Augustin on John 100

Tractate CI.

101 (Jn 16,16-23.

1). These words of the Lord, when He says, “A little while, and ye shall no more see me: and again a little while, and ye shall see me; because I go to the Father,” were so obscure to the disciples, before what He thus says was actually fulfilled, that they inquired among themselves what it was that He said, and had to confess themselves utterly ignorant. For the Gospel proceeds, “Then said some of His disciples among themselves, What is this that He saith unto us, A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again a little while, and ye shall see me; and, Because I go to the Father? They said therefore, What is this that He saith, A little while we know not what He saith.” This is what moved them, that He said, “A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again a little while, and ye shall see me.” For in what precedes, because He had not said, “A little while,” but only, “I go to the Father and ye shall see me no more,”1 He appeared to them to have spoken, as it were, quite plainly, and they had no inquiry among themselves, regarding it. But now, what was then obscure to them, and was shortly afterwards revealed, is already perfectly manifest to us: for after a little while He suffered, and they saw Him not; again, after a little while He rose, and they saw Him. But how the words are to be taken that He used, “Ye shall no more see me,” inasmuch as by the word “more”2 He wished it to be understood that they would not see Him afterwards, we have explained at the passage where He said, The Holy Spirit “shall convince of righteousness, because I go to the Father, and ye shall see me no more;”3 meaning thereby, that they would never afterwards see Christ in His present state of subjection to death.

2. “Now Jesus knew,” as the evangelist proceeds to say, “that they were desirous to ask Him, and said unto them, Ye inquire among yourselves of that I said, A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again a little while, and ye shall see me. Verily verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice; and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy:” which may be understood in this way, that the disciples were thrown into sorrow over the death of the Lord, and straightway were filled with joy at His resurrection; but the world, whereby are signified the enemies that slew Christ, were, of course, in a state of rapture over the murder of Christ, at the very time when the disciples were filled with sorrow. For by the name of the world the wickedness of this world may be understood; in other words, those who are the friends of this world. As the Apostle James says in his epistle, “Whosoever will be a friend of this world, is become the enemy of God;”4 for the effect of that enmity to God was, that not even His Only-begotten was spared.

3. And then He goes on to say, “A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world. And ye now therefore have sorrow; but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.” Nor does the metaphor here employed seem difficult to understand; for its key is at hand in the exposition given by Himself of its meaning. For the pangs of parturition are compared to sorrow, and the birth itself to joy; which is usually all the greater when it is not a girl but a boy that is born. But when He said, “Your joy no man taketh from you,” for their joy was Jesus Himself, there is implied what was said by the apostle, “Christ, being raised from the dead, dieth no more; and death shall have no more dominion over Him.”5

4. Hitherto in this section of the Gospel, whereon we are discoursing to-day, the tenor of everything has been, I may say, of easy understanding: a much closer attention is needful in connection with the words that follow. For what does He mean by the words, “And in that day ye shall ask me nothing”? The verb to ask, used here, means not only to beg of, but also to question; and the Greek Gospel, of which this is a translation, has a word that may also be understood in both senses, so that by it the ambiguity is not removed;6 and even though it were so, every difficulty would not thereby disappear. For we read that the Lord Christ, after He rose again, was both questioned and petitioned. He was asked by the disciples, on the eve of His ascension into heaven, when He would be manifested, and when the kingdom of Israel would come;7 and even when already in heaven, He was petitioned [asked] by St. Stephen to receive his spirit.8 And who dare either think or say that Christ ought not to be asked, sitting as He does in heaven, and yet was asked while He abode on earth? or that He ought not to be asked in His state of immortality, although it was men’s duty to ask Him while still in His state of subjection to death? Nay, beloved, let us ask Him to untie with His own hands the knot of our present inquiry, by so shining into our hearts that we may perceive what He saith.

5. For I think that His words, “But I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you,” are not to be referred to the time of His resurrection, and when He showed them His flesh to be looked at and handled;9 but rather to that of which He had already said, “He that loveth me, shall be loved of my Father; and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.”10 For He had already risen, He had already shown Himself to them in the flesh, and He was already sitting at the right hand of the Father, when that same Apostle John, whose Gospel this is, says in his epistle, “Beloved, now are we the sons of God; and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall be manifested, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is.”11 That vision belongs not to this life, but to the future; and is not temporal, but eternal. “And this is life eternal,” in the words of Him who is that life, “that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent.”12 Of this vision and knowledge the apostle says, “Now we see through a glass, in a riddle; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”13 At present the Church is in travail with the longing for this fruit of all her labor, but then she shall bring to the birth in its actual contemplation; now she travails in birth with groaning, then shall she bring forth in joy; now she travails in birth through her prayers, then shall she bring forth in her praises. Thus, too, is it a male child; since to such fruit in the contemplation are all the duties of her present conduct to be referred. For He alone is free; because He is desired on His own account, and not in reference to aught besides. Such conduct is in His service; for whatever is done in a good spirit has a reference to Him, because it is done on His behalf; while He, on the other hand, is got and held in possession on His own account, and not on that of aught besides. And there, accordingly, we find the only end that is satisfying to ourselves. He will therefore be eternal; for no end can satisfy us, save that which is found in Him who is endless. With this was Philip inspired, when he said, “Show us the Father, and it sufficeth us.” And in that showing the Son gave promise also of His own presence, when He said, “Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me?”14 Of that, therefore, which alone sufficeth us, we are very appropriately informed, “Your joy no man taketh from you.”

6. On this point, also, in reference to what has been said above, I think we may get a still better understanding of the words, “A little while, and ye shall no more see me: and again a little while, and ye shall see me.” For the whole of that space over which the present dispensation extends, is but a little while; and hence this same evangelist says in his epistle, “It is the last hour.”15 For in this sense also He added, “Because I go to the Father,” which is to be referred to the preceding clause, where He saith, “A little while, and ye shall no more see me;” and not to the subsequent, where He saith, “And again a little while, and ye shall see me.” For by His going to the Father, He was to bring it about that they should not see Him. And on this account, therefore, His words did not mean that He was about to die, and to be withdrawn from their view till His resurrection; but that He was about to go to the Father, which He did after His resurrection, and when, after holding intercourse with them for forty days, He ascended into heaven.16 He therefore addressed the words, “A little while, and ye shall no more see me,” to those who saw Him at the time in bodily form; because He was about to go to the Father, and never thereafter to be seen in that mortal state wherein they now beheld Him when so addressing them. But the words that He added, “And again a little while, and ye shall see me,” He gave as a promise to the Church universal: just as to it, also, He gave the other promise, “Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the world.”17 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise: a little while, and we shall see Him, where we shall have no more any requests to make, any questions to put; for nothing shall remain to be desired, nothing lie hid to be inquired about. This little while appears long to us, because it is still in continuance; when it is over, we shall then feel what a little while it was. Let not, then, our joy be like that of the world, whereof it is said, “But the world shall rejoice;” and yet let not our sorrow in travailing in birth with such a desire be unmingled with joy; but, as the apostle says, be “rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation;”18 for even the woman in travail, to whom we are compared, has herself more joy over the offspring that is soon to be, than sorrow over her present pains. But let us here close our present discourse, for the words that follow contain a very trying question, and must not be unduly curtailed, so that they may, if the Lord will, obtain a more befitting explanation.

1 Chap. 16,10.
2 The English version has here, “Ye shall not see me,” reading ouj in the original, with the Alexandrine Codex. Several of the others, however (including the Sinaitic), have oujkevti (“no more”), rendered by Augustin jam non, which has thus the greater weight of authority on its side.-Tr.
3 Above, Tract. XCV.
4 (Jc 4,4).
5 (Rm 6,9,
6 Greek, ejrwthvsete.
7 (Ac 1,6,
8 (Ac 7,59,
9 Chap. 20,27.
10 Chap. 14,21.
11 (1Jn 3,2,
12 Chap. 17,3.
13 (1Co 13,12,
14 Chap. 14,8, 10.
15 (1Jn 2,18).
16 (Ac 1,3 Ac 1,9.
17 (Mt 28,20,
18 (Rm 12,12,

Tractate CII.

102 (Jn 16,23-28

1). We have now to consider these words of the Lord, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, If ye shall ask anything of the Father in my name, He will give it you.” It has already been said in the earlier portions of this discourse of our Lord’s, on account of those who ask some things of the Father in Christ’s name and receive them not, that there is nothing asked of the Father in the Saviour’s name that is asked in contrariety to the method of salvation.1 For it is not the sound of the letters and syllables, but what the sound itself imports, and what is rightly and truly to be understood by that sound, that He is to be regarded as declaring, when He says, “in my name.” Hence, he who has such ideas of Christ as ought not to be entertained of the only Son of God, asketh not in His name, even though he may not abstain from the mention of Christ in so many letters and syllables; since it is only in His name he asketh, of whom he is thinking when he asketh. But he who has such ideas of Him as ought to be entertained, asketh in His name, and receiveth what he asketh, if he asketh nothing that is contrary to his own everlasting salvation. And he receiveth it when he ought to receive it. For some things are not refused, but are delayed till they can be given at a suitable time. In this way, surely, we are to understand His words, “He will give you,” so that thereby we may know that those benefits are signified which are properly applicable to those who ask. For all the saints are heard effectively2 in their own behalf, but are not so heard in behalf of all besides, whether friends or enemies, or any others: for it is not said in a general kind of way, “He will give;” but, “He will give you.”

2. “Hitherto,” He says, “ye have not asked anything in my name. Ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.” This that He calls a full joy is certainly no carnal joy, but a spiritual one; and when it shall be so great as to be no longer capable of any additions to it, it will then doubtless be full. Whatever, then, is asked as belonging to the attainment of this joy, is to be asked in the name of Christ, if we understand the grace of God, and if we are truly in quest of a blessed life. But if aught different from this is asked, there is nothing asked: not that the thing itself is nothing at all, but that in comparison with what is so great, anything else that is coveted is virtually nothing. For, of course, the man is not actually nothing, of whom the apostle says, “He who thinketh himself to be something, when he is nothing.”3 But surely in comparison with the spiritual man, who knows that by the grace of God he is what he is, he who makes vain assumptions is nothing. In this way, then, may the words also be rightly understood, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, if ye shall ask anything of the Father in my name, He will give [it] you;” that by the words, “if anything,” should not be understood anything whatever, but anything that is not really nothing in connection with the life of blessedness. And what follows, “Hitherto ye have not asked anything in my name,” may be understood in two ways: either, that ye have not asked in my name, because a name that ye have not known as it is yet to be known; or, ye have not asked anything, since in comparison with that which ye ought to have asked, what ye have asked is to be accounted as nothing. In order, then, that, they may ask in His name, not that which is nothing, but a full joy (since anything different from this that they ask is virtually nothing), He addresses to them the exhortation, “Ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full;” that is, ask this in my name, that your joy may be full, and ye shall receive. For His saints, who persevere in asking such a good thing as this, will in no wise be defrauded by the mercy of God.

3. “These things,” said He, “have I spoken to you in proverbs: but the hour cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall show you plainly of my Father.” I might be disposed to say that this hour, whereof He speaketh, must be understood as that future period when we shall see openly, as the blessed Paul says, “face to face;” that what He says, “These things have I spoken to you in proverbs,” is one with what has been said by the same apostle, “Now we see through a glass, in a riddle:”4 and “I will show you,” because the Father shall be seen through the instrumentality of the Son, is akin to what He says elsewhere, “Neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and [he] to whom the Son shall be pleased to reveal Him.”5 But such a sense seems to be interfered with by that which follows: “At that day ye shall ask in my name.” For in that future world, when we have reached the kingdom where we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is,6 what shall we then have to ask, when our desire shall be satisfied with good things?7 As it is also said in another psalm: “I shall be satisfied when Thy glory shall be revealed.”8 For petition has to do with some kind of want, which can have no place there where such abundance shall reign.

4. It remains, therefore, for us, so far as my capacity to apprehend it goes, to understand Jesus as having promised that He would cause His disciples, from being carnal and natural, to become spiritual, although not yet such as we shall be, when a spiritual body shall also be ours; but such as was he who said, “We speak wisdom among them that are perfect;”9 and, “I could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal;”10 and, “We have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Spirit teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural11 man perceiveth not the things of the Spirit of God.” And thus the natural man, perceiving not the things of the Spirit of God, hears in such a way whatever is told him of the nature of God, that he can conceive of nothing else but some bodily form, however spacious or immense, however lustrous and magnificent, yet still a body: and therefore he holds as proverbs all that is said of the incorporeal and immutable substance of wisdom; not that he accounts them as proverbs, but that his thoughts follow the same direction as those who habitually listen to proverbs without understanding them. But when the spiritual man begins to discern all things, and he himself is discerned by no man, he perceives, even though in this life it still be through a glass and in part, not by any bodily sense, and not by any imaginative conception which catches at or devises the likenesses of all sorts of bodies, but by the clearest understanding of the mind, that God is not material, but spiritual: in such a way does the Son show us openly of the Father, that He, who thus shows, is also Himself seen to be of the same substance. And then it is that those who ask, ask in His name; for in the sound of that name they understand nothing else than what the reality is that is called by that name, and harbor not, in vanity or infirmity of mind, the fiction of the Father being in one place, and the Son in another, standing before the Father and making request in our behalf, with the material substances of both occupying each its own place, and the Word pleading verbally for us with Him whose Word He is, while a definite space interposes between the mouth of the speaker and the ears of the hearer; and other such absurdities which those who are natural, and at the same time carnal, fabricate for themselves in their hearts. For any such thing, suggested by the experience of bodily habits, as occurs to spiritual men when thinking of God, they deny and reject, and drive away, like troublesome insects, from the eyes of their mind; and resign themselves to the purity of that light by whose testimony and judgment they prove these bodily images that thrust themselves on their inward vision to be altogether false. These are able to a certain extent to think of our Lord Jesus Christ, in respect of His manhood, as addressing the Father on our behalf; but in respect to His Godhead, as hearing [and answering] us along with the Father. And this I am of opinion that He indicated, when He said, “And I say not that I will pray the Father for you.” But the intuitive perception of this, how it is that the Son asketh not the Father, but that Father and Son alike listen to those who ask, is a height that can be reached only by the spiritual eye of the mind.

5. “For the Father Himself,” He says, “loveth you, because ye have loved me.” Is it the case, then, that He loveth, because we love; or rather, that we love, because He loveth? Let this same evangelist give us the answer out of his own epistle: “We love Him,” he says, “because He first loved us.”12 This, then, was the efficient cause of our loving, that we were loved. And certainly to love God is the gift of God. He it was that gave the grace to love Him, who loved while still unloved. Even when displeasing Him we were loved, that there might be that in us whereby we should become pleasing in His sight. For we could not love the Son unless we loved the Father also. The Father loveth us, because we love the Son; seeing it is of the Father and Son we have received [the power] to love both the Father and the Son: for love is shed abroad in our hearts by the Spirit of both,13 by which Spirit we love both the Father and the Son, and whom we love along with the Father and the Son. God, therefore, it was that wrought this religious love of ours whereby we worship God; and He saw that it is good, and on that account He Himself loved that which He had made. But He would not have wrought in us something He could love, were it not that He loved ourselves before He wrought it.

6. “And ye have believed,” He adds, “that I came out from God. I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again I leave the world, and go to the Father.” Clearly we have believed. For surely it ought not to be accounted a thing incredible because of this, that in coming to the world He came forth in such a sense from the Father that He did not leave the Father behind; and that, on leaving the world, He goes to the Father in such a sense that He does not actually forsake the world. For He came forth from the Father because He is of the Father; and He came into the world, in showing to the world His bodily form, which He had received of the Virgin. He left the world by a bodily withdrawal, He proceeded to the Father by His ascension as man, but He forsook not the world in the ruling activity of His presence.

1 Above, Tract. LXXIII.
2 Exaudiuntur, heard and answered).
3 (Ga 6,3,
4 (1Co 13,12).
5 (Mt 11,27,
6 (1Jn 3,2).
7 (Ps 103,5,
8 (Ps 17,15, the Septuagint translate øt,n:KkkT]k] Åyqh;nÒ hx,NÒC]a,. The Hiphil intransitive form Åyqhe is used, however, only of “awaking” out of sleep, not of “appearing,” or “being manifested;” and hn:KmT] properly means, appearance, form, likeness, although “glory” may in the present connection be implied: so that while the rendering of the Septuagint may be grammatically defensible, “I shall be satisfied when Thy glory is manifested,” yet the strict meaning of the words, the context, and the accentuation, favor that of the English version, “I shall be satisfied, on awaking, with Thy likeness.”-Tr.
9 (1Co 2,6).
10 (1Co 3,1).
11 Animalis).
12 (1Jn 4,19,
13 (Rm 5,5,

Tractate CIII.

Jn 16,29-33.

1). The inward state of Christ’s disciples, when before His passion He talked with them as with children of great things, but in such a way as befitted the great things to be spoken to children, because, having not yet received the Holy Spirit, as they did after His resurrection, either by His own breathing upon them, or by descent from above, they had a mental capacity for the human rather than the divine,-is everywhere declared through the Gospel by numerous testimonies; and of a piece therewith, is what they said in the lesson before us. For, says the evangelist, “His disciples say unto Him: Lo, now speakest Thou plainly, and utterest no proverb. Now we are sure that Thou knowest all things, and needest not that any man should ask Thee: by this we believe that Thou camest forth from God.” The Lord Himself had said shortly before, “These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs: the hour cometh, when I shall no more speak to you in proverbs.” How, then, say they, “Lo, now speakest Thou plainly, and utterest no proverb”? Was the hour, indeed, already come, when He had promised that He would nomore speak unto them in proverbs? Certainlythat such an hour had not yet come, is shown by the continuation of His words, which run in this way: “These things,” said He, have I spoken unto you in proverbs: the hour cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall show you plainly of my Father. At that day ye shall ask in my name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you: for the Father Himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God. I came forth from the Father, and have come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father” (vers. 25-28). Seeing that throughout all these words He is still promising that hour when He shall no more speak in proverbs, but shall show them openly of the Father; the hour, when He says that they will ask in His name, and that He will not pray the Father for them, on the ground that the Father Himself loveth them, and that they also have loved Christ, and have believed that He came forth from the Father, and was come into the world, and was again about to leave the world and go to the Father: when thus that hour is still the subject of promise when He was to speak without proverbs, why say they, “Lo, now speakest Thou plainly, and utterest no proverb;” but just because those things, which He knows to be proverbs to those who have no understanding, they are still so far from understanding, that they do not even understand that they do not understand them? For they were babes, and had as yet no spiritual discernment of what they heard regarding things that had to do not with the body, but with the spirit.

2. And still further admonishing them of their age as still small and infirm in regard to the inner man, “Jesus answered them: Do ye now believe? Behold the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered every man to his own, and shall leave me alone. And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.” He had said shortly before, “I leave the world, and go to the Father;” now He says, “The Father is with me.” Who goes to him who is with him? This is a word to him that understandeth, a proverb to him that understandeth not: and yet in such way that what at present is unintelligible to babes, is in some sort sucked in; and even though it yield them not solid food, which they cannot as yet receive, it denies them not at least a milky diet. It was from this diet that they drew the knowledge that He knew all things, and needed not that any one should ask Him: and, indeed, why they said this, is a topic worthy of inquiry. For one would think they ought rather to have said, Thou needest not to ask any one; not, “That any one should ask Thee.” They had just said, We are sure that Thou knowest all things:” and surely He that knoweth all things is accustomed rather to be questioned by those who do not know, that in reply to their questions they may hear what they wish from Him who knoweth all things; and not to be Himself the questioner, as if wishing to know something, when He knoweth all things. What, then, are we to understand by this, that, when apparently they ought to have said to Him, whom they knew to be omniscient, Thou needest not to ask any man, they considered it more befitting to say, “Thou needest not that any man should ask Thee”? Yea, is it not the case that we read of both being done; to wit, that the Lord both asked, and was asked questions? But this latter is speedily answered: for this was needful not for Him, but for those rather whom He questioned, or by whom He was questioned. For He never questioned any for the purpose of learning anything from them, but for the purpose rather of teaching them. And for those who put questions to Him, as desirous of learning something of Him, it was assuredly needful to be made acquainted with some things by Him who knew everything. And doubtless on the same account also it was that He needed not that any man should ask Him. As it is the case that we, when questioned by those who wish to get some information from us, discover by their very questionings what it is that they wish to know, we therefore need to be questioned by those whom we wish to teach, in order that we may be acquainted with their inquiries that call for an answer: but He, who knew all things, had no need even of that, and as little need had He of discovering by their questions what it was that any one desired to know of Him, for before a question was put, He knew the intention of him who was to put it. But He suffered Himself to be questioned on this account, that He might show to those who were then present, or to those who should either hear the things that were to be spoken or read them when written, what was the character of those by whom He was questioned; and in this way we might come to know both the frauds that were powerless to impose upon Him, and the ways of approach that would turn to our profit in His sight. But to foresee the thoughts of men, and thus to have no need that any one should ask Him, was no great matter for God, but great enough for the babes, who said to Him, “By this we believe that Thou camest forth from God.” A much greater thing it was, for the understanding of which He wished to have their minds expanded and enlarged, that, on their saying, and saying truly, “Thou camest forth from God,” He replied, “The Father is with me;” in order that they should not think that the Son had come forth from the Father in any sense that would lead them to suppose that He had also withdrawn from His presence.

3. And then, in bringing to a close this weighty and protracted discourse, He said, “These things have I spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” The beginning of such tribulation was to be found in that whereof, in order to show that they were infants, to whom, as still wanting in intelligence, and mistaking one thing for another, all the great and divine things He had said were little better than proverbs, He had previously said, “Do ye now believe? Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own.” Such, I say, was the beginning of the tribulation, but not in the same measure of their perseverance. For in adding, “and ye shall leave me alone,” He did not mean that they would be of such a character in the subsequent tribulation, which they should have to endure in the world after His ascension, as thus to desert Him; but that in Him they should have peace by still abiding in Him. But on the occasion of His apprehension, not only did they outwardly abandon His bodily presence, but they mentally abandoned their faith. And to this it is that His words have reference, “Do ye now believe? Behold, the hour cometh, that ye shall be scattered to your own, and shall leave me:” as if He had said, You will then be so confounded as to leave behind you even what you now believe. For they fell into such despair and such a death, so to speak, of their old faith, as was apparent in the case of Cleophas, who, after His resurrection, unaware that he was speaking with Himself, and narrating what had befallen Him, said, “We trusted that it had been He who should have redeemed Israel.”1 That was the way in which they then left Him, abandoning even the very faith wherewith they had formerly believed in Him. But in that tribulation, which they encountered after His glorification and they themselves had received the Holy Spirit, they did not leave Him: and though they fled from city to city, from Himself they did not flee; but in order that, while having tribulation in the world, they might have peace in Him, instead of being fugitives from Him, it was rather Himself that they made their refuge. For in receiving the Holy Spirit, there was wrought in them the very state described to them now in the words, “Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” They were of good cheer, and they conquered. But in whom, save in Him? For He had not overcome the world, were it still to overcome His members. Hence said the apostle, “Thanks be unto God, who giveth us the victory;” and immediately added, “through our Lord Jesus Christ:”2 through Him who had said to His own, “Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

1 (Lc 24,21,
2 (1Co 15,57,

Augustin on John 100