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

CHAPTER X. 1-10.

1. OUR Lord's discourse to the Jews began in connection with the man who was born blind and was restored to sight. Your Charity therefore ought to know and be advised that today's lesson is interwoven with that one. For when the Lord had said, "For judgment I am come into this world; that they who see not might see, and they who see might be made blind,"--which, on the occasion of its reading, we expounded according to our ability,--some of the Pharisees said, "Are we blind also?" To whom He replied. "If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; [therefore] your sin remaineth."(1) To these words He added what we have been hearing today when the lesson was read.

2. "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber." For they declared that they were not blind; yet could they see only by being the sheep of Christ. Whence claimed they possession of the light, who were acting as thieves against the day? Because, then, of their vain and proud and incurable arrogance, did the Lord Jesus subjoin these words, wherein He has given us also salutary lessons, if we lay them to heart. For there are many who, according to a custom of this life, are called good people,--good men, good women, innocent, and observers as it were of what is commanded in the law; paying respect to their parents, abstaining from adultery, doing no murder, committing no theft, giving no false witness against any one, and observing all else that the law requires--yet are not Christians; and for the most part ask boastfully, like these men. "Are we blind also?" But just because all these things that they do, and know not to what end they should have reference, they do to no purpose, the Lord has set forth in today's lesson the similitude of His own flock, and of the door that leads into the sheepfold. Pagans may say, then, We live well. If they enter not by the door, what good will that do them, whereof they boast? For to this end ought good living to benefit every one, that it may be given him to live for ever: for to whomsoever eternal life is not given, of what benefit is the living well? For they ought not to be spoken of as even living well, who either from blindness know not the end of a right life, or in their pride despise it. But no one has the true and certain hope of living always, unless he know the life, that it is Christ; and enter by the gate into the sheepfold.

3. Such, accordingly, for the most part seek to persuade men to live well, and yet not to be Christians. By another way they wish to climb up, to steal and to kill, not as the shepherd, to preserve and to save. And thus there have been certain philosophers, holding many subtle discussions about the virtues and the vices, dividing, defining, drawing out to their close the most acute processes of reasoning, filling books, brandishing their wisdom with rattling jaws; who would even dare to say to people, Follow us, keep to our sect, if you would live happily. But they had not entered by the door: they wished to destroy, to slay, and to murder.

4. What shall I say of such? Look, the Pharisees themselves were in the habit of reading, and in what they read, their voices re-echoed the Christ, they hoped He would come, and recognized Him not when present; they boasted, even they, of being amongst those who saw, that is, among the wise, and they disowned the Christ, and entered not in by the door. Therefore would such also, if they chanced to seduce any, seduce them to be slaughtered and murdered, not to be brought into liberty. Let us leave these also to themselves, and look at those who glory in the name of Christ Himself, and see whether even they perchance are entering in by the door.

5. For there are countless numbers who not only boast that they see, but would have it appear that they are enlightened by Christ; yet are they heretics. Have even they somehow entered by the gate? Surely not. Sabellius says, He who is the Son is Himself the Father; but if the Son, then is there no Father. He enters not by the door, who asserts that the Son is the Father. Arius says, The Father is one thing, the Son is another thing. He would say rightly if he said, Another person; but not another thing.(2) For when he says, Another thing, he contradicts Him who says in his hearing, "I and my Father are One."(3) Neither does he therefore enter by the door; for he preaches a Christ such as he fabricates for himself, not such as the truth declares Him. Thou hast the name, thou hast not the reality. Christ is the name of something; keep hold of the thing itself, if thou wouldst benefit by the name. Another, I know not from whence, says with Photinus,(4) Christ is mere man; He is not God. He enters not in by the door, for Christ is both man and God. But why need I make many references, and enumerate the many vanities of heretics? Keep hold of this, that Christ's sheepfold is the Catholic Church. Whoever would enter the sheepfold, let him enter by the door, let him preach the true Christ. Not only let him preach the true Christ, but seek Christ's glory, not his own; for many, by seeking their own glory, have scattered Christ's sheep, instead of gathering them. For Christ the Lord is a low gateway: he who enters by this gateway must humble himself, that he may be able to enter with head unharmed. But he that humbleth not, but exalteth himself, wishes to climb over the wall; and he that climbeth over the wall, is exalted only to fall.

6. Thus far, however, the Lord Jesus speaks in covert language; not as yet is He understood. He names the door, He names the sheepfold, He names the sheep: all this He sets forth, but does not yet explain. Let us read on then, for He is coming to those words, wherein He may think proper to give us some explanation of what He has said; from the explanation of which He will perhaps enable us to understand also what He has not explained. For He gives us what is plain, for food; what is obscure, for exercise. "He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way." Woe to the wretch, for he is sure to fall! Let him then be humble, let him enter by the door: let him walk on the level ground, and he shall not stumble. "The same," He says, "is a thief and a robber." The sheep of another he desires to call his own sheep,--his own, that is, as carried off by stealth, for the purpose, not of saving, but of slaying them. Therefore is he a thief, because what is another's he calls his own; a robber, because what he has stolen he also kills. "But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep: to him the porter openeth." Concerning this porter we shall make inquiry, when we have heard of the Lord Himself what is the door and who is the shepherd. "And the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name." For He has their names written in the book of life. "He calleth his own sheep by name." Hence, says the apostle, "The Lord knoweth them that are His."(1) "And he leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. And a stranger do they not follow, but do flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers." These are veiled words, full of topics of inquiry, pregnant with sacramental signs. Let us follow then, and listen to the Master as He makes some opening into these obscurities; and perhaps by the opening He makes, He will cause us to enter.

7. "This parable spake Jesus unto them; but they understood not what He spake unto them." Nor we also, perhaps. What, then, is the difference between them and us, before even we can understand these words? This, that we on our part knock, that it may be opened unto us; while they, by disowning Christ, refused to enter for salvation, and preferred remaining outside to be destroyed. In as far, then, as we listen to these words with a pious mind, in as far as, before we understand them, we believe them to be true and divine, we stand at a great distance from these men. For when two persons are listening to the words of the gospel, the one impious, the other pious, and some of these are such as neither perhaps understands, the one says, It has said nothing; the other says, It has said the truth, and what it has said is good, but we do not understand it. This latter, because he believes, now knocks, that he may be worthy to have it opened up to him, if he continue knocking; but the other still hears the words, "If ye believe not, ye shall not understand."(2) Why do I draw your attention to this? Even for this reason, that when I have explained as I can these obscure words, or, because of their great abstruseness, I have either myself failed to arrive at an understanding of them, or wanted the faculty of explaining what I do understand, or every one has been so dull as not to follow me, even when I give the explanation, yet should he not despair of himself; but continue in faith, walk on in the way, and hear the apostle saying, "And if in anything ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. Nevertheless whereto we have already attained, let us walk therein."(3)

8. Let us begin, then, with hearing His exposition of what we have heard Him propounding. "Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep." See, He has opened the very door which was shut in His former description. He Himself is the door. We have come to know it; let us enter, or rejoice that we are already within. "All that ever came are thieves and robbers." What is this, Lord, "All that ever came"? How so? hast Thou not come? But understand; I said, "All that ever came," meaning, of course, exclusive of myself.(4) Let us recollect then. Before His coming came the prophets: were they thieves and robbers? God forbid. They did not come apart from Him, for they came with Him. When about to come, He sent heralds, but retained possession of the hearts of His messengers. Do you wish to know that they came with Him, who is Himself ever existent? Certainly He assumed human flesh at the time appointed. But what means that "ever"? "In the beginning was the Word."(1) With Him, therefore, came those who came with the word of God. "I am," said He, "the way, and the truth, and the life."(2) If He is the truth, with Him came those who were truthful. As many, therefore, as were apart from Him, were "thieves and robbers," that is, had come to steal and to destroy.

9. 'But the sheep did not hear them." This is a more important point, "the sheep did not hear them." Before the advent of our Lord Jesus Christ, when He came in humility in the flesh, righteous men preceded, believing in the same way in Him who was to come, as we believe in Him who has come. Times vary, but not faith. For verbs themselves also vary with the tense, when they are variously declined. He is to come, has one sound; He has come, has another: there is a change in the sound between He is to come, and He has come:(3) yet the same faith unites both,--both those who believed that He would come, and those who have believed that He is come. At different times, indeed, but by the one doorway of faith, that is, by Christ, do we see that both have entered. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ was born of the Virgin, that He came in the flesh, suffered, rose again, ascended into heaven: all this, just as you hear verbs of the past tense, we believe to be already fulfilled. In that faith a partnership is also held with us by those fathers who believed that He would be born of the Virgin, would suffer, would rise again, would ascend into heaven; for to such the apostle pointed when he said, "But we having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak."(4) The prophet said, "I believed, therefore have I spoken:"(5) the apostle says, "We also believe, and therefore speak." But to let you know that their faith is one, listen to him saying, "Having the same spirit of faith, we also believe." So also in another place, "For I would not have you ignorant, brethren, how 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, and did all drink the same spiritual drink." The Red Sea signifies baptism; Moses, their leader through the Red Sea, signifies Christ; the people, who passed through, signify believers; the death of the Egyptians signifies the abolition of sins. Under different signs there is the same faith. It is with different signs as with different words [verbs]; for verbs change their sounds through the tenses, and verbs are indeed nothing else than signs. For they are words because of what they signify: take away the meaning from a word,(6) and it becomes a senseless sound. All, therefore, have become signs. Was not the same faith theirs by whom these signs were employed, and by whom were foretold in prophecy the very things which we believe? Certainly it was: but they believed that they were yet to come, and we, that they have come. In like manner does he also say, "They all drank the same spiritual drink;" "the same spiritual," for it was not the same material [drink]. For what was it they drank? "For they drank of the spiritual Rock that followed them; and that Rock was Christ."(7) See, then, how that while the faith remained, the signs were varied. There the rock was Christ; to us that is Christ which is placed on the altar of God. And they, as a great sacramental sign of the same Christ, drank the water flowing from the rock: what we drink is known to believers. If one's thoughts turn to the visible form, the thing is different; if to the meaning that addresses the understanding, they drank the same spiritual drink. As many, then, at that time as believed, whether Abraham, or Isaac, or Jacob, or Moses, or the other patriarchs or prophets who foretold of Christ, were sheep, and heard Christ. His voice, and not another's, did they hear. The Judge was present in the person of the Crier. For even when the judge speaks through the crier, the clerks does not make it, The crier said; but the judge said. But others there are whom the sheep did not hear, in whom Christ's voice had no place,--wanderers, uttering falsehoods, prating inanities, fabricating vanities, misleading the miserable.

10. Why is it, then, that I have said, This is a more important point? What is there about it obscure and difficult to understand? Listen, I beseech you. See, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself came and preached. Much more surely was that the Shepherd's voice which was uttered by the very mouth of the Shepherd. For if the Shepherd's voice came through the prophets, how much more did the Shepherd's own tongue give utterance to the Shepherd's voice? Yet all did not hear Him. But what are we to think? Those who did hear, were they sheep? Lo? Judas heard, and was a wolf: he followed, but, clad in sheep-skin. he was laying snares for the Shepherd. Some, again, of those who crucified Christ did not hear, and yet were sheep; for such He saw in the crowd when He said, "When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am He."(1) Now, how is this question to be solved? They that are not sheep do hear, and they that are sheep do not hear. Some, who are wolves, follow the Shepherd's voice; and some, that are sheep, contradict it. Last of all, the sheep slay the Shepherd. The point is solved; for some one in reply says. But when they did not hear, as yet they were not sheep, they were then wolves: the voice, when it was heard, changed them, and out of wolves transformed them into sheep; and so, when they became sheep, they heard, and found the Shepherd, and followed Him. They built their hopes on the Shepherd's promises, because they obeyed His precepts.

11. That question has been solved in a way, and perhaps satisfies every one. But I bare still a subject of concern, and what concerns me I shall impart to you, that, in some sort inquiring together, I may through His revelation be found worthy with you to attain the solution. Hear, then, what it is that moves me. By the Prophet Ezekiel the Lord rebukes the shepherds, and among other things says of the sheep, "The wandering sheep have ye not recalled."(2) He both declares it a wanderer, and calls it a sleep. If, while wandering, it was a sheep, whose voice was it hearing to lead it astray? For doubtless it would not be straying were it hearing the shepherd's voice: but it strayed just because it heard another's voice; it heard the voice of the thief and the robber. Surely the sheep do not hear the voice of robbers. "Those that came," He said,--and we are to understand, apart from me,--that is, "those that came apart from me are thieves and robbers, and the sheep did not hear them." Lord, if the sheep did not hear them, how can the sheep wander? If the sheep hear only Thee, and Thou art the truth, whoever heareth the truth cannot certainly fall into error. But they err, and are called sheep. For if, in the very midst of their wandering, they were not called sheep, it would not be said by Ezekiel, "The wandering sheep have ye not recalled." How is it at the same time a wanderer and a sheep? Has it heard the voice of another? Surely "the sheep did not hear them." Accordingly many are just now being gathered into Christ's fold, and from being heretics are becoming catholics. They are rescued from the thieves, and restored to the shepherds: and sometimes they murmur, and become wearied of Him that calls them back, and have no true knowledge of him that would murder them; nevertheless also, when, after a struggle, those have come who are sheep, they recognize the Shepherd's voice, and are glad they have come, and are ashamed of their wandering. When, then, they were glorying in that state of error as in the truth, and were certainly not hearing the Shepherd's voice, but were following another, were they sheep, or were they not? If they were sheep, how can it be the case that the sheep do not listen to aliens? If they were not sheep, wherefore the rebuke addressed to those to whom it is said, "The wandering sheep have ye not recalled"? In the case also of those already become catholic Christians, and believers of good promise, evils sometimes occur: they are seduced into error, and after their error are restored. When they were thus seduced, and were rebaptized, or after the companionship of the Lord's fold were turned back again into their former error, were they sheep, or were they not? Certainly they were catholics. If they were faithful catholics, they were sheep. If they were sheep, how was it that they could listen to the voice of a stranger when the Lord saith, "The sheep did not hear them"?

12. You hear, brethren, the great importance of the question. I say then, "The Lord knoweth them that are His."(3) He knoweth those who were foreknown, He knoweth those who were predestinated; because it is said of Him, "For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover, whom He did predestinate, them He also called; and whom He called, them He also justified; and whom He justified, them He also glorified. If God be for us, who can be against us?" Add to this: "He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how hath He not with Him also freely given us all things?" But what "us"? Those who are foreknown, predestinated, justified, glorified; regarding whom there follows, "Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect?"(1) Therefore "the Lord knoweth them that are His;" they are the sheep. Such sometimes do not know themselves, but the Shepherd knoweth them, according to this predestination, this foreknowledge of God, according to the election of the sheep before the foundation of the world: for so saith also the apostle, "According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world."(2) According, then, to this divine foreknowledge and predestination, how many sheep are outside, how many wolves within! and how many sheep are inside, how many wolves without! How many are now living in wantonness who will yet be chaste! how many are blaspheming Christ who will yet believe in Him! how many are giving themselves to drunkenness who will yet be sober! how many are preying on other people s property who will yet freely give of their own! Nevertheless at present they are hearing the voice of another, they are following strangers. In like manner, how many are praising within who will yet blaspheme; are chaste who will yet be fornicators; are sober who will wallow hereafter in drink; are standing who will by and by fall! These are not the sheep. (For we speak of those who were predestinated,--of those whom the Lord knoweth that they are His.) And yet these, so long as they keep right, listen to the voice of Christ. Yea, these hear, the others do not; and yet, according to predestination, these are not sheep, while the others are.

13. There remains still the question, which I now think may meanwhile thus be solved. There is a voice of some kind,--there is, I say, a certain kind of voice of the Shepherd, in respect of which the sheep hear not strangers, and in respect of which those who are not sheep do not hear Christ. What a word is this! "He that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved."(3) No one of His own is indifferent to such a voice, a stranger does not hear it: for this reason also does He announce it to the former, that he may abide perseveringly with Himself to the end; but by one who is wanting in such persevering continuance with Him, such a word remains unheard. One has come to Christ, and has heard word after word of one kind and another, all of them true, all of them salutary; and among all the rest is also this utterance, "He that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved." He who has heard this is one of the sheep. But there was, perhaps, some one listening to it, who treated it with dislike, with coldness, and heard it as that of a stranger. If he was predestinated, he strayed for the time, but he was not lost for ever: he returns to hear what he has neglected, to do what he has heard. For if he is one of those who are predestinated, then both his very wandering and his future conversion have been foreknown by God: if he has strayed away, he will return to hear that voice of the Shepherd, and to follow Him who saith, "He that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved." A good voice, brethren, it is; true and shepherd-like, the very voice of salvation in the tabernacles of the righteous.(4) For it is easy to hear Christ, easy to praise the gospel, easy to applaud the preacher: but to endure unto the end, is peculiar to the sheep who hear the Shepherd's voice. A temptation befalls thee, endure thou to the end, for the temptation will not endure to the end. And what is that end to which thou shalt endure? Even till thou reachest the end of thy pathway. For as long as thou hearest not Christ, He is thine adversary in the pathway, that is, in this mortal life. And what doth He say? "Agree with thine adversary quickly, while thou art in the way with him."(5) Thou hast heard, hast believed, hast agreed. If thou hast been at enmity, agree. If thou hast got the opportunity of coming to an agreement, keep not up the quarrel longer. For thou knowest not when thy way will be ended, and it is known to Him. If thou art a sheep, and if thou endurest to the end, thou shalt be saved: and therefore it is that His own despise not that voice, and strangers hear it not. According to my ability, as He gave me the power, I have either explained to you or gone over with you a subject of great profundity. If any have failed fully to understand, let him retain his piety, and the truth will be revealed: and let not those who have understood vaunt themselves as swifter at the expense of the slower, lest in their vaunting they turn out of the track, and the slower more easily attain the goal. But let all of us be guided by Him to whom we say, "Lead me, O Lord, in Thy way, and I will walk in Thy truth."(6)

14. By this, then, which the Lord hath explained, that He Himself is the door, let us find entrance to what He has set forth, but not explained. And indeed who it is that is the Shepherd, although He hath not told us in the lesson we have read to-day, yet in that which follows He very plainly tells us: "I am the good Shepherd." And although He had not said so, whom else but Himself ought we to have understood in those words where He saith, "He that entereth in by the door is the Shepherd of the sheep. To Him the porter openeth: and the sheep hear His voice: and He calleth His own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when He putteth forth His own sheep, He goeth before them, and the sheep follow Him: for they know His voice"? For who else calleth His own sheep by name, and leadeth them hence unto eternal life, but He who knoweth the names of those that are fore-ordained? Hence He said to His disciples, "Rejoice that your names are written in heaven;"(1) for from this it is that He calleth them by name. And who else putteth them forth, save He who putteth away their sins, that, freed from their grievous fetters, they may be able to follow Him? And who hath gone before them to the place whither they are to follow Him, but He who, rising from the dead, dieth no more; and death shall have no more dominion over Him;(2) and who, when He was manifest here in the flesh, said, "Father, I will that they also whom Thou hast given me be with me where I am"?(3) Hence it is that He saith, "I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture." In this He clearly shows that not only the Shepherd, but the sheep also enter in by the door.

15. But what is this, "He shall go in and out, and find pasture"? To enter indeed into the Church by Christ the door, is eminently good; but to go out of the Church, as this same John the evangelist saith in his epistle, "They went out from us, but they were not of us,"(4) is certainly otherwise than good. Such a going out could not then be commended by the good Shepherd, when He said, "And he shall go in and out, and find pasture." There is therefore not only some sort of entrance, but some outgoing also that is good, by the good door, which is Christ. But what is that praiseworthy and blessed outgoing? I might say, indeed, that we enter when we engage in some inward exercise of thought; and go out, when we take to some active work without: and since, as the apostle saith, Christ dwelleth in our hearts by faith,(5) to enter by Christ is to give ourselves to thought in accordance with that faith; but to go out by Christ is, in accordance also with that same faith, to take to outside works, that is to say, in the presence of others. Hence, also, we read in a psalm, "Man goeth forth to his work;"(6) and the Lord Himself saith, "Let your works shine before men."(7) But I am better pleased that the Truth Himself, like a good Shepherd, and therefore a good Teacher, hath in a certain measure reminded us how we ought to understand His words, "He shall go in and out, and find pasture," when He added in the sequel, "The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." For He seems to me to have meant, That they may have life in coming in, and have it more abundantly at their departure. For no one can pass out by the door--that is, by Christ--to that eternal life which shall be open to the sight, unless by the same door--that is, by the same Christ--he has entered His church, which is His fold, to the temporal life, which is lived in faith. Therefore, He saith, "I am come that they may have life," that is, faith, which worketh by love;(8) by which faith they enter the fold that they may live, for the just liveth by faith:(9) "and that they may have it more abundantly," who, enduring unto the end, pass out by this same door, that is, by the faith of Christ; for as true believers they die, and will have life more abundantly when they come whither the Shepherd hath preceded them, where they shall die no more. Although, therefore, there is no want of pasture even here in the fold,--for we may understand the words "and shall find pasture" as referring to both, that is, both to their going in and their going out,--yet there only will they find the true pasture. where they shall be filled who hunger and thirst after righteousness,(10)--such pasture as was found by him to whom it was said, "To-day shalt thou be with me in paradise."(11) But how He Himself is the door, and Himself the Shepherd, so that He also may in a certain respect be understood as going in and out by Himself, and who is the porter, it would be too long to inquire to-day, and, according to the grace given us by Himself, to unfold in the way of dissertation.

TRACTATE XLVI.

CHAPTER X. 11-13.

1. THE Lord Jesus is speaking to His sheep--to those already so, and to those yet to become such--who were then present; for in the place where they were, there were those who were already His sheep, as well as those who were afterwards to become so: and He likewise shows to those then present and those to come, both to them and to us, and to as many also after us as shall yet be His sheep, who it is that had been sent to them. All, therefore, hear the voice of their Shepherd saying, "I am the good Shepherd." He would not add "good," were there not bad shepherds. But the bad shepherds are those who are thieves and robbers, or certainly hirelings at the best. For we ought to examine into, to distinguish, and to know, all the characters whom He has here depicted. The Lord has already unfolded two points, which He had previously set forth in a kind of covert form: we already know that He is Himself the door, and we know that He is Himself the Shepherd. Who the thieves and robbers are, was made clear in yesterday's lesson; and to-day we have heard of the hireling, as we have heard also of the wolf. Yesterday the porter was also introduced by name. Among the good, therefore, are the door, the doorkeeper, the shepherd, and the sheep: among the bad, the thieves and robbers, the hirelings, and the wolf.

2. We understand the Lord Christ as the door, and also as the Shepherd; but who is to be understood as the doorkeeper? For the former two, He has Himself explained: the doorkeeper He has left us to search out for ourselves. And what doth He say of the doorkeeper? "To him," He saith, "the porter [doorkeeper](1) openeth." To whom cloth he open? To the Shepherd. What doth he open to the Shepherd? The door. And who is also the door? The Shepherd Himself. Now, if Christ the Lord had not Himself explained, had not Himself said, "I am the Shepherd," and "I am the door," would any of us have ventured to say that Christ is Himself both the Shepherd and the door? For had He said, "I am the Shepherd," and had not said, "I am the door," we should be setting ourselves to inquire what was the door, and perhaps, mistaken in our views, be still standing before the door. His grace and mercy have revealed to us the Shepherd, by His calling Himself so; have revealed to us also the door, when declared Himself such; but He hath left us to search out the doorkeeper for ourselves. Whom, then, are we to call the doorkeeper? Whomsoever we fix upon, we must take care not to think of him as greater than the door itself; for in men's houses the doorkeeper is greater than the door. The doorkeeper is placed before the door, not the door before the doorkeeper; because the porter keepeth the door, not the door the porter. I dare not say that any one is greater than the door, for I have heard already what is the door: that is no longer unknown to me, I am not left to my own conjecture, and I have not got much room for mere human guess work: God hath said it, the Truth hath said it, and we cannot change what the Unchangeable hath uttered.

3. In respect, then, of the profound nature of this question, I shall tell you what I think: let each one make the choice that pleases him, but let him think of it reverently; as it is written, "Think of the Lord with goodness, and in simplicity of heart seek Him."(2) Perhaps we ought to understand the Lord Himself as the doorkeeper: for the shepherd and the door are in human respects as much different from each other as the doorkeeper and the door; and yet the Lord has called Himself both the Shepherd and the door. Why, then, may we not understand Him also as the doorkeeper? For if we look at His personal qualities,(3) the Lord Christ is neither a shepherd, in the way we are accustomed to know and to see shepherds; nor is He a door, for no artisan made Him: but if, because of some point of similarity, He is both the door and the Shepherd, I venture to say, He is also a sheep. True, the sheep is under the shepherd; yet He is both the Shepherd and a sheep. Where is He the Shepherd? Look, here thou hast it; read the Gospel: "I am the good Shepherd." Where is He a sheep? Ask the prophet: "He was led as a sheep to the slaughter."(4) Ask the friend of the bridegroom: "Behold the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world."(5) Moreover, I am going to say something of a still more wonderful kind, in accordance with these points of similarity. For both the lamb, and the sheep, and the shepherd are friendly with one another, but from the lions as their foes the sheep are protected by their shepherds: and yet of Christ, who is both sheep and Shepherd, we have it said, "The Lion of the tribe of Judah hath prevailed."(1) All this, brethren, understand in connection with points of similarity, not with personal qualities. It is a common thing to see the shepherds sitting on a rock, and there guarding the cattle committed to their care. Surely the shepherd is better than the rock that he sits upon; and yet Christ is both the Shepherd and the rock. All this by way of comparison. But if thou askest me for His peculiar personal quality:(2) "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."(3) If thou askest me for the personal quality peculiarly His own: The only Son, from everlasting to everlasting begotten of the Father, the equal of Him that begat, the Maker of all things, unchangeable with the Father, unchanged by the assuming of human form, man by incarnation, the Son of man, and the Son of God. All this that I have said is not figure, but reality.

4. Therefore, let us not, brethren, be disturbed in understanding Him, in harmony with certain resemblances, as Himself the door, and also the doorkeeper. For what is the door? The way of entrance. Who is the doorkeeper? He who opens it. Who, then, is He that opens Himself, but He who unveils Himself to sight? See, when the Lord spoke at first of the door, we did not understand: so long as we did not understand, it was shut: He who opened it is Himself the doorkeeper. There is no need, then, of seeking any other meaning, no need; but perhaps there is the desire. If there is so, quit not the path, go not outside of the Trinity. If thou art in quest of some other impersonation of the doorkeeper, bethink thee of the Holy Spirit; for the Holy Spirit will not think it unmeet to be the doorkeeper, when the Son has thought it meet to be Himself the door. Look at the doorkeeper as perhaps the Holy Spirit: about Him the Lord saith to His disciples, "He shall guide you into all truth."(4) What is the door? Christ. What is Christ? The Truth. Who, then, openeth the door, but He who guideth into all truth?

5. But what are we to say of the hireling? He is not mentioned here among the good. "The good Shepherd," He says, "giveth His life for the sheep. But he that is an hireling, and not the Shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth; and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep." The hireling does not here bear a good character, and yet in some respects is useful; nor would he be called an hireling, did he not receive hire from his employer. Who then is this hireling, that is both blameworthy and needful? And here, brethren, let the Lord Himself give us light, that we may know who the hirelings are, and be not hirelings ourselves. Who then is the hireling? There are some in office in the church, of whom the Apostle Paul saith, "Who seek their own, not the things that are Jesus Christ's." What means that, "Who seek their own"? Who do not love Christ freely, who do not seek after God for His own sake; who are pursuing after temporal advantages, gaping for gain, coveting honors from men. When such things are loved by an overseer, and for such things God is served, whoever such an one may be, he is an hireling who cannot count himself among the children. For of such also the Lord saith: "Verily, I say unto you, they have their reward."(5) Listen to what the Apostle Paul says of St. Timothy: "But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy shortly unto you, that I also may be of good comfort, when I know your circumstances; for I have no man like-minded, who will naturally(6) care for you. For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's."(7) The shepherd mourned in the midst of hirelings. He sought some one who sincerely loved the flock of Christ, and round about him, amongst those who were with him at that time, he found not one. Not that there was no one then in the Church of Christ but the Apostle Paul and Timothy, who had a brother's(8) concern for the flock; but it so happened at the time of his sending Timothy, that he had none else of his sons about him; only hirelings were with him, "who sought their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's." And yet he himself, with a brother's anxiety for the flock, preferred sending his son, and remaining himself amongst hirelings. Hirelings are also found among ourselves, but the Lord alone distinguisheth them. He that searcheth the heart, distinguisheth them; and yet sometimes we know them ourselves. For it was not without a purpose that the Lord Himself said also of the wolves: "By their fruits ye shall know them."(1) Temptations put many to the question, and then their thoughts are made manifest; but many remain undiscovered. The Lord's fold must have as overseers, both those who are children and those who are hirelings. But the overseers, who are sons, are the shepherds. If they are shepherds, how is there but one Shepherd, save that all of them are members of the one Shepherd, to whom the sheep belong? For they are also members of Himself as the one sheep; because "as a sheep he was led to the slaughter."

6. But give heed to the fact that even the hirelings are needful. For many indeed in the Church are following after earthly profit, and yet preach Christ, and through them is heard the voice of Christ; and the sheep follow, not the hireling, but the Shepherd's voice speaking through the hireling. Hearken to the hirelings as pointed out by the Lord Himself: "The scribes," He saith, "and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat: do what they say; but do not what they do."(2) What else said He but, Listen to the Shepherd's voice speaking through the hirelings? For sitting in Moses' seat, they teach the law of God; therefore God teacheth by them. But if they wish to teach their own things, hear them not, do them not. For certainly such seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's; but no hireling has dared to say to Christ's people, Seek your own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's. For his own evil conduct he does not preach from the seat of Christ: he does injury by the evil that he does, not by the good that he says. Pluck the grapes, beware of the thorn. It is well I see that you have understood; but for the sake of those that are slower, I shall repeat these words with greater plainness. How said I, Pluck the bunch of grapes, beware of the thorn; when the Lord saith, "Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles"? That is quite true: and yet what I said is also true, Pluck the bunch of grapes, beware of the thorn. For sometimes the grape-cluster, springing from the root of the vine, finds its support in a common hedge; its branch, grows, becomes embedded among thorns, and the thorn bears other fruit than its own. For the thorn has not been produced from the vine, but has become the resting-place of its runner. Make thine inquiries only at the roots. Seek for the thorn-root, thou wilt find it apart from the vine: seek the origin of the grape, and from the root of the vine it will be found to have sprung. And so, Moses' seat was the vine; the morals of the Pharisees were the thorns. Sound doctrine cometh through the wicked, as the vine-branch in a hedge, a bunch of grapes among thorns. Gather care. fully, so as in seeking the fruit not to tear thine hand; and while thou art to hear one speaking what is good, imitate him not when doing what is evil. "What they tell you, do,"--gather the grapes; "but what they do, do not,"--beware of the thorns. Even through hirelings listen to the voice of the Shepherd, but be not hirelings yourselves, seeing ye are members of the Shepherd. Yea, Paul himself, the holy apostle who said, "I have no one who hath a brother's concern about you; for all seek their own, not the things which l are Jesus Christ's," draws a distinction in another place between hirelings and sons; and see what he saith: "Some preach Christ even of envy and strife, and some also of good will: some of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel; but some also preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds." These were hirelings who disliked the Apostle Paul. And why such dislike, but just because they were seeking after temporal things? But mark what he adds: "What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence or in truth, Christ is preached: and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice."(3) Christ is the truth: let the truth be preached in pretense by hirelings, let it be preached in truth by the children: the children are waiting patiently for the eternal inheritance of the Father, the hirelings are longing for, and in a hurry to get, the temporal pay of their employer. For my part let me be shorn of the human glory, which I see such an object of envy to hirelings: and yet by the tongues both of hirelings and of children let the divine glory of Christ be published abroad, seeing that, "whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is preached."

7. We have seen who the hireling is also. Who, but the devil, is the wolf? And what was said of the hireling? "When he seeth the wolf coming, he fleeth: but the sheep are not his own, and he careth not for the sheep." Was the Apostle Paul such an one? Certainly not. Was Peter such an one? Far from it. Was such the character of the other apostles, save Judas, the son of perdition? Surely not. Were they shepherds then? Certainly they were. And how is there one Shepherd? I have already said they were shepherds, because members of the Shepherd. In that head they rejoiced, under that head they were in harmony together, with one spirit they lived in the bond of one body; and therefore belonged all of them to the one Shepherd. If, then, they were shepherds, and not hirelings, wherefore fled they when suffering persecution? Explain it to us, O Lord. In an epistle, I have seen paul fleeing: he was let down by the wall in a basket, to escape the hands of his persecutor.(1) Had he, then, no care of the sheep, whom he thus abandoned at the approach of the wolf? Clearly he had, but he commended them by his prayers to the Shepherd who was sitting in heaven; and for their advantage he preserved himself by flight, as he says in a certain place, "To abide in the flesh is needful for you."(2) For all had heard from the Shepherd Himself, "If they persecute you in one city, flee ye into another."(3) May the Lord be pleased to explain to us this point! Lord, Thou saidst to those whom Thou didst certainly wish to be faithful shepherds, and whom Thou didst form into Thine own members, "If they persecute you flee." Doest Thou, then, injustice to them, when Thou blamest the hirelings who flee when they see the wolf coming! We ask Thee to tell us what meaning lies hid in the depths of the question. Let us knock, and the keeper of the door, which is Christ, will be here to reveal Himself.

8. Who is the hireling that seeth the wolf coming, and fleeth? He that seeketh his own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's. He is one that does not venture plainly to rebuke an offender.(4) Look, some one or other has sinned--grievously sinned; he ought to be rebuked, to be excommunicated: but once excommunicated, he will turn into an enemy, hatch plots, and do all the injury he can. At present, he who seeketh his own, not the things that are Jesus Christ's, in order not to lose what he follows after, the advantages of human friendship, and incur the annoyances of human enmity, keeps quiet and does not administer rebuke. See, the wolf has caught a sheep by the throat; the devil has enticed a believer into adultery: thou holdest thy peace--thou utterest no reproof. O hireling, thou hast seen the wolf coming and hast fled! Perhaps he answers and says: See, I am here; I have not fled. Thou hast fled, because thou hast been silent; thou hast been silent, because thou hast been afraid. The flight of the mind is fear. Thou stoodest with thy body, thou fleddest in thy spirit, which was not the conduct of him who said, "Though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit."(5) For how did he flee in spirit, who, though absent in the flesh, yet in his letters reproved the fornicators? Our affections are the motions of our minds. Joy is expansion of the mind; sorrow, contraction of the mind; desire, a forward movement of the mind; and fear, the flight of the mind. For thou art expanded in mind when thou art glad; contracted in mind when thou art in trouble; thou movest forward in mind when thou hast an earnest desire; and thou fleest in mind when thou art afraid. This, then, is how the hireling is said to flee at the sight of the wolf. Why? "Because he careth not for the sheep." Why "careth he not for the sheep"? "Because he is an hireling." What is that, "he is an hireling"? He seeketh a temporal reward, and shall not dwell in the house for ever. There are still some things here to be inquired about and discussed with you, but it is not prudent to burden you. For we are ministering the Lord's food to our fellow-servants; we feed as sheep in the Lord's pastures, and are fed together. And just as we must not withhold what is needful, so our weak hearts are not to be overcharged with the abundance of provisions. Let it not then annoy your Charity that I do not take up to-day all that I think is still here to be discussed; but the same lesson will, in the Lord's name, be read over to us again on the preaching days, and be, with His help, more carefully considered.

TRACTATE XLVII.

CHAPTER X. 14-21.

1. Those of you who hear the word of our God, not only with willingness, but also with attention, doubtless remember our promise. Indeed the same gospel lesson has also been read to-day which was read last Lord's day; because, having lingered over certain closely related topics, we could not discuss all that we owed to your powers of understanding. Accordingly, what has been already said and discoursed about we do not inquire into today, lest by continual repetitions we should be prevented from reaching what has still to be spoken. You know now in the Lord's name who is the good Shepherd, and in what way good shepherds are His members, and therefore the Shepherd is one. You know who is the hireling we have to bear with; who the wolf, and the thieves, and the robbers we have to beware of; who are the sheep, and what is the door whereby both sheep and shepherd enter: how we are to understand the doorkeeper. You know also that every one who entereth not by the door is a thief and a robber, and cometh not but to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. All these sayings have, as I think, been sufficiently handled. To-day we ought to tell you, as far as the Lord enables us (for Jesus Christ our Saviour hath Himself told us that He is both the Shepherd and the door, and that the good Shepherd entereth in by the door), how it is that He entereth in by Himself. For if no one is a good shepherd but he that entereth by the door, and He Himself is preeminently the good Shepherd, and also Himself the door, I can understand it only in this way, that He entereth in by Himself to His sheep, and calleth them to follow Him, and they, going in and out, find pasture, which is to say, eternal life.

2. I proceed, then, without more delay. When I seek to get into you, that is, into your heart, I preach Christ: were I preaching something else, I should be trying to climb up some other way. Christ, therefore, is my gate to you: by Christ I get entrance, not to your houses, but to your hearts. It is by Christ I enter: it is Christ in me that you have been willingly hearing. And why is it you have thus willingly hearkened to Christ in me? Because you are the sheep of Christ, purchased with the blood of Christ. You acknowledge your own price, which is not paid by me, but is preached by my instrumentality. He, and only He, was the buyer, who shed precious blood--the precious blood of Him who was without sin. Yet made He precious also the blood of His own, for whom He paid the price of blood: for had He not made the blood of His own precious, it would not have been said, "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints."(1) So also when He saith, "The good Shepherd giveth His life for the sheep," He is not the only one who has done such a deed; and yet if those who have done so are His members, He only Himself was the doer of it. For He was able to do so without them, but whence had they the power apart from Him, who Himself had said, "Without me ye can do nothing"?(2) But from the same source we can show what others also have done, for the apostle John himself, who preached the very gospel you have been hearing, has said in his epistle, "Just as Christ laid down His life for us, so ought we also to lay down our lives for the brethren."(3) "We ought," he says: He made us debtors who first set the example. To the same effect it is written in a certain place, "If thou sittest down to sup at a ruler's table, make wise observation of what is set before thee; and put to thy hand, knowing that it will be thy duty to make similar provision in turn."(4) You know what is meant by the ruler's table: you there find the body and blood of Christ; let him who comes to such a table be ready with similar provision. And what is such similar provision? As fire laid down His life for us, so ought we also, for the edification of others, and the maintenance of the faith,(5) to lay down our lives far the brethren. To the same effect He said to Peter, whom He wished to make a good shepherd. not in Peter's own person, but as a member of His body: "Peter, lovest thou me? Feed my sheep." This He did once, again, and a third time, to the disciple's sorrow. And when the Lord had questioned him as often as lie judged it needful, that he who had thrice denied might thrice confess Him, and had a third time given him the charge to feed His sheep, He said to him, "When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shall be old, thou shall stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not." And the evangelist has explained the Lord's meaning: "But this spake He, signifying by what death he should glorify God."(6) "Feed my sheep" applies, then, to this, that thou shouldst lay down thy life for my sheep.

3. And now when He saith, "As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father," who can be ignorant of His meaning? For He knoweth the Father by Himself, and we by Him. That He hath knowledge by Himself, we know already: that we also have knowledge by Him, we have likewise learned, for this also we have learned of Him. For He Himself hath said: "No one hath seen God at any time; but the only-begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him."(1) And so by Him do we also get this knowledge, to whom He hath declared Him. In another place also He saith: "No one knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any one the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him."(2) As He then knoweth the Father by Himself, and we know the Father by Him; so into the sheepfold He entereth by Himself, and we by Him. We were saying that by Christ we have a door of entrance to you; and why? Because we preach Christ. We preach Christ; and therefore we enter in by the door. But Christ preacheth Christ, for He preacheth Himself; and so the Shepherd entereth in by Himself. When the light shows the other things that are seen in the light, does it need some other means of being made visible itself? The light, then, exhibits both other things and itself. Whatever we understand, we understand with the intellect: and how, save by the intellect, do we understand the intellect itself? But does one in the same way with the bodily eye see both other things and [the eye] itself? For though men see with their eyes, yet their own eyes they see not. The eye of the flesh sees other things, itself it cannot [see]: but the intellect understands itself as well other things. In the same way as the intellect seeth itself, so also cloth Christ preach Himself. If He preacheth Himself, and by preaching entereth into thee, He entereth into thee by Himself. And He is the door to the Father, for there is no way of approach to the Father but by Him. "For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus."(3) Many things are expressed by a word: all that I have just said, I have said, of course, by means of words. If I were wishing to speak also of a word itself, how could I do so but by the use of the word? And thus both many things are expressed by a word, which are not the same as the word, and the word itself can only be expressed by means of the word. By the Lord's help we have been copious in illustration. Remember, then, how the Lord Jesus Christ is both the door and the Shepherd: the door, in presenting Himself to view; the Shepherd, in entering in by Himself. And indeed, brethren, because He is the Shepherd, He hath given to His members to be so likewise. For both Peter, and Paul, and the other apostles were, as all good bishops are, shepherds. But none of us calleth himself the door. This--the way of entrance for the sheep--He has retained as exclusively belonging to Himself. In short, Paul discharged the office of a good shepherd when he preached Christ, because he entered by the door. But when the undisciplined sheep began to create schisms, and to set up other doors before them, not of entrance to their joint assembly, but for falling away into divisions, saying, some of them, "I am of Paul;" others, "I am of Cephas;" others," I of Apollos;" others, "I of Christ:" terrified for those who said, "I am of Paul,"--as if calling out to the sheep, Wretched ones, whither are you going? I am not the door,--he said, "Was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?"(4) But those who said, "I am of Christ," had found the door.

4. But of the one sheepfold and of the one Shepherd, you are now indeed being constantly reminded; for we have commended much the one sheepfold, preaching unity, that all the sheep should enter by Christ, and none of them should follow Donatus. Nevertheless, for what particular reason this was said by the Lord, is sufficiently apparent. For He was speaking among the Jews, and had been specially sent to the Jews, not for the sake of that class who were bound up in their inhuman hatred and persistently abiding in darkness, but for the sake of some in the nation whom He calls His sheep: of whom He saith, "I am not sent but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel."(5) He knew them even amid the crowd of His raging foes, and foresaw them in the peace of believing. What, then, does He mean by saying, "I am not sent but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel," but that He exhibited His bodily presence only to the people of Israel? He did not proceed Himself to the Gentiles, but sent: to the people of Israel He both sent and came in person, that those who proved despisers should receive the greater judgment, because favored also with the sight of His actual presence. The Lord Himself was there: there He chose a mother: there He wished to be conceived, to be born, to shed His blood: there are His footprints,(6) now objects of adoration where last He stood, and whence He ascended to heaven: but to the Gentiles He only sent.

5. But perhaps some one thinks that, as He Himself came not to us, but sent, we have not heard His own voice, but only the voice of those whom He sent. Far from it: let such a thought be banished from your hearts; for He Himself was in those whom He sent. Listen to Paul himself whom He sent; for Paul was specially sent as an apostle to the Gentiles; and it is Paul who, terrifying them not with himself but with Him saith, "Do ye wish to receive a proof of Him who speaketh in me, that is, of Christ?"(1) Listen also to the Lord Himself. "And other sheep I have," that is, among the Gentiles, "which are not of this fold," that is, of the people of Israel: "them also must I bring." Therefore, even when it is by the instrumentality of His servants, it is He and not another that bringeth them. Listen further: "They shall hear my voice." See here also, it is He Himself who speaks by His servants, and it is His voice that is heard in those whom He sends. "That there may be one fold, and one shepherd." Of these two flocks, as of two walls, is the corner-stone formed.(2) And thus is He both door and the corner-stone: all by way of comparison, none of them literally.

6. For I have said so before, and earnestly pressed it on your notice, and those who comprehend it are wise, yea, those who are wise do comprehend it; and yet let those who are not yet intellectually enlightened, keep hold by faith of what they cannot as yet understand. Christ is many things metaphorically, which strictly speaking(3) He is not. Metaphorically Christ is both a rock, and a door, and a corner-stone, and a shepherd, and a lamb, and a lion. How numerous are such similitudes, and as many more as would take too long to enumerate! But if you select the strict significations of things as you are accustomed to see them, then He is neither a rock, for He is not hard and senseless; nor a door, for no artisan made Him; nor a corner-stone, for He was not constructed by a builder; nor a shepherd, for He is no keeper of four-footed animals; nor a lion, as it ranks among the beasts of the forest; nor a lamb, as it belongs to the flock. All such, then, are by way of comparison. But what is He properly? "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God [God was the Word]." And what, as He appeared in human nature? "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us [in us]."(4)

7. Hear also what follows. "Therefore doth my Father love me," He saith, "because I lay down my life. that I might take it again." What is this that He says? "Therefore doth my Father love me:" because I die, that I may rise again.(5) For the "I" is uttered with special emphasis: "Because I lay down," He saith, "I lay down my life," "I lay down." What is that "I lay down"? I Lay it down. Let the Jews no longer boast: they might rage, but they could have no power: let them rage as they can; if I were unwilling to lay down my life, what would all their raging effect? By one answer of His they were prostrated in the dust: when they were asked, "Whom seek ye?" they said, "Jesus;" and on His saying to them, "I am He, they went backward, and fell to the ground."(6) Those who thus fell to the ground at one word of Christ when about to die, what will they do at the sound of His voice when coming to judgment? "I, I," I say, "lay down my life, that I may take it again." Let not the Jews boast, as if they had prevailed; He Himself laid down His life. "I laid me down [to sleep]," He says [elsewhere]. You know the psalm: "I laid me down and slept; and I awaked [rose up], for the Lord sustaineth me." What of that--"I lay down"? Because it was my pleasure, I did so. What does "I lay down" mean? I died. Was it not a lying down to sleep on His part, who, when He pleased, rose from the tomb as He would from a bed? But He loves to give glory to the Father, that He may stir us up to glorify our Creator. For in adding, "I arose, for the Lord sustaineth me;" think you there was here a kind of failing in His power, so that, while He had it in His own power to die, He had it not in His power to rise again? So, indeed, the words seem to imply when not more closely considered. "I lay down to sleep;" that is, I did so, because I pleased. "And I arose:" why? "Because the Lord sustaineth [will sustain] me."(7) What then? wouldst Thou not have power to rise of Thyself? If Thou hadst not the power, Thou wouldst not have said, "I have power to lay down my life, and I have power to take it again." But, as showing that not only did the Father raise the Son, but the Son also raised Himself, hear how, in another passage in the Gospel, He saith, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." And the evangelist adds: "But this He spake of the temple Of is body."(1) For only that which died was restored to life. The Word is not mortal, His soul is not mortal. If even thine dieth not, could the Lord's be subject to death?

8. How can I know, thou wilt say, that mine dieth not? Slay it not thyself, and it cannot die. How, thou asketh, can I slay my soul? To say nothing. meanwhile of other sins, "The mouth that lieth, slayeth the soul."(2) How, thou sayest, can I be sure that it dieth not? Listen to the Lord Himself giving security to His servant: "Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do." But what in the plainest terms does He say? "Fear Him who hath power to slay both soul and body in hell."(3) Here you have the fact that it dieth, and that it doth not die. What is its dying? What is dying to thy flesh? Dying, to thy flesh, is the losing of its life: dying to thy soul, is the losing of its life. The life of thy flesh is thy soul: the life of thy soul is thy God. As the flesh dies in losing the soul, which is its life, so the soul dieth in losing God, who is its life. Of a certainty, then, the soul is immortal. Manifestly immortal, for it liveth even when dead. For what the apostle said of the luxurious widow, may also be said of the soul if it has lost its God, "she is dead while she liveth."(4)

9. How, then, does the Lord lay down His life [soul]?(5) Let us, brethren, inquire into this a little more carefully. The time is not so pressing as is usual on the Lord's day: we have leisure. and theirs will be the profit who have assembled to-day also to wait on the Word of God. "I lay down my life," He says. Who lays down? What lays He down? What is Christ? The Word and man. Not man as being flesh alone: but as man consists of flesh and soul, so, in Christ there is a complete humanity. For He would not have assumed the baser part, and left the better behind, seeing that the soul of man is certainly superior to the body. Since, then, there is entire manhood in Christ, what is Christ? The Word, I repeat, and man. What is the Word and man? The Word soul, and flesh. Keep hold of that, for there has been no lack of heretics on this point also, expelled as they were some time ago from the catholic truth, but still persisting, like thieves and robbers who enter not by the door, to lay their snares around the fold. These heretics are termed Apollinarians,(6) and have ventured to assert dogmatically that Christ is only the word and flesh, and contend that He did not assume a human soul. And yet some of them could not deny that there was a soul in Christ. See their intolerable absurdity and madness. They would have Him to possess an irrational soul, but deny Him a rational one. They allowed Him a mere animal, they deprived Him of a human, soul. But they took away Christ's reason by losing their own. Let it be otherwise with us, who have been nourished and established in the catholic faith. Accordingly, on this occasion I would remind your Charity, that, as in former lectures, we have given you sufficient instruction against the Sabellians and Arians,--the Sabellians, who say, The Father is the same as the Son--the Arians, who say, The Father is one being, the Son is another, as if the Father and Son were not of the same substance--and also, provided you remember as you ought, against the Photinian heretics, who have asserted that Christ was mere man, and destitute of Godhead:(7) and against the Manicheans, who maintain that He was God only without any true humanity: we may, on this occasion, in speaking about the soul, give you some instruction also in opposition to the Apollinarians, who say that our Lord Jesus Christ had no human soul, that is, a rational intelligent soul,--that soul, I mean, by which, as men, we differ from the brutes.

10. In what sense, then, did our Lord say here, "I have power to lay down my soul [life]"? Who lays down his soul, and takes it again? Is it as being the Word that Christ does so? Or is it the human soul He possesses that lays down and resumes its own existence? Or is it His fleshly nature that lays down its life and takes it again? Let us sift each of the three questions I have suggested, and choose that which conforms to the standard of truth. For if we say that the Word of God laid down His soul, and took it again, we should have to fear the entrance of a wicked thought, and have it said to us: Then there was a time when that soul was separated from the Word, and a time, after His assumption of that soul, when He was without a soul. I see, indeed, that the Word was once without a human soul, but only so, when "in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." But from the time that the Word was made flesh, to dwell amongst us,(1) and manhood was assumed by the Word, that is, our whole nature, soul and flesh, what more could His passion and death do than separate the body from the soul? It separated not the soul from the Word. For if the Lord died, yea, because He died (for He did so for us on the cross), doubtless His flesh breathed out that which was its life: for a short time the soul forsook the flesh, although destined by its own return to raise the flesh again to life. But I cannot say that the soul was separated from the Word. He said to the soul of the thief, "To-day shalt thou be with me in paradise."(2) He forsook not the believing soul of the robber, and did He abandon His own? Surely not; but when the Lord took that of the other into His keeping, He certainly retained His own in indissoluble union. If, on the other hand, we say that the soul laid down and reassumed itself, we fall into the greatest absurdity; for what was not separated from the Word, was inseparable from itself.

11. Let us turn, then, to what is true and easily understood. Take the case of any man, who does not consist of the word and soul and flesh, but only of soul and flesh; and let us inquire how any such man lays down his life. Can no ordinary man do so? Thou mayest say to me: No man has power to lay down his life [soul], and to take it again. But were not a man able to lay down his life, the Apostle John would not say, "As Christ laid down his life for us, even so ought we also to lay down our lives for the brethren."(3) Therefore may we also (if only we are filled with His courage, for without Him we can do nothing) lay down our lives for the brethren. When some holy martyr has laid down his life for the brethren, who laid it down, and what laid he down? If we understand this, we shall perceive in what sense it was said by Christ, "I have power to lay down my life." Art thou prepared, O man, to die for Christ? I am prepared, he replies. Let me repeat the question in other words. Art thou prepared to lay down thy life for Christ? And to these words he makes me the same reply, I am prepared, as he had, when I said, Art thou prepared to die? To lay down one's life [soul], is, then, the same as to die. But in whose behalf is the sacrifice in this case? For all men, when they die, lay down their life; but it is not all who lay it down for Christ. And no one has power to resume what he has laid down. But Christ both laid it down for us, and did so when it pleased Him; and when it pleased Him, He took it again. To lay down one's soul then, is to die. As also the Apostle Peter said to the Lord: "I will lay down my life [soul] for Thy sake;"(4) that is, I will die for Thy sake. View it, then, as referable to the flesh: the flesh layeth down its life, and the flesh taketh it again; not, indeed, the flesh by its own power, but by the power of Him that inhabiteth it. The flesh, then, layeth down its life in expiring. Look at the Lord Himself on the cross: He said, "I thirst:" those who were present dipped a sponge in vinegar, fastened it to a reed, and applied it to His mouth; then, having received it, He said, "It is finished;" meaning, All is fulfilled which had been prophesied regarding me as, prior to my death, still in the future. And because He had the power, when He pleased, to lay down His life, after He had said, "It is finished," what adds the evangelist? "And He bowed His head, and gave up the spirit."(5) This is to lay down the soul [life]. Only let your Charity attend to this. "He bowed His head, and gave up the spirit." Who gave up? what gave He up? He gave up the spirit; His flesh gave it up. What means, the flesh gave it up? The flesh sent it forth, breathed it out. For so, in becoming separated from the spirit, we are said to expire. Just as getting outside the paternal soil is to be expatriated, turning aside from the track is to deviate; so to become separated from the spirit is to expire; and that spirit is the soul [life]. Accordingly, when the soul quits the flesh, and the flesh remains without the soul, then is a man said to lay down his soul [his human life]. When did Christ lay down His life? When it pleased the Word. For sovereign authority resided in the Word; and therein lay the power to determine when the flesh should lay down its life, and when it should take it again.

12. If, then, the flesh laid down its life, how did Christ lay down His life? For the flesh is not Christ. Certainly in this way, that Christ is both flesh, and soul, and the Word; and yet these three things are not three Christs, but one. Ask thine own human nature, and from thyself ascend to what is above thee, and which, if not yet able to be understood, can at least be believed. For in the same way that one man is soul and body, is one Christ both the Word and man. Consider what I have said, and understand. The soul and body are two things, but one man: the Word and man are two things, but one Christ. Apply, then, the subject to any man. Where is now the Apostle Paul? If one answer, At rest with Christ, he speaks truly. And likewise, should one reply, In the sepulchre at Rome, he is equally right. The one answer I get refers to his soul, the other to his flesh. And yet we do not say that there are two Apostle Pauls, one who rests in Christ, another who was laid in the sepulchre; although we may say that the Apostle Paul liveth in Christ, and that the same apostle lieth dead in the tomb. Some one dieth, and we say, He was a good man, and faithful; he is in peace with the Lord: and then immediately, Let us attend his obsequies, and lay him in the sepulchre. Thou art about to bury one whom thou hadst just declared to be in peace with God; for the latter regards the soul which blooms eternally, and the other the body, which is laid down in corruption. But while the partnership of the flesh and soul has received the name of man, the same name is now applied to either of them, singly and by itself.

13. Let no one, then, be perplexed, when he hears that the Lord has said, "I lay down my life, and I take it again." The flesh layeth it down, but by the power of the Word: the flesh taketh it again, but by the same power. Even His own name, the Lord Christ, was applied to His flesh alone. How can you prove it? says some one. We believe of a certainty not only in God the Father, but also in Jesus Christ His Son, our only Lord: and this that I have just said contains the whole, in Jesus Christ His Son, our only Lord. Understand that the whole is here: the Word, and soul, and flesh. At all events thou confessest what is also held by the same faith, that thou believest in that Christ who was crucified and buried. Ergo, thou deniest not that Christ was buried; and yet it was the burial only of His flesh. For had the soul been there, He would not have been dead: but if it was a true death, and its resurrection real, it was previously without life in the tomb; and yet it was Christ that was buried. And so the flesh apart from the soul was also Christ, for it was only the flesh that was buried. Learn the same likewise in the words of an apostle. "Let this mind," he says, "be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God." Who, save Christ Jesus, as respects His nature as the Word, is God with God? But look at what follows: "But emptied Himself, and took upon Him the form of a servant; being made in the likeness of men, and found in fashion as a man." And who is this, but the same Christ Jesus Himself? But here we have now all the parts, both the Word in that form of God which assumed the form of a servant, and the soul and the flesh in that form of a servant which was assumed by the form of God. "He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death."(1) Now in His death, it was His flesh only that was slain by the Jews. For if He said to His disciples, "Fear not them that kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul,"(2) how could they do more in His own case than kill the body? And yet in the slaying of His flesh, it was Christ that was slain. Accordingly, when the flesh laid down its life, Christ laid it down; and when the flesh, in order to its resurrection, assumed its life, Christ assumed it. Nevertheless this was done, not by the power of the flesh, but of Him who assumed both soul and flesh, that in them these very things might receive fulfillment.

14. "This commandment," He says, "have I received of my Father." The Word received not the commandment in word, but in the only begotten Word of the Father every commandment resides. But when the Son is said to receive of the Father what He possesses essentially in Himself, as it is said, "As the Father hath life in Himself, so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself,"(3) while the Son is Himself the life,there is no lessening of His authority, but the setting forth of His generation. For the Father added not after-gifts as to a son whose state was imperfect at birth, but on Him whom He begat in absolute perfection He bestowed all gifts in begetting. In this manner He gave Him equality with Himself, and yet begat Him not in a state of inequality. But while the Lord thus spake, for the light was shining in the darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not,(4) "there was a dissension again created among the Jews for these sayings, and many of them said, He hath a devil, and is mad: why hear ye him?" This was the thickest darkness. Others said, "These are not the words of him that hath a devil; can a devil open the eyes of the blind?" The eyes of such were now begun to be opened.

TRACTATE XLVIII.

CHAPTER X. 22-42.

1. As I have already charged you, beloved, you ought steadfastly to bear in mind that Saint John the evangelist would not have us be always nourished with milk, but fed with solid food. Still, whoever is hardly able as yet to partake of the solid food of God's word, let him find nourishment in the milk of faith; and the word which he cannot understand, let him not hesitate to believe. For faith is the deserving: understanding, the reward. In the very labor of intent application the eye of our mind struggles(1) to get rid of the foul films of human mists, and be cleared up to the word of God. Labor, then, will not be declined if love is present; for you know that he who loves his labor is insensible to its pain. For no labor is grievous to those who love it. If cupidity on the part of the avaricious endures so great toils, what in our case will not love endure?

2. Listen to the Gospel: "And it was at Jerusalem the Encoenia."(2) Encoenia was the festival of the dedication of the temple. For in Greek kainos means new; and whenever there was some new dedication, it was called Encoenia.(3) And now this word is come into common use; if one puts on a new coat, he is said "encoeniare" (to renovate, or to hold an encoenia). For the Jews celebrated in a solemn manner the day on which the temple was dedicated; and it was the very feast day when the Lord spake what has just been read.

3. "It was winter. And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon's porch. Then came the Jews round about Him, and said unto Him, How long dost thou keep our mind in suspense? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly." They were not desiring the truth, but preparing a calumny. "It was winter," and they were chill; because they were slow to approach that divine fire. For to approach is to believe: he who believes, approaches; who denies, retires. The soul is not moved by the feet, but by the affections. They had become icy cold to the sweetness of loving Him, and they burned with the desire of doing Him an injury. They were far away, while there beside Him. It was not with them a nearer approach in believing, but the pressure of persecution. They sought to hear the Lord saying, I am Christ; and probably enough they only thought of the Christ in a human way. The prophets preached Christ; but the Godhead of Christ asserted in the prophets and in the gospel itself is not perceived even by heretics; and how much less by Jews, so long as the vail is upon their heart?(4) In short, in a certain place, the Lord Jesus, knowing that their views of the Christ were cast in a human mould, not in the Divine, taking His stand on the human ground, and not on that where along with the assumption of humanity He also continued Divine, He said to them, "What think ye of Christ? Whose Son is He?" Following their own opinion, they replied, "Of David." For so they had read, and this only they retained; because while they read of His divinity, they did not understand it. But the Lord, to pin them down to some inquiry touching the divinity of Him whose apparent weakness they despised, answered them: "How, then, doth David in spirit call Him Lord, saying, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit Thou on my right hand, till I put Thine enemies under Thy feet? If David, then, in spirit call Him Lord, how is He his son?"(5) He did not deny, but questioned. Let no one think, on hearing this, that the Lord Jesus denied that He was the Son of David. Had Christ the Lord given any such denial, He would not have enlightened the blind who so addressed Him. For as He was passing by one day, two blind men, who were sitting by the wayside, cried out, "Have mercy upon us, thou Son of David." And on hearing these words He had mercy on them. He stood still, healed, enlightened them;(6) for He owned the name. The Apostle Paul also says, "Who was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;"(7) and in his Epistle to Timothy, "Remember that Jesus Christ was raised from the dead, [He that is] of the seed of David, according to my gospel."(8) For the Virgin Mary drew her origin, and hence our Lord also, from the seed of David.

4. The Jews made this inquiry of Christ, chiefly in order that, should He say, I am Christ, they might, in accordance with the only sense they attached to such a name, that He was of the seed of David, calumniate Him with aiming at the kingly power. There is more than this in His answer to them: they wished to calumniate Him with claiming to be the Son of David. He replied that He was the Son of God. And how? Listen: "Jesus answered them, I tell you, and ye believe not: the works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me: but ye believe not; because ye are not of my sheep." Ye have already learned above (in Lecture XLV.) who the sheep are: be ye sheep. They are sheep through believing, sheep in following the Shepherd, sheep in not despising their Redeemer, sheep in entering by the door, sheep in going out and finding pasture, sheep in the enjoyment of eternal life. What did He mean, then, in saying to them, "Ye are not of my sheep"? That He saw them predestined to everlasting destruction, not won to eternal life by the price of His own blood.

5. "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: and I give unto them eternal life." This is the pasture. If you recollect, He had said before, "And he shall go in and out, and find pasture." have entered by believing--we go out at death.(1) But as we have entered by the door of faith, so, as believers, we quit the body; for it is in going out by that same door that we are able to find pasture. The good pasture is called eternal life; there no blade withereth--all is green and flourishing. There is a plant commonly said to be ever-living; there only is it found to live. "I will give," He says, "unto them," unto my sheep, "eternal life." Ye are on the search for calumnies, just because your only thoughts are of the life that is present.

6. "And they shall never perish:" you may hear the undertone, as if He had said to them, Ye shall perish for ever, because ye are not of my sheep. "No one shall pluck them out of my hand." Give still greater heed to this: "That which my Father gave me is greater than all."(2) What can the wolf do? What can the thief and the robber? They destroy none but those predestined to destruction. But of those sheep of which the apostle says, "The Lord knoweth them that are His;"(3) and "Whom He did foreknow, them He also did predestinate; and whom He did predestinate, them He also called; and whom He called, them He also justified; and whom He justified, them He also glorified;"(4)--there is none of such sheep as these that the wolf seizes, or the thief steals, or the robber slays. He, who knows what He gave for them, is sure of their number. And it is this that He says: "No one shall pluck them out of my hand;" and in reference also to the Father, "That which my Father gave me is greater than all." What did the Father give to the Son that was greater than all? To be His own only-begotten Son. What, then, means "gave"? Was He to whom He gave previously existent, or gave He in the act of begetting? For if He previously existed to whom He gave the gift of Sonship, there was a time when He was, and was not the Son. Far be it from us to suppose that the Lord Christ ever was, and yet was not the Son. Of us such a thing may be said: there was a time when we were the sons of men, but were not the sons of God. For we are made the sons of God by grace, but He by nature, for such was He born. And yet not so, as that one may say, He did not exist till He was born; for He, who was coeternal with the Father, was never unborn. Let him who is wise understand: and whoever understands not, let him believe and be nourished, and he will come to understanding. The Word of God was always with the Father, and always the Word; and because the Word, therefore the Son. So then, always the Son, and always equal. For it is not by growth but by birth that He is equal, who was always born, the Son of the Father, God of God, coeternal of the Eternal. But the Father is not God of(5) the Son: the Son is God of(5) the Father; therefore in begetting the Son, the Father "gave" Him to be God, in begetting He gave Him to be coeternal with Himself, in begetting He gave Him to be His equal. This is that which is greater than alI. How is the Son the life, and the possessor of life? What He has, He is: as for thee, thou art one thing, thou hast another. For example, thou hast wisdom, but art thou wisdom itself? In short, because thou thyself art not that which thou hast, shouldst thou lose what thou hast, thou returnest to the state of no longer having it: and sometimes thou re-acquirest, sometimes thou losest. As our eye has no light inherently in itself, it opens, and admits it; it shuts, and loses it. It is not thus that the Son of God is God--not thus that He is the Word of the Father; and not thus is He the Word, that passes away with the sound but that which abides in its birth. In such a way hath He wisdom that He is Himself wisdom, and maketh men wise: and life, that He is Himself the life, and maketh others alive. This is that which is greater than all. The evangelist John himself looked to heaven and earth when wishing to speak of the Son of God; he looked, and rose above them all. He thought on the thousands of angelic armies above the heavens; he thought, and, like the eagle soaring beyond the clouds, his mind overpassed the whole creation: he rose beyond all that was great, and arrived at that which was greater than all; and said, "In the beginning was the Word." But because He, of(1) whom is the Word, is not of the Word, and the Word is of Him, whose Word He is; therefore He says, "That which the Father gave me," namely, to be His Word, His only-begotten Son, the brightness of His light, "is greater than all." Therefore, "No one," He says, "plucketh my sheep out of my hand. No one can pluck them out of my Father's hand."

7. "Out of my hand," and "out of my Father's hand." What is this, "No one plucketh them out of my hand," and "No one plucketh them out of my Father's hand"? Have the Father and Son one hand, or is the Son Himself, shall we say, the hand of His Father? If by hand we are to understand power, the power of Father and Son is one; for their Godhead is one. But if we mean hand in the way spoken of by the prophet, "And to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?"(2) the Father's hand is the Son Himself, which is not to be so understood as if God had the human form, and, as it were, bodily members: but that all things were made by Him. For men also are in the habit of calling other men their hands, by whom they get done what they wish. And sometimes also the very work done by a man's hand is called his hand; as one is said to recognize his hand when he recognizes what he has written. Since, then, there are many ways of speaking of the hand of a man, who literally has a hand among the members of his body; how much rather must there be more than one way of understanding it, when we read of the hand of God, who has no bodily form? And in this way it is better here, by the hand of the Father and Son, to understand the power of the Father and the Son; lest, in taking here the hand of the Father as spoken of the Son, some carnal thought also about the Son Himself should set us looking for the Son as somehow to be similarly regarded as the hand of Christ. Therefore, "no one plucketh them out of my Father's hand;" that is, no one plucketh them from me.

8. But that there may be no more room for hesitation, hear what follows: "I and my Father are one." Up to this point the Jews were able to bear Him; they heard, "I and my Father are one," and they bore it no longer; and hardened in their own way, they had recourse to stones. "They took up stones to stone Him." The Lord, because He suffered not what He was unwilling to suffer, and only suffered what He was pleased to suffer, still addresses them while desiring to stone Him. "The Jews took up stones to stone Him. Jesus answered them, Many good works have I showed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me? And they answered, For a good work we stone thee not, but for blasphemy, and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God," Such was their reply to His words, "I and my Father are one." You see here that the Jews understood what the Arians understand not. For they were angry on this account, that they felt it could not be said, "I and my Father are one," save where there was equality of the Father and the Son.

9. But see what answer the Lord gave to their dull apprehension. He saw that they could not bear the brilliance of the truth, and He tempered it with words. "Is it not written in your law," that is, as given to you, "that I said, Ye are gods?"(3) And the Lord called all the Scriptures generally, the law: although elsewhere He speaks more definitely of the law, distinguishing it from the prophets; as it is said, "The law and the prophets were until John;"(4) and "On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."(5) Sometimes, however, He divided the same Scriptures into three parts, as where He saith, "All things must be fulfilled which were written in the law, and the prophets, and the psalms, concerning me."(1) But now He includes the psalms also under the name of the law, where it is written, "I said, Ye are gods. If He calleth them gods, to whom the word of God came, and the Scripture cannot be broken: say ye of Him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world. Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?" If the word of God came to men, that they might be called gods, how can the very Word of God, who is with God, be otherwise than God? If by the word of God men become gods, if by fellowship they become gods, can He by whom they have fellowship not be God? If lights which are lit are gods,is the light which enlighteneth not God? If through being warmed in a way by saving fire they are constituted gods, is He who gives them the warmth other than God? Thou approachest the light and art enlightened, and numbered among the sons of God; if thou withdrawest from the light, thou fallest into obscurity, and art accounted in darkness; but that light approacheth not, because it never recedeth from itself. If, then, the word of God maketh you gods, how can the Word of God be otherwise than God? Therefore did the Father sanctify His Son, and send Him into the world. Perhaps some one may be saying: If the Father sanctified Him, was there then a time when He was not sanctified? He sanctified in the same way as He begat Him. For in the act of begetting He gave Him the power to be holy, because He begat Him in holiness. For if that which is sanctified was unholy before, bow can we say to God the Father, "Hallowed be Thy name"?(2)

10. "If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. But if I do, though ye will not believe me, believe the works; that ye may know and believe that the Father is in me, and I in Him." The Son says not, "the Father is in me, and I in Him," as men can say it. For if we think well, we are in God; and if we live well, God is in us: believers, by participating in His grace, and being illuminated by Himself, are in Him, and He in us. But not so is it with the only-begotten Son: He is in the Father, and the Father in Him; as one who is equal is in him whose equal he is. In short, we can sometimes say, We are in God, and God is in us; but can we say, I and God are one? Thou art in God, because God contains thee; God is in thee, because thou art become the temple of God: but because thou art in God, and God is in thee, canst thou say, He that seeth me seeth God; as the Only-begotten said, "He that hath seen me, hath seen the Father also;"(3) and "I and the Father are one"? Recognize the prerogative of the Lord, and the privilege of the servant. The prerogative of the Lord is equality with the Father: the privilege of the servant is fellowship with the Saviour.

11. "Therefore they sought to apprehend Him." Would they had apprehended by faith and understanding, not in wrath and murder! For now, my brethren, when I speak thus, it is the weak one wishing to apprehend what is strong, the small what is great, the fragile what is solid; and it is we ourselves--both you who are of the same matter as I am, and I myself who speak to you--who all wish to apprehend Christ. And what is it to apprehend Him? [If] thou hast understood, thou hast apprehended. But not as did the Jews: thou hast apprehended in order to possess, they wished to apprehend in order to make away with Him. And because this was the kind of apprehension they desired, what did He do to them? "He escaped out of their hands." They failed to apprehend Him, because they lacked the hand of faith. The Word was made flesh; but it was no great task to the Word to rescue His own flesh from fleshy hands. To apprehend the Word in the mind, is the right apprehension of Christ.

12. "And He went away again beyond Jordan, into the place where John at first baptized; and there He abode. And many resorted unto Him, and said, John, indeed; did no miracle." You remember what was said of John, that he was a light, and bore witness to the day.(4) Why, then, say these among themselves, "John did no miracle"? John, they say, signalized himself by no miracle; he did not put devils to flight, he drove away no fever, he enlightened not the blind, he raised not the dead, he fed not so many thousand men with five or seven loaves, he walked not upon the sea, he commanded not the winds and the waves. None of these things did John, and in all he said he bore witness to this man. By lamp-light we may advance to the day. "John did no miracle: but all things that John spake of this man were true." Here are those who apprehended in a different way from the Jews. The Jews wished to apprehend one who was departing from them, these apprehended one who remained with them. In a word, what is it that follows? "And many believed on Him."

TRACTATE XLIX.

CHAPTER XI. 1--54.

1. Among all the miracles wrought by our Lord Jesus Christ, the resurrection of Lazarus holds a foremost place in preaching. But if we consider attentively who did it, our duty is to rejoice rather than to wonder. A man was raised up by Him who made man: for He is the only One of the Father, by whom, as you know, all things were made. And if all things were made by Him, what wonder is it that one was raised by Him, when so many are daily brought into the world by His power? It is a greater deed to create men than to raise them again from the dead. Yet He deigned both to create and to raise again; to create all, to resuscitate some. For though the Lord Jesus did many such acts, yet all of them are not recorded; just as this same St. John the evangelist himself testifies, that Christ the Lord both said and did many things that are not recorded;(1) but such were chosen for record as seemed to suffice for the salvation of believers. Thou hast just heard that the Lord Jesus raised a dead man to life; and that is sufficient to let thee know that, were He so pleased, He might raise all the dead to life. And, indeed this very work has He reserved in His own hands till the end of the world. For while you have heard that by a great miracle He raised one from the tomb who had been dead four days, "the hour is coming," as He Himself saith, "in the which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice, and shall come forth." He raised one who was putrid, and yet in that putrid carcase there was still the form of limbs; but at the last day He will by a word reconstitute ashes into human flesh. But it was needful then to do only some such deeds, that we, receiving them as tokens of His power, may put our trust in Him, and be preparing for that resurrection which shall be to life and not to judgment. So, indeed, He saith, "The hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation."(2)

2. We have, however, read in the Gospel of three dead persons who were raised to life by the Lord, and, let us hope, to some good purpose. For surely the Lord's deeds are not merely deeds, but signs. And if they are signs, besides their wonderful character, they have some real significance: and to find out this in regard to such deeds is a somewhat harder task than to read or hear of them. We were listening with wonder, as at the sight of some mighty miracle enacted before our eyes, in the reading of the Gospel, how Lazarus was restored to life. If we turn our thoughts to the still more wonderful works of Christ, every one that believeth riseth again: if we all consider, and understand that more horrifying kind of death, every one who sinneth dies.(3) But every man is afraid of the death of the flesh; few, of the death of the soul. In regard to the death of the flesh, which must certainly come some time, all are on their guard against its approach: this is the source of all their labor. Man, destined to die, labors to avert his dying; and yet man, destined to live for ever, labors not to cease from sinning. And when he labors to avoid dying, he labors to no purpose, for its only result will be to put off death for a while, not to escape it; but if he refrain from sinning, his toil will cease, and he shall live for ever. Oh that we could arouse men, and be ourselves aroused along with them, to be as great lovers of the life that abideth, as men are of that which passeth away ! What will a man not do who is placed under the peril of death? When the sword was overhanging their heads, men have given up every means of living they had in reserve. Who is there that has not made an immediate surrender of all, to escape being slain? And, after all, he has perhaps been slain. Who is there that, to save his life, has not been willing at once to lose his means of living, and prefer a life of beggary to a speedy death? Who has had it said to him, Be off to sea if you would escape with your life, and has delayed to do so? Who has had it said to him, Set to work if you would preserve your life, and has continued a sluggard? It is but little that God requires of us, that we may live for ever: and we neglect to obey Him. God says not to thee, Lose all you have, that you may live a little time oppressed with toil; but, Give to the poor of what you have, that you may live always exempt from labor. The lovers of this temporal life, which is theirs, neither when, nor as long as they wish, are our accusers; and we accuse not ourselves in turn, so sluggish are we, so lukewarm about obtaining eternal life, which will be ours if we wish it, and will be imperishable when we have it; but this death which we fear, notwithstanding all our reluctance, will yet be ours in possession.

3. If, then, the Lord in the greatness of His grace and mercy raiseth our souls to life, that we may not die for ever, we may well understand that those three dead persons whom He raised in the body, have some figurative significance of that resurrection of the soul which is effected by faith: He raised up the ruler of the synagogue's daughter, while still lying in the house;(1) He raised up the widow's young son, while being carried outside the gates of the city;(2) and He raised up Lazarus, when four days in the grave. Let each one give heed to his own soul: in sinning he dies: sin is the death of the soul. But sometimes sin is committed only in thought. Thou hast felt delight in what is evil, thou hast assented to its commission thou hast sinned; that assent has slain thee but the death is internal, because the evil thought had not yet ripened into action. The Lord intimated that He would raise such a soul to life, in raising that girl, who had not yet been carried forth to the burial, but was lying dead in the house, as if sin still lay concealed. But if thou hast not only harbored a feeling of delight in evil, but hast also done the evil thing, thou hast, so to speak, carried the dead outside the gate: thou art already without, and being carried to the tomb. Yet such an one also the Lord raised to life. and restored to his widowed mother. If thou hast sinned, repent, and the Lord will raise thee up, and restore thee to thy mother Church. The third example of death is Lazarus. A grievous kind of death it is, and is distinguished as a habit of wickedness. For it is one thing to fall into sin, another to form the habit of sinning. He who falls into sin, and straightway submits to correction, will be speedily restored to life; for he is not yet entangled in the habit, he is not yet laid in the tomb. But he who has become habituated to sin, is buried, and has it properly said of him, "he stinketh;" for his character, like some horrible smell, begins to be of the worst repute. Such are all who are habituated to crime, abandoned in morals. Thou sayest to such an one, Do not so. But when wilt thou be listened to by one on whom the earth is thus heaped, who is breeding corruption, and pressed down with the weight of habit? And yet the power of Christ was not unequal to the task of restoring such an one to life. We know, we have seen, we see every day men changing the very worst of habits, and adopting a better manner of life than that of those who blamed them. Thou detestedst such a man: look at the sister of Lazarus herself (if, indeed, it was she who anointed the Lord's feet with ointment, and wiped with her hair what she had washed with her tears), who had a better resurrection than her brother; she was delivered from the mighty burden of a sinful character. For she was a notorious sinner; and had it said of her, "Her many sins are forgiven her, for she has loved much."(3) We see many such, we know many: let none despair, but let none presume in himself. Both the one and the other are sinful. Let thine unwillingness to despair take such a turn as to lead thee to make choice of Him in whom alone thou mayest well presume.

4. So then the Lord also raised Lazarus to life. You have heard what type of character he represents; in other words, what is meant by the resurrection of Lazarus. Let us now, therefore, read over the passage; and as there is much in this lesson clear already, we shall not go into any detailed exposition, so as to take up more thoroughly the necessary points. "Now a certain man was sick, [named] Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and Martha, his sisters." In the previous lesson you remember that the Lord escaped from the hands of those who sought to stone Him, and went away beyond Jordan, where John baptized.(4) When the Lord therefore had taken up His abode there, Lazarus fall sick in Bethany, which was a town lying close to Jerusalem.

5. "But Mary was she who anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick. Therefore his sisters sent unto Him, saying." We now understand whither it was they sent, namely, where the Lord was; for He was away, as you know, beyond the Jordan. They sent messengers to the Lord to tell Him that their brother was ill. He delayed to heal, that He might be able to raise to life. But what was the message sent by his sisters? "Lord, behold, he whom Thou lovest is sick." They did not say, Come; for the intimation was all that was needed for one who loved. They did not venture to say, Come and heal him: they ventured not to say, Command there, and it shall be done here. And why not so with them, if on these very grounds the centurion's faith was commended? For he said, "I am not worthy that Thou shouldest enter under my roof; but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed."(1) No such words said these women, but only, "Lord, behold, he whom Thou lovest is sick." It is enough that Thou knowest; for Thou art not one that loveth and forsaketh. But says some one, How could a sinner be represented by Lazarus, and be so loved by the Lord? Let him listen to Him, when He says, "I came not to call the righteous, but sinners."(2) For had not God loved sinners, He would not have come down from heaven to earth.

6. "But when Jesus heard [that], He said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified." Such a glorifying of Himself did not add to His dignity, but benefited us. Hence He says, "is not unto death," because even that death itself was not unto death, but rather unto the working of a miracle whereby men might be led to faith in Christ, and so escape the real death. And mark how the Lord, as it were indirectly, called Himself God, for the sake of some who deny that the Son is God. For there are heretics who make such a denial, that the Son of God is God. Let them hearken here: "This sickness" He says. "is not unto death, but for the glory of God." For what glory? For the glory of what God? Hear what follows: "That the Son of God may be glorified." "This sickness," therefore, He says, "is not unto death. but for the glory of God, that the Son of God maybe glorified thereby." By what? By that sickness.

7. "Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister Mary, and Lazarus." The one sick, the others sad, all of them beloved: but He who loved them was both the Saviour of the sick, nay more, the Raiser of the dead and the Comforter of the sad. "When He heard therefore that he was sick, He abode then two days still in the same place." They sent Him word: He abode where He was: and the time ran on till four days were completed. And not in vain, were it only that perhaps, nay that certainly, even the very number of days has some sacramental significance. "Then after that He saith again to His disciples, Let us go into Judea:" where He had been all but stoned, and from which He had apparently departed for the very purpose to escape being stoned. For as man He departed; but returned as if in forgetfulness of 'all infirmity, to show His power. "Let us go," He said, "into Judea."

8. And now see how the disciples were terrified at His words. "The disciples say unto Him, Master, the Jews of late sought to stone Thee, and goest Thou thither again? Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? "What means such. an answer? They said to Him, "The Jews of late sought to stone Thee, and goest Thou thither again" to be stoned? And the Lord, "Are there not twelve hours in the day? if any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world: but if he walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him." He spoke indeed of the day, but to our understanding as if it were still the night. Let us call upon the Day to chase away the night, and illuminate our hearts with the light. For what did the Lord mean? As far as I can judge, and as the height and depth of His meaning breaks into light, He wished to argue down their doubting and unbelief. For they wished by their counsel to keep the Lord from death, who had come to die, to save themselves from death. In a similar way also, in another passage, St. Peter, who loved the Lord, but did not yet fully understand the reason of His coming, was afraid of His dying, and so displeased the Life, to wit, the Lord Himself; for when He was intimating to the disciples what He was about to suffer at Jerusalem at the hands of the Jews, Peter made reply among the rest, and said, "Far be it from Thee, Lord; pity Thyself: this shall not be unto Thee." And at once the Lord replied, "Get thee behind me, Satan: for thou savorest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men." And yet a little before, in confessing the Son of God, he had merited commendation: for he heard the words, "Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father who is in heaven."(3) To whom He had said, "Blessed art thou," He now says, "Get thee behind me, Satan;" because it was not of himself that he was blessed. But of what then? "For flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father who is in heaven." See, this is how thou art blessed, not from anything that is thine own, but from that which is mine. Not that I am the Father, but that all things which the Father hath are mine.(1) But if his blessedness came from the Lord's own working, from whose [working] came he to be Satan? He there tells us: for He assigned the reason of such blessedness, when He said, "Flesh and blood hath not revealed this unto thee, but my Father who is in heaven:" that is the cause of thy blessedness. But that I said, "Get thee behind me, Satan, hear also its cause. For thou savorest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men." Let no one then flatter himself: in that which is natural to himself he is Satan, in that which is of God he is blessed. For all that is of his own, whence comes it, but from his sin? Put away the sin, which is thine own. Righteousness, He saith, belongeth unto me. For what hast thou that thou didst not receive?(2) Accordingly, when men wished to give counsel to God. disciples to their Master, servants to their Lord, patients to their Physician, He reproved them by saying, "Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not." Follow me, if ye would not stumble: give not counsel to me, from whom you ought to receive it. To what, then, refer the words, "Are there not twelve hours in the day"? Just that to point Himself out as the day, He made choice of twelve disciples. If I am the day, He says, and you the hours, is it for the hours to give counsel to the day? The day is followed by the hours, not the hours by the day. If these, then, were the hours, what in such a reckoning was Judas? Was he also among the twelve hours? If he was an hour, he had light; and if he had light, how was the Day betrayed by him to death? But the Lord, in so speaking, foresaw, not Judas himself, but his successor. For Judas, when he fell, was succeeded by Matthias, and the duodenary number preserved.(3) It was not, then, without a purpose that the Lord made choice of twelve disciples, but to indicate that He Himself is the spiritual Day. Let the hours then attend upon the Day, let them preach the Day, be made known and illuminated by the Day, and by the preaching of the hours may the world believe in the Day. And so in a summary way it was just this that He said: Follow me, if ye would not stumble.

9. "And after that He saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep." It was true what He said. To his sisters he was dead, to the Lord he was asleep. He was dead to men, who could not raise him again; but the Lord aroused him with as great ease from the tomb as one arouseth a sleeper from his bed. Hence it was in reference to His own power that He spoke of him as sleeping: for others also, who are dead, are frequently spoken of in Scripture as sleeping; as when the apostle says, "But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others who have no hope."(4) Therefore he also spoke of them as sleeping, because foretelling their resurrection. And so, all the dead are sleeping, both good and bad. But just as, in the case of those who sleep and waken day by day, there is a great difference as to what they severally see in their sleep: some experience pleasant dreams; others. dreams so frightful that the waking are afraid to fall asleep for fear of their recurrence: so every individual sleeps and wakens in circumstances peculiar to himself. And there is a difference as to the kind of custody one may be placed in, who is afterwards to be taken before the judge. For the kind of custody in which men are placed depends on the merits of the case: some are required to be guarded by lictors, an office humane and mild, and becoming a citizen; others are given up to subordinates;(5) some, again, are sent to prison: and in the prison itself all are not thrust together into its lowest dungeons, but dealt with in proportion to the merits and superior gravity of the charges. As, then, there are different kinds of custody among those engaged in official life, so there are different kinds of custody for the dead, and differing merits in those who rise again. The beggar was taken into custody, so was the rich man: but the one into Abraham's bosom; the other, where he thirsted, and found not a drop of water.(6)

10. Therefore, to make this the occasion of instructing your Charity, all souls have, when they quit this world, their different receptions. The good have joy; the evil, torments. But when the resurrection takes place, both the joy of the good will be fuller and the torments of the wicked heavier, when they shall be tormented in the body. The holy patriarchs, prophets, apostles, martyrs, and good believers, have been received into peace; but all of them have still in the end to receive the fulfillment of the divine promises; for they have been promised also the resurrection of the flesh, the destruction of death, and eternal life with the angels. This we have all to receive together; for the rest, which is given immediately after death, every one, if worthy of it, receives when he dies. The patriarchs first received it--think only from what they rest; the prophets afterwards; more recently the apostles; still more lately the holy martyrs, and day by day the good and faithful. Thus some have now been in that rest for long, some not so long; others for fewer years, and others whose entrance therein is still less than recent. But when they shall wake from this sleep, they shall all together receive the fulfillment of the promise.

11. "Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep. Then said His disciples"--according to their understanding they replied--"Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well." For the sleep of the sick is usually a sign of returning health. "Howbeit Jesus spake of his death, but they thought that He spake of the taking of rest in sleep. Then said Jesus unto them plainly,"--for He said somewhat obscurely, "He sleepeth; "--therefore He said plainly, "Lazarus is dead. And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe." I even know that he is dead, and I was not there: for he had been reported not as dead, but sick. But what could remain hid from Him who had created it, and into whose hands the soul of the dying man had departed? This is why He said," I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe;" that they might now begin to wonder that the Lord could assert his death, which He had neither seen nor heard of. For here we ought specially to bear in mind that as yet the disciples themselves, who already believed in Him, had their faith built up by miracles: not that a faith, utterly wanting till then, might begin to exist; but that what had previously come into being might be increased; although He made use of such an expression as if only then they would begin to believe. For He said not, "I am glad for your sakes," that your faith may be increased or confirmed; but, "that ye may believe;" which is to be understood as meaning, that your faith may be fuller and more vigorous.

12. "Nevertheless, let us go unto him. Then said Thomas, who is called Didymus, unto his fellow disciples, Let us also go, that we may die with Him. Therefore Jesus came, and found that he had [lain] in the grave four days already." Much might be said of the four days, according to the wont of the obscure passages of Scripture, which bear as many senses as there is diversity of those who understand them. Let us express also our opinion of what is meant by one four days dead. For as in the former case of the.. blind man we understand in a way the human race, so in the case of this dead man many perhaps are also to be understood; for one thing may be signified by different figures. When a man is born, he is born already in a state of death; for he inherits sin from Adam. Hence the apostle says: " By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so that passed upon all men, wherein all have sinned."(1) Here you have one day of death because man inherits it from the seed stock of death. Thereafter he grows, and begins to approach the years of reason that he may know the law of nature, which every one has had implanted in his heart: What thou wouldst not have done to thyself, do not to another. Is this learned from the pages of a book, and not in a measure legible in our very nature? Hast thou any desire to be robbed? Certainly not. See here, then, the law in thy heart: What thou art unwilling to suffer, be unwilling to do. This law also is transgressed by men; and here, then, we have the second day of death. The law was also divinely given through Moses, the servant of God; and therein it is said," Thou shall not kill; thou shall not commit adultery; thou shall not bear false witness; honor thy father and mother; thou shall not covet thy neighbor's property; thou shall not covet thy neighbor's wife."(2) Here you have the written law, and it also is despised: this is the third day of death. What remains? The gospel also comes, the kingdom of heaven is preached, Christ is everywhere published; He threatens hell, He promises eternal life; and that also is despised. Men transgress the gospel; and this is the fourth day of death. Now he deservedly stinketh. But is mercy to be denied to such? God forbid; for to raise such also from the dead, the Lord thinks it not unfitting to come.

13. "And many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother. Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met Him; but Mary sat [still] in the house. Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if Thou badst been here, my brother had not died. But I know that even now, whatsoever Thou wilt ask of God, God will give it Thee:" She did not say, But even now I ask Thee to raise my brother to life again. For how could she know if such a resurrection would be of benefit to her brother? She only said, I know that Thou canst, and whatsoever Thou art pleased, Thou doest: for Thy doing it is dependent on Thine own judgment, not on my presumption. "But even now I know that, whatsoever Thou wilt ask of God, God will give it Thee."

14 "Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again." This was ambiguous. For He said not, Even now I will raise thy brother; but, "Thy brother shall rise again. Martha saith unto Him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection, at the last day." Of that resurrection I am sure, but uncertain about this. "Jesus saith unto her, I am the resurrection." Thou sayest, My brother shall rise again at the last day: true; but by Him, through whom he shall rise then, can he rise even now, for "I," He says, "am the resurrection and the life." Give ear, brethren, give ear to what He says. Certainly the universal expectation of the bystanders was that Lazarus, one who had been dead four days,' would live again; let us hear, and rise again. How many are there in this audience who are crushed down under the weighty mass of some sinful habit! Perhaps some are hearing me to whom it may be said, "Be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess;"(2) and they say, We cannot. Some others, it may be, are nearing me, who are unclean, and stained with lusts and crimes, and to whom it is said, Refrain from such conduct, that ye perish not; and they reply, We cannot give up our habits. O Lord, raise them again. "I am," He says, "the resurrection and the life." The resurrection because the life.

15. "He that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die." What meaneth this? "He that believeth in me, though he were dead," just as Lazarus is dead, "yet shall he live;" for He is not the God of the dead, but of the living. Such was the answer He gave the Jews concerning their fathers, long ago dead, that is, concerning Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob: I am the! God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and! the God of Jacob: He is not the God of the dead, but of the living; for all live unto u Him."(3) Believe then, and though thou wert dead, yet shalt thou live: but if thou believest not, even while thou livest thou art dead. Let us prove this likewise, that if thou believest not, though thou belivest thou art dead. To one who was delaying to follow Him, and saying, "Let me first go and bury my father," the Lord said, "Let the dead bury their dead; but come thou and follow me."(4) There was there a dead man requiring to be buried, there were there also dead men to bury the dead: the one was dead in the flesh, the others in soul. And how comes death on the soul? When faith is wanting. How comes death on the body? When the soul is wanting. Therefore thy soul's soul is faith. "He that believeth in me," says Christ, though he were dead in the flesh, yet shall he live in the spirit; till the flesh also rise again, never more to die. This is "he that believeth in me," though he die, "yet shall he live. And whosoever liveth" in the flesh, "and believeth in me," though he shall die in time on account of the death of the flesh, "shall never die," because of the life of the spirit, and the immortality of the resurrection. Such is the meaning of the words, "And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? She saith unto Him, Yea, Lord, I have believed that Thou art the Christ, the Son of God, who hast come into the world." When I believed this, I believed that Thou art the resurrection, that Thou art the life: I believed that he that believeth in Thee, though he die, yet shall he live; and whosoever liveth and believeth in Thee, shall never die.

16. "And when she had so said, she went ' her way, and called Mary her sister silently, saying, The Master is come, and calleth for thee." It is worthy of notice the way in which the whispering of her voice was denominated silence. For how could she be silent, when she said, "The Master is come, and calleth for thee"? It is also to be noticed why it is that the evangelist has not said where, or when, or how the Lord called for Mary; namely, that in order to preserve the brevity of the narrative, it may rather be understood from the words of Martha.

17. "As soon as she heard that, she arose quickly, and came unto Him. For Jesus was not yet come into the town, but was still in that place where Martha met Him. The Jews, then, who were with her in the house, and comforted her, when they saw Mary, that she rose up hastily, and went out, followed her, saying, She goeth unto the grave, to weep there." What cause had the evangelist to tell us this? To show us what it was that occasioned the numerous concourse of people to be there when Lazarus was raised to life. For the Jews, thinking that her reason for hastening away was to seek in weeping the solace of her grief, followed her; that the great miracle of one rising again who had been four days dead, might have the presence of many witnesses.

18. "Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw Him, she fell down at His feet, saying unto Him, Lord, if Thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping, who were with her, He groaned in the spirit, and troubled Himself,(1) and said, Where have ye laid him?" Something there is, did we but know it, that He has suggested to us by groaning in the spirit, and troubling Himself. For who could trouble Him, save He Himself? Therefore, my brethren, first give heed here to the power that did so, and then look for the meaning. Thou art troubled against thy will; Christ was troubled because He willed. Jesus hungered, it is true, but because He willed; Jesus slept, it is true, but because He willed; He was sorrowful, it is true, but because He willed; He died, it is true, but because He willed: in His own power it lay to be thus and thus affected or not. For the Word assumed soul and flesh, fitting on Himself our whole human nature in the oneness of His person. For the soul of the apostle was illuminated by the Word; so was the soul of Peter, the soul of Paul, of the other apostles, and the holy prophets,--the souls of all were illuminated by the Word; but of none was it said, "The Word was made flesh;"(2) of none was it said," I and the Father are one."(3) The soul and flesh of Christ is one person with the Word of God, one Christ. And by this [Word] wherein resided the supreme power, was infirmity made use of at the beck of His will; and in this way "He troubled Himself."

19. I have spoken of the power: look now to the meaning. It is a great criminal that is signified by that four days' death and burial. Why is it, then, that Christ troubleth Himself, but to intimate to thee how thou oughtest to be troubled, when weighed down and crushed by so great a mass of iniquity? For here thou hast been looking to thyself, been seeing thine own guilt, been reckoning for thyself: I have done this, and God has spared me; I have committed this, and He hath borne with me; I have heard the gospel, and despised it; I have been baptized, and returned again to the same course: what am I doing? whither am I going? how shall I escape? When thou speakest thus, Christ is already groaning; for thy faith is groaning. In the voice of one who groaneth thus, there comes to light the hope of his rising again. If such faith is within. there is Christ groaning; for if there is faith in us, Christ is in us. For what else says the apostle: "That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith."(4) Therefore thy faith in Christ is Christ Himself in thy heart. This is why He slept in the ship; and why, when His disciples were in danger and already on the verge of shipwreck, they came to Him and awoke Him. Christ arose, laid His commands on the winds and waves, and there ensued a great calm.(5) So also with thee; the winds enter thy heart, that is, where thou sailest, where thou passest along this life as a stormy and dangerous sea; the winds enter, the billows rise and toss thy vessel. What are the winds? Thou hast received some insult, and art wroth: that insult is the wind; that anger, the waves. Thou art in danger, thou preparest to reply, to render cursing for cursing, and thy vessel is already nigh to shipwreck. Awake the Christ who is sleeping. For thou art in commotion, and making ready to render evil for evil, because Christ is sleeping in thy vessel. For the sleep of Christ in thy heart is the forgetfulness of faith. But if thou arousest Christ, that is, recallest thy faith, what dost thou hear said to thee by Christ, when now awake in thy heart? I [He says] have heard it said to me, "Thou hast a devil,"(6) and I have prayed for them. The Lord hears and suffers; the servant hears and is angry! But thou wishest to be avenged. Why so? I am already avenged. When thy faith so speaks to thee, command is exercised, as it were, over the winds and waves, and there is a great calm. As, then, to awaken Christ in the vessel is just to awaken faith; so in the heart of one who is pressed down by a great mass and habit of sin, in the heart of the man who has been a transgressor even of the holy gospel and a despiser of eternal punishment, let Christ groan, let such a man betake himself to self-accusation. Hear still more: Christ wept; let man bemoan himself. For why did Christ weep, but to teach man to weep? Wherefore did He groan and trouble Himself, but to intimate that the faith of one who has just cause to be displeased with himself ought to be in a sense groaning over the accusation of wicked works, to the end that the habit of sinning may give way to the vehemence of penitential sorrow?

20. "And He said, Where have ye laid him?" Thou knewest that he was dead, and art Thou ignorant of the place of his burial? The meaning here is, that a man thus lost becomes, as it were, unknown to God. I have not ventured to say, Is unknown--for what is unknown to Him? but, As it were unknown. And how do we prove this? Listen to the Lord, who will yet say in the judgment, "I know you not: depart from me." (1) What does that mean, "I know you not"? I see you not in that light of mine--in that righteousness which I know. So here, also, as if knowing nothing of such a sinner, He said, "Where have ye laid him?" Similar in character was God's voice in Paradise after man had sinned: "Adam, where art thou?" (2) "They say unto Him, Lord, come and see." What means this "see"? Have pity. For the Lord sees when He pities. Hence it is said to Him, "Look upon my humility [affliction] and my pain, and forgive all my sins." (4)

21. "Jesus wept. Then said the Jews, Behold how He loved him!""Loved him," what does that mean? "I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." (3) "But some of them said, Could not this man, who opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not die?" But He, who would do nought to hinder his dying, had something greater in view in raising him from the dead.

22. "Jesus therefore again groaning in Himself, cometh to the tomb." May His groaning have thee also for its object, if thou wouldst re-enter into life! Every man who lies in that dire moral condition has it said to him, "He cometh to the tomb." "It was a cave, and a stone had been laid upon it." Dead under that stone, guilty under the law. For you know that the law, which was given to the Jews, was inscribed on stone. (5) And all the guilty are under the law: the right-living are in harmony with the law. The law is not laid on a righteous man. (6) What mean then the words, "Take ye away the stone"? Preach grace. For the Apostle Paul calleth himself a minister of the New Testament, not of the letter, but of the spirit; "for the letter," he says, "killeth, but the spirit giveth life." (7) The letter that killeth is like the stone that crusheth. "Take ye away," He saith, "the stone." Take away the weight of the law; preach grace. "For if there had been a law given, which could have given life, verily righteousness should be by the law. But the Scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe." (8) Therefore "take ye away the stone."

23. "Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto Him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been [dead] four days. (9) Jesus saith unto her, Have I not said unto thee, that, if thou believest, thou shalt see the glory of God?" What does He mean by this, "thou shall see the glory of God"? That He can raise to life even one who is putrid and hath been four days [dead]. "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; (10) and, "Where sin abounded, grace also did superabound." (11)

24. "Then they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up His eyes, and said, Father, I thank Thee, that Thou hast heard me. And I knew that Thou hearest me always: but because of the people that stand by I said it, that they may believe that Thou hast sent me. And when He had thus spoken, He cried with a loud voice." He groaned, He wept, He cried with a loud voice. With what difficulty does one rise who lies crushed under the heavy burden of a habit of sinning! And yet he does rise: he is quickened by hidden grace within; and after that loud voice he riseth. For what followed? "He cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. And immediately he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with bandages; (12) and his face was bound about with a napkin." Dost thou wonder how he came forth with his feet bound, and wonderest not at this, that after four days' interment he rose from the dead? In both events it was the power of the Lord that operated, and not the strength of the dead. He came forth, and yet still was bound. Still in his burial shroud, he has already come outside the tomb. What does it mean? While thou despisest [Christ]. thou liest in the arms of death; and if thy contempt reacheth the lengths I have mentioned, thou art buried as well: but when thou makest confession, thou comest forth. For what is this coming forth, but the open acknowledgment thou makest of thy state, in quitting, as it were, the old refuges of darkness? But the confession thou makest is effected by God, when He crieth with a loud voice, or in other words, calleth thee in abounding grace. Accordingly, when the dead man had come forth, still bound; confessing, yet guilty still; that his sins also might be taken away, the Lord said to His servants: "Loose him, and let him go." What does He mean by such words? Whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. (1)

25. "Then many of the Jews who had come to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on Him. But some of them went away to the Pharisees, and told them what things Jesus had done." All of the Jews who had come to Mary did not believe, but many of them did. "But some of them," whether of the Jews who had come, or of those who had believed, "went away to the Pharisees, and told them what things Jesus had done:" whether in the way of conveying intelligence, in order that they also might believe, or rather in the spirit of treachery, to arouse their anger. But whoever were the parties, and whatever their motive, intelligence of these events was carried to the Pharisees.

26. "Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we?" But they did not say, Let us believe. For these abandoned men were more occupied in considering what evil they could do to effect His ruin, than in consulting for their own preservation: and yet they were afraid, and took counsel of a kind together. For "they said, What do we? for this man doeth many miracles: if we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him; and the Romans shall come, and take away both our place and nation." They were afraid of losing their temporal possessions, and thought not of life eternal; and so they lost both. For the Romans, after our Lord's passion and entrance into glory, took from them both their place and nation, when they took the one by storm and transported the other: and now that also pursues them, which is said elsewhere, "But the children of the kingdom shall go into outer darkness." (2) But this was what they feared, that if all believed on Christ, there would be none remaining to defend the city of God and the temple against the Romans; just because they had a feeling that Christ's teaching was directed against the temple itself and their own paternal laws.

27. "And one of them, [named] Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all, nor consider that it is expedient for us that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. And this spake he not of himself; but being high priest that year, he prophesied." We are here taught that the Spirit of prophecy used the agency even of wicked men to foretell what was future; which, however, the evangelist attributes to the divine sacramental fact that he was pontiff, which is to say, the high priest. It may, however, be a question in what way he is called the high priest of that year, seeing that God appointed one person to be high priest, who was to be succeeded only at his death by another. But we are to understand that ambitious schemes and contentions among the Jews led to the appointment afterwards of more than one, and to their annual turn of service. For it is said also of Zacharias: "And it came to pass that, while he executed the priest's office before God in the order of his course, according to the custom of the priest's office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord." (3) From which it is evident that there were more than one, and that each had his turn: for it was lawful for the high priest alone to place the incense on the altar. (4) And perhaps also there were several in actual service in the same year, who were succeeded next year by several others, and that it fell by lot to one of them to burn incense. What was it, then, that Caiaphas prophesied? "That Jesus should die for the nation; and not for the nation only, but that also He should gather together in one the children of GOd that were scattered abroad." This is added by the evangelist; for Caiaphas prophesied only of the Jewish nation, in which there were sheep of whom the Lord Himself had said, "I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel." (5) But the evangelist knew that there were other sheep, which were not of this fold, but which had also to be brought, that there might be one fold and one shepherd. (6) But this was said in the way of predestination; for those who were still unbelieving were as yet neither His sheep nor the children of God.

28. "Then, from that day forth, they took counsel together for to put Him to death. Jesus therefore walked no more openly among the Jews; but went thence unto a country near to the wilderness, into a city called Ephraim, and there continued with His disciples." Not that there was any failure in His power, by which, had He only wished, He might have continued His intercourse with the Jews, and received no injury at their hands; but in His human weakness He furnished His disciples with an example of living, by which He might make it manifest that it was no sin in His believing ones, who are His members, to withdraw from the presence of their persecutors, and escape the fury of the wicked by concealment, rather than inflame it by showing themselves openly.

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