Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. III:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
Doctrinal Treatises of St. Augustin: Chapter 2
Chapter 2.—There is a Kind of Trinity in the Holding, Contemplating, and Loving of Faith Temporal, But One that Does Not Yet Attain to Being Properly an Image of God.
4. Wherefore since, as it is written, “While we are in the body, we are absent from the Lord; for we walk by faith, not by sight;” 869 undoubtedly, so long as the just man lives by faith, 870 howsoever he lives according to the inner man, although he aims at truth and reaches on to things eternal by this same temporal faith, nevertheless in the holding, contemplating, and loving this temporal faith, we have not yet reached such a trinity as is to be called an image of God; lest that should seem to be constituted in things temporal which ought to be so in things eternal. For when the human mind sees its own faith, whereby it believes what it does not see, it does not see a thing eternal. For that will not always exist, which certainly will not then exist, when this pilgrimage, whereby we are absent from God, in such way that we must needs walk by faith, shall be ended, and that sight shall have succeeded it whereby we shall see face to face; 871 just as now, because we believe although we do not see, we shall deserve to see, and shall rejoice at having been brought through faith to sight. For then it will be no longer faith, by which that is believed which is not seen; but sight, by which that is seen which is believed. And then, therefore, although we remember this past mortal life, and call to mind by recollection that we once believed what we did not see, yet that faith will be reckoned among things past and done with, not among things present and always continuing. And hence also that trinity which now consists in the remembering, contemplating, and loving this same faith while present and continuing, will then be found to be done with and past, and not still enduring. And hence it is to be gathered, that if that trinity is indeed an imp. 185 age of God, then this image itself would have to be reckoned, not among things that exist always, but among things transient.
2 Cor. 5:6, 72 Cor. 5:6, 7184:870
Rom. 1.17Rom. i. 17184:871
1 Cor. 13.121 Cor. xiii. 12
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