HOMILIES OF ST. JOHN CHRYSOSTOM
ARCHBISHOP OF CONSTANTINOPLE
ON THE FIRST EPISTLE OF ST. PAUL THE APOSTLE
TO THE CORINTHIANS
HOMILIES VIII TO XI (1 COR. 3 & 4)

HOMILY VIII.

COR. iii. 1--3.

"And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto Carnal, as unto babes in Christ. I fed you with milk, and not with meat: for ye were not yet able to bear it; nay, not even now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal."

After having overturned the philosophy which is from without, and cast down all its arrogance, he comes unto another argument. For it was likely that they would say, "If we were putting forth the opinions of Plato, or of Pythagoras, or any other of the philosophers, reason were thou shouldest draw out such a long discourse against us. But if we announce the things of the Spirit, for what reason dost thou turn and toss up and down (<greek>anw</greek> <greek>cai</greek> <greek>catw</greek> <greek>strefeis</greek>) the wisdom which is from without?"

Hear then how he makes his stand against this. "And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual." Why, in the first place, says he, though you had been perfect in spiritual things also, not even so ought you to be elated; for what you preach is not your own, nor such as yourselves have found from your own means. But now even these things ye know not as ye ought to know them, but ye are learners, and the last of all. Whether therefore the Gentile wisdom be the occasion of your high imaginations; that hath been proved to be nothing, nay, in regard to spiritual things to be even contrary unto us: or if it be on account of things spiritual, in these, too, ye come short and have your place among the hindmost. Wherefore he saith, "I could not speak unto you as unto spiritual." He said not, "I did not speak," lest the thing might seem to proceed from his grudging them somewhat; but in two ways he brings down their high spirit; first, because they knew not the things that are perfect; next, because their ignorance was owing to themselves: yea, in a third way besides these, by pointing out that "not even now are they able [to bear it]." For as to their want of ability at first, that perhaps arose from the nature of the case. In fact, however, he does not leave them even this excuse. For not through any inability on their part to receive high doctrines, doth he say they received them not, but because they were "carnal." However, in the beginning this was not so blame-worthy; but that after so long a time, they had not yet arrived at the more perfect knowledge, this was a symptom of most utter dulness.

It may be observed, that he brings the same charge against the Hebrews, not however, with so much vehemence. For those, he saith, are such, partly because of tribulation: but these, because of some appetite for wickedness. Now the two things are not the same. He implies too, that in the one case he was intending rebuke, in the other rather stirring them up, when he spake these words of truth. For to these Corinthians he saith, "Neither yet now are ye able;" but unto the others (Heb. vi 1.) "Wherefore let us cease to speak of the first principles of Christ, and press on unto perfection:" and again, (Ib. v. 9.) "we are persuaded better things concerning you, and things which accompany salvation, though we thus speak."

[2.] And how calleth he those "carnal," who had attained so large a measure of the Spirit; and into whose praises, at the beginning he had entered so much at large? Because they also were carnal, unto whom the Lord saith, (St. Matt. vii. 22, 23.) "Depart from Me, ye workers of iniquity, I know you not;" and yet they both cast out devils, and raised the dead, and uttered prophecies. So that it is possible even for one who wrought miracles to be carnal. For so God wrought by Balaam, and unto Pharaoh He revealed things to come, and unto Nebuchadnezzar; and Caiaphas prophesied, not knowing what he said; yea, and some others cast out devils in His name, though they were (Luke ix. 49.) "not with Him;" since not for the doers' sake are these things done, but for others' sake: nor is it seldom, that those who were positively unworthy have been made instrumental to them. Now why wonder, if in the case of unworthy men these things are done for others' sake, seeing that so it is, even when they are wrought by saints? For Paul saith, (1 Cor. iii. 22.) "All things are yours; whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or life, or death:" and again, (Eph. iv. 11, 12) "He gave some Apostles, and some Prophets, and some Pastors and Teachers, for the perfecting of the saints, unto the work of ministering." For if it were not so, there would have been no security against universal corruption. For it may be that rulers are wicked and polluted, and their subjects good and virtuous; that laymen may live in piety, and priests in wickedness; and there could not have been either baptism, or the body of Christ, or oblation, through such, if in every instance grace required merit. But as it is, God uses to work even by unworthy persons, and in no respect is the grace of baptism damaged by the conduct of the priest: else would the receiver suffer loss. Accordingly, though such things happen rarely, still, it must be owned, they do happen. Now these things I say, lest any one of the bystanders busying himself about the life of the priest, should be offended as concerning the things solemnized (<greek>ta</greek> <greek>teloumena</greek>). "For man introduceth nothing into the things which are set before us(1), but the whole is a work of the power of God, and He it is who initiates (<greek>o</greek> <greek>mustagwgwn</greek>) you into the mysteries."

[3.] "And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal. I fed you with milk, and not with meat. For ye were not able [to bear it.]"

For lest he should seem to have spoken ambitiously (<greek>filotimias</greek> <greek>eneca</greek>, to obtain favor) these things which he hath just spoken; "the spiritual man judgeth all things," and, "he himself is judged of no man," and, "we have the mind of Christ;" with a view also to repress their pride: observe what he saith. "Not on this account," saith he, "was I silent, because I was not able to tell you more, but because 'ye are carnal: neither yet now are ye able.' "

Why said he not, "ye are not willing," but "ye are not able?" Even because he put the latter for the former. For as to the want of ability, it arises from the want of will. Which to them indeed is a matter of accusation, but to their teacher, of excuse. For if they had been unable by nature, one might perhaps have been forgiven them but since it was from choice, they were bereft of all excuse. He then speaks of the particular point also which makes them carnal. "For whereas there is among you strife, and jealousy, and division, are ye not carnal and walk as men?" Although he had fornications also and uncleannesses of theirs to speak of, he sets down rather that offence which he had been a good while endeavoring to correct. Now if "jealousy" makes men carnal, it is high time for us to bewail bitterly, and to clothe ourselves with sackcloth and lie in ashes. For who is pure from this passion? Except indeed I am but conjecturing the case of others from myself. If "jealousy" maketh men "carnal," and suffereth them not to be "spiritual," although they prophesy and show forth other wonderful works; now, when not even so much grace is with us, what place shall we find for our own doings; when not in this matter alone, but also in others of greater moment, we are convicted

[4. ] From this place we learn that Christ had good reason for saying, (St. John iii. 20.) "He that doeth evil cometh not to light;" and that unclean life is an obstacle to high doctrines, not suffering the clear-sightedness of the understanding to shew itself. As then it is not in any case possible for a person in error, but living uprightly, to remain in error; so it is not easy for one brought up in iniquity, speedily to look up to the height of the doctrines delivered to us, but he must be clean from all the passions who is to hunt after the truth: for whoso is freed from these shall be freed also from his error and attain unto the truth. For do not, I beseech you, think that abstinence merely from covetousness or fornication may suffice thee for this purpose. Not so. All must concur in him that seeketh the truth. Wherefore saith Peter, (Acts x. 34, 35.) "Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons; but in every nation he that feareth Him, and worketh righteousness, is acceptable to Him:" that is, He calls and attracts him unto the truth. Seest thou not Paul, that he was more vehement than any one in warring and persecuting? yet because he led an irreproachable life, and did these things not through human passion, he was both received, and reached a mark beyond all. But if any one should say, "How doth such a one, a Greek, who is kind, and good, and humane, continue in error?" this would be my answer: He hath some other passion, vainglory, or indolence of mind, or want of carefulness about his own salvation, accounting that all things which concern him are drifted along loosely and at random.(1) Peter calls the man irreproachable in all things one that "worketh righteousness," [and Paul says] "touching the righteousness which is in the law found blameless." Again, "I give thanks to God, whom I serve from my forefathers with a pure conscience," (2 Tim. i. 3.) How then, you will say, were unclean persons considered worthy of the Gospel? Because they wished and longed for it. Thus the one sort, though in error, are attracted by Him, because they are clean from passions; the others, of their own accord approaching, are not thrust back. Many also even from their ancestors have received the true religion.

[5.] Ver. 3. "For whereas there is among you jealousy and strife."

At this point he prepares himself to wrestle with those whose part was obedience: for in what went before he hath been casting down the rulers of the Church, where he said that wisdom of speech is nothing worth. But here he strikes at those in subjection, in the words,

Ver. 4. "For when one saith, I am Paul, and I of Apollos, are ye not carnal?"

And he points out that this, so far from helping them at all or causing them to acquire any thing, had even become an obstacle to their profiting in the greater things. For this it was which brought forth jealousy, and jealousy had made them "carnal;" and the having become "carnal" left them not at liberty to hear truths of the sublimer sort.

Ver. 5. "Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos?"

In this way, after producing and proving his facts, he makes his accusation henceforth more openly. Moreover, he employs his own name, doing away all harshness and not suffering them to be angry at what it is said. For if Paul is nothing and murmur not, much less ought they to think themselves ill used. Two ways, you see, he has of soothing them; first by bringing forward his own person, then by not robbing them of all as if they contributed nothing. Rather he allows them some small portion: small though it be, he does allow it. For having said, "Who is Paul, and who Apollos," he adds, "but ministers by whom ye believed." Now this in itself is a great thing, and deserving of great rewards: although in regard of the archetype and the root of all good, it is nothing. (For not he that "ministers" to our blessings, but he that provides and gives them, he is our Benefactor.) And he said not, "Evangelists," but "Ministers," which is more. For they had not merely preached the Gospel, but had also ministered unto us; the one being a matter of word only, while the other hath deed also. And so, if even Christ be a minister only of good things, and not the root Himself and the fountain, (I mean, of course, in that He is a Son,) observe to what an issue this matter is brought. (<greek>pou</greek> <greek>to</greek> <greek>pragma</greek> <greek>catagetai</greek>. "how deep and high it is made to go.") How then, you will ask, doth he say that He "was made a Minister of Circumcision? (Rom. xv. 8.) He is speaking in that place of His secret dispensation in the Flesh, and not in the same sense which we have now mentioned. For there, by "Minister," he means "Fulfiller," (<greek>plhrwthn</greek>,i.e. of types), and not one that of his own store gives out the blessings.

Further, he said not, "Those who guide you into the Faith," but "those by whom ye believed;" again attributing the greater share to themselves, and indicating by this also the subordinate class of ministers (<greek>tous</greek> <greek>diaconus</greek> <greek>canteuqen</greek> <greek>dhlwn</greek>). Now if they were ministering to another, how come they to seize the authority for themselves? But I would have you consider how in no wise he lays the blame on them as seizing it for themselves, but on those who endow them with it. For the ground-work of the error lay in the multitude; since, had the one fallen away, the other would have been broken up. Here are two points which he has skilfully provided for: in that first he hath prepared, as by mining(<greek>uporuxas</greek>,) in the quarter where it was necessary to overthrow the mischief; and next, on their side, in not attracting ill-will, nor yet making them more contentious.

Ver. 5. "Even as Christ (<greek>o</greek> K<greek>urios</greek>, rec. text.) gave to every man."

For not even this small thing itself was of themselves, but of God, who put it into their hands. For lest they might say, What then? are we not to love those that minister unto us? Yea, saith he; but you should know to what extent. For not even this thing itself is of them, but of God who gave it.

Ver. 6. "I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase."

That is, I first cast the word into the ground; but, in order that the seeds might not wither away through temptations, Apollos added his own part. But the whole was of God.

[6.] Ver. 7. "So then, neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth, but God that giveth the increase."

Do you observe the manner in which he soothes them, so that they should not be too much irritated, on hearing, "Who is this person," and "Who is that?" "Nay, both are invidious, namely, both the saying, 'Who is this person? Who the other,'" and the saying, that "neither he that planteth nor he that watereth is any thing." How then does he soften these expressions? First, By attaching the contempt to his own person, "Who is Paul, and who Apollos?" and next, by referring the whole to God who gave all things. For after he had said, "Such a person planted," and added, "He that planteth is nothing," he subjoined, "but God that giveth the increase." Nor does he stop even here, but applies again another healing clause, in the words.

Ver. 8. "He that planteth and he that watereth, are one."

For by means of this he establishes another point also, viz. that they should not be exalted one against another. His assertion, that they are one, refers to their inability to do any thing without "God that giveth the increase." And thus saying, he permitted not either those who labored much to lift themselves up against those who had contributed less; nor these again to envy the former. In the next place, since this had a tendency to make men more indolent, I mean, all being esteemed as one, whether they have labored much or little; observe how he sets this right, saying, "But each shall receive his own reward according to his own labor." As if he said, "Fear not, because I said, Ye are one; for, compared with the work of God, they are one; howbeit, in regard to labors, they are not so, but "each shall receive his own reward."

Then he smooths it still more, having succeeded in what he wished; and gratifies them, where it is allowed, with liberality.

Ver. 9. For we are God's fellow-workers: "ye are God's husbandry, God's building."

Seest thou how to them also he hath assigned no small work, having before laid it down that the whole is of God? For since he is always persuading them to obey those that have the rule over them, on this account he abstains from making very light of their teachers.

"Ye are God's husbandry."

For because he had said, "I planted," he kept to the metaphor. Now if ye be God's husbandry, it is right that you should be called not from those who cultivate you, but from God. For the field is not called the husbandman's, but the householder's.

"Ye are God's building."

Again, the building is not the workman's, but the master's. Now if ye be a building, ye must not be forced asunder: since this were no building. If ye be a farm, ye must not be divided, but be walled in with a single fence, namely, unanimity.

Ver. 10. "According to the Grace of God which was given unto me, as a wise master-builder I laid a foundation."

In this place he calls himself wise, not exalting himself, but to give them an ensample, and to point out that this is a wise man's part, to lay a foundation. You may observe as one instance of his modest bearing, that in speaking of himself as wise, he allowed not this to stand as though it were something of his own; but first attributing himself entirely unto God, then and not till then calls himself by that name. For, "according to the Grace of God," saith he, "which was given unto me." Thus, at once he signifies both that the whole is of God; and that this most of all is Grace, viz. the not being divided, but resting on One Foundation.

[7.] "Another buildeth thereon; but let each man take heed how he buildeth thereon."

Here, I think, and in what follows, he puts them upon their trial concerning practice, after that he had once for all knit them together and made them one.

Ver. 11. "For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ."

I say, no man can lay it so long as he is a master-builder; but if he lay it, (<greek>tiqh</greek> conj. for <greek>teqh</greek>. Douncoeus ap. Savil. viii. not. p. 261.) he ceases to be a master-builder.

See how even from men's common notions he proves the whole of his proposition. His meaning is this: "I have preached Christ, I have delivered unto you the foundation. Take heed how you build thereon, lest haply it be in vainglory, lest haply so as to draw away the disciples unto men." Let us not then give heed unto the heresies. "For other foundation can no man lay than that which is laid." Upon this then let us build, and as a foundation let us cleave to it, as a branch to a vine; and let there be no interval between us and Christ. For if there be any interval, immediately we perish. For the branch by its adherence draw m the fatness, and the building stands because it is cemented together. Since, if it stand apart it perishes, having nothing whereon to support itself. Let us not then merely keep hold of Christ, but let us be cemented to Him, for if we stand apart, we perish. "For they who withdraw themselves far from Thee, shall perish;" (Ps. lxxiii, 27. Sept.) so it is said. Let us cleave then unto Him, and let us cleave by our works. "For he that keepeth my commandments, the same abideth in Me" (John xiv. 21. in substance.) And accordingly, there are many images whereby He brings us into union. Thus, if you mark it, He is "the Head," we are "the body:" can there be any empty interval between the head and body? He is "a Foundation," we "a building:" He "a Vine," we "branches:" He "the Bridegroom," we "the bride:" He "the Shepherd," we "the sheep;" He is "the Way," we "they who walk therein." Again, we are "a temple," He "the Indweller:" He "the First-Begotten," we "the brethren:" He "the Heir," we "the heirs together with Him:" He "the Life," we "the living:" He "the Resurrection," we "those who rise again:" He "the Light," we "the enlightened." All these things indicate unity; and they allow no void interval, not even the smallest. For he that removes but to a little distance will go on till he has become very far distant. For so the body, receiving though it be but a small cut by a sword, perishes: and the building, though there be but a small chink, falls to decay: and the branch, though it be but a little while cut off from the root, becomes useless. So that this trifle is no trifle, but is even almost the whole. Whensoever then we commit some little fault or even negligence, let us not overlook that little; since this, being disregarded, quickly becomes great. So also when a garment hath begun to be torn and is neglected, it is apt to prolong its rent all throughout; and a roof, when a few tiles have fallen, being disregarded, brings down the whole house.

[8.] These things then let us bear in mind, and never slight the small things, lest we fall into those which are great. But if so be that we have slighted them and are come into the abyss of evils, not even when we are come there let us despond, lest we fall into recklessness (<greek>carhbarian</greek>). For to emerge from thence is hard ever after, for one who is not extremely watchful; not because of the distance alone, but of the very position, too, wherein we find ourselves. For sin also is a deep, and is wont to bear down and crush. And just as those who have fallen into a well cannot with ease get out, but will want others to draw them up; so also is he that is come into any depth of sins. To such then we must lower ropes and draw them up. Nay rather, we need not others only, but ourselves also, that we for our part may fasten on ourselves and ascend, I say not so much as we have descended, but much further, if we be willing: for why? God also helpeth: for He willeth not the death of a sinner so much as his conversion. Let no one then despair; let no one have the feeling of the ungodly; for to them properly belongs this kind of sin: "an ungodly man having come into any depth of evils, makes light of it(1)." So that it is not the multitude of men's sins which causes their despair, but their ungodly mind.

Shouldest thou then have gone all lengths in wickedness, yet say unto thyself, God is loving unto men and he desires our salvation: for "though your sins be as scarlet, I will whiten you as snow," (Is. i. 10. Sept.) saith He; and unto the contrary habit I will change you. Let us not therefore give up in despair; for to fall is not so grievous, as to lie where we have fallen; nor to be wounded so dreadful, as after wounds to refuse healing. "For who shall boast that he has his heart chaste? or who shall say confidently that he is pure from sin?" (Prov. xx. 9. Sept.) These things I say not to make you morenegligent, but to prevent your despairing.

Wouldest thou know how good our Master is? The Publican went up full of ten thousand wickednesses, and saying only, "Be merciful unto me," went down justified. (St. Luke xviii. 13, 14.) Yea, God saith by the prophet, "Because of sin for some little season I grieved him, (Is. lvii. 17, 18. Sept.) and I saw that (<greek>eidon</greek> not in Sept.) he was grieved and went sorrowful, and I healed his ways" (<greek>iasamhn</greek> <greek>auton</greek>, Sept.) What is there equal to this loving-kindness? On condition (<greek>inastugnaoh</greek> . See St. John viii. 56. <greek>ina</greek> <greek>idh</greek> <greek>thn</greek> <greek>hmeran</greek>) of his "being but sorrowful," so he speaks, "I forgave him his sins." But we do not even this: wherefore we especially provoke God to wrath. (For he, who by little things even is made propitious, when He meets not with so much as these, is of course indignant and exacts of us the last penalty; for this comes of exceeding contempt.) Who is there, for instance, that hath ever become melancholy for his sins? Who hath bemoaned himself? Who hath beaten his breast? Who hath taken anxious thought? Not one, to my thinking. But days without number do men weep for dead servants; for the loss of money: while as to the soul which we are ruining day by day, we give it not a thought. How then wilt thou be able to render God propitious, when thou knowest not even that thou hast sinned?

"Yea," saith some one, "I have sinned." "Yea," is thy word to me with the tongue: say it to me with thy mind, and with the word mourn heavily, that thou mayest have continual cheerfulness. Since, if we did grieve for our sins, if we mourned heavily over our offences, nothing else could give us sorrow, this one pang would expel all kinds of dejection. Here then is another thing also which we should gain by our thorough confession; namely, the not being overwhelmed (<greek>baptizesqai</greek>)with the pains of the present life, nor puffed up with its splendors. And in this way, again, we should more entirely propitiate God; just as by our present conduct we provoke Him to anger. For tell me, if thou hast a servant, and he, after suffering much evil at the hands of his fellow-servants, takes no account of any one of the rest, but is only anxious not to provoke his master; is he not able by this alone to do away thine anger? But what, if his offenses against thee are no manner of care to him, while on those against his fellow-servants he is full of thought; wilt thou not lay on him the heavier punishment? So also God doeth: when we neglect His wrath, He brings it upon us more heavily; but when we regard it, more gently. Yea, rather, He lays it on us no more at all. He wills that we should exact vengeance of ourselves for our offences, and thenceforth He doth not exact it Himself. For this is why He at all threatens punishment; that by fear He may destroy contempt; and when the threat alone is sufficient to cause fear in us, He doth not suffer us to undergo the actual trial. See, for instance, what He saith unto Jeremiah, (Jer. vii. 17, 18. Sept. transposing the first and second clauses.) "Seest thou not what they do? Their fathers light a fire, their children gather sticks together, their women knead dough." It is to be feared lest the same kind of thing be said also concerning us. "Seest thou not what they do? No one seeketh the things of Christ, but all their own. Their children run into uncleanness, their fathers into covetousness and rapine, their wives so far from keeping back their husbands from the pomps and vanities of life, do rather sharpen their appetites for them." Just take your stand in the market place; question the comers and goers, and not one wilt thou see hastening upon a spiritual errand, but all running after carnal things. How long ere we awake from our surfeiting?. How long are we to keep sinking down into deep slumber? Have we not had our fill of evils?

[9.] And yet one might think that even without words experience itself is sufficient to teach you the nothingness of things present. and their utter meanness. At all events, there have been men, who, exercising mere heathen wisdom and knowing nothing of the future, because they had proved the great worthlessness of present things, have left them on this account alone. What pardon then canst thou expect to obtain, grovelling on the ground and not despising the little things and transient for the sake of the great and everlasting: who also hearest God Himself declaring and revealing these things unto thee, and hast such promises from Him? For that things here have no sufficient power to detain a man, those have shewn who even without any promise of things greater have kept away from them. For what wealth did they expect that they came to poverty? There was none. But it was from their knowing full well that such poverty is better than wealth. What sort of life did they hope for that they forsook luxury, and gave themselves up unto severe discipline? Not any. But they had become aware of the very nature of things; and perceived that this of the two is more suitable, both for the strict training of the soul, and for the health of the body.

These things then duly estimating, and revolving with ourselves continually the future blessings, let us withdraw from this present world that we may obtain that other which is to come; through the favor and loving kindness of our Lord Jesus Christ, with Whom to the Father and the Holy Ghost &c., &c.

HOMILY IX.

1 COR. iii., 12--15.

"If any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay, stubble; each man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it is revealed in fire; and the fire shall prove each man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he built thereon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as through fire."

THIS is no small subject of enquiry which we propose, but rather about things which are of the first necessity and which all men enquire about; namely, whether hell fire have any end. For that it hath no end Christ indeed declared when he said, "Their fire shall not be quenched, and their worm shall not die. [Mark viii. 44, 46, 48.](3)

Well: I know that a Chill comes over you (<greek>narkate</greek>) on hearing these things; but what am I to do? For this is God's own command, continually to sound these things in your ears, where He says, "Charge this people; (Fors. Exod. xix. 10. 20. <greek>diamarturai</greek>, Sept. here <greek>diasteilai</greek>,) and ordained as we have been unto the ministry of the word, we must give pain to our hearers, not willingly but on compulsion. Nay rather, if you will, we shall avoid giving you pain. For saith He, (Rom. xiii. 3, in substance.) "if thou do that which is good, fear not:" so that it is possible for you to hear me not only without ill-will, but even with pleasure.

As I said then; that it hath no end, Christ has declared. Paul also saith, in pointing out the eternity of the punishment, that the sinners "shall pay the penalty of destruction, and that for ever" (2, Thes. i. 9.) And again, (1 Cor. vi. 9.) "Be not deceived; neither fornicators. nor adulterers, nor effeminate, shall inherit the the kingdom of God." And also unto the Hebrews he saith, (Heb. xii. 14.) "Follow peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no man shall see the Lord." And Christ also, to those who said, "In thy Name we have done many wonderful works," saith, "Depart from Me, I know you not, ye workers of iniquity" (St. Matt. vii. 22.) And the virgins too who were shut out, entered in no more. And also about those who gave Him no food, He saith, (St. Matt. xxv. 46.) "They shall go away into everlasting punishment."

[2.] And say not unto me, "where is the rule of justice preserved entire, if the punishment hath no end?" Rather, when God doeth any thing, obey His decisions and submit not what is said to human reasonings. But moreover, how can it be any thing else than just for one who hath experienced innumerable blessings from the beginning, and then committed deeds worthy of punishment, and neither by threat nor benefit improved at all, to suffer punishment? For if thou enquire what is absolute justice; it was meet that we should have perished immediately from the beginning, according to the definition of strict justice. Rather not even then according to the rule of justice only; for the result would have had in it kindness too, if we had suffered this also. For when any one insults him that hath done him no wrong, according to the rule of justice he suffers punishment: but when it is his benefactor, who, bound by no previous favor, bestowed innumerable kindnesses, who alone is the Author of his being, who is God, who breathed his soul into him, who gave ten thousand gifts of grace, whose will is to take him up into heaven;--when, I say, such an one, after so great blessings, is met by insult, daily insult, in the conduct of the other party; how can that other be thought worthy of pardon? Dost thou not see how He punished Adam for one single sin?

"Yes," you will say; "but He had given him Paradise and caused him to enjoy much favor." Nay, surely it is not all as one, for a man to sin in the enjoyment of security and ease, and in a state of great affliction. In fact, this is the dreadful circumstance that thy sins are the sins of one not in any Paradise but amid the innumerable evils of this life; that thou art not sobered even by affliction, as though one in prison should still practise his crime. However, unto thee He hath promised things yet greater than Paradise. But neither hath He given them now, least He should unnerve thee in the season of conflicts; nor hath He been silent about them, lest He should quite cast thee down with thy labors. As for Adam, he committed but one sin and brought on himself certain death; whereas we commit ten thousand transgressions daily. Now if he by that one act brought on himself so great an evil and introduced death; what shall not we suffer who continually live in sins, and instead of Paradise, have the expectation of heaven?

The argument is irksome and pains the hearer: were it only by my own feelings, I know this. For indeed my heart is troubled and throbs; and the more I see the account of hell confirmed, the more do I tremble and shrink through fear. But it is necessary to say these things lest we fall into hell. What thou didst receive was not paradise, nor trees and plants, but heaven and the good things in the heavens. Now if he that had received less was comdemned, and no consideration exempted him, much more shall we who have sinned more abundantly, and have been called unto greater things, endure the woes without remedy.

Consider, for example, how long a time, but for one single sin, our race abides in death. Five thousand years(1) and more have passed, and death hath not yet been done away, on account of one single sin. And we cannot even say that Adam had heard prophets, that he had seen others punished for sins, and it was meet that he should have been terrified thereby and corrected, were it only by the example. For he was at that time first, and alone; but nevertheless he was punished. But thou canst not have anything of this sort to advance, who after so many examples art become worse; to whom so excellent a Spirit hath been vouch-safed, and yet thou drawest upon thyself not one sin, nor two, nor three, but sins without number! For do not, because the sin is committed in a small moment, calculate that therefore the punishment also must be a matter of a moment. Seest thou not those men, who for a single theft or a single act of adultery, committed in a small moment of time, oftentimes have spent their whole life in prisons, and in mines, struggling with continual hunger and every kind of death? And there was no one to set them at liberty, or to say, "The offence took place in a small moment of time; the punishment too should have its time equivalent to that of the sin."

[3.] But, "They are men," some one will say, "who do these things; as for God, He is loving unto men." Now, first of all, not even men do these things in cruelty, but in humanity. And God Himself, as He is loving unto men," in the same character doth He punish sins. (Sirac. xvi. 12.) "For as His mercy is great, so also is His reproof." When therefore thou sayest unto me, "God is loving unto men," then thou tellest me of so much the greater reason for punishing: namely, our sinning against such a Being. Hence also Paul said, (Heb. x. 31.) "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God." Endure I beseech you, the fiery force of the words, for perhaps--perhaps you will have some consolation from hence! Who among men can punish as God has punished? when He caused a deluge and entire destruction of a race so numerous; and again, when, a little while after, He rained fire from above, and utterly destroyed them all? What punishment from men can be like that? Seest thou not that the punishment even in this world is almost eternal? Four thousand years have passed away, and the punishment of the Sodomites abideth at its height. For as His mercy is great, so also is His punishment.

Again: if He had imposed any burdensome or impossible things, one might perhaps have been able to urge difficulty of the laws: but if they be extremely easy, what can we say for our not regarding even these? Suppose thou art unable to fast or to practice virginity; although thou art able if thou wilt, and they who have been able are a condemnation to us. But, however, God hath not used this strictness towards us; neither hath He enjoined these things nor laid them down as laws, but left the choice to be at the discretion of the hearers. Nevertheless, thou art able to be chaste in marriage; and thou art able to abstain from drunkenness. Art thou unable to empty thyself of all thy goods? Nay surely thou art able; and they who have done so prove it. But nevertheless He hath not enjoined this, but hath commanded not to be rapacious, and of our means to assist those who are in want. But if a man say, I cannot even be content with a wife only, he deceiveth himself and reasoneth falsely; and they condemn him who without a wife lives in chastity. But how, tell me, canst thou help using abusive words? canst thou not help cursing? Why, the doing these things is irksome, not the refraining from them. What excuse then have we for not observing precepts so easy and light? We cannot name any at all. That the punishment then is eternal is plain from all that hath been said.

[4.] But since Paul's saying appears to some to tell the other way, come let us bring it forward also and search it out thoroughly. For having said, "If any man's work abide which he hath built thereon, he shall receive a reward; and if any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss," he adds, "but himself shall be saved, yet so as through fire." What shall we say then to this? Let us consider first what is "the Foundation," and what "the gold," and what "the precious stones," and what "the hay," and what the "stubble."

"The Foundation," then, he hath himself plainly signified to be Christ, saying, "For other foundation can no man lay than that which is laid, which," he saith "is Jesus Christ."

Next, the building seems to me to be actions. Although some maintain that this also is spoken concerning teachers and disciples and concerning corrupt heresies: but the reasoning doth not admit it. For if this be it, in what sense, while "the work is destroyed," is the "builder" to be "saved," though it be "through fire?" Of right, the author ought rather of the two to perish; but now it will be found that the severer penalty is assigned to him who hath been built into the work. For if the teacher was the cause of the wickedness, he is worthy to suffer severer punishment: how then shall he be "saved?" If, on the contrary, he was not the cause but the disciples became such through their own perverseness, he is no whit deserving of punishment, no, nor yet of sustaining loss: he, I say, who builded so well. In what sense then doth he say, "he shall suffer loss?"

From this it is plain that the discourse is about actions. For since he means next in course to put out his strength against the man who had committed fornication, he begins high up and long beforehand to lay down the preliminaries. For he knew how while discussing one subject, in the very discourse about that thing to prepare the grounds of another to which he intends to pass on. For so in his rebuke for not awaiting one another at their meals, he laid the grounds of his discourse concerning the mysteries. And also because now he is hastening on towards the fornicator, while speaking about the "Foundation," he adds, "Know ye not that ye are the Temple of God? and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man destroy (<greek>Fqeirh</greek>, rec. version, "defile.") the Temple of God, him will God destroy." Now these things, he said, as beginning now to agitate with fears the soul of him that had been unchaste.

[5.] Ver. 12. "If any man build upon this foundation, gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay, stubble." For after the faith there is need of edification: and therefore he saith elsewhere, "Edify one another with these words." (perhaps 1 Thess. v. 11; iv. 5.) For both the artificer and the learner contribute to the edifying. Wherefore he saith, "But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereon." (1 Cor. iii. 10.) But if faith had been the subject of these sayings, the thing affirmed is not reasonable. For in the faith all ought to be equal, since "them is but one faith;" (Eph. iv. 5.) but in goodness of life it is not possible that all should be the same. Because the faith is not m one case less, in another more excellent, but the same in all those who truly believe. But in life there is room for some to be more diligent, others more slothful; some stricter, and others more ordinary; that some should have done well in greater things, others in less; that the errors of some should have been more grievous, of others less notable. On this account he saith, "Gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay, stubble,--every man's work shall be made manifest: "--his conduct; that is what he speaks of here:--"If any man's work abide which he built thereupon, he shall receive a reward; if any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss." Whereas, if the saying related to disciples and teachers, he ought not to "suffer loss" for disciples refusing to hear. And therefore he saith, "Every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labor" not according to the result, but according to "the labor." For what if the hearers gave no heed? Wherefore this passage also proves that the saying is about actions.

Now his meaning is this: If any man have an ill life with a right faith, his faith shall not shelter him from punishment, his work being burnt up. The phrase, "shall be burned up," means, "shall not endure the violence of the fire." But just as if a man having golden armor on were to pass through a river of fire, he comes from crossing it all the brighter; but if he were to pass through it with hay, so far from profiling, he destroys himself besides; so also is the case in regard of men's works. For he doth not say this as if he were discoursing of material things being burnt up, but with a view of making their fear more intense, and of shewing how naked of all defence he is who abides in wickedness. Wherefore he said, "He shall suffer loss:" lo, here is one punishment: "but he himself shall be saved, but so as by fire;" lo, again, here is a second. And his meaning is, "He himself shall not perish in the same way as his works, passing into nought, but he shall abide in the tire.(1)

[6.] "He calleth it, however, "Salvation," you will say; why, that is the cause of his adding, "so as by fire:" since we also used to say, "It is preserved in the fire," when we speak of those substances which do not immediately burn up and become ashes. For do not at sound of the word fire imagine that those who are burning pass into annihilation. And though he call such punishment Salvation, be not astonished. For his custom is in things which have an ill sound to use fair expressions, and in good things the contrary. For example, the word "Captivity" seems to be the name of an evil thing, but Paul has applied it in a good sense, when he says, "Bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ."(2 Cor. x. 5.) And again, to an evil thing he hath applied a good word, saying, "Sin reigned," (Rom. v. 21.) here surely the term "reigning" is rather of auspicious sound. And so here in saying, "he shall be saved," he hath but darkly hinted at the intensity of the penalty: as if he had said, "But himself shall remain forever in punishment." He then makes an inference, saying,

[7.] Ver. 16. "Know ye not that ye are the Temple of God?" For since he had discoursed in the section before, concerning those who were dividing the Church, he thenceforward attacks him also who had been guilty of uncleanness; not indeed as yet in plain terms but in a general way; hinting at his corrupt mode of life and enhancing the sin, by the Gift which had been already given to him. Then also he puts all the rest to shame, arguing from these very blessings which they had already: for this is what he is ever doing, either from the future or from the past, whether grievous or encouraging. First, from things future; "For the day shall declare it, because it is revealed by fire." Again, from things already come to pass; "Know ye not that ye are the Temple of God, and the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?"

Ver. 17. "If any man destroy the Temple of God, him will God destroy." Dost thou mark the sweeping vehemence of his words? However, so long as the person is unknown, what is spoken is not so invidious, all dividing among themselves the fear of rebuke.

"Him will God destroy," that is, will cause him to perish. And this is not the word of one denouncing a curse, but of one that prophesieth.

"For the Temple of God is holy:" but he that hath committed fornication is profane.

Then, in order that he might not seem to spend his earnestness upon that one, in saying, "for the Temple of God is holy," he addeth, "which ye are."

[8.] Ver. 18. "Let no man deceive himself." This also is in reference to that person, as thinking himself to be somewhat and flattering himself on wisdom. But that he might not seem to press on him at great length in a mere digression; he first throws him into a kind of agony and delivers him over unto fear, and then brings back his discourse to the common fault, saying, "If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may become (<greek>genhtai</greek>. rec. vers. "be.") wise." And this(1) he doth afterwards with great boldness of speech, as having sufficiently beaten them downs, and shaken with that fear the mind not of that unclean person only, but of all the hearers also: so accurately does he measure the reach of what he has to say. For what if a man be rich, what if he be noble; he is viler than all the vile, when made captive by sin. For as if a man were a king and enslaved to barbarians, he is of all men most Wretched, so also is it in regard to sin: since sin is a barbarian, and the soul which hath been once taken captive she knoweth not how to spare, but plays the tyrant to the ruin of all those who admit her.

[9.] For nothing is so inconsiderate as sin: nothing so senseless, so utterly foolish and outrageous. All is overturned and confounded and destroyed by it, wheresoever it may alight. Unsightly to behold, disgusting and grievous. And should a painter draw her picture(3), he would not, methinks, err in fashioning her after this sort. A woman with the form of a beast, savage, breathing flames, hideous, black; such as the heathen poets depict their Scyllas. For with ten thousand hands she lays hold of our thoughts, and comes on unexpected, and tears everything in pieces, like those dogs that bite slily.

But rather, what need of the painter's art, when we should rather bring forward those who are made after sin's likeness?

Whom then will ye that we should portray first? The covetous and rapacious? And what more shameless than those eyes? What more immodest, more like a greedy dog? For no dog keeps his ground with such shameless impudence as he when he is grasping at all men's goods. What more polluted than those hands? What more audacious than that mouth, swallowing all down and not satisfied? Nay, look not on the countenance and the eyes as being a a man's. For such looks belong not to the eyes of men. He seeth not men as men; he seeth not the heaven as heaven. He does not even lift up his head unto the Lord; but all is money in his account. The eyes of men are wont to look upon poor persons in affliction, and to be softened; but these of the rapacious man, at sight of the poor, glare like wild beasts'. The eyes of men do not behold other men's goods as if they were their own, but rather their own as others; and they covet not the things given to others, but rather exhaust upon others their own means: but these are not content unless they take all men's property. For it is not a man's eye which they have, but a wild beast's. The eyes of men endure not to see their own body stripped of clothing, (for it is their own, though in person it belong to others,) but these, unless they strip every one and lodge all men's property in their own home, are never cloyed; yea rather they never have enough. Insomuch that one might say that their hands are not wild beasts' only, but even far more savage and cruel than these. For bears and wolves when they are satiated leave off their kind of eating: but these know not any satiety. And yet for this cause God made us hands, to assist others, not to plot against them. And if we were to use them for that purpose, better had they been cut off and we left without them. But thou, if a wild beast rend a sheep, art grieved; but when doing the same unto one of thine own flesh and blood, thinkest thou that thy deed is nothing atrocious? How then canst thou be a man? Seest thou not that we call a thing humane, when it is full of mercy and loving-kindness? But when a man doth any thing cruel or savage, inhuman is the title we give to such a one. You see then that the stamp of man as we portray him is his showing mercy; of a beast the contrary; according to constant saying, "Why, is a man a wild beast, or a dog?" (vid. 2 Kings viii. 13.) For men relieve poverty; they do not aggravate it. Again these men's mouths are the mouths of wild beasts; yea rather these are the fiercer of the two. For the words also, which they utter, emit poison, more than the wild beasts' teeth, working slaughter. And if one were to go through all particulars, one should then see clearly how inhumanity turns those who practise it from men into beasts.

[10.] But were he to search out the mind also of that sort of people, he would no longer call them beasts only, but demons. For first, they are full of great cruelty and of hatred against their "fellow-servant: (St. Mat. xviii. 33.) and neither is love of the kingdom there, nor fear of hell; no reverence for men, no pity, no Sympathy: but shamelessness and audacity, and contempt of all things to come. And unto them the words of God concerning punishment seem to be a fable, and His threats mirth. For such is the mind of the covetous man. Since then within they are demons, and without, wild beasts; yea, worse than wild beasts; where are we to place such as they are? For that they are worse even than wild beasts, is plain from this. The beasts are such as they are by nature: but these, endowed by nature with gentleness, forcibly strive against nature to train themselves to that which is savage. The demons too have the plotters among men to help them, to such an extent that if they had no such aid, the greater part of their wiles against us would be done away: but these, when such as they have spitefully entreated are vying with them, still try to be more spiteful then they. Again, the devil wages war with man, not with the demons of his own kind: but he of whom we speak is urgent in all ways to do harm to his own kindred and family, and doth not even reverence nature.

I know that many hate us because of these words; but I feel no hatred towards them; rather I pity and bewail those who are so disposed. Even should they choose to strike, I would gladly endure it, if they would but abstain from this their savage mind. For not I alone, but the prophet also with me, banisheth all such from the family of men saying, (Ps. xlix. 20. Sept. <greek>tois</greek> <greek>anohtois</greek>) "Man being in honor hath no understanding, but is like unto the senseless beasts."

Let us then become men at last, and let us look up unto heaven; and that which is according to His image, (Colos. iii. 10.) let us receive and recover: that we may obtain also the blessings to come through the grace and loving-kindness of our Lord Jesus Christ, with Whom to the Father and the Holy Spirit be glory, power, honor, now and always, and unto everlasting ages. Amen.

HOMILY X.

1 COR. iii. 18, 19.

"Let no man deceive himself. If any man (<greek>en</greek> <greek>umin</greek> omitted.) thinketh that he is wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God."

AS I said before, having launched out before the proper time into accusation of the fornicator, and having half opened it obscurely in a few words, and made the man's conscience to quail, he hastens again to the battle with heathen wisdom, and to his accusations of those who were puffed up there-with, and who were dividing the Church: in order that having added what remained and completed the whole topic with accuracy, he might thenceforth suffer his tongue to be carried away with vehement impulse against the unclean person, having had but a preliminary skirmishing with him in what he had said before. For this, "Let no man deceive himself," is the expression of one aiming chiefly at him and quelling him beforehand by fear: and the saying about the "stubble," suits best with one hinting at him. And so does the phrase, "Know ye not that ye are the Temple of God, and the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?" For these two things are most apt to withdraw us from sin; when we have in mind the punishment appointed for the sin; and when we reckon up the amount of our true dignity. By bringing forward then "the hay" and "the stubble, "he terrifies; but by speaking of the dignity of that noble birth which was theirs, he puts them to shame; by the former striving to amend the more insensible kind, by the latter the more considerate.

[2.] "Let no man deceive himself; if any man thinketh that he is wise in this world, let him become a fool."

As he bids one become, as it were, dead unto the world;--and this deadness harms not at all, but rather profits, being made a cause of life:--so also he bids him become foolish unto this world, introducing to us hereby the true wisdom. Now he becomes a fool unto the world, who slights the wisdom from without, and is persuaded that it contributes nothing towards his comprehension of the faith. As then that poverty which is according to God is the cause of wealth, and lowliness, of exaltation, and to despise glory is the cause of glory; so also the becoming a fool maketh a man wiser than all. For all, with us, goes by contraries.

Further: why said he not, "Let him put off wisdom," but, "Let him become a fool?" That he might most exceedingly disparage the heathen instruction. For it was not the same thing to say, "Lay aside thy wisdom," and, "become a fool." And besides, he is also training people not to be ashamed at the want of refinement among us; for he quite laughs to scorn all heathen things. And for the same sort of reason he shrinks not from the names, trusting as he does to the power of the things [which he speaks of].

Wherefore, as the Cross, though counted ignominious, became the author of innumerable blessings, and the foundation and root of glory unspeakable; so also that which was accounted to be foolishness became unto us the cause of wisdom. For as he who hath learned anything ill, unless he put away the whole, and make his soul level and clear, and so offer it to him who is to write on it, will know no wholesome truth for certain; so also in regard of the wisdom from without. Unless thou turn out the whole and sweep thy mind clear, and like one that is ignorant yield up thyself unto the faith, thou wilt know accurately nothing excellent. For so those also who see imperfectly if they will not shut their eyes and commit themselves unto others, but will be trusting their own matters to their own faulty eyesight, they will commit many more mistakes than those who see not.

But how, you will say, are men to put off this wisdom? By not acting on its precepts.

[3.] Then, seeing that he bade men so urgently withdraw themselves from it, he adds the cause, saying, "For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God." For not only it contributes nothing, but it even hinders. We must then withdraw ourselves from it, as doing harm. Dost thou mark with what a high hand he carries off the spoils of victory, having proved that so far from profiting us at all, it is even an opponent?

And he is not content with his own arguments, but he has also adduced testimony again, saying, "For it is written, (Job v. 13.) He taketh the wise in their own craftiness." By "craftiness," i. e. by their own arms getting the better of them. For seeing that they made use of their wisdom to the doing away of all need of God, by it and no other thing He refuted them, shewing that they were specially in need of God. How and by what method? Because having by it become fools, by it, as was meet, they were taken. For they who supposed that they needed not God, were reduced to so great a strait as to appear inferior to fishermen and unlettered persons; and from that time forth to be unable to do without them. Wherefore he saith, "In their own craftiness" He took them. For the saying "I will destroy their wisdom," was spoken in regard to its introducing nothing useful; but this, "who taketh the wise in their own craftiness, with a view of shewing the power of God."

Next, he declares also the mode in which God took them, adding another testimony:

Ver. 20. "For the Lord," saith he, "knoweth the reasonings of men (Ps. xciv. 11. <greek>anqrwpwn</greek> Sept.) that they are vain." Now when the Wisdom which is boundless pronounces this edict concerning them, and declares them to be such, what other proof dost thou seek of their extreme folly? Formen's judgments, it is true, in many instances fail; but the decree of God is unexceptionable and uncorrupt in every case.

[4.] Thus having set up so splendid a trophy of the judgment from on high, he employs in what follows a certain vehemence of style, turning it against those who were under his ministry, (<greek>arkomenous</greek>) and speaking thus:

Ver. 21. "Wherefore let no man glory in men; for all things are yours." He comes again to the former topic, pointing out that not even for their spiritual things ought they to be highminded, as having nothing of themselves. "Since then the wisdom from without is hurtful, and the spiritual gifts were not given by you, what hast thou wherein to boast?" And in regard to the wisdom from without, "Let no man deceive himself," saith he, because they were conceited about a thing which in truth did more harm than good. But here, inasmuch as the thing spoken of was really advantageous, "Let no man glory." And he orders his speech more gently: "for all things are yours."

Ver. 22. "Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come, all are yours; and ye are Christ's and Christ is God's." For because he had handled them sharply, he refreshes them again. And as above he had said, (1. Cor. iii. 9.) "We are fellow-workers with God;" and by many other expressions had soothed them: so here too he saith, "All things are yours; taking down the pride of the teachers, and signifying that so far from bestowing any favor on them, they themselves ought to be grateful to the others. Since for their sake they were made such as they were, yea, moreover, had received grace. But seeing that these also were sure to boast, on this account he cuts out beforehand this disease too, saying, "As God gave to every man," (Supr. vi. 5. 6.) and, "God gave the increase:" to the end that neither the one party might be puffed up as bestowers of good; nor the others, on their hearing a second time, "All things are yours," be again elated. "For, indeed, though it were for your sakes, yet the whole was God's doing." And I wish you to observe how he hath kept on throughout, making suppositions in his own name and that of Peter.

But what is, "or death?" That even though they die, for your sakes they die, encountering dangers for your salvation. Dost thou mark how he again takes down the high spirit of the disciples, and raises the spirit of the teachers? In fact, he talks with them as with children of high birth, who have preceptors, and who are to be heirs of all.

We may say also, in another sense, that both the death of Adam was for our sakes, that we might be corrected; and the death of Christ, that we might be saved.

"And ye are Christ's; and Christ is God's." In one sense "we are Christ's, and in another sense "Christ is God's," and in a third sense is "the world ours." For we indeed are Christ's, as his work: "Christ is God's, as a genuine Offspring, not as a work: in which sense neither is the world ours. So that though the saying is the same, yet the meaning is different. For "the world is ours," as being a thing made for our sakes: but "Christ is God's," as having Him the Author of his being, in that He is Father. And "we are Christ's," as having been formed by Him. Now "if they are yours," saith he, "why have ye done what is just contrary to this, in calling yourselves after their name, and not after Christ, and God?"

[5.] C. iv. ver. 1. "Let a man so account of us, as of ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God." After he had cast down their spirit, mark how again he refreshes it, saying, "as ministers of Christ." Do not thou then, letting go the Master, receive a name from the servants and ministers. "Stewards;" saith he, indicating that we ought not to give these things unto all, but unto whom it is due, and to whom it is fitting we should minister.

Ver. 2. "Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful:" that is, that he do not appropriate to himself his master's goods, that he do not as a master lay claim for himself but administer as a steward. For a steward's part is to administer well the things committed to his charge: not to say that his master's things are his own; but, on the contrary, that his own are his master's. Let every one think on these things, both he that hath power in speech and he that possesses wealth, namely, that he hath been entrusted with a master's goods and that they are not his own; let him not keep them with himself, nor set them down to his own account; but let him impute them unto God who gave them all. Wouldest thou see faithful stewards? Hear what saith Peter, "Why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or godliness we had made this man to walk?" (Acts iii. 12.) Unto(1) Cornelius also he saith, "We also are men of like passions with you:" and unto Christ Himself, "Lo, we have left all, and followed Thee." (St. Matt. xix. 27.) And Paul, no less, when he had said, "I labored more abundantly than they all," (I Cor. xv. 10.) added, "yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me." Elsewhere also, setting himself strongly against the same persons, he said, "For what hast thou which thou didst not receive?" (C. iv. 7.) "For thou hast nothing of thine own, neither wealth, nor speech, nor life itself; for this also is surely the Lord's. Wherefore, when necessity calls, do thou lay down this also. But if thou dostest on life, and being ordered to lay it down refusest, thou art no longer a faithful steward."

"And how is it possible, when God calls, to resist?" Well, that is just what I say too: and on this account do I chiefly admire the loving-kindness of God, that the things which He is able, even against thy will, to take from thee, these He willeth not to be paid in (<greek>eisenekqhnai</greek>) by thee unwillingly, that thou mayest have a reward besides. For instance, He can take away life without thy consent; but His will is to do so with thy consent, that thou mayest say with Paul, "I die daily," (1 Cor. xv. 31.) He can take away thy glory without thy consent, and bring thee low: but He will have it from thee with thine own goodwill, that thou mayest have a recompense. He can make thee poor, though unwilling, but He will have thee willingly become such, that He may weave crowns for thee. Seest thou God's mercy to man? Seest thou our own brutish stupidity?

What if thou art come to great dignity, and hast at any time obtained some office of Church government? Be not high-minded. Thou hast not acquired the glory, but God hath put it on thee. As if it were another's, therefore, use it sparingly; neither abusing it nor using it upon unsuitable things, nor puffed up, nor appropriating it unto thyself; but esteem thyself to be poor and inglorious. For never,--hadst thou been entrusted with a king's purple to keep,--never would it have become thee to abuse the robe and spoil it, but with the more exactness to keep it for the giver. Is utterance given thee? Be not puffed up; be not arrogant; for the gracious gift is not thine. Be not grudging about thy Master's good, but distribute them among thy fellow-servants; and neither be thou elated with these things as if they were thine own, nor be sparing as to the distribution of them. Again, if thou hast children, they are God's which thou hast. If such be thy thought, thou wilt both be thankful for having them, and if bereft thou wilt not take it hard. Such was Job when he said, (Job i. 21.) "The Lord gave, the Lord hath taken away."

For we have all things from Christ. Both existence itself we have through Him, and life, and breath, and light, and air, and earth. And if He were to exclude us from any one of these, we are lost and undone. For (1 S. Pet. ii. xx.) "we are sojourners and pilgrims" And all this about "mine," and "thine," is bare words only, and doth not stand for things. For if thou do but say the house is thine, it is a word without a reality: since the very air, earth, matter, are the Creator's; and so art thou too thyself, who hast framed it; and all other things also. But supposing the use to be thine, even this is uncertain, not on account of death alone, but also before death, because of the instability of things.

[6.] These things then continually picturing to ourselves, let us lead strict lives; and we shall gain two of the greatest advantages. For first, we shall be thankful both when we have and when we are bereaved; and we shall not be enslaved to things which are fleeting by, and things not our own. For whether it be wealth that He taketh, He hath taken but His own; or honor, or glory, or the body, or the life itself: be it that He taketh away thy son, it is not thy son that He hath taken, but His own servant. For thou formedst him not, but He made him. Thou didst but minister to his appearing; the whole was God's own work. Let us give thanks therefore that we have been counted worthy to be His ministers in this matter. But what? Wouldest thou have had him for ever? This again proves thee grudging, and ignorant that it was another's child which thou hadst, and not thine own. As therefore those who part resignedly are but aware that they have what was not theirs; so whoever gives way to grief is in fact counting the King's property his own. For, if we are not our own, how can they be ours? I say, we: for in two ways we are His, both on account of our creation, and also on account of the faith. Wherefore David saith, "My substance is with Thee:" (Ps. xxxix. 7. <greek>upostasis</greek> Sept. "hope" rec. vers. of. ver. 6; Ps. cxxxix. 14.) and Paul too, "For in Him we live and move and have our being:" (Acts xvii. 28.) and plying the argument about the faith, he says, (1 Cor. vi. 19, 20.) "Ye are not your own," and "ye were bought with a price." For all things are God's. When then He calls and chooses to take, let us not, like grudging servants, fly from the reckoning, nor purloin our Master's goods. Thy soul is not thine; and how can thy wealth be thine? How is it then that thou spendest on what is unnecessary the things which are not thine? Knowest thou not that for this we are soon to be put on our trial, that is, if we have used them badly? But seeing that they are not our's but our Master's, it were right to expend them upon our fellow-servants. It is worth considering that the omission of this was the charge brought against that rich man: and against those also who had not given food to the Lord. (St. Luke xvi. 21. St. Matt. xxv. 42.)

[7.] Say not then, "I am but spending mine own, and of mine own I live delicately." It is not of thine own, but of other men's. Other men's, I say, because such is thine own choice: for God's will is that those things should be thine, which have been entrusted unto thee on behalf of thy brethren. Now the things which are not thine own become thine, if thou spend them upon others: but if thou spend on thyself unsparingly, thine own things become no longer thine. For since thou usest them cruelly, and sayest, "That my own things should be altogether spent on my own enjoyment is fair:" therefore I call them not thine own. For they are common to thee and thy fellow-servants; just as the sun is common, the air, the earth, and all the rest. For as in the case of the body, each ministration belongs both to the whole body and to each several member; but when it is applied to one single member only, it destroys the proper function of that very member: so also it comes to pass in the case of wealth. And that what I say may be made plainer; the food of the body which is given in common to the members, should it pass into one member, even to that it turns out alien in the end. For when it cannot be digested nor afford nourishment, even to that part, I say, it turns out alien. But if it be made common, both that part and all the rest have it as their own.

So also in regard of wealth. If you enjoy it alone, you too have lost it: for you will not reap its reward. But if you possess it jointly with the rest, then will it be more your own, and then will you reap the benefit of it. Seest thou not that the hands minister, and the mouth softens, and the stomach receives? Doth the stomach say, Since I have received, I ought to keep it all? Then do not thou I pray, in regard to riches, use this language. For it belongs to the receiver to impart. As then it is a vice in the stomach to retain the food and not to distribute it, (for it is injurious to the whole body,) so it is a vice in those that are rich to keep to themselves what they have. For this destroys both themselves and others. Again, the eye receives all the light: but it doth not itself alone retain it, but enlightens the entire body. For it is not its nature to keep it to itself, so long as it is an eye. Again, the nostrils are sensible of perfume; but they do not keep it all to themselves, but transmit it to the brain, and affect the stomach with a sweet savor, and by their means refresh the entire man. The feet alone walk; but they move not away themselves only, but transfer also the whole body. In like manner do thou, whatsoever thou hast been entrusted withal, keep it not to thyself alone, since thou art doing harm to the whole and to thyself more than all.

And not in the case of the limbs only may one see this occuring: for the smith also, if he chose to impart of his craft to no one, ruins both himself and all other crafts. Likewise the cordwainer, the husbandman, the baker, and everyone of those who pursue any necessary calling; if he chose not to communicate to anyone of the results of his art, will ruin not the others only but himself also with them.

And why do I say, "the rich?" For the poor too, if they followed after the wickedness of you who are covetous and rich, would injure you very greatly and soon make you poor; yea rather, they would quite destroy you, were they in your want unwilling to impart of their own: the tiller of the ground, (for instance,) of the labor of his hands; the sailor, of the gain from his voyages; the soldier, of his distinction won in the wars.

Wherefore if nothing else can, yet let this at least put you to shame, and do you imitate their benevolence. Dost thou impart none of thy wealth unto any? Then shouldest thou not receive any thing from another: in which case, the world will be turned upside down. For in every thing to give and receive is the principle of numerous blessings: in seeds, in scholars, in arts. For if any one desire tO keep his art to himself, he subverts both himself and the whole course of things. And the husbandman, if he bury and keep the seeds in his house, will bring about a grievous famine. So also the rich man, if he act thus in regard of his wealth, will destroy himself before the poor, heaping up the fire of hell more grievous upon his own head.

[8.] Therefore as teachers, however many scholars they have, impart some of their lore unto each; so let thy possession be, many to whom thou hast done good. And let all say, "such an one he freed from poverty, such an one from dangers. Such an one would have perished, had he not, next to the grace of God, enjoyed thy patronage. This man's disease thou didst cure, another thou didst rid of false accusation, another being a stranger you took in, another being naked you clothed." Wealth inexhaustible and many treasures are not so good as such sayings. They draw all men's gaze more powerfully than your golden vestments, and horses, and slaves. For these make a man appear even odious: (<greek>forticon</greek>, a conj. of Saville's for <greek>fortica</greek>) they cause him to be hated as a common foe; but the former proclaim him as a common father and benefactor. And, what is greatest of all, Favor from God waits on thee in every part of thy proceedings. What I mean is, let one man say, He helped to portion out my daughter: another, And he afforded my son the means of taking his station among men: (<greek>eis</greek> <greek>andras</greek> <greek>emfanhnai</greek>) another, He made my calamity to cease: another, He delivered me from dangers. Better than golden crowns are words such as these, that a man should have in his city innumerable persons to proclaim his beneficence. Voices such as these are pleasanter far, and sweeter than the voices of the heralds marching before the archons; to be called saviour, benefactor, defender, (the very names of God;) and not, covetous, proud, insatiate, and mean. Let us not, I beseech you, let us not have a fancy for any of these titles, but the contrary. For if these, spoken on earth, make one so splendid and illustrious; when they are written in heaven, and God proclaims them on the day that shall come, think what renown, what splendor thou shalt enjoy! Which may it be the lot of us all to obtain, through the grace and loving-kindness of our Lord Jesus Christ; with Whom unto the Father and the Holy Spirit, be glory, power, honor, now and always and unto everlasting ages. Amen.

HOMILY XI.

1 COR. iv. 3, 4.

"But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man's judgment: yea I judge not mine own self. For I know nothing against myself, yet am I not hereby justified: but He that judgeth me is the Lord."

TOGETHER with all other ills, I know not how, there hath come upon man's nature the disease of restless prying and of unseasonable curiosity, which Christ Himself chastised, saying, (S. Matt. vii, 1.) "Judge not, that ye be not judged." A kind of thing, which hath no pleasure as all other sins have, but only punishment and vengeance. For though we are ourselves full of ten thousand evils, and bearing the "beams" in our own eyes, we become exact inquisitors of the offences of our neighbor which are not at all bigger than "motes." And so this matter at Corinth was failing out. Religious men and dear to God were ridiculed and cast out for their want Of learning; while others, brimful of evils innumerable, were classed highly because of their fluent speech. Then like persons sitting in public to try causes, these were the sort of votes they kept rashly passing: "such an one is worthy: such an one is better than such another; this man is inferior to that; that, better than this." And, leaving off to mourn for their own bad ways, they were become judges of others; and in this way again were kindling grievous warfare.

Mark then, how wisely Paul corrects them, doing away with this disease. For since he had said, "Moreover, it is required in stewards that a man be found faithful," and it seemed as if he were giving them an opening to judge and pry into each man's life, and this was aggravating the party feeling; lest such should be the effect on them, he draws them away from that kind of petty disputation, saying, "With me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you;" again in his own person carrying on the discourse.

[2.] But what means, "With me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you or of man's day?" (<greek>hmeras</greek>) "I judge myself unworthy," saith he, "of being judged by you." And why say I, "by you?" I will add, "by (<greek>cai</greek> <greek>to</greek> [<greek>tou</greek>]) any one else." Howbeit, let no one condemn Paul of arrogance; though he saith that no man is worthy to pass sentence concerning him. For first, he saith these things not for his own sake, but wishing to rescue others from the odium which they had incurred from the Corinthians. And in the next place, he limits not the matter to the Corinthians merely, but himself also he deposes from this right of judging; saying, that to decree such things was a matter beyond his decision. At least he adds, "I judge not mine own self."

But besides what has been said, we must search out the ground upon which these expressions were uttered. For he knew well in many cases how to speak with high spirit: and that, not of pride or arrogance, but of a certain excellent management [<greek>oiconomias</greek> <greek>arisths</greek>] seeing that in the present case also he saith this, not as lifting up himself, but as taking down other men's sails, and earnestly seeking to invest the saints with due honor. For in proof that he was one of the very humble, hear what he saith, bringing forward the testimony of his enemies on this point; "His bodily presence is weak, and his speech of no account; (2 Cor. x. 10.) and again, "Last of all, as to one born out of due time, He appeared unto me also." (2 Cor. xv. 8.) But notwithstanding, see this lowly man, when the time called on him, to what a pitch he raises the spirit of the disciples, not teaching pride but instilling a wholesome courage. For with these same discoursing he saith, "And if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? 1 Cor. vi. 2. For as the Christian ought to be far removed from arrogance, so also from flattery and a mean spirit. Thus, if any one says, "I count money as nothing, but all things here are to me as a shadow, and a dream, and child's play;" we are not at all to charge him as arrogant; since in this way we shall have to accuse Solomon himself of arrogance, for speaking austerely (<greek>filosofounta</greek>) on these things, saying "Vanity of vanities (Eccles. i. 2.) all is vanity." But God forbid that we should call the strict rule of life by the name of arrogance. Wherefore to despise these things is not haughtiness, but greatness of soul; albeit we see kings, and rulers, and potentates, making much of them. But many a poor man, leading a strict life despises them; and we are not therefore to call him arrogant but highminded: just as, on the other hand, if any be extremely addicted to them, we do not call him lowly of heart and moderate, but weak, and poor spirited, and ignoble. For so, should a son despise the pursuits which become his father and affect slavish ways, we should not commend him as lowly of heart, but as base and servile we should reproach him. What we should admire in him would be, his despising those meaner things and making much account of what came to him from his father. For this is arrogance, to think one's self better than one's fellow-servants: but to pass the true sentence on things cometh not of boasting, but of strictness of life.

On this account Paul also, not to exalt himself, but to humble others, and to keep down those who were rising up out of their places, and to persuade them to be modest, said, "With me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you or of man's day." Observe how he soothes the other party also. For whosoever is told that he looks down on all alike, and deigns not to be judged of any one, will not thenceforth any more feel pain, as though himself were the only one excluded. For if he had said, "Of you," only, and so held his peace; this were enough to gall them as if treated contemptuously. But now, by introducing, "nor yet of man's day," he brought alleviation to the blow; giving them partners in the contempt. Nay, he even softens this point again, saying, "not even do I judge myself." Mark the expression, how entirely free from arrogance: in that not even he himself, he saith, is capable of so great exactness.

[3.] Then because this saying also seemed to be that of one extolling himself greatly, this too he corrects, saying, "Yet am I not hereby justified." What then? Ought we not to judge ourselves and our own misdeeds? Yes surely: there is great need to do this when we sin. But Paul said not this, "For I know nothing," saith he, "against myself." What misdeed then was he to judge, when he "knew nothing against himself?' Yet, saith he, "he was not justified." (1 Cor. vi. 3.) We then who have our conscience filled with ten thousand wounds, and are conscious to ourselves of nothing good, but quite the contrary; what can we say?

And how could it be, if he knew nothing against himself that he was not justified? Because it was possible for him to have committed certain sins, not however, knowing that they were sins. From this make thine estimate how great shall be the strictness of the future judgment. It is not, you see, as considering himself unblameable that he saith it is so unmeet for him to be judged by them, but to stop the mouths of those who were doing so unreasonably. At least in another place, even though men's sins be notorious, he permits not judgment unto others, because the occasion required it. "For why dost thou judge thy brother," saith he, (Rom. xiv. 10.) or, "thou, why dost thou set at nought thy brother?" For thou wert not enjoined, O man, to judge others, but to test thine own doings. Why then dost thou seize upon the office of the Lord? Judgment is His, not thine.

To which effect, he adds, "Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come; who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and make manifest the counsels of the hearts, and then shall each man have his praise from God." What then? Is it not right that our teachers should do this? It is right in the case of open and confessed sins, and that with fitting opportunity, and even then with pain and inward vexation: not as these were acting at that time, of vain-glory and arrogance. For neither in this instance is he speaking of those sins which all own to be such, but about preferring one before another, and making comparisons of modes of life. For these things He alone knows how to judge with accuracy, who is to judge our secret doings, which of these be worthy of greater and which of less punishment and honor. But we do all this according to what meets our eye. "For if in mine own errors," saith he, "I know nothing clearly, how can I be worthy to pass sentence on other men? And how shall I who know not my own case with accuracy, be able to judge the state of others?" Now if Paul felt this, much more we. For (to proceed) he spake these things, not to exhibit himself as faultless, but to shew that even should there be among them some such person, free from transgression, not even he would be worthy to judge the lives of others: and that if he, though conscious to himself of nothing declare himself guilty, much more they who have ten thousand sins to be conscious of in themselves.

[4.] Having thus, you see, stopped the mouths of those who pass such sentences, he travails next with strong feeling ready to break out and come upon the unclean person. And like as when a storm is coming on, some clouds fraught with darkness run before it; afterwards, when the crash of the thunders ariseth and works the whole heavens into one black cloud, then all at once the rain bursts down upon the earth: so also did it then happen. For though he might in deep indignation have dealt with the fornicator, he doth not so; but with fearful words he first represses the swelling pride of the man, since in truth, what had occurred was a twofold sin, fornication, and, that which is worse than fornication, the not grieving over the sin committed. For not so much does he bewail the sin, as him that committed it and did not as yet repent. Thus, "I shall bewail many of those," saith he, not simply "who have sinned heretofore," but he adds, "who have not repented of the uncleanness and impurity which they wrought." (2 Cor. xii. 21.) For he who after sinning hath practised repentance, is a worthy object not of grief but of gratulations, having passed over into the choir of the righteous. For, (Is. xliii, 26.) "declare thou thine iniquities first, that thou mayest be justified:" but if after sinning one is void of shame, he is not so much to be pitied for falling as for lying where he is fallen.

Now if it be a grievous fault not to repent after sins; to be puffed up because of sins, what sort of punishment doth it deserve? For if he who is elate for his good deeds is unclean, what pardon shall he meet with who has that feeling with regard to his sins?

Since then the fornicator was of this sort, and had rendered his mind so headstrong and unyielding through his sin, he of course begins by casting down his pride. And he neither puts the charge first, for fear of making him hardened, as singled out for accusation before the rest; nor yet later, lest he should suppose that what related to him was but incidental. But, having first excited great alarm in him by his plain speaking towards others, then, and not till then, he goes on to him, in the course of his rebuke to others giving the man's wilfulness a share beforehand.

For these same words, viz. "I know nothing against myself, yet am I not hereby justified," and this, "He that judgeth me is the Lord, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and make manifest the counsels of the hearts," glance not lightly both upon that person, and upon such as act in concert with him and despise the saints. "For what," saith he, "if any outwardly appear to be virtuous and admirable persons? He, the Judge, is not a discerner of externals only, but also brings to light all secrets."

[5.] On two accounts you see, or rather on three, correct judgement belongs not to us. One, because, though we be conscious to ourselves of nothing, still we need one to reprove our sins with strictness. Another, because the most part of the things which are done escape us and are concealed. And for a third besides these, because many things which are done by others seem to us indeed fair, but they come not of a right mind. Why say ye then, that no sin hath been committed by this or that person? That such an one is better than such another? Seeing that this we are not to pronounce, not even concerning him who knows nothing against himself. For He who discerns secrets, He it is who with certainty judges. Behold, for example; I for my part know nothing against myself: yet neither so am I justified, that is, I am not quit of accounts to be given, nor of charges to be answered. For he doth not say this, "I rank not among the righteous;" but "I am not pure from sin." For elsewhere he saith also, (Rom. vi. 7, <greek>dedicaiwtai</greek>, <greek>toutestin</greek> <greek>aphllactai</greek>.) "He that hath died is justified from sin," that is, "is liberated."

Again, many things we do, good indeed, but not of a right mind. For so we commend many, not from a wish to render them conspicuous, but to wound others by means of them. And the thing done indeed is right for the well-doer is praised; but the intention is corrupt: for it is done of a satanical purpose. For this one hath often done, not rejoicing with his brother, but desiring to wound the other party.

Again, a man hath committed a great error; some other person, wishing to supplant him, says that he hath done nothing, and comforts him forsooth in his error by recurring to the common frailty of nature. But oftentimes he doth this from no mind to sympathize, but to make him more easy in his faults.

Again, a man rebukes oftentimes not so much to reprove and admonish, as publicly to (<greek>ecpompeusai</greek> <greek>cai</greek> <greek>ectragwdhsai</greek>) display and exaggerate his neighbor' s sin. Our counsels however themselves men do not know; but, (Rom. viii, 27.) "He that searcheth the hearts," knows them perfectly; and He will bring all such things into view at that time. Wherefore he saith, "Who will bring to light the secret things of darkness and make manifest the counsels of the hearts."

[6.] Seeing then that not even where we "know nothing against ourselves," can we be clean from accusations, and where we do any thing good, but do it not of a right mind, we are liable to punishment; consider how vastly men are deceived in their judgments. For all these matters are not be come at by men, but by the unsleeping Eye alone: and though we may deceive men, our sophistry will never avail against Him. Say not then, darkness is around me and walls; who seeth me? For He who by Himself formed our hearts, Himself knoweth all things. (Ps. cxxxix, 12.) "For darkness is no darkness with Him." And yet he who is committing sin, well saith, "Darkness is around me and walls;" for were there not a darkness in his mind he would not have cast out the fear of God and acted as he pleased. For unless the ruling principle be first darkened, the entrance of sin without fear is a thing impossible. Say not then, who seeth me? For there is that (Heb. iv, 12.) "pierceth even unto soul and spirit, joints and marrow;" but thou seest not thyself nor canst thou pierce the cloud; but as if thou hadst a wall on all sides surrounding thee, thou art without power to look up unto the heaven.

For whatsoever sin thou wilt, first let us examine, and thou shalt see that so it is engendered. For as robbers and they who dig through walls when they desire to carry off any valuable thing, put out the candle and then do their work; so also doth men's perverse reasoning in the case of those who are committing sin. Since in us also surely there is a light, the light of reason, ever burning. But if the spirit of wickedness coming eagerly on with its strong blast quench that flame, it straightway darkens the soul and prevails against it, and despoils it straightway of all that is laid up therein. For when by unclean desire the soul is made captive, even as a cloud and mist the eyes of the body, so that desire intercepts the foresight of the mind, and suffers it to see nothing at any distance, either precipice, or hell, or fear; but thenceforth, having that deceit as a tyrant over him, he comes to be easily vanquished by sin; and there is raised up before his eyes as it were a wall without windows, which suffers not the ray of righteousness to shine in upon the mind, the absurd conceits of lust enclosing it as with a rampart on all sides. And from that time forward the unchaste woman is everywhere meeting him: standing present before his eyes, before his mind, before his thoughts. And as the blind, although they stand at high noon beneath the very central point of the heaven, receive not the light, their eyes being fast dosed up; just so these also, though ten thousand doctrines of salvation sound in their ears from all quarters, having their soul preoccupied with this passion stop their ears against such discourses. And they know it well who have made the trial. But God forbid that you should know it from actual experience.

[7.] And not only this sin hath these effects, but every misplaced affection as well. For let us transfer, if you please, the argument from the unchaste woman unto money, and we shall see here also thick and unbroken darkness. For in the former case, inasmuch as the beloved object is one and shut up in one place, the feeling is not so violent; but in the case of money which sheweth itself every where, in silversmiths' shops, in taverns, in foundries for gold, in the houses of the wealthy, the passion blows a vehement gale. For when servants swaggering in the market place, horses with golden trappings, men decked with costly garments, are seen with desire by him who has that distemper, the darkness becomes intense which envelopes him. And why speak of houses and silversmiths' shops? for my part I think that such persons, though it be but in a picture and image that they see the wealth, are convulsed, and grow wild, and rave. So that from all quarters the darkness gathers around them. And if they chance to behold a portraiture of a King, they admire not the beauty of the precious stones, nor yet the gold, nor the purple robe, but they pine away. And as the wretched lover before mentioned, though he see but the image of the woman beloved, cleaveth unto the lifeless thing; so this man also, beholding a lifeless image of wealth, is more strongly affected in the same way, as being holden of a more tyrannical passion. And he must henceforth either abide at home, or if he venture into the Forum, return home with innumerable hurts. For many are the objects which grieve his eyes. And just as the former seeth nothing else save the woman, even so the latter hastens by poor persons, and all things else, that he may not obtain so much as a slight alleviation. But upon the wealthy he steadily fixeth his eyes; by the sight of them introducing the fire into his own soul mightily and vehemently. For it is a fire that miserably devours the person that falls into it; and if no hell were threatened nor yet punishment, this condition were itself punishment; to be continually tormented and never able to find an end to the malady.

[8.] Well: these things alone might suffice to recommend our fleeing from this distemper. But there is no greater evil than inconsideration which causes men to be rivetted unto things that bring sorrow of heart and no advantage. Wherefore I exhort that you cut off the passion at its beginning: for just as a fever on its first attack, does not violently burn up the patients with thirst, but on its increase and the heightening of its fire causes from that time incurable thirst; and though one should let them fill themselves full of drink, it puts not out the furnace but makes it burn fiercer: so also it happens in regard to this passion; unless when it first invadeth our soul we stop it and shut the doors; having got in, from that time it makes the disease of those who have admitted it incurable. For so both good things and bad, the longer they abide in us, the more powerful they become.

And in all other things too, any one may see that this cometh to pass. For so a plant but lately set in the ground is easily pulled up; but no more so when rooted for a long time; it then requires great strength in the lever. And a building newly put together is easily thrown down by those who push against it; but once well fixed, it gives great trouble to those who attempt to pull it down. And a wild beast that hath made his accustomed haunt in certain places for a long time is with difficulty driven away.

Those therefore who are not yet possessed by the passion in question, I exhort not to be taken captive. For it is more easy to guard against falling into it, than having fallen to get away.

[9.] But unto those who are seized by it and broken down, if they will consent to put themselves into the hands of the WORD of healing, I promise large hope of salvation, by the Grace of God. For if they will consider those who have suffered and fallen into that distemper and have recovered, they will have good hopes respecting the removal of the disease. Who then ever fell into this disease, and was easily rid of it? That welt-known Zacchaeus. For who could be more fond of money than a publican? But all at once he became a man of strict life, (<greek>Filosofos</greek>) and put out all that blaze. Matthew in like manner: for he too was a publican, living in continual rapine. But he likewise all at once stripped himself of the mischief, and quenched his thirst, and followed after spiritual gain. Considering therefore these, and the like to them, despair not even thou. For if thou wilt, quickly thou shalt be able to recover. And if you please, according to the rule of physicians, we will prescribe accurately what thou shouldest do.

It is necessary then, before all other things, to be right in this, that we never despond, nor despair of our salvation. Next, we must look not only upon the examples of those who have done well, but also upon the sufferings of those who have persisted in sin. For as we have considered Zacchaeus, and Matthew, even so ought we also to take account of Judas, and Gehazi, and Ahar, [perhaps Achan, Josh. vii.] and Ahab, and Ananias, and Sapphira, in order that by the one, we may cast out all despair, and by the other cut off all indolence; and that the soul become not reckless of the remedies suggested. And let us teach them of themselves to say what the Jews said on that day, approaching unto Peter, (Acts ii, 37, cf. xvi, 30.) "What must we do to be saved?" And let them hear what they must do.

[10.] What then must we do? We must know how worthless the things in question are, and that wealth is a run-away slave, and heartless, and encompasseth its possessors with ills innumerable. And such words, like charms, let us sound in their ears continually. And as physicians soothe their patients when they ask for cold water, by saying that they will give it, making excuses about the spring, and the vessel, and the fit time, and many more such, (for should they refuse at once, they make them wild with phrensy,) so let us also act towards the lovers of money. When they say we desire to be rich, let us not say immediately that wealth is an evil thing; but let us assent, and say that we also desire it; but in due time; yea, true wealth; yea, that which hath undying pleasure: yea, that which is gathered for thyself, and not for others, and those often our enemies. And let us produce the lessons of true wisdom, and say, we forbid not riches, but ill-gotten riches. For it is lawful to be rich, but without covetousness, without rapine and violence, and an ill report from all men. With these arguments let us first smooth them down, and not as yet discourse of hell. For the sick man endures not yet such sayings. Wherefore let us go to this world for all our arguments upon these matters; and say, "Why is it thy choice to be rich through covetousness? That the gold and the silver may be laid up. for others, but for thee, curses and accusations innumerable? That he whom you have defrauded may be stung by want of the very necessaries of life, and bewail himself, and draw down upon thee the censure of thousands; and may go at fall of evening about the market place, encountering every one in the alleys, and in utter perplexity, and not knowing what to trust to even for that one night? For how is he to sleep after all, with pangs of the belly, restless famine besetting him, and that often while it is freezing, and the rain coming down on him? And while thou, having washed, returnest home from the bath, in a glow with soft raiment, merry of heart and rejoicing, and hastening unto a banquet prepared and costly: he, driven every where about the market place by cold and hunger, takes his round, stooping low and stretching out his hands; nor hath he even spirit without trembling to make his suit for his necessary food to one so full fed and so bent on taking his ease; nay, often he has to retire with insult. When therefore thou hast returned home, when thou liest down on thy couch, when the lights round thine house shine bright, when the table is prepared and plentiful, at that time call to rememberance that poor miserable man wandering about, like the dogs in the alleys, in darkness and in mire; except indeed when, as is often the case, he has to depart thence, not unto house, nor wife, nor bed, but unto a pallet of straw; even as we see the dogs baying all through the night. And thou, if thou seest but a little drop failing from the roof, throwest the whole house into confusion, calling thy slaves and disturbing every thing: while he, laid in rags, and straw, and dirt, has to bear all the cold.

What wild beast would not be softened by these things? Who is there so savage and inhuman that these things should not make him mild? and yet there are some who are arrived at such a pitch of cruelty as even to say that they deserve what they suffer. Yea, when they ought to pity, and weep, and help to alleviate men's calamities, they on the contrary visit them with savage and inhuman censures. Of these I should be glad to ask, Tell me, why do they deserve what they suffer? Is it because they would be fed and not starve?

No, you will reply; but because they would be fed in idleness. And thou, dost not thou wanton in idleness? What say I? Art thou not oft-times toiling in an occupation more grievous than any idleness, grasping, and oppressing, and coveting? Better were it if thou too wert idle after this sort; for it is better to be idle in this way, than to be covetous. But now thou even tramplest on the calamities of others, not only idling, not only pursuing an occupation worse than idleness, but also maligning those who spend their days in misery.

And let us farther narrate to them the disasters of others; the untimely bereavements, the dwellers in prison, those who are torn to pieces before tribunals, those who are trembling for life; the unlooked for widowhood of women; the sudden reverse of the rich: and with this let us soften their minds. For by our narrations concerning others, we shall induce them by all means to fear these evils in their own case too. For when they hear that the son of such an one who was a covetous and grasping man, or (<greek>h</greek> <greek>tou</greek> <greek>deinos</greek> instead of <greek>hn</greek>; <greek>tou</greek> <greek>deinos</greek>) the wife of such an one who did many tyrannical actions, after the death of her husband endured afflictions without end; the injured persons setting upon the wife and the children, and a general war being raised from all quarters against his house; although a man be the most senseless of beings, yet expecting himself also to suffer the same, and fearing for his own lest they undergo the same fate, he will become more moderate. Now we find life full of many such histories, and we shall not be at a loss for correctives of this kind.

But when we speak these things, let us not speak them as giving advice or counsel, test our discourse become too irksome: but as in the order of the narrative and by association with something else, let us proceed in each case unto that kind of conversation, and let us be constantly putting them upon stories of the kind, permitting them to speak of no subject except these which follow: How such an one's splendid and famous mansion fell down; How it is so entirely desolate that all things that were in it have come into the hands of others; How many trials have taken place daily about this same property, what a stir; How many of that man's relations (<greek>oicetai</greek>, probably <greek>oiceioi</greek>) have died either beggars, or inhabitants of a prison.

All these things let us speak as in pity for the deceased, and as depreciating things present; in order that by fear and by pity we may soften the cruel mind. And when we see men shrinking into themselves at these narrations, then and not till then let us introduce to their notice also the doctrine of hell, not as terrifying these, but in compassion for others. And let us say, But why speak of things present? For far, indeed, will our concern be from ending with these; a yet more grievous punishment will await all such persons: even a river of fire, and a poisonous worm, and darkness interminable, and undying tortures. If with such addresses we succeed in throwing a spell over them, we shall correct both ourselves and them, and quickly get the better of our infirmity.

And on that day we shall have God to praise us: as also Paul saith, "And then shall each man have praise from God." For that which cometh from men, is both fleeting, and sometimes it proceeds from no good intentions. But that which cometh from God both abideth continually, and shines out clearly. For when He who knew all things before their creation, and who is free from all passion, gives praise, then also the demonstration of our virtue is even unquestionable.

Knowing these things therefore, let us act so as to be praised of God, and to acquire the greatest blessings; which God grant us all to obtain, through the grace and loving-kindness of our Lord Jesus Christ, with Whom to the Father and the Holy Spirit be glory, power, honor, now and always, and unto all the ages of eternity. Amen.

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