Thursday, June 18, 2009

Augustine on 1 John 2:2 and "Whole World" - Part 2

See John himself observing humility. Assuredly he was a righteous and a great man, who from the Lord's bosom drank in the secrets of His mysteries; he, the man who by drinking from the Lord's bosom indited of His Godhead, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God:" he, being such a man as this, says not, You have an advocate with the Father; but, "If any man sin, an advocate," says he, "have we." He says not, you have; nor says, you have me; nor says, you have Christ Himself: but he puts Christ, not himself, and says, also, "We have," not, you have. He chose rather to put himself in the number of sinners that he might have Christ for his advocate, than to put himself in Christ's stead as advocate, and to be found among the proud that shall be condemned. Brethren, Jesus Christ the righteous, even Him have we for our advocate with the Father; "He," even He, "is the propitiation for our sins." This whoso has held fast, has made no heresy; this whoso has held fast, has made no schism. For whence came schisms? When men say, "we" are righteous, when men say, "we" sanctify the unclean, "we" justify the ungodly; "we" ask, "we" obtain. But what says John? "And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." But some man will say: then do the saints not ask for us? Then do bishops and rulers not ask for the people? Yea, but mark the Scriptures, and see that rulers also commend themselves to the prayers of the people. Thus the apostle says to the congregation, "Praying withal for us also." [Colossians 4:3] The apostle prays for the people, the people prays for the apostle. We pray for you, brethren: but do ye also pray for us. Let all the members pray one for another; let the Head intercede for all. Therefore it is no marvel that he here goes on and shuts the mouths of them that divide the Church of God. For he that has said, "We have Jesus Christ the righteous, and He is the propitiation for our sins:" having an eye to those who would divide themselves, and would say, "Lo, here is Christ, lo, there;" [Matthew 24:23] and would show Him in a part who bought the whole and possesses the whole, he immediately goes on to say, "Not our sins only, but also the sins of the whole world." What is this, brethren? Certainly "we have found it in the fields of the woods," we have found the Church in all nations. Behold, Christ "is the propitiation for our sins; not ours only, but also the sins of the whole world." Behold, you have the Church throughout the whole world; do not follow false justifiers who in truth are cutters off. Be in that mountain which has filled the whole earth: because "Christ is the propitiation for our sins; not only ours, but also the sins of the whole world," which He has bought with His blood.

Videte ipsum Ioannem servantem humilitatem. Certe vir iustus erat et magnus, qui de pectore Domini mysteriorum secreta bibebat; ille, ille qui bibendo de pectore Domini divinitatem ructavit: In principio erat Verbum, et Verbum erat apud Deum: ille talis vir non dixit: Advocatum habetis apud Patrem; sed: Si quis peccaverit, advocatum, inquit, habemus. Non dixit, habetis; nec, me habetis, dixit; nec, ipsum Christum habetis, dixit: sed et Christum posuit, non se; et habemus dixit, non, habetis. Maluit se ponere in numero peccatorum, ut haberet advocatum Christum, quam ponere se pro Christo advocatum, et inveniri inter damnandos superbos. Fratres, Iesum Christum iustum, ipsum habemus advocatum ad Patrem; ipse propitiatio est peccatorum nostrorum. Hoc qui tenuit, haeresim non fecit; hoc qui tenuit, schisma non fecit. Unde enim facta sunt schismata? Cum dicunt homines: Nos iusti sumus; cum dicunt homines: Nos sanctificamus immundos, nos iustificamus impios, nos petimus, nos impetramus. Ioannes autem quid dixit? Et si quis peccaverit, advocatum habemus ad Patrem, Iesum Christum iustum. Sed dicet aliquis: Ergo sancti non petunt pro nobis? ergo episcopi et praepositi non petunt pro populo? Sed attendite Scripturas, et videte quia et praepositi commendant se populo. Nam Apostolus dicit plebi: Orantes simul et pro nobis. Orat Apostolus pro plebe, orat plebs pro Apostolo. Oramus pro vobis, fratres: sed et vos orate pro nobis. In vicem pro se omnia membra orent, caput pro omnibus interpellet. Propterea non mirum quia sequitur hic, et claudit ora dividentibus Ecclesiam Dei. Qui enim dixit: Iesum Christum habemus iustum, et ipse propitiatio est peccatorum nostrorum: propter illos qui se divisuri erant, et dicturi: Ecce hic est Christus, ecce illic; et vellent ostendere eum in parte qui emit totum, et possidet totum; continuo secutus est: Non tantum nostrorum, sed et totius mundi. Quid est hoc, fratres? Certe invenimus eam in campis saltuum, invenimus Ecclesiam in omnibus gentibus. Ecce Christus propitiatio est peccatorum nostrorum; non tantum nostrorum, sed et totius mundi. Ecce habes Ecclesiam per totum mundum; noli sequi falsos iustificatores, et veros praecisores. In illo monte esto qui implevit orbem terrarum: quia Christus propitiatio est peccatorum nostrorum; non tantum nostrorum, sed et totius mundi, quem suo sanguine comparavit.

- Augustine, Homily 1 on 1 John, Section 8, (NPNF1, Volume 7, H. Browne translator) (English)(Latin)