You must join with us in laying the blame on the writers if you wish to vindicate the prophets. We are neither directly nor remotely the authors of these and similar narratives, which are found in the books of the patriarchs and the prophets. Either your writers forged these things, or the fathers are really guilty. Choose which you please; the crime in either case is detestable, for vicious conduct and falsehood are equally hateful.
Augustine replied: You understand neither the symbols of the law nor the acts of the prophets , because you do not know what holiness or righteousness means. We have repeatedly shown at great length, that the precepts and symbols of the Old Testament contained both what was to be fulfilled in obedience through the grace bestowed in the New Testament , and what was to be set aside as a proof of its having been fulfilled in the truth now made manifest.
For in the love of God and of our neighbor is secured the accomplishment of the precepts of the law, while the accomplishment of its promises is shown in the abolition of circumcision , and of other typical observances formerly practised. By the precept men were led, through a sense of guilt to desire salvation ; by the promise they were led to find in the typical observances the assurance that the Saviour would come.
The salvation desired was to be obtained through the grace bestowed on the appearance of the New Testament ; and the fulfillment of the expectation rendered the types no longer necessary. The same law that was given by Moses became grace and truth in Jesus Christ. By the grace in the pardon of sin , the precept is kept in force in the case of those supported by divine help. By the truth the symbolic rites are set aside, that the promise might, in those who trust in the divine faithfulness, be brought to pass.
Those, accordingly, who, finding fault with what they do not understand, call the typical institutions of the law disfigurements and excrescences, are like men displeased with things of which they do not know the use. As if a deaf man, seeing others move their lips in speaking, were to find fault with the motion of the mouth as needless and unsightly; or as if a blind man, on hearing a house commended, were to test the truth of what he heard by passing his hand over the surface of the wall, and on coming to the windows were to cry out against them as flaws in the level, or were to suppose that the wall had fallen in.
How shall I make those whose minds are full of vanity understand that the actions of the prophets were also mystical and prophetic? The vanity of their minds is shown in their thinking that we believe God to have once existed in darkness, because it is written, "Darkness was over the deep. From their not distinguishing between the light which is God , and the light which God made, they imagine that God must have been in darkness before He made light, because darkness was over the deep before God said, "Let there be light, and there was light.
For as God is His own eternal happiness , and is besides the bestower of happiness , so He is His own eternal light, and is also the bestower of light. He envies the good of none, for He is Himself the source of happiness to all good beings; He fears the evil of none, for the loss of all evil beings is in their being abandoned by Him. He can neither be benefited by those on whom He Himself bestows happiness , nor is He afraid of those whose misery is the doom awarded by His own judgment.
You have departed from God in the pursuit of your own fancies, which of all kinds have increased and multiplied in your foolish roving hearts, drinking in through the sense of sight the light of the heavenly bodies. This light, though it too is made by God , is not to be compared to the light created in the minds of the pious , whom God brings out of darkness into light, as He brings them out of sinfulness into righteousness. Still less can it be compared to that inaccessible light from which all kinds of light are derived. Nor is this light inaccessible to all; for "blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
From the light comes not only the spiritual light in the minds of the pious , but also the material light, which is not denied to the wicked , but is made to rise on the evil and on the good. So, when darkness was over the deep, He who was light said, "Let there be light. For there has been a friendly discussion among students of the sacred Scriptures, whether God then made the light in the minds of the angels , or, in other words, these rational spirits themselves, or some material light which exists in the higher regions of the universe beyond our ken.
For on the fourth day He made the visible luminaries of heaven. And it is also a question whether these bodies were made at the same time as their light, or were somehow kindled from the light made already. But whoever reads the sacred writings in the pious spirit which is required to understand them, must be convinced that whatever the light was which was made when, at the time that darkness was over the deep, God said, "Let there be light," it was created light, and the creating Light was the maker of it.
Nor does it follow that God , before He made light, abode in darkness, because it is said that darkness was over the deep, and then that the Spirit of God moved on the waters. The deep is the unfathomable abyss of the waters. And the carnal mind might suppose that the Spirit abode in the darkness which was over the deep, because it is said that He moved on the waters. This is from not understanding how the light shines in darkness, and the darkness comprehends it not, till by the word of God those who were darkness are made light, and it is said to them, "You were once darkness, but now are you light in the Lord.
In all this I know I am singing to deaf ears; but the Lord, from whom is the truth which we speak, can open some ears to catch the strain. But what shall we say of those critics of the Holy Scriptures who object to God's being pleased with His own works, and find fault with the words, "God saw the light that it was good ," as if this meant that God admired the light as something new? God's seeing His works that they were good, means that the Creator approved of His own works as pleasing to Himself.
For God cannot be forced to do anything against His will , so that He should not be pleased with His own work; nor can He do anything by mistake, so that He should regret having done it. For instead of seeing his work that it is good , he refuses to look at it because it is evil. Faustus speaks of our God as astonished, which is not said in Scripture; nor does it follow that one must be astonished when he sees anything to be good. There are many good things which we see without being astonished, as if they were better than we expected; we merely approve of them as being what they ought to be.
For they acknowledge Christ as God , and use this as a bait to entice Christ's followers into their snares. God , then, was astonished when Christ was astonished. For we read in the Gospel , that when Christ heard the faith of a certain centurion, He was astonished, and said to His disciples , "Verily I have not found so great faith , no, not in Israel. For though seeing a thing to be good is quite different from being astonished at it, in this case there is some resemblance, for Jesus was astonished at the light of faith which He Himself had created in the heart of the centurion; for Jesus is the true light, which enlightens every man that comes into the world.
Thus an irreligious Pagan might bring the same reproaches against Christ in the Gospel , as Faustus brings against God in the Old Testament. He might say that Christ lacked foresight, not only because He was astonished at the faith of the centurion, but because He chose Judas as a disciple who proved disobedient to His commands; as Faustus objects to the precept given in Paradise, which, as it turned out, was not obeyed. He might also cavil at Christ's not knowing who touched Him, when the woman suffering from an issue of blood touched the hem of His garment; as Faustus blames God for not knowing where Adam had hid himself.
If this ignorance is implied in God's saying, "Where are you, Adam?
And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and sinner appear? And what can be plainer than that the righteous also are not spared, but chastised with manifold afflictions, as is clearly implied in the words, "If the righteous scarcely are saved"? But supposing them able to answer the Pagan , how absurd it would be to defend in the one Testament what they find fault with in the other! But if they could not answer the objections of the Pagan , why should they not allow in both Testaments, instead of in one only, that what appears wrong to unbelievers, from their ignorance , should be believed to be right by pious readers even when they also are ignorant?
Perhaps our opponents will maintain that these parallel passages quoted from the New Testament are themselves neither authoritative nor true : for they claim the impious liberty of holding and teaching, that whatever they deem favorable to their heresy was said by Christ and the apostles ; while they have the profane boldness to say, that whatever in the same writings is unfavorable to them is a spurious interpolation.
I have already at some length, as far as the intention of the present work required, exposed the unreasonableness of this assault upon the authority of the whole of Scripture. A Pagan might find fault with passages in the New Testament in the same way as Faustus does with what he calls unworthy representations of God in the Old Testament ; and the Pagan might be answered by the quotation of similar passages from his own authors, as in Paul's speech at Athens.
Nor could they make asking questions a proof of a want of foresight even in a human being; for in their books many questions are asked only for the purpose of using the answers for the conviction of the persons addressed: for the questioner knows not only what answer he desires, but what will actually be given. Again, if the Pagan tried to make out God to be envious of any one, because He will not give happiness to the wicked , he would find many passages in the writings of his own authors in support of this principle of the divine government.
The only objection that a Pagan would make on the subject of sacrifice would refer to our reason for finding fault with Pagan sacrifices , when in the Old Testament God is described as requiring men to offer sacrifice to Him. If I were to reply at length on this subject, I might prove to him that sacrifice is due only to the one true God , and that this sacrifice was offered by the one true Priest, the Mediator of God and man ; and that it was proper that this sacrifice should be pre-figured by animal sacrifices , in order to foreshadow the flesh and blood of the one sacrifice for the remission of sins contracted by flesh and blood, which shall not inherit the kingdom of God: for the natural body will be endowed with heavenly attributes, as the fire in the sacrifice typified the swallowing up of death in victory.
Those observances properly belonged to the people whose kingdom and priesthood were prophetic of the King and Priest who should come to govern and to consecrate believers in all nations, and to lead them into the kingdom of heaven , and the holy society of angels and eternal life. And as this true sacrifice was piously set forth in the Hebrew observances, so it was impiously caricatured by the Pagans, because, as the apostle says, what they offer they offer to devils, and not to God. For Abel is mentioned in the sacred Scripture as the first who offered such sacrifices. This deception was favored by the folly of the human heart, especially when regret for the dead led to the making of likenesses, and so to the use of images.
Thus the nature of sacrifice as due only to God appears not only when God righteously claims it, but also when a false god proudly arrogates it. If the Pagan was slow to believe these things, I should argue from the prophecies, and point out that, though uttered long ago, they are now fulfilled. If he still remained in unbelief, this is rather to be expected than to be wondered at; for the prophecy itself intimates that all would not believe.
If the Pagan , in the next place, were to find fault with both Testaments as attributing jealousy to God and Christ , he would only show his own ignorance of literature, or his forgetfulness. For though their philosophers distinguish between desire and passion, joy and gratification, caution and fear , gentleness and tender-heartedness, prudence and cunning, boldness and daring, and so on, giving the first name in each pair to what is good , and the second to what is bad, their books are notwithstanding full of instances in which, by the abuse of these words, virtues are called by the names which properly belong to vices ; as passion is used for desire, gratification for joy , fear for caution, tender-heartedness for gentleness, cunning for prudence , daring for boldness.
The cases are innumerable in which speech exhibits similar inaccuracies. Moreover, each language has its own idioms. For in religious writings I remember no instance of the word tender-heartedness being used in a bad sense. And common usage affords examples of similar peculiarities in the use of words. In Greek, one word stands for two distinct things, labor and pain; while we have a separate name for each.
Again, we use the word in two senses, as when we say of what is not dead, that it has life; and again, of any one that he is a man of good life, whereas in Greek each of these meanings has a word of its own. So that, apart from the abuse of words which prevails in all languages, it may be an Hebrew idiom to use jealousy in two senses, as a man is called jealous when he suffers from a diseased state of mind caused by distress on account of the faithlessness of his wife, in which sense the word cannot be applied to God ; or as when diligence is manifested in guarding conjugal chastity , in which sense it is profitable for us not only unhesitatingly to admit, but thankfully to assert, that God is jealous of His people when He calls them His wife, and warns them against committing adultery with a multitude of false gods.
The same may be said of the anger of God. For God does not suffer perturbation when He visits men in anger ; but either by an abuse of the word, or by a peculiarity of idiom, anger is used in the sense of punishment. The slaughter of multitudes would not seem strange to the Pagan , unless he denied the judgment of God , which Pagans do not; for they allow that all things in the universe , from the highest to the lowest, are governed by God's providence.
But if he would not allow this, he would be convinced either by the authority of Pagan writers, or by the more tedious method of demonstration; and if still obstinate and perverse, he would be left to the judgment which he denies. Then, if he were to give instances of the destruction of men for no offense, or for a very slight one, we should show that these were offenses, and that they were not slight.
For instance, to take the case already referred to of the wedding garment, we should prove that it was a great crime in a man to attend the sacred feast, seeking not the bridegroom's glory , but his own, or whatever the garment may be found on better interpretation to signify. And in the case of the slaughter before the king of those who would not have him to reign over them, we might perhaps easily prove that, though it may be no sin in a man to refuse to obey his fellow-man, it is both a fault and a great one to reject the reign of Him in whose reign alone is there righteousness, and happiness , and continuance.
Lastly, as regards Faustus' crafty insinuation, that the Old Testament misrepresents God as threatening to come with a sword which will spare neither the righteous nor the wicked , if the words were explained to the Pagan , he would perhaps disagree neither with the Old Testament nor with the New; and he might see the beauty of the parable in the Gospel , which people who pretend to be Christians either misunderstand from their blindness, or reject from their perversity. The great husbandman of the vine uses his pruning-hook differently in the fruitful and in the unfruitful branches; yet he spares neither good nor bad, pruning one and cutting off the other.
Was Paul then spared by Him whom fools misunderstand, when He says, "I will spare neither the righteous nor the sinner"? Hear the apostle himself: "Lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelation, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to buffet me. For this I besought the Lord thrice, that He would remove it from me; and He said to me, My grace is sufficient for you: for strength is perfected in weakness. If you say that the devil gave this angel , it follows that the devil sought to prevent Paul's being exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelation, and to perfect his strength.
This is impossible. Therefore He who gave up this righteous man to be buffeted by the messenger of Satan , is the same as He who, through Paul , gave up to Satan himself the wicked persons of whom Paul says: "I have delivered them to Satan , that they may learn not to blaspheme. Or is it the sword that frightens you? For to be buffeted is not so bad as to be put to death. But did not the thousands of martyrs suffer death in various forms? And could their persecutors have had this power against them except it had been given them by God , who thus spared neither the righteous nor the wicked?
For the Lord Himself, the chief martyr , says expressly to Pilate : "You could have no power at all against me, except it were given you from above. And if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of those that believe not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely are saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? He ascribes these things to the will of Him who says in the Old Testament , I will spare neither the righteous nor the wicked ; for he says: "It is better, if the will of the Spirit of God be so, that we suffer for well-doing than for evil-doing.
In both cases it is according to the will of Him who says: I will spare neither the righteous nor the wicked ; correcting the one as a son, and punishing the other as a transgressor. I have thus shown, to the best of my power, that the God we worship did not abide from eternity in darkness, but is Himself light, and in Him is no darkness at all; and in Himself dwells in light inaccessible; and the brightness of this light is His coeternal wisdom.
From what we have said, it appears that God was not taken by surprise by the unexpected appearance of light, but that light owes its existence to Him as its Creator, as its owes its continued existence to His approval. Neither was God ignorant of the future, but the author of the precept as well as the punisher of disobedience; that by showing His righteous anger against transgression, He might provide a restraint for the time, and a warning for the future. Nor does He ask questions from ignorance , but by His very inquiry declares His judgment.
Nor is He curious or timid, but excludes the transgressor from eternal life, which is the just reward of obedience.
Nor is He greedy for blood and fat; but by requiring from a carnal people sacrifices , suited to their character, He by certain types prefigures the true sacrifice. Nor is His jealousy an emotion of pale anxiety, but of quiet benevolence, in desire to keep the soul , which owes chastity to the one true God , from being defiled and prostituted by serving many false gods. Nor is He enraged with a passion similar to human anger , but is angry , not in the sense of desiring vengeance, but in the peculiar sense of giving full effect to the sentence of a righteous retribution. Nor does He destroy thousands of men for trifling offenses, or for nothing, but manifests to the world the benefit to be obtained from fearing Him, by the temporal death of those already mortal.
Nor does He punish the righteous and sinners indiscriminately, but chastises the righteous for their good, in order to perfect them, and gives to sinners the punishment justly due to them. Hence you leave sound doctrine, and turn to impious fables; and in your perversity and estrangement from the society of saints , you reject the instruction of the New Testament , which, as we have shown, contains statements similar to those which you condemn in the Old Testament. So we are obliged to defend both Testaments against you as well as against the Pagans.
But supposing that there is some one so deluded by carnality as to worship not the God whom we worship, who is one and true , but the fiction of your suspicions or your slanders , whom you say we worship, is not even this god better than yours? Observe, I beseech you, what must be plain to the feeblest understanding; for here there is no need of great perspicacity. I address all, wise and unwise. I appeal to the common sense and judgment of all alike. Hear, consider, judge. Would it not have been better for your god to have remained in darkness from eternity , than to have plunged the light coeternal with him and cognate to him into darkness?
Would it not have been better to have expressed admiration in surprise at the appearance of a new light coming to scatter the darkness, than to have been unable to baffle the assault of darkness except by the concession of his own light? Unhappy if he did this in alarm, and cruel if there was no need of it.
Surely it would have been better to see light, made by himself, and to admire it as good, than to make the light begotten by himself evil ; better than that his own light should become hostile to himself in repelling the forces of darkness. For this will be the accusation against those who will be condemned for ever to the mass of darkness, that they suffered themselves to lose their original brightness, and became the enemies of sacred light.
If they did not know from eternity that they would be thus condemned, they must have suffered the darkness of eternal ignorance ; or if they did know , the darkness of eternal fear. Thus part of the substance of your god really did remain from eternity in its own darkness; and instead of admiring new light on its appearance, it only met with another and a hostile darkness, of which it had always been in fear.
Indeed, God himself must have been in the darkness of fear for this part of himself, if he was dreading the evil coming upon it. If he did not foresee the evil , he must have been in the darkness of ignorance. If he foresaw it, and was not in fear , the darkness of such cruelty is worse than the darkness either of ignorance or of fear. Your god appears to be destitute of the quality which the apostle commends in the body, which you insanely believe to be made not by God , but by Hyle : "If one member suffers, all the members suffer with it.
Thus he remained from eternity in the darkness of his own misery; and then, instead of admiring a new light which was to drive away the darkness, he came in contact, to the injury of his own light, with another darkness which he had always dreaded. Again, would it not have been much better, I say, not to have given a commandment like God , but even to have received a commandment like Adam, which he would be rewarded for keeping and punished for breaking, acting either way by his own free-will , than to be forced by inevitable necessity to admit darkness into his light in spite of himself?
Surely it would have been better to have given a precept to human nature , not knowing that it would become sinful , than to have been driven by necessity to sin contrary to his own divine nature. Think for a moment, and say how darkness could be conquered by one who was himself conquered by necessity. Conquered already by this greater enemy, he fought under his conqueror's orders against a less formidable opponent. Would it not have been better not to know where Adam had hid himself, than to have been himself destitute of any means of escape, first from a hard and hateful necessity, and then from a dissimilar and hostile race?
Would it not have been better to grudge eternal life to human nature , than to consign to misery the divine nature; to desire the blood and fat of sacrifices , than to be himself slaughtered in so many forms, on account of his mixture with the blood and fat of every victim; to be disturbed by jealousy at these sacrifices being offered to other gods as well as to himself, than to be himself offered on all altars to all devils, as mixed up not only with all fruits, but also with all animals?
Would it not have been much better to be affected even with human anger , so as to be enraged against both his friends and his enemies for their sins , than to be himself influenced by fear as well as by anger wherever these passions exist, or than to share in all the sin that is committed, and in all punishment that is suffered? For this is the doom of that part of your god which is in confinement everywhere, condemned to this by himself, not as guilty, but in order to conquer his dreaded enemy. Doomed himself to such a fatal necessity, the part of himself which he has given over to condemnation might pardon him, if he were as humble as he is miserable.
But how can you pretend to find fault with God for His anger against both friends and enemies when they sin , when the god of your fancies first under compulsion compels his own members to go to be devoured by sin , and then condemns them to remain in darkness? Though he does this, you say that it will not be in anger. But will he not be ashamed to punish, or to appear to punish, those from whom he should ask pardon in words such as these: "Forgive me, I beseech you.
You are my members; could I treat you thus, except from necessity? You know yourselves, that you were sent here because a formidable enemy had arisen; and now you must remain here to prevent his rising again"? Again, is it not better to slay thousands of men for trifling faults, or for nothing, than to cast into the abyss of sin , and to condemn to the punishment of eternal imprisonment, God's own members, his substance — in fact, God himself?
It cannot properly be said of the real substance of God that it has the choice of sinning or not sinning, for God's substance is absolutely unchangeable.
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God cannot sin , as He cannot deny Himself. Man, on the contrary, can sin and deny God , or he can choose not to do so. But suppose the members of your god had, like a rational human soul , the choice of sinning or not sinning; they might perhaps be justly punished for heinous offenses by confinement in the mass of darkness.
But you cannot attribute to these parts a liberty which you deny to God himself. For if God had not given them up to sin , he would have been forced to sin himself, by the prevalence of the race of darkness. But if there was no danger of being thus forced, it was a sin to send these parts to a place where they incurred this danger. To do so, indeed, from free choice is a crime deserving the torment which your god unnaturally inflicts upon his own parts, more than the conduct of these parts in going by his command to a place where they lost the power of living in righteousness. But if God himself was in danger of being forced to sin by invasion and capture, unless he had secured himself first by the misconduct and then by the punishment of his own parts, there can have been no free-will either in your god or in his parts.
Let him not set himself up as judge, but confess himself a criminal. For though he was forced against his own will, he professes to pass a righteous sentence in condemning those whom he knows to have suffered evil rather than done it; making this profession that he may not be thought of as having been conquered; as if it could do a beggar any good to be called prosperous and happy. Surely it would have been better for your god to have spared neither righteous nor wicked in indiscriminate punishment which is Faustus' last charge against our God , than to have been so cruel to his own members — first giving them up to incurable contamination, and then, as if that was not enough, accusing them falsely of misconduct.
Faustus declares that they justly suffer this severe and eternal punishment, because they allowed themselves to be led astray from their original brightness, and became hostile to sacred light. But the reason of this, as Faustus says, was that they were so greedily devoured in the first assault of the princes of darkness, that they were unable to recover themselves, or to separate themselves from the hostile principle. These souls , therefore, did no evil themselves, but in all this were innocent sufferers. The real agent was he who sent them away from himself into this wretchedness.
They suffered more from their father than from their enemy. Their father sent them into all this misery; while their enemy desired them as something good, wishing not to hurt them, but to enjoy them. The one injured them knowingly, the other in ignorance. This god was so weak and helpless that he could not otherwise secure himself first against an enemy threatening attack, and then against the same enemy in confinement.
Let him, then, not condemn those parts whose obedience defended him, and whose death secures his safety. If he could not avoid the conflict, why slander his defenders? When these parts allowed themselves to be led astray from their original brightness, and became hostile to sacred light, this must have been from the force of the enemy; and if they were forced against their will, they are innocent; while, if they could have resisted had they chosen, there is no need of the origin of evil in an imaginary evil nature, since it is to be found in free-will.
Their not resisting, when they could have done so, is plainly their own fault, and not owing to any force from without. For, supposing them able to do a thing, to do which is right, while not to do it is great and heinous sin , their not doing it is their own choice. So, then, if they choose not to do it, the fault is in their will not in necessity. The origin of sin is in the will; therefore in the will is also the origin of evil , both in the sense of acting against a just precept, and in the sense of suffering under a just sentence.
There is thus no reason why, in your search for the origin of evil , you should fall into so great an evil as that of calling a nature so rich in good things the nature of evil , and of attributing the terrible evil of necessity to the nature of perfect good, before any commixture with evil.
The cause of this erroneous belief is your pride , which you need not have unless you choose; but in your wish to defend at all hazards the error into which you have fallen, you take away the origin of evil from free-will , and place it in a fabulous nature of evil.
And thus you come at last to say, that the souls which are to be doomed to eternal confinement in the mass of darkness became enemies to sacred light not from choice, but by necessity; and to make your god a judge with whom it is of no use to prove, in behalf of your clients. What shocking cruelty! So, if there could be found another judge free from necessity, who could decide the question on the principles of equity, he would sentence your god to be bound to this mass, not by being fastened on the outside, but by being shut up inside along with the formidable enemy. The first in the guilt of necessity ought to be first in the sentence of condemnation.
Would it not be much better, then, in comparison with such a god as this, to choose the god whom we indeed do not worship, but whom you think or pretend to think we worship? Though he spares not his servants, whether righteous or sinful , making no proper separation, and not distinguishing between punishment and discipline, is he not better than the god who spares not his own members though innocent, if necessity is no crime, or guilty from their obedience to him, if necessity itself is criminal; so that they are condemned eternally by him, along with whom they should have been released, if any liberty was recovered by the victory, while he should have been condemned along with them if the victory reduced the force of necessity even so far as to give this small amount of force to justice?
Thus the god whom you represent us as worshipping, though he is not the one true God whom we really worship, is far better than your god. Neither, indeed, has any existence ; but both are the creatures of your imaginations. But, according to your own representations, the one whom you call ours, and find fault with, is better than the one whom you call your own, and whom you worship.
So also the patriarchs and prophets whom you cry out against are not the men whom we honor , but men whose characters are drawn from your fancy, prompted by ill-will. Before proving this, however, I must, with the help of God , defend our holy fathers the patriarchs and prophets against your accusations, by a clear exposition of the truth as opposed to the carnality of your hearts.
This would be a sufficient reply for you. But as, even apart from your perversities, some minds are of themselves disturbed when comparing the life of the prophets in the Old Testament with that of the apostles in the New — not discerning between the manner of the time when the promise was under a veil, and that of the time when the promise is revealed, — I must first of all reply to those who either have the boldness to pride themselves as superior in temperance to the prophets , or quote the prophets in defense of their own bad conduct.
First of all, then, not only the speech of these men, but their life also, was prophetic; and the whole kingdom of the Hebrews was like a great prophet , corresponding to the greatness of the Person prophesied. So, as regards those Hebrews who were made wise in heart by divine instruction, we may discover a prophecy of the coming of Christ and of the Church , both in what they said and in what they did; and the same is true as regards the divine procedure towards the whole nation as a body.
For, as the apostle says, "all these things were our examples. Such criticism of the great is like that of boys at school, whose learning consists in the important rule, that if the nominative is in the singular, the verb must also be in the singular; and so they find fault with the best Latin author, because he says, Pars in frusta secant. He should have written, say they, secat. And again, knowing that religio is spelt with one l , they blame him for writing relligio , when he says, Relligione patrum. Hence it may with reason be said, that as the poetical usage of words differs from the solecisms and barbarisms of the unlearned, so, in their own way, the figurative actions of the prophets differ from the impure actions of the vicious.
Accordingly, as a boy guilty of a barbarism would be whipped if he pled the usage of Virgil; so any one quoting the example of Abraham begetting a son from Hagar, in defense of his own sinful passion for his wife's handmaid, ought to be corrected not by caning only, but by severe scourging, that he may not suffer the doom of adulterers in eternal punishment. This indeed is a comparison of great and important subjects with trifles; and it is not intended that a peculiar usage in speech should be put on a level with a sacrament, or a solecism with adultery.
Still, allowing for the difference in the character of the subjects, what is called learning or ignorance in the proprieties and improprieties of speech, resembles wisdom or the want of it in reference to the grand moral distinction between virtue and vice. Instead of entering on the distinctions between the praiseworthy and the blameworthy, the criminal and the innocent, the dangerous and the harmless, the guilty and the guiltless, the desirable and the undesirable, which are all illustrations of the distinction between sin and righteousness, we must first consider what sin is, and then examine the actions of the saints as recorded in the holy books, that, if we find these saints described as sinning, we may if possible discover the true reason for keeping these sins in memory by putting them on record.
Again, if we find things recorded which, though they are not sins , appear so to the foolish and the malevolent, and in fact do not exhibit any virtues , here also we have to see why these things are put into the Scriptures which we believe to contain wholesome doctrine as a guide in the present life, and a title to the inheritance of the future. As regards the examples of righteousness found among the acts of the saints , the propriety of recording these must be plain even to the ignorant. The question is about those actions the mention of which may seem useless if they are neither righteous nor sinful , or even dangerous if the actions are really sinful , as leading people to imitate them, because they are not condemned in these books, and so may be supposed not to be sinful , or because, though they are condemned, men may copy them from the idea that they must be venial if saints did them.
Sin, then, is any transgression in deed, or word, or desire, of the eternal law. And the eternal law is the divine order or will of God , which requires the preservation of natural order, and forbids the breach of it. But what is this natural order in man? Man, we know , consists of soul and body; but so does a beast. Again, it is plain that in the order of nature the soul is superior to the body. Moreover, in the soul of man there is reason, which is not in a beast. Therefore, as the soul is superior to the body, so in the soul itself the reason is superior by the law of nature to the other parts which are found also in beasts; and in reason itself, which is partly contemplation and partly action, contemplation is unquestionably the superior part.
The object of contemplation is the image of God , by which we are renewed through faith to sight. Rational action ought therefore to be subject to the control of contemplation , which is exercised through faith while we are absent from the Lord, as it will be hereafter through sight, when we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. For the holy and lofty angels have also their contemplation and action. They require of themselves the performance of the commands of Him whom they contemplate, whose eternal government they freely because sweetly obey.
We, on the other hand, whose body is dead because of sin , till God quicken also our mortal bodies by His Spirit dwelling in us, live righteously in our feeble measure, according to the eternal law in which the law of nature is preserved, when we live by that faith unfeigned which works by love , having in a good conscience a hope of immortality and incorruption laid up in heaven, and of the perfecting of righteousness to the measure of an inexpressible satisfaction, for which in our pilgrimage we must hunger and thirst, while we walk by faith and not by sight.
A man, therefore, who acts in obedience to the faith which obeys God , restrains all mortal affections, and keeps them within the natural limit, regulating his desires so as to put the higher before the lower. If there was no pleasure in what is unlawful, no one would sin. To sin is to indulge this pleasure instead of restraining it. And by unlawful is meant what is forbidden by the law in which the order of nature is preserved. It is a great question whether there is any rational creature for which there is no pleasure in what is unlawful.
If there is such a class of creatures, it does not include man, nor that angelic nature which abode not in the truth. These rational creatures were so made, that they had the potentiality of restraining their desires from the unlawful; and in not doing this they sinned. Great, then, is the creature man, for he is restored by this potentiality, by which, if he had so chosen, he would not have fallen. And great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, who created man. For He created also inferior natures which cannot sin , and superior natures which will not sin. Beasts do not sin , for their nature agrees with the eternal law from being subject to it, without being in possession of it.
And again, angels do not sin , because their heavenly nature is so in possession of the eternal law that God is the only object of its desire, and they obey His will without any experience of temptation. But man, whose life on this earth is a trial on account of sin , subdues to himself what he has in common with beasts, and subdues to God what he has in common with angels ; till, when righteousness is perfected and immortality attained, he shall be raised from among beasts and ranked with angels.
The exercise or indulgence of the bodily appetites is intended to secure the continued existence and the invigoration of the individual or of the species. If the appetites go beyond this, and carry the man, no longer master of himself, beyond the limits of temperance , they become unlawful and shameful lusts , which severe discipline must subdue. But if this unbridled course ends in plunging the man into such a depth of evil habits that he supposes that there will be no punishment of his sinful passions , and so refuses the wholesome discipline of confession and repentance by which he might be rescued; or, from a still worse insensibility, justifies his own indulgences in profane opposition to the eternal law of Providence; and if he dies in this state, that unerring law sentences him now not to correction, but to damnation.
Referring, then, to the eternal law which enjoins the preservation of natural order and forbids the breach of it, let us see how our father Abraham sinned , that is, how he broke this law, in the things which Faustus has charged him with as highly criminal. In his irrational craving to have children, says Faustus, and not believing God , who promised that his wife Sara should have a son, he defiled himself with a mistress.
But here Faustus, in his irrational desire to find fault, both discloses the impiety of his heresy , and in his error and ignorance praises Abraham's intercourse with the handmaid. So the one preserved the natural order by seeking in marriage only the production of a child; while the other, influenced by his heretical notions, thought no evil could be greater than the confinement of his god.
So, again, when Faustus says that the wife's being privy to her husband's conduct made the matter worse, while he is prompted only by the uncharitable wish to reproach Abraham and his wife, he really, without intending it, speaks in praise of both. For Sara did not connive at any criminal action in her husband for the gratification of his unlawful passions ; but from the same natural desire for children that he had, and knowing her own barrenness, she warrantably claimed as her own the fertility of her handmaid; not consenting with sinful desires in her husband, but requesting of him what it was proper in him to grant.
Nor was it the request of proud assumption; for every one knows that the duty of a wife is to obey her husband. So, when Sara could not have children of her own, she wished to have them by her handmaid, and of the same seed from which she herself would have had them, if that had been possible. No woman would do this if her love for her husband were merely an animal passion; she would rather be jealous of a mistress than make her a mother.
So here the pious desire for the procreation of children was an indication of the absence of criminal indulgence. Abraham , indeed, cannot be defended, if, as Faustus says, he wished to get children by Hagar, because he had no faith in God , who promised that he should have children by Sara. But this is an entire mistake: this promise had not yet been made.
Whoever examines into this will find that Faustus has made either an imprudent mistake or an impudent misrepresentation. Abraham , then, when he saw that he had no children, though the promise was to his seed, thought first of adoption. This appears from his saying of his slave, when speaking to God , "This is mine heir;" as much as to say, As You have not given me a seed of my own, fulfill Your promise in this man. For the word seed may be applied to what has not come out of a man's own body, else the apostle could not call us the seed of Abraham : for we certainly are not his descendants in the flesh; but we are his seed in following his faith , by believing in Christ , whose flesh did spring from the flesh of Abraham.
Then Abraham was told by the Lord "This shall not be your heir; but he that comes out of your own bowels shall be your heir. And this God was pleased to keep concealed, till a figure of the Old Testament had been supplied in the handmaid. We may thus easily understand how Abraham , seeing that his wife was barren, and that she desired to obtain from her husband and her handmaid the offspring which she herself could not produce, acted not in compliance with carnal appetite, but in obedience to conjugal authority, believing that Sara had the sanction of God for her wish; because God had already promised him an heir from his own body, but had not foretold who was to be the mother.
Thus, when Faustus shows his own infidelity in accusing Abraham of unbelief, his groundless accusation only proves the madness of the assailant. In other cases, Faustus' infidelity has prevented him from understanding; but here, in his love of slander , he has not even taken time to read. Again, when Faustus accuses a righteous and faithful man of a shameless profanation of his marriage from avarice and greed, by selling his wife Sara at different times to the two kings Abimelech and Pharaoh , telling them that she was his sister, because she was very fair, he does not distinguish justly between right and wrong, but unjustly condemns the whole transaction.
Those who think that Abraham sold his wife cannot discern in the light of the eternal law the difference between sin and righteousness; and so they call perseverance obstinacy, and confidence presumption, as in these and similar cases men of wrong judgment are wont to blame what they suppose to be wrong actions. Abraham did not become partner in crime with his wife by selling her to others: but as she gave her handmaid to her husband, not to gratify his passion, but for the sake of offspring, in the authority she had consistently with the order of nature, requiring the performance of a duty, not complying with a sinful desire; so in this case, the husband, in perfect assurance of the chaste attachment of his wife to himself, and knowing her mind to be the abode of modest and virtuous affection, called her his sister, without saying that she was his wife, lest he himself should be killed, and his wife fall into the hands of strangers and evil-doers: for he was assured by his God that He would not allow her to suffer violence or disgrace.
Nor was he disappointed in his faith and hope; for Pharaoh , terrified by strange occurrences, and after enduring many evils on account of her, when he was informed by God that Sara was Abraham's wife, restored her with honor uninjured. Abimelech also did the same, after learning the truth in a dream. Some people, not scoffers and evil-speakers like Faustus, but men who pay due honor to the Scriptures , which Faustus finds fault with because he does not understand them, or which he fails to understand because of his fault-finding, in commenting on this act of Abraham , are of opinion that he stumbled from weakness of faith , and denied his wife from fear of death, as Peter denied the Lord.
If this is the correct view, we must allow that Abraham sinned ; but the sin should not cancel or obliterate all his merits, any more than in the case of the apostle. Besides, to deny his wife is not the same as to deny the Saviour. But when there is another explanation, why not abide by it, instead of giving blame without cause , since there is no proof that Abraham told a lie from fear?
He did not deny that Sara was his wife in answer to any question on the subject; but when asked who she was, he said she was his sister, without denying her to be his wife: he concealed part of the truth , but said nothing false. It is waste of time to observe Faustus' remark, that Abraham falsely called Sara his sister; as if Faustus had discovered the family of Sara, though it is not mentioned in Scripture. Since, then, Abraham lived at that period in human history, when, though marriage had become unlawful between children of the same parents , or of the same father or mother, no law or authority interfered with the custom of marriage between the children of brothers, or any less degree of consanguinity, why should he not have had as wife his sister, that is, a woman descended from his father?
For he himself told the king, when he restored Sara, that she was his sister by his father, and not by his mother. And on this occasion he could not have been led to tell a falsehood from fear , for the king knew that she was his wife, and was restoring her with honor , because he had been warned by God.
We learn from Scripture that, among the ancients, it was customary to call cousins brothers and sisters.
CHURCH FATHERS: Contra Faustum (Augustine)
And Lot is called the brother of Abraham , though Abraham was his uncle. And, by the same use of the word, those called in the Gospel the Lord's brothers are certainly not children of the Virgin Mary , but all the blood relations of the Lord. Some may say, Why did not Abraham's confidence in God prevent his being afraid to confess his wife? A regular combat battle with Faustus in the 'Fan Room'. Faustus used regular enemy combat techniques, including a red unblockable roundhouse kick attack and a yellow power attack, in addition to an extended five hit combination usually followed by red or yellow moves.
Useful techniques to use included blocking Faustus' attacks to fill the Rage Bar and dodging the following red attacks. After three Fury strikes. Faustus jumped up to the balcony and retreated through a tunnel in the ceiling to the 'Furnace Room'. The door to this room is then unlocked for Kain to follow  [ Blood Omen 2 ]. Kain was able to use the furnaces against Faustus, using the smoke produced by the furnaces to hide his approach in Mist Form and allowing him to sneak up to the furnace that Faustus was standing on and activate it, severely burning Faustus.
After being burnt three times, Faustus commanded possibly a Human confederate to open the roof, allowing the smoke to escape and dispersing his ability to use Mist. Faustus retreated to the roof girders. Faustus jumped up to the ceiling, though sound effects imply he is using the chains dangling from the ceiling, he can actually be seen walking on the roof girders above them and begins quickly moving around them occasionally dropping down to lauch a red unblockable 'flying kick' attack to catch Kain off-guard.
Faustus however, 'telegraphs' this move by taunting Kain just before he performs it, allowing Kain to dodge or use jumping to avoid being hit. When Faustus landed from the flying kick after missing Kain, he was knocked off-balance, allowing Kain to attack the Vampire with regular combinations. Once hit, Faustus would jump back up to the roof girders and repeat the process. Once damaged enough, he would again attempt to jump to the roof girders, but this time his Dark Gift Jump inexplicably fails, dropping him heavily in the center of the room, where Kain is able to 'absorb his veins' and gain the Dark Gift Jump for himself   [ Blood Omen 2 ].
Faustus' Boss Battle can be finished incredibly quickly by those with Bonus mode or the Control Station; in addition to being able to use the Rage Bar constantly, Kain can use stronger Dark Gifts on Faustus - the use of Berserk will move the fight to the next phase, Immolate will finish Faustus entirely [ Blood Omen 2 ]. Sign In Don't have an account? Start a Wiki. Faustus observing Kain from a balcony pre phase1.
Blood Omen 2 manual. You are alive. Do you remember me, Kain, who served you so well? One of the legionnaires of my army of vampires. An indifferent soldier, but now, a traitor to our race. It's true, then. I hardly believed it. Vampires have turned against their own kind. In serving the Sarafan, I have protection, I have power.
And who better to hunt down a vampire than a more powerful vampire? History is written by the winners, Kain. That is my kind. How many have been brought to their deaths by you? I don't weep for them, and I won't weep for you. Does your victory seem so assured now?