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four portions ;-one for the bishop and his family, be- A.D. 597. cause of hospitality and entertainments; another for the clergy; a third for the poor; and the fourth for the repair of churches. But in regard that you, my
brother, being brought up under monastic rules, are not to live apart from your clergy in the English church, which, by God's assistance, has been lately brought to the faith; you are to follow that course of life which our forefathers did in the time of the primitive church, when none of them said anything that he possessed was his own, but all things were in common among them.
But if there are any clerks not received into holy orders, who cannot live continent, they are to take wives, and receive their stipends abroad; because we know it is written, that out of the same portions above-mentioned a distribution was made to each of them according to every one's wants. Care is also to be taken of their stipends, and provision to be made, and they are to be kept under ecclesiastical rules, that they may live orderly, and attend to singing of psalms, and by the help of God, preserve their hearts, and tongues, and bodies from all that is unlawful. But as for those that live in common, why need we say anything of making portions, or keeping hospitality and exhibiting mercy? inasmuch as all that can be spared is to be spent in pious and religious works, according to the commands of Him who is the Lord and Master of all, “ Give alms of such things as you have, and behold all things are clean unto you.”
Augustine's Second Question. Whereas the faith is one and the same, why are there different customs in different churches? and why is one custom of masses observed in the holy Roman church, and another in the Gallican church?
Pope Gregory answers.—You know, my brother, the custom of the Roman church in which you remember you were bred up. But it pleases me, that if you have found anything, either in the Roman, or the Gallican,
qualibet ecclesia, aliquid invenisti quod plus omnipotenti Deo possit placere, sollicite eligas, et in Anglorum ecclesia, quæ adhuc ad fidem nova est, institutione præcipua, quæ de multis ecclesiis colligere potuisti, infundas. Non enim pro locis res, sed pro bonis rebus loca amanda sunt. Ex singulis ergo quibusque ecclesiis quæ pia, quæ religiosa, quæ recta sunt, elige; et hæc, quasi in fasciculum collecta, apud Anglorum mentes in consuetudinem depone.
Tertia Interrogatio Augustini.--Obsecro, quid pati debeat, si quis aliquid de ccclesia furtu abstulerit?
Respondit Gregorius.Hoc tua fraternitas ex persona furis pensare potest, qualiter valeat corrigi. Sunt enim quidam, qui habentes subsidia furtum perpetrant, et sunt alii, qui hac in re ex inopia delinquunt; unde necesse est ut quidam damnis, quidam vero verberibus, et quidam districtius, quidam autem levius, corrigantur. Et cum paulo districtius agitur, ex caritate agendum est et non ex furore, quia ipsi hoc præstatur qui corrigitur, ne gehennæ ignibus tradatur. Sic enim nos fidelibus tenere disciplinam debemus, sicut boni patres carnalibus filiis solent, quos et pro culpis verberibus feriunt, et tamen ipsos, quos doloribus affligunt, habere heredes quærunt; et quæ possident ipsis servant, quos irati insequi videntur. Hæc ergo caritas in mente tenenda est et ipsa modum correptionis dictat, ita ut mens extra rationis regulam omnino nihil faciat. Addes etiam, quomodo ea, quæ furtu de ecclesiis abstulerint, reddere debeant; sed absit ut ecclesia cum augmento recipiat quod de terrenis rebus videtur amittere, et lucra de vanis quærere.
Quarta Interrogatio Augustini.-Si debeant duo ger
or any other church, which may be more acceptable to A.D. 597.
Augustine's Third Question.— I beseech you to inform me, what punishment must be inflicted, if any one shall take any thing by stealth from the church?
Gregory answers.—You may judge, my brother, by the person of the thief, in what manner he is to be corrected. For there are some, who, having substance, commit theft; and there are others, who trangress in this point through want. Wherefore it is requisite, that some be punished in their purses, others with stripes ; some with more severity, and some more mildly. And when the severity is more, it is to proceed from charity, not from passion ; because this is done to him who is corrected, that he may not be delivered up to hell-fire. For it behoves us to maintain discipline among the faithful, as good parents do with their carnal children, whom they punish with stripes for their faults, and yet design to make those their heirs whom they chastise ; and they preserve what they possess for those whom they seem in anger to persecute. This charity is, therefore, to be kept in mind, and it dictates the measure of the punishment, so that the mind may do nothing beyond the rule of reason. You may add, that they are to restore those things which they have stolen from the church. But, God forbid, that the church should make profit from those earthly things which it seems to lose, or seek gain out of such vanities.
Augustine's Fourth Question.— Whether two brothers
mani fratres singulas sorores accipere, quæ sunt ab illis longa progenie generatæ ?
Respondit Gregorius.—Hoc fieri modis omnibus licet; nequaquam enim in sacris eloquiis invenitur, quod huic capitulo contradicere videatur.
Quinta Interrogatio Augustini.—Usque ad quotam generationem fideles debeant cum propinquis sibi conjugio copulari? et novercis et cognatis si liceat copulari conjugio?
Respondit Gregorius.--Quædam terrena lex in Romana republica permittit ut, sive fratris et sororis, seu duorum fratrum germanorum, vel duarum sororum, filius et filia misceantur ; sed experimento didicimus ex tali conjugio sobolem non posse succrescere, et Sacra Lex prohibet cognationis turpitudinem revelare. Unde necesse est ut jam tertia vel quarta generatio fidelium licenter sibi jungi debeat ; nam secunda, quam prædiximus, a se omni modo debet abstinere. Cum noverca autem miscere grave est facinus, quia et in Lege scriptum est, [Lev. xviii. 7,] Turpitudinem patris tui non revelabis. Neque enim patris turpitudinem filius revelare potest ; sed, quia scriptum est, [Gen. ii. 24,] Erunt duo in carne una, qui turpitudinem novercæ, quæ una
cum patre fuit, revelare præsumserit, profecto patris turpitudinem revelavit.
Cum cognata quoque miscere prohibitum est, quia per conjunctionem priorem caro fratris fuerat facta. Pro qua re etiam Johannes Baptista capite truncatus est et sancto martyrio consummatus, cui non est dictum ut Christum negaret, et pro Christi confessione occisus est; sed quia idem Dominus noster Jesus Christus dixerat, [Jo. xiv. 6,] Ego sum veritas, quia pro veritate Johannes occisus est, videlicet et pro Christo sanguinem fudit.
Quia vero sunt multi in Anglorum gente qui, dum adhuc in infidelitate essent, huic nefando conjugio dicuntur admixti, ad fidem venientes admonendi sunt ut se
may marry two sisters, which are of a family far removed A.D. 597. from them!
Gregory answers.—This may lawfully be done; for nothing is found in holy writ that seems to contradict it.
Augustine's Fifth Question.- To what degree may the faithful marry with their kindred ? and whether it is lawful for men to marry their stepmothers and relations?
Gregory answers.-A certain worldly law in the Roman commonwealth allows, that the son and daughter of a brother and sister, or of two brothers, or two sisters, may be joined in matrimony ; but we have found by experience, that no offspring can come of such wedlock; and the Divine Law forbids
to uncover the nakedness of his kindred.” Hence of necessity it must be the third or fourth generation of the faithful, that can be lawfully joined in matrimony; for the second, which we have mentioned, must altogether abstain from one another. To marry with one's stepmother is a heinous crime, because it is written in the Law, “ Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy father:" now the son, indeed, cannot uncover his father's nakedness; but in regard that it is written, "They shall be two in one flesh," he that presumes to uncover the nakedness of his stepmother, who was one flesh with his father, certainly uncovers the nakedness of his father. It is also prohibited to marry with a sister-in-law, because by the former union she is become the brother's flesh. For which thing also John the Baptist was beheaded and ended his life in holy martyrdom. For though he was not ordered to deny Christ, and indeed was killed for confessing Christ, yet in regard that the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, said, “I am the Truth,” because John was killed for the truth, he also shed his blood for Christ.
But forasmuch as there are many of the English, who, whilst they were still in infidelity, are said to have been joined in this execrable matrimony, when they come to the faith they are to be admonished to abstain, and be