On the Holy Trinity

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St. augustin: on the Trinity

Introductory Essay.

Translator's Preface.

The fifteen books of aurelius augustinus, Bishop of Hippo, on the Trinity

The fifteen books of aurelius augustinus, Bishop of Hippo, on the TrinityBook I.

Chapter 1.--This Work is Written Against Those Who Sophistically Assail the Faith of the Trinity, Through Misuse of Reason. They Who Dispute Concerning God Err from a Threefold Cause. Holy Scripture, Removing What is False, Leads Us on by Degrees to Things Divine. What True Immortality is. We are Nourished by Faith, that We May Be Enabled to Apprehend Things Divine.

Chapter 2.--In What Manner This Work Proposes to Discourse Concerning the Trinity.

Chapter 3.--What Augustin Requests from His Readers. The Errors of Readers Dull of Comprehension Not to Be Ascribed to the Author.

Chapter 4.--What the Doctrine of the Catholic Faith is Concerning the Trinity.

Chapter 5.--Of Difficulties Concerning the Trinity: in What Manner Three are One God, and How, Working Indivisibly, They Yet Perform Some Things Severally.

Chapter 6.--That the Son is Very God, of the Same Substance with the Father. Not Only the Father, But the Trinity, is Affirmed to Be Immortal. All Things are Not from the Father Alone, But Also from the Son. That the Holy Spirit is Very God, Equal with the Father and the Son.

Chapter 7.--In What Manner the Son is Less Than the Father, and Than Himself.

Chapter 8.--The Texts of Scripture Explained Respecting the Subjection of the Son to the Father, Which Have Been Misunderstood. Christ Will Not So Give Up the Kingdom to the Father, as to Take It Away from Himself. The Beholding Him is the Promised End of All Actions. The Holy Spirit is Sufficient to Our Blessedness Equally with the Father.

Chapter 9.--All are Sometimes Understood in One Person.

Chapter 10.--In What Manner Christ Shall Deliver Up the Kingdom to God, Even the Father. The Kingdom Having Been Delivered to God, Even the Father, Christ Will Not Then Make Intercession for Us.

Chapter 11.--By What Rule in the Scriptures It is Understood that the Son is Now Equal and Now Less.

Chapter 12.--In What Manner the Son is Said Not to Know the Day and the Hour Which the Father Knows. Some Things Said of Christ According to the Form of God, Other Things According to the Form of a Servant. In What Way It is of Christ to Give the Kingdom, in What Not of Christ. Christ Will Both Judge and Not Judge.

Chapter 13.--Diverse Things are Spoken Concerning the Same Christ, on Account of the Diverse Natures of the One Hypostasis [Theanthropic Person]. Why It is Said that the Father Will Not Judge, But Has Given Judgment to the Son.

Book II.


Chapter 1.--There is a Double Rule for Understanding the Scriptural Modes of Speech Concerning the Son of God. These Modes of Speech are of a Threefold Kind.

Chapter 2.--That Some Ways of Speaking Concerning the Son are to Be Understood According to Either Rule.

Chapter 3.--Some Things Concerning the Holy Spirit are to Be Understood According to the One Rule Only.

Chapter 4.--The Glorification of the Son by the Father Does Not Prove Inequality.

Chapter 5.--The Son and Holy Spirit are Not Therefore Less Because Sent. The Son is Sent Also by Himself. Of the Sending of the Holy Spirit.

Chapter 6.--The Creature is Not So Taken by the Holy Spirit as Flesh is by the Word.

Chapter 7.--A Doubt Raised About Divine Appearances.

Chapter 8.--The Entire Trinity Invisible.

Chapter 9.--Against Those Who Believed the Father Only to Be Immortal and Invisible. The Truth to Be Sought by Peaceful Study.

Chapter 10--Whether God the Trinity Indiscriminately Appeared to the Fathers, or Any One Person of the Trinity. The Appearing of God to Adam. Of the Same Appearance. The Vision to Abraham.

Chapter 11.--Of the Same Appearance.

Chapter 12.--The Appearance to Lot is Examined.

Chapter 13.--The Appearance in the Bush.

Chapter 14.--Of the Appearance in the Pillar of Cloud and of Fire.

Chapter 15.--Of the Appearance on Sinai. Whether the Trinity Spake in that Appearance or Some One Person Specially.

Chapter 16.--In What Manner Moses Saw God.

Chapter 17.--How the Back Parts of God Were Seen. The Faith of the Resurrection of Christ. The Catholic Church Only is the Place from Whence the Back Parts of God are Seen. The Back Parts of God Were Seen by the Israelites. It is a Rash Opinion to Think that God the Father Only Was Never Seen by the Fathers.

Chapter 18.--The Vision of Daniel.

Book III.

Preface.--Why Augustin Writes of the Trinity. What He Claims from Readers. What Has Been Said in the Previous Book.

Chapter 1.--What is to Be Said Thereupon.

Chapter 2.--The Will of God is the Higher Cause of All Corporeal Change. This is Shown by an Example.

Chapter 3.--Of the Same Argument.

Chapter 4.--God Uses All Creatures as He Will, and Makes Visible Things for the Manifestation of Himself.

Chapter 5.--Why Miracles are Not Usual Works.

Chapter 6.--Diversity Alone Makes a Miracle.

Chapter 7.--Great Miracles Wrought by Magic Arts.

Chapter 8.--God Alone Creates Those Things Which are Changed by Magic Art.

Chapter 9.--The Original Cause of All Things is from God.

Chapter 10.--In How Many Ways the Creature is to Be Taken by Way of Sign. The Eucharist.

Chapter 11.--The Essence of God Never Appeared in Itself. Divine Appearances to the Fathers Wrought by the Ministry of Angels. An Objection Drawn from the Mode of Speech Removed. That the Appearing of God to Abraham Himself, Just as that to Moses, Was Wrought by Angels. The Same Thing is Proved by the Law Being Given to Moses by Angels. What Has Been Said in This Book, and What Remains to Be Said in the Next.

Book IV.

Preface.--The Knowledge of God is to Be Sought from God.

Chapter 1.--We are Made Perfect by Acknowledgement of Our Own Weakness. The Incarnate Word Dispels Our Darkness.

Chapter 2.--How We are Rendered Apt for the Perception of Truth Through the Incarnate Word.

Chapter 3.--The One Death and Resurrection of The Body of Christ Harmonizes with Our Double Death and Resurrection of Body and Soul, to the Effect of Salvation. In What Way the Single Death of Christ is Bestowed Upon Our Double Death.

Chapter 4.--The Ratio of the Single to the Double Comes from the Perfection of the Senary Number. The Perfection of The Senary Number is Commended in the Scriptures. The Year Abounds in The Senary Number.

Chapter 5.--The Number Six is Also Commended in the Building Up of the Body of Christ and of the Temple at Jerusalem.

Chapter 6.--The Three Days of the Resurrection, in Which Also the Ratio of Single to Double is Apparent.

Chapter 7.--In What Manner We are Gathered from Many into One Through One Mediator.

Chapter 8.--In What Manner Christ Wills that All Shall Be One in Himself.

Chapter 9.--The Same Argument Continued.

Chapter 10.--As Christ is the Mediator of Life, So the Devil is the Mediator of Death.

Chapter 11.--Miracles Which are Done by Demons are to Be Spurned.

Chapter 12.--The Devil the Mediator of Death, Christ of Life.

Chapter 13.--The Death of Christ Voluntary. How the Mediator of Life Subdued the Mediator of Death. How the Devil Leads His Own to Despise the Death of Christ.

Chapter 14.--Christ the Most Perfect Victim for Cleansing Our Faults. In Every Sacrifice Four Things are to Be Considered.

Chapter 15.--They are Proud Who Think They are Able, by Their Own Righteousness, to Be Cleansed So as to See God.

Chapter 16.--The Old Philosophers are Not to Be Consulted Concerning the Resurrection and Concerning Things to Come.

Chapter 17.--In How Many Ways Things Future are Foreknown. Neither Philosophers, Nor Those Who Were Distinguished Among the Ancients, are to Be Consulted Concerning the Resurrection of the Dead.

Chapter 18.--The Son of God Became Incarnate in Order that We Being Cleansed by Faith May Be Raised to the Unchangeable Truth.

Chapter 19.--In What Manner the Son Was Sent and Proclaimed Beforehand. How in the Sending of His Birth in the Flesh He Was Made Less Without Detriment to His Equality with the Father.

Chapter 20.--The Sender and the Sent Equal. Why the Son is Said to Be Sent by the Father. Of the Mission of the Holy Spirit. How and by Whom He Was Sent. The Father the Beginning of the Whole Godhead.

Chapter 21.--Of the Sensible Showing of the Holy Spirit, and of the Coeternity of the Trinity. What Has Been Said, and What Remains to Be Said.

Book V.

Chapter 1.--What the Author Entreats from God, What from the Reader. In God Nothing is to Be Thought Corporeal or Changeable.

Chapter 2.--God the Only Unchangeable Essence.

Chapter 3.--The Argument of the Arians is Refuted, Which is Drawn from the Words Begotten and Unbegotten.

Chapter 4.--The Accidental Always Implies Some Change in the Thing.

Chapter 5.--Nothing is Spoken of God According to Accident, But According to Substance or According to Relation.

Chapter 6.--Reply is Made to the Cavils of the Heretics in Respect to the Same Words Begotten and Unbegotten.

Chapter 7.--The Addition of a Negative Does Not Change the Predicament.

Chapter 8.--Whatever is Spoken of God According to Substance, is Spoken of Each Person Severally, and Together of the Trinity Itself. One Essence in God, and Three, in Greek, Hypostases, in Latin, Persons.

Chapter 9.--The Three Persons Not Properly So Called [in a Human Sense].

Chapter 10.--Those Things Which Belong Absolutely to God as an Essence, are Spoken of the Trinity in the Singular, Not in the Plural.

Chapter 11.--What is Said Relatively in the Trinity.

Chapter 12.--In Relative Things that are Reciprocal, Names are Sometimes Wanting.

Chapter 13.--How the Word Beginning (Principium) is Spoken Relatively in the Trinity.

Chapter 14.--The Father and the Son the Only Beginning (Principium) of the Holy Spirit.

Chapter 15.--Whether the Holy Spirit Was a Gift Before as Well as After He Was Given.

Chapter 16.--What is Said of God in Time, is Said Relatively, Not Accidentally.

Book VI.

Chapter 1.--The Son, According to the Apostle, is the Power and Wisdom of the Father. Hence the Reasoning of the Catholics Against the Earlier Arians. A Difficulty is Raised, Whether the Father is Not Wisdom Himself, But Only the Father of Wisdom.

Chapter 2 .--What is Said of the Father and Son Together, and What Not.

Chapter 3.--That the Unity of the Essence of the Father and the Son is to Be Gathered from the Words, "We are One." The Son is Equal to the Father Both in Wisdom and in All Other Things.

Chapter 4.--The Same Argument Continued.

Chapter 5.--The Holy Spirit Also is Equal to the Father and the Son in All Things.

Chapter 6.--How God is a Substance Both Simple and Manifold.

Chapter 7.--God is a Trinity, But Not Triple (Triplex).

Chapter 8.--No Addition Can Be Made to the Nature of God.

Chapter 9.--Whether One or the Three Persons Together are Called the Only God.

Chapter 10.--Of the Attributes Assigned by Hilary to Each Person. The Trinity is Represented in Things that are Made.

Book VII.

Chapter 1.--Augustin Returns to the Question, Whether Each Person of the Trinity by Itself is Wisdom. With What Difficulty, or in What Way, the Proposed Question is to Be Solved.

Chapter 2.--The Father and the Son are Together One Wisdom, as One Essence, Although Not Together One Word.

Chapter 3.--Why the Son Chiefly is Intimated in the Scriptures by the Name of Wisdom, While Both the Father and the Holy Spirit are Wisdom. That the Holy Spirit, Together with the Father and the Son, is One Wisdom.

Chapter 4.--How It Was Brought About that the Greeks Speak of Three Hypostases, the Latins of Three Persons. Scripture Nowhere Speaks of Three Persons in One God.

Chapter 5.--In God, Substance is Spoken Improperly, Essence Properly.

Chapter 6.--Why We Do Not in the Trinity Speak of One Person, and Three Essences. What He Ought to Believe Concerning the Trinity Who Does Not Receive What is Said Above. Man is Both After the Image, and is the Image of God.

Book VIII.

Preface.--The Conclusion of What Has Been Said Above. The Rule to Be Observed in the More Difficult Questions of the Faith.

Chapter 1.--It is Shown by Reason that in God Three are Not Anything Greater Than One Person.

Chapter 2.--Every Corporeal Conception Must Be Rejected, in Order that It May Be Understood How God is Truth.

Chapter 3.--How God May Be Known to Be the Chief Good. The Mind Does Not Become Good Unless by Turning to God.

Chapter 4.--God Must First Be Known by an Unerring Faith, that He May Be Loved.

Chapter 5.--How the Trinity May Be Loved Though Unknown.

Chapter 6.--How the Man Not Yet Righteous Can Know the Righteous Man Whom He Loves.

Chapter 7.--Of True Love, by Which We Arrive at the Knowledge of the Trinity. God is to Be Sought, Not Outwardly, by Seeking to Do Wonderful Things with the Angels, But Inwardly, by Imitating the Piety of Good Angels.

Chapter 8.--That He Who Loves His Brother, Loves God; Because He Loves Love Itself, Which is of God, and is God.

Chapter 9.--Our Love of the Righteous is Kindled from Love Itself of the Unchangeable Form of Righteousness.

Chapter 10.--There are Three Things in Love, as It Were a Trace of the Trinity.

Book IX.

Chapter 1.--In What Way We Must Inquire Concerning the Trinity.

Chapter 2.--The Three Things Which are Found in Love Must Be Considered.

Chapter 3.--The Image of the Trinity in the Mind of Man Who Knows Himself and Loves Himself. The Mind Knows Itself Through Itself.

Chapter 4.--The Three are One, and Also Equal, Viz The Mind Itself, and the Love, and the Knowledge of It. That the Same Three Exist Substantially, and are Predicated Relatively. That the Same Three are Inseparable. That the Same Three are Not Joined and Commingled Like Parts, But that They are of One Essence, and are Relatives.

Chapter 5.--That These Three are Several in Themselves, and Mutually All in All.

Chapter 6.--There is One Knowledge of the Thing in the Thing Itself, and Another in Eternal Truth Itself. That Corporeal Things, Too, are to Be Judged the Rules of Eternal Truth.

Chapter 7.--We Conceive and Beget the Word Within, from the Things We Have Beheld in the Eternal Truth. The Word, Whether of the Creature or of the Creator, is Conceived by Love.

Chapter 8.--In What Desire and Love Differ.

Chapter 9.--In the Love of Spiritual Things the Word Born is the Same as the Word Conceived. It is Otherwise in the Love of Carnal Things.

Chapter 10.--Whether Only Knowledge that is Loved is the Word of the Mind.

Chapter 11.--That the Image or Begotten Word of the Mind that Knows Itself is Equal to the Mind Itself.

Chapter 12.--Why Love is Not the Offspring of the Mind, as Knowledge is So. The Solution of the Question. The Mind with the Knowledge of Itself and the Love of Itself is the Image of the Trinity.

Book X.

Chapter 1.--The Love of the Studious Mind, that Is, of One Desirous to Know, is Not the Love of a Thing Which It Does Not Know.

Chapter 2.--No One at All Loves Things Unknown.

Chapter 3.--That When the Mind Loves Itself, It is Not Unknown to Itself.

Chapter 4.--How the Mind Knows Itself, Not in Part, But as a Whole.

Chapter 5.--Why the Soul is Enjoined to Know Itself. Whence Come the Errors of the Mind Concerning Its Own Substance.

Chapter 6.--The Opinion Which the Mind Has of Itself is Deceitful.

Chapter 7.--The Opinions of Philosophers Respecting the Substance of the Soul. The Error of Those Who are of Opinion that the Soul is Corporeal, Does Not Arise from Defective Knowledge of the Soul, But from Their Adding There to Something Foreign to It. What is Meant by Finding.

Chapter 8.--How the Soul Inquires into Itself. Whence Comes the Error of the Soul Concerning Itself.

Chapter 9.--The Mind Knows Itself, by the Very Act of Understanding the Precept to Know Itself.

Chapter 10.--Every Mind Knows Certainly Three Things Concerning Itself--That It Understands, that It Is, and that It Lives.

Chapter 11.--In Memory, Understanding [or Intelligence], and Will, We Have to Note Ability, Learning, and Use. Memory, Understanding, and Will are One Essentially, and Three Relatively.

Chapter 12.--The Mind is an Image of the Trinity in Its Own Memory, and Understanding, and Will.

Book XI.

Chapter 1.--A Trace of the Trinity Also In the Outer Man.

Chapter 2.--A Certain Trinity in the Sight. That There are Three Things in Sight, Which Differ in Their Own Nature. In What Manner from a Visible Thing Vision is Produced, or the Image of that Thing Which is Seen. The Matter is Shown More Clearly by an Example. How These Three Combine in One.

Chapter 3.--The Unity of the Three Takes Place in Thought, Viz Of Memory, of Ternal Vision,and of Will Combining Both.

Chapter 4.--How This Unity Comes to Pass.

Chapter 5.--The Trinity of the Outer Man, or of External Vision, is Not an Image of God. The Likeness of God is Desired Even in Sins. In External Vision the Form of the Corporeal Thing is as It Were the Parent, Vision the Offspring; But the Will that Unites These Suggests the Holy Spirit.

Chapter 6.--Of What Kind We are to Reckon the Rest (Requies), and End (Finis), of the Will in Vision.

Chapter 7.--There is Another Trinity in the Memory of Him Who Thinks Over Again What He Has Seen.

Chapter 8.--Different Modes of Conceiving.

Chapter 9.--Species is Produced by Species in Succession.

Chapter 10.--The Imagination Also Adds Even to Things We Have Not Seen, Those Things Which We Have Seen Elsewhere.

Chapter 11.--Number, Weight, Measure.

Book XII.

Chapter 1.--Of What Kind are the Outer and the Inner Man.

Chapter 2.--Man Alone of Animate Creatures Perceives the Eternal Reasons of Things Pertaining to the Body.

Chapter 3.--The Higher Reason Which Belongs to Contemplation, and the Lower Which Belongs to Action, are in One Mind.

Chapter 4.--The Trinity and the Image of God is in that Part of the Mind Alone Which Belongs to the Contemplation of Eternal Things.

Chapter 5.--The Opinion Which Devises an Image of the Trinity in the Marriage of Male and Female, and in Their Offspring.

Chapter 6. --Why This Opinion is to Be Rejected.

Chapter 7.--How Man is the Image of God. Whether the Woman is Not Also the Image of God. How the Saying of the Apostle, that the Man is the Image of God, But the Woman is the Glory of the Man, is to Be Understood Figuratively and Mystically.

Chapter 8.--Turning Aside from the Image of God.

Chapter 9.--The Same Argument is Continued.

Chapter 10.--The Lowest Degradation Reached by Degrees.

Chapter 11.--The Image of the Beast in Man.

Chapter 12.--There is a Kind of Hidden Wedlock in the Inner Man. Unlawful Pleasures of the Thoughts.

Chapter 13.--The Opinion of Those Who Have Thought that the Mind Was Signified by the Man, the Bodily Sense by the Woman.

Chapter 14.--What is the Difference Between Wisdom and Knowledge. The Worship of God is the Love of Him. How the Intellectual Cognizance of Eternal Things Comes to Pass Through Wisdom.

Chapter 15.--In Opposition to the Reminiscence of Plato and Pythagoras. Pythagoras the Samian. Of the Difference Between Wisdom and Knowledge, and of Seeking the Trinity in the Knowledge of Temporal Things.

Book XIII.

Chapter 1.--The Attempt is Made to Distinguish Out of the Scriptures the Offices of Wisdom and of Knowledge. That in the Beginning of John Some Things that are Said Belong to Wisdom, Some to Knowledge. Some Things There are Only Known by the Help of Faith. How We See the Faith that is in Us. In the Same Narrative of John, Some Things are Known by the Sense of the Body, Others Only by the Reason of the Mind.

Chapter 2.--Faith a Thing of the Heart, Not of the Body; How It is Common and One and the Same in All Believers. The Faith of Believers is One, No Otherwise than the Wi

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