Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers: Series I/Volume V/On the Spirit and the Letter/Chapter 39

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Chapter 39 [XXIV]—The Eternal Reward Which is Specially Declared in the New Testament, Foretold by the Prophet.

Accordingly, in our prophet likewise, whose testimony we are dealing with, this is added, that in God is the reward, in Him the end, in Him the perfection of happiness, in Him the sum of the blessed and eternal life. For after saying, “I will be their God, and they shall be my people,” he at once adds, “And they shall no more teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least even unto the greatest of them.”[1] Now, the present is certainly the time of the New Testament, the promise of which is given by the prophet in the words which we have quoted from his prophecy. Why then does each man still say even now to his neighbour and his brother, “Know the Lord?” Or is it not perhaps meant that this is everywhere said when the gospel is preached, and when this is its very proclamation? For on what ground does the apostle call himself “a teacher of the Gentiles,” [2] if it be not that what he himself implies in the following passage becomes realized: “How shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?”[3] Since, then, this preaching is now everywhere spreading, in what way is it the time of the New Testament of which the prophet spoke in the words, “And they shall not every man teach his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord; for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them,”[4] unless it be that he has included in his prophetic forecast the eternal reward of the said New Testament, by promising us the most blessed contemplation of God Himself?


  1. Jer. xxxi. 34.
  2. 1 Tim. ii. 7.
  3. Rom. x. 14.
  4. Jer. xxxi. 34.