Tractates on the Gospel of John - Vol. 5

By Augustine; John W. Rettig | Go to book overview

TRACTATE 6
On 1 Jn 3.18-4.3

IF YOU REMEMBER, brothers, that we closed our discourse yesterday1. at this sentence--one that without a doubt ought to have remained and ought to remain in your heart, because you heard it last: "Little children, let us not love in word only and in tongue, but in work and in truth." Then [the text] continues: "And in this we know that we are of the truth and before him we persuade our heart. For if our heart should have a bad opinion [of us], God is greater than our heart and knows all things." He had said, "Let us not love in word only and in tongue, but in work and in truth." The question is asked of us in what work and in what truth he who loves God or who loves his brother is recognized. Already, earlier, [ John] had said where love reaches perfection and the Lord too said this in the Gospel: "Greater love than this no one has than that he should lay down his life for his friends."2. And this same writer had said this: "As he has laid down his lfe for us, we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren."3. This is the perfection of love, and a greater one cannot at all be found.

(2) But because it is not perfect in all and he ought not to despair in whom it is not perfect if what can reach perfection has already been born--and of course if it has been born, it must be nurtured and by certain nourishments of its own be led to its proper perfection. We have sought the initiation of love, from where it begins, and we immediately found there: "If anyone has the riches of the world and sees his brother in need and shuts up his bowels against him, how does the love of the Father abide in him?"4. Therefore here begins this love, brothers, that from his own surplus one should give to him in

____________________
1.
Tratate5, of course.
2.
Cf. Jn 15-13.
3.
Cf. 1 Jn 3.16.
4.
Cf. 1 Jn 3.17.

-198-

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Tractates on the Gospel of John - Vol. 5
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Abbreviations vii
  • Select Bibliography for Tr in Ev ix
  • Select Bibliography for Tr in Io Ep xi
  • Tractates on the Gospel of John 112-24 1
  • Tractate 112 on John 18.1-12 3
  • Tractate 113 on John 18.13-27 9
  • Tractate 114 on John 18.28-32 16
  • Tractate 115 on John 18.33-40 21
  • Tractate 116 on John 19.1-16 27
  • Tractate 117 33
  • Tractate 118 39
  • Tractate 119 45
  • Tractate 120 50
  • Tractate 121 on John 20.10-29 56
  • Tractate 122 on John 20.30-31, 21.1-11 62
  • Tractate 123 74
  • Tractate 124 - On John 21.19-25 82
  • Tractates on the First Epistle of John 1-10 95
  • Introduction 97
  • Prologue 119
  • Tractate 1 on 1 Jn 1.1-2.11 121
  • Tractate 2 on I Jn 2.12--17 141
  • Tractate 3 on 1 Jn 2.18-27 159
  • Tractate 4 on 1 Jn 2.27-3.9 173
  • Tractate 5 on 1 Jn 3.9-18 185
  • Tractate 6 on 1 Jn 3.18-4.3 198
  • Tractate 7 217
  • Tractate 8 on I Jn 4.12-16 228
  • Tractate 9 on 1 Jn 4.17-21 246
  • Tractate 10 on 1 Jn 5.1-3 262
  • Indices 279
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