SermonIndex Audio Sermons
Evan Roberts Quote
SermonIndex.net : Christian Books : Section 29. Because, therefore, lying heretics find not in the books of the New Testament anyà

Against Lying by St. Augustine

Section 29. Because, therefore, lying heretics find not in the books of the New Testament anyà

29. Because, therefore, lying heretics find not in the books of the New Testament any precedents of lying which are meet to be imitated, they esteem themselves to be most copious in their disputation wherein they opine that it is right to lie, when from the old prophetical books, because it doth not appear therein, save to the few who understand, to what must be referred the significative sayings and doings which as such be true, they seem to themselves to find out and allege many that be lies. But desiring to have, wherewith they may defend themselves, precedents of deceit seemingly meet to be imitated, they deceive themselves, and |their iniquity lieth unto itself.| Those persons, however, of whom it is not there to be believed that they wished to prophesy, if in doing or saying they feigned aught with will of deceiving, however it may be that from the very things also which they did or said somewhat prophetical may be shapen out, being by His omnipotence afore deposited therein as a seed and pre-disposed, Who knoweth how to turn to good account even the ill-deeds of men, yet as far as regards the persons themselves, without doubt they lied. But they ought not to be esteemed meet for imitation simply for that they are found in those books which are deservedly called holy and divine: for those books contain the record of both the ill deeds and the good deeds of men; the one to be eschewed, the other to be followed after: and some are so put, that upon them is also sentence passed; some, with no judgment there expressed, are left permitted for us to judge of: because it was meet that we should not only be nourished by that which is plain, but exercised by that which is obscure.

Footnotes:

Ps.26 (Heb. xxvii), 12. |Mentitur eorum iniquitas sibi.| LXX. epseusato he adikia heaute. Heb. and E.V. |And such as breathe out cruelty.| c30. But why do these persons think they may imitate Tamar telling a lie, and not think they may imitate Judah committing fornication? For there they have read both, and nought of these hath that Scripture either blamed or praised, but has merely narrated both, and to our judgment dismissed both: but it is marvellous if it hath permitted aught of these to be imitated with impunity. For, that Tamar not through lust of playing the harlot, but through wish of conceiving seed, did tell the lie, we know. But fornication also, howbeit Judah's was not such, yet some man's may be such whereby to procure that a man may be delivered, just as her lie was in order that a man might be conceived; is it right then to commit fornication on this account, if on that account it is thought that it was right to lie? Not therefore concerning lying only, but concerning all works of men in which there arise as it were compensative sins, must we consider what sentence we ought to pass; lest we open a way not only to small sins whatsoever, but even to all wickednesses, and there remain no outrageous, flagitious, sacrilegious deed, in which there may not arise a cause upon which it may rightly seem a thing meet to be done, and so universal probity of life be by that opinion subverted.

Footnotes:

Gen. xxxviii.14-18 c31. But he who says that some lies are just, must be judged to say no other than that some sins are just, and therefore some things are just which are unjust: than which what can be more absurd? For whence is a thing a sin, but for that it is contrary to justice? Be it said then that some sins are great, some small, because it is true; and let us not listen to the Stoics who maintain all to be equal: but to say that some sins are unjust, some just, what else is it than to say that there be some unjust, some just iniquities? When the Apostle John saith, |Every man who doeth sin, doeth also iniquity and sin is iniquity.| It is impossible therefore that a sin should be just, unless when we put the name of sin upon another thing in which one doth not sin, but either doeth or suffereth aught for sin. Namely, both sacrifices for sins are named |sins,| and the punishments of sins are sometimes called sins. These doubtless can be understood to be just sins, when just sacrifices are spoken of, or just punishments. But those things which are done against God's law cannot be just. It is said unto God, |Thy law is truth:| and consequently, what is against truth cannot be just. Now who can doubt that every lie is against truth? Therefore there can be no just lie. Again, what man doth not see clearly that every thing which is just is of the truth? And John crieth out, |No lie is of the truth.| No lie therefore is just. Wherefore, when from holy Scriptures are proposed to us examples of lying, either they are not lies, but are thought to be so while they are not understood; or, if lies they be, they are not meet to be imitated, because they cannot be just.

Footnotes:

1 John iii.4. [See R.V.] Ps. cxix.142

1 John. ii.21

<<  Contents  >>





©2002-2021 SermonIndex.net
Promoting Genuine Biblical Revival.
Affiliate Disclosure | Privacy Policy