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Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. III:
Doctrinal Treatises of St. Augustin: Chapter 33

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter 33.—Men, Being by Nature the Children of Wrath, Needed a Mediator. In What Sense God is Said to Be Angry.

And so the human race was lying under a just condemnation, and all men were the children of wrath. Of which wrath it is written: “All our days are passed away in Thy wrath; we spend our years as a tale that is told.” 1140 Of which wrath also Job says: “Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble.” 1141 Of which wrath also the Lord Jesus says: “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” 1142 He does not say it will come, but it “abideth on him.” For every man is born with it; wherefore the apostle says: “We were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.” 1143 Now, as men were lying under this wrath by reason of their original sin, and as this original sin was the p. 249 more heavy and deadly in proportion to the number and magnitude of the actual sins which were added to it, there was need for a Mediator, that is, for a reconciler, who, by the offering of one sacrifice, of which all the sacrifices of the law and the prophets were types, should take away this wrath. Wherefore the apostle says: “For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.” 1144 Now when God is said to be angry, we do not attribute to Him such a disturbed feeling as exists in the mind of an angry man; but we call His just displeasure against sin by the name “anger,” a word transferred by analogy from human emotions. But our being reconciled to God through a Mediator, and receiving the Holy Spirit, so that we who were enemies are made sons (“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God” 1145 ): this is the grace of God through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Footnotes

248:1140

Ps. 90.9Ps. xc. 9

248:1141

Job 14.1

248:1142

John 3.36John iii. 36. These words, attributed by the author to Christ, were really spoken by John the Baptist.

248:1143

Eph. 2.3Eph. ii. 3

249:1144

Rom. 5.10Rom. v. 10

249:1145

Rom. 8.14Rom. viii. 14


Next: Chapter 34

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