ON THE TRINITY, BOOKS IX-XIV
Bk. IX. Bk. XII.
Bk. X. Bk. XIII.
Bk. XI Bk. XIV.
That a kind of Trinity exists in man, who is the image of God, viz. the mind, and the knowledge wherewith the mind knows itself, and the love wherewith it loves both itself and its own knowledge; and these three are shown to be mutually equal, and of one essence.
Chap. 1.—In what way we must inquire concerning the Trinity.
1. WE certainly seek a trinity,—not any trinity, but that Trinity which is God, and the true and supreme and only God. Let my hearers then wait, for we are still seeking. And no one justly finds fault with such a search, if at least he who seeks that which either to know or to utter is most difficult, is steadfast in the faith. But whosoever either sees or teaches better, finds fault quickly and justly with any one who confidently affirms concerning it. "Seek God," he says, "and your heart shall live;"1and lest any one should rashly rejoice that he has, as it were, apprehended it, "Seek," he says, "His face evermore." And the apostle: "if any man," he says, "think that he knoweth anything, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know. But if any man love God, the same is known of Him." He has not said, has known Him, which is dangerous presumption, but "is known of Him." So also in another place, when he had said, "But now after that ye have known God:" immediately correcting himself, he says, "or rather are known of God." And above all in that other place, "Brethren," he says, "I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press in purpose toward the mark, for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded." Perfection in this life, he tells us, is nothing else than to forget those things which are behind, and to reach forth and press in purpose toward those things which are before. For he that seeks has the safest purpose, [who seeks] until that is taken hold of whither we are tending, and for which we are reaching forth. But that is the right purpose which starts from faith. For a certain faith is in some way the starting-point of knowledge; but a certain knowledge will not be made perfect, except after this life, when we shall see face to face. Let us therefore be thus minded, so as to know that the disposition to seek the truth is more safe than that which presumes things unknown to be known. Let us therefore so seek as if we should find, and so find as if we were about to seek. For "when a man hath done, then he beginneth." Let us doubt without unbelief of things to be believed; let us affirm without rashness of things to be understood: authority must be held fast in the former, truth sought out in the latter. As regards this question, then, let us believe that the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit is one God, the Creator and Ruler of the whole creature; and that the Father is not the Son, nor the Holy Spirit either the Father or the Son, but a trinity of persons mutually interrelated, and a unity of an equal essence. And let us seek to understand this, praying for help from Himself, whom we wish to understand; and as much as He grants, desiring to explain what we understand with so much pious care and anxiety, that even if in any case we say one thing for another, we may at least say nothing unworthy. As, for the sake of example, if we say anything concerning the Father that does not properly belong to the Father, or does belong to the Son, or to the Holy Spirit, or to the Trinity itself; and if anything of the Son which does not properly suit with the Son, or at all events which does suit with the Father, or with the Holy Spirit, or with the Trinity; or if, again, anything concerning the Holy Spirit, which is not fitly a property of the Holy Spirit, yet is not alien from the Father, or from the Son, or from the one God the Trinity itself. Even as now our wish is to see whether the Holy Spirit is properly that love which is most excellent which if He is not, either the Father is love, or the Son, or the Trinity itself; since we cannot withstand the most certain faith and weighty authority of Scripture, saying, "God is love." And yet we ought not to deviate into profane error, so as to say anything of the Trinity which does not suit the Creator, but rather the creature, or which is feigned outright by mere empty thought.
Chap. 2.—The three things which are found in love must be considered.
2. And this being so, let us direct our attention to those three things which we fancy we have found. We are not yet speaking of heavenly things, nor yet of God the Father, and Son, and Holy Spirit, but of that inadequate image, which yet is an image, that is, man; for our feeble mind perhaps can gaze upon this more familiarly and more easily. Well then, when I, who make this inquiry, love anything, there are three things concerned—myself, and that which I love, and love itself. For I do not love love, except I love a lover; for there is no love where nothing is loved. Therefore there are three things—he who loves, and that which is loved, and love. But what if I love none except myself? Will there not then be two things—that which I love, and love? For he who loves and that which is loved are the same when any one loves himself; just as to love and to be loved, in the same way, is the very same thing when any one loves himself. Since the same thing is said, when it is said, he loves himself, and he is loved by himself. For in that case to love and to be loved are not two different things: just as he who loves and he who is loved are not two different persons. But yet, even so, love and what is loved are still two things. For there is no love when any one loves himself, except when love itself is loved. But it is one thing to love one's self, another to love one's own love. For love is not loved, unless as already loving something; since where nothing is loved there is no love. Therefore there are two things when any one loves himself—love, and that which is loved. For then he that loves and that which is loved are one. Whence it seems that it does not follow that three things are to be understood wherever love is. For let us put aside from the inquiry all the other many things of which a man consists; and in order that we may discover clearly what we are now seeking, as far as in such a subject is possible, let us treat of the mind alone. The mind, then, when it loves itself, discloses two things—mind and love. But what is to love one's self, except to wish to help one's self to the enjoyment of self? And when any one wishes himself to be just as much as he is, then the will is on a par with the mind, and the love is equal to him who loves. And if love is a substance, it is certainly not body, but spirit; and the mind also is not body, but spirit. Yet love and mind are not two spirits, but one spirit; nor yet two essences, but one: and yet here are two things that are one, he that loves and love; or, if you like so to put it, that which is loved and love. And these two, indeed, are mutually said relatively. Since he who loves is referred to love, and love to him who loves. For he who loves, loves with some love, and love is the love of some one who loves. But mind and spirit are not said relatively, but express essence. For mind and spirit do not exist because the mind and spirit of some particular man exists. For if we subtract the body from that which is man, which is so called with the conjunction of body, the mind and spirit remain. But if we subtract him that loves, then there is no love; and if we subtract love, then there is no one that loves. And therefore, in so far as they are mutually referred to one another, they are two; but whereas they are spoken in respect to themselves, each are spirit, and both together also are one spirit; and each are mind, and both together one mind. Where, then, is the trinity? Let us attend as much. as we can, and let us invoke the everlasting light, that He may illuminate our darkness, and that we may see in ourselves, as much as we are permitted, the image of God.
Chap. 3.—The image of the Trinity in the mind of man who knows himself and loves himself. The mind knows itself through itself.
3. For the mind cannot love itself, except also it know itself; for how can it love what it does not know? Or if any body says that the mind, from either general or special knowledge, believes itself of such a character as it has by experience found others to be and therefore loves itself, he speaks most foolishly. For whence does a mind know another mind, if it does not know itself? For the mind does not know other minds and not know itself, as the eye of the body sees other eyes and does not see itself; for we see bodies through the eyes of the body, because, unless we are looking into a mirror, we cannot refract and reflect the rays into themselves which shine forth through those eyes, and touch whatever we discern,—a subject, indeed, which is treated of most subtlely and obscurely, until it be clearly demonstrated whether the fact be so, or whether it be not. But whatever is the nature of the power by which we discern through the eyes, certainly, whether it be rays or anything else, we cannot discern with the eyes that power itself; but we inquire into it with the mind, and if possible, understand even this with the mind. As the mind, then, itself gathers the knowledge of corporeal things through the senses of the body, so of incorporeal things through itself. Therefore it knows itself also through itself, since it is incorporeal; for if it does not know itself, it does not love itself.
Chap. 4.—The three are one, and also equal, viz. the mind itself, and the love, and the knowledge of it. That the same three exist substantially, and are predicated relatively. That the same three are inseparable. That the same three are not joined and commingled like parts, but that they are of one essence, and are relatives.
4. But as there are two things (duo quaedam), the mind and the love of it, when it loves itself; so there are two things, the mind and the knowledge of it, when it knows itself, Therefore the mind itself, and the love of it, and the knowledge of it, are three things (tria quaedam), and these three are one; and when they are perfect they are equal. For if one loves himself less than as he is,—as for example, suppose that the mind of a man only loves itself as much as the body of a man ought to be loved, whereas the mind is more than the body,—then it is in fault, and its love is not perfect. Again, if it loves itself more than as it is,—as if, for instance, it loves itself as much as God is to be loved, whereas the mind is incomparably less than God,—here also it is exceedingly in fault, and its love of self is not perfect. But it is in fault more perversely and wrongly still, when it loves the body as much as God is to be loved. Also, if knowledge is less than that thing which is known, and which can be fully known, then knowledge is not perfect; bill if it is greater, then the nature which knows is above that which is known, as the knowledge of the body is greater than the body itself, which is known by that knowledge. For knowledge is a kind of life in the reason of the knower, but the body is not life; and any life is greater than any body, not in bulk, but in power. But when the mind knows itself, its own knowledge does not rise above itself, because itself knows, and itself is known. When, therefore, it knows itself entirely, and no other thing with itself, then its knowledge is equal to itself; because its knowledge is not from another nature, since it knows itself. And when it perceives itself entirely, and nothing more, then it is neither less nor greater. We said therefore rightly, that these three things, [mind, love, and knowledge], when they are perfect, are by consequence equal.
5. Similar reasoning suggests to us, if indeed we can any way understand the matter, that these things [i.e. love and knowledge] exist in the soul, and that, being as it were involved in it, they are so evolved from it as to be perceived and reckoned up substantially, or, so to say, essentially. Not as though in a subject; as color, or shape, or any other quality or quantity, are in the body. For anything of this [material] kind does not go beyond the subject in which it is; for the color or shape of this particular body cannot be also those of another body. But the mind can also love something besides itself, with that love with which it loves itself. And further, the mind does not know itself only, but also many other things. Wherefore love and knowledge are not contained in the mind as in a subject, but these also exist substantially, as the mind itself does; because, even if they are mutually predicated relatively, yet they exist each severally in their own substance. Nor are they so mutually predicated relatively as color and the colored subject are; so that color is in the colored subject, but has not any proper substance in itself, since colored body is a substance, but color is in a substance; but as two friends are also two men, which are substances, while they are said to be men not relatively, but friends relatively.
6. But, further, although one who loves or one who knows is a substance, and knowledge is a substance, and love is a substance, but he that loves and love, or, he that knows and knowledge, are spoken of relatively to each other, as are friends: yet mind or spirit are not relatives, as neither are men relatives: nevertheless he that loves and love, or he that knows and knowledge, cannot exist separately from each other, as men can that are friends. Although it would seem that friends, too, can be separated in body, not in mind, in as far as they are friends: nay, it can even happen that a friend may even also begin to hate a friend and on this account cease to be a friend while the other does not know it, and still loves him. But if the love with which the mind loves itself ceases to be, then the mind also will at the same time cease to love. Likewise, if the knowledge by which the mind knows itself ceases to be, then the mind will also at the same time cease to know itself. just as the head of anything that has a head is certainly a head, and they are predicated relatively to each other, although they are also substances: for both a head is a body, and so is that which has a head; and if there be no head, then neither will there be that which has a head. Only these things can be separated from each other by cutting off, those cannot.
7. And even if there are some bodies which cannot be wholly separated and divided, yet they would not be bodies unless they consisted of their own proper parts. A part then is predicated relatively to a whole, since every part is a part of some whole, and a whole is a whole by having all its parts. But since both part and whole are bodies, these things are not only predicated relatively, but exist also substantially. Perhaps, then, the mind is a whole, and the love with which it loves itself, and the knowledge with which it knows itself, are as it were its parts, of which two parts that whole consists. Or are there three equal parts which make up the one whole? But no part embraces the whole, of which it is a part; whereas, when the mind knows itself as a whole, that is, knows itself perfectly, then the knowledge of it extends through the whole of it; and when it loves itself perfectly, then it loves itself as a whole, and the love of it extends through the whole of it. Is it, then, as one drink is made from wine and water and honey, and each single part extends through the whole, and yet they are three things (for there is no part of the drink which does not contain these three things; for they are not joined as if they were water and oil, but are entirely commingled: and they are all substances, and the whole of that liquor which is composed of the three is one substance),—is it, I say, in some such way as this we are to think these three to be together, mind, love, and knowledge? But water, wine, and honey are not of one substance, although one substance results in the drink made from the commingling of them. And I cannot see how those other three are not of the same substance. since the mind itself loves itself, and itself knows itself; and these three so exist, as that the mind is neither loved nor known by any other thing at all. These three, therefore, must needs be of one and the same essence; and for that reason, if they were confounded together as it were by a commingling, they could not be in any way three, neither could they be mutually referred to each other. Just as if you were to make from one and the same gold three similar rings, although connected with each other, they are mutually referred to each other, because they are similar. For everything similar is similar to something, and there is a trinity of rings, and one gold. But if they are blended with each other, and each mingled with the other through the whole of their own bulk, then that trinity will fall through, and it will not exist at all; and not only will it be called one gold, as it was called in the case of those three rings, but now it will not be called three things of gold at all.
Chap. 5.—That these three are several in themselves, and mutually all in all.
8. But in these three, when the mind knows itself and loves itself, there remains a trinity: mind, love, knowledge; and this trinity is not confounded together by any commingling: although they are each severally in themselves and mutually all in all, or each severally in each two, or each two in each. Therefore all are in all. For certainly the mind is in itself, since it is called mind in respect to itself: although it is said to be knowing, or known, or knowable, relatively to its own knowledge; and although also as loving, and loved, or lovable, it is referred to love, by which it loves itself. And knowledge, although it is referred to the mind that knows or is known, nevertheless is also predicated both as known and knowing in respect to itself: for the knowledge by which the mind knows itself is not unknown to itself. And although love is referred to the mind that loves, whose love it is; nevertheless it is also love in respect to itself, so as to exist also in itself: since love too is loved, yet cannot be loved with anything except with love, that is with itself. So these things are severally in themselves. But so are they in each other; because both the mind that loves is in love, and love is in the knowledge of him that loves, and knowledge is in the mind that knows. And each severally is in like manner in each two, because the mind which knows and loves itself, is in its own love and knowledge: and the love of the mind that loves and knows itself, is in the mind and in its knowledge: and the knowledge of the mind that knows and loves itself is in the mind and in its love, because it loves itself that knows, and knows itself that loves. And hence also each two is in each severally, since the mind which knows and loves itself, is together with its own knowledge in love, and together with its own love in knowledge; and love too itself and knowledge are together in the mind, which loves and knows itself. But in what way all are in all, we have already shown above; since the mind loves itself as a whole, and knows itself as a whole, and knows its own love wholly, and loves its own knowledge wholly, when these three things are perfect in respect to themselves. Therefore these three things are marvellously inseparable from each other, and yet each of them is severally a substance, and all together are one substance or essence, whilst they are mutually predicated relatively.
Chap. 6.—There is one knowledge of the thing in the thing itself, and another in eternal truth itself. That corporeal things, too, are to be judged by the rules of eternal truth.
9. But when the human mind knows itself and loves itself, it does not know and love anything unchangeable: and each individual man declares his own particular mind by one manner of speech, when he considers what takes place in himself; but defines the human mind abstractly by special or general knowledge. And so, when he speaks to me of his own individual mind, as to whether he understands this or that, or does not understand it, or whether he wishes or does not wish this or that, I believe; but when he speaks the truth of the mind of man generally or specially, I recognize and approve. Whence it is manifest, that each sees a thing in himself, in such way that another person may believe what he says of it, yet may not see it; but another [sees a thing] in the truth itself, in such way that another person also can gaze upon it; of which the former undergoes changes at successive times, the latter consists in an unchangeable eternity. For we do not gather a generic or specific knowledge of the human mind by means of resemblance by seeing many minds with the eyes of the body: but we gaze upon indestructible truth, from which to define perfectly, as far as we can, not of what sort is the mind of any one particular man, but of what sort it ought to be upon the eternal plan.
10. Whence also, even in the case of the images of things corporeal which are drawn in through the bodily sense, and in some way infused into the memory, from which also those things which have not been seen are thought under a fancied image, whether otherwise than they really are, or even perchance as they are;—even here too, we are proved either to accept or reject, within ourselves, by other rules which remain altogether unchangeable above our mind, when we approve or reject anything rightly. For both when recall the walls of Carthage which I have seen, and imagine to myself the walls of Alexandria which I have not seen, and, in preferring this to that among forms which in both cases are imaginary, make that preference upon grounds of reason; the judgment of truth from above is still strong and clear, and rests firmly upon the utterly indestructible rules of its own right; and if it is covered as it were by cloudiness of corporeal images, yet is not wrapt up and confounded in them.
11. But it makes a difference, whether, under that or in that darkness, I am shut off as it were from the clear heaven; or whether (as usually happens on lofty mountains), enjoying the free air between both, I at once look up above to the calmest light, and down below upon the densest clouds. For whence is the ardor of brotherly love kindled in me, when I hear that some man has borne bitter torments for the excellence and steadfastness of faith? And if that man is shown to me with the finger, I am eager to join myself to him, to become acquainted with him, to bind him to myself in friendship. And accordingly, if opportunity offers, I draw near, I address him, I converse with him, I express my goodwill towards him in what words I can, and wish that in him too in turn should be brought to pass and expressed goodwill towards me; and I endeavor after a spiritual embrace in the way of belief, since I cannot search out so quickly and discern altogether his innermost heart. I love therefore the faithful and courageous man with a pure and genuine love. But if he were to confess to me in the course of conversation, or were through unguardedness to show in any way, that either he believes something unseemly of God, and desires also something carnal in Him, and that he bore these torments on behalf of such an error, or from the desire of money for which he hoped, or from empty greediness of human praise: immediately it follows that the love with which I was borne towards him, displeased, and as it were repelled, and taken away from an unworthy man, remains in that form, after which, believing him such as I did, I had loved him; unless perhaps I have come to love him to this end, that he may become such, while I have found him not to be such in fact. And in that man, too, nothing is changed: although it can be changed, so that he may become that which I had believed him to be already. But in my mind there certainly is something changed, viz., the estimate I had formed of him, which was before of one sort, and now is of another: and the same love, at the bidding from above of unchangeable righteousness, is turned aside from the purpose of enjoying, to the purpose of taking counsel. But the form itself of unshaken and stable truth, wherein I should have enjoyed the fruition of the man, believing him to be good, and wherein likewise I take counsel that he may be good, sheds in an immoveable eternity the same light of incorruptible and most sound reason, both upon the sight of my mind, and upon that cloud of images, which I discern from above, when I think of the same man whom I had seen. Again, when I call back to my mind some arch, turned beautifully and symmetrically, which, let us say, I saw at Carthage; a certain reality that had been made known to the mind through the eyes, and transferred to the memory, causes the imaginary view. But I behold in my mind yet another thing, according to which that work of art pleases me; and whence also, if it displeased me, I should correct it. We judge therefore of those particular things according to that [form of eternal truth], and discern that form by the intuition of the rational mind. But those things themselves we either touch if present by the bodily sense, or if absent remember their images as fixed in our memory, or picture, in the way of likeness to them, such things as we ourselves also, if we wished and were able, would laboriously build up: figuring in the mind after one fashion the images of bodies, or seeing bodies through the body; but after another, grasping by simple intelligence what is above the eye of the mind, viz., the reasons and the unspeakably beautiful skill of such forms.
Chap. 7.—We conceive and beget the word within, from the things we have beheld in the eternal truth. The word, whether of the creature or of the creator, is conceived by love.
12. We behold, then, by the sight of the mind, in that eternal truth from which all things temporal are made, the form according to which we are, and according to which we do anything by true and right reason, either in ourselves, or in things corporeal; and we have the true knowledge of things, thence conceived, as it were as a word within us, and by speaking we beget it from within; nor by being born does it depart from us. And when we speak to others, we apply to the word, remaining within us, the ministry of the voice or of some bodily sign, that by some kind of sensible remembrance some similar thing may be wrought also in the mind of him that hears,—similar, I say, to that which does not depart from the mind of him that speaks. We do nothing, therefore, through the members of the body in our words and actions, by which the behavior of men is either approved or blamed, which we do not anticipate by a word uttered within ourselves. For no one willingly does anything, which he has not first said in his heart.
13. And this word is conceived by love, either of the creature or of the Creator, that is, either of changeable nature or of unchangeable truth.
Chap. 8.—In what desire and love differ.
[Conceived] therefore, either by desire or by love: not that the creature ought not to be loved; but if that love [of the creature] is referred to the Creator, then it will not be desire (cupiditas), but love (charitas). For it is desire when the creature is loved for itself. And then it does not help a man through making use of it, but corrupts him in the enjoying it. When, therefore, the creature is either equal to us or inferior, we must use the inferior in order to God, but we must enjoy the equal duly in God. For as thou oughtest to enjoy thyself, not in thyself, but in Him who made thee, so also him whom thou lovest as thyself. Let us enjoy, therefore, both ourselves and our brethren in the Lord; and hence let us not dare to yield, and as it were to relax, ourselves to ourselves in the direction downwards. Now a word is born, when, being thought out, it pleases us either to the effect of sinning, or to that of doing right. Therefore love, as it were a mean, conjoins our word and the mind from which it is conceived, and without any confusion binds itself as a third with them, in an incorporeal embrace.
Chap. 9.—In the love of spiritual things the word born is the same as the word conceived. It is otherwise in the love of carnal things.
14. But the word conceived and the word born are the very same when the will finds rest in knowledge itself, as is the case in the love of spiritual things. For instance, he who knows righteousness perfectly, and loves it perfectly, is already righteous; even if no necessity exist of working according to it outwardly through the members of the body. But in the love of carnal and temporal things, as in the offspring of animals, the conception of the word is one thing, the bringing forth another. For here what is conceived by desiring is born by attaining. Since it does; not suffice to avarice to know and to love gold, except it also have it; nor to know and love to eat, or to lie with any one, unless also one does it; nor to know and love honors and power, unless they actually come to pass. Nay, all these things, even if obtained, do not suffice. "Whosoever drinketh of this water," He says, "shall thirst again." And so also the Psalmist, "He hath conceived pain and brought forth iniquity." And he speaks of pain or labor as conceived, when those things are conceived which it is not sufficient to know and will, and when the mind burns and grows sick with want, until it arrives at those things, and, as it were, brings them forth. Whence in the Latin language we have the word "parta" used elegantly for both "reperta" and "comperta," which words sound as if derived from bringing forth. Since "lust, when it hath conceived, bringeth forth sin." Wherefore the Lord proclaims, "Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden;" and in another place "Woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days!" And when therefore He referred all either right actions or sins to the bringing forth of the word, "By thy mouth," He says, "thou shalt be justified, and by thy mouth thou shalt be condemned," intending thereby not the visible mouth, but that which is within and invisible, of the thought and of the heart.
Chap. 10.—Whether only knowledge that is loved is the word of the mind.
15. It is rightly asked then, whether all knowledge is a word, or only knowledge that is loved. For we also know the things which we hate; but what we do not like, cannot be said to be either conceived or brought forth by the mind. For not all things which in anyway touch it, are conceived by it; but some only reach the point of being known, but yet are not spoken as words, as for instance those of which we speak now. For those are called words in one way, which occupy spaces of time by their syllables, whether they are pronounced or only thought; and in another way, all that is known is called a word imprinted on the mind, as long as it can be brought forth from the memory and defined, even though we dislike the thing itself; and in another way still, when we like that which is conceived in the mind. And that which the apostle says, must be taken according to this last kind of word, "No man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost;" since those also say this, but according to another meaning of the term "word," of whom the Lord Himself says, "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven." Nay, even in the case of things which we hate, when we rightly dislike and rightly censure them, we approve and like the censure bestowed upon them, and it becomes a word. Nor is it the knowledge of vices that displeases us, but the vices themselves. For I like to know and define what intemperance is; and this is its word. Just as there are known faults in art, and the knowledge of them is rightly approved, when a connoisseur discerns the species or the privation of excellence, as to affirm and deny that it is or that it is not; yet to be without excellence and to fall away into fault, is worthy of condemnation. And to define intemperance, and to say its word, belongs to the art of morals; but to be intemperate belongs to that which that art censures. Just as to know and define what a solecism is, belongs to the art of speaking; but to be guilty of one, is a fault which the same art reprehends. A word, then, which is the point we wish now to discern and intimate, is knowledge together with love. Whenever, then, the mind knows and loves itself, its word is joined to it by love. And since it loves knowledge and knows love, both the word is in love and love is in the word, and both are in him who loves and speaks.
Chap. 11.—That the image or begotten word of the mind that knows itself is equal to the mind itself.
16. But all knowledge according to species is like the thing which it knows. For there is another knowledge according to privation, according to which we speak a word only when we condemn. And this condemnation of a privation is equivalent to praise of the species, and so is approved. The mind, then, contains some likeness to a known species, whether when liking that species or when disliking its privation. And hence, in so far as we know God, we are like Him, but not like to the point of equality, since we do not know Him to the extent of His own being. And as, when we speak of bodies by means of the bodily sense, there arises in our mind some likeness of them, which is a phantasm of the memory; for the bodies themselves are not at all in the mind, when we think them, but only the likenesses of those bodies; therefore, when we approve the latter for the former, We err, for the approving of one thing for another is an error; yet the image of the body in the mind is a thing of a better sort than the species of the body itself, inasmuch as the former is in a better nature, viz.. in a living substance, as the mind is: so when we know God, although we are made better than we were before we knew Him, and above all when the same knowledge being also liked and worthily loved becomes a word, and so that knowledge becomes a kind of likeness of God; yet that knowledge is of a lower kind, since it is in a lower nature; for the mind is creature, but God is Creator. And from this it may be inferred, that when the mind knows and approves itself, this same knowledge is in such way its word, as that it is altogether on a par and equal with it, and the same; because it is neither the knowledge of a lower essence, as of the body, nor of a higher, as of God. And whereas knowledge bears a likeness to that which it knows, that is, of which it is the knowledge; in this case it has perfect and equal likeness, when the mind itself, which knows, is known. And so it is both image and word; because it is uttered concerning that mind to which it is equalled in knowing, and that which is begotten is equal to the begetter.
Chap. 12.—Why love is not the offspring of the mind, as knowledge is so. The solution of the question. The mind with the knowledge of itself and the love of itself is the image of the Trinity.
17. What then is love? Will it not be an image? Will it not be a word? Will it not be begotten? For why does the mind beget its knowledge when it knows itself, and not beget its love when it loves itself? For if it is the cause of its own knowing, for the reason that it is knowable, it is also the cause of its own love because it is lovable. It is hard, then, to say why it does not beget both. For there is a further question also respecting the supreme Trinity itself, the omnipotent God the Creator, after whose image man is made, which troubles men, whom the truth of God invites to the faith by human speech; viz.. why the Holy Spirit is not also to be either believed or understood to be begotten by God the Father, so that He also may be called a Son. And this question we are endeavoring in some way to investigate in the human mind, in order that from a lower image, in which our own nature itself as it were answers, upon being questioned, in a way more familiar to ourselves, we may be able to direct a more practised mental vision from the enlightened creature to the unchangeable light; assuming, however, that the truth itself has persuaded us, that as no Christian doubts the Word of God to be the Son, so that the Holy Spirit is love. Let us return, then, to a more careful questioning and consideration upon this subject of that image which is the creature, that is, of the rational mind; wherein the knowledge of some things coming into existence in time, but which did not exist before, and the love of some things which were not loved before, opens to us more clearly what to say: because to speech also itself, which must be disposed in time, that thing is easier of explanation which is comprehended in the order of time.
18. First, therefore, it is clear that a thing may possibly be knowable, that is, such as can be known, and yet that it may be unknown; but that it is not possible for that to be known which is not knowable. Wherefore it must be clearly held that everything whatsoever that we know begets at the same time in us the knowledge of itself; for knowledge is brought forth from both, from the knower and from the thing known. When, therefore, the mind knows itself, it alone is the parent of its own knowledge; for it is itself both the thing known and the knower of it. But it was knowable to itself also before it knew itself, only the knowledge of itself was not in itself so long as it did not know itself. In knowing itself, then, it begets a knowledge of itself equal to itself; since it does not know itself as less than itself is, nor is its knowledge the knowledge of the essence of some one else, not only because itself knows, but also because it knows itself, as we have said above What then is to be said of love; why, when the mind loves itself, it should not seem also to have begotten the love of itself? For it was lovable to itself even before it loved itself since it could love itself; just as it was knowable to itself even before it knew itself, since it could know itself. For if it were not knowable to itself, it never could have known itself; and so, if it were not lovable to itself, it never could have loved itself. Why therefore may it not be said by loving itself to have begotten its own love, as by knowing itself it has begotten its own knowledge? Is it because it is thereby indeed plainly shown that this is the principle of love, whence it proceeds? for it proceeds from the mind itself, which is lovable to itself before it loves itself, and so is the principle of its own love by which it loves itself: but that this love is not therefore rightly said to be begotten by the mind, as is the knowledge of itself by which the mind knows itself, because in the case of knowledge the thing has been found already, which is what we call brought forth or discovered; and this is commonly preceded by an inquiry such as to find rest when that end is attained. For inquiry is the desire of finding, or, what is the same thing, of discovering. But those things which are discovered are as it were brought forth, whence they are like offspring; but wherein, except in the case itself of knowledge? For in that case they are as it were uttered and fashioned. For although the things existed already which we found by seeking, yet the knowledge of them did not exist, which knowledge we regard as an offspring that is born. Further, the desire (appetitus) which there is in seeking proceeds from him who seeks, and is in some way in suspense, and does not rest in the end whither it is directed, except that which is sought be found and conjoined with him who seeks. And this desire, that is, inquiry,—although it does not seem to be love, by which that which is known is loved, for in this case we are still striving to know,—yet it is something of the same kind. For it can be called will (voluntas), since every one who seeks wills (vult) to find; and if that is sought which belongs to knowledge, every one who seeks wills to know. But if he wills ardently and earnestly, he is said to study (studere): a word that is most commonly employed in the case of pursuing and obtaining any branches of learning. Therefore, the bringing forth of the mind is preceded by some desire, by which, through seeking and finding what we wish to know, the offspring, viz. knowledge itself, is born. And for this reason, that desire by which knowledge is conceived and brought forth, cannot rightly be called the bringing forth and the offspring; and the same desire which led us to long for the knowing of the thing, becomes the love of the thing when known, while it holds and embraces its accepted offspring, that is, knowledge, and unites it to its begetter. And so there is a kind of image of the Trinity in the mind itself, and the knowledge of it, which is its offspring and its word concerning itself, and love as a third, and these three are one, and one substance. Neither is the offspring less, since the mind knows itself according to the measure of its own being; nor is the love less, since it loves itself according to the measure both of its own knowledge and of its own being.
In which there is shown to be another trinity in the mind of man, and one that appears much more evidently, viz. in his memory, understanding, and will.
Chap. 1.—The love of the studious mind, that is, of one desirous to know, is not the love of a thing which it does not know.
1. Let us now proceed, then, in due order, with a more exact purpose, to explain this same point more thoroughly. And first, since no one can love at all a thing of which he is wholly ignorant, we must carefully consider of what sort is the love of those who are studious, that is, of those who do not already know, but are still desiring to know any branch of learning. Now certainly, in those things whereof the word study is not commonly used, love often arises from hearsay, when the reputation of anything for beauty inflames the mind to the seeing and enjoying it; since the mind knows generically wherein consist the beauties of corporeal things, from having seen them very frequently, and since there exists within a faculty of approving that which outwardly is longed for. And when this happens, the love that is called forth is not of a thing wholly unknown, since its genus is thus known. But when we love a good man whose face we never saw, we love him from the knowledge of his virtues, which virtues we know [abstractly] in the truth itself. But in the case of learning, it is for the most part the authority of others who praise and commend it that kindles our love of it; although nevertheless we could not burn with any zeal at all for the study of it, unless we had already in our mind at least a slight impression of the knowledge of each kind of learning. For who, for instance, would devote any care and labor to the learning of rhetoric, unless he knew before that it was the science of speaking? Sometimes, again, we marvel at the results of learning itself, which we have heard of or experienced; and hence burn to obtain, by learning, the power of attaining these results. Just as if it were said to one who did not know his letters, that there is a kind of learning which enables a man to send words, wrought with the hand in silence, to one who is ever so far absent, for him in turn to whom they are sent to gather these words, not with his ears, but with his eyes; and if the man were to see the thing actually done, is not that man, since he desires to know how he can do this thing, altogether moved to study with a view to the result which he already knows and holds? So it is that the studious zeal of those who learn is kindled: for that of which any one is utterly ignorant, he can in no way love.
2. So also, if any one hear an unknown sign, as, for instance, the sound of some word of which he does not know the signification, he desires to know what it is; that is, he desires to know what thing it is which it is agreed shall be brought to mind by that sound: as if he heard the word temetum uttered, and not knowing, should ask what it is. He must then know already that it is a sign, i.e. that the word is not an empty sound, but that something is signified by it; for in other respects this trisyllabic word is known to him already, and has already impressed its articulate form upon his mind through the sense of hearing. And then what more is to be required in him, that he may go on to a greater knowledge of that of which all the letters and all the spaces of its several sounds are already known, unless that it shall at the same time have become known to him that it is a sign, and shall have also moved him with the desire of knowing of what it is the sign? The more, then, the thing is known, yet not fully known, the more the mind desires to know concerning it what remains to be known. For if he knew it to be only such and such a spoken word, and did not know that it was the sign of something, he would seek nothing further, since the sensible thing is already perceived as far as it can be by the sense. But because he knows it to be not only a spoken word, but also a sign, he wishes to know it perfectly; and no sign is known perfectly, except it be known of what it is the sign. He then who with ardent carefulness seeks to know this, and inflamed by studious zeal perseveres in the search; can such an one be said to be without love? What then does he love? For certainly nothing can be loved unless it is known. For that man does not love those three syllables which he knows already. But if he loves this in them, that he knows them to signify something, this is not the point now in question, for it is not this which he seeks to know. But we are now asking what it is he loves, in that which he is desirous to know, but which certainly he does not yet know; and we are therefore wondering why he loves, since we know most assuredly that nothing can be loved unless it be known. What then does he love, except that he knows and perceives in the reason of things what excellence there is in learning, in which the knowledge of all signs is contained; and what benefit there is in the being skilled in these, since by them human fellowship mutually communicates its own perceptions, lest the assemblies of men should be actually worse than utter solitude, if they were not to mingle their thoughts by conversing together? The soul, then, discerns this fitting and serviceable species, and knows it, and loves it; and he who seeks the meaning of any words of which he is ignorant, studies to render that species perfect in himself as much as he can: for it is one thing to behold it in the light of truth, another to desire it as within his own capacity. For he beholds in the light of truth how great and how good a thing it is to understand and to speak all tongues of all nations, and so to hear no tongue and to be heard by none as from a foreigner. The beauty, then, of this knowledge is already discerned by thought, and the thing being known is loved; and that thing is so regarded, and so stimulates the studious zeal of learners, that they are moved with respect to it, and desire it eagerly in all the labor which they spend upon the attainment of such a capacity, in order that they may also embrace in practice that which they know beforehand by reason. And so every one, the nearer he approaches that capacity in hope, the more fervently desires it with love; for those branches of learning are studied the more eagerly, which men do not despair of being able to attain; for when any one entertains no hope of attaining his end, then he either loves lukewarmly or does not love at all, howsoever he may see the excellence of it. Accordingly, because the knowledge of all languages is almost universally felt to be hopeless, every one studies most to know that of his own nation; but if he feels that he is not sufficient even to comprehend this perfectly, yet no one is so indolent in this knowledge as not to wish to know, when he hears an unknown word, what it is, and to seek and learn it if he can. And while he is seeking it, certainly he has a studious zeal of learning, and seems to love a thing he does not know; but the case is really otherwise. For that species touches the mind, which the mind knows and thinks, wherein the fitness is clearly visible which accrues from the associating of minds with one another, in the hearing and returning of known and spoken words. And this species kindles studious zeal in him who seeks what indeed he knows not, but gazes upon and loves the unknown form to which that pertains. If then, for example, any one were to ask, What is temetum (for I had instanced this word already), and it were said to him, What does this matter to you? he will answer, Lest perhaps I hear some one speaking, and understand him not; or perhaps read the word somewhere, and know not what the writer meant. Who, pray, would say to such an inquirer, Do not care about understanding what you hear; do not care about knowing what you read? For almost every rational soul quickly discerns the beauty of that knowledge, through which the thoughts of men are mutually made known by the enunciation of significant words; and it is on account of this fitness thus known, and because known therefore loved, that such an unknown word is studiously sought out. When then he hears and learns that wine was called "temetum" by our forefathers, but that the word is already quite obsolete in our present usage of language, he will think perhaps that he has still need of the word on account of this or that book of those forefathers. But if he holds. these also to be superfluous, perhaps he does now come to think the word not worth remembering, since he sees it has nothing to do with that species of learning which he knows with the mind, and gazes upon, and so loves.
3. Wherefore in all cases the love of a studious mind, that is, of one that wishes to know what it does not know, is not the love of that thing which it does not know, but of that which it knows; on account of which it wishes to know what it does not know. Or if it is so inquisitive as to be carried away, not for any other cause known to it, but by the mere love of knowing things unknown then such an inquisitive person is, doubtless distinguishable from an ordinary student, yet does not, any more than he, love things he does not know; nay, on the contrary, he is more fitly said to hate things he knows not, of which he wishes that there should be none, in wishing to know everything. But lest any one should lay before us a more difficult question, by declaring that it is just as impossible for any one to hate what he does not know, as to love what he does not know we will not withstand what is true; but it must be understood that it is not the same thing to say he loves to know things unknown, as to say he loves things unknown. For it is possible that a man may love to know things unknown; but it is not possible that he should love things unknown. For the word to know is not placed there without meaning; since he who loves to know things unknown, does not love the unknown things themselves, but the knowing of them. And unless he knew what knowing means, no one could say confidently, either that he knew or that he did not know. For not only he who says I know, and says so truly, must needs know what knowing is; but he also who says, I do not know, and says so confidently and truly, and knows that he says so truly, certainly knows what knowing is; for he both distinguishes him who does not know from him who knows, when he looks into himself and says truly I do not know; and whereas he knows that he says this truly, whence should he know it, if he did not know what knowing is?
Chap. 2.—No one at all loves things unknown.
4. No studious person, then, no inquisitive person, loves things he does not know, even while he is urgent with the most vehement desire to know what he does not know. For he either knows already generically what he loves, and longs to know it also in some individual or individuals, which perhaps are praised, but not yet known to him; and he pictures in his mind an imaginary form by which he may be stirred to love. And whence does he picture this, except from those things which he has already known? And yet perhaps he will not love it, if he find that form which was praised to be unlike that other form which was figured and in thought most fully known to his mind. And if he has loved it, he will begin to love it from that time when he learned it; since a little before, that form which was loved was other than that which the mind that formed it had been wont to exhibit to itself. But if he shall find it similar to that form which report had proclaimed, and to be such that he could truly say I was already loving thee; yet certainly not even then did he love a form he did not know, since he had known it in that likeness. Or else we see somewhat in the species of the eternal reason, and therein love it; and when this is manifested in some image of a temporal thing, and we believe the praises of those who have made trial of it, and so love it, then we do not love anything unknown, according to that which we have already sufficiently discussed above. Or else, again, we love something known, and on account of it seek something unknown; and so it is by no means the love of the thing unknown that possesses us, but the love of the thing known, to which we know the unknown thing belongs, so that we know that too which we seek still as unknown; as a little before I said of an unknown word. Or else, again, every one loves the very knowing itself, as no one can fail to know who desires to know anything. For these reasons they seem to love things unknown who wish to know anything which they do not know, and who, on account of their vehement desire of inquiry, cannot be said to be without love. But how different the case really is, and that nothing at all can be loved which is not known, I think I must have persuaded every one who. carefully looks upon truth. But since the examples which we have given belong to those who desire to know something which they themselves are not, we must take thought lest perchance some new notion appear, when the mind desires to know itself.
Chap. 3.—That when the mind loves itself, it is not unknown to itself.
5. What, then, does the mind love, when it seeks ardently to know itself, whilst it is still unknown to itself? For, behold, the mind seeks to know itself, and is excited thereto by studious zeal. It loves, therefore; but what does it love? Is it itself? But how can this be when it does not yet know itself, and no one can love what he does not know? Is it that report has declared to it its own species, in like way as we commonly hear of people who are absent? Perhaps, then, it does not love itself, but loves that which it imagines of itself, which is perhaps widely different from what itself is: or if the phantasy in the mind is like the mind itself, and so when it loves this fancied image, it loves itself before it knew itself, because it gazes upon that which is like itself; then it knew other minds from which to picture itself, and so is known to itself generically. Why, then, when it knows other minds, does it not know itself, since nothing can possibly be more present to it than itself? But if, as other eyes are more known to the eyes of the body, than those eyes are to themselves; then let it not seek itself, because it never will find itself. For eyes can never see themselves except in looking-glasses; and it cannot be supposed in any way that anything of that kind can be applied also to the contemplation of incorporeal things, so that the mind should know itself, as it were, in a looking-glass. Or does it see in the reason of eternal truth how beautiful it is to know one's self, and so loves this which it sees, and studies to bring it to pass in itself? because, although it is not known to itself, yet it is known to it how good it is, that it should be known to itself. And this, indeed, is very wonderful, that it does not yet know itself, and yet knows already how excellent a thing it is to know itself. Or does it see some most excellent end, viz. its own serenity and blessedness, by some hidden remembrance, which has not abandoned it, although it has gone far onwards, and believes that it cannot attain to that same end unless it know itself? And so while it loves that, it seeks this; and loves that which is known, on account of which it seeks that which is unknown. But Why should the remembrance of its own blessedness be able to last, and the remembrance of itself not be able to last as well; that so it should know itself which wishes to attain, as well as know that to which it wishes to attain? Or when it loves to know itself, does it love, not itself, which it does not yet know, but the very act of knowing; and feel the more annoyed that itself is wanting to its own knowledge wherewith it wishes to embrace all things? And it knows what it is to know; and whilst it loves this, which knows, desires also to know itself. Whereby, then, does it know its own knowing, if it does not know itself? For it knows that it knows other things, but that it does not know itself; for it is from hence that it knows also what knowing is. In what way, then, does that which does not know itself, know itself as knowing anything? For it does not know that some other mind knows, but that itself does so. Therefore it knows itself. Further, when it seeks to know itself, it knows itself now as seeking. Therefore again it knows itself. And hence it cannot altogether not know itself, when certainly it does so far know itself as that it knows itself as not knowing itself. But if it does not know itself not to know itself, then it does not seek to know itself. And therefore, in the very fact that it seeks itself, it is clearly convicted of being more known to itself than unknown. For it knows itself as seeking and as not knowing itself, in that it seeks to know itself.
Chap. 4.—How the mind knows itself, not in part, but as a whole.
6. What then shall we say? Does that which knows itself in part, not know itself in part? But it is absurd to say, that it does not as a whole know what it knows. I do not say, it knows wholly; but what it knows, it as a whole knows. When therefore it knows anything about itself, which it can only know as a whole, it knows itself as a whole. But it does know that itself knows something, while yet except as a whole it cannot know anything. Therefore it knows itself as a whole. Further, what in it is so known to itself, as that it lives? And it cannot at once be a mind, and not live, while it has also something over and above, viz., that it understands: for the souls of beasts also live, but do not understand. As therefore a mind is a whole mind, so it lives as a whole. But it knows that it lives. Therefore it knows itself as a whole. Lastly, when the mind seeks to know itself, it already knows that it is a mind: otherwise it knows not whether it seeks itself, and perhaps seeks one thing while intending to seek another. For it might happen that itself was not a mind, and so, in seeking to know a mind, that it did not seek to know itself. Wherefore since the mind, when it seeks to know what mind is, knows that it seeks itself, certainly it knows that itself is a mind. Furthermore, if it knows this in itself, that it is a mind, and a whole mind, then it knows itself as a whole. But suppose it did not know itself to be a mind, but in seeking itself only knew that it did seek itself. For so, too, it may possibly seek one thing for another, if it does not know this: but that it may not seek one thing for another, without doubt it knows what it seeks. But if it knows what it seeks, and seeks itself, then certainly it knows itself. What therefore more does it seek? But if it knows itself in part, but still seeks itself in part, then it seeks not itself, but part of itself. For when we speak of the mind itself, we speak of it as a whole. Further, because it knows that it is not yet found by itself as a whole, it knows how much the whole is. And so it seeks that which is wanting, as we are wont to seek to recall to the mind something that has slipped from the mind, but has not altogether gone away from it; since we can recognize it, when it has come back, to be the same thing that we were seeking. But how can mind come into mind, as though it were possible for the mind not to be in the mind? Add to this, that if, having found a part, it does not seek itself as a whole, yet it as a whole seeks itself. Therefore as a whole it is present to itself, and there is nothing left to be sought: for that is wanting which is sought, not the mind which seeks. Since therefore it as a whole seeks itself, nothing of it is wanting. Or if it does not as a whole seek itself, but the part which has been found seeks the part which has not yet been found then the mind does not seek itself, of which no part seeks itself. For the part which has been found, does not seek itself; nor yet does the part itself which has not yet been found, seek itself; since it is sought by that part which has been already found. Wherefore, since neither the mind as a whole seeks itself, nor does any part of it seek itself, the mind does not seek itself at all.
Chap. 5.—Why the soul is enjoined to know itself. Whence come the errors of the mind concerning its own substance.
7. Why therefore is it enjoined upon it, that it should know itself? I suppose, in order that, it may consider itself, and live according to its own nature; that is, seek to be regulated according to its own nature, viz., under Him to whom it ought to be subject, and above those things to which it is to be preferred; under Him by whom it ought to be ruled, above those things which it ought to rule. For it does many things through vicious desire, as though in forgetfulness of itself. For it sees some things intrinsically excellent, in that more excellent nature which is God: and whereas it ought to remain steadfast that it may enjoy them, it is turned away from Him, by wishing to appropriate those things to itself, and not to be like to Him by His gift, but to be what He is by its own, and it begins to move and slip gradually down into less and less, which it thinks to be more and more; for it is neither sufficient for itself, nor is anything at all sufficient for it, if it withdraw from Him who is alone sufficient: and so through want and distress it becomes too intent upon its own actions and upon the unquiet delights which it obtains through them: and thus, by the desire of acquiring knowledge from those things that are without, the nature of which it knows and loves, and which it feels can be lost unless held fast with anxious care, it loses its security, and thinks of itself so much the less, in proportion as it feels the more secure that it cannot lose itself. So, whereas it is one thing not to know oneself, and another not to think of oneself (for we do not say of the man that is skilled in much learning, that he is ignorant of grammar, when he is only not thinking of it, because he is thinking at the time of the art of medicine);—whereas, then, I say it is one thing not to know oneself, and another not to think of oneself, such is the strength of love, that the mind draws in with itself those things which it has long thought of with love, and has grown into them by the close adherence of diligent study, even when it returns in some way to think of itself. And because these things are corporeal which it loved externally through the carnal senses; and because it has become entangled with them by a kind of daily familiarity, and yet cannot carry those corporeal things themselves with itself internally as it were into the region of incorporeal nature; therefore it combines certain images of them, and thrusts them thus made from itself into itself. For it gives to the forming of them somewhat of its own substance, yet preserves the while something by which it may judge freely of the species of those images; and this something is more properly the mind, that is, the rational understanding, which is preserved that it may judge. For we see that we have those parts. of the soul which are informed by the likenesses of corporeal things, in common also with beasts.
Chap. 6.—The opinion which the mind has of itself is deceitful.
8. But the mind errs, when it so lovingly and intimately connects itself with these images, as even to consider itself to be something of the same kind. For so it is conformed to them to some extent, not by being this, but by thinking it is so: not that it thinks itself to be an image, but outright that very thing itself of which it entertains the image. For there still lives in it the power of distinguishing the corporeal thing which it leaves without, from the image of that corporeal thing which it contains therefrom within itself: except when these images are so projected as if felt without and not thought within, as in the case of people who are asleep, or mad, or in a trance.
Chap. 7.—The opinions of philosophers respecting the substance of the soul. The error of those who are of opinion that the soul is corporeal, does not arise from defective knowledge of the soul, but from their adding thereto something foreign to it. What is meant by finding.
9. When, therefore, it thinks itself to be something of this kind, it thinks itself to be a corporeal thing; and since it is perfectly conscious of its own superiority, by which it rules the body, it has hence come to pass that the question has been raised what part of the body has the greater power in the body; and the opinion has been held that this is the mind, nay, that it is even the whole soul altogether. And some accordingly think it to be the blood, others the brain, others the heart; not as the Scripture says, "I will praise Thee, O Lord, with my whole heart;" and, "Thou shall love the Lord thy God with all thine heart;" for this word by misapplication or metaphor is transferred from the body to the soul; but they have simply thought it to be that small part itself of the body, which we see when the inward parts are rent asunder. Others, again, have believed the soul to be made up of very minute and individual corpuscules, which they call atoms, meeting in themselves and cohering. Others have said that its substance is air, others fire. Others have been of opinion that it is no substance at all, since they could not think any substance unless it is body, and they did not find that the soul was body; but it was in their opinion the tempering together itself of our body, or the combining together of the elements, by which—that flesh is as it were conjoined. And hence all of these have held the soul to be mortal; since, whether it were body, or some combination of body, certainly it could not in either case continue always without death. But they who have held its substance to be some kind of life the reverse of corporeal, since they have found it to be a life that animates and quickens every living body, have by consequence striven also, according as each was able, to prove it immortal, since life cannot be without life.
For as to that fifth kind of body, I know not what, which some have added to the four well-known elements of the world, and have said that the soul was made of this, I do not think we need spend time in discussing it in this place. For either they mean by body what we mean by it, viz., that of which a part is less than the whole in extension of place, and they are to be reckoned among those who have believed the mind to be corporeal: or if they call either all substance, or all changeable substance, body, whereas they know that not all substance is contained in extension of place by any length and breadth and height, we need not contend with them about a question of words.
10. Now, in the case of all these opinions, any one who sees that the nature of the mind is at once substance, and yet not corporeal,—that is, that it does not occupy a less extension of place with a less part of itself, and a greater with a greater,—must needs see at the same time that they who are of opinion that it is corporeal? do not err from defect of knowledge concerning mind, but because they associate with it qualities without which they are not able to conceive any nature at all. For if you bid them conceive of existence that is without corporeal phantasms, they hold it merely nothing. And so the mind would not seek itself, as though wanting to itself. For what is so present to knowledge as that which is present to the mind? Or what is so present to the mind as the mind itself? And hence what is called "invention," if we consider the origin of the word, what else does it mean, unless that to find out is to "come into" that which is sought? Those things accordingly which come into the mind as it were of themselves, are not usually said to be found out, although they may be said to be known; since we did not endeavor by seeking to come into them, that is to invent or find them out. And therefore, as the mind itself really seeks those things which are sought by the eyes or by any other sense of the body (for the mind directs even the carnal sense, and then finds out or invents, when that sense comes to the things which are sought); so, too, it finds out or invents other things which it ought to know, not with the medium of corporeal sense, but through itself, when it "comes into" them; and this, whether in the case of the higher substance that is in God, or of the other parts of the soul; just as it does when it judges of bodily images themselves, for it finds these within, in the soul, impressed through the body.
Chap. 8.—How the soul inquires into itself. Whence comes the error of the soul concerning itself.
11. It is then a wonderful question, in what manner the soul seeks and finds itself; at what it aims in order to seek, or whither it comes. that it may come into or find out. For what is so much in the mind as she mind itself? But because it is in those things which it thinks of with love, and is wont to be in sensible, that is, in corporeal things with love, it is unable to be in itself without the images of those corporeal things. And hence shameful error arises to block its way, whilst it cannot separate from itself the images of sensible things, so as to see itself alone. For they have marvellously cohered with it by the close adhesion of love. And herein consists its uncleanness; since, while it strives to think of itself alone, it fancies itself to be that, without which it cannot think of itself. When, therefore, it is bidden to become acquainted with itself, let it not seek itself as though it were withdrawn from itself; but let it withdraw that which it has added to itself. For itself lies more deeply within, not only than those sensible things, which are clearly without, but also than the images of them; which are indeed in some part of the soul, viz., that which beasts also have, although these want understanding, which is proper to the mind. As therefore the mind is within, it goes forth in some sort from itself, when it exerts the affection of love towards these, as it were, footprints of many acts of attention. And these footprints are, as it were, imprinted on the memory, at the time when the corporeal things which are without are perceived in such way, that even when those corporeal things are absent, yet the images of them are at hand to those who think of them. Therefore let the mind become acquainted with itself, and not seek itself as if it were absent; but fix upon itself the act of [voluntary] attention, by which it was wandering among other things, and let it think of itself. So it will see that at no time did it ever not love itself, at no time did it ever not know itself; but by loving another thing together with itself it has confounded itself with it, and in some sense has grown one with it. And so, while it embraces diverse things, as though they were one, it has come to think those things to be one which are diverse.
Chap. 9.—The mind knows itself, by the very act of understanding the precept to know itself.
12. Let it not therefore seek to discern itself as though absent, but take pains to discern itself as present. Nor let it take knowledge of itself as if it did not know itself, but let it distinguish itself from that which it knows to be another. For how will it take pains to obey that very precept which is given it, "Know thyself," if it knows not either what "know" means or what "thyself" means? But if it knows both, then it knows also itself. Since "know thyself" is not so said to the mind as is "Know the cherubim and the seraphim;" for they are absent, and we believe concerning them, and according to that belief they are declared to be certain celestial powers. Nor yet again as it is said, Know the will of that man: for this it is not within our reach to perceive at all, either by sense or understanding, unless by corporeal signs actually set forth; and this in such a way that we rather believe than understand. Nor again as it is said to a man, Behold thy own face; which he can only do in a looking- glass. For even our own face itself is out of the reach of our own seeing it; because it is not there where our look can be directed. But when it is said to the mind, Know thyself; then it knows itself by that very act by which it understands the word "thyself;" and this for no other reason than that it is present to itself. But if it does not understand what is said, then certainly it does not do as it is bid to do. And therefore it is bidden to do that thing which it does do, when it understands the very precept that bids it.
Chap. 10.—Every mind knows certainly three things concerning itself—that it understands, that it is, and that it lives.
13. Let it not then add anything to that which it knows itself to be, when it is bidden to know itself. For it knows, at any rate, that this is said to itself; namely, to the self that is, and that lives, and that understands. But a dead body also is, and cattle live; but neither a dead body nor cattle understand. Therefore it so knows that it so is, and that it so lives, as an understanding is and lives. When, therefore, for example's sake, the mind thinks itself air, it thinks that air understands; it knows, however, that itself understands, but it does not know itself to be air, but only thinks so. Let it separate that which it thinks itself; let it discern that which it knows; let this remain to it, about which not even have they doubted who have thought the mind to be this corporeal thing or that. For certainly every mind does not consider itself to be air; but some think themselves fire, others the brain, and some one kind of corporeal thing, others another, as I have mentioned before; yet all know that they themselves understand, and are, and live; but they refer understanding to that which they understand, but to be, and to live, to themselves. And no one doubts, either that no one understands who does not live, or that no one lives of whom it is not true that he is; and that therefore by consequence that which understands both is and lives; not as a dead body is which does not live, nor as a soul lives which does not understand, but in some proper and more excellent manner. Further, they know that they will, and they equally know that no one can will who is not and who does not live; and they also refer that will itself to something which they will with that will. They know also that they remember; and they know at the same time that nobody could remember, unless he both was and lived; but we refer memory itself also to something, in that we remember those things. Therefore the knowledge and science of many things are contained in two of these three, memory and understanding; but will must be present, that we may enjoy or use them. For we enjoy things known, in which things themselves the will finds delight for their own sake, and so reposes; but we use those things, which we refer to some other thing which we are to enjoy. Neither is the life of man vicious and culpable in any other way, than as wrongly using and wrongly enjoying. But it is no place here to discuss this.
14. But since we treat of the nature of the mind, let us remove from our consideration all knowledge which is received from without, through the senses of the body; and attend more carefully to the position which we have laid down, that all minds know and are certain concerning themselves. For men certainly have doubted whether the power of living, of remembering, of understanding, of willing, of thinking, of knowing, of judging, be of air, or of fire, or of the brain, or of the blood, or of atoms, or besides the usual four elements of a fifth kind of body, I know not what; or ,whether the combining or tempering together of this our flesh itself has power to accomplish these things. And one has attempted to establish this, and another to establish that. Yet who ever doubts that he himself lives, and remembers, and understands, and wills, and thinks, and knows, and judges? Seeing that even if he doubts, he lives; if he doubts, he remembers why he doubts; if he doubts, he understands that he doubts; if he doubts, he wishes to be certain; if he doubts, he thinks; if he doubts, he knows that he does not know; if he doubts, he judges that he ought not to assent rashly. Whosoever therefore doubts about anything else, ought not to doubt of all these things; which if they were not, he would not be able to doubt of anything.
15. They who think the mind to be either a body or the combination or tempering of the body, will have all these things to seem to be in a subject, so that the substance is air, or fire, or some other corporeal thing, which they think to be the mind; but that the understanding (intelligentia) is in this corporeal thing as its quality, so that this corporeal tiring is the subject, but the understanding is in the subject: viz. that the mind is the subject, which they judge to be a corporeal thing, but the understanding [intelligence], or any other of those things which we have mentioned as certain to us, is in that subject. They also hold nearly the same opinion who deny the mind itself to be body, but think it to be the combination or tempering together of the body; for there is this difference, that the former say that the mind itself is the substance, in which the understanding [intelligence] is, as in a subject; but the latter say that the mind itself is in a subject, viz. in the body, of which it is the combination or tempering together. And hence, by consequence, what else can they think, except that the understanding also is in the same body as in a subject?
16. And all these do not perceive that the mind knows itself, even when it seeks for itself, as we have already shown. But nothing is at all rightly said to be known while its substance is not known. And therefore, when the mind knows itself, it knows its own substance; and when it is certain about itself, it as certain about its own substance. But it is certain about itself, as those things which are said, above prove convincingly; although it is not at all certain whether itself is air, or fire, or some body, or some function of body. Therefore it is not any of these. And to that whole which is bidden to know itself, belongs this, that it is certain that it is not any of those things of which it is uncertain, and is certain that it is that only, which only it is certain that it is. For it thinks in this way of fire, or air, and whatever else of the body it thinks of. Neither can it in any way be brought to pass that it should so think that which itself is, as it thinks that which itself is not. Since it thinks all these things through an imaginary phantasy, whether fire, or air, or this or that body. or that part or combination and tempering together of the body: nor assuredly is it said to be all those things, but some one of them. But if it were any one of them, it would think this one in a different manner from the rest viz. not through an imaginary phantasy, as absent things are thought, which either themselves or some of like kind have been touched by the bodily sense; but by some inward, not feigned, but true presence (for nothing is more present to it than itself); just as it thinks that itself lives, and remembers, and understands, and wills. For it knows these things in itself, and does not imagine them as though it had touched them by the sense outside itself, as corporeal things are touched. And if it attaches nothing to itself from the thought of these things, so as to think itself to be something of the kind, then whatsoever remains to it from itself that alone is itself.
Chap. 11.—In memory, understanding [or intelligence], and will, we have to note ability, learning, and use. Memory, understanding, and will are one essentially, and three relatively.
17. Putting aside, then, for a little while all other things, of which the mind is certain concerning itself, let us especially consider and discuss these three—memory, understanding, will. For we may commonly discern in these three the character of the abilities of the young also; since the more tenaciously and easily a boy remembers, and the more acutely he understands, and the more ardently he studies, the more praiseworthy is he in point of ability. But when the question is about any one's learning, then we ask not how solidly and easily he remembers, or how shrewdly he understands; but what it is that he remembers, and what it is that he understands. And because the mind is regarded as praiseworthy, not only as being learned, but also as being good, one gives heed not only to what he remembers and what he understands, but also to what he wills (velit); not how ardently he wills, but first what it is he wills, and then how greatly he wills it. For the mind that loves eagerly is then to be praised, when it loves that which ought to be loved eagerly. Since, then, we speak of these three—ability, knowledge, use—the first of these is to be considered under the three heads, of what a man can do in memory, and understanding, and will. The second of them is to be considered in regard to that which any one has in his memory and in his understanding, which he has attained by a studious will. But the third, viz. use, lies in the will, which handles those things that are contained in the memory and understanding, whether it refer them to anything further, or rest satisfied with them as an end. For to use, is to take up something into the power of the will; and to enjoy, is to use with joy, not any longer of hope, but of the actual thing. Accordingly, every one who enjoys, uses; for he takes up something into the power of the will, wherein he also is satisfied as with an end. But not every one who uses, enjoys, if he has sought after that, which he takes up into the power of the will, not on account of the thing itself, but on account of something else.
18. Since, then, these three, memory, understanding, wills are not three lives, but one life; nor three minds, but one mind; it follows certainly that neither are they three substances, but one substance. Since memory, which is called life, and mind, and substance, is so called in respect to itself; but it is called memory, relatively to something. And I should say the same also of understanding and of will, since they are called understanding and will relatively to something; but each in respect to itself is life, and mind, and essence. And hence these three are one, in that they are one life, one mind, one essence; and whatever else they are severally called in respect to themselves, they are called also together, not plurally, but in the singular number. But they are three, in that wherein they are mutually referred to each other; and if they were not equal, and this not only each to each, but also each to all, they certainly could not mutually contain each other; for not only is each contained by each, but also all by each. For I remember that I have memory and understanding, and will; and I understand that I understand, and will, and remember; and I will that I will, and remember, and understand; and I remember together my whole memory, and understanding, and will. For that of my memory which I do not remember, is not in my memory; and nothing is so much in the memory as memory itself. Therefore I remember the whole memory. Also, whatever I understand I know that I understand, and I know that I will whatever I will; but whatever I know I remember. Therefore I remember the whole of my understanding, and the whole of my will. Likewise, when I understand these three things, I understand them together as whole. For there is none of things intelligible which I do not understand, except what I do not know; but what I do not know, I neither remember, nor will. Therefore, whatever of things intelligible I do not understand, it follows also that I neither remember nor will. And whatever of things intelligible I remember and will, it follows that I understand. My will also embraces my whole understanding and my whole memory whilst I use the whole that I understand and remember. And, therefore, while all are mutually comprehended by each, and as wholes, each as a whole is equal to each as a whole, and each as a whole at the same time to all as wholes; and these three are one, one life, one mind, one essence.
Chap. 12.—The mind is an image of the Trinity in its own memory, and understanding, and will.
19. Are we, then, now to go upward, with whatever strength of purpose we may, to that chiefest and highest essence, of which the human mind is an inadequate image, yet an image? Or are these same three things to be yet more distinctly made plain in the soul, by means of those things which we receive from without, through the bodily sense, wherein the knowledge of corporeal things is impressed upon us in time? Since we found the mind itself to be such in its own memory, and understanding, and will, that since it was understood always to know and always to will itself. it was understood also at the same time always to remember itself, always to understand and love itself, although not always to think of itself as separate from those things which are not itself; and hence its memory of itself, and understanding of itself, are with difficult discerned in it. For in this case, where these two things are very closely con-joined, and one is not preceded by the other by any time at all, it looks as if they were not two things, but one called by two names; and love itself is not so plainly felt to exist when the sense of need does not disclose it, since what is loved is always at hand. And hence these things may be more lucidly set forth, even to men of duller minds, if such topics are treated of as are brought within reach of the mind in time, and happen to it in time; while it remembers what it did not remember before, and sees what it did not see before, and loves what it did not love before. But this discussion demands now another beginning, by reason of the measure of the present book.
A kind of image of the Trinity is pointed out, even in the outer man; first of all, in those things which are perceived from without, viz. in the bodily object that is seen, and in the form that is impressed by it upon the sight of the seer, and in the purpose of the will that combines the two; although these three are neither mutually equal, nor of one substance. Next, a kind of trinity, in three somewhats of one substance, is observed to exist in the mind itself, as it were introduced there from those things that are perceived from without; viz. the image of the bodily object which is in the memory, and the impression formed therefrom when the mind's eye of the thinker is turned to it, and the purpose of the will combining both. And this latter trinity is also said to pertain to the outer man, in that it is introduced into the mind from bodily objects, which are perceived from without.
Chap. 1.—A trace of the Trinity also in the outer man.
1. No one doubts that, as the inner man is endued with understanding, so is the outer with bodily sense. Let us try, then, if we can, to discover in this outer man also, some trace, however slight, of the Trinity, not that itself also is in the same manner the; image of God. For the opinion of the apostle is evident, which declares the inner man to be renewed in the knowledge of God after the image of Him that created him: whereas he says also in another place, "But though our outer man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day." Let us seek, then, so far as we can, in that which perishes, some image of the Trinity, if not so express, yet perhaps more easy to be discerned. For that outer man also is not called man to no purpose, but because there is in it some likeness of the inner man. And owing to that very order of our condition whereby we are made mortal and fleshly, we handle things visible more easily and more familiarly than things intelligible; since the former are outward, the latter inward; and the former are perceived by the bodily sense, the latter are understood by the mind; and we ourselves, i.e. our minds, are not sensible things, that is, bodies, but intelligible things, since we are life. And yet, as I said, we are so familiarly occupied with bodies, and our thought has projected itself outwardly with so wonderful a proclivity towards bodies, that, when it has been withdrawn from the uncertainty of things corporeal, that it may be fixed with a much more certain and stable knowledge in that which is spirit, it flies back to those bodies, and seeks rest there whence it has drawn weakness. And to this its feebleness I we must suit our argument; so that, if we would endeavor at any time to distinguish more aptly, and intimate more readily, the inward spiritual thing, we must take examples of likenesses from outward things pertaining to the body. The outer man, then, endued as he is with the bodily sense, is conversant with bodies. And this bodily sense, as is easily observed, is fivefold; seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching. But it is both a good deal of trouble, and is not necessary, that we should inquire of all these five senses about that which we seek. For that which one of them declares to us, holds also good in the rest. Let us use, then, principally the testimony of the eyes. For this bodily sense far surpasses the rest; and in proportion to its difference of kind, is nearer to the sight of the mind.
Chap. 2.—A certain trinity in the sight. That there are three things in sight, which differ in their own nature. In what manner from a visible thing vision is produced, or the image of that thing which is seen. The matter is shown more clearly by an example. How these three combine in one.
2. When, then, we see any corporeal object, these three things, as is most easy to do, are to be considered and distinguished: First, the object itself which we see; whether a stone, or flame, or any other thing that can be seen by the eyes; and this certainly might exist also already before it was seen; next, vision or the act of seeing, which did not exist before we perceived the object itself which is presented to the sense; in the third place, that which keeps the sense of the eye in the object seen, so long as it is seen, viz. the attention of the mind. In these three, then, not only is there an evident distinction, but also a diverse nature. For, first, that visible body is of a far different nature from the sense of the eyes, through the incidence of which sense upon it vision arises. And what plainly is vision itself other than perception informed by that thing which is perceived? Although there is no vision if the visible object be withdrawn, nor could there be any vision of the kind at all if there were no body that could be seen; yet the body by which the sense of the eyes is informed, when that body is seen, and the form itself which is imprinted by it upon the sense, which is called vision, are by no means of the same substance. For the body that is seen is, in its own nature, separable; but the sense, which was already in the living subject, even before it saw what it was able to see, when it fell in with something visible,—or the vision which comes to be in the sense from the visible body when now brought into connection with it and seen,—the sense, then, I say, or the vision, that is, the sense informed from without, belongs to the nature of the living subject, which is altogether other than that body which we perceive by seeing, and by which the sense is not so formed as to be sense, but as to be vision. For unless the sense were also in us before the presentation to us of the sensible object, we should not differ from the blind, at times when we are seeing nothing, whether in darkness, or when our eyes are closed. But we differ from them in this, that there is in us, even when we are not seeing, that whereby we are able to see, which is called the sense; whereas this is not in them, nor are they called blind for any other reason than because they have it not. Further also, that attention of the mind which keeps the sense in that thing which we see, and connects both, not only differs from that visible thing in its nature; in that the one is mind, and the other body; but also from the sense and the vision itself: since this attention is the act of the mind alone; but the sense of the eyes is called a bodily sense, for no other reason than because the eyes themselves also are members of the body; and although an inanimate body does not perceive, yet the soul commingled with the body perceives through a corporeal instrument, and that instrument is called sense. And this sense, too, is cut off and extinguished by suffering on the part of the body, when any one is blinded; while the mind remains the same; and its attention, since the eyes are lost, has not, indeed, the sense of the body which it may join, by seeing, to the body without it, and so fix its look thereupon and see it, yet by the very effort shows that, although the bodily sense be taken away, itself can neither perish nor be diminished. For there remains unimpaired a desire [appetitus] of seeing, whether it can be carried into effect or not. These three, then, the body that is seen, and vision itself, and the attention of mind which joins both together, are manifestly distinguishable, not only on account of the properties of each, but also on account of the difference of their natures.
3. And since, in this case, the sensation does not proceed from that body which is seen, but from the body of the living being that perceives, with which the soul is tempered together in some wonderful way of its own; yet vision is produced, that is, the sense itself is informed, by the body which is seen; so that now, not only is there the power of sense, which can exist also unimpaired even in darkness, provided the eyes are sound, but also a sense actually informed, which is called vision. Vision, then, is produced from a thing that is visible; but not from that alone, unless there be present also one who sees. Therefore vision is produced from a thing that is visible, together with one who sees; in such way that, on the part of him who sees, there is the sense of seeing and the intention of looking and gazing at the object; while yet that information of the sense, which is called vision, is imprinted only by the body which is seen, that is, by some visible thing; which being taken away, that form remains no more which was in the sense so long as that which was seen was present: yet the sense itself remains, which existed also before anything was perceived; just as the trace of a thing in water remains so long as the body itself, which is impressed on it, is in the water; but if this has been taken away, there will no longer be any such trace, although the water remains, which existed also before it took the form of that body. And therefore we cannot, indeed, say that a visible thing produces the sense; yet it produces the form, which is, as it were, its own likeness, which comes to be in the sense, when we perceive anything by seeing. But we do not distinguish, through the same sense, the form of the body which we see, from the form which is produced by it in the sense of him who sees; since the union of the two is so close that there is no room for distinguishing them. But we rationally infer that we could not have sensation at all, unless some similitude of the body seen was wrought in our own sense. For when a ring is imprinted on wax, it does not follow that no image is produced, because we cannot discern it unless when it has been separated. But since, after the wax is separated, what was made remains, so that it can be seen; we are on that account easily persuaded that there was already also in the wax a form impressed from the ring before it was separated from it. But if the ring were imprinted upon a fluid, no image at all would appear when it was withdrawn; and yet none the less for this ought the reason to discern that there was in that fluid before the ring was withdrawn a form of the ring produced from the ring, which is to be distinguished from that form which is in the ring, whence that form was produced which ceases to be when the ring is withdrawn, although that in the ring remains, whence the other was produced. And so the [sensuous] perception of the eyes may not be supposed to contain no image of the body, which is seen as long as it is seen, [merely] because when that is withdrawn the image does not remain. And hence it is very difficult to persuade men of duller mind that an image of the visible thing is formed in our sense, when we see it, and that this same form is vision.
4. But if any perhaps attend to what I am about to mention, they will find no such trouble in this inquiry. Commonly, when we have looked for some little time at a light, and then shut our eyes, there seem to play before our eyes certain bright colors variously changing themselves, and shining less and less until they wholly cease; and these we must understand to be the remains of that form which was wrought in the sense, while the shining body was seen, and that these variations take place in them as they slowly and step by step fade away. For the lattices, too, of windows, should we happen to be gazing at them, appear often in these colors; so that it is evident that our sense is affected by such impressions from that thing which is seen. That form therefore existed also while we were seeing, and at that time it was more clear and express. But it was then closely joined with the species of that thing which was being perceived, so that it could not be at all distinguished from it; and this was vision itself. Why, even when the little flame of a lamp is in some way, as it were, doubled by the divergent rays of the eyes, a twofold vision comes to pass, although the thing which is seen is one. For the same rays, as they shoot forth each from its own eye, are affected severally, in that they are not allowed to meet evenly and conjointly, in regarding that corporeal thing, so that one combined view might be formed from both. And so, if we shut one eye, we shall not see two flames, but one as it really is. But why, if we shut the left eye, that appearance ceases to be seen, which was on the right; and if, in turn, we shut the right eye, that drops out of existence which was on the left, is a matter both tedious in itself, and not necessary at all to our present subject to inquire and discuss. For it is enough for the business in hand to consider, that unless some image, precisely like the thing we perceive, were produced in our sense, the appearance of the flame would not be doubled according to the number of the eyes; since a certain way of perceiving has been employed, which could separate the union of rays. Certainly nothing that is really single can be seen as if it were double by one eye, draw it down, or press, or distort it as you please, if the other is shut.
5. The case then being so, let us remember how these three things, although diverse in nature, are tempered together into a kind of unity; that is, the form of the body which is seen, and the image of it impressed on the sense, which is vision or sense informed, and the will of the mind which applies the sense to the sensible thing, and retains the vision itself in it. The first of these, that is, the visible thing itself, does not belong to the nature of the living being, except when we discern our own body. But the second belongs to that nature to this extent, that it is wrought in the body, and through the body in the soul; for it is wrought in the sense, which is neither without the body nor without the soul. But the third is of the soul alone, because it is the will. Although then the substances of these three are so different, yet they coalesce into such a unity that the two former can scarcely be distinguished, even with the intervention of the reason as judge, namely the form of the body which is seen, and the image of it which is wrought in the sense, that is, vision. And the will so powerfully combines these two, as both to apply the sense, in order to be informed, to that thing which is perceived, and to retain it when informed in that thing. And if it is so vehement that it can be called love, or desire, or lust, it vehemently affects also the rest of the body of the living being; and where a duller and harder matter does not resist, changes it into like shape and color. One may see the little body of a chameleon vary with ready change, according to the colors which it sees. And in the case of other animals, since their grossness of flesh does not easily admit change, the offspring, for the most part, betray the particular fancies of the mothers, whatever it is that they have beheld with special delight. For the more tender, and so to say, the more formable, are the primary seeds, the more effectually and capably they follow the bent of the soul of the mother, and the phantasy that is wrought in it through that body, which it has greedily beheld. Abundant instances might be adduced, but one is sufficient, taken from the most trustworthy books; viz. what Jacob did, that the sheep and goats might give birth to offspring of various colors, by placing variegated rods before them in the troughs of water for them to look at as they drank, at the time they had conceived.
Chap. 3.—The unity of the three takes place in thought, viz. of memory, of internal vision, and of will combining both.
6. The rational soul, however, lives in a degenerate fashion, when it lives according to a trinity of the outer man; that is, when it applies to those things which form the bodily sense from without, not a praiseworthy will, by which to refer them to some useful end, but a base desire, by which to cleave to them. Since even if the form of the body, which was corporeally perceived, be withdrawn, its likeness remains in the memory, to which the will may again direct its eye, so as to be formed thence from within, as the sense was formed from without by the presentation of the sensible body. And so that trinity is produced from memory, from internal vision, and from the will which unites both. And when these three things are combined into one, from that combination itself they are called conception. And in these three there is no longer any diversity of substance. For neither is the sensible body there, which is altogether distinct from the nature of the living being, nor is the bodily sense there informed so as to produce vision, nor does the will itself perform its office of applying the sense, that is to be informed, to the sensible body, and of retaining it in it when informed; but in place of that bodily species which was perceived from without, there comes the memory retaining that species which the soul has imbibed through the bodily sense; and in place of that vision which was outward when the sense was informed through the sensible body, there comes a similar vision within, while the eye of the mind is informed from that which the memory retains, and the corporeal things that are thought of are absent; and the will itself, as before it applied the sense yet to be informed to the corporeal thing presented from without, and united it thereto when informed, so now converts the vision of the recollecting mind to memory, in order that the mental sight may be informed by that which the memory has retained, and so there may be in the conception a like vision. And as it was the reason that distinguished the visible appearance by which the bodily sense was informed, from the similitude of it, which was wrought in the sense when informed in order to produce vision (otherwise they had been so united as to be thought altogether one and the same); so, although that phantasy also, which arises from the mind thinking of the appearance of a body that it has seen, consists of the similitude of the body which the memory retains, together with that which is thence formed in the eye of the mind that recollects; yet it so seems to be one and single, that it can only be discovered to be two by the judgment of reason, by which we understand that which remains in the memory, even when we think it from some other source, to be a different thing from that which is brought into being when we remember, that is, come back again to the memory, and there find the same appearance. And if this were not now there, we should say that we had so forgotten as to be altogether unable to recollect. And if the eye of him who recollects were not informed from that thing which was in the memory, the vision of the thinker could in no way take place; but the conjunction of both, that is, of that which the memory retains, and of that which is thence expressed so as to inform the eye of him who recollects, makes them appear as if they were one, because they are exceedingly like. But when the eye of the concipient is turned away thence, and has ceased to look at that which was perceived in the memory, then nothing of the form that was impressed thereon will remain in that eye, and it will be informed by that to which it had again been turned, so as to bring about another conception. Yet that remains which it has left in the memory, to which it may again be turned when we recollect it, and being turned thereto may be informed by it, and become one with that whence it is informed.
Chap. 4.—How this unity comes to pass.
7. But if that will which moves to and fro, hither and thither, the eye that is to be informed, and unites it when formed, shall have wholly converged to the inward phantasy, and shall have absolutely turned the mind's eye from the presence of the bodies which lie around the senses, and from the l very bodily senses themselves, and shall have, wholly turned it to that image, which is perceived within; then so exact a likeness of the bodily species expressed from the memory is presented, that not even reason itself is permitted to discen whether the body itself is seen without, or only something of the kind thought of within. For men sometimes either allured or frightened by over-much thinking of visible things, have even suddenly uttered words accordingly, as if in real fact they were engaged in the very midst of such actions or sufferings. And I remember some one telling me that he was wont to perceive in thought, so distinct and as it were solid, a form of a female body, as to be moved, as though it were a reality. Such power has the soul over its own body, and such influence has it in turning and changing the quality of its [corporeal] garment; just as a man may be affected when clothed, to whom his clothing sticks. It is the same kind of affection, too, with which we are beguiled through imaginations in sleep. But it makes a very great difference, whether the senses of the body are lulled to torpor, as in the case of sleepers, or disturbed from their inward structure, as in the case of madmen, or distracted in some other mode, as in that of diviners or prophets; and so from one or other of these causes, the intention of the mind is forced by a kind of necessity upon those images which occur to it, either from memory, or by some other hidden force through certain spiritual commixtures of a similarly spiritual substance: or whether, as sometimes happens to people in health and awake, that the will occupied by thought turns itself away from the senses, and so informs the eye of the mind by various images of sensible things, as though those sensible things themselves were actually perceived. But these impressions of images not only take place when the will is directed upon such things by desiring them, but also when, in order to avoid and guard against them, the mind is carried away to look upon these very thing so as to flee from them. And hence, not only desire, but fear, causes both the bodily eye to be informed by the sensible things themselves, and the mental eye (acies) by the images of those sensible things. Accordingly, the more vehement has been either fear or desire, the more distinctly is the eye informed, whether in the case of him who [sensuously] perceives by means of the body that which lies close to him in place, or in the case of him who conceives from the image of the body which is contained in the memory. What then a body in place is to the bodily sense, that, the similitude of a body in memory is to the eye of the mind; and what the vision of one who looks at a thing is to that appearance of the body from which the sense is informed, that, the vision of a concipient is to the image of the body established in the memory, from which the eye of the mind is informed; and what the intention of the will is towards a body seen and the vision to be combined with it, in order that a certain unity of three things may therein take place, although their nature is diverse, that, the same intention of the will is towards combining the image of the body which is in the memory, and the vision of the concipient, that is, the form which the eye of the mind has taken in returning to the memory, in order that here too a certain unity may take place of three things, not now distinguished by diversity of nature, but of one and the same substance; because this whole is within, and the whole is one mind.
Chap. 5.—The trinity of the outer man, or of external vision, is not an image of God. The likeness of God is desired even in sins. In external vision the form of the corporeal thing is as it were the parent, vision the offspring; but the will that unites these suggests the Holy Spirit.
8. But as, when [both] the form and species of a body have perished, the will cannot recall to it the sense of perceiving; so, when the image which memory bears is blotted out by forgetfulness, the will will be unable to force back the eye of the mind by recollection, so; as to be formed thereby. But because the mind has great power to imagine not only things forgotten, but also things that it never saw, or experienced, either by increasing, or diminishing, or changing, or compounding, after its pleasure, those which have not dropped out of its remembrance, it often imagines things to be such as either it knows they are not, or does not know that they are. And in this case we have to take care, lest it either speak falsely that it may deceive, or hold an opinion so as to be deceived. And if it avoid these two evils, then imagined phantasms do not hinder it: just as sensible things experienced or retained by memory do not hinder it, if they are neither passionately sought for when pleasant, nor basely shunned when unpleasant. But when the will leaves better things, and greedily wallows in these, then it becomes unclean; and they are so thought of hurtfully, when they are present, and also more hurtfully when they are absent. And he therefore lives badly and degenerately who lives according to the trinity of the outer man; because it is the purpose of using things sensible and corporeal, that has begotten also that trinity, which although it imagines within, yet imagines things without. For no one could use those things even well, unless the images of things perceived by the senses were retained in the memory. And unless the will for the greatest part dwells in the higher and interior things, and unless that will itself, which is accommodated either to bodies without, or to the images of them within, refers whatever it receives in them to a better and truer life, and rests in that end by gazing at which it judges that those things ought to be done; what else do we do, but that which the apostle prohibits us from doing, when he says, "Be not conformed to this world"? And therefore that trinity is not an image of God since it is produced in the mind itself through the bodily sense, from the lowest, that is, the corporeal creature, than which the mind is higher. Yet neither is it altogether dissimilar: for what is there that has not a likeness of God, in proportion to its kind and measure, seeing that God made all things very good, and for no other reason except that He Himself is supremely good? In so far, therefore, as anything that is, is good, in so far plainly it has still some likeness of the supreme good, at however, great a distance; and if a natural likeness, then certainly a right and well-ordered one; but if a faulty likeness, then certainly a debased and perverse one. For even souls in their very sins strive after nothing else but some kind of likeness of God, in a proud and preposterous, and, so to say, slavish liberty. So neither could our first parents have been persuaded to sin unless it had been said, "Ye shall be as gods." No doubt every thing in the creatures which is in any way like God, is not also to be called His image; but that alone than which He Himself alone is higher. For that only is in all points copied from Him, between which and Himself no nature is interposed.
9. Of that vision then; that is, of the form which is wrought in the sense of him who sees; the form of the bodily thing from which it is wrought, is, as it were, the parent. But it is not a true parent; whence neither is that a true offspring; for it is not altogether born therefrom, since something else is applied to the bodily thing in order that it may be formed from it, namely, the sense of him who sees. And for this reason, to love this is to be estranged. Therefore the will which unites both, viz. the quasi-parent and the quasi-child, is more spiritual than either of them. For that bodily thing which is discerned, is not spiritual at all. But the vision which comes into existence in the sense, has something spiritual mingled with it, since it cannot come into existence without the soul. But it is not wholly spiritual; since that which is formed is a sense of the body. Therefore the will which unites both is confessedly more spiritual, as I have said; and so it begins to suggest (insinuare), as it were, the person of the Spirit in the Trinity. But it belongs more to the sense that is formed, than to the bodily thing whence it is formed. For the sense and will of an animate being belongs to the soul, not to the stone or other bodily thing that is seen. It does not therefore proceed from that bodily thing as from a parent; yet neither does it proceed from that other as it were offspring, namely, the vision and form that is in the sense. For the will existed before the vision came to pass, which will applied the sense that was to be formed to the bodily thing that was to be discerned; but it was not yet satisfied. For how could that which was not yet seen satisfy? And satisfaction means a will that rests content. And, therefore, we can neither call the will the quasi-offspring of vision, since it existed before vision; nor the quasi-parent, since that vision was not formed and expressed from the will, but from the bodily thing that was seen.
Chap. 6.—Of what kind we are to reckon the rest (requies), and end (finis), of the will in vision.
10. Perhaps we can rightly call vision the end and rest of the will, only with respect to this one object [namely, the bodily thing that is visible]. For it will not will nothing else merely because it sees something which it is now willing. It is not therefore the whole will itself of the man, of which the end is nothing else than blessedness; but the will provisionally directed to this one object, which has as its end in seeing, nothing but vision, whether it refer the thing seen to any other thing or not. For if it does not refer the vision to anything further, but wills only to see this, there can be no question made about showing that the end of the will is the vision; for it is manifest. But if it does refer it to anything further, then certainly it does will something else, and it will not be now a will merely to see; or if to see, not one to see the particular thing. Just as, if any one wished to see the scar, that from thence he might learn that there had been a wound; or wished to see the window, that through the window he might see the passers-by: all these and other such acts of will have their own proper [proximate] ends, which are referred to that [final] end of the will by which we will to live blessedly, and to attain to that life which is not referred to anything else, but suffices of itself to him who loves it. The will then to see, has as its end vision; and the will to see this particular thing, has as its end the vision of this particular thing. Therefore the will to see the scar, desires its own end, that is, the vision of the scar, and does not reach beyond it; for the will to prove that there had been a wound, is a distinct will, although dependent upon that, of which the end also is to prove that there had been a wound. And the will to see the window, has as its end the vision of the window; for that is another and further will which depends upon it, viz. to see the passers-by through the window, of which also the end is the vision of the passers-by. But all the several wills that are bound to each other, are a once right, if that one is good, to which all are referred; and if that is bad, then all are bad. And so the connected series of right wills is a sort of road which consists as it were of certain steps, whereby to ascend to blessedness; but the entanglement of depraved and distorted wills is a bond by which he will be bound who thus acts, so as to be cast into outer darkness. Blessed therefore are they who in act and character sing the song of the steps [degrees]; and woe to those that draw sin, as it were a long rope. And it is just the same to speak of the will being in repose, which we call its end, if it is still referred to something further, as if we should say that the foot is at rest in walking, when it is placed there, whence yet another foot may be planted in the direction of the man's steps. But if something so satisfies, that the will acquiesces in it with a certain delight; it is nevertheless not yet that to which the man ultimately tends; but this too is referred to something further, so as to be regarded not as the native country of a citizen, but as a place of refreshment, or even of stopping, for a traveller.
Chap. 7.—There is another trinity in the memory of him who thinks over again what he has seem.
11. But yet again, take the case of another trinity, more inward indeed than that which is in things sensible, and in the senses, but which is yet conceived from thence; while now it is no longer the sense of the body that is informed from the body, but the eye of the mind that is informed from the memory, since the species of the body which we perceived from without has inhered in the memory itself. And that species, which is in the memory, we call the quasi-parent of that which is wrought in the phantasy of one who conceives. For it was in the memory also, before we conceived it, just as the body was in place also before we [sensuously] perceived it, in order that vision might take place. But when it is conceived, then from that form which the memory retains, there is copied in the mind's eye (acie) of him who conceives, and by remembrance is formed, that species, which is the quasi-offspring of that which the memory retains. But neither is the one a true parent, nor the other a true offspring. For the mind's vision which is formed from memory when we think anything by recollection, does not proceed from that species which we remember as seen; since we could not indeed have remembered those things, unless we had seen them; yet the mind's eye, which is informed by the recollection, existed also before we saw the body that we remember; and therefore how much more before we committed it to memory? Although therefore the form which is wrought in the mind's eye of him who remembers, is wrought from that form which is in the memory; yet the mind's eye itself does not exist from thence, but existed before it. And it follows, that if the one is not a true parent, neither is the other a true offspring. But both that quasi-parent and that quasi-offspring suggest something, whence the inner and truer things may appear more practically and more certainly.
12. Further, it is more difficult to discern clearly, whether the will which connects the vision to the memory is not either the parent or the offspring of some one of them; and the likeness and equality of the same nature and substance cause this difficulty of distinguishing. For it is not possible to do in this case, as with the sense that is formed from without (which is easily discerned from the sensible body, and again the will from both), on account of the difference of nature which is mutually in all three, and of which we have treated sufficiently above. For although this trinity, of which we at present speak, is introduced into the mind from without; yet it is transacted within, and there is no part of it outside of the nature of the mind itself. In what way, then, can it be demonstrated that the will is neither the quasi-parent, nor the quasi-offspring, either of the corporeal likeness which is contained in the memory, or of that which is copied thence in recollecting; when it so unites both in the act of conceiving, as that they appear singly as one, and cannot be discerned except by reason? It is then first to be considered that there cannot be any will to remember, unless we retain in the recesses of the memory either the whole, or some part, of that thing which we wish to remember. For the very will to remember cannot arise in the case of a thing which we have forgotten altogether and absolutely; since we have already remembered that the thing which we wish to remember is or has been, in our memory. For example, if I wish to remember what I supped on yesterday, either I have already remembered that I did sup, or if not yet this, at least I have remembered something about that time itself, if nothing else; at all events, I have remembered yesterday, and that part of yesterday in which people usually sup, and what supping is. For if I had not remembered anything at all of this kind, I could not wish to remember what I supped on yesterday. Whence we may perceive that the will of remembering proceeds, indeed, from those things which are retained in the memory, with the addition also of those which, by the act of discerning, are copied thence through recollection; that is, from the combination of something which we have remembered, and of the vision which was thence wrought, when we remembered, in the mind's eye of him who thinks. But the will itself which unites both requires also some other thing, which is, as it were, close at hand, and adjacent to him who remembers. There are, then, as many trinities of this kind as there are remembrances; because there is no one of them wherein there are not these three things, viz. that which was stored up in the memory also before it was thought, and that which takes place in the conception when this is discerned, and the will that unites both, and from both and itself as a third, completes one single thing. Or is it rather that we so recognize some one trinity in this kind, as that we are to speak generally, of whatever corporeal species lie hidden in the memory, as of a single unity, and again of the general vision of the mind which remembers and conceives such things, as of a single unity, to the combination of which two there is to be joined as a third the will that combines them, that this whole may be a certain unity made up from three?
Chap. 8.—Different modes of conceiving.
But since the eye of the mind cannot look at all things together, in one glance, which the memory retains, these trinities of thought alternate in a series of withdrawals and successions, and so that trinity becomes most innumerably numerous; and yet not infinite, if it pass not beyond the number of things stored up in the memory. For, although we begin to reckon from the earliest perception which any one has of material things through any bodily sense, and even take in also those things which he has forgotten, yet the number would undoubtedly be certain and determined, although innumerable. For we not only call infinite things innumerable, but also those, which, although finite, exceed any one's power of reckoning.
13. But we can hence perceive a little more clearly that what the memory stores up and retains is a different thing from that which is thence copied in the conception of the man who remembers, although, when both are combined together, they appear to be one and the same; because we can only remember just as many species of bodies as we have actually seen, and so great, and such, as we have actually seen; for the mind imbibes them into the memory from the bodily sense; whereas the things seen in conception, although drawn from those things which are in the memory, yet are multiplied and varied innumerably, and altogether without end. For I remember, no doubt, but one sun, because according to the fact, I have seen but one; but if I please, I conceive of two, or three, or as many as I will; but the vision of my mind, when I conceive of many, is formed from the same memory by which I remember one. And I remember it just as large as I saw it. For if I remember it as larger or smaller than I saw it, then I no longer remember what I saw, and so I do not remember it. But because I remember it, I remember it as large as I saw it; yet I conceive of it as greater or as less according to my will. And I remember it as I saw it; but I conceive of it as running its course as I will, and as standing still where I will, and as coming whence I will, and whither I will. For it is in my power to conceive of it as square, although I remember it as round; and again, of what color I please, although I have never seen, and therefore do not remember, a green sun; and as the sun, so all other things. But owing to the corporeal and sensible nature of these forms of things, the mind falls into error when it imagines them to exist without, in the same mode in which it conceives them within, either when they have already ceased to exist without, but are still retained in the memory, or when in any other way also, that which we remember is formed in the mind, not by faithful recollection, but after the variations of thought.
14. Yet it very often happens that we believe also a true narrative, told us by others, of things which the narrators have themselves perceived by their senses. And in this case, when we conceive the things narrated to us, as we hear them, the eye of the mind does not seem to be turned back to the memory, in order to bring up visions in our thoughts; for we do not conceive these things from our own recollection, but upon the narration of another; and that trinity does not here seem to come to its completion, which is made when the species lying hid in the memory, and the vision of the man that remembers, are combined by will as a third. For I do not conceive that which lay hid in my memory, but that which I hear, when anything is narrated to me. I am not speaking of the words themselves of the speaker, lest any one should suppose that I have gone off to that other trinity, which is transacted without, in sensible things, or in the senses: but I am conceiving of those species of material things, which the narrator signifies to me by words and sounds; which species certainly I conceive of not by remembering, but by hearing. But if we consider the matter more carefully, even in this case, the limit of the memory is not overstepped. For I could not even understand the narrator, if I did not remember generically the individual things of which he speaks, even although I then hear them for the first time as connected together in one tale. For he who, for instance, describes to me some mountain stripped of timber, and clothed with olive trees, describes it to me who remembers the species both of mountains, and of timber, and of olive trees; and if I had forgotten these, I should not know at all of what he was speaking, and therefore could not conceive that description. And so it comes to pass, that every one who conceives things corporeal, whether he himself imagine anything, or hear, or read, either a narrative of things past, or a foretelling of things future, has recourse to his memory, and finds there the limit and measure of all the forms at which he gazes in his thought. For no one can conceive at all, either a color or a form of body, which he never saw, or a sound which he never heard, or a flavor which he never tasted, or a scent which he never smelt, or any touch of a corporeal thing which he never felt. But if no one conceives anything corporeal except what he has [sensuously] perceived, because no one remembers anything corporeal except what he has thus perceived, then, as is the limit of perceiving in bodies, so is the limit of thinking in the memory. For the sense receives the species from that body which we perceive, and the memory from the sense; but the mental eye of the concipient, from the memory.
15. Further, as the will applies the sense to the bodily object, so it applies the memory to the sense, and the eye of the mind of the concipient to the memory. But that which harmonizes those things and unites them, itself also disjoins and separates them, that is, the will. But it separates the bodily senses from the bodies that are to be perceived, by movement of the body, either to hinder our perceiving the thing, or that we may cease to perceive it: as when we avert our eyes from that which we are unwilling to see, or shut them; so, again, the ears from sounds, or the nostrils from smells. So also we turn away from tastes, either by shutting the mouth, or by casting the thing out of the mouth. In touch, also, we either remove the bodily thing, that we may not touch what we do not wish, or if we were already touching it, we fling or push it away. Thus the will acts by movement of the body, so that the bodily sense shall not be joined to the sensible things. And it does this according to its power; for when it endures hardship in so doing, on account of the condition of slavish mortality, then torment is the result, in such wise that nothing remains to the will save endurance. But the will averts the memory from the sense; when, through its being intent on something else, it does not suffer things present to cleave to it. As any one may see, when often we do not seem to ourselves to have heard some one who was speaking to us, because we were thinking of something else. But this is a mistake; for we did hear, but we do not remember, because the words of the speaker presently slipped out of the perception of our ears, through the bidding of the will being diverted elsewhere, by which they are usually fixed in the memory. Therefore, we should say more accurately in such a case, we do not remember, than, we did not hear; for it happens even in reading, and to myself very frequently, that when I have read through a page or an epistle, I do not know what I have read, and I begin it again. For the purpose of the will being fixed on something else, the memory was not so applied to the bodily sense, as the sense itself was applied to the letters. So, too, any one who walks with the will intent on something else, does not know where he has got to; for if he had not seen, he would not have walked thither, or would have felt his way in walking with greater attention, especially if he was passing through a place he did not know; yet, because he walked easily, certainly he saw; but because the memory was not applied to the sense itself in the same way as the sense of the eyes was applied to the places through which he was passing, he could not remember at all even the last thing he saw. Now, to will to turn away the eye of the mind from that which is in the memory, is nothing else but not to think thereupon.
Chap. 9.—Species is produced by species in succession.
16. In this arrangement, then, while we begin from the bodily species and arrive finally at the species which comes to be in the intuition (contuitu) of the concipient, we find four species born, as it were, step by step one from the other, the second from the first, the third from the second, the fourth from the third: since from the species of the body itself, there arises that which comes to be in the sense of the percipient; and from this, that which comes to be in the memory; and from this, that which comes to be in the mind's eye of the concipient. And the will, therefore, thrice combines as it were parent with offspring: first the species of the body with that to which it gives birth in the sense of the body; and that again with that which from it comes to be in the memory; and this also, thirdly, with that which is born from it in the intuition of the concipient's mind. But the intermediate combination which is the second, although it is nearer to the first, is yet not so like the first as the third is. For there are two kinds of vision, the one of [sensuous] perception (sentientis), the other of conception (cogitantis). But in order that the vision of conception may come to be, there is wrought for the purpose, in the memory, from the vision of [sensuous] I perception something like it, to which the eye of the mind may turn itself in conceiving, as the glance (acies) of the eyes turns itself in [sensuously] perceiving to the bodily object. have, therefore, chosen to put forward two trinities in this kind: one when the vision of [sensuous] perception is formed from the bodily object, the other when the vision of conception is formed from the memory. But I have refrained from commending an intermediate one; because we do not commonly call it vision, when the form which comes to be in the sense of him who perceives, is on-trusted to the memory. Yet in all cases the will does not appear unless as the combiner as it were of parent and offspring; and so, proceed from whence it may, it can be called neither parent nor offspring.
Chap. 10.—The imagination also adds even to things we have not seen, those things which we have seen elsewhere.
17. But if we do not remember except what we have [sensuously] perceived, nor conceive except what we remember; why do we often conceive things that are false, when certainly we do not remember falsely those things which we have perceived, unless it be because that will (which I have already taken pains to show as much as I can to be the uniter and the separater of things of this kind) leads the vision of the conceiver that is to be formed, after its own will and pleasure, through the hidden stores of the memory; and, in order to conceive [imagine] those things which we do not remember, impels it to take one thing from hence, and another from thence, from those which we do remember; and these things combining into one vision make something which is called false, because it either does not exist externally in the nature of corporeal things, or does not seem copied from the memory, in that we do not remember that we ever saw such a thing. For who ever saw a black swan? And therefore no one remembers a black swan; yet who is there that cannot conceive it? For it is easy to apply to that shape which we have come to know by seeing it, a black color, which we have not the less seen in other bodies; and because we have seen both, we remember both. Neither do I remember a bird with four feet, because I never saw one; but I contemplate such a phantasy very easily, by adding to some winged shape such as I have seen, two other feet, such as I have likewise seen. And therefore, in conceiving conjointly, what we remember to have seen singly, we seem not to conceive that which we remember; while we really do this under the law of the memory, whence we take everything which we join together after our own pleasure in manifold and diverse ways. For we do not conceive even the very magnitudes of bodies, which magnitudes we never saw, without help of the memory; for the measure of space to which our gaze commonly reaches through the magnitude of the world, is the measure also to which we enlarge the bulk of bodies, whatever they may be, when we conceive them as great as we can. And reason, indeed, proceeds still beyond, but phantasy does not follow her; as when reason announces the infinity of number also, which no vision of him who conceives according to corporeal things can apprehend. The same reason also teaches that the most minute atoms are infinitely divisible; yet when we have come to those slight and minute particles which we remember to have seen, then we can no longer behold phantasms more slender and more minute, although reason does not cease to continue to divide them. So we conceive no corporeal things, except either those we remember, or from those things which we remember.
Chap. 11.—Number, weight, measure.
18. But because those things which are impressed on the memory singly, can be conceived according to number, measure seems to belong to the memory, but number to the vision; because, although the multiplicity of such visions is innumerable, yet a limit not to be transgressed is prescribed for each in the memory. Therefore, measure appears in the memory, number in the vision of things: as there is some measure in visible bodies themselves, to which measure the sense of those who see is most numerously adjusted, and from one visible object is formed the vision of many beholders, so that even a single person sees commonly a single thing under a double appearance, on account of the number of his two eyes, as we have laid down above. Therefore there is some measure in those things whence visions are copied, but in the visions themselves there is number. But the will which unites and regulates these things, and combines them into a certain unity, and does not quietly rest its desire of [sensuously] perceiving or of conceiving, except in those things from whence the visions are formed, resembles weight. And therefore I would just notice by way of anticipation these three things, measure, number, weight, which are to be perceived in all other things also. In the meantime, I have now shown as much as I can, and to whom I can, that the will is the uniter of the visible thing and of the vision; as it were, of parent and of offspring; whether in [sensuous] perception or in conception, and that it cannot be called either parent or offspring. Wherefore time admonishes us to seek for this same trinity in the inner man, and to strive to pass inwards from that animal and carnal and (as he is called) outward man, of whom I have so long spoken. And here we hope to be able to find an image of God according to the Trinity, He Himself helping our efforts, who as things themselves show, and as Holy Scripture also witnesses, has regulated all things in measure, and number, and weight.
Commencing with a distinction between wisdom and knowledge, points out a kind of trinity, of a peculiar sort, in that which is properly called knowledge, and which is the lower of the two; and this trinity, although it certainly pertains to the inner man, is still not yet to be called or thought an image of God.
Chap. 1.—Of what kind are the outer and the inner man.
1. COME now, and let us see where lies, as it were, the boundary line between the outer and inner man. For whatever we have in the mind common with the beasts, thus much is rightly said to belong to the outer man. For the outer man is not to be considered to be the body only, but with the addition also of a certain peculiar life of the body, whence the structure of the body derives its vigor, and all the senses with which he is equipped for the perception of outward things; and when the images of these outward things already perceived, that have been fixed in the memory, are seen again by recollection, it is still a matter pertaining to the outer man. And in all these things we do not differ from the beasts, except that in shape of body we are not prone, but upright. And we are admonished through this, by Him who made us, not to be like the beasts in that which is our better part—that is, the mind—while we differ from them by the uprightness of the body. Not that we are to throw our mind into those bodily things which are exalted; for to seek rest for the will, even in such things, is to prostrate the mind. But as the body is naturally raised upright to those bodily things which are most elevated, that is, to things celestial; so the mind, which is a spiritual substance, must be raised upright to those things which are most elevated in spiritual things, not by the elation of pride, but by the dutifulness of righteousness.
Chap. 2.—Man alone of animate creatures perceives the eternal reasons of things pertaining to the body.
2. And the beasts, too, are able both to perceive things corporeal from without, through the senses of the body, and to fix them in the memory, and remember them, and in them to seek after things suitable, and shun things inconvenient. But to note these things, and to retain them not only as caught up naturally but also as deliberately committed to memory, and to imprint them again by recollection and conception when now just slipping away into forgetfulness; in order that as conception is formed from that which the memory contains, so also the contents themselves of the memory may be fixed firmly by thought: to combine again imaginary objects of sight, by taking this or that of what the memory remembers, and, as it were, tacking them to one another: to examine after what manner it is that in this kind things like the true are to be distinguished from the true, and this not in things spiritual, but in corporeal things themselves;— these acts, and the like, although performed in reference to things sensible, and those which the mind has deduced through the bodily senses, yet, as they are combined with reason, so are not common to men and beasts. But it is the part of the higher reason to judge of these corporeal things according to incorporeal and eternal reasons; which, unless they were above the human mind, would certainly not be unchangeable; and yet, unless something of our own were subjoined to them, we should not be able to employ them as our measures by which to judge of corporeal things. But we judge of corporeal things from the rule of dimensions and figures, which the mind knows to remain unchangeably.
Chap. 3.—The higher reason which belongs to contemplation, and the lower which belongs to action, are in one mind.
3. But that of our own which thus has to do with the handling of corporeal and temporal things, is indeed rational, in that it is not common to us with the beasts; but it is drawn, as it were, out of that rational substance of our mind, by which we depend upon and cleave to the intelligible and unchangeable truth, and which is deputed to handle and direct the inferior things. For as among all the beasts there was not found for the man a help like unto him, unless one were taken from himself, and formed to be his consort: so for that mind, by which we consult the supernal and inward truth, there is no like help for such employment as man's nature requires among things corporeal out of those parts of the soul which we have in common with the beasts. And so a certain part of our reason, not separated so as to sever unity, but, as it were, diverted so as to be a help to fellowship, is parted off for the performing of its proper work. And as the twain is one flesh in the case of male and female, so in the mind one nature embraces our intellect and action, or our counsel and performance, or our reason and rational appetite, or whatever other more significant terms there may be by which to express them; so that, as it was said of the former, "And they two shall be in one flesh," it may be said of these, they two are in one mind.
Chap. 4.—The trinity and the image of God is in that part of the mind alone which belongs to the contemplation of eternal things.
4. When, therefore, we discuss the nature of the human mind, we discuss a single subject, and do not double it into those two which I have mentioned, except in respect to its functions. Therefore, when we seek the trinity in the mind, we seek it in the whole mind, without separating the action of the reason in things temporal from the contemplation of things eternal, so as to have further to seek some third thing, by which a trinity may be completed. But this trinity must needs be so discovered in the whole nature of the mind, as that even if action upon temporal things were to be withdrawn, for which work that help is necessary, with a view to which some part of the mind is diverted in order to deal with these inferior things, yet a trinity would still be found in the one mind that is no where parted off; and that when this distribution has been already made, not only a trinity may be found, but also an image of God, in that alone which belongs to the contemplation of eternal things; while in that other which is diverted from it in the dealing with temporal things, although there may be a trinity, yet there cannot be found an image of God.
Chap. 5.—The opinion which devises an image of the Trinity in the marriage of male and female, and in their offspring.
5. Accordingly they do not seem to me to advance a probable opinion, who lay it down that a trinity of the image of God in three persons, so far as regards human nature, can so be discovered as to be completed in the marriage of male and female and in their offspring; in that the man himself, as it were, indicates the person of the Father, but that which has so proceeded from him as to be born, that of the Son; and so the third person as of the Spirit, is, they say, the woman, who has so proceeded from the man as not herself to be either son or daughter, although it was by her conception that the offspring was born. For the Lord hath said of the Holy Spirit that He proceedeth from the Father, and yet he is not a son. In this erroneous opinion, then, the only point probably alleged, and indeed sufficiently shown according to the faith of the Holy Scripture, is this,—in the account of the original creation of the woman,—that what so comes into existence from some person as to make another person, cannot in every case be called a son; since the person of the woman came into existence from the person of the man, and yet she is not called his daughter. All the rest of this opinion is in truth so absurd, nay indeed so false, that it is most easy to refute it. For I pass over such a thing, as to think the Holy Spirit to be the mother of the Son of God, and the wife of the Father; since perhaps it may be answered that these things offend us in carnal things, because we think of bodily conceptions and births. Although these very things themselves are most chastely thought of by the pure, to whom all things are pure; but to the defiled and unbelieving, of whom both the mind and conscience are polluted, nothing is pure; so that even Christ, born of a virgin according to the flesh, is a stumbling-block to some of them. But yet in the case of those supreme spiritual things, after the likeness of which those kinds of the inferior creature also are made although most remotely, and where there is nothing that can be injured and nothing corruptible, nothing born in time, nothing formed from that which is formless, or whatever like expressions there may be; yet they ought not to disturb the sober prudence of any one, lest in avoiding empty disgust he run into pernicious error. Let him accustom himself so to find in corporeal things the traces of things spiritual, that when he begins to ascend upwards from thence, under the guidance of reason, in order to attain to the unchangeable truth itself through which these things were made, he may not draw with himself to things above what he despises in things below. For no one ever blushed to choose for himself wisdom as a wife, because the name of wife puts into a man's thoughts the corruptible connection which consists in begetting children; or because in truth wisdom itself is a woman in sex, since it is expressed in both Greek and Latin tongues by a word of the feminine gender.
Chap. 6. —Why this opinion is to be rejected.
6. We do not therefore reject this opinion, because we fear to think of that holy and inviolable and unchangeable Love, as the spouse of God the Father, existing as it does from Him, but not as an offspring in order to beget the Word by which all things are, made; but because divine Scripture evidently shows it to be false. For God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness;" and a little after it is said, "So God created man in the image of God." Certainly, in that it is of the plural number, the word "our" would not be rightly used if man were made in the image of one person, whether of the Father, or of the Son, or of the Holy Spirit; but because he was made in the image of the Trinity, on that account it is said, "After our image." But again, lest we should think that three Gods were to be believed in the Trinity, whereas the same Trinity is one God, it is said, "So God created man in the image of God," instead of saying, "In His own image."
7. For such expressions are customary in the Scriptures; and yet some persons, while maintaining the Catholic faith, do not carefully attend to them, in such wise that they think the words, "God made man in the image of God," to mean that the Father made man after the image of the Son; and they thus desire to assert that the Son also is called God in the divine Scriptures, as if there were not other most true and clear proofs wherein the Son is called not only God, but also the true God. For whilst they aim at explaining another difficulty in this text, they become so entangled that they cannot extricate themselves. For if the Father made man after the image of the Son, so that he is not the image of the Father, but of the Son, then the Son is unlike the Father. But if a pious faith teaches us, as it does. that the Son is like the Father after an equality of essence, then that which is made in the likeness of the Son must needs also be made in the likeness of the Father. Further, if the Father made man not in His own image, but in the image of His Son, why does He not say, "Let us make man after Thy image and likeness," whereas He does say, "our;" unless it be because the image of the Trinity was made in man, that in this way man should be the image of the one true God, because the Trinity itself is the one true God? Such expressions are innumerable in the Scriptures, but it will suffice to have produced these. It is so said in the Psalms, "Salvation belongeth unto the Lord; Thy blessing is upon Thy people;" as if the words were spoken to some one else, not to Him of whom it had been said, "Salvation belongeth unto the Lord." And again, "For by Thee," he says, "I shall be delivered from temptation, and by hoping in my God I shall leap over the wall;" as if he said to some one else, "By Thee I shall be delivered from temptation." And again, "In the heart of the king's enemies; whereby the people fall under Thee;" as if he were to say, in the heart of Thy enemies. For he had said to that King, that is, to our Lord Jesus Christ, "The people fall under Thee," whom he intended by the word King, when he said, "In the heart of the king's enemies." Things of this kind are found more rarely in the New Testament. But yet the apostle says to the Romans, "Concerning His Son who was made to Him of the seed of David according to the flesh, and declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection of the dead of Jesus Christ our Lord;" as though he were speaking above of some one else. For what is meant by the Son of God declared by the resurrection of the dead of Jesus Christ, except of the same Jesus Christ who was declared to be Son of God with power? And as then in this passage, when we are told, "the Son of God with power of Jesus Christ," or "the Son of God according to the spirit of holiness of Jesus Christ," or "the Son of God by the resurrection of the dead of Jesus Christ," whereas it might have been expressed in the ordinary way, In His own power, or according to the spirit of His own holiness, or by the resurrection of His dead, or of their dead: as, I says we are not compelled to understand another person, but one and the same, that is, the person of the Son of God our Lord Jesus Christ; so, when we are told that "God made man in the image of God," although it might have been more usual to say, after His own image, yet we are not compelled to understand any other person in the Trinity, but the one and selfsame Trinity itself, who is one God, and after whose image man is made.
8. And since the case stands thus, if we are to accept the same image of the Trinity, as not in one, but in three human beings, father and mother and son, then the man was not made after the image of God before a wife was made for him, and before they procreated a son; because there was not yet a trinity. Will any one say there was already a trinity, because, although not yet in their proper form, yet in their original nature, both the woman was already in the side of the man, and the son in the loins of his father? Why then, when Scripture had said, "God made man after the image of God," did it go on to say, "God created him; male and female created He them: and God blessed them"? (Or if it is to be so divided, "And God created man," so that thereupon is to be added, "in the image of God created He him," and then subjoined in the third place, "male and female created He them;" for some have feared to say, He made him male and female, lest something monstrous, as it were; should be understood, as are those whom they call hermaphrodites, although even so both might be understood not falsely in the singular number, on account of that which is said, "Two in one flesh.") Why then, as I began by saying, in regard to the nature of man made after the image of God, does Scripture specify nothing except male and female? Certainly, in order to complete the image of the Trinity, it ought to have added also son, although still placed in the loins of his father, as the woman was in his side. Or was it perhaps that the woman also had been already made, and that Scripture had combined in a short and comprehensive statement, that of which it was going to explain afterwards more carefully, how it was done; and that therefore a son could not be mentioned, because no son was yet born? As if the Holy Spirit could not have comprehended this, too, in that brief statement, while about to narrate the birth of the son afterwards in its own place; as it narrated afterwards in its own place, that the woman was taken from the side of the man, and yet has not omitted here to name her.
Chap. 7.—How man is the image of God. Whether the woman is not also the image of God. How the saying of the apostle, that the man is the image of God, but the woman is the glory of the man, is to be understood figuratively and mystically.
9. We ought not therefore so to understand that man is made in the image of the supreme Trinity, that is, in the image of God, as that the same image should be understood to be in three human beings; especially when the apostle says that the man is the image of God, and on that account removes the covering from his head, which he warns the woman to use, speaking thus: " For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of the man." What then shall we say to this? If the woman fills up the image of the trinity after the measure of her own person, why is the man still called that image after she has been taken out of his side? Or if even one person of a human being out of three can be called the image of God, as each person also is God in the supreme Trinity itself, why is the woman also not the image of God? For she is instructed for this very reason to cover her head, which be is forbidden to do because he is the image of God.
10. But we must notice how that which the apostle says, that not the woman but the man is the image of God, is not contrary to that which is written in Genesis, "God created man: in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them: and He blessed them." For this text says that human nature itself, which is complete [only] in both sexes, was made in the image of God; and it does not separate the woman from the image of God which it signifies. For after saying that God made man in the image of God, "He created him," it says, "male and female:" or at any rate, punctuating the words otherwise, "male and female created He them." How then did the apostle tell us that the man is the image of God, and therefore he is forbidden to cover his head; but that the woman is not so, and therefore is commanded to cover hers? Unless, forsooth, according to that which I have said already, when I was treating of the nature of the human mind, that the woman together with her own husband is the image of God, so that that whole substance may be one image; but when she is referred separately to her quality of help-meet, which regards the woman herself alone, then she is not the image of God; but as regards the man alone, he is the image of God as fully and completely as when the woman too is joined with him in one. As we said of the nature of the human mind, that both in the case when as a whole it contemplates the truth it is the image of God; and in the case when anything is divided from it, and diverted in order to the cognition of temporal things; nevertheless on that side on which it beholds and consults truth, here also it is the image of God, but on that side whereby it is directed to the cognition of the lower things, it is not the image of God. And since it is so much the more formed after the image of God, the more it has extended itself to that which is eternal, and is on that account not to be restrained, so as to withhold and refrain itself from thence; therefore the man ought not to cover his head. But because too great a progression towards inferior things is dangerous to that rational cognition that is conversant with things corporeal and temporal; this ought to have power on its head, which the covering indicates, by which it is signified that it ought to be restrained. For a holy and pious meaning is pleasing to the holy angels. For God sees not after the way of time, neither does anything new take place in His vision and knowledge, when anything is done in time and transitorily, after the way in which such things affect the senses, whether the carnal senses of animals and men, or even the heavenly senses of the angels.
11. For that the Apostle Paul, when speaking outwardly of the sex of male and female, figured the mystery of some more hidden truth, may be understood from this, that when he says in another place that she is a widow indeed who is desolate, without children and nephews, and yet that she ought to trust in God, and to continue in prayers night and day, he here indicates, that the woman having been brought into the transgression by being deceived, is brought to salvation by child-bearing; and then he has added, "If they continue in faith, and charity, and holiness, with sobriety." As if it could possibly hurt a good widow, if either she had not sons, or if those whom she had did not choose to continue in good works. But because those things which are called good works are, as it were, the sons of our life, according to that sense of life in which it answers to the question, What is a man's life? that is, How does he act in these temporal things? which life the Greeks do not call but Bios; and because these good works are chiefly performed in the way of offices of mercy, while works of mercy are of no profit, either to Pagans, or to Jews who do not believe in Christ, or to any heretics or schismstics whatsoever in whom faith and charity and sober holiness are not found: what the apostle meant to signify is plain, and in so far figuratively and mystically, because he was speaking of covering the head of the woman, which will remain mere empty words, unless referred to some hidden sacrament.
12. For, as not only most true reason but also the authority of the apostle himself declares, man was not made in the image of God according to the shape of his body, but according to his rational mind. For the thought is a debased and empty one, which holds God to be circumscribed and limited by the lineaments of bodily members. But further, does not the same blessed apostle say, "Be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new man, which is created after God;" and in another place more clearly, "Putting off the old man," he says, "with his deeds; put on the new man, which is renewed to the knowledge of God after the image of Him that created him?" If, then, we are renewed in the spirit of our mind, and he is the new man who is renewed to the knowledge of God after the image of Him that created him; no one can doubt, that man was made after the image of Him that created him, not according to the body, nor indiscriminately according to any part of the mind, but according to the rational mind, wherein the knowledge of God can exist And it is according to this renewal, also, that we are made sons of God by the baptism of Christ; and putting on the new man, certainly put on Christ through faith. Who is there, then, who will hold women to be alien from this fellowship, whereas they are fellow- heirs of grace with us; and whereas in another place the same apostle says, "For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus; for as many as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ: there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female; for ye are all one in Christ Jesus?" Pray, have faithful women then lost their bodily sex? But because they are there renewed after the image of God, where there is no sex; man is there made after the image of God, where there is no sex, that is, in the spirit of his mind. Why, then, is the man on that account not bound to cover his head, because he is the image and glory of God, while the woman is bound to do so, because she is the glory of the man; as though the woman were not renewed in the spirit of her mind, which spirit is renewed to the knowledge of God after the image of Him who created him? But because she differs from the man in bodily sex, it was possible rightly to represent under her bodily covering that part of the reason which is diverted to the government of temporal things; so that the image of God may remain on that side of the mind of man on which it cleaves to the beholding or the consulting of the eternal reasons of things; and this, it is clear, not men only, but also women have.
Chap. 8.—Turning aside from the image of God.
13. A common nature, therefore, is recognized in their minds, but in their bodies a division of that one mind itself is figured. As we ascend, then, by certain steps of thought within, along the succession of the parts of the mind, there where something first meets us which is not common to ourselves with the beasts reason begins, so that here the inner man can now be recognized. And if this inner man himself, through that reason to which the administering of things temporal has been delegated, slips on too far by over-much progress into outward things, that which is his head moreover consenting, that is, the (so to call it) masculine part which presides in the watch-tower of counsel not restraining or bridling it: then he waxeth old because of all his enemies, viz. the demons with their prince the devil, who are envious of virtue; and that vision of eternal things is withdrawn also from the head himself, eating with his spouse that which was forbidden, so that the light of his eyes is gone from him; and so both being naked from that enlightenment of truth, and with the eyes of their conscience opened to behold how they were left shameful and unseemly, like the leaves of sweet fruits, but without the fruits themselves, they so weave together good words without the fruit of good works, as while living wickedly to cover over their disgrace as it were by speaking well.
Chap. 9.—The same argument is continued.
14. For the soul loving its own power, slips onwards from the whole which is common, to a part, which belongs especially to itself. And that apostatizing pride, which is called "the beginning of sin," whereas it might have been most excellently governed by the laws of God, if it had followed Him as its ruler in the universal creature, by seeking something more than the whole, and struggling to govern this by a law of its own, is thrust on, since nothing is more than the whole, into caring for a part; and thus by lusting after something more, is made less; whence also covetousness is called "the root of all evil." And it administers that whole, wherein it strives to do something of its own against the laws by which the whole is governed, by its own body, which it possesses only in part; and so being delighted by corporeal forms and motions, because it has not the things themselves within itself, and because it is wrapped up in their images, which it has fixed in the memory, and is foully polluted by fornication of the phantasy, while it refers all its functions to those ends, for which it curiously seeks corporeal and temporal things through the senses of the body, either it affects with swelling arrogance to be more excellent than other souls that are given up to the corporeal senses, or it is plunged into a foul whirlpool of carnal pleasure.
Chap. 10.—The lowest degradation reached by degrees.
15. When the soul then consults either for itself or for others with a good will towards perceiving the inner and higher things, such as are possessed in a chaste embrace, without any narrowness or envy, not individually, but in common by all who love such things; then even if it be deceived in anything, through ignorance of things temporal (for its action in this case is a temporal one), and if it does not hold fast to that mode of acting which it ought, the temptation is but one common to man. And it is a great thing so of pass through this life, on which we travel, as it were, like a road on our return home, that no temptation may take us, but what is common to man. For this is a sin, without the body, and must not be reckoned fornication, and on that account is very easily pardoned. But when the soul does anything in order to attain those things which are perceived through the body, through lust of proving or of surpassing or of handling them, in order that it may place in them its final good, then whatever it does, it does wickedly, and commits fornication, sinning against its own body: and while snatching from within the deceitful images of corporeal things, and combining them by vain thought, so that nothing seems to it to be divine, unless it be of such a kind as this; by selfish greediness it is made fruitful in errors, and by selfish prodigality it is emptied of strength. Yet it would not leap on at once from the commencement to such shameless and miserable fornication, but, as it is written, "He that contemneth small things, shall fall by little and little."
Chap. 11.—The image of the beast in man.
16. For as a snake does not creep on with open steps, but advances by the very minutest efforts of its several scales; so the slippery motion of falling away [from what is good] takes possession of the negligent only gradually, and beginning from a perverse desire for the likeness of God, arrives in the end at the likeness of beasts. Hence it is that being naked of their first garment, they earned by mortality coats of skins. For— the true honor of man is the image and likeness of God, which is not preserved except it be in relation to Him by whom it is impressed. The less therefore that one loves what is one's own, the more one cleaves to God. But through the desire of making trial of his own power, man by his own bidding falls down to himself as to a sort of intermediate grade. And so, while he wishes to be as God is, that is, under no one, he is thrust on, even from his own middle grade, by way of punishment, to that which is lowest, that is, to those things in which beasts delight: and thus, while his honor is the likeness of God, but his dishonor is the likeness of the beast, "Man being in honor abideth not: he is compared to the beasts that are foolish, and is made like to them." By what path, then, could he pass so great a distance from the highest to the lowest, except through his own intermediate grade? For when he neglects the love of wisdom, which remains always after the same fashion, and lusts after knowledge by experiment upon things temporal and mutable, that knowledge puffeth up, it does not edify: so the mind is overweighed and thrust out, as it were, by its own weight from blessedness; and learns by its own punishment, through that trial of its own intermediateness, what the difference is between the good it has abandoned and the bad to which it has committed itself; and having thrown away and destroyed its strength, it cannot return, unless by the grace of its Maker calling it to repentance, and forgiving its sins. For who will deliver the unhappy soul from the body of this death, unless the grace of God through Jesus Christ our Lord? of which grace we will discourse in its place, so far as He Himself enables us.
Chap. 12.—There is a kind of hidden wedlock in the inner man. Unlawful pleasures of the thoughts.
17. Let us now complete, so far as the Lord helps us, the discussion which we have undertaken, respecting that part of reason to which knowledge belongs, that is, the cognizance of things temporal and changeable, which is necessary for managing the affairs of this life. For as in the case of that visible wedlock of the two human beings who were made first, the serpent did not eat of the forbidden tree, but only persuaded them to eat of it; and the woman did not eat alone, but gave to her husband, and they eat together; although she alone spoke with the serpent, and she alone was led away by him: so also in the case of that hidden and secret kind of wedlock, which is transacted and discerned in a single human being, the carnal, or as I may say, since it is directed to the senses of the body, the sensuous movement of the soul, which is common to us with beasts, is shut off from the reason of wisdom. For certainly bodily things are perceived by the sense of the body; but spiritual things, which are eternal and unchangeable, are understood by the reason of wisdom. But the reason of knowledge has appetite very near to it: seeing that what is called the science or knowledge of actions reasons concerning the bodily things which are perceived by the bodily sense; if well, in order that it may refer that knowledge to the end of the chief good; but if ill, in order that it may enjoy them as being such good things as those wherein it reposes with a false blessedness. Whenever, then, that carnal or animal sense introduces into this purpose of the mind which is conversant about things temporal and corporeal, with a view to the offices of a man's actions, by the living force of reason, some inducement to enjoy itself, that is, to enjoy itself as if it were some private good of its own, not as the public and common, which is the unchangeable, good; then, as it were, the serpent discourses with the woman. And to consent to this allurement, is to eat of the forbidden tree. But if that consent is satisfied by the pleasure of thought alone, but the members are so restrained by the authority of higher counsel that they are not yielded as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin; this, I think, is to be considered as if the woman alone should have eaten the forbidden food. But if, in this consent to use wickedly the things which are perceived through the senses of the body, any sin at all is so determined upon, that if there is the power it is also fulfilled by the body; then that woman must be understood to have given the unlawful food to her husband with her, to be eaten together. For it is not possible for the mind to determine that a sin is not only to be thought of with pleasure, but also to be effectually committed, unless also that intention of the mind yields, and serves the bad action, with which rests the chief power of applying the members to an outward act, or of restraining them from one.
18. And yet, certainly, when the mind is pleased in thought alone with unlawful things, while not indeed determining that they are to be done, but yet holding and pondering gladly things which ought to have been rejected the very moment they touched the mind, it cannot be denied to be a sin, but far less than if it were also determined to accomplished it in outward act. And therefore pardon must be sought for such thoughts too, and the breast must be smitten, and it must be said, "Forgive us our debts;" and what follows must be done, and must be joined in our prayer, "As we also forgive our debtors." For it is not as it was with those two first human beings, of which each one bare his own person; and so, if the woman alone had eaten the forbidden food, she certainly alone would have been smitten with the punishment of death: it cannot, I say, be so said also in the case of a single human being now, that if the thought, remaining alone, be gladly fed with unlawful pleasures, from which it ought to turn away directly, while yet there is no determination that the bad actions are to be done, but only that they are retained with pleasure in remembrance, the woman as it were can be condemned without the man. Far be it from us to believe this. For here is one person, one human being, and he as a whole will be condemned, unless those things which, as lacking the will to do, and yet having the will to please the mind with them, are perceived to be sins of thought alone, are pardoned through the grace of the Mediator.
19. This reasoning, then, whereby we have sought in the mind of each several human being a certain rational wedlock of contemplation and action, with functions distributed through each severally, yet with the unity of the mind preserved in both; saving meanwhile the truth of that history which divine testimony hands down respecting the first two human beings, that is, the man and his wife, from whom the human species is propagated;—this reasoning, I say, must be listened to only thus far, that the apostle may be understood to have intended to signify something to be sought in one individual man, by assigning the image of God to the man only, and not also to the woman, although in the merely different sex of two human beings.
Chap. 13.—The opinion of those who have thought that the mind was signified by the man, the bodily sense by the woman.
20. Nor does it escape me, that some who before us were eminent defenders of the Catholic faith and expounders of the word of God, while they looked for these two things in one human being, whose entire soul they perceived to be a sort of excellent paradise, asserted that the man was the mind, but that the woman was the bodily sense. And according to this distribution, by which the man is assumed to be the mind, but the woman the bodily sense, all things seem aptly to agree together if they are handled with due attention: unless that it is written, that in all the beasts and flying things there was not found for man an helpmate like to himself; and then the woman was made out of his side And on this account I, for my part, have not thought that the bodily sense should be taken for the woman, which we see to be common to ourselves and to the beasts; but I have desired to find something which the beasts had not; and I have rather thought the bodily sense should be understood to be the serpent, whom we read to have been more subtle than all beasts of the field. For in those natural good things which we see are common to ourselves and to the irrational animals, the sense excels by a kind of living power; not the sense of which it is written in the epistle addressed to the Hebrews, where we read, that "strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil;" for these "senses" belong to the rational nature and pertain to the understanding; but that sense which is divided into five parts in the body, through which corporeal species and motion is perceived not only by ourselves, but also by the beasts. 21. But whether that the apostle calls the man the image and glory of God, but the woman the glory of the man, is to be received in this, or that, or in any other way; yet it is clear, that when we live according to God, our mind which is intent on the invisible things of Him ought to be fashioned with proficiency from His eternity, truth, charity; but that something of our own rational purpose, that is, of the same mind, must be directed to the using of changeable and corporeal things, without which this life does not go on; not that we may be conformed to this world, by placing our end in such good things, and by forcing the desire of blessedness towards them, but that whatever we do rationally in the using of temporal things, we may do it with the contemplation of attaining eternal things, passing through the former, but cleaving to the latter.
Chap. 14.—What is the difference between wisdom and knowledge. The worship of God is the love of Him. How the intellectual cognizance of eternal things comes to pass through wisdom.
For knowledge also has its own good measure, if that in it which puffs up, or is wont to puff up, is conquered by love of eternal things, which does not puff up, but, as we know, edifieth. Certainly without knowledge the virtues themselves, by which one lives rightly, cannot be possessed, by which this miserable life may be so governed, that we may attain to that eternal life which is truly blessed.
22. Yet action, by which we use temporal things well, differs from contemplation of eternal things; and the latter is reckoned to wisdom, the former to knowledge. For although that which is wisdom can also be called knowledge, as the apostle too speaks, where he says, "Now I know in part, but then shall I know even as also I am known;" when doubtless he meant his words to be understood of the knowledge of the contemplation of God, which will be the highest reward of the saints; yet where he says, "For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom, to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit," certainly he distinguishes without doubt these two things, although he does not there explain the difference, nor in what way one may be discerned from the other. But having examined a great number of passages from the Holy Scriptures, I find it written in the Book of Job, that holy man being the speaker, "Behold, piety, that is wisdom; but to depart from evil is knowledge." In thus distinguishing, it must be understood that wisdom belongs to contemplation, knowledge to action. For in this place he meant by piety the worship of God, which in Greek is called theosebeia. For the sentence in the Greek MSS. has that word. And what is there in eternal things more excellent than God, of whom alone the nature is unchangeable? And what is the worship of Him except the love of Him, by which we now desire to see Him, and we believe and hope that we shall see Him; and in proportion as we make progress, see now through a glass in an enigma, but then in clearness? For this is what the Apostle Paul means by "face to face." This is also what John says, "Beloved, now we are the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is." Discourse about these and the like subjects seems to me to be the discourse itself of wisdom. But to depart from evil, which Job says is knowledge, is without doubt of temporal things. Since it is in reference to time [and this world] that we are in evil, from which we ought to abstain that we may come to those good eternal things. And therefore, whatsoever we do prudently, boldly, temperately, and justly, belongs to that knowledge or discipline wherewith our action is conversant in avoiding evil and desiring good; and so also, whatsoever we gather by the knowledge that comes from inquiry, in the way of examples either to be guarded against or to be imitated, and in the way of necessary proofs respecting any subject, accommodated to our use.
23. When a discourse then relates to these things, I hold it to be a discourse belonging to knowledge, and to be distinguished from a discourse belonging to wisdom, to which those things belong, which neither have been, nor shall be, but are; and on account of that eternity in which they are, are said to have been, and to be, and to be about to be, without any changeableness of times. For neither have they been in such way as that they should cease to be, nor are they about to be in such way as if they were not now; but they have always had and always will have that very absolute being. And they abide, but not as if fixed in some place as are bodies; but as intelligible things in incorporeal nature, they are so at hand to the glance of the mind, as things visible or tangible in place are to the sense of the body. And not only in the case of sensible things posited in place, there abide also intelligible and incorporeal reasons of them apart from local space; but also of motions that pass by in successive times, apart from any transit in time, there stand also like reasons, themselves certainly intelligible, and not sensible. And to attain to these with the eye of the mind is the lot of few; and when they are attained as much as they can be, he himself who attains to them does not abide in them, but is as it were repelled by the rebounding of the eye itself of the mind, and so there comes to be a transitory thought of a thing not transitory. And yet this transient thought is committed to the memory through the instructions by which the mind is taught; that the mind which is compelled to pass from thence, may be able to return thither again; although, if the thought should not return to the memory and find there what it had committed to it, it would be led thereto like an uninstructed person, as it had been led before, and would find it where it had first found it, that is to say, in that incorporeal truth, whence yet once more it may be as it were written down and fixed in the mind. For the thought of man, for example, does not so abide in that incorporeal and unchangeable reason of a square body, as that reason itself abides: if, to be sure, it could attain to it at all without the phantasy of local space. Or if one were to apprehend the rhythm of any artificial or musical sound, passing through certain intervals of time, as it rested without time in some secret and deep silence, it could at least be thought as long as that song could be heard; yet what the glance of the mind, transient though it was, caught from thence. and, absorbing as it were into a belly, so laid up in the memory, over this it will be able to rumiuate in some measure by recollection, and to transfer what it has thus learned into systematic knowledge. But if this has been blotted out by absolute forgetfulness, yet once again, Under the guidance of teaching, one wilt come to that which had altogether dropped away, and it will be found such as it was.
Chap. 15. —In opposition to the reminiscence of Plato and Pythagoras. Pythagoras the Samian. Of the difference between wisdom and knowledge, and of seeking the Trinity in the knowledge of temporal things.
24. And hence that noble philosopher Plato endeavored to persuade us that the souls of men lived even before they bare these bodies; and that hence those things which are learnt are rather remembered, as having been known already, than taken into knowledge as things new. For he has told us that a boy, when questioned I know not what respecting geometry, replied as if he were perfectly skilled in that branch of learning. For being questioned step by step and skillfully, he saw what was to be seen, and said that which he saw. But if this had been a recollecting of things previously known, then certainly every one, or almost every one, would not have been able so to answer when questioned. For not every one was a geometrician in the former life, since geometricians are so few among men that scarcely one can be found anywhere. But we ought rather to believe, that the intellectual mind is so formed in its nature as to see those things, which by the disposition of the Creator are subjoined to things intelligible in a natural order, by a sort of incorporeal light of an unique kind; as the eye of the flesh sees things adjacent to itself in this bodily light, of which light it is made to be receptive, and adapted to it. For none the more does this fleshly eye, too, distinguish black things from white without a teacher, because it had already known them before it was created in this flesh. Why, lastly, is it possible only in intelligible things that any one properly questioned should answer according to any branch of learning, although ignorant of it? Why can no one do this with things sensible, except those which he has seen in this his present body, or has believed the information of others who knew them, whether somebody's writings or words? For we must not acquiesce in their story. who assert that the Samian Pythagoras recollected some things of this kind, which he had" experienced when he was previously here in another body; and others tell yet of others, that they experienced something of the same sort in their minds: but it may be conjectured that these were untrue recollections, such as we commonly experience in sleep, when we fancy we remember, as though we had done or seen it, what we never did or saw at all; and that the minds of these persons, even though awake, were affected in this way at the suggestion of malignant and deceitful spirits, whose care it is to confirm or to sow some false belief concerning the changes of souls, in order to deceive men. This, I say, may be conjectured from this, that if they really remembered those things which they had seen here before, while occupying other bodies, the same thing would happen to many, nay to almost all; since they suppose that as the dead from the living, so, without cessation and continually, the living are coming into existence from the dead; as sleepers from those that are awake, and those that are awake from them that sleep.
25. If therefore this is the right distinction between wisdom and knowledge, that the intellectual cognizance of eternal things belongs to wisdom, but the rational cognizance of temporal things to knowledge, it is not difficult to judge which is to be preferred or postponed to which. But if we must employ some other distinction by which to know these two apart, which without doubt the apostle teaches us are different, saying, "To one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge, by the same Spirit:" still the difference between those two which we have laid down is a most evident one, in that the intellectual cognizance of eternal things is one thing, the rational cognizance of temporal things another; and no one doubts but that the former is to be preferred to the latter. As then we leave behind those things which belong to the outer man, and desire to ascend within from those things which we have in common with beasts, before we come to the cognizance of things intelligible and supreme, which are eternal, the rational cognizance of temporal things presents itself. Let us then find a trinity in this also, if we can, as we found one in the senses of the body, and in those things which through them entered in the way of images into our soul or spirit; so that instead of corporeal things which we touch by corporeal sense, placed as they are without us, we might have resemblances of bodies impressed within on the memory from which thought might be formed, while the will as a third united them; just as the sight of the eyes was formed from without, which the will applied to the visible thing in order to produce vision. and united both, while itself also added itself thereto as a third. But this subject must not be compressed into this book; so that in that which follows, if God help, it may be suitably examined, and the conclusions to which we come may be unfolded.
The inquiry is prosecuted respecting knowledge, in which, as distinguished from wisdom, Augustine had begun in the former book to look for a kind of trinity. And occasion is taken of commending Christian faith, and of explaining how the faith of believers is one and common. Next, that all desire blessedness, yet that all have not the faith whereby we arrive at blessedness; and that this faith is defined in Christ, who in the flesh rose from the dead; and that no one is set free from the dominion of the devil through forgiveness of sins, save through him. It is shown also at length that it was needful that the devil should be conquered by Christ, not by power, but by righteousness. Finally, that when the words of this faith are committed to memory, there is in the mind a kind of trinity, since there are, first, in the memory the sounds of the words, and this even when the man is not thinking of them; and next, the mind's eye of his recollection is formed thereupon when he thinks of them; and, lastly, the will, when he so thinks and remembers, combines both.
Chap. 1.—The attempt is made to distinguish out of the scriptures the offices of wisdom and of knowledge. That in the beginning of John some things that are said belong to wisdom, some to knowledge. Some things there are only known by the help of faith. How we see the faith that is in us. In the same narrative of John, some things are known by the sense of the body, others only by the reason of the mind.
1. IN the book before this, viz. the twelfth of this work, we have done enough to distinguish the office of the rational mind in temporal things, wherein not only our knowing but our action is concerned, from the more excellent office of the same mind, which is employed in contemplating eternal things, and is limited to knowing alone. But I think it more convenient that I should insert somewhat out of the Holy Scriptures, by which the two may more easily be distinguished.
2. John the Evangelist has thus begun his Gospel: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without was Him not anything made that was made. In Him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through Him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not. He came unto His own, and His own received Him not. But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only-begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth." This entire passage, which I have here taken from the Gospel, contains in its earlier portions what is immutable and eternal, the contemplation of which makes us blessed; but in those which follow, eternal things are mentioned in conjunction with temporal things. And hence some things there belong to knowledge, some to wisdom, according to our previous distinction in the twelfth book. For the words,—"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made. In Him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not: "—require a contemplative life, and must be discerned by the intellectual mind; and the more any one has profiled in this, the wiser without doubt will he become. But on account of the verse, "The light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not," faith certainly was necessary, whereby that which was not seen might be believed. For by "darkness" he intended to signify the hearts of mortals turned away from light of this kind, and hardly able to behold it; for which reason he subjoins. "There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through Him might believe." But here we come to a thing that was done in time, and belongs to knowledge, which is comprised in the cognizance of facts. And we think of the man John under that phantasy which is impressed on our memory from the notion of human nature. And whether men believe or not, they think this in the same manner. For both alike know what man is, the outer part of whom, that is, his body, they have learned through the eyes of the body; but of the inner, that is, the soul, they possess the knowledge in themselves, because they also themselves are men, and through intercourse with men; so that they are able to think what is said, "There was a man, whose name was John," because they know the names also by interchange of speech. But that which is there also, viz. "sent from God," they who hold at all, hold by faith; and they who do not hold it by faith, either hesitate through doubt, or deride it through unbelief. Yet both, if they are not in the number of those over-foolish ones, who say in their heart "There is no God," when they, hear these words, think both things, viz. both what God is, and what it is to be sent from God; and if they do not do this as the things themselves really are, they do it at any rate as they can.
3. Further, we know from other sources the faith itself which a man sees to be in his own heart, if he believes, or not to be there, if he does not believe: but not as we know bodies, which we see with the bodily eyes, and think of even when absent through the images of themselves which we retain in memory; nor yet as those things which we have not seen, and which we frame howsoever we can in thought from those which we have seen, and commit them to memory, that we may recur to them when we will, in order that therein we may similarly by recollection discern them, or rather discern the images of them, of what sort soever these are which we have fixed there; nor again as a living man, whose soul we do not indeed see, but conjecture from our own, and from corporeal motions gaze also in thought upon the living man, as we have learnt him by sight. Faith as not so seen in the heart in which it is, by him whose it is; but most certain knowledge holds it fast, and conscience proclaims it. Although therefore we are bidden to believe on this account, because we cannot see what we are bidden to believe; nevertheless we see faith itself in ourselves, when that faith is in us; because faith even in absent things is present, and faith in things which are without us is within, and faith in things which are not seen is itself seen, and itself none the less comes into the hearts of men in time; and if any cease to be faithful and become unbelievers, then it perishes from them. And sometimes faith is accommodated even to falsehoods; for we sometimes so speak as to say, I put faith in him, and he deceived me. And this kind of faith, if indeed it too is to be called faith, perishes from the heart without blame, when truth is found and expels it. But faith in things that are true, passes, as one should wish it to pass, into the things themselves. For we must not say that faith perishes, when those things which were believed are seen. For is it indeed still to be called faith, when faith, according to the definition in the Epistle to the Hebrews, is the evidence of things not seen?
4. In the words which follow next, "The same came for a witness, to hear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe;" the action, as we have said, is one done in time. For to bear witness even to that which is eternal, as is that light that is intelligible, is a thing done in time. And of this it was that John came to bear witness who "was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light." For he adds "That was the true Light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not. He came unto His own, and His own received Him not." Now they who know the Latin language, understand all these words, from those things which they know: and of these, some have become known to us through the senses of the body, as man, as the world itself, of which the greatness is so evident to our sight; as again the sounds of the words themselves, for hearing also is a sense of the body; and some through the reason of the mind, as that which is said, "And His own received Him not;" for this means, that they did not believe in Him; and what belief is, we do not know by any sense of the body, but by the reason of the mind. We have learned, too, not the sounds, but the meanings of the words themselves, partly through the sense of the body, partly through the reason of the mind. Nor have we now heard those words for the first time, but they are words we had heard before. And we were retaining in our memory as things known, and we here recognized, not only the words themselves, but also what they meant. For when the bisyllabic word mundus is uttered, then something that is certainly corporeal, for it is a sound, has become known through the body, that is, through the ear. But that which it means also, has become known through the body, that is, through the eyes of the flesh. For so far as the world is known to us at all, it is known through sight. But the quadri- syllabic word crediderunt reaches us, so far as its sound, since that is a corporeal thing, through the ear of the flesh; but its meaning is discoverable by no sense of the body, but by the reason of the mind. For unless we knew through the mind what the word crediderunt meant, we should not understand what they did not do, of whom it is said, "And His own received Him not." The sound then of the word rings upon the ears of the body from without, and reaches the sense which is called hearing. The species also of man is both known to us in ourselves, and is presented to the senses of the body from without, in other men; to the eyes, when it is seen; to the ears, when it is heard; to the touch, when it is held and touched; and it has, too, its image in our memory, incorporeal indeed, but like the body. Lastly, the wonderful beauty of the world itself is at hand from without, both to our gaze, and to that sense which is called touch, if we come in contact with any of it: and this also has its image within in our memory, to which we revert, when we think of it either in the enclosure of a room, or again in darkness. But we have already sufficiently spoken in the eleventh book of these images of corporeal things; incorporeal indeed, yet having the likeness of bodies, and belonging to the life of the outer man. But we are treating now of the inner man, and of his knowledge, namely, that knowledge which is of things temporal and changeable; into the purpose and scope of which, when anything is assumed, even of things belonging to the outer man, it must be assumed for this end, that something may thence be taught which may help rational knowledge. And hence the rational use of those things which we have in common with irrational animals belongs to the inner man; neither can it rightly be said that this is common to us with the irrational animals.
Chap. 2.—Faith a thing of the heart, not of the body; how it is common and one and the same in all believers. The faith of believers is one, no otherwise than the will of those who will is one.
5. But faith, of which we are compelled, by reason of the arrangement of our subject, to dispute somewhat more at length in this book: faith I say, which they who have are called the faithful, and they who have not, unbelievers, as were those who did not receive the Son of God coming to His own; although it is wrought in us by hearing, yet does not belong to that sense of the body which is called hearing, since it is not a sound; nor to the eyes of this our flesh, since it is neither color nor bodily form; nor to that which is called touch, since it has nothing of bulk; nor to any sense of the body at all, since it is a thing of the heart, not of the body; nor is it without apart from us, but deeply seated within us; nor does any man see it in another, but each one in himself. Lastly, it is a thing that can both be feigned by pretence, and be thought to be in him in whom it is not. Therefore every one sees his own faith in himself; but does not see, hut believes, that it is in another; and believes this the more firmly, the more he knows the fruits of it, which faith is wont to work by love. And therefore this faith is common to all of whom the evangelist subjoins, "But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God;" common I say, not as any form of a bodily object is common, as regards sight, to the eyes of all to whom it is present, for in some way the gaze of all that behold it is informed by the same one form; but as the human countenance can be said to be common to all men; for this is so said that yet each certainly has his own. We say certainly with perfect truth, that the faith of believers is impressed from one doctrine upon the heart of each several person who believes the same thing. But that which is believed is a different thing from the faith by which it is believed. For the former is in things which are said either to be, or to have been or to be about to be; but the latter is in the mind of the believer, and is visible to him only whose it is; although not indeed itself but a faith like it, is also in others. For it is not one in number, but in kind; yet on account of the likeness, and the absence of all difference, we rather call it one than many. For when, too, we see two men exceedingly alike, we wonder, and say that both have one countenance. It is therefore more easily said that the souls were many,—a several soul, of course, for each several person—of whom we read in the Acts of the Apostles, that they were of one soul,— than it is, where the apostle speaks of "one faith," for any one to venture to say that there are as many faiths as there are faithful. And yet He who says, "O woman, great is thy faith;" and to another, "O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? intimates that each has his own faith. But the like faith of believers is said to be one, in the same way as a like will of those who will is said to be one; since in the case also of those who have the same will, the will of each is visible to himself, but that of the other is not visible, although he wills the same thing; and if it intimate itself by any signs, it is believed rather! than seen. But each being conscious of his own mind certainly does not believe, but manifestly sees outright, that this is his own will.
Chap. 3.—Some desires being the same in all, are known to each. The poet Ennius.
6. There is, indeed, so closely conspiring a harmony in the same nature living and using reason, that although one knows not what the other wills, yet there are some wills of all which are also known to each; and although each man does not know what any other one man wills, yet in some things he may know what all will. And hence comes that story of the comic actor's witty joke, who promised that he would say in the theatre, in some other play, what all had in their minds, and what all willed; and when a still greater crowd had come together on the day appointed, with great expectation, all being in suspense and silent, is affirmed to have said: You will to buy cheap, and sell dear. And mean actor though he was, yet all in his words recognized what themselves were conscious of, and applauded him with wonderful goodwill, for saying before the eyes of all what was confessedly true, yet what no one looked for. And why was so great expectation raised by his promising that he would say what was the will of all, unless because no man knows the wills of other men? But did not he know that will? Is there any one who does not know it? Yet why, unless because there are some things which not unfitly each conjectures from himself to be in others, through sympathy or agreement either in vice or virtue? But it is one thing to see one's own will; another to conjecture, however certainly, what is another's. For, in human affairs, I am as certain that Rome was built as that Constantinople was, although I have seen Rome with my eyes, but know nothing of the other city, except what I have believed on the testimony of others. And truly that comic actor believed it to be common to all to will to buy cheap and sell dear, either by observing himself or by making experiment also of others. But since such a will is in truth a fault, every one can attain the counter virtue, or run into the mischief of some other hull which is contrary to it, whereby to resist and conquer it. For I myself know a case where a manuscript was offered to a man for purchase, who perceived that the vendor was ignorant of its value, and was therefore asking something very small, and who thereupon gave him, though not expecting it, the just price, which was much more. Suppose even the case of a man possessed with wickedness so great as to sell cheap what his parents left to him, and to buy dear, in order to waste it on his own lusts? Such wanton extravagance, I fancy, is not incredible; and if such men are sought, they may be found, or even fail in one's way although not sought; who, by a wickedness more than that of the theatre, make a mock of the theatrical proposition or declaration, by buying dishonor at a great price, while selling lands at a small one. We have heard, too, of persons that, for the sake of distribution, have bought corn at a higher price, and sold it to their fellow-citizens at a lower one. And note also what the old poet Ennius has said: that "all mortals wish themselves to be praised;" wherein, doubtless, he conjectured what was in others, both by himself, and by those whom he knew by experience; and so seems to have declared what it is that all men will. Lastly, if that comic actor himself, too, had said, You all will to be praised, no one of you wills to be abused; he would have seemed in like manner to have expressed what all will. Yet there are some who hate their own faults, and do not desire to be praised by others for that for which they are displeased with themselves; and who thank the kindness of those who rebuke them, when the purpose of that rebuke is their own amendment. But if he had said, You all will to be blessed, you do not will to be wretched; he would have said something which there is no one that would not recognize in his own will. For whatever else a man may will secretly, he does not withdraw from that will, which is well known to all men, and well known to be in all men.
Chap. 4.—The will to possess blessedness is one in all, but the variety of wills is very great concerning that blessedness itself.
7. It is wonderful, however, since the will to obtain and retain blessedness is one in all, whence comes, on the other hand, such a variety and diversity of wills concerning that blessedness itself; not that any one is unwilling to have it, but that all do not know it. For if all knew it, it would not be thought by some to be in goodness of mind; by others, in pleasure of body; by others, in both; and by some in one thing, by others in another. For as men find special delight in this thing or that, so have they placed in it their idea of a blessed life. How, then, do all love so warmly what not all know? Who can love what he does not know?—a subject which I have already discussed in the preceding books. Why, therefore, is blessedness loved by all, when it is not known by all? Is it perhaps that all know what it is itself, but all do not know where it is to be found, and that the dispute arises from this?—as if, forsooth, the business was about some place in this world, where every one ought to will to live who wills to live blessedly; and as if the question where blessedness is were not implied in the question what it is. For certainly, if it is in the pleasure of the body, he is blessed who enjoys the pleasure of the body; if in goodness of mind, he has it who enjoys this; if in both, he who enjoys both. When, therefore, one says, to live blessedly is to enjoy the pleasure of the body; but another, to live blessedly is to enjoy goodness of mind; is it not, that either both know, or both do not know, what a blessed life is? How, then, do both love it, if no one can love what he does not know? Or is that perhaps false which we have assumed to be most true and most certain, viz. that all men will to live blessedly? For if to live blessedly is, for argument's sake, to live according to goodness of mind, how does he will to live blessedly who does not will this? Should we not say more truly, That man does not will to live blessedly, because he does not wish to live according to goodness, which alone is to live blessedly? Therefore all men do not will to live blessedly; on the contrary, few wish it; if to live blessedly is nothing else but to live according to goodness of mind, which many do not will to do. Shall we, then, hold that to be false of which the Academic Cicero himself did not doubt (although Academics doubt every thing), who, when he wanted in the dialogue Hortensius to find some certain thing, of which no one doubted, from which to start his argument, says, We certainly all will to be blessed? Far be it from me to say this is false. But what then? Are we to say that, although there is no other way of living blessedly than living according to goodness of mind, yet even he who does not will this, wills to live blessedly? This, indeed, seems too absurd. For it is much as if we should say, Even he who does not will to live blessedly, wills to live blessedly. Who could listen to, who could endure, such a contradiction? And yet necessity thrusts us into this strait, if it is both true that all will to live blessedly, and yet all do not will to live in that way in which alone one can live blessedly.
Chap. 5.—Of the same thing.
8. Or is, perhaps, the deliverance from our difficulties to be found in this, that, since we have said that every one places his idea of a blessed life in that which has most pleased him, as pleasure pleased Epicurus, and goodness Zeno, and something else pleased other people, we say that to live blessedly is nothing else but to live according to one's own pleasure: so that it is not false that all will to live blessedly, because all will that which pleases each? For if this, too, had been proclaimed to the people in the theatre, all would have found it in their own wills. But when Cicero, too, had propounded this in opposition to himself, he so refuted it as to make them blush who thought so. For he says: "But, behold! people who are not indeed philosophers, but who yet are prompt to dispute, say that all are blessed, whoever live as they will;" which is what we mean by, as pleases each. But by and by he has subjoined: "But this is indeed false. For to will what is not fitting, is itself most miserable; neither is it so miserable not to obtain what one wills, as to will to obtain what one ought not." Most excellently and altogether most truly does he speak. For who can be so blind in his mind, so alienated from all light of decency, and wrapped up in the darkness of indecency, as to call him blessed, because he lives as he will, who lives wickedly and disgracefully; and with no one restraining him, no one punishing, and no one daring even to blame him, nay more, too, with most people praising him, since, as divine Scripture says, "The wicked is praised in his heart's desire: and he who works iniquity is blessed," gratifies all his most criminal and flagitious desires; when, doubtless, although even so he would be wretched, yet he would be less wretched, if he could have had nothing of those things which he had wrongly willed? For every one is made wretched by a wicked will also, even though it stop short with will but more wretched by the power by which the longing of a wicked will is fulfilled. And, therefore, since it is true that all men will to be blessed, and that they seek for this one thing with the most ardent love, and on account of this seek everything which they do seek; nor can any one love that of which he does not know at all what or of what sort it is, nor can be ignorant what that is which he knows that he wills; it follows that all know a blessed life. But all that are blessed have what they will, although not all who have what they will are forewith blessed. But they are forewith wretched, who either have not what they will, or have that which they do not rightly will. Therefore he only is a blessed man, who both has all things which he wills, and wills nothing ill.
Chap. 6.—Why, when all will to be blessed, that is rather chosen by which one withdraws from being so.
9. Since, then, a blessed life consists of these two things, and is known to all, and dear to all; what can we think to be the cause why, when they cannot have both, men choose, out of these two, to have all things that they will, rather than to will all things well, even although they do not have them? Is it the depravity itself of the human race, in such wise that, while they are not unaware that neither is he blessed who has not what he wills, nor he who has what he wills wrongly, but he who both has whatsoever good things he wills, and wills no evil ones, yet, when both are not granted of those two things in which the blessed life consists, that is rather chosen by which one is withdrawn the more from a blessed life (since he certainly is further from it who obtains things which he wickedly desired, than he who only does not obtain the things which he desired); whereas the good will ought rather to be chosen, and to be preferred, even if it do not obtain the things which it seeks? For he comes near to being a blessed man, who wills well whatsoever he wills, and wills things, which when he obtains, he will be blessed. And certainly not bad things, but good, make men blessed, when they do so make them. And of good things he already has something, and that, too, a something not to be lightly esteemed,—namely, the very good will itself; who longs to rejoice in those good things of which human nature is capable, and not in the performance or the attainment of any evil; and who follows diligently, and attains as much as he can, with a prudent, temperate, courageous, and right mind, such good things as are possible in the present miserable life; so as to be good even in evils, and when all evils have been put an end to, and all good things fulfilled, then to be blessed.
Chap. 7. —Faith is necessary, that man may at some time be blessed, which he will only attain in the future life. The blessedness of proud philosophers ridiculous and pitiable.
10. And on this account, faith, by which men believe in God, is above all things necessary in this mortal life, most full as it is of errors and hardships. For there are no good things whatever, and above all, not those by which any one is made good, or those by which he will become blessed, of which any other source can be found whence they come to man, and are added to man, unless it be from God. But when he who is good and faithful in these miseries shall have come from this life to the blessed life, then will truly come to pass what now is absolutely impossible,—namely, that a man may live as he will. For he will not will to live badly in the midst of that felicity, nor will he will anything that will be wanting, nor will there be wanting anything which he shall have willed. Whatever shall be loved, will be present; nor will that be longed for, which shall not be present. Everything which will be there will be good, and the supreme God will be the supreme good and will be present for those to enjoy who love Him; and what altogether is most blessed, it will be certain that it will be so forever. But now, indeed, philosophers have made for themselves, according to the pleasure of each, their own ideals of a blessed life; that they might be able, as it were by their own power, to do that, which by the common conditions of mortals they were not able to do,—namely, to live as they would. For they felt that no one could be blessed otherwise than by having what he would, and by suffering nothing which he would not. And who would not will, that the life whatsoever it be, with which he is delighted, and which he therefore calls blessed, were so in his own power, that he could have it continually? And yet who is in this condition? Who wills to suffer troubles in order that he may endure them manfully, although he both wills and is able to endure them if he does suffer them? Who would will to live in torments, even although he is able to live laudably by holding fast to righteousness in the midst of them through patience? They who have endured these evils, either in wishing to have or in fearing to lose what they loved, whether wickedly or laudably, have thought of them as transitory. For many have stretched boldly through transitory evils to good things which will last. And these, doubtless, are blessed through hope, even while actually suffering such transitory evils, through which they arrive at good things which will not be transitory. But he who is blessed through hope is not yet blessed: for he expects, through patience, a blessedness which he does not yet grasp. Whereas he, on the other hand, who is tormented without any such hope, without any such reward, let him use as much endurance as he pleases, is not truly blessed, but bravely miserable. For he is not on that account not miserable, because he would be more so if he also bore misery impatiently. Further, even if he does not suffer those things which he would not will to suffer in his own body, not even then is he to be esteemed blessed, inasmuch as he does not live as he wills. For to omit other things, which, while the body remains unhurt, belong to those annoyances of the mind, without which we should will to live, and which are innumerable; he would will, at any rate, if he were able, so to have his body safe and sound, and so to suffer no inconveniences from it, as to have it within his own control, or even to have it with an imperishableness of the body itself; and because he does not possess this, and hangs in doubt about it, he certainly does not live as he wills. For although he may be ready from fortitude to accept, and bear with an equal mind, whatever adversities may happen to him, yet he had rather they should not happen, and prevents them if he is able; and he is in such way ready for both alternatives, that, as much as is in him, he wishes for the one and shuns the other; and if he have fallen into that which he shuns, he therefore bears it willingly, because that could not happen which he willed. He bears it, therefore, in order that he may not be crushed; but he would not willingly be even burdened. How, then, does he live as he wills? Is it because he is willingly strong to bear what he would not will to be put upon him? Then he only wills what he can, because he cannot have what he wills. And here is the sum-total of the blessedness of proud mortals, I know not whether to be laughed at, or not rather to be pitied, who boast that they live as they will, because they willingly bear patiently what they are unwilling should happen to them. For this, they say, is like Terence's wise saying,—
"Since that cannot be which you will, will that which thou canst."
That this is aptly said, who denies? But it is advice given to the miserable man, that he may not be more miserable. And it is not rightly or truly said to the blessed man, such as all wish themselves to be, That cannot be which you will. For if he is blessed, whatever he wills can be; since he does not will that which cannot be. But such a life is not for this mortal state, neither will it come to pass unless when immortality also shall come to pass. And if this could not be given at all to man, blessedness too would be sought in vain, since it cannot be without immortality.
Chap. 8.—Blessedness cannot exist without immortality.
11. As, therefore, all men will to be blessed, certainly. if they will truly, they will also to be immortal; for otherwise they could not be blessed. And further, if questioned also concerning immortality, as before concerning blessedness, all reply that they will it. But blessedness of what quality soever, such as is not so, but rather is so called, is sought, nay indeed is feigned in this life, whilst immortality is despaired of, without which true blessedness cannot be. Since he lives blessedly, as we have already said before, and have sufficiently proved and concluded, who lives as he wills, and wills nothing wrongly. But no one wrongly wills immortality, if human nature is by God's gift capable of it; and if it is not capable of it, it is not capable of blessedness. For, that a man may live blessedly, he must needs live. And if life quits him by his dying, how can a blessed life remain with him? And when it quits him, without doubt it either quits him unwilling, or willing, or neither. If unwilling, how is the life blessed which is so within his will as not to be within his power? And whereas no one is blessed who wills something that he does not have, how much less is he blessed who is quitted against his will, not by honor, nor by possessions, nor by any other thing, but by the blessed life itself, since he will have no life at all? And hence, although no feeling is left for his life to be thereby miserable (for the blessed life quits him, because life altogether quits him), yet he is wretched as long as he feels, because he knows that against his will that is being destroyed for the sake of which he loves all else, and which he loves beyond all else. A life therefore cannot both be blessed, and yet quit a man against his will, since no one becomes blessed against his will; and hence how much more does it make a man miserable by quitting him against his will, when it would make him miserable if he had it against his will! But if it quit him with his will, even so how was that a blessed life, which he who had it willed should perish? It remains then for them to say, that neither of these is in the mind of the blessed man; that is, that he is neither unwilling nor willing to be quitted by a blessed life, when through, death life quits him altogether; for that he stands firm with an even heart, prepared alike for either alternative. But neither is that a blessed life which is such as to be unworthy of his love whom it makes blessed. For how is that a blessed life which the blessed man does not love? Or how is that loved, of which it is received indifferently, whether it is to flourish or to perish? Unless perhaps the virtues, which we love in this way on account of blessedness alone, venture to persuade us that we do not love blessedness itself. Yet if they did this. we should certainly leave off loving the virtues themselves, when we do not love that on account of which alone we loved them. And further, how will that opinion be true, which has been so tried, and sifted, and thoroughly strained, and is so certain, viz. that all men will to be blessed, if they themselves who are already blessed neither will nor do not will to be blessed? Or if they will it, as truth proclaims, as nature constrains, in which indeed the supremely good and unchangeably blessed Creator has implanted that will: if, I say, they will to be blessed who are blessed, certainly they do no will to be not blessed. But if they do not will not to be blessed, without doubt they do not will to be annihilated and perish in regard to their blessedness. But they cannot be blessed except they are alive; therefore they do not will so to perish in regard to their life. Therefore, whoever are either truly blessed or desire to be so, will to be immortal. But he does not live blessedly who has not that which he wills. Therefore it follows that in no way can life be truly blessed unless it be eternal.
Chap 9.—We say that future blessedness is truly eternal, not through human reasonings, but by the help of faith. The immortality of blessedness becomes credible from the incarnation of the Son of God.
12. Whether human nature can receive this, which yet it confesses to be desirable, is no small question. But if faith be present, which is in those to whom Jesus has given power to become the sons of God, then there is no question. Assuredly, of those who endeavor to discover it from human reasonings, scarcely a few, and they endued with great abilities, and abounding in leisure, and learned with the most subtle learning, have been able to attain to the investigation of the immortality of the soul alone. And even for the soul they have not found a blessed life that is stable, that is, true; since they have said that it returns to the miseries of this life even after blessedness. And they among them who are ashamed of this opinion, and have thought that the purified soul is to be placed in eternal happiness without a body, hold such opinions concerning the past eternity of the world, as to confute this opinion of theirs concerning the soul; a thing which here it is too long to demonstrate; but it has been, as I think, sufficiently explained by us in the twelfth book of the City of God. But that faith promises, not by human reasoning, but by divine authority, that the whole man, who certainly consists of soul and body, shall be immortal, and on this account truly blessed. And so, when it had been said in the Gospel, that Jesus has given "power to become the sons of God to them who received Him;" and what it is to have received Him had been shortly explained by saying, "To them that believe on His name;" and it was further added in what way they are to become sons of God, viz., "Which were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God;"—lest that infirmity of men which we all see and bear should despair of attaining so great excellence, it is added in the same place, "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us;" that, on the contrary, men might be convinced of that which seemed incredible. For if He who is by nature the Son of God was made the Son of man through mercy for the sake of the sons of men,—for this is what is meant by "The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us" men,—how much more credible is it that the sons of men by nature should be made the sons of God by the grace of God, and should dwell in God, in whom alone and from whom alone the blessed can be made partakers of that immortality; of which that we might be convinced, the Son of God was made partaker of our mortality?
Chap. 10.—There was no other more suitable way of freeing man from the misery of mortality than the, incarnation of the Word. The merits which are called ours are the gifts of God.
13. Those then who say, What, had God no other way by which He might free men from the misery of this mortality, that He should will the only- begotten Son, God co-eternal with Himself, to become man, by putting on a human soul and flesh, and being made mortal to endure death?—these, I say, it is not enough so to refute, as to assert that that mode by which God deigns to free us through the Mediator of God and men, the man Christ Jesus, is good and suitable to the dignity of God; but we must show also, not indeed that no other mode was possible to God, to whose power all things are equally subject, but that there neither was nor need have been any other mode more appropriate for curing our misery. For what was so necessary for the building up of our hope, and for the freeing the minds of mortals cast down by the condition of mortality itself, from despair of immortality, than that it should be demonstrated to us at how great a price God, rated us, and how greatly He loved us? But what is more manifest and evident in this so great proof hereof, than that the Son of God, unchangeably good, remaining what He was in Himself, and receiving from us and for us what He was not, apart from any loss of His own nature, and deigning to enter into the fellowship of ours, should first, without any evil desert of His own, bear our evils; and so with unobligated munificence should bestow His own gifts upon us, who now believe how much God loves us, and who now hope that of which we used to despair, without any good deserts of our own, nay, with our evil deserts too going before?
14. Since those also which are called our deserts, are His gifts. For, that faith may work by love, "the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us." And He was then given, when Jesus was glorified by the resurrection. For then He promised that He Himself would send Him, and He sent Him; because then, as it was written and foretold of Him, "He ascended up on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men." These gifts constitute our deserts, by which we arrive at the chief good of an immortal blessedness. "But God," says the apostle, "commendeth His love towards as, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more, then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him." To this he goes on to add, "For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son; much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life." Those whom he first calls sinners he afterwards calls the enemies of God; and those whom he first speaks of as justified by His blood, he afterwards speaks of as reconciled by the death of the Son of God; and those whom he speaks of first as saved from wrath through Him, he afterwards speaks of as saved by His life. We were not, therefore, before that grace merely anyhow sinners, but in such sins that we were enemies of God. But the same apostle calls us above several times by two appellations, viz. sinners and enemies of God,—one as if the most mild, the other plainly the most harsh,— saying, "For if when we were yet weak, in due time Christ died for the ungodly." Those whom he called weak, the same he called ungodly. Weakness seems something slight; but sometimes it is such as to be called impiety. Yet except it were weakness, it would not need a physician, who is in the Hebrew Jesus, in the Greek Swth'r, but in our speech Saviour. And this word the Latin language had not previously, but could have seeing that it could have it when it wanted it. And this foregoing sentence of the apostle, where he says, "For when we were yet weak, in due time He died for the ungodly," coheres with those two following sentences; in the one of which he spoke of sinners, in the other of enemies of God, as though he referred each severally to each, viz. sinners to the weak, the enemies of God to the ungodly.
Chap. 11.—A difficulty, how we are justitified in the blood of the Son of God.
15. But what is meant by "justified in His blood?" What power is there in this blood, I beseech you, that they who believe should be justified in it? And what is meant by "being reconciled by the death of His Son?" Was it indeed so, that when God the Father was wroth with us, He saw the death of His Son for us, and was appeased towards us? Was then His Son already so far appeased towards us, that He even deigned to die for us; while the Father was still so far wroth, that except His Son died for us, He would not be appeased? And what, then, is that which the same teacher of the Gentiles himself says in another place: "What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all; how has He not with Him also freely given us all things?" Pray, unless the Father had been already appeased, would He have delivered up His own Son, not sparing Him for us? Does not this opinion seem to be as it were contrary to that? In the one, the Son dies for us, and the Father is reconciled to us by His death; in the other, as though the Father first loved us, He Himself on our account does not spare the Son, He Himself for us delivers Him up to death. But I see that the Father loved us also before, not only before the Son died for us, but before He created the world; the apostle himself being witness, who says, "According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world." Nor was the Son delivered up for us as it were unwillingly, the Father Himself not sparing Him; for it is said also concerning Him, "Who loved me, and delivered up Himself for me." Therefore together both the Father and the Son, and the Spirit of both, work all things equally and harmoniously; yet we are justified in the blood of Christ, and we are reconciled to God by the death of His Son. And I will explain, as I shall be able, here also, how this was done, as much as may seem sufficient.
Chap. 12.—All, on account of the sin of Adam, were delivered into the power of the devil.
16. By the justice of God in some sense, the human race was delivered into the power of the devil; the sin of the first man passing over originally into all of both sexes in their birth through conjugal union, and the debt of our first parents binding their whole posterity. This delivering up is first signified in Genesis, where, when it had been said to the serpent, "Dust shalt thou eat," it was said to the man, "Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shall return." In the words, "Unto dust shalt thou return," the death of the body is fore-announced, because he would not have experienced that either, if he had continued to the end upright as he was made; but in that it is said to him whilst still living, "Dust thou art," it is shown that the whole man was changed for the worse. For "Dust thou art" is much the same as, "My spirit shall not always remain in these men, for that they also are flesh." Therefore it was at that time shown, that he was delivered to him, in that it had been said to him, "Dust shall thou eat." But the apostle declares this more clearly, where he says: "And you who were dead in trespasses and sins, wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of unfaithfulness; among whom we also had. our conversation in times past, in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others." The "children of unfaithfulness" are the unbelievers; and who is not this before he becomes a believer? And therefore all men are originally under the prince of the power of the air, "who worketh in the children of unfaithfulness." And that which I have expressed by "originally" is the same that the apostle expresses when he speaks of themselves who "by nature" were as others; viz. by nature as it has been depraved by sin, not as it was created upright from the beginning. But the way in which man was thus delivered into the power of the devil, ought not to be so understood as if God did this, or commanded it to be done; but that He only permitted it, yet that justly. For when He abandoned the sinner, the author of the sin immediately entered. Yet God did not certainly so abandon His own creature as not to show Himself to him as God creating and quickening, and among penal evils bestowing also many good things upon the evil. For He hath not in anger shut up His tender mercies. Nor did He dismiss man from the law of His own power, when He permitted him to be in the power of the devil; since even the devil himself is not separated from the power of the Omnipotent, as neither from His goodness. For whence do even the evil angels subsist in whatever manner of life they have, except through Him who quickens all things? If, therefore, the commission of sins through the just anger of God subjected man to the devil, doubtless the remission of sins through the merciful reconciliation of God rescues man from the devil.
Chap. 13.—Man was to be rescued from the power of the devil, not by power, but by righteousness.
17. But the devil was to be overcome, not by the power of God, but by His righteousness. For what is more powerful than the Omnipotent? Or what creature is there of which the power can be compared to the power of the Creator? But since the devil, by the fault of his own perversity, was made a lover of power, and a forsaker and assailant of righteousness,—for thus also men imitate him so much the more in proportion as they set their hearts on power, to the neglect or even hatred of righteousness, and as they either rejoice in the attainment of power, or are inflamed by the lust of it,—it pleased God, that in order to the rescuing of man from the grasp of the devil, the devil should be conquered, not by power, but by righteousness; and that so also men, imitating Christ, should seek to conquer the devil by righteousness, not by: power. Not that power is to be shunned as though it were something evil; but the order must be preserved, whereby righteousness is before it. For how great can be the power of mortals? Therefore let mortals cleave to righteousness; power will be given to immortals. And compared to this, the power, how great soever, of those men who are called powerful on earth, is found to be ridiculous weakness, and a pitfall is dug there for the sinner, where the wicked seem to be most powerful. And the righteous man says in his song, "Blessed is the man whom Thou chasteneth, O Lord, and teachest him out of Thy law: that Thou mayest give him rest from the days of adversity, until the pit be digged for the wicked. For the Lord will not cast off His people, neither will He forsake His inheritance, until righteousness return unto judgment, and all who follow it are upright in heart." At this present time, then, in which the might of the people of God is delayed, "the Lord will not cast off His. people, neither will He forsake His inheritance," how bitter and unworthy things so-ever it may suffer in its humility and weakness; '' until the righteousness," which the weakness of the pious now possesses, "shall return to judgment," that is, shall receive the power of judging; which is preserved in the end for the righteous when power in its due order shall have followed after righteousness going before. For power joined to righteousness, or righteousness added to power, constitutes a judicial authority. But righteousness belongs to a good will; whence it was said by the angels when Christ was born: "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men of good will," But power ought to follow righteousness, not to go before it; and accordingly it is placed in "second," that is, prosperous fortune; and this is called "second," from "following." For whereas two things make a man blessed, as we have argued above, to will well, and to be able to do what one wills, people ought not to be so perverse, as has been noted in the same discussion, as that a man should choose from the two things which make him blessed, the being able to do what he wills, and should neglect to will what he ought; whereas he ought first to have a good will, but great power afterwards. Further, a good will must be purged from vices, by which if a man is overcome, he is in such wise overcome as that he wills evil; and then how will his will be still good? It is to be wished, then, that power may now be given, but power against vices, to conquer which men do not wish to be powerful, while they wish to be so in order to conquer men; and why is this, unless that, being in truth conquered, they feignedly conquer, and are conquerors not in truth, but in opinion? Let a man will to be prudent, will to be strong, will to he temperate, will to be just; and that he may be able to have these things truly, let him certainly desire power, and seek to be powerful in himself, and (strange though it be) against himself for himself. But all the other things which he wills rightly, and yet is not able to have, as, for instance, immortality and true and full felicity, let him not cease to long for, and let him patiently expect.
Chap. 14.—The unobligated death of Christ has freed those who were liable to death,
18. What, then, is the righteousness by which the devil was conquered? What, except the righteousness of Jesus Christ? And how was he conquered? Because, when he found in Him nothing worthy of death, yet he slew Him. And certainly it is just, that we whom he held as debtors, should be dismissed free by believing in Him whom he slew without any debt. In this way it is that we are said to be justified in the blood of Christ. For so that innocent blood was shed for the remission of our sins. Whence He calls Himself in the Psalms, "Free among the dead." For he only that is dead is free from the debt of death. Hence also in another psalm He says, "Then I restored that which I seized not;" meaning sin by the thing seized, because sin is laid hold of against what is lawful. Whence also He says, by the mouth of His own Flesh, as is read in the Gospel: "For the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me," that is, no sin; but "that the world may know," He says, "that I do the commandment of the Father; arise, let us go hence." And hence He proceeds to His passion, that He might pay for us debtors that which He Himself did not owe. Would then the devil be conquered by this most just right, if Christ had willed to deal with him by power, not by righteousness? But He held back what was possible to Him, in order that He might first do what was fitting. And hence it was necessary that He should be both man and God. For unless He had been man, He could not have been slain; unless He had been God. men would not have believed that He would not do what He could, but that He could not do what He would; nor should we have thought that righteousness was preferred by Him to power, but that He lacked power. But now He suffered for us things belonging to man, because He was man; but if He had been unwilling, it would have been in His power to not so to suffer, because He was also God. And righteousness was therefore made more acceptable in humility, because so great power as was in His Divinity, if He had been unwilling, would have been able not to suffer humility; and thus by Him who died, being thus powerful, both righteousness was commended, and power promised, to us, weak mortals. For He did one of these two things by dying, the other by rising again. For what is more righteous, than to come even to the death of the cross for righteousness? And what more powerful, than to rise from the dead, and to ascend into heaven with that very flesh in which He was slain? And therefore He conquered the devil first by righteousness, and afterwards by power: namely, by righteousness, because He had no sin, and was slain by him most unjustly; but by power, because having been dead He lived again, never afterwards to die. But He would have conquered the devil by power, even though He could not have been slain by him: although it belongs to a greater power to conquer death itself also by rising again, than to avoid it by living. But the reason is really a different one, why we are justified in the blood of Christ, when we are rescued from the power of the devil through the remission of sins: it pertains to this, that the devil is conquered by Christ by righteousness, not by power. For Christ was crucified, not through immortal power, but through the weakness which He took upon Him in mortal flesh; of which weakness nevertheless the apostle says, "that the weakness of God is stronger than men."
Chap. 15 —Of the same subject.
19. It is not then difficult to see that the devil was conquered, when he who was slain by Him rose again. It is something more, and more profound of comprehension, to see that the devil was conquered when he thought himself to have conquered, that is, when Christ was slain. For then that blood, since it was His who had no sin at all, was poured out for the remission of our sins; that, because the devil deservedly held those whom, as guilty of sin, he bound by the condition of death, he might deservedly loose them through Him, whom, as guilty of no sin, the punishment of death undeservedly affected. The strong man was conquered by this righteousness, and bound with this chain, that his vessels might be spoiled, which with himself and his angels had been vessels of wrath while with him, and might be turned into vessels of mercy. For the Apostle Paul tells us, that these words of our Lord Jesus Christ Himself were spoken from heaven to him when he was first called. For among the other things which he heard, he speaks also of this as said to him thus: "For I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen from me, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee; delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, to open the eyes of the blind, and to turn them from darkness [to light], and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified, and faith that is in me." And hence the same apostle also, exhorting believers to the giving of thanks to God the Father, says: "Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness and hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son: in whom we have redemption, even the forgiveness of sins." In this redemption, the blood of Christ was given, as it were, as a price for us, by accepting which the devil was not enriched, but bound: that we might be loosened from his bonds, and that he might not with himself involve in the meshes of sins, and so deliver to the destruction of the second and eternal death, any one of those whom Christ, free from all debt, had redeemed by pouring out His own blood unindebtedly; but that they who belong to the grace of Christ, foreknown, and predestinated, and elected before the foundation of the world? should only so far die as Christ Himself died for them, i.e. only by the death of the flesh, not of the spirit.
Chap. 16.—The remains of death and the evil things of the world turn to good for the elect. How fitly the death of Christ was chosen, that we might be justified in his blood. What the anger of God is.
20. For although the death, too, of the flesh itself came originally from the sin of the first man, yet the good use of it has made most glorious martyrs. And so not only that death itself, bat all the evils of this world, and the griefs and labors of men, although they come from the deserts of sins, and especially of original sin, whence life itself too became bound by the bond of death, yet have fitly remained, even when sin is forgiven; that man might have wherewith to contend for truth, and whereby the goodness of the faithful might be exercised; in order that the new man through the new covenant might be made ready among the evils of this world for a new world, by bearing wisely the misery which this condemned life deserved, and by rejoicing soberly because it will be finished, but expecting faithfully and patiently the blessedness which the future life, being set free, will have for ever. For the devil being cast forth from his dominion, and from the hearts of the faithful, in the condemnation and faithlessness of whom he, although himself also condemned, yet reigned, is only so far permitted to be an adversary according to the condition of this mortality, as God knows to be expedient for them: concerning which the sacred writings speak through the mouth of the apostle: "God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it." And those evils which the faithful endure piously, are of profit either for the correction of sins, or for the exercising and proving of righteousness, or to manifest the misery of this life, that the life where will be that true and perpetual blessedness may be desired more ardently, and sought out more earnestly. But it is on their account that these evils are still kept in being, of whom the apostle says: "For we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called to be holy according to His purpose. For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren. Moreover, whom He did predestinate, them He also called; and whom He called, them He also justified; and whom He justified, them He also glorified." It is of these who are predestinated, that not one shall perish with the devil; not one shall remain even to death under the power of the devil. And then follows what I have already cited above: "What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all; how has He not with Him also freely given us all things?"
21. Why then should the death of Christ not have come to pass? Nay, rather, why should not that death itself have been chosen above all else to be brought to pass, to the passing by of the other innumerable ways which He who is omnipotent could have employed to free us; that death, I say, wherein neither was anything diminished or changed from His divinity, and so great benefit was conferred upon men, from the humanity which He took upon Him, that a temporal death, which was not due, was rendered by the eternal Son of God, who was also the Son of man, whereby He might free them from an eternal death which was due? The devil was holding fast our sins, and through them was fixing us deservedly in death. He discharged them, who had none of His own, and who was led by him to death undeservedly. That blood was of such price, that he who even slew Christ for a time by a death which was not due, can as his due detain no one, who has put on Christ, in the eternal death which was due. Therefore "God commendeth His love towards us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified in His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him." Justified, he says, in His blood,—justified plainly, in that we are freed from all sin; and freed from all sin, because the Son of God, who knew no sin, was slain for us. Therefore "we shall be saved from wrath through Him;" from the wrath certainly of God, which is nothing else but just retribution. For the wrath of God is not, as is that of man, a perturbation of the mind; but it is the wrath of Him to whom Holy Scripture says in another place, "But Thou, O Lord, mastering Thy power, judgest with calmness." If, therefore, the just retribution of God has received such a name, what can be the right understanding also of the reconciliation of God, unless that then such wrath. comes to an end? Neither were we enemies to God, except as sins are enemies to righteousness; which being forgiven, such enmities come to an end, and they whom He Himself justifies are reconciled to the Just One. And yet certainly He loved them even while still enemies, since "He spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all," when we were still enemies. And therefore the apostle has rightly added.: "For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son," by which that remission of sins was made, "much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved in His life." Saved in life, who were reconciled by death. For who can doubt that He will give His life for His friends, for whom, when enemies, He gave His death? "And not only so," he says, "but we also joy in God, through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement." "Not only," he says, "shall we be saved," but "we also joy;" and not in ourselves, but "in God;" nor through ourselves, "but through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement," as we have argued above. Then the apostle adds, "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, in whom all have sinned;" etc.: in which he disputes at some length concerning the two men; the one the first Adam, through whose sin and death we, his descendants, are bound by, as it were, hereditary evils; and the other the second Adam, who is not only man, but also God, by whose payment for us of what He owed not, we are freed from the debts both of our first father and of ourselves. Further, since on account of that one the devil held all who were begotten through his corrupted carnal concupiscence, it is just that on account of this one he should loose all who are regenerated through His immaculate spiritual grace.
Chap. 17.—Other advantages of the incarnation.
22. There are many other things also in the incarnation of Christ, displeasing as it is to the proud, that are to be observed and thought of advantageously. And one of them is, that it has been demonstrated to man what place he has in the things which God has created; since human nature could so be joined to God, that one person could be made of two substances, and thereby indeed of three—God, soul, and flesh: so that those proud malignant spirits, who interpose themselves as mediators to deceive, although as if to help, do not therefore dare to place themselves above man because they have not flesh; and chiefly because the Son of God deigned to die also in the same flesh, lest they, because they seem to be immortal, should therefore succeed in getting themselves worshipped as gods. Further, that the grace of God might be commended to us in the man Christ without any precedent merits; because not even He Himself obtained by any precedent merits that He should be joined in such great unity with the true God, and should become the Son of God, one Person with Him; but from the time when He began to be man, from that time He is also God; whence it is said, "The Word was made flesh." Then, again, there is this, that the pride of man, which is the chief hindrance against his cleaving to God, can be confuted and healed through such great humility of God. Man learns also how far he has gone away from God; and what it is worth to him as a pain to cure him, when he returns through such a Mediator, who both as God assists men by His divinity, and as man agrees with men by His weakness. For what greater example of obedience could be given to us, who had perished through disobedience, than God the Son obedient to God the Father, even to the death of the cross? Nay, wherein could the reward of obedience itself be better shown, than in the flesh of so great a Mediator, which rose again to eternal life? It belonged also to the justice and goodness of the Creator, that the devil should be conquered by the same rational creature which he rejoiced to have conquered, and by one that came from that same race which, by the corruption of its origin through one, he held altogether.
Chap. 18.—Why the Son of God took man upon himself from the race of Adam, and from a virgin.
23. For assuredly God could have taken upon Himself to be man, that in that manhood He might be the Mediator between God and men, from some other source, and not from the race of that Adam who bound the human race by his sin; as He did not create him whom He first created, of the race of some one else. Therefore He was able, either so, or in any other mode that He would, to create yet one other, by whom the conqueror of the first might be conquered. But God judged it better both to take upon Him man through whom to conquer the enemy of the human race, from the race itself that had been conquered; and yet to do this of a virgin, whose conception, not flesh but spirit, not lust but faith, preceded. Nor did that concupiscence of the flesh intervene, by which the rest of men, who derive original sin, are propagated and conceived; but holy virginity became pregnant, not by conjugal intercourse, but by faith,—lust being utterly absent,—so that that which was born from the root of the first man might derive only the origin of race, not also of guilt. For there was born, not a nature corrupted by the contagion of transgression, but the one only remedy of all such corruptions. There was born, I say, a Man having nothing at all, and to have nothing at all, of sin; through whom they were to be born again so as to be freed from sin, who could not be born without sin. For although conjugal chastity makes a right use of the carnal concupiscence which is in our members; yet it is liable to motions not voluntary, by which it shows either that it could not have existed at all in paradise before sin, or if it did, that it was not then such as that sometimes it should resist the will. But now we feel it to be such, that in opposition to the law of the mind, and even if there is no question of begetting, it works in us the incitement of sexual intercourse; and if in this men yield to it, then it is satisfied by an act of sin; if they do not, then it is bridled by an act of refusal: which two things who could doubt to have been alien from paradise before sin? For neither did the chastity that then was do anything indecorous, nor did the pleasure that then was suffer anything unquiet. It was necessary, therefore, that this carnal concupiscence should be entirely absent, when the offspring of the Virgin was conceived; in whom the author of death was to find nothing worthy of death, and yet was to slay Him in order that he might be conquered by the death of the Author of life: the conqueror of the first Adam, who held fast the human race, conquered by the second Adam, and losing the Christian race, freed out of the human race from human guilt, through Him who was not in the guilt, although He was of the race; that that deceiver might be conquered by that race which he had conquered by guilt. And this was so done, in order that man may not be lifted up, but "that he that glorieth should glory in the Lord." For he who was conquered was only man; and he was therefore conquered, because he lusted proudly to be a god. But He who conquered was both man and God; and therefore He so conquered, being born of a virgin, because God in humility did not, as He governs other saints, so govern that Man, but bare Him [as a Son]. These so great gifts of God, and whatever else there are, which it is too long for us now upon this subject both to inquire and to discuss, could not exist unless the Word had been made flesh.
Chap. 19.—What in the incarnate Word belongs to knowledge, what to wisdom.
24. And all these things which the Word made flesh did and bare for us in time and place, belong, according to the distinction which we have undertaken to demonstrate, to knowledge, not to wisdom. And as the Word is without time and without place, it is co-eternal with the Father, and in its wholeness everywhere; and if any one can, and as much as he can, speak truly concerning this Word, then his discourse will pertain to wisdom. And hence the Word made flesh, which is Christ Jesus, has the treasures both of wisdom and of knowledge. For the apostle, writing to the Colossians, says: "For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh; that their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgment of the mystery of God which is Christ Jesus: in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." To what extent the apostle knew all those treasures, how much of them he had penetrated, and in them to how great things he had reached, who can know? Yet, for my part, according to that which is written, "But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal; for to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom, to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;" if these two are in such way to be distinguished from each other, that wisdom is to be assigned to divine things, knowledge to human, I acknowledge both in Christ, and so with me do all His faithful ones. And when I read, "The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us," I understand by the Word the true Son of God, I acknowledge in the flesh the true Son of man, and both together joined into one Person of God and man, by an ineffable copiousness of grace. And on account of this, the apostle goes on to say, "And we beheld His glory, the glory as of the Only-begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." If we refer grace to knowledge, and truth to wisdom, I think we shall not swerve from that distinction between these two things which we have commended. For in those things that have their origin in time, this is the highest grace, that man is joined with God in unity of person; but in things eternal the highest truth is rightly attributed to the Word of God. But that the same is Himself the Only-begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth,—this took place, in order that He Himself in things done for us in time should be the same for whom we are cleansed by the same faith, that we may contemplate Him steadfastly in things eternal. And those distinguished philosophers of the heathen who have been able to understand and discern the invisible things of God by those things which are made, have yet, as is said of them, "held down the truth in iniquity;" because they philosophized without a Mediator, that is, without the man Christ, whom they neither believed to be about to come at the word of the prophets, nor to have come at that of the apostles. For, placed as they were in these lowest things, they could not but seek some media through which they might attain to those lofty things which they had understood; and so they fell upon deceitful spirits, through whom it came to pass, that "they changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four-fooled beasts, and creeping things." For in such forms also they set up or worshipped idols. Therefore Christ is our knowledge, and the same Christ is also our wisdom. He Himself implants in us faith concerning temporal things, He Himself shows forth the truth concerning eternal things. Through Him we reach on to Himself: we stretch through knowledge to wisdom; yet we do not withdraw from one and the same Christ, "in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and of knowledge." But now we speak of knowledge, and will hereafter speak of wisdom as much as He Himself shall grant. And let us not so take these two things, as if it were not allowable to speak either of the wisdom which is in human things, or of the knowledge which is in divine. For after a laxer custom of speech, both can be called wisdom, and both knowledge. Yet the apostle could not in any way have written," To one is given the word of wisdom, to another the word of knowledge," except also these several things had been properly called by the several names, of the distinction between which we are now treating.
Chap. 20.—What has been treated of in this book. How we have reached by steps to a certain trinity, which is found in practical knowledge and true faith.
25. Now, therefore, let us see what this prolix discourse has effected, what it has gathered, whereto it has reached. It belongs to all men to will to be blessed; yet all men have not faith, whereby the heart is cleansed, and so blessedness is reached. And thus it comes to pass, that by means of the faith which not all men will, we have to reach on to the blessedness which every one wills. All see in their own heart that they will to be blessed; and so great is the agreement of human nature on this subject, that the man is not deceived who conjectures this concerning another's mind, out of his own: in short, we know ourselves that all will this. But many despair of being immortal, although no otherwise can any one be that which all will, that is, blessed. Yet they will also to be immortal if they could; but through not believing that they can, they do not so live that they can. Therefore faith is necessary, that we may attain blessedness in all the good things of human nature, that is, of both soul and body. But that same faith requires that this faith be limited in Christ, who rose in the flesh from the dead, not to die any more; and that no one is freed from the dominion of the devil, through the forgiveness of sins, save by Him; and that in the abiding place of the devil, life must needs be at once miserable and never-ending, which ought rather to be called death than life. All which I have also argued, so far as space permitted, in this book, while I have already said much on the subject in the fourth book of this work as well; but in that place for one purpose, here for another,- -namely, there, that I might show why and how Christ was sent in the fullness of time by the Father, on account of those who say that He who sent and He who was sent cannot be equal in nature; but here, in order to distinguish practical knowlege from contemplative wisdom.
26. For we wished to ascend, as it were, by steps, and to seek in the inner man, both in knowledge and in wisdom, a sort of trinity of its own special kind, such as we sought before in the outer man; in order that we may come, with a mind more practised in these lower things, to the contemplation of that Trinity which is God, according to our little measure, if indeed, we can even do this, at least in a riddle and as through a glass. If, then, any one have committed to memory the words of this faith in their sounds alone, not knowing what they mean, as they commonly who do not know Greek hold in memory Greek words, or similarly Latin ones, or those of any other language of which they are ignorant, has not he a sort of trinity in his mind? because, first, those sounds of words are in his memory, even when he does not think thereupon; and next, the mental vision (acies) of his act of recollection is formed thence when he conceives of them; and next, the will of him who remembers and thinks unites both. Yet we should by no means say that the man in so doing busies himself with a trinity of the interior man, but rather of the exterior; because he remembers, and when he wills, contemplates as much as he wills, that alone which belongs to the sense of the body, which is called hearing. Nor in such an act of thought does he do anything else than deal with images of corporeal things, that is, of sounds. But if he holds and recollects what those words signify, now indeed something of the inner man is brought into action; not yet, however, ought he to be said or thought to live according to a trinity of the tuner man, if he does not love those things which are there declared, enjoined, promised. For it is possible for him also to hold and conceive these things, supposing them to be false, in order that he may endeavor to disprove them. Therefore that will, which in this case unites those things which are held in the memory with those things which are thence impressed on the mind's eye in conception, completes, indeed, some kind of trinity, since itself is a third added to two others; but the man does not live according to this, when those things which are conceived are taken to be false, and are not accepted. But when those things are believed to be true, and those things which therein ought to be loved, are loved, then at last the man does live according to a trinity of the inner man; for every one lives according to that which he loves. But how can things be loved which are not known, but only believed? This question has been already treated of in former books; and we found, that no one loves what he is wholly ignorant of, but that when things not known are said to be loved, they are loved from those things which are known. And now we so conclude this book, that we admonish the just to live by faith, which faith worketh by love, so that the virtues also themselves, by which one lives prudently, boldly, temperately, and justly, be all referred to the same faith; for not otherwise can they be true virtues. And yet these in this life are not of so great worth, as that the remission of sins, of some kind or other, is not sometimes necessary here; and this remission comes not to pass, except through Him, who by His own blood conquered the prince of sinners. Whatsoever ideas are in the mind of the faithful man from this faith, and from such a life, when they are contained in the memory, and are looked at by recollection, and please the will, set forth a kind of trinity of its own sort.? But the image of God, of which by His help we shall afterwards speak, is not yet in that trinity; a thing which will then be more apparent, when it shall have been shown where it is, which the reader may expect in a succeeding book.
The true wisdom of man is treated of; and it is shown that the image of God, which man is in respect to his mind, is not placed properly in transitory things, as in memory, understanding, and love, whether of faith itself as existing in time, or even of the mind as busied with itself, but in things that are permanent; and that this wisdom is then perfected, when the mind is renewed in the knowledge of God, according to the image of Him who created man after His own image, and thus attains to wisdom, wherein that which is contemplated is eternal.
Chap. I.—What the wisdom is of which we are here to treat. Whence the name of philosopher arose. What has been already said concerning the distinction of knowledge and wisdom.
1. We must now discourse concerning wisdom; not the wisdom of God, which without doubt is God, for His only-begotten Son is called the wisdom of God; but we will speak of the wisdom of man, yet of true wisdom, which is according to God, and is His true and chief worship, which is called in Greek by one term, theosebeia. And this term, as we have already observed, when our own countrymen themselves also wished to interpret it by a single term, was by them rendered piety, whereas piety means more commonly what the Greeks call eusebeia. But because theosebeia cannot be translated perfectly by any one word, it is better translated by two, so as to render it rather by "the worship of God." That this is the wisdom of man, as we have already laid down in the twelfth book of this work, is shown by the authority of Holy Scripture, in the book of God's servant Job, where we read that the Wisdom of God said to man, "Behold piety, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is knowledge;" or, as some have translated the Greek word epistemen, "learning," which certainly takes its name from learning, whence also it may be called knowledge. For everything is learned in order that it may be known. Although the same word, indeed, is employed in a different sense, where any one suffers evils for his sins, that he may be corrected. Whence is that in the Epistle to the Hebrews, "For what son is he to whom the father giveth not discipline?" And this is still more apparent in the same epistle: "Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby." Therefore God Himself is the chiefest wisdom; but the worship of God is the wisdom of man, of which we now speak. For "the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God." It is in respect to this wisdom, therefore, which is the worship of God, that Holy Scripture says, "The multitude of the wise is the welfare of the world."
2. But if to dispute of wisdom belongs to wise men, what shall we do? Shall we dare indeed to profess wisdom, test it should be mere impudence for ourselves to dispute about it? Shall we not be alarmed by the example of Pythagoras?—who dared not profess to be a wise man, but answer answered hat he was a to be a wise man, but philosopher, i.e., a lover of wisdom; whence arose the name, that became thenceforth so much the popular name, that no matter how great the learning wherein any one excelled, either in his own opinion or that of others, in things pertaining to wisdom, he was still called nothing more than philosopher. Or was it for this reason that no one, even of such as these, dared to profess himself a wise man,— because they imagined that a wise man was one without sin? But our Scriptures do not say this, which say, "Rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee." For doubtless he who thinks a man ought to be rebuked, judges him to have sin. However, for my part, I dare not profess myself a wise man even in this sense; it is enough for me to assume, what they themselves cannot deny, that to dispute of wisdom belongs also to the philosopher, i.e., the lover of wisdom. For they have not given over so disputing who have professed to be lovers of wisdom rather than wise men.
3. In disputing, then, about wisdom, they have defined it thus: Wisdom is the knowledge of things human and divine. And hence, in the last book, I have not withheld the admission, that the cognizance of both subjects, whether divine or human, may be called both knowledge and wisdom. But according to the distinction made in the apostle's words, "To one is given the word of wisdom, to another the word of knowledge," this definition is to be divided, so that the knowledge of things divine shall be called wisdom, and that of things human appropriate to itself the name of knowledge; and of the latter I have treated in the thirteenth book, not indeed so as to attribute to this knowledge everything whatever that can be known by man about things human, wherein there is exceeding much of empty vanity and mischievous curiosity, but only those things by which that most wholesome faith, which leads to true blessedness, is begotten, nourished, defended, strengthened; and in this knowledge most of the faithful are not strong, however exceeding strong in the faith itself. For it is one thing to know only what man ought to believe in order to attain to a blessed life, which must needs be an eternal one; but another to know in what way this belief itself may both help the pious, and be defended against the impious, which last the apostle seems to call by the special name of knowledge. And when I was speaking of this knowledge before, my especial business was to commend faith, first briefly distinguishing things eternal from things temporal, and there discoursing of things temporal; but while deferring things eternal to the present book, I showed also that faith respecting things eternal is itself a thing temporal, and dwells in time in the hearts of believers, and yet is necessary in order to attain the things eternal themselves. I argued also, that faith respecting the things temporal which He that is eternal did and suffered for us as man, which manhood He bare in time and carried on to things eternal, is profitable also for the obtaining of things eternal; and that the virtues themselves, whereby in this temporal and mortal life men live prudently, bravely, temperately, and justly, are not true virtues, unless they are referred to that same faith, temporal though it is, which leads on nevertheless to things eternal.
Chap. 2.—There is a kind of trinity in the holding, contemplating, and loving of faith temporal, but one that does not yet attain to being properly an image of God.
4. Wherefore since, as it is written, "While we are in the body, we are absent from the Lord; for we walk by faith, not by sight;" undoubtedly, so long as the just man lives by faith, howsoever he lives according to the inner man, although he aims at truth and reaches on to things eternal by this same temporal faith, nevertheless in the holding, contemplating, and loving this temporal faith, we have not yet reached such a trinity as is to be called an image of God; lest that should seem to be constituted in things temporal which ought to be so in things eternal. For when the human mind sees its own faith, whereby it believes what it does not see, it does not see a thing eternal. For that will not always exist, which certainly will not then exist, when this pilgrimage, whereby we are absent from God, in such way that we must needs walk by faith, shall be ended, and that sight shall have succeeded it whereby we shall see face to face; just as now, because we believe although we do not see, we shall deserve to see, and shall rejoice at having been brought through faith to sight. For then it will be no longer faith, by which that is believed which is not seen; but sight, by which that is seen which is believed. And then, therefore, although we remember this past mortal life, and call to mind by recollection that we once believed what we did not see, yet that faith will be reckoned among things past and done with, not among things present and always continuing. And hence also that trinity which now consists in the remembering, contemplating, and loving this same faith while present and continuing, will then be found to be done with and past, and not still enduring. And hence it is to be gathered, that if that trinity is indeed an image of God, then this image itself would have to be reckoned, not among things that exist always, but among things transient.
Chap. 3.—A difficulty removed, which lies in the way of what has just been said.
But far be it from us to think, that while the nature of the soul is immortal, and from the first beginning of its creation thenceforth never ceases to be, yet that that which is the best thing it has should not endure [or ever with its own immortality. Yet what is there in its nature as created; better than that it is made after the image of its Creator? We must find then what may be fittingly called the image of God, not in the holding, contemplating, and loving that faith which will not exist always, but in that which will exist always.
5. Shall we then scrutinize somewhat more carefully and deeply whether the case is really thus? For it may be said that this trinity does not perish even when faith itself shall have passed away; because, as now we both hold it by memory, and discern it by thought, and love it by will; so then also, when we shall both hold in memory, and shall recollect, that we once had it, and shall unite these two by the third, namely will, the same trinity will still continue. Since, if it have left in its passage as it were no trace in us, doubtless we shall not have ought of it even in our memory, whereto to recur when recollecting it as past, and by the third, viz. purpose, coupling both these, to wit, what was in our memory though we were not thinking about it, and what is formed thence by conception. But he who speaks thus, does not perceive, that when we hold, see, and love in ourselves our present faith, we are concerned with a different trinity as now existing, from that trinity which will exist, when we shall contemplate by recollection, not the faith itself, but as it were the imagined trace of it laid up in the memory, and shall unite by the will, as by a third, these two things, viz. that which was in the memory of him who retains, and that which is impressed thence upon the vision of the mind of him who recollects. And that we may understand this, let us take an example from things corporeal, of which we have sufficiently spoken in the eleventh book. For as we ascend from lower to higher things, or pass inward from outer to inner things, we first find a trinity in the bodily object which is seen, and in the vision of the seer, which, when he sees it, is informed thereby, and in the purpose of the will which combines both. Let us assume a trinity like this, when the faith which is now in ourselves is so established in our memory as the bodily object we spoke of was in place, from which faith is formed the conception in recollection, as from that bodily object was formed the vision of the beholder; and to these two, to complete the trinity, will is to be reckoned as a third, which connects and combines the faith established in the memory, and a sort of effigy of that faith impressed upon the vision of recollection; just as in that trinity of corporeal vision, the form of the bodily object that is seen, and the corresponding form wrought in the vision of the beholder, are combined by the purpose of the will. Suppose, then, that this bodily object which was beheld was dissolved and had perished, and that nothing at all of it remained anywhere, to the vision of which the gaze might have recourse; are we then to say, that because the image of the bodily object thus now past and done with remains in the memory, whence to form the conception in recollecting, and to have the two united by will as a third, therefore it is the same trinity as that former one, when the appearance of the bodily object posited in place was seen? Certainly not, but altogether a different one: for, not to say that that was from without, while this is from within; the former certainly was produced by the appearance of a present bodily object, the latter by the image of that object now past. So, too, in the case of which we are now treating, to illustrate which we have thought good to adduce this example, the faith which is even now in our mind, as that bodily object was in place, while held, looked at, loved, produces a sort of trinity; but that trinity will exist no more, when this faith in the mind, like that bodily object in place, shall no longer exist. But that which will then exist, when we shall remember it to have been, but not now to be, in us, will doubtless be a different one. For that which now is, is wrought by the thing itself, actually present and attached to the mind of one who believes; but that which shall then be, will be wrought by the imagination of a past thing left in the memory of one who recollects.
Chap. 4.—The image of God is to be sought in the immortality of the rational soul, how a trinity is demonstrated in the mind.
6. Therefore neither is that trinity an image of God, which is not now, nor is that other an image of God, which then will not be; but we must find in the soul of man, i.e., the rational or intellectual soul, that image of the Creator which is immortally implanted in its immortality. For as the immortality itself of the soul is spoken with a qualification; since the soul too has its proper death, when it lacks a blessed life, which is to be called the true life of the soul; but it is therefore called immortal, because it never ceases to live with some life or other, even when it is most miserable;—so, although reason or intellect is at one time torpid in it, at another appears small, and at another great, yet the human soul is never anything save rational or intellectual; and hence, if it is made after the image of God in respect to this, that it is able to use reason and intellect in order to understand and behold God, then from the moment when that nature so marvellous and so great began to be, whether this image be so worn out as to be almost none at all, or whether it be obscure and defaced, or bright and beautiful, certainly it always is. Further, too, pitying the defaced condition of its dignity, divine Scripture tells us, that "although man walks in an image, yet he disquieteth himself in vain; he heapeth up riches, and cannot tell who shall gather them." It would not therefore attribute vanity to the image of God, unless it perceived it to have been defaced. Yet it sufficiently shows that such defacing does not extend to the taking away its being an image, by saying, "Although man walks in an image." Wherefore in both ways that sentence can be truly enunciated; in that, as it is said, "Although man walketh in an image, yet he disquieteth himself in vain," so it may be said, "Although man disquieteth himself in vain, yet he walketh in an image." For although the nature of the soul is great, yet it can be corrupted, because it is not the highest; and although it can be corrupted, because it is not the highest, yet because it is capable and can be partaker of the highest nature, it is a great nature. Let us seek, then, in this image of God a certain trinity of a special kind, with the aid of Him who Himself made us after His own image. For no otherwise can we healthfully investigate this subject, or arrive at any result according to the wisdom which is from Him. But if the reader will either hold in remembrance and recollect what we have said of the human soul or mind in former books, and especially in the tenth, or will carefully re-peruse it in the passages wherein it is contained, he will not require here any more lengthy discourse respecting the inquiry into so great a thing.
7. We said, then, among other things in the tenth book, that the mind of man knows itself. For the mind knows nothing so much as that which is close to itself; and nothing is more close to the mind than itself. We adduced also other evidences, as much as seemed sufficient, whereby this might be most certainly proved.
Chap. 5.—Whether the mind of infants knows itself.
What, then, is to be said of the mind of an infant, which is still so small, and buried in such profound ignorance of things, that the mind of a man which knows anything shrinks from the darkness of it? Is that too to be believed to know itself; but that,: as being too intent upon those things which it has begun to perceive through the bodily senses, with the greater delight in proportion to their novelty, it is not able indeed to be ignorant of itself, but is also not able to think of itself? Moreover, how intently it is bent upon sensible things that are without it, may be conjectured from this one fact, that it is so greedy of sensible light, that if any one through carelessness, or ignorance of the possible consequences, place a light at nighttime where an infant is lying down, on that side to which the eyes of the child so lying down can be bent, but its neck cannot be turned, the gaze of that child will be so fixed in that direction, that we have known some to have come to squint by this means, in that the eyes retained that form which habit in some way impressed upon them while tender and soft. In the case, too, of the other bodily senses, the souls of infants, as far as their age permits, so narrow themselves as it were, and are bent upon them, that they either vehemently detest or vehemently desire that only which offends or allures through the flesh, but do not think of their own inward self, nor can be made to do so by admonition; because they do not yet know the signs that express admonition, whereof words are the chief, of which as of other things they are wholly ignorant. And that it is one thing not to know oneself, another not to think of oneself, we have shown already in the same book.
8. But let us pass by the infantine age, since we cannot question it as to what goes on within itself, while we have ourselves pretty well forgotten it. Let it suffice only for us hence to be certain, that when man has come to be able to think of the nature of his own mind, and to find out what is the truth, he will find it nowhere else but in himself. And he will find, not what he did not know, but that of which he did not think. For what do we know, if we do not know what is in our own mind; when we can know nothing at all of what we do know, unless by the mind?
Chap. 6.—How a kind of trinity exists in the mind thinking of itself. What is the part of thought in this trinity.
The function of thought, however, is so great, that not even the mind itself can, so to say, place itself in its own sight, except when it thinks of itself; and hence it is so far the case, that nothing is in the sight of the mind, except that which is being thought of, that not even the mind itself, whereby we think whatever we do think, can be in its own sight otherwise than by thinking of itself. But in what way it is not in its own sight when it is not thinking of itself, while it can never be without itself, as though itself were one thing, and the sight of itself another, it is not in my power to discover. For this is not unreasonably said of the eye of the body; for the eye itself of the body is fixed in its own proper place in the body, but its sight extends to things external to itself, and reaches even to the stars. And the eye is not in its own sight, since it does not look at itself, unless by means of a mirror, as is said above; a thing that certainly does not happen when the mind places itself in its own sight by thinking of itself. Does it then see one part of itself by means of another part of itself, when it looks at itself in thought, as we look at some of our members, which can be in our sight, with other also of our members, viz. with our eyes? What can be said or thought more absurd? For by what is the mind removed, except by itself? or where is it placed so as to be in its own sight, except before itself? Therefore it will not be there, where it was, when it was not in its own sight; because it has been put down in one place, after being taken away from another. But if it migrated in order to be beheld, where will it remain in order to behold? Is it as it were doubled, so as to be in this and in that place at the same time, viz. both where it can behold, and where it can be beheld; that in itself it may be beholding, and before itself beheld? If we ask the truth, it will tell us nothing of the sort since it is but feigned images of bodily objects of which we conceive when we conceive thus; and that the mind is not such, is very certain to the few minds by which the truth on such a subject can be inquired. It appears, therefore, that the beholding of the mind is something pertaining to its nature, and is recalled to that nature when it conceives of itself, not as if by moving through space, but by an incorporeal conversion; but when it is not conceiving of itself, it appears that it is not indeed in its own sight, nor is its own perception formed from it, but yet that it knows itself as though it were to itself a remembrance of itself. Like one who is skilled in many branches of learning: the things which he knows are contained in his memory, but nothing thereof is in the sight of his mind except that of which he is conceiving; while all the rest are stored up in a kind of secret knowledge, which is called memory. The trinity, then, which we were setting forth, was constituted in this way: first, we placed in the memory the object by which the perception of the percipient was formed; next, the conformation, or as it were the image which is impressed thereby; lastly, love or will as that which combines the two. When the mind, then, beholds itself in conception, it understands and cognizes itself; it begets, therefore, this its own understanding and cognition. For an incorporeal thing is understood when it is beheld, and is cognized when understood. Yet certainly the mind does not so beget this knowledge of itself, when it beholds itself as understood by conception, as though it had before been unknown to itself; but it was known to itself, in the way in which things are known which are contained in the memory, but of which one is not thinking; since we say that a man knows letters even when he is thinking of something else, and not of letters. And these two, the begetter and the begotten, are coupled together by love, as by a third, which is nothing else than will, seeking or holding fast the enjoyment of something. We held, therefore, that a trinity of the mind is to be intimated also by these three terms, memory, intelligence, will.
9. But since the mind, as we said near the end of the same tenth book, always remembers itself, and always understands and loves itself, although it does not always think of itself as distinguished from those things which are not itself; we must inquire in what way understanding (intellectus) belongs to conception, while the notion (notitia) of each thing that is in the mind, even when one is not thinking of it, is said to belong only to the memory. For if this is so, then the mind had not these three things: viz. the remembrance, the understanding, and the love of itself; but it only remembered itself, and afterwards, when it began to think of itself, then it understood and loved itself.
Chap. 7.—The thing is made plain by an example, in what way the matter is handled in order to help the reader.
Wherefore let us consider more carefully that example which we have adduced, wherein it was shown that not knowing a thing is different from not thinking [conceiving] of it; and that it may so happen that a man knows something of which he is not thinking, when he is thinking of something else, not of that. When any one, then, who is skilled in two or more branches of knowledge is thinking of one of them, though he is not thinking of the other or others, yet he knows them. But can we rightly say, This musician certainly knows music, but he does not now understand it, because he is not thinking of it; but he does now understand geometry, for of that he is now thinking? Such an assertion, as far as appears, is absurd. What, again, if we were to say, This musician certainly knows music, but he does not now love it, while he is not now thinking of it; but he does now love geometry, because of that he is now thinking,—is not this similarly absurd? But we say quite correctly, This person whom you perceive disputing about geometry is also a perfect musician, for he both remembers music, and understands, and loves it; but although he both knows and loves it, he is not now thinking of it, since he is thinking of geometry, of which he is disputing. And hence we are warned that we have a kind of knowledge of certain things stored up in the recesses of the mind, and that this, when it is thought of, as it were, steps forth in public, and is placed as if openly in the sight of the mind; for then the mind itself finds that it both remembers, and understands, and loves itself, even although it was not thinking of itself, when it was thinking of something else. But in the case of that of which we have not thought for a long time, and cannot think of it unless reminded; that, if the phrase is allowable, in some wonderful way I know not how, we do not know that we know. In short, it is rightly said by him who reminds, to him whom he reminds, You know this, but you do not know that you know it; I will remind you, and you will find that you know what you had thought you did not know. Books, too, lead to the same results, viz. those that are written upon subjects which the reader under the guidance of reason finds to be true; not those subjects which he believes to be true on the faith of the narrator, as in the case of history; but those which he himself also finds to be true, either of himself, or in that truth itself which is the light of the mind. But he who cannot contemplate these things, even when reminded, is too deeply buried in the darkness of ignorance, through great blindness of heart and too wonderfully needs divine help, to be able to attain to true wisdom.
10. For this reason I have wished to adduce some kind of proof, be it what it might, respecting the act of conceiving, such as might serve to show in what way, out of the things contained in the memory, the mind's eye is informed in recollecting, and some such thing is begotten, when a man conceives, as was already in him when, before he conceived, he remembered; because it is easier to distinguish things that take place at successive times, and where the parent precedes the offspring by an interval of time. For if we refer ourselves to the inner memory of the mind by which it remembers itself, and to the inner understanding by which it understands itself, and to the inner will by which it loves itself, where these three always are together, and always have been together since they began to be at all, whether they were being thought of or not; the image of this trinity will indeed appear to pertain even to the memory alone; but because in this case a word cannot be without a thought (for we think all that we say, even if it be said by that tuner word which belongs to no separate language), this image is rather to be discerned in these three things, viz. memory, intelligence, will. And I mean now by intelligence that by which we understand in thought, that is, when our thought is formed by the finding of those things, which had been at hand to the memory but were not being thought of; and I mean that will, or love, or preference which Combines this offspring and parent, and is in some way common to both. Hence it was that I tried also, viz. in the eleventh book, to lead on the slowness of readers by means of outward sensible things which are seen by the eyes of the flesh; and that I then proceeded to enter with them upon that power of the tuner man whereby he reasons of things temporal, deferring the consideration of that which dominates as the higher power, by which he, contemplates things eternal. And I discussed this in two books, distinguishing the two in the twelfth, the one of them being higher and the other lower, and that the lower ought to be subject to the higher; and in the thirteenth I discussed, with what truth and brevity I could, the office of the lower, in which the wholesome knowledge of things human is contained, in order that we may so act in this temporal life as to attain that which is eternal; since, indeed, I have cursorily included in a single book a subject so manifold and copious, and one so well known by the many and great arguments of many and great men, while manifesting that a trinity exists also in it, but not yet one that can be called an image of God.
Chap. 8.—The trinity which is the image of God is now to be sought in the noblest part of the mind.
11. But we have come now to that argument in which we have undertaken to consider the noblest part of the human mind, by which it knows or can know God, in order that we may find in it the image of God. For although the human mind is not of the same nature with God, yet the image of that nature than which none is better, is to be sought and found in us, in that than which our nature also has nothing better. But the mind must first be considered as it is in itself, before it becomes partaker of God; and His image must be found in it. For, as we have said, although worn out and defaced by losing the participation of God, yet the image of God still remains. For it is His image in this very point, that it is capable of Him, and can be partaker of Him; which so great good is only made possible by its being His image. Well, then, the mind remembers, understands, loves itself; if we discern this, we discern a trinity, not yet indeed God, but now at last an image of God. The memory does not receive from without that which it is to hold; nor does the understanding find without that which it is to regard, as the eye of the body does; nor has will joined these two from without, as it joins the form of the bodily object and that which is thence wrought in the vision of the beholder; nor has conception, in being turned to it, found an image of a thing seen without, which has been somehow seized and laid up in the memory, whence the intuition of him that recollects has been formed, will as a third joining the two: as we showed to take place in those trinities which were discovered in things corporeal, or which were somehow drawn within from bodily objects by the bodily sense; of all which we have discoursed in the eleventh book. Nor, again, as it took place, or appeared to do so, when we went on further to discuss that knowledge, which had its place now in the workings of the inner man, and which was to be distinguished from wisdom; of which knowledge the subject- matter was, as it were, adventitious to the mind, and either was brought thither by historical information,—as deeds and words, which are performed in time and pass away, or which again are established in the nature of things in their own times and places,—or arises in the man himself not being there before, whether on the information of others, or by his own thinking,—as faith, which we commended at length in the thirteenth book, or as the virtues, by which, if they are true, one so lives well in this mortality as to live blessedly in that immortality which God promises. These and other things of the kind have their proper order in time, and in that order we discerned more easily a trinity of memory, sight, and love. For some of such things anticipate the knowledge of learners. For they are knowable also before they are known, and beget in the learner a knowledge of themselves. And they either exist in their own proper places, or have happened in time past; although things that are past do not themselves exist, but only certain signs of them as past, the sight or hearing of which makes it known that they have been and have passed away. And these signs are either situate in the places themselves, as e.g. monuments of the dead or the like; or exist in written books worthy of credit, as is all history that is of weight and approved authority; or are in the minds of those who already know them; since what is already known to them is knowable certainly to others also, whose knowledge it has anticipated, and who are able to know it on the information of those who do know it. And all these things, when they. are learned, produce a certain kind of trinity, viz. by their own proper species, which was knowable also before it was known, and by the application to this of the knowledge of the learner, which then begins to exist when he learns them, and by will as a third which combines both; and when they are known, yet another trinity is produced in the recollecting of them, and this now inwardly in the mind itself, from those images which, when they were learned, were impressed upon the memory, and from the informing of the thought when the look has been turned upon these by recollection, and from the will which as a third combines these two. But those things which arise in the mind, not having been there before, as faith and other things of that kind, although they appear to be adventitious, since they are implanted by teaching, yet are not situate without or transacted without, as are those things which are believed; but began to be altogether within in the mind itself. For faith is not that which is believed, but that by which it is believed; and the former is believed, the latter seen. Nevertheless, because it began to be in the mind, which was a mind also before these things began to be in it, it seems to be somewhat adventitious, and will be reckoned among things past, when sight shall have succeeded, and itself shall have ceased to be. And it makes now by its presence, retained as it is, and beheld, and loved, a different trinity from that which it will then make by means of some trace of itself, which in passing it will have left in the memory: as has been already said above.
Chap. 9.—Whether justice and the other virtues cease to exist in the future life.
12. There is, however, some question raised, whether the virtues likewise by which one lives well in this present mortality, seeing that they themselves begin also to be in the mind, which was a mind none the less when it existed before without them, cease also to exist at that time when they have brought us to things eternal. For some have thought that they will cease, and in the case of three—prudence, fortitude, temperance- -such an assertion seems to have something in it; but justice is immortal, and will rather then be made perfect in us than cease to be. Yet Tullius, the great author of eloquence, when arguing in the dialogue Hortensius, says of all four: "If we were allowed, when we migrated from this life, to live forever in the islands of the blessed, as fables tell, what need were there of eloquence when there would be no trials, or what need, indeed, of the very virtues themselves? For we should not need fortitude when nothing of either toil or danger was proposed to us; nor justice, when there was nothing of anybody else's to be coveted; nor temperance, to govern lasts that would not exist; nor, indeed, should we need prudence, when there was no choice offered between good and evil. We should be blessed, therefore, solely by learning and knowing nature, by which alone also the life of the gods is praiseworthy. And hence we may perceive that everything else is a matter of necessity, but this is one of free choice." This great orator, then, when proclaiming the excellence of philosophy, going over again all that he had learned from philosophers, and excellently and pleasantly explaining it, has affirmed all four virtues to be necessary in this life only, which we see to be full of troubles and mistakes; but not one of them when we shall have migrated from this life, if we are permitted to live there where is a blessed life; but that blessed souls are blessed only in learning and knowing, i.e. in the contemplation of nature, than which nothing is better and more lovable. It is that nature which created and appointed all other natures. And if it belongs to justice to be subject to the government of this nature then justice is certainly immortal; nor will it cease to be in that blessedness, but will be such and so great that it cannot be more perfect or greater. Perhaps, too, the other three virtues— prudence although no longer with any risk of error, and fortitude without the vexation of bearing evils, and temperance without the thwarting of lust—will exist in that blessedness: so that it maybe the part of prudence to prefer or equal no good thing to God; and of fortitude, to cleave to Him most steadfastly; and of temperance, to be pleased by no harmful defect. But that which justice is now concerned with in helping the wretched, and prudence in guarding against treachery, and fortitude in bearing troubles patiently, and temperance in controlling evil pleasures, will not exist there, where there will be no evil at all. And hence those acts of the virtues which are necessary to this mortal life, like the faith to which they are to be referred, will be reckoned among things past; and they make now a different trinity, whilst we hold, look at, and love them as present, from that which they will then make, when we shall discover them not to be, but to have been, by certain traces of them which they will have left in passing in the memory; since then, too, there will be a trinity, when that trace, be it of what sort it may, shall be retained in the memory, and truly recognized, and then these two be joined by will as a third.
Chap. 10.—How a trinity is produced by the mind remembering, understanding, and loving itself.
13. In the knowledge of all these temporal things which we have mentioned, there are some knowable things which precede the acquisition of the knowledge of them by an interval of time, as in the case of those sensible objects which were already real before they were known, or of all those things that are learned through history; but some things begin to be at the same time with the knowing of them,—just as, if any visible object, which did not exist before at all, were to rise up before our eyes, certainly it does not precede our knowing it; or if there be any sound made where there is some one to hear, no doubt the sound and the hearing that sound begin and end simultaneously. Yet none the less, whether preceding in time or beginning to exist simultaneously, knowable things generate knowledge, and are not generated by knowledge. But when knowledge has come to pass, whenever the things known and laid up in memory are reviewed by recollection, who does not see that the retaining them in the memory is prior in time to the sight of them in recollection, and to the uniting of the two things by will as a third? In the mind, however, it is not so. For the mind is not adventitious to itself, as though there came to itself already existing, that same self not already existing, from somewhere else, or did not indeed come from somewhere else, but that in the mind itself already existing, there was born that same mind not already existing; just as faith, which before was not, arises in the mind which already was. Nor does the mind see itself, as it were, set up in its own memory by recollection subsequently to the knowing of itself, as though it was not there before it knew itself; whereas, doubtless, from the time when it began to be, it has never ceased to remember, to understand, and to love itself, as we have already shown. And hence, when it is turned to itself by thought, there arises a trinity, in which now at length we can discern also a word; since it is formed from thought itself, will uniting both. Here, then, we may recognize, more than we have hitherto done, the image of which we are in search.
Chap. 11.—Whether memory is also of things present.
14. But some one will say, That is not memory by which the mind, which is ever present to itself, is affirmed to remember itself; for memory is of things past, not of things present. For there are some, and among them Cicero, who, in treating of the virtues, have divided prudence into these three—memory, understanding, forethought: to wit, assigning memory to things past, understanding to things present, forethought to things future; which last is certain only in the case of those who are prescient of the future; and this is no gift of men, unless it be granted from above, as to the prophets. And hence the book of Wisdom, speaking of men, "The thoughts of mortals," it says, "are fearful, and our forethought uncertain." But memory of things past, and understanding of things present, are certain: certain, I mean, respecting things incorporeal, which are present; for things corporeal are present to the sight of the corporeal eyes. But let any one who denies that there is any memory of things present, attend to the language used even in profane literature, where exactness of words was more looked for than truth of things. "Nor did Ulysses suffer such things, nor did, the Ithacan forget himself in so great a peril." For when Virgil said that Ulysses did not forget himself, what else did he mean, except that he remembered himself? And since he was present to himself, he could not possibly remember himself, unless memory pertained to things present. And, therefore, as that is called memory in things past which makes it possible to recall and remember them; so in a thing present, as the mind is to itself, that is not unreasonably to be called memory, i which makes the mind at hand to itself, so that it can be understood by its own thought, and then both be joined together by love of itself.
Chap. 12.—The trinity in the mind is the image of God, in that it remembers, understands, and loves God, which to do is wisdom.
15. This trinity, then, of the mind is not therefore the image of God, because the mind remembers itself, and understands and loves itself; but because it can also remember, understand, and love Him by whom it was made. And in so doing it is made wise itself. But if it does not do so, even when it remembers, understands, and loves itself, then it is foolish. Let it then remember its God, after whose image it is made, and let it understand and love Him. Or to say the same thing more briefly, let it worship God, who is not made, by whom because itself was made, it is capable and can be partaker of Him; wherefore it is written, "Behold, the worship of God, that is wisdom." And then it will be wise, not by its own light, but by participation of that supreme Light; and wherein it is eternal, therein shall reign in blessedness. For this wisdom of man is so called, in that it is also of God. For then it is true wisdom; for if it is human, it is vain. Yet not so of God, as is that wherewith God is wise. For He is not wise by partaking of Himself, as the mind is by partaking of God. But as we call it the righteousness of God, not only when we speak of that by which He Himself is righteous, but also of that which He gives to man when He justifies the ungodly, which latter righteousness the apostle commending, says of some, that "not knowing the righteousness of God and going about to establish their own righteousness, they are not subject to the righteousness of God;" so also it may be said of some, that not knowing the wisdom of God and going about to establish their own wisdom, they are not subject to the wisdom of God.
16. There is, then, a nature not made, which made all other natures, great and small, and is without doubt more excellent than those which it has made, and therefore also than that of which we are speaking; viz. than the rational and intellectual nature, which is the mind of man, made after the image of Him who made it. And that nature, more excellent than the rest, is God. And indeed "He is not far from every one of us," as the apostle says, who adds, "For in Him we live, and are moved, and have our being." And if this were said in respect to the body, it might be understood even of this corporeal world; for in it too in respect to the body, we live, and are moved, and have our being. And therefore it ought to be taken in a more excellent way, and one that is spiritual, not visible, in respect to the mind, which is made after His image For what is there that is not in Him, of whom it is divinely written, "For of Him, and through Him, and in Him, are all things"? If, then, all things are in Him, in whom can any possibly live that do live, or be moved that are moved, except in Him in whom they are? Yet all are not with Him in that way in which it is said to Him, "I am continually with Thee." Nor is He with all in that way in which we say, The Lord be with you. And so it is the especial wretchedness of man not to be with Him, without whom he cannot be. For, beyond a doubt, he is not without Him in whom he is; and yet if he does not remember, and understand, and love Him, he is not with Him. And when any one absolutely forgets a thing, certainly it is impossible even to remind him of it.
Chap. 13.—How any one can forget and remember God.
17. Let us take an instance for the purpose from visible things. Somebody whom you do not recognize. says to you, You know me; and in order to remind you, tells you where, when, and how he became known to you; and if, after the mention of every sign by which you might be recalled to remembrance, you still do not recognize him, then you have so come to forget, as that the whole of that knowledge is altogether blotted out of your mind; and nothing else remains, hut that you take his word for it who tells you that you once knew him; or do not even do that, if you do not think the person who speaks to you to be worthy of credit. But if you do remember him, then no doubt you return to your own memory, and find in it that which had not been altogether blotted out by forgetfulness. Let us return to that which led us to adduce this instance from the intercourse of men. Among other things, the 9th Psalm says, "The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations. that forget God;" and again the 22d Psalm, "All the ends of the world shall be reminded, and turned unto the Lord." These nations, then, will not so have forgotten God as to be unable to remember Him when reminded of Him; yet, by forgetting God, as though forgetting their own life, they had been turned into death, i.e. into hell. But when reminded they are turned to the Lord, as though, coming to life again by remembering their proper life which they had forgotten. It is read also in the 94th Psalm, "Perceive now, ye who are unwise among the people; and ye fools, when will ye be wise? He that planted the ear, shall He not hear?" etc. For this is spoken to those, who said vain things concerning God through not understanding Him.
Chap. 14.—The mind loves God in rightly loving itself; and if it love not God, it must be said to hate itself. Even a weak and erring mind is always strong in remembering, understanding, and loving itself. Let it be turned to God, that it may be blessed by remembering, understanding, and loving Him.
18. But there are yet more testimonies in the divine Scriptures concerning the love of God. For in it, those other two [namely, memory and understanding] are understood by consequence, inasmuch as no one loves that which he does not remember, or of which he is wholly ignorant. And hence is that well known and primary commandment, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God." The human mind, then, is so constituted, that at no time does it not remember, and understand, and love itself. But since he who hates any one is anxious to injure him, not undeservedly is the mind of man also said to hate itself when it injures itself. For it wills ill to itself through ignorance, in that it does not think that what it wills is prejudicial to it; but it none the less does will ill to itself, when it wills what would be prejudicial to it. And hence it is written, "He that loveth iniquity, hateth his own soul." He, therefore, who knows how to love himself, loves God; but he who does not love God, even if he does love himself,—a thing implanted in him by nature,—yet is not unsuitably said to hate himself, inasmuch as he does that which is adverse to himself, and assails himself as though he were his own enemy. And this is no doubt a terrible delusion, that whereas all will to profit themselves, many do nothing but that which is most pernicious to themselves. When the poet was describing a like disease of dumb animals, "May the gods," says he, "grant better things to the pious, and assign, that delusion to enemies. They were rending with bare teeth their own torn limbs." Since it was a disease of the body he was speaking of, why has he called it a delusion, unless because, while nature inclines every animal to take all the care it can of itself, that disease was such that those animals rent those very limbs of theirs which they desired should be safe and sound? But when the mind loves God, and by consequence, as has been said remembers and understands Him, then it is rightly enjoined also to love its neighbor as itself; for it has now come to love itself rightly and not perversely when it loves God, by partaking of whom that image not only exists, but is also renewed so as to be no longer old, and restored so as to be no longer defaced, and beatified so as to be no longer unhappy. For although it so love itself, that, supposing the alternative to be proposed to it, it would lose all things which it loves less than itself rather than perish; still, by abandoning Him who is above it, in dependence upon whom alone it could guard its own strength, and enjoy Him as its light, to whom it is sung in the Psalm, "I will guard my strength in dependence upon Thee," and again, "Draw near to Him, and be enlightened,"—it has been made so weak and so dark, that it has fallen away unhappily from itself too, to those things that are not what itself is, and which are beneath itself, by affections that it cannot conquer, and delusions from which it sees no way to return. And hence, when by God's mercy now penitent, it cries out in the Psalms, "My strength faileth me; as for the light of mine eyes, it also is gone from me."
19. Yet, in the midst of these evils of weakness and delusion, great as they are, it could not lose its natural memory, understanding and love of itself. And therefore what I quoted above can be rightly said, "Although man walketh in an image, surely he is disquieted in vain: he heapeth up treasures, and knoweth not who shall gather them." For why does he heap up treasures, unless because his strength has deserted him, through which he would have God. and so lack nothing? And why cannot he tell for whom he shall gather them, unless because the light of his eyes is taken from him? And so he does not see what the Truth saith, "Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee. Then whose shall those things be which thou hast provided?" Yet because even such a man walketh in an image, and the man's mind has remembrance, understanding, and love of itself; if it were made plain to it that it could not have both, while it was permitted to choose one and lose the other, viz. either the treasures it has heaped up, or the mind; who is so utterly without mind, as to prefer to have the treasures rather than the mind? i For treasures commonly are able to subvert the mind, but the mind that is not subverted by treasures can live more easily and unencumberedly without any treasures. But who will be able to possess treasures unless it be by means of the mind? For if an infant, born as rich as you please, although lord of everything that is rightfully his, yet possesses nothing if his mind be unconscious, how can any one possibly possess anything whose mind is wholly lost? But why say of treasures, that anybody, if the choice be given him, prefers going without them to going without a mind; when there is no one that prefers, nay, no one that compares them, to those lights of the body, by which not one man only here and there, as in the case of gold, but every man, possesses the very heaven? For every one possesses by the eyes of the body whatever he gladly sees. Who then is there, who, if he could not keep both, but must lose one, would not rather lose his treasures than his eyes? And yet if it were put to him on the same condition, whether he would rather lose eyes than mind, who is there with a mind that does not see that he would rather lose the former than the latter? For a mind without the eyes of the flesh is still human, but the eyes of the flesh without a mind are bestial. And who would not rather be a man, even though blind in fleshly sight, than a beast that can see?
20. I have said thus much, that even those who are slower of understanding, to whose eyes or ears this book may come, might be admonished, however briefly, how greatly even a weak and erring mind loves itself, in wrongly loving and pursuing things beneath itself. Now it could not love itself if it were altogether ignorant of itself, i.e. if it did not remember itself, nor understand itself by which image of God within itself it has such power as to be able to cleave to Him whose image it is. For it is so reckoned in the order, not of place, but of natures, as that there is none above it save Him. When, finally, it shall altogether cleave to Him, then it will be one spirit, as the apostle testifies, saying, "But he who cleaves to the Lord is one spirit." And this by its drawing near to partake of His nature, truth, and blessedness, yet not by His increasing in His own nature, truth and blessedness. In that nature, then, when it happily has cleaved to it, it will live unchangeably, and will see as unchangeable all that it does see. Then, as divine Scripture promises, "His desire will be satisfied with good things," good things unchangeable,— the very Trinity itself, its own God, whose image it is. And that it may not ever thenceforward suffer wrong, it will be in the hidden place of His presence, filled with so great fullness of Him, that sin thenceforth will never delight it. But now, when it sees itself, it sees something not unchangeable.
Chap. 15.—Although the soul hopes for blessedness, yet it does not remember lost blessedness, but remembers God and the rules of righteousness. The unchangeable rules of right living are known even to the ungodly.
21. And of this certainly it feels no doubt, that it is wretched, and longs to be blessed nor can it hope for the possibility of this on any other ground than its own changeableness for if it were not changeable, then, as it could not become wretched after being blessed, so neither could it become blessed after being wretched. And what could have made it wretched under an omnipotent and good God, except its own sin and the righteousness of its Lord? And what will make it blessed, unless its own merit, and its Lord's reward? But its merit, too, is His grace, whose reward will be its blessedness; for it cannot give itself the righteousness it has lost, and so has not. For this it received when man was created, and assuredly lost it by sinning. Therefore it receives righteousness, that on account of this it may deserve to receive blessedness; and hence the apostle truly says to it, when beginning to be proud as it were of its own good, "For what hast thou that thou didst not receive? Now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory as if thou hadst not received it? But when it rightly remembers its own Lord, having received His Spirit, then, because it is so taught by an inward teaching, it feels wholly that it cannot rise save by His affection freely given, nor has been able to fall save by its own defection freely chosen. Certainly it does not remember its own blessedness; since that has been, but is not, and it has utterly forgotten it, and therefore cannot even be reminded of it. But it believes what the trustworthy Scriptures of its God tell of that blessedness, which were written by His prophet, and tell of the blessedness of Paradise, and hand down to us historical information of that first both good and ill of man. And it remembers the Lord its God; for He always is, nor has been and is not, nor is but has not been; but as He never will not be, so He never was not. And He is whole everywhere. And hence it both lives, and is moved, and is in Him; had so it can remember Him. Not because it recollects the having known Him in Adam or anywhere else before the life of this present body, or when it was first made in order to be implanted in this body; for it remembers nothing at all of all this. Whatever there is of this, it has been blotted out by forgetfulness. But it is reminded, that it may be turned to God, as though to that light by which it was in some way touched, even when turned away from Him. For hence it is that even the ungodly think of eternity, and rightly blame and rightly praise many things in the morals of men. And by what rules do they thus judge, except by those wherein they see how men ought to live, even though they themselves do not so live? And where do they see these rules? For they do not see them in their own [moral] nature; since no doubt these things are to be seen by the mind, and their minds are confessedly changeable, but these rules are seen as unchangeable by him who can see them at all; nor yet in the character of their own mind, since these rules are rules of righteousness, and their minds are confessedly unrighteous. Where indeed are these rules written, wherein even the unrighteous recognizes what is righteous, wherein he discerns that he ought to have what he himself has not? Where, then, are they written, unless in the book of that Light which is called Truth? whence every righteous law is copied and transferred (not by migrating to it, but by being as it were impressed upon it) to the heart of the man that worketh righteousness; as the impression from a ring passes into the wax, yet does not leave the ring. But he who worketh not, and yet sees how he ought to work, he is the man that is turned away from that light, which yet touches him. But he who does not even see how he ought to live, sins indeed with more excuse, because he is not a transgressor of a law that he knows; but even he too is just touched sometimes by the splendor of the everywhere present truth, when upon admonition he confesses.
Chap. 16.—How the image of God is formed anew in man.
22. But those who, by being reminded, are turned to the Lord from that deformity whereby they were through worldly lusts conformed to this world, are formed anew from the world, when they hearken to the apostle, saying," Be not conformed to this world, but be ye formed again in the renewing of your mind;" that that image may begin to be formed again by Him by whom it had been formed at first. For that image cannot form itself again, as it could deform itself. He says again elsewhere: "Be ye renewed in the spirit of your mind; and put ye on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness." That which is meant by "created after God," is expressed in another place by "after the image of God." But it lost righteousness and true holiness by sinning, through which that image became defaced and, tarnished; and this it recovers when it is formed again and renewed. But when he says, "In the spirit of your mind," he does not in: tend to be understood of two things, as though mind were one, and the spirit of the mind another; but he speaks thus, because all mind is spirit, but all spirit is not mind. For there is a Spirit also that is God, which cannot be renewed, because it cannot grow old. And we speak also of a spirit in man distinct from the mind, to which spirit belong the images that are formed after the likeness of bodies; and of this the apostle speaks to the Corinthians, where he says, "But if I shall have prayed with a tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful." For he speaks thus, when that which is said is not understood; since it cannot even be said, unless the images of the corporeal articulate sounds anticipate the oral sound by the thought of the spirit. The soul of man is also called spirit, whence are the words in the Gospel, "And He bowed His head, and gave up His spirit;" by which the death of the body, through the spirit's leaving it, is signified. We speak also of the spirit of a beast, as it is expressly written in the book of Solomon called Ecclesiastes; "Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?" It is written too in Genesis, where it is said that by the deluge all flesh died which "had in it the spirit of life." We speak also of the spirit, meaning the wind, a thing most manifestly corporeal; whence is that in the Psalms," Fire and hail, snow and ice, the spirit of the I storm." Since spirit, then, is a word of so many meanings, the apostle intended to express by "the spirit of the mind" that spirit which is called the mind. As the same apostle also, when he says, "In putting off the body of the flesh," certainly did not intend two things, as though flesh were one, and the body of the flesh another; but because body is the name of many things that have no flesh (for besides the flesh, there are many bodies celestial and bodies terrestrial), he expressed by the body of the flesh that body which is flesh. In like manner, therefore, by the spirit of the mind, that spirit which is mind. Elsewhere, too, he has even more plainly called it an image, while enforcing the same thing in other words. "Do you," he says, "putting off the old man with his deeds, put on the new man, which is renewed in the knowledge of God after the image of Him that created him." Where the one passage reads, "Put ye on the new man, which is created after God," the other has, "Put ye on the new man, which is renewed after the image of Him that created him." In the one place he says, "After God;" in the other, "After the image of Him that created him." But instead of saying, as in the former passages" In righteousness and true holiness," he has put in the latter, "In the knowledge of God." This renewal, then, and forming again of the mind, is wrought either after God, or after the image of God. But it is said to be after God, in order that it may not be supposed to be after another creature; and to be after the image of God, in order that this renewing may be understood to take place in that wherein is the image of God, i.e. in the mind. Just as we say, that he who has departed from the body a faithful and righteous man, is dead after the body, not after the spirit. For what do we mean by dead after the body, unless as to the body or in the body, and not dead as to the soul or in the soul? Or if we want to say he is handsome after the body, or strong after the body, not after the mind; what else is this, than that he is handsome or strong in body, not in mind? And the same is the case with numberless other instances. Let us not therefore so understand the words, "After the image of Him that created him," as though it were a different image after which he is renewed, and not the very same which is itself renewed.
Chap. 17.—How the image of God in the mind is renewed until the likeness of God is perfected in it in blessedness.
23. Certainly this renewal does not take place in the single moment of conversion itself, as that renewal in baptism takes place in a single moment by the remission of all sins; for not one, be it ever so small, remains unremitted. But as it is one thing to be free from fever, and another to grow strong again from the infirmity which the fever produced; and one thing again to pluck out of the body a weapon thrust into it, and another to heal the wound thereby made by a prosperous cure; so the first cure is to remove the cause of infirmity, and this is wrought by the forgiving of all sins; but the second cure is to heal the infirmity itself, and this takes place gradually by making progress in the renewal of that image: which two things are plainly shown in the Psalm, where we read, "Who forgiveth all thine iniquities," which takes place in baptism; and then follows, "and healeth all thine infirmities;" and this takes place by daily additions, while this image is being renewed. And the apostle has spoken of this most expressly, saying, "And though our outward man perish, yet the inner man is renewed day by day." And "it is renewed in the knowledge of God, i.e. in righteousness and true holiness," according to the testimonies of the apostle cited a little before. He, then, who is day by day renewed by making progress in the knowledge of God, and in righteousness and true holiness, transfers his love from things temporal to things eternal, from things visible to things intelligible, from things carnal to things spiritual; and diligently perseveres in bridling and lessening his desire for the former, and in binding himself by love to the latter. And he does this in proportion as he is helped by God. For it is the sentence of God Himself, "Without me ye can do nothing." And when the last day of life shall have found any one holding fast faith in the Mediator in such progress and growth as this, he will be welcomed by the holy angels, to be led to God, whom he has worshipped, and to be made perfect by Him; and so will receive in the end of the world an incorruptible body. in order not to punishment, but to glory. For the likeness of God will then be perfected in this image, when the sight of God shall be perfected. And of this the Apostle Paul speaks: "Now we see through a glass, in an enigma, but then face to face." And again: "But we with open face, beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image, from glory to glory, even as by the spirit of the Lord." And this is what happens from day to day in those that make good progress.
Chap. 18.—Whether the sentence of John is to be understood of our future likeness with the Son of God in the immortality itself also of the body.
24. But the Apostle John says, "Beloved, now are we the sons of God; and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is." Hence it appears, that the full likeness of God is to take place in that image of God at that time when it shall receive the full sight of God. And yet this may also possibly seem to be said by the Apostle John of the immortality of the body. For we shall be like to God in this too, but only to the Son, because He only in the Trinity. took a body, in which He died and rose again, and which He carried with Him to heaven above. For this, too, is called an image of the Son of God, in which we shall have, as He has, an immortal body, being conformed in this respect not to the image of the Father or of the Holy Spirit, but only of the Son, because of Him alone is it read and received by a sound faith, that "the Word was made flesh." And for this reason the apostle says, "Whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren." "The first-born" certainly ''from the dead," according to the same apostle; by which death His flesh was sown in dishonor, and rose again in glory. According to this image of the Son, to which we are conformed in the body by immortality, we also do that of which the same apostle speaks, "As we have borne the image of the earthy, so shall we also bear the image of the heavenly;" to wit, that we who are mortal after Adam, may hold by a true faith, and a sure and certain hope, that we shall be immortal after Christ. For so can we now bear the same image, not yet in sight, but in faith; not yet in fact, but in hope. For the apostle, when he said this, was speaking of the resurrection of the body.
Chap. 19.—John is rather to be understood of our perfect likeness with the Trinity in life eternal. Wisdom is perfected in happiness.
25. But in respect to that image indeed, of which it is said, "Let us make man after our image and likeness," we believe,—and, after the utmost search we have been able to make, understand,—that man was made after the image of the Trinity, because it is not said, After my, or After thy image. And therefore that place too of the Apostle John must be understood rather according to this image, when he says, "We shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is;" because he spoke too of Him of whom be had said, "We are the sons of God." And the immortality of the flesh will be perfected in that moment of the resurrection, of which the Apostle Paul says, "In the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump; and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed." For in that very twinkling of an eye, before the judgment, the spiritual body shall rise again in power, in incorruption, in glory, which is now sown a natural body in weakness, in corruption, in dishonor. But the image which is renewed in the spirit of the mind in the knowledge of God, not outwardly, but inwardly, from day to day, shall be perfected by that sight itself; which then after the judgment shall be face to face, but now makes progress as through a glass in an enigma. And we must understand it to be said on account of this perfection, that "we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is." For this gift will be given to us at that time, when it shall have been said, "Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you." For then will the ungodly be taken away, so that he shall not see the glory of the Lord, when those on the left hand shall go into eternal punishment, while those on the right go into life eternal. But "this is eternal life," as the Truth tells us; "to know Thee," He says, "the one true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent."
26. This contemplative wisdom, which I believe is properly called wisdom as distinct from knowledge in the sacred writings; but wisdom only of man, which yet man has not except from Him, by partaking of whom a rational and intellectual mind can be made truly wise;—this contemplative wisdom, I say, it is that Cicero commends, in the end of the dialogue Hortensius, when he says: "While, then, we consider these things night and day, and sharpen our understanding, which is the eye of the mind, taking care that it be not ever dulled, that is, while we live in philosophy; we, I say, in so doing, have great hope that, if, on the one hand, this sentiment and wisdom of ours is mortal and perishable, we shall still, when we have discharged our human offices, have a pleasant setting, and a not painful extinction, and as it were a rest from life: or if, on the other, as ancient philosophers thought,—and those, too, the greatest and far the most celebrated,—we have souls eternal and divine, then must we needs think, that the more these shall have always kept in their own proper course, i.e. in reason and in the desire of inquiry, and the less they shall have mixed and entangled themselves in the vices and errors of men, the more easy ascent and return they will have to heaven." And then he says, adding this short sentence, and finishing his discourse by repeating it: "Wherefore, to end my discourse at last, if we wish either for a tranquil extinction, after living in the pursuit of these subjects, or if to migrate without delay from this present home to another in no little measure better, we must bestow all our labor and care upon these pursuits." And here I marvel, that a man of such great ability should promise to men living in philosophy, which makes man blessed by contemplation of truth, "a pleasant setting after the discharge of human offices, if this our sentiment and wisdom is mortal and perishable;" as if that which we did not love, or rather which we fiercely hated, were then to die and come to nothing, so that its setting would be pleasant to us! But indeed he had not learned this from the philosophers, whom he extols with great praise; but this sentiment is redolent of that New Academy, wherein it pleased him to doubt of even the plainest things. But from the philosophers that were greatest and far most celebrated, as he himself confesses, he had learned that souls are eternal. For souls that are eternal are not unsuitably stirred up by the exhortation to be found in "their own proper course," when the end of this life shall have come, i.e. "in reason and in the desire of inquiry," and to mix and entangle themselves the less in the vices and errors of men, in order that they may have an easier return to God. But that course which consists in the love and investigation of truth does not suffice for the wretched, i.e. for all mortals who have only this kind of reason, and are. without faith in the Mediator; as I have. taken pains to prove, as much as I could, in former books of this work, especially in the fourth and thirteenth.
[Translated by the Rev. Arthur West Haddan, B.D., Hon. Canon of Worcester, and Rector of Barton-on-the-Heath, Warwickshire; revised by William G. T. Shedd, D.D., Roosevelt Professor of Systematic Theology in Union Theological Seminary, New York.]
Taken from "The Early Church Fathers and Other Works" originally published by Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co. in English in Edinburgh, Scotland, beginning in 1867. (LNPF I/III, Schaff). The digital version is by The Electronic Bible Society, P.O. Box 701356, Dallas, TX 75370, 214-407-WORD.
Footnotes were not included in the transcription. Return
(NOTE: The electronic text obtained from The Electronic Bible Society was notcompletely corrected. EWTN has corrected all discovered errors.)