Sacred Texts  Christianity  Early Church Fathers  Index  Previous  Next 

Chapter 8.—God is the Chief Good, Whom We are to Seek After with Supreme Affection.

13.  Let us see how the Lord Himself in the gospel has taught us to live; how, too, Paul the apostle,—for the Manichæans dare not reject these Scriptures.  Let us hear, O Christ, what chief end Thou dost prescribe to us; and that is evidently the chief end p. 45 after which we are told to strive with supreme affection.  "Thou shalt love," He says, "the Lord thy God."  Tell me also, I pray Thee, what must be the measure of love; for I fear lest the desire enkindled in my heart should either exceed or come short in fervor.  "With all thy heart," He says.  Nor is that enough.  "With all thy soul."  Nor is it enough yet.  "With all thy mind." 49  What do you wish more?  I might, perhaps, wish more if I could see the possibility of more.  What does Paul say on this?  "We know," he says, "that all things issue in good to them that love God."  Let him, too, say what is the measure of love.  "Who then," he says, "shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or the sword?" 50   We have heard, then, what and how much we must love; this we must strive after, and to this we must refer all our plans.  The perfection of all our good things and our perfect good is God.  We must neither come short of this nor go beyond it:  the one is dangerous, the other impossible.



Matt. xxii. 37.


Rom. 8:28, 35.

Next: Chapter 9