De Sacramentis 1.1.28

1.1.28 “Why the works of foundation are recounted first, then the works of restoration.” Hugh is drawing near to the end of part one of book one on the “period of six days in the work of foundation,” and so he rehearses for us here what he is about in this work. His book is about the “sacrament of man’s redemption, which was formed from the beginning in the works of restoration.” Before the works of restoration, however, are the works of foundation, and so despite the sacramental subject matter of the present treatise, Hugh has seen fit to begun rather with these. By the works of foundation, he reminds us, he means the works of creation by which God brought all things into being from nothing, in contrast to which the works of restoration  “by which those things which had perished were restored.” Paralleling the six days of the works of foundation are the six ages of the works of restoration, determined “for the renewal of man.” He further defines the works of restoration as “the Incarnation of the Word, and those things which the Word with all His sacraments performed in the flesh and through the flesh, whether those sacraments which preceded from the beginning of the world to figure the Incarnation itself, or those which follow after, even to the end of the world, to announce and declare it.” Scripture not only speaks about these, but is “about these and for all these Divine Scripture was made.” He ends the chapter, finally, by restating the distinction between the subject matter of Scripture, namely the works of restoration, and the that of the “books of the gentiles,” the works of foundation.


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