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The Trinity (The Fathers of the Church, Volume 45)

Saint Augustine

Publication Year: 2010

Published by: The Catholic University of America Press

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. vii-xvii

St. Augustine gives us some interesting facts about this work in a letter to his friend, Bishop Aurelius of Carthage. 'I began the books on the Trinity as a young man,' he says, 'but published them as an old man.' Young and old are rather indefinite terms, but it is commonly agreed that he started...

The Trinity

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Book I

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pp. 3-49

There are others, too, who think about God, if they do any thinking at all, according to the nature and affections of the human soul, and from this error they deduce cunning and fallacious rules for their argumentation when they are discoursing about God. There is still another group, namely...

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Book II

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pp. 51-93

But there are two things that are most difficult to tolerate in human error: taking something for granted before the truth becomes known, and when it has become known, defending the falsehood that was taken for granted. If God, as I pray and hope, shall defend and protect me with the shield of...

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Book III

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pp. 95-127

Let them also bear in mind, that the writings which we have read on these subjects have not been sufficiently explained in the Latin tongue, or they are not available, or at least it was difficult for us to find them; nor are we so familiar with Greek, as to be in any way capable of reading and understanding...

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Book IV

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pp. 129-173

But for this do I pray to the God of my heart, that I may not vomit forth into these writings any of those figments for solid truth, but that nothing else may be able to come through me into them, except what the breath of His truth has breathed into me, cast away though I am from before His eyes, and...

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Book V

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pp. 175-198

For with what understanding does man grasp God, who does not yet grasp his own understanding itself, whereby he desires to grasp Him? And if he already grasps this, let him carefully note that there is nothing in his own nature better than his own reasoning, and see whether he sees in it any...

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Book VI

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pp. 199-215

And hence, some of our own writers have argued in this way against the Arians, at least against those who first rose up against the Catholic faith. For Arius himself is quoted as saying, 'If He is the Son, He was born; if He was born, then there was a time when He was not the Son.' He did not grasp...

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Book VII

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pp. 217-241

This question arose because it was written: 'Christ, the power of God, and the wisdom of God'; whether He is so the Father of His wisdom and power that He is wise by this wisdom which He begot, and powerful by this power which He begot; and whether, because He is always powerful and...

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pp. 243-267

These things are said according to essence, for in them to be is the same as to be great, to be good, to be wise, and whatever else is predicated of each person therein with respect to themselves or of the Trinity itself. And, therefore, they are called three persons or three substances, not that any diversity...

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Book IX

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pp. 269-289

But he who sees or teaches better, may quickly and justiy find fault with him who speaks positively concerning it. 'Seek God,' he says, 'and your soul shall live.' And that no one might rashly rejoice, as though he had apprehended Him, he declared: 'Seek his face evermore.' And the Apostle...

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Book X

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pp. 291-313

But the prestige of those who praise and teach different subjects generally stimulates us to learn them. And yet, unless some slight knowledge of a doctrine were impressed upon our mind, we would in no way be enkindled with the desire of learning it. Who, for example, would devote any time and...

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Book XI

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pp. 315-341

Let us, therefore, seek for some image of the Trinity in that which is decaying, insofar as we can, and even if this is not a clearer image, it may perhaps be easier to discern, for if it did not bear some resemblance to the inner man, there is no reason why it should even be called man. And by the very...

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Book XII

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pp. 343-368

And in all these things we do not differ from the beasts, except that our bodily figure is not bent over but erect. We are thereby admonished by Him who made us that we should not be like the animals in our better part, that is, in our mind, from whom we are different by the erectness of our body...

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pp. 369-409

The whole text which I have cited from the Gospel has to do in its first part with that which is unchangeable and eternal, the contemplation of which makes us blessed, but in that which follows, eternal things are mentioned in connection with temporal things. And consequently some things...

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Book XIV

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pp. 411-449

That this is the wisdom of man, which we have already explained in the twelfth book of the present work, is proved by the authority of Sacred Scripture in the book of Job the servant of God, where we read that the Wisdom of God said to the man: 'Behold, piety is wisdom, but to abstain from...

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Book XV

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pp. 451-525

If we, then, seek anything above this nature, and seek truly, then it is God, namely, a nature that is not created but creates. We must now show whether this is the Trinity, not only to believers by the authority of the divine Scriptures, but also to those who seek to understand by some kind of reason, if we...

General Index

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pp. 529-536

Index of Holy Scripture

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pp. 537-539

E-ISBN-13: 9780813211459
Print-ISBN-13: 9780813213521

Page Count: 557
Publication Year: 2010