Comp. the general literature on the Fathers in vol. i. § 116, and the special literature in the several sections following.


I.—The Greek Fathers.


 § 161. Eusebius of C sarea.


I. Eusebius Pamphili: Opera omnia Gr. et Lat., curis variorum nempe II. Valesii, Fr. Vigeri, B. Montfaucon, Card. Angelo Maii edita; collegit et denuo recognovit J. P. Migne. Par. (Petit-Montrouge) 1857. 6 vols. (tom. xix.-xxiv. of Migne’s Patrologia Graeca). Of his several works his Church History has been oftenest edited, sometimes by itself, sometimes in connection with his Vita Constantini, and with the church histories of his successors; best by Henr. Valesius (Du Valois), Par. 1659–’73, 8 vols., and Cantabr. 1720, 3 vols., and again 1746 (with additions by G. Reading, best ed.); also (without the later historians) by E. Zimmermann, Francof. 1822; F. A. Heinichen, Lips. 1827–’8, 3 vols.; E. Burton, Oxon. 1838, 2 vols. (1845 and 1856 in 1 vol.); Schwegler, Tüb. 1852; also in various translations: In German by Stroth, Quedlinburg, 1776 ff., 2 vols.; by Closs, Stuttg. 1839; and several times in French and English; in English by Hanmer (1584), T. Shorting, and better by Chr. Fr. Cruse (an Amer. Episcopalian of German descent, died in New York, 1865): The Ecclesiastical History of Euseb. Pamph., etc., Now York, 1856 (10th ed.), and Lond. 1858 (in Bohn’s Eccles. Library). Comp. also the literary notices in Brunet, sub Euseb., and James Darling, Cyclop. Bibliograph. p. 1072 ff.

II. Biographies by Hieronymus (De viris illustr. c. 81, a brief sketch, with a list of his works), Valesius (De vita scriptisque Eusebii Caesar.), W. Cave (Lives of the most eminent Fathers of the Church, vol. ii. pp. 95–144, ed. H. Cary, Oxf. 1840), Heinichen, Stroth, Cruse, and others, in their editions of the Eccles. Hist. of Eusebius. F. C. Baur: Comparatur Eusebius Hist. eccl. parens cum parente Hist. Herodoto. Tub. 1834. Haenell: De Euseb. Caes. religionis christ. defensore. Gott. 1843. Sam. Lee: Introductory treatise in his Engl. edition of the Theophany of Eusebius, Cambr. 1843. Semisch: Art. Eusebius v. Caes. in Herzog’s Encycl. vol. iv. (1855), pp. 229–238. Lyman Coleman: Eusebius as an historian, in the Bibliotheca Sacra, Andover, 1858, pp. 78–96. (The biography by Acacius, his successor in the see of Caesarea, Socr. ii. 4, is lost.)


This third period is uncommonly rich in great teachers of the church, who happily united theological ability and practical piety, and who, by their development of the most important dogmas in conflict with mighty errors, earned the gratitude of posterity. They monopolized all the learning and eloquence of the declining Roman empire, and made it subservient to the cause of Christianity for the benefit of future generations. They are justly called fathers of the church; they belong to Christendom without distinction of denominations; and they still, especially Athanasius and Chrysostom among the Greek fathers, and Augustine and Jerome among the Latin, by their writings and their example, hold powerful sway, though with different degrees of authority according to the views entertained by the various churches concerning the supremacy of the Bible and the value of ecclesiastical tradition.

We begin the series of the most important Nicene and post-Nicene divines with Eusebius of Caesarea, the "father of church history," the Christian Herodotus.

He was born about the year 260 or 270, probably in Palestine, and was educated at Antioch, and afterwards at Caesarea in Palestine, under the influence of the works of Origen. He formed an intimate friendship with the learned presbyter Pamphilus,1894 who had collected a considerable biblical and patristic library, and conducted a flourishing theological school which he had founded at Caesarea, till in 309 he died a martyr in the persecution under Diocletian.1895  Eusebius taught for a long time in this school; and after the death of his preceptor and friend, he travelled to Tyre and to Egypt, and was an eye-witness of the cruel scenes of the last great persecution of the Christians. He was imprisoned as a confessor, but soon released.

Twenty years later, when Eusebius, presiding at the council at Tyre (335 or 336), took sides against Athanasius, the bishop Potamon of Hieraclea, according to the account of Epiphanius, exclaimed in his face: "How dost thou, Eusebius, sit as judge of the innocent Athanasius?  Who can bear it?  Why! didst thou not sit with me in prison in the time of the tyrants?  They plucked out my eye for my confession of the truth; thou camest forth unhurt; thou hast suffered nothing for thy confession; unscathed thou art here present. How didst thou escape from prison?  On some other ground than because thou didst promise to do an unlawful thing [to sacrifice to idols]? or, perchance, didst thou actually do this?  "But this insinuation of cowardice and infidelity to Christ arose probably from envy and party passion in a moment of excitement. With such a stain upon him, Eusebius would hardly have been intrusted by the ancient church with the episcopal staff.1896

About the year 315, or earlier, Eusebius was chosen bishop of Caesarea,1897 where he labored till his death in 340. The patriarchate of Antioch, which was conferred upon him after the deposition of Eustathius in 331, he in honorable self-denial, and from preference for a more quiet literary life, declined.

He was drawn into the Arian controversies against his will, and played an eminent part at the council of Nicaea, where he held the post of honor at the right hand of the presiding emperor. In the perplexities of this movement he took middle ground, and endeavored to unite the opposite parties. This brought him, on the one hand, the peculiar favor of the emperor Constantine, but, on the other, from the leaders of the Nicene orthodoxy, the suspicion of a secret leaning to the Arian heresy.1898  It is certain that, before the council of Nicaea, he sympathized with Arius; that in the council he proposed an orthodox but indefinite compromise-creed; that after the council he was not friendly with Athanasius and other defenders of orthodoxy; and that, in the synod of Tyre, which deposed Athanasius in 335, he took a leading part, and, according to Epiphanius, presided. In keeping with these facts is his silence respecting the Arian controversy (which broke out in 318) in an Ecclesiastical History which comes down to 324, and was probably not completed till 326, when the council of Nicaea would have formed its most fitting close. He would rather close his history with the victory of Constantine over Licinius than with the Creed over which theological parties contended, and with which he himself was implicated. But, on the other hand, it is also a fact that he subscribed the Nicene Creed, though reluctantly, and reserving his own interpretation of the homoousion; that he publicly recommended it to the people of his diocese; and that he never formally rejected it.

The only satisfactory solution of this apparent inconsistency is to be found in his own indecision and leaning to a doctrinal latitudinarianism, not unfrequent in historians who become familiar with a vast variety of opinions in different ages and countries. On the important point of the homoousion he never came to a firm and final conviction. He wavered between the older Origenistic subordinationism and the Nicene orthodoxy. He asserted clearly and strongly with Origen the eternity of the Son, and so far was decidedly opposed to Arianism, which made Christ a creature in time; but he recoiled from the homoousion, because it seemed to him to go beyond the Scriptures, and hence he made no use of the term, either in his book against Marcellus, or in his discourses against Sabellius. Religious sentiment compelled him to acknowledge the full deity of Christ; fear of Sabellianism restrained him. He avoided the strictly orthodox formulas, and moved rather in the less definite terms of former times. Theological acumen he constitutionally lacked. He was, in fact, not a man of controversy, but of moderation and peace. He stood upon the border between the ante-Nicene theology and the Nicene. His doctrine shows the color of each by turns, and reflects the unsettled problem of the church in the first stage of the Arian controversy.1899

With his theological indecision is connected his weakness of character. He was an amiable and pliant court-theologian, and suffered himself to be blinded and carried away by the splendor of the first Christian emperor, his patron and friend. Constantine took him often into his counsels, invited him to his table, related to him his vision of the cross, showed him the famous labarum, listened standing to his occasional sermons, wrote him several letters, and intrusted to him the supervision of the copies of the Bible for the use of the churches in Constantinople.

At the celebration of the thirtieth anniversary of this emperor’s reign (336), Eusebius delivered a panegyric decked with the most pompous hyperbole, and after his death, in literal obedience to the maxim: "De mortuis nihil nisi bonum," he glorified his virtues at the expense of veracity and with intentional omission of his faults. With all this, however, he had noble qualities of mind and heart, which in more quiet times would have been an ornament to any episcopal see. And it must be said, to his honor, that he never claimed the favor of the emperor for private ends.

The theological and literary value of Eusebius lies in the province of learning. He was an unwearied reader and collector, and probably surpassed all the other church fathers, hardly excepting even Origen and Jerome, in compass of knowledge and of acquaintance with Grecian literature both heathen and Christian; while in originality, vigor, sharpness, and copiousness of thought, he stands far below Origen, Athanasius, Basil, and the two Gregories. His scholarship goes much further in breadth than in depth, and is not controlled and systematized by a philosophical mind or a critical judgment.

Of his works, the historical are by far the most celebrated and the most valuable; to wit, his Ecclesiastical History, his Chronicle, his Life of Constantine, and a tract on the Martyrs of Palestine in the Diocletian persecution. The position of Eusebius, at the close of the period of persecution, and in the opening of the period of the imperial establishment of Christianity, and his employment of many ancient documents, some of which have since been lost, give these works a peculiar value. He is temperate, upon the whole, impartial, and truth-loving—rare virtues in an age of intense excitement and polemical zeal like that in which he lived. The fact that he was the first to work this important field of theological study, and for many centuries remained a model in it, justly entitles him to his honorable distinction of Father of Church History. Yet he is neither a critical student nor an elegant writer of history, but only a diligent and learned collector. His Ecclesiastical History, from the birth of Christ to the victory of Constantine over Licinius in 324, gives a colorless, defective, incoherent, fragmentary, yet interesting picture of the heroic youth of the church, and owes its incalculable value, not to the historic art of the author, but almost entirely to his copious and mostly literal extracts from foreign, and in some cases now extinct, sources. As concerns the first three centuries, too, it stands alone; for the successors of Eusebius begin their history where he leaves off.

His Chronicle consists of an outline-sketch of universal history down to 325, arranged by ages and nations (borrowed largely from the Chronography of Julius Africanus), and an abstract of this universal chronicle in tabular form. The Greek original is lost, with the exception of unconnected fragments by Syncellus; but the second part, containing the chronological tables, was translated and continued by Jerome to 378, and remained for centuries the source of the synchronistic knowledge of history, and the basis of historical works in Christendom.1900  Jerome also translated, with several corrections and additions, a useful antiquarian work of Eusebius, the so-called Onomasticon, a description of the places mentioned in the Bible.1901

In his Life, and still more in his Eulogy, of Constantine, Eusebius has almost entirely forgotten the dignity of the historian in the zeal of the panegyrist. Nevertheless, this work is the chief source of the history of the reign of his imperial friend.1902

Next in importance to his historical works are his apologetic; namely, his Praeparatio evangelica,1903 and his Demonstratio evangelica.1904 These were both written before 324, and are an arsenal of the apologetic material of the ancient church. The former proposes, in fifteen books, to give a documentary refutation of the heathen religious from Greek writings. The latter gives, in twenty books, of which only the first ten are preserved, the positive argument for the absolute truth of Christianity, from its nature, and from the fulfilment of the prophecies in the Old Testament. The Theophany, in five books, is a popular compend from these two works, and was probably written later, as Epiphanius wrote his Anacephalaeosis after the Panarion, for more general use.1905  It is known in the Greek original from fragments only, published by Cardinal Mai,1906 and now complete in a Syriac version which was discovered in 1839 by Tattam, in a Nitrian monastery, and was edited by Samuel Lee at London in 1842.1907  To this class also belongs his apologetic tract Against Hierocles.1908

Of much less importance are the two dogmatic works of Eusebius: Against Marcellus, and Upon the Church Theology (likewise against Marcellus), in favor of the hypostatical existence of the Son.1909

His Commentaries on several books of the Bible (Isaiah, Psalms, Luke) pursue, without independence, and without knowledge of the Hebrew, the allegorical method of Origen.1910

To these are to be added, finally, some works in Biblical Introduction and Archaeology, the Onomasticon, already alluded to, a sort of sacred geography, and fragments of an enthusiastic Apology for Origen, a juvenile work which he and Pamphilus jointly produced before 309, and which, in the Origenistic controversy, was the target of the bitterest shots of Epiphanius and Jerome.1911


 § 162. The Church Historians after Eusebius.


I. The Church Histories of Socrates, Sozomen, Theodoret, Evagrius, Philostorgius, and Theodorus Lector have been edited, with the Eccles. Hist. of Eusebius, by Valesius, Par. 1659–’73, in 3 vols. (defective reprint, Frankf. a. M. 1672–’79); best ed., Cambridge, 1720, and again 1746, in 3 vols., with improvements and additions by Guil. Reading. Best English translation by Meredith, Hanmer, and Wye Saltonstall, Cambr. 1688, 1692, and London, 1709. New ed. in Bohn’s Ecclesiastical Library, Land. 1851, in 4 vols. small 8vo.

II. F. A. Holzhausen: De fontibus, quibus Socrates, Sozomenus, ac Theodoretus in scribenda historia sacra usi sunt. Gött. 1825. G. Dangers: De fontibus, indole et dignitate librorum Theod. Lectoris et Evagrii. Gött. 1841. J. G. Dowling: An Introduction to the Critical Study of Eccl. History. Lond. 1838, p. 84 ff. F. Chr. Baur: Die Epochen der kirchlichen Geschichtschreibung. Tüb. 1852, pp. 7–32. Comp. P. Schaff: History of the Apostolic Church, Gen. Introd. p. 52 f.


Eusebius, without intending it, founded a school of church historians, who continued the thread of his story from Constantine the Great to the close of the sixth century, and, like him, limited themselves to a simple, credulous narration of external facts, and a collection of valuable documents, without an inkling of the critical sifting, philosophical mastery, and artistic reproduction of material, which we find in Thucydides and Tacitus among the classics, and in many a modern historian. None of them touched the history of the first three centuries; Eusebius was supposed to have done here all that could be desired. The histories of Socrates, Sozomen, and Theodoret run nearly parallel, but without mutual acquaintance or dependence, and their contents are very similar.1912  Evagrius carried the narrative down to the close of the sixth century. All of them combine ecclesiastical and political history, which after Constantine were inseparably interwoven in the East; and (with the exception of Philostorgius) all occupy essentially the same orthodox stand-point. They ignore the Western church, except where it comes in contact with the East.

These successors of Eusebius are:

Socrates, an attorney or scholasticus in Constantinople, born in 380. His work, in seven books, covers the period from 306 to 439, and is valuable for its numerous extracts from sources, and its calm, impartial representation. It has been charged with a leaning towards Novatianism. He had upon the whole a higher view of the duty of the historian than his contemporaries and successors; he judged more liberally of heretics and schismatics, and is less extravagant in the praise of emperors and bishops.1913

Hermias Sozomen, a native of Palestine, a junior contemporary of Socrates, and likewise a scholasticus in Constantinople, wrote the history of the church, in nine books, from 323 to the death of Honorius in 423,1914 and hence in its subjects keeps pace for the most part with Socrates, though, as it would appear, without the knowledge of his work, and with many additions on the history of the hermits and monks, for whom he had a great predilection.1915

Theodoret, bishop of Cyrus, was born at Antioch about 390, of an honorable and pious mother; educated in the cloister of St. Euprepius (perhaps with Nestorius); formed upon the writings of Diodorus of Tarsus and Theodore of Mopsuestia; made bishop of Cyros, or Cyrrhos, in Syria, after 420; and died in 457. He is known to us from the Christological controversies as the most scholarly advocate of the Antiochian dyophysitism or moderate Nestorianism; condemned at Ephesus in 431, deposed by the council of Robbers in 449, acquitted in 451 by the fourth ecumenical council on condition of his condemning Nestorius and all deniers of the theotokos, but again partially condemned at the fifth long after his death. He was, therefore, like Eusebius, an actor as well as an author of church history. As bishop, he led an exemplary life, his enemies themselves being judges, and was especially benevolent to the poor. He owned nothing valuable but books, and applied the revenues of his bishopric to the public good. He shared the superstitions and weaknesses of his age.

His Ecclesiastical History, in five books, composed about 450, reaches from 325 to 429. It is the most valuable continuation of Eusebius, and, though shorter, it furnishes an essential supplement to the works of Socrates and Sozomen.

His "Historia religiosa" consists of biographies of hermits and monks, written with great enthusiasm for ascetic holiness, and with many fabulous accessories, according to the taste of the day. His "Heretical Fables,"1916 though superficial and marred by many errors, is of some importance for the history of Christian doctrine. It contains a severe condemnation of Nestorius, which we should hardly expect from Theodoret.1917

Theodoret was a very fruitful author. Besides these histories, he wrote valuable commentaries on most of the books of the Old Testament and on all the Epistles of Paul; dogmatic and polemic works against Cyril and the Alexandrian Christology, and against the heretics; an apology of Christianity against the Greek philosophy; and sermons and letters.1918

Evagrius (born about 536 in Syria, died after 594) was a lawyer in Antioch, and rendered the patriarch Gregory great service, particularly in an action for incest in 588. He was twice married, and the Antiochians celebrated his second wedding (592) with public plays. He is the last continuator of Eusebius and Theodoret, properly so called. He begins his Ecclesiastical History of six books with the council of Ephesus, 431, and closes it with the twelfth year of the reign of the emperor Maurice, 594. He is of special importance on the Nestorian and Eutychian controversies; gives accounts of bishops and monks, churches and public buildings, earthquakes and other calamities; and interweaves political history, such as the wars of Chosroes and the assaults of the barbarians.1919  He was strictly orthodox, and a superstitious venerator of monks, saints, and relics.1920

Theodorus Lector, reader in the church of Constantinople about 525, compiled an abstract from Socrates, Sozomen, and Theodoret, under the title of Historia tripartita, which is still extant in the manuscript;1921 and composed a continuation of Socrates from 431 to 518, of which fragments only are preserved in John Damascenus, Nilus, and Nicephorus Callisti.1922

Of Philostorgius, an Arian church historian (born in 368), nothing has come down to us but fragments in Photius; and these breathe so strong a partisan spirit, that the loss of the rest is not to be regretted. He described the period from the commencement of the Arian controversy to the reign of Valentinian III. a.d. 423.

The series of the Greek church historians closes with Nicephorus Callistus or Callisti (i.e., son of Callistus),1923 who lived at Constantinople in the fifteenth century. He was surprised that the voice of history had been silent since the sixth century, and resumed the long-neglected task where his predecessors had left it, but on a more extended plan of a general history of the catholic church from the beginning to the year 911. We have, however, only eighteen books to the death of emperor Phocas in 610, and a list of contents of five other books. He made large use of Eusebius and his successors, and added unreliable traditions of the later days of the Apostles, the history of Monophysitism, of monks and saints, of the barbarian irruptions, &c. He, too, ignores the Pelagian controversy, and takes little notice of the Latin church after the fifth century.1924

In the Latin church—to anticipate thus much—Eusebius found only one imitator and continuator, the presbyter and monk Rufinus, of Aquileia (330–410). He was at first a friend of Jerome, afterwards a bitter enemy. He translated, with abridgments and insertions at his pleasure, the Ecclesiastical History of Eusebius, and continued it to Theodosius the Great (392). Yet his continuation has little value. He wrote also biographies of hermits; an exposition of the Apostles’ Creed; and translations of several works of Origen, with emendations of offensive portions.1925

Cassiodorus, consul and monk (died about 562), composed a useful abstract of the works of Socrates, Sozomen, and Theodoret, in twelve books, under the title of Historia tripartita, for the Latin church of the middle age.

The only properly original contributions to church history from among the Latin divines were those of Jerome († 419) in his biographical and literary Catalogue of Illustrious Men (written in 392), which Gennadius, a Semi-Pelagian presbyter of South Gaul, continued to the year 495. Sulpicius Severus († 420) wrote in good style a Sacred History, or History of the Old and New Testament, from the creation down to the year 400; and Paulus Orosius (about 415) an apologetic Universal History, which hardly, however, deserves the name of a history.


 § 163. Athanasius the Great.


I. S. Athanasius: Opera omnia quae extant vel quae ejus nomine circumferuntur, etc., Gr. et lat., opera et studio monachorum ordinis S. Benedicti e congregatione S. Mauri (Jac. Lopin et B. de, Montfaucon). Paris, 1698. 3 tom. fol. (or rather 2 tomi, the first in two parts). This is the most elegant and correct edition, but must be completed by two volumes of the Collectio nova Patrum, ed. B. de Montfaucon. Par. 1706. 2 tom. fol. More complete, but not so handsome, is the edition of 1777, Patav., in 4 vols. fol. (Brunet says of the latter "Édition moins belle et moins chère quo cello de Paris, mais augmentée d’un 4e vol., lequel renferme les opuscules de S. Athan., tirés de la Collectio nova du P. Montfaucon et des Anecdota de Wolf, et de plus l’interpretatio Psalmorum.")  But now both these older editions need again to be completed by the Syrian Festal Letters of Athanasius, discovered by Dr. Tattam in a Nitrian monastery in 1843; edited by W. Cureton in Syriac and English at London in 1846 and 1848 (and in English by H. Burgess and H. Williams, Oxf. 1854, in the Libr. of the Fathers); in German, with notes by F. Larson, at Leipzig in 1852; and in Syriac and Latin by Card. Angelo Mai in the Nova Patr. Bibliotheca, Rom. 1853, tom. vi. pp. 1–168. A new and more salable, though less accurate, edition of the Opera omnia Athan. (a reprint of the Benedictine) appeared at Petit-Montrouge (Par.) in J.P. Migne’s Patrologia Gr. (tom. xxv.-xxviii.), 1857, in 4 vols.

The more important dogmatic works of Athanasius have been edited separately by J. C. Thilo, in the first volume of the Bibliotheca Patrum Graec. dogmatica, Lips. 1853; and in an English translation, with explanations and indexes, by J. H. Newman, Oxf. 1842–’44 (Library of the Fathers, vols. 8, 13, 19).

II. Gregorius Naz.: Oratio panegyrica in Magnum Athanasium (Orat. xxi.). Several Vitae Athan. in the 1st vol. of the Bened. ed. of his Opera. Acta Sanctorum for May 2d. G. Hermant: La Vie d’Athanase, etc. Par. 1679. 2 vols. Tillemont: Mémoires, vol. viii. pp. 2–258 (2d ed. Par. 1713). W. Cave: Lives of the most eminent Fathers of the first Four Centuries, vol. ii. pp. 145–364 (Oxf. ed. of 1840). Schröckh: Th. xii. pp. 101–270. J. A. Möhler: Athanasius der Grosse und die Kirche seiner Zeit, besonders im Kampfe mit dem Arianismus. Mainz, 1827. 2d (title) ed. 1844. Heinrich Voigt: Die Lehre des heiligen Athanasius von Alexandria oder die kirchliche Dogmatik des 4ten Jahrhunderts auf Grund der biblischen Lehre vom Logos. Bremen, 1861. A. P. Stanley: Lectures on the History of the Eastern Church. New York, 1862, lecture vii. (pp. 322–358).


Athanasius is the theological and ecclesiastical centre, as his senior contemporary Constantine is the political and secular, about which the Nicene age revolves. Both bear the title of the Great; the former with the better right, that his greatness was intellectual and moral, and proved itself in suffering, and through years of warfare against mighty, errors and against the imperial court. Athanasius contra mundum, et mundus contra Athanasium, is a well-known sentiment which strikingly expresses his fearless independence and immovable fidelity to his convictions. He seems to stand an unanswerable contradiction to the catholic maxim of authority: Quod sem per, quod ubique, quod ab omnibus creditum est, and proves that truth is by no means always on the side of the majority, but may often be very unpopular. The solitary Athanasius even in exile, and under the ban of council and emperor, was the bearer of the truth, and, as he was afterwards named, the "father of orthodoxy."1926

On a martyrs’ day in 313 the bishop Alexander of Alexandria saw a troop of boys imitating the church services in innocent sport, Athanasius playing the part of bishop, and performing baptism by immersion.1927  He caught in this a glimpse of future greatness; took the youth into his care; and appointed him his secretary, and afterwards his archdeacon. Athanasius studied the classics, the Holy Scriptures, and the church fathers, and meantime lived as an ascetic. He already sometimes visited St. Anthony in his solitude.

In the year 325 he accompanied his bishop to the council of Nicaea, and at once distinguished himself there by his zeal and ability in refuting Arianism and vindicating the eternal deity of Christ, and incurred the hatred of this heretical party, which raised so many storms about his life.

In the year 3281928 he was nominated to the episcopal succession of Alexandria, on the recommendation of the dying Alexander, and by the voice of the people, though not yet of canonical age, and at first disposed to avoid the election by flight; and thus he was raised to the highest ecclesiastical dignity of the East. For the bishop of Alexandria was at the same time metropolitan of Egypt, Libya, and Pentapolis.

But now immediately began the long series of contests with the Arian party, which had obtained influence at the court of Constantine, and had induced the emperor to recall Arius and his adherents from exile. Henceforth the personal fortunes of Athanasius are so inseparably interwoven with the history of the Arian controversy that Nicene and Athanasian are equivalent terms, and the different depositions and restorations of Athanasius denote so many depressions and victories of the Nicene orthodoxy. Five times did the craft and power of his opponents, upon the pretext of all sorts of personal and political offences, but in reality on account of his inexorable opposition to the Arian and Semi-Arian heresy, succeed in deposing and banishing him. The first exile he spent in Treves, the second chiefly in Rome, the third with the monks in the Egyptian desert; and he employed them in the written defence of his righteous cause. Then the Arian party, was distracted, first by internal division, and further by the death of the emperor Constantius (361), who was their chief support. The pagan Julian recalled the banished bishops of both parties, in the hope that they might destroy one another. Thus, Athanasius among them, who was the most downright opposite of the Christian-hating emperor, again received his bishopric. But when, by his energetic and wise administration, he rather restored harmony in his diocese, and sorely injured paganism, which he feared far less than Arianism, and thus frustrated the cunning plan of Julian, the emperor resorted to violence, and banished him as a dangerous disturber of the peace. For the fourth time Athanasius left Alexandria, but calmed his weeping friends with the prophetic words: "Be of good cheer; it is only a cloud, which will soon pass over."  By presence of mind he escaped from an imperial ship on the Nile, which had two hired assassins on board. After Julian’s death in 362 he was again recalled by Jovian. But the next emperor Valens, an Arian, issued in 367 an edict which again banished all the bishops who had been deposed under Constantius and restored by Julian. The aged Athanasius was obliged for the fifth time to leave his beloved flock, and kept himself concealed more than four months in the tomb of his father. Then Valens, boding ill from the enthusiastic adherence of the Alexandrians to their orthodox bishop, repealed the edict.

From this time Athanasius had peace, and still wrote, at a great age, with the vigor of youth, against Apollinarianism. In the year 3731929 he died, after an administration of nearly forty-six years, but before the conclusion of the Arian war. He had secured by his testimony the final victory of orthodoxy, but, like Moses, was called away from the earthly scene before the goal was reached.

Athanasius, like many great men (from David and Paul to Napoleon and Schleiermacher), was very small of stature,1930 somewhat stooping and emaciated by fasting and many troubles, but fair of countenance, with a piercing eye and a personal appearance of great power even over his enemies.1931  His omnipresent activity, his rapid and his mysterious movements, his fearlessness, and his prophetic insight into the future, were attributed by his friends to divine assistance, by his enemies to a league with evil powers. Hence the belief in his magic art.1932  His congregation in Alexandria and the people and monks of Egypt were attached to him through all the vicissitudes of his tempestuous life with equal fidelity and veneration. Gregory Nazianzen begins his enthusiastic panegyric with the words: "When I praise Athanasius, I praise virtue itself, because he combines all virtues in himself."  Constantine the Younger called him "the man of God;" Theodoret, "the great enlightener;" and John of Damascus, the corner-stone of the church of God."

All this is, indeed, very hyperbolical, after the fashion of degenerate Grecian rhetoric. Athanasius was not free from the faults of his age. But he is, on the whole, one of the purest, most imposing, and most venerable personages in the history of the church; and this judgment will now be almost universally accepted.1933

He was (and there are few such) a theological and churchly character in magnificent, antique style. He was a man of one mould and one idea, and in this respect one-sided; yet in the best sense, as the same is true of most great men who are borne along with a mighty and comprehensive thought, and subordinate all others to it. So Paul lived and labored for Christ crucified, Gregory VII. for the Roman hierarchy, Luther for the doctrine of justification by faith, Calvin for the idea of the sovereign grace of God. It was the passion and the life-work of Athanasius to vindicate the deity of Christ, which he rightly regarded as the corner-stone of the edifice of the Christian faith, and without which he could conceive no redemption. For this truth he spent all his time and strength; for this he suffered deposition and twenty years of exile; for this he would have been at any moment glad to pour out his blood. For his vindication of this truth he was much hated, much loved, always respected or feared. In the unwavering conviction that he had the right and the protection of God on his side, he constantly disdained to call in the secular power for his ecclesiastical ends, and to degrade himself to an imperial courtier, as his antagonists often did.

Against the Arians he was inflexible, because he believed they hazarded the essence of Christianity itself, and he allowed himself the most invidious and the most contemptuous terms. He calls them polytheists, atheists, Jews, Pharisees, Sadducees, Herodians, spies, worse persecutors than the heathen, liars, dogs, wolves, antichrists, and devils. But he confined himself to spiritual weapons, and never, like his successor Cyril a century later, used nor counselled measures of force. He suffered persecution, but did not practise it; he followed the maxim: Orthodoxy should persuade faith, not force it.

Towards the unessential errors of good men, like those of Marcellus of Ancyra, he was indulgent. Of Origen he spoke with esteem, and with gratitude for his services, while Epiphanius, and even Jerome, delighted to blacken his memory and burn his bones. To the suspicions of the orthodoxy of Basil, whom, by the way, be never personally knew, he gave no ear, but pronounced his liberality a justifiable condescension to the weak. When he found himself compelled to write against Apollinaris, whom he esteemed and loved, he confined himself to the refutation of his error, without the mention of his name. He was more concerned for theological ideas than for words and formulas; even upon the shibboleth homoousios he would not obstinately insist, provided only the great truth of the essential and eternal Godhead of Christ were not sacrificed. At his last appearance in public, as president of the council of Alexandria in 362, he acted as mediator and reconciler of the contending parties, who, notwithstanding all their discord in the use of the terms ousia and hypostasis, were one in the ground-work of their faith.

No one of all the Oriental fathers enjoyed so high consideration in the Western church as Athanasius. His personal sojourn in Rome and Treves, and his knowledge of the Latin tongue, contributed to this effect. He transplanted monasticism to the West. But it was his advocacy of the fundamental doctrine of Christianity that, more than all, gave him his Western reputation. Under his name the Symbolum Quicunque, of much later, and probably of French, origin, has found universal acceptance in the Latin church, and has maintained itself to this day in living use. His name is inseparable from the conflicts and the triumph of the doctrine of the holy Trinity.

As an author, Athanasius is distinguished for theological depth and discrimination, for dialectical skill, and sometimes for fulminating eloquence. He everywhere evinces a triumphant intellectual superiority over his antagonists, and shows himself a veritable malleus haereticorum. He pursues them into all their hiding-places, and refutes all their arguments and their sophisms, but never loses sight of the main point of the controversy, to which he ever returns with renewed force. His views are governed by a strict logical connection; but his stormy fortunes prevented him from composing a large systematic work. Almost all his writings are occasional, wrung from him by circumstances; not a few of them were hastily written in exile.

They may be divided as follows:

1. Apologetic works in defence of Christianity. Among these are the two able and enthusiastic kindred productions of his youth (composed before 325): "A Discourse against the Greeks," and "On the Incarnation of the Divine Word,)"1934 which he already looked upon as the central idea of the Christian religion.

2. Dogmatic and Controversial works in defence of the Nicene faith; which are at the same time very important to the history of the Arian controversies. Of these the following are directed against Arianism: An Encyclical Letter to all Bishops (written in 341); On the Decrees of the Council of Nicaea (352); On the Opinion of Dionysius of Alexandria (352); An Epistle to the Bishops of Egypt and Libya (356); four Orations against the Arians (358); A Letter to Serapion on the Death of Arius (358 or 359); A History of the Arians to the Monks (between 358 and 360). To these are to be added four Epistles to Serapion on the Deity of the Holy Spirit (358), and two books Against Apollinaris, in defence of the full humanity of Christ (379).

3. Works in his own Personal Defence: An Apology against the Arians (350); an Apology to Constantius (356); an Apology concerning his Flight (De fuga, 357 or 358); and several letters.

4. Exegetical works; especially a Commentary on the Psalms, in which he everywhere finds types and prophecies of Christ and the church, according to the extravagant allegorizing method of the Alexandrian school; and a synopsis or compendium of the Bible. But the genuineness of these unimportant works is by many doubted.1935

5. Ascetic and Practical works. Chief among these are his "Life of St. Anthony," composed about 365, or at all events after the death of Anthony,1936 and his "Festal Letters," which have but recently become known.1937  The Festal Letters give us a glimpse of his pastoral fidelity as bishop, and throw new light also on many of his doctrines, and on the condition of the church in his time. In these letters Athanasius, according to Alexandrian custom, announced annually, at Epiphany, to the clergy and congregations of Egypt, the time of the next Easter, and added edifying observations on passages of Scripture, and timely exhortations. These were read in the churches, during the Easter season, especially on Palm-Sunday. As Athanasius was bishop forty-five years, he would have written that number of Festal Letters, if he had not been several times prevented by flight or sickness. The letters were written in Greek, but soon translated into Syriac, and lay buried for centuries in the dust of a Nitrian cloister, till the research of Protestant Scholarship brought them again to the light.


 § 164. Basil the Great.


I. S. Basilius Caes. Cappad. archiepisc.: Opera omnia quae exstant vel quae ejus nomine circumferuntur, Gr. et Lat. ed. Jul. Garnier, presbyter and monk of the Bened. order. Paris, 1721–’30. 3 vols. fol. Eadem ed. Parisina altera, emendata et aucta a Lud. de Sinner, Par. (Gaume Fratres) 1839, 8 tomi in 6 Partes (an elegant and convenient ed.). Reprinted also by Migne, Par. 1857, in 4 vols. (Patrol. Gr. tom xxix, xxxii.). The first edition of St. Basil was superintended by Erasmus with Froben in Basle, 1532. Comp. also Opera Bas. dogmatica selecta in Thilo’s Bibl. Patr. Gr. dogm. vol. ii. Lips. 1854 (under care of J. D. H. Goldhorn, and containing the Libri iii. adversus Eunomium, and Liber i. de Spiritu Sancto).

II. Ancient accounts and descriptions of Basil in the funeral discourses and eulogies of Gregory Naz. (Oratio xliii.), Gregory Nyss., Amphilochius, Ephraem Syrus. Garnier: Vita S. Basilii, in his edition of the Opera, tom. iii. pp. xxxviii.-ccliv. (in the new Paris ed. of 1839; or tom. i. in Migne’s reprint). Comp. also the Vitae in the Acta Sanctorum, sub Jan. 14, by Hermant, Tillemont (tom. ix.), Fabricius (Bibl. tom. ix.), Cave, Pfeiffer, Schröckh (Part xiii. pp. 8–220), Böhringer, W. Klose (Basilius der Grosse, Stralsund, 1835), and Fialon (Etude historique et littéraire sur S. Basile, Par. 1866).


The Asiatic province of Cappadocia produced in the fourth century the three distinguished church teachers, Basil and the two Gregories, who stand in strong contrast with the general character of their countrymen; for the Cappadocians are described as a cowardly, servile, and deceitful race.1938

Basil was born about the year 329,1939 at Caesarea, the capital of Cappadocia, in the bosom of a wealthy and pious family, whose ancestors had distinguished themselves as martyrs. The seed of piety had been planted in him by his grandmother, St. Macrina, and his mother, St. Emmelia. He had four brothers and five sisters, who all led a religious life; two of his brothers, Gregory, bishop of Nyssa, and Peter, bishop of Sebaste, and his sister, Macrina the Younger, are, like himself, among the saints of the Eastern church. He received his literary education at first from his father, who was a rhetorician; afterwards at school in Constantinople (347), where he enjoyed the instruction and personal esteem of the celebrated Libanius; and in Athens, where he spent several years, between 351 and 355,1940 studying rhetoric, mathematics, and philosophy, in company with his intimate friend Gregory Nazianzen, and at the same time with prince Julian the Apostate.

Athens, partly through its ancient renown and its historical traditions, partly by excellent teachers of philosophy and eloquence, Sophists, as they were called in an honorable sense, among whom Himerius and Proaeresius were at that time specially conspicuous, was still drawing a multitude of students from all quarters of Greece, and even from the remote provinces of Asia. Every Sophist had his own school and party, which was attached to him with incredible zeal, and endeavored to gain every newly arriving student to its master. In these efforts, as well as in the frequent literary contests and debates of the various schools among themselves, there was not seldom much rude and wild behavior. To youth who were not yet firmly grounded in Christianity, residence in Athens, and occupation with the ancient classics, were full of temptation, and might easily kindle an enthusiasm for heathenism, which, however, had already lost its vitality, and was upheld solely by the artificial means of magic, theurgy, and an obscure mysticism.1941

Basil and Gregory remained steadfast, and no poetical or rhetorical glitter could fade the impressions of a pious training. Gregory says of their studies in Athens, in his forty-third Oration:1942 "We knew only two streets of the city, the first and the more excellent one to the churches, and to the ministers of the altar; the other, which, however, we did not so highly esteem, to the public schools and to the teachers of the sciences. The streets to the theatres, games, and places of unholy amusements, we left to others. Our holiness was our great concern; our sole aim was to be called and to be Christians. In this we placed our whole glory."1943 In a later oration on classic studies Basil encourages them, but admonishes that they should be pursued with caution, and with constant regard to the great Christian purpose of eternal life, to which all earthly objects and attainments are as shadows and dreams to reality. In plucking the rose one should beware of the thorns, and, like the bee, should not only delight himself with the color and the fragrance, but also gain useful honey from the flower.1944

The intimate friendship of Basil and Gregory, lasting from fresh, enthusiastic youth till death, resting on an identity of spiritual and moral aims, and sanctified by Christian piety, is a lovely and engaging chapter in the history of the fathers, and justifies a brief episode in a field not yet entered by any church historian.

With all the ascetic narrowness of the time, which fettered even these enlightened fathers, they still had minds susceptible to science and art and the beauties of nature. In the works of Basil and of the two Gregories occur pictures of nature such as we seek in vain in the heathen classics. The descriptions of natural scenery among the poets and philosophers of ancient Greece and Rome can be easily compressed within a few pages. Socrates, as we learn from Plato, was of the opinion that we can learn nothing from trees and fields, and hence he never took a walk; he was so bent upon self-knowledge, as the true aim of all learning, that he regarded the whole study of nature as useless, because it did not tend to make man either more intelligent or more virtuous. The deeper sense of the beauty of nature is awakened by the religion of revelation alone, which teaches us to see everywhere in creation the traces of the power, the wisdom, and the goodness of God. The book of Ruth, the book of Job, many Psalms, particularly the 104th, and the parables, are without parallel in Grecian or Roman literature. The renowned naturalist, Alexander von Humboldt, collected some of the most beautiful descriptions of nature from the fathers for his purposes.1945  They are an interesting proof of the transfiguring power of the spirit of Christianity even upon our views of nature.

A breath of sweet sadness runs through them, which is entirely foreign to classical antiquity. This is especially manifest in Gregory of Nyssa, the brother of Basil. "When I see," says he, for example, "every rocky ridge, every valley, every plain, covered with new-grown grass; and then the variegated beauty of the trees, and at my feet the lilies doubly enriched by nature with sweet odors and gorgeous colors; when I view in the distance the sea, to which the changing cloud leads out—my soul is seized with sadness which is not without delight. And when in autumn fruits disappear, leaves fall, boughs stiffen, stripped of their beauteous dress—we sink with the perpetual and regular vicissitude into the harmony of wonder-working nature. He who looks through this with the thoughtful eye of the soul, feels the littleness of man in the greatness of the universe."1946  Yet we find sunny pictures also, like the beautiful description of spring in an oration of Gregory Nazianzen on the martyr Mamas.1947

A second characteristic of these representations of nature, and for the church historian the most important, is the reference of earthly beauty to an eternal and heavenly principle, and that glorification of God in the works of creation, which transplanted itself from the Psalms and the book of Job into the Christian church. In his homilies on the history of the Creation, Basil describes the mildness of the serene nights in Asia Minor, where the stars, "the eternal flowers of heaven, raised the spirit of man from the visible to the invisible."  In the oration just mentioned, after describing the spring in the most lovely and life-like colors, Gregory Nazianzen proceeds: "Everything praises God and glorifies Him with unutterable tones; for everything shall thanks be offered also to God by me, and thus shall the song of those creatures, whose song of praise I here utter, be also ours .... Indeed it is now [alluding to the Easter festival] the spring-time of the world, the spring-time of the spirit, spring-time for souls, spring-time for bodies, a visible spring, an invisible spring, in which we also shall there have part, if we here be rightly transformed, and enter as new men upon a new life."  Thus the earth becomes a vestibule of heaven, the beauty of the body is consecrated an image of the beauty of the spirit.

The Greek fathers placed the beauty of nature above the works of art, having a certain prejudice against art on account of the heathen abuses of it. "If thou seest a splendid building, and the view of its colonnades would transport thee, look quickly at the vault of the heavens and the open fields, on which the flocks are feeding on the shore of the sea. Who does not despise every creation of art, when in the silence of the heart he early wonders at the rising sun, as it pours its golden (crocus-yellow) light over the horizon? when, resting at a spring in the deep grass or under the dark shade of thick trees, he feeds his eye upon the dim vanishing distance?"  So Chrysostom exclaims from his monastic solitude near Antioch, and Humboldt1948 adds the ingenious remark: "It was as if eloquence had found its element, its freedom, again at the fountain of nature in the then wooded mountain regions of Syria and Asia Minor."

In the rough times of the first introduction of Christianity among the Celtic and Germanic tribes, who had worshipped the dismal powers of nature in rude symbols, an opposition to intercourse with nature appeared, like that which we find in Tertullian to pagan art; and church assemblies of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, at Tours (1163) and at Paris (1209), forbid the monks the sinful reading of books on nature, till the renowned scholastics, Albert, the Great († 1280), and the gifted Roger Bacon († 1294), penetrated the mysteries of nature and raised the study of it again to consideration and honor.

We now return to the life of Basil. After finishing his studies in Athens he appeared in his native city of Caesarea as a rhetorician. But he soon after (a.d. 360) took a journey to Syria, Palestine, and Egypt, to become acquainted with the monastic life; and he became more and more enthusiastic for it. He distributed his property to the poor, and withdrew to a lonely romantic district in Pontus, near the cloister in which his mother Emmelia, with his sister Macrina, and other pious and cultivated virgins, were living. "God has shown me," he wrote to his friend Gregory, "a region which exactly suits my mode of life; it is, in truth, what in our happy jestings we often wished. What imagination showed us in the distance, that I now see before me. A high mountain, covered with thick forest, is watered towards the north by fresh perennial streams. At the foot of the mountain a wide plain spreads out, made fruitful by the vapors which moisten it. The surrounding forest, in which many varieties of trees crowd together, shuts me off like a strong castle. The wilderness is bounded by two deep ravines. On one side the stream, where it rushes foaming down from the mountain, forms a barrier hard to cross; on the other a broad ridge obstructs approach. My hut is so placed upon the summit, that I overlook the broad plain, as well as the whole course of the Iris, which is more beautiful and copious than the Strymon near Amphipolis. The river of my wilderness, more rapid than any other that I know, breaks upon the wall of projecting rock, and rolls foaming into the abyss: to the mountain traveller, a charming, wonderful sight; to the natives, profitable for its abundant fisheries. Shall I describe to you the fertilizing vapors which rise from the (moistened) earth, the cool air which rises from the (moving) mirror of the water?  Shall I tell of the lovely singing of the birds and the richness of blooming plants?  What delights me above all is the silent repose of the place. It is only now and then visited by huntsmen; for my wilderness nourishes deer and herds of wild goats, not your bears and your wolves. How would I exchange a place with him?  Alcmaeon, after he had found the Echinades, wished to wander no further."1949

This romantic picture shows that the monastic life had its ideal and poetic side for cultivated minds. In this region Basil, free from all cares, distractions, and interruptions of worldly life, thought that he could best serve God. "What is more blessed than to imitate on earth the choir of angels, at break of day to rise to prayer, and praise the Creator with anthems and songs; then go to labor in the clear radiance of the sun, accompanied everywhere by prayer, seasoning work with praise, as if with salt?  Silent solitude is the beginning of purification of the soul. For the mind, if it be not disturbed from without, and do not lose itself through the senses in the world, withdraws into itself, and rises to thoughts of God."  In the Scriptures he found, "as in a store of all medicines, the true remedy for his sickness."

Nevertheless, he had also to find that flight from the city was not flight from his own self. "I have well forsaken," says he in his second Epistle,1950 "my residence in the city as a source of a thousand evils, but I have not been able to forsake myself. l am like a man who, unaccustomed to the sea, becomes seasick, and gets out of the large ship, because it rocks more, into a small skiff, but still even there keeps the dizziness and nausea. So is it with me; for while I carry about with me the passions which dwell in me, I am everywhere tormented with the same restlessness, so that I really get not much help from this solitude."  In the sequel of the letter, and elsewhere, he endeavors, however, to show that seclusion from worldly business, celibacy, solitude, perpetual occupation with the Holy Scriptures, and with the life of godly men, prayer and contemplation, and a corresponding ascetic severity of outward life, are necessary for taming the wild passions, and for attaining the true quietness of the soul.

He succeeded in drawing his friend Gregory to himself. Together they prosecuted their prayer, studies, and manual labor; made extracts from the works of Origen, which we possess, under the name of Philocalia, as the joint work of the two friends; and wrote monastic rules which contributed largely to extend and regulate the coenobite life.

In the year 364 Basil was made presbyter against his will, and in 370, with the co-operation of Gregory and his father, was elected bishop of Caesarea and metropolitan of all Cappadocia. In this capacity he had fifty country bishops under him, and devoted himself thenceforth to the direction of the church and the fighting of Arianism, which had again come into power through the emperor Valens in the East. He endeavored to secure to the catholic faith the victory, first by close connection with the orthodox West, and then by a certain liberality in accepting as sufficient, in regard to the not yet symbolically settled doctrine of the Holy Ghost, that the Spirit should not be considered a creature. But the strict orthodox party, especially the monks, demanded the express acknowledgment of the divinity of the Holy Ghost, and violently opposed Basil. The Arians pressed him still more. The emperor wished to reduce Cappadocia to the heresy, and threatened the bishop by his prefects with confiscation, banishment, and death. Basil replied: "Nothing more?  Not one of these things touches me. His property cannot be forfeited, who has none; banishment I know not, for I am restricted to no place, and am the guest of God, to whom the whole earth belongs; for martyrdom I am unfit, but death is a benefactor to me, for it sends me more quickly to God, to whom I live and move; I am also in great part already dead, and have been for a long time hastening to the grave."

The emperor was about to banish him, when his son, six years of age, was suddenly taken sick, and the physicians gave up all hope. Then he sent for Basil, and his son recovered, though he died soon after. The imperial prefect also recovered from a sickness, and ascribed his recovery to the prayer of the bishop, towards whom he had previously behaved haughtily. Thus this danger was averted by special divine assistance.

But other difficulties, perplexities, and divisions, continually met him, to obstruct the attainment of his desire, the restoration of the peace of the church. These storms, and all sorts of hostilities, early wasted his body. He died in 379, two years before the final victory of the Nicene orthodoxy, with the words: "Into Thy hands, O Lord I commit my spirit; Thou hast redeemed me, O Lord, God of truth."1951  He was borne to the grave by a deeply sorrowing multitude.

Basil was poor, and almost always sickly; he had only a single worn-out garment, and ate almost nothing but bread, salt, and herbs. The care of the poor and sick he took largely upon himself. He founded in the vicinity of Caesarea that magnificent hospital, Basilias, which we have already mentioned, chiefly for lepers, who were often entirely abandoned in those regions, and left to the saddest fate; he himself took in the sufferers, treated them as brethren, and, in spite of their revolting condition, was not afraid to kiss them.1952

Basil is distinguished as a pulpit orator and as a theologian, and still more as a shepherd of souls and a church ruler; and in the history of monasticism he holds a conspicuous place.1953  In classical culture he yields to none of his contemporaries, and is justly placed with the two Gregories among the very first writers among the Greek fathers. His style is pure, elegant, and vigorous. Photius thought that one who wished to become a panegyrist, need take neither Demosthenes nor Cicero for his model, but Basil only.

Of his works, his Five Books against Eunomius, written in 361, in defence of the deity of Christ, and his work on the Holy Ghost, written in 375, at the request of his friend Amphilochius, are important to the history of doctrine.1954  He at first, from fear of Sabellianism, recoiled from the strong doctrine of the homoousia; but the persecution of the Arians drove him to a decided confession. Of importance in the East is the Liturgy ascribed to him, which, with that of St. Chrysostom, is still in use, but has undoubtedly reached its present form by degrees. We have also from St. Basil nine Homilies on the history of the Creation, which are full of allegorical fancies, but enjoyed the highest esteem in the ancient church, and were extensively used by Ambrose and somewhat by Augustine, in similar works;1955 Homilies on the Psalms; Homilies on various subjects; several ascetic and moral treatises;1956 and three hundred and sixty-five Epistles,1957 which furnish much information concerning his life and times.


 § 165. Gregory of Nyssa.


I. S. Gregorius Nyssenus: Opera omnia, quae reperiri potuerunt, Gr. et Lat., nunc primum e mss. codd. edita, stud. Front. Ducaei (Fronto le Duc, a learned Jesuit). Paris, 1615, 2 vols. fol. To be added to this. Appendix Gregorii ex ed. Jac. Gretseri, Par. 1618, fol.; and the Antirrhetoricus adv. Apollinar., first edited by L. Al. Zacagni, Collectanea monum. vet. eccl. Graec. et Lat. Rom. 1698, and in Gallandi, Bibliotheca, tom. vi. Later editions of the Opera by Aeg. Morél, Par. 1638, 3 vols. fol. ("moins belle que cello de 1615, mais plus ample et plus commode ... peu correcte," according to Brunet); by Migne, Petit-Montrouge (Par.), 1858, 3 vols.; and by Franc. Oehler, Halis Saxonum, 1865 sqq. (Tom. i. continens libros dogmaticos, but only in the Greek original.)  Oehler has also commenced an edition of select treatises of Gregory of Nyasa in the original with a German version. The Benedictines of St. Maur had prepared the critical apparatus for an edition of Gregory, but it was scattered during the French Revolution. Angelo Mai, in the Nov. Patrum Biblioth. tom. iv. Pars i. pp. 1–53 (Rom. 1847), has edited a few writings of Gregory unknown before, viz., a sermon Adversus Arium et Sabellium, a sermon De Spiritu Sancto adv. Macedonianos, and a fragment De processione Spiritus S. a Filio (doubtful).

II. Lives in the Acta Sanctorum, and in Butler, sub Mart. 9. Tillemont: Mém. tom. ix. p. 561 sqq. Schröckh: Part xiv. pp. 1–147. Jul. Rupp: Gregors des Bischofs von Nyssa Leben und Meinungen. Leipz. 1834 (unsatisfactory). W. Möller: Gregorii Nyss. doctrina de hominis natura, etc. Halis, 1854, and article in Herzog’s Encykl. vol. v. p. 354 sqq.


Gregory of Nyssa was a younger brother of Basil, and the third son of his parents. Of his honorable descent he made no account. Blood, wealth, and splendor, says he, we should leave to the friends of the world; the Christian’s lineage is his affinity with the divine, his fatherland is virtue, his freedom is the sonship of God. He was weakly and timid, and born not so much for practical life, as for study and speculation. He formed his mind chiefly upon the writings of Origen, and under the direction of his brother, whom he calls his father and preceptor. Further than this his early life is unknown.

After spending a short time as a rhetorician he broke away from the world, retired into solitude in Pontus, and became enamored of the ascetic life.

Quite in the spirit of the then widely-spread tendency towards the monastic life, he, though himself married, commends virginity in a special work, as a higher grade of perfection, and depicts the happiness of one who is raised above the incumbrances and snares of marriage, and thus, as he thinks, restored to the original state of man in Paradise.1958  "From all the evils of marriage," he says, "virginity is free; it has no lost children, no lost husband to bemoan; it is always with its Bridegroom, and delights in its devout exercises, and, when death comes, it is not separated from him, but united with him forever."  The essence of spiritual virginity, however, in his opinion, by no means consists merely in the small matter of sensual abstinence, but in the purity of the whole life. Virginity is to him the true philosophy, the perfect freedom. The purpose of asceticism in general he considered to be not the affliction of the body—which is only a means—but the easiest possible motion of the spiritual functions.

His brother Basil, in 372, called him against his will from his learned ease into his own vicinity as bishop of Nyssa, an inconsiderable town of Cappadocia. He thought it better that the place should receive its honor from his brother, than that his brother should receive his honor from his place. And so it turned out. As Gregory labored zealously for the Nicene faith, he drew the hatred of the Arians, who succeeded in deposing him at a synod in 376, and driving him into exile. But two years later, when the emperor Valens died and Gratian revoked the sentences of banishment, Gregory recovered his bishopric.

Now other trials came upon him. His brothers and sisters died in rapid succession. He delivered a eulogy upon Basil, whom he greatly venerated, and he described the life and death of his beautiful and noble sister Macrina, who, after the death of her betrothed, that she might remain true to him, chose single life, and afterwards retired with her mother into seclusion, and exerted great influence over her brothers.

Into her mouth he put his theological instructions on the soul, death, resurrection, and final restoration.1959  She died in the arms of Gregory, with this prayer: "Thou, O God, hast taken from me the fear of death. Thou hast granted me, that the end of this life should be the beginning of true life. Thou givest our bodies in their time to the sleep of death, and awakest them again from sleep with the last trumpet .... Thou hast delivered us from the curse and from sin by Thyself becoming both for us; Thou hast bruised the head of the serpent, hast broken open the gates of hell, hast overcome him who had the power of death, and hast opened to us the way to, resurrection. For the ruin of the enemy and the security of our life, Thou hast put upon those who feared Thee a sign, the sign of Thy holy cross, O eternal God, to whom I am betrothed from the womb, whom my soul has loved with all its might, to whom I have dedicated, from my youth up till now, my flesh and my soul. Oh! send to me an angel of light, to lead me to the place of refreshment, where is the water of peace, in the bosom of the holy fathers. Thou who hast broken the flaming sword, and bringest back to Paradise the man who is crucified with Thee and flees to Thy mercy. Remember me also in Thy kingdom!... Forgive me what in word, deed, or thought, I have done amiss!  Blameless and without spot may my soul be received into Thy hands, as a burnt-offering before Thee!"1960

Gregory attended the ecumenical council of Constantinople, and undoubtedly, since he was one of the most eminent theologians of the time, exerted a powerful influence there, and according to a later, but erroneous, tradition, he composed the additions to the Nicene Creed which were there sanctioned.1961  The council intrusted to him, as "one of the pillars of catholic orthodoxy," a tour of visitation to Arabia and Jerusalem, where disturbances had broken out which threatened a schism. He found Palestine in a sad condition, and therefore dissuaded a Cappadocian abbot, who asked his advice about a pilgrimage of his monks to Jerusalem. "Change of place," says he, "brings us no nearer God, but where thou art, God can come to thee, if only the inn of thy soul is ready .... It is better to go out of the body and to raise one’s self to the Lord, than to leave Cappadocia to journey to Palestine."  He did not succeed in making peace, and he returned to Cappadocia lamenting that there were in Jerusalem men "who showed a hatred towards their brethren, such as they ought to have only towards the devil, towards sin, and towards the avowed enemies of the Saviour."

Of his later life we know very little. He was in Constantinople thrice afterwards, in 383, 385, and 394, and he died about the year 395.

The wealth of his intellectual life he deposited in his numerous writings, above all in his controversial doctrinal works: Against Eunomius; Against Apollinaris; On the Deity of the Son and the Holy Ghost; On the difference between ousia and hypostasis in God; and in his catechetical compend of the Christian faith.1962  The beautiful dialogue with his sister Macrina on the soul and the resurrection has been already mentioned. Besides these he wrote many Homilies, especially on the creation of the world, and of man,1963 on the life of Moses, on the Psalms, on Ecclesiastes, on the Song of Solomon, on the Lord’s Prayer, on the Beatitudes; Eulogies on eminent martyrs and saints (St. Stephen, the Forty Martyrs, Gregory Thaumaturgus, Ephrem, Meletius, his brother Basil); various valuable ascetic tracts; and a biography of his sister Macrina, addressed to the monk Olympios.

Gregory was more a man of thought than of action. He had a fine metaphysical head, and did lasting service in the vindication of the mystery of the Trinity and the incarnation, and in the accurate distinction between essence and hypostasis. Of all the church teachers of the Nicene age he is the nearest to Origen. He not only follows his sometimes utterly extravagant allegorical method of interpretation, but even to a great extent falls in with his dogmatic views.1964  With him, as with Origen, human freedom plays a great part. Both are idealistic, and sometimes, without intending it or knowing it, fall into contradiction with the church doctrine, especially in eschatology. Gregory adopts, for example, the doctrine of the final restoration of all things. The plan of redemption is in his view absolutely universal, and embraces all spiritual beings. Good is the only positive reality; evil is the negative, the non-existent, and must finally abolish itself, because it is not of God. Unbelievers must indeed pass through a second death, in order to be purged from the filthiness of the flesh. But God does not give them up, for they are his property, spiritual natures allied to him. His love, which draws pure souls easily and without pain to itself, becomes a purifying fire to all who cleave to the earthly, till the impure element is driven off. As all comes forth from God, so must all return into him at last.


 § 166. Gregory Nazianzen.


I. S. Gregorius Theologus, vulgo Nazianzenus: Opera omnia, Gr. et Lat. opera et studio monachorum S. Benedicti e congreg. S. Mauri (Clemencet). Paris, 1778, tom. i. (containing his orations). This magnificent edition (one of the finest of the Maurian editions of the fathers) was interrupted by the French Revolution, but afterwards resumed, and with a second volume (after papers left by the Maurians) completed by A. B. Caillau, Par. l837–’40, 2 vols. fol. Reprinted in Migne’s Patrolog. Graec. (tom. 35–38), Petit-Montrouge, 1857, in 4 vols. (on the separate editions of his Orationes and Carmina, see Brunet, Man. du libraire, tom. ii. 1728 sq.)

II. Biographical notices in Gregory’s Epistles and Poems, in Socrates, Sozomen, Theodoret, Rufinus, and Suidas (s. v. Grhgovrio"). Gregorius Presbyter (of uncertain origin, perhaps of Cappadocia in the tenth century): Bivo" tou' Grhgorivou (Greek and Latin in Migne’s ed. of the Opera, tom. i. 243–304). G. Hermant: La vie de S. Basile le Grand et celle de S. Gregoire de Nazianz. Par. 1679, 2 vols. Acta Sanctorum, tom. ii. Maji, p. 373 sqq. Bened. Editores: Vita Greg. ex iis potissimum scriptis adornata (in Migne’s ed. tom. i. pp. 147–242). Tillemont: Mémoires, tom. ix. pp. 305–560, 692–731. Le Clerc: Bibliothèque Universelle, tom. xviii. pp. 1–128. W. Cave: Lives of the Fathers, vol. iii. pp. 1–90 (ed. Oxf. 1840). Schröckh: Part xiii. pp. 275–466. Carl Ullmann: Gregorius von Nazianz, der Theologe. Ein Beitrag zur Kirchen- und Dogmengeschichte des 4ten Jahrhunderts. Darmstadt, 1825. (One of the best historical monographs by a theologian of kindred spirit.)  Comp. also the articles of Hefele in Wetzer und Welte’s Kirchenlexikon, vol. iv. 736 ff., and Gass in Herzog’s Encykl. vol. v. 349.


Gregory Nazianzen, or Gregory the Theologian, is the third in the Cappadocian triad; inferior to his bosom friend Basil as a church ruler, and to his namesake of Nyssa as a speculative thinker, but superior to both as an orator. With them he exhibits the flower of Greek theology in close union with the Nicene faith, and was one of the champions of orthodoxy, though with a mind open to free speculation. His life, with its alternations of high station, monastic seclusion, love of severe studies, enthusiasm for poetry, nature, and friendship, possesses a romantic charm. He was "by inclination and fortune tossed between the silence of a contemplative life and the tumult of church administration, unsatisfied with either, neither a thinker nor a poet, but, according to his youthful desire, an orator, who, though often bombastic and dry, labored as powerfully for the victory of orthodoxy as for true practical Christianity."1965

Gregory Nazianzen was born about 330, a year before the emperor Julian, either at Nazianzum, a market-town in the south-western part of Cappadocia, where his father was bishop, or in the neighboring village of Arianzus.1966

In the formation of his religious character his mother Nonna, one of the noblest Christian women of antiquity, exerted a deep and wholesome influence. By her prayers and her holy life she brought about the conversion of her husband from the sect of the Hypsistarians, who, without positive faith, worshipped simply a supreme being; and she consecrated her son, as Hannah consecrated Samuel, even before his birth; to the service of God. "She was," as Gregory describes her, "a wife according to the mind of Solomon; in all things subject to her husband according to the laws of marriage, not ashamed to be his teacher and his leader in true religion. She solved the difficult problem of uniting a higher culture, especially in knowledge of divine things and strict exercise of devotion, with the practical care of her household. If she was active in her house, she seemed to know nothing of the exercises of religion; if she occupied herself with God and his worship, she seemed to be a stranger to every earthly occupation: she was whole in everything. Experiences had instilled into her unbounded confidence in the effects of believing prayer; therefore she was most diligent in supplications, and by prayer overcame even the deepest feelings of grief over her own and others’ sufferings. She had by this means attained such control over her spirit, that in every sorrow she encountered, she never uttered a plaintive tone before she had thanked God."  He especially celebrates also her extraordinary liberality and self-denying love for the poor and the sick. But it seems to be not in perfect harmony with this, that he relates of her: "Towards heathen women she was so intolerant, that she never offered her mouth or hand to them in salutation.1967  She ate no salt with those who came from the unhallowed altars of idols. Pagan temples she did not look at, much less would she have stepped upon their ground; and she was as far from visiting the theatre."  Of course her piety moved entirely in the spirit of that time, bore the stamp of ascetic legalism rather than of evangelical freedom, and adhered rigidly to certain outward forms. Significant also is her great reverence for sacred things. "She did not venture to turn her back upon the holy table, or to spit upon the floor of the church."  Her death was worthy of a holy life. At a great age, in the church which her husband had built almost entirely with his own means, she died, holding fast with one hand to the altar and raising the other imploringly to heaven, with the words: "Be gracious to me, O Christ, my King!"  Amidst universal sorrow, especially among the widows and orphans whose comfort and help she had been, she was laid to rest by the side of her husband near the graves of the martyrs. Her affectionate son says in one of the poems in which he extols her piety and her blessed end: "Bewail, O mortals, the mortal race; but when one dies, like Nonna, praying, then weep I not."

Gregory was early instructed in the Holy Scriptures and in the rudiments of science. He soon conceived a special predilection for the study of oratory, and through the influence of his mother, strengthened by a dream,1968 he determined on the celibate life, that he might devote himself without distraction to the kingdom of God. Like the other church teachers of this period, he also gave this condition the preference, and extolled it in orations and poems, though without denying the usefulness and divine appointment of marriage. His father, and his friend Gregory of Nyssa were among the few bishops who lived in wedlock.

From his native town he went for his further education to Caesarea in Cappadocia, where he probably already made a preliminary acquaintance with Basil; then to Caesarea in Palestine, where there were at that time celebrated schools of eloquence; thence to Alexandria, where his revered Athanasius wore the supreme dignity of the church; and finally to Athens, which still maintained its ancient renown as the seat of Grecian science and art. Upon the voyage thither he survived a fearful storm, which threw him into the greatest mental anguish, especially because, though educated a Christian, he, according to a not unusual custom of that time, had not yet received holy baptism, which was to him the condition of salvation. His deliverance he ascribed partly to the intercession of his parents, who had intimation of his peril by presentiments and dreams, and he took it as a second consecration to the spiritual office.

In Athens be formed or strengthened the bond of that beautiful Christian friendship with Basil, of which we have already spoken in the life of Basil. They were, as Gregory says, as it were only one soul animating two bodies. He became acquainted also with the prince Julian, who was at that time studying there, but felt wholly repelled by him, and said of him with prophetic foresight: "What evil is the Roman empire here educating for itself!"1969  He was afterwards a bitter antagonist of Julian, and wrote two invective discourses against him after his death, which are inspired, however, more by the fire of passion than by pure enthusiasm for Christianity, and which were intended to expose him to universal ignominy as a horrible monument of enmity to Christianity and of the retributive judgment of God.1970

Friends wished him to settle in Athens as a teacher of eloquence, but he left there in his thirtieth year, and returned through Constantinople, where he took with him his brother Caesarius, a distinguished physician,1971 to his native city and his parents’ house. At this time his baptism took place. With his whole soul he now threw himself into a strict ascetic life. He renounced innocent enjoyments, even to music, because they flatter the senses. "His food was bread and salt, his drink water, his bed the bare ground, his garment of coarse, rough cloth. Labor filled the day; praying, singing, and holy contemplation, a great part of the night. His earlier life, which was anything but loose, only not so very strict, seemed to him reprehensible; his former laughing now cost him many tears. Silence and quiet meditation were law and pleasure to him."1972  Nothing but love to his parents restrained him from entire seclusion, and induced him, contrary to talent and inclination, to assist his father in the management of his household and his property.

But he soon followed his powerful bent toward the contemplative life of solitude, and spent a short time with Basil in a quiet district of Pontus in prayer, spiritual contemplations, and manual labors. "Who will transport me," he afterwards wrote to his friend concerning this visit,1973 "back to those former days, in which I revelled with thee in privations?  For voluntary poverty is after all far more honorable than enforced enjoyment. Who will give me back those songs and vigils? who, those risings to God in prayer, that unearthly, incorporeal life, that fellowship and that spiritual harmony of brothers raised by thee to a God-like life? who, the ardent searching of the Holy Scriptures, and the light which, under the guidance of the Spirit, we found therein?"  Then he mentions the lesser enjoyments of the beauties of surrounding nature.

On a visit to his parents’ house, Gregory against his will, and even without his previous knowledge, was ordained presbyter by his father before the assembled congregation on a feast day of the year 361. Such forced elections and ordinations, though very offensive to our taste, were at that time frequent, especially upon the urgent wish of the people, whose voice in many instances proved to be indeed the voice of God. Basil also, and Augustine, were ordained presbyters, Athanasius and Ambrose bishops, against their will. Gregory fled soon after, it is true, to his friend in Pontus, but out of regard to his aged parents and the pressing call of the church, he returned to Nazianzum towards Easter in 362, and delivered his first pulpit discourse, in which he justified himself in his conduct, and said: "It has its advantage to hold back a little from the call of God, as Moses, and after him Jeremiah, did on account of their age; but it has also its advantage to come forward readily, when God calls, like Aaron and Isaiah; provided both be done with a devout spirit, the one on account of inherent weakness, the other in reliance upon the strength of him who calls."  His enemies accused him of haughty contempt of the priestly office; but he gave as the most important reason of his flight, that he did not consider himself worthy to preside over a flock, and to undertake the care of immortal souls, especially in such stormy times.

Basil, who, as metropolitan, to strengthen the catholic interest against Arianism, set about the establishment of new bishoprics in the small towns of Cappadocia, intrusted to his young friend one such charge in Sasima, a poor market town at the junction of three highways, destitute of water, verdure, and society, frequented only by rude wagoners, and at the time an apple of discord between him and his opponent, the bishop Anthimus of Tyana. A very strange way of showing friendship, unjustifiable even by the supposition that Basil wished to exercise the humility and self-denial of Gregory.1974  No wonder that, though a bishopric in itself was of no account to Gregory, this act deeply wounded his sense of honor, and produced a temporary alienation between him and Basil.1975  At the combined request of his friend and his aged father, he suffered himself indeed to be consecrated to the new office; but it is very doubtful whether he ever went to Sasima.1976  At all events we soon afterwards find him in his solitude, and then again, in 372, assistant of his father in Nazianzum. In a remarkable discourse delivered in the presence of his father in 372, he represented to the congregation his peculiar fluctuation between an innate love of the contemplative life of seclusion and the call of the Spirit to public labor.

"Come to my help," said he to his hearers,1977 "for I am almost torn asunder by my inward longing and by the Spirit. The longing urges me to flight, to solitude in the mountains, to quietude of soul and body, to withdrawal of spirit from all sensuous things, and to retirement into myself, that I may commune undisturbed with God, and be wholly penetrated by the rays of His Spirit .... But the other, the Spirit, would lead me into the midst of life, to serve the common weal, and by furthering others to further myself, to spread light, and to present to God a people for His possession, a holy people, a royal priesthood (Tit. ii. 14; 1 Pet. ii. 9), and His image again purified in many. For as a whole garden is more than a plant, and the whole heaven with all its beauties is more glorious than a star, and the whole body more excellent than one member, so also before God the whole well-instructed church is better than one well-ordered person, and a man must in general look not only on his own things, but also on the things of others. So Christ did, who, though He might have remained in His own dignity and divine glory, not only humbled Himself to the form of a servant, but also, despising all shame, endured the death of the cross, that by His suffering He might blot out sin, and by His death destroy death."

Thus he stood a faithful helper by the side of his venerable and universally beloved father, who reached the age of almost an hundred years, and had exercised the priestly office for forty-five; and on the death of his father, in 374, he delivered a masterly funeral oration, which Basil attended.1978  "There is," said he in this discourse, turning to his still living mother, "only one life, to behold the (divine) life; there is only one death—sin; for this is the corruption of the soul. But all else, for the sake of which many exert themselves, is a dream which decoys us from the true; it is a treacherous phantom of the soul. When we think so, O my mother, then we shall not boast of life, nor dread death. For whatsoever evil we yet endure, if we press out of it to true life, if we, delivered from every change, from every vortex, from all satiety, from all vassalage to evil, shall there be with eternal, no longer changeable things, as small lights circling around the great."

A short time after he had been invested with the vacant bishopric, he retired again, in 375, to his beloved solitude, and this time be went to Seleucia in Isauria, to the vicinity of a church dedicated to St. Thecla.

There the painful intelligence reached him of the death of his beloved Basil, a.d. 379. On this occasion be wrote to Basil’s brother, Gregory of Nyssa: "Thus also was it reserved for me still in this unhappy life to hear of the death of Basil and the departure of this holy soul, which is gone out from us, only to go in to the Lord, after having already prepared itself for this through its whole life."  He was at that time bodily and mentally very much depressed. In a letter to the rhetorician Eudoxius he wrote: "You ask, how it fares with me. Very badly. I no longer have Basil; I no longer have Caesarius; my spiritual brother, and my bodily brother. I can say with David, my father and my mother have forsaken me. My body is sickly, age is coming over my head, cares become more and more complicated, duties overwhelm me, friends are unfaithful, the church is without capable pastors, good declines, evil stalks naked. The ship is going in the night, a light nowhere, Christ asleep. What is to be done?  O, there is to me but one escape from this evil case: death. But the hereafter would be terrible to me, if I had to judge of it by the present state."

But Providence had appointed him yet a great work and in exalted position in the Eastern capital of the empire. In the year 379 he was called to the pastoral charge by the orthodox church in Constantinople, which, under the oppressive reign of Arianism, was reduced to a feeble handful; and he was exhorted by several worthy bishops to accept the call. He made his appearance unexpectedly. With his insignificant form bowed by disease, his miserable dress, and his simple, secluded mode of life, he at first entirely disappointed the splendor-loving people of the capital, and was much mocked and persecuted.1979  But in spite of all he succeeded, by his powerful eloquence and faithful labor, in building up the little church in faith and in Christian life, and helped the Nicene doctrine again to victory. In memory of this success his little domestic chapel was afterwards changed into a magnificent church, and named Anastasia, the Church of the Resurrection.

People of all classes crowded to his discourses, which were mainly devoted to the vindication of the Godhead of Christ and to the Trinity, and at the same time earnestly inculcated a holy walk befitting the true faith. Even the famous Jerome, at that time already fifty years old, came from Syria to Constantinople to hear these discourses, and took private instruction of Gregory in the interpretation of Scripture. He gratefully calls him his preceptor and catechist.

The victory of the Nicene faith, which Gregory had thus inwardly promoted in the imperial city, was outwardly completed by the celebrated edict of the new emperor Theodosius, in February, 380. When the emperor, on the 24th of December of that year, entered Constantinople, he deposed the Arian bishop, Demophilus, with all his clergy, and transferred the cathedral church1980 to Gregory with the words: "This temple God by our hand intrusts to thee as a reward for thy pains."  The people tumultuously demanded him for bishop, but he decidedly refused. And in fact he was not yet released from his bishopric of Nazianzum or Sasima (though upon the latter he had never formally entered); he could be released only by a synod.

When Theodosius, for the formal settlement of the theological controversies, called the renowned ecumenical council in May, 381, Gregory was elected by this council itself bishop of Constantinople, and, amidst great festivities, was inducted into the office. In virtue of this dignity he held for a time the presidency of the council.

When the Egyptian and Macedonian bishops arrived, they disputed the validity of his election, because, according to the fifteenth canon of the council of Nice, he could not be transferred from his bishopric of Sasima to another; though their real reason was, that the election had been made without them, and that Gregory would probably be distasteful to them as a bold preacher of righteousness. This deeply wounded him. He was soon disgusted, too, with the operations of party passions in the council, and resigned with the following remarkable declaration:

"Whatever this assembly may hereafter determine concerning me, I would fain raise your mind beforehand to something far higher: I pray you now, be one, and join yourselves in love!  Must we always be only derided as infallible, and be animated only by one thing, the spirit of strife?  Give each other the hand fraternally. But I will be a second Jonah. I will give myself for the salvation of our ship (the church), though I am innocent of the storm. Let the lot fall upon me, and cast me into the sea. A hospitable fish of the deep will receive me. This shall be the beginning of your harmony. I reluctantly ascended the episcopal chair, and gladly I now come down. Even my weak body advises me this. One debt only have I to pay: death; this I owe to God. But, O my Trinity! for Thy sake only am I sad. Shalt Thou have an able man, bold and zealous to vindicate Thee?  Farewell, and remember my labors and my pains."

In the celebrated valedictory which be delivered before the assembled bishops, he gives account of his administration; depicts the former humiliation and the present triumph of the Nicene faith in Constantinople, and his own part in this great change, for which he begs repose as his only reward; exhorts his hearers to harmony and love; and then takes leave of Constantinople and in particular of his beloved church, with this address:

"And now, farewell, my Anastasia, who bearest a so holy name; thou hast exalted again our faith, which once was despised; thou, our common field of victory, thou new Shiloh, where we first established again the ark of the covenant, after it had been carried about for forty years on our wandering in the wilderness."

Though this voluntary resignation of so high a post proceeded in part from sensitiveness and irritation, it is still an honorable testimony to the character of Gregory in contrast with the many clergy of his time who shrank from no intrigues and by-ways to get possession of such dignities. He left Constantinople in June, 381, and spent the remaining years of his life mostly in solitude on his paternal estate of Arianzus in the vicinity of Nazianzum, in religious exercises and literary pursuits. Yet he continued to operate through numerous epistles upon the affairs of the church, and took active interest in the welfare and sufferings of the men around him. The nearer death approached, the more he endeavored to prepare himself for it by contemplation and rigid ascetic practice, that he "might be, and might more and more become, in truth a pure mirror of God and of divine things; might already in hope enjoy the treasures of the future world; might walk with the angels; might already forsake the earth, while yet walking upon it; and might be transported into higher regions by the Spirit."  In his poems he describes himself, living solitary in the clefts of the rocks among the beasts, going about without shoes, content with one rough garment, and sleeping upon the ground covered with a sack. He died in 390 or 391; the particular circumstances of his death being now unknown. His bones were afterwards brought to Constantinople; and they are now shown at Rome and Venice.

Among the works of Gregory stand pre-eminent his five Theological Orations in defence of the Nicene doctrine against the Eunomians and Macedonians, which he delivered in Constantinople, and which won for him the honorary title of the Theologian (in the narrower sense, i.e., vindicator of the deity of the Logos).1981  His other orations (forty-five in all) are devoted to the memory of distinguished martyrs, friends, and kindred, to the ecclesiastical festivals, and to public events or his own fortunes. Two of them are bitter attacks on Julian after his death.1982  They are not founded on particular texts, and have no strictly logical order and connection.

He is the greatest orator of the Greek church, with the exception perhaps of Chrysostom; but his oratory often degenerates into arts of persuasion, and is full of labored ornamentation and rhetorical extravagances, which are in the spirit of his age, but in violation of healthful, natural taste.

As a poet he holds a subordinate, though respectable place. He wrote poetry only in his later life, and wrote it not from native impulse, as the bird sings among the branches, but in the strain of moral reflection, upon his own life, or upon doctrinal and moral themes. Many of his orations are poetical, many of his poems are prosaic. Not one of his odes or hymns passed into use in the church. Yet some of his smaller pieces, apothegms, epigrams, and epitaphs, are very beautiful, and betray noble affections, deep feeling, and a high order of talent and cultivation.1983

We have, finally, two hundred and forty-two (or 244) Epistles from Gregory, which are important to the history of the time, and in some cases very graceful and interesting.


 § 167. Didymus of Alexandria.


I. Didymi Alexandrini Opera omnia: accedunt S. Amphilochii et Nectarii scripta quae supersunt Graece, accurante et denuo recognoscente J. P. Migne. Petit-Montrouge (Paris), 1858. (Tom. xxxix. of the Patrologia Graeca.)

II. Hieronymus: De viris illustr. c. 109, and Prooem. in Hoseam. Scattered accounts in Rufinus, Palladius, Socrates, Sozomen, and Theodoret.  Tillemont: Mémoires, x. 164. Fabricius: Bibl. Gr. tom. ix. 269 sqq. ed. Harless (also in Migne’s ed. of the Opera, pp. 131–140). Schröckh: Church History, vii. 74–87. Guericke: De schola Alexandrina. Hal. 1824.


Didymus, the last great teacher of the Alexandrian catechetical school, and a faithful follower of Origen, was born probably at Alexandria about the year 309. Though he became in his fourth year entirely blind, and for this reason has been surnamed Caecus, yet by extraordinary industry he gained comprehensive and thorough knowledge in philosophy, rhetoric, and mathematics. He learned to write by means of wooden tablets in which the characters were engraved; and he became so familiar with the Holy Scriptures by listening to the church lessons, that he knew them almost all by heart.

Athanasius nominated him teacher in the theological school, where he zealously labored for nearly sixty years. Even men like Jerome, Rufinus, Palladius, and Isidore, sat at his feet with admiration. He was moreover an enthusiastic advocate of ascetic life, and stood in high esteem with the Egyptian anchorites; with St. Anthony in particular, who congratulated him, that, though blind to the perishable world of sense, he was endowed with the eye of an angel to behold the mysteries of God. He died at a great age, in universal favor, in 395.

Didymus was thoroughly orthodox in the doctrine of the Trinity, and a discerning opponent of the Arians, but at the same time a great venerator of Origen, and a participant of his peculiar views concerning the pre-existence of souls, and probably concerning final restoration. For this reason he was long after his death condemned with intolerant zeal by several general councils.1984

We have from him a book On the Holy Ghost, translated by Jerome into Latin, in which he advocates, with much discrimination, and in simple, biblical style, the consubstantiality of the Spirit with the Father, against the Semi-Arians and Pneumatomachi of his time;1985 and three books on the Trinity, in the Greek original.1986  He wrote also a brief treatise against the Manichaeans. Of his numerous exegetical works we have a commentary on the Catholic Epistles,1987 and large fragments, in part uncertain, of commentaries on the Psalms, Job, Proverbs, and some Pauline Epistles.1988


 § 168. Cyril of Jerusalem.


I. S. Cyrilus, archiepisc. Hierosolymitanus: Opera quae exstant omnia, &c., cura et studio Ant. Aug. Touttaei (Touttée), presb. et monachi Bened. e congreg. S. Mauri. Paris, 1720. 1 vol. fol. (edited after Touttée’s death by the Benedictine D. Prud. Maranus. Comp. therewith Sal. Deyling: Cyrillus Hieros. a corruptelis Touttaei aliorumque purgatus. Lips. 1728). Reprint, Venice, 1763. A new ed. by Migne, Petit-Montrouge, 1857 (Patrol. Gr. tom. xxxiii., which contains also the writings of Apollinaris of Laodicea, Diodor of Tarsus, and others). The Catecheses of Cyril have also been several times edited separately, and translated into modern languages. Engl. transl. in the Oxford Library of the Fathers, vol. ii. Oxf. 1839.

II. Epiphanius: Haer. lx. 20; lxxiii. 23, 27, 37. Hieronymus: De viris illustr. c. 112. Socrates: H. E. ii. 40, 42, 45; iii. 20. Sozomen: iv. 5, 17, 20, 22, 25. Theodoret: H. E. ii. 26, 27; iii. 14; v. 8. The Dissertationes Cyrillianae de vita et scriptis S. Cyr. &c. in the Benedictine edition of the Opera, and in Migne’s reprint, pp. 31–822. The Acta Sanctorum, and Butler, sub mense Martii 18. Tillemont: tom. viii. pp. 428–439, 779–787. Also the accounts in the well-known patristic works of Dupin, Ceillier, Cave, Fabricius. Schröckh: Part xii. pp. 369–476.


Cyrilus, presbyter and, after 350, bishop of Jerusalem, was extensively involved during his public life in the Arian controversies. His metropolitan, Acacius of Caesarea, an Arian, who had elevated him to the episcopal chair, fell out with him over the Nicene faith and on a question of jurisdiction, and deposed him at a council in 357. His deposition was confirmed by an Arian council at Constantinople in 360.

After the death of the emperor Constantius he was restored to his bishopric in 361, and in 363 his embittered adversary, Acacius, converted to the orthodox faith. When Julian encouraged the Jews to rebuild the temple, Cyril is said to have predicted the miscarriage of the undertaking from the prophecies of Daniel and of Christ, and he was justified by the result. Under the Arian emperor Valens he was again deposed and banished, with all the other orthodox bishops, till he finally, under Theodosius, was permitted to return to Jerusalem in 379, to devote himself undisturbed to the supervision and restoration of his sadly distracted church until his death.

He attended the ecumenical council in Constantinople in 381, which confirmed him in his office, and gave him the great praise of having suffered much from the Arians for the faith. He died in 386, with his title to office and his orthodoxy universally acknowledged, clear of all the suspicions which many had gathered from his friendship with Semi-Arian bishops during his first exile.1989

From Cyril we have an important theological work, complete, in the Greek original: his twenty-three Catecheses.1990  The work consists of connected religious lectures or homilies, which he delivered while presbyter about the year 347, in preparing a class of catechumens for baptism. It follows that form of the Apostles’ Creed or the Rule of Faith which was then in use in the churches of Palestine and which agrees in all essential points with the Roman; it supports the various articles with passages of Scripture, and defends them against the heretical perversions of his time. The last five, called the Mystagogic Catecheses,1991 are addressed to newly baptized persons, and are of importance in the doctrine of the sacraments and the history of liturgy. In these he explains the ceremonies then customary at baptism: Exorcism, the putting off of garments, anointing, the short confession, triple immersion, confirmation by the anointing oil; also the nature and ritual of the holy Supper, in which he sees a mystical vital union of believers with Christ, and concerning which he uses terms verging at least upon the doctrine of transubstantiation. In connection with this he gives us a full account of the earliest eucharistic liturgy, which coincides in all essential points with such other liturgical remains of the Eastern church, as the Apostolic Constitutions and the Liturgy of St. James.

The Catecheses of Cyril are the first example of a popular compend of religion; for the catechetical work of Gregory of Nyssa (lovgo" kathchtiko;" oJ mevga") is designed not so much for catechumens, as for catechists and those intending to become teachers.

Besides several homilies and tracts of very doubtful genuineness, a homily on the healing of the cripple at Bethesda1992 and a remarkable letter to the emperor Constantius of the year 351, are also ascribed to Cyril.1993  In the letter he relates to the emperor the miraculous appearance of a luminous cross extending from Golgotha to a point over the mount of Olives (mentioned also by Socrates, Sozomen, and others), and calls upon him to praise the "consubstantial Trinity."1994


 § 169. Epiphanius.


I. S. Epiphanius: Opera omnia, Gr. et Lat., Dionysius Petavius ex veteribus libris recensuit, Latine vertit et animadversionibus illustravit. Paris, 1622, 2 vols. fol. The same edition reprinted with additions at Cologne (or rather at Leipsic), 1682, and by J. P. Migne Petit-Montrouge, 1858, in 3 vols. (tom. xli.-xliii. of Migne’s Patrologia Graeca). The Panavrion or Panaria of Epiphanius, together with his Anacephalaeosis, with the Latin version of both by Petavius, has also been separately edited by Fr. Oehler, as tom. ii. and iii. of his Corpus haereseologicum, Berol. 1859–’61. (Part second of tom. iii. contains the Animadversiones of Petavius, and A. Jahn’s Symbolae ad emendanda et illustranda S. Epiphanii Panaria.)

II. Hieronymus: De viris illustr. c. 114, and in several of his Epistles relating to the Origenistic controversies, Epp. 66 sqq. ed. Vallarsi. Socrates: Hist. Eccl. l. vi. c. 10–14. Sozomen: H. E. viii. 11–15. Old biographies, full of fables, see in Migne’s edition, tom. i., and in Petav. ii. 318 sqq. The Vita Epiph. in the Acta Sanctorum for May, tom. iii. die 12, pp. 36–49 (also reprinted in Migne’s ed. tom. i.). Tillemont: Mémoires, tom. x. pp. 484–521, and the notes, pp. 802–809. Fr. Arm. Gervaise: L’histoire et la vie De saint Epiphane. Par. 1738. Fabricius: Biblioth. Graeca ed. Harless, tom. viii. p. 255 sqq. (also reprinted in Migne’s ed. of Epiph. i. 1 sqq.). W. Cave: Lives of the Fathers, iii. 207–236 (new Oxf. ed.). Schröckh: Th. x. 3 ff. R. Adelb. Lipsius: Zur Quellenkritik des Epiphanies. Wien, 1865. (A critical analysis of the older history of heresies, in Epiph. haer. 13–57, with special reference to the Gnostic systems.)


Epiphanius,1995 who achieved his great fame mainly by his learned and intolerant zeal for orthodoxy, was born near Eleutheropolis in Palestine, between 310 and 320, and died at sea, at a very advanced age, on his way back from Constantinople to Cyprus, in 403. According to an uncertain, though not improbable tradition, he was the son of poor Jewish parents, and was educated by a rich Jewish lawyer, until in his sixteenth year he embraced the Christian religion,1996—the first example, after St. Paul, of a learned Jewish convert and the only example among the ancient fathers; for all the other fathers were either born of Christian parents, or converted from heathenism.

He spent several years in severe ascetic exercises among the hermits of Egypt, and then became abbot of a convent near Eleutheropolis. In connection with his teacher and friend Hilarion he labored zealously for the spread of monasticism in Palestine.1997

In the year 367 he was unanimously elected by the people and the monks bishop of Salamis (Constantia), the capital of the island of Cyprus. Here he wrote his works against the heretics, and took active part in the doctrinal controversies of his age. He made it his principal business to destroy the influence of the arch-heretic Origen, for whom he had contracted a thorough hatred from the anchorites of Egypt. On this mission he travelled in his old age to Palestine and Constantinople, and died in the same year in which Chrysostom was deposed and banished, an innocent sacrifice on the opposite side in the violent Origenistic controversies.1998

Epiphanius was revered even by his cotemporaries as a saint and as a patriarch of orthodoxy. Once as he passed through the streets of Jerusalem in company with bishop John, mothers brought their children to him that he might bless them, and the people crowded around him to kiss his feet and to touch the hem of his garment. After his death his name was surrounded by a halo of miraculous legends. He was a man of earnest, monastic piety, and of sincere but illiberal zeal for orthodoxy. His good nature easily allowed him to be used as an instrument for the passions of others, and his zeal was not according to knowledge. He is the patriarch of heresy-hunters. He identified Christianity with monastic piety and ecclesiastical orthodoxy and considered it the great mission of his life to pursue the thousand-headed hydra of heresy into all its hiding places. Occasionally, however, his fiery zeal consumed what was subsequently considered an essential part of piety and orthodoxy. Sharing the primitive Christian abhorrence of images, he destroyed a picture of Christ or some saint in a village church in Palestine; and at times he violated ecclesiastical order.

The learning of Epiphanius was extensive, but ill digested. He understood five languages: Hebrew, Syriac, Egyptian, Greek, and a little Latin. Jerome, who himself knew but three languages, though he knew these far better than Epiphanius, called him the Five-tongued,1999 and Rufinus reproachfully says of him that he considered it his sacred duty as a wandering preacher to slander the great Origen in all languages and nations.2000  He was lacking in knowledge of the world and of men, in sound judgment, and in critical discernment. He was possessed of a boundless credulity, now almost proverbial, causing innumerable errors and contradictions in his writings. His style is entirely destitute of beauty or elegance.

Still his works are of considerable value as a storehouse of the history of ancient heresies and of patristic polemics. They are the following:

1. The Anchor,2001 a defence of Christian doctrine, especially of the doctrines of the Trinity, the incarnation, and the resurrection; in one hundred and twenty-one chapters. He composed this treatise a.d. 373, at the entreaty of clergymen and monks, as a stay for those who are tossed about upon the sea by heretics and devils. In it he gives two creeds, a shorter and a longer, which show that the addition made by the second ecumenical council to the Nicene symbol, in respect to the doctrine of the Holy Ghost and of the church, had already been several years in use in the church.2002  For the shorter symbol, which, according to Epiphanius, had to be said at baptism by every orthodox catechumen in the East, from the council of Nicaea to the tenth year of Valentinian and Valens (a.d. 373), is precisely the same as the Constantinopolitan; and the longer is even more specific against Apollinarianism and Macedonianism, in the article concerning the Holy Ghost. Both contain the anathemas of the Nicene Creed; the longer giving them in an extended form.

2. The Panarium, or Medicine-chest,2003 which contains antidotes for the poison of all heresies. This is his chief work, composed between the years 374 and 377, in answer to solicitations from many quarters. And it is the chief hereseological work of the ancient church. It is more extensive than any of the similar works of Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, and Hippolytus before it, and of Philastrius (or Philastrus), Augustine, Theodoret, pseudo-Tertullian, pseudo-Jerome, and the author of Praedestinatus, after it.2004  Epiphanius brought together, with the diligence of an unwearied compiler, but without logical or chronological arrangement, everything he could learn from written or oral sources concerning heretics from the beginning of the world down to his time. But his main concern is the antidote to heresy, the doctrinal refutations, in which he believed himself to be doing God and the church great service, and which, with all their narrowness and passion, contain many good thoughts and solid arguments. He improperly extends the conception of heresy over the field of all religion; whereas heresy is simply a perversion or caricature of Christian truth, and lives only upon the Christian religion. He describes and refutes no less than eighty heresies,2005 twenty of them preceding the time of Christ.2006  The pre-Christian heresies are: Barbarism, from Adam to the flood; Scythism; Hellenism (idolatry proper, with various schools of philosophy); Samaritanism (including four different sects); and Judaism (subdivided into seven parties: Pharisees, Sadducees, Scribes, Hemerobaptists, Osseans, Nazarenes, and Herodians).2007  Among the Christian heresies, of which Simon Magus, according to ancient tradition, figures as patriarch, the different schools of Gnosticism (which may be easily reduced to about a dozen) occupy the principal space. With the sixty-fourth heresy Epiphanius begins the war upon the Origenists, Arians, Photinians, Marcellians, Semi-Arians, Pneumatomachians, Antidikomarianites, and other heretics of his age. In the earlier heresies he made large use, without proper acknowledgment, of the well-known works of Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, and Hippolytus, and other written sources and oral traditions. In the latter sections he could draw more on his own observation and experience.

3. The Anacephalaeosis is simply an abridgment of the Panarion, with a somewhat different order.2008

This is the proper place to add a few words upon similar works of the post-Nicene age.

About the same time, or shortly after Epiphanius (380), Philastrius or Philastrus, bishop of Brixia (Brescia), wrote his Liber de haeresibus (in 156 chapters).2009  He was still more liberal with the name of heresy, extending it to one hundred and fifty-six systems, twenty-eight before Christ, and a hundred and twenty-eight after. He includes peculiar opinions on all sorts of subjects: Haeresis de stellis coelo affixis, haeresis de peccato Cain, haeresis de Psalterii inequalitate, haeresis de animalibus quatuor in prophetis, haeresis de Septuaginta interpretibus, haeresis de Melchisedech sacerdote, haeresis de uxoribus, et concubinis Salomonis!

He was followed by St. Augustine, who in the last years of his life wrote a brief compend on eighty-eight heresies, commencing with the Simonians and ending with the Pelagians.2010

The unknown author of the book called Praedestinatus added two more heretical parties, the Nestorians and the Predestinarians, to Augustine’s list; but the Predestinarians are probably a mere invention of the writer for the purpose of caricaturing and exposing the heresy of an absolute predestination to good and to evil.2011

4. In addition to those anti-heretical works, we have from Epiphanius a biblical archeological treatise on the Measures and Weights of the Scriptures,2012 and another on the Twelve Gems on the breastplate of Aaron, with an allegorical interpretation of their names.2013

A Commentary of Epiphanius on the Song of Songs was published in a Latin translation by Foggini in 1750 at Rome. Other works ascribed to him are lost, or of doubtful origin.


 § 170. John Chrysostom.


I. S. Joannis Chrysostomi. archiepiscopi Constantinopolitani, Opera omnia quae exstant vel quae ejus nomine circumferuntur, ad MSS. codices Gallic. etc. castigata, etc. (Gr. et Lat.). Opera et studio D. Bernardi de Montfaucon, monachi ordinis S. Benedicti e congregatione S. Mauri, opem ferentibus aliis ex eodem sodalitio monachis. Paris. 1718–’38, in 13 vols. fol. The same edition reprinted at Venice, 1734–’41, in 13 vols. fol. (after which I quote in this section); also at Paris by Sinner (Gaume), 1834–’39, in 13 vols. (an elegant edition, with some additions), and by J. P. Migne, Petit-Montrouge, 1859–’60, in 13 vols. Besides we have a number of separate editions of the Homilies, and of the work on the Priesthood, both in Greek, and in translations. A selection of his writings in Greek and Latin was edited by F. G. Lomler, Rudolphopoli, 1840, 1 volume. German translations of the Homilies (in part) by J. A. Cramer (Leipzig, 1748–’51), Feder (Augsburg, 1786), Ph. Mayer (Nürnberg, 1830), W. Arnoldi (Trier, 1831), Jos. Lutz (Tübingen, 1853); English translations of the Homilies on the New Testament in the Oxford Library of the Fathers, 1842–’53.

II. Palladius (a friend of Chrysostom and bishop of Helenopolis in Bithynia, author of the Historia Lausiaca; according to others a different person): Dialogus historicus de vita et conversatione beati Joannis Chrysostomi cum Theodoro ecclesiae Romanae diacono (in the Bened. ed. of the Opera, tom. xiii. pp. 1–89). Hieronymus: De viris illustribus, c. 129 (a very brief notice, mentioning only the work de sacerdotio). Socrates: H. E. vi. 3–21. Sozomen: H. E. viii. 2–23. Theodoret: H. E. v. 27–36. B. de Montfaucon: Vita Joannis Chrys. in his edition of the Opera, tom. xiii. 91–178. Testimonia Veterum de S. Joann. Chrys. scriptis, ibid. tom. xiii. 256–292. Tillemont: Mémoires, vol. xi. pp. 1–405. F. Stilting: Acta Sanctorum, Sept. 14 (the day of his death), tom. iv. pp. 401–709. A. Butler: Lives of Saints, sub Jan. 27. W. Cave: Lives of the Fathers, vol. iii. p. 237 ff. J. A. Fabricius: Biblioth. Gr. tom. viii. 454 sqq. Schröckh: Vol. x. p. 309 ff. A. Neander: Der heilige Chrysostomus (first 1821), 3d edition, Berlin, 1848, 2 vols. Abbé Rochet: Histoire de S. Jean Chrysostome. Par. 1866, 2 vols. Comp. also A. F. Villemain’s Tableau de l’éloquence chrétienne au IVe siècle. Paris, 1854.


John, to whom an admiring posterity since the seventh century has given the name Chrysostomus, the Golden-mouthed, is the greatest expositor and preacher of the Greek church, and still enjoys the highest honor in the whole Christian world. No one of the Oriental fathers has left a more spotless reputation; no one is so much read and so often quoted by modern commentators.

He was born at Antioch, a.d. 347.2014  His father was a distinguished military officer. His mother Anthusa, who from her twentieth year was a widow, shines with Nonna and Monica among the Christian women of antiquity. She was admired even by the heathen, and the famous rhetorician Libanius, on hearing of her consistency and devotion, felt constrained to exclaim: "Ah! what wonderful women there are among the Christians."2015 She gave her son an admirable education, and early planted in his soul the germs of piety, which afterwards bore the richest fruits for himself and for the church. By her admonitions and the teachings of the Bible he was secured against the seductions of heathenism.

He received his literary training from Libanius, who accounted him his best scholar, and who, when asked shortly before his death (395) whom he wished for his successor, replied: "John, if only the Christians had not carried him away."

After the completion of his studies he became a rhetorician. He soon resolved, however, to devote himself to divine things, and after being instructed for three years by bishop Meletius in Antioch, he received baptism.

His first inclination after his conversion was to adopt the monastic life, agreeably to the ascetic tendencies of the times; and it was only by the entreaties of his mother, who adjured him with tears not to forsake her, that he was for a while restrained. Meletius made him reader, and so introduced him to a clerical career. He avoided an election to the bishopric (370) by putting forward his friend Basil, whom he accounted worthier, but who bitterly complained of the evasion. This was the occasion of his celebrated treatise On the Priesthood, in which, in the form of a dialogue with Basil, he vindicates his not strictly truthful conduct, and delineates the responsible duties of the spiritual office.2016

After the death of his mother he fled from the seductions and tumults of city life to the monastic solitude of the mountains near Antioch, and there spent six happy years in theological study and sacred meditation and prayer, under the guidance of the learned abbot Diodorus (afterwards bishop of Tarsus, † 394), and in communion with such like-minded young men as Theodore of Mopsuestia, the celebrated father of Antiochian (Nestorian) theology († 429). Monasticism was to him a most profitable school of experience and self-government; because he embraced this mode of life from the purest motives, and brought into it intellect and cultivation enough to make the seclusion available for moral and spiritual growth.

In this period he composed his earliest writings in praise of monasticism and celibacy, and his two long letters to the fallen Theodore (subsequently bishop of Mopsuestia), who had regretted his monastic vow and resolved to marry.2017  Chrysostom regarded this small affair from the ascetic stand-point of his age as almost equal to an apostasy from Christianity, and plied all his oratorical arts of sad sympathy, tender entreaty, bitter reproach, and terrible warning, to reclaim his friend to what he thought the surest and safest way to heaven. To sin, he says, is human, but to persist in sin is devilish; to fall is not ruinous to the soul, but to remain on the ground is. The appeal had its desired effect, and cannot fail to make a salutary impression upon every reader, provided we substitute some really great offence for the change of a mode of life which can only be regarded as a temporary and abnormal form of Christian practice.

By excessive self-mortifications John undermined his health, and returned about 380 to Antioch. There he was immediately ordained deacon by Meletius in 386, and by Flavian was made presbyter. By his eloquence and his pure and earnest character he soon acquired great reputation and the love of the whole church.

During the sixteen or seventeen years of his labors in Antioch he wrote the greater part of his Homilies and Commentaries, his work on the Priesthood, a consolatory Epistle to the despondent Stagirius, and an admonition to a young widow on the glory of widowhood and the duty of continuing in it. He disapproved second marriage, not as sinful or illegal, but as inconsistent with an ideal conception of marriage and a high order of piety.

After the death of Nectarius (successor of Gregory Nazianzen), towards the end of the year 397, Chrysostom was chosen, entirely without his own agency, patriarch of Constantinople. At this post he labored several years with happy effect. But his unsparing sermons aroused the anger of the empress Eudoxia, and his fame excited the envy of the ambitious patriarch Theophilus of Alexandria. An act of Christian love towards the persecuted Origenistic monks of Egypt involved him in the Origenistic controversy, and at last the united influence of Theophilus and Eudoxia overthrew him. Even the sympathy of the people and of Innocent I., the bishop of Rome, was unavailing in his behalf. He died in banishment on the fourteenth of September, a.d. 407, thanking God for all.2018  The Greeks celebrate his memorial day on the thirteenth of November, the Latins on the twenty-seventh of January, the day on which his remains in 438 were solemnly deposited in the Church of the Apostles in Constantinople with those of the emperors and patriarchs.

Persecution and undeserved sufferings tested the character of Chrysostom, and have heightened his fame. The Greek church honors him as the greatest teacher of the church, approached only by Athanasius and the three Cappadocians. His labors fall within the comparatively quiet period between the Trinitarian and the Christological controversies. He was not therefore involved in any doctrinal controversy except the Origenistic; and in that he had a very innocent part, as his unspeculative turn of mind kept him from all share in the Origenistic errors. Had he lived a few decades later he would perhaps have fallen under suspicion of Nestorianism; for he belonged to the same Antiochian school with his teacher Diodorus of Tarsus, his fellow-student Theodore of Mopsuestia, and his successor Nestorius. From this school, whose doctrinal development was not then complete, he derived a taste for the simple, sober, grammatico-historical interpretation, in opposition to the arbitrary allegorizing of the Alexandrians, while he remained entirely free from the rationalizing tendency which that school soon afterwards discovered. He is thus the soundest and worthiest representative of the Antiochian theology. In anthropology he is a decided synergist; and his pupil Cassian, the founder of Semi-Pelagianism, gives him for an authority.2019  But his synergism is that of the whole Greek church; it had no direct conflict with Augustinianism, for Chrysostom died several years before the opening of the Pelagian controversy. He opposed the Arians and Novatians, and faithfully and constantly adhered to the church doctrine, so far as it was developed; but he avoided narrow dogmatism and angry controversy, and laid greater stress on practical piety than on unfruitful orthodoxy.2020

Valuable as the contributions of Chrysostom to didactic theology may be, his chief importance and merit lie not in this department, but in homiletical exegesis, pulpit eloquence, and pastoral care. Here he is unsurpassed among the ancient fathers, whether Greek or Latin. By talent and culture he was peculiarly fitted to labor in a great metropolis. At that time a bishop, as he himself says, enjoyed greater honor at court, in the society of ladies, in the houses of the nobles, than the first dignitaries of the empire.2021  Hence the great danger, of hierarchical pride and worldly conformity, to which so many of the prelates succumbed. This danger Chrysostom happily avoided. He continued his plain monastic mode of life in the midst of the splendor of the imperial residence, and applied all his superfluous income to the support of the sick and the stranger. Poor for himself, he was rich for the poor. He preached an earnest Christianity fruitful in good works, he insisted on strict discipline, and boldly attacked the vices of the age and the hollow, worldly, hypocritical religion of the court. He, no doubt, transcended at times the bounds of moderation and prudence, as when he denounced the empress Eudoxia as a new Herodias thirsting after the blood of John; but he erred "on virtue’s side," and his example of fearless devotion to duty has at all times exerted a most salutary influence upon clergymen in high and influential stations. Neander not inaptly compares his work in the Greek church with that of Spener, the practical reformer in the Lutheran church of the seventeenth century, and calls him a martyr of Christian charity, who fell a victim in the conflict with the worldly spirit of his age.2022

In the pulpit Chrysostom was a monarch of unlimited power over his hearers. His sermons were frequently interrupted by noisy theatrical demonstrations of applause, which he indignantly rebuked as unworthy of the house of God.2023  He had trained his natural gift of eloquence, which was of the first order, in the school of Demosthenes and Libanius, and ennobled and sanctified it in the higher school of the Holy Spirit.2024  He was in the habit of making careful preparation for his sermons by the study of the Scriptures, prayer, and meditation; but he knew how to turn to good account unexpected occurrences, and some of his noblest efforts were extemporaneous effusions under the inspiration of the occasion. His ideas are taken from Christian experience and especially from the inexhaustible stores of the Bible, which he made his daily bread, and which he earnestly recommended even to the laity. He took up whole books and explained them in order, instead of confining himself to particular texts, as was the custom after the introduction of the pericopes. His language is noble, solemn, vigorous, fiery, and often overpowering. Yet he was by no means wholly free from the untruthful exaggerations and artificial antitheses, which were regarded at that time as the greatest ornament and highest triumph of eloquence, but which appear to a healthy and cultivated taste as defects and degeneracies. The most eminent French preachers, Bossuet, Massillon, and Bourdaloue, have taken Chrysostom for their model.

By far the most numerous and most valuable writings of this father are the Homilies, over six hundred in number, which he delivered while presbyter at Antioch and while bishop at Constantinople.2025  They embody his exegesis; and of this they are a rich storehouse, from which the later Greek commentators, Theodoret, Theophylact, and Oecumenius, have drawn, sometimes content to epitomize his expositions. Commentaries, properly so called, he wrote only on the first eight chapters of Isaiah and on the Epistle to the Galatians. But nearly all his sermons on Scripture texts are more or less expository. He has left us homilies on Genesis, the Psalms, the Gospel of Matthew, the Gospel of John, the Acts, and all the Epistles of Paul, including the Epistle to the Hebrews. His homilies on the Pauline Epistles are especially esteemed.2026

Besides these expository sermons on whole books of the Scriptures, Chrysostom delivered homilies on separate sections or verses of Scripture, festal discourses, orations in commemoration of apostles and martyrs, and discourses on special occasions. Among the last are eight homilies Against the Jews (against Judaizing tendencies in the church at Antioch), twelve homilies Against the Anomoeans (Arians), and especially the celebrated twenty and one homilies On the Statues, which called forth his highest oratorical powers.2027  He delivered the homilies on the Statues at Antioch in 387 during a season of extraordinary public excitement, when the people, oppressed by excessive taxation, rose in rebellion, tore down the statues of the emperor Theodosius I., the deceased empress Flacilla, and the princes Arcadius and Honorius, dragged them through the streets, and so provoked the wrath of the emperor that he threatened to destroy the city—a calamity which was avoided by the intercession of bishop Flavian.

The other works of Chrysostom are his youthful treatise on the Priesthood already alluded to; a number of doctrinal and moral essays in defence of the Christian faith, and in commendation of celibacy and the nobler forms of monastic life;2028 and two hundred and forty-two letters, nearly all written during his exile between 403 and 407. The most important of the letters are two addressed to the Roman bishop Innocent I., with his reply, and seventeen long letters to his friend Olympias, a pious widow and deaconess. They all breathe a noble Christian spirit, not desiring to be recalled from exile, convinced that  there is but one misfortune,—departure from the path of piety and virtue, and filled with cordial friendship, faithful care for all the interests of the church, and a calm and cheerful looking forward to the glories of heaven.2029

The so-called Liturgy of Chrysostom, which is still in use in the Greek and Russian churches, has been already noticed in the proper place.2030

Among the pupils and admirers of Chrysostom we mention as deserving of special notice two abbots of the first half of the fifth century: the elder Nilus of Sinai, who retired with his son from one of the highest civil stations of the empire to the contemplative solitude of Mount Sinai, while his wife and daughter entered a convent  of Egypt;2031 and Isidore of Pelusium, or Pelusiota, a native of Alexandria, who presided over a convent not far from the mouth of the Nile, and sympathized with Cyril against Nestorius, but warned him against  his violent  passions.2032  They are among the worthiest representatives of ancient  monasticism, and, in a large number of letters and exegetical and ascetic treatises, they discuss, with learning, piety, judgment, and moderation, nearly all the theological and practical questions of their age.


 § 171. Cyril of Alexandria.


I. S. Cyrillus, Alex. archiepisc.: Opera omnia, Gr. et Lat., cura et studio Joan. Auberti. Lutetiae, 1638, 6 vols. in 7 fol. The same edition with considerable additions by J. P. Migne, Petit-Montrouge, 1859, in 10 vols. (Patrol. Gr. tom. lxviii-lxxvii.). Comp. Angelo Mai’s Nova Bibliotheca Patrum, tom. ii. pp. 1–498 (Rom. 1844), and tom. iii. (Rom. 1845), where several writings of Cyril are printed for the first time, viz.: De incarnatione Domini; Explanatio in Lucam; Homiliae; Excerpta; Fragments of Commentaries on the Psalms, and the Pauline and Catholic Epistles. (These additional works are incorporated in Migne’s edition.)  Cyrilli Commentarii in Lucca Evangelium quae supersunt, Syriace, e manuscriptis spud museum Britannicum edidit Rob. Payne Smith, Oxonii, 1858. The same also in an English version with valuable notes by R. P. Smith, Oxford, 1859, in 2 vols.

II. Scattered notices of Cyril in Socrates, Marius Mercator, and the Acts of the ecumenical Councils of Ephesus and Chalcedon. Tillemont: Tom. xiv. 267–676, and notes, pp. 747–795. Cellier: Tom. xiii. 241 sqq. Acta Sanctorum: Jan. 28, tom. ii. A. Butler: Jan. 28. Fabricius: Biblioth. Gr. ed. Harless, vol. ix. p. 446 sqq. (The Vita of the Bollandists and the Noticia literaria of Fabricius are also reprinted in Migne’s edition of Cyril, tom. i. pp. 1–90.)  Schröckh Theil xviii. 313–354. Comp. also the Prefaces of Angelo Mai to tom. ii. of the Nova Bibl. Patrum, and of R. P. Smith to his translation of Cyril’s Commentary on Luke.


While the lives and labors of most of the fathers of the church continually inspire our admiration and devotion, Cyril of Alexandria makes an extremely unpleasant, or at least an extremely equivocal, impression. He exhibits to us a man making theology and orthodoxy the instruments of his passions.

Cyrillus became patriarch of Alexandria about the year 412. He trod in the footsteps of his predecessor and uncle, the notorious Theophilus, who had deposed the noble Chrysostom and procured his banishment; in fact, he exceeded Theophilus in arrogance and violence. He had hardly entered upon his office, when he closed all the churches of the Novatians in Alexandria, and seized their ecclesiastical property. In the year 415 he fell upon the synagogues of the very numerous Jews with armed force, because, under provocation of his bitter injustice, they had been guilty of a trifling tumult; he put some to death, and drove out the rest, and exposed their property to the excited multitude.

These invasions of the province of the secular power brought him into quarrel and continual contest with Orestes, the imperial governor of Alexandria. He summoned five hundred monks from the Nitrian mountains for his guard, who publicly insulted the governor. One of them, by the name of Ammon, wounded him with a stone, and was thereupon killed by Orestes. But Cyril caused the monk to be buried in state in a church as a holy martyr to religion, and surnamed him Thaumasios, the Admirable; yet he found himself compelled by the universal disgust of cultivated people to let this act be gradually forgotten.

Cyril is also frequently charged with the instigation of the murder of the renowned Hypatia, a friend of Orestes. But in this cruel tragedy he probably had only the indirect part of exciting the passions of the Christian populace which led to it, and of giving them the sanction of his high office.2033

From his uncle he had learned a strong aversion to Chrysostom, and at the notorious Synodus ad Quercum near Chalcedon, a.d. 403, he voted for his deposition. He therefore obstinately resisted the patriarchs of Constantinople and Antioch, when, shortly after the death of Chrysostom, they felt constrained to repeal his unjust condemnation; and he was not even ashamed to compare that holy man to the traitor Judas. Yet he afterwards yielded, at least in appearance, to the urgent remonstrances of Isidore of Pelusium and others, and admitted the name of Chrysostom into the diptychs2034 of his church (419), and so brought the Roman see again into communication with Alexandria.

From the year 428 to his death in 444 his life was interwoven with the Christological controversies. He was the most zealous and the most influential champion of the anti-Nestorian orthodoxy at the third ecumenical council, and scrupled at no measures to annihilate his antagonist. Besides the weapons of theological learning and acumen, he allowed himself also the use of wilful misrepresentation, artifice, violence, instigation of people and monks at Constantinople, and repeated bribery of imperial officers, even of the emperor’s sister Pulcheria. By his bribes he loaded the church property at Alexandria with debt, though he left considerable wealth even to his kindred, and adjured his successor, the worthless Dioscurus, with the most solemn religious ceremonies, not to disturb his heirs.2035

His subsequent exertions for the restoration of peace cannot wipe these stains from his character; for he was forced to those exertions by the power of the opposition. His successor Dioscurus, however (after 444), made him somewhat respectable by inheriting all his passions without his theological ability, and by setting them in motion for the destruction of the peace.

Cyril furnishes a striking proof that orthodoxy and piety are two quite different things, and that zeal for pure doctrine may coëxist with an unchristian spirit. In personal character he unquestionably stands far below his unfortunate antagonist. The judgment of the Catholic historians is bound by the authority of their church, which, in strange blindness, has canonized him.2036  Yet Tillemont feels himself compelled to admit that Cyril did much that is unworthy of a saint.2037  The estimate of Protestant historians has been the more severe. The moderate and honest Chr. W. Franz Walch can hardly give him credit for anything good;2038 and the English historian, H. H. Milman, says he would rather appear before the judgment-seat of Christ, loaded with all the heresies of Nestorius, than with the barbarities of Cyril.2039

But the faults of his personal character should not blind us to the merits of Cyril as a theologian. He was a man of vigorous and acute mind and extensive learning and is clearly to be reckoned among the most important dogmatic and polemic divines of the Greek church.2040  Of his contemporaries Theodoret alone was his superior. He was the last considerable representative of the Alexandrian theology and the Alexandrian church, which, however, was already beginning to degenerate and stiffen; and thus be offsets Theodoret, who is the most learned representative of the Antiochian school. He aimed to be the same to the doctrine of the incarnation and the person of Christ, that his purer and greater predecessor in the see of Alexandria had been to the doctrine of the Trinity a century before. But he overstrained the supranaturalism and mysticism of the Alexandrian theology, and in his zeal for the reality of the incarnation and the unity of the person of Christ, he went to the brink of the monophysite error; even sustaining himself by the words of Athanasius, though not by his spirit, because the Nicene age had not yet fixed beyond all interchange the theological distinction between oujsiva and uJpovstasi".2041

And connected with this is his enthusiastic zeal for the honor of Mary as the virgin-mother of God. In a pathetic and turgid eulogy on Mary, which he delivered at Ephesus during the third ecumenical council, he piles upon her predicates which exceed all biblical limits, and border upon idolatry.2042  "Blessed be thou," says he, "O mother of God!  Thou rich treasure of the world, inextinguishable lamp, crown of virginity, sceptre of true doctrine, imperishable temple, habitation of Him whom no space can contain, mother and virgin, through whom He is, who comes in the name of the Lord. Blessed be thou, O Mary, who didst hold in thy womb the Infinite One; thou through whom the blessed Trinity is glorified and worshipped, through whom the precious cross is adored throughout the world, through whom heaven rejoices and angels and archangels are glad, through whom the devil is disarmed and banished, through whom the fallen creature is restored to heaven, through whom every believing soul is saved."2043  These and other extravagant praises are interspersed with polemic thrusts against Nestorius.

Yet Cyril did not, like Augustine, exempt the Virgin from sin or infirmity, but, like Basil, he ascribed to her a serious doubt at the crucifixion concerning the true divinity of Christ, and a shrinking from the cross, similar to that of Peter, when he was scandalized at the bare mention of it, and exclaimed: "Be it far from thee, Lord!" (Matt. xvi. 22.)  In commenting on John xix. 25, Cyril says: The female sex somehow is ever fond of tears,2044  and given to much lamentation .... It was the purpose of the holy evangelist to teach, that probably even the mother of the Lord Himself took offence2045 at the unexpected passion; and the death upon the cross, being so very bitter, was near unsettling her from her fitting mind .... Doubt not that she admitted2046 some such thoughts as these: I bore Him who is laughed at on the wood; but when He said He was the true Son of the Omnipotent God, perhaps somehow He was mistaken.2047  He said, ’I am the Life;’ how then has He been crucified? how has He been strangled by the cords of His murderers? how did He not prevail over the plot of His persecutors? why does He not descend from the cross, since He bade Lazarus to return to life, and filled all Judaea with amazement at His miracles?  And it is very natural that woman,2048 not knowing the mystery, should slide into some such trains of thought. For we should understand, that the gravity of the circumstances of the Passion was enough to overturn even a self-possessed mind; it is no wonder then if woman2049 slipped into this reasoning."  Cyril thus understands the prophecy of Simeon (Luke ii. 35) concerning the sword, which, he says, "meant the most acute pain, cutting down the woman’s mind into extravagant thoughts. For temptations test the hearts of those who suffer them, and make bare the thoughts which are in them."2050

Aside from his partisan excesses, he powerfully and successfully represented the important truth of the unity of the person of Christ against the abstract dyophysitism of Nestorius.

For this reason his Christological writings against Nestorius and Theodoret are of the greatest importance to the history of doctrine.2051  Besides these he has left us a valuable apologetic work, composed in the year 433, and dedicated to the emperor Theodosius II., in refutation of the attack of Julian the Apostate upon Christianity;2052 and a doctrinal work on the Trinity and the incarnation.2053  As an expositor he has the virtues and the faults of the arbitrary allegorizing and dogmatizing method of the Alexandrians, and with all his copiousness of thought he affords far less solid profit than Chrysostom or Theodoret. He has left extended commentaries, chiefly in the form of sermons, on the Pentateuch (or rather on the most important sections and the typical significance of the ceremonial law), on Isaiah, on the twelve Minor Prophets, and on the Gospel of John.2054  To these must now be added fragments of expositions of the Psalms, and of some of the Epistles of Paul, first edited by Angelo Mai; and a homiletical commentary on the Gospel of Luke, which likewise has but recently become known, first by fragments in the Greek original, and since complete in a Syriac translation from the manuscripts of a Nitrian monastery.2055  And, finally, the works of Cyril include thirty Easter Homilies (Homiliae paschales), in which, according to Alexandrian custom, he announced the time of Easter; several homilies delivered in Ephesus and elsewhere; and eighty-eight Letters, relating for the most part, to the Nestorian controversies.2056


 § 172. Ephraem the Syrian.


I. S. Ephraem Syrus: Opera omnia quae exstant Greece, Syriace, Latine, in sex tomos distributa, ad MSS. codices Vaticanos aliosque castigata, etc.: nunc primum, sub auspiciis S. P. Clementis XII. Pontificis Max. e Bibl. Vaticana prodeunt. Edited by the celebrated Oriental scholar J. S. Assemani (assisted by his nephew Stephen Evodius Assemani, 1732–’43, 6 vols. and the Maronite Jesuit Peter Benedict). Romae, fol. (vols. i.-iii. contain the Greek and Latin translations; vols. iv.-vi., which are also separately numbered i.-iii., the Syriac writings with a Latin version). Supplementary works edited by the Mechitarists, Venet. 1836, 4 vols. 8 vo. The hymns of Ephraem have also been edited by Aug. Hahn and Fr. L. Sieffert: Chrestomathia Syriaca sive S. Ephraemi carmina selecta, notis criticis, philologicis, historicis, et glossario locupletissimo illustr., Lips. 1825; and by Daniel: Thes. hymn. tom. iii. (Lips. 1855) pp. 139–268. German translation by Zingerle: Die heil. Muse der Syrer. Innsbruck, 1830. English translation by Henry Burgess: Select metrical Hymns and Homilies of Ephr. Syrus, transl. Lond. 1853, 2 vols. 12 mo. Comp. § 114, above.

II. Gregorius Nyss.: Vita et encomium S. Ephr. Syr. (in Opera Greg. ed. Paris. 1615, tom. ii. pp. 1027–1048; or in Migne’s ed. of Greg. tom. iii. 819–850, and in Ephr. Op. tom. i.). The Vita per Metaphrastem; several anonymous biographies; the Testimonia veterum and Judicia recentiorum; the Dissertation de rebus gestis, scriptis, editionibusque Ephr. Syr., etc., all in the first volume, and the Acta Ephraemi Syriaca auctore anonymo, in the sixth volume, of Assemani’s edition of the Opera Ephr. Jerome: Cat. vir. ill.c. 115. Sozomen: H. E. iii. c. 16; vi. 34. Theodoret: H. E. iv. 29. Acta Sanctorum for Fehr. i. (Antw. 1658), pp. 67–78. Butler: The Lives of the Saints, sub July 9. W. Cave: Lives of the Fathers, &c. Vol. iii. 404–412 (Oxford ed. of 1840). Fabricius: Bibl. Gr. (reprinted in Assemani’s ed. of the Opera i. lxiii. sqq.). Lengerke: De Ephraemo Syro S. Scripturae interprete, Hal. 1828; De Ephr. arte hermeneutica, Regiom. 1831. Alsleben: Das Leben des h. Ephraem. Berlin, 1853. E. Rödiger: Art. Ephräm in Herzog’s Encykl. vol. iv. (1855), p. 85 ff.


Before we leave the Oriental fathers, we must give a sketch of Ephraem or Ephraim2057 the most distinguished divine, orator, and poet, of the ancient Syrian church. He is called "the pillar of the church," "the teacher," "the prophet, of the Syrians," and as a hymn-writer "the guitar of the Holy Ghost."  His life was at an early date interwoven with miraculous legends, and it is impossible to sift the truth from pious fiction.

He was born of heathen parents in Mesopotamia (either at Edessa or at Nisibis) in the beginning of the fourth century, and was expelled from home by his father, a priest of the god Abnil, for his leaning to Christianity.2058  He went to the venerated bishop and confessor Jacob of Nisibis, who instructed and probably also baptized him, took him to the council of Nicaea in 325, and employed him as teacher. He soon acquired great celebrity by his sacred learning, his zealous orthodoxy, and his ascetic piety. In 363, after the cession of Nisibis to the Persians, he withdrew to Roman territory, and settled in Edessa, which about that time became the chief seat of Christian learning in Syria.2059  He lived a hermit in a cavern near the city, and spent his time in ascetic exercises, in reading, writing, and preaching to the monks and the people with great effect. He acquired complete mastery over his naturally violent temper, he denied himself all pleasures, and slept on the bare ground. He opposed the remnants of idolatry in the surrounding country, and defended the Nicene orthodoxy against all classes of heretics. He made a journey to Egypt, where he spent several years among the hermits. He also visited, by divine admonition, Basil the Great at Caesarea, who ordained him deacon. Basil held him in the highest esteem, and afterwards sent two of his pupils to Edessa to ordain him bishop; but Ephraem, in order to escape the responsible office, behaved like a fool, and the messengers returned with the report that he was out of his mind. Basil told them that the folly was on their side, and Ephraem was a man full of divine wisdom.

Shortly before his death, when the city of Edessa was visited by a severe famine, Ephraem quitted his solitary cell and preached a powerful sermon against the rich for permitting the poor to die around them, and told them that their wealth would ruin their soul, unless they made good use of it. The rich men felt the rebuke, and intrusted him with the distribution of their goods. Ephraem fitted up about three hundred beds, and himself attended to the sufferers, whether they were foreigners or natives, till the calamity was at an end. Then he returned to his cell, and a few days after, about the year 379, he expired, soon following his friend Basil.

Ephraem, says Sozomen, attained no higher clerical degree than that of deacon, but his attainments in virtue rendered him equal in reputation to those who rose to the highest sacerdotal dignity, while his holy life and erudition made him an object of universal admiration. He left many disciples who were zealously attached to his doctrines. The most celebrated of them were Abbas, Zenobius, Abraham, Maras, and Simeon, whom the Syrians regard as the glory of their country.2060

Ephraem was an uncommonly prolific author. His fertility was prophetically revealed to him in his early years by the vision of a vine which grew from the root of his tongue, spreading in every direction to the ends of the earth, and was loaded with new and heavier clusters the more it was plucked. His writings consist of commentaries on the Scriptures, homilies, ascetic tracts, and sacred poetry. The commentaries and hymns, or metrical prose, are preserved in the Syriac original, and have an independent philological value for Oriental scholars. The other writings exist only in Greek, Latin, and Armenian translations. Excellent Greek translations were known and extensively read so early as the time of Chrysostom and Jerome. His works furnish no clear evidence of his knowledge of the Greek language; some writers assert his acquaintance with Greek, others deny it.2061

His commentaries extended over the whole Bible, "from the book of creation to the last book of grace," as Gregory of Nyssa says. We have his commentaries on the historical and prophetical books of the Old Testament and the Book of Job in Syriac, and his commentaries on the Epistles of Paul in an Armenian translation.2062  They have been but little used thus far by commentators. He does not interpret the text from the original Hebrew, but from the old Syriac translation, the Peshito.2063

His sermons and homilies, of which, according to Photius, he composed more than a thousand, are partly expository, partly polemical, against Jews, heathen, and heretics.2064  They evince a considerable degree of popular eloquence; they are full of pathos, exclamations, apostrophes, antitheses, illustrations, severe rebuke, and sweet comfort, according to the subject; but also full of exaggerations, bombast, prolixity, and the superstitious of his age, such as the over-estimate of ascetic virtue, and excessive veneration of the Virgin Mary, the saints, and relics.2065  Some of his sermons were publicly read after the Bible lesson in many Oriental and even Occidental churches.2066

His hymns were intended to counteract the influence of the heretical views of Bardesanes and his son Harmonius, which spread widely by means of popular Syrian songs. "When Ephraem perceived," says Sozomen, "that the Syrians were charmed with the elegant diction and melodious versification of Harmonius, he became apprehensive, lest they should imbibe the same opinions; and therefore, although he was ignorant of Greek learning, he applied himself to the study of the metres of Harmonius, and composed similar poems in accordance with the doctrines of the church, and sacred hymns in praise of holy men. From that period the Syrians sang the odes of Ephraem, according to the method indicated by Harmonius."  Theodoret gives a similar account, and says, that the hymns of Ephraem combined harmony and melody with piety, and subserved all the purposes of valuable and efficacious medicine against the heretical hymns of Harmonius. It is reported that he wrote no less than three hundred thousand verses.2067  But, with the exception of his commentaries, all his Syriac works are written in verse, i.e., in lines of an equal number of syllables, and with occasional rhyme and assonance, though without regular metre.2068


II.—The Latin Fathers.


 § 173. Lactantius.


I. Lactantius, Lucius Caecilius Firmianus: Opera. First edition in venerabili monasterio Sublacensi, 1465. (Brunet: "Livre précieux, qui est en même temps la première édition de Lactance, et le premier ouvrage impr. en Italia avec date.")  Later editions by J. L. Brünemann, Lips. 1739; Le Brun and N. Lenglet Du Fresnoy, Par. 1748, 2 vols. 4to; F. E. a S. Xaverio, Rom. 1754–’9, and Migne, Par. 1844, in 2 vols. A convenient manual edition by O. Fridol. Fritzsche, in Gersdorf’s Bibliotheca Patrum ecclesiast. selecta, Lips. 1842, vol. x. and xi.

II. The introductory essays to the editions. Jerome: Cat. vir. illustr. c. 80. Notices in Dupin, Ceillier, Cave (Vol. iii. pp. 373–384), Schönemann (Biblioth. Patr. Lat. i. 177 sqq.), &c. Möhler: Patrologie, i. pp. 917–933. On the Christology of Lactantius, comp. Dorner: Entwicklungsgeschichte der Lehre Von der Person Christi. Th. i. p. 761 ff.


Firmiamus Lactantius stands among the Latin fathers, like Eusebius among the Greek, on the border between the second period and the third, and unites in his reminiscences the personal experience of both the persecution and the victory of the church in the Roman empire; yet in his theological views he belongs rather to the ante-Nicene age.

According to his own confession he sprang from heathen parents. He was probably, as some have inferred from his name, a native of Firmum (Fermo) in Italy; he studied in the school of the rhetorician and apologist Arnobius of Sicca, and on this account has been taken by some for an African; he made himself known by a poetical work called Symposion, a collection of a hundred riddles in hexameters for table amusement; and he was called to Nicomedia by Dioclesian to teach Latin eloquence. But as this city was occupied mostly by Greeks, he had few hearers, and devoted himself to authorship.2069  In his manhood, probably shortly before or during the persecution under Dioclesian, he embraced Christianity; he was witness of the cruel scenes of that persecution, though not himself a sufferer in it; and he wrote in defence of the hated and reviled religion.

Constantine subsequently (after 312) brought him to his court in Gaul, and committed to him the education of his son Crispus, whom the emperor caused to be executed in 326. At court he lived very simply, and withstood the temptations of luxury and avarice. He is said to have died in the imperial residence at Treves at a great age, about the year 330.

Jerome calls Lactantius the most learned man of his time.2070  His writings certainly give evidence of varied and thorough knowledge, of fine rhetorical culture, and particularly of eminent power of statement in clear, pure, and elegant style. In this last respect he surpasses almost all the Latin fathers, except Jerome, and has not unjustly been called the Christian Cicero.2071  His is the famous derivation of the word religion from religare, defining it as the reunion of man with God, reconciliation; answering to the nature of Christianity, and including the three ideas of an original unity, a separation by sin, and a restoration of the unity again.2072

But he is far more the rhetorician than the philosopher or theologian, and, as Jerome observes, has greater skill in the refutation of error than in the establishment of truth. The doctrinal matter of his writings, as in the case of his preceptor Arnobius, is very vague and unsatisfactory, and he does not belong to the narrower circle of the fathers, the authoritative teachers of the church. Pope Gelasius counted his works among the apocrypha, i.e., writings not ecclesiastically received.

Notwithstanding this, his Institutes, on account of their elegant style, have been favorite reading, and are said to have appeared in more than a hundred editions. His mistakes and errors in the exposition of points of Christian doctrine do not amount to heresies, but are mostly due to the crude and unsettled state of the church doctrine at the time. In the doctrine of sin he borders upon Manichaeism. In anthropology and soteriology he follows the synergism which, until Augustine, was almost universal. In the doctrine of the Trinity he was, like most of the ante-Nicene fathers, subordinationist. He taught a duplex nativitas of Christ, one at the creation, and one at the incarnation. Christ went forth from God at the creation, as a word from the mouth, yet hypostatically.2073

His most important work is his Divine Institutes, a comprehensive refutation of heathenism and defence of Christianity, designed to make Christianity better known among the cultivated classes, and to commend it by scholarship and attractive style.2074  He seems to have begun the work during the Dioclesianic persecution, but afterwards to have enlarged and improved it about the year 321; for he dedicated it to the emperor, whom he celebrates as the first Christian prince.2075

To the same apologetic purpose was his work De morte, or mortibus, persecutorum, which is of some importance to the external history of the church.2076  It describes with minute knowledge, but in vehement tone, the cruel persecutions of the Christians from Nero to Dioclesian, Galerius, and Maximinus (314), and the divine judgments on the persecutors, who were compelled to become involuntary witnesses to the indestructible power of Christianity.

In his book De opificio Dei2077 he gives observations on the organization of the human nature, and on the divine wisdom displayed in it.

In the treatise De ira Dei2078 he shows that the punitive justice of God necessarily follows from his abhorrence of evil, and is perfectly compatible with his goodness; and he closes with an exhortation to live such a life that God may ever be gracious to us, and that we may never have to fear his wrath.

We have also from Lactantius various Fragmenta and Carmina de Phoenice, de Passione Domini, de resurrectione Domini, and one hundred Aenigmata, each of three hexameters.2079


 § 174. Hilary of Poitiers.


I. S. Hilarius Pictaviensis: Opera, studio et labore monach. S. Benedicti e congreg. S. Mauri. Paris, 1693, 1 vol. fol. The same ed. enlarged and improved by Scip. Maffei, Verona, 1730, 2 vols. fol. (reprinted in Venice, 1749). Am ed. by Fr. Overthür, Wirceburgi, 1785–’88, 4 vols.; and one by Migne, Petit-Montrouge, 1844–’45, in 2 vols. (Patrol. Lat. tom. ix. and x.).

II. The Praefatio et Vitae in the first vol. of the ed. of Maffei, and Migne (tom. i. 125 sqq.). Hieronymus: De viris illustr. c. 100. Tillemont (tom. vii.); Ceillier (tom. v.); and Butler, sub Jan. 14. Kling, in Herzog’s Encykl. vi. 84 ff. On the Christology of Hilary, comp. especially Dorner, Entwicklungsgeschichte, i. 1037 ff.


Hilary of Poitiers, or Pictaviensis, so named from his birth-place and subsequent bishopric in Southwestern France, and so distinguished from other men of the same name,2080 was especially eminent in the Arian controversies for his steadfast confession and powerful defence of the orthodox faith, and has therefore been styled the "Athanasius of the West."

He was born towards the end of the third century, and embraced Christianity in mature age, with his wife and his daughter Apra.2081  He found in the Holy Scriptures the solution of the riddle of life, which he had sought in vain in the writings of the philosophers. In the year 350 he became bishop of his native city, and immediately took a very decided stand against Arianism, which was at that time devastating the Gallic church. For this he was banished by Constantius to Phrygia in Asia Minor, where Arianism ruled. Here, between 356 and 361, he wrote his twelve books on the Trinity, the main work of his life.2082  He was recalled to Gaul, then banished again, and spent the last years of his life in rural retirement till his death in 368.

We have from him, besides the theological work already mentioned several smaller polemic works against Arianism, viz., On Synods, or the Faith of the Orientals (358); fragments of a history of the Synod of Ariminum and Seleucia; a tract against the Arian emperor Constantius, and one against the Arian bishop Auxentius of Milan. He wrote also Commentaries on the Psalms (incomplete), and the Gospel of Matthew, which are partly a free translation of Origen,2083 and some original hymns, which place him next to Ambrose among the lyric poets of the ancient church.

Hilary was a man of thorough biblical knowledge, theological depth and acuteness, and earnest, efficient piety. He had schooled himself in the works of Origen and Athanasius, but was at the same time an independent thinker and investigator. His language is often obscure and heavy, but earnest and strong, recalling Tertullian. He had to reproduce the profound thoughts of Athanasius and other Greek fathers in the Latin language, which is far less adapted to speculation than the copious, versatile, finely-shaded Greek. The incarnation of God was to him, as it was to Athanasius, the centre of theology and of the Christian life. He had an effective hand in the development of the dogma of the consubstantiality of the Son with the Father, and the dogma of the person of Christ. In this he was specially eminent for his fine use of the Gospel of John. But he could not get clear of subordinationism, nor call the Holy Ghost downright God. His Pneumatology, as well as his anthropology and soteriology, was, like that of all the fathers before Augustine, comparatively crude. In Christology he saw farther and deeper than many of his contemporaries. He made the distinction clear between the divine and the human in Christ, and yet held firmly to the unity of His person. He supposes a threefold birth of the Son of God: the eternal generation in the bosom of the Father, to whom the Son is equal in essence and glory; the incarnation, the humiliation of Himself to the form of a servant from the free impulse of love; and the birth of the Son of God out of the Son of Man in the resurrection, the transfiguration of the form of a servant into the form of God, at once showing forth again the full glory of God, and realizing the idea of humanity.2084


 § 175. Ambrose.


I. S. Ambrosius Mediolanensis episcopus: Opera ad manuscriptos codices Vaticanos, Gallicanos, Belgicos, &c., emendata, studio et labore monachorum ord. S. Benedicti e congreg. S. Mauri (Jac. du Fricke et Nic. de Nourry). Paris. 1686–’90, 2 vols. fol. This edition was reprinted at Venice, 1748–’51, in 4 vols. fol., and in 1781 in 8 vols. 4to, and by Abbé Migne in his Patrol., Petit-Montrouge, 1843, 2 tom. in 4 Parts with some additions. The Libri tres de officiis, and the Hexaëmeron of Ambrose have also been frequently published separately. A convenient edition of both is included in Gersdorf’s Bibliotheca Patrum Latinorum selecta, vols. viii. and ix. Lips. 1839. His hymns are found also in Daniel’s Thesaurus hymnolog tom. i. p. 12 sqq.

II. Paulinus (deacon of Milan and secretary of Ambrose): Vita S. Ambrosii (written by request of St. Augustine, derived from personal knowledge, from Marcella, sister of Ambrose, and several friends). The Vita of an anonymous writer, in Greek and Latin, in the Bened. ed. of the Opera. Both in the Appendix to tom. ii. ed. Benedictinae. Benedictini Editores: Vita Ambrosii ex ejus potissimum scriptis collecta et secundum chronologiae ordinem digesta, in the Bened. ed., in the Appendix to tom. ii., and in Migne’s reprint, tom. i. (very thorough and instructive). Comp. also the Selecta veterum testimonia de S. Ambr. in the same editions. The biographies of Hermant (1678), Tillemont (tom. x. pp. 78–306), Vagliano (Sommario degli archivescovi di Milano), Butler (sub Dec. 7), Schröckh, Böhringer, J. P. Silbert (Das Leben des heiligen Ambrosius, Wien, 1841).


Ambrose, son of the governor (praefectus) of Gaul, which was one of the three great dioceses of the Western empire, was born at Treves (Treviri) about 340, educated at Rome for the highest civil offices, and after greatly distinguishing himself as a rhetorician, was elected imperial president (praetor) of Upper Italy; whereupon Probus, prefect of Italy, gave him the remarkable advice, afterwards interpreted as an involuntary prophecy: "Go, and act not the judge, but the bishop."  He administered this office with justice and mildness, enjoying universal esteem.

The episcopal chair of Milan, the second capital of Italy, and frequently the residence of the emperors, was at that time occupied by the Cappadocian, Auxentius, the head of the Arian party in the West. Soon after the arrival of Ambrose, Auxentius died. A division then arose among the people in the choice of a successor, and a dangerous riot threatened. The governor considered it his duty to allay the storm. But while he was yet speaking to the people, the voice of a child suddenly rang out: "Let Ambrose be bishop!"  It seemed a voice of God, and Arians and Catholics cried, Amen.

Ambrose was at that time a catechumen, and therefore not even baptized. He was terrified, and seized all possible, and even most eccentric, means to escape the responsible office. He was obliged to submit, was baptized, and eight days afterwards, in 374, was consecrated bishop of Milan. His friend, Basil the Great of Caesarea, was delighted that God had chosen such a man to so important a post, who counted noble birth, wealth, and eloquence loss, that he might win Christ.

From this time forward Ambrose lived wholly for the church, and became one of the greatest bishops of ancient Christendom, full of Roman dignity, energy, and administrative wisdom, and of the unction of the Holy Ghost. He began his work with the sale of his great estates and of his gold and silver for the benefit of the poor; reserving an allowance for his pious sister Marcella or Marcellina, who in early youth had taken the vow of virginity. With voluntary poverty he associated the strictest regimen of the ascetic spirit of his time; accepted no invitations to banquets; took dinner only on Sunday, Saturday, and the festivals of celebrated martyrs; devoted the greater part of the night to prayer, to the hitherto necessarily neglected study of the Scriptures and the Greek fathers, and to theological writing; preached every Sunday, and often in the week; was accessible to all, most accessible to the poor and needy; and administered his spiritual oversight, particularly his instruction of catechumens, with the greatest fidelity.

The Arians he vigorously opposed by word and act, and contributed to the victory of the Nicene faith in the West. In this work he behaved himself towards the Arian empress Justina with rare boldness, dignity, and consistency, in the heroic spirit of an Athanasius. The court demanded the cession of a catholic church for the use of the Arians, and claimed for them equal rights with the orthodox. But Ambrose asserted the entire independence of the church towards the state, and by perseverance came off victorious in the end. It was his maxim, that the emperor is in the church, but not over the church, and therefore has no right to the church buildings.

He did not meddle in secular matters, nor ask favor of the magistracy, except when he could put in a word of intercession for the unfortunate and for persons condemned to death in those despotic times. This enabled him to act the more independently in his spiritual office, as a real prince of the church, fearless even of the emperor himself. Thus he declared to the usurper Maximus, who desired church fellowship, that he would never admit him, unless he should do sincere penance for the murder of the emperor Gratian.

When the Roman prefect, Symmachus, the noblest and most eloquent advocate of the decaying heathenism of his time, implored the emperor Valentinian, in an apology for the altar of Victory which stood in the hall of the Roman senate, to tolerate the worship and the sanctuaries of the ancient gods, Ambrose met him with an admirable reply, and prevented the granting of his request.

The most imposing appearance of our bishop against the temporal power was in his dealing with Theodosius, when this truly great, but passionate and despotic, emperor, enraged at Thessalonica for a riot, had caused many thousand innocent persons to be put to death with the guilty, and Ambrose, interesting himself for the unfortunate, like a Nathan with David, demanded repentance of the emperor, and refused him the holy communion. "How wilt thou," said he to him in the vestibule of the church, "how wilt thou lift up in prayer the hands still dripping with the blood of the murdered?  How wilt thou receive with such hands the most holy body of the Lord?  How wilt thou bring to thy mouth his precious blood?  Get thee away, and dare not to heap crime upon crime."  When Theodosius appealed to David’s murder and adultery, the bishop answered: "Well, if thou hast imitated David in sin, imitate him also in repentance."2085  The emperor actually submitted to ecclesiastical discipline, made public confession of his sin, and did not receive absolution until he had issued a law that the sentence of death should never be executed till thirty days after it was pronounced.2086

From this time the relation between Ambrose and Theodosius continued undisturbed, and the emperor is reported to have said afterwards with reference to the bishop, that he had recently found the first man who told him the truth, and that he knew only one man who was worthy to be bishop. He died in the arms of Ambrose at Milan in 395. The bishop delivered his funeral oration in which he tells, to his honor, that on his dying bed he was more concerned for the condition of the church than for himself, and says to the soldiers: "The faith of Theodosius was your victory; let your truth and faith be the strength of his sons. Where unbelief is, there is blindness, but where fidelity is, there is the host of angels."

Two years after this, Ambrose himself was fatally sick. All Milan was in terror. When he was urged to pray God for a lengthening of his life, he answered: "I have so lived among you that I cannot be ashamed to live longer; but neither do I fear to die; for we have a good Lord."  During his sickness he had miraculous intimations and heard heavenly voices, and he himself related that Christ appeared to him smiling. His notary and biographer, the deacon Paulinus, who adorns his life throughout with miraculous incidents, tells us:2087 "Not long before his death, while he was dictating to me his exposition of the Forty-third Psalm, I saw upon his head a flame in the form of a small shield; hereupon his face became white as snow, and not till some time after did it return to its natural color."  In the night of Good Friday, on Saturday, the 4th of April, 397, he died, at the age of fifty-seven years, having first spent several hours, with his hands crossed, in uninterrupted prayer. Even Jews and pagans lamented his death. On the night of Easter following many were baptized in the church where his body was exposed  Not a few of the newly baptized children saw him seated in the episcopal chair with a shining star upon his head. Even after his death he wrought miracles in many places, in proof of which Paulinus gives his own experience, credible persons, and documents.

Ambrose, like Cyprian before him, and Leo I. after him, was greatest in administration. As bishop he towered above the contemporary popes. As a theologian and author he is only a star of the second magnitude among the church fathers, yielding by far to Jerome and Augustine. We have from this distinguished prelate several exegetical, doctrinal, and ascetic works, besides homilies, orations, and letters. In exegesis he adopts the allegorical method entire, and yields little substantial information. The most important among his exegetical works are his homilies on the history of creation (Hexaëmeron, written 389), an Exposition of twenty-one Psalms (390–397), and a Commentary on the Gospel of Luke (386).2088  The Commentary on the Pauline Epistles (Ambrosiaster so called or Pseudo-Ambrosius) which found its way among his works, is of uncertain authorship, perhaps the work of the Roman deacon Hilary under pope Damasus, and resembles in many respects the commentaries of Pelagius. Among his doctrinal writings his five books On Faith, three On the Holy Ghost, and six On the Sacraments (catechetical sermons on baptism, confirmation, and the eucharist) are worthy of mention. Among his ethical writings the work On Duties is the most important. It resembles in form the well-known work of Cicero on the same subject, and reproduces it in a Christian spirit. It is a collection of rules of living for the clergy, and is the first attempt at a Christian doctrine of morals, though without systematic method.2089  Besides this he composed several ascetic essays: Three books on Virgins; On Virginity; On the Institution of the Virgin; On Exhortation to Virginity; On the Fall of a Consecrated Virgin, &c., which contributed much to the spread of celibacy and monastic piety. Of his ninety-one Epistles several are of considerable historical interest.

In his exegesis and in his theology, especially in the doctrine of the incarnation and the Trinity, Ambrose is entirely dependent on the Greek fathers; most on Basil, whose Hexaëmeron he almost slavishly copied. In anthropology he forms the transition from the Oriental doctrine to the system of Augustine, whose teacher and forerunner he was. He is most peculiar in his ethics, which he has set forth in his three books De Officiis. As a pulpit orator he possessed great dignity, force, and unction, and made a deep impression on Augustine, to whose conversion he contributed a considerable share. Many mothers forbade their daughters to hear him lest he should induce them to lead a life of celibacy.

Ambrose has also a very important place in the history of worship, and did immortal service for the music and poetry of the church, as in a former section we have seen.2090  Here again, as in theology and exegesis, he brought over the treasures of the Greek church into the Latin. The church of Milan uses to this day a peculiar liturgy which is called after him the ritus Ambrosianus.


 § 176. Jerome as a Divine and Scholar.


Comp. the Literature at § 41; and especially the excellent monograph (which has since reached us) of Prof. Otto Zöckler: Hieronymus. Sein Leben und Wirken aus seinen Schriften dargestellt. Gotha, 1865.


Having already sketched the life and character of Jerome (born about 340, died in 419) in connection with the history of monasticism, we limit ourselves here to his theological and literary labors, in which he did his chief service to the church, and has gained the greatest credit to himself.

Jerome is the most learned, the most eloquent, and the most interesting author among the Latin fathers. He had by nature a burning thirst for knowledge,2091 and continued unweariedly teaching, and learning, and writing, to the end of a very long life.2092  His was one of those intellectual natures, to which reading and study are as indispensable as daily bread. He could not live without books. He accordingly collected, by great sacrifices, a library for that time very considerable and costly, which accompanied him on his journeys.2093  He further availed himself of the oral instruction of great church teachers, like Apollinaris the Elder in Laodicea, Gregory Nazianzen in Constantinople, and Didymus of Alexandria, and was not ashamed to become an inquiring pupil in his mature age. His principle in studying was, in his own words: "To read the ancients, to test everything, to hold fast the good, and never to depart from the catholic faith."2094

Besides the passion for knowledge, which is the mother of learning, he possessed a remarkable memory, a keen understanding, quick and sound judgment, an ardent temperament, a lively imagination, sparkling wit, and brilliant power of expression. He was a master in all the arts and artifices of rhetoric, and dialectics. He, far more than Lactantius, deserves the name of the Christian Cicero, though he is inferior to Lactantius in classic purity, and was not free from the faulty taste, of his time. Tertullian had, indeed, long before applied the Roman language as the organ of Christian theology; Cyprian, Lactantius, Hilary, and Ambrose, had gone further on the same path; and Augustine has enriched the Christian literature with a greater number of pregnant sentences than all the other fathers together. Nevertheless Jerome is the chief former of the Latin church language, for which his Vulgate did a decisive and standard service similar to that of Luther’s translation of the Bible for German literature, and that of the authorized English Protestant version for English.2095

His scholarship embraced the Latin, Greek, and Hebrew languages and literature; while even Augustine had but imperfect knowledge of the Greek, and none at all of the Hebrew. Jerome was familiar with the Latin classics, especially with Cicero, Virgil, and Horace;2096 and even after his famous anti-Ciceronian vision (which transformed him from a more or less secular scholar into a Christian ascetic and hermit) he could not entirely cease to read over the favorite authors of his youth, or at least to quote them from his faithful memory; thus subjecting himself to the charge of inconsistency, and even of perjury, from Rufinus.2097  Equally accurate was his knowledge of the literature of the church. Of the Latin fathers he particularly admired Tertullian for his powerful genius and vigorous style, though he could not forgive him his Montanism; after him Cyprian, Lactantius, Hilary, and Ambrose. In the Greek classics he was less at home; yet he shows acquaintance with Hesiod, Sophocles, Herodotus, Demosthenes, Aristotle, Theophrastus, and Galen. But in the Greek fathers he was well read, especially in Origen, Eusebius, Didymus, and Gregory Nazianzen; less in Irenaeus, Athanasius, Basil, and other doctrinal writers.

The Hebrew he learned with great labor in his mature years; first from a converted but anonymous Jew, during his five years’ ascetic seclusion in the Syrian desert of Chalcis (374–379); afterwards in Bethlehem (about 385) from the Palestinian Rabbi Bar-Anina, who, through fear of the Jews, visited him by night.2098  This exposed him to the foolish rumor among bigoted opponents, that he preferred Judaism to Christianity, and betrayed Christ in preference to the new "Barabbas."2099  He afterwards, in translating the Old Testament, brought other Jewish scholars to his aid, who cost him dear. He also inspired several of his admiring female pupils, like St. Paula and her daughter Eustochium, with enthusiasm for the study of the sacred language of the old covenant, and brought them on so far that they could sing with him the Hebrew Psalms in praise of the Lord. He lamented the injurious influence of these studies on his style, since "the rattling sound of the Hebrew soiled all the elegance and beauty of Latin speech."2100  Yet, on the other hand, he was by the same means preserved from flying off into hollow and turgid ornamentations, from which his earlier writings, such as his letters to Heliodorus and Innocentius, are not altogether free. Though his knowledge of Hebrew was defective, it was much greater than that of Origen, Epiphanius, and Ephraem Syrus, the only other fathers besides himself who understood Hebrew at all; and it is the more noticeable, when we consider the want of grammatical and lexicographical helps and of the Masoretic punctuation.2101

Jerome, who unfortunately was not free from vanity, prided himself not a little upon his learning, and boasted against his opponent Rufinus, that he was "a philosopher, a rhetorician, a grammarian, a dialectician, a Hebrew, a Greek, a Latin, three-tongued," that is, master of the three principal languages of the then civilized world.2102

All these manifold and rare gifts and attainments made him an extremely influential and useful teacher of the church; for he brought them all into the service of an earnest and energetic, though monkishly eccentric piety. They gave him superior access to the sense of the Holy Scriptures, which continued to be his daily study to extreme old age, and stood far higher in his esteem than all the classics. His writings are imbued with Bible knowledge, and strewn with Bible quotations.

But with all this he was not free from faults as glaring as his virtues are shining, which disturb our due esteem and admiration. He lacked depth of mind and character, delicate sense of truth, and firm, strong convictions. He allowed himself inconsistencies of every kind, especially in his treatment of Origen, and, through solicitude for his own reputation for orthodoxy, he was unjust to that great teacher, to whom he owed so much. He was very impulsive in temperament, and too much followed momentary, changing impressions. Many of his works were thrown off with great haste and little consideration. He was by nature an extremely vain, ambitious, and passionate man, and he never succeeded in fully overcoming these evil forces. He could not bear censure. Even his later polemic writings are full of envy, hatred, and anger. In his correspondence with Augustine, with all assurances of respect, he everywhere gives that father to feel his own superiority as a comprehensive scholar, and in one place tells him that he never had taken the trouble to read his writings, excepting his Soliloquies and "some commentaries on the Psalms."  He indulged in rhetorical exaggerations and unjust inferences, which violated the laws of truth and honesty; and he supported himself in this, with a characteristic reference to the sophist Gorgias, by the equivocal distinction between the gymnastic or polemic style and the didactic.2103  From his master Cicero he had also learned the vicious rhetorical arts of bombast, declamatory fiction, and applause-seeking effects, which are unworthy of a Christian theologian, and which invite the reproach of the divine judge in that vision: "Thou liest! thou art a Ciceronian, not a Christian; for where thy treasure is, there thy heart is also."


 § 177. The Works of Jerome.


The writings of Jerome, which fill eleven folios in the edition of Vallarsi, may be divided into exegetical, historical, polemic doctrinal, and polemic ethical works, and epistles.2104

I. The exegetical works stand at the head.

Among these the Vulgata,2105 or Latin version of the whole Bible, Old Testament and New, is by far the most important and valuable, and constitutes alone an immortal service.2106

Above all his contemporaries, and above all his successors down to the sixteenth century, Jerome, by his linguistic knowledge, his Oriental travel, and his entire culture, was best fitted, and, in fact, the only man, to undertake and successfully execute so gigantic a task, and a task which just then, with the approaching separation of East and West, and the decay of the knowledge of the original languages of the Bible in Latin Christendom, was of the highest necessity. Here, its so often in history, we plainly discern the hand of divine Providence. Jerome began the work during his second residence in Rome (382–385), at the suggestion of pope Damasus, who deserves much more credit for that suggestion than for his hymns. He at first intended only a revision of the Itala, the old Latin version of the Bible which came down from the second century, and the text of which had fallen into inextricable confusion through the negligence of transcribers and the caprice of correctors.2107  He finished the translation at Bethlehem, in the year 405, after twenty years of toil. He translated first the Gospels, then the rest of the New Testament, next the Psalter (which he wrought over twice, in Rome and in Bethlehem2108), and then, in irregular succession, the historical, prophetic, and poetical books, and in part the Apocrypha, which, however, he placed decidedly below the canonical books. By this "labor pius, sed periculosa praesumtio," as he called it, he subjected himself to all kinds of enmity from ignorance and blind aversion to change, and was abused as a disturber of the peace and falsifier of the Scripture;2109 but from other sources he received much encouragement. The New Testament and the Psalter were circulated and used in the church long before the completion of the whole. Augustine, for example, was using the New Testament of Jerome, and urged him strongly to translate the Old Testament, but to translate it from the Septuagint.2110  Gradually the whole version made its way on its own merits, without authoritative enforcement, and was used in the West, at first together with the Itala, and after about the ninth century alone.

The Vulgate takes the first place among the Bible-versions of the ancient church. It exerted the same influence upon Latin Christendom as the Septuagint upon Greek, and it is directly or indirectly the mother of most of the earlier versions in the European vernaculars.2111  It is made immediately from the original languages, though with the use of all accessible helps, and is as much superior to the Itala as Luther’s Bible to the older German versions. From the present stage of biblical philology and exegesis the Vulgate can be charged, indeed, with innumerable faults, inaccuracies, inconsistencies, and arbitrary, dealing, in particulars;2112 but notwithstanding these, it deserves, as a whole, the highest praise for the boldness with which it went back from the half-deified Septuagint directly to the original Hebrew; for its union of fidelity and freedom; and for the dignity, clearness, and gracefulness of its style. Accordingly, after the extinction of the knowledge of Greek, it very naturally became the clerical Bible of Western Christendom, and so continued to be, till the genius of the Reformation in Germany, Switzerland, Holland, and England, returning to the original text, and still further penetrating the spirit of the Scriptures, though with the continual help of the Vulgate, produced a number of popular Bibles, which were the same to the evangelical laity that the Vulgate had been for many centuries to the Catholic clergy. This high place the Vulgate holds even to this day in the Roman church, where it is unwarrantably and perniciously placed on an equality with the original.2113

The Commentaries of Jerome cover Genesis, the Major and Minor Prophets, Ecclesiastes, Job, some of the Psalms,2114 the Gospel of Matthew, and the Epistles to the Galatians, Ephesians, Titus, and Philemon.2115  Besides these he translated the Homilies of Origen on Jeremiah and Ezekiel, on the Gospel of Luke, and on the Song of Solomon. Of the last he says: "While Origen in his other writings has surpassed all others, on the Song of Solomon he has surpassed himself."2116

His best exegetical labors are those on the Prophets (Particularly his Isaiah, written a.d. 408–410; his Ezekiel, a.d. 410–415; and his Jeremiah to chap. xxxii., interrupted by his death), and those on the Epistles to the Galatians, Ephesians, and Titus, (written in 388), together with his critical Questions (or investigations) on Genesis. But they are not uniformly carried out; many parts are very indifferent, others thrown off with unconscionable carelessness in reliance on his genius and his reading, or dictated to an amanuensis as they came into his head.2117  He not seldom surprises by clear, natural, and conclusive expositions, while just on the difficult passages he wavers, or confines himself to adducing Jewish traditions and the exegetical opinions of the earlier fathers, especially of Origen, Eusebius, Apollinaris, and Didymus, leaving the reader to judge and to choose. His scholarly industry, taste, and skill, however, always afford a certain compensation for the defect of method and consistency, so that his Commentaries are, after all, the most instructive we have from the Latin church of that day, not excepting even those of Augustine, which otherwise greatly surpass them in theological depth and spiritual unction. He justly observes in the Preface to his Commentary on Isaiah: "He who does not know the Scriptures, does not know the power and wisdom of God; ignorance of the Bible is ignorance of Christ."2118

Jerome had the natural talent and the acquired knowledge, to make him the father of grammatico-historical interpretation, upon which all sound study of the Scriptures must proceed. He very rightly felt that the expositor must not put his own fancies into the word of God, but draw out the meaning of that word, and he sometimes finds fault with Origen and the allegorical method for roaming in the wide fields of imagination, and giving out the writer’s own thought and fancy for the hidden Wisdom of the Scriptures and the church.2119  In this healthful exegetical spirit he excelled all the fathers, except Chrysostom and Theodoret. In the Latin church no others, except the heretical Pelagius (whose short exposition of the Epistles of Paul is incorporated in the works of Jerome), and the unknown Ambrosiaster (whose commentary has found its way among the works of Ambrose), thought like him. But he was far from being consistent; he committed the very fault he censures in Eusebius, who in the superscription of his Commentary on Isaiah promised a historical exposition, but, forgetting the promise, fell into the fashion of Origen. Though he often makes very bold utterances, such as that on the original identity of presbyter and bishop,2120 and even shows traces of a loose view of inspiration,2121 yet he had not the courage, and was too scrupulously concerned for his orthodoxy, to break with the traditional exegesis. He could not resist the impulse to indulge, after giving the historical sense, in fantastic allegorizing, or, as he expresses himself, "to spread the sails of the spiritual understanding."2122

He distinguishes in most cases a double sense of the Scriptures: the literal and the spiritual, or the historical and the allegorical; sometimes, with Origen and the Alexandrians, a triple sense: the historical, the tropological (moral), and the pneumatical (mystical).

The word of God does unquestionably carry in its letter a living and life-giving spirit; and is capable of endless application to all times and circumstances; and here lies the truth in the allegorical method of the ancient church. But the spiritual sense must be derived with tender conscientiousness and self-command from the natural, literal meaning, not brought from without, as another sense beside, or above, or against the literal.

Jerome goes sometimes as far as Origen in the unscrupulous twisting of the letter and the history, and adopts his mischievous principle of entirely rejecting the literal sense whenever it may seem ludicrous or unworthy. For instance: By the Shunamite damsel, the concubine of the aged king David, he understands (imitating Origen’s allegorical obliteration of the double crime against Uriah and Bathsheba) the ever-virgin Wisdom of God, so extolled by Solomon;2123 and the earnest controversy between Paul and Peter he alters into a sham fight for the instruction of the Antiochian Christians who were present; thus making out of it a deceitful accommodation, over which Augustine (who took just offence at such patrocinium mendacii) drew him into an epistolary controversy characteristic of the two men."2124

It is remarkable that Augustine and Jerome, in the two exegetical questions, on which they corresponded, interchanged sides, and each took the other’s point of view. In the dispute on the occurrence in Antioch (Gal. ii. 11–14), Augustine represented the principle of evangelical freedom and love of truth, Jerome the principle of traditional committal to dogma and an equivocal theory of accommodation; while in their dispute on the authority of the Septuagint Jerome held to true progress, Augustine to retrogression and false traditionalism. And each afterwards saw his error, and at least partially gave it up.

In the exposition of the Prophets, Jerome sees too many allusions to the heretics of his time (as Luther finds everywhere allusions to the Papists, fanatics, and sectarians); and, on the other hand, with the zeal he inherited from Origen against all chiliasm, he finds far too little reference to the end of, all things in the second coming of our Lord. He limits, for example, even the eschatological discourse of Christ in the twenty-fourth chapter of Matthew, and Paul’s prophecy of the man of sin in the second Epistle to the Thessalonians, to the destruction of Jerusalem.

Among the exegetical works in the wider sense belongs the book On the Interpretation of the Hebrew Names, an etymological lexicon of the proper names of the Old and New Testaments, useful for its time, but in many respects defective, and now worthless;2125 and a free translation of the Onomasticon of Eusebius, a sort of biblical topology in alphabetical order, still valuable to antiquarian scholarship.2126

II. The historical works, some of which we have already elsewhere touched, are important to the history of the fathers and the saints to Christian literature, and to the history of morals.

First among them is a free Latin reproduction and continuation of the Greek Chronicle of Eusebius; i.e., chronological tables of the most important events of the history of the world and the church to the year 379.2127  Jerome dictated this work quite fugitively during his residence with Gregory Nazianzen in Constantinople (a.d. 380). In spite of its many errors, it formed a very useful and meritorious contribution to Latin literature, and a principal source of the scanty historical information of Western Christendom throughout the middle age. Prosper Aquitanus, a friend of Augustine and defender of the doctrines of free grace against the Semi-Pelagians in Gaul, continued the Chronicle to the year 449; later authors brought it down to the middle of the sixth century.

More original is the Catalogue of Illustrious Authors,2128 which Jerome composed in the tenth year of Theodosius (a.d. 392 and 393),2129 at the request of his friend, an officer, Dexter. It is the pioneer in the history of theological literature, and gives, in one hundred and thirty-five chapters, short biographical notices of as many ecclesiastical writers, from the apostles to Jerome himself, with accounts of their most important works. It was partly designed to refute the charge of ignorance, which Celsus, Porphyry, Julian, and other pagans, made against the Christians. Jerome, at that time, was not yet so violent a heretic-hater, and was quite fair and liberal in his estimate of such men as Origen and Eusebius.2130  But many of his sketches are too short and meagre; even those, for example, of so important men as Cyprian, Athanasius, Basil the Great, Gregory of Nyssa, Epiphanius, Ambrose, and Chrysostom († 407).2131  His junior cotemporary, Augustine, who had at that time already written several philosophical, exegetical, and polemic works, he entirely omits.

The Catalogue was afterwards continued in the same spirit by the Semi-Pelagian Gennadius of Marseilles, by Isidore of Seville, by Ildefonsus, and by others, into the middle age.

Jerome wrote also biographies of celebrated hermits, Paul of Thebes (a.d. 375), Hilarion, and the imprisoned Malchus (a.d. 390), in very graceful and entertaining style, but with many fabulous and superstitious accompaniments, and with extravagant veneration of the monastic life, which he aimed by these writings to promote.2132  They were read at that time as eagerly as novels. These biographies, and several necrological letters in honor of deceased friends, such as Nepotian, Lucinius, Lea, Blasilla, Paulina, Paula, and Marcella are masterpieces of rhetorical ascetic hagiography. They introduce the legend ary literature of the middle age, with its indiscriminate mixture of history and fable, and its sacrifice of historical truth to popular edification.

III. Of the polemic doctrinal and ethical works2133 some relate to the Arian controversies, some to the Origenistic, some to the Pelagian. In the first class belongs the Dialogue against the schismatic Luciferians,2134 which Jerome wrote during his desert life in Syria (a.d. 379) on the occasion of the Meletian schism in Antioch; also his translation of the work of Didymus On the Holy Ghost, begun in Rome and finished in Bethlehem. His book Against Bishop John of Jerusalem (a.d. 399), and his Apology to his former friend Rufinus, in three books (a.d. 402–403), are directed against Origenism.2135  In the third class belongs the Dialogue against the Pelagians, in three books (a.d. 415). Other polemic works, Against Helvidius (written in 383), Against Jovinian (a.d. 393), and Against Vigilantius (dictated rapidly in one night in 406), are partly doctrinal, partly ethical in their nature, and mainly devoted to the advocacy of the immaculate virginity of Mary, celibacy, vigils, relic-worship, and the monastic life.

These controversial writings, the contents of which we have already noted in the proper place, do the author, on the whole, little credit, and stand in striking contrast with his fame as one of the principal saints of the Roman church. They show an accurate acquaintance with all the arts of an advocate and all the pugilism of a dialectician, together with boundless vehemence and fanatical zealotism, which scruple over no weapons of wit, mockery, irony, suspicion, and calumny, to annihilate opponents, and which pursue them even after their death.2136  And their contents afford no sufficient compensation for these faults. For Jerome was not an original, profound, systematic, or consistent thinker, and therefore very little fitted for a didactic theologian. In the Arian controversy he would not enter into any discussion of the distinction between oujsiva and uJpovstasi", and left this important question to the decision of the Roman bishop Damasus; in the Origenistic controversy he must, in his violent condemnation of all Origenists, contradict his own former view and veneration of Origen as the greatest teacher after the Apostles; and in the Pelagian controversy he was influenced chiefly by personal considerations, and drawn half way to Augustine’s side; for while he was always convinced of the universality of sin,2137 in reference to the freedom of the will and predestination he adopted synergistic or Semi-Pelagian views, and afterwards continued in the highest consideration among the Semi-Pelagians down to Erasmus.2138

He is equally unsatisfactory as a moralist and practical divine. He had no connected system of moral doctrine, and did not penetrate to the basis and kernel of the Christian life, but moved in the outer circle of asceticism and casuistry. Following the spirit of his time, he found the essence of religion in monastic flight from the world and contempt of the natural ordinances of God, especially of marriage; and, completely reversing sound principles, he advocated even ascetic filth as an external mark of inward purity.2139  Of marriage he had a very low conception, regarding it merely as a necessary evil for the increase of virgins. From the expression of Paul in 1 Cor. vii. 1: "It is good not to touch a woman," he draws the utterly unwarranted inference: "It is therefore bad to touch one; for the only opposite of good is bad;" and he interprets the woe of the Lord upon those that are with child and those that give suck (Matt. xxiv. 19), as a condemnation of pregnancy in general, and of the crying of little children, and of all the trouble and fruit of the married life. The disagreeable fact of the marriage of Peter he endeavors to weaken by the groundless assumption that the apostle forsook his wife when he forsook his net, and, besides, that "he must have washed away the stain of his married life by the blood of his martyrdom."2140

In a letter, otherwise very beautiful and rich, to the young Nepotian,2141 he gives this advice: "Let your lodgings be rarely or never visited by women. You must either ignore alike, or love alike, all the daughters and virgins of Christ. Nay, dwell not under the same roof with them, nor trust their former chastity; you cannot be holier than David, nor wiser than Solomon. Never forget that a woman drove the inhabitants of Paradise out of their possession. In sickness any brother, or your sister, or your mother, can minister to in the lack of such relatives, the church herself maintains many aged women, whom you can at the same time remunerate for their nursing with welcome alms. I know some who are well in the body indeed, but sick in mind. It is a dangerous service in any case, that is done to you by one whose face you often see. If in your official duty as a clergyman you must visit a widow or a maiden, never enter her house alone. Take with you only those whose company does you no shame; only some reader, or acolyth, or psalm-singer, whose ornament consists not in clothes, but in good morals, who does not crimp his hair with crisping pins, but shows chastity in his whole bearing. But privately or without witnesses, never put yourself in the presence of a woman."

Such exhortations, however, were quite in the spirit of that age, and were in part founded in Jerome’s own bitter experience in his youth, and in the thoroughly corrupt condition of social life in the sinking empire of Rome.

While advocating these ascetic extravagancies Jerome does not neglect to chastise the clergy and the monks for their faults with the scourge of cutting satire. And his writings are everywhere strewn with the pearls of beautiful moral maxims and eloquent exhortations to contempt of the world and godly conduct.2142

IV. The Epistles of Jerome, with all their defects are uncommonly instructive and interesting, and, in easy flow and elegance of diction, are not inferior to the letters of Cicero. Vallarsi has for the first time put them into chronological order in the first volume of his edition, and has made the former numbering of them (even that of the Benedictine edition) obsolete. He reckons in all a hundred and fifty, including several letters from cotemporaries, such as Epiphanius, Theophilus of Alexandria, Augustine, Damasus, Pammachius, and Rufinus; some of them written directly to Jerome, and some treating of matters in which he was interested. They are addressed to friends like the Roman bishop Damasus, the senator Pammachius, the bishop Paulinus of Nola, Theophilus of Alexandria, Evangelus, Rufinus, Heliodorus, Riparius, Nepotianus, Oceanus, Avitus, Rusticus, Gaudentius, and Augustine, and some to distinguished ascetic women and maidens like Paula, Eustochium, Marcella, Furia, Fabiola, and Demetrias. They treat of almost all questions of philosophy and practical religion, which then agitated the Christian world, and they faithfully reflect the virtues and the faults and the remarkable contrasts of Jerome and of his age.

Orthodox in theology and Christology, Semi-Pelagian in anthropology, Romanizing in the doctrine of the church and tradition, anti-chiliastic in eschatology, legalistic and ascetic in ethics, a violent fighter of all heresies, a fanatical apologist of all monkish extravagancies,—Jerome was revered throughout the catholic middle age as the patron saint of Christian and ecclesiastical learning, and, next to Augustine, as maximus doctor ecclesiae; but by his enthusiastic love for the Holy Scriptures, his recourse to the original languages, his classic translation of the Bible, and his manifold exegetical merits, he also played materially into the hands of the Reformation, and as a scholar and an author still takes the first rank, and as an influential theologian the second (after Augustine), among the Latin fathers; while, as a moral character, he decidedly falls behind many others, like Hilary, Ambrose, and Leo I., and, even according to the standard of Roman asceticism, can only in a very limited sense be regarded as a saint.2143


 § 178. Augustine.


I. S. Aurelii Augustini Hipponensis episcopi Opera … Post Lovaniensium theologorum recensionem [which appeared at Antwerp in 1577 in 11 vols.] castigatus [referring to tomus primus, etc.] denuo ad MSS. codd. Gallicanos, etc. Opera et studio monachorum ordinis S. Benedicti e congregatione S. Mauri [Fr. Delfau, Th. Blampin, P. Coustant, and Cl. Guesnié]. Paris, 1679–1700, xi tom. in 8 fol. vols. The same edition reprinted, with additions, at Antwerp, 1700–1703, 12 parts in 9 fol.; and at Venice, 1729–’34, in xi tom. in 8 fol. (this is the edition from which I have generally quoted; it is not to be confounded with another Venice edition of 1756–’69 in xviii vols. 4to, which is full of printing errors); also at Bassano, 1807, in 18 vols.; by Gaume fratres, Paris, 1836–’39, in xi tom. in 22 parts (a very elegant edition); and lastly by J. P. Migne, Petit-Montrouge, 1841–’49, in xii tom. (Patrol. Lat. tom. xxxii.-xlvii.). Migne’s edition (which I have also used occasionally) gives, in a supplementary volume (tom. xii.), the valuable Notitia literaria de vita, scriptis et editionibus Aug. from Schönemann’s Bibliotheca historico-literaria Patrum Lat. vol. ii. Lips. 1794, the Vindiciae Augustinianae of Norisius, and the writings of Augustine first published by Fontanini and Angelo Mai. But a thoroughly reliable critical edition of Augustine is still a desideratum. On the controversies relating to the merits of the Bened. edition, see the supplementary volume of Migne, xii. p. 40 sqq., and Thuillier: Histoire de la nouvelle ed. de S. Aug. par les PP. Bénédictins, Par. 1736. The first printed edition of Augustine appeared at Basle, 1489–’95; another, a. 1509, in 11 vols. (I have a copy of this edition in black letter, but without a title page); then the edition of Erasmus published by Frobenius, Bas. 1528–’29, in 10 vols. fol.: the Editio Lovaniensis, or of the divines of Louvain, Antw. 1577, in 11 vols., and often. Several works of Augustine have been often separately edited, especially the Confessions and the City of God. Compare a full list of the editions down to 1794 in Schönemann’s Bibliotheca, vol. ii. p. 73 sqq.

II. Possidius (Calamensis episcopus, a pupil and friend of Aug.): Vita Augustini (brief, but authentic, written 432, two years after his death, in tom. x. Append. 257–280, ed. Bened., and in nearly all other editions). Benedictini Editores: Vita Augustini ex ejus potissimum scriptis concinnata, in 8 books (very elaborate and extensive), in tom. xi. 1–492, ed. Bened. (in Migne’s reprint, tom. i. pp. 66–578). The biographies of Tillemont (Mém. tom. xiii.); Ellies Dupin (Nouvelle bibliothèque des auteurs ecclésiastiques, tom. ii. and iii.); P. Bayle (Dictionnaire historique et critique, art. Augustin); Remi Ceillier (Histoire générale des auteurs sacrés et ecclés., vol. xi. and xii.); Cave (Lives of the Fathers, vol. ii.); Kloth (Der heil. Aug., Aachen, 1840, 2 vols.); Böhringer (Kirchengeschichte in Biographien, vol. i. P. iii. p. 99 ff.); Poujoulat (Histoire de S. Aug. Par. 1843 and 1852, 2 vols.; the same in German by Fr. Hurter, Schaffh. 1847, 2 vols.); Eisenbarth (Stuttg. 1853); Ph. Schaff (St. Augustine, Berlin, 1854; English ed. New York and London, 1854); C. Bindemann (Der heil. Aug., vol. i. Berl. 1844; vol. ii. 1855, incomplete). Braune: Monica und Augustin. Grimma, 1846. Comp. also the literature at § 146, p. 783.

The Philosophy of Augustine is discussed in the larger Histories of Philosophy by Brucker, Tennemann, Rixner, H. Ritter (vol. vi. pp. 153–443), Huber (Philosophie der Kirchenväter), and in the following works: Theod. Gangauf: Metaphysische Psychologie des heil. Augustinus. 1ste Abtheilung, Augsburg, 1852. T. Théry: Le génie philosophique et littéraire de saint Augustin. Par. 1861. Abbé Flottes: Études sur saint Aug., son génie, son âme, sa philosophie. Par. 1861. Nourrisson: La philosophie de saint Augustin (ouvrage couronné par l’Institut de France), deuxième ed. Par. 1866, 2 vols.


It is a venturesome and delicate undertaking to write one’s own life, even though that life be a masterpiece of nature or of the grace of God, and therefore most worthy to be described. Of all autobiographies none has so happily avoided the reef of vanity and self-praise, and none has won so much esteem and love through its honesty and humility as that of St. Augustine.

The "Confessions," which he wrote in the forty-sixth year of his life, still burning in the ardor of his first love, are full of the fire and unction of the Holy Ghost. They are a sublime effusion, in which Augustine, like David in the fifty-first Psalm, confesses to God, in view of his own and of succeeding generations, without reserve the sins of his youth; and they are at the same time a hymn of praise to the grace of God, which led him out of darkness into light, and called him to service in the kingdom of Christ.2144  Here we see the great church teacher of all times "prostrate in the dust, conversing with God, basking in his love; his readers hovering before him only as a shadow."  He puts away from himself all honor, all greatness, all beauty, and lays them gratefully at the feet of the All-merciful. The reader feels on every hand that Christianity is no dream nor illusion, but truth and life, and he is carried along in adoration of the wonderful grace of God.

Aurelius Augustinus, born on the 13th of November, 354,2145 at Tagaste, an unimportant village of the fertile province Numidia in North Africa, not far from Hippo Regius, inherited from his heathen father, Patricius,2146 a passionate sensibility, from his Christian mother, Monica (one of the noblest women in the history of Christianity, of a highly intellectual and spiritual cast, of fervent piety, most tender affection, and all-conquering love), the deep yearning towards God so grandly expressed in his sentence: "Thou hast made us for Thee, and our heart is restless till it rests in Thee."2147  This yearning, and his reverence for the sweet and holy name of Jesus, though crowded into the background, attended him in his studies at the schools of Madaura and Carthage, on his journeys to Rome and Milan, and on his tedious wanderings through the labyrinth of carnal pleasures, Manichaean mock-wisdom, Academic skepticism, and Platonic idealism; till at last the prayers of his mother, the sermons of Ambrose, the biography of St. Anthony, and, above all, the Epistles of Paul, as so many instruments in the hand of the Holy Ghost, wrought in the man of three and thirty years that wonderful change which made him an incalculable blessing to the whole Christian world, and brought even the sins and errors of his youth into the service of the truth.2148

A son of so many prayers and tears could not be lost, and the faithful mother who travailed with him in spirit with greater pain than her body had in bringing him into the world,2149 was permitted, for the encouragement of future mothers, to receive shortly before her death an answer to her prayers and expectations, and was able to leave this world with joy without revisiting her earthly home. For Monica died on a homeward journey, in Ostia at the mouth of the Tiber, in her fifty-sixth year, in the arms of her son, after enjoying with him a glorious conversation that soared above the confines of space and time, and was a foretaste of the eternal Sabbath-rest of the saints. She regretted not to die in a foreign land, because she was not far from God, who would raise her up at the last day. "Bury my body anywhere," was her last request, "and trouble not yourselves for it; only this one thing I ask, that you remember me at the altar of my God, wherever you may be."2150  Augustine, in his Confessions, has erected to Monica the noblest monument that can never perish.

If ever there was a thorough and fruitful conversion, next to that of Paul on the way to Damascus, it was that of Augustine, when, in a garden of the Villa Cassiciacum, not far from Milan, in September of the year 386, amidst the most violent struggles of mind and heart—the birth-throes of the new life—he heard that divine voice of a child: "Take, read!" and he "put on the Lord Jesus Christ" (Rom. xiii. 14). It is a touching lamentation of his: "I have loved Thee late, Thou Beauty, so old and so new; I have loved Thee late!  And lo!  Thou wast within, but I was without, and was seeking Thee there. And into Thy fair creation I plunged myself in my ugliness; for Thou wast with me, and I was not with Thee!  Those things kept me away from Thee, which had not been, except they had been in Thee!  Thou didst call, and didst cry aloud, and break through my deafness. Thou didst glimmer, Thou didst shine, and didst drive away, my blindness. Thou didst breathe, and I drew breath, and breathed in Thee. I tasted Thee, and I hunger and thirst. Thou didst touch me, and I burn for Thy peace. If I, with all that is within me, may once live in Thee, then shall pain and trouble forsake me; entirely filled with Thee, all shall be life to me."

He received baptism from Ambrose in Milan on Easter Sunday, 387, in company with his friend and fellow-convert Alypius, and his natural son Adeodatus (given by God). It impressed the divine seal upon the inward transformation. He broke radically with the world; abandoned the brilliant and lucrative vocation of a teacher of rhetoric, which he had followed in Rome and Milan; sold his goods for the benefit of the poor: and thenceforth devoted his rare gifts exclusively to the service of Christ, and to that service he continued faithful to his latest breath. After the death of his mother, whom he revered and loved with the most tender affection, he went a second time to Rome for several months, and wrote books in defence of true Christianity against false philosophy and the Manichaean heresy. Returning to Africa, he spent three years, with his friends Alypius and Evodius, on an estate in his native Tagaste, in contemplative and literary retirement.

Then, in 391, he was chosen presbyter against his will, by the voice of the people, which, as in the similar cases of Cyprian and Ambrose, proved to be the voice of God, in the Numidian maritime city of Hippo Regius (now Bona); and in 395 he was elected bishop in the same city. For eight and thirty years, until his death, he labored in this place, and made it the intellectual centre of Western Christendom.2151

His outward mode of life was extremely simple, and mildly ascetic. He lived with his clergy in one house in an apostolic community of goods, and made this house a seminary of theology, out of which ten bishops and many lower clergy went forth. Females, even his sister, were excluded from his house, and could see him only in the presence of others. But he founded religious societies of women; and over one of these his sister, a saintly widow, presided.2152  He once said in a sermon, that he had nowhere found better men, and he had nowhere found worse, than in monasteries. Combining, as he did, the clerical life with the monastic, he became unwittingly the founder of the Augustinian order, which gave the reformer Luther to the world. He wore the black dress of the Eastern coenobites, with a cowl and a leathern girdle. He lived almost entirely on vegetables, and seasoned the common meal with reading or free conversation, in which it was a rule that the character of an absent person should never be touched. He had this couplet engraved on the table:


"Quisquis amat dictis absentum rodere vitam,

Hanc mensam vetitam noverit esse sibi."


He often preached five days in succession, sometimes twice a day, and set it as the object of his preaching, that all might live with him, and he with all, in Christ. Wherever he went in Africa, he was begged to preach the word of salvation.2153  He faithfully administered the external affairs connected with his office, though he found his chief delight in contemplation. He was specially devoted to the poor, and, like Ambrose, upon exigency, caused the church vessels to be melted down to redeem prisoners. But he refused legacies by which injustice was done to natural heirs, and commended the bishop Aurelius of Carthage for giving back unasked some property which a man had bequeathed to the church, when his wife unexpectedly bore him children.

Augustine’s labors extended far beyond his little diocese. He was the intellectual head of the North African and the entire Western church of his time. He took active interest in all theological and ecclesiastical questions. He was the champion of the orthodox doctrine against Manichaean, Donatist, and Pelagian. In him was concentrated the whole polemic power of the catholicism of the time against heresy and schism; and in him it won the victory over them.

In his last years he took a critical review of his literary productions, and gave them a thorough sifting in his Retractations. His latest controversial works against the Semi-Pelagians, written in a gentle spirit, date from the same period. He bore the duties of his office alone till his seventy-second year, when his people unanimously elected his friend Heraclius to be his assistant and successor.

The evening of his life was troubled by increasing infirmities of body and by the unspeakable wretchedness which the barbarian Vandals spread over his country in their victorious invasion, destroying cities, villages, and churches, without mercy, and even besieging the fortified city of Hippo.2154  Yet he faithfully persevered in his work. The last ten days of his life he spent in close retirement, in prayers and tears and repeated reading of the penitential Psalms, which he had caused to be written on the wall over his bed, that he might have them always before his eyes. Thus with an act of penance he closed his life. In the midst of the terrors of the siege and the despair of his people he could not suspect what abundant seed he had sown for the future.

In the third month of the siege of Hippo, on the 28th of August, 430, in the seventy-sixth year of his age, in full possession of his faculties, and in the presence of many friends and pupils, he passed gently and happily into that eternity to which he had so long aspired. "O how wonderful," wrote he in his Meditations,2155 "how beautiful and lovely are the dwellings of Thy house, Almighty God!  I burn with longing to behold Thy beauty in Thy bridal-chamber .... O Jerusalem, holy city of God, dear bride of Christ, my heart loves thee, my soul has already long sighed for thy beauty! .... The King of kings Himself is in the midst of thee, and His children are within thy walls. There are the hymning choirs of angels, the fellowship of heavenly citizens. There is the wedding-feast of all who from this sad earthly pilgrimage have reached thy joys. There is the far-seeing choir of the prophets; there the number of the twelve apostles; there the triumphant army of innumerable martyrs and holy confessors. Full and perfect love there reigns, for God is all in all. They love and praise, they praise and love Him evermore .... Blessed, perfectly and forever blessed, shall I too be, if, when my poor body shall be dissolved, ... I may stand before my King and God, and see Him in His glory, as He Himself hath deigned to promise: ’Father, I will that they also whom Thou hast given Me be with Me where I am; that they may behold My glory which I had with Thee before the world was.’ "  This aspiration after the heavenly Jerusalem found grand expression in the hymn De gloria et gaudiis Paradisi:


"Ad perennis vitae fontem mens sativit arida,"


which is incorporated in the Meditations of Augustine, and the idea of which originated in part with him, though it was not brought into poetical form till long afterwards by Peter Damiani.2156

 He left no will, for in his voluntary poverty he had no earthly property to dispose of, except his library; this he bequeathed to the church, and it was fortunately preserved from the depredations of the Arian barbarians.2157

Soon after his death Hippo was taken and destroyed by the Vandals.2158  Africa was lost to the Romans. A few decades later the whole West-Roman empire fell in ruins. The culmination of the African church was the beginning of its decline. But the work of Augustine could not perish. His ideas fell like living seed into the soil of Europe, and produced abundant fruits in nations and countries of which he had never heard.2159

Augustine, the man with upturned eye, with pen in the left hand, and a burning heart in the right (as he is usually represented), is a philosophical and theological genius of the first order, towering like a pyramid above his age, and looking down commandingly upon succeeding centuries. He had a mind uncommonly fertile and deep, bold and soaring; and with it, what is better, a heart full of Christian love and humility. He stands of right by the side of the greatest philosophers of antiquity and of modern times. We meet him alike on the broad highways and the narrow footpaths, on the giddy Alpine heights and in the awful depths of speculation, wherever philosophical thinkers before him or after him have trod. As a theologian he is facile princeps, at least surpassed by no church father, scholastic, or reformer. With royal munificence he scattered ideas in passing, which have set in mighty motion other lands and later times. He combined the creative power of Tertullian with the churchly spirit of Cyprian, the speculative intellect of the Greek church with the practical tact of the Latin. He was a Christian philosopher and a philosophical theologian to the full. It was his need and his delight to wrestle again and again with the hardest problems of thought, and to comprehend to the utmost the divinely revealed matter of the faith.2160  He always asserted, indeed, the primacy of faith, according to his maxim: Fides praecedit intellectum; appealing, with theologians before him, to the well-known passage of Isaiah vii. 9 (in the LXX.): "Nisi credideritis, non intelligetis."  But to him faith itself was an acting of reason, and from faith to knowledge, therefore, there was a necessary transition.2161  He constantly looked below the surface to the hidden motives of actions and to the universal laws of diverse events. The metaphysician and the Christian believer coalesced in him. His meditatio passes with the utmost ease into oratio, and his oratio into meditatio. With profundity he combined an equal clearness and sharpness of thought. He was an extremely skilful and a successful dialectician, inexhaustible in arguments and in answers to the objections of his adversaries.

He has enriched Latin literature with a greater store of beautiful, original, and pregnant proverbial sayings, than any classic author, or any other teacher of the church.2162

He had a creative and decisive hand in almost every dogma of the church, completing some, and advancing others. The centre of his system is the free redeeming grace of God in Christ, operating through the actual, historical church. He is evangelical or Pauline in his doctrine of sin and grace, but catholic (that is, old-catholic, not Roman Catholic) in his doctrine of the church. The Pauline element comes forward mainly in the Pelagian controversy, the catholic-churchly in the Donatist; but each is modified by the other.

Dr. Baur incorrectly makes freedom the fundamental idea of the Augustinian system (it much better suits the Pelagian), and founds on this view an ingenious, but only half true, comparison between Augustine and Origen. "There is no church teacher of the ancient period," says he,2163 "who, in intellect and in grandeur and consistency of view, can more justly be placed by the side of Origen than Augustine; none who, with all the difference in individuality and in mode of thought, so closely resembles him. How far both towered above their times, is most clearly manifest in the very fact that they alone, of all the theologians of the first six centuries, became the creators of distinct systems, each proceeding from its definite idea, and each completely carried out; and this fact proves also how much the one system has that is analogous to the other. The one system, like the other, is founded upon the idea of freedom; in both there is a specific act, by which the entire development of human life is determined; and in both this is an act which lies far outside of the temporal consciousness of the individual; with this difference alone, that in one system the act belongs to each separate individual himself, and only falls outside of his temporal life and consciousness; in the other, it lies within the sphere of the temporal history of man, but is only the act of one individual. If in the system of Origen nothing gives greater offence than the idea of the pre-existence and fall of souls, which seems to adopt heathen ideas into the Christian faith, there is in the system of Augustine the same overleaping of individual life and consciousness, in order to explain from an act in the past the present sinful condition of man; but the pagan Platonic point of view is exchanged for one taken from the Old Testament .... What therefore essentially distinguishes the system of Augustine from that of Origen, is only this: the fall of Adam is substituted for the pre-temporal fall of souls, and what in Origen still wears a heathen garb, puts on in Augustine a purely Old Testament form."

The learning of Augustine was not equal to his genius, nor as extensive as that of Origen and Eusebius, but still considerable for his time, and superior to that of any of the Latin fathers, with the single exception of Jerome. He had received in the schools of Madaura and Carthage a good theoretical and rhetorical preparation for the forum, which stood him in good stead also in theology. He was familiar with Latin literature, and was by no means blind to the excellencies of the classics, though he placed them far below the higher beauty of the Holy Scriptures. The Hortensius of Cicero (a lost work) inspired him during his university course with enthusiasm for philosophy and for the knowledge of truth for its own sake; the study of Platonic and Neo-Platonic works (in the Latin version of the rhetorician Victorinus) kindled in him an incredible fire;2164 though in both he missed the holy name of Jesus and the cardinal virtues of love and humility, and found in them only beautiful ideals without power to conform him to them. His City of God, his book on heresies, and other writings, show an extensive knowledge of ancient philosophy, poetry, and history, sacred and secular. He refers to the most distinguished persons of Greece and Rome; he often alludes to Pythagoras, Plato, Aristotle, Plotin, Porphyry, Cicero, Seneca, Horace, Virgil, to the earlier Greek and Latin fathers, to Eastern and Western heretics. But his knowledge of Greek literature was mostly derived from Latin translations. With the Greek language, as he himself frankly and modestly confesses, he had, in comparison with Jerome, but a superficial acquaintance.2165  Hebrew he did not understand at all. Hence, with all his extraordinary familiarity with the Latin Bible, he made many mistakes in exposition. He was rather a thinker than a scholar, and depended mainly on his own resources, which were always abundant.2166


 § 179. The Works of Augustine.


The numerous writings of Augustine, the composition of which extended through four and forty years, are a mine of Christian knowledge and experience. They abound in lofty ideas, noble sentiments, devout effusions, clear statements of truth, strong arguments against error, and passages of fervid eloquence and undying beauty, but also in innumerable repetitions, fanciful opinions, and playful conjectures of his uncommonly fertile brain.2167  His style is full of life and vigor and ingenious plays on words, but deficient in purity and elegance, and by no means free from wearisome prolixity and from that vagabunda loquacitas, with which his adroit opponent, Julian of Eclanum, charged him. He would rather, as he said, be blamed by grammarians, than not understood by the people; and he bestowed little care upon his style, though he many a time rises in lofty poetic flight. He made no point of literary renown, but, impelled by love to God and to the church, he wrote from the fulness of his mind and heart. The writings before his conversion, a treatise on the Beautiful (De Pulchro et Apto), the orations and eulogies which he delivered as rhetorician at Carthage, Rome, and Milan, are lost. The professor of eloquence, the heathen philosopher, the Manichaean heretic, the sceptic and freethinker, are known to us only, from his regrets and recantations in the Confessions and other works. His literary career for as commences in his pious retreat at Cassiciacum where he prepared himself for a public profession of his faith. He appears first, in the works composed at Cassiciacum, Rome, and near Tagaste, as a Christian philosopher, after his consecration to the priesthood as a theologian. Yet even in his theological works he everywhere manifests the metaphysical and speculative bent of his mind. He never abandoned or depreciated reason, he only subordinated it to faith and made it subservient to the defence of revealed truth. Faith is the pioneer of reason, and discovers the territory which reason explores.

The following is a classified view of his most important works, the contents of the most of which we have already noticed in former sections.2168


I. Autobiographical works. To these belong the Confessions and the Retractations; the former acknowledging his sins, the latter his theoretical errors. In the one he subjects his life, in the other his writings, to close criticism; and these productions therefore furnish the best standard for judging of his entire labors.2169

The Confessions are the most profitable, at least the most edifying, product of his pen; indeed, we may no doubt say, the most edifying book in all the patristic literature. They were accordingly, the most read even during his lifetime,2170 and they have been the most frequently published since.2171  A more sincere and more earnest book was never written. The historical part, to the tenth book, is one of the devotional classics of all creeds, and second in popularity only to the "Imitation of Christ," by Thomas a Kempis, and Bunyan’s "Pilgrim’s Progress."  Certainly no autobiography is superior to it in true humility, spiritual depth, and universal interest. Augustine’s experience, as a heathen sensualist, a Manichaean heretic, an anxious inquirer, a sincere penitent, and a grateful convert, is reflected in every human soul that struggles through the temptations of nature and the labyrinth of error to the knowledge of truth and the beauty of holiness, and after many sighs and tears finds rest ad peace in the arms of a merciful Saviour. Rousseau’s "Confessions," and Goethe’s "Truth and Poetry," though written in a radically different spirit, may be compared with Augustine’s Confessions as works of rare genius and of absorbing interest, but, by attempting to exalt human nature in its unsanctified state, they tend as much to expose its vanity and weakness, as the work of the bishop of Hippo, being written with a single eye to the glory of God, raises man from the dust of repentance to a new and imperishable life of the Spirit.2172

Augustine composed the Confessions about the year 400. The first ten books contain, in the form of a continuous prayer and confession before God, a general sketch of his earlier life, of his conversion, and of his return to Africa in the thirty-fourth year of his age. The salient points in these books are the engaging history of his conversion in Milan, and the story of the last days of his noble mother in Ostia, spent as it were at the very gate of heaven and in full assurance of a blessed reunion at the throne of glory. The last three books (and a part of the tenth) are devoted to speculative philosophy; they treat, partly in tacit opposition to Manichaeism, of the metaphysical questions of the possibility of knowing God, and the nature of time and space; and they give an interpretation of the Mosaic cosmogony in the style of the typical allegorical exegesis usual with the fathers, but foreign to our age; they are therefore of little value to the general reader, except as showing that even abstract metaphysical subjects may be devotionally treated.

The Retractations were produced in the evening of his life (427), when, mindful of the proverb: "In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin,"2173 and remembering that we must give account for every idle word,2174 he judged himself, that he might not be judged.2175  He revised in chronological order the numerous works he had written before and during his episcopate, and retracted or corrected whatever in them seemed to his riper knowledge false or obscure. In all essential points, nevertheless, his theological system remained the same from his conversion to this time. The Retractations give beautiful evidence of his love of truth, his conscientiousness, and his humility.2176

To this same class should be added the Letters of Augustine, of which the Benedictine editors, in their second volume, give two hundred and seventy (including letters to Augustine) in chronological order from a.d. 386 to a.d. 429. These letters treat, sometimes very minutely, of all the important questions of his time, and give us an insight of his cares, his official fidelity, his large heart, and his effort to become, like Paul, all things to all men.

When the questions of friends and pupils accumulated, he answered them in special works; and in this way he produced various collections of Quaestiones and Responsiones, dogmatical, exegetical, and miscellaneous (a.d. 390, 397, &c.).


II. Philosophical treatises, in dialogue; almost all composed in his earlier life; either during his residence on the country-seat Cassiciacum in the vicinity of Milan, where he spent half a year before his baptism in instructive and stimulating conversation in a sort of academy or Christian Platonic banquet with Monica, his son Adeodatus, his brother Navigius, his friend Alypius, and some cousins and pupils; or during his second residence in Rome; or soon after his return to Africa.2177

To this class belong the works: Contra Academicos libri tres (386), in which he combats the skepticism and probabilism of the New Academy,—the doctrine that man can never reach the truth, but can at best attain only probability; De vita beata (386), in which he makes true blessedness to consist in the perfect knowledge of God; De ordine,—on the relation of evil to the divine order of the world2178 (386); Soliloquia (387), communings with his own soul concerning God, the highest good, the knowledge of truth, and immortality; De immortalitate animae (387), a continuation of the Soliloquies; De quantitate animae (387), discussing sundry questions of the size, the origin, the incorporeity of the soul; De musica libri vi (387389); De magistro (389), in which, in a dialogue with his son Adeodatus, a pious and promising, but precocious youth, who died soon after his return to Africa (389), he treats on the importance and virtue of the word of God, and on Christ as the infallible Master.2179  To these may be added the later work, De anima et ejus origine (419). Other philosophical works on grammar, dialectics (or ars bene disputandi), rhetoric, geometry, and arithmetic, are lost.2180

These works exhibit as yet little that is specifically Christian and churchly; but they show a Platonism seized and consecrated by the spirit of Christianity, full of high thoughts, ideal views, and discriminating argument. They were designed to present the different stages of human thought by which he himself had reached the knowledge of the truth, and to serve others as steps to the sanctuary. They form an elementary introduction to his theology. He afterwards, in his Retractations, withdrew many things contained in them, like the Platonic view of the pre-existence of the soul, and the Platonic idea that the acquisition of knowledge is a recollection or excavation of the knowledge hidden in the mind.2181  The philosopher in him afterwards yielded more and more to the theologian, and his views became more positive and empirical, though in some cases narrower also and more exclusive. Yet he could never cease to philosophize, and even his later works, especially De Trinitate and De Civitate Dei, are full of profound speculations. Before his conversion he, followed a particular system of philosophy, first the Manichaean, then the Platonic; after his conversion he embraced the Christian philosophy, which is based on the divine revelation of the Scriptures, and is the handmaid of theology and religion; but at the same time he prepared the way for the catholic ecclesiastical philosophy, which rests on the authority of the church, and became complete in the scholasticism of the middle age.

In the history of philosophy he deserves a place in the highest rank, and has done greater service to the science of sciences than any other father, Clement of Alexandria and Origen not excepted. He attacked and refuted the pagan philosophy as pantheistic or dualistic at heart; he shook the superstitions of astrology and magic; he expelled from philosophy the doctrine of emanation, and the idea that God is the soul of the world; he substantially advanced psychology; he solved the question of the origin and the nature of evil more nearly than any of his predecessors, and as nearly as most of his successors; he was the first to investigate thoroughly the relation of divine omnipotence and omniscience to human freedom, and to construct a theodicy; in short, he is properly the founder of a Christian philosophy, and not only divided with Aristotle the empire of the mediaeval scholasticism, but furnished also living germs for new systems of philosophy, and will always be consulted in the speculative establishment of Christian doctrines.


III. Apologetic works against Pagans and Jews. Among these the twenty-two books, De Civitate Dei, are still well worth reading. They form the deepest and richest apologetic work of antiquity; begun in 413, after the occupation of Rome by the Gothic king Alaric, finished in 426, and often separately published. They condense his entire theory of the world and of man, and are the first attempt at a comprehensive philosophy of universal history under the dualistic view of two antagonistic currents or organized forces, a kingdom of this world which is doomed to final destruction and a kingdom of God which will last forever.2182


IV. Religious-Theological works of a general nature (in part anti-Manichaean): De utilitate credendi, against the Gnostic exaltation of knowledge (392); De fide et symbolo, a discourse which, though only presbyter, he delivered on the Apostles’ Creed before the council at Hippo at the request of the bishops in 393; De doctrina Christiana iv libri (397; the fourth book added in 426), a compend of exegetical theology for instruction in the interpretation of the Scriptures according to the analogy of the faith; De catechizandis rudibus, likewise for catechetical purposes (400); Enchiridion, or De fide, spe et caritate, a brief compend of the doctrine of faith and morals, which he wrote in 421, or later, at the request of Laurentius; hence also called Manuale ad Laurentium.


V. Polemic-Theological works. These are the most copious sources of the history of doctrine. The heresies collectively are reviewed in the book De haeresibus ad Quodvultdeum, written between 428 and 430 to a friend and deacon in Carthage, and giving a survey of eighty-eight heresies, from the Simonians to the Pelagians.2183  In the work De vera religione (390) Augustine proposed to show that the true religion is to be found not with the heretics and schismatics, but only in the catholic church of that time.

The other controversial works are directed against the particular heresies of Manichaeism, Donatism, Arianism, Pelagianism, and Semi-Pelagianism. Augustine, with all the firmness of his convictions, was free from personal antipathy, and used the pen of controversy in the genuine Christian spirit, fortiter in re, suaviter in modo. He understood Paul’s ajlhqeuvein ejn ajgavph/, and forms in this respect a pleasing contrast to Jerome, who probably had by nature no more fiery temperament than he, but was less able to control it. "Let those," he very beautifully says to the Manichaeans, "burn with hatred against you, who do not know how much pains it costs to find the truth, how hard it is to guard against error;—but I, who after so great and long wavering came to know the truth, must bear myself towards you with the same patience which my fellow-believers showed towards me while I was wandering in blind madness in your opinions."2184

1. The anti-Manichaean works date mostly from his earlier life, and in time and matter follow immediately upon his philosophical writings.2185  In them he afterwards found most to retract, because he advocated the freedom of the will against the Manichaean fatalism. The most important are: De moribus ecclesiae catholicae, et de moribus Manichaeorum, two books (written during his second residence in Rome, 388); De vera religione (390); Unde malum, et de libero arbitrio, usually simply De libero arbitrio, in three books, against the Manichaean doctrine of evil as a substance, and as having its seat in matter instead of free will (begun in 388, finished in 395); De Genesi contra Manichaeos, a defence of the biblical doctrine of creation (389); De duabus animabus, against the psychological dualism of the Manichaeans (392); Disputatio contra Fortunatum (a triumphant refutation of this Manichaean priest in Hippo in August, 392); Contra Epistolam Manichaei quam vocant fundamenti (397); Contra Faustum Manichaeum, in thirty-three books (400–404); De natura boni (404), &c.

These works treat of the origin of evil; of free will; of the harmony of the Old and New Testaments, and of revelation and nature; of creation out of nothing, in opposition to dualism and hylozoism; of the supremacy of faith over knowledge; of the, authority of the Scriptures and the church; of the true and the false asceticism, and other disputed points; and they are the chief source of our knowledge of the Manichaean Gnosticism and of the arguments against it. Having himself belonged for nine years to this sect, Augustine was the better fitted for the task of refuting it, as Paul was peculiarly prepared for the confutation of the Pharisaic Judaism. His doctrine of the nature of evil is particularly valuable, He has triumphantly demonstrated for all time, that evil is not a corporeal thing, nor in any way substantial, but a product of the free will of the creature, a perversion of substance in itself good, a corruption of the nature created by God.

2. Against the Priscillianists, a sect in Spain built on Manichaean principles, are directed the book Ad Paulum Orosium contra Priscillianistas et Origenistas (411);2186 the book Contra mendacium, addressed to Consentius (420); and in part the 190th Epistle (alias Ep. 157), to the bishop Optatus, on the origin of the soul (418), and two other letters, in which he refutes erroneous views on the nature of the soul, the limitation of future punishments, and the lawfulness of fraud for supposed good purposes.

3. The anti-Donatistic works, composed between the years 393 and 420, argue against separatism, and contain Augustine’s doctrine of the church and church-discipline, and of the sacraments. To these belong: Psalmus contra partem Donati (a.d. 393), a polemic popular song without regular metre, intended to offset the songs of the Donatists; Contra epistolam Parmeniani, written in 400 against the Carthaginian bishop of the Donatists, the successor of Donatus; De baptismo contra Donatistas, in favor of the validity of heretical baptism (400); Contra literas Petiliani (about 400), against the view of Cyprian and the Donatists, that the efficacy of the sacraments depends on the personal worthiness and the ecclesiastical status of the officiating priest; Ad Catholicos Epistola contra Donatistas, vulgo De unitate ecclesiae (402); Contra Cresconium grammaticum Donatistam (406); Breviculus collationis cum Donatistis, a short account of the three-days’ religious conference with the Donatists (411); De correctione Donatistarum (417); Contra Gaudentium, Donat. Episcopum, the last anti-Donatistic work (420).2187

4. The anti-Arian works have to do with the deity of Christ and of the Holy Ghost, and with the Holy Trinity. By far the most important of these are the fifteen books De Trinitate (400–416);—the most profound and discriminating production of the ancient church on the Trinity, in no respect inferior to the kindred works of Athanasius and the two Gregories, and for centuries final to the dogma.2188  This may also be counted among the positive didactic works, for it is not directly controversial. The Collatio cum Maximino Ariano, an obscure babbler, belongs to the year 428.

5. The numerous anti-Pelagian works of Augustine are his most influential and most valuable. They were written between the years 412 and 429. In them Augustine, in his intellectual and spiritual prime, developes his system of anthropology and soteriology, and most nearly approaches the position of evangelical Protestantism: On the Guilt and the Remission of Sins, and Infant Baptism (412); On the Spirit and the Letter (413); On Nature and Grace (415); On the Acts of Pelagius (417); On the Grace of Christ, and Original Sin (418); On Marriage and Concupiscence (419); On Grace and Free Will (426); On Discipline and Grace (427); Against Julian of Eclanum (two large works, written between 421 and 429, the Second unfinished, and hence called Opus imperfectum); On the Predestination of the Saints (428); On the Gift of Perseverance (429); &c.2189


VI. Exegetical works. The best of these are: De Genesi ad literam (The Genesis word for word), in twelve books, an extended exposition of the first three chapters of Genesis, particularly the history of the creation literally interpreted, though with many mystical and allegorical interpretations also (written between 401 and 415);2190 Enarrationes in Psalmos (mostly sermons);2191 the hundred and twenty-four Homilies on the Gospel of John (416 and 417);2192 the ten Homilies on the First Epistle of John (417); the Exposition of the Sermon on the Mount (393); the Harmony of the Gospels (De consensu evangelistarum, 400); the Epistle to the Galatians (394); and the unfinished commentary on the Epistle to the Romans.2193

Augustine deals more in lively, profound, and edifying thoughts on the Scriptures than in proper grammatical and historical exposition, for which neither he nor his readers had the necessary linguistic knowledge, disposition, or taste. He grounded his theology less upon exegesis than upon his Christian and churchly mind, saturated with Scriptural truths.


VII. Ethical or Practical and Ascetic works. Among these belong three hundred and ninety-six Sermones (mostly very short) de Scripturis (on texts of Scripture), de tempore (festival sermons), de sanctis (in memory of apostles, martyrs, and saints), and de diversis (on various occasions), some of them dictated by Augustine, some taken down by hearers.2194  Also various moral treatises: De continentia (395); De mendacio (395), against deception (not to be confounded with the similar work already mentioned Contra mendacium, against the fraud-theory of the Priscillianists, written in 420); De agone Christiano (396); De opere monachorum, against monastic idleness (400); De bono conjugali adv. Jovinianum (400); De virginitate (401); De fide et operibus (413); De adulterinis conjugiis, on 1 Cor. vii. 10 sqq. (419); De bono viduitatis (418); De patientia (418); De cura pro mortuis gerenda, to Paulinus of Nola (421); De utilitate jejunii; De diligendo Deo; Meditationes; etc.2195

As we survey, this enormous literary labor, augmented by many other treatises and letters now lost, and as we consider his episcopal labors, his many journeys, and his adjudications of controversies among the faithful, which often robbed him of whole days, we must be really astounded at the fidelity, exuberance, energy, and perseverance of this father of the church. Surely, such a life was worth the living.


 § 180. The Influence of Augustine upon Posterity and his Relation to Catholicism and Protestantism.


Before we take leave of this imposing character, and of the period of church history in which he shines as the brightest star, we must add some observations respecting the influence of Augustine on the world since his time, and his position with reference to the great antagonism of Catholicism and Protestantism. All the church fathers are, indeed, the common inheritance of both parties; but no other of them has produced so permanent effects on both, and no other stands in so high regard with both, as Augustine. Upon the Greek church alone has he exercised little or no influence; for this church stopped with the undeveloped synergistic anthropology of the previous age.2196

1. Augustine, in the first place, contributed much to the development of the doctrinal basis which Catholicism and Protestantism hold in common against such radical heresies of antiquity, as Manichaeism, Arianism, and Pelagianism. In all these great intellectual conflicts he was in general the champion of the cause of Christian truth against dangerous errors. Through his influence the canon of Holy Scripture (including, indeed, the Old Testament Apocrypha) was fixed in its present form by the councils of Hippo (393) and Carthage (397). He conquered the Manichaean dualism, hylozoism, and fatalism, and saved the biblical idea of God and of creation and the biblical doctrine of the nature of sin and its origin in the free will of man. He developed the Nicene dogma of the Trinity, completed it by the doctrine of the double procession of the Holy Ghost, and gave it the form in which it has ever since prevailed in the West, and in which it received classical expression from his school in the Athanasian Creed. In Christology, on the contrary, he added nothing, and he died shortly before the great Christological conflicts opened, which reached their ecumenical settlement at the council of Chalcedon, twenty years after his death. Yet he anticipated Leo in giving currency in the West to the important formula: "Two natures in one person."2197

2. Augustine is also the principal theological creator of the Latin-Catholic system as distinct from the Greek Catholicism on the one hand, and from evangelical Protestantism on the other. He ruled the entire theology of the middle age, and became the father of scholasticism in virtue of his dialectic mind, and the father of mysticism in virtue of his devout heart, without being responsible for the excesses of either system. For scholasticism thought to comprehend the divine with the understanding, and lost itself at last in empty dialectics; and mysticism endeavored to grasp the divine with feeling, and easily strayed into misty sentimentalism; Augustine sought to apprehend the divine with the united power of mind and heart, of bold thought and humble faith.2198  Anselm, Bernard of Clairvaux, Thomas Aquinas, and Bonaventura, are his nearest of kin in this respect. Even now, since the Catholic church has become a Roman church, he enjoys greater consideration in it than Ambrose, Hilary, Jerome, or Gregory the Great. All this cannot possibly be explained without an interior affinity.2199

His very conversion, in which, besides the Scriptures, the personal intercourse of the hierarchical Ambrose and the life of the ascetic Anthony had great influence, was a transition not from heathenism to Christianity (for he was already a Manichaean Christian), but from heresy to the historical, episcopally organized church, as, for the time, the sole authorized vehicle of the apostolic Christianity in conflict with those sects and parties which more or less assailed the foundations of the gospel.2200  It was, indeed, a full and unconditional surrender of his mind and heart to God, but it was at the same time a submission of his private judgment to the authority of the church which led him to the faith of the gospel.2201  In the same spirit he embraced the ascetic life, without which, according to the Catholic principle, no high religion is possible. He did not indeed enter a cloister, like Luther, whose conversion in Erfurt was likewise essentially catholic, but he lived in his house in the simplicity of a monk, and made and kept the vow of voluntary poverty and celibacy.2202

He adopted Cyprian’s doctrine of the church, and completed it in the conflict with Donatism by transferring the predicates of unity, holiness, universality, exclusiveness, and maternity, directly to the actual church of the time, which, with a firm episcopal organization, an unbroken succession, and the Apostles’ Creed, triumphantly withstood the eighty or the hundred opposing sects in the heretical catalogue of the day, and had its visible centre in Rome. In this church he had found rescue from the shipwreck of his life, the home of true, Christianity, firm ground for his thinking, satisfaction for his heart, and a commensurate field for the wide range of his powers. The predicate of infallibility alone he does not plainly bring forward; he assumes a progressive correction of earlier councils by later; and in the Pelagian controversy he asserts the same independence towards pope Zosimus, which Cyprian before him had shown towards pope Stephen in the controversy on heretical baptism, with the advantage of having the right on his side, so that Zosimus found himself compelled to yield to the African church.2203

He was the first to give a clear and fixed definition of the sacrament, as a visible sign of invisible grace, resting on divine appointment; but he knows nothing of the number seven; this was a much later enactment. In the doctrine of baptism he is entirely Catholic,2204 though in logical contradiction with his dogma of predestination; but in the doctrine of the holy communion he stands, like his predecessors, Tertullian and Cyprian, nearer to the Calvinistic theory of a spiritual presence and fruition of Christ’s body and blood. He also contributed to promote, at least in his later writings, the Catholic faith of miracles,2205 and the worship of Mary;2206 though he exempts the Virgin only from actual sin, not from original, and, with all his reverence for her, never calls her mother of God.2207

At first an advocate of religious liberty and of purely spiritual methods of opposing error, he afterwards asserted the fatal principle of the coge intrare, and lent the great weight of his authority to the system of civil persecution, at the bloody fruits of which in the middle age he himself would have shuddered; for he was always at heart a man of love and gentleness, and personally acted on the glorious principle: "Nothing conquers but truth, and the victory of truth is love."2208

Thus even truly great and good men have unintentionally, through mistaken zeal, become the authors of much mischief.

3. But, on the other hand, Augustine is, of all the fathers, nearest to evangelical Protestantism, and may be called, in respect of his doctrine of sin and grace, the first forerunner of the Reformation. The Lutheran and Reformed churches have ever conceded to him, without scruple, the cognomen of Saint, and claimed him as one of the most enlightened witnesses of the truth and most striking examples of the marvellous power of divine grace in the transformation of a sinner. It is worthy of mark, that his Pauline doctrines, which are most nearly akin to Protestantism, are the later and more mature parts of his system, and that just these found great acceptance with the laity. The Pelagian controversy, in which he developed his anthropology, marks the culmination of his theological and ecclesiastical career, and his latest writings were directed against the Pelagian Julian and the Semi-Pelagians in Gaul, who were brought to his notice by the two friendly laymen, Prosper and Hilary. These anti-Pelagian works have wrought mightily, it is most true, upon the Catholic church, and have held in check the Pelagianizing tendencies of the hierarchical and monastic system, but they have never passed into its blood and marrow. They waited for a favorable future, and nourished in silence an opposition to the prevailing system.

Even in the middle age the better sects, which attempted to simplify, purify, and spiritualize the reigning Christianity by return to the Holy Scriptures, and the reformers before the Reformation such as Wiclif, Russ, Wessel, resorted most, after the apostle Paul, to the bishop of Hippo as the representative of the doctrine of free grace.

The Reformers were led by his writings into a deeper understanding of Paul, and so prepared for their great vocation. No church teacher did so much to mould Luther and Calvin; none furnished them so powerful weapons against the dominant Pelagianism and formalism; none is so often quoted by them with esteem and love.2209

All the Reformers in the outset, Melancthon and Zwingle among them, adopted his denial of free will and his doctrine of predestination, and sometimes even went beyond him into the abyss of supralapsarianism, to cut out the last roots of human merit and boasting. In this point Augustine holds the same relation to the Catholic church, as Luther to the Lutheran; that is, he is a heretic of unimpeachable authority, who is more admired than censured even in his extravagances; yet his doctrine of predestination was indirectly condemned by the pope in Jansenism, as Luther’s view was rejected as Calvinism by the Form of Concord.2210  For Jansenism was nothing but a revival of Augustinianism in the bosom of the Roman Catholic church.2211

The excess of Augustine and the Reformers in this direction is due to the earnestness and energy of their sense of sin and grace. The Pelagian looseness could never beget a reformer. It was only the unshaken conviction of man’s own inability, of unconditional dependence on God, and of the almighty power of his grace to give us strength for every good work, which could do this. He who would give others the conviction that he has a divine vocation for the church and for mankind, must himself be penetrated with the faith of an eternal, unalterable decree of God, and must cling to it in the darkest hours.

In great men, and only in great men, great opposites and apparently antagonistic truths live together. Small minds cannot hold them. The catholic, churchly, sacramental, and sacerdotal system stands in conflict with the evangelical Protestant Christianity of subjective, personal experience. The doctrine of universal baptismal regeneration, in particular, which presupposes a universal call (at least within the church), can on principles of logic hardly be united with the doctrine of an absolute predestination, which limits the decree of redemption to a portion of the baptized. Augustine supposes, on the one hand, that every baptized person, through the inward operation of the Holy Ghost, which accompanies the outward act of the sacrament, receives the forgiveness of sins, and is translated from the state of nature into the state of grace, and thus, qua baptizatus, is also a child of God and an heir of eternal life; and yet, on the other hand, he makes all these benefits dependent on the absolute will of God, who saves only a certain number out of the "mass of perdition," and preserves these to the end. Regeneration and election, with him, do not, as with Calvin, coincide. The former may exist without the latter, but the latter cannot exist without the former. Augustine assumes that many are actually born into the kingdom of grace only to perish again; Calvin holds that in the case of the non-elect baptism is an unmeaning ceremony; the one putting the delusion in the inward effect, the other in the outward form. The sacramental, churchly system throws the main stress upon the baptismal regeneration to the injury of the eternal election; the Calvinistic and Puritan system sacrifices the virtue of the sacrament to the election; the Lutheran and Anglican system seeks a middle ground, without being able to give a satisfactory theological solution of the problem. The Anglican church allows the two opposite views, and sanctions the one in the baptismal service of the Book of Common Prayer, the other in her Thirty-nine Articles, which are moderately Calvinistic.

It was an evident ordering of God, that the Augustinian system, like the Latin Bible of Jerome, appeared just in that transitional period of history, in which the old civilization was passing away before the flood of barbarism, and a new order of things, under the guidance of the, Christian religion, was in preparation. The church, with her strong, imposing organization and her firm system of doctrine, must save Christianity amidst the chaotic turmoil of the great migration, and must become a training-school for the barbarian nations of the middle age.2212

In this process of training, next to the Holy Scriptures, the scholarship of Jerome and the theology and fertile ideas of Augustine were the most important intellectual agent.

Augustine was held in so universal esteem that he could exert influence in all directions, and even in his excesses gave no offence. He was sufficiently catholic for the principle of church authority, and yet at the same time so free and evangelical that he modified its hierarchical and sacramental character, reacted against its tendencies to outward, mechanical ritualism, and kept alive a deep consciousness of sin and grace, and a spirit of fervent and truly Christian piety, until that spirit grew strong enough to break the shell of hierarchical tutelage, and enter a new stage of its development. No other father could have acted more beneficently on the Catholicism of the middle age, and more successfully provided for the evangelical Reformation than St. Augustine, the worthy successor of Paul, and the precursor of Luther and Calvin.

Had he lived at the time of the Reformation, he would in all probability have taken the lead of the evangelical movement against the prevailing Pelagianism of the Roman church. For we must not forget that, notwithstanding their strong affinity, there is an important difference between Catholicism and Romanism or Popery. They sustain a similar relation to each other as the Judaism of the Old Testament dispensation, which looked to, and prepared the way for, Christianity, and the Judaism after the crucifixion and after the destruction of Jerusalem, which is antagonistic to Christianity. Catholicism covers the entire ancient and mediaeval history of the church, and includes the Pauline, Augustinian, or evangelical tendencies which increased with the corruptions of the papacy and the growing sense of the necessity of a "reformatio in capite et membris."  Romanism proper dates from the council of Trent, which gave it symbolical expression and anathematized the doctrines of the Reformation. Catholicism is the strength of Romanism, Romanism is the weakness of Catholicism. Catholicism produced Jansenism, Popery condemned it. Popery never forgets and never learns anything, and can allow no change in doctrine (except by way of addition), without sacrificing its fundamental principle of infallibility, and thus committing suicide. But Catholicism may ultimately burst the chains of Popery which have so long kept it confined, and may assume new life and vigor.

Such a personage as Augustine, still holding a mediating place between the two great divisions of Christendom, revered alike by both, and of equal influence with both, is furthermore a welcome pledge of the elevating prospect of a future reconciliation of Catholicism and Protestantism in a higher unity, conserving all the truths, losing all the errors, forgiving all the sins, forgetting all the enmities of both. After all, the contradiction between authority and freedom, the objective and the subjective, the churchly and the personal, the organic and the individual, the sacramental and the experimental in religion, is not absolute, but relative and temporary, and arises not so much from the nature of things, as from the deficiencies of man’s knowledge and piety in this world. These elements admit of an ultimate harmony in the perfect state of the church, corresponding to the union of the divine and human natures, which transcends the limits of finite thought and logical comprehension, and is yet completely realized in the person of Christ. They are in fact united in the theological system of St. Paul, who had the highest view of the church, as the mystical "body of Christ," and "the pillar and ground of the truth," and who was at the same time the great champion of evangelical freedom, individual responsibility, and personal union of the believer with his Saviour.  We believe in and hope for one holy catholic apostolic church, one communion of saints, one fold, and one Shepherd. The more the different churches become truly Christian, or draw nearer to Christ, and the more they give real effect to His kingdom, the nearer will they come to one another. For Christ is the common head and vital centre of all believers, and the divine harmony of all discordant human sects and creeds.  In Christ, says Pascal, one of the greatest and noblest disciples of Augustine, In Christ all contradictions are solved.



* Schaff, Philip, History of the Christian Church, (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.) 1997. This material has been carefully compared, corrected¸ and emended (according to the 1910 edition of Charles Scribner's Sons) by The Electronic Bible Society, Dallas, TX, 1998.

1894  Hence the surname Eujsevbio" (oJ fivlo") tou' Pamfivlou , Pamphhili, by which anciently he was most frequently distinguished from many other less noted men of the same name, e.g.: Eusebius of Nicomedia († 341), Eusebius of Vercelli († 371), Eusebius Emesenus, of Emesa or Emisa in Phoenicia († 360), and others. On this last comp. Opuscula quae supersunt Graeca, ed. Augusti, Elberfeld, 1829, somewhat hastily; corrected by Thilo, Ueber die Schriften des Euseb. von Alex. und des Euseb. von Emisa, Halle, 1832.

1895  Jerome remarks of Pamphilus (De viris illustribus, c. 75): "Tanto bibliothecae divinae amore flagravit, ut maximam partem Origenis voluminum sua manu descripserit, quae usque hodie [a. 392] in Caesariensi bibliotheca habentur."

1896  So Valesius also views the matter, while Baronius puts faith in the rebuke.

1897  Hence he is also called Eusebius Caesariensis or Palestinus.

1898  So thought, among the ancients, Hilary, Jerome (who otherwise speaks favorably of Eusebius), Theodoret, and the second council of Nicaea (a.d. 787), which unjustly condemned him even expressly, as an Arian heretic; and so have thought, among modems, Baronius, Petavius, Clericus, Tillemont, Gieseler; while the church historian Socrates, the Roman bishops Gelasius and Pelagius II., Valesius, G. Bull, Cave (who enters into a fall vindication, l.c. p. 135 sqq.), and Sam. Lee (and most Anglicans), have defended the orthodoxy of Eusebius, or at least mention him with very high respect. The Gallican church has even placed him in the catalogue of saints. Athanasius never expressly charges him with apostasy from the Nicene faith to Arianism or to Semi-Arianism, but frequently says that before 325 he held with Arius, and changed his opinion at Nicaea. This is the view of Möhler also (Athanasius der Grosse, p. 333 ff.), whom Dorner (History of Christology, i. 792) inaccurately reckons among the opponents of the orthodoxy of Eusebius. The testimonies of the ancients for and against Eusebius are collected in Migne’s edition of his works, tom. i. pp. 68-98. Among recent writers Dr. Samuel Lee has most fully investigated the orthodoxy of Eusebius in the Preliminary Dissertation to his translation of the Theophania from the Syriac, pp. xxiv.-xcix. He arrives at the conclusion (p. xcviii.), "that Eusebius was no Arian; and that the same reasoning must prove that he was no Semi-Arian; that he did in no degree partake of the error of Origen, ascribed to him so positively and so groundlessly by Photius." But this is merely a negative result.

1899  The same view is taken substantially by Baur (Geschichte der Lehre von der Dreieinigkeit und Menschwerdung, i. 475 ff.), Domer (Entwicklungsgeschichte der Lehre von der Person Christi, i. 792 ff), Semisch (Art. Eusebius in Herzog’s Encyklopädie, vol iv. 233), and other modem German theologians.

1900  The Greek title was: Cronikw'n kanovnwn pantodaph; iJstoriva (Hieron. De viris illustr. c. 81); the Latin is: Chronica Eusebii s. Canones historiae universae, Hieronymo interprete. See Vallarsi’s ed. of Jerome’s works, tom. viii. 1-820. Jerome also calls it Temporum librum. It is now known also (since 1818) in an Armenian translation. Most complete edition by Angelo Mai, in Script vet. nova coll. tom. viii. Rom. 1833, republished in Migne’s edition of the complete works of Eusebius, tom. i. p. 100 sqq.

1901  Peri; tw'n topikw'n ojnomavtwn tw'n ejn th'/ qeiva grafh'/, De situ et nominibus locorum Hebraicorum, in Jerome’s works, tom. iii. 121-290. A new edition, Greek and Latin, by Larsow and Parthey, Berol. 1862.

1902  Socrates already observes (in the first book of his Church History) that Eusebius wrote the Life of Constantine more as a panegyrical oration than as an accurate account of events. Baronius (Annal. ad an. 324, n. 5) compares the Vita Constantini, not unfitly, with the Cyropaedia of Xenophon, who, as Cicero says, "vitam Cyri non tam ad historiae fidem conscripsit, quam ad effigiem justi principis exhibendam." This is the most charitable construction we can put upon this book, the tone of which is intolerably offensive to a manly and independent spirit acquainted with the crimes of Constantine. But we should remember that stronger men, such as Athanasius, Hilary, and Epiphanius have overrated Constantine, and called him, "most pious," and "of blessed memory." Burckhardt, in his work on Constantine, p. 346 and passim, speaks too contemptuously of Eusebius, without any reference to his good qualities and great merits.

1903  Best edited by Thomas Gaisford, Oxon. 1843, 4 vols. 8vo. In Migne’s edition it forms tom. iii.

1904  Likewise edited by Gaisford, Oxf. 1852, 2 vols. 8vo. In Migne’s edition tom. !v.

1905  Dr. Sam. Lee, however, is of the opposite opinion, see p. xxii. of the Preface to his translation."It appears probable to me," he says, "that this more popular and more useful work [the Theophania] was first composed and published, and that the other two [the Praeparatio, and the Demonstratio Evangelica]—illustrating, as they generally do, some particular points only—argued in order in our work—were reserved for the reading and occasional writing of our author during a considerable number of years, as well for the satisfaction of his own mind, as for the general reading of the learned. It appears probable to me, therefore, that this was one of the first productions of Eusebius, if not the first after the persecutions ceased."

1906  In the fourth volume of the Novae Patrum Bibliothecae, Rom. 1847, pp. 108-156, reprinted in Migne’s edition of the works of Eusebius tom. v. 609 sqq.

1907  Also in English, under the title: On the Theophania, or Divine Manifestation of our Saviour Jesus Christ, by Eusebius, translated into English, with Notes, from an ancient Syriac Version of the Greek original, now lost; to which is prefixed a Vindication of the orthodoxy, and prophetical views, of that distinguished writer, by Sam. Lee, D. D., Cambr. 1848. The MS. of this work is deposited in the British Museum; it was written at Edessa in the Estranghelo, or old church-handwriting of the Syrians, on very fine and well-prepared skin. Dr. Lee assigns it to the year 411 (I. c. p. xii.).

1908  In Migne’s edition, tom. iv. 195-868.

1909  In Migne’s edition, tom vi. p. 107 sqq.

1910  Angelo Mai has published new fragments of Commentaries of Eusebius on the Psalms and on the Gospel of Luke in Novae Patrum Bibliothecae tom. iv. p. 77 sqq. and p. 160 sqq., and republished in Migne’s ed. vol. vi.

1911  The sixth book was added by Eusebius alone after the death of his friend. The first book is still extant in the Latin version of Rufinus, and some extracts in Photius.

1912  The frequent supposition (of Valois with others) that Sozomen wrote to complete Socrates, and Theodoret to complete both, cannot be proved. The authors seem independent of one another. Theodoret says in the Prooemium: "Since Eusebius of Palestine, commencing his history with the holy apostles, has described the events of the church to the reign of the God-beloved Constantine, I have begun my history where he ended his." He makes no mention of any other writers on the same subject. Nor does Sozomen, l. i. c. 1, where he alludes to his predecessors. Valesius charges Sozomen with plagiarism.

1913  Separate edition by Hussey: Socratis scholastici Historia Eccl. Oxon. 1853, 3 vols. 8vo.

1914  According to the usual, but incorrect statement, to the year 489.

1915  He informs us (Book v. c. 15) that his grandfather, with his whole family, was converted to Christianity by a miracle of the monk Hilarion.

1916  AiJretikh'" kakomuqiva" ejpitomhv, in five books; in Schulze’s edition of the Opera, tom. iv. p. 280 sqq. The fifth book presents a summary of the chief articles of the orthodox faith, a sort of dogmatical compend.

1917  Book iv. ch. 12. Garnier, Cave, and Oudin regard this anti-Nestorian chapter as a later interpolation, though without good reason; Schulze (note in loco, tom. iv. p. 368) defends it as genuine. It should be remembered that Theodoret at the council of Chalcedon could only save himself from expulsion by anathematizing Nestorius.

1918  Theodoreti Opera omnia cum et studio Jac. Sirmondi, Par. 1642, 4 vols. fol., with an additional vol. v. by Gamier, 1684. Another edition by J. L. Schulze, Halle, 1768-’74, 5 tom. in 10 vols., which has been republished by J. P. Migne, Par. 1860, in 5 vols. (Patrologia Graeca, tom. lxxx.-lxxxiv.). The last volume in Schulze’s and Migne’s editions contains Garnier’s Auctarium ad opera Theod. and his Dissertations on the life and on the faith of Theodoret, and on the fifth ecumenical Synod. Comp. also Schröckh, Church History, vol. xviii.

1919  VaIesius blames him "quod non tantam diligentiam adhibuit in conquirendis antiquitatis ecclesiasticae monumentis, quam in legendis profanis auctoribus."

1920  The first edition was from a Parisian manuscript by Rob. Stephanus, Par. 1544. Valesius, in his complete edition, employed two more manuscripts. A new edition, according to the text of Valesius, appeared at Oxford in 1844.

1921  Valesius intended to edit it, and contented himself with giving the variations, since the book furnished nothing new.

1922  Collected in the edition of Valesius.

1923  Not to be confounded with Nicephorus, patriarch of Constantinople, who was deposed during the image controversy and died 828. His works, among which is also a brief Chronographia ab Adamo ad Michaelis et Theophili tempora (828), form tom. c. in Migne’s Patrologia Graeca.

1924  First edition in Latin by John Lange, Basil. 1658; in Greek and Latin by Front. Ducaeus, Par. 1630, in 2 vols. There exists but one Greek manuscript copy of Nicephorus, as far as we know, which is in the possession of the imperial library of Vienna.

1925  His works are edited by Vallarsi, Veron. 1745, vol. i. fol. (unfinished). The Ecclesiastical History has several times appeared separately, and was long a needed substitute for Eusebius in the West.

1926  @O pathvr th''" ojrqodoxiva" .. So Epiphanius already calls him, Haer. 69, c. 2.

1927  So Rufinus relates, H. E. l. i. c. 14. Most Roman historians, Hermant, Tillemont, Butler, and the author of the Vita Athan. in the Bened. ed. (tom. i. p. iii.), reject this legend, partly on account of chronological difficulty, partly because it seemed incompatible with the dignity of such a saint. Möhler passes it in silence.

1928  This is the true date, according to the summaries of the newly-discovered Festal Letters of Athanasius, and not "a few weeks (or months rather] after the close of the council," as the editor of the English translation of the historical tracts of Athanasius (Oxford Library of the Fathers, 1843, Preface, p. xxi), and even Stanley (I. c. p. 325), still say. The older hypothesis rests on a misapprehension of the pevnte mh'ne" in a passage of Athanasius, Apol. pro fuga sua, tom. i. P. 1, p. 140, which Theodoret erroneously dates from the close of the council of Nicaea, instead of the readmission of the Meletians into the fellowship of the church (H. E. i. 26). Alexander died in 328, not in 326. See particulars in Larsow, l. c. p. 26, and § 121 above.

1929  Opinions concerning the year of his death waver between 371 and 373. As he was bishop forty-six years, and came to the see in 328 (not 326, as formerly supposed), he cannot have died before 372 or 373.

1930  Julian called him contemptuously (Ep. 51) mhde ;ajnh;r, ajll j ajnqrwpivsko" eujtelhv" .

1931  Comp. Gregory Naz. in his Eulogy.

1932  This belief embodied itself in the Arian form of the legend of St. George of Cappadocia, the Arian bishop elected in opposition to Athanasius, and killed by the populace in Alexandria, in his contest with the wizard Athanasius. In this way Arians revenged themselves on the memory of their great adversary. Afterwards the wizard became a dragon, whom George on his horse overcomes. According to others, George was a martyr under Diocletian.

1933  The rationalistic historian Henke (Geschichte der christl. Kirche, 5th ed. 1818, i. p. 212) called him, indeed, a "haughty hard-head," and the "author of many broils and of the unhappiness of many thousand men." But the age of the rationalistic debasement of history, thank God, is past. Quite different is the judgment of Gibbon, who despised the faith of Athanasiis, yet could not withhold from him personally the tribute of his admiration. "We have seldom," says he in ch. xxi. of his celebrated work, "an opportunity of observing, either in active or speculative life, what effect may be produced, or what obstacles may be surmounted by the force of a single mind, when it is inflexibly applied to the pursuit of a single object. The immortal name of Athanasius will never be separated from the Catholic doctrine of the Trinity, to whose defence he consecrated every moment and every faculty of his being .... Amidst the storms of persecution the archbishop of Alexandria was patient of labor, jealous of fame, careless of safety; and although his mind was tainted by the contagion of fanaticism, Athanasius displayed a superiority of charater and abilities which would have qualified him far better than the degenerate sons of Constantine for the government of a great monarchy." Dr. Baur thus characterizes Athanasius (Vorlesungen über die Dogmengeschichte, vol. i. ii. p. 41): "His talent for speculative dogmatic investigations, in which he knew how to lay hold, sharply and clearly, of the salient point of the dogma, was as great as the power with which he stood at the head of a party and managed a theological controversy. ... The devotion, with which he defended the cause of orthodoxy, and the importance of the dogma, which was the subject of dispute, have made his name one of the most venerable in the church. In modern times he has been frequently charged with a passionate love for theological controversy. But the most recent ecclesiastical and doctrinal historians are more and more unanimous in according to him a pure zeal for Christian truth, and a profound sense for the apprehension of the same. It is a strong testimony for the purity of his character that his congregation at Antioch adhered to him with tender affection to the last." A. De Broglie (L’église et l’empire romain au IVe siècle, vol. ii. p. 25) finds the principal quality of the mind of Athanasius in "un rare mélange de droiture de sens et de subtilité de raisonnement. Dans la discussion la plus compliquée rien ne lui échappait, mais rien no l’ébranlait. Il démêlait toutes les nuances de la pensée de son adversaire, en pénétrait tous les détours; mais il ne perdait jamais de vue le point principal et le but du débat .... Unissant lea qualités des deux écoles, il discutait comme un Grec et concluait nettement comme un Latin. Cette combinaison originale, relevée par une indomptable fermeté de caractère, fait encore aujourd’hui le seul mérite qu’ à distance nous puissions pleinement apprécier dans sea écrits."

1934  Lovgo" kata; JEllhvnwn (or Contra Gentes), and Peri; th'" ejnanqrwphvsew" tou' logvou  in the first volume, Part 1, of the Bened. ed. pp. 1-97. The latter tract (De incarnatione Verbi Dei) against unbelievers is not to be confounded with the tract written much later (a.d. 364), and by some considered spurious: De incarnations Dei Verbi et contra Arianos, tom. i. Pars ii. pp. 871-890.

1935  Comp. the arguments on both sides in the Opera, tom. ii. p. 1004 sqq. and tom. iii. p. 124 sqq.

1936  Opera, tom. ii. (properly tom. i. Pars. ii.), pp. 785-866. Comp. above, § 35.

1937  Comp. the cited editions of the Festal Letters by Cureton, Larsow, and Angelo Mai.

1938  Particularly in the Letters of Isidore of Pelusium, who flourished in the beginning of the fifth century. Gregory Nazianzen gives a more favorable picture of the Cappadocians, and boasts of their orthodoxy, which, however, might easily be united with the faults above mentioned, especially in the East.

1939  According to Garnier; Comp. his Vita Bas. c. 1, § 2. Fabricius puts the birth erroneously into the year 816.

1940  On the time of his residence in Athens, see Tillemont and Garnier.

1941  On this Athenian student-life of that day see especially the 43d, ch. 14 sqq. (in older editions the 20th) Oration of Gregory Nazianzen, and Libanius, De vita sua, p. 13, ed. Reiske.

1942  The Oratio funebris in laudem Basilii M. c. 21 (Opera, ed. Migne, ii. p. 523).

1943  @Hmi'n de; to; mevga pra'gma kai; o[noma, Cristianouv" kai; ei\nai kai; ojnomavzesqai.

1944  Oratio ad adolescentes, quomodo possint ex gentilium libris fructum capere? or more simply, De legendis libris gentilium (in Gamier’s ed. tom. ii. P. i. pp. 243-259). This famous oration, which helped to preserve at least some regard for classical studies in the middle age, has been several times edited separately; as by Hugo Grotius (with a new Latin translation and Prolegomena), 1623; Joh. Potter, 1694; J. H. Majus, 1714; &c.

1945  In the second volume of his Kosmos, Stuttgart and Tübingen, 1847, p. 27 ff. Humboldt justly observes, p. 26: "The tendency of Christian sentiment was, to prove from the universal order and from the beauty of nature the greatness and goodness of the Creator. Such a tendency, to glorify the Deity from His works, occasioned a prepension to descriptions of nature." The earliest and largest picture of this kind he finds in the apologetic writer, Minucius Felix. Then he draws several examples from Basil (for whom he confesses he had "long entertained a special predilection"), Epist. xiv. and Epist. ccxxiii. (tom. iii. ed. Gamier), from Gregory of Nyasa, and from Chrysostom.

1946  From several fragments of Gregory of Nyasa combined and translated (into German) by Humboldt, l.c. p. 29 f.

1947  See Ullmann’s Gregor von Nazianz, p. 210 ff.

1948  L.. c. p. 30.

1949  Ep. xiv. Grhgorivw/ eJtaivrw' (tom. iii. p. 132, ed. nova Paris. Garn.), elegantly reproduced in German by Humboldt, l.c. p. 28, with the observation: "In this simple description of landscape and of forest-life, sentiments are expressed which more intimately blend with those of modem times, than anything that has come down to us from Greek or Roman antiquity."

1950  Addressed to his friend Gregory, Ep. ii. c. 1 (tom. iii. p. 100).

1951  With this prayer of David, Ps. xxxi. 5, Luther also took leave of the world.

1952  Greg. Naz. Orat. xliii. 63, p. 817 sq.

1953  K. Hase (§ 102) thus briefly and concisely characterizes him: "An admirer of Libanius and St. Anthony, as zealous for science as for monkery, greatest in church government."

1954  The former in tom. i., the latter in tom. iii., ed. Garnier. Both are incorporated in Thilo’s Bibliotheca Patr. Graec. dogm. tom. ii.

1955  @Exahvmeron, or Homiliae ix. in Hexaëmeron. Opera, i. pp. 1-125, ed. Garnier (new ed.). An extended analysis of these sermons is given by Schröckh, xiii. pp. 168-181.

1956  Moralia, or short ethical rules, Constitutiones monasticae, &c., in tom. ii.

1957  Including some spurious, some doubtful, and some from other persons. Tom. iii, pp. 97-681. The numbering of Garnier differs from those of former editors.

1958  That he was married appears from his own concession, De virginitate, c. 3, where by Theosebia he means his wife (not, as some earlier Roman scholars, and Rupp, l. c. p. 25, suppose, his sister), and from Gregory Nazianzen’s letter of condolence, Ep. 95. He laments that his eulogy of parqeniva can no longer bring him the desired fruit. Theosebia seems to have lived till 384. Gregory Nazianzen, in his short eulogy of her, says that she rivalled her brothers-in-law (Basil and Peter) who were in the priesthood.

1959  In his dialogue, De anima et resurrectione (Peri; yuch'" kai; ajnastavsew" meta; th'" ijdiva" ajdelfh'" Makrivnh" diavlogo_"), Opp. iii. 181 sqq. (ed. Morell. 1638), also separately edited by J. G. Krabinger, Lips. 1837, and more recently, together with his biography of his sister, by Franc. Oehler, with a German translation, Leipz. 1858. The last-mentioned edition is at the same time the first volume of a projected Select Library of the Fathers, presenting the original text with a new German translation. The dialogue was written after the death of his brother Basil, and occasioned by it.

1960  Nyss. Peri; tou' bivou th'" makariva" Makrivnh".

1961  In Niceph. Call. H. E. xiii. 13. These additions were in use several years before 881, and are found in Epiphanius, Anchorate, n. 120 (tom. ii. p. 122).

1962  The Lovgo" kathchtiko;" oJ mevga" stands worthily by the side of the similar work of Origen, De principiis. Separate edition, Gr. and Lat. with notes, by J. G. Krabinger, Munich, 1888.

1963  The Hexaëmeron of Gregory is a supplement to his brother Basil’s Hexaëmeron, and discusses the more obscure metaphysical questions connected with this subject. His book on the Workmanship of Man, though written first, may be regarded as a continuation of the Hexaëmeron, and beautifully sets forth the spiritual and royal dignity and destination of man, for whom the world was prepared and adorned as his palace.

1964  On his relation to Origen, Comp. the appendix of Rupp, l.c. pp. 243-262.

1965  So K. Hase admirably characterizes him, in his Lehrbuch, p. 138 (7th ed.). The judgment of Gibbon (Decline and Fall, ch. xxii.) is characteristic: "The title of Saint has been added to his name: but the tenderness of his heart, and the elegance of his genius, reflect a more pleasing lustre on the memory of Gregory Nazianzen." The praise of "the tenderness of his heart" suggests to the skeptical historian another fling at the ancient church, by adding the note: "I can only be understood to mean, that such was his natural temper when it was not hardened, or inflamed, by religious zeal. From his retirement, he exhorts Nectarius to prosecute the heretics of Constantinople."

1966  Respecting the time and place of his birth, views are divided. According to Suidas, Gregory was over ninety years old, and therefore, since he died in 389 or 390, must have been born about the year 800. This statement was accepted by Pagi and other Roman divines, to remove the scandal of his canonized father’s having begotten children after he became bishop; but it is irreconcilable with the fact that Gregory, according to his own testimony (Carmen de vita sua, v. 112 and 238, and Orat. v. c. 23), studied in Athens at the same time with Julian the Apostate, therefore in 355, and left Athens at the age of thirty years. Comp. Tillemont, tom. ix. pp. 693-697; Schröckh, Part xiii. p. 276, and the admirable monograph of Ullmann, p. 548 sqq. (of which I have made special use in this section).

1967  Against the express injunction of love for enemies, Hatt. v. 44 ff. The command of 2 John v. 10, 11, which might be quoted in justification of Nonna, refers not to pagans, but to anti-Christian heretics.

1968  There appeared to him two veiled virgins, of unearthly beauty, who called themselves Purity and Chastity, companions of Jesus Christ, and friends of those who renounced all earthly connections for the sake of leading a perfectly divine life. After exhorting the youth to join himself to them in spirit, they rose again to heaven. Carmen iv. v. 205-285.

1969  Oi|on kako;n hJ JRwmaivwn trevfei.

1970  These Invectivae, or lovgoisthliteutikoiv, are, according to the old order, the 3d and 4th, according to the new the 4th and 5th, of Gregory’s Orations, tom. i. pp. 78-176, of the Benedictine edition.

1971  To this Caesarius, who was afterwards physician in ordinary to the emperor in Constantinople, many, following Photius, ascribe the still extant collection of theological and philosophical questions, Dialogi iv sive Quaestiones Theol. et philos. 145; but without sufficient ground. Comp. Fabricius, Bibl. Gr. viii. p. 435. He was a true Christian, but was not baptized till shortly before his death in 368. His mother Nonna followed the funeral procession in the white raiment of festive joy. He was afterwards, like his brother Gregory, his sister Gorgonia, and his mother, received into the number of the saints of the Catholic church.

1972  Ullmann, l. c. p. 50.

1973  Epist. ix. p. 774, of the old order, or Ep. vi. of the new (ed. Bened. ii. p. 6).

1974  Gibbon (ch. xxvii.) very unjustly attributes this action of Basil to hierarchical pride and to an intention to insult Gregory. Basil treated his own brother not much better; for Nyssa was likewise an insignificant place.

1975  Gregory gave to the pangs of injured friendship a touching expression in the following lines from the poem on his own Life (De vita sua, vss. 476 sqq. tom. ii. p. 699, of the Bened.ed., or tom. iii. 1062, in Migne’s ed.):

Toiau't! !Aqh'nai, kai; povnoi koino lovgwn,

@Omovstegov" te kai; sunevstio§ bivo",

Nou'§ ei" !en !amfoi'n, ou\ duvw, qua'm! @Ellavdo",

Kai; dexiai;, kovsmon me;n wJ" povrjrJw balei'n,

Aujtou;" de; koino;n tw'/ qew/' zh'sai bivon,

Lovgou" te dou'nai tw'/ movnw/ sofw/' Lovgw/.

Dieskevdastai pavnta, #erjrJiptai camai;,

Au\rai fevpousi ta;" palaia;" elpivda".


"Talia Athenae, et communia studia,

 Ejusdem texti et mensae consors vita,

 Mena una, non duae in ambobus, res mira Graeciae,

 Dataeque dexterae, mundum ut procul rejiceremus,

 Deoque simul viveremus,

 Et literas soli sapienti Verbo dedicaremus.

 Dissipata haec sunt omnia, et humi projects,

 Venti auferunt spes nostras antiquas."

Gibbon (ch. xxvii.) quotes this passage with admiration, though with characteristic omission of vss. 479-481, which refer to their harmony in religion; and he aptly alludes to a parallel from Shakespeare, who had never read the poems of Gregory Nazianzen, but who gave to similar feelings a similar expression, in the Midsummer Night’s Dream, where Helena utters the same pathetic complaint to her friend Hermia:

"Is all the counsel that we two have shared,

 The sister’s vows," &e.

1976  Gibbon says: "He solemnly protests, that he never consummated his spiritual marriage with this disgusting bride."

1977  Orat. xii. 4; tom. i. 249 sq. (in Migne’s ed. tom. i. p. 847).

1978  Orat. xviii. jEpitavfio" eij" to;n patevra, parovnto" Basileivou (ed. Bened. tom. i. pp. 330-362; in Migne’s ed. i. 981 sqq.).

1979  Once the Arian populace even stormed his church by night, desecrated the altar, mixed the holy wine with blood, and Gregory but barely escaped the fury of common women and monks, who were armed with clubs and stones. The next day he was summoned before the court for the tumult, but so happily defended himself, that the occurrence heightened the triumph of his just cause. Probably from this circumstance he afterwards received the honorary title of confessor. See Ullmann, p. 176.

1980  Not the church of St. Sophia, as Tillemont assumes, but the church of the Apostles, as Ullmann, p. 223, supposes; for Gregory never names the former, but mentions the latter repeatedly, and that as the church in which he himself preached. Constantine built both, but made the church of the Apostles the more magnificent, and chose it for his own burial place (Euseb. Vita Const. iv. 58-60); St. Sophia afterwards became under Justinian the most glorious monument of the later Greek architecture, and the cathedral of Constantinople.

1981  Hence called also lovgoi qeologikoiv, Orationes theologicae. They are Orat. xxvii.-xxxi. in the Bened. ed. tom. i. pp. 487-577 (in Migne, tom. ii. 9 sqq.), and in the Bibliotheca Patrum Graec. dogmatica of Thilo, vol. ii. pp. 366-537.

1982  Invectivae, Orat. iv. et v. in the Bened. ed. tom. i. 73-176 (in Migne’s ed. tom. i. pp. 531-722). His horror of Julian misled him even to eulogize the Arian emperor Constantius, to whom his brother was physician.

1983  His poems fill together with the Epistles the whole second tome of the magnificent Benedictine edition, so delightful to handle, which was published at Paris, 1842 (edente et curante D. A. B. Caillau), and vols. iii. and iv. of Migne’s reprint. They are divided by the Bened. editor into: I. Poëmata theologica (dogmatica, moralia); II. historica (a. autobiographical, quae spectant ipsum Gregorium, peri; eJautou', De seipso; and b. peri; tw'n eJtevrwn, quae spectant alios); III. epitaphia; IV. epigrammata; and V. a long tragedy, Christus patiens, with Christ, the Holy Virgin, Joseph, Theologus, Mary Magdalene, Nicodemus, Nuntius, and Pilate as actors. This is the first attempt at a Christian drama. The order of the poems, as well as the Orations and Epistles, differs in the Benedictine from that of the older editions. See the comparative table in tom. ii. p. xv. sqq. One of the finest passages in his poems is his lamentation over the temporary suspension of his friendship with Basil, quoted above, p. 914.

1984  First at the fifth ecumenical council in 553. The sixth council in 680 stigmatized him as a defender of the abominable doctrine of Origen, who revived the heathen fables of the transmigration of souls; and the seventh repeated this in 787

1985  Didymus wrote only one book De Spiritu Sancto (see Jerome, De viris illustr. c. 135: librum unum de Sp. S. Didymi quem in Latinum transtuli). The division into three books is of later date.

1986  Discovered and edited by Joh. Aloys. Mingarelli, at Bologna, 1769, with a Latin translation and learned treatises on the life, doctrine, and writings of Didymus. (Dr. Herzog, Encykl. iii. p. 384, confounds this edition with a preliminary advertisement by the brother Ferdinand Mingarelli: Veterum testimonia de Didymo Alex. coeco, ex quibus tres libri de Trinitate nuper detecti eidem asseruntur, Rom. 1764. The title of the work itself is: Didymus, De Trinitate libri tres, nunc primum ex Passioneiano codice Gr. editi, Latine conversi, ac notis illustrati a D. Joh. Aloys. Mingarellio, Bononiae 1769, fol.)

1987  The Latin version is found in the libraries of the church fathers. The original Greek has been edited by Dr. Fr. Lücke from Muscovite manuscripts in four academic dissertations: Quaestiones ac vindiciae Didymianae, sive Didymi Alex. enarratio in Epistolas Catholicas Latina, Graeco exemplari magnam partem e Graecis scholiis restituta, Gotting. 1829-’32. Reprinted in Migne’s edition of Opera Didymi, pp. 1731-1818.

1988  In Migne’s ed. p. 1109 sqq.

1989  His sentiments on the holy Trinity are discussed at length in the third preliminary dissertation of the Bened. editor (in Migne’s ed. p. 167 sqq.).

1990  Kathchvsei" fwtizomevnwn (or baptizomevnwn), catecheses illuminandorum. They are preceded by a procatechesis.

1991  Kathchvsei" mustagwgikaiv. The name is connected with the mysterious practices of the disciplina arcani of the early church. Comp. the conclusion of the first Mystagogic Catechesis, c. 11 (Migne, p. 1075). The mystagogic lectures are also separately numbered. The first is a general exhortation to the baptized on 1 Pet. v. 8; the second treats De baptismo; the third, De chrismate; the fourth, De corpore et sanguine Christi; the fifth, De sacra liturgia et communione.

1992  Homilia in paralyticum, John v. 2-16 (in Migne’s ed. pp. 1131-1158).

1993  Ep. ad Constantium imper. De viso Hierosolymus lucidae crucis signo, pp. 1154-1178.

1994  Th;n aJgivan kai; oJmoouvsion Triavda, to;n ajlhqino;n Qeo;n hJmw'n, w|/ prevpei pa'sa dovxa eij" tou;" : aijw'no" tw'n aijwvnwn.

1995  There are several prominent ecclesiastical writers of that name. Compare a list of them in Fabricius, l. c.

1996  See the biography of his pupil John, ch. 2, in Migne’s ed. i. 25 sqq. Cave accepts this story, and it receives some support from the Palestine origin of Epiphanius, and from his knowledge of the Hebrew language, which was then so rare that Jerome was the only father besides Epiphanius who possessed it.

1997  He composed a eulogy on Hilarion, which, with some others of his works, is lost

1998  Comp. above, §§ 133 and 134.

1999  Pentavglwtto".

2000  Hieron. Apol. adv. Rufinum, l. iii. c. 6 (Opera, tom. ii. 537, ed. Vall.) and l. ii. 21 and 22 (tom. ii. 515). Jerome says that "papa" Epiphanius had read the six thousand [?] books of Origen, and in his apology against Rufinus and in his letters he speaks of him with great respect as a confederate in the war upon Origen. He acknowledges, however, that his statements need an accurate and careful verification. In his Liber de viris illustribus, cap. 114, he disposes of him very summarily with two sentences: "Epiphanius, Cypri Salaminae episcopus, scripsit adversus omnes haereses libros, et multa alia, quae ab eruditus propter res, a simplicioribus propter verba lectitantur. Superest usque hodie, et in extrema jam senectute varia cudit opera."

2001  !Agkurwtov", Ancoratus, or Ancora fidei catholicae in tom, ii of Petavius; tom. iii. 11-236 of Migne.

2002  Anc. n. 119 and 120 (tom. iii. 23 sqq. ed. Migne).

2003  Panavrion, Panarium (Panaria), sive Arcula, or Adversus lxxx. haereses (Petavius, tom. i. f. 1-1108; Migne, tom. i. 173-1200, and tom. ii. 10-832). Epiphanius himself names it panavrion, ei[t j ou\n kibwvtion ijatriko;n kai; qhriodhktikovn, Panarium, sive Arculam Medicam ad eorum qui a serpentibus icti sunt remedium (Epist. ad Acacium et Paulum, in Oehler’s ed. i. p. 7).

2004  Compare the convenient collection of the Latin writers De haeresibus, viz.: Philastrius, Augustine, the author of Praedestinatus (the first book), pseudo-Tertullian, pseudo-Jerome, Isdortis Hispalensis, and Gennadius (De ecclesiasticis dogmatibus), in the first volume of Franz Oehler’s Corpus haereseologicum, Berolini, 1856. This collection is intended to embrace eight volumes. Tom. ii. and iii. contain the anti-heretical works of Epiphanius; the remaining volumes are intended for Theodoret, pseudo-Origen, John of Damascus, Leontius, Timotheus, Irenaeus, and Nicetae Choniatae Thesaurus orthodoxae fidei.

2005  Perhaps with a mystic reference to the eighty concubines in the Song of Songs, vi. 8: "Sexaginta sunt reginae et octoginta concubinae, et adolescentularum non est numerus. Una est columba mea, perfecta mea." (Vulgate.)

2006  Pseudo-Tertullian (in Libellus adversus omnes haereses), Philastrus, and pseudo-Hieronymus (Indiculus de haeresibus) likewise include the Jewish sects among the heresies; while Irenaeus, Augustine, Theodoret, and the unknown author of the Semi-Pelagian work Praedestinatus more correctly begin with the Christian sects. For further particulars, see the comparative tables of Lipsius, l.c. p. 4 ff.

2007  Epiphanius in his shorter work, the Anacephalaeosis, deviates somewhat from the order in the Panarion. His twenty heresies before Christ are as follows:

Order in the Panarion:

1. Barbarismus,

2. Scythismus,

3. Hellenismus,

4. Judaismus,


5. Stoici,

6. Platonici,

7. Pythagorei,

8. Epicurei,


9. Samaritae,

10. Esseni,

11. Sebuaei,

12. Gortheni,

13. Dosithei,


14. Saducaei,

15. Scribae,

16. Pharisaei,

17. Hemerobaptistae

18. Nazaraei,

19. Osseni or Ossaei,

20. Herodiani


Order in the Anacephalaeosis:

1. Barbarismus,

2. Scythismus,

3. Hellenismus,

4. Judaismus.

5. Samaritismus,


6. Pythagorei,

7. Platonici,

8. Stoici,

9. Epicurei,


10. Gortheni,

11. Sebuaei,

12. Esseni,

13. Dosithei,


14. Scribae,

15. Pharisaei,

16. Sadducaei,

17. Hemerobaptistae,

18. Ossaei,

19. Nazaraei,

20. Herodiani


2008  !Anakefalaivwsi", or Epitome Panarii (tom. ii. 126, ed. Patav.; tom. ii. 834-886, ed. Migne).

2009  Edited by J. A. Fabricius, Hamburg, 1728; by Gallandi, Bibliotheca, tom. vii. pp. 475-521; and by Oehler in tom. i. of his Corpus haereseolog. pp. 5-185. The close affinity of Philastrus with Epiphanius is usually accounted for on the ground of the dependence of the former on the latter. This seems to have been the opinion of Augustine, Epistola 222 ad Quodvultdeum. But Lipsius (l.c. p. 29 ff.) derives both from a common older source, viz., the work of Hippolytus against thirty-two heresies and explains the offence of Epiphanius (who mentions Hippolytus only once) by the unscrupulousuess of the authorship of the age, which had no hesitation in decking itself with borrowed plumes.

2010  Liber de haeresibus, addressed to Quodvultdeus, a deacon who had requested him to write such a work. Augustine, in his letter of reply to Quodvultdeus (Ep. 222 in the Bened. edition) alludes to the work of Philastrus, whom he had seen with Ambrose in Milan, and to that of Epiphanius, and calls the latter "longe Philastrio doctiorem." The work of Augustine is also embodied in Oehler’s Corpus haereseol. tom. i. pp. 189-225. The following is a complete list of the heresies of Augustine as given by him at the close of the preface: 1. Simoniani; 2. Menandriani; 3. Saturniniani; 4. Basilidiani; 5. Nicolaitae; 6. Gnostici; 7. Carpocratiani; 8. Cerinthiani, vel Merinthiani; 9. Nazaraei; 10. Hebio-naei; 11. Valentiniani; 12. Secundiani; 13. Ptolemaei; 14. Marcitae; 15. Colorbasii; 16. Heracleonitae; 17. Ophitae; 18. Caiani; 19. Sethiani; 20. Archontici; 21. Cerdoniani; 22. Marcionitae; 23. Apellitae; 24. Se-veriani; 25. Tatiani, vel Encratitae; 26. Cataphryges; 27. Pepuziani, alias Quintilliani; 28. Artotyritae; 29. Tessarescaedecatitae; 30. Alegi; 31. Adamiani; 32. Elcesaei et Sampsaei; 33. Theodotiani; 34. Mel-chisedechiani; 35. Bardesanistae; 36. Noëtiani; 37. Valesii; 38. Ca-thari, sive Novatiani; 39. Angelici; 40. Apostolici; 41. Sabelliani; 42. Ori-geniani; 43. Alii Origeniani; 44. Pauliani; 45. Photiniani; 46. Manichaei; 47. Hieracitae; 48. Meletiani; 49. Ariani; 50. Vadiani, sive Anthropo-morphitae; 51. Semiariani; 52. Macedoniani; 53. Aëriani; 54. Aëtiani, qui et Eunomiani; 55. Apollinaristae; 56. Antidicomarianitae; 57. Mas-saliani, sive Euchitae; 58. Metangismonitae; 59. Seleuciani, vel Her-miani; 60. Proclianitae; 61. Patriciani; 62. Ascitae; 63. Passaloryn-chitae; 64. Aquarii; 65. Coluthiani; 66. Floriniani; 67. De mundi statu dissentientes; 68. Nudis pedibus ambulantes; 69. Donatistae, sive Do-natiani; 70. Priscillianistae; 71. Cum hominibus non manducantes; 72. Rhetoriani; 73. Christi divinitatem passibilem dicentes; 74. Triformem deum putantes; 75. Aquam Deo coaeternam dicentes; 76. Imaginem Dei non esse animam dicentes; 77. Innumerabiles mundos opinantes; 78. Animas converti in daemones et in quaecunque animalia existi-mantes; 79. Liberationem omnium apud inferos factam Christi descen-sione credentes; 80. Christi de Patre nativitati initium temporis dantes; 81. Luciferiani; 82. Iovinianistae; 83. Arabici; 84. Helvidiani; 85. Pater-niani, sive Venustiani; 86. Tertullianistae; 87. Abeloitae; 88. Pelagiani, qui et Caelestiani.

2011  Corpus haereseol. i. 229-268. Comp. above, § 159.

2012  Peri; mevtrwn kai; staqmw'n, De ponderibus et mensuris, written in 392. (Tom. ii. 158, ed. Petav.; tom. iii. 237, ed. Migne.)

2013  Peri; tw'n dwvdeka livqwn, De xii. gemmis in veste Aaronis. (Tom. ii. 233, ed. Pet; iii. 293, ed. Migne.)

2014  Baur (Vorlesungen über die Dogmengeschichte, Bd. i. Abthlg. ii. p. 50) and others erroneously state the year 354 as that of his birth. Comp. Tillemont and Montfaucon (tom. xiii. 91).

2015  Babai;, oi|ai para; cristianoi'" gunai'ke" eijsi . Chrysostom himself relates this of his heathen teacher (by whom undoubtedly we are to understand Libanius), though, it Is true, with immediate reference only to the twenty years’ widowhood of his mother; Ad viduam juniorem, Opera, tom. i. p. 340. Comp. the remarks of Montfaucon in the Vita, tom. xiii. 92.

2016  Peri; iJerwsuvnh". De sacerdotio libri vi. Separate editions are: That of Frobenius at Basel, 1525, Greek, with a preface by Erasmus; that of Hughes at Cam. bridge, 1710, Greek and Latin, with the Life of Chrysostom by Cave; that of J. A. Bengel, Stuttgart, 1725, Greek and Latin, reprinted at Leipsic in 1825 and 1834; besides several translations into modern languages. Comp. above, § 51, p. 253.

2017  Compare Tillemont, Montfaucon, and Neander (l.c. i. p. 86 ff.).

2018  Compare particulars above, § 134.

2019  Julian of Eclanum had already appealed several times to Chrysostom against Augustine, as Augustine notes Contra Jul., and in the Opus imperfectum.

2020  Niedner (Geschichte der christl. Kirche, 1846, p. 323, and in his posthumous Lehrbuch, 1866, p. 303) briefly characterizes him thus: "In him we find a most complete mutual interpenetration of theoretical and practical theology, as well as of the dogmatical and ethical elements, exhibited mainly in the fusion of the exegetical and homiletical. Hence his exegesis was guarded against barren philology and dogma; and his pulpit discourse was free from doctrinal abstraction and empty rhetoric. The introduction of the knowledge of Christianity from the sources into the practical life of the people left him little time for the development of special dogmas.

2021  The tovparcoiand u{parcoi, the praefect praetorio. Homil. iii. in Acta Apost.

2022  In his monograph on Chrysostom, vol. i. p. 5.

2023  This Greek custom of applauding the preacher by clapping the hands and stamping the feet (called krovto", from krouvw) was a sign of the secularization of the church after its union with the state. It is characteristic of his age that a powerful sermon of Chrysostom against this abuse was most enthusiastically applauded by his hearers!

2024  Karl Hase (Kirchengeschichte, § 104, seventh edition) truly says of Chrysostom that "he complemented the sober clearness of the Antiochian exegesis and the rhetorical arts of Libanius with the depth of his warm Christian heart, and that he carried out in his own life, as far as mortal man can do it, the ideal of the priesthood which, in youthful enthusiasm, he once described."

2025  They are contained in vols. ii.-xii of the Benedictine edition.

2026  A beautiful edition of the Homilies on the Pauline Epistles in Greek (but without the Latin version) has been recently published in connection with the Oxford Library of the Fathers under the title: S. Joannis Chrysostomi interpretatio omnium Epistolarum Paulinarum per homilias facta, Oxon. 1849-’52, 4 vols. The English translation has already been noticed.

2027  The Homiliae xii contra Anomoeans de incomprehensibili Dei natura, and the Orationes viii adversus Judaeos are in the first, the Homilies xxi ad populum Antiochenum, de statuis, and the six Orationes de fato et providential in the second volume of the Bened. edition. The Homilies on the Statues are translated into English in the Oxford Library of the Fathers, 1842, 1 volume.

2028  Ad Theodorum lapsum; Adversus oppugnatores vitae monasticae; Comparatio regis et monachi; De compunctione cordis; De virginitate; Ad viduam juniorem, etc.,—all in the first volume of the Bened. edition together with the vi Libri de Sacerdotio; also in Lomler’s selection of Chrys. Opera praestantissima.

2029  The Epistles are in tom. iii. The Epistolae ad Olympiadem, and ad Innocentium are also included in Lomler’s selection (pp. 165-252). On Olympias, compare above, § 52, and especially Tillemont, tom. xi. pp. 416-440.

2030  See above, § 99.

2031  Comp. S. P. N. Nili abbatis opera omnia, variorum curis, nempe Leonis Allatii, Petri Possini, etc., edita, nunc primum in unum collecta et ordinata, accurante J. P. Migne, Par. 1860, 1 volume. (Patrol. Gr. tom. 79.)

2032  Comp. S. Isidori Pelusiotae Epistolarum libri v, ed. Possinus (Jesuit), republished by Migne, Par. 1860. (Patrol. Gr. tom. 78, including the dissertation of H. Ag. Niemeyer: De Isid. Pel. vita, scriptis et doctrina, Hal. 1825.) It is not certain that Isidore was a pupil of Chrysostom, but he frequently mentions him with respect, and was evidently well acquainted with his writings. See the dissertation of Niemeyer, in Migne’s ed. p. 15 sq.

2033  Comp. above, § 6, p. 67, and Tillemont, tom. xiv. 274-’76. The learned, but superstitious and credulous Roman Catholic hagiographer, Alban Butler (Lives of the Saints, sub Jan. 28), considers Cyril innocent, and appeals to the silence of Orestes and Socrates. But Socrates, H. E. l. vii. c. 15, expressly says of this revolting murder: Tou'to ouj mikro;n mw'mon Kurivllw/, kai; th'/ tw'n jAlexandrevwn ejkklhsiva/ eijrgavsato, and adds that nothing can be so contrary to the spirit of Christianity as the permission of murders and similar acts of violence. Walch, Schröckh, Gibbon, and Milman incline to hold Cyril responsible for the murder of Hypatia, which was perpetrated under the direction of a reader of his church, by the name of Peter. But the evidence is not sufficient. J. C. Robertson (History of the Christian Church, i. p. 401) more cautiously says: "That Cyril had any share in this atrocity appears to be an unsupported calumny; but the perpetrators were mostly officers of his church, and had unquestionably drawn encouragement from his earlier proceedings; and his character deservedly suffered in consequence." Similarly W. Bright (A History of the Church from 313 to 451, p. 275): "Had there been no onslaught on the syna gogues, there would doubtless have been no murder of Hypatia."

2034  That is, the diptuca nekrw'n, or two-leaved tablets, with the list of names of distinguished martyrs and bishops, and other persons of merit, of whom mention was to be made in the prayers of the church. The Greek church has retained the use of diptychs to this day.

2035  Dioscurus, however, did not keep his word, but extorted from the heirs of Cyril immense sums of money, and reduced them to extreme want. So one of Cyril’s relatives complained to the Conc, Chalc. Act. iii. in Hardouin, tom. ii. 406). A verification of the Proverb: Ill gotten, ill gone.

2036  Even the monophysite Copts and Abyssinians celebrate his memory under the abbreviated name of Kerlos, and the title of Doctor of the World.

2037  Mémoires, xiv. 541: "S. Cyrille est Saint: mais on ne peut pas dire que toutes es actions soient saintes."

2038  Comp. the description at the close of the fifth volume of his tedious but thorough Ketzerhistorie, where, after recounting the faults of Cyril, he exclaims, p. 932: "Can a man read such a character without a shudder? And yet nothing is fabricated here, nothing overdrawn; nothing is done but to collect what is scattered in history. And what is worst: I find nothing at all that can be said in his praise." Schröckh (l.c. p. 352), in his prolix and loquacious way, gives an equally unfavorable opinion, and the more extols his antagonist Theodoret (p. 355 sqq.), who was a much more learned and pious man, but in his life-time was persecuted, and after his death condemned as a heretic, while Cyril was pronounced a saint.

2039  History of Latin Christianity, vol. i. p. 210: "Cyril of Alexandria, to those who esteem the stern and uncompromising assertion of certain Christian tenets the one paramount Christian virtue, may be the hero, even the saint: but while ambition, intrigue, arrogance, rapacity, and violence, are proscribed as unchristian means—barbarity, persecution, bloodshed, as unholy and unevangelic wickednesses—posterity will condemn the orthodox Cyril as one of the worst heretics against the spirit of the Gospel. Who would not meet the judgment of the divine Redeemer loaded with the errors of Nestorius rather than the barbarities of Cyril?"

2040  Baur (Vorlesungen über Dogmengeschichte, i. ii. p. 47) says of Cyril: "The current estimate of him is not altogether just. As a theologian he must be placed higher than he usually is. He remained true to the spirit of the Alexandrian theology, particularly in his predilection for the allegorical and the mystical, and he had a doctrine consistent with itself."

2041  This is not considered by R. P. Smith, when, in the Preface to his English translation of Cyril’s Commentary on the Gospel of Luke from the Syriac (p. v.), he says, that Cyril never transcended Athanasius’ doctrine of miva fuvsi" tou' Qeou'lovgou sesarkwmevnh, and that both are irreconcilable with the dogma of Chalcedon, which rests upon the Antiochian theology. Comp. §§ 137-140, above.

2042  Encomium in sanctam Mariam Deiparam, in tom. v. Pars ii. p. 880 (in Migne’s ed. tom. x. 1029 sqq.).

2043  Di j h|" pa'sa pnoh; pisteuvousa swvzetai/

2044  Filovdakru

2045  !Eskandavlise pavqo".

2046  Eijsedevxato.

2047  !All j uiJon eJauto;n ajlhqino;n ei\nai levgwn tou' pavntwn kratou'nto" Qeou', tavca pou kai; diesfavlleto.

2048  Or woman’s nature, to; guvnaion, which is sometimes used in a contemptuous sense, like the German Weibsbild.

2049  To; guvnaion.

2050  Cyril, in Joann. lib. xii. (in Migne’s ed. of Cyril, vol. vii. col. 661 sq.). Dr. J. H. Newman (in his Letter to Dr. Pusey on his Eirenicon, Lond. 1866, p. 136) escapes the force of the argument of this and similar passages of Basil and Chrysostom against the Roman Mariolatry by the sophistical distinction, that they are not directed against the Virgin’s person, so much as against her nature (to; guvnaion), of which the fathers had the low estimation then prevalent, looking upon womankind as the "varium et mutabile semper," and knowing little of that true nobility which is exemplified in the females of the Germanic races, and in those of the old Jewish stock, Miriam, Deborah, Judith, Susanna. But it was to the human nature of Mary, and not to human nature in the abstract, that Cyril, whether right or wrong, attributed a doubt concerning the true divinity of her Son. I think there is no warrant for such a supposition in the accounts of the crucifixion, and the sword in the prophecy of Simeon means anguish rather than doubt. But this makes the antagonism of these Greek fathers with the present Roman Mariology only the more striking. Newman (l.c. p. 144) gratuitously assumes that the tradition of the sinlessness of the holy Virgin was obliterated and confused at Antioch and New Caesarea by the Arian troubles. But this would apply at best only to Chrysostom and Basil, and not to Cyril of Alexandria, who lived half a century after the defeat of Arianism at the second ecumenical council, and who was the leading champion of the theotokos in the Nestorian controversy. Besides there is no clear trace of the doctrine of the sinlessness of Mary before St. Augustine, either among the Greek or Latin fathers; for the tradition of Mary as the second Eve does not necessarily imply that doctrine, and was associated in Irenaeus and Tertullian with views similar to those expressed by Basil, Chrysostom, and Cyril. Comp. §§ 81 and 82, above.

2051  Adversus Nestorii blasphemias contradictionum libri v (Kata; tw'n Nestwrivou dusfhmiw'n pentabivblo" ajntivrjrJhto"); Explanatio xii capitum s. anathematismorum (jEpivlusi" tw'n dwvdeka kefalaivwn); Apologeticus pro xii capitibus adversus Orientales episcopos; Contra Theodoretum pro xii capitibus—all in the last volume of the edition of Aubert (in Migne, in tom. ix.).

2052  Contra Julianum Apostatam libri x, tom. vi. in Aubert (tom. ix. in Migne); also in Spanheim’s Opera Juliani. Comp. §§ 4 and 9, above.

2053  De S. Trinitate, et de incarnatione Unigeniti, etc., tom. v. Pars i. Not to be confounded with the spurious work De trinitate, in tom. vi. 1-35, which combats the monothelite heresy, and is therefore of much later origin.

2054  Tom. i.-iv.

2055  By Angelo Mai and R. P. Smith. See the Literature above.

2056  The Homilies and Letters in tom. v. Pars ii. ed. Aubert (in Migne, with additions, in tom. x.).

2057  The Greeks spell his name jEfrai>vm,,, the Latins Ephraem.

2058  This is the account of the Syriac Acta Ephraemi, in the sixth volume of the Opera p. xxiii sqq. But according to another account, which is followed by Butler and Cave, his parents were Christians, and dedicated him to God from the cradle.

2059  On the early history of Christianity in Edessa, compare W. Cureton: Ancient Syriac Documents relative to the earliest Establishment of Christianity in Edessa and the neighboring Countries, from the Year after our Lord’s Ascension to the Beginning of the Fourth Century. Lond. 1866.

2060  Sozomen, H. E. iii. 16. Cave (I. c. iii. 409) says of him: "He had all the virtues that can render a man great and excellent, and this that crowned all the rest, that he would not know it, nor cared to hear of it; being desirous, as Nyssen tells us, ouj dokei'n, ajll j ei\nai crhstov", not to seem, but to be really good."

2061  Sozomen and Theodoret expressly say that Ephraem was not acquainted with the Greek language, but used the Syriac "as a medium for reflecting the rays of divine grace." According to the legend he was miraculously endowed with the knowledge of the Greek on his visit to Basil, who was in like manner inspired to greet him in Syriac.

2062   Opera, tom. iv. and v., or vol. i. and ii. of the Opera Syr., and the supplements of the Mechitarists.

2063  He refers, however, occasionally to the original, as, for instance, ad Gen. i. 1: Interjecta particula at

, quae in Hebraico textu hac loco legitur, idem valet, quod Syriacus articulus ." (Opera, vi. 116.) But such references prove no more than a superficial knowledge of Hebrew.

2064  Opera, tom. i. ii. iii. and iv. Compare Photius, Bibl. Cod. 196.

2065  There is even a prayer to the holy Virgin (in Latin only) in his Works, tom. iii. p. 577; if it be genuine; for there are no other clear traces of such prayers before the fifth century. Mary is there addressed as "immaculata ... atque ab omni sorde ac labe peccati alienissima, virgo Dei sponsa, ac Domina nostra, " etc.

2066  Hieron, De script. eccl.c.115,

2067  Sozomen, iii. 16: triakosia muriavda e[pwn, e[ph and stivcoi is equivalent to verses or lines. Origen says of the Book of Job that it contains nearly 10,000 e[ph.

2068  Comp. Rödiger, in Herzog’s Encycl. vol. iv. p. 89, and the Observationes prosodicae of Hahn and Sieffert in their Chrestomathia Syriaca.

2069  He says of his heathen life, Inst. div. i. 1, that he trained youth by his "non ad virtutem, sed plane ad argutam malitiam."

2070  Catal.c.80: "Lact. vir omnium suo tempore eruditissimus." In Ep. 58 ad Paulinum (ed. Vall.), c. 10, he gives the following just view of him: "Lact. quasi quidam fluvius eloquentiae Tullianae, utinam tam nostra affirmare potuisset, quam facile aliena destruxit." O. Friedol. Fritzsche, in the Praefatio of his edition of his Opera, thus estimates him: "Firm. Lactantius, qui Ciceronis felicissimus exstitit imitator, non solum sermonis castitate et elegantia orationisque flumine, sed, qua erat summa eruditione, rerum etiam copia et varietate inter reliquos ecclesiae latinae scriptores maxime eminuit, eoque factum est, ut, quamvis doctrinam ejus non satis esse sanam viros pios haud lateret, nunquam tamen prorsus negligeretur."

2071  Or, as Jerome, l. c., calls him: "Fluvius eloquentiae Tullianae."

2072  Instit. div. l. iv. cap. 28 (vol. i. p. 223, ed. Fritzsche): "Hoc vinculo pietatis obstricti Deo et religati sumus; unde ipsa religio nomen accepit, non ut Cicero interpretatus est, a relegendo" Cicero says, De natura deorum, ii. 28: "Qui omnia quae ad cultum deorum pertinerent, diligenter retmetarent et tamquam relegerent, religiosi dicti sunt ex relegendo, ut elegantes ex eligendo, itemque ex diligendo diligentes." This derivation is not impossible, since we have legio from legere, and several nouns ending in io from verbs of the third conjugation, as regio, contagio, oblivio. But the derivation of Lactantius gives a more correct and profound idea of religion, and etymologically it is equally admissible; for although religare would rather yield the noun religatio, yet we have optio from optare, rebellio from rebellare internecio from internecare, &c. Augustine (Retract. i. 13), Jerome (Ad Amos, c. 9), and the majority of Christian divines have adopted the definition of Lactantius.

2073  According to a statement of Jerome (Ep. 41 ad Pammach. et Ocean.) he denied the personality of the Holy Ghost.

2074  Institutionum divinarum libri vii. The title was chosen with reference to the Institutiones juris civilis (i. 1). The several books then bear the following superscriptions: 1. De falsa religione; 2. De origine erroris; 3. De fan sapientia; 4. De vera sapientia; 5. De justitia; 6. De vero cultu; 7. De vita beata. Lactantius himself made an abstract of it under the title: Epitome ad Pentadium fratrem, in Fritzsche, Pars ii. pp. 114-171.

2075  L. i. c. 1: "Quod opus nunc nominis tui auspicio inchoamus, Constantine imperator maxims, qui primus Romanorum principum, repudiatis erroribus, majestatem Dei singularis ac veri cognovisti et honorasti, " &c. This passage, by the way, does not appear in all the codices. Comp. the note in the ed. of Fritzsche, Pars i. p. 3.

2076  In the ed. of Fritzsche, P. ii. pp. 248-286. This work is wanting in the earlier editions, and also in several manuscripts, and is therefore sometimes denied to Lactantius, e.g., by Dom de Nourry, in a learned dissertation on this question, reprinted in the Appendix to the second volume of Migne’s edition of Lactantius, p. 839 sqq. But its style, upon the whole, agrees with his; the work entirely suits his time and circumstances; and it is probably the same that Jerome cites under the name De persecutions. Jac. Burckhardt, in his monograph on Constantine the Great, 1853, treats this book throughout as an untrustworthy romance, but without proof, and with an obvious aversion to all the fathers, similar to that of Gibbon.

2077  In the ed. of Fritzsche, Pars ii. pp. 172-208.

2078  Ibid. ii. 208-247.

2079  Ibid. ii. p. 286 sqq. Other works of Lactantius, cited by Jerome, are lost.

2080  As Hilarius Arelatensis († 449), celebrated for his contest with pope Leo I.

2081  We have from him an Epistola ad Apram (or Abram in other manuscripts), filiam suam, written in 358, in tom. ii. 549 (ed. Migne). He sent to her his famous morning hymn: "Lucia largitor splendide."

2082  De trinitate libri xii. (tom. i. 26-472, ed. Migne).

2083  Jerome (De viris illustr. c. 100) says of his Commentary on the Psalms: "In quo opere imitatus Origenem, nonnulla etiam de suo addidit," and of the Commentary on Matthew and the tract on Job: "Quos de Graeco Origenis ad sensum transtulit."

2084  Kling says, l.c. p. 94: "Hilary holds a most important place in the development of Christology, and his massive analysis contains fruitful germs which in the succeeding centuries have been only in part developed; profound and comprehensive thoughts, the stimulating and fertilizing power of which reaches down even into our own time; nor need our time be ashamed to learn from this ancient master, as well as from other teachers of that age."

2085  "Qui sequutus es errantem, sequere corrigentem" Paulinus, Vita Ambr. c. 24.

2086  Paulinus, l. c. c. 24: "Quod ubi audivit clementissimus imperator, ita suscepit, ut publicam poenitentiam non abhorreret," &c. Ambrose himself says in his funeral oration on Theodosius: "Stravit omne, quo utebatur insigne regium, deflevit in ecclesia publice peccatum suum, neque ullus postea dies fuit, quo non illum doleret errorem." The main fact is beyond doubt; but the details are not all reliable, and may have been exaggerated for hierarchical ends.

2087  Vita Ambr. c. 42.

2088  The exegetical works are in tom. i. of the Bened. ed., excepting Ambrosiaster, which is in the Appendix to tom. ii. Jerome had a contemptuous opinion of his exegetical writings. In the preface to his translation of the thirty-nine Homilies of Origen on Luke, he compares the superficial and meagre Commentary of Ambrose on Luke to the croaking of a raven which makes sport of the colors of all other birds, and yet is itself dark all over (totus ipse tenebrosus). Against this attack Rufinus felt it his duty to defend Ambrose, "qui non solum Mediolanensis ecclesiae, verum etiam omnium ecclesiarum columna quaedam et turris inexpugnabilis fuit" (Invect. ii. adv. Hieron.). In his Catalogus vir. illustr. c. 124, Jerome disposes of Ambrose with the following frosty and equivocal notice: "Ambrosius Mediolanensis episcopus, usque in presentem diem scribit, de quo, quia superest, meum judicium subtraham, ne in alterutram partem aut adulatio in me reprehendatur, aut veritas." In his Epistles, however, he occasionally makes favorable allusion to his ascetic writings which fell in with his own taste. Augustine, from a sense of gratitude to his spiritual father, always mentions his name with respect. The passages of Augustine on Ambrose are collected in the Selecta veterum testimonia at the beginning of the first tome of the Bened. edition. But the unfavorable notice of Jerome quoted above is omitted there.

2089  De officiis ministrorum in three books (in the Bened. ed. tom. ii. f. 1-142). Comp. F. Hassler: Ueber das Verhältniss der heidnischen und christlichen Ethik auf Grund einer Vergleichung des ciceronianischen Buches De officiis mit dem gleichnamigen des heiligen Ambrosius, München, 1866.

2090  Paulinus, in Vita Ambr. c. 13, relates: "Hoc in tempore primum antiphonae hymni ac vigiliae in ecclesia Mediolanensi celebrari coeperunt. Cuius celebritatis devotio usque in hodiernum diem non solum in eadem ecclesia, verum per omnes pene occidentis provincias manet."

2091  As he himself says, Ep. 84, c. 3 (Opera, ed. Vallarsi, tom. i. 523): "Dum essem juvenis, miro discendi ferebar ardore, nee juxta quorundam praesumptionem ipse me docui."

2092  Sulpicius Severus, who describes from his own observation the learned seclusion of the aged Jerome at Bethlehem, where, however, he was much interrupted and stimulated by the visits of Christians from all parts of the world, says of him, in Dial. i. 4: "Totus semper in lectione, totus in libris est; non die, non nocte requiescit; aut legit aliquid semper, aut scribit, " &c.

2093  He confesses that the purchase of the numerous works of Origen had exhausted his purse, Ep. 84, c. 3 (tom. i. 525): "Legi, inquam, legi Origenem, et, si in legendo crimen est, fateor; et nostrum marsupium Alexandrinae chartae evacuarunt." When he saw, and was permitted to use, the library of Pamphiltus in Caesarea, with all the works of Origen, he thought he possessed more than the riches of Croesus (De viris illustr. c. 75).

2094  "Meum propositum est, antiquos legere, probare singula, retinere quae bona sunt, et a fide catholica numquam recedere."

2095  Ozanam (Histoire de la civilisation chrét. au 5. siècle, ii. 100) calls Jerome, "Le maître de la prose chrétienne pour tous lea siècles suivants." Zöckler Says (l. a. p. 323): "As Cicero raised the language of his time to the classic grade, and cast it for all times in a model form, so, of the Western church fathers, Jerome was the one to make the Latin language Christian, and Christian theology Latin." Erasmus placed him as an author in several respects even above Cicero.

2096  Virgil is quoted in the Letters of Jerome some fifty times, in his other works much more frequently; Horace, in the Letters, some twenty times; of the prose writers Cicero more than all, next to him Varro, Sallust, Quintilian, Seneca, Suetonius, and Pliny. Virgil, however, is viewed by Jerome, and by Augustine, who likewise admired him greatly, simply as a great poet, and not, as he afterwards came to be considered in the Latin church, especially through the influence of Dante’s Divina Commedia, as a divine and prophet of heathenism.

2097  Comp. § 41 above, and Zöckler l.c. p. 45 ff., 156, and 325. It is certain that Jerome, after that dream of about 374, almost entirely suspended and even abhorred the study of the classics for fifteen years (comp. the Preface to his Commentary on the Galatians, written a. 388, Opera, tom. vii. 486, ed. Vallarsi), but that afterwards at Bethlehem he instructed the monks in grammaticis et humanioribus (Rufinus, Apol. ii. 8), and inserted quotations from the classics in his later writings, although mostly as reminiscences of his former reading ("quasi antiqui per nebulam somnii recordamur, " as he says in the preface above referred to), and with the obvious intent of making profane literature subservient to the Bible (comp. his Epistola xxi. ad Damasum, cap. 13). Both Jerome and Rufinus permitted themselves to be carried by passion to exaggerated assertions at the expense of truth.

2098  Ep. 84 ad Pammach. et Ocean. c. 3 (tom. i. 524, ed. Vallarsi): "Veni rursum Jerosolymam et Bethlehem. Quo labore, quo pretio Baraninam nocturnum babui praeceptorem! Timebat enim Judaeos, et mihi alterum exhibebat Nicodemum."

2099  So Rufinus wrested the name, with reference to Mark xv. 7. Comp. Rufinus, Apol. or Invect. ii. 12, and the answer of Jerome to these calumnies, in the Apol. adv. libros Ruf. l. i. c. 13 (tom. ii. 469).

2100  In the Preface to his Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians: "Omnem sermonis elegantiam et Latini eloquii venustatem stridor Hebraicae lectionis sordidavit." This, however, is to be understood cum grano salis.

2101  That there were at that time as yet no vowel-points or other diacritical signs in writing Hebrew words, has been proved against Buxtorf by L. Capellus, Morinus, and Clericus, and among modem Oriental scholars, especially by Hupfeld (Studien und Kritiken, 1830, p. 549 ff.). Comp. Zöckler, l.c. p. 345 f.

2102  Apol adv. Ruf. lib. iii. c. 6 (tom. ii. 537). His claim to be a philosopher may be questioned. In the same place he calls "papa" Epiphanius pentavglwtto", a man of five tongues, because besides the three chief languages he also understood the Syriac and the Egyptian or Coptic. But his knowledge of the languages was far inferior to that of Jerome. Augustine regarded Jerome as the most learned man among all mortals."Quod Hieronymus nescivit," he said, "nullus mortalium unquam scivit." Comp. also the enthusiastic praise of Erasmus, quoted § 41, p. 206, who placed him far above all the fathers; while Luther acknowledged his learning indeed, but could not bear his monastic spirit, and judged him harshly and unjustly. Comp. M. Lutheri Colloquia, ed. H. Bindseil, 1863, tom. iii. 135, 149, 193; ii. 340, 349, 357.

2103  Between gumnastikw'" scribere and dogmatikw'" scribere. Ep. 48 ad Pammachium pro libris contra Jovinianum, cap. 13.

2104  The Vallarsi edition, Verona, 1734-’42, and with improvements, Venet. 1766’72, is much more complete and accurate than the Benedictine or Maurine edition of Martianay and Pouget, in 5 vols. 1706, although this far surpassed the older editions of Erasmus, and Marianus Victorius. The edition of Migne, Paris (Petit-Montrouge), 1845-’46, also in 11 volumes (tom. xxii.-xxx. of the Patrologia Lat.), notwithstanding the boastful title, is only an uncritical reprint of the edition of Vallarsi with unessential changes in the order of arrangement; the Vitae Hieronymi and the Testimonia de Hieronymo being transferred from the eleventh to the first volume, which is more convenient. Vallarsi, a presbyter of Verona, was assisted in his work by Scipio Maffei, and others. I have mostly used his edition, especially in the Epistles.

2105  The name Vulgata, sc. editio, koinh; e[kdosi", i. e., the received text of the Bible, was a customary designation of the Septuagint, as also of the Latin Itala (frequently so used in Jerome and Augustine), sometimes used in the bad sense of a vulgar, corrupt text as distinct from the original. The council of Trent sanctioned the use of the term in the honorable sense for Jerome’s version of the Bible. With the same right Luther’s version might be called the German, King James’ version the English Vulgate.

2106  This is now pretty generally acknowledged. We add a few of the most weighty testimonies. Luther, who bore a real aversion to Jerome on account of his fanatical devotion to monkery, still, in view of the invaluable assistance he received from the Vulgate in his own similar work, does him the justice to say: "St. Jerome has personally done more and greater in translation than any one man will imitate." Zöckler, l.c. p. 183, thinks: "The Vulgate is unquestionably the most important and most meritorious achievement of our author, the ripest fruit of his laborious studies, not only in the department of Hebrew, in which he leaves all other ecclesiastical authors of antiquity far behind, but also in that of Greek and of biblical criticism and exegesis in general, in which he excels at least all, even the greatest, of the Western fathers." O. F. Fritzsche (in Herzog’s Encykl. vol. xvii. p. 435): "The severe judgment respecting the labor of Jerome softened with time, and, in fact, so swung to the opposite, that he was regarded as preserved from error by the guidance of the Holy Ghost. This certainly cannot be admitted, for the defects are palpably many and various. Yet criticism must acknowledge that Jerome performed a truly important service for his age; that he first gave the Old Testament to the West, and in a measure also the New, in a substantially pure form; put a stop, provisionally, to the confusion of the Bible text; and as a translator gave, on the whole, the true sense. He very properly aimed to be interpres, not paraphrastes, but in the great dissimilarity between the Hebrew and Latin idiom, he encountered the danger of slavish literalness. This he has in general avoided, and has been able to keep a certain mean between too great strictness and too great freedom, so that the language, though everywhere showing the Hebrew tinge, would not at all offend, but rather favor, the reader of that day. Yet it may be said that Jerome could have done still better. It was not that reverence, caution, restrained him; to avoid offence, he adhered as closely as possible to the current version, especially in the New Testament. He sometimes let false translations stand, when they seemed harmless (" quod non nocebat, mutare noluimus "), and probably followed popular usage in respect to phraseology; so that the style is not perfectly uniform. Finally, he did not always give himself due time, but worked rapidly. This is particularly true in the Apocrypha, of which, however, he had a very low estimate. Some parts he left entirely untouched, others he translated or revised very hastily." Comp. also the opinion of the English scholar, B. F. Westcott, in W. Smith’s Dictionary of the Bible, vol. iii. pp. 1696 and 1714 f., who says among other things: "When every allowance has been made for the rudeness of the original Latin, and the haste of Jerome’s revision, it can scarcely be denied that the Vulgate is not only the most venerable but also the most precious monument of Latin Christianity. For ten centuries it preserved in Western Europe a text of Holy Scripture far purer than that which was current in the Byzantine church; and at the revival of Greek learning, guided the way towards a revision of the late Greek text, in which the best biblical critics have followed the steps of Bentley, with ever-deepening conviction of the supreme importance of the coincidence of the earliest Greek and Latin authorities."

2107  Jerome says of the Itala: "Tot sunt exemplaria paene quot codices, " and frequently complains of the "varietas" and "vitiositas" of the Codices Latini, which he charges partly upon the original translators, partly upon presumptuous revisers, partly upon negligent transcribers. Comp. especially his Praefat. in Evang. ad Damasum.

2108   Both versions continued in use, the former as the Psalterium Romanum, the other as the Psalterium Gallicanum, like the two English versions of the Psalms in the worship of the Anglican church.

2109  Falsarius, sacrilegus, et corruptor Scripturae.

2110  Augustine feared, from the displacement of the Septuagint, which he regarded as apostolically sanctioned, and as inspired, a division between the Greek and Latin church, but yielded afterwards, in part at least, to the correct view of Jerome, and rectified in his Retractations several false translations in his former works. Westcott, in his scholarly article on the Vulgate (in Smith’s Dictionary of the Bible, iii. 702), makes the remark: "There are few more touching instances of humility than that of the young Augustine bending himself in entire submission before the contemptuous and impatient reproof of the veteran scholar."

2111  Excepting the Gothic version, which is older than Jerome, and the Slavonic, which comes down from Methodius and Cyril.

2112  It has been so censured long ago by Le Clere in his Quaestiones Hieronymianae,

2113  For particulars respecting the Vulgate, see H. Hody: De Bibliorum textibus originalibus, Oxon. 1705; Joh. Clericus: Quaestiones Hieronymianae, Amsterd. 1719 (who, provoked by the exaggerated praise of the Benedictine editor, Martianay, subjected the Vulgate to a sharp and penetrating though in part unjust criticism); Leander van Ess: Pragmatisch-kritische Geschichte der Vulgata, Tüb. 1824; the lengthy article Vulgata by O. F. Fritzsche in Herzog’s Theol. Encycl. vol. xvii. pp. 422-460; an article on the same subject by B. F. Westcott in W. Smith’s Dictionary of the Bible, 1863, vol. iii. pp. 688-718; and Zöckler: Hieronymus, pp. 99 ff.; 183 ff.; 343 ff.

The text of the Vulgate, in the course of time, has become as corrupt as the text of the Itala was at the time of Jerome, and it is as much in need of a critical revision from manuscript sources, as the textus receptus of the Greek Testament. The authorized editions of Sixtus V. and Clement XIII. have not accomplished this task. Martianay, in the Benedictine edition of Jerome’s work, did more valuable service towards an approximate restoration of the Vulgate in its original form from manuscript sources. Of late the learned Barnabite C. Vercellone has commenced such a critical revision in Variae Lectiones Vulgatae Latin. Bibliorum editionis, tom. i. (Pentat.), Rome, 1860; tom. ii. Pars prior (to 1 Regg.), 1862. Westcott, in the article referred to, has made use of the chief results of this work, which may be said to create an epoch in the history of the Vulgate.

2114  His seven treatises on Psalms x.-xvi. (probably translated from Origen), and his brief annotations to all the Psalms (commentarioli) are lost, but the pseudo-hieronymianum breviarium in Psalmos, a poor compilation of later times (Opera, vii. 1-588), contains perhaps fragments of these.

2115  Opera, tom. iii. iv. v. vi. and vii. Jerome dedicated his commentaries and other writings mostly to those high-born ladies of Rome whom he induced to embrace the ascetic mode of life, as Paula, Eustochium, Marcella, &c.h He received much encouragement from them in his labors;—such was the lively theological interest which prevailed in some female circles at the time. He was, however, censured on this account, and defended himself in the Preface to his Commentary on Zephaniah, tom. vi. 671, by referring to Deborah and Huldah, Judith and Esther, Anna, Elizabeth, and Mary, not forgetting the heathen Sappho, Aspasia, Themista, and the Cornelia Gracchorum, as examples of literary women.

2116  Praef. in Homil. Orig. in Cantic. Cant. tom. iii. 500. Rufinus, during the Origenistic controversy, did not forget to remind him of this sentence.

2117  He frequently excuses this "dictare quodcunque in buccam venerit," by his want of time and the weakness of his eyes. Comp. Preface to the third book of his Comment. in Ep. ad Galat. (tom. vii. 486). At the close of the brief Preface to the second book of his Commentary on the Ep. to the Ephesians (tom. vii. 486), he says that he often managed to write as many as a thousand lines in one day ("interdum per singulos dies usque ad numerum mille versuum—i.e., here stivcoi ---pervenire").

2118  "Qui nescit Scripturas, nescit Dei virtutem ejusque sapientiam; ignoratio Scripturarum ignoratio Christi est."

2119  Comp. particularly the Preface to the fifth book of his Commentary on Isaiah, and Ep. 53 ad Paulinum, c. 7.

2120   In the Comm. on Tit. i. 5, and elsewhere, e.g., Epist. 69 ad Oceanum, c. 3, and Epist. 146 ad Evangelum, c. 1. Such assertions, which we find also in Ambrosiaster, Chrysostom, and Theodoret were not disputed at that time, but subsequently they gave rise to violent disputes between Episcopalians and Presbyterians. Comp. my History of the Apostolic Church, § 132.

2121  He admits, for instance, chronological contradictions, or, at least inexplicable difficulties in the Gospel history (Ep. 57 ad Pammach. c. 7 and 8), and he even ventures unjustly to censure St. Paul for supposed solecisms, barbarisms, and weak arguments (Ep. 121 ad Alag.; Comment. in Gal. iii. 1; iv. 24; vi. 2; Comment. in Eph. iii. 3, 8, 13; Comment. in Tit. i. 3).

2122  "Spiritualis intelligentiae vela panders," or "spirituale aedificium super historiae fundamentum extruere," or "quasi inter saxa et scopulos" (between Scylla and Charybdis), "sic inter historiam et allegoriam omtionis cursum flectere."

2123   Ep. 52 ad Nepotianum, c. 2-4. He objects against the historical construction, that it is absurd, inasmuch as the aged David, then seventy years old, might as well have warmed himself in the arms of Bathsheba, Abigail, and the other wives and concubines still living, considering that Abraham at a still more advanced age was content with his Sarah, Isaac with his Rebeccah. The Shunamite, therefore, must be "sapientia quae numquam senescit" (c. 4, tom. i. 258). Nevertheless, in another place, he understands the same passage literally, Contra Jovinian. l. i. c. 24 (tom. i. 274), where he mentions this and other sins of David, "non quod sanctis viris aliquid detrahere audeam, sed quod aliud sit in lege versari, aliud in evangelio."

2124  Comp. Jerome’s Com. on Gal. ii. 11-14; Aug. Epp. 28, 40, and 82, or Epp. 56, 67, and 116 among the Epistles of Jerome (Opera, i. 300 sqq.; 404 sqq.; 761 sqq.) After defending for a long time his false interpretation, Jerome gave it up at last, a.d. 415, in his Dial. contra Pelag. l. i. c. 22. Augustine, on the other hand, yielded his erroneous preference for a translation of the Old Testament from the Septuagint instead of the original Hebrew, although he continued to entertain an exaggerated estimate of the value of the Septuagint and the very imperfect Itala. Besides these two points of dispute the Origenistic errors were a subject of correspondence between these most distinguished fathers of the Latin Church.

2125  Liber de interpretatione nominum Hebraicorum, or De nominibus Hebr. (Opera, tom iii. 1-120). Clericus, in his Quaestiones Hieronymianae, severely criticised this book.

2126   Liber de situ et nominibus locorum Hebraicorum, usually cited under the title Eusebii Onomasticon (urbium et locorum S. Scripturae). Opera, tom. iii. 121-290. Comp. Clericus: Eusebii Onomasticon cum versione Hieronymi, Amstel. 1707, and a modern convenient edition in Greek and Latin by F. Larsow and G. Parthey, Berlin, 1862.

2127  Opera, viii. 1-820, including the Greek fragments. There is added also the Chronicon of Prosper Aquitanus (pp. 821-856), and the Apparatus, Castigationes et Notae of Arn. Pontac. We must mention also the famous separate edition of Jerome’s Chronicle and its continuators by Joseph Scaliger: Thesaurus temporum Eusebii Pamphili, Hieronymi, Prosperi, etc., Lugd. Bat. 1606, ed. altera Amstel. 1658. Scaliger and Vallarsi have spent immense industry and acuteness in editing this work made very difficult by the many chronological and other blunders and the corruptions of the text caused by ignorant and careless transcribers. The Chronicle of Eusebius is now known also in an Armenian translation, edited by Angelo Mai, Rome, 1833. The Greek original is lost with the exception of a few fragments of Syncellus.

2128  Liber de illustribus viris, or De scriptoribus ecclesiasticis, frequently quoted by the title Catalogus. See Opera, ed. Vallarsi, tom. ii. 821-956, together with the Greek translation of Pseudo-Sophronius.

2129   This date is given by himself, cap. 135, in which he speaks of his own writings.

2130   In the very first chapter he says of the Second Epistle of Peter that it was by most rejected as spurious "propter styli cum priore dissonantiam." A thorough investigation, however, leads to a more favorable result as to the genuineness of this Epistle. He admits in his catalogue even heretics, as Tatian, Bardesanes, and Priscillian, also the Jews Philo and Josephus, and the heathen philosopher Seneca.

2131  Of Chrysostom he merely says, cap. 129: "Joannes Antiochenae ecclesiae presbyter, Eusebii Emiseni Diodorique sectator, multa componere dicitar, de quibus peri; iJerosuvnh" tantum legi." But afterwards, during the Origenistic controversies, he translated a passionate libel of Theophilus of Alexandria against Chrysostom, and praised it as a valuable book (Comp. Ep. 114 ad Theophilum, written 405). Fragments of this miserable Libellus Theophili contra Joannem Chrysost. are preserved in the Defensio trium capp. l. vi. by Facundus of Hermiane.

2132  Opera, tom. ii. 1 sqq. In most of the former editions these Vitae are wrongly placed among the Epistles. To the same class of writings belongs the translation of the Regula Pachomii. Characteristic is the judgment of Gibbon (ch. xxxvii. ad Ann. 370): "The stories of Paul, Hilarion, and Malchus by Jerome are admirably told: and the only defect of these pleasing compositions is the want of truth and common sense."

2133  All in the second volume of the editions of Vallarsi (p. 171 sqq.) and Migne(p. 155 sqq.).

2134  Altercatio Luciferiani et Orthodoxi, or Dialogus contra Luciferianos. The Luciferians had their name from Lucifer, bishop of Calaris in Sardinia (died 371), the head of the strict Athanasian party, who arbitrarily ordained Paulinus bishop of Antioch in opposition to the legitimate Meletius (362), because the latter had been elected by the Arian or Semi-Arian party, although immediately after his ordination he had given in his adhesion to the Nicene faith. Lucifer afterwards fell out with the orthodox and organized a new schismatic party, which adopted Novatian principles of discipline, but in the beginning of the fifth century gradually returned to the bosom of the Catholic church.

2135  Besides these Jerome translated several letters of Epiphanius and Theophilus of Alexandria against the Origenists, which have been incorporated by Vallarsi with the collection of Jerome’s Epistles.

2136  Of the dead Jovinian he says (Adv. Vigil.c. 1): "Ille Romanae ecclesicae auctoritate damnatus, inter phasides aves et carnes suillas non tam emisit spiritum, quam cructavit." He threatened his former friend Rufinus, whose language he had perverted into a threat to take his life, with a libel suit, and after his death in 410 he wrote in an ignoble sense of triumph (in the Prologue to his Commentary on Ezekiel): "Scorpius inter Enceladum et Porphyrionem Trinacriae humo premitur, et hydra multorum capitum contra nos aliquando sibilare cessavit." From Jerome’s polemical writings one would form a most unfavorable opinion of Rufinus. Two divines of Aquileja, Fontanini and Maria de Rubeis, felt it their duty to vindicate his memory against unjust aspersions. Comp. Zöckler, l.c. p. 266 f. Augustine, in a letter to Jerome (Ep. Hieron. 110, c. 10), called it a "magnum et triste miraculum, " that the friendship of Jerome and Rufinus should have turned into such enmity, and urged him to reconciliation, but in vain. This change, however, is easily explained, since hatred is only inverted love. Rufinus, it must be remembered, had not spared Jerome, and charged him even with worse than heathen impiety for calling, in hyper-ascetic zeal, Paula, the mother of the nun Eustochium, the "mother-in-law of God" (socrus Dei). See his Ep. xxii. c. 20 ad Paulam.

2137  Comp. particularly the passage Dial adv. Pelag. l. ii. c. 4 (tom. ii. p. 744).

2138  Hence it is not accidental, that several writings of Pelagius, his Commentary on the Epistles of Paul (with some emendations), his Epistola ad Demetriadem de virginitate, his Libellus fidei addressed to pope Innocent, and the Epistola ad Celantiam matronam de rations pie vivendi (which was probably likewise written by him), found their way, by an irony of history, into the writings of Jerome, on a seeming resemblance in spirit and aim.

2139   "Difficile inter epulas servatur pudicitia. Nitens cutis sordidum ostendit animum." So he wrote to two ladies, a mother and her daughter in Gaul, Ep. 117, c. 6 (tom. i. 786). St. Anthony, the patriarch of monks, and other saints of the desert were of the same opinion, who washed themselves but seldom and combed their hair but once in a year, on holy Easter (when they ought to have been eminently holy, that is, according to their notions, eminently slovenly). What a contrast this to our modern principle that cleanliness is next to godliness! We must, however, judge this catholic ascetic cynicism from the stand-point of antiquity. Even Socrates, starting from the principle that freedom from need was divine, despised undergarments and shoes, and contented himself with a miserable cloak. Yet he did not neglect cleanliness altogether, and censured his disciple Antisthenes, who ostentatiously wore a dirty and torn cloak, by reminding him: "Friend, vanity peeps out from the holes of thy cloak." Man is by nature lazy and dirty. Industry and cleanliness are the fruit of discipline and civilization. In this respect Europe is in advance of Asia, the Teutonic races in advance of the Latin. The Italians call the English and Americans, soap-wasters. The use of soap and of the razor is a test of modern civilization.

2140  Compare the work Against Jovinian, l. i. c. 7, 10, 12, 13, 15, 16, 26, 33, etc., and several of his ascetic letters. Some of his utterances on the state of matrimony gave offence even to his monastic friends.

2141  Ep. 52 (i. 254 sqq.) de vita clericorum et monachorum, c. 5.

2142  Comp. a collection of the principal doctrinal and moral sentences of Jerome in Zöckler p. 429 ff. and p. 458 ff.

2143  Comp. the various estimates of Jerome at § 41 above; in Vallarsi, Opera Hier., tom. xi. 282-300, and in Zöckler, l.c. pp. 465-476. In the preface to his valuable monograph (p. v) Zöckler says: "Jerome is chiefly the orator and the scholar among the fathers. His life is essentially neither the life of a monk, nor a priest—for monk and priest he was only by the way—nor that of a saint—for he was no saint at all, at least not in the sense of the Roman church. It is from beginning to end the life of a scholar, a life replete with literary studies and all sorts of scholarly enterprises." This judgment we can subscribe only with two qualifications: he was as much a monk as a scholar, and exerted an extraordinary influence on the spread of monasticism in the West; and his reputation as a saint rests precisely on the Romish overestimate of asceticism, as distinguished from the evangelical Protestant form of piety.

2144  Augustine himself says of his Confessions: "Confessionum mearum libri tredecim et de malis et de bonis meis Deum laudant justum et bonum, atque in eum excitant humanum intellectum et affectum." Retract. l. ii. c. 6.

2145  He died, according to the Chronicle of his friend and pupil Prosper Aquitanus, the 28th of August, 430 (in the third month of the siege of Hippo by the Vandals); according to his biographer Possidius he lived seventy-six years. The day of his birth Augustine states himself, De vita beata, § 6 (tom. i. 800): "Idibus Novembris mihi natalis dies erat."

2146  He received baptism shortly before his death.

2147  Conf. i. I: "Fecisti nos ad Te, et inquietum est cor nostrum, donee requiescat in Te." In all his aberrations, which we would hardly know, if it were not from his own free confession, he never sunk to anything mean, but remained, like Paul in his Jewish fanaticism, a noble intellect and an honorable character, with burning love for the true and the good.

2148  For particulars respecting the course of Augustine’s life, see my work above cited, and other monographs. Comp. also the fine remarks of Dr. Baur in his posthumous Lectures on Doctrine-History (1866), vol. i. Part ii, p. 26 ff. He compares the development of Augustine with the course of Christianity from the beginning to his time, and draws a parallel between Augustine and Origen.

2149  Conf. ix. c. 8: "Quae me parturivit et carne ut in hanc temporalem, et corde, ut in aeternam lucem nascerer." L. v. 9: "Non enim satis eloquor, quid erga me habebat animi, et quanto majore sollicitudine me parturiebat spiritu, quam came pepererat."

2150  Conf. l. ix. c. 11 "Tantum illud vos rogo, ut ad Domini altare memineritis mei, ubi fueritis." This must be explained from the already prevailing custom of offering prayers for the dead, which, however, had rather the form of thanksgiving for the mercy of God shown to them, than the later form of intercession for them. Comp. above, § 84, p. 432 ff.

2151  He is still known among the inhabitants of the place as "the great Christian (Rumi Kebir). Gibbon (ch. xxxiii. ad Ann. 430) thus describes the place which became so famous through Augustine: " The maritime colony of Hippo, about two hundred miles westward of Carthage, had formerly acquired the distinguishing epithet of Regius, from the residence of the Numidian kings; and some remains of trade and populousness still adhere to the modern city, which is known in Europe by the corrupted name of Bona." See below, Fn 126.

2152  He mentions a sister, "soror mea, sancta proposita" [monasterii], without naming her Epist. 211, n. 4 (ed. Bened.), alias Ep. 109. He also had a brother by the name of Navigius.

2153  Possidius says, in his Vita Aug.: "Caeterum episcopatu suscepto multo instantius ac ferventius majore auctoritate, non in una tantum regione, sed ubicunque rogatus verisset verbum salutis alacriter ac suaviter, pullulante atque crescente Domini ecclesia, praedicavit."

2154  Possidius, c. 28, gives a vivid picture of the ravages of the Vandals, which have become proverbial. Comp. also Gibbon, ch. xxxiii.

2155  I freely combine several passages.

2156  Comp. Daniel: Thesaurus hymnol. i. p. 116 sqq., and iv. p. 203 sq., and 116, above (p. 593, note 1).

2157  Possidius says, Vita, c. 31: "Testamentum nullum fecit, quia unde faceret, pauper Dei non habuit. Ecclesiae bibliothecam omnesque codices diligenter posteris custodiendos semper jubebat."

2158  The inhabitants escaped to the sea. There appears no bishop of Hippo after Augustine. In the seventh century the old city was utterly destroyed by the Arabians, but two miles from it Bona was built out of its ruins. Comp. Tillemont, xii i. 945, and Gibbon, ch. xxxiii. Gibbon says, that Bona, "in the sixteenth century, contained about three hundred families of industrious, but turbulent manufacturers. The adjacent territory is renowned for a pure air, a fertile soil, and plenty of exquisite fruits." Since the French conquest of Algiers, Bona was rebuilt in 1832, and is gradually assuming a French aspect. It is now one of the finest towns in Algeria, the key to the province of Constantine, has a public garden, several schools, considerable commerce, and a population of over 10,000 of French, Moors, and Jews, the great majority of whom are foreigners. The relics of St. Augustine have been recently transferred from Pavia to Bona. See the letters of abbé Sibour to Poujoulat sur la translation de la relique de saint Augustin de Pavie à Hippone, in Poujoulat’s Histoire de saint Augustin, tom. i. p. 413 sqq.

2159  Even in Africa Augustine’s spirit reappeared from time to time, notwithstanding the barbarian confusion, as a light in darkness, first in Vigilius, bishop of Tapsus, who, at the close of the fifth century, ably defended the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity and the person of Christ, and to whom the authorship of the so-called Athanasian Creed has sometimes been ascribed; in Fulgentius, bishop of Ruspe, one of the chief opponents of Semi-Pelagianism, and the later Arianism, who with sixty catholic bishops of Africa was banished for several years by the Arian Vandals to the island of Sardinia, and who was called the Augustine of the sixth century died 533); and in Facundus of Hermiane (died 570), and Fulgentius Ferrandus and Liberatus, two deacons of Carthage, who took a prominent part in the Three Chapter controversy.

2160  Or, as he wrote to a friend about the year 410, Epist. 120, c. 1, § 2 (tom. ii. p. 347, ed. Bened. Venet.; in older ed., Ep. 122): "Ut quod credis intelligas ... non ut fidem respuas, sed ea quae fidei firmitate jam tenes, etiam rationis luce conspicias." He continues, ibid. c. 3: "Absit namque, ut hoe in nobis Deus oderit, in quo nos reliquis animalibus excellentiores creavit. Absit, inquam, ut ideo credamus, ne rationem accipiamus vel quaeramus; cum etiam credere non possemus, nisi rationales animas haberemus." In one of his earliest works, Contra Academ. l. iii. c. 20, § 43, he says of himself: "Ita sum affectus, ut quid sit verum non credendo solum, sed etiam intelligendo apprehendere impatienter desiderem."

2161  Comp. De praed. Sanct. cap. 2, § 5 (tom. x. p. 792): "Ipsum credere nihil aliud est quam cum assensione cogitare. Non enim omnia qui cogitat, credit, cum ideo cogitant, plurique ne credant; sed cogitat omnia qui credit, et credendo cogitat et cogitando credit. Fides si non cogitetur, nulls est." Ep. 120, cap. 1, § 3 (tom. ii. 347), and Ep. 137, c. 4, § 15 (tom. ii. 408): "Intellectui fides aditum aperit, infidelitas claudit." Augustine’s view of faith and knowledge is discussed at large by Gangauf, Metaphysische Psychologie des heil Augustinus, i. pp. 31-76, and by Nourrisson, La philosophie de saint Augustin, tom. ii. 282-290.

2162  Prosper Aquitanus collected from the works of Augustine a long list of sentences (see the Appendix to the tenth vol. of the Bened. ed. p. 223 sqq.), with reference to theological purport and the Pelagian controversies. We recall some of the best, which he has omitted:

"Novum Testamentum in Vetere latet, Vetus in Novo patet."

"Distingue tempora, et concordabit Scriptura."

"Cor nostrum inquietum est, donec requiescat in Te."

"Da quod jubes, et jube quod vis."

"Non vincit nisi veritas, victoria veritatis est caritas."

"Ubi amor, ibi trinitas."

"Fides praecedit intellectum."

"Deo servire vera libertas est."

"Nulla infelicitas frangit, quem felicitas nulls corrumpit."

The famous maxim of ecclesiastical harmony: "In necessariis unitas, in dubiis (or non necessariis) libertas, in omnibus (in utrisque) caritas,"—which is often ascribed to Augustine, dates in this form not from him, but from a much later period. Dr. Lücke (in a special treatise on the antiquity of the author, the original form, etc., of this sentence, Göttingen, 1850) traces the authorship to Rupert Meldenius, an irenical German theologian of the seventeenth century.

2163  L.c.p. 30 sq.

2164  Adv. Academicos, l. ii. c. 2, § 5: "Etiam mihi ipsi de me incredibile incendium concitarunt." And in several passages of the Civitas Dei (viii. 3-12; xxii. 27) he speaks very favorably of Plato, and also of Aristotle, and thus broke the way for the high authority of the Aristotelian philosophy with the scholastics of the middle age.

2165  It is sometimes asserted that he had no knowledge at all of the Greek. So Gibbon, for example, says (ch. xxxiii.): "The superficial learning of Augustine was confined to the Latin language." But this is as much a mistake as the other assertion of Gibbon, that "the orthodoxy of St. Augustine was derived from the Manichaean school." In his youth he had a great aversion to the glorious language of Hellas (Conf. i. 14), and read the writings of Plato in a Latin translation (vii. 9). But after his baptism during his second residence in Rome, he took it up again with greater zest, for the sake of his biblical studies. In Hippo he had, while presbyter, good opportunity to advance in it, since his bishop, Aurelius, a native Greek, understood his mother tongue much better than the Latin. In his books he occasionally makes reference to the Greek. In his work Contra Jul. i. c. 6 § 21 (tom. x. 510), he corrects the Pelagian Julian in a translation from Chrysostom, quoting the original. "Ego ipsa verba Graeca quae a Joanne dicta sunt ponam: ;dia; tou'to kai; ta; paidiva baptivzomen, kaivtoi aJmapthvmata oujk e[conta, quod est Latine: Ideo et infantes baptizamus, quamvis peccata non habentes." Julian had freely rendered this: "cum non sint coinquinati peccato," and had drawn the inference: "Sanctus Joannes Constantinopolitanus negat esse in parvulis originale peccatum." Augustine helps himself out of the pinch by arbitrarily supplying propria to aJmarthvmata, so that the idea of sin inherited from another is not excluded. The Greek fathers, however, did not consider hereditary corruption to be proper sin or guilt at all, but only defect, weakness, or disease. In the City of God, lib. xix. c. 23, he quotes a passage from Porphyry’s ejk logivwn filosofiva. It is probable that he read Plotin, and the Panarion of Epiphanius or the summary of it, in Greek (while the Church History of Eusebius he knew only in the translation of Rufinus). But in his exegetical and other works he very rarely consults the Septuagint or Greek Testament, and was content with the very imperfect Itala or the improved version of Jerome. The Benedictine editors overestimate his knowledge of Greek. He himself frankly confesses that he knew very little of it, De Trinit. l. iii. Prooem. ("Graecae linguae non sit nobis tantus habitus, ut talium rerum libris legendis et intelligendis uno modo reperiamur idonei"), and Contra literas Petiliani (written in 400), l. ii. c. 38 ("Et ego quidem Graecae linguae perparum assecutus sum, et prope nihil"). On the philosophical learning of Augustine may be compared Nourrisson, l.c. ii. p. 92 ff.

2166   The following are some of the most intelligent and appreciative estimates of Augustine. Erasmus (Ep. dedicat. ad Alfons. archiep. Tolet. 1529) says, with an ingenious play upon the name Aurelius Augustinus: "Quid habet orbis christianus hoc scriptore magis aureum vel augustius? ut ipsa vocabula nequaquam fortuito, sed numinis providentia videantur indita viro. Auro sapientiae nihil pretiosius: fulgore eloquentiae cum sapientia conjunctae nihil mirabilius .... Non arbitror alium esse doctorem, in quem opulentus ille ac benignus Spiritus dotes suas omnes largius effuderit, quam in Augustinum." The great philosopher Leibnitz (Praefat. ad Theodic. § 34) calls him "virum sane magnum et ingenii stupendi," and "vastissimo ingenio praeditum." Dr. Baur, without sympathy with his views, speaks enthusiastically of the man and his genius. Among other things be says (Vorlesungen über Dogmengeschichte, i. i. p. 61): "There is scarcely another theological author so fertile and withal so able as Augustine. His scholarship was certainly not equal to his mind; yet even that is sometimes set too low, when it is asserted that he had no acquaintance at all with the Greek language; for this is incorrect, though he had attained no great proficiency in Greek." C. Bindemann (a Lutheran divine) begins his thorough monograph (vol. i. preface) with the well-deserved eulogium: "St. Augustine is one of the greatest personages in the church. He is second in importance to none of the teachers who have wrought most in the church since the apostolic time; and it can well be said that among the church fathers the first place is due to him, and in the time of the Reformation a Luther alone, for fulness and depth of thought and grandeur of character, may stand by his side. He is the summit of the development of the mediaeval Westem church; from him descended the mysticism, no less than the scholasticism, of the middle age; he was one of the strongest pillars of the Roman Catholicism, and from his works, next to the Holy Scriptures, especially the Epistles of Paul, the leaders of the Reformation drew most of that conviction by which a new age was introduced." Staudenmaier, a Roman Catholic theologian, counts Augustine among those minds in which an hundred others dwell (Scotus Erigena, i. p. 274). The Roman Catholic philosophers A. Günther and Th. Gangauf, put him on an equality with the greatest philosophers, and discern in him a providential personage endowed by the Spirit of God for the instruction of all ages. A striking characterization is that of Dr. Johannes Huber (in his instructive work: Die Philosophie der Kirchenväter, Munich, 1859, p. 312 sq.): "Augustine is a unique phenomenon in Christian history. No one of the other fathers has left so luminous traces of his existence. Though we find among them many rich and powerful minds yet we find in none the forces of personal character, mind, heart, and will, so largely developed and so harmoniously working. No one surpasses him in wealth of perceptions and dialectical sharpness of thoughts, in depth and fervor of religious sensibility, in greatness of aims and energy of action. He therefore also marks the culmination of the patriotic age, and has been elevated by the acknowledgment of succeeding times as the first and the universal church father.—His whole character reminds us in many respects of Paul, with whom he has also in common the experience of being called from manifold errors to the service of the gospel, and like whom he could boast that he had labored in it more abundantly than all the others. And as Paul among the Apostles pre-eminently determined the development of Christianity, and became, more than all others, the expression of the Christian mind, to which men ever afterwards return, as often as in the life of the church that mind becomes turbid, to draw from him, as the purest fountain, a fresh understanding of the gospel doctrine,—so has Augustine turned the Christian nations since his time for the most part into his paths, and become pre-eminently their trainer and teacher, in the study of whom they always gain a renewal and deepening of their consciousness. Not the middle age alone, but the Reformation also, was ruled by him, and whatever to this day boasts of the Christian spirit, is connected at least in part with Augustine." Nourrisson, the latest French writer on Augustine, whose work is clothed with the authority of the Institute of France, assigns to the bishop of Hippo the fast rank among the masters of human thought, alongside of Plato and Leibnitz, Thomas Aquinas and Bossuet. "Si une critique toujours respectueuse, mais d’une inviolable sincérité, est une des formes les plus hautes de l’admiration, j’estime, au contraire, n’avoir fait qu’exalter ce grand coeur, ce psychologue consolant et ému, ce métaphysicien subtil et sublime, en un mot, cet attachant et poétique génie, dont la place reste marquée, au premier rang, parmi le maîtres de la pensée humaine, à côté de Platon et de Descartes, d’Aristote et de saint Thomas, de Leibniz et de Bossuet." (La philosophie de saint Augustin, Par. 1866, tom. i. p. vii.) Among English and American writers, Dr. Shedd, in the Introduction to his edition of an old translation of the Confessions (1860), has furnished a truthful and forcible description of the mind and heart of St. Augustine, as portrayed in this remarkable book.

2167  Ellies Dupin (Bibliothèque ecclésiastique, tom. iii. lre partie, p. 818) and Nourrisson (l.c. tom. ii. p. 449) apply to Augustine the term magnus opinator, which Cicero used of himself. There is, however, this important difference that Augustine, along with his many opinions on speculative questions in philosophy and theology, had very positive convictions in all essential doctrines, while Cicero was a mere ecclectic in philosophy.

2168  Possidius counts in all, including sermons and letters, one thousand and thirty writings of Augustine. On these see, above all, his Retractations, where he himself reviews ninety-three of his works (embracing two hundred and thirty-two books, see ii. 67), in chronological order; in the first book those which he wrote while a layman and presbyter, in the second those which he wrote when a bishop. Also the extended chronological index in Schönemann’s Biblioth. historico-literaria Patrum Latinorum, vol. ii. (Lips. 1794), p. 340 spq. (reprinted in the supplemental volume, xii., of Migne’s ed. of the Opera, p. 24 sqq.); and other systematic and alphabetical lists in the eleventh volume of the Bened. ed. (p. 494 sqq., ed. Venet.), and in Migne, tom. xi.

2169  For this reason the Benedictine editors have placed the Retractations and the Confessions at the head of his works.

2170  He himself says of them, Retract. l. ii. c. 6: "Multis fratribus eos [Confessionum libros tredecim] multum placuisse et placere scio." Comp. De dono perseverantiae, c. 20: "Quid autem meorum opusculorum frequentius et delectabilius innotescere potuit quam libri Confessionum mearum?" Comp. Ep. 231 Dario comiti.

2171  Schönemann (in the supplemental volume of Migne’s ed. of Augustine, p. 134 sqq.) cites a multitude of separate editions of the Confessions in Latin, Italian, spanish, Portuguese, French, English, and German, from a.d. 1475 to 1776. Since that time several new editions have been added. There are German translations by H. Kautz (R.C., Arnsberg, 1840), G. Rapp (Prot., 2d ed., Stuttg., 1847), and others. The best English edition is that of Dr. E. B. Pusey: The Confessions of S. Angustine, Oxford (first in 1838, as the first volume in the Oxf. Library of the Fathers, together with an edition of the Latin original). It is, however, as Dr. Pusey says, only a revision of the translation of Rev. W. Watts, D. D., London, 1650, accompanied with a long preface (pp. i-xxxv) and elucidations from Augustine’s works in notes and at the end (pp. 314-346). The edition of Dr. W. G. T. Shedd, Andover, 1860, is, as he says, "a reprint of an old translation by an author unknown to the editor, which was republished in Boston in 1843." A cursory comparison shows, that this anonymous Boston reprint agrees almost word for word with Pusey’s revision of Watts, omitting his introduction and all his notes. Dr. Shedd has, however, added an excellent original introduction, in which he clearly and vigorously characterizes the Confessions and draws a comparison between them and the Confessions of Rousseau. He calls the former (p. xxvii) not inaptly the best commentary yet written upon the seventh and eighth chapters of Romans. "That quickening of the human spirit, which puts it again into vital and sensitive relations to the holy and eternal; that illumination of the mind, whereby it is enabled to perceive with clearness the real nature of truth and righteousness; that empowering of the will, to the conflict of victory—the entire process of restoring the Divine image in the soul of man—is delineated in this book, with a vividness and reality never exceeded by the uninspired mind." ... "It is the life of God in the soul of a strong man, rushing and rippling with the freedom of the life of nature. He who watches can almost see the growth; he who listens can hear the perpetual motion; and he who is in sympathy will be swept along."

2172  Nourrisson (l.c. tom. i. p. 19) calls the Confessions "cet ouvrage unique, souvent imité, toujours parodié, où il s’accuse se condamne et s’humilie, prière ardente, récit entraînant, métaphysique incomparable, histoire de tout un monde qui se reflète dans l’histoire d’une âme."

2173  Prov. x. 19. This verse (ex multiloquio non effugies peccatum) the Semi-Pelagian Gennadius (De viris illustr. sub Aug.) applies against Augustine in excuse for his erroneous doctrines of freedom and predestination.

2174  Matt. xii. 36.

2175  1 Cor. xi. 31. Comp. his Prologus to the two books of Retractationes.

2176  J. Morell Mackenzie (in W. Smith’s Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, vol. i. p. 422) happily calls the Retractations of Augustine one of the noblest sacrifices ever laid upon the altar of truth by a majestic intellect acting in obedience to the purest conscientiousness."

2177  In tom. i. of the ed. Bened., immediately after the Retractationes and Confessiones, and at the close of the volume. On these philosophical writings, see Brucker: Historia critics Philosophiae, Lips. 1766, tom. iii. pp. 485-507; H. Ritter: Geschichte der Philosophie, vol. vi. p. 153 ff.; Bindemann, l. c. p. 282 sqq.; Huber, l. c. p. 242 sqq.; Gangauf, l.c. p. 25 sqq., and Nourrison, l.c. ch. i. and ii. Nourrison makes the just remark (i. p. 53): "Si la philosophie est la recherche de la verité, jamais sans doute il ne s’est rencontré une âme plus philosophe que celle de saint Augustin. Car jamais âme n’a supporté avec plus d’impatience les anxiétés du doute et n’a fait plus d’efforts pour dissiper les fantômes de l’erreur."

2178   Or on the question: "Utrum omnia bona et mala divinae providentiae ordo contineat ? " Comp. Retract. i. 3.

2179  Augustine, in his Confessions (I. ix. c. 6), expresses himself in this touching way about this son of his illicit love: "We took with us [on returning from the country to Milan to receive the sacrament of baptism] also the boy Adeodatus, the son of my carnal sin. Thou hadst formed him well. He was but just fifteen years old, and he was superior in mind to many grave and learned men. I acknowledge Thy gifts, O Lord, my God, who createst all, and who canst reform our deformities; for I had no part in that boy but sin. And when we brought him up in Thy nurture, Thou, only Thou, didst prompt us to it; I acknowledge Thy gifts. There is my book entitled, De Magistro; he speaks with me there. Thou knowest that all things there put into his mouth were in his mind when he was sixteen years of age. That maturity of mind was a terror to me; and who but Thou is the artificer of such wonders? Soon Thou didst take his life from the earth; and I think more quietly of him now, fearing no more for his boyhood, nor his youth, nor his whole life. We took him to ourselves as one of the same age in Thy grace, to be trained in Thy nurture; and we were baptized together; and all trouble about the past fled from us."

2180  The books on grammar, dialectics, rhetoric, and the ten Categories of Aristotle, in the Appendix to the first volume of the Bened. ed., are spurious. For the genuine works of Augustine on these subjects were written in a different form (the dialogue) and for a higher purpose, and were lost in his own day. Comp. Retract. i. c. 6. In spite of this, Prantl (Geschichte der Logik im Abendlande, pp. 665-674, cited by Huber, l.c. p. 240) has advocated the genuineness of the Principia dialecticae, and Huber inclines to agree. Gangauf, l.c. p. 5, and Nourrisson, i. p. 37, consider them spurious.

2181   JH mavqhsi" oujk a[llo ti h] ajnavmnhsi" . On his Plato, in the Phaedo, as is well known, rests his doctrine of pre-existence. Augustine was at first in favor of the idea, Solil. ii. 20, n. 35; afterwards he rejected it, Retract. i. 4, § 4.

2182  In the Bened. ed. tom. vii. Comp. Retract. ii. 43, and above, § 12. The City of God and the Confessions are the only writings of Augustine which Gibbon thought good to read (chap. xxxiii.). Huber (l.c. p. 315) says: "Augustine’s philosophy of history, as he presents it in his Civitas Dei, has remained to this hour the standard philosophy of history for the church orthodoxy, the bounds of which this orthodoxy, unable to perceive in the motions of the modern spirit the fresh morning air of a higher day of history, is scarcely able to transcend." Nourrisson devotes a special chapter to the consideration of the two cities of Augustine, the City of the World and the City of God (tom. ii. 43-88). Compare also the Introduction to Saisset’s Traduction de la Cité de Dieu, Par. 1855.

2183  This work is also incorporated in the Corpus haereseologicum of Fr. Oehler, tom. i. pp. 192-225.

2184  Comp. Contra Epist. Manichaei quam vocant fundamenti, l. i. 2.

2185  The earliest anti-Manichaean writings (De libero arbitrio; De moribus eccl. cath. et de moribus Manich.) are in tom. i. ed. Bened.; the latter in tom. viii.

2186  Tom. viii. p. 611 sqq.

2187  All these in tom. lx. Comp. above, §§ 69 and 70.

2188  Tom. viii. ed. Bened. p. 749 sqq. Comp. § 131, above. The work was stolen from him by some impatient friends before revision, and before the completion of the twelfth book, so that he became much discouraged, and could only be moved to finish it by urgent entreaties.

2189  Opera, tom. x., in two parts, with an Appendix. The same in Migne. Comp.146-160, above.

2190  Tom. iii. 117-324. Not to be confounded with two other books on Genesis, in which he defends the biblical doctrine of creation against the Manichaeans. In this exegetical work he aimed, as he says, Retract. ii. c. 24, to interpret Genesis "non secundum allegoricas significationes, sed secundum rerum gestarum proprietatem." The work is more original and spirited than the Hexaëmeron of Basil or of Ambrose.

2191  Tom. iv., the whole volume.

2192  Tom. iii., 289-824.

2193  All in tom. iii.

2194  Tom. v., which contains besides these a multitude (317) of doubtful and spurious sermons, likewise divided into four classes. To these must be added recently discovered sermons, edited from manuscripts in Florence, Monte Cassino, etc., by M. Denis (1792), O. F. Frangipane (1820), A. L. Caillau (Paris, 1836), and Angelo Mai (in the Nova Bibliotheca Patrum).

2195  Most of them in tom. vi. ed. Bened. On the scripta deperdita, dubia et spuria of Augustine, see the index by Schönemann, l.c. p. 50 sqq., and in the supplemental volume of Migne’s edition, pp. 34-40. The so-called Meditations of Augustine (German translation by August Krohne, Stuttgart, 1854) are a later compilation by the abbot of Fescamp in France, at the close of the twelfth century, from the writings of Augustine, Gregory the Great, Anselm, and others.

2196  It betrays a very contracted, slavish, and mechanical view of history, when Roman Catholic divines claim the fathers as their exclusive property; forgetting that they taught a great many things which are as inconsistent with the papal as with the Protestant Creed, and knew nothing of certain dogmas (such as the infallibility of the pope, the seven sacraments, transubstantiation, purgatory, indulgences, auricular confession, the immaculate conception of the Virgin Mary, etc.), which are essential to Romanism. "I recollect well," says Dr. Newman, the former intellectual leader of Oxford Tractarianism (in his Letter to Dr. Pusey on his Eirenicon, 1866, p. 5), "what an outcast I seemed to myself, when I took down from the shelves of my library the volumes of St. Athanasius or St. Basil, and set myself to study them; and how, on the contrary, when at length I was brought into Catholic communion, I kissed them with delight, with a feeling that in them I had more than all that I had lost, and, as though I were directly addressing the glorious saints, who bequeathed them to the Church, I said to the inanimate pages, ’You are now mine, and I am yours, beyond any mistake.’ " With the same right the Jews might lay exclusive claim to the writings of Moses and the prophets. The fathers were living men, representing the onward progress and conflicts of Christianity in their time, unfolding and defending great truths, but not unmixed with many errors and imperfections which subsequent times have corrected. Those are the true children of the fathers who, standing on the foundation of Christ and the apostles, and, kissing the New Testament rather than any human writings, follow them only as far as they followed Christ, and who carry forward their work in the onward march of true evangelical catholic Christianity.

2197  He was summoned to the council of Ephesus, which condemned Nestorianism in 431, but died a year before it met. He prevailed upon the Gallic monk, Leporius, to retract Nestorianism. His Christology is in many points defective and obscure. Comp. Dorner’s History of Christology, ii. pp. 90-98. Jerome did still less for this department of doctrine.

2198  Wiggers (Pragmat. Darstellung des Augustinismus und Pelagianismus, i. p. 27) finds the most peculiar and remarkable point of Augustine’s character in his singular union of intellect and imagination, scholasticism and mysticism, in which neither can be said to predominate. So also Huber, l.c. p. 313.

2199  Nourrisson, the able expounder of the philosophy of Augustine, says (I. c. tom. i. p. iv): "Je ne crois pas, qu’excepté saint Paul, aucun homme ait contribué davantage, par sa parole comme par ses écrits, à organiser, à interpréter, a répandre le christianisme; et, après saint Paul, nul apparemment, non pas même le glorieux, l’invincible Athanase, n’a travaillé d’une manière aussi puissante à fonder l’unité catholique."

2200  On the catholic and ascetic character of his conversion and his religion, see the observations in my work on Augustine, ch. viii., in the German edition.

2201  We recall his famous anti-Manichaean dictum: "Ego evangelio non crederem, nisi me catholicae ecclesiae commoveret auctoritas." The Protestant would reverse this maxim, and ground his faith in the church on his faith in Christ and in the gospel. So with the well-known maxim of Irenaeus: "Ubi ecclesia, ibi Spiritus Dei, et ubi Spiritus Dei, ibi ecclesia." According to the spirit of Protestantism it would be said conversely: "Where the Spirit of God is, there is the church, and where the church is, there is the Spirit of God."

2202  According to genuine Christian principles it would have been far more noble, if he had married the African woman with whom he had lived in illicit intercourse for thirteen years, who was always faithful to him, as he was to her, and had borne him his beloved and highly gifted Adeodatus; instead of casting her off, and, as he for a while intended, choosing another for the partner of his life, whose excellences were more numerous. The superiority of the evangelical Protestant morality over the Catholic asceticism is here palpable. But with the prevailing spirit of his age he would hardly have enjoyed so great regard, nor accomplished so much good, if he had been married. Celibacy was the bridge from the heathen degradation of marriage to the evangelical Christian exaltation and sanctification of the family life.

2203  On Augustine’s doctrine of the church, see § 71, above, and especially the thorough account by R. Rothe: Anfänge der christl. Kirche und ihrer Verfassung, vol. i. (1837), pp. 679-711. "Augustine," says he, "decidedly adopted Cyprian’s conception [of the church] in all essential points. And once adopting it, he penetrated it in its whole depth with his wonderfully powerful and exuberant soul, and, by means of his own clear, logical mind, gave it the perfect and rigorous system which perhaps it still lacked" (p. 679 f)." Augustine’s conception of the doctrine of the church was about standard for succeeding times" (p. 685).

2204  Respecting Augustine’s doctrine of baptism, see the thorough discussion in W. Wall’s History of Infant Baptism, vol. i. p. 173 ff. (Oxford ed. of 1862). His view of the slight condemnation of all unbaptized children contains the germ of the scholastic fancy of the limbus infantum and the poena damni, as distinct from the lower regions of hell and the poena sensus.

2205  In his former writings he expressed a truly philosophical view concerning miracles (De vera relig. c. 25, § 47; c. 50, § 98; De utilit. credendi, c. 16, § 34; De peccat. meritis et remiss. l. ii. c. 32, § 52, and De civit Dei, xxii. c. 8); but in his Retract. l. i. c. 14, § 5, he corrects or modifies a former remark in his book De utilit. credendi, stating that he did not mean to deny the continuance of miracles altogether, but only such great miracles as occurred at the time of Christ ("quia non tanta nec omnia, non quia nulla fiunt"). See above, §§ 87 and 88, and the instructive monograph of the younger Nitzsch (Lic. and Privatdocent in Berlin): Augustinus’ Lehre vom Wunder, Berlin, 1865 (97 pp.).

2206  See above, §§ 81 and 82.

2207  Comp. Tract. in Evang. Joannis, viii, c. 9, where he says: "Cur ergo ait matri filius: Quid mihi et tibi est, mulier? nondum venit hora mea (John ii. 4). Dominus noster Jesus Christus et Deus erat et homo: secundum quod Deus erat, matrem non habebat; secundum quod homo erat, habebat. Mater ergo [Maria] erat carnis, mater humanitatis, mater infirmitatis quam suscepit propter nos." This strict separation of the Godhead from the manhood of Jesus in his birth from the Virgin would have exposed Augustine in the East to the suspicion of Nestorianism. But he died a year before the council of Ephesus, at which Nestorius was condemned.

2208  See above, § 27, p. 144 f. He changed his view partly from his experience that the Donatists, in his own diocese, were converted to the catholic unity "timore legum imperialium," and were afterwards perfectly good Catholics. He adduces also a misinterpretation of Luke xiv. 23, and Prov. ix. 9: "Da sapienti occasionem et sapientior erit." Ep. 93, ad Vincentium Rogatistam, § 17 (tom. ii. p. 237 sq. ed. Bened.). But he expressly discouraged the infliction of death on heretics, and adjured the proconsul Donatus, Ep. 100, by Jesus Christ, not to repay the Donatists in kind. "Corrigi eos cupimus, non necari."

2209  Luther pronounced upon the church fathers (with whom, however, excepting Augustine, he was but slightly acquainted) very condemnatory judgments, even upon Basil, Chrysostom, and Jerome (for Jerome he had a downright antipathy, on account of his advocacy of fasts, virginity, and monkery); he was at times dissatisfied even with Augustine, because he after all did not find in him his sola fide, his articulus stantis et cadentis ecclesiae, and says of him: "Augustine often erred; he cannot be trusted. Though he was good and holy, yet he, as well as other fathers, was wanting in the true faith." But this cursory utterance is overborne by numerous commendations; and all such judgments of Luther must be taken cum grano salis. He calls Augustine the most pious, grave, and sincere of the fathers, the patron of divines, who taught a pure doctrine and submitted it in Christian humility to the Holy Scriptures, etc., and he thinks, if he had lived in the sixteenth century, he would have been a Protestant (si hoc seculo viveret, nobiscum sentiret), while Jerome would have gone with Rome. Compare his singular but striking judgments on the fathers in Lutheri colloquia, ed. H. E. Bindseil, 1863, tom. iii. 149, and many other places. Gangauf, a Roman Catholic (a pupil of the philosopher Günther), concedes (l.c. p. 28, note 13) that Luther and Calvin built their doctrinal system mainly on Augustine, but, as he correctly thinks, with only partial right. Nourrisson, likewise a Roman Catholic, derives Protestantism from a corrupted (!) Augustinianism, and very superficially makes Lutheranism and Calvinism essentially to consist in the denial of the freedom of the will, which was only one of the questions of the Reformation. "On ne saurait le méconnaître, de l’Augustinianisme corrompu, mais enfin de l’Augustinianisme procède le Protestantisme. Car, sans parler de Wiclef et de Huss, qui, nourris de saint Augustin, soutiennent, avec le réalisme platonicien, la doctrine de la prédestination; Luther et Calvin ne font guére autre chose, dans leurs Principaux ouvages, que cultiver des semences d’Augustinianisme" (l.c. ii. p. 176). But the Reformation is far more, of course, than a repristination of an old controversy; it is a new creation, and marks the epoch of modern Christianity which is different both from the mediaeval and from ancient or patristic Christianity.

2210  It is well known that Luther, as late as 1526, in his work, De servo arbitrio, against Erasmus, which he never retracted, proceeded upon the most rigorous notion of the divine omnipotence, wholly denied the freedom of the will, declared it a mere lie (merum mendacium), pronounced the calls of the Scriptures to repentance a divine irony, based eternal salvation and eternal perdition upon the secret will of God, and almost exceeded Calvin. See particulars in the books on doctrine-history; the inaugural dissertation of Jul. Müller: Lutheri de praedestinatione et libero arbitrio doctrina, Gott. 1832; and a historical treatise on predestination by Carl Beck in the Studien und Kritiken for 1847. We add, as a curiosity, the opinion of Gibbon (ch. xxxiii.), who, however, had a very limited and superficial knowledge of Augustine: "The rigid system of Christianity which he framed or restored, has been entertained, with public applause, and secret reluctance, by the Latin church. The church of Rome has canonized Augustine, and reprobated Calvin. Yet as the real difference between them is invisible even to a theological microscope, the Molinists are oppressed by the authority of the saint, and the Jansenists are disgraced by their resemblance to the heretic. In the mean while the Protestant Arminians stand aloof, and deride the mutual perplexity of the disputants. Perhaps a reasoner, still more independent, may smile in his tum when he peruses an Arminian commentary on the Epistle to the Romans." Nourrisson (ii. 179), from his Romish standpoint, likewise makes Lutheranism to consist "essentiellement dans la question du libre arbitre." But the principle of Lutheranism, and of Protestantism generally, is the supremacy of the Holy Scriptures as a rule of faith, and justification by free grace through faith in Christ.

2211  On the mighty influence of Augustine in the seventeenth century in France, especially on the noble Jansenists, see the works on Jansenism, and also Nourrisson, l.c. tom. ii. pp. 186-276.

2212  Guizot, the Protestant historian and statesman, very correctly says in his Histoire générale de la civilization en Europe (Deuxième leçon, p. 45 sq. ed. Bruxelles, 1850): "S’il n’eût pas été une église, je ne sais ce qui en serait avenu au milieu de la chute de l’empire romain .... Si le christianisme n’eût été comme dans les premiers temps, qu’une croyance, un sentiment, une conviction individuelle, on peut croire qu’il aurait succombé au milieu de la dissolution de l’empire et de l’invasion des barbares. Il a succombé plus tard, en Asie et dans tous le nord de l’Afrique, sous une invasion de méme nature, sous l’invasion des barbares musulmans; il a succombé alors, quoiqu’il fût à l’état d’institution, d’église constituée. A bien plus forte raison le même fait aurait pu arriver au moment de la chute de l’empire romain. Il n’y avait alors aucun des moyens par lesquels aujourd’hui les influences morales s’établissent ou’ résistent indépendamment des institutions, aucun des moyens par lesquels une pure vérité, une pure idée acquiert un grand empire sur les esprits, gouverne les actions, détermine des événemens. Rien de semblable n’existait au IVe siècle, pour donner aux idées, aux sentiments personels, une pareille autorité. Il est clair qu’il fallait une société fortement organisée, fortement gouvernée, pour lutter contre un pareil désastre, pour sortir victorieuse d’un tel ouragan. Je no crois pas trop dire en affirmant qu’à la fin du IVe et au commencement du Ve siècle, c’est l’église chrétienne qui a sauvé le christianisme; c’est l’église avec ses institutions, ses magistrats, son pouvoir, qui s’est défendue vigoureusement contre la dissolution intérieure de l’empire, contre la barbarie, qui a conquis les barbares, qui est devenue le lien, le moyen, le principe de civilisation entre le monde romain et le monde barbare."