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In no other respect did Augustine differ more widely from Origen and the Alexandrians that in his intolerant spirit.
Even Tertullian conceded to all the right of opinion. Gregory of Nazianzus, Ambrose, Athanasius and Augustine
himself in his earlier days, recorded the tolerance that Christianity demands. But he afterwards came to advocate and
defend the persecution of religious opponents. Milman observes: "With shame and horror we hear from Augustine
himself that fatal premise which impiously arrayed cruelty in the garb of Christian charity." 12

He was the first in the

long line of Christian persecutors, and illustrates the character of the theology that swayed him in the wicked spirit
that impelled him to advocate the right to persecute Christians who differ from those in power. The dark pages that
bear the record of subsequent centuries are a damning witness to the cruel spirit that influenced Christians, and the
cruel theology that propelled it. Augustine "was the first and ablest asserter of the principle which led to Albigensian
crusades, Spanish armadas, Netherland's butcheries, St. Bartholomew massacres, the accursed infamies of the
Inquisition, the vile espionage, the hideous bale fires of Seville and Smithfield, the racks, the gallows, the
thumbscrews, the subterranean torture-chambers used by churchly torturers."13

And George Sand well says that the

Roman church committed suicide the day she invented an implacable God and eternal damnation.14


Confessions, III, Chap. i-iii. - 2

Conspersio damnata, massa perditionis.


Allen, Cont. Christ. Thought.


Enchiridion cxii: "Frustra itaque nonulli, imo quam plurimi, æternam damnatorum poenam et cruciatus sine
intermissione perpetuos humano miserantur affectu, atque ita futurum esse non credunt."


Misericordibus nostris. De Civ. Dei., xxi: 17.


Græcæ autem linguæ non sit nobis tantus habitus, ut talium rerum libris legendis et intelligendis ullo modo
reperiamur idonei, (De Trin. lib III); and, et ego quidem græcæ linguæ perparum assecutus sum, et prope nihil.
(Contra litteras Petiliani, lib II, xxxviii, 91. Migne, Vol. XLIII.) Quid autem erat causæ cur græcas litteras oderam
quibus puerulus imbuebar ne nunc quidem mihi satis exploratum est: "But what was the cause of my dislike of
Greek literature, which I studied from my boyhood, I cannot even now understand." Conf. I:13. This ignorance of
the original Scriptures was a poor outfit with which to furnish orthodox critics for a thousand years. See
Rosenmuller, Hist. Interp., iii, 40.


Latin Christ. I. - 8

Allen, Cont. Christ Thought, p. 156. - 9

De Civ. Dei.


De Civ. Dei. "non redarguo, quia forsitan verum est." - 11

Ep. 8. - 12

Latin Christianity, I, 127.


Farrar's Lives of the Fathers.


" L' Eglise Romaine s'est porte le dernier coup: elle a consomme son suicide le jour on elle a fait Dieu implacable
et la damnation eternelle." Spiridion.

Chapter 21 - Unsuccessful Attempts to Suppress Universalism
Historians and writers on the state of opinion in the early church have quite often erred in declaring that an
ecclesiastical council pronounced the doctrine of universal salvation heretical, as early as the Sixth Century. Even so
learned and accurate a writer as our own Dr. Ballou, has fallen into this error, though his editor, the Rev. A. St. John
Chambre, D.D., subsequently corrected the mistake in a brief note.


A.D. 399 a council in Jerusalem condemned the Origenists, and all who held with them, that the Son was in any way
subordinate to the Father. In 401 a council in Alexandria anathematized the writings of Origen, presumably for the
same reason as above. Certainly his views of human destiny were not mentioned.
In 544-6, a condemnation of Origen's views of human salvation was attempted to be extorted from a small, local
council in Constantinople, by the emperor Justinian, but his edict was not obeyed by the council. He issued an edict
to Mennas, patriarch of Constantinople, requiring him to assemble the bishops resident, or casually present there, to
condemn the doctrine of universal restoration. Ranting ten anathemas, he especially urged Mennas to anathematize
the doctrine "that wicked men and devils will at length be discharged from their torments, and re-established in their
original state." 1

He wrote to Mennas requiring him to frame a canon in these words:
"Whoever says or thinks that the torments of the demons and of impious men are temporal, so that they will at
length come to an end, or whoever holds to a restoration either of the demons or of the impious, let him be

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