Page:Vactican as a World Power.djvu/71

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tunes. Augustine meant litde to the Papacy of his time, and im- measurably much to the Papacy ever afterward. His shadow covers the whole Western World for a thousand years and still lies over all that calls itself Christian. According to his own saying he had sun- dered himself from those that love the world. His journey from the things that seem to the things that are is described in his Confessions the most realistic of all novels and the most personal book in world literature. Here one sees the antique world burst like a pod because the fruit it has so long nurtured can no longer be restrained. It half clings to that fruit still, half falls off. Past and future are embraced in the unexampled richness of Augustine's mind. This is not the only sense in which he mirrors the duality of Janus. His human lim- itations are the limitations of human nature. Thence comes the fact that his ascent from the level plain to the heights is all too knowing, all too rich in fruit. Bidden to climb beyond himself, this most earth- bound of all religious men seeks the dizziest spiritual heights. / am and the best in me is my soul. But this soul is not all, though its all is the Good which is the only all. Certain of these things, Augus- tine the self analyst could endure being human. Indeed, he per- fected his self and then made it a memorial in a life work with which the development of countless years and countless men has conformed. Whatever stirred his time, stirred him, too; and yet there were many things that stirred him alone, and because of these he has moved time and the seasons. His life bridged the span of years during which Church and State had already formed a fateful partnership which with a thousand thongs bound the Heavenly Kingdom of the Gospels to the earth of the Empire. Christianity had conquered the world, but the world had also conquered Christianity. The blessings and dis- asters resulting from this interplay of forces the ferment in the Church, the pressure of the barbarians upon the Empire all this was the deep concern of this Christian and Roman, this thinker and bishop.

The Goths under Alaric conquered Rome in 410 and once more the ancient reproach was heard that the dethroned gods were taking vengeance on the Christian empire. Then Augustine, the Roman citizen, wept over the city's fall, but Augustine, the philosopher of the or bis universes Christianas, began to write De Civitate Dei. It is