Writings of Augustine. Reply to Faustus the Manichæan

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St. Augustin,

Reply to Faustus the Manichæan

[contra faustum manichæum].

A.D. 400.

translated by Rev. Richard Stothert, M.A., Bombay

Published in 1886 by Philip Schaff, New York: Christian Literature Publishing Co.

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Book XV.

Faustus rejects the Old Testament because it leaves no room for Christ. Christ the one Bridegroom suffices for His Bride the Church. Augustin answers as well as he can, and reproves the Manichæans with presumption in claiming to be the Bride of Christ.

1. Faustus said: Why do we not receive the Old Testament? Because when a vessel is full, what is poured on it is not received, but allowed to run over; and a full stomach rejects what it cannot hold. So the Jews, satisfied with the Old Testament, reject the New; and we who have received the New Testament from Christ, reject the Old. You receive both because you are only half filled with each, and the one is not completed, but corrupted by the other. For vessels half filled should not be filled up with anything of a different nature from what they already contain. If it contains wine, it should be filled up with wine, honey with honey, vinegar with vinegar. For to pour gall on honey, or water on wine, or alkalies on vinegar, is not addition, but adulteration. This is why we do not receive the Old Testament. Our Church, the bride of Christ, the poor bride of a rich bridegroom, is content with the possession of her husband, and scorns the wealth of inferior lovers, and despises the gifts of the Old Testament and of its author, and from regard to her own character, receives only the letters of her husband. We leave the Old Testament to your Church, that, like a bride faithless to her spouse, delights in the letters and gifts of another. This lover who corrupts your chastity, the God of the Hebrews in his stone tablets promises you gold and silver, and abundance of food, and the land of Canaan. Such low rewards have tempted you to be unfaithful to Christ, after all the rich dowry bestowed by him. By such attractions the God of the Hebrews gains over the bride of Christ. You must know that you are cheated, and that these promises are false. This God is in poverty and beggary, and cannot do what he promises. For if he cannot give these things to the synagogue, his proper wife, who obeys him in all things like a servant, how can he bestow them on you who are strangers, and who proudly throw off his yoke from your necks? Go on, then, as you have begun, join the new cloth to the old garment, put the new wine in old bottles, serve two masters without pleasing either, make Christianity a monster, half horse and half man; but allow us to serve only Christ, content with his immortal dower, and imitating the apostle who says, "Our sufficiency is of God, who has made us able ministers of the New Testament." [542]In the God of the Hebrews we have no interest whatever; for neither can he perform his promises, nor do we desire that he should. The liberality of Christ has made us indifferent to the flatteries of this stranger. This figure of the relation of the wife to her husband is sanctioned by Paul, who says: "The woman that has a husband is bound to her husband as long as he liveth; but if her husband die, she is freed from the law of her husband. So, then, if while her husband liveth she be joined to another man, she shall be called an adulteress; but if her husband be dead, she is not an adulteress, though she be married to another man." [543]Here he shows that there is a spiritual adultery in being united to Christ before repudiating the author of the law, and counting him, as it were, as dead. This applies chiefly to the Jews who believe in Christ, and who ought to forget their former superstition. We who have been converted to Christ from heathenism, look upon the God of the Hebrews not merely as dead, but as never having existed, and do not need to be told to forget him. A Jew, when he believes, should regard Adonai as dead; a Gentile should regard his idol as dead; and so with everything that has been held sacred before conversion. One who, after giving up idolatry, worships both the God of the Hebrews and Christ, is like an abandoned woman, who after the death of one husband marries two others.

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2. Augustin replied: Let all who have given their hearts to Christ say whether they can listen patiently to these things, unless Christ Himself enable them. Faustus, full of the new honey, rejects the old vinegar; and Paul, full of the old vinegar, has poured out half that the new honey may be poured in, not to be kept, but to be corrupted. When the apostle calls himself a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, this is the new honey. But when he adds, "which He promised before by His prophets in the Holy Scriptures of His Son, who was made of the seed of David according to the flesh," [544] this is the old vinegar. Who could bear to hear this, unless the apostle himself consoled us by saying: "There must be heresies, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you?" [545]Why should we repeat what we said already? [546] --that the new cloth and the old garment, the new wine and the old bottles, mean not two Testaments, but two lives and two hopes,--that the relation of the two Testaments is figuratively described by the Lord when He says: "Therefore every scribe instructed in the kingdom of God is like an householder bringing out of his treasure things new and old." [547]The reader may remember this as said before, or he may find it on looking back. For if any one tries to serve God with two hopes, one of earthly felicity, and the other of the kingdom of heaven, the two hopes cannot agree; and when the latter is shaken by some affliction, the former will be lost too. Thus it is said, No man can serve two masters; which Christ explains thus: "Ye cannot serve God and Mammon." [548]But to those who rightly understand it, the Old Testament is a prophecy of the New. Even in that ancient people, the holy patriarchs and prophets, who understood the part they performed, or which they were instrumental in performing, had this hope of eternal life in the New Testament. They belonged to the New Testament, because they understood and loved it, though revealed only in figure. Those belonging to the Old Testament were the people who cared for nothing else but the temporal promises, without understanding them as significant of eternal things. But all this has already been more than enough insisted on.

3. It is amazingly bold in the impious and impure sect of the Manichæans to boast of being the chaste bride of Christ. All the effect of such a boast on the really chaste members of the holy Church is to remind them of the apostle's warning against deceivers: "I have joined you to one husband, to present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear lest, as the serpent deceived Eve by his guile, so your minds also should be corrupted from the purity which is in Christ." [549]What else do those preachers of another gospel than that which we have received try to do, but to corrupt us from the purity which we preserve for Christ, when they stigmatize the law of God as old, and praise their own falsehoods as new, as if all that is new must be good, and all that is old bad? The Apostle John, however, praises the old commandment, and the Apostle Paul bids us avoid novelties in doctrine. As an unworthy son and servant of the Catholic Church, the true bride of the true Christ, I too, as appointed to give out food to my fellow-servants, would speak to her a word of counsel. Continue ever to shun the profane errors of the Manichæans, which have been tried by the experience of thine own children, and condemned by their recovery. By that heresy I was once separated from thy fellowship, and after running into danger which ought to have been avoided, I escaped. Restored to thy service, my experience may perhaps be profitable to thee. Unless thy true and truthful Bridegroom, from whose side thou wert made, had obtained the remission of sins through His own real blood, the gulf of error would have swallowed me up; I should have become dust, and been devoured by the serpent. Be not misled by the name of truth. The truth is in thine own milk, and in thine own bread. They have the name only, and not the thing. Thy full-grown children, indeed, are secure; but I speak to thy babes, my brothers, and sons, and masters, whom thou, the virgin mother, fertile as pure, dost cherish into life under thine anxious wings, or dost nourish with the milk of infancy. I call upon these, thy tender offspring, not to be seduced by noisy vanities, but rather to pronounce accursed any one that preaches to them another gospel than that which they have received in thee. I call upon these not to leave the true and truthful Christ, in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge; not to forsake the abundance of His goodness which He has laid up for them that fear Him, and has wrought for them that trust in Him. [550]How can they expect to find truthful words in one who preaches an untruthful Christ? Scorn the reproaches cast on thee, for thou knowest well that the gift which thou desirest from thy Bridegroom is eternal life, for He Himself is eternal life.

4. It is a silly falsehood that thou hast been seduced to another God, who promises abundance of food and the land of Canaan. For thou canst perceive how the saints of old, who were also thy children, were enlightened by these figures which were prophecies of thee. Thou needest not regard the poor jest against the stone tablets, for the stony heart of which they were in old times a figure is not in thee. For thou art an epistle of the apostles, "written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not on tables of stone, but on the fleshy tables of the heart." [551]Our opponents ignorantly think that these words are in their favor, and that the apostle finds fault with the dispensation of the Old Testament, whereas they are the words of the prophet. This utterance of the apostles was a fulfillment of the long anterior utterances of the prophet whom the Manichæans reject, for they believe the apostles without understanding them. The prophet says: "I will take away from them the stony heart, and I will give them a heart of flesh." [552]What is this but "Not on tables of stones but on the fleshy tables of the heart"? For by the heart of flesh and the fleshy tables is not meant a carnal understanding: but as flesh feels, whereas a stone cannot, the insensibility of stone signifies an unintelligent heart, and the sensibility of flesh signifies an intelligent heart. Instead, then, of scoffing at thee, they deserve to be ridiculed who say that earth, and wood, and stones have sense, and that their life is more intelligent than animal life. So, not to speak of the truth, even their own fiction obliges them to confess that the law written on tables of stone was purer than their sacred parchments. Or perhaps they prefer sheepskin to stone, because their legends make stones the bones of princes. In any case, the ark of the Old Testament was a cleaner covering for the tables of stone than the goatskin of their manuscripts. Laugh at these things, while pitying them, to show their falsehood and absurdity. With a heart no longer stony, thou canst see in these stone tablets a suitableness to that hard-hearted people; and at the same time thou canst find even there the stone, thy Bridegroom, described by Peter as "a living stone, rejected by men, but chosen of God, and precious." To them He was "a stone of stumbling and a rock of offence;" but to thee, "the stone which the builders rejected has become the head of the corner." [553]This is all explained by Peter, and is quoted from the prophets, with whom these heretics have nothing to do. Fear not, then, to read these tablets--they are from thy Husband; to others the stone was a sign of insensibility, but to thee of strength and stability. With the finger of God these tablets were written; with the finger of God thy Lord cast out devils; with the finger of God drive thou away the doctrines of lying devils which sear the conscience. With these tablets thou canst confound the seducer who calls himself the Paraclete, that he may impose upon thee by a sacred name. For on the fiftieth day after the passover the tables were given; and on the fiftieth day after the passion of thy Bride-groom--of whom the passover was a type--the finger of God, the Holy Spirit, the promised Paraclete, was given. Fear not the tablets which convey to thee ancient writings now made plain. Only be not under the law, lest fear prevent thy fulfilling it; but be under grace, that love, which is the fulfilling of the law, may be in thee. For it was in a review of these very tablets that the friend of thy Bridegroom said: "For thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not murder, Thou shalt not covet, and if there be any other commandment, it is contained in this word, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law." [554]One table contains the precept of love to God, and the other of love to man. And He who first sent these tablets Himself came to enjoin those precepts on which hang the law and the prophets. [555] In the first precept is the chastity of thy espousals; in the second is the unity of thy members. In the one thou art united to divinity; in the other thou dost gather a society. And these two precepts are identical with the ten, of which three relate to God, and seven to our neighbor. Such is the chaste tablet in which thy Lover and thy Beloved of old prefigured to thee the new song on a psaltery of ten strings; Himself to be extended on the cross for thee, that by sin He might condemn sin in the flesh, and that the righteouness of the law might be fulfilled in thee. Such is the conjugal tablet, which may well be hated by the unfaithful wife.

5. I turn now to thee, thou deluded and deluding congregation of Manichæus,--wedded to so many elements, or rather prostituted to so many devils, and impregnated with blasphemous falsehoods,--dost thou dare to slander as unchaste the marriage of the Catholic Church with thy Lord? Behold thy lovers, one balancing creation, and the other bearing it up like Atlas. For one, by thy account, holds the sources of the elements, and hangs the world in space; while the other keeps him up by kneeling down and carrying the weight on his shoulders. Where are those beings? And if they are so occupied, how can they come to visit thee, to spend an idle hour in getting their shoulders or their fingers relieved by thy soft, soothing touch? But thou art deceived by evil spirits which commit adultery with thee, that thou mayest conceive falsehoods and bring forth vanities. Well mayest thou reject the message of the true God, as opposed to thy parchments, where in the vain imaginations of a wanton mind thou hast gone after so many false gods. The fictions of the poets are more respectable than thine, in this at least, that they deceive no one; while the fables in thy books, by assuming an appearance of truth, mislead the childish, both young and old, and pervert their minds. As the apostle says, they have itching ears, and turn away from hearing the truth to listen to fables. [556]How shouldest thou bear the sound doctrine of these tables, where the first commandment is, "Hear, O Israel, the Lord thy God is one Lord," [557] when thy corrupt affections find shameful delight in so many false deities? Dost thou not remember thy love-song, where thou describest the chief ruler in perennial majesty, crowned with flowers, and of fiery countenance? To have even one such lover is shameful; for a chaste wife seeks not a husband crowned with flowers. And thou canst not say that this description or representation has a typical meaning, for thou art wont to praise Manichæus for nothing more than for speaking to thee the simple naked truth without the disguise of figures. So the God of thy song is a real king, bearing a sceptre and crowned with flowers. When he wears a crown of flowers, he ought to put aside his sceptre; for effeminacy and majesty are incongruous. And then he is not thy only lover; for the song goes on to tell of twelve seasons clothed in flowers, and filled with song, throwing their flowers at their father's face. These are twelve great gods of thine, three in each of the four regions surrounding the first deity. How this deity can be infinite, when he is thus circumscribed, no one can say. Besides, there are countless principalities, and hosts of gods, and troops of angels, which thou sayest were not created by God, but produced from His substance.

6. Thou art thus convicted of worshipping gods without number; for thou canst not bear the sound doctrine which teaches that there is one Son of one God, and one Spirit of both. And these, instead of being without number, are not three Gods; for not only is their substance one and the same, but their operation by means of this substance is also one and the same, while they have a separate manifestation in the material creation. These things thou dost not understand, and canst not receive. Thou art full, as thou sayest, for thou art steeped in blasphemous absurdities. Will thou continue burying thyself under such crudities? Sing on, then, and open thine eyes, if thou canst, to thine own shame. In this doctrine of lying devils thou art invited to fabulous dwellings of angels in a happy clime, and to fragrant fields where nectar flows for ever from trees and hills, in seas and rivers. These are the fictions of thy foolish heart, which revels in such idle fancies. Such expressions are sometimes used as figurative descriptions of the abundance of spiritual enjoyments; and they lead the mind of the student to inquire into their hidden meaning. Sometimes there is a material representation to the bodily senses, as the fire in the bush, the rod becoming a serpent, and the serpent a rod, the garment of the Lord not divided by His persecutors, the anointing of His feet or of His head by a devout woman, the branches of the multitude preceding and following Him when riding on the ass. Sometimes, either in sleep or in a trance, the spirit is informed by means of figures taken from material things, as Jacob's ladder, and the stone in Daniel cut out without hands and growing into a mountain, and Peter's vessel, and all that John saw. Sometimes the figures are only in the language; as in the Song of Songs, and in the parable of a householder making a marriage for his son, or that of the prodigal son, or that of the man who planted a vineyard and let it out to husbandmen. Thou boastest of Manichæus as having come last, not to use figures, but to explain them. His expositions throw light on ancient types, and leave no problem unsolved. This idea is supported by the assertion that the ancient types, in vision or in action or in words, had in view the coming of Manichæus, by whom they were all to be explained; while he, knowing that no one is to follow him, makes use of a style free from all figurative expressions. What, then, are those fields, and shady hills, and crowns of flowers, and fragrant odors, in which the desires of thy fleshly mind take pleasure? If they are not significant figures, they are either idle fancies or delirious dreams. If they are figures, away with the impostor who seduces thee with the promise of naked truth, and then mocks thee with idle tales. His ministers and his wretched deluded followers are wont to bait their hook with that saying of the apostle, "Now we see through a glass in a figure, but then face to face." [558]As if, forsooth, the Apostle Paul knew in part, and prophesied in part, and saw through a glass in a figure; whereas all this is removed at the coming of Manichæus, who brings that which is perfect, and reveals the truth face to face. O fallen and shameless! still to continue uttering such folly, still feeding on the wind, still embracing the idols of thine own heart. Hast thou, then, seen face to face the king with the sceptre, and the crown of flowers, and the hosts of gods, and the great worldholder with six faces and radiant with light, and that other exalted ruler surrounded with troops of angels, and the invincible warrior with a spear in his right hand and a shield in his left, and the famous sovereign who moves the three wheels of fire, water, and wind, and Atlas, chief of all, bearing the world on his shoulders, and supporting himself on his arms? These, and a thousand other marvels, hast thou seen face to face, or are thy songs doctrines learned from lying devils, though thou knowest it not? Alas! miserable prostitute to these dreams, such are the vanities which thou drinkest up instead of the truth; and, drunk with this deadly poison, thou darest with this jest of the tablets to affront the matronly purity of the spouse of the only Son of God; because no longer under the tutorship of the law, but under the control of grace, neither proud in activity nor crouching in fear, she lives by faith, and hope, and love, the Israel in whom there is no guile, who hears what is written: "The Lord thy God is one God." This thou hearest not, and art gone a whoring after a multitude of false gods.

7. Of necessity these tables are against thee, for the second commandment is, "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain;" whereas thou dost attribute the vanity of falsehood to Christ Himself, who, to remove the vanity of the fleshly mind, rose in a true body, visible to the bodily eye. So also the third commandment about the rest of the Sabbath is against thee, for thou art tossed about by a multitude of restless fancies. How these three commandments relate to the love of God, thou hast neither the power nor the will to understand. Shamefully headstrong and turbulent, thou hast reached the height of folly, vanity, and worthlessness; thy beauty is spoiled, and thine order perished. I know thee, for I was once the same. How shall I now teach thee that these three precepts relate to the love of God, of whom, and by whom, and in whom are all things? How canst thou understand this, when thy pernicious doctrines prevent thee from understanding and from obeying the seven precepts relating to the love of our neighbor, which is the bond of human society? The first of these precepts is, "Honor thy father and mother;" which Paul quotes as the first commandment with promise, and himself repeats the injunction. But thou art taught by thy doctrine of devils to regard thy parents as thine enemies, because their union brought thee into the bonds of flesh, and laid impure fetters even on thy god. The doctrine that the production of children is an evil, directly opposes the next precept, "Thou shall not commit adultery;" for those who believe this doctrine, in order that their wives may not conceive, are led to commit adultery even in marriage. They take wives, as the law declares, for the procreation of children; but from this erroneous fear of polluting the substance of the deity, their intercourse with their wives is not of a lawful character; and the production of children, which is the proper end of marriage, they seek to avoid. As the apostle long ago predicted of thee, thou dost indeed forbid to marry, for thou seekest to destroy the purpose of marriage. Thy doctrine turns marriage into an adulterous connection, and the bed-chamber into a brothel. This false doctrine leads in a similar way to the transgression of the commandment, "Thou shall not kill." For thou dost not give bread to the hungry, from fear of imprisoning in flesh the member of thy God. From fear of fancied murder, thou dost actually commit murder. For if thou wast to meet a beggar starving for want of food, by the law of God to refuse him food would be murder; while to give food would be murder by the law of Manichæus. Not one commandment in the decalogue dost thou observe. If thou wert to abstain from theft, thou wouldst be guilty of allowing bread or food, whatever it might be, to undergo the misery of being devoured by a man of no merit, instead of running off with it to the laboratory of the stomach of thine elect; and so by theft saving thy god from the imprisonment with which he is threatened, and also from that from which he already suffers. Then, if thou art caught in the theft, wilt thou not swear by this god that thou art not guilty? For what will he do to thee when thou sayest to him, I swore by thee falsely, but it was for thy benefit; a regard for thine honor would have been fatal to thee? So the precept, Thou shall not bear false witness, will be broken, not only in thy testimony, but in thine oath, for the sake of the liberation of the members of thy god. The commandment, "Thou shall not covet thy neighbor's wife," is the only one which thy false doctrine does not oblige thee to break. But if it is unlawful to covet our neighbor's wife, what must it be to excite covetousness in others? Remember thy beautiful gods and goddesses presenting themselves with the purpose of exciting desire in the male and female leaders of darkness, in order that the gratification of this passion might effect the liberation of this god, who is in confinement everywhere, and who requires the assistance of such self-degradation. The last commandment, "Thou shall not covet the possessions of thy neighbor," it is wholly impossible for thee to obey. Does not this god of thine delude thee with the promise of making new worlds in a region belonging to another, to be the scene of thine imaginary triumph after thine imaginary conquest? In the desire for the accomplishment of these wild fancies, while at the same time thou believest that this land of darkness is in the closest neighborhood with thine own substance, thou certainly covetest the possessions of thy neighbor. Well indeed mayest thou dislike the tables which contain such good precepts in opposition to thy false doctrine. The three relating to the love of God thou dost entirely set aside. The seven by which human society is preserved thou keepest only from a regard to the opinion of men, or from fear of human laws; or good customs make thee averse to some crimes; or thou art restrained by the natural principle of not doing to another what thou wouldst not have done to thyself. But whether thou doest what thou wouldst not have done to thyself, or refrainest from doing what thou wouldst not have done to thyself, thou seest the opposition of the heresy to the law, whether thou actest according to it or not.

8. The true bride of Christ, whom thou hast the audacity to taunt with the stone tablets, knows the difference between the letter and the spirit, or in other words, between law and grace; and serving God no longer in the oldness of the letter, but in newness of spirit, she is not under the law, but under grace. She is not blinded by a spirit of controversy, but learns meekly from the apostle what is this law which we are not to be under; for "it was given," he says, "on account of transgression, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made." [559]And again: "It entered, that the offence might abound; but where sin abounded, grace has much more abounded." [560]Not that the law is sin, though it cannot give life without grace, but rather increases the guilt; for "where there is no law, there is no transgression." [561]The letter without the spirit, the law without grace, can only condemn. So the apostle explains his meaning, in case any should not understand: "What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. For I had not known sin but by the law. For I had not known lust unless the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me. Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, wrought death in me by that which is good." [562]She at whom thou scoffest knows what this means; for she asks earnestly, and seeks humbly, and knocks meekly. She sees that no fault is found with the law, when it is said, "The letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life," any more than with knowledge, when it is said, "Knowledge puffeth up, but love edifieth." [563] The passage runs thus: "We know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but love edifieth." The apostle certainly had no desire to be puffed up; but he had knowledge, because knowledge joined with love not only does not puff up, but strengthens. So the letter when joined with the spirit, and the law when joined with grace, is no longer the letter and the law in the same sense as when by itself it kills by abounding sin. In this sense the law is even called the strength of sin, because its strict prohibitions increase the fatal pleasure of sin. Even thus, however, the law is not evil; but "sin, that it may appear sin, works death by that which is good." So things that are not evil may often be hurtful to certain people. The Manichæans, when they have sore eyes, will shut out their god the sun. The bride of Christ, then, is dead to the law, that is, to sin, which abounds more from the prohibition of the law; for the law apart from grace commands, but does not enable. Being dead to the law in this sense, that she may be married to another who rose from the dead, she makes this distinction without any reproach to the law, which would be blasphemy against its author. This is thy crime; for though the apostle tells thee that the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good, thou dost not acknowledge it as the production of a good being. Its author thou makest to be one of the princes of darkness. Here the truth confronts thee. They are the words of the Apostle Paul: "The law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good." Such is the law given by Him who appointed for a great symbolical use the tablets which thou foolishly deridest. The same law which was given by Moses becomes through Jesus Christ grace and truth; for the spirit is joined to the letter, that the righteousness of the law might begin to be fulfilled, which when unfulfilled only added the guilt of transgression. The law which is holy, and just, and good, is the same law by which sin works death, and to which we must die, that we may be married to another who rose from the dead. Hear what the apostle adds: "But sin, that it might appear sin, wrought death in me by that which is good, that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful." Deaf and blind, dost thou not now hear and see? "Sin wrought death in me," he says, "by that which is good." The law is always good: whether it hurts those who are destitute of grace, or benefits those who are filled with grace, itself is always good; as the sun is always good, for every creature of God is good, whether it hurts weak eyes or gladdens the sight of the healthy. Grace fits the mind for keeping the law, as health fits the eyes for seeing the sun. And as healthy eyes die not to the pleasure of seeing the sun, but to that painful effect of the rays which beat upon the eye so as to increase the darkness; so the mind, healed by the love of the spirit, dies not to the justice of the law, but to the guilt and transgression which followed on the law in the absence of grace. So it is said "The law is good, if used lawfully;" and immediately after of the same law, "Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man." The man who delights in righteousness itself, does not require the restraint of the letter.

9. The bride of Christ rejoices in the hope of full salvation, and desires for thee a happy conversion from fables to truth. She desires that the fear of Adoneus, as if he were a strange lover, may not prevent thy escape from the seductions of the wily serpent. Adonai is a Hebrew word, meaning Lord, as applied only to God. In the same way the Greek word latria means service, in the sense of the service of God; and Amen means true, in a special sacred sense. This is to be learned only from the Hebrew Scriptures, or from a translation. The Church of Christ understands and loves these names, without regarding the evils of those who scoff because they are ignorant. What she does not yet understand, she believes may be explained, as similar things have already been explained to her. If she is charged with loving Emmanuel, she laughs at the ignorance of the accuser, and holds fast by the truth of this name. If she is charged with loving Messiah, she scorns her powerless adversary, and clings to her anointed Master. Her prayer for thee is, that thou also mayest be cured of thy errors, and be built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets. The monstrosity with which thou ignorantly chargest the true doctrine, is really to be found in the world which, according to thy fanciful stories, is made partly of thy god and partly of the world of darkness. This world, half savage and half divine, is worse than monstrous. The view of such follies should make thee humble and penitent, and should lead thee to shun the serpent, who seduces thee into such errors. If thou dost not believe what Moses says of the guile of the serpent, thou mayest be warned by Paul, who, when speaking of presenting the Church as a chaste virgin to Christ, says, "I fear lest, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his craftiness, your minds also should be corrupted from the simplicity and purity which is in Christ." [564]In spite of this warning, thou hast been so misled, so infatuated by the serpent's fatal enchantments, that while he has persuaded other heretics to believe various falsehoods, he has persuaded thee to believe that he is Christ. Others, though fallen into the maze of manifold error, still admit the truth of the apostle's warning. But thou art so far gone in corruption, and so lost to shame, that thou holdest as Christ the very being by whom the apostle declares that Eve was beguiled, and against whom he thus seeks to put the virgin bride of Christ on her guard. Thy heart is darkened by the deceiver, who intoxicates thee with dreams of glittering groves. What are these promises but dreams? What reason is there to believe them true? O drunken, but not with wine!

10. Thou hast the impious audacity to accuse the God of the prophets of not fulfilling His promises even to His servants the Jews. Thou dost not mention, however, any promise that is unfulfilled; otherwise it might be shown, either that the promise has been fulfilled, and so that thou dost not understand it, or that it is yet to be fulfilled, and so that thou dost not believe it. What promise has been fulfilled to thee, to make it probable that thou wilt obtain new worlds gained from the region of darkness? If there are prophets who predict the Manichæans with praise, and if it is said that the existence of the sect is a fulfillment of this prediction, it must first be proved that these predictions were not forged by Manichæus in order to gain followers. He does not consider falsehood sinful. If he declares in praise of Christ that He showed false marks of wounds in His body, he can have no scruple about showing false predictions in his sheepskin volumes. Assuredly there are predictions of the Manichæans, less clear in the prophets, and most explicit in the apostle. For example: "The Spirit," he says, "speaketh expressly, that in the last times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and to doctrines of devils, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their conscience seared, forbidding to marry, abstaining from meats, which God has created to be received with thanksgiving by believers, and those who know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving." [565]The fulfillment of this in the Manichæans is as clear as day to all that know them, and has already been proved as fully as time permits.

11. She whom the apostle warns against the guile of the serpent by which thou hast been corrupted, that he may present her as a chaste virgin to Christ, her only husband, acknowledges the God of the prophets as the true God, and her own God. So many of His promises have already been fulfilled to her, that she looks confidently for the fulfillment of the rest. Nor can any one say that these prophecies have been forged to suit the present time, for they are found in the books of the Jews. What could be more unlikely than that all nations should be blessed in Abraham's seed, as it was promised? And yet how plainly is this promise now fulfilled! The last promise is made in the following short prophecy: "Blessed are they that dwell in Thy house: they shall ever praise Thee." [566]When trial is past, and death, the last enemy, is destroyed, there will be rest in the constant occupation of praising God, where there shall be no arrivals and no departures. So the prophet says elsewhere: "Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem; celebrate thy God, O Zion: for He hath strengthened the bars of thy gates; He hath blessed thy children within thee." [567] The gates are shut, so that none can go in or out. The Bridegroom Himself says in the Gospel, that He will not open to the foolish virgins though they knock. This Jerusalem, the holy Church, the bride of Christ, is described fully in the Revelation of John. And that which commends the promises of future bliss to the belief of this chaste virgin is, that now she is in possession of what was foretold of her by the same prophets. For she is thus described: "Hearken, O daughter, and regard, and incline thine ear; forget also thine own people, and thy father's house. For the King hath greatly desired thy beauty; and He is thy God. The daughters of Tyre shall worship Him with gifts; the rich among the people shall entreat thy favor. The daughter of the King is all glorious within; her clothing is of wrought gold. The virgins following her shall be brought unto the King: her companions shall be brought unto thee; with gladness and rejoicing shall they be brought into the temple of the King. Instead of thy fathers, children shall be born to thee, whom thou shall make princes over all the earth. Thy name shall be remembered to all generations: therefore shall the people praise thee for ever and ever." [568]Unhappy victim of the serpent's guile, the inward beauty of the daughter of the King is not for thee even to think of. For this purity of mind is that which thou hast lost in opening thine eyes to love and worship the sun and moon. And so by the just judgment of God thou art estranged from the tree of life, which is eternal and internal wisdom; and with thee nothing is called or accounted truth or wisdom but that light which enters the eyes opened to evil, and which in thy impure mind expands and shapes itself into fanciful images. These are thy abominable whoredoms. Still the truth calls on thee to reflect and return. Return to me, and thou shall be cleansed and restored, if thy shame leads thee to repentance. Hear these words of the true Truth, who neither with feigned shapes fought against the race of darkness, nor with feigned blood redeemed thee.

Footnotes

[542] 2 Cor. iii. 5, 6. [543] Rom. vii. 2, 3. [544] Rom. i. 1-3. [545] 1 Cor. xi. 19. [546] Lib. viii. [547] Matt. xiii. 52. [548] Matt. vi. 24. [549] 2 Cor. xi. 2, 3. [550] Ps. xxxi. 19. [551] 2 Cor. iii. 2, 3. [552] Ezek. xi. 19. [553] 1 Pet. ii. 4-8. [554] Rom. xiii. 9, 10. [555] Matt. xxii. 37-40. [556] 2 Tim. iv. 4. [557] Deut. vi. 4. [558] 1 Cor. xiii. 9. [559] Gal. iii. 19. [560] Rom. v. 20. [561] Rom. iv. 15. [562] Rom. vii. 7-13. [563] 1 Cor. viii. 1. [564] 2 Cor. xi. 2, 3. [565] 1 Tim. iv. 1-4. [566] Ps. lxxxiv. 4. [567] Ps. cxlviii. 1. [568] Ps. xlv. 10-17. .


Book XVI.

Faustus willing to believe not only that the Jewish but that all Gentile prophets wrote of Christ, if it should be proved; but he would none the less insist upon rejecting their superstitions. Augustin maintains that all Moses wrote is of Christ, and that his writings must be either accepted or rejected as a whole.

1. Faustus said: You ask why we do not believe Moses, when Christ says, "Moses wrote of me; and if ye believed Moses, ye would also believe me." I should be glad if not only Moses, but all prophets, Jew and Gentile, had written of Christ. It would be no hindrance, but a help to our faith, if we could cull testimonies from all hands agreeing in favor of our God. You could extract the prophecies of Christ out of the superstition which we should hate as much as ever. I am quite willing to believe that Moses, though so much the opposite of Christ, may seem to have written of Him. No one but would gladly find a flower in every thorn, and food in every plant, and honey in every insect, although we would not feed on insects or on grass, nor wear thorns as a crown. No one but would wish pearls to be found in every deep, and gems in every land, and fruit on every tree. We may eat fish from the sea without drinking the water. We may take the useful, and reject what is hurtful. And why may we not take the prophecies of Christ from a religion the rites of which we condemn as useless? This need not make us liable to be led into the bondage of the errors; for we do not hate the unclean spirits less because they confessed plainly and openly that Jesus was the Son of God. If any similar testimony is found in Moses, I will accept it. But I will not on this account be brought into subjection to his law, which to my mind is pure Paganism. There is no reason whatever for thinking that I can have any objections to receiving prophecies of Christ from every spirit.

2. Since you have proved that Christ declared that Moses wrote of him, I should be very grateful if you would show me what he has written. I have searched the Scriptures, as we are told to do, and have found no prophecies of Christ, either because there are none, or because I could not understand them. The only escape from this perplexity was in one or other of two conclusions. Either this verse must be spurious, or Jesus a liar. As it is not consistent with piety to suppose God a liar, I preferred to attribute falsehood to the writers, rather than to the Author, of truth. Moreover, He Himself tells that those who came before him were thieves and robbers, which applies first of all to Moses. And when, on the occasion of His speaking of His own majesty, and calling Himself the light of the world, the Jews angrily rejoined, "Thou bearest witness of thyself, thy witness is not true," I do not find that He appealed to the prophecies of Moses, as might have been expected. Instead of this, as having no connection with the Jews, and receiving no testimony from their fathers, He replied: "It is written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true. I am one who bear witness of myself, and the Father who sent me beareth witness of me." [569]He referred to the voice from heaven which all had heard: "This is my beloved Son, believe Him." I think it likely that if Christ had said that Moses wrote of Him, the ingenious hostility of the Jews would have led them at once to ask what He supposed Moses to have written. The silence of the Jews is a proof that Jesus never made such a statement.

3. My chief reason, however, for suspecting the genuineness of this verse is what I said before, that in all my search of the writings of Moses I have found no prophecy of Christ. But now that I have found in you a reader of superior intelligence, I hope to learn something; and I promise to be grateful if no feeling of ill-will prevents you from giving me the benefit of your higher attainments, as your lofty style of reproof entitles me to expect from you. I ask for instruction in whatever the writings of Moses contain about our God and Lord which has escaped me in reading. I beseech you not to use the ignorant argument that Christ affirms Moses to have written of Him. For suppose you had not to deal with me, as in my case there is an obligation to believe Him whom I profess to follow, but with a Jew or a Gentile, in reply to the statement that Moses wrote of Christ, they will ask for proofs. What shall we say to them? We cannot quote Christ's authority, for they do not believe in Him. We must point out what Moses wrote.

4. What, then, shall we point to? Shall it be that passage which you often quote where the God of Moses says to him: "I will raise up unto them from among their brethren a prophet like unto thee?" [570]But the Jew can see that this does not refer to Christ, and there is every reason against our thinking that it does. Christ was not a prophet, nor was He like Moses: for Moses was a man, and Christ was God; Moses was a sinner, and Christ sinless; Moses was born by ordinary generation, and Christ of a virgin according to you, or, as I hold, not born at all: Moses, for offending his God, was put to death on the mountain; and Christ suffered voluntarily, and the Father was well pleased in Him. If we were to assert that Christ was a prophet like Moses, the Jew would either deride us as ignorant or pronounce us untruthful.

5. Or shall we take another favorite passage of yours: "They shall see their life hanging, and shall not believe their life?" [571]You insert the words "on a tree," which are not in the original. Nothing can be easier than to show that this has no reference to Christ. Moses is uttering dire threatenings in case the people should depart from his law, and says among other things that they would be taken captive by their enemies, and would be expecting death day and night, having no confidence in the life allowed them by their conquerors, so that their life would hang in uncertainty from fear of impending danger. This passage will not do, we must try others. I cannot admit that the words, "Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree," refer to Christ, or when it is said that the prince or prophet must be killed who should try to turn away the people from their God, or should break any of the commandments. [572] That Christ did this I am obliged to grant. But if you assert that these things were written of Christ, it may be asked in reply, What spirit dictated these prophecies in which Moses curses Christ and orders him to be killed? If he had the Spirit of God, these things are not written of Christ; if they are written of Christ, he had not the Spirit of God. The Spirit of God would not curse Christ, or order Him to be killed. To vindicate Moses, you must confess that these passages too have no reference to Christ. So, if you have no others to show, there are none. If there are none, Christ could not have said that there were; and if Christ did not say so, that verse is spurious.

6. The next verse too is suspicious, "If ye believed Moses, ye would also believe me;" for the religion of Moses is so entirely different from that of Christ, that if the Jews believed one, they could not believe the other. Moses strictly forbids any work to be done on Sabbath, and gives as a reason for this prohibition that God made the world and all that is therein in six days, and rested on the seventh day, which is Sabbath; and therefore blessed or sanctified it as His haven of repose after toil, and commanded that breaking the Sabbath should be punished with death. The Jews, in obedience to Moses, insisted strongly on this, and so would not even listen to Christ when He told them that God always works, and that no day is appointed for the intermission of His pure and unwearied energy, and that accordingly He Himself had to work incessantly even on Sabbath. "My Father," he says, "worketh always, and I too must work." [573] Again, Moses places circumcision among the rites pleasing to God, and commands every male to be circumcised in the foreskin of his flesh, and declares that this is a necessary sign of the covenant which God made with Abraham, and that every male not circumcised would be cut off from his tribe, and from his part in the inheritance promised to Abraham and to his seed. [574]In this observance, too, the Jews were very zealous, and consequently could not believe in Christ, who made light of these things, and declared that a man when circumcised became twofold a child of hell. [575]Again, Moses is very particular about the distinction in animal foods, and discourses like an epicure on the merits of fish, and birds, and quadrupeds, and orders some to be eaten as clean, and others which are unclean not to be touched. Among the unclean he reckons the swine and the hare, and fish without scales, and quadrupeds that neither divide the hoof nor chew the cud. In this also the Jews carefully obeyed Moses, and so could not believe in Christ, who taught that all food is alike, and though he allowed no animal food to his own disciples, gave full liberty to the laity to eat whatever they pleased, and taught that men are polluted not by what goes into the mouth, but by the evil things which come out of it. In these and many other things the doctrine of Jesus, as everybody knows, contradicts that of Moses.

7. Not to enumerate all the points of difference, it is enough to mention this one fact, that most Christian sects, and, as is well known, the Catholics, pay no regard to what is prescribed in the writings of Moses. If this does not originate in some error, but in the doctrine correctly transmitted from Christ and His disciples, you surely must acknowledge that the teaching of Jesus is opposed to that of Moses, and that the Jews did not believe in Christ on account of their attachment to Moses. How can it be otherwise than false that Jesus said to the Jews, "If ye believed Moses, ye would believe me also," when it is perfectly clear that their belief in Moses prevented them from believing in Jesus, which they might have done if they had left off believing in Moses? Again I ask you to show me anything that Moses wrote of Christ.

8. Elsewhere Faustus says: When you find no passage to point to, you use this weak and inappropriate argument, that a Christian is bound to believe Christ when he says that Moses wrote of Him, and that whoever does not believe this is not a Christian. It would be far better to confess at once that you cannot find any passage. This argument might be used with me, because my reverence for Christ compels me to believe what He says. Still it may be a question whether this is Christ's own declaration, requiring absolute belief, or only the writer's, to be carefully examined. And disbelief in falsehood is no offence to Christ, but to impostors. But of whatever use this argument may be with Christians, it is wholly inapplicable in the case of the Jew or Gentile, with whom we are supposed to be discussing. And even with Christians the argument is objectionable. When the Apostle Thomas was in doubt, Christ did not spurn him from Him. Instead of saying, "Believe, if thou art a disciple; whoever does not believe is not a disciple," Christ sought to heal the wounds of his mind by showing him the marks of the wounds in His own body. Does it become you then to tell me that I am not a Christian because I am in doubt, not about Christ, but about the genuineness of a remark attributed to Christ? But, you say, He calls those especially blessed, who have not seen, and yet have believed. If you think that this refers to believing without the use of judgment and reason, you are welcome to this blind blessedness. I shall be content with rational blessedness.

9. Augustin replied: Your idea of taking any prophecies of Christ to be found in Moses, as a fish out of the sea, while you throw away the water from which the fish is taken, is a clever one. But since all that Moses wrote is of Christ, or relates to Christ, either as predicting Him by words and actions, or as illustrating His grace and glory, you, with your faith in the untrue and untruthful Christ from the writings of Manichæus, and your unbelief in Moses, will not even eat the fish. Moreover, though you are sincere in your hostility to Moses, you are hypocritical in your praise of fish. For how can you say that there is no harm in eating a fish taken out of the sea, when your doctrine is that such food is so hurtful, that you would rather starve than make use of it? If all flesh is unclean, as you say it is, and if the wretched life of your god is confined in all water or plants, from which it is liberated by your using them for food, according to your own vile superstition, you must throw away the fish you have praised, and drink the water and eat the thistles you speak of as useless. As for your comparison of the servant of God to devils, as if his prophecies of Christ resembled their confession, the servant does not refuse to bear the reproach of his master. If the Master of the house was called Beelzebub, how much more they of His household! [576]You have learned this reproach from Christ's enemies; and you are worse than they were. They did not believe that Jesus was Christ, and therefore thought Him an impostor. But the only doctrine you believe in is that which dares to make Christ a liar.

10. What reason have you for saying that the law of Moses is pure Paganism? Is it because it speaks of a temple, and an altar of sacrifices, and priests? But all these names are found also in the New Testament. "Destroy," Christ says, "this temple, and in three days I will raise it up;" [577] and again, "When thou offerest thy gift at the altar;" [578] and again, "Go, show thyself to the priest, and offer for thyself a sacrifice as Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them." [579]What these things prefigured the Lord Himself partly tells us, when He calls His own body the temple; and we learn also from the apostle, who says, "The temple of God is holy, which temple ye are;" [580] and again, "I beseech you therefore by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God;" [581] and in similar passages. As the same apostle says, in words which cannot be too often quoted, these things were our examples, for they were not the work of devils, but of the one true God who made heaven and earth, and who, though not needing such things, yet, suiting His requirements to the time, made ancient observances significant of future realities. Since you pretend to abhor Paganism, though it is only that you may lead astray by your deception unlearned Christians or those not established in the faith, show us any authority in Christian books for your worship and service of the sun and moon. Your heresy is liker Paganism than the law of Moses is. For you do not worship Christ, but only something that you call Christ, a fiction of your own fancy; and the gods you serve are either the bodies visible in the heavens, or hosts of your own contrivance. If you do not build shrines for these worthless idols, the creatures of the imagination, you make your hearts their temple.

11. You ask me to show what Moses wrote of Christ. Many passages have already been pointed out. But who could point out all? Besides, when any quotation is made, you are ready perversely to try to give the words another meaning; or if the evidence is too strong to be resisted, you will say that you take the passage as a sweet fish out of the salt water, and that you will not therefore consent to drink all the brine of the books of Moses. It will be enough, then, to take those passages in the Hebrew law which Faustus has chosen for criticism, and to show that, when rightly understood, they apply to Christ. For if the things which our adversary ridicules and condemns are made to prove that he himself is condemned by Christian truth, it will be evident that either the mere quotation or the careful examination of the other passages will be enough to show their agreement with Christian faith. Well, then, O thou full of all subtilty, when the Lord in the Gospel says, "If ye believed Moses, ye would believe me also, for he wrote of me," [582] there is no occasion for the great perplexity you pretend to be in, or for the alternative of either pronouncing this verse spurious or calling Jesus a liar. The verse is as genuine as its words are true. I preferred, says Faustus, to attribute falsehood to the writers, rather than to the Author of truth. What sort of faith can you have in Christ as the author of truth, when your doctrine is that His flesh and His death, His wounds and their marks, were feigned? And where is your authority for saying that Christ is the author of truth, if you dare to attribute falsehood to those who wrote of Him, whose testimony has come down to us with the confirmation of those immediately succeeding them? You have not seen Christ, nor has He conversed with you as with the apostles, nor called you from heaven as He did Saul. What knowledge or belief can we have of Christ, but on the authority of Scripture? Or if there is falsehood in the Gospel which has been widely published among all nations, and has been held in such high sacredness in all churches since the name of Christ was first preached, where shall we find a trustworthy record of Christ? If the Gospel is called in question in spite of the general consent regarding it, there can be no writing which a man may not call spurious if he does not wish to believe it.

12. You go on to quote Christ's words, that all who came before Him were thieves and robbers. How do you know that these were Christ's words, but from the Gospel? You profess faith in these words, as if you had heard them from the mouth of the Lord Himself. But if any one declares the verse to be spurious, and denies that Christ said this, you will have, in reply, to exert yourself in vindication of the authority of the Gospel. Unhappy being! what you refuse to believe is written in the same place as that which you quote as spoken by the Lord Himself. We believe both, for we believe the sacred narrative in which both are contained. We believe both that Moses wrote of Christ, and that all that came before Christ were thieves and robbers. By their coming He means their not being sent. Those who were sent, as Moses and the holy prophets, came not before Him, but with Him. They did not proudly wish to precede Him, but were the humble bearers of the message which He uttered by them. According to the meaning which you give to the Lord's words, it is plain that with you there can be no prophets. And so you have made a Christ for yourselves who should prophesy a Christ to come. If you have any prophets of your own, they will have, of course, no authority, as not being recognized by any others; but if there are any that you dare to quote as prophesying that Christ would come in an unreal body, and would suffer an unreal death, and would show to His doubting disciples unreal marks of wounds, not to speak of the abominable nature of such prophecies, and of the evident untruthfulness of those who commend falsehood in Christ, by your own interpretation those prophets must have been thieves and robbers, for they could not have spoken of Christ as coming in any manner unless they had come before Him. If by those who came before Christ we understand those who would not come with Him,--that is, with the Word of God,--but without being sent by God brought their own falsehoods to men, you yourselves, although you are born in this world after the death and the resurrection of Christ, are thieves and robbers. For, without waiting for His illumination that you might preach His truth, you have come before Him to preach up your own deceits.

13. In the passage where we read of the Jews saying to Christ, Thou bearest witness of thyself, thy witness is not true, you do not see that Christ replies by saying that Moses wrote of Him, simply because you have not got the eye of piety to see with. The answer of Christ is this: "It is written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true; I am one who bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me." [583]What does this mean, if rightly understood, but that this number of witnesses required by the law was fixed upon and consecrated in the spirit of prophecy, that even thus might be prefigured the future revelation of the Father and Son, whose spirit is the Holy Spirit of the inseparable Trinity? So it is written: "In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established." [584]As a matter of fact, one witness generally speaks the truth, while a number tell lies. And the world, in its conversion to Christianity, believed one apostle preaching the gospel rather than the mistaken multitude who persecuted him. There was a special reason for requiring this number of witnesses, and in His answer the Lord implied that Moses prophesied of Him. Do you carp at His saying your law instead of the law of God? But, as every one knows, this is the common expression in Scripture. Your law means the law given to you. So the apostle speaks of his gospel, while at the same time he declares that he received it not from man, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. You might as well say that Christ denies God to be His Father, when He uses the words your Father instead of our Father. Again, you should refuse to believe the voice which you allude to as having come from heaven, This is my beloved Son, believe Him, because you did not hear it. But if you believe this because you find it in the sacred Scriptures, you will also find there what you deny, that Moses wrote of Christ, besides many other things that you do not acknowledge as true. Do you not see that your own mischievous argument may be used to prove that this voice never came from heaven? To your own destruction, and to the detriment of the welfare of mankind, you try to weaken the authority of the gospel, by arguing that it cannot be true that Christ said that Moses wrote of Him; because if He had said this, the ingenious hostility of the Jews would have led them at once to ask what He supposed Moses to have written of Him. In the same way, it might be impiously argued that if that voice had really come from heaven, all the Jews who heard it would have believed. Why are you so unreasonable as not to consider that, as it was possible for the Jews to remain hardened in unbelief after hearing the voice from heaven, so it was possible for them, when Christ said that Moses wrote of Him, to refrain from asking what Moses wrote, because in their ingenious hostility they were afraid of being proved to be in the wrong?

14. Besides that this argument is an impious assault on the gospel, Faustus himself is aware of its feebleness, and therefore insists more on what he calls his chief difficulty,--that in all his search of the writings of Moses he has found no prophecies of Christ. The obvious reply is, that he does not understand. And if any one asks why he does not understand, the answer is that he reads with a hostile, unbelieving mind; he does not search in order to know, but thinks he knows when he is ignorant. This vainglorious presumption either blinds the eye of his understanding so as to prevent his seeing anything, or distorts his vision, so that his remarks of approval or disapproval are misdirected. I ask, he says, for instruction in whatever the writings of Moses contain about our God and Lord, which has escaped me in reading. I reply at once that it has all escaped him, for all is written of Christ. As we cannot go through the whole, I will, with the help of God, comply with your request, to the extent I have already promised, by showing that the passages which you specially criticise refer to Christ. You tell me not to use the ignorant argument that Christ affirms Moses to have written of Him. But if I use this argument, it is not because I am ignorant, but because I am a believer. I acknowledge that this argument will not convince a Gentile or a Jew. But, in spite of all your evasions, you are obliged to confess that it tells against you, who boast of possessing a kind of Christianity. You say, Suppose you had not to deal with me, as in my case there is an obligation to believe Him whom I profess to follow, but with a Jew or a Gentile. This is as much as to say that you, at any rate, with whom I have at present to do, are satisfied that Moses wrote of Christ; for you are not bold enough to discard altogether the well-grounded authority of the Gospel where Christ's own declaration is recorded. Even when you attack this authority indirectly, you feel that you are attacking your own position. You are aware that if you refuse to believe the Gospel, which is so generally known and received, you must fail utterly in the attempt to substitute for it any trustworthy record of the sayings and doings of Christ. You are afraid that the loss of the Christian name might lead to the exposure of your absurdities to universal scorn and condemnation. Accordingly you try to recover yourself, by saying that your profession of Christianity obliges you to believe these words of the Gospel. So you, at any rate, which is all that we need care for just now, are caught and slain in this death blow to your errors. You are forced to confess that Moses wrote of Christ, because the Gospel, which your profession obliges you to believe, states that Christ said so. As regards a discussion with a Jew or a Gentile, I have already shown as well as I could how I think it should be conducted.

15. I still hold that there is a reference to Christ in the passage which you select for refutation, where God says to Moses, "I will raise up unto them from among their brethren a prophet like unto thee." [585]The string of showy antitheses with which you try to ornament your dull discourse does not at all affect my belief of this truth. You attempt to prove, by a comparison of Christ and Moses, that they are unlike, and that therefore the words, "I will raise up a prophet like unto thee," cannot be understood of Christ. You specify a number of particulars in which you find a diversity: that the one is man, and the other God; that one is a sinner, the other sinless; that one is born of ordinary generation, the other, as we hold, of a virgin, and, as you hold, not even of a virgin; the one incurs God's anger, and is put to death on a mountain, the other suffers voluntarily, having throughout the approval of His Father. But surely things may be said to be like, although they are not like in every respect. Besides the resemblance between things of the same nature, as between two men, or between parents and children, or between men in general, or any species of animals, or in trees, between one olive and another, or one laurel and another, there is often a resemblance in things of a different nature, as between a wild and a tame olive, or between wheat and barley. These things are to some extent allied. But there is the greatest possible distance between the Son of God, by whom all things were made, and a beast or a stone. And yet in the Gospel we read, "Behold the Lamb of God," [586] and in the apostle, "That rock was Christ." [587]This could not be said except on the supposition of some resemblance. What wonder, then, if Christ condescended to become like Moses, when He was made like the lamb which God by Moses commanded His people to eat as a type of Christ, enjoining that its blood should be used as a means of protection, and that it should be called the Passover, which every one must admit to be fulfilled in Christ? The Scripture, I acknowledge, shows points of difference; and the Scripture also, as I call on you to acknowledge, shows points of resemblance. There are points of both kinds, and one can be proved as well as the other. Christ is unlike man, for He is God; and it is written of Him that He is "over all, God blessed for ever." [588]Christ is also like man, for He is man; and it is likewise written of Him, that He is the "Mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus." [589]Christ is unlike a sinner, for He is ever holy; and He is like a sinner, for "God sent His Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, that by sin He might condemn sin in the flesh." [590]Christ is unlike a man born in ordinary generation, for He was born of a virgin; and yet He is like, for He too was born of a woman, to whom it was said, "That holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God." [591]Christ is unlike a man, who dies on account of his own sin, for He died without sin, and of His own free-will; and again, He is like, for He too died a real death of the body.

16. You ought not to say, in disparagement of Moses, that he was a sinner, and that he was put to death on a mountain because his God was angry with him. For Moses could glory in the Lord as his Saviour, who is also the Saviour of him who says, "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief." [592]Moses, indeed, is accused by the voice of God, because his faith showed signs of weakness when he was commanded to draw water out of the rock. [593] In this he may have sinned as Peter did, when from the weakness of his faith he became afraid in the midst of the waves. [594]But we cannot think from this, that he who, as the Gospel tells us, was counted worthy to be present with the Lord along with holy Elias on the mount of transfiguration, was separated from the eternal fellowship of the saints. The sacred history shows in what favor he was with God even after his sin. But since you may ask why God speaks of this sin as deserving the punishment of death, and as I have promised to point out prophecies of Christ in those passages which you select for criticism, I will try, with the Lord's help, to show that what you object to in the death of Moses is, when rightly understood, prophetical of Christ.

17. We often find in the symbolical passages of Scripture, that the same person appears in different characters on different occasions. So, on this occasion, Moses represents and prefigures the Jewish people as placed under the law. As, then, Moses, when he struck the rock with his rod, doubted the power of God, so the people who were under the law given by Moses, when they nailed Christ to the cross, did not believe Him to be the power of God. And as water flowed from the smitten rock for those that were athirst, so life comes to believers from the stroke of the Lord's passion. The testimony of the apostle is clear and decisive on this point, when he says, "This rock was Christ." [595]In the command of God, that the death of the flesh of Moses should take place on the mountain, we see the divine appointment that the carnal doubt of the divinity of Christ should die on Christ's exaltation. As the rock is Christ, so is the mountain. The rock is the fortitude of His humiliation; the mountain the height of His exaltation. For as the apostle says, "This rock was Christ," so Christ Himself says, "A city set upon an hill cannot be hid," [596] showing that He is the hill, and believers the city built upon the glory of His name. The carnal mind lives when, like the smitten rock, the humiliation of Christ on the cross is despised. For Christ crucified is to the Jews a stumbling-block, and to the Greeks foolishness. And the carnal mind dies when, like the mountain-top, Christ is seen in His exaltation. "For to them that are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ is the power of God, and the wisdom of God." [597]Moses therefore ascended the mount, that in the death of the flesh he might be received by the living spirit. If Faustus had ascended, he would not have uttered carnal objections from a dead mind. It was the carnal mind that made Peter dread the smiting of the rock, when, on the occasion of the Lord's foretelling His passion, he said, "Be it far from Thee, Lord; spare Thyself." And this sin too was severely rebuked, when the Lord replied, "Get thee behind me, Satan; thou art an offense unto me: for thou savorest not the things which be of God, but those which be of men." [598]And where did this carnal distrust die but in the glorification of Christ, as on a mountain height? If it was alive when Peter timidly denied Christ, it was dead when he fearlessly preached Him. It was alive in Saul, when, in his aversion to the offense of the cross, he made havoc of the Christian faith, and where but on this mountain had it died, when Paul was able to say, "I live no longer, but Christ liveth in me?" [599]

18. What other reason has your heretical folly to give for thinking that there is no prophecy of Christ in the words, "I will raise up unto them a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee?" Your showing Christ to be unlike Moses is no reason; for we can show that in other respects He is like. How can you object to Christ's being called a prophet, since He condescended to be a man, and actually foretold many future events? What is a prophet, but one who predicts events beyond human foresight? So Christ says of Himself: "A prophet is not without honor, save in his own country." [600]But, turning from you, since you have already acknowledged that your profession of Christianity obliges you to believe the Gospel, I address myself to the Jew, who enjoys the poor privilege of liberty from the yoke of Christ, and who therefore thinks it allowable to say: Your Christ spoke falsely; Moses wrote nothing of him.

19. Let the Jews say what prophet is meant in this promise of God to Moses: "I will raise up unto them a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee." Many prophets appeared after Moses; but one in particular is here pointed out. The Jews will perhaps naturally think of the successor of Moses, who led into the promised land the people that Moses had brought out of Egypt. Having this successor of Moses in his mind, he may perhaps laugh at me for asking to what prophet the words of the promise refer, since it is recorded who followed Moses in ruling and leading the people. When he has laughed at my ignorance, as Faustus supposes him to do, I will still continue my inquiries, and will desire my laughing opponent to give me a serious answer to the question why Moses changed the name of this successor, who was preferred to himself as the leader of the people into the promised land, to show that the law given by Moses not to save, but to convince the sinner, cannot lead us into heaven, but only the grace and truth which are by Jesus Christ. This successor was called Osea, and Moses gave him the name of Jesus. Why then did he give him this name when he sent him from the valley of Pharan into the land into which he was to lead the people? [601]The true Jesus says, "If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself." [602]I will ask the Jew if the prophet does not show the prophetical meaning of these things when he says, "God shall come from Africa, and the Holy One from Pharan." Does this not mean that the holy God would come with the name of him who came from Africa by Pharan, that is, with the name of Jesus? Then, again, it is the Word of God Himself who speaks when He promises to provide this successor to Moses, speaking of him as an angel,--a name commonly given in Scripture to those carrying any message. The words are: "Behold I send my angel before thy face, to preserve thee in the way, and to bring thee into the land which I have sworn to give thee. Take heed unto him, and obey, and beware of unbelief in him; for he will not take anything from thee wrongfully, for my name is in him." [603] Consider these words. Let the Jew, not to speak of the Manichæan, say what other angel he can find in Scripture to whom these words apply, but this leader who was to bring the people into the land of promise. Then let him inquire who it was that succeeded Moses, and brought in the people. He will find that it was Jesus, and that this was not his name at first, but after his name was changed. It follows that He who said, "My name is in him," is the true Jesus, the leader who brings His people into the inheritance of eternal life, according to the New Testament, of which the Old was a figure. No event or action could have a more distinctly prophetical character than this, where the very name is a prediction.

20. It follows that this Jew, if he wishes to be a Jew inwardly, in the spirit, and not in the letter, if he wishes to be thought a true Israelite, in whom is no guile, will recognize in this dead Jesus, who led the people into the land of mortality, a figure of the true living Jesus, whom he may follow into the land of life. In this way, he will no longer in a hostile spirit resist so plain a prophecy, but, influenced by the allusion to the Jesus of the Old Testament, he will be prepared to listen meekly to Him whose name he bore, and who leads to the true land of promise; for He says, "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the land." [604]The Gentile also, if his heart is not too stony, if he is one of those stones from which God raises up children unto Abraham, must allow it to be wonderful that in the ancient books of the people of whom Jesus was born, so plain a prophecy, including His very name, is found recorded; and must remark at the same time, that it is not any man of the name of Jesus who is prophesied of, but a divine person, because God said that His name was in that man who was appointed to rule the people, and to lead them into the kingdom, and who by a change of name was called Jesus. In His being sent with this new name, He brings a great and divine message, and is therefore called an Angel, which, as every tyro in Greek knows, means messenger. No Gentile, therefore, if he were not perverse and obstinate, would despise these books merely because he is not subject to the law of the Hebrews, to whom the books belong; but would think highly of the books, no matter whose they were, on finding in them prophecies of such ancient date, and of what he sees now taking place. Instead of despising Christ Jesus because He is foretold in the Hebrew Scriptures, he would conclude that one thought worthy of being the subject of prophetic description, whoever the writers might be, for so many ages before His coming into the world,--sometimes in plain announcements, sometimes in figure by symbolic actions and utterances,--must claim to be regarded with profound admiration and reverence, and to be followed with implicit reliance. Thus the facts of Christian history would prove the truth of the prophecy, and the prophecy would prove the claims of Christ. Call this fancy, if it is not actually the case that men all over the world have been led, and are now led, to believe in Christ by reading these books.

21. In view of the multitudes from all nations who have become zealous believers in these books, it is laughably absurd to tell us that it is impossible to persuade a Gentile to learn the Christian faith from Jewish books. Indeed, it is a great confirmation of our faith that such important testimony is borne by enemies. The believing Gentiles cannot suppose these testimonies to Christ to be recent forgeries; for they find them in books held sacred for so many ages by those who crucified Christ, and still regarded with the highest veneration by those who every day blaspheme Christ. If the prophecies of Christ were the production of the preachers of Christ, we might suspect their genuineness. But now the preacher expounds the text of the blasphemer. In this way the Most High God orders the blindness of the ungodly for the profit of the saint, in His righteous government bringing good out of evil, that those who by their own choice live wickedly may be, in His just judgment, made the instruments of His will. So, lest those that were to preach Christ to the world should be thought to have forged the prophecies which speak of Christ as to be born, to work miracles, to suffer unjustly, to die, to rise again, to ascend to heaven, to publish the gospel of eternal life among all nations, the unbelief of the Jews has been made of signal benefit to us; so that those who do not receive in their heart for their own good these truths, carry, in their hands for our benefit the writings in which these truths are contained. And the unbelief of the Jews increases rather than lessens the authority of the books, for this blindness is itself foretold. They testify to the truth by their not understanding it. By not understanding the books which predict that they would not understand, they prove these books to be true.

22. In the passage, "Thou shalt see thy life hanging, and shalt not believe thy life," [605] Faustus is deceived by the ambiguity of the words. The words may be differently interpreted; but that they cannot be understood of Christ is not said by Faustus, nor can be said by anyone who does not deny that Christ is life, or that He was seen by the Jews hanging on the cross, or that they did not believe Him. Since Christ Himself says, "I am the life," [606] and since there is no doubt that He was seen hanging by the unbelieving Jews, I see no reason for doubting that this was written of Christ; for, as Christ says, Moses wrote of Him. Since we have already refuted Faustus' arguments by which he tries to show that the words, "I will raise up from among their brethren a prophet like unto thee," do not apply to Christ, because Christ is not like Moses, we need not insist on this other prophecy. Since, in the one case, his argument is that Christ is unlike Moses, so here he ought to argue that Christ is not the life, or that He was not seen hanging by the unbelieving Jews. But as he has not said this, and as no one will now venture to say so, there should be no difficulty in accepting this too as a prophecy of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, uttered by His servant. These words, says Faustus, occur in a chapter of curses. But why should it be the less a prophecy because it occurs in the midst of prophecies? Or why should it not be a prophecy of Christ, although the context does not seem to refer to Christ? Indeed, among all the curses which the Jews brought on themselves by their sinful pride, nothing could be worse than this, that they should see their Life--that is, the Son of God --hanging, and should not believe their Life. For the curses of prophecy are not hostile imprecations, but announcements of coming judgment. Hostile imprecations are forbidden, for it is said, "Bless, and curse not." [607]But prophetic announcements are often found in the writings of the saints, as when the Apostle Paul says: "Alexander the coppersmith has done me much evil; the Lord shall reward him according to his works." [608]So it might be thought that the apostle was prompted by angry feeling to utter this imprecation: "I would that they were even made eunuchs that trouble you." [609]But if we remember who the writer is, we may see in this ambiguous expression an ingenious style of benediction. For there are eunuchs which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. [610]If Faustus had a pious appetite for Christian food, he would have found a similar ambiguity in the words of Moses. By the Jews the declaration, "Thou shalt see thy life hanging, and shalt not believe thy life," may have been understood to mean that they would see their life to be in danger from the threats and plots of their enemies, and would not expect to live. But the child of the Gospel, who has heard Christ say, "He wrote of me," distinguishes in the ambiguity of the prophecy between what is thrown to swine and what is addressed to man. To his mind the thought immediately suggests itself of Christ hanging as the life of man, and of the Jews not believing in Him for this very reason, that they saw Him hanging. As to the objection that these words, "Thou shalt see thy life hanging, and shalt not believe thy life," are the only words referring to Christ in a passage containing maledictions not applicable to Christ, some might grant that this is true. For this prophecy might very well occur among the curses pronounced by the prophet upon the ungodly people, for these curses are of different kinds. But I, and those who with me consider more closely the saying of the Lord in His Gospel, which is not, He wrote also of me, as admitting that Moses wrote other things not referring to Christ, but, "He wrote of me," as teaching that in searching the Scriptures we should view them as intended solely to illustrate the grace of Christ, see a reference to Christ in the rest of the passage also. But it would take too much time to explain this here.

23. So far from these words of Faustus' quotation being proved not to refer to Christ by their occurring among the other curses, these curses cannot be rightly understood except as prophecies of the glory of Christ, in which lies the happiness of man. And what is true of these curses is still more true of this quotation. If it could be said of Moses that his words have a different meaning from what was in his mind, I would rather suppose him to have prophesied without knowing it, than allow that the words, "Thou shalt see thy life hanging, and shalt not believe thy life," are not applicable to Christ. So the words of Caiaphas had a different meaning from what he intended, when, in his hostility to Christ, he said that it was expedient that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation should not perish, where the Evangelist added that he said this not of himself, but, since he was high priest, he prophesied. [611] But Moses was not Caiaphas; and therefore when Moses said to the Hebrew people, "Thou shalt see thy life hanging, and shalt not believe thy life," he not only spoke of Christ, as he certainly did, even though he spoke without knowing the meaning of what he said, but he knew that he spoke of Christ. For he was a most faithful steward of the prophetic mystery, that is, of the priestly unction which gives the knowledge of the name of Christ; and in this mystery even Caiaphas, wicked as he was, was able to prophesy without knowing it. The prophetic unction enabled him to prophesy, though his wicked life prevented him from knowing it. Who then can say that there are no prophecies of Christ in Moses, with whom began that unction to which we owe the knowledge of Christ's name, and by which even Caiaphas, the persecutor of Christ, prophesied of Christ without knowing it?

24. We have already said as much as appeared desirable of the curse pronounced on every one that hangs on a tree. Enough has been said to show that the command to kill any prophet or prince who tried to turn away the children of Israel from their God, or to break any commandment, is not directed against Christ. The more we consider the words and actions of our Lord Jesus Christ, the more clearly will this appear; for Christ never tried to turn away any of the Israelites from their God. The God whom Moses taught the people to love and serve, is the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, whom the Lord Jesus Christ speaks of by this name, using the name in refutation of the Sadducees, who denied the resurrection of the dead. He says, "Of the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read what God said from the bush to Moses, I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living; for all live unto Him." [612]In the same words with which Christ answered the Sadducees we may answer the Manichæans, for they too deny the resurrection, though in a different way. Again, when Christ said, in praise of the centurion's faith, "Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel," He added, "And I say unto you, that many shall come from the east and from the west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven; but the children of the kingdom shall go into outer darkness." [613] If, then, as Faustus must admit, the God of whom Moses spoke was the God of Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, of whom Christ also spoke, as these passages prove, it follows that Christ did not try to turn away the people from their God. On the contrary, He warned them that they would go into outer darkness, because He saw that they were turned away from their God, in whose kingdom He says the Gentiles called from the whole world will sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob; implying that they would believe in the God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob. So the apostle also says: "The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, In thy seed shall all nations be blessed." [614]It is implied that those who are blessed in the seed of Abraham shall imitate the faith of Abraham. Christ, then, did not try to turn away the Israelites from their God, but rather charged them with being turned away. The idea that Christ broke one of the commandments given by Moses is not a new one, for the Jews thought so; but it is a mistake, for the Jews were in the wrong. Let Faustus mention the commandment which he supposes the Lord to have broken, and we will point out his mistake, as we have done already, when it was required. Meanwhile it is enough to say, that if the Lord had broken any commandment, He could not have found fault with the Jews for doing so. For when the Jews blamed His disciples for eating with unwashen hands, in which they transgressed not a commandment of God, but the traditions of the elders, Christ said, "Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God, that ye may observe your traditions?" He then quotes a commandment of God, which we know to have been given by Moses. "For God said," He adds, "Honor thy father and mother, and he that curseth father or mother shall die the death. But ye say, Whoever shall say to his father or mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me, is not obliged to honor his father. So ye make the word of God of none effect by your traditions." [615] From this several things maybe learned: that Christ did not turn away the Jews from their God; that He not only did not Himself break God's commandments, but found fault with those who did so; and that it was God Himself who gave these commandments by Moses.

25. In fulfillment of our promise that we would prove the reference to Christ in those passages selected by Faustus from the writings of Moses for adverse criticism, since we cannot here point out the reference to Christ which we believe to exist in all the writings of Moses, it becomes our duty to show that this commandment of Moses, that every prophet or prince should be killed who tried to turn away the people from their God, or to break any commandment, refers to the preservation of the faith which is taught in the Church of Christ. Moses no doubt knew in the spirit of prophecy, and from what he himself heard from God, that many heretics would arise to teach errors of all kinds against the doctrine of Christ, and to preach another Christ than the true Christ. For the true Christ is He that was foretold in the prophecies uttered by Moses himself, and by the other holy men of that nation. Moses accordingly commanded that whoever tried to teach another Christ should be put to death. In obedience to this command, the voice of the Catholic Church, as with the spiritual two-edged sword of both Testaments, puts to death all who try to turn us away from our God, or to break any of the commandments. And chief among these is Manichæus himself; for the truth of the law and the prophets convinces him of error as trying to turn us away from our God, the God of Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, whom Christ acknowledges, and as trying to break the commandments of the law, which, even when they are only figurative, we regard as prophetic of Christ.

26. Faustus uses an argument which is either very deceitful or very stupid. And as Faustus is not stupid, it is probable that he used the argument intentionally, with the design of misleading the careless reader. He says: If these things are not written of Christ, and if you cannot show any others, it follows that there are none at all. The proposition is true; but it remains to be proved, both that these things are not written of Christ, and that no other can be shown. Faustus has not proved this; for we have shown both how these things are to be understood of Christ, and that there are many other things which have no meaning but as applied to Christ. So it does not follow, as Faustus says, that nothing was written by Moses of Christ. Let us repeat Faustus' argument: If these things are not written of Christ, and if you cannot show any others, it follows that there are none at all. Perfectly so. But as both these things and many others have been shown to be written of Christ, or with reference to Christ, the true conclusion is that Faustus' argument is worthless. In the passages quoted by Faustus, he has tried, though without success, to show that they were not written of Christ. But in order to draw the conclusion that there are none at all, he should first have proved that no others can be shown. Instead of this, he takes for granted that the readers of his book will be blind, or the hearers deaf, so that the omission will be overlooked, and runs on thus: If there are none, Christ could not have asserted that there were any. And if Christ did not make this assertion, it follows that this verse is spurious. Here is a man who thinks so much of what he says himself, that he does not consider the possibility of another person saying the opposite. Where is your wit? Is this all you could say for a bad cause? But if the badness of the cause made you utter folly, the bad cause was your own choice. To prove your antecedent false, we have only to show some other things written of Christ. If there are some, it will not be true that there are none. And if there are some, Christ may have asserted that there were. And if Christ may have asserted this, it follows that this verse of the Gospel is not spurious. Coming back, then, to Faustus' proposition, If you cannot show any other, it follows that there are none at all, it requires to be proved that we cannot show any other. We need only refer to what we showed before, as sufficient to prove the truth of the text in the Gospel, in which Christ says, "If ye believed Moses, ye would also believe me; for he wrote of me." And even though from dullness of mind we could find nothing written of Christ by Moses, still, so strong is the evidence in support of the authority of the Gospel, that it would be incumbent on us to believe that not only some things, but everything written by Moses, refers to Christ; for He says not, He wrote also of me, but, He wrote of me. The truth then is this, that even though there were doubts, which God forbid, of the genuineness of this verse, the doubt would be removed by the number of testimonies to Christ which we find in Moses; while, on the other hand, even if we could find none, we should still be bound to believe that these are to be found, because no doubts can be admitted regarding any verse in the Gospel.

27. As to your argument that the doctrine of Moses was unlike that of Christ, and that therefore it was improbable that if they believed Moses, they would believe Christ too; and that it would rather follow that their belief in one would imply of necessity opposition to the other,--you could not have said this if you had turned your mind's eye for a moment to see men all the world over, when they are not blinded by a contentious spirit, learned and unlearned, Greek and barbarian, wise and unwise, to whom the apostle called himself a debtor, [616] believing in both Christ and Moses. If it was improbable that the Jews would believe both Christ and Moses, it is still more improbable that all the world would do so. But as we see all nations believing both, and in a common and well-grounded faith holding the agreement of the prophecy of the one with the gospel of the other, it was no impossible thing to which this one nation was called, when Christ said to them, "If ye believed Moses, ye would also believe me." Rather we should be amazed at the guilty obstinacy of the Jews, who refused to do what we see the whole world has done.

28. Regarding the Sabbath and circumcision, and the distinction in foods, in which you say the teaching of Moses differs from what Christians are taught by Christ, we have already shown that, as the apostle says, "all those things were our examples." [617]The difference is not in the doctrine, but in the time. There was a time when it was proper that these things should be figuratively predicted; and there is now a different time when it is proper that they should be openly declared and fully accomplished. It is not surprising that the Jews, who understood the Sabbath in a carnal sense, should oppose Christ, who began to open up its spiritual meaning. Reply, if you can, to the apostle, who declares that the rest of the Sabbath was a shadow of something future. [618]If the Jews opposed Christ because they did not understand what the true Sabbath is, there is no reason why you should oppose Him, or refuse to learn what true innocence is. For on that occasion when Jesus appears especially to set aside the Sabbath, when His disciples were hungry, and pulled the ears of corn through which they were passing, and ate them, Jesus, in replying to the Jews, declared His disciples to be innocent. "If you knew," He said "what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, you would not have condemned the innocent." [619]They should rather have pitied the wants of the disciples, for hunger forced them to do what they did. But pulling ears of corn, which is innocence in the teaching of Christ, is murder in the teaching of Manichæus. Or was it an act of charity in the apostles to pull the ears of corn, that they might in eating set free the members of God, as in your foolish notions? Then it must be cruelty in you not to do the same. Faustus' reason for setting aside the Sabbath is because he knows that God's power is exercised without cessation, and without weariness. It is for those to say this, who believe that all times are the production of an eternal act of God's will. But you will find it difficult to reconcile this with your doctrine, that the rebellion of the race of darkness broke your god's rest, which was also disturbed by a sudden attack of the enemy; or perhaps God never had rest, as he foresaw this from eternity, and could not feel at ease in the prospect of so dire a conflict, with such loss and disaster to his members.

29. Unless Christ had considered this Sabbath--which in your want of knowledge and of piety you laugh at--one of the prophecies written of Himself, He would not have borne such a testimony to it as He did. For when, as you say in praise of Christ, He suffered voluntarily, and so could choose His own time for suffering and for resurrection, He brought it about that His body rested from all its works on Sabbath in the tomb, and that His resurrection on the third day, which we call the Lord's day, the day after the Sabbath, and therefore the eighth, proved the circumcision of the eighth day to be also prophetical of Him. For what does circumcision mean, but the eradication of the mortality which comes from our carnal generation? So the apostle says: "Putting off from Himself His flesh, He made a show of principalities and powers, triumphing over them in Himself." [620] The flesh here said to be put off is that mortality of flesh on account of which the body is properly called flesh. The flesh is the mortality, for in the immortality of the resurrection there will be no flesh; as it is written, "Flesh and blood shall not inherit the kingdom of God." You are accustomed to argue from these words against our faith in the doctrine of the resurrection of the body, which has already taken place in the Lord Himself. You keep out of view the following words, in which the apostle explains his meaning. To show what he here means by flesh, he adds, "Neither shall corruption inherit incorruption." For this body, which from its mortality is properly called flesh, is changed in the resurrection, so as to be no longer corruptible and mortal. This is the apostle's statement, and not a supposition of ours, as his next words prove. "Lo" he says, "I show you a mystery: we shall all rise again, but we shall not all be changed. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump; for the last trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall rise incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality." [621]To put on immortality, the body puts off mortality. This is the mystery of circumcision, which by the law took place on the eighth day; and on the eighth day, the Lord's day, the day after the Sabbath, was fulfilled in its true meaning by the Lord. Hence it is said, "Putting off His flesh, He made a show of principalities and powers." For by means of this mortality the hostile powers of hell ruled over us. Christ is said to have made a show or example of these, because in Himself, our Head, He gave an example which will be fully realized in the liberation of His whole body, the Church, from the power of the devil at the last resurrection. This is our faith. And according to the prophetic declaration quoted by Paul, "The just shall live by faith." This is our justification. [622]Even Pagans believe that Christ died. But only Christians believe that Christ rose again. "If thou confess with thy mouth," says the apostle, "that Jesus is the Lord, and believest in thy heart that God raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." [623]Again, because we are justified by faith in Christ's resurrection, the apostle says, "He died for our offenses, and rose again for our justification." [624]And because this resurrection by faith in which we are justified was prefigured by the circumcision of the eighth day, the apostle says of Abraham, with whom the observance began, "He received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of faith." [625]Circumcision, then, is one of the prophecies of Christ, written by Moses, of whom Christ said, "He wrote of me." In the words of the Lord, "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves," [626] it is not the circumcision of the proselyte which is meant, but his imitation of the conduct of the scribes and Pharisees, which the Lord forbids His disciples to imitate, when He says: "The scribes and Pharisees sit on Moses' seat: what they say unto you, do; but do not after their works; for they say, and do not." [627]These words of the Lord teach us both the honor due to the teaching of Moses, in whose seat even bad men were obliged to teach good things, and the reason of the proselyte becoming a child of hell, which was not that he heard from the Pharisees the words of the law, but that he copied their example. Such a circumcised proselyte might have been addressed in the words of Paul: "Circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law." [628] His imitation of the Pharisees in not keeping the law made him a child of hell. And he was twofold more than they, probably because of his neglecting to fulfill what he voluntarily undertook, when, not being born a Jew, he chose to become a Jew.

30. Your scoff is very inappropriate, when you say that Moses discusses like a glutton what should be eaten, and commands some things to be freely used as clean, and other things as unclean to be not even touched. A glutton makes no distinction, except in choosing the sweetest food. Perhaps you wish to commend to the admiration of the uninitiated the innocence of your abstemious habits, by appearing not to know, or to have forgotten, that swine's flesh tastes better than mutton. But as this too was written by Moses of Christ in figurative prophecy, in which the flesh of animals signifies those who are to be united to the body of Christ, which is the Church, or who are to be cast out, you are typified by the unclean animals; for your disagreement with the Catholic faith shows that you do not ruminate on the word of wisdom, and that you do not divide the hoof, in the sense of making a correct distinction between the Old Testament and the New. But you show still more audacity in adopting the erroneous opinions of your Adimantus.

31. You follow Adimantus in saying that Christ made no distinction in food, except in entirely prohibiting the use of animal food to His disciples, while He allowed the laity to eat anything that is eatable; and declared that they were not polluted by what enters into the mouth, but that the unseemly things which come out of the mouth are the things which defile a man. These words of yours are unseemly indeed, for they express notorious falsehood. If Christ taught that the evil things which come out of the mouth are the only things that defile a man, why should they not be the only things to defile His disciples, so as to make it unnecessary that any food should be forbidden or unclean? Is it only the laity that are not polluted by what goes into the mouth, but by what comes out of it? In that case, they are better protected from impurity than the saints, who are polluted both by what goes in and by what comes out. But as Christ, comparing Himself with John, who came neither eating nor drinking, says that He came eating and drinking, I should like to know what He ate and drank. When exposing the perversity which found fault with both, He says: "John came neither eating nor drinking; and ye say, He hath a devil. The Son of man cometh eating and drinking; and ye say, Behold a glutton and a wine-bibber, a friend of publicans and sinners." [629]We know what John ate and drank. For it is not said that he drank nothing, but that he drank no wine or strong drink; so he must have drunk water. He did not live without food, but his food was locusts and wild honey. [630]When Christ says that John did not eat or drink, He means that he did not use the food which the Jews used. And because the Lord used this food, He is spoken of, in contrast with John, as eating and drinking. Will it be said that it was bread and vegetables which the Lord ate, and which John did not eat? It would be strange if one was said not to eat, because he used locusts and honey, while the other is said to eat simply because he used bread and vegetables. But whatever may be thought of the eating, certainly no one could be called a wine-bibber unless he used wine. Why then do you call wine unclean? It is not in order to subdue the body by abstinence that you prohibit these things, but because they are unclean, for you say that they are the poisonous filth of the race of darkness; whereas the apostle says, "To the pure all things are pure." [631]Christ, according to this doctrine, taught that all food was alike, but forbade His disciples to use what the Manichæans call unclean. Where do you find this prohibition? You are not afraid to deceive men by falsehood; but in God's righteous providence, you are so blinded that you provide us with the means of refuting you. For I cannot resist quoting for examination the whole of that passage of the Gospel which Faustus uses against Moses; that we may see from it the falsehood of what was said first by Adimantus, and here by Faustus, that the Lord Jesus forbade the use of animal food to His disciples, and allowed it to the laity. After Christ's reply to the accusation that His disciples ate with unwashen hands, we read in the Gospel as follows: "And He called the multitude, and said unto them, Hear and understand. Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man: but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man. Then came His disciples, and said unto Him, Knowest Thou that the Pharisees were offended after they heard this saying?" Here, when addressed by His disciples, He ought certainly, according to the Manichæans, to have given them special instructions to abstain from animal food, and to show that His words, "Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man, but that which goeth out of the mouth," applied to the multitude only. Let us hear, then, what, according to the evangelist, the Lord replied, not to the multitude, but to His disciples: "But He answered and said, Every plant which my heavenly Father hath not planted shall be rooted up. Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch." The reason of this was, that in their desire to observe their own traditions, they did not understand the commandments of God. As yet the disciples had not asked the Master how they were to understand what He had said to the multitude. But now they do so; for the evangelist adds: "Then answered Peter and said unto Him, Declare unto us this parable." This shows that Peter thought that when the Lord said, "Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man, but that which goeth out of the mouth," He did not speak plainly and literally, but, as usual, wished to convey some instruction under the guise of a parable. When His disciples, then, put this question in private, does He tell them, as the Manichæans say, that all animal food is unclean, and that they must never touch it? Instead of this, He rebukes them for not understanding His plain language, and for thinking it a parable when it was not. We read: "And Jesus said, Are ye also yet without understanding? Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the drought? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart, and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man." [632]

32. Here we have a complete exposure of the falsehood of the Manichæans: for it is plain that the Lord did not in this matter teach one thing to the multitude, and another in private to His disciples. Here is abundant evidence that the error and deceit are in the Manichæans, and not in Moses, nor in Christ, nor in the doctrine taught figuratively in one Testament and plainly in the other,--prophesied in one, and fulfilled in the other. How can the Manichæans say that the Catholics regard none of the things that Moses wrote, when in fact they observe them all, not now in the figures, but in what the figures were intended to foretell? No one would say that one who reads the Scripture subsequently to its being written does not observe it because he does not form the letters which he reads. The letters are the figures of the sounds which he utters; and though he does not form the letters, he cannot read without examining them. The reason why the Jews did not believe in Christ, was because they did not observe even the plain literal precepts of Moses. So Christ says to them: "Ye pay tithe of mint and cummin, and omit the weightier matters of the law, mercy and judgment. Ye strain out a gnat and swallow a camel. These ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone." [633]So also He told them that by their traditions they made of none effect the commandment of God to give honor to parents. On account of this pride and perversity in neglecting what they understood, they were justly blinded, so that they could not understand the other things.

33. You see, my argument is not that if you are a Christian you must believe Christ when He says that Moses wrote of Him, and that if you do not believe this you are no Christian. The account you give of yourself in asking to be dealt with as a Jew or a Gentile is your own affair. My endeavor is to leave no avenue of error open to you. I have shut you out, too, from that precipice to which you rush as a last resort, when you say that these are spurious passages in the Gospel; so that, freed from the pernicious influence of this opinion, you may be reduced to the necessity of believing in Christ. You say you wish to be taught like the Christian Thomas, whom Christ did not spurn from Him because he doubted of Him, but, in order to heal the wounds of his mind, showed him the marks of the wounds in His own body. These are your own words. It is well that you desire to be taught as Thomas was. I feared you would make out this passage too to be spurious. Believe, then, the marks of Christ's wounds. For if the marks were real, the wounds must have been real. And the wounds could not have been real, unless His body had been capable of real wounds; which upsets at once the whole error of the Manichæans. If you say that the marks were unreal which Christ showed to His doubting disciple, it follows that He must be a deceitful teacher, and that you wish to be deceived in being taught by Him. But as no one wishes to be deceived, while many wish to deceive, it is probable that you would rather imitate the teaching which you ascribe to Christ than the learning you ascribe to Thomas. If, then, you believe that Christ deceived a doubting inquirer by false marks of wounds, you must yourself be regarded, not as a safe teacher, but as a dangerous impostor. On the other hand, if Thomas touched the real marks of Christ's wounds, you must confess that Christ had a real body. So, if you believe as Thomas did, you are no more a Manichæan. If you do not believe even with Thomas, you must be left to your infidelity.

Footnotes

[569] John viii. 13, 17, 18. [570] Deut. xviii. 15. [571] Deut. xxviii. 66. [572] Deut. xiii. 5. [573] John v. 17. [574] Gen. xvii. 9-14. [575] Matt. xxiii. 15. [576] Matt. x. 25. [577] John ii. 19. [578] Matt. v. 24. [579] Matt. viii. 4. [580] 1 Cor. iii. 17. [581] Rom. xii. 1. [582] John v. 46. [583] John viii. 17, 18. [584] Deut. xix. 15. [585] Deut. xviii. 15. [586] John i. 29. [587] 1 Cor. x. 4. [588] Rom. ix. 5. [589] 1 Tim. ii. 5. [590] Rom. viii. 3. [591] Luke i. 35. [592] 1 Tim. i. 15. [593] Num. ix. 10-12. [594] Matt. xiv. 30. [595] 1 Cor. x. 4. [596] Matt. v. 14. [597] 1 Cor. i. 23, 24. [598] Matt. xvi. 22, 23. [599] Gal. ii. 20. [600] Matt. xiii. 57. [601] Num. xiii. 9, xiv. 6. [602] John xiv. 3. [603] Ex. xxiii. 20, 21. [604] Matt. v. 4. [605] Deut. xxviii. 16. [606] John xiv. 6. [607] Rom. xii. 14. [608] 2 Tim. iv. 14. [609] Gal. v. 12. [610] Matt. xix. 12. [611] John xi. 49-51. [612] Matt. xxii. 31, 32, and Luke xx. 37, 38. [613] Matt. viii. 10-12. [614] Gal. iii. 8. [615] Matt. xv. 3-6. [616] Rom. i. 14. [617] 1 Cor. x. 6. [618] Col. ii. 16, 17. [619] Matt. xii. 7. [620] Col. ii. 15. [621] 1 Cor. xv. 50-59. [622] Hab. ii. 4, and Rom. i. 17. [623] Rom. x. 9. [624] Rom. iv. 25. [625] Rom. iv. 11. [626] Matt. xxiii. 15. [627] Matt. xxiii. 2, 3. [628] Rom. ii. 26. [629] Matt. xi. 18, 19. [630] Matt. iii. 4. [631] Tit. i. 15. [632] Matt. xv. 16-20. [633] Matt. xxiii. 23, 24. .


Book XVII.

Faustus rejects Christ's declaration that He came not to destroy the law and the prophets but to fulfill them, on the ground that it is found only in Matthew, who was not present when the words purport to have been spoken. Augustin rebukes the folly of refusing to believe Matthew and yet believing Manichæus, and shows what the passage of scripture really means.

1. Faustus said: You ask why we do not receive the law and the prophets, when Christ said that he came not to destroy them, but to fulfill them. Where do we learn that Jesus said this? From Matthew, who declares that he said it on the mount. In whose presence was it said? In the presence of Peter, Andrew, James, and John--only these four; for the rest, including Matthew himself, were not yet chosen. Is it not the case that one of these four--John, namely--wrote a Gospel? It is. Does he mention this saying of Jesus? No. How, then, does it happen that what is not recorded by John, who was on the mount, is recorded by Matthew, who became a follower of Christ long after He came down from the mount? In the first place, then, we must doubt whether Jesus ever said these words, since the proper witness is silent on the matter, and we have only the authority of a less trustworthy witness. But, besides this, we shall find that it is not Matthew that has imposed upon us, but some one else under his name, as is evident from the indirect style of the narrative. Thus we read: "As Jesus passed by, He saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom, and called him; and he immediately rose up, and followed Him." [634]No one writing of himself would say, He saw a man, and called him; and he followed Him; but, He saw me, and called me, and I followed Him. Evidently this was written not by Matthew himself, but by some one else under his name. Since, then, the passage already quoted would not be true even if it had been written by Matthew, since he was not present when Jesus spoke on the mount; much more is its falsehood evident from the fact that the writer was not Matthew himself, but some one borrowing the names both of Jesus and of Matthew.

2. The passage itself, in which Christ tells the Jews not to think that He came to destroy the law, is rather designed to show that He did destroy it. For, had He not done something of the kind, the Jews would not have suspected Him. His words are: "Think not that I am come to destroy the law." Suppose the Jews had replied, What actions of thine might lead us to suspect this? Is it because thou exposest circumcision, breakest the Sabbath, discardest sacrifices, makest no distinction in foods? this would be the natural answer to the words, Think not. The Jews had the best possible reason for thinking that Jesus destroyed the law. If this was not to destroy the law, what is? But, indeed, the law and the prophets consider themselves already so faultlessly perfect, that they have no desire to be fulfilled. Their author and father condemns adding to them as much as taking away anything from them; as we read in Deuteronomy: "These precepts which I deliver unto thee this day, O Israel, thou shalt observe to do; thou shalt not turn aside from them to the right hand or to the left; thou shalt not add thereto nor diminish from it, that thy God may bless thee." [635]Whether, therefore, Jesus turned aside to the right by adding to the law and the prophets in order to fulfill them, or to the left in taking away from them to destroy them, either way he offended the author of the law. So this verse must either have some other meaning, or be spurious.

3. Augustin replied: What amazing folly, to disbelieve what Matthew records of Christ, while you believe Manichæus! If Matthew is not to be believed because he was not present when Christ said, "I came not to destroy the law and the prophets, but to fulfill," was Manichæus present, was he even born, when Christ appeared among men? According, then, to your rule, you should not believe anything that Manichæus says of Christ. On the other hand, we refuse to believe what Manichæus says of Christ; not because he was not present as a witness of Christ's words and actions, but because he contradicts Christ's disciples, and the Gospel which rests on their authority. The apostle, speaking in the Holy Spirit, tells us that such teachers would arise. With reference to such, he says to believers: "If any man preaches to you another gospel than that ye have received, let him be accursed." [636]If no one can say what is true of Christ unless he has himself seen and heard Him, no one now can be trusted. But if believers can now say what is true of Christ because the truth has been handed down in word or writing by those who saw and heard, why might not Matthew have heard the truth from his fellow-disciple John, if John was present and he himself was not, as from the writings of John both we who are born so long after and those who shall be born after us can learn the truth about Christ? In this way, the Gospels of Luke and Mark, who were companions of the disciples, as well as the Gospel of Matthew, have the same authority as that of John. Besides, the Lord Himself might have told Matthew what those called before him had already been witnesses of. Your idea is, that John should have recorded this saying of the Lord, as he was present on the occasion. As if it might not happen that, since it was impossible to write all that be heard from the Lord, he set himself to write some, omitting this among others. Does he not say at the close of his Gospel: "And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written"? [637]This proves that he omitted many things intentionally. But if you choose John as an authority regarding the law and the prophets, I ask you only to believe his testimony to them. It is John who writes that Isaiah saw the glory of Christ. [638]It is in his Gospel we find the text already treated of: "If ye believed Moses, ye would also believe me; for he wrote of me." [639]Your evasions are met on every side. You ought to say plainly that you do not believe the gospel of Christ. For to believe what you please, and not to believe what you please, is to believe yourselves, and not the gospel.

4. Faustus thinks himself wonderfully clever in proving that Matthew was not the writer of this Gospel, because, when speaking of his own election, he says not, He saw me, and said to me, Follow me; but, He saw him, and said to him, Follow me. This must have been said either in ignorance or from a design to mislead. Faustus can hardly be so ignorant as not to have read or heard that narrators, when speaking of themselves, often use a construction as if speaking of another. It is more probable that Faustus wished to bewilder those more ignorant than himself, in the hope of getting hold on not a few unacquainted with these things. It is needless to resort to other writings to quote examples of this construction from profane authors for the information of our friends, and for the refutation of Faustus. We find examples in passages quoted above from Moses by Faustus himself, without any denial, or rather with the assertion, that they were written by Moses, only not written of Christ. When Moses, then, writes of himself, does he say, I said this, or I did that, and not rather, Moses said, and Moses did? Or does he say, The Lord called me, The Lord said to me, and not rather, The Lord called Moses, The Lord said to Moses, and so on? So Matthew, too, speaks of himself in the third person. And John does the same; for towards the end of his book he says: "Peter, turning, saw the disciple whom Jesus loved, who also lay on His breast at supper, and who said to the Lord, Who is it that shall betray Thee?" Does he say, Peter, turning, saw me? Or will you argue from this that John did not write this Gospel? But he adds a little after: "This is the disciple that testifies of Jesus, and has written these things; and we know that his testimony is true." [640]Does he say, I am the disciple who testify of Jesus, and who have written these things, and we know that my testimony is true? Evidently this style is common in writers of narratives. There are innumerable instances in which the Lord Himself uses it. "When the Son of man," He says, "cometh, shall He find faith on the earth?" [641]Not, When I come, shall I find? Again, "The Son of man came eating and drinking;" [642] not, I came. Again, "The hour shall come, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and they that hear shall live;" [643] not, My voice. And so in many other places. This may suffice to satisfy inquirers and to refute scoffers.

5. Every one can see the weakness of the argument that Christ could not have said, "Think not that I am come to destroy the law and the prophets: I came not to destroy, but to fulfill," unless He had done something to create a suspicion of this kind. Of course, we grant that the unenlightened Jews may have looked upon Christ as the destroyer of the law and the prophets; but their very suspicion makes it certain that the true and truthful One, in saying that He came not to destroy the law and the prophets, referred to no other law than that of the Jews. This is proved by the words that follow: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of the least of these commandments, and shall teach men so, shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven. But whosoever shall do and teach them, shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven." This applied to the Pharisees, who taught the law in word, while they broke it in deed. Christ says of the Pharisees in another place, "What they say, that do; but do not after their works: for they say, and do not." [644] So here also He adds, "For I say unto you, Except your righteousness exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven;" [645] that is, Unless ye shall both do and teach what they teach without doing, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. This law, therefore, which the Pharisees taught without keeping it, Christ says He came not to destroy, but to fulfill; for this was the law connected with the seat of Moses in which the Pharisees sat, who because they said without doing, are to be heard, but not to be imitated.

6. Faustus does not understand, or pretends not to understand, what it is to fulfill the law. He supposes the expression to mean the addition of words to the law, regarding which it is written that nothing is to be added to or taken away from the Scriptures of God. From this Faustus argues that there can be no fulfillment of what is spoken of as so perfect that nothing can be added to it or taken from it. Faustus requires to be told that the law is fulfilled by living as it enjoins. "Love is the fulfilling of the law," [646] as the apostle says. The Lord has vouchsafed both to manifest and to impart this love, by sending the Holy Spirit to His believing people. So it is said by the same apostle: "The love of God is shed abroad in our heart by the Holy Ghost, which is given unto us." [647]And the Lord Himself says: "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." [648]The law, then, is fulfilled both by the observance of its precepts and by the accomplishment of its prophecies. For "the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ." [649]The law itself, by being fulfilled, becomes grace and truth. Grace is the fulfillment of love, and truth is the accomplishment of the prophecies. And as both grace and truth are by Christ, it follows that He came not to destroy the law, but to fulfill it; not by supplying any defects in the law, but by obedience to what is written in the law. Christ's own words declare this. For He does not say, One jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law till its defects are supplied, but "till all be fulfilled."

Footnotes

[634] Matt. ix. 9. [635] Deut. xii. 32. [636] Gal. i. 9. [637] John xxi. 25. [638] John xii. 41. [639] John v. 46. [640] John xxi. 20-24. [641] Luke xviii. 8. [642] Matt. xi. 19. [643] John v. 25. [644] Matt. xxiii. 3. [645] Matt. v. 17-20. [646] Rom. xiii. 10. [647] Rom. v. 5. [648] John xiii. 35. [649] John i. 7. .


Book XVIII.

The relation of Christ to prophecy, continued.

1. Faustus said: "I came not to destroy the law, but to fulfill it." If these are Christ's words, unless they have some other meaning, they are as much against you as against me. Your Christianity as well as mine is based on the belief that Christ came to destroy the law and the prophets. Your actions prove this, even though in words you deny it. It is on this ground that you disregard the precepts of the law and the prophets. It is on this ground that we both acknowledge Jesus as the founder of the New Testament, in which is implied the acknowledgment that the Old Testament is destroyed. How, then, can we believe that Christ said these words without first confessing that hitherto we have been wholly in error, and without showing our repentance by entering on a course of obedience to the law and the prophets, and of careful observance of their requirements, whatever they may be? This done, we may honestly believe that Jesus said that he came not to destroy the law, but to fulfill it. As it is, you accuse me of not believing what you do not believe yourself, and what therefore is false.

2. But grant that we have been in the wrong hitherto. What is to be done now? Shall we come under the law, since Christ has not destroyed, but fulfilled it? Shall we by circumcision add shame to shame, and believe that God is pleased with such sacraments? Shall we observe the rest of the Sabbath, and bind ourselves in the fetters of Saturn? Shall we glut the demon of the Jews, for he is not God, with the slaughter of bulls, rams, and goats, not to say of men; and adopt, only with greater cruelty, in obedience to the law and the prophets, the practices on account of which we abandoned idolatry? Shall we, in fine, call the flesh of some animals clean, and that of others unclean, among which, according to the law and the prophets, swine's flesh has a particular defilement? Of course you will allow that as Christians we must not do any of these things, for you remember that Christ says that a man when circumcised becomes twofold a child of hell. [650]It is plain also that Christ neither observed the Sabbath himself, nor commanded it to be observed. And regarding foods, he says expressly that man is not defiled by anything that goes into his mouth, but rather by the things which come out of it. [651] Regarding sacrifices, too, he often says that God desires mercy, and not sacrifice. [652]What becomes, then, of the statement that he came not to destroy the law, but to fulfill it? If Christ said this, he must have meant something else, or, what is not to be thought of, he told a lie, or he never said it. No Christian will allow that Jesus spoke falsely; therefore he must either not have said this, or said it with another meaning.

3. For my part, as a Manichæan, this verse has little difficulty for me, for at the outset I am taught to believe that many things which pass in Scripture under the name of the Saviour are spurious, and that they must therefore be tested to find whether they are true, and sound, and genuine; for the enemy who comes by night has corrupted almost every passage by sowing tares among the wheat. So I am not alarmed by these words, notwithstanding the sacred name affixed to them; for I still claim the liberty to examine whether this comes from the hand of the good sower, who sows in the day-time, or of the evil one, who sows in the night. But what escape from this difficulty can there be for you, who receive everything without examination, condemning the use of reason, which is the prerogative of human nature, and thinking it impiety to distinguish between truth and falsehood, and as much afraid of separating between what is good and what is not as children are of ghosts? For suppose a Jew or any one acquainted with these words should ask you why you do not keep the precepts of the law and the prophets, since Christ says that he came not to destroy but to fulfill them: you will be obliged either to join in the superstitious follies of the Jews, or to declare this verse false, or to deny that you are a follower of Christ.

4. Augustin replied: Since you continue repeating what has been so often exposed and refuted, we must be content to repeat the refutation. The things in the law and the prophets which Christians do not observe, are only the types of what they do observe. These types were figures of things to come, and are necessarily removed when the things themselves are fully revealed by Christ, that in this very removal the law and the prophets may be fulfilled. So it is written in the prophets that God would give a new covenant, "not as I gave to their fathers." [653]Such was the hardness of heart of the people under the Old Testament, that many precepts were given to them, not so much because they were good, as because they suited the people. Still, in all these things the future was foretold and prefigured, although the people did not understand the meaning of their own observances. After the manifest appearance of the things thus signified, we are not required to observe the types; but we read them to see their meaning. So, again, it is foretold in the prophets, "I will take away their stony heart, and will give them a heart of flesh," [654] --that is, a sensible heart, instead of an insensible one. To this the apostle alludes in the words: "Not in tables of stone, but in the fleshy tables of the heart." [655]The fleshy tables of the heart are the same as the heart of flesh. Since, then, the removal of these observances is foretold, the law and the prophets could not have been fulfilled but by this removal. Now, however, the prediction is accomplished, and the fulfillment of the law and the prophets is found in what at first sight seems the very opposite.

5. We are not afraid to meet your scoff at the Sabbath, when you call it the fetters of Saturn. It is a silly and unmeaning expression, which occurred to you only because you are in the habit of worshipping the sun on what you call Sunday. What you call Sunday we call the Lord's day, and on it we do not worship the sun, but the Lord's resurrection. And in the same way, the fathers observed the rest of the Sabbath, not because they worshipped Saturn, but because it was incumbent at that time, for it was a shadow of things to come, as the apostle testifies. [656]The Gentiles, of whom the apostle says that they "worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator," [657] gave the names of their gods to the days of the week. And so far you do the same, except that you worship only the two brightest luminaries, and not the rest of the stars, as the Gentiles did. Besides, the Gentiles gave the names of their gods to the months. In honor of Romulus, whom they believed to be the son of Mars, they dedicated the first month to Mars, and called it March. The next month, April, is named not from any god, but from the word for opening, because the buds generally open in this month. The third month is called May, in honor of Maia the mother of Mercury. The fourth is called June, from Juno. The rest to December used to be named according to their number. The fifth and sixth, however, got the names of July and August from men to whom divine honors were decreed; while the others, from September to December, continued to be named from their number. January, again, is named from Janus, and February from the rites of the Luperci called Februæ. Must we say that you worship the god Mars in the month of March? But that is the month in which you hold the feast you call Bema with great pomp. But if you think it allowable to observe the month of March without thinking of Mars, why do you try to bring in the name of Saturn in connection with the rest of the seventh day enjoined in Scripture, merely because the Gentiles call the day Saturday? The Scripture name for the day is Sabbath, which means rest. Your scoff is as unreasonable as it is profane.

6. As regards animal sacrifices, every Christian knows that they were enjoined as suitable to a perverse people, and not because God had any pleasure in them. Still, even in these sacrifices there were types of what we enjoy; for we cannot obtain purification or the propitiation of God without blood. The fulfillment of these types is in Christ, by whose blood we are purified and redeemed. In these figures of the divine oracles, the bull represents Christ, because with the horns of His cross He scatters the wicked; the lamb, from His matchless innocence; the goat, from His being made in the likeness of sinful flesh, that by sin He might condemn sin. [658]Whatever kind of sacrifice you choose to specify, I will show you a prophecy of Christ in it. Thus we have shown regarding circumcision, and the Sabbath, and the distinction of food, and the sacrifice of animals, that all these things were our examples, and our prophecies, which Christ came not to destroy, but to fulfill, by fulfilling what was thus foretold. Your opponent is the apostle, whose opinion I give in his own words: "All these things were our examples." [659]

7. If you have learned from Manichæus the willful impiety of admitting only those parts of the Gospel which do not contradict your errors, while you reject the rest, we have learned from the apostle the pious caution of looking on every one as accursed that preaches to us another gospel than that which we have received. Hence Catholic Christians look upon you as among the tares; for, in the Lord's exposition of the meaning of the tares, they are not falsehood mixed with truth in the Scriptures, but children of the wicked one--that is, people who imitate the deceitfulness of the devil. It is not true that Catholic Christians believe everything; for they do not believe Manichæus or any of the heretics. Nor do they condemn the use of human reason; but what you call reasoning they prove to be fallacious. Nor do they think it profane to distinguish truth from falsehood; for they distinguish between the truth of the Catholic faith and the falsehood of your doctrines. Nor do they fear to separate good from evil; but they contend that evil, instead of being natural, is unnatural. They know nothing of your race of darkness, which, you say, is produced from a principle of its own, and fights against the kingdom of God, and of which your god seems really to be more frightened than children are of ghosts; for, according to you, he covered himself with a veil, that he might not see his own members taken and plundered by the assault of the enemy. To conclude, Catholic Christians are in no difficulty regarding the words of Christ, though in one sense they may be said not to observe the law and the prophets; for by the grace of Christ they keep the law by their love to God and man; and on these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. [660]Besides, they see in Christ and the Church the fulfillment of all the prophecies of the Old Testament, whether in the form of actions, or of symbolic rites, or of figurative language. So we neither join in superstitious follies, nor declare this verse false; nor deny that we are followers of Christ; for on those principles which I have set forth to the best of my power, the law and the prophets which Christ came not to destroy, but to fulfill, are no other than those recognized by the Church.

Footnotes

[650] Matt. xxiii. 15. [651] Matt. xv. 11. [652] Matt. ix. 13. [653] Jer. xxxi. 32. [654] Ezek. xi. 19. [655] 2 Cor. ii. 3. [656] Col. ii. 17. [657] Rom. i. 25. [658] Rom. viii. 3. [659] 1 Cor. x. 6. [660] Matt. xxii. 40. .


Book XIX.

Faustus is willing to admit that Christ may have said that He came not to destroy the law and the prophets, but to fulfill them; but if He did, it was to pacify the Jews and in a modified sense. Augustin replies, and still further elaborates the Catholic view of prophecy and its fulfillment.

1. Faustus said: I will grant that Christ said that he came not to destroy the law and the prophets, but to fulfill them. But why did Jesus say this? Was it to pacify the Jews, who were enraged at seeing their sacred institutions trampled upon by Christ, and regarded him as a wild blasphemer, not to be listened to, much less to be followed? Or was it for our instruction as Gentile believers, that we might learn meekly and patiently to bear the yoke of commandment laid on our necks by the law and the prophets of the Jews? You yourself can hardly suppose that Christ's words were intended to bring us under the authority of the law and the prophets of the Hebrews. So that the other explanation which I have given of the words must be the true one. Every one knows that the Jews were always ready to attack Christ, both with words and with actual violence. Naturally, then, they would be enraged at the idea that Christ was destroying their law and their prophets; and, to appease them, Christ might very well tell them not to think that he came to destroy the law, but that he came to fulfill it. There was no falsehood or deceit in this, for he used the word law in a general sense, not of any particular law.

2. There are three laws. One is that of the Hebrews, which the apostle calls the law of sin and death. [661]The second is that of the Gentiles, which he calls the law of nature. "For the Gentiles," he says, "do by nature the things contained in the law; and, not having the law, they are a law into themselves; who show the work of the law written on their hearts." [662]The third law is the truth of which the apostle speaks when he says, "The law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death." [663]Since, then, there are three laws, we must carefully inquire which of the three Christ spoke of when He said that He came not to destroy the law, but to fulfill it. In the same way, there are prophets of the Jews, and prophets of the Gentiles, and prophets of truth. With the prophets of the Jews, of course, every one is acquainted. If any one is in doubt about the prophets of the Gentiles, let him hear what Paul says when writing of the Cretans to Titus: "A prophet of their own has said, The Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, slow bellies." [664] This proves that the Gentiles also had their prophets. The truth also has its prophets, as we learn from Jesus as well as from Paul. Jesus says: "Behold, I send unto you wise men and prophets, and some of them ye shall kill in divers places." [665]And Paul says: "The Lord Himself appointed first apostles, and then prophets." [666]

3. As "the law and the prophets" may have three different meanings, it is uncertain in what sense the words are used by Jesus, though we may form a conjecture from what follows. For if Jesus had gone on to speak of circumcision, and Sabbaths, and sacrifices, and the observances of the Hebrews, and had added something as a fulfillment, there could have been no doubt that it was the law and the prophets of the Jews of which He said that He came not to destroy, but to fulfill them. But Christ, without any allusion to these, speaks only of commandments which date from the earliest times: "Thou shall not kill; Thou shalt not commit adultery; Thou shalt not bear false witness." These, it can be proved, were of old promulgated in the world by Enoch and Seth, and the other righteous men, to whom the precepts were delivered by angels of lofty rank, in order to tame the savage nature of men. From this it appears that Jesus spoke of the law and the prophets of truth. And so we find him giving a fulfillment of those precepts already quoted. "Ye have heard," He says, "that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; but I say unto you, Be not even angry." This is the fulfillment. Again: "Ye have heard that it was said, Thou shalt not commit adultery; but I say unto you, Do not lust even." This is the fulfillment. Again: "It has been said, Thou shalt not bear false witness; but I say unto you, Swear not." This too is the fulfillment. He thus both confirms the old precepts and supplies their defects. Where He seems to speak of some Jewish precepts, instead of fulfilling them, He substitutes for them precepts of an opposite tendency. He proceeds thus: "Ye have heard that it has been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth; but I say unto you, Whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also." This is not fulfillment, but destruction. Again: "It has been said, Thou shall love thy friend, and hate thine enemy; but I say unto you, Love your enemies, and pray for your persecutors." This too is destruction. Again: "It has been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement; but I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery, and is himself an adulterer if he afterwards marries another woman." [667]These precepts are evidently destroyed because they are the precepts of Moses; while the others are fulfilled because they are the precepts of the righteous men of antiquity. If you agree to this explanation, we may allow that Jesus said that he came not to destroy the law, but to fulfill it. If you disapprove of this explanation, give one of your own. Only beware of making Jesus a liar, and of making yourself a Jew, by binding yourself to fulfill the law because Christ did not destroy it.

4. If one of the Nazareans, or Symmachians, as they are sometimes called, were arguing with me from these words of Jesus that he came not to destroy the law, I should find some difficulty in answering him. For it is undeniable that, at his coming, Jesus was both in body and mind subject to the influence of the law and the prophets. Those people, moreover, whom I allude to, practise circumcision, and keep the Sabbath, and abstain from swine's flesh and such like things, according to the law, although they profess to be Christians. They are evidently misled as well as you, by this verse in which Christ says that he came not to destroy the law, but to fulfill it. It would not be easy to reply to such opponents without first getting rid of this troublesome verse. But with you I have no difficulty, for you have nothing to go upon; and instead of using arguments, you seem disposed, in mere mischief, to induce me to believe that Christ said what you evidently do not yourself believe him to have said. On the strength of this verse you accuse me of dullness and evasiveness, without yourself giving any indication of keeping the law instead of destroying it. Do you too, like a Jew or a Nazarean, glory in the obscene distinction of being circumcised? Do you pride yourself in the observance of the Sabbath? Can you congratulate yourself on being innocent of swine's flesh? Or can you boast of having gratified the appetite of the Deity by the blood of sacrifices and the incense of Jewish offerings? If not, why do you contend that Christ came not to destroy the law, but to fulfill it?

5. I give unceasing thanks to my teacher, who prevented me from falling into this error, so that I am still a Christian. For I, like you, from reading this verse without sufficient consideration, had almost resolved to become a Jew. And with reason; for if Christ came not to destroy the law, but to fulfill it, and as a vessel in order to be filled full must not be empty, but partly filled already, I concluded that no one could become a Christian but an Israelite, nearly filled already with the law and the prophets, and coming to Christ to be filled to the full extent of his capacity. I concluded, too, that in thus coming he must not destroy what he already possesses; otherwise it would be a case, not of fulfilling, but of emptying. Then it appeared that I, as a Gentile, could get nothing by coming to Christ, for I brought nothing that he could fill up by his additions. This preparatory supply is found, on inquiry, to consist of Sabbaths, circumcision, sacrifices, new moons, baptisms, feasts of unleavened bread, distinctions of foods, drink, and clothes, and other things, too many to specify. This, then, it appeared, was what Christ came not to destroy, but to fulfill. Naturally it must appear so: for what is a law without precepts, or prophets without predictions? Besides, there is that terrible curse pronounced upon those who abide not in all things that are written in the book of the law to do them. [668]With the fear of this curse appearing to come from God on the one side, and with Christ on the other side, seeming, as the Son of God, to say that he came not to destroy these things, but to fulfill them, what was to prevent me from becoming a Jew? The wise instruction of Manichæus saved me from this danger.

6. But how can you venture to quote this verse against me? Or why should it be against me only, when it is as much against yourself? If Christ does not destroy the law and the prophets, neither must Christians do so. Why then do you destroy them? Do you begin to perceive that you are no Christian? How can you profane with all kinds of work the day pronounced sacred in the law and in all the prophets, on which they say that God, the maker of the world, himself rested, without dreading the penalty of death pronounced against Sabbath-breakers, or the curse on the transgressor? How can you refuse to receive in your person the unseemly mark of circumcision, which the law and all the prophets declare to be honorable, especially in the case of Abraham, after what was thought to be his faith; for does not the God of the Jews proclaim that whosoever is without this mark of infamy shall perish from his people? How can you neglect the appointed sacrifices, which were made so much of both by Moses and the prophets under the law, and by Abraham in his faith? And how can you defile your souls by making no distinction in foods, if you believe that Christ came not to destroy these things, but to fulfill them? Why do you discard the annual feast of unleavened bread, and the appointed sacrifice of the lamb, which, according to the law and the prophets, is to be observed for ever? Why, in a word, do you treat so lightly the new moons, the baptisms, and the feast of tabernacles, and all the other carnal ordinances of the law and the prophets, if Christ did not destroy them? I have therefore good reason for saying that, in order to justify your neglect of these things, you must either abandon your profession of being Christ's disciple, or acknowledge that Christ himself has already destroyed them; and from this acknowledgment it must follow, either that this text is spurious in which Christ is made to say that he came not to destroy the law, but to fulfill it, or that the words have an entirely different meaning from what you suppose.

7. Augustin replied: If you allow, in consideration of the authority of the Gospel, that Christ said that He came not to destroy the law and the prophets, but to fulfill them, you should show the same consideration to the authority of the apostle, when he says, "All these things were our examples;" and again of Christ, "He was not yea and nay, but in Him was yea; for all the promises of God are in Him yea;" [669] that is, they are set forth and fulfilled in Him. In this way you will see in the clearest light both what law Christ fulfilled, and how He fulfilled it. It is a vain attempt that you make to escape by your three kinds of law and your three kinds of prophets. It is quite plain, and the New Testament leaves no doubt on the matter, what law and what prophets Christ came not to destroy, but to fulfill. The law given by Moses is that which by Jesus Christ became grace and truth. [670]The law given by Moses is that of which Christ says, "He wrote of me." [671]For undoubtedly this is the law which entered that the offence might abound; [672] words which you often ignorantly quote as a reproach to the law. Read what is there said of this law: "The law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, wrought death in me by that which is good." [673]The entrance of the law made the offense abound, not because the law required what was wrong, but because the proud and self-confident incurred additional guilt as transgressors after their acquaintance with the holy, and just, and good commandments of the law; so that, being thus humbled, they might learn that only by grace through faith could they be freed from subjection to the law as transgressors, and be reconciled to the law as righteous. So the same apostle says: "For before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which was afterwards revealed. Therefore the law was our schoolmaster in Christ Jesus; but after faith came, we are no longer under a schoolmaster." [674]That is, we are no longer subject to the penalty of the law, because we are set free by grace. Before we received in humility the grace of the Spirit, the letter was only death to us, for it required obedience which we could not render. Thus Paul also says: "The letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life." [675]Again, he says: "For if a law had been given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law; but the Scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe." [676]And once more: "What the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sent His Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, that by sin He might condemn sin in the flesh, that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." [677]Here we see Christ coming not to destroy the law, but to fulfill it. As the law brought the proud under the guilt of transgression, increasing their sin by commandments which they could not obey, so the righteousness of the same law is fulfilled by the grace of the Spirit in those who learn from Christ to be meek and lowly in heart; for Christ came not to destroy the law, but to fulfill it. Moreover, because even for those who are under grace it is difficult in this mortal life perfectly to keep what is written in the law, Thou shall not covet, Christ, by the sacrifice of His flesh, as our Priest obtains pardon for us. And in this also He fulfills the law; for what we fail in through weakness is supplied by His perfection, who is the Head, while we are His members. Thus John says: "My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not; and if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: He is the propitiation for our sins." [678]

8. Christ also fulfilled the prophecies, because the promises of God were made good in Him. As the apostle says in the verse quoted above, "The promises of God are in Him yea." Again, he says: "Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers." [679]Whatever, then, was promised in the prophets, whether expressly or in figure, whether by words or by actions, was fulfilled in Him who came not to destroy the law and the prophets, but to fulfill them. You do not perceive that if Christians were to continue in the use of acts and observances by which things to come were prefigured, the only meaning would be that the things prefigured had not yet come. Either the thing prefigured has not come, or if it has, the figure becomes superfluous or misleading. Therefore, if Christians do not practise some things enjoined in the Hebrews by the prophets, this, so far from showing, as you think, that Christ did not fulfill the prophets, rather shows that He did. So completely did Christ fulfill what these types prefigured, that it is no longer prefigured. So the Lord Himself says: "The law and the prophets were until John." [680]For the law which shut up transgressors in increased guilt, and to the faith which was afterwards revealed, became grace through Jesus Christ, by whom grace superabounded. Thus the law, which was not fulfilled in the requirement of the letter, was fulfilled in the liberty of grace. In the same way, everything in the law that was prophetic of the Saviour's advent, whether in words or in typical actions, became truth in Jesus Christ. For "the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ." [681]At Christ's advent the kingdom of God began to be preached; for the law and the prophets were until John: the law, that its transgressors might desire salvation; the prophets, that they might foretell the Saviour. No doubt there have been prophets in the Church since the ascension of Christ. Of these prophets Paul says: "God hath set some in the Church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers," and so on. [682]It is not of these prophets that it was said, "The law and the prophets were until John," but of those who prophesied the first coming of Christ, which evidently cannot be prophesied now that it has taken place.

9. Accordingly, when you ask why a Christian is not circumcised if Christ came not to destroy the law, but to fulfill it, my reply is, that a Christian is not circumcised precisely for this reason, that what was prefigured by circumcision is fulfilled in Christ. Circumcision was the type of the removal of our fleshly nature, which was fulfilled in the resurrection of Christ, and which the sacrament of baptism teaches us to look forward to in our own resurrection. The sacrament of the new life is not wholly discontinued, for our resurrection from the dead is still to come; but this sacrament has been improved by the substitution of baptism for circumcision, because now a pattern of the eternal life which is to come is afforded us in the resurrection of Christ, whereas formerly there was nothing of the kind. So, when you ask why a Christian does not keep the Sabbath, if Christ came not to destroy the law, but to fulfill it, my reply is, that a Christian does not keep the Sabbath precisely because what was prefigured in the Sabbath is fulfilled in Christ. For we have our Sabbath in Him who said, "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls." [683]

10. When you ask why a Christian does not observe the distinction in food as enjoined in the law, if Christ came not to destroy the law, but to fulfill it, I reply, that a Christian does not observe this distinction precisely because what was thus prefigured is now fulfilled in Christ, who admits into His body, which in His saints He has predestined to eternal life, nothing which in human conduct corresponds to the characteristics of the forbidden animals. When you ask, again, why a Christian does not offer sacrifices to God of the flesh and blood of slain animals, if Christ came not to destroy the law, but to fulfill it, I reply, that it would be improper for a Christian to offer such sacrifices, now that what was thus prefigured has been fulfilled in Christ's offering of His own body and blood. When you ask why a Christian does not keep the feast of unleavened bread as the Jews did, if Christ came not to destroy the law, but to fulfill it, I reply, that a Christian does not keep this feast precisely because what was thus prefigured is fulfilled in Christ, who leads us to a new life by purging out the leaven of the old life. [684]When you ask why a Christian does not keep the feast of the paschal lamb, if Christ came not to destroy the law, but to fulfill it, my reply is, that he does not keep it precisely because what was thus prefigured has been fulfilled in the sufferings of Christ, the Lamb without spot. When you ask why a Christian does not keep the feasts of the new moon appointed in the law, if Christ came not to destroy the law, but to fulfill it, I reply, that he does not keep them precisely because what was thus prefigured is fulfilled in Christ. For the feast of the new moon prefigured the new creature, of which the apostle says: "If therefore there is any new creature in Christ Jesus, the old things have passed away; behold, all things are become new." [685]When you ask why a Christian does not observe the baptisms for various kinds of uncleanness according to the law, if Christ came not to destroy the law, but to fulfill it, I reply, that he does not observe them precisely because they were figures of things to come, which Christ has fulfilled. For He came to bury us with Himself by baptism into death, that as Christ rose again from the dead, so we also should walk in newness of life. [686]When you ask why Christians do not keep the feast of tabernacles, if the law is not destroyed, but fulfilled by Christ, I reply that believers are God's tabernacle, in whom, as they are united and built together in love, God condescends to dwell, so that Christians do not keep this feast precisely because what was thus prefigured is now fulfilled by Christ in His Church.

11. I touch upon these things merely in passing with the utmost brevity, rather than omit them altogether. The subjects, taken separately, have filled many large volumes, written to prove that these observances were typical of Christ. So it appears that all the things in the Old Testament which you think are not observed by Christians because Christ destroyed the law, are in fact not observed because Christ fulfilled the law. The very intention of the observances was to prefigure Christ. Now that Christ has come, instead of its being strange or absurd that what was done to prefigure His advent should not be done any more, it is perfectly right and reasonable. The typical observances intended to prefigure the coming of Christ would be observed still, had they not been fulfilled by the coming of Christ; so far is it from being the case that our not observing them now is any proof of their not being fulfilled by Christ's coming. There can be no religious society, whether the religion be true or false, without some sacrament or visible symbol to serve as a bond of union. The importance of these sacraments cannot be overstated, and only scoffers will treat them lightly. For if piety requires them, it must be impiety to neglect them.

12. It is true, the ungodly may partake in the visible sacraments of godliness, as we read that Simon Magus received holy baptism. Such are they of whom the apostle says that "they have the form of godliness, but deny the power of it." [687]The power of godliness is the end of the commandment, that is, love out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned. [688]So the Apostle Peter, speaking of the sacrament of the ark, in which the family of Noah was saved from the deluge, says, "So by a similar figure baptism also saves you." And lest they should rest content with the visible sacrament, by which they had the form of godliness, and should deny its power in their lives by profligate conduct, he immediately adds, "Not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience." [689]

13. Thus the sacraments of the Old Testament, which were celebrated in obedience to the law, were types of Christ who was to come; and when Christ fulfilled them by His advent they were done away, and were done away because they were fulfilled. For Christ came not to destroy, but to fulfill. And now that the righteousness of faith is revealed, and the children of God are called into liberty, and the yoke of bondage which was required for a carnal and stiffnecked people is taken away, other sacraments are instituted, greater in efficacy, more beneficial in their use, easier in performance, and fewer in number.

14. And if the righteous men of old, who saw in the sacraments of their time the promise of a future revelation of faith, which even then their piety enabled them to discern in the dim light of prophecy, and by which they lived, for the just can live only by faith; [690] if, then, these righteous men of old were ready to suffer, as many actually did suffer, all trials and tortures for the sake of those typical sacraments which prefigured things in the future; if we praise the three children and Daniel, because they refused to be defiled by meat from the king's table, from their regard for the sacrament of their day; if we feel the strongest admiration for the Maccabees, who refused to touch food which Christians lawfully use; [691] how much more should a Christian in our day be ready to suffer all things for Christ's baptism, for Christ's Eucharist, for Christ's sacred sign, since these are proofs of the accomplishment of what the former sacraments only pointed forward to in the future! For what is still promised to the Church, the body of Christ, is both clearly made known, and in the Saviour Himself, the Head of the body, the Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, has already been accomplished. Is not the promise of eternal life by resurrection from the dead? This we see fulfilled in the flesh of Him of whom it is said, that the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. [692]In former days faith was dim, for the saints and righteous men of those times all believed and hoped for the same things, and all these sacraments and ceremonies pointed to the future; but now we have the revelation of the faith to which the people were shut up under the law; [693] and what is now promised to believers in the judgment is already accomplished in the example of Him who came not to destroy the law and the prophets, but to fulfill them.

15. It is a question among the students of the sacred Scriptures, whether the faith in Christ before His passion and resurrection, which the righteous men of old learned by revelation or gathered from prophecy, had the same efficacy as faith has now that Christ has suffered and risen; or whether the actual shedding of the blood of the Lamb of God, which was, as He Himself says, for many for the remission of sins, [694] conferred any benefit in the way of purifying or adding to the purity of those who looked forward in faith to the death of Christ, but left the world before it took place; whether, in fact, Christ's death reached to the dead, so as to effect their liberation. To discuss this question here, or to prove what has been ascertained on the subject, would take too long, besides being foreign from our present purpose.

16. Meanwhile it is sufficient to prove, in opposition to Faustus' ignorant cavils, how greatly they mistake who conclude, from the change in signs and sacraments, that there must be a difference in the things which were prefigured in the rites of a prophetic dispensation, and which are declared to be accomplished in the rites of the gospel; or those, on the other hand, who think that as the things are the same, the sacraments which announce their accomplishment should not differ from the sacraments which foretold that accomplishment. For if in language the form of the verb changes in the number of letters and syllables according to the tense, as done signifies the past, and to be done the future, why should not the symbols which declare Christ's death and resurrection to be accomplished, differ from those which predicted their accomplishment, as we see a difference in the form and sound of the words, past and future, suffered and to suffer, risen and to rise? For material symbols are nothing else than visible speech, which, though sacred, is changeable and transitory. For while God is eternal, the water of baptism, and all that is material in the sacrament, is transitory: the very word "God," which must be pronounced in the consecration, is a sound which passes in a moment. The actions and sounds pass away, but their efficacy remains the same, and the spiritual gift thus communicated is eternal. To say, therefore, that if Christ had not destroyed the law and the prophets, the sacraments of the law and the prophets would continue to be observed in the congregations of the Christian Church, is the same as to say that if Christ had not destroyed the law and the prophets, He would still be predicted as about to be born, to suffer, and to rise again; whereas, in fact, it is proved that He did not destroy, but fulfill those things, because the prophecies of His birth, and passion, and resurrection, which were represented in these ancient sacraments, have ceased, and the sacraments now observed by Christians contain the announcement that He has been born, has suffered, has risen. He who came not to destroy the law and the prophets, but to fulfill them, by this fulfillment did away with those things which foretold the accomplishment of what is thus shown to be now accomplished. Precisely in the same way, he might substitute for the expressions, "He is to be born, is to suffer, is to rise," which were in these times appropriate, the expressions, "He has been born, has suffered, has risen," which are appropriate now that the others are accomplished, and so done away.

17. Corresponding to this change in words is the change which naturally took place in the substitution of new sacraments instead of those of the Old Testament. In the case of the first Christians, who came to the faith as Jews, it was by degrees that they were brought to change their customs, and to have a clear perception of the truth; and permission was given them by the apostle to preserve their hereditary worship and belief, in which they had been born and brought up; and those who had to do with them were required to make allowance for this reluctance to accept new customs. So the apostle circumcised Timothy, the son of a Jewish mother and a Greek father, when they went among people of this kind; and he himself accommodated his practice to theirs, not hypocritically, but for a wise purpose. For these practices were harmless in the case of those born and brought up in them, though they were no longer required to prefigure things to come. It would have done more harm to condemn them as hurtful in the case of those to whose time it was intended that they should continue. Christ, who came to fulfill all these prophecies, found those people trained in their own religion. But in the case of those who had no such training, but were brought to Christ, the corner-stone, from the opposite wall of circumcision, there was no obligation to adopt Jewish customs. If, indeed, like Timothy, they chose to accommodate themselves to the views of those of the circumcision who were still wedded to their old sacraments, they were free to do so. But if they supposed that their hope and salvation depended on these works of the law, they were warned against them as a fatal danger. So the apostle says: "Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing;" [695] that is, if they were circumcised, as they were intending to be, in compliance with some corrupt teachers, who told them that without these works of the law they could not be saved. For when, chiefly through the preaching of the Apostle Paul, the Gentiles were coming to the faith of Christ, as it was proper that they should come, without being burdened with Jewish observances--for those who were grown up were deterred from the faith by fear of ceremonies to which they were not accustomed, especially of circumcision; and if they who had not been trained from their birth to such observances had been made proselytes in the usual way, it would have implied that the coming of Christ still required to be predicted as a future event;--when, then, the Gentiles were admitted without these ceremonies, those of the circumcision who believed, not understanding why the Gentiles were not required to adopt their customs, nor why they themselves were still allowed to retain them, began to disturb the Church with carnal contentions, because the Gentiles were admitted into the people of God without being made proselytes in the usual way by circumcision and the other legal observances. Some also of the converted Gentiles were bent on these ceremonies, from fear of the Jews among whom they lived. Against these Gentiles the Apostle Paul often wrote, and when Peter was carried away by their hypocrisy, he corrected him with a brotherly rebuke. [696]Afterwards, when the apostles met in council, decreed that these works of the law were not obligatory in the case of the Gentiles, [697] some Christians of the circumcision were displeased, because they failed to understand that these observances were permissible only in those who had been trained in them before the revelation of faith, to bring to a close the prophetic life in those who were engaged in it before the prophecy was fulfilled, lest by a compulsory abandonment it should seem to be condemned rather than closed; while to lay these things on the Gentiles would imply either that they were not instituted to prefigure Christ, or that Christ was still to be prefigured. The ancient people of God, before Christ came to fulfill the law and the prophets, were required to observe all these things by which Christ was prefigured. It was freedom to those who understood the meaning of the observance, but it was bondage to those who did not. But the people in those latter times who come to believe in Christ as having already come, and suffered, and risen, in the case of those whom this faith found trained to those sacraments, are neither required to observe them, nor prohibited from doing so; while there is a prohibition in the case of those who were not bound by the ties of custom, or by any necessity, to accommodate themselves to the practice of others, so that it might become manifest that these things were instituted to prefigure Christ, and that after His coming they were to cease, because the promises had been fulfilled. Some believers of the circumcision who did not understand this were displeased with this tolerant arrangement which the Holy Spirit effected through the apostles, and stubbornly insisted on the Gentiles becoming Jews. These are the people of whom Faustus speaks under the name of Symmachians or Nazareans. Their number is now very small, but the sect still continues.

18. The Manichæans, therefore have no ground for saying, in disparagement of the law and the prophets, that Christ came to destroy rather than to fulfill them, because Christians do not observe what is there enjoined: for the only things which they do not observe are those that prefigured Christ, and these are not observed because their fulfillment is in Christ, and what is fulfilled is no longer prefigured; the typical observances having properly come to a close in the time of those who, after being trained in such things, had come to believe in Christ as their fulfillment. Do not Christians observe the precept of Scripture "Hear, O Israel; the Lord thy God is one God;" "Thou shalt not make unto thee an image," and so on? Do make Christians not observe the precept, "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain?" Do Christians not observe the Sabbath, even in the sense of a true rest? Do Christians not honor their parents, according to the commandment? Do Christians not abstain from fornication, and murder, and theft, and false witness, from coveting their neighbor's wife, and from coveting his property,--all of which things are written in the law? These moral precepts are distinct from typical sacraments: the former are fulfilled by the aid of divine grace, the latter by the accomplishment of what they promise. Both are fulfilled in Christ, who has ever been the bestower of this grace, which is also now revealed in Him, and who now makes manifest the accomplishment of what He in former times promised; for "the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ." [698] Again, these things which concern the keeping of a good conscience are fulfilled in the faith which worketh by love; [699] while types of the future pass away when they are accomplished. But even the types are not destroyed, but fulfilled; for Christ, in bringing to light what the types signified, does not prove them vain or illusory.

19. Faustus, therefore, is wrong in supposing that the Lord Jesus fulfilled some precepts of righteous men who lived before the law of Moses, such as, "Thou shall not kill," which Christ did not oppose, but rather confirmed by His prohibition of anger and abuse; and that He destroyed some things apparently peculiar to the Hebrew law, such as, "An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth," which Christ seems rather to abolish than to confirm, when He says, "But I say unto you, that ye resist not evil; but if any one smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also," [700] and so on. But we say that even these things which Faustus thinks Christ destroyed by enjoining the opposite, were suitable to the times of the Old Testament, and were not destroyed, but fulfilled by Christ.

20. In the first place let me ask our opponents if these ancient righteous men, Enoch and Seth, whom Faustus mentions particularly, and any others who lived before Moses, or even, if you choose, before Abraham, were angry with their brother without a cause, or said to their brother, Thou fool. If not, why may they not have taught these things as well as preached them? And if they taught these things, how can Christ be said to have fulfilled their righteousness or their teaching, any more than that of Moses, by adding, "But I say unto you, if any man is angry with his brother, or if he says Racha, or if he says, Thou fool, he shall be in danger of the judgment, or of the council, or of hell-fire," since these men did these very things themselves, and enjoined them upon others? Will it be said that they were ignorant of its being the duty of a righteous man to restrain his passion, and not to provoke his brother with angry abuse; or that, knowing this, they were unable to act accordingly? In that case, they deserved the punishment of hell, and could not have been righteous. But no one will venture to say that in their righteousness there was such ignorance of duty, and such a want of self-control, as to make them liable to the punishment of hell. How, then, can Christ be said to have fulfilled the law, by which these men lived by means of adding things without which they could have had no righteousness at all? Will it be said that a hasty temper and bad language are sinful only since the time of Christ, while formerly such qualities of the heart and speech were allowable; as we find some institutions vary according to the times, so that what is proper at one time is improper at another, and vice versa? You will not be so foolish as to make this assertion. But even were you to do so, the reply will be that, according to this idea, Christ came not to fulfill what was defective in the old law, but to institute a law which did not previously exist; if it is true that with the righteous men of old it was not a sin to say to their brother, Thou fool, which Christ pronounces so sinful, that whoever does so is in danger of hell. So, then, you have not succeeded in finding any law of which it can be said that Christ supplied its defect by these additions.

21. Will it be said that the law in these early times was incomplete as regards not committing adultery, till it was completed by the Lord, who added that no one should look on a woman to lust after her? This is what you imply in the way you quote the words, "Ye have heard that it has been said, Thou shalt not commit adultery: but I say unto you, Do not lust even." "Here," you say, "is the fulfillment." But let us take the words as they stand in the Gospel, without any of your modifications, and see what character you give to those righteous men of antiquity. The words are: "Ye have heard that it has been said, thou shall not commit adultery; but I say unto you, that whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her, hath committed adultery with her already in his heart." [701]In your opinion, then, Enoch and Seth, and the rest, committed adultery in their hearts; and either their heart was not the temple of God, or they committed adultery in the temple of God. But if you dare not say this, how can you say that Christ, when He came, fulfilled the law, which was already in the time of those men complete?

22. As regards not swearing, in which also you say that Christ completed the law given to these righteous men of antiquity, I cannot be certain that they did not swear, for we find that Paul the apostle swore. With you, swearing is still a common practice, for you swear by the light, which you love as flies do; for the light of the mind which lighteth every man that cometh into the world, as distinct from mere natural light, you know nothing of. You swear, too, by your master Manichæus, whose name in his own tongue was Manes. As the name Manes seemed to be connected with the Greek word for madness, you have changed it by adding a suffix, which only makes matters worse, by giving the new meaning of pouring forth madness. One of your own sect told me that the name Manichæus was intended to be derived from the Greek words for pouring forth manna; for cheein means to pour. But, as it is, you only express the idea of madness with greater emphasis. For by adding the two syllables, while you have forgotten to insert another letter in the beginning of the word, you make it not Mannichæus, but Manichæus; which must mean that he pours forth madness in his long unprofitable discourses. Again, you often swear by the Paraclete,--not the Paraclete promised and sent by Christ to His disciples, but this same madness-pourer himself. Since, then, you are constantly swearing, I should like to know in what sense you make Christ to have fulfilled this part of the law, which is one you mention as belonging to the earliest times. And what do you make of the oaths of the apostle? For as to your authority, it cannot weigh much with yourselves, not to speak of me or any other person. It is therefore evident that Christ's words, "I am come not to destroy the law, but to fulfill it," have not the meaning which you give them. Christ makes no reference in these words to His comments on the ancient sayings which He quotes, and of which His discourse was an explanation, but not a fulfillment.

23. Thus, as regards murder, which was understood to mean merely the destruction of the body, by which a man is deprived of life, the Lord explained that every unjust disposition to injure our brother is a kind of murder. So John also says, "He that hateth his brother is a murderer." [702]And as it was thought that adultery meant only the act of unlawful intercourse with a woman, the Master showed that the lust He describes is also adultery. Again, because perjury is a heinous sin, while there is no sin either in not swearing at all or in swearing truly, the Lord wished to secure us from departing from the truth by not swearing at all, rather than that we should be in danger of perjury by being in the habit of swearing truly. For one who never swears is less in danger of swearing falsely than one who is in the habit of swearing truly. So, in the discourses of the apostle which are recorded, he never used an oath, lest he should ever fall unawares into perjury from being in the habit of swearing. In his writings, on the other hand, where he had more leisure and opportunity for caution, we find him using oaths in several places, [703] to teach us that there is no sin in swearing truly, but that, on account of the infirmity of human nature, we are best preserved from perjury by not swearing at all. These considerations will also make it evident that the things which Faustus supposes to be peculiar to Moses were not destroyed by Christ, as he says they were.

24. To take, for instance, this saying of the ancients, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy," how does Faustus make out that this is peculiar to Moses? Does not the Apostle Paul speak of some men as hateful to God? [704]And, indeed, in connection with this saying, the Lord enjoins on us that we should imitate God. His words are: "That ye may be the children of your Father in heaven, who maketh the sun to rise upon the evil and the good, and sendeth rain on the just and the unjust." [705]In one sense we must hate our enemies, after the example of God, to whom Paul says some men are hateful; while, at the same time, we must also love our enemies after the example of God, who makes the sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sendeth rain on the just and the unjust. If we understand this, we shall find that the Lord, in explaining to those who did not rightly understand the saying, Thou shalt hate thine enemy, made use of it to show that they should love their enemy, which was a new idea to them. It would take too long to show the consistency of the two things here. But when the Manichæans condemn without exception the precept, Thou shall hate thine enemy, they may easily be met with the question whether their god loves the race of darkness. Or, if we should love our enemies now, because they have a part of good, should we not also hate them as having a part of evil? So even in this way it would appear that there is no opposition between the saying of ancient times, Thou shall hate thine enemy, and that of the Gospel, Love your enemies. For every wicked man should be hated as far as he is wicked; while he should be loved as a man. The vice which we rightly hate in him is to be condemned, that by its removal the human nature which we rightly love in him may be amended. This is precisely the principle we maintain, that we should hate our enemy for what is evil in him, that is, for his wickedness; while we also love our enemy for that which is good in him, that is, for his nature as a social and rational being. The difference between us and the Manichæans is, that we prove the man to be wicked, not by nature, either his own or any other, but by his own will; whereas they think that a man is evil on account of the nature of the race of darkness, which, according to them, was an object of dread to God when he existed entire, and by which also he was partly conquered, so that he cannot be entirely set free. The intention of the Lord, then, is to correct those who, from knowing without understanding what was said by them of old time, Thou shalt hate thine enemy, hated their fellow-men instead of only hating their wickedness; and for this purpose He says, Love your enemies. Instead of destroying what is written about hatred of enemies in the law, of which He said, "I am come not to destroy the law, but to fulfill it," He would have us learn, from the duty of loving our enemies, how it is possible in the case of one and the same person, both to hate him for his sin, and to love him for his nature. It is too much to expect our perverse opponents to understand this. But we can silence them, by showing that by their irrational objection they condemn their own god, of whom they cannot say that he loves the race of darkness; so that in enjoining on every one to love his enemy, they cannot quote his example. There would appear to be more love of their enemy in the race of darkness than in the god of the Manichæans. The story is, that the race of darkness coveted the domain of light bordering on their territory, and, from a desire to possess it, formed the plan of invading it. Nor is there any sin in desiring true goodness and blessedness. For the Lord says, "The kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force." [706]This fabulous race of darkness, then, wished to take by force the good they desired, for its beautiful and attractive appearance. But God, instead of returning the love of those who wished to possess Him, hated it so as to endeavor to annihilate them. If, therefore, the evil love the good in the desire to possess it, while the good hate the evil in fear of being defiled, I ask the Manichæans, which of these obeys the precept of the Lord, "Love your enemies"? If you insist on making these precepts opposed to one another, it will follow that your god obeyed what is written in the law of Moses, "Thou shall hate thine enemy"; while the race of darkness obeyed what is written in the Gospel, "Love your enemies." However, you have never succeeded in explaining the difference between the flies that fly in the day-time and the moths that fly at night; for both, according to you, belong to the race of darkness. How is it that one kind love the light, contrary to their nature; while the other kind avoid it, and prefer the darkness from which they sprung? Strange, that filthy sewers should breed a cleaner sort than dark closets!

25. Nor, again, is there any opposition between that which was said by them of old time, "An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth," and what the Lord says, "But I say unto you, that ye resist not evil; but if any one smiteth thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also," and so on. [707]The old precept as well as the new is intended to check the vehemence of hatred, and to curb the impetuosity of angry passion. For who will of his own accord be satisfied with a revenge equal to the injury? Do we not see men, only slightly hurt, eager for slaughter, thirsting for blood, as if they could never make their enemy suffer enough? If a man receives a blow, does he not summon his assailant, that he may be condemned in the court of law? Or if he prefers to return the blow, does he not fall upon the man with hand and heel, or perhaps with a weapon, if he can get hold of one? To put a restraint upon a revenge so unjust from its excess, the law established the principle of compensation, that the penalty should correspond to the injury inflicted. So the precept, "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth," instead of being a brand to kindle a fire that was quenched, was rather a covering to prevent the fire already kindled from spreading. For there is a just revenge due to the injured person from his assailant; so that when we pardon, we give up what we might justly claim. Thus, in the Lord's prayer, we are taught to forgive others their debts that God may forgive us our debts. There is no injustice in asking back a debt, though there is kindness in forgiving it. But as, in swearing, one who swears, even though truly, is in danger of perjury, of which one is in no danger who never swears; and while swearing truly is not a sin, we are further from sin by not swearing; so that the command not to swear is a guard against perjury: in the same way since it is sinful to wish to be revenged with an unjust excess, though there is no sin in wishing for revenge within the limits of justice, the man who wishes for no revenge at all is further from the sin of an unjust revenge. It is sin to demand more than is due, though it is no sin to demand a debt. And the best security against the sin of making an unjust demand is to demand nothing, especially considering the danger of being compelled to pay the debt to Him who is indebted to none. Thus, I would explain the passage as follows: It has been said by them of old time, Thou shall not take unjust revenge; but I say, Take no revenge at all: here is the fulfillment. It is thus that Faustus, after quoting, "It has been said, Thou shall not swear falsely; but I say unto you, swear not at all," adds: here is the fulfillment. I might use the same expression if I thought that by the addition of these words Christ supplied a defect in the law, and not rather that the intention of the law to prevent unjust revenge is best secured by not taking revenge at all, in the same way as the intention to prevent perjury is best secured by not swearing at all. For if "an eye for an eye" is opposed to "If any one smite thee on the cheek, turn to him the other also," is there not as much opposition between "Thou shalt perform unto the Lord thine oath," and "Swear not at all?" [708]If Faustus thinks that there is not destruction, but fulfillment, in the one case, he ought to think the same of the other. For if "Swear not" is the fulfillment of "Swear truly," why should not "Take no revenge" be the fulfillment of "Take revenge justly"?

So, according to my interpretation, there is in both cases a guard against sin, either of false swearing or of unjust revenge; though, as regards giving up the right to revenge, there is the additional consideration that, by forgiving such debts, we shall obtain the forgiveness of our debts. The old precept was required in the case of a self-willed people, to teach them not to be extravagant in their demands. Thus, when the rage eager for unrestrained vengeance, was subdued, there would be leisure for any one so disposed to consider the desirableness of having his own debt cancelled by the Lord, and so to be led by this consideration to forgive the debt of his fellow-servant.

26. Again, we shall find on examination, that there is no opposition between the precept of the Lord about not putting away a wife, and what was said by them of old time: "Whosoever putteth away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement." [709]The Lord explains the intention of the law, which required a bill of divorce in every case where a wife was put away. The precept not to put away a wife is the opposite of saying that a man may put away his wife if he pleases; which is not what the law says. On the contrary, to prevent the wife from being put away, the law required this intermediate step, that the eagerness for separation might be checked by the writing of the bill, and the man might have time to think of the evil of putting away his wife; especially since, as it is said, among the Hebrews it was unlawful for any but the scribes to write Hebrew: for the scribes claimed the possession of superior wisdom; and if they were men of upright and pious character, their pursuits might justly entitle them to make this claim. In requiring, therefore, that in putting away his wife, a man should give her a writing of divorcement, the design was that he should be obliged to have recourse to those from whom he might expect to receive a cautious interpretation of the law, and suitable advice against separation. Having no other way of getting the bill written, the man should be obliged to submit to their direction, and to allow of their endeavors to restore peace and harmony between him and his wife. In a case where the hatred could not be overcome or checked, the bill would of course be written. A wife might with reason be put away when wise counsel failed to restore the proper feeling and affection in the mind of her husband. If the wife is not loved, she is to be put away. And that she may not be put away, it is the husband's duty to love her. Now, while a man cannot be forced to love against his will, he may be influenced by advice and persuasion. This was the duty of the scribe, as a wise and upright man; and the law gave him the opportunity, by requiring the husband in all cases of quarrel to go to him, to get the bill of divorcement written. No good or prudent man would write the bill unless it were a case of such obstinate aversion as to make reconciliation impossible. But according to your impious notions, there can be nothing in putting away a wife; for matrimony, according to you, is a criminal indulgence. The word "matrimony" shows that a man takes a wife in order that she may become a mother, which would be an evil in your estimation. According to you, this would imply that part of your god is overcome and captured by the race of darkness, and bound in the fetters of flesh.

27. But, to explain the point in hand: If Christ, in adding the words, "But I say unto you," to the quotations He makes of ancient sayings, neither fulfilled the law of primitive times by His additions, nor destroyed the law given to Moses by opposite precepts, but rather paid such deference to the Hebrew law in all the quotations He made from it, as to make His own remarks chiefly explanatory of what the law stated less distinctly, or a means of securing the design intended by the law, it follows that from the words, "I came not to destroy the law, but to fulfill it" we are not to understand that Christ by His precepts filled up what was wanting in the law; but that what the literal command failed in doing from the pride and disobedience of men, is accomplished by grace in those who are brought to repentance and humility. The fulfillment is not in additional words, but in acts of obedience. So the apostle says "Faith worketh by love;" [710] and again, He that loveth another hath fulfilled the law." [711]This love, by which also the righteousness of the law can be fulfilled was bestowed in its significance by Christ in His coming, through the spirit which He sent according to His promise; and therefore He said, "I came not to destroy the law, but to fulfill it." This is the New Testament in which the promise of the kingdom of heaven is made to this love; which was typified in the Old Testament, suitably to the times of that dispensation. So Christ says again; "A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another." [712]

28. So we find in the Old Testament all or nearly all the counsels and precepts which Christ introduces with the words "But I say unto you." Against anger it is written, "Mine eyes troubled because of anger;" [713] and again, "Better is he that conquers his anger, than he that taketh a city." [714]Against hard words, "The stroke of a whip maketh a wound; but the stroke of the tongue breaketh the bones." [715]Against adultery in the heart, "Thou shall not covet thy neighbor's wife." [716]It is not, "Thou shall not commit adultery;" but, "Thou shall not covet." The apostle, in quoting this, says: "I had not known lust, unless the law had said, Thou shalt not covet." [717]Regarding patience in not offering resistance, a man is praised who "giveth his cheek to him that smiteth him, and who is filled full with reproach." [718]Of love to enemies it is said: "If thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink." [719] This also is quoted by the apostle. [720]In the Psalm, too, it is said, "I was a peace maker among them that hated peace;" [721] and in many similar passages. In connection also with our imitating God in refraining from taking revenge, and in loving even the wicked, there is a passage containing a full description of God in this character; for it is written: "To Thee alone ever belongeth great strength, and who can withstand the power of Thine arm? For the whole world before Thee is as a little grain of the balance; yea, as a drop of the morning dew that falleth down upon the earth. But Thou hast mercy upon all, for Thou canst do all things, and winkest at the sins of men, because of repentance. For Thou lovest all things that are, and abhorrest nothing which Thou hast made; for never wouldest Thou have made anything if Thou hadst hated it. And how could anything have endured, if it had not been Thy will? or been preserved, if not called by Thee? But Thou sparest all; for they are Thine, O Lord, Thou lover of souls. For Thy good Spirit is in all things; therefore chastenest Thou them by little and little that offend, and warnest them by putting them in remembrance wherein they have offended, that learning their wickedness, they may believe in Thee, O Lord." [722]Christ exhorts us to imitate this long-suffering goodness of God, who maketh the sun to rise upon the evil and the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust; that we may not be careful to revenge, but may do good to them that hate us, and so may be perfect, even as our Father in heaven is perfect. [723]From another passage in these ancient books we learn that, by not exacting the vengeance due to us, we obtain the remission of our own sins; and that by not forgiving the debts of others, we incur the danger of being refused forgiveness when we pray for the remission of our own debts: "He that revengeth shall find vengeance from the Lord, and He will surely keep his sin in remembrance. Forgive thy neighbor the hurt that he hath done to thee; so shall thy sins also be forgiven when thou prayest. One man beareth hatred against another, and doth he seek pardon of the Lord? He showeth no mercy to a man who is like himself; and doth he ask forgiveness of his own sins? If he that is but flesh nourishes hatred, and asks for favor from the Lord, who will entreat for the pardon of his sins?" [724]

29. As regards not putting away a wife, there is no need to quote any other passage of the Old Testament than that referred to most appropriately in the Lord's reply to the Jews when they questioned Him on this subject. For when they asked whether it is lawful for a man to put away his wife for any reason, the Lord answered: "Have ye not read, that He that made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and they two shall be one flesh? Therefore they are no longer twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined, let no man put asunder." [725]Here the Jews, who thought that they acted according to the intention of the law of Moses in putting away their wives, are made to see from the book of Moses that a wife should not be put away. And, by the way, we learn here, from Christ's own declaration, that God made and joined male and female; so that by denying this, the Manichæans are guilty of opposing the gospel of Christ as well as the writings of Moses. And supposing their doctrine to be true, that the devil made and joined male and female, we see the diabolical cunning of Faustus in finding fault with Moses for dissolving marriages by granting a bill of divorce, and praising Christ for strengthening the union by the precept in the Gospel. Instead of this, Faustus, consistently with his own foolish and impious notions, should have praised Moses for separating what was made and joined by the devil, and should have blamed Christ for ratifying a bond of the devil's workmanship. To return, let us hear the good Master explain how Moses, who wrote of the conjugal chastity in the first union of male and female as so holy and inviolable, afterwards allowed the people to put away their wives. For when the Jews replied, "Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away?" Christ said unto them, "Moses, because of the hardness of your heart, suffered you to put away your wives." [726]This passage we have already explained. [727]The hardness must have been great indeed which could not be induced to admit the restoration of wedded love, even though by means of the writing an opportunity was afforded for advice to be given to this effect by wise and upright men. Then the Lord quoted the same law, to show both what was enjoined on the good and what was permitted to the hard; for, from what is written of the union of male and female, He proved that a wife must not be put away, and pointed out the divine authority for the union; and shows from the same Scriptures that a bill of divorcement was to be given because of the hardness of the heart, which might be subdued or might not.

30. Since, then, all these excellent precepts of the Lord, which Faustus tries to prove to be contrary to the old books of the Hebrews, are found in these very books, the only sense in which the Lord came not to destroy the law, but to fulfill it, is this, that besides the fulfillment of the prophetic types, which are set aside by their actual accomplishment, the precepts also, in which the law is holy, and just, and good, are fulfilled in us, not by the oldness of the letter which commands, and increases the offence of the proud by the additional guilt of transgression, but by the newness of the Spirit, who aids us, and by the obedience of the humble, through the saving grace which sets us free. For, while all these sublime precepts are found in the ancient books, still the end to which they point is not there revealed; although the holy men who foresaw the revelation lived in accordance with it, either veiling it in prophecy as suited the time, or themselves discovering the truth thus veiled.

31. I am disposed, after careful examination, to doubt whether the expression so often used by the Lord, "the kingdom of heaven," can be found in these books. It is said, indeed, "Love wisdom, that ye may reign for ever." [728]And if eternal life had not been clearly made known in the Old Testament, the Lord would not have said, as He did even to the unbelieving Jews: "Search the Scriptures, for in them ye think that ye have eternal life, and they are they that testify of me." [729]And to the same effect are the words of the Psalmist: "I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord." [730] And again: "Enlighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death." [731]Again, we read, "The souls of the righteous are in the hand of the Lord, and pain shall not touch them;" and immediately following: "They are in peace; and if they have suffered torture from men, their hope is full of immortality; and after a few trouble, they shall enjoy many rewards." [732]Again, in another place: "The righteous shall live for ever, and their reward is with the Lord, and their concern with the Highest; therefore shall they receive from the hand of the Lord a kingdom of glory and a crown of beauty." [733]These and many similar declarations of eternal life, in more or less explicit terms, are found in these writings. Even the resurrection of the body is spoken of by the prophets. The Pharisees, accordingly, were fierce opponents of the Sadducees, who disbelieved the resurrection. This we learn not only from the canonical Acts of the Apostles, which the Manichæans reject, because it tells of the advent of the Paraclete promised by the Lord, but also from the Gospel, when the Sadducees question the Lord about the woman who married seven brothers, one dying after the other, whose wife she would be in the resurrection. [734]As regards, then, eternal life and the resurrection of the dead, numerous testimonies are to be found in these Scriptures. But I do not find there the expression, "the kingdom of heaven." This expression belongs properly to the revelation of the New Testament, because in the resurrection our earthly bodies shall, by that change which Paul fully describes, become spiritual bodies, and so heavenly, that thus we may possess the kingdom of heaven. And this expression was reserved for Him whose advent as King to govern and Priest to sanctify His believing people, was ushered in by all the symbolism of the old covenant, in its genealogies, its typical acts and words, its sacrifices and ceremonies and feasts, and in all its prophetic utterances and events and figures. He came full of grace and truth, in His grace helping us to obey the precepts, and in His truth securing the accomplishment of the promises. He came not to destroy the law, but to fulfill it.

Footnotes

[661] Rom. viii. 2. [662] Rom. ii. 14, 15. [663] Rom. viii. 2. [664] Tit. i. 12. [665] Matt. xxiii. 34. [666] Eph. iv. 11. [667] Matt. v. 21-44. [668] Deut. xxvii. 15. [669] 2 Cor. i. 19, 20. [670] John i. 17. [671] John v. 46. [672] Rom. v. 20. [673] Rom. vii. 12, 13. [674] Gal. iii. 23, 25. [675] 2 Cor. iii. 6. [676] Gal. iii. 21, 22. [677] Rom. viii. 3, 4. [678] 1 John ii. 1, 2. [679] Rom. xv. 8. [680] Luke xvi. 16. [681] John i. 17. [682] 1 Cor. xii. 28. [683] Matt. xi. 28, 29. [684] 1 Cor. v. 7. [685] 2 Cor. v. 17. [686] Rom. vi. 4. [687] 2 Tim. iii. 5. [688] 1 Tim. i. 5. [689] 1 Pet. iii. 21. [690] Rom. i. 17. [691] 2 Macc. vii. [692] John i. 14. [693] Gal. iii. 23. [694] Matt. xxvi. 28. [695] Gal. v. 2. [696] Gal. ii. 14. [697] Acts. xv. 6-11. [698] John i. 17. [699] Gal. v. 6. [700] Matt. v. 38, 39. [701] Matt. v. 27, 28. [702] 1 John iii. 15. [703] Rom. i. 9; Phil. i. 8, and 2 Cor. i. 23. [704] Rom. i. 30. [705] Matt. v. 45. [706] Matt. xi. 12. [707] Ex. xxi. 24, and Matt. v. 39. [708] Matt. v. 33, 34. [709] Deut. xxiv. i, and Matt. v. 31, 32. [710] Gal. v. 6. [711] Rom. xiii. 8. [712] John xiii. 34. [713] Ps. vi. 7. [714] Prov. xvi. 32. [715] Ecclus. xxviii. 21. [Augustin makes no distinction between the Old Testament Apocrypha and the canonical books. Indeed, the Platonizing Apocryphal writings, such as Ecclesiasticus and Wisdom, seem to have been his favorites.--A.H.N.] [716] Ex. xx. 17. [717] Rom. vii. 7. [718] Lam. iii. 30. [719] Prov. xxv. 21. [720] Rom. xii. 20. [721] Ps. cxx. 6. [722] Wisd. xi. 21, xii. 2. [723] Matt. v. 44, 48. [724] Ecclus. xxviii. 1-5. [725] Matt. xix. 4-6. [726] Matt. xix. 7, 8. [727] Sec. 26. [728] Wisd. vi. 22. [729] John v. 39. [730] Ps. cxviii. 16. [731] Ps. xii. 3. [732] Wisd. iii. 1-5. [733] Wisd. v. 16, 17. [734] Matt. xxii. 23-28. .


Book XX.

Faustus repels the charge of sun-worship, and maintains that while the Manichæans believe that God's power dwells in the sun and his wisdom in the moon, they yet worship one deity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. They are not a schism of the Gentiles, nor a sect. Augustin emphasizes the charge of polytheism, and goes into an elaborate comparison of Manichæan and pagan mythology.

1. Faustus said: You ask why we worship the sun, if we are a sect or separate religion, and not Pagans, or merely a schism of the Gentiles. It may therefore be as well to inquire into the matter, that we may see whether the name of Gentiles is more applicable to you or to us. Perhaps, in giving you in a friendly way this simple account of my faith, I shall appear to be making an apology for it, as if I were ashamed, which God forbid, of doing homage to the divine luminaries. You may take it as you please; but I shall not regret what I have done if I succeed in conveying to some at least this much knowledge, that our religion has nothing in common with that of the Gentiles.

2. We worship, then, one deity under the threefold appellation of the Almighty God the Father, and his son Christ, and the Holy Spirit. While these are one and the same, we believe also that the Father properly dwells in the highest or principal light, which Paul calls "light inaccessible," [735] and the Son in his second or visible light. And as the Son is himself twofold, according to the apostle, who speaks of Christ as the power of God and the wisdom of God, [736] we believe that His power dwells in the sun, and His wisdom in the moon. We also believe that the Holy Spirit, the third majesty, has His seat and His home in the whole circle of the atmosphere. By His influence and spiritual infusion, the earth conceives and brings forth the mortal Jesus, who, as hanging from every tree, is the life and salvation of men. [737]Though you oppose these doctrines so violently, your religion resembles ours in attaching the same sacredness to the bread and wine that we do to everything. This is our belief, which you will have an opportunity of hearing more of, if you wish to do so. Meanwhile there is some force in the consideration that you or any one that is asked where his God dwells, will say that he dwells in light; so that the testimony in favor of my worship is almost universal.

3. As to your calling us a schism of the Gentiles, and not a sect, I suppose the word schism applies to those who have the same doctrines and worship as other people, and only choose to meet separately. The word sect, again, applies to those whose doctrine is quite unlike that of others, and who have made a form of divine worship peculiar to themselves. If this is what the words mean, in the first place, in our doctrine and worship we have no resemblance to the Pagans. We shall see presently whether you have. The Pagan doctrine is, that all things good and evil, mean and glorious, fading and unfading, changeable and unchangeable, material and divine, have only one principle. In opposition to this, my belief is that God is the principle of all good things, and Hyle [matters] of the opposite. Hyle is the name given by our master in divinity to the principle or nature of evil. The Pagans accordingly think it right to worship God with altars, and shrines, and images, and sacrifices, and incense. Here also my practice differs entirely from theirs: for I look upon myself as a reasonable temple of God, if I am worthy to be so; and I consider Christ his Son as the living image of his living majesty; and I hold a mind well cultivated to be the true altar, and pure and simple prayers to be the true way of paying divine honors and of offering sacrifices. Is this being a schism of the Pagans?

4. As regards the worship of the Almighty God, you might call us a schism of the Jews, for all Jews are bold enough to profess this worship, were it not for the difference in the form of our worship, though it may be questioned whether the Jews really worship the Almighty. But the doctrine I have mentioned is common to the Pagans in their worship of the sun, and to the Jews in their worship of the Almighty. Even in relation to you, we are not properly a schism, though we acknowledge Christ and worship Him; for our worship and doctrine are different from yours. In a schism, little or no change is made from the original; as, for instance, you, in your schism from the Gentiles, have brought with you the doctrine of a single principle, for you believe that all things are of God. The sacrifices you change into love-feasts, the idols into martyrs, to whom you pray as they do to their idols. You appease the shades of the departed with wine and food. You keep the same holidays as the Gentiles; for example, the calends and the solstices. In your way of living you have made no change. Plainly you are a mere schism; for the only difference from the original is that you meet separately. In this you have followed the Jews, who separated from the Gentiles, but differed only in not having images. For they used temples, and sacrifices, and altars, and a priesthood, and the whole round of ceremonies the same as those of the Gentiles, only more superstitious. Like the Pagans, they believe in a single principle; so that both you and the Jews are schisms of the Gentiles, for you have the same faith, and nearly the same worship, and you call yourselves sects only because you meet separately. The fact is, there are only two sects, the Gentiles and ourselves. We and the Gentiles are as contrary in our belief as truth and falsehood, day and night, poverty and wealth, health and sickness. You, again, are not a sect in relation either to truth or to error. You are merely a schism and a schism not of truth, but of error.

5. Augustin replied: O hateful mixture of ignorance and cunning! Why do you put arguments in the mouth of your opponent, which no one that knows you would use? We do not call you Pagans, or a schism of Pagans; but we say that you resemble them in worshipping many gods. But you are far worse than Pagans, for they worship things which exist, though they should not be worshipped: for idols have an existence, though for salvation they are nought. So, to worship a tree with prayers, instead of improving it by cultivation, is not to worship nothing, but to worship in a wrong way. When the apostle says that "the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons, and not to God," [738] he means that these demons exist to whom the sacrifices are made, and with whom he wishes us not to be partakers. So, too, heaven and earth, the sea and air, the sun and moon, and the other heavenly bodies, are all objects which have a sensible existence. When the Pagans worship these as gods, or as parts of one great God (for some of them identify the universe with the Supreme Deity), they worship things which have an existence. In arguing with Pagans, we do not deny the existence of these things, but we say that they should not be worshipped; and we recommend the worship of the invisible Creator of all these things, in whom alone man can find the happiness which all allow that he desires. To those, again, who worship what is invisible and immaterial, but still is created, as the soul or mind of man, we say that happiness is not to be found in the creature even under this form, and that we must worship the true God, who is not only invisible, but unchangeable; for He alone is to be worshipped, in the enjoyment of whom the worshipper finds happiness, and without whom the soul must be wretched, whatever else it possesses. You, on the other hand, who worship things which have no existence at all except in your fictitious legends, would be nearer true piety and religion if you were Pagans, or if you were worshippers of what has an existence, though not a proper object of worship. In fact, you do not properly worship the sun, though he carries your prayers with him in his course round the heavens.

6. Your statements about the sun himself are so false and absurd, that if he were to repay you for the injury done to him, he would scorch you to death. First of all, you call the sun a ship, so that you are not only astray worlds off, as the saying is, but adrift. Next, while every one sees that the sun is round, which is the form corresponding from its perfection to his position among the heavenly bodies, you maintain that he is triangular, that is, that his light shines on the earth through a triangular window in heaven. Hence it is that you bend and bow your heads to the sun, while you worship not this visible sun, but some imaginary ship which you suppose to be shining through a triangular opening. Assuredly this ship would never have been heard of, if the words required for the composition of heretical fictions had to be paid for, like the wood required for the beams of a ship. All this is comparatively harmless, however ridiculous or pitiable. Very different is your wicked fancy about youths of both sexes proceeding from this ship, whose beauty excites eager desire in the princes and princesses of darkness; and so the members of your god are released from this humiliating confinement in the members of the race of darkness, by means of sinful passion and sensual appetite. And to these filthy rags of yours you would unite the mystery of the Trinity; for you say that the Father dwells in a secret light, the power of the Son in the sun, and His wisdom in the moon, and the Holy Spirit in the air.

7. As for this threefold or rather fourfold fiction, what shall I say of the secret light of the Father, but that you can think of no light except what you have seen? From your knowledge of visible light, with which beasts and insects as well as men are familiar, you form some vague idea in your mind, and call it the light in which God the Father dwells with His subjects. How can you distinguish between the light by which we see, and that by which we understand, when, according to your ideas, to understand truth is nothing else than to form the conception of material forms, either finite or in some cases infinite; and you actually believe in these wild fancies? It is manifest that the act of my mind in thinking of your region of light which has no existence, is entirely different from my conception of Alexandria, which exists, though I have not seen it. And, again, the act of forming a conception of Alexandria, which I have never seen, is very different from thinking of Carthage, which I know. But this difference is insignificant as compared with that between my thinking of material things which I know from seeing them, and my understanding justice, chastity, faith, truth, love, goodness, and things of this nature. Can you describe this intellectual light, which gives us a clear perception of the distinction between itself and other things, as well as of the distinction between those things themselves? And yet even this is not the sense in which it can be said that God is light, for this light is created, whereas God is the Creator; the light is made, and He is the Maker; the light is changeable. For the intellect changes from dislike to desire, from ignorance to knowledge, from forgetfulness to recollection; whereas God remains the same in will, in truth, and in eternity. From God we derive the beginning of existence, the principle of knowledge, the law of affection. From God all animals, rational and irrational, derive the nature of their life, the capacity of sensation, the faculty of emotion. From God all bodies derive their subsistence in extension, their beauty in number, and their order in weight. This light is one divine being, in an inseparable triune existence; and yet, without supposing the assumption of any bodily form, you assign to separate places parts of the immaterial, spiritual, and unchangeable substance. And instead of three places for the Trinity, you have four: one, the light inaccessible, which you know nothing about, for the Father; two, the sun and moon, for the Son; and again one, the circle of the atmosphere, for the Holy Spirit. Of the inaccessible light of the Father I shall say nothing further at present, for orthodox believers do not separate the Son and the Spirit from the Father in relation to this light.

8. It is difficult to understand how you have been taken with the absurd idea of placing the power of the Son in the sun, and His wisdom in the moon. For, as the Son remains inseparably in the Father, His wisdom and power cannot be separated from one another, so that one should be in the sun and the other in the moon. Only material things can be thus assigned to separate places. If you only understood this, it would have prevented you from taking the productions of a diseased fancy as the material for so many fictions. But there is inconsistency and improbability as well as falsehood in your ideas. For, according to you, the seat of wisdom is inferior in brightness to the seat of power. Now energy and productiveness are the qualities of power, whereas light teaches and manifests; so that if the sun had the greater heat, and the moon the greater light, these absurdities might appear to have some likelihood to men of carnal minds, who know nothing except through material conceptions. From the connection between great heat and motion, they might identify power with heat; while light from its brightness, and as making things discernible, they might represent wisdom. But what folly as well as profanity, in placing power in the sun, which excels so much in light, and wisdom in the moon, which is so inferior in brightness! And while you separate Christ from Himself, you do not distinguish between Christ and the Holy Spirit; whereas Christ is one, the power of God, and the wisdom of God, and the Spirit is a distinct person. But according to you, the air, which you make the seat of the Spirit, fills and pervades the universe. So the sun and moon in their course are always united to the air. But the moon approaches the sun at one time, and recedes from it at another. So that, if we may believe you, or rather, if we may allow ourselves to be imposed on by you, wisdom recedes from power by half the circumference of a circle, and again approaches it by the other half. And when wisdom is full, it is at a distance from power. For when the moon is full, the distance between the two bodies is so great, that the moon rises in the east while the sun is setting in the west. But as the loss of power produces weakness, the fuller the moon is, the weaker must wisdom be. If, as is certainly true, the wisdom of God is unchangeable in power, and the power of God unchangeable in wisdom, how can you separate them so as to assign them to different places? And how can the place be different when the substance is the same? Is this not the infatuation of subjection to material fancies; showing such a want of power and wisdom that your wisdom is as weak as your power is foolish? This execrable absurdity would divide Christ between the sun and the moon,--His power in one, and His wisdom in the other; so that He would be incomplete in both, lacking wisdom in the sun, and power in the moon, while in both He supplies youths, male and female, to excite the affection of the princes and princesses of darkness. Such are the tenets which you learn and profess. Such is the faith which directs your conduct. And can you wonder that you are regarded with abhorrence?

9. But besides your errors regarding these conspicuous and familiar luminaries, which you worship not for what they are, but for what your wild fancy makes them to be, your other absurdities are still worse than this. Your illustrious World-bearer, and Atlas who helps to hold him up, are unreal beings. Like innumerable other creatures of your fancy, they have no existence, and yet you worship them. For this reason we say that you are worse than Pagans, while you resemble them in worshipping many gods. You are worse, because, while they worship things which exist though they are not gods, you worship things which are neither gods nor anything else, for they have no existence. The Pagans, too, have fables, but they know them to be fables; and either look upon them as amusing poetical fancies, or try to explain them as representing the nature of things, or the life of man. Thus they say that Vulcan is lame, because flame in common fire has an irregular motion: that Fortune is blind, because of the uncertainty of what are called fortuitous occurrences: that there are three Fates, with distaff, and spindle, and fingers spinning wool into thread, because there are three times,--the past, already spun and wound on the spindle; the present, which is passing through the fingers of the spinner; and the future, still in wool bound to the distaff, and soon to pass through the fingers to the spindle, that is, through the present into the future: and that Venus is the wife of Vulcan, because pleasure has a natural connection with heat; and that she is the mistress of Mars, because pleasure is not properly the companion of warriors: and that Cupid is a boy with wings and a bow, from the wounds inflicted by thoughtless, inconstant passion in the hearts of unhappy beings: and so with many other fables. The great absurdity is in their continuing to worship these beings, after giving such explanations; for the worship without the explanations, though criminal, would be a less heinous crime. The very explanations prove that they do not worship that God, the enjoyment of whom can alone give happiness, but things which He has created. And even in the creature they worship not only the virtues, as in Minerva, who sprang from the head of Jupiter, and who represents prudence,--a quality of reason which, according to Plato, has its seat in the head,--but their vices, too, as in Cupid. Thus one of their dramatic poets says, "Sinful passion, in favor of vice, made Love a god." [739]Even bodily evils had temples in Rome, as in the case of pallor and fever. Not to dwell on the sin of the worshippers of these idols, who are in a way affected by the bodily forms, so that they pay homage to them as deities, when they see them set up in some lofty place, and treated with great honor and reverence, there is greater sin in the very explanations which are intended as apologies for these dumb, and deaf, and blind, and lifeless objects. Still, though, as I have said, these things are nothing in the way of salvation or of usefulness, both they and the things they are said to represent are real existences. But your First Man, warring with the five elements; and your Mighty Spirit, who constructs the world from the captive bodies of the race of darkness, or rather from the members of your god in subjection and bondage; and your World-holder, who has in his hand the remains of these members, and who bewails the capture and bondage and pollution of the rest; and your giant Atlas, who keeps up the World-holder on his shoulders, lest he should from weariness throw away his burden, and so prevent the completion of the final imitation of the mass of darkness, which is to be the last scene in your drama;--these and countless other absurdities are not represented in painting or sculpture, or in any explanation; and yet you believe and worship things which have no existence, while you taunt the Christians with being credulous for believing in realities with a faith which pacifies the mind under its influence. The objects of your worship can be shown to have no existence by many proofs, which I do not bring forward here, because, though I could without difficulty discourse philosophically on the construction of the world, it would take too long to do so here. One proof suffices. If these things are real, God must be subject to change, and corruption, and contamination; a supposition as blasphemous as it is irrational. All these things, therefore, are vain, and false, and unreal. Thus you are much worse than those Pagans, with whom all are familiar, and who still preserve traces of their old customs, of which they themselves are ashamed; for while they worship things which are not gods, you worship things which do not exist.

10. If you think that your doctrines are true because they are unlike the errors of the Pagans, and that we are in error because we perhaps differ more from you than from them, you might as well say that a dead man is in good health because he is not sick; or that good health is undesirable, because it differs less from sickness than from death. Or if the Pagans should be viewed in many cases as rather dead than sick, you might as well praise the ashes in the tomb because they have no longer the human shape, as compared with the living body, which does not differ so much from a corpse as from ashes. It is thus we are reproached for having more resemblance to the dead body of Paganism than to the ashes of Manichæism. But in division, it often happens that a thing is placed in different classes, according to the point of resemblance on which the division proceeds. For instance, if animals are divided into those that fly and those that cannot fly, in this division men and beasts are classed together as distinct from birds, because they are both unable to fly. But if they are divided into rational and irrational, beasts and birds are classed together as distinct from men, for they are both destitute of reason. Faustus did not think of this when he said: There are in fact only two sects, the Gentiles and ourselves, for we are directly opposed to them in our belief. The opposition he means is this, that the Gentiles believe in a single principle, whereas the Manichæans believe also in the principle of the race of darkness. Certainly, according to this division we agree in general with the Pagans. But if we divide all who have a religion into those who worship one God and those who worship many gods, the Manichæans must be classed along with the Pagans, and we along with the Jews. This is another distinction, which may be said to make only two sects. Perhaps you will say that you hold all your gods to be of one substance, which the Pagans do not. But you at least resemble them in assigning to your gods different powers, and functions, and employments. One does battle with the race of darkness; another constructs the world from the part which is captured; another, standing above, has the world in his hand; another holds him up from below; another turns the wheels of the fires and winds and waters beneath; another, in his circuit of the heavens, gathers with his beams the members of your god from cesspools. Indeed, your gods have innumerable occupations, according to your fabulous descriptions, which you neither explain nor represent in a visible form. But again, if men were divided into those who believe that God takes an interest in human affairs and those who do not, the Pagans and Jews, and you and all heretics that have anything of Christianity, will be classed together, as opposed to the Epicureans, and any others holding similar views. As this is a principle of importance, here again we may say that there are only two sects, and you belong to the same sect as we do. You will hardly venture to dissent from us in the opinion that God is concerned in human affairs, so that in this matter your opposition to the Epicureans makes you side with us. Thus, according to the nature of the division, what is in one class at one time, is in another at another time: things joined here are separated there: in some things we are classed with others, and they with us; in other things we are classed separately, and stand alone. If Faustus thought of this, he would not talk such eloquent nonsense.

11. But what are we to make of these words of Faustus: The Holy Spirit, by his influence and spiritual infusion, makes the earth conceive and bring forth the mortal Jesus, who, as hanging from every tree, is the life and salvation of men? Letting pass for a moment the absurdity of this statement, we observe the folly of believing that the mortal Jesus can be conceived through the power of the Holy Spirit by the earth, but not by the Virgin Mary. Dare you compare the holiness of that chaste virgin's womb with any piece of ground where trees and plants grow? Do you pretend to look with abhorrence upon a pure virgin, while you do not shrink from believing that Jesus is produced in gardens watered by the filthy drains of a city? For plants of all kinds spring up and are nourished in such moisture. You will have Jesus to be born in this way, while you cry out against the idea of His being born of a virgin. Do you think flesh more unclean than the excrements which its nature rejects? Is the filth cleaner than the flesh which expels it? Are you not aware how fields are manured in order to make them productive? Your folly comes to this, that the Holy Spirit, who, according to you, despised the womb of Mary, makes the earth conceive more fruitfully in proportion as it is carefully enriched with animal off-scourings. Do you reply that the Holy Spirit preserves His incorruptible purity everywhere? I ask again, Why not also in the virgin's womb? Passing from the conception, you maintain in regard to the mortal Jesus--who, as you say, is born from the earth, which has conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit--that He hangs in the shape of fruit from every tree: so that, besides this pollution, He suffers additional defilement from the flesh of the countless animals that eat the fruit; except, indeed, the small amount that is purified by your eating it. While we believe and confess Christ the Son of God, and the Word of God, to have become flesh without suffering defilement, because the divine substance is not defiled by flesh, as it is not defiled by anything, your fanciful notions would make Jesus to be defiled even as hanging on the tree, before entering the flesh of any animal; for if He were not defiled, there would be no need of His being purified by your eating Him. And if all trees are the cross of Christ, as Faustus seems to imply when he says that Jesus hangs from every tree, why do you not pluck the fruit, and so take Jesus down from hanging on the tree to bury Him in your stomach, which would correspond to the good deed of Joseph of Arimathea, when he took down the true Jesus from the cross to bury Him? [740] Why should it be impious to take Christ from the tree, while it is pious to lay Him in the tomb? Perhaps you wish to apply to yourselves the words quoted from the prophet by Paul, "Their throat is an open sepulchre:" [741]and so you wait with open mouth till some one comes to use your throat as the best sepulchre for Christ. Once more, how many Christs do you make? Is there one whom you call the mortal Christ, whom the earth conceives and brings forth by the power of the Holy Spirit; and another crucified by the Jews under Pontius Pilate; and a third whom you divide between the sun and the moon? Or is it one and the same person, part of whom is confined in the trees, to be released by the help of the other part which is not confined? If this is the case, and you allow that Christ suffered under Pontius Pilate, though it is difficult to see how he could have suffered without flesh, as you say he did, the great question is, with whom he left those ships you speak of, that he might come down and suffer these things, which he certainly could not have suffered without having a body of some kind. A mere spiritual presence could not have made him liable to these sufferings, and in his bodily presence he could not be at the same time in the sun, in the moon, and on the cross. So, then, if he had not a body, he was not crucified; and if he had a body, the question is, where he got it: for, according to you, all bodies belong to the race of darkness, though you cannot think of the divine substance except as being material. Thus you must say either that Christ was crucified without a body; which is utterly absurd; or that he was crucified in appearance and not in reality, which is blasphemy; or that all bodies do not belong to the race of darkness, but that the divine substance has also a body, and that not an immortal body, but liable to crucifixion and death, which, again, is altogether erroneous; or that Christ had a mortal body from the race of darkness, so that, while you will not allow that Christ's body came from the Virgin Mary, you derive it from the race of demons. Finally, as in Faustus' statement, in which he alludes in the briefest manner possible to the lengthy stories of Manichæan invention, the earth by the power of the Holy Spirit conceives and brings forth the mortal Jesus, who, hanging from every tree, is the life and salvation of men, why should this Saviour be represented by whatever is hanging, because he hung on the tree, and not by whatever is born, because he was born? But if you mean that the Jesus on the trees, and the Jesus crucified under Pontius Pilate, and the Jesus divided between the sun and the moon, are all one and the same substance, why do you not give the name of Jesus to your whole host of deities? Why should not your World-holder be Jesus too, and Atlas, and the King of Honour, and the Mighty Spirit, and the First Man, and all the rest, with their various names and occupations?

12. So, with regard to the Holy Spirit, how can you say that he is the third person, when the persons you mention are innumerable? Or why is he not Jesus himself? And why does Faustus mislead people, in trying to make out an agreement between himself and true Christians, from whom he differs only too widely, by saying, We worship one God under the threefold appellation of the Almighty God the Father, Christ his Son, and the Holy Spirit? Why is the appellation only threefold, instead of being manifold? And why is the distinction in appellation only, and not in reality, if there are as many persons as there are names? For it is not as if you gave three names to the same thing, as the same weapon may be called a short sword, a dagger, or a dirk; or as you give the name of moon, and the lesser ship, and the luminary of night, and so on, to the same thing. For you cannot say that the First Man is the same as the Mighty Spirit, or as the World-Holder, or as the giant Atlas. They are all distinct persons, and you do not call any of them Christ. How can there be one Deity with opposite functions? Or why should not Christ himself be the single person, if in one substance Christ hangs on the trees, and was persecuted by the Jews, and exists in the sun and moon? The fact is, your fancies are all astray, and are no better than the dreams of insanity.

13. How can Faustus think that we resemble the Manichæans in attaching sacredness to bread and wine, when they consider it sacrilege to taste wine? They acknowledge their god in the grape, but not in the cup; perhaps they are shocked at his being trampled on and bottled. It is not any bread and wine that we hold sacred as a natural production, as if Christ were confined in corn or in vines, as the Manichæans fancy, but what is truly consecrated as a symbol. What is not consecrated, though it is bread and wine, is only nourishment or refreshment, with no sacredness about it; although we bless and thank God for every gift, bodily as well as spiritual. According to your notion, Christ is confined in everything you eat, and is released by digestion from the additional confinement of your intestines. So, when you eat, your god suffers; and when you digest, you suffer from his recovery. When he fills you, your gain is his loss. This might be considered kindness on his part, because he suffers in you for your benefit, were it not that he gains freedom by escaping and leaving you empty. There is not the least resemblance between our reverence for the bread and wine, and your doctrines, which have no truth in them. To compare the two is even more foolish than to say, as some do, that in the bread and wine we worship Ceres and Bacchus. I refer to this now, to show where you got your silly idea that our fathers kept the Sabbath in honor of Saturn. For as there is no connection with the worship of the Pagan deities Ceres and Bacchus in our observance of the sacrament of the bread and wine, which you approve so highly that you wish to resemble us in it, so there was no subjection to Saturn in the case of our fathers, who observed the rest of the Sabbath in a manner suitable to prophetic times.

14. You might have found a resemblance in your religion to that of the Pagans as regards Hyle [matter], which the Pagans often speak of. You, on the contrary, maintain that you are directly opposed to them in your belief in the evil principle which your teacher in theology calls Hyle. But here you only show your ignorance, and, with an affectation of learning, use this word without knowing what it means. The Greeks, when speaking of nature, give the name Hyle to the subject-matter of things, which has no form of its own, but admits of all bodily forms, and is known only through these changeable phenomena, not being itself an object of sensation or perception. Some Gentiles, indeed, erroneously make this matter co-eternal with God, as not being derived from Him, though the bodily forms are. In this manifest error you resemble the Pagans, for you hold that Hyle has a principle of its own, and does not come from God. It is only ignorance that leads you to deny this resemblance. In saying that Hyle has no form of its own, and can take its forms only from God, the Pagans come near to the truth which we believe in contradistinction from your errors. Not knowing what Hyle or the subject-matter of things is, you make it the race of darkness, in which you place not only innumerable bodily forms of five different kinds, but also a formative mind. Such, indeed, is your ignorance or insanity, that you call this mind Hyle, and make it give forms instead of taking them. If there were such a formative mind as you speak of, and bodily elements capable of form, the word Hyle would properly be applicable to the bodily elements, which would be the matter to be formed by the mind, which you make the principle of evil. Even this would not be a quite accurate use of the word Hyle, which has no form of any kind; whereas these elements, although capable of new forms, have already the form of elements, and belong to different kinds. Still this use of the word would not be so much amiss, notwithstanding your ignorance; for it would thus be applied, as it properly is, to that which takes form, and not to that which gives it. Even here, however, your folly and impiety would appear in tracing so much that is good to the evil principle, from your not knowing that all natures of every kind, all forms in their proportion, and all weights in their order, can come only from the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. As it is, you know neither what Hyle is, nor what evil is. Would that I could persuade you to refrain from misleading people still more ignorant than yourselves!

15. Every one must see the folly of your boasting of superiority to the Pagans because they use altars and temples, images and sacrifices and incense, in the worship of God, which you do not. As if it were not better to build an altar and offer sacrifice to a stone, which has some kind of existence, than to employ a heated imagination in worshipping things which have no existence at all. And what do you mean by saying that you are a rational temple of God? Can that be God's temple which is partly the construction of the devil? And is this not true of you, as you say that all your members and your whole body were formed by the evil principle which you call Hyle, and that part of this formative mind dwells in the body along with part of your god? And as this part of your god is bound and confined, you should be called the prison of God rather than his temple. Perhaps it is your soul that is the temple of God, as you have it from the region of light. But you generally call your soul not a temple, but a part or member of God. So, when you say you are the temple of God, it must be in your body, which, you say, was formed by the devil. Thus you blaspheme the temple of God, calling it not only the workmanship of Satan, but the prison-house of God. The apostle, on the other hand, says: "The temple of God is holy, which temple ye are." And to show that this refers not merely to the soul, he says expressly: "Know ye not that your bodies are the temple of the Holy Ghost, which is in you, which ye have of God?" [742]You call the workmanship of devils the temple of God, and there, to use Faustus' words, you place Christ, the Son of God, the living image of living majesty. Your impiety may well contrive a fabulous temple for a fabulous Christ. The image you speak of must be so called, because it is the creature of your imagination.

16. If your mind is an altar, you see whose altar it is. You may see from the very doctrines and duties in which you say you are trained. You are taught not to give food to a beggar; and so your altar smokes with the sacrifice of cruelty. Such altars the Lord destroys; for in words quoted from the law He tells us what offering pleases God: "I desire mercy, and not sacrifice." Observe on what occasion the Lord uses these words. It was when, in passing through a field, the disciples plucked the ears of corn because they were hungry. Your doctrine would lead you to call this murder. Your mind is an altar, not of God, but of lying devils, by whose doctrines the evil conscience is seared as with a hot iron, [743] calling murder what the truth calls innocence. For in His words to the Jews, Christ by anticipation deals a fatal blow to you: "If ye had known what this meaneth, I desire mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless." [744]

17. Nor can you say that you honor God with sacrifices in the shape of pure and simple prayers: for, in your low, dishonoring notions about the divine nature and substance, you make your god to be the victim in the sacrifices of Pagans; so far are you from pleasing the true God with your sacrifices. For you hold that God is confined not only in trees and plants, or in the human body, but also in the flesh of animals, which contaminates Him with its impurity. And how can your soul give praise to God, when you actually reproach Him by calling your soul a particle of His substance taken captive by the race of darkness; as if God could not maintain the conflict except by this corruption of His members, and this dishonorable captivity? Instead of honoring God in your prayers, you insult Him. For what sin did you commit, when you belonged to Him, that you should be thus punished by the god you cry to, not because you left Him sinfully of your own choice; for he himself gave you to His enemies, to obtain peace for His kingdom? You are not even given as hostages to be honorably guarded. Nor is it as when a shepherd lays a snare to catch a wild beast: for he does not put one of his own members in the snare, but some animal from his flock; and generally, so that the wild beast is caught before the animal is hurt. You, though you are the members of your god, are given to the enemy, whose ferocity you keep off from your god only by being contaminated with their impurity, infected with their corruptions, without any fault of your own. You cannot in your prayers use the words: "Free us, O Lord, for the glory of Thy name; and for Thy name's sake pardon our sins." [745]Your prayer is: "Free us by Thy skill, for we suffer here oppression, and torture, and pollution, only that Thou mayest mourn unmolested in Thy kingdom." These are words of reproach, not of entreaty. Nor can you use the words taught us by the Master of truth: "Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors." [746]For who are the debtors who have sinned against you? If it is the race of darkness, you do not forgive their debts, but make them be utterly cast out and shut up in eternal imprisonment. And how can God forgive your debts, when He rather sinned against you by sending you into such a state, than you against Him, whom you obeyed by going? If this was not a sin in Him, because He was compelled to do it, this excuse must apply you, now that you have been overthrown in the conflict, more than to Him before the conflict began. You suffer now from the mixture of evil, which was not the case with Him when nevertheless He was compelled to send you. So either He requires that you should forgive Him his debt; or, if He is not in debt to you, still less are you to Him. It appears that your sacrifices and your pure and simple prayers are false and vile blasphemies.

18. How is it, by the way, that you use the words temple, altar, sacrifice, for the purpose of commending your own practices? If such things can be spoken of as properly belonging to true religion, they must constitute the true worship of the true God. And if there is such a thing as true sacrifice to the true God, which is implied in the expression divine honors, there must be some one true sacrifice of which the rest are imitations. On the one hand, we have the spurious imitations in the case of false and lying gods, that is, of devils, who proudly demand divine honors from their deluded votaries, as is or was the case in the temples and idols of the Gentiles. On the other hand, we have the prophetic intimations of one most true sacrifice to be offered for the sins of all believers, as in the sacrifices enjoined by God on our fathers; along with which there was also the symbolical anointing typical of Christ, as the name Christ itself means anointed. The animal sacrifices, therefore, presumptuously claimed by devils, were an imitation of the true sacrifice which is due only to the one true God, and which Christ alone offered on His altar. Thus the apostle says: "The sacrifices which the Gentiles offer, they offer to devils, and not to God." [747]He does not find fault with sacrifices, but with offering to devils. The Hebrews, again, in their animal sacrifices, which they offered to God in many varied forms, suitably to the significance of the institution, typified the sacrifice offered by Christ. This sacrifice is also commemorated by Christians, in the sacred offering and participation of the body and blood of Christ. The Manichæans understand neither the sinfulness of the Gentile sacrifices, nor the importance of the Hebrew sacrifices, nor the use of the ordinance of the Christian sacrifice. Their own errors are the offering they present to the devil who has deceived them. And thus they depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and to doctrines of devils, speaking lies in hypocrisy.

19. It may be well that Faustus, or at least that those who are charmed with Faustus' writings, should know that the doctrine of a single principle did not come to us from the Gentiles; for the belief in one true God, from whom every kind of nature is derived, is a part of the original truth retained among the Gentiles, notwithstanding their having fallen away to many false gods. For the Gentile philosophers had the knowledge of God, because, as the apostle says, "the invisible things of God, from the creation of the world, are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse." But, as the apostle adds, "when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things." [748]These are the idols of the Gentiles, which they cannot explain except by referring to the creatures made by God; so that this very explanation of their idolatry, on which the more enlightened Gentiles were wont to pride themselves as a proof of their superiority, shows the truth of the following words of the apostle: "They worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever." [749] Where you differ from the Gentiles, you are in error; where you resemble them, you are worse than they. You do not believe, as they do, in a single principle; and so you fall into the impiety of believing the substance of the one true God to be liable to subjugation and corruption. As regards the worship of a plurality of gods, the doctrine of lying devils has led the Gentiles to worship many idols, and you to worship many phantasms.

20. We do not turn the sacrifices of the Gentiles into love-feasts, as Faustus says we do. Our love-feasts are rather a substitute for the sacrifice spoken of by the Lord, in the words already quoted: "I will have mercy, and not sacrifice." At our love-feasts the poor obtain vegetable or animal food; and so the creature of God is used, as far as it is suitable, for the nourishment of man, who is also God's creature. You have been led by lying devils, not in self-denial, but in blasphemous error, "to abstain from meats which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving." [750] In return for the bounties of the Creator, you ungratefully insult Him with your impiety; and because in our love-feasts flesh is often given to the poor, you compare Christian charity to Pagan sacrifices. This indeed, is another point in which you resemble some Pagans. You consider it a crime to kill animals, because you think that the souls of men pass into them; which is an idea found in the writings of some Gentile philosophers, although their successors appear to have thought differently. But here again you are most in error: for they dreaded slaughtering a relative in the animal; but you dread the slaughter of your god, for you hold even the souls of animals to be his members.

21. As to our paying honor to the memory of the martyrs, and the accusation of Faustus, that we worship them instead of idols, I should not care to answer such a charge, were it not for the sake of showing how Faustus, in his desire to cast reproach on us, has overstepped the Manichæan inventions, and has fallen heedlessly into a popular notion found in Pagan poetry, although he is so anxious to be distinguished from the Pagans. For in saying that we have turned the idols into martyrs, he speaks of our worshipping them with similar rites, and appeasing the shades of the departed with wine and food. Do you, then, believe in shades? We never heard you speak of such things, nor have we read of them in your books. In fact, you generally oppose such ideas: for you tell us that the souls of the dead, if they are wicked, or not purified, are made to pass through various changes, or suffer punishment still more severe; while the good souls are placed in ships, and sail through heaven to that imaginary region of light which they died fighting for. According to you, then, no souls remain near the burying-place of the body; and how can there be any shades of the departed? What and where are they? Faustus' love of evil-speaking has made him forget his own creed; or perhaps he spoke in his sleep about ghosts, and did not wake up even when he saw his words in writing. It is true that Christians pay religious honor to the memory of the martyrs, both to excite us to imitate them and to obtain a share in their merits, and the assistance of their prayers. But we build altars not to any martyr, but to the God of martyrs, although it is to the memory of the martyrs. No one officiating at the altar in the saints' burying-place ever says, We bring an offering to thee, O Peter! or O Paul! or O Cyprian! The offering is made to God, who gave the crown of martyrdom, while it is in memory of those thus crowned. The emotion is increased by the associations of the place, and love is excited both towards those who are our examples, and towards Him by whose help we may follow such examples. We regard the martyrs with the same affectionate intimacy that we feel towards holy men of God in this life, when we know that their hearts are prepared to endure the same suffering for the truth of the gospel. There is more devotion in our feeling towards the martyrs, because we know that their conflict is over; and we can speak with greater confidence in praise of those already victors in heaven, than of those still combating here. What is properly divine worship, which the Greeks call latria, and for which there is no word in Latin, both in doctrine and in practice, we give only to God. To this worship belongs the offering of sacrifices; as we see in the word idolatry, which means the giving of this worship to idols. Accordingly we never offer, or require any one to offer, sacrifice to a martyr, or to a holy soul, or to any angel. Any one falling into this error is instructed by doctrine, either in the way of correction or of caution. For holy beings themselves, whether saints or angels, refuse to accept what they know to be due to God alone. We see this in Paul and Barnabas, when the men of Lycaonia wished to sacrifice to them as gods, on account of the miracles they performed. They rent their clothes, and restrained the people, crying out to them, and persuading them that they were not gods. We see it also in the angels, as we read in the Apocalypse that an angel would not allow himself to be worshipped, and said to his worshipper, "I am thy fellow-servant, and of thy brethen." [751]Those who claim this worship are proud spirits, the devil and his angels, as we see in all the temples and rites of the Gentiles. Some proud men, too, have copied their example; as is related of some kings of Babylon. Thus the holy Daniel was accused and persecuted, because when the king made a decree that no petition should be made to any god, but only to the king, he was found worshipping and praying to his own God, that is, the one true God. [752]As for those who drink to excess at the feasts of the martyrs, we of course condemn their conduct; for to do so even in their own houses would be contrary to sound doctrine. But we must try to amend what is bad as well as prescribe what is good, and must of necessity bear for a time with some things that are not according to our teaching. The rules of Christian conduct are not to be taken from the indulgences of the intemperate or the infirmities of the weak. Still, even in this, the guilt of intemperance is much less than that of impiety. To sacrifice to the martyrs, even fasting, is worse than to go home intoxicated from their feast: to sacrifice to the martyrs, I say, which is a different thing from sacrificing to God in memory of the martyrs, as we do constantly, in the manner required since the revelation of the New Testament, for this belongs to the worship or latria which is due to God alone. But it is vain to try to make these heretics understand the full meaning of these words of the Psalmist: "He that offereth the sacrifice of praise glorifieth me, and in this way will I show him my salvation." [753]Before the coming of Christ, the flesh and blood of this sacrifice were foreshadowed in the animals slain; in the passion of Christ the types were fulfilled by the true sacrifice; after the ascension of Christ, this sacrifice is commemorated in the sacrament. Between the sacrifices of the Pagans and of the Hebrews there is all the difference that there is between a false imitation and a typical anticipation. We do not despise or denounce the virginity of holy women because there were vestal virgins. And, in the same way, it is no reproach to the sacrifices of our fathers that the Gentiles also had sacrifices. The difference between the Christian and vestal virginity is great, yet it consists wholly in the being to whom the vow is made and paid; and so the difference in the being to whom the sacrifices of the Pagans and Hebrews are made and offered makes a wide difference between them. In the one case they are offered to devils, who presumptuously make this claim in order to be held as gods, because sacrifice is a divine honor. In the other case they are offered to the one true God, as a type of the true sacrifice, which also was to be offered to Him in the passion of the body and blood of Christ.

22. Faustus is wrong in saying that our Jewish forefathers, in their separation from the Gentiles, retained the temple, and sacrifices, and altars, and priesthood, and abandoned only graven images or idols, for they might have sacrificed, as some do, without any graven image, to trees and mountains, or even to the sun and moon and the stars. If they had thus rendered to these objects the worship called latria, they would have served the creature instead of the Creator, and so would have fallen into the serious error of heathenish superstition; and even without idols, they would have found devils ready to take advantage of their error, and to accept their offerings. For these proud and wicked spirits feed not, as some foolishly suppose, on the smell of the sacrifice, and the smoke, but on the errors of men. They enjoy not bodily refreshment, but a malevolent gratification, when they in any way deceive people, or when, with a bold assumption of borrowed majesty, they boast of receiving divine honors. It was not, therefore, only the idols of the Gentiles that our Jewish forefathers abandoned. They sacrificed neither to the earth nor to any earthly thing, nor to the sea, nor to heaven, nor to the hosts of heaven, but laid the victims on the altar of the one God, Creator of all, who required these offerings as a means of foreshadowing the true victim, by whom He has reconciled us to Himself in the remission of sins through our Lord Jesus Christ. So Paul, addressing believers, who are made the body of which Christ is the Head, says: "I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God." [754]The Manichæans, on the other hand, say that human bodies are the workmanship of the race of darkness, and the prison in which the captive deity is confined. Thus Faustus' doctrine is very different from Paul's. But since whosover preaches to you another gospel than that ye have received must be accursed, what Christ says in Paul is the truth, while Manichæus in Faustus is accursed.

23. Faustus says also, without knowing what he says, that we have retained the manners of the Gentiles. But seeing that the just lives by faith, and that the end of the commandment is love out of a pure heart, and a good conscience, and faith unfeigned, and that these three, faith, hope, and love, abide to form the life of believers, it is impossible that there should be similarity in the manners of those who differ in these three things. Those who believe differently, and hope differently, and love differently, must also live differently. And if we resemble the Gentiles in our use of such things as food and drink, and houses and clothes and baths, and those of us who marry, in taking and keeping wives, and in begetting and bringing up children as our heirs, there is still a great difference between the man who uses these things for some end of his own, and the man who, in using them, gives thanks to God, having no unworthy or erroneous ideas about God. For as you, according to your own heresy, though you eat the same bread as other men, and live upon the produce of the same plants and the water of the same fountain, and are clothed like others in wool and linen, yet lead a different life, not because you eat or drink, or dress differently, but because you differ from others in your ideas and in your faith, and in all these things have in view an end of your own--the end, namely, set forth in your false doctrines; in the same way we, though we resemble the Gentiles in the use of this and other things, do not resemble them in our life; for while the things are the same, the end is different: for the end we have in view is, according to the just commandment of God, love out of a pure heart, and a good conscience, and faith unfeigned; from which some having erred, are turned to vain jangling. In this vain jangling you bear the palm, for you do not attend to the fact that so great is the difference of life produced by a different faith, even when the things in possession and use are the same, that though your followers have wives, and in spite of themselves get children, for whom they gather and store up wealth; though they eat flesh, drink wine, bathe, reap harvests, gather vintages, engage in trade, and occupy high official positions, you nevertheless reckon them as belonging to you, and not to the Gentiles, though in their actions they approach nearer to the Gentiles than to you. And though some of the Gentiles in some things resemble you more than your own followers,--those, for instance, who in superstitious devotion abstain from flesh, and wine, and marriage,--you still count your own followers, even though they use all these things, and so are unlike you, as belonging to the flock of Manichæus rather than those who resemble you in their practices. You consider as belonging to you a woman that believes in Manichæus, though she is a mother, rather than a Sibyl, though she never marries. But you will say that many who are called Catholic Christians are adulterers, robbers, misers, drunkards, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine. I ask if none such are to be found in your company, which is almost too small to be called a company. And because there are some among the Pagans who are not of this character, do you consider them as better than yourselves? And yet, in fact, your heresy is so blasphemous, that even your followers who are not of such a character are worse than the Pagans who are. It is therefore no impeachment to sound doctrine, which alone is Catholic, that many wish to take its name, who will not yield to its beneficial influence. We must bear in mind the true meaning of the contrast which the Lord makes between the little company and the mass of mankind, as spread over all the world; for the company of saints and believers is small, as the amount of grain is small when compared with the heap of chaff; and yet the good grain is quite sufficient far to outnumber you, good and bad together, for good and bad are both strangers to the truth. In a word, we are not a schism of the Gentiles, for we differ from them greatly for the better; nor are you, for you differ from them greatly for the worse. [755]

Footnotes

[735] 1 Tim. vi. 16. [736] 1 Cor. i. 24. [737] [The Manichæan doctrine of the Jesus patabilis is more fully expounded in this book than elsewhere. Of course, this is only a way of expressing the familiar Manichæan notion that the divine life which is imprisoned in the world and which is trying to escape through the growth of plants, etc., suffers from any sort of injury done to plants. Compare Baur: Das Manichäische Religionssystem, pp. 72-77.--A.H.N.] [738] 1 Cor. x. 20. [739] Sen. Hipp. vv. 194, 195. [740] John xix. 38. [741] Rom. iii. 13. [742] 1 Cor. iii. 17, and vi. 19. [743] 1 Tim. iv. 2. [744] Matt. xii. 7. [745] Ps. lxxix. 9. [746] Matt. vi. 12. [747] 1 Cor. x. 30. [748] Rom. i. 20-23. [749] Rom. i. 25. [750] 1 Tim. iv. 3, 4. [751] Rev. xix. 10. [752] Dan. vi. [753] Ps. l. 23. [754] Rom. xii. 1. [755] [Augustin's exposure of the paganism of Manichæism is an admirable and effective piece of argumentum ad hominem. That the Christianity of Augustin's time was becoming paganized is undoubted, but Manichæism was pure paganism.--A.H.N.] .


Book XXI.

Faustus denies that Manichæans believe in two gods. Hyle no god. Augustin discusses at large the doctrine of God and Hyle, and fixes the charge of dualism upon the Manichæans.

1. Faustus said: Do we believe in one God or in two? In one, of course. If we are accused of making two gods, I reply that it cannot be shown that we ever said anything of the kind. Why do you suspect us of this? Because, you say, you believe in two principles, good and evil. It is true, we believe in two principles; but one we call God, and the other Hyle, or, to use common popular language, the devil. If you think this means two gods, you may as well think that the health and sickness of which doctors speak are two kinds of health, or that good and evil are two kinds of good, or that wealth and poverty are two kinds of wealth. If I were describing two things, one white and the other black, or one hot and the other cold, or one sweet and the other bitter, it would appear like idiocy or insanity in you to say that I was describing two white things, or two hot things, or two sweet things. So, when I assert that there are two principles, God and Hyle, you have no reason for saying that I believe in two gods. Do you think that we must call them both gods because we attribute, as is proper, all the power of evil to Hyle, and all the power of good to God? If so, you may as well say that a poison and the antidote must both be called antidotes, because each has a power of its own, and certain effects follow from the action of both. So also, you may say that a physician and a poisoner are both physicians; or that a just and an unjust man are both just, because both do something. If this is absurd, it is still more absurd to say that God and Hyle must both be gods, because they both produce certain effects. It is a very childish and impotent way of arguing, when you cannot refute my statements, to make a quarrel about names. I grant that we, too, sometimes call the hostile nature God; not that we believe it to be God, but that this name is already adopted by the worshippers of this nature, who in their error suppose it to be God. Thus the apostle says: "The god of this world has blinded the minds of them that believe not." [756]He calls him God, because he would be so called by his worshippers; adding that he blinds their minds, to show that he is not the true God.

2. Augustin replied: You often speak in your discourses of two gods, as indeed you acknowledge, though at first you denied it. And you give as a reason for thus speaking the words of the apostle: "The god of this world has blinded the minds of them that believe not." Most of us punctuate this sentence differently, and explain it as meaning that the true God has blinded the minds of unbelievers. They put a stop after the word God, and read the following words together. Or without this punctuation you may, for the sake of exposition, change the order of the words, and read, "In whom God has blinded the minds of unbelievers of this world," which gives the same sense. The act of blinding the minds of unbelievers may in one sense be ascribed to God, as the effect not of malice, but of justice. Thus Paul himself says elsewhere, "Is God unjust, who taketh vengeance?" [757] and again, "What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. For Moses saith, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and will have compassion on whom I will have compassion." Observe what he adds, after asserting the undeniable truth that there is no unrighteousness with God: "But what if God, willing to show His wrath, and to make His power known, endured with much long-suffering the vessels of wrath fitted for destruction, and that He might manifest the riches of His grace towards the vessels of mercy, which He hath before prepared unto glory?" [758] etc. Here it evidently cannot be said that it is one God who shows his wrath, and makes known his power in the vessels of wrath fitted for destruction, and another God who shows his riches in the vessels of mercy. According to the apostle's doctrine, it is one and the same God who does both. Hence he says again, "For this cause God gave them up to the lusts of their own heart, to uncleanness, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves;" and immediately after, "For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections;" and again, "And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind." [759]Here we see how the true and just God blinds the minds of unbelievers. For in all these words quoted from the apostle no other God is understood than He whose Son, sent by Him, came saying, "For judgment am I come into this world, that they which see not might see, and that they which see might be made blind." [760]Here, again, it is plain to the minds of believers how God blinds the minds of unbelievers. For among the secret things, which contain the righteous principles of God's judgment, there is a secret which determines that the minds of some shall be blinded, and the minds of some enlightened. Regarding this, it is well said of God, "Thy judgments are a great deep." [761]The apostle, in admiration of the unfathomable depth of this abyss, exclaims: "O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and of the knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out!" [762]

3. You cannot distinguish between what God does in mercy and what He does in judgment, because you can neither understand nor use the words of our Psalter: "I will sing of mercy and judgment unto Thee, O Lord." [763]Accordingly, whatever in the feebleness of your frail humanity seems amiss to you, you separate entirely from the will and judgment of God: for you are provided with another evil god, not by a discovery of truth, but by an invention of folly; and to this god you attribute not only what you do unjustly, but also what you suffer justly. Thus you assign to God the bestowal of blessings, and take from Him the infliction of judgments, as if He of whom Christ says that He has prepared everlasting fire for the wicked were a different being from Him who makes His sun to rise upon the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. Why do you not understand that this great goodness and great severity belong to one God, but because you have not learned to sing of mercy and judgment? Is not He who causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust, the same who also breaks off the natural branches, and engrafts contrary to nature the wild olive tree? Does not the apostle, in reference to this, say of this one God: "Thou seest, then, the goodness and severity of God: to them which were broken off, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in His goodness?" [764]Here it is to be observed how the apostle takes away neither judicial severity from God, nor free-will from man. It is a profound mystery, impenetrable by human thought, how God both condemns the ungodly and justifies the ungodly; for both these things are said of Him in the truth of the Holy Scriptures. But is the mysteriousness of the divine judgments any reason for taking pleasure in cavilling against them? How much more becoming, and more suitable to the limitation of our powers, to feel the same awe which the apostle felt, and to exclaim, "O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and of the knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out!" How much better thus to admire what you cannot explain, than to try to make an evil god in addition to the true God, simply because you cannot understand the one good God! For it is not a question of names, but of actions.

4. Faustus glibly defends himself by saying, "We speak not of two gods, but of God and Hyle." But when you ask for the meaning of Hyle, you find that it is in fact another god. If the Manichæans gave the name of Hyle, as the ancients did, to the unformed matter which is susceptible of bodily forms, we should not accuse them of making two gods. But it is pure folly and madness to give to matter the power of forming bodies, or to deny that what has this power is God. When you give to some other being the power which belongs to the true God of making the qualities and forms, by which bodies, elements, and animals exist, according to their respective modes, whatever name you choose to give to this being, you are chargeable with making another god. There are indeed two errors in this blasphemous doctrine. In the first place, you ascribe the act of God to a being whom you are ashamed to call god; though you must call him god as long as you make him do things which only God can do. In the second place, the good things done by a good God you call bad, and ascribe to an evil god, because you feel a childish horror of whatever shocks the frailty of fallen humanity, and a childish pleasure in the opposite. So you think snakes are made by an evil being; while you consider the sun so great a good, that you believe it to be not the creature of God, but an emission from His substance. You must know that the true God, in whom, alas, you have not yet come to believe, made both the snake along with the lower creatures, and the sun along with other exalted creatures. Moreover, among still more exalted creatures, not heavenly bodies, but spiritual beings, He has made what far surpasses the light of the sun, and what no carnal man can perceive, much less you, who, in your condemnation of flesh, condemn the very principle by which you determine good and evil. For your only idea of evil is from the disagreeableness of some things to the fleshly sense; and your only idea of good is from sensual gratification.

5. When I consider the things lowest in the scale of nature, which are within our view, and which, though earthly, and feeble, and mortal, are still the works of God, I am lost in admiration of the Creator, who is so great, in the great works and no less great in the small. For the divine skill seen in the formation of all creatures in heaven and earth is always like itself, even in those things that differ from one another; for it is everywhere perfect, in the perfection which it gives to everything in its own kind. We see each creature made not as a whole by itself, but in relation to the rest of the creation; so that the whole divine skill is displayed in the formation of each, arranging each in its proper place and order, and providing what is suitable for all, both separately and unitedly. See here, lowest in the scale, the animals which fly, and swim, and walk, and creep. These are mortal creatures, whose life, as it is written, "is as a vapor which appeareth for a little time." [765]Each of these, according to the capacity of its kind, contributes the measure appointed in the goodness of the Creator to the completeness of the whole, so that the lowest partake in the good which the highest possess in a greater degree. Show me, if you can, any animal, however despicable, whose soul hates its own flesh, and does not rather nourish and cherish it, by its vital motion minister to its growth and direct its activity, and exercise a sort of management over a little universe of its own, which it makes subservient to its own preservation. Even in the discipline of his own body by a rational being, who brings his body under, that earthly passion may not hinder his perception of wisdom, there is love for his own flesh, which he then reduces to obedience, which is its proper condition. Indeed, you yourselves, although your heresy teaches you a fleshly abhorrence of the flesh, cannot help loving your own flesh, and caring for its safety and comfort, both by avoiding all injury from blows, and falls, and inclement weather, and by seeking for the means of keeping it in health. Thus the law of nature is too strong for your false doctrine.

6. Looking at the flesh itself, do we not see in the construction of its vital parts, in the symmetry of form, in the position and arrangement of the limbs of action and the organs of sensation, all acting in harmony; do we not see in the adjustment of measures, in the proportion of numbers, in the order of weights, the handiwork of the true God, of whom it is truly said, "Thou hast ordered all things in measure, and number, and weight"? [766]If your heart was not hardened and corrupted by falsehood, you would understand the invisible things of God from the things which He has made, even in these feeble creatures of flesh. For who is the author of the things I have mentioned, but He whose unity is the standard of all measure, whose wisdom is the model of all beauty, and whose law is the rule of all order? If you are blind to these things, hear at least the words of the apostle.

7. For the apostle, in speaking of the love which husbands ought to have for their wives gives, as an example, the love of the soul for the body. The words are: "He that loveth his wife, loveth himself: for no man ever yet hated his own flesh, but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as Christ the Church." [767]Look at the whole animal creation, and you find in the instinctive self-preservation of every animal this natural principle of love to its own flesh. It is so not only with men, who, when they live aright, both provide for the safety of their flesh, and keep their carnal appetites in subjection to the use of reason; the brutes also avoid pain, and shrink from death, and escape as rapidly as they can from whatever might break up the construction of their bodies, or dissolve the connection of spirit and flesh; for the brutes, too, nourish and cherish their own flesh. "For no one ever yet," says the apostle, "hated his own flesh, but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as Christ the Church." See where the apostle begins, and to what he ascends. Consider, if you can, the greatness which creation derives from its Creator, embracing as it does the whole extent from the host of heaven down to flesh and blood, with the beauty of manifold form, and the order of successive gradations.

8. The same apostle again, when speaking of spiritual gifts as diverse, and yet tending to harmonious action, to illustrate a matter so great, and divine, and mysterious, makes a comparison with the human body,--thus plainly intimating that this flesh is the handiwork of God. The whole passage, as found in the Epistle to the Corinthians, is so much to the point, that though it is long, I think it not amiss to insert it all: "Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant. Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led. Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed; and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are diversities of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; to another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: but all these worketh that one and the self-same Spirit, dividing to every man severally as He will. For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased Him. And if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they many members, yet but one body. And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee; nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary; and those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, upon these we bestow more abundant honor; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. For our comely parts have no need; but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honor to that part which lacked: that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honored, all the members rejoice with it." [768]Apart altogether from Christian faith, which would lead you to believe the apostle, if you have common sense to perceive what is self-evident, let each examine and see for himself the plain truth regarding those things of which the apostle speaks,--what greatness belongs to the least, and what goodness to the lowest; for these are the things which the apostle extols, in order to illustrate by means of these common and visible bodily objects, unseen spiritual realities of the most exalted nature.

9. Whoever, then, denies that our body and its members, which the apostle so approves and extols, are the handiwork of God, you see whom he contradicts, preaching contrary to what you have received. So, instead of refuting his opinions, I may leave him to be accursed of all Christians. The apostle says, God tempered the body. Faustus says, Not God, but Hyle. Anathemas are more suitable than arguments to such contradictions. You cannot say that God is here called the God of this world. And if any one understands the passage where this expression does occur to mean that the devil blinds the minds of unbelievers, we grant that he does so by his evil suggestions, from yielding to which, men lose the light of righteousness in God's righteous retribution. This is all in accordance with sacred Scripture. The apostle himself speaks of temptation from without: "I fear lest, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity and purity that is in Christ." [769]To the same purpose are the words, "Evil communications corrupt good manners;" [770] and when he speaks of a man deceiving himself, "Whoever thinketh himself to be anything, when he is nothing, deceiveth himself;" [771] or again, in the passage already quoted of the judgment of God, "God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient." [772] Similarly, in the Old Testament, after the words, "God did not create death, nor hath He pleasure in the destruction of the living," we read, "By the envy of the devil death entered into the world." [773] And again of death, that men may not put the blame from themselves, "The wicked invite her with hands and voice; and thinking her a friend, they are drawn down." [774]Elsewhere, however, it is said, "Good and evil, life and death, riches and poverty, are from the Lord God." [775]This seems perplexing to people who do not understand that, apart from the manifest judgment to follow hereafter upon every evil work, there is an actual judgment at the time; so that in one action, besides the craft of the deceiver and the wickedness of the voluntary agent, there is also the just penalty of the judge: for while the devil suggests, and man consents, God abandons. So, if you join the words, God of this world, and understand that the devil blinds unbelievers by his mischievous delusions, the meaning is not a bad one. For the word God is not used by itself, but with the qualification of this world, that is, of wicked men, who seek to prosper only in this age. In this sense the world is also called evil, where it is written, "that He might deliver us from this present evil age." [776]In the same way, in the expression, "whose god is their belly," it is only in connection with the word whose that the belly is called god. So also, in the Psalms, the devils would not be called gods without adding "of the nations." [777]But in the passage we are now considering it is not said, The god of this world, or, Whose god is their belly, or, The gods of the nations are devils; but simply, God has tempered the body, which can be understood only of the true God, the Creator of all. There is no disparaging addition here, as in the other cases. But perhaps Faustus will say that God tempered the body, not as the maker of it, in the arrangement of its members, but by mixing His light with it. Thus Faustus would attribute to some other being than God the construction of the body, and the arrangement of its members, while God tempered the evil of the construction by the mixture of His goodness. Such are the inventions with which the Manichæans cram feeble minds. But God, in aid of the feeble, by the mouth of the sacred writers rebukes this opinion. For we read a few verses before: "God has placed the members every one of them in the body, as it has pleased Him." Evidently, God is said to have tempered the body, because He has constructed it of many members, which in their union preserve the variety of their respective functions.

10. Do the Manichæans suppose that the animals which, according to their wild notions, were constructed by Hyle in the race of darkness, had not this harmonious action of their members, commended by the apostle, before God mixed His light with them; so that then the head did say to the feet, or the eye to the hand, I have no need of thee? This is not and cannot be the Manichæan doctrine, for they describe the animals as using all these members, and speak of them as creeping, walking, swimming, flying, each in its own kind. They could all see, too, and hear, and use the other senses, and nourish and cherish their own bodies with appropriate means and appliances. Hence, moreover, they had the power of reproduction, for they are spoken of as having offspring. All these things, of which Faust speaks disparagingly as the works of Hyle, could not be done without that harmonious arrangement which the apostle praises and ascribes to God. Is it not now plain who is to be followed, and who is to be pronounced accursed? Indeed, the Manichæans tell us of animals that could speak; and their speeches were heard and understood and approved of by all creatures, whether creeping things, or quadrupeds, or birds, or fish. Amazing and supernatural eloquence! Especially as they had no grammarian or elocutionist to teach them, and had not passed through the painful experience of the cane and the birch. Why, Faustus himself began late in life to learn oratory, that he might discourse eloquently on these absurdities; and with all his cleverness, after ruining his health by study, his preaching has gained a mere handful of followers. What a pity that he was born in the light, and not in that region of darkness! If he had discoursed there against the light, the whole animal creation, from the biped to the centipede, from the dragon to the shell-fish, would have listened eagerly, and obeyed at once; whereas, when he discourses here against the race of darkness, he is oftener called eloquent than learned, and oftener still a false teacher of the worst kind. And among the few Manichæans who extol him as a great teacher, he has none of the lower animals as his disciples; and not even his horse is any the wiser for his master's instructions, so that the mixture of a part of deity seems only to make the animals more stupid. What absurdity is this! When will these deluded beings have the sense to compare the description in the Manichæan fiction of what the animals were formerly in their own region, with what they are now in this world? Then their bodies were strong, now they are feeble; then their power of vision was such that they were induced to invade the region of God on account of the beauty which they saw, now it is too weak to face the rays of the sun; then they had intelligence sufficient to understand a discourse addressed to them, now they have no ability of the kind; then this astonishing and effective eloquence was natural, now eloquence of the most meagre kind requires diligent study and preparation. How many good things did the race of darkness lose by the mixture of good!

11. Faustus has displayed his ingenuity, in the remarks to which I am now replying, by making for himself a long list of opposites--health and sickness, riches and poverty, white and black, cold and hot, sweet and bitter. We need not say much about black and white. Or, if there is a character for good or evil in colors, so that white must be ascribed to God and black to Hyle; if God threw a white color on the wings of birds, when Hyle, as the Manichæans say, created them, where had the crows gone to when the swans got whitened? Nor need we discuss heat and cold, for both are good in moderation, and dangerous in excess. With regard to the rest, Faustus probably intended that good and evil, which he might as well have put first, should be understood as including the rest, so that health, riches, white, hot, sweet, should belong to good; and sickness, poverty, black, cold, bitter, to evil. The ignorance and folly of this is obvious. It might look like reviling if I were to take up separately white and black, hot and cold, sweet and bitter, health and sickness. For if white and sweet are both good, and black and bitter evil, how is it that most grapes and all olives become black as they become sweet, and so get good by getting evil? And if heat and health are both good, and cold and sickness evil, why do bodies become sick when heated? Is it healthy to have fever? But I let these things pass, for they may have been put down hastily, or they may have been given as merely instances of opposition, and not as being good and bad, especially as it is nowhere stated that the fire among the race of darkness is cold, so that heat in this case must unquestionably be evil.

12. We pass on, then, to health, riches, sweetness, which Faustus evidently accounts good in his contrasts. Was there no health of body in the race of darkness where animals were born and grew up and brought forth, and had such vitality, that when some that were with child were taken, as the story is, and were put in bonds in heaven, even the abortive offspring of a premature birth, falling from heaven to earth, nevertheless lived, and grew, and produced the innumerable kinds of animals which now exist? Or were there no riches where trees could grow not only in water and wind, but in smoke and fire, and could bear such a rich produce, that animals, according to their several kinds, sprang from the fruit, and were provided with the means of subsistence from those fertile trees, and showed how well fed they were by a numerous progeny? And all this where there was no toil in cultivation, and no inclement change from summer to winter, for there was no sun to give variety to the seasons by his annual course. There must have been perennial productiveness where the trees were not only born in their own element, but had a supply of appropriate nourishment to make them constantly fertile; as we see orange-trees bearing fruit all the year round if they are well watered. The riches must have been abundant, and they must have been secure from harm; for there could be no fear of hailstorms when there were no light-gatherers who, in your fable, set the thunder in motion.

13. Nor would the beings in this race of darkness have sought for food if it had not been sweet and pleasant, so that they would have died from want. For we find that all bodies have their peculiar wants, according to which food is either agreeable or offensive. If it is agreeable, it is said to be sweet or pleasant; if it is offensive, it is said to be bitter or sour, or in some way disagreeable. In human beings we find that one desires food which another dislikes, from a difference in constitution or habit or state of health. Still more, animals of quite different make can find pleasure in food which is disagreeable to us. Why else should the goats feed so eagerly on the wild olives? This food is sweet to them, as in some sicknesses honey tastes bitter to us. To a thoughtful inquirer these things suggest the beauty of the arrangement in which each finds what suits it, and the greatness of the good which extends from the lowest to the highest, and from the material to the spiritual. As for the race of darkness, if an animal sprung from any element fed on what was produced by that element, doubtless the food must have been sweet from its appropriateness. Again, if this animal had found food of another element, the want of appropriateness would have appeared in its offensiveness to the taste. Such offensiveness is called sourness, or bitterness, or disagreeableness, or something of the kind; or if its adverse nature is such as to destroy the harmony of the bodily constitution, and so take away life or reduce the strength, it is called poison, simply on account of this want of appropriateness, while it may nourish the kind of life to which it is appropriate. So, if a hawk eat the bread which is our daily food, it dies; and we die if we eat hellebore, which cattle often feed on, and which may itself in a certain form be used as a medicine. If Faustus had known or thought of this, he would not have given poison and antidote as an example of the two natures of good and evil, as if God were the antidote and Hyle the poison. For the same thing, of one and the same nature, kills or cures, as it is used appropriately or inappropriately. In the Manichæan legends, their god might be said to have been poison to the race of darkness; for he so injured their bodies, that from being strong, they became utterly feeble. But then again, as the light was itself taken, and subjected to loss and injury, it may be said to have been poison to itself.

14. Instead of one good and one evil principle, you seem to make both good or both evil, or rather two good and two evil; for they are good in themselves, and evil to one another. We may see afterwards which is the better or the worse; but meanwhile we may think of them as both good in themselves. Thus God reigned in one region, while Hyle reigned in the other. There was health in both kingdoms, and rich produce in both; both had a numerous progeny, and both tasted the sweetness of pleasures suitable to their respective natures. But the race of darkness, say the Manichæans, excepting the part which was evil to the light which it bordered on, was also evil to itself. As, however, I have already pointed out many good things in it, if you can point out its evils, there will still be two good kingdoms, though the one where there are no evils will be the better of the two. What, then, do you call its evils? They plundered, and killed, and devoured one another, according to Faustus. But if they did nothing else than this, how could such numerous hosts be born and grow up to maturity? They must have enjoyed peace and tranquillity too. But, allowing the kingdom where there is no discord to be the better of the two, still they should both be called good, rather than one good and the other bad. Thus the better kingdom will be that where they killed neither themselves nor one another; and the worse, or less good, where, though they fought with one another, each separate animal preserved its own nature in health and safety. But we cannot make much difference between your god and the prince of darkness, whom no one opposed, whose reign was acknowledged by all, and whose proposals were unanimously agreed to. All this implies great peace and harmony. Those kingdoms are happy where all agree heartily in obedience to the king. Moreover, the rule of this prince extended not only to his own species, or to bipeds whom you make the parents of mankind, but to all kinds of animals, who waited in his presence, obeying his commands, and believing his declarations. Do you think people are so stupid as not to recognize the attributes of deity in your description of this prince, or to think it possible that you can have another? If the authority of this prince rested on his resources, he must have been very powerful; if on his fame, he must have been renowned; if on love, the regard must have been universal; if on fear, he must have kept the strictest order. If some evils, then, were mixed with so many good things, who that knows the meaning of words would call this the nature of evil? Besides, if you call this the nature of evil, because it was not only evil to the other nature, but was also evil in itself, was there no evil, think you, in the dire necessity to which your god was subjected before the mixture with the opposite nature, so that he was compelled to fight with it, and to send his own members to be swallowed up so mercilessly as to be beyond the hope of complete recovery? This was a great evil in that nature before its mixture with the only thing you allow to be evil. Your god must either have had it in his power not to be injured and sullied by the race of darkness, in which case his own folly must have brought him into trouble; or if his substance was liable to corruption, the object of your worship is not the incorruptible God of whom the apostle speaks. [778]Does not, then this liability to corruption, even apart from the actual experience, seem to you to be an evil in your god?

15. It is plain, moreover, that either he must have been destitute of prescience,--a great defect, surely, in the Deity, not to know what is coming; or if he had prescience, he can never have felt secure, but must have been in constant terror, which you must allow to be a serious evil. There must have been the fear at every moment, that the time might be come for that conflict in which his members suffered such loss and contamination, that to liberate and purify them costs infinite labor, and, after all, can be done only partially. If it is going too far to attribute this state of alarm to the Deity himself, his members at least must have dreaded the prospect of suffering all these evils. Then, again, if they were ignorant of what was to happen, the substance of your god must have been so far wanting in prescience. How many evils do you reckon in your chief good? Perhaps you will say that they had no fear, because they foresaw, along with the suffering, their liberation and triumph. But still they must have feared for their companions, if they knew that they were to be cut off from their kingdom, and bound for ever in the mass of darkness.

16. Had they not the charity to feel a kindly sympathy for those who were doomed to suffer eternal punishment, without having committed any sin? These souls that were to be bound up with the mass, were not they too part of your god? Were they not of the same origin, the same substance? They at least must have felt grief or fear in the prospect of their own eternal bondage. To say that they did not know what was to happen, while the others did, is to make one and the same substance partly acquainted with the future, and partly ignorant. How can you call this substance the pure, and perfect, and supreme good, if there were such evils in it, even before its mixture with the evil principle? You will have to confess your two principles either both good or both evil. If you make two evils, you may make either of them the worse, as you please. But if you make two goods, we shall have to inquire which you make the better. Meanwhile there is an end to your doctrine of two principles, one good and the other evil, which are in fact two gods, one good and the other evil. But if hurting another is evil, they both hurt one another. Perhaps the greater evil was in the principle that first began the attack. But if one began the injury, the other returned it; and not by the law of compensation, an eye for an eye, which you are foolish enough to find fault with, but with far greater severity. You must choose which you will call the worse,--the one that began the injury, or the one that had the will and the power to do still greater injury. The one tried to get a share in the enjoyment of light; the other effected the entire overthrow of its opponent. If the one had got what it desired, it would certainly have done no harm to itself. But the other, in the discomfiture of its adversary, did great mischief to part of itself; reminding us of the well-known passionate exclamation, which is on record as having been actually used, "Perish our friends, if that will rid us of our enemies." [779]For part of your god was sent to suffer hopeless contamination, that there might be a covering for the mass in which the enemy is to be buried for ever alive. So much will he continue to be dreaded even when conquered and bound, that the security, such as it is, of one part of the deity must be purchased by the eternal misery of the other parts. Such is the harmlessness of the good principle! Your god, it appears, is guilty of the crime with which you charge the race of darkness--of injuring both friends and enemies. The charge is proved in the case of your god, by that final mass in which his enemies are confined, while his own subjects are involved in it. In fact, the principle that you call god is the more injurious of the two, both to friends and to enemies. In the case of Hyle, there was no desire to destroy the opposite kingdom, but only to possess it; and though some of its subjects were put to death by the violence of others, they appeared again in other forms, so that in the alternation of life and death they had intervals of enjoyment in their history. But your god, with all the omnipotence and perfect excellence that you ascribe to him, dooms his enemies to eternal destruction, and his friends to eternal punishment. And the height of insanity is in believing that while internal contest occasions the injury of the members of Hyle, victory brings punishment to the members of God. What means this folly? To use Faustus' comparison of God and Hyle to the antidote and poison, the antidote seems to be more mischievous than the poison. We do not hear of Hyle shutting up God for ever in a mass of darkness, or driving its own members into it; or, which is worst of all, slandering this unfortunate remnant, as an excuse for not effecting its purification. For Manichæus, in his Fundamental Epistle, says that these souls deserved to be thus punished, because they allowed themselves to be led away from their original brightness, and became enemies of holy light; whereas it was God himself that sent them to lose themselves in the region of darkness, that light might be opposed to light: which was unjust, if he forced them against their will; while, if they went willingly, he is ungrateful in punishing them. These souls can never have been happy, if they were tormented with fear before the conflict, from knowing that they were to become enemies to their original principle, and then in the conflict were hopelessly contaminated, and afterwards eternally condemned. On the other hand, they can never have been divine, if before the conflict they were unaware of what was coming, from want of prescience, and then showed feebleness in the conflict, and suffered misery afterwards. And what is true of them must be true of God, since they are of the same substance. Is there any hope of your seeing the folly of these blasphemies? You attempt, indeed, to vindicate the goodness of God, by asserting that Hyle when shut up is prevented from doing any more injury to itself. Hyle, it seems, is to get some good, when it has no longer any good mixed with it. Perhaps, as God before the conflict had the evil of necessity, when the good was unmixed with evil, so Hyle after the conflict is to have the good of rest, when the evil is unmixed with good. Your principles are thus either two evils, one worse than the other; or two goods, both imperfect, but one better than the other. The better, however, is the more miserable; for if the issue of this great conflict is that the enemy gets some good by the cessation of mutual injuries in Hyle, while God's own subjects suffer the serious evil of being driven into the mass of darkness, we may ask who has got the victory. The poison, we are to understand, is Hyle, where, nevertheless, animal life found a plentiful supply of the means of growth and productiveness; while the antidote is God, who could condemn his own members, but could not restore them. In reality, it is as absurd to call the one Hyle, as it is to call the other God. These are the follies of men who turn to fables because they cannot bear sound doctrine. [780]

Footnotes

[756] 2 Cor. iv. 4. [757] Rom. iii. 5. [758] Rom. ix. 14, 15, 22, 23. [759] Rom. i. 24, 25, 28. [760] John ix. 39. [761] Ps. xxxvi. 6. [762] Rom. xi. 33. [763] Ps. ci. 1. [764] Rom. xi. 17-24. [765] Jas. iv. 15. [766] Wisd. xi. 21. [767] Eph. v. 28, 29. [768] 1 Cor. xii. 1-26. [769] 2 Cor. xi. 3. [770] 1 Cor. xv. 33. [771] Gal. vi. 3. [772] Rom. i. 28. [773] Wisd. i. 13, and ii. 24. [774] Wisd. i. 16. [775] Ecclus. xi. 14. [776] Gal. i. 4. [777] Ps. xcvi. 5. [778] 1 Tim. i. 17. [779] Quoted Cic. pro Dejor. 9. [780] [This is one of Augustin's most effective refutations of Manichæan dualism.--A.H.N.]


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