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Augustine (Works) (02)
Paul Jang  2008-04-09 02:56:44, hit : 4,318
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Augustine (Works) (02).

(2) The Writings (edited from Philip Schaff)

1. A Mine of Knowledge

The numerous writings of Augustine, the composition of which extended through four and forty years, are a mine of Christian knowledge and experience.

2. Autobiographical works

(1) Confessions (400)

① acknowledging his sins
② subjecting his life
③ are the most profitable, at least the most edifying book in all the patristic literature

④ Compared with “Imitation of Christ”, “Pilgrim's Progress,” and Rousseau's “Confession,” Goethe's “Truth & Poetry.”

(2) Retractation (427)

① acknowledging his theoretical errors
② subjecting to close criticism
③ the best standard for judging of entire labors.

3. Philosophical treatises, in dialogue

(1) Contra Academicos Libritres (386)

① combating the skepticism and probabilism of the New Academy, - the doctrine that man can never reach the truth, but can at best attain only probability.

② but can at best attain only probability.

(2) De Vita Beata (386)

① in which he makes true blessedness to consist in the perfect knowledge of God

② the true blessedness by the perfect knowledge of God.

(3) De Ordine (386)

① on the relation of evil to the divine order of the world.
② in which he states the Providence of God about evil.

(4) Soliloquia (387)

① communings with his own soul concerning God, the highest good, the knowledge of truth, and immortality

② His spiritual knowledges.

(5) De Immortalitate Animae (387)

① a continuation of the Soliloquies

(6) De Quantitate Animae (387)
① discussing sundry questions of the size, the origin, the incorporeity of the soul.

(7) De Musica Libri vi (387-389)

(8) De Magistro (389)

① in which, in a dialogue with his son Adeodatus, a pious and promising.

② but precocious youth, who died soon after his return to Africa (389), he treats on the importance and virtue of the words of the God, and on Christ ad the infallible Master.

(9) De Anima et Ejus Origine (419)

(10) Other philosophical works which have been lost
① the works on grammar
② the works on dialectics
③ the works on rhetoric
④ the works on geometry
⑤ the works on arithmetic

4. Apologetic works against Pagan and Jews

(1) De Civitate Dei (423-426)

① composed of 22 books
② still well worth reading
③ the deepest and richest apologetic work of antiquity.
④ began in 413, after the occupation of Rome by Gothic king Alaric, finished in 426, and often separately published.

⑤ The condense his entire theory of the world and of man, and are the first attempt at a comprehensive philosophy of universal history under the dualistic view of two antagonists currents or organized forces, a kingdom of this world which is doomed to final destruction, and a kingdom of God which will last forever.

5. Religious-Theological works of a general nature (in part anti-Manichaean)

(1) De utilitate credendi (392)
① against the Gnostic exaltation of knowledge

(2) De fide et symbolo (393)
① a discourse which, though only presbyter, he delivered on the Apostles' Creed before the council at Hippo at the request of the bishops.

(3) De doctrina Christiana iv libri (397- the fourth book added in 426),

① a compend of exegetical theology for instruction in the interpretation of the Scriptures according to the analogy of the faith;

(4) De catechizandis rudibus (400)

① likewise for catechetical purposes

(5) Enchiridion, or De fide, spe et cantate (421)
① a brief compend of the doctrine of faith and morals which he wrote.

② later, at the request of Laurentius : hence also called Manuale ad Laurentium.

6. Polemic-Theological works
These are the most copious sources of the history of doctrine. The heresies collectively are reviewed in the book De haeresibus ad Quodvultdeum.

(1) De haeresibus ad Quodvultdeum (428-430)

① written between 428 and 430 to a friend and deacon in Carthage.

② giving a survey of eighty-eight heresies, from the bimomans to the Pelagians.

(2) De vera religione (390)

① Augustine proposed to show that the true religion is to be found not with the heretics and schismatics in this work.

② but only in the catholic church of that time.

(3) The other controversial works are directed against the particular heresies of Manichaeism, Donatism, Arianism, Pelagianism, and Semi-Pelagianism.

Augustine, with all the firmness of his convictions, was free from personal antipathy, and used the pen of controversy in the genuine Christian, spirit, fortiter in re, suaviter in modo.

He understood Paul's ἀληdeύeιν. ἐν ἀγάpῂ, and forms in this respect a pleasing contrast to Jerome, who probably had by nature no more fiery temperament than he, but was less able to control it.

"Let those," he very beautifully says to the Manichaeans, "burn with hatred against you, who do not know how much pains it costs to find the truth, how hard it is to guard against error; - but I, who after so great and long wavering came to know the truth, must bear myself towards you with the same patience which my fellow-believers showed towards me while I was wandering in blind madness in your opinions."

1) The Anti-Manichaean works
① date mostly from his earlier life, and in time and matter follow immediately upon his philosophical writings.

② In them he afterwards found most to retract, because he advocated the freedom of the will against the Manichaean fatalism.

③ The most important are:

(1) De moribus ecclesise catholicae, et de moribus Manichaeorum, two books (written during his second residence in Rome, 388)

(2) De vera religione (390)

(3) Unde malum, et de libero arbitrio, usually simply De libero arbitrio, in three books, against the Manichaean doctrine of evil as a substance, and as having its seat in matter instead of free will (begun in 388, finished in 395);

(4) De Genesi contra Manichseos, a defence of the biblical doctrine of creation (389)

(5) De duabus animabus, against the psychological dualism of the Manichaeans (392)

(6) Disputatio contra Fortunatum (a triumphant refutation of this Manichasan priest in Hippo in August, 392)

(7) Contra Epistolam Manichsei quam vocant fundament! (397)

(8) Contra Faustum Manichasum, in thirty-three books (400-404); De natura boni (404), &c.

① These works treat of the origin of evil; of free will;
② of the harmony of the Old and New Testaments,
③ of revelation and nature;
④ of creation out of nothing, in opposition to dualism and hylozoism;
⑤ of the supremacy of faith over knowledge;
⑥ of the authority of the Scriptures and the church;
⑦ of the true and the false asceticism, and other disputed points;
⑧ and they are the chief source of our knowledge of the Manichaean Gnosticism and of the arguments against it.

Having himself belonged for nine years to this sect, Augustine was the better fitted for the task of refuting it, as Paul was peculiarly prepared for the confutation of the Pharisaic Judaism.

His doctrine of the nature of evil is particularly valuable. He has triumphantly demonstrated for all time, that evil is not a corporeal thing, nor in any way substantial, but a product of the; free will of the creature, a perversion of substance in itself good, a corruption of the nature created by God.

2) Against the Priscillianists
① a sect in Spain built on Mamchaean principles.

② are directed the book Ad Paulum Orosium contra Priscillianists et Origenistas (411)

③ the book Contra mendacium, addressed to Gonsentius (420);

④ and in part the 190th Epistle (alias Ep. 157),

⑤ to the bishop Optatus on the origin of the soul (418),

⑥ and two other letters, in which he refutes erroneous views on the nature of the soul, the limitation of future punishments, and the lawfulness of fraud for supposed good purposes.

3) The Anti-Donatistic works
① composed between the years 393 and 420, argue against separatism, and contain Augustine's doctrine of the church and church-discipline, and of the sacraments.

② To these belong: Psalmus contra partem Donati (A. D. 393),

③ a polemic popular song without regular metre, intended to offset the songs of the Donatists; Contra epistolam Parmeniani, written in 400 against the Carthaginian;

④ bishop of the Donatists, the successor of Donatus;

⑤ De baptismo contra Donatistas, in favor of the validity of heretical baptism (400);

⑥ Contra literas Petiliani (about 400), against the view of Cyprian and the Donatists, that the efficacy of the sacraments depends on the personal worthiness and the ecclesiastical status of the officiating priest;

⑦ Ad Catholicos Epistola contra Donatistas, vulgo De imitate ecclesiae (402);

⑧ Contra Cresconium grammaticum Donatistam (406);

⑨ Breviculus collationis cum Donatistis, a short account of the three-days' religious conference with tlie Donatists (411);

⑩ De correctione Donatistarum (417);

⑪ Contra Gaudentium, Donat. Episcopum, the last anti-Donatistic work (420).

4) The Anti-Asian works
① have to do with the deity of Christ and of the Holy Ghost, and with the Holy Trinity.

② By far the most important of these are the fifteen books De Trinitate (400-416); - the most profound and discriminating production of the ancient church on the Trinity, in no respect inferior to the kindred works of Athanasius and the two Gregories, and for centuries final to the dogma.

③ This may also be counted among the positive didactic works, for it is not directly controversial.
The Collatio cum Maximino Ariano, an obscure babbler, belongs to the year 428.

7. The Numerous Anti-Pelagian Works of Augustine
① are his most influential and most valuable.

② They were written between the years 412 and 429.

③ In them Augustine, in his intellectual and spiritual prime, develops his system of anthropology and soteriology, and most nearly approaches the position of evangelical Protestantism: On the Guilt and the Remission of Sins, and Infant Baptism. (412)

④ On the Spirit and the Letter (413);
⑤ On Nature and Grace (415)
⑥ On the Acts of Pelagius (417)
⑦ On the Grace of Christ, and Original Sin (418)
⑧ On Marriage and Concupiscence (419)
⑨ On Grace and Free Will (426)
⑩ On Discipline and Grace (427)
⑪ Against Julian of Eclanum (two large works, written between 421 and 429, the second unfinished, and hence called Opus imperfectum)

⑫ On the Predestination of the Saints (428)
⑬ On the Gift of Perseverance (429); &c.

8. Exegetical works. The best of these are:

(1) De Genesi ad literam (The Genesis word for word), in twelve books, an extended exposition of the first three chapters of Genesis, particularly the history of the creation literally interpreted, though with many mystical and allegorical interpretations also written between 401 and 415);

(2) Enarrationes in Psalmos (mostly sermons)

(3) the hundred and twenty-four Homilies on the Gospel of John (416 and 417)

(4) the ten Homilies on the First Epistle of John (417)

(5) the Exposition of the Sermon on the Mount (393)

(6) the Harmony of the Gospels (De consensu evangelistarum, 400)

(7) the Epistle to the Galatians. (394)

(8) The unfinished Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans.

① Augustine deals more in lively, profound, and edifying thoughts on the Scriptures than in proper grammatical and historical exposition, for which neither he nor his readers had the necessary linguistic knowledge, disposition, or taste.

② He grounded his theology less upon exegesis than upon his Christian and churchly mind, saturated with Scriptural truths.

9. Ethical or Practical and Ascetic works.

(1) Sermons: Among these belong three hundred and ninety-six Sermones (mostly very short) de Scripturis (on texts of Scripture), de tempore (festival sermons), de sanctis (in memory of apostles, martyrs and saints), and de diversis (on various occasions), some of them dictated by Augustine, some taken down by hearers.

(2) Treatises: Also various moral treatises:
De continentia (395);
De mendacio (395), against deception (not to be confounded with the similar work already mentioned Contra mendacium, against the fraud-theory of the Priscillianists, written in 420);
De agone Christiano (396);
De opere monachorum, against monastic idleness (400)
De bono conjugal! adv. Jovinianum (400);
De virginitate (401); De fide et operibus (413);
De adulterinis conjugiis, on 1 Cor. vii. 10 sqq. (419); De bono viduitatis (418); De patientia (418);
De cura pro mortuis gerenda, to Paulinus of Nola (421)
De utilitate jejunii; De diligendo Deo; Meditationes;

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

10. The Master-Works of Augustine
(1) Confessions
(2) The City of God
(3) On Christian Doctrine



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