Herein we consider info on Cherubim, Seraphim, Serpent and Dragon in Augustine of Hippo (354-430 AD). The fuller complete result consists of quotations of those sections within the text that refer to Angels, Cherubim, Seraphim, Devil, Satan, demons, serpent and dragon. The point is not to elucidate these references but to provide relevant partial quotations and citations. See my section on Angels here, Cherubim and Seraphim here, Satan here and Demons here.
Cherubim and Seraphim:
The Confessions, Book XII
Chapter 22 But yet the Scripture has not declared that God made this formlessness, any more than it has declared many other things; as the ‘Cherubim,’ and ‘Seraphim,’ and those of which the apostle distinctly speaks, ‘Thrones,’ ‘Dominions,’ ‘Principalities,’ ‘Powers,’ all of which it is manifest God made.
Serpent and Dragon:
Chapter 13 …for Him is he jealous, not for himself; because in the voice of Your “waterspouts,” not in his own voice, does he call on that other deep, for whom being jealous he fears, lest that, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so their minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in our Bridegroom, You only Son.
Chapter 21 For it is one thing, from the mountain’s wooded summit to see the land of peace, and not to find the way there—in vain to attempt impassable ways, opposed and waylaid by fugitives and deserters, under their captain the “lion” and the “dragon;” and another to keep to the way that leads there, guarded by the host of the heavenly general, where they rob not who have deserted the heavenly army, which they shun as torture.
The City of God
Chapter 15 There is a passage, too, in the Book of Job, of which the devil is the subject: “This is the beginning of the creation of God, which He made to be a sport to His Angels,” which agrees with the psalm, where it is said, “There is that dragon which You have made to be a sport therein.” But these passages are not to lead us to suppose that the devil was originally created to be the sport of the Angels, but that he was doomed to this punishment after his sin.
Chapter 7 And, “I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.”
Chapter 9 For that fear of which the Apostle John says, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear has torment. He that fears is not made perfect in love,” — that fear is not of the same kind as the Apostle Paul felt lest the Corinthians should be seduced by the subtlety of the serpent; for love is susceptible of this fear, yea, love alone is capable of it. But the fear which is not in love is of that kind of which Paul himself says, “For you have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear.”
Chapter 11 But after that proud and therefore envious Angel (of whose fall I have said as much as I was able in the eleventh and twelfth books of this work, as well as that of his fellows, who, from being God’s Angels, became his Angels), preferring to rule with a kind of pomp of empire rather than to be another’s subject, fell from the spiritual Paradise, and essaying to insinuate his persuasive guile into the mind of man, whose unfallen condition provoked him to envy now that himself was fallen, he chose the serpent as his mouthpiece in that bodily Paradise in which it and all the other Earthly animals were living with those two human beings, the man and his wife, subject to them, and harmless; and he chose the serpent because, being slippery, and moving in tortuous windings, it was suitable for his purpose…the woman accepted as true what the serpent told her, but the man could not bear to be severed from his only companion, even though this involved a partnership in sin.
Chapter 13 This falling away is spontaneous; for if the will had remained steadfast in the love of that higher and chAngeless good by which it was illumined to intelligence and kindled into love, it would not have turned away to find satisfaction in itself, and so become frigid and benighted; the woman would not have believed the serpent spoke the truth, nor would the man have preferred the request of his wife to the command of God, nor have supposed that it was a venial trangression to cleave to the partner of his life even in a partnership of sin.
Chapter 14 But it is a worse and more damnable pride which casts about for the shelter of an excuse even in manifest sins, as these our first parents did, of whom the woman said, “The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat;” and the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.” Genesis 3:12-13 Here there is no word of begging pardon, no word of entreaty for healing. For though they do not, like Cain, deny that they have perpetrated the deed, yet their pride seeks to refer its wickedness to another—the woman’s pride to the serpent, the man’s to the woman. But where there is a plain trangression of a divine commandment, this is rather to accuse than to excuse oneself. For the fact that the woman sinned on the serpent’s persuasion, and the man at the woman’s offer, did not make the transgression less, as if there were any one whom we ought rather to believe or yield to than God.
Chapter 7 There is something similar said in the same divine book of the woman, when God questioned and judged them after their sin, and pronounced sentence on them all—the devil in the form of the serpent, the woman and her husband in their own persons.
Chapter 23 I think he rather speaks of these who first apostatized from God, along with their chief the devil, who enviously deceived the first man under the form of a serpent.
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.
On Christian Doctrine
Chapter 14:13 Seeing, then, that man fell through pride, He restored him through humility. We were ensnared by the wisdom of the serpent: we are set free by the foolishness of God. Moreover, just as the former was called wisdom, but was in reality the folly of those who despised God, so the latter is called foolishness, but is true wisdom in those who overcome the devil.
Chapter 16:24 The fact so well known about the serpent, for example, that to protect its head it will present its whole body to its assailants— how much light it throws upon the meaning of our Lord’s command, that we should be wise as serpents; that is to say, that for the sake of our head, which is Christ, we should willingly offer our body to the persecutors, lest the Christian faith should, as it were, be destroyed in us, if to save the body we deny our God! Or again, the statement that the serpent gets rid of its old skin by squeezing itself through a narrow hole, and thus acquires new strength— how appropriately it fits in with the direction to imitate the wisdom of the serpent, and to put off the old man, as the apostle says, that we may put on the new; and to put it off, too, by coming through a narrow place, according to the saying of our Lord, “Enter ye in at the strait gate!” As, then, knowledge of the nature of the serpent throws light upon many metaphors which Scripture is accustomed to draw from that animal, so ignorance of other animals, which are no less frequently mentioned by way of comparison, is a very great drawback to the reader.
Chapter 25:36 …a lion stands for Christ in the place where it is said, “The lion of the tribe of Judah has prevailed;” and again, stands for the devil where it is written, “Your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about seeking whom he may devour.” the same way the serpent is used in a good sense, “Be wise as serpents;” and again, in a bad sense, “The serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety.”
In the next segment, we will consider Angels in Bardesanes.
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