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Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. III:
Moral Treatises of St. Augustin: Section 26

Early Church Fathers  Index     

26. What then, say they, is the meaning of that penny, which is given in payment to all alike when the work of the vineyard is ended? whether it be to those who have labored from the first hour, or to those who have labored one hour? 2070 What assuredly doth it signify, but something, which all shall have in common, such as is life eternal itself, the kingdom of heaven itself, where shall be all, whom God hath predestinated, called, justified, glorified? “For it behoveth that this corruptible put on incorruption, and this mortal put on immortality.” 2071 This is that penny, wages for all. Yet “star differeth from star in glory; so also the resurrection of the dead.” 2072 These are the different merits of the Saints. For, if by that penny the heaven were signified, have not all the stars in common to be in the heaven? And yet, “There is one glory of the sun, another glory of the moon, another of the stars.” If that penny were taken for health of body, have not all the members, when we are well, health in common; and, should this health continue even unto death, is it not in all alike and equally? And yet, “God hath set the members, each one of them, in the body, as He would;” 2073 that neither the whole be an eye, nor the whole hearing, nor the whole smelling: and, whatever else there is, it hath its own property, although it have health equally with all. Thus because life eternal itself shall be alike to all, an equal penny was assigned to all; but, because in that life eternal itself the lights of merits shall shine with a distinction, there are “many mansions” in the house of the Father: 2074 and, by this means, in the penny not unlike, one lives not longer than another; but in the many mansions, one is honored with greater brightness than another.


Footnotes

426:2070

Matt. 20:9, 10

426:2071

1 Cor. 15.531 Cor. xv. 53

426:2072

1 Cor. 15:41, 421 Cor. 15:41, 42

426:2073

1 Cor. 12.181 Cor. xii. 18

426:2074

John 14.2John xiv. 2


Next: Section 27

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