Augustine in Roman Biography

Au'gus-tiue, [Lat Aure'lius Augusti'nus ; Fr. Augustin, o'gu» tax'; It. Augustino, 6w-goos-tee'no,] Saint, the most illustrious Latin Father of the Church, was born at' Tagasta, in Numidia, on the 13th of November, 354 a.d. He was instructed in religion by his mother Monnica (or Monica,) who was a devout Christian. He also studied Greek, rhetoric, and philosophy at Madaura and Carthage. About the age of nineteen he was captivated with the heresy of the Manichaeans, to which he adhered for nine years. Having taught grammar and rhetoric at Tagasta, Carthage, and Rome, he was appointed professor of rhetoric and philosophy at Milan in 384. Amidst a career of immorality into which strong youthful passions had impelled him, he was seriously impressed by the sermons of Saint Ambrose. He experienced a decided conversion in 386, after deep conflicts, which he has described in his "Conns," an autobiography. Soon after this event he returned to Africa. He was ordained a priest about 391 by Valerius, Bishop of Hippo, whom he succeeded in 396. He distinguished himself as the adversary of the Donatists at the Council of Carthage in 401 a.d., and had a high reputation as an eloquent preacher. About 418 he produced two works against the Pelagians, " On the Grace of Christ," ("De Gratia Christi,") and' "On Original Sin," ("De Peccato Originali.") His capital work, entitled "On the City of God," ("De Civitate Dei,") was intended to subvert the foundations of paganism and establish those of Christianity, and to refute the opinion that the capture of Rome by Alaric, and other calamities of the empire, were caused by the prevalence of the new religion. It was finished about 426. He wrote many other works, among which are those " On Faith and Works," ("De Fide et Operibus,") and "On the Soul and its Origin," (" De Anima et ejus Origine.") He died at Hippo, during the siege of that city by the Vandals, on the 28th of August, 430 A.D. His habits simple and temperate, rather than ascetic. The best edition of his works is that published by the Benedictines at Paris, (ti'vols., 1679-1700.) "Of all the Fathers of the Latin Church," says Villemain, "Saint Augustine manifested the most imagination in theology, the most eloquence, and even sensibility, in scholasticism. ... lie writes as well on music as on free will; he explains the intellectual phenomena of memory as well as he reasons on the decline of the Roman Empire. His subtile and vigorous mind has often consumed on mystical problems an amount of sagacity which would have sufficed for the most sublime conceptions." See " Confessions of Saint Augustine ;" Possidius, " Vie de Saintin;" George Moringo, "Vie de Saint-Augustin," 1533; \ ie de Saint-Augustin," 1657; Tillemont, "Me'moi'res piques." (vol. xiii..) 1702; Rivtus, "Vita Sancti Augus- 1646 ; Poutoulat, "Vie de Saint-Augustin," 2d edition, 1852; makn. " Augustines Leben," 1844; Buti er, "Lives of the Iiaur, " Christliche Romische Theologie:" Villemain, "Tableau de 1'Eloquence chre'tienne au quatricme Steele," 1849; •'Nouvelle Biographie Ge*nerale."

Read More