Florus, Drepanius

Florus, Drepanius (commonly called FLORUS DIACONUS or MAGISTER), a deacon of the Church of Lyons in the 9th century, noted especially for the share he took in the disputes with Gottschalc and Johannus Scotus, and also between Agobard and Amalarius. Against the former he wrote (A.D. 852) Liber de Predestinatione contra Joh. Scoti erron. definitiones.

He asserts a twofold predestination, or, rather, predestination under a twofold aspect: a gratuitous predestination of the elect to grace and glory, and a, predestination of the reprobate to damnation for their sins, which they commit by their own free will; and maintains that, though our free will can choose that which is good, yet it never would choose, or do it, if it were not assisted by the grace of Jesus Christ. And to explain this, he makes use of the comparison of a sick man, of whom we may say that he may recover his health, although he hath need of physic to restore it; or of a dead man, that he may be raised, but by the divine power. In like manner, saith he, the free will being distempered, and dead, by the sin of the first man, may be revived, but not by its own virtue, but by the grace and power of God, who hath pity on it, which Florus understands not only of that grace which is necessary for actions, but of that also which is necessary to seek conversion by prayer, and begin to do well. "While he censured Scotus on account of his abuse of the worldly sciences, he did not suffer himself to be so far misled by the zeal of the polemic as to discard them as useless in themselves to theology; but he had the discretion to distinguish the right use of them, in investigating truth, from that abuse. He only demanded that everything should be tried by the test of the sacred Scriptures. But, at the same time, he declared that, in order rightly to understand and apply Scripture truth, it was not enough to study the letter alone, but that the inward illumination of a Christian temper was also required. The holy Scriptures themselves could not be rightly understood and profitably read unless faith in Christ first existed in the heart of the reader, so that the truth might be rightly apprehended by means of that, or unless faith in Christ was truly sought, and found in them by the light which cometh from above." This, and his tract De Actione Missarum, and De electionibus Episcoporum, may be found in Bib. Max. Patr. tom. 15; the Opusc. adv. Amalarium in Martene et Durand, collect. 9, page 577. He compiled, chiefly from Augustine, a Comm. in Omnes Pauli Epistolas, which was published as Beda's until Mabillon showed it to be Florus's. All his extant writings are given in Migne, Patrol. Lat. 119:1423.—Mosheim, Ch. Hist. cent. 9, part 2, chapter 2, n. 45; Hook, Eccl. Biog. 5:153; Hist. Litt. de la France, tom. 5; Neander, Ch. Hist. (Torrey), 3:489; Ceillier, Auteurs Sacres (Paris, 1862), 12:478 sq.

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