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

AGAIN ON THE SAME PASSAGE (CHAPTER XIV. 10-14.).

1. The Lord, by His promise, gave those whose hopes were resting on Himself a special ground of confidence, when He said, "For I go to the Father; and whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, I will do it." His proceeding, therefore, to the Father, was not with any view of abandoning the needy, but of hearing and answering their petitions. But what is to be made of the words, "Whatsoever ye shall ask," when we behold His faithful ones so often asking and not receiving? Is it, shall we say, for no other reason but that they ask amiss? For the Apostle James made this a ground of reproach when he said, "Ye ask and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts." (1) What one, therefore, wishes to receive, in order to turn to an improper use, God in His mercy rather refuses to bestow. Nay, more, if a man asks what would, if answered, only tend to his injury, there is surely greater cause to fear, lest what God could not withhold with kindness, He should give in His anger. Do we not see how the Israelites got to their own hurt what their guilty lusting craved? For while it was raining manna on them from heaven, they desired to have flesh to eat. (2) They disdained what they had, and shamelessly sought what they had not: as if it were not better for them to have asked not to have their unbecoming desires gratified with the food that was wanting, but to have their own dislike removed, and be made themselves to receive aright the food that was provided. For when evil becomes our delight, and what is good the reverse, we ought to be entreating God rather to win us back to the love of the good, than to grant us the evil. Not that it is wrong to eat flesh, for the apostle, speaking of this very thing, says, "Every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused which is received with thanksgiving; (1) but because, as he also says, "It is evil for that man who eateth with offense;" (2) and if so, with offense to man, how much more so if to God? to whom it was no light offense, on the part of the Israelites, to reject what wisdom was supplying, and ask for that which lust was craving: although they would not actually make the request, but murmured because it was wanting. But to let us know that the wrong lies not with any creature of God, but with obstinate disobedience and inordinate desire, it was not in swine's flesh that the first man found death, but in an apple; (3) and it was not for a fowl, but for a dish of pottage, that Esau lost his birthright. (4)

2. How, then, are we to understand "Whatsoever ye shall ask, I will do it," if there are some things which the faithful ask, and which God, even purposely on their behalf, leaves undone? Or ought we to suppose that the words were addressed only to the apostles? Surely not. For what He has got the length of now saying is in the very line of what He had said before: "He that believeth in me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do;" which was the subject of our previous discourse. And that no one might attribute such power to himself, but rather to make it manifest that even these greater works were done by Himself, He proceeded to say, "For I go to the Father; and whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, I will do it." Was it the apostles only that believed on Him? When, therefore, He said, "He that believeth on me," He spake to those, among whom we also by His grace are included, who by no means receive everything that we ask. And if we turn our thoughts even to the most blessed apostles, we find that he who labored more than they all, yet not he, but the grace of God that was with him, (5) besought the Lord thrice that the messenger of Satan might depart from him, and received not what he had asked. (6) What shall we say, beloved? Are we to suppose that the promise here made, "Whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, I will do it," was not fulfilled by Him even to the apostles? And to whom, then, will ever His promise be fulfilled, if therein He has deceived His own apostles?

3. Wake up, then, believer, and give careful heed to what is stated here, "in my name:" for in these words He does not say, "whatsoever ye shall ask" in any way; but, "in my name." How, then, is He called, who promised so great a blessing? Christ Jesus, of course: Christ means King, and Jesus means Saviour! for certainly it is not any one who is a king that will save us, but only the Saviour-King; and therefore, whatsoever we ask that is adverse to the interests of salvation, we do not ask in the name of the Saviour. And yet He is the Saviour, not only when He does what we ask, but also when He refuses to do so; since by not doing what He sees to be contrary to our salvation, He manifests Himself the more fully as our Saviour. For the physician knows which of his patient's requests will be favorable, and which will be adverse, to his safety; and therefore yields not to his wishes when asking what is prejudicial, that he may effect his recovery. Accordingly, when we wish Him to do whatsoever we ask, let it not be in any way, but in His name, that is, in the name of the Saviour, that we present our petition. Let us not, then, ask aught that is contrary to our own salvation; for if He do that, He does it not as the Saviour, which is the name He bears to His faithful disciples. For He who condescends to be the Saviour of the faithful, is also a Judge to condemn the ungodly. Whatsoever, therefore, any one that believeth on Him shall ask in that name which He bears to those who believe on Him, He will do it; for He will do it as the Saviour. But if one that believeth on Him asketh something through ignorance that is injurious to his salvation, he asketh it not in the name of the Saviour; for His Saviour He will no longer be if He do aught to impede his salvation. And hence, in such a case, in not doing what He is entreated to do, His way is kept the clearer for doing what His name imports. And on that account, not only as the Saviour, but also as the good Master, He taught us, in the very prayer He gave us, what we should ask, in order that, whatsoever we shall ask, He may do it; and that we, too, might thereby understand that we cannot be asking in the Master's name anything that is inconsistent with the rule of His own instructions.

4. There are some things, indeed, which, although really asked in His name, that is, in harmony with His character as both Saviour and Master, He doeth not at the time we ask them, and yet He faileth not to do them. For when we pray that the kingdom of God may come, it does not imply that He is not doing what we ask, because we do not begin at once to reign with Him in the everlasting kingdom: for what we ask is delayed, but not denied. Nevertheless, let us not fail in praying, for in so doing we are as those that sow the seed; and in due season we shall reap. (1) And even when we are asking aright, let us ask Him at the same time not to do what we ask amiss; for there is reference to this also in the Lord's Prayer, when we say, "Lead us not into temptation." (2) For surely the temptation is no slight one if thine own request be hostile to thy cause. But we must not listen with indifference to the statement that the Lord (to prevent any from thinking that what He promised to do to those that asked, He would do without the Father, after saying, "Whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, I will do it") immediately added, "That the Father may be glorified in the Son: if ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it." In no respect, therefore, does the Son act without the Father, since He so acts for the very purpose that in Him the Father may be glorified. The Father, therefore, acts in the Son, that the Son may be glorified in the Father: and the Son acts in the Father, that the Father may be glorified in the Son; for the Father and the Son are one.

TRACTATE LXXIV.

CHAPTER XIV. 15-17.

1. We have heard, brethren, while the Gospel was read, the Lord saying: "If ye love me, keep my commandments: and I will ask the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter [Paraclete], that He may abide with you for ever; [even] the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him: but ye shall know Him; for He shall dwell with you, and shall be in you." (1) There are many points which might form the subject of inquiry in these few words of the Lord; but it were too much for us either to search into all that is here for the searching, or to find out all that we here search for. Nevertheless, as far as the Lord is pleased to grant us the power, and in proportion to our capacity and yours, attend to what we ought to say and you to hear, and receive, beloved, what we on our part are able to give, and apply to Him for that wherein we fail. It is the Spirit, the Comforter, that Christ has promised to His apostles; but let us notice the way in which He gave the promise. "If ye love me," He says, "keep my commandments: and I will ask the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever: [even] the Spirit of truth." We have here, at all events, the Holy Spirit in the Trinity, whom the catholic faith acknowledges to be consubstantial and co-eternal with Father and Son: He it is of whom the apostle says, "The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, who is given unto us." (2) How, then, doth the Lord say, "If ye love me, keep my commandments: and I will ask the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter;" when He saith so of the Holy Spirit, without [having] whom we can neither love God nor keep His commandments? How can we love so as to receive Him, without whom we cannot love at all? or how shall we keep the commandments so as to receive Him, without whom we have no power to keep them? Or can it be that the love wherewith we love Christ has a prior place within us, so that, by thus loving Christ and keeping His commandments, we become worthy of receiving the Holy Spirit, in order that the love, not of Christ, which had already preceded, but of God the Father, may be shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, who is given unto us? Such a thought is altogether wrong. For he who believes that he loveth the Son, and loveth not the Father, certainly loveth not the Son, but some figment of his own imagination. And besides, this is the apostolic declaration, "No one saith, Lord Jesus, (3) but in the Holy Spirit: (4) and who is it that calleth Him Lord Jesus but he that loveth Him, if he so call Him in the way the apostle intended to be understood? For many call Him so with their lips, but deny Him in their hearts and works; just as He saith of such, "For they profess that they know God, but m works they deny Him." (1) If it is by works He is denied, it is doubtless also by works that His name is truly invoked. "No one," therefore, "saith, Lord Jesus," in mind, in word, in deed, with the heart, the lips, the labor of the bands,--no one saith, Lord Jesus, but in the Holy Spirit; and no one calls Him so but he that loveth, And accordingly the apostles were already calling Him Lord Jesus: and if they called Him so, in no way that implied a feigned utterance, with the mouth confessing, in heart and works denying Him; if they called Him so in all. truthfulness of soul, there can be no doubt they loved. And how, then, did they love, but in the Holy Spirit? And yet they are i commanded to love Him and keep His commandments, previous and in order to their receiving the Holy Spirit: and yet, without having that Spirit, they certainly could not love Him and keep His commandments.

2. We are therefore to understand that he who loves has already the Holy Spirit, and by what he has becomes worthy of a fuller possession, that by having the more he may love the more. Already, therefore, had the disciples that Holy Spirit whom the Lord promised, for without Him they could not call Him Lord; but they had Him not as yet in the way promised by the Lord. Accordingly they both had, and had Him not, inasmuch as they had Him not as yet to the same extent as He was afterwards to be possessed. They had Him, therefore, in a more limited sense: He was yet to be given them in an ampler measure. They had Him in a hidden way, they were yet to receive Him in a way that was manifest; for this present possession had also a bearing on that fuller gift of the Holy Spirit, that they might come to a conscious knowledge of what they had. It is in speaking of this gift that the apostle says: "Now we have received, not the spirit of this world, but the spirit which is of God, that we may know the things that are freely given to us of God." (2) For that same manifest bestowal of the Holy Spirit the Lord made, not once, but on two separate occasions. For close on the back of His resurrection from the dead He breathed on them and said, "Receive ye the Holy Spirit." (3) And because He then gave [the Spirit], did He on that account fail in afterwards sending Him according to His promise? Or was it not the very same Spirit who was both then breathed upon them by Himself, and afterwards sent by Him from heaven? (4) And so, why that same giving on His part which took place publicly, also took place twice, is another question: for it may be that this twofold bestowal of His in a public way took place because of the two Commandments of love, that is, to our neighbor and to God, in order that love might be impressively intimated as pertaining to the Holy Spirit, And if any other reason is to be sought for, we cannot at present allow our discourse to be improperly prolonged by such an inquiry: provided, however, it be admitted that, without the Holy Spirit, we can neither love Christ nor keep His commandments; while the less experience we have of His presence, the less also can we do so; and the fuller our experience, so much the greater our ability. Accordingly, the promise is no vain one, either to him who has not [the Holy Spirit], or to him who has. For it is made to him who has not, in order that he may have; and to him who has, that he may have more abundantly. For were it not that He was possessed by some in smaller measure than by others, St. Elisha would not have said to St. Elijah, "Let the spirit that is in thee be in a twofold measure in me. (5)

3. But when John the Baptist said, "For God giveth not the Spirit by measure," (6) he was speaking exclusively of the Son of God, who received not the Spirit by measure; for in Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead. (7) And no more is it independently of the grace of the Holy Spirit that the Mediator between God and men is the man Christ Jesus: (8) for with His own lips He tells us that the prophetical utterance had been fulfilled in Himself: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me; because He hath anointed me, and hath sent me to preach the gospel to the poor." (9) For His being the Only-begotten, the equal of the Father, is not of grace, but of nature; but the assumption of human nature into the personal unity of the Only-begotten is not of nature, but of grace, as the Gospel acknowledges itself when it says, "And the child grew, and waxed strong, being filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was in Him." (10) But to others He is given by measure,--a measure ever enlarging until each has received his full complement up to the limits of his own perfection. As we are also reminded by the apostle, "Not to think of ourselves more highly than we ought to think, but to think soberly; according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith." (11) Nor is it the Spirit Himself that is divided, but the gifts bestowed by the Spirit: for there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. (1)

4. But when He says, "I will ask the Father, and He shall give you another Paraclete," He intimates that He Himself is also a paraclete. For paraclete is in Latin called advocatus (advocate); and it is said of Christ, "We have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." (2) But He said that the world could not receive the Holy Spirit, in much the same sense as it is also said, "The minding of the flesh is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God; neither indeed can be;" (3) just as if we were to say, Unrighteousness cannot be righteous. For in speaking in this passage of the world, He refers to those who love the world; and such a love is not of the Father. (4) And thus the love of this world, which gives us enough to do to weaken and destroy its power within us, is in direct opposition to the love of God, which is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who is given unto us. "The world," therefore, "cannot receive Him, cause it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him." For worldly love possesseth not those invisible eyes, whereby, save in an invisible way, the Holy Spirit cannot be seen.

5. But ye," He adds, "shall know Him; for He shall dwell with you, and be in you." He will be in them, that He may dwell with them; He will not dwell with them to the end that He may be in them: for the being anywhere is prior to the dwelling there. But to prevent us from imagining that His words, "He shall dwell with you," were spoken in the same sense as that in which a guest usually dwells with a man in a visible way, He explained what "He shall dwell with you" meant, when He added the words, "He shall be in you." He is seen, therefore, in an invisible way: nor can we have any knowledge of Him unless He be in us. For it is in a similar way that we come to see our conscience within us: for we see the face of another, but we cannot see our own; but it is our own conscience we see, not another's. And yet conscience is never anywhere but within us: but the Holy Spirit can be also apart from us, since He is given that He may also be in us. But we cannot see and know Him in the only way in which He may be seen and known, unless He be in us.

TRACTATE LXXV.

CHAPTER XIV. 18-21.

1. After the promise of the Holy Spirit, lest any should suppose that the Lord was to give Him, as it were, in place of Himself, in any such way as that He Himself would not likewise be with them, He added the words: "I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you." Orphani [Greek] are pupilli [parent-less children] in Latin. The one is the Greek, the other the Latin name of the same thing: for in the psalm where we read, "Thou art the helper of the fatherless" [in the Latin version, pupillo], the Greek has orphano. (1) Accordingly, although it was not the Son of God that adopted sons to His Father, or willed that we should have by grace that same Father, who is His Father by nature, yet in a sense it is paternal feelings toward us that He Himself displays, when He declares, "I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you." In the same way He calls us also he children of the bridegroom, when He says, "The time will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall the children of the bridegroom fast." (2) And who is the bridegroom, but Christ the Lord?

2. He then goes on to say, "Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more." How so? the world saw Him then; for under the name of the world are to be understood those of whom He spake above, when saying of the Holy Spirit, "Whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him." He was plainly visible to the carnal eyes of the world, while manifest in the flesh; but it saw not the Word that lay hid in the flesh: it saw the man, but it saw not God: it saw the covering, but not the Being within. But as, after the resurrection, even His very flesh, which He exhibited both to the sight and to the handling of His own, He refused to exhibit to others, we may in this way perhaps understand the meaning of the words, "Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye shall see me: because I live, ye shall live also."

3. What is meant by the words, "Because I live, ye shall live also"? Why did He speak in the present tense of His own living, and in the future of theirs, but just by way of promise that the life also of the resurrection-body, as it preceded in His own case, would certainly follow in theirs? And as His own resurrection was in the immediate future, He put the word in the present tense to signify its speedy approach: but of theirs, as delayed till the end of the world, He said not, ye live; but, "ye shall live." With elegance and brevity, therefore, by means of two words, one of them in the present tense and the other in the future, He gave the promise of two resurrections, to wit, His own in the immediate future, and ours as yet to come in the end of the world. "Because I live," He says, "ye shall live also:" because He liveth, therefore shall we live also. For as by man is death, by man also is the resurrection of the dead, For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. (1) As it is only through the former that every one is liable to death, it is only through Christ that any one can attain unto life. Because we did not live, we are dead; because He lived, we shall live also. We were dead to Him, when we lived to ourselves; but, because He died in our behalf, He liveth both for Himself and for us. For, because He liveth, we shall live also. For while we were able of ourselves to attain unto death, it is not of ourselves also that life can come into our possession.

4. "In that day," He says, "ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you." In what day, but in that whereof He said, "Ye shall live also"? For then will it be that we can see what we believe. For even now is He in us, and we in Him: this we believe now, but then shall we also know it; although what we know even now by faith, we shall know then by actual vision. For as long as we are in the body, as it now is, to wit, corruptible, and encumbering to the soul, we live at a distance from the Lord; for we walk by faith, not by sight. (2) Then accordingly it will be by sight, for we shall see Him as He is. (3) For if Christ were not even now in us, the apostle would not say, "And if Christ be in you, the body is dead indeed because of sin; but the spirit is life because of righteousness." (4) But that we are also in Him even then, He makes sufficiently clear, when He says, "I am the vine, ye are the branches." (5) Accordingly in that day, when we shall be living the life, whereby death shall be swallowed up, we shall know that He is in the Father, and we in Him, and He in us; for then shall be completed that very state which is already in the present begun by Him, that He should be in us, and we in Him.

5. "He that hath my commmandments," He adds, "and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me." He that hath [them] in his memory, and keepeth them in his life; who hath them orally, and keepeth them morally; who hath them in the ear, and keepeth them in deed; or who hath them in deed, and keepeth them by perseverance;--"he it is," He says, "that loveth me." By works is love made manifest as no fruitless application of a name. "And he that loveth me," He says, "shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him." But what is this, "I will love"? Is it as if He were then only to love, and loveth not at present? Surely not. For how could the Father love us apart from the Son, or the Son apart from the Father? Working as They do inseparably, how can They love apart? (6) But He said, "I will love him," in reference to that which follows, "and I will manifest myself to him." "I will love, and will manifest;" that is, I will love to the very extent of manifesting. For this has been the present aim of His love, that we may believe, and keep hold of the commandment of faith; but then His love will have this for its object, that we may see, and get that very sight as the reward of our faith: for we also love now, by believing in that which we shall see hereafter; but then shall we love in the sight of that which now we believe.

TRACTATE LXXVI.

CHAPTER XIV. 22-24.

1. While the disciples thus question, and Jesus their Master replies to them, we also, as it were, are learning along with them, when we either read or listen to the holy Gospel. Accordingly, because the Lord had said, "Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye shall see me," Judas--not indeed His betrayer, who was surnamed Iscariot, but he whose epistle is read among the canonical Scriptures--asked Him of this very matter: "Lord, how is it that Thou wilt manifest Thyself unto us, and not unto the world?" Let us, too, be as it were questioning disciples with them, and listen to our common Master. For Judas the holy, not the impure, the follower, but not the persecutor of the Lord, has inquired the reason why Jesus was to manifest Himself to His own, and not to the world; why it was that yet a little while, and the world should not see Him, but they should see Him.

2. "Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my word: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not, keepeth not my sayings." Here we have set forth the reason why He is to manifest Himself to His own, and not to that other class whom He distinguishes by the name of the world; and such is the reason also why the one loveth Him, and the other loveth Him not. It is the very reason, whereof it is declared in the sacred psalm, "Judge me, O God, and plead my cause against an unholy nation."(1) For such as love are chosen, because they love: but those who have not love, though they speak with the tongues of men and angels, are become a sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal; and though they had the gift of prophecy, and knew all mysteries and all knowledge, and had all faith so that they could remove mountains, they are nothing; and though they distributed all their substance, and gave their body to be burnt, it profiteth them nothing.(2) The saints are distinguished from the world by that love which maketh the one-minded(3) to dwell [together] in a house(4) In this house Father and Son make their abode, and impart that very love to those whom They shall also honor at last with this promised self manifestation; of which the disciple questioned his Master, that not only those who then listened might learn it from His own lips, but we also from his Gospel. For he had made inquiry about the manifestation of Christ, and heard [in reply] about His loving and abiding. There is therefore a kind of inward manifestation of God, which is entirely unknown to the ungodly, who receive no manifestation of God the Father and the Holy Spirit: of the Son, indeed, there might have been such, but only in the flesh; and that, too, neither of the same kind as the other, nor able under any form to remain with them, save only for a little while; and even that, for judgment, not for rejoicing; for punishment, not for reward.

3. We have now, therefore, to understand, so far as He is pleased to unfold it, the meaning of the words, "Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye shall see me." It is true, indeed, that after a little while He was to withdraw even His body, in which the ungodly also were able to see Him, from their sight; for none of them saw Him after His resurrection. But since it was declared on the testimony of angels, "He shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven;" and our faith stands to this, that He will come in the same body to judge the living and the dead; there can be no doubt that He will then be seen by the world, meaning by the name, those who are aliens from His kingdom. And, on this account, it is far better to understand Him as having intended to refer at once to that epoch, when He said, "Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more," when in the end of the world He shall be taken away from the sight of the damned, that for the future He may be seen only of those with whom, as those that love Him, the Father and Himself are making their abode. But He said, "a little while," because that which appears tedious to men is very brief in the sight of God: for of this same "little while" our evangelist, John, himself says, "Little children, it is the last time."(1)

4. But further, lest any should imagine that the Father and Son only, without the Holy Spirit, make their abode with those that love Them, let him recall what was said above of the Holy Spirit, "Whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him: but ye shall know Him; for He shall dwell with you, and shall be in you" (ver. 17). Here you see that, along with the Father and the Son, the Holy Spirit also taketh up His abode in the saints; that is to say, within them, as God in His temple. The triune God, Father, and Son, and Holy Spirit, come to us while we are coming to Them: They come with help, we come with obedience; They come to enlighten, we to behold; They come to fill, we to contain: that our vision of Them may not be external, but inward; and Their abiding in us may not be transitory, but eternal. The Son cloth not manifest Himself in such a way as this to the world: for the world is spoken of in the passage before us as those, of whom He immediately adds, "He that loveth me not, keepeth not my sayings." These are such as never see the Father and the Holy Spirit: and see the Son for a little while, not to their attainment of bliss, but to their condemnation; and even Him, not in the form of God, wherein He is equally invisible with the Father and the Holy Spirit, but in human form, in which it was His will to be an object of contempt in suffering, but of terror in judging the world.

5. But when He added, "And the saying which ye have heard is not mine, but the Father's who sent me," let us not be filled with wonder or fear: He is not inferior to the Father, and yet He is not, save of the Father: He is not unequal in Himself, but He is not of Himself. For it was no false word He uttered when He said, "He that loveth me not, keepeth not my sayings." He called them, you see, His own sayings; does He, then, contradict Himself when He said again, "And the saying which ye have heard is not mine"? And, perhaps, it was on account of some intended distinction that, when He said His own, He used "sayings" in the plural; but when He said that "the saying," that is, the Word, was not His own, but the Father's, He wished it to be understood of Himself. For in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.(2) For as the Word, He is certainly not His own, but the Father's: just as He is not His own image, but the Father's; and is not Himself His own Son, but the Father's. Rightly, therefore, does He attribute whatever He does, as equal, to the Author of all, of whom He has this very prerogative, that He is in all respects His equal.

TRACTATE LXXVII.

CHAPTER XIV. 25-27.

1. In the preceding lesson of the holy Gospel, which is followed by the one that has just been read, the Lord Jesus had said that He and the Father would come to those who loved Them, and make Their abode with them. But He had also already said above of the Holy Spirit, "But ye shall know Him; for He shall dwell with you, and shall be in you" (ver. 17): by which we understood that the divine Trinity dwelleth together in the saints as in His own temple. But now He saith, "These things have I spoken unto you while [still] dwelling with you." That dwelling, therefore, which He promised in the future, is of one kind; and this, which He declares to be present, is of another. The one is spiritual, and is realized inwardly by the mind; the other is corporal, and is exhibited outwardly to the eye and the ear. The one brings eternal blessedness to those who have been delivered, the other pays its visits in time to those who await deliverance. As regards the one, the Lord never withdraws from those who love Him; as regards the other, He comes and goes. "These things, He says, "have I spoken unto you, while [still] dwelling with you;" that is, in His bodily presence, wherein He was visibly conversing with them.

2. "But the Comfort," He adds, "[which is] the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." Is it, then, that the Son speaks, and the Holy Spirit teaches, so that we merely get hold of the words that are uttered by the Son, and then understand them by the teaching of the Spirit? as if the Son could speak without the Holy Spirit, or the Holy Spirit teach without the Son: or is it not rather that the Son also teacheth and the Spirit speaketh, and, when it is God that speaketh and teacheth anything, that the Trinity itself is speaking and teaching? And just because it is a Trinity, its persons required to be introduced individually, so that we might hear it in its distinct personality, and understand its inseparable nature.(1) Listen to the Father speaking in the passage where thou readest, "The Lord said unto me, Thou art my Son:"(2) listen to Him also teaching, in that where thou readest, "Ever man that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me."(3) The Son, on the other hand, thou hast just heard speaking; for He saith of Himself, "Whatsoever I have said unto you:" and if thou wouldst also know Him as a Teacher, bethink thyself of the Master, when He saith, "One is your Master, even Christ."(4) Furthermore, of the Holy Spirit, whom thou hast just been told of as a Teacher in the words, "He shall teach you all things," listen to Him also speaking, where thou readest in the Acts of the Apostles, that the Holy Spirit said to the blessed Peter, "Go with them, for I have sent them."(5) The whole Trinity, therefore, both speaketh and teacheth: but were it not also brought before us in its individual personality, it would certainly altogether surpass the power of human weakness to comprehend it. For as it is altogether inseparable in itself, it could never be known as the Trinity, were it always spoken of inseparably; for when we speak of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, we certainly do not pronounce them simultaneously, and yet in themselves they cannot be else than simultaneous. But when He added," He will bring to your remembrance," we ought also to understand that we are commanded not to forget that these pre-eminently salutary admonitions are part of that grace which the Holy Spirit brings to our remembrance.

3. "Peace," He said, "I leave with you, my peace I give unto you." It is here we read in the prophet, "Peace upon peace:" peace He leaves with us when going away, His own peace He will give us when He cometh in the end. Peace He leaveth with us in this world, His own peace He will give us in the world to come. His own peace He leaveth with us, and abiding therein we conquer the enemy. His own peace He will give us when, with no more enemies to fight, we shall reign as kings. Peace He leaveth with us, that here also we may love one another: His own peace will He give us, where we shall be beyond the possibility of dissension. Peace He leaveth with us, that we may not judge one another of what is secret to each, while here on earth: His own peace will He give us, when He "will make manifest the counsels of the heart; and then shall every man have praise of God."(6) And yet in Him and from Him it is that we have peace, whether that which He leaveth with us when going to the Father, or that which He will give us when we ourselves are brought by Him to the Father. And what is it He leaveth with us, when ascending from us, save His own presence, which He never withdraweth? For He Himself is our peace who hath made both one.(7) It is He, therefore, that becomes our peace, both when we believe that He is, and when we see Him as He is.(8) For if, so long as we are in this corruptible body that burdens the soul, and are walking by faith, not by sight, He forsaketh not those who are sojourning at a distance from Himself;(9) how much more, when we have attained to that sight, shall He fill us with Himself?

4. But why is it that, when He said, "Peace I leave with you," He did not add, "my;" but when He said, "I give unto you," He there made use of it? Is "my" to be understood even where it is not expressed, on the ground that what is expressed once may have a reference to both? Or may it not be that here also we have some underlying truth that has to be asked and sought for, and opened up to those who knock thereat? For what, if by His own peace He meant such to be understood as that which He possesses Himself? whereas the peace, which He leaves us in this world, may more properly be termed our peace than His. For He, who is altogether without sin, has no elements of discord in Himself; while the peace we possess, meanwhile, is such that in the midst of it we have still to be saying, "Forgive us our debts."(10) A certain kind of peace, accordingly, we do possess, inasmuch as we delight in the law of God after the inward man: but it is not a full peace, for we see another law in our members warring against the law of our mind.(1) In the same way we have peace in our relations with one another, just because, in mutually loving, we have a mutual confidence in one another: but no more is such a peace as that complete, for we see not the thoughts of one another's hearts; and we have severally better or worse opinions in certain respects of one another than is warranted by the reality. And so that peace, although left us by Him, is our peace: for were it not from Him, we should not be possessing it, such as it is; but such is not the peace He has Himself. And if we keep what we received to the end, then such as He has shall we have, when we shall have no elements of discord of our own, and we shall have no secrets hid from one another in our hearts. But I am not ignorant that these words of the Lord may be taken so as to seem only a repetition of the same idea, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you:" so that after saying "peace," He only repeated it in saying "my peace;" and what He had meant in saying "I leave with you," He simply repeated in saying "I give unto you." Let each one understand it as he pleases; but it is my delight, as I believe it is yours also, my beloved brethren, to keep such hold of that peace here, where our hearts are making common cause against the adversary, that we may be ever longing for the peace which there will be no adversary to disturb.

5. But when the Lord proceeded to say, "Not as the world giveth, give I unto you," what else does He mean but, Not as those give who love the world, give I unto you? For their aim in giving themselves peace is that, exempt from the annoyance of lawsuits and wars, they may find enjoyment, not in God, but in the friendship of the world; and although they give the righteous peace, in ceasing to persecute them, there can be no true peace where there is no real harmony, because their hearts are at variance. For as one is called a consort who unites his lot (sortem) with another, so may he be termed concordant whose heart has entered into a similar union.(2) Let us, therefore, beloved, with whom Christ leaveth peace, and to whom He giveth His own peace, not after the world's way, but in a way worthy of Him by whom the world was made, that we should be of one heart with Himself. having our hearts run into one, that this one heart, set on that which is above, may escape the corruption of the earth.

TRACTATE LXXVIII.

CHAPTER XIV. 27, 28.

1. We have just heard, brethren, these words of the Lord, which He addressed to His disciples: "Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come unto you: if ye loved me, ye would surely rejoice, because I go unto the Father; for the Father is greater than I." Their hearts might have become filled with trouble and fear, simply because of His going away from them, even though intending to return; lest, possibly, in the very interval of the shepherd's absence, the wolf should make an onset on the flock. But as God, He abandoned not those from whom He departed as man: and Christ Himself is at once both man and God. And so He both went away in respect of His visible humanity, and remained as regards His Godhead: He went away as regards the nature which is subject to local limitations, and remained in respect of that which is ubiquitous. Why, then, should their heart be troubled and afraid, when His quitting their eyesight was of such a kind as to leave unaltered His presence in their heart? Although even God, who has no local bounds to His presence, may depart from the hearts of those who turn away from Him, not with their feet, but their moral character; just as He comes to such as turn to Him, not with their faces, but in faith, and approach Him in the spirit, and not in the flesh. But that they might understand that it was only in respect of His human nature that He said, "I go and come to you," He went on to say, "If ye loved me, ye would surely rejoice, because I go unto the Father; for the Father is greater than I." And so, then, in that very respect wherein the Son is not equal to the Father, in that was He to go to the Father, just as from Him is He hereafter to come to judge the quick and the dead: while in so far as the Only-begotten is equal to Him that begat, He never withdraws from the Father; but with Him is everywhere perfectly equal in that Godhead which knows of no local limitations. For "being as He was in the form of God," as the apostle says, "He thought it not robbery to be equal with God." For how could that nature be robbery, which was His, not by usurpation, but by birth? "But He emptied Himself, taking upon Him the form of a servant;"(1) and so, not losing the former, but assuming the latter, and emptying Himself in that very respect wherein He stood forth before us here in a humbler state than that wherein He still remained with the Father. For there was the accession of a servant-form, with no recession of the divine: in the assumption of the one there was no consumption of the other. In reference to the one He says, "The Father is greater than I;" but because of the other, "I and my Father are one."(2)

2. Let the Arian attend to this, and find healing in his attention; that wrangling may not lead to vanity, or, what is worse, to insanity. For it is the servant-form which is that wherein the Son of God is less, not only than the Father, but also than the Holy Spirit; and more than that, less also than Himself, for He Himself, in the form of God, is greater than Himself. For the man Christ does not cease to be called the Son of God, a name which was thought worthy of being applied even to His flesh alone as it lay in the tomb. And what else than this do we confess, when we declare that we believe in the only-begotten Son of God, who, under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, and buried? And what of Him was buried, save the flesh without the spirit? And so in believing in the Son of God, who was buried, we surely affix the name, Son of God, even to His flesh, which alone was laid in the grave. Christ Himself, therefore, the Son of God, equal with the Father because in the form of God, inasmuch as He emptied Himself, without losing the form of God, but assuming that of a servant, is greater even than Himself; because the unlost form of God is greater than the assumed form of a servant. And what, then, is there to wonder at, or what is there out of place, if, in reference to this servant-form, the Son of God says, "The Father is greater than I;" and in speaking of the form of God, the self-same Son of God declares, "I and my Father are one"? For one they are, inasmuch as "The Word was God;" and greater is the Father, inasmuch as "the Word was made flesh."(3) Let me add what cannot be gainsaid by Arians and Eunomians:(4) in respect of this servant-form, Christ as a child was inferior also to His own parents, when, according to Scripture, "He was subject"(5) as an infant to His seniors. Why, then, heretic, seeing that Christ is both God and man, when He speaketh as man, dost thou calumniate God? He in His own person commends our human nature; dost thou dare in Him to asperse the divine? Unbelieving and ungrateful as thou art, wilt thou degrade Him who made thee, just for the very reason that He is declaring what He became because of thee? For equal as He is with the Father, the Son, by whom man was made, became man, in order to be less than the Father: and had He not done so, what would have become of man?

3. May our Lord and Master bring home clearly to our minds the words, "If ye loved me, ye would surely rejoice, because I go unto the Father; for the Father is greater than I." Let us, along with the disciples, listen to the Teacher's words, and not, with strangers, give heed to the wiles of the deceiver. Let us acknowledge the twofold substance of Christ; to wit, the divine, in which he is equal with the Father, and the human, in respect to which the Father is greater. And yet at the same time both are not two, for Christ is one; and God is not a quaternity, but a Trinity. For as the rational soul and the body form but one man, so Christ, while both God and man, is one; and thus Christ is God, a rational soul, and a body. In all of these we confess Him to be Christ, we confess Him in each. Who, then, is He that made the world? Christ Jesus, but in the form of God. Who is it that was crucified under Pontius Pilate? Christ Jesus, but in the form of a servant. And so of the several parts whereof He consists as man. Who is He who was not left in hell? Christ Jesus, but only in respect of His soul. Who was to rise on the third day, after being laid in the tomb? Christ Jesus, but solely in reference to His flesh. In reference, then, to each of these, He is likewise called Christ And yet all of them are not two, or three, but one Christ. On this account, therefore, did He say, "If ye loved me, ye would surely rejoice, because I go unto the Father;" for human nature is worthy of congratulation, in being so assumed by the only-begotten Word as to be constituted immortal in heaven, and, earthy in its nature, to be so sublimated and exalted, that, as incorruptible dust, it might take its seat at the right hand of the Father. In such a sense it is that He said He would go to the Father. For in very truth He went unto Him, who was always with Him. But His going unto Him and departing from us were neither more nor less than His transforming and immortalizing that which He had taken upon Him from us in its mortal condition, and exalting that to heaven, by means of which He lived on earth in man's behalf. And who would not draw rejoicing from such a source, who has such love to Christ that he can at once congratulate his own nature as already immortal in Christ, and cherish the hope that he himself will yet become so through Christ?

TRACTATE LXXIX.

CHAPTER XIV. 29-31.

1. Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, had said unto His disciples, "If ye loved me, ye would surely rejoice, because I go unto the Father; for the Father is greater than I." And that He so spake in His servant-form, and not in that of God, wherein He is equal with the Father, is well known to faith as it resides in the minds of the pious, not as it is reigned by the scornful and senseless. And then He added, "And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe." What can He mean by this, when the fact rather is, that a man ought, before it comes to pass, to believe that which demands his belief? For it forms the very encomium of faith when that which is believed is not seen. For what greatness is there in believing what is seen, as in those words of the same Lord, when, in reproving a disciple, He said, "Because thou hast seen, thou hast believed; blessed are they that see not, and yet believe."(1) And I hardly know whether any one can be said to believe what he sees; for this same faith is thus defined in the epistle addressed to the Hebrews: "Now faith is the substance of those that hope,(2) the assurance, of things not seen." Accordingly, if faith is in things that are believed, and that, too, in things which are not seen,(4) what mean these words of the Lord, "And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe"? Ought He not rather to have said, And now I have told you before it come to pass, that ye may believe what, when it is come to pass, ye shall see? For even he who was told, "Because thou hast seen, thou hast believed," did not believe only what he saw; but he saw one thing, and believed another: for he saw Him as man, and believed Him to be God. He perceived and touched the living flesh, which he had seen in the act of dying, and he believed in the Deity infolded in that flesh. And so he believed with the mind what he did not see, by the help of that which was apparent to his bodily senses. But though we may be said to believe what we see, just as every one says that he believes his own eyes, yet that is not to be mistaken for the faith which is built up by God in our souls; but from things that are seen, we are brought to believe in those which are invisible. Wherefore, beloved, in the passage before us, when our Lord says,"And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe;" by the words, "when it is come to pass," He certainly means, that they would yet see Him after His death, alive, and ascending to His I Father; at the sight of which they should then be compelled to believe that He was indeed the Christ, the Son of the living God, seeing He could do such a thing, even after predicting it, and also could predict it before He did it: and this they should then believe, not with a new, but with an augmented faith; or at least [with a faith] that had been impaired(5) by His death, and was now repaired(5) by His resurrection. For it was not that they had not previously also believed Him to be the Son of God, but when His own predictions were actually fulfilled in Him, that faith, which was still weak at the time of His here speaking to them, and at the time of His death almost ceased to exist, sprang up again into new life and increased vigor.

2. But what says He next? "Hereafter I will not talk much with you; for the prince of this world cometh;" and who is that, but the devil? "And hath nothing in me;" that is to say, no sin at all. For by such words He points to the devil, as the prince, not of His creatures, but of sinners, whom He here designates by the name of this world. And as often as the name of the world is used in a bad sense, He is pointing only to the lovers of such a world; of whom it is elsewhere recorded, "Whosoever will be a friend of this world, becomes the enemy of God."(1) Far be it from us, then, so to understand the devil as prince of the world, as if he wielded the government of the whole world, that is, of heaven and earth, and all that is in them; of which sort of world it was said, when we were lecturing on Christ the Word, "And the world was made by Him."(2) The whole world therefore, from the highest heavens to the lowest earth, is subject to the Creator, not to the deserter; to the Redeemer, not to the destroyer; to the Deliverer, not to the enslaver; to the Teacher, not to the deceiver. And in what sense the devil is to be understood as the prince of the world, is still more clearly unfolded by the Apostle Paul, who, after saying, "We wrestle not against flesh and blood," that is, against men, went on to say, "but against principalities and powers, and the world-rulers of this darkness."(3) For in the very next word he has explained what he meant by "world," when he added, "of this darkness;" so that no one, by the name of the world, should understand the whole creation, of which in no sense are fallen angels the rulers. "Of this darkness," he says, that is, of the lovers of this world: of whom, nevertheless, there were some elected, not from any deserving of their own, but by the grace of God, to whom he says, "Ye were sometimes darkness; but now are ye light in the Lord."(4) For all have been under the rulers of this darkness, that is, [under the rulers] of wicked men, or darkness, as it were, in subjection to darkness: but "thanks be to God, who hath delivered us," says the same apostle, "from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of the Son of His love."(5) And in Him the prince of this world, that is, of this darkness, had nothing; for neither did He come with sin as God, nor had His flesh any hereditary taint of sin in its procreation by the Virgin. And, as if it were said to Him, Why, then, dost Thou die, if Thou hast no sin to merit the punishment of death? He immediately added, "But that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do: arise, let us go hence." For He was sitting at table with those who were similarly occupied. But "let us go," He said, and whither, but to the place where He, who had nothing in Him deserving of death, was to be delivered up to death? But He had the Father's commandment to die, as the very One of whom it had been foretold, "Then I paid for that which I took not away;"(6) and so appointed to pay death to the full, while owing it nothing, and to redeem us from the death that was our due. For Adam had seized on sin as a prey, when, deceived, he presumptuously stretched forth his hand to the tree, and attempted to invade the incommunicable name of that Godhead I which was disallowed him, and with which the Son of God was endowed by nature, and not by robbery.

TRACTATE LXXX.

CHAPTER XV. 1-3.

1. This passage of the Gospel, brethren, where the Lord calls Himself the vine, and His disciples the branches, declares in so many words that the Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,(1) is the head of the Church, and that we are His members. For as the vine and its branches are of one nature, therefore, His own nature as God being different from ours, He became man, that in Him human nature might be the vine, and we who also are men might become branches thereof. What mean, then, the words, "I am the true vine"? Was it to the literal vine, from which that metaphor was drawn, that He intended to point them by the addition of "true"? For it is by similitude, and not by any personal propriety, that He is thus called a vine; just as He is also termed a sheep, a lamb, a lion, a rock, a corner-stone, and other names of a like kind, which are themselves rather the true ones, from which these are drawn as similitudes, not as realities. But when He says, "I am the true vine," it is to distinguish Himself, doubtless, from that vine] to which the words are addressed: "How art thou turned into sourness,(1) as a strange vine?"(2) For how could that be a true vine which was expected to bring forth grapes and brought forth thorns?(3)

2. "I am," He says, "the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit, He taketh away; and every one that beareth fruit, He purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit." Are, then, the husbandman and the vine one? Christ is the vine in the same sense as when He said, "The Father is greater than I;"(4) but in that sense wherein He said, "I and my Father are one," He is also the husbandman. And yet not such a one as those, whose whole service is confined to external labor; but such, that He also supplies the increase from within. "For neither is he that planteth anything, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase." But Christ is certainly God, for the Word was God; and so He and the Father are one: and if the Word was made flesh,--that which He was not before,--He nevertheless still remains what He was. And still more, after saying of the Father, as of the husbandman, that He taketh away the fruitless branches, and pruneth the fruitful, that they may bring forth more fruit, He straightway points to Himself as also the purger of the branches, when He says, "Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you." Here, you see, He is also the pruner of the branches--a work which belongs to the husbandman, and not to the vine; and more than that, He maketh the branches His workmen. For although they give not the increase, they afford some help; but not of themselves: "For without me," He says, "ye can do nothing."' And listen, also, to their own confession: "What, then, is Apollos? and what is Paul? but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man. I have planted, Apollos watered." And this, too, "as the Lord gave to every man;" and so not of themselves. In that, however, which follows, "but God gave the increase,"(5) He works not by them, but by Himself; for work like that exceeds the lowly capacity of man, transcends the lofty powers of angels, and rests solely and entirely in the hands of the Triune Husbandman. "Now ye are clean," that is, clean, and yet still further to be cleansed. For, had they not been clean, they could not have borne fruit; and yet every one that beareth fruit is purged by the husbandman, that he may bring forth more fruit. He bears fruit because he is clean; and to bear more, he is cleansed still further. For who in this life is so clean as not to be in need of still further and further cleansing? seeing that, "if we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us; but if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness;" to cleanse in very deed the clean, that is, the fruitful, that they may be so much the more fruitful, as they have been made the cleaner.

3. "Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Why does He not say, Ye are clean through the baptism wherewith ye have been washed, but "through the word which I have spoken unto you," save only that in the water also it is the word that cleanseth? Take away the word, and the water is neither more nor less than water. The word is added to the element, and there results the Sacrament, as if itself also a kind of visible word. For He had said also to the same effect, when washing the disciples' feet, "He that is washed needeth not, save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit."(6) And whence has water so great an efficacy, as in touching the body to cleanse the soul, save by the operation of the word; and that not because it is uttered, but because it is believed? For even in the word itself the passing sound is one thing, the abiding efficacy another. "This is the word of faith which we preach," says the apostle, "that if thou shalt confess with thy mouth that Jesus is the Lord, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shall be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."(7) Accordingly, we read in the Acts of the Apostles, "Purifying their hearts by faith;"(8) and, says the blessed Peter in his epistle, "Even as baptism doth also now save us, not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer(1) of a good conscience." "This is the word of faith which we preach," whereby baptism, doubtless, is also consecrated, in order to its possession of the power to cleanse. For Christ, who is the vine with us, and the husbandman with the Father, "loved the Church, and gave Himself for it." And then read the apostle, and see what he adds: "That He might sanctify it, cleansing it with the washing of water by the word."(2) The cleansing, therefore, would on no account be attributed to the fleeting and perishable element, were it not for that which is added, "by the word." This word of faith possesses such virtue in the Church of God, that through the medium of him who in faith presents, and blesses, and sprinkles it, He cleanseth even the tiny infant, although itself unable as yet with the heart to believe unto righteousness, and to make confession with the mouth unto salvation. All this is done by means of the word, whereof the Lord saith, "Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you."

TRACTATE LXXXI.

CHAPTER XV. 4-7.

1. Jesus called Himself the vine, and His disciples the branches, and His Father the husbandman; whereon we have already discoursed as we were able. But in the present passage, while still speaking of Himself as the vine, and of His branches, or, in other words, of the disciples, He said, "Abide in me, and I in you." They are not in Him in the same kind of way that He is in them. And yet both ways tend to their advantage, and not to His. For the relation of the branches to the vine is such that they contribute nothing to the vine, but from it derive their own means of life; while that of the vine to the branches is such that it supplies their vital nourishment, and receives nothing from them. And so their having Christ abiding in them, and abiding themselves in Christ, are in both respects advantageous, not to Christ, but to the disciples. For when the branch is cut off, another may spring up from the living root; but that which is cut off cannot live apart from the root.

2. And then He proceeds to say: "As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me." A great encomium on grace, my brethren,--one that will instruct the souls of the humble, and stop the mouths of the proud. Let those now answer it, if they dare, who, ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.(1) Let the self-complacent answer it, who think they have no need of God for the performance of good works. Fight they not against such a truth, those men of corrupt mind, reprobate concerning the faith,(2) whose reply is only full of impious talk, when they say: It is of God that we have our existence as men, but it is of ourselves that we are righteous? What is it you say, you who deceive yourselves, and, instead of establishing freewill, cast it headlong down from the heights of its self-elevation through the empty regions of presumption into the depths of an ocean grave? Why, your assertion that man of himself worketh righteousness, that is the height of your self-elation. But the Truth contradicts you, and declares, "The branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine." Away with you now over your giddy precipices, and, without a spot whereon to take your stand, vapor away at your windy talk. These are the empty regions of your presumption. But look well at what is tracking your steps, and, if you have any sense remaining, let your hair stand on end. For whoever imagines that he is bearing fruit of himself is not in the vine, and he that is not in the vine is not in Christ, and he that is not in Christ is not a Christian. Such are the ocean depths into which you have plunged.

3. Ponder again and again what the Truth has still further to say: "I am the vine," He adds, "ye are the branches: he that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without me ye can do nothing." For just to keep any from supposing that the branch can bear at least some little fruit of itself, after saying, "the same bringeth forth much fruit," His next words are not, Without me ye can do but little, but "ye can do nothing." Whether then it be little or much, without Him it is impracticable; for without Him nothing can be done. For although, when the branch beareth little fruit, the husbandman purgeth it that it may bring forth more; yet if it abide not in the vine, and draw its life from the root, it can bear no fruit whatever of itself. And although Christ would not have been the vine had He not been man, yet He could not have supplied such grace to the branches had He not also been God. And just because such grace is so essential to life, that even death itself ceases to be at the disposal of free-will, He adds, "If any one abide not in me, he shall be cast forth as a branch, and wither; and they shall gather him, and cast him into the fire, and he is burned." The wood of the vine, therefore, is in the same proportion the more contemptible if it abide not in the vine, as it is glorious while so abiding; in fine, as the Lord likewise says of them in the prophet Ezekiel, when cut off, they are of no use for any purpose of the husbandman, and can be applied to no labor of the mechanic.(1) The branch is suitable only for one of two things, either the vine or the fire: if it is not in the vine, its place will be in the fire; and that it may escape the latter, may it have its place in the vine.

4. "If ye abide in me," He says, "and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you." For abiding thus in Christ, is there aught they can wish but what will be agreeable to Christ? So abiding in the Saviour, can they wish anything that is inconsistent with salvation? Some things, indeed, we wish because we are in Christ, and other things we desire because still in this world. For at times, in connection with this our present abode, we are inwardly prompted to ask what we know not it would be inexpedient for us to receive. But God forbid that such should be given us if we abide in Christ, who, when we ask, only does what will be for our advantage. Abiding, therefore, ourselves in Him, when His words abide in us we shall ask what we will, and it shall be done unto us. For if we ask, and the doing follows not, what we ask is not connected with our abiding in Him, nor with His words which abide in us, but with that craving and infirmity of the flesh which are not in Him, and have not His words abiding in them. For to His words, at all events, belongs that prayer which He taught, and in which we say, "Our Father, who art in heaven."(2) Let us only not fall away from the words and meaning of this prayer in our petitions, and whatever we ask, it shall be done unto us. For then only may His words be said to abide in us, when we do what He has commanded us, and love what He has promised. But when His words abide only in the memory, and have no place in the life, the branch is not to be accounted as in the vine, because it draws not its life from the root. It is to this distinction that the word of Scripture has respect, "and to those that remember His commandments to do them."(3) For many retain them in their memory only to treat them with contempt, or even to mock at and assail them. It is not in such as have only some kind of contact, but no connection, that the words of Christ abide; and to them, therefore, they will not be a blessing, but a testimony against them; and because they are present in them without abiding in them, they are held fast by them for the very purpose of being judged according to them at last.

TRACTATE LXXXII.

CHAPTER XV. 8-10.

1. The Saviour, in thus speaking to the disciples, commends still more and more the grace whereby we are saved, when He says, "Herein is my Father glorified,(1) that ye bear very much fruit, and be made my disciples." Whether we say glorified, or made bright, both are the rendering given us of one Greek verb, namely doxazein (<greek>doxazein</greek>). For what is doxa (<greek>doxa</greek>) in Greek, is in Latin glory. I have thought it worth while to mention this, because the apostle says, "If Abraham was justified by works, he hath glory. but not before God."(2) For this is the glory before God, whereby God, and not man, is glorified, when he is justified, not by works, but by faith, so that even his doing well is imparted to him by God; just as the branch, as I have stated above,(1) cannot bear fruit of itself. For if herein God the Father is glorified, that we bear much fruit, and be made the disciples of Christ, let us not credit our own glory therewith, as if we had it of ourselves. For of Him is such a grace, and accordingly therein the glory is not ours, but His. Hence also, in another passage, after saying, "Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works;" to keep them from the thought that such good works were of themselves, He immediately added, "and may glorify your Father who is in heaven."(2) For herein is the Father glorified, that we bear much fruit, and be made the disciples of Christ. And by whom are we so made, but by Him whose mercy hath forestalled us? For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works.(3)

2. "As the Father hath loved me," He says, "so have I loved you: continue ye in my love." Here, then, you see, is the source of our good works. For whence should we have them. were it not that faith worketh by love?(4) And how should we love, were it not that we were first loved? With striking clearness is this declared by the same evangelist in his epistle: "We love God because He first loved us."(5) But when He says, "As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you," He indicates no Such equality between our nature and His as there is between Himself and the Father, but the grace whereby the Mediator between God and men is the man Christ Jesus.(6) For He is pointed out as Mediator when He says, "The Father--me, and I--you." For the Father, indeed, also loveth us, but in Him; for herein is the Father glorified, that we bear fruit in the vine, that is, in the Son, and so be made His disciples.

3. "Continue ye," He says, "in my love." How shall we continue? Listen to what follows: "If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love." Love brings about the keeping of His commandments; but does the keeping of His commandments bring about love? Who can doubt that it is love which precedes? For he has no true ground for keeping the commandments who is destitute of love. And so, in saying, "If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love," He shows not the source from which love springs, but the means whereby it is manifested. As if He said, Think not that ye abide in my love if ye keep not my commandments; for it is only if ye have kept them that ye shall abide. In other words, it will thus be made apparent that ye shall abide in my love if ye keep my commandments. So that no one need deceive himself by saying that he loveth Him, if he keepeth not His commandments. For we love Him just in the same measure as we keep His commandments; and the less we keep them, the less we love. And although, when He saith, "Continue ye in my love," it is not apparent what love He spake of; whether the love we bear to Him, or that which He bears to us: yet it is seen at once in the previous clause. For He had there said, "So have I loved you;" and to these words He immediately adds, "Continue ye in my love:" accordingly, it is that love which He bears to us. What, then, do the words mean, "Continue ye in my love," but just, continue ye in my grace? And what do these mean, "If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love," but, hereby shall ye know that ye shall abide in the love which I bear to you, if ye keep my commandments? It is not, then, for the purpose of awakening His love to us that we first keep His commandments; but this, that unless He loves us, we cannot keep His commandments. This is a grace which lies all disclosed to the humble, but is hid from the proud.

4. But what are we to make of that which follows: "Even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in His love"? Here also He certainly intended us to understand that fatherly love wherewith He was loved of the Father. For this was what He has just said, "As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you;" and then to these He added the words, "Continue ye in my love;" in that, doubtless, wherewith I have loved you. Accordingly, when He says also of the Father, "I abide in His love," we are to understand it of that love which was borne Him by the Father. But then, in this case also, is that love which the Father bears to the Son referable to the same grace as that wherewith we are loved of the Son: seeing that we on our part are sons, not by nature, but by grace; while the Only-begotten is so by nature and not by grace? Or is this even in the Son Himself to be referred to His condition as man? Certainly so. For in saying, "As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you," He pointed to the grace that was His as Mediator. For Christ Jesus is the Mediator between God and men, not in respect to His Godhead, but in respect to His manhood.(7) And certainly it is in reference to this His human nature that we read, "And Jesus increased in wisdom and age, and in favor [grace] with God and men."(1) In harmony, therefore, with this, we may rightly say that while human nature belongs not to the nature of God, yet such human nature does by grace belong to the person of the only-begotten Son of God; and that by grace so great, that there is none greater, yea, none that even approaches equality. For there were no merits that preceded that assumption of humanity, but all His merits began with that very assumption. The Son, therefore, abideth in the love wherewith the Father hath loved Him, and so hath kept His commandments. For what are we to think of Him even as man, but that God is His lifter up?(2) for the Word was God, the Only-begotten, co-eternal with Him that begat; but that He might be given to us as Mediator, by grace ineffable, the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.(3)

TRACTATE LXXXIII.

CHAPTER XV. II, 12.

1. You have just heard, beloved, the Lord saying to His disciples, "These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might be in you, and that your joy might be full." And what else is Christ's joy in us, save that He is pleased to rejoice over us? And what is this joy of ours which He says is to be made full, but our having fellowship with Him? On this account He had said to the blessed Peter, "If I wash thee not, thou shall have no part with me."(1) His joy, therefore, in us is the grace He hath bestowed upon us: and that is also our joy. But over it He rejoiced even from eternity, when He chose us before the foundation of the world.(2) Nor can we rightly say that His joy was not full; for God's joy was never at any time imperfect. But that joy of His was not in us: for we, in whom it could be, had as yet no existence; and even when our existence commenced, it began not to be in Him. But in Him it always was, who in the infallible truth of His own foreknowledge rejoiced that we should yet be His own. Accordingly, He had a joy over us that was already full, when He rejoiced in foreknowing and foreordaining us: and as little could there be any fear intermingling in that joy of His, lest there should be any possible failure in what He foreknew would be done by Himself. Nor, when He began to do what He foreknew that He would do, was there any increase to His joy as the expression of His blessedness; otherwise His making of us must have added to His blessedness. Be such a supposition, brethren, far from our thoughts; for the blessedness of God was neither less without us, nor became greater because of us. His joy, therefore, over our salvation, which was always in Him, when He foreknew and foreordained us, began to be in us when He called us; and this joy we properly call our own, as by it we, too, shall yet be blessed: but this joy, as it is ours, increases and advances, and presses onward perseveringly to its own completion. Accordingly, it has its beginning in the faith of the regenerate, and its completion in the reward when they rise again. Such is my opinion of the purport of the words, "These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might be in you, and that your joy might be made full:" that mine "might be in you;" that yours "might be made full." For mine was always full, even before ye were called, when ye were foreknown as those whom I was afterwards to call; but it finds its place in you also, when ye are transformed into that which I have foreknown regarding you. And "that yours may be full:" for ye shall be blessed, what ye are not as yet; just as ye are now created, who had no existence before.

2. "This," He says, "is my injunction, that ye love one another, as I have loved you." Whether we call it injunction or commandment.(3) both are the rendering of the same Greek word, entole (<greek>entolh</greek>). But He had already made this same announcement on a former occasion, when, as ye ought to remember, I repounded it to you to the best of my ability.(4) For this is what He says there, "A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another."(1) And so the repetition of this commandment is its commendation: only that there He said, "A new commandment I give unto you;" and here, "This is my commandment:" there, as if there had been no such commandment before; and here, as if He had no other commandment to give them. But there it is spoken of as "new," to keep us from persevering in our old courses; here, it is called "mine," to keep us from treating it with contempt.

3. But when He said in this way here, "This is my commandment," as if there were none else, what are we to think, my brethren? Is, then, the commandment about that love wherewith we love one another, His only one? Is there not also another that is still greater,--that we should love God? Or has God in very truth given us such a charge about love alone, that we have no need of searching for others? There are three things at least that the apostle commends when he says, "But now abide faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity."(2) And although in charity, that is, in love, are comprehended the two commandments; yet it is here declared to be the greatest only, and not the sole one. Accordingly, what a host of commandments are given us about faith, what a multitude about hope! who is there that could collect them together, or suffice to number them? But let us ponder the words of the same apostle: "Love is the fullness of the law."(3) And so, where there is love, what can be wanting? and where it is not, what is there that can possibly be profitable? The devil believes,(4) but does not love: no one loveth who doth not believe. One may, indeed, hope for pardon who does not love, but he hopes in vain; but no one can despair who loves. Therefore, where there is love, there of necessity will there be faith and hope; and where there is the love of our neighbor, there also of necessity will be the love of God. For he that loveth not God, how loveth he his neighbour as himself, seeing that he loveth not even himself? Such an one is both impious and iniquitous; and he that loveth iniquity, manifestly loveth not, but hateth his own soul.(5) Let us, therefore, be holding fast to this precept of the Lord, to love one another; and then all else that is commanded we shall do, for all else we have contained in this. But this love is distinguished from that which men bear to one another as such; for in order to mark the distinction, it is added, "as I have loved you." And wherefore is it that Christ loveth us, but that we may be fitted to reign with Christ? With this aim, therefore, let us also be loving one another, that we may manifest the difference of our love from that of others, who have no such motive in loving one another, because the love itself is wanting. But those whose mutual love has the possession of God Himself for its object, will truly love one another; and, therefore, even for the very purpose of loving one another, they love God. There is no such love as this in all men; for few have this motive for their love one to another, that God may be all in all.(6)

TRACTATE LXXXIV.

CHAPTER XV. 13.

1. The Lord, beloved brethren, hath defined that fullness of love which we ought to bear to one another, when He said: "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." Inasmuch, then, as He had said before, "This is my commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you;" and appended to these words what you have just been hearing, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends;" there follows from this as a consequence, what this same Evangelist John says in his epistle, "That as Christ laid down His life for us, even so we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren;"(1) loving one another in truth, as He hath loved us, who laid down His life for us. Such also is doubtless the meaning of what we read in the Proverbs of Solomon: "If thou sittest down to supper at the table of a ruler, consider wisely what is set before thee; and so put to thy hand, knowing that thou art bound to make similar preparations."(1) For what is the table of the ruler, but that from which we take the body and blood of Him who laid down His life for us? And what is it to sit thereat, but to approach in humility? And what is it to consider intelligently what is set before thee, but worthily to reflect on the magnitude of the favor? And what is it, so to put to thy hand, as knowing that thou art bound to make similar preparations, but as I have already said, that, as Christ laid down His life for us, so we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren? For as the Apostle Peter also says, "Christ suffered for us, leaving us an example, that we should follow His steps."(2) This is to make similar preparations. This it was that the blessed martyrs did in their burning love; and if we celebrate their memories in no mere empty form, and, in the banquet whereat they themselves were filled to the full, approach the table of the Lord, we must, as they did, be also ourselves making similar preparations. For on these very grounds we do not commemorate them at that table in the same way, as we do others who now rest in peace, as that we should also pray for them, but rather that they should do so for us, that we may cleave to their footsteps; because they have actually attained that fullness of love, than which, our Lord hath told us, there cannot be a greater. For such tokens of love they exhibited for their brethren, as they themselves had equally received at the table of the Lord.

2. But let us not be supposed to have so spoken as if on such grounds we might possibly arrive at an equality with Christ the Lord, if for His sake we have undergone witness-bearing even unto blood. He had power to lay down His life, and to take it again;(3) but we have no power to live as long as we wish; and die we must, however unwilling: He, by dying, straightway slew death in Himself; we, by His death, are delivered from death: His flesh saw no corruption;(4) ours, after corruption, shall in the end of the world be clothed by Him with incorruption: He had no need of us, in order to work out our salvation; we, without Him, can do nothing: He gave Himself as the vine, to us the branches; we, apart from Him, can have no life. Lastly, although brethren die for brethren, yet no martyr's blood is ever shed for the remission of the sins of brethren, as was the case in what He did for us; and in this respect He bestowed not on us aught for imitation, but something for congratulation. In as far, then, as the martyrs have shed their blood for the brethren, so far have they exhibited such tokens of love as they themselves perceived at the table of the Lord. (One might imitate Him in dying, but no one could, in redeeming.)(5) In all else, then, that I have said, although it is out of my power to mention everything, the martyr of Christ is far inferior to Christ Himself. But if any one shall set himself in comparison, I say, not with the power. but with the innocence of Christ, and (I would not say) in thinking that he is healing the sins of others, but at least that he has no sins of his own, even so far is his avidity overstepping the requirements of the method of salvation; it is a matter of considerable moment for him, only he attains not his desire. And well it is that he is admonished in that passage of the Proverbs, which immediately goes on to say, "But if thy greed is too great, be not desirous of his dainties; for it is better that thou take nothing thereof, than that thou shouldst take more than is befitting. For such things," it is added, "have a life of deceit," that is, of hypocrisy. For in asserting his own sinlessness, he cannot prove, but only pretend, that he is righteous. And so it is said," For such have a deceiving life." There is only One who could at once have human flesh and be free from sin. Appropriately are we commanded that which follows; and such a word and proverb is well adapted to human weakness, when it is said, "Lay not thyself out, seeing thou art poor, against him that is rich." For the rich man is Christ, who was never obnoxious to punishment either through hereditary or personal debt and is righteous Himself, and justifies others. Lay not thyself out against Him, thou who art so poor, that thou art manifestly to the eyes of all the daily beggar that thou art in thy prayer for the remission of sins. "But keep thyself," he says, "from thine own counsel" ["cease from thine own wisdom"--E. V.]. From what, but from this delusive presumption? For He, indeed, inasmuch as He is not only man but also God, can never be chargeable with evil. "For if thou turn thine eye upon Him, He will nowhere be visible." "Thine eye," that is, the human eye, wherewith thou distinguishest that which is human; "if thou turn it upon Him, He will nowhere be visible," because He cannot be seen with such organs of sight as are thine. "For He will provide Himself wings like an eagle's, and will depart to the house of His overseer,"(1) from which, at all events, He came to us, and found us not such as He Himself was who came. Let us therefore love one another, even as Christ hath loved us, and given Himself for us.(2) "For greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." And let us be imitating Him in such a spirit of reverential obedience, that we shall never have the boldness to presume on a comparison between Him and ourselves.

TRACTATE LXXXV.

CHAPTER XV. 14, 15.

1. When the Lord Jesus had commended the love which He manifested toward us in dying for us, and had said, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends," He added, "Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you." What great condescension! when one cannot even be a good servant unless he do his lord's commandments; the very means, which only prove men to be good servants, He wished to be those whereby His friends should be known. But the condescension, as I have termed it, is this, that the Lord condescends to call those His friends whom He knows to be His servants. For, to let us know that it is the duty of servants to yield obedience to their master's commands, He actually in another place reproaches those who are servants, by saying, "And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things that I say?"(1) Accordingly, when ye say Lord, prove what you say by doing my commandments. Is it not to the obedient servant that He is yet one day to say, "Well done, thou good servant; because thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord"?(2) One, therefore, who is a good servant, can be both servant and friend.

2. But let us mark what follows. "Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth." How, then are we to understand the good servant to be both servant and friend, when He says, "Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth"? He introduces the name of friend in such a way as to withdraw that of servant; not as if to include both in the one term, but in order that the one should succeed to the place vacated by the other. What does it mean? Is it this, that even in doing the Lord's commandments we shall not be servants? Or this, that then we shall cease to be servants, when we have been good servants? And yet who can contradict the Truth, when He says, "Henceforth I call you not servants?" and shows why He said so: "For the servant," He adds, "knoweth not what his lord doeth." Is it that a good and tried servant is not likewise entrusted by his master with his secrets? What does He mean, then, by saying, "The servant knoweth not what his lord doeth"? Be it that "he knoweth not what he doeth," is he ignorant also of what he commands? For if he were so, how can he serve? Or how is he a servant who does no service? And yet the Lord speaks thus: "Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants." Truly a marvellous statement! Seeing we cannot serve the Lord but by doing His commandments, how is it that in doing so we shall cease to be servants? If I be not a servant in doing His commandments, and yet cannot be in His service unless I so do, then, in my very service, I am no longer a servant.

3. Let us, brethren, let us understand, and may the Lord enable us to understand, and enable us also to do what we understand. And if we know this, we know of a truth what the Lord doeth; for it is only the Lord that so enables us, and by such means only do we attain to His friendship. For just as there are two kinds of fear, which produce two classes of fearers; so there are two kinds of service, which produce two classes of servants. There is a fear, which perfect love casteth out;(1) and there is another fear, which is clean, and endureth for ever.(2) The fear that lies not in love, the apostle pointed to when he said, "For ye have not received the spirit of service again to fear."(3) But he referred to the clean fear when he said, "Be not high-minded, but fear."(4) In that fear which love casteth out, there has also to be cast out the service along with it: for both were joined together by the apostle, that is, the service and the fear, when he said, "For ye have not received the spirit of service again to fear." And it was the servant connected with this kind of service that the Lord also had in His eye when He said, "Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth." Certainly not the servant characterized by the clean fear, to whom it is said, "Well done, thou good servant: enter thou into the joy of thy lord;" but the servant who is characterized by the fear which love casteth out, of whom He elsewhere saith, "The servant abideth not in the house for ever, but the Son abideth ever."(5) Since, therefore, He hath given us power to become the sons of God,(6) let us not be servants, but sons: that, in some wonderful and indescribable but real way, we may as servants have the power not to be servants; servants, indeed, with that clean fear which distinguishes the servant that enters into the joy of his lord, but not servants with the fear that i has to be cast out, and which marketh him that abideth not in the house for ever. But let us bear in mind that it is the Lord that enableth us to serve so as not to be servants. And this it is that is unknown to the servant, who knoweth not what his Lord doeth; and who, when he doeth any good thing, is lifted up as if he did it himself, and not his Lord; and so, glories not in the Lord, but in himself, thereby deceiving himself, because glorying, as if he had not received.(7) But let us, beloved, in order that we may be the friends of the Lord, know what our Lord doeth. For it is He who makes us not only men, but also righteous, and not we ourselves. And who but He is the doer, in leading us to such a knowledge? For "we have received not the spirit of this world, but the Spirit which is of God, that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God."(8) Whatever good there is, is freely given by Him. And so because this also is good, by Him who graciously imparteth all good is this gift of knowing likewise bestowed; that, in respect of all good things whatever, he that glorieth may glory in the Lord.(9) But the words that follow, "But I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you," are so profound, that we must by no means compress them within the limits of the present discourse, but leave them over till another.

TRACTATE LXXXVI.

CHAPTER XV. 15, 16.

1. IT is a worthy subject of inquiry how these words of the Lord are to be understood, "But I have called you friends: for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you." For who is there that dare affirm or believe that any man knoweth all things that the only-begotten Son hath heard of the Father; when there is no one that can comprehend even how He heareth any word of the Father, being as He is Himself the only Word of the Father? Nay more, is it not the case that a little afterwards, in this same discourse, which He delivered to the disciples between the Supper and His passion, He said, "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now"?(1) How, then, are we to understand that He made known unto the disciples all that He had heard of the Father, when there are many things that He saith not, just because He knows that they cannot bear them now? Doubtless what He is yet to do He says that He has done as the same Being who hath made those things which are yet to be.(2) For as He says by the prophet, "They pierced my hands and my feet,"(3) and not, They will yet pierce; but speaking as it were of the past, and yet predicting what Was still in the future: so also in the passage before us He declares that He has made known to the disciples all, that He knows He will yet make known in that fullness of knowledge, whereof the apostle says, "But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away." For in the same place he adds: "Now I know in part, but then shall I know, even as also I am known; and now through a glass in a riddle, but then face to face."(1) For the same apostle also says that we have been saved by the washing of regeneration,(2) and yet declares in another place, "We are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is no hope; for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it."(3) To a similar purpose it is also said by his fellow-apostle Peter, "In whom, though now seeing Him not, ye believe; and in whom, when ye see Him, ye shall rejoice with a joy unspeakable and glorious: receiving the reward of faith, even the salvation of your souls."(4) If, then, it is now the season of faith, and faith's reward is the salvation of our souls; who, in that faith which worketh by love,(5) can doubt that the day must come to an end, and at its close the reward be received; not only the redemption of our body, whereof the Apostle Paul speaketh,(6) but also the salvation of our souls, as we are told by the Apostle Peter? For the felicity springing from both is at this present time, and in the existing state of mortality, a matter rather of hope than of actual possession. But this it concerns us to remember, that our outward man, to wit the body, is still decaying; but the inward, that is, the soul, is being renewed day by day.(7) Accordingly, while we are waiting for the immortality of the flesh and salvation of our souls in the future, yet with the pledge we have received, it may be said that we are saved already; so that knowledge of all things which the Only-begotten hath heard of the Father we are to regard as a matter of hope still lying in the future, although declared by Christ as something He had already imparted.

2. "Ye have not chosen me," He says, "but I have chosen you." Grace such as that is ineffable. For what were we so long as Christ had not yet chosen us, and we were therefore still destitute of love? For he who hath chosen Him, how can he love Him? Were we, think you, in that condition which is sung of in the psalm: "I had rather be an abject in the house of the Lord, than dwell in the tents of wickedness"?(8) Certainly not. What were we then, but sinful and lost? We had not yet come to believe on Him, in order to lead to His choosing us; for if it were those who already believed that He chose, then was He chosen Himself, prior to His choosing. But how could He say, "Ye have not chosen me," save only because His mercy anticipated us?(9) Here surely is at fault the vain reasoning of those who defend the foreknowledge of God in opposition to His grace, and with this view declare that we were chosen before the foundation of the world,(10) because God foreknew that we should be good, but not that He Himself would make us good. So says not He, who declares, "Ye have not chosen me." For had He chosen us on the ground that He foreknew that we should be good, then would He also have foreknown that we would not be the first to make choice of Him. For in no other way could we possibly be good: unless, forsooth, one could be called good who has never made good his choice. What was it then that He chose in those who were not good? For they were not chosen because of their goodness, inasmuch as they could not be good without being chosen. Otherwise grace is no more grace, if we maintain the priority of merit. Such, certainly, is the election of grace, whereof the apostle says: "Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant saved according to the election of grace." To which he adds: "And if by grace, then is it no more of works; otherwise grace is no more grace."(11) Listen, thou ungrateful one, listen: "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you." Not that thou mayest say, I am chosen because I already believed. For if thou wert believing in Him, then hadst thou already chosen Him. But listen: "Ye have not chosen me." Not that thou mayest say, Before I believed I was already doing good works, and therefore was I chosen. For what good work can be prior to faith, when the apostle says, "Whatsoever is not of faith is sin"?(12) What, then, are we to say on hearing such words, "Ye have not chosen me," but that we were evil, and were chosen in order that we might be good through the grace of Him who chose us? For it is not by grace, if merit preceded: but it is of grace: and therefore that grace did not find, but effected the merit.

3. See then, beloved, how it is that He chooseth not the good, but maketh those whom He has chosen good. "I have chosen you," He saith, "and appointed you that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and [that] your fruit should remain." And is not that the fruit, whereof He had already said, "Without me ye can do nothing"?(1) He hath chosen therefore, and appointed that we should go and bring forth fruit; and no fruit, accordingly, had we to induce His choice of us. "That ye should go," He said, "and bring forth fruit." We go to bring forth, and He Himself is the way wherein we go, and wherein He hath appointed us to go. And so His mercy hath anticipated us in all. "And that your fruit," He saith, "should remain; that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, He may give it you." Accordingly let love remain; for He Himself is our fruit. And this love lies at present in longing desire, not yet in fullness of enjoyment; and whatsoever with that longing desire we shall ask in the name of the only-begotten Son, the Father giveth us. But what is not expedient for our salvation to receive, let us not imagine that we ask that in the Saviour's name: but we ask in the name of the Saviour only that which really belongs to the way of salvation.

TRACTATE LXXXVII.

CHAPTER XV. 17-19.

1. IN the Gospel lesson which precedes this one, the Lord had said: "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and appointed you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and [that] your fruit should remain; that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, He may give it you." On these word you remember that we have already discoursed, as the Lord enabled us. But here, that is, in the succeeding lesson which you have heard read, He says: "These things I command you, that ye love one another." And thereby we are to understand that this is our fruit, of which He had said, "I have chosen you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and [that] your fruit should remain." And what He subjoined, "That whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, He may give it you," He will certainly give us if we love one another; seeing that this very thing He has also given us, in choosing us when we had no fruit, because we had chosen Him not; and appointing us that we should bring forth fruit,--that is, that we should love one another,--a fruit that we cannot have apart from Him, just as the branches can do nothing apart from the vine. Our fruit, therefore, is charity, which the apostle explains to be, "Out of a pure heart, and a good conscience, and faith unfeigned."(1) So love we one another, and so love we God. For it would be with no true love that we loved one another, if we loved not God. For every one loves his neighbor as himself if he loves God; and if he loves not God, he loves not himself. For on these two commandments of love hang all the law and the prophets:(2) this is our fruit. And it is in reference, therefore, to such fruit that He gives us commandment when He says, "These things I command you, that ye love one another." In the same way also the Apostle Paul, when wishing to commend the fruit of the Spirit in opposition to the deeds of the flesh, posited this as his principle, saying, "The fruit of the Spirit is love;" and then, as if springing from and bound up in this principle, he wove the others together, which are "joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance."(3) For who can truly rejoice who loves not good as the source of his joy? Who can have true peace, if he have it not with one whom he truly loves? Who can be long-enduring through persevering continuance in good, save through fervent love? Who can be kind, if he love not the person he is aiding? Who can be good, if he is not made so by loving? Who can be sound in the faith, without that faith which worketh by love? Whose meekness can be beneficial in character, if not regulated by love? And who will abstain from that which is debasing, if he love not that which dignifies? Appropriately, therefore, does the good Master so frequently commend love, as the only thing needing to be commended, without which all other good things can be of no avail, and which cannot be possessed without bringing with it those other good things that make a man truly good.

2. But alongside of this love we ought also patiently to endure the hatred of the world. For it must of necessity hate those whom it perceives recoiling from that which is loved by itself. But the Lord supplies us with special consolation from His own case, when, after saying, "These things I command you, that ye love one another," He added, "If the world hate you, know that it hated me before [it hated] you." Why then should the member exalt itself above the head? Thou refusest to be in the body if thou art unwilling to endure the hatred of the world along with the Head. "If ye were of the world," He says, "the world would love its own." He says this, of course, of the whole Church, which, by itself, He frequently also calls by the name of the world: as when it is said, "God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself."(1) And this also: "The Son of man came not to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved."(2) And John says in his epistle: "We have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: and He is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also [for those] of the whole world."(3) The whole world then is the Church, and yet the whole world hateth the Church. The world therefore hateth the world, the hostile that which is reconciled, the condemned that which is saved, the polluted that which is cleansed.

3. But that world which God is in Christ reconciling unto Himself, which is saved by Christ, and has all its sins freely pardoned by Christ, has been chosen out of the world that is hostile, condemned, and defiled. For out of that mass, which has all perished in Adam, are formed the vessels of mercy, whereof that world of reconciliation is composed, that is hated by the world which belongeth to the vessels of wrath that are formed out of the same mass and fitted to destruction.(4) Finally, after saying, "If ye were of the world, the world would love its own," He immediately added, "But because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you." And so these men were themselves also of that world, and, that they might no longer be of it, were chosen out of it, through no merit of their own, for no good works of theirs had preceded; and not by nature, which through free-will had become totally corrupted at its source: but gratuitously, that is, of actual grace. For He who chose the world out of the world, effected for Himself, instead of finding, what He should choose: for "there is a remnant saved according to the election of grace. And if by grace," he adds, "then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace."(5)

4. But if we are asked about the love which is borne to itself by that world of perdition which hateth the world of redemption; we reply, it loveth itself, of course, with a false love, and not with a true. And hence, it loves itself falsely, and hates itself truly. For he that loveth wickedness, hateth his own soul.(6) And yet it is said to love itself, inasmuch as it loves the wickedness that makes it wicked; and, on the other hand, it is said to hate itself, inasmuch as it loves that which causes it injury. It hates, therefore, the true nature that is in it, and loves the vice: it hates what it is, as made by the goodness of God, and loves what has been wrought in it by free-will. And hence also, if we rightly understand it, we are at once forbidden and commanded to love it: thus, we are forbidden, when it is said to us, "Love not the world;"(7) and we are commanded, when it is said to us, "Love your enemies."(8) These constitute the world that hateth us. And therefore we are forbidden to love in it that which it loves in itself; and we are enjoined to love in it what it hates in itself, namely, the workmanship of God, and the various consolations of His goodness. For we are forbidden to love the vice that is in it, and enjoined to love the nature, while it loves the vice in itself, and hates the nature: so that we may both love and hate it in a right manner, whereas it loves and hates itself perversely.

TRACTATE LXXXVIII.

CHAPTER XV. 20, 21.

1. THE Lord, in exhorting His servants to endure with patience the hatred of the world, proposes to them no greater and better example than His own; seeing that, as the Apostle Peter says, "Christ suffered for us, leaving us an example, that we should follow His steps."(1) And if we really do so, we do it by His assistance, who said, "Without me ye can do nothing." But further, to those to whom He had already said, "If the world hate you, know that it hated me before fit hated] you," He now also says in the word you have just been hearing, when the Gospel was read, "Remember my word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord: if they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also." Now in saying, "The servant is not greater than his lord," does He not clearly indicate how He would have us understand what He had said above, "Henceforth I call you not servants"?(2) For, you see, He calleth them servants. For what else can the words imply, "The servant is not greater than his lord: if they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you"? It is clear, therefore, that when it is said, "Henceforth I call you not servants," He is to be understood as speaking of that servant(3) who abideth not in the house for ever,(4) but is characterized by the fear which love casteth out;(5) whereas, when it is here said, "The servant is not greater than his lord: if they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you," that servant is meant who is distinguished by the clean fear which endureth for ever.(6) For this is the servant who is yet to hear, "Well done, thou good servant: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord."(7)

2. "But all these things," He says, "will they do unto you for my name's sake, because they know not Him that sent me." And what are "all these things" that "they will do," but what He has just said, namely, that they will hate and persecute you, and despise your word? For if they kept not their word, and yet neither hated nor persecuted them; or if they even hated, but did not persecute them: it would not be all these things that they did. But "all these things will they do unto you for my name's sake,"--what else is that but to say, they will hate me in you, they will persecute me in you; and your word, just because it is mine, they will not keep? For "all these things will they do unto you for my name's sake:" not for yours, but mine. So much the more miserable, therefore, are those who do such things on account of that name, as those are blessed who suffer such things in its behalf: as He Himself elsewhere saith, "Blessed are they that suffer persecution for righteousness' sake."(8) For that is on my account, or "for my name's sake:" because, as we are taught by the apostle, "He is made of God unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and santification, and redemption; that, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord."(9) For the wicked do such things to the wicked, but not for righteousness' sake; and therefore both are alike miserable, those who do, and those who suffer them. The good also do such things to the wicked: where, although the former do so for righteousness' sake, yet the latter suffer them not on the same behalf.

3. But some one says, If, when the wicked persecute the good for the name of Christ, the good suffer for righteousness' sake, then surely it is for righteousness' sake that the wicked do so to them; and if such is the case, then also, when the good persecute the wicked for righteousness' sake, it is for righteousness' sake likewise that the wicked suffer. For if the wicked can assail the good with persecution for the name of Christ, why cannot the wicked suffer persecution at the hands of the good on the same account; and what is that, hut for righteousness' sake? For if the good act not so on the same account as that on which the wicked suffer, because the good do so for righteousness' sake, while the wicked suffer for unrighteousness, so then neither can the wicked act so on the same account as that for which the good suffer, because the wicked do so by unrighteousness, while the good suffer for righteousness' sake. And how then will that be true, "All these things will they do unto you for my name's sake," when the former do it not for the name of Christ, that is, for righteousness' sake, but because of their own iniquity? Such a question is solved in this way, if only we understand the words.

All these things will they do unto you for my name's sake," as referring entirely to the righteous, as if it had been said, All these things will ye suffer at their hands for my name's sake, so that the words, "they will do unto you," are equivalent to these, Ye will suffer at their hands. But if "for my name's sake" is to be taken as if He had said, For my name's sake which they hate in you, so also may the other be taken for that righteousness' sake which they hate in you; and in this way the good, when they institute persecution against the wicked, may be rightly said to do so both for righteousness' sake, in their love for which they persecute the wicked, and for that wickedness' sake which they hate in the wicked themselves; and so also the wicked may be said to suffer both for the iniquity that is punished in their persons, and for the righteousness which is exercised in their punishment.

4. It may also be inquired, if the wicked also persecute the wicked, just as ungodly princes and judges, while they were the persecutors of the godly, certainly also punished murderers and adulterers, and all classes of evil-doers whom they ascertained to be acting contrary to the public laws, how are we to understand the words of the Lord, "If ye were of the world, the world would love its own"? (ver. 19.) For those whom it punisheth cannot be loved by the world, which, we see, generally punisheth the classes of crimes mentioned above, save only that the world is both in those who punish such crimes, and in those that love them. Therefore that world, which is to be understood as existing in the wicked and ungodly, both hateth its own in respect of that section of men in whose case it inflicts injury on the criminal, and loveth its own in respect of that other section in whose case it shows favor to its own partners in criminality. Hence, "All these things will they do unto you for my name's sake," is said either m reference to that for the sake of which ye suffer, or to that on account of which they themselves so deal with you, because that which is in you they both hate and persecute. And He added, "Because they know not Him that sent me." This is to be understood as spoken of that knowledge of which it is also elsewhere recorded, "But to know Thee is perfect intelligence."(1) For those who with such a knowledge know the Father, by whom Christ was sent, can in no wise persecute those whom Christ is gathering; for they also themselves are being gathered by Christ along with the others.

TRACTATE LXXXIX.

CHAPTER XV. 22, 23.

1. The Lord had said above to His disciples, "If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name's sake, because they know not Him that sent me." And if we inquire of whom He so spake, we find that He was led on to these words from what He had said before, "If the world hate you, know ye that it hated me before lit hated] you;" and now in adding, "If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin," He more expressly pointed to the Jews. Of them, therefore, He also uttered the words that precede, for so does the context itself imply. For it is of the same parties that He said, "If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin;" of whom He also said, "If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also; but all these things will they do unto you for my name's sake, because they know not Him that sent me;" for it is to these words that He also subjoins the following: " If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin." The Jews, therefore, persecuted Christ, as the Gospel very clearly indicates, and Christ spake to the Jews, not to other nations; and it is they, therefore, that He meant to be understood by the world, that hateth Christ and His disciples; and, indeed, not those alone, but even these latter were shown by Him to belong to the same world. What, then, does He mean by the words, "If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin"? Was it that the Jews were without sin before Christ came to them in the flesh? Who, though he were the greatest fool, would say so? But it is some great sin, and not every sin, that He would have to be understood, as it were, under the general designation. For this is the sin wherein all sins are included; and whosoever is free from it, has all his sins forgiven him: and this it is, that they believed not on Christ, who came for the very purpose of enlisting their faith. From this sin, had He not come, they would certainly have been free. His advent has become as much fraught with destruction to unbelievers, as it is with salvation to those that believe; for He, the Head and Prince of the apostles, has Himself, as it were, become what they declared of themselves, "to some, indeed, the savour of life unto life; and to some the savor of death unto death."(1)

2. But when He went on to say, "But now they have no excuse for their sin," some may be moved to inquire whether those to whom Christ neither came nor spake, have an excuse for their sin. For if they have not, why is it said here that these had none, on the very ground that He did come and speak to them? And if they have, have they it to the extent of thereby being barred from punishment, or of receiving it in a milder degree? To these inquiries, with the Lord's help and to the best of my capacity, I reply, that such have an excuse, not for every one of their sins, but for this sin of not believing on Christ, inasmuch as He came not and spake not to them. But it is not in the number of such that those are to be included, to whom He came in the persons of His disciples, and to whom He spake by them, as He also does at present; for by His Church He has come, and by His Church He speaks to the Gentiles. For to this are to be referred the words that He spake, "He that receiveth you, receiveth me;"(2) and, "He that despiseth you, despiseth me."(3) "Or would ye," says the Apostle Paul, "have a proof of Him that speaketh in me, namely Christ."(4)

3. It remains for us to inquire, whether those who, prior to the coming of Christ in His Church to the Gentiles and to their hearing of His Gospel, have been, or are now being, overtaken by the close of this life, can have such an excuse? Evidently they can, but not on that account can they escape damnation. "For as many as have sinned without the law, shall also perish without the law; and as many as have sinned in the law, shall be judged by the law."(5) And these words of the apostle, inasmuch as his saying, "they shall perish," has a more terrible sound than when he says, "they shall be judged," seem to show that such an excuse can not only avail them nothing, but even becomes an additional aggravation. For those that excuse themselves because they did not hear, "shall perish without the law."

4. But it is also a worthy subject of inquiry, whether those who met the words they heard with contempt, and even with opposition, and that not merely by contradicting them, but also by persecuting in their hatred those from whom they heard them, are to be reckoned among those in regard to whom the words, "they shall be judged by the law," convey somewhat of a milder sound. But if it is one thing to perish without the law, and another to be judged by the law; and the former is the heavier, the latter the lighter punishment: such, without a doubt, are not to have their place assigned in that lighter measure of punishment; for, so far from sinning in the law, they utterly refused to accept the law of Christ, and, as far as in them lay, would have had it altogether annihilated. But those that sin in the law, are such as are in the law, that is, who accept it, and confess that it is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good;(6) but fail through infirmity in fulfilling what they cannot doubt is most righteously enjoined therein. These are they in regard to whose fate there may perhaps be some distinction made from the perdition of those who are without the law: and yet if the apostle's words, "they shall be judged by the law," are to be understood as meaning, they shall not perish, what a wonder if it were so For his discourse was not about infidels and believers to lead him to say so, but about Gentiles and Jews, both of whom, certainly, if they find not salvation in that Saviour who came to seek that which was lost,(7) shall doubtless become the prey of perdition; although it may be said that some shall perish in a more terrible, others in a more mitigated sense; in other words, that some shall suffer a heavier, and others a lighter penalty in their perdition. For he is rightly said to perish as regards God, whoever is separated by punishment from that blessedness which He bestows on His saints, and the diversity of punishments is as great as the diversity of sins; but the mode thereof is accounted too deep by divine wisdom for human guessing to scrutinize or express. At all events, those to whom Christ came, and to whom He spake, have not, for their great sin of unbelief, any such excuse as may enable them to say, We saw not, we heard not: whether it be that such an excuse would not be sustained by Him whose judgments are unsearchable, or whether it would, and that, if not for their entire deliverance from damnation, at least for its partial alleviation.

5. "He that hateth me," He says, "hateth my Father also." Here it may be said to us, Who can hate one whom he knows not? And certainly before saying, "If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin," He had said to His disciples, "These things will they do unto you, because they know not Him that sent me." How, then, do they both know not, and hate? For if the notion they have formed of Him is not that which He is in Himself, but some unknown conjecture of their own, then certainly it is not Himself they are found to hate, but that figment which they devise or rather suspect in their error. And yet, were it not that men could hate that which they know not, the Truth would not have asserted both, namely, that they both know not, and hate His Father. But such a possibility, if by the Lord's help we are able to show it, cannot be demonstrated at present, as this discourse must now be brought to a close.

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