalms, which
they also read, where it is written, "My God, His mercy shall prevent
me. My God hath shown me concerning mine enemies, that Thou shalt not
slay them, lest they should at last forget Thy law: disperse them in
Thy might."[587] Therefore God has shown the Church in her enemies
the Jews the grace of His compassion, since, as saith the apostle,
"their offence is the salvation of the Gentiles."[588] And therefore
He has not slain them, that is, He has not let the knowledge that
they are Jews be lost in them, although they have been conquered
by the Romans, lest they should forget the law of God, and their
testimony should be of no avail in this matter of which we treat.
But it was not enough that he should say, "Slay them not, lest they
should at last forget Thy law," unless he had also added, "Disperse
them;" because if they had only been in their own land with that
testimony of the Scriptures, and not everywhere, certainly the Church
which is everywhere could not have had them as witnesses among all
nations to the prophecies which were sent before concerning Christ.


  47. _Whether before Christian times there were any outside of the
      Israelite race who belonged to the fellowship of the heavenly
      city._

Wherefore if we read of any foreigner--that is, one neither born
of Israel nor received by that people into the canon of the sacred
books--having prophesied something about Christ, if it has come or
shall come to our knowledge, we can refer to it over and above;
not that this is necessary, even if wanting, but because it is not
incongruous to believe that even in other nations there may have been
men to whom this mystery was revealed, and who were also impelled to
proclaim it, whether they were partakers of the same grace or had no
experience of it, but were taught by bad angels, who, as we know, even
confessed the present Christ, whom the Jews did not acknowledge. Nor
do I think the Jews themselves dare contend that no one has belonged
to God except the Israelites, since the increase of Israel began on
the rejection of his elder brother. For in very deed there was no
other people who were specially called the people of God; but they
cannot deny that there have been certain men even of other nations
who belonged, not by earthly but heavenly fellowship, to the true
Israelites, the citizens of the country that is above. Because, if they
deny this, they can be most easily confuted by the case of the holy and
wonderful man Job, who was neither a native nor a proselyte, that is, a
stranger joining the people of Israel, but, being bred of the Idumean
race, arose there and died there too, and who is so praised by the
divine oracle, that no man of his times is put on a level with him as
regards justice and piety. And although we do not find his date in the
chronicles, yet from his book, which for its merit the Israelites have
received as of canonical authority, we gather that he was in the third
generation after Israel. And I doubt not it was divinely provided, that
from this one case we might know that among other nations also there
might be men pertaining to the spiritual Jerusalem who have lived
according to God and have pleased Him. And it is not to be supposed
that this was granted to any one, unless the one Mediator between God
and men, the Man Christ Jesus,[589] was divinely revealed to him; who
was pre-announced to the saints of old as yet to come in the flesh,
even as He is announced to us as having come, that the selfsame faith
through Him may lead all to God who are predestinated to be the city of
God, the house of God, and the temple of God. But whatever prophecies
concerning the grace of God through Christ Jesus are quoted, they
may be thought to have been forged by the Christians. So that there
is nothing of more weight for confuting all sorts of aliens, if they
contend about this matter, and for supporting our friends, if they are
truly wise, than to quote those divine predictions about Christ which
are written in the books of the Jews, who have been torn from their
native abode and dispersed over the whole world in order to bear this
testimony, so that the Church of Christ has everywhere increased.


  48. _That Haggai's prophecy, in which he said that the glory of
      the house of God would be greater than that of the first had
      been,_[590] _was really fulfilled, not in the rebuilding of the
      temple, but in the Church of Christ._

This house of God is more glorious than that first one which was
constructed of wood and stone, metals, and other precious things.
Therefore the prophecy of Haggai was not fulfilled in the rebuilding
of that temple. For it can never be shown to have had so much glory
after it was rebuilt as it had in the time of Solomon; yea, rather,
the glory of that house is shown to have been diminished, first by the
ceasing of prophecy, and then by the nation itself suffering so great
calamities, even to the final destruction made by the Romans, as the
things above-mentioned prove. But this house which pertains to the new
testament is just as much more glorious as the living stones, even
believing, renewed men, of which it is constructed are better. But it
was typified by the rebuilding of that temple for this reason, because
the very renovation of that edifice typifies in the prophetic oracle
another testament which is called the new. When, therefore, God said
by the prophet just named, "And I will give peace in this place,"[591]
He is to be understood who is typified by that typical place; for since
by that rebuilt place is typified the Church which was to be built by
Christ, nothing else can be accepted as the meaning of the saying, "I
will give peace in this place," except I will give peace in the place
which that place signifies. For all typical things seem in some way to
personate those whom they typify, as it is said by the apostle, "That
Rock was Christ."[592] Therefore the glory of this new testament house
is greater than the glory of the old testament house; and it will show
itself as greater when it shall be dedicated. For then "shall come the
desired of all nations,"[593] as we read in the Hebrew. For before His
advent He had not yet been desired by all nations. For they knew not
Him whom they ought to desire, in whom they had not believed. Then,
also, according to the Septuagint interpretation (for it also is a
prophetic meaning), "shall come those who are elected of the Lord out
of all nations." For then indeed there shall come only those who are
elected, whereof the apostle saith, "According as He hath chosen us in
Him before the foundation of the world."[594] For the Master Builder
who said, "Many are called, but few are chosen,"[595] did not say this
of those who, on being called, came in such a way as to be cast out
from the feast, but would point out the house built up of the elect,
which henceforth shall dread no ruin. Yet because the churches are
also full of those who shall be separated by the winnowing as in the
threshing-floor, the glory of this house is not so apparent now as it
shall be when every one who is there shall be there always.


    49. _Of the indiscriminate increase of the Church, wherein many
          reprobate are in this world mixed with the elect._

In this wicked world, in these evil days, when the Church measures
her future loftiness by her present humility, and is exercised
by goading fears, tormenting sorrows, disquieting labours, and
dangerous temptations, when she soberly rejoices, rejoicing only in
hope, there are many reprobate mingled with the good, and both are
gathered together by the gospel as in a drag net;[596] and in this
world, as in a sea, both swim enclosed without distinction in the
net, until it is brought ashore, when the wicked must be separated
from the good, that in the good, as in His temple, God may be all
in all. We acknowledge, indeed, that His word is now fulfilled who
spake in the psalm, and said, "I have announced and spoken; they are
multiplied above number."[597] This takes place now, since He has
spoken, first by the mouth of his forerunner John, and afterward
by His own mouth, saying, "Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at
hand."[598] He chose disciples, whom He also called apostles,[599]
of lowly birth, unhonoured, and illiterate, so that whatever great
thing they might be or do, He might be and do it in them. He had one
among them whose wickedness He could use well in order to accomplish
His appointed passion, and furnish His Church an example of bearing
with the wicked. Having sown the holy gospel as much as that behoved
to be done by His bodily presence, He suffered, died, and rose again,
showing by His passion what we ought to suffer for the truth, and
by His resurrection what we ought to hope for in adversity; saving
always the mystery of the sacrament, by which His blood was shed for
the remission of sins. He held converse on the earth forty days with
His disciples, and in their sight ascended into heaven, and after
ten days sent the promised Holy Spirit. It was given as the chief
and most necessary sign of His coming on those who had believed,
that every one of them spoke in the tongues of all nations; thus
signifying that the unity of the catholic Church would embrace all
nations, and would in like manner speak in all tongues.


    50. _Of the preaching of the gospel, which is made more famous
           and powerful by the sufferings of its preachers._

Then was fulfilled that prophecy, "Out of Sion shall go forth the
law, and the word of the Lord out of Jerusalem;"[600] and the
prediction of the Lord Christ Himself, when, after the resurrection,
"He opened the understanding" of His amazed disciples "that they
might understand the Scriptures, and said unto them that thus it
is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from
the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins
should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at
Jerusalem."[601] And again, when, in reply to their questioning about
the day of His last coming, He said, "It is not for you to know the
times or the seasons which the Father hath put in His own power; but
ye shall receive the power of the Holy Ghost coming upon you, and ye
shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and
Samaria, and even unto the ends of the earth."[602] First of all, the
Church spread herself abroad from Jerusalem; and when very many in
Judea and Samaria had believed, she also went into other nations by
those who announced the gospel, whom, as lights, He Himself had both
prepared by His word and kindled by His Holy Spirit. For He had said
to them, "Fear ye not them which kill the body, but are not able to
kill the soul."[603] And that they might not be frozen with fear,
they burned with the fire of charity. Finally, the gospel of Christ
was preached in the whole world, not only by those who had seen
and heard Him both before His passion and after His resurrection,
but also after their death by their successors, amid the horrible
persecutions, diverse torments and deaths of the martyrs, God also
bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and divers
miracles and gifts of the Holy Ghost,[604] that the people of the
nations, believing in Him who was crucified for their redemption,
might venerate with Christian love the blood of the martyrs which
they had poured forth with devilish fury, and the very kings by
whose laws the Church had been laid waste might become profitably
subject to that name they had cruelly striven to take away from the
earth, and might begin to persecute the false gods for whose sake the
worshippers of the true God had formerly been persecuted.


       51. _That the catholic faith may be confirmed even by the
                     dissensions of the heretics._

But the devil, seeing the temples of the demons deserted, and the
human race running to the name of the liberating Mediator, has
moved the heretics under the Christian name to resist the Christian
doctrine, as if they could be kept in the city of God indifferently
without any correction, just as the city of confusion indifferently
held the philosophers who were of diverse and adverse opinions.
Those, therefore, in the Church of Christ who savour anything morbid
and depraved, and, on being corrected that they may savour what is
wholesome and right, contumaciously resist, and will not amend their
pestiferous and deadly dogmas, but persist in defending them, become
heretics, and, going without, are to be reckoned as enemies who serve
for her discipline. For even thus they profit by their wickedness
those true catholic members of Christ, since God makes a good use
even of the wicked, and all things work together for good to them
that love Him.[605] For all the enemies of the Church, whatever error
blinds or malice depraves them, exercise her patience if they receive
the power to afflict her corporally; and if they only oppose her by
wicked thought, they exercise her wisdom: but at the same time, if
these enemies are loved, they exercise her benevolence, or even her
beneficence, whether she deals with them by persuasive doctrine or by
terrible discipline. And thus the devil, the prince of the impious
city, when he stirs up his own vessels against the city of God that
sojourns in this world, is permitted to do her no harm. For without
doubt the divine providence procures for her both consolation through
prosperity, that she may not be broken by adversity, and trial
through adversity, that she may not be corrupted by prosperity; and
thus each is tempered by the other, as we recognise in the Psalms
that voice which arises from no other cause, "According to the
multitude of my griefs in my heart, Thy consolations have delighted
my soul."[606] Hence also is that saying of the apostle, "Rejoicing
in hope, patient in tribulation."[607]

For it is not to be thought that what the same teacher says can at
any time fail, "Whoever will live piously in Christ shall suffer
persecution."[608] Because even when those who are without do not
rage, and thus there seems to be, and really is, tranquillity, which
brings very much consolation, especially to the weak, yet there are
not wanting, yea, there are many within who by their abandoned
manners torment the hearts of those who live piously, since by them
the Christian and catholic name is blasphemed; and the dearer that
name is to those who will live piously in Christ, the more do they
grieve that through the wicked, who have a place within, it comes to
be less loved than pious minds desire. The heretics themselves also,
since they are thought to have the Christian name and sacraments,
Scriptures, and profession, cause great grief in the hearts of the
pious, both because many who wish to be Christians are compelled by
their dissensions to hesitate, and many evil-speakers also find in
them matter for blaspheming the Christian name, because they too
are at any rate _called_ Christians. By these and similar depraved
manners and errors of men, those who will live piously in Christ
suffer persecution, even when no one molests or vexes their body;
for they suffer this persecution, not in their bodies, but in their
hearts. Whence is that word, "According to the multitude of my griefs
in my heart;" for he does not say, in my body. Yet, on the other
hand, none of them can perish, because the immutable divine promises
are thought of. And because the apostle says, "The Lord knoweth them
that are His;[609] for whom He did foreknow, He also predestinated
[to be] conformed to the image of His Son,"[610] none of them can
perish; therefore it follows in that psalm, "Thy consolations have
delighted my soul."[611] But that grief which arises in the hearts
of the pious, who are persecuted by the manners of bad or false
Christians, is profitable to the sufferers, because it proceeds from
the charity in which they do not wish them either to perish or to
hinder the salvation of others. Finally, great consolations grow
out of their chastisement, which imbue the souls of the pious with
a fecundity as great as the pains with which they were troubled
concerning their own perdition. Thus in this world, in these evil
days, not only from the time of the bodily presence of Christ and His
apostles, but even from that of Abel, whom first his wicked brother
slew because he was righteous,[612] and thenceforth even to the end
of this world, the Church has gone forward on pilgrimage amid the
persecutions of the world and the consolations of God.


  52. _Whether we should believe what some think, that, as the ten
      persecutions which are past have been fulfilled, there remains
      no other beyond the eleventh, which must happen in the very
      time of Antichrist._

I do not think, indeed, that what some have thought or may think
is rashly said or believed, that until the time of Antichrist the
Church of Christ is not to suffer any persecutions besides those
she has already suffered,--that is, _ten_,--and that the eleventh
and last shall be inflicted by Antichrist. They reckon as the first
that made by Nero, the second by Domitian, the third by Trajan, the
fourth by Antoninus, the fifth by Severus, the sixth by Maximin, the
seventh by Decius, the eighth by Valerian, the ninth by Aurelian,
the tenth by Diocletian and Maximian. For as there were ten plagues
in Egypt before the people of God could begin to go out, they think
this is to be referred to as showing that the last persecution by
Antichrist must be like the eleventh plague, in which the Egyptians,
while following the Hebrews with hostility, perished in the Red Sea
when the people of God passed through on dry land. Yet I do not
think persecutions were prophetically signified by what was done in
Egypt, however nicely and ingeniously those who think so may seem
to have compared the two in detail, not by the prophetic Spirit,
but by the conjecture of the human mind, which sometimes hits the
truth, and sometimes is deceived. But what can those who think this
say of the persecution in which the Lord Himself was crucified? In
which number will they put it? And if they think the reckoning is
to be made exclusive of this one, as if those must be counted which
pertain to the body, and not that in which the Head Himself was set
upon and slain, what can they make of that one which, after Christ
ascended into heaven, took place in Jerusalem, when the blessed
Stephen was stoned; when James the brother of John was slaughtered
with the sword; when the Apostle Peter was imprisoned to be killed,
and was set free by the angel; when the brethren were driven away and
scattered from Jerusalem; when Saul, who afterward became the Apostle
Paul, wasted the Church; and when he himself, publishing the glad
tidings of the faith he had persecuted, suffered such things as he
had inflicted, either from the Jews or from other nations, where he
most fervently preached Christ everywhere? Why, then, do they think
fit to start with Nero, when the Church in her growth had reached
the times of Nero amid the most cruel persecutions, about which it
would be too long to say anything? But if they think that only the
persecutions made by kings ought to be reckoned, it was king Herod
who also made a most grievous one after the ascension of the Lord.
And what account do they give of Julian, whom they do not number in
the ten? Did not he persecute the Church, who forbade the Christians
to teach or learn liberal letters? Under him, the elder Valentinian,
who was the third emperor after him, stood forth as a confessor of
the Christian faith, and was dismissed from his command in the army.
I shall say nothing of what he did at Antioch, except to mention
his being struck with wonder at the freedom and cheerfulness of one
most faithful and stedfast young man, who, when many were seized
to be tortured, was tortured during a whole day, and sang under
the instrument of torture, until the emperor feared lest he should
succumb under the continued cruelties and put him to shame at last,
which made him dread and fear that he would be yet more dishonourably
put to the blush by the rest. Lastly, within our own recollection,
did not Valens the Arian, brother of the foresaid Valentinian, waste
the catholic Church by great persecution throughout the East? But how
unreasonable it is not to consider that the Church, which bears fruit
and grows through the whole world, may suffer persecution from kings
in some nations even when she does not suffer it in others! Perhaps,
however, it was not to be reckoned a persecution when the king of the
Goths, in Gothia itself, persecuted the Christians with wonderful
cruelty, when there were none but catholics there, of whom very many
were crowned with martyrdom, as we have heard from certain brethren
who had been there at that time as boys, and unhesitatingly called to
mind that they had seen these things? And what took place in Persia
of late? Was not persecution so hot against the Christians (if even
yet it is allayed) that some of the fugitives from it came even to
Roman towns? When I think of these and the like things, it does not
seem to me that the number of persecutions with which the Church is
to be tried can be definitely stated. But, on the other hand, it
is no less rash to affirm that there will be some persecutions by
kings besides that last one, about which no Christian is in doubt.
Therefore we leave this undecided, supporting or refuting neither
side of this question, but only restraining men from the audacious
presumption of affirming either of them.


          53. _Of the hidden time of the final persecution._

Truly Jesus Himself shall extinguish by His presence that last
persecution which is to be made by Antichrist. For so it is written,
that "He shall slay him with the breath of His mouth, and empty him
with the brightness of His presence."[613] It is customary to ask,
When shall that be? But this is quite unreasonable. For had it been
profitable for us to know this, by whom could it better have been told
than by God Himself, the Master, when the disciples questioned Him? For
they were not silent when with Him, but inquired of Him, saying, "Lord,
wilt Thou at this time present the kingdom to Israel, or when?"[614]
But He said, "It is not for you to know the times, which the Father
hath put in His own power." When they got that answer, they had not at
all questioned Him about the hour, or day, or year, but about the time.
In vain, then, do we attempt to compute definitely the years that may
remain to this world, when we may hear from the mouth of the Truth that
it is not for us to know this. Yet some have said that four hundred,
some five hundred, others a thousand years, may be completed from the
ascension of the Lord up to His final coming. But to point out how
each of them supports his own opinion would take too long, and is not
necessary; for indeed they use human conjectures, and bring forward
nothing certain from the authority of the canonical Scriptures. But on
this subject He puts aside the figures of the calculators, and orders
silence, who says, "It is not for you to know the times, which the
Father hath put in His own power."

But because this sentence is in the Gospel, it is no wonder that
the worshippers of the many and false gods have been none the less
restrained from feigning that by the responses of the demons, whom
they worship as gods, it has been fixed how long the Christian
religion is to last. For when they saw that it could not be consumed
by so many and great persecutions, but rather drew from them
wonderful enlargements, they invented I know not what Greek verses,
as if poured forth by a divine oracle to some one consulting it,
in which, indeed, they make Christ innocent of this, as it were,
sacrilegious crime, but add that Peter by enchantments brought it
about that the name of Christ should be worshipped for three hundred
and sixty-five years, and, after the completion of that number of
years, should at once take end. Oh the hearts of learned men! Oh,
learned wits, meet to believe such things _about_ Christ as you are
not willing to believe _in_ Christ, that His disciple Peter did not
learn magic arts from Him, yet that, although He was innocent, His
disciple was an enchanter, and chose that His name rather than his
own should be worshipped through his magic arts, his great labours
and perils, and at last even the shedding of his blood! If Peter the
enchanter made the world so love Christ, what did Christ the innocent
do to make Peter so love Him? Let them answer themselves then, and,
if they can, let them understand that the world, for the sake of
eternal life, was made to love Christ by that same supernal grace
which made Peter also love Christ for the sake of the eternal life
to be received from Him, and that even to the extent of suffering
temporal death for Him. And then, what kind of gods are these who
are able to predict such things, yet are not able to avert them,
succumbing in such a way to a single enchanter and wicked magician
(who, as they say, having slain a yearling boy and torn him to
pieces, buried him with nefarious rites), that they permitted the
sect hostile to themselves to gain strength for so great a time, and
to surmount the horrid cruelties of so many great persecutions, not
by resisting but by suffering, and to procure the overthrow of their
own images, temples, rituals, and oracles? Finally, what god was
it--not ours, certainly, but one of their own--who was either enticed
or compelled by so great wickedness to perform these things? For
those verses say that Peter bound, not any demon, but a god to do
these things. Such a god have they who have not Christ.


  54. _Of the very foolish lie of the pagans, in feigning that the
      Christian religion was not to last beyond three hundred and
      sixty-five years._

I might collect these and many similar arguments, if that year had
not already passed by which lying divination has promised, and
deceived vanity has believed. But as a few years ago three hundred
and sixty-five years were completed since the time when the worship
of the name of Christ was established by His presence in the flesh,
and by the apostles, what other proof need we seek to refute that
falsehood? For, not to place the beginning of this period at the
nativity of Christ, because as an infant and boy He had no disciples,
yet, when He began to have them, beyond doubt the Christian doctrine
and religion then became known through His bodily presence, that is,
after He was baptized in the river Jordan by the ministry of John.
For on this account that prophecy went before concerning Him: "He
shall reign from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends
of the earth."[615] But since, before He suffered and rose from the
dead, the faith had not yet been defined to all, but was defined in
the resurrection of Christ (for so the Apostle Paul speaks to the
Athenians, saying, "But now He announces to men that all everywhere
should repent, because He hath appointed a day in which to judge the
world in equity, by the Man in whom He hath defined the faith to all
men, raising Him from the dead"[616]), it is better that, in settling
this question, we should start from that point, especially because
the Holy Spirit was then given, just as He behoved to be given after
the resurrection of Christ in that city from which the second law,
that is, the new testament, ought to begin. For the first, which is
called the old testament, was given from Mount Sinai through Moses.
But concerning this which was to be given by Christ it was predicted,
"Out of Sion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord out
of Jerusalem;"[617] whence He Himself said, that repentance in His
name behoved to be preached among all nations, but yet beginning
at Jerusalem.[618] There, therefore, the worship of this name
took its rise, that Jesus should be believed in, who died and rose
again. There this faith blazed up with such noble beginnings, that
several thousand men, being converted to the name of Christ with
wonderful alacrity, sold their goods for distribution among the
needy, thus, by a holy resolution and most ardent charity, coming
to voluntary poverty, and prepared themselves, amid the Jews who
raged and thirsted for their blood, to contend for the truth even to
death, not with armed power, but with more powerful patience. If this
was accomplished by no magic arts, why do they hesitate to believe
that the other could be done throughout the whole world by the same
divine power by which this was done? But supposing Peter wrought that
enchantment so that so great a multitude of men at Jerusalem was
thus kindled to worship the name of Christ, who had either seized
and fastened Him to the cross, or reviled Him when fastened there,
we must still inquire when the three hundred and sixty-five years
must be completed, counting from that year. Now Christ died when the
Gemini were consuls, on the eighth day before the kalends of April.
He rose the third day, as the apostles have proved by the evidence of
their own senses. Then forty days after, He ascended into heaven. Ten
days after, that is, on the fiftieth after His resurrection, He sent
the Holy Spirit; then three thousand men believed when the apostles
preached Him. Then, therefore, arose the worship of that name, as
we believe, and according to the real truth, by the efficacy of the
Holy Spirit, but, as impious vanity has feigned or thought, by the
magic arts of Peter. A little afterward, too, on a wonderful sign
being wrought, when at Peter's own word a certain beggar, so lame
from his mother's womb that he was carried by others and laid down at
the gate of the temple, where he begged alms, was made whole in the
name of Jesus Christ, and leaped up, five thousand men believed, and
thenceforth the Church grew by sundry accessions of believers. Thus
we gather the very day with which that year began, namely, that on
which the Holy Spirit was sent, that is, during the ides of May. And,
on counting the consuls, the three hundred and sixty-five years are
found completed on the same ides in the consulate of Honorius and
Eutychianus. Now, in the following year, in the consulate of Mallius
Theodorus, when, according to that oracle of the demons or figment
of men, there ought already to have been no Christian religion,
it was not necessary to inquire what perchance was done in other
parts of the earth. But, as we know, in the most noted and eminent
city Carthage, in Africa, Gaudentius and Jovius, officers of the
Emperor Honorius, on the fourteenth day before the kalends of April,
overthrew the temples and broke the images of the false gods. And
from that time to the present, during almost thirty years, who does
not see how much the worship of the name of Christ has increased,
especially after many of those became Christians who had been kept
back from the faith by thinking that divination true, but saw when
that same number of years was completed that it was empty and
ridiculous? We, therefore, who are called and _are_ Christians, do
not believe in Peter, but in Him whom Peter believed,--being edified
by Peter's sermons about Christ, not poisoned by his incantations;
and not deceived by his enchantments, but aided by his good deeds.
Christ Himself, who was Peter's Master in the doctrine which leads to
eternal life, is our Master too.

But let us now at last finish this book, after thus far treating of,
and showing as far as seemed sufficient, what is the mortal course
of the two cities, the heavenly and the earthly, which are mingled
together from the beginning down to the end. Of these, the earthly one
has made to herself of whom she would, either from any other quarter,
or even from among men, false gods whom she might serve by sacrifice;
but she which is heavenly, and is a pilgrim on the earth, does not make
false gods, but is herself made by the true God, of whom she herself
must be the true sacrifice. Yet both alike either enjoy temporal good
things, or are afflicted with temporal evils, but with diverse faith,
diverse hope, and diverse love, until they must be separated by the
last judgment, and each must receive her own end, of which there is no
end. About these ends of both we must next treat.

FOOTNOTES:

[497] Sallust, _Bell. Cat._ c. 8.

[498] In the Hebrew text, Gen. xxv. 7, a hundred and seventy-five
years.

[499] Gen. xlix. 10.

[500] Ἄρης and παγος.

[501] 1 Cor. xv. 46, 47.

[502] The priests who officiated at the Lupercalia.

[503] _Æneid_, viii. 321.

[504] Isa. xlviii. 20.

[505] Virgil, _Eclogue_, viii. 70.

[506] Virgil, _Eclogue_, v. 11.

[507] Varro, _De Lingua Latina_, v. 43.

[508] _Æneid_, vi. 767.

[509] Hos. i. 1.

[510] Amos i. 1.

[511] Isa. i. 1. Isaiah's father was Amoz, a different name.

[512] Mic. i. 1.

[513] The chronicles of Eusebius and Jerome.

[514] Hos. i. 10.

[515] Hos. i. 11.

[516] Gal. ii. 14-20.

[517] Hos. iii. 4.

[518] Hos. iii. 5.

[519] Rom. i. 3.

[520] Hos. vi. 2.

[521] Col. iii. 1.

[522] Amos iv. 12, 13.

[523] Amos ix. 11, 12; Acts xv. 15-17.

[524] Isa. lii. 13-liii. 13. Augustine quotes these passages in full.

[525] Isa. liv. 1-5.

[526] Mic. iv. 1-3.

[527] Mic. v. 2-4.

[528] Joel ii. 28, 29.

[529] Obad. 17.

[530] Obad. 21.

[531] Col. i. 13.

[532] Nah. i. 14-ii. 1.

[533] Hab. ii. 2, 3.

[534] Hab. iii. 2.

[535] Luke xxiii. 34.

[536] Hab. iii. 3.

[537] Ps. lvii. 5, 11.

[538] Hab. iii. 4.

[539] John iii. 17.

[540] Joel ii. 13.

[541] Matt. v. 4.

[542] Matt. x. 27.

[543] Ps. cxvi. 16.

[544] Rom. xii. 12.

[545] Heb. xi. 13, 16.

[546] Rom. x. 3.

[547] Ps. xl. 2, 3.

[548] Jer. ix. 23, 24, as in 1 Cor. i. 31.

[549] Lam. iv. 20.

[550] Bar. iii. 35-37.

[551] Jer. xxiii. 5, 6.

[552] Jer. xvi. 19.

[553] Jer. xvii. 9.

[554] Jer. xxxi. 31; see Bk. xvii. 3.

[555] Zeph. iii. 8.

[556] Zeph. ii. 11.

[557] Zeph. iii. 9-12.

[558] Isa. x. 22; Rom. ix. 27.

[559] Dan. vii. 13, 14.

[560] Ezek. xxxiv. 23.

[561] Ezek. xxxvii. 22-24.

[562] Hag. ii. 6.

[563] Zech. ix. 9, 10.

[564] Zech. ix. 11.

[565] Ps. xl. 2.

[566] Mal. i. 10, 11.

[567] Mal. ii. 5-7.

[568] Mal. iii. 1, 2.

[569] John ii. 19.

[570] Mal. iii. 13-16.

[571] Mal. iii. 17-iv. 3.

[572] Esdras iii. and iv.

[573] Acts vii. 22.

[574] Heb. xi. 7; 1 Pet. iii. 20, 21.

[575] Jude 14.

[576] Ex. xx. 12.

[577] Ex. xx. 13-15, the order as in Mark x. 19.

[578] Var. reading, "both in Greek and Latin."

[579] Jon. iii. 4.

[580] Hag. ii. 9.

[581] Hag. ii. 7.

[582] Matt. xxii. 14.

[583] Gen. xlix. 10.

[584] Isa. vii. 14, as in Matt. i. 23.

[585] Isa. x. 22, as in Rom. ix. 27, 28.

[586] Ps. lxix. 22, 23; Rom. xi. 9, 10.

[587] Ps. lxix. 10, 11.

[588] Rom. xi. 11.

[589] 1 Tim. ii. 5.

[590] Hag. ii. 9.

[591] Hag. ii. 9.

[592] 1 Cor. x. 4; Ex. xvii. 6.

[593] Hag. ii. 7.

[594] Eph. i. 4.

[595] Matt. xxii. 11-14.

[596] Matt. xiii. 47-50.

[597] Ps. xl. 5.

[598] Matt. iii 2, iv. 17.

[599] Luke vi. 13.

[600] Isa. ii. 3.

[601] Luke xxiv. 45-47.

[602] Acts i. 7, 8.

[603] Matt. x. 28.

[604] Heb. ii. 4.

[605] Rom. viii. 28.

[606] Ps. xciv. 19.

[607] Rom. xii. 12.

[608] 2 Tim. iii. 12.

[609] 2 Tim. ii. 19.

[610] Rom. viii. 29.

[611] Ps. xciv. 19.

[612] 1 John iii. 12.

[613] Isa. xi. 4; 2 Thess. i. 9.

[614] Acts i. 6, 7.

[615] Ps. lxxii. 8.

[616] Acts xvii. 30, 31.

[617] Isa. ii. 3.

[618] Luke xxiv. 47.



                           BOOK NINETEENTH.

                               ARGUMENT.

  IN THIS BOOK THE END OF THE TWO CITIES, THE EARTHLY AND THE
      HEAVENLY, IS DISCUSSED. AUGUSTINE REVIEWS THE OPINIONS OF THE
      PHILOSOPHERS REGARDING THE SUPREME GOOD, AND THEIR VAIN EFFORTS
      TO MAKE FOR THEMSELVES A HAPPINESS IN THIS LIFE; AND, WHILE HE
      REFUTES THESE, HE TAKES OCCASION TO SHOW WHAT THE PEACE AND
      HAPPINESS BELONGING TO THE HEAVENLY CITY, OR THE PEOPLE OF
      CHRIST, ARE BOTH NOW AND HEREAFTER.


  1. _That Varro has made out that two hundred and eighty-eight
      different sects of philosophy might be formed by the various
      opinions regarding the supreme good._

As I see that I have still to discuss the fit destinies of the two
cities, the earthly and the heavenly, I must first explain, so far as
the limits of this work allow me, the reasonings by which men have
attempted to make for themselves a happiness in this unhappy life,
in order that it may be evident, not only from divine authority, but
also from such reasons as can be adduced to unbelievers, how the
empty dreams of the philosophers differ from the hope which God gives
to us, and from the substantial fulfilment of it which He will give
us as our blessedness. Philosophers have expressed a great variety of
diverse opinions regarding the ends of goods and of evils, and this
question they have eagerly canvassed, that they might, if possible,
discover what makes a man happy. For the end of our good is that for
the sake of which other things are to be desired, while it is to be
desired for its own sake; and the end of evil is that on account of
which other things are to be shunned, while it is avoided on its own
account. Thus, by the _end of good_, we at present mean, not that by
which good is destroyed, so that it no longer exists, but that by
which it is finished, so that it becomes complete; and by the _end of
evil_ we mean, not that which abolishes it, but that which completes
its development. These two ends, therefore, are the supreme good
and the supreme evil; and, as I have said, those who have in this
vain life professed the study of wisdom have been at great pains to
discover these ends, and to obtain the supreme good and avoid the
supreme evil in this life. And although they erred in a variety of
ways, yet natural insight has prevented them from wandering from the
truth so far that they have not placed the supreme good and evil,
some in the soul, some in the body, and some in both. From this
tripartite distribution of the sects of philosophy, Marcus Varro,
in his book _De Philosophia_,[619] has drawn so large a variety of
opinions, that, by a subtle and minute analysis of distinctions, he
numbers without difficulty as many as 288 sects,--not that these have
actually existed, but sects which are possible.

To illustrate briefly what he means, I must begin with his own
introductory statement in the above-mentioned book, that there
are four things which men desire, as it were by nature without a
master, without the help of any instruction, without industry or
the art of living which is called virtue, and which is certainly
learned:[620] either pleasure, which is an agreeable stirring of the
bodily sense; or repose, which excludes every bodily inconvenience;
or both these, which Epicurus calls by the one name, pleasure; or
the primary objects of nature,[621] which comprehend the things
already named and other things, either bodily, such as health, and
safety, and integrity of the members, or spiritual, such as the
greater and less mental gifts that are found in men. Now these four
things--pleasure, repose, the two combined, and the primary objects
of nature--exist in us in such sort that we must either desire virtue
on their account, or them for the sake of virtue, or both for their
own sake; and consequently there arise from this distinction twelve
sects, for each is by this consideration tripled. I will illustrate
this in one instance, and, having done so, it will not be difficult
to understand the others. According, then, as bodily pleasure is
subjected, preferred, or united to virtue, there are three sects. It
is subjected to virtue when it is chosen as subservient to virtue.
Thus it is a duty of virtue to live for one's country, and for its
sake to beget children, neither of which can be done without bodily
pleasure. For there is pleasure in eating and drinking, pleasure also
in sexual intercourse. But when it is preferred to virtue, it is
desired for its own sake, and virtue is chosen only for its sake, and
to effect nothing else than the attainment or preservation of bodily
pleasure. And this, indeed, is to make life hideous; for where virtue
is the slave of pleasure it no longer deserves the name of virtue.
Yet even this disgraceful distortion has found some philosophers
to patronize and defend it. Then virtue is united to pleasure when
neither is desired for the other's sake, but both for their own. And
therefore, as pleasure, according as it is subjected, preferred, or
united to virtue, makes three sects, so also do repose, pleasure and
repose combined, and the prime natural blessings, make their three
sects each. For as men's opinions vary, and these four things are
sometimes subjected, sometimes preferred, and sometimes united to
virtue, there are produced twelve sects. But this number again is
doubled by the addition of one difference, viz. the social life;
for whoever attaches himself to any of these sects does so either
for his own sake alone, or for the sake of a companion, for whom he
ought to wish what he desires for himself. And thus there will be
twelve of those who think some one of these opinions should be held
for their own sakes, and other twelve who decide that they ought to
follow this or that philosophy not for their own sakes only, but also
for the sake of others whose good they desire as their own. These
twenty-four sects again are doubled, and become forty-eight by adding
a difference taken from the New Academy. For each of these four and
twenty sects can hold and defend their opinion as certain, as the
Stoics defended the position that the supreme good of man consisted
solely in virtue; or they can be held as probable, but not certain,
as the New Academics did. There are, therefore, twenty-four who hold
their philosophy as certainly true, other twenty-four who hold their
opinions as probable, but not certain. Again, as each person who
attaches himself to any of these sects may adopt the mode of life
either of the Cynics or of the other philosophers, this distinction
will double the number, and so make ninety-six sects. Then, lastly,
as each of these sects may be adhered to either by men who love a
life of ease, as those who have through choice or necessity addicted
themselves to study, or by men who love a busy life, as those who,
while philosophizing, have been much occupied with state affairs and
public business, or by men who choose a mixed life, in imitation of
those who have apportioned their time partly to erudite leisure,
partly to necessary business: by these differences the number of the
sects is tripled, and becomes 288.

I have thus, as briefly and lucidly as I could, given in my own words
the opinions which Varro expresses in his book. But how he refutes all
the rest of these sects, and chooses one, the Old Academy, instituted
by Plato, and continuing to Polemo, the fourth teacher of that school
of philosophy which held that their system was certain; and how on this
ground he distinguishes it from the New Academy,[622] which began with
Polemo's successor Arcesilaus, and held that all things are uncertain;
and how he seeks to establish that the Old Academy was as free from
error as from doubt,--all this, I say, were too long to enter upon in
detail, and yet I must not altogether pass it by in silence. Varro then
rejects, as a first step, all those differences which have multiplied
the number of sects; and the ground on which he does so is that they
are not differences about the supreme good. He maintains that in
philosophy a sect is created only by its having an opinion of its own
different from other schools on the point of the ends-in-chief. For
man has no other reason for philosophizing than that he may be happy;
but that which makes him happy is itself the supreme good. In other
words, the supreme good is the reason of philosophizing; and therefore
that cannot be called a sect of philosophy which pursues no way of its
own towards the supreme good. Thus, when it is asked whether a wise
man will adopt the social life, and desire and be interested in the
supreme good of his friend as in his own, or will, on the contrary, do
all that he does merely for his own sake, there is no question here
about the supreme good, but only about the propriety of associating or
not associating a friend in its participation: whether the wise man
will do this not for his own sake, but for the sake of his friend in
whose good he delights as in his own. So, too, when it is asked whether
all things about which philosophy is concerned are to be considered
uncertain, as by the New Academy, or certain, as the other philosophers
maintain, the question here is not what end should be pursued, but
whether or not we are to believe in the substantial existence of that
end; or, to put it more plainly, whether he who pursues the supreme
good must maintain that it is a true good, or only that it appears to
him to be true, though possibly it may be delusive,--both pursuing
one and the same good. The distinction, too, which is founded on the
dress and manners of the Cynics, does not touch the question of the
chief good, but only the question whether he who pursues that good
which seems to himself true should live as do the Cynics. There were,
in fact, men who, though they pursued different things as the supreme
good, some choosing pleasure, others virtue, yet adopted that mode
of life which gave the Cynics their name. Thus, whatever it is which
distinguishes the Cynics from other philosophers, this has no bearing
on the choice and pursuit of that good which constitutes happiness.
For if it had any such bearing, then the same habits of life would
necessitate the pursuit of the same chief good, and diverse habits
would necessitate the pursuit of different ends.


  2. _How Varro, by removing all the differences which do not form
      sects, but are merely secondary questions, reaches three
      definitions of the chief good, of which we must choose one._

The same may be said of those three kinds of life, the life of studious
leisure and search after truth, the life of easy engagement in affairs,
and the life in which both these are mingled. When it is asked, which
of these should be adopted, this involves no controversy about the
end of good, but inquires which of these three puts a man in the best
position for finding and retaining the supreme good. For this good,
as soon as a man finds it, makes him happy; but lettered leisure,
or public business, or the alternation of these, do not necessarily
constitute happiness. Many, in fact, find it possible to adopt one or
other of these modes of life, and yet to miss what makes a man happy.
The question, therefore, regarding the supreme good and the supreme
evil, and which distinguishes sects of philosophy, is one; and these
questions concerning the social life, the doubt of the Academy, the
dress and food of the Cynics, the three modes of life--the active,
the contemplative, and the mixed--these are different questions, into
none of which the question of the chief good enters. And therefore, as
Marcus Varro multiplied the sects to the number of 288 (or whatever
larger number he chose) by introducing these four differences derived
from the social life, the New Academy, the Cynics, and the threefold
form of life, so, by removing these differences as having no bearing on
the supreme good, and as therefore not constituting what can properly
be called sects, he returns to those twelve schools which concern
themselves with inquiring what that good is which makes man happy, and
he shows that one of these is true, the rest false. In other words,
he dismisses the distinction founded on the threefold mode of life,
and so decreases the whole number by two-thirds, reducing the sects to
ninety-six. Then, putting aside the Cynic peculiarities, the number
decreases by a half, to forty-eight. Taking away next the distinction
occasioned by the hesitancy of the New Academy, the number is again
halved, and reduced to twenty-four. Treating in a similar way the
diversity introduced by the consideration of the social life, there
are left but twelve, which this difference had doubled to twenty-four.
Regarding these twelve, no reason can be assigned why they should
not be called sects. For in them the sole inquiry is regarding the
supreme good and the ultimate evil,--that is to say, regarding the
supreme good, for this being found, the opposite evil is thereby
found. Now, to make these twelve sects, he multiplies by three these
four things--pleasure, repose, pleasure and repose combined, and the
primary objects of nature which Varro calls _primigenia_. For as these
four things are sometimes subordinated to virtue, so that they seem to
be desired not for their own sake, but for virtue's sake; sometimes
preferred to it, so that virtue seems to be necessary not on its own
account, but in order to attain these things; sometimes joined with
it, so that both they and virtue are desired for their own sakes,--we
must multiply the four by three, and thus we get twelve sects. But
from those four things Varro eliminates three--pleasure, repose,
pleasure and repose combined--not because he thinks these are not
worthy of the place assigned them, but because they are included in
the primary objects of nature. And what need is there, at any rate, to
make a threefold division out of these two ends, pleasure and repose,
taking them first severally and then conjunctly, since both they, and
many other things besides, are comprehended in the primary objects of
nature? Which of the three remaining sects must be chosen? This is the
question that Varro dwells upon. For whether one of these three or
some other be chosen, reason forbids that more than one be true. This
we shall afterwards see; but meanwhile let us explain as briefly and
distinctly as we can how Varro makes his selection from these three,
that is, from the sects which severally hold that the primary objects
of nature are to be desired for virtue's sake, that virtue is to be
desired for their sake, and that virtue and these objects are to be
desired each for their own sake.


  3. _Which of the three leading opinions regarding the chief good
      should be preferred, according to Varro, who follows Antiochus
      and the Old Academy._

Which of these three is true and to be adopted he attempts to show in
the following manner. As it is the supreme good, not of a tree, or
of a beast, or of a god, but of man, that philosophy is in quest of,
he thinks that, first of all, we must define man. He is of opinion
that there are two parts in human nature, body and soul, and makes
no doubt that of these two the soul is the better and by far the
more worthy part. But whether the soul alone is the man, so that
the body holds the same relation to it as a horse to the horseman,
this he thinks has to be ascertained. The horseman is not a horse
and a man, but only a man, yet he is called a horseman, because he
is in some relation to the horse. Again, is the body alone the man,
having a relation to the soul such as the cup has to the drink? For
it is not the cup and the drink it contains which are called the
cup, but the cup alone; yet it is so called because it is made to
hold the drink. Or, lastly, is it neither the soul alone nor the
body alone, but both together, which are man, the body and the soul
being each a part, but the whole man being both together, as we
call two horses yoked together a pair, of which pair the near and
the off horse is each a part, but we do not call either of them, no
matter how connected with the other, a pair, but only both together?
Of these three alternatives, then, Varro chooses the third, that man
is neither the body alone, nor the soul alone, but both together.
And therefore the highest good, in which lies the happiness of man,
is composed of goods of both kinds, both bodily and spiritual. And
consequently he thinks that the primary objects of nature are to
be sought for their own sake, and that virtue, which is the art of
living, and can be communicated by instruction, is the most excellent
of spiritual goods. This virtue, then, or art of regulating life,
when it has received these primary objects of nature which existed
independently of it, and prior to any instruction, seeks them all,
and itself also, for its own sake; and it uses them, as it also
uses itself, that from them all it may derive profit and enjoyment,
greater or less, according as they are themselves greater or less;
and while it takes pleasure in all of them, it despises the less
that it may obtain or retain the greater when occasion demands. Now,
of all goods, spiritual or bodily, there is none at all to compare
with virtue. For virtue makes a good use both of itself and of all
other goods in which lies man's happiness; and where it is absent,
no matter how many good things a man has, they are not for his good,
and consequently should not be called good things while they belong
to one who makes them useless by using them badly. The life of man,
then, is called happy when it enjoys virtue and these other spiritual
and bodily good things without which virtue is impossible. It is
called happier if it enjoys some or many other good things which
are not essential to virtue; and happiest of all, if it lacks not
one of the good things which pertain to the body and the soul. For
life is not the same thing as virtue, since not every life, but a
wisely regulated life, is virtue; and yet, while there can be life
of some kind without virtue, there cannot be virtue without life.
This I might apply to memory and reason, and such mental faculties;
for these exist prior to instruction, and without them there cannot
be any instruction, and consequently no virtue, since virtue is
learned. But bodily advantages, such as swiftness of foot, beauty,
or strength, are not essential to virtue, neither is virtue essential
to them, and yet they are good things; and, according to our
philosophers, even these advantages are desired by virtue for its own
sake, and are used and enjoyed by it in a becoming manner.

They say that this happy life is also social, and loves the advantages
of its friends as its own, and for their sake wishes for them what it
desires for itself, whether these friends live in the same family,
as a wife, children, domestics; or in the locality where one's home
is, as the citizens of the same town; or in the world at large, as
the nations bound in common human brotherhood; or in the universe
itself, comprehended in the heavens and the earth, as those whom they
call gods, and provide as friends for the wise man, and whom we more
familiarly call angels. Moreover, they say that, regarding the supreme
good and evil, there is no room for doubt, and that they therefore
differ from the New Academy in this respect, and they are not concerned
whether a philosopher pursues those ends which they think true in
the Cynic dress and manner of life or in some other. And, lastly, in
regard to the three modes of life, the contemplative, the active, and
the composite, they declare in favour of the third. That these were
the opinions and doctrines of the Old Academy, Varro asserts on the
authority of Antiochus, Cicero's master and his own, though Cicero
makes him out to have been more frequently in accordance with the
Stoics than with the Old Academy. But of what importance is this to
us, who ought to judge the matter on its own merits, rather than to
understand accurately what different men have thought about it?


  4. _What the Christians believe regarding the supreme good and
      evil, in opposition to the philosophers, who have maintained
      that the supreme good is in themselves._

If, then, we be asked what the city of God has to say upon these
points, and, in the first place, what its opinion regarding the
supreme good and evil is, it will reply that life eternal is the
supreme good, death eternal the supreme evil, and that to obtain
the one and escape the other we must live rightly. And thus it is
written, "The just lives by faith,"[623] for we do not as yet see
our good, and must therefore live by faith; neither have we in
ourselves power to live rightly, but can do so only if He who has
given us faith to believe in His help do help us when we believe and
pray. As for those who have supposed that the sovereign good and
evil are to be found in this life, and have placed it either in the
soul or the body, or in both, or, to speak more explicitly, either
in pleasure or in virtue, or in both; in repose or in virtue, or in
both; in pleasure and repose, or in virtue, or in all combined; in
the primary objects of nature, or in virtue, or in both,--all these
have, with a marvellous shallowness, sought to find their blessedness
in this life and in themselves. Contempt has been poured upon such
ideas by the Truth, saying by the prophet, "The Lord knoweth the
thoughts of men" (or, as the Apostle Paul cites the passage, "The
Lord knoweth the thoughts of the _wise_") "that they are vain."[624]

For what flood of eloquence can suffice to detail the miseries of
this life? Cicero, in the _Consolation_ on the death of his daughter,
has spent all his ability in lamentation; but how inadequate was
even his ability here? For when, where, how, in this life can these
primary objects of nature be possessed so that they may not be
assailed by unforeseen accidents? Is the body of the wise man exempt
from any pain which may dispel pleasure, from any disquietude which
may banish repose? The amputation or decay of the members of the body
puts an end to its integrity, deformity blights its beauty, weakness
its health, lassitude its vigour, sleepiness or sluggishness its
activity,--and which of these is it that may not assail the flesh
of the wise man? Comely and fitting attitudes and movements of the
body are numbered among the prime natural blessings; but what if
some sickness makes the members tremble? what if a man suffers from
curvature of the spine to such an extent that his hands reach the
ground, and he goes upon all-fours like a quadruped? Does not this
destroy all beauty and grace in the body, whether at rest or in
motion? What shall I say of the fundamental blessings of the soul,
sense and intellect, of which the one is given for the perception,
and the other for the comprehension of truth? But what kind of
sense is it that remains when a man becomes deaf and blind? where
are reason and intellect when disease makes a man delirious? We
can scarcely, or not at all, refrain from tears, when we think of
or see the actions and words of such frantic persons, and consider
how different from and even opposed to their own sober judgment and
ordinary conduct their present demeanour is. And what shall I say
of those who suffer from demoniacal possession? Where is their own
intelligence hidden and buried while the malignant spirit is using
their body and soul according to his own will? And who is quite sure
that no such thing can happen to the wise man in this life? Then,
as to the perception of truth, what can we hope for even in this
way while in the body, as we read in the true book of Wisdom, "The
corruptible body weigheth down the soul, and the earthly tabernacle
presseth down the mind that museth upon many things?"[625] And
eagerness, or desire of action, if this is the right meaning to put
upon the Greek ὁρμή, is also reckoned among the primary advantages
of nature; and yet is it not this which produces those pitiable
movements of the insane, and those actions which we shudder to see,
when sense is deceived and reason deranged?

In fine, virtue itself, which is not among the primary objects of
nature, but succeeds to them as the result of learning, though
it holds the highest place among human good things, what is its
occupation save to wage perpetual war with vices,--not those that are
outside of us, but within; not other men's, but our own,--a war which
is waged especially by that virtue which the Greeks call σωφροσύνη,
and we temperance,[626] and which bridles carnal lusts, and prevents
them from winning the consent of the spirit to wicked deeds? For we
must not fancy that there is no vice in us, when, as the apostle
says, "The flesh lusteth against the spirit;"[627] for to this vice
there is a contrary virtue, when, as the same writer says, "The
spirit lusteth against the flesh." "For these two," he says, "are
contrary one to the other, so that you cannot do the things which
you would." But what is it we wish to do when we seek to attain the
supreme good, unless that the flesh should cease to lust against the
spirit, and that there be no vice in us against which the spirit may
lust? And as we cannot attain to this in the present life, however
ardently we desire it, let us by God's help accomplish at least
this, to preserve the soul from succumbing and yielding to the flesh
that lusts against it, and to refuse our consent to the perpetration
of sin. Far be it from us, then, to fancy that while we are still
engaged in this intestine war, we have already found the happiness
which we seek to reach by victory. And who is there so wise that he
has no conflict at all to maintain against his vices?

What shall I say of that virtue which is called prudence? Is not all
its vigilance spent in the discernment of good from evil things,
so that no mistake may be admitted about what we should desire and
what avoid? And thus it is itself a proof that we are in the midst
of evils, or that evils are in us; for it teaches us that it is an
evil to consent to sin, and a good to refuse this consent. And yet
this evil, to which prudence teaches and temperance enables us not
to consent, is removed from this life neither by prudence nor by
temperance. And justice, whose office it is to render to every man
his due, whereby there is in man himself a certain just order of
nature, so that the soul is subjected to God, and the flesh to the
soul, and consequently both soul and flesh to God,--does not this
virtue demonstrate that it is as yet rather labouring towards its
end than resting in its finished work? For the soul is so much the
less subjected to God as it is less occupied with the thought of
God; and the flesh is so much the less subjected to the spirit as it
lusts more vehemently against the spirit. So long, therefore, as we
are beset by this weakness, this plague, this disease, how shall we
dare to say that we are safe? and if not safe, then how can we be
already enjoying our final beatitude? Then that virtue which goes
by the name of fortitude is the plainest proof of the ills of life,
for it is these ills which it is compelled to bear patiently. And
this holds good, no matter though the ripest wisdom co-exists with
it. And I am at a loss to understand how the Stoic philosophers can
presume to say that these are no ills, though at the same time they
allow the wise man to commit suicide and pass out of this life if
they become so grievous that he cannot or ought not to endure them.
But such is the stupid pride of these men who fancy that the supreme
good can be found in this life, and that they can become happy by
their own resources, that their wise man, or at least the man whom
they fancifully depict as such, is always happy, even though he
become blind, deaf, dumb, mutilated, racked with pains, or suffer
any conceivable calamity such as may compel him to make away with
himself; and they are not ashamed to call the life that is beset with
these evils happy. O happy life, which seeks the aid of death to end
it! If it is happy, let the wise man remain in it; but if these ills
drive him out of it, in what sense is it happy? Or how can they say
that these are not evils which conquer the virtue of fortitude, and
force it not only to yield, but so to rave that it in one breath
calls life happy and recommends it to be given up? For who is so
blind as not to see that if it were happy it would not be fled from?
And if they say we should flee from it on account of the infirmities
that beset it, why then do they not lower their pride and acknowledge
that it is miserable? Was it, I would ask, fortitude or weakness
which prompted Cato to kill himself? for he would not have done so
had he not been too weak to endure Cæsar's victory. Where, then,
is his fortitude? It has yielded, it has succumbed, it has been so
thoroughly overcome as to abandon, forsake, flee this happy life. Or
was it no longer happy? Then it was miserable. How, then, were these
not evils which made life miserable, and a thing to be escaped from?

And therefore those who admit that these are evils, as the
Peripatetics do, and the Old Academy, the sect which Varro advocates,
express a more intelligible doctrine; but theirs also is a surprising
mistake, for they contend that this is a happy life which is beset
by these evils, even though they be so great that he who endures
them should commit suicide to escape them. "Pains and anguish of
body," says Varro, "are evils, and so much the worse in proportion
to their severity; and to escape them you must quit this life."
What life, I pray? This life, he says, which is oppressed by such
evils. Then it is happy in the midst of these very evils on account
of which you say we must quit it? Or do you call it happy because
you are at liberty to escape these evils by death? What, then, if
by some secret judgment of God you were held fast and not permitted
to die, nor suffered to live without these evils? In that case, at
least, you would say that such a life was miserable. It is soon
relinquished, no doubt, but this does not make it not miserable;
for were it eternal, you yourself would pronounce it miserable. Its
brevity, therefore, does not clear it of misery; neither ought it to
be called happiness because it is a brief misery. Certainly there
is a mighty force in these evils which compel a man--according to
them, even a wise man--to cease to be a man that he may escape them,
though they say, and say truly, that it is as it were the first and
strongest demand of nature that a man cherish himself, and naturally
therefore avoid death, and should so stand his own friend as to wish
and vehemently aim at continuing to exist as a living creature, and
subsisting in this union of soul and body. There is a mighty force in
these evils to overcome this natural instinct by which death is by
every means and with all a man's efforts avoided, and to overcome it
so completely that what was avoided is desired, sought after, and if
it cannot in any other way be obtained, is inflicted by the man on
himself. There is a mighty force in these evils which make fortitude
a homicide,--if, indeed, that is to be called fortitude which is so
thoroughly overcome by these evils, that it not only cannot preserve
by patience the man whom it undertook to govern and defend, but is
itself obliged to kill him. The wise man, I admit, ought to bear
death with patience, but when it is inflicted by another. If, then,
as these men maintain, he is obliged to inflict it on himself,
certainly it must be owned that the ills which compel him to this
are not only evils, but intolerable evils. The life, then, which is
either subject to accidents, or environed with evils so considerable
and grievous, could never have been called happy, if the men who
give it this name had condescended to yield to the truth, and to be
conquered by valid arguments, when they inquired after the happy
life, as they yield to unhappiness, and are overcome by overwhelming
evils, when they put themselves to death, and if they had not fancied
that the supreme good was to be found in this mortal life; for the
very virtues of this life, which are certainly its best and most
useful possessions, are all the more telling proofs of its miseries
in proportion as they are helpful against the violence of its
dangers, toils, and woes. For if these are true virtues,--and such
cannot exist save in those who have true piety,--they do not profess
to be able to deliver the men who possess them from all miseries; for
true virtues tell no such lies, but they profess that by the hope
of the future world this life, which is miserably involved in the
many and great evils of this world, is happy as it is also safe. For
if not yet safe, how could it be happy? And therefore the Apostle
Paul, speaking not of men without prudence, temperance, fortitude,
and justice, but of those whose lives were regulated by true piety,
and whose virtues were therefore true, says, "For we are saved by
hope: now hope which is seen is not hope; for what a man seeth, why
doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we
with patience wait for it."[628] As, therefore, we are saved, so we
are made happy by hope. And as we do not as yet possess a present,
but look for a future salvation, so is it with our happiness, and
this "with patience;" for we are encompassed with evils, which we
ought patiently to endure, until we come to the ineffable enjoyment
of unmixed good; for there shall be no longer anything to endure.
Salvation, such as it shall be in the world to come, shall itself be
our final happiness. And this happiness these philosophers refuse to
believe in, because they do not see it, and attempt to fabricate for
themselves a happiness in this life, based upon a virtue which is as
deceitful as it is proud.


       5. _Of the social life, which, though most desirable, is
               frequently disturbed by many distresses._

We give a much more unlimited approval to their idea that the life of
the wise man must be social. For how could the city of God (concerning
which we are already writing no less than the nineteenth book of this
work) either take a beginning or be developed, or attain its proper
destiny, if the life of the saints were not a social life? But who can
enumerate all the great grievances with which human society abounds
in the misery of this mortal state? Who can weigh them? Hear how one
of their comic writers makes one of his characters express the common
feelings of all men in this matter: "I am married; this is one misery.
Children are born to me; they are additional cares."[629] What shall
I say of the miseries of love which Terence also recounts--"slights,
suspicions, quarrels, war to-day, peace to-morrow?"[630] Is not human
life full of such things? Do they not often occur even in honourable
friendships? On all hands we experience these slights, suspicions,
quarrels, war, all of which are undoubted evils; while, on the other
hand, peace is a doubtful good, because we do not know the heart of our
friend, and though we did know it to-day, we should be as ignorant of
what it might be to-morrow. Who ought to be, or who are more friendly
than those who live in the same family? And yet who can rely even upon
this friendship, seeing that secret treachery has often broken it up,
and produced enmity as bitter as the amity was sweet, or seemed sweet
by the most perfect dissimulation? It is on this account that the
words of Cicero so move the heart of every one, and provoke a sigh:
"There are no snares more dangerous than those which lurk under the
guise of duty or the name of relationship. For the man who is your
declared foe you can easily baffle by precaution; but this hidden,
intestine, and domestic danger not merely exists, but overwhelms you
before you can foresee and examine it."[631] It is also to this that
allusion is made by the divine saying, "A man's foes are those of his
own household,"[632]--words which one cannot hear without pain; for
though a man have sufficient fortitude to endure it with equanimity,
and sufficient sagacity to baffle the malice of a pretended friend,
yet if he himself is a good man, he cannot but be greatly pained at
the discovery of the perfidy of wicked men, whether they have always
been wicked and merely feigned goodness, or have fallen from a better
to a malicious disposition. If, then, home, the natural refuge from
the ills of life, is itself not safe, what shall we say of the city,
which, as it is larger, is so much the more filled with lawsuits civil
and criminal, and is never free from the fear, if sometimes from the
actual outbreak, of disturbing and bloody insurrections and civil wars?


    6. _Of the error of human judgments when the truth is hidden._

What shall I say of these judgments which men pronounce on men, and
which are necessary in communities, whatever outward peace they
enjoy? Melancholy and lamentable judgments they are, since the judges
are men who cannot discern the consciences of those at their bar,
and are therefore frequently compelled to put innocent witnesses to
the torture to ascertain the truth regarding the crimes of other
men. What shall I say of torture applied to the accused himself?
He is tortured to discover whether he is guilty, so that, though
innocent, he suffers most undoubted punishment for crime that is
still doubtful, not because it is proved that he committed it, but
because it is not ascertained that he did not commit it. Thus the
ignorance of the judge frequently involves an innocent person in
suffering. And what is still more unendurable--a thing, indeed, to
be bewailed, and, if that were possible, watered with fountains of
tears--is this, that when the judge puts the accused to the question,
that he may not unwittingly put an innocent man to death, the result
of this lamentable ignorance is that this very person, whom he
tortured that he might not condemn him if innocent, is condemned to
death both tortured and innocent. For if he has chosen, in obedience
to the philosophical instructions to the wise man, to quit this life
rather than endure any longer such tortures, he declares that he has
committed the crime which in fact he has not committed. And when he
has been condemned and put to death, the judge is still in ignorance
whether he has put to death an innocent or a guilty person, though he
put the accused to the torture for the very purpose of saving himself
from condemning the innocent; and consequently he has both tortured
an innocent man to discover his innocence, and has put him to death
without discovering it. If such darkness shrouds social life, will
a wise judge take his seat on the bench or no? Beyond question he
will. For human society, which he thinks it a wickedness to abandon,
constrains him and compels him to this duty. And he thinks it no
wickedness that innocent witnesses are tortured regarding the crimes
of which other men are accused; or that the accused are put to the
torture, so that they are often overcome with anguish, and, though
innocent, make false confessions regarding themselves, and are
punished; or that, though they be not condemned to die, they often
die during, or in consequence of, the torture; or that sometimes
the accusers, who perhaps have been prompted by a desire to benefit
society by bringing criminals to justice, are themselves condemned
through the ignorance of the judge, because they are unable to prove
the truth of their accusations though they are true, and because the
witnesses lie, and the accused endures the torture without being
moved to confession. These numerous and important evils he does not
consider sins; for the wise judge does these things, not with any
intention of doing harm, but because his ignorance compels him, and
because human society claims him as a judge. But though we therefore
acquit the judge of malice, we must none the less condemn human
life as miserable. And if he is compelled to torture and punish the
innocent because his office and his ignorance constrain him, is he
a happy as well as a guiltless man? Surely it were proof of more
profound considerateness and finer feeling were he to recognise the
misery of these necessities, and shrink from his own implication in
that misery; and had he any piety about him, he would cry to God,
"From my necessities deliver Thou me."[633]


  7. _Of the diversity of languages, by which the intercourse of men
      is prevented; and of the misery of wars, even of those called
      just._

After the state or city comes the world, the third circle of human
society,--the first being the house, and the second the city. And the
world, as it is larger, so it is fuller of dangers, as the greater
sea is the more dangerous. And here, in the first place, man is
separated from man by the difference of languages. For if two men,
each ignorant of the other's language, meet, and are not compelled
to pass, but, on the contrary, to remain in company, dumb animals,
though of different species, would more easily hold intercourse
than they, human beings though they be. For their common nature
is no help to friendliness when they are prevented by diversity of
language from conveying their sentiments to one another; so that a
man would more readily hold intercourse with his dog than with a
foreigner. But the imperial city has endeavoured to impose on subject
nations not only her yoke, but her language, as a bond of peace, so
that interpreters, far from being scarce, are numberless. This is
true; but how many great wars, how much slaughter and bloodshed,
have provided this unity! And though these are past, the end of
these miseries has not yet come. For though there have never been
wanting, nor are yet wanting, hostile nations beyond the empire,
against whom wars have been and are waged, yet, supposing there were
no such nations, the very extent of the empire itself has produced
wars of a more obnoxious description--social and civil wars--and
with these the whole race has been agitated, either by the actual
conflict or the fear of a renewed outbreak. If I attempted to give
an adequate description of these manifold disasters, these stern and
lasting necessities, though I am quite unequal to the task, what
limit could I set? But, say they, the wise man will wage just wars.
As if he would not all the rather lament the necessity of just wars,
if he remembers that he is a man; for if they were not just he would
not wage them, and would therefore be delivered from all wars. For
it is the wrong-doing of the opposing party which compels the wise
man to wage just wars; and this wrong-doing, even though it gave
rise to no war, would still be matter of grief to man because it is
man's wrong-doing. Let every one, then, who thinks with pain on all
these great evils, so horrible, so ruthless, acknowledge that this
is misery. And if any one either endures or thinks of them without
mental pain, this is a more miserable plight still, for he thinks
himself happy because he has lost human feeling.


  8. _That the friendship of good men cannot be securely rested in,
      so long as the dangers of this life force us to be anxious._

In our present wretched condition we frequently mistake a friend for
an enemy, and an enemy for a friend. And if we escape this pitiable
blindness, is not the unfeigned confidence and mutual love of true and
good friends our one solace in human society, filled as it is with
misunderstandings and calamities? And yet the more friends we have, and
the more widely they are scattered, the more numerous are our fears
that some portion of the vast masses of the disasters of life may light
upon them. For we are not only anxious lest they suffer from famine,
war, disease, captivity, or the inconceivable horrors of slavery,
but we are also affected with the much more painful dread that their
friendship may be changed into perfidy, malice, and injustice. And when
these contingencies actually occur,--as they do the more frequently
the more friends we have, and the more widely they are scattered,--and
when they come to our knowledge, who but the man who has experienced
it can tell with what pangs the heart is torn? We would, in fact,
prefer to hear that they were dead, although we could not without
anguish hear of even this. For if their life has solaced us with the
charms of friendship, can it be that their death should affect us with
no sadness? He who will have none of this sadness must, if possible,
have no friendly intercourse. Let him interdict or extinguish friendly
affection; let him burst with ruthless insensibility the bonds of
every human relationship; or let him contrive so to use them that
no sweetness shall distil into his spirit. But if this is utterly
impossible, how shall we contrive to feel no bitterness in the death
of those whose life has been sweet to us? Hence arises that grief
which affects the tender heart like a wound or a bruise, and which is
healed by the application of kindly consolation. For though the cure is
affected all the more easily and rapidly the better condition the soul
is in, we must not on this account suppose that there is nothing at
all to heal. Although, then, our present life is afflicted, sometimes
in a milder, sometimes in a more painful degree, by the death of those
very dear to us, and especially of useful public men, yet we would
prefer to hear that such men were dead rather than to hear or perceive
that they had fallen from the faith, or from virtue,--in other words,
that they were spiritually dead. Of this vast material for misery the
earth is full, and therefore it is written, "Is not human life upon
earth a trial?"[634] And with the same reference the Lord says, "Woe
to the world because of offences!"[635] and again, "Because iniquity
abounded, the love of many shall wax cold."[636] And hence we enjoy
some gratification when our good friends die; for though their death
leaves us in sorrow, we have the consolatory assurance that they are
beyond the ills by which in this life even the best of men are broken
down or corrupted, or are in danger of both results.


  9. _Of the friendship of the holy angels, which men cannot be sure
      of in this life, owing to the deceit of the demons who hold in
      bondage the worshippers of a plurality of gods._

The philosophers who wished us to have the gods for our friends rank
the friendship of the holy angels in the fourth circle of society,
advancing now from the three circles of society on earth to the
universe, and embracing heaven itself. And in this friendship we
have indeed no fear that the angels will grieve us by their death or
deterioration. But as we cannot mingle with them as familiarly as
with men (which itself is one of the grievances of this life), and as
Satan, as we read,[637] sometimes transforms himself into an angel
of light, to tempt those whom it is necessary to discipline, or just
to deceive, there is great need of God's mercy to preserve us from
making friends of demons in disguise, while we fancy we have good
angels for our friends; for the astuteness and deceitfulness of these
wicked spirits is equalled by their hurtfulness. And is this not a
great misery of human life, that we are involved in such ignorance
as, but for God's mercy, makes us a prey to these demons? And it is
very certain that the philosophers of the godless city, who have
maintained that the gods were their friends, had fallen a prey to the
malignant demons who rule that city, and whose eternal punishment is
to be shared by it. For the nature of these beings is sufficiently
evinced by the sacred or rather sacrilegious observances which form
their worship, and by the filthy games in which their crimes are
celebrated, and which they themselves originated and exacted from
their worshippers as a fit propitiation.


  10. _The reward prepared for the saints after they have endured the
                         trial of this life._

But not even the saints and faithful worshippers of the one true and
most high God are safe from the manifold temptations and deceits
of the demons. For in this abode of weakness, and in these wicked
days, this state of anxiety has also its use, stimulating us to
seek with keener longing for that security where peace is complete
and unassailable. There we shall enjoy the gifts of nature, that
is to say, all that God the Creator of all natures has bestowed
upon ours,--gifts not only good, but eternal,--not only of the
spirit, healed now by wisdom, but also of the body renewed by the
resurrection. There the virtues shall no longer be struggling
against any vice or evil, but shall enjoy the reward of victory, the
eternal peace which no adversary shall disturb. This is the final
blessedness, this the ultimate consummation, the unending end. Here,
indeed, we are said to be blessed when we have such peace as can be
enjoyed in a good life; but such blessedness is mere misery compared
to that final felicity. When we mortals possess such peace as this
mortal life can afford, virtue, if we are living rightly, makes a
right use of the advantages of this peaceful condition; and when we
have it not, virtue makes a good use even of the evils a man suffers.
But this is true virtue, when it refers all the advantages it makes a
good use of, and all that it does in making good use of good and evil
things, and itself also, to that end in which we shall enjoy the best
and greatest peace possible.


   11. _Of the happiness of the eternal peace, which constitutes the
                end or true perfection of the saints._

And thus we may say of peace, as we have said of eternal life, that
it is the end of our good; and the rather because the Psalmist says
of the city of God, the subject of this laborious work, "Praise the
Lord, O Jerusalem; praise thy God, O Zion: for He hath strengthened
the bars of thy gates; He hath blessed thy children within thee;
who hath made thy borders peace."[638] For when the bars of her
gates shall be strengthened, none shall go in or come out from her;
consequently we ought to understand the peace of her borders as that
final peace we are wishing to declare. For even the mystical name of
the city itself, that is, _Jerusalem_, means, as I have already said,
"Vision of Peace." But as the word peace is employed in connection
with things in this world in which certainly life eternal has no
place, we have preferred to call the end or supreme good of this city
life eternal rather than peace. Of this end the apostle says, "But
now, being freed from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your
fruit unto holiness, and the end life eternal."[639] But, on the
other hand, as those who are not familiar with Scripture may suppose
that the life of the wicked is eternal life, either because of the
immortality of the soul, which some of the philosophers even have
recognised, or because of the endless punishment of the wicked, which
forms a part of our faith, and which seems impossible unless the
wicked live for ever, it may therefore be advisable, in order that
every one may readily understand what we mean, to say that the end or
supreme good of this city is either peace in eternal life, or eternal
life in peace. For peace is a good so great, that even in this
earthly and mortal life there is no word we hear with such pleasure,
nothing we desire with such zest, or find to be more thoroughly
gratifying. So that if we dwell for a little longer on this subject,
we shall not, in my opinion, be wearisome to our readers, who will
attend both for the sake of understanding what is the end of this
city of which we speak, and for the sake of the sweetness of peace
which is dear to all.


  12. _That even the fierceness of war and all the disquietude of men
      make towards this one end of peace, which every nature desires._

Whoever gives even moderate attention to human affairs and to
our common nature, will recognise that if there is no man who
does not wish to be joyful, neither is there any one who does not
wish to have peace. For even they who make war desire nothing but
victory,--desire, that is to say, to attain to peace with glory. For
what else is victory than the conquest of those who resist us? and
when this is done there is peace. It is therefore with the desire
for peace that wars are waged, even by those who take pleasure in
exercising their warlike nature in command and battle. And hence it
is obvious that peace is the end sought for by war. For every man
seeks peace by waging war, but no man seeks war by making peace.
For even they who intentionally interrupt the peace in which they
are living have no hatred of peace, but only wish it changed into a
peace that suits them better. They do not, therefore, wish to have no
peace, but only one more to their mind. And in the case of sedition,
when men have separated themselves from the community, they yet do
not effect what they wish, unless they maintain some kind of peace
with their fellow-conspirators. And therefore even robbers take care
to maintain peace with their comrades, that they may with greater
effect and greater safety invade the peace of other men. And if an
individual happen to be of such unrivalled strength, and to be so
jealous of partnership, that he trusts himself with no comrades,
but makes his own plots, and commits depredations and murders on
his own account, yet he maintains some shadow of peace with such
persons as he is unable to kill, and from whom he wishes to conceal
his deeds. In his own home, too, he makes it his aim to be at peace
with his wife and children, and any other members of his household;
for unquestionably their prompt obedience to his every look is a
source of pleasure to him. And if this be not rendered, he is angry,
he chides and punishes; and even by this storm he secures the calm
peace of his own home, as occasion demands. For he sees that peace
cannot be maintained unless all the members of the same domestic
circle be subject to one head, such as he himself is in his own
house. And therefore if a city or nation offered to submit itself
to him, to serve him in the same style as he had made his household
serve him, he would no longer lurk in a brigand's hiding-places, but
lift his head in open day as a king, though the same covetousness
and wickedness should remain in him. And thus all men desire to
have peace with their own circle whom they wish to govern as suits
themselves. For even those whom they make war against they wish to
make their own, and impose on them the laws of their own peace.

But let us suppose a man such as poetry and mythology speak of,--a
man so insociable and savage as to be called rather a semi-man than
a man.[640] Although, then, his kingdom was the solitude of a dreary
cave, and he himself was so singularly bad-hearted that he was named
Κακός, which is the Greek word for _bad_; though he had no wife to
soothe him with endearing talk, no children to play with, no sons
to do his bidding, no friend to enliven him with intercourse, not
even his father Vulcan (though in one respect he was happier than
his father, not having begotten a monster like himself); although
he gave to no man, but took as he wished whatever he could, from
whomsoever he could, when he could; yet in that solitary den, the
floor of which, as Virgil[641] says, was always reeking with recent
slaughter, there was nothing else than peace sought, a peace in which
no one should molest him, or disquiet him with any assault or alarm.
With his own body he desired to be at peace; and he was satisfied
only in proportion as he had this peace. For he ruled his members,
and they obeyed him; and for the sake of pacifying his mortal nature,
which rebelled when it needed anything, and of allaying the sedition
of hunger which threatened to banish the soul from the body, he made
forays, slew, and devoured, but used the ferocity and savageness
he displayed in these actions only for the preservation of his own
life's peace. So that, had he been willing to make with other men
the same peace which he made with himself in his own cave, he would
neither have been called bad, nor a monster, nor a semi-man. Or if
the appearance of his body and his vomiting smoky fires frightened
men from having any dealings with him, perhaps his fierce ways arose
not from a desire to do mischief, but from the necessity of finding
a living. But he may have had no existence, or, at least, he was not
such as the poets fancifully describe him, for they had to exalt
Hercules, and did so at the expense of Cacus. It is better, then, to
believe that such a man or semi-man never existed, and that this, in
common with many other fancies of the poets, is mere fiction. For the
most savage animals (and he is said to have been almost a wild beast)
encompass their own species with a ring of protecting peace. They
cohabit, beget, produce, suckle, and bring up their young, though
very many of them are not gregarious, but solitary,--not like sheep,
deer, pigeons, starlings, bees, but such as lions, foxes, eagles,
bats. For what tigress does not gently purr over her cubs, and lay
aside her ferocity to fondle them? What kite, solitary as he is when
circling over his prey, does not seek a mate, build a nest, hatch
the eggs, bring up the young birds, and maintain with the mother of
his family as peaceful a domestic alliance as he can? How much more
powerfully do the laws of man's nature move him to hold fellowship
and maintain peace with all men so far as in him lies, since even
wicked men wage war to maintain the peace of their own circle, and
wish that, if possible, all men belonged to them, that all men and
things might serve but one head, and might, either through love or
fear, yield themselves to peace with him! It is thus that pride in
its perversity apes God. It abhors equality with other men under Him;
but, instead of His rule, it seeks to impose a rule of its own upon
its equals. It abhors, that is to say, the just peace of God, and
loves its own unjust peace; but it cannot help loving peace of one
kind or other. For there is no vice so clean contrary to nature that
it obliterates even the faintest traces of nature.

He, then, who prefers what is right to what is wrong, and what is
well-ordered to what is perverted, sees that the peace of unjust men
is not worthy to be called peace in comparison with the peace of the
just. And yet even what is perverted must of necessity be in harmony
with, and in dependence on, and in some part of the order of things,
for otherwise it would have no existence at all. Suppose a man hangs
with his head downwards, this is certainly a perverted attitude of
body and arrangement of its members; for that which nature requires
to be above is beneath, and _vice versâ_. This perversity disturbs
the peace of the body, and is therefore painful. Nevertheless the
spirit is at peace with its body, and labours for its preservation,
and hence the suffering; but if it is banished from the body by its
pains, then, so long as the bodily framework holds together, there is
in the remains a kind of peace among the members, and hence the body
remains suspended. And inasmuch as the earthy body tends towards the
earth, and rests on the bond by which it is suspended, it tends thus
to its natural peace, and the voice of its own weight demands a place
for it to rest; and though now lifeless and without feeling, it does
not fall from the peace that is natural to its place in creation,
whether it already has it, or is tending towards it. For if you apply
embalming preparations to prevent the bodily frame from mouldering
and dissolving, a kind of peace still unites part to part, and keeps
the whole body in a suitable place on the earth,--in other words,
in a place that is at peace with the body. If, on the other hand,
the body receive no such care, but be left to the natural course, it
is disturbed by exhalations that do not harmonize with one another,
and that offend our senses; for it is this which is perceived in
putrefaction until it is assimilated to the elements of the world,
and particle by particle enters into peace with them. Yet throughout
this process the laws of the most high Creator and Governor are
strictly observed, for it is by Him the peace of the universe is
administered. For although minute animals are produced from the
carcase of a larger animal, all these little atoms, by the law of the
same Creator, serve the animals they belong to in peace. And although
the flesh of dead animals be eaten by others, no matter where it be
carried, nor what it be brought into contact with, nor what it be
converted and changed into, it still is ruled by the same laws which
pervade all things for the conservation of every mortal race, and
which bring things that fit one another into harmony.


  13. _Of the universal peace which the law of nature preserves
      through all disturbances, and by which every one reaches his
      desert in a way regulated by the just Judge._

The peace of the body then consists in the duly proportioned
arrangement of its parts. The peace of the irrational soul is the
harmonious repose of the appetites, and that of the rational soul the
harmony of knowledge and action. The peace of body and soul is the
well-ordered and harmonious life and health of the living creature.
Peace between man and God is the well-ordered obedience of faith
to eternal law. Peace between man and man is well-ordered concord.
Domestic peace is the well-ordered concord between those of the
family who rule and those who obey. Civil peace is a similar concord
among the citizens. The peace of the celestial city is the perfectly
ordered and harmonious enjoyment of God, and of one another in God.
The peace of all things is the tranquillity of order. Order is the
distribution which allots things equal and unequal, each to its own
place. And hence, though the miserable, in so far as they are such,
do certainly not enjoy peace, but are severed from that tranquillity
of order in which there is no disturbance, nevertheless, inasmuch
as they are deservedly and justly miserable, they are by their very
misery connected with order. They are not, indeed, conjoined with the
blessed, but they are disjoined from them by the law of order. And
though they are disquieted, their circumstances are notwithstanding
adjusted to them, and consequently they have some tranquillity of
order, and therefore some peace. But they are wretched because,
although not wholly miserable, they are not in that place where
any mixture of misery is impossible. They would, however, be more
wretched if they had not that peace which arises from being in
harmony with the natural order of things. When they suffer, their
peace is in so far disturbed; but their peace continues in so far as
they do not suffer, and in so far as their nature continues to exist.
As, then, there may be life without pain, while there cannot be pain
without some kind of life, so there may be peace without war, but
there cannot be war without some kind of peace, because war supposes
the existence of some natures to wage it, and these natures cannot
exist without peace of one kind or other.

And therefore there is a nature in which evil does not or even cannot
exist; but there cannot be a nature in which there is no good. Hence
not even the nature of the devil himself is evil, in so far as it is
nature, but it was made evil by being perverted. Thus he did not abide
in the truth,[642] but could not escape the judgment of the Truth;
he did not abide in the tranquillity of order, but did not therefore
escape the power of the Ordainer. The good imparted by God to his
nature did not screen him from the justice of God by which order was
preserved in his punishment; neither did God punish the good which He
had created, but the evil which the devil had committed. God did not
take back all He had imparted to his nature, but something He took and
something He left, that there might remain enough to be sensible of the
loss of what was taken. And this very sensibility to pain is evidence
of the good which has been taken away and the good which has been
left. For, were nothing good left, there could be no pain on account
of the good which had been lost. For he who sins is still worse if he
rejoices in his loss of righteousness. But he who is in pain, if he
derives no benefit from it, mourns at least the loss of health. And as
righteousness and health are both good things, and as the loss of any
good thing is matter of grief, not of joy,--if, at least, there is no
compensation, as spiritual righteousness may compensate for the loss
of bodily health,--certainly it is more suitable for a wicked man to
grieve in punishment than to rejoice in his fault. As, then, the joy
of a sinner who has abandoned what is good is evidence of a bad will,
so his grief for the good he has lost when he is punished is evidence
of a good nature. For he who laments the peace his nature has lost is
stirred to do so by some relics of peace which make his nature friendly
to itself. And it is very just that in the final punishment the wicked
and godless should in anguish bewail the loss of the natural advantages
they enjoyed, and should perceive that they were most justly taken from
them by that God whose benign liberality they had despised. God, then,
the most wise Creator and most just Ordainer of all natures, who placed
the human race upon earth as its greatest ornament, imparted to men
some good things adapted to this life, to wit, temporal peace, such as
we can enjoy in this life from health and safety and human fellowship,
and all things needful for the preservation and recovery of this peace,
such as the objects which are accommodated to our outward senses,
light, night, the air, and waters suitable for us, and everything the
body requires to sustain, shelter, heal, or beautify it: and all under
this most equitable condition, that every man who made a good use of
these advantages suited to the peace of this mortal condition, should
receive ampler and better blessings, namely, the peace of immortality,
accompanied by glory and honour in an endless life made fit for the
enjoyment of God and of one another in God; but that he who used the
present blessings badly should both lose them and should not receive
the others.


  14. _Of the order and law which obtain in heaven and earth, whereby
      it comes to pass that human society is served by those who rule
      it._

The whole use, then, of things temporal has a reference to this
result of earthly peace in the earthly community, while in the city
of God it is connected with eternal peace. And therefore, if we
were irrational animals, we should desire nothing beyond the proper
arrangement of the parts of the body and the satisfaction of the
appetites,--nothing, therefore, but bodily comfort and abundance
of pleasures, that the peace of the body might contribute to the
peace of the soul. For if bodily peace be awanting, a bar is put
to the peace even of the irrational soul, since it cannot obtain
the gratification of its appetites. And these two together help out
the mutual peace of soul and body, the peace of harmonious life and
health. For as animals, by shunning pain, show that they love bodily
peace, and, by pursuing pleasure to gratify their appetites, show
that they love peace of soul, so their shrinking from death is a
sufficient indication of their intense love of that peace which binds
soul and body in close alliance. But, as man has a rational soul,
he subordinates all this which he has in common with the beasts to
the peace of his rational soul, that his intellect may have free
play and may regulate his actions, and that he may thus enjoy the
well-ordered harmony of knowledge and action which constitutes, as
we have said, the peace of the rational soul. And for this purpose
he must desire to be neither molested by pain, nor disturbed by
desire, nor extinguished by death, that he may arrive at some useful
knowledge by which he may regulate his life and manners. But, owing
to the liability of the human mind to fall into mistakes, this very
pursuit of knowledge may be a snare to him unless he has a divine
Master, whom he may obey without misgiving, and who may at the same
time give him such help as to preserve his own freedom. And because,
so long as he is in this mortal body, he is a stranger to God, he
walks by faith, not by sight; and he therefore refers all peace,
bodily or spiritual or both, to that peace which mortal man has with
the immortal God, so that he exhibits the well-ordered obedience
of faith to eternal law. But as this divine Master inculcates two
precepts,--the love of God and the love of our neighbour,--and as
in these precepts a man finds three things he has to love,--God,
himself, and his neighbour,--and that he who loves God loves himself
thereby, it follows that he must endeavour to get his neighbour to
love God, since he is ordered to love his neighbour as himself. He
ought to make this endeavour in behalf of his wife, his children,
his household, all within his reach, even as he would wish his
neighbour to do the same for him if he needed it; and consequently
he will be at peace, or in well-ordered concord, with all men, as
far as in him lies. And this is the order of this concord, that a
man, in the first place, injure no one, and, in the second, do good
to every one he can reach. Primarily, therefore, his own household
are his care, for the law of nature and of society gives him readier
access to them and greater opportunity of serving them. And hence the
apostle says, "Now, if any provide not for his own, and specially
for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse
than an infidel."[643] This is the origin of domestic peace, or the
well-ordered concord of those in the family who rule and those who
obey. For they who care for the rest rule,--the husband the wife,
the parents the children, the masters the servants; and they who
are cared for obey,--the women their husbands, the children their
parents, the servants their masters. But in the family of the just
man who lives by faith and is as yet a pilgrim journeying on to the
celestial city, even those who rule serve those whom they seem to
command; for they rule not from a love of power, but from a sense of
the duty they owe to others--not because they are proud of authority,
but because they love mercy.


  15. _Of the liberty proper to man's nature, and the servitude
      introduced by sin,--a servitude in which the man whose will is
      wicked is the slave of his own lust, though he is free so far
      as regards other men._

This is prescribed by the order of nature: it is thus that God has
created man. For "let them," He says, "have dominion over the fish
of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every creeping
thing which creepeth on the earth."[644] He did not intend that His
rational creature, who was made in His image, should have dominion
over anything but the irrational creation,--not man over man, but
man over the beasts. And hence the righteous men in primitive times
were made shepherds of cattle rather than kings of men, God intending
thus to teach us what the relative position of the creatures is, and
what the desert of sin; for it is with justice, we believe, that the
condition of slavery is the result of sin. And this is why we do not
find the word "slave" in any part of Scripture until righteous Noah
branded the sin of his son with this name. It is a name, therefore,
introduced by sin and not by nature. The origin of the Latin word for
slave is supposed to be found in the circumstance that those who by the
law of war were liable to be killed were sometimes preserved by their
victors, and were hence called servants.[645] And these circumstances
could never have arisen save through sin. For even when we wage a
just war, our adversaries must be sinning; and every victory, even
though gained by wicked men, is a result of the first judgment of
God, who humbles the vanquished either for the sake of removing or of
punishing their sins. Witness that man of God, Daniel, who, when he
was in captivity, confessed to God his own sins and the sins of his
people, and declares with pious grief that these were the cause of the
captivity.[646] The prime cause, then, of slavery is sin, which brings
man under the dominion of his fellow,--that which does not happen
save by the judgment of God, with whom is no unrighteousness, and who
knows how to award fit punishments to every variety of offence. But
our Master in heaven says, "Every one who doeth sin is the servant of
sin."[647] And thus there are many wicked masters who have religious
men as their slaves, and who are yet themselves in bondage; "for of
whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage."[648] And
beyond question it is a happier thing to be the slave of a man than
of a lust; for even this very lust of ruling, to mention no others,
lays waste men's hearts with the most ruthless dominion. Moreover,
when men are subjected to one another in a peaceful order, the lowly
position does as much good to the servant as the proud position does
harm to the master. But by nature, as God first created us, no one
is the slave either of man or of sin. This servitude is, however,
penal, and is appointed by that law which enjoins the preservation
of the natural order and forbids its disturbance; for if nothing had
been done in violation of that law, there would have been nothing to
restrain by penal servitude. And therefore the apostle admonishes
slaves to be subject to their masters, and to serve them heartily and
with good-will, so that, if they cannot be freed by their masters, they
may themselves make their slavery in some sort free, by serving not in
crafty fear, but in faithful love, until all unrighteousness pass away,
and all principality and every human power be brought to nothing, and
God be all in all.


                       16. _Of equitable rule._

And therefore, although our righteous fathers[649] had slaves, and
administered their domestic affairs so as to distinguish between
the condition of slaves and the heirship of sons in regard to the
blessings of this life, yet in regard to the worship of God, in
whom we hope for eternal blessings, they took an equally loving
oversight of all the members of their household. And this is so much
in accordance with the natural order, that the head of the household
was called _paterfamilias_; and this name has been so generally
accepted, that even those whose rule is unrighteous are glad to apply
it to themselves. But those who are true fathers of their households
desire and endeavour that all the members of their household, equally
with their own children, should worship and win God, and should come
to that heavenly home in which the duty of ruling men is no longer
necessary, because the duty of caring for their everlasting happiness
has also ceased; but, until they reach that home, masters ought to
feel their position of authority a greater burden than servants their
service. And if any member of the family interrupts the domestic
peace by disobedience, he is corrected either by word or blow, or
some kind of just and legitimate punishment, such as society permits,
that he may himself be the better for it, and be readjusted to the
family harmony from which he had dislocated himself. For as it is
not benevolent to give a man help at the expense of some greater
benefit he might receive, so it is not innocent to spare a man at
the risk of his falling into graver sin. To be innocent, we must not
only do harm to no man, but also restrain him from sin or punish his
sin, so that either the man himself who is punished may profit by
his experience, or others be warned by his example. Since, then, the
house ought to be the beginning or element of the city, and every
beginning bears reference to some end of its own kind, and every
element to the integrity of the whole of which it is an element, it
follows plainly enough that domestic peace has a relation to civic
peace,--in other words, that the well-ordered concord of domestic
obedience and domestic rule has a relation to the well-ordered
concord of civic obedience and civic rule. And therefore it follows,
further, that the father of the family ought to frame his domestic
rule in accordance with the law of the city, so that the household
may be in harmony with the civic order.


   17. _What produces peace, and what discord, between the heavenly
                         and earthly cities._

But the families which do not live by faith seek their peace in the
earthly advantages of this life; while the families which live by
faith look for those eternal blessings which are promised, and use
as pilgrims such advantages of time and of earth as do not fascinate
and divert them from God, but rather aid them to endure with greater
ease, and to keep down the number of those burdens of the corruptible
body which weigh upon the soul. Thus the things necessary for this
mortal life are used by both kinds of men and families alike, but
each has its own peculiar and widely different aim in using them.
The earthly city, which does not live by faith, seeks an earthly
peace, and the end it proposes, in the well-ordered concord of civic
obedience and rule, is the combination of men's wills to attain
the things which are helpful to this life. The heavenly city, or
rather the part of it which sojourns on earth and lives by faith,
makes use of this peace only because it must, until this mortal
condition which necessitates it shall pass away. Consequently, so
long as it lives like a captive and a stranger in the earthly city,
though it has already received the promise of redemption, and the
gift of the Spirit as the earnest of it, it makes no scruple to
obey the laws of the earthly city, whereby the things necessary for
the maintenance of this mortal life are administered; and thus, as
this life is common to both cities, so there is a harmony between
them in regard to what belongs to it. But, as the earthly city has
had some philosophers whose doctrine is condemned by the divine
teaching, and who, being deceived either by their own conjectures
or by demons, supposed that many gods must be invited to take an
interest in human affairs, and assigned to each a separate function
and a separate department,--to one the body, to another the soul;
and in the body itself, to one the head, to another the neck, and
each of the other members to one of the gods; and in like manner, in
the soul, to one god the natural capacity was assigned, to another
education, to another anger, to another lust; and so the various
affairs of life were assigned,--cattle to one, corn to another, wine
to another, oil to another, the woods to another, money to another,
navigation to another, wars and victories to another, marriages to
another, births and fecundity to another, and other things to other
gods: and as the celestial city, on the other hand, knew that one
God only was to be worshipped, and that to Him alone was due that
service which the Greeks call λατρεία, and which can be given only to
a god, it has come to pass that the two cities could not have common
laws of religion, and that the heavenly city has been compelled in
this matter to dissent, and to become obnoxious to those who think
differently, and to stand the brunt of their anger and hatred and
persecutions, except in so far as the minds of their enemies have
been alarmed by the multitude of the Christians and quelled by the
manifest protection of God accorded to them. This heavenly city,
then, while it sojourns on earth, calls citizens out of all nations,
and gathers together a society of pilgrims of all languages, not
scrupling about diversities in the manners, laws, and institutions
whereby earthly peace is secured and maintained, but recognising
that, however various these are, they all tend to one and the same
end of earthly peace. It therefore is so far from rescinding and
abolishing these diversities, that it even preserves and adopts
them, so long only as no hindrance to the worship of the one supreme
and true God is thus introduced. Even the heavenly city, therefore,
while in its state of pilgrimage, avails itself of the peace of
earth, and, so far as it can without injuring faith and godliness,
desires and maintains a common agreement among men regarding the
acquisition of the necessaries of life, and makes this earthly peace
bear upon the peace of heaven; for this alone can be truly called
and esteemed the peace of the reasonable creatures, consisting as it
does in the perfectly ordered and harmonious enjoyment of God and
of one another in God. When we shall have reached that peace, this
mortal life shall give place to one that is eternal, and our body
shall be no more this animal body which by its corruption weighs
down the soul, but a spiritual body feeling no want, and in all its
members subjected to the will. In its pilgrim state the heavenly city
possesses this peace by faith; and by this faith it lives righteously
when it refers to the attainment of that peace every good action
towards God and man; for the life of the city is a social life.


     18. _How different the uncertainty of the New Academy is from
                the certainty of the Christian faith._

As regards the uncertainty about everything which Varro alleges to be
the differentiating characteristic of the New Academy, the city of
God thoroughly detests such doubt as madness. Regarding matters which
it apprehends by the mind and reason it has most absolute certainty,
although its knowledge is limited because of the corruptible body
pressing down the mind, for, as the apostle says, "We know in
part."[650] It believes also the evidence of the senses which the
mind uses by aid of the body; for [if one who trusts his senses is
sometimes deceived], he is more wretchedly deceived who fancies he
should never trust them. It believes also the Holy Scriptures, old
and new, which we call canonical, and which are the source of the
faith by which the just lives,[651] and by which we walk without
doubting whilst we are absent from the Lord.[652] So long as this
faith remains inviolate and firm, we may without blame entertain
doubts regarding some things which we have neither perceived by
sense nor by reason, and which have not been revealed to us by the
canonical Scriptures, nor come to our knowledge through witnesses
whom it is absurd to disbelieve.


        19. _Of the dress and habits of the Christian people._

It is a matter of no moment in the city of God whether he who adopts
the faith that brings men to God adopts it in one dress and manner
of life or another, so long only as he lives in conformity with the
commandments of God. And hence, when philosophers themselves become
Christians, they are compelled, indeed, to abandon their erroneous
doctrines, but not their dress and mode of living, which are no
obstacle to religion. So that we make no account of that distinction
of sects which Varro adduced in connection with the Cynic school,
provided always nothing indecent or self-indulgent is retained. As
to these three modes of life, the contemplative, the active, and the
composite, although, so long as a man's faith is preserved, he may
choose any of them without detriment to his eternal interests, yet
he must never overlook the claims of truth and duty. No man has a
right to lead such a life of contemplation as to forget in his own
ease the service due to his neighbour; nor has any man a right to
be so immersed in active life as to neglect the contemplation of
God. The charm of leisure must not be indolent vacancy of mind, but
the investigation or discovery of truth, that thus every man may
make solid attainments without grudging that others do the same.
And, in active life, it is not the honours or power of this life
we should covet, since all things under the sun are vanity, but we
should aim at using our position and influence, if these have been
honourably attained, for the welfare of those who are under us, in
the way we have already explained.[653] It is to this the apostle
refers when he says, "He that desireth the episcopate desireth a
good work."[654] He wished to show that the episcopate is the title
of a work, not of an honour. It is a Greek word, and signifies that
he who governs, superintends or takes care of those whom he governs:
for ἐπί means _over_, and σκοπεῖν, _to see_; therefore ἐπισκοπεῖν
means "to oversee."[655] So that he who loves to govern rather than
to do good is no bishop. Accordingly no one is prohibited from the
search after truth, for in this leisure may most laudably be spent;
but it is unseemly to covet the high position requisite for governing
the people, even though that position be held and that government
be administered in a seemly manner. And therefore holy leisure is
longed for by the love of truth; but it is the necessity of love to
undertake requisite business. If no one imposes this burden upon us,
we are free to sift and contemplate truth; but if it be laid upon
us, we are necessitated for love's sake to undertake it. And yet not
even in this case are we obliged wholly to relinquish the sweets of
contemplation; for were these to be withdrawn, the burden might prove
more than we could bear.


        20. _That the saints are in this life blessed in hope._

Since, then, the supreme good of the city of God is perfect and
eternal peace, not such as mortals pass into and out of by birth and
death, but the peace of freedom from all evil, in which the immortals
ever abide, who can deny that that future life is most blessed, or
that, in comparison with it, this life which now we live is most
wretched, be it filled with all blessings of body and soul and
external things? And yet, if any man uses this life with a reference
to that other which he ardently loves and confidently hopes for,
he may well be called even now blessed, though not in reality so
much as in hope. But the actual possession of the happiness of this
life, without the hope of what is beyond, is but a false happiness
and profound misery. For the true blessings of the soul are not now
enjoyed; for that is no true wisdom which does not direct all its
prudent observations, manly actions, virtuous self-restraint, and
just arrangements, to that end in which God shall be all and all in a
secure eternity and perfect peace.


     21. _Whether there ever was a Roman republic answering to the
             definitions of Scipio in Cicero's dialogue._

This, then, is the place where I should fulfil the promise I gave
in the second book of this work,[656] and explain, as briefly and
clearly as possible, that if we are to accept the definitions laid
down by Scipio in Cicero's _De Republica_, there never was a Roman
republic; for he briefly defines a republic as the weal of the
people. And if this definition be true, there never was a Roman
republic, for the people's weal was never attained among the Romans.
For the people, according to his definition, is an assemblage
associated by a common acknowledgment of right and by a community of
interests. And what he means by a common acknowledgment of right he
explains at large, showing that a republic cannot be administered
without justice. Where, therefore, there is no true justice there can
be no right. For that which is done by right is justly done, and what
is unjustly done cannot be done by right. For the unjust inventions
of men are neither to be considered nor spoken of as rights; for even
they themselves say that right is that which flows from the fountain
of justice, and deny the definition which is commonly given by those
who misconceive the matter, that right is that which is useful to the
stronger party. Thus, where there is not true justice there can be
no assemblage of men associated by a common acknowledgment of right,
and therefore there can be no people, as defined by Scipio or Cicero;
and if no people, then no weal of the people, but only of some
promiscuous multitude unworthy of the name of people. Consequently,
if the republic is the weal of the people, and there is no people
if it be not associated by a common acknowledgment of right, and if
there is no right where there is no justice, then most certainly it
follows that there is no republic where there is no justice. Further,
justice is that virtue which gives every one his due. Where, then, is
the justice of man, when he deserts the true God and yields himself
to impure demons? Is this to give every one his due? Or is he who
keeps back a piece of ground from the purchaser, and gives it to a
man who has no right to it, unjust, while he who keeps back himself
from the God who made him, and serves wicked spirits, is just?

This same book, _De Republica_, advocates the cause of justice
against injustice with great force and keenness. The pleading for
injustice against justice was first heard, and it was asserted that
without injustice a republic could neither increase nor even subsist,
for it was laid down as an absolutely unassailable position that
it is unjust for some men to rule and some to serve; and yet the
imperial city to which the republic belongs cannot rule her provinces
without having recourse to this injustice. It was replied in behalf
of justice, that this ruling of the provinces is just, because
servitude may be advantageous to the provincials, and is so when
rightly administered,--that is to say, when lawless men are prevented
from doing harm. And further, as they became worse and worse so long
as they were free, they will improve by subjection. To confirm this
reasoning, there is added an eminent example drawn from nature: for
"why," it is asked, "does God rule man, the soul the body, the reason
the passions and other vicious parts of the soul?" This example leaves
no doubt that, to some, servitude is useful; and, indeed, to serve God
is useful to all. And it is when the soul serves God that it exercises
a right control over the body; and in the soul itself the reason must
be subject to God if it is to govern as it ought the passions and
other vices. Hence, when a man does not serve God, what justice can
we ascribe to him, since in this case his soul cannot exercise a just
control over the body, nor his reason over his vices? And if there
is no justice in such an individual, certainly there can be none in
a community composed of such persons. Here, therefore, there is not
that common acknowledgment of right which makes an assemblage of men a
people whose affairs we call a republic. And why need I speak of the
advantageousness, the common participation in which, according to the
definition, makes a people? For although, if you choose to regard the
matter attentively, you will see that there is nothing advantageous to
those who live godlessly, as every one lives who does not serve God but
demons, whose wickedness you may measure by their desire to receive the
worship of men though they are most impure spirits, yet what I have
said of the common acknowledgment of right is enough to demonstrate
that, according to the above definition, there can be no people, and
therefore no republic, where there is no justice. For if they assert
that in their republic the Romans did not serve unclean spirits, but
good and holy gods, must we therefore again reply to this evasion,
though already we have said enough, and more than enough, to expose it?
He must be an uncommonly stupid, or a shamelessly contentious person,
who has read through the foregoing books to this point, and can yet
question whether the Romans served wicked and impure demons. But, not
to speak of their character, it is written in the law of the true God,
"He that sacrificeth unto any god save unto the Lord only, he shall
be utterly destroyed."[657] He, therefore, who uttered so menacing a
commandment decreed that no worship should be given either to good or
bad gods.


   22. _Whether the God whom the Christians serve is the true God to
                whom alone sacrifice ought to be paid._

But it may be replied, Who is this God, or what proof is there that
He alone is worthy to receive sacrifice from the Romans? One must be
very blind to be still asking who this God is. He is the God whose
prophets predicted the things we see accomplished. He is the God from
whom Abraham received the assurance, "In thy seed shall all nations
be blessed."[658] That this was fulfilled in Christ, who according
to the flesh sprang from that seed, is recognised, whether they
will or no, even by those who have continued to be the enemies of
this name. He is the God whose divine Spirit spake by the men whose
predictions I cited in the preceding books, and which are fulfilled
in the Church which has extended over all the world. This is the God
whom Varro, the most learned of the Romans, supposed to be Jupiter,
though he knows not what he says; yet I think it right to note the
circumstance that a man of such learning was unable to suppose that
this God had no existence or was contemptible, but believed Him to be
the same as the supreme God. In fine, He is the God whom Porphyry,
the most learned of the philosophers, though the bitterest enemy of
the Christians, confesses to be a great God, even according to the
oracles of those whom he esteems gods.


   23. _Porphyry's account of the responses given by the oracles of
                     the gods concerning Christ._

For in his book called ἐκ λογίων φιλοσοφίας, in which he collects and
comments upon the responses which he pretends were uttered by the
gods concerning divine things, he says--I give his own words as they
have been translated from the Greek: "To one who inquired what god
he should propitiate in order to recall his wife from Christianity,
Apollo replied in the following verses." Then the following words are
given as those of Apollo: "You will probably find it easier to write
lasting characters on the water, or lightly fly like a bird through
the air, than to restore right feeling in your impious wife once she
has polluted herself. Let her remain as she pleases in her foolish
deception, and sing false laments to her dead God, who was condemned
by right-minded judges, and perished ignominiously by a violent
death." Then after these verses of Apollo (which we have given in a
Latin version that does not preserve the metrical form), he goes on
to say: "In these verses Apollo exposed the incurable corruption of
the Christians, saying that the Jews, rather than the Christians,
recognised God." See how he misrepresents Christ, giving the Jews the
preference to the Christians in the recognition of God. This was his
explanation of Apollo's verses, in which he says that Christ was put
to death by right-minded or just judges,--in other words, that He
deserved to die. I leave the responsibility of this oracle regarding
Christ on the lying interpreter of Apollo, or on this philosopher who
believed it or possibly himself invented it; as to its agreement with
Porphyry's opinions or with other oracles, we shall in a little have
something to say. In this passage, however, he says that the Jews,
as the interpreters of God, judged justly in pronouncing Christ to
be worthy of the most shameful death. He should have listened, then,
to this God of the Jews to whom he bears this testimony, when that
God says, "He that sacrificeth to any other god save to the Lord
alone shall be utterly destroyed." But let us come to still plainer
expressions, and hear how great a God Porphyry thinks the God of the
Jews is. Apollo, he says, when asked whether word, _i.e._ reason,
or law is the better thing, replied in the following verses. Then
he gives the verses of Apollo, from which I select the following as
sufficient: "God, the Generator, and the King prior to all things,
before whom heaven and earth, and the sea, and the hidden places of
hell tremble, and the deities themselves are afraid, for their law
is the Father whom the holy Hebrews honour." In this oracle of his
god Apollo, Porphyry avowed that the God of the Hebrews is so great
that the deities themselves are afraid before Him. I am surprised,
therefore, that when God said, He that sacrificeth to other gods
shall be utterly destroyed, Porphyry himself was not afraid lest he
should be destroyed for sacrificing to other gods.

This philosopher, however, has also some good to say of Christ,
oblivious, as it were, of that contumely of his of which we have just
been speaking; or as if his gods spoke evil of Christ only while
asleep, and recognised Him to be good, and gave Him His deserved
praise, when they awoke. For, as if he were about to proclaim some
marvellous thing passing belief, he says, "What we are going to say
will certainly take some by surprise. For the gods have declared that
Christ was very pious, and has become immortal, and that they cherish
his memory: that the Christians, however, are polluted, contaminated,
and involved in error. And many other such things," he says, "do the
gods say against the Christians." Then he gives specimens of the
accusations made, as he says, by the gods against them, and then goes
on: "But to some who asked Hecate whether Christ were a God, she
replied, You know the condition of the disembodied immortal soul, and
that if it has been severed from wisdom it always errs. The soul you
refer to is that of a man foremost in piety: they worship it because
they mistake the truth." To this so-called oracular response he adds
the following words of his own: "Of this very pious man, then, Hecate
said that the soul, like the souls of other good men, was after death
dowered with immortality, and that the Christians through ignorance
worship it. And to those who ask why he was condemned to die, the
oracle of the goddess replied, The body, indeed, is always exposed to
torments, but the souls of the pious abide in heaven. And the soul you
inquire about has been the fatal cause of error to other souls which
were not fated to receive the gifts of the gods, and to have the
knowledge of immortal Jove. Such souls are therefore hated by the gods;
for they who were fated not to receive the gifts of the gods, and not
to know God, were fated to be involved in error by means of him you
speak of. He himself, however, was good, and heaven has been opened to
him as to other good men. You are not, then, to speak evil of him, but
to pity the folly of men: and through him men's danger is imminent."

Who is so foolish as not to see that these oracles were either
composed by a clever man with a strong animus against the Christians,
or were uttered as responses by impure demons with a similar
design,--that is to say, in order that their praise of Christ may
win credence for their vituperation of Christians; and that thus
they may, if possible, close the way of eternal salvation, which is
identical with Christianity? For they believe that they are by no
means counterworking their own hurtful craft by promoting belief in
Christ, so long as their calumniation of Christians is also accepted;
for they thus secure that even the man who thinks well of Christ
declines to become a Christian, and is therefore not delivered from
their own rule by the Christ he praises. Besides, their praise
of Christ is so contrived that whosoever believes in Him as thus
represented will not be a true Christian but a Photinian heretic,
recognising only the humanity, and not also the divinity of Christ,
and will thus be precluded from salvation and from deliverance
out of the meshes of these devilish lies. For our part, we are no
better pleased with Hecate's praises of Christ than with Apollo's
calumniation of Him. Apollo says that Christ was put to death by
right-minded judges, implying that He was unrighteous. Hecate says
that He was a most pious man, but no more. The intention of both is
the same, to prevent men from becoming Christians, because if this
be secured, men shall never be rescued from their power. But it is
incumbent on our philosopher, or rather on those who believe in these
pretended oracles against the Christians, first of all, if they can,
to bring Apollo and Hecate to the same mind regarding Christ, so
that either both may condemn or both praise Him. And even if they
succeeded in this, we for our part would notwithstanding repudiate
the testimony of demons, whether favourable or adverse to Christ. But
when our adversaries find a god and goddess of their own at variance
about Christ, the one praising, the other vituperating Him, they can
certainly give no credence, if they have any judgment, to mere men
who blaspheme the Christians.

When Porphyry or Hecate praises Christ, and adds that He gave Himself
to the Christians as a fatal gift, that they might be involved in
error, he exposes, as he thinks, the causes of this error. But before
I cite his words to that purpose, I would ask, If Christ did thus
give Himself to the Christians to involve them in error, did He do so
willingly, or against His will? If willingly, how is He righteous? If
against His will, how is He blessed? However, let us hear the causes
of this error. "There are," he says, "in a certain place very small
earthly spirits, subject to the power of evil demons. The wise men
of the Hebrews, among whom was this Jesus, as you have heard from
the oracles of Apollo cited above, turned religious persons from
these very wicked demons and minor spirits, and taught them rather to
worship the celestial gods, and especially to adore God the Father.
This," he said, "the gods enjoin; and we have already shown how they
admonish the soul to turn to God, and command it to worship Him. But
the ignorant and the ungodly, who are not destined to receive favours
from the gods, nor to know the immortal Jupiter, not listening to the
gods and their messages, have turned away from all gods, and have
not only refused to hate, but have venerated the prohibited demons.
Professing to worship God, they refuse to do those things by which
alone God is worshipped. For God, indeed, being the Father of all, is
in need of nothing; but for us it is good to adore Him by means of
justice, chastity, and other virtues, and thus to make life itself
a prayer to Him, by inquiring into and imitating His nature. For
inquiry," says he, "purifies and imitation deifies us, by moving us
nearer to Him." He is right in so far as he proclaims God the Father,
and the conduct by which we should worship Him. Of such precepts the
prophetic books of the Hebrews are full, when they praise or blame
the life of the saints. But in speaking of the Christians he is in
error, and calumniates them as much as is desired by the demons whom
he takes for gods, as if it were difficult for any man to recollect
the disgraceful and shameful actions which used to be done in the
theatres and temples to please the gods, and to compare with these
things what is heard in our churches, and what is offered to the
true God, and from this comparison to conclude where character is
edified, and where it is ruined. But who but a diabolical spirit has
told or suggested to this man so manifest and vain a lie, as that the
Christians reverenced rather than hated the demons, whose worship the
Hebrews prohibited? But that God, whom the Hebrew sages worshipped,
forbids sacrifice to be offered even to the holy angels of heaven and
divine powers, whom we, in this our pilgrimage, venerate and love as
our most blessed fellow-citizens. For in the law which God gave to
His Hebrew people He utters this menace, as in a voice of thunder:
"He that sacrificeth unto any god, save unto the Lord only, he shall
be utterly destroyed."[659] And that no one might suppose that this
prohibition extends only to the very wicked demons and earthly
spirits, whom this philosopher calls very small and inferior,--for
even these are in the Scripture called gods, not of the Hebrews,
but of the nations, as the Septuagint translators have shown in
the psalm where it is said, "For all the gods of the nations are
demons,"[660]--that no one might suppose, I say, that sacrifice to
these demons was prohibited, but that sacrifice might be offered to
all or some of the celestials, it was immediately added, "save unto
the Lord alone."[661] The God of the Hebrews, then, to whom this
renowned philosopher bears this signal testimony, gave to His Hebrew
people a law, composed in the Hebrew language, and not obscure and
unknown, but published now in every nation, and in this law it is
written, "He that sacrificeth unto any god, save unto the Lord alone,
he shall be utterly destroyed." What need is there to seek further
proofs in the law or the prophets of this same thing? _Seek_, we need
not say, for the passages are neither few nor difficult to find; but
what need to collect and apply to my argument the proofs which are
thickly sown and obvious, and by which it appears clear as day that
sacrifice may be paid to none but the supreme and true God? Here is
one brief but decided, even menacing, and certainly true utterance
of that God whom the wisest of our adversaries so highly extol.
Let this be listened to, feared, fulfilled, that there may be no
disobedient soul cut off. "He that sacrifices," He says, not because
He needs anything, but because it behoves us to be His possession.
Hence the Psalmist in the Hebrew Scriptures sings, "I have said to
the Lord, Thou art my God, for Thou needest not my good."[662] For
we ourselves, who are His own city, are His most noble and worthy
sacrifice, and it is this mystery we celebrate in our sacrifices,
which are well known to the faithful, as we have explained in the
preceding books. For through the prophets the oracles of God declared
that the sacrifices which the Jews offered as a shadow of that which
was to be would cease, and that the nations, from the rising to the
setting of the sun, would offer one sacrifice. From these oracles,
which we now see accomplished, we have made such selections as seemed
suitable to our purpose in this work. And therefore, where there is
not this righteousness whereby the one supreme God rules the obedient
city according to His grace, so that it sacrifices to none but Him,
and whereby, in all the citizens of this obedient city, the soul
consequently rules the body and reason the vices in the rightful
order, so that, as the individual just man, so also the community and
people of the just, live by faith, which works by love, that love
whereby man loves God as He ought to be loved, and his neighbour as
himself,--there, I say, there is not an assemblage associated by a
common acknowledgment of right, and by a community of interests.
But if there is not this, there is not a people, if our definition
be true, and therefore there is no republic; for where there is no
people there can be no republic.


  24. _The definition which must be given of a people and a republic,
      in order to vindicate the assumption of these titles by the
      Romans and by other kingdoms._

But if we discard this definition of a people, and, assuming another,
say that a people is an assemblage of reasonable beings bound
together by a common agreement as to the objects of their love,
then, in order to discover the character of any people, we have only
to observe what they love. Yet whatever it loves, if only it is an
assemblage of reasonable beings and not of beasts, and is bound
together by an agreement as to the objects of love, it is reasonably
called a people; and it will be a superior people in proportion as
it is bound together by higher interests, inferior in proportion
as it is bound together by lower. According to this definition of
ours, the Roman people is a people, and its weal is without doubt
a commonwealth or republic. But what its tastes were in its early
and subsequent days, and how it declined into sanguinary seditions
and then to social and civil wars, and so burst asunder or rotted
off the bond of concord in which the health of a people consists,
history shows, and in the preceding books I have related at large.
And yet I would not on this account say either that it was not a
people, or that its administration was not a republic, so long as
there remains an assemblage of reasonable beings bound together by a
common agreement as to the objects of love. But what I say of this
people and of this republic I must be understood to think and say
of the Athenians or any Greek state, of the Egyptians, of the early
Assyrian Babylon, and of every other nation, great or small, which
had a public government. For, in general, the city of the ungodly,
which did not obey the command of God that it should offer no
sacrifice save to Him alone, and which, therefore, could not give to
the soul its proper command over the body, nor to the reason its just
authority over the vices, is void of true justice.


      25. _That where there is no true religion there are no true
                               virtues._

For though the soul may seem to rule the body admirably, and the
reason the vices, if the soul and reason do not themselves obey God,
as God has commanded them to serve Him, they have no proper authority
over the body and the vices. For what kind of mistress of the body
and the vices can that mind be which is ignorant of the true God, and
which, instead of being subject to His authority, is prostituted to
the corrupting influences of the most vicious demons? It is for this
reason that the virtues which it seems to itself to possess, and
by which it restrains the body and the vices that it may obtain and
keep what it desires, are rather vices than virtues so long as there
is no reference to God in the matter. For although some suppose that
virtues which have a reference only to themselves, and are desired
only on their own account, are yet true and genuine virtues, the fact
is that even then they are inflated with pride, and are therefore
to be reckoned vices rather than virtues. For as that which gives
life to the flesh is not derived from flesh, but is above it, so
that which gives blessed life to man is not derived from man, but is
something above him; and what I say of man is true of every celestial
power and virtue whatsoever.


  26. _Of the peace which is enjoyed by the people that are alienated
      from God, and the use made of it by the people of God in the
      time of its pilgrimage._

Wherefore, as the life of the flesh is the soul, so the blessed life of
man is God, of whom the sacred writings of the Hebrews say, "Blessed is
the people whose God is the Lord."[663] Miserable, therefore, is the
people which is alienated from God. Yet even this people has a peace of
its own which is not to be lightly esteemed, though, indeed, it shall
not in the end enjoy it, because it makes no good use of it before
the end. But it is our interest that it enjoy this peace meanwhile in
this life; for as long as the two cities are commingled, we also enjoy
the peace of Babylon. For from Babylon the people of God is so freed
that it meanwhile sojourns in its company. And therefore the apostle
also admonished the Church to pray for kings and those in authority,
assigning as the reason, "that we may live a quiet and tranquil life in
all godliness and love."[664] And the prophet Jeremiah, when predicting
the captivity that was to befall the ancient people of God, and giving
them the divine command to go obediently to Babylonia, and thus serve
their God, counselled them also to pray for Babylonia, saying, "In the
peace thereof shall ye have peace,"[665]--the temporal peace which the
good and the wicked together enjoy.


   27. _That the peace of those who serve God cannot in this mortal
                life be apprehended in its perfection._

But the peace which is peculiar to ourselves we enjoy now with God by
faith, and shall hereafter enjoy eternally with Him by sight. But the
peace which we enjoy in this life, whether common to all or peculiar
to ourselves, is rather the solace of our misery than the positive
enjoyment of felicity. Our very righteousness, too, though true in so
far as it has respect to the true good, is yet in this life of such
a kind that it consists rather in the remission of sins than in the
perfecting of virtues. Witness the prayer of the whole city of God
in its pilgrim state, for it cries to God by the mouth of all its
members, "Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors."[666] And
this prayer is efficacious not for those whose faith is "without works
and dead,"[667] but for those whose faith "worketh by love."[668]
For as reason, though subjected to God, is yet "pressed down by the
corruptible body,"[669] so long as it is in this mortal condition,
it has not perfect authority over vice, and therefore this prayer is
needed by the righteous. For though it exercises authority, the vices
do not submit without a struggle. For however well one maintains the
conflict, and however thoroughly he has subdued these enemies, there
steals in some evil thing, which, if it do not find ready expression
in act, slips out by the lips, or insinuates itself into the thought;
and therefore his peace is not full so long as he is at war with his
vices. For it is a doubtful conflict he wages with those that resist,
and his victory over those that are defeated is not secure, but full
of anxiety and effort. Amidst these temptations, therefore, of all
which it has been summarily said in the divine oracles, "Is not human
life upon earth a temptation?"[670] who but a proud man can presume
that he so lives that he has no need to say to God, "Forgive us our
debts?" And such a man is not great, but swollen and puffed up with
vanity, and is justly resisted by Him who abundantly gives grace to
the humble. Whence it is said, "God resisteth the proud, but giveth
grace to the humble."[671] In this, then, consists the righteousness
of a man, that he submit himself to God, his body to his soul, and
his vices, even when they rebel, to his reason, which either defeats
or at least resists them; and also that he beg from God grace to do
his duty,[672] and the pardon of his sins, and that he render to God
thanks for all the blessings he receives. But, in that final peace to
which all our righteousness has reference, and for the sake of which
it is maintained, as our nature shall enjoy a sound immortality and
incorruption, and shall have no more vices, and as we shall experience
no resistance either from ourselves or from others, it will not be
necessary that reason should rule vices which no longer exist, but God
shall rule the man, and the soul shall rule the body, with a sweetness
and facility suitable to the felicity of a life which is done with
bondage. And this condition shall there be eternal, and we shall be
assured of its eternity; and thus the peace of this blessedness and the
blessedness of this peace shall be the supreme good.


                     28. _The end of the wicked._

But, on the other hand, they who do not belong to this city of God
shall inherit eternal misery, which is also called the second death,
because the soul shall then be separated from God its life, and
therefore cannot be said to live, and the body shall be subjected to
eternal pains. And consequently this second death shall be the more
severe, because no death shall terminate it. But war being contrary
to peace, as misery to happiness, and life to death, it is not
without reason asked what kind of war can be found in the end of the
wicked answering to the peace which is declared to be the end of the
righteous? The person who puts this question has only to observe what
it is in war that is hurtful and destructive, and he shall see that
it is nothing else than the mutual opposition and conflict of things.
And can he conceive a more grievous and bitter war than that in which
the will is so opposed to passion, and passion to the will, that their
hostility can never be terminated by the victory of either, and in
which the violence of pain so conflicts with the nature of the body,
that neither yields to the other? For in this life, when this conflict
has arisen, either pain conquers and death expels the feeling of it, or
nature conquers and health expels the pain. But in the world to come
the pain continues that it may torment, and the nature endures that
it may be sensible of it; and neither ceases to exist, lest punishment
also should cease. Now, as it is through the last judgment that men
pass to these ends, the good to the supreme good, the evil to the
supreme evil, I will treat of this judgment in the following book.

FOOTNOTES:

[619] Not extant.

[620] Alluding to the vexed question whether virtue could be taught.

[621] The _prima naturæ_, or πρῶτα κατὰ φύσιν of the Stoics.

[622] Frequently called the Middle Academy; the New beginning with
Carneades.

[623] Hab. ii. 4.

[624] Ps. xciv. 11, and 1 Cor. iii. 20.

[625] Wisdom ix. 15.

[626] Cicero, _Tusc. Quæst._ iii. 8.

[627] Gal. v. 17.

[628] Rom. viii. 24.

[629] Terent. _Adelph._ v. 4.

[630] _Eunuch._ i. 1.

[631] _In Verrem_, ii. 1. 15.

[632] Matt. x. 36.

[633] Ps. xxv. 17.

[634] Job vii. 1.

[635] Matt. xvii. 7.

[636] Matt. xxiv. 12.

[637] 2 Cor. xi. 14.

[638] Ps. cxlvii. 12-14.

[639] Rom. vi. 22.

[640] He refers to the giant Cacus.

[641] _Æneid_, viii. 195.

[642] John viii. 44.

[643] 1 Tim. v. 8.

[644] Gen. i. 26.

[645] _Servus_, "a slave," from _servare_, "to preserve."

[646] Dan. ix.

[647] John viii. 34.

[648] 2 Pet. ii. 19.

[649] The patriarchs.

[650] 1 Cor. xiii. 9.

[651] Hab. ii. 4.

[652] 2 Cor. v. 6.

[653] Ch. 6.

[654] 1 Tim. iii. 1.

[655] Augustine's words are: "ἐπι, quippe 'super;' σκοπός, vero,
'intentio' est: επισκοπεῖν, si velimus, latine 'superintendere'
possumus dicere."

[656] Ch. 21.

[657] Ex. xxii. 20.

[658] Gen. xxii. 18.

[659] Ex. xxii. 20.

[660] Ps. xcvi. 5.

[661] Augustine here warns his readers against a possible
misunderstanding of the Latin word for "alone" (_soli_), which might
be rendered "the sun."

[662] Ps. xvi. 2.

[663] Ps. cxliv. 15.

[664] 1 Tim. ii. 2; var. reading, "purity."

[665] Jer. xxix. 7.

[666] Matt. vi. 12.

[667] Jas. ii. 17.

[668] Gal. v. 6.

[669] Wisdom ix. 15.

[670] Job vii. 1.

[671] Jas. iv. 6; 1 Pet. v. 5.

[672] Gratia meritorum.



                            BOOK TWENTIETH.

                               ARGUMENT.

  CONCERNING THE LAST JUDGMENT, AND THE DECLARATIONS REGARDING IT IN
                      THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS.


  1. _That although God is always judging, it is nevertheless
      reasonable to confine our attention in this book to His last
      judgment._

Intending to speak, in dependence on God's grace, of the day of His
final judgment, and to affirm it against the ungodly and incredulous,
we must first of all lay, as it were, in the foundation of the
edifice the divine declarations. Those persons who do not believe
such declarations do their best to oppose to them false and illusive
sophisms of their own, either contending that what is adduced from
Scripture has another meaning, or altogether denying that it is
an utterance of God's. For I suppose no man who understands what
is written, and believes it to be communicated by the supreme and
true God through holy men, refuses to yield and consent to these
declarations, whether he orally confesses his consent, or is from
some evil influence ashamed or afraid to do so; or even, with an
opinionativeness closely resembling madness, makes strenuous efforts
to defend what he knows and believes to be false against what he
knows and believes to be true.

That, therefore, which the whole Church of the true God holds and
professes as its creed, that Christ shall come from heaven to judge
quick and dead, this we call the last day, or last time, of the
divine judgment. For we do not know how many days this judgment may
occupy; but no one who reads the Scriptures, however negligently,
need be told that in them "day" is customarily used for "time." And
when we speak of the day of God's judgment, we add the word last or
final for this reason, because even now God judges, and has judged
from the beginning of human history, banishing from paradise, and
excluding from the tree of life, those first men who perpetrated so
great a sin. Yea, He was certainly exercising judgment also when
He did not spare the angels who sinned, whose prince, overcome by
envy, seduced men after being himself seduced. Neither is it without
God's profound and just judgment that the life of demons and men,
the one in the air, the other on earth, is filled with misery,
calamities, and mistakes. And even though no one had sinned, it could
only have been by the good and right judgment of God that the whole
rational creation could have been maintained in eternal blessedness
by a persevering adherence to its Lord. He judges, too, not only
in the mass, condemning the race of devils and the race of men to
be miserable on account of the original sin of these races, but He
also judges the voluntary and personal acts of individuals. For even
the devils pray that they may not be tormented,[673] which proves
that without injustice they might either be spared or tormented
according to their deserts. And men are punished by God for their
sins often visibly, always secretly, either in this life or after
death, although no man acts rightly save by the assistance of divine
aid; and no man or devil acts unrighteously save by the permission
of the divine and most just judgment. For, as the apostle says,
"There is no unrighteousness with God;"[674] and as he elsewhere
says, "His judgments are inscrutable, and His ways past finding
out."[675] In this book, then, I shall speak, as God permits, not of
those first judgments, nor of these intervening judgments of God, but
of the last judgment, when Christ is to come from heaven to judge
the quick and the dead. For that day is properly called the day of
judgment, because in it there shall be no room left for the ignorant
questioning why this wicked person is happy and that righteous man
unhappy. In that day true and full happiness shall be the lot of none
but the good, while deserved and supreme misery shall be the portion
of the wicked, and of them only.


    2. _That in the mingled web of human affairs God's judgment is
               present, though it cannot be discerned._

In this present time we learn to bear with equanimity the ills to
which even good men are subject, and to hold cheap the blessings
which even the wicked enjoy. And consequently, even in those
conditions of life in which the justice of God is not apparent, His
teaching is salutary. For we do not know by what judgment of God this
good man is poor and that bad man rich; why he who, in our opinion,
ought to suffer acutely for his abandoned life enjoys himself, while
sorrow pursues him whose praiseworthy life leads us to suppose he
should be happy; why the innocent man is dismissed from the bar not
only unavenged, but even condemned, being either wronged by the
iniquity of the judge, or overwhelmed by false evidence, while his
guilty adversary, on the other hand, is not only discharged with
impunity, but even has his claims admitted; why the ungodly enjoys
good health, while the godly pines in sickness; why ruffians are of
the soundest constitution, while they who could not hurt any one even
with a word are from infancy afflicted with complicated disorders;
why he who is useful to society is cut off by premature death, while
those who, as it might seem, ought never to have been so much as born
have lives of unusual length; why he who is full of crimes is crowned
with honours, while the blameless man is buried in the darkness of
neglect. But who can collect or enumerate all the contrasts of this
kind? But if this anomalous state of things were uniform in this
life, in which, as the sacred Psalmist says, "Man is like to vanity,
his days as a shadow that passeth away,"[676]--so uniform that none
but wicked men won the transitory prosperity of earth, while only
the good suffered its ills,--this could be referred to the just and
even benign judgment of God. We might suppose that they who were not
destined to obtain those everlasting benefits which constitute human
blessedness were either deluded by transitory blessings as the just
reward of their wickedness, or were, in God's mercy, consoled by
them, and that they who were not destined to suffer eternal torments
were afflicted with temporal chastisement for their sins, or were
stimulated to greater attainment in virtue. But now, as it is, since
we not only see good men involved in the ills of life, and bad men
enjoying the good of it, which seems unjust, but also that evil
often overtakes evil men, and good surprises the good, the rather on
this account are God's judgments unsearchable, and His ways past
finding out. Although, therefore, we do not know by what judgment
these things are done or permitted to be done by God, with whom is
the highest virtue, the highest wisdom, the highest justice, no
infirmity, no rashness, no unrighteousness, yet it is salutary for us
to learn to hold cheap such things, be they good or evil, as attach
indifferently to good men and bad, and to covet those good things
which belong only to good men, and flee those evils which belong only
to evil men. But when we shall have come to that judgment, the date
of which is called peculiarly the day of judgment, and sometimes the
day of the Lord, we shall then recognise the justice of all God's
judgments, not only of such as shall then be pronounced, but of all
which take effect from the beginning, or may take effect before that
time. And in that day we shall also recognise with what justice so
many, or almost all, the just judgments of God in the present life
defy the scrutiny of human sense or insight, though in this matter it
is not concealed from pious minds that what is concealed is just.


     3. _What Solomon, in the book of Ecclesiastes, says regarding
        the things which happen alike to good and wicked men._

Solomon, the wisest king of Israel, who reigned in Jerusalem, thus
commences the book called Ecclesiastes, which the Jews number among
their canonical Scriptures: "Vanity of vanities, said Ecclesiastes,
vanity of vanities; all is vanity. What profit hath a man of all his
labour which he hath taken under the sun?"[677] And after going on
to enumerate, with this as his text, the calamities and delusions
of this life, and the shifting nature of the present time, in which
there is nothing substantial, nothing lasting, he bewails, among
the other vanities that are under the sun, this also, that though
wisdom excelleth folly as light excelleth darkness, and though the
eyes of the wise man are in his head, while the fool walketh in
darkness,[678] yet one event happeneth to them all, that is to say,
in this life under the sun, unquestionably alluding to those evils
which we see befall good and bad men alike. He says, further, that
the good suffer the ills of life as if they were evil-doers, and
the bad enjoy the good of life as if they were good. "There is a
vanity which is done upon the earth; that there be just men unto
whom it happeneth according to the work of the wicked: again, there
be wicked men, to whom it happeneth according to the work of the
righteous. I said, that this also is vanity."[679] This wisest man
devoted this whole book to a full exposure of this vanity, evidently
with no other object than that we might long for that life in which
there is no vanity under the sun, but verity under Him who made the
sun. In this vanity, then, was it not by the just and righteous
judgment of God that man, made like to vanity, was destined to pass
away? But in these days of vanity it makes an important difference
whether he resists or yields to the truth, and whether he is
destitute of true piety or a partaker of it,--important not so far
as regards the acquirement of the blessings or the evasion of the
calamities of this transitory and vain life, but in connection with
the future judgment which shall make over to good men good things,
and to bad men bad things, in permanent, inalienable possession.
In fine, this wise man concludes this book of his by saying, "Fear
God, and keep His commandments: for this is every man. For God shall
bring every work into judgment, with every despised person, whether
it be good, or whether it be evil."[680] What truer, terser, more
salutary enouncement could be made? "Fear God," he says, "and keep
His commandments: for this is every man." For whosoever has real
existence, is this, is a keeper of God's commandments; and he who is
not this, is nothing. For so long as he remains in the likeness of
vanity, he is not renewed in the image of the truth. "For God shall
bring into judgment every work,"--that is, whatever man does in this
life,--"whether it be good or whether it be evil, with every despised
person,"--that is, with every man who here seems despicable, and is
therefore not considered; for God sees even him, and does not despise
him nor pass him over in His judgment.


   4. _That proofs of the last judgment will be adduced, first from
              the New Testament, and then from the Old._

The proofs, then, of this last judgment of God which I propose to
adduce shall be drawn first from the New Testament, and then from
the Old. For although the Old Testament is prior in point of time,
the New has the precedence in intrinsic value; for the Old acts the
part of herald to the New. We shall therefore first cite passages
from the New Testament, and confirm them by quotations from the Old
Testament. The Old contains the law and the prophets, the New the
gospel and the apostolic epistles. Now the apostle says, "By the law
is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God without
the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
now the righteousness of God is by faith of Jesus Christ upon all
them that believe."[681] This righteousness of God belongs to the
New Testament, and evidence for it exists in the old books, that is
to say, in the law and the prophets. I shall first, then, state the
case, and then call the witnesses. This order Jesus Christ Himself
directs us to observe, saying, "The scribe instructed in the kingdom
of God is like a good householder, bringing out of his treasure
things new and old."[682] He did not say "old and new," which He
certainly would have said had He not wished to follow the order of
merit rather than that of time.


    5. _The passages in which the Saviour declares that there shall
            be a divine judgment in the end of the world._

The Saviour Himself, while reproving the cities in which He had done
great works, but which had not believed, and while setting them in
unfavourable comparison with foreign cities, says, "But I say unto
you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of
judgment than for you."[683] And a little after He says, "Verily, I
say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the
day of judgment than for thee."[684] Here He most plainly predicts
that a day of judgment is to come. And in another place He says,
"The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation,
and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of
Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here. The queen of the
south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall
condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to
hear the words of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is
here."[685] Two things we learn from this passage, that a judgment
is to take place, and that it is to take place at the resurrection
of the dead. For when He spoke of the Ninevites and the queen of the
south, He certainly spoke of dead persons, and yet He said that they
should rise up in the day of judgment. He did not say, "They shall
condemn," as if they themselves were to be the judges, but because,
in comparison with them, the others shall be justly condemned.

Again, in another passage, in which He was speaking of the present
intermingling and future separation of the good and bad,--the
separation which shall be made in the day of judgment,--He adduced a
comparison drawn from the sown wheat and the tares sown among them,
and gave this explanation of it to His disciples: "He that soweth
the good seed is the Son of man,"[686] etc. Here, indeed, He did not
name the judgment or the day of judgment, but indicated it much more
clearly by describing the circumstances, and foretold that it should
take place in the end of the world.

In like manner He says to His disciples, "Verily I say unto you, That
ye which have followed me, in the regeneration, when the Son of man
shall sit on the throne of His glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve
thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel."[687] Here we learn
that Jesus shall judge with His disciples. And therefore He said
elsewhere to the Jews, "If I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do
your sons cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges."[688]
Neither ought we to suppose that only twelve men shall judge along
with Him, though He says that they shall sit upon twelve thrones,
for by the number twelve is signified the completeness of the
multitude of those who shall judge. For the two parts of the number
seven (which commonly symbolizes totality), that is to say, four
and three, multiplied into one another, give twelve. For four times
three, or three times four, are twelve. There are other meanings,
too, in this number twelve. Were not this the right interpretation of
the twelve thrones, then since we read that Matthias was ordained
an apostle in the room of Judas the traitor, the Apostle Paul,
though he laboured more than them all,[689] should have no throne of
judgment; but he unmistakeably considers himself to be included in
the number of the judges when he says, "Know ye not that we shall
judge angels?"[690] The same rule is to be observed in applying the
number twelve to those who are to be judged. For though it was said,
"judging the twelve tribes of Israel," the tribe of Levi, which is
the thirteenth, shall not on this account be exempt from judgment,
neither shall judgment be passed only on Israel and not on the other
nations. And by the words "in the regeneration" He certainly meant
the resurrection of the dead to be understood; for our flesh shall be
regenerated by incorruption, as our soul is regenerated by faith.

Many passages I omit, because, though they seem to refer to the
last judgment, yet on a closer examination they are found to be
ambiguous, or to allude rather to some other event,--whether to that
coming of the Saviour which continually occurs in His Church, that
is, in His members, in which He comes little by little, and piece
by piece, since the whole Church is His body, or to the destruction
of the earthly Jerusalem. For when He speaks even of this, He often
uses language which is applicable to the end of the world and that
last and great day of judgment, so that these two events cannot
be distinguished unless all the corresponding passages bearing on
the subject in the three evangelists, Matthew, Mark, and Luke, are
compared with one another,--for some things are put more obscurely
by one evangelist and more plainly by another,--so that it becomes
apparent what things are meant to be referred to one event. It is
this which I have been at pains to do in a letter which I wrote to
Hesychius of blessed memory, bishop of Salon, and entitled, "Of the
End of the World."[691]

I shall now cite from the Gospel according to Matthew the passage
which speaks of the separation of the good from the wicked by the
most efficacious and final judgment of Christ: "When the Son of man,"
he says, "shall come in His glory, ... then shall He say also unto
them on His left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting
fire, prepared for the devil and his angels."[692] Then He in like
manner recounts to the wicked the things they had not done, but which
He had said those on the right hand had done. And when they ask when
they had seen Him in need of these things, He replies that, inasmuch
as they had not done it to the least of His brethren, they had not
done it unto Him, and concludes His address in the words, "And these
shall go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into
life eternal." Moreover, the evangelist John most distinctly states
that He had predicted that the judgment should be at the resurrection
of the dead. For after saying, "The Father judgeth no man, but hath
committed all judgment unto the Son; that all men should honour
the Son, even as they honour the Father: he that honoureth not the
Son, honoureth not the Father which hath sent Him;" He immediately
adds, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word and
believeth on Him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not
come into judgment; but is passed from death to life."[693] Here
He said that believers on Him should not come into judgment. How,
then, shall they be separated from the wicked by judgment, and be
set at His right hand, unless judgment be in this passage used for
condemnation? For into judgment, in this sense, they shall not come
who hear His word, and believe on Him that sent Him.


       6. _What is the first resurrection, and what the second._

After that He adds the words, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, The
hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of
the Son of God; and they that hear shall live. For as the Father
hath life in Himself; so hath He given to the Son to have life in
Himself."[694] As yet He does not speak of the second resurrection,
that is, the resurrection of the body, which shall be in the end,
but of the first, which now is. It is for the sake of making this
distinction that He says, "The hour is coming, and now is." Now this
resurrection regards not the body, but the soul. For souls, too,
have a death of their own in wickedness and sins, whereby they are
the dead of whom the same lips say, "Suffer the dead to bury their
dead,"[695]--that is, let those who are dead in soul bury them that
are dead in body. It is of these dead, then--the dead in ungodliness
and wickedness--that He says, "The hour is coming, and now is, when
the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and they that hear
shall live." "They that hear," that is, they who obey, believe, and
persevere to the end. Here no difference is made between the good
and the bad. For it is good for all men to hear His voice and live,
by passing to the life of godliness from the death of ungodliness.
Of this death the Apostle Paul says, "Therefore all are dead, and He
died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto
themselves, but unto Him which died for them and rose again."[696]
Thus all, without one exception, were dead in sins, whether original
or voluntary sins, sins of ignorance, or sins committed against
knowledge; and for all the dead there died the one only person who
lived, that is, who had no sin whatever, in order that they who
live by the remission of their sins should live, not to themselves,
but to Him who died for all, for our sins, and rose again for our
justification, that we, believing in Him who justifies the ungodly,
and being justified from ungodliness or quickened from death, may be
able to attain to the first resurrection which now is. For in this
first resurrection none have a part save those who shall be eternally
blessed; but in the second, of which He goes on to speak, all, as we
shall learn, have a part, both the blessed and the wretched. The one
is the resurrection of mercy, the other of judgment. And therefore it
is written in the psalm, "I will sing of mercy and of judgment: unto
Thee, O Lord, will I sing."[697]

And of this judgment He went on to say, "And hath given Him authority
to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of man." Here He
shows that He will come to judge in that flesh in which He had come
to be judged. For it is to show this He says, "because He is the
Son of man." And then follow the words for our purpose: "Marvel not
at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the
graves shall hear His voice, and shall come forth; they that have
done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done
evil, unto the resurrection of judgment."[698] This judgment He uses
here in the same sense as a little before, when He says, "He that
heareth my word, and believeth on Him that sent me, hath everlasting
life, and shall not come into _judgment_, but is passed from death
to life;" _i.e._, by having a part in the first resurrection, by
which a transition from death to life is made in this present time,
he shall not come into damnation, which He mentions by the name of
judgment, as also in the place where He says, "but they that have
done evil unto the resurrection of judgment," _i.e._ of damnation.
He, therefore, who would not be damned in the second resurrection,
let him rise in the first. For "the hour is coming, and now is, when
the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and they that hear
shall live," _i.e._ shall not come into damnation, which is called
the second death; into which death, after the second or bodily
resurrection, they shall be hurled who do not rise in the first or
spiritual resurrection. For "the hour is coming" (but here He does
not say, "and now is," because it shall come in the end of the world
in the last and greatest judgment of God) "when all that are in
the graves shall hear His voice and shall come forth." He does not
say, as in the first resurrection, "And they that hear shall live."
For all shall not live, at least with such life as ought alone to
be called life because it alone is blessed. For some kind of life
they must have in order to hear, and come forth from the graves in
their rising bodies. And why all shall not live He teaches in the
words that follow: "They that have done good, to the resurrection of
life,"--these are they who shall live; "but they that have done evil,
to the resurrection of judgment,"--these are they who shall not live,
for they shall die in the second death. They have done evil because
their life has been evil; and their life has been evil because it has
not been renewed in the first or spiritual resurrection which now is,
or because they have not persevered to the end in their renewed life.
As, then, there are two regenerations, of which I have already made
mention,--the one according to faith, and which takes place in the
present life by means of baptism; the other according to the flesh,
and which shall be accomplished in its incorruption and immortality
by means of the great and final judgment,--so are there also two
resurrections,--the one the first and spiritual resurrection, which
has place in this life, and preserves us from coming into the second
death; the other the second, which does not occur now, but in the end
of the world, and which is of the body, not of the soul, and which by
the last judgment shall dismiss some into the second death, others
into that life which has no death.


  7. _What is written in the Revelation of John regarding the two
      resurrections, and the thousand years, and what may reasonably
      be held on these points._

The evangelist John has spoken of these two resurrections in the
book which is called the Apocalypse, but in such a way that some
Christians do not understand the first of the two, and so construe
the passage into ridiculous fancies. For the Apostle John says in
the foresaid book, "And I saw an angel come down from heaven....
Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on
such the second death hath no power; but they shall be priests of
God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years."[699]
Those who, on the strength of this passage, have suspected that the
first resurrection is future and bodily, have been moved, among other
things, specially by the number of a thousand years, as if it were a
fit thing that the saints should thus enjoy a kind of Sabbath-rest
during that period, a holy leisure after the labours of the six
thousand years since man was created, and was on account of his great
sin dismissed from the blessedness of paradise into the woes of this
mortal life, so that thus, as it is written, "One day is with the
Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day,"[700]
there should follow on the completion of six thousand years, as of
six days, a kind of seventh-day Sabbath in the succeeding thousand
years; and that it is for this purpose the saints rise, viz. to
celebrate this Sabbath. And this opinion would not be objectionable,
if it were believed that the joys of the saints in that Sabbath
shall be spiritual, and consequent on the presence of God; for I
myself, too, once held this opinion.[701] But, as they assert that
those who then rise again shall enjoy the leisure of immoderate
carnal banquets, furnished with an amount of meat and drink such as
not only to shock the feeling of the temperate, but even to surpass
the measure of credulity itself, such assertions can be believed
only by the carnal. They who do believe them are called by the
spiritual Chiliasts, which we may literally reproduce by the name
Millenarians.[702] It were a tedious process to refute these opinions
point by point: we prefer proceeding to show how that passage of
Scripture should be understood.

The Lord Jesus Christ Himself says, "No man can enter into a strong
man's house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong
man,"[703]--meaning by the strong man the devil, because he had power
to take captive the human race; and meaning by his goods which he
was to take, those who had been held by the devil in divers sins
and iniquities, but were to become believers in Himself. It was
then for the binding of this strong one that the apostle saw in the
Apocalypse "an angel coming down from heaven, having the key of the
abyss, and a chain in his hand. And he laid hold," he says, "on the
dragon, that old serpent, which is called the devil and Satan, and
bound him a thousand years,"--that is, bridled and restrained his
power so that he could not seduce and gain possession of those who
were to be freed. Now the thousand years may be understood in two
ways, so far as occurs to me: either because these things happen in
the sixth thousand of years or sixth millennium (the latter part of
which is now passing), as if during the sixth day, which is to be
followed by a Sabbath which has no evening, the endless rest of the
saints, so that, speaking of a part under the name of the whole, he
calls the last part of the millennium--the part, that is, which had
yet to expire before the end of the world--a thousand years; or he
used the thousand years as an equivalent for the whole duration of
this world, employing the number of perfection to mark the fulness
of time. For a thousand is the cube of ten. For ten times ten makes
a hundred, that is, the square on a plane superficies. But to give
this superficies height, and make it a cube, the hundred is again
multiplied by ten, which gives a thousand. Besides, if a hundred is
sometimes used for totality, as when the Lord said by way of promise
to him that left all and followed Him, "He shall receive in this
world an hundredfold;"[704] of which the apostle gives, as it were,
an explanation when he says, "As having nothing, yet possessing all
things,"[705]--for even of old it had been said, The whole world is
the wealth of a believer,--with how much greater reason is a thousand
put for totality since it is the cube, while the other is only the
square? And for the same reason we cannot better interpret the words
of the psalm, "He hath been mindful of His covenant for ever, the
word which He commanded to a thousand generations,"[706] than by
understanding it to mean "to all generations."

"And he cast him into the abyss,"--_i.e._ cast the devil into the
abyss. By the _abyss_ is meant the countless multitude of the wicked
whose hearts are unfathomably deep in malignity against the Church of
God; not that the devil was not there before, but he is said to be
cast in thither, because, when prevented from harming believers, he
takes more complete possession of the ungodly. For that man is more
abundantly possessed by the devil who is not only alienated from God,
but also gratuitously hates those who serve God. "And shut him up,
and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more
till the thousand years should be fulfilled." "Shut him up,"--_i.e._
prohibited him from going out, from doing what was forbidden. And the
addition of "set a seal upon him" seems to me to mean that it was
designed to keep it a secret who belonged to the devil's party and
who did not. For in this world this is a secret, for we cannot tell
whether even the man who seems to stand shall fall, or whether he who
seems to lie shall rise again. But by the chain and prisonhouse of
this interdict the devil is prohibited and restrained from seducing
those nations which belong to Christ, but which he formerly seduced
or held in subjection. For before the foundation of the world God
chose to rescue these from the power of darkness, and to translate
them into the kingdom of the Son of His love, as the apostle
says.[707] For what Christian is not aware that he seduces nations
even now, and draws them with himself to eternal punishment, but not
those predestined to eternal life? And let no one be dismayed by the
circumstance that the devil often seduces even those who have been
regenerated in Christ, and begun to walk in God's way. For "the Lord
knoweth them that are His,"[708] and of these the devil seduces none
to eternal damnation. For it is as God, from whom nothing is hid even
of things future, that the Lord knows them; not as a man, who sees a
man at the present time (if he can be said to see one whose heart he
does not see), but does not see even himself so far as to be able to
know what kind of person he is to be. The devil, then, is bound and
shut up in the abyss that he may not seduce the nations from which
the Church is gathered, and which he formerly seduced before the
Church existed. For it is not said "that he should not seduce any
man," but "that he should not seduce the nations"--meaning, no doubt,
those among which the Church exists--"till the thousand years should
be fulfilled,"--_i.e._ either what remains of the sixth day which
consists of a thousand years, or all the years which are to elapse
till the end of the world.

The words, "that he should not seduce the nations till the thousand
years should be fulfilled," are not to be understood as indicating
that afterwards he is to seduce only those nations from which
the predestined Church is composed, and from seducing whom he is
restrained by that chain and imprisonment; but they are used in
conformity with that usage frequently employed in Scripture and
exemplified in the psalm, "So our eyes wait upon the Lord our God,
until He have mercy upon us,"[709]--not as if the eyes of His
servants would no longer wait upon the Lord their God when He had
mercy upon them. Or the order of the words is unquestionably this,
"And he shut him up and set a seal upon him, till the thousand
years should be fulfilled;" and the interposed clause, "that he
should seduce the nations no more," is not to be understood in the
connection in which it stands, but separately, and as if added
afterwards, so that the whole sentence might be read, "And He shut
him up and set a seal upon him till the thousand years should be
fulfilled, that he should seduce the nations no more,"--_i.e._ he is
shut up till the thousand years be fulfilled, on this account, that
he may no more deceive the nations.


             8. _Of the binding and loosing of the devil._

"After that," says John, "he must be loosed a little season." If the
binding and shutting up of the devil means his being made unable to
seduce the Church, must his loosing be the recovery of this ability? By
no means. For the Church predestined and elected before the foundation
of the world, the Church of which it is said, "The Lord knoweth them
that are His," shall never be seduced by him. And yet there shall be
a Church in this world even when the devil shall be loosed, as there
has been since the beginning, and shall be always, the places of the
dying being filled by new believers. For a little after John says that
the devil, being loosed, shall draw the nations whom he has seduced in
the whole world to make war against the Church, and that the number of
these enemies shall be as the sand of the sea. "And they went up on
the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about,
and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven and
devoured them. And the devil who seduced them was cast into the lake
of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and
shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever."[710] This relates
to the last judgment, but I have thought fit to mention it now, lest
any one might suppose that in that short time during which the devil
shall be loose there shall be no Church upon earth, whether because
the devil finds no Church, or destroys it by manifold persecutions.
The devil, then, is not bound during the whole time which this book
embraces,--that is, from the first coming of Christ to the end of the
world, when He shall come the second time,--not bound in this sense,
that during this interval, which goes by the name of a thousand years,
he shall not seduce the Church, for not even when loosed shall he
seduce it. For certainly if his being bound means that he is not able
or not permitted to seduce the Church, what can the loosing of him
mean but his being able or permitted to do so? But God forbid that
such should be the case! But the binding of the devil is his being
prevented from the exercise of his whole power to seduce men, either
by violently forcing or fraudulently deceiving them into taking part
with him. If he were during so long a period permitted to assail the
weakness of men, very many persons, such as God would not wish to
expose to such temptation, would have their faith overthrown, or would
be prevented from believing; and that this might not happen, he is
bound.

But when the short time comes he shall be loosed. For he shall rage
with the whole force of himself and his angels for three years and
six months; and those with whom he makes war shall have power to
withstand all his violence and stratagems. And if he were never
loosed, his malicious power would be less patent, and less proof
would be given of the stedfast fortitude of the holy city: it would,
in short, be less manifest what good use the Almighty makes of his
great evil. For the Almighty does not absolutely seclude the saints
from his temptation, but shelters only their inner man, where faith
resides, that by outward temptation they may grow in grace. And He
binds him that he may not, in the free and eager exercise of his
malice, hinder or destroy the faith of those countless weak persons,
already believing or yet to believe, from whom the Church must be
increased and completed; and he will in the end loose him, that the
city of God may see how mighty an adversary it has conquered, to
the great glory of its Redeemer, Helper, Deliverer. And what are we
in comparison with those believers and saints who shall then exist,
seeing that they shall be tested by the loosing of an enemy with whom
we make war at the greatest peril even when he is bound? Although it
is also certain that even in this intervening period there have been
and are some soldiers of Christ so wise and strong, that if they were
to be alive in this mortal condition at the time of his loosing, they
would both most wisely guard against, and most patiently endure, all
his snares and assaults.

Now the devil was thus bound not only when the Church began to be
more and more widely extended among the nations beyond Judea, but is
now and shall be bound till the end of the world, when he is to be
loosed. Because even now men are, and doubtless to the end of the
world shall be, converted to the faith from the unbelief in which he
held them. And this strong one is bound in each instance in which he
is spoiled of one of his goods; and the abyss in which he is shut up
is not at an end when those die who were alive when first he was shut
up in it, but these have been succeeded, and shall to the end of the
world be succeeded, by others born after them with a like hate of the
Christians, and in the depth of whose blind hearts he is continually
shut up as in an abyss. But it is a question whether, during these
three years and six months when he shall be loose, and raging with
all his force, any one who has not previously believed shall attach
himself to the faith. For how in that case would the words hold good,
"Who entereth into the house of a strong one to spoil his goods,
unless first he shall have bound the strong one?" Consequently this
verse seems to compel us to believe that during that time, short as
it is, no one will be added to the Christian community, but that the
devil will make war with those who have previously become Christians,
and that, though some of these may be conquered and desert to the
devil, these do not belong to the predestinated number of the sons
of God: For it is not without reason that John, the same apostle as
wrote this Apocalypse, says in his epistle regarding certain persons,
"They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been
of us, they would no doubt have remained with us."[711] But what
shall become of the little ones? For it is beyond all belief that in
these days there shall not be found some Christian children born, but
not yet baptized, and that there shall not also be some born during
that very period; and if there be such, we cannot believe that their
parents shall not find some way of bringing them to the laver of
regeneration. But if this shall be the case, how shall these goods
be snatched from the devil when he is loose, since into his house no
man enters to spoil his goods unless he has first bound him? On the
contrary, we are rather to believe that in these days there shall be
no lack either of those who fall away from, or of those who attach
themselves to the Church; but there shall be such resoluteness, both
in parents to seek baptism for their little ones, and in those who
shall then first believe, that they shall conquer that strong one,
even though unbound,--that is, shall both vigilantly comprehend,
and patiently bear up against him, though employing such wiles and
putting forth such force as he never before used; and thus they
shall be snatched from him even though unbound. And yet the verse of
the Gospel will not be untrue, "Who entereth into the house of the
strong one to spoil his goods, unless he shall first have bound the
strong one?" For in accordance with this true saying that order is
observed--the strong one first bound, and then his goods spoiled; for
the Church is so increased by the weak and strong from all nations
far and near, that by its most robust faith in things divinely
predicted and accomplished, it shall be able to spoil the goods of
even the unbound devil. For as we must own that, "when iniquity
abounds, the love of many waxes cold,"[712] and that those who have
not been written in the book of life shall in large numbers yield
to the severe and unprecedented persecutions and stratagems of the
devil now loosed, so we cannot but think that not only those whom
that time shall find sound in the faith, but also some who till then
shall be without, shall become firm in the faith they have hitherto
rejected, and mighty to conquer the devil even though unbound, God's
grace aiding them to understand the Scriptures, in which, among other
things, there is foretold that very end which they themselves see to
be arriving. And if this shall be so, his binding is to be spoken of
as preceding, that there might follow a spoiling of him both bound
and loosed; for it is of this it is said, "Who shall enter into the
house of the strong one to spoil his goods, unless he shall first
have bound the strong one?"


   9. _What the reign of the saints with Christ for a thousand years
           is, and how it differs from the eternal kingdom._

But while the devil is bound, the saints reign with Christ during the
same thousand years, understood in the same way, that is, of the time
of His first coming.[713] For, leaving out of account that kingdom
concerning which He shall say in the end, "Come, ye blessed of my
Father, take possession of the kingdom prepared for you,"[714] the
Church could not now be called His kingdom or the kingdom of heaven
unless His saints were even now reigning with Him, though in another
and far different way; for to His saints He says, "Lo, I am with you
always, even to the end of the world."[715] Certainly it is in this
present time that the scribe well instructed in the kingdom of God, and
of whom we have already spoken, brings forth from his treasure things
new and old. And from the Church those reapers shall gather out the
tares which He suffered to grow with the wheat till the harvest, as He
explains in the words, "The harvest is the end of the world; and the
reapers are the angels. As therefore the tares are gathered together
and burned with fire, so shall it be in the end of the world. The Son
of man shall send His angels, and they shall gather out of His kingdom
all offences."[716] Can He mean out of that kingdom in which are no
offences? Then it must be out of His present kingdom, the Church, that
they are gathered. So He says, "He that breaketh one of the least of
these commandments, and teacheth men so, shall be called least in
the kingdom of heaven: but he that doeth and teacheth thus shall be
called great in the kingdom of heaven."[717] He speaks of both as
being in the kingdom of heaven, both the man who does not perform the
commandments which He teaches,--for "to break" means not to keep, not
to perform,--and the man who does and teaches as He did; but the one
He calls least, the other great. And He immediately adds, "For I say
unto you, that except your righteousness exceed that of the scribes and
Pharisees,"--that is, the righteousness of those who break what they
teach; for of the scribes and Pharisees He elsewhere says, "For they
say and do not;"[718]--unless, therefore, your righteousness exceed
theirs, that is, so that you do not break but rather do what you teach,
"ye shall not enter the kingdom of heaven."[719] We must understand in
one sense the kingdom of heaven in which exist together both he who
breaks what he teaches and he who does it, the one being least, the
other great, and in another sense the kingdom of heaven into which only
he who does what he teaches shall enter. Consequently, where both
classes exist, it is the Church as it now is, but where only the one
shall exist, it is the Church as it is destined to be when no wicked
person shall be in her. Therefore the Church even now is the kingdom
of Christ, and the kingdom of heaven. Accordingly, even now His saints
reign with Him, though otherwise than as they shall reign hereafter;
and yet, though the tares grow in the Church along with the wheat, they
do not reign with Him. For they reign with Him who do what the apostle
says, "If ye be risen with Christ, mind the things which are above,
where Christ sitteth at the right hand of God. Seek those things which
are above, not the things which are on the earth."[720] Of such persons
he also says that their conversation is in heaven.[721] In fine, they
reign with Him who are so in His kingdom that they themselves are His
kingdom. But in what sense are those the kingdom of Christ who, to say
no more, though they are in it until all offences are gathered out of
it at the end of the world, yet seek their own things in it, and not
the things that are Christ's?[722]

It is then of this kingdom militant, in which conflict with the
enemy is still maintained, and war carried on with warring lusts,
or government laid upon them as they yield, until we come to that
most peaceful kingdom in which we shall reign without an enemy,
and it is of this first resurrection in the present life, that the
Apocalypse speaks in the words just quoted. For, after saying that
the devil is bound a thousand years and is afterwards loosed for a
short season, it goes on to give a sketch of what the Church does
or of what is done in the Church in those days, in the words, "And
I saw seats and them that sat upon them, and judgment was given."
It is not to be supposed that this refers to the last judgment, but
to the seats of the rulers and to the rulers themselves by whom the
Church is now governed. And no better interpretation of judgment
being given can be produced than that which we have in the words,
"What ye bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and what ye loose
on earth shall be loosed in heaven."[723] Whence the apostle says,
"What have I to do with judging them that are without? do not ye
judge them that are within?"[724] "And the souls," says John, "of
those who were slain for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of
God,"--understanding what he afterwards says, "reigned with Christ
a thousand years,"[725]--that is, the souls of the martyrs not yet
restored to their bodies. For the souls of the pious dead are not
separated from the Church, which even now is the kingdom of Christ;
otherwise there would be no remembrance made of them at the altar
of God in the partaking of the body of Christ, nor would it do any
good in danger to run to His baptism, that we might not pass from
this life without it; nor to reconciliation, if by penitence or a bad
conscience any one may be severed from His body. For why are these
things practised, if not because the faithful, even though dead, are
His members? Therefore, while these thousand years run on, their
souls reign with Him, though not as yet in conjunction with their
bodies. And therefore in another part of this same book we read,
"Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from henceforth: and now,
saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; for their
works do follow them."[726] The Church, then, begins its reign with
Christ now in the living and in the dead. For, as the apostle says,
"Christ died that He might be Lord both of the living and of the
dead."[727] But he mentioned the souls of the martyrs only, because
they who have contended even to death for the truth, themselves
principally reign after death; but, taking the part for the whole, we
understand the words of all others who belong to the Church, which is
the kingdom of Christ.

As to the words following, "And if any have not worshipped the beast
nor his image, nor have received his inscription on their forehead,
or on their hand," we must take them of both the living and the
dead. And what this beast is, though it requires a more careful
investigation, yet it is not inconsistent with the true faith to
understand it of the ungodly city itself, and the community of
unbelievers set in opposition to the faithful people and the city
of God. "His image" seems to me to mean his simulation, to wit, in
those men who profess to believe, but live as unbelievers. For they
pretend to be what they are not, and are called Christians, not
from a true likeness, but from a deceitful image. For to this beast
belong not only the avowed enemies of the name of Christ and His most
glorious city, but also the tares which are to be gathered out of
His kingdom, the Church, in the end of the world. And who are they
who do not worship the beast and his image, if not those who do what
the apostle says, "Be not yoked with unbelievers?"[728] For such do
not worship, _i.e._ do not consent, are not subjected; neither do
they receive the inscription, the brand of crime, on their forehead
by their profession, on their hand by their practice. They, then,
who are free from these pollutions, whether they still live in this
mortal flesh, or are dead, reign with Christ even now, through this
whole interval which is indicated by the thousand years, in a fashion
suited to this time.

"The rest of them," he says, "did not live." For now is the hour when
the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and they that hear
shall live; and the rest of them shall not live. The words added,
"until the thousand years are finished," mean that they did not live
in the time in which they ought to have lived by passing from death
to life. And therefore, when the day of the bodily resurrection
arrives, they shall come out of their graves, not to life, but to
judgment, namely, to damnation, which is called the second death.
For whosoever has not lived until the thousand years be finished,
_i.e._ during this whole time in which the first resurrection is
going on,--whosoever has not heard the voice of the Son of God, and
passed from death to life,--that man shall certainly in the second
resurrection, the resurrection of the flesh, pass with his flesh
into the second death. For he goes on to say, "This is the first
resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first
resurrection," or who experiences it. Now he experiences it who not
only revives from the death of sin, but continues in this renewed
life. "In these the second death hath no power." Therefore it has
power in the rest, of whom he said above, "The rest of them did not
live until the thousand years were finished;" for in this whole
intervening time, called a thousand years, however lustily they
lived in the body, they were not quickened to life out of that death
in which their wickedness held them, so that by this revived life
they should become partakers of the first resurrection, and so the
second death should have no power over them.


    10. _What is to be replied to those who think that resurrection
              pertains only to bodies and not to souls._

There are some who suppose that resurrection can be predicated only
of the body, and therefore they contend that this first resurrection
(of the Apocalypse) is a bodily resurrection. For, say they, "to
rise again" can only be said of things that fall. Now, bodies fall
in death.[729] There cannot, therefore, be a resurrection of souls,
but of bodies. But what do they say to the apostle who speaks of a
resurrection of souls? For certainly it was in the inner and not the
outer man that those had risen again to whom he says, "If ye have
risen with Christ, mind the things that are above."[730] The same
sense he elsewhere conveyed in other words, saying, "That as Christ
has risen from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we also may
walk in newness of life."[731] So, too, "Awake thou that sleepest,
and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light."[732] As
to what they say about nothing being able to rise again but what
falls, whence they conclude that resurrection pertains to bodies
only, and not to souls, because bodies fall, why do they make nothing
of the words, "Ye that fear the Lord, wait for His mercy; and go
not aside lest ye fall;"[733] and "To his own Master he stands or
falls;"[734] and "He that thinketh he standeth, let him take heed
lest he fall?"[735] For I fancy this fall that we are to take heed
against is a fall of the soul, not of the body. If, then, rising
again belongs to things that fall, and souls fall, it must be owned
that souls also rise again. To the words, "In them the second death
hath no power," are added the words, "but they shall be priests of
God and Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years;" and
this refers not to the bishops alone, and presbyters, who are now
specially called priests in the Church; but as we call all believers
Christians on account of the mystical chrism, so we call all priests
because they are members of the one Priest. Of them the Apostle Peter
says, "A holy people, a royal priesthood."[736] Certainly he implied,
though in a passing and incidental way, that Christ is God, saying
priests of God and Christ, that is, of the Father and the Son, though
it was in His servant-form and as Son of man that Christ was made
a Priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. But this we have
already explained more than once.


 11. _Of Gog and Magog, who are to be roused by the devil to persecute
        the Church, when he is loosed in the end of the world._

"And when the thousand years are finished, Satan shall be loosed
from his prison, and shall go out to seduce the nations which are in
the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, and shall draw them
to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea." This, then, is
his purpose in seducing them, to draw them to this battle. For even
before this he was wont to use as many and various seductions as
he could continue. And the words "he shall go out" mean, he shall
burst forth from lurking hatred into open persecution. For this
persecution, occurring while the final judgment is imminent, shall
be the last which shall be endured by the holy Church throughout
the world, the whole city of Christ being assailed by the whole
city of the devil, as each exists on earth. For these nations which
he names Gog and Magog are not to be understood of some barbarous
nations in some part of the world, whether the Getæ and Massagetæ,
as some conclude from the initial letters, or some other foreign
nations not under the Roman government. For John marks that they are
spread over the whole earth, when he says, "The nations which are
in the four corners of the earth," and he added that these are Gog
and Magog. The meaning of these names we find to be, Gog, "a roof,"
Magog, "from a roof,"--a house, as it were, and he who comes out of
the house. They are therefore the nations in which we found that the
devil was shut up as in an abyss, and the devil himself coming out
from them and going forth, so that they are the roof, he from the
roof. Or if we refer both words to the nations, not one to them and
one to the devil, then they are both the roof, because in them the
old enemy is at present shut up, and as it were roofed in; and they
shall be from the roof when they break forth from concealed to open
hatred. The words, "And they went up on the breadth of the earth,
and encompassed the camp of the saints and the beloved city," do not
mean that they have come, or shall come, to one place, as if the camp
of the saints and the beloved city should be in some one place; for
this camp is nothing else than the Church of Christ extending over
the whole world. And consequently wherever the Church shall be,--and
it shall be in all nations, as is signified by "the breadth of the
earth,"--there also shall be the camp of the saints and the beloved
city, and there it shall be encompassed by the savage persecution
of all its enemies; for they too shall exist along with it in all
nations,--that is, it shall be straitened, and hard pressed, and shut
up in the straits of tribulation, but shall not desert its military
duty, which is signified by the word "camp."


    12. _Whether the fire that came down out of heaven and devoured
          them refers to the last punishment of the wicked._

The words, "And fire came down out of heaven and devoured them," are
not to be understood of the final punishment which shall be inflicted
when it is said, "Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting
fire;"[737] for then they shall be cast into the fire, not fire come
down out of heaven upon them. In this place "fire out of heaven" is
well understood of the firmness of the saints, wherewith they refuse
to yield obedience to those who rage against them. For the firmament
is "heaven," by whose firmness these assailants shall be pained with
blazing zeal, for they shall be impotent to draw away the saints to
the party of Antichrist. This is the fire which shall devour them,
and this is "from God;" for it is by God's grace the saints become
unconquerable, and so torment their enemies. For as in a good sense
it is said, "The zeal of Thine house hath consumed me,"[738] so
in a bad sense it is said, "Zeal hath possessed the uninstructed
people, and now fire shall consume the enemies."[739] "And now,"
that is to say, not the fire of the last judgment. Or if by this fire
coming down out of heaven and consuming them, John meant that blow
wherewith Christ in His coming is to strike those persecutors of the
Church whom He shall then find alive upon earth, when He shall kill
Antichrist with the breath of His mouth,[740] then even this is not
the last judgment of the wicked; but the last judgment is that which
they shall suffer when the bodily resurrection has taken place.


     13. _Whether the time of the persecution of Antichrist should
                  be reckoned in the thousand years._

This last persecution by Antichrist shall last for three years and
six months, as we have already said, and as is affirmed both in
the book of Revelation and by Daniel the prophet. Though this time
is brief, yet not without reason is it questioned whether it is
comprehended in the thousand years in which the devil is bound and
the saints reign with Christ, or whether this little season should
be added over and above to these years. For if we say that they are
included in the thousand years, then the saints reign with Christ
during a more protracted period than the devil is bound. For they
shall reign with their King and Conqueror mightily even in that
crowning persecution when the devil shall now be unbound and shall
rage against them with all his might. How then does Scripture define
both the binding of the devil and the reign of the saints by the same
thousand years, if the binding of the devil ceases three years and
six months before this reign of the saints with Christ? On the other
hand, if we say that the brief space of this persecution is not to be
reckoned as a part of the thousand years, but rather as an additional
period, we shall indeed be able to interpret the words, "The priests
of God and of Christ shall reign with Him a thousand years; and when
the thousand years shall be finished, Satan shall be loosed out of
his prison;" for thus they signify that the reign of the saints and
the bondage of the devil shall cease simultaneously, so that the time
of the persecution we speak of should be contemporaneous neither with
the reign of the saints nor with the imprisonment of Satan, but
should be reckoned over and above as a superadded portion of time.
But then in this case we are forced to admit that the saints shall
not reign with Christ during that persecution. But who can dare to
say that His members shall not reign with Him at that very juncture
when they shall most of all, and with the greatest fortitude, cleave
to Him, and when the glory of resistance and the crown of martyrdom
shall be more conspicuous in proportion to the hotness of the battle?
Or if it is suggested that they may be said not to reign, because of
the tribulations which they shall suffer, it will follow that all
the saints who have formerly, during the thousand years, suffered
tribulation, shall not be said to have reigned with Christ during the
period of their tribulation, and consequently even those whose souls
the author of this book says that he saw, and who were slain for the
testimony of Jesus and the word of God, did not reign with Christ
when they were suffering persecution, and they were not themselves
the kingdom of Christ, though Christ was then pre-eminently
possessing them. This is indeed perfectly absurd, and to be scouted.
But assuredly the victorious souls of the glorious martyrs, having
overcome and finished all griefs and toils, and having laid down
their mortal members, have reigned, and do reign, with Christ till
the thousand years are finished, that they may afterwards reign with
Him when they have received their immortal bodies. And therefore
during these three years and a half the souls of those who were slain
for His testimony, both those which formerly passed from the body and
those which shall pass in that last persecution, shall reign with
Him till the mortal world come to an end, and pass into that kingdom
in which there shall be no death. And thus the reign of the saints
with Christ shall last longer than the bonds and imprisonment of the
devil, because they shall reign with their King the Son of God for
these three years and a half during which the devil is no longer
bound. It remains, therefore, that when we read that "the priests of
God and of Christ shall reign with Him a thousand years; and when
the thousand years are finished, the devil shall be loosed from his
imprisonment," that we understand either that the thousand years of
the reign of the saints does not terminate, though the imprisonment
of the devil does,--so that both parties have their thousand years,
that is, their complete time, yet each with a different actual
duration appropriate to itself, the kingdom of the saints being
longer, the imprisonment of the devil shorter,--or at least that, as
three years and six months is a very short time, it is not reckoned
as either deducted from the whole time of Satan's imprisonment, or as
added to the whole duration of the reign of the saints, as we have
shown above in the sixteenth book[741] regarding the round number
of four hundred years, which were specified as four hundred, though
actually somewhat more; and similar expressions are often found in
the sacred writings, if one will mark them.

  14. _Of the damnation of the devil and his adherents; and a sketch
      of the bodily resurrection of all the dead, and of the final
      retributive judgment._

After this mention of the closing persecution, he summarily indicates
all that the devil, and the city of which he is the prince, shall
suffer in the last judgment. For he says, "And the devil who seduced
them is cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, in which are the
beast and the false prophet, and they shall be tormented day and
night for ever and ever." We have already said that by the beast
is well understood the wicked city. His false prophet is either
Antichrist or that image or figment of which we have spoken in
the same place. After this he gives a brief narrative of the last
judgment itself, which shall take place at the second or bodily
resurrection of the dead, as it had been revealed to him: "I saw a
throne great and white, and One sitting on it from whose face the
heaven and the earth fled away, and their place was not found." He
does not say, "I saw a throne great and white, and One sitting on
it, and from His face the heaven and the earth fled away," for it
had not happened then, _i.e._ before the living and the dead were
judged; but he says that he saw Him sitting on the throne from
whose face heaven and earth fled away, but afterwards. For when the
judgment is finished, this heaven and earth shall cease to be, and
there will be a new heaven and a new earth. For this world shall pass
away by transmutation, not by absolute destruction. And therefore
the apostle says, "For the figure of this world passeth away. I
would have you be without anxiety."[742] The figure, therefore,
passes away, not the nature. After John had said that he had seen
One sitting on the throne from whose face heaven and earth fled,
though not till afterwards, he said, "And I saw the dead, great and
small: and the books were opened; and another book was opened, which
is the book of the life of each man: and the dead were judged out
of those things which were written in the books, according to their
deeds." He said that the books were opened, and a book; but he left
us at a loss as to the nature of this book, "which is," he says, "the
book of the life of each man." By those books, then, which he first
mentioned, we are to understand the sacred books old and new, that
out of them it might be shown what commandments God had enjoined; and
that book of the life of each man is to show what commandments each
man has done or omitted to do. If this book be materially considered,
who can reckon its size or length, or the time it would take to
read a book in which the whole life of every man is recorded? Shall
there be present as many angels as men, and shall each man hear his
life recited by the angel assigned to him? In that case there will
be not one book containing all the lives, but a separate book for
every life. But our passage requires us to think of one only. "And
another book was opened," it says. We must therefore understand it
of a certain divine power, by which it shall be brought about that
every one shall recall to memory all his own works, whether good or
evil, and shall mentally survey them with a marvellous rapidity, so
that this knowledge will either accuse or excuse conscience, and
thus all and each shall be simultaneously judged. And this divine
power is called a book, because in it we shall as it were read all
that it causes us to remember. That he may show who the dead, small
and great, are who are to be judged, he recurs to this which he had
omitted or rather deferred, and says, "And the sea presented the dead
which were in it; and death and hell gave up the dead which were in
them." This of course took place before the dead were judged, yet it
is mentioned after. And so, I say, he returns again to what he had
omitted. But now he preserves the order of events, and for the sake
of exhibiting it repeats in its own proper place what he had already
said regarding the dead who were judged. For after he had said, "And
the sea presented the dead which were in it, and death and hell gave
up the dead which were in them," he immediately subjoined what he
had already said, "and they were judged every man according to their
works." For this is just what he had said before, "And the dead were
judged according to their works."


    15. _Who the dead are who are given up to judgment by the sea,
                        and by death and hell._

But who are the dead which were in the sea, and which the sea
presented? For we cannot suppose that those who die in the sea are
not in hell, nor that their bodies are preserved in the sea; nor
yet, which is still more absurd, that the sea retained the good,
while hell received the bad. Who could believe this? But some very
sensibly suppose that in this place the sea is put for this world.
When John then wished to signify that those whom Christ should find
still alive in the body were to be judged along with those who should
rise again, he called them dead, both the good to whom it is said,
"For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God,"[743] and
the wicked of whom it is said, "Let the dead bury their dead."[744]
They may also be called dead, because they wear mortal bodies, as
the apostle says, "The body indeed is dead because of sin; but the
spirit is life because of righteousness;"[745] proving that in a
living man in the body there is both a body which is dead, and a
spirit which is life. Yet he did not say that the body was mortal,
but dead, although immediately after he speaks in the more usual
way of mortal bodies. These, then, are the dead which were in the
sea, and which the sea presented, to wit, the men who were in this
world, because they had not yet died, and whom the world presented
for judgment. "And death and hell," he says, "gave up the dead which
were in them." The sea _presented_ them because they had merely to
be found in the place where they were; but death and hell _gave them
up_ or _restored_ them, because they called them back to life, which
they had already quitted. And perhaps it was not without reason that
neither _death_ nor _hell_ were judged sufficient alone, and both
were mentioned,--death to indicate the good, who have suffered only
death and not hell; hell to indicate the wicked, who suffer also the
punishment of hell. For if it does not seem absurd to believe that
the ancient saints who believed in Christ and His then future coming,
were kept in places far removed indeed from the torments of the
wicked, but yet in hell,[746] until Christ's blood and His descent
into these places delivered them, certainly good Christians, redeemed
by that precious price already paid, are quite unacquainted with hell
while they wait for their restoration to the body, and the reception
of their reward. After saying, "They were judged every man according
to their works," he briefly added what the judgment was: "Death and
hell were cast into the lake of fire;" by these names designating
the devil and the whole company of his angels, for he is the author
of death and the pains of hell. For this is what he had already, by
anticipation, said in clearer language: "The devil who seduced them
was cast into a lake of fire and brimstone." The obscure addition he
had made in the words, "in which were also the beast and the false
prophet," he here explains, "They who were not found written in the
book of life were cast into the lake of fire." This book is not for
reminding God, as if things might escape Him by forgetfulness, but it
symbolizes His predestination of those to whom eternal life shall be
given. For it is not that God is ignorant, and reads in the book to
inform Himself, but rather His infallible prescience is the book of
life in which they are written, that is to say, known beforehand.


              16. _Of the new heaven and the new earth._

Having finished the prophecy of judgment, so far as the wicked are
concerned, it remains that he speak also of the good. Having briefly
explained the Lord's words, "These will go away into everlasting
punishment," it remains that he explain the connected words, "but
the righteous into life eternal."[747] "And I saw," he says, "a new
heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth have
passed away; and there is no more sea."[748] This will take place in
the order which he has by anticipation declared in the words, "I saw
One sitting on the throne, from whose face heaven and earth fled."
For as soon as those who are not written in the book of life have
been judged and cast into eternal fire,--the nature of which fire,
or its position in the world or universe, I suppose is known to no
man, unless perhaps the divine Spirit reveal it to some one,--then
shall the figure of this world pass away in a conflagration of
universal fire, as once before the world was flooded with a deluge of
universal water. And by this universal conflagration the qualities of
the corruptible elements which suited our corruptible bodies shall
utterly perish, and our substance shall receive such qualities as
shall, by a wonderful transmutation, harmonize with our immortal
bodies, so that, as the world itself is renewed to some better thing,
it is fitly accommodated to men, themselves renewed in their flesh
to some better thing. As for the statement, "And there shall be no
more sea," I would not lightly say whether it is dried up with that
excessive heat, or is itself also turned into some better thing.
For we read that there shall be a new heaven and a new earth, but I
do not remember to have anywhere read anything of a new sea, unless
what I find in this same book, "As it were a sea of glass like
crystal."[749] But he was not then speaking of this end of the world,
neither does he seem to speak of a literal sea, but "as it were a
sea." It is possible that, as prophetic diction delights in mingling
figurative and real language, and thus in some sort veiling the
sense, so the words "And there is no more sea" may be taken in the
same sense as the previous phrase, "And the sea presented the dead
which were in it." For then there shall be no more of this world, no
more of the surgings and restlessness of human life, and it is this
which is symbolized by the _sea_.


               17. _Of the endless glory of the Church._

"And I saw," he says, "a great city, new Jerusalem, coming down from
God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And
I heard a great voice from the throne, saying, Behold, the tabernacle
of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be
His people, and God Himself shall be with them. And God shall wipe
away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death,
neither sorrow, nor crying, but neither shall there be any more
pain: because the former things have passed away. And He that sat
upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new."[750] This city
is said to come down out of heaven, because the grace with which
God formed it is of heaven. Wherefore He says to it by Isaiah, "I
am the Lord that formed thee."[751] It is indeed descended from
heaven from its commencement, since its citizens during the course
of this world grow by the grace of God, which cometh down from above
through the laver of regeneration in the Holy Ghost sent down from
heaven. But by God's final judgment, which shall be administered by
His Son Jesus Christ, there shall by God's grace be manifested a
glory so pervading and so new, that no vestige of what is old shall
remain; for even our bodies shall pass from their old corruption and
mortality to new incorruption and immortality. For to refer this
promise to the present time, in which the saints are reigning with
their King a thousand years, seems to me excessively barefaced, when
it is most distinctly said, "God shall wipe away all tears from
their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor
crying, but there shall be no more pain." And who is so absurd, and
blinded by contentious opinionativeness, as to be audacious enough
to affirm that in the midst of the calamities of this mortal state,
God's people, or even one single saint, does live, or has ever
lived, or shall ever live, without tears or pain,--the fact being
that the holier a man is, and the fuller of holy desire, so much
the more abundant is the tearfulness of his supplication? Are not
these the utterances of a citizen of the heavenly Jerusalem: "My
tears have been my meat day and night;"[752] and "Every night shall
I make my bed to swim; with my tears shall I water my couch;"[753]
and "My groaning is not hid from Thee;"[754] and "My sorrow was
renewed?"[755] Or are not those God's children who groan, being
burdened, not that they wish to be unclothed, but clothed upon, that
mortality may be swallowed up of life?[756] Do not they even who have
the first-fruits of the Spirit groan within themselves, waiting for
the adoption, the redemption of their body?[757] Was not the Apostle
Paul himself a citizen of the heavenly Jerusalem, and was he not so
all the more when he had heaviness and continual sorrow of heart for
his Israelitish brethren?[758] But when shall there be no more death
in that city, except when it shall be said, "O death, where is thy
contention?[759] O death, where is thy sting? The sting of death
is sin."[760] Obviously there shall be no sin when it can be said,
"Where is"--But as for the present it is not some poor weak citizen
of this city, but this same Apostle John himself who says, "If we
say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not
in us."[761] No doubt, though this book is called the Apocalypse,
there are in it many obscure passages to exercise the mind of the
reader, and there are few passages so plain as to assist us in the
interpretation of the others, even though we take pains; and this
difficulty is increased by the repetition of the same things, in
forms so different, that the things referred to seem to be different,
although in fact they are only differently stated. But in the words,
"God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no
more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, but there shall be no more
pain," there is so manifest a reference to the future world and the
immortality and eternity of the saints,--for only then and only there
shall such a condition be realized,--that if we think this obscure,
we need not expect to find anything plain in any part of Scripture.


  18. _What the Apostle Peter predicted regarding the last judgment._

Let us now see what the Apostle Peter predicted concerning this
judgment. "There shall come," he says, "in the last days scoffers....
Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a
new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness."[762] There is nothing said
here about the resurrection of the dead, but enough certainly regarding
the destruction of this world. And by his reference to the deluge he
seems as it were to suggest to us how far we should believe the ruin
of the world will extend in the end of the world. For he says that
the world which then was perished, and not only the earth itself, but
also the heavens, by which we understand the air, the place and room
of which was occupied by the water. Therefore the whole, or almost the
whole, of the gusty atmosphere (which he calls heaven, or rather the
heavens, meaning the earth's atmosphere, and not the upper air in which
sun, moon, and stars are set) was turned into moisture, and in this
way perished together with the earth, whose former appearance had been
destroyed by the deluge. "But the heavens and the earth which are now,
by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day
of judgment and perdition of ungodly men." Therefore the heavens and
the earth, or the world which was preserved from the water to stand in
place of that world which perished in the flood, is itself reserved to
fire at last in the day of the judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
He does not hesitate to affirm that in this great change men also shall
perish: their nature, however, shall notwithstanding continue, though
in eternal punishments. Some one will perhaps put the question, If
after judgment is pronounced the world itself is to burn, where shall
the saints be during the conflagration, and before it is replaced by
a new heavens and a new earth, since somewhere they must be, because
they have material bodies? We may reply that they shall be in the upper
regions into which the flame of that conflagration shall not ascend,
as neither did the water of the flood; for they shall have such bodies
that they shall be wherever they wish. Moreover, when they have become
immortal and incorruptible, they shall not greatly dread the blaze of
that conflagration, as the corruptible and mortal bodies of the three
men were able to live unhurt in the blazing furnace.


  19. _What the Apostle Paul wrote to the Thessalonians about the
      manifestation of Antichrist which shall precede the day of the
      Lord._

I see that I must omit many of the statements of the gospels and
epistles about this last judgment, that this volume may not become
unduly long; but I can on no account omit what the Apostle Paul says,
in writing to the Thessalonians, "We beseech you, brethren, by the
coming of our Lord Jesus Christ,"[763] etc.

No one can doubt that he wrote this of Antichrist and of the day
of judgment, which he here calls the day of the Lord, nor that he
declared that this day should not come unless he first came who is
called the apostate--apostate, to wit, from the Lord God. And if this
may justly be said of all the ungodly, how much more of him? But it
is uncertain in what temple he shall sit, whether in that ruin of the
temple which was built by Solomon, or in the Church; for the apostle
would not call the temple of any idol or demon the temple of God.
And on this account some think that in this passage Antichrist means
not the prince himself alone, but his whole body, that is, the mass
of men who adhere to him, along with him their prince; and they also
think that we should render the Greek more exactly were we to read,
not "in the temple of God," but "for" or "as the temple of God," as
if he himself were the temple of God, the Church.[764] Then as for
the words, "And now ye know what withholdeth," _i.e._ ye know what
hindrance or cause of delay there is, "that he might be revealed in
his own time;" they show that he was unwilling to make an explicit
statement, because he said that they knew. And thus we who have not
their knowledge wish and are not able even with pains to understand
what the apostle referred to, especially as his meaning is made still
more obscure by what he adds. For what does he mean by "For the
mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now holdeth, let
him hold until he be taken out of the way: and then shall the wicked
be revealed?" I frankly confess I do not know what he means. I will
nevertheless mention such conjectures as I have heard or read.

Some think that the Apostle Paul referred to the Roman empire, and that
he was unwilling to use language more explicit, lest he should incur
the calumnious charge of wishing ill to the empire which it was hoped
would be eternal; so that in saying, "For the mystery of iniquity doth
already work," he alluded to Nero, whose deeds already seemed to be
as the deeds of Antichrist. And hence some suppose that he shall rise
again and be Antichrist. Others, again, suppose that he is not even
dead, but that he was concealed that he might be supposed to have been
killed, and that he now lives in concealment in the vigour of that
same age which he had reached when he was believed to have perished,
and will live until he is revealed in his own time and restored to
his kingdom.[765] But I wonder that men can be so audacious in their
conjectures. However, it is not absurd to believe that these words
of the apostle, "Only he who now holdeth, let him hold until he be
taken out of the way," refer to the Roman empire, as if it were said,
"Only he who now reigneth, let him reign until he be taken out of the
way." "And then shall the wicked be revealed:" no one doubts that
this means Antichrist. But others think that the words, "Ye know what
withholdeth," and "The mystery of iniquity worketh," refer only to the
wicked and the hypocrites who are in the Church, until they reach a
number so great as to furnish Antichrist with a great people, and that
this is the _mystery_ of iniquity, because it seems hidden; also that
the apostle is exhorting the faithful tenaciously to hold the faith
they hold when he says, "Only he who now holdeth, let him hold until he
be taken out of the way," that is, until the mystery of iniquity which
now is hidden departs from the Church. For they suppose that it is to
this same mystery John alludes when in his epistle he says, "Little
children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that Antichrist
shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that
it is the last time. They went out from us, but they were not of us;
for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with
us."[766] As therefore there went out from the Church many heretics,
whom John calls "many antichrists," at that time prior to the end, and
which John calls "the last time," so in the end they shall go out who
do not belong to Christ, but to that last Antichrist, and then he shall
be revealed.

Thus various, then, are the conjectural explanations of the obscure
words of the apostle. That which there is no doubt he said is this,
that Christ will not come to judge quick and dead unless Antichrist,
His adversary, first come to seduce those who are dead in soul;
although their seduction is a result of God's secret judgment already
passed. For, as it is said, "his presence shall be after the working
of Satan, with all power, and signs, and lying wonders, and with
all seduction of unrighteousness in them that perish." For then
shall Satan be loosed, and by means of that Antichrist shall work
with all power in a lying though a wonderful manner. It is commonly
questioned whether these works are called "signs and lying wonders"
because he is to deceive men's senses by false appearances, or
because the things he does, though they be true prodigies, shall be
a lie to those who shall believe that such things could be done only
by God, being ignorant of the devil's power, and especially of such
unexampled power as he shall then for the first time put forth. For
when he fell from heaven as fire, and at a stroke swept away from the
holy Job his numerous household and his vast flocks, and then as a
whirlwind rushed upon and smote the house and killed his children,
these were not deceitful appearances, and yet they were the works of
Satan to whom God had given this power. Why they are called signs
and lying wonders we shall then be more likely to know when the time
itself arrives. But whatever be the reason of the name, they shall
be such signs and wonders as shall seduce those who shall deserve to
be seduced, "because they received not the love of the truth that
they might be saved." Neither did the apostle scruple to go on to
say, "For this cause God shall send upon them the working of error
that they should believe a lie." For God shall _send_, because God
shall permit the devil to do these things, the permission being by
His own just judgment, though the doing of them is in pursuance
of the devil's unrighteous and malignant purpose, "that they all
might be judged who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in
unrighteousness." Therefore, being judged, they shall be seduced,
and, being seduced, they shall be judged. But, being judged, they
shall be seduced by those secretly just and justly secret judgments
of God, with which He has never ceased to judge since the first sin
of the rational creatures; and, being seduced, they shall be judged
in that last and manifest judgment administered by Jesus Christ, who
was Himself most unjustly judged and shall most justly judge.


     20. _What the same apostle taught in the first Epistle to the
        Thessalonians regarding the resurrection of the dead._

But the apostle has said nothing here regarding the resurrection of
the dead; but in his first Epistle to the Thessalonians he says, "We
would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which
are asleep,"[767] etc. These words of the apostle most distinctly
proclaim the future resurrection of the dead, when the Lord Christ
shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

But it is commonly asked whether those whom our Lord shall find alive
upon earth, personated in this passage by the apostle and those who
were alive with him, shall never die at all, or shall pass with
incomprehensible swiftness through death to immortality in the very
moment during which they shall be caught up along with those who
rise again to meet the Lord in the air? For we cannot say that it is
impossible that they should both die and revive again while they are
carried aloft through the air. For the words, "And so shall we ever
be with the Lord," are not to be understood as if he meant that we
shall always remain in the air with the Lord; for He Himself shall
not remain there, but shall only pass through it as He comes. For
we shall go to meet Him as He comes, not where He remains; but "so
shall we be with the Lord," that is, we shall be with Him possessed
of immortal bodies wherever we shall be with Him. We seem compelled
to take the words in this sense, and to suppose that those whom the
Lord shall find alive upon earth shall in that brief space both
suffer death and receive immortality; for this same apostle says, "In
Christ shall all be made alive;"[768] while, speaking of the same
resurrection of the body, he elsewhere says, "That which thou sowest
is not quickened, except it die."[769] How, then, shall those whom
Christ shall find alive upon earth be made alive to immortality in
Him if they die not, since on this very account it is said, "That
which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die?" Or if we cannot
properly speak of human bodies as sown, unless in so far as by dying
they do in some sort return to the earth, as also the sentence
pronounced by God against the sinning father of the human race runs,
"Earth thou art, and unto earth shalt thou return,"[770] we must
acknowledge that those whom Christ at His coming shall find still in
the body are not included in these words of the apostle nor in those
of Genesis; for, being caught up into the clouds, they are certainly
not sown, neither going nor returning to the earth, whether they
experience no death at all or die for a moment in the air.

But, on the other hand, there meets us the saying of the same apostle
when he was speaking to the Corinthians about the resurrection of
the body, "We shall all rise," or, as other MSS. read, "We shall all
sleep."[771] Since, then, there can be no resurrection unless death
has preceded, and since we can in this passage understand by sleep
nothing else than death, how shall _all_ either sleep or rise again
if so many persons whom Christ shall find in the body shall neither
sleep nor rise again? If, then, we believe that the saints who shall
be found alive at Christ's coming, and shall be caught up to meet
Him, shall in that same ascent pass from mortal to immortal bodies,
we shall find no difficulty in the words of the apostle, either when
he says, "That which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die," or
when he says, "We shall all rise," or "all sleep," for not even the
saints shall be quickened to immortality unless they first die, however
briefly; and consequently they shall not be exempt from resurrection
which is preceded by sleep, however brief. And why should it seem to
us incredible that that multitude of bodies should be, as it were,
sown in the air, and should in the air forthwith revive immortal and
incorruptible, when we believe, on the testimony of the same apostle,
that the resurrection shall take place in the twinkling of an eye, and
that the dust of bodies long dead shall return with incomprehensible
facility and swiftness to those members that are now to live endlessly?
Neither do we suppose that in the case of these saints the sentence,
"Earth thou art, and unto earth shalt thou return," is null, though
their bodies do not, on dying, fall to earth, but both die and rise
again at once while caught up into the air. For "Thou shalt return to
earth" means, Thou shalt at death return to that which thou wert before
life began. Thou shalt, when exanimate, be that which thou wert before
thou wast animate. For it was into a face of earth that God breathed
the breath of life when man was made a living soul; as if it were
said, Thou art earth with a soul, which thou wast not; thou shalt be
earth without a soul, as thou wast. And this is what all bodies of the
dead are before they rot; and what the bodies of those saints shall be
if they die, no matter where they die, as soon as they shall give up
that life which they are immediately to receive back again. In this
way, then, they return or go to earth, inasmuch as from being living
men they shall be earth, as that which becomes cinder is said to go
to cinder; that which decays, to go to decay; and so of six hundred
other things. But the manner in which this shall take place we can now
only feebly conjecture, and shall understand it only when it comes to
pass. For that there shall be a bodily resurrection of the dead when
Christ comes to judge quick and dead, we must believe if we would be
Christians. But if we are unable perfectly to comprehend the manner
in which it shall take place, our faith is not on this account vain.
Now, however, we ought, as we formerly promised, to show, as far as
seems necessary, what the ancient prophetic books predicted concerning
this final judgment of God; and I fancy no great time need be spent in
discussing and explaining these predictions, if the reader has been
careful to avail himself of the help we have already furnished.


   21. _Utterances of the prophet Isaiah regarding the resurrection
              of the dead and the retributive judgment._

The prophet Isaiah says, "The dead shall rise again, and all who were
in the graves shall rise again; and all who are in the earth shall
rejoice: for the dew which is from Thee is their health, and the earth
of the wicked shall fall."[772] All the former part of this passage
relates to the resurrection of the blessed; but the words, "the earth
of the wicked shall fall," is rightly understood as meaning that the
bodies of the wicked shall fall into the ruin of damnation. And if we
would more exactly and carefully scrutinize the words which refer to
the resurrection of the good, we may refer to the first resurrection
the words, "the dead shall rise again," and to the second the following
words, "and all who were in the graves shall rise again." And if we
ask what relates to those saints whom the Lord at His coming shall
find alive upon earth, the following clause may suitably be referred
to them: "All who are in the earth shall rejoice: for the dew which
is from Thee is their health." By "health" in this place it is best
to understand immortality. For that is the most perfect health which
is not repaired by nourishment as by a daily remedy. In like manner
the same prophet, affording hope to the good and terrifying the wicked
regarding the day of judgment, says, "Thus saith the Lord, Behold,
I will flow down upon them as a river of peace, and upon the glory
of the Gentiles as a rushing torrent: their sons shall be carried on
the shoulders, and shall be comforted on the knees. As one whom his
mother comforteth, so shall I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted
in Jerusalem. And ye shall see, and your heart shall rejoice, and your
bones shall rise up like a herb; and the hand of the Lord shall be
known by His worshippers, and He shall threaten the contumacious. For,
behold, the Lord shall come as a fire, and as a whirlwind His chariots,
to execute vengeance with indignation, and wasting with a flame of
fire. For with fire of the Lord shall all the earth be judged, and all
flesh with His sword: many shall be wounded by the Lord."[773] In His
promise to the good he says that He will flow down as a river of peace,
that is to say, in the greatest possible abundance of peace. With this
peace we shall in the end be refreshed; but of this we have spoken
abundantly in the preceding book. It is this river in which he says
He shall flow down upon those to whom He promises so great happiness,
that we may understand that in the region of that felicity, which is
in heaven, all things are satisfied from this river. But because there
shall thence flow, even upon earthly bodies, the peace of incorruption
and immortality, therefore he says that He shall flow down as this
river, that He may as it were pour Himself from things above to things
beneath, and make men the equals of the angels. By "Jerusalem," too,
we should understand not that which serves with her children, but that
which, according to the apostle, is our free mother, eternal in the
heavens.[774] In her we shall be comforted as we pass toilworn from
earth's cares and calamities, and be taken up as her children on her
knees and shoulders. Inexperienced and new to such blandishments, we
shall be received into unwonted bliss. There we shall see, and our
heart shall rejoice. He does not say what we shall see; but what but
God, that the promise in the Gospel may be fulfilled in us, "Blessed
are the pure in heart, for they shall see God?"[775] What shall we see
but all those things which now we see not, but believe in, and of which
the idea we form, according to our feeble capacity, is incomparably
less than the reality? "And ye shall see," he says, "and your heart
shall rejoice." Here ye believe, there ye shall see.

But because he said, "Your heart shall rejoice," lest we should suppose
that the blessings of that Jerusalem are only spiritual, he adds, "And
your bones shall rise up like a herb," alluding to the resurrection
of the body, and as it were supplying an omission he had made. For
it will not take place when we have seen; but we shall see when it
has taken place. For he had already spoken of the new heavens and the
new earth, speaking repeatedly, and under many figures, of the things
promised to the saints, and saying, "There shall be new heavens, and a
new earth: and the former shall not be remembered nor come into mind;
but they shall find in it gladness and exultation. Behold, I will
make Jerusalem an exultation, and my people a joy. And I will exult in
Jerusalem, and joy in my people; and the voice of weeping shall be no
more heard in her;"[776] and other promises, which some endeavour to
refer to carnal enjoyment during the thousand years. For, in the manner
of prophecy, figurative and literal expressions are mingled, so that a
serious mind may, by useful and salutary effort, reach the spiritual
sense; but carnal sluggishness, or the slowness of an uneducated and
undisciplined mind, rests in the superficial letter, and thinks there
is nothing beneath to be looked for. But let this be enough regarding
the style of those prophetic expressions just quoted. And now, to
return to their interpretation. When he had said, "And your bones shall
rise up like a herb," in order to show that it was the resurrection of
the good, though a bodily resurrection, to which he alluded, he added,
"And the hand of the Lord shall be known by His worshippers." What
is this but the hand of Him who distinguishes those who worship from
those who despise Him? Regarding these the context immediately adds,
"And He shall threaten the contumacious," or, as another translator has
it, "the unbelieving." He shall not actually threaten then, but the
threats which are now uttered shall then be fulfilled in effect. "For
behold," he says, "the Lord shall come as a fire, and as a whirlwind
His chariots, to execute vengeance with indignation, and wasting with a
flame of fire. For with fire of the Lord shall all the earth be judged,
and all flesh with His sword: many shall be wounded by the Lord." By
_fire_, _whirlwind_, _sword_, he means the judicial punishment of God.
For he says that the Lord Himself shall come as a fire, to those, that
is to say, to whom His coming shall be penal. By His _chariots_ (for
the word is plural) we suitably understand the ministration of angels.
And when he says that all flesh and all the earth shall be judged with
His fire and sword, we do not understand the spiritual and holy to be
included, but the earthly and carnal, of whom it is said that they
"mind earthly things,"[777] and "to be carnally minded is death,"[778]
and whom the Lord calls simply flesh when He says, "My Spirit shall
not always remain in these men, for they are flesh."[779] As to the
words, "Many shall be wounded by the Lord," this wounding shall produce
the second death. It is possible, indeed, to understand _fire_,
_sword_, and _wound_ in a good sense. For the Lord said that He wished
to send fire on the earth.[780] And the cloven tongues appeared to
them as fire when the Holy Spirit came.[781] And our Lord says, "I am
not come to send peace on earth, but a sword."[782] And Scripture says
that the word of God is a doubly sharp sword,[783] on account of the
two edges, the two Testaments. And in the Song of Songs the holy Church
says that she is wounded with love,[784]--pierced, as it were, with the
arrow of love. But here, where we read or hear that the Lord shall come
to execute vengeance, it is obvious in what sense we are to understand
these expressions.

After briefly mentioning those who shall be consumed in this
judgment, speaking of the wicked and sinners under the figure of the
meats forbidden by the old law, from which they had not abstained,
he summarily recounts the grace of the new testament, from the first
coming of the Saviour to the last judgment, of which we now speak;
and herewith he concludes his prophecy. For he relates that the Lord
declares that He is coming to gather all nations, that they may come
and witness His glory.[785] For, as the apostle says, "All have
sinned and are in want of the glory of God."[786] And he says that He
will do wonders among them, at which they shall marvel and believe in
Him; and that from them He will send forth those that are saved into
various nations, and distant islands which have not heard His name
nor seen His glory, and that they shall declare His glory among the
nations, and shall _bring_ the brethren of those to whom the prophet
was speaking, _i.e._ shall bring to the faith under God the Father
the brethren of the elect Israelites; and that they shall bring from
all nations an offering to the Lord on beasts of burden and waggons
(which are understood to mean the aids furnished by God in the shape
of angelic or human ministry), to the holy city Jerusalem, which at
present is scattered over the earth, in the faithful saints. For
where divine aid is given, men believe, and where they believe, they
come. And the Lord compared them, in a figure, to the children of
Israel offering sacrifice to Him in His house with psalms, which
is already everywhere done by the Church; and He promised that
from among them He would choose for Himself priests and Levites,
which also we see already accomplished. For we see that priests and
Levites are now chosen, not from a certain family and blood, as was
originally the rule in the priesthood according to the order of
Aaron, but as befits the new testament, under which Christ is the
High Priest after the order of Melchisedec, in consideration of the
merit which is bestowed upon each man by divine grace. And these
priests are not to be judged by their mere title, which is often
borne by unworthy men, but by that holiness which is not common to
good men and bad.

After having thus spoken of this mercy of God which is now
experienced by the Church, and is very evident and familiar to us,
he foretells also the ends to which men shall come when the last
judgment has separated the good and the bad, saying by the prophet,
or the prophet himself speaking for God, "For as the new heavens
and the new earth shall remain before me, said the Lord, so shall
your seed and your name remain, and there shall be to them month
after month, and Sabbath after Sabbath. All flesh shall come to
worship before me in Jerusalem, said the Lord. And they shall go
out, and shall see the members of the men who have sinned against
me: their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched;
and they shall be for a spectacle to all flesh."[787] At this point
the prophet closed his book, as at this point the world shall come
to an end. Some, indeed, have translated "carcases"[788] instead of
"members of the men," meaning by _carcases_ the manifest punishment
of the body, although _carcase_ is commonly used only of dead flesh,
while the bodies here spoken of shall be animated, else they could
not be sensible of any pain; but perhaps they may, without absurdity,
be called carcases, as being the bodies of those who are to fall into
the second death. And for the same reason it is said, as I have
already quoted, by this same prophet, "The earth of the wicked shall
fall."[789] It is obvious that those translators who use a different
word for _men_ do not mean to include only males, for no one will
say that the women who sinned shall not appear in that judgment; but
the male sex, being the more worthy, and that from which the woman
was derived, is intended to include both sexes. But that which is
especially pertinent to our subject is this, that since the words
"All flesh shall come" apply to the good, for the people of God shall
be composed of every race of men,--for all men shall not be present,
since the greater part shall be in punishment,--but, as I was saying,
since _flesh_ is used of the good, and _members_ or _carcases_ of the
bad, certainly it is thus put beyond a doubt that that judgment in
which the good and the bad shall be allotted to their destinies shall
take place after the resurrection of the body, our faith in which is
thoroughly established by the use of these words.


   22. _What is meant by the good going out to see the punishment of
                             the wicked._

But in what way shall the good go out to see the punishment of the
wicked? Are they to leave their happy abodes by a bodily movement, and
proceed to the places of punishment, so as to witness the torments of
the wicked in their bodily presence? Certainly not; but they shall
go out by knowledge. For this expression, _go out_, signifies that
those who shall be punished shall be without. And thus the Lord also
calls these places "the outer darkness,"[790] to which is opposed that
entrance concerning which it is said to the good servant, "Enter into
the joy of thy Lord," that it may not be supposed that the wicked
can enter thither and be known, but rather that the good by their
knowledge go out to them, because the good are to know that which is
without. For those who shall be in torment shall not know what is
going on within in the joy of the Lord; but they who shall enter into
that joy shall know what is going on outside in the outer darkness.
Therefore it is said, "They shall go out," because they shall know
what is done by those who are without. For if the prophets were able
to know things that had not yet happened, by means of that indwelling
of God in their minds, limited though it was, shall not the immortal
saints know things that have already happened, when God shall be all
in all?[791] The seed, then, and the name of the saints shall remain
in that blessedness,--the seed, to wit, of which John says, "And his
seed remaineth in him;"[792] and the name, of which it was said through
Isaiah himself, "I will give them an everlasting name."[793] "And there
shall be to them month after month, and Sabbath after Sabbath," as if
it were said, Moon after moon, and rest upon rest, both of which they
shall themselves be when they shall pass from the old shadows of time
into the new lights of eternity. The worm that dieth not, and the fire
that is not quenched, which constitute the punishment of the wicked,
are differently interpreted by different people. For some refer both
to the body, others refer both to the soul; while others again refer
the fire literally to the body, and the worm figuratively to the soul,
which seems the more credible idea. But the present is not the time to
discuss this difference, for we have undertaken to occupy this book
with the last judgment, in which the good and the bad are separated:
their rewards and punishments we shall more carefully discuss elsewhere.


  23. _What Daniel predicted regarding the persecution of Antichrist,
         the judgment of God, and the kingdom of the saints._

Daniel prophesies of the last judgment in such a way as to indicate
that Antichrist shall first come, and to carry on his description to
the eternal reign of the saints. For when in prophetic vision he had
seen four beasts, signifying four kingdoms, and the fourth conquered
by a certain king, who is recognised as Antichrist, and after this
the eternal kingdom of the Son of man, that is to say, of Christ, he
says, "My spirit was terrified, I Daniel in the midst of my body, and
the visions of my head troubled me,"[794] etc. Some have interpreted
these four kingdoms as signifying those of the Assyrians, Persians,
Macedonians, and Romans. They who desire to understand the fitness
of this interpretation may read Jerome's book on Daniel, which is
written with a sufficiency of care and erudition. But he who reads
this passage, even half-asleep, cannot fail to see that the kingdom of
Antichrist shall fiercely, though for a short time, assail the Church
before the last judgment of God shall introduce the eternal reign
of the saints. For it is patent from the context that the _time_,
_times_, _and half a time_, means a year, and two years, and half a
year, that is to say, three years and a half. Sometimes in Scripture
the same thing is indicated by months. For though the word _times_
seems to be used here in the Latin indefinitely, that is only because
the Latins have no dual, as the Greeks have, and as the Hebrews also
are said to have. Times, therefore, is used for two times. As for the
ten kings, whom, as it seems, Antichrist is to find in the person of
ten individuals when he comes, I own I am afraid we may be deceived in
this, and that he may come unexpectedly while there are not ten kings
living in the Roman world. For what if this number ten signifies the
whole number of kings who are to precede his coming, as totality is
frequently symbolized by a thousand, or a hundred, or seven, or other
numbers, which it is not necessary to recount?

In another place the same Daniel says, "And there shall be a time of
trouble, such as was not since there was born a nation upon earth
until that time: and in that time all Thy people which shall be
found written in the book shall be delivered. And many of them that
sleep in the mound of earth shall arise, some to everlasting life,
and some to shame and everlasting confusion. And they that be wise
shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and many of the just
as the stars for ever."[795] This passage is very similar to the
one we have quoted from the Gospel,[796] at least so far as regards
the resurrection of dead bodies. For those who are there said to
be "in the graves" are here spoken of as "sleeping in the mound of
earth," or, as others translate, "in the dust of earth." There it is
said, "They shall come forth;" so here, "They shall arise." There,
"They that have done good, to the resurrection of life; and they
that have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment;" here, "Some
to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting confusion."
Neither is it to be supposed a difference, though in place of the
expression in the Gospel, "All who are in their graves," the prophet
does not say "all," but "many of them that sleep in the mound of
earth." For _many_ is sometimes used in Scripture for _all_. Thus it
was said to Abraham, "I have set thee as the father of many nations,"
though in another place it was said to him, "In thy seed shall all
nations be blessed."[797] Of such a resurrection it is said a little
afterwards to the prophet himself, "And come thou and rest: for there
is yet a day till the completion of the consummation; and thou shalt
rest, and rise in thy lot in the end of the days."[798]


    24. _Passages from the Psalms of David which predict the end of
                   the world and the last judgment._

There are many allusions to the last judgment in the Psalms, but
for the most part only casual and slight. I cannot, however, omit
to mention what is said there in express terms of the end of this
world: "In the beginning hast Thou laid the foundations of the
earth, O Lord; and the heavens are the work of Thy hands. They
shall perish, but Thou shalt endure; yea, all of them shall wax old
like a garment; and as a vesture Thou shalt change them, and they
shall be changed: but Thou art the same, and Thy years shall not
fail."[799] Why is it that Porphyry, while he lauds the piety of the
Hebrews in worshipping a God great and true, and terrible to the
gods themselves, follows the oracles of these gods in accusing the
Christians of extreme folly because they say that this world shall
perish? For here we find it said in the sacred books of the Hebrews,
to that God whom this great philosopher acknowledges to be terrible
even to the gods themselves, "The heavens are the work of Thy hands:
they shall perish." When the heavens, the higher and more secure
part of the world, perish, shall the world itself be preserved? If
this idea is not relished by Jupiter, whose oracle is quoted by this
philosopher as an unquestionable authority in rebuke of the credulity
of the Christians, why does he not similarly rebuke the wisdom of
the Hebrews as folly, seeing that the prediction is found in their
most holy books? But if this Hebrew wisdom, with which Porphyry is so
captivated that he extols it through the utterances of his own gods,
proclaims that the heavens are to perish, how is he so infatuated
as to detest the faith of the Christians partly, if not chiefly, on
this account, that they believe the world is to perish?--though how
the heavens are to perish if the world does not is not easy to see.
And, indeed, in the sacred writings which are peculiar to ourselves,
and not common to the Hebrews and us,--I mean the evangelic and
apostolic books,--the following expressions are used: "The figure
of this world passeth away;"[800] "The world passeth away;"[801]
"Heaven and earth shall pass away,"[802]--expressions which are, I
fancy, somewhat milder than "They shall _perish_." In the Epistle
of the Apostle Peter, too, where the world which then was is said
to have perished, being overflowed with water, it is sufficiently
obvious what part of the world is signified by the whole, and in
what sense the word _perished_ is to be taken, and what heavens were
kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and
perdition of ungodly men.[803] And when he says a little afterwards,
"The day of the Lord will come as a thief; in the which the heavens
shall pass away with a great rush, and the elements shall melt with
burning heat, and the earth and the works which are in it shall be
burned up;" and then adds, "Seeing, then, that all these things shall
be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be?"[804]--these
heavens which are to perish may be understood to be the same which
he said were kept in store reserved for fire; and the elements which
are to be burned are those which are full of storm and disturbance
in this lowest part of the world in which he said that these heavens
were kept in store; for the higher heavens in whose firmament
are set the stars are safe, and remain in their integrity. For
even the expression of Scripture, that "the stars shall fall from
heaven,"[805] not to mention that a different interpretation is much
preferable, rather shows that the heavens themselves shall remain,
if the stars are to fall from them. This expression, then, is either
figurative, as is more credible, or this phenomenon will take place
in this lowest heaven, like that mentioned by Virgil,--

          "A meteor with a train of light
           Athwart the sky gleamed dazzling bright,
           Then in Idæan woods was lost."[806]

But the passage I have quoted from the psalm seems to except none
of the heavens from the destiny of destruction; for he says, "The
heavens are the works of Thy hands: they shall perish;" so that,
as none of them are excepted from the category of God's works,
none of them are excepted from destruction. For our opponents
will not condescend to defend the Hebrew piety, which has won the
approbation of their gods, by the words of the Apostle Peter, whom
they vehemently detest; nor will they argue that, as the apostle in
his epistle understands a part when he speaks of the whole world
perishing in the flood, though only the lowest part of it, and the
corresponding heavens were destroyed, so in the psalm the whole is
used for a part, and it is said "They shall perish," though only
the lowest heavens are to perish. But since, as I said, they will
not condescend to reason thus, lest they should seem to approve
of Peter's meaning, or ascribe as much importance to the final
conflagration as we ascribe to the deluge, whereas they contend that
no waters or flames could destroy the whole human race, it only
remains to them to maintain that their gods lauded the wisdom of the
Hebrews because they had not read this psalm.

It is the last judgment of God which is referred to also in the 50th
Psalm in the words, "God shall come manifestly, our God, and shall
not keep silence: fire shall devour before Him, and it shall be very
tempestuous round about Him. He shall call the heaven above, and
the earth, to judge His people. Gather His saints together to Him;
they who make a covenant with Him over sacrifices."[807] This we
understand of our Lord Jesus Christ, whom we look for from heaven
to judge the quick and the dead. For He shall come manifestly to
judge justly the just and the unjust, who before came hiddenly to
be unjustly judged by the unjust. He, I say, shall come manifestly,
and shall not keep silence, that is, shall make Himself known by
His voice of judgment, who before, when He came hiddenly, was silent
before His judge when He was led as a sheep to the slaughter, and,
as a lamb before the shearer, opened not His mouth, as we read that
it was prophesied of Him by Isaiah,[808] and as we see it fulfilled
in the Gospel.[809] As for the _fire_ and _tempest_, we have already
said how these are to be interpreted when we were explaining a
similar passage in Isaiah.[810] As to the expression, "He shall call
the heaven above," as the saints and the righteous are rightly called
_heaven_, no doubt this means what the apostle says, "We shall be
caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the
air."[811] For if we take the bare literal sense, how is it possible
to call the heaven above, as if the heaven could be anywhere else
than above? And the following expression, "And the earth to judge
His people," if we supply only the words, "He shall call," that is
to say, "He shall call the earth also," and do not supply "above,"
seems to give us a meaning in accordance with sound doctrine, the
heaven symbolizing those who will judge along with Christ, and the
earth those who shall be judged; and thus the words, "He shall call
the heaven above," would not mean, "He shall catch up into the air,"
but "He shall lift up to seats of judgment." Possibly, too, "He shall
call the heaven," may mean, He shall call the angels in the high
and lofty places, that He may descend with them to do judgment; and
"He shall call the earth also" would then mean, He shall call the
men on the earth to judgment. But if with the words "and the earth"
we understand not only "He shall call," but also "above," so as to
make the full sense be, He shall call the heaven above, and He shall
call the earth above, then I think it is best understood of the men
who shall be caught up to meet Christ in the air, and that they are
called _the heaven_ with reference to their souls, and _the earth_
with reference to their bodies. Then what is "to judge His people,"
but to separate by judgment the good from the bad, as the sheep from
the goats? Then he turns to address the angels: "Gather His saints
together unto Him." For certainly a matter so important must be
accomplished by the ministry of angels. And if we ask who the saints
are who are gathered unto Him by the angels, we are told, "They who
make a covenant with Him over sacrifices." This is the whole life of
the saints, to make a covenant with God over sacrifices. For "over
sacrifices" either refers to works of mercy, which are preferable to
sacrifices in the judgment of God, who says, "I desire mercy more
than sacrifices;"[812] or if "over sacrifices" means in sacrifices,
then these very works of mercy are the sacrifices with which God
is pleased, as I remember to have stated in the tenth book of this
work;[813] and in these works the saints make a covenant with God,
because they do them for the sake of the promises which are contained
in His new testament or covenant. And hence, when His saints have
been gathered to Him and set at His right hand in the last judgment,
Christ shall say, "Come, ye blessed of my Father, take possession of
the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I
was hungry, and ye gave me to eat,"[814] and so on, mentioning the
good works of the good, and their eternal rewards assigned by the
last sentence of the Judge.


  25. _Of Malachi's prophecy, in which he speaks of the last
      judgment, and of a cleansing which some are to undergo by
      purifying punishments._

The prophet Malachi or Malachias, who is also called Angel, and
is by some (for Jerome[815] tells us that this is the opinion of
the Hebrews) identified with Ezra the priest,[816] others of whose
writings have been received into the canon, predicts the last
judgment, saying, "Behold, He cometh, saith the Lord Almighty; and
who shall abide the day of His entrance? ... for I am the Lord your
God, and I change not."[817] From these words it more evidently
appears that some shall in the last judgment suffer some kind of
purgatorial punishments; for what else can be understood by the word,
"Who shall abide the day of His entrance, or who shall be able to
look upon Him? for He enters as a moulder's fire, and as the herb
of fullers: and He shall sit fusing and purifying as if over gold
and silver: and He shall purify the sons of Levi, and pour them out
like gold and silver?" Similarly Isaiah says, "The Lord shall wash
the filthiness of the sons and daughters of Zion, and shall cleanse
away the blood from their midst, by the spirit of judgment and by the
spirit of burning."[818] Unless perhaps we should say that they are
cleansed from filthiness and in a manner clarified, when the wicked
are separated from them by penal judgment, so that the elimination
and damnation of the one party is the purgation of the others,
because they shall henceforth live free from the contamination of
such men. But when he says, "And he shall purify the sons of Levi,
and pour them out like gold and silver, and they shall offer to the
Lord sacrifices in righteousness; and the sacrifices of Judah and
Jerusalem shall be pleasing to the Lord," he declares that those
who shall be purified shall then please the Lord with sacrifices of
righteousness, and consequently they themselves shall be purified
from their own unrighteousness which made them displeasing to
God. Now they themselves, when they have been purified, shall be
sacrifices of complete and perfect righteousness; for what more
acceptable offering can such persons make to God than themselves? But
this question of purgatorial punishments we must defer to another
time, to give it a more adequate treatment. By the sons of Levi
and Judah and Jerusalem we ought to understand the Church herself,
gathered not from the Hebrews only, but from other nations as well;
nor such a Church as she now is, when "if we say that we have no
sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us,"[819] but as
she shall then be, purged by the last judgment as a threshing-floor
by a winnowing wind, and those of her members who need it being
cleansed by fire, so that there remains absolutely not one who offers
sacrifice for his sins. For all who make such offerings are assuredly
in their sins, for the remission of which they make offerings, that
having made to God an acceptable offering, they may then be absolved.


   26. _Of the sacrifices offered to God by the saints, which are to
    be pleasing to Him, as in the primitive days and former years._

And it was with the design of showing that His city shall not then
follow this custom, that God said that the sons of Levi should offer
sacrifices in righteousness,--not therefore in sin, and consequently
not for sin. And hence we see how vainly the Jews promise themselves
a return of the old times of sacrificing according to the law of
the old testament, grounding on the words which follow, "And the
sacrifice of Judah and Jerusalem shall be pleasing to the Lord, as
in the primitive days, and as in former years." For in the times
of the law they offered sacrifices not in righteousness but in
sins, offering especially and primarily for sins, so much so that
even the priest himself, whom we must suppose to have been their
most righteous man, was accustomed to offer, according to God's
commandments, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the
people. And therefore we must explain how we are to understand the
words, "as in the primitive days, and as in former years;" for
perhaps he alludes to the time in which our first parents were in
paradise. Then, indeed, intact and pure from all stain and blemish
of sin, they offered themselves to God as the purest sacrifices. But
since they were banished thence on account of their transgression,
and human nature was condemned in them, with the exception of the one
Mediator and those who have been baptized, and are as yet infants,
"there is none clean from stain, not even the babe whose life has
been but for a day upon the earth."[820] But if it be replied that
those who offer in faith may be said to offer in righteousness,
because the righteous lives by faith,[821]--he deceives himself,
however, if he says that he has no sin, and therefore he does not say
so, because he lives by faith,--will any man say this time of faith
can be placed on an equal footing with that consummation when they
who offer sacrifices in righteousness shall be purified by the fire
of the last judgment? And consequently, since it must be believed
that after such a cleansing the righteous shall retain no sin,
assuredly that time, so far as regards its freedom from sin, can be
compared to no other period, unless to that during which our first
parents lived in paradise in the most innocent happiness before their
transgression. It is this period, then, which is properly understood
when it is said, "as in the primitive days, and as in former years."
For in Isaiah, too, after the new heavens and the new earth have been
promised, among other elements in the blessedness of the saints which
are there depicted by allegories and figures, from giving an adequate
explanation of which I am prevented by a desire to avoid prolixity,
it is said, "According to the days of the tree of life shall be the
days of my people."[822] And who that has looked at Scripture does
not know where God planted the tree of life, from whose fruit He
excluded our first parents when their own iniquity ejected them from
paradise, and round which a terrible and fiery fence was set?

But if any one contends that those days of the tree of life mentioned
by the prophet Isaiah are the present times of the Church of Christ,
and that Christ Himself is prophetically called the Tree of Life,
because He is Wisdom, and of wisdom Solomon says, "It is a tree of
life to all who embrace it;"[823] and if they maintain that our
first parents did not pass _years_ in paradise, but were driven
from it so soon that none of their children were begotten there,
and that therefore that time cannot be alluded to in words which
run, "as in the primitive days, and as in former years," I forbear
entering on this question, lest by discussing everything I become
prolix, and leave the whole subject in uncertainty. For I see another
meaning, which should keep us from believing that a restoration of
the primitive days and former years of the legal sacrifices could
have been promised to us by the prophet as a great boon. For the
animals selected as victims under the old law were required to be
immaculate, and free from all blemish whatever, and symbolized holy
men free from all sin, the only instance of which character was found
in Christ. As, therefore, after the judgment those who are worthy
of such purification shall be purified even by fire, and shall be
rendered thoroughly sinless, and shall offer themselves to God in
righteousness, and be indeed victims immaculate and free from all
blemish whatever, they shall then certainly be "as in the primitive
days, and as in former years," when the purest victims were offered,
the shadow of this future reality. For there shall then be in the
body and soul of the saints the purity which was symbolized in the
bodies of these victims.

Then, with reference to those who are worthy not of cleansing but of
damnation, He says, "And I will draw near to you to judgment, and I
will be a swift witness against evil-doers and against adulterers;"
and after enumerating other damnable crimes, He adds, "For I am the
Lord your God, and I am not changed." It is as if He said, Though
your fault has changed you for the worse, and my grace has changed
you for the better, I am not changed. And he says that He Himself
will be a witness, because in His judgment He needs no witnesses;
and that He will be "swift," either because He is to come suddenly,
and the judgment which seemed to lag shall be very swift by His
unexpected arrival, or because He will convince the consciences
of men directly and without any prolix harangue. "For," as it is
written, "in the thoughts of the wicked His examination shall be
conducted."[824] And the apostle says, "The thoughts accusing or else
excusing, in the day in which God shall judge the hidden things of
men, according to my gospel in Jesus Christ."[825] Thus, then, shall
the Lord be a swift witness, when He shall suddenly bring back into
the memory that which shall convince and punish the conscience.


  27. _Of the separation of the good and the bad, which proclaim the
            discriminating influence of the last judgment._

The passage also which I formerly quoted for another purpose from
this prophet refers to the last judgment, in which he says, "They
shall be mine, saith the Lord Almighty, in the day in which I make
up my gains,"[826] etc. When this diversity between the rewards and
punishments which distinguish the righteous from the wicked shall
appear under that Sun of righteousness in the brightness of life
eternal,--a diversity which is not discerned under this sun which
shines on the vanity of this life,--there shall then be such a
judgment as has never before been.


     28. _That the law of Moses must be spiritually understood to
      preclude the damnable murmurs of a carnal interpretation._

In the succeeding words, "Remember the law of Moses my servant,
which I commanded to him in Horeb for all Israel,"[827] the prophet
opportunely mentions precepts and statutes, after declaring the
important distinction hereafter to be made between those who observe
and those who despise the law. He intends also that they learn to
interpret the law spiritually, and find Christ in it, by whose
judgment that separation between the good and the bad is to be made.
For it is not without reason that the Lord Himself says to the Jews,
"Had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me; for he wrote of
me."[828] For by receiving the law carnally, without perceiving that
its earthly promises were figures of things spiritual, they fell into
such murmurings as audaciously to say, "It is vain to serve God; and
what profit is it that we have kept His ordinance, and that we have
walked suppliantly before the face of the Lord Almighty? And now we
call aliens happy; yea, they that work wickedness are set up."[829]
It was these words of theirs which in a manner compelled the prophet
to announce the last judgment, in which the wicked shall not even
in appearance be happy, but shall manifestly be most miserable; and
in which the good shall be oppressed with not even a transitory
wretchedness, but shall enjoy unsullied and eternal felicity. For
he had previously cited some similar expressions of those who said,
"Every one that doeth evil is good in the sight of the Lord, and
such are pleasing to Him."[830] It was, I say, by understanding the
law of Moses carnally that they had come to murmur thus against God.
And hence, too, the writer of the 73d Psalm says that his feet were
almost gone, his steps had well-nigh slipped, because he was envious
of sinners while he considered their prosperity, so that he said
among other things, How doth God know, and is there knowledge in the
Most High? and again, Have I sanctified my heart in vain, and washed
my hands in innocency?[831] He goes on to say that his efforts to
solve this most difficult problem, which arises when the good seem
to be wretched and the wicked happy, were in vain until he went into
the sanctuary of God, and understood the last things.[832] For in the
last judgment things shall not be so; but in the manifest felicity of
the righteous and manifest misery of the wicked quite another state
of things shall appear.


  29. _Of the coming of Elias before the judgment, that the Jews may
      be converted to Christ by his preaching and explanation of
      Scripture._

After admonishing them to give heed to the law of Moses, as he
foresaw that for a long time to come they would not understand it
spiritually and rightly, he went on to say, "And, behold, I will send
to you Elias the Tishbite before the great and signal day of the Lord
come: and he shall turn the heart of the father to the son, and the
heart of a man to his next of kin, lest I come and utterly smite the
earth."[833] It is a familiar theme in the conversation and heart
of the faithful, that in the last days before the judgment the Jews
shall believe in the true Christ, that is, our Christ, by means of
this great and admirable prophet Elias who shall expound the law to
them. For not without reason do we hope that before the coming of
our Judge and Saviour Elias shall come, because we have good reason
to believe that he is now alive; for, as Scripture most distinctly
informs us,[834] he was taken up from this life in a chariot of fire.
When, therefore, he is come, he shall give a spiritual explanation
of the law which the Jews at present understand carnally, and shall
thus "turn the heart of the father to the son," that is, the heart
of fathers to their children; for the Septuagint translators have
frequently put the singular for the plural number. And the meaning
is, that the sons, that is, the Jews, shall understand the law as
the fathers, that is, the prophets, and among them Moses himself,
understood it. For the heart of the fathers shall be turned to their
children when the children understand the law as their fathers did;
and the heart of the children shall be turned to their fathers when
they have the same sentiments as the fathers. The Septuagint used
the expression, "and the heart of a man to his next of kin," because
fathers and children are eminently neighbours to one another. Another
and a preferable sense can be found in the words of the Septuagint
translators, who have translated Scripture with an eye to prophecy,
the sense, viz., that Elias shall turn the heart of God the Father
to the Son, not certainly as if he should bring about this love of
the Father for the Son, but meaning that he should make it known, and
that the Jews also, who had previously hated, should then love the
Son who is our Christ. For so far as regards the Jews, God has His
heart turned away from our Christ, this being their conception about
God and Christ. But in their case the heart of God shall be turned to
the Son when they themselves shall turn in heart, and learn the love
of the Father towards the Son. The words following, "and the heart of
a man to his next of kin,"--that is, Elias shall also turn the heart
of a man to his next of kin,--how can we understand this better than
as the heart of a man to the man Christ? For though in the form of
God He is our God, yet, taking the form of a servant, He condescended
to become also our next of kin. It is this, then, which Elias will
do, "lest," he says, "I come and smite the earth utterly." For they
who mind earthly things are the earth. Such are the carnal Jews until
this day; and hence these murmurs of theirs against God, "The wicked
are pleasing to Him," and "It is a vain thing to serve God."[835]


  30. _That in the books of the Old Testament, where it is said
      that God shall judge the world, the person of Christ is not
      explicitly indicated, but it plainly appears from some passages
      in which the Lord God speaks that Christ is meant._

There are many other passages of Scripture bearing on the last
judgment of God,--so many, indeed, that to cite them all would swell
this book to an unpardonable size. Suffice it to have proved that
both Old and New Testament enounce the judgment. But in the Old it
is not so definitely declared as in the New that the judgment shall
be administered by Christ, that is, that Christ shall descend from
heaven as the Judge; for when it is therein stated by the Lord God
or His prophet that the Lord God shall come, we do not necessarily
understand this of Christ. For both the Father, and the Son, and the
Holy Ghost are the Lord God. We must not, however, leave this without
proof. And therefore we must first show how Jesus Christ speaks in
the prophetical books under the title of the Lord God, while yet
there can be no doubt that it is Jesus Christ who speaks; so that
in other passages where this is not at once apparent, and where
nevertheless it is said that the Lord God will come to that last
judgment, we may understand that Jesus Christ is meant. There is a
passage in the prophet Isaiah which illustrates what I mean. For God
says by the prophet, "Hear me, Jacob and Israel, whom I call. I am
the first, and I am for ever: and my hand has founded the earth, and
my right hand has established the heaven. I will call them, and they
shall stand together, and be gathered, and hear. Who has declared
to them these things? In love of thee I have done thy pleasure upon
Babylon, that I might take away the seed of the Chaldeans. I have
spoken, and I have called: I have brought him, and have made his way
prosperous. Come ye near unto me, and hear this. I have not spoken in
secret from the beginning; when they were made, there was I. And now
the Lord God and His Spirit hath sent me."[836] It was Himself who
was speaking as the Lord God; and yet we should not have understood
that it was Jesus Christ had He not added, "And now the Lord God
and His Spirit hath sent me." For He said this with reference to
the form of a servant, speaking of a future event as if it were
past, as in the same prophet we read, "He was led as a sheep to the
slaughter,"[837] not "He shall be led;" but the past tense is used to
express the future. And prophecy constantly speaks in this way.

There is also another passage in Zechariah which plainly declares
that the Almighty sent the Almighty; and of what persons can this be
understood but of God the Father and God the Son? For it is written,
"Thus saith the Lord Almighty, After the glory hath He sent me unto
the nations which spoiled you; for he that toucheth you toucheth the
apple of His eye. Behold, I will bring mine hand upon them, and they
shall be a spoil to their servants: and ye shall know that the Lord
Almighty hath sent me."[838] Observe, the Lord Almighty saith that
the Lord Almighty sent Him. Who can presume to understand these words
of any other than Christ, who is speaking to the lost sheep of the
house of Israel? For He says in the Gospel, "I am not sent save to
the lost sheep of the house of Israel,"[839] which He here compared
to the pupil of God's eye, to signify the profoundest love. And
to this class of sheep the apostles themselves belonged. But after
the glory, to wit, of His resurrection,--for before it happened the
evangelist said that "Jesus was not yet glorified,"[840]--He was
sent unto the nations in the persons of His apostles; and thus the
saying of the psalm was fulfilled, "Thou wilt deliver me from the
contradictions of the people; Thou wilt set me as the head of the
nations."[841] So that those who had spoiled the Israelites, and
whom the Israelites had served when they were subdued by them, were
not themselves to be spoiled in the same fashion, but were in their
own persons to become the spoil of the Israelites. For this had been
promised to the apostles when the Lord said, "I will make you fishers
of men."[842] And to one of them He says, "From henceforth thou shalt
catch men."[843] They were then to become a spoil, but in a good
sense, as those who are snatched from that strong one when he is
bound by a stronger.[844]

In like manner the Lord, speaking by the same prophet, says, "And it
shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the
nations that come against Jerusalem. And I will pour upon the house
of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace
and mercy; and they shall look upon me because they have insulted me,
and they shall mourn for Him as for one very dear, and shall be in
bitterness as for an only-begotten."[845] To whom but to God does it
belong to destroy all the nations that are hostile to the holy city
Jerusalem, which "come against it," that is, are opposed to it, or, as
some translate, "come upon it," as if putting it down under them; or
to pour out upon the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem
the spirit of grace and mercy? This belongs doubtless to God, and it
is to God the prophet ascribes the words; and yet Christ shows that He
is the God who does these so great and divine things, when He goes on
to say, "And they shall look upon me because they have insulted me,
and they shall mourn for Him as if for one very dear (or beloved), and
shall be in bitterness for Him as for an only-begotten." For in that
day the Jews--those of them, at least, who shall receive the spirit of
grace and mercy--when they see Him coming in His majesty, and recognise
that it is He whom they, in the person of their parents, insulted when
He came before in His humiliation, shall repent of insulting Him in
His passion: and their parents themselves, who were the perpetrators
of this huge impiety, shall see Him when they rise; but this will be
only for their punishment, and not for their correction. It is not of
them we are to understand the words, "And I will pour upon the house
of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace
and mercy, and they shall look upon me because they have insulted me;"
but we are to understand the words of their descendants, who shall at
that time believe through Elias. But as we say to the Jews, You killed
Christ, although it was their parents who did so, so these persons
shall grieve that they in some sort did what their progenitors did.
Although, therefore, those that receive the spirit of mercy and grace,
and believe, shall not be condemned with their impious parents, yet
they shall mourn as if they themselves had done what their parents
did. Their grief shall arise not so much from guilt as from pious
affection. Certainly the words which the Septuagint have translated,
"They shall look upon me because they insulted me," stand in the
Hebrew, "They shall look upon me whom they pierced."[846] And by this
word the crucifixion of Christ is certainly more plainly indicated. But
the Septuagint translators preferred to allude to the insult which was
involved in His whole passion. For in point of fact they insulted Him
both when He was arrested and when He was bound, when He was judged,
when He was mocked by the robe they put on Him and the homage they did
on bended knee, when He was crowned with thorns and struck with a rod
on the head, when He bore His cross, and when at last He hung upon the
tree. And therefore we recognise more fully the Lord's passion when we
do not confine ourselves to one interpretation, but combine both, and
read both "insulted" and "pierced."

When, therefore, we read in the prophetical books that God is to come
to do judgment at the last, from the mere mention of the judgment,
and although there is nothing else to determine the meaning, we
must gather that Christ is meant; for though the Father will judge,
He will judge by the coming of the Son. For He Himself, by His own
manifested presence, "judges no man, but has committed all judgment
to the Son;"[847] for as the Son was judged as a man, He shall also
judge in human form. For it is none but He of whom God speaks by
Isaiah under the name of Jacob and Israel, of whose seed Christ
took a body, as it is written, "Jacob is my servant, I will uphold
Him; Israel is mine elect, my Spirit has assumed Him: I have put my
Spirit upon Him; He shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. He
shall not cry, nor cease, neither shall His voice be heard without.
A bruised reed shall He not break, and the smoking flax shall He not
quench: but in truth shall He bring forth judgment. He shall shine
and shall not be broken, until He sets judgment in the earth: and
the nations shall hope in His name."[848] The Hebrew has not "Jacob"
and "Israel;" but the Septuagint translators, wishing to show the
significance of the expression "my servant," and that it refers
to the form of a servant in which the Most High humbled Himself,
inserted the name of that man from whose stock He took the form of a
servant. The Holy Spirit was given to Him, and was manifested, as the
evangelist testifies, in the form of a dove.[849] He brought forth
judgment to the Gentiles, because He predicted what was hidden from
them. In His meekness He did not cry, nor did He cease to proclaim
the truth. But His voice was not heard, nor is it heard, without,
because He is not obeyed by those who are outside of His body. And
the Jews themselves, who persecuted Him, He did not break, though
as a bruised reed they had lost their integrity, and as smoking
flax their light was quenched; for He spared them, having come to
be judged and not yet to judge. He brought forth judgment in truth,
declaring that they should be punished did they persist in their
wickedness. His face shone on the Mount,[850] His fame in the world.
He is not broken nor overcome, because neither in Himself nor in His
Church has persecution prevailed to annihilate Him. And therefore
that has not, and shall not, be brought about which His enemies said
or say, "When shall He die, and His name perish?"[851] "until He
set judgment in the earth." Behold, the hidden thing which we were
seeking is discovered. For this is the last judgment, which He will
set in the earth when He comes from heaven. And it is in Him, too,
we already see the concluding expression of the prophecy fulfilled:
"In His name shall the nations hope." And by this fulfilment, which
no one can deny, men are encouraged to believe in that which is most
impudently denied. For who could have hoped for that which even those
who do not yet believe in Christ now see fulfilled among us, and
which is so undeniable that they can but gnash their teeth and pine
away? Who, I say, could have hoped that the nations would hope in
the name of Christ, when He was arrested, bound, scourged, mocked,
crucified, when even the disciples themselves had lost the hope which
they had begun to have in Him? The hope which was then entertained
scarcely by the one thief on the cross, is now cherished by nations
everywhere on the earth, who are marked with the sign of the cross on
which He died that they may not die eternally.

That the last judgment, then, shall be administered by Jesus Christ
in the manner predicted in the sacred writings is denied or doubted
by no one, unless by those who, through some incredible animosity or
blindness, decline to believe these writings, though already their
truth is demonstrated to all the world. And at or in connection with
that judgment the following events shall come to pass, as we have
learned: Elias the Tishbite shall come; the Jews shall believe;
Antichrist shall persecute; Christ shall judge; the dead shall rise;
the good and the wicked shall be separated; the world shall be burned
and renewed. All these things, we believe, shall come to pass; but how,
or in what order, human understanding cannot perfectly teach us, but
only the experience of the events themselves. My opinion, however, is,
that they will happen in the order in which I have related them.

Two books yet remain to be written by me, in order to complete, by
God's help, what I promised. One of these will explain the punishment
of the wicked, the other the happiness of the righteous; and in them
I shall be at special pains to refute, by God's grace, the arguments
by which some unhappy creatures seem to themselves to undermine the
divine promises and threatenings, and to ridicule as empty words
statements which are the most salutary nutriment of faith. But they
who are instructed in divine things hold the truth and omnipotence
of God to be the strongest arguments in favour of those things
which, however incredible they seem to men, are yet contained in the
Scriptures, whose truth has already in many ways been proved; for
they are sure that God can in no wise lie, and that He can do what is
impossible to the unbelieving.

FOOTNOTES:

[673] Matt. viii. 29.

[674] Rom. ix. 14.

[675] Rom. xi. 33.

[676] Ps. cxliv. 4.

[677] Eccles. i. 2, 3.

[678] Eccles. ii. 13, 14.

[679] Eccles. viii. 14.

[680] Eccles. xii. 13, 14.

[681] Rom. iii. 20-22.

[682] Matt. xiii. 52.

[683] Matt. xi. 22.

[684] Matt. xi. 24.

[685] Matt. xii. 41, 42.

[686] Augustine quotes the whole passage, Matt. xiii. 37-43.

[687] Matt. xix. 28.

[688] Matt. xii. 27.

[689] 1 Cor. xv. 10.

[690] 1 Cor. vi. 3.

[691] _Ep._ 199.

[692] Matt. xxv. 34-41, given in full.

[693] John v. 22-24.

[694] John v. 25, 26.

[695] Matt. viii. 22.

[696] Cor. v. 14, 15.

[697] Ps. ci. 1.

[698] John v. 28, 29.

[699] Rev. xx. 1-6. The whole passage is quoted.

[700] Pet. iii. 8.

[701] _Serm._ 259.

[702] Milliarii.

[703] Mark iii. 27; "Vasa" for "goods."

[704] Matt. xix. 29.

[705] 2 Cor. vi. 10.

[706] Ps. cv. 8.

[707] Col. i. 13.

[708] 2 Tim. ii. 19.

[709] Ps. cxxiii. 2.

[710] Rev. xx. 9, 10.

[711] 1 John ii. 19.

[712] Matt. xxiv. 12.

[713] Between His first and second coming.

[714] Matt. xxv. 34.

[715] Matt. xxviii. 20.

[716] Matt. xiii. 39-41.

[717] Matt. v. 19.

[718] Matt. xxiii. 3.

[719] Matt. v. 20.

[720] Col. iii. 1, 2.

[721] Phil. iii. 20.

[722] Phil. ii. 21.

[723] Matt. xviii. 18.

[724] 1 Cor. v. 12.

[725] Rev. xx. 4.

[726] Rev. xiv. 13.

[727] Rom. xiv. 9.

[728] 2 Cor. vi. 14.

[729] And, as Augustine remarks, are therefore called _cadavera_,
from _cadere_, "to fall."

[730] Col. iii. 1.

[731] Rom. vi. 4.

[732] Eph. v. 14.

[733] Ecclus. ii. 7.

[734] Rom. xiv. 4.

[735] 1 Cor. x. 12.

[736] 1 Peter ii. 9.

[737] Matt. xxv. 41.

[738] Ps. lxix. 9.

[739] Isa. xxvi. 11.

[740] 2 Thess. ii. 8.

[741] Ch. 24.

[742] 1 Cor. vii. 31, 32.

[743] Col. iii. 3.

[744] Matt. viii. 22.

[745] Rom. viii. 10.

[746] "Apud inferos," _i.e._ in hell, in the sense in which the word
is used in the Psalms and in the Creed.

[747] Matt. xxv. 46.

[748] Rev. xxi. 1.

[749] Rev. xv. 2.

[750] Rev. xxi. 2-5.

[751] Isa. xlv. 8.

[752] Ps. xlii. 3.

[753] Ps. vi. 6.

[754] Ps. xxxviii. 9.

[755] Ps. xxxix. 2.

[756] 2 Cor. v. 4.

[757] Rom. viii. 23.

[758] Rom. ix. 2.

[759] Augustine therefore read νεικος, and not with the Vulgate, νίκη.

[760] 1 Cor. xv. 55.

[761] 1 John i. 8.

[762] 2 Pet. iii. 3-13. The whole passage is quoted by Augustine.

[763] 2 Thess. ii. 1-11. Whole passage given in the Latin. In ver. 3
_refuga_ is used instead of the Vulgate's _discessio_.

[764] Augustine adds the words, "Sicut dicimus, Sedet in amicum, id
est, velut amicus; vel si quid aliud isto locutionis genere dici
solet."

[765] Suetonius' _Nero_, c. 57.

[766] 1 John ii. 18, 19.

[767] 1 Thess. iv. 13-16.

[768] 1 Cor. xv. 22.

[769] 1 Cor. xv. 36.

[770] Gen. iii. 19.

[771] 1 Cor. xv. 51.

[772] Isa. xxvi. 19.

[773] Isa. lxvi. 12-16.

[774] Gal. iv. 26.

[775] Matt. v. 8.

[776] Isa. lxv. 17-19.

[777] Phil. iii. 19.

[778] Rom. viii. 6.

[779] Gen. vi. 3.

[780] Luke xii. 49.

[781] Acts ii. 3.

[782] Matt. x. 34.

[783] Heb. iv. 12.

[784] Song of Sol. ii. 5.

[785] Isa. lxvi. 18.

[786] Rom. iii. 23.

[787] Isa. lxvi. 22-24.

[788] As the Vulgate: _cadavera virorum_.

[789] Here Augustine inserts the remark, "Who does not see that
_cadavera_ (carcases) are so called from _cadendo_ (falling)?"

[790] Matt. xxv. 30.

[791] 1 Cor. xv. 28.

[792] 1 John iii. 9.

[793] Isa. lvi. 5.

[794] Dan. vii. 15-28. Passage cited at length.

[795] Dan. xii. 1-3.

[796] John v. 28.

[797] Gen. xvii. 5, and xxii. 18.

[798] Dan. xii. 13.

[799] Ps. cii. 25-27.

[800] 1 Cor. vii. 31.

[801] 1 John ii. 17.

[802] Matt. xxiv. 35.

[803] 2 Pet. iii. 6.

[804] 2 Pet. iii. 10, 11.

[805] Matt. xxiv. 29.

[806] _Æneid_, ii. 694.

[807] Ps. l. 3-5.

[808] Isa. liii. 7.

[809] Matt. xxvi. 63.

[810] Ch. 21.

[811] 1 Thess. iv. 17.

[812] Hos. vi. 6.

[813] Ch. 6.

[814] Matt. xxv. 34.

[815] In his _Proem. ad Mal._

[816] See Smith's _Bible Dict._

[817] Mal. iii. 1-6. Whole passage quoted.

[818] Isa. iv. 4.

[819] 1 John i. 8.

[820] Job xiv. 4.

[821] Rom. i. 17.

[822] Isa. lxv. 22.

[823] Prov. iii. 18.

[824] Wisd. i. 9.

[825] Rom. ii. 15, 16.

[826] Mal. iii. 17-iv. 3.

[827] Mal. iv. 4.

[828] John v. 46.

[829] Mal. iii. 14, 15.

[830] Mal. ii. 17.

[831] In innocentibus.

[832] Ps. lxxiii.

[833] Mal. iv. 5, 6.

[834] 2 Kings ii. 11.

[835] Mal. ii. 17, iii. 14.

[836] Isa. xlviii. 12-16.

[837] Isa. liii. 7.

[838] Zech. ii. 8, 9.

[839] Matt. xv. 24.

[840] John vii. 39.

[841] Ps. xviii. 43.

[842] Matt. iv. 19.

[843] Luke v. 10.

[844] Matt. xii. 29.

[845] Zech. xii. 9, 10.

[846] So the Vulgate.

[847] John v. 22.

[848] Isa. xlii. 1-4.

[849] John i. 32.

[850] Matt. xvii. 1, 2.

[851] Ps. xli. 5.



                          BOOK TWENTY-FIRST.

                               ARGUMENT.

  OF THE END RESERVED FOR THE CITY OF THE DEVIL, NAMELY, THE ETERNAL
      PUNISHMENT OF THE DAMNED; AND OF THE ARGUMENTS WHICH UNBELIEF
      BRINGS AGAINST IT.


  1. _Of the order of the discussion, which requires that we first
      speak of the eternal punishment of the lost in company with the
      devil, and then of the eternal happiness of the saints._

I propose, with such ability as God may grant me, to discuss in this
book more thoroughly the nature of the punishment which shall be
assigned to the devil and all his retainers, when the two cities, the
one of God, the other of the devil, shall have reached their proper
ends through Jesus Christ our Lord, the Judge of quick and dead.
And I have adopted this order, and preferred to speak, first of the
punishment of the devils, and afterwards of the blessedness of the
saints, because the _body_ partakes of either destiny; and it seems
to be more incredible that bodies endure in everlasting torments than
that they continue to exist without any pain in everlasting felicity.
Consequently, when I shall have demonstrated that that punishment
ought not to be incredible, this will materially aid me in proving
that which is much more credible, viz. the immortality of the bodies
of the saints which are delivered from all pain. Neither is this
order out of harmony with the divine writings, in which sometimes,
indeed, the blessedness of the good is placed first, as in the words,
"They that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they
that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation;"[852] but
sometimes also last, as, "The Son of man shall send forth His angels,
and they shall gather out of His kingdom all things which offend,
and shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing
and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as
the sun in the kingdom of His Father;"[853] and that, "These shall
go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into life
eternal."[854] And though we have not room to cite instances, any
one who examines the prophets will find that they adopt now the one
arrangement and now the other. My own reason for following the latter
order I have given.


       2. _Whether it is possible for bodies to last for ever in
                            burning fire._

What, then, can I adduce to convince those who refuse to believe that
human bodies, animated and living, can not only survive death, but
also last in the torments of everlasting fires? They will not allow
us to refer this simply to the power of the Almighty, but demand
that we persuade them by some example. If, then, we reply to them,
that there are animals which certainly are corruptible, because they
are mortal, and which yet live in the midst of flames; and likewise,
that in springs of water so hot that no one can put his hand in it
with impunity a species of worm is found, which not only lives there,
but cannot live elsewhere; they either refuse to believe these facts
unless we can show them, or, if we are in circumstances to prove them
by ocular demonstration or by adequate testimony, they contend, with
the same scepticism, that these facts are not examples of what we
seek to prove, inasmuch as these animals do not live for ever, and
besides, they live in that blaze of heat without pain, the element
of fire being congenial to their nature, and causing it to thrive
and not to suffer,--just as if it were not more incredible that it
should thrive than that it should suffer in such circumstances. It
is strange that anything should suffer in fire and yet live, but
stranger that it should live in fire and not suffer. If, then, the
latter be believed, why not also the former?


      3. _Whether bodily suffering necessarily terminates in the
                      destruction of the flesh._

But, say they, there is no body which can suffer and cannot also
die. How do we know this? For who can say with certainty that the
devils do not suffer in their bodies, when they own that they are
grievously tormented? And if it is replied that there is no earthly
body--that is to say, no solid and perceptible body, or, in one word,
no flesh--which can suffer and cannot die, is not this to tell us
only what men have gathered from experience and their bodily senses?
For they indeed have no acquaintance with any flesh but that which
is mortal; and this is their whole argument, that what they have had
no experience of they judge quite impossible. For we cannot call it
reasoning to make pain a presumption of death, while, in fact, it
is rather a sign of life. For though it be a question whether that
which suffers can continue to live for ever, yet it is certain that
everything which suffers pain does live, and that pain can exist
only in a living subject. It is necessary, therefore, that he who is
pained be living, not necessary that pain kill him; for every pain
does not kill even those mortal bodies of ours which are destined to
die. And that any pain kills them is caused by the circumstance that
the soul is so connected with the body that it succumbs to great pain
and withdraws; for the structure of our members and vital parts is
so infirm that it cannot bear up against that violence which causes
great or extreme agony. But in the life to come this connection of
soul and body is of such a kind, that as it is dissolved by no lapse
of time, so neither is it burst asunder by any pain. And so, although
it be true that in this world there is no flesh which can suffer pain
and yet cannot die, yet in the world to come there shall be flesh
such as now there is not, as there will also be death such as now
there is not. For death will not be abolished, but will be eternal,
since the soul will neither be able to enjoy God and live, nor to die
and escape the pains of the body. The first death drives the soul
from the body against her will: the second death holds the soul in
the body against her will. The two have this in common, that the soul
suffers against her will what her own body inflicts.

Our opponents, too, make much of this, that in this world there is no
flesh which can suffer pain and cannot die; while they make nothing
of the fact that there is something which is greater than the body.
For the spirit, whose presence animates and rules the body, can both
suffer pain and cannot die. Here then is something which, though it
can feel pain, is immortal. And this capacity, which we now see in
the spirit of all, shall be hereafter in the bodies of the damned.
Moreover, if we attend to the matter a little more closely, we see
that what is called bodily pain is rather to be referred to the soul.
For it is the soul, not the body, which is pained, even when the pain
originates with the body,--the soul feeling pain at the point where
the body is hurt. As then we speak of bodies feeling and living,
though the feeling and life of the body are from the soul, so also we
speak of bodies being pained, though no pain can be suffered by the
body apart from the soul. The soul, then, is pained with the body in
that part where something occurs to hurt it; and it is pained alone,
though it be in the body, when some invisible cause distresses it,
while the body is safe and sound. Even when not associated with the
body it is pained; for certainly that rich man was suffering in hell
when he cried, "I am tormented in this flame."[855] But as for the
body, it suffers no pain when it is soulless; and even when animate
it can suffer only by the soul's suffering. If, therefore, we might
draw a just presumption from the existence of pain to that of death,
and conclude that where pain can be felt death can occur, death would
rather be the property of the soul, for to it pain more peculiarly
belongs. But, seeing that that which suffers most cannot die, what
ground is there for supposing that those bodies, because destined
to suffer, are therefore destined to die? The Platonists indeed
maintained that these earthly bodies and dying members gave rise
to the fears, desires, griefs, and joys of the soul. "Hence," says
Virgil (_i.e._ from these earthly bodies and dying members),

          "Hence wild desires and grovelling fears,
           And human laughter, human tears."[856]

But in the fourteenth book of this work[857] we have proved that,
according to the Platonists' own theory, souls, even when purged
from all pollution of the body, are yet possessed by a monstrous
desire to return again into their bodies. But where desire can exist,
certainly pain also can exist; for desire frustrated, either by
missing what it aims at or losing what it had attained, is turned
into pain. And therefore, if the soul, which is either the only or
the chief sufferer, has yet a kind of immortality of its own, it
is inconsequent to say that because the bodies of the damned shall
suffer pain, therefore they shall die. In fine, if the body causes
the soul to suffer, why can the body not cause death as well as
suffering, unless because it does not follow that what causes pain
causes death as well? And why then is it incredible that these fires
can cause pain but not death to those bodies we speak of, just as the
bodies themselves cause pain, but not therefore death, to the souls?
Pain is therefore no necessary presumption of death.


        4. _Examples from nature proving that bodies may remain
                    unconsumed and alive in fire._

If, therefore, the salamander lives in fire, as naturalists[858]
have recorded, and if certain famous mountains of Sicily have been
continually on fire from the remotest antiquity until now, and yet
remain entire, these are sufficiently convincing examples that
everything which burns is not consumed. As the soul, too, is a proof
that not everything which can suffer pain can also die, why then do
they yet demand that we produce real examples to prove that it is not
incredible that the bodies of men condemned to everlasting punishment
may retain their soul in the fire, may burn without being consumed,
and may suffer without perishing? For suitable properties will be
communicated to the substance of the flesh by Him who has endowed the
things we see with so marvellous and diverse properties, that their
very multitude prevents our wonder. For who but God the Creator of all
things has given to the flesh of the peacock its antiseptic property?
This property, when I first heard of it, seemed to me incredible;
but it happened at Carthage that a bird of this kind was cooked and
served up to me, and, taking a suitable slice of flesh from its breast,
I ordered it to be kept, and when it had been kept as many days as
make any other flesh stinking, it was produced and set before me, and
emitted no offensive smell. And after it had been laid by for thirty
days and more, it was still in the same state; and a year after, the
same still, except that it was a little more shrivelled, and drier. Who
gave to chaff such power to freeze that it preserves snow buried under
it, and such power to warm that it ripens green fruit?

But who can explain the strange properties of fire itself, which
blackens everything it burns, though itself bright; and which, though
of the most beautiful colours, discolours almost all it touches and
feeds upon, and turns blazing fuel into grimy cinders? Still this is
not laid down as an absolutely uniform law; for, on the contrary,
stones baked in glowing fire themselves also glow, and though the
fire be rather of a red hue, and they white, yet white is congruous
with light, and black with darkness. Thus, though the fire burns
the wood in calcining the stones, these contrary effects do not
result from the contrariety of the materials. For though wood and
stone differ, they are not contraries, like black and white, the
one of which colours is produced in the stones, while the other is
produced in the wood by the same action of fire, which imparts its
own brightness to the former, while it begrimes the latter, and which
could have no effect on the one were it not fed by the other. Then
what wonderful properties do we find in charcoal, which is so brittle
that a light tap breaks it and a slight pressure pulverizes it, and
yet is so strong that no moisture rots it, nor any time causes it
to decay. So enduring is it, that it is customary in laying down
landmarks to put charcoal underneath them, so that if, after the
longest interval, any one raises an action, and pleads that there is
no boundary stone, he may be convicted by the charcoal below. What
then has enabled it to last so long without rotting, though buried in
the damp earth in which [its original] wood rots, except this same
fire which consumes all things?

Again, let us consider the wonders of lime; for besides growing
white in fire, which makes other things black, and of which I have
already said enough, it has also a mysterious property of conceiving
fire within it. Itself cold to the touch, it yet has a hidden store
of fire, which is not at once apparent to our senses, but which
experience teaches us, lies as it were slumbering within it even
while unseen. And it is for this reason called "quick lime," as if
the fire were the invisible soul quickening the visible substance or
body. But the marvellous thing is, that this fire is kindled when
it is extinguished. For to disengage the hidden fire the lime is
moistened or drenched with water, and then, though it be cold before,
it becomes hot by that very application which cools what is hot. As
if the fire were departing from the lime and breathing its last,
it no longer lies hid, but appears; and then the lime lying in the
coldness of death cannot be requickened, and what we before called
"quick," we now call "slaked." What can be stranger than this? Yet
there is a greater marvel still. For if you treat the lime, not with
water, but with oil, which is as fuel to fire, no amount of oil will
heat it. Now if this marvel had been told us of some Indian mineral
which we had no opportunity of experimenting upon, we should either
have forthwith pronounced it a falsehood, or certainly should have
been greatly astonished. But things that daily present themselves
to our own observation we despise, not because they are really less
marvellous, but because they are common; so that even some products
of India itself, remote as it is from ourselves, cease to excite our
admiration as soon as we can admire them at our leisure.[859]

The diamond is a stone possessed by many among ourselves, especially
by jewellers and lapidaries, and the stone is so hard that it can
be wrought neither by iron nor fire, nor, they say, by anything at
all except goat's blood. But do you suppose it is as much admired by
those who own it and are familiar with its properties as by those to
whom it is shown for the first time? Persons who have not seen it
perhaps do not believe what is said of it, or if they do, they wonder
as at a thing beyond their experience; and if they happen to see
it, still they marvel because they are unused to it, but gradually
familiar experience [of it] dulls their admiration. We know that
the loadstone has a wonderful power of attracting iron. When I first
saw it I was thunderstruck, for I saw an iron ring attracted and
suspended by the stone; and then, as if it had communicated its own
property to the iron it attracted, and had made it a substance like
itself, this ring was put near another, and lifted it up; and as the
first ring clung to the magnet, so did the second ring to the first.
A third and a fourth were similarly added, so that there hung from
the stone a kind of chain of rings, with their hoops connected, not
interlinking, but attached together by their outer surface. Who would
not be amazed at this virtue of the stone, subsisting as it does not
only in itself, but transmitted through so many suspended rings, and
binding them together by invisible links? Yet far more astonishing
is what I heard about this stone from my brother in the episcopate,
Severus bishop of Milevis. He told me that Bathanarius, once count of
Africa, when the bishop was dining with him, produced a magnet, and
held it under a silver plate on which he placed a bit of iron; then
as he moved his hand with the magnet underneath the plate, the iron
upon the plate moved about accordingly. The intervening silver was
not affected at all, but precisely as the magnet was moved backwards
and forwards below it, no matter how quickly, so was the iron
attracted above. I have related what I myself have witnessed; I have
related what I was told by one whom I trust as I trust my own eyes.
Let me further say what I have read about this magnet. When a diamond
is laid near it, it does not lift iron; or if it has already lifted
it, as soon as the diamond approaches, it drops it. These stones
come from India. But if we cease to admire them because they are now
familiar, how much less must they admire them who procure them very
easily and send them to us? Perhaps they are held as cheap as we hold
lime, which, because it is common, we think nothing of, though it has
the strange property of burning when water, which is wont to quench
fire, is poured on it, and of remaining cool when mixed with oil,
which ordinarily feeds fire.


    5. _That there are many things which reason cannot account for,
                   and which are nevertheless true._

Nevertheless, when we declare the miracles which God has wrought,
or will yet work, and which we cannot bring under the very eyes of
men, sceptics keep demanding that we shall explain these marvels
to reason. And because we cannot do so, inasmuch as they are above
human comprehension, they suppose we are speaking falsely. These
persons themselves, therefore, ought to account for all these marvels
which we either can or do see. And if they perceive that this is
impossible for man to do, they should acknowledge that it cannot be
concluded that a thing has not been or shall not be because it cannot
be reconciled to reason, since there are things now in existence of
which the same is true. I will not, then, detail the multitude of
marvels which are related in books, and which refer not to things
that happened once and passed away, but that are permanent in certain
places, where, if any one has the desire and opportunity, he may
ascertain their truth; but a few only I recount. The following are
some of the marvels men tell us:--The salt of Agrigentum in Sicily,
when thrown into the fire, becomes fluid as if it were in water, but
in the water it crackles as if it were in the fire. The Garamantæ
have a fountain so cold by day that no one can drink it, so hot by
night no one can touch it.[860] In Epirus, too, there is a fountain
which, like all others, quenches lighted torches, but, unlike all
others, lights quenched torches. There is a stone found in Arcadia,
and called asbestos, because once lit it cannot be put out. The wood
of a certain kind of Egyptian fig-tree sinks in water, and does not
float like other wood; and, stranger still, when it has been sunk
to the bottom for some time, it rises again to the surface, though
nature requires that when soaked in water it should be heavier than
ever. Then there are the apples of Sodom, which grow indeed to an
appearance of ripeness, but, when you touch them with hand or tooth,
the peel cracks, and they crumble into dust and ashes. The Persian
stone pyrites burns the hand when it is tightly held in it, and so
gets its name from fire. In Persia, too, there is found another
stone called selenite, because its interior brilliancy waxes and
wanes with the moon. Then in Cappadocia the mares are impregnated by
the wind, and their foals live only three years. Tilon, an Indian
island, has this advantage over all other lands, that no tree which
grows in it ever loses its foliage.

These and numberless other marvels recorded in the history, not of
past events, but of permanent localities, I have no time to enlarge
upon and diverge from my main object; but let those sceptics who
refuse to credit the divine writings give me, if they can, a rational
account of them. For their only ground of unbelief in the Scriptures
is, that they contain incredible things, just such as I have been
recounting. For, say they, reason cannot admit that flesh burn and
remain unconsumed, suffer without dying. Mighty reasoners, indeed,
who are competent to give the reason of all the marvels that exist!
Let them then give us the reason of the few things we have cited,
and which, if they did not know they existed, and were only assured
by us they would at some future time occur, they would believe still
less than that which they now refuse to credit on our word. For
which of them would believe us if, instead of saying that the living
bodies of men hereafter will be such as to endure everlasting pain
and fire without ever dying, we were to say that in the world to
come there will be salt which becomes liquid in fire as if it were
in water, and crackles in water as if it were in fire; or that there
will be a fountain whose water in the chill air of night is so hot
that it cannot be touched, while in the heat of day it is so cold
that it cannot be drunk; or that there will be a stone which by its
own heat burns the hand when tightly held, or a stone which cannot
be extinguished if it has been lit in any part; or any of those
wonders I have cited, while omitting numberless others? If we were
to say that these things would be found in the world to come, and
our sceptics were to reply, "If you wish us to believe these things,
satisfy our reason about each of them," we should confess that we
could not, because the frail comprehension of man cannot master these
and such-like wonders of God's working; and that yet our reason was
thoroughly convinced that the Almighty does nothing without reason,
though the frail mind of man cannot explain the reason; and that
while we are in many instances uncertain what He intends, yet that it
is always most certain that nothing which He intends is impossible
to Him; and that when He declares His mind, we believe Him whom we
cannot believe to be either powerless or false. Nevertheless these
cavillers at faith and exactors of reason, how do they dispose of
those things of which a reason cannot be given, and which yet exist,
though in apparent contrariety to the nature of things? If we had
announced that these things were to be, these sceptics would have
demanded from us the reason of them, as they do in the case of those
things which we are announcing as destined to be. And consequently,
as these present marvels are not non-existent, though human reason
and discourse are lost in such works of God, so those things we speak
of are not impossible because inexplicable; for in this particular
they are in the same predicament as the marvels of earth.


  6. _That all marvels are not of nature's production, but that some
    are due to human ingenuity and others to diabolic contrivance._

At this point they will perhaps reply, "These things have no
existence; we don't believe one of them; they are travellers' tales
and fictitious romances;" and they may add what has the appearance
of argument, and say, "If you believe such things as these, believe
what is recorded in the same books, that there was or is a temple of
Venus in which a candelabrum set in the open air holds a lamp, which
burns so strongly that no storm or rain extinguishes it, and which
is therefore called, like the stone mentioned above, the asbestos
or inextinguishable lamp." They may say this with the intention of
putting us into a dilemma: for if we say this is incredible, then
we shall impugn the truth of the other recorded marvels; if, on the
other hand, we admit that this is credible, we shall avouch the pagan
deities. But, as I have already said in the eighteenth book of this
work, we do not hold it necessary to believe all that profane history
contains, since, as Varro says, even historians themselves disagree
on so many points, that one would think they intended and were at
pains to do so; but we believe, if we are disposed, those things
which are not contradicted by these books, which we do not hesitate
to say we _are_ bound to believe. But as to those permanent miracles
of nature, whereby we wish to persuade the sceptical of the miracles
of the world to come, those are quite sufficient for our purpose
which we ourselves can observe, or of which it is not difficult to
find trustworthy witnesses. Moreover, that temple of Venus, with its
inextinguishable lamp, so far from hemming us into a corner, opens
an advantageous field to our argument. For to this inextinguishable
lamp we add a host of marvels wrought by men, or by magic,--that is,
by men under the influence of devils, or by the devils directly,--for
such marvels we cannot deny without impugning the truth of the sacred
Scriptures we believe. That lamp, therefore, was either by some
mechanical and human device fitted with asbestos, or it was arranged
by magical art in order that the worshippers might be astonished, or
some devil under the name of Venus so signally manifested himself
that this prodigy both began and became permanent. Now devils are
attracted to dwell in certain temples by means of the creatures
(God's creatures, not theirs), who present to them what suits their
various tastes. They are attracted not by food like animals, but,
like spirits, by such symbols as suit their taste, various kinds
of stones, woods, plants, animals, songs, rites. And that men may
provide these attractions, the devils first of all cunningly seduce
them, either by imbuing their hearts with a secret poison, or by
revealing themselves under a friendly guise, and thus make a few of
them their disciples, who become the instructors of the multitude.
For unless they first instructed men, it were impossible to know what
each of them desires, what they shrink from, by what name they should
be invoked or constrained to be present. Hence the origin of magic
and magicians. But, above all, they possess the hearts of men, and
are chiefly proud of this possession when they transform themselves
into angels of light. Very many things that occur, therefore,
are their doing; and these deeds of theirs we ought all the more
carefully to shun as we acknowledge them to be very surprising.
And yet these very deeds forward my present arguments. For if such
marvels are wrought by unclean devils, how much mightier are the holy
angels! and what cannot that God do who made the angels themselves
capable of working miracles!

If, then, very many effects can be contrived by human art, of so
surprising a kind that the uninitiated think them divine, as when,
_e.g._, in a certain temple two magnets have been adjusted, one in
the roof, another in the floor, so that an iron image is suspended in
mid-air between them, one would suppose by the power of the divinity,
were he ignorant of the magnets above and beneath; or, as in the case
of that lamp of Venus which we already mentioned as being a skilful
adaptation of asbestos; if, again, by the help of magicians, whom
Scripture calls sorcerers and enchanters, the devils could gain such
power that the noble poet Virgil should consider himself justified in
describing a very powerful magician in these lines:

          "Her charms can cure what souls she please,
           Rob other hearts of healthful ease,
           Turn rivers backward to their source,
           And make the stars forget their course,
                 And call up ghosts from night:
           The ground shall bellow 'neath your feet:
           The mountain-ash shall quit its seat,
                 And travel down the height;"[861]--

if this be so, how much more able is God to do those things which to
sceptics are incredible, but to His power easy, since it is He who
has given to stones and all other things their virtue, and to men
their skill to use them in wonderful ways; He who has given to the
angels a nature more mighty than that of all that lives on earth;
He whose power surpasses all marvels, and whose wisdom in working,
ordaining, and permitting is no less marvellous in its governance of
all things than in its creation of all!


      7. _That the ultimate reason for believing miracles is the
                     omnipotence of the Creator._

Why, then, cannot God effect both that the bodies of the dead
shall rise, and that the bodies of the damned shall be tormented
in everlasting fire,--God, who made the world full of countless
miracles in sky, earth, air, and waters, while itself is a miracle
unquestionably greater and more admirable than all the marvels it is
filled with? But those with whom or against whom we are arguing,
who believe both that there is a God who made the world, and that
there are gods created by Him who administer the world's laws as
His vicegerents,--our adversaries, I say, who, so far from denying
emphatically, assert that there are powers in the world which effect
marvellous results (whether of their own accord, or because they
are invoked by some rite or prayer, or in some magical way), when
we lay before them the wonderful properties of other things which
are neither rational animals nor rational spirits, but such material
objects as those we have just cited, are in the habit of replying,
This is their natural property, their nature; these are the powers
naturally belonging to them. Thus the whole reason why Agrigentine
salt dissolves in fire and crackles in water is that this is its
nature. Yet this seems rather contrary to nature, which has given
not to fire but to water the power of melting salt, and the power
of scorching it not to water but to fire. But this, they say, is
the natural property of _this_ salt, to show effects contrary to
these. The same reason, therefore, is assigned to account for that
Garamantian fountain, of which one and the same runlet is chill by
day and boiling by night, so that in either extreme it cannot be
touched. So also of that other fountain which, though it is cold
to the touch, and though it, like other fountains, extinguishes a
lighted torch, yet, unlike other fountains, and in a surprising
manner, kindles an extinguished torch. So of the asbestos stone,
which, though it has no heat of its own, yet when kindled by fire
applied to it, cannot be extinguished. And so of the rest, which
I am weary of reciting, and in which, though there seems to be an
extraordinary property contrary to nature, yet no other reason is
given for them than this, that this is their nature,--a brief reason
truly, and, I own, a satisfactory reply. But since God is the author
of all natures, how is it that our adversaries, when they refuse to
believe what we affirm, on the ground that it is impossible, are
unwilling to accept from us a better explanation than their own,
viz. that this is the will of Almighty God,--for certainly He is
called Almighty only because He is mighty to do all He will,--He who
was able to create so many marvels, not only unknown, but very well
ascertained, as I have been showing, and which, were they not under
our own observation, or reported by recent and credible witnesses,
would certainly be pronounced impossible? For as for those marvels
which have no other testimony than the writers in whose books we
read them, and who wrote without being divinely instructed, and are
therefore liable to human error, we cannot justly blame any one who
declines to believe them.

For my own part, I do not wish all the marvels I have cited to be
rashly accepted, for I do not myself believe them implicitly, save
those which have either come under my own observation, or which
any one can readily verify,--such as the lime which is heated by
water and cooled by oil; the magnet which by its mysterious and
insensible suction attracts the iron, but has no effect on a straw;
the peacock's flesh which triumphs over the corruption from which
not the flesh of Plato is exempt; the chaff so chilling that it
prevents snow from melting, so heating that it forces apples to
ripen; the glowing fire, which, in accordance with its glowing
appearance, whitens the stones it bakes, while, contrary to its
glowing appearance, it begrimes most things it burns (just as dirty
stains are made by oil, however pure it be, and as the lines drawn
by white silver are black); the charcoal, too, which by the action
of fire is so completely changed from its original, that a finely
marked piece of wood becomes hideous, the tough becomes brittle, the
decaying incorruptible. Some of these things I know in common with
many other persons, some of them in common with all men; and there
are many others which I have not room to insert in this book. But of
those which I have cited, though I have not myself seen, but only
read about them, I have been unable to find trustworthy witnesses
from whom I could ascertain whether they are facts, except in the
case of that fountain in which burning torches are extinguished and
extinguished torches lit, and of the apples of Sodom, which are
ripe to appearance, but are filled with dust. And indeed I have not
met with any who said they had seen that fountain in Epirus, but
with some who knew there was a similar fountain in Gaul not far
from Grenoble. The fruit of the trees of Sodom, however, is not
only spoken of in books worthy of credit, but so many persons say
that they have seen it that I cannot doubt the fact. But the rest
of the prodigies I receive without definitely affirming or denying
them; and I have cited them because I read them in the authors of
our adversaries, and that I might prove how many things many among
themselves believe, because they are written in the works of their
own literary men, though no rational explanation of them is given,
and yet they scorn to believe us when we assert that Almighty God
will do what is beyond their experience and observation; and this
they do even though we assign a reason for His work. For what better
and stronger reason for such things can be given than to say that the
Almighty is able to bring them to pass, and will bring them to pass,
having predicted them in those books in which many other marvels
which have already come to pass were predicted? Those things which
are regarded as impossible will be accomplished according to the
word, and by the power of that God who predicted and effected that
the incredulous nations should believe incredible wonders.


  8. _That it is not contrary to nature that, in an object whose
      nature is known, there should be discovered an alteration of
      the properties which have been known as its natural properties._

But if they reply that their reason for not believing us when we say
that human bodies will always burn and yet never die, is that the
nature of human bodies is known to be quite otherwise constituted; if
they say that for this miracle we cannot give the reason which was
valid in the case of those natural miracles, viz. that this is the
natural property, the nature of the thing,--for we know that this
is not the nature of human flesh,--we find our answer in the sacred
writings, that even this human flesh was constituted in one fashion
before there was sin,--was constituted, in fact, so that it could not
die,--and in another fashion after sin, being made such as we see it in
this miserable state of mortality, unable to retain enduring life. And
so in the resurrection of the dead shall it be constituted differently
from its present well-known condition. But as they do not believe these
writings of ours, in which we read what nature man had in paradise, and
how remote he was from the necessity of death,--and indeed, if they did
believe them, we should of course have little trouble in debating with
them the future punishment of the damned,--we must produce from the
writings of their own most learned authorities some instances to show
that it is possible for a thing to become different from what it was
formerly known characteristically to be.

From the book of Marcus Varro, entitled, _Of the Race Of the Roman
People_, I cite word for word the following instance: "There
occurred a remarkable celestial portent; for Castor records that,
in the brilliant star Venus, called Vesperugo by Plautus, and the
lovely Hesperus by Homer, there occurred so strange a prodigy, that
it changed its colour, size, form, course, which never happened
before nor since. Adrastus of Cyzicus, and Dion of Naples, famous
mathematicians, said that this occurred in the reign of Ogyges."
So great an author as Varro would certainly not have called this a
portent had it not seemed to be contrary to nature. For we say that
all portents are contrary to nature; but they are not so. For how is
that contrary to nature which happens by the will of God, since the
will of so mighty a Creator is certainly the nature of each created
thing? A portent, therefore, happens not contrary to nature, but
contrary to what we know as nature. But who can number the multitude
of portents recorded in profane histories? Let us then at present fix
our attention on this one only which concerns the matter in hand.
What is there so arranged by the Author of the nature of heaven and
earth as the exactly ordered course of the stars? What is there
established by laws so sure and inflexible? And yet, when it pleased
Him who with sovereignty and supreme power regulates all He has
created, a star conspicuous among the rest by its size and splendour
changed its colour, size, form, and, most wonderful of all, the order
and law of its course! Certainly that phenomenon disturbed the canons
of the astronomers, if there were any then, by which they tabulate,
as by unerring computation, the past and future movements of the
stars, so as to take upon them to affirm that this which happened to
the morning star (Venus) never happened before nor since. But we read
in the divine books that even the sun itself stood still when a holy
man, Joshua the son of Nun, had begged this from God until victory
should finish the battle he had begun; and that it even went back,
that the promise of fifteen years added to the life of king Hezekiah
might be sealed by this additional prodigy. But these miracles, which
were vouchsafed to the merits of holy men, even when our adversaries
believe them, they attribute to magical arts; so Virgil, in the lines
I quoted above, ascribes to magic the power to

          "Turn rivers backward to their source,
           And make the stars forget their course."

For in our sacred books we read that this also happened, that a river
"turned backward," was stayed above while the lower part flowed
on, when the people passed over under the above-mentioned leader,
Joshua the son of Nun; and also when Elias the prophet crossed; and
afterwards, when his disciple Elisha passed through it: and we have
just mentioned how, in the case of king Hezekiah, the greatest of the
"stars forgot its course." But what happened to Venus, according to
Varro, was not said by him to have happened in answer to any man's
prayer.

Let not the sceptics then benight themselves in this knowledge of
the nature of things, as if divine power cannot bring to pass in an
object anything else than what their own experience has shown them
to be in its nature. Even the very things which are most commonly
known as natural would not be less wonderful nor less effectual to
excite surprise in all who beheld them, if men were not accustomed to
admire nothing but what is rare. For who that thoughtfully observes
the countless multitude of men, and their similarity of nature, can
fail to remark with surprise and admiration the individuality of each
man's appearance, suggesting to us, as it does, that unless men were
like one another, they would not be distinguished from the rest of the
animals; while unless, on the other hand, they were unlike, they could
not be distinguished from one another, so that those whom we declare
to be like, we also find to be unlike? And the unlikeness is the more
wonderful consideration of the two; for a common nature seems rather
to require similarity. And yet, because the very rarity of things is
that which makes them wonderful, we are filled with much greater wonder
when we are introduced to two men so like, that we either always or
frequently mistake in endeavouring to distinguish between them.

But possibly, though Varro is a heathen historian, and a very learned
one, they may disbelieve that what I have cited from him truly
occurred; or they may say the example is invalid, because the star
did not for any length of time continue to follow its new course, but
returned to its ordinary orbit. There is, then, another phenomenon at
present open to their observation, and which, in my opinion, ought
to be sufficient to convince them that, though they have observed
and ascertained some natural law, they ought not on that account to
prescribe to God, as if He could not change and turn it into something
very different from what they have observed. The land of Sodom was not
always as it now is; but once it had the appearance of other lands, and
enjoyed equal if not richer fertility; for, in the divine narrative, it
was compared to the paradise of God. But after it was touched [by fire]
from heaven, as even pagan history testifies, and as is now witnessed
by those who visit the spot, it became unnaturally and horribly
sooty in appearance; and its apples, under a deceitful appearance
of ripeness, contain ashes within. Here is a thing which was of one
kind, and is of another. You see how its nature was converted by the
wonderful transmutation wrought by the Creator of all natures into so
very disgusting a diversity,--an alteration which after so long a time
took place, and after so long a time still continues.

As therefore it was not impossible to God to create such natures as
He pleased, so it is not impossible to Him to change these natures
of His own creation into whatever He pleases, and thus spread abroad
a multitude of those marvels which are called monsters, portents,
prodigies, phenomena,[862] and which if I were minded to cite and
record, what end would there be to this work? They say that they are
called "monsters," because they _demonstrate_ or signify something;
"portents," because they _portend_ something; and so forth.[863]
But let their diviners see how they are either deceived, or even
when they do predict true things, it is because they are inspired by
spirits, who are intent upon entangling the minds of men (worthy,
indeed, of such a fate) in the meshes of a hurtful curiosity, or how
they light now and then upon some truth, because they make so many
predictions. Yet, for our part, these things which happen contrary
to nature, and are said to be contrary to nature (as the apostle,
speaking after the manner of men, says, that to graff the wild olive
into the good olive, and to partake of its fatness, is contrary to
nature), and are called monsters, phenomena, portents, prodigies,
ought to demonstrate, portend, predict that God will bring to pass
what He has foretold regarding the bodies of men, no difficulty
preventing Him, no law of nature prescribing to Him His limit. How He
has foretold what He is to do, I think I have sufficiently shown in
the preceding book, culling from the sacred Scriptures, both of the
New and Old Testaments, not, indeed, all the passages that relate to
this, but as many as I judged to suffice for this work.


         9. _Of hell, and the nature of eternal punishments._

So then what God by His prophet has said of the everlasting
punishment of the damned shall come to pass--shall without fail
come to pass,--"their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire
be quenched."[864] In order to impress this upon us most forcibly,
the Lord Jesus Himself, when ordering us to cut off our members,
meaning thereby those persons whom a man loves as the most useful
members of his body, says, "It is better for thee to enter into life
maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that
never shall be quenched; where their worm dieth not, and their fire
is not quenched." Similarly of the foot: "It is better for thee to
enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into
the fire that never shall be quenched; where their worm dieth not,
and the fire is not quenched." So, too, of the eye: "It is better
for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having
two eyes to be cast into hell fire; where their worm dieth not, and
the fire is not quenched."[865] He did not shrink from using the
same words three times over in one passage. And who is not terrified
by this repetition, and by the threat of that punishment uttered so
vehemently by the lips of the Lord Himself?

Now they who would refer both the fire and the worm to the spirit,
and not to the body, affirm that the wicked, who are separated from
the kingdom of God, shall be burned, as it were, by the anguish of
a spirit repenting too late and fruitlessly; and they contend that
fire is therefore not inappropriately used to express this burning
torment, as when the apostle exclaims, "Who is offended, and I burn
not?"[866] The worm, too, they think, is to be similarly understood.
For it is written, they say, "As the moth consumes the garment, and
the worm the wood, so does grief consume the heart of a man."[867]
But they who make no doubt that in that future punishment both
body and soul shall suffer, affirm that the body shall be burned
with fire, while the soul shall be, as it were, gnawed by a worm
of anguish. Though this view is more reasonable,--for it is absurd
to suppose that either body or soul will escape pain in the future
punishment,--yet, for my own part, I find it easier to understand
both as referring to the body than to suppose that neither does;
and I think that Scripture is silent regarding the spiritual pain
of the damned, because, though not expressed, it is necessarily
understood that in a body thus tormented the soul also is tortured
with a fruitless repentance. For we read in the ancient Scriptures,
"The vengeance of the flesh of the ungodly is fire and worms."[868]
It might have been more briefly said, "The vengeance of the ungodly."
Why, then, was it said, "The flesh of the ungodly," unless because
both the fire and the worm are to be the punishment of the flesh? Or
if the object of the writer in saying, "The vengeance of the flesh,"
was to indicate that this shall be the punishment of those who live
after the flesh (for this leads to the second death, as the apostle
intimated when he said, "For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall
die"[869]), let each one make his own choice, either assigning the
fire to the body and the worm to the soul,--the one figuratively,
the other really,--or assigning both really to the body. For I have
already sufficiently made out that animals can live in the fire, in
burning without being consumed, in pain without dying, by a miracle
of the most omnipotent Creator, to whom no one can deny that this
is possible, if he be not ignorant by whom has been made all that
is wonderful in all nature. For it is God Himself who has wrought
all these miracles, great and small, in this world which I have
mentioned, and incomparably more which I have omitted, and who has
enclosed these marvels in this world, itself the greatest miracle of
all. Let each man, then, choose which he will, whether he thinks that
the worm is real and pertains to the body, or that spiritual things
are meant by bodily representations, and that it belongs to the soul.
But which of these is true will be more readily discovered by the
facts themselves, when there shall be in the saints such knowledge as
shall not require that their own experience teach them the nature of
these punishments, but as shall, by its own fulness and perfection,
suffice to instruct them in this matter. For "now we know in part,
until that which is perfect is come;"[870] only, this we believe
about those future bodies, that they shall be such as shall certainly
be pained by the fire.


  10. _Whether the fire of hell, if it be material fire, can burn the
     wicked spirits, that is to say, devils, who are immaterial._

Here arises the question: If the fire is not to be immaterial,
analogous to the pain of the soul, but material, burning by contact,
so that bodies may be tormented in it, how can evil spirits be
punished in it? For it is undoubtedly the same fire which is to serve
for the punishment of men and of devils, according to the words of
Christ: "Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared
for the devil and his angels;"[871] unless, perhaps, as learned men
have thought, the devils have a kind of body made of that dense and
humid air which we feel strikes us when the wind is blowing. And
if this kind of substance could not be affected by fire, it could
not burn when heated in the baths. For in order to burn, it is
first burned, and affects other things as itself is affected. But
if any one maintains that the devils have no bodies, this is not
a matter either to be laboriously investigated, or to be debated
with keenness. For why may we not assert that even immaterial
spirits may, in some extraordinary way, yet really be pained by the
punishment of material fire, if the spirits of men, which also are
certainly immaterial, are both now contained in material members
of the body, and in the world to come shall be indissolubly united
to their own bodies? Therefore, though the devils have no bodies,
yet their spirits, that is, the devils themselves, shall be brought
into thorough contact with the material fires, to be tormented by
them; not that the fires themselves with which they are brought into
contact shall be animated by their connection with these spirits,
and become animals composed of body and spirit, but, as I said, this
junction will be effected in a wonderful and ineffable way, so that
they shall receive pain from the fires, but give no life to them.
And, in truth, this other mode of union, by which bodies and spirits
are bound together and become animals, is thoroughly marvellous, and
beyond the comprehension of man, though this it is which is man.

I would indeed say that these spirits will burn without any body of
their own, as that rich man was burning in hell when he exclaimed, "I
am tormented in this flame,"[872] were I not aware that it is aptly
said in reply, that that flame was of the same nature as the eyes he
raised and fixed on Lazarus, as the tongue on which he entreated that
a little cooling water might be dropped, or as the finger of Lazarus,
with which he asked that this might be done,--all of which took place
where souls exist without bodies. Thus, therefore, both that flame in
which he burned and that drop he begged were immaterial, and resembled
the visions of sleepers or persons in an ecstasy, to whom immaterial
objects appear in a bodily form. For the man himself who is in such a
state, though it be in spirit only, not in body, yet sees himself so
like to his own body that he cannot discern any difference whatever.
But that hell, which also is called a lake of fire and brimstone,[873]
will be material fire, and will torment the bodies of the damned,
whether men or devils,--the solid bodies of the one, aerial bodies of
the others; or if only men have bodies as well as souls, yet the evil
spirits, though without bodies, shall be so connected with the bodily
fires as to receive pain without imparting life. One fire certainly
shall be the lot of both, for thus the truth has declared.


   11. _Whether it is just that the punishments of sins last longer
                   than the sins themselves lasted._

Some, however, of those against whom we are defending the city of
God, think it unjust that any man be doomed to an eternal punishment
for sins which, no matter how great they were, were perpetrated in
a brief space of time; as if any law ever regulated the duration
of the punishment by the duration of the offence punished! Cicero
tells us that the laws recognise eight kinds of penalty,--damages,
imprisonment, scourging, reparation,[874] disgrace, exile, death,
slavery. Is there any one of these which may be compressed into a
brevity proportioned to the rapid commission of the offence, so
that no longer time may be spent in its punishment than in its
perpetration, unless, perhaps, reparation? For this requires that
the offender suffer what he did, as that clause of the law says,
"Eye for eye, tooth for tooth."[875] For certainly it is possible
for an offender to lose his eye by the severity of legal retaliation
in as brief a time as he deprived another of his eye by the cruelty
of his own lawlessness. But if scourging be a reasonable penalty for
kissing another man's wife, is not the fault of an instant visited
with long hours of atonement, and the momentary delight punished with
lasting pain? What shall we say of imprisonment? Must the criminal
be confined only for so long a time as he spent on the offence for
which he is committed? or is not a penalty of many years' confinement
imposed on the slave who has provoked his master with a word, or has
struck him a blow that is quickly over? And as to damages, disgrace,
exile, slavery, which are commonly inflicted so as to admit of no
relaxation or pardon, do not these resemble eternal punishments in so
far as this short life allows a resemblance? For they are not eternal
only because the life in which they are endured is not eternal;
and yet the crimes which are punished with these most protracted
sufferings are perpetrated in a very brief space of time. Nor is
there any one who would suppose that the pains of punishment should
occupy as short a time as the offence; or that murder, adultery,
sacrilege, or any other crime, should be measured, not by the
enormity of the injury or wickedness, but by the length of time spent
in its perpetration. Then as to the award of death for any great
crime, do the laws reckon the punishment to consist in the brief
moment in which death is inflicted, or in this, that the offender is
eternally banished from the society of the living? And just as the
punishment of the first death cuts men off from this present mortal
city, so does the punishment of the second death cut men off from
that future immortal city. For as the laws of this present city do
not provide for the executed criminal's return to it, so neither
is he who is condemned to the second death recalled again to life
everlasting. But if temporal sin is visited with eternal punishment,
how, then, they say, is that true which your Christ says, "With
the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you
again?"[876] and they do not observe that "the same measure" refers,
not to an equal space of time, but to the retribution of evil, or, in
other words, to the law by which he who has done evil suffers evil.
Besides, these words could be appropriately understood as referring
to the matter of which our Lord was speaking when He used them, viz.
judgments and condemnation. Thus, if he who unjustly judges and
condemns is himself justly judged and condemned, he receives "with
the same measure" though not the same thing as he gave. For judgment
he gave, and judgment he receives, though the judgment he gave was
unjust, the judgment he receives just.


  12. _Of the greatness of the first transgression, on account of
      which eternal punishment is due to all who are not within the
      pale of the Saviour's grace._

But eternal punishment seems hard and unjust to human perceptions,
because in the weakness of our mortal condition there is wanting
that highest and purest wisdom by which it can be perceived how
great a wickedness was committed in that first transgression. The
more enjoyment man found in God, the greater was his wickedness
in abandoning Him; and he who destroyed in himself a good which
might have been eternal, became worthy of eternal evil. Hence the
whole mass of the human race is condemned; for he who at first gave
entrance to sin has been punished with all his posterity who were in
him as in a root, so that no one is exempt from this just and due
punishment, unless delivered by mercy and undeserved grace; and the
human race is so apportioned that in some is displayed the efficacy
of merciful grace, in the rest the efficacy of just retribution. For
both could not be displayed in all; for if all had remained[877]
under the punishment of just condemnation, there would have been
seen in no one the mercy of redeeming grace. And, on the other hand,
if all had been transferred from darkness to light, the severity of
retribution would have been manifested in none. But many more are
left under punishment than are delivered from it, in order that it
may thus be shown what was due to all. And had it been inflicted on
all, no one could justly have found fault with the justice of Him who
taketh vengeance; whereas, in the deliverance of so many from that
just award, there is cause to render the most cordial thanks to the
gratuitous bounty of Him who delivers.


   13. _Against the opinion of those who think that the punishments
              of the wicked after death are purgatorial._

The Platonists, indeed, while they maintain that no sins are
unpunished, suppose that all punishment is administered for remedial
purposes,[878] be it inflicted by human or divine law, in this life
or after death; for a man may be scathless here, or, though punished,
may yet not amend. Hence that passage of Virgil, where, when he had
said of our earthly bodies and mortal members, that our souls derive--

          "Hence wild desires and grovelling fears,
           And human laughter, human tears;
           Immured in dungeon-seeming night,
           They look abroad, yet see no light,"

goes on to say:

          "Nay, when at last the life has fled,
           And left the body cold and dead,
           E'en then there passes not away
           The painful heritage of clay;
           Full many a long-contracted stain
           Perforce must linger deep in grain.
           So penal sufferings they endure
           For ancient crime, to make them pure;
           Some hang aloft in open view,
           For winds to pierce them through and through,
           While others purge their guilt deep-dyed
           In burning fire or whelming tide."[879]

They who are of this opinion would have all punishments after death
to be purgatorial; and as the elements of air, fire, and water are
superior to earth, one or other of these may be the instrument of
expiating and purging away the stain contracted by the contagion of
earth. So Virgil hints at the air in the words, "Some hang aloft for
winds to pierce;" at the water in "whelming tide;" and at fire in the
expression "in burning fire." For our part, we recognise that even in
this life some punishments are purgatorial,--not, indeed, to those
whose life is none the better, but rather the worse for them, but
to those who are constrained by them to amend their life. All other
punishments, whether temporal or eternal, inflicted as they are on
every one by divine providence, are sent either on account of past
sins, or of sins presently allowed in the life, or to exercise and
reveal a man's graces. They may be inflicted by the instrumentality
of bad men and angels as well as of the good. For even if any one
suffers some hurt through another's wickedness or mistake, the man
indeed sins whose ignorance or injustice does the harm; but God,
who by His just though hidden judgment permits it to be done, sins
not. But temporary punishments are suffered by some in this life
only, by others after death, by others both now and then; but all
of them before that last and strictest judgment. But of those who
suffer temporary punishments after death, all are not doomed to
those everlasting pains which are to follow that judgment; for to
some, as we have already said, what is not remitted in this world is
remitted in the next, that is, they are not punished with the eternal
punishment of the world to come.


      14. _Of the temporary punishments of this life to which the
                     human condition is subject._

Quite exceptional are those who are not punished in this life, but
only afterwards. Yet that there have been some who have reached the
decrepitude of age without experiencing even the slightest sickness,
and who have had uninterrupted enjoyment of life, I know both from
report and from my own observation. However, the very life we mortals
lead is itself all punishment, for it is all temptation, as the
Scriptures declare, where it is written, "Is not the life of man
upon earth a temptation?"[880] For ignorance is itself no slight
punishment, or want of culture, which it is with justice thought so
necessary to escape, that boys are compelled, under pain of severe
punishment, to learn trades or letters; and the learning to which
they are driven by punishment is itself so much of a punishment
to them, that they sometimes prefer the pain that drives them to
the pain to which they are driven by it. And who would not shrink
from the alternative, and elect to die, if it were proposed to
him either to suffer death or to be again an infant? Our infancy,
indeed, introducing us to this life not with laughter but with tears,
seems unconsciously to predict the ills we are to encounter.[881]
Zoroaster alone is said to have laughed when he was born, and that
unnatural omen portended no good to him. For he is said to have been
the inventor of magical arts, though indeed they were unable to
secure to him even the poor felicity of this present life against
the assaults of his enemies. For, himself king of the Bactrians, he
was conquered by Ninus king of the Assyrians. In short, the words
of Scripture, "An heavy yoke is upon the sons of Adam, from the
day that they go out of their mother's womb till the day that they
return to the mother of all things,"[882]--these words so infallibly
find fulfilment, that even the little ones, who by the laver of
regeneration have been freed from the bond of original sin in which
alone they were held, yet suffer many ills, and in some instances
are even exposed to the assaults of evil spirits. But let us not for
a moment suppose that this suffering is prejudicial to their future
happiness, even though it has so increased as to sever soul from
body, and to terminate their life in that early age.


  15. _That everything which the grace of God does in the way of
      rescuing us from the inveterate evils in which we are sunk,
      pertains to the future world, in which all things are made new._

Nevertheless, in the "heavy yoke that is laid upon the sons of Adam,
from the day that they go out of their mother's womb to the day that
they return to the mother of all things," there is found an admirable
though painful monitor teaching us to be sober-minded, and convincing
us that this life has become penal in consequence of that outrageous
wickedness which was perpetrated in Paradise, and that all to which
the New Testament invites belongs to that future inheritance which
awaits us in the world to come, and is offered for our acceptance, as
the earnest that we may, in its own due time, obtain that of which it
is the pledge. Now, therefore, let us walk in hope, and let us by the
spirit mortify the deeds of the flesh, and so make progress from day
to day. For "the Lord knoweth them that are His;"[883] and "as many
as are led by the Spirit of God, they are sons of God,"[884] but by
grace, not by nature. For there is but one Son of God by nature, who
in His compassion became Son of man for our sakes, that we, by nature
sons of men, might by grace become through Him sons of God. For He,
abiding unchangeable, took upon Him our nature, that thereby He might
take us to Himself; and, holding fast His own divinity, He became
partaker of our infirmity, that we, being changed into some better
thing, might, by participating in His righteousness and immortality,
lose our own properties of sin and mortality, and preserve whatever
good quality He had implanted in our nature, perfected now by sharing
in the goodness of His nature. For as by the sin of one man we have
fallen into a misery so deplorable, so by the righteousness of one
Man, who also is God, shall we come to a blessedness inconceivably
exalted. Nor ought any one to trust that he has passed from the one
man to the other until he shall have reached that place where there
is no temptation, and have entered into the peace which he seeks
in the many and various conflicts of this war, in which "the flesh
lusteth against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh."[885]
Now, such a war as this would have had no existence, if human
nature had, in the exercise of free will, continued stedfast in the
uprightness in which it was created. But now in its misery it makes
war upon itself, because in its blessedness it would not continue
at peace with God; and this, though it be a miserable calamity, is
better than the earlier stages of this life, which do not recognise
that a war is to be maintained. For better is it to contend with
vices than without conflict to be subdued by them. Better, I say, is
war with the hope of peace everlasting than captivity without any
thought of deliverance. We long, indeed, for the cessation of this
war, and, kindled by the flame of divine love, we burn for entrance
on that well-ordered peace in which whatever is inferior is for ever
subordinated to what is above it. But if (which God forbid) there
had been no hope of so blessed a consummation, we should still have
preferred to endure the hardness of this conflict, rather than, by
our non-resistance, to yield ourselves to the dominion of vice.


  16. _The laws of grace, which extend to all the epochs of the life
                          of the regenerate._

But such is God's mercy towards the vessels of mercy which He has
prepared for glory, that even the first age of man, that is, infancy,
which submits without any resistance to the flesh, and the second
age, which is called boyhood, and which has not yet understanding
enough to undertake this warfare, and therefore yields to almost
every vicious pleasure (because though this age has the power of
speech,[886] and may therefore seem to have passed infancy, the mind
is still too weak to comprehend the commandment), yet if either of
these ages has received the sacraments of the Mediator, then, although
the present life be immediately brought to an end, the child, having
been translated from the power of darkness to the kingdom of Christ,
shall not only be saved from eternal punishments, but shall not even
suffer purgatorial torments after death. For spiritual regeneration of
itself suffices to prevent any evil consequences resulting after death
from the connection with death which carnal generation forms.[887] But
when we reach that age which can now comprehend the commandment, and
submit to the dominion of law, we must declare war upon vices, and
wage this war keenly, lest we be landed in damnable sins. And if vices
have not gathered strength, by habitual victory they are more easily
overcome and subdued; but if they have been used to conquer and rule,
it is only with difficulty and labour they are mastered. And indeed
this victory cannot be sincerely and truly gained but by delighting
in true righteousness, and it is faith in Christ that gives this. For
if the law be present with its command, and the Spirit be absent with
His help, the presence of the prohibition serves only to increase
the desire to sin, and adds the guilt of transgression. Sometimes,
indeed, patent vices are overcome by other and hidden vices, which are
reckoned virtues, though pride and a kind of ruinous self-sufficiency
are their informing principles. Accordingly vices are then only to be
considered overcome when they are conquered by the love of God, which
God Himself alone gives, and which He gives only through the Mediator
between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who became a partaker of
our mortality that He might make us partakers of His divinity. But few
indeed are they who are so happy as to have passed their youth without
committing any damnable sins, either by dissolute or violent conduct,
or by following some godless and unlawful opinions, but have subdued by
their greatness of soul everything in them which could make them the
slaves of carnal pleasures. The greater number having first become
transgressors of the law that they have received, and having allowed
vice to have the ascendency in them, then flee to grace for help, and
so, by a penitence more bitter, and a struggle more violent than it
would otherwise have been, they subdue the soul to God, and thus give
it its lawful authority over the flesh, and become victors. Whoever,
therefore, desires to escape eternal punishment, let him not only be
baptized, but also justified in Christ, and so let him in truth pass
from the devil to Christ. And let him not fancy that there are any
purgatorial pains except before that final and dreadful judgment. We
must not, however, deny that even the eternal fire will be proportioned
to the deserts of the wicked, so that to some it will be more, and to
others less painful, whether this result be accomplished by a variation
in the temperature of the fire itself, graduated according to every
one's merit, or whether it be that the heat remains the same, but that
all do not feel it with equal intensity of torment.


   17. _Of those who fancy that no men shall be punished eternally._

I must now, I see, enter the lists of amicable controversy with those
tender-hearted Christians who decline to believe that any, or that all
of those whom the infallibly just Judge may pronounce worthy of the
punishment of hell, shall suffer eternally, and who suppose that they
shall be delivered after a fixed term of punishment, longer or shorter
according to the amount of each man's sin. In respect of this matter,
Origen was even more indulgent; for he believed that even the devil
himself and his angels, after suffering those more severe and prolonged
pains which their sins deserved, should be delivered from their
torments, and associated with the holy angels. But the Church, not
without reason, condemned him for this and other errors, especially for
his theory of the ceaseless alternation of happiness and misery, and
the interminable transitions from the one state to the other at fixed
periods of ages; for in this theory he lost even the credit of being
merciful, by allotting to the saints real miseries for the expiation
of their sins, and false happiness, which brought them no true and
secure joy, that is, no fearless assurance of eternal blessedness. Very
different, however, is the error we speak of, which is dictated by
the tenderness of these Christians who suppose that the sufferings of
those who are condemned in the judgment will be temporary, while the
blessedness of all who are sooner or later set free will be eternal.
Which opinion, if it is good and true because it is merciful, will be
so much the better and truer in proportion as it becomes more merciful.
Let, then, this fountain of mercy be extended, and flow forth even to
the lost angels, and let them also be set free, at least after as many
and long ages as seem fit! Why does this stream of mercy flow to all
the human race, and dry up as soon as it reaches the angelic? And yet
they dare not extend their pity further, and propose the deliverance
of the devil himself. Or if any one is bold enough to do so, he does
indeed put to shame their charity, but is himself convicted of error
that is more unsightly, and a wresting of God's truth that is more
perverse, in proportion as his clemency of sentiment seems to be
greater.[888]


 18. _Of those who fancy that, on account of the saints' intercession,
             no man shall be damned in the last judgment._

There are others, again, with whose opinions I have become acquainted
in conversation, who, though they seem to reverence the holy
Scriptures, are yet of reprehensible life, and who accordingly, in
their own interest, attribute to God a still greater compassion towards
men. For they acknowledge that it is truly predicted in the divine word
that the wicked and unbelieving are worthy of punishment, but they
assert that, when the judgment comes, mercy will prevail. For, say
they, God, having compassion on them, will give them up to the prayers
and intercessions of His saints. For if the saints used to pray for
them when they suffered from their cruel hatred, how much more will
they do so when they see them prostrate and humble suppliants? For
we cannot, they say, believe that the saints shall lose their bowels
of compassion when they have attained the most perfect and complete
holiness; so that they who, when still sinners, prayed for their
enemies, should now, when they are freed from sin, withhold from
interceding for their suppliants. Or shall God refuse to listen to so
many of His beloved children, when their holiness has purged their
prayers of all hindrance to His answering them? And the passage of the
psalm which is cited by those who admit that wicked men and infidels
shall be punished for a long time, though in the end delivered from
all sufferings, is claimed also by the persons we are now speaking of
as making much more for them. The verse runs: "Shall God forget to
be gracious? Shall He in anger shut up His tender mercies?"[889] His
anger, they say, would condemn all that are unworthy of everlasting
happiness to endless punishment. But if He suffer them to be punished
for a long time, or even at all, must He not shut up His tender
mercies, which the Psalmist implies He will not do? For he does not
say, Shall He in anger shut up His tender mercies for a long period?
but he implies that He will not shut them up at all.

And they deny that thus God's threat of judgment is proved to be
false even though He condemn no man, any more than we can say that
His threat to overthrow Nineveh was false, though the destruction
which was absolutely predicted was not accomplished. For He did
not say, "Nineveh shall be overthrown if they do not repent and
amend their ways," but without any such condition He foretold that
the city should be overthrown. And this prediction, they maintain,
was true because God predicted the punishment which they deserved,
although He was not to inflict it. For though He spared them on
their repentance, yet He was certainly aware that they would repent,
and, notwithstanding, absolutely and definitely predicted that the
city should be overthrown. This was true, they say, in the truth
of severity, because they were worthy of it; but in respect of the
compassion which checked His anger, so that He spared the suppliants
from the punishment with which He had threatened the rebellious, it
was not true. If, then, He spared those whom His own holy prophet
was provoked at His sparing, how much more shall He spare those
more wretched suppliants for whom all His saints shall intercede?
And they suppose that this conjecture of theirs is not hinted at
in Scripture, for the sake of stimulating many to reformation of
life through fear of very protracted or eternal sufferings, and of
stimulating others to pray for those who have not reformed. However,
they think