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Homily of Augustin on Psalm LXVIII
Whitsun Home

O GOD, who as at this time didst teach the hearts of thy faithful people, by sending to them the light of thy Holy Spirit; Grant us by the same Spirit to have a right judgment in all things, and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort; through the merits of Christ Jesus our Saviour, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the same Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen

Joel ii. 28, Acts ii. 1. St. John xiv. 15.
Psalms 48, 68 | 104, 145

Homily of Augustine on Psalm CIV

Greetings on this Whitsunday MMIX.

This Sunday we have published the very long homily of Augustine on Psalm 68 at the link above. Psalm 68 is a processional liturgy of celebration for God's victory.

The early church interpreted this psalm as foreshadowing Christ's resurrection and victory over death. Coverdale translated verses 19-20 as follows:

Praised be the Lord daily, even the God who helpeth us, and poureth his benefits upon us. He is our God, even the God of whom cometh salvation: GOD is the Lord, by whom we escape death.

In verse 8 the psalmist wrote:

 The earth shook, and the heavens dropped at the presence of God;

Augustine wrote:

 May then the Lord open to us that knock; and may the secret things of His mysteries, as far as Himself vouchsafeth, be disclosed. For in order that the earth might be moved to the Truth when into the desert of the Gentiles the Gospel was passing, "the Heavens dropped from the face of God." These are the Heavens, whereof in another Psalm is sung, "The Heavens are telling forth the glory of God." ... So here also, "the Heavens dropped;" but "from the face of God." For even these very persons have been "saved through faith, and this not of themselves, but God's gift it is, not of works, lest perchance any man should be lifted up. For of Himself we are the workmanship," "that maketh men of one mood to dwell in a house."

It was by the grace of God on that Pentecost day that Jesus sent the Paraclete, the Comforter, to the Apostles in the Upper Room, and not on account of their works. It was that same grace that enabled some of the multitude gathered for the feast that day to hear and receive the Gospel that the Apostles preached, even in their own language, about 3,000 of them, while others who were not called only heard gibberish. It is that same grace that has sustained the true church through the millenia wherein the elect are protected by God the Father, in accordance with the petition of our Lord, who prayed, "Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word" [John 17:20]. On Pentecost Sunday Peter said, "For the promise is to unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call" [Acts 2:39] Finally, years later, Paul wrote to the Galatians, "Because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your heats, crying Abba, Father" [Gal 4:6.]

Alleluia, the Spirit of the Lord fills the world; O come, let us adore him. Alleluia.

Released by Primus Pilus
Legio Christi-Ecclesia Militans
"Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another" [St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans 14:19]



Sunday after Ascension Day


Augustine on Psalm XLVI
Ascension Home

O GOD, the King of glory, who hast exalted thine only Son Jesus Christ with great triumph unto thy kingdom in heaven; We beseech thee, leave us not comfortless; but send to us thine Holy Ghost to comfort us, and exalt us unto the same place whither our Saviour Christ is gone before, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the same Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.

Source: Archbishop Cranmer [1549 AD]. The collect is based on the anthem that was sung on Ascension Day at Vespers "O King of Glory, Lord of Hosts, who today didst ascend in triumph far above all heavens, who did not leave us orpahns..." and John xiv "I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you " [Barbee and Zahl]

Isaiah lxv. 17; 1 St. Peter iv. 7;  Psalms 108, 110 | 46, 47 , &  St. John xv. 26

Homiliy of Augustine on Psalm XLVI

The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge

  Ascension Sunday Comment

The quotation from Psalm 46 comes from the 7th verse. It is written from the perspective of God as a militant protector, defending his people against their adversaries.  The Lord of Hosts is with us, that is, our Commander is with us. Hosts is the translation for the Hebrew   tsebaah pronounced: "tsaw-baw', tseb-aw-aw'" meaning "a mass of persons (or figurative things), especially regularly organized for war (an army); by implication a campaign, literally or figuratively (specifically hardship, worship): - appointed time, (+) army, (+) battle, company, host, service, soldiers, waiting upon, war (-fare)."

 In America, the remnants of an antiwar culture still infect the understanding of God and how he revealed himself to his chosen people through the ages. There has been no little effort to separate the God of Jacob, from the God-Man Jesus Christ since the beginning of the Church the heresy under Marcion arose denying the Old Testament. If we are to believe our Lord, then we must understand that he held that all that had been written in the Scriptures (Old Testament) was to be confessed true, and that every image of the Father in those scriptures applied to him, as the Son of God, for he and the Father are one.

Augustine in today's homily writes:

 "The Lord of Hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our taker up" (ver. 7). Not any man, not any power, not, in short, Angel, or any creature either earthly or heavenly, but "the Lord of Hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our taker up." He who sent Angels, came after Angels, came that Angels might serve Him, came that men He might make equal to Angels. Mighty Grace! If God be for us, who can be against us? "The Lord of Hosts is with us." What Lord of Hosts is with us? "If" (I say) "God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all; how hath He not with Him also freely given [1496] us all things." [1497] Therefore be we secure, in tranquillity of heart nourish we a good conscience with the Bread of the Lord. "The Lord of Hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our taker up." However great be thy infirmity, see who taketh thee up. One is sick, a physician is called to him. His own taken-up, the Physician calleth the sick man. Who hath taken him up? Even He. A great hope of salvation; a great Physician hath taken him up. What Physician? [1498] Every Physician save He is man: every Physician who cometh to a sick man, another day can be made sick, beside Him. "The God of Jacob is our taker up." Make thyself altogether as a little child, such as are taken up by their parents. For those not taken up, are exposed; those taken up are nursed. Thinkest thou God hath so taken thee up, as when an infant thy mother took thee up? Not so, but to eternity. For thy voice is in that Psalm, "My father and my mother forsake me, but the Lord hath taken me up." [1499]

Evidently the translation that Augustine had available used the translation of taker-upper for  the Hebrew mis-gawb' defined as " properly a cliff (or other lofty or inaccessible place); abstractly altitude; figuratively a refuge; misgab; a place in Moab: - defense, high fort (tower), refuge.".
Consider our season of the Ascensiontide, how Jesus was "taken up" by his Father, and how Jesus  promised that we would be taken up too. in the General Resurrection in the end times.

Note how Augustine compares the role of Jesus to that of the Church and Christians of his day who rescued unwanted infants from certain death as they were exposed to the elements by parents who did not wish to be troubled with the child for any and all reasons. There were two types of folk who would gather up these children... one group would make them slaves, even place them in brothels to serve pedophiles and worse. Then there were the Christians who gave the safety and a home with love, and the hope that is in Christ. Ponder that in our modern times and see the relevance.


Released by Primus Pilus
Legio Christi-Ecclesia Militans
"Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another" [St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans 14:19]



The Fifth Sunday after Easter


Rogation Sunday
Augustine on Pslam CXLVII
Rogation Sunday Home

O LORD, from whom all good things do come; Grant to us thy humble servants, that by thy holy inspiration we may think those things that are good, and by thy merciful guiding may perform the same; through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

Source: Sacramentary of Gelasius [ca 464 AD]. The collect refers to James 1:17 which is appointed for the 4th Sunday after Easter. Known as Rogation Sunday for the Latin "Rogare" means to ask, (earnestly petition), and the Gospel says, "ask, and ye shall receive." The three days following this Sunday are Rogation Days with prayer and fasting good crops and industry. This Sunday in latter times was also when folk in England would go out in procession around the parish boundaries and pray for protection.

, Psalm 146, 147 | 132, 133, 134; St. James i. 22, St. John xvi. 23

Homily of Augustine on Psalm CXLVII

The LORD taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy.


This is rogation Sunday, the Sunday before Ascension Day. Please join the traditional church this year in prayers to God for favorable weather and good crops in your land. There will be days later this week on the traditional calendar for such prayers



I selected the 12th chapter of Ecclesiastes today to accompany  Psalm 147. Solomon wrote,


Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

Is this not like our motto of Fear God and do what is right. One who loves Christ and has the law written in his heart, and endeavors to follow that spiritual law will fulfil the whole duty of man.


 Augustine wrote,


"The Lord will delight in them that fear Him, and in them that hope in His mercy" . A robber is feared, and a wild beast is feared, and an unjust and powerful man is much feared. "The Lord will delight in them that hope in His mercy." Behold, Judas, who betrayed our Lord, feared, but he did not hope in His mercy....It is well indeed that thou hast feared, but only if thou trustedst in His mercy, whom thou hast feared. He in despair "went and hanged himself." In such wise then fear the Lord, that thou trust in His mercy....


Augustine here speaks of the righteous fear a man has for God, his creator, sustainer, and ultimately judge. Counted within this fear, this awe of God's majesty, is a trust of the LORD which is reckoned as a dependence and hope on his love, his mercy, his promise to the elect. Remember the words of our Lord, how he said even the devils believe and tremble in fear, yet they are not saved but are cast down.  Many others share this same fate. The are bound in some sort of sin, some perversion of God's created order and intent, and recognize several things: God is sovereign, they are in sin, and they are doomed. Some do not care, they have made their pact with the Devil. Others care but can find no way to escape the bonds of sin and they are in great distress. They may know the calling, the invitation, but seem helpless to answer. All will perish  if they have not Christ as their savior--conversely, all in whom Christ abides are saved. Those who reject the commandments of God, and declare sin a blessing, do blaspheme God and their course is perilous. Let he who has ears hear.

Salvation assurancehas not changed for 2,000 years. It is that personal faith, and personal relationship with Jesus that can set one free from whatever binds him. It is the amazing grace and power of the Holy Spirit that will break the chains of sin with the power of Christ, and create the communion between the faithful and the Godhead that is unburdened with sin so that we may pray "Abba" in truth and in spirit.




Released by Primus Pilus
Legio Christi-Ecclesia Militans
"Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another" [St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans 14:19]



Fourth Sunday after Easter.

Augustine on Psalm CXXVII
Home, the Fourth Sunday after Easter

ALMIGHTY God, which dost make the minds of all faithful men to be of one will; Grant unto thy people, that they may love the thing which thou commandest, and desire that which thou dost promise; that so, among the sundry and manifold changes of the world, our hearts may surely there be fixed, where true joys are to be found; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Source of Collect: Sacrementary of Gelasius [ca 494 AD]. This is the 1552 BCP rendering. The collect was later changed in 1662 so that the attribute read, "who alone canst order the unruly wills and affections of sinful men", in response to the years before when the Church of England, Bishops, and Prayer Book had been suppressed under Cromwell.
Ecclesiastes ii. 22, Psalms 126, 127, 128 | 129, 130, 131; St. James i. 17. St. John xvi. 5.
Homily of Augustine on Psalm CXXVII
Except the LORD build the house, their labour is but lost that build it.


Grace and Peace be with you.

Today we shall review a portion of Psalm 127. It is another of the Songs of Degrees, but the only one that is ascribed to Solomon.  One look at its tone gives the impression of one of the proverbs or sections of Ecclesiastes, from which I have selected a passage of Eccl ii. 22 that compliments this psalm.


The theme is the vanity of man, and the sovereignty of God.


Augustine wrote:


The mercy of God... and His Spirit, excellently wrought that whatever of good was declared through Solomon, might be attributed unto God; and the man's sin, unto the man. What marvel that Solomon fell among God's people? Did not Adam fall in Paradise? Did not an angel fall from heaven, and become the devil? We are thereby taught, that no hope must be placed in any among men....The name of Solomon is interpreted to mean peacemaker: now Christ is the True Peacemaker, of whom the Apostle saith, "He is our Peace, who hath made both one." ...Since, therefore, He is the true Solomon; for that Solomon was the figure of this Peace maker, when he built the temple; that thou mayest not think he who built the house unto God was the true Solomon, Scripture showing unto thee another Solomon, thus commences this Psalm: "Except the Lord build the house, their labour is but lost that build it" (ver. 1). The Lord, therefore, buildeth the house, the Lord Jesus Christ buildeth His own house. Many toil in building: but, except He build, "their labour is but lost that build it." Who are they who toil in building it? All who preach the word of God in the Church, the ministers of God's mysteries. We are all running, we are all toiling, we are all building now; and before us others have run, toiled, and built: but "except the Lord build, their labour is but lost." Thus the Apostles seeing some fall bewailed these men, in that they had laboured in vain for them.  We, therefore, speak without, He buildeth within. We can observe with what attention ye hear us; He alone who knoweth your thoughts, knoweth what ye think. He Himself buildeth, He Himself admonisheth, He Himself openeth the understanding, He Himself kindleth your understanding unto faith; nevertheless, we also toil like workmen; but, "except the Lord build...."


Jesus builds his perfect Temple within each of the elect. He is the architect, the carpenter. Those who pretend to be of his flock, even its proclaimed shepherds, who construct their own temples. They create false gods and thereby attempt to overturn 2,000 years of tradition and canonical Scripture. They deny God's sovereignty. They deny the salvation of Christ. They justify their salvation through works pleasing to man. All is vanity. Unless the Lord Jesus build his Temple in a man, all is in vain, and he is no part of our Lord Jesus, who in the end times will say, "Away, I know you not."


I want to conclude with a thought for this week for our Centurions.  


I am grateful for our newest registered member's requested introduction as  "Simply Christian." It reminded me of CS Lewis' book on "Mere Christianity", N.T Write recently published "Simply Christian". We should reflect on the meaning of this profound but simple assertion: Simply Christian. To this veteran, it means one who believes in the essential tenets of the faith, and places their total faith for salvation in the hands of Christ Jesus. More may follow, but this is the essence. I also think of our Lord's admonishment that we must become as little children in order to inherit the Kingdom of God. Amongst all the activities in church and life, amongst the rules, titles, works, and ceremony, I pray that all might remember that the essence of our walk with Jesus is mere Christianity, and our call is to be Simply Christian holding Christ as our Savior. "What must one do to be saved? Believe on the Lord Jesus and you will be saved [Acts, Philippian Jailer, veteran soldier, and Paul]. More on the simplicity of salvation in this commentary. Consider this in light of our collect today, and pray that your neighbor might desire that which God has promised through his Son.



Released by Primus Pilus
Legio Christi-Ecclesia Militans
"Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another" [St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans 14:19]



Homily of Augustine on Psalm CXXI
Third Sunday after Easter Home

ALMIGHTY God, who showest to them that are in error the light of thy truth, to the intent that they may return into the way of righteousness; Grant unto all those who are admitted into the fellowship of Christ's Religion, that they may avoid those things that are contrary to their profession, and follow all such things as are agreeable to the same; through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

Source of Collect: Sacramentary of Leo, Bishop of Rome [440-461AD]. The Vigil of Easter was the traditional time for Baptism, and this collect speaks to the newly baptized "all those who are admitted into the fellowship". One had to be baptized to be present during the Eucharist. Christiana professione censentor

Isaiah lix 8 , Psalm 120, 121, 122 123, 124, 125; 1 St. Peter ii. 11. St. John xvi. 16.

Homily of Augustine on Psalm CXXI

I WILL lift up mine eyes unto the hills; from whence cometh my help?

Grace be unto you, and peace from God the Father and the Risen Lord Jesus Christ.
This is the third Sunday after Easter. The note on the Collect of Gregory mentions that the Early Church used this Sunday for baptism. For one reason or another, all baptisms of the catechumen could not be accomplished on the eve of the Resurrection Feast, and so the Sundays between Easter and Pentecost where available to continue the baptisms.
This week we will consider Psalm 121. It is one of the Songs of Degree that pilgrims coming to Jerusalem, Mount Zion, might have sung, or on the actual temple steps as they went up to worship.
To accompany this psalm for the Old Testament lesson I have chosen Isaiah 59:8-18. The second part of this passage, from "Zion said, the Lord.." is known as the First Zion Poem"
Both the psalm and Isaiah sing of the source of salvation for people. Both are prophetic, reminding us that whenever trouble "comes a knocking at the door" we do right to look to the source of our salvation, the hills of Holy Jerusalem, Mother Jerusalem.
Augustine clearly shows that Christ is the new Zion, the new Jerusalem. He writes

...Let them "lift up their eyes to the hills whence cometh their help". What meaneth, The hills have been lightened? The Sun of Righteousness hath already risen, the Gospel hath been already preached by the Apostles, the Scriptures have been preached, all the mysteries have been laid open, the veil hath been rent, the secret place of the temple hath been revealed: let them now at length lift their eyes up to the hills, whence their help cometh..."Of His fulness have all we received," he saith. Thy help therefore is from Him, of whose fulness the hills received, not from the hills; towards which, nevertheless, save thou lift thine eyes through the Scriptures, thou wilt not approach, so as to be lighted by Him.
I once took a youth group to visit the Eastern Band of the Cherokee, and their little congregation of St. Francis, near Boone, NC. The Cherokee had long been converted to Christianity and had a Bible in their language. In their native faith before conversion, they had a concept of a triune god, and so the revelation of the doctrine of the Trinity was one they easily grasped. We went to a play to tell their story, and the name of the play was "Unto these Hills"; based on the prayer of Psalm 121.
You see, the way it was presented, the great Indian Removal began in 1838, many of the Cherokee in North Carolina looked to the hills, and fled to the caves, crags, and hollows to hide themselves from the Federal troops who had come to move them to the state of Oklahoma. Of course, they prayed to God for salvation. Some little time after that, a wealthy man deeded to the Cherokee a great swath of beautiful hills that the remnants of the people occupied, and do unto this day through the kindness and compassion of a Christian friend, and I believe whose help came from the Lord, and the recognition of his charitable duty, as he saw it, to aid his neighbor.
Let us lift up our eyes to the Risen Christ, from whence cometh our help. Alleluia

Released by Primus Pilus
Legio Christi-Ecclesia Militans
"Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another" [St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans 14:19]