Tractates on the Gospel of John - Vol. 2

By John W. Rettig; Saint Augustine Bishop of Hippo | Go to book overview

TRACTATE 19

On John 5.19-30

IN THE PREVIOUS SERMON, as far as [the matter] excited our enthusiasm and impelled our poor understanding, we spoke, taking occasion from the gospel's words, where it was written, "The Son cannot do anything of himself, but only what he sees the Father doing." And we said what the Son's "seeing" is, that is, the Word's "seeing," because the Son is the Word. And [we also said], because all things were made through the Word, how it can be understood that the Son first sees the Father doing, and only then he himself does what he has seen done, although the Father does nothing except through the Son. For, "all things were made through him and without him was made nothing."1 Yet we did not offer any explanation, but because we did not understand any explanation. Sometimes, to be sure, speech is defective even where the understanding advances toward perfection, how much more does speech suffer defectiveness when the understanding does not have an advancing toward perfection.

(2) So now, as far as the Lord grants it, let us briefly run through the reading, and today at least let us complete the task which is owed. If, perchance, any time or strength remains, we shall reexamine, if we can (as far as it is possible both by us and with you), what the "seeing" of the Word is, what "to be shown to the Word" is. To be sure, if all these things which were said here are understood carnally according to human meaning, a soul, full of imagined appearances, makes nothing else for us except certain images as of two

____________________
1
. Cf. Jn 1.3.

-139-

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Tractates on the Gospel of John - Vol. 2
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Abbreviations vii
  • Bibliography ix
  • Introduction 1
  • Tractate 11 9
  • Tractate 12 28
  • Tractate 13 44
  • Tractate 14 63
  • Tractate 15 78
  • Tractate 16 100
  • Tractate 17 108
  • Tractate 18 124
  • Tractate 19 139
  • Tractate 20 163
  • Tractate 21 178
  • Tractate 22 197
  • Tractate 23 212
  • Tractate 24 231
  • Tractate 25 239
  • Tractate 26 259
  • Tractate 27 277
  • Indices 289
  • Index of Holy Scripture 301
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