Wednesday, August 08, 2007

saint augustine on 'works'

Wouldest thou then have 'good days' and 'life,' and wouldest thou not 'refrain thy tongue from evil, and thy lips that they speak no guile'?  Alert to the reward, slow to the work!  And to whom if he does not work is the reward rendered?  I would that in thy house thou wouldest render the reward even to him that does work!  For to him that works not, I am sure thou dost not render it.  And why?  Because thou owest nothing to him that does not work!  And God hath a reward proposed.  What reward?  'Life and good days,' which life we shall desire, and unto which days we all strive to come.  The promised reward He will give us.  What reward?  'Life and good days.'  And what are 'good days'?  Life without end, rest without labour.

Great is the reward He hath set before us:  in so great a reward as is set before us, let us see what He hath commanded us.  For enkindled by the reward of so great a promise, and by the love of the reward, let us make ready at once our strength, our sides, our arms, to do His bidding....  So then in proper order, first 'depart from evil,' and 'do good;' first 'gird up thy loins,' and then 'light the lamp.'  And when thou hast done this, wait in assured hope for 'life and good days.'  'Seek peace, and ensue it;' and then with a good face wilt thou say unto the Lord, 'I have done what Thou hast bidden, render me what Thou hast promised.'

(From Sermon LVIII in the Philip Schaff series)

No comments: