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And of Wisdom it is written that she has in herself the omnipotent Spirit; for Solomon says: 'For wisdom, which is the worker of all things, taught me.'' For there is in her the Spirit of intelligence, holy, one, multiple, subtle, easily movable, eloquent, immaculate, manifest, inviolable, loving the good, acute, provident, powerful, bountiful, kind, stable, perfect, without solicitude, who can do all things, seeing all things, and penetrating through all the thoughts of intelligent spirits.
8 Wis. 7.12.
T. AMBROSE'S WORK, The Sacraments, has been regarded by many, notably by H. Dudden, as not of
Ambrosian origin. Recently, its authenticity has been stoutly defended, among others, by J. R. Palanque, and most recently by Otto Faller, S. J., in the prologomena of Volume 73 of the CSEL (Vienna 1955).
The Sacraments is a work in six books, consisting of six short addresses delivered by a bishop to the newly baptized, on six successive days, from Tuesday of Easter week through the following Sunday. In content it is very similar to The Mysteries, but it is in general a more detailed presentation. Among other illustrations we cite the more exact description of the rites of baptism and the fuller account of the Eucharist. Moreover, The Sacraments contains a very interesting exposition of the Lord's Prayer and a discussion of the parts of prayer which are entirely lacking in The Mysteries.
Fr. Faller's chief arguments in favor of St. Ambrose's authorship of The Sacraments are as follows:
1. All the manuscripts in which the name of the author is
given, including all the very ancient ones, with the exception of Sangallensis 188, which includes a collection of sermons of various authors, are obviously falsely handed down under the name of Augustine, show no other name than that of Ambrose. This agreement of manuscripts of diverse sources cannot be explained except by the conclusion that their archetypes written no later than the seventh century all agreed in this fact.
2. All mediaeval writers of the earlier centuries without exception agree on St. Ambrose as the author of The Sacraments.
The unanimity of the evidence cited above cannot be contradicted without the very strongest arguments.
3. An argument on the basis of style has been raised against the authenticity of this work. This is very weak, since it is obvious that these sermons are the notes taken down by shorthand written as Ambrose delivered them to the recently baptized and transcribed and published after Ambrose’s death. They were never transcribed and polished by Ambrose himself, as was the case with his other sermons. They remain in the very simple language of Ambrose's instructions. Ambrose himself never intended to publish these sermons which were delivered before he wrote The Mysteries, but from these Ambrose composed and published The Mysteries.
4. Some claim the practice of the washing of the feet, a custom contrary to that of the church in Rome, as an indication of non-Ambrosian authorship, whereas it is a proof of the very opposite. From the year 381, in which St. Ambrose wrote the prologue of De Spiritu Sancto, until his last work, Explanatio Psalmorum XII, he repeatedly explains and defends this very rite in Milan.
5. These sermons were definitely written in the fourth