Authors/Augustine/City of God/City of God Book XXII

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ON THE CITY OF GOD, BOOK XXII


Translated by Marcus Dods.


  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1 Of the Creation of Angels and Men
  • Chapter 2 Of the Eternal and Unchangeable Will of God
  • Chapter 3 Of the Promise of Eternal Blessedness to the Saints, and Everlasting Punishment to the Wicked
  • Chapter 4 Against the Wise Men of the World, Who Fancy that the Earthly Bodies of Men Cannot Be Transferred to a Heavenly Habitation
  • Chapter 5 Of the Resurrection of the Flesh, Which Some Refuse to Believe, Though the World at Large Believes It
  • Chapter 6 That Rome Made Its Founder Romulus a God Because It Loved Him; But the Church Loved Christ Because It Believed Him to Be God
  • Chapter 7 That the World's Belief in Christ is the Result of Divine Power, Not of Human Persuasion
  • Chapter 8 Of Miracles Which Were Wrought that the World Might Believe in Christ, and Which Have Not Ceased Since the World Believed
  • Chapter 9 That All the Miracles Which are Done by Means of the Martyrs in the Name of Christ Testify to that Faith Which the Martyrs Had in Christ
  • Chapter 10 That the Martyrs Who Obtain Many Miracles in Order that the True God May Be Worshipped, are Worthy of Much Greater Honor Than the Demons, Who Do Some Marvels that They Themselves May Be Supposed to Be God
  • Chapter 11 Against the Platonists, Who Argue from the Physical Weight of the Elements that an Earthly Body Cannot Inhabit Heaven
  • Chapter 12 Against the Calumnies with Which Unbelievers Throw Ridicule Upon the Christian Faith in the Resurrection of the Flesh
  • Chapter 13 Whether Abortions, If They are Numbered Among the Dead, Shall Not Also Have a Part in the Resurrection
  • Chapter 14 Whether Infants Shall Rise in that Body Which They Would Have Had Had They Grown Up
  • Chapter 15 Whether the Bodies of All the Dead Shall Rise the Same Size as the Lord's Body
  • Chapter 16 What is Meant by the Conforming of the Saints to the Image of The Son of God
  • Chapter 17 Whether the Bodies of Women Shall Retain Their Own Sex in the Resurrection
  • Chapter 18 Of the Perfect Man, that Is, Christ; And of His Body, that Is, The Church, Which is His Fullness
  • Chapter 19 That All Bodily Blemishes Which Mar Human Beauty in This Life Shall Be Removed in the Resurrection, the Natural Substance of the Body Remaining, But the Quality and Quantity of It Being Altered So as to Produce Beauty
  • Chapter 20 That, in the Resurrection, the Substance of Our Bodies, However Disintegrated, Shall Be Entirely Reunited
  • Chapter 21 Of the New Spiritual Body into Which the Flesh of the Saints Shall Be Transformed
  • Chapter 22 Of the Miseries and Ills to Which the Human Race is Justly Exposed Through the First Sin, and from Which None Can Be Delivered Save by Christ's Grace
  • Chapter 23 Of the Miseries of This Life Which Attach Peculiarly to the Toil of Good Men, Irrespective of Those Which are Common to the Good and Bad
  • Chapter 24 Of the Blessings with Which the Creator Has Filled This Life, Obnoxious Though It Be to the Curse
  • Chapter 25 Of the Obstinacy of Those Individuals Who Impugn the Resurrection of the Body, Though, as Was Predicted, the Whole World Believes It
  • Chapter 26 That the Opinion of Porphyry, that the Soul, in Order to Be Blessed, Must Be Separated from Every Kind of Body, is Demolished by Plato, Who Says that the Supreme God Promised the Gods that They Should Never Be Ousted from Their Bodies
  • Chapter 27 Of the Apparently Conflicting Opinions of Plato and Porphyry, Which Would Have Conducted Them Both to the Truth If They Could Have Yielded to One Another
  • Chapter 28 What Plato or Labeo, or Even Varro, Might Have Contributed to the True Faith of the Resurrection, If They Had Adopted One Another's Opinions into One Scheme
  • Chapter 29 Of the Beatific Vision
  • Chapter 30 Of the Eternal Felicity of the City of God, and of the Perpetual Sabbath


Latin Latin
BOOK XXII []
The City of God (Book XXII) Argument-This book treats of the end of the city of God, that is to say, of the eternal happiness of the saints; the faith of the resurrection of the body is established and explained; and the work concludes by showing how the saints, clothed in immortal and spiritual bodies, shall be employed.
BOOK XXII [I] Sicut in proximo libro superiore promisimus, iste huius totius operis ultimus disputationem de civitatis Dei aeterna beatitudine continebit, quae non propter aetatis per multa saecula longitudinem tamen quandocumque finiendam aeternitatis nomen accepit, sed quem ad modum scriptum est in euangelio, regno eius non erit finis; nec ita ut aliis moriendo decedentibus, aliis succedentibus oriendo species in ea perpetuitatis appareat, sicut in arbore, quae perenni fronde uestitur, eadem videtur viriditas permanere, dum labentibus et cadentibus foliis subinde alia, quae nascuntur, faciem conservant opacitatis; sed omnes in ea cives inmortales erunt, adipiscentibus et hominibus, quod numquam sancti angeli perdiderunt. Faciet hoc Deus omnipotentissimus eius conditor. Promisit enim nec mentiri potest, et quibus fidem hinc quoque faceret, multa sua et non promissa et promissa iam fecit. Ipse est enim, qui in principio condidit mundum, plenum bonis omnibus visibilibus atque intellegibilibus rebus, in quo nihil melius instituit quam spiritus, quibus intellegentiam dedit et suae contemplationis habiles capacesque sui praestitit atque una societate devinxit, quam sanctam et supernam dicimus civitatem, in qua res, qua sustententur beatique sint, Deus ipse illis est, tamquam vita victusque communis; qui liberum arbitrium eidem intellectuali naturae tribuit tale, ut, si vellet, desereret Deum, beatitudinem scilicet suam, miseria continuo secutura; qui, cum praesciret angelos quosdam per elationem, qua ipsi sibi ad beatam vitam sufficere vellent, tanti boni desertores futuros, non eis ademit hanc potestatem, potentius et melius esse iudicans etiam de malis bene facere quam mala esse non sinere (quae omnino nulla essent, nisi natura mutabilis, quamvis bona et a summo Deo atque incommutabili bono, qui bona omnia condidit, instituta, peccando ea sibi ipsa fecisset; quo etiam peccato suo teste conuincitur bonam conditam se esse naturam; nisi enim magnum et ipsa, licet non aequale Conditori, bonum esset, profecto desertio Dei tamquam luminis sui malum eius esse non posset; nam sicut caecitas oculi vitium est et idem ipsum indicat ad lumen videndum esse oculum creatum ac per hoc etiam ipso vitio suo excellentius ostenditur ceteris membris membrum capax luminis _ non enim alia causa esset vitium eius carere lumine _ : ita natura, quae fruebatur Deo, optimam se institutam docet etiam ipso vitio, quo ideo misera est quia non fruitur Deo); qui casum angelorum voluntarium iustissima poena sempiternae infelicitatis obstrinxit atque in eo summo bono permanentibus ceteris, ut de sua sine fine permansione certi essent, tamquam ipsius praemium permansionis dedit; qui fecit hominem etiam ipsum rectum cum eodem libero arbitrio, terrenum quidem animal, sed caelo dignum, si suo cohaereret auctori, miseria similiter, si eum desereret, secutura, qualis naturae huius modi conveniret (quem similiter cum praeuaricatione legis Dei per Dei desertionem peccaturum esse praesciret, nec illi ademit liberi arbitrii potestatem, simul praevidens, quid boni de malo eius esset ipse facturus); qui de mortali progenie merito iusteque damnata tantum populum gratia sua colligit, ut inde suppleat et instauret partem, quae lapsa est angelorum, ac sic illa dilecta et superna civitas non fraudetur suorum numero civium, quin etiam fortassis et uberiore laetetur.
As we promised in the immediately preceeding book, this, the last of the whole work, shall contain a discussion of the eternal blessedness of the city of God. This blessedness is named eternal, not because it shall endure for many ages, though at last it shall come to an end, but because, according to the words of the gospel, "of His kingdom there shall be no end." Luke 1:33 Neither shall it enjoy the mere appearance of perpetuity which is maintained by the rise of fresh generations to occupy the place of those that have died out, as in an evergreen the same freshness seems to continue permanently, and the same appearance of dense foliage is preserved by the growth of fresh leaves in the room of those that have withered and fallen; but in that city all the citizens shall be immortal, men now for the first time enjoying what the holy angels have never lost. And this shall be accomplished by God, the most almighty Founder of the city. For He has promised it, and cannot lie, and has already performed many of His promises, and has done many unpromised kindnesses to those whom He now asks to believe that He will do this also.For it is He who in the beginning created the world full of all visible and intelligible beings, among which He created nothing better than those spirits whom He endowed with intelligence, and made capable of contemplating and enjoying Him, and united in our society, which we call the holy and heavenly city, and in which the material of their sustenance and blessedness is God Himself, as it were their common food and nourishment. It is He who gave to this intellectual nature free-will of such a kind, that if he wished to forsake God, i.e., his blessedness, misery should forthwith result. It is He who, when He foreknew that certain angels would in their pride desire to suffice for their own blessedness, and would forsake their great good, did not deprive them of this power, deeming it to be more befitting His power and goodness to bring good out of evil than to prevent the evil from coming into existence. And indeed evil had never been, had not the mutable nature-mutable, though good, and created by the most high God and immutable Good, who created all things good-brought evil upon itself by sin. And this its sin is itself proof that its nature was originally good. For had it not been very good, though not equal to its Creator, the desertion of God as its light could not have been an evil to it. For as blindness is a vice of the eye, and this very fact indicates that the eye was created to see the light, and as, consequently, vice itself proves that the eye is more excellent than the other members, because it is capable of light (for on no other supposition would it be a vice of the eye to want light), so the nature which once enjoyed God teaches, even by its very vice, that it was created the best of all, since it is now miserable because it does not enjoy God. It is he who with very just punishment doomed the angels who voluntarily fell to everlasting misery, and rewarded those who continued in their attachment to the supreme good with the assurance of endless stability as the meed of their fidelity. It is He who made also man himself upright, with the same freedom of will,-an earthly animal, indeed, but fit for heaven if he remained faithful to his Creator, but destined to the misery appropriate to such a nature if he forsook Him. It is He who when He foreknew that man would in his turn sin by abandoning God and breaking His law, did not deprive him of the power of free-will, because He at the same time foresaw what good He Himself would bring out of the evil, and how from this mortal race, deservedly and justly condemned, He would by His grace collect, as now He does, a people so numerous, that He thus fills up and repairs the blank made by the fallen angels, and that thus that beloved and heavenly city is not defrauded of the full number of its citizens, but perhaps may even rejoice in a still more overflowing population.
BOOK XXII [II] Multa enim fiunt quidem a malis contra voluntatem Dei; sed tantae est ille sapientiae tantaeque virtutis, ut in eos exitus sive fines, quos bonos et iustos ipse praescivit, tendant omnia, quae voluntati eius videntur adversa. Ac per hoc cum Deus mutare dicitur voluntatem, ut quibus lenis erat verbi gratia reddatur iratus, illi potius quam ipse mutantur et eum quodam modo mutatum in his quae patiuntur inveniunt; sicut mutatur sol oculis sauciatis et asper quodam modo ex miti et ex delectabili molestus efficitur, cum ipse apud se ipsum maneat idem qui fuit. Dicitur etiam voluntas Dei, quam facit in cordibus oboedientium mandatis eius, de qua dicit apostolus: Deus enim est, qui operatur in vobis et velle, sicut iustitia Dei non solum qua ipse iustus est dicitur, sed illa etiam quam in homine, qui ab illo iustificatur, facit. Sic et lex eius vocatur, quae potius est hominum, sed ab ipso data; nam utique homines erant, quibus ait Iesus: In lege uestra scriptum est, cum alio loco legamus: Lex Dei eius in corde eius. Secundum hanc voluntatem, quam Deus operatur in hominibus, etiam velle dicitur, quod non ipse uult, sed suos id volentes facit; sicut dicitur cognovisse, quod ut cognosceretur fecit, a quibus ignorabatur. Neque enim dicente apostolo: Nunc autem cognoscentes Deum, immo cognoti a Deo, fas est ut credamus, quod eos tunc cognoverit Deus praecognitos ante constitutionem mundi; sed tunc cognovisse dictus est, quod tunc ut cognosceretur effecit. De his locutionum modis iam et in superioribus libris memini disputatum. Secundum hanc ergo voluntatem, qua Deum velle dicimus quod alios efficit velle, a quibus futura nesciuntur, multa uult nec facit. Multa enim volunt fieri sancti eius ab illo inspirata sancta voluntate, nec fiunt, sicut orant pro quibusdam pie sancteque, et quod orant non facit, cum ipse in eis hanc orandi voluntatem sancto Spiritu suo fecerit. Ac per hoc, quando secundum Deum volunt et orant sancti, ut quisque sit saluus, possumus illo modo locutionis dicere: "Vult Deus et non facit"; ut ipsum dicamus velle, qui ut velint isti facit. Secundum illam vero voluntatem suam, quae cum eius praescientia sempiterna est, profecto in caelo et in terra omnia quaecumque voluit non solum praeterita vel praesentia, sed etiam futura iam fecit. Verum antequam veniat tempus, quo voluit ut fieret, quod ante tempora universa praescivit atque disposuit, dicimus: "Fiet quando Deus voluerit"; si autem non solum tempus quo futurum est, verum etiam utrum futurum sit ignoramus, dicimus: "Fiet, si Deus voluerit"; non quia Deus nouam voluntatem, quam non habuit, tunc habebit; sed quia id, quod ex aeternitate in eius inmutabili praeparatum est voluntate, tunc erit.
It is true that wicked men do many things contrary to God's will; but so great is His wisdom and power, that all things which seem adverse to His purpose do still tend towards those just and good ends and issues which He Himself has foreknown. And consequently, when God is said to change His will, as when, e.g., He becomes angry with those to whom He was gentle, it is rather they than He who are changed, and they find Him changed in so far as their experience of suffering at His hand is new, as the sun is changed to injured eyes, and becomes as it were fierce from being mild, and hurtful from being delightful, though in itself it remains the same as it was. That also is called the will of God which He does in the hearts of those who obey His commandments; and of this the apostle says, "For it is God that works in you both to will." Philippians 2:13 As God's "righteousness" is used not only of the righteousness wherewith He Himself is righteous, but also of that which He produces in the man whom He justifies, so also that is called His law, which, though given by God, is rather the law of men. For certainly they were men to whom Jesus said, "It is written in your law," John 8:17 though in another place we read, "The law of his God is in his heart." According to this will which God works in men, He is said also to will what He Himself does not will, but causes His people to will; as He is said to know what He has caused those to know who were ignorant of it. For when the apostle says, "But now, after that you have known God, or rather are known of God," Galatians 4:9 we cannot suppose that God there for the first time knew those who were foreknown by Him before the foundation of the world; but He is said to have known them then, because then He caused them to know. But I remember that I discussed these modes of expression in the preceding books. According to this will, then, by which we say that God wills what He causes to be willed by others, from whom the future is hidden, He wills many things which He does not perform.Thus His saints, inspired by His holy will, desire many things which never happen. They pray, e.g., for certain individuals-they pray in a pious and holy manner-but what they request He does not perform, though He Himself by His own Holy Spirit has wrought in them this will to pray. And consequently, when the saints, in conformity with God's mind, will and pray that all men be saved, we can use this mode of expression: God wills and does not perform,-meaning that He who causes them to will these things Himself wills them. But if we speak of that will of His which is eternal as His foreknowledge, certainly He has already done all things in heaven and on earth that He has willed,-not only past and present things, but even things still future. But before the arrival of that time in which He has willed the occurrence of what He foreknew and arranged before all time, we say, It will happen when God wills. But if we are ignorant not only of the time in which it is to be, but even whether it shall be at all, we say, It will happen if God wills,-not because God will then have a new will which He had not before, but because that event, which from eternity has been prepared in His unchangeable will, shall then come to pass.
BOOK XXII [III] Quapropter, ut cetera tam multa praeteream, sicut nunc in Christo videmus impleri quod promisit Abrahae dicens: In semine tuo benedicentur omnes gentes: ita quod eidem semini eius promisit implebitur, ubi ait per prophetam: Resurgent qui erant in monumentis, et quod ait: Erit caelum nouum et terra noua, et non erunt memores priorum, nec ascendet in cor ipsorum, sed laetitiam et exultationem invenient in ea. Ecce ego faciam Hierusalem exultationem et populum meum laetitiam; et exultabo in Hierusalem et laetabor in populo meo, et ultra non audietur in illa vox fletus. et per alium prophetam quod praenuntiavit dicens eidem prophetae: In tempore illo saluabitur populus tuus omnis quo inventus fuerit scriptus in libro, et multi dormientium in terrae puluere (sive, ut quidam interpretati sunt, aggere) exurgent, hi in vitam aeternam et hi in opprobrium et in confusionem aeternam . et alio loco per eundem prophetam: Accipient regnum sancti Altissimi et obtinebunt illud usque on saeculum et usque in saeculum saeculorum; et paulo post: Regnum, inquit, eius regnum sempiternum; et alia quae ad hoc pertinentia in libro vicensimo posui, sive quae non posui et tamen in e.isdem litteris scripta sunt, venient et haec, sicut ista venerunt, quae increduli non putabant esse ventura. Idem quippe Deus utraque promisit, utraque ventura esse praedixit, quem perhorrescunt numina paganorum, etiam teste Porphyrio, nobilissimo philosopho paganorum.
Wherefore, not to mention many other instances besides, as we now see in Christ the fulfillment of that which God promised to Abraham when He said, "In your seed shall all nations be blessed," Genesis 22:18 so this also shall be fulfilled which He promised to the same race, when He said by the prophet, "They that are in their sepulchres shall rise again," Isaiah 26:19 and also, "There shall be a new heaven and a new earth: and the former shall not be mentioned, nor come into mind; but they shall find joy and rejoicing in it: for I will make Jerusalem a rejoicing, and my people a joy. And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people, and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her." Isaiah 65:17-19 And by another prophet He uttered the same prediction: "At that time your people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. And many of them that sleep in the dust" (or, as some interpret it, "in the mound") "of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt." Daniel 12:1-2 And in another place by the same prophet: "The saints of the Most High shall take the kingdom, and shall possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever." Daniel 7:18 And a little after he says, "His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom." Daniel 7:27 Other prophecies referring to the same subject I have advanced in the twentieth book, and others still which I have not advanced are found written in the same Scriptures; and these predictions shall be fulfilled, as those also have been which unbelieving men supposed would be frustrate. For it is the same God who promised both, and predicted that both would come to pass,-the God whom the pagan deities tremble before, as even Porphyry, the noblest of pagan philosophers, testifies.
BOOK XXII [IV] Sed videlicet homines docti atque sapientes contra vim tantae auctoritatis, quae omnia genera hominum, sicut tanto ante praedixit, in hoc credendum sperandumque convertit, acute sibi argumentari videntur adversus corporum resurrectionem et dicere quod in tertio de re publica libro a Cicerone commemoratum est. Nam cum Herculem et Romulum ex hominibus deos esse factos asseueraret: "Quorum non corpora, inquit, sunt in caelum elata; neque enim natura pateretur, ut id quod esset e terra nisi in terra maneret." Haec est magna ratio sapientium, quorum Dominus novit cogitationes, quoniam uanae sunt. Si enim animae tantummodo essemus, id est sine ullo corpore spiritus, et in caelo habitantes terrena animalia nesciremus nobisque futurum esse diceretur, ut terrenis corporibus animandis quodam vinculo mirabili necteremur: nonne multo fortius argumentaremur id credere recusantes et diceremus naturam non pati, ut res incorporea ligamento corporeo vinciretur? Et tamen plena est terra uegetantibus animis haec membra terrena, miro sibi modo conexa et implicita. Cur ergo eodem volente Deo, qui fecit hoc animal, non poterit terrenum corpus in caeleste corpus attolli, si animus omni ac per hoc etiam caelesti corpore praestabilior terreno corpori potuit inligari? An terrena particula tam exigua potuit aliquid caelesti corpore melius apud se tenere, ut sensum haberet et vitam, et eam sentientem atque viventem dedignabitur caelum suscipere aut susceptam non poterit sustinere, cum de re sentiat et vivat ista meliore, quam est corpus omne caeleste? Sed ideo nunc non fit, quia nondum est tempus quo id fieri voluit, qui hoc, quod videndo iam viluit, multo mirabilius quam illud, quod ab istis non creditur, fecit. Cur enim non uehementius admiramur incorporeos animos, caelesti corpore potiores, terrenis inligari corporibus quam corpora licet terrena sedibus quamvis caelestibus, tamen corporeis sublimari, nisi quia hoc videre consuevimus et hoc sumus, illud vero nondum sumus nec aliquando adhuc vidimus? Nam profecto sobria ratione consulta mirabilioris esse divini operis reperitur incorporalibus corporalia quodam modo attexere quam licet diversa, quia illa caelestia, ista terrestria, tamen corpora et corpora copulare.
But men who use their learning and intellectual ability to resist the force of that great authority which, in fulfillment of what was so long before predicted, has converted all races of men to faith and hope in its promises, seem to themselves to argue acutely against the resurrection of the body while they cite what Cicero mentions in the third book De Republica. For when he was asserting the apotheosis of Hercules and Romulus, he says: "Whose bodies were not taken up into heaven; for nature would not permit a body of earth to exist anywhere except upon earth." This, forsooth, is the profound reasoning of the wise men, whose thoughts God knows that they are vain. For if we were only souls, that is, spirits without any body, and if we dwelt in heaven and had no knowledge of earthly animals, and were told that we should be bound to earthly bodies by some wonderful bond of union, and should animate them, should we not much more vigorously refuse to believe this, and maintain that nature would not permit an incorporeal substance to be held by a corporeal bond? And yet the earth is full of living spirits, to which terrestrial bodies are bound, and with which they are in a wonderful way implicated. If, then, the same God who has created such beings wills this also, what is to hinder the earthly body from being raised to a heavenly body, since a spirit, which is more excellent than all bodies, and consequently than even a heavenly body, has been tied to an earthly body? If so small an earthly particle has been able to hold in union with itself something better than a heavenly body, so as to receive sensation and life, will heaven disdain to receive, or at least to retain, this sentient and living particle, which derives its life and sensation from a substance more excellent than any heavenly body? If this does not happen now, it is because the time is not yet come which has been determined by Him who has already done a much more marvellous thing than that which these men refuse to believe. For why do we not more intensely wonder that incorporeal souls, which are of higher rank than heavenly bodies, are bound to earthly bodies, rather than that bodies, although earthly, are exalted to an abode which, though heavenly, is yet corporeal, except because we have been accustomed to see this, and indeed are this, while we are not as yet that other marvel, nor have as yet ever seen it? Certainly, if we consult sober reason, the more wonderful of the two divine works is found to be to attach somehow corporeal things to incorporeal, and not to connect earthly things with heavenly, which, though diverse, are yet both of them corporeal.
BOOK XXII [V] Sed hoc incredibile fuerit aliquando: ecce iam credidit mundus sublatum terrenum Christi corpus in caelum: resurrectionem carnis et adscensionem in supernas sedes, paucissimis remanentibus atque stupentibus vel doctis vel indoctis, iam crediderunt et docti et indocti. si rem credibilem crediderunt, videant quam sint stolidi, qui non credunt; si autem res incredibilis credita est, etiam hoc utique incredibile est. sic creditum esse, quod incredibile est. haec igitur duo incredibilia, resurrectionem scilicet nostri corporis in aeternum et rem tam incredibilem mundum esse crediturum, idem deus, antequam vel unum horum fieret, ambo futura esse praedixit. unum duorum incredibilium iam factum videmus, ut, quod erat incredibile, crederet mundus; cur id quod reliquum est desperatur, ut etiam hoc veniat, quod incredibile credidit mundus, sicut iam venit, quod similiter incredibile fuit, ut rem tam incredibilem crederet mundus, quandoquidem hoc utrumque incredibile, quorum videmus unum, alterum credimus, in eisdem litteris praedictum sit, per quas credidit mundus? et ipse modus, quo mundus credidit, si consideretur, incredibilior invenitur. ineruditos liberalibus disciplinis et omnino, quantum ad istorum doctrinas adtinet, inpolitos, non peritos grammatica, non armatos dialectica, non rhetorica inflatos, piscatores Christus cum retibus fidei ad mare huius saeculi paucissimos misit atque ita et ex omni genere tam multos pisces et tanto mirabiliores, quanto rariores, etiam ipsos philosophos cepit. duobus illis incredibilibus, si placet, immo quia placere debet, addamus hoc tertium. iam ergo tria sunt incredibilia, quae tamen facta sunt. incredibile est Christum resurrexisse in carne et in caelum adscendisse cum carne; incredibile est mundum rem tam incredibilem credidisse; incredibile est homines ignobiles, infimos, paucissimos, inperitos rem tam incredibilem tam efficaciter mundo et in illo etiam doctis persuadere potuisse. horum trium incredibilium primum nolunt isti, cum quibus agimus, credere; secundum coguntur et cernere; quod non inveniunt unde sit factum, si non credunt tertium. resurrectio certe Christi et in caelum cum carne in qua resurrexit adscensio toto iam mundo praedicatur et creditur; si credibilis non est, unde toto terrarum orbe iam credita est? si multi, nobiles, sublimes, docti eam se vidisse dixerunt et quod viderunt diffamare curarunt, eis mundum credidisse non mirum est sed istos adhuc credere nolle perdurum est; si autem, ut verum est, paucis, obscuris, minimis, indoctis eam se vidisse dicentibus et scribentibus credidit mundus, cur pauci obstinatissimi, qui remanserunt, ipsi mundo iam credenti adhuc usque non credunt? qui propterea numero exiguo ignobilium, infimorum, inperitorum hominum credidit, quia in tam contemptibilibus testibus multo mirabilius divinitas se ipsa persuasit. eloquia namque persuadentium, quae dicebant, mira fuerunt facta, non verba. qui enim Christum in carne resurrexisse et cum illa in caelum adscendisse non viderant, id se vidisse narrantibus non loquentibus tantum, sed etiam mirifica facientibus signa credebant. homines quippe, quos unius vel, ut multum, duarum linguarum fuisse noverant, repente linguis omnium gentium loquentes mirabiliter audiebant; claudum ab uberibus matris ad eorum verbum in Christi nomine post quadraginta annos incolumem constitisse, sudaria de corporibus eorum ablata sanandis profuisse languentibus, in via qua fuerant transituri positos in ordine innumerabiles morbis variis laborantes, ut ambulantium super eos umbra transiret, continuo salutem solere recipere et alia multa stupenda in Christi nomine per eos facta, postremo etiam mortuos resurrexisse cernebant. quae si, ut leguntur, gesta esse concedunt, ecce tot incredibilia tribus illis incredibilibus addimus, et ut credatur unum incredibile, quod de carnis resurrectione atque in caelum adscensione dicitur, multorum incredibilium testimonia tanta congerimus et nondum ad credendum horrenda duritia incredulos flectimus. si vero per apostolos Christi, ut eis crederetur resurrectionem atque adscensionem praedicantibus Christi, etiam ista miracula facta esse non credunt, hoc nobis unum grande miraculum sufficit, quod eam terrarum orbis sine ullis miraculis credidit.
But granting that this was once incredible, behold, now, the world has come to the belief that the earthly body of Christ was received up into heaven. Already both the learned and unlearned have believed in the resurrection of the flesh and its ascension to the heavenly places, while only a very few either of the educated or uneducated are still staggered by it. If this is a credible thing which is believed, then let those who do not believe see how stolid they are; and if it is incredible, then this also is an incredible thing, that what is incredible should have received such credit. Here then we have two incredibles,-to wit, the resurrection of our body to eternity, and that the world should believe so incredible a thing; and both these incredibles the same God predicted should come to pass before either had as yet occurred. We see that already one of the two has come to pass, for the world has believed what was incredible; why should we despair that the remaining one shall also come to pass, and that this which the world believed, though it was incredible, shall itself occur? For already that which was equally incredible has come to pass, in the world's believing an incredible thing. Both were incredible: the one we see accomplished, the other we believe shall be; for both were predicted in those same Scriptures by means of which the world believed. And the very manner in which the world's faith was won is found to be even more incredible if we consider it. Men uninstructed in any branch of a liberal education, without any of the refinement of heathen learning, unskilled in grammar, not armed with dialectic, not adorned with rhetoric, but plain fishermen, and very few in number,-these were the men whom Christ sent with the nets of faith to the sea of this world, and thus took out of every race so many fishes, and even the philosophers themselves, wonderful as they are rare. Let us add, if you please, or because you ought to be pleased, this third incredible thing to the two former. And now we have three incredibles, all of which have yet come to pass. It is incredible that Jesus Christ should have risen in the flesh and ascended with flesh into heaven; it is incredible that the world should have believed so incredible a thing; it is incredible that a very few men, of mean birth and the lowest rank, and no education, should have been able so effectually to persuade the world, and even its learned men, of so incredible a thing. Of these three incredibles, the parties with whom we are debating refuse to believe the first; they cannot refuse to see the second, which they are unable to account for if they do not believe the third. It is indubitable that the resurrection of Christ, and His ascension into heaven with the flesh in which He rose, is already preached and believed in the whole world. If it is not credible, how is it that it has already received credence in the whole world? If a number of noble, exalted, and learned men had said that they had witnessed it, and had been at pains to publish what they had witnessed, it were not wonderful that the world should have believed it, but it were very stubborn to refuse credence; but if, as is true, the world has believed a few obscure, inconsiderable, uneducated persons, who state and write that they witnessed it, is it not unreasonable that a handful of wrong-headed men should oppose themselves to the creed of the whole world, and refuse their belief? And if the world has put faith in a small number of men, of mean birth and the lowest rank, and no education, it is because the divinity of the thing itself appeared all the more manifestly in such contemptible witnesses. The eloquence, indeed, which lent persuasion to their message, consisted of wonderful works, not words. For they who had not seen Christ risen in the flesh, nor ascending into heaven with His risen body, believed those who related how they had seen these things, and who testified not only with words but wonderful signs. For men whom they knew to be acquainted with only one, or at most two languages, they marvelled to hear speaking in the tongues of all nations. They saw a man, lame from his mother's womb, after forty years stand up sound at their word in the name of Christ; that handkerchiefs taken from their bodies had virtue to heal the sick; that countless persons, sick of various diseases, were laid in a row in the road where they were to pass, that their shadow might fall on them as they walked, and that they forthwith received health; that many other stupendous miracles were wrought by them in the name of Christ; and, finally, that they even raised the dead. If it be admitted that these things occurred as they are related, then we have a multitude of incredible things to add to those three incredibles. That the one incredibility of the resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ may be believed, we accumulate the testimonies of countless incredible miracles, but even so we do not bend the frightful obstinacy of these sceptics. But if they do not believe that these miracles were wrought by Christ's apostles to gain credence to their preaching of His resurrection and ascension, this one grand miracle suffices for us, that the whole world has believed without any miracles.
BOOK XXII [VI] Recolamus etiam hoc loco illud, quod de Romuli credita divinitate Tullius admiratur. verba eius ut scripta sunt inseram. magis est, inquit, in Romulo admirandum, quod ceteri, qui di ex hominibus facti esse dicuntur, minus eruditis hominum saeculis fuerunt, ut fingendi proclivis esset ratio, cum inperiti facile ad credendum inpellerentur: Romuli autem aetatem minus his sescentis annis iam inveteratis litteris atque doctrinis omnique illo antiquo ex inculta hominum vita errore sublato fuisse cernimus. et paulo post de eodem Romulo ita loquitur, quod ad hunc pertinet sensum: ex quo intellegi potest, inquit, permultis annis ante Homerum fuisse quam Romulum, ut iam doctis hominibus ac temporibus ipsis eruditis ad fingendum vix quicquam esset loci. antiquitas enim recipit fabulas, fictas etiam nonnumquam incondite; haec aetas autem iam exculta, praesertim eludens omne quod fieri non potest, respuit. unus e numero doctissimorum hominum idemque eloquentissimus omnium Marcus Tullius Cicero propterea dicit divinitatem Romuli mirabiliter creditam, quod erudita iam tempora fuerunt, quae falsitatem non reciperent fabularum. quis autem Romulum deum nisi Roma credidit, atque id parua et incipiens? tum deinde posteris servare fuerat necesse quod acceperant a maioribus, ut cum ista superstitione in lacte quodammodo matris ebibita cresceret civitas atque ad tam magnum perveniret imperium, ut ex eius fastigio, velut ex altiore quodam loco, alias quoque gentes, quibus dominaretur, hac sua opinione perfunderet, ut non quidem crederent, sed tamen dicerent deum Romulum, ne civitatem, cui seruiebant, de conditore eius offenderent, aliter eum nominando quam Roma, quae id non amore quidem huius erroris, sed tamen amoris errore crediderat. Christus autem quamquam sit caelestis et sempiternae conditor civitatis non tamen eum, quoniam ab illo condita est, deum credidit, sed ideo potius est condenda, quia credidit. Roma conditorem suum iam constructa et dedicata tamquam deum coluit in templo; haec autem Hierusalem conditorem suum deum Christum, ut construi posset et dedicari, posuit in fidei fundamento. illa illum amando esse deum credidit, ista istum deum esse credendo amavit. sicut ergo praecessit unde amaret illa et de amato iam libenter etiam falsum bonum crederet, ita praecessit unde ista crederet, ut recta fide non temere quod falsum, sed quod verum erat amaret. exceptis enim tot et tantis miraculis, quae persuaserunt deum esse Christum, prophetiae quoque divinae fide dignissimae praecesserunt, quae in illo non sicut a patribus adhuc creduntur inplendae, sed iam demonstrantur inpletae; de Romulo autem, quia condidit Romam in eaque regnavit, auditur legiturue quod factum est, non quod antequam fieret prophetatum; sed quod sit receptus in deos, creditum tenent litterae, non factum docent. nullis quippe rerum mirabilium signis id ei vere provenisse monstratur. lupa quippe illa nutrix, quod videtur quasi magnum exstitisse portentum, quale aut quantum est ad demonstrandum deum? certe enim etsi non meretrix fuit lupa illa, sed bestia, cum commune fuerit ambobus, frater tamen eius non habetur deus. quis autem prohibitus est aut Romulum aut Herculem aut alios tales homines deos dicere et mori maluit quam non dicere? aut vero aliqua gentium coleret inter deos suos Romulum, nisi Romani nominis metus cogeret? quis porro numeret, quam multi quantalibet saevitia crudelitatis occidi quam Christum deum negare maluerunt? proinde metus quamlibet levis indignationis, quae ab animis Romanorum, si non fieret, posse putabatur exsistere, conpellebat aliquas civitates positas sub iure Romano tamquam deum colere Romulum; a Christo autem deo non solum colendo, verum etiam confitendo tantam per orbis terrae populos martyrum multitudinem metus reuocare non potuit non levis offensionis animorum, sed inmensarum variarumque poenarum et ipsius mortis, quae plus ceteris formidatur. neque tunc civitas Christi, quamvis adhuc peregrinaretur in terris et haberet tamen magnorum agmina populorum, adversus inpios persecutores suos pro temporali salute pugnavit; sed potius, ut obtineret aeternam, non repugnavit. ligabantur includebantur, caedebantur torquebantur, urebantur laniabantur, trucidabantur - et multiplicabantur. non erat eis pro salute pugnare nisi salutem pro saluatore contemnere. scio in libro Ciceronis tertio, nisi fallor, de republica disputari nullum bellum suscipi a civitate optima, nisi aut pro fide aut pro salute. quid autem dicat pro salute vel intellegi quam salutem velit, alio loco demonstrans: sed his poenis, inquit, quas etiam stultissimi sentiunt, egestate exsilio, vinculis verberibus, elabuntur saepe privati oblata mortis celeritate; civitatibus autem mors ipsa poena est, quae videtur a poena singulos vindicare. debet enim constituta sic esse civitas, ut aeterna sit. itaque nullus interitus est reipublicae naturalis, ut hominis, in quo mors non modo necessaria est, verum etiam optanda persaepe. civitas autem cum tollitur, deletur, exstinguitur, simile est quodammodo, ut parua magnis conferamus, ac si omnis hic mundus intereat et concidat. hoc ideo dixit Cicero, quia mundum non interiturum cum Platonicis sentit. constat ergo eum pro ea salute noluisse bellum suscipi a civitate, qua fit ut maneat hic civitas, sicut dicit, aeterna, quamvis morientibus et nascentibus singulis. sicut perennis est opacitas oleae vel lauri atque huiusmodi ceterarum arborum singulorum lapsu ortuque foliorum. mors quippe, ut dicit, non hominum singulorum, sed universae poena est civitatis, quae a poena plerumque singulos vindicat. unde merito quaeritur, utrum recte fecerint Saguntini, quando universam civitatem suam interire maluerunt quam fidem frangere, qua cum ipsa Romana republica tenebantur; in quo suo facto laudantur ab omnibus terrenae reipublicae civibus. sed quomodo huic disputationi possent oboedire, non video, ubi dicitur nullum suscipiendum esse bellum nisi aut pro fide aut pro salute, nec dicitur, si in unum simul periculum ita duo ista concurrerint, ut teneri alterum sine alterius amissione non possit, quid sit potius eligendum. profecto enim Saguntini si salutem eligerent, fides eis fuerat deserenda; si fides tenenda, amittenda utique salus, sicut factum est. salus autem civitatis dei talis est, ut cum fide ac per fidem teneri vel potius adquiri possit; fide autem perdita ad eam quisque venire non possit. quae cogitatio firmissimi ac patientissimi cordis tot ac tantos martyres fecit, qualem ne unum quidem habuit vel habere potuit quando est deus creditus Romulus.
Let us here recite the passage in which Tully expresses his astonishment that the apotheosis of Romulus should have been credited. I shall insert his words as they stand: "It is most worthy of remark in Romulus, that other men who are said to have become gods lived in less educated ages, when there was a greater propensity to the fabulous, and when the uninstructed were easily persuaded to believe anything. But the age of Romulus was barely six hundred years ago, and already literature and science had dispelled the errors that attach to an uncultured age." And a little after he says of the same Romulus words to this effect: "From this we may perceive that Homer had flourished long before Romulus, and that there was now so much learning in individuals, and so generally diffused an enlightenment, that scarcely any room was left for fable. For antiquity admitted fables, and sometimes even very clumsy ones; but this age [of Romulus] was sufficiently enlightened to reject whatever had not the air of truth." Thus one of the most learned men, and certainly the most eloquent, M. Tullius Cicero, says that it is surprising that the divinity of Romulus was believed in, because the times were already so enlightened that they would not accept a fabulous fiction. But who believed that Romulus was a god except Rome, which was itself small and in its infancy? Then afterwards it was necessary that succeeding generations should preserve the tradition of their ancestors; that, drinking in this superstition with their mother's milk, the state might grow and come to such power that it might dictate this belief, as from a point of vantage, to all the nations over whom its sway extended. And these nations, though they might not believe that Romulus was a god, at least said so, that they might not give offence to their sovereign state by refusing to give its founder that title which was given him by Rome, which had adopted this belief, not by a love of error, but an error of love. But though Christ is the founder of the heavenly and eternal city, yet it did not believe Him to be God because it was founded by Him, but rather it is founded by Him, in virtue of its belief. Rome, after it had been built and dedicated, worshipped its founder in a temple as a god; but this Jerusalem laid Christ, its God, as its foundation, that the building and dedication might proceed. The former city loved its founder, and therefore believed him to be a god; the latter believed Christ to be God, and therefore loved Him. There was an antecedent cause for the love of the former city, and for its believing that even a false dignity attached to the object of its love; so there was an antecedent cause for the belief of the latter, and for its loving the true dignity which a proper faith, not a rash surmise, ascribed to its object. For, not to mention the multitude of very striking miracles which proved that Christ is God, there were also divine prophecies heralding Him, prophecies most worthy of belief, which being already accomplished, we have not, like the fathers, to wait for their verification. Of Romulus, on the other hand, and of his building Rome and reigning in it, we read or hear the narrative of what did take place, not prediction which beforehand said that such things should be. And so far as his reception among the gods is concerned, history only records that this was believed, and does not state it as a fact; for no miraculous signs testified to the truth of this. For as to that wolf which is said to have nursed the twin-brothers, and which is considered a great marvel, how does this prove him to have been divine? For even supposing that this nurse was a real wolf and not a mere courtezan, yet she nursed both brothers, and Remus is not reckoned a god. Besides, what was there to hinder any one from asserting that Romulus or Hercules, or any such man, was a god? Or who would rather choose to die than profess belief in his divinity? And did a single nation worship Romulus among its gods, unless it were forced through fear of the Roman name? But who can number the multitudes who have chosen death in the most cruel shapes rather than deny the divinity of Christ? And thus the dread of some slight indignation, which it was supposed, perhaps groundlessly, might exist in the minds of the Romans, constrained some states who were subject to Rome to worship Romulus as a god; whereas the dread, not of a slight mental shock, but of severe and various punishments, and of death itself, the most formidable of all, could not prevent an immense multitude of martyrs throughout the world from not merely worshipping but also confessing Christ as God. The city of Christ, which, although as yet a stranger upon earth, had countless hosts of citizens, did not make war upon its godless persecutors for the sake of temporal security, but preferred to win eternal salvation by abstaining from war. They were bound, imprisoned, beaten, tortured, burned, torn in pieces, massacred, and yet they multiplied. It was not given to them to fight for their eternal salvation except by despising their temporal salvation for their Saviour's sake.I am aware that Cicero, in the third book of his De Republica, if I mistake not, argues that a first-rate power will not engage in war except either for honor or for safety. What he has to say about the question of safety, and what he means by safety, he explains in another place, saying, "Private persons frequently evade, by a speedy death, destitution, exile, bonds, the scourge, and the other pains which even the most insensible feel. But to states, death, which seems to emancipate individuals from all punishments, is itself a punishment; for a state should be so constituted as to be eternal. And thus death is not natural to a republic as to a man, to whom death is not only necessary, but often even desirable. But when a state is destroyed, obliterated, annihilated, it is as if (to compare great things with small) this whole world perished and collapsed." Cicero said this because he, with the Platonists, believed that the world would not perish. It is therefore agreed that, according to Cicero, a state should engage in war for the safety which preserves the state permanently in existence though its citizens change; as the foliage of an olive or laurel, or any tree of this kind, is perennial, the old leaves being replaced by fresh ones. For death, as he says, is no punishment to individuals, but rather delivers them from all other punishments, but it is a punishment to the state. And therefore it is reasonably asked whether the Saguntines did right when they chose that their whole state should perish rather than that they should break faith with the Roman republic; for this deed of theirs is applauded by the citizens of the earthly republic. But I do not see how they could follow the advice of Cicero, who tell us that no war is to be undertaken save for safety or for honor; neither does he say which of these two is to be preferred, if a case should occur in which the one could not be preserved without the loss of the other. For manifestly, if the Saguntines chose safety, they must break faith; if they kept faith, they must reject safety; as also it fell out. But the safety of the city of God is such that it can be retained, or rather acquired, by faith and with faith; but if faith be abandoned, no one can attain it. It is this thought of a most steadfast and patient spirit that has made so many noble martyrs, while Romulus has not had, and could not have, so much as one to die for his divinity.
BOOK XXII [VII] Sed valde ridiculum est de Romuli falsa divinitate, cum de Christo loquimur, facere mentionem. verumtamen cum sescentis ferme annis ante Ciceronem Romulus fuerit atque illa aetas iam fuisse doctrinis dicatur exculta, ut quod fieri non potest omne respueret, quanto magis post sescentos annos ipsius tempore Ciceronis maximeque postea sub Augusto atque Tiberio, eruditioribus utique temporibus, resurrectionem carnis Christi atque in caelum adscensionem, tamquam id quod fieri non potest, mens humana ferre non posset eludensque ab auribus cordibusque respueret, nisi eam fieri potuisse atque factam esse divinitas ipsius veritatis vel divinitatis veritas et contestantia miraculorum signa monstrarent; ut terrentibus et contradicentibus tam multis tamque magnis persecutionibus praecedens in Christo, deinde in ceteris ad nouum saeculum secutura resurrectio atque inmortalitas carnis et fidelissime crederetur et praedicaretur intrepide et per orbem terrae pullulatura fecundius cum martyrum sanguine sereretur. legebantur enim praeconia praecedentia prophetarum, concurrebant ostenta virtutum, et persuadebatur veritas noua consuetudini, non contraria rationi, donec orbis terrae, qui persequebatur furore, sequeretur fide.
But it is thoroughly ridiculous to make mention of the false divinity of Romulus as any way comparable to that of Christ. Nevertheless, if Romulus lived about six hundred years before Cicero, in an age which already was so enlightened that it rejected all impossibilities, how much more, in an age which certainly was more enlightened, being six hundred years later, the age of Cicero himself, and of the emperors Augustus and Tiberius, would the human mind have refused to listen to or believe in the resurrection of Christ's body and its ascension into heaven, and have scouted it as an impossibility, had not the divinity of the truth itself, or the truth of the divinity, and corroborating miraculous signs, proved that it could happen and had happened? Through virtue of these testimonies, and notwithstanding the opposition and terror of so many cruel persecutions, the resurrection and immortality of the flesh, first in Christ, and subsequently in all in the new world, was believed, was intrepidly proclaimed, and was sown over the whole world, to be fertilized richly with the blood of the martyrs. For the predictions of the prophets that had preceded the events were read, they were corroborated by powerful signs, and the truth was seen to be not contradictory to reason, but only different from customary ideas, so that at length the world embraced the faith it had furiously persecuted.
BOOK XXII [VIII] Cur, inquiunt, nunc illa miracula, quae praedicatis facta esse, non fiunt? possem quidem dicere necessaria fuisse, priusquam crederet mundus, ad hoc ut crederet mundus. quisquis adhuc prodigia ut credat inquirit, magnum est ipse prodigium, qui mundo credente non credit. verum hoc ideo dicunt, ut nec tunc illa miracula facta fuisse credantur. unde ergo tanta fide Christus usquequaque cantatur in caelum cum carne sublatus? unde temporibus eruditis et omne quod fieri non potest respuentibus sine ullis miraculis nimium mirabiliter incredibilia credidit mundus? an forte credibilia fuisse et ideo credita esse dicturi sunt? cur ergo ipsi non credunt? brevis est igitur nostra conplexio: aut incredibilis rei, quae non videbatur, alia incredibilia, quae tamen fiebant et videbantur, fecerunt fidem; aut certe res ita credibilis, ut nullis quibus persuaderetur miraculis indigeret, istorum nimiam redarguit infidelitatem. hoc ad refellendos uanissimos dixerim. nam facta esse multa miracula, quae adtestarentur illi uni grandi salubrique miraculo, quo Christus in caelum cum carne in qua resurrexit adscendit, negare non possumus. in eisdem quippe veracissimis libris cuncta conscripta sunt, et quae facta sunt, et propter quod credendum facta sunt. haec, ut fidem facerent, innotuerunt; haec per fidem, quam fecerunt, multo clarius innotescunt. leguntur quippe in populis, ut credantur; nec in populis tamen nisi credita legerentur. nam etiamnunc fiunt miracula in eius nomine, sive per sacramenta eius sive per orationes vel memorias sanctorum eius; sed non eadem claritate inlustrantur, ut tanta quanta illa gloria diffamentur. canon quippe sacrarum litterarum, quem definitum esse oportebat, illa facit ubique recitari et memoriae cunctorum inhaerere populorum; haec autem ubicumque fiunt, ibi sciuntur vix a tota ipsa civitate vel quocumque commanentium loco. nam plerumque etiam ibi paucissimi sciunt ignorantibus ceteris, maxime si magna sit civitas; et quando alibi aliisque narrantur, non tanta ea commendat auctoritas, ut sine difficultate vel dubitatione credantur, quamvis Christianis fidelibus a fidelibus indicentur. miraculum, quod Mediolani factum est, cum illic essemus, quando inluminatus est caecus, ad multorum notitiam potuit pervenire, quia et grandis est civitas et ibi erat tunc imperator et inmenso populo teste res gesta est concurrente ad corpora martyrum Protasii et Geruasii; quae cum laterent et penitus nescirentur, episcopo Ambrosio per somnium reuelata reperta sunt; ubi caecus ille depulsis ueteribus tenebris diem vidit. apud Carthaginem autem quis novit praeter admodum paucissimos salutem, quae facta est Innocentio, ex aduocato vicariae praefecturae, ubi nos interfuimus et oculis adspeximus nostris? venientes enim de transmarinis me et fratrem meum Alypium, nondum quidem clericos, sed iam deo seruientes, ut erat cum tota domo sua religiosissimus, ipse susceperat, et apud eum tunc habitabamus. curabatur a medicis fistulas, quas numerosas atque perplexas habuit in posteriore atque ima corporis parte. iam secuerant eum et artis suae cetera medicamentis agebant. passus autem fuerat in sectione illa et diuturnos et acerbos dolores. sed unus inter multos sinus fefellerat medicos atque ita latuerat, ut eum non tangerent, quem ferro aperire debuerant. denique sanatis omnibus, quae aperta curabant, iste remanserat solus, cui frustra inpendebatur labor. quas moras ille suspectas habens multumque formidans, ne iterum secaretur - quod ei praedixerat alius medicus domesticus eius, quem non admiserant illi, ut saltem videret, cum primum sectus est, quomodo id facerent, iratus que illum domo abiecerat vixque receperat - , erupit atque ait: iterum me secturi estis? ad illius, quem noluistis esse praesentem, verba venturus sum? inridere illi medicum inperitum metumque hominis bonis verbis promissionibusque lenire. praeterierunt alii dies plurimi nihilque proficiebat omne quod fiebat. medici tamen in sua pollicitatione persistebant, non se illum sinum ferro, sed medicamentis esse clausuros. adhibuerunt et alium grandaeuum iam medicum satisque in illa arte laudatum - adhuc enim vivebat - , Ammonium, qui loco inspecto idem quod illi ex eorum diligentia peritiaque promisit. cuius ille factus auctoritate securus domestico suo medico, qui futuram praedixerat aliam sectionem, faceta hilaritate, velut iam saluus, inlusit. quid plura? tot dies postea inaniter consumpti transierunt, ut fessi atque confusi faterentur eum nisi ferro nullo modo posse sanari. expavit, expalluit nimio timore turbatus, atque ubi se collegit farique potuit, abire illos iussit et ad se amplius non accedere; nec aliud occurrit fatigato lacrimis et illa iam necessitate constricto, nisi ut adhiberet Alexandrinum quendam, qui tunc chirurgus mirabilis habebatur, ut ipse faceret quod ab illis fieri nolebat iratus. sed posteaquam venit ille laboremque illorum in cicatricibus sicut artifex vidit, boni viri functus officio persuasit homini, ut illi potius, qui in eo tantum laboraverant, quantum ipse inspiciens mirabatur, suae curationis fine fruerentur, adiciens, quod reuera nisi sectus esset saluus esse non posset; valde abhorrere a suis moribus, ut hominibus, quorum artificiosissimam operam industriam diligentiam mirans in cicatricibus eius videret, propter exiguum quod remansit palmam tanti laboris auferret. redditi sunt animo eius, et placuit ut eodem Alexandrino adsistente ipsi sinum illum ferro, qui iam consensu omnium aliter insanabilis putabatur, aperirent. quae res dilata est in consequentem diem. sed cum abissent illi, ex maerore nimio domini tantus est in domo illa exortus dolor, ut tamquam funeris planctus vix conprimeretur a nobis. visitabant eum cottidie sancti viri, episcopus tunc Vzalensis, beatae memoriae Saturninus, et presbyter Gulosus ac diaconi Carthaginensis ecclesiae; in quibus erat et ex quibus solus est nunc in rebus humanis iam episcopus cum honore a nobis debito nominandus Aurelius, cum quo recordantes mirabilia operum dei de hac re saepe conlocuti sumus eumque valde meminisse, quod commemoramus, invenimus. qui cum eum, sicut solebant, uespere visitarent, rogavit eos miserabilibus lacrimis, ut mane dignarentur esse praesentes suo funeri potius quam dolori. tantus enim eum metus ex prioribus inuaserat poenis, ut se inter medicorum manus non dubitaret esse moriturum. consolati sunt eum illi et hortati, ut in deo fideret eiusque voluntatem viriliter ferret. inde ad orationem ingressi sumus; ubi nobis ex more genua figentibus atque incumbentibus terrae ille se ita proiecit, tamquam fuisset aliquo graviter inpellente prostratus, et coepit orare: quibus modis, quo adfectu, quo motu animi, quo fluuio lacrimarum, quibus gemitibus atque singultibus subcutientibus omnia membra eius et paene intercludentibus spiritum, quis ullis explicet verbis? utrum orarent alii nec in haec eorum averteretur intentio, nesciebam. ego tamen prorsus orare non poteram; hoc tantummodo breviter in corde meo dixi: domine, quas tuorum preces exaudis, si has non exaudis? nihil enim mihi videbatur addi iam posse, nisi ut exspiraret orando. surreximus et accepta ab episcopo benedictione discessimus, rogante illo ut mane adessent, illis ut aequo animo esset hortantibus. inluxit dies qui metuebatur, aderant serui dei, sicut se adfuturos esse promiserant, ingressi sunt medici, parantur omnia quae hora illa poscebat, tremenda ferramenta proferuntur adtonitis suspensisque omnibus. eis autem, quorum erat maior auctoritas, defectum animi eius consolando erigentibus ad manus secturi membra in lectulo conponuntur, soluuntur nodi ligamentorum, nudatur locus, inspicit medicus et secandum illum sinum armatus atque intentus inquirit. scrutatur oculis digitisque contrectat, tentat denique modis omnibus: invenit firmissimam cicatricem. iam laetitia illa et laus atque gratiarum actio misericordi et omnipotenti deo, quae fusa est ore omnium lacrimantibus gaudiis, non est committenda meis verbis; cogitetur potius quam dicatur.
Why, they say, are those miracles, which you affirm were wrought formerly, wrought no longer? I might, indeed, reply that miracles were necessary before the world believed, in order that it might believe. And whoever now-a-days demands to see prodigies that he may believe, is himself a great prodigy, because he does not believe, though the whole world does. But they make these objections for the sole purpose of insinuating that even those former miracles were never wrought. How, then, is it that everywhere Christ is celebrated with such firm belief in His resurrection and ascension? How is it that in enlightened times, in which every impossibility is rejected, the world has, without any miracles, believed things marvellously incredible? Or will they say that these things were credible, and therefore were credited? Why then do they themselves not believe? Our argument, therefore, is a summary one _ either incredible things which were not witnessed have caused the world to believe other incredible things which both occurred and were witnessed, or this matter was so credible that it needed no miracles in proof of it, and therefore convicts these unbelievers of unpardonable scepticism. This I might say for the sake of refuting these most frivolous objectors. But we cannot deny that many miracles were wrought to confirm that one grand and health-giving miracle of Christ's ascension to heaven with the flesh in which He rose. For these most trustworthy books of ours contain in one narrative both the miracles that were wrought and the creed which they were wrought to confirm. The miracles were published that they might produce faith, and the faith which they produced brought them into greater prominence. For they are read in congregations that they may be believed, and yet they would not be so read unless they were believed. For even now miracles are wrought in the name of Christ, whether by His sacraments or by the prayers or relics of His saints; but they are not so brilliant and conspicuous as to cause them to be published with such glory as accompanied the former miracles. For the canon of the sacred writings, which behoved to be closed, causes those to be everywhere recited, and to sink into the memory of all the congregations; but these modern miracles are scarcely known even to the whole population in the midst of which they are wrought, and at the best are confined to one spot. For frequently they are known only to a very few persons, while all the rest are ignorant of them, especially if the state is a large one; and when they are reported to other persons in other localities, there is no sufficient authority to give them prompt and unwavering credence, although they are reported to the faithful by the faithful.The miracle which was wrought at Milan when I was there, and by which a blind man was restored to sight, could come to the knowledge of many; for not only is the city a large one, but also the emperor was there at the time, and the occurrence was witnessed by an immense concourse of people that had gathered to the bodies of the martyrs Protasius and Gervasius, which had long lain concealed and unknown, but were now made known to the bishop Ambrose in a dream, and discovered by him. By virtue of these remains the darkness of that blind man was scattered, and he saw the light of day.But who but a very small number are aware of the cure which was wrought upon Innocentius, ex-advocate of the deputy prefecture, a cure wrought at Carthage, in my presence, and under my own eyes? For when I and my brother Alypius, who were not yet clergymen, though already servants of God, came from abroad, this man received us, and made us live with him, for he and all his household were devotedly pious. He was being treated by medical men for fistulж, of which he had a large number intricately seated in the rectum. He had already undergone an operation, and the surgeons were using every means at their command for his relief. In that operation he had suffered long-continued and acute pain; yet, among the many folds of the gut, one had escaped the operators so entirely, that, though they ought to have laid it open with the knife, they never touched it. And thus, though all those that had been opened were cured, this one remained as it was, and frustrated all their labor. The patient, having his suspicions awakened by the delay thus occasioned, and fearing greatly a second operation, which another medical man _ one of his own domestics _ had told him he must undergo, though this man had not even been allowed to witness the first operation, and had been banished from the house, and with difficulty allowed to come back to his enraged master's presence, _ the patient, I say, broke out to the surgeons, saying, "Are you going to cut me again? Are you, after all, to fulfill the prediction of that man whom you would not allow even to be present?" The surgeons laughed at the unskillful doctor, and soothed their patient's fears with fair words and promises. So several days passed, and yet nothing they tried did him good. Still they persisted in promising that they would cure that fistula by drugs, without the knife. They called in also another old practitioner of great repute in that department, Ammonius (for he was still alive at that time); and he, after examining the part, promised the same result as themselves from their care and skill. On this great authority, the patient became confident, and, as if already well, vented his good spirits in facetious remarks at the expense of his domestic physician, who had predicted a second operation. To make a long story short, after a number of days had thus uselessly elapsed, the surgeons, wearied and confused, had at last to confess that he could only be cured by the knife. Agitated with excessive fear, he was terrified, and grew pale with dread; and when he collected himself and was able to speak, he ordered them to go away and never to return. Worn out with weeping, and driven by necessity, it occurred to him to call in an Alexandrian, who was at that time esteemed a wonderfully skillful operator, that he might perform the operation his rage would not suffer them to do. But when he had come, and examined with a professional eye the traces of their careful work, he acted the part of a good man, and persuaded his patient to allow those same hands the satisfaction of finishing his cure which had begun it with a skill that excited his admiration, adding that there was no doubt his only hope of a cure was by an operation, but that it was thoroughly inconsistent with his nature to win the credit of the cure by doing the little that remained to be done, and rob of their reward men whose consummate skill, care, and diligence he could not but admire when be saw the traces of their work. They were therefore again received to favor; and it was agreed that, in the presence of the Alexandrian, they should operate on the fistula, which, by the consent of all, could now only be cured by the knife. The operation was deferred till the following day. But when they had left, there arose in the house such a wailing, in sympathy with the excessive despondency of the master, that it seemed to us like the mourning at a funeral, and we could scarcely repress it. Holy men were in the habit of visiting him daily; Saturninus of blessed memory, at that time bishop of Uzali, and the presbyter Gelosus, and the deacons of the church of Carthage; and among these was the bishop Aurelius, who alone of them all survives, _ a man to be named by us with due reverence, _ and with him I have often spoken of this affair, as we conversed together about the wonderful works of God, and I have found that he distinctly remembers what I am now relating. When these persons visited him that evening according to their custom, he besought them, with pitiable tears, that they would do him the honor of being present next day at what he judged his funeral rather than his suffering. For such was the terror his former pains had produced, that he made no doubt he would die in the hands of the surgeons. They comforted him, and exhorted him to put his trust in God, and nerve his will like a man. Then we went to prayer; but while we, in the usual way, were kneeling and bending to the ground, he cast himself down, as if some one were hurling him violently to the earth, and began to pray; but in what a manner, with what earnestness and emotion, with what a flood of tears, with what groans and sobs, that shook his whole body, and almost prevented him speaking, who can describe! Whether the others prayed, and had not their attention wholly diverted by this conduct, I do not know. For myself, I could not pray at all. This only I briefly said in my heart: "O Lord, what prayers of Your people dost Thou hear if You hear not these?" For it seemed to me that nothing could be added to this prayer, unless he expired in praying. We rose from our knees, and, receiving the blessing of the bishop, departed, the patient beseeching his visitors to be present next morning, they exhorting him to keep up his heart. The dreaded day dawned. The servants of God were present, as they had promised to be; the surgeons arrived; all that the circumstances required was ready; the frightful instruments are produced; all look on in wonder and suspense. While those who have most influence with the patient are cheering his fainting spirit, his limbs are arranged on the couch so as to suit the hand of the operator; the knots of the bandages are untied; the part is bared; the surgeon examines it, and, with knife in hand, eagerly looks for the sinus that is to be cut. He searches for it with his eyes; he feels for it with his finger; he applies every kind of scrutiny: he finds a perfectly firm cicatrix! No words of mine can describe the joy, and praise, and thanksgiving to the merciful and almighty God which was poured from the lips of all, with tears of gladness. Let the scene be imagined rather than described!
BOOK XXII In eadem Carthagine Innocentia, religiosissima femina, de primariis ipsius civitatis, in mammilla cancrum habebat, rem, sicut medici dicunt, nullis medicamentis sanabilem. aut ergo praecidi solet et a corpore separari membrum ubi nascitur, aut, ut aliquanto diutius homo vivat, tamen inde morte quamlibet tardius adfutura, secundum Hippocratis ut ferunt sententiam omnis est omittenda curatio. hoc illa a perito medico et suae domui familiarissimo acceperat et ad solum deum se orando converterat. admonetur in somnis propinquante pascha, ut in parte feminarum observanti ad baptisterium, quaecumque illi baptizata primitus occurrisset, signaret ei locum signo Christi. fecit, confestim sanitas consecuta est. medicus sane, qui ei dixerat ut nihil curationis adhiberet, si paulo diutius vellet vivere, cum inspexisset eam postea et sanissimam conperisset, quam prius habere illud malum tali inspectione cognoverat, quaesivit ab ea uehementer quid adhibuisset curationis, cupiens, quantum intellegi datur, nosse medicamentum, quo Hippocratis definitio vinceretur. cumque ab ea quid factum esset audisset, voce velut contemnentis et uultu, ita ut illa metueret, ne aliquod contumeliosum verbum proferret in Christum, religiosa urbanitate respondisse fertur: putabam, inquit, magnum aliquid te mihi fuisse dicturam. atque illa iam exhorrescente, mox addidit: quid grande fecit Christus sanare cancrum, qui quadriduanum mortuum suscitavit? hoc ego cum audissem et uehementer stomacharer in illa civitate atque in illa persona non utique obscura factum tam ingens miraculum sic latere, hinc eam et admonendam et paene obiurgandam putavi. quae cum mihi respondisset non se inde tacuisse, quaesivi ab eis, quas forte tunc matronas amicissimas se cum habebat, utrum hoc antea scissent. responderunt se omnino nescisse. ecce, inquam, quomodo non taces, ut nec istae audiant, quae tibi tanta familiaritate iunguntur? et quia breviter ab ea quaesiveram, feci ut, illis audientibus multumque mirantibus et glorificantibus deum, totum ex ordine, quemadmodum gestum fuerit, indicaret. medicum quendam podagrum in eadem urbe fuisse scimus; qui cum dedisset nomen ad baptismum et pridie quam baptizaretur in somnis a pueris nigris cirratis, quos intellegebat daemones, baptizari eodem anno prohibitus fuisset eisque non obtemperans etiam conculcantibus pedes eius in dolorem acerrimum, qualem numquam expertus est, aestuasset, magisque eos vincens lauacro regenerationis, ut voverat, ablui non distulisset, in baptismate ipso non solum dolore, quo ultra solitum cruciabatur, verum etiam podagra caruisse nec amplius, cum diu postea vixisset, pedes doluisse quis novit? nos tamen novimus et paucissimi fratres ad quos id potuit pervenire. ex mimo quidam Curubitanus non solum a paralysi, verum etiam ab informi pondere genitalium, cum baptizaretur, saluus effectus est et liberatus utraque molestia, tamquam mali nihil habuisset in corpore, de fonte regenerationis adscendit. quis hoc praeter Curubim novit et praeter rarissimos aliquos, qui hoc ubicumque audire potuerunt? nos autem cum hoc conperissemus, iubente sancto episcopo Aurelio etiam ut veniret Carthaginem fecimus, quamvis a talibus prius audierimus, de quorum fide dubitare non possemus. vir tribunicius Hesperius apud nos est; habet in territorio Fussalensi fundem; Zubedi appellatur; ubi cum adflictione animalium et seruorum suorum domum suam spirituum malignorum vim noxiam perpeti conperisset, rogavit nostros me absente presbyteros, ut aliquis eorum illo pergeret, cuius orationibus cederent. perrexit unus, obtulit ibi sacrificium corporis Christi, orans quantum potuit, ut cessaret illa uexatio: deo protinus miserante cessavit. acceperat autem ab amico suo terram sanctam de Hierosolymis adlatam, ubi sepultus Christus die tertio resurrexit, eamque suspenderat in cubiculo suo, ne quid mali etiam ipse pateretur. ast ubi domus eius ab illa infestatione purgata est, quid de illa terra fieret, cogitabat, quam diutius in cubiculo suo reuerentiae causa habere nolebat. forte accidit, ut ego et collega tunc meus, episcopus Sinitensis ecclesiae Maximinus, in proximo essemus; ut veniremus rogavit, et venimus. cumque nobis omnia rettulisset, etiam hoc petivit, ut infoderetur alicubi atque ibi orationum locus fieret, ubi etiam Christiani possent ad celebranda quae dei sunt congregari. non restitimus; factum est. erat ibi ivvenis paralyticus rusticanus. hoc audito petivit a parentibus suis, ut illum ad eum locum sanctum non cunctanter adferrent. quo cum fuisset adlatus, oravit, atque inde continuo pedibus suis saluus abscessit. Victoriana dicitur villa, ab Hippone Regio minus triginta milibus abest. memoria martyrum ibi est Mediolanensium Protasii et Geruasii. portatus est eo quidam adulescens, qui cum die medio tempore aestatis equum ablueret in fluminis gurgite, daemonem incurrit. ibi cum iaceret vel morti proximus vel simillimus mortuo, ad uespertinos illuc hymnos et orationes cum ancillis suis et quibusdam sanctimonialibus ex more domina possessionis intravit atque hymnos cantare coeperunt. qua voce ille quasi percussus excussus est et cum terribili fremitu altare adprehensum movere non audens sive non valens, tamquam eo fuerit adligatus aut adfixus, tenebat et cum grandi eiulatu parci sibi rogans confitebatur, ubi adulescentem et quando et quomodo inuaserit. postremo se exiturum esse denuntians membra eius singula nominabat, quae se amputaturum exiens minabatur, atque inter haec verba discessit ab homine. sed oculus eius in maxillam fusus tenui venula ab interiore quasi radice pendebat, totumque eius medium, quod nigellum fuerat, albicaverat. quo viso qui aderant - concurrerant autem etiam alii vocibus eius acciti et se omnes in orationem pro illo straverant - , quamvis eum sana mente stare gauderent, rursus tamen propter eius oculum contristati medicum quaerendum esse dicebant. ibi maritus sororis eius, qui eum illo detulerat: potens est, inquit, deus sanctorum orationibus, qui fugavit daemonem, lumen reddere. tum, sicut potuit, oculum lapsum atque pendentem loco suo reuocatum ligavit orario nec nisi post septem dies putavit esse soluendum. quod cum fecisset, sanissimum invenit. sanati sunt illic et alii, de quibus dicere longum est. Hipponiensem quandam virginem scio, cum se oleo perunxisset, cui pro illa orans presbyter instillaverat lacrimas suas, mox a daemonio fuisse sanatam. scio etiam episcopum semel pro adulescente, quem non vidit, orasse illumque ilico daemone caruisse. erat quidam senex Florentius Hipponiensis noster, homo religiosus et pauper; sartoris se arte pascebat; casulam perdiderat et unde sibi emeret non habebat; ad viginti martyres, quorum memoria est apud nos celeberrima, clara voce ut uestiretur oravit. audierunt eum adulescentes qui forte aderant inrisores eumque discedentem exagitantes prosequebantur, quasi a martyribus quinquagenos folles, unde uestimentum emeret, petivisset. at ille tacitus ambulans eiectum grandem piscem palpitantem vidit in litore eumque illis faventibus atque adivuantibus adprehendit et cuidam coquo, Catoso nomine, bene Christiano, ad coquinam conditariam, indicans quid gestum sit, trecentis follibus vendidit, lanam conparare inde disponens, ut uxor eius quomodo posset ei quo indueretur efficeret. sed coquus concidens piscem anulum aureum in ventriculo eius invenit moxque miseratione flexus et religione perterritus homini eum reddidit dicens: ecce quomodo te viginti martyres uestierunt. ad aquas Tibilitanas episcopo adferente Praeiecto martyris gloriosissimi Stephani memoria veniebat magnae multitudinis concursu et occursu. ibi caeca mulier, ut ad episcopum portantem duceretur, oravit; flores, quos ferebat, dedit, recepit, oculis admovit, protinus vidit. stupentibus qui aderant praeibat exsultans, viam carpens et viae ducem ulterius non requirens. memorati memoriam martyris, quae posita est in castello Sinitensi, quod Hipponiensi coloniae vicinum est, eiusdem loci Lucillus episcopus populo praecedente atque sequente portabat. fistula, cuius molestia iam diu laboraverat et familiarissimi sui medici, qui eum secaret, opperiebatur manus, illius piae sarcinae uectatione repente sanata est; nam deinceps eam in suo corpore non invenit. Eucharius est presbyter ex Hispania, Calamae habitat, uetere morbo calculi laborabat; per memoriam supradicti martyris, quam Possidius illo advexit episcopus, saluus factus est. idem ipse postea morbo alio praeualescente mortuus sic iacebat, ut ei iam pollices ligarentur; opitulatione memorati martyris, cum de memoria eius reportata esset et super iacentis corpus missa ipsius presbyteri tunica, suscitatus est. fuit ibi vir in ordine suo primarius, nomine Martialis, aeuo iam gravis et multum abhorrens a religione Christiana. habebat sane fidelem filiam et generum eodem anno baptizatum. qui cum eum aegrotantem multis et magnis lacrimis rogarent, ut fieret Christianus, prorsus abnuit eosque a se turbida indignatione submovit. visum est genero eius, ut iret ad memoriam sancti Stephani et illic pro eo quantum posset oraret, ut deus illi daret mentem bonam, qua credere non differret in Christum. fecit hoc ingenti gemitu et fletu et sinceriter ardente pietatis adfectu; deinde abscedens aliquid de altari florum, quod occurrit, tulit ei que, cum iam nox esset, ad caput posuit; tum dormitum est. et ecce ante diluculum clamat, ut ad episcopum curreretur, qui me cum forte tunc erat apud Hipponem. cum ergo eum audisset absentem, venire presbyteros postulavit. venerunt, credere se dixit, admirantibus atque gaudentibus omnibus baptizatus est. hoc, quamdiu vixit, in ore habebat: Christe, accipe spiritum meum, cum haec verba beatissimi Stephani, quando lapidatus est a Iudaeis, ultima fuisse nesciret; quae huic quoque ultima fuerunt; nam non multo post etiam ipse defunctus est. sanati sunt illic per eundem martyrem etiam podagri duo cives, peregrinus unus: sed cives omni modo; peregrinus autem per reuelationem, quid adhiberet quando doleret, audivit; et cum hoc fecerit, dolor continuo conquiescit. Audurus nomen est fundi, ubi ecclesia et in ea memoria martyris Stephani. puerum quendam paruulum, cum in area luderet, exorbitantes boves, qui uehiculum trahebant, rota obtriverunt, et confestim palpitavit exspirans. hunc mater arreptum ad eandem memoriam posuit, et non solum revixit, verum etiam inlaesus apparuit. sanctimonialis quaedam in vicina possessione, quae Caspaliana dicitur, cum aegritudine laboraret ac desperaretur, ad eandem memoriam tunica eius adlata est; quae antequam reuocaretur, illa defuncta est. hac tamen tunica operuerunt cadaver eius parentes, et recepto spiritu salua facta est. apud Hipponem Bassus quidam Syrus ad memoriam eiusdem martyris orabat pro aegrotante et periclitante filia eoque se cum uestem eius adtulerat, cum ecce pueri de domo cucurrerunt, qui ei mortuam nuntiarent. sed cum orante illo ab amicis eius exciperentur, prohibuerunt eos illi dicere, ne per publicum plangeret. qui cum domum redisset iam suorum eiulatibus personantem et uestem filiae, quam ferebat, super eam proiecisset, reddita est vitae. rursus ibidem apud nos Irenaei cuiusdam collectarii filius aegritudine exstinctus est. cumque corpus iaceret exanime atque a lugentibus et lamentantibus exsequiae pararentur, amicorum eius quidam inter aliorum consolantium verba suggessit, ut eiusdem martyris oleo corpus perungueretur. factum est, et revixit. itemque apud nos vir tribunicius Eleusinus super memoriam martyrum, quae in suburbano eius est, aegritudine exanimatum posuit infantulum filium, et post orationem, quam multis cum lacrimis ibi fudit, viventem leuavit. quid faciam? urget huius operis inplenda promissio, ut non hic possim omnia commemorare quae scio; et procul dubio plerique nostrorum, cum haec legent, dolebunt me praetermisisse tam multa, quae utique me cum sciunt. quos iam nunc, ut ignoscant, rogo, et cogitent quam prolixi laboris sit facere, quod me hic non facere suscepti operis necessitas cogit. si enim miracula sanitatum, ut alia taceam, ea tantummodo velim scribere, quae per hunc martyrem, id est gloriosissimum Stephanum, facta sunt in colonia Calamensi et in nostra, plurimi conficiendi sunt libri, nec tamen omnia colligi poterunt, sed tantum de quibus libelli dati sunt, qui recitarentur in populis. id namque fieri voluimus, cum videremus antiquis similia divinarum signa virtutum etiam nostris temporibus frequentati et ea non debere multorum notitiae deperire. nondum est autem biennium, ex quo apud Hipponem Regium coepit esse ista memoria, et multis, quod nobis certissimum est, non datis libellis de his, quae mirabiliter facta sunt, illi ipsi qui dati sunt ad septuaginta ferme numerum peruenerant, quando ista conscripsi. Calamae vero, ubi et ipsa memoria prius esse coepit et crebrius dantur, inconparabili multitudine supererant. Vzali etiam, quae colonia Vticae vicina est, multa praeclara per eundem martyrem facta cognovimus; cuius ibi memoria longe prius quam apud nos ab episcopo Euodio constituta est. sed libellorum dandorum ibi consuetudo non est vel potius non fuit; nam fortasse nunc esse iam coepit. cum enim nuper illic essemus, Petroniam, clarissimam feminam, quae ibi mirabiliter ex magno atque diuturno, in quo medicorum adiutoria cuncta defecerant, languore sanata est, hortati sumus, volente supradicto loci episcopo, ut libellum daret, qui recitaretur in populo, et oboedientissime paruit. in quo posuit etiam, quod hic reticere non possum, quamvis ad ea, quae hoc opus urgent, festinare conpellar. a quodam Iudaeo dixit sibi fuisse persuasum, ut anulum capillacio vinculo insereret, quo sub omni ueste ad nuda corporis cingeretur; qui anulus haberet sub gemma lapidem in renibus inventum bovis. hoc adligata quasi remedio ad sancti martyris limina veniebat. sed profecta a Carthagine, cum in confinio fluminis Bagradae in sua possessione mansisset, surgens ut iter perageret ante pedes suos illum iacentem anulum vidit et capillaciam zonam, qua fuerat adligatus, mirata tentavit. quam cum omnino suis nodis firmissimis, sicut erat, conperisset adstrictam, crepuisse atque exsiluisse anulum suspicata est; qui etiam ipse cum integerrimus fuisset inventus, futurae salutis quodammodo pignus de tanto miraculo se accepisse praesumpsit atque illud vinculum soluens simul cum eodem anulo proiecit in flumen. non credant hoc, qui etiam dominum Iesum per integra matris virginalia enixum et ad discipulos ostiis clausis ingressum fuisse non credunt; sed hoc certe quaerant et, si verum invenerint, illa credant. clarissima femina est, nobiliter nata, nobiliter nupta, Carthagini habitat; ampla civitas, ampla persona rem quaerentes latere non sinit. martyr certe ipse, quo inpetrante illa sanata est, in filium permanentis virginis credidit; in eum, qui ostiis clausis ad discipulos ingressus est, credidit; postremo, propter quod omnia ista dicuntur a nobis, in eum, qui adscendit in caelum cum carne, in qua resurrexerat, credidit; et ideo per eum tanta fiunt, quia pro ista fide animam posuit. fiunt ergo etiamnunc multa miracula eodem deo faciente per quos uult et quemadmodum uult, qui et illa quae legimus fecit; sed ista nec similiter innotescunt neque, ut non excidant animo, quasi glarea memoriae, crebra lectione tunduntur. nam et ubi diligentia est, quae nunc apud nos esse coepit, ut libelli eorum, qui beneficia percipiunt, recitentur in populo, semel hoc audiunt qui adsunt pluresque non adsunt, ut nec illi, qui adfuerunt, post aliquot dies quod audierunt mente retineant et vix quisque reperiatur illorum, qui ei, quem non adfuisse cognoverit, indicet quod audivit. unum est apud nos factum, non maius quam illa quae dixi, sed tam clarum atque inlustre miraculum, ut nullum arbiter esse Hipponiensium, qui hoc non vel viderit vel didicerit, nullum qui oblivisci ulla ratione potuerit. decem quidam fratres - quorum septem sunt mares, tres feminae - de Caesarea Cappadociae, suorum civium non ignobiles, maledicto matris recenti patris eorum obitu destitutae, quae iniuriam sibi ab eis factam acerbissime tulit, tali poena sunt divinitus coherciti, ut horribiliter quaterentur omnes tremore membrorum; in qua foedissima specie oculos suorum civium non ferentes, quaquaversum cuique ire visum est, toto paene uagabantur orbe Romano. ex his etiam ad nos venerunt duo, frater et soror, Paulus et Palladia, multis aliis locis miseria diffamante iam cogniti. venerunt autem ante pascha ferme dies quindecim, ecclesiam cottidie et in ea memoriam gloriosissimi Stephani frequentabant, orantes ut iam sibi placaretur deus et salutem pristinam redderet. et illic et quacumque ibant convertebant in se civitatis adspectum. nonnulli, qui eos alibi viderant causamque tremoris eorum noverant, aliis, ut cuique poterant, indicabant. venit et pascha, atque ipso die dominico mane, cum iam frequens populus praesens esset et loci sancti cancellos, ubi martyrium erat, idem ivvenis orans teneret, repente prostratus est et dormienti simillimus iacuit, non tamen tremens, sicut etiam per somnum solebant. stupentibus qui aderant atque aliis paventibus, aliis dolentibus, cum eum quidam vellent erigere, nonnulli prohibuerunt et potius exitum exspectandum esse dixerunt. et ecce surrexit, et non tremebat, quoniam sanatus erat, et stabat incolumis, intuens intuentes. quis ergo se tenuit a laudibus dei? clamantium gratulantiumque vocibus ecclesia usquequaque conpleta est. inde ad me curritur, ubi sedebam iam processurus; inruit alter quisque post alterum, omnis posterior quasi nouum, quod alius prior dixerat, nuntiantes; meque gaudente et apud me deo gratias agente ingreditur etiam ipse cum pluribus, inclinatur ad genua mea, erigitur ad osculum meum. procedimus ad populum, plena erat ecclesia, personabat vocibus gaudiorum: deo gratias, deo laudes. nemine tacente hinc atque inde clamantium. salutavi populum, et rursus eadem feruentiore voce clamabant. facto tandem silentio scripturarum divinarum sunt lecta sollemnia. ubi autem ventum est ad mei sermonis locum, dixi pauca pro tempore et pro illius iucunditate laetitiae. magis enim eos in opere divino quandam dei eloquentiam non audire, sed considerare permisi. nobis cum homo prandit et diligenter nobis omnem suae fraternaeque ac maternae calamitatis indicavit historiam. sequenti itaque die post sermonem redditum narrationis eius libellum in crastinum populo recitandum promisi. quod cum ex dominico paschae die tertio fieret in gradibus exedrae, in qua de superiore loquebar loco, feci stare ambos fratres, cum eorum legeretur libellus. intuebatur populus universus sexus utriusque unum stantem sine deformi motu, alteram membris omnibus contrementem. et qui ipsum non viderant, quid in eo divinae misericordiae factum esset, in eius sorore cernebant. videbant enim quid in illo gratulandum, quid pro illa esset orandum. inter haec recitato eorum libello de conspectu populi eos abire praecepi, et de tota ipsa causa aliquanto diligentius coeperam disputare, cum ecce me disputante voces aliae de memoria martyris nouae gratulationis audiuntur. conversi sunt eo, qui me audiebant, coeperuntque concurrere. illa enim, ubi de gradibus descendit in quibus steterat, ad sanctum martyrem orare perrexerat; quae mox ut cancellos adtigit, conlapsa similiter velut in somnum sana surrexit. dum ergo requireremus quid factum fuerit, unde iste strepitus laetus exstiterit, ingressi sunt cum illa in basilicam, ubi eramus, adducentes eam sanam de martyris loco. tum vero tantus ab utroque sexu admirationis clamor exortus est, ut vox continuata cum lacrimis non videretur posse finiri. perducta est ad eum locum, ubi paulo ante steterat tremens. exsultabant eam similem fratri, cui doluerant remansisse dissimilem, et nondum fusas preces suas pro illa, iam tamen praeviam voluntatem tam cito exauditam esse cernebant. exsultabant in dei laudem voce sine verbis, tanto sonitu, quantum nostrae aures ferre vix possent. quid erat in cordibus exsultantium nisi fides Christi, pro qua Stephani sanguis effusus est?
In the same city of Carthage lived Innocentia, a very devout woman of the highest rank in the state. She had cancer in one of her breasts, a disease which, as physicians say, is incurable. Ordinarily, therefore, they either amputate, and so separate from the body the member on which the disease has seized, or, that the patient's life may be prolonged a little, though death is inevitable even if somewhat delayed, they abandon all remedies, following, as they say, the advice of Hippocrates. This the lady we speak of had been advised to by a skillful physician, who was intimate with her family; and she betook herself to God alone by prayer. On the approach of Easter, she was instructed in a dream to wait for the first woman that came out from the baptistery after being baptized, and to ask her to make the sign of Christ upon her sore. She did so, and was immediately cured. The physician who had advised her to apply no remedy if she wished to live a little longer, when he had examined her after this, and found that she who, on his former examination, was afflicted with that disease was now perfectly cured, eagerly asked her what remedy she had used, anxious, as we may well believe, to discover the drug which should defeat the decision of Hippocrates. But when she told him what had happened, he is said to have replied, with reli gious politeness, though with a contemptuous tone, and an expression which made her fear he would utter some blasphemy against Christ, "I thought you would make some great discovery to me." She, shuddering at his indifference, quickly replied, "What great thing was it for Christ to heal a cancer, who raised one who had been four days dead?" When, therefore, I had heard this, I was extremely indignant that so great a miracle wrought in that well-known city, and on a person who was certainly not obscure, should not be divulged, and I considered that she should be spoken to, if not reprimanded on this score. And when she replied to me that she had not kept silence on the subject, I asked the women with whom she was best acquainted whether they had ever heard of this before. They told me they knew nothing of it. "See," I said, "what your not keeping silence amounts to, since not even those who are so familiar with you know of it." And as I had only briefly heard the story, I made her tell how the whole thing happened, from beginning to end, while the other women listened in great astonishment, and glorified God.A gouty doctor of the same city, when he had given in his name for baptism, and had been prohibited the day before his baptism from being baptized that year, by black woolly-haired boys who appeared to him in his dreams, and whom he understood to be devils, and when, though they trod on his feet, and inflicted the acutest pain he had ever yet experienced, he refused to obey them, but overcame them, and would not defer being washed in the laver of regeneration, was relieved in the very act of baptism, not only of the extraordinary pain he was tortured with, but also of the disease itself, so that, though he lived a long time afterwards, he never suffered from gout; and yet who knows of this miracle? We, however, do know it, and so, too, do the small number of brethren who were in the neighborhood, and to whose ears it might come.An old comedian of Curubis was cured at baptism not only of paralysis, but also of hernia, and, being delivered from both afflictions, came up out of the font of regeneration as if he had had nothing wrong with his body. Who outside of Curubis knows of this, or who but a very few who might hear it elsewhere? But we, when we heard of it, made the man come to Carthage, by order of the holy bishop Aurelius, although we had already ascertained the fact on the information of persons whose word we could not doubt.Hesperius, of a tribunitian family, and a neighbor of our own, has a farm called Zubedi in the Fussalian district; and, finding that his family, his cattle, and his servants were suffering from the malice of evil spirits, he asked our presbyters, during my absence, that one of them would go with him and banish the spirits by his prayers. One went, offered there the sacrifice of the body of Christ, praying with all his might that that vexation might cease. It did cease forthwith, through God's mercy. Now he had received from a friend of his own some holy earth brought from Jerusalem, where Christ, having been buried, rose again the third day. This earth he had hung up in his bedroom to preserve himself from harm. But when his house was purged of that demoniacal invasion, he began to consider what should be done with the earth; for his reverence for it made him unwilling to have it any longer in his bedroom. It so happened that I and Maximinus bishop of Synita, and then my colleague, were in the neighborhood. Hesperius asked us to visit him, and we did so. When he had related all the circumstances, he begged that the earth might be buried somewhere, and that the spot should be made a place of prayer where Christians might assemble for the worship of God. We made no objection: it was done as he desired. There was in that neighborhood a young countryman who was paralytic, who, when he heard of this, begged his parents to take him without delay to that holy place. When he had been brought there, he prayed, and forthwith went away on his own feet perfectly cured.There is a country-seat called Victoriana, less than thirty miles from Hippo-regius. At it there is a monument to the Milanese martyrs, Protasius and Gervasius. Thither a young man was carried, who, when he was watering his horse one summer day at noon in a pool of a river, had been taken possession of by a devil. As he lay at the monument, near death, or even quite like a dead person, the lady of the manor, with her maids and religious attendants, entered the place for evening prayer and praise, as her custom was, and they began to sing hymns. At this sound the young man, as if electrified, was thoroughly aroused, and with frightful screaming seized the altar, and held it as if he did not dare or were not able to let it go, and as if he were fixed or tied to it; and the devil in him, with loud lamentation, besought that he might be spared, and confessed where and when and how he took possession of the youth. At last, declaring that he would go out of him, he named one by one the parts of his body which he threatened to mutilate as he went out and with these words he departed from the man. But his eye, falling out on his cheek, hung by a slender vein as by a root, and the whole of the pupil which had been black became white. When this was witnessed by those present (others too had now gathered to his cries, and had all joined in prayer for him), although they were delighted that he had recovered his sanity of mind, yet, on the other hand, they were grieved about his eye, and said he should seek medical advice. But his sister's husband, who had brought him there, said, "God, who has banished the devil, is able to restore his eye at the prayers of His saints." Therewith he replaced the eye that was fallen out and hanging, and bound it in its place with his handkerchief as well as he could, and advised him not to loose the bandage for seven days. When he did so, he found it quite healthy. Others also were cured there, but of them it were tedious to speak.I know that a young woman of Hippo was immediately dispossessed of a devil, on anointing herself with oil, mixed with the tears of the prebsyter who had been praying for her. I know also that a bishop once prayed for a demoniac young man whom he never saw, and that he was cured on the spot.There was a fellow-townsman of ours at Hippo, Florentius, an old man, religious and poor, who supported himself as a tailor. Having lost his coat, and not having means to buy another, he prayed to the Twenty Martyrs, who have a very celebrated memorial shrine in our town, begging in a distinct voice that he might be clothed. Some scoffing young men, who happened to be present, heard him, and followed him with their sarcasm as he went away, as if he had asked the martyrs for fifty pence to buy a coat. But he, walking on in silence, saw on the shore a great fish, gasping as if just cast up, and having secured it with the good-natured assistance of the youths, he sold it for curing to a cook of the name of Catosus, a good Christian man, telling him how he had come by it, and receiving for it three hundred pence, which he laid out in wool, that his wife might exercise her skill upon, and make into a coat for him. But, on cutting up the fish, the cook found a gold ring in its belly; and forthwith, moved with compassion, and influenced, too, by religious fear, gave it up to the man, saying, "See how the Twenty Martyrs have clothed you."When the bishop Projectus was bringing the relics of the most glorious martyr Stephen to the waters of Tibilis, a great concourse of people came to meet him at the shrine. There a blind woman entreated that she might be led to the bishop who was carrying the relics. He gave her the flowers he was carrying. She took them, applied them to her eyes, and forthwith saw. Those who were present were astounded, while she, with every expression of joy, preceded them, pursuing her way without further need of a guide.Lucillus bishop of Sinita, in the neighborhood of the colonial town of Hippo, was carrying in procession some relics of the same martyr, which had been deposited in the castle of Sinita. A fistula under which he had long labored, and which his private physician was watching an opportunity to cut, was suddenly cured by the mere carrying of that sacred fardel, _ at least, afterwards there was no trace of it in his body.Eucharius, a Spanish priest, residing at Calama, was for a long time a sufferer from stone. By the relics of the same martyr, which the bishop Possidius brought him, he was cured. Afterwards the same priest, sinking under another disease, was lying dead, and already they were binding his hands. By the succor of the same martyr he was raised to life, the priest's cloak having been brought from the oratory and laid upon the corpse.There was there an old nobleman named Martial, who had a great aversion to the Christian religion, but whose daughter was a Christian, while her husband had been baptized that same year. When he was ill, they besought him with tears and prayers to become a Christian, but he positively refused, and dismissed them from his presence in a storm of indignation. It occurred to the son-in-law to go to the oratory of St. Stephen, and there pray for him with all earnestness that God might give him a right mind, so that he should not delay believing in Christ. This he did with great groaning and tears, and the burning fervor of sincere piety; then, as he left the place, he took some of the flowers that were lying there, and, as it was already night, laid them by his father's head, who so slept. And lo! before dawn, he cries out for some one to run for the bishop; but he happened at that time to be with me at Hippo. So when he had heard that he was from home, he asked the presbyters to come. They came. To the joy and amazement of all, he declared that he believed, and he was baptized. As long as he remained in life, these words were ever on his lips: "Christ, receive my spirit," though he was not aware that these were the last words of the most blessed Stephen when he was stoned by the Jews. They were his last words also, for not long after he himself also gave up the ghost.There, too, by the same martyr, two men, one a citizen, the other a stranger, were cured of gout; but while the citizen was absolutely cured, the stranger was only informed what he should apply when the pain returned; and when he followed this advice, the pain was at once relieved.Audurus is the name of an estate, where there is a church that contains a memorial shrine of the martyr Stephen. It happened that, as a little boy was playing in the court, the oxen drawing a wagon went out of the track and crushed him with the wheel, so that immediately he seemed at his last gasp. His mother snatched him up, and laid him at the shrine, and not only did he revive, but also appeared uninjured.A religious female, who lived at Caspalium, a neighboring estate, when she was so ill as to be despaired of, had her dress brought to this shrine, but before it was brought back she was gone. However, her parents wrapped her corpse in the dress, and, her breath returning, she became quite well.At Hippo a Syrian called Bassus was praying at the relics of the same martyr for his daughter, who was dangerously ill.

He too had brought her dress with him to the shrine. But as he prayed, behold, his servants ran from the house to tell him she was dead. His friends, however, intercepted them, and forbade them to tell him, lest he should bewail her in public. And when he had returned to his house, which was already ringing with the lamentations of his family, and had thrown on his daughter's body the dress he was carrying, she was restored to life.There, too, the son of a man, Irenжus, one of our tax-gatherers, took ill and died. And while his body was lying lifeless, and the last rites were being prepared, amidst the weeping and mourning of all, one of the friends who were consoling the father suggested that the body should be anointed with the oil of the same martyr. It was done, and he revived.Likewise Eleusinus, a man of tribunitian rank among us, laid his infant son, who had died, on the shrine of the martyr, which is in the suburb where he lived, and, after prayer, which he poured out there with many tears, he took up his child alive.What am I to do? I am so pressed by the promise of finishing this work, that I cannot record all the miracles I know; and doubtless several of our adherents, when they read what I have narrated, will regret that I have omitted so many which they, as well as I, certainly know. Even now I beg these persons to excuse me, and to consider how long it would take me to relate all those miracles, which the necessity of finishing the work I have undertaken forces me to omit. For were I to be silent of all others, and to record exclusively the miracles of healing which were wrought in the district of Calama and of Hippo by means of this martyr _ I mean the most glorious Stephen _ they would fill many volumes; and yet all even of these could not be collected, but only those of which narratives have been written for public recital. For when I saw, in our own times, frequent signs of the presence of divine powers similar to those which had been given of old, I desired that narratives might be written, judging that the multitude should not remain ignorant of these things. It is not yet two years since these relics were first brought to Hippo-regius, and though many of the miracles which have been wrought by it have not, as I have the most certain means of knowing, been recorded, those which have been published amount to almost seventy at the hour at which I write. But at Calama, where these relics have been for a longer time, and where more of the miracles were narrated for public information, there are incomparably more. At Uzali, too, a colony near Utica, many signal miracles were, to my knowledge, wrought by the same martyr, whose relics had found a place there by direction of the bishop Evodius, long before we had them at Hippo. But there the custom of publishing narratives does not obtain, or, I should say, did not obtain, for possibly it may now have been begun. For, when I was there recently, a woman of rank, Petronia, had been miraculously cured of a serious illness of long standing, in which all medical appliances had failed, and, with the consent of the above-named bishop of the place, I exhorted her to publish an account of it that might be read to the people. She most promptly obeyed, and inserted in her narrative a circumstance which I cannot omit to mention, though I am compelled to hasten on to the subjects which this work requires me to treat. She said that she had been persuaded by a Jew to wear next her skin, under all her clothes, a hair girdle, and on this girdle a ring, which, instead of a gem, had a stone which had been found in the kidneys of an ox. Girt with this charm, she was making her way to the threshold of the holy martyr. But, after leaving Carthage, and when she had been lodging in her own demesne on the river Bagrada, and was now rising to continue her journey, she saw her ring lying before her feet. In great surprise she examined the hair girdle, and when she found it bound, as it had been, quite firmly with knots, she conjectured that the ring had been worn through and dropped off; but when she found that the ring was itself also perfectly whole, she presumed that by this great miracle she had received somehow a pledge of her cure, whereupon she untied the girdle, and cast it into the river, and the ring along with it. This is not credited by those who do not believe either that the Lord Jesus Christ came forth from His mother's womb without destroying her virginity, and entered among His disciples when the doors were shut; but let them make strict inquiry into this miracle, and if they find it true, let them believe those others. The lady is of distinction, nobly born, married to a nobleman. She resides at Carthage. The city is distinguished, the person is distinguished, so that they who make inquiries cannot fail to find satisfaction. Certainly the martyr himself, by whose prayers she was healed, believed on the Son of her who remained a virgin; on Him who came in among the disciples when the doors were shut; in fine, _ and to this tends all that we have been retailing, _ on Him who ascended into heaven with the flesh in which He had risen; and it is because he laid down his life for this faith that such miracles were done by his means.Even now, therefore, many miracles are wrought, the same God who wrought those we read of still performing them, by whom He will and as He will; but they are not as well known, nor are they beaten into the memory, like gravel, by frequent reading, so that they cannot fall out of mind. For even where, as is now done among ourselves, care is taken that the pamphlets of those who receive benefit be read publicly, yet those who are present hear the narrative but once, and many are absent; and so it comes to pass that even those who are present forget in a few days what they heard, and scarcely one of them can be found who will tell what he heard to one who he knows was not present.One miracle was wrought among ourselves, which, though no greater than those I have mentioned, was yet so signal and conspicuous, that I suppose there is no inhabitant of Hippo who did not either see or hear of it, none who could possibly forget it. There were seven brothers and three sisters of a noble family of the Cappadocian Cжsarea, who were cursed by their mother, a new-made widow, on account of some wrong they had done her, and which she bitterly resented, and who were visited with so severe a punishment from Heaven, that all of them were seized with a hideous shaking in all their limbs. Unable, while presenting this loathsome appearance, to endure the eyes of their fellow-citizens, they wandered over almost the whole Roman world, each following his own direction. Two of them came to Hippo, a brother and a sister, Paulus and Palladia, already known in many other places by the fame of their wretched lot. Now it was about fifteen days before Easter when they came, and they came daily to church, and specially to the relics of the most glorious Stephen, praying that God might now be appeased, and restore their former health. There, and wherever they went, they attracted the attention of every one. Some who had seen them elsewhere, and knew the cause of their trembling, told others as occasion offered. Easter arrived, and on the Lord's day, in the morning, when there was now a large crowd present, and the young man was holding the bars of the holy place where the relics were, and praying, suddenly he fell down, and lay precisely as if asleep, but not trembling as he was wont to do even in sleep. All present were astonished. Some were alarmed, some were moved with pity; and while some were for lifting him up, others prevented them, and said they should rather wait and see what would result. And behold! he rose up, and trembled no more, for he was healed, and stood quite well, scanning those who were scanning him. Who then refrained himself from praising God? The whole church was filled with the voices of those who were shouting and congratulating him. Then they came running to me, where I was sitting ready to come into the church. One after another they throng in, the last comer telling me as news what the first had told me already; and while I rejoiced and inwardly gave God thanks, the young man himself also enters, with a number of others, falls at my knees, is raised up to receive my kiss. We go in to the congregation: the church was full, and ringing with the shouts of joy, "Thanks to God! Praised be God!" every one joining and shouting on all sides, "I have healed the people," and then with still louder voice shouting again. Silence being at last obtained, the customary lessons of the divine Scriptures were read. And when I came to my sermon, I made a few remarks suitable to the occasion and the happy and joyful feeling, not desiring them to listen to me, but rather to consider the eloquence of God in this divine work. The man dined with us, and gave us a careful ac count of his own, his mother's, and his family's calamity. Accordingly, on the following day, after delivering my sermon, I promised that next day I would read his narrative to the people. And when I did so, the third day after Easter Sunday, I made the brother and sister both stand on the steps of the raised place from which I used to speak; and while they stood there their pamphlet was read. The whole congregation, men and women alike, saw the one standing without any unnatural movement, the other trembling in all her limbs; so that those who had not before seen the man himself saw in his sister what the divine compassion had removed from him. In him they saw matter of congratulation, in her subject for prayer. Meanwhile, their pamphlet being finished, I instructed them to withdraw from the gaze of the people; and I had begun to discuss the whole matter somewhat more carefully, when lo! as I was proceeding, other voices are heard from the tomb of the martyr, shouting new congratulations. My audience turned round, and began to run to the tomb. The young woman, when she had come down from the steps where she had been standing, went to pray at the holy relics, and no sooner had she touched the bars than she, in the same way as her brother, collapsed, as if falling asleep, and rose up cured. While, then, we were asking what had happened, and what occasioned this noise of joy, they came into the basilica where we were, leading her from the martyr's tomb in perfect health. Then, indeed, such a shout of wonder rose from men and women together, that the exclamations and the tears seemed like never to come to an end. She was led to the place where she had a little before stood trembling. They now rejoiced that she was like her brother, as before they had mourned that she remained unlike him; and as they had not yet uttered their prayers in her behalf, they perceived that their intention of doing so had been speedily heard. They shouted God's praises without words, but with such a noise that our ears could scarcely bear it. What was there in the hearts of these exultant people but the faith of Christ, for which Stephen had shed his blood?


BOOK XXII [IX] Cui nisi huic fidei adtestantur ista miracula, in qua praedicatur Christus resurrexisse in carne et in caelum adscendisse cum carne? quia et ipsi martyres huius fidei martyres, id est huius fidei testes fuerunt; huic fidei testimonium perhibentes mundum inimicissimum et crudelissimum pertulerunt eumque non repugnando, sed moriendo vicerunt; pro ista fide mortui sunt, qui haec a domino inpetrare possunt, propter cuius nomen occisi sunt; pro hac fide praecessit eorum mira patientia, ut in his miraculis tanta ista potentia sequeretur. nam si carnis in aeternum resurrectio vel non praevenit in Christo vel non ventura est, sicut praenuntiatur a Christo vel sicut praenuntiata est a prophetis, a quibus praenuntiatus est Christus, cur et mortui tanta possunt, qui pro ea fide, qua haec resurrectio praedicatur, occisi sunt? sive enim deus ipse per se ipsum miro modo, quo res temporales operatur aeternus, sive per suos ministros ista faciat: et eadem ipsa, quae per ministros facit, sive quaedam faciat etiam per martyrum spiritus, sicut per homines adhuc in corpore constitutos, sive omnia ista per angelos, quibus inuisibiliter, incorporaliter, inmutabiliter imperat, operetur, ut quae per martyres fieri dicuntur, eis orantibus tantum et inpetrantibus, non etiam operantibus fiant; sive alia istis, alia illis modis, qui nullo modo conprehendi a mortalibus possunt: ei tamen adtestantur haec fidei, in qua carnis in aeternum resurrectio praedicatur.
To what do these miracles witness, but to this faith which preaches Christ risen in the flesh, and ascended with the same into heaven? For the martyrs themselves were martyrs, that is to say, witnesses of this faith, drawing upon themselves by their testimony the hatred of the world, and conquering the world not by resisting it, but by dying. For this faith they died, and can now ask these benefits from the Lord in whose name they were slain. For this faith their marvellous constancy was exercised, so that in these miracles great power was manifested as the result. For if the resurrection of the flesh to eternal life had not taken place in Christ, and were not to be accomplished in His people, as predicted by Christ, or by the prophets who foretold that Christ was to come, why do the martyrs who were slain for this faith which proclaims the resurrection possess such power? For whether God Himself wrought these miracles by that wonderful manner of working by which, though Himself eternal, He produces effects in time; or whether He wrought them by servants, and if so, whether He made use of the spirits of martyrs as He uses men who are still in the body, or effects all these marvels by means of angels, over whom He exerts an invisible, immutable, incorporeal sway, so that what is said to be done by the martyrs is done not by their operation, but only by their prayer and request; or whether, finally, some things are done in one way, others in another, and so that man cannot at all comprehend them,-nevertheless these miracles attest this faith which preaches the resurrection of the flesh to eternal life.
BOOK XXII [X] Hic forte dicturi sunt etiam deos suos aliqua mira fecisse, bene, si iam incipiunt deos suos nostris mortuis hominibus conparare. an dicent etiam se habere deos ex hominibus mortuis, sicut Herculem, sicut Romulum, sicut alios multos, quos in deorum numerum receptos opinantur? sed nobis martyres non sunt di, quia unum eundemque deum et nostrum scimus et martyrum. nec tamen miraculis, quae per memorias nostrorum martyrum fiunt, ullo modo sunt conparanda miracula, quae facta per templa perhibentur illorum. verum si qua similia videntur, sicut a Moyse magi Pharaonis, sic eorum di victi sunt a martyribus nostris. fecerunt autem illa daemones eo fastu inpurae superbiae, quo eorum di esse voluerunt; faciunt autem ista martyres vel potius deus aut cooperantibus aut orantibus eis, ut fides illa proficiat, qua eos non deos nostros esse, sed unum deum nobis cum habere credamus. denique illi talibus dis suis et templa aedificaverunt et statuerunt aras, et sacerdotes instituerunt et sacrificia fecerunt; nos autem martyribus nostris non templa sicut dis, sed memorias sicut hominibus mortuis, quorum apud deum vivunt spiritus, fabricamus; nec ibi erigimus altaria, in quibus sacrificemus martyribus, sed uni deo et martyrum et nostro; ad quod sacrificium sicut homines dei, qui mundum in eius confessione vicerunt, suo loco et ordine nominantur, non tamen a sacerdote, qui sacrificat, inuocantur. deo quippe, non ipsis sacrificat, quamvis in memoria sacrificet eorum, quia dei sacerdos est, non illorum. ipsum vero sacrificium corpus est Christi, quod non offertur ipsis, quia hoc sunt et ipsi. quibus igitur potius credendum est miracula facientibus? eis ne qui se ipsos volunt haberi deos ab his quibus ea faciunt, an eis qui, ut in deum credatur, quod et Christus est, faciunt quidquid mirabile faciunt? eis ne qui sacra sua etiam crimina sua esse voluerunt, an eis qui nec laudes suas volunt esse sacra sua, sed totum, quod veraciter laudantur, ad eius gloriam proficere in quo laudantur? in domino quippe laudantur animae eorum. credamus ergo eis et vera dicentibus et mira facientibus. dicendo enim vera passi sunt, ut possint facere mira. in eis veris est praecipuum, quod Christus resurrexit a mortuis et inmortalitatem resurrectionis in sua carne primus ostendit, quam nobis adfuturam vel in principio novi saeculi vel in huius fine promisit.
Here perhaps our adversaries will say that their gods also have done some wonderful things, if now they begin to compare their gods to our dead men. Or will they also say that they have gods taken from among dead men, such as Hercules, Romulus, and many others whom they fancy to have been received into the number of the gods? But our martyrs are not our gods; for we know that the martyrs and we have both but one God, and that the same. Nor yet are the miracles which they maintain to have been done by means of their temples at all comparable to those which are done by the tombs of our martyrs. If they seem similar, their gods have been defeated by our martyrs as Pharaoh's magi were by Moses. In reality, the demons wrought these marvels with the same impure pride with which they aspired to be the gods of the nations; but the martyrs do these wonders, or rather God does them while they pray and assist, in order that an impulse may be given to the faith by which we believe that they are not our gods, but have, together with ourselves, one God. In fine, they built temples to these gods of theirs, and set up altars, and ordained priests, and appointed sacrifices; but to our martyrs we build, not temples as if they were gods, but monuments as to dead men whose spirits live with God. Neither do we erect altars at these monuments that we may sacrifice to the martyrs, but to the one God of the martyrs and of ourselves; and in this sacrifice they are named in their own place and rank as men of God who conquered the world by confessing Him, but they are not invoked by the sacrificing priest. For it is to God, not to them, he sacrifices, though he sacrifices at their monument; for he is God's priest, not theirs. The sacrifice itself, too, is the body of Christ, which is not offered to them, because they themselves are this body. Which then can more readily be believed to work miracles? They who wish themselves to be reckoned gods by those on whom they work miracles, or those whose sole object in working any miracle is to induce faith in God, and in Christ also as God? They who wished to turn even their crimes into sacred rites, or those who are unwilling that even their own praises be consecrated, and seek that everything for which they are justly praised be ascribed to the glory of Him in whom they are praised? For in the Lord their souls are praised. Let us therefore believe those who both speak the truth and work wonders. For by speaking the truth they suffered, and so won the power of working wonders. And the leading truth they professed is that Christ rose from the dead, and first showed in His own flesh the immortality of the resurrection which He promised should be ours, either in the beginning of the world to come, or in the end of this world.
BOOK XXII [XI] Contra quod magnum dei donum ratiocinatores isti, quorum cogitationes novit dominus quoniam uanae sunt, de ponderibus elementorum argumentantur; quoniam scilicet magistro Platone didicerunt mundi duo corpora maxima atque postrema duobus mediis, aere scilicet et aqua, esse copulata atque coniuncta. a per hoc, inquiunt, quoniam terra abhinc sursum versus est prima, secunda aqua super terram, tertius aer super aquam, quartum super aera caelum, non potest esse terrenum corpus in caelo; momentis enim propriis, ut ordinem suum teneant, singula elementa librantur. ecce qualibus argumentis omnipotentiae dei humana contradicit infirmitas, quam possidet uanitas. quid ergo faciunt in aere terrena tot corpora, cum a terra sit aer tertius? nisi forte, qui per plumarum et pennarum levitatem donavit avium terrenis corporibus, ut portentur in aere, inmortalibus factis corporibus hominum non poterit donare virtutem, qua etiam in summo caelo valeant habitare. animalia quoque ipsa terrena, quae volare non possunt, in quibus et homines sunt, sicut sub aqua pisces, quae sunt aquarum animalia, ita sub terra vivere debuerunt. cur ergo non saltem de secundo, id est de aquis, sed de elemento tertio terrenum animal carpit hanc vitam? quare, cum pertineat ad terram, in secundo, quod super terram est, elemento vivere si cogatur, continuo suffocatur et ut vivat vivit in tertio? an errat hic ordo elementorum, vel potius non in natura rerum, sed in istorum argumentationibus deficit? omitto dicere, quod iam in tertio decimo libro dixi, quam multa gravia terrena sint corpora, sicut plumbum, et formam tamen ab artifice accipiant, qua natare valeant super aquam; et ut accipiat qualitatem corpus humanum, qua ferri in caelum et esse possit in caelo, omnipotenti artifici contradicitur? iam vero contra illud, quod dixi superius, etiam istum considerantes atque tractantes elementorum ordinem, quo confidunt, non inveniunt omnino quod dicant. sic est enim hinc sursum versus terra prima, aqua secunda, tertius aer, quartum caelum, ut super omnia sit animae natura. nam et Aristoteles quintum corpus eam dixit esse et Plato nullum. si quintum esset, certe superius esset ceteris; cum vero nullum est, multo magis superat omnia. in terreno ergo quid facit corpore? in hac mole quid agit subtilior omnibus? in hoc pondere quid agit levior omnibus? in hac tarditate quid agit celerior omnibus? ita ne per huius tam excellentius naturae meritum non poterit effici, ut corpus eius leuetur in caelum, et cum valeat nunc natura corporum terrenorum deprimere animas deorsum, aliquando et animae leuare sursum terrena corpora non valebunt? iam si ad eorum miracula veniamus, quae facta a dis suis obponunt martyribus nostris, nonne etiam ipsa pro nobis facere et nobis reperientur omnino proficere? nam inter magna miracula deorum suorum profecto magnum illud est, quod Varro commemorat, Vestalem virginem, cum periclitaretur falsa suspicione de stupro, cribrum inplesse aqua de Tiberi et ad suos iudices nulla eius parte stillante portasse. quis aquae pondus supra cribrum tenuit? quis tot cavernis patentibus nihil inde in terram cadere permisit? responsuri sunt: aliquis deus aut aliquis daemon. si deus, numquid maior est deo, qui fecit hunc mundum? si daemon, numquid potentior est angelo, qui deo seruit, a quo factus est mundus? si ergo deus minor vel angelus vel daemon potuit pondus umidi elementi sic suspendere, ut aquarum videatur mutata fuisse natura: ita ne deus omnipotens, qui omnia ipsa creavit elementa, terreno corpori grave pondus auferre non poterit, ut in eodem elemento habitet vivificatum corpus, in quo voluerit vivificans spiritus? deinde cum aera medium ponant inter ignem desuper et aquam subter, quid est quod eum inter aquam et aquam et inter aquam et terram saepe invenimus? quid enim volunt esse aquosas nubes, inter quas et maria aer medius reperitur? quonam, quaeso, elementorum pondere atque ordine efficitur, ut torrentes violentissimi atque undosissimi, antequam sub aere in terris currant, super aera in nubibus pendeant? cur denique aer est medius inter summa caeli et nuda terrarum, quaquaversum orbis extenditur, si locus eius inter caelum et aquas, sicut aquarum inter ipsum et terras est constitutus? postremo si ita est elementorum ordo dispositus, ut secundum Platonem duobus mediis, id est aere et aqua, duo extrema, id est ignis et terra, iungantur caelique obtineat ille summi locum, haec autem imi velut fundaminis mundi, et ideo in caelo esse non potest terra, cur est ipse ignis in terra? secundum hanc quippe rationem ita ista duo elementa in locis propriis, imo ac summo, terra et ignis esse debuerunt, ut, quemadmodum nolunt in summo esse posse quod imi est, ita nec in imo posset esse quod summi est. sicut ergo nullam putant vel esse vel futuram esse terrae particulam in caelo, ita nullam particulam videre debuimus ignis in terra. nunc vero non solum in terris, verum etiam sub terris ita est, ut eum eructent vertices montium, praeter quod in usibus hominum et esse ignem in terra et eum nasci videmus ex terra; quandoquidem et de lignis et de lapidibus nascitur, quae sunt corpora sine dubitatione terrena. sed ille, inquiunt, ignis est tranquillus, purus, innoxius, sempiternus; iste autem turbidus, fumeus, corruptibilis atque corruptor. nec tamen corrumpit montes, in quibus iugiter aestuat, cavernasque terrarum. verum esto, sit illi iste dissimilis, ut terrenis habitationibus congruat: cur ergo nolunt, ut credamus naturam corporum terrenorum aliquando incorruptibilem factam caelo convenientem futuram, sicut nunc ignis corruptibilis his convenit terris? nihil igitur adferunt ex ponderibus atque ordine elementorum, unde omnipotenti deo, quominus faciat corpora nostra talia, ut etiam in caelo possint habitare, praescribant.
But against this great gift of God, these reasoners, "whose thoughts the Lord knows that they are vain" bring arguments from the weights of the elements; for they have been taught by their master Plato that the two greatest elements of the world, and the furthest removed from one another, are coupled and united by the two intermediate, air and water. And consequently they say, since the earth is the first of the elements, beginning from the base of the series, the second the water above the earth, the third the air above the water, the fourth the heaven above the air, it follows that a body of earth cannot live in the heaven; for each element is poised by its own weight so as to preserve its own place and rank. Behold with what arguments human infirmity, possessed with vanity, contradicts the omnipotence of God! What, then, do so many earthly bodies do in the air, since the air is the third element from the earth? Unless perhaps He who has granted to the earthly bodies of birds that they be carried through the air by the lightness of feathers and wings, has not been able to confer upon the bodies of men made immortal the power to abide in the highest heaven. The earthly animals, too, which cannot fly, among which are men, ought on these terms to live under the earth, as fishes, which are the animals of the water, live under the water. Why, then, can an animal of earth not live in the second element, that is, in water, while it can in the third? Why, though it belongs to the earth, is it forthwith suffocated if it is forced to live in the second element next above earth, while it lives in the third, and cannot live out of it? Is there a mistake here in the order of the elements, or is not the mistake rather in their reasonings, and not in the nature of things? I will not repeat what I said in the thirteenth book, that many earthly bodies, though heavy like lead, receive from the workman's hand a form which enables them to swim in water; and yet it is denied that the omnipotent Worker can confer on the human body a property which shall enable it to pass into heaven and dwell there.But against what I have formerly said they can find nothing to say, even though they introduce and make the most of this order of the elements in which they confide. For if the order be that the earth is first, the water second, the air third, the heaven fourth, then the soul is above all. For Aristotle said that the soul was a fifth body, while Plato denied that it was a body at all. If it were a fifth body, then certainly it would be above the rest; and if it is not a body at all, so much the more does it rise above all. What, then, does it do in an earthly body? What does this soul, which is finer than all else, do in such a mass of matter as this? What does the lightest of substances do in this ponderosity? this swiftest substance in such sluggishness? Will not the body be raised to heaven by virtue of so excellent a nature as this? and if now earthly bodies can retain the souls below, shall not the souls be one day able to raise the earthly bodies above?If we pass now to their miracles which they oppose to our martyrs as wrought by their gods, shall not even these be found to make for us, and help out our argument? For if any of the miracles of their gods are great, certainly that is a great one which Varro mentions of a vestal virgin, who, when she was endangered by a false accusation of unchastity, filled a sieve with water from the Tiber, and carried it to her judges without any part of it leaking. Who kept the weight of water in the sieve? Who prevented any drop from falling from it through so many open holes? They will answer, Some god or some demon. If a god, is he greater than the God who made the world? If a demon, is he mightier than an angel who serves the God by whom the world was made? If, then, a lesser god, angel, or demon could so sustain the weight of this liquid element that the water might seem to have changed its nature, shall not Almighty God, who Himself created all the elements, be able to eliminate from the earthly body its heaviness, so that the quickened body shall dwell in whatever element the quickening spirit pleases?Then, again, since they give the air a middle place between the fire above and the water beneath, how is it that we often find it between water and water, and between the water and the earth? For what do they make of those watery clouds, between which and the seas air is constantly found intervening? I should like to know by what weight and order of the elements it comes to pass that very violent and stormy torrents are suspended in the clouds above the earth before they rush along upon the earth under the air. In fine, why is it that throughout the whole globe the air is between the highest heaven and the earth, if its place is between the sky and the water, as the place of the water is between the sky and the earth?Finally, if the order of the elements is so disposed that, as Plato thinks, the two extremes, fire and earth, are united by the two means, air and water, and that the fire occupies the highest part of the sky, and the earth the lowest part, or as it were the foundation of the world, and that therefore earth cannot be in the heavens, how is fire in the earth? For, according to this reasoning, these two elements, earth and fire, ought to be so restricted to their own places, the highest and the lowest, that neither the lowest can rise to the place of the highest, nor the highest sink to that of the lowest. Thus, as they think that no particle of earth is or shall ever be in the sky so we ought to see no particle of fire on the earth. But the fact is that it exists to such an extent, not only on but even under the earth, that the tops of mountains vomit it forth; besides that we see it to exist on earth for human uses, and even to be produced from the earth, since it is kindled from wood and stones, which are without doubt earthly bodies. But that [upper] fire, they say, is tranquil, pure, harmless, eternal; but this [earthly] fire is turbid, smoky, corruptible, and corrupting. But it does not corrupt the mountains and caverns of the earth in which it rages continually. But grant that the earthly fire is so unlike the other as to suit its earthly position, why then do they object to our believing that the nature of earthly bodies shall some day be made incorruptible and fit for the sky, even as now fire is corruptible and suited to the earth? They therefore adduce from their weights and order of the elements nothing from which they can prove that it is impossible for Almighty God to make our bodies such that they can dwell in the skies.
BOOK XXII [XII] Sed scrupulosissime quaerere et fidem, qua credimus resurrecturam carnem, ita quaerendo adsolent inridere: utrum fetus abortivi resurgant; et quoniam dominus ait: amen, dico vobis, capillus capitis uestri non peribit, utrum statura et robur aequalia futura sint omnibus an diversae corporum quantitates. si enim aequalitas erit corporum, unde habebunt quod hic non habuerunt in mole corporis illi abortivi, si resurgent et ipsi? aut si non resurgent, quia nec nati sunt, sed effusi, eandem quaestionem de paruulis versant, unde illis mensura corporis, quam nunc defuisse videmus, accedat, cum in hac aetate moriuntur. neque enim dicturi sumus eos non resurrecturos, qui non solum generationis, verum etiam regenerationis capaces sunt. deinde interrogant, quem modum ipsa aequalitas habitura sit. si enim tam magni et tam longi erunt omnes, quam fuerunt quicumque hic fuerunt maximi atque longissimi, non solum de paruulis, sed de plurimis quaerunt, unde illis accessurum sit, quod hic defuit, si hoc quisque recipiat, quod hic habuit; si autem, quod ait apostolus, occursuros nos omnes in mensuram aetatis plenitudinis Christi, et illud alterum: quos praedestinavit conformes imaginis filii sui, sic intellegendum est, ut statura et modus corporis Christi omnium, qui in regno eius erunt, humanorum corporum sit futurus: multis erit, inquiunt, de magnitudine et longitudine corporis detrahendum; et ubi iam erit: capillus capitis uestri non peribit, si de ipsa corporis quantitate tam multum peribit? quamvis et de ipsis capillis possit inquiri, utrum redeat quidquid tondentibus decidit. quod si rediturum est, quis non exhorreat illam deformitatem? nam hoc et de unguibus videtur necessario secuturum, ut redeat tam multum quod corporis curatura desecuit. et ubi erit decus, quod certe maius, quam in ista esse corruptione potuit, in illa iam inmortalitate esse debebit? si autem non redibit, ergo peribit. quomodo igitur, inquiunt, capillus capitis non peribit? de macie quoque vel pinguedine similiter disputant. nam si aequales omnes erunt, non utique alii macri, alii pingues erunt. accedet ergo aliis aliquid, aliis minvetur; ac per hoc non, quod erat, recipiendum, sed alicubi addendum est, quod non fuit, et alicubi perdendum, quod fuit. de ipsis etiam corruptionibus et dilapsionibus corporum mortuorum, cum aliud vertatur in puluerem, in auras aliud exhaletur, sint quos bestiae, sint quos ignis absumit, naufragio vel quibuscumque aquis ita quidam pereant, ut eorum carnes in umorem putredo dissolvat, non mediocriter permoventur atque omnia ista recolligi in carnem et redintegrari posse non credunt. consectantur etiam quasque foeditates et vitia, sive accidant sive nascantur, ubi et monstrosos partus cum horrore atque inrisione commemorant, et requirunt, quaenam cuiusque deformitatis resurrectio sit futura. si enim nihil tale redire in corpus hominis dixerimus, responsionem nostram de locis uulnerum, cum quibus dominum Christum resurrexisse praedicamus, se confutaturos esse praesumunt. sed inter haec omnia quaestio difficillima illa proponitur, in cuius carnem reditura sit caro, qua corpus alterius uescentis humana viscera fame conpellente nutritur. in carnem quippe conversa est eius, qui talibus vixit alimentis, et ea, quae macies ostenderat, detrimenta subplevit. utrum ergo illi redeat homini cuius caro prius fuit, an illi potius cuius postea facta est, ad hoc percontantur, ut fidem resurrectionis inludant ac sic animae humanae aut alternantes, sicut Plato, veras infelicitates falsasque promittant beatitudines aut post multas itidem per diversa corpora resolutiones aliquando tamen eam, sicut Porphyrius, finire miserias et ad eas numquam redire fateantur; non tamen corpus habendo inmortale, sed corpus omne fugiendo.
But their way is to feign a scrupulous anxiety in investigating this question, and to cast ridicule on our faith in the resurrection of the body, by asking, Whether abortions shall rise? And as the Lord says, "Verily I say unto you, not a hair of your head shall perish," Luke 21:18 shall all bodies have an equal stature and strength, or shall there be differences in size? For if there is to be equality, where shall those abortions, supposing that they rise again, get that bulk which they had not here? Or if they shall not rise because they were not born but cast out, they raise the same question about children who have died in childhood, asking us whence they get the stature which we see they had not here; for we will not say that those who have been not only born, but born again, shall not rise again. Then, further, they ask of what size these equal bodies shall be. For if all shall be as tall and large as were the tallest and largest in this world, they ask us how it is that not only children but many full-grown persons shall receive what they here did not possess, if each one is to receive what he had here. And if the saying of the apostle, that we are all to come to the "measure of the age of the fullness of Christ," Ephesians 4:13 or that other saying, "Whom He predestinated to be conformed to the image of His Son," Romans 8:29 is to be understood to mean that the stature and size of Christ's body shall be the measure of the bodies of all those who shall be in His kingdom, then, say they, the size and height of many must be diminished; and if so much of the bodily frame itself be lost, what becomes of the saying, "Not a hair of your head shall perish?" Besides, it might be asked regarding the hair itself, whether all that the barber has cut off shall be restored? And if it is to be restored, who would not shrink from such deformity? For as the same restoration will be made of what has been pared off the nails, much will be replaced on the body which a regard for its appearance had cut off. And where, then, will be its beauty, which assuredly ought to be much greater in that immortal condition than it could be in this corruptible state? On the other hand, if such things are not restored to the body, they must perish; how, then, they say, shall not a hair of the head perish? In like manner they reason about fatness and leanness; for if all are to be equal, then certainly there shall not be some fat, others lean. Some, therefore, shall gain, others lose something. Consequently there will not be a simple restoration of what formerly existed, but, on the one hand, an addition of what had no existence, and, on the other, a loss of what did before exist.The difficulties, too, about the corruption and dissolution of dead bodies,-that one is turned into dust, while another evaporates into the air; that some are devoured by beasts, some by fire, while some perish by shipwreck or by drowning in one shape or other, so that their bodies decay into liquid, these difficulties give them immoderate alarm, and they believe that all those dissolved elements cannot be gathered again and reconstructed into a body. They also make eager use of all the deformities and blemishes which either accident or birth has produced, and accordingly, with horror and derision, cite monstrous births, and ask if every deformity will be preserved in the resurrection. For if we say that no such thing shall be reproduced in the body of a man, they suppose that they confute us by citing the marks of the wounds which we assert were found in the risen body of the Lord Christ. But of all these, the most difficult question is, into whose body that flesh shall return which has been eaten and assimilated by another man constrained by hunger to use it so; for it has been converted into the flesh of the man who used it as his nutriment, and it filled up those losses of flesh which famine had produced. For the sake, then, of ridiculing the resurrection, they ask, Shall this return to the man whose flesh it first was, or to him whose flesh it afterwards became? And thus, too, they seek to give promise to the human soul of alternations of true misery and false happiness, in accordance with Plato's theory; or, in accordance with Porphyry's, that, after many transmigrations into different bodies, it ends its miseries, and never more returns to them, not, however, by obtaining an immortal body, but by escaping from every kind of body.
BOOK XXII [XIII] Ad haec ergo, quae ab eorum parte contraria me digerente mihi videntur opposita, misericordia Dei meis nisibus opem ferente respondeam. Abortivos fetus, qui, cum iam vixissent in utero, ibi sunt mortui, resurrecturos ut adfirmare, ita negare non audeo; quamvis non videam quo modo ad eos non pertineat resurrectio mortuorum, si non eximuntur de numero mortuorum. Aut enim non omnes mortui resurgent et erunt aliquae humanae animae si ne corporibus in aeternum, quae corpora humana, quamvis intra viscera materna, gestarunt; aut si omnes animae humanae recipient resurgentia sua corpora, quae habuerunt, ubicumque viventia et morientia reliquerunt, non invenio quem ad modum dicam ad resurrectionem non pertinere mortuorum quoscumque mortuos etiam in uteris matrum. Sed utrumlibet de his quisque sentiat, quod de iam natis infantibus dixerimus, hoc etiam de illis intellegendum est, si resurgent.
To these objections, then, of our adversaries which I have thus detailed, I will now reply, trusting that God will mercifully assist my endeavors. That abortions, which, even supposing they were alive in the womb, did also die there, shall rise again, I make bold neither to affirm nor to deny, although I fail to see why, if they are not excluded from the number of the dead, they should not attain to the resurrection of the dead. For either all the dead shall not rise, and there will be to all eternity some souls without bodies though they once had them,-only in their mother's womb, indeed; or, if all human souls shall receive again the bodies which they had wherever they lived, and which they left when they died, then I do not see how I can say that even those who died in their mother's womb shall have no resurrection. But whichever of these opinions any one may adopt concerning them, we must at least apply to them, if they rise again, all that we have to say of infants who have been born.
BOOK XXII [XIV] Quid ergo de infantibus dicturi sumus, nisi quia non in ea resurrecturi sunt corporis exiguitate, qua mortui, sed quod eis tardius accessurum erat tempore, hoc sunt illi Dei opere miro atque celerrimo recepturi? In sententia quippe Domini, qua ait: Capillus capitis uestri non peribit, dictum est non defuturum esse quod fuit, non autem negatum est adfuturum esse quod defuit. Defuit autem infanti mortuo perfecta quantitas sui corporis; perfecto quippe infanti deest utique perfectio magnitudinis corporalis, quae cum accesserit, statura iam longior esse non possit. Hunc perfectionis modum sic habent omnes, ut cum illo concipiantur atque nascantur; sed habent in ratione, non mole; sicut ipsa membra omnia iam sunt latenter in semine, cum etiam natis nonnulla adhuc desint, sicut dentes ac si quid eius modi. In qua ratione uniuscuiusque materiae indita corporali iam quodam modo, ut ita dicam, liciatum videtur esse, quod nondum est, immo quod latet, sed accessu temporis erit vel potius apparebit. In hac ergo infans iam brevis aut longus est, qui brevis longusue futurus est. Secundum hanc rationem profecto in resurrectione corporis detrimenta corporis non timemus, quia, etsi aequalitas futura esset omnium, ita ut omnes usque ad giganteas magnitudines pervenirent, ne illi, qui maximi fuerunt, minus haberent aliquid in statura, quod eis contra sententiam Christi periret, qui dixit nec capillum capitis esse periturum, Creatori utique, qui creavit cuncta de nihilo, quo modo deesse posset unde adderet quod addendum esse mirus artifex nosset?
What, then, are we to say of infants, if not that they will not rise in that diminutive body in which they died, but shall receive by the marvellous and rapid operation of God that body which time by a slower process would have given them? For in the Lord's words, where He says, "Not a hair of your head shall perish," it is asserted that nothing which was possessed shall be wanting; but it is not said that nothing which was not possessed shall be given. To the dead infant there was wanting the perfect stature of its body; for even the perfect infant lacks the perfection of bodily size, being capable of further growth. This perfect stature is, in a sense, so possessed by all that they are conceived and born with it,-that is, they have it potentially, though not yet in actual bulk; just as all the members of the body are potentially in the seed, though, even after the child is born, some of them, the teeth for example, may be wanting. In this seminal principle of every substance, there seems to be, as it were, the beginning of everything which does not yet exist, or rather does not appear, but which in process of time will come into being, or rather into sight. In this, therefore, the child who is to be tall or short is already tall or short. And in the resurrection of the body, we need, for the same reason, fear no bodily loss; for though all should be of equal size, and reach gigantic proportions, lest the men who were largest here should lose anything of their bulk and it should perish, in contradiction to the words of Christ, who said that not a hair of their head should perish, yet why should there lack the means by which that wonderful Worker should make such additions, seeing that He is the Creator, who Himself created all things out of nothing?
BOOK XXII [XV] Sed utique Christus in ea mensura corporis, in qua mortuus est, resurrexit, nec fas est dicere, cum resurrectionis omnium tempus venerit, accessuram corpori eius eam magnitudinem, quam non habuit, quando in ea discipulis, in qua illis erat notus, apparuit, ut longissimis fieri possit aequalis. Si autem dixerimus ad dominici corporis modum etiam quorumque maiora corpora redigenda, peribit de multorum corporibus plurimum, cum ipse nec capillum periturum esse promiserit. Restat ergo, ut suam recipiat quisque mensuram, quam vel habuit in ivuentute, etiamsi senex est mortuus, vel fuerat habiturus, si est ante defunctus, atque illud, quod commemoravit apostolus de mensura aetatis plenitudinis Christi, aut propter aliud intellegamus dictum esse, id est, ut illi capiti in populis Christianis accedente omnium perfectione membrorum aetatis eius mensura compleatur, aut, si hoc de resurrectione corporum dictum est, sic accipiamus dictum, ut nec infra nec ultra ivuenalem formam resurgant corpora mortuorum, sed in eius aetate et robore, usque ad quam Christum hic pervenisse cognovimus (circa triginta quippe annos definierunt esse etiam saeculi huius doctissimi homines ivuentutem; quae cum fuerit spatio proprio terminata, inde iam hominem in detrimenta vergere gravioris ac senilis aetatis); et ideo non esse dictum in mensuram corporis vel in mensuram staturae, sed in mensuram aetatis plenitudinis Christi.
It is certain that Christ rose in the same bodily stature in which He died, and that it is wrong to say that, when the general resurrection shall have arrived, His body shall, for the sake of equalling the tallest, assume proportions which it had not when He appeared to the disciples in the figure with which they were familiar. But if we say that even the bodies of taller men are to be reduced to the size of the Lord's body, there will be a great loss in many bodies, though He promised that, not a hair of their head should perish. It remains, therefore, that we conclude that every man shall receive his own size which he had in youth, though he died an old man, or which he would have had, supposing he died before his prime. As for what the apostle said of the measure of the age of the fullness of Christ, we must either understand him to refer to something else, viz., to the fact that the measure of Christ will be completed when all the members among the Christian communities are added to the Head; or if we are to refer it to the resurrection of the body, the meaning is that all shall rise neither beyond nor under youth, but in that vigor and age to which we know that Christ had arrived. For even the world's wisest men have fixed the bloom of youth at about the age of thirty; and when this period has been passed, the man begins to decline towards the defective and duller period of old age. And therefore the apostle did not speak of the measure of the body, nor of the measure of the stature, but of "the measure of the age of the fullness of Christ."
BOOK XXII [XVI] Illud etiam, quod ait praedestinatos conformes <fieri> imaginis filii Dei, potest et secundum interiorem hominem intellegi (unde nobis alio loco dicit: Nolite conformari huic saeculo, sed reformamini in novitate mentis uestrae; ubi ergo reformamur, ne conformemur huic saeculo, ibi conformamur Dei filio); potest et sic accipi, ut, quem ad modum nobis ille mortalitate, ita nos illi efficiamur inmortalitate conformes; quod quidem et ad ipsam resurrectionem corporum pertinet. Si autem etiam in his verbis, qua forma resurrectura sint corpora, sumus admoniti, sicut illa mensura, ita et ista conformatio non quantitatis intellegenda est, sed aetatis. Resurgent itaque omnes tam magni corpore, quam vel erant vel futuri erant aetate ivuenali; quamvis nihil oberit, etiamsi erit infantilis vel senilis corporis forma, ubi nec mentis nec ipsius corporis ulla remanebit infirmitas. Vnde etiam si quis in eo corporis modo, in quo defunctus est, resurrecturum unumquemque contendit, non est cum illo laboriosa contradictione pugnandum.
Then, again, these words, "Predestinate to be conformed to the image of the Son of God," Romans 8:29 may be understood of the inner man. So in another place He says to us, "Be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed in the renewing of your mind." Romans 12:2 In so far, then, as we are transformed so as not to be conformed to the world, we are conformed to the Son of God. It may also be understood thus, that as He was conformed to us by assuming mortality, we shall be conformed to Him by immortality; and this indeed is connected with the resurrection of the body. But if we are also taught in these words what form our bodies shall rise in, as the measure we spoke of before, so also this conformity is to be understood not of size, but of age. Accordingly all shall rise in the stature they either had attained or would have attained had they lived to their prime, although it will be no great disadvantage even if the form of the body be infantine or aged, while no infirmity shall remain in the mind nor in the body itself. So that even if any one contends that every person will rise again in the same bodily form in which he died, we need not spend much labor in disputing with him.
BOOK XXII [XVII] Nonnulli propter hoc, quod dictum est: Donec occurramus omnes <in unitatem fidei,> in virum perfectum, in mensuram aetatis plenitudinis Christi, et: Conformes imaginis filii Dei, nec in sexu femineo resurrecturas feminas credunt, sed in virili omnes aiunt, quoniam Deus solum virum fecit ex limo, feminam ex viro. Sed mihi melius sapere videntur, qui utrumque sexum resurrecturum esse non dubitant. Non enim libido ibi erit, quae confusionis est causa. Nam priusquam peccassent, nudi erant, et non confundebantur vir et femina. Corporibus ergo illis vitia detrahentur, natura servabitur. Non est autem vitium sexus femineus, sed natura, quae tunc quidem et a concubitu et a partu inmunis erit; erunt tamen membra feminea, non adcommodata usui ueteri, sed decori nouo, quo non alliciatur aspicientis concupiscentia, quae nulla erit, sed Dei laudetur sapientia atque clementia, qui et quod non erat fecit et liberavit a corruptione quod fecit. Vt enim in exordio generis humani de latere viri dormientis costa detracta femina fieret, Christum et ecclesiam tali facto iam tunc prophetari oportebat. Sopor quippe ille viri mors erat Christi, cuius exanimis in cruce pendentis latus lancea perforatum est atque inde sanguis et aqua defluxit; quae sacramenta esse novimus, quibus aedificatur ecclesia. Nam hoc etiam verbo scriptura usa est, ubi non legitur "formavit" aut "finxit", sed: Aedificavit eam in mulierem; unde et apostolus aedificationem dicit corporis Christi, quod est ecclesia. Creatura est ergo Dei femina sicut vir; sed ut de viro fieret, unitas commendata; ut autem illo modo fieret, Christus, ut dictum est, et ecclesia figurata est. Qui ergo utrumque sexum instituit, utrumque restituet. Denique ipse Iesus interrogatus a Sadducaeis, qui negabant resurrectionem, cuius septem fratrum erit uxor, quam singuli habuerunt, dum quisque eorum vellet defuncti semen, sicut lex praeceperat, excitare: Erratis, inquit, nescientes scripturas, neque virtutem Dei; et cum locus esset, ut diceret: "De qua enim me interrogatis, vir erit etiam ipsa, non mulier", non hoc dixit, sed dixit: In resurrectione enim neque nubent neque uxores ducent, sed sunt sicut angeli Dei in caelo,. aequales utique angelis inmortalitate ac felicitate, non carne; sicut nec resurrectione, qua non indiguerunt angeli, quoniam nec mori potuerunt. Nuptias ergo Dominus futuras esse negavit in resurrectione, non feminas, et ibi negavit, ubi talis quaestio vertebatur, ut eam negato sexu muliebri celeriore facilitate dissolueret, si eum ibi praenosceret non futurum; immo etiam futurum esse firmavit dicendo: Non nubent, quod ad feminas pertinet, nec uxores ducent, quod ad viros. Erunt ergo, quae vel nubere hic solent, vel ducere uxores; sed ibi non facient.
From the words, "Till we all come to a perfect man, to the measure of the age of the fullness of Christ," Ephesians 4:13 and from the words, "Conformed to the image of the Son of God," Romans 8:29 some conclude that women shall not rise women, but that all shall be men, because God made man only of earth, and woman of the man. For my part, they seem to be wiser who make no doubt that both sexes shall rise. For there shall be no lust, which is now the cause of confusion. For before they sinned, the man and the woman were naked, and were not ashamed. From those bodies, then, vice shall be withdrawn, while nature shall be preserved. And the sex of woman is not a vice, but nature. It shall then indeed be superior to carnal intercourse and child-bearing; nevertheless the female members shall remain adapted not to the old uses, but to a new beauty, which, so far from provoking lust, now extinct, shall excite praise to the wisdom and clemency of God, who both made what was not and delivered from corruption what He made. For at the beginning of the human race the woman was made of a rib taken from the side of the man while he slept; for it seemed fit that even then Christ and His Church should be foreshadowed in this event. For that sleep of the man was the death of Christ, whose side, as He hung lifeless upon the cross, was pierced with a spear, and there flowed from it blood and water, and these we know to be the sacraments by which the Church is "built up." For Scripture used this very word, not saying "He formed" or "framed," but "built her up into a woman;" Genesis 2:22 whence also the apostle speaks of the edification of the body of Christ, Ephesians 4:12 which is the Church. The woman, therefore, is a creature of God even as the man; but by her creation from man unity is commended; and the manner of her creation prefigured, as has been said, Christ and the Church. He, then, who created both sexes will restore both. Jesus Himself also, when asked by the Sadducees, who denied the resurrection, which of the seven brothers should have to wife the woman whom all in succession had taken to raise up seed to their brother, as the law enjoined, says, "You do err, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God." Matthew 22:29 And though it was a fit opportunity for His saying, She about whom you make inquiries shall herself be a man, and not a woman, He said nothing of the kind; but "In the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven." Matthew 22:30 They shall be equal to the angels in immortality and happiness, not in flesh, nor in resurrection, which the angels did not need, because they could not die. The Lord then denied that there would be in the resurrection, not women, but marriages; and He uttered this denial in circumstances in which the question mooted would have been more easily and speedily solved by denying that the female sex would exist, if this had in truth been foreknown by Him. But, indeed, He even affirmed that the sex should exist by saying, "They shall not be given in marriage," which can only apply to females; "Neither shall they marry," which applies to males. There shall therefore be those who are in this world accustomed to marry and be given in marriage, only they shall there make no such marriages.
BOOK XXII [XVIII] Proinde quod ait apostolus, occursuros nos omnes in virum perfectum, totius ipsius circumstantiam lectionis considerare debemus, quae ita se habet: Qui descendit, inquit, ipse est et qui ascendit super omnes caelos, ut adimpleret omnia. Et ipse dedit quosdam quidem apostolos, quosdam autem prophetas, quosdam vero euangelistas, quosdam autem pastores et doctores ad consummationem sanctorum in opus ministerii, in aedificationem corporis Christi, donec occurramus omnes in unitatem fidei et agnitionem filii Dei, in virum perfectum, in mensuram aetatis plenitudinis Christi,. ut ultra non simus paruuli iactati et circumlati omni vento doctrinae, in inlusione hominum, in astutia ad machinationem erroris, veritatem autem facientes in caritate augeamur in illo per omnia, qui est caput Christus,. ex quo totum corpus conexum et compactum per omnem tactum subministrationis secundum operationem in mensuram uniuscuiusque partis incrementum corporis facit in aedificationem sui in caritate. Ecce qui est vir perfectus, caput et corpus, quod constat omnibus membris, quae suo tempore complebuntur, cotidie tamen eidem corpori accedunt, dum aedificatur ecclesia, cui dicitur: Vos autem estis corpus Christi et membra, et alibi: Pro corpore, inquit, eius quod est ecclesia, itemque alibi: Vnus panis, unum corpus multi sumus. De cuius corporis aedificatione et. hic dictum est: Ad consummationem sanctorum in opus ministerii, in aedificationem corporis Christi ac deinde subiectum unde nunc agimus: Donec occurramus omnes in unitatem fidei et agnitionem filii Dei, in virum perfectum, in mensuram aetatis plenitudinis Christi, et cetera; donec eadem mensura in quo corpore intellegenda esset, ostenderet dicens: Augeamur in illo per omnia, qui est caput Christus, ex quo totum corpus conexum et compactum per omnem tactum subministrationis secundum operationem on mensuram uniuscuiusque partis. Sicut ergo est mensura uniuscuiusque partis, ita totius corporis, quod omnibus suis partibus constat, est utique mensura plenitudinis, de qua dictum est: In mensuram aetatis plenitudinis Christi. Quam plenitudinem etiam illo commemoravit loco, ubi ait de Christo: Et ipsum dedit caput super omnia ecclesiae, quae est corpus eius, plenitudo eius, qui omnia in omnibus impletur. Verum si hoc ad resurrectionis formam, in qua erit unusquisque, referendum esset, quid nos impediret nominato viro intellegere et feminam, ut virum pro homine positum acciperemus? sicut in eo quod dictum est: Beatus vir qui timet Dominum, utique ibi sunt et feminae, quae timent Dominum.
To understand what the apostle means when he says that we shall all come to a perfect man, we must consider the connection of the whole passage, which runs thus: "He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that He might fill all things. And He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: till we all come to the unity of the faith and knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the age of the fullness of Christ: that we henceforth be no more children, tossed and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in Him in all things, which is the Head, even Christ: from whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplies, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, makes increase of the body, unto the edifying of itself in love." Ephesians 4:10-16 Behold what the perfect man is-the head and the body, which is made up of all the members, which in their own time shall be perfected. But new additions are daily being made to this body while the Church is being built up, to which it is said, "You are the body of Christ and His members;" 1 Corinthians 12:27 and again, "For His body's sake," he says, "which is the Church;" Colossians 1:24 and again, "We being many are one head, one body." 1 Corinthians 10:17 It is of the edification of this body that it is here, too, said, "For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edification of the body of Christ;" and then that passage of which we are now speaking is added, "Till we all come to the unity of the faith and knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the age of the fullness of Christ," and so on. And he shows of what body we are to understand this to be the measure, when he says, "That we may grow up into Him in all things, which is the Head, even Christ: from whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplies, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part." As, therefore, there is a measure of every part, so there is a measure of the fullness of the whole body which is made up of all its parts, and it is of this measure it is said, "To the measure of the age of the fullness of Christ." This fullness he spoke of also in the place where he says of Christ, "And gave Him to be the Head over all things to the Church, which is His body, the fullness of Him that fills all in all." Ephesians 1:22-23 But even if this should be referred to the form in which each one shall rise, what should hinder us from applying to the woman what is expressly said of the man, understanding both sexes to be included under the general term "man?" For certainly in the saying, "Blessed is he who fears the Lord," women also who fear the Lord are included.
BOOK XXII [XIX] Quid iam respondeam de capillis atque unguibus? Semel quippe intellecto ita nihil periturum esse de corpore, ut deforme nihil sit in corpore, simul intellegitur ea, quae deformem factura fuerant enormitatem, massae ipsi accessura esse, non locis in quibus membrorum forma turpetur. Velut si de limo uas fieret, quod rursus in eundem limum redactum totum de toto iterum fieret, non esset necesse ut illa pars limi, quae in ansa fuerat, ad ansam rediret, aut quae fundum fecerat, ipsa rursus faceret fundum,.dum tamen totum reuerteretur in totum, id est, totus ille limus in totum uas nulla sui perdita parte remearet. Quapropter si capilli totiens tonsi unguesue desecti ad sua loca deformiter redeunt, non redibunt; nec tamen cuique resurgenti peribunt, quia in eandem carnem, ut quemcumque ibi locum corporis teneant, servata partium congruentia materiae mutabilitate vertentur. Quamuis quod ait Dominus: Capillus capitis uestri non peribit, non de longitudine, sed de numero capillorum dictum multo aptius possit intellegi; unde et alibi dicit: Capilli capitis uestri numerati sunt <omnes> Neque hoc ideo dixerim, quod aliquid existimem corpori cuique periturum, quod naturaliter inerat; sed quod deforme natum fuerat (non utique ob aliud, nisi ut hinc quoque ostenderetur, quam sit poenalis condicio ista mortalium), sic esse rediturum, ut servata integritate substantiae deformitas pereat. Si enim statuam potest artifex homo, quam propter aliquam causam deformem fecerat, conflare et pulcherrimam reddere, ita ut nihil inde substantiae, sed sola deformitas pereat, ac si quid in illa figura priore indecenter extabat nec parilitate partium congruebat, non de toto, unde fecerat, amputare atque separare, sed ita conspergere universo atque miscere, ut nec foeditatem faciat nec minuat quantitatem: quid de omnipotenti artifice sentiendum est? Ergone non poterit quasque deformitates humanorum corporum, non modo usitatas, verum etiam raras atque monstrosas, quae huic miserae vitae congruunt, abhorrent autem ab illa futura felicitate sanctorum, sic auferre ac perdere, ut, quascumque earum faciunt etsi naturalia, tamen indecora excrementa substantiae corporalis, nulla eius deminutione tolluntur? Ac per hoc non est macris pinguibusque metuendum, ne ibi etiam tales sint, quales si possent nec hic esse voluissent. Omnis enim corporis pulchritudo est partium congruentia cum quadam coloris suavitate. Vbi autem non est partium congruentia, aut ideo quid offendit quia prauum est, aut ideo quia parum, aut ideo quia nimium. Proinde nulla erit deformitas, quam facit incongruentia partium, ubi et quae praua sunt corrigentur, et quod minus est quam decet, unde Creator novit, inde supplebitur, et quod plus est quam decet, materiae servata integritate detrahetur. Coloris porro suavitas quanta erit, ubi iusti fulgebunt sicut sol in regno Patris sui! Quae claritas in Christi corpore, cum resurrexit, ab oculis discipulorum potius abscondita fuisse quam defuisse credenda est. Non enim eam ferret humanus atque infirmus aspectus, quando ille a suis ita deberet adtendi, ut posset agnosci. Quo pertinuit etiam, ut contrectantibus ostenderet suorum uulnerum cicatrices, ut etiam cibum potumque sumeret, non alimentorum indigentia, sed ea qua et hoc poterat potestate. Cum autem aliquid non videtur, quamvis adsit, a quibus alia, quae pariter adsunt, videntur, sicut illam claritatem dicimus adfuisse non visam, a quibus alia videbantur: *a)orasi/ Graece dicitur, quod nostri interpretes Latine dicere non valentes in libro geneseos caecitatem interpretati sunt. Hanc enim sunt passi Sodomitae, quando quaerebant ostium iusti viri nec poterant invenire. Quae si fuisset caecitas, qua fit ut nihil possit videri, non ostium qua ingrederentur, sed duces itineris a quibus inde abducerentur, inquirerent. Nescio quo autem modo sic afficimur amore martyrum beatorum, ut velimus in illo regno in eorum corporibus videre uulnerum cicatrices, quae pro Christi nomine pertulerunt; et fortasse videbimus. Non enim deformitas in eis, sed dignitas erit, et quaedam, quamvis in corpore, non corporis, sed virtutis pulchritudo fulgebit. Nec ideo tamen si aliqua martyribus amputata et ablata sunt membra, sine ipsis membris erunt in resurrectione mortuorum, quibus dictum est: Capillus capitis uestri non peribit. Sed si hoc decebit in illo nouo saeculo, ut indicia gloriosorum uulnerum in illa inmortali carne cernantur, ubi membra, ut praeciderentur, percussa vel secta sunt, ibi cicatrices, sed tamen eisdem membris redditis, non perditis, apparebunt. Quamuis itaque omnia quae acciderunt corpori vitia tunc non erunt, non sunt tamen deputanda vel appellanda vitia virtutis indicia.
What am I to say now about the hair and nails? Once it is understood that no part of the body shall so perish as to produce deformity in the body, it is at the same time understood that such things as would have produced a deformity by their excessive proportions shall be added to the total bulk of the body, not to parts in which the beauty of the proportion would thus be marred. Just as if, after making a vessel of clay, one wished to make it over again of the same clay, it would not be necessary that the same portion of the clay which had formed the handle should again form the new handle, or that what had formed the bottom should again do so, but only that the whole clay should go to make up the whole new vessel, and that no part of it should be left unused. Wherefore, if the hair that has been cropped and the nails that have been cut would cause a deformity were they to be restored to their places, they shall not be restored; and yet no one will lose these parts at the resurrection, for they shall be changed into the same flesh, their substance being so altered as to preserve the proportion of the various parts of the body. However, what our Lord said, "Not a hair of your head shall perish," might more suitably be interpreted of the number, and not of the length of the hairs, as He elsewhere says, "The hairs of your head are all numbered." Luke 12:7 Nor would I say this because I suppose that any part naturally belonging to the body can perish, but that whatever deformity was in it, and served to exhibit the penal condition in which we mortals are, should be restored in such a way that, while the substance is entirely preserved, the deformity shall perish. For if even a human workman, who has, for some reason, made a deformed statue, can recast it and make it very beautiful, and this without suffering any part of the substance, but only the deformity to be lost,-if he can, for example, remove some unbecoming or disproportionate part, not by cutting off and separating this part from the whole, but by so breaking down and mixing up the whole as to get rid of the blemish without diminishing the quantity of his material,-shall we not think as highly of the almighty Worker? Shall He not be able to remove and abolish all deformities of the human body, whether common ones or rare and monstrous, which, though in keeping with this miserable life, are yet not to be thought of in connection with that future blessedness; and shall He not be able so to remove them that, while the natural but unseemly blemishes are put an end to, the natural substance shall suffer no diminution?And consequently overgrown and emaciated persons need not fear that they shall be in heaven of such a figure as they would not be even in this world if they could help it. For all bodily beauty consists in the proportion of the parts, together with a certain agreeableness of color. Where there is no proportion, the eye is offended, either because there is something awanting, or too small, or too large. And thus there shall be no deformity resulting from want of proportion in that state in which all that is wrong is corrected, and all that is defective supplied from resources the Creator wots of, and all that is excessive removed without destroying the integrity of the substance. And as for the pleasant color, how conspicuous shall it be where "the just shall shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father!" Matthew 13:43 This brightness we must rather believe to have been concealed from the eyes of the disciples when Christ rose, than to have been awanting. For weak human eyesight could not bear it, and it was necessary that they should so look upon Him as to be able to recognize Him. For this purpose also He allowed them to touch the marks of His wounds, and also ate and drank,-not because He needed nourishment, but because He could take it if He wished. Now, when an object, though present, is invisible to persons who see other things which are present, as we say that that brightness was present but invisible by those who saw other things, this is called in Greek ???as?a; and our Latin translators, for want of a better word, have rendered this cжcitas (blindness) in the book of Genesis. This blindness the men of Sodom suffered when they sought the just Lot's gate and could not find it. But if it had been blindness, that is to say, if they could see nothing, then they would not have asked for the gate by which they might enter the house, but for guides who might lead them away.But the love we bear to the blessed martyrs causes us, I know not how, to desire to see in the heavenly kingdom the marks of the wounds which they received for the name of Christ, and possibly we shall see them. For this will not be a deformity, but a mark of honor, and will add lustre to their appearance, and a spiritual, if not a bodily beauty. And yet we need not believe that they to whom it has been said, "Not a hair of your head shall perish," shall, in the resurrection, want such of their members as they have been deprived of in their martyrdom. But if it will be seemly in that new kingdom to have some marks of these wounds still visible in that immortal flesh, the places where they have been wounded or mutilated shall retain the scars without any of the members being lost. While, therefore, it is quite true that no blemishes which the body has sustained shall appear in the resurrection, yet we are not to reckon or name these marks of virtue blemishes.
BOOK XXII [XX] Absit autem, ut ad resuscitanda corpora vitaeque reddenda non possit omnipotentia Creatoris omnia reuocare, quae vel bestiae vel ignis absumpsit, vel in puluerem cineremue conlapsum vel in umorem solutum vel in auras est exhalatum. Absit ut sinus ullus secretumque naturae ita recipiat aliquid subtractum sensibus nostris, ut omnium Creatoris aut cognitionem lateat aut effugiat potestatem. Deum certe volens, sicut poterat, definire Cicero, tantus auctor ipsorum: "Mens quaedam est, inquit, soluta et libera, secreta ab omni concretione mortali, omnia sentiens et movens ipsaque praedita motu sempiterno." Hoc autem repperit in doctrinis magnorum philosophorum. Vt igitur secundum ipsos loquar, quo modo aliquid vel latet omnia sentientem vel inreuocabiliter fugit omnia moventem? Vnde iam etiam quaestio illa soluenda est, quae difficilior videtur ceteris, ubi quaeritur, cum caro mortui hominis etiam alterius fit viventis caro, cui potius eorum in resurrectione reddatur. Si enim quispiam confectus fame atque compulsus uescatur cadaveribus hominum, quod malum aliquotiens accidisse et uetus testatur historia et nostrorum temporum infelicia experimenta docuerunt: num quisquam veridica ratione contendet totum digestum fuisse per imos meatus, nihil inde in eius carnem mutatum atque conversum, cum ipsa macies, quae fuit et non est, satis indicet quae illis escis detrimenta suppleta sint? Iam itaque aliqua paulo ante praemisi, quae ad istum quoque nodum soluendum valere debebunt. Quidquid enim carnium exhausit fames, utique in auras est exhalatum, unde diximus omnipotentem Deum posse reuocare, quod fugit. Reddetur ergo caro illa homini, in quo esse caro humana primitus coepit. Ab illo quippe altero tamquam mutuo sumpta deputanda est; quae sicut aes alienum ei redhibenda est, unde sumpta est. Sua vero illi, quem fames exinanierat, ab eo, qui potest etiam exhalata reuocare, reddetur. Quamuis etsi omnibus perisset modis nec ulla eius materies in ullis naturae latebris remansisset, unde vellet, eam repararet Omnipotens. Sed propter sententiam Veritatis, qua dictum est: Capillus capitis uestri non peribit, absurdum est, ut putemus, cum capillus hominis perire non possit, tantas carnes fame depastas atque consumptas perire potuisse. Quibus omnibus pro nostro modulo consideratis atque tractatis haec summa conficitur, ut in resurrectione carnis in aeternum eas mensuras habeat corporum magnitudo, quas habebat perficiendae sive perfectae cuiusque indita corpori ratio ivuentutis, in membrorum quoque omnium modulis congruo decore servato. Quod decus ut seruetur, si aliquid demptum fuerit indecenti alicui granditati in parte aliqua constitutae, quod per totum spargatur, ut neque id pereat et congruentia partium ubique teneatur: non est absurdum, ut aliquid inde etiam staturae corporis addi posse credamus, cum omnibus partibus, ut decorem custodiant, id distribuitur, quod si enormiter in una esset, utique non deceret. Aut si contenditur in ea quemque statura corporis resurrecturum esse, in qua defunctus est, non pugnaciter resistendum est; tantum absit omnis deformitas, omnis infirmitas, omnis tarditas omnisque corruptio, et si quid aliud illud non decet regnum, in quo resurrectionis .et promissionis filii aequales erunt angelis Dei, si non corpore, non aetate, certe felicitate.
Far be it from us to fear that the omnipotence of the Creator cannot, for the resuscitation and reanimation of our bodies, recall all the portions which have been consumed by beasts or fire, or have been dissolved into dust or ashes, or have decomposed into water, or evaporated into the air. Far from us be the thought, that anything which escapes our observation in any most hidden recess of nature either evades the knowledge or transcends the power of the Creator of all things. Cicero, the great authority of our adversaries, wishing to define God as accurately as possible, says, "God is a mind free and independent, without materiality, perceiving and moving all things, and itself endowed with eternal movement." This he found in the systems of the greatest philosophers. Let me ask, then, in their own language, how anything can either lie hid from Him who perceives all things, or irrevocably escape Him who moves all things?This leads me to reply to that question which seems the most difficult of all,-To whom, in the resurrection, will belong the flesh of a dead man which has become the flesh of a living man? For if some one, famishing for want and pressed with hunger, use human flesh as food,-an extremity not unknown, as both ancient history and the unhappy experience of our own days have taught us,-can it be contended, with any show of reason, that all the flesh eaten has been evacuated, and that none of it has been assimilated to the substance of the eater though the very emaciation which existed before, and has now disappeared, sufficiently indicates what large deficiencies have been filled up with this food? But I have already made some remarks which will suffice for the solution of this difficulty also. For all the flesh which hunger has consumed finds its way into the air by evaporation, whence, as we have said, God Almighty can recall it. That flesh, therefore, shall be restored to the man in whom it first became human flesh. For it must be looked upon as borrowed by the other person, and, like a pecuniary loan, must be returned to the lender. His own flesh, however, which he lost by famine, shall be restored to him by Him who can recover even what has evaporated. And though it had been absolutely annihilated, so that no part of its substance remained in any secret spot of nature, the Almighty could restore it by such means as He saw fit. For this sentence, uttered by the Truth, "Not a hair of your head shall perish," forbids us to suppose that, though no hair of a man's head can perish, yet the large portions of his flesh eaten and consumed by the famishing can perish.From all that we have thus considered, and discussed with such poor ability as we can command, we gather this conclusion, that in the resurrection of the flesh the body shall be of that size which it either had attained or should have attained in the flower of its youth, and shall enjoy the beauty that arises from preserving symmetry and proportion in all its members. And it is reasonable to suppose that, for the preservation of this beauty, any part of the body's substance, which, if placed in one spot, would produce a deformity, shall be distributed through the whole of it, so that neither any part, nor the symmetry of the whole, may be lost, but only the general stature of the body somewhat increased by the distribution in all the parts of that which, in one place, would have been unsightly. Or if it is contended that each will rise with the same stature as that of the body he died in, we shall not obstinately dispute this, provided only there be no deformity, no infirmity, no languor, no corruption,-nothing of any kind which would ill become that kingdom in which the children of the resurrection and of the promise shall be equal to the angels of God, if not in body and age, at least in happiness.
BOOK XXII [XXI] Restituetur ergo quidquid de corporibus vivis vel post mortem de cadaveribus periit, et simul cum eo, quod in sepulcris remansit, in spiritalis corporis novitatem ex animalis corporis uetustate mutatum resurget incorruptione atque inmortalitate uestitum. Sed etsi vel casu aliquo gravi vel inimicorum inmanitate totum penitus conteratur in puluerem atque in auras vel in aquas dispersum, quantum fieri potest, nusquam esse sinatur omnino: nullo modo subtrahi poterit omnipotentiae Creatoris, sed capillus in eo capitis non peribit. Erit ergo spiritui subdita caro spiritalis, sed tamen caro, non spiritus; sicut carni subditus fuit spiritus ipse carnalis, sed tamen spiritus, non caro. Cuius rei habemus experimentum in nostrae poenae deformitate. Non enim secundum carnem, sed utique secundum spiritum carnales erant, quibus ait apostolus: Non potui vobis loqui quasi spiritalibus, sed quasi carnalibus; et homo spiritalis sic in hac vita dicitur, ut tamen corpore adhuc carnalis sit et videat aliam legem in membris suis repugnantem legi mentis suae; erit autem etiam corpore spiritalis, cum eadem caro sic resurrexerit, ut fiat quod scriptum est: Seminatur corpus animale, resurget corpus spiritale. Quae sit autem et quam magna spiritalis corporis gratia, quoniam nondum venit in experimentum, vereor ne temerarium sit omne, quod de illa profertur, eloquium. Verum tamen quia spei nostrae gaudium propter Dei laudem non est tacendum et de intimis ardentis sancti amoris medullis dictum est: Domine, dilexi decorem domus tuae; de donis eius, quae in hac aerumnosissima vita bonis malisque largitur, ipso adivuante coniciamus; ut possumus, quantum sit illud, quod nondum experti utique digne eloqui non valemus. Omitto enim, quando fecit hominem rectum _ omitto vitam illam duorum coniugum in paradisi fecunditate felicem, quoniam tam brevis fuit, ut ad nascentium sensum nec ipsa peruenerit: in hac, quam novimus, in qua adhuc sumus, cuius temptationes, immo quam totam temptationem, quamdiu in ea sumus, quantumlibet proficiamus, perpeti non desinimus, quae sint indicia circa genus humanum bonitatis Dei, quis poterit explicare?
Whatever, therefore, has been taken from the body, either during life or after death shall be restored to it, and, in conjunction with what has remained in the grave, shall rise again, transformed from the oldness of the animal body into the newness of the spiritual body, and clothed in incorruption and immortality. But even though the body has been all quite ground to powder by some severe accident, or by the ruthlessness of enemies, and though it has been so diligently scattered to the winds, or into the water, that there is no trace of it left, yet it shall not be beyond the omnipotence of the Creator,-no, not a hair of its head shall perish. The flesh shall then be spiritual, and subject to the spirit, but still flesh, not spirit, as the spirit itself, when subject to the flesh, was fleshly, but still spirit and not flesh. And of this we have experimental proof in the deformity of our penal condition. For those persons were carnal, not in a fleshly, but in a spiritual way, to whom the apostle said, "I could not speak to you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal." 1 Corinthians 3:1 And a man is in this life spiritual in such a way, that he is yet carnal with respect to his body, and sees another law in his members warring against the law of his mind; but even in his body he will be spiritual when the same flesh shall have had that resurrection of which these words speak, "It is sown an animal body, it shall rise a spiritual body." 1 Corinthians 15:44 But what this spiritual body shall be and how great its grace, I fear it were but rash to pronounce, seeing that we have as yet no experience of it. Nevertheless, since it is fit that the joyfulness of our hope should utter itself, and so show forth God's praise, and since it was from the profoundest sentiment of ardent and holy love that the Psalmist cried, "O Lord, I have loved the beauty of Your house," we may, with God's help, speak of the gifts He lavishes on men, good and bad alike, in this most wretched life, and may do our best to conjecture the great glory of that state which we cannot worthily speak of, because we have not yet experienced it. For I say nothing of the time when God made man upright; I say nothing of the happy life of "the man and his wife" in the fruitful garden, since it was so short that none of their children experienced it: I speak only of this life which we know, and in which we now are, from the temptations of which we cannot escape so long as we are in it, no matter what progress we make, for it is all temptation, and I ask, Who can describe the tokens of God's goodness that are extended to the human race even in this life?
BOOK XXII [XXII] Nam quod ad primam originem pertinet, omnem mortalium progeniem fuisse damnatam, haec ipsa vita, si vita dicenda est, tot et tantis malis plena testatur. Quid enim aliud indicat horrenda quaedam profunditas ignorantiae, ex qua omnis error existit, qui omnes filios Adam tenebroso quodam sinu suscepit, ut homo ab illo liberari sine labore dolore timore non possit? Quid amor ipse tot rerum uanarum atque noxiarum et ex hoc mordaces curae, perturbationes, maerores, formidines, insana gaudia, discordiae, lites, bella, insidiae, iracundiae, inimicitiae, fallacia, adulatio, fraus, furtum, rapina, perfidia, superbia, ambitio, inuidentia, homicidia, parricidia, crudelitas, saevitia, nequitia, luxuria, petulantia, inpudentia, inpudicitia, fornicationes, adulteria, incesta et contra naturam utriusque sexus tot stupra atque inmunditiae, quas turpe est etiam dicere, sacrilegia, haereses, blasphemiae, periuria, oppressiones innocentium, calumniae, circumuentiones, praeuaricationes, falsa testimonia, iniqua iudicia, violentiae, latrocinia et quidquid talium malorum in mentem non venit et tamen de vita ista hominum non recedit? Verum haec hominum sunt malorum, ab illa tamen erroris et peruersi amoris radice venientia, cum qua omnis filius Adam nascitur. Nam quis ignorat cum quanta ignorantia veritatis, quae iam in infantibus manifesta est, et cum quanta abundantia uanae cupiditatis, quae in pueris incipit apparere, homo veniat in hanc vitam, ita ut, si dimittatur vivere ut velit et facere quidquid velit, in haec facinora et flagitia, quae commemoravi et quae commemorare non potui, vel cuncta vel multa perveniat? Sed divina gubernatione non omni modo deserente damnatos et Deo non continente in ira sua miserationes suas in ipsis sensibus generis humani prohibitio et eruditio contra istas, cum quibus nascimur, tenebras vigilant et contra hos impetus opponuntur, plenae tamen etiam ipsae laborum et dolorum. Quid enim sibi volunt multimodae formidines, quae cohibendis paruulorum uanitatibus adhibentur? Quid paedagogi, quid magistri, quid ferulae, quid lora, quid virgae, quid disciplina illa, qua scriptura sancta dicit dilecti filii latera esse tundenda, ne crescat indomitus domarique iam durus aut vix possit aut fortasse nec possit? Quid agitur his poenis omnibus, nisi ut debelletur inperitia et praua cupiditas infrenetur, cum quibus malis in hoc saeculum venimus? Quid est enim, quod cum labore meminimus, sine labore obliviscimur; cum labore discimus, sine labore nescimus; cum labore strenui, sine labore inertes sumus? Nonne hinc apparet, in quid velut pondere suo proclivis et prona sit vitiosa natura et quanta ope, ut hinc liberetur, indigeat? Desidia segnitia, pigritia neglegentia vitia sunt utique quibus labor fugitur, cum labor ipse, etiam qui est utilis, poena sit. Sed praeter pueriles poenas, sine quibus disci non potest quod maiores volunt, qui vix aliquid utiliter volunt, quot et quantis poenis genus agitetur humanum, quae non ad malitiam nequitiamque iniquorum, sed ad condicionem pertinent miseriamque communem, quis ullo sermone digerit? quis ulla cogitatione conprehendit? Quantus est metus, quanta calamitas ab orbitatibus atque luctu, a damnis et damnationibus, a deceptionibus et mendaciis hominum, a suspicionibus falsis, ab omnibus violentis facinoribus et sceleribus alienis! quando quidem ab eis et depraedatio et captivitas, et vincla et carceres, et exilia et cruciatus, et amputatio membrorum et privatio sensuum, et oppressio corporis ad obscenam libidinem opprimentis explendam et alia multa horrenda saepe contingunt. Quid? ab innumeris casibus quae forinsecus corpori formidantur, aestibus et frigoribus, tempestatibus imbribus adluuionibus, coruscatione tonitru, grandine fulmine, motibus hiatibusque terrarum, oppressionibus ruinarum, ab offensionibus et pauore vel etiam malitia iumentorum, a tot venenis fruticum aquarum, aurarum bestiarum, a ferarum vel tantummodo molestis vel etiam mortiferis morsibus, a rabie quae contingit ex rabido cane, ut etiam blanda et amica suo domino bestia nonnumquam uehementius et amarius quam leones draconesque metuatur faciatque hominem, quem forte adtaminaverit, contagione pestifera ita rabiosum, ut a parentibus coniuge filiis peius omni bestia formidetur! Quae mala patiuntur navigantes! quae terrena itinera gradientes! Quis ambulat ubicumque non inopinatis subiacens casibus? De foro quidam rediens domum sanis pedibus suis cecidit, pedem fregit et ex illo uulnere finivit hanc vitam. Quid videtur sedente securius? De sella, in qua sedebat, cecidit Heli sacerdos et mortuus est. Agricolae, immo vero omnes homines, quot et quantos a caelo et terra vel a perniciosis animalibus casus metuunt agrorum fructibus! Solent tamen de frumentis tandem collectis et reconditis esse securi. Sed quibusdam, quod novimus, proventum optimum frumentorum fluuius inprovisus fugientibus hominibus de horreis eiecit atque abstulit. Contra milleformes daemonum incursus quis innocentia sua fidit? quando quidem, ne quis fideret, etiam paruulos baptizatos, quibus certe nihil est innocentius, aliquando sic uexant, ut in eis maxime Deo ista sinente monstretur huius vitae flenda calamitas et alterius desideranda felicitas. Iam vero de ipso corpore tot existunt morborum mala, ut nec libris medicorum cuncta conprehensa sint; in quorum pluribus ac paene omnibus etiam ipsa adiumenta et medicamenta tormenta sunt, ut homines a poenarum exitio poenali eruantur auxilio. Nonne ad hoc perduxit sitientes homines ardor inmanis, ut urinam quoque humanam vel etiam suam biberent? nonne ad hoc fames, ut a carnibus hominum se abstinere non possent nec inventos homines mortuos, sed propter hoc a se occisos, nec quoslibet alienos, verum etiam filios matres incredibili crudelitate, quam rabida esuries faciebat, absumerent? Ipse postremo somnus, qui proprie quietis nomen accepit, quis verbis explicet, saepe somniorum visis quam sit inquietus et quam magnis, licet falsarum rerum, terroribus, quas ita exhibet et quodam modo exprimit, ut a veris eas discernere nequeamus, animam miseram sensusque perturbet? Qua falsitate visorum etiam vigilantes in quibusdam morbis et venenis miserabilius agitantur; quamvis multimoda varietate fallaciae homines etiam sanos maligni daemones nonnumquam decipiant talibus visis, ut, etiamsi eos per haec ad sua traducere non potuerint, sensus tamen eorum solo appetitu qualitercumque persuadendae falsitatis inludant. Ab huius tam miserae quasi quibusdam inferis vitae non liberat nisi gratia Saluatoris Christi, Dei ac Domini nostri (hoc enim nomen est ipse Iesus; interpretatur quippe Saluator), maxime ne post hanc miserior ac sempiterna suscipiat, non vita, sed mors. Nam in ista quamvis sint per sancta et sanctos curationum magna solacia, tamen ideo non semper etiam ipsa beneficia tribuuntur petentibus, ne propter hoc religio quaeratur, quae propter aliam magis vitam, ubi mala non erunt omnino ulla, quaerenda est; et ad hoc meliores quosque in his malis adivuat gratia, ut quanto fideliore, tanto fortiore corde tolerentur. Ad quam rem etiam philosophiam prodesse dicunt docti huius saeculi, quam dii quibusdam paucis, ait Tullius, veram dederunt; nec hominibus, inquit, ab his aut datum est donum maius aut potuit ullum dari. Vsque adeo et ipsi, contra quos agimus, quoquo modo compulsi sunt in habenda non quacumque, sed vera philosophia divinam gratiam confiteri. Porro si paucis divinitus datum est verae philosophiae contra miserias huius vitae unicum auxilium, satis et hinc apparet humanum genus ad luendas miseriarum poenas esse damnatum. Sicut autem hoc, ut fatentur, nullum divinum maius est donum, sic a nullo deo dari credendum est, nisi ab illo, quo et ipsi qui multos deos colunt nullum dicunt esse maiorem.
That the whole human race has been condemned in its first origin, this life itself, if life it is to be called, bears witness by the host of cruel ills with which it is filled. Is not this proved by the profound and dreadful ignorance which produces all the errors that enfold the children of Adam, and from which no man can be delivered without toil, pain, and fear? Is it not proved by his love of so many vain and hurtful things, which produces gnawing cares, disquiet, griefs, fears, wild joys, quarrels, lawsuits, wars, treasons, angers, hatreds, deceit, flattery, fraud, theft, robbery, perfidy, pride, ambition, envy, murders, parricides, cruelty, ferocity, wickedness, luxury, insolence, impudence, shamelessness, fornications, adulteries, incests, and the numberless uncleannesses and unnatural acts of both sexes, which it is shameful so much as to mention; sacrileges, heresies, blasphemies, perjuries, oppression of the innocent, calumnies, plots, falsehoods, false witnessings, unrighteous judgments, violent deeds, plunderings, and whatever similar wickedness has found its way into the lives of men, though it cannot find its way into the conception of pure minds? These are indeed the crimes of wicked men, yet they spring from that root of error and misplaced love which is born with every son of Adam. For who is there that has not observed with what profound ignorance, manifesting itself even in infancy, and with what superfluity of foolish desires, beginning to appear in boyhood, man comes into this life, so that, were he left to live as he pleased, and to do whatever he pleased, he would plunge into all, or certainly into many of those crimes and iniquities which I mentioned, and could not mention?But because God does not wholly desert those whom He condemns, nor shuts up in His anger His tender mercies, the human race is restrained by law and instruction, which keep guard against the ignorance that besets us, and oppose the assaults of vice, but are themselves full of labor and sorrow. For what mean those multifarious threats which are used to restrain the folly of children? What mean pedagogues, masters, the birch, the strap, the cane, the schooling which Scripture says must be given a child, "beating him on the sides lest he wax stubborn," Sirach 30:12 and it be hardly possible or not possible at all to subdue him? Why all these punishments, save to overcome ignorance and bridle evil desires-these evils with which we come into the world? For why is it that we remember with difficulty, and without difficulty forget? learn with difficulty, and without difficulty remain ignorant? are diligent with difficulty, and without difficulty are indolent? Does not this show what vitiated nature inclines and tends to by its own weight, and what succor it needs if it is to be delivered? Inactivity, sloth, laziness, negligence, are vices which shun labor, since labor, though useful, is itself a punishment.But, besides the punishments of childhood, without which there would be no learning of what the parents wish,-and the parents rarely wish anything useful to be taught,-who can describe, who can conceive the number and severity of the punishments which afflict the human race,-pains which are not only the accompaniment of the wickedness of godless men, but are a part of the human condition and the common misery,-what fear and what grief are caused by bereavement and mourning, by losses and condemnations, by fraud and falsehood, by false suspicions, and all the crimes and wicked deeds of other men? For at their hands we suffer robbery, captivity, chains, imprisonment, exile, torture, mutilation, loss of sight, the violation of chastity to satisfy the lust of the oppressor, and many other dreadful evils. What numberless casualties threaten our bodies from without,-extremes of heat and cold, storms, floods, inundations, lightning, thunder, hail, earthquakes, houses falling; or from the stumbling, or shying, or vice of horses; from countless poisons in fruits, water, air, animals; from the painful or even deadly bites of wild animals; from the madness which a mad dog communicates, so that even the animal which of all others is most gentle and friendly to its own master, becomes an object of intenser fear than a lion or dragon, and the man whom it has by chance infected with this pestilential contagion becomes so rabid, that his parents, wife, children, dread him more than any wild beast! What disasters are suffered by those who travel by land or sea! What man can go out of his own house without being exposed on all hands to unforeseen accidents? Returning home sound in limb, he slips on his own doorstep, breaks his leg, and never recovers. What can seem safer than a man sitting in his chair? Eli the priest fell from his, and broke his neck. How many accidents do farmers, or rather all men, fear that the crops may suffer from the weather, or the soil, or the ravages of destructive animals? Commonly they feel safe when the crops are gathered and housed. Yet, to my certain knowledge, sudden floods have driven the laborers away, and swept the barns clean of the finest harvest. Is innocence a sufficient protection against the various assaults of demons? That no man might think so, even baptized infants, who are certainly unsurpassed in innocence, are sometimes so tormented, that God, who permits it, teaches us hereby to bewail the calamities of this life, and to desire the felicity of the life to come. As to bodily diseases, they are so numerous that they cannot all be contained even in medical books. And in very many, or almost all of them, the cures and remedies are themselves tortures, so that men are delivered from a pain that destroys by a cure that pains. Has not the madness of thirst driven men to drink human urine, and even their own? Has not hunger driven men to eat human flesh, and that the flesh not of bodies found dead, but of bodies slain for the purpose? Have not the fierce pangs of famine driven mothers to eat their own children, incredibly savage as it seems? In fine, sleep itself, which is justly called repose, how little of repose there sometimes is in it when disturbed with dreams and visions; and with what terror is the wretched mind overwhelmed by the appearances of things which are so presented, and which, as it were so stand out before the senses, that we can not distinguish them from realities! How wretchedly do false appearances distract men in certain diseases! With what astonishing variety of appearances are even healthy men sometimes deceived by evil spirits, who produce these delusions for the sake of perplexing the senses of their victims, if they cannot succeed in seducing them to their side!From this hell upon earth there is no escape, save through the grace of the Saviour Christ, our God and Lord. The very name Jesus shows this, for it means Saviour; and He saves us especially from passing out of this life into a more wretched and eternal state, which is rather a death than a life. For in this life, though holy men and holy pursuits afford us great consolations, yet the blessings which men crave are not invariably bestowed upon them, lest religion should be cultivated for the sake of these temporal advantages, while it ought rather to be cultivated for the sake of that other life from which all evil is excluded. Therefore, also, does grace aid good men in the midst of present calamities, so that they are enabled to endure them with a constancy proportioned to their faith. The world's sages affirm that philosophy contributes something to this,-that philosophy which, according to Cicero, the gods have bestowed in its purity only on a few men. They have never given, he says, nor can ever give, a greater gift to men. So that even those against whom we are disputing have been compelled to acknowledge, in some fashion, that the grace of God is necessary for the acquisition, not, indeed, of any philosophy, but of the true philosophy. And if the true philosophy-this sole support against the miseries of this life-has been given by Heaven only to a few, it sufficiently appears from this that the human race has been condemned to pay this penalty of wretchedness. And as, according to their acknowledgment, no greater gift has been bestowed by God, so it must be believed that it could be given only by that God whom they themselves recognize as greater than all the gods they worship.
BOOK XXII [XXIII] Praeter haec autem mala huius vitae bonis malisque communia habent in ea iusti etiam proprios quosdam labores suos, quibus adversus vitia militant et in talium proeliorum temptationibus periculisque versantur. Aliquando enim concitatius, aliquando remissius, non tamen desinit caro concupiscere adversus spiritum et spiritus adversus carnem, ut non ea quae volumus faciamus, omnem malam concupiscentiam consumendo, sed eam nobis, quantum divinitus adiuti possumus, non ei consentiendo subdamus, vigiliis continuis excubantes, ne opinio veri similis fallat, ne decipiat sermo versutus, ne se tenebrae alicuius erroris offundant, ne quod bonum est malum aut quod malum est bonum esse credatur, ne ab his quae agenda sunt metus reuocet, ne in ea quae agenda non sunt cupido praecipitet, ne super iracundiam sol occidat, ne inimicitiae prouocent ad retributionem mali pro malo, ne absorbeat inhonesta vel inmoderata tristitia, ne inpertiendorum beneficiorum ingerat mens ingrata torporem, ne maledicis rumoribus bona conscientia fatigetur, ne temeraria (de alio) suspicio <nos> nostra decipiat, ne aliena de nobis falsa nos frangat, ne regnet peccatum in nostro mortali corpore ad oboediendum desideriis eius, ne membra nostra exhibeantur iniquitatis arma peccato, ne oculus sequatur concupiscentiam, ne vindicandi cupiditas vincat, ne in eo quod male delectat vel visio vel cogitatio remoretur, ne inprobum aut indecens verbum libenter audiatur, ne fiat quod non licet etiamsi libet, ne in hoc bello laborum periculorumque plenissimo vel de viribus nostris speretur facienda victoria vel viribus nostris facta tribuatur, sed eius gratiae, de quo ait apostolus: Gratias autem Deo, qui dat nobis victoriam per Dominum nostrum Iesum Christum; qui et alio loco: In his, inquit, omnibus superuincimus per eum qui dilexit nos _ sciamus tamen, quantalibet virtute proeliandi vitiis repugnemus vel etiam vitia superemus et subiugemus, quamdiu sumus in hoc corpore, nobis deesse non posse unde dicamus Deo: Dimitte nobis debita nostra. In illo autem regno, ubi semper cum corporibus inmortalibus erimus, nec proelia nobis erunt ulla nec debita; quae nusquam et numquam essent, si natura nostra, sicut recta creata est, permaneret. Ac per hoc etiam noster iste conflictus, in quo periclitamur et de quo nos victoria novissima cupimus liberari, ad vitae huius mala pertinet, quam tot tantorumque testimonio malorum probamus esse damnatam.
But, irrespective of the miseries which in this life are common to the good and bad, the righteous undergo labors peculiar to themselves, in so far as they make war upon their vices, and are involved in the temptations and perils of such a contest. For though sometimes more violent and at other times slacker, yet without intermission does the flesh lust against the spirit and the spirit against the flesh, so that we cannot do the things we would, Galatians 5:17 and extirpate all lust, but can only refuse consent to it, as God gives us ability, and so keep it under, vigilantly keeping watch lest a semblance of truth deceive us, lest a subtle discourse blind us, lest error involve us in darkness, lest we should take good for evil or evil for good, lest fear should hinder us from doing what we ought, or desire precipitate us into doing what we ought not, lest the sun go down upon our wrath, lest hatred provoke us to render evil for evil, lest unseemly or immoderate grief consume us, lest an ungrateful disposition make us slow to recognize benefits received, lest calumnies fret our conscience, lest rash suspicion on our part deceive us regarding a friend, or false suspicion of us on the part of others give us too much uneasiness, lest sin reign in our mortal body to obey its desires, lest our members be used as the instruments of unrighteousness, lest the eye follow lust, lest thirst for revenge carry us away, lest sight or thought dwell too long on some evil thing which gives us pleasure, lest wicked or indecent language be willingly listened to, lest we do what is pleasant but unlawful, and lest in this warfare, filled so abundantly with toil and peril, we either hope to secure victory by our own strength, or attribute it when secured to our own strength, and not to His grace of whom the apostle says, "Thanks be unto God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ;" 1 Corinthians 15:57 and in another place he says, "In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us." Romans 8:37 But yet we are to know this, that however valorously we resist our vices, and however successful we are in overcoming them, yet as long as we are in this body we have always reason to say to God, Forgive us our debts." Matthew 6:12 But in that kingdom where we shall dwell for ever, clothed in immortal bodies, we shall no longer have either conflicts or debts,-as indeed we should not have had at any time or in any condition, had our nature continued upright as it was created. Consequently even this our conflict, in which we are exposed to peril, and from which we hope to be delivered by a final victory, belongs to the ills of this life, which is proved by the witness of so many grave evils to be a life under condemnation.
BOOK XXII [XXIV] Iam nunc considerandum est, hanc ipsam miseriam generis humani, in qua laudatur iustitia punientis, qualibus et quam multis impleuerit bonis eiusdem bonitas cuncta quae creavit administrantis. Primum benedictionem illam, quam protulerat ante peccatum dicens: Crescite et multiplicamini et implete terram, nec post peccatum voluit inhibere mansitque in stirpe damnata donata fecunditas; nec illam vim mirabilem seminum, immo etiam mirabiliorem qua efficiuntur et semina, inditam corporibus humanis et quodam modo intextam peccati vitium potuit auferre, quo nobis inpacta est etiam necessitas mortis; sed utrumque simul currit isto quasi fluuio atque torrente generis humani, malum quod a parente trahitur, et bonum quod a creante tribuitur. In originali malo duo sunt, peccatum atque supplicium; in originali bono alia duo, propagatio et conformatio. Sed quantum ad praesentem pertinet intentionem nostram, de malis, quorum unum de nostra venit audacia, id est peccatum, alterum .de iudicio Dei, id est supplicium, iam satis diximus. Nunc de bonis Dei, quae ipsi quoque vitiatae damnataeque naturae contulit sive usque nunc confert, dicere institui. Neque enim damnando aut totum abstulit quod dederat, alioquin nec esset omnino; aut eam removit a sua potestate, etiam cum diabolo poenaliter subdidit, cum nec ipsum diabolum a suo alienarit imperio; quando quidem, ut ipsius quoque diaboli natura subsistat, ille facit qui summe est et facit esse quidquid aliquo modo est. Duorum igitur illorum, quae diximus bona etiam in naturam peccato vitiatam supplicioque damnatam de bonitatis eius quodam veluti fonte manare, propagationem in primis mundi operibus benedictione largitus est, a quibus operibus die septimo requievit; conformatio vero in illo eius est opere, quo usque nunc operatur. Efficacem quippe potentiam suam si rebus subtrahat, nec progredi poterunt et suis dimensis motibus peragere tempora nec prorsus in eo quod creatae sunt aliquatenus permanebunt. Sic ergo creavit hominem Deus, ut ei adderet fertilitatem quandam, qua homines alios propageret, congenerans eis etiam ipsam propagandi possibilitatem, non necessitatem: quibus tamen voluit hominibus abstulit eam Deus, et steriles fuerunt; non tamen generi humano abstulit semel datam primis duobus coniugibus benedictione generali. Haec ergo propagatio quamvis peccato non fuerit ablata, non tamen etiam ipsa talis est, qualis fuisset, si nemo peccasset. Ex quo enim homo in honore positus, postea quam deliquit, comparatus est pecoribus, similiter generat; non in eo tamen penitus extincta est quaedam velut scintilla rationis, in qua factus est ad imaginem Dei. Huic autem propagationi si conformatio non adhiberetur, nec ipsa in sui generis formas modosque procederet. Si enim non concubuissent homines et nihilo minus Deus vellet implere terras hominibus: quo modo creavit unum sine commixtione maris et feminae, sic posset omnes; concumbentes vero nisi illo creante generantes esse non possunt. Sicut ergo ait apostolus de institutione spiritali, qua homo ad pietatem iustitiamque formatur: Neque qui plantat, est aliquid, neque qui rigat, sed qui incrementum dat Deus: ita etiam hic dici potest: "Nec qui concumbit nec qui seminat, est aliquid, sed qui format Deus; nec mater, quae conceptum portat et partum nutrit, est aliquid, sed qui incrementum dat Deus." Ipse namque operatione, qua usque nunc operatur, facit ut numeros suos explicent semina et a quibusdam latentibus atque inuisibilibus inuolucris in formas visibiles huius quod aspicimus decoris euoluant; ipse incorpoream corporeamque naturam, illam praepositam, istam subiectam, miris modis copulans et conectens animantem facit. Quod opus eius tam magnum et mirabile est, ut non solum in homine, quod est animal rationale et ex hoc cunctis terrenis animantibus excellentius atque praestantius, sed in qualibet minutissima muscula bene consideranti stuporem mentis ingerat laudemque pariat Creatoris. Ipse itaque animae humanae mentem dedit, ubi ratio et intellegentia in infante sopita est quodam modo, quasi nulla sit, excitanda scilicet atque exerenda aetatis accessu, qua sit scientiae capax atque doctrinae et habilis perceptioni veritatis et amoris boni; qua capacitate hauriat sapientiam virtutibusque sit praedita, quibus prudenter, fortiter, temperanter et iuste adversus errores et cetera ingenerata vitia dimicet eaque nullius rei desiderio nisi boni illius summi atque inmutabilis vincat. Quod etsi non faciat, ipsa talium bonorum capacitas in natura rationali divinitus instituta quantum sit boni, quam mirabile. Omnipotentis opus, quis competenter effatur aut cogitat? Praeter enim artes bene vivendi et ad inmortalem perveniendi felicitatem, quae virtutes vocantur et sola Dei gratia, quae in Christo est, filiis promissionis regnique donantur, nonne humano ingenio tot tantaeque artes sunt inventae et exercitae, partim necessariae partim voluptariae, ut tam excellens vis mentis atque rationis in his etiam rebus, quas superfluas, immo et periculosas perniciosasque appetit, quantum bonum habeat in natura, unde ista potuit vel invenire vel discere vel exercere, testetur? Vestimentorum et aedificiorum ad opera quam mirabilia, quam stupenda industria humana peruenerit; quo in agricultura, quo in navigatione profecerit; quae in fabricatione quorumque uasorum vel etiam statuarum et picturarum varietate excogitaverit et impleuerit; quae in theatris mirabilia spectantibus, audientibus incredibilia facienda et exhibenda molita sit; in capiendis occidendis domandis inrationabilibus animantibus quae et quanta reppererit; adversus ipsos homines tot genera venenorum, tot armorum, tot machinamentorum, et pro salute mortali tuenda atque reparanda quot medicamenta atque adiumenta conprehenderit; pro voluptate faucium quot condimenta et gulae inritamenta reppererit; ad indicandas et suadendas cogitationes quam multitudinem varietatemque signorum, ubi praecipuum locum verba et litterae tenent; ad delectandos animos quos elocutionis ornatus, quam diversorum carminum copiam; ad mulcendas aures quot organa musica, quos cantilenae modos excogitaverit; quantam peritiam dimensionum atque numerorum, meatusque et ordines siderum quanta sagacitate conprehenderit; quam multa rerum mundanarum cognitione se impleuerit, quis possit eloqui, maxime si velimus non aceruatim cuncta congerere, sed in singulis inmorari? In ipsis postremo erroribus et falsitatibus defendendis quam magna claruerint ingenia philosophorum atque haereticorum, quis aestimare sufficiat? Loquimur enim nunc de natura mentis humanae, qua ista vita mortalis ornatur, non de fide atque itinere veritatis, qua illa inmortalis adquiritur. Huius tantae naturae conditor cum sit utique Deus verus et summus, ipso cuncta quae fecit administrante et summam potestatem summamque habente iustitiam numquam profecto in has miserias decidisset atque ex his praeter eos solos qui liberabuntur in aeternas esset itura, nisi nimis grande peccatum in homine primo, de quo ceteri exorti sunt, praecessisset. Iam vero in ipso corpore, quamvis nobis sit cum beluis mortalitate commune multisque earum reperiatur infirmius, quanta Dei bonitas, quanta providentia tanti Creatoris apparet! Nonne ita sunt in eo loca sensuum et cetera membra disposita speciesque ipsa ac figura et statura totius corporis ita modificata, ut ad ministerium animae rationalis se indicet factum? Non enim ut animalia rationis expertia prona esse videmus in terram, ita creatus est homo; sed erecta in caelum corporis forma admonet eum quae sursum sunt sapere. Porro mira mobilitas, quae linguae ac manibus adtributa est, ad loquendum et scribendum apta atque conveniens et ad opera artium plurimarum officiorumque complenda, nonne satis ostendit, quali animae ut seruiret tale sit corpus adiunctum? quamquam et detractis necessitatibus operandi ita omnium partium congruentia numerosa sit et pulchra sibi parilitate respondeat, ut nescias utrum in eo condendo maior sit utilitatis habita ratio quam decoris. Certe enim nihil videmus creatum in corpore utilitatis causa, quod non habeat etiam decoris locum. Plus autem nobis id appareret, si numeros mensurarum, quibus inter se cuncta conexa sunt et coaptata, nossemus; quos forsitan data opera in his, quae foris eminent, humana posset uestigare sollertia; quae vero tecta sunt atque a nostris remota conspectibus, sicuti est tanta perplexitas venarum atque neruorum et viscerum, secreta vitalium, invenire nullus potest. Quia etsi medicorum diligentia nonnulla crudelis, quos anatomicos appellant, laniavit corpora mortuorum sive etiam inter manus secantis perscrutantisque morientium atque in carnibus humanis satis inhumane abdita cuncta rimata est, ut quid et quo modo quibus locis curandum esset addisceret: numeros tamen de quibus loquor, quibus coaptatio, quae *a(rmoni/a Graece dicitur, tamquam cuiusdam organi, extrinsecus atque intrinsecus totius corporis constat, quid dicam, nemo valuit invenire, quos nemo ausus est quaerere? qui si noti esse potuissent, in interioribus quoque visceribus, quae nullum ostentant decus, ita delectaret pulchritudo rationis, ut omni formae apparenti, quae oculis placet, ipsius mentis, quae oculis utitur, praeferretur arbitrio. Sunt vero quaedam ita posita in corpore, ut tantummodo decorem habeant, non et usum; sicut habet pectus virile mamillas, sicut facies barbam, quam non esse munimento, sed virili ornamento indicant purae facies feminarum, quas utique infirmiores muniri tutius conveniret. Si ergo nullum membrum, in his quidem conspicuis (unde ambigit nemo), quod ita sit alicui operi accommodatum, ut non etiam sit decorum; sunt autem nonnulla, quorum solum decus et nullus est usus: puto facile intellegi in conditione corporis dignitatem necessitati fuisse praelatam. Transitura est quippe necessitas tempusque venturum, quando sola inuicem pulchritudine sine ulla libidine perfruamur; quod maxime ad laudem referendum est Conditoris, cui dicitur in psalmo: Confessionem et decorem induisti. Iam cetera pulchritudo et utilitas creaturae, quae homini, licet in istos labores miseriasque proiecto atque damnato, spectanda atque sumenda divina largitate concessa est, quo sermone terminari potest? in caeli et terrae et maris multimoda et varia pulchritudine, in ipsius lucis tanta copia tamque mirabili specie, in sole ac luna et sideribus, in opacitatibus nemorum, in coloribus et odoribus florum, in diversitate ac multitudine volucrum garrularum atque pictarum, in multiformi specie tot tantarumque animantium, quarum illae plus habent admirationis, quae molis minimum (plus enim formicularum et apicularum opera stupemus quam inmensa corpora ballaenarum), in ipsius quoque maris tam grandi spectaculo, cum sese diversis coloribus velut uestibus induit et aliquando viride atque hoc multis modis, aliquando purpureum, aliquando caeruleum est. Quam porro delectabiliter spectatur etiam quandocumque turbatur, et fit inde maior suavitas, quia sic demulcet intuentem, ut non iactet et quatiat navigantem! Quid ciborum usquequaque copia contra famem? quid saporum diversitas contra fastidium, naturae diffusa divitiis, non coquorum arte ac labore quaesita? quid in tam multis rebus tuendae aut recipiendae salutis auxilia! Quam grata vicissitudo diei alternantis et noctis! Aurarum quam blanda temperies! In fruticibus et pecoribus indumentorum conficiendorum quanta materies! Omnia commemorare quis possit? Haec autem sola, quae a me velut in quendam sunt aggerem coartata, si vellem velut conligata inuolucra soluere atque discutere, quanta mihi mora esset in singulis, quibus plurima continentur! Et haec omnia miserorum sunt damnatorumque solacia, non praemia beatorum. Quae igitur illa sunt, si tot et talia ac tanta sunt ista? Quid d a bit eis quos praedestinavit ad vitam, qui haec dedit etiam eis quos praedestinavit ad mortem? Quae bona in illa beata vita faciet eo, sumere, pro quibus in hac misera unigenitum suum filium voluit usque ad mortem mala tanta perferre? Vnde apostolus de ipsis in illud regnum praedestinatis loquens: Qui proprio, inquit, filio non pepercit, sed pro nobis omnibus tradidit eum, quo modo non et cum illo omnia nobis donabit? Cum haec promissio complebitur, quid erimus! quales erimus! Quae bona in illo regno accepturi sumus, quando quidem Christo moriente pro nobis tale iam pignus accepimus! Qualis erit spiritus hominis nullum omnino habens vitium, nec sub quo iaceat, nec cui cedat, nec contra quod saltem laudabiliter dimicet, pacatissima virtute perfectus! Rerum ibi omnium quanta, quam speciosa, quam certa scientia, sine errore aliquo vel labore, ubi Dei sapientia de ipso suo fonte potabitur, cum summa felicitate, sine ulla difficultate! Quale erit corpus, quod omni modo spiritui subditum et eo sufficienter vivificatum nullis alimoniis indigebit! Non enim animale, sed spiritale erit,habens quidem carnis,sed sine ulla carnali corruptione substantiam.
But we must now contemplate the rich and countless blessings with which the goodness of God, who cares for all He has created, has filled this very misery of the human race, which reflects His retributive justice. That first blessing which He pronounced before the fall, when He said, "Increase, and multiply, and replenish the earth," Genesis 1:28 He did not inhibit after man had sinned, but the fecundity originally bestowed remained in the condemned stock; and the vice of sin, which has involved us in the necessity of dying, has yet not deprived us of that wonderful power of seed, or rather of that still more marvellous power by which seed is produced, and which seems to be as it were inwrought and inwoven in the human body. But in this river, as I may call it, or torrent of the human race, both elements are carried along together,-both the evil which is derived from him who begets, and the good which is bestowed by Him who creates us. In the original evil there are two things, sin and punishment; in the original good, there are two other things, propagation and conformation. But of the evils, of which the one, sin, arose from our audacity, and the other, punishment, from God's judgment, we have already said as much as suits our present purpose. I mean now to speak of the blessings which God has conferred or still confers upon our nature, vitiated and condemned as it is. For in condemning it He did not withdraw all that He had given it, else it had been annihilated; neither did He, in penally subjecting it to the devil, remove it beyond His own power; for not even the devil himself is outside of God's government, since the devil's nature subsists only by the supreme Creator who gives being to all that in any form exists.Of these two blessings, then, which we have said flow from God's goodness, as from a fountain, towards our nature, vitiated by sin and condemned to punishment, the one, propagation, was conferred by God's benediction when He made those first works, from which He rested on the seventh day. But the other, conformation, is conferred in that work of His wherein "He works hitherto." John 5:17 For were He to withdraw His efficacious power from things, they should neither be able to go on and complete the periods assigned to their measured movements, nor should they even continue in possession of that nature they were created in. God, then, so created man that He gave him what we may call fertility, whereby he might propagate other men, giving them a congenital capacity to propagate their kind, but not imposing on them any necessity to do so. This capacity God withdraws at pleasure from individuals, making them barren; but from the whole race He has not withdrawn the blessing of propagation once conferred. But though not withdrawn on account of sin, this power of propagation is not what it would have been had there been no sin. For since "man placed in honor fell, he has become like the beasts," and generates as they do, though the little spark of reason, which was the image of God in him, has not been quite quenched. But if conformation were not added to propagation, there would be no reproduction of one's kind. For even though there were no such thing as copulation, and God wished to fill the earth with human inhabitants, He might create all these as He created one without the help of human generation. And, indeed, even as it is, those who copulate can generate nothing save by the creative energy of God. As, therefore, in respect of that spiritual growth whereby a man is formed to piety and righteousness, the apostle says, "Neither is he that plants anything, neither he that waters, but God that gives the increase," 1 Corinthians 3:7 so also it must be said that it is not he that generates that is anything, but God that gives the essential form; that it is not the mother who carries and nurses the fruit of her womb that is anything, but God that gives the increase. For He alone, by that energy wherewith "He works hitherto," causes the seed to develop, and to evolve from certain secret and invisible folds into the visible forms of beauty which we see. He alone, coupling and connecting in some wonderful fashion the spiritual and corporeal natures, the one to command, the other to obey, makes a living being. And this work of His is so great and wonderful, that not only man, who is a rational animal, and consequently more excellent than all other animals of the earth, but even the most diminutive insect, cannot be considered attentively without astonishment and without praising the Creator.It is He, then, who has given to the human soul a mind, in which reason and understanding lie as it were asleep during infancy, and as if they were not, destined, however, to be awakened and exercised as years increase, so as to become capable of knowledge and of receiving instruction, fit to understand what is true and to love what is good. It is by this capacity the soul drinks in wisdom, and becomes endowed with those virtues by which, in prudence, fortitude, temperance, and righteousness, it makes war upon error and the other inborn vices, and conquers them by fixing its desires upon no other object than the supreme and unchangeable Good. And even though this be not uniformly the result, yet who can competently utter or even conceive the grandeur of this work of the Almighty, and the unspeakable boon He has conferred upon our rational nature, by giving us even the capacity of such attainment? For over and above those arts which are called virtues, and which teach us how we may spend our life well, and attain to endless happiness,-arts which are given to the children of the promise and the kingdom by the sole grace of God which is in Christ,-has not the genius of man invented and applied countless astonishing arts, partly the result of necessity, partly the result of exuberant invention, so that this vigor of mind, which is so active in the discovery not merely of superfluous but even of dangerous and destructive things, betokens an inexhaustible wealth in the nature which can invent, learn, or employ such arts? What wonderful-one might say stupefying-advances has human industry made in the arts of weaving and building, of agriculture and navigation! With what endless variety are designs in pottery, painting, and sculpture produced, and with what skill executed! What wonderful spectacles are exhibited in the theatres, which those who have not seen them cannot credit! How skillful the contrivances for catching, killing, or taming wild beasts! And for the injury of men, also, how many kinds of poisons, weapons, engines of destruction, have been invented, while for the preservation or restoration of health the appliances and remedies are infinite! To provoke appetite and please the palate, what a variety of seasonings have been concocted! To express and gain entrance for thoughts, what a multitude and variety of signs there are, among which speaking and writing hold the first place! what ornaments has eloquence at command to delight the mind! what wealth of song is there to captivate the ear! how many musical instruments and strains of harmony have been devised! What skill has been attained in measures and numbers! with what sagacity have the movements and connections of the stars been discovered! Who could tell the thought that has been spent upon nature, even though, despairing of recounting it in detail, he endeavored only to give a general view of it? In fine, even the defence of errors and misapprehensions, which has illustrated the genius of heretics and philosophers, cannot be sufficiently declared. For at present it is the nature of the human mind which adorns this mortal life which we are extolling, and not the faith and the way of truth which lead to immortality. And since this great nature has certainly been created by the true and supreme God, who administers all things He has made with absolute power and justice, it could never have fallen into these miseries, nor have gone out of them to miseries eternal, -saving only those who are redeemed,-had not an exceeding great sin been found in the first man from whom the rest have sprung.Moreover, even in the body, though it dies like that of the beasts, and is in many ways weaker than theirs, what goodness of God, what providence of the great Creator, is apparent! The organs of sense and the rest of the members, are not they so placed, the appearance, and form, and stature of the body as a whole, is it not so fashioned, as to indicate that it was made for the service of a reasonable soul? Man has not been created stooping towards the earth, like the irrational animals; but his bodily form, erect and looking heavenwards, admonishes him to mind the things that are above. Then the marvellous nimbleness which has been given to the tongue and the hands, fitting them to speak, and write, and execute so many duties, and practise so many arts, does it not prove the excellence of the soul for which such an assistant was provided? And even apart from its adaptation to the work required of it, there is such a symmetry in its various parts, and so beautiful a proportion maintained, that one is at a loss to decide whether, in creating the body, greater regard was paid to utility or to beauty. Assuredly no part of the body has been created for the sake of utility which does not also contribute something to its beauty. And this would be all the more apparent, if we knew more precisely how all its parts are connected and adapted to one another, and were not limited in our observations to what appears on the surface; for as to what is covered up and hidden from our view, the intricate web of veins and nerves, the vital parts of all that lies under the skin, no one can discover it. For although, with a cruel zeal for science, some medical men, who are called anatomists, have dissected the bodies of the dead, and sometimes even of sick persons who died under their knives, and have inhumanly pried into the secrets of the human body to learn the nature of the disease and its exact seat, and how it might be cured, yet those relations of which I speak, and which form the concord, or, as the Greeks call it, "harmony," of the whole body outside and in, as of some instrument, no one has been able to discover, because no one has been audacious enough to seek for them. But if these could be known, then even the inward parts, which seem to have no beauty, would so delight us with their exquisite fitness, as to afford a profounder satisfaction to the mind-and the eyes are but its ministers-than the obvious beauty which gratifies the eye. There are some things, too, which have such a place in the body, that they obviously serve no useful purpose, but are solely for beauty, as e.g. the teats on a man's breast, or the beard on his face; for that this is for ornament, and not for protection, is proved by the bare faces of women, who ought rather, as the weaker sex, to enjoy such a defence. If, therefore, of all those members which are exposed to our view, there is certainly not one in which beauty is sacrificed to utility, while there are some which serve no purpose but only beauty, I think it can readily be concluded that in the creation of the human body comeliness was more regarded than necessity. In truth, necessity is a transitory thing; and the time is coming when we shall enjoy one another's beauty without any lust,-a condition which will specially redound to the praise of the Creator, who, as it is said in the psalm, has "put on praise and comeliness."How can I tell of the rest of creation, with all its beauty and utility, which the divine goodness has given to man to please his eye and serve his purposes, condemned though he is, and hurled into these labors and miseries? Shall I speak of the manifold and various loveliness of sky, and earth, and sea; of the plentiful supply and wonderful qualities of the light; of sun, moon, and stars; of the shade of trees; of the colors and perfume of flowers; of the multitude of birds, all differing in plumage and in song; of the variety of animals, of which the smallest in size are often the most wonderful,-the works of ants and bees astonishing us more than the huge bodies of whales? Shall I speak of the sea, which itself is so grand a spectacle, when it arrays itself as it were in vestures of various colors, now running through every shade of green, and again becoming purple or blue? Is it not delightful to look at it in storm, and experience the soothing complacency which it inspires, by suggesting that we ourselves are not tossed and shipwrecked? What shall I say of the numberless kinds of food to alleviate hunger, and the variety of seasonings to stimulate appetite which are scattered everywhere by nature, and for which we are not indebted to the art of cookery? How many natural appliances are there for preserving and restoring health! How grateful is the alternation of day and night! how pleasant the breezes that cool the air! how abundant the supply of clothing furnished us by trees and animals! Who can enumerate all the blessings we enjoy? If I were to attempt to detail and unfold only these few which I have indicated in the mass, such an enumeration would fill a volume. And all these are but the solace of the wretched and condemned, not the rewards of the blessed. What then shall these rewards be, if such be the blessings of a condemned state? What will He give to those whom He has predestined to life, who has given such things even to those whom He has predestined to death? What blessings will He in the blessed life shower upon those for whom, even in this state of misery, He has been willing that His only-begotten Son should endure such sufferings even to death? Thus the apostle reasons concerning those who are predestined to that kingdom: "He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also give us all things?" Romans 8:32 When this promise is fulfilled, what shall we be? What blessings shall we receive in that kingdom, since already we have received as the pledge of them Christ's dying? In what condition shall the spirit of man be, when it has no longer any vice at all; when it neither yields to any, nor is in bondage to any, nor has to make war against any, but is perfected, and enjoys undisturbed peace with itself? Shall it not then know all things with certainty, and without any labor or error, when unhindered and joyfully it drinks the wisdom of God at the fountain-head? What shall the body be, when it is in every respect subject to the spirit, from which it shall draw a life so sufficient, as to stand in need of no other nutriment? For it shall no longer be animal, but spiritual, having indeed the substance of flesh, but without any fleshly corruption.
BOOK XXII [XXV] Verum de animi bonis, quibus post hanc vitam beatissimus perfruetur, non a nobis dissentiunt philosophi nobiles: de carnis resurrectione contendunt, hanc quantum possunt negant. Sed credentes multi negantes paucissimos reliquerunt et ad Christum, qui hoc quod istis videtur absurdum in sua resurrectione monstravit, fideli corde conversi sunt, docti et indocti, sapientes mundi et insipientes. Hoc enim credidit mundus, quod praedixit Deus, qui etiam hoc praedixit, quod hanc rem mundus fuerat crediturus. Neque enim Petri maleficiis ea cum laude credentium tanto ante praenuntiare compulsus est. Ille est enim Deus, quem (sicut iam dixi aliquotiens, nec commonere me piget) confitente Porphyrio atque id oraculis deorum suorum probare cupiente ipsa numina perhorrescunt; quem sic laudavit, ut eum et Deum patrem et regem vocaret. Absit enim, ut sic intellegenda sint quae praedixit, quo modo volunt hi, qui hoc cum mundo non crediderunt, quod mundum crediturum esse praedixit. Cur enim non potius ita, sicut crediturus tanto ante praedictus est mundus, non sicut paucissimi garriunt, qui hoc cum mundo, quod crediturus praedictus est, credere noluerunt? Si enim propterea dicunt alio modo esse credenda, ne, si dixerint uana esse conscripta, iniuriam faciant illi Deo, qui tam magnum perhibent testimonium: tantam prorsus ei vel etiam graviorem faciunt iniuriam, si aliter dicunt esse intellegenda, non sicut mundus ea credidit, quem crediturum ipse laudavit, ipse promisit, ipse complevit. Vtrum enim non potest facere ut resurgat caro et vivat in aeternum, an propterea credendum non est id eum esse facturum, quia malum est atque indignum Deo? Sed de omnipotentia eius, qua tot et tanta facit incredibilia, iam multa diximus. Si volunt invenire quod omnipotens non potest, habent prorsus, ego dicam: mentiri non potest. Credamus ergo quod potest non credendo quod non potest. Non itaque credentes quod mentiri possit credant esse facturum quod se facturum esse promisit, et sic credant, sicuti credidit mundus, quem crediturum esse praedixit, quem crediturum esse laudavit, quem crediturum esse promisit, quem credidisse iam ostendit. Hoc autem malum esse unde demonstrant? Non erit illic ulla corruptio, quod est corporis malum. De ordine elementorum iam disputavimus; de aliis hominum coniecturis satis diximus; quanta sit futura in corpore incorruptibili facilitas motus, de praesentis bonae valetudinis temperamento, quae utique nullo modo illi comparanda est inmortalitati, in libro tertio decimo satis, ut opinor, ostendimus. Legant superiora operis huius, qui vel non legerunt vel volunt recolere quod legerunt.
The foremost of the philosophers agree with us about the spiritual felicity enjoyed by the blessed in the life to come; it is only the resurrection of the flesh they call in question, and with all their might deny. But the mass of men, learned and unlearned, the world's wise men and its fools, have believed, and have left in meagre isolation the unbelievers, and have turned to Christ, who in His own resurrection demonstrated the reality of that which seems to our adversaries absurd. For the world has believed this which God predicted, as it was also predicted that the world would believe,-a prediction not due to the sorceries of Peter, since it was uttered so long before. He who has predicted these things, as I have already said, and am not ashamed to repeat, is the God before whom all other divinities tremble, as Porphyry himself owns, and seeks to prove, by testimonies from the oracles of these gods, and goes so far as to call Him God the Father and King. Far be it from us to interpret these predictions as they do who have not believed, along with the whole world, in that which it was predicted the world would believe in. For why should we not rather understand them as the world does, whose belief was predicted, and leave that handful of unbelievers to their idle talk and obstinate and solitary infidelity? For if they maintain that they interpret them differently only to avoid charging Scripture with folly, and so doing an injury to that God to whom they bear so notable a testimony, is it not a much greater injury they do Him when they say that His predictions must be understood otherwise than the world believed them, though He Himself praised, promised, accomplished this belief on the world's part? And why cannot He cause the body to rise again, and live for ever? or is it not to be believed that He will do this, because it is an undesirable thing, and unworthy of God? Of His omnipotence, which effects so many great miracles, we have already said enough. If they wish to know what the Almighty cannot do, I shall tell them He cannot lie. Let us therefore believe what He can do, by refusing to believe what He cannot do. Refusing to believe that He can lie, let them believe that He will do what He has promised to do; and let them believe it as the world has believed it, whose faith He predicted, whose faith He praised, whose faith He promised, whose faith He now points to. But how do they prove that the resurrection is an undesirable thing? There shall then be no corruption, which is the only evil thing about the body. I have already said enough about the order of the elements, and the other fanciful objections men raise; and in the thirteenth book I have, in my own judgment, sufficiently illustrated the facility of movement which the incorruptible body shall enjoy, judging from the ease and vigor we experience even now, when the body is in good health. Those who have either not read the former books, or wish to refresh their memory, may read them for themselves.
BOOK XXII [XXVI] Sed Porphyrius ait, inquiunt, ut beata sit anima, corpus esse omne fugiendum. Nihil ergo prode est, quia incorruptibile diximus futurum corpus, si anima beata non erit, nisi omne corpus effugerit. Sed iam et hinc in libro memorato quantum oportuit disputavi; verum hic unum inde tantum commemorabo. Emendet libros suos istorum omnium magister Plato et dicat eorum deos, ut beati sint, sua corpora fugituros, id est esse morituros, quos in caelestibus corporibus dixit inclusos; quibus tamen Deus, a quo facti sunt, quo possent esse securi, inmortalitatem, id est in eisdem corporibus aeternam permansionem, non eorum natura id habente, sed suo consilio praeualente, promisit. Vbi etiam illud euertit quod dicunt, quoniam est inpossibilis, ideo resurrectionem carnis non esse credendam. Apertissime quippe iuxta eundem philosophum, ubi diis a se factis promisit Deus non factus inmortalitatem, quod inpossibile est se dixit esse facturum. Sic enim eum locutum narrat Plato: "Quoniam estis orti, inquit, inmortales esse et indissolubiles non potestis; non tamen dissoluemini neque vos ulla mortis fata periment nec erunt valentiora quam consifium meum, quod maius est vinculum ad perpetuitatem uestram quam illa quibus estis conligati." Si non solum absurdi, sed surdi non sunt qui haec audiunt, non utique dubitant diis factis ab illo Deo qui eos fecit secundum Platonem quod est inpossibile fuisse promissum. Qui enim dicit: "Vos quidem inmortales esse non potestis, sed mea voluntate inmortales eritis," quid aliud dicit quam "id quod fieri non potest me faciente tamen eritis"? Ille igitur carnem incorruptibilem, inmortalem, spiritalem resuscitabit, qui iuxta Platonem id quod inpossibile est se facturum esse promisit. Quid adhuc, quod promisit Deus, quod Deo promittenti credidit mundus, qui etiam ipse promissus est crediturus, esse inpossibile clamant, quando quidem nos Deum, qui etiam secundum Platonem facit inpossibilia, id facturum esse clamamus? Non ergo, ut beatae sint animae, corpus est omne fugiendum, sed corpus incorruptibile recipiendum. Et in quo convenientius incorruptibili corpore laetabuntur, quam in quo corruptibili gemuerunt? Sic enim non in eis erit illa dira cupiditas, quam posuit ex Platone Vergilius, ubi ait: Rursus et incipiant in corpora velle reuerti; sic, inquam, cupiditatem reuertendi ad corpora non habebunt, cum corpora, in quae reuerti cupiunt, secum habebunt et sic habebunt, ut numquam non habeant, numquam ea prorsus vel ad exiguum quamlibet tempus ulla morte deponant.
But, say they, Porphyry tells us that the soul, in order to be blessed, must escape connection with every kind of body. It does not avail, therefore, to say that the future body shall be incorruptible, if the soul cannot be blessed till delivered from every kind of body. But in the book above mentioned I have already sufficiently discussed this. This one thing only will I repeat,-let Plato, their master, correct his writings, and say that their gods, in order to be blessed, must quit their bodies, or, in other words, die; for he said that they were shut up in celestial bodies, and that, nevertheless, the God who made them promised them immortality,-that is to say, an eternal tenure of these same bodies, such as was not provided for them naturally, but only by the further intervention of His will, that thus they might be assured of felicity. In this he obviously overturns their assertion that the resurrection of the body cannot be believed because it is impossible; for, according to him, when the uncreated God promised immortality to the created gods, He expressly said that He would do what was impossible. For Plato tells us that He said, "As you have had a beginning, so you cannot be immortal and incorruptible; yet you shall not decay, nor shall any fate destroy you or prove stronger than my will, which more effectually binds you to immortality than the bond of your nature keeps you from it." If they who hear these words have, we do not say understanding, but ears, they cannot doubt that Plato believed that God promised to the gods He had made that He would effect an impossibility. For He who says, "You cannot be immortal, but by my will you shall be immortal," what else does He say than this, "I shall make you what ye cannot be?" The body, therefore, shall be raised incorruptible, immortal, spiritual, by Him who, according to Plato, has promised to do that which is impossible. Why then do they still exclaim that this which God has promised, which the world has believed on God's promise as was predicted, is an impossibility? For what we say is, that the God who, even according to Plato, does impossible things, will do this. It is not, then, necessary to the blessedness of the soul that it be detached from a body of any kind whatever, but that it receive an incorruptible body. And in what incorruptible body will they more suitably rejoice than in that in which they groaned when it was corruptible? For thus they shall not feel that dire craving which Virgil, in imitation of Plato, has ascribed to them when he says that they wish to return again to their bodies. They shall not, I say, feel this desire to return to their bodies, since they shall have those bodies to which a return was desired, and shall, indeed, be in such thorough possession of them, that they shall never lose them even for the briefest moment, nor ever lay them down in death.
BOOK XXII [XXVII] Singuli quaedam dixerunt Plato atque Porphyrius, quae si inter se communicare potuissent, facti essent fortasse Christiani. Plato dixit sine corporibus animas in aeternum esse non posse. Ideo enim dixit etiam sapientum animas post quamlibet longum tempus, tamen ad corpora redituras. Porphyrius autem dixit animam purgatissimam, cum redierit ad Patrem, ad haec mala mundi numquam esse redituram. Ac per hoc, quod verum vidit Plato, si dedisset Porphyrio, etiam iustorum atque sapientum purgatissimas animas ad humana corpora redituras; rursus quod verum vidit Porphyrius, dedisset Platoni, numquam redituras ad miserias corruptibils corporis animas sanctas; ut non singuli haec singula, sed ambo et singuli utrumque dicerent: puto quod viderent esse iam consequens, ut et redirent animae ad corpora et talia reciperent corpora, in quibus beate atque inmortaliter viverent. Quoniam secundum Platonem etiam sanctae animae ad humana corpora redibunt; secundum Porphyrium ad mala mundi huius sanctae animae non redibunt. Dicat itaque cum Platone Porphyrius: "Redibunt ad corpora"; dicat Plato cum Porphyrio: "Non redibunt ad mala": et ad ea corpora redire consentient, in quibus nulla patiantur mala. Haec itaque non erunt nisi illa quae promittit Deus, beatas animas in aeternum cum sua aeterna carne victuras. Hoc enim, quantum existimo, iam facile nobis concederent ambo, ut, qui faterentur ad inmortalia corpora redituras animas esse sanctorum, ad sua illas redire permitterent, in quibus mala huius saeculi pertulerunt, in quibus Deum, ut his malis carerent, pie fideliterque coluerunt.
Statements were made by Plato and Porphyry singly, which if they could have seen their way to hold in common, they might possibly have became Christians. Plato said that souls could not exist eternally without bodies; for it was on this account, he said, that the souls even of wise men must some time or other return to their bodies. Porphyry, again, said that the purified soul, when it has returned to the Father, shall never return to the ills of this world. Consequently, if Plato had communicated to Porphyry that which he saw to be true, that souls, though perfectly purified, and belonging to the wise and righteous, must return to human bodies; and if Porphyry, again, had imparted to Plato the truth which he saw, that holy soul, shall never return to the miseries of a corruptible body, so that they should not have each held only his own opinion, but should both have held both truths, I think they would have seen that it follows that the souls return to their bodies, and also that these bodies shall be such as to afford them a blessed and immortal life. For, according to Plato, even holy souls shall return to the body; according to Porphyry, holy souls shall not return to the ills of this world. Let Porphyry then say with Plato, they shall return to the body; let Plato say with Porphyry, they shall not return to their old misery: and they will agree that they return to bodies in which they shall suffer no more. And this is nothing else than what God has promised,-that He will give eternal felicity to souls joined to their own bodies. For this, I presume, both of them would readily concede, that if the souls of the saints are to be reunited to bodies, it shall be to their own bodies, in which they have endured the miseries of this life, and in which, to escape these miseries, they served God with piety and fidelity.
BOOK XXII [XXVIII] Nonnulli nostri propter quoddam praeclarissimum loquendi genus et propter nonnulla, quae veraciter sensit, amantes Platonem dicunt eum aliquid simile nobis etiam de mortuorum resurrectione sensisse. Quod quidem sic tangit in libris de re publica Tullius, ut eum lusisse potius quam quod id verum esse adfirmet dicere voluisse. Inducit enim hominem revixisse et narrasse quaedam, quae Platonicis disputationibus congruebant. Labeo etiam duos dicit uno die fuisse defunctos et occurrisse inuicem in quodam compito, deinde ad corpora sua iussos fuisse remeare et constituisse inter se amicos se esse victuros, atque ita esse factum, donec postea morerentur. Sed isti auctores talem resurrectionem corporis factam fuisse narrarunt, quales fuerunt eorum, quos resurrexisse novimus et huic quidem redditos vitae, sed non eo modo ut non morerentur ulterius. Mirabilius autem quiddam Marcus Varro ponit in libris, quos conscripsit de gente populi Romani, cuius putavi verba ipsa ponenda. "Genethliaci quidam scripserunt, inquit, esse in renascendis hominibus quam appellant *paliggenesi/an Graeci; hac scripserunt confici in annis num ero quadringentis quadraginta, ut idem corpus et eadem anima, quae fuerint coniuncta in homine aliquando, eadem rursus redeant in coniunctionem." Iste Varro quidem sive illi genethliaci nescio qui (non enim nomina eorum prodidit, quorum commemoravit sententiam) aliquid dixerunt, quod licet falsum sit (cum enim semel ad eadem corpora quae gesserunt animae redierint, numquam ea sunt postea relicturae), tamen multa illius inpossibilitatis, qua contra nos isti garriunt, argumenta convellit et destruit. Qui enim hoc sentiunt sive senserunt, non eis visum est fieri non posse, ut dilapsa cadavera in auras in puluerem, in cinerem in umores, in corpora uescentium bestiarum vel ipsorum quoque hominum ad id rursus redeant, quod fuerunt. Quapropter Plato et Porphyrius, vel potius quicumque illos diligunt et adhuc vivunt, si nobis consentiunt etiam sanctas animas ad corpora redituras, sicut ait Plato, nec tamen ad mala ulla redituras, sicut ait Porphyrius, ut ex his fiat consequens, quod fides praedicat Christiana, talia corpora recepturas, in quibus sine ullo malo in aeternum feliciter vivant, adsumant etiam hoc de Varrone, ut ad eadem corpora redeant, in quibus antea fuerunt, et apud eos tota quaestio de carnis in aeternum resurrectione soluetur.
Some Christians, who have a liking for Plato on account of his magnificent style and the truths which he now and then uttered, say that he even held an opinion similar to our own regarding the resurrection of the dead. Cicero, however, alluding to this in his Republic, asserts that Plato meant it rather as a playful fancy than as a reality; for he introduces a man who had come to life again, and gave a narrative of his experience in corroboration of the doctrines of Plato. Labeo, too, says that two men died on one day, and met at a cross-road, and that, being afterwards ordered to return to their bodies, they agreed to be friends for life, and were so till they died again. But the resurrection which these writers instance resembles that of those persons whom we have ourselves known to rise again, and who came back indeed to this life, but not so as never to die again. Marcus Varro, however, in his work On the Origin of the Roman People, records something more remarkable; I think his own words should be given. "Certain astrologers," he says, "have written that men are destined to a new birth, which the Greeks call palingenesy. This will take place after four hundred and forty years have elapsed; and then the same soul and the same body, which were formerly united in the person, shall again be reunited." This Varro, indeed, or those nameless astrologers,-for he does not give us the names of the men whose statement he cites,-have affirmed what is indeed not altogether true; for once the souls have returned to the bodies they wore, they shall never afterwards leave them. Yet what they say upsets and demolishes much of that idle talk of our adversaries about the impossibility of the resurrection. For those who have been or are of this opinion, have not thought it possible that bodies which have dissolved into air, or dust, or ashes, or water, or into the bodies of the beasts or even of the men that fed on them, should be restored again to that which they formerly were. And therefore, if Plato and Porphyry, or rather, if their disciples now living, agree with us that holy souls shall return to the body, as Plato says, and that, nevertheless, they shall not return to misery, as Porphyry maintains, -if they accept the consequence of these two propositions which is taught by the Christian faith, that they shall receive bodies in which they may live eternally without suffering any misery,-let them also adopt from Varro the opinion that they shall return to the same bodies as they were formerly in, and thus the whole question of the eternal resurrection of the body shall be resolved out of their own mouths.
BOOK XXII [XXIX] Nunc iam quid acturi sint in corporibus inmortalibus atque spiritalibus sancti, non adhuc eorum carne carnaliter, sed spiritaliter iam vivente, quantum Dominus dignatur adivuare videamus. Et illa quidem actio vel potius quies atque otium quale futurum sit, si verum velim dicere, nescio. Non enim hoc umquam per sensus corporis vidi. Si autem mente, id est intellegentia, vidisse me dicam, quantum est aut quid est nostra intellegentia ad illam excellentiam? Ibi est enim pax Dei, quae, sicut dicit apostolus, superat omnem intellectum; quem nisi nostrum, aut fortasse etiam sanctorum angelorum? non enim et Dei. Si ergo sancti in Dei pace victuri sunt, profecto in ea pace victuri sunt, quae superat omnem intellectum. Quoniam nostrum quidem superat, non est dubium; si autem superat et angelorum, ut nec ipsos excepisse videatur, qui ait omnem intellectum: secundum hoc dictum esse debemus accipere, quia pacem Dei, qua Deus ipse pacatus est, sicut Deus novit, non eam nos sic possumus nosse nec ulli angeli. Superat itaque omnem intellectum, non dubium quod praeter suum. Sed quia et nos pro modo nostro.pacis eius participes facti scimus summam in nobis atque inter nos et cum ipso pacem, quantum nostrum summum est: isto modo pro suo modo sciunt eam sancti angeli; homines autem nunc longe infra, quantumlibet provectu mentis excellant. Considerandum est enim quantus vir dicebat: Ex parte scimus et ex parte prophetamus, donec veniat quod perfectum est; et: Videmus nunc per speculum in aenigmate, tunc autem faciem ad faciem. Sic iam vident sancti angeli, qui etiam nostri angeli dicti sunt, quia eruti de potestate tenebrarum et accepto spiritus pignore translati ad regnum Christi ad eos angelos iam coepimus pertinere, cum quibus nobis erit sancta atque dulcissima, de qua iam tot libros scripsimus, Dei civitas ipsa communis. Sic sunt ergo angeli nostri qui sunt angeli Dei, quem ad modum Christus Dei Christus est noster. Dei sunt, ia Deum non reliquerunt; nostri sunt, quia suos cives nos habere coeperunt. Dixit autem Dominus Iesus: Videte ne contemnatis unum de pusillis istis. Dico enim vobis, quia angeli eorum in caelis semper vident faciem patris mei, qui in caelis est. Sicut ergo illi vident, ita et nos visuri sumus; sed nondum ita videmus. Propter quod ait apostolus, quod paulo ante dixi: Videmus nunc per speculum in aenigmate, tunc autem faciem ad faciem. Praemium itaque fidei nobis visio ista servatur, de qua et Iohannes apostolus loquens: Cum apparuerit, inquit, similes ei erimus, quoniam videbimus eum sicuti est. Facies autem Dei manifestatio eius intellegenda est, non aliquod tale membrum, quale nos habemus in corpore atque isto nomine nuncupamus. Quapropter cum ex me quaeritur, quid acturi sint sancti in illo corpore spiritali, non dico quod iam video, sed dico quod credo, secundum illud quod in psalmo lego: Credidi, propter quod <et> locutus sum. vico itaque: Visuri sunt Deum in ipso corpore; sed utrum per ipsum, sicut per corpus nunc videmus solem, lunam, stellas, mare ac terram et quae sunt in ea, non parua quaestio est. Durum est enim dicere, quod sancti talia corpora tunc habebunt, ut non possint oculos claudere atque aperire cum volent; durius autem, quod ibi Deum, quisquis oculos clauserit, non videbit. Si enim propheta Helisaeus puerum suum Giezi absens corpore vidit accipientem munera, quae dedit ei Naeman Syrus, quem propheta memoratus a leprae deformitate liberaverat, quod seruus nequam domino suo non vidente latenter se fecisse putaverat: quanto magis in illo corpore spiritali videbunt sancti omnia, non solum si oculos claudant, verum etiam unde sunt corpore absentes! Tunc enim erit perfectum illud, de quo loquens apostolus: Ex parte, inquit, scimus et ex parte prophetamus; cum autem venerit quod perfectum est, quod ex parte est euacuabitur. Deinde ut quo modo posset aliqua similitudine ostenderet, quantum ab illa quae futura est distet haec vita, non qualiumcumque hominum, verum etiam qui praecipua hic sanctitate sunt praediti: Cum essem, inquit, paruulus, quasi paruulus sapiebam, quasi paruulus loquebar, quasi paruulus cogitabam; cum autem factus sum vir, euacuavi ea quae paruuli erant. Videmus nunc per speculum in aenigmate, tunc autem faciem ad faciem. Nunc scio ex parte, tunc autem cognoscam sicut et cognitus sum. Si ergo in hac vita, ubi hominum mirabilium prophetia ita comparanda est illi vitae, quasi paruuli ad ivuenem, vidit tamen Helisaeus accipientem munera seruum suum, ubi ipse non erat: itane cum venerit quod perfectum est nec iam corpus corruptibile adgrauabit animam, sed incorruptibile nihil impediet, illi sancti ad ea, quae videnda sunt, oculis corporeis, quibus Helisaeus absens ad seruum suum videndum non indiguit, indigebunt? Nam secundum interpretes septuaginta ista sunt ad Giezi verba prophetae: Nonne cor meum iit tecum, quando conversus est vir de curru in obuiam tibi et accepisti pecuniam? et cetera; sicut autem ex Hebraeo interpretatus est presbyter Hieronymus: Nonne cor meum, inquit, in praesenti erat, quando reuersus est homo de curru suo in occursum tui? Corde suo ergo se dixit hoc vidisse propheta, adiuto quidem mirabiliter nullo dubitante divinitus. Sed quanto amplius tunc omnes munere isto abundabunt, cum Deus erit omnia in omnibus! Habebunt tamen etiam illi oculi corporei officium suum et in loco suo erunt, uteturque illis spiritus per spiritale corpus. Neque enim et ille propheta, quia non eis indiguit ut videret absentem, non eis usus est ad videnda praesentia; quae tamen spiritu videre posset, etiamsi illos clauderet, sicut vidit absentia, ubi cum eis ipse non erat. Absit ergo, ut dicamus illos sanctos in illa vita Deum clausis oculis non visuros, quem spiritu semper videbunt. Sed utrum videbunt et per oculos corporis cum eos apertos habebunt, inde quaestio est. Si enim tantum poterunt in corpore spiritali eo modo utique ipsi oculi etiam spiritales, quantum possunt isti quales nunc habemus: procul dubio per eos Deus videri non poterit. Longe itaque alterius erunt potentiae, si per eos videbitur incorporea illa natura, quae non continetur loco, sed ubique tota est. Non enim quia dicimus Deum et in caelo esse et in terra (ipse quippe ait per prophetam: Caelum et terram ego impleo), aliam partem dicturi sumus eum in caelo habere et in terra aliam; sed totus in caelo est, totus in terra, non alternis temporibus, sed utrumque simul, quod nulla natura corporalis potest. Vis itaque praepollentior oculorum erit illorum, non ut acrius videant, quam quidam perhibentur videre serpentes vel aquilae (quantalibet enim acrimonia cernendi eadem quoque animalia nihil aliud possunt videre quam corpora), sed ut videant et incorporalia. Et fortasse ista virtus magna cernendi data fuerit ad horam etiam in isto mortali corpore ocmis sancti viri Iob, quando ait ad Deum: In obauditu auris audiebam te prius, nunc autem oculus meus videt te. propterea despexi memet ipsum et distabui et existimavi me terram et cinerem; quamvis nihil hic prohibeat oculum cordis intellegi, de quibus oculis ait apostolus: Inluminatos oculos habere cordis uestri. Ipsis autem videri Deum, cum videbitur, Christianus ambigit nemo, qui fideliter accipit, quod ait Deus ille magister: Beati mundicordes, quoniam ipsi Deum videbunt. Sed utrum etiam corporalibus ibi oculis videatur, hoc in ista quaestione versamus. Illud enim quod scriptum est: Et videbit omnis caro salutare Dei, sine ullius nodo difficultatis sic intellegi potest, ac si dictum fuerit: "Et videbit omnis homo Christum Dei", qui utique in corpore visus est et in corpore videbitur, quando vivos et mortuos iudicabit. Quod autem ipse sit salutare Dei, multa sunt et alia testimonia scripturarum; sed evidentius venerandi illius senis Simeonis verba declarant, qui, cum infantem Christum accepisset in manus suas: Nunc, inquit, dimittis, Domine, seruum tuum secundum verbum tuum in pace, quoniam viderunt oculi mei salutare tuum. Illud etiam, quod ait supra memoratus Iob, sicut in exemplaribus, quae ex Hebraeo sunt, invenitur: Et in carne mea videba Deum, resurrectionem quidem carnis sine dubio prophetavit, non tamen dixit: "Per carnem me m." Quod quidem si dixisset, posset Deus Christus intellegi, qui per carnem in carne videbitur; nunc vero potest et sic accipi: In carne mea videbo Deum, ac si dixisset: "In carne mea ero, cum videbo Deum." Et illud, quod ait apostolus: Faciem ad faciem, non cogit ut Deum per hanc faciem corporalem, ubi sunt oculi corporales, nos visuros esse credamus, quem spiritu sine intermissione videbimus. Nisi enim esset etiam interioris hominis facies, non diceret idem apostolus: Nos autem reuelata facie gloriam Domini speculantes in eandem imaginem transformamur, de gloria in gloriam, tamquam a Domini spiritu; nec aliter intellegimus et quod in psalmo canitur: Accedite ad eum et inluminamini, et facies uestrae non erubescent. Fide quippe acceditur ad Deum, quam cordis constat esse, non corporis. Sed quia spiritale corpus nescimus quantos habebit accessus (de re quippe inexperta loquimur), ubi aliqua, quae aliter intellegi nequeat, divinarum scripturarum non occurrit et succurrit auctoritas, necesse est ut contingat in nobis quod legitur in libro Sapientiae: Cogitationes mortalium timidae et incertae providentiae nostrae. Ratiocinatio quippe illa philosophorum, qua disputant ita mentis aspectu intellegibilia videri et sensu corporis sensibilia, id est corporalia, ut nec intellegibilia per corpus nec corporalia per se ipsam mens valeat intueri, si posset nobis esse certissima, profecto certum esset per oculos corporis etiam spiritalis nullo modo posse videri Deum. Sed istam ratiocinationem et vera ratio et prophetica inridet auctoritas. Quis enim ita sit aversus a vero, ut dicere audeat Deum corporalia ista nescire? Numquid ergo corpus habet, per cuius oculos ea possit addiscere? Deinde quod de propheta Helisaeo paulo ante diximus, nonne satis indicat etiam spiritu, non per corpus, corporalia posse cerni? Quando enim seruus ille munera accepit, utique corporaliter gestum est; quod tamen propheta non per corpus, sed per spiritum vidit. Sicut ergo constat corpora videri spiritu, quid si tanta erit potentia spiritalis corporis, ut corpore videatur et spiritus? Spiritus enim est Deus. Deinde vitam quidem suam, qua nunc vivit in corpore et haec terrena membra uegetat facitoque viventia, interiore sensu quisque, non per corporeos oculos novit; aliorum vero vitas, cum sint inuisibiles, per corpus videt. Nam unde viventia discernimus a non viventibus corpora, nisi corpora simul vitasque videamus, quas nisi per corpus videre non possumus? Vitas autem sine corporibus corporeis oculis non videmus. Quam ob rem fieri potest valdeque credibile est sic nos visuros mundana tunc corpora caeli novi et terrae nouae, ut Deum ubique praesentem et universa etiam corporalia gubernantem per corpora quae gestabimus et quae conspiciemus, quaqua versum oculos duxerimus, clarissima perspicuitate videamus, non sicut nunc inuisibilia Dei per ea, quae facta sunt, intellecta conspiciuntur per speculum in aenigmate <et> ex parte, ubi plus in nobis valet fides, qua credimus, quam rerum corporalium species, quam per oculos cernimus corporales. Sed sicut homines, inter quos viventes motusque vitales exerentes vivimus, mox ut aspicimus, non credimus vivere, sed videmus, cum eorum vitam sine corporibus videre nequeamus, quam tamen in eis per corpora remota omni ambiguitate conspicimus: ita quaecumque spiritalia illa lumina corporum nostrorum circumferemus, incorporeum Deum omnia regentem etiam per corpora contuebimur. Aut ergo sic per illos oculos videbitur Deus, ut aliquid habeant in tanta excellentia menti simile, quo et incorporea natura cernatur, quod ullis exemplis sive scripturarum testimoniis divinarum vel difficile est vel inpossibile ostendere; aut, quod est ad intellegendum facilius, ita Deus nobis erit notus atque conspicuus, ut videatur spiritu a singulis nobis in singulis nobis, videatur ab altero in altero, videatur in se ipso, videatur in caelo nouo et terra noua atque in omni, quae tunc fuerit, creatura, videatur et per corpora in omni corpore, quocumque fuerint spiritalis corporis oculi acie perveniente directi. Patebunt etiam cogitationes nostrae inuicem nobis. Tunc enim implebitur, quod apostolus, cum dixissa: Nolite ante tempus iudicare quicquam, mox addidit: Donec veniat Dominus, et inluminabit abscondita tenebrarum et manifestabit cogitationes cordis, et tunc laus erit unicuique a Deo.
And now let us consider, with such ability as God may vouchsafe, how the saints shall be employed when they are clothed in immortal and spiritual bodies, and when the flesh shall live no longer in a fleshly but a spiritual fashion. And indeed, to tell the truth, I am at a loss to understand the nature of that employment, or, shall I rather say, repose and ease, for it has never come within the range of my bodily senses. And if I should speak of my mind or understanding, what is our understanding in comparison of its excellence? For then shall be that "peace of God which," as the apostle says, "passes all understanding," Philippians 4:7 -that is to say, all human, and perhaps all angelic understanding, but certainly not the divine. That it passes ours there is no doubt; but if it passes that of the angels,-and he who says "all understanding" seems to make no exception in their favor,-then we must understand him to mean that neither we nor the angels can understand, as God understands, the peace which God Himself enjoys. Doubtless this passes all understanding but His own. But as we shall one day be made to participate, according to our slender capacity, in His peace, both in ourselves, and with our neighbor, and with God our chief good, in this respect the angels understand the peace of God in their own measure, and men too, though now far behind them, whatever spiritual advance they have made. For we must remember how great a man he was who said, "We know in part, and we prophesy in part, until that which is perfect is come;" 1 Corinthians 13:9-10 and "Now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face." 1 Corinthians 13:12 Such also is now the vision of the holy angels, who are also called our angels, because we, being rescued out of the power of darkness, and receiving the earnest of the Spirit, are translated into the kingdom of Christ, and already begin to belong to those angels with whom we shall enjoy that holy and most delightful city of God of which we have now written so much. Thus, then, the angels of God are our angels, as Christ is God's and also ours. They are God's, because they have not abandoned Him; they are ours, because we are their fellow-citizens. The Lord Jesus also said, "See that you despise not one of these little ones: for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always see the face of my Father which is in heaven." Matthew 18:10 As, then, they see, so shall we also see; but not yet do we thus see. Wherefore the apostle uses the words cited a little ago, "Now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face." This vision is reserved as the reward of our faith; and of it the Apostle John also says, "When He shall appear, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is." 1 John 3:2 By "the face" of God we are to understand His manifestation, and not a part of the body similar to that which in our bodies we call by that name.And so, when I am asked how the saints shall be employed in that spiritual body, I do not say what I see, but I say what I believe, according to that which I read in the psalm, "I believed, therefore have I spoken." I say, then, they shall in the body see God; but whether they shall see Him by means of the body, as now we see the sun, moon, stars, sea, earth, and all that is in it, that is a difficult question. For it is hard to say that the saints shall then have such bodies that they shall not be able to shut and open their eyes as they please; while it is harder still to say that every one who shuts his eyes shall lose the vision of God. For if the prophet Elisha, though at a distance, saw his servant Gehazi, who thought that his wickedness would escape his master's observation and accepted gifts from Naaman the Syrian, whom the prophet had cleansed from his foul leprosy, how much more shall the saints in the spiritual body see all things, not only though their eyes be shut, but though they themselves be at a great distance? For then shall be "that which is perfect," of which the apostle says, "We know in part, and we prophesy in part; but when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away." Then, that he may illustrate as well as possible, by a simile, how superior the future life is to the life now lived, not only by ordinary men, but even by the foremost of the saints, he says, "When I was a child, I understood as a child, I spoke as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. Now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known." 1 Corinthians 13:11-12 If, then, even in this life, in which the prophetic power of remarkable men is no more worthy to be compared to the vision of the future life than childhood is to manhood, Elisha, though distant from his servant, saw him accepting gifts, shall we say that when that which is perfect is come, and the corruptible body no longer oppresses the soul, but is incorruptible and offers no impediment to it, the saints shall need bodily eyes to see, though Elisha had no need of them to see his servant? For, following the Septuagint version, these are the prophet's words: "Did not my heart go with you, when the man came out of his chariot to meet you, and you tooked his gifts?" 2 Kings 5:26 Or, as the presbyter Jerome rendered it from the Hebrew, "Was not my heart present when the man turned from his chariot to meet you?" The prophet said that he saw this with his heart, miraculously aided by God, as no one can doubt. But how much more abundantly shall the saints enjoy this gift when God shall be all in all? Nevertheless the bodily eyes also shall have their office and their place, and shall be used by the spirit through the spiritual body. For the prophet did not forego the use of his eyes for seeing what was before them, though he did not need them to see his absent servant, and though he could have seen these present objects in spirit, and with his eyes shut, as he saw things far distant in a place where he himself was not. Far be it, then, from us to say that in the life to come the saints shall not see God when their eyes are shut, since they shall always see Him with the spirit.But the question arises, whether, when their eyes are open, they shall see Him with the bodily eye? If the eyes of the spiritual body have no more power than the eyes which we now possess, manifestly God cannot be seen with them. They must be of a very different power if they can look upon that incorporeal nature which is not contained in any place, but is all in every place. For though we say that God is in heaven and on earth, as He, Himself says by the prophet, "I fill heaven and earth," we do not mean that there is one part of God in heaven and another part on earth; but He is all in heaven and all on earth, not at alternate intervals of time, but both at once, as no bodily nature can be. The eye, then, shall have a vastly superior power,-the power not of keen sight, such as is ascribed to serpents or eagles, for however keenly these animals see, they can discern nothing but bodily substances,-but the power of seeing things incorporeal. Possibly it was this great power of vision which was temporarily communicated to the eyes of the holy Job while yet in this mortal body, when he says to God, "I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear; but now my eye sees You: wherefore I abhor myself, and melt away, and count myself dust and ashes;" Job 42:5-6 although there is no reason why we should not understand this of the eye of the heart, of which the apostle says, "Having the eyes of your heart illuminated." Ephesians 1:18 But that God shall be seen with these eyes no Christian doubts who believingly accepts what our God and Master says, "Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God." Matthew 5:8 But whether in the future life God shall also be seen with the bodily eye, this is now our question.The expression of Scripture, "And all flesh shall see the salvation of God," Luke 3:6 may without difficulty be understood as if it were said, "And every man shall see the Christ of God." And He certainly was seen in the body, and shall be seen in the body when He judges quick and dead. And that Christ is the salvation of God, many other passages of Scripture witness, but especially the words of the venerable Simeon, who, when he had received into his hands the infant Christ, said, "Now let Your servant depart in peace, according to Your word: for my eyes have seen Your salvation." Luke 2:29-30 As for the words of the above-mentioned Job, as they are found in the Hebrew manuscripts, "And in my flesh I shall see God," no doubt they were a prophecy of the resurrection of the flesh; yet he does not say "by the flesh." And indeed, if he had said this, it would still be possible that Christ was meant by "God;" for Christ shall be seen by the flesh in the flesh. But even understanding it of God, it is only equivalent to saying, I shall be in the flesh when I see God. Then the apostle's expression, "face to face," 1 Corinthians 13:12 does not oblige us to believe that we shall see God by the bodily face in which are the eyes of the body, for we shall see Him without intermission in spirit. And if the apostle had not referred to the face of the inner man, he would not have said, "But we, with unveiled face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are transformed into the same image, from glory to glory, as by the spirit of the Lord." 2 Corinthians 3:18 In the same sense we understand what the Psalmist sings, "Draw near unto Him, and be enlightened; and your faces shall not be ashamed." For it is by faith we draw near to God, and faith is an act of the spirit, not of the body. But as we do not know what degree of perfection the spiritual body shall attain,-for here we speak of a matter of which we have no experience, and upon which the authority of Scripture does not definitely pronounce,-it is necessary that the words of the Book of Wisdom be illustrated in us: "The thoughts of mortal men are timid, and our fore-castings uncertain." Wisdom 9:14 For if that reasoning of the philosophers, by which they attempt to make out that intelligible or mental objects are so seen by the mind, and sensible or bodily objects so seen by the body, that the former cannot be discerned by the mind through the body, nor the latter by the mind itself without the body,-if this reasoning were trustworthy, then it would certainly follow that God could not be seen by the eye even of a spiritual body. But this reasoning is exploded both by true reason and by prophetic authority. For who is so little acquainted with the truth as to say that God has no cognisance of sensible objects? Has He therefore a body, the eyes of which give Him this knowledge? Moreover, what we have just been relating of the prophet Elisha, does this not sufficiently show that bodily things can be discerned by the spirit without the help of the body? For when that servant received the gifts, certainly this was a bodily or material transaction, yet the prophet saw it not by the body, but by the spirit. As, therefore, it is agreed that bodies are seen by the spirit, what if the power of the spiritual body shall be so great that spirit also is seen by the body? For God is a spirit. Besides, each man recognizes his own life-that life by which he now lives in the body, and which vivifies these earthly members and causes them to grow-by an interior sense, and not by his bodily eye; but the life of other men, though it is invisible, he sees with the bodily eye. For how do we distinguish between living and dead bodies, except by seeing at once both the body and the life which we cannot see save by the eye? But a life without a body we cannot see thus.Wherefore it may very well be, and it is thoroughly credible, that we shall in the future world see the material forms of the new heavens and the new earth in such a way that we shall most distinctly recognize God everywhere present and governing all things, material as well as spiritual, and shall see Him, not as now we understand the invisible things of God, by the things which are made, Romans 1:20 and see Him darkly, as in a mirror, and in part, and rather by faith than by bodily vision of material appearances, but by means of the bodies we shall wear and which we shall see wherever we turn our eyes. As we do not believe, but see that the living men around us who are exercising vital functions are alive, though we cannot see their life without their bodies, but see it most distinctly by means of their bodies, so, wherever we shall look with those spiritual eyes of our future bodies, we shall then, too, by means of bodily substances behold God, though a spirit, ruling all things. Either, therefore, the eyes shall possess some quality similar to that of the mind, by which they may be able to discern spiritual things, and among these God,-a supposition for which it is difficult or even impossible to find any support in Scripture,-or, which is more easy to comprehend, God will be so known by us, and shall be so much before us, that we shall see Him by the spirit in ourselves, in one another, in Himself, in the new heavens and the new earth, in every created thing which shall then exist; and also by the body we shall see Him in every body which the keen vision of the eye of the spiritual body shall reach. Our thoughts also shall be visible to all, for then shall be fulfilled the words of the apostle, "Judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the thoughts of the heart, and then shall every one have praise of God." 1 Corinthians 4:5


BOOK XXII

Quanta erit illa felicitas, ubi nullum erit malum, nullum latebit bonum, vacabitur Dei laudibus, qui erit omnia in omnibus! Nam quid aliud agatur, ubi neque ulla desidia cessabitur neque ulla indigentia laborabitur, nescio. Admoneor etiam sancto cantico, ubi lego vel audio: Beati, qui habitant in domo tua, in saecula saeculorum laudabunt te. Omnia membra et viscera incorruptibilis corporis, quae nunc videmus per usus necessitatis varios distributa, quoniam tunc non erit ipsa necessitas, sed plena certa, secura sempiterna felicitas, proficient laudibus Dei. Omnes quippe illi, de quibus iam sum locutus, qui nunc latent, harmoniae corporalis numeri non latebunt, intrinsecus et extrinsecus per corporis cuncta d(positi, et cum ceteris rebus, quae ibi magnae atque mirabiles videbuntur, rationales mentes in tanti artificis laudem rationabilis pulchritudinis delectatione succendent. Qui motus illic talium corporum sint futuri, temere definire non audeo, quod excogitare non valeo; tamen et motus et status, sicut ipsa species, decens erit, quicumque erit, ubi quod non decebit non erit. Certe ubi volet spiritus, ibi erit protinus corpus; nec volet aliquid spiritus, quod nec spiritum posset decere nec corpus. Vera ibi gloria erit, ubi laudantis nec errore quisquam nec adulatione laudabitur; verus honor, qui nulli negabitur digno, nulli deferetur indigno; sed nec ad eum ambiet ullus indignus, ubi nullus permittetur esse nisi dignus; vera pax, ubi nihil adversi nec a se ipso nec ab aliquo quisque patietur. Praemium virtutis erit ipse, qui virtutem dedit eique se ipsum, quo melius et maius nihil possit esse, promisit. Quid est enim aliuds quod per prophetam dixit: Ero illorum Deus, et ipsi erunt mihi plebs, nisi: "Ego ero unde satientur, ego ero quaecumque ab hominibus honeste desiderantur, et vita et salus et victus et copia et gloria et honor et pax et omnia bona"? Sic enim et illud recte intellegitur, quod ait apostolus: Vt sit Deus omnia in omnibus. Ipse finis erit desideriorum nostrorum, qui sine fine videbitur, sine fastidio amabitur, sine fatigatione laudabitur. Hoc munus, hic affectus, hic actus profecto erit omnibus, sicut ipsa vita aeterna, communis. Ceterum qui futuri sint pro meritis praemiorum etiam gradus honorum atque gloriarum, quis est idoneus cogitare, quanto magis dicere? Quod tamen futuri sint, non est ambigendum. Atque id etiam beata illa civitas magnum in se bonum videbit, quod nulli superiori ullus inferior inuidebit, sicut nunc non inuident archangelis angeli ceteri; tamque nolet esse unusquisque quod non accepit, quamvis sit pacatissimo concordiae vinculo ei qui accepit obstrictus, quam nec in corpore uult oculus esse qui est digitus, cum membrum utrumque contineat totius corporis pacata compago. Sic itaque habebit donum alius alio minus, ut hoc quoque donum habeat, ne velit amplius. Nec ideo liberum arbitrium non habebunt, quia peccata eos delectare non poterunt. Magis quippe erit liberum a delectatione peccandi usque ad delectationem non peccandi indeclinabilem liberatum. Nam primum liberum arbitrium, quod homini datum est, quando primo creatus est rectus, potuit non peccare, sed potuit et peccare; hoc autem novissimum eo potentius erit, quo peccare non poterit; verum hoc quoque Dei munere, non suae possibilitate naturae. Aliud est enim esse Deum, aliud participem Dei. Deus natura peccare non potest: particeps vero Dei ab illo accepit, ut peccare non possit. Servandi autem gradus erant divini muneris, ut primum daretur liberum arbitrium, quo non peccare homo posset, novissimum, quo peccare non posset, atque illud ad comparandum meritum, hoc ad recipiendum praemium pertineret. Sed quia peccavit ista natura cum peccare potuit, largiore gratia liberatur, ut ad eam perducatur libertatem, in qua peccare non possit. Sicut enim prima inmortalitas fuit, quam peccando Adam perdidit, posse non mori, novissima erit non posse mori: ita primum liberum arbitrium posse non peccare, novissimum non posse peccare. Sic enim erit inamissibilis voluntas pietatis et aequitatis, quo modo est felicitatis. Nam utique peccando nec pietatem nec felicitatem tenuimus, voluntatem vero felicitatis nec perdita felicitate perdidimus. Certe Deus ipse numquid, quoniam peccare non potest, ideo liberum arbitrium habere negandus est? Erit ergo illius civitatis et una in omnibus et inseparabilis in singulis voluntas libera, ab omni malo liberata et impleta omni bono, fruens indeficienter aeternorum iucunditate gaudiorum, oblita culparum, oblita poenarum; nec ideo tamen suae liberationis oblita, ut liberatori suo non sit ingrata: quantum ergo adtinet ad scientiam rationalem, memor praeteritorum etiam malorum suorum; quantum autem ad experientis sensum, prorsus immemor. Nam et peritissimus medicus, sicut arte sciuntur, omnes fere corporis morbos novit; sicut autem corpore sentiuntur, plurimos nescit, quos ipse non passus est. Vt ergo scientiae malorum duae sunt; una, qua potentiam mentis non latent, altera, qua experientis sensibus inhaerent (aliter quippe sciuntur vitia omnia per sapientiae doctrinam, aliter per insipientis pessimam vitam): ita et obliviones malorum duae sunt. Aliter ea namque obliviscitur eruditus et doctus, aliter expertus et passus; ille, si peritiam neglegat, iste, si miseria careat. Secundum hanc oblivionem, quam posteriore loco posui, non erunt memores sancti praeteritorum malorum; carebunt enim omnibus, ita ut penitus deleantur de sensibus eorum. Ea tamen potentia scientiae, quae magna in eis erit, non solum sua praeterita, sed etiam damnatorum eos sempiterna miseria non latebit. Alioquin si se fuisse miseros nescituri sunt, quo modo, sicut ait psalmus, misericordias Domini in aeternum cantabunt? Quo cantico in gloriam gratiae Christi, cuius sanguine liberati sumus, nihil erit profecto illi iucundius civitati. Ibi perficietur: Vacate et videte quoniam ego sum Deus; quod erit vere maximum sabbatum non habens uesperam, quod commendavit Dominus in primis operibus mundi, ubi legitur: Et requievit Deus die septimo ab omnibus operibus suis, quae fecit, et benedixit Deus diem septimum et sanctificavit eum, quia in eo requievit ab omnibus operibus suis, quae inchoavit Deus facere. Dies enim septimus etiam nos ipsi erimus, quando eius fuerimus benedictione et sanctificatione pleni atque refecti. Ibi uacantes videbimus quoniam ipse est Deus; quod nobis nos ipsi esse voluimus, quando ab illo cecidimus, audientes a seductore: Eritis sicut dii et recedentes a vero Deo, quo faciente dii essemus eius participatione, non desertione. Quid enim sine illo fecimus, nisi quod in ira eius defecimus? A quo refecti et gratia maiore perfecti uacabimus in aeternum, videntes quia ipse est Deus, quo pleni erimus quando ipse erit omnia in omnibus. Nam et ipsa opera bona nostra, quando ipsius potius intelleguntur esse, non nostra, tunc nobis ad hoc sabbatum adipiscendum inputantur; quia si nobis ea tribuerimus, seruilia erunt, cum de sabbato dicatur: Omne opus seruile non facietis; propter quod et per Hiezechielem prophetam dicitur: Et sabbata mea dedi eis in signum inter me et inter eos, ut scirent quia ego Dominus, quo sanctifico eos. Hoc perfecte tunc sciemus, quando perfecte uacabimus, et perfecte videbimus quia ipse est Deus. Ipse etiam numerus aetatum, veluti dierum, si secundum eos articulos temporis computetur, qui scripturis videntur expressi, iste sabbatismus evidentius apparebit, quoniam septimus invenitur; ut prima aetas tamquam primus dies sit ab Adam usque ad diluuium, secunda inde usque ad Abraham, non aequalitate temporum, sed numero generationum; denas quippe habere reperiuntur. Hinc iam, sicut Matthaeus euangelista determinat, tres aetates usque ad Christi subsequuntur adventum, quae singulae denis et quaternis generationibus explicantur: ab Abraham usque ad David una, altera inde usque ad transmigrationem in Babyloniam, tertia inde usque ad Christi carnalem nativitatem. Fiunt itaque omnes quinque. Sexta nunc agitur nullo generationum numero metienda propter id quod dictum est: Non est uestrum scire tempora, quae Pater posuit in sua potestate. Post hanc tamquam in die septimo requiescet Deus, cum eundem diem septimum, quod nos erimus, in se ipso Deo faciet requiescere. De istis porro aetatibus singulis nunc diligenter longum est disputare; haec tamen septima erit sabbatum nostrum, cuius finis non erit uespera, sed dominicus dies velut octauus aeternus, qui Christi resurrectione sacratus est, aeternam non solum spiritus, verum etiam corporis requiem praefigurans. Ibi uacabimus et videbimus, videbimus et amabimus, amabimus et laudabimus. Ecce quod erit in fine sine fine. Nam quis alius noster est finis nisi pervenire ad regnum, cuius nullus est finis? Videor mihi debitum ingentis huius operis adivuante Domino reddidisse. Quibus parum vel quibus nimium est, mihi ignoscant; quibus autem satis est, non mihi, sed Deo mecum gratias congratulantes agant. Amen.

How great shall be that felicity, which shall be tainted with no evil, which shall lack no good, and which shall afford leisure for the praises of God, who shall be all in all! For I know not what other employment there can be where no lassitude shall slacken activity, nor any want stimulate to labor. I am admonished also by the sacred song, in which I read or hear the words, "Blessed are they that dwell in Your house, O Lord; they will be still praising You." All the members and organs of the incorruptible body, which now we see to be suited to various necessary uses, shall contribute to the praises of God; for in that life necessity shall have no place, but full, certain, secure, everlasting felicity. For all those parts of the bodily harmony, which are distributed through the whole body, within and without, and of which I have just been saying that they at present elude our observation, shall then be discerned; and, along with the other great and marvellous discoveries which shall then kindle rational minds in praise of the great Artificer, there shall be the enjoyment of a beauty which appeals to the reason. What power of movement such bodies shall possess, I have not the audacity rashly to define, as I have not the ability to conceive. Nevertheless I will say that in any case, both in motion and at rest, they shall be, as in their appearance, seemly; for into that state nothing which is unseemly shall be admitted. One thing is certain, the body shall forthwith be wherever the spirit wills, and the spirit shall will nothing which is unbecoming either to the spirit or to the body. True honor shall be there, for it shall be denied to none who is worthy, nor yielded to any unworthy; neither shall any unworthy person so much as sue for it, for none but the worthy shall be there. True peace shall be there, where no one shall suffer opposition either from himself or any other. God Himself, who is the Author of virtue, shall there be its reward; for, as there is nothing greater or better, He has promised Himself. What else was meant by His word through the prophet, "I will be your God, and you shall be my people," Leviticus 26:12 than, I shall be their satisfaction, I shall be all that men honorably desire,-life, and health, and nourishment, and plenty, and glory, and honor, and peace, and all good things? This, too, is the right interpretation of the saying of the apostle, "That God may be all in all." 1 Corinthians 15:28 He shall be the end of our desires who shall be seen without end, loved without cloy, praised without weariness. This outgoing of affection, this employment, shall certainly be, like eternal life itself, common to all.But who can conceive, not to say describe, what degrees of honor and glory shall be awarded to the various degrees of merit? Yet it cannot be doubted that there shall be degrees. And in that blessed city there shall be this great blessing, that no inferior shall envy any superior, as now the archangels are not envied by the angels, because no one will wish to be what he has not received, though bound in strictest concord with him who has received; as in the body the finger does not seek to be the eye, though both members are harmoniously included in the complete structure of the body. And thus, along with his gift, greater or less, each shall receive this further gift of contentment to desire no more than he has.Neither are we to suppose that because sin shall have no power to delight them, free will must be withdrawn. It will, on the contrary, be all the more truly free, because set free from delight in sinning to take unfailing delight in not sinning. For the first freedom of will which man received when he was created upright consisted in an ability not to sin, but also in an ability to sin; whereas this last freedom of will shall be superior, inasmuch as it shall not be able to sin. This, indeed, shall not be a natural ability, but the gift of God. For it is one thing to be God, another thing to be a partaker of God. God by nature cannot sin, but the partaker of God receives this inability from God. And in this divine gift there was to be observed this gradation, that man should first receive a free will by which he was able not to sin, and at last a free will by which he was not able to sin,-the former being adapted to the acquiring of merit, the latter to the enjoying of the reward. But the nature thus constituted, having sinned when it had the ability to do so, it is by a more abundant grace that it is delivered so as to reach that freedom in which it cannot sin. For as the first immortality which Adam lost by sinning consisted in his being able not to die, while the last shall consist in his not being able to die; so the first free will consisted in his being able not to sin, the last in his not being able to sin. And thus piety and justice shall be as indefeasible as happiness. For certainly by sinning we lost both piety and happiness; but when we lost happiness, we did not lose the love of it. Are we to say that God Himself is not free because He cannot sin? In that city, then, there shall be free will, one in all the citizens, and indivisible in each, delivered from all ill, filled with all good, enjoying indefeasibly the delights of eternal joys, oblivious of sins, oblivious of sufferings, and yet not so oblivious of its deliverance as to be ungrateful to its Deliverer.The soul, then, shall have an intellectual remembrance of its past ills; but, so far as regards sensible experience, they shall be quite forgotten. For a skillful physician knows, indeed, professionally almost all diseases; but experimentally he is ignorant of a great number which he himself has never suffered from. As, therefore, there are two ways of knowing evil things,-one by mental insight, the other by sensible experience, for it is one thing to understand all vices by the wisdom of a cultivated mind, another to understand them by the foolishness of an abandoned life,-so also there are two ways of forgetting evils. For a well-instructed and learned man forgets them one way, and he who has experimentally suffered from them forgets them another,-the former by neglecting what he has learned, the latter by escaping what he has suffered. And in this latter way the saints shall forget their past ills, for they shall have so thoroughly escaped them all, that they shall be quite blotted out of their experience. But their intellectual knowledge, which shall be great, shall keep them acquainted not only with their own past woes, but with the eternal sufferings of the lost. For if they were not to know that they had been miserable, how could they, as the Psalmist says, for ever sing the mercies of God? Certainly that city shall have no greater joy than the celebration of the grace of Christ, who redeemed us by His blood. There shall be accomplished the words of the psalm, "Be still, and know that I am God." There shall be the great Sabbath which has no evening, which God celebrated among His first works, as it is written, "And God rested on the seventh day from all His works which He had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it; because that in it He had rested from all His work which God began to make." Genesis 2:2-3 For we shall ourselves be the seventh day, when we shall be filled and replenished with God's blessing and sanctification. There shall we be still, and know that He is God; that He is that which we ourselves aspired to be when we fell away from Him, and listened to the voice of the seducer, "You shall be as gods," Genesis 3:5 and so abandoned God, who would have made us as gods, not by deserting Him, but by participating in Him. For without Him what have we accomplished, save to perish in His anger? But when we are restored by Him, and perfected with greater grace, we shall have eternal leisure to see that He is God, for we shall be full of Him when He shall be all in all. For even our good works, when they are understood to be rather His than ours, are imputed to us that we may enjoy this Sabbath rest. For if we attribute them to ourselves, they shall be servile; for it is said of the Sabbath, "You shall do no servile work in it." Deuteronomy 5:14 Wherefore also it is said by Ezekiel the prophet, "And I gave them my Sabbaths to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord who sanctify them." Ezekiel 20:12 This knowledge shall be perfected when we shall be perfectly at rest, and shall perfectly know that He is God.This Sabbath shall appear still more clearly if we count the ages as days, in accordance with the periods of time defined in Scripture, for that period will be found to be the seventh. The first age, as the first day, extends from Adam to the deluge; the second from the deluge to Abraham, equalling the first, not in length of time, but in the number of generations, there being ten in each. From Abraham to the advent of Christ there are, as the evangelist Matthew calculates, three periods, in each of which are fourteen generations,-one period from Abraham to David, a second from David to the captivity, a third from the captivity to the birth of Christ in the flesh. There are thus five ages in all. The sixth is now passing, and cannot be measured by any number of generations, as it has been said, "It is not for you to know the times, which the Father has put in His own power." Acts 1:7 After this period God shall rest as on the seventh day, when He shall give us (who shall be the seventh day) rest in Himself. But there is not now space to treat of these ages; suffice it to say that the seventh shall be our Sabbath, which shall be brought to a close, not by an evening, but by the Lord's day, as an eighth and eternal day, consecrated by the resurrection of Christ, and prefiguring the eternal repose not only of the spirit, but also of the body. There we shall rest and see, see and love, love and praise. This is what shall be in the end without end. For what other end do we propose to ourselves than to attain to the kingdom of which there is no end?I think I have now, by God's help, discharged my obligation in writing this large work. Let those who think I have said too little, or those who think I have said too much, forgive me; and let those who think I have said just enough join me in giving thanks to God. Amen.

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