Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. IV:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
Writings in Connection with the Manichæan Controversy.: Argument.
Of the Morals of the Catholic Church. 46
[De Moribus Ecclesiæ Catholicæ]. a.d. 388.
It is laid down at the outset that the customs of the holy life of the Church should be referred to the chief good of man, that is, God. We must seek after God with supreme affection; and this doctrine is supported in the Catholic Church by the authority of both Testaments. The four virtues get their names from different forms of this love. Then follow the duties of love to our neighbor. In the Catholic Church we find examples of continence and of true Christian conduct.
Written in the year 388. In his Retractations (i. 7) Augustin says: "When I was at Rome after my baptism, and could not bear in silence the vaunting of the Manichæans about their pretended and misleading continence or abstinence, in which, to deceive the inexperienced, they claim superiority over true Christians, to whom they are not to be compared, I wrote two books, one on the morals of the Catholic Church, the other on the morals of the Manichæans."
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