Skip to main content

Full text of "A Select library of the Nicene and post-Nicene fathers of the Christian church"

See other formats





*m.>,~.. - .m,* *?* - mr **. 

.:....., . ...'...v...:, .. 

WsSKi * v VfW*>M'HJ 


Presented to the 
library of the 


The Estate of the late 


Head of the 

Department of English 

University Colleoe 




















M ^,,-TKr-n',, 

APR 1 3 1965 

^*S/TV OF VO*<^ 

--. .-- ..- 


Copyright, 1887, by 

Electrotyped and Printed bv 

The Publishers' Book Composition and Electrotyping Co., 

157 & 159 William St., New York. 


This third volume contains the most important doctrinal and moral treatises of St. Augus- 
tin, and presents a pretty complete view of his dogmatics and ethics. 

The most weighty of the doctrinal treatises is that on the Holy Trinity. The Latin original 
[De Trinitate contra Arianos libri quindecini), is contained in the 8th volume of the Benedic- 
tine edition. It is the most elaborate, and probably also the ablest and profoundest patris- 
tic discussion of this central doctrine of the Christian religion, unless we except the Orations 
against the A nans, by Athanasius, " the Father of Orthodoxy," who devoted his life to the 
defense of the Divinity of Christ. Augustin, owing to his defective knowledge of Greek, 
wrote his work independently of the previous treatises of the Eastern Church on that subject. 
He bestowed more time and care upon it than on any other book, except the City of God. 

The value of the present translation, which first appeared in Mr. Clark's edition, 1873, 
has been much increased by the revision, the introductory essay, and the critical notes of a 
distinguished American divine, who is in full sympathy with St. Augustin, and thoroughly 
at home in the history of this dogma. I could not have intrusted it to abler hands than 
those of my friend and colleague, Dr. Shedd. 

The moral treatises (contained in the 6th volume of the Benedictine edition) were first 
translated for the Oxford Library of the Fathers (1847). They contain much that will 
instruct and interest the reader ; while some views will appear strange to those who fail to 
distinguish between different ages and different types of virtue and piety. Augustin shared 
with the Greek and Latin fathers the ascetic preference for voluntary celibacy and poverty. 
He accepted the distinction which dates from the second century, between two kinds of 
morality : a lower morality of the common people, which consists in keeping the ten com- 
mandments; and a higher sanctity of the elect few, which observes, in addition, the evange- 
lical counsels, so called, or the monastic virtues. He practiced this doctrine after his conver- 
sion. He ought to have married the mother of his son; but in devoting himself to the 
priesthood, he felt it his duty to remain unmarried, according to the prevailing spirit of the 
church in his age. His teacher, Ambrose, and his older contemporary, Jerome, went still 
further in the enthusiastic praise of single life. We must admire their power of self-denial and 
undivided consecration, though we may dissent from their theory. 1 

1 On the ascetic tendencies of the second and third centuries, and the gradual introduction of clerical celibacy (which began with 
a decree of Eishop Siricius of Rome, 385), see Schaff, Church Hist., vol. ii. 367-414, and vol. iii. 242-250. 


The asceticism of the early church was a reaction against the awful sexual corruption of 
surrounding heathenism, and with all its excesses it accomplished a great deal of good. It 
prepared the way for Christian family life. The fathers appealed to the example of Christ, 
who in this respect, as the Son of God, stood above ordinary human relations, and the 
advice of St. Paul, which was given in view of "the present distress," in times of persecution. 
They deemed single life better adapted to the undivided service of Christ and his church than 
the married state with its unavoidable secular cares (i Cor. vii. 25 sqq.). Augustin expresses 
this view when he says, on Virginity, 27 : 

" Therefore go on, Saints of God. boys and girls, males and females, unmarried men and 
women ; go on and persevere unto the end. Praise more sweetly the Lord, whom ye think 
on more richly ; hope more happily in Him, whom ye serve more earnestly ; love more 
ardently Him, whom ye please more attentively. With loins girded, and lamps burning, wait 
for the Lord, when He returns from the marriage. Ye shall bring unto the marriage of the 
Lamb a new song, which ye shall sing on your harps." 

The Reformation has abolished the system of monasticism and clerical celibacy, and 
substituted for it, as the normal condition for the clergy as well as the laity, the purity, 
chastity and beauty of family life, instituted by God in Paradise and sanctioned by our 
Saviour's presence at the wedding at Cana. 
New York, March, 1887 



Preface. ill. 


On the Holy Trinity. .......... 1-228 

Translated by the Rev. Arthur West Haddan, B.D. 
Revised and annotated, together with an introductory essay, by 
the Rev. Professor W. G. T. Shedd, D.D. 

The Enchiridion. .......... 237-276 

Translated by Professor J. F. Shaw. 

On the Catechising of the Uninstructed 2S2-314 

Translated by the Rev. Professor S. D. F. S almond, D.D. 

On Faith and the Creed 3 21 ~333 

Translated by the Rev. Professor S. D. F. Salmond, D.D. 

Concerning Faith of Things not Seen. 337-343 

Translated by the Rev. C. L. Cornish, M.A. 

On the Profit of Believing. 347-366 

Translated by the Rev. C. L. Cornish, M.A. 

On the Creed : A Sermon to Catechumens. .... 369-375 

( Translated by the Rev. H. Browne, M.A. 


Of Continence. ........... 379-393 

Translated by the Rev. C. L. Cornish, M.A. 

On the Good of Marriage. 397-4 J 3 

Translated by the Rev. C. L. Cornish, M.A. 

Of Holy Virginity. 417-438 

Translated by the Rev. C. L. Cornish, M.A. 

On the Good of Widowhood 441-454 

Translated by the Rev. C. L. Cornish, M.A. 

On Lying. . . . . . . . . . . 457-477 

Translated by the Rev. H. Browne, M.A. 

To Consentius : Against Lying. . 481-500 

Translated by the Rev. H. Browne, M.A. 

Of the Work of Monks. . 503-524 

Translated by the Rev. H. Browne, M.A. 

On Patience. 527-536 

Translated by the Rev. H. Browne, M.A. 

On Care to be had for the Dead. ... . 539~55 r 

Translated by the Rev. H. Browne, M.A. 

Index to On the Holy Trinity. 555559 

Index to Fifteen Doctrinal and Moral Treatises. ..... 560-578 











By William G. T. Shedd, D.D. 

The doctrine of the Divine Unity is a truth of natural religion; the doctrine of the 
Trinity is a truth of revealed religion. The various systems of natural theism present 
arguments for the Divine existence, unity, and attributes, but proceed no further. They 
do not assert and endeavor to demonstrate that the Supreme Being is three persons in one 
essence. It is because this doctrine is not discoverable by human reason, that the Christian 
church has been somewhat shy of attempts to construct it analytically; or even to defend it 
upon grounds of reason. The keen Dr. South expresses the common sentiment, when he 
remarks that " as he that denies this fundamental article of the Christian religion may lose 
his soul, so he that much strives to understand it may lose his wits." Yet all the truths of 
revelation, like those of natural religion, have in them the element of reason, and are 
capable of a rational defense. At the very least their self-consistence can be shown, and 
objections to them can be answered. And this is a rational process. For one of the 
surest characteristics of reason is, freedom from self contradiction, and consonance with 
acknowledged truths in other provinces of human inquiry and belief. 

It is a remarkable fact, that the earlier forms of Trinitarianism are among the most 
metaphysical and speculative of any in dogmatic history. The controversy with the Arian 
and the* Semi-Arian, brought out a statement and defense of the truth, not only upon 
scriptural but ontological grounds. Such a powerful dialectician as Athanasius, while 
thoroughly and intensely scriptural while starting from the text of scripture, and subjecting 
it to a rigorous exegesis did not hesitate to pursue the Arian and Semi-Arian dialectics to its 
most recondite fallacy in its subtlest recesses. If any one doubts this, let him read the four 
Orations of Athanasius, and his defence of the Nicene Decrees. In some sections of Chris- 
tendom, it has been contended that the doctrine of the Trinity should be received without any 
attempt at all to establish its rationality and intrinsic necessity. In this case, the tenets of 
eternal generation and procession have been regarded as going beyond the Scripture data, 
and if not positively rejected, have been thought to hinder rather than assist faith in three 
divine persons and one God. But the history of opinions shows that such sections of the 
church have not proved to be the strongest defenders of the Scripture statement, nor the 
most successful in keeping clear of the Sabellian, Arian, or even Socinian departure from it. 

Those churches which have followed Scripture most implicitly, and have most feared 
human speculation, are the very churches which have inserted into their creeds the most 
highly analytic statement that has yet been made of the doctrine of the Trinity. The 
Nicene Trinitarianism is incorporated into nearly all the symbols of modern Christendom; 
and this specifies, particularly, the tenets of eternal generation and procession with their 
corollaries. The English Church, to whose great divines, Hooker, Bull, Waterland, and 
Pearson, scientific Trinitarianism owes a very lucid and careful statement, has added the 
Athanasian creed to the Nicene. The Presbyterian churches, distinguished for the close- 
ness of their adherence to the simple Scripture, yet call upon their membership to confess, 


that "in the unity of the Godhead there be three persons, of one substance, power, and 
eternity; God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. The Father is of none, 
neither begotten nor proceeding; the Son is eternally begotten of the Father; the Holy 
Ghost eternally proceeding from the Father and the Son." ' 

The treatise of Augustin upon the Trinity, which is here made accessible to the English 
reader, is one of the ablest produced in the patristic age. The author devoted nearly thirty 
years of his matured life to its composition (a. d. 400 to 428). He was continually touch- 
ing and retouching it, and would have delayed its publication longer than he did, had a 
copy not been obtained surreptitiously and published. He seems to have derived little as- 
sistance from others; for although the great Greek Trinitarians Athanasius, the two Gre- 
gories, and Basil had published their treatises, yet he informs us that his knowledge of 
Greek, though sufficient for understanding the exegetical and practical writings of his breth- 
ren of the Greek Church, was not adequate to the best use of their dialectical and metaphy- 
sical compositions. 2 Accordingly, there is no trace in this work of the writings of the Greek 
Trinitarians, though a substantial agreement with them. The only Trinitarian author to 
whom he alludes is Hilary a highly acute and abstruse Trinitarian. 

In his general position, Augustin agrees with the Nicene creed; but laying more em- 
phasis upon the consubstantiality of the persons, and definitely asserting the procession of 
the Spirit from the Father and Son. Some dogmatic historians seem to imply that he diff- 
ered materially from the Nicene doctrine on the point of subordination. Hagenbach (Smith's 
Ed. 95) asserts that "Augustin completely purified the dogma of the Trinity from the 
older vestiges of subordination;" and adds that "such vestiges are unquestionably to be 
found in the most orthodox Fathers, not only in the East but also in the West." He cites 
Hilary and Athanasius as examples, and quotes the remark of Gieseler, that ' ' the idea of 
a subordination lies at the basis of such declarations." Neander (II. 470, Note 2) says 
that Augustin " kept at a distance everything that bordered on subordinationism. " These 
statements are certainly too sweeping and unqualified. There are three kinds of subordi- 
nation: the filial or trinitarian; the theanthropic; and the Arian. The first is taught, and 
the second implied, in the Nicene creed. The last is denied and excluded. Accordingly, 
dogmatic historians like Petavius, Bull, Waterland, and Pearson, contend that the Nicene 
creed, in affirming the filial, but denying the Arian subordination; in teaching subordina- 
tion as to person and relationship, but denying it as to essence; enunciates a revealed truth, 
and that this is endorsed by all the Trinitarian fathers, Eastern and Western. And there 
certainly can be no doubt that Augustin held this view. He maintains, over and over 
again, that Sonship as a relationship is second and subordinate to Fatherhood; that while a 
Divine Father and a Divine Son must necessarily be of the very same nature and grade of 
being, like a human father and a human son, yet the latter issues from the former, not the 
former from the latter. Augustus's phraseology on this point is as positive as that of 
Athanasius, and in some respects even more bold and capable of misinterpretation. He 
denominates the Father the "beginning" (principium) of the Son, and the Father and Son 
the "beginning" (principium) of the Holy Spirit. "The Father is the beginning of the 
whole divinity, or if it is better so expressed, deity." IV. xx. 29. " In their mutual rela- 
tion to one another in the Trinity itself, if the begetter is a beginning (principium) in rela- 

1 Westminster Confession, II. iii. 

2 That Augustin had considerable acquaintance with Greek is proved by his many references and citations throughout his writings. 
In this work, see XII. vii. n; XII. x iv. 22 ; XIII. x. 14; XIV. i. 1; XV. ix. 15. His statement in III. i. 1, is, that he was " not sff 
familiar with the Greek tongue (Greece lingua non sit nobis tantus hab-itus), as to be able to read and understand the books that 
treat of such [metaphysical] topics." In V. viii. lo^he remarks that he does not comprehend the distinction which the Greek Trinita- 
rians make between ovaia and VTrdoraais; which shows that he had not read the work of Gregory of Nyssa, in which it is defined 
with great clearness. One may have a good knowledge of a language for general purposes, and yet be unfamiliar with its philosophi- 
cal nomenclature. 


tion to that which he begets, the Father is a beginning in relation to the Son, because he 
begets Him." V. xiv. 15. Since the Holy Spirit proceeds from both Father and Son, 
" the Father and Son are a beginning (principium) of the Holy Spirit, not two beginnings." 
V. xiv. 15. Compare also V. xiii.; X. iv. ; and annotations pp. Augustin em- 

ploys this term " beginning" only in relation to the person, not to the essence. There is no 
"beginning," or source, when the essence itself is spoken of. Consequently, the "subor- 
dination" (implied in a " beginning" by generation and spiration) is not the Arian subordi- 
nation, as to essence, but the trinitarian subordination, as to person and relation. 1 

Augustin starts with the assumption that man was made in the image of the triune God, 
the God of revelation; not in the image of the God of natural religion, or the untriune deity 
of the nations. Consequently, it is to be expected that a trinitarian analogue can be found 
in his mental constitution. If man is God's image, he will show traces of it in every re- 
spect. All acknowledge that the Divine unity, and all the communicable attributes, have 
their finite correspondants in the unity and attributes of the human mind. But the Latin 
father goes further than this. This, in his view, is not the whole of the Divine image. 
When God says, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness" (Gen. i. 26), Au- 
gustin understands these words to be spoken by the Trinity, and of the Trinity by and of 
the true God, the God of revelation: the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, one God. He de- 
nies that this is merely the pluralis excellentice, and that the meaning of these words would 
be expressed by a change of the plural to the singular, and to the reading, " Let me make 
man in my image, after my likeness." " For if the Father alone had made man without 
the Son, it would not have been written, 'Let us make man in our image, after our like- 
ness/" City of God XVI. vi. ; Trinity I. vii. 14. In Augustin's opinion, the Old Tes- 
tament declaration that God is a unity, does not exclude the New Testament declaration 
that he is a trinity. " For" says he, " that which is written, ' Hear O Israel: the Lord our 
God is one Lord ' ought certainly not to be understood as if the Son were excepted, or the 
Holy Spirit were excepted; which one Lord our God we rightly call our Father, as regene- 
rating us by his grace." Trinity V. xi. 12. How far Moses understood the full meaning 
of the Divine communication and instruction, is one thing. Who it really and actually was 
that made the communication to him, is another. Even if we assume, though with insuffic- 
ient reason for so doing, that Moses himself had no intimation of the Trinity, it does not 
follow that it was not the Trinity that inspired him, and all the Hebrew prophets. The 
apostle Peter teaches that the Old Testament inspiration was a Trinitarian inspiration, when 
he says that "the prophets who prophesied of the grace that should come, searched what 
the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand of the suffer- 
ings of Christ, and the glory that should follow." (1 Pet. i. 10, n). 

In asserting, however, that an image of the Trinity exists in man's nature, Augustin 
is careful to observe that it is utterly imperfect and inadequate. He has no thought or ex- 
pectation of clearing up the mystery by any analogy whatever. He often gives expression 
to his sense of the inscrutability and incomprehensibility of the Supreme Being, in language 
of the most lowly and awe-struck adoration. " I pray to our Lord God himself, of whom 
we ought always to think, and yet of whom we are not able to think worthily, and whom no 
speech is sufficient to declare, that He will grant me both help for understanding and ex- 
plaining that which I design, and pardon if in anything I offend." V. i. 1. ' O Lord the 
one God, God the Trinity, whatever I have said in these books that is of Thine, may they 
acknowledge who are Thine; if anything of my own, may it be pardoned both by Thee and 
by those who are Thine. Amen." XV. xxviii. 

1 For an analysis of Augustin's Trinitarianism, see Bauv : Dreieinigkeitslehre I. 828-885 ; Gangauf : Des A ugustinus speculative 
Lehre von Gott dem Dreieinigcn; Schaff: History, iii. 684 sq. 


Augustin's method in this work is (i.) The exegetical; (2.) The rational. He first 
deduces the doctrine of the Trinity from Scripture, by a careful collation and combination 
of the texts, and then defends it against objections, and illustrates it by the analogies which 
he finds in nature generally, and in the human mind particularly. The Scripture argument 
is contained in the first seven books; the rational in the last eight. The first part is, of 
course, the most valuable of the two. Though the reader may not be able to agree with 
Augustin in his interpretation of some Scripture passages, particularly some which he cites 
from the Old Testament, he will certainly be impressed by the depth, acumen, and accuracy 
with which the Latin father reaches and exhausts the meaning of the acknowledged trinitarian 
texts. Augustin lived in an age when the Scriptures and the Greek and Roman classics 
were nearly all that the student had, upon which to expend his intellectual force. There 
was considerable metaphysics, it is true, but no physics, and little mathematics. There was 
consequently a more undivided and exclusive attention bestowed upon revealed religion as 
embodied in the Scriptures, and upon ethics and natural religion as contained in the classics, 
than has ever been bestowed by any subsequent period in Christendom. One result was 
that scripture was expounded by scripture; things spiritual by things spiritual. This appears 
in the exegetical part of this treatise. Augustin reasons out of the Scriptures; not out of 
metaphysics or physics. 

The second, or speculative division of the work, is that which will be most foreign to 
the thinking of some trinitarians. In it they will find what seems to them to be a philoso- 
phy, rather than an interpretation of the word of God. We shall, therefore, in this intro- 
ductory essay, specify some of the advantages, as it seems to us, of the general method of 
defending and illustrating the doctrine of the Trinity employed by Augustin and the pat- 
ristic Trinitarians. 

1. Fuller justice is done to Scripture by this method. Revelation denominates the 
first trinitarian person the Father, the second the Son, the third the Spirit. These terms 
are literal, not metaphorical; because the relations denoted by them are eternally 
in the essence. Scripture clearly teaches that the Father is such from eternity. 
Consequently, " paternity " (implied in the name Father) can no more be ascribed 
to the first person of the Godhead in a figurative sense, than eternity can be. For 
a person that is a father must be so in relation to a son. No son, no father, Conse- 
quently, an eternal Father implies an eternal Son. And the same reasoning holds true of the 
relation of the Father and Son to the Spirit. The terms Father, Son, and Spirit, in the bap- 
tismal formula and the apostolic benediction, must designate primary and eternal distinc- 
tions. The rite that initiates into the kingdom of God, certainly would not be administered 
in three names that denote only assumed and temporal relations of God; nor would bless- 
ings for time and eternity be invoked from God under such secondary names. 

Hence, these trinal names given to God in the baptismal formula and the apostolic bene- 
diction, actually force upon the trinitarian theologian, the ideas of paternity, generation, . 
filiation, spiration, and procession. He cannot reflect upon the implication of these names 
without forming these ideas, and finding himself necessitated to concede their literal valid- 
ity and objective reality. He cannot say that the first person is the Father, and then deny 
that he "begets." He cannot say that the second person is the Son, and then deny that he 
is "begotten." He cannot say that the third person is the Spirit, and then deny that he 
'proceeds" by "spiration" (spiritus quia spiratus) from the Father and Son. When 
therefore Augustin, like the primitive fathers generally, endeavors to illustrate this eternal, 
necessary, and constitutional energizing and activity {opera ad intra) in the Divine Essence, 
whereby the Son issues from the Father and the Spirit from Father and Son, by the eman- 
ation of sunbeam from sun, light from light, river from fountain, thought from mind, word 


from thought when the ternaries from nature and the human mind are introduced to eluci- 
date the Trinity nothing more is done than when by other well-known and commonly 
adopted analogies the Divine unity, or omniscence, or omnipresence, is sought to be illus- 
trated. There is no analogy taken from the finite that will clear up the mystery of the in- 
finite whether it be the mystery of the eternity of God, or that of his trinity. But, at the 
same time, by the use of these analogies the mind is kept close up to the Biblical term or 
statement, and is not allowed to content itself with only a half-way understanding of it. Such 
a method brings thoroughness and clearness into the interpretation of the Word of God. 

2. A second advantage in this method is, that it shows the doctrine of the Trinity to be 
inseparable from that of the Unity of God. The Deistical conception of the Divine unity 
is wholly different from the Christian. The former is that of natural religion, formed by 
the unassisted human mind in its reflection upon the Supreme Being. The latter is that of 
revealed religion, given to the human mind by inspiration. The Deistical unity is mere 
singleness. The Christian unity is a trinality. The former is a unit. The latter a true 
unity, and union. The former is meagre, having few contents. The latter is a pleni- 

.tnde what St. Paul denominates " the fullness of the Godhead " {rdiipui(iazr i <i6e6TrjTo<s). 
Coloss. i. 9. 

It follows, consequently, that the Divine unity cannot be discussed by itself without 
reference to trinality, as the Deist and the Socinian endeavor to do. 1 Trinality belongs as 
necessarily and intrinsically to the Divine unity as eternity does to the Divine essence. 
"If," says Athanasius (Oration I. 17) "there was not a Blessed Trinity from eternity, but 
only a unity existed first, which at length became a Trinity, it follows that the Holy Trinity 
must have been at one time imperfect, and at another time entire: imperfect until the Son 
came to be created, as the Arians maintain, and then entire afterwards." If we follow the 
teachings of Revelation, and adopt the revealed idea of God, we may not discuss mere and 
simple unity, nor mere and simple trinality; but we must discuss unity in trinality, and 
trinality in unity. We may not think of a monad which originally, and in the order either 
of nature or of time, is not trinal, but becomes so. The instant there is a monad, there 
is a triad; the instant there is a unity, there are Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The 
Christian Trinity is not that of Sabellius: namely, an original untrinal monad that subse- 
quently, in the order of nature if not of time, becomes a triad; whereby four factors are 
introduced into the problem. God is not one and three, but one in three. There is no pri- 
mary monad, as such, and without trinality, to which the three distinctions are secondary 
adjuncts. The monad, or essence, never exists in and by itself as untrinalized, as in the 
Sabellian scheme. It exists only" as in the three Persons; only as trinalized. The Essence, 
consequently, is not prior to the Persons, either in the order of nature or of time, nor sub- 
sequent to them, but simultaneously and eternally in and with them. 

The Primitive church took this ground with confidence. Unity and trinality were in- 
separable in their view. The term God meant for them the Trinity. A " theologian," in 
their nomenclature, was a trinitarian. They called the Apostle John 6 OeoAop^, because 
he was enlightened by the Holy Spirit to make fuller disclosures, in the preface to his Gos- 
pel, concerning the deity of the Logos and the doctrine of the Trinity, than were the other 
evangelists. And they gave the same epithet to Gregory Nazianzum, because of the acumen 
and insight of his trinitarian treatises. This work of Augustin adopts the same position, 
and defends it with an ability second to none. 

3. A third advantage of this method of illustrating the doctrine of the Trinity is, that 
it goes to show that the personality of God depends upon the trinality of the Divine Essence 


i The Mohammedan conception of the Divine Unity, also, is deistic. In energetically rejecting the doctrine of the Trinity, the Mo- 
hammedan is the Oriental Unitarian. 


that if there are no interior distinctions in the Infinite Being, he cannot be self-contem- 
plative, self-cognitive, or self-communing. _ 

This is an important and valuable feature of the method in question, when viewed in 
its bearing upon the modern assertion that an Infinite Being cannot be personal. This 
treatise of Augustin does not develope the problem upon this point, but it leads to it. In 
illustrating the Trinity by the ternaries in nature, and especially in the human mind, he 
aims only^to show that trinality of a certain kind does not conflict with unity of a certain 
kind. Memory, understanding, and will are three faculties, yet one soul. Augustin is con- 
tent with elucidating the Divine unity by such illustrations. The elucidation of the Divine 
personality by them, was not attempted in his day nor in the Medieval and Reformation 
churches. The conflict with pantheism forced this point upon the attention of the Modern 


At the same time, these Christian fathers who took the problem of the Trinity into the 
centre of the Divine essence, and endeavored to show its necessary grounds there, prepared 
the way for showing, by the same method, that trinality is not only consistent with person- 
ality, but is actually indispensable to it. In a brief essay like this, only the briefest hints 
can be indicated. 

If God is personal, he is self-conscious. Self-consciousness is, (i), the power which a 
rational spirit, or mind, has of making itself its own object; and, (2), of knowing that it 
has done so. If the first step is taken, and not the second, there is no self-consciousness. 
For the subject would not know that the object is the self. And the second step cannot be 
taken, if the first has not been. These two acts of a rational spirit, or mind, involve three 
distinctions in it, or three modes of it. The whole mind as a subject contemplates the very 
same whole mind as an object. Here are two distinctions, or modes of one mind. And 
the very same whole mind perceives that the contemplating subject and the contemplated 
object are one and the same essence or being. Here are three modes of one mind, each 
distinct from the others, yet all three going to make up the one self-conscious spirit. Un- 
less there were these three distinctions, there would be no self-knowledge. Mere single- 
ness, a mere subject without an object, is incompatible with self-consciousness. 

In denying distinctions in the Divine Essence, while asserting its personality, Deism, 
with Socinianism and Mohammedanism, contends that God can be self-knowing and self- 
communing as a single subject without an object. The controversy, consequently, is as 
much between the deist and the psychologist, as it is between him and the trinitarian. It 
is as much a question whether his view of personality and self-consciousness is correct, as 
whether his interpretation of Scripture is. For the dispute involves the necessary condi- 
tions of personality. If a true psychology does not require trinality in a spiritual essence 
in order to its own self-contemplation, and self-knowledge, and self-communion, then the 
deist is correct; but if it does, then he is in error. That the study of self-consciousness in 
modern metaphysics has favored trinitarianism, is unquestionable. Even the spurious trin- 
itarianism which has grown up in the schools of the later pantheism goes to show, that a 
trinal constitution is requisite in an essence, in order to explain self-consciousness, and that 
absolute singleness, or the absence of all interior distinctions, renders the problem insoluble. 1 

But the authority of Scripture is higher than that of psychology, and settles the matter. 
Revelation unquestionably discloses a deity who is " blessed forever;" whose blessedness 
is independent of the universe which he has made from nonentity, and who must therefore 
find all the conditions of blessedness within himself alone. He is blessed from eternity, in 
his own self-contemplation and self-communion. He does not need the universe in order 

1 " That view of the divine nature which makes it inconsistent with the Incarnation and Trinity is philosophically imperfect, as 
well as scnpturally incorrect." H. B. Smith: Faith and Philosophy, p. 191. 


that he may have an object which he can know, which he can love, and over which he can 
rejoice. "The Father knoweth the Son," from all eternity (Matt. xi. 27); and " loveth 
the Son," from all eternity (John iii. 35); and " glorifieth the Son," from all eternity (John 
xvii. 5). Prior to creation, the Eternal Wisdom " was by Him as one brought up with Him, 
and was daily His delight, rejoicing always before Him" (Prov. viii. 30); and the Eternal 
Word "was in the beginning with God" (John i. 2); and "the Only Begotten Son (or God 
Only Begotten, as the uncials read) was eternally in the bosom of the Father" (John i. 18). 

Here is society within the Essence, and wholly independent of the universe; and com- 
munion and blessedness resulting therefrom. But this is impossible to an essence without 
personal distinctions. Not the singular Unit of the deist, but the plural Unity of the trin- 
itarian, explains this. A subject without an object could not know. What is there to bs 
known ? Could not love. What is there to be loved ? Could not rejoice. What is there 
to rejoice over ? And the object cannot be the universe. The infinite and eternal object of 
God's infinite and eternal knowledge, love, and joy, cannot be his creation: because this is 
neither eternal, nor infinite. There was a time when the universe was not; and if God's self- 
consciousness and blessedness depends upon the universe, there was a time when God was 
neither self-conscious nor blessed. The objective God for the subjective God must, there- 
fore, be very God of very God, begotten not made, the eternal Son of the eternal Father. 

The same line of reasoning applies to the thifd trinitarian person, but there is no need 
of going through with it. The history of opinion shows, that if the first two eternal distinc- 
tions are conceded, there is no denial of the reality and eternity of the third. ' 

The analogue derived from the nature of finite personality and self-consciousness has 
one great advantage namely, that it illustrates the independence of the Divine personality 
and self-consciousness. The later pantheism (not the earlier of Spinoza) constructs a kind 
of trinity, but it is dependent upon the universe. God distinguishes Himself from the 
world, and thereby finds the object required for the subject. But this implies either that 
the world is eternal, or else, that God is not eternally self-conscious. The Christian trini- 
tarianism, on the contrary, finds all the media and conditions of self-consciousness within 
the Divine Essence. God distinguishes himself from himself, not from the universe. The 
eternal Father beholds himself in the eternal Son, his alter ego, the "express image of his 
own person" (Heb. i. 3). God does not struggle gradually into self-consciousness, as in the 
Hegelian scheme, by the help of the universe. Before that universe was in existence, and 
in the solitude of his own eternity and self-sufficiency, he had within his own essence all the 
media and conditions of self-consciousness. And after the worlds were called into being, 
the Divine personality remained the same immutable and infinite self-knowledge, unaffected 
by anything in his handiwork. 

" O Light Eterne, sole in thyself that dwellest, 
Sole knowest thyself, and known unto thyself, 
And knowing, lovest and smilest on thyself ! " Dante: Paradise xxxiii. 125. 

While, however, this analogue from the conditions of finite personality approaches 
nearer to the eternal distinctions in the Godhead than does that ternary which Augustin 
employs namely, memory, understanding, and will yet like all finite analogies to the In- 
finite it is inadequate. For the subject-ego, object-ego, and ego-percipient, are not so 
essentially distinct and completely objective to each other, as are the Father, Son, and 
Holy Spirit. They cannot employ the personal pronouns in reference to each other. 
They cannot reciprocally perform acts and discharge functions towards each other, like the 

1 Upon the necessary conditions of self consciousness in God, see Miiller: On Sin, II. 136 sq. (Urwick's Trans); Dorner: Christian 
Doctrine, I. 412-465; Christlieb: Modern Doubt, Lecture III.; Kurtz: Sacred History, 2; Billroth: Religions Philosophic, 89,90; 
Wilberforce: Incarnation, Chapter III; Kidd: On the Trinity, with Candlish's Introduction; Shedd: History 0/ Doctrine, I. 365-368. 


Divine Three. Revelation is explicit upon this point. It specifies at least the following 
twelve actions and relations, that incontestably prove the conscious distinctness and mutual 
objectivity of the persons of the Trinity. One divine person loves another (John iii. 35); 
dwells in another (John xiv. 10, 11); knows another (Matt., xi. 27); sends another (Gen. 
xvi. 7); suffers from another (Zech. xiii. 7-13); addresses another (Heb. i. 8); is the way 
to another (John xiv. 6); speaks of another (Luke iii. 22;) glorifies another (John xvii. 5); 
confers with another (Gen. i. 26; xi. 7); plans with another (Is. ix. 6): rewards another 

(Phil. ii. 5-11; Heb. ii. 9). 

Such are some of the salient features of this important treatise upon the Trinity. It 
has its defects; but they pertain to the form more thar to the matter; to arrangement and 
style more than to dogma. Literary excellence is no. the forte of the patristic writers. 
Hardly any of them are literary artists. Lactantius among the Latins, and Chrysostom 
among the Greeks, are almost the only fathers that have rhetorical grace. And none of 
them approach the beauty of the classic writers, as seen in the harmomous flow and diction 
of Plato, and the exquisite finish of Horace and Catullus. 

Augustin is prolix, repetitious, and sometimes leaves his theme to discuss cognate but 
distantly related subjects. This appears more in the last eight chapters, which are specula- 
tive, than in the first seven, which are scriptural. The material in this second division is 
capable of considerable compression. The author frequently employs two illustrations when 
one would suffice, and three or more when two are enough. He discusses many themes 
which are not strictly trinitarian. 

Yet the patient student will derive some benefit from this discursiveness. He will find, 
for example, in this treatise on the Trinity, an able examination of the subject of miracles 
(Book III); of creation ex nihilo (III. ix); of vicarious atonement (IV. vii-xiv); of the fac- 
ulty of memory (XI. x); and, incidentally, many other high themes are touched upon. Be- 
fore such a contemplative intellect as that of Augustin, all truth lay spread out like the 
ocean, with no limits and no separating chasms. Everything is connected and fluid. Con- 
sequently, one doctrine inevitably leads to and merges in another, and the eager and in- 
tense inquirer rushes forward, and outward, and upward, and downward, in every direction. 
The only aim is to see all that can be seen, and state all that can be stated. The neglect 
of the form, and the anxiety after the substance, contribute to the discursiveness. Caring 
little for proportion in method, and nothing for elegance in diction, the writer, though 
bringing forth a vast amount of truth, does it at the expense of clearness, conciseness, and 
grace. Such is the case with the North African father one of the most voluminous and 
prolix of authors, yet one of the most original, suggestive, and fertilizing of any. 

And this particular treatise is perhaps as pregnant and suggestive as any that Augustin, 
or any other theologian, ever composed. The doctrine of the Trinity is the most immense 
of all the doctrines of religion. It is the foundation of theology. Christianity, in the last 
analysis, is Trinitarianism. Take out of the New Testament the persons of the Father, the 
Son, and the Holy Spirit, and there is no God left. Take out of the Christian conscious- 
ness the thoughts and affections that relate to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, 
and there is no Christian consciousness left. The Trinity is the constitutive idea of the 
evangelical theology, and the formative idea of the evangelical experience. The immen- 
sity of the doctrine makes it of necessity a mystery; but a mystery which like night enfolds 
in its unfathomed depths the bright stars points of light, compared with which there is no 
light so keen and so glittering. Mysterious as it is, the Trinity of Divine Revelation is the 
doctrine that holds in it all the hope of man; for it holds within it the infinite pity of the In- 
carnation and the infinite mercy of the Redemption. 

And it shares its mysteriousness with the doctrine of the Divine Eternity. It is diffi- 


cult to say which is most baffling to human comprehension, the all-comprehending, simul- 
taneous, successionless consciousness of the Infinite One, or his trinal personality. Yet no 
theist rejects the doctrine of the Divine eternity because of its mystery. The two doctrines are 
antithetic and correlative. On one of the Northern rivers that flows through a narrow chasm 
whose depth no plummet has sounded, there stand two cliffs fronting each other, shooting 
their pinnacles into the blue ether, and sending their roots down to the foundations of the 
earth. They have named them Trinity and Eternity. So stand, antithetic and confront- 
ing, in the Christian scheme, the trinity and eternity of God. 

The translation of this treatise is the work of the Rev. Arthur West Haddan, Hon. 
Canon of Worcester, who, according to a note of the publisher, died while it was passing 
through the press. It has been compared with the original, and a considerable number of 
alterations made. The treatise is exceedingly difficult to render into English probably the 
most so of any in the author's writings. The changes in some instances were necessary 
from a misconception of the original; but more often for the purpose of making the mean- 
ing of the translator himself more clear. It is believed that a comparison between the orig- 
inal and revised translation will show that the latter is the more intelligible. At the same 
time, the reviser would not be too confident that in every instance the exact meaning of 
Augustin has been expressed, by either the translator or reviser. 

The annotations of the reviser upon important points in the treatise, it is hoped, will 
assist the reader in understanding Augustin's reasoning, and also throw some light upon the 
doctrine of the Trinity. 

William G. T. Shedd. 

New York, Feb. i, 1887. 


The history of St. Augustin's treatise on the Trinity, as gathered by Tillemont and others from his own 
allusions to it, may be briefly given. It is placed by him in his Retractations among the works written (which in 
the present case, it appears, must mean begun) in a.d. 400. In letters of a.d. 410, 414, and at the end of a.d. 
415 {Ad Consentium, Ep. 120, and two Ad Evodium, Epp. 162, 169), it is referred to as still unfinished and 
unpublished. But a letter of A.D. 412 {Ad Marcellinum, Ep. 143) intimates that friends were at that time im- 
portuning him, although without success, to complete and publish it. And the letter to Aurelius, which was 
sent to that bishop with the treatise itself when actually completed, informs us that a portion of it, w T hile it was 
still unrevised and incomplete, was in fact surreptitiously made public, a proceeding which the letters above 
cited postpone apparently until at least after a.d. 415. It was certainly still in hand in a.d. 416, inasmuch as 
in Book XIII. a quotation occurs from the 12th Book of the Be Civitate Bei; and another quotation in Book 
XV., irom the 90th lecture on St. John, indicates most probably a date of at least a year later, viz. a.d. 417. 
The Retractations, which refer to it, are usually dated not later than a.d. 428. The letter to Bishop Aurelius 
also informs us that the work was many years in progress, and was begun in St. Augustin's early manhood, and 
finished in his old age. We may infer from this evidence that it was written by him between a.d. 400, when he 
was forty-six years old, and had been Bishop of Hippo about four years, and a.d. 428 at the latest; but prob- 
ably it was published ten or twelve years before this date. He writes of it, indeed, himself, as if the " nonum 
prematnr in annum " very inadequately represented the amount of deliberate and patient thought which a sub- 
ject so profound and so sacred demanded, and which he had striven to give to it; and as if, even at the very 
last, he shrank from publishing his work, and was only driven to do so in order to remedy the mischief of its 
partial and unauthorized publication. 

His motive for writing on the subject may be learned from the treatise itself. It was not directed against 
any individual antagonist, or occasioned by any particular controversial emergency. In fact, his labors upon it 
were, he says, continually interrupted by the distraction of such controversies. Certain ingenious and subtle 
theories respecting types or resemblances of the Holy Trinity, traceable in human nature as being the image of 
God, seemed to him to supply, not indeed a logical proof, but a strong rational presumption, of the truth of the 
doctrine itself; and thus to make it incumbent upon him to expound and unfold them in order to meet rationaliz- 
ing objectors upon (so to say) their own ground. He is careful not to deal with these analogies or images as if 
they either constituted a purely argumentative proof or exhausted the full meaning of the doctrine, upon both 
which assumptions such speculations have at all times been the fruitful parent both of presumptious theorizing 
and of grievous heresy. But he nevertheless employs them more affirmatively than would perhaps have been 
the case. While modern theologians would argue negatively, from the triplicity of independent faculties, 
united, nevertheless, in the unity of a single human person, that any presumption of reason against the Trinity 
of persons in 'the Godhead is thereby, if not removed, at least materially and enormously lessened, St. Augustin 
seems to argue positively from analogous grounds, as though they constituted a direct intimation of the doctrine 
itself. But he takes especial pains, at the same time, to dwell upon the incapacity of human thought to fathom 
the depths of the nature of God; and he carefully prefaces his reasonings by a statement of the Scripture evi- 
dence of the catholic doctrine as a matter of faith and not of reason, and by an explanation of difficult texts 
upon the subject. One of the most valuable portions, indeed, of the treatise is the eloquent and profound ex- 
position given in this part of it of the rule of interpretation to be applied to Scripture language respecting the 
person of our Lord. It should be noticed, however, that a large proportion of St. Augustin's scriptural exege- 



founded upon a close verbal exposition of the old Latin version, and is frequently not borne out by 
the original text. And the rule followed in rendering Scripture texts in the present translation has been, accor- 
dingly, wherever the argument in the context rests upon the variations of the old Latin, there to translate the 
words as St. Augustin gives them, while adhering otherwise to the language of the authorized English version. 
The reader's attention may allowably be drawn to the language of Book V. ex., and to its close resemblance to 
some of the most remarkable phrases of the Athanasian Creed, and again to the striking passage respecting 
miracles in Book III. C.V., and to that upon the nature of God at the beginning of Book V. ; the last named of 
which seems to have suggested one of the profoundest passages in the profoundest of Dr. Newman's University 
Sermons (p. 353, ed. 1843). It may be added, that the writings of the Greek Fathers on the subject were, if 
not wholly unknown, yet unfamiliar to Augustin, who quotes directly only the Latin work of Hilary of 


It remains to say, that the translation here printed was made about four years since by a friend of the writer 
of this preface, and that the latter's share in the work has been that of thoroughly revising and correcting it, and 
of seeing it through the press. He is therefore answerable for the work as now published. 

Nov. 5, 1872. 

In the Retractations (ii. 15) Augustin speaks of this work in the following terms: 

" I spent some years in writing fifteen books concerning the Trinity, which is God. When, however, I 
had not yet finished the thirteenth Book, and some who were exceedingly anxious to have the work were kept 
waiting longer than they could bear, it was stolen from me in a less correct state than it either could or would 
have been had it appeared when I intended. And as soon as I discovered this, having other copies of it, I had 
determined at first not to publish it myself, but to mention what had happened in the matter in some other 
work; but at the urgent request of brethren, whom I could not refuse, I corrected it as much as I thought fit, 
and finished and published it, with the addition, at the beginning, of a letter that I had written to the vener- 
able Aurelius, Bishop of Carthage, in which I set forth, in the way of prologue, what had happened, what I had 
intended to do of myself, and what love of my brethren had forced me to do." 

The letter to which he here alludes is the following : 

" To the most blessed Lord, whom he reveres with most sincere love, to his holy brother and fellow- priest, 
Pope Aurelius, Augustin sends health in the Lord. 

" I began as a very young man, and have published in my old age, some books concerning the Trinity, 
who is the supreme and true God. I had in truth laid the work aside, upon discovering that it had been prema- 
turely, or rather surreptitiously, stolen from me before I had completed it, and before I had revised and put the 
finishing touches to it, as had been my intention. For I had not designed to publish the Books one by one, 
but all together, inasmuch as the progress of the inquiry led me to add the later ones to those which precede 
them. When, therefore, these people had hindered the fulfillment of my purpose (in that some of them had ob- 
tained access to the work before I intended), I had given over dictating it, with the idea of making my com- 
plaint public in some other work that I might write, in order that whoso could might know that the Books had 
not been published by myself, but had been taken away from my possession before they were in my own judg- 
ment fit for publication. Compelled, however, by the eager demands of many of my brethren, and above all 
by your command, I have taken the pains, by God's help, to complete the work, laborious as it is; and as now 
corrected (not as I wished, but as I could, lest the Books should differ very widely from those which had surrep- 
titiously got into people's hands), I have sent them to your Reverence by my very dear son and fellow-deacon, 
and have allowed them to be heard, copied, and read by every one that pleases. Doubtless, if I could ha 
fulfilled my original intention, although they would have contained the same sentiments, they would have been 
worked out much more thoroughly and clearly, so far as the difficulty of unfolding so profound a subject, and 
so far, too, as my own powers, might have allowed. There are some persons, however, who have the first four, 
or rather five, Books without the prefaces, and the twelfth with no small part of its later chapters omitted. But 
these, if they please and can, will amend the whole, if they become acquainted with the present edition. At 
any rate, I have to request that you will order this letter to be prefixed separately, but at the beginning of the 
Books. Farewell. Pray for me." 



Introductory Essay, 3 

Translator's Preface, , 13 


The unity and equality of the Trinity are demonstrated out of the Scriptures; and the true interpretation is 

given of those texts which are wrongly alleged against the equality of the Son, 17 


The equality of the Trinity maintained against objections drawn from those texts which speak of the send- 
ing of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 37 

The appearances of God to the Old Testament saints are discussed, 55 


Augustin explains for what the Son of God was sent; but, however, that the Son of God, although made 
less by being sent, is not therefore less because the Father sent Him; nor yet the Holy Spirit less be- 
cause both the Father sent Him and the Son 69 


He proceeds to refute those arguments which the heretics put forward, not out of the Scriptures, but from 
their own conceptions. And first he refutes the objection, that to beget and to be begotten, or that to 
be begotten and not-begotten, being different, are therefore different substances, and shows that these 
things are spoken of God relatively, and not according to. substance, 87 


In reply to the argument alleged against the equality of the Son from the apostle's words, saying that Christ 
is the <; power of God and the wisdom of God," he propounds the question whether the Father Him- 
self is not wisdom. But deferring for a while the answer to this, he adduces further proof of the unity 
and equality of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; and that God ought to be said and believed 
to be a Trinity, not triple (triplicem). And he adds an explanation of the saying of Hilary Eternity 
in the Father, Appearance in the Image, and Use in the Gift 97 


He resolves the question he had deferred, and teaches us that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit is 
one power and one wisdom, no otherwise than one God and one essence. And he then inquires how it 
is that, in speaking of God, the Latins say, One essence, three persons; but the Greeks, One essence, 
three substances or hypostases, 104 


He advances reasons to show not only that the Father is not greater than the Son, but that neither are both 
together anything greater than the Holy Spirit, nor any two together in the same Trinity anything 
greater than one, nor all three together anything greater than each singly. He also intimates that the 
nature of God may be understood from our understanding of truth, from our knowledge of the supreme 
good, and from our implanted love of righteousness; but above all, that our knowledge of God is to be 
sought through love, in which he notices a trio of things which contains a trace of the Trinity, . . .115 




He instructs us that there is a kind of trinity discernible in man, who is the image of God, viz. the mind, 
and the knowledge by which the mind knows itself, and the love wherewith it loves both itself and its 
own knowledge; these three being mutually equal and of one essence, 125 


That there is yet another and a more manifest trinity to be found in the mind of man, viz. in his memory, 

understanding, and will, 134 


That even in the outer man some traces of a trinity may be detected, as e.g., in the bodily sight, and in the 

recollection of objects seen with the bodily sight, 143 


After premising the difference between wisdom and knowledge, he points out a kind of trinity in that which 
is properly called knowledge; but one which, although we have reached in it the inner man, is not yet 
to be called the image of God, 155 


He expounds this trinity that he has found in knowledge by commending Christian faith, ...... 166 


He speaks of the true wisdom of man, viz. that by which he remembers, understands, and loves God; and 
shows that it is in this very thing that the mind of man is the image of God, although his mind, which 
is here renewed in the knowledge of God, will only then be made the (perfect likeness of God in that 
image when there shall be a perfect sight of God, 183 


He embraces in a brief compendium the contents of the previous books; and finally shows that the Trinity, 
in the perfect sight of which consists the blessed lifethat is promised us, is here seen by us as in a glass 
and in an enigma, so long as it is seen through that image of God which we ourselves are, .... igq 








1. The following dissertation concerning 
the Trinity, as the reader ought to be in- 
formed, has been written in order to guard 
against the sophistries of those who disdain 
to begin with faith, and are deceived by a 
crude and perverse love of reason. Now one 
class of such men endeavor to transfer to 
things incorporeal and spiritual the ideas they 
have formed, whether through experience of 
the bodily senses, or by natural human wit 
and diligent quickness, or by the aid of art, 
from things corporeal; so as to seek to meas- 
ure and conceive of the former by the latter. 
Others, again, frame whatever sentiments 
they may have concerning God according to 
the nature or affections of the human mind; 
and through this error they govern their dis- 
course, in disputing concerning God, by dis- 
torted and fallacious rules. While yet a third 
class strive indeed to transcend the whole 
creation, which doubtless is changeable, in 

order to raise their thought to the unchangea- 
ble substance, which is God; but being 
weighed down by the burden of mortality, 
whilst they both would seem to know what 
they do not, and cannot know what 
they would, preclude themselves from enter- 
ing the very path of understanding, by an 
over-bold affirmation of their own presump- 
tuous judgments; choosing rather not to cor- 
rect their own opinion when it is perverse, 
than to change that which they have once 
defended. And, indeed, this is the common 
disease of all the three classes which I have 
mentioned, viz., both of those who frame 
their thoughts of God according to things 
corporeal, and of those who do so according 
to the spiritual creature, such as is the soul; 
and of those who neither regard the body nor 
the spiritual creature, and yet think falsely 
about God; and are indeed so much the fur- 
ther from the truth, that nothing can be found 
answering to their conceptions, either in the 
body, or in the made or created spirit, or in 
the Creator Himself. For he who thinks, for 
instance, that God is white or red, is in error; 
and yet these things are found in the body. 
Again, he who thinks of God as now forget- 
ting and now remembering, or anything of 
the same kind, is none the less in error; and 
yet these things are found in the mind. But 
he who thinks that God is of such power as 
to have generated Himself, is so much the 



[Book I. 

more in error, because not only does God not 
so exist, but neither does the spiritual nor 
the bodily creature; for there is nothing 
whatever that generates its own existence .* 

2. In order, therefore, that the human 
mind might be purged from falsities of this 
kind, Holy Scripture,which suits itself to babes, 
has not avoided words drawn from any class of 
things really existing, through which, as by 
nourishment, our understanding might rise 
gradually to things divine and transcendent. 
For, in speaking of God, it has both used 
words taken from things corporeal, as when 
it says, " Hide me under the shadow of Thy 
wings;" 2 and it has borrowed many things 
from the spiritual creature, whereby to sig- 
nify that which indeed is not so, but must 
needs so be said: as, for instance, "I the 
Lord thy God am a jealous God; " 3 and, " It 
repenteth me that I have made man." 4 But 
it has drawn no words whatever, whereby to 
frame either figures of speech or enigmatic 
sayings, from things which do not exist at all. 
And hence it is that they who are shut out 
from the truth by that third kind of error are 
more mischievously and emptily vain than 
their fellows; in that they surmise respecting 
God, what can neither be found in Himself 
nor in any creature. For divine Scripture is 
wont to frame, as it were, allurements for 
children from the things which are found in 
the creature; whereby, according to their 
measure, and as it were by steps, the affec- 
tions of the weak may be moved to seek those 
things that are above, and to leave those 
things that are below. But the same Script- 
ure rarely employs those things which are 
spoken properly of God, and are not found 
in any creature; as, for instance, that which 
was said to Moses, " I am that I am;" and, 
''I Am hath sent me to you." 3 For since 
both body and soul also are said in some 
sense to be, Holy Scripture certainly would 
not so express itself unless it meant to be un- 
derstood in some special sense of the term. 
So, too, that which the Apostle says, " Who 
only hath immortality. ' ' 6 Since the soul also 
both is said to be, and is, in a certain manner 
immortal, Scripture would not say "only 
hath," unless because true immortality is un- 
changeableness; which no creature can pos- 
sess, since it belongs to the creator alone. 7 

1 [Augustin here puts generare for creare which is rarely the 
case with him, since the distinction between generation and crea- 
tion is of the highest importance in discussing the doctrine of the 
Trinity. His thought here is, that God does not bring himself into 
being, because he always is. Some have defined God as the Self- 
caused: causa sui. But the category of cause and effect is inap- 
plicable to the Infinite Being. W. G. T. S.] 

2 Ps. xvii. 8. 3 Ex. xx. 5. 4 Gen. vi. 7 . 
5 Ex. iii. 14. 6 t Xim. vi. 16. 

7 [God's being is necessary; that of the creature is contingent 
Hence the name I Am, or Jehovah, which denotes this difference' 
God alone has immortality a parte ante, as well as a parte post 

So also James says, " Every good gift and 
every perfect gift is from above, and cometh 
down from the Father of Lights, with whom 
is no variableness, neither shadow of turn- 
ing." 8 So also David, " Thou, shalt change 
them, and they shall be changed; but Thou 
art the same." 5 

3. Further, it is difficult to contemplate 
and fully know the substance of God; who 
fashions things changeable, yet without any 
change in Himself, and creates things tem- 
poral, yet without any temporal movement in 
Hmselr. And it is necessary, therefore, to 
purge our minds, in order to be able to see 
ineffably that which is ineffable; whereto not 
having yet attained, we are to be nourished 
by faith, and led by such ways as are more 
suited to our capacity, that we may be rendered 
apt and able to comprehend it. And hence 
the Apostle says, that " in Christ indeed are 
hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowl- 
edge; " I0 and yet has commended Him to us, 
as to babes in Christ, who, although already 
born again by His grace, yet are still carnal 
and psychical, not by that divine virtue 
wherein He is equal to the Father, but by 
that human infirmity whereby He was cruci- 
fied. For he says, " I determined not to 
know anything among you, save Jesus Christ 
and Him crucified;"" and then he continues, 
"And I was with you in weakness, and in 
fear, and in much trembling." And a little 
after he says to them, "And I, brethren, 
could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, 
but as unto carnal, 12 even as unto babes in 
Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not 
with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to 
bear it, neither yet now are ye able." I3 There 
are some who are angry at language of this 
kind, and think it is used in slight to them- 
selves, and for the most part prefer rather to 
believe that they who so speak to them have 
nothing to say, than that they themselves 
cannot understand what they have said. And 
sometimes, indeed, we do allege to them, not 
certainly that account of the case which they 
seek in their inquiries about God, because 
neither can they themselves receive it, nor 
can we perhaps either apprehend or express 
it, but such an account of it as to demon- 
strate to them how incapable and utterly unfit 
they are to understand that which they re- 
quire of us. But they, on their parts, because 

8 Jas. i. 17. 9 p s . c ii. 2 6 ) 2? . 

"Col. 11. 3. 11 x Cor. ii. 2, 3. 

([ I2 [St.Paul, in this place, denominates imperfect but true believers 

carnal," in a relative sense, only. They are comparatively car- 
nal, when contrasted with the law of God, which is absolutely and 
perfectly spiritual. (Rom. vii. 14.) They do not, however, be- 
long to the class of carnal or natural men, in distinction from 
spiritual. The persons whom the Apostle here denominates " car- 
nal," a **" ll ^l>^ ! r\~~\~*. n \\7 /-" 'i' o n 

al," are " babes in Christ." W. G. T. S.] 
J 3 1 Cor. iii. 1 2. 

Chap. III. J 



they do not hear what they desire, think that 
we are either playing them false in order to 
conceal our own ignorance, or speaking in 
malice because we grudge them knowledge; 
and so go away indignant and perturbed. 


4. Wherefore, our Lord God helping, we 
will undertake to render, as far as we are 
able, that very account which they so impor- 
tunately demand: viz., that the Trinity is 
the one and only and true God, and also how 
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are 
rightly said, believed, understood, to be of 
one and the same substance or essence; in 
such wise that they may not fancy themselves 
mocked by excuses on our part, but may find 
by actual trial, both that the highest good is 
that which is discerned by the most purified 
minds, and that for this reason it cannot be 
discerned or understood by themselves, be- 
cause the eye of the human mind, being 
weak, is dazzled in that so transcendent 
light, unless it be invigorated by the 
nourishment of the righteousness of faith. 
First, however, we must demonstrate, ac- 
cording to the authority of the Holy 
Scriptures, whether the faith be so. Then, 
if God be willing and aid us, we may perhaps 
at least so far serve these talkative arguers 
more puffed up than capable, and therefore 
laboring under the more dangerous disease 
as to enable them to find something which 
they are not able to doubt, that so, in that 
case where they cannot find the like, they 
may be led to lay the fault to their own 
minds, rather than to the truth itself or to 
our reasonings; and thus, if there be any- 
thing in them of either love or fear towards 
God, they may return and begin from faith in 
due order: perceiving at length how health- 
ful a medicine has been provided for the 
faithful in the holy Church, whereby a heed- 
ful pietv, healing the feebleness of the mind, 
may render it able to perceive the unchangea- 
ble truth, and hinder it from falling headlong, 
through disorderly rashness, into pestilent 
and false opinion. Neither will I' myself 
shrink from inquiry, if I am anywhere in 
doubt; nor be ashamed to learn, if I am any- 
where in error. 



5. Further let me ask of my reader, wher- 

ever^ alike with myself, he is certain, there 
to go on with me; wherever, alike with 
myself, he hesitates, there to join with 
me in inquiring; wherever he recognizes 
himself to be in error, there to return 
to me ; wherever he recognizes me to be 
so, there to call me back: so that we may 
enter together upon the path of charity, and 
advance towards Him of whom it is said, 
"Seek His face evermore." 1 And I would 
make this pious and safe agreement, in the 
presence of our Lord God, with all who read 
my writings, as well in all other cases as, 
above all, in the case of those which inquire 
into the unity of the. Trinity, of the Father 
and the Son and the Holy Spirit; because in 
no other subject is error more dangerous, or 
inquiry more laborious, or the discovery 
of truth more profitable. If, then, any 
reader shall say, This is not well said, be- 
cause I do not understand it; such an one 
finds fault with my language, not with my 
faith: and it might perhaps in very truth have 
been put more clearly; yet no man ever so 
spoke as to be understood in all things by all 
men. Let him, therefore, who finds this 
fault with my discourse, see whether he can 
understand other men who have handled simi- 
lar subjects and questions, when he does not 
understand me: and if he can, let him put down 
my book, or even, if he pleases, throw it 
away; and let him spend labor and time 
rather on those whom he understands. 2 Yet 
let him not think on that account that I ought 
to have been silent, because I have not been 
able to express myself so smoothly and clearly 
to him as those do whom he understands. 
For neither do all things, which all men have 
written, come into the hands of all. And 
possibly some, who are capable of under- 
standing even these our writings, may not find 
those more lucid works, and may meet with 
ours only. And therefore it is useful that 
many persons should write many books, dif- 
fering in style but not in faith, concerning 
even the same questions, that the matter it- 
self may reach the greatest number some 
in one way, some in another. But if he who 
complains that he has not understood these 
things has never been able to comprehend 
any careful and exact reasonings at all upon 
such subjects, let him in that case deal with 
himself bv resolution and study, that he may 

1 Ps. cv. 4. 

= [This request of Augustin to his reader, involves an admirable 
rule for authorship generally -the desire, namely, th?t truth be 
attained, be it through himself or through others. Milton teaches 
the same, when he savs that the author must " study and love 
learning for itself, not' for lucre, or any other end, but the sen-ire 
of God and of truth, and perhaps that lasting fame and perpetuity 
of praise, which God and good men have consented shall bethere- 
I ward of those whose published labors advance the good of man- 
kind. ' w. <;. t.s.] 



[Book I. 

know better; not with me by quarrellings and 
wranglings, that I may hold my peace. Let 
him, again, who says, when he reads my book, 
Certainly I understand what is said, but it is 
not true, assert, if he pleases, his own opinion, 
and refute mine if he is able. And if he do 
this with charity and truth, and take the pains 
to make it known to me (if I am still alive), 
I shall then receive the most abundant fruit 
of this my labor. And if he cannot inform 
myself, most willing and glad should I be that 
he should inform those whom he can. Yet, 
for my part, "I meditate in the law of the 
Lord," 1 if not "day and night," at least 
such short times as I can; and I commit my 
meditations to writing, lest they should es- 
cape me through forgetfulness; hoping by 
the mercy of God that He will make me hold 
steadfastly all truths of which I feel certain; 
" but if in anything I be otherwise minded, 
that He will himself reveal even this to me," 2 
whether through secret inspiration and ad- 
monition, or through His own plain utter- 
ances, or through the reasonings of my breth- 
ren. This I pray for, and this my trust and 
desire I commit to Him, who is sufficiently 
able to keep those things which He has 
given me, and to render those which He has 

6. I expect, indeed, that some, who are 
more dull of understanding, will imagine that 
in some parts of my books I have held senti- 
ments which I have not held, or have not held 
those which I have. But their error, as none 
can be ignorant, ought not to be attributed to 
me, if they have deviated into false doctrine 
through following my steps without appre- 
hending me, whilst I am compelled to pick 
my way through a hard and obscure subject: 
seeing that neither can any one, in any way, 
rightly ascribe trie numerous and various 
errors of heretics to the holy testimonies 
themselves of the divine books; although all 
of them endeavor to defend out of those 
same Scriptures their own false and erroneous 
opinions. The law of Christ, that is, chanty, 
admonishes me clearly, and commands me 
with a sweet constraint, that when men think 
that I have held in my books something false 
which I have not held, and that same false- 
hood displeases one and pleases another, I 
should prefer to be blamed by him who repre- 
hends the falsehood, rather than praised by him 
who praises it. For although I, who never held 
the error, am not rightly blamed by the 
former, yet the error itself is rightly cen- 
sured; whilst by the latter neither am I 
rightly praised, who am thought to have held 

that which the truth censures, nor the senti- 
ment itself, which the truth also censures. 
Let us therefore essay the work which we 
have undertaken in the name of the Lord. 


7. All those Catholic expounders of the 
divine Scriptures, both Old and New, whom 
I have been able to read, who have written 
before me concerning the Trinity, Who is 
God, have purposed to teach, according to 
the Scriptures, this doctrine, that the Father, 
and the Son, and the Holy Spirit intimate a 
divine unity of one and the same substance in 
an indivisible equality; 3 and therefore that 
they are not three Gods, but one God: al- 
though the Father hath begotten the Son, and 
so He who is the Father is not the Son; and 
the Son is begotten by the Father, and so He 
who is the Son is not the Father; and the 
Holy Spirit is neither the Father nor the Son, 
but only the Spirit of the Father and of the 
Son, Himself also co-equal with the Father 
and the Son, and pertaining to the unity of 
the Trinity. Yet not that this Trinity was 
born of the Virgin Mary, and crucified under 
Pontius Pilate, and buried, and rose again the 
third day, and ascended into heaven, but only 
the Son. Nor, again, that this Trinity de- 
scended in the form of a dove upon Jesus 
when He was baptized; 4 nor that, on the day 
of Pentecost, after the ascension of the Lord, 
when "there came a sound from heaven, as 
of a rushing mighty wind,'' 5 the same Trinity 
"sat upon each of them with cloven tongues 
like as of fire," but only the Holy Spirit. 
Nor yet that this Trinity said from heaven, 
" Thou art my Son," 6 whether when He was 
baptized by John, or when the three disciples 
were with Him in the mount, 7 or when the 
voice sounded, saying, " I have both glorified 
it, and will glorify it again;" 8 but that it 
was a word of the Father only, spoken to the 
Son; although the Father, and the Son, and 
the Holy Spirit, as they are indivisible, so 
work indivisibly. 9 This is also my faith, 
since it is the Catholic faith. 

1 Ps. i. 

2 Phil. iii. 15. 

3 [Augufitin teaches the Nicene doctrine of a numerical unity of 
essence in distinction from a specific unity. The latter is that of 
mankind. In this case there is division of substance part after part 
of the specific nature being separated and formed, by propagation, 
into individuals. No human individual contains the whole spe- 
cific nature. But in the case of the numerical unity of the 
Trinity, there is no division of essence. The whole divine nature is 
in each divine person. The three divine persons do not constitute 
a species that is, three divine individuals made by the division 
and distribution of one common divine nature but are three modes 
or " forms " (Phil. ii. 6) of one undivided substance, numerically 
and identically the same in each.- W. G. T. S.] 

4 Matt. iii. 16. 5 Acts. ii. 2, 4. 6 Mark i. n. 
7 Matt. xvii. 5. 8 John xii. 28. 

9 [The term Trinity denotes the Divine essence in all three 
modes. The term Father (or Son, or Spirit) denotes the essence 
in only one mode. Consequently, there is something in the 

Chap. VI.] 





8. Some persons, however, find a difficulty 
in this faith ; when they hear that the Father 
is God, and the Son God, and the Holy 
Spirit God, and yet that this Trinity is 
not three Gods, but one God; and they 
ask how they are to understand this : 
especially when it is said that the Trinity 
works indivisibly in everything that God 
works, and yet that a certain voice of the 
Father spoke, which is not the voice of the 
Son; and that none except the Son was born 
in the flesh, and suffered, and rose again, and 
ascended into heaven; and that none except 
the Holy Spirit came in the form of a dove. 
They wish to understand how the Trinity 
uttered that voice which was only of the 
Father; and how the same Trinity created 
that flesh in which the Son only was born of 
the Virgin; and how the very same Trinity 
itself wrought that form of a dove, in which 
the Holy Spirit only appeared. Yet, other- 
wise, the Trinity does not work indivisibly, 
but the Father does some things, the Son 
other things, and the Holy Spirit yet others: 
or else, if they do some things together, some 
severally, then the Trinity is not indivisible. 
It is a difficulty, too, to them, in what man- 
ner the Holy Spirit is in the Trinity, whom 
neither the Father nor the Son, nor both, 
have begotten, although He is the Spirit both 
of the Father and of the Son. Since, then, 
men weary us with asking such questions, let 
us unfold to them, as we are able, whatever 
wisdom God's gift has bestowed upon our 
weakness on this subject; neither " let us go 
on our way with consuming envy." Should 
we say that we are not accustomed to think 
about such things, it would not be true; yet 
if we acknowledge that such subjects com- 
monly dwell in our thoughts, carried away as 
we are by the love of investigating the truth, 
then they require of us, by the law of charity, 
to make known to them what we have herein 
been able to find out. " Not as though I had 
already attained, either were already perfect " 
(for, if the Apostle Paul, how much more 
must I, who lie far beneath his feet, count 
myself not to have apprehended!); but, ac- 
cording to my measure, " if I forget those 
things that are behind, and reach forth unto 
those things which are before, and press to- 

Trinity that cannot be attributed to any one of the Persons, as 
such;_and something in a Person that cannot be attributed to 
the Trinity, as such. Trinality cannot be ascribed to the first 
Person; paternity cannot be ascribed to the Trinity. W. GTS 
1 Wisd. vi. 23. ' J 

wards the mark for the prize of the high call- 
ing," 2 I am requested to disclose so much of 
the road as I have already passed, and the 
point to which I have reached, whence the 
course yet remains to bring me to the end. 
And those make the request, whom a gener- 
ous charity compels me to serve. Needs 
must too, and God will grant that, in supply- 
ing them with matter to read, I shall profit 
myself also; and that, in seeking to reply to 
their inquiries, I shall myself likewise find 
that for which I was inquiring. Accordingly 
I have undertaken the task, by the bidding 
and help of the Lord my God, not so much 
of discoursing with authority respecting things 
I know already, as of learning those things 
by piously discoursing of them. 



^ 9. They who have said that our Lord Jesus 
Christ is not God, or not very God, or not 
with the Father the One and only God, or not 
truly immortal because changeable, are proved 
wrong by the most plain and unanimous voice 
of divine testimonies; as, for instance, " In 
the beginning was the Word, and the Word 
was with God, and the Word was God." For 
it is plain that we are to take the Word of God 
to be the only Son of God, of whom it is after- 
wards said, "And the Word was made flesh, 
and dwelt among us," on account of that birth 
of His incarnation, which was wrought in time 
of the Virgin. But herein is declared, not 
only that He is God, but also that He is of 
the same substance with the Father; because, 
after saying, "And the Word was God," it is 
said also, "The same was in the beginning 
with God: all things were made by Him, and 
without Him was not anything made." 3 Not 
simply " all things;" but only all things that 
were made, that is, the whole creature. From 
which it appears clearly, that He Himself was 
not made, by whom all things were made. 
And if He was not made, then He is not a 
creature; but if He is not a creature, then He 
is of the same substance with the Father. For 
all substance that is not God is creature; and 
all that is not creature is God. 4 And if the 

- Phil. iii. 12-14. 3 John i. 1. 14, 2, 3. 

* [Augustin here postulates the theistic doctrines of two sub- 
stances infinite and finite; in contradiction to the postulate of pan- 
theism, that there is only one substance the infinite. W. G. T. S.] 



[Book I. 

Son is not of the same substance with the 
Father, then He is a substance that was made: 
and if He is a substance that was made, then all 
things were not made by Him; but "all things 
were made by Him," therefore He is of one 
and the same substance with the Father. 
And so He is not only God, but also very 
God. And the same John most expressly 
affirms this in his epistle: " For we know that 
the Son of God is come, and hath given us 
an understanding, that we may know the true 
God, and that we may be in His true Son 
Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal 
life." > 

10. Hence also it follows by consequence, 
that the Apostle Paul did not say, "Who 
alone has immortality," of the Father merely; 
but of the One and only God, which is the 
Trinity itself. For that which is itself eternal 
life is not mortal according to any change - 
ableness; and hence the Son of God, because 
" He is Eternal Life," is also Himself un- 
derstood with the Father, where it is said, 
" Who only hath immortality." For we, too, 
are made partakers of this eternal life, and 
become, in our own measure, immortal. But 
the eternal life itself, of which we are made 
partakers, is one thing; we ourselves, who, by 
partaking of it, shall live eternally, are an- 
other. For if He had said, "Whom in His 
own time the Father will show, who is the 
blessed and only Potentate, the King of 
kings, and Lord of lords; who only hath 
immortality; " not even so would" it be neces- 
sarily understood that the Son is excluded. 
For neither has the Son separated the Father 
from Himself, because He Himself, speaking 
elsewhere with the voice of wisdom (for He 
Himself is the Wisdom of God), 2 says, "I 
alone compassed the circuit of heaven." 3 
And therefore so much the more is it not 
necessary that the words, "Who hath im- 
mortality," should be understood of the 
Father alone, omitting the Son; when they 
are said thus: "That thou keep this com- 
mandment without spot, unrebukeable, until 
the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: 
whom in His own time He will show, who is 
the blessed and only Potentate, the King of 
kings, and Lord of lords; who only hath im- 
mortality, dwelling in the light which no man 
can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, 
nor can see: to whom be honor and power 
everlasting. Amen." 4 In which words 
neither is the Father specially named, nor 
the Son, nor the Holy Spirit; but the blessed 
and only Potentate, the King of kings, and 

1 ' John v. 20. 
3 Kcclus. xxiv. 5. 

2 t Cor. i. 24. 

4 r Tim. vi. 14-16. 

Lord of lords; that is, the One and only and 
true God, the Trinity itself. 

11. But perhaps what follows may inter- 
fere with this meaning; because it is said, 
"Whom no man hath seen, nor can see:" 
although this may also be taken as belonging 
to Christ according to His divinity, which 
the Jews did not see, who yet saw and cruci- 
fied Him in the flesh; whereas His divinity 
can in no wise be seen by human sight, but is 
seen with that sight with which they who see 
are no longer men, but beyond men. Rightly, 
therefore, is God Himself, the Trinity, under- 
stood to be the "blessed and only Poten- 
tate," who "shows the coming of our Lord 
Jesus Christ in His own time." For the 
words, "Who only hath immortality," are 
said in the same way as it is said, " Who only 
doeth wondrous things." 5 And I should be 
glad to know of whom they take these words 
to be said. If only of the Father, how then 
is that true which the Son Himself says,. 
"For what things soever the Father doeth, 
these also doeth the Son likewise ? " Is there 
any, among wonderful works, more wonderful 
than to raise up and quicken the dead ? Yet 
the same Son saith, "As the Father raiseth 
up the dead, and quickeneth them, even so 
the Son quickeneth whom He will." 6 How, 
then, does the Father alone "do wondrous- 
things/' when these words allow us to under- 
stand neither the Father only, nor the Son 
only, but assuredly the one only true God, 
that is, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy 
Spirit? 7 

12. Also, when the same apostle says, 
" But to us there is but one God, the Father, 
of whom are all things, and we in Him; and 
one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all 
things, and we by Him," 8 who can doubt 
that he speaks of all things which are created; 
as does John, when he says, " All things were 
made by Him"? I ask, therefore, of whom 
he speaks in another place: "For of Him, 
and through Him, and in Him, are all things: 
to whom be glory for ever. Amen." 9 For 
if of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy 
Spirit, so as to assign each clause severally 
to each person: of Him, that is to say, of the 
Father; through Him, that is to say, through 
the Son; in Him, that is to say, in the Holy 
Spirit, it is manifest that the Father, and 
the Son, and the Holy Spirit is one God, in- 
asmuch as the words continue in the singular 
number, "To whom 10 be glory for ever." 

5 Ps. lxxii. 18. 6 John v. 19, 21. 

7 [Nothing is more important, in order to a correct interpreta- 
tion of the New Testament, than a correct explanation of the term 
God. Sometimes it denotes the Trinity, and soinetimes a person 
of the Trinity. The context always shows which it is. The ex- 
amples given here by Augustin are only a few out of many. W. 
1 G. T. S.] 8 ! Cor. viii. 6. 9 Rom. xi. 36. Ipsi. 

Chap. VI.] 



For at the beginning of the passage he does 
not say, " O the depth of the riches both of 
the wisdom and knowledge" of the Father, 
or of the Son, or of the Holy Spirit, but " of 
the wisdom and knowledge of God ! " " How 
unsearchable are His judgments, and His 
ways past finding out ! For who hath known 
the mind of the Lord ? or who hath been His 
counsellor ? Or who hath first given to Him 
and it shall be recompensed unto him again? 
For of Him, and through Him, and in Him, 
are all things: to whom be glory for ever. 
Amen." 1 But if they will have this to be un- 
derstood only of the Father, then in what way 
are all things by the Father, as is said here; 
and all things by the Son, as where it is said 
to the Corinthians, "And one Lord Jesus 
Christ, by whom are all things," 2 and as in 
the Gospel of John, "All things were made 
by Him ?" For if some things were made by 
the Father, and some by the Son, then all 
things were not made by the Father, nor all 
things by the Son; but if all things were made 
by the Father, and all things by the Son, then 
the same things were made by the Father and 
by the Son. The Son, therefore, is equal 
with the Father, and the wosking of the 
Father and the Son is indivisible. Because 
if the Father made even the Son, whom cer- 
tainly the Son Himself did not make, then all 
things were not made by the Son; but all 
things were made by the Son: therefore He 
Himself was not made, that with the Father 

x 3' 




He might make all things that were made. 
And the apostle has not refrained from using 
the very word itself, but has said most ex- 
pressly, "Who, being in the form of God, 
thought it not robbery to be equal with 
God; " 3 using here the name of God specially 
of the Father; 4 as elsewhere, " But the head 
of Christ is God." 5 

1 Rom. xi. 33-36. 2 1 Cor. viii. 6. 3 Phil. ii. 6. 

4 [It is not generally safe to differ from Augustin in tnnitarian 
exegesis. But in Phil. ii. 6 " God " must surely denote the Di- 
vine Essence, not the first Person of the Essence. St. Paul des- 
cribes "Christ Jesus" as " subsisting " (inrdpxw) originally, that is 
prior to incarnation, "in a form of God" (h fiop4>fi deou), and because 
he so subsisted, as being "equal with God." The word MP<f>?j is 
anarthrous in the text: a form, not the form; as the A.V. and R.V. 
render. St. Paul refers to one of three " forms " of God namely, 
that particular form of Sonship, which is peculiar to the second | 
person of the Godhead. Had the apostle employed the article 
with nopijjjj, the implication would be that there is only one 
" form of God" that is, only one person in the Divine Essence. 

If then #eou, in this place, denotes the Father, as Augustin 
says, St. Paul would teach that the Logos subsisted " in a form of 
the Father" which would imply that the Father had more than 
one " form," or else (if |u.op<Jj be rendered with the article) that 
the Logos subsisted in the " form" of the Father, neither of which 
is true. But if " God," in this place, denotes the Divine Essence, 
then St. Paul teaches that the unincarnate Logos subsisted in a par- 
ticular " form " of the Essence the Father and Spirit subsisting 
in other "forms" of it. 

The student will observe that Augustin is careful to teach 
that the Logos, when he took on him " a form of a servant," did 
not lay aside "a form of God." He understands the kenosis 
(e/ceVcucre) to be, the humbling of the divinity by its union with 
the humanity; not the exinanition of it in the extremest sense of 
entirely divesting himself of the divinity, nor the less extreme 
sense of a total non-use of it during the humiliation. \Y r .G.T.S.]. 

5 1 Cor. xi. 3. 

evidence has been collected 
the Holy Spirit, of which 
those who have discussed the subject before 
ourselves have most fully availed themselves, 
that He too is God, and not a creature. But 
if not a creature, then not only God (for men 
likewise are called gods 6 ), but also very God; 
and therefore absolutely equal with the Father 
and the Son, and in the unity of the Trinity 
consubstantial and co-eternal. But that the 
Holy Spirit is not a creature is made quite 
plain by that passage above all others, where 
we are commanded not to serve the creature, 
but the Creator; 7 not in the sense in which 
we are commanded to "serve" one another 
by love, 8 which is in Greek oooUbzv;, but in 
that in which God alone is served, which 
is in Greek Xazpzbzv;. From whence they 
are called idolaters who tender that service 
to images which is due to God. For it is this 
service concerning which it is said, "Thou 
shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him 
only shalt thou serve." 9 For this is found 
also more distinctly in the Greek Scriptures, 
which have ka-Tptbazi^. Now if we are for- 
bidden to serve the creature with such a ser- 
vice, seeing that it is written, "Thou shalt 
worship the Lord thy God, and Him only 
shalt thou serve " (and hence, too, the apostle 
repudiates those who worship and serve the 
creature more than the Creator), then as- 
suredly the Holy Spirit is not a creature, to 
whom such a service is paid by all the saints; 
as says the apostle, " For we are the circum- 
cision, which serve the Spirit of God," I0 
which is in the Greek XarpeuovTes. For even 
most Latin copies also have it thus, ' We 
who serve the Spirit of God;" but all Greek 
ones, or almost all, have it so. Although in 
some Latin copies we find, not "We worship 
the Spirit of God," but, "We worship God 
in the Spirit." But let those who err in this case, 
and refuse to give up to the more weighty 
authority, tell us whether they find this text 
also varied in the mss. : " Know ye not that 
your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, 
which is in you, which ye have of God ? " Yet 
what can be more senseless or more profane, 
than that any one should dare to say that the 
members of Christ are the temple of one who, 
in their opinion, is a creature inferior to 
Christ? For the apostle says in another 
place, " Your bodies are members of Christ." 
But if the members of Christ are also the 
temple of the Holy Spirit, then the Holy 
Spirit is not a creature; because we must 
needs owe to Him, of whom our body is the 

6 Ps. lxxxii. 6. 
8 Gal. v. 13. 
10 Phil. iii. 3 (Vulgate, etc.). 

7 Rom. i. 25. 
9 Deut. vi. 13. 



[ Book I. 

temple, that service wherewith God only is to 
be served, which in Greek is called Xarpeia. 
And accordingly the apostle says, ' ' There- 
fore glorify God in youi body.'' 1 



14. In these and like testimonies of the 
divine Scriptures, by free use of which, as I 
have said, our predecessors exploded such 
sophistries or errors of the heretics, the unity 
and equality of the Trinity are intimated to 
our faith. But because, on account of the 
incarnation of the Word of God for the work- 
ing out of our salvation, that the man Christ 
Jesus might be the Mediator between God 
and men, 2 many things are so said in the 
sacred books as to signify, or even most ex- 
pressly declare, the Father to be greater than 
the Son; men have erred through a want of 
careful examination or consideration of the 
whole tenor of the Scriptures, and have en- 
deavored to transfer those things which are 
said of Jesus Christ according to the flesh, to 
that substance of His which was eternal before 
the incarnation, and is eternal. They say, for 
instance, that the Son is less than the Father, 
because it is written that the Lord Himself 
said, "My Father is greater than I." 3 But 
the truth shows that after the sams sense the 
Son is less also than Himself; for how was 
He not made less also than Himself, who 
" emptied 4 Himself, and took upon Him the 
form of a servant 1" For He did not so take 
the form of a servant as that He should lose 
the form of God, in which He was equal to 
the Father. If, then, the form of a servant 
was so taken that the form of God was not 
lost, since both in the form of a servant and 
in the form of God He Himself is the same 
only-begotten Son of God the Father, in the 
form of God equal to the Father, in the form 
of a servant the Mediator between God and 
men, the man Christ Jesus; is there any one 
who cannot perceive that He Himself in the 
form of God is also greater than Himself, but 
yet likewise in the form of a servant less than 
Himself ? And not, therefore, without cause 
the Scripture says both the one and the other, 
both that the Son is equal to the Father, and 
that the Father is greater than the Son. For 
there is no confusion when the former is un- 
derstood as on account of the form of God, 
and the latter as on account of the form of a 
servant. And, in truth, this rule for clearing 
the question through all the sacred Scriptures 
is set forth in one chapter of an epistle of the 

1 i Cor. vi. 19, 15, 20. 
3 John xiv. 28. 

2 1 Tim. ii. 5. 
4 Exinanivit. 

Apostle Paul, where this distinction is com- 
mended to us plainly enough. For he says, 
"Who, being in the form of God, thought it 
not robbery to be equal with God; but emptied 
Himself, and took upon Him the form of a 
servant, and was made in the likeness of 
men: and was found in fashion 5 as a man." 6 
The Son of God, then, is equal to God the 
Father in nature, but less in "fashion." 7 
For in the form of a servant which He took 
He is less than the Father; but in the form 
of God, in which also He was before He took 
the form of a servant, He is equal to the 
Father. In the form of God He is the Word, 
" by whom all things are made; " 8 but in the 
form of a servant He was " made of a woman, 
made under the law, to redeem them that 
were under the law/' 9 In like manner, in the 
form of God He made man; in the form of a 
servant He was made man. For if the Father 
alone had made man without the Son, it 
would not have been written, " Let us make 
man in our image, after our likeness." 10 
Therefore, because the form of God took the 
form of a servant, both is God and both is 
man; but both God, on account of God who 
takes; and both man, on account of man who 
is taken. For neither by that taking is the 
one of them turned and changed into the 
other: the Divinity is not changed into the 
creature, so as to cease to be Divinity; nor 
the creature into Divinity, so as to cease to 
be creature. 



15. As for that which the apostle says, 
"And when all things shall be subdued unto 
Him, then shall the Son also Himself be sub- 
ject unto Him that put all things under 
Him:' : either the text has been so turned, 
lest any one should think that the " fashion" 11 
of Christ, which He took according to the 
human creature, was to be transformed here- 
after into the Divinity, or (to express it more 
precisely) the Godhead itself, who is not a 
creature, but is the unity of the Trinity, a 
nature incorporeal, and unchangeable, and 
consubstantial, and co-eternal with itself; or if 

5 Habitu. 

8 John i. 3. 

11 Habititm. 

6 Phil. ii. 6, 7. 
9 Gal. iv. 4, 5 . 

7 Habitu. 
I(J ( )en. i. 26. 

Chap. VIII.] 



any one contends, as some have thought, that 
the text, "Then shall the Son also Himself 
be subject unto Him that put all things under 
Him," is so turned in order that one may be- 
lieve that very " subjection " to be a change 
and conversion hereafter of the creature into 
the substance or essence itself of the Creator, 
that is, that that which had been the substance 
of a creature shall become the substance of 
the Creator; such an one at any rate admits 
this, of which in truth there is no possible 
doubt, that this had not yet taken place, when 
the Lord said, "My Father is greater than 
I." For He said this not only before He 
ascended into heaven, but also before He had 
suffered, and had risen from the dead. But 
they who think that the human nature in Him 
is to be changed and converted into the sub- 
stance of the Godhead, and that it was so said, 
" Then shall the Son also Himself be subject 
unto Him that put all things under Him," 
as if to say, Then also the Son of man Him- 
self, and the human nature taken by the Word 
of God, shall be changed into the nature of Him 
who put all things under Him, must also 
think that this will then take place, when, 
after the day of judgment, " He shall have 
delivered up the kingdom to God, even the 
Father." And hence even still, according to 
this opinion, the Father is greater than that 
form of a servant which was taken of the 
Virgin. But if some affirm even further, that 
the man Christ Jesus has already been changed 
into the substance of God, at least they cannot 
deny that the human nature still remained, 
when He said before His passion, "For my 
Father is greater than I;" whence there is no 
question that it was said in this sense, that 
the Father is greater than the form of a ser- 
vant, to whom in the form of God the Son is 
equal. Nor let any one, hearing what the 
apostle says, "But when He saith all things 
are put under Him, it is manifest that He is 
excepted which did put all things under 
Him," 1 think the words, that He hath put 
all things under the Son, to be so understood 
of the Father, as that He should not think- 
that the Son Himself put all things under 
Himself. For this the apostle plainly de- 
clares, when he says to the Philippians, " For 
our conversation is in heaven; from whence 
also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus 
Christ: who shall change our vile body, that 
it may be fashioned like unto His glorious 
body, according to the working whereby He 
is able even to subdue 2 all things unto Him- 
self." 3 For the working of the Father and 
of the Son is indivisible. Otherwise, neither 

1 1 Cor. xv. 28, 24, 27. 

- Sabjicere. 

3 Phil. iii. 20, 21. 

hath the Father Himself put all things under 
Himself, but the Son hath put all things under 
Him, who delivers the kingdom to Him, and 
puts down all rule and all authority and power. 
For these words are spoken of the Son: 
"When He shall have delivered up," says 
the apostle, "the kingdom to God, even the 
Father; when He shall have put down 4 all 
rule, and all authority, and all power." For 
the same that puts down, also makes subject. 
16. Neither may we think that Christ shall 
so give up the kingdom to God, even the 
Father, as that He shall take it away from 
Himself. For some vain talkers have thought 
even this. For when it is said, "He shall 
have delivered up the kingdom to God, even 
the Father,'' He Himself is not excluded; be- 
cause He is one God together with the Father. 
But that word "until" deceives those who 
are careless readers of the divine Scriptures, 
but eager for controversies. For the text 
continues, " For He must reign, until He 
hath put all enemies under His feet;" 3 as 
though, when He had so put them, He would 
no more reign. Neither do they perceive 
that this is said in the same way as that other 
text, " His heart is established: He shall not 
be afraid, until He see His desire upon His 
enemies." 6 For He will not then be afraid 
when He has seen it. What then means, 
" When He shall have delivered up the king- 
dom to God, even the Father," as though God 
and the Father has not the kingdom now ? 
But because He is hereafter to bring all the 
just, over whom now, living by faith, the 
Mediator between God and men, the man 
Christ Jesus, reigns, to that sight which the 
same apostle calls " face to face;" 7 therefore 
the words, "When He shall have delivered 
up the kingdom to God, even the Father," are 
as much as to say, When He shall have brought 
believers to the contemplation of God, even 
the Father. For He says, "All things are 
delivered unto me of my Father: and no man 
knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither 
knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, 
and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal 
Him." 8 The Father will then be revealed by 
the Son, "when He shall have put down all 
rule, and all authority, and all power;" that 
is, in such wise that there shall be no more 
need of any economy of similitudes, by means 
of angelic rulers, and authorities, and powers. 
Of whom that is not unfitly understood, which 
is said in the Song of Songs to the bride, 
"We will make thee borders 9 of gold, with 
studs of silver, while the King sitteth at His 

t Evacuaverit. 
6 Ps. cxii. 8. 
8 Matt. xi. 27. 

5 1 Cor. xv. 24, 25. 
7 1 Cor. xiii. 12. 
9 Similitudines. 


[Book I. 

table;" 1 that is, as long as Christ is in His 
secret place: since "your life is hid with 
Christ in God; when Christ, who is our 2 life, 
shall appear, then shall ye also appear with 
Him in glory." 3 Before which time, "we 
see now through a glass, in an enigma," that 
is, in similitudes, "but then face to face." 4 

17. For this contemplation is held forth to 
us as the end of all actions, and the everlast- 
ing fullness of joy. For "we are the sons of 
God ; and it doth not yet appear what we shall 
be: but we know that, when He shall appear, 
we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him 
as He is." s For that which He said to His 
servant Moses, "I am that 1 am; thus shalt 
thou say to the children of Israel, I Am hath 
sent me to you;" 6 this it is which we shall 
contemplate when we shall live in eternity. 
For so it is said, "And this is life eternal, 
that they might know Thee, the only true 
God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast 
sent.'' 7 This shall be when the Lord shall 
have come, and " shall have brought to light 
the hidden things of darkness;" 8 when the 
darkness of this present mortality and corrup- 
tion shall have passed away. Then will be 
our morning, which is spoken of in the Psalm, 
" In the morning will I direct my prayer unto 
Thee, and will contemplate Thee." 9 Of this 
contemplation I understand it to be said, 
" When He shall have delivered up the king- 
dom to God, even the Father; " that is, when 
He shall have brought the just, over whom 
now, living by faith, the Mediator between 
God and man, the man Christ Jesus, reigns, 
to the contemplation of God, even the Father. 
If herein I am foolish, let him who knows 
better correct me; to me at least the case 
seems as I have said. 10 For we shall not seek 
anything else, when we shall have come to the 
contemplation of Him. But that contempla- 
tion is not yet, so long as our joy is in hope. 
For " 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," " viz. " as long as 
the King sitteth at His table." 12 Then will 
take place that which is written, " In Thy 
presence is fullness of joy." I3 Nothing more 
than that joy will be required; because there 

1 In rectditu. Cant. i. n; see LXX. 

2 Vestra. 3 Col. iii. 3, 4. 4 1 Cor. xiii. 12. 
5 1 John 111. 2. 6 Ex. iii. 14. 7 John xvii. 3. 
8 1 Cor. iv. 5. 9 Ps. v. 5. 

! The common explanation is better, which regards the " king- 
dom ' that is to be delivered up. to be the mediatorial commission. 
When Christ shall have finished his work of redeeming men, he 
no longer discharges the office of a mediator. It seems incon- 
gruous to denominate the beatific vision of God by the redeemed, 
a surrender of a kingdom. In I. x. 21, Augustin says that when 
the Redeemer brings the redeemed from faith to sight, " He is 
said to 'deliver up the kingdom to God, even the Father' " 

" Horn. viii. 24, 25. 1= Cant. i. 12. 13 Ps. xvi. 11. 

will be nothing more than can be required. 
For the Father will be manifested to us, and 
that will suffice for us. And this much Philip 
had well understood, so that he said to the 
Lord, " Show us the Father, and it sufficeth 
us." But he had not yet understood that he 
himself was able to say this very same thing 
in this way also: Lord, show Thyself to us, 
and it sufficeth us. For, that he might under- 
stand this, the Lord replied to him, " Have 
I been so long time with you, and yet hast 
thou not known me, Philip ? he that hath 
seen me hath seen the Father." But be- 
cause He intended him, before he could see 
this, to live by faith, He went on to say, 
" Believest thou not that I am in the Father, 
and the Father in me ? " 14 For " while we are 
at home in the body, we are absent from the 
Lord: for we walk by faith, not by sight." IS 
For contemplation is the recompense of faith, 
for which recompense our hearts are purified 
by faith; as it is written, " Purifying their 
hearts by faith." l6 And that our hearts are to 
be purified for this contemplation, is proved 
above all by this text, " Blessed are the pure 
in heart, for they shall see God." 17 And that 
this is life eternal, God says in the Psalm, 
" With long life will I satisfy him, and show 
him my salvation" 18 Whether, therefore, 
we hear, Show us the Son ; or whether we 
hear, Show us the Father ; it is even all 
one, since neither can be manifested without 
the other. For they are one, as He also 
Himself says, " My Father and I are one/" 9 
Finally, on account of this very indivisibility, 
it suffices that sometimes the Father alone, or 
the Son alone, should be named, as hereafter 
to fill us with the joy of His countenance. 

18. Neither is the Spirit of either thence 
excluded, that is, the Spirit of the Father and 
of the Son; which Holy Spirit is specially 
called "the Spirit of truth, whom the world 
cannot receive. " 30 For to have the fruition 
of God the Trinity, after whose image we are 
made, is indeed the fullness of our joy, than 
which there is no greater. On this account 
the Holy Spirit is sometimes spoken of as if 
He alone sufficed to our blessedness: and He 
does alone so suffice, because He cannot be 
divided from the Father and the Son; as the 
Father alone is sufficient, because He cannot 
be divided from the Son and the Holy Spirit; 
and the Son alone is sufficient because He can- 
not be divided from the Father and the Holy 
Spirit. For what does He mean by saying, 
''If ye love me, keep my commandments; 
and I will pray the Father, and He shall give 

r 4 lohn xiv. 8, 10. 
'7 Matt. v. 8. 
20 John xiv. 17. 

J 5 2 Cor. v. 6, 7. 
18 Ps. xci. 16. 

16 Acts xv. 9. 
! 9 John x. 30. 

Chap. IX.] 


2 7 

you another Comforter, that He may abide 
with you for ever; even the Spirit of truth, 
whom the world cannot receive," ' that is, 
the lovers of the world? For "the natural 
man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of 
God." 2 But it may perhaps seem, further, 
as if the words, " And I will pray the Father, 
and He shall give you another Comforter," 
were so said as if the Son alone were not 
sufficient. And that place so speaks of the 
Spirit, as if He alone were altogether suffi- 
cient: "When He, the Spirit of truth, is 
come, He will guide you into all truth." 3 
Pray, therefore, is the Son here excluded, as 
if He did not teach all truth, or as if the Holy 
Spirit were to fill up that which the Son could 
not fully teach ? Let them say then, if it 
pleases them, that the Holy Spirit is greater 
than the Son, whom they are wont to call less. 
Or is it, forsooth, because it is not said, He 
alone, or. No one else except Himself will 
guide you into all truth, that they allow that 
the Son also may be believed to teach to- 
gether with Him ? In that case the apostle 
has excluded the Son from knowing those 
things which are of God, where he says, 
15 Even so the things of God knoweth no one, 
but the Spirit of God:" 4 so that these perverse 
men might, upon this ground, go on to say 
that none but the Holy Spirit teaches even 
the Son the things of God, as the greater 
teaches the less; to whom the Son Himself 
ascribes so much as to say, " But because I 
have said these things unto you, sorrow hath 
filled your heart. Nevertheless I tell you 
the truth; it is expedient for you that I go 
away: for if I go not away, the Comforter 
will not come unto you.'' 5 



But this is said, not on account of any in- 
equality of the Word of God and of the Holy 
Spirit, but as though the presence of the Son 
of man with them would be a hindrance to 
the coming of Him, who was not less, be- 
cause He did not "empty Himself, taking 
upon Him the form of a servant," 6 as the Son 
did. It was necessary, then, that the form 
of a servant should be taken away from their 
eyes, because, through gazing upon it, they 
thought that alone which they saw to be 
Christ. Hence also is that which is said, " If 
ye loved me, ye would rejoice because I said, 
"I go unto the Father; for my Father is 
greater than I :" 7 that is, on that account it 
is necessary for me to go to the Father, be- 

1 John xiv. 15- 
4 1 Cor. ii. 11. 
7 John xiv. 2 ?. 


- 1 Cor. ii. 14. 
5 John xvi. 6, 7. 

3 John xvi. 13. 
6 Phil. ii. ? 

cause, whilst you see me thus, you hold me 
to be less than the Father through that which 
you see; and so, being taken up with the 
creature and the "fashion" which I have 
taken upon me, you do not perceive the 
equality which I have with the Father. 
Hence, too, is this: "Touch me not; for I 
am not yet ascended to my Father." ! For 
touch, as it were, puts a limit to their con- 
ception, and He therefore would not have 
the thought of the heart, directed towards 
Himself, to be so limited as that He should 
be held to be- only that which He seemed to 
be. But the "ascension to the Father" 
meant, so to appear as He is equal to the 
Father, that the limit of the sight which suf- 
ficeth us might be attained there. Sometimes 
also it is said of the Son alone, that He him- 
self sufficeth, and the whole reward of our 
love and longing is held forth as in the sight 
of Him. For so it is said, " He that hath my 
commandments, and keepeth them, he it is 
that lovethme; and he that loveth me shall be 
loved of my Father; and I will love him, and 
will manifest myself to him." 9 Pray, be- 
cause He has not here said, And I will show 
the Father also to him, has He therefore 
excluded the Father ? On the contrary, be- 
cause it is true, " I and my Father are one," 
when the Father is manifested, the Son also, 
who is in Him, is manifested; and when the 
Son is manifested, the Father also, who is in 
Him, is manifested. As, therefore, when it 
is said, " And I will manifest myself to him," 
it is understood that He manifests also the 
Father; so likewise in that which is said, 
"When He shall have delivered up the king- 
dom to God, even the Father," it is under- 
stood that He does not take it away from 
Himself; since, when He shall bring believers 
to the contemplation of God, even the Father, 
doubtless He will bring them to the contem- 
plation of Himself, who has said, " And I will 
manifest myself to him." And so, conse- 
quently, when Judas had said to Him, " Lord, 
how is it that Thou wilt manifest Thyself 
unto us, and not unto the world?" Jesus 
answered and said to him, "If a man love 
me, he will keep my words: and my Father 
will love him, and we will come unto him, 
and make our abode with him." 10 Behold, 
that He manifests not only Himself to him 
by whom He is loved, because He comes to 
him together with the Father, and abides 
with him. 

19. Will it perhaps be thought, that when 
the Father and the Son make their abode 
with him who loves them, the Holy Spirit 

8 John xx. 17. 
10 John xiv. 22, 23. 

9 John xiv. 21. 



[Book I. 

is excluded from that abode ? What, 
then, is that which is said above of the 
Holy Spirit : " Whom the world cannot 
receive, because it seeth Him not: but ye 
know Him; for He abideth with you, and is 
in you " ? He, therefore, is not excluded 
from that abode, of whom it is said, "He 
abideth with you, and is in you;" unless, 
perhaps, any one be so senseless as to think, 
that when the Father and the Son have come 
that they may make their abode with him 
who loves them, the Holy Spirit will depart 
thence, and (as it were) give place to those 
who are greater. But the Scripture itself 
meets this carnal idea; for it says a little 
above: " I will pray the Father, and He shall 
give you another Comforter, that He may 
abide with you for ever." 1 He will not 
therefore depart when the Father and the 
Son come, but will be in the same abode with 
them eternally; because neither will He come 
without them, nor they without Him. But 
in order to intimate the Trinity, some things 
are separately affirmed, the Persons being 
also each severally named; and yet are not to 
be understood as though the other Persons 
were excluded, on account of the unity of the 
same Trinity and the One substance and 
Godhead of the Father and of the Son and 
of the Holy Spirit. 2 



20. Our Lord Jesus Christ, therefore, will 
so deliver up the kingdom to God, even the 
Father, Himself not being thence excluded, 
nor the Holy Spirit, when He shall bring be- 
lievers to the contemplation of God, wherein 
is the end of all good actions, and everlasting 
rest, and joy which never will be taken from 
us. For He signifies this in that which He 
says: "I will see you again, and your heart 
shall rejoice; and your joy no man taketh 
from you." 3 Mary, sitting at the feet of the 
Lord, and earnestly listening to His word, 
foreshowed a similitude of this joy; resting 

1 John xiv. 16-23. 

2 [An act belonging- eminently and officially to a particular trin- 
itarian person is not performed to the total exclusion of the other 
persons, because of the numerical unity of essence. The whole 
undivided essence is in each person; consequently, what the es- 
sence in one of its personal modes, or forms, does officially and emi- 
nently, is participated in by the essence in its other modes or 
forms. Hence the interchange of persons in Scripture. Though 
creation is officially the Father's work, yet the Son creates (Col. 
i. 16; Heb. i. 3). The name Saviour is given to the Father (1 Tim. 
i. 1). Judgment belongs officially to the Son (John v. 22; Matt. 
xxv. 31); yet the Father judgeth (1 Pet. i. 17). The Father raises 
Christ (Acts xiii. 30); yet Christ raises himself (John x. 18; Acts 
x. 41; Rom. xiv. 9). W. G. T. S.] 

3 John xvi. 22. 

as she did from all business, and intent upon 
the truth, according to that manner of which 
this life is capable, by which, however, to 
prefigure that which shall be for eternity. 
For while Martha, her sister, was cumbered 
about necessary business, which, although 
good and useful, yet, when rest shall have 
succeeded, is to pass away, she herself was 
resting in the word of the Lord. And so the 
Lord replied to Martha, when she complained 
that her sister did not help her: " Mary hath 
chosen the best part, which shall not be taken 
away from her." 4 He did not say that Mar- 
tha was acting a bad part; but that "best 
part that shall not be taken away." For that 
part which is occupied in the ministering to 
a need shall be " taken away " when the need 
itself has passed away. Since the reward of 
a good work that will pass away is rest that 
will not pass away. In that contemplation, 
therefore, God will be all in all; because 
nothing else but Himself will be required, 
but it will be sufficient to be enlightened by 
and to enjoy Him alone. And so he in 
whom "the Spirit maketh intercession with 
groanings which cannot be uttered,'' s says, 
" One thing have I desired of the Lord, that 
I will seek after; that I may dwell in the 
house of the Lord all the days of my life, to 
contemplate the beauty of the Lord." 6 For 
we shall then contemplate God, the Father 
and the Son and the Holy Spirit, when the 
Mediator between God and men, the man 
Christ Jesus, shall have delivered up the 
kingdom to God, even the Father, so as no 
longer to make intercession for us, as our 
Mediator and Priest, Son of God and Son of 
man; 7 but that He Himself too, in so far as 
He is a Priest that has taken the form of a 
servant for us, shall be put under Him who 
has put all things under Him, and under 
whom He has put all things: so that, in so 
far as He is God, He with Him will have put 
us under Himself; in so far as He is a Priest, 
He with us will be put under Him. 8 And 
therefore as the [incarnate] Son is both God 
and man, it is rather to be said that the man- 
hood in the Son is another substance [from 
the Son], than that the Son in the Father [is 
another substance from the Father]; just as 

4 Luke x. 30-42. 5 Rom. viii. 26. 6 Ps. xxvii. 4. 

7 [The redeemed must forever stand in the relation of redeemed 
sinners to their Redeemer. Thus standing, they will forever need 
Christ's sacrifice and intercession in respect to their past sins in 
this earthly state. But as in the heavenly state they are sinless, 
and are incurring no new guilt, it is true that they do not require 
the fresh application of atoning blood for new sins, nor Christ's in- 
tercession for such. This is probably what Augustin means by 
saying that Christ " no longer makes intercession for us," when he 
has delivered up the kingdom to God. When the Mediator has 
surrendered his commission, he ceases to redeem sinners from 
death, while yet he continues forever to be the Head of those whom 
he has redeemed, and their High Priest forever, after the order of 
Melchizedek (Heb. vii. 1; .) W. G. T. S.] S 1 Cor. xv. 24-28, 

Chap. XL] 




the carnal nature of my soul is more another 
substance in relation to my soul itself, al- 
though in one and the same man, than the 
soul of another man is in relation to 
soul. * 

21. When, therefore, He "shall have 
livered up the kingdom to God, even the 
Father," that is, when He shall have 
brought those who believe and live by faith, 
for whom now as Mediator He maketh in- 
tercession, to that contemplation, for the 
obtaining of which we sigh and groan, and 
when labor and groaning shall have passed 
away, then, since the kingdom will have 
been delivered up to God, even the Father, 
He will no more make intercession for us. 
And this He signifies, when He says: " These 
things have I spoken unto you in simili- 
tudes; 2 but the time cometh when I shall no 
more speak unto you in similitudes, - but I 
shall declare 3 to you plainly of the Father: " 
that is, they will not then be "similitudes," 
when the sight shall be " face to face." For 
this it is which He says, " But I will declare 
to you plainly of the Father; " as if He said, 
I will plainly show you the Father. For He 
says, I will " declare " to you, because He is 
His word. For He goes on to say, " At that 
day ye shall ask in my name; and I say not 
unto you, that I will pray the Father for 
you: for the Father Himself loveth you, be- 
cause ye have loved me, and have believed 
that I came out from God. I came forth 
from the Father, and am come into the 
world: again, I leave the world, and go to the 
Father." 4 What is meant by " I came forth 
from the Father," unless this, that I have 
not appeared in that form in which I am 
equal to the Father, but otherwise, that is, 
as less than the Father, in the creature which 
I have taken upon me? And what is meant 
by " I am come into the world," unless this, 
that I have manifested to the eyes even of 
sinners who love this world, the form of a 
servant which I took, making myself of no 
reputation? And what is meant by " Again, 
I leave the world, " unless this, that I take 
away from the sight of the lovers of this 
world that which they have seen ? And what 
is meant by " I go to the Father," unless 
this, that I teach those who are my faithful 
ones to understand me in that being in which 
I am equal to the Father ? Those who be- 

1 [The animal soul is different in kind from the rational soul, 
though both constitute one person; while the rational soul of a man 
is the same in kind with that of another man. Similarly, says Au- 
gustin, there is a difference in kind between the human nature and 
the divine nature of Christ, though constituting one theanthropic 
person, while the divine nature of the Son is the same in substance 
with that of the Father, though constituting two different persons, 
the Father and Son. W. G. t. S.] 

2 Proverbs A. V. 3 Show A.V. 4 John xvi. 25-28. 

lieve this will be thought worthy of being 
brought by faith to sight, that is, to that very 
sight, in bringing them to which He is said 
to " deliver up the kingdom to God, even the 
Father." For His faithful ones, whom He 
has redeemed with His blood, are called His 
kingdom, for whom He now intercedes; but 
then, making them to abide in Himself there, 
where He is equal to the Father, He will no 
longer pray the Father for them. " For," 
He says, "the Father Himself loveth you." 
For indeed He "prays," in so far as He is 
less than the Father; but as He is equal 
with the Father, He with the Father grants. 
Wherefore He certainly does not exclude 
Himself from that which He says, " The 
Father Himself loveth you; " but He means 
it to be understood after that manner which I 
have above spoken of, and sufficiently intimat- 
ed, namely, that for the most part each Per- 
son of the Trinity is so named, that the other 
Persons also may be understood. Accord- 
ingly* " For the Father Himself loveth you," 
is so said that by consequence both the Son 
and the Holy Spirit also may be understood: 
not that He does not now love us, who spared 
not His own Son, but delivered Him up for 
us all; 3 but God loves us, such as we shall 
be, not such as we are, For such as they are 
whom He loves, such are they whom He 
keeps eternally; which shall then be, when 
He who now maketh intercession for us shall 
have " delivered up the kingdom to God, 
even the Father," so as no longer to ask the 
Father, because the Father Himself loveth 
us. But for what deserving, except of faith, 
by which we believe before we see that which 
is promised ? For by this faith we shall ar- 
rive at sight; so that He may love us, being 
such, as He loves us in order that we may 
become; and not such, as He hates us be- 
cause we are, and exhorts and enables us to 
wish not to be always. 


22. Wherefore, having mastered this rule 
for interpreting the Scriptures concerning the 
Son of God, that we are to distinguish in them 
what relates to the form of God, in which He 
is equal to the Father, and what to the form 
of a servant which He took, in which He is 
less than the Father; we shall not be dis- 
quieted by apparently contrary and mutually 
repugnant sayings of the sacred books. For 
both the Son and the Holy Spirit, according 
to the form of God, are equal to the Father, 

5 Rom. viii. 32. 



[Book I. 

is greater than I;" 
Himself, because it 
emptied Himself ; " 

the doing of which things 
clares Himself to be "sent," 

because neither of them is a creature, as we 
have already shown: but according to the 
form of a servant He is less than the Father, 
because He Himself has said, "My Father 

and He is less than 
is said of Him, He 
and He is less than 
the^Holy Spirit, because He Himself says, 
"Whosoever speaketh a word against the 
Son of man, it shall be forgiven him; but 
whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, 
it shall not be forgiven Him." 3 And in the 
Spirit too He wrought miracles, saying: " But 
if I with the Spirit of God cast out devils, no 
doubt the kingdom of God is come upon 
you." 4 And in Isaiah He says, in the les- 
son which He Himself read in the synagogue, 
and showed without a scruple of doubt to be 
fulfilled concerning Himself," The Spirit of 
the Lord God," He says, "is upon me: be- 
cause He hath anointed me to preach good 
tidings unto the meek He hath sent me to 
proclaim liberty to the captives/' 5 etc.: for 

He therefore de- 
because the 
Spirit of God is upon Him. According to 
the form of God, all things were made by 
Him; 6 according to the form of a servant, 
He was Himself made of a woman, made 
under the law. 7 According to the form of 
God, He and the Father are one; 8 according 
to the form of a servant, He came not to do 
His own will, but the will of Him that sent 
Him. 9 According to the form of God, "As 
the Father hath life in Himself, so hath He 
given to the Son to have life in Himself;" 10 
according to the form of a servant, His " soul 
is sorrowful even unto death;'' and, " O my 
Father," He says, " if it be possible, let this 
cup pass from me." " According to the form 
of God, "He is the True God, and eternal 
life;" 12 according to the form of a servant, 
" He became obedient unto death, even the 
death of the cross." I3 23, According to the 
form of God, all things that the Father hath 
are His, I4 and "All mine," He says, "are 
Thine, and Thine are mine; " I5 according to 
the form of a servant, the doctrine is not His 
own, but His that sent Him. 16 

1 John xiv. 28. 2 Phil. ii. 7. 

3 Matt. xii. 32. 4 Matt. xii. 28. 

5 Isa lxi. 1; Luke iv. 18, 19. 6 John i. 3. 

7 Gal. iv. 4. 8 John. x. 30. 

9 John vi. 38. 

! John v. 26. [In communicating the- Divine Essence to the 
Son, in eternal generation, the essence is communicated with all 
its attributes. Self existence is one of these attributes. In this 
way, the Father " gives to the Son to have life in himself." when 
he makes common (>i>eiv), between Himself and the Son, the 
one Divine Essence. W. G. T. S.] 

11 Matt. xxvi. 38, 39. I2 1 John v. 20. 

13 Phil. ii. 8. U John xvii. 15. 

15 John xvii. 10. l6 John vii. 16. 


Again, " Of that day and that hour knoweth 
no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven; 
neither the Son, but the Father." 17 For He is 
ignorant of this, as making others ignorant ; that 
is, in that He did not so know as at that time 
to show His disciples: lS as it was said to 
Abraham, "Now I know that thou fearest 
God," 19 that is, now I have caused thee to 
know it; because he himself, being tried in 
that temptation, became known to himself. 
For He was certainly going to tell this same 
thing to His disciples at the fitting time; 
speaking of which yet future as if past, He 
says, "Henceforth I call you not servants, 
but friends; for the servant knoweth not what 
his Lord doeth: but I have called you friends; 
for all things that I have heard of my Father 
I have made known unto you;" 20 which He 
had not yet done, but spoke as though He 
had already done it, because He certainly 
would do it. For He says to the disciples 
themselves, "I have yet many things to say 
unto you; but ye cannot bear them now." 21 
Among which is to be understood also, " Of 
the day and hour." For the apostle also 
says, "I determined not to know anything 
among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him cru- 
cified;" 22 because he was speaking to those 
who were not able to receive higher things 
concerning the Godhead of Christ. To whom 
also a little while after he says, " I could not 
speak unto you as unto spiritual,but as unto car- 
nal." 23 He was " ignorant," therefore, among 
them of that which they were not able to know 
from him. And that only he said that he 
knew, which it was fitting that they should 
know from him. In short, he knew among 
the perfect what he knew not among babes; 
for he there says: " We speak wisdom among 
them that are perfect." 24 For a man is said 

r 7 Mark xiii. 32. 

18 [The more common explanation of this text in modern ex- 
egesis makes the ignorance to be literal, and referable solely to 
the human nature of our Lord, not to his person as a whole. 
Augustin's explanation, which Bengel, on Mark xiii. 32, is in- 
clined to favor, escapes the difficulty that arises from a seeming 
division of the one theanthopic person into two portions, one of 
which knows, and the other does not. Yet this same difficulty be- 
sets the fact ol a. growth in knowledge, which is plainly taught in 
Luke i. 80. In this case, the increase in wisdom must relate to the 
humanity alone. W.G.T.S.l 

*9 Gen. xxii. 12. 2 John xv. 15. 

21 John xvi. 12. 22 1 Cor. ii. 2. 

2 3 1 Cor. iii. 1. 24 1 Cor. ii. 6. 

Chap. XII.] 



not to know what he hides, after that kind of 
speech, after which a ditch is called blind 
which is hidden. For the Scriptures do not 
use any other kind of speech than may be 
found in use among men, because they speak 
to men. 

24. According to the form of God, it is said, 
" Before all the hills He begat me," ' that is, 
before all the loftinesses of things created; 
and, " Before the dawn I begat Thee," 2 that 
is, before all times and temporal things: but 
according to the form of a servant, it is said, 
*' The Lord created me in the beginning of 
His ways." 3 Because, according to the form 
of God, He said, "I am the truth;" and ac- 
cording to the form of a servant, " I am the 
way." 4 For, because He Himself, being the 
first-begotten of the dead, 5 made a passage to 
the kinodom of God to life eternal for His 
Church, to which He is so the Head as to 
make the body also immortal, therefore He 
was " created in the beginning of the ways " 
of God in His work. For, according to the 
form of God, He is the beginning, 6 that also 
speaketh unto us, in which "beginning" God 
created the heaven and the earth; 7 but ac- 
cording to che form of a servant, " He is a 
bridegroom coming out of His chamber." 8 
According to the form of God, " He is the 
first-born of every creature, and He is before 
all things and by him all things consist; " 
according to the form of a servant, " He 
is the head of the body, the Church." 9 
According to the form of God, " He is 
the Lord of glory." I0 From which it is 
evident that He Himself glorifies His saints: 
for, "Whom He did predestinate, them He 
also called; and whom He called, them He 
also justified; and whom He justified, them 
He also glorified."" Of Him accordingly it 
is said, that He justifieth the ungodly; 12 of 
Him it is said, that He is just and a justifier. 13 
If, therefore, He has also glorified those whom 
He has justified, He who justifies, Himself 
also glorifies; who is, as I have said, the Lord 
of glory. Yet, according to the form of a 
servant, He replied to His disciples, when 
inquiring about their own glorification: "To 
sit on my right hand and on my left is not 
mine to give, but [it shall be given to them] 
for whom it is prepared by my Father." I4 

25. But that which is prepared by His 
Father is prepared also by the Son Himself, 
because He and the Father are one. IS For we 
have already shown, by many modes of speech 
in the divine Scriptures, that, in this Trinity, 

1 Prov. viii. 25. 

3 Prov. viii. 22. 

6 John viii. 25. 

9 Col. i. 15, 17, 18. 
12 Rom. iv. 5. 
T 5 John x. 30. 

2 Ps. ex. 3, Vulgate. 

4 John xiv. 6. S Apoc. i. 5. 

7 Gen. i. 1. 8 Ps. xix. <;. 

10 1 Cor. ii. 8. " Rom. viii. 30. 

*3 Rom. iii. 26. *4 Matt. xx. 23. 

what is said of each is also said of all, on ac- 
count of the indivisible working of the one 
and same substance. As He also says of the 
Holy Spirit, "If I depart, I will send Him 
unto you." 16 He did not say, We will send; 
but in such way as if the Son only should 
send Him, and not the Father; while yet He 
says in another place, "These things have I 
spoken unto you, being yet present with you; 
but the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, 
whom the Father will send in my name, He 
shall teach you all things." 17 Here again it 
is so said as if the Son also would not send 
Him, but the Father only. As therefore in 
these texts, so also where He says, " But for 
them for whom it is prepared by my Father," 
He meant it to be understood that He Him- 
self, with the Father, prepares seats of glory 
for those for whom He will. But some one 
may say: There, when He spoke of the Holy 
Spirit, He so says that He Himself will send 
Him, as not to deny that the Father will send 
Him; and in the other place, He so says that 
the Father will send Him, as not to deny 
that He will do so Himself; but here He ex- 
pressly says, ' It is not mine to give," and 
so goes on to say that these things are pre- 
pared by the Father. But this is the very 
thing which we have already laid down to be 
said according to the form of a servant: viz., 
that we are so to understand "It is not mine 
to give,'' as if it were said, This is not in the 
power of man to give; that so He may be un- 
derstood to give it through that wherein He 
is God equal to the Father. "It is not 
mine," He says, " to give;" that is, I do not 
give these things by human power, but "to 
those for whom it is prepared by my Father; " 
but then take care you understand also, that 
if "all things which the Father hath are 
mine," 18 then this certainly is mine also, and 
I with the Father have prepared these things. 
26. For I ask again, in what manner this is 
said, " If any man hear not my words, I will 
not judge him?'' I9 For perhaps He has said 
here, "I will not judge him," in the same 
sense as there, "It is not mine to give." But 
what follows here? "I came not," He 
says, "to judge the world, but to save the 
world; " and then He adds," He that reject- 
eth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one 
that judgeth him." Now here we should 
understand the Father, unless He had added, 
" The word that I have spoken, the same 
shall judge him in the last day." Well, then, 
will neither the Son judge, because He says, 
" I will not judge him, " nor the Father, hut 
the word which the Son hath spoken ? Nay. 

16 John xvi. 7. 
18 John xvi 15. 

*7 John xiv. 25, 26. 
'9 John xii. 47-50. 


[Book I. 

but hear what yet follows: " For I," He says, 
" have not spoken of myself; but the Father 
which sent me, He gave me a commandment, 
what I should say, and what I should speak; 
and I know that His commandment is life 
everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, 
even as the Father said unto me, so I speak." 
If therefore the Son judges not, but "the 
word which the Son hath spoken;" and the 
word which the Son hath spoken therefore 
judges, because the Son " hath not spoken of 
Himself, but the Father who sent Him gave 
Him a commandment what He should say, 
and what He should speak:" then the Father 
assuredly judges, whose word it is which the 
Son hath spoken; and the same Son Himself 
is the very Word of the Father. For the 
commandment of the Father is not one thing, 
and the word of the Father another; for He 
hath called it both a word and a command- 
ment. Let us see, therefore, whether per- 
chance, when He says, " I have not spoken 
of myself," He meant to be understood thus, 
I am not born of myself. For if He speaks 
the word of the Father, then He speaks Him- 
self, 1 because He is Himself the Word of the 
Father. For ordinarily He says, "The 
Father gave to me; " by which He means it 
to be understood that the Father begat Him: 
not that He gave anything to Him, already 
existing and not possessing it; but that the 
very meaning of, To have given that He 
might have, is, To have begotten that He 
might be. For it is not, as with the creature, 
so with the Son of God before the incarnation 
and before He took upon Him our flesh, the 
Only-begotten by whom all things were made; 
that He is one thing, and has another: but 
He is in such way as to be what He has. 
And this is said more plainly, if any one is 
fit to receive it, in that place where He says: 
" For as the Father hath life in Himself, so 
hath He given to the Son to have life in Him- 
self." 2 For He did not give to Him, already 
existing and not having life, that He should 
have life in Himself; inasmuch as, in that He 
is, He is life. Therefore "He gave to the 
Son to have life in Himself" means, He begat 
the Son to be unchangeable life, which is life 
eternal. Since, therefore, the Word of God 
is the Son of God, and the Son of God is 
"the true God and eternal life," 3 as John 
says in his Epistle; so here, what else are we 
to acknowledge when the Lord says, "The 
word which I have spoken, the same shall 
judge him at the last day,"* and calls that 
very word the word of the Father and the 
commandment of the Father, and that very 

1 Seifisum loquitur. 
3 i John v. 20 

2 John v. 26. 
4 John xii. 48. 

commandment everlasting life?" "And I 
know," He says, " that His commandment is 
life everlasting." 

27. I ask, therefore, how we are to under- 
stand, "I will not judge him; but the Word 
which I have spoken shall judge him:" which 
appears from what follows to be so said, as if 
He would say, I will not judge; but the Word 
of the Father will judge. But the Word of 
the Father is the Son of God Himself. Is it 
to be so understood: I will not judge, but I 
will judge ? How can this be true, unless in 
this way: viz., I will not judge by human 
power, because I am the Son of man; but I 
will judge by the power of the Word, because 
I am the Son of God ? Or if it still seems 
contradictory and inconsistent to say, I will 
not judge, but I will judge; what shall we say 
of that place where He says, "My doctrine 
is not mine?" How "mine," when "not 
mine ? " For He did not say, This doctrine 
is not mine, but "My doctrine is not mine:" 
that which He called His own, the same He 
called not His own. How can this be true, 
unless He has called it His own in one rela- 
tion; not His own, in another ? According to 
the form of God, His own; according to the 
form of a servant, not His own. For when 
He says, "It is not mine, but His that sent 
me," 5 He makes us recur to the Word itself. 
For the doctrine of the Father is the Word of 
the Father, which is the Only Son. And 
what, too, does that mean, " He that believeth 
on me, believeth not on me ? " 6 How believe 
on Him, yet not believe on Him? How can 
so opposite and inconsistent a thing be under- 
stood "Whoso believeth on me," He says, 
"believeth not on me, but on Him that sent 
me;" unless you so understand it, Whoso 
believeth on me believeth not on that which 
he sees, lest our hope should be in the crea- 
ture; but on Him who took the creature, 
whereby He might appear to human eyes, and 
so might cleanse our hearts by faith, to con- 
template Himself as equal to the Father? So 
that in turning the attention of believers to 
the Father, and saying, " Believeth not on me, 
but on Him that sent me," He certainly did 
not mean Himself to be separated from the 
Father, that is, from Him that sent Him; but 
that men might so believe on Himself, as 
they believe on the Father, to whom He is 
equal. And this He says in express terms in 
another place, "Ye believe in God, believe 
also in me:" 7 that is, in the same way as 
you believe in God, so also believe in me; 
because I and the Father are One God. As 
therefore, here, He has as it were withdrawn 

5 John vii. 16. 

6 John xii. 44. 

7 John xiv. 1. 

Chap. XIII.] 



the faith of men from Himself, and transferred 
it to the Father, by saying, " Believeth not 
on me, but on Him that sent me," from 
whom nevertheless He certainly did not sepa- 
rate Himself; so also, when He says, " It is 
not mine to give, but [it shall be given to 
them] for whom it is prepared by my Father," 
it is 1 think plain in what relation both are to 
be taken. For that other also is of the same 
kind, " I will not judge; " whereas He Him- 
self shall judge the quick and dead. 1 But 
because He will not do so by human power, 
therefore, reverting to the Godhead, He raises 
the hearts of men upwards; which to lift up, 
He Himself came down. 

STASIS [theanthropic PERSON]. WHY IT IS 

28. Yet unless the very same were the Son 
of man on account of the form of a servant 
which He took, who is the Son of God on ac- 
count of the form of God in which He is; 
Paul the apostle would not say of the princes 
of this world, " For had they known it, they 
would not have crucified the Lord of glory." 2 
For He was crucified after the form of a ser- 
vant, and yet " the Lord of glory " was cruci- 
fied. For that '' taking '' was such as to make 
God man, and man God. Yet what is said 
on account of what, and what according to 
what, the thoughtful, diligent, and pious reader 
discerns for himself, the Lord being his helper. 
For instance, we have said that He glorifies 
His own, as being God, and certainly then as 
being the Lord of glory; and yet the Lord of 
glory was crucified, because even God is 
rightly said to have been crucified, not after 
the power of the divinity, but after the weak- 
ness of the flesh: 3 just as we say, that He 
judges as God, that is, by divine power, not by 
human; and yet the man Himself will judge, 
just as the Lord of glory was crucified: for so 
He expressly says, "When the Son of man 
shall come in His glory, and all the holy 
angels with Him, and before Him shall be 
' gathered all nations;" 4 and the rest that is 
foretold of the future judgment in that place 
even to the last sentence. And the Jews, in- 
asmuch as they will be punished in that judg- 
ment for persisting in their wickedness, as it 
is elsewhere written, " shall look upon Him 
whom they have pierced." 5 For whereas 
both good and bad shall see the Judge of the 

1 2 Tim. iv. 1. 

4 Matt. xxv. 31, 32. 

2 1 Cor. ii. 8. 
5 Zech. xii. 10. 

3 2 Cor. xiii. 4. 

quick and dead, without doubt the bad will 
not be able to see Him, except after the form 
in which He is the Son of man; but yet in the 
glory wherein He will judge, not in the lowli- 
ness wherein He was judged. But the un- 
godly without doubt will not see that form of 
God in which He is equal to the Father. For 
they are not pure in heart; and " Blessed are 
the pure in heart: for they shall see God." 6 
And that sight is face to face, 7 the very sight 
that is promised as the highest reward to the 
just, and which will then take place when He 
" shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, 
even the Father;" and in this "kingdom" 
He means the sight of His own form also to 
be understood, the whole creature being made 
subject to God, including that wherein the 
Son of God was made the Son of man. Be- 
cause, according to this creature, "The Son 
also Himself shall be subject unto Him, that 
put all things under Him, that God may be 
all in all." 8 Otherwise if the Son of God, 
judging in the form in which He is equal to 
the Father, shall appear when He judges to 
the ungodly also; what becomes of that which 
He promises, as some great thing, to him who 
loves Him, saying, "And I will love him, and 
will manifest myself to him?" 9 Wherefore 
He will judge as the Son of man, yet not by 
human power, but by that whereby He is 
the Son of God; and on the other hand, 
He will judge as the Son of God, yet not 
appearing in that [unincarnate] form in which 
He is God equal to the Father, but in that [in- 
carnate form] in which He is the Son of man. 10 
29. Therefore both ways of speaking may 
be used; the Son of man will judge, and, the 
Son of man will not judge: since the Son of 
man will judge, that the text may be true 
which says, "When the Son of man shall 
come, then before Him shall be gathered all 
nations;" and the Son of man will not judge, 
that the text may be true which says, " I will 
not judge him; "" and, " I seek not mine own 
glory: there is One that seeketh and judg- 
eth.'' 13 For in respect to this, that in the 
judgment, not the form of God, but the form 
of the Son of man will appear, the Father 
Himself will not judge; for according to this 

6 Matt. v. 8. 7 1 Cor. xiii. 12. 

8 1 Cor. xv. 24-28. 9 John xiv. 21. 

10 [Augustin, in this discussion, sometimes employs the phrase 
"Son of man" to denote the human nature of Christ, in distinc- 
tion from the divine. Hut in Scripture and in trinitarian theology 
generally, this phrase properly denotes the whole theanthropic per- 
son under a human title just as '" man," (1 Tim. ii. 5), "last Adam" 
(1 Cor. xv. 45), and "second man" (1 Cor. xv. 47), denote not tin- 
human nature, but the whole divine-human person under a human 
title. Strictly used, the phrase " Son of man " does not designate the 
difference between the divine and human natures in the theanthro- 
pos, but between the person of the -incarnate and that of the 
incarnate Logos. Augustin's meaning is. that the Son of God will 
judge men at the last day, not in his original " form of God," but 
as this is united with human nature as the Son of man. W. G. 
T. S.] XI John xii. 47. I2 John viii. 50. 



[Book I. 

it is said, " For the Father judgeth no man, 
hut hath committed all judgment unto the 
Son." Whether this is said after that mode 
of speech which we have mentioned above, 
where it is said, "So hath He given to the 
Son to have life in Himself," 1 that it should 
signify that so He begat the Son; or, whether 
after that of which the apostle speaks, saying, 
"Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, 
and given Him a name which is above every 
name:" (For this is said of the Son of man, 
in respect to whom the Son of God was raised 
from the dead; since He, being in the form of 
God equal to the Father, wherefrom He 
"emptied" Himself by taking the form of a 
servant, both acts and suffers, and receives, 
in that same form of a servant, what the 
apostle goes on to mention: "He humbled 
Himself, and became obedient unto death, 
even the death of the cross; wherefore God 
also hath highly exalted Him ; and given Him 
a name which is above every name; that at 
the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of 
things in heaven, and things in earth, and 
things under the earth; and that every tongue 
should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, in. 
the Glory of God the Father:" 2 ) whether 
then the words, " He hath committed all 
judgment unto the Son," are said according 
to this or that mode of speech; it sufficiently 
appears from this place, that if they were said 
according to that sense in which it is said, 
"He hath given to the Son to have life in 
Himself," it certainly would not be said, 
" The Father judgeth no man." For in re- 
spect to this, that the Father hath begotten 
the Son equal to Himself, He judges with 
Him. Therefore it is in respect to this that 
it is said, that in the judgment, not the form 
of God, but the form of the Son of man will 
appear. Not that He will not judge, who 
hath committed all judgment unto the Son, 
since the Son saith of Him, " There is One 
that seeketh and judgeth:" but it is so said, 
' The Father judgeth no man, but hath com- 
mitted all judgment unto the Son;" as if it 
were said, No one will see the Father in the 
judgment of the quick and the dead, but all 
will see the Son: because He is also the Son 
of man, so that He can be seen even by the 
ungodly,. since they too shall see Him whom 
they have pierced. 

30. Lest, however, we may seem to conjec- 
ture this rather than to prove it clearly, let us 
produce a certain and plain sentence of the 
Lord Himself, by which we may show that 
this was the cause why He said, " The Father 
judgeth no man, but hath committed all judg- 

1 John v. 22, 26. 

2 Phil. ii. 8-11. 

ment unto the Son," viz. because He will ap- 
pear as Judge in the form of the Son of man, 
which is not the form of the Father, but of 
the Son; nor yet that form of the Son in which 
He is equal to the Father, but that in which 
He is less than the Father; in order that, in 
the judgment. He may be visible both to the 
good and to the bad. For a little while after 
He says, " 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 condemnation; but shall pass 3 
from death unto life." Now this life eternal 
is that sight which does not belong to the bad. 
Then follows, " 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." 4 And this is 
proper to the godly, who so hear of His in- 
carnation, as to believe that He is the Son of 
God, that is, who so receive Him, as made 
for tneir sakes less than the Father, in the 
form of a servant, that they believe Him 
equal to the Father, in the form of God. 
And thereupon He continues, enforcing this 
very point, " For as the Father hath life in 
Himself, so hath He given to the Son to have 
life in Himself." And then He comes to the 
sight of His own glory, in which He shall 
come to judgment; which sight will be com- 
mon to the ungodly and to the just. For He 
goes on to say, "And hath given Him au- 
thority to execute judgment also, because He 
is the Son of man." 5 I think nothing can be 
more clear. For inasmuch as the Son of God 
is equal to the Father, He does not receive 
this power of executing judgment, but He has 
it with the Father in secret; but He receives 
it, so that the good and the bad may see Him 
judging, inasmuch as He is the Son of man. 
Since the sight of the Son of man will be 
shown to the bad also: for the sight of the 
form of God will not be shown except to the 
pure in heart, for they shall see God; that is, 
to the godly only, to whose love He promises 
this very thing, that He will show Himself to 
them. And see, accordingly, what follows: 
" Marvel not at this," He says. Why does 
He forbid us to marvel, unless it be that, in 
truth, every one marvels who does not under- 
stand, that therefore He said the Father gave 
Him power also to execute judgment, because 
He is the Son of man; whereas, it might 
rather have been anticipated that He would 
say, since He is the Son of God ? But because 
the wicked are not able to see the Son of God 
as He is in the form of God equal to the Father, 

3 TransizV in Vulg.; and so in the Greek. 

4 John v. 24, 25. 5 John v. 25, 26. 

Chap. XIII.] 



but yet it is necessary that both the just and the 
wicked should see the Judge of the quick and 
dead, when they will be judged in His pres- 
ence; "Marvel not at this," He says, "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 damnation." 1 
For this purpose, then, it was necessary that 
He should therefore receive that power, be- 
cause He is the Son of man, in order that all 
in rising again might see Him in the form in 
which He can be seen by all, but by some to 
damnation, by others to life eternal. And 
what is life eternal, unless that sight which is 
not granted to the ungodly? "That they 
might know Thee," He says, "the One true 
God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast 
sent." 2 And how are they to know Jesus 
Christ Himself also, unless as the One true 
God, who will show Himself to them; not as 
He will show Himself, in the form of the Son 
of man, to those also that shall be punished ? 3 
31. He is "good," according to that sight, 
according to which God appears to the pure 
in heart; for " truly God is good unto Israel, 
even to such as are of a clean heart." 4 But 
when the wicked shall see the Judge, He will 
not seem good to them; because they will not 
rejoice in their heart to see Him, but all 
"kindreds of the earth shall then wail be- 
cause of Him," 5 namely, as being reckoned 
in the number of all the wicked and unbe- 
lievers. On this account also He replied to 
him, who had called Him Good Master, when 
seeking advice of Him how he might attain 
eternal life, " Why askest thou me about 
good? 6 there is none good but One, that is, 
God." 7 And yet the Lord Himself, in an- 
other place, calls man good: "A good man," 
He says, " out of the good treasure of his 
heart, bringeth forth good things: and an evil 
man, out of the evil treasure of his heart, 
bringeth forth evil things." 8 But because 
that man was seeking eternal life, and eternal 
life consists in that contemplation in which 
God is seen, not for punishment, but for ever- 
lasting joy; and because he did not under- 

1 John v. 22-29. 2 John xvii. 3. 

3 [Augustin here seems to teach that the phenomenal appear- 
ance of Christ to the redeemed in heaven will be different from 
that to all men in the day of judgment. He says that he will show 
himself to the former "in the form of God;" to the latter, "in the 
form of the Son of man." But, surely, it is one and the same God- who sits on the judgment throne, and the heavenly throne. 
His appearance must be the same in both instances: namely, that 
of God incarnate. The effect of his phenomenal appearance upon 
the believer will, indeed, "be very different from that upon the un- 
believer. For the wicked, this vision of God incarnate will be 
one of terror; for the redeemed one of joy. W. G. T. S.] 

4 Ps. lxxiii. 1. 5 Apoc. i. 7. 

6 [Augustin's reading of this text is that of the uncials; and in 
that form which omits the article with aya.-<iov. W. G. T. S.] 

7 Matt. xix. 17. 8 Matt. xii. 35. 

stand with whom he was speaking, and thoug it 
Him to be only the Son of man: 9 Why, He 
says, askest thou me about good ? that is, 
with respect to that form which thou seest, 
why askest thou about good, and callest me. 
according to what thou seest, Good Master ? 
This is the form of the Son of man, the form 
which has been taken, the form that will ap- 
pear in judgment, not only to the righteous, 
but also to the ungodly; and the sight of this 
form will not be for good to those who are 
wicked. But there is a sight of that form of 
mine, in which when I was, I thought it not 
robbery to be equal with God: but in order 
to take this form I emptied myself. 10 That 
one God, therefore, the Father and the Son 
and the Holy Spirit, who will not appear, 
except for joy which cannot be taken away 
from the just; for which future joy he sighs, 
who says, " One thing have I desired of the 
Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell 
in the house of the Lord all the days of my 
life, to behold the beauty of the Lord: " " that 
one God, therefore, Himself, I say, is alone 
good, for this reason, that no one sees Him 
for sorrow and wailing, but only for salvation 
and true joy. If you understand me after 
this latter form, then I am good; but if ac- 
cording to that former only, then why askest 
thou me about good ? If thou art among 
those who " shall look upon Him whom they 
have pierced," I2 that very sight itself will be 
evil to them, because it will be penal. That 
after this meaning, then, the Lord said, 
" Why askest thou me about good ? there is 
none good but One, that is, God," is proba- 
ble upon those proofs which I have alleged, 
because that sight of God, whereby we shall 
contemplate the substance of God unchange- 
able and invisible to human eyes (which is 
promised to the saints alone; which the Apos- 
tle Paul speaks of, as " face to face; " I3 and 
of which the Apostle John says, "We shall 
be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is; " u 
and of which it is said, "One thing have I 
desired of the Lord, that I may behold the 
beauty of the Lord," and of which the Lord 
Himself says, " I will both love him, and will 
manifest myself to him; " IS and on account of 
which alone we cleanse our hearts by faith, 
that we may be those " pure in heart who are 
blessed for they shall see God:" 16 and what- 

9 [That is, a mere man. Augustin here, as in some other places, 
employs the phrase " Son of, man " to denote the human nature 
by itself not the divine and human natures united in one person, 
and designated by this human title. The latter is the Scripture 
usage. As " Immanuel " does not properly denote the divine na- 
ture, but the union of divinity and humanity, so " Son of man " 
does not properly denote the human nature, but the union of di- 
vinity and humanity. \\ . G. T. S.] 

10 Phil. ii. 6, 7. " Ps. xxvii. 4. z - Zech. xii. 10. 

13 1 Cor. xiii. 12. M 1 John iii. 2. >S John xiv. 21. 

6 Matt. v. 8. 



[Book I. 

ever else is spoken of that sight: which who- 
soever turns the eye of love to seek it, may 
find most copiously scattered through all the 
Scriptures), that sight alone, I say, is our 
chief good, for the attaining of which we are 
directed to do whatever we do aright. But 
that sight of the Son of man which is foretold, 
when all nations shall be gathered before 
Him, and shall say to Him, " Lord, when saw 
we Thee an hungered, or thirsty, etc.? " will 
neither be a good to the ungodly, who shall 
be sent into everlasting fire, nor the chief 
good to the righteous. For He still goes on 
to call these to the kingdom which has been 
prepared for them from the foundation of the 
world. For, as He will say to those, " De- 
part into everlasting fire;" so to these," Come, 
ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom 
prepared for you." And as those will go into 
everlasting burning; so the righteous will go 
into life eternal. But what is life eternal, ex- 
cept "that they may know Thee/' He says, 
"the One true God, and Jesus Christ, whom 
Thou hast sent ? " * but know Him now in that 
glory of which He says to the Father, " Which 
I had with Thee before the world was." 2 For 
then He will deliver up the kingdom to God, 

even the Father, 3 that the good servant may 
enter into the joy of his Lord, 4 and that He 
may hide those whom God keeps in the hid- 
ing of His countenance from the confusion of 
men, namely, of those men who shall then be 
confounded by hearing this sentence; of 
which evil hearing "the righteous man shall 
not be afraid" 5 if only he be kept in " the 
tabernacle," that is, in the true faith of the 
Catholic Church, from "the strife of 
tongues," 6 that is, from the sophistries of 
heretics. But if there is any other explana- 
tion of the words of the Lord, where He says, 
" Why asketh thou me about good ? there is 
none good, but One, that is, God;" provided 
only that the substance of the Father be not 
therefore believed to be of greater goodness 
than that of the Son, according to which He is 
the Word by whom all things were made; and 
if there is nothing in it abhorrent from sound 
doctrine; let us securely use it, and not one 
explanation only, but as many as we are able 
to find. For so much the more powerfully 
are the heretics proved wrong, the more out- 
lets are open for avoiding their snares. But 
let us now start afresh, and address ourselves 
to the consideration of that which still remains. 

1 Matt. xxv. 37, 41, 34. 

2 John xvii. 3-5. 

3 1 Cor. xv. 24. 
5 Ps. cxii. 7. 

4 Matt. xxv. 31, 23. 
6 Ps. xxxi. 31. 




When men seek to know God, and bend 
their minds according to the capacity of hu- 
man weakness to the understanding of the 
Trinity; learning, as they must, by experience, 
the wearisome difficulties of the task, whether 
from the sight itself of the mind striving to 
gaze upon light unapproachable, or, indeed, 
from the manifold and various modes of 
speech employed in the sacred writings 
(wherein, as it seems to me, the mind is 
nothing else but roughly exercised, in order 
that it may find sweetness when glorified by 
the grace of Christ); such men, I say, when 
they have dispelled every ambiguity, and 
arrived at something certain, ought of all 
others most easily to make allowance for 
those who err in the investigation of so deep 
a secret. But there are two things most hard 
to bear with, in the case of those who are in 
error: hasty assumption before the truth is 
made plain; and, when it has been made 
plain, defence of the falsehood thus hastily 
assumed. From which two faults, inimical 
as they are to the finding out of the truth, 
and to the handling of the divine and sacred 
books, should God, as I pray and hope, de- 
fend and protect me with the shield of His 
good will, 1 and with the grace of His mercy, 
I will not be slow to search out the substance 
of God, whether through His Scripture or 
through the creature. For both of these are 
set forth for our contemplation to this end, 
that He may Himself be sought, and Him- 
self be loved, who inspired the one, and 

1 PS. V. 12. 

created the other. Nor shall I be afraid of 
giving my opinion, in which I shall more 
desire to be examined by the upright, than 
fear to be carped at by the perverse. For 
charity, most excellent and unassuming, 
gratefully accepts the dovelike eye; but for 
the dog's tooth nothing remains, save either 
to shun it by the most cautious humility, or 
to blunt it by the most solid truth; and far 
rather would I be censured by any one what- 
soever, than be praised by either the erring 
or the flatterer. For the lover of truth need 
fear no one's censure. For he that censures, 
must needs be either enemy or friend. And 
if an enemy reviles, he must be borne with: 
but a friend, if he errs, must be taught; if 
he teaches, listened to. But if one who errs 
praises you, he confirms your error; if one 
who flatters, he seduces you into error. 
"Let the righteous," therefore, "smite me, 
it shall be a kindness; and let him reprove 
me; but the oil of the sinner shall not anoint 
my head." 2 


2. Wherefore, although we hold most 
firmly, concerning our Lord Jesus Christ, 
what may be called the canonical rule, as it 
is both disseminated through the Scriptures, 
and has been demonstrated by learned and 
Catholic handlers of the same Scriptures, 
namely, that the Son of God is both under- 

" Ps. cxli. 5. 



[Book II. 

stood to be equal to the Father according to 
the form of God in which He is, and less 
than the Father according to the form of a 
servant which He took; 1 in which form He 
was found to be not only less than the Father, 
but also less than the Holy Spirit; and not 
only so, but less even than Himself, not 
than Himself who was, but than Himself who 
is; because, by taking the form of a servant, 
He did not lose the form of God, as the testi- 
monies of the Scriptures taught us, to which 
we have referred in the former book: yet 
there are some things in the sacred text so 
put as to leave it ambiguous to which rule 
they are rather to be referred; whether to 
that by which we understand the Son as less, 
in that He has taken upon Him the creature, 
or to that by which we understand that the 
Son is not indeed less than, but equal to the 
Father, but yet that He is from Him, God 
of God, Light of light. For we call the Son 
God of God; but the Father, God only; not 
^/"God. Whence it is plain that the Son has 
another of whom He is, and to whom He is 
Son; but that the Father has not a Son of 
whom He is, but only to whom He is father. 
For every son is what he is, of his father, 
and is son to his father; but no father is 
what he is, of his son, but is father to his 
son. 2 

3. Some things, then, are so put in the 
Scriptures concerning the Father and the 
Son, as to intimate the unity and equality of 
their substance; as, for instance, " I and the 
Father are one;" 3 and, " Who, being in the 
form of God, thought it not robbery to be 
equal with God; " 4 and whatever ether texts 
there are of the kind. And some, again, are 
so put that they show the Son as less on ac- 
count of the form of a servant, that is, of 
His having taken upon Him the creature of 
a changeable and human substance; as, for 
instance, that which says, " For my Father is 
greater than I; " 5 and, " The Father judgeth 
no man, but hath committed all judgment 
unto the Son." For a little after he goes on 
to say, " And hath given Him authority to 
execute judgment also, because He is the 
Son of man." And further, some are so put, 
as to show Him at that time neither as less 

1 Phil. ii. 6, 7. 

2 [Augustin here brings to view both the trinitarian and the 
theanthropic or mediatorial subordination. The former is the 
status of Sonship. God the Son is God of God. Sonship as a 
relation is subordinate to paternity. Rut a son must be of the 
same grade of being, and of the same nature with his father. A 
human son and a human father arealikeand equally human. And 
a Divine Son and a Divine Father are alike and equally divine. 
The theanthropic or mediatorial subordination is the status of 
humiliation, by reason of the incarnation. In the words of Augus- 
tin, it is " that by which we understand the Son as less, in that he 
has taken upon Him the creature." The subordination in this 
case is that of voluntary condescension, for the purpose of redeem- 
ing sinful man. W.G.T.S.] 

3 John x. 30. 4 Phil. ii. 6. 5 John xiv. 28. 

nor as equal, but only to intimate that He is 
of the Father; as, for instance, that which 
says, " For as the Father hath life in Him- 
self, so hath He given to the Son to have 
life in Himself;" and that other: "The Son 
can do nothing of Himself, but what He 
seeth the Father do." 6 For if we shall take 
this to be therefore so said, because the Son 
is less in the form taken from the creature, 
it will follow that the Father must have 
walked on the water, or opened the eyes with 
clay and spittle of some other one born blind, 
and have done the other things which the 
Son appearing in the flesh did among men, 
before the Son did them; 7 in order that He 
might be able to do those things, who said 
that the Son was not able to do anything of 
Himself, except what He hath seen the Father 
do. Yet who, even though he were mad, 
would think this ? It remains, therefore, that 
these texts are so expressed, because the life 
of the Son is unchangeable as that of the 
Father is, and yet He is of the Father; and 
the working of the Father and of the Son is 
indivisible, and yet so to work is given to the 
Son from Him of whom He Himself is, that 
is, from the Father; and the Son so sees the 
Father, as that He is the Son in the very see- 
ing Him. For to be of the Father, that is, to 
be born of the Father, is to Him nothing else 
than to see the Father; and to see Him work- 
ing, is nothing else than to work with Him: 
but therefore not from Himself, because He 
is not from Himself. And, therefore, those 
things which " He sees the Father do, these 
also doeth the Son likewise," because He is 
of the Father. For He neither does other 
things in like manner, as a painter paints other 
pictures, in the same way as he sees others 
to have been painted by another man; nor 
the same things in a different manner, as the 
body expresses the same letters, which the 
mind has thought; but " whatsoever things," 
saith He, "the Father doeth, these same 
things also doeth the Son likewise." 8 He 
has said both "these same things," and 
' likewise; " and hence the working of both 
the Father and the Son is indivisible and 
equal, but it is from the Father to the Son. 
Therefore the Son cannot do anything of 
Himself, except what He seeth the Father 
do. From this rule, then, whereby the 
Scriptures so speak as to mean, not to set 
forth one as less than another, but only to 
show which is of which, some have drawn this 
meaning, as if the Son were said to be less. 
And some among ourselves who are more un- 
learned and least instructed in these things, 

6 John v. 22, 27, 26, 19. 7 Matt. xiv. 26. and John ix. 6, 7. 
8 John v. 19. 

Chap. IV.] 



endeavoring to take these texts according to 
the form of a servant, and so mis-interpret- 
ing them, are troubled. And to prevent 
this, the rule in question is to be observed, 
whereby the Son is not less, but it is simply 
intimated that He is of the Father, in which 
words not His inequality but His birth is 


4. There are, then, some things in the 
sacred books, as I began by saying, so put, 
that it is doubtful to which they are to be re- 
ferred: whether to that rule whereby the Son 
is less on account of His having taken the 
creature; or whether to that whereby it is in- 
timated that although equal, yet He is of the 
Father. And in my opinion, if this is in 
such way doubtful, that which it really is can 
neither be explained nor discerned, then such 
passages may without danger be understood 
according to. either rule, as that, for instance, 
" My doctrine is not mine, but His that sent 
me." 1 For this may both be taken according 
to the form of a servant, as we have already 
treated it in the former book; 2 or according 
to the form of God, in which He is in such 
way equal to the Father, that He is yet of the 
Father. For according to the form of God, 
as the Son is not one and His life another, 
but the life itself is the Son; so the Son is 
not one and His doctrine another, but the 
doctrine itself is the Son. And hence, as 
the text, " He hath given life to the Son," is 
no otherwise to be understood than, He hath 
begotten the Son, who is life; so also when 
it is said, He hath given doctrine to the 
Son, it may be rightly understood to mean, 
He hath begotten the Son, who is doctrine; 
so that, when it is said, " My doctrine is not 
mine, but His who sent me," it is so to be 
understood as if it were, I am not from my- 
self, but from Him who sent me. 



5. For even of the Holy Spirit, of whom 
it is not said, "He emptied Himself, and took 
upon Him the form of a servant;" yet the 
Lord Himself says, " Howbeit, when He the 
Spirit of Truth is come, He will guide you 
into all truth. For He shall not speak of 
Himself, but whatsoever He shall hear that 
shall He speak; and He will show you things 



2 See above, Book I. c. 12. 

to come. He shall glorify me; for He shall 
receive of mine, and shall show it unto you." 
And except He had immediately gone on to 
say after this, " All things that the Father 
hath are mine; therefore said I, that He shall 
take of mine, and shall show it unto you;" 3 
it might, perhaps, have been believed that the 
Holy Spirit was so born of Christ, as Christ 
is of the Father. Since He had said of Him- 
self, " My doctrine is not mine, but His that 
sent me;" but of the Holy Spirit," For He 
shall not speak of Himself, but whatsoever he 
shall hear, that shall He speak;" and, " For 
He shall receive of mine, and shall show it 
unto you." But because He has rendered the 
reason why He said, "He shall receive of 
mine " (for He says, " All things that the 
Father hath are mine; therefore said I, that 
He shall take of mine"); it remains that the 
Holy Spirit be understood to have of that 
which is the Father's, as the Son also hath. 
And how can this be, unless according to 
that which we have said above, "But when 
the Comforter is come, whom I will send 
unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of 
truth which proceedeth from the Father, He 
shall testify of me " ? 4 He is said, therefore, 
not to speak of Himself, in that He proceed- 
eth from the Father; and as it does not fol- 
low that the Son is less because He said, 
" The Son can do nothing of Himself, but 
what He seeth the Father do " (for He has 
not said this according to the form of a ser- 
vant, but according to the form of God, as 
we have already shown, and these words do 
not set Him forth as less than, but as of the 
Father), so it is not brought to pass that the 
Holy Spirit is less, because it is said of Him, 
" For He shall not speak of Himself, but 
whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He 
speak;" for the words belong to Him as pro- 
ceeding from the Father. But whereas both 
the Son is of the Father, and the Holy Spirit 
proceeds from the Father, why both are not 
called sons, and both not said to be begotten, 
but the former is called the one only-begot- 
ten Son, and the latter, viz. the Holy Spirit, 
neither son nor begotten, because if begotten, 
then certainly a son, we will discuss in an- 
other place, if God shall grant, and so far as 
He shall grant. 5 



6. But here also let them wake up if they 
can, who have thought this, too, to be a tes- 
timony on their side, to show that the Father 

3 John xvi. 13-15. 

5 Below, Bk. XV. c. 25. 

4 John xv. 26. 




[Book II. 

is greater than the Son, because the Son hath 
said, " Father, glorify me." Why, the Holy 
Spirit also glorifies Him. Pray, is the Spirit, 
too, greater than He? Moreover, if on that 
account the Holy Spirit glorifies the Son, be- 
cause He shall receive of that which is the 
Son's, and shall therefore receive of that 
which is the Son's because all things that the 
Father has are the Son's also; it is evident 
that when the Holy Spirit glorifies the Son, 
the Father glorifies the Son. Whence it may 
be perceived that all things that the Father 
hath are not only of the Son, but also of the 
Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit is able 
to glorify the Son, whom the Father glorifies. 
But if he who glorifies is greater than he whom 
he glorifies, let them allow that those are equal 
who mutually glorify each other. But it is 
written, also, that the Son glorifies the Father; 
for He says, " I have glorified Thee on the 
earth." 1 Truly let them beware lest the 
Holy Spirit be thought greater than both, be- 
cause He glorifies the Son whom the Father 
glorifies, while it is not written that He Him- 
self is glorified either by the Father or by the 



7. But being proved wrong so far, men be- 
take themselves to saying, that he who sends 
is greater than he who is sent: therefore the 
Father is greater than the Son, because the 
Son continually speaks of Himself as being 
sent by the Father; and the Father is also 
greater than the Holy Spirit, because Jesus 
has said of the Spirit, " Whom the Father 
will send jn my name; '' " and the Holy Spirit 
is less than both, because both the Father 
sends Him, as we have said, and the Son, 
when He says, " But if I depart, I will send 
Him unto you." I first ask, then, in this in- 
quiry, whence and whither the Son was sent. 
"I," He says, " came forth from the Father, 
and am come into the world." 3 Therefore, 
to be sent, is to come forth forth from the 
Father, and to come into the world. What, 
then, is that which the same evangelist says 
concerning Him, " He was in the world, and 
the world was made by Him, and the world 
knew Him not;" and then he adds, "He 
came unto His own?" 4 Certainly He was 
sent thither, whither He came; but if He was 
sent into the world, because He came forth 
from the Father, then He both came into the 

1 John xvii. 1, 4. 
3 John xvi. 7, 28. 

2 John xiv. 26. 
4 John i. 10, ii. 

world and was in the world. He was sent 
therefore thither, where He already was. For 
consider that, too, which is written in the 
prophet, that God said, " Do not I fill heaven 
and earth V s If this is said of the Son (for 
some will have it understood that the Son 
Himself spoke either by the prophets or in the 
prophets), whither was He sent except to the 
place where He already was ? For He who 
says, "I fill heaven and earth/' was every- 
where. But if it is said of the Father, where 
could He be without His own word and with- 
out His own wisdom, which " reacheth from 
one end to another mightily, and sweetly or- 
dereth all things ? " 6 But He cannot be any- 
where without His own Spirit. Therefore, if 
God is everywhere, His Spirit also is every- 
where. Therefore, the Holy Spirit, too, was 
sent thither, where He already was. For he, 
too, who finds no place to which he might go 
from the presence of God, and who says, " If 
I ascend up into heaven, Thou art there; if I 
shall go down into hell, behold, Thou art 
there; " wishing it to be understood that God 
is present everywhere, named in the previous 
verse His Spirit; for He says, " Whither shall 
I go from Thy Spirit ? or whither shall I flee 
from Thy presence ? " 7 

8. For this reason, then, if both the Son 
and the Holy Spirit are sent thither where 
they were, we must inquire, how that sending, 
whether of the Son or of the Holy Spirit, is 
to be understood; for of the Father alone, we 
nowhere read that He is sent. Now, of the 
Son, the apostle writes thus: " But when the 
fullness of the time was come, God sent forth 
His Son, made of a woman, made under the 
law, to redeem them that were under the 
law." 8 " He sent," he says, " His Son, made 
of a woman." And by this term, woman, 9 
what Catholic does not know that he did not 
wish to signify the privation of virginity; but, 
according to a Hebraism, the difference of 
sex? When, therefore, he says, "God sent 
His Son, made of a woman," he sufficiently 
shows that the Son was "sent" in this very 
way, in that He was "made of a woman." 
Therefore, in that He was born of God, He 
was in the world; but in that He was born of 
Mary, He was sent and came into the world. 
Moreover, He could not be sent by the Father 
without the Holy Spirit, not only because the 
Father, when He sent Him, that is, when He 
made Him of a woman, is certainly under- 
stood not to have so made Him without His 
own Spirit; but also because it is most plainly 
and expressly said in the Gospel in answer to 
the Virgin Mary, when she asked of the angel, 

5 Jer. xxiii. 24. 
8 Gal. iv. 4, 5. 

6 Wisd. viii 
9 Mulicr. 

7 Ps. 

Chap. V.] 



( "How shall this be?" "The Holy Ghost 
'shall come upon thee, and the power of the 
Highest shall overshadow thee." 1 And Mat- 
thew says, "She was found with child of the 
Holy Ghost." 2 Although, too, in the prophet 
Isaiah, Christ Himself is understood to say of 
His own future advent, "And now the Lord 
God and His Spirit hath sent me." 3 

9. Perhaps some one may wish to drive us 
to say, that the Son is sent also by Himself, 
because the conception and childbirth of Mary 
is the working of the Trinity, by whose act 
of creating all things are created. And how, 
he will go on to say, has the Father sent Him, 
if He sent Himself? To whom I answer first, 
by asking him to tell me, if he can, in what 
manner the Father hath sanctified Him, if 
He hath sanctified Himself? For the same 
Lord says both; " Say ye of Him,*' He says, 
4 'whom the Father hath sanctified and sent 
into the world, Thou blasphemest, because I 
said, I am the Son of God; " 4 while in another 
place He says, "And for their sake I sanctify 
myself." 5 I ask, also, in what manner the 
Father delivered Him, if He delivered Him- 
self? For the Apostle Paul says both: 
" Who," he says, " spared not His own Son, 
but delivered Him up for us all;" 6 while 
elsewhere he says of the Saviour Himself, 
" Who loved me, and delivered Himself for 
me." 7 He will reply, I suppose, if he has a 
right sense in these things, Because the will 
of the Father and the Son is one, and their 
working indivisible. In like manner, then, let 
him understand the incarnation and nativity of 
the Virgin, wherein the Son is understood as 
sent, to have been wrought by one and the 
same operation of the Father and of the Son 
indivisibly; the Holy Spirit certainly not being 
thence excluded, of whom it is expressly said, 
"She was found with child by the Holy 
Ghost." For perhaps our meaning will be 
more plainly unfolded, if we ask in what 
manner God sent His Son. He commanded 
that He should come, and He, complying with 
the commandment, came. Did He then re- 
quest, or did He only suggest ? But which- 
ever of these it was, certainly it was done by 
a word, and the Word of God is the Son of 
God Himself. Wherefore, since the Father 
sent Him by a word, His being sent was the 
work of both the Father and His Word; 
therefore the same Son was sent by the Father 
and the Son, because the Son Himself is the 
"Word of the Father. For who would embrace 
so impious an opinion as to think the Father 
to have uttered a word in time, in order that 

the eternal Son might thereby be sent and 
might appear in the flesh in the fullness of 
time? But assuredly it was in that Word of 
God itself which was in the beginning with 
God and was God, namely, in the wisdom 
itself of God, apart from time, at what time 
that wisdom must needs appear in the flesh. 
Therefore, since without any commencement 
of time, the Word was in the beginning, and 
the Word was with God, and the Word was 
God, it was in the Word itself without any 
time, at what time the Word was to be made 
flesh and dwell among us. 8 And when this 
fullness of time had come, "God sent His 
Son, made of a woman," 9 that is, made in 
time, that the Incarnate Word might appear 
to men; while it was in that Word Himself, 
apart from time, at what time this was to be 
done; for the order of times is in the eternal 
wisdom of God without time. Since, then, 
that the Son should appear in the flesh was 
wrought by both the Father and the Son, it 
is fitly said that He who appeared in that flesh 
was sent, and that He who did not appear in 
it, sent Him; because those things which are 
transacted outwardly before the bodily eyes 
have their existence from the inward structure 
(apparatu) of the spiritual nature, and on that 
account are fitly said to be sent. Further, 
that form of man which He took is the person 
of the Son, not also of the Father; on which 
account the invisible Father, together with 
the Son, who with the Father is invisible, is 
said to have sent the same Son by making 
Him visible. But if He became visible in 
such way as to cease to be invisible with the 
Father, that is, if the substance of the invisi- 
ble Word were turned by a change and transi- 
tion into a visible creature, then the Son 
would be so understood to be sent by the 
Father, that He would be found to be only 
sent; not also, with the Father, sending. But 
since He so took the form of a servant, as 
that the unchangeable form of God remained, 
it is clear that that which became apparent in 
the Son was done by the Father and the Son 
not being apparent; that is, that by the in- 
visible Father, with the invisible Son, the 
same Son Himself was sent so as to be visi- 
ble. Why, therefore, does He say, " Neither 
I came I of myself? " This, we may now say, 
is said according to the form of a servant, in 
the same way as it is said, " I judge no man." IO 
10. If, therefore, He is said to be sent, in 
so far as He appeared outwardly in the bodily 
creature, who inwardly in His spiritual nature 
is always hidden from the eyes of mortals, it 
is now easy to understand also of the Holy 

1 Luke i. 34, 35 
4 John x. 36. 
7 Gal. ii. 20. 

2 Matt. i. 18. 
5 John xvii. 19. 

3 Isa. xlviii. 16. 
6 Rom. viii. 32. 

8 John i. 1, 2, 14. 

9 Gal. iv. 4. 

i John viii. 42, 15. 



[Book II. 

Spirit why He too is said to be sent. For in 
due time a certain outward appearance of the 
creature was wrought, wherein the Holy Spirit 
might be visibly shown; whether when He 
descended upon the Lord Himself in a bodily 
shape as a dove, * or when, ten days having 
past since His ascension, on the day of Pente- 
cost a sound came suddenly from heaven as 
of a rushing mighty wind, and cloven tongues 
like as of fire were seen upon them, and it sat 
upon each of them. 2 This operation, visibly 
exhibited, and presented to mortal eyes, 
is called the sending of the Holy Spirit; 
not that His very substance appeared, in 
which He himself also is invisible and un- 
changeable, like the Father and the Son, but 
that the hearts of men, touched by things 
seen outwardly, might be turned from the 
manifestation in time of Him as coming to 
His hidden eternity as ever present. 



ii. It is, then, for this reason nowhere 
written, that the Father is greater than the 
Holy Spirit, or that the Holy Spirit is less 
than God the Father, because the creature in 
which the Holy Spirit was to- appear was not 
taken in the same way as the Son of man was 
taken, as the form in which the person of the 
Word of God Himself should be set forth; 
not that He might possess the word of God, 
as other holy and wise men have possessed it, 
but "above His fellows;" 3 not certainly that 
He possessed the word more than they, so as 
to be of more surpassing wisdom than the rest 
were, but that He was the very Word Him- 
self. For the word in the flesh is one thing, 
and the Word made flesh is another; i.e. the 
word in man is one thing, the Word that is 
man is another. For flesh is put for man, 
where it is said, "The Word was made 
flesh;" 4 and again, "And all flesh shall see 
the salvation of God." " For it does not 
mean flesh without soul and without mind; 
but " all flesh," is the same as if it were said, 
every man. The creature, then, in which the 
Holy Spirit should appear, was not so taken, 
as that flesh and human form were taken, of 
the Virgin Mary. For the Spirit did not 
beatify the dove, or the wind, or the fire, and 
join them for ever to Himself and to His 
person in unity and " fashion." 6 Nor, again, 
is the nature of the Holy Spirit mutable and 

1 Matt. iii. 16. 2 Actsii. 2-4. 

3 Heb. i. q. 4 John i. 14. 5 Luke iii. 6. 

6 [The reference is to crxwa, in Phil. ii. 8 the term chosen bv 
St. Paul to describe the "likeness of men," which the second 
trinitarian person assumed. The variety in the terms by which 
St. Paul describes the incarnation is very striking. The person in- 
carnated subsists first in a " form of God; '' he then takes along 
with this (still retaining this) a " form of a servant; " which form 

changeable; so that these things were not 
made of the creature, but He himself was 
turned and changed first into one and then 
into another, as water is changed into ice. 
But these things appeared at the seasons at 
which they ought to have appeared, the crea- 
ture serving the Creator, and being changed 
and converted at the command of Him who 
remains immutably in Himself, in order to 
signify and manifest Him in such way as it 
was fit He should be signified and manifested 
to mortal men. Accordingly, although that 
dove is called the Spirit; 7 and in speaking of 
that fire, "There appeared unto them," he 
says, " cloven tongues, like as of fire, and it 
sat upon each of them; and they began to 
speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave 
them utterance; " 8 in order to show that the 
Spirit was manifested by that fire, as by the 
dove; yet we cannot call the Holy Spirit both 
God and a dove, or both God and fire, in the 
same way as we call the Son both God and 
man; nor as we call the Son the Lamb of 
God; which not only John the Baptist says, 
"Behold the Lamb of God," 9 but also John 
the Evangelist sees the Lamb slain in the 
Apocalypse. 10 For that prophetic vision was 
not shown to bodily eyes through bodily 
forms, but in the spirit through spiritual 
images of bodily things. But whosoever saw 
that dove and that fire, saw them with their 
eyes. Although it may perhaps be disputed 
concerning the fire, whether it was seen by 
the eyes or in the spirit, on account of the 
form of the sentence. For the text does not 
say, They saw cloven tongues like fire, but, 
" There appeared to them." But we are not 
wont to say with the same meaning, It ap- 
peared to me; as we say, I saw. And in 
those spiritual visions of corporeal images the 
usual expressions are, both, It appeared to 
me; and, I saw: but in those things which are 
shown to the eyes through express corporeal 
forms, the common expression is not, It ap- 
peared to me; but, I saw. There may, 
therefore, be a question raised respecting that 
fire, how it was seen; whether within in the 
spirit as it were outwardly, or really outwardly 
before the eyes of the flesh. But of that 
dove, which is said to have descended in a 
bodily form, no one ever doubted that it was 
seen by the eyes. Nor, again, as we call the 
Son a Rock (for it is written, "And that Rock 
was Christ " "), can we so call the Spirit a dove 
or fire. For that rock was a thing already 
created, and after the mode of its action was 

of a servant is a " likeness of men; " which likeness of men is a 
" scheme" (A. V. "fashion' 1 ) or external form of a man. W.G. 

7 Matt. iii. 16. 8 Acts ii. 3, 4. 

9 John i. 29. I0 Apoc. v. 6. IT 1 Cor. x. 4. 

Chap. VIII.] 



called by the name of Christ, whom it signi- 
fied; like the stone placed under Jacob's 
head, and also anointed, which he took in 
order to signify the Lord; 1 or as Isaac was 
Christ, when he carried the wood for the sac- 
rifice of himself. 2 A particular significative 
action was added to those already existing 
tilings; they did not, as that dove and fire, 
suddenly come into being in order simply so 
to signify. The dove and the fire, indeed, 
seem to me more like that flame which ap- 
peared to Moses in the bush, 3 or that pillar 
which the people followed in the wilderness, 4 
or the thunders and lightnings which came 
when the Law was given in the mount. 5 For 
the corporeal form of these things came into 
being for the very purpose, that it might sig- 
nify something, and then pass away. 6 


12. The Holy Spirit, then, is also said to 
be sent, on account of these corporeal forms 
which came into existence in time, in order 
to signify and manifest Him, as He must 
needs be manifested, to human senses; yet 
He is not said to be less than the Father, as 
the Son, because He was in the form of a 
servant, is said to be; because that form of a 
servant inhered in the unity of the person of 
the Son, but those corporeal forms appeared 
for a time, in order to show what was necessary 
to be shown, and then ceased to be. Why, 
then, is not the Father also said to be sent, 
through those corporeal forms, the fire of the 
bush, and the pillar of cloud or of fire, and 
the lightnings in the mount, and whatever 
other things of the kind appeared at that time, 
when (as we have learned from Scripture testi- 
mony) He spake face to face with the fathers, 
if He Himself was manifested by those modes 
and forms of the creature, as exhibited and 
presented corporeally to human sight? But 
if the Son was manifested by them, why is 
He said to be sent so long after, when He was 
made of a woman, as the apostle says, " But 
when the fullness of time was come, God sent 
forth His Son, made of a woman/' 7 seeing 
that He was sent also before, when He ap- 
peared to the fathers by those changeable 
forms of the creature ? Or if He cannot 

1 Gen. xxviii. 18. 2 Gen. xxii. 6. 3 Ex. iii. 2. 

4 Ex. xiii. 21, 22. 5 Ex. xix. 16. 

6 [A theophany, though a harbinger of the incarnation, differs 
from it, by not effecting a hypostatical or personal union between 
God and the creature. When the Holy Spirit appeared in the 
form of a dove, he did not unite himself with it. The dove did 
not constitute an integral part of the divine person who employed 
it. Nor did the illuminated vapor in the theophany of the Sheki- 
nah. But when the Logos appeared in the form of a man, he 
united himself with it, so that it became a constituent part of his 
person. A theophany, as Augustin notices, is temporary and tran- 
sient. The incarnation is perpetual. W.G.T.S.] 7 Gal. iv. 4^ 

rightly be said to be sent, unless when the 
Word was made flesh, why is the Holy Spirit 
said to be sent,of whom no such incarnation was 
ever wrought ? But if by those visible things, 
which are put before us in the Law and in the 
prophets, neither the Father nor the Son but 
the Holy Spirit was manifested, why also is 
He said to be sent now, when He was sent 
also before after these modes ? 

13. In the perplexity of this inquiry, the 
Lord helping us, we must ask, first, whether 
the Father, or the Son, or the Holy Spirit; or 
whether, sometimes the Father, sometimes 
the Son, sometimes the Holy Spirit; or 
whether it was without any distinction of per- 
sons, in such way as the one and only God is 
spoken of, that is, that the Trinity itself ap- 
peared to the Fathers by those forms of the 
creature. Next, whichever of these alterna- 
tives shall have been found or thought true, 
whether for this purpose only the creature 
was fashioned, wherein God, as He judged 
it suitable at that time, should be shown to 
human sight; or whether angels, who already 
existed, were so sent, as to speak in the per- 
son of God, taking a corporeal form from the 
corporeal creature, for the purpose of their 
ministry, as each had need; or else, accord- 
ing to the power the Creator has given them, 
changing and converting their own body 
itself, to which they are not subject, but gov- 
ern it as subject to themselves, into whatever 
appearances they would that were suited and 
apt to their several actions. Lastly, we shall 
discern that which it was our purpose to ask, 
viz. whether the Son and the Holy Spirit were 
also sent before ; and, if they were so sent, what 
difference there is between that sending, and 
the one which we read of in the Gospel; or 
whether in truth neither of them were sent, 
except when either the Son was made of the 
Virgin Mary, or the Holy Spirit appeared in 
a visible form, whether in the dove or in 
tongues of fire. 


14. Let us therefore say nothing of those 
who, with an over carnal mind, have thought 
the nature of the Word of God, and the Wis- 
dom, which, "remaining in herself, maketh 
all things new/' 8 whom we call the only Son 
of God, not only to be changeable, but also 
to be visible. For these, with more audacity 
than religion, bring a very dull heart to the 
inquiry into divine things. For whereas the 
soul is a spiritual substance, and whereas it- 
self also was made, yet could not be made 

8 Wisd. vii. 27. 



[Book II. 

by any other than by Him by whom all things 
were made, and without whom nothing is 
made, it, although changeable, is yet not 
visible; and this they have believed to be the 
case with the Word Himself and with the 
Wisdom of God itself, by which the soul was 
made; whereas this Wisdom is not only in- 
visible, as the soul also is, but likewise un- 
changeable, which the soul is not. It is in 
truth the same unchangeableness in it, which 
is referred to when it was said, "Remaining 
in herself she maketh all things new." Yet 
these people, endeavoring, as it were, to prop 
up their error in its fall by testimonies of the 
divine Scriptures, adduce the words of the 
Apostle Paul; and take that, which is said of 
the one only God, in whom the Trinity itself 
is understood, to be said only of the Father, 
and neither of the Son nor of the Holy Spirit: 
"Now unto the King eternal, immortal, in- 
visible, the only wise God, be honor and 
glory for ever and ever;" 2 and that other 
passage, "The blessed and only Potentate, 
the King of kings, and Lord of lords; who 
only hath immortality, dwelling in the light 
which no man can approach unto; whom no 
man hath seen, nor can see." 3 How these 
passages are to be understood, I think we 
have already discoursed sufficiently. 4 



15. But they who will have these texts un- 
derstood only of the Father, and not of the 
Son or the Holy Spirit, declare the Son to be 
visible, not by having taken flesh of the 
Virgin, but aforetime also in Himself. For 
He Himself, they say, appeared to the eyes 
of the Fathers. And if you say to them, In 
whatever manner, then, the Son is visible in 
Himself, in that manner also He is mortal in 
Himself; so that it plainly follows that you 
would have this saying also understood only 
of the Father, viz., " Who only hath immor- 
tality; " for if the Son is mortal from having 
taken upon Him our flesh, then allow that it 
is on account of this flesh that He is also 
visible: they reply, that it is not on account of 
this flesh that they say that the Son is mortal; 
but that, just as He was also before visible, 
so He was also before mortal. For if they 
say the Son is mortal from having taken our 
flesh, then it is not the Father alone without 
the Son who hath immortality; because His 

1 John i. 3. 2 1 Tim. i. 17. 3 r Tim. vi. 15, 16. 

4 [For an example of the manner in which the patristic writers 
present the doctrine of the divine invisibility, see Irena;us, Adv. 
Hterescs, IV. xx. W.G.T.S.] 

Word also has immortality, by which all things 
were made. For Fie did not therefore lose 
His immortality, because He took mortal 
flesh; seeing that it could not happen even to 
the human soul, that it should die with the 
body, when the Lord Himself says, " Fear 
not them which kill the body, but are not 
able to kill the soul." s Or, forsooth, also the 
Holy Spirit took flesh: concerning whom cer- 
tainly they will, without doubt, be troubled to 
say if the Son is mortal on account of taking 
our flesh in what manner they understand 
that the Father only has immortality without 
the Son and the Holy Spirit, since, indeed, 
the Holy Spirit did not take our flesh; and if 
He has not immortality, then the Son is not 
mortal on account of taking our flesh; but if 
the Holy Spirit has immortality, then it is not 
said only of the Father, "Who only hath 
immortality." And therefore they think they 
are able to prove that the Son in Himself was 
mortal also before the incarnation, because 
changeableness itself is not unfitly called mor- 
tality, according to which the soul also is said 
to die; not because it is changed and turned in- 
to body, or into some substance other than 
itself, but because, whatever in its own self- 
same substance is now after another mode than 
it once was, is discovered to be mortal, in so 
far as it has ceased to be what it was. Be- 
cause then, say they, before the Son of God 
was born of the Virgin Mary, He Himself ap- 
peared to our fathers, not in one and the same 
form only, but in many forms; first in one 
form, then in another; He is both visible in 
Himself, because His substance was visible 
to mortal eyes, when He had not yet taken 
our flesh, and mortal, inasmuch as He is 
changeable. And so also the Holy Spirit, 
who appeared at one time as a dove, and an- 
other time as fire. Whence, they say, the 
following texts do not belong to the Trinity, 
but singularly and properly to the Father only: 
"Now unto the King eternal, immortal, and 
invisible, the only wise God;" and, "Who 
only hath immortality, dwelling in the light 
which no man can approach unto; whom no 
man hath seen, nor can see/' 

16. Passing by, then, these reasoners, who 
are unable to know the substance even of the 
soul, which is invisible, and therefore are very 
far indeed from knowing that the substance 
of the one and only God, that is, the Father 
and the Son and the Holy Spirit, remains 
ever not only invisible, but also unchangea- 
ble, and that hence it possesses true and real 
immortality; let us, who deny that God, 
whether the Father, or the Son, or the Holy 

5 Matt. x. 28. 

Chap. X.] 



Spirit, ever appeared to bodily eyes, unless 
through the corporeal creature made subject 
to His own power; let us, I say ready to be 
corrected, if we are reproved in a fraternal 
and upright spirit, ready to be so, even if 
carped at by an enemy, so that he speak the 
truth in catholic peace and with peaceful 
study inquire, whether God indiscriminately 
appeared to our fathers before Christ came in 
the flesh, or whether it was any one person of 
the Trinity, or whether severally, as it were 
by turns. 


17. And first, in that which is written in 
Genesis, viz., that God spake with man whom 
He had formed out of the dust; if we set apart 
the figurative meaning, and treat it so as to 
place faith in the narrative even in the letter, 
it should appear that God then spake with 
man in the appearance of a man. This is 
not indeed expressly laid down in the book, 
but the general tenor of its reading sounds in 
this sense, especially in that which is written, 
that Adam heard the voice of the Lord God, 
walking in the garden in the cool of the even- 
ing, and hid himself among the trees of the 
garden; and when God said, " Adam, where 
art thou?" 1 replied, "I heard Thy voice, 
and I was afraid because I was naked, and I 
hid myself from Thy face." For I do not 
see how such a walking and conversation of 
God can be understood literally, except He 
appeared as a man. For it can neither be said 
that a voice only of God was framed, when 
God is said to have walked, or that He who 
was walking in a place was not visible; while 
Adam, too, says that he hid himself from the 
face of God. Who then was He ? Whether 
the Father, or the Son, or the Holy Spirit ? 
Whether altogether indiscriminately did God 
the Trinity Himself speak to man in the form 
of man ? The context, indeed, itself of the 
Scripture nowhere, it should seem, indicates 
a change from person to person; but He seems 
still to speak to the first man, who said, " Let 
there be light," and, " Let there be a firma- 
ment," and so on through each of those days; 
whom we usually take to be God the Father, 
making by a word whatever He willed to 
make. For He made all things by His word, 
which Word we know, by the right rule of 
faith, to be His only Son. If, therefore, God 

1 Gen. iii. 8-10. 

the Father spake to the first man, and Himself 
was walking in the garden in the cool of the 
evening, and if it was from His face that the 
sinner hid himself amongst the trees of the 
garden, why are we not to go on to under- 
stand that it was He also who appeared to 
Abraham and to Moses, and to whom He 
would, and how He would, through the 
changeable and visible creature, subjected to 
Himself, while He Himself remains in Him- 
self and in His own substance, in which He is 
unchangeable and invisible ? But, possibly, 
it might be that the Scripture passed over in 
a hidden way from person to person, and while 
it had related that the Father said "Let 
there be light," and the rest which it men- 
tioned Him to have done by the Word, went 
on to indicate the Son as speaking to the first 
man; not unfolding this openly, but intimat- 
ing it to be understood by those who could 
understand it. 

18. Let him, then, who has the strength 
whereby he can penetrate this secret with his 
mind's eye, so that to him it appears clearly, 
either that the Father also is able, or that 
only the Son and Holy Spirit are able, to ap- 
pear to human eyes through a visible creature; 
let him, I say, proceed to examine these things 
if he can, or even to express and handle them 
in words; but the thing itself, so far as con- 
cerns this testimony of Scripture, where God 
spake with man, is, in my judgment, not dis- 
coverable, because it does not evidently 
appear even whether Adam usually saw God 
with the eyes of his body; especially as it is 
a great question what manner of eyes it was 
that were opened when they tasted the for- 
bidden fruit; 2 for before they had tasted, 
these eyes were closed. Yet I would not 
rashly assert, even if that scripture implies 
Paradise to have been a material place, that 
God could not have walked there in any way 
except in some bodily form. For it might 
be said, that only words were framed for the 
man to hear, without seeing any form. 
Neither, because it is written, "Adam hid 
himself from the face of God," does it follow 
forthwith that he usually saw His face. For 
what if he himself indeed could not see, but 
feared to be himself seen by Him whose voice 
he had heard, and had felt His presence as 
he walked ? For Cain, too, said to God, 
"From Thy face I will hide myself;" 3 yet 
we are not therefore compelled to admit that 
he was wont to behold the face of God with 
his bodily eyes in any visible form, although 
he had heard the voice of God questioning 
and speaking with him of his sin. But what 

2 Gen. iii. 7. 

3 Gen. iv. 14. 

4 6 


[Book II. 

manner of speech it was that God then uttered 
to the outward ears of men, especially in 
speaking to the first man, it is both difficult 
to discover, and we have not undertaken to 
say in this discourse. But if words alone and 
sounds were wrought, by which to bring about 
some sensible presence of God to those first 
men, I do not know why I should not there 
understand the person of God the Father, 
seeing that His person is manifested also in 
that voice, when Jesus appeared in glory on 
the mount before the three disciples; 1 and in 
that when the dove descended upon Him at 
His baptism; 2 and in that where He cried to 
the Father concerning His own glorification, 
and it was answered Him, " I have both glori- 
fied, and will glorify again." 3 Not that the 
voice could be wrought without the work of 
the Son and of the Holy Spirit (since the 
Trinity works indivisibly), but that such a 
voice was wrought as to manifest the person 
of the Father only; just as the Trinity 
wrought that human form from the Virgin 
Mary, yet it is the person of the Son alone; 
for the invisible Trinity wrought the visible 
person of the Son alone. Neither does any- 
thing forbid us, not only to understand those 
words spoken to Adam as spoken by the 
Trinity, but also to take them as manifesting 
the person of that Trinity. For we are com- 
pelled to understand of the Father only, that 
which is said, "This is my beloved Son." 4 
For Jesus can neither be believed nor under- 
stood to be the Son of the Holy Spirit, or 
even His own Son. And where the voice 
uttered, " I have both glorified, and will 
glorify again," we confess it was only the 
person of the Father; since it is the answer 
to that word of the Lord, in which He had 
said, " Father, glorify thy Son," which He 
could not say except to God the Father only, 
and not also to the Holy Spirit, whose Son 
He was not. But here, where it is written, 
"And the Lord God said to Adam," no rea- 
son can be given why the Trinity itself should 
not be understood. 

19. Likewise, also, in that which is written, 
" Now the Lord had said unto Abraham, Get 
thee out of thy country, and from thy kin- 
dred, and thy father's house," it is not clear 
whether a voice alone came to the ears of 
Abraham, or whether anything also appeared 
to his eyes. But a little while after, it is 
somewhat more clearly said, "And the Lord 
appeared unto Abraham, and said, Unto thy 
seed will I give this land." 5 But neither 
there is it expressly said in what form God 

appeared to him, or whether the Father, or 
the Son, or the Holy Spirit appeared to him. 
Unless, perhaps, they think that it was the 
Son who appeared to Abraham, because it is 
not written, God appeared to him, but "the 
Lord appeared to him." For the Son seems 
to be called the Lord as though the name was 
appropriated to Him; as e.g. the apostle 
says, " For though there be that are called 
gods, wh'ether in heaven or in earth, (as 
there be gods many and lords many,) but to 
us there is but one God, the Father, of whom 
are all things, and we in Him; and one Lord 
Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we 
by Him." 6 But since it is found that God 
the Father also is called Lord in many places, 
for instance, " The Lord hath said unto 
me, Thou art my Son; this day have I be- 
gotten Thee; " 7 and again, " The Lord said 
unto my Lord, Sit Thou at my right hand; " 8 
since also the Holy Spirit is found to be 
called Lord, as where the apostle says, 
"Now the Lord is that Spirit;" and then, 
lest any one should think the Son to be sig- 
nified, and to be called the Spirit on account 
of His incorporeal substance, has gone on to 
say, "And where the Spirit of the Lord is, 
there is liberty; " 9 and no one ever doubted 
the Spirit of the Lord to be the Holy Spirit: 
therefore, neither here does it appear plainly 
whether it was any person of the Trinity that 
appeared to Abraham, or God Himself the 
Trinity, of which one God it is said, " Thou 
shalt fear the Lord thy God, and Him only 
shalt thou serve." 10 But under the oak at 
Mamre he saw three men, whom he invited, 
and hospitably received, and ministered to 
them as they feasted. Yet Scripture at the 
beginning of that narrative does not say, 
three men appeared to him, but, " The Lord 
appeared to him." And then, setting forth 
in due order after what manner the Lord ap- 
peared to him, it has added the account of 
the three men, whom Abraham invites to his 
hospitality in the plural number, and after- 
wards speaks to them in the singular number 
as one; and as one He promises him a son 
by Sara, viz. the one whom the Scripture calls 
Lord, as in the beginning of the same narra- 
tive, "The Lord," it says, "appeared to 
Abraham." He invites them then, and 
washes their feet, and leads them forth at 
their departure, as though they were men; 
but he speaks as with the Lord God, whether 
when a son is promised to him, or when the 
destruction is shown to him that was impend- 
ing over Sodom." 

1 Matt. xvii. 5. 
4 Matt. iii. 17. 

2 Matt. iii. 17. 
5 Gen. xii. i, 7. 

3 John xii. 28. 

6 1 Cor. viii. 5, 6. 
9 2 Cor. iii. 17. 

7 Ps. ii. 7. 
10 Deut. vi. 13. 

8 Ps. ex. 1. 
11 Gen. xviii. 

Chap. XII.] 




20. That place of Scripture demands 
neither a slight nor a passing consideration. 
For if one man had appeared, what else would 
those at once cry out, who say that the Son 
was visible also in His own substance before 
He was born of the Virgin, but that it was 
Himself? since it is said, they say, of the 
Father, " To the only invisible God." * And 
yet, I could still go on to demand, in what 
manner " He was found in fashion as a man," 
before He had taken our flesh, seeing that 
his feet were washed, and that He fed upon 
earthly food ? How could that be, when He 
was still " in the form of God, and thought 
it not robbery to be equal with God?" 2 
For, pray, had He already " emptied Him- 
self, taking upon Him the form of a servant, 
and made in the likeness of men, and found 
in fashion as a man?" when we know when 
it was that He did this through His birth of 
the Virgin. How, then, before He had done 
this, did He appear as one man to Abraham ? 
or, was not that form a reality? I could put 
these questions, if it had been one. man that 
appeared to Abraham, and if that one were 
believed to be the Son of God. But since 
three men appeared, and no one of them is 
said to be greater than the rest either in form, 
or age, or power, why should we not here 
understand, as visibly' intimated by the visi- 
ble creature, the equality of the Trinity, and 
one and the same substance in three per- 
sons ? 3 

21. For, lest any one should think that 
one among the three is in this way intimated 
to have been the greater, and that this one 
is to be understood to have been the Lord, 
the Son of God, while the other two were His 
angels; because, whereas three appeared, 
Abraham there speaks to one as the Lord: 
Holy Scripture has not forgotten to anticipate, 
by a contradiction, such future cogitations 
and opinions, when a little while after it says 
that two angels came to Lot, among whom 
that just man also, who deserved to be freed 
from the burning of Sodom, speaks to one as 
to the Lord. For so Scripture goes on to 
say, "And the Lord went His way, as soon 
as He left communing with Abraham; and 
Abraham returned to his place." 4 

1 1 Tim. i. 17. 2 Phil. ii. 6, 7. 

3 [The thenphanies of the Pentateuch are trinitarian in their 
implication. They involve distinctions in God God sending, and 
<lod sent; God speaking: of God, and God speaking to God. The 
trinitarianism of the Old Testament has been lost sight of to some 
extent in the modern construction of the doctrine. The patristic, 
mediaeval, and reformation theologies worked this vein with thor- 
oughness, and the analysis of Augustin in this reference is worthy 
of careful study. W.G.T.S.] 

4 Gen. xviii. 33. 


"But there came two angels to Sodom at 
even." Here, what I have begun to set forth 
must be considered more attentively. Cer- 
tainly Abraham was speaking with three, and 
called that one, in the singular number, the 
Lord. Perhaps, some one may say, he recog- 
nized one of the three to be the Lord, but 
the other two His angels. What, then, does 
that mean which Scripture goes on to say, 
"And the Lord went His way, as soon as He 
had left communing with Abraham; and 
Abraham returned to his place: and there 
came two angels to Sodom at even?" Are 
we to suppose that the one who, among the 
three, was recognized as the Lord, had de- 
parted, and had sent the two angels that were 
with Him to destroy Sodom ? Let us see, 
then, what follows. "There came," it is 
said, "two angels to Sodom at even; and 
Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing 
them, rose up to meet them; and he bowed 
himself with his face toward the ground; and 
he said, Behold now, my lords, turn in, I 
pray you, into your servant's house." Here 
it is clear, both that there were two angels, 
and that in the plural number they were in- 
vited to partake of hospitality, and that they 
were honorably designated lords, when they 
perchance were thought to be men. 

22. Yet, again, it is objected that except 
they were known to be angels of God, Lot 
would not have bowed himself with his face 
to the ground. Why, then, is both hospitality 
and food offered to them, as though they 
wanted such human succor ? But whatever 
may here lie hid, let us now pursue that 
which we have undertaken. Two appear; 
both are called angels; they are invited 
plurally; he speaks as with two plurally, until 
the departure from Sodorn. And then Script- 
ure goes on to say, "And it came to pass, 
when they had brought them forth abroad, 
that they said, Escape for thy life; look not 
behind thee, neither stay thou in all the 
plain; escape to the mountain, and there 
thou shalt be saved, 5 lest thou be consumed. 
And Lot said unto them, Oh ! not so, my 
lord: behold now, thy servant hath found 
grace in thy sight," 6 etc. What is meant by 
his saying to them, " Oh ! not so, my lord," 
if He who was the Lord had already departed, 
and had sent the angels? Why is it said, 
" Oh ! not so, my lord," and not, " Oh ! not 
so, my lords?" Or if he wished to speak to 
one of them, why does Scripture say, "But 
Lot said to them. Oh ! not so, my lord: be- 

S This clause is not in the Hebrew. 

6 Gen. xix. 1-19. 



[Book II. 

hold now, thy servant hath found grace in thy 
sight," etc.? Are we here, too, to understand 
two persons in the plural number, but when 
the two are addressed as one, then the one 
Lord God of one substance ? But which two 
persons do we here understand ? of the 
Father and of the Son, or of the Father and 
of the Holy Spirit, or of the Son and of 
the Holy Spirit ? The last, perhaps, is the 
more suitable; for they said of themselves 
that they were sent, which is that which we 
say of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. For 
we find nowhere in the Scriptures that the 
Father was sept. 1 


23. But when Moses was sent to lead the 
children of Israel out of Egypt, it is written 
that the Lord appeared to him thus: " Now 
Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father-in- 
law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock 
to the back side of the desert, and came to 
the mountain of God, even to Horeb. And 
the Angel of the Lord appeared unto him in 
a flame of fire, out of the midst of a bush; 
and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned 
with fire, and the bush was not consumed. 
And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and 
see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt. 
And when the Lord saw that he turned aside 
to see, God called unto him out of the midst 
of the bush, and said, I am the God of thy 
father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, 
and the God of Jacob." 2 He is here also first 
called the Angel of the Lord, and then God. 
Was an angel, then, the God of Abraham, and 
the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob ? 
Therefore He may be rightly understood to 
be the Saviour Himself, of whom the apostle 
says, " Whose are the fathers, and of whom as 
concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over 
all, God blessed forever." 3 He, therefore, 
"who is over all, God blessed for ever," is 
not unreasonably here understood also to be 
Himself the God of Abraham, the God of 
Isaac, and the God of Jacob. But why is He 
previously called the Angel of the Lord, when 

1 [It is difficult to determine the details of this theophany, be- 
yond all doubt: namely, whether the " Jehovah "' who " went his 
way as soon as he had left communing with Abraham." (Gen. xviii. 
33) joins the " two angels " that " came to Sodom at even " (Gen. 
xix. 1); or whether one of these " two angels " is Jehovah himself. 
One or the other supposition must be made; because a person is 
addressed by Lot as God (Gen. xix. 18-20), and speaks to Lot as 
God (Gen. xix. 21, 22), and acts as God ((Jen. xix. 24). The Mas- 
orite marking of the word " lords " in Gen. xix. 2, as "profane," 
i.e., to be taken in the human sense, would favor the first supposi- 
tion. The interchange of the singular and plural, in the whole 
narrative is very striking. " It came to pass, when they had brought 
them forth abroad, that he said, escape for thy life. And Lot said 
unto them. Oh not so, my Lord : behold now, thy servant hath 
found grace in thy sight. And he said unto him, see / have ac- 
cepted thee; / will not overthrow the city of which thou hast 
spoken." (Gen. xix. 17-21.) W.G.T.S.] 

2 Ex. iii. 1-6. 3 Rom. ix. 5. 

He appeared in a flame of fire out of the 
bush ? Was it because it was one of many 
angels, who by an economy [or arrangement] 
bare the person of his Lord ? or was some- 
thing of the creature assumed by Him in order 
to bring about a visible appearance for the 
business in hand, and that words might thence 
be audibly uttered, whereby the presence of 
the Lord might be shown, in such way as was 
fitting, to the corporeal senses of man, by 
means of the creature made subject? For if 
he was one of the angels, who could easily 
affirm whether it was the person of the Son 
which was imposed upon him to announce, 
or that of the Holy Spirit, or that of God the 
Father, or altogether of the Trinity itself, who 
is the one and only God, in order that he 
might say, " I am the God of Abraham, and 
the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob ? " 
For we cannot say that the Son of God is the 
God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and 
the God of Jacob, and that the Father is not; 
nor will any one dare to deny that either the 
Holy Spirit, or the Trinity itself, whom we 
believe and understand to be the one God, is 
the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, 
and the God of Jacob. For he who is not 
God, is not the God of those fathers. Fur- 
thermore, if not only the Father is God, as 
all, even heretics, admit; but also the Son, 
which, whether they will or not, they are com- 
pelled to acknowledge, since the apostle says, 
" Who is over all, God blessed for ever; " and 
the Holy Spirit, since the same apostle says, 
" Therefore glorify God in your body;-'' when 
he had said above, " Know ye not that your 
body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, which 
is in you, which ye have of God ? " 4 and these 
three are one God, as catholic soundness be- 
lieves: it is not sufficiently apparent which 
person of the Trinity that angel bare, if he 
was one of the rest of the angels, and whether 
any person, and not rather that of the Trinity 
itself. But if the creature was assumed for 
the purpose of the business in hand, whereby 
both to appear to human eyes, and to sound 
in human ears, and to be called the Angel of 
the Lord, and the Lord, and God; then can- 
not God here be understood to be the Father, 
but either the Son or the Holy Spirit. Al- 
though I cannot call to mind that the Holy 
Spirit is anywhere else called an angel, which 
yet may be understood from His work; for it 
is said of Him, "And He will show you 3 
things to come;" 6 and " angel" in Greek 
is certainly equivalent to " messenger " 7 in 
Latin: but we read most evidently of the 
Lord Jesus Christ in the prophet, that He is 

4 1 Cor. vi. 20, 19. 
6 John xvi. 13. 

5 A nnuntiabit. 
7 Nuntiits. 

Chap. XV.] 



called " the Angel of Great Counsel," ' while 
both the Holy Spirit and the Son of God 
is God and Lord of the angels. 



24. Also in the going forth of the children 
of Israel from Egypt it is written, " And the 
Lord went before them, by day in a pillar of 
cloud to lead them the way, and by night in 
a pillar of fire. He took not away the pillar 
of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by 
night, from before the people." 2 Who nere, 
too, would doubt that God appeared to the 
eyes of mortal men by the corporeal creature 
made subject to Him, and not by His own 
substance ? But it is not similarly apparent 
whether the Father, or the Son, or the Holy 
Spirit, or the Trinity itself, the one God. 
Nor is this distinguished there either, in my 
judgment, where it is written, " The glory of 
the Lord appeared in the cloud, and the Lord 
spake unto Moses, saying, I have heard the 
murmurings of the children of Israel," 3 etc. 



25. But now of the clouds, and voices, and 
lightnings, and the trumpet, and the smoke 
on Mount Sinai, when it was said, " And 
Mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, 
because the Lord descended upon it in fire, 
and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke 
of a furnace ; and all the people that was 
in the camp trembled; and when the voice 
of the trumpet sounded long and waxed 
louder and louder, Moses spake, and God 
answered him by a voice.'' 4 And a little 
after, when the Law had been given in the ten 
commandments, it follows in the text, " And 
all the people saw the thunderings, and the 
lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and 
the mountain smoking." And a little after, 
" And [when the people saw it,] they re- 
moved and stood afar off, and Moses drew 
near unto the thick darkness s where God 
was, and the Lord said unto Moses," 6 etc. 
What shall I say about this, save that no one 
can be so insane as to believe the smoke, and 
the fire, and the cloud, and the darkness, and 
whatever there was of the kind, to be the 
substance of the word and wisdom of God 
which is Christ, or of the Holy Spirit ? For 
not even the Arians ever dared to say that 
thev were the substance of God the Father. 

1 Isa. ix. 6. 

3 Ex. xvi. 10-12. 
5 Nebitlam. 

2 Ex. iii. 21, 22. 
4 Ex. xix. 18, 19. 
6 Ex. xx. 18, 21. 

All these things, then, were wrought through 
the creature serving the Creator, and were pre- 
sented in a suitable economy {dispc?isatio) to 
human senses; unless, perhaps, because it is 
said, "And Moses drew near to the cloud where 
God was," carnal thoughts must needs sup- 
pose that the cloud was indeed seen by the 
people, but that within the cloud Moses with 
the eyes of the flesh saw the Son of God, 
whom doting heretics will have to be seen in 
His own substance. Forsooth, Moses may 
have seen Him with the eyes of the flesh, if 
not only the wisdom of God which is Christ, 
but even that of any man you please and 
howsoever wise, can be seen with the eyes of 
the flesh; or if, because it is written of the 
elders of Israel, that "they saw the place 
where the God of Israel had stood," and that 
" there was under His feet as it were a paved 
work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the 
body of heaven in his clearness," 7 therefore 
we are to believe that the word and wisdom 
of God in His own substance stood within 
the space of an earthly place, who indeed 
" reacheth firmly from end to end, and 
sweetly ordereth all things;" 8 and that the 
Word of God, by whom all things were 
made, 9 is in such wise changeable, as now to 
contract, now to expand Himself; (may the 
Lord cleanse the hearts of His faithful ones 
from such thoughts ! ) But indeed all these 
visible and sensible things are, as we have 
often said, exhibited through the creature 
made subject in order to signify the invisible 
and intelligible God, not only the Father, 
but also the Son and the Holy Spirit, "of 
whom are all things, and through whom are 
all things, and in whom are all things; " I0 al- 
though "the invisible things of God, from 
the creation of the world, are clearly seen, 
being understood by the things that , are 
made, even His eternal power and God- 

26. But as far as concerns our present un- 
dertaking, neither on Mount Sinai do I see 
how it appears, by all those things which were 
fearfully displayed to the senses of mortal 
men, whether God the Trinity spake, or the 
Father, or the Son, or the Holy Spirit sever- 
ally. But if it is allowable, without rash 
assertion, to venture upon a modest and hesi- 
tating conjecture from this passage, if it is 
possible to understand it of one person of the 
Trinity, why do we not rather understand the 
Holy Spirit to be spoken of, since the Law 
itself also, which was given there, is said to 
have been written upon tables of stone with the 

7 Ex. xxiv. 10. 
10 Rom. xi. 36. 

8 Wisd. viii. 1. 
11 Rom. i. 20. 

9 John i. 3. 



[Book II- 

finger of God, r by which name we know the 
Holy Spirit to be signified in the Gospel. 2 
And fifty days are numbered from the slay- 
ing of the lamb and the celebration of the 
Passover until the day in which these things 
began to be done in Mount Sinai; just as 
after the passion of our Lord fifty days are 
numbered from His resurrection, and then 
came the Holy Spirit which the Son of God 
had promised. And in that very coming of 
His, which we read of in the Acts of the 
Apostles, there appeared cloven tongues like 
as of fire, and it sat upon each of them: 3 
which agrees with Exodus, where it is writ- 
ten, "And Mount Sinai was altogether on a 
smoke, because the Lord descended upon it 
in fire;" and a little after, "And the sight 
of the glory of the Lord," he says, " was like 
devouring fire on the top of the mount in the 
eyes of the children of Israel." 4 Or if these 
things were therefore wrought because neither 
the Father nor the Son could be there pre- 
sented in that mode without the Holy Spirit, 
by whom the Law itself must needs be writ- 
ten; then we know doubtless that God ap- 
peared there, not by His own substance, 
which remains invisible and unchangeable, 
but by the appearance above mentioned of 
the creature; but that some special person of 
the Trinity appeared, distinguished by a 
proper mark, as far as my capacity of under- 
standing reaches, we do not see. 


26. There is yet another difficulty which 
troubles most people, viz. that it is written, 
"And the Lord spake unto Moses face to 
face, as a man speaketh unto his friend;" 
whereas a little after, the same Moses says, 
" Now therefore, I pray Thee, if I have found 
grace in Thy sight, show me now Thyself 
plainly, that I may see Thee, that I may find 
grace in Thy sight, and that I may consider 
that this nation is Thy people;" and a little 
after Moses again said to the Lord, " Show 
me Thy glory." What means this then, that 
in everytning which was done, as above said, 
God was thought to have appeared by His 
own substance; whence the Son of God has 
been believed by these miserable people to be 
visible not by the creature, but by Himself; 
and that Moses, entering into the cloud, ap- 
peared to have had this very object in enter- 
ing, that a cloudy darkness indeed might be 
shown to the eyes of the people, but that 
Moses within might hear the words of God, 
as though he beheld His face; and, as it is 

1 Ex. xxi. 18. 
3 Acts. ii. 1-4. 

2 Luke x:. 20 
4 Ex. xxiv. 1 

said, " And the Lord spake unto Moses face 
to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend; " 
and yet, behold, the same Moses says, " If I 
have found grace in Thy sight, show me 
Thyself plainly?" Assuredly he knew that 
he saw corporeally, and he sought the true 
sight of God spiritually. And that mode of 
speech accordingly which was wrought in 
words, was so modified, as if it were of a friend 
speaking to a friend. Yet who sees God the 
Father with the eyes of the body ? And that 
Word, which was in the beginning, the Word 
which was with God, the Word which was 
God, by which all things were made, 5 who 
sees Him with the eyes of the body ? And 
the spirit of wisdom, again, who sees with the 
eyes of the body? Yet what is, "Show me 
now Thyself plainly, that I may see Thee," 
unless, Show me Thy substance ? But if 
Moses had not said this, we must indeed 
have borne with those foolish people as we 
could, who think that the substance of God 
was made visible to his eyes through those 
things which, as above mentioned, were said 
or done. But when it is here demonstrated 
most evidently that this was not granted to 
him, even though he desired it; who will dare 
to say, that by the like forms which had ap- 
peared visibly to him also, not the creature 
serving God, but that itself which is God, 
appeared to the eyes of a mortal man ? 

28. Add, too, that which the Lord after- 
ward said to Moses, " Thou canst not see 
my face: for there shall no man see my face, 
and live. And the Lord said, Behold, there 
is a place by me, and thou shall stand upon 
a rock: and it shall come to pass, while my 
glory passeth by, that I will put thee into a 
watch-tower 6 of the rock, and will cover thee 
with my hand while I pass by: and I will take 
away my hand, and thou shalt see my back 
parts; but my face shall not be seen." 7 



Not unfitly is it commonly understood to 
be prefigured from the person of our Lord 
Jesus Christ, that His "back parts" are to 
be taken to be His flesh, in which He was 

5 John i. 1, 3. 

6 Clift A. V. Spelunca is one reading in S. Aug., but the 
Benedictines read specula = watch-tower, which the context 
proves to be certainly right. 

7 Ex. xxxiii. 11-23. 

Chap. XVII.] 



born of the Virgin, and died, and rose again; 
whether they are called back parts 1 on ac- 
count of the posteriority of mortality, or be- 
cause it was almost in the end of the world, 
that is, at a late period, 2 that He deigned 
to take it: but that His " face " was that form 
of God, in which He " thought it not robbery 
to be equal with God," 3 which no one cer- 
tainly can see and live; whether because after 
this life, in which we are absent from the 
Lord, 4 and where the corruptible body press- 
eth down the soul, 5 we shall see " face to 
face/' 6 as the apostle says (for it is said in 
the Psalms, of this life, "Verily every man 
living is altogether vanity;" 7 and again, 
" For in Thy sight shall no man living be 
justified;" 8 and in this life also, according to 
John, " It doth not yet appear what we shall 
be, but we know," he says, " that when He 
shall appear, we shall be like Him, for we 
shall see Him as He is,'' 9 which he certainly 
intended to be understood as after this life, 
when we shall have paid the debt of death, 
and shall have received the promise of the 
resurrection); or whether that even now, in 
whatever degree we spiritually understand 
the wisdom of God, by which all things were 
made, in that same degree we die to carnal 
affections, so that, considering this world 
dead to us, we also ourselves die to this 
world, and say what the apostle says, ' ' The 
world is crucified unto me, and I unto the 
world." 10 For it was of this death that he 
also says, "Wherefore, if ye be dead with 
Christ, why as though living in the world are 
ye subject to ordinances?" 11 Not therefore 
without cause will no one be able to see the 
" face,'' that is, the manifestation itself of 
the wisdom of God, and live. For it is this 
very appearance, for the contemplation of 
which every one sighs who strives to love 
God with all his heart, and with all his soul, 
and with all his mind; to the contemplation 
of which, he who loves his neighbor, too, as 
himself builds up his neighbor also as far as 
he may; on which two commandments hang 
all the law and the prophets. 12 And this is 
signified also in Moses himself. For when 
he had said, on account of the love of God 
with which he was specially inflamed, " If I 
have found grace in thy sight, show me now 
Thyself plainly, that I may find grace in Thy 
sight; " he immediately subjoined, on account 
of the love also of his neighbor, "And that I 

1 Posteriora. 
3 Phil. ii. 6. 
5 Wisd. ix. 15. 
7 Ps. xxxix. 5. 
9 1 John iii. 2. 

2 Posterius. 
4 2 Cor. v. 6. 
6 1 Cor. xiii. 12. 
8 Ps. cxliii. 2. 
10 Gal. vi. 14. 

11 Col. ii. 20. Viventes de hoc inimdo decei-nitis. 

12 Matt. xxii. 37-40. 

may know that this nation is Thy people." 
It is therefore that " appearance " which hur- 
ries away ever)'- rational soul with the desire 
of it, and the more ardently the more pure 
that soul is; and it is the more pure the more 
it rises to spiritual things; and it rises the 
more to spiritual things the more it dies to 
carnal things. But whilst we are absent from 
the Lord, and walk by faith, not by sight, 13 
we ought to see the " back parts " of Christ, 
that is His flesh, by that very faith, that is, 
standing on the solid foundation of faith, 
which the rock signifies, 14 and beholding it 
from such a safe watch-tower, namely in the 
Catholic Church, of which it is said, "And 
upon this rock I will build my Church." 15 
For so much the more certainly we love that 
face of Christ, which we earnestly desire to 
see, as we recognize in His back parts how 
much first Christ loved us. 

29. But in the flesh itself, the faith in His 
resurrection saves and justifies us. For, " If 
thou shalt believe," he says, " in thine heart, 
that God hath raised Him from the dead, 
thou shalt be saved; " l6 and again, " Who was 
delivered," he says, "for our offenses, and was 
raised again for our justification." 17 So that 
the reward of our faith is the resurrection of 
the body of our Lord. 18 For even His enemies 
believe that that flesh died on the cross of 
His passion, but they do not believe it to 
have risen again. Which we believing most 
firmly, gaze upon it as from the solidity of a 
rock: whence we wait with certain hope for 
the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our 
body; 19 because we hope for that in the mem- 
bers of Christ, that is, in ourselves, which by 
a sound faith we acknowledge to be perfect 
in Him as in our Head. Thence it is that 
He would not have His back parts seen, un- 
less as He passed by, that His resurrection 
may be believed. For that which is Pascha 
in Hebrew, is translated Passover. 20 Whence 
John the Evangelist also says, " Before the 
feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that 
His hour was come, that He should pass out 
of this world unto the Father." 21 

30. But they who believe this, but believe 
it not in the Catholic Church, but in some 
schism or in heresy, do not see the back parts 
of the Lord from " the place that is by Him." 
For what does that mean which the Lord says, 
" Behold, there is a place by me, and thou 

1 3 2 Cor. v. 6, 7. 

M [Augustin here gives the Protestant interpretation of the 
word "rock," in the passage, "on this rock I will build my 
church." W.G.T.S.] 

l i Matt. xvi. 18. l6 Rom. x. g. '7 Rom. iv. 25. 

18 [The meaning seems to be, that the vivid realization that 
Christ's body rose from the dead is the reward of a Christian's faith. 
The unbeliever has no such reward. W.G.T.S.] 

z 9 Rom. viii. 23. 

20 Transilus = passing by. 2I John xiii. 1. 



[Book II. 

shalt stand upon a rock?" What earthly 
place is "by" the Lord, unless that is "by 
Him" which touches Him spiritually ? For 
what place is not "by" the Lord, who 
" reacheth from one end to another mightily, 
and sweetly doth order all things," 'and of 
whom it is said, " Heaven is His throne, and 
earth is His footstool;" and who said, 
" Where is the house that ye build unto me, 
and where is the place of my rest ? For has 
not my hand made all those things?" 2 Eut 
manifestly the Catholic Church itself is un- 
derstood to be " the place by Him," wherein 
one stands upon a rock, where he healthfully 
sees the " Pascha Domini," that is, the 
"Passing by" 3 of the Lord, and His back 
parts, that is, His body, who believes in His 
resurrection. "And thou shalt stand," He 
says, "upon a rock while my glory passeth 
by." For in reality, immediately after the 
majesty of the Lord had passed by in the 
glorification of the Lord, in which He rose 
again and ascended to the Father, we stood 
firm upon the rock. And Peter himself then 
stood firm, so that he preached Him with 
confidence, whom, before he stood firm, he 
had thrice from fear denied; 4 although, in- 
deed, already before placed in predestination 
upon the watch-tower of the rock, but with 
the hand of the Lord still held over him that 
he might not see. For he was to see His 
back parts, and the Lord had not yet " passed 
by," namely, from death to life; He had not 
yet been glorified by the resurrection. 

31. For as to that, too, which follows in 
Exodus, " I will cover thee with mine hand 
while I pass by, and I will take away my 
hand and thou shalt see my back parts; " 
many Israelites, of whom Moses was then a 
figure, believed in the Lord after His resur- 
rection, as if His hand had been taken off 
from their eyes, and they now saw His back 
parts. And hence the evangelist also men- 
tions that prophesy of Isaiah, " Make the 
heart of this people fat, and make their ears 
heavy, and shut their eyes." 5 Lastly, in 
the Psalm, that is not unreasonably under- 
stood to be said in their person, " For day 
and night Thy hand was heavy upon me." 
"By day," perhaps, when He performed 
manifest miracles, yet was not acknowledged 
by them; - but " by night," when He died in 
suffering, when they thought still more cer- 
tainly that, like any one among men, He 
was cut off and brought to an end. But 
since, when He had already passed by, so 
that His back parts were seen, upon the 

1 Wisd. viii. 1. 

3 Transitus. 

5 Isa. vi. 10; Matt. xiii. 15. 

2 Isa. lxvi. 1, 2. 
4 Matt. xxvi. 70-74. 

preaching to them by the Apostle Peter that 
it behoved Christ to suffer and rise again, 
they were pricked in their hearts with the 
grief of repentance, 6 that that might come to 
pass among the baptized which is said in the 
beginning of that Psalm, " Blessed are they 
whose transgressions are forgiven, and whose 
sins are covered;" therefore, after it had 
been said, " Thy hand is heavy upon me," 
the Lord, as it were, passing by, so that now 
He removed His hand, and His back parts 
were seen, there follows the voice of one who 
grieves and confesses and receives remission 
of sins by faith in the resurrection of the 
Lord: " My moisture," he says, " is turned 
into the drought of summer. I acknowledged 
my sin unto Thee, and mine iniquity have I 
not hid. I said, I will confess my trans- 
gressions unto the Lord, and Thou forgavest 
the iniquity of my sin." 7 For we ought not 
to be so wrapped up in the darkness of the 
flesh, as to think the face indeed of God to 
be invisible, but His back visible, since both 
appeared visibly in the form of a servant; 
but far be it from us to think anything of the 
kind in the form of God; far be it from us to 
think that the Word of God and the Wisdom 
of God has a face on one side, and on the 
other a back, as a human body has, or is at 
all changed either in place or time by any 
appearance or motion. 8 

32. Wherefore, if in those words which 
were spoken in Exodus, and in all those cor- 
poreal appearances, the Lord Jesus Christ 
was manifested; or if in some cases Christ 
was manifested, as the consideration of this 
passage persuades us, in others the Holy 
Spirit, as that which we have said above ad- 
monishes us; at any rate no such result fol- 
lows, as that God the Father never appeared 
in any such form to the Fathers. For many 
such appearances happened in those times, 
without either the Father, or the Son, or the 
Holy Spirit being expressly named and desig- 
nated in them; but yet with some intimations 
given through certain very probable interpre- 
tations, so that it would be too rash to say 
that God the Father never appeared by any 
visible forms to the fathers or the prophets. 
For they gave birth to this opinion who were 
not able to understand in respect to the unity of 
the Trinity such texts as, " Now unto the King 
eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise 
God; " 9 and, " Whom no man hath seen, nor 

6 Acts ii. 37, 41. 7 Ps. xxxii. 4, 5. 

8 [This explanation of the "back parts" of Christ to mean his 
resurrection, and of " the place that is by him," to mean the 
church, is an example of the fanciful exegesis into which Augns- 
tin, with the fathers generally, sometimes falls. The reasoning, 
here, unlike that in the preceding chapter, is not from the imme- 
diate context, and hence extraneous matter is read into the text. 
W. G. T. S.] 9 1 Tim. i. 17. 

Chap. XVIII.] 



can see." 1 Which texts are understood by 
a sound faith in that substance itself, the 
highest, and in the highest degree divine and 
unchangeable, whereby both the Father and 
the Son and the Holy Spirit is the one and 
only God. But those visions were wrought 
through the changeable creature, made sub- 
ject to the unchangeable God, and did not 
manifest God properly as He is, but by in- 
timations such as suited the causes and times 
of the several circumstances. 


33. - 1 do not know in what manner these 
men understand that the Ancient of Days 
appeared to Daniel, from whom the Son of 
man, which He deigned to be for our sakes, 
is understood to have received the kingdom; 
namely, from Him who says to Him in the 
Psalms, " Thou art my Son; this day have I 
begotten Thee; ask of me, and I shall give 
Thee the heathen for Thine inheritance;" 3 
and who has "put all things under His 
feet." 4 If, however, both the Father giving 
the kingdom, and the Son receiving it, ap- 
peared to Daniel in bodily form, how can 
those men say that the Father never appeared 
to the prophets, and, therefore, that He only 
ought to be understood to be invisible whom 
no man has seen, nor can see ? For Daniel 
has told us thus: " I beheld," he says, "till 
the thrones were set, 5 and the Ancient of 
Days did sit, whose garment was white as 
snow, and the hair of His head like the pure 
wool: His throne was like the fiery flame, 
and His wheels as burning fire; a fiery stream 
issued and came forth from before Him: 
thousand thousands ministered unto Him, 
and ten thousand times ten thousand stood 
before Him: the judgment was set, and the 
books were opened," etc. And a little after, 
"I saw," he says, "in the night visions, 
and behold, one like the Son of man came 
with the clouds of heaven, and came to the 
Ancient of Days, and they brought Him near 
before Him. And there was given Him 
dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all 
peoples, nations, and languages should serve 
Him: His dominion is an everlasting domin- 
ion, which shall not pass away, and His king- 
dom that which shall not be destroyed." 6 
Behold the Father giving, and the Son re- 
ceiving, an eternal kingdom ; and both are in 

1 1 Tim. vi. 16. 

2 [The original has an awkward anacoluthon in the opening 
sentence of this chapter, which has been removed by omitting 
"'quaviquat/i," and substituting " autem" for " erev."- -W. G. 
T. S.] 

i Ps. ii. 7, 8. 4 Ps. viii. 8. 

5 Cast down A. V. 6 Dan. vii. 9-14. 

the sight of him who prophesies, in a visible 
form. It is not, therefore, unsuitably be- 
lieved that God the Father also was wont to 
appear in that manner to mortals. 

34. Unless, perhaps, some one shall say, 
that the Father is therefore not visible, be- 
cause He appeared within the sight of one 
who was dreaming; but that therefore the 
Son and the Holy Spirit are visible, because 
Moses saw all those things being awake; as 
if, forsooth, Moses saw the Word and the 
Wisdom of God with fleshly eyes, or that 
even the human spirit which quickens that 
flesh can be seen, or even that corporeal thing 
which is called wind; how much less can 
that Spirit of God be seen, who transcends 
the minds of all men, and of angels, by the 
ineffable excellence of the divine substance? 
Or can any one fall headlong into such an 
error as to dare to say, that the Son and the 
Holy Spirit are visible also to men who are 
awake, but that the Father is not visible ex- 
cept to those who dream ? How, then, do 
they understand that of the Father alone, 
"Whom no man hath seen, nor can see."? 
When men sleep, are they then not men ? 
Or cannot He, who can fashion the likeness 
of a body to signify Himself through the 
visions of dreamers, also fashion that same 
bodily creature to signify Himself to the eyes 
of those who are awake ? Whereas His own 
very substance, whereby He Himself is that 
which He is, cannot be shown by any bodily 
likeness to one who sleeps, or by any bodily 
appearance to one who is awake; but this not 
of the Father only, but also of the Son and 
of the Holy Spirit. And certainly, as to 
those who are moved by the visions of wak- 
ing men to believe that not the Father, but 
only the Son, or the Holy Spirit, appeared to 
the corporeal sight of men, to omit the 
great extent of the sacred pages, and their 
manifold interpretation, such that no one of 
sound reason ought to affirm that the person 
of the Father was nowhere shown to the eyes 
of waking men by any corporeal appearance; 
but, as I said, to omit this, what do they 
say of our father Abraham, who was certainly 
awake and ministering, when, after Scripture 
had premised, " The Lord appeared unto 
Abraham," not one, or two, but three men 
appeared to him; no one of whom- is said to 
have stood prominently above the others, no 
one more than the others to have shone with 
greater glory, or to have acted more authori- 
tatively ? 7 

35. Wherefore, since in that our threefold 
division we determined to inquire, first, 

7 oen. xvm. 1. 

8 See above, chap. vii. 



[Book II. 

whether the Father, or the Son, or the Holy 
Spirit; or whether sometimes the Father, 
sometimes the Son, sometimes the Holy- 
Spirit; or whether, without any distinction of 
persons, as it is said, the one and only God, 
that is, the Trinity itself, appeared to the 
fathers through those forms of the creature: 
now that we have examined, so far as ap- 
peared to be sufficient, what places of the 
Holy Scriptures we could, a modest and 
cautious consideration of divine mysteries 
leads, as far as I can judge, to no other con- 
clusion, unless that we may not rashly affirm 
which person of the Trinity appeared to this 
or that of the fathers or the prophets in some 

body or likeness of body, unless when the 
context attaches to the narrative some proba- 
ble intimations on the subject. For the 
nature itself, or substance, or essence, or by 
whatever other name that very thing, which 
is God, whatever it be, is to be called, cannot 
be seen corporeally: but we must believe 
that by means of the creature made subject 
to Him, not only the Son, or the Holy Spirit, 
but also the Father, may have given intima- 
tions of Himself to mortal senses by a cor- 
poreal form or likeness. And since the case 
stands thus, that this second book may not 
extend to an immoderate length, let us con- 
sider what remains in those which follow. 




i. I would have them believe, who are 
willing to do so, that I had rather bestow 
labor in reading, than in dictating what others 
may read. But let those who will not be- 
lieve this, but are both able and willing to 
make the trial, grant me whatever answers 
may be gathered from reading, either to my 
own inquiries, or to those interrogations of 
others, which for the character I bear in the 
service of Christ, and for the zeal with which 
I burn that our faith may be fortified against 
the error of carnal and natural men, 1 I must 
needs bear with; and then let them see how 
easily I would refrain from this labor, and 
with how much even of joy I would give my 
pen a holiday. But if what we have read 
upon these subjects is either not sufficiently 
set forth, or is not to be found at all, or at 
any rate cannot easily be found by us, in the 
Latin tongue, while we are not so familiar 
with the Greek tongue as to be found in any 
way competent to read and understand there- 
in the books that treat of such topics, in which 
class of writings, to judge by the little which 
has been translated for us, I do not doubt 
that everything is contained that we can profit- 

1 [The English translator renders " animalium ' by " psychi- 
cal," to agree with i|/vxikos in i Cor. ii. 14. The rendering " nat- 
ural " of the A. V. is more familiar. W, G. T. S.] 

ably seek; 2 while yet I cannot resist my 
brethren when they exact of me, by that law 
by which I am made their servant, that I 
should minister above all to their praiseworthy 
studies in Christ by my tongue and by my 
pen, of which two yoked together in me, Love 
is the charioteer; and while I myself confess 
that I have by writing learned many things 
which I did not know: if this be so, then this 
my labor ought not to seem superfluous to 
any idle, or to any very learned reader; while 
it is needful in no small part, to many who 
are busy, and to many who are unlearned, 
and among these last to myself. Supported, 
then, very greatly, and aided by the writings 
we have already read of others on this sub- 
ject, I have undertaken to inquire into and 
to discuss, whatever it seems to my judg- 
ment can be reverently inquired into and dis- 
cussed, concerning the Trinity, the one su- 
preme and supremely good God; He himself 
exhorting me to the inquiry, and helping me 
in the discussion of it; in order that, if there 
are no other writings of the kind, there may 
be something for those to have and read who 

2 [This is an important passage with reference to Augustin's 
learning. From it, it would appear that he had not read the 
Greek Trinitarians in the original, and that only "a little ' of these 
had been translated, at the time when he was composing this 
treatise. As this was from A.D. 400 to A.D. 416 , the treatises of 
Athanasius(d. 373), Basil (d. 379), Gregory of Nyssa (d. 400?), and 
Gregory of Nazianzum (d. 390 ?) had been composed and were cur- 
rent in the Eastern church. That Augustin thought out this pro- 
found scheme of the doctrine of the Trinity by the close study of 
Scripture alone, and unassisted by the equally profound trimtarian- 
ism of the Greek church, is an evidence of the depth and strength 
of his remarkable intellect. W. G. T. S.] 



[Book III. 

are willing and capable; but if any exist al- 
ready, then it may be so much the easier to 
find some such writings, the more there are 
of the kind in existence, 

2. Assuredly, as in all my writings I desire 
not only a pious reader, but also a free correc- 
tor, so I especially desire this in the present 
inquiry, which is so important that I would 
there were as many inquirers as there are ob- 
jectors. But as I do not wish my reader to 
be bound down to me, so I do not wish my 
corrector to be bound down to himself. Let 
not the former love me more than the catho- 
lic faith, let not the latter love himself more 
than the catholic verity. As I say to the for- 
mer, Do not be willing to yield to my writings 
as to the canonical Scriptures; but in these, 
when thou hast discovered even what thou 
didst not previously believe, believe it unhes- 
itatingly; while in those, unless thou hast un- 
derstood with certainty what thou didst not 
before hold as certain, be unwilling to hold it 
fast: so I say to the latter, Do not be willing 
to amend my writings by thine own opinion or 
disputation, but from the divine text, or by 
unanswerable reason. If thou apprehendest 
anything of truth in them, its being there 
does not make it mine, but by understanding 
and loving it, let it be both thine and mine; 
but if thou convictest anything of falsehood, 
though it have once been mine, in that I was 
guilty of the error, yet now by avoiding it 
let it be neither thine nor mine. 

3. Let this third book, then, take its begin- 
ning at the point to which the second had 
reached. For after we had arrived at this, 
that we desired to show that the Son was not 
therefore less than the Father, because the 
Father sent and the Son was sent; nor the 
Holy Spirit therefore less than both, because 
we read in the Gospel that He was sent both 
by the one and by the other; we undertook 
then to inquire, since the Son was sent thither, 
where He already was, for He came into the 
world, and " was in the world; " * since also 
the Holy Spirit was sent thither, where He 
already was, for "the Spirit of the Lord filleth 
the world, and that which containeth all things 
hath knowledge of the voice; " 2 whether the 
Lord was therefore "sent" because He was 
born in the flesh so as to be no longer hidden, 
and, as it were, came forth from the bosom of 
the Father, and appeared to the eyes of men 
in the form of a servant; and the Holy Spirit 
also was therefore " sent," because He too 
was seen as a dove in a corporeal form, 3 and 
in cloven tongues, like as of fire; 4 so that, to 

1 John i. 10. 
3 Matt. iii. 16. 

2 Wisd. i. 7. 
4 Acts ii. 3. 

be sent, when spoken of them, means to go 
forth to the sight of mortals in some corpo- 
real form from a spiritual hiding-place; which, 
because the Father did not, He is said only 
to have sent, not also to be sent. Our next 
inquiry was, Why the Father also is not some- 
times said to be sent, if He Himself was mani- 
fested through those corporeal forms which 
appeared to the eyes of the ancients. But if 
the Son was manifested at these times, why 
should He be said to be" sent" so long after, 
when the fullness of time was come that He 
should be born of a woman; 5 since, indeed, 
He was sent before also, viz., when He ap- 
peared corporeally in those forms ? Or if He 
were not rightly said to be " sent," except 
when the Word was made flesh; 6 why should 
the Holy Spirit be read of as "sent," of 
whom such an incarnation never took place ? 
But if neither the Father, nor the Son, but 
the Holy Spirit was manifested through these 
ancient appearances; why should He too be 
said to be " sent " now, when He was also sent 
before in these various manners ? Next we 
subdivided the subject, that it might be hand- 
led most carefully, and we made the question 
threefold, of which one part was explained in 
the second book, and two remain, which I 
shall next proceed to discuss. For we have 
already inquired and determined, that not only 
the Father, nor only the Son, nor only the 
Holy Spirit appeared in those ancient corpo- 
real forms and visions, but either indifferent- 
ly the Lord God, who is understood to be the 
Trinity itself, or some one person of the Trin- 
ity, whichever the text of the narrative might 
signify, through intimations supplied by the 


4. Let us, then, continue our inquiry now 
in order. For under the second head in that 
division the question occurred, whether the 
creature was formed for that work only, where- 
in God, in such way as He then judged it to 
be fitting, might be manifested to human 
sight; or whether angels, who already ex- 
isted, were so sent as to speak in the person 
of God, assuming a corporeal appearance from 
the corporeal creature for the purpose of their 
ministry; or else changing and turning their 
own body itself, to which they are not subject, 
but govern it as subject to themselves, into 
whatever forms they would, that were appro- 
priate and fit for their actions, according to 
the power given to them by the Creator. And 
when this part of the question shall have been 
investigated, so far as God permit, then, last- 

5 Gal. iv. 4. 

6 John i. 14. 

Chap. II.] 



]y, we shall have to see to that question with 
which we started, viz., whether the Son and 
the Holy Spirit were also " sent " before; and 
if it be so, then what difference there is be- 
tween that sending and the one of which we 
read in the Gospel; or whether neither of 
them were sent, except when either the Son 
was made of the Virgin Mary, or when the 
Holy Spirit appeared in a visible form, whether 
as a dove or in tongues of fire. * 

5. 1 confess, however, that it reaches fur- 
ther than my purpose can carry me to inquire 
whether the angels, secretly working by the 
spiritual quality of their body abiding still in 
them, assume somewhat from the inferior and 
more bodily elements, which, being fitted to 
themselves, they may change and turn like a 
garment into any corporeal appearances they 
will, and those appearances themselves also 
real, as real water was changed by our Lord 
into real wine; 2 or whether they transform 
their own bodies themselves into that which 
they would, suitably to the particular act. 
But it does not signify to the present question 
which of these it is. And although I be not 
able to understand these things by actual ex- 
perience, seeing that I am a man, as the 
angels do who do these things, and know 
them better than I know them, viz., how far 
my body is changeable by the operation of 
my will; whether it be by my own experience of 
myself, or by that which I have gathered from 
others; yet it is not necessary here to say 
which of these alternatives I am to believe 
upon the authority of the divine Scriptures, 
lest I be compelled to prove it, and so my 
discourse become too long upon a subject 
which does not concern the present question. 

6. Our present inquiry then is, whether the 
angels were then the agents both in showing 
those bodily appearances to the eyes of men, 
and in sounding those words in their ears, 
when the sensible creature itself, serving the 
Creator at His beck, was turned for the time 
into whatever was needful; as it is written in 
the book of Wisdom, " For the creature that 
serveth Thee, who art the Maker, increaseth 
his strength against the unrighteous for their 
punishment, and abateth his strength for the 
benefit of such as put their trust in Thee. 
Therefore, even then was it altered into all 
fashions, and was obedient to Thy grace, that 
nourisheth all things according to the desire 
of them that longed for Thee." 3 For the 
power of the will of God reaches through the 
spiritual creature even to visible and sensible 
effects of the corporeal creature. For where 
does not the wisdom of the omnipotent God 

1 See above, Book ii. chap. vii. n. 13. 

2 John ii. g. 3 Wisd. xvi. 24, 25. 

work that which He wills, which " reacheth 
from one end to another mightily, and sweet- 
ly doth order all things"? 4 



7. But there is one kind of natural order 
in the conversion and changeableness of 
bodies, which, although itself also serves the 
bidding of God, yet by reason of its unbroken 
continuity has ceased to cause wonder; as is 
the case, for instance, with those things which 
are changed either in very short, or at any 
rate not long, intervals of time, in heaven, or 
earth, or sea; whether it be in rising, or in 
setting, or in change of appearance from time 
to time; while there are other things, which, 
although arising from that same order, yet 
are less familiar on account of longer inter- 
vals of time. And these things, although the 
many stupidly wonder at them, yet are un- 
derstood by those who inquire into this pres- 
ent world, and in the progress of generations 
become so much the less wonderful, as they 
are the more often repeated and known by 
more people. Such are the eclipses of the 
sun and moon, and some kinds of stars, ap- 
pearing seldom, and earthquakes, and unnat- 
ural births of living creatures, and other simi- 
lar things; of which not one takes place with- 
out the will of God; yet, that it is so, is to 
most people not apparent. And so the vanity 
of philosophers has found license to assign 
these things also to other causes, true causes 
perhaps, but proximate ones, while they are not 
able to see at all the cause that is higher than 
all others, that is, the will of God; or again to 
false causes, and to such as are not even put 
forward out of any diligent investigation of 
corporeal things and motions, but from their 
own guess and error. 

8. I will bring forward an example, if I can, 
that this may be plainer. There is, we know, 
in the human body, a certain bulk of flesh and 
an outward form, and an arrangement and dis- 
tinction of limbs, and a temperament of health ; 
and a soul breathed into it governs this body, 
and that soul a rational one; which, therefore, 
although changeable, yet can be partaker of 
that unchangeable wisdom, so that " it may 
partake of that which is in and of itself; " 5 as 

4 Wisd. viii. 1. 

5 [The original is: " ut sit fiarticifiatio ejus in idipsum." The 
English translator renders: " So that it may partake thereof in it- 
self." The thought of Augustin is, that the believing soul though 
mutable partakes of the immutable; and he designates the immut- 
able as the iti idipsum: the self-existent. In that striking passage 
in the Confessions, in which he describes the spiritual and extatic 
meditations of himself and his mother, as they looked out upon 
the Mediterranean from the windows at Ostia a scene well known 
from Ary Schefer's painting he denominates God the idipsum: the 



[Book III. 

it is written in the Psalm concerning all saints, 
of whom as of living stones is built that Jeru- 
salem which is the mother of us all, eternal in 
the heavens. For so it is sung, " Jerusalem 
is builded as a city, that is partaker of that 
which is in and of itself." 1 For "in and of it- 
self," in that place, is understood of that 
chiefest and unchangeable good, which is 
God, and of His own wisdom and will. To 
whom is sung in another place, "Thou shalt 
change them, and they shall be changed; but 
Thou art the same." 2 


Let us take, then, the case of a wise man, 
such that his rational soul is already partaker 
of the unchangeable and eternal truth, so 
that he consults it about all his actions, nor 
does anything at all, which he does not by it 
know ought to be done, in order that by be- 
ing subject to it and obeying it he may do 
rightly. Suppose now that this man, upon 
counsel with the highest reason of the divine 
righteousness, which he hears with the ear of 
his heart in secret, and by its bidding, should 
weary his body by toil in some office of 
mercy, and should contract an illness; and 
upon, consulting the physicians, were to be 
told by one that the cause of the disease was 
overmuch dryness of the body, but by an- 
other that it was overmuch moisture; one of 
the two no doubt would allege the true cause 
and the other would err, but both would pro- 
nounce concerning proximate causes only, 
that is, corporeal ones. But if the cause of 
that dryness were to be inquired into, and 
found to be the self-imposed toil, then we 
should have come to a yet higher cause, 
which proceeds from the soul so as to affect 
the body which the soul governs. Yet neither 
would this be the first cause, for that doubt- 
less was a higher cause still, and lay in the 
unchangeable wisdom itself, by serving which 
in love, and by obeying its ineffable com- 
mands, the soul of the wise man had under- 
taken that self-imposed toil; and so nothing 
else but the will of God would be found most 
truly to be the first cause of that illness. 
But suppose now in that office of pious toil 
this wise man had employed the help of 
others to co-operate in the good work, who 
did not serve God with the same will as him- 
self, but either desired to attain the reward 
of their own carnal desires, or shunned 
merely carnal unpleasantnesses ; suppose, 
too, he had employed beasts of burden, if the 

" self same" (Confessions IX. x). Augustin refers to the same ab- 
solute immutability of God, in this place. By faith, man is "a 
partaker of a divine nature," (2 Pet. i. 4.) -W.G.T.S."] 
1 Ps. cxxii. 3. Vulg. 2 Ps. cii. 26, 27. 

completion of the work required such a pro- 
vision, which beasts of burden would be cer- 
tainly irrational animals, and would not there- 
fore move their limbs under their burdens 
because they at all thought of that good 
work, but from the natural appetite of their 
own liking, and for the avoiding of annoyance; 
suppose, lastly, he had employed bodily 
things themselves that lack all sense, but 
were necessary for that work, as e.g. corn, 
and wine, and oils, clothes, or money, or a 
book, or anything of the kind; certainly, in 
all these bodily things thus employed in this 
work, whether animate or inanimate, what- 
ever took place of movement, of wear and 
tear, of reparation, of destruction, of renewal 
or of change in one way or another, as 
places and times affected them; pray, could 
there be, I say, any other cause of all these 
visible and changeable facts, except the invisi- 
ble and unchangeable will of God, using all 
these, both bad and irrational souls, and 
lastly bodies, whether such as were inspired 
and animated by those souls, or such as 
lacked all sense, by means of that upright 
soul as the seat of His wisdom, since prima- 
rily that good and holy soul itself employed 
them, which His wisdom had subjected to 
itself in a pious and religious obedience ? 


9. What, then, we have alleged by way of 
example of a single wise man, although of 
one still bearing a mortal body and still see- 
ing only in part, may be allowably extended 
also to a family, where there is a society of 
such men, or to a city, or even to the whole 
world, if the chief rule and government of 
human affairs were in the hands of the wise, 
and of those who were piously and perfectly 
subject to God; but because this is not the 
case as yet (for it behoves us first to be exer- 
cised in this our pilgrimage after mortal 
fashion, and to be taught with stripes by 
force of gentleness and patience), let us turn 
our thoughts to that country itself that is 
above and heavenly, from which we here are 
pilgrims. For there the will of God, "who 
maketh His angels spirits, and His ministers 
a flaming fire," 3 presiding among spirits 
which are joined in perfect peace and friend- 
ship, and combined in one will by a kind of 
spiritual fire of charity, as it were in an ele- 
vated and holy and secret seat, as in its own 
house and in its own temple, thence diffuses 
itself through all things by certain most per- 

3 Ps. civ. 4. 

Chap. V.] 



fectly ordered movements of the creature; 
first spiritual, then corporeal; and uses all 
according to the unchangeable pleasure of its 
own purpose, whether incorporeal things or 
things corporeal, whether rational or irra- 
tional spirits, whether good by His grace or 
evil through their own will. But as the more 
gross and inferior bodies are governed in due 
order by the more subtle and powerful ones, 
so all bodies are governed by the living spirit; 
and the living spirit devoid of reason, by the 
reasonable living spirit; and the reasonable 
living spirit that makes default and sins, by 
the living and reasonable spirit that is pious 
and just; and that by God Himself, and so 
the universal creature by its Creator, from 
whom and through whom and in whom it is 
also created and established. * And so it 
comes to pass that the will of God is the first 
and the highest cause of all corporeal appear- 
ances and motions. For nothing is done 
visibly or sensibly, unless either by command 
or permission from the interior palace, invisi- 
ble and intelligible, of the supreme Governor, 
according to the unspeakable justice of re- 
wards and punishments, of favor and retri- 
bution, in that far-reaching and boundless 
commonwealth of the whole creature. 

10. If, therefore, the Apostle Paul, al- 
though he still bare the burden of the body, 
which is subject to corruption and presseth 
down the soul, - and although he still saw 
only in part and in an enigma, 3 wishing to 
depart and be with Christ, 4 and groaning 
within himself, waiting for the adoption, to 
wit, the redemption of his body, 5 yet was 
able to preach the Lord Jesus Christ signifi- 
cantly, in one way by his tongue, in another 
by epistle, in another by the sacrament of 
His body and blood (since, certainly, we do 
not call either the tongue of the apostle, or 
the parchments, or the ink, or the significant 
sounds which his tongue uttered, or the al- 
phabetical signs written on skins, the body 
and blood of Christ; but that only which we 
take of the fruits of the earth and consecrate 
by mystic prayer, and then receive duly to 
our spiritual health in memory of the passion 
of our Lord for us: and this, although it is 
brought by the hands of men to that visible 
form, yet is not sanctified to become so great 
a sacrament, except by the spirit of God 
working invisibly; since God works every- 
thing that is done in that work through cor- 
poreal movements, by setting in motion 
primarily the invisible things of His servants, 
whether the souls of men, or the services of 

1 Col. i. 16. 
4 Phil. i. 23. 

- Wisd. ix. 15. 
5 Rom. viii. 23. 

3 1 Cor. xiii. 12. 

hidden spirits subject to Himself): what 
wonder if also in the creature of heaven and 
earth, of sea and air, God works the sensible 
and visible things which He wills, in order 
to signify and manifest Himself in them, as 
He Himself knows it to be fitting, without 
any appearing of His very substance itself, 
whereby He is, which is altogether un- 
changeable, and more inwardly and secretly 
exalted than all spirits whom He has created? 



11. For since the divine power adminis- 
ters the whole spiritual and corporeal creature, 
the waters of the sea are summoned and 
poured out upon the face of the earth on 
certain days of every year. But when this 
was done at the prayer of the holy Elijah; 
because so continued and long a course of 
fair weather had gone before, that men were 
famished; and because at that very hour, in 
which the servant of God prayed, the air it- 
self had not, by any moist aspect, put forth 
signs of the coming rain; the divine power 
was apparent in the great and rapid showers 
that followed, and by which that miracle was 
granted and dispensed. 6 In like manner, 
God works ordinarily through thunders and 
lightnings: but because these were wrought 
in an unusual manner on Mount Sinai, and 
those sounds were not uttered with a confused 
noise, but so that it appeared by most sure 
proofs that certain intimations were given by 
them, they were miracles. 7 Who draws up 
the sap through the root of the vine to the 
bunch of grapes, and makes the wine, except 
God; who, while man plants and waters, 
Himself giveth the increase ? s But when, at 
the command of the Lord, the water was 
turned into wine with an extraordinary quick- 
ness, the divine power was made manifest, 
by the confession even of the foolish. 9 Who 
ordinarily clothes the trees with leaves and 
flowers except God ? Yet, when the rod of 
Aaron the priest blossomed, the Godhead in 
some way conversed with doubting human- 
ity. I0 Again, the earthy matter certainly 
serves in common to the production and for- 
mation both of all kinds of wood and of the 
flesh of all animals: and who makes these 
things, but He who said, Let the earth bring 
them forth; 11 and who governs and guides by 
the same word of His, those things which He 
has created ? Yet, when He changed the 
same matter out of the rod of Moses into the 
flesh of a serpent, immediately and quickly, 

6 1 Kings xviii. 45. 
9 John ii. 9. 

7 Ex. xix. 6. 
10 Num. xvii. 

8 1 Cor. iii. 7. 
11 Gen. i. 24. 



[Book III. 

that change, which was unusual, although of a 
thing which was changeable, was a miracle. * 
But who is it that gives life to every living 
thing at its birth, unless He who gave life to 
that serpent also for the moment, as there 
was need. 2 


And who is it that restored to the corpses 
their proper souls when the dead rose again, 3 
unless He who gives life to the flesh in the 
mother's womb, in order that they may come 
into being who yet are to die? But when 
such things happen in a continuous kind of 
river of ever-flowing succession, passing from 
the hidden to the visible, and from the visible 
to the hidden, by a regular and beaten track, 
then they are called natural; when, for the 
admonition of men, they are thrust in by an 
unusual changeableness, then they are called 


12. I see here what may occur to a weak 
judgment, namely, why such miracles are 
wrought also by magic arts; for the wise men 
of Pharaoh likewise made serpents, and did 
other like things. Yet it is still more a mat- 
ter of wonder, how it was that the power of 
those magicians, which was able to make ser- 
pents, when it came to very small flies, failed 
altogether. For the lice, by which third 
plague the proud people of Egypt were 
smitten, are very short-lived little flies; yet 
there certainly the magicians failed, saying, 
"This is the ringer of God." 4 And hence 
it is given us to understand that not even 
those angels and powers of the air that trans- 
gressed, who have been thrust down into that 
lowest darkness, as into a peculiar prison, 
from their habitation in that lofty ethereal 
purity, through whom magic arts have what- 
ever power they have, can do anything except 
by power given from above. Now that power 
is given either to deceive the deceitful, as it 
was given against the Egyptians, and against 
the magicians also themselves, in order that 
in the seducing of those spirits they might 
seem admirable by whom they were wrought, 
but to be condemned by the truth of God; or 

1 Ex. iv. 3. 

2 [One chief reason why a miracle is incredible for the skeptic, is 
the difficulty of working it. If the miracle were easy of execution 
for man who for the skeptic is the measure of power his disbelief 
of it would disappear. In reference to this objection, Augustin 
calls attention to the fact, that so far as difficulty of performance 
is concerned, the products of nature are as impossible to man as 
supernatural products. Aaron could no more have made an almond 
rod blossom and fructuate on an almond tree, than off it. That a 
miracle is difficult to be wrought is, consequently, no good reason 
for disbelieving its reality. W.G.T.S.] 

3 Ezek. xxxvii. 1-10. 4 Ex. vii. and viii. 

for the admonishing of the faithful, lest they 
should desire to do anything of the kind as 
though it were a great thing, for which reason 
they have been handed down to us also by 
the authority of Scripture; or lastly, for the 
exercising, proving, and manifesting of the 
patience of the righteous. For it was not by 
any small power of visible miracles that Job 
lost all that he had, and both his children 
and his bodily health itself. 5 



13. Yet it is not on this account to be 
thought that the matter of visible things is 
subservient to the bidding of those wicked 
angels; but rather to that of God, by whom 
this power is given, just so far as He, who is 
unchangeable, determines in His lofty and 
spiritual abode to give it. For water and fire 
and earth are subservient even to wicked men, 
who are condemned to the mines, in order 
that they may do therewith what they will, 
but only so far as is permitted. Nor, in 
truth, are those evil angels to be called crea- 
tors, because by their means the magicians, 
withstanding the servant of God, made frogs 
and serpents; for it was not they who created 
them. But, in truth, some hidden seeds of 
all things that are born corporeally and visi- 
bly, are concealed in the corporeal elements 
of this world. For those seeds that are visi- 
ble now to our eyes from fruits and living 
things, are quite distinct from the hidden 
seeds of those former seeds; from which, at 
the bidding of the Creator, the water pro- 
duced the first swimming creatures and fowl, 
and the earth the first buds after their kind, 
and the first living creatures after their kind. 6 
For neither at that time were those seeds so 
drawn forth into products of their several 
kinds, as that the power of production was 
exhausted in those products; but oftentimes, 
suitable combinations of circumstances are 
wanting, whereby they may be enabled to 
burst forth and complete their species. For, 
consider, the very least shoot is a seed; for, 
if fitly consigned to the earth, it produces a 
tree. But of this shoot there is a yet more 
subtle seed in some grain of the same species, 
and this is visible even to us. But of this 
grain also there is further still a seed, which, 
although we are unable to see it with our 
eyes, yet we can conjecture its existence from 
our reason; because, except there were some 
such power in those elements, there would 
not so frequently be produced from the earth 
things which had not been sown there; nor 

5 Job i. and ii. 

6 Gen. i. 20-25. 

Chap. VIII.] 



yet so many animals, without any previous 
commixture of male and femalej whether on 
the land, or in the water, which yet grow, 
and by commingling bring forth others, while 
themselves sprang up without any union of 
parents. And certainly bees do not conceive 
the seeds of their young by commixture, but 
gather them as they lie scattered over the 
earth with their mouth. 1 For the Creator of 
these invisible seeds is the Creator of all 
things Himself; since whatever comes forth 
to our sight by being born, receives the first 
beginnings of its course from hidden seeds, 
and takes the successive increments of its 
proper size and its distinctive forms from 
these as it were original rules. As therefore 
we do not call .parents the creators of men, 
nor farmers the creators of corn, although 
it is by the outward application of their actions 
that the power 2 of God operates within for 
the creating these things; so it is not right 
to think not only the bad but even the good 
angels to be creators, if, through the subtilty 
of their perception and body, they know the 
seeds of things which to us are more hidden, 
and scatter them secretly through fit temper- 
ings of the elements, and so furnish opportu- 
nities of producing things, and of accelerating 
their increase. But neither do the good 
angels do these things, except as far as God 
commands, nor do the evil ones do them 
wrongfully, except as far as He righteously 
permits. For the malignity of the wicked 
one makes his own will wrongful; but the 
power to do so, he receives rightfully, 
whether for his own punishment, or, in the 
case of others, for the punishment of the 
wicked, or for the praise of the good. 

14. Accordingly, the Apostle Paul, distin- 
guishing God's creating and forming within, 
from the operations of the creature which are 
applied from without, and drawing a simili- 
tude from agriculture, says, " I planted, 
Apollos watered; but God gave the in- 
crease." 3 As, therefore, in the case of spir- 
itual life itself, no one except God can work 

1 [Augustin is not alone in his belief that the bee is an excep- 
tion to the dictum; otnne animal ex ovo. As late as 1744, Thorley, 
an English " scientist, ' said that " the manner in which bees pro- 
pagate their species is entirely hid from the eyes of all men; and 
the most strict, diligent, and curious observers and inquisitors have 
not been able to discover it. It is a secret, and will remain a mys- 
tery. Dr. Butler says that they do not copulate as other living 
creatures do." (Thorley : Melisselogia. Section viii.) The obser- 
vations of Huber and others have disproved this opinion. Some 
infer that ignorance of physics proves ignorance of philosophy and 
theology. The difference between matter and mind is so great, 
that erroneous opinions in one province are compatible with correct 
ones in the other. It does not follow that because Augustin had 
wrong notions about bees, and no knowledge at all of the steam en- 
gine and telegraph, his knowledge of God and the soul was inferior 
to that of a modern materialist. W.G.T.S.] 

2 [The English translator renders " virtus " in its secondary 
sense of "goodness." Augustin employs it here, in its primary 
sense of " energy," " force." W.G.T.S.] 

3 1 Cor. iii. 6. 

righteousness in our minds, yet men also are 
able to preach the gospel as an outward 
means, not only the good in sincerity, but 
also the evil in pretence; 4 so in the creation 
of visible things it is God that works from 
within; but the exterior operations, whether 
of good or bad, of angels or men, or even of 
any kind of animal, according to His own 
absolute power, and to the distribution of 
faculties, and the several appetites for things 
pleasant, which He Himself has imparted, 
are applied by Him to that nature of things 
wherein He creates all things, in like man- 
ner as agriculture is to the soil. Wherefore 
I can no more call the bad angels, evoked 
by magic arts, the creators of the frogs and 
serpents, than I can say that bad men were 
creators of the corn crop, which I see to have 
sprung up through their labor. 

15. Just as Jacob, again, was not the crea- 
tor of the colors in the flocks, because he 
placed the various colored rods for the several 
mothers, as they drank, to look at in con- 
ceiving. 5 Yet neither were the cattle them- 
selves creators of the variety of their own 
offspring, because the variegated image, im- 
pressed through their eyes by the sight of 
the varied rods, clave to their soul, but could 
affect the body that was animated by the 
spirit thus affected only through sympathy 
with this commingling, so far as to stain with 
color the tender beginnings of their offspring. 
For that they are so affected from themselves, 
whether the soul from the body, or the body 
from the soul, arises in truth from suitable 
reasons, which immutably exist in that high- 
est wisdom of God Himself, which no extent 
of place contains; and which, while it is itself 
unchangeable, yet quits not one even of those 
things which are changeable, because there is 
not one of them that is not created by itself. 
For it was the unchangeable and invisible 
reason of the wisdom of God, by which all 
things are created, which caused not rods, 
but cattle, to be born from cattle; but that 
the color of the cattle conceived should be in 
any degree influenced by the variety of the 
rods, came to pass through the soul of the 
pregnant cattle being affected through their 
eyes from without, and so according to its 
own measure drawing inwardly within itself 
the rule of formation, which it received from 
the innermost power of its own Creator. How 
great, however, may be the power of the soul 
in affecting and changing corporeal substance 
(although certainly it cannot be called the 
creator of the body, because every cause of 
changeable and sensible substance, and all its 

4 Phil. 

5 Gen. xxx. 41. 



[Book III. 

measure and number and weight, by which 
are brought to pass both its being at all and 
its being of such and such a nature, arise 
from the intelligible and unchangeable life, 
which is above all things, and which reaches 
even to the most distant and earthly things), 
is a very copious subject, and one not now 
necessary. But I thought the act of Jacob 
about the cattle should be noticed, for this 
reason, viz. in order that it might be per- 
ceived that, if the man who thus placed those 
rods cannot be called the creator of the colors 
in the lambs and kids; nor yet even the souls 
themselves of the mothers, which colored the 
seeds conceived in the flesh by the image of 
variegated color, conceived through the eyes 
of the body, so far as nature permitted it; 
much less can it be said that the creators of 
the frogs and serpents were the bad angelo, 
through whom the magicians of Pharaoh then 
made them. 


16. For it is one thing to make and admin- 
ister the creature from the innermost and 
highest turning-point of causation, which He 
alone does who is God the Creator; but quite 
another thing to apply some operation from 
without in proportion to the strength and 
faculties assigned to each by Him, so that 
what is created may come forth into being at 
this time or at that, and in this or that way. 
For all these things in the way of original 
and beginning have already been created in 
a kind of texture of the elements, but they 
come forth when they get the opportunity. 1 
For as mothers are pregnant with young, so 
the world itself is pregnant with the causes of 
things that are born; which are not created 
in it, except from that highest essence, where 
nothing either springs up or dies, either be- 
gins to be or ceases. But the applying from 
without of adventitious causes, which, although 
they are not natural, yet are to be applied 
according to nature, in order that those things 
which are contained and hidden in the secret 
bosom of nature may break forth and be out- 
wardly created in some way by the unfolding 
of the proper measures and numbers and 
weights which they have received in secret 
from Him "who has ordered all things in 

1 [This is the same as the theological distinction between sub- 
stances and their modifications. " The former," says Howe, " are 
the proper object of creation strictly taken; the modifications of 
things are not properly created, in the strictest sense of creation, 
but are educed and brought forth out of those substantial things 
that were themselves created, or made out of nothing. ' Germs 
are originated ex nihilo, and fall under creation proper; their evo- 
lution and development takes place according to the nature and in- 
herent force of the germ, and falls under providence, in distinction 
from creation. See the writer's Theological Essays, 115-137. W. 
G. T. S.] 

measure and number and weight:" 2 this is 
not only in tlje power of bad angels, but also 
of bad men, as I have shown above by the 
example of agriculture. 

17. But lest the somewhat different condi- 
tion of animals should trouble any one, in 
that they have the breath of life with the 
sense of desiring those things that are ac- 
cording to nature, and of avoiding those things 
that are contrary to it; we must consider also, 
how many men there are who know from what 
herbs or flesh, or from what juices or liquids 
you please, of whatever sort, whether so 
placed or so buried, or so bruised or so 
mixed, this or that animal is commonly born; 
yet who can be so foolish as to dare to call 
himself the creator of these animals ? Is it, 
therefore, to be wondered at, if just as any, 
the most worthless of men, can know whence 
such or such worms and flies are produced; 
so the evil angels in proportion to the subtlety 
of their perceptions discern in the more hid- 
den seeds of the elements whence frogs and 
serpents are produced, and so through certain 
and known opportune combinations applying 
these seeds by secret movements, cause them 
to be created, but do not create them ? Only 
men do not marvel at those tilings that are 
usually done by men. But if any one chance 
to wonder at the quickness of those growths, 
in that those living beings were so quickly 
made, let him consider how even this may be 
brought about by men in proportion to the 
measure of human capability. For whence is 
it that the same bodies generate worms more 
quickly in summer than in winter, or in hot- 
ter than in colder places ? Only these things 
are applied by men with so much the more 
difficulty, in proportion as their earthly and 
sluggish members are wanting in subtlety of 
perception, and in rapidity of bodily motion. 
And hence it arises that in the case of any 
kind of angels, in proportion as it is easier for 
them to draw out the proximate causes from 
the elements, so much the more marvellous 
is their rapidity in works of this kind. 

18. But He only is the creator who is the 
chief former of these things. Neither can 
any one be this, unless He with whom prima- 
rily rests the measure, number, and weight of 
all things existing; and He is God the one 
Creator, by whose unspeakable power it comes 
to pass, also, that what these angels were able 
to do if they were permitted, they are there- 
fore not able to do because they are not per- 
mitted. For there is no other reason why they 
who made frogs and serpents were not able 
to make the most minute flies, unless because 

2 Wisd. xi. 20. 

Chap. X.] 



the greater power of God was present prohibit- 
ing them, through the Holy Spirit; which 
even the magicians themselves confessed, say- 
ing, " This is the finger of God." 1 But what 
they are able to do by nature, yet cannot do, 
because they are prohibited; and what the 
very condition of their nature itself does not 
suffer them to do; it is difficult, nay, impossi- 
ble, for man to search out, unless through 
that gift of God which the apostle mentions 
when he says, " To another the discerning of 
spirits." 2 For we know that a man can walk, 
yet that he cannot do so if he is not permitted ; 
but that he cannot fly, even if he be permitted. 
So those angels, also, are able to do certain 
things if they are permitted by more power- 
ful angels, according to the supreme com- 
mandment of God; but cannot do certain other 
things, not even if they are permitted by them; 
because He does not permit from whom they 
have received such and such a measure of 
natural powers : who, even by His angels, 
does not usually permit what He has given 
them power to be able to do. 

19. Excepting, therefore, those corporeal 
things which are done in the order of nature 
in a perfectly usual series of times, as e.g., 
the rising and setting of the stars, the gener- 
ations and deaths of animals, the innumerable 
diversities of seeds and buds, the vapors and 
the clouds, the snow and the rain, the light- 
nings and the thunder, the thunderbolts and 
the hail, the winds and the fire, cold and heat, 
and all like things; excepting also those which 
in the same order of nature occur rarely, such 
as eclipses, unusual appearances of stars, and 
monsters, and earthquakes, and such like; 
all these, I say, are to be excepted, of which 
indeed the first and chief cause is only the 
will of God; whence also in the Psalm, when 
some things of this kind had been mentioned, 
"Fire and hail, snow and vapor, stormy wind," 
lest any one should think those to be brought 
about either by chance or only from corporeal 
causes, or even from such as are spiritual, 
but exist apart from the will of God, it is 
added immediately, " fulfilling His word." 3 



Excepting, therefore, all these things as I 
just now said, there are some also of another 
kind; which, although from the same corpo- 
real substance, are yet brought within reach 
of our senses in order to announce something 
from God, and these are properly called mira- 

1 Ex. vii. 12, and viii. 7, 18, 19. 
3 Ps. cxlviii. 8. 

2 1 Cor. xii. 10. 

cles and signs; yet is not the person of God 
Himself assumed in all things which are an- 
nounced to us by the Lord God. When, how- 
ever, that person is assumed, it is sometimes 
made manifest as an angel; sometimes in that 
form which is not an angel in his own proper 
being, although it is ordered and ministered 
by an angel. Again, when it is assumed in 
that form which is not an angel in his own 
proper being; sometimes in this case it is a 
body itself already existing, assumed afte" 
some kind of change, in order to make that 
message manifest; sometimes it is one that 
comes into being for the purpose, and that 
being accomplished, is discarded. Just as, 
also, when men are the messengers, sometimes 
they speak the words of God in their own per- 
son, as when it is premised, " The Lord 
said," or, "Thus saith the Lord," 4 or any 
other such phrase, but sometimes without any 
such prefix, they take upon themselves the 
very person of God, as e.g.: " I will instruct 
thee, and teach thee in the way wherein thou 
shalt go: " 5 so, not only in word, but also in 
act, the signifying of the person of God is 
imposed upon the prophet, in order that he 
may bear that person in the ministering of 
the prophecy; just as he, for instance, bore 
that person who divided his garment into 
twelve parts, and gave ten of them to the ser- 
vant of King Solomon, to the future king of 
Israel. 6 Sometimes, also, a thing which was 
not a prophet in his own proper self, and which 
existed already among earthly things, was as- 
sumed in order to signify this; as Jacob, when 
he had seen the dream, upon waking up did 
with the stone, which when asleep he had 
under his head. 7 Sometimes a thing is made 
in the same kind, for the mere purpose; so 
as either to continue a little while in exist- 
ence, as that brazen serpent was able to do 
which was lifted up in the wilderness, 8 and as 
written records are able to do likewise; or so 
as to pass away after having accomplished its 
ministry, as the bread made for the purpose 
is consumed in the receiving of the sacrament. 
20. But because these things are known to 
men, in that they are done by men, they may 
well meet with reverence as being holy things, 
but they cannot cause wonder as being mira- 
cles. And therefore those things which are 
done by angels are the more wonderful to us, 
in that they are more difficult and more un- 
known; but they are known and easy to them 
as being their own actions. An angel speaks 
in the person of God to man, saying, " I am 
the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, 

4 Jer. xxxi. 1, 2. 
6 1 Kings xi. 30, 31. 
s Num. xxi. 9. 

5 Ps. xxxii. 8. 
7 Gen. xxviii. iE 



[Book III. 

and the God of Jacob; " the Scripture having 
said just before, " The angel of the Lord ap- 
peared to him." I And a man also speaks in 
the person of God, saying, " Hear. O my 
people, and I will testify unto thee, O Israel: 
1 am the Lord thy God." 2 A rod was taken 
to serve as a sign, and was changed into a ser- 
pent by angelical power; 3 but although that 
power is wanting to man, yet a stone was taken 
also by man for a similar sign. 4 There is a 
wide difference between the deed of the angel 
and the deed of the man. The former is both 
to be wondered at and to be understood, the 
latter only to be understood. That which is 
understood from both, is perhaps one and the 
same; but those things from which it is under- 
stood, are different. Just as if the name of 
God were written both in gold and in ink; the 
former would be the more precious, the latter 
the more worthless; yet that which is signified 
in both is one and the same. And although 
the serpent that came from Moses' rod signi- 
fied the same thing as Jacob's stone, yet 
Jacob's stone signified something better than 
did the serpents of the magicians. For as the 
anointing of the stone signified Christ in the 
flesh, in which He was anointed with the oil 
of gladness above His fellows; 5 so the rod of 
Moses, turned into a serpent, signified Christ 
Himself made obedient unto death, even the 
death of the cross. 6 Whence it is said, '* And 
as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilder- 
ness, even so must the Son of man be lifted 
up, that whosoever believeth in Him should 
not perish, but have everlasting life; " 7 just 
as by gazing on that serpent which was lifted 
up in the wilderness, they did not perish by 
the bites of the serpents. For " our old man 
is crucified with Him, that the body of sin 
might be destroyed." 8 For by the serpent 
death is understood, which was wrought by 
the serpent in paradise, 9 the mode of speech 
expressing the effect by the efficient. There- 
fore the rod passed into the serpent, Christ 
into death; and the serpent again into the rod, 
whole Christ with His body into the resurrec- 
tion; which body is the Church; 10 and this 
shall be in the end of time, signified by the 
tail, which Moses held, in order that it might 
return into a rod." But the serpents of the 
magicians, like those who are dead in the 
world, unless by believing in Christ they shall 
have been as it were swallowed up by, 12 and 
have entered into, His body, will not be able 
to rise again in Him. Jacob's stone, there- 
fore, as I said, signified something better than 
did the serpents of the magicians; yet the 

1 Ex. iii. 6, 2. 
4 Gen. xxviii. 18. 
7 John iii. 14, 15. 
Col. i. 24. 

" Ps. lxxxi. 8, ro. 
5 Ps. xlv. 7. 
8 Rom. vi. 6. 
11 Ex. iv. 4. 

3 Ex. vii. 10. 
6 Phil. ii. 9. 
9 Gen. iii. 
12 Ex. vii. 12. 

deed of the magicians was much more won- 
derful. But these things in this way are no 
hindrance to the understanding of the matter; 
just as if the name of a man were written in 
gold, and that of God in ink. 

21. What man, again, knows how the angels 
made or took those clouds and fires in order 
to signify the message they were bearing, even 
if we supposed that the Lord or the Holy Spirit 
was manifested in those corporeal forms ? 
Just as infants do not know of that which is 
placed upon the altar and consumed after the 
performance of the holy celebration, whence 
or in what manner it is made, or whence it is 
taken for religious use. And if they were 
never to learn from their own experience or 
that of others, and never to see that species of 
thing except during the celebration of the sac- 
rament, when it is being offered and given; 
and if it were told them by the most weighty 
authority whose body and blood it is; they 
will believe nothing else, except that the Lord 
absolutely appeared in this form to the eyes 
of mortals, and that that liquid actually flowed 
from the piercing of a side, 13 which resembled 
this. But it is certainly a useful caution to 
myself, that I should remember what my own 
powers are, and admonish my brethren that 
they also remember what theirs are, lest hu- 
man infirmity pass on beyond what is safe. 
For how the angels do these things, or rather, 
how God does these things by His angels, and 
how far He wills them to be done even by the 
bad angels, whether by permitting, or com- 
manding, or compelling, from the hidden seat 
of His own supreme power; this I can neither 
penetrate by the sight of the eyes, nor make 
clear by assurance of reason, nor be carried 
on to comprehend it by reach of intellect, so 
as to speak thereupon to all questions that 
may be asked respecting these matters, as cer- 
tainly as if I were an angel, or a prophet, or 
an apostle. " For the thoughts of mortal 
men are miserable, and our devices are but 
uncertain. For the corruptible body presseth 
down the soul, and the earthly tabernacle 
weigheth down the mind, that museth upon 
many things. And hardly do we guess aright 
at things that are upon earth, and with labor 
do we find the things that are before us; but 
the things that are in heaven, who hath 
searched out ? " But because it goes onto 
say, "And Thy counsel who hath known, ex- 
cept Thou give wisdom, and send Thy Holy 
Spirit from above;" 14 therefore we refrain in- 
deed from searching out the things which are 
in heaven, under which kind are contained 
both angelical bodies according to their proper 

J 3 John xix. 34. 

14 Wisd. ix. 14-17. 

Chap. 1 1. J 



dignity, and any corporeal action of those 
bodies; yet, according to the Spirit of God 
sent to us from above, and to His grace im- 
parted to our minds, I dare to say confidently, 
that neither God the Father, nor His Word, 
nor His Spirit, which is the one God, is in any 
way changeable in regard to that which He is, 
and whereby He is that which He is; and 
much less is in this regard visible. Since 
there are no doubt some things changeable, 
yet not visible, as are our thoughts, and mem- 
ories, and wills, and the whole incorporeal 
creature; but there is nothing that is visible 
that is not also changeable. 


Wherefore the substance, or, if it is better 
so to say, the essence of God, 1 wherein we 
understand, in proportion to our measure, in 
however small a degree, the Father, the Son, 
and the Holy Spirit, since it is in no way 
changeable, can in no way in its proper self be 

22. It is manifest, accordingly, that all 
those appearances to the fathers, when God 
was presented to them according to His own 
dispensation, suitable to the times, were 
wrought through the creature. And if we 
cannot discern in what manner He wrought 
them by ministry of angels, yet we say that 
they were wrought by angels; but not from 
our own power of discernment, lest we should 
seem to any one to be wise beyond our meas- 
ure, whereas we are wise so as to think soberly, 
as God hath dealt to us the measure of faith; 2 
and we believe, and therefore speak. 3 For 
the authority is extant of the divine Script- 
ures, from which our reason ought not to turn 
aside; nor by leaving the solid support of the 
divine utterance, to fall headlong over the 
precipice of its own surmisings, in matters 
wherein neither the perceptions of the body 
rule, nor the clear reason of the truth shines 
forth. Now, certainly, it is written most 
clearly in the Epistle to the Hebrews, when 

1 [" Substance," from sul> stans, is a passive term, denoting la- 
tent and potential being. " Essence," from esse, is an active 
term, denoting energetic being. The schoolmen, as Augustin does 
here, preferred the latter term to the former, though employing 
both to designate the divine nature. W. G. T. S.] 

- Rom. xii. 3. 32 Cor. iv. 13, 

the dispensation of the New Testament was to 
be distinguished from the dispensation of the 
Old, according to the fitness of ages and of 
times, that not only those visible things, but 
also the word itself, was wrought by angels. 
For it is said thus: "But to which of the 
angels said He at any time, Sit on my right 
hand, until I make thine enemies thy foot- 
stool ? Are they not all ministering spirits, 
sent forth to minister for them who shall be 
heirs of salvation ? " 4 Whence it appears that 
all those things were not only wrought by 
angels, but wrought also on our account, that 
is, on account of the people of God, to whom 
is promised the inheritance of eternal life. As 
it is written also to the Corinthians, " Now all 
these things happened unto them in a figure: 
and they are written for our admonition, upon 
whom the ends of the world arecome." 5 And 
then, demonstrating by plain consequence that 
as at that time the word was spoken by the 
angels, so now by the Son; " Therefore," he 
says, " we ought to give the more earnest heed 
to the things which we have heard, lest at any 
time we should let them slip. For if the 
word spoken by angels was steadfast, and 
every transgression and disobedience received 
a just recompense of reward; how shall we 
escape, if we neglect so great salvation?" 
And then, as though you asked, What salva- 
tion ? in order to show that he is now speak- 
ing of the New Testament, that is, of the word 
which was spoken not by angels, but by the 
Lord, he says, "Which at the first began to 
be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto 
us by them that heard Him; God also bear- 
ing them witness, both with signs and wonders, 
and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy 
Ghost, according to His own will." 6 

23. But some one may say, Why then is it 
written, "The Lord said to Moses;" and 
not, rather, The angel said to Moses ? Be- 
cause, when the crier proclaims the words of 
the judge, it is not usually written in the 
record, so and so the crier said, but so and 
so the judge. In like manner also, when the 
holy prophet speaks, although we say, The 
prophet said, we mean nothing else to be un- 
derstood than that the Lord said; and if we 
were to say, The Lord said, we should not 
put the prophet aside, but only intimate who 
spake by him. And, indeed, these Scrip- 
tures often reveal the angel to be the Lord, 
of whose speaking it is from time to time 
said, "the Lord said," as we have shown al- 
ready. But on account of those who, since 
the Scripture in that place specifies an angel, 
will have the Son of God Himself and in 

4 Heb. i. 13, 14. 

5 1 Cor. x. 11. 

6 Heb. ii. 1-4. 



[Book III. 

Himself to be understood, because He is 
called an angel by the prophet, as announcing 
the will of His Father and of Himself; I have 
therefore thought fit to produce a plainer 
testimony from this epistle, where it is not 
said by an angel, but " by angels." 

24. For Stephen, too, in the Acts of the 
Apostles, relates these things in that manner 
in which they are also written in the Old 
Testament: "Men, brethren, and fathers, 
hearken,'-' he says; "The God of glory ap- 
peared unto our father Abraham, when he 
was in Mesopotamia." 1 But lest any one 
should think that the God of glory appeared 
then to the eyes of any mortal in that which 
He is in Himself, he goes on to say that an 
angel appeared to Moses. " Then fled 
Moses," he says, "at that saying, and was 
a stranger in the land of Midian, where he 
begat two sons. And when forty years were 
expired, there appeared to him in the wilder- 
ness of mount Sinai an angel of the Lord in 
a flame of fire in a bush. When Moses saw 
it, he wondered at the sight: and as he drew 
near to behold it, the voice of the Lord came 
unto him, saying, I am the God of thy 
fathers, the God of Abraham, and the God 
of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. Then 
Moses trembled, and durst not behold. 
Then said the Lord to him, Put off thy shoes 
from thy feet," 2 etc. Here, certainly, he 
speaks both of angel and of Lord; and of the 
same as the God of Abraham, and the God 
of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; as is written 
in Genesis. 

25. Can there be any one who will say that 
the Lord appeared to Moses by an angel, 
but to Abraham by Himself ? Let us not 
answer this question from Stephen, but from 
the book itself, whence Stephen took his 
narrative. For, pray, because it is written, 
"And the Lord God said unto Abraham; " 3 
and a little after, "And the Lord God ap- 
peared unto Abraham; " 4 were these things, 
for this reason, not done by angels? 
Whereas it is said in like manner in another 
place, "And the Lord appeared to him in the 
plains of Mamre, as he sat in the tent door 
in the heat of the day; " and yet it is added 
immediately, "And he lift up his eyes and 
looked, and, lo, three men stood by him:" 5 
of whom we have already spoken. For how 
will these people, who either will not rise 
from the words to the meaning, or easily 
throw themselves down from the meaning to 
the words, how, I say, will they be able to 
explain that God was seen in three men, ex- 

1 Acts vii. 2. 

" Ex. ii. 15 and iii. 7, and Acts vii. 29-33. 

3 Gen. xii. 1. 4 Gen. xvii. 1. 

5 Gen. xviii. 1, 2. 

cept they confess that they were angels, as 
that which follows also shows ? Because it is 
not said an angel spoke or appeared to him, 
will they therefore venture to say that the 
vision and voice granted to Moses was 
wrought by an angel because it is so written, 
but that God appeared and spake in His own 
substance to Abraham because there is no 
mention made of an angel ? What of the 
fact, that even in respect to Abraham an 
angel is not left unmehtioned ? For when his 
son was ordered to be offered up as a sacri- 
fice, we read thus: "And it came to pass 
after these things that God did tempt Abra- 
ham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he 
said, Behold, here I am. And He said, 
Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, 
whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land 
of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt- 
offering upon one of the mountains that I will 
tell thee of." Certainly God is here men- 
tioned, not an angel. But a little afterwards 
Scripture hath it thus: "And Abraham 
stretched forth his hand, and took the knife 
to slay his son. And the angel of the Lord 
called unto him out of heaven, and said, 
Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I. 
And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the 
lad, neither do thou anything unto him." 
What can be answered to this ? Will they 
say that God commanded that Isaac should 
be slain, and that an angel forbade it ? and 
further, that the father himself, in opposition 
to the decree of God, who had commanded 
that he should be slain, obeyed the angel, 
who had bidden him spare him ? Such an 
interpretation is to be rejected as absurd. 
Yet not even for it, gross and abject as it is, 
does Scripture leave any room, for it imme- 
diately adds: ' For now I know that thou 
fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld 
thy son, thine only son, on account of me." 5 
What is "on account of me," except on ac- 
count of Him who had commanded him to be 
slain? Was then the God of Abraham the 
same as the angel, or was it not rather God 
by an angel ? Consider what follows. Here, 
certainly, already an angel has been most 
clearly spoken of; yet notice the context: 
"And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, 
and behold behind him a ram caught in a 
thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and 
took the ram, and offered him up for a 
burnt-offering in the stead of his son. And 
Abraham called the name of that place, The 
Lord saw: 7 as it is said to this day, In the 
mount the Lord was seen." 8 Just as that 

6 Propter urc. 

8 Dominus visus est. 

7 Domimis vidit. 

Chap. XL] 


6 7 

which a little before God said by an angel, 
"For now I know that thou fearest God;" 
not because it was to be understood that God 
then came to know, but that He brought it 
to pass that through God Abraham himself 
came to know what strength of heart he had 
to obey God, even to the sacrificing of his 
only son: after that mode of speech in which 
the effect is signified by the efficient, as cold 
is said to be sluggish, because it makes men 
sluggish; so that He was therefore said to 
know, because He had made Abraham him- 
self to know, who might well have not dis- 
cerned the firmness of his own faith, had it 
not been proved by such a trial. So here, 
too, Abraham called the name of the place 
"The Lord saw," that is, caused Himself to 
be seen. For he goes on immediately to 
say, "As it is said to this day, In the mount 
the Lord was seen." Here you seethe same 
angel is called Lord: wherefore, unless be- 
cause the Lord spake by the angel ? But if 
we pass on to that which follows, the angel 
altogether speaks as a prophet, and reveals 
expressly that Godj is speaking by the angel. 
"And the angel of the Lord," he says, 
"called unto Abraham out of heaven the 
second time, and said, By myself I have 
sworn, saith the Lord; for because thou hast 
done this thing, and hast not withheld thy 
son, thine only son, on account of me," 1 etc. 
Certainly these words, viz. that he by whom 
the Lord speaks should say, " Thus saith the 
Lord/' are commonly used by the prophets 
also. Does the Son of God say of the Father, 
" The Lord saith," while He Himself is that 
Angel of the Father ? What then ? Do they 
not see how hard pressed they are about these 
three men who appeared to Abraham, when 
it had been said before, " The Lord appeared 
to him?" Were they not angels because 
they are called men ? Let them read Daniel, 
saying, " Behold the man Gabriel." 2 

26. But why do we delay any longer to 
stop their mouths by another most clear and 
most weighty proof, where not an angel in 
the singular nor men in the plural are spoken 
of, but simply angels; by whom not any par- 
ticular word was wrought, but the Law itself 
is most distinctly declared to be given; which 
certainly none of the faithful doubts that God 
gave to Moses for the control of the children 
of Israel, or yet, that it was given by angels. 
So Stephen speaks: "Ye stiff-necked," he 
says, " and uncircumcised in heart and ears, 
ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your 
fathers did, so do ye. Which of the prophets 
have not your fathers persecuted ? and they 

1 Gen. xxii. 

- Dan. ix. 21. 

have slain them which showed before of the 
coming of the Just One; of whom ye have 
been now the betrayers and murderers: who 
have received the Law by the disposition of 
angeis, 3 and have not kept it." 4 What is 
more evident than this ? What more strong 
than such an authority ? The Law, indeed, 
was given to that people by the disposition of 
angels; but the advent of our Lord Jesus 
Christ was by it prepared and pre-announced; 
and He Himself, as the Word of God, was in 
some wonderful and unspeakable manner in 
the angels, by whose disposition the Law 
itself was given. And hence He said in the 
Gospel, " For had ye believed Moses, ye 
would have believed me; for he wrote of 
me." 3 Therefore then the Lord was speak- 
ing by the angels; and the son of God, who 
was to be the Mediator of God and men, 
from the seed of Abraham, was preparing 
His own advent by the angels, that He might 
find some by whom He would be received, 
confessing themselves guilty, whom the Law 
unfulfilled had made transgressors. And 
hence the apostle also says to the Galatians, 
" Wherefore then serveth the Law? It was 
added because of transgressions, till the seed 
should come to whom the promise was made, 
which [seed] was ordered 6 through angels in 
the hand of a mediator;" 7 that is, ordered 
through angels in His own hand. For He 
was not born in limitation, but in power. But 
you learn in another place that he does not 
mean any one of the angels as a mediator, 
but the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, in so far 
as He deigned to be made man: " For there 
is one God," he says, " and one Mediator 
between God and man, the man Christ 
Jesus." 8 Hence that passover in the killing 
of the lamb: 9 hence all those things which are 
figuratively spoken in the Law, of Christ to 
come in the flesh, and to suffer, but also to 
rise again, which Law was given by the dis- 
position of angels; in which angels, were cer- 
tainly the Father, and the Son, and the Holy 
Spirit; and in which, sometimes the Father, 
sometimes the Son, sometimes the Holy 
Spirit, and sometimes God, without any dis- 
tinction of person, was figuratively signified 
by them, although appearing in visible and 
sensible forms, yet by His own creature, not 
by His substance, in order to the seeing of 
which, hearts are cleansed through all those 
things which are seen by the eyes and heard 
by the ears. 

27. But now, as I think, that which we had 
undertaken to show in this book has been 

3 In cdictis angclorum. 4 Acts vii. 51-53. 

5 John v. 46. * 6 Disposition. 7 Gal. iii. 19. 

8 1 Tim. ii. 5. 9 Ex. xii. 



Book III. 

sufficiently discussed and demonstrated, ac- 
cording to our capacity; and it has been es- 
tablished, both by probable reason, so far as 
a man, or rather, so far as I am able, and by 
strength of authority, so far as the divine dec- 
larations from the Holy Scriptures have been 
made clear, that those words and bodily ap- 
pearances which were given to these ancient 
fathers of ours before the incarnation of the 
Saviour, when God was said to appear, were 
wrought by angels: whether themselves speak- 
ing or doing something in the person of God, 
as we have shown that the prophets also were 
wont to do, or assuming from the creature 
that which they themselves were not, wherein 
God might be shown in a figure to men; 
which manner of showing also, Scripture 
teaches by many examples, that the prophets, 
too, did not omit. It remains, therefore, now 
for us to consider, since both in the Lord 
as born of a virgin, and in the Holy Spirit de- 
scending in a corporeal form like a dove. J 

1 Matt. iii. 16. 

and in the tongues like as of fire, which ap- 
peared with a sound from heaven on the day 
of Pentecost, after the ascension of the Lord, 2 
it was not the Word of God Himself by His 
own substance, in which He is equal and co- 
eternal with the Father, nor the Spirit of the 
Father and of the Son by His own substance, 
in which He Himself also is equal and co- 
eternal with both, but assuredly a creature, 
such as could be formed and exist in these 
fashions, which appeared to corporeal and 
mortal senses, it remains, I say, to consider 
what difference there is between these mani- 
festations and those which were proper to the 
Son of God and to the Holy Spirit, although 
wrought by the visible creature; 3 which sub- 
ject we shall more conveniently begin in an- 
other book. 

2 Acts ii. 1-4. 

3 [The reference here is to the difference between a theophany. 
and an incarnation; already alluded to, in the note on p. 149. W. 
G. T. S.] 




i. The knowledge of things terrestrial 
and celestial is commonly thought much of 
by men. Yet those doubtless judge better 
who prefer to that knowledge, the knowledge 
of themselves; and that mind is more praise- 
worthy which knows even its own weakness, 
than that which, without regard to this, 
searches out, and even comes to know, the 
ways of the stars, or which holds fast such 
knowledge already acquired, while ignorant 
of the way by which itself to enter into its 
own proper health and strength. But if any 
one has already become awake towards God, 
kindled by the warmth of the Holy Spirit, 
and in the love of God has become vile in 
his own eyes; and through wishing, yet not 
having strength to come in unto Him, and 
through the light He gives, has given heed 
to himself, and has found himself, and has 
learned that his own filthiness cannot mingle 
with His purity; and feels it sweet to weep 
and to entreat Him, that again and again He 
will have compassion, until he have put off 
all his wretchedness; and to pray confidently, 

as having already received of free gift the 
pledge of salvation through his only Saviour 
and Enlightener of man: such an one, so act- 
ing, and so lamenting, knowledge does not puff 
up, because charity edifieth; 1 for he has pre- 
ferred knowledge to knowledge, he has pre- 
ferred to know his own weakness, rather than 
to know the walls of the world, the foun- 
dations of the earth, and the pinnacles of 
heaven. And by obtaining this knowledge, 
he has obtained also sorrow; 2 but sorrow for 
straying away from the desire of reaching his 
own proper country, and the Creator of it, 
his own blessed God. And if among men 
such as these, in the family of Thy Christ, 
O Lord my God, I groan among Thy poor, 
give me out of Thy bread to answer men who 
do not hunger and thirst after righteousness, 
but are sated and abound. 3 But it is the vain 
image of those things that has sated them, 
not Thy truth, which they have repelled and 
shrunk from, and so fall into their own van- 
ity. I certainly know how many figments 
the human heart gives birth to. And what 
is my own heart but a human heart ? But I 

1 i Cor. viii. i. 

2 Eccles. i. 18. 

3 Matt. v. 6. 



[Book IV. 

pray the God of my heart, that I may not 
vomit forth (eructuem) into these writings any 
of these figments for solid truths, but that 
there may pass into them only what the breath 
of His truth has breathed into me; cast out 
though I am from the sight of His eyes, 1 and 
striving from afar to return by the way which 
the divinity of His only-begotten Son has 
made by His humanity. And this truth, 
changeable though I am, I so far drink in, as 
far as in it I see nothing changeable: neither 
in place and time, as is the case with bodies; 
nor in time alone, and in a certain sense 
place, as with the thoughts of our own spirits; 
nor in time alone, and not even in any sem- 
blance of place, as with some of the reason- 
ings of our own minds. For the essence of 
God, whereby He is, has altogether nothing 
changeable, neither in eternity, nor in truth, 
nor in will; since there truth is eternal, love 
eternal; and there love is true, eternity true; 
and there eternity is loved, and truth is 


2. But since we are exiled from the un- 
changeable joy, yet neither cut off nor torn 
away from it so that we should not seek 
eternity, truth, blessedness, even in those 
changeable and temporal things (for we wish 
neither to die, nor to be deceived, nor to be 
troubled); visions have been sent to us from 
heaven suitable to our state of pilgrimage, in 
order to remind us that what we seek is not 
here, but that from this pilgrimage we must 
return thither, whence unless we originated 
we should not here seek these things. And 
first we have had to be persuaded how much 
God loved us, lest from despair we should not 
dare to look up to Him. And we needed 
to be shown also what manner of men we are 
whom He loved, lest being proud, as if of 
our own merits, we should recede the more 
from Him, and fail the more in our own 
strength. And hence He so dealt with us, 
that we might the rather profit by His strength, 
and that so in the weakness of humility the 
virtue of charity might be perfected. And 
this is intimated in the Psalm, where it is 
said, "Thou, O God, didst send a spontane- 
ous rain, whereby Thou didst make Thine 
inheritance perfect, when it was weary." 2 
For by "spontaneous rain " nothing else is 
meant than grace, not rendered to merit, but 
given freely, 3 whence also it is called grace; 

1 PS. XXXI. 22. 

3 Gratis. 

2 Ps. lxviii. 9. Pluviam voluntariam. 

for He gave it, not because we were worthy,, 
but because He willed. And knowing this, 
we shall not trust in ourselves; and this is to 
be made " weak." But He Himself makes us 
perfect, who says also to the Apostle Paul, 
' My grace is sufficient for thee, for my 
strength is made perfect in weakness." 4 
Man, then, was to be persuaded how much 
God loved us, and what manner of men we 
were whom He loved; the former, lest we 
should despair; the latter, lest we should be 
proud. And this most necessary topic the apos- 
tle thus explains: " But God commendeth," 
he says, " His love towards us, in that, while 
we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 
Much more then, being now justified by His 
blood, we shall be saved from wrath through 
Him. For if, when we were enemies, we 
were reconciled to God by the death of His 
Son; much more, being reconciled, we shall 
be saved by His life. " 5 Also in another 
place: " What," he says, " shall we then say 
to these things ? If God be for us, who can 
be against us ? He that spared not His own 
Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how 
has He not with Him also freely given us all 
things?" 6 Now that which is declared to 
us as already done, was shown also to the 
ancient righteous as about to be done; that 
through the same faith they themselves also 
might be humbled, and so made weak; and 
might be made weak, and so perfected. 

3. Because therefore the Word of God is 
One, by which all things were made, which is 
the unchangeable truth, all things are simul- 
taneously therein, potentially and unchangea- 
bly; not only those things which are now in 
this whole creation, but also those which have 
been and those which shall be. And therein 
they neither have been, nor shall be, but 
only arc; and all things are life, and all 
things are one; or rather it is one being and 
one life. For all things were so made by 
Him, that whatsoever was made in them was 
not made in Him, but was life in Him. 
Since," in the beginning," the Word was not 
made, but " the Word was with God, and the 
Word was God, and all things were made by 
Him; " neither had all things been made by 
Him, unless He had Himself been before all 
things and not made. But in those things 
which were made by Him, even body, which 
is not life, would not have been made by 
Him, except it had been life in Him before it 
was made. For "that which was made was 
already life in Him; " and not life of any 
kind soever: for the soul also is the life of 
the body, but this too is made, for it is 

4 2 Cor. xii. 0. 
6 Rom. viii. 31 

5 Rom. v. 8-10. Dona'jit. 


Chap. III.] 



changeable; and by what was it made, except 
by the unchangeable Word of God ? For 
"all things were made by Him; and without 
Him was not anything made that was made." 
" What, therefore, was made was already life 
in Him; " and not any kind of life, but " the 
life [which] was the light of men;" the light 
certainly of rational minds, by which men 
differ from beasts, and therefore are men. 
Therefore not corporeal light, which is the 
light of the flesh, whether it shine from 
heaven, or whether it be lighted by earthly 
fires; nor that of human flesh only, but also 
that of beasts, and down even to the minutest 
of worms. For all these things see that 
light: but that' life was the light of men; nor 
is it far from any one of us, for in it "we 
live, and move, and have our being." x 



4. But "the light shineth in darkness, and 
the darkness comprehended it not." Now 
the " darkness " is the foolish minds of men, 
made blind by vicious desires and unbelief. 
And that the Word, by whom all things were 
made, might care for these and heal them, 
" The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among 
us." For our enlightening is the partaking 
of the Word, namely, of that life which is the 
light of men. But for this partaking we were 
utterly unfit, and fell short of it, on account 
of the uncleanness of sins. Therefore we 
were to be cleansed. And further, the one 
cleansing of the unrighteous and of the proud 
is the blood of the Righteous One, and the 
humbling of God Himself; 2 that we might 
be cleansed through Him, made as He was 
what we are by nature, and what we are not 
by sin, that we might contemplate God, 
which by nature we are not. For by nature 
we are not God: by nature we are men, by 
sin we are not righteous. Wherefore God, 
made a righteous man, interceded with God 
for man the sinner. For the sinner is not 
congruous to the righteous, but man is con- 
gruous to man. By joining therefore to us 
the likeness of His humanity, He took away 
the unlikeness of our unrighteousness; and 
by being made partaker of our mortality, He 
made us partakers of His divinity. For the 
death of the sinner springing from the neces- 
sity of comdemnation is deservedly abolished 
by the death of the Righteous One springing 
from the free choice of His compassion, while 
His single [death and resurrection] answers 

1 Acts xvii. 27, 28. 

2 John i. 1, 14. 

to our double [death and resurrection]. 3 For 
this congruity, or suitableness, or concord, or 
consonance, or whatever more appropriate 
word there may be, whereby one is [united] 
to two, is of great weight in all compacting, 
or better, perhaps, co-adaptation, of the 
creature. For (as it just occurs to me) what 
I mean is precisely that co-adaptation which 
the Greeks call app-ovia. However this is not 
the place to set forth the power of that con- 
sonance of single to double which is found 
especially in us, and which is naturally so 
implanted in us (and by whom, except by 
Him who created us?), that not even the ig- 
norant can fail to perceive it, whether when 
singing themselves or hearing others. For 
by this it is that treble and bass voices are in 
harmony, so that any one who in his note 
departs from it, offends extremely, not only 
trained skill, of which the most part of men 
are devoid, but the very sense of hearing. 
To demonstrate this, needs no doubt a long 
discourse; but any one who knows it, may 
make it plain to the very ear in a rightly or- 
dered monochord. 



5. But for our present need we must dis- 
cuss, so far as God gives us power, in what 
manner the single of our Lord and Saviour 
Jesus Christ answers to, and is, so to say, in 
harmony with our double to the effect of sal- 
vation. We certainly, as no Christian doubts, 
are dead both in soul and body: in soul, 
because of sin; in body, because of the pun- 
ishment of sin, and through this also in body 
because of sin. And to both these parts of 
ourselves, that is, both to soul and to body, 
there was need both of a medicine and of resur- 
rection, that what had been changed for the 
worse might be renewed for the better. Now 
the death of the soul is ungodliness, and the 
death of the body is corruptibility, through 
which comes also a departure of the soul from 
the body. For as the soul dies when God 
leaves it, so the body dies when the soul 
leaves it; whereby the former becomes fool- 
ish, the latter lifeless. For the soul is raised 
up again by repentance, and the renewing of 
life is begun in the body still mortal by faith, 
by which men believe on Him who justi- 

3 [This singleness and doubleness is explained in chapter 3. 
W. G. T. S.] 



[Book IV. 

fies the ungodly; 1 and it is increased and 
strengthened by good habits from day to day, 
as the inner man is renewed more and more. 2 
But the body, being as it were the outward 
man, the longer this life lasts is so much the 
more corrupted, either by age or by disease, 
or by various afflictions, until it come to that 
last affliction which all call death. And its 
resurrection is delayed until the end; when 
also our justification itself shall be perfected 
ineffably. For then we shall be like Him, 
for we shall see Him as He is. 3 But now, so 
long as the corruptible body presseth down 
the soul, 4 and human life upon earth is all 
temptation, 5 in His sight shall no man living 
be justified, 6 in comparison of the righteous- 
ness in which we shall be made equd with 
the angels, and of the glory which shall be 
revealed in us. But why mention more proofs 
respecting the difference between the death 
of the soul and the death of the body, when 
the Lord in one sentence of the Gospel has 
made either death easily distinguishable by 
any one from the other, where He says, " Let 
the dead bury their dead " ? 7 For burial was 
the fitting disposal of a dead body. But by 
those who were to bury it He meant those 
who were dead in soul by the impiety of un- 
belief, such, namely, as are awakened when 
it is said, "Awake thou that sleepest, and 
arise from the dead, and Christ shall, give 
thee light." 8 And there is a death which 
the apostle denounces, saying of the widow, 
"But she that liveth in pleasure is dead 
while she liveth." 9 Therefore the soul, 
which was before ungodly and is now godly, 
is said to have come alive again from the 
dead and to live, on account of the righteous- 
ness of faith. But the body is not only said 
to be about to die, on account of that depar- 
ture of the soul which will be; but on account 
of the great infirmity of flesh and blood it is 
even said to be now dead, in a certain place 
in the Scriptures, namely, where the apostle 
says, that " the body is dead because of sin, 
but the spirit is life because of righteous- 
ness." 10 Now this life is wrought by faith, 
" since the just shall live by faith," " But 
what follows ? " But if the spirit of Him that 
raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, 
He that raised up Christ from the dead shall 
also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit 
which dwelleth in you." I2 

6. Therefore on this double death of ours 
our Saviour bestowed His own single death; 

1 Rom. iv. 5. 
3 1 John iii. 1. 
S Job. vii. 1. 
7 Matt. viii. 22. 
9 1 Tim. v. 6. 
Rom. i. 17. 

2 2 Cor. iv. 16. 
4 Wisd. ix. 15. 
6 Ps. cxliii. 2. 
8 Eph. v. 14. 
10 Rom. viii. 10. 
12 Rom. viii. 10, 

and to cause both our resurrections, He ap- 
pointed beforehand and set forth in mystery 
and type His own one resurrection. For He 
was not a sinner or ungodly, that, as though 
dead in spirit, He should need to be renewed 
in the inner man, and to be recalled as it were 
to the life of righteousness by repentance; 
but being clothed in mortal flesh, and in that 
alone dying, in that alone rising again, in 
that alone did He answer to both for us; 
since in it was wrought a mystery as regards 
the inner man, and a type as regards the 
outer. For it was in a mystery as regards 
our inner man, so as to signify the death of 
our soul, that those words were uttered, not 
only in the Psalm, but also on the cross: 
" My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken 
me ? " I3 To which words the apostle agrees, 
saying, " Knowing this, that our old man is 
crucified with Him, that the body of sin might 
be destroyed, that henceforth we should not 
serve sin;" since by the crucifixion of the 
inner man are understood the pains of re- 
pentance, and a certain wholesome agony 
of self-control, by which death the death of 
ungodliness is destroyed, and in which death 
God has left us. And so the body of sin is 
destroyed through such a cross, that now we 
should not yield our members as instruments 
of unrighteousness unto sin. 14 Because, if 
even the inner man certainly is renewed day 
by day/ 5 yet undoubtedly it is old before it is 
renewed. For that is done inwardly of which 
the same apostle speaks: "Put off the old 
man, and put on the new;" which he goes 
on to explain by saying, " Wherefore, putting 
away lying, speak every man truth. " l6 But 
where is lying put away, unless inwardly, that 
he who speaketh the truth from his heart may 
inhabit the holy hill of God ? 17 But the resur- 
rection of the body of the Lord is shown to 
belong to the mystery of our own inner resur- 
rection, where, after He had risen, He says 
to the woman, " Touch me not, for I am not 
yet ascended to my Father;" 18 with which 
mystery the apostle's words agree, where he 
says, "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek 
those things which are above, where Christ 
sitteth on the right hand of God; set your 
thoughts 19 on things above." 20 For not to 
touch Christ, unless when He had ascended 
to the Father, means not to have thoughts 2I 
of Christ after a fleshly manner. Again, the 
death of the flesh of our Lord contains a type 
of the death of our outer man, since it is by 
such suffering most of all that He exhorts 

'3 Ps. xxii. 1, and Matt, x.xvii. 46. 
J 4 Rom. vi. 6, 13. J 5 2 Cor. iv. 16. 

16 Eph. iv. 22-25. I7 Ps. xv. 1, 3. 

18 Tohn xx. 17. 19 Sapite. 

20 Col. iii. 1, 2. 2I Sapere. 

Chap. IV.] 


/ 3 

His servants that they should not fear those 
who kill the body, but are not able to kill the 
soul. 1 Wherefore the apostle says, " That I 
may fill up that which is behind of the afflic- 
tions of Christ in my flesh."- And the 
Tesurrection of the body of the Lord is found 
to contain a type of the resurrection of our 
outward man, because He says to His disci- 
ples, " Handle me, and see; for a spirit hath 
not flesh and bones, as ye see me have." 3 
And one of the disciples also, handling His 
scars, exclaimed, " My Lord and my God! ''* 
And whereas the entire integrity of that flesh 
was apparent, this was shown in that which 
He had said when exhorting His disciples: 
" There shall not a hair of your head 
perish.'' 5 For how comes it that first is 
said, "Touch me not, for I am not yet as- 
cended to my Father;" 6 and how comes it 
that before He ascends to the Father, He 
actually is touched by the disciples; unless 
because in the former the mystery of the 
inner man was intimated, in the latter a type 
was given of the outer man ? Or can any one 
possibly be so without understanding, and so 
turned away from the truth, as to dare to say 
that He was touched by men before He as- 
cended, but by women when He had as- 
cended ? It was on account of this type, 
which went before in the Lord, of our future 
resurrection in the body, that the apostle 
says, " Christ the first-fruits; afterward they 
that are Christ's." 7 For it was the resurrec- 
tion of the body to which this place refers, 
on account of which he also says, "Who has 
changed our vile body, that it may be fash- 
ioned like unto His glorious body." 8 The 
one death therefore of our Saviour brought 
salvation to our double death, and His one 
resurrection wrought for us two resurrections; 
since His body in both cases, that is, both in 
His death and in His resurrection, was min- 
istered to us by a kind of healing suitable- 
ness, both as a mystery of the inner man, 
and as a type of the outer. 


7. Now this ratio of the single to the double 
arises, no doubt, from the ternary number, 
since one added to two makes three; but the 
whole which these make reaches to the senary, 

1 Matt. x. 28. 
3 Luke xxiv. 39. 
5 Luke xxi. 18. 
7 1 Cor. xv. 23. 

2 Col. i. 24. 
4 John xx. 28. 
6 John. xx. 17. 
8 Phil. iii. 21. 

for one and two and three make six. And 
this number is on that account called perfect, 
because it is completed in its own parts: for 
it has these three, sixth, third, and half; nor 
is there any other part found in it, which we 
can call an aliquot part. The sixth part of 
it, then, is one; the third part, two; the half, 
three. But one and two and three complete 
the same six. And Holy Scripture com- 
mends to us the perfection of this number, 
especially in this, that God finished His works 
in six days, and on the sixth day man was 
made in the image of God. 9 And the Son of 
God came and was made the Son of man, 
that He might re-create us after the image of 
God, in the sixth age of the human race. 
For that is now the present age, whether a 
thousand years apiece are assigned to each 
age, or whether we trace out memorable and 
remarkable epochs or turning-points of time 
in the divine Scriptures, so that the first age 
is to be found from Adam until Noah, and the 
second thence onwards to Abraham, and then 
next, after the division of Matthew the evan- 
gelist, from Abraham to David, from David to 
the carrying away to Babylon, and from thence 
to the travail of the Virgin, 10 which three ages 
joined to those other two make five. According- 
ly, the nativity of the Lord began the sixth, 
which is now going onwards until the hidden 
end of time. We recognize also in this senary 
number a kind of figure of time, in that 
threefold mode of division, by which we 
compute one portion of time before the Law; 
a second, under the Law; a third, under 
grace. In which last time we have received 
the sacrament of renewal, that we may be 
renewed also in the end of time, in every 
part, by the resurrection of the flesh, and so 
may be made whole from our entire infirmity, 
not only of soul, but also of body. And 
thence that woman is understood to be a type 
of the church, who was made whole and up- 
right by the Lord, after she had been bowed 
by infirmity through the binding of Satan. 
For those words of the Psalm lament such 
hidden enemies: "They bowed down my 
soul." 11 And this woman had her infirmity 
eighteen years, which is thrice six. And the 
months of eighteen years are found in num- 
ber to be the cube of six, viz. six times six 
times six. Nearly, too, in the same place in 
the Gospel is that fig tree, which was con- 
victed also by the third year of its miserable 
barrenness. But intercession was made for 
it, that it might be let alone that year, that 
year, that if it bore fruit, well; if otherwise, 
it should be cut down. 12 For both three years 

9 Gen. i. 27. 
" Ps. lvii. 6. 

10 Matt. i. 17. 

12 Luke xiii. 6-17. 



[Book IV. 

belong to the same threefold division, and 
the months of three years make the square 
of six, which is six times six. 

8. A single year also, if the whole twelve 
months are taken into account, which are 
made up of thirty days each (for the month 
that has been kept from of old is that which 
the revolution of the moon determines), 
abounds in the number six. For that which 
six is, in the first order of numbers, which 
consists of units up to ten, that sixty is in 
the second order, which consists of tens up 
to a hundred. Sixty days, then, are a sixth 
part of the year. Further, if that which 
stands as the sixth of the second order is 
multiplied by the sixth of the first order, 
then we make six times sixty, i.e. three hun- 
dred and sixty days, which are the whole 
twelve months. But since, as the revolution 
of the moon determines the month for men, 
so the year is marked by the revolution of 
the sun; and five days and a quarter of a day 
remain, that the sun may fulfill its course and 
end the year; for four quarters make one 
day, which must be intercalated in every 
fourth year, which they call bissextile, that 
the order of time may not be disturbed: if 
we consider, also, these five days and a quar- 
ter themselves, the number six prevails in 
them. First, because, as it is usual to com- 
pute the whole from a part, we must not call 
it five days, but rather six, taking the quarter 
days for one day. Next, because five days 
themselves are the sixth part of a month; 
while the quarter of a day contains six hours. 
For the entire day, i.e. including its night, is 
twenty-four hours, of which the fourth part, 
which is a quarter of a day, is found to be six 
hours. So much in the course of the year 
does the sixth number prevail. 


9. And not without reason is the number 
six understood to be put for a year in the 
building up of the body of the Lord, as a 
figure of which He said that He would raise 
up in three days the temple destroyed by the 
Jews. For they said, " Forty and six years 
was this temple in building." 1 And six 
times forty-six makes two hundred and 
seventy-six. And this number of days com- 
pletes nine months and six days, which are 
reckoned, as it were, ten months for the 
travail of women; not because all come to the 
sixth dry after the ninth month, but because 
the perfection itself of the body of the Lord 

John ii. 20. 

is found to have been brought in so many 
days to the birth, as the authority of the 
church maintains upon the tradition of the 
elders. For He is believed to have been 
conceived on the 25th of March, upon which 
day also He suffered; so the womb of the 
Virgin, in which He was conceived, where 
no one of mortals was begotten, corresponds 
to the new grave in which He was buried, 
wherein was never man laid, 2 neither before 
nor since. But He was born, according to 
tradition, upon December the 25th. If, then 
you reckon from that day to this you find two 
hundred and seventy- six days which is forty- 
six times six. And in this number of years 
the temple was built, because in that number 
of sixes the body of the Lord was perfected; 
which being destroyed by the suffering of 
death, He raised again on the third day. 
For " He spake this of the temple of His 
body," 3 as is declared by the most clear and 
solid testimony of the Gospel; where He said, 
" For as Jonas was three days and three 
nights in the whale's belly, so shall the Son 
of man be three days and three nights in the 
heart of the earth." 4 


10. Scripture again witnesses that the 
space of those three days themselves was 
not whole and entire, but the first day is 
counted as a whole from its last part, and the 
third day is itself also counted as a whole 
from its first part; but the intervening day, 
i.e. the second day, was absolutely a whole 
with its twenty-four hours, twelve of the day 
and twelve of the night. For He was cruci- 
fied first by the voices of the Jews in the third 
hour, when it was the sixth day of the week. 
Then He hung on the cross itself at the sixth 
hour, and yielded up His spirit at the ninth 
hour. 5 But He was buried, "now when the 
even was come," as the words of the evan- 
gelist express it; 6 which means, at the end 
of the day. Wheresoever then you begin, 
even if some other explanation can be given, 
so as not to contradict the Gospel of John, 7 
but to understand that He was suspended on 
the cross at the third hour, still you cannot 
make the first day an entire day. It will be 
reckoned then an entire day from its last 
part, as the third from its first part. For 
the night up to the dawn, when the resurrec- 
tion of the Lord was made known, belongs to 
the third day; because God (who commanded 

2 John xix. 41, 42. 3 John il. 19-21. 4 Matt. xii. 40. 

5 Matt, xxvii. 23-50. 6 Mark xv. 42-46. 7 John xix. 14. 

Chap. VIII.] 



the light to shine out of darkness, 1 that 
through the grace of the New Testament and 
the partaking of the resurrection of Christ the 
words might be spoken to us " For ye were 
sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in 
the Lord " -) intimates to us in some way that 
the day takes its beginning from the night. 
For as the first days of all were reckoned 
from light to night, on account of the future 
fall of man; 3 so these on account of the 
restoration of man, are reckoned from dark- 
ness to light. From the hour, then, of His 
death to the dawn of the resurrection are forty 
hours, counting in also the ninth hour itself. 
And with this number agrees also His life 
upon earth of forty days after His resurrec- 
tion. And this number is most frequently 
used in Scripture to express the mystery of 
perfection in the fourfold world. For the 
number ten has a certain perfection, and that 
multiplied by four makes forty. But from 
the evening of the burial to the dawn of the 
resurrection are thirty-six hours which is six 
squared. And this is referred to that ratio 
of the single to the double wherein there is 
the greatest consonance of co-adaptation. 
For twelve added to twenty-four suits the 
ratio of single added to double and makes 
thirty-six: namely a whole night with a whole 
day and a whole night, and this not without 
the mystery which I have noticed above. 
For not unfitly do we liken the spirit to the 
day and the body to the night. For the body 
of the Lord in His death and resurrection 
was a figure of our spirit and a type of our 
body. In this way, then, also that ratio of 
the single to the double is apparent in the 
thirty-six hours, when twelve are added to 
twenty-four. As to the reasons, indeed, why 
these numbers are so put in the Holy Script- 
ures, other people may trace out other rea- 
sons, either such that those which I have 
given are to be preferred to them, or such as 
are equally probable with mine, or even more 
probable than they are; but there is no one 
surely so foolish or so absurd as to contend 
that they are so put in the Scriptures for no 
purpose at all, and that there are no mystical 
reasons why those numbers are there men- 
tioned. But those reasons which I have here 
given, I have either gathered from the au- 
thority of the church, according to the tra- 
dition of our forefathers, or from the testi- 
mony of the divine Scriptures, or from the 
nature itself of numbers and of similitudes. 
No sober person will decide against reason, 
no Christian against the Scriptures, no peace- 
able person against the church. 



11. This mystery, this sacrifice, this priest, 
this God, before He was sent and came, be- 
ing made 0$ a woman of Him, all those 
things which appeared to our fathers in a 
sacred and mystical way by angelical mira- 
cles, or which were done by the fathers them- 
selves, were similitudes; in order that every 
creature by its acts might speak in some way 
of that One who was to be, in whom there 
was to be salvation in the recovery of all from 
death. For because by the wickedness of 
ungodliness we had recoiled and fallen away 
in discord from the one true and supreme 
God, and had in many things become vain, 
being distracted through many things and 
cleaving fast to many things; it was needful, 
by the decree and command of God in His 
mercy, that those same many things should 
join in proclaiming the One that should come, 
and that One should come so proclaimed by 
these many things, and that these many 
things should join in witnessing that this One 
had come; and that so, freed from the bur- 
den of these many things, we should come 
to that One, and dead as we were in our souls 
by many sins, and destined to die in the flesh 
on account of sin 

One who, without 

, that we should 
sin, died in the 

ove that 
flesh for 

us; and by believing in Him now raised again, 
and by rising again with Him in the spirit 
through faith, that we should be justified by 
being made one in the one righteous One; 
and that we should not despair of our own 
resurrection in the flesh itself, when we con- 
sider that the one Head had gone before us 
the rrftny members; in whom, being now 
cleansed through faith, and then renewed by 
sight, and through Him as mediator recon- 
ciled to God, we are to' cleave to the One, to 
feast upon the One, to continue one. 



12. So the Son of God Himself, the Word 
of God, Himself also the Mediator between 
God and men, the Son of man, 4 equal to the 
Father through the unity of the Godhead, 
and partaker with us by the taking upon 
Him of humanity, interceding for us with the 
Father in that He was man, 5 yet not conceal- 
ing that He was God, one with the Father, 
among other things speaks thus: 'Neither 
pray I for these alone," He says, "but for 
them also which shall believe on me through 
their word; that they all may be one; as 

1 2 Cor. iv. 6. 
3 Gen. i. 4, 5. 

2 Eph. v. 8. 

4 1 Tim. ii. 5. 

5 Rom. viii. 34. 



[Book IV. 

Thou, Father, art in me, and I in Thee, that 
they also may be one in us: that the world 
may believe that Thou hast sent me. And 
the glory which Thou gavest me I have 
given them; that they may be one, even as 
we are one."' 


He did not say, I and they are one thing; 2 
although, in that He is the head of the church, 
which is His body, 3 He might have said, I 
and they are, not one thing, 4 but one per- 
son, 5 because the head and the body is one 
Christ; but in order to show His own God- 
head consubstantial with the Father (for 
which reason He says in another place, "I 
and my Father are one " 6 ), in His own kind, 
that is, in the consubstantial parity of the 
same nature, He wills His own to be one, 7 
but in Himself; since they could not be so in 
themselves, separated as they are one from 
another by divers pleasures and desires 
and uncleannesses of sin; whence they are 
cleansed through the Mediator, that they 
may be one 8 in Him, not only through the 
same nature in which all become from mortal 
men equal to the angels, but also through 
the same will most harmoniously conspiring 
to the same blessedness, and fused in some 
way by the fire of charity into one spirit. 
For to this His words come, " That they may 
be one, even as we are one; '' namely, that 
as the Father and Son are one, not only in 
equality of substance, but also in will, so 
those also may be one, between whom and 
God the Son is mediator, not only in that 
they are of the same nature, but also through 
the same union of love. And then He goes 
on thus to intimate the truth itself, trrat He 
is the Mediator, through whom we are recon- 
ciled to God, by saying, " I in them, and 
Thou in me, that they may be made perfect 
in one." 9 



13. Therein is our true peace and firm 
bond of union with our Creator, that we 
should be purified and reconciled through 
the Mediator of life, as we had been polluted 
and alienated, and so had departed from 
Him, through the mediator of death. For 
as the devil through pride led man through 
pride to death; so Christ through lowliness 
led back man through obedience to life. 

1 John xvii. 20-22. 

3 Eph. i. 22, 23. 

5 Units. 

7 Una m. 

9 John xvii. 23. 

2 Utiuin. 

4 Unit 711. 

6 John x. 30; unuin. 

8 Unit in. 

Since, as the one fell through being lifted up, 
and cast down [man] also who consented to 
him; so the other was raised up through be- 
ing abased, and lifted up [man] also who be- 
lieved in Him. For because the 'devil had 
not himself come thither whither he had led 
the way (inasmuch as he bare indeed in his 
ungodliness the death of the spirit, but had 
not undergone the death of the flesh, be- 
cause he had not assumed the covering of the 
flesh), he appeared to man to be a mighty 
chief among the legions of devils, through 
whom he exercises his reign of deceits; so 
puffing up man the more, who is eager for 
power more than righteousness, through the 
pride of elation, or through false philosophy; 
or else entangling him through sacrilegious 
rites, in which, while casting down headlong 
by deceit and illusion the minds of the more 
curious and prouder sort, he holds him cap- 
tive also to magical trickery; promising too 
the cleansing of the soul, through those initia- 
tions which they call zzXzzai, by transform- 
ing himself into an angel of light, 10 through 
divers machinations in signs and prodigies of 


14. For it is easy for the most worthless 
spirits to do many tilings by means of aerial 
bodies, such as to cause wonder to souls 
which are weighed down by earthly bodies, 
even though they be of the better inclined. 
For if earthly bodies themselves, when 
trained by a certain skill and practice, ex- 
hibit to men so great marvels in theatrical 
spectacles, that they who never saw such 
things scarcely believe them when told; why 
should it be hard for the devil and his angels 
to make out of corporeal elements, through 
their own aerial bodies, things at which the 
flesh marvels; or even by hidden inspirations 
to contrive fantastic appearances to the de- 
luding of men's senses, whereby to deceive 
them, whether awake or asleep, or to drive 
them into frenzy? But just as it may hap- 
pen that one who is better than they in life 
and character may gaze at the most worthless 
of men, either walking on a rope, or doing 
by various motions of the body many things 
difficult of belief, and yet he may not at all 
desire to do such things, nor think those men 
on that account to be preferred to himself; 
so the faithful and pious soul, not only if it 
sees, but even if on account of the frailty of 
the flesh it shudders at, the miracles of de- 
mons, yet will not for that either deplore its 
own want of power to do such things, or judge 

10 2 Cor. xi. 14. 

Chap. XIII.] 



them on this account to be better than itself; 
especially since it is in the company of the 
holy, who, whether they are men or good 
angels, accomplish, through the power of God, 
to whom all things are subject, wonders 
which are far greater and the very reverse of 



15. In no wise therefore are souls cleansed 
and reconciled to God by sacrilegious imita- 
tions, or curious arts that are impious, or 
magical incantations; since the false media- 
tor does not translate them to higher things, 
but rather blocks and cuts off the way thither 
through the affections, malignant in propor- 
tion as they are proud, which he inspires into 
those of his own company; which are not 
able to nourish the wings of virtues so as to 
fly upwards, but rather to heap up the weight 
of vices so as to press downwards; since the 
soul will fall down the more heavily, the 
more it seems to itself to have been carried 
upwards. Accordingly, as the Magi did 
when warned of God, J whom the star led to 
adore the low estate of the Lord; so we also 
ought to return to our country, not by the 
way by which we came, but by another way 
which the lowly King has taught, and which 
the proud king, the adversary of that lowly 
King, cannot block up. For to us, too, that 
we may adore the lowly Christ, the " heavens 
have declared the glory of God, when their 
sound went into all the earth, and their words 
to the ends of the world." 2 A way was made 
for us to death through sin in Adam. For, 
" By one man sin entered into the world, and 
death by sin; and so death passed upon all 
men, in whom all have sinned." 3 Of this 
way the devil was the mediator, the persuader 
to sin, and the caster down into death. For 
he, too, applied his one death to work out 
our double death. Since he indeed died in 
the spirit through ungodliness, but certainly 
did not die in the flesh: yet both persuaded 
us to ungodliness, and thereby brought it to 
pass that we deserved to come into the death 
of the flesh. We desired therefore the one 
through wicked persuasion, the other followed 
us by a just condemnation; and therefore it 
is written, " God made not death," 4 since He 
was not Himself the cause of death; but yet 
death was inflicted on the sinner, through 
His most just retribution. Just as the judge 
inflicts punishment on the guilty; yet it is not 
the justice of the judge, but the desert of the 

1 Matt. ii. 12. 

3 Rom. v. 12 in quo. 

2 Ps. xix. 1, 4 
4 Wisd. i. 13. 

crime, which is the cause of the punishment. 
Whither, then, the mediator of death caused 
us to pass, yet did not come himself, that is, 
to the death of the flesh, there our Lord God 
introduced for us the medicine of correction, 
which He deserved not, by a hidden and ex- 
ceeding mysterious decree of divine and pro- 
found justice. In order, therefore, that as by 
one man came death, so by one man might 
come also the resurrection of the dead; 5 be- 
cause men strove more to shun that which 
they could not shun, viz. the death of the 
flesh, than the death of the spirit, i.e. pun- 
ishment more than the desert of punishment 
(for not to sin is a thing about which either men 
are not solicitous or are too little solicitous; 
but not to die, although it be not within reach 
of attainment, is yet eagerly sought after); 
the Mediator of life, making it plain that 
death is not to be feared, which by the condi- 
tion of humanity cannot now be escaped, but 
rather ungodliness, which can be guarded 
against through faith, meets us at the end to 
which we have come, but not by the way by 
which we came. For we, indeed, came to 
death through sin; He through righteousness: 
and, therefore, as our death is the punish- 
ment of sin, so His death was made a sacri- 
fice for sin. 


16. Wherefore, since the spirit is to be pre- 
ferred to the body, and the death of the 
spirit means that God has left it, but the 
death of the body that the spirit has left it; 
and since herein lies the punishment in the 
death of the body, that the spirit leaves the 
body against its will, because it left God will- 
ingly; so that, whereas the spirit left God 
because it would, it leaves the body although 
it would not; nor leaves it when it would, 
unless it has offered violence to itself, where- 
by the body itself is slain: the spirit of the 
Mediator showed how it was through no 
punishment of sin that He came to the death 
of the flesh, because He did not leave it 
against His will, but because He willed, when 
He willed, as He willed. For because He is 
so commingled [with the flesh] by the Word 
of God as to be one, He says: " I have power 
to lay down my life, and I have power to take 
it again. No man taketh it from me, but I 
lay down my life that I might take it again." 6 
And, as the Gospel tells us, they who were 

5 1 Cor. xv. 21, 22. 

6 John x. 17, 18. 



[Book IV. 

present were most astonished at this, that 
after that [last] word, in which He set forth 
the figure of our sin, He immediately gave 
up His spirit. For they who are hung on 
the cross are commonly tortured by a pro- 
longed death. Whence it was that the legs 
of the thieves were broken, in order that they 
might die directly, and be taken down from 
the cross before the Sabbath. And that He 
was found to be dead already, caused won- 
der. And it was this also, at which, as we 
read, Pilate marvelled, when the body of the 
Lord was asked of him for burial. 1 

17. Because that deceiver then, who was 
a mediator to death for man, and feignedly 
puts himself forward as to life, under the 
name of cleansing by sacrilegious rites and 
sacrifices, by which the proud are led away, 
can neither share in our death, nor rise 
again from his own: he has indeed been able 
to apply his single death to our double one; 
but he certainly has not been able to apply a 
single resurrection, which should be at once 
a mystery of our renewal, and a type of that 
waking up which is to be in the end. He 
then who being alive in the spirit raised again 
His own flesh that was dead, the true Media- 
tor of life, has cast out him, who is dead in 
the spirit and the mediator of death, from 
the spirits of those who believe in Himself, 
so'that he should not reign within, but should 
assault from without, and yet not prevail. 
And to him, too, He offered Himself to be 
tempted, in order that He might be also a 
mediator to overcome his temptations, not 
only by succor, but also by example. But 
when the devil, from the first, although striv- 
ing through every entrance to creep into His 
inward parts, was thrust out, having finished 
all his alluring temptation in the wilderness 
after the baptism; 2 because, being dead in the 
spirit, he forced no entrance into Him who 
was alive in the spirit, he betook himself, 
through eagerness for the death of man in 
any way whatsoever, to effecting that death 
which he could, and was permitted to effect 
it upon that mortal element which the living 
Mediator had received from us. And where 
he could do anything, there in every respect 
he was conquered; and wherein he received 
outwardly the power of slaying the Lord in 
the flesh, therein his inward power, by which 
he held ourselves, was slain. For it was 
brought to pass that the bonds of many sins 
in many deaths were loosed, through the one 
death of One which no sin had preceded. 
Which death, though not due, the Lord there- 
fore rendered for us, that the death which 

1 Mark xv. 37, 39, 43, 44, and John xix. 30-34. 
- Matt. iv. i-ii. 

was due might work us no hurt. For He 
was not stripped of the flesh by obligation of 
any authority, but He stripped Himself. For 
doubtless He who was able not to die, if He 
would not, did die because He would: and 
so He made a show of principalities and 
powers, openly triumphing over them in Him- 
self. 3 For whereas by His death the one 
and most real sacrifice was offered up for us, 
whatever fault there was, whence principalities 
and powers held us fast as of right to pay 
its penalty, He cleansed, abolished, extin- 
guished; and by His own resurrection He also 
called us whom He predestinated to a new 
life; and whom He called, them He justified; 
and whom He justified, them He glorified. 4 
And so the devil, in that very death of the 
flesh, lost man, whom he was possessing as 
by an absolute right, seduced as he was by 
his own consent, and over whom he ruled, 
himself impeded by no corruption of flesh 
and blood, through that frailty of man's 
mortal body, whence he was both too poor 
and too weak; he who was proud in propor- 
tion as he was, as it were, both richer and 
stronger, ruling over him who was, as it were, 
both clothed in rags and full of troubles. 
For whither he drove the sinner to fall, 
himself not following, there by following he 
compelled the Redeemer to descend. And 
so the Son of God deigned to become our 
friend in the fellowship of death, to which 
because he came not, the enemy thought 
himself to be better and greater than our T 
selves. For our Redeemer says, "Greater 
love hath no man than this, that a man lay 
down his life for his friends." 5 Wherefore 
also the devil thought himself superior to the 
Lord Himself, inasmuch as the Lord in His 
sufferings yielded to him; for of Him, too, is 
understood what is read in the Psalm, " For 
Thou hast made Him a little lower than the 
angels: " 6 so that He, being Himself put to 
death, although innocent, by the unjust one 
acting against us as it were by just right, 
might by a most just right overcome him, and 
so might lead captive the captivity wrought 
through sin, 7 and free us from a captivity 
that was just on account of sin, by blotting 
out the handwriting, and redeeming us who 
were to be justified although sinners, through 
His own righteous blood unrighteously 
poured out. 

18. Hence also the devil mocks those who 
are his own until this very day, to whom he 
presents himself as a false mediator, as though 
they would be cleansed or rather entangled 
and drowned by his rites, in that he very 

3 Col. ii. 15. 
6 Ps. viii. 5. 

4 Rom. viii. 30. 
7 Eph. iv. 8. 

5 John xv. 1 j. 

Chap. XV.] 



easily persuades the proud to ridicule and 
despise the death of Christ, from which the 
more he himself is estranged, the more is he 
believed by them to be the holier and more 
divine. Yet those who have remained with 
him are very few, since the nations acknowl- 
edge and with pious humility imbibe the price 
paid for themselves, and in trust upon it 
abandon their enemy, and gather together 
to their Redeemer. For the devil does not 
know how the most excellent wisdom of God 
makes use of both his snares and his fury to 
bring about the salvation of His own faithful 
ones, beginning from the former end, which 
is the beginning of the spiritual creature, even 
to the latter end, which is the death of the 
body, and so " reaching from the one end to 
the other, mightily and sweetly ordering all 
things." 1 For wisdom " passeth and goeth 
through all things by reason of her pureness, 
and no defiled thing can fall into her." 2 
And since the devil has nothing to do with 
the death of the flesh, whence comes his ex- 
ceeding pride, a death of another kind is pre- 
pared in the eternal fire of hell, by which not 
only the spirits that have earthly, but also 
those who have aerial bodies, can be tor- 
mented. But proud men, by whom Christ is 
despised, because He died, wherein He 
bought us with so great a price, 3 both bring 
back the former death, and also men, to that 
miserable condition of nature, which is de- 
rived from the first sin, and will be cast down 
-into the latter death with the devil. And 
they on this account preferred the devil to 
Christ, because the former cast them into 
that former death, whither he himself fell not 
through the difference of his nature, and 
whither on account of them Christ descended 
through His great mercy: and yet they do 
not hesitate to believe themselves better than 
the devils, and do not cease to assail and de- 
nounce them with every sort of malediction, 
while they know them at any rate to have 
nothing to do with the suffering of this kind 
of death, on account of which they despise 
Christ. Neither will they take into account 
that the case may possibly be, that the Word 
of God, remaining in Himself, and in Him- 
self in no way changeable, may yet, through 
the taking upon Him of a lower nature, be 
able to suffer somewhat of a lower kind, which 
the unclean spirit cannot suffer, because he 
has not an earthly body. And so, whereas 
they themselves are better than the devils, 
yet, because they bear a body of flesh, they 
can so die, as the devils certainly cannot 
die, who do not bear such a body. They 

1 Wisd. viii. i. 

; Wisd. vii. 24, 25. 

3 1 Cor. vi. 20. 

presume much on the deaths of their own 
sacrifices, which they do not perceive that 
they sacrifice to deceitful and proud spirits; 
or if they have come to perceive it, think their 
friendship to be of some good to themselves, 
treacherous and envious although they are, 
whose purpose is bent upon nothing else ex- 
cept to hinder our return. 



19. They do not understand, that not even 
the proudest of spirits themselves could re- 
joice in the honor of sacrifices, unless a true 
sacrifice was due to the one true God, in 
whose stead they desire to be worshipped: 
and that this cannot be rightly offered except 
by a holy and righteous priest; nor unless 
that which is offered be received from those 
for whom it is offered; and unless also it be 
without fault, so that it may be offered for 
cleansing the faulty. This at least all desire 
who wisn sacrifice to be offered for themselves 
to God. Who then is so righteous and holy 
a priest as the only Son of God, who had no 
need to purge His own sins by sacrifice, 4 
neither original sins, nor those which are 
added by human life ? And what could be 
so fitly chosen by men to be offered for them 
as human flesh ? And what so fit for this 
immolation as mortal flesh? And what so 
iclean for cleansing the faults of mortal men 
as the flesh born in and from the womb of a 
virgin, without any infection of carnal con- 
cupiscence ? And what could be so accepta- 
bly offered and taken, as the flesh of our sac- 
rifice, made the body of our priest? In such 
wise that, whereas four things are to be con- 
sidered in every sacrifice, to whom it is 
offered, by whom it is offered, what is offered, 
for whom it is offered, the same One and true 
Mediator Himself, reconciling us to God by 
the sacrifice of peace, might remain one with 
Him to whom He offered, might make those 
one in Himself for whom He offered, Him- 
self might be in one both the offerer and the 



20. There are, however, some who think 
themselves capable of being cleansed by their 
own righteousness, so as to contemplate God, 
and to dwell in God; whom their very pride 
itself stains above all others. For there is no 

4 Heb. vii. 



[Book IV. 

sin to which the divine law is more opposed, 
and over which that proudest of spirits, who 
is a mediator to things below, but a barrier 
against things above, receives a greater right 
of mastery: unless either his secret snares be 
avoided by going another way, or if he rage 
openly by means of a sinful people (which 
Amalek, being interpreted, means), and for- 
bid by fighting the passage to the land of 
promise, he be overcome by the cross of the 
Lord, which is prefigured by the holding out 
of the hands of Moses. 1 For these persons 
promise themselves cleansing by their own 
righteousness for this reason, because some 
of them have been able to penetrate with the 
eye of the mind beyond the whole creature, 
and to touch, though it be in ever so small 
a part, the light of the unchangeable truth; a 
thing which they deride many Christians for 
being not yet able to do, who, in the mean- 
time, live by faith alone. But of what use is 
it for the proud man, who on that account is 
ashamed to embark upon the ship of wood, 2 
to behold from afar his country beyond the 
sea? Or how can it hurt the humble man 
not to behold it from so great a distance, 
when he is actually coming to it by that wood 
upon which the other disdains to be borne ? 



21. These people also blame us for believ* 
ing the resurrection of the flesh, and rather 
wish us to believe themselves concerning these 
things. As though, because they have been 
able to understand the high and unchangeable 
substance by the things which are made, 3 for 
this reason they had a claim to be consulted 
concerning the revolutions of mutable things, 
or concerning the connected order of the 
ages. For pray, because they dispute most 
truly, and persuade us by most certain proofs, 
that all things temporal are made after a 
science that is eternal, are they therefore 
able to see clearly in the matter of this 
science itself, or to collect from it, how many 
kinds of animals there are, what are the seeds 
of each in their beginnings, what measure in 
their increase, what numbers run through 
their conceptions, births, ages, settings; 
what motions in desiring things according to 
their nature, and in avoiding the contrary ? 
Have they not sought out all these things, 
not through that unchangeable wisdom, but 

i Ex. xvii. 8-16. 

2 [The wood of the cross is meant. One of the ancient symbols 
of the church was a ship. W. G. T. S. 

3 Rom. i. 20.] 

through the actual history of places and times, 
or have trusted the written experience of 
others ? Wherefore it is the less to be won- 
dered at, that they have utterly failed in 
searching out the succession of more length- 
ened ages, and in finding any goal of that 
course, down which, as though down a river, 
the human race is sailing, and the transition 
thence of each to its own appropriate end. 
For these are subjects which historians could 
not describe, inasmuch as they are far in the 
future, and have been experienced and related 
by no one. Nor have those philosophers, 
who have profited better than others in that 
high and eternal science, been able to grasp 
such subjects with the understanding; other- 
wise they would not be inquiring as they 
could into past things of the kind, such as 
are in the province of historians, but rather 
would foreknow also things future; and those 
who are able to do this are called by them 
soothsayers, but by us prophets: 


22. although the name of prophets, too, 
is not altogether foreign to their writings. 
But it makes the greatest possible difference, 
whether things future are conjectured by ex- 
perience of things past (as physicians also 
have committed many things to writing in 
the way of foresight, which they themselves 
have noted by experience; or as again hus- 
bandmen, or sailors, too, foretell many things; 
for if such predictions are made a long while 
before, they are thought to be divinations), 
or whether such things have already started 
on their road to come to us, and being seen 
coming far off, are announced in proportion 
to the acuteness of the sense of those who 
see them, by doing which the aerial powers 
are thought to divine (just as if a person 
from the top of a mountain were to see far 
off some one coming, and were to announce 
it beforehand to those who dwelt close by in 
the plain); or whether they are either fore- 
announced to certain men, or are heard by 
them and again transmitted to other men, by 
means of holy angels, to whom God shows 
those things by His Word and His Wisdom, 
wherein both things future and things past 
consist; or whether the minds of certain men 
themselves are so far borne upwards by the 
Holy Spirit, as to behold, not through the 
angels, but of themselves, the immoveable 

Chap. XVIII. 



causes of things future, in that very highest 
pinnacle of the universe itself. [And I say, 
behold,] for the aerial powers, too, hear these 
things, either by message through angels, or 
through men; and hear only so much as He 
judges to be fitting, to whom all things are 
subject. Many things, too, are foretold by 
a kind of instinct and inward impulse of such 
as know them not: as Caiaphas did not know 
what he said, but being the high priest, he 
prophesied. 1 

23. Therefore, neither concerning the 
successions of ages, nor concerning the re- 
surrection of the dead, ought we to consult 
those philosophers, who have understood as 
much as they could the eternity of the Crea- 
tor, in whom "we live, and move, and have 
our being.'' 2 Since, knowing God through 
those things which are made, they have not 
glorified Him as God, neither were thankful; 
but professing themselves wise, they became 
fools. 3 And whereas they were not fit to fix 
the eye of the mind so firmly upon the 
eternity of the spiritual and unchangeable 
nature, as to be able to see, in the wisdom 
itself of the Creator and Governor of the uni- 
verse, those revolutions of the ages, which in 
that wisdom were already and were always, 
but here were about to be so that as yet they 
were not; or, again, to see therein those 
changes for the better, not of the souls only, 
but also of the bodies of men, even to the 
perfection of their proper measure; whereas 
then, I say, they were in no way fit to see 
these things therein, they were not even 
judged worthy of receiving any announce- 
ment of them by the holy angels; whether 
externally through the senses of the body, or 
by interior revelations exhibited in the spirit; 
as these things actually were manifested to 
our fathers, who were gifted with true piety, 
and who by foretelling them, obtaining cred- 
ence either by present signs, or by events 
close at hand, which turned out as they had 
foretold, earned authority to be believed re- 
specting things remotely future, even to the 
end of the world. But the proud and deceit- 
ful powers of the air, even if they are found 
to have said through their soothsayers some 
things of the fellowship and citizenship of the 
saints, and of the true Mediator, which they 
heard from the holy prophets or the angels, 
did so with the purpose of seducing even the 
faithful ones of God, if they could, by these 
alien truths, to revolt to their own proper 
falsehoods. But God did this by those who 
knew not what they said, in order that the 
truth might sound abroad from all sides, to 

1 John xi. 51. 

- Acts xvii. 28. 

3 Rom. i. 21, 22. 

aid the faithful, to be a witness against the 


24. Since, then, we were not fit to take 
hold of things eternal, and since the foulness 
of sins weighed us down, which we had con- 
tracted by the love of temporal things, and 
which were implanted in us as it were natur- 
ally, from the root of mortality, it was need- 
ful that we should be cleansed. But cleansed 
we could not be, so as to be tempered together 
with things eternal, except it were through 
things temporal, wherewith we were already 
tempered together and held fast. For health 
is at the opposite extreme from disease; but 
the intermediate process of healing does not 
lead us to perfect health, unless it has some 
congruity with the disease. Things tem- 
poral that are useless merely deceive the 
sick; things temporal that are useful take up 
those that need healing, and pass them on 
healed, to things eternal. And the rational 
mind, as when cleansed it owes contemplation 
to things eternal; so, when needing cleans- 
ing, owes faith to things temporal. One 
even of those who were formerly esteemed 
wise men among the Greeks has said. The 
truth stands to faith in the same relation in 
which eternity stands to that which has a be- 
ginning. And he is no doubt right in saying 
so. For what we call temporal, he describes 
as having had a beginning. And we also 
ourselves come under this kind, not only in 
respect to the body, but also in respect to the 
changeableness of the soul. For that is not 
properly called eternal which undergoes any 
degree of change. Therefore, in so far as 
we are changeable, in so far we stand apart 
from eternity. But life eternal is promised 
to us through the truth, from the clear 
knowledge of which, again, our faith stands 
as far apart as mortality does from eternity. 
We then now put faith in things done in time 
on our account, and by that faith itself' we 
are cleansed; in order that when we have 
come to sight, as truth follows faith, so 
eternity may follow upon- mortality. And 
therefore, since our faith will become truth, 
when we have attained to that which is prom- 
ised to us who believe: and that which is 
promised us is eternal life; and the Truth 
(not that which shall come to be according as 
our faith shall be, but that truth which is al- 
ways, because in it is eternity, the Truth 
then) has said, " And this is life eternal, that 



[Book IV. 

they might know Thee the only true God, and 
Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent: " x when 
our faith by seeing shall come to be truth, 
then eternity shall possess our now changed 
mortality. And until this shall take place, 
and in order that it may take place, because 
we adapt the faith of belief to things which 
have a beginning, as in things eternal we hope 
for the truth of contemplation, lest the faith 
of mortal life should be at discord with the 
truth of eternal life, the Truth itself, co- 
eternal with the Father, took a beginning 
from earth, 2 when the Son of God so came as 
to become the Son of man, and to take to 
Himself our faith, that He might thereby lead 
us on to His own truth, who so undertook our 
mortality, as not to lose His own eternity. 
For truth stands to faith in the relation in 
which eternity stands to that which has a be- 
ginning. Therefore, we must needs so be 
cleansed, that we may come to have such a 
beginning as remains eternal, that we may 
not have one beginning in faith, and another 
in truth. Neither could we pass to things 
eternal from the condition of having a begin- 
ning, unless we were transferred, by union of 
the eternal to ourselves through our own be- 
ginning,' to His own eternity. Therefore our 
faith has, in some measure, now followed 
thither, whither He in whom we have believed 
has ascended; born, 3 dead, risen again, taken 
up. Of these four things, we knew the first 
two in ourselves. For we know that men 
both have a beginning and die. But the re- 
maining two, that is, to be raised, and to be 
taken up, we rightly hope will be in us, be- 
cause we have believed them done in Him. 
Since, therefore, in Him that, too, which had 
a beginning has passed over to eternity, in 
ourselves also it will so pass over, when faith 
shall have arrived at truth. For to those who 
thus believe, in order that they might remain 
in the word of faith, and being thence led on 
to the truth, and through that to eternity, 
might be freed from death, He speaks thus: 
" If ye continue in my word, then are ye my 
disciples indeed." And as though they would 
ask, With what fruit? He proceeds to say, 
"And ye shall know the truth." And again, 
as though they would say, Of what good is 
truth to mortal men? "And the truth," He 
says, "shall make you free." 4 From what, 
except from death, from corruption, from 
changeableness ? Since truth remains im- 
mortal, incorrupt, unchangeable. But true 
immortality, true incorruptibility, true un- 
changeableness, is eternity itself. 

1 John xvii. 3. 
3 Onus. 

2 Ps. lxxxv. II. 
4 John viii. 31. 32. 



25. Behold, then, why the Son of God was 
sent; nay, rather behold what it is for the 
Son of God to be sent. Whatever things they 
were which were wrought in time, with a 
view to produce faith, whereby we might be 
cleansed so as to contemplate truth, in things 
that have a beginning, which have been put 
forth from eternity, and are referred back to 
eternity: these were either testimonies of this 
mission, or they were the mission itself of the 
Son of God. But some of these testimonies 
announced Him beforehand as to come, some 
testified that He had come already. For that 
He was made a creature by whom the whole 
creation was made, must needs find a witness 
in the whole creation. For except one were 
preached by the sending of many [witnesses] 
one would not be bound to, the sending away 
of many. And unless there were such testi- 
monies as should seem to be great to those 
who are lowly, it would not be believed, that 
He being great should make men great, who 
as lowly was sent to the lowly. For the 
heaven and the earth and all things in them 
are incomparably greater works of the Son of 
God, since all things were made by Him, than 
the signs and the portents which broke forth 
in testimony of Him. But yet men, in order 
that, being lowly, they might believe these 
great things to have been wrought by Him, 
trembled at those lowly things, as if they had 
been great. 

26. " When, therefore, the fullness of time 
was come, God sent forth His Son, made of 
a woman, made under the Law; " 5 to such a 
degree lowly, that He was " made; " in this 
way therefore sent, in that He was made. 
If, therefore, the greater sends the less, we 
too, acknowledge Him to have been made 
less; and in so far less, in so far as made; 
and in so far made, in so far as sent. For 
" He sent forth His Son made of a woman." 
And yet, because all things were made by 
Him, not only before He was made and sent, 
but before all things were at all, we confess 
the same to be equal to the sender, whom we 
call less, as having been sent. In what way, 
then, could He be seen by the fathers, when 
certain angelical visions were shown to them, 
before that fullness of time at which it was 
fitting He should be sent, and so before He 
was sent, at a time when not yet sent He was 
seen as He is equal with the Father? For 

S Gal. iv. 4. 

Chap. XX.] 




how does He say to Philip, by whom He was 
certainly seen as by all the rest, and even by 
those by whom He was crucified in the flesh, 
"Have I been so long time with you, and 
yet hast thou not known me, Philip ? he that 
hath seen me, hath seen the Father also;'' 
unless because He was both seen and yet not 
seen ? He was seen, as He had been made 
in being sent; He was not seen, as by Him 
all things were made. Or how does He say 
this too, " He that hath my commandments, 
and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me; 
and he that loveth me shall be loved of my 
Father, and I will love him, and will manifest 
myself to him," 1 at a time when He was 
manifest before the eyes of men; unless be- 
cause He was offering that flesh, which the 
Word was made in the fullness of time, to 
be accepted by our faith; but was keeping- 
back the Word itself, by whom all things 
were made, to be contemplated in eternity by 
the mind when cleansed by faith ? 


27. But if the Son is said to be sent by the 
Father on this account, that the one is the 
Father, and the other the Son, this does not 
in any manner hinder us from believing the 
Son to be equal, and consubstantial, and co- 
eternal with the Father, and yet to have been 
sent as Son by the Father. Not because the 
one is greater, the other less; but because 
the one is Father, the other Son; the one be- 
getter, the other begotten; the one, He from 
whom He is who is sent; the other, He who 
is from Him who sends. For the Son is 
from the Father, not the Father from the 
Son. And according to this manner we can 
now understand that the Son is not only said 
to have been sent because "the Word was 
made flesh," 2 but therefore sent that the 
Word might be made flesh, and that He 
might perform through His bodily presence 
those things which were written; that is, that 
not only is He understood to have been sent 
as man, which the Word was made but the 
Word, too, was sent that it might be made 
man; because He was not sent in respect to 
any inequality of power, or substance, or any- 
thing that in Him was not equal to the Father; 
but in respect to this, that the Son is from 
the Father, not the Father from the Son; for 
the Son is the Word of the Father, which is 

1 John xiv. 9, 21. 

2 John i. 3, 18, 14. 

also called His wisdom. What wonder, 
therefore, if He is sent, not because He is 
unequal with the Father, but because He is 
" a pure emanation (manatid) issuing from 
the glory of the Almighty God ? " For there, 
that which issues, and that from which it 
issues, is of one and the same substance. 
For it does not issue as water issues from an 
aperture of earth or of stone, but as light 
issues from light. For the words, " For she 
is the brightness of the everlasting light/' 
what else are they than, she is light of ever- 
lasting light ? For what is the brightness of 
light, except light itself ? and so co-eternal, 
with the light, from which the light is. But 
it is preferable to say, "the brightness of 
light," rather than" the light of light;" lest 
that which issues should be thought to be 
darker than that from which it issues. For 
when one hears of the brightness of light as 
being light itself, it is more easy to believe 
that the former shines by means of the latter, 
than that the latter shines less. But because 
there was no need of warning men not to 
think that light to be less, which begat the 
other (for no heretic ever dared say this, 
neither is it to be believed that any one will 
dare to do so), Scripture meets that other 
thought, whereby that light .which issues 
might seem darker than that from which it 
issues; and it has removed this surmise by 
saying, "It is the brightness of that light," 
namely, of eternal light, and so shows it to 
be equal. For if it were less, then it would 
be its darkness, not its brightness; but if it 
were greater, then it could not issue from 
it, for it could not surpass that from which it 
is educed. Therefore, because it issues 
from it, it is not greater than it is; and be- 
cause it is not its darkness, but its brightness, 
it is not less than it is: therefore it is equal. 
Nor ought this to trouble us, that it is called 
a pure emanation issuing from the glory of 
the Almighty God, as if itself were not omni- 
potent, but an emanation from the Omnipo- 
tent; for soon after it is said of it, "And 
being but one, she can do all things." 3 But 
who is omnipotent, unless He who can do all 
things? It is sent,therefore,by Him from whom 
it issues; for so she is sought after by him who 
loved and desired her. " Send her," he 
says, "out of Thy holy heavens, and from 
the throne of Thy glory, that, being present, 
she may labor with me;" 4 that is, may teach 
me to labor [heartily] in order that I may 
not labor [irksomely]. For her labors are 
virtues. But she is sent in one way that she 
may be with man; she has been sent in an- 
other way that she herself may be man. For, 

3 Wisd, vii. 25-27, 

4 Wisd. ix. 10. 



[Book IV. 

"entering into holy souls, she maketh them 
friends of God and prophets;" 1 so she also 
fills the holy angels, and works all things 
fitting: for such ministries bv them. - But 
when the fullness of time was come, she was 
sent, 3 not to fill angels, nor to be an angel, 
except in so far as she announced the counsel 
of the Father, which was her own also; nor, 
again, to be with men or in men, for this too 
took place before, both in the fathers and in 
the prophets; but that the Word itself should 
be made flesh, that is, should be made man. 
In which future mystery, when revealed, was 
to be the salvation of those wise and holy 
men also, who, before He was born of the 
Virgin, were born of women; and in which, 
when done and made known, is the salvation 
of all who believe, and hope, and love. For 
this is "the great mystery of godliness, 
which 4 was manifest in the flesh, justified in 
the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the 
Gentiles, believed on in the world, received 
up into glory." 5 

28. Therefore the Word of God is sent by 
Him, of whom He is the Word; He is sent 
by Him, from whom He was begotten {gem- 
tum); He sends who begot, That is sent 
which is begotten. And He is then sent to 
each one, when He is apprehended and per- 
ceived by each, in so far as He can be appre- 
hended and perceived, in proportion to the 
comprehension of the rational soul, either 
advancing towards God, or already perfect in 
God. The Son, therefore, is not properly said 
to have been sent in that He is begotten of 
the Father; but either in that the Word made 
flesh appeared to the world, whence He says, 
" I came forth from the Father, and am 
come into the world; " 6 or in that from time 
to time, He is perceived by the mind of each, 
according to the saying, " Send her, that, 
being present with me, she may labor with 
me." 7 What then is born (natum) from 
eternity is eternal, " for it is the brightness 
of the everlasting light;" but what is sent 
from time to time, is that which is appre- 
hended by each. But when the Son of God 
was made manifest in the flesh, He was sent 
into this world in the fullness of time, made 
of a woman. " For after that, in the wisdom 
of God, the world by wisdom knew not God " 
(since " the light shineth in darkness, and 
the darkness comprehended it not"), it 
" pleased God by the foolishness of preach- 
ing to save them that believe ," 8 and that the 

1 Wisd. vii. 27. 

- [The allusion is to the Wisdom of Proverbs, and of the Book of 
Wisdom, which Augustin regards as canonical, as his frequent ci- 
tations show. W. G. T. S.J 

3 Gal. iv. 4. 4 Quod, scil. sacrament um. 

5 1 Tim. iii. 16. 
7 Wisd. ix. 10. 

6 John xvi. 28. 
1 Cor. i. 21. 

Word should be made flesh, and dwell among 
us. 9 But when from time to time He comes 
forth and is perceived by the mind of each, 
He is said indeed to be sent, but not into 
this world; for He does not appear sensibly, 
that is, He does not present Himself to the 
corporeal senses. For we ourselves, too, are 
not in this world, in respect to our grasping 
with the mind as far as we can that which is 
eternal; and the spirits of all the righteous 
are not in this world, even of those who are 
still living in the flesh, in so far as they have 
discernment in things divine. But the Father 
is not said to be sent, when from time to 
time He is apprehended by any one, for He 
has no one of whom to be, or from whom to 
proceed; since Wisdom says, " I came out of 
the mouth of the Most High," 10 and it is said 
of the Holy Spirit, " He proceedeth from the 
Father,"" but the Father is from no one. 

29. As, therefore, the Father begat, the 
Son is begotten; so the Father sent, the Son was 
sent. But in like manner as He who begat and 
He who was begotten, so both He who sent and 
He who was sent, are one, since the Father and 
the Son are one. 12 So also the Holy Spirit is 
one with them, since these three are one. 
For as to be born, in respect to the Son r 
means to be from the Father; so to be sent, 
in respect to the Son, means to be known to 
be from the Father. And as to be the gift 
of God in respect to the Holy Spirit, means 
to proceed from the Father; so to be sent, 
is to be known to proceed from the Father. 
Neither can we say that the Holy Spirit does 
not also proceed from the Son, for the same 
Spirit is not without reason said to be the 
Spirit both of the Father and of the Son. IJ 
Nor do I see what else He intended to sig- 
nify, when He breathed on the face of the 
disciples, and said, " Receive ye the Holy 
Ghost. " M For that bodily breathing, pro- 
ceeding from the body with the feeling of 
bodily touching, was not the substance of the 
Holy Spirit, but a declaration by a fitting 
sign, that the Holy Spirit proceeds not only 
from the Father, but also from the Son. For 
the veriest of madmen would not say, that it 
was one Spirit which He gave when He 
breathed on them, and another which Fie 
sent after His ascension. 13 For the Spirit of 
God is one, the Spirit of the Father and of 
the Son, the Holy Spirit, who worketh all in 
all. 16 But that He was given twice was cer- 
tainly a significant economy, which we will 

9 John i. 5, 14. 

10 Kcclus. xxiv. 3. Iz John xv. 26. ,2 John x. 30. 

'3 [Augustin here, as in previous instances, affirms the procession 
of the Spirit from the Father and Son. W. (',. T.S.] 
'4 John xx. 22. '5 Aits ii. 1-4. 

10 1 Cor. xii. 6. 

Chap. XXL] 



discuss in its place, as far as the Lord may 
grant. That then which the Lord says, 
" Whom I will send unto you from the 
Father," 1 shows the Spirit to be both of the 
Father and of the Son; because, also, when 
He had said, " Whom the Father will send," 
He added also, "in my name." 2 Yet He 
did not say, Whom the Father will send from 
me, as He said, " Whom / will send unto 
you from the Father," showing, namely, 
that the Father is the beginning (principium) 
of the whole divinity, or if it is better so ex- 
pressed, deity. 3 He, therefore, who proceeds 
from the Father and from the Son, is re- 
ferred back to Him from whom the Son was 
born {natus). And that which the evangelist 
says, " For the Holy Ghost was not yet given, 
because that Jesus was not yet glorified;" 4 
how is this to be understood, unless because 
the special giving or sending of the Holy 
Spirit after the glorification of Christ was to 
be such as it had never been before ? For it 
was not previously none at all, but it had not 
besn such as this. For if the Holy Spirit 
was not given before, wherewith were the 
prophets who spoke filled ? Whereas the 
Scripture plainly says, and shows in many 
places, that they spake by the Holy Spirit. 
Whereas, also, it is said of John the Baptist, 
''And he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, 
even from his mother's womb." And his 
father Zacharias is found to have been filled 
with the Holy Ghost, so as to say such things 
of him. And Mary, too, was filled with the 
Holy Ghost, so as to foretell such things of 
the Lord, whom she was bearing in her 
womb. 5 And Simeon and Anna were filled 
with the Holy Spirit, so as to acknowledge 
the greatness of the little child Christ. 6 How, 
then, was " the Spirit not yet given, since 
Jesus was not yet glorified," unless because 
that giving, or granting, or mission of the 
Holy Spirit was to have a certain speciality 
of its own in its very advent, such as never 
was before ? For we read nowhere that men 
spoke in tongues which they did not know, 


xv. 26. 2 John xiv. 26. 

3 [The term "beginning" is employed " relatively, and not 
according to substance," as Augustin says. The Father is " the 
beginning of the whole deity," with reference to the personal dis- 
tinctions of Father, Son , and Spirit the Son being from the Father, 
and the Spirit from Father and Son. The trinitarian relations or 
modes of the essence, " begin " with the first person, not the 
second or the third. The phrase "whole deity," in the above 
statement, is put for "trinity," not for "essence." Augustin 
would nut say that the Father is the " beginning (principiutii) of 
the divine essence considered abstractly, but only of the essence as 
trinal. In this sense, Trinitarian writers denominate the Father 
"fans trinitatis" and sometimes "fans deitatis." Turrettin 
employs this latter phraseology (iii. xxx. i. 8); so does Owen {Com- 
munion with Trinity, Ch. iii.): and Hooker (Polity, v. liv.) But in 
this case, the guarding clause of Turretin is to be subjoined: 
" fons deitatis, si modus subsistendi spectattti-y The phrase 
" fons trinitatis" or " principium trinitatis" is less liable to 
be misconceived, and more accurate than "fonsdeitatis, or "prin- 
cipum di-itatis."~W. G. T. S.] 

4 John vii. 39. 5 Luke i. 15, 41-79. 6 Luke ii. 25-38. 

through the Holy Spirit coming upon them; 
as happened then, when it was needful that 
His coming should be made plain by visible 
signs, in order to show that the whole world, 
and all nations constituted with different 
tongues, should believe in Christ through 
the gift of the Holy Spirit, to fulfill that 
which is sung in the Psalm, " There is no 
speech nor language where their voice is not 
heard; their sound is gone out through all 
the earth, and their words to the end of the 
world." ^ 

30. Therefore man was united, and in 
some sense commingled, with the Word of 
God, so as to be One Person, when the full- 
ness of time was come, and the Son of God, 
made of a woman, was sent into this world, 
that He might be also the Son of man for the 
sake of the sons of men. And this person 
angelic nature could prefigure beforehand, so 
as to pre-announce, but could not appropri- 
ate, so as to be that person itself. 



But with respect to the sensible showing 
of the Holy Spirit, whether by the shape of 
a dove, 8 or by fiery tongues, 9 when the sub- 
jected and subservient creature by temporal 
motions and forms manifested His substance 
co-eternal with the Father and the Son, and 
alike with them unchangeable, while it was not 
united so as to be one person with Him, as 
the flesh was which the Word was made; IO I 
do not dare to say that nothing of the kind 
was done aforetime. But I would boldly say, 
that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, of one 
and the same substance, God the Creator, . 
the Omnipotent Trinity, work indivisibly; 
but that this cannot be indivisibly manifested 
by the creature, which is far inferior, and 
least of all by the bodily creature: just as 
the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit cannot be 
named by our words, which certainly are 
bodily sounds, except in their own proper in- 
tervals of time, divided by a distinct separa- 
tion, which intervals the proper syllables of 
each word occupy. Since in their proper 
substance wherein they are, the three are 
one, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy 
Spirit, the very same, by no temporal motion, 
above the whole creature, without any inter- 
val of time and place, and at once one and 
the same from eternity to eternity, as it were 
eternity itself, which is not without truth 

7 Ps. xix. 3, 4. 
9 Acts ii. 3. 

8 Matt. iii. 16. 
10 John i. 14. 



[Book IV. 

and charity. But, in my words, the Father, 
Son, and Holy Spirit are separated, and can- 
not be named at once, and occupy their own 
proper places separately invisible letters. 
And as, when I name my memory, and intel- 
lect, and will, each name refers to each sev- 
erally, but yet each is uttered by all three; 
for there is no one of these three names that 
is not uttered by both my memory and my 
intellect and my will together [by the soul as 
a whole]; so the Trinity together wrought 
both the voice of the Father, and the flesh of 
the Son, and the dove of the Holy Spirit, 
while each of these things is referred severally 
to each person. And by this similitude it is 
in some degree discernible, that the Trinity, 
which is inseparable in itself, is manifested 
separably by the appearance of the visible 
creature; and that the operation of the Trin- 
ity is also inseparable in each severally of 
those things which are said to pertain prop- 
erly to the manifesting of either the Father, 
or the Son, or the Holy Spirit. 

31. If then I am asked, in what manner 
either words or sensible forms and appear- 
ances were wrought before the incarnation of 
the Word of God, which should prefigure it 
as about to come, I reply that God wrought 
those things by the angels; and this I have 
also shown sufficiently, as I think, by testi- 
monies of the Holy Scriptures. And if I am 
asked how the incarnation itself was brought 
to pass, I reply that the Word of God itself 
was made flesh, that is, was made man, yet 
not turned and changed into that which was 
made; but so made, that there should be 
there not only the Word of God and the flesh 
of man, but also the rational soul of man, and 
that this whole should both be called God on 
account of God, and man on account of man. 
And if this is understood with difficulty, the 
mind must be purged by faith, by more and 
more abstaining from sins, and by doing good 
works, and by praying with the groaning of 
holy desires; that by profiting through the 
divine help, it may both understand and love. 
And if I am asked, how, after the incarnation 
of the Word, either a voice of the Father was 
produced, or a corporeal appearance by which 
the Holy Spirit was manifested: I do not 
doubt indeed that this was done through the 
creature; but whether only corporeal and 
sensible, or whether by the employment also 
of the spirit rational or intellectual (for this 
is the term by which some choose to call what 

the Greeks name voep6), not certainly so as 
to form one person (for who could possibly 
say that whatever creature it was by which 
the voice of the Father sounded, is in such 
sense God the Father; or whatever creature 
it was by which the Holy Spirit was mani- 
fested in the form of a dove, or in fiery 
tongues, is in such sense the Holy Spirit, as 
the Son of God is that man who was made of 
a virgin ?), but only to the ministry of bring- 
ing about such intimations as God judged 
needful; or whether anything else is to be 
understood: is difficult to discover, and not 
expedient rashly to affirm. Yet I see not how 
those things could have been brought to pass 
without the rational or intellectual creature. 
But it is not yet the proper place to explain, 
as the Lord may give me strength, why I so 
think; for the arguments of heretics must first 
be discussed and refuted, which they do not 
produce from the divine books, but from their 
own reasons, and by which, as they think, 
they forcibly compel us so to understand the 
testimonies of the Scriptures which treat of 
the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, 
as they themselves will. 

32. But now, as I think, it has been suffi- 
ciently shown, that the Son is not therefore less- 
because He is sent by the Father, nor the 
Holy Spirit less because both the Father sent 
Him and the Son. For these things are per- 
ceived to be laid down in the Scriptures, 
either on account of the visible creature; or 
rather on account of commending to our 
thoughts the emanation [within the God- 
head] ; * but not on account of inequality, or 
imparity, or unlikeness of substance; since, 
even if God the Father had willed to appear 
visibly through the subject creature, yet it 
would be most absurd to say that He was sent 
either by the Son, whom He begot, or by 
the Holy Spirit, who proceeds from Him. 
Let this, therefore, be the limit of the present 
book. Henceforth in the rest we shall see, 
the Lord helping, of what sort are those 
crafty arguments of the heretics, and in what 
manner they may be confuted. 

1 [The original is: ^'propter principi! commendationem" 
which the English translator renders: " On account of commend- 
in? to our thoughts the principle [of the Godhead]." The techni- 
cal use of "principium" is missed. Augustin says that the phrases, 
" sending the Son," and " sending the Spirit," have reference to 
the " visible creature " through which in the theophanies each was 
manifested; but stdl more, to the fact that the Father is the " be- 
ginning of the Son, and the Father and Son are the " beginning " 
of the Spirit. This fact of a "beginning,' or emanation (manatio) 
of one from another, is what is commended to our thoughts. W. 
G. T. S.] 





i. Beginning, as I now do henceforward, 
to speak of subjects which cannot altogether 
be spoken as they are thought, either by any 
man, or, at any rate, not by myself; although 
even our very thought, when we think of God 
the Trinity, falls (as we feel) very far short 
of Him of whom we think, nor comprehends 
Him as He is; but He is seen, as it is written, 
even by those who are so great as was the 
Apostle Paul, "through a glass and in an 
enigma:" 1 first, I pray to our Lord God 
Himself, of whom we ought always to think, 
and of whom we are not able to think 
worthily, in praise of whom blessing is at all 
times to be rendered, 2 and whom no speech 
is sufficient to declare, that He will grant me 
both help for understanding and explaining 
that which I design, and pardon if in any- 
thing I offend. For I bear in mind, not only 

1 i Cor. xiii. 12. 


2 Ps. xxxiv. i. 

my desire, but also my infirmity. I ask also 
of my readers to pardon me, where they may 
perceive me to have had the desire rather 
than the power to speak, what they either 
understand better themselves, or fail to un- 
derstand through the obscurity of my lan- 
guage, just as I myself pardon them what 
they cannot understand through their own 

2. And we shall mutually pardon one an- 
other the more easily, if we know, or at any 
rate firmly believe and hold, that whatever is 
said of a nature, unchangeable, invisible and 
having life absolutely and sufficient to itself, 
must not be measured after the custom of 
things visible, and changeable, and mortal, or 
not self-sufficient. But although we labor, 
and yet fail, to grasp and know even those 
things which are within the scope of our cor- 
poreal senses, or what we are ourselves in the 
inner man; yet it is with no shamelessness 
that faithful piety burns after those divine 
and unspeakable things which are above: 
piety, I say, not inflated by the arrogance of 

its own power, but inflamed by the 





[Book V. 

its Creator and Saviour Himself. For with 
what understanding can man apprehend God, 
who does not yet apprehend that very under- 
standing itself of his own, by which he desires 
to apprehend Him ? And if he does already 
apprehend this, let him carefully consider 
that there is nothing in his own nature better 
than it; and let him see whether he can there 
see any outlines of forms, or brightness of 
colors, or greatness of space, or distance of 
parts, or extension of size, or any movements 
through intervals of place, or any such thing 
at all. Certainly we find nothing of all this 
in that, than which we find nothing better in 
our own nature, that is, in our own intellect, 
by which we apprehend wisdom according to 
our capacity. What, therefore, we do not 
find in that which is our own best, we ought 
not to seek in Him who is far better than 
that best of ours; that so we may understand 
God, if we are able, and as much as we are 
able, as good without quality, great without 
quantity, a creator though He lack nothing, 
ruling but from no position, sustaining all 
things without "having'' them, in His 
wholeness everywhere, yet without place, 
eternal without time, making things that are 
changeable, without change of Himself, and 
without passion. Whoso thus thinks of God, 
although he cannot yet find out in all ways 
what He is, yet piously takes heed, as much 
as he is able, to think nothing of Him that 
He is not. 


3. He is, however, without doubt, a sub- 
stance, or, if it be better so to call it, an 
essence, which the Greeks call obcia. For as 
wisdom is so called from the being wise, and 
knowledge from knowing; so from being 1 
comes that which we call essence. And who 
is there that is, more than He who said to 
His servant Moses, " I am that I am; " and, 
" Thus shalt thou say unto the children of 
Israel, He who is hath sent me unto you?" 2 
But other things that are called essences or 
substances admit of accidents, whereby a 
change, whether great or small, is produced 
in them. But there can be no accident of 
this kind in respect to God; and therefore 
He who is God is the only unchangeable sub- 
stance or essence, to whom certainly being 
itself, whence comes the name of essence, 
most especially and most truly belongs. For 
that which is changed does not retain its own 
being; and that which can be changed, al- 
though it be not actually changed, is able not 

1 Esse. 

s Ex. iii. 14. 

to be that which it had been; and hence that 
which not only is not changed, but also can- 
not at all be changed, alone falls most truly, 
without difficulty or hesitation, under the 
category of being. 



4. Wherefore, to being now to answer 
the adversaries of our faith, respecting those 
things also, which are neither said as they are 
thought, nor thought as they really are: 
among the many things which the Arians are 
wont to dispute against the Catholic faith, 
they seem chiefly to set forth this, as their 
most crafty device, namely, that whatsoever 
is said or understood of God, is said not ac- 
cording to accident, but according to sub- 
stance: and therefore, to be unbegotten be- 
longs to the Father according to substance, 
and to be begotten belongs to the Son ac- 
cording to substance; but to be unbegotten 
and to be begotten are different; therefore 
the substance of the Father and that of the 
Son are different. To whom we reply, If 
whatever is spoken of God is spoken accord- 
ing to substance, then that which is said, " I 
and the Father are one," 3 is spoken accord- 
ing to substance. Therefore there is one 
substance of the Father and the Son. Or if 
this is not said according to substance, then 
something is said of God not according to 
substance, and therefore we are no longer 
compelled to understand unbegotten and be- 
gotten according to substance. It is also 
said of the Son, " He thought it not robbery 
to be equal with God/' 4 We ask, equal ac- 
cording to what? For if He is not said to 
be equal according to substance, then they 
admit that something may be said of God not 
according to substance. Let them admit, 
then, that unbegotten and begotten are not 
spoken according to substance. And if they 
do not admit this, on the ground that they 
will have all things to be spoken of God ac- 
cording to substance, then the Son is equal 
to the Father according to substance. 



5. That which is accidental commonly im- 
plies that it can be lost by some change of 
the thing to which it is an accident. For al- 
though some accidents are said to be insepa- 
rable, which in Greek are called a-fwpiffra, as 
the color black is to the feather of a raven; 

3 John x. 30. 

4 Phil. ii. 6. 

Chap. VI.] 



yet the feather loses that color, not indeed so 
long as it is a feather, but because the feather 
is not always. Wherefore the matter itself 
is changeable; and whenever that animal or 
that feather ceases to be, and the whole of 
that body is changed and turned into earth, 
it loses certainly that color also. Although 
the kind of accident which is called separable 
may likewise be lost, not by separation, but 
by change; as, for instance, blackness is 
called a separable accident to the hair of 
men, because hair continuing to be hair can 
grow white; yet, if carefully considered, it is 
sufficiently apparent, that it is not as if any- 
thing departed by separation away from the 
head when it grows white, as though black- 
ness departed thence and went somewhere, 
and whiteness came in its place, but that the 
quality of color there is turned and changed. 
Therefore there is nothing accidental in 
God, because there is nothing changeable or 
that may be lost. But if you choose to call 
that also accidental, which, although it may 
not be lost, yet can be decreased or increased, 
as, for instance, the life of the soul: for as 
long as it is a soul, so long it lives, and be- 
cause the soul is always, it always lives; but 
because it lives more when it is wise, and less 
when it is foolish, here, too, some change 
comes to pass, not such that life is absent, 
as wisdom is absent to the foolish, but such 
that it is less; nothing of this kind, either, 
happens to God, because He remains alto- 
gether unchangeable. 


6. Wherefore nothing in Him is said in 
respect to accident, since nothing is accidental 
to Him, and yet all that is said is not said 
according to substance. For in created and 
changeable things, that which is not said ac- 
cording to substance, must, by necessary 
alternative, be said according to accident. 
For all things are accidents to them, which 
can be either lost or diminished, whether 
magnitudes or qualities; and so also is that 
which is said in relation to something, as 
friendships, relationships, services, like- 
nesses, equalities, and anything else of the 
kind; so also positions and conditions, * 
places and times, acts and passions. But in 
God nothing is said to be according to acci- 
dent, because in Him nothing is changeable; 
and yet everything that is said, is not said 
according to substance. For it is said in re- 
lation to something, as the Father in relation 

1 Habitus. 

to the Son and the Son in relation to the 
Father, which is not accident; because both 
the one is always Father, and the other is al- 
ways Son: yet not "always," meaning from 
the time when the Son was born \_natus~\, so 
that the Father ceases not to be the Father 
because the Son never ceases to be the Son, 
but because the Son was always born, and 
never began to be the Son. But if He had 
begun to be at any time, or were at any time 
to cease to be, the Son, then He would be 
called Son according to accident. But if the 
Father, in that He is called the Father, were 
so called in relation to Himself, not to the 
Son; and the Son, in that He is called the 
Son, were so called in relation to Himself, 
not to the Father; then both the one would 
be called Father, and the other Son, according 
to substance. But because the Father is not 
called the Father except in that He has a Son, 
and the Son is not called Son except in that 
He has a Father, these things are not said 
according to substance; because each of them 
is not so called in relation to Himself, but 
the terms are used reciprocally and in rela- 
tion each to the other; nor yet according to 
accident, because both the being called the 
Father, and the being called the Son, is eter- 
nal and unchangeable to them. Wherefore, 
although to be the Father and to be the Son 
is different, yet their substance is not differ- 
ent; because they are so called, not accord- 
ing to substance, but according to relation, 
which relation, however, is not accident, be- 
cause it is not changeable. 



7. But if they think they can answer this 
reasoning thus, that the Father indeed is so 
called in relation to the Son, and the Son in rela- 
tion to the Father, but that they are said to be 
unbegotten and begotten in relation to them- 
selves, not in relation each to the other; for 
that it is not the same thing to call Him un- 
begotten as it is to call Him the Father, be- 
cause there would be nothing to hinder our 
calling Him unbegotten even if He had not 
begotten the Son; and if any one beget a 
son, he is not therefore himself unbegotten, for 
men, who are begotten by other men, them- 
selves also beget others; and therefore they 
say the Father is called Father in relation to 
the Son, and the Son is called Son in relation 
to the Father, but unbegotten is said in rela- 
tion to Himself, and begotten in relation to 
Himself; and therefore, if whatever is said 
in relation to oneself is said according to sub- 

9 o 


[Book V. 

stance, while to be unbegotten and to be be- 
gotten are different, then the substance is 
different: if this is what they say, then they 
do not understand that they do indeed say 
something that requires more careful dis- 
cussion in respect to the term unbegotten, 
because neither is any one therefore a father 
because unbegotten, nor therefore unbegotten 
because he is a father, and on that account 
he is supposed to be called unbegotten, not 
in relation to anything else, but in respect to 
himself; but, on the other hand, with a won- 
derful blindness, they do not perceive that 
no one can be said to be begotten except in 
relation to something. For he is therefore a 
son because begotten; and because a son, 
therefore certainly begotten. And as is the 
relation of son to father, so is the relation of 
the begotten to the begetter; and as is the 
relation of father to son, so is the relation of 
the begetter to the begotten. And therefore 
any one is understood to be a begetter under 
one notion, but understood to be unbegotten 
under another. For though both are said of 
God the Father, yet the former is said in rela- 
tion to the begotten, that is to the Son, which, 
indeed, they do not deny; but that He is 
called unbegotten, they declare to be said in 
respect to Himself. They say then, If any- 
thing is said to be a father in respect to itself, 
which cannot be said to be a son in respect 
to itself, and whatever is said in respect to 
self is said according to substance; and He 
is said to be unbegotten in respect to Him- 
self, which the Son cannot be said to be; 
therefore He is said to be unbegotten accord- 
ing to substance; and because the Son cannot 
be so said to be, therefore He is not of the 
same substance. This subtlety is to be an- 
swered by compelling them to say themselves 
according to what it is that the Son is equal 
to the Father; whether according to that 
which is said in relation to Himself, or ac- 
cording to that which is said in relation to the 
Father. For it is not according to that which 
is said in relation to the Father, since in re- 
lation to the Father He is said to be Son, and 
the Father is not Son, but Father. Since 
Father and Son are not so called in relation 
to each other in the same way as friends and 
neighbors are; for a friend is so called rela- 
tively to his friend, and if they love each 
other equally, then the same friendship is in 
both; and a neighbor is so called relatively 
to a neighbor, and because they are equally 
neighbors to each other (for each is neighbor 
to the other, in the same degree as the other 
is neighbor to him), there is the same neigh- 
borhood in both. But because the Son is not 
so called relatively to the Son, but to the 

Father, it is not according to that which is 
said in relation to the Father that the Son is 
equal to the Father; and it remains that He 
is equal according to that which is said in re- 
lation to Himself. But whatever is said in 
relation to self is said according to substance: 
it remains therefore that He is equal accord- 
ing to substance; therefore the substance of 
both is the same. But when the Father is 
said to be unbegotten, it is not said what He 
is, but what He is not; and when a relative 
term is denied, it is not denied according to 
substance, since the relative itself is not 
affirmed according: to substance. 



8. This is to be made clear by examples. 
And first we must notice, that by the word 
begotten is signified the same thing as is sig- 
nified by the word son. For therefore a son, 
because begotten, and because a son, therefore 
certainly begotten. By the word unbegotten, 
therefore, it is declared that he is not son. But 
begotten and unbegotten are both of them 
terms suitably employed; whereas in Latin 
we can use the word " Alius," but the custom 
of the language does not allow us to speak 
of "infilius." It makes no difference, how- 
ever, in the meaning if he is called " non 
filius;" just as it is precisely the same thing 
if he is called " non genitus," instead of 
"ingenitus." For so the terms of both 
neighbor and friend are used relatively, yet 
we cannot speak of " invicinus " as we can of 
" inimicus. " Wherefore, in speaking of this 
thing or that, we must not consider what the 
usage of our own language either allows or 
does not allow, but what clearly appears 
to be the meaning of the things themselves. 
Let us not therefore any longer call it unbe- 
gotten, although it can be so called in Latin; 
but instead of this let us call it not begotten, 
which means the same. Is this then any- 
thing else than saying that he is not a son ? 
Now the prefixing of that negative particle 
does not make that to be said according to 
substance, which, without it, is said rela- 
tively; but that only is denied, which, with- 
out it, was affirmed, as in the other predica- 
ments. When we say he is a man, we denote 
substance. He therefore who says he is not 
a man, enunciates no other kind of predica- 
ment, but only denies that. As therefore I 
affirm according to substance in saying he is 
a man, so I deny according to substance in 
saying he is not a man. And when the ques- 
tion is asked, how large he is ? and I say he 
is quadrupedal, that is, four feet in measure, 

Chap. VIII.] 



I affirm according to quantity, and he who 
says he is not quadrupedal, denies according 
to quantity. I say he is white, I affirm ac- 
cording to quality; if I say he is not white, 
I deny according to quality. I say he is 
near, I affirm according to relation; if I say 
he is not near, I deny according to relation. 
I affirm according to position, when I say he 
lies down; I deny according to position, when 
I say he does not lie down. I speak accord- 
ing to condition, 1 when I say he is armed; I 
deny according to condition, when I say he 
is not armed; and it comes to the same thing 
as if I should say he is unarmed. I affirm 
according to time, when I say he is of yester- 
day; I deny according to time, when I say he 
is not of yesterday. And when I say he is 
at Rome, I affirm according to place; and I 
deny according to place, when I say he is not 
at Rome. I affirm according to the predica- 
ment of action, when I say he smites; but if 
I say he does not smite, I deny according to 
action, so as to declare that he does not so 
act. And when I say he is smitten, I affirm 
according to the predicament of passion; and 
I deny according to the same, when I say he 
is not smitten. And, in a word, there is no 
kind of predicament according to which we 
may please to affirm anything, without being 
proved to deny according to the same pre- 
dicament, if we prefix the negative particle. 
And since this is so, if I were to affirm ac- 
cording to substance, in saying son, I should 
deny according to substance, in saying not 
son. But because I affirm relatively when I 
say he is a son, for I refer to the father; 
therefore I deny relatively if I say he is not 
a son, for I refer the same negation to the 
father, in that I wish to declare that he has 
not a parent. But if to be called son is pre- 
cisely equivalent to the being called begotten 
(as we said before), then to be called not be- 
gotten is precisely equivalent to the being 
called not son. But we deny relatively when 
we say he is not son, therefore we deny rela- 
tively when we say he is not begotten. 
Further, what is unbegotten, unless not be- 
gotten ? We do not escape, therefore, from 
the relative predicament, when he is called 
unbegotten. For as begotten is not said in 
relation to self, but in that he is of a begetter; 
so when one is called unbegotten, he is not 
so called in relation to himself, but it is 
declared that he is not of a begetter. Both 
meanings, however, turn upon the same 
predicament, which is called that of relation. 
But that which is asserted relatively does not 
denote substance, and accordingly, although 

1 Habitus. 

begotten and unbegotten are diverse, they 
do not denote a different substance; because, 
as son is referred to father, and not son to 
not father, so it follows inevitably that be- 
gotten must be referred to begetter, and not- 
begotten to not-begetter. 2 


9. Wherefore let us hold this above all, 
that whatsoever is said of that most eminent 
and divine loftiness in respect to itself, is 
said in respect to substance, but that which 
is said in relation to anything, is not said in 
respect to substance, but relatively; and that 
the effect of the same substance in Father 
and Son and Hoi)'' Spirit is, that whatsoever 
is said of each in respect to themselves, is to 
be taken of them, not in the plural in sum, 
but in the singular. For as the Father is 
God, and the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit 
is God, which no one doubts to be said in 
respect to substance, yet we do not say that 
the very supreme Trinity itself is three Gods, 
but one God. So the Father is great, the 
Son great, and the Holy Spirit great; yet not 
three greats, but one great. For it is not 
written of the Father alone, as they per- 
versely suppose, but of the Father and the 
Son and the Holy Spirit, "Thou art great: 
Thou art God alone." 3 And the Father is 
good, the Son good, and the Holy Spirit 
good; yet not three goods, but one good, of 
whom it is said, "None is good, save one, 
that is, God.'' For the Lord Jesus, lest He 
should be understood as man only by him 
who said, "Good Master/' as addressing a 
man, does not therefore say, There is none 
good, save the Father alone; but, "None is 
good, save one, that is, God." 4 For the 
Father by Himself is declared by the name 
of Father; but by the name of God, both 
Himself and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 
because the Trinity is one God. But posi- 
tion, and condition, and places, and times, 

2 The terms " unbegotten " and " begotten " are interchange- 
able with the terms Father and Son. '1 his follows from the rela- 
tion of a substantive to its adjective. In whatever sense a substan- 
tive is employed, in the same sense must the adjective formed from 
it be employed. Consequently, if the first person of the Trinity 
may be called Father in a sense that implies deity, he may be 
called Unbegotten in the same sense. And if the second person 
may be called Son in a sense implying deity, he may be called Be- 
gotten in the same sense. The Ancient church often employed the 
adjective, and spoke of God the Unbegotten and God the Begotten 
(Justin Martyr, AJ>ol. i. 25, 53; ii. 12, 13. Clem. Alex. Stromata 
v. xii.). This phraseology sounds strange to the Modern church, 
yet the latter really says the same thing when it speaks of God the 
Father, and God the Son. W. G. T. S.] 

3 Ps. lxxxvi. 10. 4 Luke xviii. 18, 19. 

9 2 


[Book V. 

are not said to be in God properly, but meta- 
phorically and through similitudes. For He 
is both said to dwell between the cherubims, 1 
which is spoken in respect to position; and to 
be covered with the deep as with a garment, 2 
which is said in respect to condition; and 
*' Thy years shall have no end,'' 3 which is 
said in respect of time; and, " If I ascend up 
into heaven, Thou art there/' 4 which is said 
in respect to place. And as respects action 
(or making), perhaps it may be said most 
truly of God alone, for God alone makes and 
Himself is not made. Nor is He liable to 
passions as far as belongs to that substance 
whereby He is God. So the Father is om- 
nipotent, the Son omnipotent, and the Holy 
Spirit is omnipotent; yet not three omnipo- 
tents, but one omnipotent: 5 "For of Him 
are all things, and through Him are all things, 
and in Him are all things; to whom be 
glory." 6 Whatever, therefore, is spoken of 
God in respect to Himself, is both spoken 
singly of each person, that is, of the Father, 
and the Son, and the Holy Spirit; and to- 
gether of the Trinity itself, not plurally but 
in the singular. For inasmuch as to God it 
is not one thing to be, and another thing to 
be great, but to Him it is the same thing to 
be, as it is to be great; therefore, as we do 
not say three essences, so we do not say three 
greatnesses, but one essence and one great- 
ness. I say essence, which in Greek is called 
<>b<ria, and which we call more usually sub- 

10. They indeed use also the word hypo- 
stasis; but they intend to put a difference, I 
know not what, between ubaio. and hypostasis: 
so that most of ourselves who treat these 
things in the Greek language, are accus- 
tomed to say, fiiav ubffioy, T/)el$ vizoardaeis, or, 
in Latin, one essence, three substances. 7 


But because with us the usage has already 
obtained, that by essence we understand the 

1 Ps. lxxx. 1. 2 Ps. civ. 6. 3 Ps. cii. 27. 4 Ps. cxxxix. 8. 

5 [This phraseology appears in the analytical statements of the 
so-called Athanasian creed (cap. 11-16), and affords ground for the 
opinion that this symbol is a Western one, originating in the school 
of Augustin. W. G. T. S.] 

6 Rom. xi. 36. 

7 [It is remarkable that Augustin, understanding thoroughly 
the distinction between essence and person, should not have 
known the difference between ovcria and vir6<TTa<ris. It would seem 
as if his only moderate acquaintance with the Greek language 
would have been more than compensated by his profound trini- 
tarian knowledge. 

In respect to the term " substantia'' when it was discrimi- 
nated from "essentia," as it is here by Augustin it corresponds to 
uTTocrTacrt?, of which it is the translation. In this case, God is one 
essence in three substances. But when " substantia " was identi- 
fied with " essentia" then to say that God is one essence in three 
substances would be a self-contradiction. The identification of the 
two terms led subsequently to the coinage, in the mediaeval Latin, 
of the term " subsistantia," to denote V7rocTTa.(ri.?. W. G. T. S.] 

same thing which is understood by substance; 
we do not dare to say one essence, three sub- 
stances, but one essence or substance and 
three persons: as many writers in Latin, who 
treat of these things, and are of authority, have 
said, in that they could not find any other 
more suitable way by which to enunciate in 
words that which they understood without 
words. For, in truth, as the Father is not 
the Son, and the Son is not the Father, and 
that Holy Spirit who is also called the gift of 
God is neither the Father nor the Son, cer- 
tainly they are three. And so it is said plu- 
rally, "I and my Father are one." 8 For 
He has not said, "is one," as the Sabellians 
say; but, " are one." Yet, when the ques- 
tion is asked, What three ? human language 
labors altogether under great poverty of 
speech. The answer, however, is given, three 
" persons," not that it might be [completely 
spoken, but that it might not be left [wholly 


11. As, therefore, we do not say three es- 
sences, so we do not say three greatnesses, 
or three who are great. For in things which 
are great by partaking of greatness, to which 
it is one thing to be, and another to be great, 
as a great house, and a great mountain, and 
a great mind; in these things, I say, great- 
ness is one thing, and that which is great be- 
cause of greatness is another, and a great 
house, certainly, is not absolute greatness 
itself. But that is absolute greatness by 
which not only a great house is great, and 
any great mountain is great, but also by which 
every other thing whatsoever is great, which 
is called great; so that greatness itself is one 
thing, and those things are another which are 
called great from it. And this greatness cer- 
tainly is primarily great, and in a much more 
excellent way than those things which are 
great by partaking of it. But since God is 
not great with that greatness which is not 
Himself, so that God, in being great, is, as 
it were, partaker of that greatness; other- 
wise that will be a greatness greater than 
God, whereas there is nothing greater than 
God; therefore, He is great with that great- 
ness by which He Himself is that same great- 
ness. And, therefore, as we do not say three 
essences, so neither do we say three great- 
nesses; for it is the same thing to God to be, 
and to be great. For the same reason neither 

8 John x. 30. 

Chap. XII.] 



do we say three greats, but one who is great; 
since God is not great by partaking of great- 
ness, but He is great by Himself being great, 
because He Himself is His own greatness. 
Let the same be said also of the goodness, 
and of the eternity, and of the omnipotence 
of God, and, in short, of all the predicaments 
which can be predicated of God, as He is 
spoken of in respect to Himself, not meta- 
phorically and by similitude, but properly, if 
indeed anything can be spoken of Him 
properly, by the mouth of man. 



12. But whereas, in the same Trinity, some 
things severally are specially predicated, these 
are in no way said in reference to themselves 
in themselves, but either in mutual reference, 
or in respect to the creature; and, therefore, 
it is manifest that such things are spoken rela- 
tively, not in the way of substance. For 
the Trinity is called one God, great, good, 
eternal, omnipotent; and the same God 
Himself may be called His own deity, His 
own magnitude, His own goodness, His own 
eternity, His own omnipotence: but the Trin- 
ity cannot in the same way be called the 
Father, except perhaps metaphorically, in 
respect to the creature, on account of the 
adoption of sons. For that which is written, 
"Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God is one 
Lord," J ought certainly not to be understood 
as if the Son were excepted, or the Holy Spirit 
were excepted; which one Lord our God we 
rightly call also our Father, as regenerating 
us by His grace. Neither can the Trinity in 
any wise be called the Son, but it can be 
called, in its entirety, the Holy Spirit, ac- 
cording to that which is written, "God is a 
Spirit;" 2 because both the Father is a spirit 
and the Son is a spirit, and the Father is holy 
and the Son is holy. Therefore, since the 
Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are one 
God, and certainly God is holy, and God is a 
spirit, the Trinity can be called also the Holy 
Spirit. But yet that Holy Spirit, who is not 
the Trinity, but is understood as in the Trin- 
ity, is spoken of in His proper name of the 
Holy Spirit relatively, since He is referred 
both to the Father and to the Son, because 
the Holy Spirit is the Spirit both of the Father 
and of the Son. But the relation is not itself 
apparent in that name, but it is apparent 
when He is called the gift of God; 3 for He 
is the gift of the Father and of the Son, be- 
cause "He proceeds from the Father,'' 4 as 

1 Deut. vi. 4. 
3 Acts viii. 20. 

- John iv. 24. 
4 John xv. 26. 

the Lord says; and because that which the 
apostle says, " Now, if any man have not the 
Spirit of Christ, he is none of His," 5 he says 
certainly of the Holy Spirit Himself. When 
we say, therefore, the gift of the giver, and 
the giver of the gift, we speak in both cases 
relatively in reciprocal reference. Therefore 
the Holy Spirit is a certain unutterable com- 
munion of the Father and the Son; and on 
that account, perhaps, He is so called, be- 
cause the same name is suitable to both the 
Father and the Son. For He Himself is 
called specially that which they are called in 
common; because both the Father is a spirit 
and the Son a spirit, both the Father is holy 
and the Son holy. 6 la order, therefore, 
that the communion of both may be signified 
from a name which is suitable to both, the 
Holy Spirit is called the gift of both. And 
this Trinity is one God, alone, good, great, 
eternal, omnipotent; itself its own unity, deity, 
greatness, goodness, eternity, omnipotence. 


13. Neither ought it to influence us since 
we have said that the Holy Spirit is so called 
relatively, not the Trinity itself, but He who 
is in the Trinity that the designation of 
Him to whom Fie is referred, does not seem 
to answer in turn to His designation. For 
we cannot, as we say the servant of a master, 
and the master of a servant, the son of a 
father and the father of a son, so also say 
here because these things are said relatively. 
For we speak of the Holy Spirit of the Father; 
but, on the other hand, we do not speak of 
the Father of the Holy Spirit, lest the Holy 
Spirit should be understood to be His Son. 
So also we speak of the Holy Spirit of the 
Son; but we do not speak of the Son of the 

5 Rom. viii. 9. 

6 [The reason which Augustinhere assigns, why the name Holy 
Spirit is given to the third person namely, hecause spirituality is 
a characteristic of both the Father and Son, from both of whom he 
proceeds is not that assigned in the more developed trinitarianism. 
The explanation in this latter is, that the third person is denomi- 
nated the Spirit because of the peculiar manner in which the divine 
essence is communicated to him namely, by spiration, or out- 
breathing: spiritus quia spiratus. This is supported by the ety- 
mological signification of Trvevfxa, which is breath; and by the sym- 
bolical action of Christ in John xx. 22, which suggests the eternal 
spiration, or out-breathing of the third person. The third trini- 
tarian person is no more spiritual, in the sense of immaterial, than 
the first and second persons, and if the term " Spirit " is to be 
taken in this the ordinary signification, the" trinitarian relation," 
or personal peculiarity, as Augustin remarks, " is not itself appar- 
ent in this name; " because it would mention nothing distinctive of 
the third person, and not belonging to the first and second. I!ut 
taken technically to denote the spiration or out-breathing by the 
Father and Son, the trinitarian peculiarity is apparent in the name. 

And the epithet " Holy " is similarly explained. The third 
person is the Holy Spirit, not because he is any more holy than the 
first and second, but because he is the source and author of holi- 
ness in all created spirits. This is eminently and officially his 
work. In this way also, the epithet "Holy" which in its ordinary 
use would specify nothing peculiar to the third person, mentions 
a characteristic that differentiates him from the Father and Son. 
W. G. T. S.] 



[Book V. 

Holy Spirit, lest the Holy Spirit be under- 
stood to be His Father. For it is the case in 
many relatives, that no designation is to be 
found by which those things which bear rela- 
tion to each other may [in name] mutually 
correspond to each other. For what is more 
clearly spoken relatively than the word earn- 
est ? Since it is referred to that of which it 
is an earnest, and an earnest is always an 
earnest of something. Can we, then, as we 
say, the earnest of the Father and of the 
Son, 1 say in turn, the Father of the earnest 
or the Son of the earnest? But, on the other 
hand, when we say the gift of the Father and 
of the Son, we cannot indeed say the Father 
of the gift, or the Son of the gift; but that 
these may correspond mutually to each other, 
we say the gift of the giver and the giver of 
the gift; because here a word in use may be 
found, there it cannot. 



14. The Father is called so, therefore, 
relatively, and He is also relatively said to 
be the Beginning, and whatever else there 
may be of the kind; but He is called the 
Father in relation to the Son, the Beginning 
in relation to all things, which are from Him. 
So the Son is relatively so called; He is called 
also relatively the Word and the Image. 
And in all these appellations He is referred 
to the Father, but the Father is called by 
none of them. And the Son is also called 
the Beginning; for when it was said to Him, 
" Who art Thou ? " He replied, " Even the 
Beginning, who also speak to you." 2 But is 
He, pray, the Beginning of the Father? For 
He intended to show Himself to be the 
Creator when He said that He was the Be- 
ginning, as the Father also is the beginning 
of the creature in that all things are from 
Him. For creator, too, is spoken relatively 
to creature, as master to servant. And so, 
when we say, both that the Father is the Be- 
ginning, and that the Son is the Beginning, 
we do not speak of two beginnings of the 
creature; since both the Father and the Son 
together is one beginning in respect to the 
creature, as one Creator, as one God. But 
if whatever remains within itself and produces 
or works anything is a beginning to that 
thing which it produces or works; then we 
cannot deny that the Holy Spirit also is 
rightly called the Beginning, since we do not 
separate Him from the appellation of Creator: 
and it is written of Him that He works; and 

assuredly, in working, He remains within 
Himself; for He Himself is not changed and 
turned into any of the things which He 
works. And see what it is that He works: "But 
the manifestation of the Spirit,'' he says, 
" is given to every man to profit withal. For 
to one is given by the Spirit the word of wis- 
dom; to another the word of knowledge by 
the same Spirit; to another faith by the same 
Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the 
same Spirit; to another the working of mira- 
cles; to another prophecy; to another the 
discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds 
of tongues; to another the interpretation of 
tongues: but all these worketh that one and 
the self-same Spirit, dividing to every man 
severally as He will; " certainly as God for 
who can work such great things but God ? 
but " it is the same God which worketh all in 
all." 3 For if we are asked point by point 
concerning the Holy Spirit, we answer most 
truly that He is God; and with the Father 
and the Son together He is one God. There- 
fore, God is spoken of as one Beginning in 
respect to the creature, not as two or three 



15. But in their mutual relation to one an- 
other in the Trinity itself, if the begetter is a 
beginning in relation to that which he begets, 
the Father is a beginning in relation to the 
Son, because He begets Him; but whether 
the Father is also a beginning in relation to 
the Holy Spirit, since it is said, " He pro- 
ceeds from the Father," is no small question. 
Because, if it is so, He will not only be a 
beginning to that thing which He begets or 
makes, but also to that which He gives. 
And here, too, that question comes to light, 
as it can, which is wont to trouble many, Why 
the Holy Spirit is not also a son, since He, 
too, comes forth from the Father, as it is read 
in the Gospel. 4 For the Spirit came forth, 
not as born, but as given; and so He is not 
called a son, because He was neither born, 
as the Only-begotten, nor made, so that by 
the grace of God He might be born into 
adoption, as we are. For that which is born 
of the Father, is referred to the Father only 
when called Son, and so the Son is the Son 
of the Father, and not also our Son; but that 
which is given is referred both to Him who 
gave, and to those to whom He gave; and so 
the Holy Spirit is not only the Spirit of the 
Father and of the Son who gave Him, but 

1 2 Cor. v. 5, and Eph. i. 14. - John viii. 25. 

3 1 Cor. xii. 6-11. 

4 John xv. 26. 

Chap. XVI.] 



He is also called ours, who have received 
Him: as " The salvation of the Lord," l who 
gives salvation, is said also to be our salva- 
tion, who have received it. Therefore, the 
Spirit is both the Spirit of God who gave 
Him, and ours who have received Him. 
Not, indeed, that spirit of ours by which w*e 
are, because that is the spirit of a man which 
is in him; but this Spirit is ours in another 
mode, viz. that in which we also say, " Give 
us this day our bread." 2 Although certainly 
we have received that spirit also, which is 
called the spirit of a man. " For what hast 
thou," he says, "which thou didst not re- 
ceive?" 3 But that is one thing, which we 
have received that we might be; another, 
that which we have received that we might 
be holy. Whence it is also written of John, 
that he "came in the spirit and power of 
Elias; " 4 and by the spirit of Elias is meant 
the Holy Spirit, whom Elias received. And 
the same thing is to be understood of Moses, 
when the Lord says to him, "And I will take of 
thy spirit, and will put it upon them;" 5 that is, 
I will give to them of the Holy Spirit, which 
I have already given to thee. If, therefore, 
that also which is given has him for a begin- 
ning by whom it is given, since it has received 
from no other source that which proceeds 
from him; it must be admitted that the 
Father and the Son are a Beginning of the 
Holy Spirit, not two Beginnings; but as the 
Father and Son are one God, and one Creator, 
and one Lord relatively to the creature, so 
are they one Beginning relatively to the Holy 
Spirit. But the Father, the Son, and the 
Holy Spirit is one Beginning in respect to 
the creature, as also one Creator and one 
God. 6 



16. But it is asked further, whether, as the 

1 Ps. iii. S. 2 Matt. vi. 11. 3 1 Cor. iv. 7. 

4 Luke i. 17. 5 Num. xi. 17. 

6 [The term "beginning" (principiuni), when referring to the 
relation of the Trinity, or of any person of the Trinity, to the crea- 
ture, denotes creative energy, whereby a new substance is origin- 
ated from nothing. This is the reference in chapter 13. liut when 
the term refers to the relations of the persons of the 1'rinity to each 
other, it denotes only a modifying energy, whereby an existing 
uncreated substance is communicated by generation and spiration. 
This is the reference in chapter 14. 

When it is said that the Father is the " beginning" of the Son, 
and the Father and Son are the " beginning " of the Spirit, it is not 
meant that the substance of the Son is created e.r niliilo by the 
Father, and the substance of the Spirit is created by the Fatherand 
Son, but only that the Son by eternal generation receives from the 
Father the one uncreated and undivided substance of the Godhead, 
and the Spirit by eternal spiration receives the same numerical sub- 
stance from the Father and Son. The term " beginning " relates 
not to the essence, but to the personal peculiarity. Sonship orig- 
inates in fatherhood; but deity is unoriginated. The Son as the 
second person " begins" from the Father, because the Father com- 
municates the essence to him. His sonship, not his deity or god- 
hood, " begins " from the Father. And the same holds true of the 

Son, by being born, has not only this, that 
He is the Son, but that He is absolutely; and 
so also the Holy Spirit, by being given, has 
not only this, that He is given, but that He 
is absolutely whether therefore He was, be- 
fore He was given, but was not yet a gift; or 
whether, for the very reason that God was 
about to give Him, He was already a gift also 
before He was given. But if He does not 
proceed unless when He is given, and assur- 
edly could not proceed before there was one 
to whom He might be given; how, in that 
case, was He [absolutely] in His very sub- 
stance, if He is not unless because He is 
given? just as the Son, by being born, not 
only has this, that He is a Son, which is said 
relatively, but His very substance absolutely, 
so that He is. Does the Holy Spirit proceed 
always, and proceed not in time, but from 
eternity, but because He so proceeded that 
He was capable of being given, was already a 
gift even before there was one to whom He 
might be given ? For there is a difference in 
meaning between a gift and a thing that has 
been given. For a gift may exist even before 
it is given; but it cannot be called a thing 
that has been given unless it has been given. 


17. Nor let it trouble us that the Holy 
Spirit, although He is co-eternal with the 
Father and the Son, yet is called something 
which exists in time; as, for instance, this 
very thing which we have called Him, a thing 
that has been given. For the Spirit is a gift 
eternally, but a thing that has been given in 
time. For if a lord also is not so called un- 
less when he begins to have a slave, that ap- 
pellation likewise is relative and in time to 
God; for the creature is not from all eternity, 
of which He is the Lord. How then shall we 
make it good that relative terms themselves 
are not accidental, since nothing happens ac- 
cidentally to God in time, because He is in- 
capable of change, as we have argued in the 
beginning of this discussion ? Behold ! to be 
the Lord, is not eternal to God; otherwise we 
should be compelled to say that the creature 
also is from eternity, since He would not be 
a lord from all eternity unless the creature 
also was a servant from all eternity. But as 
he cannot be a slave who has not a lord, 
neither can he be a lord who has not a slave. 
And if there be any one who says that God, 
indeed, is alone eternal, and that times are 

term " beginning" as applied to the Holy Spirit. The " procession" 
of the Holy Spirit " begins" by spiration from the Father and Son, 
but not his deity or godhood. W. G. T. S.] 

9 6 


[Book V 

not eternal on account of their variety and 
changeableness, but that times nevertheless 
did not begin to be in time (for there was no 
time before times began, and therefore it did 
not happen to God in time that He should be 
Lord, since He was Lord of the very times 
themselves, which assuredly did not begin in 
time): what will he reply respecting man, 
who was made in time, and of whom assur- 
edly He was not the Lord before he was of 
whom He was to be Lord ? Certainly to be 
the Lord of man happened to God in time. 
And that all dispute may seem to be taken 
away, certainly to be your Lord, or mine, 
who have only lately begun to be, happened 
to God in time. Or if this, too, seems uncer- 
tain on account of the obscure question re- 
specting the soul, what is to be said of His 
being the Lord of the people of Israel ? since, 
although the nature of the soul already ex- 
isted, which that people had (a matter into 
which we do not now inquire), yet that people 
existed not as yet, and the time is apparent 
when it began to exist. Lastly, that He 
should be Lord of this or that tree, or of this 
or that corn crop, which only lately began to 
be, happened in time; since, although the 
matter itself already existed, yet it is one 
thing to be Lord of the matter [materia;), an- 
other to be Lord of the already created nat- 
ure {natural).' 1 For man, too, is lord of the 
wood at one time, and at another he is lord 
of the chest, although fabricated of that same 
wood; which he certainly was not at the time 
when he was already the lord of the wood. 
How then shall we make it good that nothing 
is said of God according to accident, except 
because nothing happens to His nature by 
which He may be changed, so that those 
things are relative accidents which happen in 
connection with some change of the things of 
which they are spoken. As a friend is so 
called relatively: for he does not begin to be 
one, unless when he has begun to love; there- 
fore some change of will takes place, in order 
that he may be called a friend. And money, 
when it is called a price, is spoken of rela- 
tively, and yet it was not changed when it 
began to be a price; nor, again, when it is 
called a pledge, or any other thing of the 
kind. If, therefore, money can so often be 
spoken of relatively with no change of itself, 
so that neither when it begins, nor when it 

1 ["Matter" denotes the material as created ex nihilo; "nature" 
the material as formed into individuals. In this reference, Augus- 
tin speaks of " the nature of the soul " of the people of Israel as 
existing while " as yet that people existed not " individually 
having in mind their race-existence in Adam. W. G. T. S. 

ceases to be so spoken of, does any change 
take place in that nature or form of it, where- 
by it is money; how much more easily ought 
we to admit, concerning that unchangeable 
substance of God, that something may be so 
predicated relatively in respect to the crea- 
ture, that although it begin to be so predi- 
cated in time, yet nothing shall be under- 
stood to have happened to the substance itself 
of God, but only to that creature in respect 
to which it is predicated ? " Lord," it is said, 
" Thou hast been made our refuge." - God, 
therefore, is said to be our refuge relatively, 
for He is referred to us, and He then be- 
comes our refuge when we flee to Him; pray 
does anything come to pass then in His 
nature, which, before we fled to Him, was 
not? In us therefore some change does take 
place; for we were worse before we fled to 
Him, and we become better by fleeing to 
Him: but in Him there is no change. So 
also He begins to be our Father, when we are 
regenerated through His grace, since He gave 
us power to become the sons of God. 3 Our 
substance therefore is changed for the better, 
when we become His sons; and He at the 
same time begins to be our Father, but with- 
out any change of His own substance. 
Therefore that which begins to be spoken of 
God in time, and which was not spoken of 
Him before, is manifestly spoken of Him 
relatively; yet not according to any accident 
of God, so that anything should have hap- 
pened to Him, but clearly according to some 
accident of that, in respect to which God 
begins to be called something relatively. 
When a righteous man begins to be a friend 
of God, he himself is changed; but far be it 
from us to say, that God loves any one in 
time with as it were a new love, which was 
not in Him before, with whom things gone 
by have not passed away and things future 
have been already done. Therefore He loved 
all His saints before the foundation of the 
world, as He predestinated them; but when 
they are converted and find Him, then they 
are said to begin to be loved by Him, that 
what is said may be said in that way in which 
it can be comprehended by human affections. 
So also, when He is said to be wroth with the 
unrighteous, and gentle with the good, they 
are changed, not He: just as the light is 
troublesome to weak eyes, pleasant to those 
that are strong; namely, by their change, not 
its own. 

2 Ps. XC. I. 

3 John i. i2. 




i. Some think themselves hindered from 
admitting the equality of the Father, Son, 
and Holy Spirit, because it is written, " Christ, 
the power of God, and the wisdom of God;" 
in that, on this ground, there does not appear 
to be equality; because the Father is not 
Himself power and wisdom, but the begetter 
of power and wisdom. And, in truth, the 
question is usually asked with no common 
earnestness, in what way God can be called 
the Father of power and wisdom. For the 
apostle says, " Christ the power of God, and 
the wisdom of God." 1 And hence some on 
our side have reasoned in this way against 
the Arians, at least against those who at first 
set themselves up against the Catholic faith. 
For Arius himself is reported to have said, 
that if He is a Son, then He was born; if He 
was born, there was a time when the Son was 
not: not understanding that even to be born 
is, to God, from all eternity; so that the Son 
is co-eternal with the Father, as the bright- 
ness which is produced and is spread around 
by fire is co-eval with it, and would be co- 
eternal, if fire were eternal. And therefore 
some of the later Arians have abandoned that 
opinion, and have confessed that the Son of 

i Cor. 

God did not begin to be in time. But among 
the arguments which those on our side used 
to hold against them who said that there was 
a time when the Son was not, some were wont 
to introduce such an argument as this: If the 
Son of God is the power and wisdom of God, 
and God was never without power and wis- 
dom, then the Son is co-eternal with God the 
Father; but the apostle says, "Christ the 
power of God, and the wisdom of God; " and 
a man must be senseless to say that God at 
anytime had not power or wisdom; therefore 
there was no time when the Son was not. 

2. Now this argument compels us to say 
that God the Father is not wise, except by 
having the wisdom which He begat, not by 
the Father in Himself being wisdom itself. 
Further, if it be so, just as the Son also Him- 
self is called God of God, Light of Light, we 
must consider whether He can be called wis- 
dom of wisdom, if God the Father is not 
wisdom itself, but only the begetter of wis- 
dom. And if we hold this, why is He not 
the begetter also of His own greatness, and 
of His own goodness, and of His own eter- 
nity, and of His own omnipotence; so that 
He is not Himself His own greatness, and 
His own goodness, and His own eternity, 
and His own omnipotence; but is great with 
that greatness which He begat, and good with 
that goodness, and eternal with that eternity, 
and omnipotent with that omnipotence, which 
was born of Him; just as He Himself is not 
His own wisdom, but is wise with that 
wisdom which was born of Him ? For we 
need not be afraid of being compelled to say 



[Book VI. 

that there are many sons of God, over and 
above the adoption of the creature, co-eternal 
with the Father, if He be the begetter of His 
own greatness, and goodness, and eternity, 
and omnipotence. Because it is easy to reply 
to this cavil, that it does not at all follow, 
because many things are named, that He 
should be the Father of many co-eternal sons; 
just as it does not follow that He is the 
Father of two sons, because Christ is said to 
be the power of God, and the wisdom of God. 
For that certainly is the power which is the 
wisdom, and that is the wisdom which is the 
power; and in like manner, therefore, of the 
rest also; so that that is the greatness which 
is the power, or any other of those things 
which either have been mentioned above, or 
may hereafter be mentioned. 



3. But if nothing is spoken of the Father 
as such, except that which is spoken of Him 
in relation to the Son, that is, that He is His 
father, or begetter, or beginning; and if also 
the begetter is by consequence a beginning 
to that which he begets of himself; but what- 
ever else is spoken of Him is so spoken as 
with the Son, or rither in the Son; whether 
that He is great with that greatness which 
He begat, or just with that justice which He 
begat, or good with that goodness which He 
begat, or powerful with that force or power 
which He begat, or wise with that wisdom 
which He begat: yet the Father is not said 
to be greatness itself, but the begetter of 
greatness; but the Son, as He is called the 
Son as such, is not so called with the Father 
but in relation to the Father, so is not great 
in and by himself, but with the Father, of 
whom He is the greatness; and so also is 
called wise with the Father, of whom He 
Himself is the wisdom; just as the Father is 
called wise with the Son, because He is wise 
with that wisdom which He begat; therefore 
the one is not called without the other, what- 
ever they are called in respect to themselves; 
that is, whatever they are called that mani- 
fests their essential nature, both are so called 
together; if these things are so, then the 
Father is not God without the Son, nor the 
Son God without the Father, but both to- 
gether are God. And that which is said, " In 
the beginning was the Word," means that 
the Word was in the Father, Or if "In the 
beginning" is intended to mean, Before all 
things; then in that which follows, "And the 
Word was with God/' the Son alone is under- 
stood to be the Word, not the Father and 

Son together, as though both were one Word 
(for He is the Word in the same way as He 
is the Image, but the Father and Son are not 
both together the Image, but the Son alone 
is the Image of the Father: just as He is also 
the Son of the Father, for both together are 
not the Son). But in that which is added, 
"And the Word was with God," there is 
much reason to understand thus: "The 
Word," which is the Son alone, "was with 
God," which is not the Father alone, but God 
the Father and the Son together. 1 But what 
wonder is there, if this can be said in the case 
of some twofold things widely different from 
each other ? For what are so different as soul 
and body ? Yet we can say the soul was with 
a man, that is, in a man; although the soul 
is not the body, and man is both soul and 
body together. So that what follows in the 
Scripture, "And the Word was God/' 2 may 
be understood thus: The Word, which is not 
the Father, was God together with the Father. 
Are we then to say thus, that the Father is 
the begetter of His own greatness, that is, 
the begetter of His own power, or the be- 
getter of His own wisdom; and that the Son 
is greatness, and power, and wisdom; but 
that the great, omnipotent, and wise God, is 
both together? How then God <?/"God, Light 
of Light ? For not ttoth together are God of 
God, but only the Son is of God, that is to 
say, of the Father; nor are both together 
Light of Light, but the Son only is of Light, 
that is, of the Father. Unless, perhaps, it 
was in order to intimate and inculcate briefly 
that the Son is co-eternal with the Father, 
that it is said, God of God, and Light of 
Light, or anything else of the like kind: as 
if to say, This which is not the Son without 
the Father, of this which is not the Father 
without the Son; that is, this Light which is 
not Light without the Father, of that Light, 
viz. the Father, which is not Light without 
the Son; so that, when it is said, God which 
is not the Son without the Father, and of 
God which is not the Father without the Son, 
it may be perfectly understood that the Be- 
getter did not precede that which He begot. 
And if this be so, then this alone cannot be 
said of them, namely, this or that of this or 
that, which they are not both together. Just 
as the Word cannot be said to be of the 

1 [The term " God," in the proposition, " the Word was with 
God,' - must refer to the Father, not to " the Father and Son to- 
gether," because the Son could not be said to be " with " himself. 
St. John says that " the word was God" (fobs). The absence of 
the article with flebs denotes the abstract deity, or the divine na- 
ture without reference to the persons in it. He also says that 
" the Word was with God " (tov 6e'ov). The presence of the arti- 
cle in this instance denotes one of the divine persons in the essence : 
namely, the Father, with whom the Word was from eternity, and 
upon whose " bosom " he was from eternity. (Johni. 18). W. G. 
T. S.] 2 John i. 1. 

Chap. IV.] 



Word, because both are not the Word to- 
gether, but only the Son; nor image of image, 
since they are not both together the image; 
nor Son of Son, since both together are not 
the Son, according to that which is said, " I 
and my Father are one." 1 For "we are 
one " means, what' He is, that am I also; ac- 
cording to essence, not according to relation. 



4. And I know not whether the words, 
" They are one," are ever found in Scripture 
as spoken of things of which the nature is 
different. But if there are more things than 
one of the same nature, and they differ in 
sentiment, they are not one, and that so far 
as they differ in sentiment. For if the dis- 
ciples were already one by the fact of being 
men, He would not say, " That they may be 
one, as we are one," - when commending 
them to the Father. But because Paul and 
Apollos were both alike men, and also of like 
sentiments, "He that planteth," he says, 
"and he that watereth are one." 3 When, 
therefore, anything is so called one, that it 
is not added in what it is one, and yet more 
things than one are called one, then the same 
essence and nature is signified, not differing 
nor disagreeing. But when it is added in 
what it is one, it may be meant that some- 
thing is made one out of things more than 
one, though they are different in nature. As 
soul and body are assuredly not one; for 
what are so different? unless there be added 
or understood in what they are one, that is, 
one man, or one animal [person]. Thence 
the apostle says, " He who is joined to a har- 
lot, is one body;" he does not say, they are 
one or he is one; but he has added "body," 
as though it were one body composed by be- 
ing joined together of two different bodies, 
masculine and feminine. 4 And, "He that 
'is joined unto the Lord," he says," is one 
spirit: " he did not say, he that is joined unto 
the Lord is one, or they are one; but he 
added, "spirit" For the spirit of man and 
the Spirit of God are different in nature; but 
by being joined they become one spirit of 
two different spirits, so that the Spirit of God 
is blessed and perfect without the human 
spirit, but the spirit of man cannot be blessed 
without God. Nor is it without cause, I 
think, that when the Lord said so much in 

the Gospel according to John, and so often, 
of unity itself, whether of His own with the 
Father, or of ours interchangeably with our- 
selves; He has nowhere said, that we are 
also one with Himself, but, "that they may 
be one as we also are one." 5 Therefore the 
Father and the Son are one, undoubtedly ac- 
cording to unity of substance; and there is 
one God, and one great, and one wise, as we 
have argued. 

5. Whence then is the Father greater? 
For if greater, He is greater by greatness; 
but whereas the Son is His greatness, neither 
assuredly is the Son greater than He who 
begat Him, nor is the Father greater than 
that greatness, whereby He is great; therefore 
they are equal. For whence is He equal, if 
not in that which He is, to whom it is not 
one thing to be, and another to be great? 
Or if the Father is greater in eternity, the 
Son is not equal in anything whatsoever. 
For whence equal ? If you say in greatness, 
that greatness is not equal which is less eter- 
nal, and so of all things else. Or is He per- 
haps equal in power, but not equal in wis- 
dom ? But how is that power which is less 
wise, equal ? Or is He equal in wisdom, but 
not equal in power ? But how is that wisdom 
equal which is less powerful ? It remains, 
therefore, that if He is not equal in anything, 
He is not equal in all. But Scripture pro- 
claims, that " He thought it not robbery to 
be equal with God." 6 Therefore any ad- 
versary of the truth whatever, provided he 
feels bound by apostolical authority, must 
needs confess that the Son is equal with God 
in each one thing whatsoever. Let him 
choose that which he will; from it he will be 
shown, that He is equal in aM things which 
are said of His substance. 


6. For in like manner the virtues which are 
in the human mind, although each has its 
own several and different meaning, yet are in 
no way mutually separable; so that, for in- 
stance, whosoever were equal in courage, are 
equal also in prudence, and temperance, and 
justice. For if you say that such and such 
men are equal in courage, but that one of 
them is greater in prudence, it follows that 
the courage of the other is less prudent, and 
so neither are they equal in courage, since 
the courage of the former is more prudent. 
And so you will find it to be the case with 
the other virtues, if you consider them one 
by one. For the question is not of the 
strength of the body, but of the courage of 

1 John x. 30. 
3 1 Cor. iii. 8. 

2 John xvii. 11. 
4 1 Cor. vi. 16, 17. 

5 John xvii. 11. 

6 Phil. ii. 6. 



[Book VI. 

the mind. How much more therefore is this 
the case in that unchangeable and eternal sub- 
stance, which is incomparably more simple 
than the human mind is ? Since, in the human 
mind, to be is not the same as to be strong, 
or prudent, or just, or temperate; for a mind 
can exist, and yet have none of these virtues. 
But in God to be is the same as to be strong, 
or to be just, or to be wise, or whatever is 
said of that simple multiplicity, or multifold 
simplicity, whereby to signify His substance. 
Wherefore, whether we say God of God in 
such way that this name belongs to each, yet 
not so that both together are two Gods, but 
one God; for they are in such way united 
with each other, as according to the apostle's 
testimony may take place even in diverse 
and differing substances; for both the Lord 
alone is a Spirit, and the spirit of a man alone 
is assuredly a spirit; yet, if it cleave to the 
Lord, "it is one spirit:" how much more 
there, where there is an absolutely inseparable 
and eternal union, so that He may not seem 
absurdly to be called as it were the Son of 
both, when He is called the Son of God, if 
that which is called God is only said of both 
together. Or perhaps it is, that whatever is 
said of God so as to indicate His substance, 
is not said except of both together, nay of the 
Trinity itself together? Whether therefore 
it be this or that (which needs a closer in- 
quiry), it is enough for the present to see 
from what has been said, that the Son is in 
no respect equal with the Father, if He is 
found to be unequal in anything which has 
to do with signifying His substance, as we 
have already shown. But the apostle has said 
that He is equal. Therefore the Son is 
equal with the Father in all things, and is of 
one and the same substance. 



7. Wherefore also the Holy Spirit consists 
in the same unity of substance, and in the 
same equality. For whether He is the unity 
of both, or the holiness, or the love, or there- 
fore the unity because the love, and therefore 
the love because the holiness, it is manifest 
that He is not one of the two, through whom 
the two are joined, through whom the Begot- 
ten is loved by the Begetter, and loves Him 
that begat Him, and through whom, not by 
participation, but by their own essence, 
neither by the gift of any superior, but by 
their own, they are " keeping the unity of the 
Spirit in the bond of peace; ,,z which we are 
commanded to imitate by grace, both towards 

1 Eph. iv. 3. 

God and towards ourselves. " On which two 
commandments hang all the law and the 
prophets." 2 So those three are God, one, 
alone, great, wise, holy, blessed. But we are 
blessed from Him, and through Him, and in 
Him; because we ourselves are one by His 
gift, and one spirit with Him, because our 
soul cleaves to Him so as to follow Him. 
And it is good for us to cleave to God, since 
He will destroy every man who is estranged 
from Him. 3 Therefore the Holy Spirit, what- 
ever it is, is something common both to the 
Father and Son. But that communion itself 
is consubstantial and co-eternal; and if it 
may fitly be called friendship, let it be so 
called; but it is more aptly called love. And 
this is also a substance, since God is a sub- 
stance, and " God is love," as it is written. * 
But as He is a substance together with the 
Father and the Son, so that substance is to- 
gether with them great, and together with 
them good, and together with them holy, 
and whatsoever else is said in reference to 
substance; since it is not one thing to God to 
be, and another to be great or to be good, 
and the rest, as we have shown above. For if 
love is less great therein [i.e. in God] than 
wisdom, then wisdom is loved in less degree 
than according to what it is; love is therefore 
equal, in order that wisdom may be loved 
according to its being; but wisdom is equal 
with the Father, as we have proved above; 
therefore also the Holy Spirit is equal; and 
if equal, equal in all things, on account of 
the absolute simplicity which is in that sub- 
stance. And therefore they are not more 
than three: One who loves Him who is from 
Himself, and One who loves Him from whom 
He is, and Love itself. And if this last is 
nothing, how is "God love"? If it is not 
substance, how is God substance ? 



8. But if it is asked how that substance is 
both simple and manifold: consider, first, 
why the creature is manifold, but in no way 
really simple. And first, all that is body is 
composed certainly of parts; so that therein 
one part is greater, another less, and the 
whole is greater than any part whatever or 
how great soever. For the heaven and the 
earth are parts of the whole bulk of the 
world; and the earth alone, and the heaven 
alone, is composed of innumerable parts; 
and its third part is less than the remainder, 
and the half of it is less than the whole; and 
the whole body of the world, which is usually 

Matt. xxii. 37-40. 3 Ps. lxxvii. 28, 27. 4 1 John iv. 16. 

Chap. VIII.] 



called by its two parts, viz. the heaven and 
the earth, is certainly greater than the heaven 
alone or the earth alone. And in each 
several body, size is one thing, color another, 
shape another; for the same color and the 
same shape may remain with diminished 
size; and the same shape and the same size 
may remain with the color changed ; and 
the same shape not remaining, yet the thing 
may be just as great, and of the same color. 
And whatever other things are predicated 
together of body can be changed either all to- 
gether, or the larger part of them without 
the rest. And hence the nature of body is 
conclusively proved to be manifold, and in 
no respect simple. The spiritual creature 
also, that is, the soul, is indeed the more 
simple of the two if compared with the body; 
but if we omit the comparison with the body, 
it is manifold, and itself also not simple. 
For it is on this account more simple than 
the body, because it is not diffused in bulk 
through extension of place, but in each body, 
it is both whole in the whole, and whole in 
each several part of it; and, therefore, when 
anything takes place in any small particle 
whatever of the body, such as the soul can 
feel, although it does not take place in the 
whole body, yet the whole soul feels it, since 
the whole soul is not unconscious of it. But, 
nevertheless, since in the soul also it is one 
thing to be skillful, another to be indolent, 
another to be intelligent, another to be of 
retentive memory; since cupidity is one thing, 
fear another, joy another, sadness another; 
and since things innumerable, and in innu- 
merable ways, are to be found in the nature 
of the soul, some without others, and some 
more, some less; it is manifest that its nature 
is not simple, but manifold. For nothing 
simple is changeable, but every creature is 

chap. 7. god is a trinity, but not triple 

But God is truly called in manifold ways, 
great, good, wise, blessed, true, and what- 
soever other thing seems to be said of Him 
not unworthily: but His greatness is the same 
as His wisdom; for He is not great by bulk, 
but by power; and His goodness is the same 
as His wisdom and greatness, and His truth 
the same as all those things; and in Him it 
is not one thing to be blessed, and another 
to be great, or wise, or true, or good, or in 
a word to be Himself. 

9. Neither, since He is a Trinity, is He 
therefore to be thought triple {triplex) * other- 

1 [The Divine Unity is trinal, not triple. The triple is com- 

wise the Father alone, or the Son alone, will 
be less than the Father and Son together. 
Although, indeed, it is hard to see how we 
can say, either the Father alone, or the Son 
alone; since both the Father is with the Son, 
and the Son with the Father, always and in- 
separably: not that bth are the Father, or 
both are the Son; but because they are always 
one in relation to the other, and neither the 
one nor the other alone. But because we 
call even tke Trinity itself God alone, al- 
though He is always with holy spirits and 
souls, but say that He only is God, because 
they are mot also God with Him; so we call 
the Father the Father alone, not because He 
is separate from the Son, but because they 
are not both together the Father. 



Since, therefore, the Father alone, or the 
Son alone, or the Holy Spirit alone, is as 
oreat as is the Father and the Son and the 
Holy Spirit together, 2 in no manner is He to 
be called threefold. Forasmuch as bodies 
increase by union of themselves. For al- 
though he who cleaves to his wife is one body; 
yet it is a greater body than if it were that of 
the husband alone, or of the wife alone. 
But in spiritual things, when the less adheres 
to the greater, as the creature to the Creator, 
the former becomes greater than it was, not 
the latter. 3 For in those things which are 
not great by bulk, to be greater is to be 
better. And the spirit of any creature be- 
comes better, when it cleaves to the Creator, 
than if it did not so cleave; and therefore 
also greater because better. "He," then, 
" that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit: " 4 
but yet the Lord does not therefore become 

posed of three different substances. It has parts, and is complex. 
The trinal is without parts, and is incomplex. It denotes one sim- 
ple substance in three modes or forms. " We may speak of the 
trinal, but not of the triple deity." Hollaz, in Hase's Hutterus, 
i 7 2.-W. G. T. S.] 

- [Each trinitarian person is as great as the Trinity, if reference 
be had to the essence, but not if reference be had to the persons. 
Each person has the entire essence, and the Trinity has the entire 
essence. But each person has the essence with only one personal 
characteristic; while the Trinity has the essence with all three per- 
sonal characteristics. No trinitarian person is as comprehensive 
as the triune Godhead, because he does not possess the two per- 
sonal characteristics belonging to the other two persons. The 
Father is God, but he is not God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. 
W. G. T. S.] 

3 [The addition of finite numbers, however great, to an infinite 
number, does not increase the infinite. Similarly, any addition of 
finite being to the Infinite Being is no increase. Cod plus the 
universe is no larger an infinite than God minus the universe. 
The creation of the universe adds nothing to the infinite being and 
attributes of God. To add contingent being to necessary being, 
does not make the latter any more necessary. To add imperfect 
being to perfect being, does not make the latter more perfect. To 
add finite knowledge to infinite knowledge, does not produce a 
greater amount of knowledge. This truth has been overlooked by 
Hamilton. Mansell, and others, in the argument against the per- 
sonality of the Infinite, in which the Infinite is confounded with 
the All, and which assumes that the All is greater than the Infinite 
in other words, that God plus the universe is greater than God 
minus the universe. W. G. T. S.] 4 Cor. vi. 17. 



[Book VI. 

greater, although he who is joined to the 
Lord does so. In God Himself, therefore, 
when the equal Son, or the Holy Spirit equal 
to the Father and the Son, is joined to the 
equal Father, God does not become greater 
than each of them severally; because that 
perfectness cannot increase. But whether t 
be the Father, or the Son, or the Holy Spirit 
He is perfect, and God the Father the Son 
and the Holy Spirit is perfect; and therefore 
He is a Trinity rather than triple. 


10. And since we are showing how we can 
say the Father alone, because there is no 
Father in the Godhead except Himself, we 
must consider also the opinion which holds 
that the only true God is not the Father 
alone, but the Father and the Son and the 
Holy Spirit. For if any one should ask 
whether the Father alone is God, how can it 
be replied that He is not, unless perhaps we 
were to say that the Father indeed is God, 
but that He is not God alone, but that the 
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are God alone ? 
But then what shall we do with that testi- 
mony of the Lord ? For He was speaking to 
the Father, and had named the Father as 
Him to whom He was speaking, when He 
says, "And this is life eternal, that they may 
know Thee the one true God." 1 And this 
the Arians indeed usually take, as if the Son 
were not true God. Passing them by, how- 
ever, we must see whether, when it is said to 
the Father, " That they may know Thee the 
one true God," we are forced to understand 
it as if He wished to intimate that the Father 
alone is the true God; lest we should not un- 
derstand any to be God, except the three to- 
gether, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. 
Are we therefore, from the testimony of the 
Lord, both to call the Father the one true 
God, and the Son the one true God, and the 
Holy Spirit the one true God, and the Father, 
the Son, and the Holy Spirit together, that 
is, the Trinity itself together, not three true 
Gods but one true God ? Or because He 
added, "And Jesus Christ whom Thou hast 
sent," are we to supply " the one true God; " 
so that the order of the words is this, " That 
they may know Thee, and Jesus Christ whom 
Thou hast sent, the one true God?" Why 
then did He omit to mention the Holy Spirit ? 
Is it because it follows, that whenever we 
name One who cleaves to One by a harmony 
so great that through this harmony both are 


t's, and 
"The head of the 
the head of the man is 

although it is not mentioned ? For in that 
place, too, the apostle seems as it were to 
pass over the Holy Spirit; and yet there, too, 
He is understood, where he says, "All are 
yours, and ye are Christ's, and Christ is 
God's." 2 And 
woman is the man 
Christ, and the head of Christ is God." 3 
But again, if God is only all three together, 
how can God be the head of Christ, that is, 
the Trinity the head of Christ, since Christ 
is in the Trinity in order that it may be the 
Trinity? Is that which is the Father with 
the Son, the head of that which is the Son 
alone ? For the Father with the Son is God, 
but the Son alone is Christ: especially since 
it is the Word already made flesh that speaks; 
and according to this His humiliation ai 

the Father is 





one, this harmony itself must be understood, 

1 John xvii. 3. 

He, as tie says, 
" for my Father is greater than I; " 4 so that 
the very being of God, which is one to Him 
with the Father, is itself the head of the man 
who is mediator, which He is alone. 5 For if 
we rightly call the mind the chief thing of 
man, that is, as it were the head of the human 
substance, although the man himself together 
with the mind is man; why is not the Word 
with the Father, which together is God, much 
more suitably and much more the head of 
Christ, although Christ as man cannot be 
understood except with the Word which was 
made flesh ? But this, as we have already 
said, we shall consider somewhat more care- 
fully hereafter. At present the equality and 
one and the same substance of the Trinity 
has been demonstrated as briefly as possible, 
that in whatever way that other question be 
determined, the more rigorous discussion of 
which we have deferred, nothing may hinder 
us from confessing the absolute equality of 
the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. 



11. A certain writer, when he would briefly 
intimate the special attributes of each of the 
persons in the Trinity, tells us that " Eternity 
is in the Father, form in the Image, use in 
the Gift." And since he was a man of no 
mean authority in handling the Scriptures, 

and in the assertion of the faith, for it is Hil- 
ary who put this in his book (On the Trinity, 
ii.); I have searched into the hidden meaning 
of these words as far as I can, that is, of the 
Father, and the Image, and the Gift, of eter- 
nity, and of form, and of use. And I do not 
think that he intended more by the word eter- 

- 1 Cor. iii. 22, 23. 
4 John xiv. 28. 

3 i Cor. xi. 3. 
5 1 Tim. ii. 5. 

Chap. X.] 



nity, than that the Father has not a father 
from whom He is; but the Son is from the 
Father, so as to be, and so as to be co-eternal 
with Him. For if an image perfectly fills the 
measure of that of which it is the image, then 
the image is made equal to that of which it is 
the image, not the latter to its own image. 
And in respect to this image he has named 
form, I believe on account of the quality of 
beauty, where there is at once such great fit- 
ness, and prime equality, and prime likeness, 
differing in nothing, and unequal in no re- 
spect, and in no part unlike, but answering 
exactly to Him whose image it is: where there 
is prime and absolute life, to whom it is not 
one thing to live, and another to be, but the 
same thing to be and to live; and prime and 
absolute intellect, to whom it is not one thing 
to live, another to understand, but to under- 
stand is to live, and is to be, and all things 
are one: as though a perfect Word (John i. 
1), to which nothing is wanting, and a certain 
skill of the omnipotent and wise God, full of 
all living, unchangeable sciences, and all one 
in it, as itself is one from one, with whom it 
is one. Therein God knew all things which 
He made by it; and therefore, while times 
pass away and succeed, nothing passes away 
or succeeds to the knowledge of God. For 
things which are created are not therefore 
known by God, because they have been made; 
and not rather have been therefore made, 
even although changeable, because they are 
known unchangeably by Him. Therefore 
that unspeakable conjunction of the Father 
and His image is not without fruition, with- 
out love, without joy. Therefore that love, 
delight, felicity, or blessedness, if indeed it 
can be worthily expressed by any human 
word, is called by him, in short, Use; and is 
the Holy Spirit in the Trinity, not begotten, 
but the sweetness of the begetter and of the 
begotten, filling all creatures according to 
their capacity with abundant bountifulness 
and copiousness, that they may keep their 

proper order and rest satisfied in their proper 

12. Therefore all these things which are 
made by divine skill, show in themselves a 
certain unity, and form, and order; for each 
of them is both some one thing, as are the 
several natures of bodies and dispositions of 
souls; and is fashioned in some form, as are 
the figures or qualities of bodies, and the 
various learning or skill of souls; and seeks 
or preserves a certain order, as are the sev- 
eral weights or combinations of bodies and 
the loves or delights of souls. When there- 
fore we regard the Creator, who is understood 
by the things that are made x we must needs 
understand the Trinity of whom there appear 
traces in the creature, as is fitting. For in 
that Trinity is the supreme source of all things, 
and the most perfect beauty, and the most 
blessed delight. Those three, therefore, both 
seem to be mutually determined to each other, 
and are in themselves infinite. But here in 
corporeal things, one thing alone is not as 
much as three together, and two are some- 
thing more than one; but in that highest 
Trinity one is as much as the three together, 
nor are two anything more than one. And 
They are infinite in themselves. So both 
each are in each, and all in each, and each 
in all, and all in all, and all are one. Let 
him who sees this, whether * in part, or 
"through a glass and in an enigma," 2 re- 
joice in knowing God ; and let him honor Him 
as God, and give thanks; but let him who 
does not see it, strive to see it through piety, 
not to cavil at it through blindness. Since 
God is one, but yet is a Trinity. Neither are 
we to take the words, " of whom, and through 
whom, and to whom are all things," as used 
indiscriminately [i.e., to denote a unity with- 
out distinctions]; nor yet to denote many 
gods, for "to Him, be glory for ever and 
ever. Amen." 3 

1 Rom. i. 20. 

3 Rom. xi. 36, in A.V. 

- 1 Cor. xiii. 12. Darkly, A.V. 




i. Let us now inquire more carefully, so 
far as God grants, into that which a little 
before we deferred; whether each person 
also in the Trinity can also by Himself and 
not with the other two be called God, or 
great, or wise, or true, or omnipotent, or just, 
or anything else that can be said of God, not 
relatively, but absolutely; or whether these 
things cannot be said except when the Trinity 
is understood. For the question is raised, 
because it is written, " Christ the power of 
God, and the wisdom of God," 1 whether 
He is so the Father of His own wisdom and 
His own power, as that He is wise with that 
wisdom which He begat, and powerful with 
that power which He begat; and whether, 
since He is always powerful and wise, He 
always begat power and wisdom. For if it 
be so, then, as we have said, why is He not 
also the Father of His own greatness by 
which He is great, and of His own goodness 
by which He is good, and of His own justice 
by which He is just, and whatever else there 
is ? Or if all these things are understood, al- 
though under more names than one, to be in 

1 i Cor. i. 24. 

the same wisdom and power, so that that is 
greatness which is power, that is goodness 
which is wisdom, and that again is wisdom 
which is power, as we have already argued; 
then let us remember, that when I mention 
any one of these, I am to be taken as if I 
mentioned all. It is asked, then, whether 
the Father also by Himself is wise, and is 
Himself His own wisdom itself; or whether 
He is wise in the same way as He speaks. 
For He speaks by the Word which He begat, 
not by the word which is uttered, and 
sounds, and passes away, but by the Word 
which was with God, and the Word was God, 
and all things were made by Him: 2 by the 
Word which is equal to Himself, by whom 
He always and unchangeably utters Himself. 
For He is not Himself the Word, as He is 
not the Son nor the image. But in speak- 
ing (putting aside those words of God in time 
which are produced in the creature, for they 
sound and pass away, in speaking then) by 
that co-eternal Word, He is not understood 
singly, but with that Word itself, without 
whom certainly He does not speak. Is He 
then in such way wise as He is one who 
speaks, so as to be in such way wisdom, as 
He is the Word, and so that to be the Word 
is to be wisdom, that is, also to be power, so 
that power and wisdom and the Word may be 

- John i. i, 3. 

Chap. I.J 



the same, and be so called relatively as the 
Son and the image: and that the Father is 
not singly powerful or wise, but together with 
the power and wisdom itself which He begat 
(genuii); just as He is not singly one who 
speaks, but by that Word and together with 
that Word which He begat; and in like way 
great by that and together with that great- 
ness, which He begat? And if He is not 
great by one thing, and God by another, but 
great by that whereby He is God, because it 
is not one thing to Him to be great and an- 
other to be God; it follows that neither is He 
God singly, but by that and together with 
that deity (deltas) which He begat; so that 
the Son is the deity of the Father, as He is 
the wisdom and power of the Father, and as 
He is the Word and image of the Father. 
And because it is not one thing to Him to 
be, another to be God, the Son is also the 
essence of the Father, as He is His Word and 
image. And hence also except that He is 
the Father [the Unbegotten] the Father is 
not anything unless because He has the Son; 
so that not only that which is meant by 
Father (which it is manifest He is not called 
relatively to Himself but to the Son, and 
therefore is the Father because He has the 
Son), but that which He is in respect to His 
own substance is so called, because He begat 
His own essence. For as He is great, only 
with that greatness which He begat, so also 
He is, only with that essence which He begat; 
because it is not one thing to Him to be, and 
another to be great. Is He therefore the 
Father of His own essence, in the same way 
as He is the Father of His own greatness, as 
He is the Father of His own power and wis- 
dom ? since His greatness is the same as His 
power, and His essence the same as His 

2. This discussion has arisen from that 
which is written, that " Christ is the power of 
God, and the wisdom of God." Wherefore 
our discourse is compressed into these narrow 
limits, while we desire to speak things un- 
speakable; that either we must say that 
Christ is not the power of God and the wis- 
dom of God, and so shamelessly and im- 
piously resist the apostle; or we must ac- 
knowledge that Christ is indeed the power of 
God and the wisdom of God, but that His 
Father is not the Father of His own power 
and wisdom, which is not less impious; for 
so neither will He be the Father of Christ, 
because Christ is the power of God and the 
wisdom of God; or that the Father is not 
powerful with His own power, or wise with 
His own wisdom: and who shall dare to say 
this ? Or yet, again, that we must understand, 

that in the Father it is one thing to be, an- 
other thing to be wise, so that He is not by 
that by which He is wise: a thing usually 
understood of the soul, which is at some times 
unwise, at others wise; as being by nature 
changeable, and not absolutely and perfectly 
simple. Or, again, that the Father is not 
anything in respect to His own substance; 
and that not only that He is the Father, but 
that He is, is said relatively to the Son. How 
then can the Son be of the same essence as 
the Father, seeing that the Father, in respect 
to Himself, is neither His own essence, nor 
is at all in respect to Himself, but even His 
essence is in relation to the Son ? But, on 
the contrary, much more is He of one and 
the same essence, since the Father and Son 
are one and the same essence; seeing that 
the Father has His being itself not in respect 
to Himself, but to the Son, which essence 
He begat, and by which essence He is what- 
ever He is. Therefore neither [person] is 
in respect to Himself alone; and both exist 
relatively the one to the other. Or is the 
Father alone not called Father of himself, 
but whatever He is called, is called rela- 
tively to the Son, but the Son is predicated 
of in reference to Himself? And if it be so, 
what is predicated of Him in reference to 
Himself? Is it His essence itself? But the 
Son is the essence of the Father, as He is the 
power and wisdom of the Father, as He is 
the Word of the Father, and the image of 
the Father. Or if the Son is called essence 
in reference to Himself, but the Father is 
not essence, but the begetter of the essence, 
and is not in respect to Himself, but is by 
that very essence which He begat; as He is 
great by that greatness which He begat: 
therefore the Son is also called greatness in 
respect to Himself; therefore He is also 
called, in like manner, power, and wisdom, 
and word, and image. But what can be more 
absurd than that He should be called image 
in respect to Himself? Or if image and word 
are not the very same with power and wis- 
dom, but the former are spoken relatively, 
and the latter in respect to self, not to an- 
other; then we get to this, that the Father is 
not wise with that wisdom which He begat, 
because He Himself cannot be spoken rela- 
tively to it, and it cannot be spoken relatively 
to Him. For all things which are said rela- 
tively are said reciprocally; therefore it re- 
mains that even in essence the Son is spoken 
of relatively to the Father. But from this is 
educed a most unexpected sense: that es- 
sence itself is not essence, or at least that, 
when it is called essence, not essence but 
something relative is intimated. As when 



[Book VII. 

we speak of a master, essence is not inti- 
mated, but a relative which has reference to 
a slave; but when we speak of a man, or any 
such thing which is said in respect to self not 
to something else, then essence is intimated. 
Therefore when a man is called a master, 
man himself is essence, but he is called mas- 
ter relatively; for he is called man in respect 
to himself, but master in respect to his slave. 
But in regard to the point from which we 
started, if essence itself is spoken relatively, 
essence itself is not essence. Add further, 
that all essence which is spoken of relatively, 
is also something, although the relation be 
taken away; as e.g. in the case of a man who 
is a master, and a man who is a slave, and a 
horse that is a beast of burden, and money 
that is a pledge, the man, and the horse, and 
the money are spoken in respect to them- 
selves, and are substances or essences; but 
master, and slave, and beast of burden, and 
pledge, are spoken relatively to something. 
But if there were not a man, that is, some 
substance, there would be none who could be 
called relatively a master; and if there were 
no horse having a certain essence, there would 
be nothing that could be called relatively a 
beast of burden; so if money were not some 
kind of substance, it could not be called rela- 
tively a pledge. Wherefore, if the Father 
also is not something in respect to Himself, 
then there is no one at all that can be spoken 
of relatively to something. For it is not as 
it is with color. The color of a thing is re- 
ferred to the thing colored, and color is not 
spoken at all in reference to substance, but 
is always of something that is colored; but 
that thing of which it is the color, even if it 
is referred to color in respect to its being 
colored, is yet, in respect to its being a body, 
spoken of in respect to substance. But in no 
way may we think, in like manner, that the 
Father cannot be called anything in respect 
to His own substance, but that whatever He 
is called, He is called in relation to the Son; 
while the same Son is spoken of both in re- 
spect to His own substance and in relation to 
the Father, when He is called great greatness, 
and powerful power, plainly in respect to Him- 
self, and the greatness and power of the great 
and powerful Father, by which the Father 
is great and powerful. It is not so; but both 
are substance, and both are one substance. 
And as it is absurd to say that whiteness is 
not white, so is it absurd to say that wisdom 
is not wise; and as whiteness is called white 
in respect to itself, so also wisdom is called 
wise in respect to itself. But the whiteness 
of a "body is not an essence, since the body 

itself is the essence, and that is a quality of 
it; and hence also a body is said from that 
quality to be white, to which body to be is 
not the same thing as to be white. For the 
form in it is one thing, and the color another; 
and both are not in themselves, but in a cer- 
tain bulk, which bulk is neither form nor 
color, but is formed and colored. True wis- 
dom is both wise, and wise in itself. And 
since in the case of every soul that becomes 
wise by partaking of wisdom, if it again be- 
comes foolish, yet wisdom in itself remains; 
nor when that soul was changed into folly is 
the wisdom likewise so changed; therefore 
wisdom is not in him who becomes wise by it, 
in the same manner as whiteness is in the 
body which is by it made white. For when 
the body has been changed into another color, 
that whiteness will not remain, but will alto- 
gether cease to be. But if the Father who 
begat wisdom is also made wise by it, and to 
be is not to Him the same as to be wise, then 
the Son is His quality, not His offspring; and 
there will no longer be absolute simplicity in 
the Godhead. But far be it from being so, 
since in truth in the Godhead is absolutely 
simple essence, and therefore to be is there 
the same as to be wise. But if to be is there 
the same as to be wise, then the Father is 
not wise by that wisdom which He begat; 
otherwise He did not beget it, but it begat 
Him. For what else do we say when we say, 
that to Him to be is the same as to be wise, 
unless that He is by that whereby He is wise? 
Wherefore, that which is the cause to Him 
of being wise, is itself also the cause to Him 
that He is; and accordingly, if the wisdom 
which He begat is the cause to Him of being 
wise, it is also the cause to Him that He is; 
and this cannot be the case, except either by 
begetting or by creating Him. But no one 
ever said in any sense that wisdom is either 
the begetter or the creator of the Father; for 
what could be more senseless ? Therefore 
both the Father Himself is wisdom, and the 
Son is in such way called the wisdom of the 
Father, as He is called the light of the 
Father; that is, that in the same manner as 
light from light,and yet both one light, so we 
are to understand wisdom of wisdom, and yet 
both one wisdom; and therefore also one 
essence, since, in God, to be, is the same as 
to be wise. For what to be wise is to wisdom, 
and to be able is to power, and to be eternal 
is to eternity, and just to justice, and 
to be great to greatness, that being itself is 
to essence. A.nd since in the Divine simplic- 
ity, to be wise is nothing else than to be, 
therefore wisdom there is the same as essence. 

Chap. III.] 




3. Therefore the Father and the Son to- 
gether are one essence, and one greatness, 
and one truth, and one wisdom. But the 
Father and Son both together are not one 
Word, because both together are not one 
Son. For as the Son is referred to the 
Father, and is not so called in respect to 
Himself, so also the Word is referred to 
him whose Word it is, when it is called the 
Word. Since He is the Son in that He is the 
Word, and He is the Word in that He is the 
Son. Inasmuch, therefore, as the Father 
and the Son together are certainly not one 
Son, it follows that the Father and the Son 
together are not the one Word of both. And 
therefore He is not the Word in that He is 
wisdom; since He is not called the Word in 
respect to Himself, but only relatively to 
Him whose Word He is, as He is called the 
Son in relation to the Father; but He is wis- 
dom by that whereby He is essence. And 
therefore, because one essence, one wisdom. 
But since the Word is also wisdom, yet is 
not thereby the Word because He is wisdom; 
for He is understood to be the Word rela- 
tively, but wisdom essentially: let us under- 
stand, that when He is called the Word, it is 
meant, wisdom that is bom, so as to be both 
the Son and the Image; and that when these 
two words are used, namely wisdom (is) bom, 
in one of the two, namely bom, 1 both Word, 
and Image, and Son, are understood, and in 
all these names essence is not expressed, 
since they are spoken relatively; but in the 
other word, namely wisdom, since it is spoken 
also in respect to substance, for wisdom is 
wise in itself, essence also is expressed, and 
that being of His which is to be wise. Whence 
the Father and Son together are one wisdom, 
because one essence, and singly wisdom of 
wisdom, as essence of essence. And hence 
they are not therefore not one essence, be- 
cause the Father is not the Son, and the Son is 
not the Father, or because the Father is un- 
begotten, but the Son is begotten: since by 
these names only their relative attributes are 
expressed. But both together are one wis- 
dom and one essence; in which to be, is the 
same as to be wise. And both together are 
not the Word or the Son, since to be is not 
the same as to be the Word or the Son, as 
we have already sufficiently shown that these 
terms are spoken relatively. 

1 [Augustin sometimes denominates the Son "begotten" 
(genitus), and sometimes " born " (natus). Both terms signify 
that the Son is ^/the Father; God of God, Light of Light, Essence 
of Essence. W. G. T. S.] 



4. Why, then, is scarcely anything ever 
said in the Scriptures of wisdom, unless to 
show that it is begotten or created of God ? 
begotten in the case of that Wisdom by 
which all things are made; but created or 
made, as in men, when they are converted to 
that Wisdom which is not created and made 
but begotten, and are so enlightened; for 
in these men themselves there comes to be 
something which may be called their wisdom: 
even as the Scriptures foretell or narrate, that 
" the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among 
us;" 2 for in this way Christ was made wis- 
dom, because He was made man. Is it on 
this account that wisdom does not speak in 
these books, nor is anything spoken of it, 
except to declare that it is born of God, or 
made by Him (although the Father is Him- 
self wisdom), namely, because wisdom ought 
to be commended and imitated by us, by the 
imitation of which we are fashioned [rightly] ? 
For the Father speaks it, that it may be His 
Word: yet not as a word producing a sound 
proceeds from the mouth, or is thought 
before it is pronounced. For this word is 
completed in certain spaces of time, but that 
is eternal, and speaks to us by enlightening 
us, what ought to be spoken to men, both of 
itself and of the Father. And therefore He 
says, "No man knoweth the Son, but the 
Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, 
save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son 
will reveal Him:" 3 since the Father reveals 
by the Son, that is, by His Word. For if 
that word which we utter, and which is tem- 
poral and transitory, declares both itself, and 
that of which we speak, how much more the 
Word'of God, by which all things are made ? 
For this Word so declares the Father as He 
is the Father; because both itself so is, and 
is that which is the Father, in so far as it is 
wisdom and essence. For in so far as it is 
the Word, it is not what the Father is; be- 
cause the Word is not the Father, and Word 
is spoken relatively, as is also Son, which 
assuredly is not the Father. And therefore 
Christ is the power and wisdom of God, be- 
cause He Himself, being also power and wis- 
dom, is from the Father, who is power and 
wisdom; as He is light of the Father, who is 
light, and the fountain of life with God the 
Father, who is Himself assuredly the fountain 

John i. 14. 

3 Matt. xi. 27. 



[Book VII. 

of life. For " with Thee," He says, " is the 
fountain of life, and in Thy light shall we see 
light." 1 Because, " as the Father hath life 
in Himself, so hath He given to the Son to 
have life in Himself:" 2 and, "He was the 
true Light, which lighteth every man that 
cometh into the world: " and this light, " the 
Word," was "with God;" but "the Word 
also was -God; " 3 and "God is light, and in 
Him is no darkness at all: " 4 but a light that 
is not corporeal, but spiritual; yet not in 
such way spiritual, that it was wrought by 
illumination, as it was said to the apostles, 
*' Ye are the light of the world, " s but " the 
light which lighteth every man," that very 
supreme wisdom itself who is God, of whom 
we now treat. The Son therefore is Wisdom 
of wisdom, namely the Father, as He is Light 
of light, and God of God; so that both the 
Father singly is light, and the Son singly is 
light; and the Father singly is God, and the 
Son singly is God: therefore the Father also 
singly is wisdom, and the Son singly is wis- 
dom. And as both together are one light 
and one God, so both are one wisdom. But 
the Son is "by God made unto us wisdom, 
and righteousness, and sanctification; " 6 be- 
cause we turn ourselves to Him in time, that 
is, from some particular time, that we may 
remain with Him for ever. And He Himself 
from a certain time was "the Word made 
flesh, and dwelt among us." 

5 . On this account, then, when anything con- 
cerning wisdom is declared or narrated in the 
Scriptures, whether as itself speaking, or 
where anything is spoken of it, the Son chiefly 
is intimated to us. And by the example of 
Him who is the image, let us also not depart 
from God, since we also are the Image of 
God: not indeed that which is equal to Him, 
since we are made so by the Father through 
the Son, and not born of the Father, as that 
is. And we are so, because we are enlight- 
ened with light; but that is so, because it is 
the light that enlightens; and which, there- 
fore, being without pattern, is to us a pattern. 
For He does not imitate any one going before 
Him, in respect to the Father, from whom 
He is never separable at all, since He is the 
very same substance with Him from whom 
He is. But we by striving imitate Him who 
abides, and follow Him who stands still, and 
walking in Him, reach out towards Him; be- 
cause He is made for us a way in time by 
His humiliation, which is to us an eternal 
abiding-place by His divinity. For since to 
pure intellectual spirits, who have not fallen 
through pride, He gives an example in the 

form of God and as equal with God and as 
God; so, in order that He might also give 
Himself as an example of returning to fallen 
man, who on account of the uncleanness of 
sins and the punishment of mortality cannot 
see God, " He emptied Himself; " not by 
changing His own divinity, but by assuming 
our changeableness: and "taking upon Him 
the form of a servant,'' 7 " He came to us 
into this world," 8 who " was in this world," 
because "the world was made by Him;" 9 
that He might be an example upwards to 
those who see God, an example downwards 
to those who admire man, an example to the 
sound to persevere, an example to the sick to 
be made whole, an example to those who are 
to die that they may not fear, an example to 
the dead that they may rise again, "that in 
all things He might have the pre-eminence." 10 
So that, because man ought not to follow any 
except God to blessedness, and yet cannot 
perceive God; by following God made man, 
he might follow at once Him whom he could 
perceive, and whom he ought to follow. Let 
us then love Him and cleave to Him, by 
charity spread abroad in our hearts, through 
the Holy Spirit which is given unto us." It 
is not therefore to be wondered at, if, on ac- 
count of the example which the Image, which 
is equal to the Father, gives to us, in order 
that we may be refashioned after the image 
of God, Scripture, when it speaks of wisdom, 
speaks of the Son, whom we follow by living 
wisely; although the Father also is wisdom, 
as He is both light and God. 

6. The Holy Spirit also, whether we are to 
call Him that absolute love which joins to- 
gether Father and Son, and joins us also 
from beneath, that so that is not unfitly said 
which is written, "God is love;" 12 how is He 
not also Himself wisdom, since He is light, 
because "God is light"? or whether after 
any other way the essence of the Holy Spirit 
is to be singly and properly named; then, 
too, since He is God, He is certainly light; 
and since He is light, He is certainly wisdom. 
But that the Holy Spirit is God, Scripture 
proclaims by the apostle, who says, " Know 
ye not that ye are the temple of God ? " and 
immediately subjoins, "And the Spirit of 
God dwelleth in you;" 13 for God dwelleth in 
His own temple. For the Spirit of God does 
not dwell in the temple of God as a servant, 
since he says more plainly in another place, 
" Know ye not that your body is the temple 
of the Holy Ghost which is in you, and which 
ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 

1 Ps. xxxvi. 9. 
4 1 John i. 5. 

- John v. 2'. 
5 Matt. v. 14. 

3 John i. 9, 1. 
6 1 Cor. i. -io. 

7 Phil. ii. 7 . 
1 Col. i. tS. 
J 3 1 Cor. iii. 16. 

8 1 Tim. i. 15. 
11 Rom. v. 5. 

9 John i. 10. 
12 1 John iv. i 

Chap. IV.] 



For ye are bought with a great price: there- 
fore glorify God in your body." 1 But what 
is wisdom, except spiritual and unchangeable 
light? For yonder sun also is light, but it is 
corporeal; and the spiritual creature also is 
light, but it is not unchangeable. Therefore 
the Father is light, the Son is light, and the 
Holy Spirit is light; but together not three 
lights, but one light. And so the Father is 
wisdom, the Son is wisdom, and the Holy 
Spirit is wisdom, and together not three wis- 
doms, but one wisdom: and because in the 
Trinity to be is the same as to be wise, the 
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, are one essence. 
Neither in the Trinity is it one thing to be 
and another to be God; therefore the Father, 
Son, and Holy Spirit, are one God. 



7. For the sake, then, of speaking of things 
that cannot be uttered, that we may be able 
in some way to utter what we are able in no 
way to utter fully, our Greek friends have 
spoken of one essence, three substances; but 
the Latins of one essence or substance, three 
persons; because, as we have already said, 2 
essence usually means nothing else than sub- 
stance in our language, that is, in Latin. 
And provided that what is said is understood 
only in a mystery, such a way of speaking 
was sufficient, in order that there might be 
something to say when it was asked what the 
three are, which the true faith pronounces to 
be three, when it both declares that the 
Father is not the Son, and that the Holy 
Spirit, which is the gift of God, is neither 
the Father nor the Son. When, then, it is 
asked what the three are, or who the three 
are, we betake ourselves to the finding out 
of some special or general name under which 
we may embrace these three; and no such 
name occurs to the mind, because the super- 
eminence of the Godhead surpasses the power 
of customary speech. For God is more truly 
thought than He is uttered, and exists more 
truly than He is thought. For when we say 
that Jacob was not the same as Abraham, 
but that Isaac was neither Abraham nor 
Jacob, certainly we confess that they are 
three, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. But 
when it is asked what three, we reply three 
men, calling them in the plural by a specific 
name; but if we were to say three animals, 
then by a generic name; for man, as the 

1 1 Cor. vi. 19, 20. 

Bk. v. c. 28 

ancients have defined him, is a rational, mor- 
tal animal: or again, as our Scriptures usually 
speak, three souls, since it is fitting to de- 
nominate the whole from the better part, that 
is, to denominate both body and soul, which 
is the whole man, from the soul; for so it is 
said that seventy-five souls went down into 
Egypt with Jacob, instead of saying so many 
men. 3 Again, when we say that your horse 
is not mine, and that a third belonging to 
some one else is neither mine nor yours, then 
we confess that there are three; and if any 
one ask what three, we answer three horses 
by a specific name, but three animals by a 
generic one. And yet again, when we say 
that an ox is not a horse, but that a dog is 
neither an ox nor a horse, we speak of a three; 
and if any one questions us what three, we 
do not speak now by a specific name of three 
horses, or three oxen, or three dogs, because 
the three are not contained under the same 
species, but by a generic name, three animals; 
or if under a higher genus, three substances, 
or three creatures, or three natures. But 
whatsoever things are expressed in the plural 
number specifically by one name, can also be 
expressed generically by one name. But all 
things which are generically called by one 
name cannot also be called specifically by 
one name. For three horses, which is a 
specific name, we also call three animals; but 
a horse, and an ox, and a dog, we call only 
three animals or substances, which are generic 
names, or anything else that can be spoken 
generically concerning them; but we cannot 
speak of them as three horses, or oxen, or 
dogs, which are specific names; for we ex- 
press those things by one name, although in 
the plural number, which have that in com- 
mon that is signified by the name. For 
Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, have in com- 
mon that which is man; therefore they are 
called three men: a horse also, and an ox, 
and a dog, have in common that which is 
animal; therefore they are called three ani- 
mals. So three several laurels we also call 
three trees; but a laurel, and a myrtle, and 
an olive, we call only three trees, or three 
substances, or three natures: and so three 
stones we call also three bodies; but stone, 
and wood, and iron, we call only three bodies, 
or by any other higher generic name by which 
they can be called. Of the Father, there- 
fore, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, seeing 
that they are three, let us ask what three they 
are, and what they have in common. For the 
being the Father is not common to them, so 
that they should be interchangeably fathers 

3 Gen. xlvi. 27, and Deut. x. 22. 



[Book VII. 

to one another: as friends, since they are so 
called relatively to each other, can be called 
three friends, because they are so mutually 
to each other. But this is not the case 
in the Trinity, since the Father only is 
there father; and not Father of two, but 
of the Son only. Neither are they three 
Sons, since the Father there is not the 
Son, nor is the Holy Spirit. Neither three 
Holy Spirits, because the Holy Spirit also, 
in that proper meaning by which He is also 
called the gift of God, is neither the Father 
nor the Son. What three therefore ? For if 
three persons, then that which is meant by 
person is common to them; therefore this 
name is either specific or generic to them, 
according to the manner of speaking. But 
where there is no difference of nature, there 
things that are several in number are so ex- 
pressed generically, that they can also be ex- 
pressed specifically. For the difference of 
nature causes, that a laurel, and a myrtle, 
and an olive, or a horse, and an ox, and a 
dog, are not called by the specific name, the 
former of three laurels, or the latter of three 
oxen, but by the generic name, the former of 
three trees, and the latter of three animals. 
But here, where there is no difference of es- 
sence, it is necessary that these three should 
have a specific name, which yet is not to be 
found. For person is a generic name, inso- 
much that man also can be so called, although 
there is so great a difference between man 
and God. 

8. Further, in regard to that very generic 
(generalis) word, if on this account we say 
three persons, because that which person 
means is common to them (otherwise they 
can in no way be so called, just as they are 
not called three sons, because that which 
son means is not common to them); why do 
we not also say three Gods ? For certainly, 
since the Father is a person, and the Son a 
person, and the Holy Spirit a person, there- 
fore there are three persons: since then the 
Father is God, and the Son God, and the 
Holy Spirit God, why not three Gods ? Or 
else, since on account of their ineffable union 
these three are together one God, why not 
also one person; so that we could not say 
three persons, although we call each a per- 
son singly, just as we cannot say three Gods, 
although we call each singly God, whether 
the Father, or the Son, or the Holy Spirit? 
Is it because Scripture does not say three 
Gods? But neither do we find that Scripture 
anywhere mentions three persons. Or is it 
because Scripture does not call these three, 
either three persons or one person (for we 
read of the person of the Lord, but not of the 

Lord as a person), that therefore it was law- 
ful through the mere necessity of speaking 
and reasoning to say three persons, not be- 
cause Scripture says it, but because Scripture 
does not contradict it: whereas, if we were to 
say three Gods, Scripture would contradict it, 
which says, "Hear, O Israel; the Lord thy 
God is one God ? " J Why then is it not also 
lawful to say three essences; which, in like 
manner, as Scripture does not say, so neither 
does it contradict ? For if essence is a spe- 
cific (specialis) name common to three, why 
are They not to be called three essences, as 
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are called three 
men, because man is the specific name com- 
mon to all men ? But if essence is not a spe- 
cific name, but a generic one, since man, and 
cattle, and tree, and constellation, and angel, 
are called essences; why are not these called 
three essences, as three horses are called 
three animals, and three laurels are called 
three trees, and three stones three bodies ? 
Or if they are not called three essences, but 
one essence, on account of the unity of the 
Trinity, why is it not the case, that on ac- 
count of the same unity of the Trinity they 
are not to be called three substances or three 
persons, but one substance and one person? 
For as the name of essence is common to 
them, so that each singly is called essence, 
so the name of either substance or person is 
common to them. For that which must be 
understood of persons according to our usage, 
this is to be understood of substances accord- 
ing to the Greek usage; for they say three 
substances, one essence, in the same way as 
we say three persons, one essence or sub- 

9. What therefore remains, except that we 
confess that these terms sprang from the ne- 
cessity of speaking, when copious reason- 
ing was required against the devices or errors 
of the heretics ? For when human weakness 
endeavored to utter in speech to the senses 
of man what it grasps in the secret places of 
the mind in proportion to its comprehen- 
sion respecting the Lord God its creator, 
whether by devout faith, or by any discern- 
ment whatsoever; it feared to say three es- 
sences, lest any difference should be under- 
stood to exist in that absolute equality. 
Again, it could not say that there were not 
three somewhats (tria qucedani), for it was be- 
cause Sabellius said this that he fell into 
heresy. For it must be devoutly believed, as 
most certainly known from the Scriptures, and 
must be grasped by the mental eye with un- 
doubting perception, that there is both 

1 Deut. vi. 4. 

Chap. VI.] 


I I I 

Father, and Son, and Holy Spirit; and that 
the Son is not the same with the Father, nor 
the Holy Spirit the same with the Father or 
the Son. It sought then what three it should 
call them, and answered substances or per- 
sons; by which names it did not intend di- 
versity to be meant, but singleness to be 
denied: that not only unity might be un- 
derstood therein from the being called one 
essence, but also Trinity from the being 
called three substances or persons. For if 
it is the same thing with God to be {esse) as 
to subsist (subsisterc), they were not to be 
called three substances, in such sense as they 
are not called three essences; just as, because 
it is the same thing with God to be as to be 
wise, as we do not say three essences, so 
neither three wisdoms. For so, because it is 
the same thing to Him to be God as to be, it 
is not right to say three essences, as it is not 
right to say three Gods. But if it is one 
thing to God to be, another to subsist, as it is 
one thing to God to be, another to be the 
Father or the Lord (for that which He is, is 
spoken in respect to Himself, but He is called 
Father in relation to the Son, and Lord in re- 
lation to the creature which serves Him); 
therefore He subsists relatively, as He begets 
relatively, and bears rule relatively: so then 
substance will be no longer substance, because 
it will be relative. For as from being, He is 
called essence, so from subsisting, we speak 
of substance. But it is absurd that substance 
should be spoken relatively, for everything 
subsists in respect to itself; how much more 
God? 1 


10. If, however, it is fitting that God should 
be said to subsist (For this word is right- 
ly applied to those things, in which as sub- 
jects those things are, which are said to be in 
a subject, as color or shape in body. For 
body subsists, and so is substance; but those 
things are in the body, which subsists and is 
their subject, and they are not substances, 
but are in a substance : and so, if either that 
color or that shape ceases to be, it does not 
deprive the body of being a body, because 
it is not of the being of body, that it should 
retain this or that shape or color; therefore 
neither changeable nor simple things are pro- 
perly called substances.) If, I say, God sub- 
sists so that He can be properly called a sub- 

1 [Augustin's meaning is, that the term " substance " is not 
an adequate one whereby to denote a trinitarian distinction, be- 
cause in order to denote such a distinction it must be employed re 
latively, while in itself it has an absolute signification. In the 
next chapter he proceeds to show this. W. G. T. S.] 

stance, then there is something in Him as 
it were in a subject, and He is not simple, i.e. 
such that to Him to be is the same as is any- 
thing else that is said concerning Him in 
respect to Himself; as, for instance, great, 
omnipotent, good, and whatever of this kind 
is not unfitly said of God. But it is an im- 
piety to say that God subsists, and is a sub- 
ject in relation to His own goodness, and that 
this goodness is not a substance or rather es- 
sence, and that God Himself is not His own 
goodness, but that it is in Him as in a sub- 
ject. And hence it is clear that God is im- 
properly called substance, in order that He 
may be understood to be, by the more usual 
name essence, which He is truly and pro- 
perly called; so that perhaps it is right that 
God alone should be called essence. For 
He is truly alone, because He is unchange- 
able; and declared this to be His own name 
to His servant Moses, when He says, "I am 
that I am;" and, "Thus shalt thou say unto 
the children of Israel: He who is hath sent 
me unto you." 2 However, whether He be 
called essence, which He is properly called, 
or substance, which He is called improperly, 
He is called both in respect to Himself, not 
relatively to anything; whence to God to be 
is the same thing as to subsist; and so the 
Trinity, if one essence, is also one substance. 
Perhaps therefore they are more conveniently 
called three persons than three substances. 


11. But lest I should seem to favor our- 
selves [the Latins], let us make this further 
inquiry. Although they [the Greeks] also, 
if they pleased, as they call three substances 
three hypostases, so might call three persons 
three "prosopa," yet they preferred that word 
which, perhaps, was more in accordance with 
the usage of their language. For the case is 
the same with the word persons also; for to 
God it is not one thing to be, another to be a 
person, but it is absolutely the same thing. 
For if to be is said in respect to Himself, but 
person relatively; in this way we should say 
three persons, the Father, Son, and Holy 
Spirit; just as we speak of three friends, or 
three relations, or three neighbors, in that 
they are so mutually, not that each one of 
them is so in respect to himself. Wherefore 
any one of these is the friend of the other two, 

Ex. iii. 14. 

I 12 


[Book VII. 

or the relation, or the neighbor, because 
these names have a relative signification. 
What then ? Are we to call the Father the per- 
son of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, or the 
Son the person of the Father and of the Holy 
Spirit, or the Holy Spirit the person of the 
Father and of the Son ? But neither is the 
word person commonly so used in any case; 
nor in this Trinity, when we speak of the per- 
son of the Father, do we mean anything else 
than the substance of the Father. Wherefore, 
as the substance of the Father is the Father 
Himself, not as He is the Father, but as He 
is, so also the person of the Father is not any- 
thing else than the Father Himself; for He is 
called a person in respect to Himself, not in 
respect to the Son, or the Holy Spirit: just as 
He is called in respect to Himself both God, 
and great, and good, and just, and anything 
else of the kind ; and just as to Him to be is the 
same as to be Gcd, or as to be great, or as 
to be good, so it is the same thing to Him to 
be, as to be a person. Why, therefore, do 
we not call these three together one person, 
as one essence and one God, but say three 
persons, while we do not say three Gods or 
three essences; unless it be because we wish 
some one word to serve for that meaning 
whereby the Trinity is understood, that we 
might not be altogether silent, when asked, 
what three, while we confessed that they are 
three ? For if essence is the genus, and sub- 
stance or person the species, as some think, 
then I must omit what I just now said, that 
they ought to be called three essences, as they 
are called three substances or persons ; as 
three horses are called three horses, and the 
same are called three animals, since horse is 
the species, animal the genus. For in this 
case the species is not spoken of in the plural, 
and the genus in the singular, as if we were 
to say that three horses were one animal; but 
as they are three horses by the special name, 
so they are three animals by the generic one. 
But if they say that the name of substance or 
person does not signify species, but something 
singular and individual; so that anyone is not 
so called a substance or person as he is called 
a man, for man is common to all men, but in 
the same manner as he is called this or that 
man, as Abraham, as Isaac, as Jacob, or any- 
one else who, if present, could be pointed out 
with the finger : so will the same reason reach 
these too. For as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob 
are called three individuals, so are they called 
three men, and three souls. Why then are 
both the Father and the Son and the Holy 
Spirit, if we are to reason about them also ac- 
cording to genus and species and individual, 
not so called three essences, as they are called 

three substances or persons? But this, as I said, 
I pass over : but I do affirm, that if essence 
is a genus, then a single essence has no 
species; just as, because animal is a genus, a 
single animal has no species. Therefore the 
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are not three 
species of one essence. But if essence is a 
species, as man is a species, but those are 
three which we call substances or persons, then 
they have the same species in common, in 
such way as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob have 
in common the species which is called man ; 
not as man is subdivided into Abraham, Isaac, 
and Jacob, so can one man also be subdivided 
into several single men; for this is altogether 
impossible, since one man is already a single 
man. Why then is one essence subdivided 
into three substances or persons ? For if es- 
ence is a species, as man is, then one essence 
is as one man is : or do we, as we say that any 
three human beings of the same sex, of the 
same constitution of body, of the same mind, 
are one nature, for they are three human 
beings, but one nature, so also say in the 
Trinity three substances one essence, or three 
persons one substance or essence ? But this 
is somehow a parallel case, since the ancients 
also who spoke Latin, before they had these 
terms, which have not long come into use, 
that is, essence or substance, used for them to 
say nature. We do not therefore use these 
terms according to genus or species, but as if 
according to a matter that is common and the 
same. Just as if three statues were made of 
the same goid, we should say three statues 
one gold, yet should neither call the gold 
genus, and the statues species; nor the gold 
species, and the statues individuals. For no 
species goes beyond its own individuals, so 
as to comprehend anything external to them. 
For when I define what man is, which is a 
specific name, every several man that exists 
is contained in the same individual definition, 
neither does anything belong to it which is 
not a man. But when I define gold, not 
statues alone, if they be gold, but rings also, 
and anything else that is made of gold, will 
belong to gold ; and even if nothing were 
made of it, it would still be called gold; since, 
even if there were no gold statues, there will 
not therefore be no statues at all. Likewise 
no species goes beyond the definition of its 
genus. For when I define animal, since horse 
is a species of this genus, every horse is an 
animal ; but every statue is not gold. So, al- 
though in the case of three golden statues we 
should rightly say three statues, one gold ; 
yet we do not so say it, as to understand gold 
to be the genus, and the statues to be species. 
Therefore neither do we so call the Trinity 

Chap. VI.] 



three persons or substances, one essence and 
one God, as though three somethings subsist- 
ed out of one matter [leaving a remainder, i. 
e.\, although whatever that is, it is unfolded in 
these three. For there is nothing else of that 
essence besides the Trinity. Yet we say 
three persons of the same essence, or three 
persons one essence ; but we do not say three 
persons out of the same essence, as though 
therein essence were one thing, and person 
another, as we can say three statues out of the 
same gold ; for there it is one thing to be gold, 
another to be statues. And when we say three 
men one nature, or three men of the same 
nature, they also can be called three men out 
of the same nature, since out of the same na- 
ture there can be also three other such men. 
But in that essence of the Trinity, in no way 
can any other person whatever exist out of the 
same essence. Further, in these things, one 
man is not as much as three men together ; 
and two men are something more than one 
man : and in equal statues, three together 
amount to more of gold than each singly, and 
one amounts to less of gold than two. But 
in God it is not so; for the Father, the Son, 
and the Holy Spirit together is not a greater 
essence than the Father alone or the Son 
alone; but these three substances or persons, 
if they must be so called, together are equal 
to each singly: which the natural man does 
not comprehend. For he cannot think ex- 
cept under the conditions of bulk and space, 
either small or great, since phantasms or as 
it were images of bodies flit about in his 

12. And until he be purged from this 
uncleanness, let him believe in the Father, 
Son, and Holy Spirit, one God, alone, great, 
omnipotent, good, just, merciful, Creator of 
all things visible and invisible, and whatso- 
ever can be worthily and truly said of Him in 
proportion to human capacity. And when he 
is told that the Father only is God, let him 
not separate from Him the Son or the Holy 
Spirit ; for together with Him He is the only 
God, together with whom also He is one God; 
because, when we are told that the Son also is 
the only God, we must needs take it without 
any separation of the Father or the Holy 
Spirit. And let him so say one essence, as 
not to think one to be either greater or better 
than, or in any respect differing from, another. 
Yet not that the Father Himself is both Son 
and Holy Spirit, or whatever else each is sin- 
gly called in relation to either of the others ; as 
Word, which is not said except of the Son, or 
Gift, which is not said except of the Holy 
Spirit. And on this account also they admit 
the plural number, as it is written in the Gos- 


pel, "I and my Father are one." 1 He has 
both said "one/' 2 and "we are 3 one," accord- 
ing to essence, because they are the same God; 
" we are," according to relation, because the 
one is Father, the other is Son. Sometimes 
also the unity of the essence is left unex- 
pressed, and the relatives alone are mention- 
ed in the plural number : " My Father and I 
will come unto him, and make our abode with 
him." 4 We will come, and we will make our 
abode, is the plural number, since it was said 
before, " I and my Father," that is, the Son 
and the Father,which terms are used relatively 
to one another. Sometimes the meaning is 
altogether latent, as in Genesis : " Let us 
make man after our image and likeness." 5 
Both let us make and our is said in the plural, 
and ought not to be received except as of 
relatives. For it was not that gods might 
make, or make after the image and likeness 
of gods ; but that the Father, and Son, and 
Holy Spirit might make after the image of the 
Father, and Son, and Holy Spirit, that man 
might subsist as the image of God. And God 
is the Trinity. But because that image of God 
was not made altogether equal to Him, as 
being not born of Him, but created by Him; 
in order to signify this, he is in such way the 
image as that he is " after the image," that 
is, he is not made equal by parity, but ap- 
proaches to Him by a sort of likeness. For 
approach to God is not by interval's of place, 
but by likeness, and withdrawal from Him is 
by unlikeness. For there are some who 
draw this distinction, that they will have the 
Son to be the image, but man not to be the 
image, but "after the image." But the 
apostle refutes them, saying, " For a man 
indeed ought not to cover his head, foras- 
much as he is the image and glory of God." 6 
He did not say after the image, but the image. 
And this image, since it is elsewhere spoken 
of as after the image, is not as if it were said 
relatively to the Son, who is the image equal 
to the Father ; otherwise he would not say 
after our image. For how our, when the Son 
is the image of the Father alone ? But man 
is said to be " after the image," on account, 
as we have said, of the inequality of the like- 
ness; and therefore after our image, that man 
might be the image of the Trinity; 7 not equal 
to the Trinity as the Son is equal to the 
Father, but approaching to it, as has been 

'John x. 30. - I'num. 3 Sumi/s. 

4 John xiv. 23. 5 Gen. i. 26. 6 1 Cor. xi. 7. 

7 [Augustin would find this " image " in the ternaries of nature 
and the human mind which illustrate the Divine trinality. The 
remainder of the treatise is mainly devoted to this abstruse sub- 
ject; and is one of the most metaphysical pieces of composition in 
patristic literature. The exegetical portion of the work ends sub- 
stantially with the seventh chapter. The remainder is ontologi- 
cal, yet growing out of, and founded upon the biblical data and 
results of the first part. W. G. T. S.] 



[Book VII. 

said, by a certain likeness ; just as nearness 
may in a sense be signified in things distant 
from each other, not in respect of place, but 
of a sort of imitation. For it is also said, 
"Be ye transformed by the renewing of your 
mind;" 1 to whom he likewise says, " Be ye 
therefore imitators of God as dear children." 2 
For it is said to the new man, " which is re- 
newed to the knowledge of God, after the 
image of Him that created him." 3 Or if we 
choose to admit the plural number, in order 
to meet the needs of argument, even putting 
aside relative terms, that so we may answer in 

1 Rom. xii. 2. 
3 Col. iii. 10. 

Eph. v. 1. 

one term when it is asked what three, and say 
three substances or three persons; then let no 
one think of any bulk or interval, or of any 
distance of howsoever little unlikeness, so that 
in the Trinity any should be understood to be 
even a little less than another, in whatsoever 
way one thing can be less than another : in 
order that there may be neither a confusion 
of persons, nor such a distinction as that there 
should be any inequality. And if this cannot 
be grasped by the understanding, let it be held 
by faith, until He shall dawn in the heart who 
says by the prophet, " If ye will not believe, 
surely ye shall not understand." 4 

4 Isa. vii. 9. 





We have said elsewhere that those things 
are predicated specially in the Trinity as be- 
longing severally to each person, which are 
predicated relatively the one to the other, as 
Father and Son, and the gift of both, the 
Holy Spirit; for the Father is not the Trinity, 
nor the Son the Trinity, nor the gift the 
Trinity: but what whenever each is singly 
spoken of in respect to themselves, then 
they are not spoken of as three in the plural 
number, but one, the Trinity itself, as the 
Father God, the Son God, and the Holy 
Spirit God; the Father good, the Son good, 
and the Holy Spirit good; and the Father 
omnipotent, the Son omnipotent, and the 
Holy Spirit omnipotent: yet neither three 
Gods, nor three goods, nor three omnipo- 
tents, but one God, good, omnipotent, the 
Trinity itself; and whatsoever else is said of 
them not relatively in respect to each other, 
but individually in respect to themselves. 
For they are thus spoken of according to 
essence, since in them to be is the same as to 
be great, as to be good, as to be wise, and 
whatever else is said of each person individu- 
ally therein, or of the Trinity itself, in respect 

to themselves. And that therefore they are 
called three persons, or three substances, not 
in order that any difference of essence may be 
understood, but that we may be able to answer 
by some one word, should any one ask what 
three, or what three things ? And that there is 
so great an equality in that Trinity, that not 
only the Father is not greater than the Son, 
as regards divinity, but neither are the Father 

and Son together 


than the Holy 

Spirit; nor is each individual person, which- 
ever it be of the three, less than the Trinity 
itself. This is what we have said; and if it 
is handled and repeated frequently, it be- 
comes, no doubt, more familiarly known: yet 
some limit, too, must be put to the discus- 
sion, and we must supplicate God with most 
devout piety, that He will open our under- 
standing, and take away the inclination of 
disputing, in order that our minds may dis- 
cern the essence of the truth, that has neither 
bulk nor moveableness. Now, therefore, so 
far as the Creator Himself aids us in His 
marvellous mercy, let us consider these sub- 
jects, into which we will enter more deeply than 
we entered into those which preceded, al- 
though they are in truth the same; preserving 
the while this rule, that what has not yet been 
made clear to our intellect, be nevertheless 
not loosened from the firmness of our faith. 



[Book VI I L 



2. For we say that in this Trinity two or 
three persons are not anything greater than 
one of them; which carnal perception does 
not receive, for no other reason except be- 
cause it perceives as it can the true things 
which are created, but cannot discern the 
truth itself by which they are created; for if 
it could, then the very corporeal light would 
in no way be more clear than this which we 
have said. For in respect to the substance 
of truth, since it alone truly is, nothing is 
greater, unless because it more truly is. 1 But 
in respect to whatsoever is intelligible and un- 
changeable, no one thing is more truly than an- 
other, since all alike are unchangeably eternal; 
and that which therein is called great, is not 
great from any other source than from that 
by which it truly is. Wherefore, where 
magnitude itself is truth, whatsoever has 
more of magnitude must needs have more of 
truth; whatsoever therefore has not more of 
truth, has not also more of magnitude. 
Further, whatsoever has more of truth is cer- 
tainly more true, just as that is greater which 
has more of magnitude; therefore in respect 
to the substance of truth that is more great 
which is more true. But the Father and the 
Son together are not more truly than the 
Father singly, or the Son singly. Both to- 
gether, therefore, are not anything greater 
than each of them singly. And since also 
the Holy Spirit equally is truly, the Father 
and Son together are not anything greater 
than He, since neither are they more truly. 
The Father also and the Holy Spirit together, 
since they do not surpass the Son in truth 
(for they are not more truly), do not surpass 
Him either in magnitude. And so the Son 
and the Holy Spirit together are just as great 
as 'the Father alone, since they are as truly. 
So also the Trinity itself is as great as each 
several person therein. For where truth it- 
self is magnitude, that is not more great which 
is not more true: since in regard to the es- 
sence of truth, to be true is the same as to 
be, and to be is the same as to be great; 
therefore to be great is the same as to be 
true. And in regard to it, therefore, what is 
equally true must needs also be equally 

1 [In this and the following chapter, the meaning of Augustin 
will be clearer, if the Latin " Veritas ," " vera" and " vere" are 
rendered, occasionally, by " reality," " real,' : and " really." He is 
endeavoring to prove the equality of the three persons, by the fact 
that they are equally real (true), and the degree of their reality 
(truth) is the same. Real being is true being; reality is truth. In 
common phraseology, truth and reality are synonymous. W. G. 
T. S.] 



3. But in respect to bodies, it may be the 
case that this gold and that gold may be 
equally true [real], but this may be greater 
than that, since magnitude is not the same 
thing in this case as truth; and it is one thing 
for it to be gold, another to be great. So 
also in the nature of the soul; a soul is not 
called great in the same respect in which it is 
called true. For he, too, has a true [real] 
soul who has not a great soul; since the es- 
sence of body and soul is not the essence of 
the truth [reality] itself; as is the Trinity, 
one God, alone, great, true, truthful, the 
truth. Of whom if we endeavor to think, so 
far as He Himself permits and grants, let us 
not think of any touch or embrace in local 
space, as if of three bodies, or of any com- 
pactness of conjunction, as fables tell of 
three-bodied Geryon; but let whatsoever may 
occur to the mind, that is of such sort as to 
be greater in three than in each singly, and 
less in one than in two, be rejected without 
any doubt; for so everything corporeal is 
rejected. But also in spiritual things let 
nothing changeable that may have occurred to 
the mind be thought of God. For when we 
aspire from this depth to that height, it is a 
step towards no small knowledge, if, before 
we can know what God is, we can already 
know what He is not. P'or certainly He is 
neither earth nor heaven; nor, as it were, 
earth and heaven; nor any such thing as we 
see in the heaven; nor any such thing as we 
do not see, but which perhaps is in heaven. 
Neither if you were to magnify in the imagi- 
nation of your thought the light of the sun as 
much as you are able, either that it may be 
greater, or that it may be brighter, a thousand 
times as much, or times without number; 
neither is this God. Neither as 2 we think of the 
pure angels as spirits animating celestial bo- 
dies, and changing and dealing with them after 
the will by which they serve God; not even if 
all, and there are " thousands of thousands," 3 
were brought together into one, and became 
one; neither is any such thing God. Neither 
if you were to think of the same spirits as 
without bodies a thing indeed most difficult 
for carnal thought to do. Behold and see, if 
thou canst, O soul pressed down by the cor- 
ruptible body, and weighed down by earthly 
thoughts, many and various; behold and see, 
if thou canst, that God is truth. 4 For it is 
written that "God is light;'' 5 not in such 

2 Read si for sic it t, i/ior as. Bened. ed. 

3 Apoc. v. n. 4 Wisd. ix. 15. 5 1 John i. 5. 

Chap. 1 1 1. J 



way as these eyes see, but in such way as the 
heart sees, when it is said, He is truth [real- 
ity]. Ask not what is truth [reality] ; 
for immediately the darkness of corporeal 
images and the clouds of phantasms will 
put themselves in the way, and will disturb 
that calm which at the first twinkling shone 
forth to thee, when I said truth [reality]. 
See that thou remainest, if thou canst, in that 
first twinkling with which thou art dazzled, 
as it were, by a flash, when it is said to thee, 
Truth [Reality]. But thou canst not; thou 
wilt glide back into those usual and earthly 
things. And what weight, pray, is it that 
will cause thee so to glide back, unless it be 
the bird-lime of the stains of appetite thou 
hast contracted, and the errors of thy wan- 
dering from the right path ? 


4. Behold again, and see if thou canst. 
Thou certainly dost not love anything except 
what is good, since good is the earth, with 
the loftiness of its mountains, and the due 
measure of its hills, and the level surface of 
its plains; and good is an estate that is pleas- 
ant and fertile; and good is a house that is 
arranged in due proportions, and is spacious 
and bright; and good are animal and animate 
bodies; and good is air that is temperate 
and salubrious; and good is food that is 
agreeable and fit for health; and good is 
health, without pains or lassitude; and good is 
the countenance of man that is disposed in fit 
proportions, and is cheerful in look, and 
bright in color; and good is the mind of a 
friend, with the sweetness of agreement, and 
with the confidence of love; and good is a right- 
eous man; and good are riches, since they 
are readily useful; and good is the heaven, with 
its sun, and moon, and stars; and good are 
the angels, by their holy obedience; and 
good is discourse that sweetly teaches and 
suitably admonishes the hearer; and good is 
a poem that is harmonious in its numbers and 
weighty in its sense. And why add yet more 
and more ? This thing is good and that 
good, but take away this and that, and regard 
good itself if thou canst; so wilt thou see 
God, not good by a good that is other than 
Himself, but the good of all good. For in 
all these good things, whether those which 
I have mentioned, or any else that are to be 
discerned or thought, we couTd not say that 
one was better than another, when we judge 
truly, unless a conception of the good itself 
had been impressed upon us, such that ac- 

cording to it we might both approve some 
things as good, and prefer one good to an- 
other. So God is to be loved, not this and 
that good, but the good itself. For the good 
that must be sought for the soul is not one 
above which it is to fly by judging, but to 
which it is to cleave by loving; and what can 
this be except God ? Not a good mind, or a 
good angel, or the good heaven, but the good 
good. For perhaps what I wish to say may 
be more easily perceived in this way. For 
when, for instance, a mind is called good, as 
there are two words, so from these words I 
understand two things one whereby it is 
mind, and another whereby it is good. And 
itself had no share in making itself a mind, 
for there was nothing as yet to make itself to 
be anything; but to make itself to be a good 
mind, I see, must be brought about by the 
will: not because that by which it is mind is 
not itself anything good; for how else is it 
already called, and most truly called, better 
than the body ? but it is not yet called a 
good mind, for this reason, that the action of 
the will still is wanted, by which it is to be- 
come more excellent; and if it has neglected 
this, then it is justly blamed, and is rightly 
called not a good mind. For it then differs 
from the mind which does perform this; and 
since the latter is praiseworthy, the former 
doubtless, which does not perform, it is 
blameable. But when it does this of set pur- 
pose, and becomes a good mind, it yet cannot 
attain to being so unless it turn itself to some- 
thing which itself is not. And to what can it 
turn itself that it may become a good mind, 
except to the good which it loves, and seeks, 
and obtains ? And if it turns itself back 
again from this, and becomes not good, then 
by the very act of turning away from the 
good, unless that good remain in it from 
which it turns away, it cannot again turn it- 
self back thither if it should wish to amend. 

5. Wherefore there would be no changeable 
goods, unless there were the unchangeable 
good. Whenever then thou art told of this 
good thing and that good thing, which things 
can also in other respects be called not good, 
if thou canst put aside those things which are 
good by the participation of the good, and 
discern that good itself by the participation 
of which they are good (for when this or that 
good thing is spoken or, thou understandest 
together with them the good itself also): if, 
then, I say thou canst remove these things, 
and canst discern the good in itself, then 
thou wilt have discerned God. And if thou 
shalt cleave to Him with love, thou shalt be 
forthwith blessed. But whereas other things 
are not loved, except because they are good, 



[Book VIII. 

be ashamed, in cleaving to them, not to love 
the good itself whence they are good. That 
also, which is a mind, only because it is a 
mind, while it is not yet also good by the 
turning itself to the unchangeable good, but, 
as I said, is only a mind; whenever it so 
pleases us, as that we prefer it even, if we 
understand aright, to all corporeal" light, does 
not please us in itself, but in that skill by 
which it was made. For it is thence approved 
as made, wherein it is seen to have been to 
be made. This is truth, and simple good: 
for it is nothing else than the good itself, and 
for this reason also the chief good. For no 
good can be diminished or increased, except 
that which is good from some other good. 
Therefore the mind turns itself, in order to 
be good, to that by which it comes to be a 
mind. Therefore the will is then in harmony 
with nature, so that the mind maybe perfected 
in good, when that good is loved by the turn- 
ing of the will to it, whence that other good 
also comes which is not lost by the turning 
away of the will from it. For by turning it- 
self from the chief good, the mind loses the 
being a good mind; but it does not lose the 
being a mind. And this, too, is a good al- 
ready, and one better than the body. The 
will, therefore, loses that which the will ob- 
tains. For the mind already was, that could 
wish to be turned to that from which it was: 
but that as yet was not, that could wish to be 
before it was. And herein is our [supreme] 
good, when we see whether the thing ought 
to be or to have been, respecting which we 
comprehend that it ought to be or to have 
been, and when we see that the thing could 
not have been unless it ought to have been, 
of which we also do not comprehend in what 
manner it ought to have been. This good 
then is not far from every one of us: for in it 
we live, and move, and have our being. 1 



6. But it is by love that we must stand firm 
to this and cleave to this, in order that we 
may enjoy the presence of that by which we 
are, and in the absence of which we could not 
be at all. For as " we walk as yet by faith, 
and not by sight," 2 we certainly do not yet see 
God, as the same [apostle] saith, " face to 
face: " 3 whom however we shall never see, 
unless now already we love. But who loves 
what he does not know ? For it is possible 
something maybe known and not loved: but I 
ask whether it is possible that what is not 
known can be loved; since if it cannot, then 

1 Acts xvii. 27, 28. 

2 2 Cor. v. 7. 

3 1 Cor. xiii. 12. 

no one loves God before he knows Him. And 
what is it to know God except to behold Him 
and steadfastly perceive Him with the mind ? 
For He is not a body to be searched out by 
carnal eyes. But before also that we have 
power to behold and to perceive God, as He 
can be beheld and perceived, which is per- 
mitted to the pure in heart; for " blessed are 
the pure in heart, for they shall see God; " * 
except He is loved by faith, it will not be pos- 
sible for the heart to be cleansed, in order 
that it may be apt and meet to see Him. For 
where are there those three, in order to build 
up which in the mind the whole apparatus of 
the divine Scriptures has been raised up, name- 
ly Faith, Hope, and Charity, 5 except in a mind 
believing what it does not yet see, and hoping 
and loving what it believes ? Even He there- 
fore who is not known, but yet is believed, 
can be loved. But indisputably we must take 
care, lest the mind believing that which it does 
not see, feign to itself something which is not, 
and hope for and love that which is false. 
For in that case, it will not be charity out of 
a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and 
of faith unfeigned, which is the end of the 
commandment, as the same apostle says. 6 

7. But it must needs be, that, when by 
-reading or hearing of them we believe in any 
corporeal things which we have not seen, the 
mind frames for itself something under bodily 
features and forms, just as it may occur to 
our thoughts; which either is not true, or even 
if it be true, which can most rarely happen, 
yet this is of no benefit to us to believe in by 
faith, but it is useful for some other purpose, 
which is intimated by means of it. For who 
is there that reads or hears what the Apostle 
Paul has written, or what has been written of 
him, that does not imagine to himself the 
countenance both of the apostle himself, and of 
all those whose names are there mentioned ? 
And whereas, among such a multitude of men 
to whom these books are known, each imagines 
in a different way those bodily features and 
forms, it is assuredly uncertain which it is that 
imagines them more nearly and more like the 
reality. Nor, indeed, is our faith busied 
therein with the bodily countenance of those 
men; but only that by the grace of God they 
so lived and so acted as that Scripture wit- 
nesses: this it is which it is both useful to 
believe, and which must not be despaired of, 
and must be sought. For even the counte- 
nance of our Lord Himself in the flesh is va- 
riously fancied by the diversity of countless 
imaginations, which yet was one, whatever it 
was. Nor in our faith which we have of our 

4 Matt. v. 8. 

5 1 Cor. xiii. 13. 

6 1 Tim. i. 5. 

Chap. V.] 


II 9 

Lord Jesus Christ, is that wholesome which 
the mind imagines for itself, perhaps far other 
than the reality, but that which we think of 
man according to his kind: for we have a no- 
tion of human nature implanted in us, as it 
were by rule, according to which we know 
forthwith, that whatever such thing we see is 
a man or the form of a man. 



Our conception is framed according to this 
notion, when we believe that God was made 
man for us, as an example of humility, and to 
show the love of God towards us. For this 
it is which it is good for us to believe, and to 
retain firmly and unshakenly in our heart, that 
the humility by which God was born of a 
woman, and was led to death through con- 
tumelies so great by mortal men, is the chief- 
est remedy by which the swelling of our pride 
may be cured, and the profound mystery by 
which the bond of sin may be loosed. So also, 
because we know what omnipotence is, we be- 
lieve concerning the omnipotent God in the 
power of His miracles and of His resurrection, 
and we frame conceptions respecting actions 
of this kind, according to the species and 
genera of things that are either ingrafted in 
us by nature, or gathered by experience, that 
our faith may not be feigned. For neither 
do we know the countenance of the Virgin 
Mary; from whom, untouched by a husband, 
nor tainted in the birth itself, He was won- 
derfully born. Neither have we seen what 
were the lineaments of the body of Lazarus; 
nor yet Bethany; nor the sepulchre, and that 
stone which He commanded to be removed 
when He raised Him from the dead; nor the 
new tomb cut out in the rock, whence He 
Himself arose; nor the Mount of Olives, from 
whence He ascended into heaven. And, in 
short, whoever of us have not seen these 
things, know not whether they are as we con- 
ceive them to be, nay judge them more prob- 
ably not to be so. For when the aspect either 
of a place, or a man, or of any other body, 
which we happened to imagine before we saw 
it, turns out to be the same when it occurs to 
our sight as it was when it occurred to our 
mind, we are moved with no little wonder. 
So scarcely and hardly ever does it happen. 
And yet we believe those things most stead- 
fastly, because we imagine them according to a 
special and general notion, of which we are cer- 
tain. For we believe our Lord Jesus Christ to 
be born of a virgin who was called Mary. But 
what a virgin is, or what it is to be born, and 
what is a proper name, we do not believe, but 

certainly know. And whether that was the 
countenance of Mary which occurred to the 
mind in speaking of those things or recollect- 
ing them, we neither know at all, nor believe. 
It is allowable, then, in this case to say without 
violation of the faith, perhaps she had such 
or such a countenance, perhaps she had not: 
but no one could say without violation of the 
Christian faith, that perhaps Christ was born 
of a virgin. 

8. Wherefore, since we desire to understand 
the eternity, and equality, and unity of the 
Trinity, as much as is permitted us, but ought 
to believe before we understand; and since 
we must watch carefully, that our faith be not 
feigned; since we must have the fruition of 
the same Trinity, that we may live blessedly; 
but if we have believed anything false of it, 
our hope would be worthless, and our charity 
not pure: how then can we love, by believing, 
that Trinity which we do not know ? Is it ac- 
cording to the special or general notion, ac- 
cording to which we love the Apostle Paul ? 
In whose case, even if he was not of that 
countenance which occurs to us when we think 
of him (and this we do not know at all), yet 
we know what a man is. For not to go far 
away, this we are; and it is manifest he, too, 
was this, and that his soul joined to his body 
lived after the manner of mortals. There- 
fore we believe this of him, which we find in 
ourselves, according to the species or genus 
under which all human nature alike is com- 
prised. What then do we know, whether 
specially or generally, of that most excellent 
Trinity, as if there were many such trinities, 
some of which we had learned by experience, 
so that we may believe that Trinity, too, to 
have been such as they, through the rule of 
similitude, impressed upon us, whether a 
special or a general notion; and thus love also 
that thing which we believe and do not yet 
know, from the parity of the thing which we 
do know ? But this certainly is not so. Or is 
it that, as we love in our Lord Jesus Christ, 
that He rose from the dead, although we never 
saw any one rise from thence, so we can be- 
lieve in and love the Trinity which we do not 
see, and the like of which we never have seen ? 
But we certainly know what it is to die, and 
what it is to live; because we both live, and 
from time to time have seen and experienced 
both dead and dying persons. And what else 
is it to rise again, except to live again, that is, 
to return to life from death? When, there- 
fore, we say and believe that there is a Trin- 
ity, we know what a Trinity is, because we 
know what three are; but this is not what we 
love. For we can easily have this whenever 
we will, to pass over other things, by just hold- 



[Book VIII. 

ing up three fingers. Or do we indeed love, 
not every trinity, but the Trinity, that is 
God ? We love then in the Trinity, that it is 
God: but we never saw or knew any other 
God, because God is One; He alone whom we 
have not yet seen, and whom we love by be- 
lieving. But the question is, from what like- 
ness or comparison of known things can we 
believe, in order that we may love God, whom 
we do not yet know ? 


9. Return then with me, and let us consid- 
er why we love the apostle. Is it at all on ac- 
count of his human kind, which we know 
right well, in that we believe him to have been 
a man ? Assuredly not; for if it were so, he 
now is not him whom we love, since he is no 
longer that man, for his soul is separated 
from his body. But we believe that which we 
love in him to be still living, for we love his 
righteous mind. From what general or spec- 
ial rule then, except that we know both what 
a mind is, and what it is to be righteous ? And 
we say, indeed, not unfitly, that we therefore 
know what a mind is, because we too have a 
mind. For neither did we ever see it with 
our eyes, and gather a special or general 
notion from the resemblance of more minds 
than one, which we had seen; but rather, as 
I have said before, because we too have it. 
For what is known so intimately, and so per- 
ceives itself to be itself, as that by which also 
all other things are perceived, that is, the 
mind itself ? For we recognize the movements 
of bodies also, by which we perceive that 
others live besides ourselves, from the resem- 
blance of ourselves ; since we also so move 
our body in living as we observe those bodies 
to be moved. For even when a living body 
is moved, there is no way opened to our eyes 
to see the mind, a thing which cannot be seen 
by the eyes ; but we perceive something to be 
contained in that bulk, such as is contained 
in ourselves, so as to move in like manner our- 
own bulk, which is the life and the soul. 
Neither is this, as it were, the property of 
human foresight and reason, since brute ani- 
mals also perceive that not only they them- 
selves live, but also other brute animals inter- 
changeably, and the one the other, and that we 
ourselves do so. Neither do they see our 
souls, save from the movements of the body, 
and that immediately and most easily by some 
natural agreement. Therefore we both know 
the mind of any one from our own, and be- 
lieve also from our own of him whom we do 

not know. For not only do we perceive that 
there is a mind, but we can also know what a 
mind is, by reflecting upon our own : for we 
have a mind. But whence do we know what 
a righteous man is ? For we said above that 
we love the apostle for no other reason except 
that he is a righteous mind. We know, then, 
what a righteous man also is, just as we know 
what a mind is. But what a mind is, as has 
been said, we know from ourselves, for there 
is a mind in us. But whence do we know 
what a righteous man is, if we are not right- 
eous ? But if no one but he who is righteous 
knows what is a righteous man, no one but a 
righteous man loves a righteous man; for one 
cannot love him whom one believes to be right- 
eous, for this very reason that one does believe 
him to be righteous, if one does not know 
what it is to be righteous ; according to that 
which we have shown above, that no one 
loves what he believes and does not see, ex- 
cept by some rule of a general or special no- 
tion. And if for this reason no one but a 
righteous man loves a righteous man, how will 
any one wish to be a righteous man who is 
not yet so ? For no one wishes to be that 
which he does not love. But, certainly, that 
he who is not righteous may be so, it is nec- 
essary that he should wish to be righteous ; 
and in order that he may wish to be righteous, 
he loves the righteous man. Therefore, even 
he who is not yet righteous, loves the right- 
eous man. 1 But he cannot love the righteous 
man, who is ignorant what a righteous man 
is. Accordingly, even he who is not yet 
righteous, knows what a righteous man 
is. Whence then does he know this ? Does 
he see it with his eyes ? Is any corporeal 
thing righteous, as it is white, or black, or 
square, or round ? Who could say this ? Yet 
with one's eyes one has seen nothing except 
corporeal things. But there is nothing right- 
eous in a man except the mind; and when a 
man is called a righteous man. he is called so 
from the mind, not from the body. For right- 
eousness is in some sort the beauty of the 
mind, by which men are beautiful; very many 
too who are misshapen and deformed in body. 
And as the mind is not seen with the eyes, so 
neither is its beauty. From whence then does 
he who is not yet righteous know what a right- 
eous man is, and love the righteous man that 
he may become righteous ? Do certain signs 
shine forth by the motion of the body, by 

1 [The " wish " and " love " which Augustin here attributes 
to the non-righteous man is not true and spiritual, but selfish. In 
chapter vii. 10, he speaks of true love as distinct from that kind 
of desire which is a mere wish. The latter he calls cupiditas. 
" That is to be called love which is true, otherwise it is desire (1 u- 
piditas): and so those who desire (cupidi) are improperly said to 
love (dilzgere), just as they who love (diligunt) are said impro- 
perly to desire (c upcre) ." W '. G. T. S.] 

Chap. VI. J 



which this or that man is manifested to be 
righteous ? But whence does any one know 
that these are the signs of a righteous mind, 
when he is wholly ignorant what it is to be 
righteous ? Therefore he does know. But 
whence do we know what it is righteous, 
even when we are not yet righteous ? If we 
know from without ourselves, we know it by 
some bodily thing. But this is not a thing of the 
body. Therefore we know in ourselves what 
it is to be righteous. For I find this nowhere 
else when I seek to utter it, except within 
myself ; and if I ask another what it is to 
be righteous, he seeks within himself what 
to answer ; and whosoever hence can answer 
truly, he has found within himself what to 
answer. And when indeed I wish to speak of 
Carthage, I seek within myself what to speak, 
and I find within myself a notion or image of 
Carthage ; but I have received this through 
the body, that is, through the perception of 
the body, since I have been present in that city 
in the body, and I saw and perceived it, and 
retained it in my memory, that I might find 
within myself a word concerning it, whenever 
I might wish to speak of it. For its word is 
the image itself of it in my memory, not that 
sound of two syllables when Carthage is 
named, or even when that name itself is 
thought of silently from time to time, but that 
which I discern in my mind, when I utter that 
dissyllable with my voice, or even before I 
utter it. So also, when I wish to speak of 
Alexandria, which I never saw, an image of it 
is present with me. For whereas I had heard 
from many and had believed that city to be 
great, in such way as it could be told me, I 
formed an image of it in my mind as I was 
able ; and this is with me its word when I wish 
to speak of it, before I utter with my voice 
the five syllables which make the name that 
almost every one knows. And yet if I could 
bring forth that image from my mind to the 
eyes of men who know Alexandria, certainly all 
either would say, It is not it ; or if they said, 
It is, I should greafly wonder ; and as I gazed 
at it in my mind, that is, at the image which 
was as it were its picture, I should yet not 
know it to be it, but should believe those who 
retained an image they had seen. But I do 
not so ask what it is to be righteous, nor do 
I so find it, nor do I so gaze upon it, when I 
utter it ; neither am I so approved when I am 
heard, nor do I so approve when I hear ; as 
though I have seen such a thing with my eyes, 
or learned it by some perception of the body, 
or heard it from those who had so learned it. 
For when I say, and say knowingly, that 
mind is righteous which knowingly and of pur- 
pose assigns to every one his due in life and 

behavior, I do not think of anything absent, as 
Carthage, or imagine it as I am able, as Alex- 
andria, whether it be so or not ; but I discern 
something present, and I discern it within 
myself, though I myself am not that which I 
discern ; and many if they hear will approve 
it. And whoever hears me and knowingly ap- 
proves, he too discerns this same thing within 
himself, even though he himself be not what 
he discerns. But when a righteous man says 
this, he discerns and says that which he him- 
self is. And whence also does he discern it, 
except within himself ? But this is not to be 
wondered at ; for whence should he discern 
himself except within himself ? The wonder- 
ful thing is, that the mind should see within 
itself that which it has seen nowhere else, 
and should see truly, and should see the very 
true righteous mind, and should itself be a 
mind, and yet not a righteous mind, which 
nevertheless it sees within itself. Is there 
another mind that is righteous in a mind that 
is not yet righteous ? Or if there is not, what 
docs it there see when it sees and says what 
is a righteous mind, nor sees it anywhere else 
but in itself, when itself is not a righteous 
mind ? Is that which it sees an inner truth 
present to the mind which has power to be- 
hold it ? Yet all have not that power ; and 
they who have power to behold it, are not all 
also that which they behold, that is, they are 
not also righteous minds themselves, just 
as they are able to see and to say what is 
a righteous mind. And whence will they 
be able to be so, except by cleaving to 
that very same form itself which they be- 
hold, so that from thence they may be form- 
ed and may be righteous minds ; not only 
discerning and saying that the mind is right- 
eous which knowingly and of purpose assigns 
to every one that which is his due in life and 
behavior, but so likewise that they themselves 
may live righteously and be righteous in 
character, by assigning to every one that which 
is his due, so as to owe no man anything, but 
to love one another. 1 And whence can any 
one cleave to that form but by loving it ? 
Why then do we love another whom we believe 
to be righteous, and do not love that form it- 
self wherein we see what is a righteous mind, 
that we also may be able to be righteous ? Is 
it that unless we loved that also, we should not 
love him at all, whom through it we love ; but 
whilst we are not righteous, we love that form 
too little to allow of our being able to be 
righteous ? The man therefore who is believed 
to be righteous, is loved through that form 
and truth which he who loves discerns and 

i Rom. xiii. 8. 



[Book VIII. 

understands within himself; but that very form 
and truth itself cannot be loved from any 
other source than itself. For we do not find 
any other such thing besides itself, so that by 
believing we might love it when it is unknown, 
in that we here already know another such 
thing. For whatsoever of such a kind one 
may have seen, is itself ; and there is not any 
other such thing, since itself alone is such as 
itself is. He therefore who loves men, ought 
to love them either because they are right- 
eous, or that they may become righteous. 
For so also he ought to love himself, either 
because he is righteous, or that he may be- 
come righteous ; for in this way he loves his 
neighbor as himself without any risk. For 
he who loves himself otherwise, loves himself 
wrongfully, since he loves himself to this end 
that he may be unrighteous ; therefore to this 
end that he may be wicked ; and hence it 
follows next that he does not love himself ; 
for, "He who loveth iniquity, 1 hateth his own 
soul." 2 


10. No other thing, then, is chiefly to be re- 
garded in this inquiry, which we make con- 
cerning the Trinity and concerning knowing 
God, except what is true love, nay, rather 
what is love. For that is to be called love 
which is true, otherwise it is desire ; and so 
those who desire are said improperly to love, 
just as they who love are said improperly to 
desire. But this is true love, that cleaving 
to the truth we may live righteously, and so 
may despise all mortal things in comparison 
with the love of men, whereby we wish them 
to live righteously. For so we should be pre- 
pared also to die profitably for our brethren, 
as our Lord Jesus Christ taught us by His ex- 
ample. For as there are two commandments 
on which hang all the Law and the prophets, 
love of God and love of our neighbor ; 3 not 
without cause the Scripture mostly puts one 
for both : whether it be of God only, as is 
that text, " For we know that all things work 
together for good to them that love God;" 4 
and again, " But if any man love God, the 
same is known of Him;" 5 and that, "Be- 
cause the love of God is shed abroad in our 
hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto 
us ; " 6 and many other passages ; because he 

1 Violence A. V. 
3 Matt. xxii. 37-40. 
5 1 Cor. viii. 3. 

zPs. xi.6. 

4 Rom. viii. 28 

6 Rom. v. 5. 

who loves God must both needs do what God 
has commanded, and loves Him just in such 
proportion as he does so ; therefore he must 
needs also love his neighbor, because God has 
commanded it : or whether it be that Script- 
ure only mentions the love of our neighbor, 
as in that text, " Bear ye one another's bur- 
dens, and so fulfill the law of Christ ; " 7 and 
again, " For all the law is fufilled in one word, 
even in this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as 
thyself;" 8 and in the Gospel^ "All things 
whatsoever ye would that men should do to 
you, do ye even so to them ; for this is the 
Law and the prophets." 9 And many other 
passages occur in the sacred writings, in 
which only the love of our neighbor seems 
to be commanded for perfection, while the 
love of God is passed over in silence ; where- 
as the Law and the prophets hang on both 
precepts. But this, too, is because he who 
loves his neighbor must needs also love above 
all else love itself. But " God is love ; and he 
that dwelleth in love, dwelleth in God." r> 
Therefore he must needs above all else love 

11. Wherefore they who seek God through 
those Powers which rule over the world, or 
parts of the world, are removed and cast 
away far from Him; not by intervals of space, 
but by difference of affections: for they en- 
deavor to find a path outwardly, and forsake 
their own inward things, within which is God. 
Therefore, even although they may either 
have heard some holy heavenly Power, or in 
some way or another may have thought of it, 
yet they rather covet its deeds at which hu- 
man weakness marvels, but do not imitate 
the piety by which divine rest is acquired. 
For they prefer, through pride, to be able to 
do that which an angel does, more than, 
through devotion, to be that which an angel 
is. For no holy being rejoices in his own 
power, but in His from whom he has the 
power which he fitly can have; and he knows 
it to be more a mark of power to be united 
to the Omnipotent by a pious will, than to be 
able, by his own power and will, to do what 
they may tremble at who are not able to do 
such things. Therefore the Lord Jesus 
Christ Himself, in doing such things, in order 
that He might teach better things to those 
who marvelled at them, and might turn those 
who were intent and in doubt about unusual 
temporal things to eternal and inner things, 
says, " Come unto me, all ye that labor and 
are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 
Take my yoke upon you." And He does 
not say, Learn of me, because I raise those 

7 Gal. vi. 2. 
9 Matt. vii. 12. 

8 Gal. v. 14. 
10 1 John iv. 6. 

Chap. VIII.] 



who have been dead four days; but He says, 
''Learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in 
heart." For humility, which is most solid, 
is more powerful and safer than pride, that 
is most inflated. And so He goes on to say, 
" And ye shall find rest unto your souls," 1 
for "Love 2 is not puffed up; " 3 and "God 
is Love;" 4 and "such as be faithful in love 
shall rest in 5 Him," 6 called back from the 
din which is without to silent joys. Behold, 
" God is Love: " why do we go forth and run 
to the heights of the heavens and the lowest 
parts of the earth, seeking Him who is within 
us, if we wish to be with Him ? 


12. Let no one say, I do not know what I 
love. Let him love his brother, and he will 
love the same love. For he knows the love 
with which he loves, more than the brother 
whom he loves. So now he can know God 
more than he knows his brother: clearly 
known more, because more present; known 
more, because more within him; known more, 
because more certain. Embrace the love of 
God, and by love embrace God. That is love 
itself, which associates together all good 
angels and all the servants of God by the 
bond of sanctity, and joins together us and 
them mutually with ourselves, and joins us 
subordinately to Himself. In proportion, 
therefore, as we are healed from the swelling 
of pride, in such proportion are we more 
filled with love; and with what is he full, who 
is full of love, except with God? Well, but 
you will say, I see love, and, as far as I am 
able, I gaze upon it with my mind, and I be- 
lieve the Scripture, saying, that "God is 
love; and he that dwelleth in love, dwelleth 
in God;" 7 but when I see love, I do not see 
in it the Trinity. Nay, but thou dost see the 
Trinity if thou seest love. But if I can I will 
put you in mind, that thou mayest see that 
thou seest it; only let itself be present, that 
we may be moved by love to something good. 
Since, when we love love, we love one who 
loves something, and that on account of this 
very thing, that he does love something; 
therefore what does love love, that love itself 
also may be loved ? For that is not love 
which loves nothing. But if it loves itself it 
must love something, that it may love itself 
as love. For as a word indicates something, 
and indicates also itself, but does not indicate 

1 Matt. xi. 28, 29. 
4 1 John iv. 8. 
6 Wisd. iii. 9. 

= Chanty. A.V. 
5 Abide with. A.V. 
7 1 John iv. 16. 

3 1 Cor. xiii. 4. 

itself to be a word, unless it indicates that it 
does indicate something; so love also loves 
indeed itself, but except it love itself as loving 
something, it loves itself not as love. What 
therefore does love love, except that which 
we love with love ? But this, to begin from 
that which is nearest to us, is our brother. 
And listen how greatly the Apostle John 
commends brotherly love: " He that loveth 
his brother abideth in the light, and there is 
none occasion of stumbling in him." 8 It 
is manifest that he placed the perfection of 
righteousness in the love of our brother; for he 
certainly is perfect, in whom "there is no occa- 
sion of stumbling." And yet he seems to have 
passed by the love of God in silence; which 
he never would have done, unless because 
he intends God to be understood in brotherly 
love itself. For in this same epistle, a little 
further on, he says most plainly thus: "Be- 
loved, let us love one another: for love is of 
God; and every one that loveth is born of 
God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not, 
knoweth not God; for God is love." And 
this passage declares sufficiently and plainly, 
that this same brotherly love itself (for 
that is brotherly love by which we love 
each other) is set forth by so great au- 
thority, not only to be from God, but also 
to be God. When, therefore, we love our 
brother from love, we love our brother from 
God ; neither can it be that we do not love above 
all else that same love by which we love our 
brother: whence it may be gathered that 
these two commandments cannot exist unless 
interchangeably. For since "God is love," 
he who loves love certainly loves God; but he 
must needs love love, who loves his brother. 
And so a little after he says, " For he that 
loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, 
how can he love God whom he hath not 
seen " ? 9 because the reason that he does not 
see God is, that he does not love his brother. 
For he who does not love his brother, abideth 
not in love; and he who abideth not in love, 
abideth not in God, because God is love. 
Further, he who abideth not in God, abideth 
not in light; for "God is light, and in Him 
is no darkness at all." 10 He therefore who 
abideth not in light, what wonder is it if he 
does not see light, that is, does not see God, 
because he is in darkness ? But he sees his 
brother with human sight, with which God 
cannot be seen. But if he loved with spiritual 
love him whom he sees with human sight, he 
would see God, who is love itself, with the 
inner sight by which He can be seen. There- 
fore he who does not love his brother whom 

8 1 John ii. 10. 

9 1 John iv. 7, 8, 20. 

10 1 John i. 5. 



[Book VIII. 

he sees, how can he love God, whom on that 
account he does not see, because God is love, 
which he has not who does not love his bro- 
ther? Neither let that further question dis- 
turb us, how much of love we ought to spend 
upon our brother, and how much upon God: 
incomparably more upon God than upon 
ourselves, but upon our brother as much as 
upon ourselves; and we love ourselves so 
much the more, the more we love God. 
Therefore we love God and our neighbor 
from one and the same love; but we love 
God for the sake of God, and ourselves and 
our neighbors for the sake of God. 



13. For why is it, pray, that we burn when 
we hear and read, " Behold, now is the ac- 
cepted time; behold, now is the day of salva- 
tion: giving no offense in anything, that the 
ministry be not blamed: but in all things ap- 
proving ourselves as the ministers of God, in 
much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in 
distresses, in stripes, in imprisonments, in 
tumults, in labors, in watchings, in fastings; 
by pureness, by knowledge, by long-suffering, 
by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love un- 
feigned, by the word of truth, by the power 
of God, by the armor of righteousness on the 
right hand and on the left, by honor and dis- 
honor, by evil report and good report: as de- 
ceivers, and yet true; as unknown, and yet 
well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; 
as chastened, and not killed; as sorrowful, yet 
alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many 
rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing 
all things ? " z Why is it that we are inflamed 
with love of the Apostle Paul, when we read 
these things, unless that we believe him so to 
have lived ? But we do not believe that the 
ministers of God ought so to live because we 
have heard it from any one, but because we 
behold it inwardly within ourselves, or rather 
above ourselves, in the truth itself. Him, 
therefore, whom we believe to have so lived, 
we love for that which we see. And except 
we loved above all else that form which we 
discern as alwavs steadfast and unchangeable, 
we should not for that reason love him, be- 
cause we hold fast in our belief that his life, 
when he was living in the flesh, was adapted 
to, and in harmony with, this form. But some- 

1 2 Cor. vi. 2-10. 

how we are stirred up the more to the love of 
this form itself, through the belief by which 
we believe some one to have so lived; and to 
the hope by which we no more at all despair, 
that we, too, are able so to live; we who are 
men, from this fact itself, that some men have 
so lived, so that we both desire this more ar- 
dently, and pray for it more confidently. So 
both the love of that form, according to which 
they are believed to have lived, makes the life 
of these men themselves to be loved by us; 
and their life thus believed stirs up a more 
burning love towards that same form; so that 
the more ardently we love God, the more cer- 
tainly and the more calmly do we see Him, 
because we behold in God the unchangeable 
form of righteousness, according to which we 
judge that man ought to live. Therefore faith 
avails to the knowledge and to the love of God, 
not as though of one altogether unknown, or 
altogether not loved; but so that thereby He 
may be known more clearly, and loved more 



14. But what is love or charity, which di- 
vine Scripture so greatly praises and pro- 
claims, except the love of good ? But love 
is of some one that loves, and with love some- 
thing is loved. Behold, then, there are three 
things: he that loves, and that which is loved, 
and love. What, then, is love, except a cer- 
tain life which couples or seeks to couple to- 
gether some two things, namely, him that 
loves, and that which is loved ? And this 
is so even in outward and carnal loves. But 
that we may drink in something more pure 
and clear, let us tread down the flesh and as- 
cend to the mind. What does the mind love 
in a friend except the mind ? There, then, 
also are three things: he that loves, and that 
which is loved, and love. It remains to as- 
cend also from hence, and to seek those 
things which are above, as far as is given to 
man. But here for a little while let our pur- 
pose rest, not that it may think itself to have 
found already what it seeks; but just as usually 
the place has first to be found where anything 
is to be sought, while the thing itself is not 
yet found, but we have only found already 
where to look for it; so let it suffice to have 
said thus much, that we may have, as it were, 
the hinge of some starting-point, whence to 
weave the rest of our discourse. 







i We certainly seek a trinity, not any 
trinity, but that Trinity which is God, and 
the true and supreme and only God. Let 
my hearers then wait, for we are still seeking. 
And no one justly finds fault with such a 
search, if at least he who seeks that which 
either to know or to utter is most difficult, is 
steadfast in the faith. But whosoever either 
sees or teaches better, finds fault quickly and 
iustly with any one who confidently affirms 
concerning it. " Seek God," he says, and 
your heart shall live;" 1 and lest any one 
should rashly rejoice that he has, as it were, 
apprehended it, " Seek," he says" His face 
evermore." 2 And the apostle: "If any man, 
he says, "think that he knoweth anything, 
he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know. 
But if any man love God, the same is known 
of Him" 3 He has not said, has known 
Him which is dangerous presumption, but 
"is 'known of Him." So also in another 
place, when he had said, " But now after that 
ye have known God;" immediately correct- 
ing himself, he says, " or rather are known of 
God " 4 And above all in that other place, 
" Brethren," he says, " I count not myself to 
have apprehended: but this one thing I do 
foro-etting those things which are behind, and 
reaching forth unto those things which are 
before, I press in purpose 5 toward the mark, 
for the prize of the high calling of God in 
Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as 
be perfect, be thus minded." 6 Perfection in 
this life, he tells us, is nothing else than to 
foro-et those things which are behind, and to 

reach forth and press in purpose toward those 
things which are before. For he that seeks 
has the safest purpose, [who seeks] until that 
is taken hold of whither we are tending, and 
for which we are reaching forth. But that is 
the right purpose which starts from faith. 
For a certain faith is in some way the starting- 
point of knowledge; but a certain knowledge 
will not be made perfect, except after this life, 
when we shall see face to face.' Let us there- 
fore be thus minded, so as to know that the 
disposition to seek the truth is more safe than 
that which presumes things unknown to be 
known Let us therefore so seek as if we 
should find, and so find as if we were about 
to seek For " when a man hath done, then 
he beginneth. " 8 Let us doubt without unbe- 
lief of things to be believed; let us affirm 
without rashness of things to be understood: 
authority must be held fast in the former, 
truth sought out in the latter. As regards 
this question, then, let us believe that the 
Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit is 
one God, the Creator and Ruler of the whole 
creature; and that the Father is not the Son, 
nor the Holy Spirit either the Father or the 
Son, but a trinity of persons mutually inter- 
related, and a unity of an equal essence. 
And let us seek to understand this, praying 
for help from Himself, whom we wish to un- 
derstand; and as much as He grants, desiring 
to explain what we understand with so mucii 
pious care and anxiety, that even if in any 
case we say one thing for another we may at 
least say nothing unworthy. As, for the sake 
of example, if we say anything concerning the 
Father that does not properly belong to the 
Father, or does belong to the Son, or to the 

J Ps. lxix. 32. 

3 1 Cor. viii. 2. 

Sin purpose, oin. in A.V. 

2 Ps. cv. 4. 
4 Gal. iv. 19. 
6 Phil. iii. i3- I 5- 

7 1 Cor. xiii. 12. 

8 Ecclus. xviii. 7. 



[Book IX. 

Holy Spirit, or to the Trinity itself; and if 
anything of the Son which does not properly 
suit with the Son, or at all events which does 
suit with the Father, or with the Holy Spirit, 
or with the Trinity; or if, again, anything 
concerning the Holy Spirit, which is not fitly 
a property of the Holy Spirit, yet is not alien 
from the Father, or from the Son, or from 
the one God the Trinity itself. Even as now 
our wish is to see whether the Holy Spirit is 
properly that love which is most excellent; 
which if He is not, either the Father is love, 
or the Son, or the Trinity itself; since we can- 
not withstand the most certain faith and 
weighty authority of Scripture, saying, " God 
is love." 1 And yet we ought not to deviate 
into profane error, so as to say anything of 
the Trinity which does not suit the Creator, 
but rather the creature, or which is feigned 
outright by mere empty thought. 



2. And this being so, let us direct our at- 
tention to those three things which we fancy 
we have found. We are not yet speaking of 
heavenly things, nor yet of God the Father, 
and Son, and Holy Spirit, but of that inade- 
quate image, which yet is an image, that is, 
man; for our feeble mind perhaps can gaze 
upon this more familiarly and more easily. 
Well then, when I, who make this inquiry, 
love anything, there are three things con- 
cerned myself, and that which I love, and 
love itself. For I do not love love, except I 
love a lover; for there is no love where noth- 
ing is loved. Therefore there are three 
things he who loves, and that which is loved, 

1 i John iv. 16. 

2 [Augustin here begins his discussion of some ternaries that are 
found in the Finite, that illustrate the trinality of the Infinite. 
Like all finite analogies, they fail at certain points. In the case 
chosen namely, the lover, the loved, and love the first two are 
substances, the last is not. The mind is a substance, but its activ- 
ity in loving is not. In chapter iv. 5, Augustin asserts that " love 
and knowledge exist substantially, as the mind itself does." But 
no psychology, ancient or modern, has ever maintained that the 
agencies of a spiritual entity or substance are themselves spiritual 
entities or substances. The activities of the human mind in cog- 
nizing, loving, etc., are only its energizing, not its substance. 

The ambiguity of the Latin contributes to this error. The 
mind and its loving, and also the mind and its cognizing, are de- 
nominated " duo qucedam" the mind, love, and knowledge, are 
denominated " tria qucedam.' 1 ' 1 By bringing the mind and its 
love and knowledge under the one term " qiuedam" and then 
giving the meaning of " substance " to " thing," in " something," 
the result follows that all three are alike and equally " substan- 

This analogy taken from the mind and its activities illustrates 
the trinality of the Divine essence, but fails to illustrate the sub- 
stantiality of the three persons. The three Divine persons are not 
the Divine essence together with two of its activities (such, e. g-., as 
creation and redemption), but the essence in three modes, or 
" forms," as St. Paul denominates them in Phil. iii. 6. 

If Augustin could prove his assertion that the activities of the 
human spirit in knowing and loving are strictly " substantial," 
then this ternary would illustrate not only the trinality of the es- 
sence, but the essentiality and objectivity of the persons. The 
fact which he mentions, that knowledge and love are inseparable 
from the knowing and loving mind, does not prove their equal 
substantiality with the mind. W. G. T. S.] 

and love. Rut what if I love none except 
myself ? Will there not then be two things 
that which I love, and love ? For he who 
loves and that which is loved are the same 
when any one loves himself; just as to love 
and to be loved, in the same way, is the very 
same thing when any one loves himself. Since 
the same thing is said, when it is said, he loves 
himself, and he is loved by himself. For in 
that case to love and to be loved are not two 
different things: just as he who loves and he 
who is loved are not two different persons. 
But yet, even so, love and what is loved are 
still two things. For there is no love when 
any one loves himself, except when love itself 
is loved. But it is one thing to love one's 
self, another to love one's own love. For love 
is not loved, unless as already loving some- 
thing; since where nothing is loved there is 
no love. Therefore there are two things when 
any one loves himself love, and that which 
is loved. For then he that loves and that 
which is loved are one. Whence it seems that 
it does not follow that three things are to be 
understood wherever love is. For let us put 
aside from the inquiry all the other many 
things of which a man consists; and in order 
that we may discover clearly what we are now 
seeking, as far as in such a subject is possi- 
ble, let us treat of the mind alone. The mind, 
then, when it loves itself, discloses two things 
mind and love. But what is to love one's 
self, except to wish to help one's self to the 
enjoyment of self ? And when any one wishes 
himself to be just as much as he is, then the 
will is on a par with the mind, and the love 
is equal to him who loves. And if love is a 
substance, it is certainly not body, but spirit; 
and the mind also is not body, but spirit. 
Yet love and mind are not two spirits, but one 
spirit; nor yet two essences, but one: and yet 
here are two things that are one, he that loves 
and love; or, if you like so to put it, that 
which is loved and love. And these two, in- 
deed, are mutually said relatively. Since he 
who loves is referred to love, and love to him 
who loves. For he who loves, loves with 
some love, and love is the love of some one 
who loves. But mind and spirit are not said 
relatively, but express essence. For mind 
and spirit do not exist because the mind and 
spirit of some particular man exists. For if 
we subtract the body from that which is man, 
which is so called with the conjunction of body, 
the mind and spirit remain. But if we sub- 
tract him that loves, then there is no love; 
and if we subtract love, then there is no one 
that loves. And therefore, in so far as they 
are mutually referred to one another, they 
are two; but whereas they are spoken in re- 

Chai\ IV.] 



spect to themselves, each are spirit, and both 
together also are one spirit; and each are 
mind, and both together one mind. Where, 
then, is the trinity ? Let us attend as much 
as we can, and let us invoke the everlasting 
light, that He may illuminate our darkness, 
and that we may see in ourselves, as much as 
we are permitted, the image of God. 



3. For the mind cannot love itself, except 
also it know itself; for how can it love what 
it does not know ? Or if any body says that 
the mind, from 'either general or special 
knowledge, believes itself of such a character 
as it has by experience found others to be, 
and therefore loves itself, he speaks most 
foolishly. For whence does a mind know 
another mind, if it does not know itself ? For 
the mind does not know other minds and not 
know itself, as the eye of the body sees other 
eyes and does not see itself; for we see bodies 
through the eyes of the body, because, un- 
less we are looking into a mirror, we cannot 
refract and reflect the rays into themselves, 
which shine forth through those eyes, and 
touch whatever we discern, a. subject, in- 
deed, which is treated of most subtlely and 
obscurely, until it be clearly demonstrated 
whether the fact be so, or whether it be not. 
But whatever is the nature of the power by 
which we discern through the eyes, certainly, 
whether it be rays or anything else, we cannot 
discern with the eyes that power itself; but 
we inquire into it with the mind, and if possi- 
ble, understand even this with the mind. As 
the mind, then, itself gathers the knowledge 
of corporeal things through the senses of the 
body, so of incorporeal things through itself. 
Therefore it knows itself also through itself, 
since it is incorporeal; for if it does not know 
itself, it does not love itself. 



4. But as there are two things {duo quoz- 
dam), the mind and the love of it, when it 
loves itself; so there are two things, the mind 
and the knowledge of it, when it knows itself. 

Therefore the mind itself, and the love of it, 
and the knowledge of it, are three things 
(tria qucedani), and these three are one; and 
when they are perfect they are equal. For if 
one loves himself less than as he is, as for 
example, suppose that the mind of a man 
only loves itself as much as the body of a man 
ought to be loved, whereas the mind is more 
than the body, then it is in fault, and its 
love is not perfect. Again, if it loves itself 
more than as it is, as if, for instance, it loves 
itself as much as God is to be loved, whereas 
the mind is incomparably less than God, 
here also it is exceedingly in fault, and its 
love of self is not perfect. But it is in fault 
more perversely and wrongly still, when it 
loves the body as much as God is to be loved. 
Also, if knowledge is less than that thing 
which is known, and which can be fully known, 
then knowledge is not perfect; but if it is 
greater, then the nature which knows is above 
that which is known, as the knowledge of the 
body is greater than the body itself, which is 
known by that knowledge. For knowledge 
is a kind of life in the reason of the knower, 
but the body is not life; and any life is greater 
than any body, not in bulk, but in power. 
But when the mind knows itself, its own 
knowledge does not rise above itself, because 
itself knows, and itself is known. When, 
therefore, it knows itself entirely, and no other 
thing with itself, then its knowledge is equal 
to itself; because its knowledge is not from 
another nature, since it knows itself. And 
when it perceives itself entirely, and nothing 
more, then it is neither less nor greater. We 
said therefore rightly, that these three things, 
[mind, love, and knowledge], when they are 
perfect, are by consequence equal. 

5. Similar reasoning suggests to us, if in- 
deed we can any way understand the matter, 
that these things [i.e. love and knowledge] 
exist in the soul, and that, being as it were 
involved in it, they are so evolved from it as 
to be perceived and reckoned up substanti- 
ally, or. so to say, essentially. Not as though 
in a subject; as color, or shape, or any other 
quality or quantity, are in the body. For 
anything of this [material] kind does not go 
beyond the subject in which it is; for the 
color or shape of this particular body cannot 
be also those of another body. But the mind 
can also love something besides itself, with 
that love with which it loves itself. And 
further, the mind does not know itself only, 
but also many other things. Wherefore love 
and knowledge are not contained in the mind 
as in a subject, but these also exist substanti- 
ally, as the mind itself does; because, even if 
they are mutually predicated relatively, yet 



[Book IX. 

they exist each severally in their own sub- 
stance. Nor are they so mutually predicated 
relatively as color and the colored subject 
are; so that color is in the colored subject, 
but has not any proper substance in itself, 
since colored body is a substance, but color 
is in a substance; but as two friends are also 
two men, ' which are substances, while they 
are said to be men not relatively, but friends 

6. But, further, although one who loves 
or one who knows is a substance, and 
knowledge is a substance, and love is a 
substance, but he that loves and love, or, 
he that knows and knowledge, are spoken 
of relatively to each other, as are friends: 
yet mind or spirit are not relatives, as 
neither are men relatives: nevertheless he 
that loves and love, or he that knows and 
knowledge, cannot exist separately from each 
other, as men can that are friends. Although 
it would seem that friends, too, can be sepa- 
rated in body, not in mind, in as far as they 
are friends: nay, it can even happen that a 
friend may even also begin to hate a friend, 
and on this account cease to be a friend, 
while the other does not know it, and still 
loves him. But if the love with which the 
mind loves itself ceases to be, then the mind 
also will at the same time cease to love. 
Likewise, if the knowledge by which the mind 
knows itself ceases to be, then the mind will 
also at the same time cease to know itself. 
Just as the head of anything that has a head 
is certainly a head, and they are predicated 
relatively to each other, although they are 
also substances: for both a head is a body, 
and so is that which has a head; and if there 
be no head, then neither will there be that 
which has a head. Only these things can be 
separated from each other by cutting off, 
those cannot. 

7. And even if there are some bodies which 
cannot be wholly separated and divided, yet 
they would not be bodies unless they con- 
sisted of their own proper parts. A part 
then is predicated relatively to a whole, since 
every part is a part of some whole, and a 
whole is a whole by having all its parts. But 
since both part and whole are bodies, 
these things are not only predicated rela- 
tively, but exist also substantially. Perhaps, 
then, the mind is a whole, and the love with 
which it loves itself, and the knowledge with 
which it knows itself, are as it were its parts, 
of which two parts that whole consists. 
Or are there three equal parts which make 
up the one whole ? But no part embraces the 
whole, of which it is a part; whereas, when 
the mind knows itself as a whole, that is, 

knows itself perfectly, then the knowledge of 
it extends through the whole of it; and when 
it loves itself perfectly, then it loves itself as 
a whole, and the love of it extends through 
the whole of it. Is it, then, as one drink is 
made from wine and water and honey, and 
each single part extends through the whole, 
and yet they are three things (for there is no 
part of the drink which does not contain 
these three things; for they are not joined as 
if they were water and oil, but are entirely 
commingled: and they are all substances, 
and the whole of that liquor which is com- 
posed of the three is one substance), is it, I 
say, in some such way as this we are to think 
these three to be together, mind, love, and 
knowledge ? But water, wine, and honey are 
not of one substance, although one substance 
results in the drink made from the commin- 
gling of them. And I cannot see how those 
other three are not of the same substance, 
since the mind itself loves itself, and itself 
knows itself; and these three so exist, as that 
the mind is neither loved nor known by any 
other thing at all. These three, therefore, 
must needs be of one and the same essence; 
and for that reason, if they were confounded 
together as it were by a commingling, they 
could not be in any way three, neither could 
they be mutually referred to each other. 
Just as if you were to make from one and 
the same gold three similar rings, although 
connected with each other, they are mutually 
referred to each other, because they are simi- 
lar. For everything similar is similar to 
something, and there is a trinity of rings, 
and one gold. But if they are blended with 
each other, and each mingled with the other 
through the whole of their own bulk, then 
that trinity will fall through, and it will not 
exist at all; and not only will it be called one 
gold, as it was called in the case of those 
three rings, but now it will not be called three 
things of gold at all. 



8. But in these three, when the mind 
knows itself and loves itself, there remains a 
trinity: mind, love, knowledge; and this trin- 
ity is not confounded together by any com- 
mingling: although they are each severally 
in themselves and mutually all in all, or each 
severally in each two, or each two in each. 
Therefore all are in all. For certainly the 
mind is in itself, since it is called mind in 
respect to itself: although it is said to be 
knowing, or known, or knowable, relatively 
to its own knowledge; and although also as 

Chap. VI. 1 



loving, and loved, or lovable, it is referred to 
love, by which it loves itself. And knowl- 
edge, although it is referred to the mind that 
knows or is known, nevertheless is also pre- 
dicated both as known and knowing in respect 
to itself: for the knowledge by which the mind 
knows itself is not unknown to itself. And al- 
though love is referred to the mind that loves, 
whose love it is; nevertheless it is also love 
in respect to itself, so as to exist also in it- 
self: since love too is loved, yet cannot be 
loved with anything except with love, that is 
with itself. So these things are severally in 
themselves. But so are they in each other; 
because both the mind that loves is in love, 
and love is in the knowledge of him that 
loves, and knowledge is in the mind that 
knows. And each severally is in like manner 
in each two, because the mind which knows 
and loves itself, is in its own love and knowl- 
edge: and the love of the mind that loves 
and knows itself, is in the mind and in its 
knowledge: and the knowledge of the mind 
that knows and loves itself is in the mind 
and in its love, because it loves itself that 
knows, and knows itself that loves. And 
hence also each two is in each severally, since 
the mind which knows and loves itself, is 
together with its own knowledge in love, and 
together with its own love in knowledge; and 
love too itself and knowledge are together in 
the mind, which loves and knows itself. But 
in what way all are in all, we have already 
shown above; since the mind loves itself as 
a whole, and knows itself as a whole, and 
knows its own love wholly, and loves its own 
knowledge wholly, when these three things 
are perfect in respect to themselves. There- 
fore these three things are marvellously in- 
separable from each other, and yet each of 
them is severally a substance, and all together 
are one substance or essence, whilst they are 
mutually predicated relatively. 1 

1 [Augustin here illustrates, by the ternary- of mind, love, and 
knowledge, what the Greek Trinitarians denominate the wepix^PV- 
cts of the divine essence. By the figure of a circulation, they de- 
scribe the eternal inbeing and indwelling of one person in another. 
This is founded on John xiv. 10, n; xvii. 21, 23. " Believest thou 
not that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me ? I pray that 
they all may be one, as thou Father art m Me, and T in Thee." 
Atnanasius(<?ra^/V>, iii. 21) remarks that Christ here prays that the 
disciples " may imitate the trinitarian unity of essence, in their 
unity of affection. Had it been possible for the disciples to be in 
the essence of the Father as the Son is, he would have prayed that 
they all may be " one in Thee" instead of " one in Qs." 

The Platonists, also, employed this figure of circulatory move- 
ment, to explain the self-reflecting and self-communing nature of 
the human mind. " It is not possible for us to know what our 
souls are, but only by their KipTJcrei? kvkAikcu, their circular and re- 
flex motions and converse with themselves, which only can steal 
from them their own secrets." J.Smith: Immortality 0/ the 
Sou/, Ch. ii. 

Augustin's illustration, however, is imperfect, because " the 
three things" which circulate are not " each of them severally a 
substance." Only one of them, namely, the mind, is a substance. 
W. G. T. S.l 



9. But when the human mind knows itself 
and loves itself, it does not know and love 
anything unchangeable: and each individual 
man declares his own particular mind by one 
manner of speech, when he considers what 
takes place in himself; but defines the 
human mind abstractly by special or general 
knowledge. And so, when he speaks to me 
of his own individual mind, as to whether he 
understands this or that, or does not under- 
stand it, or whether he wishes or does not 
wish this or that, I believe; but when he 
speaks the truth of the mind of man gener- 
ally or specially, I recognize and approve. 
Whence it is manifest, that each sees a thing 
in himself, in such way that another person 
may believe what he says of it, yet may not 
see it; but another [sees a thing] in the 
truth itself, in such way that another person 
also can gaze upon it; of which the former 
undergoes changes at successive times, the 
latter consists in an unchangeable eternity. 
For we do not gather a generic or specific 
knowledge of the human mind by means of 
resemblance by seeing many minds with the 
eyes of the body: but we gaze upon inde- 
structible truth, from which to define perfectly, 
as far as we can, not of what sort is the mind 
of any one particular man, but of what sort it 
ought to be upon the eternal plan. 

10. Whence also, even in the case of the 
images of things corporeal which are drawn 
in through the bodily sense, and in some way 
infused into the memory, from which also 
those things which have not been seen are 
thought under a fancied image, whether other- 
wise than they really are, or even perchance 
as they are; even here too, we are proved 
either to accept or reject, within ourselves, 
by other rules which remain altogether un- 
changeable above our mind, when we approve 
or reject anything rightly. For both when I 
recall the walls of Carthage which I have seen, 
and imagine to myself the walls of Alexan- 
dria which I have not seen, and, in prefer- 
ring this to that among forms which in both 
cases are imaginary, make that preference 
upon grounds of reason; the judgment of 
truth from above is still strong and clear, and 
rests firmly upon the utterly indestructible 
rules of its own right; and if it is covered as 
it were by cloudiness of corporeal images, yet 
is not wrapt up and confounded in them. 

11. But it makes a difference, whether, 



[Book IX. 

under that or in that darkness, I am shut off 
as it were from the clear heaven; or whether 
(as usually happens on lofty mountains), en- 
joying the free air between both, I at once 
look up above to the calmest light, and down 
below upon the densest clouds. For whence 
is the ardor of brotherly love kindled in me, 
when I hear that some man has borne bitter 
torments for the excellence and steadfastness 
of faith ? And if that man is shown to me 
with the finger, I am eager to join myself to 
him, to become acquainted with him, to bind 
him to myself in friendship. And accord- 
ingly, if opportunity offers, I draw near, I ad- 
dress him, I converse with him, I express my 
goodwill towards him in what words I can, 
and wish that in him too in turn should 
be brought to pass and expressed goodwill 
towards me; and I endeavor after a spiritual 
embrace in the way of belief, since I cannot 
search out so quickly and discern altogether 
his innermost heart. I love therefore the 
faithful and courageous man with a pure and 
genuine love. But if he were to confess to 
me in the course of conversation, or were 
through unguardedness to show in any way, 
that either he believes something unseemly 
of God, and desires also something carnal in 
Him, and that he bore these torments on be- 
half of such an error, or from the desire of 
money for which he hoped, or from empty 
greediness of human praise: immediately it 
follows that the love with which I was borne 
towards him, displeased, and as it were re- 
pelled, and taken away from an unworthy 
man, remains in that form, after which, be- 
lieving him such as I did, I had loved him; 
unless perhaps I have come to love him to 
this end, that he may become such, while I 
have found him not to be such in fact. And 
in that man, too, nothing is changed : although 
it can be changed, so that he may become 
that which I had believed him to be already. 
But in my mind there certainly is something 
changed, viz., the estimate I had formed of 
him, which was before of one sort, and now 
is of another: and the same love, at the bid- 
ding from above of unchangeable righteous- 
ness, is turned aside from the purpose of en- 
joying, to the purpose of taking counsel. But 
the form itself of unshaken and stable truth, 
wherein I should have enjoyed the fruition 
of the man, believing him to be good, and 
wherein likewise I take counsel that he may 
be good, sheds in an immoveable eternity the 
same light of incorruptible and most sound 
reason, both upon the sight of my mind, and 
upon that cloud of images, which I discern 
from above, when I think of the same man 
whom I had seen. Again, when I call back 

to my mind some arch, turned beautifully and 
symmetrically, which, let us say, I saw at 
Carthage; a certain reality that had been 
made known to the mind through the eyes, 
and transferred to the memory, causes the 
imaginary view. But I behold in my mind 
yet another thing, according to. which that 
work of art pleases me; and whence also, if 
it displeased me, I should correct it. We 
judge therefore of those particular things ac- 
cording to that [form of eternal truth], and 
discern that form by the intuition of the ra- 
tional mind. But those things themselves we 
either touch if present by the bodily sense, 
or if absent remember their images as fixed 
in our memory, or picture, in the way of like- 
ness to them, such things as we ourselves also, 
if we wished and were able, would laborious- 
ly build up: figuring in the mind after one 
fashion the images of bodies, or seeing bodies 
through the body; but after another, grasping 
by simple intelligence what is above the eye 
of the mind, viz., the reasons and the un- 
speakably beautiful skill of such forms. 



12. We behold, then, by the sight of the 
mind, in that eternal truth from which all 
things temporal are made, the form according 
to which we are, and according to which we 
do anything by true and right reason, either 
in ourselves, or in things corporeal; and we 
have the true knowledge of things, thence 
conceived, as it were as a word within us, 
and by speaking we beget it from within; nor 
by being born does it depart from us. And 
when we speak to others, we apply to the 
word, remaining within us, the ministry of the 
voice or of some bodily sign, that by some 
kind of sensible remembrance some similar 
thing may be wrought also in the mind of him 
that hears, similar, I say, to that which does 
not depart from the mind of him that speaks. 
We do nothing, therefore, through the mem- 
bers of the body in our words and actions, by 
which the behavior of men is either approved 
or blamed, which we do not anticipate by a 
word uttered within ourselves. For no one 
willingly does anything, which he has not first 
said in his heart. 

13. And this word is conceived by love, 
either of the creature or of the Creator, that 
is, either of changeable nature or of un- 
changeable truth. 1 

1 [The inward production of a thought in the finite essence of 
the human spirit which is expressed outwardly in a spoken word, 

Chap. X.] 




[Conceived] therefore, either by desire or 
by love: not that the creature ought not to 
be loved; but if that love [of the creature] is 
referred to the Creator, then it will not be 
desire (cupiditas), but love {charitas). For it 
is desire when tiie creature is loved for itself. 
And then it does not help a man through 
making use of it, but corrupts him in the en- 
joying it. When, therefore, the creature is 
either equal to us or inferior, we must u::j the 
inferior in order to God, but we must enjoy the 
equal only in God. For as thou oughtest to en- 
joy thyself, not in thyself, but in Him who made 
thee, so also him whom thou lovest as thyself. 
Let us enjoy, therefore, both ourselves and 
our brethren in the Lord; and hence let us 
not dare to yield, and as it were to relax, 
ourselves to ourselves in the direction down- 
wards. Now a word is born, when, being 
thought out, it pleases us either to the effect 
of sinning, or to that of doing right. There- 
fore love, as it were a mean, conjoins our 
word and the mind from which it is conceived, 
and without any confusion binds itself as a 
third with them, in an incorporeal embrace. 



14. But the word conceived and the word 
born are the very same when the will finds rest 
in knowledge itself, as is the case in the love 
of spiritual things. For instance, he who 
knows righteousness perfectly, and loves it 
perfectly, is already righteous; even if no 
necessity exist of working according to it out- 
wardly through the members of the body. 
But in the love of carnal and temporal things, 
as in the offspring of animals, the conception 
of the word is one thing, the bringing forth 
another. For here what is conceived by de- 
siring is born by attaining. Since it does 
not suffice to avarice to know and to love 
gold, except it also have it; nor to know and 
love to eat, or to lie with any one, unless 
also one does it; nor to know and love honors 
and power, unless they actually come to pass. 
Nay, all these things, even if obtained, do 
not suffice. "Whosoever drinketh of this 
water," He says, " shall thirst again." 1 And 
so also the Psalmist, " He hath conceived 
pain and brought forth iniquity." 2 And he 

is analogous to the eternal generation of the Eternal Wisdom in 
the infinite essence of God expressed in the Eternal Word. Both 
are alike, in that something spiritual issues from something spirit- 
ual, without division or diminution of substance. But a thought 
of the human mind is not an objective thing or substance; while 
the Eternal Word is. W. G. T. S.] 

" John iv. 13. 2 p s . v ;,. I4 . 

speaks of pain or labor as conceived, when 
those things are conceived which it is not 
sufficient to know and will, and when the 
mind burns and grows sick with want, until it 
arrives at those things, and, as it were, brings 
them forth. Whence in the Latin language 
we have the word "parta" used elegantly 
for both "reperta" and " comperta," which 
words sound as if derived from bringing forth. 3 
Since "lust, when it hath conceived, bringeth 
forth sin." 4 Wherefore the Lord proclaims. 
" Come unto me all ye that labor and are 
heavy laden;" 5 and in another place "Woe 
unto them that are with child, and to them 
that give suck, in those days ! " 6 And when 
therefore He referred all either right actions 
or sins to the bringing forth of the word, " By 
thy mouth," 7 He says, "thou shalt be justi- 
fied, and by thy mouth 8 thou shalt be con- 
demned," 9 intending thereby not the visible 
mouth, but that which is within and invisible, 
of the thought and of the heart. 



15. It is rightly asked then, whether all 
knowledge is a word, or only knowledge that 
is loved. For we also know the things which 
we hate ; but what we do not like, cannot be 
said to be either conceived or brought forth 
by the mind. For not all things which in any- 
way touch it, are conceived by it ; but some 
only reach the point of being known, but yet 
are not spoken as words, as for instance those 
of which we speak now. For those are called 
words in one way, which occupy spaces of 
time by their syllables, whether they are pro- 
nounced or only thought; and in another way, 
all that is known is called a word imprinted 
on the mind, as long as it can be brought 
forth from the memory and defined, even 
though we dislike the thing itself ; and in 
another way still, when we like that which 
is conceived in the mind. And that which 
the apostle says, must be taken according to 
this last kind of word, " No man can say that 
Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost;" 10 
since those also say this, but according to 
another meaning of the term "word." of 
whom the Lord Himself says, " Not every one 
that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter in- 
to the kingdom of heaven." 11 Nay, even in 
the case of things which we hate, when we 
rightly dislike and rightly censure them, we 
approve and like the censure bestowed upon 
them, and it becomes a word. Nor is it the 
knowledge of vices that displeases us, but the 

3 Partus. 4 Jas. i. 15. 5 Matt. xi. 28. 

6 Matt. xxiv. 19. 7 Words. 8 Words. A. V. 

9 Matt. xii. 37. 10 1 Cor. xii. 3. " Matt. vii. 21. 



[Book IX. 

vices themselves. For I like to know and 
define what intemperance is ; and this is its 
word. Just as there are known faults in art, 
and the knowledge of them is rightly ap- 
proved, when a connoisseur discerns the spe- 
cies or the privation of excellence, as to affirm 
and deny that it is or that it is not ; yet to be 
without excellence and to fall away into fault, 
is worthy of condemnation. And to define 
intemperance, and to say its word, belongs 
to the art of morals ; but to be intemperate 
belongs to that which that art censures. Just 
as to know and define what a solecism is, 
belongs to the art of speaking ; but to be 
guilty of one, is a fault which the same art 
reprehends. A word, then, which is the point 
we wish now to discern and intimate, is knowl- 
edge together with love. Whenever, then, 
the mind knows and loves itself, its word is 
joined to it by love. And since it loves 
knowledge and knows love, both the word is 
in love and love is in the word, and both are 
in him who loves and speaks. 1 



1 6. But all knowledge according to species 
is like the thing which it knows. For there is 
another knowledge according to privation, ac- 
cording to which we speak a word only when 
we condemn. And this condemnation of a 
privation is equivalent to praise of the species, 
and so is approved. The mind, then, con- 
tains some likeness to a known species, whether 
when liking that species or when disliking its 
privation. And hence, in so far as we know 
God, we are like Him, but not like to the 
point of equality, since we do not know Him 
to the extent of His own being. And as, when 
we speak of bodies by means of the bodily 
sense, there arises in our mind some likeness 
of them, which is a phantasm of the memory; 
for the bodies themselves are not at all in the 
mind, when we think them, but only the like- 
nesses of those bodies ; therefore, when we 
approve the latter for the former, we err, for 
the approving of one thing for another is an 
error ; yet the image of the body in the mind 
is a thing of a better sort than the species of 
the body itself, inasmuch as the former is 
in a better nature, viz. in a living substance, 
as the mind is : so when we know God, al- 
though we are made better than we were be- 

1 [The meaning of this obscure chapter seems to be, that only 
what the mind is pleased with, is the real expression and index of 
the mind its true " word." The true nature of the mind is re- 
vealed in its sympathies. But this requires some qualification. 
For in the case of contrary qualities, like right and wrong, beauly 
and ugliness, the real nature of the mind is seen also in its antipa- 
thy as well as in its sympathy; in its hatred of wrong as well as in 
its love of right. Each alike is a true index of the mind, because 
each really implies the other. W. G. T. S-] 

fore we knew Him, and above all when the 
same knowledge being also liked and worthily 
loved becomes a word, and so that knowledge 
becomes a kind of likeness of God ; yet that 
knowledge is of a lower kind, since it is in a 
lower nature ; for the mind is creature, but 
God is Creator. And from this it may be 
inferred, that when the mind knows and 
approves itself, this same knowledge is in 
such way its word, as that it is altogether on 
a par and equal with it, and the same ; because 
it is neither the knowledge of a lower essence, 
as of the body, nor of a higher, as of God. 
And whereas knowledge bears a likeness to 
that which it knows, that is, of which it is the 
knowledge ; in this case it has perfect and 
equal likeness, when the mind itself, which 
knows, is known. And so it is both image 
and word ; because it is uttered concerning 
that mind to which it is equalled in knowing, 
and that which is begotten is equal to the 



17. What then is love? Will it not be an 
image? Will it not be a word? Will it not 
be begotten ? For why does the mind beget 
its knowledge when it knows itself, and not 
beget its love when it loves itself? For if it 
is the cause of its own knowing, for the reason 
that it is knowable, it is also the cause of its 
own love because it is lovable. It is hard, 
then, to say why it does not beget both. For 
there is a further question also respecting the 
supreme Trinity itself, the omnipotent God 
the Creator, after whose image man is made, 
which troubles men, whom the truth of God 
invites to the faith by human speech ; viz. why 
the Holy Spirit is not also to be either believed 
or understood to be begotten by God the 
Father, so that He also may be called a Son. 
And this question we are endeavoring in some 
way to investigate in the human mind, in order 
that from a lower image, in which our own 
nature itself as it were answers, upon being 
questioned, in a way more familiar to our- 
selves, we may be able to direct a more prac- 
tised mental vision from the enlightened 
creature to the unchangeable light ; assuming, 
however, that the truth itself has persuaded 
us, that as no Christian doubts the Word of 
God to be the Son, so that the Holy Spirit is 
love. Let us return, then, to a more careful 
questioning and consideration upon this sub- 
ject of that image which is the creature, that 
is, of the rational mind ; wherein the knowl- 

Chap. XII.] 



edge of some things coming into existence 
in time, but which did not exist before, and 
the love of some things which were not loved 
before, opens to us more clearly what to say: 
because to speech also itself, which must be 
disposed in time, that thing is easier of expla- 
nation which is comprehended in the order of 

1 8. First, therefore, it is clear that a thing 
may possibly be knowable, that is, such as can 
be known, and yet that it may be unknown ; 
but that it is not possible for that to be known 
which is not knowable. Wherefore it must 
be clearly held that everything whatsoever 
that we know begets at the same time in us the 
knowledge of itself; for knowledge is brought 
forth from both, from the knower and from 
the thing known. When, therefore, the mind 
knows itself, it alone is the parent of its own 
knowledge ; for it is itself both the thing 
known and the knower of it. But it was know- 
able to itself also before it knew itself, only 
the knowledge of itself was not in itself so 
long as it did not know itself. In knowing 
itself, then, it begets a knowledge of itself 
equal to itself ; since it does not know itself 
as less than itself is, nor is its knowledge the 
knowledge of the essence of some one else, 
not only because itself knows, but also be- 
cause it knows itself, as we have said above. 
What then is to be said of love ; why, when 
the mind loves itself, it should not seem also 
to have begotten the love of itself? For it was 
lovable to itself even before it loved itself, 
since it could love itself ; just as it was know- 
able to itself even before it knew itself, since it 
could know itself. For if it were not know- 
able to itself, it never could have known it- 
self; and so, if it were not lovable to itself, it 
never could have loved itself. Why there- 
fore may it not be said by loving itself to 
have begotten its own love, as by knowing it- 
self it has begotten its own knowledge ? Is 
it because it is thereby indeed plainly shown 
that this is the principle of love, whence it 
proceeds? for it proceeds from the mind it- 
self, which is lovable to itself before it loves 
itself, and so is the principle of its own love 
by which it loves itself : but that this love is 
not therefore rightly said to be begotten by 
the mind, as is the knowledge of itself by 
which the mind knows itself, because in the 
case of knowledge the thing has been found 
already, which is what we call brought forth 
or discovered; 1 and this is commonly pre- 
ceded by an inquiry such as to find rest when 
that end is attained. For inquiry is the de- 
sire of finding, or, what is the same thing, of 

1 " Partzun " or " repertum" 

discovering. 2 But those things which are dis- 
covered are as it were brougnt forth, whence 
they are like offspring; but wherein, except 
in the case itself of knowledge ? For in that 
case they are as it were uttered and fashioned. 
For although the things existed already which 
we found by seeking, yet the knowledge of 
them did not exist, which knowledge we re- 
gard as an offspring that is born. Further, 
the desire (appctitus) which there is in seek- 
ing proceeds from him who seeks, and is in 
some way in suspense, and does not rest in 
the end whither it is directed, except that 
which is sought be found and conjoined with 
him who seeks. And this desire, that is, in- 
quiry, although it does not seem to be love, 
by which that which is known is loved, for in 
this case we are still striving to know, yet it 
is something of the same kind. For it can 
be called will {voluntas), since every one who 
seeks wills (vult) to find; and if that is sought 
which belongs to knowledge, every one who 
seeks wills to know. But if he wills ardently 
and earnestly, he is said to study (studere): 
a word that is most commonly employed in the 
case of pursuing and obtaining any branches 
of learning. Therefore, the bringing forth of 
the mind is preceded by some desire, by 
which, through seeking and finding what we 
wish to know, the offspring, viz. knowledge it- 
self, is born. And for this reason, that desire 
by which knowledge is conceived and brought 
forth, cannot rightly be called the bringing 
forth and the offspring; and the same desire 
which led us to long for the knowing of the 
thing, becomes the love of the thing when 
known, while it holds and embraces its ac- 
cepted offspring, that is, knowledge, and 
unites it to its begetter. And so there is a 
kind of image of the Trinity in the mind it- 
self, and the knowledge of it, which is its off- 
spring and its word concerning itself, and love 
as a third, and these three are one, and one 
substance. 3 Neither is the offspring less, 
since the mind knows itself according to the 
measure of its own being; nor is the love less, 
since it loves itself according to the measure 
both of its own knowledge and of its own 

2 " Reperiendi." 

3 [It is not these three together that constitute the one sub- 
stance. The mind alone is the substance the knowledge and the 
love being only two activities of it. When the mind is not cogniz- 
ing or loving, it is still an entire mind. As previously remarked in 
the annotation on IX. ii. this ternary will completely illustrate a 
trinality of a certain kind, but not that of the Trinity; in which the 
" tria qucedam " are three subsistences, each of which is so sub- 
stantial as to be the subject of attributes, and to be able to employ 
them. The human mind is substantial enough to possess and em- 
ploy the attributes of knowledge and love. We say that the mind 
knows and loves. But an activity o{ the mind is not substantial 
enough to possess and employ the attributes of knowledge and 
love. We cannrt say that the loving loves; or the loving knows; 
or the knowing loves, etc. W. G. T. S.] 





i. Let us now proceed, then, indue order, 
with a more exact purpose, to explain this 
same point more thoroughly. And first, 
since no one can love at all a thing of which 
he is wholly ignorant, we must carefully con- 
sider of what sort is the love of those who 
are studious, that is, of those who do not 
already know, but are still desiring to know 
any branch of learning. Now certainly, in 
those things whereof the word study is not 
commonly used, love often arises from hear- 
say, when the reputation of anything for 
beauty inflames the mind to the seeing and 
enjoying it; since the mind knows generically 
wherein consist the beauties of corporeal 
things, from having seen them very frequent- 
ly, and since there exists within a faculty of 
approving that which outwardly is longed for. 
And when this happens, the love that is 
called forth is not of a thing wholly un- 
known, since its genus is thus known. But 
when we love a good man whose face we 
never saw, we love him from the knowledge of 
his virtues, which virtues we know [abstractly] 
in the truth itself. But in the case of learn- 
ing, it is for the most part the authority of 
others who praise and commend it that kin- 
dles our love of it; although nevertheless we 
could not burn with any zeal at all for the 
study of it, unless we had already in our 
mind at least a slight impression of the 
knowledge of each kind of learning. For 
who, for instance, would devote any care and 
labor to the learning of rhetoric, unless he 
knew before that it was the science of speak- 
ing? Sometimes, again, we marvel at the 
results of learning itself, which we have heard 
of or experienced; and hence burn to obtain, 

I by learning, the power of attaining these 
i results. Just as if it were said to one who 
did not know his letters, that there is a kind 
of learning which enables a man to send 
words, wrought with the hand in silence, to 
one who is ever so far absent, for him in turn 
to whom they are sent to gather these words, 
not with his ears, but with his eyes; and if 
the man were to see the thing actually done, 
is not that man, since he desires to know how 
he can do this thing, altogether moved to 
study with a view to the result which he al- 
ready knows and holds ? So it is that the 
studious zeal of those who learn is kindled: 
for that of which any one is utterly ignorant, 
he can in no way love. 

2. So also, if any one hear an unknown sign, 
as, for instance, the sound of some word of 
which he does not know the signification, he 
desires to know what it is; that is, he desires 
to know what thing it is which it is agreed 
shall be brought to mind by that sound: as 
if he heard the word temetum ' uttered, and 
not knowing, should ask what it is. He must 
then know already that it is a sign, i.e. that 
the word is not an empty sound, but that some- 
thing is signified by it; for in other respects 
this trisyllabic word is known to him already, 
and has already impressed its articulate form 
upon his mind through the sense of hearing. 
And then what more is to be required in him, 
that he may go on to a greater knowledge of 
that of which all the letters and all the spaces 
of its several sounds are already known, un- 
less that it shall at the same time have be- 
come known to him that it is a sign, and shall 
have also moved him with the desire of 
knowing of what it is the sign ? The more, 
then, the thing is known, yet not fully known, 
the more the mind desires to know concern- 
ing it what remains to be known. For if he 

i Wir 

Chap. I.] 



knew it to be only such and such a spoken 
word, and did not know that it was the sign 
of something, he would seek nothing further, 
since the sensible thing is already perceived 
as far as it can be by the sense. But because 
he knows it to be not only a spoken word, 
but also a sign, he wishes to know it per- 
fectly; and no sign is known perfectly, except 
it be known of what it is the sign. He then 
who with ardent carefulness seeks to know 
this, and inflamed by studious zeal perseveres 
in the search; can such an one be said to be 
without love ? What then does he love ? 
For certainly nothing can be loved unless it is 
known. For that man does not love those 
three syllables which he knows already. But 
if he loves this in them, that he knows them 
to signify something, this is not the point 
now in question, for it is not this which he 
seeks to know. But we are now asking what 
it is he loves, in that which he is desirous 
to know, but which certainly he does not yet 
know; and we are therefore wondering why 
he loves, since we know most assuredly that 
nothing can be loved unless it be known. 
What then does he love, except that he knows 
and perceives in the reason of things what 
excellence there i's in learning, in which the 
knowledge of all signs is contained; and what 
benefit there is in the being skilled in these, 
since by them human fellowship mutually 
communicates its own perceptions, lest the 
assemblies of men should be actually worse 
than utter solitude, if they were not to mingle 
their thoughts by conversing together ? The 
soul, then, discerns this fitting and servicea- 
ble species, and knows it, and loves it; and 
he who seeks the meaning of any words of 
which he is ignorant, studies to render that 
species perfect in himself as much as he can: 
for it is one thing to behold it in the light of 
truth, another to desire it as within his 
own capacity. For he beholds in the light of 
truth how great and how good a thing it is 
to understand and to speak all tongues of all 
nations, and so to hear no tongue and to be 
heard by none as from a foreigner. The 
beauty, then, of this knowledge is already 
discerned by thought, and the thing being 
known is loved; and that thing is so regarded, 
and so stimulates the studious zeal of learn- 
ers, that they are moved with respect to it, 
and desire it eagerly in all the labor which 
they spend upon the attainment of such a 
capacity, in order that they may also embrace 
in practice that which they know beforehand 
by reason. And so every one, the nearer he 
approaches that capacity in hope, the more 
fervently desires it with love; for those 
branches of learning are studied the more 

eagerly, which men do not despair of being 
able to attain; for when any one entertains no 
hope of attaining his end, then he either loves 
lukewarmly or does not love at all, howsoever 
he may see the excellence of it. Accord- 
ingly, because the knowledge of all languages 
is almost universally felt to be hopeless, 
every one studies most to know that of his 
own nation; but if he feels that he is not 
sufficient even to comprehend this perfectly, 
yet no one is so indolent in this knowledge 
as not to wish to know, when he hears an un- 
known word, what it is, and to seek and learn 
it if he can. And while he is seeking it, cer- 
tainly he has a studious zeal of learning, and 
seems to love a thing he does not know; but 
the case is really otherwise. For that species 
touches the mind, which the mind knows and 
thinks, wherein the fitness is clearly visible 
which accrues from the associating of minds 
with one another, in the hearing and return- 
ing of known and spoken words. And this 
species kindles studious zeal in him, who 
seeks what indeed he knows not, but gazes 
upon and loves the unknown form to which 
that pertains. If then, for example, any one 
were to ask, What is temctum (for I had in- 
stanced this word already), and it were said 
to him, What does this matter to you ? he 
will answer, Lest perhaps I hear some one 
speaking, and understand him not; or per- 
haps read the word somewhere, and know 
not what the writer meant. Who, pray, 
would say to such an inquirer, Do not care 
about understanding what you hear; do not 
care about knowing what you read ? For 
almost every rational soul quickly discerns 
the beauty of that knowledge, through which 
the thoughts of men are mutually made 
known by the enunciation of significant words; 
and it is on account of this fitness thus known, 
and because known therefore loved, that such 
an unknown word is studiously sought out. 
When then he hears and learns that wine was 
called " temetum " by our forefathers, but 
that the word is already quite obsolete in our 
present usage of language, he will think 
perhaps that he has still need of the word on 
account of this or that book of those fore- 
fathers. But if he holds these also to be 
superfluous, perhaps he does now come to 
think the word not worth remembering, since 
he sees it has nothing to do with that species 
of learning which he knows with the mind, 
and gazes upon, and so loves. 

3. Wherefore in all cases the love of a 
studious mind, that is, of one that wishes to 
know what it does not know, is not the love 
of that thing which it does not know, but of 
that which it knows; on account of which it 



[Book X. 

wishes to know what it does not know. Or 
if it is so inquisitive as to be carried away, 
not for any other cause known to it, but by 
the mere love of knowing things unknown; 
then such an inquisitive person is, doubtless, 
distinguishable from an ordinary student, yet 
does not, any more than he, love things he 
does not know; nay, on the contrary, he is 
more fitly said to hate things he knows not, 
of which he wishes that there should be none, 
in wishing to know everything. But lest any 
one should lay before us a more difficult 
question, by declaring that it is just as im- 
possible for any one to hate what he does 
not know, as to love what he does not know, 
we will not withstand what is true; but it 
must be understood that it is not the same 
thing to say he loves to know things un- 
known, as to say he loves things unknown. 
For it is possible that a man may love to 
know things unknown; but it is not possible 
that he should love things unknown. For 
the word to know is not placed there without 
meaning; since he who loves to know things 
unknown, does not love the unknown things 
themselves, but the knowing of them. And 
unless he knew what knowing means, no one 
could say confidently, either that he knew or 
that he did not know. For not only he who 
says I know, and says so truly, must needs 
know what knowing is; but he also who says, 
I do not know, and says so confidently and 
truly, and knows that he says so truly, cer- 
tainly knows what knowing is; for he both 
distinguishes him who does not know from 
him who knows, when he looks into himself, 
and says truly I do not know; and whereas he 
knows that he says this truly, whence should 
he know it, if he did not know what knowing 


4. No studious person, then, no inquisitive 
person, loves things he does not know, even 
while he is urgent with the most vehement 
desire to know what he does not know. For 
he either knows already generically what he 
loves, and longs to know it also in some indi- 
vidual or individuals, which perhaps are prais- 
ed, but not yet known to him; and he pictures 
in his mind an imaginary form by which he 
may be stirred to love. And whence does he 
picture this, except from those things which he 
has already known ? And yet perhaps he will 
not love it, if he find that form which was 
praised to be unlike that other form which 
was figured and in thought most fully known 
to his mind. And if he has loved it, he will 
beinn to love it from that time when he 

learned it; since a little before, that form 
which was loved was other than that which 
the mind that formed it had been wont to 
exhibit to itself. But if he shall find it simi- 
lar to that form which report had proclaimed, 
and to be such that he could truly say I was 
already loving thee; yet certainly not even 
then did he love a form he did not know, 
since he had known it in that likeness. Or 
else we see somewhat in the species of the 
eternal reason, and therein love it; and when 
this is manifested in some image of a tem- 
poral thing, and we believe the praises of 
those who have made trial of it, and so love 
it, then we do not love anything unknown, 
according to that which we have already suf- 
ficiently discussed above. Or else, again, 
we love something known, and on account of 
it seek something unknown; and so it is by 
no means the love of the thing unknown that 
possesses us, but the love of the thing known, 
to which we know the unknown thing be- 
longs, so that we know that too which we 
seek still as unknown; as a little before I said 
of an unknown word. Or else, again, every 
one loves the very knowing itself, as no one 
can fail to know who desires to know any- 
thing. For these reasons they seem to love 
things unknown who wish to know anything 
which they do not know, and who, on account 
of their vehement desire of inquiry, cannot 
be said to be without love. But how differ- 
ent the case really is, and that nothing at all 
can be loved which is not known, I think I 
must have persuaded every one who carefully 
looks upon truth. But since the examples 
which we have given belong to those who 
desire to know something which they them- 
selves are not, we must take thought lest 
perchance some new notion appear, when the 
mind desires to know itself. 



5. What, then, does the mind love, when 
it seeks ardently to know itself, whilst it is 
still unknown to itself? For, behold, the 
mind seeks to know itself, and is excited 
thereto by studious zeal. It loves, therefore; 
but what does it love ? Is it itself? But how 
can this be when it does not yet know itself, 
and no one can love what he does not know ? 
,Ts it that report has declared to it its own 
species, in like way as we commonly hear of 
people who are absent? Perhaps, then, it 
does not love itself, but loves that which it 
imagines of itself, which is perhaps widely 
different from what itself is: or if the phan- 
tasy in the mind is like the mind itself, and 

Chap. IV.] 



so when it loves this fancied image, it loves 
itself before it knew itself, because it gazes 
upon that which is like itself; then it knew 
other minds from which to picture itself, and 
so is known to itself generically. Why, 
then, when it knows other minds, does it not 
know itself, since nothing can possibly be 
more present to it than itself? /But if, as 
other eyes are more known to the eyes of the 
body, than those eyes are to themselves; 
then let it not seek itself, because it never 
will find itself. For eyes can never see 
themselves except in looking-glasses; and it 
cannot be supposed in any way that anything 
of that kind can be applied also to the con- 
templation of incorporeal things, so that the 
mind should know itself, .as it were, in a 
lookincr.crlass. Or does it see in the reason 
of eternal truth how beautiful it is to know 
one's self, and so loves this which it sees, and 
studies to bring it to pass in itself? because, 
although it is not known to itself, yet it is 
known to it how good it is, that it should be 
known to itself. And this, indeed, is very 
wonderful, that it does not yet know itself, 
and yet knows already how excellent a thing 
it is to know itself. / Or does it see some 
most excellent end, viz. its own serenity and 
blessedness, by some hidden remembrance, 
which has not abandoned it, although it has 
gone far onwards, and believes that it cannot 
attain to that same end unless it know itself ? 
And so while it loves that, it seeks this; .and 
loves that which is known, on account of 
which it seeks that which is unknown. But 
why should the remembrance of its own 
blessedness be able to last, and the remem- 
brance of itself not be able to last as well; 
that so it should know itself which wishes to 
attain, as well as ' know that to which it 
wishes to attain ? /Or when it loves to know 
itself, does it love, not itself, which it does 
not yet know, but the very act of knowing; 
and feel the more annoyed that itself is want- 
ing to its own knowledge wherewith it wishes 
to embrace all things ? And it knows what it 
is to know; and whilst it loves this, which it 
knows, desires also to know itself. Whereby, 
then, does it know its own knowing, if it does 
not know itself? For it knows that it knows 
other things, but that it does not know itself; 
for it is from hence that it knows also what 
knowing is. In what way, then, does that 
which does not know itself, know itself as 
knowing anything? For it does not know 
that some other mind knows, but that itself 
does so. Therefore it knows itself. Further, 
when it seeks to know itself, it knows itself 
now as seeking. Therefore again it knows 
itself. And hence it cannot altogether not 

know itself, when certainly it does so far 
know itself as that it knows itself as not 
knowing itself. But if it does not know itself 
not to know itself, then it does not seek to 
know itself. And therefore, in the very fact 
that it seeks itself, it is clearly convicted of 
being more known to itself than unknown. 
For it knows itself as seeking and as not 
knowing itself, in that it seeks to know itself. 



6. What then shall we say? Does that 
which knows itself in part, not know itself 
in part?/ But it is absurd to say, that it does 
not as a whole know what it knows. I do not 
say, it knows wholly; but what it knows, it 
as a whole knows. When therefore it knows 
anything about itself, which it can only know 
as a whole, it knows itself as a whole. But 
it does know that itself knows something, 
while yet except as a whole it cannot know 
anything. Therefore it knows itself as a 
whole. Further, what in it is so known to 
itself, as that it lives ? And it cannot at once 
be a mind, and not live, while it has also some- 
thing over and above, viz., that it understands: 
for trie souls of beasts also live, but do not 
understand. As therefore a mind is a whole 
mind, so it lives as a whole. But it knows that 
it lives. Therefore it knows itself as a whole/' 
Lastly, when the mind seeks to know itself, 
it already knows that it is a mind: otherwise 
it knows not whether it seeks itself, and per- 
haps seeks one thing while intending to seek 
another. For it might happen that itself was 
not a mind, and so, in seeking to know a mind, 
that it did not seek to know itself. Where- 
fore since the mind, when it seeks to know 
what mind is, knows that it seeks itself, cer- 
tainly it knows that itself is a mind. Fur- 
thermore, if it knows this in itself, that it is 
a mind, and a whole mind, then it knows it- 
self as a whole. /But suppose it did not know 
itself to be a mind, but in seeking itself only 
knew that it did seek itself. For so, too, it 
may possibly seek one thing for another, if 
it does not know this: but that it may not 
seek one thing for another, without doubt it 
knows what it seeks. But if it knows what 
it seeks, and seeks itself, then certainly it 
knows itself. What therefore more does it 
seek ? But if it knows itself in part, but still 
seeks itself in part, then it seeks not itself, 
but part of itself. For when we speak of 
the mind itself, we speak of it as a whole/ 
Further, because it knows that it is not yet 
found by itself as a whole, it knows how 
much the whole is. And so it seeks that 



[Book X. 

which is wanting, as we are wont to seek to 
recall to the mind something that has slipped 
from the mind, but has not altogether gone 
away from it; since we can recognize it, when 
it has come back, to be the same thing that 
we were seeking. But how can mind come 
into mind, as though it were possible for the 
mind not to be in the mind p/Add to this, 
that if, having found a part, it does not 
seek itself as a whole, yet it as a whole 
seeks itself. Therefore as a whole it is 
present to itself, and there is nothing left 
to be sought: for that is wanting which is 
sought, not the mind which seeks. Since 
therefore it as a whole seeks itself, nothing 
of it is wanting. Or if it does not as a whole 
seek itself, but the part which has been found 
seeks the part which has not yet been found; 
then the mind does not seek itself, of which 
no part seeks itself. For the part which has 
been found, does not seek itself; nor yet does 
the part itself which has not yet been found, 
seek itself; since it is sought by that part 
which has been already found. Wherefore, 
since neither the mind as a whole seeks itself, 
nor does any part of it seek itself, the mind 
does not seek itself at all. 



7. Why therefore is it enjoined upon it, 
that it should know itself ? I suppose, in 
order that it may consider itself, and live ac- 
cording to its own nature; that is, seek to be 
regulated according to its own nature, viz., 
under Him to whom it ought to be subject, 
and above those things to which it is to be 
preferred; under Him by whom it ought to 
be ruled, above those things which it ought 
to rule. For it does many things through 
vicious desire, as though in forgetfulness of 
itself. For it sees some things intrinsically 
excellent, in that more excellent nature which 
is God: and whereas it ought to remain stead- 
fast that it may enjoy them, it is turned away 
from Him, by wishing to appropriate those 
things to itself, and not to be like to Him by 
His gift, but to be what He is by its own, and 
it begins to move and slip gradually down 
into less and less, which it thinks to be more 
and more; for it is neither sufficient for it- 
self, nor is anything at all sufficient for it, if 
it withdraw from Him who is alone sufficient: 
and so through want and distress it becomes 
too intent upon its own actions and upon the 
unquiet delights which it obtains through 
them: and thus, by the desire of acquiring 

knowledge from those things that are without, 
the nature of which it knows and loves, and 
which it feels can be lost unless held fast with 
anxious care, it loses its security, and thinks 
of itself so much the less, in proportion as it 
feels the more secure that it cannot lose itself. 
So, whereas it is one thing not to know one- 
self, and another not to think of oneself (for 
we do not say of the man that is skilled in 
much learning, that he is ignorant of gram- 
mar, when he is only not thinking of it, because 
he is thinking at the time of the art of medi- 
cine); whereas, then, I say it is one thing 
not to know oneself, and another not to think 
of oneself, such is the strength of love, that 
the mind draws in with itself those things 
which it has long thought of with love, and 
has grown into them by the close adherence 
of diligent study, even when it returns in 
some way to think of itself. And because 
these things are corporeal which it loved ex- 
ternally through the carnal senses; and be- 
cause it has become entangled with them by 
a kind of daily familiarity, and yet cannot 
carry those corporeal things themselves with 
itself internally as it were into the region of 
incorporeal nature; therefore it combines cer- 
tain images of them, and thrusts them thus 
made from itself into itself. For it gives to 
the forming of them somewhat of its own sub- 
stance, yet preserves the while something by 
which it may judge freely of the species of 
those images; and this something is more 
properly the mind, that is, the rational un- 
derstanding, which is preserved that it may 
judge. For we see that we have those parts 
of the soul which are informed by .the like- 
nesses of corporeal things, in common also 
with beasts. 



8. But the mind errs, when it so lovingly 
and intimately connects itself with these im- 
ages, as even to consider itself to be some- 
thing of the same kind. For so it is con- 
formed to them to some extent, not by being 
this, but by thinking it is so: not that it 
thinks itself to be an image, but outright that 
very thing itself of which it entertains the 
image. For there still lives in it the power 
of distinguishing the corporeal thing which 
it leaves without, from the image of that cor- 
poreal thing which it contains therefrom with- 
in itself: except when these images are so 
projected as if felt without and not thought 
within, as in the case of people who are 
asleep, or mad, or in a trance. 

Chap. VII.] 




9. When, therefore, it thinks itself to be 
something of this kind, it thinks itself to be 
a corporeal thing; and since it is perfectly 
conscious of its own superiority, by which it 
rules the body, it has hence come to pass 
that the question has been raised what part 
of the body has the greater power in the body; 
and the opinion has been held that this is the 
mind, nay, that it is even the whole soul alto- 
gether. And some accordingly think it to be 
the blood, others the brain, others the heart; 
not as the Scripture says, "I will praise Thee, 
O Lord, with my whole heart; " and, " Thou 
shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine 
heart;" 1 for this word by misapplication or 
metaphor is transferred from the body to the 
soul; but they have simply thought it to be 
that small part itself of the body, which we 
see when the inward parts are rent asunder. 
Others, again, have believed the soul to be 
made up of very minute and individual cor- 
puscules, which they call atoms, meeting in 
themselves and cohering. Others have said 
that its substance is air, others fire. Others 
have been of opinion that it is no substance 
at all, since they could not think any sub- 
stance unless it is body, and they did not find 
that the soul was body; but it was in their 
opinion the tempering together itself of our 
body, or the combining together of the ele- 
ments, by which that flesh is as it were con- 
joined. And hence all of these have held the 
soul to be mortal; since, whether it were body, 
or some combination of body, certainly it 
could not in either case continue always with- 
out death. But they who have held its sub- 
stance to be some kind of life the reverse of 
corporeal, since they have found it to be a 
life that animates and quickens every living 
body, have by consequence striven also, ac- 
cording as each was able, to prove it immor- 
tal, since life cannot be without life. 

For as to that fifth kind of body, I know 
not what, which some have added to the four 
well-known elements of the world, and have 
said that the soul was made of this, I do not 
think we need spend time in discussing it in 
this place. For either they mean by body 

what we mean by it, viz., that of which a part 
is less than the whole in extension of place, 
and they are to be reckoned among those who 
have believed the mind to be corporeal: or 
if they call either all substance, or all change- 
able substance, body, whereas they know that 
not all substance is contained in extension of 
place by any length and breadth and height, 
we need not contend with them about a ques- 
tion of words. 

10. Now, in the case of all these opinions, 
any one who sees that the nature of the mind 
is at once substance, and yet not corporeal, 
that is, that it does not occupy a less ex- 
tension of place with a less part of itself, and 
a greater with a greater, must needs see at 
the same time that they who are of opinion 
that it is corporeal, 2 do not err from defect of 
knowledge concerning mind, but because they 
associate with it qualities without which they 
are not able to conceive any nature at all. 
For if you bid them conceive of existence 
that is without corporeal phantasms, they hold 
it merely nothing. And so the mind would 
not seek itself, as though wanting to itself. 
For what is so present to knowledge as that 
which is present to the mind ? Or what is so 
present to the mind as the mind itself ? And 
hence what is called " invention," if we con- 
sider the origin of the word, what else does it 
mean, unless that to find out 3 is to "come 
into "that which is sought? Those things 
accordingly which come into the mind as it 
were of themselves, are not usually said to be 
found out, 4 although they may be said to be 
known; since we did not endeavor by seeking 
to come into them, that is, to invent or find 
them out. And therefore, as the mind itself 
really seeks those things which are sought by 
the eyes or by any other sense of the body 
(for the mind directs even the carnal sense, 
and then finds out or invents, when that sense 
comes to the things which are sought); so, 
too, it finds out or invents other things which 
it ought to know, not with the medium of 
corporeal sense, but through itself, when it 
" comes into " them; and this, whether in the 
case of the higher substance that is in God, 
or of the other parts of the soul; just as it 
does when it judges of bodily images them- 
selves, for it finds these within, in the soul, 
impressed through the body. 

1 Ps. ix. cxi., and cxxxviii., Deut. vi. s^and Matt. xxii. 37. 

= [The distinction between corporeal and incorporeal substance 
is one that A ugustin often insists upon. See Confessions VII. 
i-iii. The doctrine that all substance is extended body, and that 
there is no such entity as spiritual unextended substance, is com- 
batted by Plato in the Theatetus. For a history of the contest, 
and an able defence of the substantiality of spirit, see Cud worth s 
Intellectual System, III. 384 sq. Harrison s Ed. W . G. 1 . b.J 

3 Invenire. 4 Inventa. 



[Book X. 


11. It is then a wonderful question, in what 
manner the soul seeks and finds itself; at what 
it aims in order to seek, or whither it comes, 
that it may come into or find out. For what 
is so much in the mind as the mind itself? 
But because it is in those things which it 
thinks of with love, and is wont to be in sen- 
sible, that is, in corporeal things with love, it 
is unable to be in itself without the images of 
those corporeal things. And hence shameful 
error arises to block its way, whilst it cannot 
separate from itself the images of sensible 
things, so as to see itself alone. For they 
have marvellously cohered with it by the close 
adhesion of love. And herein consists its un- 
cleanness; since, while it strives to think of 
itself alone, it fancies itself to be that, with- 
out which it cannot think of itself. When, 
therefore, it is bidden to become acquainted 
with itself, let it not seek itself as though it 
were withdrawn from itself; but let it with- 
draw that which it has added to itself. For 
itself lies more deeply within, not only than 
those sensible things, which are clearly with- 
out, but also than the images of them; which 
are indeed in some part of the soul, viz., that 
which beasts also have, although these want 
understanding, which is proper to the mind. 
As therefore the mind is within, it goes forth 
in some sort from itself, when it exerts the 
affection of love towards these, as it were, 
footprints of many acts of attention. And 
these footprints are, as it were, imprinted on 
the memory, at the time when the corporeal 
things which are without are perceived in such 
way, that even when those corporeal things 
are absent, yet the images of them are at 
hand to those who think of them. Therefore 
let the mind become acquainted with itself, 
and not seek itself as if it were absent; but fix 
upon itself the act of [voluntary] attention, 
by which it was wandering among other 
things, and let it think o f itself. So it will 
see that at no time did it ever not love itself, 
at no time did it ever not know itself; but by 
loving another thing together with itself it 
has confounded itself with it, and in some 
sense has grown one with it. And so, while 
it embraces diverse things, as though they 
were one, it has come to think those things 
to be one which are diverse. 



12. Let it not therefore seek to discern 

itself as though absent, but take pains to 
discern itself as present. Nor let it take 
knowledge of itself as if it did not know itself, 
but let it distinguish itself from that which it 
knows to be another. For how will it take 
pains to obey that very precept which is given 
it, "Know thyself," if it knows not either 
what "know" means or what "thyself" 
means? But if it knows both, then it knows 
also itself. Since " know thyself" is not so 
said to the mind as is " Know the cherubim 
and the seraphim ; " for they are absent, and 
we believe concerning them, and according 
to that belief they are declared to be certain 
celestial powers. Nor yet again as it is said, 
Know the will of that man: for this it is not 
within our reach to perceive at all, either by 
sense or understanding, unless by corporeal 
signs actually set forth; and this in such a 
way that we rather believe than understand. 
Nor again as it is said to a man, Behold thy 
own face; which he can only do in a looking- 
glass. For even our own face itself is out of 
the reach of our own seeing it; because it is 
not there where our look can be directed. 
But when it is said to the mind, Know thy- 
self; then it knows itself by that very act by 
which it understands the word "thyself;" 
and this for no other reason than that it is 
present to itself. But if it does not under- 
stand what is said, then certainly it does not 
do as it is bid to do. And therefore it is 
bidden to do that thing which it does do, 
when it understands the very precept that 
bids it. 




13. Let it not then add anything to that 
which it knows itself to be, when it is bidden 
to know itself. For it knows, at any rate, 
that this is said to itself; namely, to the self 
that is, and that lives, and that understands. 
But a dead body also is, and cattle live; but 
neither a dead body nor cattle understand. 
Therefore it so knows that it so is, and that 
it so lives, as an understanding is and lives. 
When, therefore, for example's sake, the 
mind thinks itself air, it thinks that air under- 
stands; it knows, however, that itself under- 
stands, but it does not know itself to be air, 
but only thinks so. Let it separate that 
which it thinks itself; let it discern that which 
it knows; let this remain to it. about which 
not even have they doubted who have thought 
the mind to be this corporeal thing or that. 
For certainly every mind does not consider 

Chap. X.] 



itself to be air; but some think themselves fire, 
others the brain, and some one kind of cor- 
poreal thing, others another, as I have men- 
tioned before; yet all know that they them- 
selves understand, and are, and live; but they 
refer understanding to that which they under- 
stand, but to be, and to live, to themselves. 
And no one doubts, either that no one under- 
stands who does not live, or that no one lives 
of whom it is not true that he is; and that 
therefore by consequence that which under- 
stands both is and lives; not as a dead body is 
which does not live, nor as a soul lives which 
does not understand, but in some proper and 
more excellent manner. Further, they know 
that they will, and they equally know that no 
one can will who is not and who does not 
live ; and they also refer that will itself to 
something which they will with that will. 
They know also that they remember ; and 
they know at the same time that nobody could 
remember, unless he both was and lived; but 
we refer memory itself also to something, in 
that we remember those things. Therefore 
the knowledge and science of many things 
are contained in two of these three, memory 
and understanding; but will must be present, 
that we may enjoy or use them. For we en- 
joy things known, in which things themselves 
the will finds delight for their own sake, and 
so reposes; but we use those things, which 
we refer to some other thing which we are to 
enjoy. Neither is the life of man vicious and 
culpable in any other way, than as wrongly 
using and wrongly enjoying. But it is no 
place here to discuss this. 

14. But since we treat of the nature of the 
mind, let us remove from our consideration 
all knowledge which is received from without, 
through the senses of the body; and attend 
more carefully to the position which we have 
laid down, that all minds know and are cer- 
tain concerning themselves. For men cer- 
tainly have doubted whether the power of liv- 
ing, of remembering, of understanding^ will- 
ing, of thinking, of knowing, of judging, be of 
air, or of fire, or of the brain, or of the blood, 
or of atoms, or besides the usual four elements 
of a fifth kind of body, I know not what; or 
whether the combining or tempering together 
of this our flesh itself has power to accomplish 
these things. And one has attempted to es- 
tablish this, and another to establish that. 
Yet who ever doubts that he himself lives, and 
remembers, and understands, and wills, and 
thinks, and knows, and judges? Seeing that 
even if he doubts, he lives; if he doubts, 
he remembers why he doubts; if he doubts, 
he understands that lie doubts; if he doubts, 
he wishes to be certain; if he doubts, he 

thinks; if he doubts, he knows that he does not 
know; if he doubts, he judges that he ought 
not to assent rashly. Whosoever therefore 
doubts about anything else, ought not to 
doubt of all these things; which if they were 
not, he would not be able to doubt of any- 

15. They who think the mind to be either 
a body or the combination or tempering of the 
body, will have all these things to seem to be 
in a subject, so that the substance is air, or 
fire, or some other corporeal thing, which 
they think to be the mind; but that the under- 
standing (intelligcntia) is in this corporeal 
thing as its quality, so that this corporeal 
thing is the subject, but the understanding is 
in the subject: viz. that the mind is the sub- 
ject, which they judge to be a corporeal thing, 
but the understanding [intelligence], or any 
other of those things which we have mentioned 
as certain to us, is in that subject. They also 
hold nearly the same opinion who deny the 
mind itself to be body, but think it to be the 
combination or tempering together of the body; 
for there is this difference, that the former say 
that the mind itself is the substance, in which 
the understanding [intelligence] is, as in a sub- 
ject; but the latter say that the mind itself is 
in a subject, viz. in the body, of which it is 
the combination or tempering together. And 
hence, by consequence, what else can they 
think, except that the understanding also is 
in the same body as in a subject ? 

16. And all these do not perceive that the 
mind knows itself, even when it seeks for it- 
self, as we have already shown. But nothing 
is at all rightly said to be known while its sub- 
stance is not known. And therefore, when 
the mind knows itself, it knows its own sub- 
stance; and when it is certain about itself, it 
is certain about its own substance. But it is 
certain about itself, as those things which are 
said above prove convincingly; although it is 
not at all certain whether itself is air, or fire, 
or some body, or some function of body. 
Therefore it is not any of these. And to 
that whole which is bidden to know itself, be- 
longs this, that it is certain that it is not any 
of those things of which it is uncertain, and 
is certain tlsat it is that only, which only it is 
certain that it is. For it thinks in this way of 
fire, or air, and whatever else of the body it 
thinks of. Neither can it in any way be 
brought to pass that it should so think that 
which itself is, as it thinks that which itself is 
not. Since it thinks all these things through 
an imaginary phantasy, whether fire, or air, 
or this or that body, or that part or combina- 
tion and tempering together of the body: nor 
assuredly is it said to be all those things, but 



[Book X. 

some one of them. But if it were any one of 
them, it would think this one in a different 
manner from the rest, viz. not through an 
imaginary phantasy, as absent things are 
thought, which either themselves or some 
of like kind have been touched by the bodily 
sense; but by some inward, not feigned, but 
true presence (for nothing is more present to 
it than itself) ; just as it thinks that itself lives, 
and remembers, and understands, and wills. 
For it knows these things in itself, and does 
not imagine them as though it had touched 
them by the sense outside itself, as corporeal 
things are touched. And if it attaches noth- 
ing to itself from the thought of these things, 
so as to think itself to be something of the 
kind, then whatsoever remains to it from itself, 
that alone is itself. 


intelligence], AND WILL, WE HAVE TO 

17. Putting aside, then, for a little while 
all other things, of which the mind is certain 
concerning itself, let us especially consider 
and discuss these three memory, understand- 
ing, will. For we may commonly discern in 
these three the character of the abilities of 
the young also; since the more tenaciously 
and easily a boy remembers, and the more 
acutely he understands, and the more ardent- 
ly he studies, the more praiseworthy is he in 
point of ability. But when the question is 
about any one's learning, then we ask not how 
solidly and easily he remembers, or how 
shrewdly he understands; but what it is that 
he remembers, and what it is that he under- 
stands. And because the mind is regarded 
as praiseworthy, not only as being learned, 
but also as being good, one gives heed not 
only to what he remembers and what he 
understands, but also to what he wills (velit); 
not how ardently he wills, but first what it is 
he wills, and then how greatly he wills it. 
For the mind that loves eagerly is then to be 
praised, when it loves that which ought to be 
loved eagerly. Since, then, we speak of these 
three ability, knowledge, use the first of 
these is to be considered under the three 
heads, of what a man can do in memory, and 
understanding, and will. The second of 
them is to be considered in regard to that 
which any one has in his memory and in his 
understanding, which he has attained by a 
studious will. But the third, viz. use, lies in 
the will, which handles those things that are 
contained in the memory and understanding, 

whether it refer them to anything further, or 
rest satisfied with them as an end. For to 
use, is to take up something into the power 
of the will; and to enjoy, is to use with joy, 
not any longer of hope, but of the actual 
thing. Accordingly, every one who enjoys, 
uses; for he takes up something into the 
power of the will, wherein he also is satisfied 
as with an end. But not every one who uses, 
enjoys, if he has sought after that, which he 
takes up into the power of the will, not on 
account of the thing itself, but on account of 
something else. 

18. Since, then, these three, memory, un- 
derstanding, will, are not three lives, but one 
life; nor three minds, but one mind; it fol- 
lows certainly that neither are they three sub- 
stances, but one substance. Since memory, 
which is called life, and mind, and substance, 
is so called in respect to itself ; but it is called 
memory, relatively to something. And I 
should say the same also of understanding 
ami of will, since they are called understand- 
ing and will relatively to something; but each 
in respect to itself is life, and mind, and es- 
sence. And hence these three are one, in that 
they are one life, one mind, one essence; and 
whatever else they are severally called in re- 
spect to themselves, they are called also to- 
gether, not plurally, but in the singular num- 
ber. But they are three, in that wherein they 
are mutually referred to each other; and if 
they were not equal, and this not only each 
to each, but also each to all, they certainly 
could not mutually contain each other; for 
not only is each contained by each, but also all 
by each. For I remember that I have memory 
and understanding, and will; and I under- 
stand that I understand, and will, and remem- 
ber; and I will that I will, and remember, and 
understand; and I remember together my 
whole memory, and understanding, and will. 
For that of my memory which I do not re- 
member, is not in my memory; and nothing 
is so much in the memory as memory itself. 
Therefore I remember the whole memory. 
Also, whatever I understand I know that I 
understand, and I know that I will whatever I 
will; but whatever I know I remember. 
Therefore I remember the whole of my under- 
standing, and the whole of my will. Like- 
wise, when I understand these three things, I 
understand them together as whole. For 
there is none of things intelligible which I 
do not understand, except what I do not know; 
but what I do not know, I neither remember, 
nor will. Therefore, whatever of things intelli- 
gible I do not understand, it follows also that I 
neither remember nor will. And whatever of 
things intelligible I remember and will, it fol- 

Chap. XII.] 



lows that I understand. My will also em- 
braces my whole understanding and my whole 
memory, whilst I use the whole that I under- 
stand and remember. And, therefore, while 
all are mutually comprehended by each, and as 
wholes, each as a whole is equal to each as a 
whole, and each as a whole at the same time 
to all as wholes; and these three are one, 
one life, one mind, one essence. 1 



19. Are we, then, now to go upward, with 
whatever strength of purpose we may, to that 

1 [This ternary of meraorj^, understanding, and will, is a better 
analogue to the Trinity than the preceding one in chapter IX 
namely, mind, knowledge, and love. Memory, understanding, 
and will have equal substantiality, while mind, knowledge, and 
love have not. The former are three faculties, in each of which 
is the whole mind or spirit. The memory is the whole mind as re- 
membering; the understanding is the whole mind as cognizing; 
and the will is the whole mind as determining. The one essence 
of the mind is in each of these three modes, each of which is dis- 
tinct from the others; and yet there are not three essences or minds. 
In the other ternary, of mind, knowledge, and love, the last two 
are not faculties but single acts of the mind. A particular act of 
cognition is not the whole mind in the general mode of cognition. 
This would make it a faculty. A particular act of loving, or of 
willing, is not the whole mind in the general mode of loving, or of 
willing. This would make the momentary and transient act a per- 
manent faculty. This ternary fails, as we have noticed in a previ- 
ous annotation (IX. ii. 2), in that only the mind is a substance. 

The ternary of memory, understanding, and will is an adequate 
analogue to the Trinity in respect to equal substantiality. But it 
fails when the separate consciousness of the Trinitarian distinctions 
is brought into consideration. The three faculties of memory, un- 
derstanding, and will, are not so objective to each other as to ad- 
mit of three forms of consciousness, of the use of the personal 
pronouns, and of the personal actions that are ascribed to the 
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It also fails, in that these three 
are not all the modes of the mind. There are other faculties: 
e. g., the imagination. The whole essence of the mind is in this 
also.-W. G. T. S.] 

chiefest and highest essence, of which the 
human mind is an inadequate image, yet an 
image ? Or are these same three things to be 
yet more distinctly made plain in the soul, by 
means of those things which we receive from 
without, through the bodily sense, wherein 
the knowledge of corporeal things is impressed 
upon us in time? Since we found the mind 
itself to be such in its own memory, and un- 
derstanding, and will, that since it was under- 
stood always to know and always to will itself, 
it was understood also at the same time al- 
ways to remember itself, always to under- 
stand and love itself, although not always to 
think of itself as separate from those things 
which are not itself; and hence its memory of 
itself, and understanding of itself, are with 
difficult discerned in it. For in this case, 
where these two things are very closely con- 
joined, and one is not preceded by the other 
by any time at all, it looks as if they were not 
two things, but one called by two names; and 
love itself is not so plainly felt to exist when 
the sense of need does not disclose it, since 
what is loved is always at hand. And hence 
these things may be more lucidly set forth, 
even to men of duller minds, if such topics 
are treated of as are brought within reach of 
the mind in time, and happen to it in time; 
while it remembers what it did not remember 
before, and sees what it did not see before, 
and loves what it did not love before. But this 
discussion demands now another beginning, 
by reason of the measure of the present book. 





i. No one doubts that, as the inner man 
is endued with understanding, so is the outer 
with bodily sense. Let us try, then, if we 
can, to discover in this outer man also, some 
trace, however slight, of the Trinity, not 
that itself also is in the same manner the 
image of God. For the opinion of the apos- 
tle is evident, which declares the inner man 
to be renewed in the knowledge of God after 
the image of Him that created him: 1 whereas 
he says also in another place, "But though 
our outer man perish, yet the inward man is 
renewed day by day." 2 Let us seek, then, 
so far as we can, in that which perishes, some 
image of the Trinity, if not so express, yet 
perhaps more easy to be discerned. For 
that outer man also is not called man to no 
purpose, but because there is in it some like- 
ness of the inner man. And owing to that 
very order of our condition whereby we are 
made mortal and fleshly, we handle things 
visible more easily and more familiarly than 
things intelligible; since the former are out- 
ward, the latter inward; and the former are 
perceived by the bodily sense, the latter are 

1 Col. iii. 10. 

2 2 Cor. iv. 16. 

understood by the mind ; and we ourselves, i.e. 
our minds, are not sensible things, that is, 
bodies, but intelligible things, since we are 
life. And yet, as I said, we are so familiarly 
occupied with bodies, and our thought has 
projected itself outwardly with so wonderful 
a proclivity towards bodies, that, when it has 
been withdrawn from the uncertainty of 
things corporeal, that it may be fixed with a 
much more certain and stable knowledge in 
that which is spirit, it flies back to those 
bodies, and seeks rest there whence it has 
drawn weakness. And to this its feebleness 
we must suit our argument; so that, if we 
would endeavor at any time to distinguish 
more aptly, and intimate more readily, the 
inward spiritual thing, we must take examples 
of likenesses from outward things pertaining 
to the body. The outer man, then, endued 
as he is with the bodily sense, is conversant 
with bodies. And this bodily sense, as is 
easily observed, is fivefold; seeing, hearing, 
smelling, tasting, touching. But it is both a 
good deal of trouble, and is not necessary, 
that we should inquire of all these five senses 
about that which we seek. For that which 
one of them declares to us, holds also good 
in the rest. Let us use, then, principally 
the testimony of the eyes. For this bodily 

Chap. II.] 



sense far surpasses the rest; and in propor- 
tion to its difference of kind, is nearer to the 
sight of the mind. 



2. When, then, we see any corporeal ob- 
ject, these three things, as is most easy to 
do, are to be considered and distinguished: 
First, the object itself which we see; whether 
a stone, or flame, or any other thing that can 
be seen by the eyes; and this certainly might 
exist also already before it was seen; next, 
vision or the act of seeing, which did not ex- 
ist before we perceived the object itself which 
is presented to the sense; in the third place, 
that which keeps the sense of the eye in the 
object seen, so long as it is seen, viz. the at- 
tention of the mind. In these three, then, 
not only is there an evident distinction, but 
also a diverse nature. For, first, that visible 
body is of a far different nature from the 
sense of the eyes, through the incidence of 
which sense upon it vision arises. And what 
plainly is vision itself other than perception 
informed by that thing which is perceived ? 
Although there is no vision if the visible ob- 
ject be withdrawn, nor could there be any 
vision of the kind at all if there were no body 
that could be seen; yet the body by which 
the sense of the eyes is informed, when that 
body is seen, and the form itself which is im- 
printed by it upon the sense, which is called 
vision, are by no means of the same sub- 
stance. For the body that is seen is, in its 
own nature, separable; but the sense, which 
was already in the living subject, even before 
it saw what it was able to see, when it fell in 
with something visible, or the vision which 
comes to be in the sense from the visible 
body when now brought into connection with 
it and seen, the sense, then, I say, or the 
vision, that is, the sense informed from with- 
out, belongs to the nature of the living sub- 
ject, which is altogether other than that body 
which we perceive by seeing, and by which the 
sense is not so formed as to be sense, but as 
to be vision. For unless the sense were also 
in us before the presentation to us of the 
sensible object, we should not differ from the 
blind, at times when we are seeing nothing, 
whether in darkness, or when our eyes are 

closed. But we differ from them in this, that 

there is in us, even when we are not seeing, 
that whereby we are able to see, which is 
called the sense; whereas this is not in them, 
nor are they called blind for any other reason 
than because they have it not. Further also, 
that attention of the mind which keeps the 
sense in that thing which we see, and con- 
nects both, not only differs from that visible 
thing in its nature; in that the one is mind, 
and the other body; but also from the sense 
and the vision itself: since this attention is 
the act of the mind alone; but the sense of 
the eyes is called a bodily sense, for no other 
reason than because the eyes themselves also 
are members of the body; and although an 
inanimate body does not perceive, yet the 
soul commingled with the body perceives 
through a corporeal instrument, and that in- 
strument is called sense. And this sense, 
too, is cut off and extinguished by suffering 
on the part of the body, when any one is 
blinded; while the mind remains the same; 
and its attention, since the eyes are lost, has 
not, indeed, the sense of the body which it 
may join, by seeing, to the body without it, 
and so fix its look thereupon and see it, yet 
by the very effort shows that, although the 
bodily sense be taken away, itself can neither 
perish nor be diminished. For there remains 
unimpaired a desire \appetitus\ of seeing, 
whether it can be carried into effect or not. 
These three, then, the body that is seen, 
and vision itself, and the attention of mind 
which joins both together, are manifestly dis- 
tinguishable, not only on account of the pro- 
perties of each, but also on account of the 
difference of their natures. 

3. And since, in this case, the sensation 
does not proceed from that body which is 
seen, but' from the body of the living being 
that perceives, with which the soul is tem- 
pered together in some wonderful way of its 
own; yet vision is produced, that is, the 
sense itself is informed, by the body which 
is seen; so that now, not only is there the 
power of sense, which can exist also unim- 
paired even in darkness, provided the eyes are 
sound, but also a sense actually informed, 
which is called vision. Vision, then, is pro- 
duced from a thing that is visible; but not 
from that alone, unless there be present also 
one who sees. Therefore vision is produced 
from a thing that is visible, together with one 
who sees; in such way that, on the part of him 
who sees, there is the sense of seeing and the 
intention of looking and gazing at the object; 
while yet that information of the sense, 
which is called vision, is imprinted only by 
the body which is seen, that is, by some visi- 
ble thing; which being taken away, that form 



[Book X. 

remains no more which was in the sense so 
long as that which was seen was present: yet 
the sense itself remains, which existed also 
before anything was perceived; just as the 
trace of a thing in water remains so long as 
the body itself, which is impressed on it, is 
in the water; but if this has been taken away, 
there will no longer be any such trace, al- 
though the water remains, which existed also 
before it took the form of that body. And 
therefore we cannot, indeed, say that a visible 
thing produces the sense; yet it produces the 
form, which is, as it were, its own likeness, 
which comes to be in the sense, when we 
perceive anything by seeing. But we do not 
distinguish, through the same sense, the 
form of the body which we see, from the 
form which is produced by it in the sense of 
him who sees; since the union of the two is 
so close that there is no room for distinguish- 
ing them. But we rationally infer that we 
could not have sensation at all, unless some 
similitude of the body seen was wrought in 
our own sense. For when a ring is imprinted 
on wax, it does not follow that no image is 
produced, because we cannot discern it unless 
when it has been separated. But since, after 
the wax is separated, what was made remains, 
so that it can be seen; we are on that account 
easily persuaded that there was already also 
in the wax a form impressed from the ring 
before it was separated from it. But if the 
ring were imprinted upon a fluid, no image 
at all would appear when it was withdrawn; 
and yet none the less for this ought the rea- 
son to discern that there was in that fluid 
before the ring was withdrawn a form of the 
ring produced from the ring, which is to be dis- 
tinguished from that form which is in the ring, 
whence that form was produced which ceases 
to be when the ring is withdrawn, although 
that in the ring remains, whence the other was 
produced. And so the [sensuous] perception 
of the eyes may not be supposed to contain 
no image of the body, which is seen as long 
as it is seen, [merely] because when that is 
withdrawn the image does not remain. And 
hence it is very difficult to persuade men of 
duller mind that an image of the visible thing 
is formed in our sense, when we see it, and 
that this same form is vision. 

4. But if any perhaps attend to what I am 
about to mention, they will find no such 
trouble in this inquiry. Commonly, when 
we have looked for some little time at a light, 
and then shut our eyes, there seem to play 
before our eyes certain bright colors various- 
ly changing themselves, and shining less and 
less until they wholly cease; and these we 
must understand to be the remains of that 

form which was wrought in the sense, while 
the shining body was seen, and that these 
variations take place in them as they slowly 
and step by step fade away. For the lattices, 
too, of windows, should we happen to be 
gazing at them, appear often in these colors; 
so that it is evident that our sense is affected 
by such impressions from that thing which is 
seen. That form therefore existed also while 
we were seeing, and at that time it was more 
clear and express. But it was then closely 
joined with the species of that thing which 
was being perceived, so that it could not be 
at all distinguished from it; and this was vis- 
ion itself. Why, even when the little flame 
of a lamp is in some way, as it were, doubled 
by the divergent rays of the eyes, a twofold 
vision comes to pass, although the thing 
which is seen is one. For the same rays, as 
they shoot forth each from its own eye, are 
affected severally, in that they are not allowed 
to meet evenly and conjointly, in regarding 
that corporeal thing, so that one combined 
view might be formed from both. And so, 
if we shut one eye, we shall not see two flames, 
but one as it really is. But why, if we shut 
the left eye, that appearance ceases to be seen, 
which was on the right; and if, in turn, we 
shut the right eye, that drops out of existence 
which was on the left, is a matter both tedious 
in itself, and not necessary at all to our pres- 
ent subject to inquire and discuss. For it is 
enough for the business in hand to consider, 
that unless some image, precisely like the thing 
we perceive, were produced in our sense, the 
appearance of the flame would not be doubled 
according to the number of the eyes; since a 
certain way of perceiving has been employed, 
which could separate the union of rays. Cer- 
tainly nothing that is really single can be seen 
as if it were double by one eye, draw it down, 
or press, or distort it as you please, if the 
other is shut. 

5. The case then being so, let us remember 
how these three things, although diverse in 
nature, are tempered together into a kind of 
unity; that is, the form of the body which is 
seen, and the image of it impressed on the 
sense, which is vision or sense informed, and 
the will of the mind which applies the sense 
to the sensible thing, and retains the vision 
itself in it. The first of these, that is, the 
visible thing itself, does not belong to the 
nature of the living being, except when we 
discern our own body. But the second be- 
longs to that nature to this extent, that it is 
wrought in the body, and through the body 
in the soul; for it is wrought in the sense, 
which is neither without the body nor without 
the soul. But the third is of the soul alone, 

Chap. III.] 



because it is the will. Although then the sub- 
stances of these three are so different, yet they 
coalesce into such a unity that the two former 
can scarcely be distinguished, even with the 
intervention of the reason as judge, namely 
the form of the body which is seen, and the 
image of it which is wrought in the sense, 
that is, vision. And the will so powerfully 
combines these two, as both to apply the 
sense, in order to be informed, to that thing 
which is perceived, and to retain it when in- 
formed in that thing. And if it is so vehe- 
ment that it can be called love, or desire, or 
lust, it vehemently affects also the rest of the 
body of the living being; and where a duller 
and harder matter does not resist, changes it 
into like shape and color. One may see the 
little body of a chameleon vary with ready 
change, according to the colors which it sees. 
And in the case of other animals, since their 
grossness of flesh does not easily admit change, 
the offspring, for the most part, betray the 
particular fancies of the mothers, whatever it 
is that they have beheld with special delight. 
For the more tender,- and so to say, the more 
formable, are the primary seeds, the more 
effectually and capably they follow the bent 
of the soul of the mother, and the phantasy 
that is wrought in it through that body, which 
it has greedily beheld. Abundant instances 
might be adduced, but one is sufficient, taken 
from the most trustworthy books; viz. what 
Jacob did, that the sheep and goats might give 
birth to offspring of various colors, by placing 
variegated rods before them in the troughs of 
water for them to look at as they drank, at 
the time they had conceived. 1 


6. The rational soul, however, lives in a 
degenerate fashion,when it lives according to a 
trinity of the outer man; that is, when it ap- 
plies to those things which form the bodily 
sense from without, not a praiseworthy will, 
by which to refer them to some useful end, 
but a base desire, by which to cleave to them. 
Since even if the form of the body, which was 
corporeally perceived, be withdrawn, its like- 
ness remains in the memory, to which the will 
may again direct its eye, so as to be formed 
thence from within, as the sense was formed 
from without by the presentation of the sensi- 
ble body. And so that trinity is produced 
from memory, from internal vision, and from 
the will which unites both. And when these 
three things are combined into one, from that 

1 Cen. xxx. 37-41. 

combination 2 itself they are called conception. 3 
And in these three there is no longer any di- 
versity of substance. For neither is the sen- 
sible body there, which is altogether distinct 
from the nature of the living being, nor is the 
bodily sense there informed so as to produce 
vision, nor does the will itself perform its office 
of applying the sense, that is to be informed, 
to the sensible body, and of retaining it in 
it when informed; but in place of that bodily 
species which was perceived from without, 
there comes the memory retaining that species 
which the soul has imbibed through the bodi- 
ly sense; and in place of that vision which 
was outward when the sense was informed 
through the sensible body, there comes a 
similar vision within, while the eye of the mind 
is informed from that which the memory re- 
tains, and the corporeal things that are 
thought of are absent; and the will itself, as 
before it applied the sense yet to be informed 
to the corporeal thing presented from with- 
out, and united it thereto when informed, so 
now converts the vision of the recollecting 
mind to memory, in order that the mental sight 
may be informed by that which the memory 
has retained, and so there may be in the con- 
ception a like vision. And as it was the reason 
that distinguished the visible appearance by 
which the bodily sense was informed, from the 
similitude of it, which was wrought in the 
sense when informed in order to produce vis- 
ion (otherwise they had been so united as to be 
thought altogether one and the same); so, 
although that phantasy also, which arises from 
the mind thinking of the appearance of a 
body that it has seen, consists of the similitude 
of the body which the memory retains, to- 
gether with that which is thence formed in the 
eye of the mind that recollects; yet it so 
seems to be one and single, that it can only 
be discovered to be two by the judgment of 
reason, by which we understand that which 
remains in the memory, even when we think 
it from some other source, to be a different 
thing from that which is brought into being 
when we remember, that is, come back again 
to the memory, and there find the same ap- 
pearance. And if this were not now there, 
we should say that w r e had so forgotten as to 
be altogether unable to recollect. And if the 
eye of him who recollects were not informed 
from that thing which was in the memory, the 
vision of the thinker could in no way take 
place; but the conjunction of both, that is, of 
that which the memory retains, and of that 
which is thence expressed so as to inform the 
eye of him who recollects, makes them ap- 

2 Coactus. 

3 Cogitatio. 



[Book XI. 

pear as if they were one, because they are ex- 
ceedingly like. But when the eye of the con- 
cipient is turned away thence, and has ceased 
to look at that which was perceived in the 
memory, then nothing of the form that was 
impressed thereon will remain in that eye, 
and it will be informed by that to which it had 
again been turned, so as to bring about 
another conception. Yet that remains which it 
has left in the memory, to which it may again 
be turned when we recollect it, and being 
turned thereto may be informed by it, and 
become one with that whence it is informed. 


7. But if that will which moves to and fro, 
hither and thither, the eye that is to be in- 
formed, and unites it when formed, shall 
have wholly converged to the inward phan- 
tasy, and shall have absolutely turned the 
mind's eye from the presence of the bodies 
which lie around the senses, and from the 
very bodily senses themselves, and shall have 
wholly turned it to that image, which is per- 
ceived within; then so exact a likeness of the 
bodily species expressed from the memory is 
presented, that not even reason itself is per- 
mitted to discern whether the body itself is 
seen without, or only something of the kind 
thought of within. For men sometimes 
either allured or frightened by over-much 
thinking of visible things, have even suddenly 
uttered words accordingly, as if in real fact 
they were engaged in the very midst of such 
actions or sufferings. And I remember some 
one telling me that he was wont to perceive 
in thought, so distinct and as it were solid, a 
form of a female body, as to be moved, as 
though it were a reality. Such power has 
the soul over its own body, and such influence 
has it in turning and changing the quality of 
its [corporeal] garment; just as a man may 
be affected when clothed, to whom his cloth- 
ing sticks. It is the same kind of affection, 
too, with which we are beguiled through 
imaginations in sleep. But it makes a very 
great difference, whether the senses of the 
body are lulled to torpor, as in the case of 
sleepers, or disturbed from their inward 
structure, as in the case of madmen, or dis- 
tracted in some other mode, as in that of 
diviners or prophets; and so from one or 
other of these causes, the intention of the 
mind is forced by a kind of necessity upon 
those images which occur to it, either from 
memory, or by some other hidden force 
through certain spiritual commixtures of a 
similarly spiritual substance: or whether, as 
sometimes happens to people in health and 

awake, that the will occupied by thought 
turns itself away from the senses, and so in- 
forms the eye of the mind by various images 
of sensible things, as though those sensible 
things themselves were actually perceived. 
But these impressions of images not only 
take place when the will is directed upon such 
things by desiring them, but also when, in 
order to avoid and guard against them, the 
mind is carried away to look upon these very 
thing so as to flee from them. And hence, 
not only desire, but fear, causes both the 
bodily eye to be informed by the sensible 
things themselves, and the mental eye (aeies) 
by the images of those sensible things. Ac- 
cordingly, the more vehement has been either 
fear or desire, the more distinctly is the eye 
informed, whether in the case of him who 
[sensuously] perceives by means of the body 
that which lies close to him in place, or in 
the case of him who conceives from the image 
of the body which is contained in the mem- 
ory. What then a body in place is to the 
bodily sense, that, the similitude of a body 
in memory is to the eye of the mind; and 
what the vision of one who looks at a thing 
is to that appearance of the body from which 
the sense is informed, that, the vision of a 
concipient is to the image of the body estab- 
lished in the memory, from which the eye of 
the mind is informed; and what the intention 
of the will is towards a body seen and the 
vision to be combined with it, in order that a 
certain unity of three things may therein take 
place, although their nature is diverse, that, 
the same intention of the will is towards 
combining the image of the body which is in 
the memory, and the vision of the concipient, 
that is, the form which the eye of the mind 
has taken in returning to the memory, in 
order that here too a certain unity may take 
place of three things, not now distinguished 
by diversity of nature, but of one and the 
same substance; because this whole is within, 
and the whole is one mind. 



8. But as, when [both] the form and species 
of a body have perished, the will cannot recall 
to it the sense of perceiving; so, when the 
image which memory bears is blotted out by 
forgetfulness, the will will be unable to force 

Chap. V.] 



back the eye of the mind by recollection, so 
as to be formed thereby. But because the 
mind has great power to imagine not only 
things forgotten, but also things that it never 
saw, or experienced, either by increasing, or 
diminishing, or changing, or compounding, 
after its pleasure, those which have not dropped 
out of its remembrance, it often imagines 
things to be such as either it knows they are 
not, or does not know that they are. And in 
this case we have to take care, lest it either 
speak falsely that it may deceive, or hold an 
opinion so as to be deceived. And if it avoid 
these two evils, then imagined phantasms do 
not hinder it: just as sensible things experi- 
enced or retained by memory do not hinder 
it, if they are neither passionately sought for 
when pleasant, nor basely shunned when un- 
pleasant. But when the will leaves better 
things, and greedily wallows in these, then it 
becomes unclean; and they are so thought of 
hurtfully, when they are present, and also 
more hurtfully when they are absent. And 
he therefore lives badly and degenerately 
who lives according to the trinity of the outer 
man; because it is the purpose of using things 
sensible and corporeal, that has begotten also 
that trinity, which although it imagines within, 
yet imagines things without. For no one 
could use those things even well, unless the 
images of things perceived by the senses 
were retained in the memory. And unless 
the will for the greatest part dwells in the 
higher and interior things, and unless that 
will itself, which is accommodated either to 
bodies without, or to the images of them 
within, refers whatever it receives in them to 
a better and truer life, and rests in that end 
by gazing at which it judges that those things 
ought to be done; what else do we do, but 
that which the apostle prohibits us from 
doing, when he says, " Be not conformed to 
this world "? x And therefore that trinity is 
not an image of God since it is produced in 
the mind itself through the bodily sense, from 
the lowest, that is, the corporeal creature, 
than which the mind is higher. Yet neither 
is it altogether dissimilar: for what is there 
that has not a likeness of God, in proportion 
to its kind and measure, seeing that God 
made all things very good, 2 and for no other 
reason except that He Himself is supremely 
good ? In so far, therefore, as anything that 
is, is good, in so far plainly it has still some 
likeness of the supreme good, at however, 
great a distance; and if a natural likeness, 
then certainly a right and well-ordered one; 
but if a faulty likeness, then certainly a de- 

based and perverse one. For even souls in 
their very sins strive after nothing else but 
some kind of likeness of God, in a proud and 
preposterous, and, so to say, slavish liberty. 
So neither could our first parents have been 
persuaded to sin unless it had been said, 
"Ye shall be as gods." 3 No doubt every- 
thing in the creatures which is in any way 
like God, is not also to be called His image; 
but that alone than which He Himself alone 
is higher. For that only is in all points copied 
from Him, between which and Himself no 
nature is interposed. 

9. Of that vision then; that is, of the form 
which is wrought in the sense of him who 
sees; the form of the bodily thing from which 
it is wrought, is, as it were, the parent. But 
it is not a true parent; whence neither is that a 
true offspring; for it is not altogether born 
therefrom, since something else is applied to 
the bodily thing in order that it may be 
formed from it, namely, the sense of him 
who sees. And for this reason, to love this 
is to be estranged. 4 Therefore the will 
which unites both, viz. the quasi-parent and 
the quasi-child, is more spiritual than either 
of them. For that bodily thing which is dis- 
cerned, is not spiritual at all. But the vision 
which comes into existence in the sense, has 
something spiritual mingled with it, since it 
cannot come into existence without the soul. 
But it is not wholly spiritual; since that which 
is formed is a sense of the body. Therefore 
the will which unites both is confessedly more 
spiritual, as I have said; and so it begins to 
suggest (insinuare), as it were, the person of 
the Spirit in the Trinity. But it belongs 
more to the sense that is formed, than to 
the bodily thing whence it is formed. For 
the sense and will of an animate being be- 
longs to the soul, not to the stone or other 
bodily thing that is seen. It does not there- 
fore proceed from that bodily thing as from a 
parent; yet neither does it proceed from that 
other as it were offspring, namely, the vision 
and form that is in the sense. For the will 
existed before the vision came to pass, which 
will applied the sense that was to be formed 
to the bodily thing that was to be discerned; 
but it was not yet satisfied. For how could 
that which was not yet seen satisfy? And 
satisfaction means a will that rests content. 
And, therefore, we can neither call the will 
the quasi-offspring of vision, since it existed 
before vision; nor the quasi-parent, since 
that vision was not formed and expressed 

1 Rom. xii. 2. 

2 Ecclus. xxxix. 16. 

3 Gen. iii. 5. . . 

4 Vid. Retract. Bk. II. c. 15, where Augustin adds that it is 
possible to love the bodily species to the praise of the Creator, in 
which case there is no " estrangement.'' 



[Book XI. 

from the will, but from the bodily thing that 
was seen. 



10. Perhaps we can rightly call vision the 
end and rest of the will, only with respect to 
this one object [namely, the bodily thing that 
is visible]. For it will not will nothing else 
merely because it sees something which it is 
now willing. It is not therefore the whole 
will itself of the man, of which the end is 
nothing else than blessedness; but the will 
provisionally directed to this one object, 
which has as its end in seeing, nothing but 
vision, whether it refer the thing seen to 
any other thing or not. For if it does not 
refer the vision to anything further, but wills 
only to see this, there can be no question 
made about showing that the end of the will 
is the vision; for it is manifest. But if it 
does refer it to anything further, then cer- 
tainly it does will something else, and it will 
not be now a will merely to see; or if to see, 
not one to see the particular thing. Just as, 
if any one wished to see the scar, that from 
thence he might learn that there had been a 
wound; or wished to see the window, that 
through the window he might see the passers- 
by: all these and other such acts of will have 
their own proper [proximate] ends, which are 
referred to that [final] end of the will by 
which we will to live blessedly, and to attain 
to that life which is not referred to anything 
else, but suffices of itself to him who loves it. 
The will then to see, has as its end vision; 
and the will to see this particular thing, has 
as its end the vision of this particular thing. 
Therefore the will to see the scar, desires its 
own end, that is, the vision of the scar, and 
does not reach beyond it; for the will to 
prove that there had been a wound, is a dis- 
tinct will, although dependent upon that, of 
which the end also is to .prove that there had 
been a wound. And the will to see the win- 
dow, has as its end the vision of the window; 
for that is another and further will which 
depends upon it, viz. to see the passers-by 
through the window, of which also the end is 
the vision of the passers-by. But all the 
several wills that are bound to each other, are 
at. once right, if that one is good, to which all 
are referred; and if that is bad, then all are 
bad. And so the connected series of right 
wills is a sort of road which consists as it 
were of certain steps, whereby to ascend to 
blessedness; but the entanglement of de- 
praved and distorted wills is a bond by which 

he will be bound who thus acts, so as to be 
cast into outer darkness. 1 Blessed therefore 
are they who in act and character sing the 
song of the steps [degrees]; 2 and woe to 
those that draw sin, as it were a long rope. 3 
And it is just the same to speak of the will 
being in repose, which we call its end, if 
it is still referred to something further, as if 
we should say that the foot is at rest in walk- 
ing, when it is placed there, whence yet an- 
other foot may be planted in the direction of 
the man's steps. But if something so satis- 
fies, that the will acquiesces in it with a 
certain delight; it is nevertheless not yet that 
to which the man ultimately tends; but this 
too is referred to something further, so as to 
be regarded not as the native country of a 
citizen, but as a place of refreshment, or 
even of stopping, for a traveller. 



11. But yet again, take the case of another 
trinity, more inward indeed than that which 
is in things sensible, and in the senses, but 
which is yet conceived from thence; while 
now. it is no longer the sense of the body that 
is informed from the body, but the eye of 
the mind that is informed from the memory, 
since the species of the body which we per- 
ceived from without has inhered in the mem- 
ory itself. And that species, which is in the 
memory, we call the quasi-parent of that 
which is wrought in the phantasy of one who 
conceives. For it was in the memory also, 
before we conceived it, just as the body was 
in place also before we [sensuously] perceived 
it, in order that vision might take place. But 
when it is conceived, then from that form 
which the memory retains, there is copied 
in the mind's eye {acie) of him who conceives, 
and by remembrance is formed, that species, 
which is the quasi-offspring of that which 
the memory retains. But neither is the one 
a true parent, nor the other a true offspring. 
For the mind's vision which is formed from 
memory when we think anything by recollec- 
tion, does not proceed from that species 
which we remember as seen; since we could 
not indeed have remembered those things, 
unless we had seen them; yet the mind's 
eye, which is informed by the recollection, 
existed also before we saw the body that we 
remember; and therefore how much more be- 
fore we committed it to memory ? Although 
therefore the form which is wrought in the 
mind's eye of him who remembers, is wrought 

1 Matt. xxii. 13. 2 Psalmscxx., and following. 3 Isa. v. iS. 

Chap. VIII.] 



from that form which is in the memory; yet 
the mind's eye itself does not exist from 
thence, but existed before it. And it follows, 
that if the one is not a true parent, neither is 
the other a true offspring. But both that 
quasi-parent and that quasi-offspring suggest 
something, whence the inner and truer things 
may appear more practically and more cer- 

12. Further, it is more difficult to discern 
clearly, whether the will which connects the 
vision to the memory is not either the parent 
or the offspring of some one of them; and 
the likeness and equality of the same nature 
and substance cause this difficulty of distin- 
guishing. For it is not possible to do in this 
case, as with the sense that is formed from 
without (which is easily discerned from the 
sensible body, and again the will from both), 
on account of the difference of nature which 
is mutually in all three, and of which we have 
treated sufficiently above. For although this 
trinity, of which we at present speak, is intro- 
duced into the mind from without; yet it is 
transacted within, and there is no part of it 
outside of the nature of the mind itself. In 
what way, then, can it be demonstrated that 
the will is neither* the quasi-parent, nor the 
quasi-offspring, either of the corporeal like- 
ness which is contained in the memory, or 
of that which is copied thence in recollecting; 
when it so unites both in the act of conceiv- 
ing, as that they appear singly as one, and 
cannot be discerned except by reason ? It 
is then first to be considered that there can- 
not be any will to remember, unless we retain 
in the recesses of the memory either the 
whole, or some part, of that thing which we 
wish to remember. For the very will to re- 
member cannot arise in the case of a thing 
which we have forgotten altogether and abso- 
lutely; since we have already remembered 
that the thing which we wish to remember is, 
or has been, in our memory. For example, 
if I wish to remember what I supped on yes- 
terday, either I have already remembered 
that I did sup, or if not yet this, at least I 
have remembered something about that time 
itself, if nothing else; at all events, I have 
remembered yesterday, and that part of yes- 
terday in which people usually sup, and what 
supping is. For if I had not remembered 
anything at all of this kind, I could not wish 
to remember what I supped on yesterday. 
Whence we may perceive that the will of 
remembering proceeds, indeed, from those 
things which are retained in the memory, with 
the addition also of those which, by the act 
of discerning, are copied thence through 
recollection; that is, from the combination 

of something which we have remembered, 
and of the vision which was thence wrought, 
when we remembered, in the mind's eye of 
him who thinks. But the will itself which 
unites both requires also some other thing, 
which is, as it were, close at hand, and ad- 
jacent to him who remembers. There are, 
then, as many trinities of this kind as there 
are remembrances; because there is no one 
of them wherein there are not these three 
things, viz. that which was stored up in the 
memory also before it was thought, and that 
which takes place in the conception when 
this is discerned, and the will that unites 
both, and from both and itself as a third, 
completes one single thing. Or is it rather 
that we so recognize some one trinity in this 
kind, as that we are to speak generally, of 
whatever corporeal species lie hidden in the 
memory, as of a single unity, and again of the 
general vision of the mind which remembers 
and conceives such things, as of a single 
unity, to the combination of which two there 
is to be joined as a third the will that com- 
bines them, that this whole may be a certain 
unity made up from three ? 


But since the eye of the mind cannot look 
at all things together, in one glance, which 
the memory retains, these trinities of thought 
alternate- in a series of withdrawals and suc- 
cessions, and so that trinity becomes most 
innumerably numerous; and yet not infinite, 
if it pass not beyond the number of things 
stored up in the memory. . For, although we 
begin to reckon from the earliest perception 
which any one has of material things through 
any bodily sense, and even take in also those 
things which he has forgotten, yet the num- 
ber would undoubtedly be certain and deter- 
mined, although innumerable. For we not 
only call infinite things innumerable, but also 
those, which, although finite, exceed any 
one's power of reckoning. 

13. But we can hence perceive a little 
more clearly that what the memory stores up 
and retains is a different thing from that 
which is thence copied in the conception of 
the man who remembers, although, when 
both are combined together, they appear to 
be one and the same; because we can only 
remember just as many species of bodies as 
we have actually seen, and so great, and 
such, as we have actually seen; for the mind 
imbibes them into the memory from the 
bodily sense; whereas the things seen in con- 
ception, although drawn from those things 
which are in the memory, yet are multiplied 



[Book XI. 

and varied innumerably, and altogether with- 
out end. For I remember, no doubt, but 
one sun, because according to the fact, I 
have seen but one; but if I please, I conceive 
of two, or three, or as many as I will; but 
the vision of m)' mind, when I conceive of 
many, is formed from the same memory by 
which I remember one. And I remember it just 
as large as I saw it. For if I remember it as 
larger or smaller than I saw it, then I no longer 
remember what I saw, and so I do not remem- 
ber it. But because I remember it, I remember 
it as large as I saw it; yet I conceive of it as 
greater or as less according to my will. And 
I remember it as I saw it; but I conceive of 
it as running its course as I will, and as stand- 
ing still where I will, and as coming whence 
I will, and whither I will. For it is in my 
power to conceive of it as square, although 
I remember it as round ; and again, of 
what color I please, although I have never 
seen, and therefore do not remember, a green 
sun; and as the sun, so all other things. 
But owing to the corporeal and sensible na- 
ture of these forms of things, the mind falls 
into error when it imagines them to exist 
without, in the same mode in which it con- 
ceives them within, either when they have 
already ceased to exist without, but are still 
retained in the memory, or when in any other 
way also, that which we remember is formed 
in the mind, not by faithful recollection, but 
after the variations of thought. 

14. Yet it very often happens that we be- 
lieve also a true narrative, told us by others, 
of things which the narrators have themselves 
perceived by their senses. And in this case, 
when we conceive the things narrated to us, 
as we hear them, the eye of the mind does 
not seem to be turned back to the memory, 
in order to bring up visions in our thoughts; 
for we do not conceive these things from our 
own recollection, but upon the narration of 
another; and that trinity does not here seem 
to come to its completion, which is made 
when the species lying hid in the memory, 
and the vision of the man that remembers, 
are combined by will as a third. For I do 
not conceive that which lay hid in my mem- 
ory, but that which I hear, when anything is 
narrated to me. I am not speaking of the 
words themselves of the speaker, lest any 
one should suppose that I have gone off to 
that other trinity, which is transacted without, 
in sensible things, or in the senses: but I am 
conceiving of those species of material things, 
which the narrator signifies to me by words 
and sounds; which species certainly I con- 
ceive of not by remembering, but by hearing. 
But if we consider the matter more carefully, 

even in this case, the limit of the memory is not 
overstepped. For I could not even understand 
the narrator, if I did not remember generi- 
cally the individual things of which he speaks, 
even although I then hear them for the first 
time as connected together in one tale. For 
he who, for instance, describes to me some 
mountain stripped of timber, and clothed 
with olive trees, describes it to me who 
remembers the species both of mountains, 
and of timber, and of olive trees; and if I 
had forgotten these, I should not know at all 
of what he was speaking, and therefore could 
not conceive that description. And so it 
comes to pass, that every one who conceives 
things corporeal, whether he himself imagine 
anything, or hear, or read, either a narrative 
of things past, or a foretelling of things 
future, has recourse to his memory, and finds 
there the limit and measure of all the forms 
at which he gazes in his thought. For no 
one can conceive at all, either a color or a 
form of body, which he never saw, or a 
sound which he never heard, or a flavor which 
he never tasted, or a scent which he never 
smelt, or any touch of a corporeal thing 
which he never felt. But if no one conceives 
anything corporeal except What he has [sen- 
suously] perceived, because no one remem- 
bers anything corporeal except what he has 
thus perceived, then, as is the limit of per- 
ceiving in bodies, so is the limit of thinking 
in the memory. For the sense receives the 
species from that body which we perceive, 
and the memory from the sense; but the 
mental eye of the concipient, from the 

15. Further, as the will applies the sense 
to the bodily object, so it applies the memory 
to the sense, and the eye of the mind of the 
concipient to the memory. But that which 
harmonizes those things and unites them, 
itself also disjoins and separates them, that 
is, the will. But it separates the bodily senses 
from the bodies that are to be perceived, by 
movement of the body, either to hinder our 
perceiving the thing, or that we may cease to 
perceive it: as when we avert our eyes from 
that which we are unwilling to see, or shut 
them; so, again, the ears from sounds, or the 
nostrils from smells. So also we turn away 
from tastes, either by shutting the mouth, or 
by casting the thing out of the mouth. In 
touch, also, we either remove the bodily 
thing, that we may not touch what we do not 
wish, or if we were already touching it, we 
fling or push it away. Thus the will acts by 
movement of the body, so that the bodily 
sense shall not be joined to the sensible 
things. And it does this according to its 

Chap. X.] 



power; for when it endures hardship in so 
doing, on account of the condition of slavish 
mortality, then torment is the result, in 
such wise that nothing remains to the will 
save endurance. But the will averts the 
memory from ttie sense; when, through its 
being intent on something else, it does not 
suffer things present to cleave to it. As any 
one may see, when often we do not seem to 
ourselves to have heard some one who was 
speaking to us, because we were thinking of 
something else. But this is a mistake; for 
we did hear, but we do not remember, be- 
cause the words of the speaker presently 
slipped out of the perception of our ears, 
through the bidding of the will being diverted 
elsewhere, by which they are usually fixed 
in the memory. Therefore, we should say 
more accurately in such a case, we do not 
remember, than, we did not hear; for it hap- 
pens even in reading, and to myself very 
frequently, that when I have read through a 
page or an epistle, I do not know what I have 
read, and I begin it again. For the purpose 
of the will being fixed on something else, the 
memory was not so applied to the bodily 
sense, as the sense itself was applied to the 
letters. So, too, any one who walks with 
the will intent on something else, does not 
know where he has got to; for if he had not 
seen, he would not have walked thither, or 
would have felt his way in walking with greater 
attention, especially if he was passing through 
a place he did not know; yet, because he 
walked easily, certainly he saw; but because 
the memory was not applied to the sense it- 
self in the same way as the sense of the eyes 
was applied to the places through which he 
was passing, he could not remember at all 
even the last thing he saw. Now, to will to 
turn away the eye of the mind from that 
which is in the memory, is nothing else but 
not to think thereupon. 



16. In this arrangement, then, while we 
begin from the bodily species and arrive fi- 
nally at the species which comes to be in the 
intuition (contuitit) of the concipient, we find 
four species born, as it were, step by step one 
from the other, the second from the first, 
the third from the second, the fourth from 
the third: since from the species of the body 
itself, there arises that which comes to be in 
the sense of the percipient; and from this, 
that which comes to be in the memory; and 
from this, that which comes to be in the 
mind's eye of the concipient. And the will, 

therefore, thrice combines as it were parent 
with offspring: first the species of the body 
with that to which it gives birth in the sense 
of the body; and that again with that which 
from it comes to be in the memory; and this 
also, thirdly, with that which is born from 
it in the intuition of the concipient's mind. 
But the intermediate combination which is 
the second, although it is nearer to the first, 
is yet not so like the first as the third is. 
For there are two kinds of vision, the one of 
[sensuous] perception (smtientis), the other of 
conception {cogita?itis). But in order that 
the vision of conception may come to be, 
there is wrought for the purpose, in the 
memory, from the vision of [sensuous] 
perception something like it, to which the 
eye of the mind may turn itself in conceiving, 
as the glance {acies) of the eyes turns itself in 
[sensuously] perceiving to the bodily object. 
I have, therefore, chosen to put forward two 
trinities in this kind: one when the vision of 
[sensuous] perception is formed from the 
bodily object, the other when the vision of 
conception is formed from the memory. But 
I have refrained from commending an inter- 
mediate one; because we do not commonly 
call it vision, when the form which comes to 
be in the sense of him who perceives, is en- 
trusted to the memory. Yet in all cases the 
will does not appear unless as the combiner 
as it were of parent and offspring; and so, 
proceed from whence it may, it can be called 
neither parent nor offspring. 1 



17. But if we do not remember except 
what we have [sensuously] perceived, nor 
conceive except what we remember; why 
do we often conceive things that are false, 
when certainly we do not remember falsely 
those things which we have perceived, unless 
it be because that will (which I have already 
taken pains to show as much as I can to be 
the uniter and the separater of things of this 
kind) leads the vision of the conceiver that is 
to be formed, after its own will and pleasure, 

1 [Augustin's map of consciousness is as follows: (1). The 
corporeal species=the external object (outward appearance). (2). 
The sensible species=the sensation (appearance for the sense). 
(3). The mental species in its first form = present perception. (4). 
The mental species in its second form = remembered perception. 
These three "species" or appearances of the object: namely, 
corporeal, sensible, and mental, according to him, are combined in 
one synthesis with the object by the operation of the will. By 
" will," he does not mean distinct and separate volitions : but the 
spontaneity of the ego what Kant denominates the mechanism 
of the understanding, seen in the spontaneous employment of the 
categories of thought, as the mind ascends from empirical sensa- 
tion to rational conception. 

The English translator has failed to make clear the sharply de- 
fined psychology of these chapters, by loosely rendering "sen- 
tire,'' "to perceive," and " cogitare" 1 to think. W.G.T.S.] 



[Book XL 

through the hidden stores of the memory; 
and, in order to conceive [imagine] those 
things which we do not remember, impels it 
to take one thing from hence, and another 
from thence, from those which we do remem- 
ber; and these things combining into one 
vision make something which is called false, 
because it either does not exist externally in 
the nature of corporeal things, or does not 
seem copied from the memory, in that we do 
not remember that we ever saw such a thing. 
For who ever saw a black swan ? And there- 
fore no one remembers a black swan; yet who 
is there that cannot conceive it ? For it is easy 
to apply to that shape which we have come to 
know by seeing it, a black color, which we have 
not the less seen in other bodies; and be- 
cause we have seen both, we remember both. 
Neither do I remember a bird with four feet, 
because I never saw one; but I contemplate 
such a phantasy very easily, by adding to 
some winged shape such as I have seen, two 
other feet, such as I have likewise seen. 1 And 
therefore, in conceiving conjointly, what we 
remember to have seen singly, we seem not 
to conceive that which we remember; while 
we really do this under the law of the mem- 
ory, whence we take everything which we join 
together after our own pleasure in manifold 
and diverse ways. For we do not conceive 
even the very magnitudes of bodies, which 
magnitudes we never saw, without help of the 
memory; for the measure of space to which 
our gaze commonly reaches through the 
magnitude of the world, is the measure also 
to which we enlarge the bulk of bodies, what- 
ever they may be, when we conceive them as 
great as we can. And reason, indeed, pro- 
ceeds still beyond, but phantasy does not 
follow her; as when reason announces the 
infinity of number also, which no vision of 
him who conceives according to corporeal 
things can apprehend. The same reason 
also teaches that the most minute atoms are 
infinitely divisible; yet when we have come 
to those slight and minute particles which we 
remember to have seen, then we can no 
longer behold phantasms more slender and 
more minute, although reason does not cease 
to continue to divide them. So we conceive 

no corporeal things, except either those we 
remember, or from those things which we 

i Vid. Retract. II. xv. 2. [Augustin here says that when he 
wrote the above, he forgot what is said in Leviticus xi. 20, of " fowls 
that creep, going upon all four, which have legs above their feet 
to leap withal upon the earth." W.G.T.S.] 


18. But because those things which are 
impressed on the memory singly, can be 
conceived according to number, measure 
seems to belong to the memory, but number 
to the vision; because, although the multi- 
plicity of such visions is innumerable, yet a 
limit not to be transgressed is prescribed for 
each in the memory. Therefore, measure 
appears in the memory, number in the vision 
of things: as there is some measure in visible 
bodies themselves, to which measure the 
sense of those who see is most numerously 
adjusted, and from one visible object is 
formed the vision of many beholders, so that 
even a single person sees commonly a single 
thing under a double appearance, on account 
of the number of his two eyes, as we have 
laid down above. Therefore there is some 
measure in those things whence visions are 
copied, but in the visions themselves there 
is number. But the will which unites and 
regulates these things, and combines them 
into a certain unity, and does not quietly rest 
its desire of [sensuously] perceiving or of 
conceiving, except in those things from 
whence the visions are formed, resembles 
weight. And therefore I would just notice 
by way of anticipation these three things, 
measure, number, weight, which are to be 
perceived in all other things also. In the 
meantime, I have now shown as much as I 
can, and towhom I can, that the will is the 
uniter of the visible thing and of the vision; 
as it were, of parent and of offspring; whether 
in [sensuous] perception or in conception, 
and that it cannot be called either parent or 
offspring. Wherefore time admonishes us 
to seek for this same trinity in the inner man, 
and to strive to pass inwards from that ani- 
mal and carnal and (as he is called) outward 
man, of whom I have so long spoken. And 
here we hope to be able to find an image of 
God according to the Trinity, He Himself 
helping our efforts, who as things themselves 
show, and as Holy Scripture also witnesses, 
has regulated all things in measure, and 
number, and weight. 2 

2 Wisd. xi. 21. 





i. Come now, and let us see where lies, as 
it were, the boundary line between the outer 
and inner man. For whatever we have in 
the mind common with the beasts, thus much 
is rightly said to belong to the outer man. 
For the outer man is not to be considered 
to be the body only, but with the addition 
also of a certain peculiar life of the body, 
whence the structure of the body derives its 
vigor, and all the senses with which he is 
equipped for the perception of outward things; 
and when the images of these outward things 
already perceived, that have been fixed in the 
memory, are seen again by recollection, it is 
still a matter pertaining to the outer man. 
And in all these things we do not differ from 
the beasts, except that in shape of body we 
are not prone, but upright. And we are ad- 
monished through this, by Him who made 
us, not to be like the beasts in that which is 
our better part that is, the mind while we 
differ from them by the uprightness of the 
body. Not that we are to throw our mind 
into those bodily things which are exalted; 
for to seek rest for the will, even in such 
things, is to prostrate the mind. But as the 
body is naturally raised upright to those 
bodily things which are most elevated, that 
is, to things celestial; so the mind, which is 
a spiritual substance, must be raised upright to 
those things which are most elevated in spirit- 
ual things, not by the elation of pride, but by 
the dutifulness of righteousness. 



2. And the beasts, too, are able both to per- 

ceive things corporeal from without, through 
the senses of the body, and to fix them in the 
memory, and remember them, and in them 
to seek after things suitable, and shun things 
inconvenient. But to note these things, and 
to retain them not only as caught up naturally 
but also as deliberately committed to mem- 
ory, and to imprint them again by recollec- 
tion and conception when now just slipping 
away into forgetfulness; in order that as con- 
ception is formed from that which the memory 
contains, so also the contents themselves of 
the memory may be fixed firmly by thought: 
to combine again imaginary objects of sight, 
by taking this or that of what the memory 
remembers, and, as it were, tacking them to 
one another: to examine after what manner 
it is that in this kind things like the true are 
to be distinguished from the true, and this 
not in things spiritual, but in corporeal things 
themselves; these acts, and the like, al- 
though performed in reference to things 
sensible, and those which the mind has de- 
duced through the bodily senses, yet, as they 
are combined with reason, so are not common 
to men and beasts. But it is the part of the 
higher reason to judge of these corporeal 
things according to incorporeal and eternal 
reasons; which, unless they were above the 
human mind, would certainly not be un- 
changeable; and yet, unless something of 
our own were subjoined to them, we should 
not be able to employ them as our measures 
oy which to judge of corporeal things. But 
we judge of corporeal things from the rule of 
dimensions and figures, which the mind knows 
to remain unchangeably. 1 

1 [The distinction drawn here is between that low form of in- 
telligence which exists in the brute, and that high form character- 
istic of man. In the Kantian nomenclature, the brute has under- 
standing, but unenlightened by reason ; either theoretical or 



[Book XII. 


3. But that of our own which thus has to 
do with the handling of corporeal and tem- 
poral things, is indeed rational, in that it is 
not common to us with the beasts; but it is 
drawn, as it were, out of that rational sub- 
stance of our mind, by which we depend upon 
and cleave to the intelligible and unchangea- 
ble truth, and which is deputed to handle 
and direct the inferior things. For as among 
all the beasts there was not found for the 
man a help like unto him, unless one were 
taken from himself, and formed to be his 
consort: so for that mind, by which we consult 
the supernal and inward truth, there is no 
like help for such employment as man's 
nature requires among things corporeal out 
of those parts of the soul which we have in 
common with the beasts. And so a certain 
part of our reason, not separated so as to 
sever unity, but, as it were, diverted so as to 
be a help to fellowship, is parted off for the 
performing of its proper work. And as the 
twain is one flesh in the case of male and 
female, so in the mind one nature embraces 
our intellect and action, or our counsel and 
performance, or our reason and rational ap- 
petite, or whatever other more significant 
terms there may be by which to express 
them; so that, as it was said of the former, 
"And they two shall be in one flesh," 1 it 
may be said of these, they two are in one 



4. When, therefore, we discuss the nature 
of the human mind, we discuss a single sub- 
ject, and do not double it into those two 
which I have mentioned, except in respect 
to its functions. Therefore, when we seek 
the trinity in the mind, we seek it in the 
whole mind, without separating the action 
of the reason in things temporal from the 
contemplation of things eternal, so as to 
have further to seek some third thing, by 
which a trinity may be completed. But this 
trinity must needs be so discovered in the 
whole nature of the mind, as that even if 

practical. He has intelligence, but not as modified by the forms 
of space and time and the categories of quantity, quality, relation 
etc.; and still less as modified and exalted by the ideas of reason 
namely, the mathematical ideas, and the moral ideas of God, free- 
dom, and immortality. The animal has no rational intelligence. 
He has mere understanding without reason. W. G. T. S."] 
1 Gen. ii. 24. 

action upon temporal things were to be with- 
drawn, for which work that help is necessary, 
with a view to which some part of the mind is 
diverted in order to deal with these inferior 
things, yet a trinity would still be found in 
the one mind that is no where parted off; and 
that when this distribution has been already 
made, not only a trinity may be found, but 
also an image of God, in that alone which 
belongs to the contemplation of eternal 
things; while in that other which is diverted 
from it in the dealing with temporal things, 
although there may be a trinity, yet there 
cannot be found an image of God. 



5. Accordingly they do not seem to me to 
advance a probable opinion, who lay it down 
that a trinity of the image of God in three 
persons, so far as regards human nature, 
can so be discovered as to be completed in 
the marriage of male and female and in their 
offspring; in that the man himself, as it were, 
indicates the person of the Father, but that 
which has so proceeded from him as to be 
born, that of the Son; and so the third 
person as of the Spirit, is, they say, the 
woman, who has so proceeded from the man 
as not herself to be either son or daughter, 2 
although it was by her conception that the 
offspring was born. For the Lord hath said 
of the Holy Spirit that He proceedeth from 
the Father, 3 and yet he is not a son. In 
this erroneous opinion, then, the only point 
probably alleged, and indeed sufficiently 
shown according to the faith of the Holy 
Scripture, is this, in the account of the 
original creation of the woman, that what 
so comes into existence from some person as 
to make another person, cannot in every case 
be called a son; since the person of the 
woman came into existence from the person 
of the man, and yet she is not called his 
daughter. All the rest of this opinion is in 
truth so absurd, nay indeed so false, that it 
is most easy to refute it. For I pass over 
such a thing, as to think the Holy Spirit to 
be the mother of the Son of God, and the 
wife of the Father; since perhaps it may be 
answered that these things offend us in car- 
nal things, because we think of bodily con- 
ceptions and births. Although these very 
things themselves are most chastely thought 
of by the pure, to whom all things are pure; 
but to the defiled and unbelieving, of whom 

2 Gen. ii. 22. 

3 John xv. 26. 

Chap. VI.] 



both the mind and conscience are polluted, 
nothing is pure; 1 so that even Christ, born 
of a virgin according to the flesh, is a stum- 
bling-block to some of them. But yet in the 
case of those supreme spiritual things, after 
the likeness of which those kinds of the in- 
ferior creature also are made although most 
remotely, and where there is nothing that 
can be injured and nothing corruptible, noth- 
ing born in time, nothing formed from that 
which is formless, or whatever like expressions 
there may be; yet they ought not to disturb 
the sober prudence of any one, lest in avoid- 
ing empty disgust he run into pernicious 
error. Let him accustom himself so to find 
in corporeal things the traces of things spirit- 
ual, that when he begins to ascend upwards 
from thence, under the guidance of reason, 
in order to attain to the unchangeable truth 
itself through which these things were made, 
he may not draw with himself to things above 
what he despises in things below. For no 
one ever blushed to choose for himself wisdom 
as a wife, because the name of wife puts into 
a man's thoughts the corruptible connection 
which consists in begetting children; or 
because in truth wisdom itself is a woman in 
sex, since it is expressed in both Greek and 
Latin tongues by a word of the feminine 


6. We do not therefore reject this opinion, 
because we fear to think of that holy and 
inviolable and unchangeable Love, as the 
spouse of God the Father, existing as it does 
from Him, but not as an offspring in order 
to beget the Word by which all things are 
made; but because divine Scripture evidently 
shows it to be false. For God said, " Let 
us make man in our image, after our like- 
ness; " and a little after it is said, " So God 
created man in the image of God." 2 Cer- 
tainly, in that it is of the plural number, the 
word "our" would not be rightly used if 
man were made in the image of one person, 
whether of the Father, or of the Son, or of 
the Holy Spirit; but because he was made 
in the image of the Trinity, on that account 
it is said, " After our image." But again, 
lest we should think that three Gods were to 
be believed in the Trinity, whereas the same 
Trinity is one God, it is said, " So God 
created man in the image of God," instead of 
saying, "In His own image." 

7. For such expressions are customary in 
the Scriptures; and yet some persons, while 

1 Tit. i. 15. 

2 Gen. i. 26, 27. 

maintaining the Catholic faith, do not care- 
fully attend to them, in such wise that they 
think the words, "God made man in the 
image of God," to mean that the Father 
made man after the image of the Son; and 
they thus desire to assert that the Son also 
is called God in the divine Scriptures, as if 
there were not other most true and clear 
proofs wherein the Son is called not only 
God, but also the true God. For whilst 
they aim at explaining another difficulty in 
this text, they become so entangled that they 
cannot extricate themselves. For if the 
Father made man after the image of the Son, 
so that he is not the image of the Father, but 
of the Son, then the Son is unlike the Father. 
But if a pious faith teaches us, as it does, 
that the Son is like the Father after an equal- 
ity of essence, then that which is made in 
the likeness of the Son must needs also be 
made in the likeness of the Father. Further, 
if the Father made man not in His own 
image, but in the image of His Son, why 
does He not say, " Let us make man after 
Thy image and likeness," whereas He does 
say, "our;" unless it be because the image 
of the Trinity was made in man, that in this 
way man should be the image of the one 
true God, because the Trinity itself is the 
one true God ? Such expressions are innu- 
merable in the Scriptures, but it will suffice to 
have produced these. It is so said in the 
Psalms, "Salvation belongeth unto the Lord; 
Thy blessing is upon Thy people;" 3 as if 
the words were spoken to some one else, not 
to Him of whom it had been said, " Salvation 
belongeth unto the Lord." And again, " For 
by Thee," he says, "I shall be delivered 
from temptation, and by hoping in my God 
I shall leap over the wall; " 4 as if he said to 
someone else, " By Thee I shall be deliv- 
ered from temptation." And again, " In the 
heart of the king's enemies; whereby the 
people fall under Thee;" 5 as if he were to 
say, in the heart of Thy enemies. For he 
had said to that King, that is, to our Lord 
Jesus Christ, " The people fall under Thee/' 
whom he intended by the word King, when 
he said, "In the heart of the king's ene- 
mies." Things of this kind are found more 
rarely in the New Testament. But yet the 
apostle says to the Romans, " Concerning 
His Son who was made to Him of the seed 
of David according to the flesh, and declared 
to be the Son of God with power, according 
to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection 
of the dead of Jesus Christ our Lord; " 6 as 
though he were speaking above of some one 

3 Ps. iii. 8. 
5 Ps. xlv. 5. 

4 Ps. xviii. 29. 
6 Rom. i. 3, 4. 



[Book XTI. 

else. For what is meant by the Son of God 
declared by the resurrection of the dead of 
Jesus Christ, except of the same Jesus Christ 
who was declared to be Son of God with 
power? And as then in this passage, when 
we are told, "the Son of God with power of 
Jesus Christ/' or "the Son of God according 
to the spirit of holiness of Jesus Christ," or 
"the Son of God by the resurrection of the 
dead of Jesus Christ," whereas it might have 
been expressed in the ordinary way, In His 
own power, or according to the spirit of His 
own holiness, or by the resurrection of His 
dead, or of their dead: as, I say, we are not 
compelled to understand another person, but 
one and the same, that is, the person of the 
Son of God our Lord Jesus Christ; so, when 
we are told that "God made man in the 
image of God/' although it might have been 
more usual to say, after His own image, yet 
we are not compelled to understand any other 
person in the Trinity, but the one and self- 
same Trinity itself, who is one God, and after 
whose image man is made. 

8. And since the case stands thus, if we 
are to accept the same image of the Trin- 
ity, as not in one, but in three human beings, 
father and mother and son, then the man 
was not made after the image of God before 
a wife was made for him, and before they 
procreated a son; because there was not yet 
a trinity. Will any one say there was al- 
ready a trinity, because, although not yet in 
their proper form, yet in their original nature, 
both the woman was already in the side of 
the man, and the son in the loins of his 
father? Why then, when Scripture had 
said, "God made man after the image of 
God," did it go on to say, " God created him; 
male and female created He them: and God 
blessed them " ? ' (Or if it is to be so divided, 
"And God created man," so that thereupon 
is to be added, " in the image of God created 
He him," and then subjoined in the third 
place, " male and female created He them; " 
for some have feared to say, He made him 
male and female, lest something monstrous, 
as it were, should be understood, as are 
those whom they call hermaphrodites, al- 
though even so both might be understood not 
falsely in the singular number, on account 
of that which is said, " Two in one flesh.") 
Why then, as I began by saying, in regard 
to the nature of man made after the imaare of 
God, does Scripture specify nothing except 
male and female ? Certainly, in order to 
complete the image of the Trinity, it ought 
to have added also son, although still placed 

1 Gen i. 27, 28. 

in the loins of his father, as the woman was 
in his side. Or was it perhaps that the 
woman also had been already made, and that 
Scripture had combined in a short and com- 
prehensive statement, that of which it was 
going to explain afterwards more carefully, 
how it was done; and that therefore a son 
could not be mentioned, because no son was 
yet born ? As if the Holy Spirit could not 
have comprehended this, too, in that brief 
statement, while about to narrate the birth of 
the son afterwards in its own place; as it 
narrated afterwards in its own place, that the 
woman was taken from the side of the man, 2 
and yet has not omitted here to name her. 



9. We ought not therefore so to under- 
stand that man is made in the image of the 
supreme Trinity, that is, in the image of 
God, as that the same image should be under- 
stood to be in three human beings; especially 
when the apostle says that the man is the 
image of God, and on that account removes 
the covering from his head, which he warns 
the woman to use, speaking thus: " For a 
man indeed ought not to cover his head, for- 
asmuch as he is the image and glory of God; 
but the woman is the glory of the man.'' 
What then shall we say to this? If the 
woman fills up the image of the trinity after 
the measure of her own person, why is the 
man still called that image after she has been 
taken out of his side ? Or if even one person 
of a human being out of three can be called 
the image of God, as each person also is God 
in the supreme Trinity itself, why is the 
woman also not the image of God ? For she 
is instructed for this very reason to cover her 
head, which he is forbidden to do because he 
is the image of God. 3 

10. But we must notice how that which the 
apostle says, that not the woman but the man 
is the image of God, is not contrary to that, 
which is written in Genesis, "God created 
man: in the image of God created He him; 
male and female created He them: and He 
blessed them." For this text says that 
human nature itself, which is complete [only] 
in both sexes, was made in the image of God; 
and it does not separate the woman from the 
image of God which it signifies. For after 

2 Gen. ii. 24, 22. 

3 1 Cor. xi. 7, 5. 

Chap. VII.] 



saying that God made man in the image of 
God, " He created him," it says, " male and 
female:" or at any rate, punctuating the words 
otherwise, " male and female created He 
them." How then did the apostle tell us 
that the man is the image of God, and there- 
fore he is forbidden to cover his head; but 
that the woman is not so, and therefore is 
commanded to cover hers ? Unless, forsooth, 
according to that which I have said already, 
when I was treating of the nature of the 
human mind, that the woman together with 
her own husband is the image of God, so that 
that whole substance may be one image; but 
when she is referred separately to her quality 
of help-meet, which regards the woman herself 
alone, then she is not the image of God; but 
as regards the man alone, he is the image of 
God as fully and completely as when the 
woman too is joined with him in one. As 
we said of the nature of the human mind, 
that both in the case when as a whole it con- 
templates the truth it is the image of God; 
and in the case when anything is divided 
from it, and diverted in order to the cogni- 
tion of temporal things; nevertheless on that 
side on which it beholds and consults truth, 
here also it is the image of God, but on that 
side whereby it is directed to the cognition 
of the lower things, it is not the image of 
God. And since it is so much the more 
formed after the image of God, the more it 
has extended itself to that which is eternal, 
and is on that account not to be restrained, 
so as to withhold and refrain itself from 
thence; therefore the man ought hot to cover 
his head. But because too great a progres- 
sion towards inferior things is dangerous to 
that rational cognition that is conversant 
with things corporeal and temporal; this 
ought to have power on its head, which the 
covering indicates, by which it is signified 
that it ought to be restrained. For a holy 
and pious meaning is pleasing to the holy 
angels. * For God sees not after the way of 
time, neither does anything new take place 
in His vision and knowledge, when anything 
is done in time and transitorily, after the 
way in which such things affect the senses, 
whether the carnal senses of animals and 
men, or even the heavenly senses of the 

11. For that the Apostle Paul, when speak- 
ing outwardly of the sex of male and female, 
figured the mystery of some more hidden 
truth, may be understood from this, that 
when he says in another place that she is a 
widow indeed who is desolate, without chil- 

1 1 Cor. xi. 10. 

dren and nephews, and yet that she ought to 
trust in God, and to continue in prayers 
night and day, 2 he here indicates, that the 
woman having been brought into the trans- 
gression by being deceived, is brought to sal- 
vation by child-bearing; and then he has add- 
ed, "If they continue in faith, and charity, 
and holiness, with sobriety." 3 As if it could 
possibly hurt a good widow, if either she had 
not sons, or if those whom she had did not 
choose to continue in good works. But be- 
cause those things which are called good 
works are, as it were, the sons of our life, 
according to that sense of life in which it 
answers to the question, What is a man's life ? 
that is, How does he act in these temporal 
things ? which life the Greeks do not call cwtj 
but fttos; and because these good works are 
chiefly performed in the way of offices of 
mercy, while works of mercy are of no pro- 
fit, either to Pagans, or to Jews who do not 
believe in Christ, or to any heretics or schis- 
matics whatsoever in whom faith and charity 
and sober holiness are not found: what the 
apostle meant to signify is plain, and in so 
far figuratively and mystically, because he 
was speaking of covering the head of the 
woman, which will remain mere empty words, 
unless referred to some hidden sacrament. 

12. For, as not only most true reason but 
also the authority of the apostle himself de- 
clares, man was not made in the image of 
God according to the shape of his body, but 
according to his rational mind. For the 
thought is a debased and empty one, which 
holds God to be circumscribed and limited 
by the lineaments of bodily members. But 
further, does not the same blessed apostle 
say, " Be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 
and put on the new man, which is created 
after God;" 4 and in another place more 
clearly, "Putting off the old man," he says, 
"with his deeds; put on the new man, which 
is renewed to the knowledge of God after the 
image of Him that created him ? " 5 If, then, 
vve are renewed in the spirit of our mind, and 
he is the new man who is renewed to the 
knowledge of God after the image of Him 
that created him; no one can doubt, that man 
was made after the image of Him that created 
him, not according to the body, nor indis- 
criminately according to any part of the mind, 
but according to the rational mind, wherein 
the knowledge of God can exist And it is 
according to this renewal, also, that we are 
made sons of God by the baptism of Christ; 
and putting on the new man, certainly put on 
Christ through faith. Who is there, then, 

2 1 Tim. v. 5. 
4 Eph. iv. 23, 24. 

3 1 Tim. ii. 15. 
5 Col. iii. 9, 10, 



|Book XII. 

who will hold women to be alien from this 
fellowship, whereas they are fellow-heirs of 
grace with us; and whereas in another place 
the same apostle says, " For ye are all the 
children of God by faith in Christ Jesus; for 
as many as have been baptized into Christ 
have put on Christ: there is neither Jew nor 
Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there 
is neither male nor female; for ye are all one 
in Christ Jesus ? '' l Pray, have faithful 
women then lost their bodily sex ? But be- 
cause they are there renewed after the image 
of God, where there is no sex; man is there 
made after the image of God, where there is 
no sex, that is, in the spirit of his mind. 
Why, then, is the man on that account not 
bound to cover his head, because he is the 
image and glory of God, while the woman is 
bound to do so, because she is the glory of 
the man; as though the woman were not re- 
newed in the spirit of her mind, which spirit 
is renewed to the knowledge of God after the 
image of Him who created him ? But because 
she differs from the man in boddy sex, it was 
possible rightly to represent under her bodily 
covering that part of the reason which is di- 
verted to the government of temporal things; 
so that the image of God may remain on that 
side of the mind of man on which it cleaves 
to the beholding or the consulting of the eter- 
nal reasons of things; and this, it is clear, not 
men only, but also women have. 



13. A common nature, therefore, is recog- 
nized in their minds, but in their bodies a di- 
vision of that one mind itself is figured. As 
we ascend, then, by certain steps of thought 
within, along the succession of the parts of 
the mind, there where something first meets 
us which is not common to ourselves with the 
beasts reason begins, so that here the inner 
man can now be recognized. And if this in- 
ner man himself, through that reason to which 
the administering of things temporal has been 
delegated, slips on too far by over-much pro- 
gress into outward things, that which is his 
head moreover consenting, that is, the (so to 
call it) masculine part which presides in the 
watch-tower of counsel not restraining or 
bridling it: then he waxeth old because of all 
his enemies, 2 viz. the demons with their 
prince the devil, who are envious of virtue; 
and that vision of eternal things is withdrawn 
also from the head himself, eating with his 
spouse that which was forbidden, so that the 
light of his eyes is gone from him ; 3 and so both 

being naked from that enlightenment of truth, 
and with the eyes of their conscience opened 
to behold how they were left shameful and 
unseemly, like the leaves of sweet fruits, but 
without the fruits themselves, they so weave 
together good words without the fruit of good 
works, as while living wickedly to cover over 
their disgrace as it were by speaking well. 4 


14. For the soul loving its own power, slips 
onwards from the whole which is common, to 
a part, which belongs especially to itself. 
And that apostatizing pride, which is called 
"the beginning of sin," 5 whereas it might 
have been most excellently governed by the 
laws of God, if it had followed Him as its 
ruler in the universal creature, by seeking 
something more than the whole, and strug- 
gling to govern this by a law of its own, is 
thrust on, since nothing is more than the 
whole, into caring for a part; and thus by lust- 
ing after something more, is made less; 
whence also covetousness is called " the root 
of all evil.-" 6 And it administers that whole, 
wherein it strives to do something of its own 
against the laws by which the whole is gov- 
erned, by its own body, which it possesses 
only in part; and so being delighted by cor- 
poreal forms and motions, because it has not 
the things themselves within itself, and be- 
cause it is wrapped up in their images, which 
it has fixed in the memory, and is foully pol- 
luted by fornication of the phantasy, while it 
refers all its functions to those ends, for 
which it curiously seeks corporeal and tem- 
poral things through the senses of the body, 
either it affects with swelling arrogance to be 
more excellent than other souls that are given 
up to the corporeal senses, or it is plunged 
into a foul whirlpool of carnal pleasure. 



15. When the soul then consults either for 
itself or for others with a good will towards 
perceiving the inner and higher things, such 
as are possessed in a chaste embrace, with- 
out any narrowness or envy, not individually, 
but in common by all who love such things; 
then even if it be deceived in anything, 
through ignorance of things temporal (for its 
action in this case is a temporal one), and if 
it does not hold fast to that mode of acting 
which it ought, the temptation is but one com- 
mon to man. And it is a great thing so to 
pass through this life, on which we travel, as 
it were, like a road on our return home, that 

1 Gal. iii. 26-23. 

2 Ps. vi. 7. 

3 Ps. 

XXXVlll. 10 

4 Gen. iii. 4. 

5 Ecclus. x. 15. 

6 1 Tim. vi. 10. 

Chap. XII.] 



no temptation may take us, but what is com- 
mon to man. ' For this is a sin without the 
body, and must not be reckoned fornication, 
and on that account is very easily pardoned. 
But when the soul does anything- in order to 
attain those things which are perceived 
through the body, through lust of proving or 
of surpassing or of handling them, in order 
that it may place in them its final good, then 
whatever it does, it does wickedly, and com- 
mits fornication, sinning against its own body: 2 
and while snatching from within the deceitful 
images of corporeal things, and combining 
them by vain thought, so that nothing seems 
to it to be divine, unless it be of such a kind 
as this; by selfish greediness it is made fruit- 
ful in errors, and by selfish prodigality it is 
emptied of strength. Yet it would not leap 
on at once from the commencement to such 
shameless and miserable fornication, but, as 
it is written, " He that contemneth small 
things, shall fall by little and little." 3 


1 6. For as a snake does not creep on with 
open steps, but advances by the very minutest 
efforts of its several scales; so the slippery 
motion of falling away [from what is good] 
takes possession of the negligent only gradu- 
ally, and beginning from a perverse desire for 
the likeness of God, arrives in the end at the 
likeness of beasts. Hence it is that being 
naked of their first garment, they earned by 
mortality coats of skins. 4 For the true honor 
of man is the image and likeness of God, 
which is not preserved except it be in relation 
to Him by whom it is impressed. The less 
therefore that one loves what is one's own, 
the more one cleaves to God. But through 
the desire of making trial of his own power, 
man by his own bidding falls down to himself 
as to a sort of intermediate grade. And so, 
while he wishes to be as God is, that is, un- 
der no one, he is thrust on, even from his own 
middle grade, by way of punishment, to that 
which is lowest, that is, to those things in 
which beasts delight: and thus, while his 
honor is the likeness of God, but his dishonor 
is the likeness of the beast, " Man being in 
honor abideth not: he is compared to the 
beasts that are foolish, and is made like to 
them." 5 By what path, then, could he pass 
so great a distance from the highest to the 
lowest, except through his own intermediate 
grade ? For when he neglects the love of wis- 
dom, which remains always after the same 
fashion, and lusts after knowledge by experi- 

1 i. Cor. x. 13. 
4 Gen. iii. 21. 

= 1 Cor. vi. 18 
5 Ps. xlix. 12. 

3 Ecclus. xix. 1. 

ment upon things temporal and mutable, that 
knowledge puffeth up, it does not edify: 6 so 
the mind is overweighed and thrust out, as it 
were, by its own weight from blessedness; 
and learns by its own punishment, through 
that trial of its own intermediateness, what 
the difference is between the good it has 
abandoned and the bad to which it has com- 
mitted itself; and having thrown away and 
destroyed its strength, it cannot return, un- 
less by the grace of its Maker calling it to re- 
pentance, and forgiving its sins. For who 
will deliver the unhappy soul from the body 
of this death, unless the grace of God through 
Jesus Christ our Lord ? 7 Of which grace we 
will discourse in its place, so far as He Him- 
self enables us. 


17. Let us now complete, so far as the 
Lord helps us, the discussion which we have 
undertaken, respecting that part of reason to 
which knowledge belongs, that is, the cogniz- 
ance of things temporal and changeable, 
which is necessary for managing the affairs 
of this life. For as in the case of that visible 
wedlock of the two human beings who were 
made first, the serpent did not eat of the for- 
bidden tree, but only persuaded them to eat 
of it; and the woman did not eat alone, but 
gave to her husband, and they eat together; 
although she alone spoke with the serpent, 
and she alone was led away by him: 8 so also 
in the case of that hidden and secret kind of 
wedlock, which is transacted and discerned 
in a single human being, the carnal, or as I 
may say, since it is directed to the senses of 
the body, the sensuous movement of the soul, 
which is common to us with beasts, is shut 
off from the reason of wisdom. For certainly 
bodily things are perceived by the sense of 
the body; but spiritual things, which are 
eternal and unchangeable, are understood by 
the reason of wisdom. But the reason of 
knowledge has appetite very near to it: see- 
ing that what is called the science or know- 
ledge of actions reasons concerning the bodily 
things which are perceived by the bodily 
sense; if well, in order that it may refer that 
knowledge to the end of the chief good; but 
if ill, in order that it may enjoy them as be- 
ing such good things as those wherein it re- 
poses with a false blessedness. Whenever, 
then, that carnal or animal sense introduces 
into this purpose of the mind which is con- 
versant about things temporal and corporeal, 

6 1 Cor. viii. 1. 

7 Rom. vii. 24, 25. 

8 Gen. iii. 1-6. 



[Book XII. 

with a view to the offices of a man's actions, 
by the living force of reason, some induce- 
ment to enjoy itself, that is, to enjoy itself as 
if it were some private good of its own, not as 
the public and common, which is the un- 
changeable, good; then, as it were, the ser- 
pent discourses with the woman. And to 
consent to this allurement, is to eat of the 
forbidden tree. But if that consent is satis- 
fied by the pleasure of thought alone, but the 
members are so restrained by the authority 
of higher counsel that they are not yielded 
as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin; 1 
this, I think, is to be considered as if the 
woman alone should have eaten the forbidden 
food. But if, in this consent to use wickedly 
the things which are perceived through the 
senses of the body, any sin at all is so deter- 
mined upon, that if there is the power it is 
also fulfilled by the body; then that woman 
must be understood to have given the unlaw- 
ful food to her husband with her, to be eaten 
together. For it is not possible for the mind 
to determine that a sin is not only to be 
thought of with pleasure, but also to be effect- 
ually committed, unless also that intention of 
the mind yields, and serves the bad action, 
with which rests the chief power of applying 
the members to an outward act, or of restrain- 
ing them from one. 

18. And yet, certainly, when the mind is 
pleased in thought alone with unlawful things, 
while not indeed determining that they are to 
be done, but yet holding and pondering gladly 
things which ought to have been rejected the 
very moment they touched the mind, it can- 
not be denied to be a sin, but far less than 
if it were also determined to accomplished it 
in outward act. And therefore pardon must 
be sought for such thoughts too, and the 
breast must be smitten, and it must be said, 
"Forgive us our debts;" and what follows 
must be done, and must be joined in our 
prayer, "As we also forgive our debtors." 2 
For it is not as it was with those two first 
human beings, of which each one bare his own 
person; and so, if the woman alone had eaten 
the forbidden food, she certainly alone would 
have been smitten with the punishment of 
death: it cannot, I say, be so said also in the 
case of a single human being now, that if the 
thought, remaining alone, be gladly fed with 
unlawful pleasures, from which it ought to 
turn away directly, while yet there is no de- 
termination that the bad actions are to be 
done, but only that they are retained with 
pleasure in remembrance, the woman as it 
were can be condemned without the man. 

1 Rom. vi. 13. 

Matt. vi. 12. 

Far be it from us to believe this. For here 
is one person, one human being, and he as a 
whole will be condemned, unless those things 
which, as lacking the will to do, and yet hav- 
ing the will to please the mind with them, 
are perceived to be sins of thought alone, are 
pardoned through the grace of the Mediator. 3 

19. This reasoning, then, whereby we have 
sought in the mind of each several human 
being a certain rational wedlock of contem- 
plation and action, with functions distributed 
through each severally, yet with the unity of 
the mind preserved in both; saving meanwhile 
the truth of that history which divine testi- 
mony hands down respecting the first two 
human beings, that is, the man and his wife, 
from whom the human species is propagated; 4 
this reasoning, I say, must be listened to 
only thus far, that the apostle may be under- 
stood to have intended to signify something 
to be sought in one individual man, by assign- 
ing the image of God to the man only, and 
not also to the woman, although in the merely 
different sex ui two human beings. 


20. Nor does it escape me, that some who 
before us were eminent defenders of the Cath- 
olic faith and expounders of the word of God, 
while they looked for these two things in one 
human being, whose entire soul they per- 
ceived to be a sort of excellent paradise, as- 
serted that the man was the mind, but that the 
woman was the bodily sense. And according 
to this distribution, by which the man is as- 
sumed to be the mind, but the woman the 
bodily sense, all things seem aptly to agree 
together if they are handled with due atten- 
tion: unless that it is written, that in all the 
beasts and flying things there was not found 
for man an helpmate like to himself; and 
then the woman was made out of his side. 5 
And on this account I, for my part, have not 
thought that the bodily sense should be taken 
for the woman, which we see to be common 
to ourselves and to the beasts; but I have 
desired to find something which the beasts 
had not; and I have rather thought the bodily 
sense should be understood to be the serpent, 
whom we read to have been more subtle than 
all beasts of the field. 6 For in those natural 
good things which we see are common to our- 

3 [Augustin here teaches that the inward lust is guilt as well 
as the outward action prompted by it. This is in accordance with 
Matt. v. 28 ; Acts viii. 21-22 ; Rom. vii. 7 ; James i. 14. W.G.T.S.] 

4 [Augustin means, that while he has given an allegorical and 
mystical interpretation to the narrative of the fall, in Genesis, he 
also holds to its historical sense. W. G. T. S."| 

5 Gen. ii. 20-22. 6 Gen. iii. 1. 

Chap. XIV.] 



selves and to the irrational animals, the sense 
excels by a kind of living power; not the sense 
of which it is written in the epistle addressed 
to the Hebrews, where we read, that " strong 
meat belongeth to them that are of full age, 
even those who by reason of use have their 
senses exercised to discern both good and 
evil;" 5 for these " senses '' belong to the ra- 
tional nature and pertain to the understanding; 
but that sense which is divided into five parts 
in the body, through which corporeal species 
and motion is perceived not only by ourselves, 
but also by the beasts. 

21. But whether that the apostle calls the 
man the image and glory of God, but the 
woman the glory of the man, - is to be re- 
ceived in this, or that, or in any other way; 
yet it is clear, that when we live according 
to God, our mind which is intent on the 
invisible things of Him ought to be fashioned 
with proficiency from His eternity, truth, 
charity; but that something of our own ra- 
tional purpose, that is, of the same mind, 
must be directed to the using of changeable 
and corporeal things, without which this life 
does not go on; not that we may be con- 
formed to this world, 3 by placing our end in 
such good things, and by forcing the desire 
of blessedness towards them, but that what- 
ever we do rationally in the using of temporal 
things, we may do it with the contemplation 
of attaining eternal things, passing through 
the former, but cleaving to the latter. 



For knowledge also has its own good 
measure, if that in it which puffs up, or is 
wont to puff up, is conquered by love of 
eternal things, which does not puff up, but, 
as we know, edifieth. 4 Certainly without 
knowledge the virtues themselves, by which 
one lives rightly, cannot be possessed, by 
which this miserable life may be so governed, 
that we may attain to that eternal life which 
is truly blessed. 

22. Yet action, by which we use temporal 
things well, differs from contemplation of 
eternal things; and the latter is reckoned to 
wisdom, the former to knowledge. For al- 
though that which is wisdom can also be 
called knowledge, as the apostle too speaks, 
where he says, " Now I know in part, but 
then shall I know even as also I am 

1 Heb. v. 14. 
3 Rom. xii. 2 

2 1 Cor. xi. 7. 
4 1 Cor. viii. 1. 

known;" 5 when doubtless he meant his 
words to be understood of the knowledge of 
the contemplation of God, which will be the 
highest reward of the saints; yet where he says, 
" For to one is given by the Spirit the word 
of wisdom, to another the word of knowledge 
by the same Spirit," 6 certainly he distinguishes 
without doubt these two things, although he 
does not there explain the difference, nor in 
what way one may be discerned from the 
other. But having examined a great number 
of passages from the Holy Scriptures, I find 
it written in the Book of Job, that holy man 
being the speaker, "Behold, piety, that is 
wisdom; but to depart from evil is knowl- 
edge." 7 In thus distinguishing, it must be 
understood that wisdom belongs to contem- 
plation, knowledge to action. For in this 
place he meant by piety the worship of God, 
which in Greek is called deooifisia. For the 
sentence in the Greek mss. has that word. 
And what is there in eternal things more 
excellent than God, of whom alone the nature 
is unchangeable? And what is the worship 
of Him except the love of Him, by which we 
now desire to see Him, and we believe and 
hope that we shall see Him; and in propor- 
tion as we make progress, see now through 
a glass in an enigma, but then in clearness ? 
For this is what the Apostle Paul means by 
"face to face." 8 This is also what John 
says, " Beloved, now we are the sons of God, 
and it doth not yet appear /vhat we shall be; 
but we know that, when He shall appear, we 
shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as 
He is." 9 Discourse about these and the like 
subjects seems to me to be the discourse 
itself of wisdom. But to depart from evil, 
which Job says is knowledge, is without doubt 
of temporal things. Since it is in reference 
to time [and this world] that we are in 
evil, from which we ought to abstain that we 
may come to those good eternal things. And 
therefore, whatsoever we do prudently, boWly, 
temperately, and justly, belongs to that 
knowledge or discipline wherewith our action 
is conversant in avoiding evil and desiring 
good; and so also, whatsoever we gather by 
the knowledge that comes from inquiry, in 
the way of examples either to be guarded 
against or to be imitated, and in the way of 
necessary proofs respecting any subject, 
accommodated to our use. 

23. When a discourse then relates to these 
things, I hold it to be a discourse belonging 
to knowledge, and to be distinguished from 
a discourse belonging to wisdom, to which 
those things belong, which neither have been, 

5 i Cor. xiii. 12. 
8 1 Cor. xiii. 12. 

6 1 Cor. xii. 8, 
9 1 John iii. 2, 

7 Job xxviii. 8. 



Book XII. 

nor shall be, but are; and on account of that 
eternity in which they are, are said to have 
been, and to be, and to be about to be, with- 
out any changeableness of times. For neither 
have they been in such way as that they 
should cease to be, nor are they about to be 
in such way as if they were not now; but 
they have always had and always will have 
that very absolute being. And they abide, 
but not as if fixed in some place as are 
bodies; but as intelligible things in incor- 
poreal nature, they are so at hand to the 
glance of the mind, as things visible or tangi- 
ble in place are to the sense of the body. 
And not only in the case of sensible things 
posited in place, there abide also intelligible 
and incorporeal reasons of them apart from 
local space; but also of motions that pass by 
in successive times, apart from any transit 
in time, there stand also like reasons, them- 
selves certainly intelligible, and not sensible. 
And to attain to these with the eye of the 
mind is the lot of few; and when they are 
attained, as much as they can be, he himself 
who attains to them does not abide in them, 
but is as it were repelled by the rebounding 
of the eye itself of the mind, and so there 
comes to be a transitory thought of a thing 
not transitory. And yet this transient 
thought is committed to the memory through 
the instructions by which the mind is taught; 
that the mind which is compelled to pass 
from thence, may be able to return thither 
again; although, if the thought should not 
return to the memory and find there what it 
had committed to it, it would be led thereto 
like an uninstructed person, as it had been 
led before, and would find it where it had 
first found it, that is to say, in that incorporeal 
truth, whence yet once more it may be as it 
were written down and fixed in the mind. 
For the thought of man, for example, does 
not so abide in that incorporeal and un- 
changeable reason of a square body, as that 
reason itself abides: if, to be sure, it could 
attain to it at all without the phantasy of 
local space. Or if one were to apprehend 
the rhythm of any artificial or musical sound, 
passing through certain intervals of time, as 
it rested without time in some secret and 
deep silence, it could at least be thought as 
long as that song could be heard; yet what 
the glance of the mind, transient though it 
was, caught from thence, and, absorbing as 
it were into a belly, so laid up in the mem- 
ory, over this it will be able to ruminate in 
some measure by recollection, and to transfer 
what it has thus learned into systematic 
knowledge. But if this has been blotted out 
by absolute forgetfulness, yet once again, 

under the guidance of teaching, one will 
come to that which had altogether dropped 
away, and it will be found such as it was. 


24. And hence that noble philosopher 
Plato endeavored to persuade us that the 
souls of men lived even before they bare 
these bodies; and that hence those things 
which are learnt are rather remembered, 
as having been known already, than taken 
into knowledge as things new. For he has 
told us that a boy, when questioned I know 
not what respecting geometry, replied as if 
he were perfectly skilled in that branch of 
learning. For being questioned step by step 
and skillfully, he saw what was to be seen, 
and said that which he saw. ' But if this 
had been a recollecting of things previously 
known, then certainly every one, or almost 
every one, would not have been able so to an- 
swer when questioned. For not every one was 
a geometrician in the former life, since geome- 
tricians are so few among men that scarcely 
one can be found anywhere. But we ought 
rather to believe, that the intellectual mind 
is so formed in its nature as to see those 
things, which by the disposition of the 
Creator are subjoined to things intelligible in 
a natural order, by a sort of incorporeal light 
of an unique kind; as the eye of the flesh 
sees things adjacent to itself in this bodily 
light, of which light it is made to be recep- 
tive, and adapted to it. For none the more 
does this fleshly eye, too, distinguish black 
things from white without a teacher, because 
it had already known them before it was 
created in this flesh. Why, lastly, is it 
possible only in intelligible things that any 
one properly questioned should answer ac- 
cording to any branch of learning, although 
ignorant of it ? Why can no one do this with 
things sensible, except those which he has 
seen in this his present body, or has believed 
the information of others who knew them, 
whether somebody's writings or words ? For 
we must not acquiesce in their story, who 
assert that the Samian Pythagoras recollected 
some things of this kind, which he had ex- 
perienced when he was previously here in 
another body; and others tell yet of others, 
that they experienced something of the same 

1 [This fine specimen of the " obstetric method " of Socrates is 
given in Plato's dialogue, Meno. W. G. T. S.] 

Chap. XV.] 



sort in their minds: but it may be conjec- 
tured that these were untrue recollections, 
such as we commonly experience in sleep, 
when we fancy we remember, as though we 
had done or seen it, what we never did or 
saw at all; and that the minds of these per- 
sons, even though awake, were affected in 
this way at the suggestion of malignant and 
deceitful spirits, whose care it is to confirm 
or to sow some false belief concerning the 
changes of souls, in order to deceive men. 
This, I say, may be conjectured from this, 
that if they really remembered those things 
which they had seen here before, while oc- 
cupying other bodies, the same thing would 
happen to many, nay to almost all; since 
they suppose that as the dead from the liv- 
ing, so, without cessation and continually, the 
living are coming into existence from the 
dead; as sleepers from those that are awake, 
and those that are awake from them that 

25. If therefore this is the right distinction 
between wisdom and knowledge, that the in- 
tellectual cognizance of eternal things be- 
longs to wisdom, but the rational cognizance 
of temporal things to knowledge, it is not 
difficult to judge which is to be preferred or 
postponed to which. But if we must employ 
some other distinction by which to know 
these two apart, which without doubt the 
apostle teaches us are different, saying, "To 
one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; 

to another the word of knowledge, by the 
same Spirit;" still the difference between 
those two which we have laid down is a most 
evident one, in that the intellectual cogni- 
zance of eternal things is one thing, the rational 
cognizance of temporal things another; and no 
one doubts but that the former is to be pre- 
ferred to the latter. As then we leave behind 
those things which belong to the outer man, 
and desire to ascend within from those things 
which we have in common with beasts, before 
we come to the cognizance of things intel- 
ligible and supreme, which are eternal, the 
rational cognizance of temporal things pre- 
sents itself. Let us then find a trinity in this 
also, if we can, as we found one in the senses 
of the body, and in those things which 
through them entered in the way of images 
into our soul or spirit; so that instead of 
corporeal things which we touch by corporeal 
sense, placed as they are without us, we 
might have resemblances of bodies impressed 
within on the memory from which thought 
might be formed, while the will as a third 
united them; just as the sight of the eyes was 
formed from without, which the will applied 
to the visible thing in order to produce vision, 
and united both, while itself also added itself 
thereto as a third. But this subject must 
not be compressed into this book; so that in 
that which follows, if God help, it may be 
suitably examined, and the conclusions to 
which we come may be unfolded. 




i. In the book before this, viz. the twelfth 
of this work, we have done enough to distin- 
guish the office of the rational mind in tem- 
poral things, wherein not only our knowing 
but our action is concerned, from the more 
excellent office of the same mind, which is 
employed in contemplating eternal things, 
and is limited to knowing alone. But I think 
it more convenient that I should insert some- 
what out of the Holy Scriptures, by which the 
two may more easily be distinguished. 

2. John the Evangelist has thus begun his 
Gospel: " In the beginning was the Word, 
and the Word was with God, and the Word 
was God. The same was in the beginning 

with God. All things were made by Him; 
and without Him was not anything made that 
was made. In Him was life; and the life was 
the light of men. And the light shineth in 
darkness; and the darkness comprehended it 
not. There was a man sent from God, whose 
name was John. The same came for a wit- 
ness, to bear witness of the Light, that all 
men through Him might believe. He was 
not that Light, but was sent to bear witness 
of that Light. That was the true Light, 
which lighteth every man that cometh into 
the world. He was in the world, and the 
world was made by Him, and the world knew 
Him not. He came unto His own, and His 
own received Him not. But as many as re- 
ceived Him, to them gave He power to be- 
come the sons of God, even to them that be- 
lieve on His name: which were born, not of 
blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the 
will of man, but of God. And the Word was 
made flesh, and dwelt among us (and we be- 
held His glory, the glory as of the only-be- 
gotten of the Father), full of grace and 
truth." 1 This entire passage, which I have 

1 John i. 1-14. 

Chap. I.] 



here taken from the Gospel, contains in its 
earlier portions what is immutable and eter- 
nal, the contemplation of which makes us 
blessed; but in those which follow, eternal 
things are mentioned in conjunction with 
temporal things. And hence some things 
there belong to knowledge, some to wisdom, 
according to our previous distinction in the 
twelfth book. For the words, "In the be- 
ginning was the Word, and the Word was 
with God, and the Word was God. The same 
was in the beginning with God. All things 
were made by Him; and without Him was 
not anything made that was made. In Him 
was life; and the life was the light of men. 
And the light shineth in darkness, and the 
darkness comprehended it not:" require a 
contemplative life, and must be discerned by 
the intellectual mind; and the more any one 
has profited in this, the wiser without doubt 
will he become. But on account of the verse, 
" The light shineth in darkness, and the dark- 
ness comprehended it not," faith certainly 
was necessary, whereby that which was not 
seen might be believed. For by " darkness " 
he intended to signify the hearts of mortals 
turned away from light of this kind, and 
hardly able to behold it; for which reason he 
subjoins, " There was a man sent from God, 
whose name was John. The same came for 
a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that 
all men through Him might believe." But 
here we come to a thing that was done in time, 
and belongs to knowledge, which is comprised 
in the cognizance of facts. And we think of 
the man John under that phantasy which is 
impressed on our memory from the notion 
of human nature. And whether men believe 
or not, they think this in the same manner. 
For both alike know what man is, the outer 
part of whom, that is, his body, they have 
learned through the eyes of the body; but 
of the inner, that is, the soul, they possess 
the knowledge in themselves, because they 
also themselves are men, and through inter- 
course with men; so that they are able to 
think what is said, " There was a man, whose 
name was John,'' because they know the 
names also by interchange of speech. But 
that which is there also, viz. " sent from 
God," they who hold at all, hold by faith; 
and they who do not hold it by faith, either 
hesitate through doubt, or deride it through 
unbelief. Yet both, if they are not in the 
number of those over-foolish ones, who say 
in their heart " There is no God,'' 1 when they 
hear these words, think both things, viz. both 
what God is, and what it is to be sent from 

God; and if they do not do this as the things 
themselves really are, they do it at any rate 
as they can. 

3. Further, we know from other sources 
the faith itself which a man sees to be in his 
own heart, if he believes, or not to be there, 
if he does not believe: but not as we know 
bodies, which we see with the bodily eyes, 
and think of even when absent through the 
images of themselves which we retain in 
memory; nor yet as those things which we 
have not seen, and which we frame howso- 
ever we can in thought from those which we 
have seen, and commit them to memory, that 
we may recur to them when we will, in order 
that therein we may similarly by recollection 
discern them, or rather discern the images of 
them, of what sort soever these are which we 
have fixed there; nor again as a living man, 
whose soul we do not indeed see, but conjec- 
ture from our own, and from corporeal mo- 
tions gaze also in thought upon the living 
man, as we have learnt him by sight. Faith 
is not so seen in the heart in which it is, by 
him whose it is; but most certain knowledge 
holds it fast, and conscience proclaims it. 
Although therefore we are bidden to believe 
on this account, because we cannot see what 
we are bidden to believe; nevertheless we see 
faith itself in ourselves, when that faith is in 
us; because faith even in absent things is 
present, and faith in things which are without 
us is within, and faith in things which are not 
seen is itself seen, and itself none the less 
comes into the hearts of men in time; and if 
any cease to be faithful and become unbe- 
lievers, then it perishes from them. And 
sometimes faith is accommodated even to 
falsehoods; for we sometimes so speak as to 
say, I put faith in him, and he deceived me. 
And this kind of faith, if indeed it too is to 
be called faith, perishes from the heart with- 
out blame, when truth is found and expels it. 
But faith in things that are true, passes, as 
one should wish it to pass, into the things 
themselves. For we must not say that faith 
perishes, when those things which were be- 
lieved are seen. For is it indeed still to be 
called faith, when faith, according to the 
definition in the Epistle to the Hebrews, is 
the evidence of things not seen ? = 

4. In the words which follow next, " The 
same came for a witness, to bear witness of 
the Light, that all men through him might 
believe;" the action, as we have said, is one 
done in time. For to bear witness even to 
that which is eternal, as is that light that is 
intelligible, is a thing done in time. And 

1 Ps. 

2 Heb. xi. 1. 

1 68 


[Book XIII. 

of this it was that John came to bear witness, 
who "was not that Light, but was sent to 
bear witness of that Light." For he adds, 
" That was the true Light that lighteth every 
man that cometh into the world. He was in 
the world, and the world was made by Him, 
and the world knew Him not. He came unto 
His own, and His own received Him not." 
Now they who know the Latin language, un- 
derstand all these words, from those things 
which they know: and of these, some have 
become known to us through the senses of 
the body, as man, as the world itself, of 
which the greatness is so evident to our sight; 
as again the sounds of the words themselves, 
for hearing also is a sense of the body; and 
some through the reason of the mind, as that 
which is said, "And His own received Him 
not;" for this means, that they did not be- 
lieve in Him; and what belief is, we do not 
know by any sense of the body, but by the 
reason of the mind. We have learned, too, 
not the sounds, but the meanings of the words 
themselves, partly through the sense of the 
body, partly through the reason of the mind. 
Nor have we now heard those words for the 
first time, but they are words we had heard 
before. And we were retaining in our mem- 
ory as things known, and we here recognized, 
not only the words themselves, but also what 
they meant. For when the bisyllabic word 
mundiis is uttered, then something that is cer- 
tainly corporeal, for it is a sound, has become 
known through the body, that is, through the 
ear. But that which it means also, has be- 
come known through the body, that is, 
through the eyes of the flesh. For so far as 
the world is known to us at all, it is known 
through sight. But the quadri-syllabic word 
crediderunt reaches us, so far as its sound, 
since that is a corporeal thing, through the 
ear of the flesh; but its meaning is discover- 
able by no sense of the body, but by the 
reason of the mind. For unless we knew 
through the mind what the word credidenmt 
meant, we should not understand what they 
did not do, of whom it is said, " And His own 
received Him not." The sound then of the 
word rings upon the ears of the body from 
without, and reaches the sense which is called 
hearing. The species also of man is both 
known to us in ourselves, and is presented to 
the senses of the body from without, in other 
men; to the eyes, when it is seen; to the ears, 
when it is heard; to the touch, when it is held 
and touched; and it has, too, its image in our 
memory, incorporeal indeed, but like the 
body. Lastly, the wonderful beauty of the 
world itself is at hand from without, both to 
our gaze, and to that sense which is called 

touch, if we come in contact with any of it: 
and this also has its image within in our 
memory, to which we revert, when we think 
of it either in the enclosure of a room, or 
again in darkness. But we have already 
sufficiently spoken in the eleventh book of 
these images of corporeal things; incorporeal 
indeed, yet having the likeness of bodies, and 
belonging to the life of the outer man. But 
we are treating now of the inner man, and of 
his knowledge, namely, that knowledge which 
is of things temporal and changeable; into 
the purpose and scope of which, when any- 
thing is assumed, even of things belonging 
to the outer man, it must be assumed for this 
end, that something may thence be taught 
which may help rational knowledge. And 
hence the rational use of those things which 
we have in common with irrational animals 
belongs to the inner man; neither can it 
rightly be said that this is common to us with 
the irrational animals. 



5. But faith, of which we are compelled, 
by reason of the arrangement of our subject, 
to dispute somewhat more at length in this 
book: faith I say, which they who have are 
called the faithful, and they who have not, 
unbelievers, as were those who did not receive 
the Son of God coming to His own; although 
it is wrought in us by hearing, yet does not 
belong to that sense of the body which is 
called hearing, since it is not a sound; nor to 
the eyes of this our flesh, since it is neither 
color nor bodily form; nor to that which is 
called touch, since it has nothing of bulk; nor 
to any sense of the body at all, since it is a 
thing of the heart, not of the body; nor is it 
without apart from us, but deeply seated within 
us; nor does any man see it in another, but 
each one in himself. Lastly, it is a thing 
that can both be feigned by pretence, and be 
thought to be in him in whom it is not. 
Therefore every one sees his own faith in 
himself; but does not see, but believes, that 
it is in another; and believes this the more 
firmly, the more he knows the fruits of it, 
which faith is wont to work by love. ' And 
therefore this faith is common to all of whom 
the evangelist subjoins, " But as many as re- 
ceived Him, to them gave He power to be- 
come the sons of God, even to them that be- 
lieve on His name: which were born, not of 

Gal. v. 6. 

Chap. III.] 



blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the 
will of man, but of God;" common I say, not 
as any form of a bodily object is common, as 
regards sight, to the eyes of all to whom it is 
present, for in some way the gaze of all that 
behold it is informed by the same one form; 
but as the human countenance can be said to 
be common to all men; for this is so said, 
that yet each certainly has his own. We say 
certainly with perfect truth, that the faith of 
believers is impressed from one doctrine upon 
the heart of each several person who believes 
the same thing. But that which is believed 
is a different thing from the faith by which 
it is believed. For the former is in things 
which are said either to be, or to have been, 
or to be about to be; bit the latter is in the 
mind of the believer, and is visible to him 
only whose it is; although not indeed itself, 
but a faith like it, is also in others. For it is 
not one in number, but in kind; yet on ac- 
count of the likeness, and the absence of all 
difference, we rather call it one than many. 
For when, too, we see two men exceedingly 
alike, 'we wonder, and say that both have one 
countenance. It is therefore more easily 
said that the souls were many, a several 
soul, of course, for each several person of 
whom we read in the Acts of the Apostles, 
that they were of one soul, 1 than it is, where 
the apostle speaks of "one faith," 2 for any 
one to venture to say that there are as many 
faiths as there are faithful. And yet He who 
says, "O woman, great is thy faith;" 3 and 
to another, "O thou of little faith, where- 
fore didst thou doubt ?" 4 intimates that each 
has his own faith. But the like faith of be- 
lievers is said to be one, in the same way as 
a like will of those who will is said to be one; 
since in the case also of those who have the 
same will, the will of each is visible to him- 
self, but that of the other is not visible, al- 
though he wills the same thing; and if it in- 
timate itself by any signs, it is believed rather 
than seen. But each being conscious of his 
own mind certainly does not believe, but 
manifestly sees outright, that this is his own 



6. There is, indeed, so closely conspiring a 
harmony in the same nature living and using 
reason, that although one knows not what 
the other wills, yet there are some wills of all 
which are also known to each; and although 

1 Acts. iv. 32. 
3 Matt. xv. 2S. 

2 Eph. iv. 5. 
4 Matt. xiv. 31. 

each man does not know what any other one 
man wills, yet in some things he may know 
what all will. And hence comes that story 
of the comic actor's witty joke, who promised 
that he would say in the theatre, in some 
other play, what all had in their minds, and 
what all willed; and when a still greater crowd 
had come together on the day appointed, 
with great expectation, all being in suspense 
and silent, is affirmed to have said: You 
will to buy cheap, and sell dear. And mean 
actor though he was, yet all in his words rec- 
ognized what themselves were conscious of, 
and applauded him with wonderful goodwill, 
for saying before the eyes of all what was 
confessedly true, yet what no one looked for. 
And why was so great expectation raised by 
his promising that he would say what was the 
will of all, unless because no man knows the 
wills of other men ? But did not he know 
that will ? Is there any one who does not 
know it ? Yet why, unless because there are 
some things which not unfitly each conjec- 
tures from himself to be in others, through 
sympathy or agreement either in vice or vir- 
tue ? But it is one thing to see one's own 
will; another to conjecture, however certainly, 
what is another's. For, in human affairs, I 
am as certain that Rome was built as that 
Constantinople was, although I have seen 
Rome with my eyes, but know nothing of the 
other city, except what I have believed on the 
testimony of others. And truly that comic 
actor believed it to be common to all to will 
to buy cheap and sell dear, either by observ- 
ing himself or by making experiment also 
of others. But since such a will is in truth a 
fault, every one can attain the counter virtue, 
or run into the mischief of some other fault 
which is contrary to it, whereby to resist and 
conquer it. For I myself know a case where 
a manuscript was offered to a man for pur- 
chase, who perceived that the vendor was ig- 
norant of its value, and was therefore asking 
something very small,* and who thereupon 
gave him, though not expecting it, the just 
price, which was much more. Suppose even 
the case of a man possessed with wickedness 
so great as to sell cheap what his parents left 
to him, and to buy dear, in order to waste it 
on his own lusts ? Such wanton extravagance, 
I fancy, is not incredible; and if such men 
are sought, they may be found, or even fall 
in one's way although not sought; who. by a 
wickedness more than that of the theatre, 
make a mock of the theatrical proposition or 
declaration, by buying dishonor at a great 
price, while selling lands at a small one. We 
have heard, too, of persons that, for the sake 
of distribution, have bought corn at a higher 



[Book XIII. 

price, and sold it to their fellow-citizens at a 
lower one. And note also what the old poet 
Ennius has said: that '"'all mortals wish 
themselves to be praised;" wherein, doubt- 
less, he conjectured what was in others, both 
by himself, and by those whom he knew by 
experience; and so seems to have declared 
what it is that all men will. Lastly, if that 
comic actor himself, too, had said, You all 
will to be praised, no one of you wills to be 
abused; he would have seemed in like man- 
ner to have expressed what all will. Yet 
there are some who hate their own faults, and 
do not desire to be praised by others for that 
for which they are displeased with themselves; 
and who thank the kindness of those who re- 
buke them, when the purpose of that rebuke 
is their own amendment. But if he had said, 
You all will to be blessed, you do not will to 
be wretched; he would have said something 
which there is no one that would not recognize 
in his own will. For whatever else a man 
may will secretly, he does not withdraw from 
that will, which is well known to all men, and 
well known to be in all men. 



7. It is wonderful, however, since the will 
to obtain and retain blessedness is one in all, 
whence comes, on the other hand, such a 
variety and diversity of wills concerning that 
blessedness itself; not that any one is unwill- 
ing to have it, but that all do not know it. 
For if all knew it, it would not be thought by 
some to be in goodness of mind; by others, 
in pleasure of body; by others, in both; and 
by some in one thing, by others in another. 
For as men find special delight in this thing 
or that, so have they placed in it their idea 
of a blessed life. How, then, do all love so 
warmly what not all know? Who can love 
what he does not know? a subject which I 
have already discussed in the preceding 
books. z Why, therefore, is blessedness 
loved by all, when it is not known by all ? Is 
it perhaps that all know what it is itself, but 
all do not know where it is to be found, and 
that the dispute arises from this ? as if, for- 
sooth, the business was about some place in 
this world, where every one ought to will to 
live who wills to live blessedly; and as if the 
question where blessedness is were not im- 
plied in the question what it is. For cer- 
tainly, if it is in the pleasure of the body, he 
is blessed who enjoys the pleasure of the 


fin. c. 4, etc., x. c. 1. 

body; if in goodness of mind, he has it who 
enjoys this; if in both, he who enjoys both. 
When, therefore, one says, to live blessedly 
is to enjoy the pleasure of the body; but an- 
other, to live blessedly is to enjoy goodness 
of mind; is it not, that either both know, or 
both do not know, what a blessed life is ? 
How, then, do both love it, if no one can love 
what he does not know? Or is that perhaps 
false which we have assumed to be most true 
and most certain, viz. that all men will to live 
blessedly? For if to live blessedly is, for 
argument's sake, to live according to good- 
ness of mind, how does he will to live bless- 
edly who does not will this ? Should we not 
say more truly, That man does not will to 
live blessedly, because he does not wish to 
live according to goodness, which alone is to 
live blessedly ? Therefore all men do not 
will to live blessedly; on the contrary, few 
wish it; if to live blessedly is nothing else 
but to live according to goodness of mind, 
which many do not will to do. Shall we, 
then, hold that to be false of which the Aca- 
demic Cicero himself did not doubt (although 
Academics doubt every thing), who, when he 
wanted in the dialogue Hortcnsius to find 
some certain thing, of which no one doubted, 
from which to start his argument, says, We 
certainly all will to be blessed ? Far be it 
from me to say this is false. But what then ? 
Are we to say that, although there is no other 
way of living blessedly than living according 
to goodness of mind, yet even he who does 
not will this, wills to live blessedly? This, 
indeed, seems too absurd. For it is much 
as if we should say, Even he who does not will 
to live blessedly, wills to live blessedly. 
Who could listen to, who could endure, such 
a contradiction? And yet necessity thrusts 
us into this strait, if it is both true that all 
will to live blessedly, and yet all do not will 
to live in that way in which alone one can 
live blessedly. 


8. Or is, perhaps, the deliverance from our 
difficulties to be found in this, that, since we 
have said that every one places his idea of a 
blessed life in that which has most pleased 
him, as pleasure pleased Epicurus, and good- 
ness Zeno, and something else pleased other 
people, we say that to live blessedly is noth- 
ing else but to live according to one's own 
pleasure: so that it is not false that all will 
to live blessedly, "because all will that which 
pleases each? For if this, too, had been 
proclaimed to the people in the theatre, all 
would have found it in their own wills. But 

Chap. VII.] 



when Cicero, too, had propounded this in 
opposition to himself, he so refuted it as to 
make them blush who thought so. For he 
says: "But, behold! people who are not 
indeed philosophers, but who yet are prompt 
to dispute, say that all are blessed, whoever 
live as they will; " which is what we mean 
by, as pleases each. But by and by he has 
subjoined: " But this is indeed false. For 
to will what is not fitting, is itself most mis- 
erable; neither is it so miserable not to obtain 
what one wills, as to will to obtain what one 
ought not." Most excellently and altogether 
most truly does he speak. For who can be 
so blind in his mind, so alienated from all 
light of decency, and wrapped up in the 
darkness of indecency, as to call him blessed, 
because he lives as he will, who lives wickedly 
and disgracefully; and with no one restraining 
him, no one punishing, and no one daring 
even to blame him, nay more, too, with most 
people praising him, since, as divine Scripture 
says, "The wicked is praised in his heart's 
desire; and he who works iniquity is 
blessed," 1 gratifies all his most criminal and 
flagitious desires; when, doubtless, although 
even so he would be wretched, yet he would 
be less wretched, if he could have had nothing 
of those things which he had wrongly willed ? 
For every one is made wretched by a wicked 
will also, even though it stop short with will; 
but more wretched by the power by which the 
longing of a wicked will is fulfilled. And, 
therefore, since it is true that all men will to be 
blessed, and that they seek for this one thing 
with the most ardent love, and on account of 
this seek everything which they do seek; nor 
can any one love that of which he does not 
know at all what or of what sort it is, nor can 
be ignorant what that is which he knows that 
he wills; it follows that all know a blessed 
life. But all that are blessed have what they 
will, although not all who have what they will 
are forewith blessed. But they are forewith 
wretched, who either have not what they will, 
or have that which they do not rightly will. 
Therefore he only is a blessed man, who 
both has all things which he wills, and wills 
nothing ill. 


9. Since, then, a blessed life consists of 
these two things, and is known to all, and dear 
to all; what can we think to be the cause 
why, when they cannot have both, men 
choose, out of these two, to have all things 
that they will, rather than to will all things 

1 Ps. 

well, even although they do not have them ? 
Is it the depravity itself of the human race, 
in such wise that, while they are not unaware 
that neither is he blessed who has not what 
he wills, nor he who has what he wills 
wrongly, but he who both has whatsoever 
good things he wills, and wills no evil ones, 
yet, when both are not granted of those two 
things in which the blessed life consists, that 
is rather chosen by which one is withdrawn 
the more from a blessed life (since he cer- 
tainly is further from it who obtains things 
which he wickedly desired, than he who only 
does not obtain the things which he desired); 
whereas the good will ought rather to be 
chosen, and to be preferred, even if it do not 
obtain the things which it seeks ? For he 
comes near to being a blessed man, who wills 
well whatsoever he wills, and wills things, 
which when he obtains, he will be blessed. 
And certainly not bad things, but good, 
make men blessed, when they do so make 
them. And of good things he already has 
something, and that, too, a something not 
to be lightly esteemed, namely, the very 
good will itself; who longs to rejoice in those 
good things of which human nature is capa- 
ble, and not in the performance or the attain- 
ment of any evil; and who follows diligently, 
and attains as much as he can, with a pru- 
dent, temperate, courageous, and right mind, 
such good things as are possible in the pre- 
sent miserable life; so as to be good even in 
evils, and when all evils have been put an end 
to, and all good things fulfilled, then to be 


10. And on this account, faith, by which 
men believe in God, is above all things nec- 
essary in this mortal life, most full as it is of 
errors and hardships. For there are no good 
things whatever, and above all, not those by 
which any one is made good, or those by 
which he will become blessed, of which any 
other source can be found whence they come 
to man, and are added to man, unless it be 
from God. But when he who is good and 
faithful in these miseries shall have come 
from this life to the blessed life, then will 
truly come to pass what now is absolutely 
impossible, namely, that a man may live 
as he will. 2 For he will not will to live badly 

2 [The prophet Nathan enunciates the same truth, in his words 
to David, " Go do all that is in thine heart ; for the Lord is with 
thee." 2 Sam. vii. 3. W. G. T. S.] 



[Book XIII. 

in the midst of that felicity, nor will he will 
anything that will be wanting, nor will there 
be wanting anything which he shall have 
willed. Whatever shall be loved, will be 
present; nor will that be longed for, which 
shall not be present. Everything which will 
be there will be good, and the supreme God 
will be the supreme good and will be present 
for those to enjoy who love Him; and what 
altogether is most blessed, it will be certain 
that it will be so forever. But now, indeed, 
philosophers have made for themselves, ac- 
cording to the pleasure of each, their own 
ideals of a blessed life; that they might be 
able, as it were by their own power, to do 
that, which by the common conditions of 
mortals they were not able to do, namely, 
to live as they would. For they felt that no 
one could be blessed otherwise than by hav- 
ing what he would, and by suffering nothing 
which he would not. And who would not 
will, that the life whatsoever it be, with which 
he is delighted, and which he therefore calls 
blessed, were so in his own power, that he 
could have it continually ? And yet who is 
in tiiis condition ? Who wills to suffer trou- 
bles in order that he may endure them man- 
fully, although he both wills and is able to 
endure them if he does suffer them? Who 
would will to live in torments, even although 
he is able to live laudably by holding fast to 
righteousness in the midst of them through 
patience ? They who have endured these 
evils, either in wishing to have or in fearing to 
lose what they loved, whether wickedly or 
laudably, have thought of them as transitory. 
For many have stretched boldly through 
transitory evils to good things which will last. 
And these, doubtless, are blessed through 
hope, even while actually suffering such 
transitory evils, through which they arrive at 
good things which will not be transitory. 
But he who is blessed through hope is not yet 
blessed: for he expects, through patience, 
a blessedness which he does not yet grasp. 
Whereas he, on the other hand, who is tor- 
mented without any such hope, without any 
such reward, let him use as much endurance 
as he pleases, is not truly blessed, but bravely 
miserable. For he is not on that account 
not miserable, because he would be more so 
if he also bore misery impatiently. Further, 
even if he does not suffer those things which 
he would not will to suffer in his own body, 
not even then is he to be esteemed blessed, 
inasmuch as he does not live as he wills. 
For to omit other things, which, while the 
body remains unhurt, belong to those annoy- 
ances of the mind, without which we should 
will to live, and which are innumerable; he 

would will, at any rate, if he were able, so 
to have his body safe and sound, and so to 
suffer no inconveniences from it, as to have 
it within his own control, or even to have it 
with an imperishableness of the body itself; 
and because he does not possess this, and 
hangs in doubt about it, he certainly does 
not live as he wills. For although he may 
be ready from fortitude to accept, and bear 
with an equal mind, whatever adversities 
may happen to him, yet he had rather they 
should not happen, and prevents them if he 
is able; and he is in such way ready for both 
alternatives, that, as much as is in him, he 
wishes for the one and shuns the other; and 
if he have fallen into that which he shuns, 
he therefore bears it willingly, because that 
could not happen which he willed. He bears it, 
therefore, in order that he may not be crushed ; 
but he would not willingly be even burdened. 
How, then, does he live as he wills ? Is it 
because he is willingly strong to bear what he 
would not will to be put upon him ? Then 
he only wills what he can, because he can- 
not have what he wills. And here is the 
sum-total of the blessedness of proud mor- 
tals, I know not whether to be laughed at, or 
not rather to be pitied, who boast that they 
live as they will, because they willingly bear 
patiently what they are unwilling should hap- 
pen to them. For this, they say, is like 
Terence's wise saying, 

"Since that cannot be which you will, will that which 
thou canst." " 

That this is aptly said, who denies ? But it 
is advice given to the miserable man, that 
he may not be more miserable. And it is 
not rightly or truly said to the blessed man, 
such as all wish themselves to be, That cannot 
be which you will. For if he is blessed, 
whatever he wills can be; since he does not 
will that which cannot be. But such a life is 
not for this mortal state, neither will it come 
to pass unless when immortality also shall 
come to pass. And if this could not be 
given at all to man, blessedness too would be 
sought in vain, since it cannot be without 


11. As, therefore, all men will to be 
blessed, certainly, if they will truly, they will 
also to be immortal; for otherwise they could 
not be blessed. And further, if questioned 
also concerning immortality, as before con- 
cerning blessedness, all reply that they will 

1 Andreia, Act ii. Scene 1, v. 5, 6. 

Chap. IX.] 


l 73 

it. But blessedness of what quality soever, 
such as is not so, but rather is so called, is 
sought, nay indeed is feigned in this life, 
whilst immortality is despaired of, without 
which true blessedness cannot be. Since 
he lives blessedly, as we have already said 
before, and have sufficiently proved and con- 
cluded, who lives as he wills, and wills noth- 
ing wrongly. But no one wrongly wills im- 
mortality, if human nature is by God's gift 
capable of it; and if it is not capable of it, it 
is not capable of blessedness. For, that a 
man may live blessedly, he must needs live. 
And if life quits him by his dying, how can 
a blessed life remain with him ? And when 
it quits him, without doubt it either quits 
him unwilling, or willing, or neither. If 
unwilling, how is the life blessed which is so 
within his will as not to be within his power ? 
And whereas no one is blessed who wills 
something that he does not have, how much 
less is he blessed who is quitted against his 
will, not by honor, nor by possessions, nor 
by any other thing, but by the blessed life 
itself, since he will have no life at all ? And 
hence, although no feeling is left for his life 
to be thereby miserable (for the blessed life 
quits him, because life altogether quits him), 
yet he is wretched as long as he feels, be- 
cause he knows that against -his will that is 
being destroyed for the sake of which he 
loves all else, and which he loves beyond all 
else. A life therefore cannot both be blessed, 
and yet quit a man against his will, since no 
one becomes blessed against his will; and 
hence how much more does it make a man 
miserable by quitting him against his will, 
when it would make him miserable if he had 
it against his will ! But if it quit him with 
his will, even so how was that a blessed life, 
which he who had it willed should perish ? 
It remains then for them to say, that neither 
of these is in the mind of the blessed man; 
that is, that he is neither unwilling nor willing 
to be quitted by a blessed life, when through 
death life quits him altogether; for that he 
stands firm with an even heart, prepared alike 
for either alternative. But neither is that a 
blessed life which is such as to be unworthy 
of his love whom it makes blessed. For how 
is that a blessed life which the blessed man 
.does not love? Or how is that loved, of 
which it is received indifferently, whether it 
is to flourish or to perish ? Unless perhaps 
the virtues, which we love in this way on 
account of blessedness alone, venture to 
persuade us that we do not love blessedness 
itself. Yet if they did this, we should cer- 
tainly leave off loving the virtues themselves, 
when we do not love that on account oi 

which alone we loved them. And further, 
how will that opinion be true, which has been 
so tried, and sifted, and thoroughly strained, 
and is so certain, viz. that all men will to be 
blessed, if they themselves who are already 
blessed neither will nor do not will to be 
blessed ? Or if they will it, as truth pro- 
claims, as nature constrains, in which indeed 
the supremely good and unchangeably 
blessed Creator has implanted that will: if, I 
say, they will to be blessed who are blessed, 
certainly they do no will to be not blessed. 
But if they do not will not to be blessed, 
without doubt they do not will to be annihi- 
lated and perish in regard to their blessed- 
ness. But they cannot be blessed except 
they are alive; therefore they do not will so 
to perish in regard to their life. Therefore, 
whoever are either truly blessed or desire to 
be so, will to be immortal. But he does not 
live blessedly who has not that which he wills. 
Therefore it follows that in no way can life 
be truly blessed unless it be eternal. 


12. Whether human nature can receive 
this, which yet it confesses to be desirable, 
is no small question. But if faith be present, 
which is in those to whom Jesus has given 
power to become the sons of God, then there 
is no question. Assuredly, of those who 
endeavor to discover it from human reason- 
ings, scarcely a few, and they endued with 
great abilities, and abounding in leisure, and 
learned with the most subtle learning, have 
been able to attain to the investigation of 
the immortality of the soul alone. And even 
for the soul they have not found a blessed 
life that is stable, that is, true; since they 
have said that it returns to the miseries of 
this life even after blessedness. And they 
among them who are ashamed of this opinion, 
and have thought that the purified soul is to 
be placed in eternal happiness without a 
body, hold such opinions concerning the past 
eternity of the world, as to confute this 
opinion of theirs concerning the soul: a thing 
which here it is too long to demonstrate; but 
it has been, as I think, sufficiently explained 
by us in the twelfth book of the City of God* 
But that faith promises, not by human rea- 
soning, but by divine authority, that the 
whole man, who certainly consists of soul 

1 C. 20. 



[Book XIII. 

and body, shall be immortal, and on this ac- 
count truly blessed. And so, when it had 
been said in the Gospel, that Jesus has given 
" power to become the sons of God to them 
who received Him; '' and what it is to have 
received Him had been shortly explained by 
saying, " To them that believe on His name; " 
and it was further added in what way they 
are to become sons of God, viz., "Which 
were born not of blood, nor of the will of the 
flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God; " 
lest that infirmity of men which we all see 
and bear should despair of attaining so great 
excellence, it is added in the same place, 
"And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt 
among us;" 1 that, on the contrary, men 
might be convinced of that which seemed 
incredible. For if He who is by nature the 
Son of God was made the Son of man through 
mercy for the sake of the sons of men, for 
this is what is meant by " The Word was 
made flesh, and dwelt among us " men, 
how much more credible is it that the sons of 
men by nature should be made the sons of 
God by the grace of God, and should dwell 
in God, in whom alone and from whom alone 
the blessed can be made partakers of that 
immortality; of which that we might be con- 
vinced, the Son of God was made partaker 
of our mortality ? 


13. Those then who say, What, had God 
no other way by which He might free men from 
the misery of this mortality, that He should 
will the only-begotten Son, God co-eternal 
with Himself, to become man, by putting on 
a human soul and flesh, and being made 
mortal to endure death? these, I say, it is 
not enough so to refute, as to assert that 
that mode by which God deigns to free us 
through the Mediator of God and men, the 
man Christ Jesus, is good and suitable to the 
-dignity of God; but we must show also, not 
indeed that no other mode was possible to 
God, to whose power all things are equally 
subject, but that there neither was nor need 
have been any other mode more appropriate for 
curing our misery. For what was so neces- 
sary for the building up of our hope, and for 
the freeing the minds of mortals cast down 
by the condition of mortality itself, from 
despair of immortality, than that it should be 
demonstrated to us at how great a price God 

1 John 1. 12-14. 

rated us, and how greatly He loved us ? But 
what is more manifest and evident in this so 
great proof hereof, than that the Son of God, 
unchangeably good, remaining what He was 
in Himself, and receiving from us and for us 
what He was not, apart from any loss of His 
own nature, and deigning to enter into the 
fellowship of ours, should first, without any 
evil desert of His own, bear our evils; and so 
with unobligated munificence should bestow 
His own gifts upon us, who now believe how 
much God loves us, and who now hope that 
of which we used to despair, without any 
good deserts of our own, nay, with our evil 
deserts too going before? 

14. Since those also which are called our 
deserts, are His gifts. For, that faith may 
work by love, 2 "the love of God is shed 
abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which 
is given unto us/' 3 And He was then given, 
when Jesus was glorified by the resurrection. 
For then He promised that He Himself 
would send Him, and He sent Him; 4 be- 
cause then, as it was written and foretold of 
Him, "He ascended up on high, He led 
captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men." 5 
These gifts constitute our deserts, by which 
we arrive at the chief good of an immortal 
blessedness. " But God," says the apostle, 
" commendeth His love towards us, in that, 
while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 
Much more, then, being now justified by His 
blood, we shall be saved from wrath through 
Him." To this he goes on to add, " For if, 
when we were enemies, we were reconciled to 
God by the death of His Son; much more, 
being reconciled, we shall be saved by His 
life." Those whom he first calls sinners he 
afterwards calls the enemies of God; and 
those whom he first speaks of as justified by 
His blood, he afterwards speaks of as recon- 
ciled by the death of the Son of God; and 
those whom he speaks of first as saved from 
wrath through Him, he afterwards speaks of 
as saved by His life. We were not, there- 
fore, before that grace merely anyhow sinners, 
but in such sins that we were enemies of 
God. But the same apostle calls us above 
several times by two appellations, viz. sinners 
and enemies of God, one as if the most 
mild, the other plainly the most harsh, 
saying, "For if when we were yet weak, in* 
due time Christ died for the ungodly." 6 
Those whom he called weak, the same he 
called ungodly. Weakness seems something 
slight; but sometimes it is such as to be called 
impiety. Yet except it were weakness, it 

2 Gal. v. 5. 3 Rom. v. 4, 5. 

4 John xx, 22, vii. 39, and xv. 26. 

5 Eph. iv. 8 and Ps. lxviii. 18. 6 Rom. v. 6-10. 

Chap. XII.] 



would not need a physician, who is in the 
Hebrew Jesus, in the Greek Iioryjp, but in 
our speech Saviour. And this word the Latin 
language had not previously, but could have, 
seeing that it could have it when it wanted it. 
And this foregoing sentence of the apostle, 
where he says, " For when we were yet weak, 
in due time He died for the ungodly," coheres 
with those two following sentences; in the one 
of which he spoke of sinners, in the other of 
enemies of God, as though he referred each 
severally to each, viz. sinners to the weak, the 
enemies of God to the ungodly. 



15. But what is meant by " justified in His 
blood ?" What power is there in this blood, I 
beseech you, that they who believe should be 
justified in it ? And what is meant by "being 
reconciled by the death of His Son ?" Was it 
indeed so, that when God the Father was wroth 
with us, He saw the death of His Son for us, and 
was appeased towards us ? Was then His Son 
already so far appeased towards us, that He 
even deigned to die for us; while the Father 
was still so far wroth, that except His Son 
died for us, He would not be appeased ? And 
what, then, is that which the same teacher of 
the Gentiles himself says in another place: 
"What shall we then say to these things ? If 
God be for us, who can be against us ? He 
that spared not His own Son, but delivered 
Him up for us all; how has He not with Him 
also freely given us all things?" 1 Pray, unless 
the Father had been already appeased, would 
He have delivered up His own Son, not 
sparing Him for us ? Does not this opinion 
seem to be as it were contrary to that ? In 
the one, the Son dies for us, and the Father 
is reconciled to us by His death; in the other, 
as though the Father first loved us, He Him- 
self on our account does not spare the Son, 
He Himself for us delivers Him up to death. 
But I see that the Father loved us also before, 
not only before the Son died for us, but before 
He created the world; the apostle himself be- 
ing witness, who says, "According as He 
hath chosen us in Him before the foundation 
of the world." 2 Nor was the Son delivered 
up for us as it were unwillingly, the Father 
Himself not sparing Him; for it is said also 
concerning Him, "Who loved me, and de- 
livered up Himself for me." 3 Therefore to- 
gether both the Father and the Son, and the 
Spirit of both, work all things equally and 
harmoniously; yet we are justified in the 
blood of Christ, and we are reconciled to God 

1 Rom. vili. 31. 


Eph. i. 4. 

3 Gal. ii. 20. 

by the death of His Son. And I will explain, 
as I shall be able, here also, how this was 
done, as much as may seem sufficient. 



16. By the justice of God in some sense, 
the human race was delivered into the power 
of the devil; the sin of the first man passing 
over originally into all of both sexes in their 
birth through conjugal union, and the debt of 
our first parents binding their whole posteri- 
ty. This delivering up is first signified in 
Genesis, where, when it had been said to the ser- 
pent, " Dust shalt thou eat," it was said to the 
man, " Dust thou art, and unto dust thou 
shalt return." 4 In the words, "Unto dust 
shalt thou return/' the death of the body is 
fore-announced, because he would not have 
experienced that either, if he had continued 
to the end upright as he was made; but in 
that it is said to him whilst still living, " Dust 
thou art," it is shown that the whole man was 
changed for the worse. For " Dust thou art" 
is much the same as, " My spirit shall not al- 
ways remain in these men, for that they also are 
flesh." 5 Therefore it was at that time shown, 
that he was delivered to him, in that it had 
been said to him, " Dust shalt thou eat." But 
the apostle declares this more clearly, where 
he says: "And you who were dead in tres- 
passes and sins, wherein in time past ye 
walked according to the course of this world, 
according to the prince of the power of the 
air, the spirit that now worketh in the children 
of unfaithfulness; among whom we also had 
our conversation in times past, in the lusts of 
our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh 
and of the mind; and were by nature the 
children of wrath, even as others." 6 The 
" children of unfaithfulness" are the unbeliev- 
ers; and who is not this before he becomes 
a believer ? And therefore all men are origi- 
nally under the prince of the power of the air, 
"who worketh in the children of unfaithful- 
ness." And that which I have expressed by 
" originally " is the same that the apostle ex- 
presses when he speaks of themselves who "by 
nature " were as others; viz. by nature as it 
has been depraved by sin, not as it was 
created upright from the beginning. But the 
way in which man was thus delivered into the 
power of the devil, ought not to be so under- 
stood as if God did this, or commanded it to 
be done; but that He only permitted it, yet 
that justly. For when He abandoned the sin- 

4 Gen. iii. 14-19. 
6 Eph. ii. 1-3. 

5 Gen. vi. 3. "Strive with man," A. V. 



[Book Xlil. 

ner, the author of the sin immediately entered. 
Yet God did not certainly so abandon His 
own creature as not to show Himself to him 
as God creating and quickening, and among 
penal evils bestowing also many good things 
upon the evil. For He hath not in anger shut 
up His tender mercies. 1 Nor did He dismiss 
man from the law of His own power, when 
He permitted him to be in the power of the 
devil; since even the devil himself is not sepa- 
rated from the power of the Omnipotent, as 
neither from His goodness. For whence do 
even the evil angels subsist in whatever man- 
ner of life they have, except through Him 
who quickens all things ? If, therefore, the 
commission of sins through the just anger 
of God subjected man to the devil, doubtless 
the remission of sins through the merciful 
reconciliation of God rescues man from the 


17. But the devil was to be overcome, not 
by the power of God, but by His righteous- 
ness. For what is more powerful than the 
Omnipotent? Or what creature is there of 
which the power can be compared to the 
power of the Creator? But since the devil, 
by the fault of his own perversity, was made 
a lover of power, and a forsaker and assailant 
of righteousness, for thus also men imitate 
him so much the more in proportion as they 
set their hearts on power, to the neglect or even 
hatred of righteousness, and as they either re- 
joice in the attainment of power, or are in- 
flamed by the lust of it, it pleased God, that 
in order to the rescuing of man from the grasp 
of the devil, the. devil should be conquered, 
not by power, but by righteousness; and that 
so also men, imitating Christ, should seek to 
conquer the devil by righteousness, not by 
power. Not that power is to be shunned as 
though it were something evil; but the order 
must be preserved, whereby righteousness is 
before it. For how great can be the power of 
mortals ? Therefore let mortals cleave to 
righteousness; power will be given to immor- 
tals. And compared to this, the power, how 
great soever, of those men who are called 
powerful on earth, is found to be ridiculous 
weakness, and a pitfall is dug there for the 
sinner, where the wicked seem to be most 
powerful. And the righteous man says in 
his song, " Blessed is the man whom Thou 
chasteneth, O Lord, and teachest him out of 
Thy law: that Thou mayest give him rest 

1 Ps. lxxvn 9. 

from the days of adversity, until the pit be 
digged for the wicked. For the Lord will not 
cast off His people, neither will He forsake 
His inheritance, until righteousness return 
unto judgment, and all who follow it are up- 
right in heart." 2 At this present time, then, 
in which the might of the people of God is 
delayed, "the Lord will not cast off His 
people, neither will He forsake His inheri- 
tance," how bitter and unworthy things so- 
ever it may suffer in its humility and weak- 
ness; "until the righteousness," which the 
weakness of the pious now possesses, "shall 
return to judgment," that is, shall receive the 
power of judging; which is preserved in the 
end for the righteous when power in its due 
order shall have followed after righteousness 
going before. For power joined to righteous- 
ness, or righteousness added to power, con- 
stitutes a judicial authority. But righteousness 
belongs to a good will; whence it was said by 
the angels when Christ was born: "Glory to 
God in the highest, and on earth peace to' 
men of good will." 3 But power ought to fol- 
low righteousness, not to go before it; and ac- 
cordingly it is placed in "second," that is, 
prosperous fortune; and this is called "sec- 
ond," 4 from "following." For whereas two 
things make a man blessed, as we have 
argued above, to will well, and to be able to 
do what one wills, people ought not to be so 
perverse, as has been noted in the same dis- 
cussion, as that a man should choose from the 
two things which make him.blessed, the being 
able to do what he wills, and should neglect 
to will what he ought; whereas he ought first 
to have a good will, but great power afterwards. 
Further, a good will must be purged from 
vices, by which if a man is overcome, he is 
in such wise overcome as that he wills evil; 
and then how will his will be still good ? It 
is to be wished, then,. that power may now 
be given, but power against vices, to conquer 
which men do not wish to be powerful, while 
they wish to be so in order to conquer men; 
and why is this, unless that, being in truth 
conquered, they feignedly conquer, and are 
conquerors not in truth, but in opinion ? Let 
a man will to be prudent, will to be strong, 
will to be temperate, will to be just; and that 
he may be able to have these things truly, let 
him certainly desire power, and seek to be 
powerful in himself, and (strange though it 
be) against himself for himself. But all the 
other things which he wills rightl)% and yet is 
not able to have, as, for instance, immortality 
and true and full felicity, let him not cease to 
long for, and let him patiently expect. 

2 Ps. xciv. 12-15. 

3 Luke ii. 14. 

4 Res secundce. 

Chap. XV.] 




18. What, then, is the righteousness by 
which the devil was conquered ? What, ex- 
cept the righteousness of Jesus Christ ? And 
how was he conquered ? Because, when he 
found in Him nothing worthy of death, yet he 
slew Him. And certainly it is just, that we 
whom he held as debtors, should be dismissed 
free by believing in Him whom he slew with- 
out any debt. In this way it is that we are 
said to be justified in the blood of Christ.' 
For so that innocent blood was shed for the 
remission of our sins. Whence He calls Him- 
self in the Psalms, " Free among the dead." 2 
For he only that is dead is free from the debt 
of death. Hence also in another psalm He 
says, "Then I restored that which I seized 
not;" 3 meaning sin by the thing seized, be- 
cause sin is laid hold of against what is lawful. 
Whence also He says, by the mouth of His own 
Flesh, as is read in the Gospel: " For the 
prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing 
in me," that is, no sin; but " that the world 
may know," He says, "that I do the command- 
ment of the Father; arise, let us go hence." 4 
And hence He proceeds to His passion, that 
He might pay for us debtors that which He 
Himself did not owe. Would then the devil 
be conquered by this most just right, if Christ 
had willed to deal with him by power, not by 
righteousness ? But He held back what was 
possible to Him, in order that He might first 
do what was fitting. And hence it was nec- 
essary that He should be both man and God. 
For unless He had been man, He could not 
have been slain; unless He had been God, 
men would not have believed that He would 
not do what He could, but that He could not 
do what He would; nor should we have 
thought that righteousness was preferred by 
Him to power, but that He lacked power. But 
now He suffered for us things belonging to 
man, because He was man ; but if He had been 
unwilling, it would have been in His power to 
not so to suffer, because He was also God. 
And righteousness was therefore made more 
acceptable in humility, because so great pow- 
er as was in His Divinity, if He had been un- 
willing, would have been able not to suffer 
humility; and thus by Him who died, being 
thus powerful, both righteousness was com- 
mended, and power promised, to us, weak 
mortals. For He did one of these two things 
by dying, the other by rising again. For 
what is more righteous, than to come even to 

1 Rom. v. q. 
3 Ps. Ixix. 4. 

2 Ps. Ixxxviii. 5. 
4 John xiv. 30-31. 

the death of the cross for righteousness ? And 
what more powerful, than to rise from the 
dead, and to ascend into heaven with that 
very flesh in which He was slain ? And there- 
fore He conquered the devil first by righteous- 
ness, and afterwards by power: namely, by 
righteousness, because He had no sin, and 
was slain by him most unjustly; but by power, 
because having been dead He lived again, 
never afterwards to die. 5 But He would have 
conquered the devil by power, even though 
He could not have been slain by him: al- 
though it belongs to a greater power to conquer 
death itself also by rising again, than to avoid 
it by living. But the reason is really a differ- 
ent one, why we are justified in the blood of 
Christ, when we are rescued from the power 
of the devil through the remission of sins: it 
pertains to this, that the devil is conquered 
by Christ by righteousness, not by power. For 
Christ was crucified, not through immortal 
power, but through the weakness which He 
took upon Him in mortal flesh; of which 
weakness nevertheless the apostle says, " that 
the weakness of God is stronger than men." 6 


19. It is not then difficult to see that the 
devil was conquered, when he who was slain by 
Him rose again. It is something more, and 
more profound of comprehension, to see that 
the devil was conquered when he thought 
himself to have conquered, that is, when 
Christ was slain. For then that blood, since 
it was His who had no sin at all, was poured 
out for the remission of our sins; that, be- 
cause the devil deservedly held those whom, 
as guilty of sin, he bound by the condition of 
death, he might deservedly loose them through 
Him, whom, as guilty of no sin, the punish- 
ment of death undeservedly affected. The 
strong man was conquered by this righteous- 
ness, and bound with this chain, that his ves- 
sels might be spoiled, 7 which with himself and 
his angels had been vessels of wrath while 
with him, and might be turned into vessels of 
mercy. 8 For the Apostle Paul tells us, that 
these words of our Lord Jesus Christ Himself 
were spoken from heaven to him when he was 
first called. For among the other things which 
he heard, he speaks also of this as said to him 
thus: " For I have appeared unto thee for this 
purpose, to make thee a minister and a wit- 
ness both of these things which thou hast seen 
from me, and of those things in the which I 
will appear unto thee; delivering thee from 
the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom 
now I send thee, to open the eyes of the blind, 

5 Rom. vi. 9. 6 1 Cor. i. 2S. 7 Mark iii. 27. a Rom. ix. 22, 23. 

i 7 8 


[Book XIII. 

and to turn them from darkness [to light], 
and from the power of Satan unto God, that 
they may receive forgiveness of sins, and in- 
heritance among them which are sanctified, 
and faith that is in me." * And hence the same 
apostle also, exhorting believers to the giving 
of thanks to God the Father, says: " Who 
hath delivered us from the power of darkness, 
and hath translated us into the kingdom of 
His dear Son: in whom we have redemption, 
even the forgiveness of sins." " In this re- 
demption, the blood of Christ was given, as 
it were, as a price 'for us, by accepting which 
the devil was not enriched, but bound: 3 that 
we might be loosened from his bonds, and 
that he might not with himself involve in the 
meshes of sins, and so deliver to the destruc- 
tion of the second and eternal death/ any 
one of those whom Christ, free from all debt, 
had redeemed by pouring out His own blood 
unindebtedly; but that they who belong to 
the grace of Christ, foreknown, and predes- 
tinated, and elected before the foundation of 
the world, 5 should only so far die as Christ 
Himself died for them, i.e. only by the death 
of the flesh, not of the spirit. 



20. For although the death, too, of the 
flesh itself came originally from the sin of the 
first man, yet the good use of it has made 
most glorious martyrs. And so not only that 
death itself, but all the evils of this world, 
and the griefs and labors of men, although 
they come from the deserts of sins, and es- 
pecially of original sin, whence life itself too 
became bound by the bond of death, yet 
have fitly remained, even when sin is for- 
given; that man might have wherewith to 
contend for truth, and whereby the goodness 
of the faithful might be exercised; in order 
that the new man through the new covenant 
might be made ready among the evils of this 
world for a new world, by bearing wisely the 
misery which this condemned life deserved, 
and by rejoicing soberly because it will be 

1 Acts xxvi. 16-18. - Col. i. 13, 14. 

3 [In this representation of A ugustin, the relics of that mis- 
conception which appears in the earlier soteriology, particularly 
that of Irenaeus, are seen : namely, that the death of Christ ran- 
soms the sinner from Satan. Certain texts which teach that re- 
demption delivers from the captivity to sin and Satan, were inter- 
preted to teach deliverance from the claims of Satan. Augustin's 
soteriology is more free from this error than that of Irenaeus, yet 
not entirely free from it. The doctrine of justification did not ob- 
tain its most consistent and complete statement in the Patristic 
church. W. G. T. S.] 

4 Apoc. xxi. 8. 5 1 Pet. i. 20. 

finished, but expecting faithfully and pa- 
tiently the blessedness which the future life, 
being set free, will have for ever. For the 
devil being cast forth from his dominion, and 
from the hearts of the faithful, in the con- 
demnation and faithlessness of whom he, al- 
though himself also condemned, yet reigned, 
is only so far permitted to be an adversary 
according to the condition of this mortality, 
as God knows to be expedient for them: con- 
cerning which the sacred writings speak 
through the mouth of the apostle: ''God is 
faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted 
above that ye are able; but will with the 
temptation also make a way to escape, that 
ye may be able to bear it." 6 And those evils 
which the faithful endure piously, are of pro- 
fit either for the correction of sins, or for the 
exercising and proving of righteousness, or to 
manifest the misery of this life, that the life 
where will be that true and perpetual blessed- 
ness may be desired more ardently, and 
sought out more earnestly. But it is on their 
account that these evils are still kept in be- 
ing, of whom the apostle says: " For we know 
that all things work together for good to 
them that love God, to them who are called 
to be holy according to His purpose. For 
whom He did foreknow, He also did predes- 
tinate to be conformed to the image of His 
Son, that He might be the first-born among 
many brethren. Moreover, whom He did 
predestinate, them He also called; and whom 
He called, them He also justified; and whom 
He justified, them He also glorified." It is 
of these who are predestinated, that not one 
shall perish with the devil; not one shall re- 
main even to death under the power of the 
devil. And then follows what I have already 
cited above: 7 "What shall we then say to 
these things? If God be for us, who can be 
against us ? He that spared not His own Son, 
but delivered Him up for us all; how has He 
not with Him also freely given us all things ?" 8 
21. Why then should the death of Christ, 
not have come to pass ? Nay, rather, why 
should not that death itself have been chosen 
above all else to be brought to pass, to the 
passing by of the other innumerable ways 
which He who is omnipotent could have em- 
ployed to free us; that death, I say, wherein 
neither was anything diminished or changed 
from His divinity, and so great benefit was 
conferred upon men, from the humanity which 
He took upon Him, that a temporal death, 
which was not due, was rendered by the eter- 
nal Son of God, who was also the Son of man, 
whereby He might free them from an eternal 

6 1 Cor. x. 13. 

7 C. 2. 

8 Rom. viii. 28-32. 

Chap. XVII.] 



death which was due ? The devil was hold- 
ing fast our sins, and through them was fix- 
ing us deservedly in death. He discharged 
them, who had none of His own, and who was 
led by him to death undeservedly. That j 
blood was of such price, that he who even 
slew Christ for a time by a death which was ! 
not due, can as his due detain no one, who 
has put on Christ, in the eternal death which 
was due. Therefore " God commendeth His 
love towards us, in that, while we were yet 
sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, 
being now justified in His blood, we shall be 
saved from wrath through Him." Justified, 
he says, in His blood, justified plainly, in 
that we are freed from all sin; and freed from 
all sin, because the Son of God, who knew no 
sin, was slain for us. Therefore "we shall 
be saved from wrath through Him;" from the 
wrath certainly of God, which is nothing else 
but just retribution. For the wrath of God 
is not, as is that of man, a perturbation of the 
mind; but it is the wrath of Him to whom 
Holy Scripture says in another place, " But 
Thou, O Lord, mastering Thy power, judg- 
est with calmness." ' If, therefore, the just 
retribution of God has received such a name, 
what can be the right understanding also of 
the reconciliation of God, unless that then 
such wrath comes to an end ? Neither were 
we enemies to God, except as sins are enemies 
to righteousness; which being forgiven, such 
enmities come to an end, and they whom He 
Himself justifies are reconciled to the Just 
One. And yet certainly He loved them even 
while still enemies, since " He spared not His 
own Son, but delivered Him up for us all," 
when we were still enemies. And therefore 
the apostle has rightly added: " For if, when 
we were enemies, we were reconciled to God 
by the death of His Son," by which that re- 
mission of sins was made, " much more, be- 
ing reconciled, we shall be saved in His life." 
Saved in life, who were reconciled by death. 
For who can doubt that He will give His life 
for His friends, for whom, when enemies, 
He gave His death? "And not only so," 
he says, "but we also joy in God, through 
our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now 
received the atonement." "Not only," he 
says, "shall we be saved," but "we also 
joy;" and not in ourselves, but "in God;" 
nor through ourselves, "but through our 
Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now re- 
ceived the atonement," as we have argued 
above. Then the apostle adds, "Wherefore, 
as by one man sin entered into the world, and 
death by sin; and so death passed upon all 

1 Wisd. xii. 18. 

men, in whom all have sinned;" 2 etc.: in 
which he disputes at some length concerning 
the two men; the one the first Adam, through 
whose sin and death we, his descendants, are 
bound by, as it were, hereditary evils; and 
the other the second Adam, who is not only 
man, but also God, by whose payment for us 
of what He owed not, we are freed from the 
debts both of our first father and of ourselves. 
Further, since on account of that one the 
devil held all who were begotten through his 
corrupted carnal concupiscence, it is just that 
on account of this one he should loose all who 
are regenerated through His immaculate 
spiritual grace. 


22. There are many other things also in 
the incarnation of Christ, displeasing as it is 
to the proud, that are to be observed and 
thought of advantageously. And one of 
them is, that it has been demonstrated to man 
what place he has in the things which God 
has created; since human nature could so be 
joined to God, that one person could be made 
of two substances, and thereby indeed of 
three God, soul, and flesh: so that those 
proud malignant spirits, who interpose them- 
selves as mediators to deceive, although as 
if to help, do not therefore dare to place 
themselves above man because they have not 
flesh; and chiefly because the Son of God 
deigned to die also in the same flesh, lest 
they, because they seem to be immortal, 
should therefore succeed in getting them- 
selves worshipped as gods. Further, that the 
grace of God might be commended to us in 
the man Christ without any precedent merits; 
because not even He Himself obtained by any 
precedent merits that He should be joined in 
such great unity with the true God, and 
should become the Son of God, one Person 
with Him; but from the time when He began 
to be man, from that time He is also God; 
whence it is said, "The Word was made 
flesh." 3 Then, again, there is this, that the c 
pride of man, which is the chief hindrance \ 
against his cleaving to God, can be confuted 
and healed through such great humility of 
God. Man learns also how far he has gone 
away from God; and what it is worth to him 
as a pain to cure him, when he returns 
through such a Mediator, who both as God 
assists men by His divinity, and as man 
agrees with men by His weakness. For what 
greater example of obedience could be given 
to us, who had perished through disobedience, 

Rom. v. 8, 12. 

3 John i. 14. 



[Book XIII. 

than God the Son obedient to God the Father, 
even to the death of the cross ? * Nay, 
wherein could the reward of obedience itself 
be better shown, than in the flesh of so great 
a Mediator, which rose again to eternal life ? 
It belonged also to the justice and goodness 
of the Creator, that the devil should be con- 
quered by the same rational creature which 
he rejoiced to have conquered, and by one 
that came from that same race which, by the 
corruption of its origin through one, he held 


23. For assuredly God could have taken 
upon Himself to be man, that in that man- 
hood He might be the Mediator between 
God and men, from some other source, and 
not from the race of that Adam who bound 
the human race by his sin; as He did not 
create him whom He first created, of the 
race of some one else. Therefore He was 
able, either so, or in any other mode that He 
would, to create yet one other, by whom the 
conqueror of the first might be conquered. 
But God judged it better both to take upon 
Him man through whom to conquer the 
enemy of the human race, from the race it- 
self that had been conquered; and yet to do 
this of a virgin, whose conception, not flesh 
but spirit, not? lust but faith, preceded. 2 Nor 
did that concupiscence of the flesh intervene, 
by which the rest of men, who derive original 
sin, are propagated and conceived; but holy 
virginity became pregnant, not by conjugal 
intercourse, but by faith, lust being utterly 
absent, so that that which was born from the 
root of the first man might derive only the 
origin of race, not also of guilt. For there 
was born, not a nature corrupted by the con- 
tagion of transgression, but the one only 
remedy of all such corruptions. There was 
born, I say, a Man having nothing at all, and 
to have nothing at all, of sin; through whom 
they were to be born again so as to be freed 
from sin, who could not be born without sin. 
For although conjugal chastity makes a right 
use of the carnal concupiscence which is in 
our members; yet it is liable to motions not 
voluntary, by which it shows either that it 
could not have existed at all in paradise be- 
fore sin, or if it did, that it was not then such 
as that sometimes it should resist the will. 
But now we feel it to be such, that in oppo- 
sition to the law of the mind, and even if 
there is no question of begetting, it works in 

1 Phil. ii. 3. 

2 Luke i. 26-32. 

us the incitement of sexual intercourse; and 
if in this men yield to it, then it is satisfied 
by an act of sin; if they do not, then it is 
bridled by an act of refusal: which two things 
who could doubt to have been alien from 
paradise before sin ? For neither did the 
chastity that then was do anything indecor- 
ous, nor did the pleasure that then was suffer 
anything unquiet. It was necessary, there- 
fore, that this carnal concupiscence should 
be entirely absent, when the offspring of the 
Virgin was conceived; in whom the author of 
death was to find nothing worthy of death, 
and yet was to slay Him in order that he 
might be conquered by the death of the 
Author of life: the conqueror of the first 
Adam, who held fast the human race, con- 
quered by the second Adam, and losing the 
Christian race, freed out of the human race 
from human guilt, through Him who was not 
in the guilt, although He was of the race; 
that that deceiver might be conquered by 
that race which he had conquered by guilt. 
And this was so done, in order that man may 
not be lifted up, but "that he that glorieth 
should glory in the Lord." 3 For he who was 
conquered was only man; and he was there- 
fore conquered, because he lusted proudiy to 
be a god. But He who conquered was both 
man and God; and therefore He so con- 
quered, being born of a virgin, because God 
in humility did not, as He governs other 
saints, so govern that Man, but bare Him [as 
a Son]. These so great gifts of God, and 
whatever else there are, which it is too long 
for us now upon this subject both to inquire 
and to discuss, could not exist unless the 
Word had been made flesh. 


24. And all these things which the Word 
made flesh did and bare for us in time and 
place, belong, according to the distinction 
which we have undertaken to demonstrate, 
to knowledge, not to wisdom. And as the 
Word is without time and without place, it 
is co-eternal with the Father, and in its 
wholeness everywhere; and if any one can, 
and as much as he can, speak truly concern- 
ing this Word, then his discourse will pertain 
to wisdom. And hence the Word made flesh, 
which is Christ Jesus, has the treasures both 
of wisdom and of knowledge. For the apos- 
tle, writing to the Colossians, says: "For I 
would that ye knew what great conflict I have 
for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for 
as many as have not seen my face in the 

3 2 Cor. x. 17. 

Chap. XX.] 



flesh; that their hearts might be comforted, 
being knit together in love, and unto all riches 
of the full assurance of understanding, to the 
acknowledgment of the mystery of God, 
which is Christ Jesus: in whom are hid all 
the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." x 
To what extent the apostle knew all those 
treasures, how much of them he had pene- 
trated, and in them to how great things he 
had reached, who can know ? Yet, for my 
part, according to that which is written, "But 
the manifestation of the Spirit is given to 
every man to profit withal; for to one is given 
by the Spirit the word of wisdom, to another 
the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; " 2 
if these two are in such way to be distin- 
guished from each other, that wisdom is to be 
assigned to divine things, knowledge to human, 
I acknowledge both in Christ, and so with me 
do all His faithful ones. And when I read, 
"The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among 
us," I understand by the Word the true Son 
of God, I acknowledge in the flesh the true 
Son of man, and both together joined into 
one Person of God and man, by an ineffable 
copiousness of grace. And on account of 
this, the apostle goes on to say, "And we 
beheld His glory, the glory as of the Only- 
begotten of the Father, full of grace and 
truth. 3 If we refer grace to knowledge, and 
truth to wisdom, I think we shall not swerve 
from that distinction between these two things 
which we have commended. For in those 
things that have their origin in time, this is 
the highest grace, that man is joined with 
God in unity of person; but in things eternal 
the highest truth is rightly attributed to the 
Word of God. But that the same is Himself 
the Only-begotten of the Father, full of 
grace and truth, this took place, in order 
that He Himself in things done for us in time 
should be the same for whom we are cleansed 
by the same faith, that we may contemplate 
Him steadfastly in things eternal. And 
those distinguished philosophers of the 
heathen who have been able to understand and 
discern the invisible things of God by those 
things which are made, have yet, as is said 
of them, " held down the truth in iniquity; " 4 
because they philosophized without a Medi- 
ator, that is, without the man Christ, whom 
they neither believed to be about to come at 
the word of the prophets, nor to have come 
at that of the apostles. For, placed as they 
were in these lowest things, they could not 
but seek some media through which they 
might attain to those lofty things which they 
had understood; and so they fell upon deceit- 

Col. ii. 1-3. 
John i. 14. 

2 1 Cor. xii. 7, 8. 

4 Rom. i. 23 ; detinueru , 

ful spirits, through whom it came to pass, 
that "they changed the glory of the incorrup- 
tible God into an image made like to corrup- 
tible man, and to birds, and four-footed 
beasts, and creeping things." 5 For in such 
forms also they set up or worshipped idols. 
Therefore Christ is our knowledge, and the 
same Christ is also our wisdom. He Himself 
implants in us faith concerning temporal 
things, He Himself shows forth the truth con- 
cerning eternal things. Through Him we 
reach on to Himself: we stretch through 
knowledge to wisdom; yet we do not withdraw 
from one and the same Christ, " in whom are 
hidden all the treasures of wisdom and of 
knowledge/' But now we speak of knowl- 
edge, and will hereafter speak of wisdom as 
much as He Himself shall grant. And let 
us not so take these two things, as if it were 
not allowable to speak either of the wisdom 
which is in human things, or of the knowl- 
edge which is in divine. For after a laxer 
custom of speech, both can be called wisdom, 
and both knowledge. Yet the apostle could 
not in any way have written, " To one is given 
the word of wisdom, to another the word of 
knowledge," except also these several things 
had been properly called by the several names, 
of the distinction between which we are now 



25. Now, therefore, let us see what this 
prolix discourse has effected, what it has 
gathered, whereto it has reached. It belongs 
to all men to will to be blessed; yet all men 
have not faith, whereby the heart is cleansed, 
and so blessedness is reached. And thus it 
comes to pass, that by means of the faith 
which not all men will, we have to reach on 
to the blessedness which every one wills. All 
see in their own heart that they will to be 
blessed; and so great is the agreement of 
human nature on this subject, that the man 
is not deceived who conjectures this concern- 
ing another's mind, out of his own: in short, 
we know ourselves that all will this. But 
many despair of being immortal, although no 
otherwise can any one be that which all will, 
that is, blessed. Yet they will also to be im- 
mortal if they could; but through not believ- 
ing that they can, they do not so live that 
they can. Therefore faith is necessary, that 
we' may attain blessedness in all the good 
things of human nature, that is, of both soul 

S Rom. i. 18, 20. 



[Book XIIL 

and body. But that same faith requires that 
this faith be limited in Christ, who rose in the 
flesh from the dead, not to die any more; 
and that no one is freed from the dominion 
of the devil, through the forgiveness of sins, 
save by Him; and that in the abiding place 
of the devil, life must needs be at once miser- 
able and never-ending, which ought rather to 
be called death than life. All which I have 
also argued, so far as space permitted, in this 
book, while I have already said much on the 
subject in the fourth book of this work as 
well; 1 but in that place for one purpose, here 
for another, namely, there, that I might 
show why and how Christ was sent in the full- 
ness of time by the Father, 2 on account of 
those who say that He who sent and He who 
was sent cannot be equal in nature; but here, 
in order to distinguish practical knowlege 
from contemplative wisdom. 

26. For we wished to ascend, as it were, 
by steps, and to seek in the inner man, both 
in knowledge and in wisdom, a sort of trinity 
of its own special kind, such as we sought be- 
fore in the outer man; in order that we may 
come, with a mind more practised in these 
lower things, to the contemplation of that 
Trinity which is God, according to our little 
measure, if indeed, we can even do this, at 
least in a riddle and as through a glass. 3 If, 
then, any one have committed to memory the 
words of this faith in their sounds alone, not 
knowing what they mean, as they commonly 
who do not know Greek hold in memory 
Greek words, or similarly Latin ones, or those 
of any other language of which they are ig- 
norant, has not he a sort of trinity in his 
mind ? because, first, those sounds of words 
are in his memory, even when he does not 
think thereupon; and next, the mental vision 
(aa'es) of his act of recollection is formed 
thence when he conceives of them; and next, 
the will of him who remembers and thinks 
unites both. Yet we should by no means say 
that the man in so doing busies himself with 
a trinity of the interior man, but rather of the 
exterior; because he remembers, and when 
he wills, contemplates as much as he wills, 
that alone which belongs to the sense of the 
body, which is called hearing. Nor in such 
an act of thought does he do anything else 
than deal with images of corporeal things, 
that is, of sounds. But if he holds and recol- 
lects what those words signify, now indeed 
something of the inner man is brought into 

1 Cc. 19-21. 

2 Gal. iv. 4. 

3 1 Cor. xiii. 12. 

action; not yet, however, ought he to be said 
or thought to live according to a trinity of the 
inner man, if he does not love those things 
which are there declared, enjoined, promised. 
For it is possible for him also to hold and 
conceive these things, supposing them to be 
false, in order that he may endeavor to dis- 
prove them. Therefore that will, which in 
this case unites those things which are held 
in the memory with those things which are 
thence impressed on the mind's eye in con- 
ception, completes, indeed, some kind of trin- 
ity, since itself is a third added to two others; 
but the man does not live according to this, 
when those things which are conceived are 
taken to be false, and are not accepted. But 
when those things are believed to be true, and 
those things which therein ought to be loved, 
are loved, then at last the man does live accord- 
ing to a trinity of the inner man; for every one 
lives according to that which he loves. But how 
can things be loved which are not known, but 
only believed? This question has been al- 
ready treated of in former books; 4 and we 
found, that no one loves what he is wholly 
ignorant of, but that when things not known 
are said to be loved, they are loved from 
those things which are known. And now we 
so conclude this book, that we admonish the 
just to live by faith, 5 which faith worketh by 
love, 6 so that the virtues also themselves, by 
which one lives prudently, boldly, temper- 
ately, and justly, be all referred to the same 
faith; for not otherwise can they be true vir- 
tues. And yet these in this life are not of so 
great worth, as that the remission of sins, of 
some kind or other, is not' sometimes neces- 
sary here; and this remission comes not to 
pass, except through Him, who by His own 
blood conquered the prince of sinners. What- 
soever ideas are in the mind of the faithful 
man from this faith, and from such a life, 
when they are contained in the memory, and 
are looked at by recollection, and please the 
will, set forth a kind of trinity of its own 
sort. 7 But the image of God, of which by 
His help we shall afterwards speak, is not yet 
in that trinity; a thing which will then be 
more apparent, when it shall have been shown 
where it is, which the reader may expect in a 
succeeding book. 

4 Ek. viii. cc. 8 seqq., and Bk. x. c. 1, etc. 

5 Rom. i. 1-. 6 Gal. v. 6. 

7 [The ternary is this : 1. The idea of a truth or fact held in 
the memory. 2. The contemplation of it as thus recollected. 3. 
The love of it. This last is the " will" that " unites" the first 
two.-W. G. T. S.] 





i. We must now discourse concerning wis- 
dom; not the wisdom of God, which without 
doubt is God, for His only-begotten Son is 
called the wisdom of God; 1 but we will speak 
of the wisdom of man, yet of true wisdom, 
which is according to God, and is His true 
and chief worship, which is called in Greek 
by one term, dsovifieia. And this term, as we 
have already observed, when our own coun- 
trymen themselves also wished to interpret 
it by a single term, was by them rendered 
piety, whereas pietv means more commonly 
what the Greeks call ebaipeta. But because 
Oeoffifieia cannot be translated perfectly by 
any one word, it is better translated by two, 
so as to render it rather by " the worship of 
God." That this is the wisdom of man, as 
we have already laid down in the twelfth 
book 2 of this work, is shown by the authority 
of Holy Scripture, in the book of God's ser- 
vant Job, where we read that the Wisdom of 
God said to man, " Behold piety, that is wis- 
dom; and to depart from evil is knowledge;" 3 
or, as some have translated the Greek word 
imffTTJfuqv, "learning/' 4 which certainly takes 
its name from learning, 4 whence also it may 
be called knowledge. For everything is 
learned in order that it may be known. Al- 

though the same word, indeed, 3 is employed 
in a different sense, where any one suffers 
evils for his sins, that he may be corrected. 
Whence is that in the Epistle to the Hebrews, 
" For what son is he to whom the father giv- 
eth not discipline?" And this is still more 
apparent in the same epistle: " Now no chast- 
ening 6 for the present seemeth to be joyous, 
but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yield- 
eth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto 
them which are exercised thereby." 7 There- 
fore God Himself is the chiefest wisdom; but 
the worship of God is the wisdom of man, of 
which we now speak. For "the wisdom of 
this world is foolishness with God." 8 It is 
in respect to this wisdom, therefore, which is 
the worship of God, that Holy Scripture says, 
" The multitude of the wise is the welfare of 
the world. "^ 

2. But if to dispute of wisdom belongs to 
wise men, what shall we do? Shall we dare 
indeed to profess wisdom, lest it should be 
mere impudence for ourselves to dispute 
about it ? Shall we not be alarmed by the ex- 
ample of Pythagoras ? who dared not profess 
to be a wise man, but answered that he was a 
philosopher, i.e., a lover of wisdom; whence 
arose the name, that became thenceforth so 
much the popular name, that no matter how 
great the learning wherein any one excelled, 
either in his own opinion or that of others, in 
things pertaining to wisdom, he was still 
called nothing more than philosopher. Or 
was it for this reason that no one, even of 

1 Ecclus. xxiv. 5 and i Cor. i. 24. 
3 Job. xxviii. 28. 

2 C. 14. 

Discijiiina, disco. 

5 Disriplina. 
8 1 Cor. iii. 19. 

6 Piscifilina. 
9 Wisd. vi. 26. 

7 Heb. xii. 7, 11. 

1 84 


[Book XIV. 

such as these, dared to profess himself a wise 
man, because they imagined that a wise man 
was one without sin ? But our Scriptures 
do not say this, which say, " Rebuke a wise 
man, and he will love thee." * For doubtless 
he who thinks a man ought to be rebuked, 
judges him to have sin. However, for my 
part, I dare not profess myself a wise man 
even in this sense; it is enough for me to as- 
sume, what they themselves cannot deny, 
that to dispute of wisdom belongs also to the 
philosopher, i.e., the lover of wisdom. For 
they have not given over so disputing who 
have professed to be lovers of wisdom rather 
than wise men. 

3. In disputing, then, about wisdom, they 
have defined it thus: Wisdom is the knowl- 
edge of things human and divine. And 
hence, in the last book, I have not withheld 
the admission, that the cognizance of both 
subjects, whether divine or human, may be 
called both knowledge and wisdom. 2 But 
according to the distinction made in the apos- 
tle's words, " To one is given the word of wis- 
dom, to another the word of knowledge," 3 
this definition is to be divided, so that the 
knowledge of things divine shall be called 
wisdom, and that of things human appropri- 
ate to itself the name of knowledge; and of 
the latter I have treated in the thirteenth 
book, not indeed so as to attribute to this 
knowledge everything whatever that can be 
known by man about things human, wherein 
there is exceeding much of empty vanity and 
mischievous curiosity, but only those things 
by which that most wholesome faith, which 
leads to true blessedness, is begotten, nour- 
ished, defended, strengthened; and in this 
knowledge most of the faithful are not strong, 
however exceeding strong in the faith itself. 
For it is one thing to know only what man 
ought to believe in order to attain to a blessed 
life, which must needs be an eternal one; but 
another to know in what way this belief itself 
may both help the pious, and be defended 
against the impious, which last the apostle 
seems to call by the special name of knowl- 
edge. And when I was speaking of this 
knowledge before, my especial business was 
to commend faith, first briefly distinguishing 
things eternal from things temporal, and 
there discoursing of things temporal; but 
while deferring things eternal to the present 
book, I showed also that faith respecting 
things eternal is itself a thing temporal, and 
dwells in time in the hearts of believers, and 
yet is necessary in order to attain the things 
eternal themselves. 4 I argued also, that faith 

1 Prov. ix. S. 
3 1 Cor. xiii. 12. 

- Bk. xiii. cc. 1, 19. 
4 Bk. xiii. c. 7. 

respecting the things temporal which He that 
is eternal did and suffered for us as man, 
which manhood He bare in time and carried 
on to things eternal, is profitable also for the 
obtaining of things eternal; and that the vir- 
tues themselves, whereby in this temporal 
and mortal life men live prudently, bravely, 
temperately, and justly, are not true virtues, 
unless they are referred to that same faith, 
temporal though it is, which leads on never- 
theless to things eternal. 



4. Wherefore since, as it is written, " While 
we are in the body, we are absent from the 
Lord; for we walk by faith, not by sight;" 5 
undoubtedly, so long as the just man lives 
by faith, 6 howsoever he lives according to the 
inner man, although he aims at truth and 
reaches on to things eternal by this same 
temporal faith, nevertheless in the holding, 
contemplating, and loving this temporal faith, 
we have not yet reached such a trinity as is to 
be called an image of God; lest that should 
seem to be constituted in things temporal 
which ought to be so in things eternal. For 
when the human mind sees its own faith, 
whereby it believes what it does not see, it 
does not see a thing eternal. For that will 
not always exist, which certainly will not then 
exist, when this pilgrimage, whereby we are 
absent from God, in such way that we must 
needs walk by faith, shall be ended, and that 
sight shall have succeeded it whereby we 
shall see face to face; 7 just as now, because 
we believe although we do not see, we shall 
deserve to see, and shall rejoice at having 
been brought through faith to sight. For 
then it will be no longer faith, by which that 
is believed which is not seen; but sight, by 
which that is seen which is believed. And 
then, therefore, although we remember this 
past mortal life, and call to mind by recollec- 
tion that we once believed what we did not 
see, yet that faith will be reckoned among 
things past and done with, not among things 
present and always continuing. And hence 
also that trinity which now consists in the re- 
membering, contemplating, and loving this 
same faith while present and continuing, will 
then be found to be done with and past, and 
not still enduring. And hence it is to be 
gathered, that if that trinity is indeed an im- 

5 2 Cor. v. 6, 7. 

6 Rom. i. 17. 

7 1 Cor. xiii. 12. 

Chap. IV.] 



acre of God, then this image itself would have 
to be reckoned, not among things that exist 
always, but among things transient. 


But far be it from us to think, that while 
the nature of the soul is immortal, and from 
the first beginning of its creation thenceforth 
never ceases to be, yet that that which is the 
best thing it has should not endure for ever 
with its own immortality. Yet what is there 
in its nature as created, better than that it is 
made after the image of its Creator ? We 
must find then what may be fittingly called 
the image of God, not in the holding, con- 
templating, and loving that faith which will 
not exist always, but in that which will exist 

always. . 

c Shall we then scrutinize somewhat more 
carefully and deeply whether the case is really 
thus? For it may be said that this trinity 
does not perish even when faith itself shall 
have passed away; because, as now we both 
hold it by memory, and discern it by thought, 
and love it by will; so then also, when we 
shall both hold in memory, and shall recollect, 
that we once had it, and shall unite these two 
by the third, namely will, the same trinity will 
still continue. Since, if it have left in its pas- 
sage as it were no trace in us, doubtless we 
shall not have ought of it even in our mem- 
ory whereto to recur when recollecting it as 
past, and by the third, viz. purpose, coupling 
both these, to wit, what was in our memory 
though we were not thinking about, it, and 
What is formed thence by conception. But 
he who speaks thus, does not perceive, that 
when we hold, see, and love in ourselves our 
present faith, we are concerned with a differ- 
ent trinity as now existing, from that trinity 
which will exist, when we shall contemplate 
by recollection, not the faith itself, but as it 
were the imagined trace of it laid up in the 
memory, and shall unite by the will, as by a 
third, these two things, viz. that which was 
in the memory of him who retains, and that 
which is impressed thence upon the vision of 
the mind of him who recollects. And that 
we may understand this, let us take an ex- 
ample from things corporeal, of which we 
have sufficientlv spoken in the eleventh book. 2 
For as we ascend from lower to higher things, 
or pass inward from outer to inner things, we 
first find a trinity in the bodily object which 
is seen, and in the vision of the seer, which 
when he sees it, is informed thereby, and 
in the purpose of the will which combines 

both. Let us assume a trinity like this, when 
the faith which is now in ourselves is so es- 
tablished in our memory as the bodily object 
we spoke of was in place, from which faith is 
formed the conception in recollection, as from 
that bodily object was formed the vision of 
the beholder; and to these two, to complete 
the trinity, will is to be reckoned as a third, 
which connects and combines the faith estab- 
lished in the memory, and a sort of effigy of 
that faith impressed upon the vision of recol- 
lection; just as in that trinity of corporeal 
vision, the form of the bodily object that is 
seen, and the corresponding form wrought 
in the vision of the beholder, are combined 
by the purpose of the will. Suppose, then, 
that this bodily object which was beheld was 
dissolved and had perished, and that nothing 
at all of it remained anywhere, to the vision 
of which the gaze might have recourse; are 
we then to say, that because the image of the 
bodily object thus now past and done with re- 
mains in the memory, whence to form the 
conception in recollecting, and to have^ the 
two united by will as a third, therefore it is 
the same trinity as that former one, when 
the appearance of the bodily object posited 
in place was seen ? Certainly not, but alto- 
aether a different one: for, not to say that 
that was from without, while this is from 
within; the former certainly was produced by 
the appearance of a present bodily object, the 
latter by the im?ge of that object now past. 
So too, in the case of which we are now 
treating' to illustrate which we have thought 
aood to'adduce this example, the faith which 
is even now in our mind, as that bodily ob- 
ject was in place, while held, looked at, 
loved, produces a sort of trinity; but that 
trinity will exist no more, when this faith in 
the mind, like that bodily object in place 
shall no longer exist. But that which will 
then exist, when we shall remember it to have 
been, but not now to be, in us, will doubtless 
be a different one. For that which now is, is 
wrought by the thing itself, actually present 
and attached to the mind of one who believes; 
but that which shall then be, will be wrought 
by the imagination of a past thing left in the 
memory of one who recollects. 

1 Gen. i. 27. 

:c. 2 r,q. 


6 Therefore neither is that trinity arf im- 
acre of God, which is not now, nor is that 
other an image of God, which then will not 
be- but we must find in the soul of man, i.e., 

1 86 


[Book XIV. 

the rational or intellectual soul, that image of 
the Creator which is immortally implanted in 
its immortality. For as the immortality it- 
self of the soul is spoken with a qualification; 
since the soul too has its proper death, when 
it lacks a blessed life, which is to be called 
the true life of the soul; but it is therefore 
called immortal, because it never ceases to 
live with some life or other, even when it is 
most miserable; so, although reason or in- 
tellect is at one time torpid in it, at another 
appears small, and at another great, yet the 
human soul is never anything save rational or 
intellectual; and hence, if it is made after the 
image of God in respect to this, that it is able 
to use reason and intellect in order to under- 
stand and behold God, then from the moment 
when that nature so marvellous and so great 
began to be, whether this image be so worn 
out as to be almost none at all, or whether it 
be obscure and defaced, or bright and beau- 
tiful, certainly it always is. Further, too, 
pitying the defaced condition of its dignity, 
divine Scripture tells us, that " although man 
walks in an image, yet he disquieteth himself 
in vain; he heapeth up riches, and cannot tell 
who shall gather them. " ' It would not there- 
fore attribute vanity to the image of God, un- 
less it perceived it to have been defaced. Yet 
it sufficiently shows that such defacing does 
not extend to the taking away its being an 
image, by saying, "Although man walks in 
an image." Wherefore in both ways that 
sentence can be truly enunciated; in that, as 
it is said, "Although man walketh in an image, 
yet he disquieteth himself in vain," so it may 
be said, " Although man disquieteth himself 
in vain, yet he walketh in an image." For 
although the nature of the soul is great, yet 
it can be corrupted, because it is not the 
highest; and although it can be corrupted, 
because it is not the highest, yet because it 
is capable and can be partaker of the highest 
nature, it is a great nature. Let us seek, 
then, in this image of God a certain trinity of 
a special kind, with the aid of Him who Him- 
self made us after His own image. For no 
otherwise can we healthfully investigate this 
subject, or arrive at any result according to 
the wisdom which is from Him. But if the 
reader will either hold in remembrance and 
recollect what we have said of the human soul 
or mind in former books, and especially in 
the tenth, or will carefully re-peruse it in the 
passages wherein it is contained, he will not 
require here any more lengthy discourse re- 
specting the inquiry into so great a thing. 
7. We said, then, among other things in 

1 Ps. xxxix. 

the tenth book, that the mind of man knows 
itself. For the mind knows nothing so much 
as that which is close to itself; and nothing is 
more close to the mind than itself. We ad- 
duced also other evidences, as much as 
seemed sufficient, whereby this might be 
most certainly proved. 



What, then, is to be said of the mind of an 
infant, which is still so small, and buried in 
such profound ignorance of things, that the 
mind of a man which knows anything shrinks 
from the darkness of it ? Is that too to be 
believed to know itself; but that, as being too 
intent upon those things which it has begun 
to perceive through the bodily senses, with 
the greater delight in proportion to their nov- 
elty, it is not able indeed to be ignorant of 
itself, but is also not able to think of itself ? 
Moreover, how intently it is bent upon sen- 
sible things that are without it, may be con- 
jectured from this one fact, that it is so 
greedy of sensible light, that if any one 
through carelessness, or ignorance of the 
possible consequences, place a light at night- 
time where an infant is lying down, on that 
side to which the eyes of the child so lying 
down can be bent, but its neck cannot be 
turned, the gaze of that child will be so fixed 
in that direction, that we have known some 
to have come to squint by this means, in that 
the eyes retained that form which habit in 
some way impressed upon them while tender 
and soft. 2 In the case, too, of the other 
bodily senses, the souls of infants, as far as 
their age permits, so narrow themselves as it 
were, and are bent upon them, that they 
either vehemently detest or vehemently desire 
that only which offends or allures through the 
flesh, but do not think of their own inward 
self, nor can be made to do so by admonition; 
because they do not yet know the signs that 
express admonition, whereof words are the 
chief, of which as of other things they are 
wholly ignorant. And that it is one thing 
not to know oneself, another not to think of 
oneself, we have shown already in the same 
book. 3 

8. But let us pass by the infantine age, 
since we cannot question it as to what goes 
on within itself, while we have ourselves pretty 
well forgotten it. Let it suffice only for us 
hence to be certain, that when man has come 
to be able to think of the nature of his own 
mind, and to find out what is the truth, he 

2 [This occurred in the case of Edward Irving. Oliphant's Life 
of Irving.- -W '. G. T. S.] 3 Bk. x. c. 5. 

Chap. VI.] 


I8 7 

will find it nowhere else but in himself. And 
he will find, not what he did not know, but 
that of which he did not think. For what do 
we know, if we do not know what is in our 
own mind; when we can know nothing at all 
of what we do know, unless by the mind ? 



The function of thought, however, is so 
great, that not even the mind itself can, so 
to say, place itself in its own sight, except 
when it thinks of itself; and hence it is so far 
the case, that nothing is in the sight of the 
mind, except that which is being thought of, 
that not even the mind itself, whereby we 
think whatever we do think, can be in its own 
sight otherwise than by thinking of itself. 
But in 7uhat way it is not in its own sight 
when it is not thinking of itself, while it can 
never be without itself, as though itself were 
one thing, and the sight of itself another, it 
is not in my power to discover. For this is 
not unreasonably said of the eye of the body; 
for the eye itself of the body is fixed in its 
own proper place in the body, but its sight 
extends to things external to itself, and 
reaches even to the stars. And the eye is not 
in its own sight, since it does not look at it- 
self, unless by means of a mirror, as is said 
above; 1 a thing that certainly does not hap- 
pen when the mind places itself in its own 
sight by thinking of itself. Does it then see 
one part of itself by means of another part 
of itself, when it looks at itself in thought, 

7 % o / 

as we look at some of our members, which 
can be in our sight, with other also of our 
members, viz. with our eyes ? What can be 
said or thought more absurd ? For by what 
is the mind removed, except by itself? or 
where is it placed so as to be in its own sight, 
except before itself? Therefore it will not 
be there, where it was, when it was not in its 
own sight; because it has been put down in 
one place, after being taken away from an- 
other. But if it migrated in order to be be- 
held, where will it remain in order to behold ? 
Is it as it were doubled, so as to be in this and 
in that place at the same time, viz. both where 
it can behold, and where it can be beheld; 
that in itself it may be beholding, and before 
itself beheld ? If we ask the truth, it will tell 
us nothing of the sort since it is but feigned 
images of bodily objects of which we conceive 
when we conceive thus; and that the mind is 
not such, is very certain to the few minds by 

1 Bk. 

which the truth on such a subject can be in- 
quired. It appears, therefore, that the be- 
holding of the mind is something pertaining 
to its nature, and is recalled to that nature 
when it conceives of itself, not as if by mov- 
ing through space, but by an incorporeal con- 
version; but when it is not conceiving of it- 
self, it appears that it is not indeed in its own 
sight, nor is its own perception formed from 
it, but yet that it knows itself as though it 
were to itself a remembrance of itself. Like 
one who is skilled in many branches of learn- 
ing: the things which he knows are contained 
in his memory, but nothing thereof is in the 
sight of his mind except that of which he is 
conceiving; while all the rest are stored up 
in a kind of secret knowledge, which is called 
memory. The trinity, then, which we were 
setting forth, was constituted in this way; 
first, we placed in the memory the object by 
which the perception of the percipient was 
formed; next, the conformation, or as it were 
the image which is impressed thereby; lastly, 
love or will as that which combines the two. 
When the mind, then, beholds itself in con- 
ception, it understands and cognizes itself; it 
begets, therefore, this its own understanding 
and cognition. For an incorporeal thing 
is understood when it is beheld, and is 
cognized when understood. Yet certainly 
the mind does not so beget this knowl- 
edge of itself, when it beholds itself as 
understood by conception, as though it had 
before been unknown to itself; but it was 
known to itself, in the way in which things 
are known which are contained in the memory, 
but of which one is not thinking; since we 
say that a man knows letters even when he is 
thinking of something else, and not of letters. 
And these two, the begetter and the begotten, 
are coupled together by love, as by a third, 
which is nothing else than will, seeking or 
holding fast the enjoyment of something. We 
held, therefore, that a trinity of the mind is 
to be intimated also by these three terms, 
memory, intelligence, will. 

9. But since the mind, as we said near the 
end of the same tenth book, always remem- 
bers itself, and always understands and loves 
itself, although it does not always think of it- 
self as distinguished from those things which 
are not itself; we must inquire in what way 
understanding {intellectus) belongs to concep- 
tion, while the notion (notitia) of each thing 
that is in the mind, even when one is not 
thinking of it, is said to belong only to the 
memory. For if this is so, then the mind had 
not these three things: viz. the remembrance, 
the understanding, and the love of itself; but 
it only remembered itself, and afterwards, 



[Book XIV. 

when it began to think of itself, then it un- 
derstood and loved itself. 


Wherefore let us consider more carefully 
that example which we have adduced, wherein 
it was shown that not knowing a thing is diff- 
erent from not thinking [conceiving] of it; 
and that it may so happen that a man knows 
something of which he is not thinking, when 
he is thinking of something else, not of that. 
When any one, then, who is skilled in two or 
more branches of knowledge is thinking of 
one of them, though he is not thinking of the 
other or others, yet he knows them. But can 
we rightly say. This musician certainly knows 
music, but he does not now understand it, be- 
cause he is not thinking of it; but he does 
now understand geometry, for of that he is 
now thinking? Such an assertion, as far as 
appears, is absurd. What, again, if we were 
to say, This musician certainly knows music, 
but he does not now love it, while he is not 
now thinking of it; but he does now love 
geometry, because of that he is now thinking; 
is not this similarly absurd ? But we say 
quite correctly, This person whom you per- 
ceive disputing about geometry is also a per- 
fect musician, for he both remembers music, 
and understands, and loves it; but although 
he both knows and loves it, he is not now 
thinking of it, since he is thinking of geome- 
try, of which he is disputing. And hence we 
are warned that we have a kind of knowledge 
of certain things stored up in the recesses of 
the mind, and that this, when it is thought of, 
as it were, steps forth in public, and is placed 
as if openly in the sight of the mind; for then 
the mind itself finds that it both remembers, 
and understands, and loves itself, even al- 
though it was not thinking of itself, when it 
was thinking of something else. But in the 
case of that of which we have not thought 
for a long time, and cannot think of it unless 
reminded; that, if the phrase is allowable, in 
some wonderful way I know not how, we do 
not know that we know. In short, it is rightly 
said by him who reminds, to him whom he re- 
minds, You know this, but you do not know 
that you know it; I will remind you, and you 
will find that you know what you had thought 
you did not know. Books, too, lead to the 
same results, viz. those that are written upon 
subjects which the reader under the guidance 
of reason finds to be true; not those subjects 
which he believes to be true on the faith of 
the narrator, as in the case of history; but 

those which he himself also finds to be true, 
either of himself, or in that truth itself which 
is the light of the mind. But he who cannot 
contemplate these things, even when re- 
minded, is too deeply buried in the darkness 
of ignorance, through great blindness of heart 
and too wonderfully needs divine help, to be 
able to attain to true wisdom. 

10. For this reason I have wished to ad- 
duce some kind of proof, be it what it might, 
respecting the act of conceiving, such as 
might serve to show in what way, out of the 
things contained in the memory, the mind's 
eye is informed in recollecting, and some 
such thing is begotten, when a man conceives, 
as was already in him when, before he con- 
ceived, he remembered; because it is easier 
to distinguish things that take place at suc- 
cessive times, and where the parent precedes 
the offspring by an interval of time. For if 
we refer ourselves to the inner memory of the 
mind by which it remembers itself, and to the 
inner understanding by which it understands 
itself, and to the inner will by which it loves 
itself, where these three always are together, 
and always have been together since they be- 
gan to be at all, whether they were being 
thought of or not; the image of this trinity 
will indeed appear to pertain even to the 
memory alone; but because in this case a 
word cannot be without a thought (for we 
think all that we say, even if it be said by that 
inner word which belongs to no separate lan- 
guage), this image is rather to be discerned in 
these three things, viz. memory, intelligence, 
will. And I mean now by intelligence that 
by which we understand in thought, that is, 
when our thought is formed by the finding of 
those things, which had been at hand to the 
memory but were not being thought of; and 
I mean that will, or love, or preference, which 
combines this offspring and parent, and is in 
some way common to both. Hence it was 
that I tried also, viz. in the eleventh book, to 
lead on the slowness of readers by means of 
outward sensible things which are seen by the 
eyes of the flesh; and that I then proceeded 
to enter with them upon that power of the 
inner man whereby he reasons of things tem- 
poral, deferring the consideration of that 
which dominates as the higher power, by 
which he contemplates things eternal. And 
I discussed this in two books, distinguishing 
the two in the twelfth, the one of them being 
higher and the other lower, and that the lower 
ought to be subject to the higher; and in the 
thirteenth I discussed, with what truth and 
brevity I could, the office of the lower, in 
which the wholesome knowledge of things 
human is contained, in order that we may so 

Chap. VIII.] 



act in this temporal life as to attain that which 
is eternal; since, indeed, I have cursorily in- 
cluded in a single book a subject so manifold 
and copious, and one so well known by the 
many and great arguments of many and great 
men, while manifesting that a trinity exists 
also in it, but not yet one that can be called 
an image of God. 


t 1 But we have come now to that argu- 
ment in which we have undertaken to con- 
sider the noblest part of the human mind by 
which it knows or can know God, in order 
that we may find in it the image of God. t or 
although the human mind is not of the same 
nature with God, yet the image of that nature 
than which none is better, is to be sought and 
found in us, in that than which our nature 
also has nothing better. But the mind must 
first be considered as it is in itself, before it 
becomes partaker of God; and His image 
must be found in it. For, as we have said, 
although worn out and defaced by losing the 
participation of God, yet the image of God 
still remains. 1 For it is His image in this 
very point, that it is capable of Him, and can 
be partaker of Him; which so great good is 
only made possible by its being His image. 
Well then, the mind remembers, under- 
stands, loves itself; if we discern this, we 
discern a trinity, not yet indeed God, but now 
at last an image of God. The memory does 
not receive from without that which it is to 
hold; nor does the understanding find with- 
out that which it is to regard, as the eye of 
the body does; nor has will joined these two 
from without, as it joins the form of the body- 
ily object and that which is thence wrought 
in the vision of the beholder; nor has concep- 
tion, in being turned to it, found an image of 
a thing seen without, which has been some- 
how seized and laid up in the memory, whence 
the intuition of him that recollects has been 
formed, will as a third joining the two: as we 
showed to take place in those trinities which 
were discovered in things corporeal, or which 
were somehow drawn within from bodily ob- 
jects by the bodily sense; of all which we 
have discoursed in the eleventh book. 2 Nor, 
again, as it took place, or appeared to do so, 
when we went on further to discuss that knowl- 
edge, which had its place now in the work- 
ings of the inner man, and which was to be 
distinguished from wisdom; of which knowl- 
edge the subject-matter was, as it were, ad- 

1 Supra, c. iv. 

2 Cc. 2 sq. 

ventitious to the mind, and either was brought 
thither by historical information, as deeds 
and words, which are performed in time and 
pass away, or which again are established in 
the nature of things in their own times and 
places, or arises in the man himself not be- 
in<r there before, whether on the information 
of others, or by his own thinking, as faith, 
which we commended at length in the thir- 
teenth book, or as the virtues, by which, if 
they are true, one so lives well in this mortal- 
ity as to live blessedly in that immortality 
which God promises. These and other things 
of the kind have their proper order in time, 
and in that order we discerned more easily a 
trinity of memory, sight, and love. For some 
of such things anticipate the knowledge of 
learners. For they are knowable also before 
they are known, and beget in the learner a 
knowledge of themselves. And they either 
exist in their own proper places, or have hap- 
pened in time past; although things that are 
past do not themselves exist, but only certain 
sio-ns of them as past, the sight or hearing of 
which makes it known that they have been 
and have passed away. And these signs are 
either situate in the places themselves, as e.g. 
monuments of the dead or the like; or exist 
in written books worthy of credit, as is all his- 
tory that is of weight and approved authority; 
or are in the minds of those who already know 
them; since what is already known to them 
is knowable certainly to others also, whose 
knowledge it has anticipated, and who are 
able to know it on the information of those 
who do know it. And all these things, when 
they are learned, produce a certain kind of 
trinity, viz. by their own proper species, which 
was knowable also before it was known, and 
by the application to this of the knowledge of 
the learner, which then begins to exist when 
he learns them, and by will as a third which 
combines both; and when they are known, yet 
another trinity is produced in the recollecting 
of them, and this now inwardly in the mind 
itself from those images which, when they 
were 'learned, were impressed upon the mem- 
ory and from the informing of the thought 
when the look has been turned upon these by 
recollection, and from the will which as a 
third combines these two. But those tnings 
which arise in the mind, not having been 
there before, as faith and other things of that 
kind, although they appear to be adventitious, 
since they are implanted by teaching, yet are 
not situate without or transacted without as 
are those things which are believed; but be- 
gan to be altogether within in the mind itself. 
For faith is not that which is believed, but 
that by which it is believed; and the former 



[Book XIV. 

is believed, the latter seen. Nevertheless, be- 
cause it began to be in the mind, which was 
a mind also before these things began to be 
in it, it seems to be somewhat adventitious, 
and will be reckoned among things past, when 
sight shall have succeeded, and itself shall 
have ceased to be. And it makes now by its 
presence, retained as it is, and beheld, and 
loved, a different trinity from that which it will 
then make by means of some trace of itself, 
which in passing it will have left in the mem- 
ory: as has been already said above. 



12. There is, however, some question 
raised, whether the virtues likewise by which 
one lives well in this present mortality, seeing 
that they themselves begin also to be in the 
mind, which was a mind none the less when 
it existed before without them, cease also to 
exist at that time when they have brought us 
to things eternal. For some have thought that 
they will cease, and in the case of three pru- 
dence, fortitude, temperance such an asser- 
tion seems to have something in it; but jus- 
tice is immortal, and will rather then be made 
perfect in us than cease to be. Yet Tullius, 
the great author of eloquence, when arguing 
in the dialogue Hortensius, says of all four: 
" If we were allowed, when we migrated from 
this life, to live forever in the islands of the 
blessed, as fables tell, what need were there 
of eloquence when there would be no trials, or 
what need, indeed, of the very virtues them- 
selves ? For we should not need fortitude 
when nothing of either toil or danger was pro- 
posed to us; nor justice, when there was noth- 
ing of anybody else's to be coveted; nor tem- 
perance, to govern lusts that would not exist; 
nor, indeed, should we need prudence, when 
there was no choice offered between good and 
evil. We should be blessed, therefore, solely 
by learning and knowing nature, by which 
alone also the life of the gods is praiseworthy. 
And hence we may perceive that everything 
else is a matter of necessity, but this is one of 
free choice." This great orator, then, when 
proclaiming the excellence of philosophy, 
going over again all that he had learned from 
philosophers, and excellently and pleasantly 
explaining it, has affirmed all four virtues to 
be necessary in this life only, which we see 
to be full of troubles and mistakes; but not 
one of them when we shall have migrated from 
this life, if we are permitted to live there 
where is a blessed life; but that blessed souls 
are blessed only in learning and knowing, i.e. 

in the contemplation of nature, than which 
nothing is better and more lovable. It is that 
nature which created and appointed all other 
natures. And if it belongs to justice to be 
subject to the government of this nature, then 
justice is certainly immortal; nor will it cease 
to be in that blessedness, but will be such and 
so great that it cannot be more perfect or 
greater. Perhaps, too, the other three virtues 
prudence although no longer with any risk 
of error, and fortitude without the vexation of 
bearing evils, and temperance without the 
thwarting of lust will exist in that blessed- 
ness: so that it may be the part of prudence to 
prefer or equal no good thing to. God; and of 
fortitude, to cleave to Him most steadfastly; 
and of temperance, to be pleased by no harm- 
ful defect. But that which justice is now con- 
cerned with in helping the wretched, and pru- 
dence in guarding against treachery, and for- 
titude in bearing troubles patiently, and tem- 
perance in controlling evil pleasures, will not 
exist there, where there will be no evil at all. 
And hence those acts of the virtues which are 
necessary to this mortal life, like the faith to 
which they are to be referred, will be reck- 
oned among things past; and they make now 
a different trinity, whilst we hold, look at, 
and love them as present, from that which 
they will then make, when we shall discover 
them not to be, but to have been, by certain 
traces of them which they will have left in 
passing in the memory; since then, too, there 
will be a trinity, when that trace, be it of what 
sort it may, shall be retained in the memory, 
and truly recognized, and then these two be 
joined by will as a third. 


13. In the knowledge of all these temporal 
things which we have mentioned, there are 
some knowable things which precede the ac- 
quisition of the knowledge of them by an inter- 
val of time, as in the case of those sensible ob- 
jects which were already real before they were 
known, or of all those things that are learned 
through history; but some things begin to be 
at the same time with the knowing of them, 
just as, if any visible object, which did not ex- 
ist before at all, were to rise up before our 
eyes, certainly it does not precede our know- 
ing it; or if there be any sound made where 
there is some one to hear, no doubt the sound 
and the hearing that sound begin and end 
simultaneously. Yet none the less, whether 
preceding in time or beginning to exist simul- 
taneously, knowable things generate knowl- 

Chap. XII.] 


I 9 I 

edge, and are not generated by knowledge. 
But when knowledge has come to pass, when- 
ever the things known and laid up in 
memory are reviewed by recollection, who 
does not see that the retaining them in the 
memory is prior in time to the sight of them 
in recollection, and to the uniting of the two 
things by will as a third ? In the mind, how- 
ver, it is not so. For the mind is not adven- 
titious to itself, as though there came to itself 
already existing, that same self not already 
existing, from somewhere else, or did not in- 
deed come from somewhere else, but that in 
the mind itself already existing, there was 
born that same mind not already existing; 
just as faith, which before was not, arises in 
the mind which already was. Nor does the 
mind see itself, as it were, set up in its own 
memory by recollection subsequently to the 
knowing of itself, as though it was not there 
before it knew itself; whereas, doubtless, from 
the time when it began to be, it has never 
ceased to remember, to understand, and to 
love itself, as we have already shown. And 
hence, when it is turned to itself by thought, 
there arises a trinity, in which now at length 
we can discern also a word; since it is formed 
from thought itself, will uniting both. Here, 
then, we may recognize, more than we have 
hitherto done, the image of which we are in 



14. But some one will say, That is not 
memory by which the mind, which is ever 
present to itself, is affirmed to remember it- 
self; for memory is of things past, not of 
things present. For there are some, and 
among them Cicero, who, in treating of the 
virtues, have divided prudence into these 
three memory, understanding, forethought: 
to wit, assigning memory to things past, un- 
derstanding to things present, forethought to 
things future; which last is certain only in the 
case of those who are prescient of the future; 
and this is no gift of men, unless it be granted 
from above, as to the prophets. And hence 
the book of Wisdom, speaking of men, " The 
thoughts of mortals," it says, "are fearful, 
and our forethought uncertain." 1 But mem- 
ory of things past, and understanding of 
things present, are certain: certain, I mean, 
respecting things incorporeal, which are pres- 
ent; for things corporeal are present to the 
sight of the corporeal eyes. But let any one 
who denies that there is any memory of things 
present, attend to the language used even in 

1 Wisd. ix. 14. 

profane literature, where exactness of words 
was more looked for than truth of things. 
" Nor did Ulysses suffer such things, nor did 
the Ithacan forget himself in so great a peril. ' ' 2 
For when Virgil said that Ulysses did not for- 
get himself, what else did he mean, except 
that he remembered himself? And since he 
was present to himself, he could not possibly 
remember himself, unless memory pertained 
to things present. And, therefore, as that 
is called memory in things past which makes 
it possible to recall and remember them; so 
in a thing present, as the mind is to itself, that 
is not unreasonably to be called memory, 
which makes the mind at hand to itself, so 
that it can be understood by its own thought, 
and then both be joined together by love of it- 



15. This trinity, then, of the mind is not 
therefore the image of God, because the mind 
remembers itself, and understands and loves 
itself; but because it can also remember, un- 
derstand, and love Him by whom it was made. 
And in so doing it is made wise itself. But 
if it does not do so, even when it remembers, 
understands, and loves itself, then it is fool- 
ish. Let it then remember its God, after 
whose image it is made, and let it understand 
and love Him. Or to say the same thing more 
briefly, let it worship God, who is not made, 
by whom because itself was made, it is capa- 
ble and can be partaker of Him; wherefore it 
is written, " Behold, the worship of God, that 
is wisdom." 3 And then it will be wise, not 
by its own light, but by participation of that 
supreme Light; and wherein it is eternal, 
therein shall reign in blessedness. For this 
wisdom of man is so called, in that it is also 
of God. For then it is true wisdom; for if 
it is human, it is vain. Yet not so of God, as 
is that wherewith God is wise. For He is not 
wise by partaking of Himself, as the mind is 
by partaking of God. But as we call it the 
righteousness of God, not only when we 
speak of that by which He Himself is right- 
eous, but also of that which He gives to man 
when He justifies the ungodly, which latter 
righteousness the apostle commending, says 
of some, that " not knowing the righteousness 
of God and going about to establish their own 
righteousness, they are not subject to the right- 
eousness of God;" 4 so also it may be said of 
some, that not knowing the wisdom of God 

2 sEueid, iii. 628, 629. 3 Job. xxviii. 28. 4 Rom. x. 3. 

I 9 : 


[Book XIV. 

and going about to establish their own wis- 
dom, they are not subject to the wisdom of 

16. There is, then, a nature not made, 
which made all other natures, great and small, 
and is without doubt more excellent than 
those which it has made, and therefore also 
than that of which we are speaking; viz. than 
the rational and intellectual nature, which is 
the mind of man, made after the image of 
Him who made it. And that nature, more 
excellent than the rest, is God. And indeed 
" He is not far from every one of us," as the 
apostle says, who adds, " For in Him we live, 
and are moved, and have our being." x And 
if this were said in respect to the body, it 
might be understood even of this corporeal 
world; for in it too in respect to the body, we 
live, and are moved, and have our being. 
And therefore it ought to be taken in a more 
excellent way, and one that is spiritual, not 
visible, in respect to the mind, which is made 
after His image For what is there that is not 
in Him, of whom it is divinely written, " For 
of Him, and through Him, and in Him, 
are all things "? 2 If, then, all things are in 
Him, in whom can any possibly live that do 
live, or be moved that are moved, except in 
Him in whom they are? Yet all are not 
with Him in that way in which it is said to 
Him, " I am continually with Thee." 3 Nor 
is He with all in that way in which we say, 
The Lord be with you. And so it is the es- 
pecial wretchedness of man not to be with 
Him, without whom he cannot be. For, be- 
yond a doubt, he is not without Him in whom 
he is; and yet if he does not remember, and 
understand, and love Him, he is not with 
Him. And when any one absolutely forgets 
a thing, certainly it is impossible even to re- 
mind him of it. 



17. Let us take an instance for the purpose 
from visible things. Somebody whom you do 
not recognize says to you, You know me; and 
in order to remind you, tells you where, when, 
and how he became known to you; and if, 
after the mention of every sign by which you 
might be recalled to remembrance, you still 
do not recognize him, then you have so come 
to forget, as that the whole of that knowledge 
is altogether blotted out of your mind; and 
nothing else remains, but that you take his 
word for it who tells you that you once knew 
him; or do not even do that, if you do not 
think the person who speaks to you to be 

1 Acts xvii. 27, 28 

2 Rom. xi. 36. 

3 Ps. lxxiii. 23. 

worthy of credit. But if you do remember 
him, then no doubt you return to your own 
memory, and find in it that which had not been 
altogether blotted out by forgetfulness. Let 
us return to that which led us to adduce this 
instance from the intercourse of men. Among 
other things, the 9th Psalm says, " The wicked 
shall be turned into hell, and all the nations 
that forget God;" 4 and again the 2 2d Psalm, 
"All the ends of the world shall be reminded, 
and turned unto the Lord." 5 These nations, 
then, will not so have forgotten God as to be 
unable to remember Him when reminded of 
Him; yet, by forgetting God, as though for- 
getting their own life, they had been turned 
into death, i.e. into hell. 6 But when remind- 
ed they are turned to the Lord, as though 
coming to life again by remembering their 
proper life which they had forgotten. It is 
read also in the 94th Psalm, "Perceive now, 
ye who are unwise among the people; and ye 
fools, when will ye be wise ? He that planted 
the ear, shall He not hearj? " etc. 7 For this 
is spoken to those, who said vain things con- 
cerning God through not understanding Him. 



18. But there are yet more testimonies in 
the divine Scriptures concerning the love of 
God. For in it, those other two [namely, mem- 
ory and understanding] are understood by 
consequence, inasmuch as no one loves that 
which he does not remember, or of which he 
is wholly ignorant. And hence is that well 
known and primary commandment, " Thou 
shalt love the Lord thy God." 8 The human 
mind, then, is so constituted, that at no time 
does it not remember, and understand, and 
love itself. But since he who hates any one 
is anxious to injure him, not undeservedly is 
the mind of man also said to hate itself when 
it injures itself. For it wills ill to itself 
through ignorance, in that it does not think 
that what it wills is prejudicial to it; but it 
none the less does will ill to itself, when it 
wills what would be prejudicial to it. And 
hence it is written, " He that loveth iniquity, 
hateth his own soul." 9 He, therefore, who 
knows how to love himself, loves God; but 

4 Ps. ix. 17. 5 Ps. xxii. 27. 

6 [AiiKustin here understands " Sheol," to denote the place of 
retribution for the wicked. W. G. T. S.] 

7 Ps. xciv. 8, 9. e Deut. vi. 5. 9 Ps, xi. 5. 

Chap. XTV.] 


T 93 

he who does not love God, even if he does 
love himself, a thing implanted in him by 
nature, yet is not unsuitably said to hate him- 
self, inasmuch as he does that which is ad- 
verse to himself, and assails himself as though 
he were his own enemy. And this is no 
doubt a terrible delusion, that whereas all will 
to profit themselves, many do nothing but that 
which is most pernicious to themselves. 
When the poet was describing a like disease 
of dumb animals, " May the gods," says he, 
" grant better things to the pious, and assign 
that delusion to enemies. They were rending 
with bare teeth their own torn limbs." * Since 
it was a disease of the body he was speaking 
of, why has he called it a delusion, unless be- 
cause, while nature inclines every animal to 
take all the care it can of itself, that disease 
was such that those animals rent those very 
limbs of theirs which they desired should be 
safe and sound ? But when the mind loves 
God, and by consequence, as has been said, 
remembers and understands Him, then it is 
rightly enjoined also to love if s neighbor as it- 
self; for it has now come to love itself rightly 
and not perversely when it loves God, by 
partaking of whom that image not only ex- 
ists, but is also renewed so as to be. no longer 
old, and restored so as to be no longer de- 
faced, and beatified so as to be no longer 
unhappy. For although it so love itself, that, 
supposing the alternative to be proposed to it, 
it would lose all things which it loves less 
than itself rather than perish; still, by aban- 
doning Him who is above it, in dependence 
upon whom alone it could guard its own 
strength, and enjoy Him as its light, to 
whom it is sung in the Psalm, " I will guard 
my strength in dependence upon Thee," 2 and 
again, "Draw near to Him, and be enlight- 
ened," 3 it has been made so weak and so 
dark, that it has fallen away unhappily from 
itself too, to those things that are not what it- 
self is, and which are beneath itself, by affec- 
tions that it cannot conquer, and delusions 
from which it sees no way to return. And 
hence, when by God's mercy now penitent, it 
cries out in the Psalms, " My strength faileth 
me; as for the light of mine eyes, it also is 
gone from me." 4 

19. Yet, in the midst of these evils of weak- 
ness and delusion, great as they are, it could 
not lose its natural memory, understanding 
and love of itself. And therefore what I 
quoted above 5 can be rightly said, "Al- 
though man walketh in an image, surely he is 
disquieted in vain: he heapeth up treasures, 

Virg. Georg. iii. 513 
Ps. xxxiv. 5- 
C 4. 



2 Ps. lix. 9. _ 

4 Ps. xxxviii. 10. 

and knoweth not who shall gather them." 6 
For why does he heap up treasures,unless be- 
cause his strength has deserted him, through 
which he would have God, and so lack noth- 
ing ? And why cannot he tell for whom he 
shall gather them, unless because the light of 
his eyes is taken from him ? And so he does 
not see what the Truth saith, "Thou fool, 
this night thy soul shall be required of thee. 
Then whose shall those things be which thou 
hast provided ? " 7 Yet because even such a 
man walketh in an image, and the man's 
mind has remembrance, understanding, and 
love of itself; if it were made plain to it that 
it could not have both, while it was permitted 
to choose one and lose the other, viz. either 
the treasures it has heaped up, or the mind; 
who is so utterly without mind, as to prefer 
to have the treasures rather than the mind ? 
For treasures commonly are able to subvert 
the mind, but the mind that is not subverted 
by treasures can live more easily and unen- 
cumberedly without any treasures. But who 
will be able to possess treasures unless it be 
by means of the mind ? For if an infant, 
born as rich as you please, although lord of 
everything that is rightfully his, yet possess- 
es nothing if his mind be unconscious, how 
can any one possibly possess anything whose 
mind is wholly lost ? But why say of treasures, 
that anybody, if the choice be given him, pre- 
fers going without them to going without a 
mind; when there is no one that prefers, nay, 
no one that compares them, to those lights 
of the body, by which not one man only here 
and there, as in the case of gold, but every 
man, possesses the very heaven ? For every 
one possesses by the eyes of the body what- 
ever he gladly sees. Who then is there, who, 
if he could not keep both, but must lose one, 
would not rather lose his treasures than his 
eyes ? And yet if it were put to him on the 
same condition, whether he would rather lose 
eyes than mind, who is there with a mind that 
does not see that he would rather lose the 
former than the latter ? For a mind without 
the eyes of the flesh is still human, but the 
eyes o; the flesh without a mind are bestial. 
And who would not rather be a man, even 
though blind in fleshly sight, than a beast that 
can see ? 

20. I have said thus much, that even those 
who are slower of understanding, to whose 
eyes or ears this book may come, might be 
admonished, however briefly, how greatly 
even a weak and erring mind loves itself, in 
wrongly loving and pursuing things beneath 
itself. Now it could not love itself if it 

6 Ps. xxxix. 6. 

7 Luke xii. 20. 

i 9 4 


[Book XIV. 

were altogether ignorant of itself, /. e. if it did 
not remember itself, nor understand itself; 
by which image of God within itself it has 
such power as to be able to cleave to Him 
whose image it is. For it is so reckoned in 
the order, not of place, but of natures, as 
that there is none above it save Him. When, 
finally, it shall altogether cleave to Him, then 
it will be one spirit, as the apostle testifies, 
saying, " But he who cleaves to the Lord is 
one spirit.'' 1 And this by its drawing near 
to partake of His nature, truth, and blessed- 
ness, yet not by His increasing in His own 
nature, truth and blessedness. In that nature, 
then, when it happily has cleaved to it, it 
will live unchangeably, and will see as un- 
changeable all that it does see. Then, as 
divine Scripture promises, " His desire will 
be satisfied with good things," 2 good things 
unchangeable, the very Trinity itself, its 
own God, whose image it is. And that it may 
not ever thenceforward suffer wrong, it will 
be in the hidden place of His presence, 3 filled 
with so great fullness of Him, that sin thence- 
forth will never delight it. But now, when 
it sees itself, it sees something not unchange- 


21. And of this certainly it feels no doubt, 
that it is wretched, and longs to be blessed; 
nor can it hope for the possibility of this on 
any other ground than its own changeableness; 
for if it were not changeable, then, as it could 
not become wretched after being blessed, so 
neither could it become blessed after being 
wretched. And what could have made it 
wretched under an omnipotent and good God, 
except its own sin and the righteousness of 
its Lord ? And what will make it blessed, un- 
less its own merit, and its Lord's reward ? 
But its merit, too, is His grace, whose reward 
will be its blessedness; for it cannot give it- 
self the righteousness it has lost, and so has 
not. For this it received when man was 
created, and assuredly lost it by sinning. 
Therefore it receives righteousness, that on 
account of this it may deserve to receive 
blessedness; and hence the apostle truly says 
to it, when beginning to be proud as it were 
of its own good, " For what hast thou that 
thou didst not receive ? Now if thou didst 
receive it, why dost thou glory as if thou 

1 1 Cor. vi. 17. - Ps. ciii. 5. 

3 Ps. xxxi. 20. 

hadst not received it ?" 4 But when it rightly 
remembers its own Lord, having received His 
Spirit, then, because it is so taught by an in- 
ward teaching, it feels wholly that it cannot 
rise save by His affection freely given, nor 
has been able to fall save by its own defection 
freely chosen. Certainly it does not remem- 
ber its own blessedness; since that has been, 
but is not, and it has utterly forgotten it, and 
therefore cannot even be reminded of it. 5 But 
it believes what the trustworthy Scriptures 
of its God tell of that blessedness, which were 
written by His prophet, and tell of the blessed- 
ness of Paradise, and hand down to us histori- 
cal information of that first both good and 
ill of man. And it remembers the Lord its 
God; for He always is, nor has been and is 
not, nor is but has not been; but as He 
never will not be, so He never was not. 
And He is whole everywhere. And hence it 
both lives, and is moved, and is in Him; 6 and 
so it can remember Him. Not because it rec- 
ollects the having known Him in Adam or 
anywhere else before the life of this present 
body, or when it was first made in order to 
be implanted in this body; for it remembers 
nothing at all of all this. Whatever there is of 
this, it has been blotted out by forgetfulness. 
But it is reminded, that it may be turned to 
God, as though to that light by which it was in 
some way touched, even when turned away 
from Him. For hence it is that even the 
ungodly think of eternity, and rightly blame 
and rightly praise many things in the morals 
of men. And by what rules do they thus 
judge, except by those wherein they see how 
men ought to live, even though they them- 
selves do not so live ? And where do they 
see these rules ? For they do not see them 
in their own [moral] nature; since no doubt 
these things are to be seen by the mind, and 
their minds are confessedly changeable, but 
these rules are seen as unchangeable by him 
who can see them at all; nor yet in the charac- 
ter of their own mind, since these rules are 
rules of righteousness, and their minds are 
confessedly unrighteous. Where indeed are 
these rules written, wherein even the unright- 
eous recognizes what is righteous, wherein he 
discerns that he ought to have what he him- 
self has not ? Where, then, are they written, 
unless in the book of that Light which is 
called Truth ? whence every righteous law is 

4 1 Cor. iv. 7. 

5 [In the case of knowledge that is remembered, there is some- 
thing latent and potential as when past acquisitions are recalled 
by a voluntary act of recollection. The same is true of innate 
ideas these also are latent, and brought into consciousness by 
reflection. But no man can either remember, or elicit, his original 
holiness and blessedness, because this is not latent and potential, 
but wholly lost by the fall. W. G. T. S.] 

6 Acts xvii. 28. 

Chap. XVI.] 


J 95 

copied and transferred (not by migrating to it, 
but by being as it were impressed upon it) to 
the heart of the man that worketh righteous- 
ness; as the impression from a ring passes 
into the wax, yet does not leave the ring. But 
he who worketh not, and yet sees how he 
ought to work, he is the man that is turned 
away from that light, which yet touches him. 
But he who does not even see how he ought 
to live, sins indeed with more excuse,because 
he is not a transgressor of a law that he 
knows; but even he too is just touched some- 
times by the splendor of the everywhere pres- 
ent truth, when upon admonition he confesses. 



22. But those who, by being reminded, are 
turned to the Lord from that deformity where- 
by they were through worldly lusts conformed 
to this world, are formed anew from the world, 
when they hearken to the apostle, saying," Be 
not conformed to this world, but be ye formed 
again in the renewing of your mind;" 1 that 
that image may begin to be formed again by 
Him by whom it had been formed at first. 
For that image cannot form itself again, as it 
could deform itself. He says again else- 
where: "Be ye renewed in the spirit of your 
mind; and put ye on the new man, which 
after God is created in righteousness and true 
holiness." 2 That which is meant by " created 
after God," is expressed in another place by 
"after the image of God." 3 But it lost right- 
eousness and true holiness by sinning, through 
which that image became defaced and 
tarnished; and this it recovers when it is 
formed again and renewed. But when he says, 
"In the spirit of your mind," he does not in- 
tend to be understood of two things, as though 
mind were one, and the spirit of the mind 
another; but he speaks thus, because all mind 
is spirit, but all spirit is not mind. For there 
is a Spirit also that is God, 4 which cannot be 
renewed, because it cannot grow old. And 
we speak also of a spirit in man distinct from 
the mind, to which spirit belong the images 
that are formed after the likeness of bodies; 
and of this the apostle speaks to the Corinthi- 
ans, where he says, " But if I shall have prayed 
with a tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my un- 
derstanding is unfruitful." 5 For he speaks 
thus, when that which is said is not understood ; 
since it cannot even be said, unless the im- 
ages of the corporeal articulate sounds antici- 
pate the oral sound by the thought of the 
spirit. The soul of man is also called spirit, 

1 Rom. xii. 2. 
4 John iv. 2+. 

2 Eph. iv. 23, 24. 
5 1 Cor. xiv. 14. 

3 Gen. i. 27. 

whence are the words in the Gospel, "And 
He bowed His head, and gave up His spirit;" 6 
by which the death of the body, through the 
spirit's leaving it, is signified. We speak 
also of the spirit of a beast, as it is expressly 
written in the book of Solomon called Ecclesi- 
astes; "Who knoweth the spirit of man that 
goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that 
goeth downward to the earth ?" 7 It is written 
too in Genesis, where it is said that by the 
deluge all flesh died which " had in it the 
spirit of life." 8 We speak also of the spirit, 
meaning the wind, a thing most manifestly 
corporeal; whence is that in the Psalms, " Fire 
and hail, snow and ice, the spirit of the 
storm." 9 Since spirit, then, is a word of so 
many meanings, the apostle intended to ex- 
press by " the spirit of the mind " that spirit 
which is called the mind. As the same 
apostle also, when he says, ' ' In putting off 
the body of the flesh," 10 certainly did not in- 
tend two things, as though flesh were one, 
and the body of the flesh another; but because 
body is the name of many things that have no 
flesh (for besides the flesh, there are many 
bodies celestial and bodies terrestrial), he 
expressed by the body of the flesh that body 
which is flesh. In like manner, therefore, by 
the spirit of the mind, that spirit which is 
mind. Elsewhere, too, he has even more plainly 
called it an image, while enforcing the same 
thing in other words. "Do you," he says, 
" putting off the old man with his deeds, put 
on the new man, which is renewed in the 

knowledge of God after the 


of Him 

that created him." 11 Where the one passage 
reads, "Put ye on the new man, which is 
created after God," the other has, " Put ye 
on the new man, which is renewed after the 
image of Him that created him." In the 
one place he says, " After God;" in the 
other, " After the image of Him that created 
him." But instead of saying, as in the form- 
er passage," In righteousness and true holi- 
ness," he has put in the latter, " In the 
knowledge of God." This renewal, then, 
and forming again of the mind, is wrought 
either after God, or after the image of God. 
But it is said to be after God, in order that it 
may not be supposed to be after another 
creature; and to be after the image of God, 
in order that this renewing may be under- 
stood to take place in that wherein is the 
image of God, i.e. in the mind. Just as we 
say, that he who has departed from the body 
a faithful and righteous man, is dead after 
the body, not after the spirit. For what do 
we mean by dead after the body, unless as to 

6 John xix. 30. 7 Eccles. iii. 21. 8 Gen. vii. 22. 

9 Ps. cxlviii. 8. ' Col, ii. 11. Col. iii. 9, 10. 



[Book XIV. 

the body or in the body, and not dead as to 
the soul or in the soul ? Or if we want to say 
he is handsome after the body, or strong 
after the body, not after the mind; what else 
is this, than that he is handsome or strong in 
body, not in mind ? And the same is the 
case with numberless other instances. Let 
us not therefore so understand the words, 
" After the image of Him that created him," 
as though it were a different image after 
which he is renewed, and not the very same 
which is itself renewed. 



23. Certainly this renewal does not take 
place in the single moment of conversion it- 
self, as that renewal in baptism takes place 
in a single moment by the remission of all 
sins; for not one, be it ever so small, remains 
unremitted. But as it is one thing to be free 
from fever, and another to grow strong again 
from the infirmity which the fever produced; 
and one thing again to pluck out of the body 
a weapon thrust into it, and another to heal 
the wound thereby made by a prosperous 
cure; so the first cure is to remove the cause 
of infirmity, and this is wrought by the for- 
giving of all sins; but the second cure is to 
heal the infirmity itself, and this takes place 
gradually by making progress in the renewal 
of that image: which two things are plainly 
shown in the Psalm, where we read, "Who 
forgiveth all thine iniquities," which takes 
place in baptism; and then follows, "and 
healeth all thine infirmities;" 1 and this takes 
place by daily additions, while this image is 
being renewed. 2 And the apostle has spoken 
of this most expressly, saying, "And though 
our outward man perish, yet the inner man 
is renewed day by day." 3 And "it is re- 
newed in the knowledge of God, i.e. in right- 
eousness and true holiness," according to the 
testimonies of the apostle cited a little before. 
He, then, who is day by day renewed by 
making progress in the knowledge of God, 
and in righteousness and true holiness, trans- 
fers his love from things temporal to things 
eternal, from things visible to things intelligi- 
ble, from things carnal to things spiritual; 

1 Ps. ciii. 3. 

2 [Justification is instantaneous : sanctification is gradual. 
Baptism is the sign, not the cause, of the former. "As many of 
us as were baptized into Jesus Christ, were baptized with refer- 
ence to (eis) his death:" and "are intombed with him by the 
baptism that has reference to (ei?) his death." Rom. vi. 3, 4. 
According to St. Paul, baptism supposes a trust in the atonement 
of Christ, and is a seal of it. In saying that "the forgiveness of 
all thine iniquity takes place in baptism," Augustin is liable to be 
understood as teaching the efficiency of baptism in producing 
forgiveness. This is the weak side of the Post Nicene soteriology. 
W. G. T. S.] 3 2 Cor. iv. 16. 

and diligently perseveres in bridling and 
lessening his desire for the former, and in 
binding himself by love to the latter. And 
he does this in proportion as he is helped by 
God. For it is the sentence of God Himself, 
"Without me ye can do nothing." 4 And 
when the last day of life shall have found any 
one holding fast faith in the Mediator in such 
progress and growth as this, he will be wel- 
comed by the holy angels, to be led to God, 
whom he has worshipped, and to be made 
perfect by Him; and so will receive in the 
end of the world an incorruptible body, in 
order not to punishment, but to glory. For 
the likeness of God will then be perfected in 
this image, when the sight of God shall be 
perfected. And of this the Apostle Paul 
speaks: " Now we see through a glass, in an 
enigma, but then face to face." 5 And again: 
" But we with open face, beholding as in a 
glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into 
the same image, from glory to glory, even as 
by the spirit of the Lord." 6 And this is what 
happens from day to day in those that make 
good progress. 


24. But the Apostle John says, " Beloved, 
now are we the sons of God; and it doth not 
yet appear what we shall be: but we know 
that, when He shall appear, we shall be like 
Him, for we shall see Him as He is." 7 Hence 
it appears, that the full likeness of God is to 
take place in that image of God at that time 
when it shall receive the full sight of God. 
And yet this may also possibly seem to be 
said by the Apostle John of the immortality 
of the body. For we shall be like to God in 
this too, but only to the Son, because He only 
in the Trinity took a body, in which He died 
and rose again, and which He carried with 
Him to heaven above. For this, too, is called 
an image of the Son of God, in which we shall 
have, as He has, an immortal body, being 
conformed in this respect not to the image of 
the Father or of the Holy Spirit, but only of 
the Son, because of Him alone is it read and 
received by a sound faith, that " the Word 
was made flesh." 8 And for this reason the 
apostle says, " Whom He did foreknow, He 
also did predestinate to be conformed to the 
image of His Son, that He might be the first- 
born among many brethren." 9 "The first- 
born " certainly " from the dead," 10 accord- 

4 John xv. 5. 
7 1 John iii. 2. 
Col. 1. 18. 

5 1 Cor. xiii. : 
8 John i. 14. 

6 2 Cor. iii. 18. 
9 Rom. viii. 29. 

Chap. XIX.] 



ing to the same apostle; by which death His 
flesh was sown in dishonor, and rose again in 
glory. According to this image of the Son, 
to which we are conformed in the body by im- 
mortality, we also do that of which the same 
apostle speaks, " As we have borne the image 
of the earthy, so shall we also bear the image 
of the heavenly;" J to wit, that we who are 
mortal after Adam, may hold by a true faith, 
and a sure and certain hope, that we shall be 
immortal after Christ. For so can we now 
bear the same image, not yet in sight, but in 
faith; not yet in fact, but in hope. For the 
apostle, when he said this, was speaking of 
the resurrection of the body. 


25. But in respect to that image indeed, of 
which it is said, " Let us make man after our 
image and likeness," 2 we believe, and, after 
the utmost search we have been able to make, 
understand, that man was made after the 
image of the Trinity, because it is not said, 
After my, or After thy image. And therefore 
that place too of the Apostle John must be 
understood rather according to this image, 
when he says, " We shall be like Him, for we 
shall see Him as He is;" because he spoke 
too of Him of whom he had said, " We are 
the sons of God." 3 And the immortality of 
the flesh will be perfected in that moment of 
the resurrection, of which the Apostle Paul 
says, " In the twinkling of an eye, at the last 
trump; and the dead shall be raised incorrupt- 
ible, and we shall be changed." 4 For in 
that very twinkling of an eye, before the 
judgment, the spiritual body shall rise again 
in power, in incorruption,in glory, which is now 
sown a natural body in weakness, in corruption, 
in dishonor. But the image which is renewed 
in the spirit of the mind in the knowledge of 
God, not outwardly, but inwardly, from day 
to day, shall be perfected by that sight itself; 
which then after the judgment shall be face 
to face, but now makes progress as through a 
glass in an enigma. 5 And we must under- 
stand it to be said on account of this perfec- 
tion, that "we shall be like Him, for we shall 
see Him as He is." For this gift will be 
given to us at that time, when it shall have 
been said, " Come, ye blessed of my Father, 
inherit the kingdom prepared for you. " 6 For 
tnen will the ungodly be taken away, so that 

1 1 Cor. xv. 43, 49. 
3 John in. 2. 
5 1 Cor. xiii. 12. 

2 Gen. i. 26. 
4 1 Cor. xv. 52. 
6 Matt. xxv. 34. 

he shall not see the glory of the Lord, 7 when 
those on the left hand shall go into eternal 
punishment, while those on the right go into 
life eternal. 8 But "this is eternal life," as 
the Truth tells us; "to know Thee," He 
says, "the one true God, and Jesus Christ 
whom Thou hast sent." 9 

26. This contemplative wisdom, which I 
believe is properly called wisdom as distinct 
from knowledge in the sacred writings; but 
wisdom only of man, which yet man has not 
except from Him, by partaking of whom a 
rational and intellectual mind can be made 
truly wise; this contemplative wisdom, I say, 
it is that Cicero commends, in the end of the 
dialogue Hortensius, when he says: "While, 
then, we consider these things night and day, 
and sharpen our understanding, which is the 
eye of the mind, taking care that it be not 
ever dulled, that is, while we live in philos- 
ophy; we, I say, in so doing, have great hope 
that, if, on the one hand, this sentiment and 
wisdom of ours is mortal and perishable, we 
shall still, when we have discharged our 
human offices, have a pleasant setting, and a 
not painful extinction, and as it were a rest 
from life: or if, on the other, as ancient phil- 
osophers thought, and those, too, the great- 
est and far the most celebrated, we have 
souls eternal and divine, then must we needs 
think, that the more these shall have always 
kept in their own proper course, i.e. in reason 
and in the desire of inquiry, and the less they 
shall have mixed and entangled themselves 
in the vices and errors of men, the more easy 
ascent and return they will have to heaven.'' 
And then he says, adding this short sentence, 
and finishing his discourse by repeating it: 
"Wherefore, to end my discourse at last, if 
we wish either for a tranquil extinction, after 
living in the pursuit of these subjects, or if 
to migrate without delay from this present 
home to another in no little measure better, 
we must bestow all our labor and care upon 
these pursuits." And here I marvel, that a 
man of such great ability should promise to 
men living in philosophy, which makes man 
blessed by contemplation of truth, "a pleas- 
ant setting after the discharge of human 
offices, if this our sentiment and wisdom is 
mortal and perishable;" as if that which we 
did not love, or rather which we fiercely hated, 
were then to die and come to nothing, so that 
its setting would be pleasant to us ! But in- 
deed he had not learned this from the philos- 
ophers, whom he extols with great praise; but 
this sentiment is redolent of that New Acad- 
emy, wherein it pleased him to doubt of even 

7 Isa. xxvi. 10. 

8 Matt. xxv. 46. 

9 John xvii. 3. 

i g8 


[Book XIV. 

the plainest things. But from the philoso- 
phers that were greatest and far most cele- 
brated, as he himself confesses, he had 
learned that souls are eternal. For souls that 
are eternal are not unsuitably stirred up by 
the exhortation to be found in " their own 
proper course," when the end of this life shall 
have come, i.e. "in reason and in the desire 
of inquiry, '' and to mix and entangle them- 
selves the less in the vices and errors of men, 

in order that they may have an easier return 
to God. But that course which consists in 
the love and investigation of truth does not 
suffice for the wretched, i.e. for all mortals 
who have only this kind of reason, and are 
without faith in the Mediator; as I have 
taken pains to prove, as much as I could, in 
former books of this work, especially in the 
fourth and thirteenth. 




i . Desiring to exercise the reader in the 
things that are made, in order that he may 
know Him by whom they are made, we have 
now advanced so far as to His image, which 
is man, in that wherein he excels the other 
animals, i.e. in reason or intelligence, and 
whatever else can be said of the rational or 
intellectual soul that pertains to what is called 
the mind. 1 For by this name some Latin 
writers, after their own peculiar mode of 
speech, distinguish that which excels in man, 
and is not in the beast, from the soul, 2 which 
is in the beast as well. If, then, we seek any- 
thing that is above this nature, and seek truly, 
it is God, namely, a nature not created, but 
creating. And whether this is the Trinity, it 
is now our business to demonstrate not only 
to believers, by authority of divine Scripture, 
but also to such as understand, by some kind 
of reason, if we can. And why I say, if we 
can, the thing itself will show better when we 
have begun to argue about it in our inquiry. 



2. For God Himself, whom we seek, will, 


ns or animus. 

A iii ma. 

as I hope, help our labors, that they may not 
be unfruitful, and that we may understand 
how it is said in the holy Psalm, " Let the 
heart of them rejoice that seek the Lord. 
Seek the Lord, and be strengthened: seek His 
face evermore." 3 For that which is always 
being sought seems as though it were never 
found; and how then will the heart of them 
that seek rejoice, and not rather be made sad, 
if they cannot find what they seek ? For it is 
not said, The heart shall rejoice of them that 
find, but of them that seek, the Lord. And 
yet the prophet Isaiah testifies, that the Lord 
God can be found when He is sought, when 
he says: " Seek ye the Lord; and as soon as 
ye have found Him, call upon Him: and when 
He has drawn near to you, let the wicked man 
forsake his ways, and the unrighteous man 
his thoughts." 4 If, then, when sought, He 
can be found, why is it said, "Seek ye His 
face evermore ? " Is He perhaps to be sought 
even when found ? For things incomprehen- 
sible must so be investigated, as that no one 
may think he has found nothing, when he has 
been able to find how incomprehensible that 
is which he was seeking. Why then does he 
so seek, if he comprehends that which he 
seeks to be incomprehensible, unless because 
he may not give over seeking so long as he 
makes progress in the inquiry itself into things 

3 Ps. cv. 

3, 4- 

4 Isa. lv. 6, j. 



LBook XV. 

incomprehensible, and becomes ever better 
and better while seeking so great a good, 
which is both sought in order to be found, 
and found in order to be sought? For it is 
both sought in order that it may be found 
more sweetly, and found in order that it may 
be sought more eagerly. The words of Wis- 
dom in the book of Ecclesiasticus may be 
taken in this meaning: "They who eat me 
shall still be hungry, and they who drink me 
shall still be thirsty." * For they eat and 
drink because they find; and they still con- 
tinue seeking because they are hungry and 
thirst. Faith seeks, understanding finds; 
whence the prophet says, " Unless ye believe, 
ye shall not understand." 2 And yet, again, 
understanding still seeks Him, whom it finds; 
for "God looked down upon the sons of 
men/' as it is sung in the holy Psalm, " to see 
if there were any that would understand, and 
seek after God.'' 3 And man, therefore, 
ought for this purpose to have understanding, 
that he may seek after God. 

3. We shall have tarried then long enough 
among those things that God has made, in 
order that by them He Himself may be known 
that made them. " For the invisible things 
of Him from the creation of the world are 
clearly seen, being understood by the things 
that are made." 4 And hence they are re- 
buked in the book of Wisdom, "who could 
not out of the good things that are seen know 
Him that is: neither by considering the works, 
did they acknowledge the workmaster; but 
deemed either fire, or wind, or the swift air, 
or the circle of the stars, or the violent water, 
or the lights of heaven, to be the gods which 
govern the world: with whose beauty if they, 
being delighted, took them to be gods, let 
them know how much better the Lord of them 
is; for the first Author of beauty hath created 
them. But if they were astonished at their 
power and virtue, let them understand by 
them how much mightier He is that made 
them. For by the greatness and beauty of 
the creatures proportionably the Maker of 
them is seen" 5 I have quoted these words 
from the book of Wisdom for this reason, 
that no one of the faithful may think me 
vainly and emptily to have sought first in the 
creature, step by step through certain trini- 
ties, each of their own appropriate kind, un- 
til I came at last to the mind of man, traces 
of that highest Trinity which we seek when 
we seek God. 

1 Ecclus. xxiv. 29. 

3 Ps. xiv. 2. 

5 Wisd. xiii. 1-5. 

2 Isa. vii. 9. 
4 Rom. i. 20. 



4. But since the necessities of our discus- 
sion and argument have compelled us to say 
a great many things in the course of fourteen 
books, which we cannot view at once in one 
glance, so as to be able to refer them quickly 
in thought to that which we desire to grasp, 
I will attempt, by the help of God, to the best 
of my power, to put briefly together, without 
arguing, whatever I have established in the 
several books by argument as known, and to 
place, as it were, under one mental view, not 
the way in which we have been convinced of 
each point, but the points themselves of which 
we have been convinced; in order that what 
follows may not be so far separated from that 
which precedes, as that the perusal of the 
former shall produce forgetfulness of the lat- 
ter; or at any rate, if it have produced such 
forgetfulness, that what has escaped the 
memory may be speedily recalled by re- 

5. In the first book, the unity and equality 
of that highest Trinity is shown from Holy 
Scripture. In the second, and third, and 
fourth, the same: but a careful handling of 
the question respecting the sending of the Son 
and of the Holy Spirit has resulted in three 
books; and we have demonstrated, that He 
who is sent is not therefore less than He who 
sends because the one sent, the other was 
sent; since the Trinity, which is in all things 
equal, being also equally in its own nature 
unchangeable, and invisible, and everywhere 
present, works indivisibly. In the fifth, 
with a view to those who think that the sub- 
stance of the Father and of the Son is there- 
fore not the same, because they suppose 
everything that is predicated of God to be 
predicated according to substance, and there- 
fore contend that to beget and to be begotten, 
or to be begotten and unbegotten, as being 
diverse, are diverse substances, it is demon- 
strated that not everything that is predicated 
of God is predicated according to substance, 
as He is called good and great according to 
substance, or anything else that is predicated 
of Him in respect to Himself, but that some 
things also are predicated relatively, i.e. not 
in respect to Himself, but in respect to some- 
thing which is not Himself; as He is called 
the Father in respect to the Son, or the Lord 
in respect to the creature that serves Him; 
and that here, if anything thus relatively pre- 
dicated, i.e. predicated in respect to something 
that is not Himself, is predicated also as in 
time, as, e.g., " Lord, Thou hast become our 

Chap. 1 1 1. J 



refuge,'' 1 then nothing happens to Him so as 
to work a change in Him, but He Himself 
continues altogether unchangeable in His own 
nature or essence. In the sixth, the question 
how Christ is called by the mouth of the apos- 
tle "the power of God and the wisdom of 
God," 2 is so far argued that the more careful 
handling of that question is deferred, viz. 
whether He from whom Christ is begotten is 
not wisdom Himself, but only the father of 
His own wisdom, or whether wisdom begat 
wisdom. But be it which it may, the equality 
of the Trinity became apparent in this book 
also, and that God was not triple, but a 
Trinity; and that the Father and the Son are 
not, as it were, a double as opposed to the 
single Holy Spirit: for therein three are not 
anything more than one. We considered, 
too, how to understand the words of Bishop 
Hilary. " Eternity in the Father, form in the 
Image, use in the Gift," In the seventh, the 
question is explained which had been de- 
ferred: in what way that God who begat the 
Son is not only Father of His own power and 
wisdom, but is Himself also power and wis- 
dom; so, too, the Holy Spirit; and yet that 
they are not three powers or three wisdoms, 
but one power and one wisdom, as one God 
and one essence. It was next inquired, in 
what way they are called one essence, three 
persons, or by some Greeks one essence, 
three substances; and we found that the 
words were so used through the needs of 
speech, that there might be one term by 
which to answer, when it is asked what the 
three are, whom we truly confess to be three, 
viz. Father, and Son, and Holy Spirit. In 
the eighth, it is made plain by reason also to 
those who understand, that not only the 
Father is not greater than the Son in the sub- 
stance of truth, but that both together are not 
anything greater than the Holy Spirit alone, 
nor that any two at all in the same Trinity are 
anything greater than one, nor all three to- 
gether anything greater than each severally. 
Next, I have pointed out, that by means of 
the truth, which is beheld by the understand- 
ing, and by means of the highest good, from 
which is all good, and by means of the right- 
eousness for which a righteous mind is loved 
even hy a mind not yet righteous, we might 
understand, so far as it is possible to under- 
stand, that not only incorporeal but also un- 
changeable nature which is God; and by 
means, too, of love, which in the Holy Script- 
ures is called God, 3 by which, first of all, those 
who have understanding begin also, however 
feebly, to discern the Trinity, to wit, one that 

1 Ps. XC. I. 

2 i Cor. i. 24. 

3 i John iv. 16. 

loves, and that which is loved, and love. In 
the ninth, the argument advances as far as to 
the image of God, viz. man in respect to his 
mind; and in this we found a kind of trinity, 
i.e. the mind, and the knowledge whereby 
the mind knows itself, and the love whereby 
it loves both itself and its knowledge of itself; 
and these three are shown to be mutually 
equal, and of one essence. In the tenth, the 
same subject is more carefully and subtly 
handled, and is brought to this point, that we 
found in the mind a still more manifest trinity 
of the mind, viz. in memory, and understand- 
ing, and will. But since it turned out also, 
that the mind could never be in such a case 
as not to remember, understand, and love it- 
self, although i