Augustine on Psalm XLI
Eighth Sunday after Trinity Home
O GOD, whose never-failing providence ordereth all things both in heaven and earth; We humbly beseech thee to put away from us all hurtful things, and to give us those things which are profitable for us; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Historical Note: Source Gelasian [ca 494]. This is a 1662 edition, which differs from the original translation. The Original Latin: cuius providential in sui despositione non fallitur
Homily of Augustine on Psalm XLI
The 41st Psalm is one of David's when he was ill. I have selected the 1 Kings 1 as the Old Testament lesson to accompany this verse, for as David did fall old and infirm, his enemies began to plan their takeover and to remove his name from the memory of the people.
The sermon of Augustine at the link is based on the theme of the quotation. He understood this psalm and especially this verse to be of a prophetic type concerning the Church and her enemies. He wrote,
First, that which responding to the reader we have sung, though it be from the middle of the Psalm, from that I will take the beginning of this Sermon. "Mine enemies speak evil of Me, When He shall die, then shall His Name perish" (ver. 5). This is the Person of our Lord Jesus Christ: but see if herein are not understood the members also. This was spoken also when our Lord Himself walked in the flesh here on earth....When they saw the people go after Him, they said, "When He shall die, then shall His Name perish;" that is, when we have slain Him, then shall His Name be no more in the earth, nor shall He seduce any, being dead; but by that very slaying of Him shall men understand, that He was but a man whom they followed, that there was in Him no hope of salvation, and shall desert His Name, and it shall no more be. He died, and His Name perished not, but His Name was sown as seed: He died, but He was a grain, which dying, the corn immediately sprang up. When glorified then was our Lord Jesus Christ, began they much more, and much more numerously to trust in Him; then began His members to hear what the Head had heard. Now then our Lord Jesus Christ being in heaven set down, and Himself in us labouring on earth, still spake His enemies, "When He shall die, then shall His Name perish." For hence stirred up the devil persecutions in the Church to destroy the Name of Christ. Unless haply ye think, brethren, that those Pagans, when they raged against Christians, said not this among themselves, "to blot out the Name of Christ from the earth." That Christ might die again, not in the Head, but in His Body, were slain also the Martyrs. To the multiplying of the Church availed the Holy Blood poured forth, to help Its seminating came also the death of the Martyrs. "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His Saints." More and more were the Christians multiplied, nor was it fulfilled which spake the enemies, "When He shall die, then shall His Name perish." Even now also is it spoken. Down sit the Pagans, and compute them the years, they hear their fanatics saying, A time shall come when Christians shall be none, and those idols must be worshipped as before they were worshipped: still say they, "When He shall die, then shall His Name perish." Twice conquered, now the third time be wise! Christ died, His Name has not perished: the Martyrs died, multiplied more is the Church, groweth through all nations the Name of Christ. He who foretold of His own Death, and of His Resurrection, He who foretold of His Martyrs' death, and of their crown, He Himself foretold of His Church things yet to come, if truth He spake twice, has He the third time lied? Vain then is what ye believe against Him; better is it that ye believe in Him, that ye may "understand upon the needy and poor One;" that "though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that ye through His poverty might be rich." ..
The names of Jesus and of David have withstood the test of time and are known to all nations wherever the Gospel has gone, for our Lord's was also known as Son of David by the multitudes of his day and today. The works of the Jews and the pagan of Greece and Rome failed to silence the name of Jesus. There are enemies today too. They condemn us, we who pray in his name in public. They remove his name from the vocabulary of our children in their schooling. They persist without tiring to try to cause the name of Jesus to perish.
Augustine's words are still true, "Vain then is what ye believe against him". Those who have disparaged the unique position of the Son of David as the only Savior of the world, and claim that a man may have salvation by faith in his sect and speak against this catholic and orthodox Christian doctrine, will perish in their vanity, for by no other name may man be saved, than on the name of Jesus [Acts 4:12] Whosoever is ashamed of this doctrine which is clearly articulated in the Gospel, and thus are ashamed of the words of our Lord, him our Lord has promised to deny on the last day [Mark 8:38] I pray for the innocent who are drawn from the truth into affirming this heresy in ignorance, following after those who they trust and by whom they are deceived. May God show them the light and have mercy.
If any are in doubt about the traditional faith, then they should read the Gospel and epistles, the Ecumenical Councils, other councils, the Roman Catholic
Catechism, the 39 Articles, or any other Reformed Confessions and one will have to acknowledge that this is the catholic faith. If any are in doubt of this doctrine... doubt not. Here are a few examples
Roman Catholic Catechism
|432 The name "Jesus" signifies that the very name of God is present in the person of his Son, made man for the universal and definitive redemption from sins. It is the divine name that alone brings salvation, and henceforth all can invoke his name, for Jesus united himself to all men through his Incarnation, so that "there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved."|
Anglican 39 Articles of Religion
XVIII. Of obtaining eternal Salvation only by the Name of Christ.
They also are to be had accursed that presume to say, That every man shall be saved by the Law or Sect which he professeth, so that he be diligent to frame his life according to that Law, and the light of Nature. For Holy Scripture doth set out unto us only the Name of Jesus Christ, whereby men must be saved.
ll those that are justified, God vouchsafes, in and for His only Son Jesus Christ, to make partakers of the grace of adoption,by which they are taken into the number, and enjoy the liberties and privileges of the children of God, have His name put upon them, receive the spirit of adoption, have access to the throne of grace with boldness, are enabled to cry, Abba, Father are pitied, protected, provided for, and chastened by Him as by a Father: yet never cast off, but sealed to the day of redemption; and inherit the promises,as heirs of everlasting salvation.
Following the holy fathers, we teach with one voice that the Son [of God] and our Lord Jesus Christ is to be confessed as one and the same [Person], that He is perfect in Godhead and perfect in manhood, true God and true man, of a reasonable soul and [human] body consisting, consubstantial with the Father as touching His Godhead, and consubstantial with us as touching His manhood; having become like us in all things save sin only; begotten of His Father before the ages according to His Godhead; but in these last days, for us men and for our salvation, born of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, according to His manhood. This one and the same Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son [of God] must be confessed to be in two natures, unconfusedly, immutably, indivisibly, inseparably [united], and that without the distinction of natures being taken away by such union, but rather the peculiar property of each nature being preserved and being united in one Person and subsistence, not separated or divided into two persons, but one and the same Son and only-begotten, God the Word, our Lord Jesus Christ, as the prophets of old have spoken concerning Him, and as the Lord Jesus Christ has taught us, and as the Creed of the fathers has delivered unto us.
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]
* ORDO CENTURIONUM * IN HOC SIGNO VINCES * TIME DEUM ET OPERARE IUSTITIAM