Skip to main content

Full text of "The Catholicism of Saint Augustine"

See other formats


Early Journal Content on JSTOR, Free to Anyone in the World 

This article is one of nearly 500,000 scholarly works digitized and made freely available to everyone in 
the world by JSTOR. 

Known as the Early Journal Content, this set of works include research articles, news, letters, and other 
writings published in more than 200 of the oldest leading academic journals. The works date from the 
mid-seventeenth to the early twentieth centuries. 

We encourage people to read and share the Early Journal Content openly and to tell others that this 
resource exists. People may post this content online or redistribute in any way for non-commercial 

Read more about Early Journal Content at 
journal-content . 

JSTOR is a digital library of academic journals, books, and primary source objects. JSTOR helps people 
discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content through a powerful research and teaching 
platform, and preserves this content for future generations. JSTOR is part of ITHAKA, a not-for-profit 
organization that also includes Ithaka S+R and Portico. For more information about JSTOR, please 


pp. 186, 236, 248, 261); others are retained from the older work (see 
footnotes, pp. 244, 284). To the latter category belongs the mis- 
statement that Luke is, "next to Paul, the most voluminous writer in 
Christian scripture" (p. 7; older book, p. 19). Unless one assigns 
Hebrews to Paul — and McLachlan does not — Luke's extant writings 
are more extensive even than Paul's. Elsewhere he accepts too blindly 
what he reads in others. On page 288 he quotes under (c) and (d) 
statements of Harnack which if tested would have been found incorrect. 
Similarly on page 14 he speaks of avarbi-aadat as a current expression 
(following Wendland), while on page 77 (following Blass and Zorell) he 
assigns the word only two occurrences "elsewhere in Greek literature." 
As a matter of fact neither statement is correct. Nor is it true that 
Antipas was the only Herod to bear the title of Tetrarch (p. 30). The 
use of "agrapha" in the singular (p. 238) and the name "Seleucus 
Nicanor" (p. 12) can scarcely be blamed on the printer. The variation 
between "Antiochian" and "Antiochean" is unimportant, but the use 
of "Acts ii" for Torrey's "II Acts" and of " n-i B.C." for Thackeray's 
"ii-iB.c." is confusing. Also in dealing with the abbreviations for 
textual criticism carelessness is shown (e.g., pp. 99, 126, 292), in one 
case (p. 98) an "old German" version has been assumed apparently 
from Hort's ger l (i.e., a Latin codex Sangermanensis). In view of the 
emphasis laid upon textual matters these faults are not reassuring. 

The beginner will not secure a clear and systematic idea of Luke's 
work from this volume and the scholar will not increase his knowledge 
by reading it. But the reader who is neither beginner nor scholar will 
find in it a number of interesting suggestions. 

Henry J. Cadbury 

Andover Theological Seminary 


In the present study, more than in the two preceding volumes of the 
series, 1 Batiffol's tone is that of the apologist rather than of the dis- 
interested historian. In fact, he has written definitely in opposition 
to Harnack and Reuter, who are frequently mentioned; against whom 
Batiffol shows Augustine was not "the father of Catholicism," but the 
child; not " the desperate sceptic seeking a last resort in Church author- 
ity," but the enamored admirer, who "loved what he believed." It 
is this trait in Augustine that Harnack and Reuter missed and Batiffol 

1 Le Catholicisme de Saint Augustin. By Pierre Batiffol. Paris: J. Gabalda, 
1920. 2 vols., viii+276 and iv+278 pages. Fr. 14. 

2 The first of the series was L'&glise naissante, 1909, now in the seventh edition; 
the second was La paix constantinienne, 1914, now in the second edition. 


makes us see. The book is not a life of Augustine, nor even an intro- 
duction to his writings; it is just what it claims to be — "St. Augustine's 
Catholicism." The evolution of Augustine's ecclesiology is traced 
through his struggle with Manicheism, Donatism, and Pelagianism. 
The first conflict brings out his ideas on faith; the second, his ideas on 
church unity, sacraments, priesthood, apostolicity; the third, his ideas 
on grace, and incidentally on the relation of Africa and the whole Catholic 
world to Rome. To Augustine the " Church and Christ are one person" 
(p. 546), whose living authority is what we needed to make us sure — 
securus judical orbis terrarum. Non intelligendi vivacitas sed credendi 
simplicitas is the source of that consensio populorum atque gentium which 
"holds" him (p. 16). Out of this "simplicity of belief" grows that 
"universal and robust custom" (p. 32), and mores perducunt ad intelle- 
gentiam (p. 52). This understanding of the " true faith," quod antiquitus 
veraci fide catholica praedicatur et creditur per ecclesiam Mam (p. 492), 
is the gift of the Magister intus, without whose teaching the preaching 
we hear is but inanis strepitus (p. 63). The very bishops and doctors 
of the Church thus do but "retain what they have found, teach what 
they have learned in the Church" (p. 488). Here is the force of Augus- 
tine's "love of what is believed." Love leads to "the understanding 
of what was formerly only believed " (p. 62). And so " we do not remain 
in beastly infancy" — ne in bruta infantia remaneamus (p. 61) — but 
advance in knowledge as we advance in love of the true and good, not 
by "correcting" the former beliefs, but by "emending" them — ipsa 
plenaria concilia saepe priora posterioribus emendari, cum aliquo experi- 
ment rerum aperitur quod clausum erat et cognoscitur quod latebat — "as 
new experiences reveal what was hidden and teach what was unknown " 
(p. 38). He does not mean we believe without reason — turpe est sine 
ratione credere (p. 9), and yet nemo nisi per amicitiam cognoscitur (p. 535). 
He does not question the truth of Cyprian's extra ecclesiam nulla salus 
(p. 545), and that the sacraments are efficacious ex se unless infidelity 
be an obstacle to grace (p. 160), but he is careful to observe that there 
are "incredibly many" pagans, Jews, and heretics, who are "saved by 
prayer." Hos coronat in occulto Pater in occulto videns (p. 248). Batif- 
fol's book should be a beneficent contribution to the religious literature 
of our day, insisting as it does on what we so much need — more ardent 
love of the true and good to enliven our cold intellectuality. 

J. N. Reagan