(Augustine, Enchiridion. part 6)

in man, or -- what is the same thing -- in himself.
     108.  Now, we could not be redeemed, even through "the one
Mediator between God and man, Man himself, Christ Jesus,"[235] if
he were not also God.  For when Adam was made -- being made an
upright man -- there was no need for a mediator.  Once sin,
however, had widely separated the human race from God, it was
necessary for a mediator, who alone was born, lived, and was put
to death without sin, to reconcile us to God, and provide even for
our bodies a resurrection to life eternal -- and all this in order
that man's pride might be exposed and healed through God's
humility.  Thus it might be shown man how far he had departed from
God, when by the incarnate God he is recalled to God; that man in
his contumacy might be furnished an example of obedience by the
God-Man; that the fount of grace might be opened up; that even the
resurrection of the body -- itself promised to the redeemed --
might be previewed in the resurrection of the Redeemer himself;
that the devil might be vanquished by that very nature he was
rejoicing over having deceived -- all this, however, without
giving man ground for glory in himself, lest pride spring up anew.
And if there are other advantages accruing from so great a mystery
of the Mediator, which those who profit from them can see or
testify -- even if they cannot be described -- let them be added
to this list.

                         CHAPTER XXIX

                       "The Last Things"

     109.  Now, for the time that intervenes between man's death
and the final resurrection, there is a secret shelter for his
soul, as each is worthy of rest or affliction according to what it
has merited while it lived in the body.
     110.  There is no denying that the souls of the dead are
benefited by the piety of their living friends, when the sacrifice
of the Mediator is offered for the dead, or alms are given in the
church. But these means benefit only those who, when they were
living, have merited that such services could be of help to them.
For there is a mode of life that is neither so good as not to need
such helps after death nor so bad as not to gain benefit from them
after death.  There is, however, a good mode of life that does not
need such helps, and, again, one so thoroughly bad that, when such
a man departs this life, such helps avail him nothing.  It is
here, then, in this life, that all merit or demerit is acquired
whereby a man's condition in the life hereafter is improved or
worsened.  Therefore, let no one hope to obtain any merit with God
after he is dead that he has neglected to obtain here in this
     So, then, those means which the Church constantly uses in
interceding for the dead are not opposed to that statement of the
apostle when he said, "For all of us shall stand before the
tribunal of Christ, so that each may receive according to what he
has done in the body, whether good or evil."[236]  For each man
has for himself while living in the body earned the merit whereby
these means can benefit him [after death].  For they do not
benefit all.  And yet why should they not benefit all, unless it
be because of the different kinds of lives men lead in the body?
Accordingly, when sacrifices, whether of the altar or of alms, are
offered for the baptized dead, they are thank offerings for the
very good, propitiations for the not-so-very-bad [non valde
malis], and, as for the very bad -- even if they are of no help to
the dead -- they are at least a sort of consolation to the living.
Where they are of value, their benefit consists either in
obtaining a full forgiveness or, at least, in making damnation
more tolerable.
     111.  After the resurrection, however, when the general
judgment has been held and finished, the boundary lines will be
set for the two cities: the one of Christ, the other of the devil;
one for the good, the other for the bad -- both including angels
and men.  In the one group, there will be no will to sin, in the
other, no power to sin, nor any further possibility of dying.  The
citizens of the first commonwealth will go on living truly and
happily in life eternal.  The second will go on, miserable in
death eternal, with no power to die to it.  The condition of both
societies will then be fixed and endless.  But in the first city,
some will outrank others in bliss, and in the second, some will
have a more tolerable burden of misery than others.
     112.  It is quite in vain, then, that some -- indeed very
many -- yield to merely human feelings and deplore the notion of
the eternal punishment of the damned and their interminable and
perpetual misery.  They do not believe that such things will be.
Not that they would go counter to divine Scripture -- but,
yielding to their own human feelings, they soften what seems harsh
and give a milder emphasis to statements they believe are meant
more to terrify than to express the literal truth.  "God will not
forget," they say, "to show mercy, nor in his anger will he shut
up his mercy." This is, in fact, the text of a holy psalm.[237]
But there is no doubt that it is to be interpreted to refer to
those who are called "vessels of mercy,"[238] those who are freed
from misery not by their own merits but through God's mercy.  Even
so, if they suppose that the text applies to all men, there is no
ground for them further to suppose that there can be an end for
those of whom it is said, "Thus these shall go into everlasting
punishment."[239]  Otherwise, it can as well be thought that there
will also be an end to the happiness of those of whom the
antithesis was said: "But the righteous into life eternal."
     But let them suppose, if it pleases them, that, for certain
intervals of time, the punishments of the damned are somewhat
mitigated.  Even so, the wrath of God must be understood as still
resting on them.  And this is damnation -- for this anger, which
is not a violent passion in the divine mind, is called "wrath" in
God.  Yet even in his wrath -- his wrath resting on them -- he
does not "shut up his mercy." This is not to put an end to their
eternal afflictions, but rather to apply or interpose some little
respite in their torments.  For the psalm does not say, "To put an
end to his wrath," or, "_After_ his wrath," but, "_In_ his wrath."
Now, if this wrath were all there is [in man's damnation], and
even if it were present only in the slightest degree conceivable
-- still, to be lost out of the Kingdom of God, to be an exile
from the City of God, to be estranged from the life of God, to
suffer loss of the great abundance of God's blessings which he has
hidden for those who fear him and prepared for those who hope in
him[240] -- this would be a punishment so great that, if it be
eternal, no torments that we know could be compared to it, no
matter how many ages they continued.
     113.  The eternal death of the damned -- that is, their
estrangement from the life of God -- will therefore abide without
end, and it will be common to them all, no matter what some
people, moved by their human feelings, may wish to think about
gradations of punishment, or the relief or intermission of their
misery.  In the same way, the eternal life of the saints will
abide forever, and also be common to all of them no matter how
different the grades of rank and honor in which they shine forth
in their effulgent harmony.

                         CHAPTER XXX

     The Principles of Christian Living: Faith and Hope

     114.  Thus, from our confession of _faith_, briefly
summarized in the Creed (which is milk for babes when pondered at
the carnal level but food for strong men when it is considered and
studied spiritually), there is born the good _hope_ of the
faithful, accompanied by a holy _love_.[241]  But of these
affirmations, all of which ought _faithfully_ to be believed, only
those which have to do with _hope_ are contained in the Lord's
Prayer.  For "cursed is everyone," as the divine eloquence
testified, "who rests his hope in man."[242]  Thus, he who rests
his hope in himself is bound by the bond of this curse.
Therefore, we should seek from none other than the Lord God
whatever it is that we hope to do well, or hope to obtain as
reward for our good works.
     115.  Accordingly, in the Evangelist Matthew, the Lord's
Prayer may be seen to contain seven petitions: three of them ask
for eternal goods, the other four for temporal goods, which are,
however, necessary for obtaining the eternal goods.
     For when we say: "Hallowed be thy name.  Thy Kingdom come.
Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven"[243] -- this last
being wrongly interpreted by some as meaning "in body and spirit"
-- these blessings will be retained forever.  They begin in this
life, of course; they are increased in us as we make progress, but
in their perfection -- which is to be hoped for in the other life
-- they will be possessed forever!  But when we say: "Give us this
day our daily bread.  And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our
debtors.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from
evil,"[244] who does not see that all these pertain to our needs
in the present life?  In that life eternal -- where we all hope to
be -- the hallowing of God's name, his Kingdom, and his will, in
our spirit and body will abide perfectly and immortally.  But in
this life we ask for "daily bread" because it is necessary, in the
measure required by soul and body, whether we take the term in a
spiritual or bodily sense, or both.  And here too it is that we
petition for forgiveness, where the sins are committed; here too
are the temptations that allure and drive us to sinning; here,
finally, the evil from which we wish to be freed.  But in that
other world none of these things will be found.
     116.  However, the Evangelist Luke, in his version of the
Lord's Prayer, has brought together, not seven, but five
petitions.  Yet, obviously, there is no discrepancy here, but
rather, in his brief way, the Evangelist has shown us how the
seven petitions should be understood.  Actually, God's name is
even now hallowed in the spirit, but the Kingdom of God is yet to
come in the resurrection of the body.  Therefore, Luke was seeking
to show that the third petition ["Thy will be done"] is a
repetition of the first two, and makes this better understood by
omitting it.  He then adds three other petitions, concerning daily
bread, forgiveness of sins, and avoidance of temptation.[245]
However, what Matthew puts in the last place, "But deliver us from
evil," Luke leaves out, in order that we might understand that it
was included in what was previously said about temptation.  This
is, indeed, why Matthew said, "_But_ deliver us," instead of,
"_And_ deliver us," as if to indicate that there is only one
petition -- "Will not this, but that" -- so that anyone would
realize that he is being delivered from evil in that he is not
being led into temptation.

                         CHAPTER XXXI


     117.  And now regarding _love_, which the apostle says is
greater than the other two -- that is, faith and hope -- for the
more richly it dwells in a man, the better the man in whom it
dwells.  For when we ask whether someone is a good man, we are not
asking what he believes, or hopes, but what he loves.  Now, beyond
all doubt, he who loves aright believes and hopes rightly.
Likewise, he who does not love believes in vain, even if what he
believes is true; he hopes in vain, even if what he hopes for is
generally agreed to pertain to true happiness, unless he believes
and hopes for this: that he may through prayer obtain the gift of
love.  For, although it is true that he cannot hope without love,
it may be that there is something without which, if he does not
love it, he cannot realize the object of his hopes.  An example of
this would be if a man hopes for life eternal -- and who is there
who does not love that? -- and yet does not love _righteousness_,
without which no one comes to it.
     Now this is the true faith of Christ which the apostle
commends: faith that works through love.  And what it yet lacks in
love it asks that it may receive, it seeks that it may find, and
knocks that it may be opened unto it.[246]  For faith achieves
what the law commands [fides namque impetrat quod lex imperat].
And, without the gift of God -- that is, without the Holy Spirit,
through whom love is shed abroad in our hearts -- the law may bid
but it cannot aid [jubere lex poterit, non juvare].  Moreover, it
can make of man a transgressor, who cannot then excuse himself by
pleading ignorance.  For appetite reigns where the love of God
does not.[247]
     118.  When, in the deepest shadows of ignorance, he lives
according to the flesh with no restraint of reason -- this is the
primal state of man.[248]  Afterward, when "through the law the
knowledge of sin"[249] has come to man, and the Holy Spirit has
not yet come to his aid -- so that even if he wishes to live
according to the law, he is vanquished -- man sins knowingly and
is brought under the spell and made the slave of sin, "for by
whatever a man is vanquished, of this master he is the
slave"[250].  The effect of the knowledge of the law is that sin
works in man the whole round of concupiscence, which adds to the
guilt of the first transgression.  And thus it is that what was
written is fulfilled: "The law entered in, that the offense might
abound."[251]  This is the _second_ state of man.[252]
     But if God regards a man with solicitude so that he then
believes in God's help in fulfilling His commands, and if a man
begins to be led by the Spirit of God, then the mightier power of
love struggles against the power of the flesh.[253]  And although
there is still in man a power that fights against him -- his
infirmity being not yet fully healed -- yet he [the righteous man]
lives by faith and lives righteously in so far as he does not
yield to evil desires, conquering them by his love of
righteousness.  This is the _third_ stage of the man of good hope.
     A final peace is in store for him who continues to go forward
in this course toward perfection through steadfast piety.  This
will be perfected beyond this life in the repose of the spirit,
and, at the last, in the resurrection of the body.
     Of these four different stages of man, the first is before
the law, the second is under the law, the third is under grace,
and the fourth is in full and perfect peace.  Thus, also, the
history of God's people has been ordered by successive temporal
epochs, as it pleased God, who "ordered all things in measure and
number and weight."[254]  The first period was before the law; the
second under the law, which was given through Moses; the next,
under grace which was revealed through the first Advent of the
Mediator."[255]  This grace was not previously absent from those
to whom it was to be imparted, although, in conformity to the
temporal dispensations, it was veiled and hidden.  For none of the
righteous men of antiquity could find salvation apart from the
faith of Christ.  And, unless Christ had also been known to them,
he could not have been prophesied to us -- sometimes openly and
sometimes obscurely -- through their ministry.
     119.  Now, in whichever of these four "ages" -- if one can
call them that -- the grace of regeneration finds a man, then and
there all his past sins are forgiven him and the guilt he
contracted in being born is removed by his being reborn.  And so
true is it that "the Spirit breatheth where he willeth"[256] that
some men have never known the second "age" of slavery under the
law, but begin to have divine aid directly under the new
     120.  Yet, before a man can receive the commandment, he must,
of course, live according to the flesh.  But, once he has been
imbued with the sacrament of rebirth, no harm will come to him
even if he then immediately depart this life -- "Wherefore on this
account Christ died and rose again, that he might be the Lord of
both the living and the dead."'[257] Nor will the kingdom of death
have dominion over him for whom He, who was "free among the
dead,"[258] died.

                        CHAPTER XXXII

                    The End of All the Law

     121.  All the divine precepts are, therefore, referred back
to _love_, of which the apostle says, "Now the end of the
commandment is love, out of a pure heart, and a good conscience
and a faith unfeigned."[259]  Thus every commandment harks back to
love.  For whatever one does either in fear of punishment or from
some carnal impulse, so that it does not measure up to the
standard of love which the Holy Spirit sheds abroad in our hearts
-- whatever it is, it is not yet done as it should be, although it
may seem to be.  Love, in this context, of course includes both
the love of God and the love of our neighbor and, indeed, "on
these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets"[260] --
and, we may add, the gospel and the apostles, for from nowhere
else comes the voice, "The end of the commandment is love,"[261]
and, "God is love."[262]
     Therefore, whatsoever things God commands (and one of these
is, "Thou shalt not commit adultery"[263]) and whatsoever things
are not positively ordered but are strongly advised as good
spiritual counsel (and one of these is, "It is a good thing for a
man not to touch a woman"[264]) -- all of these imperatives are
rightly obeyed only when they are measured by the standard of our
love of God and our love of our neighbor in God [propter Deum].
This applies both in the present age and in the world to come.
Now we love God in faith; then, at sight.  For, though mortal men
ourselves, we do not know the hearts of mortal men.  But then "the
Lord will illuminate the hidden things in the darkness and will
make manifest the cogitations of the heart; and then shall each
one have his praise from God"[265] -- for what will be praised and
loved in a neighbor by his neighbor is just that which, lest it
remain hidden, God himself will bring to light.  Moreover, passion
decreases as love increases[266] until love comes at last to that
fullness which cannot be surpassed, "for greater love than this no
one has, that a man lay down his life for his friends."[267]  Who,
then, can explain how great the power of love will be, when there
will be no passion [cupiditas] for it to restrain or overcome?
For, then, the supreme state of true health [summa sanitas] will
have been reached, when the struggle with death shall be no more.

                        CHAPTER XXXIII


     122.  But somewhere this book must have an end.  You can see
for yourself whether you should call it an Enchiridion, or use it
as one.  But since I have judged that your zeal in Christ ought
not to be spurned and since I believe and hope for good things for
you through the help of our Redeemer, and since I love you greatly
as one of the members of his body, I have written this book for
you -- may its usefulness match its prolixity! -- on Faith, Hope,
and Love.


[1] 1 Cor. 1:20.
[2] Wis. 6:26 (Vulgate).
[3] Rom. 16:19.
[4] A later interpolation, not found in the best MSS., adds, "As
no one can exist from himself, so also no one can be wise in
himself save only as he is enlightened by Him of whom it is
written, 'All wisdom is from God' [Ecclus. 1:1]."
[5] Job 28:28.
[6] A transliteration of the Greek, literally, a handbook or
[7] Cf. Gal. 5:6.
[8] Cf. 1 Cor. 13:10, 11.
[9] 1 Cor. 3:11.
[10] Already, very early in his ministry (397), Augustine had
written De agone Christiano, in which he had reviewed and refuted
a full score of heresies threatening the orthodox faith.
[11] The Apostles' Creed.  Cf. Augustine's early essay On Faith
and the Creed.
[12] Joel 2:32.
[13] Rom. 10:14.
[14] Lucan, Pharsalia, II, 15.
[15] Virgil, Aeneid, IV, 419.  The context of this quotation is
Dido's lament over Aeneas' prospective abandonment of her.  She is
saying that if she could have foreseen such a disaster, she would
have been able to bear it.  Augustine's criticism here is a
literalistic quibble.
[16] Heb. 11:1.
[17] Sacra eloquia -- a favorite phrase of Augustine's for the
[18] Rom. 8:24, 25 (Old Latin).
[19] James 2:19.
[20] One of the standard titles of early Greek philosophical
treatises would translate into Latin as De rerum natura.  This is,
in fact, the title of Lucretius' famous poem, the greatest
philosophical work written in classical Latin.
[21] This basic motif appears everywhere in Augustine's thought as
the very foundation of his whole system.
[22] This section (Chs. III and IV) is the most explicit statement
of a major motif which pervades the whole of Augustinian
metaphysics.  We see it in his earliest writings, Soliloquies, 1,
2, and De ordine, II, 7.  It is obviously a part of the
Neoplatonic heritage which Augustine appropriated for his
Christian philosophy.  The good is positive, constructive,
essential; evil is privative, destructive, parasitic on the good.
It has its origin, not in nature, but in the will.  Cf.
Confessions, Bk. VII, Chs. III, V, XII-XVI; On Continence, 14-16;
On the Gospel of John, Tractate XCVIII, 7; City of God, XI, 17;
XII, 7-9.
[23] Isa. 5:20.
[24] Matt. 12:35.
[25] This refers to Aristotle's well-known principle of "the
excluded middle."
[26] Matt. 7:18.
[27] Cf. Matt. 12:33.
[28] Virgil, Georgios, II, 490.
[29] Ibid., 479.
[30] Sed in via pedum, non in via morum.
[31] Virgil, Eclogue, VIII, 42.  The context of the passage is
Damon's complaint over his faithless Nyssa; he is here remembering
the first time he ever saw her -- when he was twelve!  Cf.
Theocritus, II, 82.
[32] Cf. Matt. 5:37.
[33] Cf. Confessions, Bk. X, Ch. XXIII.
[34] Ad consentium contra mendacium, CSEL (J. Zycha, ed.), Vol.
41, pp. 469-528; also Migne, PL, 40, c. 517-548; English
translation by H.B. Jaffee in Deferrari, St. Augustine: Treatises
on Various Subjects (The Fathers of the Church, New York, 1952),
pp. 113-179.  This had been written about a year earlier than the
Enchiridion.  Augustine had also written another treatise On Lying
much earlier, c. 395; see De mendacio in CSEL (J. Zycha, ed.),
Vol. 41, pp. 413-466; Migne, PL, 40, c. 487-518; English
translation by M.S. Muldowney in Deferrari, op. cit., pp. 47-109.
This summary of his position here represents no change of view
whatever on this question.
[35] Sallust, The War with Catiline, X, 6-7.
[36] Cf. Acts 12:9.
[37] Virgil, Aeneid, X, 392.
[38] This refers to one of the first of the Cassiciacum dialogues,
Contra Academicos.  The gist of Augustine's refutation of
skepticism is in III, 23ff.  Throughout his whole career he
continued to maintain this position: that certain knowledge begins
with self-knowledge.  Cf. Confessions, Bk. V, Ch. X, 19; see also
City of God, XI, xxvii.
[39] Hab. 2:4; Rom. 1:17.
[40] A direct contrast between suspensus assenso -- the watchword
of the Academics -- and assensio, the badge of Christian
[41] See above, VII, 90.
[42] Matt. 5:37.
[43] Matt. 6:12.
[44] Rom. 5:12.
[45] Cf. Luke 20:36.
[46] Rom. 4:17.
[47] Wis. 11:20.
[48] 2 Peter 2:19.
[49] John 8:36.
[50] Eph. 2:8.
[51] 1 Cor. 7:25.
[52] Eph. 2:8, 9.
[53] Eph. 2:10.
[54] Cf. Gal. 6:15; I1 Cor. 5:17.
[55] Ps. 51:10.
[56] Phil. 2:13.
[57] Rom. 9:16.
[58] Prov. 8:35 (LXX).
[59] From the days at Cassiciacum till the very end, Augustine
toiled with the mystery of the primacy of God's grace and the
reality of human freedom.  Of two things he was unwaveringly sure,
even though they involved him in a paradox and the appearance of
confusion.  The first is that God's grace is not only primary but
also sufficient as the ground and source of human willing.  And
against the Pelagians and other detractors from grace, he did not
hesitate to insist that grace is irresistible and inviolable.  Cf.
On Grace and Free Will, 99, 41-43; On the Predestination of the
Saints, 19:10; On the Gift of Perseverance, 41; On the Soul and
Its Origin, 16; and even the Enchiridion, XXIV, 97.
	But he never drew from this deterministic emphasis the
conclusion that man is unfree and everywhere roundly rejects the
not illogical corollary of his theonomism, that man's will counts
for little or nothing except as passive agent of God's will.  He
insists on responsibility on man's part in responding to the
initiatives of grace.  For this emphasis, which is
characteristically directed to the faithful themselves, see On the
Psalms, LXVIII, 7-8; On the Gospel of John, Tractate, 53:6-8; and
even his severest anti-Pelagian tracts: On Grace and Free Will, 6-
8, 10, 31 and On Admonition and Grace, 2-8.
[60] Ps. 58:11 (Vulgate).
[61] Ps. 23:6.
[62] Cf. Matt. 5:44.
[63] The theme that he had explored in Confessions, Bks. I-IX.
See especially Bk. V, Chs. X, XIII; Bk. VII, Ch. VIII; Bk. IX, Ch.
[64] Cf. Ps. 90:9.
[65] Job 14:1.
[66] John 3:36.
[67] Eph. 2:3.
[68] Rom. 5:9, 10.
[69] Rom. 8:14.
[70] John 1:14.
[71] Rom. 3:20.
[72] Epistle CXXXVII, written in 412 in reply to a list of queries
sent to Augustine by the proconsul of Africa.
[73] John 1:1.
[74] Phil. 2:6, 7.
[75] These metaphors for contrasting the "two natures" of Jesus
Christ were favorite figures of speech in Augustine's
Christological thought.  Cf. On the Gospel of John, Tractate 78;
On the Trinity, I, 7; II, 2; IV, 19-20; VII, 3; New Testament
Sermons, 76, 14.
[76] Luke 1:28-30.
[77] John 1:14.
[78] Luke 1:35.
[79] Matt. 1:20.
[80] Rom. 1:3.
[81] Rom. 8:3.
[82] Cf. Hos. 4:8.
[83] I1 Cor. 5:20, 21.
[84] Virgil, Aeneid, II, 1, 20.
[85] Num. 21:7 (LXX).
[86] Matt. 2:20.
[87] Ex. 32:4.
[88] Rom. 5:12.
[89] Deut. 5:9.
[90] Ezek. 18:2.
[91] Ps. 51:5.
[92] 1 Tim. 2:5.
[93] Matt. 3:13.
[94] Luke 3:4; Isa. 40:3.
[95] Ps. 2:7; Heb. 5:5; cf. Mark 1:9-11.
[96] Rom. 5:16.
[97] Rom. 5:18.
[98] Rom. 6:1.
[99] Rom. 5:20.
[100] Rom. 6:2.
[101] Rom. 6:3.
[102] Rom. 6:4-11.
[103] Gal. 5:24.
[104] Col. 3:1-3.
[105] Col. 3:4.
[106] John 5:29.
[107] Ps. 54:1.
[108] Cf. Matt. 25:32, 33.
[109] Ps. 43:1.
[110] Reading the classical Latin form poscebat (as in Scheel and
PL) for the late form poxebat (as in Riviere and many old MSS.).
[111] Cf. Ps. 113:3.
[112] Here reading unum deum (with Riviere and PL) against deum
(in Scheel).
[113] A hyperbolic expression referring to "the saints."
Augustine's Scriptural backing for such an unusual phrase is Ps.
82:6 and John 10:34f.  But note the firm distinction between ex
diis quos facit and non factus Deus.
[114] 1 Cor. 6:19.
[115] 1 Cor. 6:15.
[116] Col. 1:18.
[117] John 2:19.
[118] 2 Peter 2:4 (Old Latin).
[119] Heb. 1:13.
[120] Ps. 148:2 (LXX).
[121] Col. 1:16.
[122] Zech. 1:9.
[123] Matt. 1:20.

(continued in part 7...)

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