“Sermon 47”

Augustine of Hippo in Philip Schaff, ed., A Select Library of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, vol. 6

Eerdmans, 1974

p. 412

When we are born, everything significant about us, whether good or evil, is uncertain; “death alone is certain. What is this that I say? A child is conceived; perhaps it will be born; perhaps it will be an untimely birth. So it is uncertain. Perhaps he will grow up; perhaps he will not grow up; perhaps he will grow old; perhaps he will not grow old; perhaps he will be rich, perhaps poor; perhaps he will be distinguished, perhaps abased; perhaps he will have children, perhaps not.” All is uncertain. But death is certain. “As when medical men examine an illness, and ascertain that it is fatal, they make this pronouncement: ‘He will die, he will not get over this,’ so from the moment of a man’s birth, it may be said, ‘He will not get over this.’”