The New Student's Reference Work/Augustine, Saint Aurelius


Augustine (aw' gus-tĭn), Saint Aurelius, a famous preacher and scholar, was born at Tagaste, near Carthage, Africa, November 13, 354 A. D. He had the best of schooling, the latter part of it at Carthage, where he fell into bad habits. A passage of Cicero, which he chanced to read one day, first stirred his deeper being into life. For the next ten years he was an earnest student of philosophy. In 383 he went to Milan, Italy, as a teacher of rhetoric. Here he became a close friend of the eloquent preacher, Ambrose, then bishop of Milan. Augustine often went to hear his friend preach. His mother, Monica, was an earnest Christian, and her influence and that of his friend brought him to accept Christianity. In 396 he was made bishop of Hippo in North Africa. The next year he brought out his Confessions, some passages of which for beauty can only be compared with the Psalms of David. His most powerful work is his City of God'. A great thinker and writer, no man's influence on the church has been greater. He died in 430 A. D.