On Marriagr Essay

8700 words - 35 pages

257ON MARRIAGE AND CONCUPISCENCE.On Marriage and Concupiscence.Title Page.
758
On Marriage and Concupiscence.

258EXTRACT FROM AUGUSTIN'S "RETRACTATIONS," Book II. Chap. 53,
ON THE FOLLOWING TREATISE,
"DE NUPTIIS ET CONCUPISCENTIA."
------------
"I Addressed two books to the Illustrious Count Valerius, upon hearing that the Pelagians
had brought sundry vague charges upon us-how, for instance, we condemned marriage
by maintaining Original Sin. These books are entitled, On Marriage and Concupiscence. We
maintain that marriage is good; and that it must not be supposed that the concupisence of
the flesh, or "the law in our members which wars against the law of mind," 2049 is a fault of
marriage. Conjugal chastity makes a good use of the evil of concupiscence in the procreation
of children. My first treatise contained two books. The first of them found its way into the
hands of Julianus the Pelagian, who wrote four books in opposition to it. Out of these,
somebody extracted sundry passages, and sent them to Count Valerius; he handed them to
us, and after I had received them I wrote a second book in answer to these extracts. The first
book of this work of mine opens with these words: "Our new heretics, most beloved son
Valerius," while the second begins thus: "Amid the cares of your duty as a soldier."
2049 Rom. vii. 23.
Retractations.
759
Retractations.

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259ADVERTISEMENT TO THE READER ON THE FOLLOWINGTREATISE. ------------
On revising these two Books, which he addressed to the Count Valerius, Augustin placed
them immediately after his reply to the discourse of the Arians, which was affixed to the
Proceedings with Emeritus.2050 Now these proceedings are stated to have taken place on the
20th of September, in the year of our Lord 418.2051 There can be no doubt, then, that these
subjoined books-or, at any rate, the former of them-were written either at the close of
the year 418, or in the beginning of the year 419. For, concerning this first book, Augustin
says himself: "This book of mine, however, which he [Julianus] says he answered in four
books, I wrote after the condemnation of Pelagius and Cœlestius. This," he adds, "I have
deemed it right to mention, because he declares that my words had been used by the enemies
of the truth to bring it into odium. Let no one, therefore, suppose that it was owing to this
book of mine that...

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