Archive Authors Civic Polity E.J. Hutchinson Ecclesiastical Polity Nota Bene

Hemmingsen (and [Pseudo-]Augustine) on Exile

In order to flesh out the effects of the Lord’s Passion in the Enchiridion theologicum, Niels Hemmingsen quotes an excerpt he attributes to Augustine.

Et Augustinus: Per Redemptoris, nostri mortem de tenebris ad lucem, de morte ad vitam, de corruptione ad incorruptionem, de exilio ad patriam, de luctu ad gaudium, de terris ad coeleste regnum vocati sumus. Huiusmodique plurimae sanctorum Patrum sententiae de fructu passionis dominicae passim leguntur.

And Augustine: “Through the death of our Redeemer, we are called from darkness to light, from death to life, from corruption to incorruption, from exile to our homeland, from grief to joy, from earth to the heavenly kingdom. One everywhere reads very many statements of the Fathers of this kind concerning the fruit of the Lord’s Passion.”

This is not by Augustine. It is from a sermon spuriously attributed to him; but that’s not the point. The point is, at its most basic, that “exile” in Christian terms is alienation from God due to sin, and it is overcome in the death and resurrection of Christ. He returns us to our patria, which is to say, to the Pater, our heavenly Father–or, more precisely, to God himself, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I’ve tried to show this in several places: here, here, here, here, here, and here, for instance. But this is, I think, a nice summary of the issue, and it is, he says, the majority report from the early church.

By E.J. Hutchinson

E.J. Hutchinson is Assistant Professor of Classics at Hillsdale College.