« AnteriorContinuar »
THE THREEFOLD LUST
and am re-absorbed by my former habits, and am held, and weep much, yet am much held. So greatly does the weight of custom press me down! Here I can be, but do not will to be ; there I will to be, but cannot be ; either way, miserable.
The threefold Evil Desire.
"HUS have I considered the diseases of my sins in
Right Hand to save me. For Thy Radiance have I seen with a wounded heart, and being beaten back, I said, “Who can ever attain unto it? I am cast away from the sight of Thine Eyes.”: Thou art the Truth presiding over all things; but I through my covetous
was not willing to lose Thee, but with Thee wanted also to possess a lie ; for no one wishes so to lie as to be himself ignorant of the truth. So then I lost Thee, because Thou deignest not to be possessed together with a lie.
Some unhappily have recourse to Demons, as Medi.
ators, by whom to return to God.
HOM may I find to reconcile me to Thee ? was
I to have recourse to the Angels ? by what prayer ? by what sacraments? Many striving to return to Thee, and not being able of themselves, as I hear,
Ps. xxxi. 22.
A MEDIATOR MUST BE GOD AND MAN
have tried this way, and have fallen into a longing after curious visions, and were accounted worthy of such illusions. For they, puffed up, sought Thee by the pride of learning, elevating rather than beating their breasts, and, by the likeness of dispositions, drew to themselves as conspirators and companions in their pride “the powers of the air,"' by whom, through magical influences, they were deceived, seeking a mediator, through whom they might be purified,-and there was none. For it was the “ devil,” “transforming himself into an angel of light.”. And great allurement was it to proud flesh, that he had no body of flesh. For they were mortal, and sinners; but Thou, O Lord, to Whom they proudly sought to be reconciled, art immortal and sinless. But a mediator between God and man "3 should have something like to God, something like to man; lest being in both like to man, he should be far from God: or if in both like to God, he should be far from man, and so would not be a mediator. That false mediator then, by whom, in Thy secret judgments, pride deserved to be deluded, has one thing in common with man, that is, sin; another, he wills to appear to have in common with God, that not being clothed with mortal flesh, he might pass himself off as immortal. But seeing that “the wages of sin is death,”4 he has this in common with men, from whence with them he should be condemned to death. 1 Eph. ii. 2.
2 2 Cor. xi. 14. 1 Tim. ii. 5.
4 Rom. vi. 23.
THE ONE MEDIATOR
Christ, the True mediator.
Mercy hast revealed to the humble, and hast sent, that by His example also they might learn humility, that “ Mediator between God and man, the Man Christ Jesus," has appeared between mortal sinners and the Immortal Just One,' sharing mortality with man, righteousness with God; that because the wages of righteousness is life and peace, He might, by His righteousness allied to God, cancel that death of justified sinners, which He willed to share in common with them. Hence He was revealed to the Saints of old, that so they, by believing in His future Passion, might be saved, as we who believe in it as a past event. For inasmuch as He was Man, so far was He Mediator ; but inasmuch as He was the Word, He could occupy no middle place, because He was equal to God, and God with God, and at the same time One God.
How hast Thou loved us, o good Father, Who “sparedst not Thine only Son, but deliveredst Him up for us ungodly”!? How hast Thou loved us, for
* Although sinless, “ He held a sort of middle place between innocence and sin," "being righteous in reality but a sinner in appearance :" righteous, that He might be able to justify sinners ; "in the likeness of sinful flesh," that He might bear the penalties of the sinner. The Manichæans had interpreted “the likeness" of sinful flesh to mean, that the Flesh of Christ was only an appearance and not a reality.
Rom. viii. 32.
CHRIST, PRIEST AND VICTIM
whom He Who “ thought it no robbery to be equal with Thee, was made subject even to the death of the Cross ; He alone “free among the dead," having power to lay down His life, and power to take it again;"3 in our behalf to Thee both Victor and Victim, and therefore Victor because Victim; in our behalf to Thee both Priest and Sacrifice, and therefore Priest because Sacrifice ; making us out of servants to become Thy sons, by being Himself born Thy Son, and becoming our servant. Justly then is my hope firm in Him, that Thou “wilt heal all my sicknesses” through Him Who“ sitteth at Thy Right Hand and maketh intercession for us; :"4 otherwise I should despair. For many and great are these same diseases, yes, many and great; but Thy medicine is greater. We might have thought Thy Word was too far removed from any union with man, and have despaired of ourselves, had He not been “made flesh and dwelt among us.
Terrified by my sins and by the weight of my misery, I had deliberated in my heart, and had planned that · I would flee into a solitary place, but Thou didst not suffer me, and Thou didst encourage me, saying, “Therefore Christ died for all, that they which live may now no longer live unto themselves, but unto Him That died for them.” Behold, Lord, I cast all my care upon Thee, that I may live, and “consider the wondrous things of Thy Law.”! Thou knowest my inexperience and my weakness; teach me, and heal me. He,--Thine Only One,—“in Whom are hid all the i Phil. ii. 6. Ps. lxxxviii. 5.
John X. 18. 4 Rom. viii. 34. 5 John i, 14.
2 Cor. v. 15. ? Ps. cxix. 18.
MY FLESH IS MEAT INDEED
treasures of wisdom and knowledge,”' hath redeemed me. Let not the proud reproach me; for I muse on the price of My Ransom, which I eat and drink and communicate to others; and being “poor," I desire to be filled therewith, amongst those who “eat and are satisfied,” and “praise the Lord that seek Him.”3
? Ps. xxii. 26. S. Augustine interprets Ps. xxii. 28, 32, of the Holy Eucharist. The “poor” represent “the humble and despisers of this world;" "the rich," he says, “are not satisfied, because they do not hunger for the Supper and Passion of the Lord,” “they 'adore' but do not imitate,” “they go down to the dust," that is, “those who love earthly things, shall fall, because they receive unworthily." But the poor shall praise Him, and their hearts shall live for ever.
3 The “Confessions " as an autobiography end with this Book. The three remaining Books deal chiefly with the Mosaic account of the Creation, which S. Augustine interprets in a spiritual and mystical sense.
EDINBURGA: T. AND A. CONSTABLE,