By Saint Augustine; John W. Rettig (Translator)
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And the mountains themselves, in announcing peace to the Church, did not set themselves apart in regard to him from whom they received peace 7 so that they might announce peace truly and not deceitfully. 3· There are indeed other mountains which cause shipwreck; and whenever anyone directs his ship there, it is destroyed. For when those in danger see the land, it is easy to try as it were for land; but sometimes the land is seen on a mountain and rocks lie hidden beneath the mountain. And when someone tries for the mountain, he comes by chance upon the rocks; and there he finds not shelter but sorrow.
15. Cf. Jer 17-5· 14. 16. 1. 2. ST. AUGUSTINE 46 must put our hope in that place from which the mountains also receive. When we lift our eyes to the Scriptures, hecause the Scriptures were delivered through men, 17 we lift our eyes to the mountains from which help will come to us; and yet since they who wrote the Scriptures were themselves men, they were not providing enlightenment from themselves. Rather, he was the true light who enlightens every man coming into this world. " 7· Therefore, my brothers, I would direct my remarks to this purpose: When you have lifted up your heart to the Scriptures, when the words of the gospel rang out, "In the heginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God," and the rest which was read, you may understand that you have lifted your eyes to the mountains.
The Term "Tractate" (49) The term "Tractate" (tractatus) in Latin Christian writings was a technical designation for a specific type of sermon, one which combined scriptural exegesis, preaching, spiritual commentary, and theological reflection, and which was intended to be delivered by the bishop to his congregation. 90 In the strictest sense this is the kind of sermon properly called a homily since it is generally brief and given as part of a liturgy. 91 As a literary type of sermon, in its more general sense, this "Tractate" form arose in a gradual development from the basic secular meaning of tractatus, any oral or written inves8g.