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Home > Fathers of the Church > The Harmony of the Gospels (Augustine) > Book I, Chapter 16

The Harmony of the Gospels, Book I

Chapter 16. Of the Fact That, on the Subject of the Destruction of Idols, the Apostles Taught Nothing Different from What Was Taught by Christ or by the Prophets.

24. Nevertheless these persons argue still to the effect that this demolition of temples, and this condemnation of sacrifices, and this shattering of all images, are brought about, not in virtue of the doctrine of Christ Himself, but only by the hand of His apostles, who, as they contend, taught something different from what He taught. They think by this device, while honouring and lauding Christ, to tear the Christian faith in pieces. For it is at least true, that it is by the disciples of Christ that at once the works and the words of Christ have been made known, on which this Christian religion is established, with which a very few people of this character are still in antagonism, who do not now indeed openly assail it, but yet continue even in these days to utter their mutterings against it. But if they refuse to believe that Christ taught in the way indicated, let them read the prophets, who not only enjoined the complete destruction of the superstitions of idols, but also predicted that this subversion would come to pass in Christian times. And if these spoke falsely, why is their word fulfilled with so mighty a demonstration? But if they spoke truly, why is resistance offered to such divine power?

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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/1602116.htm>.

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