Augustine Homily of the Raising of the Dead
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O LORD, we beseech thee, let thy continual pity cleanse and defend thy Church; and, because it cannot continue in safety without thy succour, preserve it evermore by thy help and goodness; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Source of Collect - Bishop Gelasius' Sacrementary [494AD].One is reminded of Psalm 51 purge me with hyssop and I shall be clean and Rev 7:14, washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb
Let us then, dearly Beloved, in such wise hear these things, that they who are alive may live; they who are dead may live again. Whether it be that as yet the sin has been conceived in the heart, and not come forth into open act; let the thought be repented of, and corrected, let the dead within the house of conscience arise. Or whether he has actually committed what he thought of; let not even thus his case be despaired of. The dead within has not arisen, let him arise when "he is carried out." Let him repent him of his deed, let him at once return to life; let him not go to the depth of the grave, let him not receive the load of habit upon him. But peradventure I am now speaking to one who is already pressed down by this hard stone of his own habit, who is already laden with the weight of custom, who "has been in the grave four days already, and who stinketh." Yet let not even him despair; he is dead in the depth below, but Christ is exalted on high. He knows how by His cry to burst asunder the burdens of earth, He knows how to restore life within by Himself, and to deliver him to the disciples to be loosed. Let even such as these repent. For when Lazarus had been raised again after the four days, no foul smell remained in him when he was alive. So then let them who are alive, still live; and let them who are dead, whosoever they be, in which kind soever of these three deaths they find themselves, see to it that they rise again at once with all speed.
Here, Augustine preaches of the spiritual raising of those who have fallen into sin and are dead to the Lord, and the various stages of that death; emphasizing that none are two far gone for Jesus to raise up. He quotes or aludes to some very specific scriptures as bearing on this topic which will give us an understanding of how the early church regarded salvation; for instance:
God is sovereign and "quickeneth whom he will" God has promised everlasting life to the elect: they who believe on him are raised up from spiritual death in the moment of their union with Christ; fully justified, and remain so joined with him in life everlasting in holy sanctification. Paul explains how there is to be the actual, promised, physical resurrection of God's chosen,
finally glorified [1Th 4:16]. As Bishop Galasius chanted in our collect for this day, Lord, preserve thy church for evermore by thy help and goodness, through Jesus Christ our Lord.Finis
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