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The whole redeemed city, that is to say, the congregation or community of the saints, is offered to God as our sacrifice through the great High Priest, who offered Himself to God in His passion for us, that we might be members of this glorious head, according to the form of a servant. For it was this form He offered, in this He was offered, because it is according to it He is Mediator, in this He is our Priest, in this the Sacrifice. Accordingly, when the apostle had exhorted us to present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, our reasonable service, and not to be conformed to the world, but to be transformed in the renewing of our mind, that we might prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God, that is to say, the true sacrifice of ourselves, he says, “For I say, through the grace of God which is given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. For, as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another, having gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us.” This is the sacrifice of Christians: we, being many, are one body in Christ. And this also is the sacrifice which the Church continually celebrates in the sacrament of the altar, known to the faithful, in which she teaches that she herself is offered in the offering she makes to God.

Augustine of Hippo

Augustine of Hippo. (1887). The City of God. In P. Schaff (Ed.), M. Dods (Trans.), St. Augustin’s City of God and Christian Doctrine (Vol. 2, p. 184). Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Company.


Augustine of Hippo (354–430)

Clearly one of the dominant figures of Latin (Western) theology, Augustine rose in the church to become the bishop of Hippo in North Africa, and through his written works had a profound impact upon the development of theology in the medieval and Reformation eras. His early days, and especially his spiritual pilgrimage, were delineated in the autobiographical work Confessions. Born in Tagaste, near Carthage, to a pagan father and a devout Christian mother, *Monica, Augustine lost his faith in his teens as he sought fame as a teacher of rhetoric. This began a search for truth in various philosophical systems, finally leading to *Manichaeism. Along the way he had taken a mistress and fathered a son, Adeodatus. Lured to Italy by the prospect of fame, Augustine taught in Rome and Milan. The sermons of *Ambrose, bishop of Milan, led to his conversion in 386. Augustine’s return to Africa began a rapid rise to prominence in the church. As bishop, Augustine’s intellectual gifts and rhetorical skills were put in service to the church in dealing with the Donatist and *Pelagian controversies and in writing key works, including The *City of God (a treatise on church and state), *On the Trinity, *On Christian Doctrine (a primer on the interpretation of Scripture) and many commentaries on books of the Bible.

Feldmeth, N. P. (2008). In Pocket Dictionary of Church History: Over 300 Terms Clearly and Concisely Defined (pp. 19–20). Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic.

Categories:   Augustine of Hippo, Early Church Fathers, Quotations

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