On Genesis: Two Books on Genesis against the Manichees; And, on the Literal Interpretation of Genesis, An Unfinished Book

By Saint Augustine; Roland J. S. J. Teske | Go to book overview

no man has worked on the Virgin, from whom Christ was born. "But a spring came up from the earth and watered the whole face of the earth." 174. The face of the earth, that is, the dignity of the earth, is correctly taken as the mother of the Lord, the Virgin Mary. She was watered by the Holy Spirit who is signified in the gospel by the terms "spring" and "water." 175. Thus there was made as if from such mud that man who was placed in paradise in order to work and guard it, that is, in the will of the Father, in order to fulfill it and keep it.


CHAPTER 25

The Serpent Refers to Heretics, Especially the Manichees

38. For the commandment that he received, we received in him, because each Christian bears quite appropriately the person of Christ, since the Lord says, "What you did to one of my least ones, you did to me." 176. And would that we were enjoying, as we were commanded, every tree of paradise, which signifies spiritual delights. "But the fruit of the Spirit is charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, continence," 177. as the Apostle says. And would that we were not touching the tree of the knowledge of good and evil planted in the middle of paradise. That is, would that we were not willing to be proud of our nature which, as we have already said, lies in the middle, so that we would not be deceived and experience the difference between the simple Catholic faith and the deceits of the heretics! For we have in this way come to the discernment of good and evil. For he said, "It is necessary that there also be heresies so that the approved among you might become manifest." 178. For that serpent taken prophetically signifies the poisons of the heretics and especially of these Manichees and all those opposed to the Old

____________________
174.
Gen 2.6.
175.
Cf. John 7.38-39.
176.
Matt 25.40.
177.
Gal 5.22-23.
178.
1 Cor 11.19.

-134-

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