Guide Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers Series 1, Volume 5 - Enhanced Version (Early Church Fathers)

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Linked Data More info about Linked Data. Socrates, Sozomenus: Church histories -- v. Theodoret, Jerome, Gennadius, Rufinus: Historical writings, etc.

Nicene and post-Nicene Fathers. Second series

Athanasius: Select works and letters -- v. Gregory of Nyssa: Dogmatic treatises, etc. Jerome: Letters and select works -- v. Cyril of Jerusalem, Gregory Nazianzen -- v. Basil: Letters and select works -- v. Hilary of Poitiers, John of Damascus -- v. Ambrose: Select works and letters -- v.

Leo the Great, Gregory the Great -- v. Part II. Gregory the Great, Ephraim Syrus, Aphrahat -- v. The seven ecumenical councils. All rights reserved. Privacy Policy Terms and Conditions. Remember me on this computer.

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Cancel Forgot your password? Philip Schaff ; Henry Wace. Print book : English View all editions and formats. Christian literature, Early. View all subjects. User lists Similar Items. Online version: Nicene and post-Nicene Fathers. At head of title: A Select library of the Christian Church. Originally published: Christian Literature Publishing Company, From the undeniable existence and possession by man of some truth, he concludes to the existence of God as the truth per se ; but our conviction of the existence of the material world he regards as only an irresistible belief. Combating heathen religion and philosophy, Augustin defends the doctrines and institutions peculiar to Christianity, and maintains, in particular, against the Neo-Platoniste, whom he rates most highly among all the ancient philosophers, the Christian theses that salvation is to be found in Christ alone, that divine worship is due to no other being beside the triune God, since he created all things himself, and did not commission inferior beings, gods, demons, or angels to create the material world; that the soul with its body will rise again to eternal salvation or damnation, but will not return periodically to renewed life upon the earth; that the soul begins to exist at the same time with the body; that the world both had a beginning and is perishable, and that only God and the souls of angels and men are eternal.

Against the Donatists, Augustin maintains the unity of the church. In opposition to Pelagius and the Pelagians, he asserts that divine grace is not conditioned on human worthiness, and maintains the doctrine of absolute predestination, or, that from the mass of men who, through the disobedience of Adam in whom all mankind were present potentially , have sunk into corruption and sin, some are chosen by the free election of God to be monuments of his grace, and are brought to believe and be saved, while the greater number, as monuments of his justice, are left to eternal damnation.

Apologetic works against Pagans and Jews. Among these the twenty-two books, De Civitate Dei , are still well worth reading. They form the deepest and richest apologetic work of antiquity; begun in , after the occupation of Rome by the Gothic king Alaric, finished in , and often separately published. They condense his entire theory of the world and of man, and are the first attempt at a comprehensive philosophy of universal history under the dualistic view of two antagonistic currents or organized forces, a kingdom of this world which is doomed to final destruction, and a kingdom of God which will last forever.

From the Protestant point of view Augustin erred in identifying the kingdom of God with the visible Catholic Church, which is only a part of it.


Polemic-Theological works. These are the most copious sources of the history of Christian doctrine in the patristic age. Augustin, with all the firmness of his convictions, was free from personal antipathy, and used the pen of controversy in the genuine Christian spirit, fortiter in re, suaviter in modo. Having himself belonged for nine years to this sect, Augustin was the better fitted for the task of refuting it, as Paul was peculiarly prepared for the confutation of the Pharisaic Judaism.

His doctrine of the nature of evil is particularly valuable.

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He has triumphantly demonstrated for all time, that evil is not a corporeal thing, nor in any way substantial, but a product of the free will of the creature, a perversion of substance in itself good, a corruption of the nature created by God. To these belong: Psalmus contra partem Donati A. Episcopum , the last anti-Donatistic work These works are the chief patristic authority of the Roman Catholic doctrine of the church and against the sects. They are thoroughly Romanizing in spirit and aim, and least satisfactory to Protestant readers. The result of persecution was that both Catholics and Donatists in North Africa were overwhelmed in ruin first by the barbarous Vandals, who were Arian heretics, and afterwards by the Mohammedan conquerors.

By far the most important of these are the fifteen books De Trinitate ;—the most profound and discriminating production of the ancient church on the Trinity, in no respect inferior to the kindred works of Athanasius and the two Gregories, and for centuries final to the dogma. The Collatio cum Maximino Ariano , an obscure babbler, belongs to the year The numerous anti-Pelagian works of Augustin are his most influential and most valuable, at least for Protestants. They were written between the years and These anti-Pelagian writings contain what is technically called the Augustinian system of theology, which was substantially adopted by the Lutheran Church, yet without the decree of reprobation, and in a more rigorous logical form by the Calvinistic Confessions.

The system gives all glory to God, does full justice to the sovereignty of divine grace, effectually humbles and yet elevates and fortifies man, and furnishes the strongest stimulus to gratitude and the firmest foundation of comfort. It makes all bright and lovely in the circle of the elect. But it is gloomy and repulsive in its negative aspect towards the non-elect. And yet this Augustinian system, especially in its severest Calvinistic form, has promoted civil and religious liberty, and trained the most virtuous, independent, and heroic types of Christians, as the Huguenots, the Puritans, the Covenanters, and the Pilgrim Fathers.

It is still a mighty moral power, and will not lose its hold upon earnest characters until some great theological genius produces from the inexhaustible mine of the Scriptures a more satisfactory solution of the awful problem which the universal reign of sin and death presents to the thinking mind. In Augustin the anti-Pelagian system was checked and moderated by his churchly and sacramental views, and we cannot understand him without keeping both in view.

The same apparent contradiction we find in Luther, but he broke entirely with the sacerdotal system of Rome, and made the doctrine of justification by faith the chief article of his creed, which Augustin never could have done. Exegetical works.

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The best of these are: De Genesi ad literam The Genesis word for word , in twelve books, an extended exposition of the first three chapters of Genesis, particularly the history of the creation literally interpreted, though with many mystical and allegorical interpretations also written between and ; [28] Enarrationes in Psalmos mostly sermons ; [29] hundred and twenty-four Homilies on the Gospel of John and ; [30] ten Homilies on the First Epistle of John ; the Exposition of the Sermon on the Mount ; the Harmony of the Gospels De consensu evangelistarum , ; the Epistle to the Galatians ; and an unfinished commentary on the Epistle to the Romans.

Augustin deals more in lively, profound, and edifying thoughts on the Scriptures than in proper grammatical and historical exposition, for which neither he nor his readers had the necessary linguistic knowledge, disposition, or taste. He grounded his theology less upon exegesis than upon his Christian and churchly mind saturated with Scriptural truths. He excels in spiritual insight, and is suggestive even when he misses the natural meaning. Ethical and Ascetic works. Among these belong three hundred and ninety-six Sermones mostly very short de Scripturis on texts of Scripture , de tempore festival sermons , de sanctis in memory of apostles, martyrs, and saints , and de diversis on various occasions , some of them dictated by Augustin, some taken down by hearers.

Jovinianum ; De virginitate ; De fide et operibus ; De adulterinis conjugiis , on 1 Cor. As we survey this enormous literary labor, augmented by many other treatises and letters now lost, and as we consider his episcopal labors, his many journeys, and his adjudications of controversies among the faithful, which often robbed him of whole days, we must be really astounded at the fidelity, exuberance, energy, and perseverance of this father of the church.

Surely, such a life was worth the living. The Writings of St. The Influence of St.