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Home > Fathers of the Church > The Harmony of the Gospels (Augustine) > Book I, Chapter 13

The Harmony of the Gospels, Book I

Chapter 13. Of the Question Why God Suffered the Jews to Be Reduced to Subjection.

20. Hence also they cannot meet us fairly with this question: Why, then, did the God of the Hebrews, whom you declare to be the supreme and true God, not only not subdue the Romans under their power, but even fail to secure those Hebrews themselves against subjugation by the Romans? For there were open sins of theirs that went before them, and on account of which the prophets so long time ago predicted that this very thing would overtake them; and above all, the reason lay in the fact, that in their impious fury they put Christ to death, in the commission of which sin they were made blind [to the guilt of their crime] through the deserts of other hidden transgressions. That His sufferings also would be for the benefit of the Gentiles, was foretold by the same prophetic testimony. Nor, in another point of view, did the fact appear clearer, that the kingdom of that nation, and its temple, and its priesthood, and its sacrificial system, and that mystical unction which is called χρῖσμα in Greek, from which the name of Christ takes its evident application, and on account of which that nation was accustomed to speak of its kings as anointed ones, were ordained with the express object of prefiguring Christ, than has the kindred fact become apparent, that after the resurrection of the Christ who was put to death began to be preached unto the believing Gentiles, all those things came to their end, all unrecognised as the circumstance was, whether by the Romans, through whose victory, or by the Jews, through whose subjugation, it was brought about that they did thus reach their conclusion.

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Source. Translated by S.D.F. Salmond. From Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, First Series, Vol. 6. Edited by Philip Schaff. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1888.) Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight. <http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/1602113.htm>.

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