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Home > Fathers of the Church > The Harmony of the Gospels (Augustine) > Book I, Chapter 30

The Harmony of the Gospels, Book I

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Chapter 30. Of the Fact That, as the Prophecies Have Been Fulfilled, the God of Israel Has Now Been Made Known Everywhere.

46. Thus it was with a certain person named Lucan, one of their great declaimers in verse. For a long time, as I believe, he endeavored to find out, by his own cogitations, or by the perusal of the books of his own fellow-countrymen, who the God of the Jews was; and failing to prosecute his inquiry in the way of piety, he did not succeed. Yet he chose rather to speak of Him as the uncertain God whom he did not find out, than absolutely to deny the title of God to that Deity of whose existence he perceived proofs so great. For he says:

And Judæa, devoted to the worship
Of an uncertain God.
— Lucan, Book ii. towards the end.

And as yet this God, the holy and true God of Israel, had not done by the name of Christ among all nations works so great as those which have been wrought after Lucan's times up to our own day. But now who is so obdurate as not to be moved, who so dull as not to be inflamed, seeing that the saying of Scripture is fulfilled, For there is not one that is hid from the heat thereof; and seeing also that those other things which were predicted so long time ago in this same Psalm from which I have cited one little verse, are now set forth in their accomplishment in the clearest light? For under this term of the heavens the apostles of Jesus Christ were denoted, because God was to preside in them with a view to the publishing of the gospel. Now, therefore, the heavens have declared the glory of God, and the firmament has proclaimed the works of His hands. Day unto day has given forth speech, and night unto night has shown knowledge. Now there is no speech or language where their voices are not heard. Their sound has gone out into all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. Now has He set His tabernacle in the sun, that is, in manifestation; which tabernacle is His Church. For in order to do so (as the words proceed in the passage) He came forth from His chamber like a bridegroom; that is to say, the Word, wedded with the flesh of man, came forth from the Virgin's womb. Now has He rejoiced as a strong man, and has run His race. Now has His going forth been made from the height of heaven, and His return even to the height of heaven. And accordingly, with the completest propriety, there follows upon this the verse which I have already mentioned: And there is not one that is hid from the heat thereof [or, His heat]. And still these men make choice of their little, weak, prating objections, which are like stubble to be reduced to ashes in that fire, rather than like gold to be purged of its dross by it; while at once the fallacious monuments of their false gods have been brought to nought, and the veracious promises of that uncertain God have been proved to be sure.

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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. <>.

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