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V. 16


Augustine ,






of the


r Testament

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The Sermons of S. Augustine, besides their other excel-
lencies, furnish a beautiful picture of perhaps the deepest and
most powerful mind of the Western Church adapting itself
to the little ones of Christ. In them, he who has furnished
the mould for all the most thoughtful minds for fourteen
hundred years, is seen forming with loving tenderness the
babes in Christ. Very touching is the child-like simplicity,
with which he gradually leads them through what to them
were difficulties, watching all the while whether he made
himself clear to them, keeping up their attention, pleased at
their understanding, dreading their approbation, and leading
them off from himself to some practical result. Very touch-
ing the tenderness with which he at times reproves, the
allowance which he makes for human infirmities and for those
in secular life, if they will not make their infirmities their
boast, or in allowed duties and indulgences forget God.
But his very simplicity precludes the necessity of any
preface. His Sermons explain themselves. They appear
from a passage in the Commentary on the Psalms to have
been often taken down in writing at the time by the more
attentive sort of hearers, (as were those of S. Chrysostora;)
Possidius states that this was done from the commencement
of his presbyterate, and that " thence * through the body of
Africa, excellent doctrine and the most sweet savour of
« Vit. c. 7.


Christ was diffused and made manifest, the Church of God
beyond seas, when it heard thereof, partaking of the joy."
Those on the New Testament have been now selected, both
as furnishing a comment, and as a gradual introduction to
what is found in a larger measure elsewhere, the spiritual
interpretation of Holy Scripture. It will doubtless seem
strange to some at first sight that the spiritual meaning of
numbers, for instance, should be made a part of religious
instruction. And yet, it might not require any great diffi-
dence to think that St. Augustine knew better than any of
us, the tendency and effects of his mode of teaching upon
minds, which he evidently treated with such tender care, and
that they Avho have entered into that system can estimate it's
value better than they who have not. It will appear also,
probably, that a system which sees a meaning every where
in Holy Scripture is more reverential than one which over-
looks it; as, on the other hand, as a fact, the anti-mystical
interpretation has both in ancient and modern times stood
connected with a cold rationalism, and with heresy. This
is, however, a large subject, upon which this does not
seem the place to enter, since such interpretations are here
only incidental and subordinate, and it is here intended only
to give a practical warning. Those who close their eyes, of
course, never see. The eye also requires to be insensibly
familiarized with what, as new, is strange to it. But whoever
will not set himself against what is in fact the received mode
of interpretation of the Church, will be insensibly won by it,
and will have his reward. The interpretations of St. Au-
gustine were, as he himself often says, sought by his own
prayers and the prayers of his people, and will, to those who
receive them, open a rich variety of meaning and instruction.
One might instance, of the niost solemn sort, the analogy
of the three dead, whom our Lord raised, with the three
stages of sin, consent, act, and habit, as an aflecting and


impressive specimen of this mode of instruction, which has
been adopted, in a manner, by the spiritual perception of the
Western Church.

On his directly practical teaching, it will be borne in
mind, that to him the Church is mainly indebted for the
overthrow of Pelagianism, and the vindication of the doctrine
of the free grace of God. When then he insists, as he does
so frequently, on the value of good works and especially
almsgiving, to which he seems to recur with such especial
sympathy, it will not be hastily thought that so deep and
consistent a thinker, and so imbued with Divine truth, was at
variance with himself and with it, and we may in his teaching
gain more constraining motives to encourage ourselves and
others, if so one great stain of our times, the neglect
of Christ's poor, may be mitigated or effaced. On the
other hand, when he speaks of heresy, he speaks of
what he had himself been; of the nothingness of this
woi'ld's pleasures and applause, of what he had himself,
when unbaptized, too miserably tasted; of Christ's power
to save out of them, what he had himself felt ; of the grace
of God, what he had himself used ; of the value of alms,
as having himself given up what was his''; of humility,
as shewing it in the very language in which he praises it ;
of the joys of Heaven, and the love of God, as that for which
he had abandoned freely and for ever all on earth, for which
he was daily labouring, enduring, sighing.

It remains to say, that the text used is that of the Bene-
dictines, in wdiich their large resources in MSS liave been

•> This he did immediately on bis and all who lived with him, [his Clergy

conversion ; Possidius says, " He made under monastic rule, J out of the returns

no will, because as a poor man of God of the possessions of the Church, or the

(pauper Dei) he bad nothing whereof to oblations of the faithful." c. 23. Possi-

make one." (c. ult.) The poor, Possidius dius speaks, c. 4. how the report of

calls his " compauperes," of whom he " the continency and deep poverty of

says"he was ever mindful, and supplied his monastery," won those separated

them out of the same sources as himself from the Church.


SO excellently employed, and that the Editors are indebted
for the translation to the Rev. R. G. Macmullen, M.A.
Fellow of Corpus Christi College.

E. B. P.

Christ Church,

Feast of S. Barnabas,



Sebm. 1. (Ben. 51.) Of the agreement of the Evangelists Matthew and
Luke in the generations of the Lord. Page 1

2. (52.) Of the words of St. Matthew's Gospel, chap. iii. " Jesus

cometh from Galilee to Jordan unto John to he haptized of Him,"
Concerning the Trinity. 33

3. (53.) On the words of the Gospel, Matt. v. " Blessed are the poor

in spirit, &c." but especially on that, " Blessed are the pure in
heart, for they shall see God." 48

4. (54.) On that that is written in the Gospel, Matt. v. " Let your light

so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify
your Father Which is in heaven :" and contrariwise, chap. vi. " Take
heed that ye do not your righteousness before men to be seen of
them." 60

5. (55.) On the words of the Gospel, Matt. v. " Whosoever shall say to

his broth(°r, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire." 63

6. (56.) On the Lord's Prayer in St Matthew's Gospel, chap. vi. To

the Competentes. 67

7. (57.) Again, on Matt. vi. On the Lord's Prayer. To the Com-

petentes. 81

8. (58.) Again, on the Lord's Prayer, Matt. vi. To the Competentes. 90

9. (59.) Again, on the Lord's Prayer, Matt. vi. To the Competentes. 99

10. (60.) On the words of the Gospel, Matt. vi. " Lay not up for your-

selves treasures upon earth," &c. An exhortation to alms-deeds. 102

11. (61.) On the words of the Gospel, Matt. vii. " Ask, and it shall be
given you;" &c. An exhortation to alms-deeds. 113

12. (62.) On the words of the Gospel, Matt. viii. " I am not worthy that

thou shouldest come under my roof, &c." and of the words of the
Apostle, 1 Cor. viii. " For if any man see him which hath knowledge,
sit at meat in the idol's temple," &c. 122


13. (63.) On the words of the Gospel, Matt. viii. " And when He was

entered into a ship," &c. 136

14. (64.) On the words of the Gospel, Matt. x. " Behold, I send you

forth as sheep in the midst of wolves," &c. (^Delivered on a Festival
of Martyrs.) 137

15. (65.) On the words of the Gospel, Matt. x. " Fear not them which
kill the hody." {Delivered on a Festival of Martyrs.) 139

16. (66.) On the words of the Gospel, Matt. xi. " Now when John had

heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples,
and said unto Him, Art thou He that should come, or do we look for
another?" &c. 145

17. (67.) On the words of the Gospel, Matt. xi. " I confess to Thee, O
Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because Thou hast hid these things
from the wise," &c. 149

18. (68.) Again on the words of the Gospel, Matt, xi. " I confess to

Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth," &c, 156

19. (69.) On the words of the Gospel, Matt. xi. " Come unto Me, all ye

that labour and are heavy laden," &c, 160

20. (70.) Again on the words of the Gospel, Matt, xi, " Come unto Me,

all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will refresh you," &c. 163

21. (71.) On the words of the Gospel, Matt. xii. " Whosoever speaketh
a word against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither
in this world, neither in the world to come.'" Or, " on the blasphemy
against the Holy Ghost." 166

22. (72.) On the words of the Gospel, Matt. xii. " Either make the tree

good, and his ftuit good," &c. 197

23. (73 ) On the words of the Gospel, ]\Iatt. xiii. where the Lord Jesus

explaineth the parables of the sower. 201

24. (74.) On the words of the Gospel, Matt. xiii. " Therefore every

Scribe instructed in the kingdom of God," &c. 204

26. (75.) On the words of the Gospel, Matt. xiv. " But the ship was in

the midst of the sea, tossed with waves." 208

26. (76.) Again on Matt, xiv, " Of the Lord walking on the waves of

the sea, and of Peter tottering." 215

27. (77.) On the words of the Gospel, Matt. xv. " Jesus went from
Gennesareth, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon. And,
behold, a woman of Canaan," &c. 220

28. (78.) On the words of the Gospel, Matt. xvii. "After six days Jesus
took Peter, and James, and John his brother, &c." 231

29. (79.) Again on the words of the Gospel, Matt. xvii. where Jesus
shewed Himself on the mount to His three disciples. 235

30. (80.) On the words of the Gospel, Matt, xvii, " Why could not we
cast him out, &c." and on prayer. 236


31. (81.) On the words of the Gospel, Matt, xviii. where we are
admonished to beware of the offences of the world. 244

32. (82.) On the words of the Gospel, Matt, xviii. " If thy brother shall
sin against thee, rebuke him between thee and him alone;" and of the
words of Solomon, " he that winketh with the eyes deceitfully, heapeth
sorrow upon men; but he that reproveth openly, maketh peace." 254

33. (83.) On the words of the Gospel, Matt, xviii. " How often shall my

brother sin against me," &c. 266

34. (84.) On the words of the Gospel, Matt. xix. " If thou wilt enter

into life, keep the commandments." 273

35. (85.) On the words of the Gospel, Matt. xix. " If thou wilt enter into
life, keep the commandments." 275

36. (86.) On the words of the Gospel, Matt. xix. " Go, sell all that thou

hast, and give to the poor," &c. 280

37. (87.) Delivered on the Lord's Day, on that which is written in the

Gospel, Matt. xx. " The kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that
is an householder, who sent labourers into his vineyard." 291

38. (88.) On the words of the Gospel, Matt xx. about the two blind men

sitting by the way side, and crying out, " Have mercy on us, O Lord,
thou Son of David." 303

39. (89.) On the words of the Gospel, Matt. xxi. " where Jesus dried up

the fig-tree," and on the words, Luke xxiv. " where He made a pre-
tence as though He would go further." 325

40. (90.) On the words of the Gospel, Matt. xxii. about the marriage of

the king's son; against the Donatists, on Charity. Delivered at
Carthage in the Restituta. 333

41. (91.) On the words of the Gospel, Matt. xxii. where the Lord asked

the Jews whose son they said David was. 345

42. (92.) On the same words of the Gospel, Matt. xxii. 352

43. (93.) On the words of the Gospel, Matt. xxv. " The kingdoni of
heaven shall be like unto ten virgins." 355

44. (94.) On the words of the Gospel, Matt. xxv. where the slothful

servant who would not put out the talent he had received, is con-
demned. 364

45. (95.) On the words of the Gospel, Mark viii. where the miracle of

the seven loaves is related. 365

46. (96.) On the words of the Gospel, Mark viii. " Whosoever will

come after Me, let him deny himself;" &c. And on the words 1 John
2. " Whoso loveth the world, the love of the Father is not in him." 370

47. (97.) On the words of the Gospel, Mark xiii. " But of that day or

hour knoweth no man, no not the Angels which are in heaven, neither
the Son, but the Father." 377

48. (98.) On the words of the Gospel, Luke vii. on the three dead per-

sons whom the Lord raised. 380


49. (99.) On the words of the Gospel, Luke vii. " And behold a woman

in the city which was a sinner," &c. On the remission of sins, against
the Donatists. 387

50. (100.) On the words of the Gospel, Luke ix. where the case of the

three persons is treated of, of whom one said, " Lord, I will follow
Thee whithersoever Thou goest," and was disallowed: another did not
dare to offer himself, and was aroused; the third wished to delay, and
was blamed. 397

51. (101.) On the words of the Gospel, Luke x. " The harvest truly is

great," &c. 401

52. (102.) On the words of the Gospel, Luke x. " He that despiseth
you, despiseth Me." 410

53. (103.) On the words of the Gospel, Luke x. " And a certain woman

named Martha, received Him into her house," &c. 413

54. (104.) Again, on the words of the Gospel, Luke x. about Martha

and Mary. 417

55. (105.) On the words of the Gospel^ Luke xi. " Which of you shall

have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight," &c. 421

56. (106.) On the words of the Gospel, Luke xi. " Now do ye Pharisees

wash the outside of the platter," &c. 431

57. (IO7.) On the words of the Gospel, Luke xii. " I say unto you.

Beware of all covetousness." 435

58. (108.) On the words of the Gospel, Luke xii. " Let your loins be

girded about, and your lights burning, and ye yourselves like," &c.
And on the words of the Psalm, " Who is the man that wisheth for
life," &c. 443

59. (109.) On the Avords of the Gospel, Luke xii. "Ye can discern the
face of the sky and of the earth," &c. And of the words, '* If thou
goest with thine adversary to the magistrate, in the way give fliligence
to be delivered from him," &c. 448

60. (110.) On the words of the Gospel, Luke xiii. where we are told of

the fig tree, which bare no fruit for three years ; and of the woman
which was in an infirmity eighteen years; and on the words of the
ninth Psalm, " Arise, O Lord, let not man prevail ; let the nations be
judged in Thy sight." 451

61 (111.) On the words of the Gospel, Luke xiii. where the kingdom of
God is said to be " like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three
measures of meal;" and of that which is written in the same chapter,
" Lord, are there few that be saved?" 456

62. (112.) On the words of the Gospel, Luke xiv. " A certain man made
a great supper," &c. (^Delwered in the basilica Restituta.) 458

63. (113.) On the words of the Gospel, Luke xvi. " Make to yourselves
friends of the mammon of iniquity," &c, 465


64. (114.) On the words of the Gospel, Luke xvii. " If thy brother shall

sin against thee, rebuke him," &c. touching the remission of sins.
(^Delivered at the TableofSt. Cyprian,inthe presence of Count Boniface.)

65. (115.) On the words of the Gospel, Luke xviii. " Men ought always

to pray and not to faint," &c. And on the two who went up into the
temple to pray : and of the little children who were presented unto
Christ. 475

66. (116.) On the words of the Gospel, Luke xxiv. " Jesus stood in the
midst of them and said unto them, Peace be unto you," &c. 480




SERMON I. [LI. Ben.]

Of the agreement of the Evangelists Matthew and Luke in the generations

of the Lord.

1. May He, beloved, fulfil your expectation Who hatli
awakened it : for though I feel confident that what I have
to say is not ray own, but God's, yet with far more reason do
I say, what the Apostle in his humility saith, JVe have tliis^ ^°^'"
treasure in earthen vessels, tliat the excellencij of the power
may he of God, and not of us. I do not doubt accordingly
that you remember my promise ; in Him I made it through
Whom I now fulfil it, for both when I made the promise,
did I ask of the Lord, and now when I fulfil it, do I
receive of Him. Now you will remember, beloved, that it was
in the matins of the festival of the Lord's Nativity, that I
put off the question which I had proposed for resolution,
because many came with us to the celebration of the ac-
customed solemnities of that day to whom the word of God
is usually burdensome ; but now I imagine that none have
come here, but they who desire to hear, and so I am not
speaking to hearts that arc deaf, and to minds that will
disdain the word, but this yonr longing expectation is a
prayer for me. There is a further consideration; for the day
of the public shows' has dispersed many from hence, fonmuue-
whose salvation I exhort you to share my great anxiety, and '"'®*
do you witli all earnestness of mind, iutreat God for tliosc


•2 Our Lord Sf His Mart t/rs flic (jloriousspectaclesofthe Church.

Seum. who are not yet intent upon the spectacles of the truth, but
rgj p-iare wholly given up to the spectacles of the flesh; for I know
and am well assured, tliat there are now among you those who
have this day despised thein, and have burst the bonds of
their inveterate habits ; for men are changed both for the
better and the worse. By daily instances of this kind are we
alternately made joyful and sad; we joy over the reformed,
are sad over the corrupted ; and therefore the Lord doth not
Mat.JO, say that he who beginneth, shall be saved, But he that
enduretli unto the end shall he saved.

2. Now what more marvellous, what more magnificent
thing could our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and also
the Son of Man, (for this also He vouchsafed to be,) grant to
us, than the gathering into His fold not only of the spectators
of these foolish shows, but even some of the actors in them;
» ipsos for He hath combated ' unto salvation not only the lovers of
res ve- the combats of men with beasts, but even the combatants
natus themselves, for He also was made a spectacle Himself. Hear
salutem. how. He hath told us Himself, and foretold it before He was
made a spectacle, and in the words of prophecy announced be-
forehand what was to come to pass, as if it were already done,
Ps 22, saying in the Psalms, TJiey pierced My hands and My feety
they told all My hones. IjO ! how He was made a spectacle,
for His bones to be told ! and this spectacle He expresseth
more plainly, they observed and looked tfpon Me. He was
made a spectacle and an object of derision, made a spectacle
by them who were to shew Him no favour indeed in that
spectacle, but who were to be furious against Him, just as at
first He made His martyrs spectacles; as saith the Apostle,.
1 Cor. fy(> are made a spectacle unto the world, and to anyels, and
' to men. Now two sorts of men are spectators of such spec-

tacles; the one, carnal, the other, spiritual men. The carnal
look on, as thinking those martyrs who are thrown to the
beasts, or beheaded, or burnt in the flames, to be wretched
irien, and they detest and abhor them ; but others look on, like
the holy Angels, not regarding the laceration of their bodies,
but admiring the unimpaired purity of their faith. A grand
spectacle to the eyes of the heart doth a whole mind in a
mangled body exhibit! When these things are read of in the
church, you behold them with pleasure with these eyes of

InXt, shame brings victory ; in the world, victory brings shame. ^

the heart, for if you were to behold nothing, you would hear Sbrm.
nothing; so you see you have not neglected the spectacles rsj 3 i
to-day, but have made a choice of spectacles. May God then
be with you, and give you grace with gentle persuasiveness
to report your spectacles to your friends, whom you have
been pained to see this day running to the amphitheatre, and
unwilling to come to the church ; that so they too may begin
to contemn those things, by the love of which themselves have
become contemptible, and may, with you, love God, of Whom
none who love Him can ever be ashamed, for that they love
Him Who cannot be overcome : let them, as you do, love
Christ, Who by that very thing wherein He seemed to be
overcome, overcame the whole world. For He hath over-
come the whole world as we see, my brethren ; He hath sub-
jected all powers. He hath subjugated kings, not with the
pride of soldiery, but by the ignominy of the Cross : not by
the fury of the sword, but by hanging on the Wood, by suffer-
ing in the body, by working in the Spirit ^ His Body was'spirita-
lifted up on the Cross, and so He subdued souls to the Cross, '^^'^
and now what jewel in their diadem is more precious than the
Cross of Christ on the foreheads of kings? In loving Him you
will never be ashamed. Whereas from the amphitheatre how
many return conquered, because those ai'e conquered, for
whom they ai'e so madly interested! still more would they be
conquered were they to conquer. For so would they be
enslaved to the vain joy, to the exultation of a depraved desire,
who are conquered by the very circumstance of running to
these shows. For how many, my brethren, do you think have
this day been in hesitation whether they would go here or
there? And they who in this hesitation, turning their thoughts
to Christ, have run to the church, have overcome, not any
man, but the devil himself, him that hunteth^ after the souls ^ venaio-
of the whole world. But they who in that hesitation have'^^'"
chosen rather to run to the amphitheatre, have assuredly been
overcome by him whom the others overcame — overcame in
Him Who saith. Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. Johnic,
For the Captain suffered Himself to be tried, only that He
might teach His soldiers to fight.

3. That our Lord Jesus Christ might do this, He became ii.
the Son of man by being born of a woman. But now, would

B 2

•J Our Lord hectiine Man, born oj a iconuin^ui merctjtoeach se

Serm. lie have been any less a man, if lie had nol been born of
[51. B.i ^^^^ Virgin Mary," one may say. " He willed to be a man; well
and good; He might have so been, and yet not be born of a
woman ; for neither did He make the first man whom He
made, of a woman." Now see what answer I make to this.
You say, Why did He choose to be born of a woman ? I
answer, Why should He avoid being born of a woman ?
Granted that I could not shew that He chose to be born of
a woman; do you shew why He need have avoided it. But
I have already said at other times, that if He had avoided
the womb of a woman, it might have betokened, as it wx're,
that He could have contracted defilement from her; but by
how much He was in His own substance more incapable of
defilement, by so much less had He cause to fear the
woman's womb, as though He could contract defilement
liom it. liut by being born of a woman, He pui-posed to

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