New York, 1894
1. Gennadius Catalogus, c. lxii.
2. Conference XIV. xii.
3. On the Incarnation, VI. ix., x.
4. SkiaqiV, and Skiaqikh (v. l. Skiqiakh) cwra are the forms of the name given by Ptolemy. The Greek Fathers speak of the district as SkhtiV, while in Latin writers the name appears as Scythia, or Scythis; and, though the printed texts of Cassian give the form as Scitium, heremus Scitii, and heremus Scitiotica, yet we learn from Petschenig that in the MSS. of his works it is not seldom written as Scythium. It should be added that in the text of Gennadius the reading is not absolutely free from doubt, as there is some slight authority for reading "natus Serta."
5. Bibliotheca, cod. cxcvii.
6. Dr. Gregory Smith (Dictionary of Christian Biography, art. Cassian) thinks that "Cassianus" possibly points to Casius, a small town in Syria; but, apart from the fact that the name was not uncommon in the West as well as in the East, the description of his home as being in a country where there were no monasteries is quite fatal to this idea.
7. Conference XXIV. i.
8. C. xviii.
9. No difficulty need be felt on the score of his thorough knowledge of Greek, for this could easily be accounted for by his education at Bethlehem, and prolonged residence in the East.
10. De Div. Lect. Pref., and c. xxix.
11. Conference XIV. ix.; Institute V. xxxv.
13. Parisinus. Nouv. acquis. Lat. 260, of the eighth or ninth century.
14. Institutes XI. xviii.
15. Conference XXIV. i.
16. See the Institutes III. iv.; IV. xix.-xxi., xxxi. Conferences I. i.; XI. i. v.; XIX. i.; XX. i. The date is too early for this to have been S. Jerome's famous monastery, as that father only settled at Bethlehem towards the close of 386, by which time Cassian himself must have been already in Egypt; nor does he anywhere in his writings make any allusion to Jerome as his teacher, although he mentions him with great respect in his work on the Incarnation, Book VII. c. xxvi.
17. Conference XI. i. A good account of Cassian's visits to Egypt is given in Fleury's Ecclesiastical History, Book XX., c. iii.-vii.
18. Conference XVII. ii.
19. Conference XI. i.-iii., and compare VII. xxvi. for another description of the same district.
20. Conferences XI., XII., XIII.
21. Conferences XIV., XV.
22. Conference XVI. i.
23. Conferences XVI., XVII.
24. See Conference XVII. i.-v. and xxx.
25. Conference XX. i., ii. The story is also told in the Institutes, IV. xxx.
26. Institute V. xxxii.-xlii.
27. Conference XX.
28. Institute V. xxxvi.
29. Conference XVIII. On the Sarabaites, see the note on c. vii.
30. Conference XIX. i.
31. Conference XIX. i.
32. Conference XXI.
33. Conference XXII.
34. Conference XXIII.
35. Conference XXIV. i.
36. Conference XXIV.
37. Institute V. xxxvi. sq.
38. Conference XVII. xxx.
39. Butler's Coptic Churches, Vol. I., p. 287.
40. Rosweyd, Vitae Patrum; and the Bollandist Acta Sanctorum, 14 April, Vol. II., 201-3.
41. Dictionary of Christian Biography, art. Ammon; cf. Rufinus, Hist.: Monach, xxx.; and Palladius, Hist.: Lausiaca, viii.
42. Hist., Monach, c. xxi.
43. Sozomen, H. E. VI. xxxi.
44. Hist., Laus., c. vii.
45. Epp.: ad Eustochium, ad Rustic.
46. Part I., cc. vii., viii.
47. The Ancient Coptic Churches of Egypt, by Alfred J. Butler. 2 vols. (Oxford, 1884).
48. Curzon, p. 79.
49. Butler, Vol. I., pp. 295, 6, 7.
50. Conference II. ii.; III. v.
51. Conference I.
52. Conference II.
53. Conference III.
54. Conference IV.
55. Conference V.
56. Conference VI.
57. Conference VII.
58. Conference VIII.
59. Conference IX. x.
60. See Conference X. cc. i-iii.
61. See Conference XI. i.
62. Compare the Institutes, IV. xxiii.
63. On the Incarnation, VII. xxxi.
64. Palladius Dial. iii.; Sozomen H. E. VIII. xxvi.
65. It is highly precarious to infer from the language used in the Institutes, III. that Cassian visited Mesopotamia before settling in Gaul. His departure from Rome may perhaps have been occasioned by the Gothic invasion of Italy and Alaric's sieges of Rome, 408-410.
66. Montalambert's Monks of the West, Vol. I. p. 464 (Eng. Translation). The names of Hilary of Arles, Vincent of Lérins, Salvian, Eucherius of Lyons, Lupus of Troyes, and Cĉsarius of Arles, are alone sufficient to render the monastery of Lérins illustrious in the annals of the Church of Gaul.
67. Montalambert, l. c.
68. The Acts of S. Victor's martyrdom given by Ruinart, Acta Sincera, p. 225, have been attributed by Tillemont and others to Cassian, but without sufficient reason.
69. The Church in Roman Gaul, by R. Travers Smith, p. 245.
70. This is the title which Cassian himself gives to the work in his Preface to the Conferences.
71. Institutes, preface.
72. Castor is commemorated on the twenty-first of September. See the Bollandist Acta Sanctorum, Sept. VI. 249.
73. See the Institutes II. i., ix., xviii; V. iv.
74. With Papa Leonti et Sancte frater Helladi, in the Preface to Conference I., compare beatissimis Episcopis Helladio ac Leontio, in the Preface to Conference XVIII.
75. See the Preface to the work On the Incarnation against Nestorius.
76. See the Epistle of Celestine to Nestorius in Mansi IV. 1026, in which he apologizes for delay by saying that the letter and other documents sent by Nestorius had had to be translated into Latin.
77. See On the Incarnation, Book I. c. ii. sq.
78. The Anti-Pelagian Treatises of S. Augustine; with an Introduction by William Bright, D.D. (Oxford), 1889, p. 1.
79. Epistle xciv.
80. Anti-Pelagian Treatises, p. liv., lv.
81. Epp. ccxxv., ccxxvi., in the correspondence of S. Augustine. Works, Vol. II. 820, in the Benedictine Edition.
82. Cassian himself quotes Augustine as an authority for the Catholic doctrine of the Incarnation in his work against Nestorius, VII. xxvii. But it is remarkable that, whereas on all the other authorities quoted (Hilary, Ambrose, Jerome, Rufinus, Gregory, Nazianzen, Athanasius, and Chrysostom) a high encomium is passed, Augustine alone is alluded to with no words of praise, being simply spoken of as priest (sacerdos) of Hippo Regius. There is no authority for the reading "magnus sacerdos," found in the editions of Cuyck and Gazet, which misled Neander. Ch. Hist. Vol. IV. p. 376, E. T.
83. The only person referred to by name is Hilary, who had just succeeded Honoratus as Bishop of Arles. This fixes the date of the correspondence as 429.
84. Bright's Anti-Pelagian Treatises, l. c.
85. The letter is given in full in Gazet's edition of Cassian, with certain doctrinal articles appended, which really belong to a later date. See Dr. Newman's note to the English translation of Fleury, Book XXVI. c. xi.
86. The treatise is given in Gazet's edition of Cassian.
87. The propositions extracted by Prosper are the following:--
(1) That the initiative not only of our actions but also of our good thoughts comes from God, who inspires us with a good will to begin with, and supplies us with the opportunity of carrying out what we rightly desire; for "every good gift and every perfect gift cometh down from above, from the Father of light," who both begins what is good, and continues it and completes it in us. c. iii. This proposition Prosper allows to be catholic and orthodox.
(2) The Divine protection is inseparably present with us, and so great is the kindness of the Creator towards His creatures that His Providence not only accompanies it, but even constantly precedes it, as the prophet experienced and plainly confessed, saying, "My God will prevent me with His mercy." And when He sees in us some beginnings of a good will, He at once enlightens and strengthens it, and urges it on towards salvation, increasing that which He Himself implanted, or which He sees to have arisen from our own efforts. c. viii.
(3) Only in all these there is a declaration of the grace of God, and the freedom of the will, because even of his own motion a man can be led to the quest of virtue, but always stands in need of the help of the Lord. For neither does any one enjoy good health whenever he likes, nor is he of his own will and pleasure set free from disease and sickness. c. ix.
(4) That it may be still clearer that, through the excellence of nature, which is granted by the goodness of the Creator, sometimes the first beginnings of a good will arise, which, however, cannot attain to the complete performance of what is good unless they are guided by the Lord, the Apostle bears witness, and says, "For to will is present with me, but to perform what is good I find not." Ib.
(5) And so these are somehow mixed up and indiscriminately confused, so that, among many persons, the question which depends upon the other is involved in great difficulty; i.e., does God have compassion upon us because we have shown the beginning of a good will, or does the beginning of a good will follow because God has had compassion upon us? For many, believing each of these alternatives, and asserting them more broadly than is right, are entangled in all kinds of opposite errors. For if we say that the beginning of free will is in our own power, what about Paul the persecutor, what about Matthew the publican, of whom the one was drawn to salvation while eager for bloodshed and the punishment of the innocent, the other while eager for violence and rapine? But, if we say that the beginning of our free will is always due to the inspiration of the grace of God, what about the faith of Zacchĉus, or what are we to say of the goodness of the thief on the cross, who by their own desires brought violence to bear on the kingdom of heaven, and prevented the special leadings of their vocation? c. xi.
(6) These two, then, viz., the grace of God and Free-will, seem opposed to each other, but really are in harmony; and we gather from natural piety that we ought to have both alike, lest if we withdraw one of them from men we should seem to have broken the rule of the Church's faith. Ib.
(7) Adam, therefore, after the fall, conceived a knowledge of evil which he had not previously, but did not lose the knowledge of good which he already possessed. c. xii.
(8) Wherefore we must take care not to refer all the merits of the saints to the Lord in such a way as to ascribe nothing but what is evil and perverse to human nature. Ib.
(9) It cannot be doubted that there are by nature some seeds of goodness implanted by the kindness of the Creator, but unless they are quickened by the assistance of God they cannot attain an increase of perfection. Ib.
(10) And for this, too, we read that in the case of Job, his well-tried athlete, when the Devil had challenged him to single combat, the Divine righteousness had made provision. For, if he had advanced against his foe not with his own strength, but solely with the protection of God's grace, and, supported only by Divine aid, without any virtue of patience on his own part, had borne that manifold weight of temptations and losses, contrived with all the cruelty of his foe might not the Devil have repeated with some justice that slanderous speech which he had previously uttered, "Doth Job serve God for nought? Hast Thou not hedged him in, and all his substance round about? But take away thine hand," i.e., allow him to fight with me in his own strength, "and he will curse Thee to Thy face." But, as after the struggle the slanderous foe dared not give vent to any such murmur as this, he admitted that he was vanquished by his (i.e., Job's) strength, and not by that of God: although, too, we must not hold that the grace of God was altogether wanting to him, which gave to the tempter a power of tempting in proportion to that which he had of resisting. c. xiv.
(11) The Lord marvelled at him (viz., the centurion), and praised him, and put him before all those of the people of Israel who had believed, saying, "Verily, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith in Israel." For there would have been no ground for praise or merit if Christ had only preferred in him what He Himself had given. Ib.
(12) Hence it comes that in our prayers we proclaim God as not only our protector and Saviour, but actually as our helper and sponsor. For whereas He first calls us to Him, and while we are still ignorant and unwilling draws us towards salvation, He is our protector and Saviour; but whereas, when we are already striving, He is wont to bring us help, and to receive and defend those who fly to Him for refuge, He is deemed our sponsor and refuge. c. xvii.
This last extract is in itself perfectly orthodox, and might be thought merely to express the distinction between "preventing" and "co-operating" grace; but the context makes it clear that Cassian means that in some cases grace "prevents," while in others the initial movement towards salvation comes from man, and grace is only needed to "co-operate."
88. Gennadius, in Catal., c. lxii. Ad extremum rogatus a Leone Archidiacono, postea urbis Romĉ Episcopo, scripsit adversus Nestorium "De Incarnatione Domini" libros septem, et in his scribendi apud Massiliam et vivendi finem fecit Theodosio et Valentiniano regnantibus. The local commemoration of Cassian is on July 23.
89. On the history of Semi-Pelagianism see Bright's Anti-Pelagian Treatises of S. Augustine, Introd., pp. xlix.-lxviii., and the Christian Remembrancer, Vol. XXXI. pp. 155-162.
90. Historical Sketches, Vol. III., p. 307.
91. The identification is anything but certain, for though there is no difficulty in the term RwmaioV, as that is also applied to our author by Photius, yet the additional statement made in the Horologion, that he was originally stratiwtikoV thn taxin, suggests that a different person is alluded to, possibly the same as the Cassian commemorated in the Roman martyrology on August 13.
A list of some twenty-five churches where Cassian is honoured as a saint is given in Guesnay's Cassianus Illustratus.
92. Gennadius, Catal. lxiv. In the Dictionary of Christian Antiquities, art. Eucherius, this is said to be lost. But see Migne, Vol. L. p. 867 sq; and cf. Petschenig's Introduction to Cassian, p. xcvi.
93. Div. Lect. c. xxix. Cujus (Cassiani) dicta Victor Mattaritanus Episcopus Afer ita Domino juvante purgavit et quĉ minus erant addidit ut ei rerum istarum palma merito conferatur; quem inter alios de Africa partibus cito nobis credimus esse dirigendum.
94. Biblioth, Cod. 197.
95. The "Doctrina Catholica Beati Dionysii Richeli Carthusiani precedenti Collationi ab ipso substituta," given in Gazet's edition, and hence in Migne's, as c. xix., is only the latter part of the paraphrase of this Conference, beginning in c. viii., with the words, "Adest igitur inseparabiliter nobis," etc.
The paraphrase may be found in Vol. III. of the edition of the works of Dionysius, published at Cologne in 1540. Of this there is a copy in the British Museum which was formerly in the possession of Archbishop Cranmer, and which still contains his autograph.
96. On all these MSS. see Petschenig's introduction, Cassian, Vol. I. pp. xiv.-lxxviii.
97. Of this edition there is a copy in the British Museum which formerly belonged to the Convent of S. Mark at Florence, and is enriched with marginal notes in the handwriting of Girolamo Savonarola.
98. Gazet himself prepared a revised edition, which was brought out after his death, at Arras, in 1628.
99. The edition used is that published at Leipsic in 1733. It cannot, however, be recommended, as it is full of misprints.
John Cassian Index | Lectio Divina | OSB Home Page
OSB. Lectio. Cassian. Prolegomena. Notes. / Rev. 990824 / © Copyright 1996-1999, OSB Inc. and Elizabeth T. Knuth / URL: http://www.osb.org/lectio/cassian/prolnote.html