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Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. III:
Doctrinal Treatises of St. Augustin: Chapter 25

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter 25.—The Question Why the Holy Spirit is Not Begotten, and How He Proceeds from the Father and the Son, Will Only Be Understood When We are in Bliss.

For if any belong to Him, although far duller in intellect than those, yet when they are freed from the body at the end of this life, the envious powers have no right to hold them. For that Lamb that was slain by them without any debt of sin has conquered them; but not by the might of power before He had done so by the righteousness of blood. And free accordingly from the power of the devil, they are borne up by holy angels, being set free from all evils by the mediator of God and men, the man Christ Jesus. 1044 Since by the harmonious testimony of the Divine Scriptures, both Old and New, both those by which Christ was foretold, and those by which He was announced, there is no other name under heaven whereby men must be saved. 1045 And when purged from all contagion of corruption, they are placed in peaceful abodes until they take their bodies again, their own, but now incorruptible, to adorn, not to burden them. For this is the will of the best and most wise Creator, that the spirit of a man, when piously subject to God, should have a body happily subject, and that this happiness should last for ever.

45. There we shall see the truth without any difficulty, and shall enjoy it to the full, most clear and most certain. Nor shall we be inquiring into anything by a mind that reasons, but shall discern by a mind that contemplates, why the Holy Spirit is not a Son, although He proceeds from the Father. In that light there will be no place for inquiry: but here, by experience itself it has appeared to me so difficult,—as beyond doubt it will likewise appear to them also who shall carefully and intelligently read what I have written,—that although in the second book 1046 I promised that I would speak thereof in another place, yet as often as I have desired to illustrate it by the creaturely image of it which we ourselves are, so often, let my meaning be of what sort it might, did adequate utterance entirely fail me; nay, even in my very meaning I felt that I had attained to endeavor rather than accomplishment. I had indeed found in one person, such as is a man, an image of that Highest Trinity, and had desired, especially in the ninth book, to illustrate and render more intelligible the relation of the Three Persons by that which is subject to time and change. But three things belonging to one person cannot suit those Three Persons, as man’s purpose demands; and this we have demonstrated in this fifteenth book.



1 Tim. 2.51 Tim. ii. 5


Acts 4.12Acts iv. 12


C. 3.

Next: Chapter 26