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SermonIndex.net : Christian Books : Chapter 14. But in addition to the foregoing rule, which guards us against taking a metaphoricalà

On Christian Doctrine In Four Books by St. Augustine

Chapter 14. But in addition to the foregoing rule, which guards us against taking a metaphoricalà

14. But in addition to the foregoing rule, which guards us against taking a metaphorical form of speech as if it were literal, we must also pay heed to that which tells us not to take a literal form of speech as if it were figurative. In the first place, then, we must show the way to find out whether a phrase is literal or figurative. And the way is certainly as follows: Whatever there is in the word of God that cannot, when taken literally, be referred either to purity of life or soundness of doctrine, you may set down as figurative. Purity of life has reference to the love of God and one's neighbour; soundness of doctrine to the knowledge of God and one's neighbour. Every man, moreover, has hope in his own conscience, so far as he perceives that he has attained to the love and knowledge of God and his neighbour. Now all these matters have been spoken of in the first book.

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