Herein we continue, from part 1, part 2, part 3, part , part 5, 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 X.
Chapter 1 …we must now, by God’s help, ascertain what is thought about our religious worship and piety by those immortal and blessed spirits, who dwell in the heavenly places among dominations, principalities, powers, whom the Platonists call gods, and some either good demons, or, like us, Angels—that is to say, to put it more plainly, whether the Angels desire us to offer sacrifice and worship, and to consecrate our possessions and ourselves, to them or only to God, theirs and ours.
Chapter 7 For we and they together are the one city of God, to which it is said in the psalm, “Glorious things are spoken of you, O city of God;” the human part sojourning here below, the Angelic aiding from above…by the ministry of Angels, in which it is written, “He that sacrifices unto any god, save unto the Lord only, he shall be utterly destroyed.”
Chapter 8 …when Abraham sacrificed, a flame from heaven should have run between the divided parts; or that the Angels in human form, whom he had hospitably entertained, and who had renewed God’s promise of offspring, should also have predicted the destruction of Sodom by fire from heaven; and that his nephew Lot should have been rescued from Sodom by the Angels as the fire was just descending…They did these things by the magical arts and incantations to which the evil spirits or demons are addicted; while Moses, having as much greater power as he had right on his side, and having the aid of Angels, easily conquered them in the name of the Lord who made heaven and Earth.
Chapter 9 …they wish to discriminate between those whom the people call magicians, who practise necromancy, and are addicted to illicit arts and condemned, and those others who seem to them to be worthy of praise for their practice of theurgy,— the truth, however, being that both classes are the slaves of the deceitful rites of the demons whom they invoke under the names of Angels…This part, he says, is prepared and fitted for intercourse with spirits and Angels, and for the vision of the gods, by the help of certain theurgic consecrations, or, as they call them, mysteries…
And therefore, although he distinguishes Angels from demons, asserting that the habitation of the latter is in the air, while the former dwell in the ether and empyrean, and although he advises us to cultivate the friendship of some demon, who may be able after our death to assist us, and elevate us at least a little above the Earth—for he owns that it is by another way we must reach the heavenly society of the Angels—he at the same time distinctly warns us to avoid the society of demons, saying that the soul, expiating its sin after death, execrates the worship of demons by whom it was entAngeld. And of theurgy itself, though he recommends it as reconciling Angels and demons, he cannot deny that it treats with powers which either themselves envy the soul its purity, or serve the arts of those who do envy it.
Chapter 10 As to those who perform these filthy cleansings by sacrilegious rites, and see in their initiated state (as he further tells us, though we may question this vision) certain wonderfully lovely appearances of Angels or gods, this is what the apostle refers to when he speaks of “Satan transforming himself into an Angel of light.”
Chapter 12 On the other hand, we cannot but believe that all miracles, whether wrought by Angels or by other means, so long as they are so done as to commend the worship and religion of the one God in whom alone is blessedness, are wrought by those who love us in a true and godly sort, or through their means, God Himself working in them…For, even when His Angels hear us, it is He Himself who hears us in them, as in His true temple not made with hands, as in those men who are His saints; and His answers, though accomplished in time, have been arranged by His eternal appointment.
Chapter 13 And as it was fit that the law, which was given, not to one man or a few enlightened men, but to the whole of a populous nation, should be accompanied by awe-inspiring signs, great marvels were wrought, by the ministry of Angels, before the people on the mount where the law was being given to them through one man, while the multitude beheld the awful appearances.
Chapter 14 For he who denies that all things, which either Angels or men can give us, are in the hand of the one Almighty, is a madman.
Chapter 15 And so it has pleased Divine Providence, as I have said, and as we read in the Acts of the Apostles, that the law enjoining the worship of one God should be given by the disposition of Angels.
Chapter 16 What Angels, then, are we to believe in this matter of blessed and eternal life?…Since, therefore, miracles are wrought by some Angels to induce us to worship this God, by others, to induce us to worship themselves; and since the former forbid us to worship these, while the latter dare not forbid us to worship God, which are we to listen to?…In short, let all men answer—if, at least, there survives in them any spark of that natural perception which, as rational beings, they possess when created,— let them, I say, tell us whether we should sacrifice to the gods or Angels who order us to sacrifice to them, or to that One to whom we are ordered to sacrifice by those who forbid us to worship either themselves or these others…
If, therefore, any Angels demand sacrifice for themselves, we must prefer those who demand it, not for themselves, but for God, the Creator of all, whom they serve…If, on the other hand, any Angels wish us to sacrifice, not to one, but to many, not, indeed, to themselves, but to the gods whose Angels they are, we must in this case also prefer those who are the Angels of the one God of gods, and who so bid us to worship Him as to preclude our worshipping any other. But, further, if it be the case, as their pride and deceitfulness rather indicate, that they are neither good Angels nor the Angels of good gods, but wicked demons, who wish sacrifice to be paid, not to the one only and supreme God, but to themselves, what better protection against them can we choose than that of the one God whom the good Angels serve, the Angels who bid us sacrifice, not to themselves, but to Him whose sacrifice we ourselves ought to be?
Chapter 17 On this account it was that the law of God, given by the disposition of Angels, and which commanded that the one God of gods alone receive sacred worship, to the exclusion of all others, was deposited in the ark, called the ark of the testimony.
Chapter 18 My good is my spiritual strength; but, “It is good for me to be united to God.” This he had learned from Him whom the holy Angels, with the accompanying witness of miracles, presented as the sole object of worship.
Chapter 19 It is then that the Angels, and all those superior powers who are mighty by their goodness and piety, regard us with pleasure, and rejoice with us and assist us to the utmost of their power…Examples of this occur in holy writ. Some fancied they should, by adoration or sacrifice, pay the same honor to Angels as is due to God, and were prevented from doing so by the Angels themselves, and ordered to render it to Him to whom alone they know it to be due. And the holy Angels have in this been imitated by holy men of God.
Chapter 24 This is the mediation whereby a hand is stretched to the lapsed and fallen; this is the seed “ordained by Angels,” by whose ministry the law also was given enjoining the worship of one God, and promising that this Mediator should come.
Chapter 25 It was by faith in this mystery, and godliness of life, that purification was attainable even by the saints of old, whether before the law was given to the Hebrews (for God and the Angels were even then present as instructors), or in the periods under the law, although the promises of spiritual things, being presented in figure, seemed to be carnal, and hence the name of Old Testament. For it was then the prophets lived, by whom, as by Angels, the same promise was announced; and among them was he whose grand and divine sentiment regarding the end and supreme good of man I have just now quoted, “It is good for me to cleave to God”…Being, then, for the present established in this hope, let us do what the Psalmist further indicates, and become in our measure Angels or messengers of God, declaring His will, and praising His glory and His grace…This is the most glorious city of God; this is the city which knows and worships one God: she is celebrated by the holy Angels, who invite us to their society, and desire us to become fellow citizens with them in this city; for they do not wish us to worship them as our gods, but to join them in worshipping their God and ours; nor to sacrifice to them, but, together with them, to become a sacrifice to God.
Chapter 26 He said, in fact, that there are some Angels who visit Earth, and reveal divine truth to theurgists, and others who publish on Earth the things that belong to the Father, His height and depth. Can we believe, then, that the Angels whose office it is to declare the will of the Father, wish us to be subject to any but Him whose will they declare?…Why, then, O philosopher, do you still fear to speak freely against the powers which are inimical both to true virtue and to the gifts of the true God? Already you have discriminated between the Angels who proclaim God’s will, and those who visit theurgists, drawn down by I know not what art.
Chapter 27 What avails your forced avowal that theurgy leads men astray, and deceives vast numbers by its ignorant and foolish teaching, and that it is the most manifest mistake to have recourse by prayer and sacrifice to Angels and principalities, when at the same time, to save yourself from the charge of spending labor in vain on such arts, you direct men to the theurgists, that by their means men, who do not live by the rule of the intellectual soul, may have their spiritual soul purified?
Chapter 30 How much more honorable a creed is that which was taught by the holy and truthful Angels, uttered by the prophets who were moved by God’s Spirit, preached by Him who was foretold as the coming Saviour by His forerunning heralds.
Chapter 32 What, therefore, does he mean by this universal way of the soul’s deliverance, which had not yet been made known by any truest philosophy, or by the doctrinal systems of those nations which were considered to have great insight in things divine, because they indulged more freely in a curious and fanciful science and worship of Angels?…He, indeed, was by birth a Chaldæan; but, that he might receive these great promises, and that there might be propagated from him a seed “disposed by Angels in the hand of a Mediator,” in whom this universal way, thrown open to all nations for the deliverance of the soul, might be found, he was ordered to leave his country, and kindred, and father’s house…This is the universal way of the soul’s deliverance, which the holy Angels and the holy prophets formerly disclosed where they could among the few men who found the grace of God…For not only were there visions of Angels, and words heard from those heavenly ministrants, but also men of God, armed with the word of simple piety, cast out unclean spirits from the bodies and senses of men.
In the next segment, we will consider more on Angels in Augustine of Hippo.
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