18 "Atque haud dubie pro nobis tentatus est Petrus, ut in fortiore non esset tentamenti periculum." A difficult passage, and the meaning of it seems to be, that had a stronger than St. Peter been tried, and had overcome, we should net have had the warning against presumption, and the help of the example of one like ourselves.
44 The reference of course is to the sign of the Cross, which, as we know from various authorities, the early Christians constantly used, at rising, lying down, going in or out, at prayers, etc., etc.
50 Scripturarum. It is impossible to suppose that St. Ambrose here means Holy Scripture, but is referring to such writers as Herodotus, Tacitus, and Pliny. Other Fathers, Tertullian St. Cyril of Jerusalem, St. Basil, with several more, refer also to the fable of the Phoenix in speaking of the Resurrection.
51 St. Ambrose may have believed that the world would end with a.d. 1000, or possibly a thousand is simply taken as a number signifying completeness, as St. Augustine (De Civ. Dei, XX. 7) explains the thousand years of Rev. xx. 1.
57 The immortality of the soul may be believed by those who deny the resurrection of the body, and was taught by many philosophers amongst the heathen. The resurrection of the body is a matter of divine revelation, and the very highest and be st amongst the heathen seem not to have admitted it even as a speculation.