A Treatise on the soul and its origin,
by aurelius augustin, bishop of hippo;
In Four Books,
written towards the end of 419.
Book I.1 Written about the end of 419.
Addressed to Renatus, the Monk.
On receiving from Renatus the two books of Vincentius Victor, who disapproved of Augustin’s opinion touching the nature of the soul, and of his hesitation in respect of its origin, Augustin points out how the young objector, in his self-conceit in aiming to decide on so abstruse a subject, had fallen into insufferable mistakes. He then proceeds to show that those passages of Scripture by which Victor thought he could prove that human souls are not derived by propagation, but are breathed by God afresh into each man at birth, are ambiguous, and inadequate for the confirmation of this opinion of his.
S. AURELII AUGUSTINI HIPPONENSIS EPISCOPI DE ANIMA ET EJUS ORIGINE LIBRI QUATUOR .
LIBER PRIMUS. AD RENATUM MONACHUM.
Acceptis a Renato duobus libris Vincentii Victoris, qui Augustini sententiam de animae natura, et ejusdem de ipsius origine cunctationem improbabat, ostendit Augustinus, juvenem arroganter de se ipso sentientem, ut de re tam abdita decideret, in errores intolerandos incurrisse. Tum deinde Scripturarum testimonia, quibus probare se Victor existimabat, animas a Deo, non ex propagine fieri, sed novas singulis nascentibus insufflari, demonstrat ambigua esse, atque ad hanc ipsius opinionem confirmandam minime idonea.