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On Christian Doctrine In Four Books - St. Augustine

Title Page

On Christian Doctrine In Four Books.

Introductory Note by the Editor.

Contents of Christian Doctrine.


Book I.

Chapter 1.--The Interpretation of Scripture Depends on the Discovery and Enunciation of the Meaning, and is to Be Undertaken in Dependence on God's Aid.

Chapter 2.--What a Thing Is, and What A Sign.

Chapter 3.--Some Things are for Use, Some for Enjoyment.

Chapter 4.--Difference of Use and Enjoyment.

Chapter 5.--The Trinity the True Object of Enjoyment.

Chapter 6.--In What Sense God is Ineffable.

Chapter 7.--What All Men Understand by the Term God.

Chapter 8.--God to Be Esteemed Above All Else, Because He is Unchangeable Wisdom.

Chapter 9.--All Acknowledge the Superiority of Unchangeable Wisdom to that Which is Variable.

Chapter 10.--To See God, the Soul Must Be Purified.

Chapter 11.--Wisdom Becoming Incarnate, a Pattern to Us of Purification.

Chapter 12.--In What Sense the Wisdom of God Came to Us.

Chapter 13.--The Word Was Made Flesh.

Chapter 14.--How the Wisdom of God Healed Man.

Chapter 15.--Faith is Buttressed by the Resurrection and Ascension of Christ, and is Stimulated by His Coming to Judgment.

Chapter 16.--Christ Purges His Church by Medicinal Afflictions.

Chapter 17.--Christ, by Forgiving Our Sins, Opened the Way to Our Home.

Chapter 18.--The Keys Given to the Church.

Chapter 19.--Bodily and Spiritual Death and Resurrection.

Chapter 20.--The Resurrection to Damnation.

Chapter 21.--Neither Body Nor Soul Extinguished at Death.

Chapter 22.--God Alone to Be Enjoyed.

Chapter 23.--Man Needs No Injunction to Love Himself and His Own Body.

Chapter 24.--No Man Hates His Own Flesh, Not Even Those Who Abuse It.

Chapter 25.--A Man May Love Something More Than His Body, But Does Not Therefore Hate His Body.

Chapter 26.--The Command to Love God and Our Neighbor Includes a Command to Love Ourselves.

Chapter 27.--The Order of Love.

Chapter 28.--How We are to Decide Whom to Aid.

Chapter 29.--We are to Desire and Endeavor that All Men May Love God.

Chapter 30.--Whether Angels are to Be Reckoned Our Neighbors.

Chapter 31.--God Uses Rather Than Enjoys Us.

Chapter 32.--In What Way God Uses Man.

Chapter 33.--In What Way Man Should Be Enjoyed.

Chapter 34.--Christ the First Way to God.

Chapter 35.--The Fulfillment and End of Scripture is the Love of God and Our Neighbor.

Chapter 36.--That Interpretation of Scripture Which Builds Us Up in Love is Not Perniciously Deceptive Nor Mendacious, Even Though It Be Faulty. The Interpreter, However, Should Be Corrected.

Chapter 37.--Dangers of Mistaken Interpretation.

Chapter 38.--Love Never Faileth.

Chapter 39.--He Who is Mature in Faith, Hope and Love, Needs Scripture No Longer.

Chapter 40.--What Manner of Reader Scripture Demands.

Book II.

Chapter 1.--Signs, Their Nature and Variety.

Chapter 2.--Of the Kind of Signs We are Now Concerned with.

Chapter 3.--Among Signs, Words Hold the Chief Place.

Chapter 4.--Origin of Writing.

Chapter 5.--Scripture Translated into Various Languages.

Chapter 6.--Use of the Obscurities in Scripture Which Arise from Its Figurative Language.

Chapter 7.--Steps to Wisdom: First, Fear; Second, Piety; Third, Knowledge; Fourth, Resolution; Fifth, Counsel; Sixth, Purification of Heart; Seventh, Stop or Termination, Wisdom.

Chapter 8.--The Canonical Books.

Chapter 9.--How We Should Proceed in Studying Scripture.

Chapter 10.--Unknown or Ambiguous Signs Prevent Scripture from Being Understood.

Chapter 11.--Knowledge of Languages, Especially of Greek and Hebrew, Necessary to Remove Ignorance or Signs.

Chapter 12.--A Diversity of Interpretations is Useful. Errors Arising from Ambiguous Words.

Chapter 13.--How Faulty Interpretations Can Be Emended.

Chapter 14.--How the Meaning of Unknown Words and Idioms is to Be Discovered.

Chapter 15.--Among Versions a Preference is Given to the Septuagint and the Itala.

Chapter 16.--The Knowledge Both of Language and Things is Helpful for the Understanding of Figurative Expressions.

Chapter 17.--Origin of the Legend of the Nine Muses.

Chapter 18.--No Help is to Be Despised, Even Though It Come from a Profane Source.

Chapter 19.--Two Kinds Of Heathen Knowledge.

Chapter 20.--The Superstitious Nature of Human Institutions.

Chapter 21.--Superstition of Astrologers.

Chapter 22 .--The Folly of Observing the Stars in Order to Predict the Events of a Life.

Chapter 23.--Why We Repudiate Arts of Divination.

Chapter 24.--The Intercourse and Agreement with Demons Which Superstitious Observances Maintain.

Chapter 25.--In Human Institutions Which are Not Superstitious, There are Some Things Superfluous and Some Convenient and Necessary.

Chapter 26.--What Human Contrivances We are to Adopt, and What We are to Avoid.

Chapter 27.--Some Departments of Knowledge, Not of Mere Human Invention, Aid Us in Interpreting Scripture.

Chapter 28.--To What Extent History is an Aid.

Chapter 29.--To What Extent Natural Science is an Exegetical Aid.

Chapter 30.--What the Mechanical Arts Contribute to Exegetics.

Chapter 31.--Use of Dialectics. Of Fallacies.

Chapter 32.--Valid Logical Sequence is Not Devised But Only Observed by Man.

Chapter 33.--False Inferences May Be Drawn from Valid Reasonings, and Vice Versa.

Chapter 34.--It is One Thing to Know the Laws of Inference, Another to Know the Truth of Opinions.

Chapter 35 .--The Science of Definition is Not False, Though It May Be Applied to Falsities.

Chapter 36.--The Rules of Eloquence are True, Though Sometimes Used to Persuade Men of What is False.

Chapter 37.--Use of Rhetoric and Dialectic.

Chapter 38.--The Science of Numbers Not Created, But Only Discovered, by Man.

Chapter 39.--To Which of the Above-Mentioned Studies Attention Should Be Given, and in What Spirit.

Chapter 40.--Whatever Has Been Rightly Said by the Heathen, We Must Appropriate to Our Uses.

Chapter 41.--What Kind of Spirit is Required for the Study of Holy Scripture.

Chapter 42.--Sacred Scripture Compared with Profane Authors.

Book III.

Chapter 1 .--Summary of the Foregoing Books, and Scope of that Which Follows.

Chapter 2.--Rule for Removing Ambiguity by Attending to Punctuation.

Chapter 3.--How Pronunciation Serves to Remove Ambiguity. Different Kinds of Interrogation.

Chapter 4.--How Ambiguities May Be Solved.

Chapter 5.--It is a Wretched Slavery Which Takes the Figurative Expressions of Scripture in a Literal Sense.

Chapter 6.--Utility of the Bondage of the Jews.

Chapter 7.--The Useless Bondage of the Gentiles.

Chapter 8.--The Jews Liberated from Their Bondage in One Way, the Gentiles in Another.

Chapter 9.--Who is in Bondage to Signs, and Who Not.

Chapter 10.--How We are to Discern Whether a Phrase is Figurative.

Chapter 11.--Rule for Interpreting Phrases Which Seem to Ascribe Severity to God and the Saints.

Chapter 12.--Rule for Interpreting Those Sayings and Actions Which are Ascribed to God and the Saints, and Which Yet Seem to the Unskillful to Be Wicked.

Chapter 13.--Same Subject, Continued.

Chapter 14.--Error of Those Who Think that There is No Absolute Right and Wrong.

Chapter 15.--Rule for Interpreting Figurative Expressions.

Chapter 16.--Rule for Interpreting Commands and Prohibitions.

Chapter 17.--Some Commands are Given to All in Common, Others to Particular Classes.

Chapter 18.--We Must Take into Consideration the Time at Which Anything Was Enjoyed or Allowed.

Chapter 19.--Wicked Men Judge Others by Themselves.

Chapter 20.--Consistency of Good Men in All Outward Circumstances.

Chapter 21.--David Not Lustful, Though He Fell into Adultery.

Chapter 22.--Rule Regarding Passages of Scripture in Which Approval is Expressed of Actions Which are Now Condemned by Good Men.

Chapter 23.--Rule Regarding the Narrative of Sins of Great Men.

Chapter 24.--The Character of the Expressions Used is Above All to Have Weight.

Chapter 25.--The Same Word Does Not Always Signify the Same Thing.

Chapter 26.--Obscure Passages are to Be Interpreted by Those Which are Clearer.

Chapter 27.--One Passage Susceptible of Various Interpretations.

Chapter 28.-- It is Safer to Explain a Doubtful Passage by Other Passages of Scripture Than by Reason.

Chapter 29.--The Knowledge of Tropes is Necessary.

Chapter 30.--The Rules of Tichonius the Donatist Examined.

Chapter 31.--The First Rule of Tichonius.

Chapter 32.--The Second Rule of Tichonius.

Chapter 33.--The Third Rule of Tichonius.

Chapter 34.--The Fourth Rule of Tichonius.

Chapter 35.--The Fifth Rule of Tichonius.

Chapter 36.--The Sixth Rule of Tichonius.

Chapter 37.--The Seventh Rule of Tichonius.

Book IV.

Chapter 1.--This Work Not Intended as a Treatise on Rhetoric.

Chapter 2.--It is Lawful for a Christian Teacher to Use the Art of Rhetoric.

Chapter 3.--The Proper Age and the Proper Means for Acquiring Rhetorical Skill.

Chapter 4.--The Duty of the Christian Teacher.

Chapter 5.--Wisdom of More Importance Than Eloquence to the Christian Teacher.

Chapter 6.--The Sacred Writers Unite Eloquence with Wisdom.

Chapter 7.--Examples of True Eloquence Drawn from the Epistles of Paul and the Prophecies of Amos.

Chapter 8.--The Obscurity of the Sacred Writers, Though Compatible with Eloquence, Not to Be Imitated by Christian Teachers.

Chapter 9.--How, and with Whom, Difficult Passages are to Be Discussed.

Chapter 10.--The Necessity for Perspicuity of Style.

Chapter 11.--The Christian Teacher Must Speak Clearly, But Not Inelegantly.

Chapter 12.--The Aim of the Orator, According to Cicero, is to Teach, to Delight, and to Move. Of These, Teaching is the Most Essential.

Chapter 13.--The Hearer Must Be Moved as Well as Instructed.

Chapter 14.--Beauty of Diction to Be in Keeping with the Matter.

Chapter 15.--The Christian Teacher Should Pray Before Preaching.

Chapter 16.--Human Directions Not to Be Despised, Though God Makes the True Teacher.

Chapter 17.--Threefold Division of The Various Styles of Speech.

Chapter 18.--The Christian Orator is Constantly Dealing with Great Matters.

Chapter 19.--The Christian Teacher Must Use Different Styles on Different Occasions.

Chapter 20.--Examples of the Various Styles Drawn from Scripture.

Chapter 21.--Examples of the Various Styles, Drawn from the Teachers of the Church, Especially Ambrose and Cyprian.

Chapter 22.--The Necessity of Variety in Style.

Chapter 23.--How the Various Styles Should Be Mingled.

Chapter 24.--The Effects Produced by the Majestic Style.

Chapter 25.--How the Temperate Style is to Be Used.

Chapter 26.--In Every Style the Orator Should Aim at Perspicuity, Beauty, and Persuasiveness.

Chapter 27.--The Man Whose Life is in Harmony with His Teaching Will Teach with Greater Effect.

Chapter 28.--Truth is More Important Than Expression. What is Meant by Strife About Words.

Chapter 29.--It is Permissible for a Preacher to Deliver to the People What Has Been Written by a More Eloquent Man Than Himself.

Chapter 30.--The Preacher Should Commence His Discourse with Prayer to God.

Chapter 31.--Apology for the Length of the Work.



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