Augustin Catechising 100
100 55. “Believe these things, therefore, and be on your guard against temptations (for the devil seeks for others who may be brought to perish along with himself); so that not only may that adversary fail to seduce you by the help of those who are without the Church, whether they be pagans, or Jews, or heretics; but you yourself also may decline to follow the example of those within the Catholic Church itself whom you see leading an evil life, either indulging in excess in the pleasures of the belly and the throat, or unchaste, or given up to the vain and unlawful observances of curious superstitions, whether they be addicted to (the inanities of) public spectacles, or charms, or divinations of devils,177 or be living in the pomp and inflated arrogance of covetousness and pride, or be pursuing any sort of life which the law condemns and punishes. But rather connect yourself with the good, whom you will easily find out, if you yourself were once become of that character; so that you may unite with each other in worshipping and loving God for His own sake;178 for He himself will be our complete reward to the intent that we may enjoy His goodness and beauty179 in that life. He is to be loved, however, not in the way in which any object that is seen with the eyes is loved, but as wisdom is loved, and truth, and holiness, and righteousness, and charity,180 and whatever else may be mentioned as of kindred nature; and further, with a love conformable to these things not as they are in men, but as they are in the very fountain of incorruptible and unchangeable wisdom. Whomsoever, therefore, you may observe to be loving these things, attach yourself to them, so that through Christ, who became man in order that He might be the Mediator between God and men, you may be reconciled to God. But as regards the perverse, even if they find their way within the walls of the Church, think not that they will find their way into the kingdom of heaven; for in their own time they will be set apart, if they have not altered to the better. Consequently, follow the example of good men, bear with the wicked, love all; forasmuch as you know not what he will be to-morrow who to-day is evil. Howbeit, love not the unrighteousness of such; but love the persons themselves with the express intent that they may apprehend righteousness; for not only is the love of God enjoined upon us, but also the love of our neighbor, on which two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.181 And this is fulfilled by no one save the man who has received the (other) gift,182 the Holy Spirit, who is indeed equal with the Father and with the Son; for this same Trinity is God; and on this God every hope ought to be placed. On man our hope ought not to be placed, of whatsoever character he may be. For He, by whom we are justified, is one thing; and they, together with whom we are justified, are another. Moreover, it is not only by lusts that the devil tempts, but also by the terrors of insults, and pains, and death itself. But whatever a man shall have suffered on behalf of the name of Christ, and for the sake of the hope of eternal life, and shall have enduredin constancy, (in accordance therewith) the greater reward shall be given him; whereas, if he shall give way to the devil, he shall be damned along with him. But works of mercy, conjoined with pious humility, meet with this acknowledgment from God, to wit, that He will not suffer His servants to be tempted more than they are able to bear.”183
1 [The Oxford Library and H. de Romestin translate the title: On Instructing the Unlearned.—P. S.]
1 Reading et doctrina fidei et suavitate sermonis, instead of which, however, et doctrinam…suavitatem, etc. also occurs, = possessing at once a rich gift in catechising, and an intimate acquaintance with the faith, and an attractive method of discourse, [or, sweetness of language]).
2 Reading retineri as in the Mss. Some editions give retinere = know how to maintain the Christian life and profession).
3 Pecuniam Dominicam).
4 Verbis sonantibus,—sounding words.
5 Perdurant illa cum syllabarum morulis.
6 Sonantia signa,—vocal signs.
7 I am angry.
8 (1Co 13,12).
9 Sine volumine caeli.
10 (1Co 2,9,
11 (2Co 9,7,
12 (Gn 1,1,
13 In the Mss. we also find the reading Ezrae = Ezra.
14 In ipsis articulis = “among the very articles,” or “connecting links.” Reference is made to certain great epochs or articles of time in sections 6 and 39).
15 (1Tm 1,5,
16 Reading movendus, for which monendus = to be admonished, also occurs in the editions).
17 (Gn 25,26).
18 (1Tm 2,5,
19 (Rm 9,5,
20 Reading supplantavit. Some Mss. give supplantaret = wherewith also he might supplant, etc.
21 Temporum articulos.
22 (Rm 10,3,
23 (Ps 20,8,
24 (Col 1,18,
25 (Rm 15,4,
26 1Co 10,11.
27 (Rm 5,8 Rm 5,10).
28 (1Tm 1,5,
29 (Rm 13,10,
30 (1Jn 3,16,
31 (1Jn 4,10 1Jn 4,19.
32 (Rm 8,32).
33 Reading quanto plus, for which some Mss). give plurius, while in a large number we find purius = with how much greater purity should it hold good, etc).
34 Reading studioso…obsequio, for which studiose, etc., also occurs in the editions = are earnestly gratified with the attention etc).
35 Aestuat = burn, heave.
36 (Ex miseria…ex misericordia).
37 (Mt 22,40,
38 Reading conscripta, for which some Mss. have consecuta = have followed, and many give consecrata, dedicated).
39 De ipsa etiam severitate Dei…caritas aedificanda est).
40 Non fieri vult potius quam fingere.
41 Or = “signifying assent by its motions,” adopting the reading of the best Mss., viz). salutantis corporis. Some editions give salvandi, while certain Mss). have salutis, and others saltantis).
42 Reading quando veniat animo, for which quo veniat animo also occurs = the mind in which a man comes…is a matter hidden from us).
43 Praerogata sit).
44 (Gn 1,31
45 Reading ad voluptatem. But many Mss. give ad voluntatem = according to the inclination, etc).
46 Avidam saginae saecularis.
47 Reading veritas adhibitoe rationis, for which we also find adhibita rationis = the applied truth, etc.; and adhibita rationi = the truth applied to our explanation).
48 Non tamen ornamenti seriem ulla immoderatione perturbans.
50 Reading odiose, for which several Mss. give otiose = idly.
51 Utilium tractatorum.
52 Reading exponentium. Various codices give ad exponendum = in expounding).
53 Reading quod, with Marriott. But if we accept quod with the Benedictine editors, the sense will = and in ignorance it may be that the true faith condemns them, has retained them in his mind).
54 Aliorumque doctissimorum hominum et disputationibus et scriptionibus in ejus veritate florentium. It may also be = bringing before him the authority of the Church universal, as well as both the disputations and the writings of other most learned men well reputed in (the cause of) its truth.
56 (1Co 12,31, also above, § 9.
57 Carnalibus integumentis involuta atque operta).
58 Or = confusing the sense by false pauses: perturbateque distinguere).
59 Ut sono in foro, sic voto in ecclesia benedici.
60 Bona dictio, nunquam tamen benedictio).
61 The sentence, “either in that he is actually not stirred…by what is said,” is omitted in many Mss).
62 (2Co 9,7,
63 (1P 2,21,
64 (Ph 2,17, form in which the quotation is given above, with the omission of the intermediate clauses, is due probably to the copyist, and not to Augustin himself. The words left out are given thus in the Serm). XLVII on Ezekiel xxxiv.: “Being made in the likeness of men, and being found in the fashion of a man: He humbled Himself, being made obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” [See R. V.]
65 Cf. 1Co 9,22
66 (2Co 5,13-14.
67 Cf. 2Co 12,15.
68 Cf. 1Th 2,7.
69 Illius gallinoe,—in reference to Mt 23,37.
70 Cf. Rm 1,30.
71 (Rm 2,4). [See R. V.].
72 (Rm 2,5,
73 (Jn 6,67).
74 (2Tm 2,19).
75 A caritate jaculatur.
76 Concurrant in bonum. Rm 8,28).
77 Some editions read arcem = stronghold, instead of artem.
78 Or = wherein: ubi.
79 Instead of eam, the reading ea = those things, also occurs).
80 Or = by the reverence which he feels for the man: humana verecundia).
81 The text gives simply Catholicae. One Ms. has Catholicae fidei = the Catholic faith. But it is most natural to supply Ecclesiae).
82 Instead of viros fratres, some mss. read veros fratres = our genuine brethren.
83 (Lc 10,39,
84 Initiandi = initiated.
85 (Pr 19,21).
86 (Mt 23,15,
87 (Ps 51,17,
88 (Si 3,30,
89 (Os 6,6,
90 Faeano = hay.
91 Reading istud edentis; for which some editions give studentis = of one who studies it).
92 (Mt 25,26-27.
93 (Rm 5,5).
94 (Ps 79,11.
95 Cf. Ps 25,18.
96 Ut aliquam observationem sermonis tui a nobis audire quaereres.
98 (Is 40,6 Is 40,8 1P 1,24-25.
99 Reading sive sintoe qui appellantur, for which there occur such varieties of reading as these: sint athletoe qui appellantur = those who are called athletes; or sint aequi appellantur; or simply sint qui appellantur = whatever name they bear, whether actors, etc. The term sintae, borrowed from the Greek Sintai = devourers, spoilers, may have been a word in common use among the Africans, as the Benedictine editors suggest, for designating some sort of coarse characters).
100 Thymelici, strictly = the musicians belonging to the thymele, or orchestra).
101 Reading incitatis favent, for which some Mss. give incitati = excited themselves, they favor them; and others have incitantes = exciting them, they favor them.
102 Compare a passage in the Confessions, vi. 13).
103 Cf. Mt 25,34 Mt 25,41.
104 (1Co 2,9,
105 (Gn 2,1-3.
106 (Ps 148,5).
107 Humanitate, = humanity, also occurs instead of humilitate).
108 Rather “spirits.” See the correction made in the Retractations, 2,14, as given above in the Introductory Notice.
109 The beatitatem is omitted by several mss..
110 (Gn 6,7,
111 Jonah 3,
112 Instead of pascunt the reading miscent, = mix, is also found.
113 (Gn 25,26 Gn 38,27-30).
114 (Is 53,7,
115 Or = circumscribed, definitus.
116 Cf. Ga 4,26.
118 (1R 11,13,
119 (Rm 9,5,
120 Or = community, civitas).
121 See Chapter 19,
122 (Jr 25,18 Jr 29,1).
123 (Da 2,47 Da 3,29 Da 6,26; Bel. 41.
124 (Jr 29,4-7.
125 (Jr 25,12,
126 (Rm 13,1 Rm 13,7.
127 (Mt 17,27,
128 Pro capite hominis, literally = on account of that head of man, etc..
129 (Ep 6,5,
130 Instead of orationes; the better authenticated reading is adorationes.
131 (1Tm 2,1-2.
132 (1Co 3,9 cf. Jr 25,12 Jr 29,10).
133 (Gn 6,22,
134 Instead of dictus est the Mss. give also electus est = was chosen to be.
135 (Gn 17,4
136 articuli = articles.
137 (Mt 1,17,
139 (Gn 1,27
140 Reading ab eo; for which some editions give ab ea = from that humility).
141 There is a play in the words here: crucifixus est qui cruciatus nostros finivit.
142 Cf. Rm 5,5.
143 (Mt 22,37-40.
144 In imagine.
145 (Ex 12.
146 (Ex 34,28,
147 (Lc 11,20,
148 (Ac 2.
149 The reference evidently is to Ac 5,15, where, however, it is only the people’s intention that is noticed, and that only in the instance of the sick, and not of any individual actually dead..
150 (Ac 2,44 Ac 4,34).
151 Adopting the Benedictine version, qui eos mansuetus passus fuerat, and taking it as a parallel to Ac 13,18 He 12,3. There is, however, great variety of reading here. Thus we find qui ante eos, etc. = who had suffered in meekness before them: qui pro eis, etc. = who had suffered in their stead: qui propter eos, etc. = who had suffered on their account: and qui per eos, etc. = who had suffered through them, etc. But the reading in the text appears best authenticated).
152 (Ps 118,22 Is 28,16,
153 (Mt 10,16,
154 (Jn 15,2).
155 Sed ex te ipso crede. It may also = but, on your side, do you believe).
156 Certisque aetatum incrementis, etc.
157 Reading sicut non erat; for which, however, cum non erat also occurs = seeing He was able to make it when it was not).
158 Corruptibilem corporis conditionem. But corruptibilis also occurs = the condition of a corruptible body
159 Satietas. Some editions, however, give societas = the society.
160 (Lc 20,36,
161 (2Co 5,7).
162 Ad placendum Deo miserati animas suas, etc. Instead of miserati the reading miseranti also occurs = to the doing of the good pleasure of the God who takes pity on their souls. The Benedictine editors suggest that the whole clause is in reference to Ecclesiasticus 30,24, (23), which in the Latin runs thus: miserere animae tuae placens Deo.
163 (Rm 2,5,
164 Cf. Rm 2,4.
166 (Mt 7,21-22.
167 Or = its (i.e. the law’s) truth.
168 Adopting nam si in spectaculis cum illis esse cupiebas et eis inhaerere.Another, but less weightily supported reading, is, nam si in spectaculis et vanitatibus insanorum certaminum illis cupiebas inhaerere = for if in the public spectacles and vanities of mad struggles you wish to attach yourself closely to men, etc.).
169 Bona via. Another and well authenticated rendering is, bona vita = the good life).
170 It has been supposed by the Benedictine editors that sane may be a misreading for salis. Whether that be or be not the case, the sacramentum intended here appears to be the sacramentum salis, in reference to which Neander (Church History 3,p. 458, Bohn’s Translation) states that “in the North African Church the bishop gave to those whom he received as competentes, while signing the cross over them as a symbol of consecration, a portion of salt over which a blessing had been pronounced. This was to signify the divine word imparted to the candidates as the true salt for human nature.” There is an allusion to the same in the Confessions (i. 11), where Augustin says, “Even from my mother’s womb who greatly hoped in thee, I was signed with the sign of His cross, and seasoned with His salt.”
171 Speciem = kind, in reference to the outward and sensible sign of the salt).
172 Adopting condiat, which unquestionably is the reading most accordant with the figure of the sacramental salt here dealt with. Some editions give condatur = what is hidden in it, i.e. in the said form of words).
173 (Rm 2,4.
176 (Lc 20,36).
177 Remediorum aut divinationum diabolicarum. Some editions insert sacrilegorum after remediorum = sacrilegious charms or divinations of devils).
179 Cf. Za 9,17.
180 Many Mss. omit the words: and holiness, and righteousness, and charity.
181 (Mt 22,37 Mt 22,39.
182 One edition reads Dominum, the Lord, the Holy Spirit, etc., instead of donum.
183 (1Co 10,13).
Augustin Catechising 100