Augustine wrote a huge book called City of God (1000+ pages in English). I’m plowing my way through it — have been for a while. Originally I was attracted to it just because it’s so darn huge and I had never heard of anybody who’d actually finished the thing, but once I got reading it was a blast watching Augustine work. Parts of it are just fascinating. Even if what he says isn’t always immediately useful today (and surprisingly often it is), the way he says it is still worth studying.  Here he comments on Hannah’s song of praise from 1 Samuel 1:2-10:

“Are these words going to be regarded as simply the words of one mere woman giving thanks for the birth of her son? Are men’s minds so turned away from the light of truth that they do not feel that the words poured out by this woman transcend the limit of her own thoughts? In truth, anyone who is appropriately moved by the events whose fulfillment has already begun, even in this earthly pilgrimage, cannot but attend to these words, and observe and recognize that through this woman (whose very name, Hannah, means ‘God’s grace’) there speaks, by the spirit of prophecy, the Christian religion itself, the City of God itself, whose king and founder is Christ; there speaks, in fact, the grace of God itself, from which the proud are estranged so that they fall, with which the humble are filled so that they rise up, which was in fact, the chief theme that rang out in her hymn of praise.” (Augustine, City of God, Book XVII, Ch.4)

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