Hexameron, Paradise, and Cain and Abel (The Fathers of the Church, Volume 42)

Hexameron, Paradise, and Cain and Abel (The Fathers of the Church, Volume 42)

Translated by JOHN J. SAVAGE
Copyright Date: 1961
Pages: 461
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt32b3wr
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    Hexameron, Paradise, and Cain and Abel (The Fathers of the Church, Volume 42)
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    eISBN: 978-0-8132-1142-8
    Subjects: Religion

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. INTRODUCTION
    (pp. v-xii)

    The circumstances of the life of St. Ambrose up to 374, when he became bishop of Milan, are well known. The date of his birth is usually given as either 333 or 340. His father was praefectus praetorio Galliarum, with headquarters at Trier. After her husband’s early death, the widowed mother brought her three children to Rome. There, Ambrose, the youngest of the children, attended the rhetorical schools in preparation for a public career. He attained the office of consul about 370, with two northern provinces under his control. His election as bishop of Milan on the death of the...

  3. SAINT AMBROSE: HEXAMERON, PARADISE AND CAIN AND ABEL
    • BOOK ONE: THE FIRST DAY
      (pp. 3-44)

      To such an extent have men’s opinions varied that some, like Plato and his pupils, have established three principles for all things; that is, God, Idea, and Matter. The same philosophers hold that these principles are uncreated, incorruptible, and without a beginning. They maintain that God, acting not as a creator of matter but as a craftsman who reproduced a model, that is, an Idea, made the world out of matter. This matter, which they call ΰλη, is considered to have given the power of creation to all things. The world, too, they regard as incorruptible, not created or made....

    • BOOK TWO: THE SECOND DAY
      (pp. 45-66)

      We have finished as best we could our discussion of the first day—or, rather, of one day, in order to keep to the phrase preferred by the inspired book. On this day, by the work of the omnipotent God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, together with the Holy Spirit, we know that the heavens were founded, the earth was created, the waters and the air were sent forth around us, and a separation was made between light and darkness.

      Who, therefore, does not marvel at the fact that a world formed of dissimilar elements should rise to the level...

    • BOOK THREE: THE THIRD DAY
      (pp. 67-124)

      In our discourse today, the third day rises, as it is recorded in Scripture, a notable day which freed the earth from inundation at the bidding of God: ‘Let the waters that are under the heaven be gathered together into one place.’¹ With this fact it is my wish to begin my preface.

      ‘Let the waters be gathered together.’ These words were spoken, and the waters gathered together. It has often been said, ‘let the people be gathered together,’ and there was no gathering. It brings no slight blush of shame to see that the elements which are without sensibility...

    • BOOK IV: THE FOURTH DAY
      (pp. 125-158)

      To prevent deterioration of wine it is customary for those who gather in the vintage to first clean the vessels before the wine is poured in. For of what avail is it ‘to plant the vine in rows,’¹ to loosen the earth each year or to make furrows with a plough, to prune or to tie back the shoots and join them in marriage, as it were, to the elms,² if after such toil the wine stored away in the vessels becomes sour? In like manner, if a person desires to behold the sun rising in the morning, he proceeds...

    • BOOK FIVE: THE FIFTH DAY
      (pp. 159-226)

      The entire earth was now arrayed in its verdant garb of diverse plants. The sun, too, and the moon, those twin luminaries, and the stars in their splendor shone forth in the heavens. A third element still remained, in which the blessing of life was to be bestowed by the gift of God. All things on earth are being sustained and nourished by the air above.¹ The earth opening up the seeds gives life to everything. Then under the command of God’s word, it blossomed forth at the gift of creative life. Water alone seemed not yet to have been...

    • BOOK VI: THE SIXTH DAY
      (pp. 227-284)

      This is the sixth day, which brings to a close the account of the origin of created things and at the same time terminates the discourse which we have undertaken on the genesis of matter.¹ This day calls for even greater expenditure of toil, because we have reached a critical point: the culmination of the whole debate. We must realize that during the preliminary stages of contests in music, song, or sport, however numerous and important they may be, there is no award of a wreath of victory. This presentation of a wreath for victory is assigned to the last...

  4. PARADISE
    (pp. 285-356)

    On approaching this subject I seem to be possessed by an unusual eagerness in my quest to clarify the facts about Paradise, its place, and its nature to those who are desirous of this knowledge. This is all the more remarkable since the Apostle did not know whether he was in the body or out of the body, yet he says that he ‘was caught up to the third heaven.’¹ And again he says: ‘I know such a man—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows—that he was caught up into...

  5. CAIN AND ABEL
    • BOOK ONE
      (pp. 359-400)

      In the preceding pages we have discussed the subject of Paradise, including the account of the fall of Adam and Eve. We have recorded these facts to the best of our ability, just as the Lord has inspired us to interpret their meaning. Now, we have it on record that this sin did not stop at that point, but, to make matters worse, lived on and had a successor in the person of one who was still more debased. Let us take note, then, of what happened subsequently, as we follow in due order the events related in the pages...

    • BOOK TWO
      (pp. 401-438)

      Our souls should not only conceive, but should bring forth, after the allotted days are fulfilled, offspring such as these, lest the judgment day find us still-born. Of these births the Lord has said: ‘Woe to those who are with child or have infants at the breast in those days!’¹ This birth should come to pass early in our lives. Our thoughts should be accompanied by a series of good works, so that our last days may find nothing imperfect or leave anything incompletely moulded in the anvil of our life’s work. Make haste, therefore, and let your soul put...

  6. INDEX
    (pp. 439-449)