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Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. II:
City of God: Chapter 48

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter 48.—That Haggai’s Prophecy, in Which He Said that the Glory of the House of God Would Be Greater Than that of the First Had Been, 1230 Was Really Fulfilled, Not in the Rebuilding of the Temple, But in the Church of Christ.

This house of God is more glorious than that first one which was constructed of wood and stone, metals and other precious things.  Therefore the prophecy of Haggai was not fulfilled in the rebuilding of that temple.  For it can never be shown to have had so much glory after it was rebuilt as it had in the time of Solomon; yea, rather, the glory of that house is shown to have been diminished, first by the ceasing of prophecy, and then by the nation itself suffering so great calamities, even to the final destruction made by the Romans, as the things above-mentioned prove.  But this house which pertains to the new testament is just as much more glorious as the living stones, even believing, renewed men, of which it is constructed are better.  But it was typified by the rebuilding of that temple for this reason, because the very renovation of that edifice typifies in the prophetic oracle another testament which is called the new.  When, therefore, God said by the prophet just named, “And I will give peace in this place,” 1231 He is to be understood who is typified by that typical place; for since by that rebuilt place is typified the Church which was to be built by Christ, nothing else can be accepted as the meaning of the saying, “I will give peace in this place,” except I will give peace in the place which that place signifies.  For all typical things seem in some way to personate those whom they typify, as it is said by the apostle, “That Rock was Christ.” 1232   Therefore the glory of this new testament house is greater than the glory of the old testament house; and it will show itself as greater when it shall be dedicated.  For then “shall come the desired of all nations,” 1233 as we read in the Hebrew.  For before His advent He had not yet been desired by all nations.  For they knew not Him whom they ought to desire, in whom they had not believed.  Then, also, according to the Septuagint interpretation (for it also is a prophetic meaning), “shall come those who are elected of the Lord out of all nations.”  For then indeed there shall come only those who are elected, whereof the apostle saith, “According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world.” 1234   For the Master Builder who said, “Many are p. 391 called, but few are chosen,” 1235 did not say this of those who, on being called, came in such a way as to be cast out from the feast, but would point out the house built up of the elect, which henceforth shall dread no ruin.  Yet because the churches are also full of those who shall be separated by the winnowing as in the threshing-floor, the glory of this house is not so apparent now as it shall be when every one who is there shall be there always.


Footnotes

390:1230

Hag. 2.9.

390:1231

Hag. 2.9.

390:1232

1 Cor. 10:4, Exod. 17:6.

390:1233

Hag. 2.7.

390:1234

Eph. 1.4.

391:1235

Matt. 22.11-14.


Next: Chapter 49

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