SermonIndex Audio Sermons
Promoting Genuine Biblical Revival.
Looking for free sermon messages?
Sermon Podcast | Audio | Video

SermonIndex.net : Christian Books : Section 23. The Apostle has made known to us certain three unionsà

On Continence by St. Augustine

Section 23. The Apostle has made known to us certain three unionsà

23. The Apostle has made known to us certain three unions, Christ and the Church, husband and wife, spirit and flesh. Of these the former consult for the good of the latter, the latter wait upon the former. All the things are good, when, in them, certain set over by way of pre-eminence, certain made subject in a becoming manner, observe the beauty of order. Husband and wife receive command and pattern how they ought to be one with another. The command is, |Let wives be subject unto their own husbands, as unto the Lord; because the husband is the head of the wife;| and, |Husbands, love your wives.| But there is given a pattern, unto wives from the Church, unto husbands from Christ: |As the Church,| saith he, |is subject unto Christ, so also wives unto their own husbands in all things.| In like manner also, having given command to husbands to love their own wives, he added a pattern, |As Christ loved the Church.| But husbands he exhorted to it from a lower matter also, that is, from their own body: not only from a higher, that is, from their Lord. For he not only saith, |Husbands, love your wives, as Christ also loved the Church,| which is from an higher: but he said also, |Husbands ought to love their own wives, as their own bodies,| which is from a lower: because both higher and lower are all good. And yet the woman received not pattern from the body, or flesh, to be so subject to the husband as the flesh to the spirit; but either the Apostle would have understood by consequence, what he omitted to state: or haply because the flesh lusteth against the spirit in the mortal and sick estate of this life, therefore he would not set the woman a pattern of subjection from it. But the men he would for this reason, because, although the spirit lusteth against the flesh, even in this it consults for the good of the flesh: not like as the flesh lusting against the spirit, by such opposition consulteth neither for the good of the spirit, nor for its own. Yet the good spirit would not consult for its good, whether by nourishing and cherishing its nature by forethought, or by resisting its faults by continence, were it not that each substance showeth God to be the Creator of each, even by the seemliness of this its order. What is it, therefore, that with true madness ye both boast yourselves to be Christians, and with so great, perverseness contend against the Christian Scriptures, with eyes closed, or rather put out, asserting both that Christ hath appeared unto mortals in false flesh, and that the Church in the soul pertains to Christ, in the body to the devil, and that the male and female sex are works of the devil, not of God, and that the flesh is joined unto the spirit, as an evil substance unto a good substance?

Footnotes:

Eph. v.22-28 c24. If what we have made mention of out of the Apostolic Epistles seem to you to fall short of an answer, hear yet others, if ye have ears. What saith the utterly mad Manichæan of the Flesh of Christ? That it was not true, but false. What saith the blessed Apostle to this? |Remember that Christ Jesus rose again from the dead of the seed of David, according to my Gospel.| And Christ Jesus Himself saith, |Handle and see, that a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me to have.| How is there truth in their doctrine, which asserts that in the Flesh of Christ there was falsehood? How was there in Christ no evil, in Whom was so great a lie? Because forsooth to men over-clean true flesh is an evil, and false flesh instead of true is not an evil: it is an evil, true flesh of one born of the seed of David, and it is no evil, false tongue of one saying, |Handle, and see, that a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me to have.| Of the Church what saith the deceiver of men with deadly error? That on the side of souls it pertains unto Christ, on the side of bodies unto the devil? What to this saith the Teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth? |Know ye not,| saith he, |that your bodies are members of Christ?| Of the sex of male and female what saith the son of perdition? That either sex is not of God, but of the devil. What to this saith the Vessel of Election? |As,| saith he, |the woman from out the man, so also the man through the woman: but all things of God.| Of the flesh what saith the unclean spirit through the Manichæan? That it is an evil substance, and not the creation of God, but of an enemy. What to this saith the Holy Spirit through Paul? |For as the body is one,| saith he, |and hath many members, but all the members of the body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.| And a little after; |God hath set,| saith he, |the members, each one of them in the body, as He willed.| Also a little after; |God,| saith he, |hath tempered the body, giving greater honor unto that to which it was wanting, that there should be no schisms in the body, but that the members have the self-same care one for another: and whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it: or one member be glorified, all the members rejoice with it.| How is the flesh evil, when the souls themselves are admonished to imitate the peace of its members? How is it the creation of the enemy, when the souls themselves, which rule the bodies, take pattern from the members of the body, not to have schisms of enmities among themselves, in order that, what God hath granted unto the body by nature, this themselves also may love to have by grace? With good cause, writing to the Romans, |I beseech you,| saith he, |brethren, by the mercy of God, that ye present your bodies a sacrifice, living, holy, pleasing to God.| Without reason we contend that darkness is not light, nor light darkness, if we present a sacrifice, living, holy, pleasing to God, of the bodies of the |nation of darkness.|

Footnotes:

2 Tim. ii.8 Luke xxiv.39

1 Cor. vi.15

1 Cor. xi.12

1 Cor. xii.12

1 Cor. xii.18

1 Cor. xii.24, 25, 26

Rom. xii.1

<<  Contents  >>





©2002-2019 SermonIndex.net
Promoting Genuine Biblical Revival.
Privacy Policy