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AUGUSTINE


84


AUGUSTINE


Popular imagination, some ten years afterwards, saw a terrible fulfilment of the propliecy in the butchery of the Bangor monks at the hands of ^Ethelfrid the Destroyer in the great battle won by him at Chester in 613.

These efforts towards Catholic unity with the Celtic bishops and the constitution of a well-defined hier- archy for the Saxon Church are the last recorded acts of the saint's life. His death fell in the same year says a very early tradition (which can be traced back to Archbishop Theodore's time) as that of his beloved father and patron, Pope Gregorj'. Thorn, however, who attempts always to give the Canterbury version of these legends, asserts — somewhat inaccurately, it would appear, if his coincidences be rigorously tested — that it took place in 605. He was buried, in true Roman fashion, outside the walls of the Kentish capi- tal in a grave dug by the side of the great Roman road which then ran from Deal to Canterbury over St. Martin's Hill and near the unfinished abbey cliurch which he had begvm in honour of Sts. Peter and Paul and which was afterwards to be dedicated to his memory. When the monastery was completed, his relics were translated to a tomb prepared for them in the north porch. A modern hospital is said to occupy the site of his last resting place. [Stanley, "Memo- rials of Canterbury" (1906), 38.] His feast day in the Roman Calendar is kept on 2S May; but in the proper of the English office it occurs two days earlier, the true anniversary of his death.

Bede. Hi9t. Ecrl., I and II; P.WLUS Di-^conus, Joh.^nnes DiACONLS. and St. Gall .U.S.S.. Lives of St. Gregory in P. L.. LXXV; Epistolts Grenorii, ibid.; Gregory of Tours, Historia Franeorum. ibid.. LXXI; Cioscelin, Life of St. Gregory in Acta SS., May. VI, 370 sqq.; W.m. Thorne. Chron. Abbat. S. Aug. in Twysden's Decern Scripiores (London, 1652), pp. 17S8- 2202; Haddax and Stl'BB.s, Councils and Ecclesiastical Docu- ments relating to Great Britain ami Ireland (Oxford, 1869—1873, 3 vols.); Mason (ed.\ Tlu- Mission of St. Augustine according to the Original Documents (Cambridge, 1897); Dvvdb-s, Gregory the Great. His Place in the Histani of Thouyht (London, New York, Bombav. 1905); St. Gallen MS., ed. Gasquet (1904); Stan- lev. Memorials of Cantirhurf, (I.iindon. ISoS, 1906); Bas- senge, />ie .S% /J'/ J ; l-,,/,s/,'.s r. fi. '■ I, ^ 'ut d. Angelsachsen (Leipzig. 1890. t'l.'i' > 1 ' '- • !• rhury et ses Com-

pagnons {Va.ri~. 1^': i ^ l ■!!it dc Canterbury,

in Rec. des iju.-; li'^t i ^m;i -..m ,,,S-423; Martelli, Rt'rits des fries C'i'ltri ts ' ccnti-naire de I'arrivee dc .S'(. .l«t;. en Anglelerre ^Paris. 1899).

Cornelius Clifford.

Augustine of Hippo, Saint, Doctor of the Church, b. 13 November, 3.54; d. 28 August, 430; — a philo- sophical and theological genius of the first order, dominating, like a pjTaraid, antiquity and the suc- ceeding ages .... Compared with the great philoso- phers of past centuries and modern times, he is the equal of them all; among theologians he is undeniably the first, and such has been his influence that none of the Fathers, Scholastics, or Reformers has surpassed it". — The extraordinary part played by the great Bishop of Hippo, and thus eulogized by Philip SchafT in his "History of the Christian Church", accounts for the length of this article treating I. His Life; II. His Works; III. His Function as a Doctor of the Church; IV. His System of Grace; V. Augustin- ism in History.

I. His Life. — Augustine's life is unfolded to us in documents of unrivalled richness, and of no great character of ancient times ha^e we information com- parable to that contained in the "Confessions", which relate the touching story of liis soul, the "Re- tractations", which give the history of his mind, and the "Life of Augustine", ^\Titten by his friend Possidius, telling of the saint's apostolate. We will confine ourselves to sketching the three periods of this great life: (1) the young wanderer's gradual return to the Faith; (2) the doctrinal development of the Christian philo.sopher to the time of his episco- pate; and (3) the full de^■elopment of his activities upon the episcopal throne of Hippo.

(1) .Augustine was born at Tagaste, now Souk-


Aliras, about 60 miles from Bona (ancient Hippo- Regius), and at that time a small free city of pro- consular Numidia which had recently been converted from Donatism. Although eminently respectable, his family was not rich, and liis father, Patricius, one of the curiales of the city, was still a pagan. How- ever, the admirable virtues that made Monica the ideal of Christian mothers at length brought her husband the grace of baptism and of a holy death, about the year 371. Augustine received a Christian education. His mother had him signed with the cross and enrolled among the catechumens. Once, when very ill, he asked for baptism, but, all danger being soon passed, he deferred receiving the sacrament, thus yielding to a deplorable custom of the times. His association with "men of prayer" left three great ideas deeply engraven upon his soul: a Divine Pro\-idence, the future life with terrible sanctions, and, above all, Christ the Saviour. "From my tenderest infancy, I had in a manner sucked with my mother's milk that name of my Saviour, Thy Son; I kept it in the recesses of my heart; and all that presented itself to me without that Divine Name, though it might be elegant, well WTitten, and even replete ^\-ith truth, did not altogether carry me away" (Confessions, I, iv).

But a great intellectual and moral crisis stifled for a time all these Christian sentiments. The heart was the first point of attack. Patricius, proud of his son's success in the schools of Tagaste and Madaura determined to send him to Carthage to prepare for a forensic career. But, unfortunately, it required several months to collect the necessary means, and Augustine had to spend his sixteenth year at Tagaste in an idleness which was fatal to his virtue; he gave himself up to pleasure with all the vehemence of an ardent nature. At first he prayed, but without the sincere desire of being heard, and when he reached Carthage, towards the end of the year 370, every circumstance tended to draw him from his true course: the many seductions of the great city that was still half pagan, the licentiousness of other students, the theatres, the intoxication of his literary success, and a proud desire always to be first, even in evil. Before long he was obliged to confess to Monica that he had formed a sinful liaison with the person who bore him a sou (372), "the son of his .sin" — an entanglement from which he only delivered himself at Milan after fifteen years of its thraldom. Two extremes are to be avoided in the appreciation of this crisis. Some, like Mommsen, misled perhaps by the toneof grief in the "Confessions", have exag- gerated it: in the " Realencyklopiidie " (3d ed., II, 268) Loofs reproves Mommsen on this score, and yet he himself is too lenient towards Augustine, when he claims that in those days, the Church permitted concubinage. The "Confessions" alone prove that Loofs did not understand the 17th canon of Toledo. However, it may be said that, even in his fall, Au- gustine maintained a certain dignity and felt a com- punction which does him honour, and that, from the age of nineteen, he had a genuine desire to break the chain. In fact, in 373, an entirely new inclination manifested itself in his life, brought about by the reading of Cicero's "Hortensius" whence he imbibed a love of the wisdom which Cicero so eloquently praises. Thenceforward Augustine looked upon rhetoric merely as a profession; his heart was in philosophy.

Unfortunately, his faith, as well as his morals, was to pass through a terrible crisis. In this same year, 373, Augustine and his friend Honoratus fell into the snares of the JIanichaeans. It seems strange that so great a mind should have been victimized by Oriental vapourings, sjnithesized by the Persian Mani (215-276) into a coarse, material dualism, and introduced into Africa scarcely fifty years previously.