Devil in Augustine of Hippo, part 2

Herein we continue, from part 1, considering info on the Devil in Augustine of Hippo (354-430 AD). The fuller complete result consists of quotations of those sections within the text that refer to Angels, Cherubim, Seraphim, Devil, Satan, demons, serpent and dragon. The point is not to elucidate these references but to provide relevant partial quotations and citations.

Herein we continue, from part 1, considering info on the Devil in Augustine of Hippo (354-430 AD). The fuller complete result consists of quotations of those sections within the text that refer to Angels, Cherubim, Seraphim, Devil, Satan, demons, serpent and dragon. The point is not to elucidate these references but to provide relevant partial quotations and citations. See my section on Angels here, Cherubim and Seraphim here, Satan here and Demons here.

Devil in Augustine of Hippo’s The City of God, Books III, IV, V, IX, X and XI.

Book III
Chapter 18 And no wonder; for when they were renewed, the great abundance of dying men made all hell rejoice at its riches, and give itself up to sport: for certainly the ferocious wars, and disastrous quarrels, and bloody victories— now on one side, and now on the other— though most calamitous to men, afforded great sport and a rich banquet to the devils.

Book IV
Chapter 26 If that was a fiction, he would have been moved to anger; but if he was delighted with the representation of his crimes, even although fabulous, then, when he happened to be worshipped, who but the devil could be served?

Book V
Chapter 10 And when I speak of the wills of Angels, I mean either the wills of good Angels, whom we call the Angels of God, or of the wicked Angels, whom we call the Angels of the devil, or demons.

Chapter 18 If, therefore, for the liberty of dying men, and for the desire of human praise which is sought after by mortals, sons could be put to death by a father, what great thing is it, if, for the true liberty which has made us free from the dominion of sin, and death, and the devil—not through the desire of human praise, but through the earnest desire of fleeing men, not from King Tarquin, but from demons and the prince of the demons—we should, I do not say put to death our sons, but reckon among our sons Christ’s poor ones?

Book IX
Chapter 21 The devils themselves knew this manifestation of God so well, that they said to the Lord though clothed with the infirmity of flesh, “What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us before the time?”

Book X
Chapter 11 We should sympathize with this great philosopher in the difficulty he experienced in acquainting himself with and confidently assailing the whole fraternity of devils, which any Christian old woman would unhesitatingly describe and most unreservedly detest.

Chapter 22 For the devil cannot conquer or subdue any but those who are in league with sin; and therefore he is conquered in the name of Him who assumed humanity, and that without sin, that Himself being both Priest and Sacrifice, He might bring about the remission of sins, that is to say, might bring it about through the Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, by whom we are reconciled to God, the cleansing from sin being accomplished.

Book XI
Chapter 13 For what Catholic Christian does not know that no new devil will ever arise among the good Angels, as he knows that this present devil will never again return into the fellowship of the good?…the good Angels were assured of the eternity of their blessedness after the perdition of the others; unless, possibly, some one may say that the words of the Lord about the devil “He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth,” are to be understood as if he was not only a murderer from the beginning of the human race…John says thus becomes intelligible: “The devil sins from the beginning,” — that is, from the time he was created he refused righteousness, which none but a will piously subject to God can enjoy.
Whoever adopts this opinion at least disagrees with those heretics the Manichees, and with any other pestilential sect that may suppose that the devil has derived from some adverse evil principle a nature proper to himself. These persons are so befooled by error, that, although they acknowledge with ourselves the authority of the gospels, they do not notice that the Lord did not say, “The devil was naturally a stranger to the truth,” but “The devil abode not in the truth,” by which He meant us to understand that he had fallen from the truth, in which, if he had abode, he would have become a partaker of it, and have remained in blessedness along with the holy Angels.

Chapter 14 Moreover, as if we had been inquiring why the devil did not abide in the truth, our Lord subjoins the reason, saying, “because the truth is not in him.” Now, it would be in him had he abode in it.

Chapter 15 As for what John says about the devil, “The devil sins from the beginning” 1 John 3:8 they who suppose it is meant hereby that the devil was made with a sinful nature, misunderstand it; for if sin be natural, it is not sin at all. And how do they answer the prophetic proofs—either what Isaiah says when he represents the devil under the person of the king of Babylon, “How are you fallen, O Lucifer, son of the morning!”…And from this passage, “The devil sins from the beginning,” it is not to be supposed that he sinned from the beginning of his created existence, but from the beginning of his sin, when by his pride he had once commenced to sin. There is a passage, too, in the Book of Job, of which the devil is the subject: “This is the beginning of the creation of God, which He made to be a sport to His Angels,” which agrees with the psalm, where it is said, “There is that dragon which You have made to be a sport therein.” But these passages are not to lead us to suppose that the devil was originally created to be the sport of the Angels, but that he was doomed to this punishment after his sin.

Chapter 17 It is with reference to the nature, then, and not to the wickedness of the devil, that we are to understand these words, “This is the beginning of God’s handiwork;” for, without doubt, wickedness can be a flaw or vice only where the nature previously was not vitiated…Accordingly, He caused the devil (good by God’s creation, wicked by his own will) to be cast down from his high position, and to become the mockery of His Angels.

Chapter 23 In the second place, Origen, and all who think with him, ought to have seen that if it were the true opinion that the world was created in order that souls might, for their sins, be accommodated with bodies in which they should be shut up as in houses of correction, the more venial sinners receiving lighter and more ethereal bodies, while the grosser and graver sinners received bodies more crass and grovelling, then it would follow that the devils, who are deepest in wickedness, ought, rather than even wicked men, to have Earthly bodies, since these are the grossest and least ethereal of all. But in point of fact, that we might see that the deserts of souls are not to be estimated by the qualities of bodies, the wickedest devil possesses an ethereal body, while man, wicked, it is true, but with a wickedness small and venial in comparison with his, received even before his sin a body of clay.

In the next segment, we will consider more on the Devil in Augustine of Hippo.

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