Herein we continue, from part 1, part 2, part 3, part , part 5, part 6, part 7, considering info on Angels 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.
Angels in Augustine of Hippo’s The City of God, Book XII.
Chapter 1 It has already, in the preceding book, been shown how the two cities originated among the Angels. Before I speak of the creation of man, and show how the cities took their rise so far as regards the race of rational mortals I see that I must first, so far as I can, adduce what may demonstrate that it is not incongruous and unsuitable to speak of a society composed of Angels and men together; so that there are not four cities or societies,— two, namely, of Angels, and as many of men—but rather two in all, one composed of the good, the other of the wicked, Angels or men indifferently. That the contrary propensities in good and bad Angels have arisen, not from a difference in their nature and origin, since God, the good Author and Creator of all essences, created them both, but from a difference in their wills and desires, it is impossible to doubt…when we say that it is a fault of the Angelic creature that it does not cleave to God, we hereby most plainly declare that it pertained to its nature to cleave to God…And thus, since every vice is an injury of the nature, that very vice of the wicked Angels, their departure from God, is sufficient proof that God created their nature so good, that it is an injury to it not to be with God.
Chapter 2 This may be enough to prevent any one from supposing, when we speak of the apostate Angels, that they could have another nature, derived, as it were, from some different origin, and not from God. From the great impiety of this error we shall disentAngel ourselves the more readily and easily, the more distinctly we understand that which God spoke by the Angel when He sent Moses to the children of Israel: “I am that I am.”
Chapter 6 Thus the true cause of the blessedness of the good Angels is found to be this, that they cleave to Him who supremely is. And if we ask the cause of the misery of the bad, it occurs to us, and not unreasonably, that they are miserable because they have forsaken Him who supremely is, and have turned to themselves who have no such essence…Then remains the supposition that that which corrupted the will of the Angelic nature which first sinned, was itself an inferior thing without a will.
Chapter 9 But as to the good will, if we should say that there is no efficient cause of it, we must beware of giving currency to the opinion that the good will of the good Angels is not created, but is co-eternal with God…But if the good Angels existed for a time without a good will, and produced it in themselves without God’s interference, then it follows that they made themselves better than He made them…Besides, this too has to be inquired into, whether, if the good Angels made their own will good, they did so with or without will?…And thus we are driven to believe that the holy Angels never existed without a good will or the love of God. But the Angels who, though created good, are yet evil now, became so by their own will.
And this will was not made evil by their good nature, unless by its voluntary defection from good; for good is not the cause of evil, but a defection from good is. These Angels, therefore, either received less of the grace of the divine love than those who persevered in the same; or if both were created equally good, then, while the one fell by their evil will, the others were more abundantly assisted, and attained to that pitch of blessedness at which they became certain they should never fall from it—as we have already shown in the preceding book. We must therefore acknowledge, with the praise due to the Creator, that not only of holy men, but also of the holy Angels, it can be said that “the love of God is shed abroad in their hearts by the Holy Ghost, which is given unto them.”
And that not only of men, but primarily and principally of Angels it is true, as it is written, “It is good to draw near to God.” And those who have this good in common, have, both with Him to whom they draw near, and with one another, a holy fellowship, and form one city of God— His living sacrifice, and His living temple. And I see that, as I have now spoken of the rise of this city among the Angels, it is time to speak of the origin of that part of it which is hereafter to be united to the immortal Angels, and which at present is being gathered from among mortal men, and is either sojourning on Earth, or, in the persons of those who have passed through death, is resting in the secret receptacles and abodes of disembodied spirits.
Chapter 15 whereas the immortal creatures had not begun to exist until the date of our own world, when the Angels were created; if at least the Angels are intended by that light which was first made, or, rather, by that heaven of which it is said, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth.” The Angels, at least did not exist before they were created; for if we say that they have always existed, we shall seem to make them co-eternal with the Creator. Again, if I say that the Angels were not created in time, but existed before all times, as those over whom God, who has ever been Sovereign…Now so true is it that these Angels have existed in all time that even before time was they were created; if at least time began with the heavens, and the Angels existed before the heavens…
if, I say, time was before these heavenly bodies by some changing movement, whose parts succeeded one another and could not exist simultaneously, and if there was some such movement among the Angels which necessitated the existence of time, and that they from their very creation should be subject to these temporal changes, then they have existed in all time, for time came into being along with them…As, then, we say that time was created, though we also say that it always has been, since in all time time has been, so it does not follow that if the Angels have always been, they were therefore not created…And consequently, though the immortality of the Angels does not pass in time, does not become past as if now it were not, nor has a future as if it were not yet, still their movements, which are the basis of time, do pass from future to past; and therefore they cannot be co-eternal with the Creator.
Chapter 21 Man, on the other hand, whose nature was to be a mean between the Angelic and bestial, He created in such sort, that if he remained in subjection to His Creator as his rightful Lord, and piously kept His commandments, he should pass into the company of the Angels, and obtain, without the intervention of death, a blessed and endless immortality; but if he offended the Lord his God by a proud and disobedient use of his free will, he should become subject to death, and live as the beasts do—the slave of appetite, and doomed to eternal punishment after death.
Chapter 22 But God foresaw also that by His grace a people would be called to adoption, and that they, being justified by the remission of their sins, would be united by the Holy Ghost to the holy Angels in eternal peace, the last enemy, death, being destroyed; and He knew that this people would derive profit from the consideration that God had caused all men to be derived from one, for the sake of showing how highly He prizes unity in a multitude.
Chapter 24 And as for the Angels, whom those Platonists prefer to call gods, although they do, so far as they are permitted and commissioned, aid in the production of the things around us, yet not on that account are we to call them creators, any more than we call gardeners the creators of fruits and trees.
Chapter 25 God, the Creator and Originator who made the world itself and the Angels, without the help of world or Angels…Wherefore I know not what kind of aid the Angels, themselves created first, afforded to the Creator in making other things…Whatever bodily or seminal causes, then, may be used for the production of things, either by the cooperation of Angels, men, or the lower animals, or by sexual generation.
Chapter 27 For from that man all men were to be derived— some of them to be associated with the good Angels in their reward, others with the wicked in punishment; all being ordered by the secret yet just judgment of God. For since it is written, “All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth,” neither can His grace be unjust, nor His justice cruel.
In the next segment, we will consider more on Angels in Augustine of Hippo.
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