Satan in Augustine of Hippo

Satan in Augustine of Hippo’s The City of God, Book X, XIX, XX and XXI.

Book X
Chapter 10 As to those who perform these filthy cleansings by sacrilegious rites, and see in their initiated state (as he further tells us, though we may question this vision) certain wonderfully lovely appearances of Angels or gods, this is what the apostle refers to when he speaks of “Satan transforming himself into an Angel of light.”

Book XIX

Satan in Augustine of Hippo’s The City of God, Book X, XIX, XX and XXI.

Book X
Chapter 10 As to those who perform these filthy cleansings by sacrilegious rites, and see in their initiated state (as he further tells us, though we may question this vision) certain wonderfully lovely appearances of Angels or gods, this is what the apostle refers to when he speaks of “Satan transforming himself into an Angel of light.”

Book XIX
Chapter 9 But as we cannot mingle with them as familiarly as with men (which itself is one of the grievances of this life), and as Satan, as we read, sometimes transforms himself into an Angel of light, to tempt those whom it is necessary to discipline, or just to deceive, there is great need of God’s mercy to preserve us from making friends of demons in disguise, while we fancy we have good Angels for our friends; for the astuteness and deceitfulness of these wicked spirits is equalled by their hurtfulness.

Book XX
Chapter 7 It was then for the binding of this strong one that the apostle saw in the Apocalypse “an Angel coming down from heaven, having the key of the abyss, and a chain in his hand. And he laid hold,” he says, “on the dragon, that old serpent, which is called the devil and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,”— that is, bridled and restrained his power so that he could not seduce and gain possession of those who were to be freed.

Chapter 11 “And when the thousand years are finished, Satan shall be loosed from his prison, and shall go out to seduce the nations which are in the four corners of the Earth, Gog and Magog, and shall draw them to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea.”

Chapter 13 On the other hand, if we say that the brief space of this persecution is not to be reckoned as a part of the thousand years, but rather as an additional period, we shall indeed be able to interpret the words, “The priests of God and of Christ shall reign with Him a thousand years; and when the thousand years shall be finished, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison;” for thus they signify that the reign of the saints and the bondage of the devil shall cease simultaneously, so that the time of the persecution we speak of should be contemporaneous neither with the reign of the saints nor with the imprisonment of Satan, but should be reckoned over and above as a superadded portion of time…the kingdom of the saints being longer, the imprisonment of the devil shorter, — or at least that, as three years and six months is a very short time, it is not reckoned as either deducted from the whole time of Satan’s imprisonment

Chapter 19 For, as it is said “his presence shall be after the working of Satan, with all power, and signs, and lying wonders, and with all seduction of unrighteousness in them that perish.” For then shall Satan be loosed, and by means of that Antichrist shall work with all power in a lying though a wonderful manner…For when he fell from heaven as fire, and at a stroke swept away from the holy Job his numerous household and his vast flocks, and then as a whirlwind rushed upon and smote the house and killed his children, these were not deceitful appearances, and yet they were the works of Satan to whom God had given this power.

Book XXI
Chapter 24 And why does she cease to pray for them, unless because the man who was not translated into Christ’s kingdom while he was in the body, is now judged to be of Satan’s following?

In the next segment, we will consider Cherubim, Seraphim, Serpent and Dragon in Augustine of Hippo.

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