May 11, 2013

Augustine (354–430) on "Perfect Hatred"

“With a perfect hatred did I hate them” (ver. 22). What is, “with a perfect hatred”? I hated in them their iniquities, I loved Thy creation. This it is to hate with a perfect hatred, that neither on account of the vices thou hate the men, nor on account of the men love the vices. For see what he addeth, “They became mine enemies.” Not only as God’s enemies, but as his own too doth he now describe them. How then will he fulfill in them both his own saying, “Have not I hated those that hated Thee, Lord,” and the Lord’s command, “Love your enemies”? How will he fulfill this, save with that “perfect hatred,” that he hate in them that they are wicked, and love that they are men? For in the time even of the Old Testament, when the carnal people was restrained by visible punishments, how did Moses, the servant of God, who by understanding belonged to the New Testament, how did he hate sinners when he prayed for them, or how did he not hate them when he slew them, save that he “hated them with a perfect hatred”? For with such perfection did he hate the iniquity which he punished, as to love the manhood for which he prayed.
Augustine, "Expositions on the Book of Psalms," NPNF, 1st Series, ed. by Philip Schaff (Peabody, Mass: Hendrickson Publishers, 2004), 8:640. C. H. Spurgeon cites this in his Treasury of David. Nathaniel Hardy (1618–1670) also cites it in The First General Epistle of St. John the Apostle, Unfolded and Applied (Edinburgh: James Nichol, 1865), 195; or see here.

No comments: