Anti-pelagian Writings by St. Augustine
Chapter 37 [XXII.]--The Eternal Reward.
He then went on to state the reward: |I will be their God, and they shall be my people.| This corresponds to the Psalmist's words to God: |It is good for me to hold me fast by God.| |I will be,| says God, |their God, and they shall be my people.| What is better than this good, what happier than this happiness, -- to live to God, to live from God, with whom is the fountain of life, and in whose light we shall see light? Of this life the Lord Himself speaks in these words: |This is life eternal that they may know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent,| -- that is, |Thee and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent,| the one true God. For no less than this did Himself promise to those who love Him: |He that loveth me, keepeth my commandments; and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself unto him| -- in the form, no doubt, of God, wherein He is equal to the Father; not in the form of a servant, for in this He will display Himself even to the wicked also. Then, however, shall that come to pass which is written, |Let the ungodly man be taken away, that he see not the glory of the Lord.| Then also shall |the wicked go into everlasting punishment, and the righteous into life eternal.| Now this eternal life, as I have just mentioned, has been defined to be, that they may know the one true God. Accordingly John again says: |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 appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is.| This likeness begins even now to be reformed in us, while the inward man is being renewed from day to day, according to the image of Him that created him.