Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. XI:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
The Works of Sulpitius Severus.: Chapter IV.
Against these, from among the company of the saints, righteous Noah shall first proclaim, “I, Lord, predicted that a deluge was about to come on account of the sins of men, and after the deluge I set an example to the good in my own person; since I did not perish with the wicked who perished, that they might know both what was the salvation of the innocent, and what the punishment of sinners.” After him, faithful Abraham will say in opposition to them, “I, Lord, about the mid-time 146 of the age of the world, laid the foundation of the faith by which the human race should believe in thee; I was chosen as the father of the nations, that they might follow my example; I did not hesitate, Lord, to offer Isaac, while yet a youth, as a sacrifice to thee, that they might understand that there is nothing which ought not to be presented to the Lord, when they perceived that I did not spare even my only son: I left, Lord, my country, and my family, at thy command, that they also might have an example teaching them to leave the wickedness of the world and the age: I, Lord, was the first to recognize thee, though under a corporeal 147 form, nor did I hesitate to believe who it was that I beheld, although thou didst appear to me in a different form from thine own, that these might learn to judge, not according to the flesh, but according to the spirit.” Him the blessed Moses will support in his pleadings, saying: “I Lord, delivered the law to all these, at thy command, that those whom a free 148 faith did not influence, the spoken law at least might restrain: I said, Thou shalt not 149 commit adultery, in order that I might prevent the licentiousness of fornication: I said, Thou shalt love 150 thy neighbor, that affection might abound; I said, Thou shalt worship the Lord alone, 151 in order that these might not sacrifice to idols, or allow temples to exist; I commanded that false witness should not be spoken, that I might shut the lips of these people against all falsehood. I set forth the things which had been done and said from the beginning of the world, through the working within me of the spirit of thy power, that a knowledge of things past might convey to these people instruction about things to come. I predicted, O Lord Jesus, thy coming, that it might not be an unexpected thing to these people, when they were called to acknowledge him whom I had before announced as about to come.” 152
Abraham lived (in round numbers) about 2000 years b.c., and assuming the beginning of the world to have been about 4000 years b.c., he may thus be said to have lived about “the mid-time.” The note of Clericus which refers the words to the end of the world seems quite mistaken.56:147
The reference is to Gen. xviii.56:148
A faith having no regard to either rewards or punishments.56:149
Ex. xx. 14.56:150
Lev. xix. 18.56:151
Deut. vi. 13.56:152
Ex. xx. 3, &c.
Next: Chapter V.
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