Augustin - Trinity 1319

Chapter 16.—The Remains of Death and the Evil Things of the World Turn to Good for the Elect.

How Fitly the Death of Christ Was Chosen, that We Might Be Justified in Hi$ Blood. What the Anger of God is.
1320 20. For although the death, too, of the flesh itself came originally from the sin of thefirst man, yet the good use of it has made most glorious martyrs. And so not only that death itself, bat all the evils of this world, and the griefs and labors of men, although they come from the deserts of sins, and especially of original sin, whence life itself too became bound by the bond of death, yet have fitly remained, even when sin is forgiven; that man might have wherewith to contend for truth, and whereby the goodness of the faithful might be exercised; in order that the new man through the new covenant might be made ready among the evils of this world for a new world, by bearing wisely the misery which this condemned life deserved, and by rejoicing soberly because it will be finished, but expecting faithfully and patiently the blessedness whichthe future life, being set free, will have for ever. For the devil being cast forth from his dominion, and from the hearts of the faithful, in the condemnation and faithlessness of whom he, although himself also condemned, yet reigned, is only so far permitted to be an adversary according to the condition of this mortality, as God knows to be expedient for them: concerning which the sacred writings speak through the mouth of the apostle: “God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”43 And those evils which the faithful endure piously, are of profit either for the correction of sins, or for the exercising and proving of righteousness, or to manifest the misery of this life, that the life where will be that true and perpetual blessedness may be desired more ardently, and sought out more earnestly. But it is on their account that these evils are still kept in being, of whom the apostle says: “For we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called to be holy according to His purpose. For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren. Moreover, whom He did predestinate, them He also called; and whom He called, them He also justified; and whom He justified, them He also glorified.” It is of these who are predestinated, that not one shall perish with the devil; not one shall remain even to death under the power of the devil. And then follows what I have already cited above:44 “What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all; how has He not with Him also freely given us all things?”45

1321 21. Why then should the death of Christ not have come to pass? Nay, rather, why should not that death itself have been chosen above all else to be brought to pass, to the passing by of the other innumerable ways which He who is omnipotent could have employed to free us; that death, I say, wherein neither was anything diminished or changed from His divinity, and so great benefit was conferred upon men, from the humanity which He took upon Him, that a temporal death, which was not due, was rendered by the eternal Son of God, who was also the Son of man, whereby He might free them from an eternal death which was due? The devil was holding fast our sins, and through them was fixing us deservedly in death. He discharged them, who had none of His own, and who was led by him to death undeservedly. That blood was of such price, that he who even slew Christ for a time by a death which was not due, can as his due detain no one, who has put on Christ, in the eternal death which was due. Therefore “God commendeth His love towards us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified in His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.” Justified, he says, in His blood,—justified plainly, in that we are freed from all sin; and freed from all sin, because the Son of God, who knew no sin, was slain for us. Therefore “we shall be saved from wrath through Him;” from the wrath certainly of God, which is nothing else but just retribution. For the wrath of God is not, as is that of man, a perturbation of the mind; but it is the wrath of Him to whom Holy Scripture says in another place, “But Thou, O Lord, mastering Thy power, judgest with calmness.”46 If, therefore, the just retribution of God has received such a name, what can be the right understanding also of the reconciliation of God, unless that then such wrath. comes to an end? Neither were we enemies to God, except as sins are enemies to righteousness; which being forgiven, suchenmities come to an end, and they whom He Himself justifies are reconciled to the Just One. And yet certainly He loved them even while still enemies, since “He spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all,” when we were still enemies. And therefore the apostle has rightly added.: “For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son,” by which that remission of sins was made, “much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved in His life.” Saved in life, who were reconciled by death. For who can doubt that He will give His life for His friends, for whom, when enemies, He gave His death? “And not only so,” he says, “but we also joy in God, through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.” “Not only,” he says, “shall we be saved,” but “we also joy;” and not in ourselves, but “in God;” nor through ourselves, “but through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement,” as we have argued above. Then the apostle adds, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, in whom all have sinned;”47 etc.: in which he disputes at some length concerning the two men; the one the first Adam, through whose sin and death we, his descendants, are bound by, as it were, hereditary evils; and the other the second Adam, who is not only man, but also God, by whose payment for us of what He owed not, we are freed from the debts both of our first father and of ourselves. Further, since on account of that one the devil held all who were begotten through his corrupted carnal concupiscence, it is just that on account of this one he should loose all who are regenerated through His immaculate spiritual grace.

Chapter 17.—Other Advantages of the Incarnation.

1322 22.There are many other things also in the incarnation of Christ, displeasing as it is to the proud, that are to be observed and thought of advantageously. And one ofthem is, that it has been demonstrated to man what place he has in the things which God has created; since human nature could so be joined to God, that one person could be made of two substances, and thereby indeed of three—God, soul, and flesh: so that those proud malignant spirits, who interpose themselves as mediators to deceive, although as if to help, do not therefore dare to place themselves above man because they have not flesh; and chiefly because the Son of God deigned to die also in the same flesh, lest they, because they seem to be immortal, should therefore succeed in getting themselves worshipped as gods. Further, that the grace of God might be commended to us in the man Christ without any precedent merits; because not even He Himself obtained by any precedent merits that He should be joined in such great unity with the true God, and should become the Son of God, one Person with Him; but from the time when He began to be man, from that time He is also God; whence it is said, “The Word was made flesh.”48 Then, again, there is this, that the pride of man, which is the chief hindrance against his cleaving to God, can be confuted and healed through such great humility of God. Man learns also how far he has gone away from God; and what it is worth to him as a pain to cure him, when he returns through such a Mediator, who both as God assists men by His divinity, and as man agrees with men by His weakness. For what greater example of obedience could be given to us, who had perished through disobedience, than God the Son obedient to God the Father, even to the death of the cross?49 Nay, wherein could the reward of obedience itself be better shown, than in the flesh of so great a Mediator, which rose again to eternal life? It belonged also to the justice and goodness of the Creator, that the devil should be conquered by the same rational creature which he rejoiced to have conquered, and by one that came from that same race which, by the corruption of its origin through one, he held altogether.

Chapter 18.—Why the Son of God Took Man Upon Himself from the Race of Adam, and from a Virgin.

1323 23. For assuredly God could have taken upon Himself to be man, that in that manhood He might be the Mediator between God and men, from some other source, and not from the race of that Adam who bound the human race by his sin; as He did not create him whom He first created, of the race of some one else. Therefore He was able, either so, or in any other mode that He would, to create yet one other, by whom the conqueror of the first might be conquered. But God judged it better both to take upon Him man through whom to conquer the enemy of the human race, from the race itself that had been conquered; and yet to do this of a virgin, whose conception, not flesh but spirit, not lust but faith, preceded.50 Nor did that concupiscence of the flesh intervene, by which the rest of men, who derive original sin, are propagated and conceived; but holy virginity became pregnant, not by conjugal intercourse, but by faith,—lust being utterly absent,—so that that which was born from the root of the first man might derive only the origin of race, not also of guilt. For there was born, not a nature corrupted by the contagion of transgression, but the one only remedy of all such corruptions. There was born, I say, a Man having nothing at all, and to have nothing at all, of sin; through whom they were to be born again so as to be freed from sin, who could not be born without sin. For although conjugal chastity makes a right use of the carnal concupiscence which is in our members; yet it is liable to motions not voluntary, by which it shows either that it could not have existed at all in paradise before sin, or if it did, that it was not then such as that sometimes it should resist the will. But now we feel it to be such, that in opposition to the law of the mind, and even if there is no question of begetting, it works in us the incitement of sexual intercourse; and if in this men yield to it, then it is satisfied by an act of sin; if they do not, then it is bridled by an act of refusal: which two things who could doubt to have been alien from paradise before sin? For neither did the chastity that then was do anything indecorous, nor did the pleasure that then was suffer anything unquiet. It was necessary, therefore, that this carnal concupiscence should be entirely absent, when the offspring of the Virgin was conceived; in whom the author of death was to find nothing worthy of death, and yet was to slay Him in order that he might be conquered by the death of the Author of life: the conqueror of the first Adam, who held fast the human race, conquered by the second Adam, and losing the Christian race, freed out of the human race from human guilt, through Him who was not in the guilt, although He was of the race; that that deceiver might be conquered by that race which he had conquered by guilt. And this was so done, in order that man may not be lifted up, but “that he that glorieth should glory in the Lord.”51 For he who was conquered was only man; and he was therefore conquered, because he lusted proudly to be a god. But He who conquered was both man and God; and therefore He so conquered, being born of a virgin, because God in humility did not, as He governs other saints, so govern that Man, but bare Him [as a Son]. These so great gifts of God, and whatever else there are, which it is too long for us now upon this subject both to inquire and to discuss, could not exist unless the Word had been made flesh.

Chapter 19.—What in the Incarnate Word Belongs to Knowledge, What to Wisdom.

1324 24. And all these things which the Word made flesh did and bare for us in time and place, belong, according to the distinction which we have undertaken to demonstrate, to knowledge, not to wisdom. And as the Word is without time and without place, it is co-eternal with the Father, and in its wholeness everywhere; and if any one can, and as much as he can, speak truly concerning this Word, then his discourse will pertain to wisdom. And hence the Word made flesh, which is Christ Jesus, has the treasures both of wisdom and of knowledge. For the apostle, writing to the Colossians, says: “For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh; that their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgment of the mystery of God which is Christ Jesus: in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”52 To what extent the apostle knew all those treasures, how much of them he had penetrated, and in them to how great things he had reached, who can know? Yet, for my part, according to that which is written, “But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal; for to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom, to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;”53 if these two are in such way to be distinguished from each other, that wisdom is to be assigned to divine things, knowledge to human, I acknowledge both in Christ, and so with me do all His faithful ones. And when I read, “The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us,” I understand by the Word the true Son of God, I acknowledge in the flesh the true Son of man, and both together joined into one Person of God and man, by an ineffable copiousness of grace. And on account of this, the apostle goes on to say, “And we beheld His glory, the glory as of the Only-begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”54 If we refer grace to knowledge, and truth to wisdom, I think we shall not swerve from that distinction between these two things which we have commended. For in those things that have their origin in time, this is the highest grace, that man is joined with God in unity of person; but in things eternal the highest truth is rightly attributed to the Word of God. But that the same is Himself the Only-begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth,—this took place, in order that He Himself in things done for us in time should be the same for whom we are cleansed by the same faith, that we may contemplate Him steadfastly in things eternal. And those distinguished philosophers of the heathen who have been able to understand and discern the invisible things of God by those things which are made, have yet, as is said of them, “held down the truth in iniquity;”55 because they philosophized without a Mediator, that is, without the man Christ, whom they neither believed to be about to come at the word of the prophets, nor to have come at that of the apostles. For, placed as they were in these lowest things, they could not but seek some media through which they might attain to those lofty things which they had understood; and so they fell upon deceitful spirits, through whom it came to pass, that “they changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things.”56 For in such forms also they set up or worshipped idols. Therefore Christ is our knowledge, and the same Christ is also our wisdom. He Himself implants in us faith concerning temporal things, He Himself shows forth the truth concerning eternal things. Through Him we reach on to Himself: we stretch through knowledge to wisdom; yet we do not withdraw from one and the same Christ, “in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and of knowledge.” But now we speak of knowledge, and will hereafter speak of wisdom as much as He Himself shall grant. And let us not so take these two things, as if it were not allowable to speak either of the wisdom which is in human things, or of the knowledge which is in divine. For after a laxer custom of speech, both can be called wisdom, and both knowledge. Yet the apostle could not in any way have written,”To one is given the word of wisdom, to another the word of knowledge,” except also these several things had been properly called by the several names, of the distinction between which we are now treating.

Chapter 20.—What Has Been Treated of in This Book. How We Have Reached by Steps to a Certain Trinity, Which is Found in Practical Knowledge and True Faith.

1325 25. Now, therefore, let us see what this prolix discourse has effected, what it has gathered, whereto it has reached. It belongs to all men to will to be blessed; yet all men have not faith, whereby the heart is cleansed, and so blessedness is reached. And thus it comes to pass, that by means of the faith which not all men will, we have to reach on to the blessedness which every one wills. All see in their own heart that they will to be blessed; and so great is the agreement of human nature on this subject, that the man is not deceived who conjectures this concerning another’s mind, out of his own: in short, we know ourselves that all will this. But many despair of being immortal, although no otherwise can any one be that which all will,that is, blessed. Yet they will also to be immortal if they could; but through not believing that they can, they do not so live that they can. Therefore faith is necessary, that we may attain blessedness in all the good things of human nature, that is, of both soul and body. But that same faith requires that this faith be limited in Christ, who rose in the flesh from the dead, not to die any more; and that no one is freed from the dominion of the devil, through the forgiveness of sins, save by Him; and that in the abiding placeof the devil, life must needs be at once miserable and never-ending, which ought rather to be called death than life. All which I have also argued, so far as space permitted, in this book, while I have already said much on the subject in the fourth book of this work as well;57 but in that place for one purpose, here for another,—namely, there, that I might show why and how Christ was sent in the fullness of time by the Father,58 on account of those who say that He who sent and He who was sent cannot be equal in nature; but here, in order to distinguish practical knowlege from contemplative wisdom.

1326 26. For we wished to ascend, as it were, by steps, and to seek in the inner man, both in knowledge and in wisdom, a sort of trinity of its own special kind, such as we sought before in the outer man; in order that we may come, with a mind more practised in these lower things, to the contemplation of that Trinity which is God, according to our little measure, if indeed, we can even do this, at least in a riddle and as through a glass.59 If, then, any one have committed to memory the words of this faith in their sounds alone, not knowing what they mean, as they commonly who do not know Greek hold in memory Greek words, or similarly Latin ones, or thoseof any other language of which they are ignorant, has not he a sort of trinity in his mind? because, first, those sounds of words are in his memory, even when he does not think thereupon; and next, the mental vision (acies) of his act of recollection is formed thence when he conceives of them; and next, the will of him who remembers and thinks unites both. Yet we should by no means say that the man in so doing busies himself with a trinity of the interior man, but rather of the exterior; because he remembers, and when he wills, contemplates as much as he wills, that alone which belongs to the sense of the body, which is called hearing. Nor in such an act of thought does he do anything else than deal with images of corporeal things, that is, of sounds. But if he holds and recollects what those words signify, now indeed something of the inner man is brought into action; not yet, however, ought he to be said or thought to live according to a trinity of the tuner man, if he does not love those things which are there declared, enjoined, promised. For it is possible for him also to hold and conceive these things, supposing them to be false, in order that he may endeavor to disprove them. Therefore that will, which in this case unites those things which are held in the memory with those things which are thence impressed on the mind’s eye in conception, completes, indeed, some kind of trinity, since itself is a third added to two others; but the man does not live according to this, when those things which are conceived are taken to be false, and are not accepted. But when those things are believed to be true, and those things which therein ought to be loved, are loved, then at last the man does live according to a trinity of the inner man; for every one lives according to that which he loves. But how can things be loved which are not known, but only believed? This question has been already treated of in former books;60 and we found, that no one loves what he is wholly ignorant of, but that when things not known are said to be loved, they are loved from those things which are known. And now we so conclude this book, that we admonish the just to live by faith,61 which faith worketh by love,62 so that the virtues also themselves, by which one lives prudently, boldly, temperately, and justly, be all referred to the same faith; for not otherwise can they be true virtues. And yet these in this life are not of so great worth, as that the remission of sins, of some kind or other, is not sometimes necessary here; and this remission comes not to pass, except through Him, who by His own blood conquered the prince of sinners. Whatsoever ideas are in the mind of the faithful man from this faith, and from such a life, when they are contained in the memory, and are looked at by recollection, and please the will, set forth a kind of trinity of its own sort.63 But the image of God, of which by His help we shall afterwards speak, is not yet in that trinity; a thing which will then be more apparent, when it shall have been shown where it is, which the reader may expect in a succeeding book).

1 (Jn 1,1-14).
2 (
Ps 14,1,
3 (He 11,1).
4 (Ga 5,6).
5 Ac 4,32.
6 (Ep 4,5,
7 (Mt 15,28,
8 (Mt 14,31).
9 Bks. 8,c. 4, etc., 10,c. 1).
10 (Ps 10,3,
11 [The prophet Nathan enunciates the same truth, in his words to David, “Go do all that is in thine heart; for the Lord is with thee.” 2S 7,3.—W.G.T.S.]
12 Andreia, Act 2,Scene i, 5,5, 6).
13 C. 20).
14 (Jn 1,12-14.
15 (Ga 5,5,
16 Rm 5,4-5.
17 (Jn 20,22 Jn 7,39 Jn 15,26.
18 (Ep 4,8 and Ps 68,18,
19 (Rm 5,6-10).
20 (Rm 8,31-32.
21 (Ep 1,4,
22 (Ga 2,20,
23 (Gn 3,14-19.
24 (Gn 6,3, with man,” A.V..
25 (Ep 2,1-3).
26 (Ps 77,9,
27 (Ps 94,12-15.
28 (Lc 2,14,
29 Res secundoe).
30 (Rm 5,9,
31 (Ps 88,5.
32 (Ps 69,4,
33 (Jn 14,30-31.
34 (Rm 6,9,
35 (1Co 1,25,
36 Mc 3,27.
37 (Rm 9,22-23).
38 (Ac 26,16-18).
39 Col 1,13-14.
40 [In this representation of Augustin, the relics of that misconception which appears in the earlier soteriology, paricularly that of Irenaeus, are seen: namely, that the death of Christ ransoms the sinner from Satan. Certain texts which teach that redemption delivers from the captivity to sin and Satan, were interpreted to teach deliverance from the claims of Satan. Augustin’s soteriology is more free from this error than that of Irenaeus, yet not entirely free from it. The doctrine of justification did not obtain its most consistent and complete statement in the Patristic church.—W. G. T. S.]
41 Ap 21,8.
42 (1P 1,20,
43 (1Co 10,13,
44 C. 2.
45 (Rm 8,28-32).
46 (Sg 12,18,
47 (Rm 5,8 Rm 5,12.
48 (Jn 1,14).
49 (Ph 2,8,
50 (Lc 1,26-32.
51 (2Co 10,17).
52 (Col 2,1-3.
53 (1Co 12,7-8.
54 (Jn 1,14,
55 (Rm 1,23 detinuerum.
56 (Rm 1,18 Rm 1,20).
57 Cc. 19-21.
58 (Ga 4,4,
59 (1Co 13,12,
60 Bk. 8,cc. 8 seqq., and Bk. 10,c. 1, etc.
61  Rm 1,17.
62 (Ga 5,6,
63 [The ternary is this: 1. The idea of a truth or fact held in the memory. 2. The contemplation of it as thus recollected. 3. The love of it. This last is the “will” that “unites” the first two.—W. G. T. S.]

Book XIV. The true wisdom of man is treated of;

1400 and it is shown that the image of god, which man is in respect to his mind, is not placed properly in transitory things, as in memory, understanding, and love, whether of faith itself as existing in time, or even of the mind as busied with itself, but in things that are permanent; and that this wisdom is then perfected, when the mind is renewed in the knowledge of god, according to the image of him who created man after his own image, and thus attains to wisdom, wherein that which is contemplated is eternal.

Chapter I.—What the Wisdom is of Which We are Here to Treat. Whence the Name of Philosopher Arose. What Has Been Already Said Concerning the Distinction of Knowledgeand Wisdom.

1401 1. We must now discourse concerning wisdom; not the wisdom of God, which without doubt is God, for His only-begotten Son is called the wisdom of God;1 but we will speak of the wisdom of man, yet of true wisdom, which is according to God, and is His true and chief worship, which is called in Greek by one term, qeose˙ia. And this term, as we have already observed, when our own countrymen themselves also wished to interpret it by a single term, was by them rendered piety, whereas piety means more commonly what the Greeks call eusebeia. But because qeosebeia cannot be translated perfectly by any one word, it is better translated by two,so as to render it rather by “the worship ofGod.” That this is the wisdom of man, aswe have already laid down in the twelfth book2 of this work, is shown by the authorityof Holy Scripture, in the book of God’s servant Job, where we read that the Wisdom of God said to man, “Behold piety, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is knowledge;”3 or, as some have translated the Greek word episuhmhn, “learning,”4 which certainly takes its name from learning,5 whence also it may be called knowledge. For everything is learned in order that it may be known. Although the same word, indeed,6 is employed in a different sense, where any one suffers evils for his sins, that he may be corrected. Whence is that in the Epistle to the Hebrews, “For what son is he to whom the father giveth not discipline?” And this is still more apparent in the same epistle: “Now no chastening7 for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.”8 Therefore God Himself is the chiefest wisdom; but the worship of God is the wisdom of man, of which we now speak. For “the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.”9 It is in respect to this wisdom, therefore, which is the worship of God, that Holy Scripture says, “The multitude of the wise is the welfare of the world.”10

1402 2. But if to dispute of wisdom belongs to wise men, what shall we do? Shall we dare indeed to profess wisdom, test it should be mere impudence for ourselves to dispute about it? Shall we not be alarmed by the example of Pythagoras?—who dared not profess to be a wise man, but answer answered hat he was a to be a wise man, but philosopher, i.e., a lover of wisdom; whence arose the name, that became thenceforth so much the popular name, that no matter how great the learning wherein any one excelled, either in his own opinion or that of others, in things pertaining to wisdom, he was still called nothing more than philosopher. Or was it for this reason that no one, even of such as these, dared to profess himself a wise man,—because they imagined that a wise man was one without sin? But our Scriptures do not say this, which say, “Rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.”11 For doubtless he who thinks a man ought to be rebuked, judges him to have sin. However, for my part, I dare not profess myself a wise man even in this sense; it is enough for me to assume, what they themselves cannot deny, that to dispute of wisdom belongs also to the philosopher, i.e., the lover of wisdom. For they have not given over so disputing who have professed to be lovers of wisdom rather than wise men.

1403 3. In disputing, then, about wisdom, they have defined it thus: Wisdom is the knowledge of things human and divine. And hence, in the last book, I have not withheld the admission, that the cognizance of both subjects, whether divine or human, may be called both knowledge and wisdom.12 But according to the distinction made in the apostle’s words, “To one is given the word of wisdom, to another the word of knowledge,”13 this definition is to be divided, so that the knowledge of things divine shall be called wisdom, and that of things human appropriate to itself the name of knowledge; and of the latter I have treated in the thirteenth book, not indeed so as to attribute to this knowledge everything whatever that can be known by man about things human, wherein there is exceeding much of empty vanity and mischievous curiosity, but only those things by which that most wholesome faith, which leads to true blessedness, is begotten, nourished, defended, strengthened; and in this knowledge most of the faithful are not strong, however exceeding strong in the faith itself. For it is one thing to know only what man ought to believe in order to attain to a blessed life, which must needs be an eternal one; but another to know in what way this belief itself may both help the pious, and be defended against the impious, which last the apostle seems to call by the special name of knowledge. And when I was speaking of this knowledge before, my especial business was to commend faith, first briefly distinguishing things eternal from things temporal, and there discoursing of things temporal; but while deferring things eternal to the present book, I showed also that faith respecting things eternal is itself a thing temporal, and dwells in time in the hearts of believers, and yet is necessary in order to attain the things eternal themselves.14 I argued also, that faith respecting the things temporal which He that is eternal did and suffered for us as man, which manhood He bare in time and carried on to things eternal, is profitable also for the obtaining of things eternal; and that the virtues themselves, whereby in this temporal and mortal life men live prudently, bravely, temperately, and justly, are not true virtues, unless they are referred to that same faith, temporal though it is, which leads on nevertheless to things eternal.

Chapter 2.—There is a Kind of Trinity in the Holding, Contemplating, and Loving of Faith Temporal, But One that Does Not Yet Attain to Being Properly an Image of God.

1404 4. Wherefore since, as it is written, “While we are in the body, we are absent from the Lord; for we walk by faith, not by sight;”15 undoubtedly, so long as the just man lives by faith,16 howsoever he lives according to the inner man, although he aims at truth and reaches on to things eternal by this same temporal faith, nevertheless in the holding, contemplating, and loving this temporal faith, we have not yet reached such a trinity as is to be called an image of God; lest that should seem to be constituted in things temporal which ought to be so in things eternal. For when the human mind sees its own faith, whereby it believes what it does not see, it does not see a thing eternal. For that will not always exist, which certainly will not then exist, when this pilgrimage, whereby we are absent from God, in such way that we must needs walk by faith, shall be ended, and that sight shall have succeeded it whereby we shall see face to face;17 just as now, because we believe although we do not see, we shall deserve to see, and shall rejoice at having been brought through faith to sight. For then it will be no longer faith, by which that is believed which is not seen; but sight, by which that is seen which is believed. And then, therefore, although we remember this past mortal life, and call to mind by recollection that we once believed what we did not see, yet that faith will be reckoned among things past and done with, not among things present and always continuing. And hence also that trinity which now consists in the remembering, contemplating, and loving this same faith while present and continuing, will then be found to be done with and past, and not still enduring. And hence it is to be gathered, that if that trinity is indeed an image of God, then this image itself would have to be reckoned, not among things that exist always, but among things transient.

Augustin - Trinity 1319