Writings of Augustine. On the Gospel According to St. John.

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St. Augustin:

Lectures or Tractates

On the Gospel According to St. John.

Translated by Rev. James Innes, of Panbride, near Dundee, Scotland

Published for Dr. Dods, by T. & T. Clark, Edinburgh, 1873.

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Tractate LXX.

Chapter XIV. 7-10.

1. The words of the holy Gospel, brethren, are rightly understood only if they are found to be in harmony with those that precede; for the premises ought to agree with the conclusion, when it is the Truth that speaks. The Lord had said before, "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also:" and then had added, "And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know;" and showed that all He said was that they knew Himself. What, therefore, the meaning was of His going to Himself by Himself,--for He also lets the disciples see that it is by Him that they are to come to Him,--we have already told you, as we could, in our last discourse. When He says, therefore, "That where I am, there ye may be also," where else were they to be but in Himself? In this way is He also in Himself, and they, therefore, are just where He is, that is, in Himself. Accordingly, He Himself is that eternal life which is yet to be ours, when He has received us unto Himself; and as He is that life eternal, so is it in Him, that where He is there shall we be also, that is to say, in Himself. "For as the Father hath life in Himself," and certainly that life which He has is in no wise different from what He is Himself as its possessor, "so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself," [1285] inasmuch as He is the very life which He hath in Himself. But shall we then actually be what He is, (namely), the life, when we shall have begun our existence in that life, that is, in Himself? Certainly not, for He, by His very existence as the life, hath life, and is Himself what He hath; and as the life, is in Him, so is He in Himself: but we are not that life, but partakers of His life, and shall be there in such wise as to be wholly incapable of being in ourselves what He is, but so as, while ourselves not the life, to have Him as our life, who has Himself the life on this very account that He Himself is the life. In short, He both exists unchangeably in Himself and inseparably in the Father. But we, when wishing to exist in ourselves, were thrown into inward trouble regarding ourselves, as is expressed in the words, "My soul is cast down within me:" [1286] and changing from bad to worse, cannot even remain as we were. But when by Him we come unto the Father, according to His own words, "No man cometh unto the Father but by me," and abide in Him, no one shall be able to separate us either from the Father or from Him.

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2. Connecting, therefore, His previous words with those that follow, He proceeded to say, "If ye had known me, ye should certainly have known my Father also." This conforms to His previous words, "No man cometh unto the Father but by me." And then He adds: "And from henceforth ye know Him, and have seen Him." But Philip, one of the apostles, not understanding what he had just heard, said, "Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us." And the Lord replied to him, "Have I been so long time with you, and yet have ye not known me, Philip? he that seeth me, seeth also the Father." Here you see He complains that He had been so long time with them, and yet He was not known. But had He not Himself said, "And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know;" and on their saying that they knew it not, had convinced them that they did know, by adding the words: "I am the way, and the truth, and the life"? How, then, says He now, "Have I been so long time with you, and have ye not known me?" when, in fact, they knew both whither He went and the way, on no other grounds save that they really knew Himself? But this difficulty is easily solved by saying that some of them knew Him, and others did not, and that Philip was one of those who did not know Him; so that, when He said, "And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know," He is understood as having spoken to those that knew, and not to Philip, who has it said to him, "Have I been so long time with you, and have ye not known me, Philip?" To such, then, as already knew the Son, was it now also said of the Father, "And from henceforth ye know Him, and have seen Him:" for such words were used because of the all-sided likeness subsisting between the Father and the Son; so that, because they knew the Son, they might henceforth be said to know the Father. Already, therefore, they knew the Son, if not all of them, those at least to whom it is said, "And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know;" for He is Himself the way. But they knew not the Father, and so have also to hear, "If ye have known me, ye have known my Father also;" that is, through me ye have known Him also. For I am one, and He another. But that they might not think Him unlike, He adds, "And from henceforth ye know Him, and have seen Him." For they saw His perfectly resembling Son, but needed to have the truth impressed on them, that exactly such as was the Son whom they saw,was the Father also whom they did not see. And to this points what is afterwards said to Philip, "He that seeth me, seeth also the Father." Not that He Himself was Father and Son, which is a notion of the Sabellians, who are also called Patripassians, [1287] condemned by the Catholic faith; but that Father and Son are so alike, that he who knoweth one knoweth both. For we are accustomed to speak in this way of two who closely resemble each other, to those who are in the habit of seeing one of them, and wish to know what like the other is, so that we say, In seeing the one, you have seen the other. In this way, then, is it said "He that seeth me, seeth also the Father." Not, certainly, that He who is the Son is also the Father, but that the Son in no respect disagrees with the likeness of the Father. For had not the Father and Son been two persons, it would not have been said, "If ye have known me, ye have known my Father also." Such is certainly the case for "no one," He says, "cometh unto the Father but by me: if ye have known me, ye have known my Father also;" because it is I, who am the only way to the Father, that will lead you to Him, that He also may Himself become known to you. But as I am in all respects His perfect image, "from henceforth ye know Him" in knowing me; "and have seen Him," if you have seen me with the spiritual eyesight of the soul.

3. Why, then, Philip, dost thou say, "Show us the Father, and it sufficeth us? Have I been so long time with you, and yet have ye not known me, Philip? He that seeth me, seeth the Father also." If it interests thee much to see this, believe at least what thou seest not. For "how," He says, "sayest thou, Show us the Father?" If thou hast seen me, who am His perfect likeness, thou hast seen Him to whom I am like. And if thou canst not directly see this, "believest thou not," at least, "that I am in the Father, and the Father in me?" But Philip might say here, "I see Thee indeed, and believe Thy full likeness to the Father; but is one to be reproved and rebuked because, when he sees one who bears a likeness to another, he wishes to see that other to whom he is like? I know, indeed, the image, but as yet I know only the one without the other; it is not enough for me, unless I know that other whose likeness he bears. Show us, therefore, the Father, and it sufficeth us." But the Master really reproved the disciple because He saw into the heart of his questioner. For it was with the idea, as if the Father were somehow better than the Son, that Philip had the desire to know the Father: and so he did not even know the Son, because believing that He was inferior to another. It was to correct such a notion that it was said, "He that seeth me, seeth the Father also. How sayest thou, Show us the Father?" I see the meaning of thy words: it is not the original likeness thou seekest to see, but it is that other thou thinkest the superior. "Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me?" Why desirest thou to dis cover some distance between those who are thus alike? why cravest thou the separate knowledge of those who cannot be separated? What, after this, He says not only to Philip, but to all of them together, must not now be thrust into a corner, in order that, by His help, it may be the more carefully expounded.

Footnotes

[1285] Chap. v. 26. [1286] Ps. xlii. 6. [1287] That is, those who ascribed suffering to the Father; because the Sabellians, denying the distinct personality of the Son, and regarding Him as only a special revelation of God the Father, were chargeable, therefore, with holding that it was God the Father who really suffered and died on the cross.--Tr. .


Tractate LXXI.

Chapter XIV. 10-14.

1. Give close attention, and try to understand, beloved; for while it is we who speak it is He Himself who never withdraweth His presence from us who is our Teacher. The Lord saith, what you have just heard read, "The words that I speak unto you, I speak not of myself: but the Father, that dwelleth in me, He doeth the works." Even His words, then, are works? Clearly so. For surely he that edifies a neighbor by what he says, works a good work. But what mean the words, "I speak not of myself," but, I who speak am not of myself? Hence He attributes what He does to Him, of whom He, that doeth them, is. For the Father is not God [as born, etc.] of any one else, while the Son is God, as equal, indeed, to the Father, but [as born] of God the Father. Therefore the former is God, but not of God; and the Light, but not of light: whereas the latter is God of God, Light of Light.

2. For in connection with these two clauses,--the one where it is said, "I speak not of myself;" and the other, which runs, "but the Father that dwelleth in me, He doeth the works,"--we are opposed by two different classes of heretics, who, by each of them holding only to one clause, run off, not in one, but opposite directions, and wander far from the pathway of truth. For instance, the Arians say, See here, the Son is not equal to the Father, He speaketh not of Himself. The Sabellians, or Patripassians, on the other hand, say, See, He who is the Father is also the Son; for what else is this, "The Father that dwelleth in me, He doeth the works," but I that do them dwell in myself? You make contrary assertions, and that not only in the sense that any one thing is false, that is, contrary to truth, but in this also, when two things that are both false contradict one another. In your wanderings you have taken opposite directions; midway between the two is the path you have left. You are a far longer distance apart from each other than from the very way you have both forsaken. Come hither, you from the one side, and you from the other: pass not across, the one to the other, but come from both sides to us, and make this the place of your mutual meeting. Ye Sabellians, acknowledge the Being you overlook; Arians, set Him whom you subordinate in His place of equality, and you will both be walking with us in the pathway of truth. For you have grounds on both sides that make mutual admonition a duty. Listen, Sabellian: so far is the Son from being the same as the Father, and so truly is He another, that the Arian maintains His inferiority to the Father. Listen, Arian: so truly is the Son equal to the Father, that the Sabellian declares Him to be identical with the Father. Do thou restore the personality thou hast abstracted, and thou, the full dignity thou hast lowered, and both of you stand together on the same ground as ourselves: because the one of you [who has been an Arian], for the conviction of the Sabellian, never lets out of sight the personality of Him who is distinct from the Father, and the other [who has been a Sabellian] takes care, for the conviction of the Arian, of not impairing the dignity of Him who is equal with the Father. For to both of you He cries, "I and my Father are one." [1288] When He says "one," let the Arians listen; when He says, "we are," let the Sabellians give heed, and no longer continue in the folly of denying, the one, His equality [with the Father], the other, His distinct personality. If, then, in saying, "The words that I speak unto you, I speak not of myself," He is thereby accounted of a power so inferior, that what He doeth is not what He Himself willeth; listen to what He also said, "As the Father raiseth up the dead and quickeneth them, even so the Son quickeneth whom He will." And so likewise, if in saying, "The Father that dwelleth in me, He doeth the works," He is on that account not to be regarded as distinct in person from the Father, let us listen to His other words, "What things soever the Father doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise;" [1289] and He will be understood as speaking not of one person twice over, but of two who are one. But just because their mutual equality is such as not to interfere with their distinct personality, therefore He speaketh not of Himself, because He is not of Himself; and the Father also, that dwelleth in Him, Himself doeth the works, because He, by whom and with whom He doeth them, is not, save of [the Father] Himself. And then He goes on to say, "Believe ye not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? Or else believe me for the very works' sake." Formerly it was Philip only who was reproved, but now, it is shown that he was not the only one there that needed reproof. "For the very works' sake," He says, "believe ye that I am in the Father, and the Father in me:" for had we been separated, we should have been unable to do any kind of work inseparably.

3. But what is this that follows? "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it." And so He promised that He Himself would also do those greater works. Let not the servant exalt himself above his Lord, or the disciple above his Master. [1290] He says that they will do greater works than He doeth Himself; but it is all by His doing such in or by them, and not as if they did them of themselves. Hence the song that is addressed to Him, "I will love Thee, O Lord, my strength." [1291] But what, then, are those greater works? Was it that their very shadow, as they themselves passed by, healed the sick? [1292] For it is a mightier thing for a shadow, than for the hem of a garment, to possess the power of healing. [1293] The one work was done by Christ Himself, the other by them; and yet it was He that did both. Nevertheless, when He so spake, He was commending the efficacious power [1294] of His own words: for it was in this sense He had said, "The words that I speak unto you, I speak not of myself; but the Father that dwelleth in me, He doeth the works." What works was He then referring to, but the words He was speaking? They were hearing and believing, and their faith was the fruit of those very words: howbeit, when the disciples preached the gospel, it was not small numbers like themselves, but nations also that believed; and such, doubtless, are greater works. And yet He said not, Greater works than these shall ye do, to lead us to suppose that it was only the apostles who would do so; for He added, "He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do." Is the case then so, that he that believeth on Christ doeth the same works as Christ, or even greater than He did? Points like these are not to be treated in a cursory way, nor ought they to be hurriedly disposed of; and, therefore, as our present discourse must be brought to a close, we are obliged to defer their further consideration.

Footnotes

[1288] Chap. x. 30. [1289] Chap. v. 21, 19. [1290] Chap. xiii. 16. [1291] Ps. xviii. 1. [1292] Acts v. 15. [1293] Matt. xiv. 36. [1294] Opera. .


Tractate LXXII.

on the same passage.

1. It is no easy matter to comprehend what is meant by, or in what sense we are to receive, these words of the Lord, "He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also:" and then, to this great difficulty in the way of our understanding, He has added another still more difficult, "And greater things than these shall he do." What are we to make of it? We have not found one who did such works as Christ did; and are we likely to find one who will do even greater? But we remarked in our last discourse, that it was a greater deed to heal the sick by the passing of their shadow, as was done by the disciples, than as the Lord Himself did by the touch of the hem of His garment; and that more believed on the apostles than on the Lord Himself, when preaching with His own lips; so that we might suppose works like these to be understood as greater: not that the disciple was to be greater than his Master, or the servant than his Lord, or the adopted son than the Only-begotten, or man than God, but that by them He Himself would condescend to do these greater works, while telling them in another passage, "Without me ye can do nothing." [1295] While He Himself, on the other hand, to say nothing of His other works, which are numberless, made them without any aid from themselves, and without them made this world; and because He Himself thought meet to become man, without them He made also Himself. But what have they [made or done] without Him, save sin? And last of all, He straightway also withdrew from the subject all that could cause us agitation; for after saying, "He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do;" He immediately went on to add, "Because I go unto the Father; and whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do." He who had said, "He will do," afterwards said, "I will do;" as if He had said, Let not this appear to you impossible; for he that believeth on me can never become greater than I am, but it is I who shall then be doing greater things than now; greater things by him that believeth on me, than by myself apart from him; yet it is I myself apart from him, [1296] and I myself by him [that will do the works]: and as it is apart from him, it is not he that will do them; and as, on the other hand, it is by him, although not by his own self, it is he also that will do them. And besides, to do greater things by one than apart from one, is not a sign of deficiency, but of condescension. For what can servants render unto the Lord for all His benefits towards them? [1297] And sometimes He hath condescended to number this also amongst His other benefits towards them, namely, to do greater works by them than apart from them. Did not that rich man go away sad from His presence, when seeking counsel about eternal life? He heard, and cast it away: and yet in after days the counsel that fell on his ears was followed, not by one, but by many, when the good Master was speaking by the disciples; He was an object of contempt to the rich man, when warned by Himself directly, and of love to those whom by means of poor men He transformed from rich into poor. Here, then, you see, He did greater works when preached by believers, than when speaking Himself to hearers.

2. But there is still something to excite thought in His doing such greater works by the apostles; for He said not, as if merely with reference to them, The works that I do shall ye do also; and greater works than these shall ye do: but wishing to be understood as speaking of all that belonged to His family, said, "He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do." If, then, he that believeth shall do such works, he that shall do them not is certainly no believer: just as "He that loveth me, keepeth my commandments," [1298] implies, of course, that he who keepeth them not, loveth not. In another place, also, He says, "He that heareth these sayings of mine and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, who buildeth his house upon a rock;" [1299] and he, therefore, who is unlike this wise man, without doubt either heareth these sayings and doeth them not, or faileth even to hear them. "He that believeth in me," He says, "though he die, yet shall he live;" [1300] and he, therefore, that shall not live, is certainly no believer now. In a similar way, also, it is said here, "He that believeth in me shall do [such works]:" he is, therefore, no believer who shall not do so. What have we here, then, brethren? Is it that one is not to be reckoned among believers in Christ, who shall not do greater works than Christ? It were hard, unreasonable, intolerable, to suppose so; that is, unless it be rightly understood. Let us listen, then, to the apostle, when he says, "To him that believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness." [1301] This is the work in which we may be doing the works of Christ, for even our very believing in Christ is the work of Christ. It is this He worketh in us, not certainly without us. Hear now, then, and understand, "He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also:" I do them first, and he shall do them afterwards; for I do such works that he may do them also. And what are the works, but the making of a righteous man out of an ungodly one?

3. "And greater works than these shall he do." Than what, pray? Shall we say that one is doing greater works than all that Christ did who is working out his own salvation with fear and trembling? [1302] A work which Christ is certainly working in him, but not without him; and one which I might, without hesitation, call greater than the heavens and the earth, and all in both within the compass of our vision. For both heaven and earth shall pass away, [1303] but the salvation and justi fication of those predestinated thereto, that is, of those whom He foreknoweth, shall continue forever. In the former there is only the working of God, but in the latter there is also His image. But there are also in the heavens, thrones, governments, principalities, powers, archangels, and angels, which are all of them the work of Christ; and is it, then, greater works also than these that he doeth, who, with Christ working in him, is a co-worker in his own eternal salvation and justification? I dare not call for any hurried decision on such a point: let him who can, understand, and let him who can, judge whether it is a greater work to create righteous beings than to make righteous the ungodly. For at least, if there is equal power employed in both, there is greater mercy in the latter. For "this is the great mystery of godliness which was manifested in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory." [1304] But when He said, "Greater works than these shall he do," there is no necessity requiring us to suppose that all of Christ's works are to be understood. For He spake, perhaps, only of these He was now doing; and the work He was doing at that time was uttering the words of faith, and of such works specially had He spoken just before when He said, "The words that I speak unto you, I speak not of myself: but the Father, that dwelleth in me, He doeth the works." His words, accordingly, were His works. And it is assuredly something less to preach the words of righteousness, which He did apart from us, than to justify the ungodly, which He does in such a way in us that we also are doing it ourselves. It remains for us to inquire how the words are to be understood, "Whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, I will do it." Because of the many things His believing ones ask, and receive not, there is no small question claiming our attention; but as this discourse must now be concluded, we must allow at least a little delay for its consideration and discussion.

Footnotes

[1295] Chap. xv. 5. [1296] That is, here, "without any self-originating aid of his," as if he had any independent and meritorious share in the work. Augustin plays on the prepositions, per (eum), and præter (eum).--Tr. [1297] Ps. cxvi. 12. [1298] Chap. xiv. 21. [1299] Matt. vii. 24. [1300] Chap. xi. 25. [1301] Rom. iv. 5. [1302] Phil. ii. 12. [1303] Matt. xxiv. 35. [1304] 1 Tim. iii. 16. On account of the well-known textual controversy among Biblicists, this passage, as quoted by Augustin, is so far valuable, as it shows us how he read and understood the point in dispute, namely, whether it is "God was manifested" (as in our English version), or, "Who [which] was manifested," as here by Augustin; in other words, whether the original text read Theos or hos before ephanerothe. The evidence is almost equally divided between the two; and the difficulty is chiefly caused by the circumstance, that in the earliest mss., the Uncial, ThEOS (God) is usually written in a contracted form, consisting of the first and last letters, ThS, which differs from the pronoun hos (who), written OS, merely by the little line inside the Th, and another line over the contraction; both of which may have been unintentionally omitted at the time of copying, or purposely inserted at an after date. To us now, the question is of less importance, as, if the true reading be hos (who), its antecedent can only be Christos (Christ). [The R.V., in accordance with the oldest mss. and the best critical edition, reads: "He who (hos) was manifested"--Tr.] .


Tractate LXXIII.

again on the same passage.

1. The Lord, by His promise, gave those whose hopes were resting on Himself a special ground of confidence, when He said, "For I go to the Father; and whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, I will do it." His proceeding, therefore, to the Father, was not with any view of abandoning the needy, but of hearing and answering their petitions. But what is to be made of the words, "Whatsoever ye shall ask," when we behold His faithful ones so often asking and not receiving? Is it, shall we say, for no other reason but that they ask amiss? For the Apostle James made this a ground of reproach when he said, "Ye ask and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts." [1305] What one, therefore, wishes to receive, in order to turn to an improper use, God in His mercy rather refuses to bestow. Nay, more, if a man asks what would, if answered, only tend to his injury, there is surely greater cause to fear, lest what God could not withhold with kindness, He should give in His anger. Do we not see how the Israelites got to their own hurt what their guilty lusting craved? For while it was raining manna on them from heaven, they desired to have flesh to eat. [1306] They disdained what they had, and shamelessly sought what they had not: as if it were not better for them to have asked not to have their unbecoming desires gratified with the food that was wanting, but to have their own dislike removed, and be made themselves to receive aright the food that was provided. For when evil becomes our delight, and what is good the reverse, we ought to be entreating God rather to win us back to the love of the good, than to grant us the evil. Not that it is wrong to eat flesh, for the apostle, speaking of this very thing, says, "Every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused which is received with thanksgiving; [1307] but because, as he also says, "It is evil for that man who eateth with offense;" [1308] and if so, with offense to man, how much more so if to God, to whom it was no light offense, on the part of the Israelites, to reject what wisdom was supplying, and ask for that which lust was craving: although they would not actually make the request, but murmured because it was wanting. But to let us know that the wrong lies not with any creature of God, but with obstinate disobedience and inordinate desire, it was not in swine's flesh that the first man found death, but in an apple; [1309] and it was not for a fowl, but for a dish of pottage, that Esau lost his birthright. [1310]

2. How, then, are we to understand "Whatsoever ye shall ask, I will do it," if there are some things which the faithful ask, and which God, even purposely on their behalf, leaves undone? Or ought we to suppose that the words were addressed only to the apostles? Surely not. For what He has got the length of now saying is in the very line of what He had said before: "He that believeth in me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do;" which was the subject of our previous discourse. And that no one might attribute such power to himself, but rather to make it manifest that even these greater works were done by Himself, He proceeded to say, "For I go to the Father; and whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, I will do it." Was it the apostles only that believed on Him? When, therefore, He said, "He that believeth on me," He spake to those, among whom we also by His grace are included, who by no means receive everything that we ask. And if we turn our thoughts even to the most blessed apostles, we find that he who labored more than they all, yet not he, but the grace of God that was with him, [1311] besought the Lord thrice that the messenger of Satan might depart from him, and received not what he had asked. [1312] What shall we say, beloved? Are we to suppose that the promise here made, "Whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, I will do it," was not fulfilled by Him even to the apostles? And to whom, then, will ever His promise be fulfilled, if therein He has deceived His own apostles?

3. Wake up, then, believer, and give careful heed to what is stated here, "in my name:" for in these words He does not say, "whatsoever ye shall ask" in any way; but, "in my name." How, then, is He called, who promised so great a blessing? Christ Jesus, of course: Christ means King, and Jesus means Saviour! for certainly it is not any one who is a king that will save us, but only the Saviour-King; and therefore, whatsoever we ask that is adverse to the interests of salvation, we do not ask in the name of the Saviour. And yet He is the Saviour, not only when He does what we ask, but also when He refuses to do so; since by not doing what He sees to be contrary to our salvation, He manifests Himself the more fully as our Saviour. For the physician knows which of his patient's requests will be favorable, and which will be adverse, to his safety; and therefore yields not to his wishes when asking what is prejudicial, that he may effect his recovery. Accordingly, when we wish Him to do whatsoever we ask, let it not be in any way, but in His name, that is, in the name of the Saviour, that we present our petition. Let us not, then, ask aught that is contrary to our own salvation; for if He do that, He does it not as the Saviour, which is the name He bears to His faithful disciples. For He who condescends to be the Saviour of the faithful, is also a Judge to condemn the ungodly. Whatsoever, therefore, any one that believeth on Him shall ask in that name which He bears to those who believe on Him, He will do it; for He will do it as the Saviour. But if one that believeth on Him asketh something through ignorance that is injurious to his salvation, he asketh it not in the name of the Saviour; for His Saviour He will no longer be if He do aught to impede his salvation. And hence, in such a case, in not doing what He is entreated to do, His way is kept the clearer for doing what His name imports. And on that account, not only as the Saviour, but also as the good Master, He taught us, in the very prayer He gave us, what we should ask, in order that, whatsoever we shall ask, He may do it; and that we, too, might thereby understand that we cannot be asking in the Master's name anything that is inconsistent with the rule of His own instructions.

4. There are some things, indeed, which, although really asked in His name, that is, in harmony with His character as both Saviour and Master, He doeth not at the time we ask them, and yet He faileth not to do them. For when we pray that the kingdom of God may come, it does not imply that He is not doing what we ask, because we do not begin at once to reign with Him in the everlasting kingdom: for what we ask is delayed, but not denied. Nevertheless, let us not fail in pray ing, for in so doing we are as those that sow the seed; and in due season we shall reap. [1313] And even when we are asking aright, let us ask Him at the same time not to do what we ask amiss; for there is reference to this also in the Lord's Prayer, when we say, "Lead us not into temptation." [1314] For surely the temptation is no slight one if thine own request be hostile to thy cause. But we must not listen with indifference to the statement that the Lord (to prevent any from thinking that what He promised to do to those that asked, He would do without the Father, after saying, "Whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, I will do it") immediately added, "That the Father may be glorified in the Son: if ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it." In no respect, therefore, does the Son act without the Father, since He so acts for the very purpose that in Him the Father may be glorified. The Father, therefore, acts in the Son, that the Son may be glorified in the Father: and the Son acts in the Father, that the Father may be glorified in the Son; for the Father and the Son are one.

Footnotes

[1305] Jas. iv. 3. [1306] Num. xi. 32. [1307] 1 Tim. iv. 4. [1308] Rom. xiv. 20. [1309] Gen. iii. 6. [1310] Gen. xxv. 34. [1311] 1 Cor. xv. 10. [1312] 2 Cor. xii. 8. [1313] Gal. vi. 9. [1314] Matt. vi. 9-13. .


Tractate LXXIV.

Chapter XIV. 15-17.

1. We have heard, brethren, while the Gospel was read, the Lord saying: "If ye love me, keep my commandments: and I will ask the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter [Paraclete], that He may abide with you for ever; [even] the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him: but ye shall know Him; for He shall dwell with you, and shall be in you." [1315] There are many points which might form the subject of inquiry in these few words of the Lord; but it were too much for us either to search into all that is here for the searching, or to find out all that we here search for. Nevertheless, as far as the Lord is pleased to grant us the power, and in proportion to our capacity and yours, attend to what we ought to say and you to hear, and receive, beloved, what we on our part are able to give, and apply to Him for that wherein we fail. It is the Spirit, the Comforter, that Christ has promised to His apostles; but let us notice the way in which He gave the promise. "If ye love me," He says, "keep my commandments: and I will ask the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever: [even] the Spirit of truth." We have here, at all events, the Holy Spirit in the Trinity, whom the catholic faith acknowledges to be consubstantial and co-eternal with Father and Son: He it is of whom the apostle says, "The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, who is given unto us." [1316] How, then, doth the Lord say, "If ye love me, keep my commandments: and I will ask the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter;" when He saith so of the Holy Spirit, without [having] whom we can neither love God nor keep His commandments? How can we love so as to receive Him, without whom we cannot love at all? or how shall we keep the commandments so as to receive Him, without whom we have no power to keep them? Or can it be that the love wherewith we love Christ has a prior place within us, so that, by thus loving Christ and keeping His commandments, we become worthy of receiving the Holy Spirit, in order that the love, not of Christ, which had already preceded, but of God the Father, may be shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, who is given unto us? Such a thought is altogether wrong. For he who believes that he loveth the Son, and loveth not the Father, certainly loveth not the Son, but some figment of his own imagination. And besides, this is the apostolic declaration, "No one saith, Lord Jesus, [1317] but in the Holy Spirit:" [1318] and who is it that calleth Him Lord Jesus but he that loveth Him, if he so call Him in the way the apostle intended to be understood? For many call Him so with their lips, but deny Him in their hearts and works; just as He saith of such, "For they profess that they know God, but in works they deny Him." [1319] If it is by works He is denied, it is doubtless also by works that His name is truly invoked. "No one," therefore, "saith, Lord Jesus," in mind, in word, in deed, with the heart, the lips, the labor of the hands,--no one saith, Lord Jesus, but in the Holy Spirit; and no one calls Him so but he that loveth. And accordingly the apostles were already calling Him Lord Jesus: and if they called Him so, in no way that implied a feigned utterance, with the mouth confessing, in heart and works denying Him; if they called Him so in all truthfulness of soul, there can be no doubt they loved. And how, then, did they love, but in the Holy Spirit? And yet they are commanded to love Him and keep His commandments, previous and in order to their receiving the Holy Spirit: and yet, without having that Spirit, they certainly could not love Him and keep His commandments.

2. We are therefore to understand that he who loves has already the Holy Spirit, and by what he has becomes worthy of a fuller possession, that by having the more he may love the more. Already, therefore, had the disciples that Holy Spirit whom the Lord promised, for without Him they could not call Him Lord; but they had Him not as yet in the way promised by the Lord. Accordingly they both had, and had Him not, inasmuch as they had Him not as yet to the same extent as He was afterwards to be possessed. They had Him, therefore, in a more limited sense: He was yet to be given them in an ampler measure. They had Him in a hidden way, they were yet to receive Him in a way that was manifest; for this present possession had also a bearing on that fuller gift of the Holy Spirit, that they might come to a conscious knowledge of what they had. It is in speaking of this gift that the apostle says: "Now we have received, not the spirit of this world, but the spirit which is of God, that we may know the things that are freely given to us of God." [1320] For that same manifest bestowal of the Holy Spirit the Lord made, not once, but on two separate occasions. For close on the back of His resurrection from the dead He breathed on them and said, "Receive ye the Holy Spirit." [1321] And because He then gave [the Spirit], did He on that account fail in afterwards sending Him according to His promise? Or was it not the very same Spirit who was both then breathed upon them by Himself, and afterwards sent by Him from heaven? [1322] And so, why that same giving on His part which took place publicly, also took place twice, is another question: for it may be that this twofold bestowal of His in a public way took place because of the two Commandments of love, that is, to our neighbor and to God, in order that love might be impressively intimated as pertaining to the Holy Spirit. And if any other reason is to be sought for, we cannot at present allow our discourse to be improperly prolonged by such an inquiry: provided, however, it be admitted that, without the Holy Spirit, we can neither love Christ nor keep His commandments; while the less experience we have of His presence, the less also can we do so; and the fuller our experience, so much the greater our ability. Accordingly, the promise is no vain one, either to him who has not [the Holy Spirit], or to him who has. For it is made to him who has not, in order that he may have; and to him who has, that he may have more abundantly. For were it not that He was possessed by some in smaller measure than by others, St. Elisha would not have said to St. Elijah, "Let the spirit that is in thee be in a twofold measure in me." [1323]

3. But when John the Baptist said, "For God giveth not the Spirit by measure," [1324] he was speaking exclusively of the Son of God, who received not the Spirit by measure; for in Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead. [1325] And no more is it independently of the grace of the Holy Spirit that the Mediator between God and men is the man Christ Jesus: [1326] for with His own lips He tells us that the prophetical utterance had been fulfilled in Himself: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me; because He hath anointed me, and hath sent me to preach the gospel to the poor." [1327] For His being the Only-begotten, the equal of the Father, is not of grace, but of nature; but the assumption of human nature into the personal unity of the Only-begotten is not of nature, but of grace, as the Gospel acknowledges itself when it says, "And the child grew, and waxed strong, being filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was in Him." [1328] But to others He is given by measure,--a measure ever enlarging until each has received his full complement up to the limits of his own perfection. As we are also reminded by the apostle, "Not to think of ourselves more highly than we ought to think, but to think soberly; according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith." [1329] Nor is it the Spirit Himself that is divided, but the gifts bestowed by the Spirit: for there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. [1330]

4. But when He says, "I will ask the Father, and He shall give you another Paraclete," He intimates that He Himself is also a paraclete. For paraclete is in Latin called advocatus (advocate); and it is said of Christ, "We have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." [1331] But He said that the world could not receive the Holy Spirit, in much the same sense as it is also said, "The minding of the flesh is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God; neither indeed can be;" [1332] just as if we were to say, Unrighteousness cannot be righteous. For in speaking in this passage of the world, He refers to those who love the world; and such a love is not of the Father. [1333] And thus the love of this world, which gives us enough to do to weaken and destroy its power within us, is in direct opposition to the love of God, which is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who is given unto us. "The world," therefore, "cannot receive Him, cause it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him." For worldly love possesseth not those invisible eyes, whereby, save in an invisible way, the Holy Spirit cannot be seen.

5. "But ye," He adds, "shall know Him; for He shall dwell with you, and be in you." He will be in them, that He may dwell with them; He will not dwell with them to the end that He may be in them: for the being anywhere is prior to the dwelling there. But to prevent us from imagining that His words, "He shall dwell with you," were spoken in the same sense as that in which a guest usually dwells with a man in a visible way, He explained what "He shall dwell with you" meant, when He added the words, "He shall be in you." He is seen, therefore, in an invisible way: nor can we have any knowledge of Him unless He be in us. For it is in a similar way that we come to see our conscience within us: for we see the face of another, but we cannot see our own; but it is our own conscience we see, not another's. And yet conscience is never anywhere but within us: but the Holy Spirit can be also apart from us, since He is given that He may also be in us. But we cannot see and know Him in the only way in which He may be seen and known, unless He be in us.

Footnotes

[1315] Augustin has cognoscetis for the second "know," and scit for that immediately preceding. The Greek text, however, has ginosko in both places, and in the present tense. He has also manebit et in vobis erit. The tense of menei, whether present or future, depends simply on the place of the accent, menei, or menei: while, as between the two readings estin and zstai, the preponderance of ms. authority seems in favor of the latter, although the present ginoskete in the principal clause would be more naturally followed by an equally proleptic present in those which follow.--Tr. [1316] Rom. v. 5. [1317] Or, "Jesus is Lord." The weight of authority is clearly in favor of the reading followed by Augustin--legei, Kurios 'Iesous, giving the direct utterance of the speaker; and not the indirect accusative, Kurion 'Iesoun, followed by our English version.--Tr. [1318] 1 Cor. xii. 3. [1319] Tit. i. 16. [1320] 1 Cor. ii. 12. [1321] Chap. xx. 22. [1322] Acts ii. 4. [1323] 2 Kings ii. 9. [1324] Chap. iii. 34. [1325] Col. ii. 9. [1326] 1 Tim. ii. 5. [1327] Luke iv. 18-21. [1328] Luke ii. 40. [1329] Rom. xii. 3. [1330] 1 Cor. xii. 4. [1331] 1 John ii. 1. [1332] Rom. viii. 7, marg. [1333] 1 John ii. 16. .


Tractate LXXV.

Chapter XIV. 18-21.

1. After the promise of the Holy Spirit, lest any should suppose that the Lord was to give Him, as it were, in place of Himself, in any such way as that He Himself would not likewise be with them, He added the words: "I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you." Orphani [Greek] are pupilli [parent-less children] in Latin. The one is the Greek, the other the Latin name of the same thing: for in the psalm where we read, "Thou art the helper of the fatherless" [in the Latin version, pupillo], the Greek has orphano. [1334] Accordingly, although it was not the Son of God that adopted sons to His Father, or willed that we should have by grace that same Father, who is His Father by nature, yet in a sense it is paternal feelings toward us that He Himself displays, when He declares, "I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you." In the same way He calls us also the children of the bridegroom, when He says, "The time will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall the children of the bridegroom fast." [1335] And who is the bridegroom, but Christ the Lord?

2. He then goes on to say, "Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more." How so? the world saw Him then; for under the name of the world are to be understood those of whom He spake above, when saying of the Holy Spirit, "Whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him." He was plainly visible to the carnal eyes of the world, while manifest in the flesh; but it saw not the Word that lay hid in the flesh: it saw the man, but it saw not God: it saw the covering, but not the Being within. But as, after the resurrection, even His very flesh, which He exhibited both to the sight and to the handling of His own, He refused to exhibit to others, we may in this way perhaps understand the meaning of the words, "Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye shall see me: because I live, ye shall live also."

3. What is meant by the words, "Because I live, ye shall live also"? Why did He speak in the present tense of His own living, and in the future of theirs, but just by way of promise that the life also of the resurrection-body, as it preceded in His own case, would certainly follow in theirs? And as His own resurrection was in the immediate future, He put the word in the present tense to signify its speedy approach: but of theirs, as delayed till the end of the world, He said not, ye live; but, "ye shall live." With elegance and brevity, therefore, by means of two words, one of them in the present tense and the other in the future, He gave the promise of two resurrections, to wit, His own in the immediate future, and ours as yet to come in the end of the world. "Because I live," He says, "ye shall live also:" because He liveth, therefore shall we live also. For as by man is death, by man also is the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. [1336] As it is only through the former that every one is liable to death, it is only through Christ that any one can attain unto life. Because we did not live, we are dead; because He lived, we shall live also. We were dead to Him, when we lived to ourselves; but, because He died in our behalf, He liveth both for Himself and for us. For, because He liveth, we shall live also. For while we were able of ourselves to attain unto death, it is not of ourselves also that life can come into our possession.

4. "In that day," He says, "ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you." In what day, but in that whereof He said, "Ye shall live also"? For then will it be that we can see what we believe. For even now is He in us, and we in Him: this we believe now, but then shall we also know it; although what we know even now by faith, we shall know then by actual vision. For as long as we are in the body, as it now is, to wit, corruptible, and encumbering to the soul, we live at a distance from the Lord; for we walk by faith, not by sight. [1337] Then accordingly it will be by sight, for we shall see Him as He is. [1338] For if Christ were not even now in us, the apostle would not say, "And if Christ be in you, the body is dead indeed because of sin; but the spirit is life because of righteousness." [1339] But that we are also in Him even then, He makes sufficiently clear, when He says, "I am the vine, ye are the branches." [1340] Accordingly in that day, when we shall be living the life, whereby death shall be swallowed up, we shall know that He is in the Father, and we in Him, and He in us; for then shall be completed that very state which is already in the present begun by Him, that He should be in us, and we in Him.

5. "He that hath my commmandments," He adds, "and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me." He that hath [them] in his memory, and keepeth them in his life; who hath them orally, and keepeth them morally; who hath them in the ear, and keepeth them in deed; or who hath them in deed, and keepeth them by perseverance;--"he it is," He says, "that loveth me." By works is love made manifest as no fruitless application of a name. "And he that loveth me," He says, "shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him." But what is this, "I will love"? Is it as if He were then only to love, and loveth not at present? Surely not. For how could the Father love us apart from the Son, or the Son apart from the Father? Working as They do inseparably, how can They love apart? [1341] But He said, "I will love him," in reference to that which follows, "and I will manifest myself to him." "I will love, and will manifest;" that is, I will love to the very extent of manifesting. For this has been the present aim of His love, that we may believe, and keep hold of the commandment of faith; but then His love will have this for its object, that we may see, and get that very sight as the reward of our faith: for we also love now, by believing in that which we shall see hereafter; but then shall we love in the sight of that which now we believe.

Footnotes

[1334] Ps. x. 14. [1335] Matt. ix. 15. [1336] 1 Cor. xv. 21, 22. [1337] 2 Cor. v. 7. [1338] 1 John iii. 2. [1339] Rom. viii. 10. [1340] Chap. xv. 5. [1341] Separabiliter. .


Tractate LXXVI.

Chapter XIV. 22-24.

1. While the disciples thus question, and Jesus their Master replies to them, we also, as it were, are learning along with them, when we either read or listen to the holy Gospel. Accordingly, because the Lord had said, "Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye shall see me," Judas--not indeed His betrayer, who was surnamed Iscariot, but he whose epistle is read among the canonical Scriptures--asked Him of this very matter: "Lord, how is it that Thou wilt manifest Thyself unto us, and not unto the world?" Let us, too, be as it were questioning disciples with them, and listen to our common Master. For Judas the holy, not the impure, the follower, but not the persecutor of the Lord, has inquired the reason why Jesus was to manifest Himself to His own, and not to the world; why it was that yet a little while, and the world should not see Him, but they should see Him.

2. "Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my word: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not, keepeth not my sayings." Here we have set forth the reason why He is to manifest Himself to His own, and not to that other class whom He distinguishes by the name of the world; and such is the reason also why the one loveth Him, and the other loveth Him not. It is the very reason, whereof it is declared in the sacred psalm, "Judge me, O God, and plead my cause against an unholy nation." [1342] For such as love are chosen, because they love: but those who have not love, though they speak with the tongues of men and angels, are become a sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal; and though they had the gift of prophecy, and knew all mysteries and all knowledge, and had all faith so that they could remove mountains, they are nothing; and though they distributed all their substance, and gave their body to be burnt, it profiteth them nothing. [1343] The saints are distinguished from the world by that love which maketh the one-minded [1344] to dwell [together] in a house. [1345] In this house Father and Son make their abode, and impart that very love to those whom They shall also honor at last with this promised self manifestation; of which the disciple questioned his Master, that not only those who then listened might learn it from His own lips, but we also from his Gospel. For he had made inquiry about the manifestation of Christ, and heard [in reply] about His loving and abiding. There is therefore a kind of inward manifestation of God, which is entirely unknown to the ungodly, who receive no manifestation of God the Father and the Holy Spirit: of the Son, indeed, there might have been such, but only in the flesh; and that, too, neither of the same kind as the other, nor able under any form to remain with them, save only for a little while; and even that, for judgment, not for rejoicing; for punishment, not for reward.

3. We have now, therefore, to understand, so far as He is pleased to unfold it, the meaning of the words, "Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye shall see me." It is true, indeed, that after a little while He was to withdraw even His body, in which the ungodly also were able to see Him, from their sight; for none of them saw Him after His resurrection. But since it was declared on the testimony of angels, "He shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven;" [1346] and our faith stands to this, that He will come in the same body to judge the living and the dead; there can be no doubt that He will then be seen by the world, meaning by the name, those who are aliens from His kingdom. And, on this account, it is far better to understand Him as having intended to refer at once to that epoch, when He said, "Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more," when in the end of the world He shall be taken away from the sight of the damned, that for the future He may be seen only of those with whom, as those that love Him, the Father and Himself are making their abode. But He said, "a little while," because that which appears tedious to men is very brief in the sight of God: for of this same "little while" our evangelist, John, himself says, "Little children, it is the last time." [1347]

4. But further, lest any should imagine that the Father and Son only, without the Holy Spirit, make their abode with those that love Them, let him recall what was said above of the Holy Spirit, "Whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him: but ye shall know Him; for He shall dwell with you, and shall be in you" (ver. 17). Here you see that, along with the Father and the Son, the Holy Spirit also taketh up His abode in the saints; that is to say, within them, as God in His temple. The triune God, Father, and Son, and Holy Spirit, come to us while we are coming to Them: They come with help, we come with obedience; They come to enlighten, we to behold; They come to fill, we to contain: that our vision of Them may not be external, but inward; and Their abiding in us may not be transitory, but eternal. The Son doth not manifest Himself in such a way as this to the world: for the world is spoken of in the passage before us as those, of whom He immediately adds, "He that loveth me not, keepeth not my sayings." These are such as never see the Father and the Holy Spirit: and see the Son for a little while, not to their attainment of bliss, but to their condemnation; and even Him, not in the form of God, wherein He is equally invisible with the Father and the Holy Spirit, but in human form, in which it was His will to be an object of contempt in suffering, but of terror in judging the world.

5. But when He added, "And the saying which ye have heard is not mine, but the Father's who sent me," let us not be filled with wonder or fear: He is not inferior to the Father, and yet He is not, save of the Father: He is not unequal in Himself, but He is not of Himself. For it was no false word He uttered when He said, "He that loveth me not, keepeth not my sayings." He called them, you see, His own sayings; does He, then, contradict Himself when He said again, "And the saying which ye have heard is not mine"? And, perhaps, it was on account of some intended distinction that, when He said His own, He used "sayings" in the plural; but when He said that "the saying," that is, the Word, was not His own, but the Father's, He wished it to be understood of Himself. For in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. [1348] For as the Word, He is certainly not His own, but the Father's: just as He is not His own image, but the Father's; and is not Himself His own Son, but the Father's. Rightly, therefore, does He attribute whatever He does, as equal, to the Author of all, of whom He has this very prerogative, that He is in all respects His equal.

Footnotes

[1342] Ps. xliii. 1. [1343] 1 Cor. xiii. 1-3. [1344] Unanimes. [1345] Ps. lxviii. 6: according to Augustin's translation and adaptation of the words M+W+ShiJ+B+ J+X+iJ+R+iJ+M% B+uaJ+T+oH+, and which the Vulgate has also rendered somewhat similarly, qui inhabitare facit unius moris in domo. The English version is rather more accordant with the context, "who setteth the solitary in families," or rather, "who maketh the solitary [lit. those standing alone] to dwell in a house," marg.; that is, if J+oX+iJ+R+ might not even here retain its proper meaning of "only one," and, hence "beloved one." At all events, the word thus used, and its place in the context (see especially the preceding verse), may warrant the combination of both meanings,--that those who are "ones standing alone," friendless, cast off from others, in a human sense, are J+X+iJ+R+iJ+M%, "only ones," "beloved ones" in the heavenly Father's sight, to whom He extends a special protection, and provideth a home.--Tr. [1346] Acts i. 11. [1347] 1 John ii. 18. [1348] Chap. i. 1. .


Tractate LXXVII.

Chapter XIV. 25-27.

1. In the preceding lesson of the holy Gospel, which is followed by the one that has just been read, the Lord Jesus had said that He and the Father would come to those who loved Them, and make Their abode with them. But He had also already said above of the Holy Spirit, "But ye shall know Him; for He shall dwell with you, and shall be in you" (ver. 17): by which we understood that the divine Trinity dwelleth together in the saints as in His own temple. But now He saith, "These things have I spoken unto you while [still] dwelling with you." That dwelling, therefore, which He promised in the future, is of one kind; and this, which He declares to be present, is of another. The one is spiritual, and is realized inwardly by the mind; the other is corporal, and is exhibited outwardly to the eye and the ear. The one brings eternal blessedness to those who have been delivered, the other pays its visits in time to those who await deliverance. As regards the one, the Lord never withdraws from those who love Him; as regards the other, He comes and goes. "These things, He says, "have I spoken unto you, while [still] dwelling with you;" that is, in His bodily presence, wherein He was visibly conversing with them.

2. "But the Comfort," He adds, "[which is] the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." Is it, then, that the Son speaks, and the Holy Spirit teaches, so that we merely get hold of the words that are uttered by the Son, and then understand them by the teaching of the Spirit as if the Son could speak without the Holy Spirit, or the Holy Spirit teach without the Son: or is it not rather that the Son also teacheth and the Spirit speaketh, and, when it is God that speaketh and teacheth anything, that the Trinity itself is speaking and teaching? And just because it is a Trinity, its persons required to be introduced individually, so that we might hear it in its distinct personality, and understand its inseparable nature. [1349] Listen to the Father speaking in the passage where thou readest, "The Lord said unto me, Thou art my Son:" [1350] listen to Him also teaching, in that where thou readest, "Every man that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me." [1351] The Son, on the other hand, thou hast just heard speaking; for He saith of Himself, "Whatsoever I have said unto you:" and if thou wouldst also know Him as a Teacher, bethink thyself of the Master, when He saith, "One is your Master, even Christ." [1352] Furthermore, of the Holy Spirit, whom thou hast just been told of as a Teacher in the words, "He shall teach you all things," listen to Him also speaking, where thou readest in the Acts of the Apostles, that the Holy Spirit said to the blessed Peter, "Go with them, for I have sent them." [1353] The whole Trinity, therefore, both speaketh and teacheth: but were it not also brought before us in its individual personality, it would certainly altogether surpass the power of human weakness to comprehend it. For as it is altogether inseparable in itself, it could never be known as the Trinity, were it always spoken of inseparably; for when we speak of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, we certainly do not pronounce them simultaneously, and yet in themselves they cannot be else than simultaneous. But when He added, "He will bring to your remembrance," we ought also to understand that we are commanded not to forget that these pre-eminently salutary admonitions are part of that grace which the Holy Spirit brings to our remembrance.

3. "Peace," He said, "I leave with you, my peace I give unto you." It is here we read in the prophet, "Peace upon peace:" peace He leaves with us when going away, His own peace He will give us when He cometh in the end. Peace He leaveth with us in this world, His own peace He will give us in the world to come. His own peace He leaveth with us, and abiding therein we conquer the enemy. His own peace He will give us when, with no more enemies to fight, we shall reign as kings. Peace He leaveth with us, that here also we may love one another: His own peace will He give us, where we shall be beyond the possibility of dissension. Peace He leaveth with us, that we may not judge one another of what is secret to each, while here on earth: His own peace will He give us, when He "will make manifest the counsels of the heart; and then shall every man have praise of God." [1354] And yet in Him and from Him it is that we have peace, whether that which He leaveth with us when going to the Father, or that which He will give us when we ourselves are brought by Him to the Father. And what is it He leaveth with us, when ascending from us, save His own presence, which He never withdraweth? For He Himself is our peace who hath made both one. [1355] It is He, therefore, that becomes our peace, both when we believe that He is, and when we see Him as He is. [1356] For if, so long as we are in this corruptible body that burdens the soul, and are walking by faith, not by sight, He forsaketh not those who are sojourning at a distance from Himself; [1357] how much more, when we have attained to that sight, shall He fill us with Himself?

4. But why is it that, when He said, "Peace I leave with you," He did not add, "my;" but when He said, "I give unto you," He there made use of it? Is "my" to be understood even where it is not expressed, on the ground that what is expressed once may have a reference to both? Or may it not be that here also we have some underlying truth that has to be asked and sought for, and opened up to those who knock thereat? For what, if by His own peace He meant such to be understood as that which He possesses Himself? whereas the peace, which He leaves us in this world, may more properly be termed our peace than His. For He, who is altogether without sin, has no elements of discord in Himself; while the peace we possess, meanwhile, is such that in the midst of it we have still to be saying, "Forgive us our debts." [1358] A certain kind of peace, accordingly, we do possess, inasmuch as we delight in the law of God after the inward man: but it is not a full peace, for we see another law in our members warring against the law of our mind. [1359] In the same way we have peace in our relations with one another, just because, in mutually loving, we have a mutual confidence in one another: but no more is such a peace as that complete, for we see not the thoughts of one another's hearts; and we have severally better or worse opinions in certain respects of one another than is warranted by the reality. And so that peace, although left us by Him, is our peace: for were it not from Him, we should not be possessing it, such as it is; but such is not the peace He has Himself. And if we keep what we received to the end, then such as He has shall we have, when we shall have no elements of discord of our own, and we shall have no secrets hid from one another in our hearts. But I am not ignorant that these words of the Lord may be taken so as to seem only a repetition of the same idea, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you:" so that after saying "peace," He only repeated it in saying "my peace;" and what He had meant in saying "I leave with you," He simply repeated in saying "I give unto you." Let each one understand it as he pleases; but it is my delight, as I believe it is yours also, my beloved brethren, to keep such hold of that peace here, where our hearts are making common cause against the adversary, that we may be ever longing for the peace which there will be no adversary to disturb.

5. But when the Lord proceeded to say, "Not as the world giveth, give I unto you," what else does He mean but, Not as those give who love the world, give I unto you? For their aim in giving themselves peace is that, exempt from the annoyance of lawsuits and wars, they may find enjoyment, not in God, but in the friendship of the world; and although they give the righteous peace, in ceasing to persecute them, there can be no true peace where there is no real harmony, because their hearts are at variance. For as one is called a consort who unites his lot (sortem) with another, so may he be termed concordant whose heart has entered into a similar union. [1360] Let us, therefore, beloved, with whom Christ leaveth peace, and to whom He giveth His own peace, not after the world's way, but in a way worthy of Him by whom the world was made, that we should be of one heart with Himself, having our hearts run into one, that this one heart, set on that which is above, may escape the corruption of the earth.

Footnotes

[1349] Eam [Trinitatem] distincte audire, inseparabiliter intelligere. [1350] Ps. ii. 7. [1351] Chap. vi. 45. [1352] Matt. xxiii. 10. [1353] Acts x. 20. [1354] 1 Cor. iv. 5. [1355] Eph. ii. 14. [1356] 1 John iii. 2. [1357] 2 Cor. v. 6, 7. [1358] Matt. vi. 12. [1359] Rom. vii. 22, 23. [1360] Consors dicitur, qui sortem jungit--concors dicendus, qui corda jungit. .


Tractate LXXVIII.

Chapter XIV. 27, 28.

1. We have just heard, brethren, these words of the Lord, which He addressed to His disciples: "Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come unto you: if ye loved me, ye would surely rejoice, because I go unto the Father; for the Father is greater than I." Their hearts might have become filled with trouble and fear, simply because of His going away from them, even though intending to return; lest, possibly, in the very interval of the shepherd's absence, the wolf should make an onset on the flock. But as God, He abandoned not those from whom He departed as man: and Christ Himself is at once both man and God. And so He both went away in respect of His visible humanity, and remained as regards His Godhead: He went away as regards the nature which is subject to local limitations, and remained in respect of that which is ubiquitous. Why, then, should their heart be troubled and afraid, when His quitting their eyesight was of such a kind as to leave unaltered His presence in their heart? Although even God, who has no local bounds to His presence, may depart from the hearts of those who turn away from Him, not with their feet, but their moral character; just as He comes to such as turn to Him, not with their faces, but in faith, and approach Him in the spirit, and not in the flesh. But that they might understand that it was only in respect of His human nature that He said, "I go and come to you," He went on to say, "If ye loved me, ye would surely rejoice, because I go unto the Father; for the Father is greater than I." And so, then, in that very respect wherein the Son is not equal to the Father, in that was He to go to the Father, just as from Him is He hereafter to come to judge the quick and the dead: while in so far as the Only-begotten is equal to Him that begat, He never withdraws from the Father; but with Him is everywhere perfectly equal in that Godhead which knows of no local limitations. For "being as He was in the form of God," as the apostle says, "He thought it not robbery to be equal with God." For how could that nature be robbery, which was His, not by usurpation, but by birth? "But He emptied Himself, taking upon Him the form of a servant;" [1361] and so, not losing the former, but assuming the latter, and emptying Himself in that very respect wherein He stood forth before us here in a humbler state than that wherein He still remained with the Father. For there was the accession of a servant-form, with no recession of the divine: in the assumption of the one there was no consumption of the other. In reference to the one He says, "The Father is greater than I;" but because of the other, "I and my Father are one." [1362]

2. Let the Arian attend to this, and find healing in his attention; that wrangling may not lead to vanity, or, what is worse, to insanity. For it is the servant-form which is that wherein the Son of God is less, not only than the Father, but also than the Holy Spirit; and more than that, less also than Himself, for He Himself, in the form of God, is greater than Himself. For the man Christ does not cease to be called the Son of God, a name which was thought worthy of being applied even to His flesh alone as it lay in the tomb. And what else than this do we confess, when we declare that we believe in the only-begotten Son of God, who, under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, and buried? And what of Him was buried, save the flesh without the spirit? And so in believing in the Son of God, who was buried, we surely affix the name, Son of God, even to His flesh, which alone was laid in the grave. Christ Himself, therefore, the Son of God, equal with the Father because in the form of God, inasmuch as He emptied Himself, without losing the form of God, but assuming that of a servant, is greater even than Himself; because the unlost form of God is greater than the assumed form of a servant. And what, then, is there to wonder at, or what is there out of place, if, in reference to this servant-form, the Son of God says, "The Father is greater than I;" and in speaking of the form of God, the self-same Son of God declares, "I and my Father are one"? For one they are, inasmuch as "The Word was God;" and greater is the Father, inasmuch as "the Word was made flesh." [1363] Let me add what cannot be gainsaid by Arians and Eunomians: [1364] in respect of this servant-form, Christ as a child was inferior also to His own parents, when, according to Scripture, "He was subject" [1365] as an infant to His seniors. Why, then, heretic, seeing that Christ is both God and man, when He speaketh as man, dost thou calumniate God? He in His own person commends our human nature; dost thou dare in Him to asperse the divine? Unbelieving and ungrateful as thou art, wilt thou degrade Him who made thee, just for the very reason that He is declaring what He became because of thee? For equal as He is with the Father, the Son, by whom man was made, became man, in order to be less than the Father: and had He not done so, what would have become of man?

3. May our Lord and Master bring home clearly to our minds the words, "If ye loved me, ye would surely rejoice, because I go unto the Father; for the Father is greater than I." Let us, along with the disciples, listen to the Teacher's words, and not, with strangers, give heed to the wiles of the deceiver. Let us acknowledge the twofold substance of Christ; to wit, the divine, in which he is equal with the Father, and the human, in respect to which the Father is greater. And yet at the same time both are not two, for Christ is one; and God is not a quaternity, but a Trinity. For as the rational soul and the body form but one man, so Christ, while both God and man, is one; and thus Christ is God, a rational soul, and a body. In all of these we confess Him to be Christ, we confess Him in each. Who, then, is He that made the world? Christ Jesus, but in the form of God. Who is it that was crucified under Pontius Pilate? Christ Jesus, but in the form of a servant. And so of the several parts whereof He consists as man. Who is He who was not left in hell? Christ Jesus, but only in respect of His soul. Who was to rise on the third day, after being laid in the tomb? Christ Jesus, but solely in reference to His flesh. In reference, then, to each of these, He is likewise called Christ. And yet all of them are not two, or three, but one Christ. On this account, therefore, did He say, "If ye loved me, ye would surely rejoice, because I go unto the Father;" for human nature is worthy of congratulation, in being so assumed by the only-begotten Word as to be constituted immortal in heaven, and, earthy in its nature, to be so sublimated and exalted, that, as incorruptible dust, it might take its seat at the right hand of the Father. In such a sense it is that He said He would go to the Father. For in very truth He went unto Him, who was always with Him. But His going unto Him and departing from us were neither more nor less than His transforming and immortalizing that which He had taken upon Him from us in its mortal condition, and exalting that to heaven, by means of which He lived on earth in man's behalf. And who would not draw rejoicing from such a source, who has such love to Christ that he can at once congratulate his own nature as already immortal in Christ, and cherish the hope that he himself will yet become so through Christ?

Footnotes

[1361] Phil. ii. 6, 7. [1362] Chap. x. 30. [1363] Chap. i. 1, 14. [1364] The Eunomians were a branch of the Arians, only slightly differing in some of their tenets regarding the essential inferiority to God, and the creaturehood of the Son and the Holy Spirit. As a sect, they belong to the fourth century, and derived their name from Eunomius, bishop of Cyzicus.--Tr. [1365] Luke ii. 51. .


Tractate LXXIX.

Chapter XIV. 29-31.

1. Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, had said unto His disciples, "If ye loved me, ye would surely rejoice, because I go unto the Father; for the Father is greater than I." And that He so spake in His servant-form, and not in that of God, wherein He is equal with the Father, is well known to faith as it resides in the minds of the pious, not as it is feigned by the scornful and senseless. And then He added, "And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe." What can He mean by this, when the fact rather is, that a man ought, before it comes to pass, to believe that which demands his belief? For it forms the very encomium of faith when that which is believed is not seen. For what greatness is there in believing what is seen, as in those words of the same Lord, when, in reproving a disciple, He said, "Because thou hast seen, thou hast believed; blessed are they that see not, and yet believe." [1366] And I hardly know whether any one can be said to believe what he sees; for this same faith is thus defined in the epistle addressed to the Hebrews: "Now faith is the substance of those that hope, [1367] the assurance [1368] of things not seen." Accordingly, if faith is in things that are believed, and that, too, in things which are not seen, [1369] what mean these words of the Lord, "And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe"? Ought He not rather to have said, And now I have told you before it come to pass, that ye may believe what, when it is come to pass, ye shall see? For even he who was told, "Because thou hast seen, thou hast believed," did not believe only what he saw; but he saw one thing, and believed another: for he saw Him as man, and believed Him to be God. He perceived and touched the living flesh, which he had seen in the act of dying, and he believed in the Deity infolded in that flesh. And so he believed with the mind what he did not see, by the help of that which was apparent to his bodily senses. But though we may be said to believe what we see, just as every one says that he believes his own eyes, yet that is not to be mistaken for the faith which is built up by God in our souls; but from things that are seen, we are brought to believe in those which are invisible. Wherefore, beloved, in the passage before us, when our Lord says, "And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe;" by the words, "when it is come to pass," He certainly means, that they would yet see Him after His death, alive, and ascending to His Father; at the sight of which they should then be compelled to believe that He was indeed the Christ, the Son of the living God, seeing He could do such a thing, even after predicting it, and also could predict it before He did it: and this they should then believe, not with a new, but with an augmented faith; or at least [with a faith] that had been impaired [1370] by His death, and was now repaired [1371] by His resurrection. For it was not that they had not previously also believed Him to be the Son of God, but when His own predictions were actually fulfilled in Him, that faith, which was still weak at the time of His here speaking to them, and at the time of His death almost ceased to exist, sprang up again into new life and increased vigor.

2. But what says He next? "Hereafter I will not talk much with you; for the prince of this world cometh;" and who is that, but the devil? "And hath nothing in me;" that is to say, no sin at all. For by such words He points to the devil, as the prince, not of His creatures, but of sinners, whom He here designates by the name of this world. And as often as the name of the world is used in a bad sense, He is pointing only to the lovers of such a world; of whom it is elsewhere recorded, "Whosoever will be a friend of this world, becomes the enemy of God." [1372] Far be it from us, then, so to understand the devil as prince of the world, as if he wielded the government of the whole world, that is, of heaven and earth, and all that is in them; of which sort of world it was said, when we were lecturing on Christ the Word, "And the world was made by Him." [1373] The whole world therefore, from the highest heavens to the lowest earth, is subject to the Creator, not to the deserter; to the Redeemer, not to the destroyer; to the Deliverer, not to the enslaver; to the Teacher, not to the deceiver. And in what sense the devil is to be understood as the prince of the world, is still more clearly unfolded by the Apostle Paul, who, after saying, "We wrestle not against flesh and blood," that is, against men, went on to say, "but against principalities and powers, and the world-rulers of this darkness." [1374] For in the very next word he has explained what he meant by "world," when he added, "of this darkness;" so that no one, by the name of the world, should understand the whole creation, of which in no sense are fallen angels the rulers. "Of this darkness," he says, that is, of the lovers of this world: of whom, nevertheless, there were some elected, not from any deserving of their own, but by the grace of God, to whom he says, "Ye were sometimes darkness; but now are ye light in the Lord." [1375] For all have been under the rulers of this darkness, that is, [under the rulers] of wicked men, or darkness, as it were, in subjection to darkness: but "thanks be to God, who hath delivered us," says the same apostle, "from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of the Son of His love." [1376] And in Him the prince of this world, that is, of this darkness, had nothing; for neither did He come with sin as God, nor had His flesh any hereditary taint of sin in its procreation by the Virgin. And, as if it were said to Him, Why, then, dost Thou die, if Thou hast no sin to merit the punishment of death? He immediately added, "But that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do: arise, let us go hence." For He was sitting at table with those who were similarly occupied. But "let us go," He said, and whither, but to the place where He, who had nothing in Him deserving of death, was to be delivered up to death? But He had the Father's commandment to die, as the very One of whom it had been foretold, "Then I paid for that which I took not away;" [1377] and so appointed to pay death to the full, while owing it nothing, and to redeem us from the death that was our due. For Adam had seized on sin as a prey, when, deceived, he presumptuously stretched forth his hand to the tree, and attempted to invade the incommunicable name of that Godhead which was disallowed him, and with which the Son of God was endowed by nature, and not by robbery.

Footnotes

[1366] Chap. xx. 29. [1367] Text, sperantium, although many mss. have sperandorum, or sperandarum, "things hoped for." [1368] Convictio. [1369] Heb. xi. 1. [1370] Defecta--refecta. [1371] Defecta--refecta. [1372] Jas. iv. 4. [1373] Chap. i. 10. [1374] Eph. vi. 12: Augustin, rectores mundi tenebrarum harum; original, tous kosmokratoras tou skotous toutou. [1375] Eph. v. 8. [1376] Col. i. 12, 13. [1377] Ps. lxix. 4. .


Tractate LXXX.

Chapter XV. 1-3.

1. This passage of the Gospel, brethren, where the Lord calls Himself the vine, and His disciples the branches, declares in so many words that the Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, [1378] is the head of the Church, and that we are His members. For as the vine and its branches are of one nature, therefore, His own nature as God being different from ours, He became man, that in Him human nature might be the vine, and we who also are men might become branches thereof. What mean, then, the words, "I am the true vine"? Was it to the literal vine, from which that metaphor was drawn, that He intended to point them by the addition of "true"? For it is by similitude, and not by any personal propriety, that He is thus called a vine; just as He is also termed a sheep, a lamb, a lion, a rock, a corner-stone, and other names of a like kind, which are themselves rather the true ones, from which these are drawn as similitudes, not as realities. But when He says, "I am the true vine," it is to distinguish Himself, doubtless, from that [vine] to which the words are addressed: "How art thou turned into sourness, [1379] as a strange vine?" [1380] For how could that be a true vine which was expected to bring forth grapes and brought forth thorns? [1381]

2. "I am," He says, "the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit, He taketh away; and every one that beareth fruit, He purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit." Are, then, the husbandman and the vine one? Christ is the vine in the same sense as when He said, "The Father is greater than I;" [1382] but in that sense wherein He said, "I and my Father are one," He is also the husbandman. And yet not such a one as those, whose whole service is confined to external labor; but such, that He also supplies the increase from within. "For neither is he that planteth anything, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase." But Christ is certainly God, for the Word was God; and so He and the Father are one: and if the Word was made flesh,--that which He was not before,--He nevertheless still remains what He was. And still more, after saying of the Father, as of the husbandman, that He taketh away the fruitless branches, and pruneth the fruitful, that they may bring forth more fruit, He straightway points to Himself as also the purger of the branches, when He says, "Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you." Here, you see, He is also the pruner of the branches--a work which belongs to the husbandman, and not to the vine; and more than that, He maketh the branches His workmen. For although they give not the increase, they afford some help; but not of themselves: "For without me," He says, "ye can do nothing." And listen, also, to their own confession: "What, then, is Apollos, and what is Paul? but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man. I have planted, Apollos watered." And this, too, "as the Lord gave to every man;" and so not of themselves. In that, however, which follows, "but God gave the increase," [1383] He works not by them, but by Himself; for work like that exceeds the lowly capacity of man, transcends the lofty powers of angels, and rests solely and entirely in the hands of the Triune Husbandman. "Now ye are clean," that is, clean, and yet still further to be cleansed. For, had they not been clean, they could not have borne fruit; and yet every one that beareth fruit is purged by the husbandman, that he may bring forth more fruit. He bears fruit because he is clean; and to bear more, he is cleansed still further. For who in this life is so clean as not to be in need of still further and further cleansing? seeing that, "if we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us; but if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness;" to cleanse in very deed the clean, that is, the fruitful, that they may be so much the more fruitful, as they have been made the cleaner.

3. "Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Why does He not say, Ye are clean through the baptism wherewith ye have been washed, but "through the word which I have spoken unto you," save only that in the water also it is the word that cleanseth? Take away the word, and the water is neither more nor less than water. The word is added to the element, and there results the Sacrament, as if itself also a kind of visible word. For He had said also to the same effect, when washing the disciples' feet, "He that is washed needeth not, save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit." [1384] And whence has water so great an efficacy, as in touching the body to cleanse the soul, save by the operation of the word; and that not because it is uttered, but because it is believed? For even in the word itself the passing sound is one thing, the abiding efficacy another. "This is the word of faith which we preach," says the apostle, "that if thou shalt confess with thy mouth that Jesus is the Lord, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." [1385] Accordingly, we read in the Acts of the Apostles, "Purifying their hearts by faith;" [1386] and, says the blessed Peter in his epistle, "Even as baptism doth also now save us, not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer [1387] of a good conscience." "This is the word of faith which we preach," whereby baptism, doubtless, is also consecrated, in order to its possession of the power to cleanse. For Christ, who is the vine with us, and the husbandman with the Father, "loved the Church, and gave Himself for it." And then read the apostle, and see what he adds: "That He might sanctify it, cleansing it with the washing of water by the word." [1388] The cleansing, therefore, would on no account be attributed to the fleeting and perishable element, were it not for that which is added, "by the word." This word of faith possesses such virtue in the Church of God, that through the medium of him who in faith presents, and blesses, and sprinkles it, He cleanseth even the tiny infant, although itself unable as yet with the heart to believe unto righteousness, and to make confession with the mouth unto salvation. All this is done by means of the word, whereof the Lord saith, "Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you."

Footnotes

[1378] 1 Tim. ii. 5. [1379] Hebrew S+W+uR+J+, pass. part. of R+W+uS+, to depart [from God], and so, perhaps, "stragglers," i.e. "straggling branches of [a strange vine];" or, as in English version, "degenerate branches," rather than as in text, where Augustin gives, in amaritudinem, vitis aliena, following the LXX., which reads, "eis pikrias he ampelos he allotria." The Vulgate is better: in pravum, vinea aliena.--Tr. [1380] Jer. ii. 21. [1381] Isa. v. 4. [1382] Chap. xiv. 28. [1383] 1 Cor. iii. 5-7. [1384] Chap. xiii. 10. [1385] Rom. x. 10. [1386] Acts xv. 9. [1387] Literally, "questioning," interrogatio, 1 Pet. iii. 21. [1388] Eph. v. 25, 26. .


Tractate LXXXI.

Chapter XV. 4-7.

1. Jesus called Himself the vine, and His disciples the branches, and His Father the husbandman; whereon we have already discoursed as we were able. But in the present passage, while still speaking of Himself as the vine, and of His branches, or, in other words, of the disciples, He said, "Abide in me, and I in you." They are not in Him in the same kind of way that He is in them. And yet both ways tend to their advantage, and not to His. For the relation of the branches to the vine is such that they contribute nothing to the vine, but from it derive their own means of life; while that of the vine to the branches is such that it supplies their vital nourishment, and receives nothing from them. And so their having Christ abiding in them, and abiding themselves in Christ, are in both respects advantageous, not to Christ, but to the disciples. For when the branch is cut off, another may spring up from the living root; but that which is cut off cannot live apart from the root.

2. And then He proceeds to say: "As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me." A great encomium on grace, my brethren,--one that will instruct the souls of the humble, and stop the mouths of the proud. Let those now answer it, if they dare, who, ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. [1389] Let the self-complacent answer it, who think they have no need of God for the performance of good works. Fight they not against such a truth, those men of corrupt mind, reprobate concerning the faith, [1390] whose reply is only full of impious talk, when they say: It is of God that we have our existence as men, but it is of ourselves that we are righteous? What is it you say, you who deceive yourselves, and, instead of establishing freewill, cast it headlong down from the heights of its self-elevation through the empty regions of presumption into the depths of an ocean grave? Why, your assertion that man of himself worketh righteousness, that is the height of your self-elation. But the Truth contradicts you, and declares, "The branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine." Away with you now over your giddy precipices, and, without a spot whereon to take your stand, vapor away at your windy talk. These are the empty regions of your presumption. But look well at what is tracking your steps, and, if you have any sense remaining, let your hair stand on end. For whoever imagines that he is bearing fruit of himself is not in the vine, and he that is not in the vine is not in Christ, and he that is not in Christ is not a Christian. Such are the ocean depths into which you have plunged.

3. Ponder again and again what the Truth has still further to say: "I am the vine," He adds, "ye are the branches: he that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without me ye can do nothing." For just to keep any from supposing that the branch can bear at least some little fruit of itself, after saying, "the same bringeth forth much fruit," His next words are not, Without me ye can do but little, but "ye can do nothing." Whether then it be little or much, without Him it is impracticable; for without Him nothing can be done. For although, when the branch beareth little fruit, the husbandman purgeth it that it may bring forth more; yet if it abide not in the vine, and draw its life from the root, it can bear no fruit whatever of itself. And although Christ would not have been the vine had He not been man, yet He could not have supplied such grace to the branches had He not also been God. And just because such grace is so essential to life, that even death itself ceases to be at the disposal of free-will, He adds, "If any one abide not in me, he shall be cast forth as a branch, and wither; and they shall gather him, and cast him into the fire, and he is burned." The wood of the vine, therefore, is in the same proportion the more contemptible if it abide not in the vine, as it is glorious while so abiding; in fine, as the Lord likewise says of them in the prophet Ezekiel, when cut off, they are of no use for any purpose of the husbandman, and can be applied to no labor of the mechanic. [1391] The branch is suitable only for one of two things, either the vine or the fire: if it is not in the vine, its place will be in the fire; and that it may escape the latter, may it have its place in the vine.

4. "If ye abide in me," He says, "and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you." For abiding thus in Christ, is there aught they can wish but what will be agreeable to Christ? So abiding in the Saviour, can they wish anything that is inconsistent with salvation? Some things, indeed, we wish because we are in Christ, and other things we desire because still in this world. For at times, in connection with this our present abode, we are inwardly prompted to ask what we know not it would be inexpedient for us to receive. But God forbid that such should be given us if we abide in Christ, who, when we ask, only does what will be for our advantage. Abiding, therefore, ourselves in Him, when His words abide in us we shall ask what we will, and it shall be done unto us. For if we ask, and the doing follows not, what we ask is not connected with our abiding in Him, nor with His words which abide in us, but with that craving and infirmity of the flesh which are not in Him, and have not His words abiding in them. For to His words, at all events, belongs that prayer which He taught, and in which we say, "Our Father, who art in heaven." [1392] Let us only not fall away from the words and meaning of this prayer in our petitions, and whatever we ask, it shall be done unto us. For then only may His words be said to abide in us, when we do what He has commanded us, and love what He has promised. But when His words abide only in the memory, and have no place in the life, the branch is not to be accounted as in the vine, because it draws not its life from the root. It is to this distinction that the word of Scripture has respect, "and to those that remember His commandments to do them." [1393] For many retain them in their memory only to treat them with contempt, or even to mock at and assail them. It is not in such as have only some kind of contact, but no connection, that the words of Christ abide; and to them, therefore, they will not be a blessing, but a testimony against them; and because they are present in them without abiding in them, they are held fast by them for the very purpose of being judged according to them at last.

Footnotes

[1389] Rom. x. 3. [1390] 2 Tim. iii. 8. [1391] Ezek. xv. 5. [1392] Matt. vi. 9. [1393] Ps. ciii. 18. .


Tractate LXXXII.

Chapter XV. 8-10.

1. The Saviour, in thus speaking to the disciples, commends still more and more the grace whereby we are saved, when He says, "Herein is my Father glorified, [1394] that ye bear very much fruit, and be made my disciples." Whether we say glorified, or made bright, both are the rendering given us of one Greek verb, namely doxazein (doxazein). For what is doxa (doxa) in Greek, is in Latin glory. I have thought it worth while to mention this, because the apostle says, "If Abraham was justified by works, he hath glory, but not before God." [1395] For this is the glory before God, whereby God, and not man, is glorified, when he is justified, not by works, but by faith, so that even his doing well is imparted to him by God; just as the branch, as I have stated above, [1396] cannot bear fruit of itself. For if herein God the Father is glorified, that we bear much fruit, and be made the disciples of Christ, let us not credit our own glory therewith, as if we had it of ourselves. For of Him is such a grace, and accordingly therein the glory is not ours, but His. Hence also, in another passage, after saying, "Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works;" to keep them from the thought that such good works were of themselves, He immediately added, "and may glorify your Father who is in heaven." [1397] For herein is the Father glorified, that we bear much fruit, and be made the disciples of Christ. And by whom are we so made, but by Him whose mercy hath forestalled us? For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works. [1398]

2. "As the Father hath loved me," He says, "so have I loved you: continue ye in my love." Here, then, you see, is the source of our good works. For whence should we have them, were it not that faith worketh by love? [1399] And how should we love, were it not that we were first loved? With striking clearness is this declared by the same evangelist in his epistle: "We love God because He first loved us." [1400] But when He says, "As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you," He indicates no such equality between our nature and His as there is between Himself and the Father, but the grace whereby the Mediator between God and men is the man Christ Jesus. [1401] For He is pointed out as Mediator when He says, "The Father--me, and I--you." For the Father, indeed, also loveth us, but in Him; for herein is the Father glorified, that we bear fruit in the vine, that is, in the Son, and so be made His disciples.

3. "Continue ye," He says, "in my love." How shall we continue? Listen to what follows: "If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love." Love brings about the keeping of His commandments; but does the keeping of His commandments bring about love? Who can doubt that it is love which precedes? For he has no true ground for keeping the commandments who is destitute of love. And so, in saying, "If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love," He shows not the source from which love springs, but the means whereby it is manifested. As if He said, Think not that ye abide in my love if ye keep not my commandments; for it is only if ye have kept them that ye shall abide. In other words, it will thus be made apparent that ye shall abide in my love if ye keep my commandments. So that no one need deceive himself by saying that he loveth Him, if he keepeth not His commandments. For we love Him just in the same measure as we keep His commandments; and the less we keep them, the less we love. And although, when He saith, "Continue ye in my love," it is not apparent what love He spake of; whether the love we bear to Him, or that which He bears to us: yet it is seen at once in the previous clause. For He had there said, "So have I loved you;" and to these words He immediately adds, "Continue ye in my love:" accordingly, it is that love which He bears to us. What, then, do the words mean, "Continue ye in my love," but just, continue ye in my grace? And what do these mean, "If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love," but, hereby shall ye know that ye shall abide in the love which I bear to you, if ye keep my commandments? It is not, then, for the purpose of awakening His love to us that we first keep His commandments; but this, that unless He loves us, we cannot keep His commandments. This is a grace which lies all disclosed to the humble, but is hid from the proud.

4. But what are we to make of that which follows: "Even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in His love"? Here also He certainly intended us to understand that fatherly love wherewith He was loved of the Father. For this was what He has just said, "As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you;" and then to these He added the words, "Continue ye in my love;" in that, doubtless, wherewith I have loved you. Accordingly, when He says also of the Father, "I abide in His love," we are to understand it of that love which was borne Him by the Father. But then, in this case also, is that love which the Father bears to the Son referable to the same grace as that wherewith we are loved of the Son: seeing that we on our part are sons, not by nature, but by grace; while the Only-begotten is so by nature and not by grace? Or is this even in the Son Himself to be referred to His condition as man? Certainly so. For in saying, "As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you," He pointed to the grace that was His as Mediator. For Christ Jesus is the Mediator between God and men, not in respect to His Godhead, but in respect to His manhood. [1402] And certainly it is in reference to this His human nature that we read, "And Jesus increased in wisdom and age, and in favor [grace] with God and men." [1403] In harmony, therefore, with this, we may rightly say that while human nature belongs not to the nature of God, yet such human nature does by grace belong to the person of the only-begotten Son of God; and that by grace so great, that there is none greater, yea, none that even approaches equality. For there were no merits that preceded that assumption of humanity, but all His merits began with that very assumption. The Son, therefore, abideth in the love wherewith the Father hath loved Him, and so hath kept His commandments. For what are we to think of Him even as man, but that God is His lifter up? [1404] for the Word was God, the Only-begotten, co-eternal with Him that begat; but that He might be given to us as Mediator, by grace ineffable, the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us. [1405]

Footnotes

[1394] Clarificatus, literally, "clarified," or made bright, clear, to men's eyes. See immediately afterwards in text. [1395] Rom. iv. 2. [1396] Tract. LXXXI. sec. 2. [1397] Matt. v. 16. [1398] Eph. ii. 10. [1399] Gal. v. 6. [1400] 1 John iv. 19. [1401] 1 Tim. ii. 5. [1402] Non in quantum Deus, sed in quantum homo est. [1403] Luke ii. 52. [1404] Ps. iii. 3. [1405] Chap. i. 1, 14. .


Tractate LXXXIII.

Chapter XV. 11, 12.

1. You have just heard, beloved, the Lord saying to His disciples, "These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might be in you, and that your joy might be full." And what else is Christ's joy in us, save that He is pleased to rejoice over us? And what is this joy of ours which He says is to be made full, but our having fellowship with Him? On this account He had said to the blessed Peter, "If I wash thee not, thou shall have no part with me." [1406] His joy, therefore, in us is the grace He hath bestowed upon us: and that is also our joy. But over it He rejoiced even from eternity, when He chose us before the foundation of the world. [1407] Nor can we rightly say that His joy was not full; for God's joy was never at any time imperfect. But that joy of His was not in us: for we, in whom it could be, had as yet no existence; and even when our existence commenced, it began not to be in Him. But in Him it always was, who in the infallible truth of His own foreknowledge rejoiced that we should yet be His own. Accordingly, He had a joy over us that was already full, when He rejoiced in foreknowing and foreordaining us: and as little could there be any fear intermingling in that joy of His, lest there should be any possible failure in what He foreknew would be done by Himself. Nor, when He began to do what He foreknew that He would do, was there any increase to His joy as the expression of His blessedness; otherwise His making of us must have added to His blessedness. Be such a supposition, brethren, far from our thoughts; for the blessedness of God was neither less without us, nor became greater because of us. His joy, therefore, over our salvation, which was always in Him, when He foreknew and foreordained us, began to be in us when He called us; and this joy we properly call our own, as by it we, too, shall yet be blessed: but this joy, as it is ours, increases and advances, and presses onward perseveringly to its own completion. Accordingly, it has its beginning in the faith of the regenerate, and its completion in the reward when they rise again. Such is my opinion of the purport of the words, "These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might be in you, and that your joy might be made full:" that mine "might be in you;" that yours "might be made full." For mine was always full, even before ye were called, when ye were foreknown as those whom I was afterwards to call; but it finds its place in you also, when ye are transformed into that which I have foreknown regarding you. And "that yours may be full:" for ye shall be blessed, what ye are not as yet; just as ye are now created, who had no existence before.

2. "This," He says, "is my injunction, that ye love one another, as I have loved you." Whether we call it injunction or commandment, [1408] both are the rendering of the same Greek word, entol (entole). But He had already made this same announcement on a former occasion, when, as ye ought to remember, I repounded it to you to the best of my ability. [1409] For this is what He says there, "A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another." [1410] And so the repetition of this commandment is its commendation: only that there He said, "A new commandment I give unto you;" and here, "This is my commandment:" there, as if there had been no such commandment before; and here, as if He had no other commandment to give them. But there it is spoken of as "new," to keep us from persevering in our old courses; here, it is called "mine," to keep us from treating it with contempt.

3. But when He said in this way here, "This is my commandment," as if there were none else, what are we to think, my brethren? Is, then, the commandment about that love wherewith we love one another, His only one? Is there not also another that is still greater,--that we should love God? Or has God in very truth given us such a charge about love alone, that we have no need of searching for others? There are three things at least that the apostle commends when he says, "But now abide faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity." [1411] And although in charity, that is, in love, are comprehended the two commandments; yet it is here declared to be the greatest only, and not the sole one. Accordingly, what a host of commandments are given us about faith, what a multitude about hope! who is there that could collect them together, or suffice to number them? But let us ponder the words of the same apostle: "Love is the fullness of the law." [1412] And so, where there is love, what can be wanting? and where it is not, what is there that can possibly be profitable? The devil believes, [1413] but does not love: no one loveth who doth not believe. One may, indeed, hope for pardon who does not love, but he hopes in vain; but no one can despair who loves. Therefore, where there is love, there of necessity will there be faith and hope; and where there is the love of our neighbor, there also of necessity will be the love of God. For he that loveth not God, how loveth he his neighbour as himself, seeing that he loveth not even himself? Such an one is both impious and iniquitous; and he that loveth iniquity, manifestly loveth not, but hateth his own soul. [1414] Let us, therefore, be holding fast to this precept of the Lord, to love one another; and then all else that is commanded we shall do, for all else we have contained in this. But this love is distinguished from that which men bear to one another as such; for in order to mark the distinction, it is added, "as I have loved you." And wherefore is it that Christ loveth us, but that we may be fitted to reign with Christ? With this aim, therefore, let us also be loving one another, that we may manifest the difference of our love from that of others, who have no such motive in loving one another, because the love itself is wanting. But those whose mutual love has the possession of God Himself for its object, will truly love one another; and, therefore, even for the very purpose of loving one another, they love God. There is no such love as this in all men; for few have this motive for their love one to another, that God may be all in all. [1415]

Footnotes

[1406] Chap. xiii. 8. [1407] Eph. i. 4. [1408] Præceptum, sive mandatum. [1409] See Tract. LXV. [1410] Chap. xiii. 34. [1411] 1 Cor. xiii. 13. [1412] Rom. xiii. 10. [1413] Jas. ii. 19. [1414] Ps. xi. 5. Augustin here, as usual, along with the Vulgate, follows the Septuagint in what is clearly a mistranslation of the Hebrew text, which is correctly rendered grammatically in our English version, though not exactly according to the Masoretic punctuation. Sh:oN+#oH+ (fem.) shows that "his soul" is the subject, and not the object of the hatred.--Tr. [1415] 1 Cor. xv. 28. .


Tractate LXXXIV.

Chapter XV. 13.

1. The Lord, beloved brethren, hath defined that fullness of love which we ought to bear to one another, when He said: "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." Inasmuch, then, as He had said before, "This is my commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you;" and appended to these words what you have just been hearing, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends;" there follows from this as a consequence, what this same Evangelist John says in his epistle, "That as Christ laid down His life for us, even so we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren;" [1416] loving one another in truth, as He hath loved us, who laid down His life for us. Such also is doubtless the meaning of what we read in the Proverbs of Solomon: "If thou sittest down to supper at the table of a ruler, consider wisely what is set before thee; and so put to thy hand, knowing that thou art bound to make similar preparations." [1417] For what is the table of the ruler, but that from which we take the body and blood of Him who laid down His life for us? And what is it to sit thereat, but to approach in humility? And what is it to consider intelligently what is set before thee, but worthily to reflect on the magnitude of the favor? And what is it, so to put to thy hand, as knowing that thou art bound to make similar preparations, but as I have already said, that, as Christ laid down His life for us, so we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren? For as the Apostle Peter also says, "Christ suffered for us, leaving us an example, that we should follow His steps." [1418] This is to make similar preparations. This it was that the blessed martyrs did in their burning love; and if we celebrate their memories in no mere empty form, and, in the banquet whereat they themselves were filled to the full, approach the table of the Lord, we must, as they did, be also ourselves making similar preparations. For on these very grounds we do not commemorate them at that table in the same way, as we do others who now rest in peace, as that we should also pray for them, but rather that they should do so for us, that we may cleave to their footsteps; because they have actually attained that fullness of love, than which, our Lord hath told us, there cannot be a greater. For such tokens of love they exhibited for their brethren, as they themselves had equally received at the table of the Lord.

2. But let us not be supposed to have so spoken as if on such grounds we might possibly arrive at an equality with Christ the Lord, if for His sake we have undergone witness-bearing even unto blood. He had power to lay down His life, and to take it again; [1419] but we have no power to live as long as we wish; and die we must, however unwilling: He, by dying, straightway slew death in Himself; we, by His death, are delivered from death: His flesh saw no corruption; [1420] ours, after corruption, shall in the end of the world be clothed by Him with incorruption: He had no need of us, in order to work out our salvation; we, without Him, can do nothing: He gave Himself as the vine, to us the branches; we, apart from Him, can have no life. Lastly, although brethren die for brethren, yet no martyr's blood is ever shed for the remission of the sins of brethren, as was the case in what He did for us; and in this respect He bestowed not on us aught for imitation, but something for congratulation. In as far, then, as the martyrs have shed their blood for the brethren, so far have they exhibited such tokens of love as they themselves perceived at the table of the Lord. (One might imitate Him in dying, but no one could, in redeeming.) [1421] In all else, then, that I have said, although it is out of my power to mention everything, the martyr of Christ is far inferior to Christ Himself. But if any one shall set himself in comparison, I say, not with the power, but with the innocence of Christ, and (I would not say) in thinking that he is healing the sins of others, but at least that he has no sins of his own, even so far is his avidity overstepping the requirements of the method of salvation; it is a matter of considerable moment for him, only he attains not his desire. And well it is that he is admonished in that passage of the Proverbs, which immediately goes on to say, "But if thy greed is too great, be not desirous of his dainties; for it is better that thou take nothing thereof, than that thou shouldst take more than is befitting. For such things," it is added, "have a life of deceit," that is, of hypocrisy. For in asserting his own sinlessness, he cannot prove, but only pretend, that he is righteous. And so it is said, "For such have a deceiving life." There is only One who could at once have human flesh and be free from sin. Appropriately are we commanded that which follows; and such a word and proverb is well adapted to human weakness, when it is said, "Lay not thyself out, seeing thou art poor, against him that is rich." For the rich man is Christ, who was never obnoxious to punishment either through hereditary or personal debt and is righteous Himself, and justifies others. Lay not thyself out against Him, thou who art so poor, that thou art manifestly to the eyes of all the daily beggar that thou art in thy prayer for the remission of sins. "But keep thyself," he says, "from thine own counsel" ["cease from thine own wisdom"--E.V.]. From what, but from this delusive presumption? For He, indeed, inasmuch as He is not only man but also God, can never be chargeable with evil. "For if thou turn thine eye upon Him, He will nowhere be visible." "Thine eye," that is, the human eye, wherewith thou distinguishest that which is human; "if thou turn it upon Him, He will nowhere be visible," because He cannot be seen with such organs of sight as are thine. "For He will provide Himself wings like an eagle's, and will depart to the house of His overseer," [1422] from which, at all events, He came to us, and found us not such as He Himself was who came. Let us therefore love one another, even as Christ hath loved us, and given Himself for us. [1423] "For greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." And let us be imitating Him in such a spirit of reverential obedience, that we shall never have the boldness to presume on a comparison between Him and ourselves.

Footnotes

[1416] 1 John iii. 16. [1417] Prov. xxiii. 1, 2: see below, and also Tract. XLVII. sec. 2, note 4. [1418] 1 Pet. ii. 21. [1419] Chap. x. 18. [1420] Acts ii. 31. [1421] This parenthesized sentence is found, according to Migne, inserted here in six mss. In three others it occurs immediately before the second following sentence, beginning, "But if any one," etc. In other mss. it is wanting; and Migne omits it from the text.--Tr. [1422] The whole of this passage, taken from Proverbs xxiii. 3-5, as well as verses 1 and 2, quoted in sec. 1 of this Lecture, and in Tract. XLVII. sec. 2 (where see note 4), departs so widely from the Hebrew text, and even from the Septuagint (which is itself considerably astray), that it is hardly possible to account for the differences; and we refrain from attempting it. The text had evidently been felt to be obscure from very early times, especially for those who were unacquainted with the Hebrew; and hence transformations, omissions, and interpolations of words, and even of sentences, on the part of copyists and commentators, had resulted in the very various readings of different versions. The passage as given by Augustin is a good example of his ingenuity in spiritualizing the statements of Scripture.--Tr. [1423] Gal. ii. 20. .


Tractate LXXXV.

Chapter XV. 14, 15.

1. When the Lord Jesus had commended the love which He manifested toward us in dying for us, and had said, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends," He added, "Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you." What great condescension! when one cannot even be a good servant unless he do his lord's commandments; the very means, which only prove men to be good servants, He wished to be those whereby His friends should be known. But the condescension, as I have termed it, is this, that the Lord condescends to call those His friends whom He knows to be His servants. For, to let us know that it is the duty of servants to yield obedience to their master's commands, He actually in another place reproaches those who are servants, by saying, "And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things that I say?" [1424] Accordingly, when ye say Lord, prove what you say by doing my commandments. Is it not to the obedient servant that He is yet one day to say, "Well done, thou good servant; because thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord"? [1425] One, therefore, who is a good servant, can be both servant and friend.

2. But let us mark what follows. "Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth." How, then are we to understand the good servant to be both servant and friend, when He says, "Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth"? He introduces the name of friend in such a way as to withdraw that of servant; not as if to include both in the one term, but in order that the one should succeed to the place vacated by the other. What does it mean? Is it this, that even in doing the Lord's commandments we shall not be servants? Or this, that then we shall cease to be servants, when we have been good servants? And yet who can contradict the Truth, when He says, "Henceforth I call you not servants?" and shows why He said so: "For the servant," He adds, "knoweth not what his lord doeth." Is it that a good and tried servant is not likewise entrusted by his master with his secrets? What does He mean, then, by saying, "The servant knoweth not what his lord doeth"? Be it that "he knoweth not what he doeth," is he ignorant also of what he commands? For if he were so, how can he serve? Or how is he a servant who does no service? And yet the Lord speaks thus: "Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants." Truly a marvellous statement! Seeing we cannot serve the Lord but by doing His commandments, how is it that in doing so we shall cease to be servants? If I be not a servant in doing His commandments, and yet cannot be in His service unless I so do, then, in my very service, I am no longer a servant.

3. Let us, brethren, let us understand, and may the Lord enable us to understand, and enable us also to do what we understand. And if we know this, we know of a truth what the Lord doeth; for it is only the Lord that so enables us, and by such means only do we attain to His friendship. For just as there are two kinds of fear, which produce two classes of fearers; so there are two kinds of service, which produce two classes of servants. There is a fear, which perfect love casteth out; [1426] and there is another fear, which is clean, and endureth for ever. [1427] The fear that lies not in love, the apostle pointed to when he said, "For ye have not received the spirit of service again to fear." [1428] But he referred to the clean fear when he said, "Be not high-minded, but fear." [1429] In that fear which love casteth out, there has also to be cast out the service along with it: for both were joined together by the apostle, that is, the service and the fear, when he said, "For ye have not received the spirit of service again to fear." And it was the servant connected with this kind of service that the Lord also had in His eye when He said, "Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth." Certainly not the servant characterized by the clean fear, to whom it is said, "Well done, thou good servant: enter thou into the joy of thy lord;" but the servant who is characterized by the fear which love casteth out, of whom He elsewhere saith, "The servant abideth not in the house for ever, but the Son abideth ever." [1430] Since, therefore, He hath given us power to become the sons of God, [1431] let us not be servants, but sons: that, in some wonderful and indescribable but real way, we may as servants have the power not to be servants; servants, indeed, with that clean fear which distinguishes the servant that enters into the joy of his lord, but not servants with the fear that has to be cast out, and which marketh him that abideth not in the house for ever. But let us bear in mind that it is the Lord that enableth us to serve so as not to be servants. And this it is that is unknown to the servant, who knoweth not what his Lord doeth; and who, when he doeth any good thing, is lifted up as if he did it himself, and not his Lord; and so, glories not in the Lord, but in himself, thereby deceiving himself, because glorying, as if he had not received. [1432] But let us, beloved, in order that we may be the friends of the Lord, know what our Lord doeth. For it is He who makes us not only men, but also righteous, and not we ourselves. And who but He is the doer, in leading us to such a knowledge? For "we have received not the spirit of this world, but the Spirit which is of God, that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God." [1433] Whatever good there is, is freely given by Him. And so because this also is good, by Him who graciously imparteth all good is this gift of knowing likewise bestowed; that, in respect of all good things whatever, he that glorieth may glory in the Lord. [1434] But the words that follow, "But I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you," are so profound, that we must by no means compress them within the limits of the present discourse, but leave them over till another.

Footnotes

[1424] Luke vi. 46. [1425] Matt. xxv. 21. [1426] 1 John iv. 18. [1427] Ps. xix. 9. [1428] Rom. viii. 15. [1429] Rom. xi. 20. [1430] Chap. viii. 35. [1431] Chap. i. 12. [1432] 1 Cor. iv. 7. [1433] 1 Cor. ii. 12. [1434] 1 Cor. i. 31. .


Tractate LXXXVI.

Chapter XV. 15, 16.

1. It is a worthy subject of inquiry how these words of the Lord are to be understood, "But I have called you friends: for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you." For who is there that dare affirm or believe that any man knoweth all things that the only-begotten Son hath heard of the Father; when there is no one that can comprehend even how He heareth any word of the Father, being as He is Himself the only Word of the Father? Nay more, is it not the case that a little afterwards, in this same discourse, which He delivered to the disciples between the Supper and His passion, He said, "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now"? [1435] How, then, are we to understand that He made known unto the disciples all that He had heard of the Father, when there are many things that He saith not, just because He knows that they cannot bear them now? Doubtless what He is yet to do He says that He has done as the same Being who hath made those things which are yet to be. [1436] For as He says by the prophet, "They pierced my hands and my feet," [1437] and not, They will yet pierce; but speaking as it were of the past, and yet predicting what was still in the future: so also in the passage before us He declares that He has made known to the disciples all, that He knows He will yet make known in that fullness of knowledge, whereof the apostle says, "But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away." For in the same place he adds: "Now I know in part, but then shall I know, even as also I am known; and now through a glass in a riddle, but then face to face." [1438] For the same apostle also says that we have been saved by the washing of regeneration, [1439] and yet declares in another place, "We are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is no hope; for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it." [1440] To a similar purpose it is also said by his fellow-apostle Peter, "In whom, though now seeing Him not, ye believe; and in whom, when ye see Him, ye shall rejoice with a joy unspeakable and glorious: receiving the reward of faith, even the salvation of your souls." [1441] If, then, it is now the season of faith, and faith's reward is the salvation of our souls; who, in that faith which worketh by love, [1442] can doubt that the day must come to an end, and at its close the reward be received; not only the redemption of our body, whereof the Apostle Paul speaketh, [1443] but also the salvation of our souls, as we are told by the Apostle Peter? For the felicity springing from both is at this present time, and in the existing state of mortality, a matter rather of hope than of actual possession. But this it concerns us to remember, that our outward man, to wit the body, is still decaying; but the inward, that is, the soul, is being renewed day by day. [1444] Accordingly, while we are waiting for the immortality of the flesh and salvation of our souls in the future, yet with the pledge we have received, it may be said that we are saved already; so that knowledge of all things which the Only-begotten hath heard of the Father we are to regard as a matter of hope still lying in the future, although declared by Christ as something He had already imparted.

2. "Ye have not chosen me," He says, "but I have chosen you." Grace such as that is ineffable. For what were we so long as Christ had not yet chosen us, and we were therefore still destitute of love? For he who hath chosen Him, how can he love Him? Were we, think you, in that condition which is sung of in the psalm: "I had rather be an abject in the house of the Lord, than dwell in the tents of wickedness"? [1445] Certainly not. What were we then, but sinful and lost? We had not yet come to believe on Him, in order to lead to His choosing us; for if it were those who already believed that He chose, then was He chosen Himself, prior to His choosing. But how could He say, "Ye have not chosen me," save only because His mercy anticipated us? [1446] Here surely is at fault the vain reasoning of those who defend the foreknowledge of God in opposition to His grace, and with this view declare that we were chosen before the foundation of the world, [1447] because God foreknew that we should be good, but not that He Himself would make us good. So says not He, who declares, "Ye have not chosen me." For had He chosen us on the ground that He foreknew that we should be good, then would He also have foreknown that we would not be the first to make choice of Him. For in no other way could we possibly be good: unless, forsooth, one could be called good who has never made good his choice. What was it then that He chose in those who were not good? For they were not chosen because of their goodness, inasmuch as they could not be good without being chosen. Otherwise grace is no more grace, if we maintain the priority of merit. Such, certainly, is the election of grace, whereof the apostle says: "Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant saved according to the election of grace." To which he adds: "And if by grace, then is it no more of works; otherwise grace is no more grace." [1448] Listen, thou ungrateful one, listen: "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you." Not that thou mayest say, I am chosen because I already believed. For if thou wert believing in Him, then hadst thou already chosen Him. But listen: "Ye have not chosen me." Not that thou mayest say, Before I believed I was already doing good works, and therefore was I chosen. For what good work can be prior to faith, when the apostle says, "Whatsoever is not of faith is sin"? [1449] What, then, are we to say on hearing such words, "Ye have not chosen me," but that we were evil, and were chosen in order that we might be good through the grace of Him who chose us? For it is not by grace, if merit preceded: but it is of grace: and therefore that grace did not find, but effected the merit.

3. See then, beloved, how it is that He chooseth not the good, but maketh those whom He has chosen good. "I have chosen you," He saith, "and appointed you that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and [that] your fruit should remain." And is not that the fruit, whereof He had already said, "Without me ye can do nothing"? [1450] He hath chosen therefore, and appointed that we should go and bring forth fruit; and no fruit, accordingly, had we to induce His choice of us. "That ye should go," He said, "and bring forth fruit." We go to bring forth, and He Himself is the way wherein we go, and wherein He hath appointed us to go. And so His mercy hath anticipated us in all. "And that your fruit," He saith, "should remain; that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, He may give it you." Accordingly let love remain; for He Himself is our fruit. And this love lies at present in longing desire, not yet in fullness of enjoyment; and whatsoever with that longing desire we shall ask in the name of the only-begotten Son, the Father giveth us. But what is not expedient for our salvation to receive, let us not imagine that we ask that in the Saviour's name: but we ask in the name of the Saviour only that which really belongs to the way of salvation.

Footnotes

[1435] Chap. xvi. 12. [1436] Isa. xlv. 11. [1437] Ps. xxii. 16. [1438] 1 Cor. xiii. 10, 12. [1439] Tit. iii. 5. [1440] Rom. viii. 24, 25. [1441] 1 Pet. i. 8, 9. [1442] Gal. v. 6. [1443] Rom. viii. 23. [1444] 2 Cor. iv. 16. [1445] Ps. lxxxiv. 10. [1446] Ps. lix. 10. [1447] Eph. i. 4. [1448] Rom. xi. 5, 6. [1449] Rom. xiv. 23. [1450] Chap. xv. 5. .


Tractate LXXXVII.

Chapter XV. 17-19.

1. In the Gospel lesson which precedes this one, the Lord had said: "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and appointed you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and [that] your fruit should remain; that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, He may give it you." On these words you remember that we have already discoursed, as the Lord enabled us. But here, that is, in the succeeding lesson which you have heard read, He says: "These things I command you, that ye love one another." And thereby we are to understand that this is our fruit, of which He had said, "I have chosen you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and [that] your fruit should remain." And what He subjoined, "That whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, He may give it you," He will certainly give us if we love one another; seeing that this very thing He has also given us, in choosing us when we had no fruit, because we had chosen Him not; and appointing us that we should bring forth fruit,--that is, that we should love one another,--a fruit that we cannot have apart from Him, just as the branches can do nothing apart from the vine. Our fruit, therefore, is charity, which the apostle explains to be, "Out of a pure heart, and a good conscience, and faith unfeigned." [1451] So love we one another, and so love we God. For it would be with no true love that we loved one another, if we loved not God. For every one loves his neighbor as himself if he loves God; and if he loves not God, he loves not himself. For on these two commandments of love hang all the law and the prophets: [1452] this is our fruit. And it is in reference, therefore, to such fruit that He gives us commandment when He says, "These things I command you, that ye love one another." In the same way also the Apostle Paul, when wishing to commend the fruit of the Spirit in opposition to the deeds of the flesh, posited this as his principle, saying, "The fruit of the Spirit is love;" and then, as if springing from and bound up in this principle, he wove the others together, which are "joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance." [1453] For who can truly rejoice who loves not good as the source of his joy? Who can have true peace, if he have it not with one whom he truly loves? Who can be long-enduring through persevering continuance in good, save through fervent love? Who can be kind, if he love not the person he is aiding? Who can be good, if he is not made so by loving? Who can be sound in the faith, without that faith which worketh by love? Whose meekness can be beneficial in character, if not regulated by love? And who will abstain from that which is debasing, if he love not that which dignifies? Appropriately, therefore, does the good Master so frequently commend love, as the only thing needing to be commended, without which all other good things can be of no avail, and which cannot be possessed without bringing with it those other good things that make a man truly good.

2. But alongside of this love we ought also patiently to endure the hatred of the world. For it must of necessity hate those whom it perceives recoiling from that which is loved by itself. But the Lord supplies us with special consolation from His own case, when, after saying, "These things I command you, that ye love one another," He added, "If the world hate you, know that it hated me before [it hated] you." Why then should the member exalt itself above the head? Thou refusest to be in the body if thou art unwilling to endure the hatred of the world along with the Head. "If ye were of the world," He says, "the world would love its own." He says this, of course, of the whole Church, which, by itself, He frequently also calls by the name of the world: as when it is said, "God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself." [1454] And this also: "The Son of man came not to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved." [1455] And John says in his epistle: "We have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: and He is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also [for those] of the whole world." [1456] The whole world then is the Church, and yet the whole world hateth the Church. The world therefore hateth the world, the hostile that which is reconciled, the condemned that which is saved, the polluted that which is cleansed.

3. But that world which God is in Christ reconciling unto Himself, which is saved by Christ, and has all its sins freely pardoned by Christ, has been chosen out of the world that is hostile, condemned, and defiled. For out of that mass, which has all perished in Adam, are formed the vessels of mercy, whereof that world of reconciliation is composed, that is hated by the world which belongeth to the vessels of wrath that are formed out of the same mass and fitted to destruction. [1457] Finally, after saying, "If ye were of the world, the world would love its own," He immediately added, "But because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you." And so these men were themselves also of that world, and, that they might no longer be of it, were chosen out of it, through no merit of their own, for no good works of theirs had preceded; and not by nature, which through free-will had become totally corrupted at its source: but gratuitously, that is, of actual grace. For He who chose the world out of the world, effected for Himself, instead of finding, what He should choose: for "there is a remnant saved according to the election of grace. And if by grace," he adds, "then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace." [1458]

4. But if we are asked about the love which is borne to itself by that world of perdition which hateth the world of redemption; we reply, it loveth itself, of course, with a false love, and not with a true. And hence, it loves itself falsely, and hates itself truly. For he that loveth wickedness, hateth his own soul. [1459] And yet it is said to love itself, inasmuch as it loves the wickedness that makes it wicked; and, on the other hand, it is said to hate itself, inasmuch as it loves that which causes it injury. It hates, therefore, the true nature that is in it, and loves the vice: it hates what it is, as made by the goodness of God, and loves what has been wrought in it by free-will. And hence also, if we rightly understand it, we are at once forbidden and commanded to love it: thus, we are forbidden, when it is said to us, "Love not the world;" [1460] and we are commanded, when it is said to us, "Love your enemies." [1461] These constitute the world that hateth us. And therefore we are forbidden to love in it that which it loves in itself; and we are enjoined to love in it what it hates in itself, namely, the workmanship of God, and the various consolations of His goodness. For we are forbidden to love the vice that is in it, and enjoined to love the nature, while it loves the vice in itself, and hates the nature: so that we may both love and hate it in a right manner, whereas it loves and hates itself perversely.

Footnotes

[1451] 1 Tim. i. 5. [1452] Matt. xxii. 40. [1453] Gal. v. 22. [1454] 2 Cor. v. 19. [1455] John iii. 17. [1456] 1 John ii. 1, 2. [1457] Rom. ix. 21, 23. [1458] Rom. xi. 5, 6. [1459] Ps. xi. 5. See Tract. LXXXIII. sec. 3, note 4. [1460] 1 John ii. 15. [1461] Luke vi. 27. .


Tractate LXXXVIII.

Chapter XV. 20, 21.

1. The Lord, in exhorting His servants to endure with patience the hatred of the world, proposes to them no greater and better example than His own; seeing that, as the Apostle Peter says, "Christ suffered for us, leaving us an example, that we should follow His steps." [1462] And if we really do so, we do it by His assistance, who said, "Without me ye can do nothing." But further, to those to whom He had already said, "If the world hate you, know that it hated me before [it hated] you," He now also says in the word you have just been hearing, when the Gospel was read, "Remember my word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord: if they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also." Now in saying, "The servant is not greater than his lord," does He not clearly indicate how He would have us understand what He had said above, "Henceforth I call you not servants"? [1463] For, you see, He calleth them servants. For what else can the words imply, "The servant is not greater than his lord: if they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you"? It is clear, therefore, that when it is said, "Henceforth I call you not servants," He is to be understood as speaking of that servant [1464] who abideth not in the house for ever, [1465] but is characterized by the fear which love casteth out; [1466] whereas, when it is here said, "The servant is not greater than his lord: if they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you," that servant is meant who is distinguished by the clean fear which endureth for ever. [1467] For this is the servant who is yet to hear, "Well done, thou good servant: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord." [1468]

2. "But all these things," He says, "will they do unto you for my name's sake, because they know not Him that sent me." And what are "all these things" that "they will do," but what He has just said, namely, that they will hate and persecute you, and despise your word? For if they kept not their word, and yet neither hated nor persecuted them; or if they even hated, but did not persecute them: it would not be all these things that they did. But "all these things will they do unto you for my name's sake,"--what else is that but to say, they will hate me in you, they will persecute me in you; and your word, just because it is mine, they will not keep? For "all these things will they do unto you for my name's sake:" not for yours, but mine. So much the more miserable, therefore, are those who do such things on account of that name, as those are blessed who suffer such things in its behalf: as He Himself elsewhere saith, "Blessed are they that suffer persecution for righteousness' sake." [1469] For that is on my account, or "for my name's sake:" because, as we are taught by the apostle, "He is made of God unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and santification, and redemption; that, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord." [1470] For the wicked do such things to the wicked, but not for righteousness' sake; and therefore both are alike miserable, those who do, and those who suffer them. The good also do such things to the wicked: where, although the former do so for righteousness' sake, yet the latter suffer them not on the same behalf.

3. But some one says, If, when the wicked persecute the good for the name of Christ, the good suffer for righteousness' sake, then surely it is for righteousness' sake that the wicked do so to them; and if such is the case, then also, when the good persecute the wicked for righteousness' sake, it is for righteousness' sake likewise that the wicked suffer. For if the wicked can assail the good with persecution for the name of Christ, why cannot the wicked suffer persecution at the hands of the good on the same account; and what is that, but for righteousness' sake? For if the good act not so on the same account as that on which the wicked suffer, because the good do so for righteousness' sake, while the wicked suffer for unrighteousness, so then neither can the wicked act so on the same account as that for which the good suffer, because the wicked do so by unrighteousness, while the good suffer for righteousness' sake. And how then will that be true, "All these things will they do unto you for my name's sake," when the former do it not for the name of Christ, that is, for righteousness' sake, but because of their own iniquity? Such a question is solved in this way, if only we understand the words, "All these things will they do unto you for my name's sake," as referring entirely to the righteous, as if it had been said, All these things will ye suffer at their hands for my name's sake, so that the words, "they will do unto you," are equivalent to these, Ye will suffer at their hands. But if "for my name's sake" is to be taken as if He had said, For my name's sake which they hate in you, so also may the other be taken for that righteousness' sake which they hate in you; and in this way the good, when they institute persecution against the wicked, may be rightly said to do so both for righteousness' sake, in their love for which they persecute the wicked, and for that wickedness' sake which they hate in the wicked themselves; and so also the wicked may be said to suffer both for the iniquity that is punished in their persons, and for the righteousness which is exercised in their punishment.

4. It may also be inquired, if the wicked also persecute the wicked, just as ungodly princes and judges, while they were the persecutors of the godly, certainly also punished murderers and adulterers, and all classes of evil-doers whom they ascertained to be acting contrary to the public laws, how are we to understand the words of the Lord, "If ye were of the world, the world would love its own"? (ver. 19.) For those whom it punisheth cannot be loved by the world, which, we see, generally punisheth the classes of crimes mentioned above, save only that the world is both in those who punish such crimes, and in those that love them. Therefore that world, which is to be understood as existing in the wicked and ungodly, both hateth its own in respect of that section of men in whose case it inflicts injury on the criminal, and loveth its own in respect of that other section in whose case it shows favor to its own partners in criminality. Hence, "All these things will they do unto you for my name's sake," is said either in reference to that for the sake of which ye suffer, or to that on account of which they themselves so deal with you, because that which is in you they both hate and persecute. And He added, "Because they know not Him that sent me." This is to be understood as spoken of that knowledge of which it is also elsewhere recorded, "But to know Thee is perfect intelligence." [1471] For those who with such a knowledge know the Father, by whom Christ was sent, can in no wise persecute those whom Christ is gathering; for they also themselves are being gathered by Christ along with the others.

Footnotes

[1462] 1 Pet. ii. 21. [1463] Chap. xv. 15, xiii. 16. [1464] See above, Tract. LXXXV. sec. 3. [1465] Chap. viii. 35. [1466] 1 John iv. 18. [1467] Ps. xix. 9. [1468] Matt. xxv. 21. [1469] Matt. v. 10. [1470] 1 Cor. i. 30, 31. [1471] Wisd. vi. 16. .


Tractate LXXXIX.

Chapter XV. 22, 23.

1. The Lord had said above to His disciples, "If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name's sake, because they know not Him that sent me." And if we inquire of whom He so spake, we find that He was led on to these words from what He had said before, "If the world hate you, know ye that it hated me before [it hated] you;" and now in adding, "If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin," He more expressly pointed to the Jews. Of them, therefore, He also uttered the words that precede, for so does the context itself imply. For it is of the same parties that He said, "If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin;" of whom He also said, "If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also; but all these things will they do unto you for my name's sake, because they know not Him that sent me;" for it is to these words that He also subjoins the following: "If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin." The Jews, therefore, persecuted Christ, as the Gospel very clearly indicates, and Christ spake to the Jews, not to other nations; and it is they, therefore, that He meant to be understood by the world, that hateth Christ and His disciples; and, indeed, not those alone, but even these latter were shown by Him to belong to the same world. What, then, does He mean by the words, "If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin"? Was it that the Jews were without sin before Christ came to them in the flesh? Who, though he were the greatest fool, would say so? But it is some great sin, and not every sin, that He would have to be understood, as it were, under the general designation. For this is the sin wherein all sins are included; and whosoever is free from it, has all his sins forgiven him: and this it is, that they believed not on Christ, who came for the very purpose of enlisting their faith. From this sin, had He not come, they would certainly have been free. His advent has become as much fraught with destruction to unbelievers, as it is with salvation to those that believe; for He, the Head and Prince of the apostles, has Himself, as it were, become what they declared of themselves, "to some, indeed, the savour of life unto life; and to some the savor of death unto death." [1472]

2. But when He went on to say, "But now they have no excuse for their sin," some may be moved to inquire whether those to whom Christ neither came nor spake, have an excuse for their sin. For if they have not, why is it said here that these had none, on the very ground that He did come and speak to them? And if they have, have they it to the extent of thereby being barred from punishment, or of receiving it in a milder degree? To these inquiries, with the Lord's help and to the best of my capacity, I reply, that such have an excuse, not for every one of their sins, but for this sin of not believing on Christ, inasmuch as He came not and spake not to them. But it is not in the number of such that those are to be included, to whom He came in the persons of His disciples, and to whom He spake by them, as He also does at present; for by His Church He has come, and by His Church He speaks to the Gentiles. For to this are to be referred the words that He spake, "He that receiveth you, receiveth me;" [1473] and, "He that despiseth you, despiseth me." [1474] "Or would ye," says the Apostle Paul, "have a proof of Him that speaketh in me, namely Christ." [1475]

3. It remains for us to inquire, whether those who, prior to the coming of Christ in His Church to the Gentiles and to their hearing of His Gospel, have been, or are now being, overtaken by the close of this life, can have such an excuse? Evidently they can, but not on that account can they escape damnation. "For as many as have sinned without the law, shall also perish without the law; and as many as have sinned in the law, shall be judged by the law." [1476] And these words of the apostle, inasmuch as his saying, "they shall perish," has a more terrible sound than when he says, "they shall be judged," seem to show that such an excuse can not only avail them nothing, but even becomes an additional aggravation. For those that excuse themselves because they did not hear, "shall perish without the law."

4. But it is also a worthy subject of inquiry, whether those who met the words they heard with contempt, and even with opposition, and that not merely by contradicting them, but also by persecuting in their hatred those from whom they heard them, are to be reckoned among those in regard to whom the words, "they shall be judged by the law," convey somewhat of a milder sound. But if it is one thing to perish without the law, and another to be judged by the law; and the former is the heavier, the latter the lighter punishment: such, without a doubt, are not to have their place assigned in that lighter measure of punishment; for, so far from sinning in the law, they utterly refused to accept the law of Christ, and, as far as in them lay, would have had it altogether annihilated. But those that sin in the law, are such as are in the law, that is, who accept it, and confess that it is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good; [1477] but fail through infirmity in fulfilling what they cannot doubt is most righteously enjoined therein. These are they in regard to whose fate there may perhaps be some distinction made from the perdition of those who are without the law: and yet if the apostle's words, "they shall be judged by the law," are to be understood as meaning, they shall not perish, what a wonder if it were so! For his discourse was not about infidels and believers to lead him to say so, but about Gentiles and Jews, both of whom, certainly, if they find not salvation in that Saviour who came to seek that which was lost, [1478] shall doubtless become the prey of perdition; although it may be said that some shall perish in a more terrible, others in a more mitigated sense; in other words, that some shall suffer a heavier, and others a lighter penalty in their perdition. For he is rightly said to perish as regards God, whoever is separated by punishment from that blessedness which He bestows on His saints, and the diversity of punishments is as great as the diversity of sins; but the mode thereof is accounted too deep by divine wisdom for human guessing to scrutinize or express. At all events, those to whom Christ came, and to whom He spake, have not, for their great sin of unbelief, any such excuse as may enable them to say, We saw not, we heard not: whether it be that such an excuse would not be sustained by Him whose judg ments are unsearchable, or whether it would, and that, if not for their entire deliverance from damnation, at least for its partial alleviation.

5. "He that hateth me," He says, "hateth my Father also." Here it may be said to us, Who can hate one whom he knows not? And certainly before saying, "If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin," He had said to His disciples, "These things will they do unto you, because they know not Him that sent me." How, then, do they both know not, and hate? For if the notion they have formed of Him is not that which He is in Himself, but some unknown conjecture of their own, then certainly it is not Himself they are found to hate, but that figment which they devise or rather suspect in their error. And yet, were it not that men could hate that which they know not, the Truth would not have asserted both, namely, that they both know not, and hate His Father. But such a possibility, if by the Lord's help we are able to show it, cannot be demonstrated at present, as this discourse must now be brought to a close.

Footnotes

[1472] 2 Cor. ii. 16. [1473] Matt. x. 40. [1474] Luke x. 16. [1475] 2 Cor. xiii. 3. [1476] Rom. ii. 12. [1477] Rom. vii. 12. [1478] Luke xix. 10. .


Tractate XC.

Chapter XV. 23.

1. The Lord says, as you have just been hearing, "He that hateth me, hateth my Father also:" and yet He had said a little before, "These things will they do unto you, because they know not Him that sent me." A question therefore arises that cannot be overlooked, how they can hate one whom they know not? For if it is not God as He really is, but something else, I know not what, that they suspect or believe Him to be, and hate this; then assuredly it is not God Himself that they hate, but the thing they conceive in their own erroneous suspicion or baseless credulity; and if they think of Him as He really is, how can they be said to know Him not? It may be the case, indeed, with regard to men, that we frequently love those whom we have never seen; and in this way it can, on the other hand, be none the less impossible that we should hate those whom we have never seen. The report, for instance, whether good or bad, about some preacher, leads us not improperly to love or to hate the unknown. But if the report is truthful, how can one, of whom we have got such true accounts, be spoken of as unknown? Is it because we have not seen his face? And yet, though he himself does not see it, he can be known to no one better than to himself. The knowledge of any one, therefore, is not conveyed to us in his bodily countenance, but only lies open to our apprehension when his life and character are revealed. Otherwise no one would be able to know himself, because unable to see his own face. But surely he knows himself more certainly than he is known to others, inasmuch as by inward inspection he can the more certainly see what he is conscious of, what he desires, what he is living for; and it is when these are likewise laid open to us, that he becomes truly known to ourselves. And as these, accordingly, are commonly brought to us regarding the absent, or even the dead, either by hearsay or correspondence, it thus comes about that people whom we have never seen by face (and yet of whom we are not entirely ignorant), we frequently either hate or love.

2. But in such cases our credulity is frequently at fault; for sometimes even history, and still more ordinary report, turns out to be false. Yet, it ought to be our concern, in order not to be misled by an injurious opinion, seeing we cannot search into the consciences of men, to have a true and certain sentiment about things themselves. I mean, that in regard to this or that man, if we know not whether he is immodest or modest, we should at all events hate immodesty and love modesty: and if in regard to some one or other we know not whether he is unjust or just, we should at any rate love justice and abhor injustice; not such things as we erroneously fancy to ourselves, but such as we believingly perceive according to God's truth, the one to be desired, the other to be shunned; so that, when in regard to things themselves we do desire what ought to be desired, and utterly avoid what ought to be avoided, we may find pardon for the mistaken feelings which we at times, yea, at all times, entertain regarding the actual state of others which is hidden from our eyes. For this, I think, has to do with human temptation, without which we cannot pass through this life, so that the apostle said, "No temptation should befall you but such as is common to man." [1479] For what is so common to man as inability to inspect the heart of man; and therefore, instead of scrutinizing its inmost recesses, to suspect for the most part something very different from what is going on therein? And although in these dark regions of human realities, that is, of other people's inward thoughts, we cannot clear up our suspicions, because we are only men, yet we ought to restrain our judgments, that is, all definite and fixed opinions, and not judge anything before the time, until the Lord come, and bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and make manifest the counsels of the hearts; and then shall every man have praise of God. [1480] When, therefore, we are falling into no error in regard to the thing itself, so that there is an accordance with right in our reprobation of vice and approbation of virtue; surely, if a mistake is committed in connection with individuals, a temptation so characteristic of man is within the scope of forgiveness.

3. But amid all these darknesses of human hearts, it happens as a thing much to be wondered at and mourned over, that one, whom we account unjust, and who nevertheless is just, and in whom, without knowing it, we love justice, we sometimes avoid, and turn away from, and hinder from approaching us, and refuse to have life and living in common with him; and, if necessity compel the infliction of discipline, whether to save others from harm or bring the person himself back to rectitude, we even pursue him with a salutary harshness; and so afflict a good man as if he were wicked, and one whom unknowingly we love. This takes place if one, for example's sake, who is modest is believed by us to be the opposite. For, beyond doubt, if I love a modest person, he is himself the very object that I love; and therefore I love the man himself, and know it not. And if I hate an immodest person, it is on that account, not him that I hate: for he is not the thing that I hate; and yet to that object of my love, with whom my heart makes continual abode in the love of modesty, I am ignorantly doing an injury, erring as I do, not in the distinction I make between virtue and vice, but in the thick darkness of the human heart. Accordingly, as it may so happen that a good man may unknowingly hate a good man, or rather loves him without knowing it (for the man himself he loves in loving that which is good; for what the other is, is the very thing that he loves); and without knowing it, hates not the man himself, but that which he supposes him to be: so may it also be the case that an unjust man hates a just man, and, while he opines that he loves one who is unjust like himself, unknowingly loves the just man; and yet so long as he believes him to be unjust, he loves not the man himself, but that which he imagines him to be. And as it is with another man, so is it also with God. For, to conclude, had the Jews been asked if they loved God, what other answer would they have given but that they did love Him, and that not with any intentional falsehood, but because erroneously fancying that they did so? For how could they love the Father of the truth, who were filled with hatred to the truth itself? For they do not wish their own conduct to be condemned, and it is the truth's task to condemn such conduct; and thus they hated the truth as much as they hated their own punishment, which the truth awards to such. But they know not that to be the truth which lays its condemnation on such as they: therefore they hate that which they know not; and hating it, they certainly cannot but also hate Him of whom it is born. And in this way, because they know not the truth, by whose judgment they are condemned, as that which is born of God the Father; of a surety also they both know not, and hate [the Father] Himself. Miserable men! who, because wishing to be wicked, deny that to be the truth whereby the wicked are condemned. For they refuse to own that to be what it is, when they ought themselves to refuse to be what they are; in order that, while it remains the same, they may be changed, lest by its judgment they fall into condemnation.

Footnotes

[1479] 1 Cor. x. 13. [1480] 1 Cor. iv. 5. .


Tractate XCI.

Chapter XV. 24, 25.

1. The Lord had said, "He that hateth me, hateth my Father also." For of a certainty he that hateth the truth must also hate Him of whom the truth is born; on which subject we have already spoken, as we were granted ability. And then He added the words on which we have now to discourse: "If I had not done among [in] them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin." To wit, that great sin whereof He also says before, "If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin." Their sin was that of not believing on Him who thus spake and wrought. For they were not without sin before He so spake to them and did such works among them; but this sin of theirs, in not believing on Him, is thus specially mentioned because really inclusive in itself of all sins besides. For had they been clear of this one, and believed on Him, all else would also have been forgiven.

2. But what is meant when, after saying, "If I had not done among them works," He immediately added, "which none other man did"? Of a certainty, among all the works of Christ, none seem to be greater than the raising of the dead; and yet we know that the same was done by the prophets of olden time. For Elias did so; [1481] and Elisha also, both when alive in the flesh, [1482] and when he lay buried in his sepulchre. For when certain men, who were carrying a dead person, had fled thither for refuge from an onset of their enemies, and had laid him down therein, he instantly came again to life. [1483] And yet there were some works that Christ did which none other man did: as, when He fed the five thousand men with five loaves, and the four thousand with seven; [1484] when He walked on the waters, and gave Peter power to do the same; [1485] when He changed the water into wine; [1486] when He opened the eyes of a man that was born blind, [1487] and many besides, which it would take long to mention. But we are answered, that others also have done works which even He did not, and which no other man has done. For who else save Moses smote the Egyptians with so many and mighty plagues, [1488] as when He led the people through the parted waters of the sea, [1489] when he obtained manna for them from heaven in their hunger, [1490] and water from the rock in their thirst? [1491] Who else save Joshua the son of Nun [1492] divided the stream of the Jordan for the people to pass over, [1493] and by the utterance of a prayer to God bridled and stopped the revolving sun? [1494] Who save Samson ever quenched his thirst with water flowing forth from the jawbone of a dead ass? [1495] Who save Elias was carried aloft in a chariot of fire? [1496] Who save Elisha, as I have just mentioned, after his own body was buried, restored the dead body of another to life? Who else besides Daniel lived unhurt amid the jaws of famishing lions, that were shut up with him? [1497] And who else save the three men Ananias, Azariah, and Mishael, ever walked about unharmed in flames that blazed and did not burn? [1498]

3. I pass by other examples, as these I consider to be sufficient to show that some of the saints have done wonderful works, which none other man did. But we read of no one whatever of the ancients who cured with such power so many bodily defects, and bad states of the health, and troubles of mortals. For, to say nothing of those individual cases which He healed, as they occurred, by the word of command, the Evangelist Mark says in a certain place: "And at even, when the sun had set, they brought unto Him all that were diseased, and them that were possessed with devils. And all the city was gathered together at the door. And He healed many that were sick of divers diseases, and cast out many devils." [1499] And Matthew, in giving us the same account, has also added the prophetic testimony, when he says: "That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sickness." [1500] In another passage also it is said by Mark: "And whithersoever He entered, into villages, or cities, or country, they laid the sick in the streets, and besought Him that they might touch if it were but the border of His garment: and as many as touched Him were made whole." [1501] None other man did such things in them. For so are we to understand the words in them, not among them, or in their presence; but directly in them, because He healed them. For He wished them to understand the works as those which not only occasioned admiration, but conferred also manifest healing, and were benefits which they ought surely to have requited with love, and not with hatred. He transcends, indeed, the miracles of all besides, in being born of a virgin, and in possessing alone the power, both in His conception and birth, to preserve inviolate the integrity of His mother: but that was done neither before their eyes nor in them. For the knowledge of the truth of such a miracle was reached by the apostles, not through any onlooking that they had in common with others, but in the course of their separate discipleship. Moreover, the fact that on the third day He restored Himself to life from the very tomb, in the flesh wherein He had been slain, and, never thereafter to die, with it ascended into heaven, even surpasses all else that He did: but just as little was this done either in the Jews or before their eyes; nor had it yet been done, when He said, "If I had not done among them the works which none other man did."

4. The works, then, are doubtless those miracles of healing in connection with their bodily complaints which He exhibited to such an extent as no one before had furnished amongst them: for these they saw, and it is in reproaching them therewith that He proceeds to say, "But now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father: but [this cometh to pass] that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause [gratuitously]." He calls it, their law, not as invented by them, but given to them: just as we say, "Our daily bread;" which, nevertheless, we ask of God in conjoining the words "Give us." [1502] But one hates gratuitously who neither seeks advantage from the hatred nor avoids inconvenience: so do the wicked hate the Lord; and so also is He loved by the righteous, that is to say, gratuitously [gratis, freely,] inasmuch as they expect no other gifts beyond Himself, for He Himself will be all in all. But whoever would be disposed to look for something more profound in the words of Christ, "If I had not done among them the works which none other man did" (for although such were done by the Father, or the Holy Spirit, yet no one else did them, for the whole Trinity is one and the same in substance), he will find that it was He who did it even when some man of God did something similar. For in Himself He can do everything by Himself; but without Him no one can do anything. For Christ with the Father and the Holy Spirit are not three Gods, but one God, of whom it is written, "Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous things." [1503] No one else, therefore, really himself did the works which He did amongst them; for any one else who did any such works, did them only through His doing. But He Himself did them without any doing on their part.

Footnotes

[1481] 1 Kings xvii. 21, 22. [1482] 2 Kings iv. 35. [1483] 2 Kings xiii. 21. [1484] Matt. xiv. 15-21, and xv. 32-38. [1485] Matt. xiv. 25-29. [1486] John ii. 9. [1487] John ix. 7. [1488] Ex. vii.-xii. [1489] Ex. xiv. 21-29. [1490] Ex. xvi. [1491] Ex. xvii. 6. [1492] "Jesus Nave": 'Iesous (huios) Naue, Sept., Josh. i. 1. [1493] Josh. iii. [1494] Josh. x. 12-14. [1495] Judg. xv. 19. [1496] 2 Kings ii. 11. [1497] Dan. vi. 22. [1498] Dan. iii. 23-27. [1499] Mark. i. 32-34. [1500] Matt. viii. 17. [1501] Mark vi. 56. [1502] Matt. vi. 11. [1503] Ps. lxxii. 18. .


Tractate XCII.

Chapter XV. 26, 27.

1. The Lord Jesus, in the discourse which He addressed to His disciples after the supper, when Himself in immediate proximity to His passion, and, as it were, on the eve of departure, and of depriving them of His bodily presence while continuing His spiritual presence to all His disciples till the very end of the world, exhorted them to endure the persecutions of the wicked, whom He distinguished by the name of the world: and from which He also told them that He had chosen the disciples themselves, that they might know it was by the grace of God they were what they were, and by their own vices they had been what they had been. And then His own persecutors and theirs He clearly signified to be the Jews, that it might be perfectly apparent that they also were included in the appellation of that damnable world that persecuteth the saints. And when He had said of them that they knew not Him that sent Him, and yet hated both the Son and the Father, that is, both Him who was sent and Him who sent Him,--of all which we have already treated in previous discourses,--He reached the place where it is said, "This cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause." And then He added, as if by way of consequence, the words whereon we have undertaken at present to discourse: "But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, who proceedeth from the Father, He shall bear witness of me: and ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning." But what connection has this with what He had just said, "But now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father: but that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause"? Was it that the Comforter, when He came, even the Spirit of truth, convicted those, who thus saw and hated, by a still clearer testimony? Yea, verily, some even of those who saw, and still hated, He did convert, by this manifestation of Himself, to the faith that worketh by love. [1504] To make this view of the passage intelligible, we recall to your mind that so it actually befell. For when on the day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit fell upon an assembly of one hundred and twenty men, among whom were all the apostles; and when they, filled therewith were speaking in the language of every nation; a goodly number of those who had hated, amazed at the magnitude of the miracle (especially when they perceived in Peter's address so great and divine a testimony borne in behalf of Christ, as that He, who was slain by them and accounted amongst the dead, was proved to have risen again, and to be now alive), were pricked in their hearts and converted; and so became aware of the beneficent character of that precious blood which had been so impiously and cruelly shed, because themselves redeemed by the very blood which they had shed. [1505] For the blood of Christ was shed so efficaciously for the remission of all sins, that it could wipe out even the very sin of shedding it. With this therefore in His eye, the Lord said, "They hated me without a cause: but when the Comforter is come, He shall bear witness of me;" saying, as it were, They hated me, and slew me when I stood visibly before their eyes; but such shall be the testimony borne in my behalf by the Comforter, that He will bring them to believe in me when I am no longer visible to their sight.

2. "And ye also," He says, "shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning." The Holy Spirit shall bear witness, and so also shall ye. For, just because ye have been with me from the beginning, ye can preach what ye know; which ye cannot do at present, because the fullness of that Spirit is not yet present within you. "He therefore shall testify of me, and ye also shall bear witness:" for the love of God shed abroad in your hearts by the Holy Spirit, who shall be given unto you, [1506] will give you the confidence needful for such witness-bearing. And that certainly was still wanting to Peter, when, terrified by the question of a lady's maid, he could give no true testimony; but, contrary to his own promise, was driven by the greatness of his fear thrice to deny Him. [1507] But there is no such fear in love, for perfect love casteth out fear. [1508] In fine, before the Lord's passion, his slavish fear was questioned by a bond-woman; but after the Lord's resurrection, his free love by the very Lord of freedom: [1509] and so on the one occasion he was troubled, on the other tranquillized; there he denied the One he had loved, here he loved the One he had denied. But still even then that very love was weak and straitened, till strengthened and expanded by the Holy Spirit. And then that Spirit, pervading him thus with the fullness of richer grace, kindled his hitherto frigid heart to such a witness-bearing for Christ, and unlocked those lips that in their previous tremor had suppressed the truth, that, when all on whom the Holy Spirit had descended were speaking in the tongues of all nations to the crowds of Jews collected around, he alone broke forth before the others in the promptitude of his testimony in behalf of the Christ, and confounded His murderers with the account of His resurrection. And if any one would enjoy the pleasure of gazing on a sight so charming in its holiness, let him read the Acts of the Apostles: [1510] and there let him be filled with amazement at the preaching of the blessed Peter, over whose denial of his Master he had just been mourning; there let him behold that tongue, itself translated from diffidence to confidence, from bondage to liberty, converting to the confession of Christ the tongues of so many of His enemies, not one of which he could bear when lapsing himself into denial. And what shall I say more? In him there shone forth such an effulgence of grace, and such a fullness of the Holy Spirit, and such a weight of most precious truth poured from the lips of the preacher, that he transformed that vast multitude of Jews who were the adversaries and murderers of Christ into men that were ready to die for His name, at whose hands he himself was formerly afraid to die with his Master. All this did that Holy Spirit when sent, who had previously only been promised. And it was these great and marvellous gifts of His own that the Lord foresaw, when He said, "They have both seen and hated both me and my Father: that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause. But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, who proceedeth from the Father, He shall testify of me: and ye also shall bear witness." For He, in bearing witness Himself, and inspiring such witnesses with invincible courage, divested Christ's friends of their fear, and transformed into love the hatred of His enemies.

Footnotes

[1504] Gal. v. 6. [1505] Acts ii. 2. [1506] Rom. v. 5. [1507] Matt. xxvi. 69-74. [1508] 1 John iv. 18. [1509] John xxi. 15. [1510] Acts ii.-v. .


Tractate XCIII.

Chapter XVI. 1-4.

1. In the words preceding this chapter of the Gospel, the Lord strengthened His disciples to endure the hatred of their enemies, and prepared them also by His own example to become the more courageous in imitating Him: adding the promise, that the Holy Spirit should come to bear witness of Him, and also that they themselves could become His witnesses, through the effectual working of His Spirit in their hearts. For such is His meaning when He saith, "He shall bear witness of me, and ye also shall bear witness." That is to say, because He shall bear witness, ye also shall bear witness: He in your hearts, you in your voices; He by inspiration, you by utterance: that the words might be fulfilled, "Their sound hath gone forth into all the earth." [1511] For it would have been to little purpose to have exhorted them by His example, had He not also filled them with His Spirit. Just as we see that the Apostle Peter, after having heard His words, when He said, "The servant is not greater than his lord: if they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you;" [1512] and seen that already fulfilled in Him, wherein, had example been sufficient, he ought to have imitated the patient endurance of his Lord, yet succumbed and fell into denial, as utterly unable to bear what He saw his Master enduring. But when he really received the gift of the Holy Spirit, he preached Him whom he had denied; and whom he had been afraid to confess, he had no fear now in openly proclaiming. Already, indeed, had he been sufficiently taught by example to know what was proper to be done; but not yet was he inspired with the power to do what he knew: he had got instruction to stand, but not the strength to keep him from falling. But after this was supplied by the Holy Spirit, he preached Christ even to the death, whom, in his fear of death, he had previously denied. And so the Lord in this succeeding chapter, on which we have now to address you, saith, "These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended." As it is sung in the psalm, "Great peace have they who love Thy law, and nothing shall offend them." [1513] Properly enough, therefore, with the promise of the Holy Spirit, by whose operation in their hearts they should be made His witnesses, He added, "These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended." For when the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit given unto us, [1514] they have great peace who love God's law, so that nothing may offend them.

2. And then He expressly declares what they were to suffer: "They shall put you out of the synagogues." But what harm was it for the apostles to be expelled from the Jewish synagogues, as if they were not to separate themselves therefrom, although no one expelled them? Doubtless He meant to announce with reprobation, that the Jews would refuse to receive Christ, from whom they as certainly would refuse to withdraw; and so it would come to pass that the latter, who could not exist without Him, would also be cast out along with Him by those who would not have Him as their place of abode. For certainly, as there was no other people of God than that seed of Abraham, they would, had they only acknowledged and received Christ, have remained as the natural branches in the olive tree; [1515] nor would the churches of Christ have been different from the synagogues of the Jews, for they would have been one and the same, had they also desired to abide in Him. But having refused, what remained but that, continuing themselves out of Christ, they put out of the synagogues those who would not abandon Christ? For having received the Holy Spirit, and so become His witnesses, they would certainly not belong to the class of whom it is said: "Many of the chief rulers of the Jews believed on Him; but for fear of the Jews they dared not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God." [1516] And so they believed on Him, but not in the way He wished them to believe when He said: "How can ye believe, who expect honor one of another, and seek not the honor that cometh from God only?" [1517] It is, therefore, with those disciples who so believe in Him, that, filled with the Holy Spirit, or, in other words, with the gift of divine grace, they no longer belong to those who, "ignorant of the righteousness of God, and going about to establish their own, have not submitted themselves to the righteousness of God;" [1518] nor to those of whom it is said, "They loved the praise of men more than the praise of God:" that the prophecy harmonizes, which finds its fulfillment in their own case: "They shall walk, O Lord, in the light of Thy countenance: and in Thy name shall they rejoice all the day; and in Thy righteousness shall they be exalted: for Thou art the glory of their strength." [1519] Rightly enough is it said to such, "They shall cast you out of the synagogues;" that is, they who "have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge;" because, "ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own," [1520] they expel those who are exalted, not in their own righteousness, but in God's, and have no cause to be ashamed at being expelled by men, since He is the glory of their strength.

3. Finally, to what He had thus told them, He added the words: "But the hour cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service: and these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me." That is to say, they have not known the Father, nor His Son, to whom they think they will be doing service in slaying you. Words which the Lord added in the way of consolation to His own, who should be driven out of the Jewish synagogues. For it is in thus announcing beforehand what evils they would have to endure for their testimony in His behalf, that He said, "They will put you out of the synagogues." Nor does He say, And the hour cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. What then? "But the hour cometh:" just in the way He would have spoken, were He foretelling them of something good that would follow such evils. What, then, does He mean by the words, "They will put you out of the synagogues: but the hour cometh"? As if He would have gone on to say this: They, indeed, will scatter you, but I will gather you; or, They shall, indeed, scatter you, but the hour of your joy cometh. What, then, has the word which He uses, "but the hour cometh," to do here, as if He were going on to promise them comfort after their tribulation, when apparently He ought rather to have said, in the form of continuous narration, [1521] And the hour cometh? But He said not, And it cometh, although predicting the approach of one tribulation after another, instead of comfort after tribulation. Could it have been that such a separation from the synagogues would so discompose them, that they would prefer to die, rather than remain in this life apart from the Jewish assemblies? Far surely would those be from such discomposure, who were seeking, not the praise of men, but of God. What, then, of the words, "They will put you out of the synagogues: but the hour cometh;" when apparently He ought rather to have said, And the hour cometh, "that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service"? For it is not even said, But the hour cometh that they shall kill you, as if implying that their comfort for such a separation would be found in the death that would befall them; but "The hour cometh," He says, "that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service." On the whole, I do not think He wished to convey any further meaning than that they might understand and rejoice that they themselves would gain so many to Christ, by being driven out of the Jewish congregations, that it would be found insufficient to expel them, and they would not suffer them to live for fear of all being converted by their preaching to the name of Christ, and so turned away from the observance of Judaism, as if it were the very truth of God. For so ought we to understand the reference of His words to the Jews, when He said of them, "They will put you out of the synagogues." For the witnesses, in other words, the martyrs of Christ, were likewise slain by the Gentiles: they, however, thought not that it was to the true God, but to their own false deities, that they were doing service when they so acted. But every Jew that slew the preachers of Christ reckoned that he was doing God serv ice; believing as he did that all who were converted to Christ were deserting the God of Israel. For it was also by the same reasoning that they were incited to the murder of Christ Himself: because their own words on this subject have also been put on record. "Ye perceive that the whole world is gone after him: [1522] "If we let him live, the Romans will come, and take away both our place and nation." And those of Caiaphas: "It is expedient for us that one man should die for the people, and not that the whole nation should perish." [1523] And accordingly in this address He sought by His own example to stimulate His disciples, to whom He had just been saying, "If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you;" [1524] that as in slaying Him they thought they had done God a service, so also would it be in reference to them.

4. Such, then, is the meaning of these words: "They will put you out of the synagogues;" but have no fear of solitude: inasmuch as, when separated from their assembly, you will assemble so many in my name, that they, in very fear lest the temple, that was with them, and all the sacraments of the old law, should be deserted, will slay you: actually, in thus shedding your blood, full of the notion that they are doing God service. An illustration surely of the apostle's words, "They have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge;" [1525] when they imagine that they are doing God service in slaying His servants. Appalling mistake! Is it thus thou wouldst please God by striking down the God-pleaser; and is the living temple of God by thy blows laid level with the ground, that God's temple of stone may not be deserted? Accursed blindness! But it is in part that it has happened to Israel, that the fullness of the Gentiles might come in: in part, I say, and not totally, has it happened. For not all, but only some of the branches have been broken off, that the wild olive might be ingrafted. [1526] For just at the time when the disciples of Christ, filled with the Holy Spirit, were speaking in the tongues of all nations, and performing many divine miracles, and scattering divine utterances on every side, Christ, even though slain, was so beloved, that His disciples, when expelled from the congregations of the Jews, gathered into a congregation of their own a vast multitude of those very Jews, and had no fear of being left to solitude. [1527] Whereupon, accordingly, the others, reprobate and blind, being inflamed with wrath, and having a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge, and believing that they were doing God service, put them to death. But He, who was slain for them, gathered those together; just as He had also, before He was slain, instructed them in what was to happen, lest their minds, left ignorant and unprepared, should be cast into trouble by evils, however transient, that were unexpected and unprovided for; but rather by knowing of them beforehand, and sustaining them with patience, might be led onward to everlasting blessing. For that such was the cause of His making these announcements to them beforehand, is shown also by His words that followed: "But these things have I told you, that, when their time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them." Their hour was an hour of darkness, a midnight hour. But the Lord commanded His loving-kindness in the daytime, and made them sing of it in the night: [1528] when the Jewish night threw no confusion of darkness into the day of the Christians, separated as it was from themselves; and when that which could slay the flesh had no power to darken their faith.

Footnotes

[1511] Ps. xix. 4. [1512] Chap. xv. 20. [1513] Ps. cxix. 165. [1514] Rom. v. 5. [1515] Rom. xi. 17. [1516] Chap. xii. 42, 43. [1517] Chap. v. 44. [1518] Rom. x. 3. [1519] Ps. lxxxix. 15-17. [1520] Rom. x. 2, 3. [1521] Indicativo modo. [1522] Chap. xii. 19. [1523] Chap. xi. 48, 50. [1524] Chap. xv. 20. [1525] Rom. x. 2. [1526] Rom. xi. 25, 17. [1527] Acts ii.-iv. [1528] Ps. xlii. 8. .


Tractate XCIV.

Chapter XVI. 4-7.

1. When the Lord Jesus had foretold His disciples the persecutions they would have to suffer after His departure, He went on to say: "And these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you; but now I go my way to Him that sent me." And here the first thing we have to look at is, whether He had not previously foretold them of the sufferings that were to come. And the three other evangelists make it sufficiently clear that He had uttered such predictions prior to the approach of the supper: [1529] which was over, according to John, when He spake, and added, "And these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you." Are we, then, to settle such a question in this way, that they, too, tell us that He was near His passion when He said these things? Then it was not when He was with them at the beginning that He so spake, for He was on the very eve of departing, and proceeding to the Father: and so also, even according to these evangelists, it is strictly true what is here said, "And these things I said not unto you at the beginning." But what are we to do with the credibility of the Gospel according to Matthew, who relates that such announcements were made to them by the Lord, not only when He was on the eve of sitting down with His disciples to the passover supper, but also at the beginning, when the twelve apostles are for the first time expressed by name, and sent forth on the work of God? [1530] What, then, is the meaning of what He says here, "And these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you;" but that what He says here of the Holy Spirit who was to come to them, and to bear witness, when they should have such ills to endure, this He said not unto them at the beginning, because He was with themselves?

2. The Comforter then, or Advocate (for both form the interpretation of the Greek word, paraclete), had become necessary on Christ's departure: and therefore He had not spoken of Him at the beginning, when He was with them, because His own presence was their comfort; but on the eve of His own departure it behoved Him to speak of His coming, by whom it would be brought about that with love shed abroad in their hearts they would preach the word of God with all boldness; and with Him inwardly bearing witness with them of Christ, they also should bear witness, and feel it to be no cause of stumbling when their Jewish enemies put them out of the synagogues, and slew them, with the thought that they were doing God service; because the charity beareth all things, [1531] which was to be shed abroad in their hearts by the gift of the Holy Spirit. [1532] In this, therefore, is the whole meaning to be found, that He was to make them His martyrs, that is, His witnesses through the Holy Spirit; so that by His effectual working within them, they would endure the hardships of all kinds of persecution, and, set aglow at that divine fire, lose none of their warmth in the love of preaching. "These things," therefore, He says, "have I told you, that, when their time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them" (ver. 4). These things, I say, I have told you, not merely because ye shall have to endure such things, but because, when the Comforter is come, He shall bear witness of me, that ye may not keep them back through fear, and by whom ye yourselves shall also be enabled to bear witness. "And these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you," and I myself was your comfort through my bodily presence exhibited to your human senses, and which, as infants, ye were able to comprehend.

3. "But now I go my way to Him that sent me; and none of you," He says, "asketh me, Whither goest Thou?" He means that His departure would be such that none would ask Him of that which they should see taking place in broad daylight before their eyes: for previously to this they had asked Him whither He was going, and had been answered that He was going whither they themselves could not then come. [1533] Now, however, He promises that He will go away in such a manner that none of them shall ask Him whither He goes. For a cloud received Him when He ascended up from their side; and of His going into heaven they made no verbal inquiry, but had ocular evidence. [1534]

4. "But because I have said these things unto you," He adds, "sorrow hath filled your heart." He saw, indeed, what effect these words of His were producing in their hearts; for having not yet within them the spiritual consolation, which they were afterwards to have by the Holy Spirit, what they still saw objectively in Christ they were afraid of losing; and because they could have no doubt they were about to lose Him whose announcements were always true, their human feelings were saddened, because their carnal view of Him was to be left a blank. But He knew what was most expedient for them, because that inward sight, wherewith the Holy Spirit was yet to comfort them, was undoubtedly superior; not by bringing a human body into the bodies of those who saw, but by infusing Himself into the hearts of those who believed. And then He adds, "Nevertheless I tell you the truth, it is expedient for you that I go away. For if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you:" as if He had said, It is expedient for you that this form of a servant be taken away from you; as the Word made indeed flesh I dwell among you; but I would not that ye should continue to love me carnally, and, content with such milk, desire to remain infants always. "It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you." If I withdraw not the tender nutriment wherewith I have nourished you, ye will acquire no keen relish of solid food; if ye adhere in a carnal way to the flesh, ye will not have room for the Spirit. For what is this, "If I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you"? Was it that He could not send Him while located here Himself? Who would venture to say so? Neither was it, that where He was, thence the Other had withdrawn, or that He had so come from the Father as that He did not still abide with the Father. And still further, how could He, even when having His own abode on earth, be unable to send Him, who we know came and remained upon Him at His baptism; [1535] yea, more, from whom we know that He was never separable? What does it mean, then, "If I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you;" but that ye cannot receive the Spirit so long as ye continue to know Christ after the flesh? Hence one who had already been made a partaker of the Spirit says, "Though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we [Him] no more." [1536] For now even the very flesh of Christ he did not know in a carnal way, when brought to a spiritual knowledge of the Word that had been made flesh. And such, doubtless, did the good Master wish to intimate, when He said, "If I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you."

5. But with Christ's bodily departure, both the Father and the Son, as well as the Holy Spirit, were spiritually present with them. For had Christ departed from them in such a sense that it would be in His place, and not along with Him, that the Holy Spirit would be present in them, what becomes of His promise when He said, "Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the world;" [1537] and, I and the Father "will come unto him, and will make Our abode with him;" [1538] seeing that He also promised that He would send the Holy Spirit in such a way that He would be with them for ever? In this way it was, on the other hand, that seeing they were yet out of their present carnal or animal condition to become spiritual, with undoubted certainty also were they yet to have in a more comprehensive way both the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. But in no one are we to believe that the Father is present without the Son and the Holy Spirit, or the Father and the Son without the Holy Spirit, or the Son without the Father and the Holy Spirit, or the Holy Spirit without the Father and the Son, or the Father and the Holy Spirit without the Son; but wherever any one of Them is, there also is the Trinity, one God. But here the Trinity had to be suggested in such a way that, although there was no diversity of essence, yet the personal distinction of each one separately should be presented to notice; where those who have a right understanding can never imagine a separation of natures.

6. But that which follows, "And when He is come, He will convince the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, indeed, because they believe not on me; but of righteousness, because I go to the Father, and ye shall see me no more; and of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged" (vers. 8-11); as if it were sin simply not to believe on Christ; and as if it were very righteousness not to see Christ; and as if that were the very judgment, that the prince of this world, that is, the devil, is judged: all this is very obscure, and cannot be included in the present discourse, lest brevity only increase the obscurity; but must rather be deferred till another occasion for such explanation as the Lord may enable us to give.

Footnotes

[1529] Matt. xxiv. 9; Mark xiii. 9-13; and Luke xxi. 12-17. [1530] Matt. x. 17. [1531] 1 Cor. xiii. 7. [1532] Rom. v. 5. [1533] Chap. xiii. 36. [1534] Acts i. 9-11. [1535] Chap. i. 32. [1536] 2 Cor. v. 16. [1537] Matt. xxviii. 20. [1538] Chap. xiv. 23. .


Tractate XCV.

Chapter XVI. 8-11.

1. The Lord, when promising that He would send the Holy Spirit, said, "When He is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment." What does it mean? Is it that the Lord Jesus Christ did not reprove the world of sin, when He said, "If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin; but now they have no cloak for their sin"? And that no one may take it to his head to say that this applied properly to the Jews, and not to the world, did He not say in another place, "If ye were of the world, the world would love his own"? [1539] Did He not reprove it of righteousness, when He said, "O righteous Father, the world hath not known Thee"? [1540] And did He not reprove it of judgment when He declared that He would say to those on the left hand, "Depart ye into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels"? [1541] And many other passages are to be found in the holy evangel, where Christ reproveth the world of these things. Why is it, then, He attributeth this to the Holy Spirit, as if it were His proper prerogative? Is it that, because Christ spake only among the nation of the Jews, He does not appear to have reproved the world, inasmuch as one may be understood to be reproved who actually hears the reprover; while the Holy Spirit, who was in His disciples when scattered throughout the whole world, is to be understood as having reproved not one nation, but the world? For mark what He said to them when about to ascend into heaven: "It is not for you to know the times or the moments, which the Father hath put in His own power. But ye shall receive the power of the Holy Spirit, that cometh upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth." [1542] Surely this is to reprove the world. But would any one venture to say that the Holy Spirit reproveth the world through the disciples of Christ, and that Christ Himself doth not, when the apostle exclaims, "Would ye receive a proof of Him that speaketh in me, namely Christ?" [1543] And so those, surely, whom the Holy Spirit reproveth, Christ reproveth likewise. But in my opinion, because there was to be shed abroad in their hearts by the Holy Spirit that love [1544] which casteth out the fear, [1545] that might have hindered them from venturing to reprove the world which bristled with persecutions, therefore it was that He said, "He shall reprove the world:" as if He would have said, He shall shed abroad love in your hearts, and, having your fear thereby expelled, ye shall have freedom to reprove. We have frequently said, however, that the operations of the Trinity are inseparable; [1546] but the Persons needed to be set forth one by one, that not only without separating Them, but also without confounding Them together, we may have a right understanding both of Their Unity and Trinity.

2. He next explains what He has said "of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment." "Of sin indeed," He says, "because they have believed not on me." For this sin, as if it were the only one, He has put before the others; because with the continuance of this one, all others are retained, and in the removal of this, the others are remitted. "But of righteousness," He adds, "because I go to the Father, and ye shall see me no more." And here we have to consider in the first place, if any one is rightly reproved of sin, how he may also be rightly reproved of righteousness. For if a sinner ought to be reproved just because he is a sinner, will any one imagine that a righteous man is also to be reproved because he is righteous? Surely not. For if at any time a righteous man also is reproved, he is rightly reproved on this account, that, according to Scripture, "There is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not." And accordingly, when a righteous man is reproved, he is reproved of sin, and not of righteousness. Since in that divine utterance also, where we read, "Be not made righteous over-much," [1547] there is notice taken, not of the righteousness of the wise man, but of the pride of the presumptuous. The man, therefore, that becomes "righteous over-much," by that very excess becomes unrighteous. For he makes himself righteous over-much who says that he has no sin, or who imagines that he is made righteous, not by the grace of God, but by the sufficiency of his own will: nor is he righteous through living righteously, but is rather self-inflated with the imagination of being what he is not. By what means, then, is the world to be reproved of righteousness, if not by the righteousness of believers? Accordingly, it is convinced of sin, because it believeth not on Christ; and it is convinced of the righteousness of those who do believe. For the very comparison with believers is itself a reproving of unbelievers. And this the exposition itself sufficiently indicates. For in wishing to open up what He has said, He adds, "Of righteousness, because I go to the Father, and ye shall see me no more." He does not say, And they shall see me no more; that is, those of whom He had said, "because they have believed not on me." Of them He spake, when expounding what He denominated sin, in the words, "because they have believed not on me;" but when expounding what He called righteousness, whereof the world is convicted, He turned to those to whom He was speaking, and said, "because I go to the Father, and ye shall see me no more." Wherefore it is of its own sins, but of others' righteousness, that the world is convicted, just as darkness is reproved by the light: "For all things," says the apostle, "that are reproved, are made manifest by the light." [1548] For the magnitude of the evil chargeable on those who do not believe, may be made apparent not only by itself, but also by the goodness of those who do believe. And since the cry of unbelievers usually is, How can we believe what we do not see? so the righteousness of unbelievers just required this very definition, "Because I go to the Father, and ye shall see me no more." For blessed are they who see not, and yet do believe. [1549] For of those also who saw Christ, the faith in Him that met with commendation was not that they believed what they saw, namely, the Son of man; but that they believed what they did not see, namely, the Son of God. But after His servant-form was itself also withdrawn from their view, then in every respect was the word truly fulfilled, "The just liveth by faith." [1550] For "faith," according to the definition in the Epistle to the Hebrews, "is the confidence of those that hope, [1551] the conviction of things that are not seen."

3. But how are we to understand, "Ye shall see me no more"? For He saith not, I go to the Father, and ye shall not see me, so as to be understood as referring to the interval of time when He would not be seen, whether short or long, but at all events terminable; but in saying, "Ye shall see me no more," as if a truth announced beforehand that they would never see Christ in all time coming. Is this the righteousness we speak of, never to see Christ, and yet to believe on Him; seeing that the faith whereby the just liveth is commended on the very ground of believing that the Christ whom it seeth not meanwhile, it shall see some day? Once more, in reference to this righteousness, are we to say that the Apostle Paul was not righteous when confessing that He had seen Christ after His ascension into heaven, [1552] which was undoubtedly the time of which He had already said, "Ye shall see me no more"? Was Stephen, that hero of surpassing renown, not righteous in the spirit of this righteousness, who, when they were stoning him, exclaimed, "Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God"? [1553] What, then, is meant by "I go to the Father, and ye shall see me no more," but just this, As I am while with you now? For at that time He was still mortal in the likeness of sinful flesh. [1554] He could suffer hunger and thirst, be wearied, and sleep; and this Christ, that is, Christ in such a condition, they were no more to see after He had passed from this world to the Father; and such, also, is the righteousness of faith, whereof the apostle says, "Though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we Him no more." [1555] This, then, He says, will be your righteousness whereof the world shall be reproved, "because I go to the Father, and ye shall see me no more:" seeing that ye shall believe in me as in one whom ye shall not see; and when ye shall see me as I shall be then, ye shall not see me as I am while with you meanwhile; ye shall not see me in my humility, but in my exaltation; nor in my mortality, but in my eternity; nor at the bar, but on the throne of judgment: and by this faith of yours, in other words, your righteousness, the Holy Spirit will reprove an unbelieving world.

4. He will also reprove it "of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged." Who is this, save he of whom He saith in another place, "Behold, the prince of the world cometh, and shall find nothing in me;" [1556] that is, nothing within his jurisdiction, nothing belonging to him; in fact, no sin at all? For thereby is the devil the prince of the world. For it is not of the heavens and of the earth, and of all that is in them, that the devil is prince, in the sense in which the world is to be understood, when it is said, "And the world was made by Him;" but the devil is prince of that world, whereof in the same passage He immediately afterwards subjoins the words, "And the world knew Him not;" [1557] that is, unbelieving men, wherewith the world through its utmost extent is filled: among whom the believing world groaneth, which He, who made the world, chose out of the world; and of whom He saith Himself, "The Son of man came not to judge the world, but that the world through Him might be saved." [1558] He is the judge by whom the world is condemned, the helper whereby the world is saved: for just as a tree is full of foliage and fruit, or a field of chaff and wheat, so is the world full of believers and unbelievers. Therefore the prince of this world, that is, the prince of the darkness thereof, or of unbelievers, out of whose hands that world is rescued, to which it is said, "Ye were at one time darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord:" [1559] the prince of this world, of whom He elsewhere saith, "Now is the prince of this world cast out," [1560] is assuredly judged, inas much as he is irrevocably destined to the judgment of everlasting fire. And so of this judgment, by which the prince of the world is judged, is the world reproved by the Holy Spirit; for it is judged along with its prince, whom it imitates in its own pride and impiety. "For if God," in the words of the Apostle Peter, "spared not the angels that sinned, but thrust them into prisons of infernal darkness, and gave them up to be reserved for punishment in the judgment," [1561] how is the world otherwise than reproved of this judgment by the Holy Spirit, when it is in the Holy Spirit that the apostle so speaketh? Let men, therefore, believe in Christ, that they be not convicted of the sin of their own unbelief, whereby all sins are retained: let them make their way into the number of believers, that they be not convicted of the righteousness of those, whom, as justified, they fail to imitate: let them beware of that future judgment, that they be not judged with the prince of the world, whom, judged as he is, they continue to imitate. For the unbending pride of mortals can have no thought of being spared itself, as it is thus called to think with terror of the punishment that overtook the pride of angels.

Footnotes

[1539] Chap. xv. 22, 19. [1540] Chap. xvii. 25. [1541] Matt. xxv. 41. [1542] Acts i. 7, 8. [1543] 2 Cor. xiii. 3. [1544] Rom. v. 5. [1545] 1 John iv. 18. [1546] Tract. XX. [1547] Eccles. vii. 20, 16. [1548] Eph. v. 13. [1549] Chap. xx. 29. [1550] Rom. i. 17; Hab. ii. 4; and Heb. xi. 1. [1551] Sperantium substantia. [1552] 1 Cor. xv. 8. [1553] Acts vii. 56. [1554] Rom. viii. 3. [1555] 2 Cor. v. 16. [1556] Chap. xiv. 30. [1557] Chap. i. 10. [1558] Chap. iii. 17. [1559] Eph. v. 8. [1560] Chap. xii. 31. [1561] 2 Pet. ii. 4. .


Tractate XCVI.

Chapter XVI. 12, 13.

1. In this portion of the holy Gospel, where the Lord says to His disciples, "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now," there meets us first this subject of needful inquiry, how it was that He said a little before, "All things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you," [1562] and yet says here, "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now." But how it was that He spake of what He had not yet done as if it were done, just as the prophet testifies that God has made those things which are still to come, when He says, "Who hath made those things which are still to come," [1563] we have already explained as well as we could when dealing with those words themselves. Now, however, you are perhaps wishing to know what those things were which the apostles were then unable to bear. But which of us would venture to assert his own present capacity for what they wanted the ability to receive? And on this account you are neither to expect me to tell you things which perhaps I could not comprehend myself were they told me by another; nor would you be able to bear them, even were I talented enough to let you hear of things that are above your comprehension. It may be, indeed, that some among you are fit enough already to comprehend things which are still beyond the grasp of others; and if not all about which the divine Master said, "I have yet many things to say unto you," yet perhaps some of them: but what they were which He Himself thus omitted to tell them, it would be rash to have even the wish to presume to say. For at that time the apostles were not yet fitted even to die for Christ, when He said to them, "Ye cannot follow me now," and when the very foremost of them, Peter, who had presumptuously declared that he was already able, met with a different experience from what he anticipated: [1564] and yet afterwards a countless number both of men and women, boys and girls, youths and maidens, old and young, were crowned with martyrdom; and the sheep were found able for that which, when the Lord spake these words, the shepherds were still unable to bear. Ought, then, those sheep to have been asked, in that extremity of trial, when required to contend for the truth even unto death, and to shed their blood for the name or doctrine of Christ;--ought they, I say, to have been asked, Which of you would venture to account himself ready for martyrdom, for which Peter was still unfitted, even when taught face to face by the Lord Himself? In the same way, therefore, one may say that Christian people, even when desiring to hear, ought not to be told what those things are of which the Lord then said, "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now." If the apostles were still unable, much more so are ye: although it may be that many now can bear what Peter then could not, in the same way as many are able to be crowned with martyrdom which at that time was still beyond the power of Peter, more especially that now the Holy Spirit has been sent, as He was not then, of whom He went on immediately to add the words, "Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will teach you all truth," thereby showing of a certainty that they could not bear what He had still to say, because the Holy Spirit had not yet come upon them.

2. Well, then, let us grant that it is so, that many can now bear those things when the Holy Spirit has been sent, which could not then, prior to His coming, be borne by the disciples: do we on that account know what it is that He would not say, as we should know it were we reading or hearing it as uttered by Himself? For it is one thing to know whether we or you could bear it; but quite another to know what it is, whether able to be borne or not. But when He Himself was silent about such things, which of us could say, It is this or that? Or if he venture to say it, how will he prove it? For who could manifest such vanity or recklessness as when saying what he pleased to whom he pleased, even though true, to affirm without any divine authority that it was the very thing which the Lord on that occasion refused to utter? Which of us could do such a thing without incurring the severest charge of rashness,--a thing which gets no countenance from prophetic or apostolic authority? For surely if we had read any such thing in the books confirmed by canonical authority, which were written after our Lord's ascension, it would not have been enough to have read such a statement, had we not also read in the same place that this was actually one of those things which the Lord was then unwilling to tell His disciples, because they were unable to bear them. As if, for example, I were to say that the words which we read at the opening of this Gospel, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God; the same was in the beginning with God:" and those which follow, because they were written afterwards, and yet without any mention of their being uttered by the Lord Jesus when He was here in the flesh, but were written by one of His apostles, to whom they were revealed by His Spirit, were some of those which the Lord would not then utter, because the disciples were unable to bear them; who would listen to me in making so rash a statement? But if in the same passage where we read the one we were also to read the other, who would not give due credence to such an apostle?

3. But it seems to me also very absurd to say that the disciples could not then have borne what we find recorded, about things invisible and of profoundest import, in the apostolic epistles, which were written in after days, and of which there is no mention that the Lord uttered them when His visible presence was with them. For why could they not bear then what is now read in their books, and borne by every one, even though not understood? Some things there are, indeed, in the Holy Scriptures which unbelieving men both have no understanding of when they read or hear them, and cannot bear when they are read or heard: as the pagans, that the world was made by Him who was crucified; as the Jews, that He could be the Son of God, who broke up their mode of observing the Sabbath; as the Sabellians, that the Father, and Son, and Holy Spirit are a Trinity; as the Arians, that the Son is equal to the Father, and the Holy Spirit to the Father and Son; as the Photinians, that Christ is not only man like ourselves, but God also, equal to God the Father; as the Manicheans, that Christ Jesus, by whom we must be saved, condescended to be born in the flesh and of the flesh of man: and all others of divers perverse sects, who can by no means bear whatever is found in the Holy Scriptures and in the Catholic faith that stands out in opposition to their errors, just as we cannot bear their sacrilegious vaporings and mendacious insanities. For what else is it not to be able to bear, but not to retain in our minds with calmness and composure? But what of all that has been written since our Lord's ascension with canonical truth and authority, is it not read and heard with equanimity by every believer, and catechumen also, before in his baptism he receive the Holy Spirit, even although it is not yet understood as it ought to be? How then, could not the disciples bear any of those things which were written after the Lord's ascension, even though the Holy Spirit was not yet sent to them, when now they are all borne by catechumens prior to their reception of the Holy Spirit? For although the sacramental privileges of believers are not exhibited to them, it does not therefore happen that they cannot bear them; but in order that they may be all the more ardently desired by them, they are honorably concealed from their view.

4. Wherefore, beloved, you need not expect to hear from us what the Lord then refrained from telling His disciples, because they were still unable to bear them: but rather seek to grow in the love that is shed abroad in your hearts by the Holy Spirit who is given unto you; [1565] that, fervent in spirit, and loving spiritual things, you may be able, not by any sign apparent to your bodily eyes, or any sound striking on your bodily ears, but by the inward eyesight and hearing, to become acquainted with that spiritual light and that spiritual word which carnal men are unable to bear. For that cannot be loved which is altogether unknown. But when what is known, in however small a measure, is also loved, by the self-same love one is led on to a better and fuller knowledge. If, then, you grow in the love which the Holy Spirit spreads abroad in your hearts, "He will teach you all truth;" or, as other codices have it, "He will guide you in all truth:" [1566] as it is said, "Lead me in Thy way, O Lord, and I will walk in Thy truth." [1567] So shall the result be, that not from outward teachers will you learn those things which the Lord at that time declined to utter, but be all taught of God; [1568] so that the very things which you have learned and believed by means of lessons and sermons supplied from without regarding the nature of God, as incorporeal, and unconfined by limits, and yet not rolled out as a mass of matter through infinite space, but everywhere whole and perfect and infinite, without the gleaming of colors, without the tracing of bodily outlines, without any markings of letters or succession of syllables,--your minds themselves may have the power to perceive. Well, now, I have just said something which is perhaps of that same character, and yet you have received it; and you have not only been able to bear it, but have also listened to it with pleasure. But were that inward Teacher, who, while still speaking in an external way to the disciples, said, "I have still many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now," wishing to speak inwardly to us of what I have said of the incorporeal nature of God in the same way as He speaks to the angels, who always behold the face of the Father, [1569] we should still be unable to bear them. Accordingly, when He says, "He will teach you all truth," or "will guide you into all truth," I do not think the fulfillment is possible in any one's mind in this present life (for who is there, while living in this corruptible and soul-oppressing body, [1570] that can know all truth, when even the apostle says, "We know in part"?), but because it is effected by the Holy Spirit, of whom we have now received the earnest, [1571] that we shall attain also to the actual fullness of knowledge: whereof it is said by the same apostle, "But then face to face;" and, "Now I know in part, but then shall I know even as also I am known;" [1572] not as a thing which he knows fully in this life, but which, as a thing that would still be future on to the attainment of that perfection, the Lord promised us through the love of the Spirit, when He said, "He will teach you all truth," or "will guide you unto all truth."

5. As these things are so, beloved, I warn you in the love of Christ to beware of impure seducers and sects of obscene filthiness, whereof the apostle says, "But it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret:" [1573] lest, when they begin to teach their horrible impurities, which no human ear whatever can bear, they declare them to be the very things whereof the Lord said, "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now;" and assert that it is the Holy Spirit's agency that makes such impure and detestable things possible to be borne. The evil things which no human modesty whatever can endure are of one kind, and of quite another are the good things which man's little understanding is unable to bear: the former are wrought in unchaste bodies, the latter are beyond the reach of all bodies; the one is perpetrated in the filthiness of the flesh, the other is scarcely perceivable by the pure mind. "Be ye therefore renewed in the spirit of your mind," [1574] and "understand what is the will of God, which is good, and acceptable, and perfect;" [1575] that, "rooted and grounded in love, ye may be able to comprehend, with all saints, what is the length, and breadth, and height, and depth, even to know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge, that ye may be filled with all the fullness of God." [1576] For in such a way will the Holy Spirit teach you all truth, when He shall shed abroad that love ever more and more largely in your hearts.

Footnotes

[1562] Chap. xv. 15. [1563] Isa. xlv. 11, Septuagint. [1564] Chap. xiii. 36-38. [1565] Rom. v. 5. [1566] ;;Odegesei humas eis ten aletheian pasan, or en te aletheia pase [1567] Ps. lxxxvi. 11. [1568] Chap. vi. 45. [1569] Matt. xviii. 10. [1570] Wisd. ix. 15. [1571] 2 Cor. i. 22. [1572] 1 Cor. xiii. 9, 12. [1573] Eph. v. 12. [1574] Eph. iv. 23. [1575] Rom. xii. 2. [1576] Eph. iii. 17-19. .


Tractate XCVII.

Chapter XVI. 12, 13 (continued).

1. The Holy Spirit, whom the Lord promised to send to His disciples, to teach them all the truth which, at the time He was speaking to them, they were unable to bear: of the which Holy Spirit, as the apostle says, we have now received "the earnest," [1577] an expression whereby we are to understand that His fullness is reserved for us till another life: that Holy Spirit, therefore, teacheth believers also in the present life, as far as they can severally apprehend what is spiritual; and enkindles a growing desire in their breasts, according as each one makes progress in that love, which will lead him both to love what he knows already, and to long after what still remains to be known: so that those very things which he has some notion of at present, he may know that he is still ignorant of, as they are yet to be known in that life which eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man hath perceived. [1578] But were the inner Master wishing at present to say those things in such a way of knowing, that is, to unfold and make them patent to our mind, our human weakness would be unable to bear them. Whereof you remember, beloved, that I have already spoken, when we were occupied with the words of the holy Gospel, where the Lord says, "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now." Not that in these words of the Lord we should be suspecting an over-fastidious concealment of no one knows what secrets, which might be uttered by the Teacher, but could not be borne by the learner, but those very things which in connection with religious doctrine we read and write, hear and speak of, as within the knowledge of such and such persons, were Christ willing to utter to us in the self-same way as He speaks of them to the holy angels, in His own Person as the only-begotten Word of the Father, and co-eternal with Him, where are the human beings that could bear them, even were they already spiritual, as the apostles still were not when the Lord so spoke to them, and as they afterwards became when the Holy Spirit descended? For, of course, whatever may be known of the creature, is less than the Creator Himself, who is the supreme and true and unchangeable God. And yet who keeps silence about Him? Where is His name not found in the mouths of readers, disputants, inquirers, respondents, adorers, singers, all sorts of haranguers, and lastly even of blasphemers themselves? And although no one keeps silence about Him, who is there that apprehends Him as He is to be understood, although He is never out of the mouths and the hearing of men? Who is there, whose keenness of mind can even get near Him? Who is there that would have known Him as the Trinity, had not He Himself desired so to become known? And what man is there that now holds his tongue about that Trinity; and yet what man is there that has any such idea of it as the angels? The very things, therefore, that are incessantly being uttered off-hand and openly about the eternity, the truth, the holiness of God, are understood well by some, and badly by others: nay rather, are understood by some, and not understood at all by others. For he that understands in a bad way, does not understand at all. And in the case even of those by whom they are understood in a right sense, by some they are perceived with less, by others with greater mental vividness, and by none on earth are apprehended as they are by the angels. In the very mind, therefore, that is to say, in the inner man, there is a kind of growth, not only in order to the transition from milk to solid food, but also to the taking of food itself in still larger and larger measure. But such growth is not in the way of a space-covering mass of matter, but in that of an illuminated understanding; because that food is itself the light of the understanding. In order, then, to your growth and apprehension of God, and in order that your apprehension may keep full pace with your ever-advancing growth, you ought to be addressing your prayer, and turning your hope, not to the teacher whose voice only reaches your ears, that is, who plants and waters only by outside labor, but to Him who giveth the increase. [1579]

2. Accordingly, as I have admonished you in my last sermon, take heed, those of you specially who are still children and have need of a milk diet, of turning a curious ear to men, who have found occasion for self-deception and the deceiving of others in the words of the Lord, "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now," in order to the discovery of that which is unknown, while you still have minds that are incompetent to discriminate between the true and the false; and most especially on account of the obscene lewdnesses which Satan has instilled, by God's permission, into unstable and carnal souls, for this end, that His judgments may everywhere be objects of terror, and that pure discipline may best manifest its sweetness in contrast with the impurities of wickedness; and that honor may be given to Him, and fear and modesty of demeanor assumed by every one, who has either been kept from falling into such evils by His kingly power, or been raised out of them by His uplifting hand. Beware, with fear and prayer, of rushing into that mystery of Solomon's, where "the woman that is foolish and brazen-faced, and become destitute of bread," invites the passers-by with the words, "Come and make a pleasant feast on hidden bread, and the sweetness of stolen waters." [1580] For the woman thus spoken of is the vanity of the impious, who, utterly senseless as they are, fancy that they know something, just as was said of that woman, that she had "become destitute of bread;" who, though destitute of a single loaf, promises loaves; in other words, though ignorant of the truth, she promises the knowledge of the truth. But it is bread of a hidden character she promises, and which she declares is partaken of with pleasure, as well as the sweetness of stolen waters; in order that what is publicly forbidden to be uttered or believed in the Church, may be listened to and acted upon with willingness and relish. For by such secrecy profane teachers give a kind of seasoning to their poisons for the curious, that thereby they may imagine that they learn something great, because counted worthy of holding a secret, and may imbibe the more sweetly the folly which they regard as wisdom, the hearing of which, as a thing prohibited, they are represented as stealing.

3. Hence the system of magical arts commends its nefarious rites to those who are deceived, or ready to be so, by a sacrilegious curiosity. Hence, also, those unlawful divinations by the inspection of the entrails of slain animals, or of the cries and flights of birds, or of multiform demoniacal signs, are distilled by converse with abandoned wretches into the ears of persons who are on the brink of destruction. And it is because of these unlawful and punishable secrets that the woman mentioned above is styled not merely "foolish," but also "audacious." But such things are alien not only to the reality, but to the very name of our religion. And what shall we say of this foolish and brazen-faced woman seasoning, as she does, so many wicked heresies, and serving up so many detestable fables with Christian forms of expression? Would that they were only such as are found in theatres, whether as the subjects of song or dancing, or turned into ridicule by a mimicking buffoonery; and not, some of them, such as makes us grieve at the foolishness, while wondering at the audacity that could have contrived them, against God! And yet all these utterly senseless heretics, who wish to be styled Christians, attempt to color the audacities of their devices, which are perfectly ahorrent to every human feeling, with the chance presented to them of that gospel sentence uttered by the Lord, "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now:" as if these were the very things which the apostles could not then bear, and as if the Holy Spirit had taught them what the unclean spirit, with all the length he can carry his audacity, blushes to teach and to preach in broad daylight.

4. It is such whom the apostle foresaw through the Holy Spirit, when he said: "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables." [1581] For that mentioning of secrecy and theft, whereof it is said, "Partake with pleasure of hidden bread and the sweetness of stolen waters," creates an itching in those who listen with ears that are lusting after spiritual fornication, just as by a kind of itching also of desire in the flesh the soundness of chastity is corrupted. Hear, therefore, how the apostle foresaw such things, and gave salutary admonition about avoiding them, when he said, "Shun profane novelties of words; for they increase unto much ungodliness, and their speech insinuates itself as doth a cancer." [1582] He did not say novelties of words merely; but added, "profane." For there are also novelties of words in perfect harmony with religious doctrine, as is told us in Scripture of the very name of Christians, when it began to be used. For it was in Antioch that the disciples were first called Christians after the Lord's ascension, as we read in the Acts of the Apostles: [1583] and certain houses were afterwards called by the new names of hospices [1584] and monasteries; but the things themselves existed prior to their names, and are confirmed by religious truth, which also forms their defense against the wicked. In opposition also to the impiety of Arian heretics, they coined the new term, Patris Homousios; [1585] but there was nothing new signified by such a name; for what is called Homousios is just this: "I and my Father are one," [1586] to wit, of one and the same substance. For if every novelty were profane, as little should we have it said by the Lord, "A new commandment I give unto you;" [1587] nor would the Testament be called New, nor the new song be sung throughout the whole earth. But there is profanity in the novelties of words, when it is said by "the foolish and audacious woman, Come and enjoy the tasting of hidden bread, and the sweetness of stolen waters." From such enticing words of false science the apostle also gives his prohibitory warning, in the passage where he says, "O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane novelties of expression, and oppositions of science falsely so called; which some professing, have erred concerning the faith." [1588] For there is nothing that these men so love as to profess science, and to deride as utter silliness faith in those verities which the young are enjoined to believe.

5. But some one will say, Have spiritual men nothing in the matter of doctrine, which they are to say nothing about to the carnal, but to speak out upon to the spiritual? If I shall answer, They have not, I shall be immediately met with the words of the Apostle Paul in his Epistle to the Corinthians: "I could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal. As unto babes in Christ I have given you milk to drink, and not meat to eat: for hitherto ye were not able; neither yet now are ye able; for ye are yet carnal;" [1589] and with these, "We speak wisdom among them that are perfect;" and with these also, "Comparing spiritual things with spiritual: but the natural man perceiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him." [1590] The meaning of all this, in order that these words of the apostle may no longer lead to the hankering after secrets through the profane novelties of verbiage, and that what ought always to be shunned by the spirit and body of the chaste may not be asserted as only unable to be borne by the carnal, we shall, with the Lord's permission, make the subject of dissertation in another discourse, so that for the time we may bring the present to a close.

Footnotes

[1577] 2 Cor. i. 22. [1578] 1 Cor. ii. 9. [1579] 1 Cor. iii. 6. [1580] Prov. ix. 13-17, according to the Septuagint, where, in verse 13, P+T+J+W+T+ is rendered endees psomou, "in want of a morsel of bread," as if from P+T+ or P+T+W+T+, a morsel. The form of the word, however, as well as the Masoretic pointing, shows its connection with P+T+J+ in the sense of "simplicity" or "folly" personified. And again in verse 17, the LXX. have partly inverted the Hebrew order of the words, and translate J+M+T+Q+W+ ("are sweet") in its active sense of "taste with relish" (or pleasure), as if it were M+T+Q+W+, Imperative; and read J+N+E+M% ("is sweet") in the last clause, as if it were N+E+J+M% or N+E+M%, "sweet," or "sweetness:" hence Augustin's rendering above. The Vulgate corresponds more nearly with the Hebrew and our English version.--Tr. [1581] 2 Tim. iv. 3, 4. [1582] 2 Tim. ii. 16, 17. Augustin translates kenophonias ("babblings," "empty utterances," vaniloquia, Vulgate) as if it read kainophonias, "novelties of words."--Tr. [1583] Acts xi. 26. [1584] Xenodochia, houses of entertainment for strangers. [1585] "Of the same essence (or substance) with the Father," as applied to Christ. [1586] Chap. x. 30. [1587] Chap. xiii. 34. [1588] 1 Tim. vi. 20, 21. [1589] 1 Cor. iii. 1, 2. [1590] 1 Cor. ii. 6, 13, 14. .


Tractate XCVIII.

Chapter XVI. 12, 13 (continued).

1. From the words of our Lord, where He says, "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now," there arose a difficult question, which I recollect to have put off, that it might be handled afterwards at greater leisure, because my last discourse had reached its proper limits, and required to be brought to a close. And now, accordingly, as we have time to redeem our promise, let us take up its discussion as the Lord Himself shall grant us ability, who put it into our heart to make the proposal. And the question is this: Whether spiritual men have aught in doctrine which they should withhold from the carnal, but declare to the spiritual. For if we shall say, They have not, we shall meet with the reply, What, then, is to be made of the words of the apostle in writing to the Corinthians: "I could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal. As unto babes in Christ, I have given you milk to drink, and not meat to eat: for hitherto ye were not able; neither yet now are ye able; for ye are yet carnal?" [1591] But if we say, They have, we have cause to fear and take heed, lest under such a pretext detestable doctrines be taught in secret, and under the name of spiritual, as things which cannot be understood by the carnal, may seem not only capable of being whitewashed by plausible excuses, but deserving also to be lauded in preaching.

2. In the first place, then, your Charity ought to know that it is Christ Himself as crucified, wherewith the apostle says that he has fed those who are babes as with milk; but His flesh itself, in which was witnessed His real death, that is, both His real wounds when transfixed and His blood when pierced, does not present itself to the minds of the carnal in the same manner as to that of the spiritual, and so to the former it is milk, and to the latter it is meat; for if they do not hear more than others, they understand better. For the mind has not equal powers of perception even for that which is equally received by both in faith. And so it happens that the preaching of Christ crucified, by the apostle, was at once to the Jews a stumbling-block, and to the Gentiles foolishness; and to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, the power of God, and the wisdom of God;" [1592] but to the carnal, as babes who held it only as a matter of faith, and to the spiritual, as those of greater capacity, who perceived it as a matter of understanding; to the former, therefore, as a milk-draught, to the latter as solid food: not that the former knew it in one way out in the world at large, and the latter in another way in their secret chambers; but that what both heard in the same measure when it was publicly spoken, each apprehended in his own measure. For inasmuch as Christ was crucified for the very purpose of shedding His blood for the remission of sins, and of divine grace being thereby commended in the passion of His Only-begotten, that no one should glory in man, what understanding had they of Christ crucified who were still saying, "I am of Paul"? [1593] Was it such as Paul himself had, who could say, "But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ"? [1594] In regard, therefore, even to Christ crucified, he himself found food in proportion to his own capacity, and nourished them with milk in accordance with their infirmity. And still further, knowing that what he wrote to the Corinthians might doubtless be understood in one way by those who were still babes, and differently by those of greater capacity, he said, "If any one among you is a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandment of the Lord; but if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant." [1595] Assuredly he would have the knowledge of the spiritual to be substantial, wherever not only faith had found a suitable abode, but a certain power of understanding was possessed; and whereby such believed those very things which as spiritual they likewise acknowledged. But "let him be ignorant," he says, who "is ignorant;" because it was not yet revealed to him to know that which he believes. When this takes place in a man's mind, he is said to be known of God; for it is God who endows him with this power of understanding, as it is elsewhere said, "But now, knowing God, or rather, being known of God." [1596] For it was not then that God first knew those who were foreknown and chosen before the foundation of the world; [1597] but then it was that He made them to know Himself.

3. Having ascertained this, therefore, at the outset, that the very things, which are equally heard by the spiritual and the carnal, are received by each according to the slender measure of his own capacity,--by some as babes, by others as those of riper years,--by one as milk nourishment, by another as solid food,--there seems no necessity for any matters of doctrine being retained in silence as secrets, and concealed from infant believers, as things to be spoken of apart to those who are older, or possessed of a riper understanding; and let us regard it as needful to act thus, just because of the words of the apostle, "I could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal." For even this very statement of his, that he knew nothing among them but Jesus Christ and Him crucified, [1598] he could not speak unto them as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal; because even that they were not able to receive as spiritual. But all who were spiritual among them received with spiritual understanding the very same truths which the others only heard as carnal; and in this way may we understand the words, "I could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal," as if he said, What I did speak, ye could not receive as spiritual, but as carnal. For "the natural man"--that is, the man whose wisdom is of a mere human kind, and is called natural [literally, soulish] from the soul, and carnal from the flesh, because the complete man consists of soul and flesh--"perceiveth not the things of the Spirit of God;" [1599] that is, the measure of grace bestowed on believers by the cross of Christ, and thinks that all that is effected by that cross is to provide us with an example for our imitation in contending even to death for the truth. For if men of this type, who have no desire to be aught else than men, knew how it is that Christ crucified is "made of God unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption, that, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord," [1600] they would doubtless no longer glory in man, nor say in a carnal spirit, "I am of Paul, and I of Apollos, and I of Cephas;" but in a spiritual way, "I am of Christ." [1601]

4. But the question is still further raised by what we read in the Epistle to the Hebrews: "When now for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need again to be taught which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk hath no experience in the word of righteousness; for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are perfect, even those who by habit have their senses exercised to distinguish good from evil." [1602] For here we see, as if clearly defined, what he calls the strong meat of the perfect; and which is the same as that which he writes to the Corinthans, "We speak wisdom among them that are perfect." [1603] But who it was that he wished in this passage to be understood as perfect, he proceeded to indicate in the words, "Even those who by habit have their senses exercised to distinguish good from evil." Those, therefore, who, through a weak and undisciplined mind, are destitute of this power, will certainly, unless enabled by what may be called the milk of faith to believe both the invisible things which they see not, and the comprehensible things which they do not yet comprehend, be easily seduced by the promise of science to vain and sacrilegious fables: so as to think both of good and evil only under corporeal forms, and to have no idea of God Himself save as some sort of body, and be able only to view evil as a substance; while there is rather a kind of falling away from the immutable Substance in the case of all mutable substances, which were made out of nothing by the immutable and supreme substance itself, which is God. And assuredly whoever not only believes, but also through the exercised inner senses of his mind understands, and perceives, and knows this, there is no longer cause for fear that he will be seduced by those who, while accounting evil to be a substance uncreated by God, make God Himself a mutable substance, as is done by the Manicheans, or any other pests, if such there be, that fall into similar folly.

5. But to those who are still babes in mind, and who as carnal, the apostle says, require to be nourished with milk, all discoursing on such a subject, wherein we deal not only with the believing, but also with the understanding and the knowing of what is spoken, must be burdensome, as being still unable to perceive such things, and be more fitted to oppress than to feed them. Whence it comes to pass that the spiritual, while not altogether silent on such subjects to the carnal, because of the Catholic faith which is to be preached to all, yet do not so handle them as, in their wish to simplify them to understandings that are still deficient in capacity, to bring their discourse on the truth into disrepute, rather than the truth that is in their discourse within the perceptions of their hearers. Accordingly in his Epistle to the Colossians he says: "And though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and that which is lacking [1604] in your faith in Christ." [1605] And in that to the Thessalonians: "Night and day," he says, "praying more abundantly, that we might see your face, and might perfect that which is lacking in your faith." [1606] Here we are, of course, to understand those who were under such primary catechetical instruction, as implied their nourishment with milk and not with strong meat; of the former of which there is mention made in the Epistle to the Hebrews of an abundant supply for such as nevertheless he would now have had to be feeding on solid food. Accordingly he says: "Therefore leaving the word of the beginning of Christ, let us have regard to the completion; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of the baptismal font, and of the laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment." [1607] This is the copious supply of milk, without which even they cannot live, who have already indeed their reason sufficiently in use to enable them to believe, but who cannot distinguish good from evil, so as to be not only a matter of faith, but also of understanding (which belongs to the department of solid food). But when he includes doctrine also in his description of the milk, it is that which has been delivered to us in the Creed and the Lord's Prayer.

6. But let us be far from supposing that there is any contrariety between this milk and the food of spiritual things that has to be received by the sound understanding, and which was wanting to the Colossians and Thessalonians, and had still to be supplied. For the supply of the deficiency implies no disapproval of that which existed. For even in the very food that we take, so far is there from being any contrariety between milk and solid food, that the latter itself becomes milk, in order to make it suitable to babes, whom it reaches through the medium of the mother's or the nurse's body; so did also mother Wisdom herself, who is solid food in the lofty sphere of angels, condescend in a manner to become milk for babes, when the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us. [1608] But the man Christ Himself, who in His true flesh, true cross, true death, and true resurrection is called the pure milk of babes, is, when rightly understood by the spiritual, found to be the Lord of angels. Accordingly, babes are not to be so fed with milk as always to remain without understanding the Godhead of Christ; nor are they to be so withdrawn from milk as to turn their backs on His manhood. And the same thing may also be stated in another way in this manner: they are neither so to be fed with milk as never to understand Christ as Creator, nor so to be withdrawn from milk as ever to turn their backs on Christ as Mediator. In this respect, indeed, the similitude of maternal milk and solid food scarcely harmonizes with the reality as thus stated, but rather that of a foundation: for when the child is weaned, so as to be withdrawn from the nourishment of infancy, he never looks again amongst solid food for the breasts which he sucked; but Christ crucified is both milk to sucklings and meat to the more advanced. And the similitude of a foundation is on this account the more suitable, because, for the completion of the structure, the building is added without the foundation being withdrawn.

7. And since this is the case, do you, whoever you be, who are doubtless many of you still babes in Christ, be making advances towards the solid food of the mind, not of the belly. Grow in the ability to distinguish good from evil, and cleave more and more to the Mediator, who delivers you from evil; which does not admit of a local separation from you, but rather of being healed within you. But whoever shall say to you, Believe not Christ to be truly man, or that the body of any man or animal whatever was created by the true God, or that the Old Testament was given by the true God, and anything else of the same sort, for such things as these were not told you previously, when your nourishment was milk, because your heart was still unfit for the apprehension of the truth: such an one provides you not with meat, but with poison. For therefore it was that the blessed apostle, in addressing those who appeared to him already perfect, even after calling himself imperfect, said, "Let us, therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in anything ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you." And that they might not rush into the hands of seducers, whose desire would be to turn them away from the faith by promising them the knowledge of the truth, and suppose such to be the meaning of the apostle's words, "God shall reveal even this unto you," he forthwith added, "Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule." [1609] If, then, thou hast come to some understanding of what is not at variance with the rule of the Catholic faith, whereto thou hast attained as the way that is guiding thee to thy fatherland; and hast so understood it as to feel it a duty to dismiss all doubts whatever on the subject: add to the building, but do not abandon the foundation. And surely of such a character ought to be any teaching given by elders to those who are babes, as not to involve the assertion that Christ the Lord of all, and the prophets and apostles, who are much farther advanced in age than themselves, had in any respect spoken falsely. And not only ought you to avoid the babbling seducers of the mind, who prate away at their fables and falsehoods, and in such vanities make the promise, forsooth, of profound science contrary to the rule of faith, which we have accepted as Catholic; but avoid those also as a still more insidious pest than the others, who discuss truthfully enough the immutability of the divine nature, or the incorporeal creature, or the Creator, and fully prove what they affirm by the most conclusive documents and reasonings, and yet attempt to turn you away from the one Mediator between God and men. For such are those of whom the apostle says, "Because that, when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God." [1610] For what advantage is it to have a true understanding of the immutable Good to one who has no hold of Him by whom there is deliverance from evil? And let not the admonition of the most blessed apostle by any means lose its place in your hearts: "If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed." [1611] He does not say, More than ye have received; but, "Other than ye have received." For had he said the former, he would be prejudging himself, inasmuch as he desired to come to the Thessalonians to supply what was lacking in their faith. But one who supplies, adds to what was deficient, without taking away what existed: while he that transgresses the rule of faith, is not progressing in the way, but turning aside from it.

8. Accordingly, when the Lord says, "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now," He means that what they were still ignorant of had afterwards to be supplied to them, and not that what they had already learned was to be subverted. And He, indeed, as I have already shown in a former discourse, could so speak, because the very things which He had taught them, had He wished to unfold them to them in the same way as they are conceived in regard to Him by the angels, their still remaining human weakness would be unable to bear. But any spiritual man may teach another man what he knows, provided the Holy Spirit grant him an enlarged capacity for profiting, wherein also the teacher himself may get some further increase, in order that both may be taught of God. [1612] Although even among the spiritual themselves there are some, doubtless, who are of greater capacity and in a better condition than others; so that one of them attained even to things of which it is not lawful for a man to speak. Taking advantage of which, there have been some vain individuals, who, with a presumption that betrays the grossest folly, have forged a Revelation of Paul, crammed with all manner of fables, which has been rejected by the orthodox Church; affirming it to be that whereof he had said that he was caught up into the third heavens, and there heard unspeakable words "which it is not lawful for a man to utter." [1613] Nevertheless, the audacity of such might be tolerable, had he said that he heard words which it is not as yet lawful for a man to utter; but when he said, "which it is not lawful for a man to utter," who are they that dare to utter them with such impudence and non-success? But with these words I shall now bring this discourse to a close; whereby I would have you to be wise indeed in that which is good, but untainted by that which is evil.

Footnotes

[1591] 1 Cor. iii. 1, 2. [1592] 1 Cor. i. 23, 24. [1593] 1 Cor. i. 12. [1594] Gal. vi. 14. [1595] 1 Cor. xiv. 37, 38. [1596] Gal. iv. 9. [1597] Eph. i. 4. [1598] 1 Cor. ii. 2. [1599] 1 Cor. ii. 14. [1600] 1 Cor. i. 30, 31. [1601] 1 Cor. i. 12. [1602] Heb. v. 12-14. [1603] 1 Cor. ii. 6. [1604] In place of to stereoma, solidity, steadfastness, Augustin reads to husterema, that which is lacking. So also in his epistle to Paulinus, which is marked 149 (in Migne's edition of Augustin). [1605] Col. ii. 5. [1606] 1 Thess. iii. 10. [1607] Heb. vi. 1, 2. [1608] Chap. i. 1, 14. [1609] Phil. iii. 15, 16. [1610] Rom. i. 21. [1611] Gal. i. 9. [1612] Chap. vi. 45. [1613] 2 Cor. xii. 2, 4. .


Tractate XCIX.

Chapter XVI. 13.

1. What is this that the Lord said of the Holy Spirit, when promising that He would come and teach His disciples all truth, or guide them into all truth: "For He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak"? For this is similar to what He said of Himself, "I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge." [1614] But when expounding that, we said that it might be taken as referring to His human nature; [1615] so that He seemed as the Son to announce beforehand that His own obedience, whereby He became obedient even unto the death of the cross, [1616] would have its place also in the judgment, when He shall judge the quick and the dead; for He shall do so for the very reason that He is the Son of man. Wherefore He said, "The Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son;" for in the judgment He will appear, not in the form of God, wherein He is equal to the Father, and cannot be seen by the wicked, but in the form of man, in which He was made even a little lower than the angels; although then He will come in glory, and not in His original humility, yet in a way that will be conspicuous both to the good and to the bad. Hence He says further: "And He hath given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of man." [1617] In these words of His own it is made clear that it is not that form that will be presented in the judgment, wherein He was when He thought it not robbery to be equal with God; but that which He assumed when He made Himself of no reputation. [1618] For He emptied Himself in assuming the form of a servant; [1619] in which, also, for the purpose of executing judgment, He seems to have commended His obedience, when He said, "I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge." For Adam, by whose disobedience, as that of one man, many were made sinners, did not judge as he heard; for he prevaricated what he heard, and of his own self did the evil that he did; for he did not the will of God, but his own: while this latter, by whose obedience, as that also of one man, many are made righteous, [1620] was not only obedient even unto the death of the cross, in respect of which He was judged as alive from the dead; but promised also that He would be showing obedience in the very judgment itself, wherein He is yet to act as judge of the quick and the dead, when He said, "I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge." But when it is said of the Holy Spirit, "For He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak," shall we dare to harbor the notion that it was so said in reference to any human nature of His, or the assumption of any creature-form? For it was the Son alone in the Trinity who assumed the form of a servant, a form which in His case was fitted into the unity of His person, or, in other words, that the one person, Jesus Christ, should be the Son of God and the Son of man; and so that we should be kept from preaching a quaternity instead of the Trinity, which God forbid that we should do. And it is on account of this one personality as consisting of two substances, the divine and the human, that He sometimes speaks in accordance with that wherein He is God, as when He says, "I and my Father are one;" [1621] and sometimes in accordance with His manhood, as in the words, "For the Father is greater than I;" [1622] in accordance with which also we have understood those words of His that are at present under discussion, "I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge." But in reference to the person of the Holy Spirit, a considerable difficulty arises how we are to understand the words, "For He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak;" since in it there exists not one substance of Godhead and another of humanity, or of any other creature whatsoever.

2. For the fact that the Holy Spirit appeared in bodily form, as a dove, [1623] was a sight begun and ended at the time: just as also, when He descended upon the disciples, there were seen upon them cloven tongues as of fire, which also sat upon every one of them. [1624] Any one, therefore, who says that the dove was connected with the Holy Spirit in the unity of His person, as that it and Godhead (for the Holy Spirit is God) should go to constitute the one person of the Holy Spirit, is compelled also to affirm the same thing of that fire; and so may understand that he ought to assert neither. For those things in regard to the substance of God, which needed at any time to be represented in some outward way, and so exhibited themselves to men's bodily senses, and then passed away, were formed for the moment by divine power from the subservient creation, and not from the dominant nature itself; which, ever abiding the same, excites into action whatever it pleases; and, itself unchangeable, changes all things else at its pleasure. In the same way also did that voice from the cloud actually strike upon the bodily ears, and on that bodily sense which is called the hearing; [1625] and yet in no way are we to believe that the Word of God, which is the only-begotten Son, is defined, because He is called the Word, by syllables and sounds: for when a sermon is in course of delivery, all the sounds cannot be pronounced simultaneously; but the various individual sounds come, as it were, in their own order to the birth, and succeed those which are dying away, so that all that we have to say is completed only by the last syllable. Very different from this, surely, is the way in which the Father speaketh to the Son, that is to say, God to God, His Word. But this, so far as it can be understood by man, is a matter for the understanding of those who are fitted for the reception of solid food, and not of milk. Since, therefore, the Holy Spirit became not man by any assumption of humanity, and became not an angel by any assumption of angelic nature, and as little entered into the creature-state by the assumption of any creature-form whatever, how, in regard to Him, are we to understand those words of our Lord, "For He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak"? A difficult question; yea, too difficult. May the Spirit Himself be present, that, at least up to the measure of our power of thinking on such a subject, we may be able to express our thoughts, and that these, according to the little measure of my ability, may find entrance into your understanding.

3. You ought, then, to be informed in the first place, and, those of you who can, to understand, and the others, who cannot as yet understand, to believe, that in that substantial essence, which is God, the senses are not, as if through some material structure of a body, distributed in their appropriate places; as, in the mortal flesh of all animals there is in one place sight, in another hearing, in another taste, in another smelling, and over the whole the sense of touch. Far be it from us to believe so in the case of that incorporeal and immutable nature. In it, therefore, hearing and seeing are one and the same thing. In this way smelling also is said to exist in God; as the apostle says, "As Christ also hath loved us, and hath given Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savor." [1626] And taste may be included, in accordance with which God hateth the bitter in temper, and spueth out of His mouth those who are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot: [1627] and Christ our God [1628] saith, "My meat is to do the will of Him that sent me." [1629] There is also that divine sense of touch, in accordance with which the spouse saith of the bridegroom: "His left hand is under my head, and his right hand shall embrace me." [1630] But these are not in God's case in different parts of the body. For when He is said to know, all are included: both seeing, and hearing, and smelling, and tasting, and touching; without any alteration of His substance, and without the existence of any material element which is greater in one place and smaller in another: and when there are any such thoughts of God in those even who are old in years, they are the thoughts only of a childish mind.

4. Nor need you wonder that the ineffable knowledge of God, whereby He is cognizant of all things, is, because of the various modes of human speech designated by the names of all those bodily senses; since even our own mind, in other words, the inner man,--to which, while itself exercising its knowing faculty in one uniform way, the different subjects of its knowledge are communicated by those five messengers, as it were, of the body, when it understands, chooses, and loves the unchangeable truth,--is said both to see the light, whereof it is said, "That was the true light;" and to hear the word, whereof it is said, "In the beginning was the Word;" [1631] and to be susceptible of smell, of which it is said, "We will run after the smell of thy ointments;" [1632] and to drink of the fountain, whereof it is said, "With Thee is the fountain of life;" [1633] and to enjoy the sense of touch, when it is said, "But it is good for me to cleave unto God;" [1634] in all of which it is not different things, but the one intelligence, that is expressed by the names of so many senses. When, therefore, it is said of the Holy Spirit, "For He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak," so much the more is a simple nature, which is simple [uncompounded] in the truest sense, to be either understood or believed, which in its extent and sublimity far surpasses the nature of our minds. For there is mutability in our mind, which comes by learning to the perception of what it was previously ignorant of, and loses by unlearning what it formerly knew; and is deceived by what has a similarity to truth, so as to approve of the false in place of the true, and is hindered by its own obscurity as by a kind of darkness from arriving at the truth. And so that substance is not in the truest sense simple, to which being is not identical with knowing; for it can exist without the possession of knowledge. But it cannot be so with that divine substance, for it is what it has. And on this account it has not knowledge in any such way as that the knowledge whereby it knows should be to it one thing, and the essence whereby it exists another; but both are one. Nor ought that to be called both, which is simply one. "As the Father hath life in Himself," and He Himself is not something different from the life that is in Him; "so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself," [1635] that is, hath begotten the Son, that He also should Himself be the life. Accordingly we ought to accept what is said of the Holy Spirit, "For he shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak," in such a way as to understand thereby that He is not of Himself. Because it is the Father only who is not of another. For the Son is born of the Father, and the Holy Spirit proceedeth from the Father; but the Father is neither born of, nor proceedeth from, another. And yet surely there should not on that account occur to human thought any idea of disparity in the supreme Trinity; for both the Son is equal to Him of whom He is born, and the Holy Spirit to Him from whom He proceedeth. But what difference there is in such a case between proceeding and being born, would be too lengthy to make the subject of inquiry and dissertation, and would make our definition liable to the charge of rashness, even after we had discussed it; for such a thing is of the utmost difficulty, both for the mind to comprehend in any adequate way, and even were it so that the mind has attained to any such comprehension, for the tongue to explain, however able the one that presides as a teacher, or he that is present as a hearer. Accordingly, "He shall not speak of Himself;" because He is not of Himself. "But whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak:" He shall hear of Him from whom He proceedeth. To Him hearing is knowing; but knowing is being, as has been discussed above. Because, then, He is not of Himself, but of Him from whom He proceedeth, and of whom He has essence, of Him He has knowledge; from Him, therefore, He has hearing, which is nothing else than knowledge.

5. And be not disturbed by the fact that the verb is put in the future tense. For it is not said, whatsoever He hath heard, or, whatsoever He heareth; but, "whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak." For such hearing is everlasting, because the knowing is everlasting. But in the case of what is eternal, without beginning and without end, in whatever tense the verb is put, whether in the past, or present, or future, there is no falsehood thereby implied. For although to that immutable and ineffable nature, there is no proper application of Was and Will be, but only Is: for that nature alone is in truth, because incapable of change; and to it therefore was it exclusively suited to say, "I Am That I Am," and "Thou shalt say unto the children of Israel, He Who Is hath sent me unto you:" [1636] yet on account of the changeableness of the times amid which our mortal and changeable life is spent, there is nothing false in our saying, both it was, and will be, and is. It was in past, it is in present, it will be in future ages. It was, because it never was wanting; it will be, because it will never be wanting; it is, because it always is. For it has not, like one who no longer survives, died with the past; nor, like one who abideth not, is it gliding away with the present; nor, as one who had no previous existence, will it rise up with the future. Accordingly, as our human manner of speaking varies with the revolutions of time, He, who through all times was not, is not, and will not by any possibility be found wanting, may correctly bespoken of in any tense whatever of a verb. The Holy Spirit, therefore, is always hearing, because He always knows: ergo, He both knew, and knows, and will know; and in the same way He both heard, and hears, and will hear; for, as we have already said, to Him hearing is one with knowing, and knowing with Him is one with being. From Him, therefore, He heard, and hears, and will hear, of whom He is; and of Him He is, from whom He proceeds.

6. Some one may here inquire whether the Holy Spirit proceedeth also from the Son. For the Son is Son of the Father alone, and the Father is Father of the Son alone; but the Holy Spirit is not the Spirit of one of them, but of both. You have the Lord Himself saying, "For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father that speaketh in you;" [1637] and you have the apostle, "God hath sent forth the spirit of His Son into your hearts." [1638] Are there, then, two, the one of the Father, the other of the Son? Certainly not. For there is "one body," he said, when referring to the Church; and presently added, "and one Spirit." And mark how he there makes up the Trinity. "As ye are called," he says, "in one hope of your calling." "One Lord," where he certainly meant Christ to be understood; but it remained that he should also name the Father: and accordingly there follows, "One faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all." [1639] And since, then, just as there is one Father, and one Lord, namely, the Son, so also there is one Spirit; He is doubtless of both: especially as Christ Jesus Himself saith, "The Spirit of your Father that dwelleth in you;" and the apostle declares, "God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts." You have the same apostle saying in another place, "But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you," where he certainly intended the Spirit of the Father to be understood; of whom, however, he says in another place, "But if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His." [1640] And many other testimonies there are, which plainly show that He, who in the Trinity is styled the Holy Spirit, is the Spirit both of the Father and of the Son.

7. And for no other reason, I suppose, is He called in a peculiar way the Spirit; since though asked concerning each person in His turn, we cannot but admit that the Father and the Son are each of them a Spirit; for God is a Spirit, [1641] that is, God is not carnal, but spiritual. By the name, therefore, which they each also hold in common, it was requisite that He should be distinctly called, who is not the one nor the other of them, but in whom what is common to both becomes apparent. Why, then, should we not believe that the Holy Spirit proceedeth also from the Son, seeing that He is likewise the Spirit of the Son? For did He not so proceed, He could not, when showing Himself to His disciples after the resurrection, have breathed upon them, and said, "Receive ye the Holy Spirit." [1642] For what else was signified by such a breathing upon them, but that from Him also the Holy Spirit proceedeth? And of the same character also are His words regarding the woman that suffered from the bloody flux: "Some one hath touched me; for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me." [1643] For that the Holy Spirit is also designated by the name of virtue, is both clear from the passage where the angel, in reply to Mary's question, "How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?" said, "The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power [virtue] of the highest shall overshadow thee;" [1644] and our Lord Himself when giving His disciples the promise of the Spirit, said, "But tarry ye in the city, until ye be endued with power [virtue] from on high;" [1645] and on another occasion, "Ye shall receive the power [virtue] of the Holy Ghost coming upon you, and ye shall be witnesses unto me." [1646] It is of this virtue that we are to believe, that the evangelist says, "Virtue went out of Him, and healed them all." [1647]

8. If, then, the Holy Spirit proceedeth both from the Father and from the Son, why said the Son, "He proceedeth from the Father"? [1648] Why, do you think, but just because it is to Him He is wont to attribute even that which is His own, of whom He Himself also is? Hence we have Him saying, "My doctrine is not mine, but His that sent me." [1649] If, therefore, in such a passage we are to understand that as His doctrine, which nevertheless He declared not to be His own, but the Father's, how much more in that other passage are we to understand the Holy Spirit as proceeding from Himself, where His words, "He proceedeth from the Father," were uttered so as not to imply, He proceedeth not from me? But from Him, of whom the Son has it that He is God (for He is God of God), He certainly has it that from Him also the Holy Spirit proceedeth: and in this way the Holy Spirit has it of the Father Himself, that He should also proceed from the Son, even as He proceedeth from the Father.

9. In connection with this, we come also to some understanding of the further point, that is, so far as it can be understood by such beings as ourselves, why the Holy Spirit is not said to be born, but to proceed: since, if He also were called by the name of Son, He could not avoid being called the Son of both, which is utterly absurd. For no one is a son of two, unless of a father and mother. But it would be utterly abhorrent to entertain the suspicion of any such intervention between God the Father and God the Son. For not even a son of human parents proceedeth at the same time from father and from mother: but at the time that he proceedeth from the father into the mother, it is not then that he proceedeth from the mother; and when he cometh forth from the mother into the light of day, it is not then that he proceedeth from the father. But the Holy Spirit proceedeth not from the Father into the Son, and then proceedeth from the Son to the work of the creature's sanctification; but He proceedeth at the same time from both: although this the Father hath given unto the Son, that He should proceed from Him also, even as He proceedeth from Himself. And as little can we say that the Holy Spirit is not the life, seeing that the Father is the life, and the Son is the life. And in the same way as the Father, who hath life in Himself, hath given to the Son also to have life in Himself; so hath He also given that life should proceed from Him, even as it also proceedeth from Himself. [1650] But we come now to the words of our Lord that follow, when He saith: "And He will show you things to come. He shall glorify me; for He shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore, said I, that He shall take of mine, and shall show it unto you." But as the present discourse has already been protracted to some length, they must be left over for another.

Footnotes

[1614] Chap. v. 30. [1615] Tracts. XIX.-XXII. [1616] Phil. ii. 8. [1617] Chap. v. 22, 27. [1618] Literally, "when He emptied Himself." [1619] Phil. ii. 6, 7. [1620] Rom. v. 19. [1621] Chap. x. 30. [1622] Chap. xiv. 28. [1623] Matt. iii. 16. [1624] Acts ii. 3. [1625] Luke ix. 35. [1626] Eph. v. 2. [1627] Rev. iii. 16. [1628] Deus Christus. [1629] Chap. iv. 34. [1630] Song of Sol. ii. 6. [1631] Chap. i. 9, 1. [1632] Song of Sol. i. 4, Septuagint. [1633] Ps. xxxvi. 9. [1634] Ps. lxxiii. 28. [1635] Chap. v. 26. [1636] Ex. iii. 14. [1637] Matt. x. 20. [1638] Gal. iv. 6. [1639] Eph. iv. 4-6. [1640] Rom. viii. 11, 9. [1641] Chap. iv. 24. [1642] Chap. xx. 22. [1643] Luke viii. 46. [1644] Luke i. 34, 35. [1645] Luke xxiv. 49. [1646] Acts i. 8, marg. [1647] Luke vi. 19. [1648] Chap. xv. 26. [1649] Chap. vii. 16. [1650] This passage from sec. 8, Augustin has transferred into Book XV. "On the Trinity," chap. 27.


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