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Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. III:
Moral Treatises of St. Augustin: Section 38

Early Church Fathers  Index     

p. 431

38. I send thee not, soul that art religiously chaste, that hast not given the reins to fleshly appetite even so far as to allowed marriage, that hast not indulged thy body about to depart even to the begetting one to succeed thee, that hast sustained aloft thy earthly members, afloat to accustom them to heaven; I send thee not, in order that thou mayest learn humility, unto publicans and sinners, who yet enter into the kingdom of heaven before the proud: I send thee not to these: for they, who have been set free from the gulf of uncleanness, are unworthy that undefiled virginity be sent to them to take pattern from. I send thee unto the King of Heaven, unto Him, by Whom men were created, and Who was created among men for the sake of men; unto Him, Who is fair of beauty above the sons of men, 2135 and despised by the sons of men on behalf of the sons of men: unto Him, Who, ruling the immortal angels, disdained not to do service unto mortals. Him, at any rate, not unrighteousness, but charity, made humble; “Charity, which rivalleth not, is not puffed up, seeketh not her own;” 2136 forasmuch as “Christ also pleased not Himself, but, as it is written of Him, The reproaches of such as reproached Thee have fallen upon Me.” 2137 Go then, come unto Him, and learn, in that He is “meek and lowly of heart.” Thou shall not go unto him, who dared not by reason of the burden of unrighteousness to lift up his eyes to heaven, but unto Him, Who by the weight of charity came down from heaven. 2138 Thou shalt not go unto her, who watered with tears the feet of her Lord, seeking forgiveness of heavy sins; but thou shalt go unto Him, Who, granting forgiveness of all sins, washed the feet of His own disciples. 2139 I know the dignity of thy virginity; I propose not to thee to imitate the Publican humbly accusing his own faults; but I fear for the Pharisee proudly boasting of his own merits. 2140 I say not, Be thou such as she, of whom it was said, “There are forgiven unto her many sins, in that she hath loved much;” 2141 but I fear lest, as thinking that thou hast little forgiven to thee, thou love little.



Ps. 45.2Ps. xlv. 2


1 Cor. 13:4, 51 Cor. 13:4, 5


Rom. 15.3Rom. xv. 3


John 6.38John vi. 38


John 13.5John xiii. 5


Luke 18.10-14Luke xviii. 10-14


Luke 7:38, 47Luke 7:38, 47

Next: Section 39

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