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Ten Homilies On The Epistle Of John To The Parthians by St. Augustine

The Prologue.

Ye remember, holy brethren, that the Gospel according to John, read in orderly course of lessons, is the subject on which we usually discourse: but because of the now intervening solemnity of the holy days, on which there must be certain lessons recited in the Church, which so come every year that they cannot be other than they are: the order which we had undertaken is of necessity for a little while intermitted, not wholly omitted. But when I was thinking what matter of discourse upon the Scriptures, agreeable with the cheerfulness of these days, I might undertake with you, as the Lord shall vouchsafe to grant, during the present week, being such an one as might be finished in these seven or eight days; the Epistle of blessed John occurred to me: that whereas we have for a while intermitted the reading of his Gospel, we may in discoursing upon his Epistle not go from his side: the rather, as in this same Epistle, which is very sweet to all who have a healthy taste of the heart to relish the Bread of God, and very meet to be had in remembrance in God's Holy Church, charity is above all commended. He has spoken many words, and nearly all are about charity. He that hath in himself that which he is to hear, must needs rejoice at that which he heareth. For so shall this reading be to that man, as oil upon flame; if that be there which may be nourished, it is nourished and groweth and abideth. Again, to some it ought to be as flame to fuel; that if he did not burn, by added discourse he may be set on fire. For in some that which is there, is nourished: in some it is kindled, if it be not there: that we all may rejoice in one charity. But where charity, there peace; and where humility, there charity. Now let us hear himself: and at his words, what the Lord suggests, that let us speak also to you, that ye may well understand.

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