Leaves From St. Augustine
- ISBN-13: 9781482699104
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
- Release Date: Mar 05, 2013
- Pages: 496 pages
- Dimensions: 1.12 x 9.0 x 6.0 inches
SOME years ago it was reported that an American sailor had fitted up for himself a small boat with a covered deck, in which he attempted to cross the Atlantic alone; and it was also said that he accomplished his task, and brought his boat safely to our shores. Something like this sailor's "heart of oak, cased in triple brass," seems to me her courage who set her frail bark to traverse the ocean of St. Augustine, and to give in the compa~s of a small volume a notion of the beauty, the vastness, the proportion, and the grandeur of mind in one who is said to have acted upon a larger number of men than anyone since the time of St. Paul. I would fain hope that she also has brought her bark safe to shore, and that such as think it worth their while to read the words herein selected of that great Saint and Genius no less great, will be able to form some notion of the personal character, the doctrine, the faith, the hope, and the charity of the man who ranks among the Fathers of the Church as St. Paul among the Apostles. Works of St. Augustine, translated at Edinburgh, make fifteen octavo volumes; the Oxford translation of the Fathers makes several more. Both together are far from containing all that has been preserved to us. It is requisite to say that neither of these series has been used or even referred to by the Translator. Both the choice of passages and the translation itself are her own. My task has been only to review the whole when completed. The edition of St. Augustine used is that of the Benedictines, Paris, 1679. Let us consider one of Saint Augustine's leaves: “WHAT will that happiness be where there will be no evil, where no good thing will be wanting, where we shall be engaged in the praises of God, Who will be all things to all? For I know 110t what other occupation will be ours in that place where weariness will be no more, nor any laborious necessity. The psalm also gives me a lesson on the subject in the words, Blessed are they, 0 Lord, who dwell in Thy house, they shalt praise Thee for ever and ever. The incorruptible body in its outward figure and inward structure, which body we now see divided into various members according to our needs, will then make progress in the praises of God, because those needs will be no more, but happiness, full, certain, secure, and everlasting will be ours. Every detail now hidden, connected with physical harmony as it exists inwardly and outwardly throughout the bodily structure, of which details I have already spoken, will not then be hidden, but together with the other great and wonderful things there will enkindle in rational minds the praise of so mighty a Creator at the sight of the intellectual beauty thus displayed. I dare not venture an opinion as to how those bodies are to move about, because I am not able to form one. Their movements and their rest will be in keeping with their appearance itself, for in that place no want of harmony will exist. The body will be at hand to carry out the wishes of the spirit, nor will the spirit take delight in anything which is not becoming to both spirit and body. It will be the reign of true glory, where no man will be subject to be falsely praised or flattered, and of true honour, which will be denied to no one deserving of it, nor offered to any undeserving of it, nor will any undeserving man covet it there, where only the perfect find a place. It will be the reign of true peace, because no man will suffer contradiction either from himself or from others. The reward of virtue will be the very Giver of virtue Himself, for He, than Whom nothing better or greater can exist, promised Himself as its reward. What else do the words signify which He spoke through His prophet, I will be their God, and they shall be My people, unless it be, "I will satisfy their cravings, I will be all those things which men may honestly desire, life and health and food and plenty, glory, honour, peace, and all good things? "
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