The 1978 Saint Augustine Lecture

Vernon J. Bourke


 Few men have been so universally admired and yet so easily misinterpreted as Augustine of Hippo. From his own day to ours, he has been accused of all sorts of perversions of the Christian message and of the ways of mankind under divine providence. For this Augustine himself was in good part responsible. Both his love of rhetorical exaggeration and his zeal in controversy led him to make sweeping statements that were open to mistaken emphasis and to misinterpretation. In opposing what he regarded as errors of doctrine he frequently swung to the opposite extreme of the pendulum and wrote things that were well meant but excessive. Nowhere is this more evident than in his writings on sexuality, concupiscence, marriage, human freedom, and the general sinfulness of all descendants of Adam.

It is our purpose to examine some points in Augustine's ethical teaching, in order to see to what extent his many critics may be right. Was he fundamentally a pessimist about the condition of mankind, or was he rather a cautious optimist? In good part the answer to this question will vary, depending on whether one reads Augustine's early or late works. The young Augustine is certainly more confident and optimistic than the elderly Bishop. That is why a balanced study must utilize representative writings [p. 10] from throughout his forty years of literary productivity.

Gloomy Interpretations of Augustine's Ethics

The most severe critic that Augustine faced in his own lifetime was the Pelagian Bishop Julian of Eclanum. This young polemicist was convinced of the truth of Pelagius' notion that original sin is a myth and that the sons of Adam are quite capable of good actions which merit salvation without any special assistance from divine grace. Pelagius did not reject the concept of grace; he regarded it as a sort of ornament on the moral life. Moreover, as Julian understood Augustine's moral views, the Bishop of Hippo was teaching that men have been left without free choice, because they cannot avoid sin; that men have no natural capacity for positively virtuous action; and that they are condemned to lives of vice by some inexorable force that stems from Adam.[1] In parti- [p. 11] cular Julian claimed that Augustine's distorted ideas on sexual desire and lust forced him to consider the procreative act seriously sinful, even within the confines of Christian matrimony.[2] As far as Julian was concerned, Augustine greatly exaggerated the pervasive evils in human living and thus remained a Manichee even after his conversion to Christianity.[3]

If an overt enemy such as Julian pictured Augustine as a prophet of doom, some of his friends painted [p. 12] crude caricatures of his teaching on original sin. One such disciple, Bishop Fulgentius of Ruspe, offered this bald distortion :

Since husband and wife cannot come together without lust (sine libidine), when they have intercourse in order to procreate children, for this reason the conceiving of sons born from their flesh cannot be accomplished without sin. In this event it is not the act of procreation (propagano) but lust which passes on the sin. Nor is it the fruitfulness of human nature that causes men to be born with sin, but the foulness of lust which men possess as a result of the most just condemnation of that first sin.[4]

[p. 13] As Eugene Portalié has pointed out,[5] it was this "somewhat material conception of original sin," as condensed by Fulgentius, that Peter Lombard incorporated into his twelfth-century Books of Sentences: "The cause of original sin lies in the manifold defects of the flesh, especially in a pollution which the body, when it is conceived, contracts from the parents in the heat of intercourse and sexual concupiscence."[6]

This explanation of the transmission of Adam's sin, which borders on traducianism, is frequently quoted in modern criticisms of Augustine. Here again, Portalié is right when he says that "this gross interpretation" popularized by Fulgentius and Peter Lombard is at odds with Augustine's own explanation in the Incomplete Work against Julian.[7] There Augustine used the idea of a spiritual participation by the heirs of Adam, in the original sinful guilt, [p. 14] paralleling the manner in which the heirs of Christ, through baptism, participate in the righteousness of Christ. About fifteen years earlier (A.D. 411-413) commenting on Psalm 50, Augustine had written :

So it is not because it is a sin to engage in conjugal intercourse that men are conceived in iniquity and nourished in sins within the womb of their mothers; rather what is thus produced is the product of flesh that has been punished. For the penalty of the flesh is death and indeed its own death is present within it.... This chaste action within marriage has no fault; rather, the first source of sin carries with it a proper punishment.[8]

In the face of a passage such as this from Augustine's mature writings it is difficult to understand how as reliable a scholar as John Burnaby can write that Augustine's theory of the transmission of original sin by way of the sexual urge (concupiscence) "has had a most disastrous influence upon much of traditional Christian ethics."[9] In similar vein, Ian Henderson comments:

[p. 15] The Church today is to distinguish between the good and the not so good in Augustine's teaching. Over against his clear view of the universality of sin and the need for divine grace must be set his unbalanced view of sex. It must at least be considered whether any sound Christian view of marriage can be framed today without some break with Augustine.[10]

Such condemnations of Augustine's notions on sex and marriage are not peculiar to Protestant theologians. A good many recent Catholic writers are equally critical. Thus Louis Bouyer claims that Augustine saw marriage only "as a kind of permission or toleration of sin." Moreover, adds Bouyer, for Augustine "if sexual intercourse is not to be sinful, it must cease to be attractive and pleasurable to man."[11] In like criticism, Louis Dupré writes that, [p. 16] "Augustine's entire theory of original sin has been tainted by this strange sexual pessimism. "[12] Even Eugene Portalié at times sketches a rather dismal picture of Augustine's views on original sin.[13] Stranger still is an explanatory note written by A. Gaudel in the ninth volume of the excellent Latin-French edition of the works of Augustine.[14] Under the title, " Optimisme pélagien et réalité du péché, Gaudel seems to go out of his way to stress Augustine's occasional expressions of discouragement. He makes special reference to that famous passage in the Enchiridion (8, 27) where we read that, "the whole mass of condemned human nature lay prone in evil, indeed, wallowed in it." Gaudel remarks that Augustine here paints humanity in the blackest colors: even Christians only merit Hell.[15] "In this view," Gaudel [p. 17] continues, "our Doctor [Augustine] is definitely at the beginning of the pessimism which was traditional in medieval mysticism."[16]

Now I think that this stress on Augustine's pessimistic outlook is overdone. Immediately following that much debated text on the "mass of condemned human nature," (which is but an echo of Paul, Romans 9:21), Augustine proceeds to a conclusion that is far from pessimistic.

But the goodness of the Creator does not indeed cease to administer life and vitality even to the bad angels, without which they would cease to exist. Nor does He cease to create and endow with life the seed of men, though born of a flawed and condemned stock, to harmonize their members, to quicken their senses throughout the periods of time and the reaches of places, and to provide them with nourishment. For He deemed it better to bring good out of evil than not to permit any evil to exist at all.[17]

[p. 18] To my mind this looking forward to better things to come under divine providence is more characteristic of St. Augustine during most of his life than are the expressions of discouragement that sometimes appear in the anti-Pelagian works.

Another set of problems, concerned with free choice, grace and divine foreknowledge, is the source of similar charges of Augustinian pessimism. These charges are to be found in theological literature from the Renaissance onward. Some of the leading Reformation figures drew much inspiration from Augustine. Although they differed from each other, and from Augustine, on specific doctrines, both Martin Luther and John Calvin relied heavily on the anti-Pelagian writings of the Bishop of Hippo. In a statistical study of the impact of Augustine on Calvin, Luchesius Smits identified 1051 passages from the seventeen anti-Pelagian works that have influenced the Institutes of Christian Religion. He further counted, from all of Augustine's writings, some 3724 texts that influenced John Calvin. Smits' conclusion is that not only Calvin but the other Reformers, Luther, Karlstadt and Zwingli, were all "converted by reading the works of this African Father."[18]

[p. 19] The many statements in Augustine's later works to the effect that man can do nothing meritorious by his unaided natural powers, without the help of divine grace, become in many types of Renaissance theology a rigid doctrine of the complete sinfulness of mankind and the hopelessness of all those who are not predestined to achieve salvation. Martin Luther's emphasis was not on the sinfulness of sexual desires but rather on the complete inefficacy of man's activities performed without the aid of divine grace as received through faith.[19] While the Lutheran use of Augustine is optimistic (for those who persevere in the Christian faith), there is an associated element of pessimism about the general condition of man and the world, after the sin of Adam. Thus, speaking of the need for the great statesmen (whom he calls "heroes"), Luther says:

The world is indeed a sick thing; it is the kind of fur on which neither hide nor hair is any good. The healthy heroes are rare, and God provides them at a dear price. Still, the world must be ruled, if men are not to become wild beasts. So things in the world remain mere patchwork and [p. 20] beggary; it is a veritable hospital, in which princes, lords, and all rulers lack wisdom and courage—that is, success and direction from God—even as the sick person lacks strength and power. [20]

In the Institutes of Christian Religion John Calvin speaks of the necessity of sinning which "Augustine everywhere maintains," and he adds concerning God's eternal election :

If it be evidently the result of the divine will that salvation is freely offered to some and others are prevented from attaining it, this immediately gives rise to important and difficult questions, which are incapable of any other explanation than by the establishment of pious minds in what ought to be received concerning election and predestination.[21]

Some of this Reformation emphasis on man's sinfulness and personal inadequacy is from sources [p. 21] other than Augustine, of course, but it remains true that many interpreters in the Renaissance concentrated on the discouraging remarks that are to be found in the late, anti-Pelagian writings.

This gloomy tendency is also quite prominent in some Roman Catholic theologians of the early modern period. The movement which came to be known as "Jansenism" was essentially a perversion of certain Augustinian statements about the evil "nature" of man after the Fallstatements that are found in Augustine's later works but which should be read in the light of his whole teaching on the relations of men to God. In mid-sixteenth century Michel du Bay (Baius) was teaching at Louvain a distorted version of Augustine's theory of grace. [22] Despite its condemnation by Pius V, in 1567, this neo-Augustinism continued to spread in the Low Countries, France and elsewhere. Early in the seventeenth century Jean du Vergier de Hauranne (eventually called Saint-Cyran, from the monastery that he headed) joined with a young man named Cornelius Otto (later to be known as "Jansen"; his father was John Otto) to defend and propagate the theology of Baius. Many [p. 22] historians regard Saint-Cyran as the real thinker in the movement but it became known as Jansenism, partly because of the influence of the treatise entitled Augustinus, written by Jansen before his death in 1638 but only published in 1640. [23] Within two decades the famous religious community of Port Royal, in France, had become a center of Jansenist activity. Pascal's sister, Jacqueline, had entered the community and Blaise himself became a sympathetic, if not a full-fledged, supporter of Jansenism. [24] In 1667 nineteen French bishops warned Pope Clement IX that any drastic action against four French Jansenist bishops would be "harmful to the interests and safety of the State. [25]Thus did one ramification of Augustine's doctrine on grace de elop into a political cause célèbre. When the Benedictines of Saint-Maur (France) produced their famous edition of the Opera Omnia of St. Augustine (1679-1700), they sought and re‑ [p. 23] ceived permission to include the Vita Sancti Augustin based on the research of the noted Jansenist scholar, Sebastien Le Nain Tillemont. It is somewhat ironic that all more recent biographers (including myself) are indebted to Tillemont's painstaking studies in the life of Augustine.

All of this points up the importance of Jansenism in the history of Augustine exegesis. On at least two cardinal points Jansen and his associates distorted the thought of Augustine. Because they held that original sin radically corrupts human nature, they came to consider all men's acts evil. They thought of human freedom as solely dependent on grace. In the second place, they taught that all, or nearly all, men live in a state of serious sin and that neither the sacrament of penance nor the eucharist should be frequently received, because of this universal unworthiness. [26] Jansenism was indeed pessimistic. It was an odd intrusion of Puritanism and extreme Calvinism into Catholic theology. And what was more amazing, these gloomy doctrines were broadcast under the name of Augustine. [p. 24]

Augustine's Cheerful Personality

In sharp contrast with such dismal developments in later Augustinianism is the fact that St. Augustine was himself a very cheerful person. We have over seven hundred of his recorded sermons and sermon notes (including the Enarrationes in Psalmos). They are filled with popular stories and displays of wit.

On one occasion when Augustine was nearly sixty, he was commenting on Psalm 49 and he quoted Matthew 19:28, that the Apostles "shall sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of' Israel."[27] Then he proceeded to entertain his audience with the following speculation.

But someone says: Twelve Apostles will be seated there, no more. Where then will the Apostle Paul be? Will he be set apart? Let's not say that, let's not even privately imagine it. What if he were to sit in the place of Judas? But divine [p. 25] Scripture is quite clear as to who is to take Judas' place: Matthias is so named in the Acts of the Apostles.... Or will Paul not be a judge? Or perhaps he will judge while standing?

Apparently Augustine now has his listeners in rare good humor, for he went on to explain many of the other numbers that occur in the Bible. He discourses on the meaning of the number six. Then he deals with one of his favorites, the one hundred and fifty-three fish that Simon Peter caught in his net (John 21:11). He suggests that this large number may signify allegorically much more than the number of those who are to be saved. As Peter Brown has so acutely observed in this connection :

The African, particularly, had a Baroque love of subtetly. They had always loved playing with words; they excelled in writing elaborate acrostics; hilaritas—a mixture of intellectual excitement and sheer esthetic pleasure at a notable display of wit—was an emotion they greatly appreciated. Augustine would give them just this: he could hold them spellbound while he explained why there were 13 Apostles and only 12 thrones on which they would sit. [28]

Of course the early writings show us an Augustine who was especially jolly. [29] He seems to have taken [p. 26] great delight in the fun that amused his pupils and young associates. We all remember how Monica was scandalized when Licentius sang (while seated in an outdoor privy) : "O God of hosts, convert us, and show Thy face; and we shall be saved. "[30] In the same dialogue (De ordine) there is the laughing dispute between Trygetius and Licentius about the latter's alleged skepticism in the dialogue on Free Choice.[31] Still on the theme of skepticism, Augustine tells another hilarious story about two travellers who come to a fork in their road. One asks directions from a local rustic and is told, "If you take this road, you can't miss it." The other traveller laughs when his companion accepts this without question and goes his way. Then a well-dressed city-slicker (a "Samardac") comes along, riding a horse on the other branch of the fork; he deceives the second traveller by telling him that he has just come from their intended destination. Although the first traveller erred by assenting too easily to the rustic's directions, still he arrived early at their destination, while the other wayfarer lost some time wandering around in a strange woods.[32]

[p. 27] Even as a bishop writing his Confessions, Augustine was not above retailing an amusing story at the expense of an episcopal colleague. While Alypius (eventually Bishop of Tagast) was a student in Augustine's classes in Carthage, he was walking through the marketplace at the time that a thief was discovered trying to hack off some lead gratings from a money-changer's shop. Alypius absent-mindedly picked up the hatchet that the thief dropped in his hasty departure. The bankers' men caught Alypius and were hustling him off to court when an influential friend came along and vouched for Alypius as an honest young man. [33] Augustine says that he is telling this story to show how careful a judge must be to get all the evidence before making a judgment—but he also seems to take delight in teasing his friend Alypius.

Writing the last book of the City of God at the age of seventy-two, [34] Augustine gave detailed accounts of many wonders of nature and miracles. In some he showed that he had not lost his sense of humor. The story of the healing of Innocentius' hemorrhoids in

[p. 28] Carthage (A.D. 388[35]) is told (A.D. 426) for quite serious religious purposes. But at times Augustine's narrative is almost farcical. Innocentius (a rich Carthaginian convert) is suspicious of his surgeon's motives and competence; the medical men disagree as to the best treatment; Innocentius shouts at them in his anger; the surgeons ridicule the treatment by the original physician; the patient, on being assured that another painful operation is not necessary, makes jokes at the expense of his first physician; then the surgeons change their minds and tell Innocentius that they must operate again; the patient dismisses the surgeons and calls in a specialist from the big city (Alexandria) who simply approves the treatment already given and says the surgeons must be recalled to perform the new operation. While awaiting this painful event (we are before the days of effective anesthetics), the rich patient and his household attendants moan and wail, as if they were at a funeral.[36] Visited by several bishops and priests, Innocentius announces that he is about to die. They all pray [p. 29] for him, except for Augustine who is so emotionally disturbed that he cannot pray. The next day, with many of the clergy present, the surgeons untie the patient's bandages and find that he is miraculously cured! The joy of all at the happy outcome of this surgical comedy of errors was unbounded, according to Augustine's account.

After Augustine's death, his friend Possidius wrote a short biography of the Bishop of Hippo. Possidius had lived with Augustine in the original monastery at Hippo and had returned as a bishop to stay with Augustine during the final months of his illness. He tells how Augustine was then saddened by many events, ecclesiastical and political, during his last years. But after forty years of intimate association, Possidius reported that those who were privileged to know Augustine day after day in his own home appreciated him far more than those who only knew his books or heard his sermons. [37] Evidently Augustine was not a dour companion.

The Joy of Fruition and the Utility of Use

Much more important, however, than the question of Augustine's sanguine temperament is the [p. 30] theme of fruition and use (frui—uti) that runs throughout his moral teaching. These two functions of the human will provide the analytic factors for understanding the role of love (caritas) in the ethics of Augustine.[38]

The first major explanation of the frui—uti theme occurs in Augustine's answers to Eighty-three Questions. [39] Writing here in the year 395, he explains:

Just as there is a difference between a good-in-itself (honestum) and a useful good (utile), so also is there between enjoying (fruendum) and using (utendum). Although one might try to show by subtle argument that every good-in-itself is useful, and that every useful good is a good-in-itself, nevertheless it is more correct and in keeping with good usage to say that honestum means what ought to be sought after for its own sake (propter se ipsum), while utile designates that which is desired because it is directed toward something else. This is the distinction in our present expla‑ [p. 31] nation, keeping in mind of course that the good­in­itself and the useful good are in no way mutually exclusive. Sometimes inexperienced and unsophisticated people think that they are so opposed but we say that we enjoy (frui) that from which we take pleasure (voluptas). We use (uti) that which we refer to an object from which pleasure is to be taken. Thus every instance of human perversion (we could also say vice) consists in willing to use the objects of enjoyment (fruendis uti velle) or in willing to enjoy the objects of use (atque utendis frui). So, all good order (omnis ordinatio), (in other words, all virtue), requires that the objects of joy be enjoyed (fruendis frui) and those of use be used (et utendis uti). That is, goods-in-themselves (honestis) are to be enjoyed, while useful means (utilibus) are to be used. I call goodness-in-itself (honestatem) intelligible beauty, that which we term spiritual in the proper sense; on the other hand usefulness (utilitas) pertains to divine providence. [40]

In this early explanation Augustine takes the ends (honesta) and means (utilia) distinction from Stoicism (as transmitted by Cicero and Varro[41]) and adapts it to the problem of differentiating the will-act of enjoyment (fruitio) from the will-act of use (usus). Notice, too, that he is already connecting these functions with the concept of order (ordo).

A year or so later (A.D. 396/7) he returns to this theme and refines his distinction. Now, in the treatise on Christian Instruction, he speaks of three sorts of will-acts directed toward three kinds of object. [42] One kind of reality is to be enjoyed (fruendum est ; a second thing is to be used (utendum est); and he now describes a third sort of object that both enjoys and uses (aliae quae fruuntur et utuntur).[43] It is only the first sort of object (which, of course, is God) that can truly make men happy.[44] But it is very important to notice the third kind of object (which turns out to be mankind), for it provides a sort of [p. 33] link between enjoyment and use. "We," as Augusting sees it, "live in the midst of both classes of things (inter utrasque constituti). "[45] Many readers of Augustine (particularly German writers under the influence of Immanuel Kant) have berated the Bishop of Hippo for implying that we are morally justified in "using" other humans as means to attain our own ends.[46] Actually Augustine dealt with this problem quite formally in his work on The Trinity, where we read:

Since every creature is either equal or inferior to us, the inferior is to be used for God (ad Deum) but the equal is to be enjoyed in God (fruendum in Deo). Just as you ought to take joy in yourself, not focusing on self but on Him who made you, so also should it be in regard to the other person that you love as you do yourself. Thus we may take joy both in ourselves and in our brethren, but as related to the Lord. [47]

[p. 34] The key text in Christian Instruction[48] is the most important explanation of this theme and there we find frui defined as the act of cleaving to anything, in love, for its own sake (amore alicui rei inhaerere propter seipsam). Obviously this sort of joy has God alone as its object. But Augustine shows that he admits a lower type of joy, for he immediately separates good use of creatures from bad use (abusus) by the fact that we use creatures well when we advance through them to contemplate the "invisible things" of God. Speaking of the love of God and of neighbor, he later explains that there must be some difference between the precept to love God and the precept to love one's neighbor. [49] But we need not make a complete bifurcation between the love that culminates in joy and that which terminates in use. As he puts it now:

`To enjoy' is very close to saying `to use with delight' (cum delectatione uti). When that which is loved is close at hand, it is inevitable also that it bring pleasure (delectationem) with it. If you pass beyond this pleasure and refer it to that end where you are to remain forever, you are using it; it would not be correct, but an error, to say that you are enjoying it. [50]

[p. 35] So, by way of summary of his teaching on the difference between enjoyment and use, Augustine concludes (in De doctrina Christiana) that all temporal things are provided by divine providence to be used lovingly by us but not with any permanent or exclusive affection. They are not goods-in-themselves, nor are they final ends. They are to be loved because they enable us to find ultimate joy in their divine Source. [51]

Clearly the notion of spiritual delight (delectatio) is central to Augustine's understanding of true joy. His love terminology is quite complex. Amor is the broad generic term that he uses for love: it signifies almost any sort of attraction, psychic or physical. Dilectio is less broad: it usually means a high-minded love of intelligible or spiritual objects. Caritas names the highest kind of spiritual love, a love of God and [p. 36] of other realities as creatures of God. Voluptas is used for any kind of pleasure but it frequently signifies lower sensual satisfaction. Libido or cupiditas designate lustful craving for sexual and other attractions of bodies. [52] Finally, the term delectatio means any kind of psychic delight, ranging from sexual pleasure to joy in the supreme good, as the following passage from a New Testament commentary (A.D. 394/5) reveals.

These fruits of the spirit reign in the man in whom sins do not reign. These goods reign in him because they delight (delectant) him so much that they restrain his mind from consenting to temptations. For we must perform our actions in accord with that which brings us most delight (quod amplius nos delectat). Thus, the appearance of a beautiful woman may come to mind and stimulate the delight (delectatio) associated with fornication. But if the inner beauty and pure appearance of chastity gives more delight (plus delectat), through the grace that is found in the faith of Christ, then we live and act in accord with it. Thus when sin does not reign in us, so as to promote obedience to its desires, but rather when righteousness (justitia) reigns in us through charity, then with great delight (cum magna delectatione) we do whatever we know as pleasing [p. 37] to God. Now what I have said of chastity and fornication I wish to be understood of other objects. [53]

Commenting on this passage, Nigel Abercrombie says that "Augustine is here writing nonsense, unless he is using the word `delight' in several different senses." [54] Moreover, Abercrombie claims that Augustine here confuses sense pleasure with the enjoyment of spiritual goods. In point of fact he has missed the whole point of Augustine's discussion. There are not two faculties of enjoyment in Augustinian psychology. Due to his strong reaction to the psychic dualism of the Manichees, Augustine insisted that there is but one will in each man—and there are no separate powers of sense pleasure. So, delectatio has one broad meaning: not as broad as amor, nevertheless delectation signifies any sort of volitional enjoyment that a person may have. It runs from the lowest pleasures of sensation to the highest of spiritual delights in God and eternal values. [55]

[p. 38] That is why, in Augustine's moral psychology, the inner stimulus for either good or bad action is delectatio. This theme runs through the Sermons and especially through the Enarrationes in Psalmos. [56] As early as the Questions for Simplicianus (A.D. 395), delight (delectatio) was introduced as the affection which motivates man's will. He already attributes beneficial motivation to divine grace, saying: "When those objects whereby we make progress toward God delight us, it is the grace of God that inspires and prepares us, not our own impulse (non nutu nostro)." [57] Under the influence of St. Paul (Rom. 7:14-23 and Gal. 5:17-24), Augustine talks about the way in which spiritual delight is given by God through faith.

[p. 39] We are commanded to live righteously, with the offer of this reward, that we shall merit living happily in eternity; but who can live righteously and do good, unless he be justified by faith? .... Now who can consciously embrace anything that does not delight him (quod eum non delectat)? And who has it in his own power to do either whatever happens to delight him, or to take delight in something when it presents itself? [58]

Our volitional acts of choice, then, are triggered as it were by experiences of delight (delectationes) which occur momentarily within human consciousness and whose inception is not controlled by us. [59] As Peter Brown remarks : "Augustine came to view `delight' as the mainspring of human action." [60] Two things should be underlined in this very early explanation of human motivation. First, Augustine recognizes something of the role of feelings in the analysis of moral action: these affections occur in the will, not in some separate power, but they are not initially controllable by the moral agent. One may accept or reject their stimulation but he cannot initiate these flashes of delight. Some delights are [p. 40] produced within us by objects that appear attractive in our perceptions; others are the products of divine grace. In the second place, Augustine admitted in the Retractations[61] that he did not fully rea ize, or explain, the importance of divine grace, in this early period (A.D. 388-395) but it is clear from the text that we have just read that he knew, even at this time, that high-minded delight is somehow sparked in man's consciousness by God's gift of faith and grace.

If delectation, then, be the initiation of Augustine's analysis of moral activity, then fruition is its termination. Charity is defined as "a motion of the soul toward the enjoyment of God (ad fruendum Deo) for His own sake, and of oneself and one's neighbor, for God's sake." [62] The root meaning of frui, in Augustine's usage, is polyvalent. It designates both the climax of an ontogenetic development, i.e. fructification, and the conscious experience of a feeling of pleasurable accomplishment. [63] In other words, Au- [p. 41] gustine insists in his early writings on the feeling of joy as the culmination of successful moral activity.

This emphasis on the joyful character of a good life is reinforced in the works of the middle period, when Augustine comes to dwell more and more on the essential goodness of all creatures. Typical of this period is Letter 140 to Honoratus (A.D. 412) which deals with the New Testament teaching on divine grace. Here he makes a clear demarcation between fleshly joy (gaudium carnale) in sensory experience and inner joy (gaudium in mente) in the goods of the spirit. He tells Honoratus :

There is a certain life of man involved in the carnal senses, given up to carnal joys (gaudiis carnalibus dedita), avoiding carnal hurt, seeking carnal pleasure (voluptatem). The happiness (felicitas) of this life is temporal: to begin with this life is a matter of necessity; to continue in it a matter of choice. Doubtless the infant issues forth into this life from [p. 42] the womb of its mother; as far as it can it avoids the hurts and seeks the pleasures (voluptates) of this life; nothing else counts. But after it reaches the age at which the use of reason awakens and its will is divinely aided, it can choose another life whose joy is in the mind (in mente gaudium est), whose happiness (felicitas) is interior and eternal. Truly there is in man a rational soul, but it makes a difference which way he turns the use of reason by his will: whether to the goods of his external and lower nature, or to the goods of his interior and higher nature; that is, whether his enjoyment is corporeal and temporal (utrum ut fruatur corpore et tempore), or divine and eternal. This soul is placed in a middle state (in medietate), having below it the physical creation and above it the Creator of itself and its body.

The rational soul can, then, make good use (bene uti) of temporal and corporeal pleasure (felicitas), provided it does not give itself up entirely to created things, and thereby abandon the Creator, who has enriched it with the overflowing abundance of His own goodness. For just as all the things which God has created are good, from the rational creature itself to the lowest form of physical life, so the rational soul acts rightly toward these things if it preserves due order (ordinem) among them. [64]

[p. 43] Besides clearly stating that man's soul is good in itself (and so not corrupted by Adam's sin), this text indicates how joy in the moral life depends on the Augustinian concept of ordo. As I suggested in my Villanova lecture of fifteen years ago, [65] "order" is not a static but a dynamic notion for Augustine. He thought of all creatures as involved in an on-going process under the direction of divine providence. All beings (including humans) are carried forward in time by a process called manentia. Their duration (manentia) has a vector quality, a "weight" (pondus) which internally impels them toward the goal that God has arranged for them. Among creatures, only men (and angels) are free to turn away from their proper finality. But such turning (versio) is destructive of their being and it perverts (perversio) their moral life. On the other hand, free agents who cooperate with this impulse toward perfection are acting in accord with good order. [66] It is not by chance that Augustine characterizes the divine principle and terminus of this orderly process as [p. 44] "pure joy" (purum gaudium). [67]  In The Trinity (which belongs in this middle period of his writing) Augustine says that each creature gets its essential unity and formal specification from God's arrangement of all things under unity and species. Similarly each rational creature is impelled toward its ultimate perfection in union with God by the order which functions through acts of love and delight (amores aut delectationes). [68]

The frui—uti theme and its accompanying joy in a good life are not neglected in the mature writings of Augustine. About the year 416 he was writing the tenth Book of The Trinity. Discussing there the [p. 45] psychological trinity, understanding-remembering-willing, he returned to this theme.

In two of these three, memory and understanding, the knowledge and science of many things is contained, while will is present so that we may enjoy and use them. For we take joy (fruimur) in those objects of knowledge in which the will comes to rest, as things enjoyed (delectata) for themselves alone; but we use those objects which we refer to something else that is to be enjoyed (quo fruendum est). And the life of vice and guilt for men is nothing other than bad using and bad enjoying (male utens et male fruens)—and this is not the place to discuss this subject. [69]

However it does not take Augustine long to get to a further explanation of the point, for we find him returning to it within two pages. Now he describes "use" as any application of willing to objects, either to those that are means or to those that are ends, that is, intrinsic goods. "To use (uti) is to take something under the power of the will;" (he says), "to enjoy (frui) is to use joyfully (uti cum gaudio)." So, everyone who enjoys is also said to use, for of course enjoyment implies an application of the will with [p. 46] joy as its end (cum fine delectationis). This does not mean that everyone who uses things really enjoys them; things used merely as means are not enjoyable in themselves.[70]

Among the mature writings, the later books of the City of God are most significant for our topic. The nineteenth Book offers a very full discussion of how the philosophers of Greece and Rome sought to analyze true human happiness. [71] Prescinding from the fact that these thinkers knew nothing of the felicity to be found in union with the God of Christianity, Augustine described with evident appreciation the high-minded teaching of Varro on the joy to be found in a life of virtue.

Once virtue, this art of living, has taken charge of our innate exigencies (which were previously unguided but which existed even when they lacked direction), then virtue seeks all these things with reference to herself, at the same time seeking herself and making use of all to find delight and joy (delectetur atque perfruatur) in all these things, more or less, according to a scale of greater and lesser values. Rejoicing in all (omnibus gaudens) without exception, she will forego certain lesser [p. 47] goods, if this is necessary for attaining or keeping the greater ones. Meanwhile, there is absolutely no good, whether of soul or body, that virtue prefers to herself. [72]

This is a summary by Augustine of what an ethical pagan thought about human well-being. Earlier in the City of God (Book XI, written about A.D. 418) he had offered his own view of the objects of true joy. The ancient philosophers, he pointed out, dealt with three great problems: the nature of reality, the method of investigating truth, and the good end for all human activities. It is the third question that interests Augustine most: what is the distinctive character of good moral action? In answer he suggests three requisites: natural ability, some acquired knowledge, and fruitful effort.

Nor am I unaware [he continues] that, properly speaking, fruit is appropriate to a person concerned with enjoyment (fructus fruentis), while use pertains to the person engaged in employment (usus utentis sit). There seems to be this difference, that we speak of an object being enjoyed (ea re frui) when it gives us delight (delectat) for its own value and not because it is a means to obtain something else; but a thing is used when we desire it for the [p. 48] sake of something further. Consequently we should use temporal things in such a way that we may deserve to enjoy (frui) eternal goods. Not like perverse people who wish to enjoy money but to use God : they do not spend money for God's sake but cultivate God for money's sake. Nevertheless, in more customary usage, we both use the fruits of enjoyment and enjoy the objects of use. For we properly speak of the fruits of the field, which of course we all use in the course of time. It was, then, in accord with this popular usage that I mentioned "use" among the three items to be observed in a man, namely, natural endowment, acquired education, and use. [73]

One may remark in this text that, while Augustine is most concerned with shifts in the meaning of "use," he continues to the end of his life to associate joy with the living of a good life.

We see this clearly in the last two Books of the City of God which date from his final years. Book XXI is indeed a dismal tale of the punishments to be assigned to those who spurn God and live in the City of the Devil. Yet at the final chapter of this Book[74] [p. 49] Augustine maintains the possibility that men may be delivered from their sins, either through their own prayers or by the intercession of the saints. This thread of hope for sinners leads into the joyous description, in Book XXII, of the rewards offered to the members of the City of God. Looking forward to heaven, Augustine exclaims: "How great will that happiness (felicitas) be, where there will be no evil and no lack of good!" All those who get to heaven will use all their capacities, bodily and spiritual, to sing God's praises. In this celestial hymn of praise, all rational minds will be "enkindled by the joy of a beauty that appeals to reason (rationales mentes in tanti ârtificis laudem rationabilis pulcritudinis delectatione succendent)." [75] [p. 50]

The Optimism of Augustine's Moral Outlook

It must be admitted that Augustine's teaching on the present condition of mankind is not without its moments of dejection. This is particularly so in his later years. [76] As he became more and more concerned with what he knew of Pelagian and Semi-Pelagian doctrines, he hardened his own position on predestination. There is no doubt that his views on the natural inevitability of sin and the consequent severity of its punishment are grim. The later writings abound in texts to the effect that some human beings have no chance to be saved, that others are granted the grace of salvation but reject it, and that still others are freely chosen by God to persevere under grace and to enjoy eternal happiness. [77] Augus‑ [p. 51] tine said that "God wills all men to be saved, "[78] yet he consistently affirmed that men cannot choose or do what is meritorious, unless their wills are moved by divine grace. [79] Many Protestant interpreters frankly admit that there are inner tensions in his explanations of divine foreknowledge and man's free will. [80] Equally many Catholic scholars have tried to defend Augustine's teaching as orthodox but somewhat obscure. [81] Recently there has been some change in  [p. 52] the Catholic studies. Jean Chéné represents a new trend which seems to be balanced and scholarly. He concludes that Augustine went beyond the common beliefs of the Church, in his anti-Pelagian writings, on the matter of "the dispensation of grace, on the subject of the relation between grace and free will, and on the problem of the necessity of grace. "[82] Indeed Chéné rather frankly suggests:

It is toward severe solutions that St. Augustine inclined.... He saw, he believed it established, that a certain number of human beings (children and adults) have not been able, in the course of their life, to attain the faith which salvation requires or the sacrament of this faith. So he was convinced that a portion of mankind had not benefited from the power of the blood of Christ, even though it is true according to the teaching of Scripture, that Christ has redeemed all men and that He wills the salvation of all. He thus holds in [p. 53] reverence a very mysterious divine disposition, in which nevertheless no injustice is revealed. [83]

If we admit, as we should, that Augustine's views on free will and grace became somewhat extreme, it still remains true that his general outlook was not basically pessimistic, even in his old age. Admittedly one feels differently about predestination, if one is a member of the elect or not. The point is that Augustine, after his conversion, lived in the constant hope of eternal happiness. From the Confessions onward, he gave the impression that he felt saved by God's grace. As he wrote at the end of his moving autobiography, after recalling his early sins: "we have been moved at a later time to do good ... we hope to be at rest in Thy great sanctification." [84] The prospect of eternal punishment for the wicked caused him sorrow but Augustine did not think that they had been treated unjustly.

We have seen that Augustine's teaching on fruition as the climax of a meritorious life is positive and joyful. His stress on delectation as the motivating principle of human choice and action provides an antidote to gloom. He set no limits on the number [p. 54] of people who could be saved. While he recognized the effects of Adam's sin on all his descendants, he did not teach that it took away all freedom from men—but he did teach that a higher freedom (libertas) is engendered through grace.

Four years before he died Augustine summed up his moral outlook in these lapidary words:

Free will (voluntas libera) is always present in us, but it is not always good. It is either free from righteousness, when it is in the service of sin, and then it is evil: or it is free from sin, when it is in the service of righteousness, and then it is good. But the grace of God is always good and brings about a good will in man who before that was possessed of an evil will. It is by this grace, too, that this same good will, once it begins to exist, is expanded and made so strong that it is able to fulfill whatever of God's commandments it wishes, whenever it does so with a strong and perfect will.[85]

[p. 55] If Augustine had only considered divine justice, his ethical position might have been dismal—but he was confident of divine mercy, and that hope is what made his Christian ethics not pessimistic but optimistic.

[p. 57]










[1] Augustine's own treatises against Julian record many of these criticisms, together with Augustine's responses. One of the latest writings (A.D. 429-430) the Contra Julianum opus imperfectum, III, 67-71; PL 45, 1278-9, has the following typical texts from Julian: "Quaeritur ergo a nobis, cur non assentiamur naturale esse peccaturn. Respondemus quia nullum habet verisimilitudinis, nedum veritatis, nullum justitiae, nullum pietatis colorem; quia diabolum conditorem hominum facit videri." "68. Jul. Quia liberum arbitrium, quo potissimum praesidio contra diversos Ecclesia Christi munitur errores, infrinigt et destruit." "70. Jul. Dicens omnes homines adeo capaces nullius esse virtutis, ut in ipsis matrum visceribus, [p. 11] antiquis criminibus implicantur." "71. Jul. Quorum tarnen scelerum vim, non solum expultricem innocentiae naturalis, commentaris; verum etiam deinceps per totam vitam in vitia universa coactricem." On the relations between Augustine and Julian, see Peter Brown, Augustine of Hippo (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1967) pp. 381-397; and Gerald Bonner, St. Augustine of Hippo. Life and Controversies (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1963) pp. 346-382.

[2] Peter Brown's chapter 32 is somewhat critical of Augustine and sympathetic to Julian; Gerald Bonner's chapters 8 and 9 offer a balanced estimate of the controversy. It is possible that Augustine somewhat misunderstood the position that Pelagius actually took on grace and human freedom. See Robert F. Evans, Pelagius: Inquiries and Reappraisals (New York: Seabury Press, 1968) chapter 6; and Gerald Bonner, Augustine and Modern Research on Pelagianism (Villanova Univ. Press, 1972).

[3] Cf. F. Refoulé, "Julien d'Eclane, théologien et philosophe," Recherches de sciences religieuses 52 (1964) 42-84, 233-247. On Augustine's reaction to Julian, Etienne Gilson says: "Augustin polémiquera, il sera orateur, rhétoricien, avocat; il cherchera des formules lapidaires, toujours si dangereuses; il en essayera parfois plusieurs qui, pour vouloir se corriger, l'une et l'autre, resteront parfois en decà, ou passeront parfois au delà de sa pensée vraie." Introduction à l'étude de s. Augustin, 3me éd. (Paris: Vrin, 1949), p. 206.

[4] Fulgentii, Liber de fide ad Petrum, 2, 16; PL 40, 758: "Et quia dum Bibi invicem vir mulierque miscentur ut filios generent, sine libidine non est parentum concubitus; ob hoc filiorum ex eorum carne nascentium non potest sine peccato esse conceptus, ubi peccatum in parvulos non transmittit propagatio, sed libido; nec fecunditas naturae humanae facit homines cum peccato nasci, sed foeditas libidinis, quam homines habent ex illius primi justissima condemnatione peccati ... propter originale tarnen peccatum, quod naturaliter obstructi filii sunt irae...." (Cf. Eph. 2:3). In a later passage (26, 69; PL 40, 774) Fulgentius bluntly wrote: "Firmissime tene et nullatenus dubites, omnem hominem, qui per concubiturn viri et mulieris concipitur, cum originali peccato nasci, impietati subditum, mortique subjectum, et ob hoc natura irae filium nasci: de qua dicit Apostolus, `Eramus enim et nos natura filii irae, sicut et ceteri'." (Eph. 2:3).

[5] Eugene Portalié, A Guide to the Thought of St. Augustine, trans. R.J. Bastian (Chicago: Regnery, 1960) p. 211.

[6] Petri Lombardi, Libri Sententiarum, II, cap. 6: "multiplex defectus carnis et praecipue pollutio quaedam, quam ex fervore coitus parentum et concupiscentia libidinosa contrahit caro dum concipitur causa est originalis peccati...."

[7] The main text in Contra Julianum op. imperf. VI, 22; PL 45, 1553, reads: "Omnes itaque filii Adae in illo adspersi sunt contagione peccati et mortis conditione devincti. Ac per hoc quamvis sint parvuli, et bonum quidquam vel malum non agant voluntate; tarnen quia induti sunt illo, qui voluntate peccavit, trahunt ab illo peccati reatum, mortisque supplicium: sicut parvuli qui Christo induuntur, quamvis nihil boni fecerint sua voluntate, summunt ab illo participationem justitiae, et vitae praemium sempiternae."

[8] Enarrationes in Psalmos, 50, vers. 7, 10; PL 36, 591-2: "Non ergo in iniquitate concipiuntur homines, et in peccatis in utero a matribus aluntur, quia peccatum est misceri conjugibus; sed quia illud quod fit, utique fit de carne poenali. Poena enim carnis mors est, et utique inest ipsa mortalitas. . . . Opus hoc castum in conjuge non habet culpam, sed origo peccati trahit secum debitam poenam."

[9] John Burnaby, "Augustine of Hippo, St., and Augustinian Ethics," Dictionary of Christian Ethics, ed. John Macquarrie (Phila- [p. 15] delphia: Westminster, 1967) p. 23. This is not an isolated remark; on the same page Burnaby cites Karl Holl who was led to "denounce Augustine as the `corrupter of Christian morals'," and Anders Nygren who described Augustine's "doctrine of love as a hopeless attempt to combine the egocentric pursuit of self-fulfillment through eros with the New Testament understanding of agape as the human imitation of God's outflowing goodness."

[10] Henderson's remarks are in the article, "Original Sin," Dict. of Christ. Ethics, p. 240. For a defense of Augustine's teaching, see J.J. Hugo, St. Augustine on Nature, Sex and Marriage (Chicago: Scepter, 1969).

[11] Louis Bouyer, Seat of Wisdom (New York: Pantheon, 1962) p. 73.

[12] Louis Dupré, Contraception and Catholics (Baltimore: Helicon, 1964) p. 26. Similar criticisms are found in J.T. Noonan, Jr., Contraception. A History of Its Treatment by the Catholic Theologians (Cambridge: Harvard U. Press, 1965) pp. 107-138. For a criticism of Noonan, see Denis Faul, "St. Augustine on the Marriage," Augustinus (Madrid 1967) vol. I, 166-176.

[13] Portalié, A Guide to the Thought of St. Augustine, p. 211: "Augustine's expressions exaggerate the role of concupiscence. Since sense pleasure ordinarily enters into human generation, he seems to say that it is the necessary condition for the transmission of the original stain which touches the flesh even before it taints the soul."

[14] A. Gaudel, "Notes Complémentaires," Oeuvres de saint Augustin, BA 9, 383-385.

[15] Gaudel, p. 384, cites Sermo 259, 3.

[16] Ibid. 384-5: "Par où notre docteur est certainement à la source du pessimisme qui fut de tradition dans la mystique médiévale ... . D'une manière générale, c'est le démon qui régne sur l'humanité." In support of this extreme finding, Gaudel refers to J. Rivière [editor of this vol. 9], Le dogme de la Rédemption chez saint Augustin (Paris: Gabalda, 1931) pp. 16-21.

[17] This version of Enchiridion 8, 27, is by Louis A. Arand, St. Augustine, Faith, Hope and Charity (Westminster, Md: Newman, 1947) p. 35.

[18] L. Smits, Saint Augustin dans l'oeuvre de Jean Calvin, 2 vol. (Assen: Van Gorkum, 1957-8). The figures are in vol. I, pp. 168 and 182; the remark about the other Reformers is in vol. I, p. 274. See also A. Hamel, Der junge Luther und Augustin, ihre Beziehungen in der Rechtfertigungslehre nach Luthers erste Vorlesungen 1509-1518 untersucht (Gutersloh, 1934-5); A.D.R. Polman, De Praedesti‑ [p. 19] natieleer van Augustinus, Thomas van Aquino en Calvlin (Franeker, 1936); and J. Cadier, "Calvin et s. Augustin," Augustinus Magister (Paris, 1954) II, 1033-1056.

[19] See the selection entitled, "The Faith of a Christian," (from Luther's Primary Works, ed. H. Wace and C.A. Buchheim, London 1896) in The Portable Renaissance Reader, ed. J.B. Ross and M.M. McLaughlin (New York: Viking, 1953) pp. 706-8.

[20] This text from the American Edition of Luther's Works (Philadelphia and St. Louis, 1955-, vol. 13, 164-5) is printed in full in Paul Althaus, The Ethics of Martin Luther, trans. R.C. Schultz (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1972) p. 155. Earlier Althaus points out (p. 144): "In spite of his pessimistic attitude toward everything earthly, he did not feel that social unrighteousness and oppression could not be changed and improved."

[21] This passage from the Institute of Christian Religion, trans. John Allen (New Haven, 1816) is reprinted in The Portable Renaissance Reader, pp. 706-8. Gerald Bonner, St. Augustine of Hippo, p. 386, quotes Institutio III, 22, 8: "Valeat Augustini testimonium [p. 21] apud eos, qui libenter in patrum auctoritate acquiescunt." For the problem of the number of the Elect, according to Augustine, see Appendix VI, infra.

[22] Nigel Abercrombie, The Origins of Jansenism (Oxford: Clarendon, 1936) p. 87, says: "Baius . . . fastened upon Augustine as the final authority in all matters of grace, and determined to have no other master."

[23] For an extended summary of the ten Books which make up Augustinus, see Abercrombie, pp. 126-153. Henri de Lubac, Augustinisme et théologie moderne (Paris: Aubier, 1965) p. 53, concludes that "the theology of Jansenius came at a particular moment to justify, in the name of St. Augustine, the religion of Saint-Cyran." In the English version by Lancelot Sheppard, Augustinianism and Modern Theology (New York: Herder and Herder, 1969), p. 38.

[24] On Pascal and Jansenism, see the guarded comments of Frederick Copleston, A History of Philosophy, vol. 4 (New York: Doubleday, 1963) pp. 163-4; and on Jansenism and the spread of Cartesianism (Antoine Arnauld and Pierre Nicole) pp. 182-3.

[25] Philip Hughes, A Popular History of the Catholic Church (New York: Doubleday, 1954) p. 207.

[26] B. Matteucci, "Jansenistic Piety," New Catholic Encyclopedia (Washington 1967) vol. 7, 825: "The type of piety that developed out of Jansenism was inflexibly rigorist and was characterized by the tension experienced by souls weighed down by the thought of damnation." In the same Encyclopedia, vol. 7, 821, L.J. Cognet, "Jansenism," quotes Nicolas Cornet's thesis: "some of God's commandments are impossible for the just."

[27] Enarrationes in Ps. 49, 8 et 9; PL 36, 570: "Sedebitis super duodecim sedes, judicantes duodecim tribus Israel. [Mat. 19:28] 9. Sed dicit aliquis, Duodecim illic Apostoli consedebunt, non amplius. Ubi ergo erit Apostolus Paulus? Numquid inde separatus erit? Absit ut hoc dicamus, absit ut hoc vel tacite cogitemus. Quid si ergo in loco Judae ipse residebit? Sed manifestavit Scriptura divina, quis in Judae loco sit ordinatus: Matthias enim est expresse nominatus in Actibus Apostolorum [1:26], ut de illo dubitare non possemus ... non judicabit Paulus Apostolus? An forte stans judicabit?" This sermon is dated A.D. 412, in F. Moriones, Enchiridion Theologicum S. Augustini (Madrid: Biblioteca de Autores Cristianos, 1961) p. 720.

[28] Brown, Aug. of Hippo, p. 254.

[29] E.K. Rand, Founders of the Middle Ages (Cambridge: Har- [p. 26] vard U. Press, 1918) p. 256, noted this in regard to Augustine's early dialogues: "They are light and easy in tone. There is jest and banter, and a comfortable sense of philosophic leisure."

[30] De ordine, I, 8, 22; BA 4, 336; see the English in Divine Providence and the Problem of Evil, trans. R.P. Russell, O.S.A. (New York: Cima, 1948) FOC I, 259-60. The chant is from Psalm 79:8.

[31] De ordine, I, 4, 10; BA 4, 318; in Russell, p. 248.

[32] Contra Academicos, III, 15, 34; BA 4, 178-180; the footnote [p. 27] by Regis Jolivet (BA 4, 180) says that "Samardacus" was an African word meaning a trickster or joker.

[33] Confessiones, VI, 9, 14; BA 13, 548; in my translation (FOC 21, New York 1953) pp. 146-8.

[34] Gustave Bardy (ed.), Les Révisions, "Notes Complémentaires," BA 12, 587-8, dates the last Books De civitate Dei in 426-7. For an account of Augustine's admiration for the wonders of nature, see Hugh Pope, St. Augustine of Hippo (Westminster, Md: Newman, 1949) pp. 228-253.

[35] Othmar Perler, Les voyages de saint Augustin (Paris: Etudes Augustiniennes, 1969), p. 148, puts the time of this trip to Carthage in A.D. 388.

[36] De civitate Dei, XXII, 8, 3; BA 37, 566: "Sed cum abaissent illi [medici], ex maerore nimio domini tantus est in domo alla exortus dolor, ut tamquam funeris planctus vix comprimeretur a nobis.... Inde ad orationem ingressi sumus.... Ego tarnen prorsus orare non poteram. . . . Illuxit dies qui metuebatur, aderant servi Dei, sicut se adfuturos esse promiserant: ingressi sunt medici... solvuntur nodi ligamentorum... invenit firmissimam cicatricem."

[37] Possidii, Vita S. Augustini, 31; PL 32, 64: "Et in suis quidem scriptis file Deo acceptus et carus sacerdos .... Sed ego arbitror plus ex eo proficere potuisse, qui eum et loquentem in ecclesia praesentem audire et videre potuerunt, et ejus praesertim inter homines conversationem non ignoraverunt."

[38] Still one of the best studies is Joseph Mausbach, Die Ethik des hl. Augustinus (Freiburg i. B: Herder, 1929), chapter 4, in vol. I, 168-221, "Die Gottesliebe (caritas) als Mittelpunkt der Sittlichkeit," and on uti-frui see pp. 264-271. Somewhat critical of Mausbach is Thomas Deman, Le traitement scientifique de la morale chrétienne selon s. Augustin (Montréal: Institut d'Etudes Médiévales, 1957) pp. 9-12. The most helpful recent study is K.R. Holte, Béatitude et sagesse (Paris: Etudes Augustiniennes, and Worcester, Mass: Augustinian Studies, 1962).

[39] De diversis quaestionibus 83, q. 30; BA 10, 82-86; for the Latin of this reference and other key texts on uti-frui see Appendix I.

[40] My English version owes something to the French of J.A. Beckaert in BA 10, 83-4.

[41] The honestum-utile distinction is a commonplace in Cicero's De officiis (see for example lib. II, cap. 3); Maurice Testard, Saint Augustin et Cicéron, 2 vol. (Paris: Etudes Augustiniennes, 1958) provides in the second volume a chronological series of Augustine's [p. 32] texts showing the influence of Cicero. For the impact of Cicero's De finibus see Holte, op. cit. pp. 29-44. Augustine himself is our source on the distinction that Varro made (in his nonextant De philosophia) between the "finis boni nostri, propter quod appetenda sunt cetera" and an end that is desired for its own sake, "propter se ipsum" (De civitate Dei, XIX, 1, 1; BA 37, 38). St. Ambrose distinguished the bonum honestum from the utile, in his De officiis, I, 9; PL 16, 36; whether Augustine was influenced by this is not apparent.

[42] The important text from De doctrina Christiana, I, 3, 4 et 5; BA 11, 182-6, is to be found in Appendix I.

[43] De doct. Christ. I, 3; BA 11, 182. Appendix IV shows the importance of this text to the Kantian problem of "using" one's neighbor.

[44] Idem, 5: "Res igitur quibus fruendum est, Pater et Filius et Spiritus sanctus, eadem Trinitas, una quaedam summa res ...."

[45] Idem, 3.

[46] John Burnaby ("Augustine of Hippo," Dict. of Christ. Ethics, p. 23) cites Karl Holl ("Augustins innere Entwicklung," Abhandlungen der preussischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Philos.-hist. Klasse, 1923, pp. 1-51) as denouncing Augustine because he thought one could use other men as "means." Burnaby says: "It is this apparent degradation of Christian love for our fellowmen to a `means' whereby the individual is aided to achieve his own perfection, which led Karl Holl to denounce Augustine .... See also Hannah Arendt, Der Liebensbegriff bei Augustinus (Berlin: J. Springer, 1929) pp. 68-71. Appendix IV shows how mistaken these comments are.

[47] De Trinitate, IX, 8, 13; CC vol. L (1968) p. 304; for the Latin see Appendix II.

[48] De doct. Christ. I, 4; BA 11, 184.

[49] Idem, I, 30, 33; BA 11, 222.

[50] Idem, I, 33, 37; BA 11, 226: "Quanquam etiam vicinissime dicitur frui, cum delectatione uti. Cum enim adest quod diligitur, [p. 35] etiam delectationem secum necesse est gerat: per quam si transieris, eamque ad illud ubi permanendum est, retuleris; uteris ea, et abusive, non proprie, diceris frui." The English is from J. Gavigan, O.S.A. (FOC 2, 1945) p. 54.

[51] De doct. Christ. I, 35, 39; BA 11, 230: "Hoc ergo ut nossemus atque possemus, facta est tota pro salute nostra per divinam providentiam dispensatio temporalis, qua debemus uti, non quasi mansoria quadam dilectione atque delectatione, sed transitoria potius ... ut ea quibus ferimur, propter illud ad quod ferimur, diligamus." On the relation of uti frui to the highest love (caritas) in the early writings, see Alberto Di Giovanni, La dialettica dell'amore: `Uti-frui' nelle preconfessioni di Sant'Agostino, Roma: Abete, 1965; and Gunnar Hultgren, Le commandement d'amour chez Augustin. Interprétation philosophique théologique d'après les écrits de la période 386-400 (Paris: Vrin, 1939).

[52] On these and other terms of loving, consult Hélène Pétré, Caritas. Etude sur le vocabulaire Latin de la charité chrétienne (Louvain: Spicilegium Sacrum Lovaniense, 1948).

[53] Expositio Epistolae ad Galatas, cap. 5, 49; PL 35, 2140. The Latin text is in Appendix I.

[54] Abercrombie, Origins of Jansenism, p. 37.

[55] Sermo 153, De verbis Apostoli, Rom. 7, 10; PL 38, 830: "dulcia sunt ista concupiscentiae ... `Narraverunt mihi injusti delectationes, sed non sicut Lex tua, Domine.' (Ps. 118:85). Felix anima quae hujusmodi delectationibus oblectatur, ubi turpitudine nulla inquinatur, et veritatis serenitate purgatur. Quem autem delectat Lex Dei, et sic delectat, ut omnes delectationes lasciviae vincat, non sibi arroget istam delectationem: Dominus dabit suavi- [p. 38] tatem." For a longer discussion of licit and illicit delights (delectationes licitae et illicitae) read Sermo 159, De verbis Apostoli, Rom. 8, 2; PL 38, 867-872.

[56] For a series of such sermon texts on delight under justice, see Erich Przywara, An Augustine Synthesis (New York: Harper Torchbook, 1958) pp. 336-345. On delight (hbdoné) as a joyful response to intelligible beauty, Plotinus may have influenced Augustine. Enneads, I, 6, 4, reads: "But there are beauties more lofty than these, imperceptible to sense, that the soul without aid of sense perceives and proclaims .... Seeing of this sort is done only with the eye of the soul. And seeing thus, one undergoes a joy, a wonder, and a distress more deep than any other because here one touches truth." The English is from: Elmer O'Brien, The Essential Plotinus (Indianapolis: Hackett, 1975) pp. 37-8.

[57] De diversis quaestionibus ad Simplicianum, I, q. 2, 21; BA 10, 502: "Cum ergo nos ea delectant quibus proficiamus ad Deum, inspiratur hoc et praebetur gratia Dei, non nutu nostro ...." Appendix VII has the complete English text.

[58] Ibid.

[59] Idem, 22; BA 10, 506: "Restat ergo ut voluntates eligantur. Sed voluntas ipsa, nisi aliquid occurrent quod delectet atque invitet animum, mover nullo modo potest: hoc autem ut occurrat, non est in hominis potestate."

[60] Brown, Augustine of Hippo, p. 155.

[61] Retractationes, I, 9, 3; BA 12, 312 (with reference to De libero arbitrio) says: "De gratia vero Dei . . . nihil in his libris disputatum est propter hoc proposita quaestione [the question of the Manichean explanation of choice]. Ubi autem incidit locus ut hujus gratiae fieret commemoratio, transeunter commemorata est." Cf. Appendix VII infra.

[62] De doct. Christ. III, 16; BA 11, 360: "Charitatem voco moturn animi ad fruendum Deo propter ipsum, et se atque proximo propter Deum." On this whole theme, see Holte, Béatitude et sagesse, chap. 20-21, pp. 251-294.

[63] De div. quaest. 83, q. 30; BA 10, 84: "Frui ergo dicimur ea [p. 41] re de qua capimus voluptatem." Holte, op. cit. p. 224, note 5, comments on this : "Cette réalité spirituelle est la seule qui est destinée ad fruendum; elle éveille `plaisir' et `joie' (c'est à dire, une joie pure, spirituelle)." Cf. Fulbert Cayré, "Notes Complémentaires: Frui et uti," BA 11, 558-61, where this noted authority on Augustinian spirituality finds that Augustine's explanation of frui Deo is not only a "construction personnelle" but also "une construction philosophique." For different appraisals see Gunnar Hultgren, Le commandement d'amour chez s. Augustin (Paris: Vrin, 1939) pp. 148-186; and Rudolf Lorenz, "Fruitio dei bei Augustin," Zeitschrift für Kirchengeschichte, 63 (1950-51) 75-132.

[64] Epistola 140, 2, 3 et 4; CSEL 44 (1904) pp. 156-7, Latin text is in Appendix I; the English is by Sister Wilfrid Parsons, S.N.D. (FOC 20, 1953) pp. 59-60.

[65] Bourke, Augustine's View of Reality (The Saint Augustine Lecture 1963, Villanova Press, 1964) pp. 22-23.

[66] De moribus ecclesiae Catholicae et Manichaeorum, II, 6, 8; BA 1, 266: "Haec vero quae tendunt esse, ad ordinem tendunt: quem cum fuerint consecuta, ipsum esse consequuntur, quantum id creatura consequi potent. Ordo enim ad convenientiam quamdam quod ordinat redigit." For the complete text in English, see Augustine's View of Reality, pp. 45-7, and for other texts on ordo, pp. 47-53, 63-65, 67-69, 85-87.

[67] De Genesi ad litteram, IV, 4, 9; BA 48, 292: "pondus sine pondere est, quo referuntur [animi] ut quiescant, quorum quies purum gaudium est, nec illud jam refertur ad aliud."

[68] De Trinitate, VI, 10, 12; CC vol. L, 242: "Quidquid enim horum est et unum aliquid est sicut sunt naturae corporum ingeniaque animarum, et aliqua specie formatur sicut sunt figurae vel qualitates corporum ac doctrina vel artes animarum, et ordinem aliquem petit aut tenet sicut sunt pondera vel collocations corporum atque amores aut delectationes animarum." Cf. Norbert Hartmann, "Ordo amoris. Zur augustinischen Wesensbestimmung des Sittlichen," Wissenschaft und Weisheit 18 (1955) 1-23, 108-121. Following Holte's lead, Eugene Teselle, Augustine the Theologian (New York: Herder & Herder, 1970) attributes this "broadening of the perspective of ethical theory" (p. 66) to Augustine's gleanings from Varro, Antiochus and the Stoics in general. I would suggest that much of Augustine's stress on ordo stems from his personal meditations on the scriptural text (Wisdom 11:21), "Omnia in mensura et numero et pondere disposuisti." In many places (see De libero arbitrio, II, 20, 54) he associates ordo with pondus.

[69] De Trinitate, X, 10, 13; CC vol. L (1968) 327; the Latin is in Appendix I. These sections of The Trinity are used by Peter Lombard in his Libri Sententiarum, I, 1, to establish the frui-uti theme in his outline of theology. See Appendix II.

[70] Ibid. 11, 17; CC vol. L, 330; see Appendix I for this and the preceding text in note 69.

[71] De civitate Dei, liber XIX, BA 37, 38-172, is part of a remarkable series of studies of human felicity and the supreme good for man. For parallels in Aristotle, Boethius and Thomas Aquinas, see Appendix III.

[72] De civitate Dei, XIX, 3, 1; BA 37, 56-58; see Appendix I. The English version is from my Image Book edition (New York: Doubleday, 1958) p. 435.

[73] DCD, XI, 25; BA 35, 110, the translation here is my own, other versions seem unsatisfactory but there is no disagreement about the general meaning of the passage.

[74] DCD, XXI, 27; Teubner, II, 551; BA 37, p. 518: "Verum ista liberatio quae sit, sive suis quibusque orationibus, sive intercedentibus sanctis, id agit ut in ignem quisque non mittatur aeter‑ [p. 49] num: non ut cum fuerit missus, post quantumcumque tempus inde eruatur."

[75] DCD, XXII, 30; Teubner, II, 630-1; BA 37, p. 706: "Quanta erit ills felicitas, ubi nullum erit malum, nullum latebit bonum, vacabitur Dei laudibus, qui erit omnis in omnibus? .... Omnia membra et viscera incorruptibilis corporis, quae nunc videmus per usus necessitatis varios distributa, quoniam tunc non erit ipsa necessitas, sed plena, certa, secura, sempiterna felicitas, proficient in laudibus Dei. Omnes quippe illi, de quibus jam sum locutus, qui nunc latent, harmoniae corporalis numeri non latebunt, intrinsecus et extrinsecus per corporis cuncta dispositi; et cum ceteris rebus, quae ibi magnae atque mirabiles videbuntur, rationales mentes in tanti artificis laudem rationabilis pulcritudinis delectatione succendent."

[76] Thus Holte, op. cit., p. 372, writes: "Dans sa jeunesse, Augustin est intellectuellement optimiste. Cet optimisme lui devient plus difficile quand il affronte la doctrine de la prédestination." Henri de Lubac, Augustinianism and Modern Theology, p. xiv, blames Augustine's "excessive pessimism" on "certain reminiscences from Manicheism." But he adds, fortunately, that "Manichean pessimism and Augustinian pessimism draw their inspiration from opposite principles." I think the so-called debt to Manicheism can be easily exaggerated.

[77] Volume 24 of the Oeuvres de s. Augustin (Paris, 1962) is entitled: Aux Moines d'Adrumète et de Provence, edited by Jean Chéné and Jacques Pintard. With the texts of De gratia et libero arbitrio, De correptione et gratia, De praedestinatione sanctorum, De dono perseverantiae, and the accompanying notes and tables, it constitutes a splendid reference work on the mature views of Augustine on predestination and related topics. On the problem of salvation [p. 51] outside the visible Church, according to Augustine, see Mausbach, Die Ethik des hl. Augustinus, II, 310-325.

[78] De spiritu et littera, 33, 58; PL 44, 233: "Vult autem Deus omnes homines salvos fieri ...." TeSelle's sixth chapter, pp. 310-338, in Augustine the Theologian, is a good survey of this matter.

[79] De peccatorum meritis et remissione, II, 17, 26; PL 44, 167: "Nolunt homines facere quod justum est, sive quia latet an justum sit, sive quia non delectat .... Ut autem innotescat quod latebat, et suave fiat quod non delectabat, gratiae Dei est, quae hominum adjuvat voluntates, qua ut non adjuventur, in ipsis itidem causa est, non in Deo, sive damnandi praedestinati sint propter iniquitatem superbiae, sive contra ipsam suam superbiam judicandi et erudiendi, si filii sint misericordiae." See Appendix V for Augustine's contribution to the development of the rule: "Bonum faciendum, malum vit andum ".

[80] An example is the much discussed article by J.M. Rist, "Augustine on Free Will and Predestination," Journal of Theological Studies N.S. 20 (1969) 420-447, reprinted in R.A. Markus (ed.), Augustine, A Collection of Critical Essays (New York: Doubleday, 1972) pp. 218-252. A trenchant criticism of Rist's interpretation is offered by Jasper Hopkins, "Augustine on Foreknowledge and Free Will," International Journal for Philosophy of Religion VIII, 2 (1977) 111-126.

[81] Typical would be F.J. Thonnard, "La Prédestination augusti- [p. 52] nienne: sa place en philosophie augustinienne," REA, 10 (1964) 97-123.

[82] Jean Chéné, "Introduction," BA 24 (1962) p. 9: "Mais il avait, ou il semblait avoir parfois, au cours du combat, outrepassé la croyance commune de l'Eglise en formulant au sujet de la dispensation de la grâce, au sujet du rapport entre la grâce et le libre arbitre, au sujet même de la nécessité de la grâce, des affirmations susceptibles de provoquer chez ceux-là qui avaient sincèrement anathématisé Pélage, des hesitations et des refus." (Italics are in the original.)

[83] I have put Chéné's comment (id. p. 11) into English; consult also his book, La théologie de s. Augustin: Grâce et Prédestination (Lyons: Le Puy, 1961).

[84] Confessiones, XIII, 38, 53; BA 14, 522-4: "et nos alio tempore moti sumus ad bene faciendum . . . post illa nos requieturos in tua grandi sanctificatione speramus."

[85] De gratia et libero arbitrio, 15, 31; BA 24, 158-160: "Semper est autem in nobis voluntas libera, sed non semper est bona. Aut enim a justitia libera est, quando servit peccato, et tunc est mala: aut a peccato libera est, quando servit justitiae, et tunc est bona. Gratia vero Dei semper est bona, et per hanc fit ut sit homo bonae voluntatis, qui prius fuit voluntatis malae. Per banc etiam fit ut ipsa bona voluntas, quae jam esse coepit, augeatur et tam magna fiat, ut possit implere divina mandata quae voluerit, cum valde perfecteque voluerit." The English version by R.P. Russell is from FOC 59, 285.