Three Chief Places, Three Principles, Three Remedies, and Three Maxims

While poking around for something else in Patrologia Latina Vol. 94, my eyes stumbled across the following passage:

God has established three chief dwellings: heaven, earth, and hell: and in these three there are three principle things. In heaven He established peace and eternity; on earth he established faith and repentance and remission of sins; in hell He established fear and eternal punishment and no remission of sins. Moreover, it is from the earth, which is in the middle position, that heaven and hell will be filled. There are three remedies: baptism, repentance, and martyrdom. Shame in evil things is nobler than arrogant bragging in good things. Faith opens the mind, infidelity closes it. Just as night does not extinguish the stars of heaven, so the iniquity of the world does not obscure the faithful who adhere firmly to holy Scripture.:”(PL 94, [Col. 0542B] Tres principales mansiones constituit Deus: coelum, [Col. 0542C] et terram, et infernum: et in illis tribus tres principales res. In coelo constituit pacem et aeternitatem; in terra autem constituit fidem et poenitentiam, et remissionem peccatorum; in inferno constituit timorem et aeternam poenam, et nullam remissionem. De terra autem, quae in medio posita est, replebitur coelum et infernus. Tria remedia sunt: baptismus, poenitentia, martyrium. Melior est in malefactis humilis confusio, quam in bonis superba gloriatio. Fides intellectum aperit, infidelitas claudit. Sicut stellas coeli non exstinguit nox, sic fideli adhaerentes firmamento sanctae Scripturae non obscurat mundana iniquitas.)”:

Volume 94 is attributed to the Venerable Bede (672-735), but this section is marked as being “collected sayings of the Fathers,” so it’s unclear who exactly said it. But whoever said it, it’s neat.


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