Augustin on the mounts 2078
2082 Mt 7,21-29
82. But seeing that, however pure an eye one may have, i.e. with however single and sincere a heart one may live, he yet cannot look into the heart of another: whatever things could not have become apparent in deeds or words, are disclosed by trials. Now trial is twofold; either in the hope of obtaining some temporal advantage, or in the terror of losing it. And especially must we be on our guard, lest, when striving after wisdom, which can be found in Christ alone, in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge;228 —we must be on our guard, I say, lest, under the very name of Christ, we be deceived by heretics, or by any parties whatever defective in intelligence, and lovers of this world. For on this account He adds a warning, saying, “Not every one that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord,229 shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of My Father which is in heaven, he shall enter into the kingdom of heaven:” lest we should think that the mere fact of one saying to our Lord, “Lord, Lord,” belongs to those fruits; and from that he should seem to us to be a good tree. But those are the fruits, to do the will of the Father who is in heaven, in the doing of which He has condescended to exhibit Himself as an example.
83. But the question may fairly be started, how with this sentence the statement of the apostle is to be reconciled, where he says, “No man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed; and no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost:”230 for neither can we say that any who have the Holy Spirit will not enter into the kingdom of heaven, if they persevere onwards to the end; nor can we affirm that those who say, “Lord, Lord,” and yet do not enter into the kingdom of heaven, have the Holy Spirit. How then does no one say “that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost,” unless it is because the apostle has used the word “say” here in a strict and proper sense, so that it implies the will and understanding of him who says? But the Lord has used the word which He employs in a general sense: “Not every one that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven.” For he also who neither wishes nor understands what he says, seems to say it; but he properly says it, who gives expression to his will and mind by the sound of his voice: just as, a little before, what is called “joy” among the fruits of the Spirit is called so in a strict and proper sense, not in the way in which the same apostle elsewhere uses the expression, “Rejoiceth not in iniquity:”231 as if any one could rejoice in iniquity: for that transport of a mind making confused and boisterous demonstrations of joy is not joy; for this latter is possessed by the good alone. Hence those also seem to say it, who neither perceive with the understanding nor engage with the deliberate consent of the will in this which they utter, but utter it with the voice merely; and after this manner the Lord says, “Not every one that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven.” But truly and properly those parties say it whose utterance in speech really represents their will and intention; and it is in accordance with this signification that the apostle has said, “No one can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.”
2084 84. And besides, it belongs especially to the matter in hand, that, in striving after the contemplation of the truth, we should not only not be deceived by the name of Christ, by means of those who have the name and have not the deeds; but also not by certain deeds and miracles, for when the Lord performed of the same kind for the sake of unbelievers, He has warned us not to be deceived by such things, thinking that an invisible wisdom is present where we see a visible miracle. Hence He annexes the statement: “Many will say to Me on that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name, and in Thy name have cast out devils, and in Thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I say232 unto them, I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity.” He will not, therefore, recognise any but the man that worketh righteousness. For He forbade also His own disciples themselves to rejoice in such things, viz. that the spirits were subject unto them: “But rejoice,” says He, “because your names are written in heaven;”233 I suppose, in that city of Jerusalem which is in heaven, in which only the righteous and holy shall reign. “Know ye not,” says the apostle, “that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?”234
85. But perhaps some one may say that the unrighteous cannot perform those visible miracles, and may believe rather that those parties are telling a lie, who will be found saying, “We have prophesied in Thy name, and have cast out devils in Thy name, and have done many wonderful works.” Let him therefore read what great things the magi of the Egyptians did who resisted Moses, the servant of God;235 or if he will not read this, because they did not do them in the name of Christ, let him read what the Lord Himself says of the false prophets, speaking thus: “Then, if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders, insomuch that the very elect shall be deceived.236 Behold, I have told you before.”237
86. How much need, therefore, is there of the pure and single eye, in order that the way of wisdom may be found, against which there is the clamour of so great deceptions and errors on the part of wicked and perverse men, to escape from all of which is indeed to arrive at the most certain peace, and the immoveable stability of wisdom! For it is greatly to be feared, lest, by eagerness in quarrelling and controversy, one should not see what can be seen by few, that small is the disturbance of gainsayers, unless one also disturbs himself. And in this direction, too, runs that statement of the apostle: “And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle238 unto all men, apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing those that think differently;239 if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth.”240 “Blessed,” therefore, “are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.”241 )
87. Hence we must take special notice how terribly the conclusion of the whole sermon is introduced: “Therefore, whosoever heareth these sayings of Mine, and doeth them, is like242 unto a wise man, which built his house upon the rock.” For no one confirms what he hears or understands, unless by doing. And if Christ is the rock, as many Scripture testimonies proclaim243 that man builds in Christ who does what he hears from Him. “The rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat244 upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.” Such an one, therefore, is not afraid of any gloomy superstitions (for what else is understood by rain, when it is put in the sense of anything bad?), or of turnouts of men, which I think are compared to winds; or of the river of this life, as it were flowing over the earth in carnal lusts. For it is the man who is seduced by the prosperity that is broken down by the adversities arising from these three things; none of which is feared by him who has his house founder upon a rock, i.e. who not only hears, but also does, the Lord’s commands. And the man who hears and does them not is in dangerous proximity to all these, for he has no stable foundation; but by hearing and not doing, he builds a ruin. For He goes on to say: “And every one that heareth these sayings of Mine, and doeth them not, shall be like unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:245 and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat246 upon that house; and it fell: and great was247 the fall of it. And it came to pass, when Jesus hid ended these sayings, the people were astonished at His doctrine: for He taught them as one having authority, and not as their scribes.”248 This is what I said before was meant by the prophet in the Psalms, when he says: “I will act confidently in regard of him. The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried and proved in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.”249 And from this number, I am admonished to trace back those precepts also to the seven sentences which He has placed in the beginning of this sermon, when He was speaking of those who are blessed; and to those seven operations of the Holy Spirit, which the prophet Isaiah mentions;250 but whether the order before us, or some other, is to be considered in these, the things we have heard from the Lord are to be done, if we wish to build upon a rock.
1 Jesus passes from the precepts of the genuine righteousness to the actual practice of the same (Meyer, Weiss), from moral to religious duties (Lange), from actions to motives; having spoken to the heart before by inference, he now speaks directly (Alford)).
2 (Ps 34,2,
3 Cavete facere; Vulgate, attendite ne faciatis.
4 In agreement with the best Greek text. (See Revised Version). This verse is a general proposition. The three leading manifestations of righteousness and practical piety among the Jews follow,—alms-giving, prayer, fasting.
5 (Mt 5,14-16).
6 (Ga 1,10,
7 (1Co 10,32-33.
8 (Ph 4,17).
9 (Ac otherwise noble and praiseworthy become sin when done to make an appearance before men, and get honour from them. Bad intentions vitiate pious observances).
10 Glorificantur; Vulgate honorificentur. The sounding of trumpet is referred by some to an alleged custom of the parties themselves calling the poor together by a trumpet, or even to the noise of the coins on the trumpet-shaped chests in the temple. Better, it is figurative of “self-laudation and display” (Meyer, Alford, Lange, etc)..
11 (Ac 3,4,
12 (Pr 25,21).
13 “With complete modesty; secret, noiseless giving” (Chrysostom). No reference to a counting of the money by the left hand (Paulus, De Wette). Luther’s comment is quaint and characteristic: “When thou givest alms with thy right hand, take heed that thou dost not seek with the left to take more, but put it behind thy back.” Trench pronounces this discussion concerning the meaning of the left hand “laborious, and, as I cannot but think, unnecessary;” but it is ingenious and interesting).
14 Pii lucent et tamen laten (Bengel)).
15 Not our Father.
16 It is wanting in the Sinaitic, B, D, etc., Mss., as also in the Vulgate copies.
17 They love to stand praying, more than they love to pray. Like the Mohammedans of to-day, they took delight in airing their piety. Our Lord mentions the most conspicuous localities. The usual posture of the Jews in prayer was standing (1S 1,26 Lc 18,11, etc).).
18 Vos; Vulgate, tu (Revised Version)).
19 (Ps 4,4, English version renders, “Commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still.”
20 Claudentes ostia; Vulgate, clauso ostio).
21 Our Lord on occasion followed this habit (Mt 14,23 and in Gethsemane)).
22 Greek, Bsttalogew “Use not vain repetitions,” Revised Version (or stammer). Some derive the word from Battus, king of Cyrene, who stuttered, or from Battus, author of wordy poems. The word is probably only an imitation of the sound of the stammerer (Thayer, Lexicon, who spells Battologew). The Jews were only doing as well as the Gentiles when they placed virtue in the length of the prayer, and no better. “Who makes his prayer long, shall not return home empty” (Rabbi Chasima, quoted by Hausrath, 73). The Rabbins took up at great length the question how many and what kind of petitions should be offered up at the table spread on different occasions with different viands, whether salutations should be acknowledged in the course of prayer, etc. (see (Schürer, pp. 498, 499) Examples of repetitious prayer in Scripture: I Kings 18,26, Ac 19,34. The warning is not against frequent prayer (Lc 18,1)).
23 Arbitrantur; Vulgate, putant).
24 Vobis necessarium; Vulgate, opus.
25 The illustration is frequently used (M. Henry; after him F. W. Robertson), to represent the position of some, that prayer only has an influence on the petitioner, of a boatman in his boat, taking hold of the wharf with his grappling hook. While prayer does not “inform or persuade God,” it is the condition of receiving. The sanctifying influence is secondary and incidental).
26 Orate; Vulgate, Orabitis.
27 Quotidianum; Vulgate, supersubstantialem.
28 Inferas ((Ap Vers.); Vulgate, inducas).
29 This prayer is called the Lord’s Prayer because our Lord is its author, He did not and could not have used it Himself, on account of (1) the special meaning of the pronoun “our” in the address, (2) the confession of sins in the fifth petition. Luke’s account (xi. 1) agrees in the subject of the petitions as in the address, but differs (1) in the omission of the third petition (Crit text); (2) in the addition to the fifth petition (which, however, Matthew gives at the close of the prayer in a more elaborate form); (3) in adducing a request of the disciples as the occasion of the prayer. Some have thought the prayer was given on two occasions (Meyer in earlier edd., Tholuck). Others hold that Matthew has inserted it out of its proper historical place (Neander, Olshausen, De Wette, Ebrard, Meyer in ed. vi., Weiss, etc).. This question of priority and accuracy as between the forms of Matthew and Lc may be regarded as set at rest by the Teaching of the Twelve Apostles, which (viii. 2) gives the exact form of Matthew with three unimportant differences: viz. (1) heaven, *, instead of heavens; (2) the omission of the article before earth; (3) debt instead of debts. This document contains the doxology (with the omission of kingdom), and supports the Textus Receptus in giving the present, we forgive, ajfhkamen, instead of the perfect, we have forgiven, ajfhvkamen.—The division of the prayer is usually made into (1) address, (2) petitions, (3) doxology (omitted from the approved critical Greek text and the Revised Version).—The petitions are seven according to Augustin, Luther, Bengel, Tholuck, etc: six (the two last being combined as one) according to Chrysostom, Reformed catechisms, Calvin, Schaff, etc. The petitions are divided into two groups (Tertullian) or tables (Calvin).—The contents of the first three petitions concern the glory of God; of the last four, the wants of men. In the first group the pronoun is thy, and the direction of the thought is from heaven downwards to earth; in the second group it is us, and the direction of the thought is from earth upwards to God.—The numbers, in view of their significance in the Old Testament, 3, 4, 7, are not an uninteresting item. Tholuck says: “The attention of the student who has otherwise heard of the doctrine of the Trinity will find a distinct reference to it in the arrangement of this prayer. In the first petition of each group, God is referred to as Creator and Preserver; in the second as Redeemer; in the third as the Holy Spirit.”—The Lord’s Prayer is more than a specimen of prayer: it is a pattern. Different views are held concerning its liturgical use, which can be traced back to Cyprian and Tertullian, and now farther still, to the Teaching of the Apostles, which, after giving the prayer, says, “Thrice a day pray thus.” It also gives (ix). a form of prayer to be used after the Eucharist. Of its abuse Luther says, “It is the greatest martyr.”—It is not a compilation, although similar or the same, petitions may have been in use among the Jews. The simplicity, symmetry of arrangement, depth and progress of thought, reverence of feeling, make it, indeed, the model prayer,—the Lord’s Prayer. Tertullian calls it breviarium totius evangelii (so Meyer)).
30 (Is 1,2,
31 (Ps 82,6,
32 (Ml 1,6,
33 (Jn 1,12,
34 (Rm 8,15-23 and Ga 4,1-6.
35 Patrem quisquis appellare potest, omnia orare potest (Bengel)).
36 “The address puts us into the proper attitude of prayer. It indicates our filial relation to God as ‘Father0’ (word of faith), fraternal relation to our fellow-men (‘our,0’ word of love), and our destination of ‘heaven0’ (word of hope).”
37 (Ps 34,18,
38 (Gn 3,19,
39 (1Co 3,17).
40 (Ps 76,1,
41 (Mt 24,14,
42 (Is 54,13 Jn 6,45,
43 (Mt 22,30,
44 In excelsis; Vulgate, in altissimis).
45 (Lc 2,14,
46 (Jn 4,34,
47 (Jn 6,38,
48 Vulgate, Patris qui in coelis (“Father who is in heaven”).
49 (Mt 22,49-50.
50 (Mt 25,33 Mt 25,46.
51 (Rm 7,25,
52 (1Co 15,42 1Co 15,55.
53 (Rm 7,18 Rm 7,22.
54 Escam quoe non corrumpitur; Vulgate, non cibum qui perit.
55 Panis vitae; Vulgate, panis vivus.
56 (Jn 6,27 Jn 6,41).
57 Apponentur; Vulgate, adjicientur.
58 (Ps 95,7.
59 (He 3,13,
60 The Greek ejpiouvsio", translated daily (see (margin of Revised Version, with alternate rendering of American Committee), is found only here and in Lc (xi. 3). Its meaning does not seem to come under the review of Augustin, but has troubled modern commentators. It has been taken to mean (1) needful, hence sufficient, as opposed to superfluity or want (Chrysostom, Tholuck, Ewald, Ebrard, Weiss, etc).; (2) daily (Luther, English version, etc).; (3) for the coming day (Grotius, Meyer, Thayer, Lightfoot, who has an elaborate treatment in Revision of English New Testament, Append. pp. 195-245). The direct reference of the bread to spiritual food is given by the Vulgate, and generally accepted in the Roman-Catholic Church. Olshausen, Delitzsch, Alford, etc., regard the spiritual nourishment involved by implication in the term.
61 The present with the Vulgate, Textus Receptus, Teaching of Twelve Apostles. The perfect is found in a
62 (Mt 5,26,
63 (Lc 13,1-5). Moriemini; Vulgate, peribitis. Augustin has written “Herod” instead of “Pilate.”
64 (Mt 5,40,
65 (2Tm 2,24,
66 Not “because,” nor “to the same extent as,” but “in the same manner as.” It is interesting to note the contrast between the spirit of Christianity and Islam as indicated by a comparison of this petition with the prayer offered every night by the ten thousand students at the Mahometan college in Cairo: “I seek refuge with Allah from Satan the accursed. In the name of Allah the compassionate, the merciful, O Lord of all the creatures! O Allah! destroy the infidels and polytheists, thine enemies, the enemies of the religion. O Allah! make their children orphans, and defile their abodes. Cause their feet to slip,” etc.
67 See Book 1,chaps. 19, 20.
68 Inferas…inducas, as the Vulgate.
69 (Si 34,9 Si 34,11.
70 (Ga 4,13, 14. The English version renders “my temptation,” but “your temptation” is the reading of the oldest Mss.
71 (Dt 13,3).
72 (Jn 6,6,
73 (Si 27,5,
74 (Gn 39,7-12.
75 Hist. of Sus. 1,19-22.
76 (Jb 1,11,
77 (Is 66,1,
78 (Mt 5,34-35.
79 Contestante; Vulgate, testimonium reddente.
80 Cogitationum accusantium; Vulgate, cogitationibus accusantibus.
81 Dominus; Vulgate, Deus.
82 (Rm 2,14-16.
83 Anima expostulatur; Vulgate, animam repetunt.
84 (Lc 12,20).
85 Petit vos vexare quomodo triticum; Vulgate, expetivit vos ut cribraret sicut triticum.
86 (Lc 22,31-32.
87 Sinat; Vulgate, patietur).
88 Tolerare; Vulgate, sustinere.
89 (1Co 10,13,
90 Trench, giving the essence of Augustin’s discussion, says, “God does tempt quite as truly as the devil tempts; all the difference lies in the end and aim with which they severally do it,—the one tempting to deceive, the other to approve: Satan, to their ruin; God, to their everlasting gain.”
91 Alford and other modern commentators agree with Augustin in explaining avpo tou porhoou “of evil;” Bengel, Meyer, Schaff, and others (see (Revised Version; make the form masculine,—“the Evil One.”
92 (Rm 8,24,
93 Or, as he expresses it in another place (Sermon 57,7), “to this life of our pilgrimage” (“ista vita peregrinationis nostroe”)).
94 (Is 54,13 Jn 6,45,
95 (Ps 31,20,
96 Lange draws a comparison between the petitions and the Beatitudes similar to that which follows).
97 (Ps 19,9,
98 Accipite; Vulgate, possidete.
99 Origine, Vulgate, constitutione.
100 (Mt 25,34).
101 (Ps 34,2).
102 Miser; Vulgate, infelix).
103 (Rm 7,23-24.
104 (Mt 5,3-9.
105 (Rm 8,15 and Ga 4,6).
106 Vultum…videantur; Vulgate, facies…appareant. The Greek has a play on words, ajfanizousi\elipsi";fanw`si (“they mar their appearance, that they may make an appearance”).
107 Vultum…videantur; Vulgate, facies…appareant. The Greek has a play on words, ajfanizousi\elipsi";fanw`si (“they mar their appearance, that they may make an appearance”).
108 Vulgate has the singular as the Greek. The Pharisees were scrupulous in keeping fast-days. Monday and Thursday were observed by the strict with different degrees of scrupulosity,—the lowest admitting of washing and anointing the head. (See Schürer, N. Zeitgesch.p. 505) sqq).. The early practice of fasting in the sub-apostolic Church is evident from the Teaching of the Twelve Apostles, which enjoins it before baptism, and on the “fourth day and the Preparation Day” (vii., viii)..
109 (Rm 8,29).
110 (So modern exegetes (Meyer, etc)..
111 (Ep 5,25-33).
112 (1Co 11,3,
113 “It hardly needs to add,” says Trench, “that Augustin everywhere interprets ‘when ye fast0’ as a command.”
114 (Is 1,16,
115 (2Co 3,18,
116 (Ps 119,36,
117 (1Tm 1,5,
118 Having uttered warnings against formalists, the Lord now passes to the complete dedication of the heart.
119 Condere…tinea et comestura exterminant; Vulgate, thesaurizare…aerrugo et tinea domolitur.
120 Not the specific rust of metals; wider sense of wear and tear.
121 Condere…tinea et comestura exterminant; Vulgate, thesaurizare…aerrugo et tinea domolitur.
122 Erit; Vulgate, est.
123 (Ps 115,16,
124 (Mt 24,35, South gives his sermon on this passage the heading, “No man ever went to heaven whose heart was not there before.” It has been remarked, as regards an earthly Church, one does not take abiding interest in it unless one gives toward it.
127 (Rm 13,10,
128 (Col 3,5,
129 “Singleness of intention will preserve us from the snare of having a double treasure, and therefore a divided heart” (Plumptre)).
130 (Ep 5,13, rendering here is the true sense of the original).
131 The eye is as the lamp (Revised Version) through which the body gets light,—the organ whose proper work it is to transmit light. The blind have no light, because their lamp is out or destroyed. The light within us is “the reason, especially the practical reason” (Meyer); that which is left of the divine image in man (Tholuck): the reason that was left after the fall of Adam (Calvin); the Old-Testament revelation perverted (Lange); the conscience (Alford). “The spirit of man is the candle (lamp, Revised Version) of the Lord” (Pr 20,27): it guides the faculties of the soul. But if it be in darkness how great is that darkness; i.e. the darkness which already existed! What a terrible condition those are in who do not receive the Spirit of enlightenment (who becomes the “inner light”), and feel no need of Him! “He whose affections are on heavenly things, has his whole soul lighted; he whose affections are depraved, has his understanding and his whole soul darkened also” (Mansel).
132 Alterum patietur; Vulgate, unum sustinebit.
133 Augustin is the only one to give this derivation. His residence in North Africa is the explanation of his knowledge of the Punic. The word probably comes from the Chaldee and through the Hebrew word aman, “what is trusted in.” (See Thayer, Lexicon).
134 (Jn 12,31 and Jn 14,30.
135 Ecclus 5,5, 6.
136 Patientia…invitat; Vulgate, benignitas…adducit.
137 Patientia…invitat; Vulgate, benignitas…adducit.
138 (Rm 2,4,
139 (Rm 11,17-24.
140 Luther says the world can do it in a masterly way, and carry the tree (or “water” according to the English figure) on both shoulders. This verse is a rebuke to those who think they can combine a supreme affection for heavenly and for earthly things at the same time, and pursue both with equal zeal.
141 (Sg 1,1,
142 Habere sollicitudinem; Vulgate, sollicitae sitis.
143 Edatis; Vulgate, manducetis).
144 (Jn 12,25,
145 Detrimentum faciat; Vulgate, detrimentum patiatur.
146 (Mt 16,26,
147 Curans; Vulgate, cogitans.
148 The term hjlikiva, translated by Augustin and the Vulgate statura, and by the English version stature, more probably means the measure of life, or age (American notes to Revised Version, Tholuck, De Wette, Trench, Alford, Meyer, Schaff, Plumptre, Weiss, etc). A cubit was equal to the length of the forearm. The force of the Lord’s words would be greatly diminished if such a measure was conceived of as possible to be added to the stature. The idea is, that human ingenuity and labor cannot add the least measure.
149 To the Jew the highest representative of splendour and pomp).
150 Vestitutus; Vulgate, coopertus. “As the beauties of the flower are unfolded by the divine Creator Spirit from within, from the laws and capacities of its own individual life, so must all true adornment of man be unfolded from within by the same Spirit. This hidden meaning must not be overlooked” (Alford). The law of spiritual growth is mysterious and spontaneous.
151 The argument, so called, a minore ad majus).
152 (Lc 18,2-8.
153 Edemus…vestiemur; Vulgate, manducabimus…operiemur.
154 Edemus…vestiemur; Vulgate, manducabimus…operiemur.
155 Apponentur; Vulgate, adjicientur.
156 (Mt 6,33).
157 (Ac 20,34,
158 Quoerunt; Vulgate, volunt.
159 (2Co 11,12 2Co 11,
160 Templo; Vulgate, sacrario.
161 Inanem faciat; Vulgate, evacuet.
162 (1Co 9,13-17).
163 Nor is it said, “Seek…in order that all these things may be added:” simply, “and all,” etc., yet largely inclusive,—sanctity and comfort. The comfort follows naturally. The passage is a rebuke to those who condemn the amenities of life and art, and a caution to those who place these things before themselves as a chief end. The passage justifies the statement that religion (or godliness) is profitable for the life that now is. The Psalmist never saw the righteous forsaken. A traditional saying of Jesus, quoted by Clement, Origen, and Eusebius, runs. “Ask great things, and little things shall be added; ask heavenly things, and earthly things shall be added.”
164 Nor is it said, “Seek…in order that all these things may be added:” simply, “and all,” etc., yet largely inclusive,—sanctity and comfort. The comfort follows naturally. The passage is a rebuke to those who condemn the amenities of life and art, and a caution to those who place these things before themselves as a chief end. The passage justifies the statement that religion (or godliness) is profitable for the life that now is. The Psalmist never saw the righteous forsaken. A traditional saying of Jesus, quoted by Clement, Origen, and Eusebius, runs. “Ask great things, and little things shall be added; ask heavenly things, and earthly things shall be added.”
165 Cogitare in crastino; Vulgate, solliciti esse in crastinum. There is no uniformity in Augustin’s or the Vulgate’s translation of the Greek merimnavw (“take anxious thought”) in this passage.
166 The morrow will bring its own vexations and anxieties. The English version entirely misleads as to the meaning of the special clause, “will take care of itself.” The Revised Version is a literal translation, and at least gives the true sense by implication. But with each day’s temptations and troubles, it is implied, special enablement and deliverance will be provided).
167 Wiclif, following the Vulgate, translates malice; Tyndale, trouble; the Genevan Bible, grief.
168 Our Lord’s precept is not against provident forethought,—of which Augustin goes on to give examples,—but against anxious thought which implies distrust of God’s providence. Anxious, fretful, distrustful care for the future, unreliant upon God’s bounty, wisdom, and love (as implied in the address, your heavenly Father) is declared to be unnecessary (25, 26), foolish (27-30), and heathenish (32, “After these things do the Gentiles seek”). The passages teach trust in God, who is more interested in His children than in the fowls of the air, and will certainly take care of them.
169 (Mt 4,11,
170 (Jn 12,6).
171 Thesaurizans; Vulgate, recondens.
172 Advenero; Vulgate, praesens fuero.
173 (1Co 16,1-8.
174 Not in the original Greek or Vulgate, but implied in the preceding context).
175 Not in the original Greek or Vulgate, but implied in the preceding context).
176 (Ac 11,27-30. The clause shows much divergence from the Vulgate in construction.
177 (Ac 28,10,
178 Operans; Vulgate, operando).
179 (Ep 4,28). Unde tribuere cui opus est; Vulgate, unde tribuat necessitatem patienti).
180 (1Th 2,9 2Th 3,8,
181 (Ac 18,2-3.
182 (Rm 5,3-5.
183 (2Co 11,23-27).
184 Sine scientia, amore, necessitate (“without knowledge, love, necessity.”—Bengel). The discussion is one of the most thorough and satisfactory sections of Augustin’s commentary).
185 Judicetur de vobis…judicabitur; Vulgate, judicemini…judicabimini.
186 Judicetur de vobis…judicabitur; Vulgate, judicemini…judicabimini.
187 (1Co 5,12,
188 (Rm 14,3-4.
189 Cogitationes; Vulgate, consilia.
190 (1Co 4,5,
191 (1Tm 5,24-25).
192 Omnis qui percusserit; Vulgate, omnes qui acceperint).
193 (Mt 26,52,
194 (Lc 23,33-43.
195 The meaning is, how wilt thou have the effrontery to say, dare to say. The precept forbids all meddling, censoriousness, and captious faultfinding, and the spirit of slander, backbiting, calumny, etc.
“Ere you remark another’s sin,
Bid your own conscience look within.” —Cowper).
197 Lucrifacerem; Vulgate, facerem salvos.
198 (1Co 9,19-22.
199 (Ga 5,13,
200 (Ct 4,1,
201 (Ep 5,27,
202 (Jn 16,12,
203 (1Co 3,1-2).
204 (Mt 22,15-34.
205 Chap. 21,23-27).
206 (Jn 1,19-27.
207 The conditions of effective prayer are, that it should be made in the name of Christ (Jn 15,16), with faith, and according to God’s will (1Jn 5,14).
208 This has been regarded as a strong proof-text for the doctrine of original sin. Bengel calls it “a shining testimony for original sin.” Stier says it is “the strongest proof-text for original sin in the whole of the Holy Scriptures.” Meyer says the reference is to actual sin; while Plumptre declares that “the words at once recognise the fact of man’s depravity, and assert that it is not total.”
209 (Ps 24,1,
210 (Ps 146,6,
211 Bona; the Vulgate does not contain it).
212 The nearest approach that any uninspired Jewish teacher came to the Golden Rule—the designation by which these words are known—was the saying of Hillel, “What is unpleasant to thyself, do not to thy neighbour. This is the whole law, and all the rest is commentary upon it.” Beautiful as the saying is, it falls behind Christ’s words, because it is merely negative, while they are a positive requirement. The Stoics and the Chinese ethics also have a similar negative precept. It is strange that the Teaching of the Twelve Apostles (1. 2) gives the negative form, and not the positive precept. Augustin says we ought to be glad when writers before Christ spoke things in the Gospel (En. in Ps 140,6).
213 (Mt 22,37-40.
214 (Mt 5,8,
215 Introite; Vulgate, intrate).
216 The narrowness of the way is taken to represent the self-denial and hardships of disciples (Meyer, Mansel, etc)., or righteousness (Bengel, Schaff, etc).. “The picture is a dark one, and yet it represents but too faithfully the impression made, I do not say on Calvinist or true Christian, but on any ethical teacher, by the actual state of mankind around us. If there is any wider hope, it is found in hints and suggestions of the possibilities of the future (1P 3,19 1P 4,6),” etc. ( Plumptre)).
217 Lene…sarcina; Vulgate, suave…onus).
218 Lene…sarcina; Vulgate, suave…onus).
219 (Mt 11,28-30.
220 Cavete a pseudoprophetis; Vulgate, attendite a falsis prophetis.
221 Excellency of fruitage is sanctity of life (Bonitas fructuum est sanctitas vitae (Bengel)).
222 More particularly his works against the Manichaeans, Contra Faustum Manichaeum, etc. Augustin also made much use of this passage against the Pelagians, to show that the will must be aided to produce good thoughts and deeds; that the unregenerate man is incapable of restoring himself.
223 (Mt 12,33-34.
224 (Mt 23,2-3).
225 (Jr 12,13,
226 (Ga 5,19-23.
227 (Is 57,21, according to the Septuagint.
228 (Col 2,3,
229 Many called Him Lord, but He never called any one Lord (ipsum multi, etiam amplissimi viri,—ipse neminem ne Pilatum quidem, dominum vocavit.—Bengel)).
230 (1Co 12,3,
231 (1Co 13,6,
232 Dicam; Vulgate, confitebor; Greek, oJmologhvsw. Meyer says, “It is the conscious dignity of the future Judge of the world.” Bengel calls attention to the great power of the word (magna potestas hujus dicti). In this action Christ lays the most confident claim to functions not imparted to any human being.
233 (Lc 10,20,
234 (1Co 6,9,
235 (Ex 7,and viii.
236 Inducantur etiam electi; Vulgate, inducantur, si fieri potest, etiam electi.
237 (Mt 24,23-25.
238 Mitem…diversa sentientes; Vulgate, mansuetum…resistunt veritati.
239 Mitem…diversa sentientes; Vulgate, mansuetum…resistunt veritati.
240 (2Tm 2,24-25.
241 (Mt 5,9).
242 Similis est… Vulgate, assimilabitur. Meyer, Tholuck, etc, refer this to the future judgment, “I will make him like,” etc., when Christ will establish those who keep His sayings for ever (opposed by Alford etc)..
243 (1Co 10,4, Alford, who thinks this signification too plain to overlooked.
244 Offenderunt; Vulgate, irruerunt.
245 The transitory teachings and institutions of men as opposed to Christ’s own word.
246 Offenderunt; Vulgate, irruerunt.
247 Facta est; Vulgate, fuit.
248 Vulgate adds et Pharisaei. The people were astonished, not merely at His teachings, but the dignity and self-consciousness with which Christ uttered them, quod nova quaedam majestas et insueta hominum mentes ad se raperet (Calvin). The Scribes spoke as expounders of the law, and referred back to Moses for their authority; Christ spoke in His own name, and as an independent legislator, vested with greater authority than Moses and a higher dignity. The Scribes by elaborate sophistry often drew many meanings from a single precept, and burdened the people with an intricate and endless variety of precepts for the details of conduct, laying painful stress upon their observance; Christ directed attention from outward acts to the motive and intent of the heart. “He opposed a genuine righteousness to the mock righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees.”
249 (Ps 12,5-6.
250 (Is 11,2-3).
[i]Roberts, Alexander and Donaldson, James, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, First Series: Volume VI, (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc). 1997.
Augustin on the mounts 2078