LECTURES OR TRACTATES ON THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST. JOHN
TRACTATE XXVI.

CHAPTER VI. 41-59.

1. When our Lord Jesus Christ, as we have heard in the Gospel when it was read, had said that He was Himself the bread which came down from heaven, the Jews murmured and said, "Is not Jesus the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven?" These Jews were far off from the bread of heaven, and knew not how to hunger after it. They had the jaws of their heart languid; with open ears they were deaf, they saw and stood blind. This bread, indeed, requires the hunger of the inner man: and hence He saith in another place, "Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be satisfied."(1) But the Apostle Paul says that Christ is for us righteousness.(2) And, consequently, he that hungers after this bread, hungers after righteousness,--that righteousness however which cometh down from heaven, the righteousness that God gives, not that which man works for himself. For if man were not making a righteousness for himself, the same apostle would not have said of the Jews: "For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and wishing to establish their own righteousness, they are not subject to the righteousness of God."(3) Of such were these who understood not the bread that cometh down from heaven; because being satisfied with their own righteousness, they hungered not after the righteousness of God. What is this, God's righteousness and man's righteousness? God's righteousness here means, not that wherein God is righteous, but that which God bestows on man, that man may be righteous through God. But again, what was the righteousness of those Jews? A righteousness wrought of their own strength on which they presumed, and so declared themselves as if they were fulfillers of the law by their own virtue. But no man fulfills the law but he whom grace assists, that is, whom the bread that cometh down from heaven assists. "For the fulfilling of the law," as the apostle says in brief, "is charity."(4) Charity, that is, love, not of money, but of God; love, not of earth nor of heaven, but of Him who made Heaven and earth. Whence can man have that love? Let us hear the same: "The love of God," saith he, "is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us."(5) Wherefore, the Lord, about to give the Holy Spirit, said that Himself was the bread that came down from heaven, exhorting us to believe on Him. For to believe on Him is to eat the living bread. He that believes eats; he is sated invisibly, because invisibly is he born again. A babe within, a new man within. Where he is made new, there he is satisfied with food.

2. What then did the Lord answer to such murmurers? "Murmur not among yourselves." As if He said, I know why ye are not hungry, and do not understand nor seek after this bread. "Murmur not among yourselves: no man can come unto me, except the Father that sent me draw him." Noble excellence of grace! No man comes unless drawn. There is whom He draws, and there is whom He draws not; why He draws one and draws not another, do not desire to judge, if thou desirest not to err. Accept it at once and then understand; thou art not yet drawn? Pray that thou mayest be drawn. What do we say here, brethren? If we are "drawn" to Christ, it follows that we believe against our will; so then is force applied, not the will moved. A man can come to Church unwillingly, can approach the altar unwillingly, partake of the sacrament unwillingly: but he cannot believe unless he is willing. If we believed with the body, men might be made to believe against their will. But believing is not a thing done with the body. Hear the apostle: "With the heart man believeth unto righteousness." And what follows? "And with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."(6) That confession springs from the root of the heart. Sometimes thou hearest a man confessing, and knowest not whether he believes. But thou oughtest not to call him one confessing, if thou shouldest judge him to be one not believing. For to confess is this, to utter the thing that thou hast in thy heart: if thou hast one thing in thy heart, and another thing on thy tongue, thou art speaking, not confessing. Since, then, with the heart man believeth on Christ, which no man assuredly does against his will, and since he that is drawn seems to be as if forced against his will, how are we to solve this question, "No man cometh unto me, except the Father that sent me draw him"?.

3. If he is drawn, saith some one, he comes unwillingly. If he comes unwillingly, then he believes not; but if he believes not, neither does he come. For we do not run to Christ on foot, but by believing; nor is it by a motion of the body, but by the inclination of the heart that we draw nigh to Him. This is why that woman who touched the hem of His garment touched Him more than did the crowd that pressed Him. Therefore the Lord said, "Who touched me?" And the disciples wondering said, "The multitude throng Thee, and press Thee, and sayest Thou, Vho touched me?"(1) And He repeated it, "Somebody hath touched me." That woman touched, the multitude pressed. What is "touched," except "believed"? Whence also He said to that woman that wished to throw herself at His feet after His resurrection: "'Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to the Father."(2) Thou thinkest me to be that alone which thou seest; "touch me not." What is this? Thou supposest that I am that alone which I appear to thee: do not thus believe; that is, "touch me not for I am not yet ascended to the Father." To thee I am not ascended, for thence I never departed. She touched Him not while He stood on the earth; how then could she touch Him while ascending to the Father? Thus, however, thus He willed Himself to be touched; thus He is touched by those by whom He is profitably touched, ascending to the Father, abiding with the Father, equa to the Father.

4. Thence also He says here, if thou turn thy attention to it, "No man cometh to me except he whom the Father shall draw." Do not think that thou art drawn against thy will. The mind is drawn also by love. Nor ought we to be afraid, lest perchance we be censured in regard to this evangelic word of the Holy Scriptures by men who weigh words, but are far removed from things, most of all from divine things; and lest it be said to us, "How can I believe with the will if I am drawn?" I say it is not enough to be drawn by the will; thou art drawn even by delight. What is it to be drawn by delight? "Delight thyself in the Lord, and He shall give thee the desires of thy heart."(3) There is a pleasure of the heart to which that bread of heaven is sweet. Moreover, if it was right in the poet to say, "Every man is drawn by his own pleasure,"(4)--not necessity, but pleasure; not obligation, but delight,--how much more boldly ought we to say that a man is drawn to Christ when he delights in the truth, when he delights in blessedness, delights in righteousness, delights in everlasting life, all which Christ is? Or is it the case that, while the senses of the body have their pleasures, the mind is left without pleasures of its own? If the mind has no pleasures of its own, how is it said, "The sons of men shall trust under the cover of Thy wings: they shall be well satisfied with the fullness of Thy house; and Thou shalt give them drink from the river of Thy pleasure. For with Thee is the fountain of life; and in Thy light shall we see light"?(5) Give me a man that loves, and he feels what I say. Give me one that longs, one that hungers, one that is travelling in this wilderness, and thirsting and panting after the fountain of his eternal home; give such, and he knows what I say. But if I speak to the cold and indifferent, he knows not what I say. Such were those who murmured among themselves. "He whom the Father shall draw," saith He, "cometh unto me."

5 But what is this, "Whom the Father shall draw," when Christ Himself draws? Why did He say, "Whon the Father shall draw"? If we must be drawn, let us be drawn by Him to whom one who loves says, "We will run after the odor of Thine ointment."(6) But let us, brethren, turn our minds to, and, as far as we can, apprehend how He would have us understand it. The Father draws to the Son those who believe on the Son, because they consider that God is His Father. For God begat the Son equal to Himself, so that he who ponders, and in his faith feels and muses that He on whom he has believed is equal to the Father, this same is drawn of the Father to the Son. Arius believed the Son to be creature: the Father drew not him; for he that believes not the Son to be equal to the Father, considers not the Father. What sayest thou, Arius? What, O heretic, dost thou speak? What is Christ? Not very God, saith he, but one whom very God has made. The Father has not drawn thee, for thou hast not understood the Father, whose Son thou deniest: it is not the Son Himself but something else that thou art thinking of. Thou art neither drawn by the Father nor drawn to the Son; for the Son is very different from what thou sayest. Photius said, "Christ is only a man, he is not also God." The Father hath not drawn him who thus believes. One whom the Father has drawn says: "Thou art Christ, Son of the living God." Not as a prophet, not as John, not as some great and just man, but as the only, the equal, "Thou art Christ, Son of the living God." See that he was drawn, and drawn by the Father. "Blessed art thou, Simon Barjonas: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but my Father who is in heaven."(1) This revealing is itself the drawing. Thou holdest out a green twig to a sheep, and thou drawest it. Nuts are shown to a child, and he is attracted; he is drawn by what he runs to, drawn by loving it, drawn without hurt to the body, drawn by a cord of the heart. If, then, these things, which among earthly delights and pleasures are shown to them that love them, draw them, since it is true that "every man is drawn by his own pleasure," does not Christ, revealed by the Father, draw? For what does the soul more strongly desire than the truth? For what ought it to have a greedy appetite, with which to wish that there may be within a healthy palate for judging the things that are true, unless it be to eat and drink wisdom, righteousness, truth, eternity?

6. But where will this be? There better, there more truly, there more fully. For here we can more easily hunger than be satisfied, especially if we have good hope: for "Blessed," saith He, "are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness," that is here; "for they shall be filled," that is there. Therefore when He had said," No man cometh unto me except the Father that sent me draw him," what did He subjoin? "And I will raise him up in the last day." I render unto him what he loves, what he hopes for: he will see what, not as yet by seeing, he has believed; he shall eat that which he hungers after; he shall be filled with that which he thirsts after. Where? In the resurrection of the dead; for "I will raise him up on the last day."

7. For it is written in the prophets, "And they shall all be taught of God." Why have I said this, O Jews? The Father has not taught you; how can ye know me? For all the men of that kingdom shall be taught of God, not learn from men. And though they do learn from men, yet what they understand is given them within, flashes within, is revealed within. What do men that proclaim tidings from without? What am I doing even now while I speak? I am pouring a clatter of words into your ears. What is that that I say or that I speak, unless He that is within reveal it? Without is the planter of the tree, within is the tree's Creator. He that planteth and He that watereth work from without: this is what we do. But "neither he that planteth is anything, nor he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase."(2) That is, "they shall be all taught of God." All who? "Every one who has heard and learned of the Father cometh unto me." See how the Father draws: He delights by teaching, not by imposing a necessity. Behold how He draws: "They shall be all taught of God." This is God's drawing. "Every man that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me." This is God's drawing.

8. What then, brethren? If every man who has heard and learned of the Father, the same cometh unto Christ, has Christ taught nothing here? What shall we say to this, that men who have not seen the Father as their teacher have seen the Son? The Son spake, but the Father taught. I, being a man, whom do I teach? Whom, brethren, but him who has heard my word? If I, being a man, do teach him who hears my word, the Father also teacheth him who hears His word. And if the Father teacheth him that hears His word, ask what Christ is, and thou wilt find the word of the Father. "In the beginning was the Word." Not in the beginning God made the Word, just as "in the beginning God made the heaven and the earth."(3) Behold how that He is not a creature. Learn to be drawn to the Son by the Father: that the Father may teach thee, hear His Word. What Word of Him, sayest thou, do I hear? "In the beginning was the Word" (it is not "was made," but "was"), "and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." How can men abiding in the flesh hear such a Word? "The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us."

9. He Himself explains this also, and shows us His meaning when He said, "He that hath heard and learned of the Father cometh unto me." He forthwith subjoined what we were able to conceive: "Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he who is of God, he hath seen the Father." What is that which He saith? I have seen the Father, you have not seen the Father; and yet ye come not unto me unless ye are drawn by the Father. And what is it for you to be drawn by the Father but to learn of the Father? What is to learn of the Father but to hear of the Father? What is to hear of the Father but to hear the Word of the Father--that is, to hear me? In case, therefore, when I say to you, "Every man that hath heard and learned of the Father," you should say within yourselves, But we have never seen the Father, how could we learn of the Father? hear from myself: "Not that any man hath seen the Father, save He who is of God, He hath seen the Father." I know the Father, I am from Him; but in that manner in which the Word is from Him where the Word is, not that which sounds and passes away, but that which remains with the speaker and attracts the hearer.

10. Let what follows admonish us: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth on me hath eternal life." He willed to reveal Himself, what He was: He might have said in brief, He that believeth on me hath me. For Christ is Himself true God and eternal life. Therefore, he that believeth on me, saith He, goeth into me; and he that goeth into me, hath me. But what is the meaning of "to have me"? To have eternal life. Eternal life took death upon itself; eternal life willed to die; but of thee, not of itself; of thee it received that whereby it may die in thy behalf. Of men, indeed, He took flesh, but yet not in the manner of men. For having His Father in heaven, He chose a mother on earth; both there begotten without mother, and here horn without father. Accordingly, life took upon itself death, that life might slay death. "For he that believeth on me," saith He, "hath eternal life:" not what is open, but what is hid. For eternal life is the Word, that "in the beginning was with God, and the Word was God, and the life was the light of men." The same eternal life gave eternal life also to the flesh which it assumed. He came to die; but on the third day He rose again. Between the Word taking flesh and the flesh rising again, death which came between was consumed.

11. "I am," saith He, "the bread of life." And what was the source of their pride? "Your fathers," saith He, "did eat manha in the wilderness, and are dead." What is it whereof ye are proud? "They ate manna, and are dead." Why they ate and are dead? Because they believed that which they saw; what they saw not, they did not understand. Therefore were they "your" fathers, because you are like them. For so far, my brethren, as relates to this visible corporeal death, do not we too die who eat the bread that cometh down from heaven? They died just as we shall die, so far, as I said, as relates to the visible and carnal death of this body. But so far as relates to that death, concerning which the Lord warns us by fear, and in which their fathers died: Moses ate manna, Aaron ate manna, Phinehas ate manna, and many ate manna, who were pleasing to the Lord, and they are not dead. Why? Because they understood the visible food spiritually, hungered spiritually, tasted spiritually, that they might be filled spiritually. For even we at this day receive visible food: but the sacrament is one thing, the virtue of the sacrament another. How many do receive at the altar and die, and die indeed by receiving? Whence the apostle saith, "Eateth and drinketh judgment to himself."(1) For it was not the mouthful given by the Lord that was the poison to Judas. And yet he took it; and when he took it, the enemy entered into him: not because he received an evil thing, but because he being evil received a good thing in an evil way. See ye then, brethren, that ye eat the heavenly bread in a spiritual sense; bring innocence to the altar. Though your sins are daily, at least let them not be deadly. Before ye approach the altar, consider well what ye are to say: "Forgive us our debts, even as we forgive our debtors."(2) Thou forgivest, it shall be forgiven thee: approach in peace, it is bread, not poison. But see whether thou forgivest; for if thou dost not forgive, thou liest, and liest to Him whom thou canst not deceive. Thou canst lie to God,, but thou canst not deceive God. He knows what thou doest. He sees thee within, examines thee within, inspects within, judges within, and within He either condemns or crowns. But the fathers of these Jews were evil fathers of evil sons, unbelieving fathers of unbelieving sons, murmuring fathers of murmurers. For in no other thing is that people said to have offended the Lord more than in murmuring against God. And for that reason, the Lord, willing to show those men to be the children of such murmurers, thus begins His address to them: "Why murmur ye among yourselves," ye murmurers, children of murmurers? Your fathers did eat manna, and are dead; not because manna was an evil thing, but because they ate it in an evil manner.

12. "This is the bread which cometh down from heaven." Manna signified this bread; God's altar signified this bread. Those were sacraments. In the signs they were diverse; in the thing which was signified they were alike. Hear the apostle: "For I would not that ye should be ignorant, brethren," saith he, "that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; and were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and did all eat the same spiritual meat." Of course, the same spiritual meat; for corporally it was another: since they ate manna, we eat another thing; but the spiritual was the same as that which we eat. But "our" fathers, not the fathers of those Jews; those to whom we are like, not those to whom they were like. Moreover he adds: "And did all drink the same spiritual drink." They one kind of drink, we another, but only in the visible form, which, however, signified the same thing in its spiritual virtue. For how was it that they drank the "same drink"? "They drank," saith he "of the spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ."(1) Thence the bread, thence the drink. The rock was Christ in sign; the real Christ is in the Word and in flesh. And how did they drink? The rock was smitten twice with a rod; the double smiting signified the two wooden beams of the cross. "This, then, is the bread that cometh down from heaven, that if any man eat thereof, he shall not die." But this is what belongs to the virtue of the sacrament, not to the visible sacrament; he that eateth within, not without; who eateth in his heart, not who presses with his teeth.

13. "I am the living bread, which came down from heaven." For that reason "living,'' because I came down from heaven. The manna also came down from heaven; but the manna was only a shadow, this is the truth. "If any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, for the life of the world." When did flesh comprehend this flesh which He called bread? That is called flesh which flesh does not comprehend, and for that reason all the more flesh does not comprehend it, that it is called flesh. For they were terrified at this: they said it was too much for them; they thought it impossible. "Is my flesh," saith He, "for the life of the world." Believers know the body of Christ, if they neglect not to be the body of Christ. Let them become the body of Christ, if they wish to live by the Spirit of Christ. None lives by the Spirit of Christ but the body of Christ. Understand, my brethren, what I mean to say. Thou art a man; thou hast both a spirit and a body. I call that a spirit which is called the soul; that whereby it consists that thou art a man, for thou consistest of soul and body. And so thou hast an invisible spirit and a visible body. Tell me which lives of the other: does thy spirit live of thy body, or thy body of thy spirit? Every man that lives can answer; and he that cannot answer this, I know not whether he lives: what cloth every man that lives answer? My body, of course, lives by my spirit. Wouldst thou then also live by the Spirit of Christ. Be in the body of Christ. For surely my body does not live by thy spirit. My body lives by my spirit, and thy body by thy spirit. The body of Christ cannnot live but by the Spirit of Christ. It is for this that the Apostle Paul, expounding this bread, says: "One bread," saith he, "we being many are one body."(2) O mystery of piety! O sign of unity! O bond of charity! He that would live has where to live, has whence to live. Let him draw near, let him believe; let him be embodied, that he may be made to live. Let him not shrink from the compact of members; let him not be a rotten member that deserves to be cut off; let him not be a deformed member whereof to be ashamed; let him be a fair, fit, and sound member; let him cleave to the body, live for God by God: now let him labor on earth, that hereafter he may reign in heaven.

14. The Jews, therefore, strove among themselves, saying, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?" They strove, and that among themselves, since they understood not, neither wished to take the bread of concord: "for they who eat such bread do not strive with one another; for we being many are one bread, one body." And by this bread, "God makes people of one sort to dwell in a house."(3)

15. But that which they ask, while striving among themselves, namely, how the Lord can give His flesh to be eaten, they do not immediately hear: but further it is said to them, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, ye will have no life in you." How, indeed, it may be eaten, and what may be the mode of eating this bread, ye are ignorant of; nevertheless, "except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, ye will not have life in you." He spoke these words, not certainly to corpses, but to living men. Whereupon, lest they, understanding it to mean this life, should strive about this thing also, He going on added, "Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life." Wherefore, he that eateth not this bread, nor drinketh this blood, hath not this life; for men can have temporal life without that, but they can noways have eternal life. He then that eateth not His flesh, nor drinketh His blood, hath no life in him; and he that eateth His flesh, and drinketh His blood, hath life. This epithet, eternal, which He used, answers to both. It is not so in the case of that food which we take for the purpose of sustaining this temporal life. For he who will not take it shall not live, nor yet shall he who will take it live. For very many, even who have taken it, die; it may be by old age, or by disease, or by some other casualty. But in this food and drink, that is, in the body and blood of the Lord, it is not so. For both he that doth not take it hath no life, and he that doth take it hath life, and that indeed eternal life. And thus He would have this meat and drink to be understood as meaning the fellowship of His own body and members, which is the holy Church in his predestinated, and called, and justified, and glorified saints and believers. Of these, the first is already effected, namely, predestination; the second and third, that is, the vocation and justification, have taken place, are taking place, and will take place; but the fourth, namely, the glorifying, is at present in hope; but a thing future in realization. The sacrament of this thing, namely, of the unity of the body and blood of Christ, is prepared on the Lord's table in some places daily, in some places at certain intervals of days, and from the Lord's table it is taken, by some to life, by some to destruction: but the thing itself, of which it is the sacrament, is for every man to life, for no man to destruction, whosoever shall have been a partaker thereof.

16. But lest they should suppose that eternal life was promised in this meat and drink in such manner that they who should take it should not even now die in the body, He condescended to meet this thought; for when He had said, "He that eateth my flesh, anti drinketh my blood, hath eternal life," He forthwith subjoined, "and I will raise him up on the last day." That meanwhile, according to the Spirit, he may have eternal life in that rest into which the spirits of the saints are received; but as to the body, he shall not be defrauded of its eternal life, but, on the contrary, he shall have it in the resurrection of the dead at the last day.

17. "For my flesh," saith He, "is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed." For whilst by meat and drink men seek to attain to this, neither to hunger nor thirst, there is nothing that truly affords this, except this meat and drink, which doth render them by whom it is taken immortal and incorruptible; that is, the very fellowship of the saints, where will be peace and unity, full and perfect. Therefore, indeed, it is, even as men of God understood this before us, that our Lord Jesus Christ has pointed our minds to His body and blood in those things, which from being many are reduced to some one thing. For a unity is formed by many grains forming together; and another unity is effected by the clustering together of many berries.

18. In a word, He now explains how that which He speaks of comes to pass, and what it is to eat His body and to drink His blood. "He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him." This it is, therefore, for a man to eat that meat and to drink that drink, to dwell in Christ, and to have Christ dwelling in him. Consequently, he that dwelleth not in Christ, and in whom Christ dwelleth not, doubtless neither eateth His flesh [spiritually] nor drinketh His blood [although he may press the sacrament of the body and blood of Christ carnally and visibly with his teeth], but rather doth he eat and drink the sacrament of so great a thing to his own judgment, because he, being unclean, has presumed to come to the sacraments of Christ, which no man taketh worthily except he that is pure: of such it is said, "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God."(1)

19. "As the living Father hath sent me," saith He, "and I live by the Father; so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me." He says not: As I eat the Father, and live by the Father; so he that eateth me, the same shall live by me. For the Son, who was begotten equal, does not become better by participation of the Father; just as we are made better by participation of the Son, through the unity of His body and blood, which thing that eating and drinking signifies. We live then by Him, by eating Him; that is, by receiving Himself as the eternal life, which we did not have from ourselves. Himself, however, lives by the Father, being sent by Him, because "He emptied Himself, being made obedient even unto the death of the cross."(2) For if we take this declaration, "I live by the Father,"(3) according to that which He says in another place, "The Father is greater than I;" just as we, too, live by Him who is greater than we; this results from His being sent. The sending is in fact the emptying of Himself, and His taking upon Him the form of a servant: and this is rightly understood, while also the Son's equality of nature with the Father is preserved. For the Father is greater than the Sun as man, but He has the Son as God equal,--whilst the same is both God and man, Son of God and Son of man, one Christ Jesus. To this effect, if these words are rightly understood, He spoke thus: "As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father; so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me:" just as if He were to say, My emptying of myself (in that He sent me) effected that I should live by the Father; that is, should refer my life to Him as the greater; but that any should live by me is effected by that participation in which he eats me. Therefore, I being humbled, do live by the Father, man being raised up, liveth by me. But if it was said, "I live by the Father," so as to mean, that He is of the Father, not the Father of Him, it was said without detriment to His equality. And yet further, by saying, "And he that eateth me, even he shall live by me," He did not signify that His own equality was the same as our equality, but He thereby showed the grace of the Mediator.

20. "This is the bread that cometh down from heaven;" that by eating it we may live, since we cannot have eternal life from ourselves. Not," saith He, "as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth this bread shall live forever." That those fathers are dead, He would have to be understood as meaning, that they do not live forever. For even they who eat Christ shall certainly die temporally; but they live forever, because Christ is eternal life.

TRACTATE XXVII.

CHAPTER VI. 60-72.

1. We have just heard out of the Gospel the words of the Lord which follow the former discourse. From these a discourse is due to your ears and minds, and it is not unseasonable to-day; for it is concerning the body of the Lord which He said that He gave to be eaten for eternal life. And He explained the mode of this bestowal and gift of His, in what manner He gave His flesh to eat, saying, "He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him." The proof that a man has eaten and drank is this, if he abides and is abode in, if he dwells and is dwelt in, if he adheres so as not to be deserted. This, then, He has taught us, and admonished us in mystical words that we may be in His body, in His members under Himself as head, eating His flesh, not abandoning our unity with Him. But most of those who were present, by not understanding Him, were offended; for in hearing these things, they thought only of flesh, that which themselves were. But the apostle says, and says what is true, "To be carnally-minded is death."(1) The Lord gives us His flesh to eat, and yet to understand it according to the flesh is death; while yet He says of His flesh, that therein is eternal life. Therefore we ought not to understand the flesh carnally. As in these words that follow:

2. "Many therefore," not of His enemies, but "of His disciples, when they had heard this, said. This is a hard saying; who can hear it?" If His disciples accounted this saying hard, what must His enemies have thought? And yet so it behoved that to be said which should not be understood by all. The secret of God ought to make men eagerly attentive, not hostile. But these men quickly departed from Him, while the Lord said such things: they did not believe Him to be saying something great, and covering some grace by these words; they understood just according to their wishes, and in the manner of men, that Jesus was able, or was determined upon this, namely, to distribute the flesh with which the Word was clothed, piecemeal, as it were, to those that believe on Him. "This," say they, "is a hard saying; who can hear it?"

3. "But Jesus, knowing in Himself that His disciples murmured at it,"--for they so said these things with themselves that they might not be heard by Him: but He who knew them in themselves, hearing within Himself,--answered and said, "This offends you;" because I said, I give you my flesh to eat, and my blood to drink, this forsooth offends you. "Then what if ye shall see the Son of man ascending where He was before?" What is this? Did He hereby solve the question that perplexed them? Did He hereby uncover the source of their offense? He did clearly, if only they understood. For they supposed that He was going to deal out His body to them; but He said that He was to ascend into heaven, of course, whole: "When ye shall see the Son of man ascending where He was before;" certainly then. at least, you will see that not in the manner you suppose does He dispense His body; certainly then, at least, you will understand that His grace is not consumed by tooth-biting.

4. And He said, "It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing." Before we expound this, as the Lord grants us, that other must not be negligently passed over, where He says, "Then what if ye shall see the Son of man ascending where He was before?" For Christ is the Son of man, of the Virgin Mary. Therefore Son of man He began to be here on earth, where He took flesh from the earth. For which cause it was said prophetically, "Truth is sprung from the earth."(1) Then what does He mean when He says, "When ye shall see the Son of man ascending where He was before"? For there had been no question if He had spoken thus: "If ye shall see the Son of God ascending where He was before," But since He said, "The Son of man ascending where He was before," surely the Son of man was not in heaven before the time when He began to have a being on earth? Here, indeed, He said, "where He was before," just as if He were not there at this time when He spoke these words. But in another place He says, "No man has ascended into heaven but He that came down from heaven, the Son of man who is in heaven."(2) He said not "was," but, saith He, "the Son of man who is in heaven." He was speaking on earth, and He declared Himself to be in heaven. And yet He did not speak thus: "No man hath ascended into heaven but He that came down from heaven," the Son of God, "who is in heaven." Whither tends it, but to make us understand that which even in the former discourse I commended to your minds, my beloved, that Christ, both God and man, is one person, not two persons, lest our faith be not a trinity, but a quaternity? Christ, therefore, is one; the Word, soul and flesh, one Christ; the Son of God and Son of man, one Christ; Son of God always, Son of man in time, yet one Christ in regard to unity of person. In heaven He was when He spoke on earth. He was Son of man in heaven in that manner in which He was Son of God on earth; Son of God on earth in the flesh which He took, Son of man in heaven in the unity of person.

5. What is it, then, that He adds? "It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing." Let us say to Him (for He permits us, not contradicting Him, but desiring to know), O Lord, good Master, in what way does the flesh profit nothing, whilst Thou hast said, "Except a man eat my flesh, and drink my blood, he shall not have life in him?" Or does life profit nothing? And why are we what we are, but that we may have eternal life, which Thou dost promise by Thy flesh? Then what means "the flesh profiteth nothing"? It profiteth nothing, but only in the manner in which they understood it. They indeed understood the flesh, just as when cut to pieces in a carcass, or sold in the shambles; not as when it is quickened by the Spirit. Wherefore it is said that "the flesh profiteth nothing," in the same manner as it is said that "knowledge puffeth up." Then, ought we at once to hate knowledge? Far from it! And what means "Knowledge puffeth up"? Knowledge alone, without charity. Therefore he added, "but charity edifieth."(3) Therefore add thou to knowledge charity, and knowledge will be profitable, not by itself, but through charity. So also here, "the flesh profiteth nothing," only when alone. Let the Spirit be added to the flesh, as charity is added to knowledge, and it profiteth very much. For if the flesh profiled nothing, the Word would not be made flesh to dwell among us. If through the flesh Christ has greatly profiled us, does the flesh profit nothing? But it is by the flesh that the Spirit has done somewhat for our salvation. Flesh was a vessel; consider what it held, not what it was. The apostles were sent forth; did their flesh profit us nothing? If the apostles' flesh profited us, could it be that the Lord's flesh should have profiled us nothing? For how should the sound of the Word come to us except by the voice of the flesh? Whence should writing come to us? All these are operations of the flesh, but only when the spirit moves it, as if it were its organ. Therefore "it is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing," as they understood the flesh, but not so do I give my flesh to be eaten.

9. Hence "the words," saith He, "which I have spoken to you are Spirit and life." For we have said, brethren, that this is what the Lord had taught us by the eating of His flesh and drinking of His blood, that we should abide in Him and He in us. But we abide in Him when we are His members, and He abides in us when we are His temple. But that we may be His members, unity joins us together. And what but love can effect that unity should join us together? And the love of God, whence is it? Ask the apostle: "The love of God," saith he, "is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given to us."(4) Therefore "it is the Spirit that quickeneth," for it is the Spirit that makes living members. Nor does the Spirit make any members to be living except such as it finds in the body, which also the Spirit itself quickens. For the Spirit which is in thee, O man, by which it consists that thou art a man, does it quicken a member which it finds separated from thy flesh? I call thy soul thy spirit. Thy soul quickeneth only the members which are in thy flesh; if thou takest one away, it is no longer quickened by thy soul, because it is not joined to the unity of thy body. These things are said to make us love unity and fear separation. For there is nothing that a Christian ought to dread so much as to be separated from Christ's body. For if he is separated from Christ's body, he is not a member of Christ; if he is not a member of Christ, he is not quickened by the Spirit of Christ. "But if any man," saith the apostle, "have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His."(1) "It is the Spirit," then, "that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life." What means "are spirit and life"? They are to be understood spiritually. Hast thou understood spiritually? "They are spirit and life." Hast thou understood carnally? So also "are they spirit and life," but are not so to thee.

7. "But," saith He, "there are some among you that believe not." He said not There are some among you that understand not; but He told the cause why they understand not "There are some among you that believe not," and therefore they understand not, because they believe not. For the prophet has said, "If ye believe not, ye shall not understand."(2) We are united by faith, quickened by understanding. Let us first adhere to Him through faith, that there may be that which may be quickened by understanding. For he who adheres not resists; he that resists believes not. And how can he that resists be quickened? He is an adversary to the ray of light by which he should be penetrated: he turns not away his eye, but shuts his mind. "There are," then, "some who believe not." Let them believe and open, let them open and be illumined. "For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed, and who should betray Him." For Judas also was there. Some indeed, were offended; but he remained to watch his opportunity, not to understand. And because he remained for that purpose, the Lord kept not silence concerning him. He described him not by name, but neither was He silent about him; that all might fear though only one should perish. But after He spoke, and distinguished those that believe from those that believe not, He clearly showed the cause why they believed not. "Therefore I said unto you," saith He, "that no man can come unto me except it were given to him of my Father." Hence to believe is also given to us; for certainly to believe is something. And if it is something great, rejoice that thou hast believed, yet be not lifted up; for "What hast thou that thou didst not receive?"(3)

8. "From that time many of His disciples went back, and walked no more with Him." Went back, but after Satan, not after Christ. For our Lord Christ once addressed Peter as Satan, rather because he wished to precede his Lord, and to give counsel that He should not die, He who had come to die, that we might not die for ever; and He says to him, "Get thee behind me, Satan; for thou savorest not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men."(4) He did not drive him back to go after Satan, and so called him Satan; but He made him go behind Himself, that by walking after his Lord he should not be a Satan. But these went back in the same manner as the apostle says of certain women: "For some are turned back after Satan."(5) They walked not further with Him. Behold, cut off from the body, for perhaps they were not in the body, they have lost life. They must be reckoned among the unbelieving, notwithstanding they were called disciples. Not a few, but "many went back." This happened, it may be, for our consolation. For sometimes it happens that a man may declare the truth, and that what he says may not be understood, and so they that hear it are offended and go away. Now the man regrets that he had spoken that truth, and he says to himself, "I ought not to have spoken so, I ought not to have said this." Behold; it happened to the Lord: He spoke, and lost many; He remained with few. But yet He was not troubled, because He knew from the beginning who they were that believed and that believed not. If it happen to us, we are sorely perplexed. Let us find comfort in the Lord, and yet let us speak words with prudence.

9. And now addressing the few that remained: "Then said Jesus to the twelve" (namely, those twelve who remained), "Will ye also," said He, "go away?" Not even Judas departed. But it was already manifest to the Lord why he remained: to us he was made manifest afterwards. Peter answered in behalf of all, one for many, unity for the collective whole: "Then Simon Peter answered Him, Lord, to whom shall we go?" Thou drivest us from Thee; give us Thy other self. "To whom shall we go?" If we abandon Thee, to whom shall we go? "Thou hast the words of eternal life." See how Peter, by the gift of God and the renewal of the Holy Spirit, understood Him. How other than because he believed? "Thou hast the words of eternal life." For Thou hast eternal life in the ministration of Thy body and blood. "And we have believed and have known." Not have known and believed, but "believed and known." For we believed in order to know; for if we wanted to know first, and then to believe, we should not be able either to know or to believe What have we believed and known? "That Thou art Christ, the Son of God;" that is, that Thou art that very eternal life, and that Thou givest in Thy flesh and blood only that which Thou art.

10. Then said the Lord Jesus: "Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?" Therefore, should He have said, "I have chosen eleven:" or is a devil also chosen, and among the elect? Persons are wont to be called "elect" by way of praise: or was man elected because some great good was done by him, without his will and knowledge? This belongs peculiarly to God; the contrary is characteristic of the wicked. For as wicked men make a bad use of the good works of God; so, on the contrary, God makes a good use of the evil works of wicked men. How good it is that the members of the body are, as they can be disposed only by God, their author and framer! Nevertheless what evil use doth wantonness make of the eyes? What ill use doth falsehood make of the tongue? Does not the false witness first both slay his own soul with his tongue, and then, after he has destroyed himself, endeavor to injure another? He makes an ill use of the tongue, but the tongue is not therefore an evil thing; the tongue is God's work, but iniquity makes an ill use of that good work of God. How do they use their feet who run into crimes? How do murderers employ their hands? And what ill use do wicked men make of those good creatures of God that lie outside of them? With gold they corrupt judgment and oppress the innocent. Bad men make a bad use of the very light; for by evil living they employ even the very light with which they see into the service of their villanies. A bad man, when going to do a bad deed, wishes the light to shine for him, lest he stumble; he who has already stumbled and fallen within; that which he is afraid of in his body has already befallen him in his heart. Hence, to avoid the tediousness of running through them separately, a bad man makes a bad use of all the good creatures of God: a good man, on the contrary, makes a good use of the evil deeds of wicked men. And what is so good as the one God? Since, indeed, the Lord Himself said, "There is none good, but the one God."(1) By how much He is better, then, by so much the better use He makes of our evil deeds. What worse than Judas? Among all that adhered to the Master, among the twelve, to him was committed the common purse; to him was allotted the dispensing for the poor. Unthankful for so great a favor, so great an honor, he took the money, and lost righteousness: being dead, he betrayed life: Him whom he followed as a disciple, he persecuted as an enemy. All this evil was Judas's; but the Lord employed his evil for good. He endured to be betrayed, to redeem us. Behold, Judas's evil was turned to good. How many martyrs has Satan persecuted! If Satan left off persecuting, we should not to-day be celebrating the very glorious crown of Saint Laurence. If then God employs the evil works of the devil himself for good, what the bad man effects, by making a bad use, is to hurt himself, not to contradict the goodness of God. The Master makes use of that man. And if He knew not how to make use of him, the Master contriver would not have permitted him to be. Therefore, He saith, "One of you is a devil," whilst I have chosen you twelve. This saying, "I have chosen you twelve," may be understood in this way, that twelve is a sacred number. For the honor of that number was not taken away because one was lost, for another was chosen into the place of the one that perished.(2) The number remained a sacred number, a number containing twelve: because they were to make known the Trinity throughout the whole world, that is, throughout the four quarters of the world. That is the reason of the three times four. Judas, then only cut himself off, not profaned the number twelve: he abandoned his Teacher, for God appointed a successor to take his place.

11. All this that the Lord spoke concerning His flesh and blood;--and in the grace of that distribution He promised us eternal life, and that He meant those that eat His flesh and drink His blood to be understood, from the fact of their abiding in Him and He in them; and that they understood not who believed not; and that they were offended through their understanding spiritual things in a carnal sense; and that, while these were offended and perished, the Lord was present for the consolation of the disciples who remained, for proving whom He asked, "Will ye also go away?" that the reply of their steadfastness might be known to us, for He knew that they remained with Him;--let all this, then, avail us to this end, most beloved, that we eat not the flesh and blood of Christ merely in the sacrament, as many evil men do, but that we eat and drink to the participation of the Spirit, that we abide as members in the Lord's body, to be quickened by His Spirit, and that we be not offended, even if many do now with us eat and drink the sacraments in a temporal manner, who shall in the end have eternal torments. For at present Christ's body is as it were mixed on the threshing-floor: "But the Lord knoweth them that are His."(1) If thou knowest what thou threshest, that the substance is there hidden, that the threshing has not consumed what the winnowing has purged; certain are we, brethren, that all of us who are in the Lord's body, and abide in Him, that He also may abide in us, have of necessity to live among evil men in this world even unto the end. I do not say among those evil men who blaspheme Christ; for there are now few found who blaspheme with the tongue, but many who do so by their life. Among those, then, we must necessarily live even unto the end.

12. But what is this that He saith: "He that abideth in me, and I in him"? What, but that which the martyrs heard: "He that persevereth unto the end, the same shall be saved"?(2) How did Saint Laurence, whose feast we celebrate to-day, abide in Him? He abode even to temptation, abode even to tyrannical questioning, abode even to bitterest threatening, abode even to destruction;--that were a trifle, abode even to savage torture. For he was not put to death quickly, but tormented in the fire: he was allowed to live a long time; nay, not allowed to live a long time, but forced to die a slow, lingering death. Then, in that lingering death, in those torments, because he had well eaten and well drunk, as one who had feasted on that meat, as one intoxicated with that cup, he felt not the torments. For He was there who said, "It is the Spirit that quickeneth." For the flesh indeed was burning, but the Spirit was quickening the soul. He shrunk not back, and he mounted into the kingdom. But the holy martyr Xystus, whose day we celebrated five days ago, had said to him, "Mourn not, my son;" for Xystus was a bishop, he was a deacon. "Mourn not," said he; "thou shall follow me after three days." He said three days, meaning the interval between the day of Saint Xystus's suffering and that of Saint Laurence's suffering, which falls on to-day. Three days is the interval. What comfort! He says not, "Mourn not, my son; the persecution will cease, and thou wilt be safe;" but, "do not mourn: whither I precede thou shall follow; nor shall thy pursuit be deferred: three days will be the interval, and thou shall be with me." He accepted the oracle, vanquished the devil, and attained to the triumph.

TRACTATE XXVIII.

CHAPTER VII. 1-13.

1. In this chapter of the Gospel, brethren, our Lord Jesus Christ has most especially commended Himself to our faith in respect of His humanity. For indeed He always keeps in view, both in His words and deeds, that He should be believed to be God and man: God who made us, man who sought us; with the Father, always God; with us, man in time. For He would not have sought man whom He had made if Himself had not become that which He had made. But remember this, and do not let it slip from your hearts, that Christ became man in such manner that He ceased not to be God. While remaining God, He who made man took manhood. While, therefore, as man He concealed Himself, He must not be thought to have lost His power, but only to have offered an example to our infirmity. For He was detained when He willed to be, and He was put to death when he willed to be. But since there were to be His members, that is, His faithful ones,who would not have that power which He, our God, had; by His being hid, by His concealing Himself as if He would not be put to death, He indicated that His members would do this, in which members He Himself in fact was. For Christ is not simply in the head and not in the body, but Christ whole is in the head and body. What, therefore, His members are, that He is; but what He is, it does not necessarily follow that His members are. For if His members were not Himself, He would not have said, "Saul, why persecutest thou me?"(1) For Saul was not persecuting Himself on earth, but His members, namely, His believers. He would not, however, say, my saints, my servants, or, in short, my brethren, which is more honorable; but, me, that is, my members, whose head I am.

2. With these preliminary remarks, I think that we shall not have to labor much for the meaning in this chapter; for that is often betokened in the head which was to be in the body. "After these things," saith he, "Jesus walked in Galilee: for He would not walk in Judea, because the Jews sought to kill Him." This is what I have said; He offered an example to our infirmity. He had not lost power, but He was comforting our weakness. For it would happen, as I have said, that some believer in Him would retreat into concealment, test he should be found by the persecutors; and lest the concealment should be objected to him as a crime, that occurred first in the head, which should afterwards be confirmed in the member. For it is said, "He would not walk in Judea, because the Jews sought to kill Him," just as if Christ were not able both to walk among the Jews, and not be killed by them. For He manifested this power when He willed; for when they would lay hold of Him, as He was now about to suffer, "He said to them, Whom seek ye? They answered, Jesus. Then, said He, I am He," not concealing, but manifesting Himself. That manifestation, however, they did not withstand, but "going backwards, they fell to the ground."(2) And yet, because He had come to suffer, they rose up, laid hold of Him, led Him away to the judge, and slew Him. But what was it they did? That which a certain scripture says: "The earth was delivered into the hands of the ungodly."(3) The flesh was given into the power of the Jews; and this that thereby the bag, as it were, might be rent asunder, whence our purchase-price might run out.

3. "Now the Jews' feast of tabernacles was at hand." What the feast of tabernacles is. they who read the Scriptures know. They used on the holy day to make tabernacles, in likeness of the tabernacles in which they dwelt while they sojourned in the wilderness, after being led out of Egypt. This was a holy day, a great solemnity. The Jews were celebrating this, as being mindful of the Lord's benefits--they who were about to kill the Lord. On this holy day, then (for there were several holy days; but it was called a holy day with the Jews, though it was not one day, but several), "His brethren" spoke to the Lord Christ. Understand the phrase, "His brethren," as you know it must be taken, for it is not a new thing you hear. The blood relations of the Virgin Mary used to be called the Lord's brethren. For it was of the usage of Scripture to call blood relations and all other near kindred by the term brethren, which is foreign to our usage, and not within our manner of speech. For who would call an uncle or a sister's son "brother"? Yet the Scripture calls relatives of this kind "brothers." For Abraham and Lot are called brothers, while Abraham was Lot's uncle.(4) Laban and Jacob are called brothers, while Laban was Jacob's uncle.(5) When, therefore, you hear of the Lord's brethren, consider them the blood relations of Mary, who did not a second time bear children. For, as in the sepulchre, where the Lord's body was laid, neither before nor after did any dead lie; so, likewise, Mary's womb, neither before nor after conceived anything mortal.

4. We have said who the brethren were, let us hear what they said: "Pass over hence, and go into Judea, that thy disciples also may see thy work which thou doest." The Lord's works were not hid from the disciples, but to these men they were not apparent. They might have Christ for a kinsman, but through that very relationship they disdained to believe on Him. It is told us in the Gospel; for we dare not hold this as a mere opinion, you have just now heard it. They go on advising Him: "For no man doeth anything in secret, and he himself seeketh to be known openly: if thou do these things, show thyself to the world." And directly after it says: "For neither did His brethren believe in Him." Why did they not believe in Him? Because they sought human glory. For as to what His brethren appear to advise Him, they consult for His glory. Thou doest marvellous works, make thyself known; that is, appear to all, that thou mayest be praised by all. The flesh spoke to the flesh; but the flesh without God, to the flesh with God. It was the wisdom of the flesh speaking to the Word which became flesh and dwelt among us.

5 What did the Lord answer to these things? Then saith Jesus to them: "My time is not yet come; but your time is always ready." What is this? Had not Christ's time yet come? Why then was Christ come, if His time had not yet come? Have we not heard the apostle say, "But when the fullness of time came, God sent His Son"?(1) If, therefore, He was sent in the fullness of time, He was sent when He ought to be sent, He came when it behoved that He should come. What means then, "My time is not yet come"? Understand, brethren, with what intention they spoke, when they appeared to advise Him as their brother. They were giving Him counsel to pursue glory; as advising in a worldly manner and with an earthly disposition, that He should not be unknown to fame, nor hide Himself in obscurity. This is what the Lord says in answer to those who were giving Him counsel of glory, "My time is not yet come;"--the time of my glory is not yet come. See how profound it is: they were advising Him as to glory; but He would have loftiness preceded by humility, and willed to prepare the way to elevation itself through humility. For those disciples, too, were of course seeking glory who wished to sit, one at His right hand and the other at His left: they thought only of the goal, and saw not by what way it must be reached; the Lord recalled them to the way, that they might come to their fatherland in due order. For the fatherland is on high, the way thither lies low. That land is the life of Christ, the way is Christ's death; that land is the habitation of Christ, the way is Christ's suffering. He that refuses the way, why seeks he the fatherland? In a word, to these also, while seeking elevation, He gave this answer: "Can ye drink the cup which I am about to drink?"(2) Behold the way by which you must come to that height which you desire. The cup He made mention of was indeed that of His humility and suffering.

6. Therefore also here: "My time is not yet come; but your time," that is the glory of the world, "is always ready." This is the time of which Christ, that is the body of Christ, speaks in prophecy: "When I shall have received the fit time, I will judge righteously."(3) For at present it is not the time of judging, but of tolerating the wicked. Therefore, let the body of Christ bear at present, and tolerate the wickedness of evil livers. Let it, however, have righteousness now, for by righteousness it shall come to judgment. And what saith the Holy Scripture in the psalm to the members,--namely, that tolerate the wickedness of this world? "The Lord will not cast off His people." For, in fact, His people labors among the unworthy, among the unrighteous, among blasphemers, among murmurers, detractors, persecutors, and, if they are allowed, destroyers. Yes, it labors; but "the Lord will not cast off His people, and He will not forsake His inheritance until justice is turned into judgment."(4) "Until the justice," which is now in His saints, "be turned into judgment;" when that shall be fulfilled which was said to them, "Ye shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel."(5) The apostle had righteousness, but not yet that judgment of which he says, "Know ye not that we shall judge angels?"(6) Be it now, therefore, the time for living rightly; the time for judging them that have lived ill shall be hereafter. "Until righteousness," saith he, "is turned into judgment." The time of judgment will be that of which the Lord has here said, "My time is not yet come." For there will be a time of glory, when He who came in humility will come in loftiness; He who came to be judged will come to judge; He who came to be slain by the dead will come to judge the quick and the dead. "God," saith the psalm, "will come manifest, our God, and He will not be silent."(7) What is "shall come manifest"? Because He came concealed. Then He will not be silent; for when He came concealed, "He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and as a lamb before its shearer, He opened not His mouth."(8) He shall come, and shall not keep silence. "I was silent," saith He, "shall I always be silent?"(9)

7. But what is necessary at the present time for those who have righteousness? That which is read in that psalm: "Until righteousness is turned into judgment, and they that have it are upright of heart." You ask, perhaps, who are the upright in heart? We find in Scripture those to be upright in heart who bear the evils of the world, and do not accuse God. See, brethren, an uncommon thing is that which I speak of. For I know not how it is that, when any evil befalls a man, he runs to accuse God, when he ought to accuse himself. When thou gettest any good, thou praisest thyself; when thou sufferest any evil, thou accusest God. This is then the crooked heart, not the upright. When thou art cured of this distorting and perversity, what thou didst use to do will be turned into the contrary. For what didst thou use to do before? Thou didst praise thyself in the good things of God, and didst accuse God in thine own evil things; with thy heart converted and made right, thou wilt praise God in His good things, and accuse thyself in thy own evil things. These are the upright in heart. In short, that man, who was not yet right in heart when the success of the wicked and the distress of the good grieved him, says, when he is corrected: "How good is the God of Israel to the upright in heart! But as for me," when I was not right in heart, "my feet were almost gone; my steps had well-nigh slipped." Why?. "Because I was envious at sinners, beholding the peace of sinners." I saw, saith he, the wicked prosperous, and I was displeased at God; for I did wish that God should not permit the wicked to be happy. Let man understand: God never does permit this; but a bad man is thought to be happy, for this reason, because men are ignorant of what happiness is. Let us then be right in heart: the time of our glory is not yet come. Let it be told to the lovers of this world, such as the brethren of the Lord were, "your time is always ready;" our time "is not yet come." For let us, too, dare to say this. And since we are the body of our Lord Jesus Christ, since we are His members, since we joyfully acknowledge our head, let us say it without hesitation; since, for our sakes, He deigned also Himself to say this. And when the lovers of this world revile us, let us say to them, "Your time is always ready; our time is not yet come." For the apostle has said to us, "For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God." When will our time come? "When Christ," saith he, "your life shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory."(2)

8. What said He further? "The world cannot hate you." What is this, but, The world cannot hate its lovers, the false witnesses? For you call the things that are evil, good; and the things that are good, evil. "But me it hateth, because I bear witness concerning it, that its works are evil. Go ye up to this feast." What means "to this"? Where ye seek human glory. What means "to this"? Where ye wish to prolong carnal joys, not to meditate on eternal joys. "I go not up to this feast, because my time is not vet full come." On this feast-day you seek human glory; but my time, that is, the time of my glory, is not yet come. That will be my feast-day, not running before and passing over these days, but remaining for ever; that will be festivity, joy without end, eternity without a blot, serenity without a cloud. "When He had said these words unto them, He abode still in Galilee. But when His brethren were gone up, then went He also up unto tile feast, not openly, but as it were in secret." Therefore "not to this feast-day," because His desire was not for temporal glory, but to teach something to profit, to correct men, to admonish them of an eternal feast-day, to turn away their love from this world, and to turn it to God. But what means this, "He went up as it were in secret to the feast"? This action of the Lord also is not without meaning. It appears to me that, even from this circumstance that He went up as it were in secret, He had intended to signify something; for the things that follow will show that He thus went up on the middle of the feast, that is, when those days were half over, to teach even openly. But he said, "As it were in secret," meaning, not to show Himself to men. It is not without meaning that Christ went up "as it were in secret" to that feast, because He Himself lay hid in that feast-day. What I have said as yet is also under cover of secrecy. Let it be manifested then, let the veil be lifted, and let that which was secret appear.

9. All things that were spoken to the ancient people Israel in the manifold Scripture of the holy law, what things they did, whether in sacrifices, or in priestly offices, or in feast-days, and, in a word, in what things soever they worshipped God, what things soever were spoken to and given them in precept, were shadows of things to come. Of what things to come? Things which find their fulfillment in Christ. Whence the apostle says, "For all the promises of God are in Him yea;"(3) that is, they are fulfilled in Him. Again he says in another place, "All happened to them in a figure; but they were written for our sakes, upon whom the end of the ages is come."(4) And he said elsewhere, "For Christ is the end of the law;"(5) likewise in another place, "Let no man judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holy day, or of a new moon, or of Sabbath-days, which is a shadow of things to come."(6) If, therefore, all these things were shadows of things to come, also the feast of tabernacles was a shadow of things to come. Let us examine, then, of what thing to come was this feast-day a shadow. I have explained what this feast of tabernacles was: it was a celebration of tabernacles, because the people, after their deliverance from Egypt, while directing their course through the wilderness to the land of promise, dwelt in tents. Let us observe what it is, and we shall be that thing; we, I say, who are members of Christ, if such we are; but we are, He having made us worthy, not we having earned it for ourselves. Let us then consider ourselves, brethren: we have been led out of Egypt, where we were slaves to the devil as to Pharaoh; where we applied ourselves to works of clay, engaged in earthly desires, and where we toiled exceedingly. And to us, while laboring, as it were, at the bricks, Christ cried aloud, "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden." Thence we were led out by baptism as through the Red Sea.--red because consecrated by the blood of Christ. All our enemies that pursued us being dead, that is, all our sins being blotted out, we have been brought over to the other side. At the present time, then, before we come to the land of promise, namely, the eternal kingdom, we are in the wilderness in tabernacles. They who acknowledge these things are in tabernacles; for it was to be that some would acknowledge this. For that man, who understands that he is a sojourner in this world, is in tabernacles. That man understands that he is travelling in a foreign country, when he sees himself sighing for his native land. But whilst the body of Christ is in tabernacles, Christ is in tabernacles; but at that time He was so, not evidently but secretly. For as yet the shadow obscured the light; when the light came, the shadow was removed. Christ was in secret: He was in the feast of tabernacles, but there hidden. At the present time, when these things are already made manifest, we acknowledge that we are journeying in the wilderness: for if we know it, we are in the wilderness. What is it to be in the wilderness? In the desert waste. Why in the desert waste? Because in this world, where we thirst in a way in which is no water. But yet, let us thirst that we may be filled. For, "Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled."(1) And our thirst is quenched from the rock in the wilderness: for "the Rock was Christ," and it was smitten with a rod that the water might flow. But that it might flow, the rock was smitten twice: because there are two beams of the cross.(2) All these things, then, which were done in a figure, are made manifest to us. And it is not without meaning that it was said of the Lord, "He went up to the feast-day. but not openly, but as it were in secret." For Himself in secret was the thing prefigured, because Christ was hid in that same festal-day; for that very festal-day signified Christ's members that were to sojourn in a foreign land.

10. "Then the Jews sought Him on the feast-day:" before He went up. For His brethren went up before Him, and He went not up then when they supposed and wished: that this too might be fulfilled which He said, "Not to this, that is, the first or second day, to which you wish me to go. But He went up afterwards, as the Gospel tells us, "on the middle of the feast;' that is, when as many days of that feast had passed as there remained. For they celebrated that same festival, so far we can understand, on several successive days.

11. "They said, therefore, Where is he? And there was much murmuring among the people concerning Him." Whence the murmuring? Of strife. What was the strife? "Some said, He is a good man; but others said, Nay; but he deceiveth the people." We must understand this of all His servants: this is said now of them. For whoever becomes eminent in some spiritual grace, of him some will assuredly say, "He is a good man;" others, "Nay; but he deceiveth the people." Whence is this? "Because our life is hid with Christ in God."(3) On this account people may say during the winter, This tree is dead; for example, a fig tree, pear tree, or some kind of fruit tree, it is like a withered tree, and so long as it is winter it does not appear whether it is so or not. But the summer proves, the judgment proves. Our summer is the appearing of Christ: "God shall come manifest, our God, and He will not be silent;"(4) "fire shall go before Him:" that fire "shall burn up His enemies:"(5) that fire shall lay hold of the withered trees. For then shall the dry trees be apparent, when it shall be said to them, "I was hungry, and ye gave me not to eat;" but on the other side, namely, on the right, will be seen abundance of fruit, and magnificence of leaves; the green will be eternity. To those, then, as withered trees, it shall be said, "Go into everlasting fire. For behold," it saith, "the axe is laid to the root of the trees: every tree, therefore, that bringeth not forth good fruit shall be cut down, and cast into the fire."(6) Let them then say of thee, if thou art growing in Christ, let men say of thee, "He deceiveth the people." This is said of Christ Himself; it is said of the whole body of Christ. Think of the body of Christ still in the world, think of it still on the threshing-floor; see how it is blasphemed by the chaff. The chaff and the grain are, indeed, threshed together; but the chaff is consumed, the corn is purged. What was said of the Lord then, avails for consolation, whenever it will be said of any Christian.

12. "Howbeit no man spake openly of Him for fear of the Jews." But who were they that did not speak of Him for fear of the Jews? Undoubtedly they who said, "He is a good man:" not they who said, "He deceiveth the people." As for them who said "He deceiveth the people," their din was heard like the noise of dry leaves. "He deceiveth the people, they sounded more and more loudly: "He is a good man," the whispered more and more constrainedly. But now, brethren, notwithstanding that glory of Christ which is to make us immortal is not yet come, yet now, I say, His Church so increases, He has deigned to spread it abroad through the whole world, that it is now only whispered. "He deceiveth the people;" and more and more loudly it sounds forth, "He is a good man."

TRACTATE XXIX.

CHARTER VII. 14-18.

1. What follows of the Gospel? and was read to-day, we must next in order look at, and speak from it as the Lord may grant us. Yesterday it was read thus far, that although they had not seen the Lord Jesus in the temple on the feast-day, yet they were speaking about Him: "And some said, He is a good man: but others said, Nay; but he seduceth the people." For this was said for the comfort of those who, afterwards preaching God's word, were to be seducers, and yet true men.(1) For if to seduce is to deceive, neither was Christ a seducer, nor His apostles, nor ought any Christian to be such; but if to seduce (to lead aside) is by persuading to lead one from something to something else, we ought to inquire into the whence and the whither: if from evil to good, the seducer is a good man; if from good to evil, the seducer is a bad man. In that sense, then, in which men are seduced from evil to good, would that all of us both were called, and actually were seducers!

2. Then afterwards the Lord went up to the feast, "about the middle of the feast, and taught." "And the Jews marvelled, saying, How knoweth this man letters, having never learned?" He who was in secret taught, He was speaking openly and was not restrained. For that hiding of Himself was for the sake of example; this showing Himself openly was an intimation of His power. But as He taught, "the Jews marvelled;" all indeed, so far as I think, marvelled, but all were not converted. And why this wondering? Because all knew where He was born, where He had been brought up; they had never seen Him learning betters, but they heard Him disputing about the law, bringing forward testimonies of the law, which none could bring forward unless he had read, and none could read unless he had learned letters: and therefore they marvelled. But their marvelling was made an occasion to the Master of insinuating the truth more deeply into their minds. By reason, indeed of their wondering and words, the Lord said something profound, and worthy of being more diligently looked into and discussed. On account of which I would urge you, my beloved, to earnestness, not only in hearing for yourselves, but also in praying for us.

3. How then did the Lord answer those that were marvelling how He knew letters which He had not learned? "My doctrine," saith He, "is not mine, but His that sent me." This is the first profundity. For He seems as if in a few words He had spoken contraries. For He says not, This doctrine is not mine; but, "My doctrine is not mine." If not Thine, how Thine? If Thine, how not Thine? For Thou sayest both: both, "my doctrines;" and, "not mine." For if He had said, This doctrine is not mine, there would have been no question. But now, brethren, in the first place, consider well the question, and so in due order expect the solution. For he who sees not the question proposed, how can he understand what is expounded? The subject of inquiry, then, is that which He says, "My, not mine" this appears to be contrary; how "my," how "not mine"? If we carefully look at what the holy evangelist himself says in the beginning of his Gospel, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God;" thence hangs the solution of this question. What then is the doctrine of the Father, but the Father's Word? Therefore, Christ Himself is the doctrine of the Father, if He is the Word of the Father. But since the Word cannot be of none, but of some one, He said both "His doctrine," namely, Himself, and also, "not His owns" because He is the Word of the Father. For what is so much "Thine" as Thyself? And what so much not Thine as Thyself, if that Thou art is of another?

4. The Word then is God; and it is also the Word of a stable, unchangeable doctrine, not such as can be sounded by syllables and fleeting, but abiding with the Father, to which abiding doctrine let us be converted, being admonished by the transitory sounds of the voice. For that which is transitory does not so admonish us as to call us to transitory things. We are admonished to love God. All this that I have said were syllables; they smote through the air to reach your sense of hearing, and by sounding passed away: that, however, which I advise you ought not so to pass away, because He whom I exhort you to love passes not away; and when you, exhorted in transient syllables, shall have been converted, you shall not pass away, but shall abide with Him who is abiding. There is therefore in the doctrine this great matter, this deep and eternal thing which is permanent: whither all things that pass away in time call us, when they mean well and are not falsely put forward. For, in fact, all the signs which we produce by sounds do signify something which is not sound. For God is not the two short syllables "Deus," and it is not the two short syllables that we worship, and it is not the two short syllables that we adore, nor is it to the two short syllables that we desire to come--two syllables which almost cease to sound before they have begun to sound; nor in sounding them is there room for the second until the first has passed away. There remains, then, something great which is called "God," although the sound does not remain when we say the word "God." Thus direct your thoughts to the doctrine of Christ, and ye shall arrive at the Word of God; and when you have arrived at the Word of God, consider this, "The Word was God," and you will see that it was said truly, "my doctrine:" consider also whose the Word is, and you will see that it was rightly said, "is not mine."

5. Therefore, to speak briefly, beloved, it seems to me that the Lord Jesus Christ said, "My doctrine is not mine," meaning the same thing as if He said, "I am not from myself." For although we say and believe that the Son is equal to the Father, and that there is not any diversity of nature and substance in them, that there has not intervened any interval of time between Him that begets and Him that is begotten, nevertheless we say these things, while keeping and guarding this, that the one is the Father, the other the Son. But Father He is not if He have not a Son, and Son He is not if He have not a Father: but yet the Son is God from the Father; and the Father is God, but not from the Son. The Father of the Son, not God from the Son: but the other is Son of the Father, and God from the Father. For the Lord Christ is called Light from Light. The Light then which is not from Light, and the equal Light which is not from Light, are together one Light not two Lights.

6. If we have understood this, thanks be to God; but if any has not sufficiently understood, man has done as far as he could: as for the rest, let him see whence he may hope to understand. As laborers outside, we can plant and water; but it is of God to give the increase. "My doctrine," saith He, "is not mine, but His that sent me." Let him who says he has not yet understood hear counsel. For since it was a great and profound matter that had been spoken, the Lord Christ Himself did certainly see that all would not understand this so profound a matter, and He gave counsel in the sequel. Dost thou wish to understand? Believe. For God has said by the prophet: "Except ye believe, ye shall not understand."(1) To the same purpose what the Lord here also added as He went on"If any man is willing to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak from myself." What is the meaning of this, "If any man be willing to do His will"? But I had said, if any man believe; and I gave this counsel: If thou hast not understood, said I, believe. For understanding is the reward of faith. Therefore do not seek to understand in order to believe, but believe that thou mayest understand; since, "except ye believe, ye shall not understand." Therefore when I would counsel the obedience of believing toward the possibility of understanding, and say that our Lord Jesus Christ has added this very thing in the following sentence, we find Him to have said, "If any man be willing to do His will, he shall know of the doctrine." What is "he shall know"? It is the same thing as "he shall understand." But what is "If any man be willing to do His will"? It is the same thing as to believe. All men indeed perceive that "shall know" is the same thing as "shall understand:" but that the saying, "If any man be willing to do His will," refers to believing, all do not perceive; to perceive this more accurately, we need the Lord Himself for expounder, to show us whether the doing of the Father's will does in reality refer to believing. But who does not know that this is to do the will of God, to work the work of God; that is, to work that work which is pleasing to Him? But the Lord Himself says openly in another place: "This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He has sent."(1) "That ye believe on Him," not, that ye believe Him. But if ye believe an Him, ye believe Him; yet he that believes Him does not necessarily believe on Him. For even the devils believed Him, but they did not believe on Him. Again, moreover, of His apostles we can say, we believe Paul; but not, we believe on Paul: we believe Peter; but not, we believe on Peter. For, "to him that believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted unto him for righteousness."(2) What then is "to believe on Him"? By believing to love Him, by believing to esteem highly, by believing to go into Him and to be incorporated in His members. It is faith itself then that God exacts from us: and He finds not that which He exacts, unless He has bestowed what He may find. What faith, but that which the apostle has most amply defined in another place, saying, "Neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision, but faith that worketh by love?"(3) Not any faith of what kind soever, but "faith that worketh by love:" let this faith be in thee, and thou shall understand concerning the doctrine. What indeed shall thou understand? That "this doctrine is not mine, but His that sent me;" that is, thou shall understand that Christ the Son of God, who is the doctrine of the Father, is not from Himself, but is the Son of the Father.

7. This sentence overthrows the Sabellian heresy. The Sabellians have dared to affirm that the Son is the very same as He who is also the Father: that the names are two, but the reality one. If the names were two and reality one, it would not be said, "My doctrine is not mine." Anyhow, if Thy doctrine is not Thine, O Lord, whose is it, unless there be another whose it is? The Sabellians understand not what Thou saidst; for they see not the trinity, but follow the error of their own heart. Let us worshippers of the trinity and unity of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and one God, understand concerning Christ's doctrine, how it is not His. And He said that He spoke not from Himself for this reason, because Christ is the Son of the Father, and the Father is the Father of Christ; and the Son is from God the Father, God, but God the Father is God not from God the Son.

8. "He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory.' This will be he who is called Antichrist, "exalting himself," as the apostle says, "above all that is called God, and that is worshipped."(4) The Lord, declaring that this same it is that will seek his own glory, not the glory of the Father, says to the Jews: "I am come in my Father's name, and ye have not received me; another will come in his own name, him ye will receive."(5) He intimated that they would receive Antichrist, who will seek the glory of his own name, puffed up, not solid; and therefore not stable, but assuredly ruinous. But our Lord Jesus Christ has shown us a great example of humility: for doubtless He is equal with the Father, for "in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God;" yea, doubtless, He Himself said, and most truly said, "Am I so long time with you, and ye have not known me, Philip? He that hath seen me hath seen the Father."(6) Yea, doubtless, Himself said, and most truly said, "I and the Father are one."(7) If, therefore, He is one with the Father, equal to the Father, God from God, God with God, coeternal, immortal, alike unchangeable, alike without time, alike Creator and disposer of times; and yet because He came in time, and took the form of a servant, and in condition was found as a man,(8) He seeks the glory of the Father, not His own; what oughtest thou to do, O man, who, when thou doest anything good, seekest thy own glory; but when thou doest anything ill, dost meditate calumny against God? Consider thyself: thou art a creature, acknowledge thy Creator: thou art a servant, despise not thy Lord: thou art adopted, not for thy own merits; seek His glory from whom thou hast this grace, that thou art a man adopted; His, whose glory He sought who is from Him, the Only-begotten. "But He that seeketh His glory that sent Him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in Him" In Antichrist, however, there is unrighteousness, and he is not true; because he will seek his own glory, not His by whom he was sent: for, indeed, he was not sent, but only permitted to come. Let us all, therefore, that belong to the body of Christ, seek not our own glory, that we be not led into the snares of Antichrist. But if Christ sought His glory that sent Him, how much more ought we to seek the glory of Him who made us?

TRACTATE XXX.

CHAPTER VII, 19-24.

1. The passage of the holy Gospel of which we have before discoursed to you, beloved, is fo lowed by that of to-day, which has just now been read. Both the disciples and the Jews heard the Lord speaking; both men of truth and liars heard the Truth speaking; both friends and enemies heard Charity speaking; both good men and bad men heard the Good speaking. They heard, but He discerned; He saw and foresaw whom His discourse profiled and would profit. Among those who were then, He saw; among us who were to be, He foresaw. Let us therefore hear the Gospel, just as if we were listening to the Lord Himself present: nor let us say, O happy they who were able to see Him! because there were many of them who saw, and also killed Him; and there are many among us who have not seen Him, and yet have believed. For the precious truth that sounded forth from the mouth of the Lord was both written for our sakes, and preserved for our sakes, and recited for our sakes, and will be recited also for the sake of our prosperity, even until the end of the world. The Lord is above; but the Lord, the Truth, is also here. For the body of the Lord, in which He rose again from the dead, can be only in one place; but His truth is everywhere diffused. Let us then hear the Lord, and let us also speak that which He shall have granted to us concerning His own words.

2. "Did not Moses," saith He, "give you the law, and vet none of you doeth the law? Why do ye seek to kill me?" For ye seek to kill me just for this reason, that none of you doeth the law; for if ye did do the law, ye would recognize Christ in its very letters, and ye would not kill Him when present with you. And they answered: "The crowd answered Him;" answered as a tumultuous crowd,' things not pertaining to order, but to confusion; in a word, the crowd was disturbed. See what answer it made: "Thou hast a devil: who seeks to kill thee?" As if it were not worse to say, "Thou hast a devil," than to kill Him. To Him, indeed, was it said, that He had a devil, who was casting out devils. What else can a turbulent disorderly crowd say? What else can filth stirred up do but stink? The crowd was disturbed; by what? By the truth. For the eyes that have not soundness cannot endure the brightness of the light.

3. But the Lord, manifestly not disturbed, but calm in His truth, rendered not evil for evil nor railing for railing;(2) although, if He were to say to these men, You have a devil, He would certainly be saying what was true. For they would not have said such things to the Truth, unless the falsehood of the devil had instigated them. What then did He answer? Let us calmly hear, and drink in the serene word: "I have done one work, and ye all marvel." As if He said, What if ye were to see all my works? For they were His works which they saw in the world, and yet they saw not Him who made them all: He did one thing, and they were disturbed because he made a man whole on the Sabbath-day. As if, indeed, when any sick man recovered his health on the Sabbath-day, it had been any other that made such a man whole than He who offended them, because He made one man whole on the Sabbath-day. For who else has made others whole than He who is health itself,--He who gives even to the beasts that health which He gave to this man? For it was bodily health. The health of the flesh is repaired, and the flesh dies; and when it is repaired, death is only put off, not taken away. However, even that same health, brethren, is from the Lord, through whomsoever it may be given: by whose care and ministry soever it may be imparted, it is given by Him from whom all health is, to whom it is said in the psalm, "O Lord, Thou wilt save men and beasts; as Thou hast multiplied Thy mercy, O God." For because Thou art God Thy multiplied mercy reaches even to the safety of human flesh, reaches even to the safety of dumb animals; but Thou who givest health of flesh common to men and beasts, is there no health which Thou reservest for men? There is certainly another which is not only not common to men and beasts, but to men themselves is not common to good and bad. In a word, when he had there spoken of this health which men and cattle receive in common, because of that health which men, but only the good, ought to hope for, he added as he went on: "But the sons of men shall put their trust under the cover of Thy wings. They shall be fully satisfied with the fatness of Thy house; and Thou shalt give them drink from the torrent of Thy pleasure. For with Thee is the fountain of life; and in Thy light shall they see light."(1) This is the health which belongs to good men, those whom he called "sons of men;" whilst he had said above, "O Lord, Thou shall save men and beasts." How then? Were not those men sons of men, that after he had said men, he should go on and say, But the sons of men: as if men and sons of men meant different things? Yet I do not believe that the Holy Spirit had said this without some indication of distinction. The term men refers to the first Adam, sons of men to Christ. Perhaps, indeed, men relate to the first man; but sons of men relate to the Son of man.

4. "I have done one work, and ye all marvel." And immediately He subjoined: "Moses therefore gave unto you circumcision." It was well done that ye received circumcision from Moses. "Not that it is of Moses, but of the fathers;" since it was Abraham that first received circumcision from the Lord.(2) "And ye circumcise on the Sabbath-day." Moses has convicted you: ye have received in the law to circumcise on the eighth day; ye have received in the law to cease from labor on the seventh day;(3) if the eighth day from the child's birth fall on the seventh day of the week, what will ye do Will ye abstain from work to keep the Sabbath, or will ye circumcise to fulfill the sacrament of the eighth day? But I know, saith He, what ye do. "Ye circumcise a man." Why? Because circumcision relates to what. is a kind of seal of salvation, and men ought not to abstain from the work of salvation on the Sabbath-day. Therefore be ye not "angry with me, because I have made a man every whit whole on the Sabbath-day." "If," saith He, "a man on the Sabbath-day receiveth circumcision that the law should not be broken" (for it was something saving that was ordained by Moses in that ordinance of circumcision), why are ye angry at me for working a healing on the Sabbath-day?

5. Perhaps, indeed, that circumcision pointed to the Lord Himself, at whom they were indignant, because He worked cures and healing. For circumcision was commanded to be applied on the eighth day: and what is circumcision but the spoiling of the flesh? This circumcision, then, signified the removal of carnal lusts from the heart. Therefore not without cause was it given, and ordered to be made in that member; since by that member the creature of mortal kind is procreated. By one man came death, just as by one man the resurrection of the dead;(4) and by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin.(5) Therefore every man is born with a foreskin, because every man is born with the vice of propagation; and God cleanses not, either from the vice with which we are born, or from the vices which we add thereto by ill living, except by the stony knife, the Lord Christ. For Christ was the Rock, Now they used to circumcise with stone knives, and by the name of rock they prefigured Christ; and yet when He was present with them they did not acknowledge Him, but besides, they sought to kill Him. But why on the eighth day,unless because after the seventh day of the week the Lord rose again on the Lord's day? Therefore Christ's resurrection, which happened on the third day indeed of His passion, but on the eighth day in the days of the week, that same resurrection it is that doth circumcise us. Hear of those that were circumcised with the real stone, while the apostle admonishes them: "If then ye be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting on the right hand of God; set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth."(6) He speaks to the circumcised: Christ has risen; He has taken away from you carnal desires, evil lusts, the superfluity with which you were born, and that far worse which you had added thereto by ill living; being circumcised by the Rock, why do you still set your affections on the earth? And finally, for that "Moses gave you the law, and ye circumcise a man on the Sabbath-day," understand that by this is signified the good work which I have done, in that I have made a man every whit whole on the Sabbath-day; because he was cured that he might be whole in body, and also he believed that he might be whole in soul.

6. "Judge not according to personal appearance, but judge righteous judgment." What is this? Just now, you who by the law of Moses circumcise on the Sabbath-day are not angry with Moses; and because I made a man whole on the Sabbath-day you are angry with me. You judge by the person; give heed to the truth. I do not prefer myself to Moses, says the Lord, who was also the Lord of Moses. So consider us as you would two men, as both men; judge between us, but judge a true judgment; do not condemn him by honoring me, but honor me by understanding' him. For this He said to them in another place: "If ye believed Moses ye would certainly believe me also, for he wrote of me."(1) But in this place He willed not to say this, Himself and Moses being as it were placed before these men for judgment. Because of Moses' law you circumcise, even when it happens to be the Sabbath-day, and will ye not that I should show the beneficence of healing during the Sabbath? For the Lord of circumcision and the Lord of the Sabbath is the same who is tile Author of health; and they are servile works that ye are forbidden to do on the Sabbath; if ye really understand what servile works are, ye sin not. For he that committeth sin is the servant of sin. Is it a servile work to heal a man on the Sabbath-day? Ye do eat and drink (to infer somewhat from the admonition of our Lord Jesus Christ, and from His words); at any rate, why do ye eat and drink on the Sabbath, but because that what ye do pertains to health? By this ye show that the works of health are not in any wise to be omitted on the Sabbath. Therefore "do not judge by person, but judge righteous judgment." Consider me as ye would a man; consider Moses as a man: if ye will judge according to the truth, ye will condemn neither Moses nor me; and when ye know the truth ye will know me, because I am the Truth.

7. It requires great labor in this world, brethren to get clear of the vice which the Lord has noted in this place, so as not to judge by appearance, but to keep right judgment. The Lord, indeed, admonished the Jews, but He warned us also; them He convicted, us He instructed; them He reproved, us He encouraged. Let us not imagine that this was not said to us, simply because we were not there at that time. It was written, it is read; when it was recited we heard it; but we heard it as said to the Jews; let us not place ourselves behind ourselves and watch Him reproving enemies, while we ourselves do that which the truth may reprove in us. The Jews indeed judged by appearance, but for that reason they belong not to the New Testament, they have not the kingdom of heaven in Christ, nor are joined to the society of the holy angels; they sought earthly things of the Lord; for a land of promise, victory over enemies, fruitfulness of child-bearing, increase of children, abundance of fruit,--all which things were indeed promised to them by God, the True and the Good, promised to them, however, as unto carnal men,--all these things made for them tile Old Testament. What is the Old Testament? The inheritance, as it were, belonging to the old man. We have been renewed, have been made a new man, because He who is the new man has come. What is so new as to be born of a virgin? Therefore, because there was not in Him what instruction might renew, because He had no sin, there was given Him a new origin of birth. In Him a new birth, in us a new man. What is a new man? A man renewed from oldness. Renewed unto what? Unto desiring heavenly things, unto longing for things eternal, unto earnestly seeking the country which is above and fears no foe, where we do not lose a friend nor fear an enemy; where we live with good affection, without any want; where no longer any advances, because none fails; where no man is born, because no man dies; where there is no hungering nor thirsting; where immortality is fullness, and truth our aliment. Having these promises, and pertaining to the New Testament, and being made heirs of a new inheritance, and co-heirs of the Lord Himself, we have a far different hope from theirs: let us not judge by appearance, but hold right judgment.

8. Who is he that judges not according to the person? He that loves equally. Equal love causes that persons be not accepted. It is not when we honor men in diverse measure according to their degrees that we ought to fear lest we are accepting persons. For where we judge between two, and at times between relations, sometimes it happens that judgment has to be made between father and son; the father complains of a had son, or the son complains of a harsh father; we regard the honor which is due to the father from the son; we do not make the son equal to the father in honor, but we give him preference if he has a good cause: let us regard the son on an equality with the father in the truth, and thus shall we bestow the honor due, so that equity destroy not merit. Thus we profit by the words of the Lord, and that we may profit, we are assisted by His grace.

TRACTATE XXXI.

CHAPTER VII. 25-36.

1. You remember, beloved, in the former discourses,--for it was both read in the Gospel and also discussed by us according to our ability,--how that the Lord Jesus went up to the feast-day, as it were in secret, not because He feared lest He should be laid hold of,--He who had the power not to be laid hold of,--but to signify that even in that very feast which was celebrated by the Jews He Himself was hidden, and that the mystery of the feast was His own. In the passage read to-day then, that which was supposed to be timidity appeared as power; for He spoke openly on the feast-day, so that the crowds marvelled, and said that which we have heard when the passage was read: "Is not this he whom they sought to kill? And, lo, he speaketh openly, and they say nothing. Do the rulers know indeed that this is the Christ?" They who knew with what fierceness He was sought after, wondered by what power He was kept from being taken. Then, not fully understanding His power, they fancied it was the knowledge of the rulers, that these rulers knew Him to be the very Christ, and that for this reason they spared Him whom they had with so much eagerness sought out to be put to death.

2. Then those same persons who had said, "Did the rulers know that this is the Christ?" proposed a question among themselves, by which it appeared to them that He was not the Christ; for they said in addition, "But we know this man whence he is: but when Christ cometh, no man knoweth whence he is." As to how this opinion among the Jews arose, that "when Christ comes, no man knoweth whence He is" (for it did not arise without reason), if we consider the Scriptures, we find, brethren, that the Holy Scriptures have declared of Christ that "He shall be called a Nazarene."(1) Therefore they foretold whence He is. Again, if we seek the place of His nativity, as that whence He is by birth, neither was this hidden from the Jews, because of the Scriptures which had foretold these things. For when the Magi, on the appearing of a star, sought Him out to worship Him, they came to Herod and told him what they sought and what they meant: and he, having called together those who had knowledge of the law, inquired of them where Christ should be born: they told him, "In Bethlehem of Judah," and also brought forward the prophetic testimony.(2) If, therefore, the prophets had foretold both the place where the origin of His flesh was, and the place where His mother would bring Him forth, whence did spring that opinion among the Jews which we have just heard, but from this, that the Scriptures had proclaimed beforehand, and had foretold both? In respect of His being man, the Scriptures foretold whence He should be; in respect of His being God, this was hidden from the ungodly, and it required godly men to discover it. Moreover, they said this, "When Christ comes, no man knoweth whence He is," because that which was spoken by Isaiah produced this opinion in them, viz. "And His generation, who shall tell?"(3) In short, the Lord Himself made answer to both, that they both did, and also did not know whence He was; that He might testify to the holy prophecy which before was predicted of Him, both as to the humanity of infirmity and also as to the divinity of majesty.

3. Hear, therefore, the word of the Lord, brethren; see how He confirmed to them both what they said, "We know this man whence he is," and also what they said, "When Christ cometh, no man knoweth whence He is. Then cried Christ in the temple, saying, Ye both know me, and ye know whence I am: and I am not come of myself, but He that sent me is true, whom ye know not." That is to say, ye both know me, and ye know me not; ye both know whence I am, and ye know not whence I am. Ye know whence I am: Jesus of Nazareth, whose parents also ye knew. For in this case, the birth of the Virgin alone was hidden, to whom, however, her husband was witness; for the same was able faithfully to declare this, who was also able as a husband to be jealous. Therefore, this birth of the Virgin excepted, they knew all that in Jesus pertains to man: His face was known, His country was known, His family was known; where He was born was to be known by inquiry. Rightly then did He say, "Ye both know me, and ye know whence I am," according to the flesh and form of man which He bore; but according to His divinity, "And I am not come of myself, but He that sent me is true, whom ye know not;" but yet that ye may know Him, believe on Him whom He has sent, and ye will know Him. For, "No man has seen God at any time, except the only-begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him:"(1) and, "None knoweth the Father but the Son, and he to whom the Son wills to reveal Him."(2)

4. Lastly, when He had said, "But He that sent me is true, whom ye know not," in order to show them whence they might know that which they did not know, He subjoined, "I know Him." Therefore seek from me to know Him. But why is it that I know Him? "Because I am from Him, and He sent me." Gloriously has He shown both. "I am from Him," said He; because the Son is from the Father, and whatever the Son is, He is of Him whose Son He is. Hence we say that the Lord Jesus is God of God: we do not say that the Father is God of God, but simply God: and we say that the Lord Jesus is Light of Light; we do not say that the Father is Light of Light, but simply Light. Accordingly, to this belongs that which He said "I am from Him." But as to my being seen of you in the flesh, "He sent me." When thou hearest "He sent me," do not understand a difference of nature to be meant, but the authority of Him that begets.

5. "Then they sought to take Him: but no man laid hands on Him, because His hour was not yet come;" that is, because He was not willing. For what is this. "His hour was not yet come"? The Lord was not born under fate. This is not to be believed concerning thee, much less concerning Him by whom thou wast made. If thy hour is His good will, what is His hour but His good will? He meant not therefore an hour in which He should be forced to die, but that in which He would deign to be put to death. But He was awaiting the time in which He should die, for He awaited also the time in which He should be born. The apostle, speaking of this time, says, "But when the fullness of time came, God sent His Son."(3) For this cause many say, Why did not Christ come before? To whom we must make answer, Because the fullness of time had not yet come, while He by whom the times were made sets their bounds; for He knew when He ought to come. In the first place, it was necessary that He should be foretold through a long series of times and years; for it was not something insignificant that was to come: He who was to be ever held, had to be for a long time foretold. The greater the judge that was coming, the longer the train of heralds that preceded him. In short, when the fullness of time came, He also came who was to deliver us from time. For being delivered from time, we shall come to that eternity where there is no time: there it is not said, When shall the hour come? for the day is everlasting, a day which is neither preceded by a yesterday, nor cut off by a morrow. But in this world days roll on, some are passing away, others come; none abides; and the moments in which we are speaking drive out one another in turn, nor stands the first syllable for the second to sound. Since we began to speak we are somewhat older, and without doubt I am just now older than I was in the morning; thus, nothing stands, nothing remains fixed in time. Therefore ought we to love Him by whom the times were made, that we may be delivered from time and be fixed in eternity, where there is no more changeableness of times. Great, therefore, is the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, in that for our sakes He was made in time, by whom the times were made; that He was made among all things, by whom all things were made; that He became what He made. For He was made what He had made; for He was made man who had made man, lest what He had made should perish. According to this dispensation, the hour of His birth had now come, and He was born; but not yet had come the hour of His suffering, therefore not yet had He suffered.

6. In short, that ye may know that the words refer, not to the necessity of His dying, but to His power,--I speak this for the sake of some who, when they hear "His hour was not yet come," are determined on believing in fate, and their hearts become infatuated;--that ye may know, then, that it was His power of dying, recollect the passion, look at Him crucified. While hanging on the tree, He said, "I thirst." They, having heard this, offered to Him on the cross vinegar by a sponge on a reed. He received it, and said, "It is finished;" and, bowing His head, gave up the ghost. You see His power of dying, that He waited for this--until all things should be fulfilled that had been foretold concerning Him--to take place before His death. For the prophet had said, "They gave me gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink."(4) He waited for all these things to be fulfilled: after they were completed, He said, "It is finished;" and He departed by power, because He came not by necessity. Hence some wondered more at this His power to die than at His ability to work miracles. For they came to the cross to take the bodies down from the tree, for the Sabbath was drawing near, and the thieves were found still living. The punishment of the cross was so much the harder because it tortured men so long, and all that were crucified were killed by a lingering death. But the thieves, that they might not remain on the tree, were forced to die by having their legs broken, that they might be taken down thence. The Lord, however, was found to be already dead,(1) and the men marvelled; and they who despised Him when living, so wondered at Him when dead, that some of them said, "Truly this was the Son of God."(2) Whence also that, brethren, where He says to those that seek Him, "I am He;" and they, going backward, all fell to the ground?(3) Consequently there was in Him supreme power. Nor was He forced to die at an hour; but He waited the hour on which His will might fittingly be done, not that on which necessity might be fulfilled against His will.

7. "But many of the people believed on Him." The Lord made whole the humble and the poor. The rulers were mad, and therefore they not only did not acknowledge the Physician, but even were eager to slay Him. There was a certain crowd of people which quickly saw its own sickness, and without delay recognized His remedy. See what that very crowd, moved by His miracles, said: "When Christ cometh will He do more signs than these?" Surely, unless there will be two Christs, this is the Christ. Consequently, in saying these things, they believed on Him.

8. But those rulers, having heard the assurance of the multitude, and that murmuring noise of the people in which Christ was being glorified, "sent officers to take Him." To take whom? Him not yet willing to be taken. Because then they could not take Him while He would not, they were sent to hear Him. teaching. Teaching what? "Then said Jesus, Yet a little while I am with you." What ye wish to do now ye will do, but not just now; because I am not just now willing. Why am I now as yet unwilling? Because "yet a little while I am with you; and then I go unto Him that sent me." I must complete my dispensation, and in this manner come to my suffering.

9. "Ye shall seek me, and shall not find me: and where I am, thither ye cannot come." Here He has already foretold His resurrection; for they would not acknowledge Him when present, and afterwards they sought Him when they saw the multitude already believing on Him For great signs were wrought, even when the Lord was risen again and ascended into heaven. Then mighty deeds were done by His disciples, but He wrought by them as He wrought by Himself: since, indeed, He had said to them, "Without me ye can do nothing."(4) When that lame man who sat at the gate rose up at Peter's voice, and walked on his feet, so that men marvelled, Peter spoke to them to this effect, that it was not by his own power that he did this, but in the virtue of Him whom they slew.(5) Many pricked in the heart said, "What shall we do?" For they saw themselves bound by an immense crime of impiety, since they slew Him whom they ought to have revered and worshipped; and this crime they thought inexpiable. A great wickedness indeed it was, the thought of which might make them despair; yet it did not behove them to despair, for whom the Lord, as He hung on the cross, deigned to pray. For He had said, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.(8) He saw some who were His own among many who were aliens; for these He sought pardon, from whom at the time He was still receiving injury. He regarded not that He was being put to death by them, but only that He was dying for them. It was a great thing that was forgiven them, it was a great thing that was done by them and for them, so that no man should despair of the forgiveness of his sin when they who slew Christ obtained pardon. Christ died for us, but surely He was not put to death by us? But those men indeed saw Christ dying by their own villany; and yet they believed on Christ pardoning their villanies. Until they drank the blood they had shed, they despaired of their own salvation. Therefore said He this: "Ye shall seek me, and shall not find me: and where I am, ye cannot come;" because they were to seek Him after the resurrection, being pricked in their heart with remorse. Nor did He say "where I will be," but "where I am." For Christ was always in that place whither He was about to return; for He came in such manner that He did not depart from that place. Hence He says in another place, "No man has ascended into heaven, but He who came down from heaven, the Son of man who is in heaven."(7) He said not, who was in heaven. He spoke on the earth, and declared that He was at the same time in heaven. He came in such wise that He departed not thence; and He so returned as not to abandon us. What do ye marvel at? This is God's doing. For man, as regards his body, is in a place, and departs from a place; and when he comes to another place, he will not be in that place whence he came: but God fills all things, and is all everywhere; He is not held in places according to space. Nevertheless the Lord Christ was, as regards His visible flesh, on the earth: as regards His invisible majesty, He was in heaven and on earth; and therefore He says, "Where I am, thither ye cannot come." Nor did He say, "Ye shall not be able." but "ye are not able to come;" for at that time they were such as were not able. And that ye may know that this was not said to cause despair, He said something of the same kind also to His disciples: "Whither I go ye cannot come."(1) Yet while praying in their behalf, He said, "Father, I will that where I am they also may be with me."(2) And, finally, this He expounded to Peter, and says to him, "Whither I go thou canst not follow me now, but thou shalt follow me hereafter."(3)

10. "Then said the Jews," not to Him, but "to themselves, Whither will this man go, that we shall not find him? will he go unto the dispersion among the Gentiles, and teach the Gentiles?" For they knew not what they said; but, it being His will, they prophesied. The Lord was indeed about to go to the Gentiles, not by His bodily presence, but still with His feet. What were His feet? Those which Saul desired to trample upon by persecution, when the Head cried out to him, "Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?"(4) What is this saying that He said, "Ye shall seek me, and shall not find me: and where I am, thither ye cannot come?" Wherefore the Lord said this they knew not, and yet they did predict something that was to be without knowing it. For this is what the Lord said that they knew not the place, if place however it must be called, which is the bosom of the Father, from which Christ never departed; nor were they competent to conceive where Christ was, whence Christ never withdrew, whither He was to return, where He was all the while dwelling. How was it possible for the human heart to conceive this, least of all to explain it with the tongue? This, then, they in no wise understood; and yet by occasion of this they foretold our salvation, that the Lord would go to the dispersion of the Gentiles, and would fulfill that which they read but did not understand. "A people whom I have not known served me, and by the hearing of the ear obeyed me,"(5) They before whose eyes He was, heard Him not; those heard Him in whose ears He was sounded.

11. For of that Church of the Gentiles which was to come, the woman that had the issue of blood was a type: she touched and was not seen; she was not known and yet was healed. It was in reality a figure what the Lord asked: "Who touched me?" As if not knowing, He healed her as unknown: so has He done also to the Gentiles. We did not get to know Him in the flesh, yet we have been made worthy to eat His flesh, and to be members in His flesh. In what way? Because He sent to us. Whom? His heralds, His disciples, His servants, His redeemed whom He created, but whom He redeemed, His brethren also. I have said but little of all that they are: His own members, Himself; for He sent to us His own members, and He made us His members. Nevertheless, Christ has not been among us with the bodily form which the Jews saw and despised; because this also was said concerning Him, even as the apostle says: "Now I say that Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers.(6) He owed it to have come to those by whose fathers and to whose fathers He was promised. For this reason He says also Himself: "I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel."' But what says the apostle in the following words? "And that the Gentiles might glorify God for His mercy." What, moreover, saith the Lord Himself? "Other sheep I have which are not of this fold.(8) He who had said, "I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel," how has He other sheep to which He was not sent, except that He intimated that He was not sent to show His bodily presence but to the Jews only, who saw and killed Him? And yet many of them, both before and afterwards, believed. The first harvest was winnowed from the cross, that there might be a seed whence another harvest might spring up. But at this present time, when roused by the fame of the gospel, and by its goodly odor, His faithful ones among all nations believe, He shall be the expectation of the Gentiles, when He shall come who has already come; when He shall be seen by all, He who was then not seen by some, by some was seen; when He shall come to judge who came to be judged; when He shall come to distinguish who came not to be distinguished. For Christ was not discerned by the ungodly, but was condemned with the ungodly; for it was said concerning Him, "He was accounted among the wicked."(1) The robber escaped, Christ was condemned. He who was loaded with criminal accusations received pardon; He who has released from their crimes all who confess Him, was condemned. Nevertheless even the cross itself, if thou considerest it well, was a judgment-seat; for the Judge being set up in the middle, one thief who believed was delivered, the other who reviled was condemned.(2) Already He signified what He is to do with the quick and the dead: some He will set on His right hand and others on His left. That thief was like those that shall be on the left hand, the other like those that shall be on the right. He was undergoing judgment, and He threatened judgment.

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