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Chapter 10.—23.  Petilianus said:  "Did the apostle persecute any one? or did Christ betray any one?"

24.  Augustin answered:  I might indeed say that Satan himself was worse than all wicked men; and yet the apostle delivered a 535man over to him for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit might be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.19951995     1 Cor. v. 5.   And in the same way he delivered over others, of whom he says, "Whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme."19961996     1 Tim. i. 20.   And the Lord Christ drove out the impious merchants from the temple with scourges; in which connection we also find advanced the testimony of Scripture, where it says, "The zeal of Thine house hath eaten me up."19971997     John ii. 15-17.   So that we do find the apostle delivering over to condemnation, and Christ a persecutor.  All this I might say, and put you into no small heat and perturbation, so that you would be compelled to inquire, not into the complaints of those who suffer, but into the intention of those who cause the suffering.  But do not trouble yourself about this; I do not say this.  But I do say that it has nothing to do with the seed of Abraham, which is in all nations, if anything has been done to you which ought not to have been done, perhaps by the chaff among the harvest of the Lord, which in spite of this is found among all nations.  Do you therefore render an account of your separation.  But first, consider what kind of men you have among you, with whom you would not wish to be reproached; and see how unjustly you act, when you cast in our teeth the acts of other men, even if you proved what you assert.  Therefore it will be found that there is no ground for your separation.


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