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Chapter 13.—Diverse Things are Spoken Concerning the Same Christ, on Account of the Diverse Natures of the One Hypostasis [Theanthropic Person]. Why It is Said that the Father Will Not Judge, But Has Given Judgment to the Son.
28. Yet unless the very same were the Son of man on account of the form of a servant which He took, who is the Son of God on account of the form of God in which He is; Paul the apostle would not say of the princes of this world, “For had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.”171171 1 Cor. ii. 8 For He was crucified after the form of a servant, and yet “the Lord of glory” was crucified. For that “taking” was such as to make God man, and man God. Yet what is said on account of what, and what according to what, the thoughtful, diligent, and pious reader discerns for himself, the Lord being his helper. For instance, we have said that He glorifies His own, as being God, and certainly then as being the Lord of glory; and yet the Lord of glory was crucified, because even God is rightly said to have been crucified, not after the power of the divinity, but after the weakness of the flesh:172172 2 Cor. xiii. 4 just as we say, that He judges as God, that is, by divine power, not by human; and yet the man Himself will judge, just as the Lord of glory was crucified: for so He expressly says, “When the Son of man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, and before Him shall be gathered all nations;”173173 Matt. xxv. 31, 32 and the rest that is foretold of the future judgment in that place even to the last sentence. And the Jews, inasmuch as they will be punished in that judgment for persisting in their wickedness, as it is elsewhere written, “shall look upon Him whom they have pierced.”174174 Zech. xii. 10 For whereas both good and bad shall see the Judge of the quick and dead, without doubt the bad will not be able to see Him, except after the form in which He is the Son of man; but yet in the glory wherein He will judge, not in the lowliness wherein He was judged. But the ungodly without doubt will not see that form of God in which He is equal to the Father. For they are not pure in heart; and “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.”175175 Matt. v. 8 And that sight is face to face,176176 1 Cor. xiii. 12 the very sight that is promised as the highest reward to the just, and which will then take place when He “shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father;” and in this “kingdom” He means the sight of His own form also to be understood, the whole creature being made subject to God, including that wherein the Son of God was made the Son of man. Because, according to this creature, “The Son also Himself shall be subject unto Him, that put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.”177177 1 Cor. xv. 24–28 Otherwise if the Son of God, judging in the form in which He is equal to the Father, shall appear when He judges to the ungodly also; what becomes of that which He promises, as some great thing, to him who loves Him, saying, “And I will love him, and will manifest myself to him?”178178 John xiv. 21 Wherefore He will judge as the Son of man, yet not by human power, but by that whereby He is the Son of God; and on the other hand, He will judge as the Son of God, yet not appearing in that [unincarnate] form in which He is God equal to the Father, but in that [incarnate form] in which He is the Son of man.179179 [Augustin in this discussion, sometimes employs the phrase “Son of man” to denote the human nature of Christ, in distinction from the divine. But in Scripture and in trinitarian theology generally, this phrase properly denotes the whole theanthropic person under a human title—just as “man”, (1 Tim. ii. 5), “last Adam” (1 Cor. xv. 45), and “second man” (1 Cor. xv. 47), denote not the human nature, but the whole divine-human person under a human title. Strictly used, the phrase “Son of man” does not designate the difference between the divine and human natures in the theanthropos, but between the person of the un-incarnate and that of the incarnate Logos. Augustin’s meaning is, that the Son of God will judge men at the last day, not in his original “form of God,” but as this is united with human nature—as the Son of man.—W.G.T.S.]
29. Therefore both ways of speaking may be used; the Son of man will judge, and, the Son of man will not judge: since the Son of man will judge, that the text may be true which says, “When the Son of man shall come, then before Him shall be gathered all nations;” and the Son of man will not judge, that the text may be true which says, “I will not judge him;”180180 John xii. 47 and, “I seek not mine own glory: there is One that seeketh and judgeth.”181181 John viii. 50 For in respect to this, that in the judgment, not the form of God, but the form of the Son of man will appear, the Father Himself will not judge; for according to this 34it is said, “For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son.” Whether this is said after that mode of speech which we have mentioned above, where it is said, “So hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself,”182182 John v. 22, 26 that it should signify that so He begat the Son; or, whether after that of which the apostle speaks, saying, “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name:”—(For this is said of the Son of man, in respect to whom the Son of God was raised from the dead; since He, being in the form of God equal to the Father, wherefrom He “emptied” Himself by taking the form of a servant, both acts and suffers, and receives, in that same form of a servant, what the apostle goes on to mention: “He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross; wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name; that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, in the Glory of God the Father:”183183 Phil. ii. 8–11—whether then the words, “He hath committed all judgment unto the Son,” are said according to this or that mode of speech; it sufficiently appears from this place, that if they were said according to that sense in which it is said, “He hath given to the Son to have life in Himself,” it certainly would not be said, “The Father judgeth no man.” For in respect to this, that the Father hath begotten the Son equal to Himself, He judges with Him. Therefore it is in respect to this that it is said, that in the judgment, not the form of God, but the form of the Son of man will appear. Not that He will not judge, who hath committed all judgment unto the Son, since the Son saith of Him, “There is One that seeketh and judgeth:” but it is so said, “The Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son;” as if it were said, No one will see the Father in the judgment of the quick and the dead, but all will see the Son: because He is also the Son of man, so that He can be seen even by the ungodly, since they too shall see Him whom they have pierced.
30. Lest, however, we may seem to conjecture this rather than to prove it clearly, let us produce a certain and plain sentence of the Lord Himself, by which we may show that this was the cause why He said, “The Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son,” viz. because He will appear as Judge in the form of the Son of man, which is not the form of the Father, but of the Son; nor yet that form of the Son in which He is equal to the Father, but that in which He is less than the Father; in order that, in the judgment, He may be visible both to the good and to the bad. For a little while after He says, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on Him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but shall pass184184 Transiit in Vulg.; and so in the Greek. from death unto life.” Now this life eternal is that sight which does not belong to the bad. Then follows, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and they that hear shall live.”185185 John v. 24, 25 And this is proper to the godly, who so hear of His incarnation, as to believe that He is the Son of God, that is, who so receive Him, as made for their sakes less than the Father, in the form of a servant, that they believe Him equal to the Father, in the form of God. And thereupon He continues, enforcing this very point, “For as the Father hath life in Himself, so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself.” And then He comes to the sight of His own glory, in which He shall come to judgment; which sight will be common to the ungodly and to the just. For He goes on to say, “And hath given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of man.”186186 John v. 25, 26 I think nothing can be more clear. For inasmuch as the Son of God is equal to the Father, He does not receive this power of executing judgment, but He has it with the Father in secret; but He receives it, so that the good and the bad may see Him judging, inasmuch as He is the Son of man. Since the sight of the Son of man will be shown to the bad also: for the sight of the form of God will not be shown except to the pure in heart, for they shall see God; that is, to the godly only, to whose love He promises this very thing, that He will show Himself to them. And see, accordingly, what follows: “Marvel not at this,” He says. Why does He forbid us to marvel, unless it be that, in truth, every one marvels who does not understand, that therefore He said the Father gave Him power also to execute judgment, because He is the Son of man; whereas, it might rather have been anticipated that He would say, since He is the Son of God? But because the wicked are not able to see the Son of God as He is in the form of God equal to the Father, 35but yet it is necessary that both the just and the wicked should see the Judge of the quick and dead, when they will be judged in His presence; “Marvel not at this,” He says, “for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.”187187 John v. 22–29 For this purpose, then, it was necessary that He should therefore receive that power, because He is the Son of man, in order that all in rising again might see Him in the form in which He can be seen by all, but by some to damnation, by others to life eternal. And what is life eternal, unless that sight which is not granted to the ungodly? “That they might know Thee,” He says, “the One true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent.”188188 John xvii. 3 And how are they to know Jesus Christ Himself also, unless as the One true God, who will show Himself to them; not as He will show Himself, in the form of the Son of man, to those also that shall be punished?189189 [Augustin here seems to teach that the phenomenal appearance of Christ to the redeemed in heaven will be different from that to all men in the day of judgment. He says that he will show himself to the former “in the form of God;” to the latter, “in the form of the Son of man.” But, surely, it is one and the same God-man who sits on the judgment throne, and the heavenly throne. His appearance must be the same in both instances: namely, that of God incarnate. The effect of his phenomenal appearance upon the believer will, indeed, be very different from that upon the unbeliever. For the wicked, this vision of God incarnate will be one of terror; for the redeemed one of joy.—W.G.T.S.]
31. He is “good,” according to that sight, according to which God appears to the pure in heart; for “truly God is good unto Israel even to such as are of a clean heart.”190190 Ps. lxxiii. 1 But when the wicked shall see the Judge, He will not seem good to them; because they will not rejoice in their heart to see Him, but all “kindreds of the earth shall then wail because of Him,”191191 Apoc. i. 7 namely, as being reckoned in the number of all the wicked and unbelievers. On this account also He replied to him, who had called Him Good Master, when seeking advice of Him how he might attain eternal life, “Why askest thou me about good?192192 [Augustin’s reading of this text is that of the uncials; and in that form which omits the article with ἀγαθοῦ.—W.G.T.S.] there is none good but One, that is, God.”193193 Matt. xix. 17 And yet the Lord Himself, in another place, calls man good: “A good man,” He says, “out of the good treasure of his heart, bringeth forth good things: and an evil man, out of the evil treasure of his heart, bringeth forth evil things.”194194 Matt. xii. 35 But because that man was seeking eternal life, and eternal life consists in that contemplation in which God is seen, not for punishment, but for everlasting joy; and because he did not understand with whom he was speaking, and thought Him to be only the Son of man:195195 [That is, a mere man. Augustin here, as in some other places, employs the phrase “Son of man” to denote the human nature by itself—not the divine and human natures united in one person, and designated by this human title. The latter is the Scripture usage. As “Immanuel” does not properly denote the divine nature, but the union of divinity and humanity, so “Son of man” does not properly denote the human nature, but the union of divinity and humanity.—W.G.T.S.] Why, He says, askest thou me about good? that is, with respect to that form which thou seest, why askest thou about good, and callest me, according to what thou seest, Good Master? This is the form of the Son of man, the form which has been taken, the form that will appear in judgment, not only to the righteous, but also to the ungodly; and the sight of this form will not be for good to those who are wicked. But there is a sight of that form of mine, in which when I was, I thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but in order to take this form I emptied myself.196196 Phil. ii. 6, 7 That one God, therefore, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, who will not appear, except for joy which cannot be taken away from the just; for which future joy he sighs, who says, “One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord:”197197 Ps. xxvii. 4 that one God, therefore, Himself, I say, is alone good, for this reason, that no one sees Him for sorrow and wailing, but only for salvation and true joy. If you understand me after this latter form, then I am good; but if according to that former only, then why askest thou me about good? If thou art among those who “shall look upon Him whom they have pierced,”198198 Zech. xii. 10 that very sight itself will be evil to them, because it will be penal. That after this meaning, then, the Lord said, “Why askest thou me about good? there is none good but One, that is, God,” is probable upon those proofs which I have alleged, because that sight of God, whereby we shall contemplate the substance of God unchangeable and invisible to human eyes (which is promised to the saints alone; which the Apostle Paul speaks of, as “face to face;”199199 1 Cor. xiii. 12 and of which the Apostle John says, “We shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is;”200200 1 John iii. 2 and of which it is said, “One thing have I desired of the Lord, that I may behold the beauty of the Lord,” and of which the Lord Himself says, “I will both love him, and will manifest myself to him;”201201 John xiv. 21 and on account of which alone we cleanse our hearts by faith, that we may be those “pure in heart who are blessed for they shall see God:”202202 Matt. v. 8 and what36ever else is spoken of that sight: which whosoever turns the eye of love to seek it, may find most copiously scattered through all the Scriptures),—that sight alone, I say, is our chief good, for the attaining of which we are directed to do whatever we do aright. But that sight of the Son of man which is foretold, when all nations shall be gathered before Him, and shall say to Him, “Lord, when saw we Thee an hungered, or thirsty, etc.?” will neither be a good to the ungodly, who shall be sent into everlasting fire, nor the chief good to the righteous. For He still goes on to call these to the kingdom which has been prepared for them from the foundation of the world. For, as He will say to those, “Depart into everlasting fire;” so to these, “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you.” And as those will go into everlasting burning; so the righteous will go into life eternal. But what is life eternal, except “that they may know Thee,” He says, “the One true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent?”203203 Matt. xxv. 37, 41, 34 but know Him now in that glory of which He says to the Father, “Which I had with Thee before the world was.”204204 John xvii. 3–5 For then He will deliver up the kingdom to God, even the Father,205205 1 Cor. xv. 24 that the good servant may enter into the joy of his Lord,206206 Matt. xxv. 21, 23 and that He may hide those whom God keeps in the hiding of His countenance from the confusion of men, namely, of those men who shall then be confounded by hearing this sentence; of which evil hearing “the righteous man shall not be afraid”207207 Ps. cxii. 7 if only he be kept in “the tabernacle,” that is, in the true faith of the Catholic Church, from “the strife of tongues,”208208 Ps. xxxi. 21 that is, from the sophistries of heretics. But if there is any other explanation of the words of the Lord, where He says, “Why asketh thou me about good? there is none good, but One, that is, God;” provided only that the substance of the Father be not therefore believed to be of greater goodness than that of the Son, according to which He is the Word by whom all things were made; and if there is nothing in it abhorrent from sound doctrine; let us securely use it, and not one explanation only, but as many as we are able to find. For so much the more powerfully are the heretics proved wrong, the more outlets are open for avoiding their snares. But let us now start afresh, and address ourselves to the consideration of that which still remains.
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