Devil in Augustine of Hippo, part 7

Herein we conclude, from part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6, considering info on the Devil

Herein we conclude, from part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6, 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 On Christian Doctrine, Books I-III.

Book I
Chapter 14:13 Moreover, just as the former was called wisdom, but was in reality the folly of those who despised God, so the latter is called foolishness, but is true wisdom in those who overcome the devil.

Book II
Chapter 20:30 All the arrangements made by men for the making and worshipping of idols are superstitious, pertaining as they do either to the worship of what is created or of some part of it as God, or to consultations and arrangements about signs and leagues with devils, such, for example, as are employed in the magical arts, and which the poets are accustomed not so much to teach as to celebrate.

Chapter 22:34 And so these notions also, which have their origin in certain signs of things being arbitrarily fixed upon by the presumption of men, are to be referred to the same class as if they were leagues and covenants with devils.

Chapter 23:36 All arts of this sort, therefore, are either nullities, or are part of a guilty superstition, springing out of a baleful fellowship between men and devils, and are to be utterly repudiated and avoided by the Christian as the covenants of a false and treacherous friendship. “Not as if the idol were anything,” says the apostle; “but because the things which they sacrifice they sacrifice to devils and not to God; and I would not that you should have fellowship with devils”…Accordingly, in regard to all these branches of knowledge, we must fear and shun the fellowship of demons, who, with the Devil their prince, strive only to shut and bar the door against our return.

Chapter 24:37 And all these omens are of force just so far as has been arranged with the devils by that previous understanding in the mind which is, as it were, the common language, but they are all full of hurtful curiosity, torturing anxiety, and deadly slavery…those signs by which the ruinous intercourse with devils is maintained have meaning just in proportion to each man’s observations.

Chapter 25:38 But when all these have been cut away and rooted out of the mind of the Christian we must then look at human institutions which are not superstitious, that is, such as are not set up in association with devils, but by men in association with one another.

Chapter 26 For certain institutions of men are in a sort of way representations and likenesses of natural objects. And of these, such as have relation to fellowship with devils must, as has been said, be utterly rejected and held in detestation.

Chapter 39:58 And if they find any of those which have been instituted by men varying by reason of the varying pleasure of their founders, and unknown by reason of erroneous conjectures, especially if they involve entering into fellowship with devils by means of leagues and covenants about signs, let these be utterly rejected and held in detestation.

Chapter 40:60 Now these are, so to speak, their gold and silver, which they did not create themselves, but dug out of the mines of God’s providence which are everywhere scattered abroad, and are perversely and unlawfully prostituting to the worship of devils.

Book III
Chapter 25:36 Another example of the same is that a lion stands for Christ in the place where it is said, “The lion of the tribe of Judah has prevailed;” and again, stands for the devil where it is written, “Your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about seeking whom he may devour.”

Chapter 30:42 And of these rules, the first relates to the Lord and His body, the second to the twofold division of the Lord’s body, the third to the promises and the law, the fourth to species and genus, the fifth to times, the sixth to recapitulation, the seventh to the devil and his body.

Chapter 37:55 The seventh rule of Tichonius and the last, is about the devil and his body. For he is the head of the wicked, who are in a sense his body, and destined to go with him into the punishment of everlasting fire, just as Christ is the head of the Church, which is His body, destined to be with Him in His eternal kingdom and glory. Accordingly, as the first rule, which is called of the Lord and His body, directs us, when Scripture speaks of one and the same person, to take pains to understand which part of the statement applies to the head and which to the body; so this last rule shows us that statements are sometimes made about the devil, whose truth is not so evident in regard to himself as in regard to his body; and his body is made up not only of those who are manifestly out of the way, but of those also who, though they really belong to him, are for a time mixed up with the Church, until they depart from this life, or until the chaff is separated from the wheat at the last great winnowing.
For example, what is said in Isaiah, “How he is fallen from heaven, Lucifer, son of the morning!” and the other statements of the context which, under the figure of the king of Babylon, are made about the same person, are of course to be understood of the devil; and yet the statement which is made in the same place, “He is ground down on the Earth, who sends to all nations,” does not altogether fitly apply to the head himself. For, although the devil sends his Angels to all nations, yet it is his body, not himself, that is ground down on the each, except that he himself is in his body, which is beaten small like the dust which the wind blows from the face of the Earth.

In the next segment, we will consider Satan in Augustine of Hippo.


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