13 Cunningham, St. Austin and his Place in the History of Christian Thought (1886), has these remarks on the relation of Mani to Buddhism: "Mani was indeed a religious reformer: deeply impregnated with the belief and practice which Buddhist monks were spreading in the East, he tried with some success to reform the religion of Zoroaster in Persia [i. e. the Persian Empire], his native land. While his fundamental doctrine, the root of his system, was of Persian origin, and he figured the universe to himself as if it were given over to the unending conflict between the Powers of Light and Darkness, in regard to discipline his system very closely resembles that founded by Buddha; the elect of the Manichaeans correspond to the Buddhist monks: the precepts about abstinence from meat and things of sense are, if not borrowed from the rules Gotama gave for the conduct of his followers, the outcome of the same principles about the nature of man." Harnack, art. Manichaesm in Ency. Britannica, follows Kessler in attaching slight importance to the Buddhist influence on Manichaeism, preferring, with him, to derive nearly all of the features ascribed by Baur, Neander and others to Buddhist influence, to the old Babylonian religion, the precise character of which, in the time of Mani, is imperfectly understood. Harnack's (and Kessler's) statements must therefore be taken with some allowance. There is no objection, however, to supposing that Mani derived from the old Babylonian party or parties with which he came in contact religious principles which were wrought out in detail under the influence of Buddhism. This is in fact what probably occurred.
16 See G. Loesche: De Augustineo Plotinizante in Doctrina de deo Disserenda, Jenae, 1880. Also, Dorner: Augustineus, Zeller, Ueberweg, Ritter, and Erdmann: Histories of Philosophy, sections on Augustine and Neo-Platonism.
18 For an account of the controversies in which Augustine was engaged with the Manichaeans, and for the chronological order of the Anti-Manichaean treatises, see the Preface of the Edinburgh editor. Cf. Bindemann, on the various controversies, in his Der h. Augustineus, passim. See also, a good chronological list of St. Augustine's works in Cunningham: St. Austin, p. 277 sq.
1 Beausobre (Histoire Critique de Manichée et du Manichéisme, Amst. 1734, 2 vols.) has collected everything that is known of Mani. The original sources are here sifted with unusual acuteness, and with great and solid learning, though the author's strong "bias in favor of a heretic" frequently leads him to make unwarranted statements. Burton's estimate of this entertaining and indispensable work (Heresies of Apostol. Age, p. xxi.), is much fairer than Pusey's (Aug. Conf. p. 314). A brief account of Mani and his doctrines is given by Milman with his usual accuracy, impartiality and lucidity (Hist. of Christianity, ii. 259, ed. 1867). For any one who wishes to investigate the subject further, ample references are there given. A specimen of the confusion that involves the history of Mani will be found in the account given by Socrates (Hist. i. 22).
7 Böhringer characterizes it briefly in the words: "Es ist der alte heidnische Dualismus mit seiner Naturtheologie, der in Mani's Systeme seine letzten Kräfte sammelt und unter der gleissenden Hülle christlicher Worte und Formen an den reinen Monotheismus des Christenthums und dessen reine Ethik sich heranwagt."
9 Lardner, however, seems to prove that Hierax was not a Manichaean, though some of his opinions approximated to this heresy. The whole subject of the Manichaean literature is treated by Lardner (Works, iii. p. 374), with the learning of Beausobre and more than Beausobre's impartiality.
10 The De Natura Boni, written in the year 405, is necessarily very much a reproduction of what is elsewhere affirmed, that all natures are good, and created by God, who alone is immutable and incorruptible. It presents concisely the leading positions of Augustine in this controversy, and concludes with an eloquent prayer that his efforts may be blessed to the conversion of the heretics,-not the only passage which demonstrates that he wrote not for the glory of victory so much as for the deliverance of men from fatal error.
13 Any one who consults Beausobre on this point will find that historical criticism is not of so recent an origin as some persons seem to think. It is worth transcribing his own account of the spirit in which he means to do his work: "Je traiterai mon sujet en Critique, suivant la Reglo de S. Paul, Examinez toutes choses, et ne retenez que ce qui est bon. L'Histoire en general, et l'Histoire Ecclesiastique en particulier, n'est bien souvent qu'un mélange confus de faux et de vrai, entasse par des Ecrivains mal instruits, credules ou passionez. Cela convient surtout a l'Histoire des Heretiques et des Heresies. C'est au Lecteur attentif et judicieux d'en faire le discernement, a l'aide d'une critique, qui ne soit trop timide, ni temeraire. Sans le secours de cet art, on erre dans l'Histoire comme un Pilote sur les mers, lorsqu'il n' a ni boussole, ni carte marine" (i. 7).
14 Beausobre and Cave suppose that we have the whole of Faustus' book embodied in Augustine's review of it. Lardner is of opinion that the commencement, and perhaps the greater part, of the work is given, but not the whole..
17 His willingness to do so, and the success with which he encountered the most renowned champions of this heresy, should have prevented Beausobre from charging him with misunderstanding or misrepresenting the Manichaean doctrine. The retractation of Felix tells strongly against this view of Augustine's incompetence to deal with Manichaeism.
19 This cannot but make us cautious in receiving the statements of the tract. On the Morals of the Manichaeans. There can be little doubt that many of the Manichaeans practiced the ascetic virtues, and were recognizable by the gauntness and pallor of their looks, so that Manichaean became a by-word for any one who did not appreciate the felicity of good living. Thus Jerome says of a certain class of women, "quam viderint pallentem atque tristem, Miseram, Monacham, et Manichaean vocant" (De Custod. Virg. Ep. 18). Lardner throws light on the practices of the Manichaeans, and effectually disposes of some of the calumnies uttered regarding them. Pusey's appendix to his translation of the Confessions may also be referred to with advantage.
22 Retract. ii. 10: "quod, mea sententia, omnibus quoe adversus illam pestem scribere potui, facile proepono." The reason of this preference is explained by Bindemann, Der heilige Augstinus, iii. 168.
24 Some have thought Augustine more successful here than elsewhere. Cassiodorus may have thought so when he said: "diligentius atque vivacius adversus eos quam contra haereses alias disseruit" (Instit. i. quoted by Lardner).