Imagens das páginas


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as a catechumen, nor did believe in Christ, till a CHAP.UI. good while after he (St. Austiu! was born. Which are these :

stles In the first book of his Confessions ch. xi. speakjug of the time when he was a child, (about eight 363. or nine years old, one must guess by the story,) he sars of his father; Ille nondum crediderat : :he did not yet at that time beliere.'

In the second book, ch. iii. speaking to God of the state of his father and mother, at that time wben he was as himself mentions sixteen years 170. old, he says “In my mother's breast thou hadst al* ready begun thy temple, and made an entrance for thy dwelling-place. But he my father was yet .but a catechumen, and that but newly.'

In the ninth book, chap. ix. reckoning up in a speech to God Almighty the good deeds of his motter, who was then lately dead: he says. Finally, 289. • sàe also gained over to thee her husband in the • latter end of his life. And had no more occasion 276 * to bewail that crossness and ill nature] in him * after he was fidelis, a baptized Christian; which she had endured in him before he was so.'.

Yet notwithstanding all this the life-writers copyicy out of Possidius, and one out of another, do to this day write him parente utroque Christiano natum, • born of parents both Christians.' If he, or they, mean that his parents were both Christians at the time of his birth, it is a plain mistake. But if they mean that they became so before they died; it is true, but ought to have been explained so: at least by the modern writers, because of the occasion of mistake that it lars in the way of the antipeedobaptists, of which there was formerly no fear.


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His mother indeed was a Christian (in heart and l'ear after belief at least : whether baptized or not, we are not

certain) at the time of his birth. But what could a 254. woman do against the will of such an imperious

and choleric husband, as St. Austin in many places declares bis father to have been in those times? She did what she could or dared : he says of himselfd, ' I was signed with the sign of Christ's cross,

and was seasoned with his salt,' (ceremonies then used by Christians on their children,) 'even from • the womb of my mother, who greatly trusted in 'thee.' But so solemn a thing as baptism she could not, or dared not, it seems, procure to be administered against her husband's will. For it. was not a thing e then used to be huddled up in a private parlour, or in a woman's bedchamber, or without godfathers, &c., but had many solemn circumstances, and was performed by putting the child into the water in presence of the congregation, &c., except in some particular cases of extreme baste and necessity.

It was contrary to her husband's inclination, that she taught her child, as she nursed him, the principles of the Christian religion. As he plainly intimates when he says, “So I then believed, and so • did all our family, except my father only; who did

not however so far overrule the power of my mo* ther's godly love toward me, but that I believed • in Christ, though he did not???

St. Paul persuades a believing wife to stay with an unbelieving husband &, partly for the hope there c Confess. lib. ix. c. 9, &c.

d Ibid. lib. i. c. 11. See part i. ch. 15. sect. 7. $. 3.

i Confess. lib. i. c. II, 6 i Cor. vii.



is of gaining (or converting] him : and partly, be-CHAP.III. cause the unbelieving party is seldom so obstinate Year after or arene to Christianity, but that the children are the apoallowed to be made holy (or baptized) into it. Which I shewed h to be the sense which the most ancient writers give to his words. But still this must be understood to hold for the most part, not al mars. There has been seldom known any husband that would yield so little to the desires or petitions of a wife as this mau would, while he was a heathen. He used her not as a companion, but as an absolute servant; eren by the account which the son gives of the father after his death.

In a word, St. Austin's case was the same with that of Timothy, whose mother was a Jewess; and ret his father being a Greek, i. e. a heathen, and probably a hater of the Jewish religion, as St. Austin's father was of the Christian, he had not been circumcised: as appears, Aets xvi. 1, 3. Him Paul took and circumcised him, because of the Jerrs that were in those quarters : for they kneur all that his father was a Greck: and therefore probably would be inquisitive whether he had been circumcised or not.

Indeed when St. Austin was a child not yet big enough to go to school, but capable to express his mind, and it happened that he fell ill of a sudden pain in his stomach, so violent that he was like to die: and he had, as he tells himself, the motion • of mind, and the faith to beg earnestly of his * mother to get him baptized : she in that case would hare ventured to do it, and did in great haste

Part i. ch. 19. $. 19. item ch. 11. $. 11. · Lib. i. cap. 11.

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CHAP.III. bestir herself in providing for it. And it had been Year after done, if he had not quickly mended of his pain. But there are several things considerable in this

1. It was a case of great extremity: it must be done now or never. 2. It was at his own desire, so that his father could not blame his mother. 3. In that case a private and clinical baptism was sufficient. 4. It is probable that his father was now mollified in that averseness that he had for the Christian religion, in which he himself, in a few years after, thought fit to become a catechumen, or hearer.

III. Afterward the scene altered in the family of 271. Patritius, St. Austin's father. For when he began

to believe in Christ, and to fear God; his son Austin began to be estranged from religion, and all good inclinations, by the beat of lust and fornication i. And when his father now joined with his mother in persuading him to associate himself with the Christians, and of all the sorts of them to join with

the catholic church; this advice had no effect upon 273. him at that time. For he quickly after ran into

the blasphemous sect of the Manichees", who derided all baptism and the scriptures, and were no more Christians than the Mahometans are now.

Yet it had its effect afterward. For twelve or thirteen years after, when his father had now been dead a good while, and he disliking the Manichees, turned a sceptic, or seeker, or (as they now eall them) a deist, not knowing what religion to be of; he remembered the advice of his parents, which he had formerly despised: and I resolved,' says he, . to be a catechumen in the catholic church, which į Lib. ii. cap. 1, 2, &c.

k Lib. iii. cap. 6.


had been recommended to me by my parents, so CHAP. III. long till some certainty should shew itself to my Year after ' mind which way I were best to take!.' And this the apoproved an occasion of his final conversion.

287. I the rather recite these words here, their meaning being explained by the circumstances: because taken by themselves they might strengthen that opinion, (which has been proved a mistake,) that his father was a Christian when this his son was born. Sect. 12. Of Monica, Adeodatus, Alypius, and

some others. They do none of them make instauces for this

purpose. I. Some (I think one or two ) have named Monica, St. Austin's mother, among their instances; but without any kind of ground : since there is no knowing whether she were born of Christian parents, and baptized in infancy; or of heathens, and baptized at years of discretion. She had never been known if she had not been mother to St. Austin. Nobody mentions her, but he: and he says nothing, that I remember, of the state of her parents; but a great deal of her goodness and her care of him.

II. Adeodatus, St. Austin's son, begotten in fornication, who being fifteen years old", was baptized together with him, is likewise mentioned without any reason. St. Austin was a Manichee when this son was born to him: and they condemned all 273. Christian baptism of infants or others, as I shall shew by and by", concerning them and some other

m Confess, lib. ix. c. 6.

1 Lib. v. c. ult. item lib. vi. c. 11. n Chap. 5. 6. 3.

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