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Saint Augustine

Saint Augustine, who lived from 354 to 430 AD, was a prominent Christian theologian and philosopher. His influential works, including "Confessions" and "City of God," delve into profound explorations of faith, human nature, and the pursuit of spiritual truth. Augustine's ideas on original sin, divine grace, and the nature of God have had a lasting impact on Western philosophy and continue to shape theological discourse to this day.

33 Notes

354 - 430

Thagaste

"For many of my years perhaps twelve had passed away since my nineteenth, when, upon the reading of Cicero’s Hortensius, I was roused to a desire for wisdom."

Saint Augustin

Discuss

Thomas Aquinas(1225 - 1274)

As Augustine says (Enchiridion xi): "Since God is the highest good, He would not allow any evil to exist in His works, unless His omnipotence and goodness were such as to bring good even out of evil." This is part of the infinite goodness of God, that He should allow evil to exist, and out of it produce good.

Book & Page: Aquinas pdf p.796

#Quotes

On the other hand: Augustine says (Tract, 110 in Joan.): “God loves all that he has made. He loves rational creatures more; members of his only-begotten still more; his only-begotten much more.”

Book & Page: Aquinas selected pdf p.74

#Quotes

Thus, Augustine says: “God omnipotent would not allow any evil thing to exist in his works, were he not able by his omnipotence and goodness to bring good out of evil” (Enchirid. 2). Those who have believed that corruptible things subject to change and to evil are outside the care of divine providence seem to have been influenced by these two objections which
we have answered.

Book & Page: Aquinas selected pdf p.86

#Quotes

Augustine says accordingly (Tract. 26 in Joan.): “If thou wouldst not err, seek not to judge why God draws one man and not another.” In the realm of nature, also, we can see a reason why one part of primary matter should be made originally in the form of fire, and another part of it in the form of earth.

Book & Page: Aquinas selected pdf p.97

#Quotes

On the first point: as Augustine says (De Spiritu et Littera, 27): “It should not disturb us that he said that these do by nature the things contained in the law. For this is wrought by the spirit of grace, to restore within us the image of God in which we were naturally made.”

Book & Page: Aquinas selected pdf p.112

#Quotes

On the other hand: Augustine says {De Persev. 2): “Why is perseverance asked of God, if it is not given by God? Is it not a supercilious request, to ask him for something which we know he does not give, but which is in our power without his giving it?” Moreover, perseverance is asked for even by those who are sanctified through grace. This is what we mean when we say “Hallowed be thy name,” as Augustine confirms by the words of Cyprian [De Corrept. et Grat. 12). Thus, even a man in grace needs that perseverance be given him by God.

Book & Page: Aquinas selected pdf p.130

#Quotes

Hence, when Augustine says: “that a just man should be made out of an ungodly man is a greater work than the creation of heaven and earth,” he adds: “for heaven and earth shall pass away, but the salvation and justification of the predestined shall
remain.”

Book & Page: Aquinas selected pdf p.164

#Quotes

Further, Augustine says (De Doctr. Christ. i, 31) that "we exist because God is good." But we owe our existence to God as the efficient cause. Therefore, goodness implies the aspect of an efficient cause.

Book & Page: Aquinas pdf p.833

#Analysis

Augustine says (14 De Trin. 1): “by this science only is faith begun, nourished, defended, and strengthened.” Now this is true of no science except sacred doctrine. Sacred doctrine is therefore a science.

Book & Page: Aquinas selected pdf p.30

#Analysis

On the other hand: Augustine says (De Baptismo Puer; De Peccat. Mer. et Remis. I, ch. 39; De Tempt., Sermo 45): “because of original sin infants have a tendency to desire, even though they do not actually desire.” Now we speak of a tendency where there is a habit. Original sin is therefore a habit.

Book & Page: Aquinas selected pdf p.97

#Analysis

Again, Augustine says: “lust transmits original sin to posterity.” (1 De Nup. et Concup. 23–24.) But the lust in generation may be greater in one than in another. Original sin may therefore be greater in one than in another.

Book & Page: Aquinas selected pdf p.97

#Analysis

On the other hand: Augustine says (Enchirid. 13, 14): “evil exists only in what is good.” But the evil of guilt can be neither in the good of virtue nor in the good of grace, since these are contrary to it. It must therefore be in the good of nature. It cannot then totally destroy the good of nature

Book & Page: Aquinas selected pdf p.110

#Analysis

Again, Augustine says that the sinner’s soul suffers two penalties, namely “ignorance” and “difficulty,” and that “error” and “vexation” arise out of them (De Nat. et Grat. 67; 1 Retract. 9). But these do not coincide with the four wounds named. Either the one list or the other is therefore inadequate

Book & Page: Aquinas selected pdf p.111

#Analysis

It seems that privation of mode, species, and order is not the effect of sin. Augustine says (De Nat. Boni 3): “where these are great, good is great; where these are small, good is small; where these are absent, good is absent.” But sin does not take away natural good altogether. Therefore, it does not deprive us of mode, species, and order.

Book & Page: Aquinas selected pdf p.112

#Analysis

It seems that a man can avoid sin without grace. Augustine says that “no man sins in respect of what he cannot avoid” (De Duab. Animabus, 10, 11; 3 De Lib. Arb. 18). Hence, it appears that if a man cannot avoid sin while he lives in mortal sin, he does not sin while he sins. But this is impossible.

Book & Page: Aquinas selected pdf p.112

#Analysis

On the other hand: light denotes something in what is illumined, and grace is a light of the soul. Thus, Augustine says (De Nat. et Grat. 22): “The light of truth rightly deserts him who falsifies the law, and he who is thus deserted is left blind.” Hence, grace denotes something in the soul.

Book & Page: Aquinas selected pdf p.132

#Analysis

It seems that grace is the same as virtue. For Augustine says “operative grace is faith that works by love” (De Spiritu et Littera 14, 32). But faith that works by love is a virtue. Therefore grace is a virtue.

Book & Page: Aquinas selected pdf p.14

#Analysis

It seems that grace is not in the soul’s essence as its subject, but in one of its powers. For Augustine says (or another, in Hypognosticon 3): “grace is to the will, or free will, as a rider to his horse,” and it was said in Q. 88, Art. 2, that the will, or the free will, is a power. It follows that grace is in a power of the soul as its subject.

Book & Page: Aquinas selected pdf p.136

#Analysis

Again, Augustine says (De Grat. et Lib. Arb. 4): “a man’s merits arise out of grace.” But merit consists in action, and action proceeds from a power. It seems, then, that grace is a power of the soul.

Book & Page: Aquinas selected pdf p.136

#Analysis

On the other hand: Augustine says (De Grat. et Lib. Arb. 17): “God perfects within us by co-operation what he initiates by operation. For he operates first to make us will, and co-operates with those who will to make them perfect.” Now, the operations by which God moves us to good are operations of grace. Grace is therefore appropriately divided into operative and cooperative grace.

Book & Page: Aquinas selected pdf p.139

#Analysis

It seems that a man can merit the first grace for himself. For Augustine says that “faith merits justification” (Praef. Ps. 32), and a man is justified by the grace first given to him. It follows that a man can merit the first grace for himself.

Book & Page: Aquinas selected pdf p.172

#Analysis

Again, as Augustine says (De Verb. Dom., Sermo. 33, cap. 5): “Every sense is called sight.” Now faith is of things that are heard, according to Rom. 10:17: “faith cometh by hearing.” Hence, faith is of things that are seen.

Book & Page: Aquinas selected pdf p.184

#Analysis

It seems that faith is not in the intellect as its subject. For Augustine says (implicitly in De Praed. Sanct. 5): “faith depends on the will of those who believe.” But the will is a power distinct from the intellect. It follows that faith is not in the intellect as its subject.

Book & Page: Aquinas selected pdf p.216

#Analysis

It seems that faith is not infused into man by God. For Augustine says (14 De Trin. 1): “by knowledge is faith begotten, nourished, defended, and strengthened in us.” Now what is begotten in us by knowledge would seem to be acquired, rather than infused. Thus, it appears that faith is not in us by divine infusion.

Book & Page: Aquinas selected pdf p.221

#Analysis

Again, no virtue is the result of merits, since Augustine says that “God works virtue in us without ourselves” (on Ps. 119, Feci Iudicium; and De Grat. et Lib. Arb. 17). But the Master says that hope is the result of grace and of merits (3 Sent., Dist. 26). It follows that hope is not a virtue

Book & Page: Aquinas selected pdf p.227

#Analysis

Augustine says, “human fear is not a gift of God” (De Grat. et Lib. Arb. 18). For this is the fear which caused Peter to deny Christ, whereas the fear which is a gift of God is that of which it is said in Matt. 10:28: “but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Neither is servile fear to be numbered with the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, even though it may be due to the Holy Spirit. For servile fear can be combined with the will to sin, as Augustine says (De Nat. et Grat. 57), whereas gifts of the Holy Spirit cannot be combined with the will to sin, since they are not without charity, as we said in 12ae, Q. 68, Art. 5. It remains, therefore, that the fear of God which is numbered with the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit is filial fear, or chaste fear.

Book & Page: Aquinas selected pdf p.227

#Analysis

As Augustine says: “Nothing was so necessary in order to raise our hope, as that we should be shown how much God loves us. What could more plainly declare this to us than that the Son of God should deign to take our nature upon himself?” (13 De Trin. 10)

Book & Page: Aquinas selected pdf p.260

#Analysis

Augustine says (4 Cont. Julian. 3): “with all virtues, there are not only vices which are clearly opposed to them, as temerity is clearly opposed to prudence. There are also vices which are akin to them, not truly, but with a false kind of similarity, such as astuteness bears to prudence.” This is what the philosopher means when he says that a virtue seems to have more in common with one contrary vice than with another, as temperance seems to have the greater kinship with insensibility, and fortitude with audacity.

Book & Page: Aquinas selected pdf p.274

#Analysis

It seems that charity is not something created in the soul. Augustine says (8 De Trin. 8): “he who loves his neighbor loves love itself in consequence.” Now, God is love. It is therefore God whom such a one principally loves in consequence. He also says (15 De Trin. 17): “we say ‘God is love’ in the same way as we say ‘God is a Spirit.’ It follows that charity is God himself, not anything created in the soul.”

Book & Page: Aquinas selected pdf p.274

#Analysis

It seems that God cannot be loved immediately in this life. Augustine says (10 De Trin. 1, 2): “what is unknown cannot be loved.” In this life we do not know God immediately, since “now we see through a glass, darkly” (I Cor. 13:12). Neither then do we love him immediately.

Book & Page: Aquinas selected pdf p.290

#Analysis

Michel de Montaigne(1533 - 1592)

St Augustine makes  mention of another who no sooner heard some melancholy or doleful cry than he would fall into a sudden swoon, and be so violently transported out of himself that it was no use shaking him or shouting at him, pinching him or scorching him, until he came to of his own accord. Then he would say that he had heard voices, but as if from far away, and would become aware of his bruises and burns. That this was no obstinate pretence, no concealment of his real sensations, was shown

Book & Page: Michael Montaigne p.39

#Facts

The great St Augustine testifies to having seen a blind child recover its sight upon the relics of St Gervais and St Protasius at Milan, and a woman at Carthage cured of cancer by the sign of the cross made upon her by another woman, newly baptized. He also states that Hesperius, an intimate friend of his, drove out the spirits that infested his house with a little earth from Our Lord's sepulcher, and that when this earth was afterwards taken to the church, a paralytic was suddenly cured by it; and that when a woman in a procession-rubbed her eyes with a nosegay which she had just brushed against St Stephen's shrine, she recovered her sight, which she had lost some time before.

Book & Page: Michael Montaigne 91

#Facts

Francis Bacon(1561 - 1626)

But we have no need to think of these in order to recognize the immensity of his power, nor should we conceive any precedence o.r priority of his understanding over his will or vice versa; for the idea we have of God teaches us that' in. him there is only a single  act, utterly simple and p ure; as is very well expressed in these words of St Augustine: “Because you see them (the things you have created), they exist” are one and the same thing.

Book & Page: Rene Descartes Oxford - Passion of the soul p. 173

#Quotes

Thomas Aquinas(1225 - 1274)

As Augustine says (Enchiridion xi): "Since God is the highest good, He would not allow any evil to exist in His works, unless His omnipotence and goodness were such as to bring good even out of evil." This is part of the infinite goodness of God, that He should allow evil to exist, and out of it produce good.

Book & Page: Aquinas pdf p.796

#Quotes

On the other hand: Augustine says (Tract, 110 in Joan.): “God loves all that he has made. He loves rational creatures more; members of his only-begotten still more; his only-begotten much more.”

Book & Page: Aquinas selected pdf p.74

#Quotes

Thus, Augustine says: “God omnipotent would not allow any evil thing to exist in his works, were he not able by his omnipotence and goodness to bring good out of evil” (Enchirid. 2). Those who have believed that corruptible things subject to change and to evil are outside the care of divine providence seem to have been influenced by these two objections which
we have answered.

Book & Page: Aquinas selected pdf p.86

#Quotes

Augustine says accordingly (Tract. 26 in Joan.): “If thou wouldst not err, seek not to judge why God draws one man and not another.” In the realm of nature, also, we can see a reason why one part of primary matter should be made originally in the form of fire, and another part of it in the form of earth.

Book & Page: Aquinas selected pdf p.97

#Quotes

On the first point: as Augustine says (De Spiritu et Littera, 27): “It should not disturb us that he said that these do by nature the things contained in the law. For this is wrought by the spirit of grace, to restore within us the image of God in which we were naturally made.”

Book & Page: Aquinas selected pdf p.112

#Quotes

On the other hand: Augustine says {De Persev. 2): “Why is perseverance asked of God, if it is not given by God? Is it not a supercilious request, to ask him for something which we know he does not give, but which is in our power without his giving it?” Moreover, perseverance is asked for even by those who are sanctified through grace. This is what we mean when we say “Hallowed be thy name,” as Augustine confirms by the words of Cyprian [De Corrept. et Grat. 12). Thus, even a man in grace needs that perseverance be given him by God.

Book & Page: Aquinas selected pdf p.130

#Quotes

Hence, when Augustine says: “that a just man should be made out of an ungodly man is a greater work than the creation of heaven and earth,” he adds: “for heaven and earth shall pass away, but the salvation and justification of the predestined shall
remain.”

Book & Page: Aquinas selected pdf p.164

#Quotes

Francis Bacon(1561 - 1626)

But we have no need to think of these in order to recognize the immensity of his power, nor should we conceive any precedence o.r priority of his understanding over his will or vice versa; for the idea we have of God teaches us that' in. him there is only a single  act, utterly simple and p ure; as is very well expressed in these words of St Augustine: “Because you see them (the things you have created), they exist” are one and the same thing.

Book & Page: Rene Descartes Oxford - Passion of the soul p. 173

#Quotes
No notes yet...
Not notes yet...
No notes yet...
Not notes yet...

Michel de Montaigne(1533 - 1592)

St Augustine makes  mention of another who no sooner heard some melancholy or doleful cry than he would fall into a sudden swoon, and be so violently transported out of himself that it was no use shaking him or shouting at him, pinching him or scorching him, until he came to of his own accord. Then he would say that he had heard voices, but as if from far away, and would become aware of his bruises and burns. That this was no obstinate pretence, no concealment of his real sensations, was shown

Book & Page: Michael Montaigne p.39

#Facts

The great St Augustine testifies to having seen a blind child recover its sight upon the relics of St Gervais and St Protasius at Milan, and a woman at Carthage cured of cancer by the sign of the cross made upon her by another woman, newly baptized. He also states that Hesperius, an intimate friend of his, drove out the spirits that infested his house with a little earth from Our Lord's sepulcher, and that when this earth was afterwards taken to the church, a paralytic was suddenly cured by it; and that when a woman in a procession-rubbed her eyes with a nosegay which she had just brushed against St Stephen's shrine, she recovered her sight, which she had lost some time before.

Book & Page: Michael Montaigne 91

#Facts
No notes yet...
Not notes yet...

Thomas Aquinas(1225 - 1274)

Further, Augustine says (De Doctr. Christ. i, 31) that "we exist because God is good." But we owe our existence to God as the efficient cause. Therefore, goodness implies the aspect of an efficient cause.

Book & Page: Aquinas pdf p.833

#Analysis

Augustine says (14 De Trin. 1): “by this science only is faith begun, nourished, defended, and strengthened.” Now this is true of no science except sacred doctrine. Sacred doctrine is therefore a science.

Book & Page: Aquinas selected pdf p.30

#Analysis

On the other hand: Augustine says (De Baptismo Puer; De Peccat. Mer. et Remis. I, ch. 39; De Tempt., Sermo 45): “because of original sin infants have a tendency to desire, even though they do not actually desire.” Now we speak of a tendency where there is a habit. Original sin is therefore a habit.

Book & Page: Aquinas selected pdf p.97

#Analysis

Again, Augustine says: “lust transmits original sin to posterity.” (1 De Nup. et Concup. 23–24.) But the lust in generation may be greater in one than in another. Original sin may therefore be greater in one than in another.

Book & Page: Aquinas selected pdf p.97

#Analysis

On the other hand: Augustine says (Enchirid. 13, 14): “evil exists only in what is good.” But the evil of guilt can be neither in the good of virtue nor in the good of grace, since these are contrary to it. It must therefore be in the good of nature. It cannot then totally destroy the good of nature

Book & Page: Aquinas selected pdf p.110

#Analysis

Again, Augustine says that the sinner’s soul suffers two penalties, namely “ignorance” and “difficulty,” and that “error” and “vexation” arise out of them (De Nat. et Grat. 67; 1 Retract. 9). But these do not coincide with the four wounds named. Either the one list or the other is therefore inadequate

Book & Page: Aquinas selected pdf p.111

#Analysis

It seems that privation of mode, species, and order is not the effect of sin. Augustine says (De Nat. Boni 3): “where these are great, good is great; where these are small, good is small; where these are absent, good is absent.” But sin does not take away natural good altogether. Therefore, it does not deprive us of mode, species, and order.

Book & Page: Aquinas selected pdf p.112

#Analysis

It seems that a man can avoid sin without grace. Augustine says that “no man sins in respect of what he cannot avoid” (De Duab. Animabus, 10, 11; 3 De Lib. Arb. 18). Hence, it appears that if a man cannot avoid sin while he lives in mortal sin, he does not sin while he sins. But this is impossible.

Book & Page: Aquinas selected pdf p.112

#Analysis

On the other hand: light denotes something in what is illumined, and grace is a light of the soul. Thus, Augustine says (De Nat. et Grat. 22): “The light of truth rightly deserts him who falsifies the law, and he who is thus deserted is left blind.” Hence, grace denotes something in the soul.

Book & Page: Aquinas selected pdf p.132

#Analysis

It seems that grace is the same as virtue. For Augustine says “operative grace is faith that works by love” (De Spiritu et Littera 14, 32). But faith that works by love is a virtue. Therefore grace is a virtue.

Book & Page: Aquinas selected pdf p.14

#Analysis

It seems that grace is not in the soul’s essence as its subject, but in one of its powers. For Augustine says (or another, in Hypognosticon 3): “grace is to the will, or free will, as a rider to his horse,” and it was said in Q. 88, Art. 2, that the will, or the free will, is a power. It follows that grace is in a power of the soul as its subject.

Book & Page: Aquinas selected pdf p.136

#Analysis

Again, Augustine says (De Grat. et Lib. Arb. 4): “a man’s merits arise out of grace.” But merit consists in action, and action proceeds from a power. It seems, then, that grace is a power of the soul.

Book & Page: Aquinas selected pdf p.136

#Analysis

On the other hand: Augustine says (De Grat. et Lib. Arb. 17): “God perfects within us by co-operation what he initiates by operation. For he operates first to make us will, and co-operates with those who will to make them perfect.” Now, the operations by which God moves us to good are operations of grace. Grace is therefore appropriately divided into operative and cooperative grace.

Book & Page: Aquinas selected pdf p.139

#Analysis

It seems that a man can merit the first grace for himself. For Augustine says that “faith merits justification” (Praef. Ps. 32), and a man is justified by the grace first given to him. It follows that a man can merit the first grace for himself.

Book & Page: Aquinas selected pdf p.172

#Analysis

Again, as Augustine says (De Verb. Dom., Sermo. 33, cap. 5): “Every sense is called sight.” Now faith is of things that are heard, according to Rom. 10:17: “faith cometh by hearing.” Hence, faith is of things that are seen.

Book & Page: Aquinas selected pdf p.184

#Analysis

It seems that faith is not in the intellect as its subject. For Augustine says (implicitly in De Praed. Sanct. 5): “faith depends on the will of those who believe.” But the will is a power distinct from the intellect. It follows that faith is not in the intellect as its subject.

Book & Page: Aquinas selected pdf p.216

#Analysis

It seems that faith is not infused into man by God. For Augustine says (14 De Trin. 1): “by knowledge is faith begotten, nourished, defended, and strengthened in us.” Now what is begotten in us by knowledge would seem to be acquired, rather than infused. Thus, it appears that faith is not in us by divine infusion.

Book & Page: Aquinas selected pdf p.221

#Analysis

Again, no virtue is the result of merits, since Augustine says that “God works virtue in us without ourselves” (on Ps. 119, Feci Iudicium; and De Grat. et Lib. Arb. 17). But the Master says that hope is the result of grace and of merits (3 Sent., Dist. 26). It follows that hope is not a virtue

Book & Page: Aquinas selected pdf p.227

#Analysis

Augustine says, “human fear is not a gift of God” (De Grat. et Lib. Arb. 18). For this is the fear which caused Peter to deny Christ, whereas the fear which is a gift of God is that of which it is said in Matt. 10:28: “but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Neither is servile fear to be numbered with the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, even though it may be due to the Holy Spirit. For servile fear can be combined with the will to sin, as Augustine says (De Nat. et Grat. 57), whereas gifts of the Holy Spirit cannot be combined with the will to sin, since they are not without charity, as we said in 12ae, Q. 68, Art. 5. It remains, therefore, that the fear of God which is numbered with the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit is filial fear, or chaste fear.

Book & Page: Aquinas selected pdf p.227

#Analysis

As Augustine says: “Nothing was so necessary in order to raise our hope, as that we should be shown how much God loves us. What could more plainly declare this to us than that the Son of God should deign to take our nature upon himself?” (13 De Trin. 10)

Book & Page: Aquinas selected pdf p.260

#Analysis

Augustine says (4 Cont. Julian. 3): “with all virtues, there are not only vices which are clearly opposed to them, as temerity is clearly opposed to prudence. There are also vices which are akin to them, not truly, but with a false kind of similarity, such as astuteness bears to prudence.” This is what the philosopher means when he says that a virtue seems to have more in common with one contrary vice than with another, as temperance seems to have the greater kinship with insensibility, and fortitude with audacity.

Book & Page: Aquinas selected pdf p.274

#Analysis

It seems that charity is not something created in the soul. Augustine says (8 De Trin. 8): “he who loves his neighbor loves love itself in consequence.” Now, God is love. It is therefore God whom such a one principally loves in consequence. He also says (15 De Trin. 17): “we say ‘God is love’ in the same way as we say ‘God is a Spirit.’ It follows that charity is God himself, not anything created in the soul.”

Book & Page: Aquinas selected pdf p.274

#Analysis

It seems that God cannot be loved immediately in this life. Augustine says (10 De Trin. 1, 2): “what is unknown cannot be loved.” In this life we do not know God immediately, since “now we see through a glass, darkly” (I Cor. 13:12). Neither then do we love him immediately.

Book & Page: Aquinas selected pdf p.290

#Analysis
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