Nicene and Post Nicene-Fathers, Vol. I:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
The Confessions: Chapter XVIII
Chapter XVIII.—Jesus Christ, the Mediator, is the Only Way of Safety.
24. And I sought a way of acquiring strength sufficient to enjoy Thee; but I found it not until I embraced that “Mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus,” 551 “who is over all, God blessed for ever,” 552 calling unto me, and saying, “I am the way, the truth, and the life,” 553 and mingling that food which I was unable to receive with our flesh. For “the Word was made flesh,” 554 that Thy wisdom, by which Thou createdst all things, might provide milk for our infancy. For I did not grasp my Lord Jesus,—I, though humbled, grasped not the humble One; 555 nor did I know what lesson that infirmity of His would teach us. For Thy Word, the Eternal Truth, pre-eminent above the higher parts of Thy creation, raises up those that are subject unto Itself; but in this lower world built for Itself a humble habitation of our clay, whereby He intended to abase from themselves such as would be subjected and bring them over unto Himself, allaying their swelling, and fostering their love; to the end that they might go on no further in self-confidence, but rather should become weak, seeing before their feet the Divinity weak by taking our “coats of skins;” 556 and wearied, might cast themselves down upon It, and It rising, might lift them up.
1 Tim. 2.5.112:552
Christ descended that we may ascend. See iv. sec. 19, notes 1 and 3, above.112:556
Gen. 3.21. Augustin frequently makes these “coats of skin” symbolize the mortality to which our first parents became subject by being deprived of the tree of life (see iv. sec. 15, note 3, above); and in his Enarr. in Ps. (ciii. 1, 8), he says they are thus symbolical inasmuch as the skin is only taken from animals when dead.
Next: Chapter XIX
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