HOMILIES OF ST. JOHN CHRYSOSTOM
ARCHBISHOP OF CONSTANTINOPLE
ON THE FIRST EPISTLE OF
ST. PAUL THE APOSTLE
TO THE CORINTHIANS
HOMILIES XXII TO XXV (1 COR. 9 & 10)

HOMILY XXII

1 COR. ix. 13, 14.

"Know ye not that they which minister about sacred things eat of the temple? and they which wait upon the altar have their portion with the altar? Even so did the Lord ordain that they which proclaim the Gospel should live of the Gospel."

He takes great care to show that the receiving was not forbidden. Whereupon having said so much before, he was not content but proceeds also to the Law, furnishing an example closer to the point than the former. For it was not the same thing to bring forward the oxen and to adduce the law expressly given concerning priests.

But consider, I pray, in this also the wisdom of Paul, how he mentions the matter in a way to give it dignity. For he did not say, "They which minister about sacred things receive of those who offer them." But what? "They eat of the temple:" so that neither they who receive may be blamed nor they who give may be lifted up. Wherefore also what follows he hath set down in the same way.

For neither did he say, "They which wait upon the altar receive of them which sacrifice," but, "have their portion with the altar." For the things offered now no longer belonged to those who offered them, but to the temple and the altar. And he said not, "They receive the holy things," but, they "eat of the temple," indicating again their moderation, and that it behoves them not to make money nor to be rich. And though he say that they have their portion "with the altar," he doth not speak of equal distribution but of relief given them as their due. And yet the case of the Apostles was much stronger. For in the former instance the priesthood was an honor, but in the latter it was dangers and slaughters and violent deaths. Wherefore all the other examples together did not come up to the saying, "If we sowed unto you spiritual things:" since in saying, "we sowed," he points out the storms, the danger, the snares, the unspeakable evils, which they endured in preaching. Nevertheless, though the superiority was so great, he was unwilling either to abase the things of the old law or to exalt the things which belong to himself: nay he even contracts his own, reckoning the superiority not from the dangers, but from the greatness of the gift. For he said not, "if we have jeoparded ourselves" or "exposed ourselves to snares" but "if we sowed unto you spiritual things.

And the part of the priests, as far as possible, he exalts, saying, "They which minister about sacred things," and "they that wait upon the altar," thereby intending to point out their continual servitude and patience. Again, as he had spoken of the priests among the Jews, viz. both the Levites and the Chief Priests, so he hath expressed each of the orders, both the inferior and the superior; the one by saying, "they which minister about sacred things," and the other by saying, "they which wait upon the altar." For not to all was one work commanded; but some were entrusted with the coarser, others with the more exalted offices. Comprehending therefore all these, lest any should say, "why talk to us of the old law? knowest thou not that ours is the time of more perfect commandments?" after all those topics he placed that which is strongest of all, saying,

Ver. 14. "Even so did the Lord ordain that they who proclaim the Gospel should live of the Gospel."

Nor doth he even here say that they are supported by men, but as in the case of the priests, of "the temple" and "of the altar," so likewise here, "of the Gospel;" and as there he saith, "eat," so here, "live," not make merchandize nor lay up treasures. "For the laborer," saith He, "is worthy of his hire."

[2.] Ver. 15. "But I have used none of these things:"

What then if thou hast not used them now, saith one, but intendest to use them at a future time, and on this account sayest these things. Far from it; for he speedily corrected the notion, thus saying;

"And I write not these things that it may be so done in my case."

And see with what vehemence he disavows and repels the thing:

"For it were good for me rather to die, than that any man should make my glorying void."

And not once nor twice, but many times he uses this expression. For above he said, "We did not use this right:" and after this again, "that I abuse not my right:" and here, "but I have used none of these things." "These things;" what things? The many examples.(1) That is to say, many things giving me license; the soldier, the husbandman, the shepherd, the Apostles, the law, the things done by us unto you, the things done by you unto the others, the priests, the ordinance of Christ; by none of these have I been induced to abolish my own law, and to receive. And speak not to me of the past: (although I could say, that I have endured much even in past times on this account,) nevertheless I do not rest on it alone, but likewise concerning the future I pledge myself, that I would choose rather to die of hunger than be deprived of these crowns.

"For it were good for me rather to die," saith he, "than that any man should make my glorying void."

He said not, "that any man should abolish my law," but, "my glorying." For lest any should say, "he doth it indeed but not cheerfully, but with lamentation and grief," willing to show the excess of his joy and the abundance of his zeal, he even calls the matter "glorying." So far was he from vexing himself that he even glories, and chooses rather to die than to fall from this "glorying." So much dearer to him even than life itself was that proceeding of his.

[3.] Next, he exalts it from another consideration also, and signifies that it was a great thing, not that he might show himself famous, (for far was he from that disposition,) but to signify that he rejoices, and with a view more abundantly to take away all suspicion. For on this account, as I before said, he also called it a glorying: and what saith he?

Ver. 16, 17, 18. "For if I preach the Gospel, I have nothing to glory of; for necessity is laid upon me; for woe is unto me, if I preach not the Gospel! For if I do this of mine own will, I have a reward: but if not of mine own will, I have a stewardship entrusted to me. What then is my reward? That when I preach the Gospel, I may make the Gospel of Christ without charge, so as not to use to the full my right in the Gospel."

What sayest thou? tell me. "If thou preach the Gospel, it is nothing for thee to glory of, but it is, if thou make the Gospel of Christ without charge?" Is this therefore greater than that? By no means; but in another point of view it hath some advantage, inasmuch as the one is a command, but the other is a good deed of my own free-will: for what things are done beyond the commandment, have a great reward in this respect: but such as are in pursuance of a commandment, not so great: and so in this respect he says, the one is more than the other; not in the very nature of the thing. For what is equal to preaching; since it maketh men vie even with the angels themselves. Nevertheless since the one is a commandment and a debt, the other a forwardness of free-will, in this respect this is more than that. Wherefore he saith, explaining the same, what I just now mentioned:

"For if I do this of mine own will, I have a reward, but if not of mine own will, a stewardship is entrusted to me;" taking the words of mine own "will" and "not of mine own will," of its being committed or not committed to him. And thus we must understand the expression, "for necessity is laid upon me;" not as though. he did aught of these things against his will, God forbid, but as though he were bound by the things commanded, and for contradistinction to the liberty in receiving before mentioned. Wherefore also Christ said to the disciples, (St. Luke xvii. 10.) "When ye have done all, say, We are unprofitable servants; for we have done that which was our duty to do."

"What then is my reward? That when I preach the Gospel, I may make the Gospel without charge." What then, tell me, hath Peter' no reward? Nay, who can ever have so great an one as he? And what shall we say of the other Apostles? How then said he, "If I do this of mine own will I have a reward, but if not of mine own will, a stewardship is entrusted to me?" Seest thou here also his wisdom? For he said not, "But if not of mine own will," I have no reward, but, "a stewardship is committed unto me:" implying that even thus he hath a reward, but such as he obtains who hath performed what was commanded, not such as belongs to him who hath of his own resources been generous and exceeded the commandment.

"What then is the reward? That, when I preach the Gospel," saith he, "I may make the Gospel without charge, so as not to use to the full my right in the Gospel." See how throughout he uses the term "right," intimating this, as I have often observed; that neither are they who receive worthy of blame. But he added,. "in the Gospel," partly to show the reasonableness of it, partly also to forbid our carrying the matter out into every case. For the teacher ought to receive, but not the mere drone also.(2)

[4.] Ver. 19. "For though I was free from all men, I brought myself under bondage to all, that I might gain the more."

Here again he introduces another high step in advance. For a great thing it is even not to receive, but this which he is about to mention is much more than that. What then is it that he says? "Not only have I not received," saith he," not only have I not used this right, but I have even made myself a slave, and in a slavery manifold and universal. For not in money alone, but, which was much more than money, in employments many and various have I made good this same rule: and I have made myself a slave when I was subject to none, having no necessity in any respect, (for this is the meaning of, "though I was free from all men;") and not to any single person have I been a slave, but to the whole world." brought Wherefore also he subjoined, "I myself under bondage to all." That is, "To preach the Gospel I was commanded, and to proclaim the things committed to my trust; but the contriving and devising numberless things beside, all that was of my own zeal. For I was only under obligation to invest the money, whereas I did every thing in order to get a return for it, attempting more than was commanded." Thus doing as he did all things of free choice and zeal and love to Christ, he had an insatiable desire for the salvation of mankind. Wherefore also he used to overpass by a very great deal the lines marked out, in every way springing higher than the very heaven.

[5.] Next, having mentioned his servitude, be describes in what follows the various modes of it.. And what are these?

Ver. 20. "And I became," says he, "to the Jews as a Jew, that I might gain Jews." And how did this take place? When he circumcised that he might abolish circumcision. Wherefore he said not, "a Jew," but, "as a Jew," which was a wise arrangement. What sayest thou? The herald of the world and he who touched the very heavens and shone so bright in grace, doth he all at once descend so low? Yea. For this is to ascend. For you are not to look to the fact only of his descending, but also to his raising up him that was bowed down and bringing him up to himself.

"To them that are under the law, as under the law, not being myself under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law." Either it is the explanation of what went before, or he hints at some other thing besides the former: calling those Jews, who were such originally and from the first: but "under the law," the proselytes, or those who became believers and yet adhered to the law. For they were no longer as Jews, yet 'under the law.' And when was he under the law? When he shaved his head; when he offered sacrifice. Now these things were done, not because his mind changed, (since such conduct would have been wickedness,) but because his love condescended. For that he might bring over to this faith those who were really Jews, he became such himself not really, showing himself such only, but not such in fact nor doing these things from a mind so disposed. Indeed, how could he, zealous as he was to convert others also, and doing these things only in order that he might free others who did them from that degradation?

Ver. 21. "To them that are without law, as without law." These were neither Jews, nor Christians, nor Greeks; but 'outside of the Law,' as was Cornelius, and if there were any others like him. For among these also making his appearance, he used to assume many of their ways. But some say that he hints at his discourse with the Athenians from the inscription on the altar, and that so he saith, "to them that are without law, as without law."

Then, lest any should think that the matter was a change of mind, he added, "not being without law to God, but under law to Christ;" i.e., "so far from being without law, I am not simply under the Law, but I have that law which is much more exalted than the older one, viz. that of the Spirit and of grace." Wherefore also he adds, "to Christ." Then again, having made them confident of his judgment, he states also the gain of such condescension, saying, "that I might gain them that are without law." And every where he brings forward the cause of his condescension, and stops not even here, but says,

Ver. 22. "To the weak became I weak, that I might gain the weak:" in this part coming to their case, with a view to which also all these things have been spoken. However, those were much greater things, but this more to the purpose; whence also he hath placed it after them. Indeed he did the same thing likewise in his Epistle to the Romans, when he was finding fault about meats; and so in many other places.

Next, not to waste time by naming all severally, he saith, "I am become all things to all men, that I may by all means save some."

Seest thou how far it is carried? "I am become all things to all men," not expecting, however, to save all, but that I may save though it be but a few. And so great care and service have I undergone, as one naturally would who was about saving all, far however from hoping to gain all: which was truly magnanimous(1) and a proof of burning zeal. Since likewise the sower sowed every where, and saved not all the seed, notwithstanding he did his part. And having mentioned the fewness of those who are saved, again, adding, "by all means," he consoled those to whom this was a grief. For though it be not possible that all the seed should be saved, nevertheless it cannot be that all should perish. Wherefore he said, "by all means," because one so ardently zealous must certainly have some success.

Ver. 23. "And I do all things for the Gospel's sake, that I may be a joint partaker thereof."

"That is, that I may seem also myself to have added some contribution of mine own, and may partake of the crowns laid up for the faithful. For as he spake of "living of the Gospel," i.e, of the believers; so also here, "that I may be a joint partaker in the Gospel, that I may be able to partake with them that have believed in the Gospel." Do you perceive his humility, how in the recompense of rewards he places himself as one of the many, though he had exceeded all in his labors? whence it is evident that he would in his reward also. Nevertheless, he claims not to enjoy the first prize, but is content if so be he may partake with the others in the crowns laid up for them. But these things he said, not because he did this for any reward, but that hereby at least he might draw them on, and by these hopes might induce them to do all things for their brethren's sake. Seest thou his wisdom! Seest thou the excellency of his perfection? how he wrought beyond the things commanded, not receiving when it was lawful to receive. Seest thou the exceeding greatness of his condescension? how he that was "under law to Christ," and kept that highest law, "to them that were without law," was "as one without law," to the Jews, as a Jew, in either kind showing himself preeminent, and surpassing all.

[6.] This also do thou, and think not being eminent, that thou lowerest thyself, when for thy brother's sake thou submittest to some abasement. For this is not to fall, but to descend. For he who falls, lies prostrate, hardly to be raised up again; but he who descends shall also rise again with much advantage. As also Paul descended indeed alone, but ascended with the whole world: not acting a part, for he would not have sought the gain of them that are saved had he been acting. Since the hypocrite seeks men's perdition, and feigns, that he may receive, not that he may give. But the apostle not so: as a physician rather, as a teacher, as a father, the one to the sick, the other to the disciple, the third to the son, condescends for his correction, not for his hurt; so likewise did he.

To show that the things which have been stated were not pretence; in a case where he is not compelled to do or say any such thing but means to express his affection and his confidence; hear him saying, (Rom. viii. 39.) "neither life, nor death, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Seest thou a love more ardent than fire? So let us also love Christ. For indeed it is easy, if we will. For neither was the Apostle such by nature. On this account, you see, his former life was recorded, so contrary to this, that we may learn that the work is one of choice, and that to the willing all things are easy.

Let us not then despair, but even though thou be a reviler, or covetous, or whatsoever thou art, consider that Paul was (1 Tim. i. 13, 16.) "a blasphemer, and persecutor, and injurious, and the chief of sinners," and suddenly rose to the very summit of virtue, and his former life proved no hindrance to him. And yet none with so great frenzy clings to vice as he did to the war against the Church. For at that time he put his very life into it; and because he had not ten thousand hands that he might stone Stephen with all of them, he was vexed. Notwithstanding, even thus he found how he might stone him with more hands, to wit, those of the false witnesses whose clothes he kept. And again, when he entered into houses like a wild beast and no otherwise did he rush in, haling, tearing men and women, filling all things with tumult and confusion and innumerable conflicts. For instance, so terrible was he that the Apostles, (Acts ix. 26.) even after his most glorious change, did not yet venture to join themselves to him. Nevertheless, after all those things he became such as he was: for I need not say more.

[7.] Where now are they who build up the necessity of fate against the freedom of the will? Let them hear these things, and let their mouths be stopped. For there is nothing to hinder him that willeth to become good, even though before he should be one of the vilest. And in fact we are more aptly disposed that way, inasmuch as virtue is agreeable to our nature, and vice contrary to it, even as sickness and health. For God hath given us eyes, not that we may look wantonly, but that, admiring his handi-work, we may worship the Creator. And that this is the use of our eyes is evident from the things which are seen. For the lustre of the sun and of the sky we see from an immeasurable distance, but a woman's beauty one cannot discern so far off. Seest thou that for this end our eye was chiefly given? Again, he made the ear that we should entertain not blasphemous words, but saving doctrines. Wherefore you see, when it receives any thing dissonant, both our soul shudders and our very body also. "For," saith one, (Ecclus. xxvii. 5.) "the talk of him that sweareth much maketh the hair stand upright." And if we hear any thing cruel or merciless, again our flesh creeps; but if any thing decorous and kind, we even exult and rejoice. Again, if our mouth utter base words, it causes us to be ashamed and hide ourselves, but if grave words, it utters them with ease and all freedom. Now for those things which are according to nature no one would blush, but for those which are against nature. And the hands when they steal hide themselves, and seek excuses; but if they give alms, they even glory. So that if we will, we have from every side a great inclination towards virtue. But if thou talk to me of the pleasure which arises from vice, consider that this also is a thing which we reap more of from virtue. For to have a good conscience and to be looked up to by all and to entertain good hopes, is of all things most pleasant to him that hath seen into the nature of pleasure, even as the reverse is of all things the most grievous to him that knows the nature of pain; such as to be reproached by all, to be accused by our own conscience, to tremble and fear both at the future and the present.

And that what I say may become more evident, let us suppose for argument's sake one man having a wife, yet defiling the marriage-bed of his neighbor and taking pleasure in this wicked robbery, enjoying his paramour. Then let us again oppose to him another who loves his own spouse. And that the victory may be greater and more evident, let the man who enjoys his own wife only, have a fancy also for the other, the adulteress, but restrain his passion and do nothing evil: (although neither is this pure chastity.) However, granting more than is necessary, that you may convince yourself how great is the pleasure of virtue, for this cause have we so framed our story.

Now then, having brought them together, let us ask them accordingly, whose is the pleasanter life: and you will hear the one glorying and exulting in the conquest over his lust: but the other--or rather, there is no need to wait to be informed of any thing by him. For thou shalt see him, though he deny it times without number, more wretched than men in a prison. For he fears and suspects all, both his own wife and the husband of the adulteress and the adulteress herself, and domestics, and friends, and kinsmen, and walls, and shadows, and himself, and what is worst of all, he hath his conscience crying out against him, barking aloud every day. But if he should also bring to mind the judgment-seat of God, he will not be able even to stand. And the pleasure is short: but the pain from it unceasing. For both at even, and in the night, in the desert and the city and every where, the accuser haunts him, pointing to a sharpened sword and the intolerable punishment, and with that terror consuming and wasting him. But the other, the chaste person, is free from all these things, and is at liberty, and with comfort looks upon his wife, his children, his friends, and meets all with unembarrassed eyes. Now if he that is enamored but is master of himself enjoy so great pleasure, he that indulges no such passion but is truly chaste, what harbor, what calm will be so sweet and serene as the mind which he will attain? And on this account you may see few adulterers but many chaste persons. But if the former were the pleasanter, it would be preferred by the greater number. And tell me not of the terror of the laws. For this is not that which restrains them, but the excessive unreasonableness, and the fact that the pains of it are more than the pleasures, and the sentence of conscience.

[8.] Such then is the adulterer. Now, if you please, let us bring before you the covetous, laying bare again another lawless passion. For him too we shall see afraid of the same things and unable to enjoy real pleasure: in that calling to mind both those whom he hath wronged, and those who sympathize with them, and the public sentence of all concerning himself, he hath ten thousand agitations.

And this is not his only vexation, but not even his beloved object can he enjoy. For such is the way of the covetous; not that they may enjoy do they possess, but that they may not enjoy. But if this seem to thee a riddle, hear next what is yet worse than this and more perplexing; that not in this way only are they deprived of the pleasure of their goods, by their not venturing to use them as they would, but also by their never being filled with them but living in a continual thirst: than which what can be more grievous? But the just man is not so, but is delivered both from trembling and hatred and fear and this incurable thirst: and as all men curse the one, even so do all men conspire to bless the other: and as the one hath no friend, so hath the other no enemy.

What now, these things being so acknowledged, can be more unpleasing than vice or more pleasant than virtue? Nay, rather, though we should speak for ever, no one shall be able to represent in discourse either the pain of this, or the pleasure of the other, until we shall experience it. For then shall we find vice more bitter than gall, when we shall have fully tasted the honey of virtue. Not but vice is even now unpleasant, and disgusting, and burdensome, and this not even her very votaries gainsay; but when we withdraw from her, then do we more clearly discern the bitterness of her commands. But if the multitude run to her, it is no marvel; since children also oftentimes, choosing things less pleasant, despise those which are more delightful and the sick for a momentary gratification lose the perpetual and more certain joy. But this comes of the weakness and folly of those who are possessed with any fondness, not of the nature of the things. For it is the virtuous man who lives in pleasure; he who is rich indeed and free indeed.

But if any one would grant the rest to virtue,--liberty, security freedom from cares, the fearing no man, the suspecting no man,--but would not grant it pleasure; to laugh, and that heartily, occurs to me, I confess, as the only course to be taken. For what else is pleasure, but freedom from care and fear and despondency, and the not being under the power of any? And who is in pleasure, tell me, the man in frenzy and convulsion, who is goaded by divers lusts, and is not even himself; or he who is freed from all these waves, and is settled in the love of wisdom, as it were in a harbor? Is it not evident, the latter? But this would seem to be a thing peculiar to virtue. So that vice hath merely the name of pleasure, but of the substance it is destitute. And before the enjoyment, it is madness, not pleasure: but after the enjoyment, straightway this also is extinguished. Now then if neither at the beginning nor afterwards can one discern the pleasure of it, when will it appear, and where?

And that thou mayest more clearly understand what I say, let us try the force of the argument in an example. Now consider. One is enamored of a fair and lovely woman: this man as long as he cannot obtain his desire is like unto men beside themselves and frantic; but after that he hath obtained it, he hath quenched his appetite. If therefore neither at the beginning doth he feel pleasure, (for the affair is madness,) nor in the end, (for by the indulgence of his lust he cools down his wild fancy,) where after all are we to find it? But our doings are not such, but both at the beginning they are freed from all disturbance, and to the end the pleasure remains in its bloom: nay rather there is no end of our pleasure, nor have our good things a limit, nor is this pleasure ever done away.

Upon all these considerations, then, if we love pleasure, let us lay hold on virtue that we may win good things both now and hereafter: unto which may we all attain, through the grace and mercy, &c.

HOMILY XXIII.

1 COR. ix. 24.

"Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize?"

Having pointed out the manifold usefulness of condescension and that this is the highest perfectness, and that he himself having risen higher than all towards perfection, or rather having gone beyond it by declining to receive, descended lower than all again; and having made known to us the times for each of these, both for the perfectness and for the condescension; he touches them more sharply in what follows, covertly intimating that this which was done by them and which was counted a mark of perfectness, is a kind of superfluous and useless labor. And he saith it not thus out clearly, lest they should become insolent; but the methods of proof employed by him makes this evident.

And having said that they sin against Christ and destroy the brethren, and are nothing profited by this perfect knowledge, except charity be added; he again proceeds to a common example, and saith,

"Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize?" Now this he saith, not as though here also one only out of many would be saved; far from it; but to set forth the exceeding diligence which it is our duty to use. For as there, though many descend into the course not many are crowned, but this befalls one only; and it is not enough to descend into the contest, nor to anoint one's self and wrestle: so likewise here it is not sufficient to believe, and to contend in any way; but unless we have so run as unto the end to show ourselves unblameable, and to come near the prize, it will profit us nothing. For even though thou consider thyself to be perfect according to knowledge, thou hast not yet attained the whole; which hinting at, he said, "so run, that ye may obtain." They had not then yet, as it seems, attained. And having said thus, he teaches them also the manner.

Ver. 25. "And every man that striveth in the games is temperate in all things."

What is, "all things?" He doth not abstain from one and err in another, but he masters entirely gluttony and lasciviousness and drunkenness and all his passions. "For this," saith he, "takes place even in the heathen games. For neither is excess of wine permitted to those who contend at the time of the contest, nor wantonness, lest they should weaken their vigor, nor yet so much as to be busied about any thing else, but separating themselves altogether from all things they apply themselves to their exercise only." Now if there these things be so where the crown fails to one, much more here, where the incitement in emulation is more abundant. For here neither is one to be crowned alone, and the rewards also far surpass the labors. Wherefore also he puts it so as to shame them, saying, "Now they do it receive to a corruptible crown, but we an incorruptible."

[2.] Ver. 56. "I therefore so run, as not uncertainly."

Thus having shamed them from those that are without, he next brings forward himself also, which kind of thing is a most excellent method of teaching: and accordingly we find him every where doing so.

But what is, "not uncertainly?" "Looking to some mark," saith he, "not at random and in vain, as ye do. For what profit have ye of entering into idol-temples, and exhibiting for-sooth that perfectness? None. But not such am I, but all things whatsoever I do, I do for the salvation of my neighbor. Whether I show forth perfectness, it is for their sake; or condescension, for their sake again: whether I surpass Peter in declining to receive [compensation], it is that they may not be offended; or descend lower than all, being circumcised and shaving my head, it is that they may not be subverted. This is, "not uncertainly." But thou, why dost thou eat in idol-temples, tell me? Nay, thou canst not assign any reasonable cause. For "meat commendeth thee not to God; neither if thou eat art thou the better, nor if thou eat not art thou the worse." (I Cor. viii. 8.) Plainly then thou runnest at random: for this is, "uncertainly."

"So fight I, as not beating the air." This he saith, again intimating that he acted not at random nor in vain. "For I have one at whom I may strike, i.e., the devil. But thou dost not strike him, but simply throwest away thy strength."

Now so far then, altogether bearing with them, he thus speaks. For since he had dealt somewhat vehemently with them in the preceding part, he now on the contrary keeps back his rebuke, reserving for the end of the discourse the deep wound of all. Since here he says that they act at random and in vain; but afterwards signifies that it is at the risk of no less than utter ruin to their own soul, and that even apart from all injury to their brethren, neither are they themselves guiltless in daring so to act.

Ver. 27. "But I buffet my body, and bring it into bondage lest by any means, after that I have preached to others, I myself should be rejected."

Here he implies that they axe subject to the lust of the belly and give up the reins to it, and under a pretence of perfection fulfil their own greediness; a thought which before also he was travailing to express, when he said, "meats for the belly, and the belly for meats." (1 Cor. vi. 13.) For since both fornication is caused by luxury, and it also brought forth idolatry, he naturally oftentimes inveighs against this disease; and pointing out how great things he suffered for the Gospel, he sets this also down among them. "As I went," saith he, "beyond the commands, and this when it was no light matter for me:" ("for we endure all things," it is said,) "so also here I submit to much labor in order to live soberly. Stubborn as appetite is and the tyranny of the belly, nevertheless I bridle it and give not myself up to the passion, but endure all labor not to be drawn aside by it."

"For do not, I pray you, suppose that by taking things easily I arrive at this desirable result. For it is a race and a manifold struggle,(1) and a tyrannical nature continually rising up against me and seeking to free itself. But I bear not with it but keep it down, and bring it into subjection with many struggles." Now this he saith that none may despairingly withdraw from the conflicts in behalf of virtue because the undertaking is laborious. Wherefore he saith, "I buffet and bring into bondage." He said not, "I kill:" nor., "I punish" for the flesh is not to be hated, but, "I buffet and bring into bondage;" which is the part of a master not of an enemy, of a teacher not of a foe, of a gymnastic master not of an adversary.

"Lest by any means, having preached to others, I myself should be a rejected."

Now if Paul feared this who had taught so many, and feared it after his preaching and becoming an angel and undertaking the leadership of the whole world; what can we say?

For, "think not," saith he, "because ye have believed, that this is sufficient for your salvation: since if to me neither preaching nor teaching nor bringing over innumerable persons, is enough for salvation unless I exhibit my own conduct also unblameable, much less to

you,."

[3.] Then he comes to other illustrations again. And as above he alleged the examples of the Apostles and those of common custom and those of the priests, and his own, so also here having set forth those of the Olympic games and those of his own course, he again proceeds to the histories of the Old Testament. And because what he has to say will be somewhat unpleasing he makes his exhortation general, and discourses not only concerning the subject before him, but also generally concerning all the evils among the Corinthians. And in the case of the heathen games, "Know ye not?" saith he: but here,

Chap. x. ver. 1. "For I would not, brethren, have you ignorant."

Now this he said, implying that they were not very well instructed in these things. And what is this which thou wouldest not have us ignorant of?

Ver. 1--5 "That our fathers," saith he, "were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; and were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and did all eat the same spiritual meat; and did all drink the same spiritual drink; for they drank of a spiritual Rock that followed them: and the Rock was Christ. Howbeit with most of them God was not well pleased."

And wherefore saith he these things? To point out that as they were nothing profited by the enjoyment of so great a gift, so neither these by obtaining Baptism and partaking of spiritual Mysteries, except they go on and show forth a life worthy of this grace. Wherefore also he introduces the types both of Baptism and of the Mysteries.

But what is, "They were baptized into Moses?" Like as we, on our belief in Christ and His resurrection, are baptized, as being destined in our own persons to partake in the same mysteries; for, "we are baptized," saith he, "for the dead," i.e., for our own bodies; even so they putting confidence in Moses, i.e., having seen him cross first, ventured also themselves into the waters. But because he wishes to bring the Type near the Truth; he speaks it not thus, but uses the terms of the Truth even concerning the Type.

Further: this was a symbol of the Font, and that which follows, of the Holy Table. For as thou eatest the Lord's Body, so they the manna: and as thou drinkest the Blood, so they water from a rock. For though they were things of sense which were produced, yet were they spiritually exhibited, not according to the order of nature, but according to the gracious intention of the gift, and together with the body nourished also the soul, leading it unto faith. On this account, you see, touching the food he made no remark, for it was entirely different, not in mode only but in nature also; (for it was manna;) but respecting the drink, since the manner only of the supply was extraordinary and required proof, therefore having said that "they drank the same spiritual drink," he added, "for they drank of a spiritual Rock that followed them," and he subjoined, "and the Rock was Christ." For it was not the nature of the rock which sent forth the water, (such is his meaning,) else would it as well have gushed out before this time: but another sort of Rock, a spiritual One, performed the whole, even Christ who was every where with them and wrought all the wonders. For on this account he said, "that followed them"

Perceivest thou the wisdom of Paul, how in both cases he points cut Him as the Giver, and thereby brings the Type nigh to the Truth? "For He who set those things before them," saith he, "the same also hath prepared this our Table: and the same Person both brought them through the sea and thee through Baptism; and before them set manna, but before thee His Body and Blood."

[4.] As touching His gift then, such is the case: now let us observe also what follows, and consider, whether when they showed themselves unworthy of the gift, He spared them. Nay, this thou canst not say. Wherefore also he added, "Howbeit with most of them God was not well-pleased;" although He had honored them with so great honor. Yea, it profited them nothing, but most of them perished. The truth is, they all perished, but that he might not seem to prophesy total destruction to these also, therefore he said, "most of them." And yet they were innumerable, but their number profited them nothing: and these were all so many tokens of love; but not even did this profit them, inasmuch as they did not themselves show forth the fruits of love.

Thus, since most men disbelieve the things said of hell, as not being present nor in sight; he alleges the things heretofore done as a proof that God doth punish all who sin, even though He have bestowed innumerable benefits upon them: "for if ye disbelieve the things to come," so he speaks, "yet surely the things that are past ye will not disbelieve." Consider, for example, how great benefits He bestowed on them: from Egypt and the slavery there He set them free, the sea He made their path, from heaven he brought down manna, from beneath He sent forth strange and marvellous fountains of waters; He was with them every where, doing wonders and fencing them in on every side: nevertheless since they showed forth nothing worthy of this gift, He spared them not, but destroyed them all.

Ver. 5. "For they were overthrown," saith he, "in the wilderness." Declaring by this word both the sweeping destruction, and the punishments and the vengeance inflicted by God, and that they did not so much as attain to the rewards proposed to them. Neither were they in the land of promise when He did these things unto them, but without and afar somewhere, and wide of that country; He thus visiting them with a double vengeance, both by not permitting them to see the land, and this too though promised unto them, and also by actual severe punishment.

And what are these things to us? say you. To thee surely they belong. Wherefore also he adds,

Ver. 6. "Now these things were figures of us(1)."

For as the gifts are figures, even so are the punishments figures: and as Baptism and the Table were sketched out prophetically, so also by what ensued, the certainty of punishment coming on those who are unworthy of this gift was proclaimed beforehand for our sake that we by these examples might learn soberness. Wherefore also he adds,

"To the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted." For as in the benefits the types went before and the substance followed, such shall be the order also in the punishments. Seest thou how he signifies not only the fact that these shall be punished, but also the degree, more severely than those ancients? For if the one be type, and the other substance, it must needs be that the punishments should as far exceed as the gifts.

And see whom he handles first: those who eat in the idol-temples. For having said, "that we should not lust after evil things," which was general, he subjoins that which is particular, implying that each of their sins arose from evil lusting. And first he said this,

Ver. 7. "Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, 'the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play.'"

Do you hear how he even calls them "idolaters?" here indeed making the declaration, but afterwards bringing the proof. And he assigned the cause too wherefore they ran to those tables; and this was gluttony. Wherefore having said, "to the intent that we should not lust after evil things," and having added, nor "be idolaters," he names the cause of such transgression; and this was gluttony. "For the people sat down," saith he, "to eat and to drink," and he adds the end thereof, "they rose up to play." "For even as they," saith he, "from sensuality passed into idolatry; so there is a fear lest ye also may fall from the one into the other." Do you see how he signifies that these, perfect men forsooth, were more imperfect than the others whom they censured? Not in this respect only, their not bearing with their brethren throughout, but also in that the one sin from ignorance, but the others from gluttony. And from the ruin of the former he reckons the punishment to these, but allows not these to lay upon another the cause of their own sin but pronounces them responsible both for their injury, and for their own.

"Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed." Wherefore doth he here make mention of fornication. again, having so largely discoursed concerning it before? It is ever Paul's custom when he brings a charge of many sins, both to set them forth in order and separately to proceed with his proposed topics, and again in his discourses concerning other things to make mention also of the former: which thing God also used to do in the Old Testament, in reference to each several transgression, reminding the Jews of the calf and bringing that sin before them. This then Paul also does here, at the same time both reminding them of that sin, and teaching that the parent of this evil also was luxury and gluttony. Wherefore also he adds, "Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand."

And wherefore names he not likewise the punishment for their idolatry? Either because it was clear and more notorious, or because the plague was not so great at that time, as in the matter of Balaam, when they joined themselves to Baalpeor, the Midianifish women appearing in the camp and alluring them to wantonness according to the counsel of Balaam. For that this evil counsel was Balaam's Moses sheweth after this, in the following statement at the end of the Book of Numbers. (Numb. xxxi. 8, 11, 15, 16, in our translation.) "Balaam also the son of Beor they slew in the war of Midian with the sword and they brought the spoils. ... And Moses was wroth, and said, Wherefore have ye saved all the women alive? For these were to the children of Israel for a stumbling-block, according to the word of Balaam, to cause them to depart from and despise the word of the Lord for Peor's sake."

Ver. 9. "Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and perished by serpents."

By this he again hints at another charge which he likewise states at the end, blaming them because they contended about signs. And indeed they were destroyed on account of trials, saying, "when will the good things come? when the rewards?" Wherefore also he adds, on this account correcting and alarming them,

Ver. 10. "Neither murmur ye, as some of them murmured, and perished by the destroyer."

For what is required is not only to suffer for Christ, but also nobly to bear the things that come on us, and with all gladness: since this is the nature of every crown. Yea, and unless this be so, punishment rather will attend men who take calamity with a bad grace. Wherefore, both the Apostles when they were beaten rejoiced, and Paul gloried in his sufferings.

[5.] Ver. 11. "Now all these things happened unto them by way of example; and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages are come."

Again he terrifies them speaking of the "ends," and prepares them to expect things greater than had already taken place. "For that we shall suffer punishment is manifest," saith he, "from what hath been said, even to those who disbelieve the statements concerning hell-fire; but that the punishment also will be most severe, is evident, from the more numerous blessings which we have enjoyed, and from the things of which those were but figures. Since, if in the gifts one go beyond the other, it is most evident that so it will be in the punishment likewise." For this cause he both called them types, and said that they were "written for us" and made mention of an "end" that he might remind them of the consummation of all things. For not such will be the penalties then as to admit of a termination and be done away, but the punishment will be eternal; for even as the punishments in this world are ended with the present life, so those in the next continually remain. But when he said, "the ends of the ages," he means nothing else than that the fearful judgment is henceforth nigh at hand.

Ver. 12. "Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall."

Again, he casts down their pride who thought highly of their knowledge. For if they who had so great privileges suffered such things; and some for murmuring alone were visited with such punishment, and others for tempting, and neither their multitude moved God to repent(1), nor their having attained to such things; much more shall it be so in our case, except we be sober. And well said he, "he that thinketh he standeth:" for this is not even standing as one ought to stand, to rely on yourself: for quickly will such an one fall: since they too, had they not been high-minded and self-confident, but of a subdued frame of mind, would not have suffered these things. Whence it is evident, that chiefly pride, and carelessness from which comes gluttony also, are the sources of these evils. Wherefore even though thou stand, yet take heed lest thou fall. For our standing here is not secure standing, no not until we be delivered out of the waves of this present life and have sailed into the tranquil haven. Be not therefore high-minded at thy standing, but guard against thy falling; for if Paul feared who was firmer than all, much more ought we to fear.

[6.] Now the Apostle's word, as we have seen, was, "Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall;" but we cannot say even this; all of us, so to speak, having fallen, and lying prostrate on the ground. For to whom am I to say this? To him that committeth extortion every day? Nay, he lies prostrate with a mighty fall. To the fornicator? He too is cast down to the ground. To the drunkard? He also is fallen, and knoweth not even that he is fallen. So that it is not the season for this word, but for that saying of the prophet which he spake even to the Jews, (Jer. viii. 4.)--"He that falleth, doth he not rise again?" For all are fallen, and to rise again they have no mind. So that our exhortation is not concerning the not falling, but concerning the ability of them that are fallen to arise. Let us rise again then, late though it be, beloved, let us rise again, and let us stand nobly. How long do we lie prostrate? How long are we dranken, besotted with the excessive desire of the things of this life? It is a meet opportunity now to say, (Jer. vi. 10.) "To whom shall I speak and testify?" So deaf are all men become even to the very instruction of virtue, and thence filled with abundance of evils. And were it possible to discern their souls naked; as in armies when the battle is ended one may behold some dead, and some wounded, so also in the Church we might see. Wherefore I beseech and implore you, let us stretch out a hand to each other and thoroughly raise ourselves up. For I myself am of them that are smitten, and require one to apply some remedies.

Do not however despair on this account. For what if the wounds be severe? yet are they not incurable; such is our physician: only let us feel our wounds. Although we be arrived at the very extreme of wickedness, many are the ways of safety which He strikes out for us. Thus, if thou forbear to be angry with thy neighbor, thine own sins shall be forgiven. "For if ye forgive men," saith He, "your heavenly Father will also forgive you." (Mat. vi. 14.) And if thou give alms, He will remit thee thy sins; for, "break off thy sins," saith He, "by alms." (Dan. iv. 54.) And if thou pray earnestly, thou shalt enjoy forgiveness: and this the widow signifieth who prevailed upon that cruel judge by the importunity of her prayer. And if thou accuse thine own sins, thou hast relief: for "declare thou thine iniquities first, that thou mayest be justified:" (Is. xlvii. 26.) and if thou art sorrowful on account of these things, this too will be to thee a powerful remedy: "for I saw," saith He, "that he was grieved and went sorrowful, and I healed his ways." (Is. lvii. 17.) And if, when thou sufferest any evil, thou bear it nobly, thou hast put away the whole. For this also did Abraham say to the rich man, that "Lazarus received his evil things, and here he is comforted." And if thou hast pity on the widow, thy sins are washed away. For, "Judge," saith He, "the orphan, and plead for the widow, and come and let us reason together, saith the Lord. And if your sins be as scarlet, I will make them white as snow; and if they be as crimson, I will make them white as wool." (Is. 1. 17.) For not even a single scar of the wounds doth He suffer to appear. Yea, and though we be come to that depth of misery into which he fell, who devoured his father's substance and fed upon husks, and should repent, we are undoubtedly saved. And though we owe ten thousand talents, if we fall down before God and bear no malice, all things are forgiven us. Although we have wandered away to that place whither the sheep strayed from his keeper, even thence He recovers us again: only let us be willing, beloved. For God is merciful. Wherefore both in the case of him that owed ten thousand talents, He was content with His falling down before Him; and in the case of him who had devoured his father's goods, with his return only; and in the case of the sheep, with its willingness to be borne.

[7.] Considering therefore the greatness of His mercy, let us here make Him propitious unto us, and "let us come before His face by a full confession," (Ps. xcv. 2. LXX.) that we may not depart hence without excuse, and have to endure the extreme punishment. For if in the present life we exhibit even an ordinary diligence, we shall gain the greatest rewards: but if we depart having become nothing better here, even though we repent ever so earnestly there it will do us no good. For it was our duty to strive while yet remaining within the lists, not after the assembly was broken up idly to lament and weep: as that rich man did, bewailing and deploring himself, but to no purpose and in vain, since he overlooked the time in which he ought to have done these things. And not he alone, but many others there are like him now among the rich; not willing to despise wealth, but despising their own souls for wealth's sake: at whom I cannot but wonder, when I see men continually interceding with God for mercy, whilst they are doing themselves incurable harm, and unsparing of their very soul as if it were an enemy. Let us not then trifle, beloved, let us not trifle nor delude ourselves, beseeching God to have mercy upon us, whilst we ourselves prefer both money and luxury, and, in fact, all things to this mercy. For neither, if any one brought before thee a case and said in accusation of such an one, that being to suffer ten thousand deaths and having it in his power to rid himself of the sentence by a little money, he chose rather to die than to give up any of his property, would you say that he was worthy of any mercy or compassion. Now in this same way do thou also reason touching thyself. For we too act in this way, and making light of our own salvation, we are sparing of our money. How then dost thou beseech God to spare thee, when thou thyself art so unsparing of thyself, and honorest money above thy soul?

Wherefore also I am greatly astonished to see, how great witchery lies hid in wealth, or rather not in wealth, but in the souls of those that are beguiled. For there are, there are those that utterly derided this sorcery(1). For which among the things therein is really capable of bewitching us? Is it not inanimate matter? is it not transitory? is not the possession thereof unworthy of trust? is it not full of fears and dangers? nay, of murders and conspiracy? of enmity and hatred? of carelessness and much vice? is it not dust and ashes? what madness have we here? what disease?

"But," say you, "we ought not merely to bring such accusations against those that are so diseased, but also to destroy the passion." And in what other way shall we destroy it, except by pointing out its baseness and how full it is of innumerable evils?

But of this it is not easy to persuade a lover concerning the objects of his love. Well then, we must set before him another sort of beauty. But incorporeal beauty he sees not, being yet in his disease. Well then, let us show him some beauty of a corporeal kind, and say to him, Consider the meadows and the flowers therein, which are more sparkling than any gold, and more elegant and transparent than all kinds of precious stones. Consider the limpid streams from their fountains, the rivers which like oil flow noiselessly out of the earth. Ascend to heaven and behold the lustre of the sun, the beauty of the moon, the stars that cluster like flowers(2). "Why, what is this," say you, "since we do not, I suppose, make use of them as of wealth?" Nay, we use them mere than wealth, inasmuch as the use thereof is more needful, the enjoyment more secure. For thou hast no fear, lest, like money, any one should take them and go off: but you may be ever confident of having them, and that without anxiety or care. But if thou grieve because thou enjoy-est them in common with others, and dost not possess them alone like money; it is not money, but mere covetousness, which thou seemest to me to be in love with: nor would even the money be an object of thy desire, if it had been placed within reach of all in common.

[8.] Therefore, since we have found the beloved object, I mean Covetousness, come let me show thee how she hates and abhors thee, how many swords she sharpens against thee, how many pits she digs, how many nooses she ties, how many precipices she prepares; that thus at any rate thou mayest do away with the charm. Whence then are we to obtain this knowledge? From the highways, from the wars, from the sea, from the courts of justice. For she hath both filled the sea with blood, and the swords of the judges she often reddens contrary to law, and arms those who on the highway lie in wait day and night, and persuades men to forget nature, and makes parricides and matricides, and introduces all sorts of evils into man's life. Which is the reason why Paul entitles her "a root of these things." (I Tim. vi. 10.) She suffers not her lovers to be in any better condition than those who work in the mines. For as they, perpetually shut up in darkness and in chains, labor unprofitably; so also these buried in the caves of avarice, no one using any force with them, voluntarily draw on their punishment, binding on themselves fetters that cannot be broken. And those condemned to the mines. at least when even comes on, are released from their toils; but these both by day and night are digging in these wretched mines. And to those there is a definite limit of that hard labor, but these know no limit, but the more they dig so much the greater hardship do they desire. And what if those do it unwillingly, but these of their own will? in that thou tellest me of the grievous part of the disease, that it is even impossible for them to be rid of it, since they do not so much as hate their wretchedness. But as a swine in mud, so also do these delight to wallow in the noisome mire of avarice, suffering worse things than those condemned ones. As to the fact that they are in a worse condition, hear the circumstances of the one, and then thou wilt know the state of the other.

Now it is said that that soil which is impregnated with gold has certain clefts and recesses in those gloomy caverns. The malefactor then condemned to labor in that place, taking for that purpose a lamp and a mattock, so, we are told, enters within, and carries with him a cruse to drop oil from thence into the lamp, because there is darkness even by day, without a ray of light, as I said before. Then when the time of day calls him to his wretched meal, himself, they say, is ignorant of the time, but his jailor from above striking violently on the cave, by that clattering sound declares to those who are at work below the end of the day.

Do ye not shudder when ye hear all this? Let us see now, whether there be not things more grievous than these in the case of the covetous. For these too, in the first place, have a severer jailor, viz. avarice, and so much severer, as that besides their body he chains also their soul. And this darkness also is more awful than that. For it is not subject to sense, but they producing it within, whithersoever they go, carry it about with themselves. For the eye of their soul is put out: which is the reason why more than all Christ calls them wretched, saying, "But if the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness." (S. Mat. vi. 23.) And they for their part have at least a lamp Shining, but these are deprived even of this beam of light; and therefore every day they fall into countless pitfalls. And the condemned when night overtakes them have a respite, sailing into that calm port which is common to all the unfortunate, I mean the night: but against the covetous even this harbor is blocked up by their own avarice: such grievous thoughts have they even at night, since then, without disturbance from any one, at full leisure they cut themselves to pieces.

Such are their circumstances in this world; but those in the next, what discourse shall exhibit? the intolerable furnaces, the rivers burning with fire, the gnashing of teeth, the chains never to be loosed, the envenomed worm, the rayless gloom, the never-ending miseries. Let us fear them, beloved, let us fear the fountain of so great punishments, the insatiate madness, the destroyer of our salvation. For it is impossible at the same time to love both money and your soul. Let us be convinced that wealth is dust and ashes, that it leaves us when we depart hence, or rather that even before our departure it oftentimes darts away from us, and injures us both in regard of the future and in respect of the present life. For before hell fire, and before that punishment, even here it surrounds us with innumerable wars, and stirs up strifes and contests. For nothing is so apt to cause war as avarice: nothing so apt to produce beggary, whether it show itself in wealth or in poverty. For in the souls of poor men also this grievous disease ariseth, and aggravates their poverty the more. And if there be found a poor covetous man, such an one suffers not punishment in money, but in hunger. For he allows not himself to enjoy his moderate means with comfort, but both racks his belly with hunger and punishes his whole body with nakedness and cold, and every where appears more squalid and filthy than any prisoners; and is always wailing and lamenting as though he were more wretched than all, though there be ten thousand poorer than he. This man, whether he go into the market-place, goes away with many a stripe; or into the bath, or into the theatre, he will still be receiving more wounds, not only from the spectators, but also from those upon the stage, where he beholds not a few of the unchaste women glittering in gold. This man again, whether he sail upon the sea, regarding the merchants and their richly-freighted ships and their enormous profits, will not even count himself to live: or whether he travel by land, reckoning up the fields, the suburban farms, the inns, the baths, the revenues arising out of them, will count his own life thenceforth not worth living; or whether thou shut him up at home, he will but rub and fret the wounds received in the market, and so do greater despite to his own soul: and he knows only one consolation for the evils which oppress him; death and deliverance from this life.

And these things not the poor man only, but the rich also, will suffer, who falls into this disease, and so much more than the poor, inasmuch as the tyranny presses more vehemently on him, and the intoxication is greater. Wherefore also he will account himself poorer than all; or rather, he is poorer. For riches and poverty are determined not by the measure of the substance, but by the disposition of the mind: and he rather is the poorest of all, who is always hangering after more and is never able to stay this wicked lust.

On all these accounts then let us flee covetousness, the maker of beggars, the destroyer of souls, the friend of hell, the enemy of the kingdom of heaven, the mother of all evils together; and let us despise wealth that we may enjoy wealth, and with wealth may enjoy also the good things laid up for us; unto which may we all attain, &c.

HOMILY XXIV

1 COR. x. 13.

"There hath no temptation taken you, but such as man can bear: but God is faithful, Who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation make also the way of escape, that ye may be able to endure it."

Thus, because he terrified them greatly, relating the ancient examples, and threw them into an agony, saying, "Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall; "though they had borne many temptations, and had exercised themselves many times therein; for "I was with you," saith he, "in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling:" (1 Cor. ii. 3.) lest they should say, "Why terrify and alarm us? we are not unexercised in these troubles, for we have been both driven and persecuted, and many and continual dangers have we endured:" repressing again their pride, he says, "there hath no temptation taken you but such as man can bear," i.e., small, brief, moderate. For he uses the expression "man can bear(2),'' in respect of what is small; as when he says, "I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh." (Rom. vi. 19.) "Think not then great things," saith he, "as though ye had overcome the storm. For never have ye seen a danger threatening death nor a temptation intending slaughter:" which also he said to the Hebrews, "ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin." (Heb. xii. 4.)

Then, because he terrified them, see how again he raises them up, at the same time recommending moderation; in the words, "God is faithful, Who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able." There are therefore temptations which we are not able to bear. And what are these? All, so to speak. For the ability lies in God's gracious influence; a power which we draw down by our own will. Wherefore that thou mayest know and see that not only those which exceed our power, but not even these which are "common to man" is it possible without assistance from God easily to bear, he added,

"But will with the temptation also make the way of escape, that ye may be able to endure it."

For, saith he, not even those moderate temptations, as I was remarking, may we bear by our own power: but even in them we require aid from Him in our warfare that we may pass through them, and until we have passed, bear them. For He gives patience and brings on a speedy release; so that in this way also the temptation becomes bearable. This he covertly imtimates, saying, "will also make the way of escape, that ye may be able to bear it:" and all things he refers to Him.

[2.] Ver. 14. "Wherefore, my brethren(1), flee from idolatry."

Again he courts them by the name of kindred, and urges them to be rid of this sin with all speed. For he did not say, simply, depart, but "flee;" and he calls the matter "idolatry," and no longer bids them quit it merely on account of the injury to their neighbor, but signifies that the very thing of itself is sufficient to bring a great destruction.

Ver. 15. "I speak as to wise men: judge ye what I say."

Because he hath cried out aloud and heightened the accusation, calling it idolatry; that he might not seem to exasperate them and to make his speech disgusting, in what follows he refers the decision to them, and sets his judges down on their tribunal with an encomium. "For I speak as to wise men," saith he: which is the mark of one very confident of his own rights, that he should make the accused himself the judge of his allegations.

Thus also he more elevates the hearer, when he discourses not as commanding nor as laying down the law, but as advising with them and as actually pleading before them. For with the Jews, as more foolishly and childishly disposed, God did not so discourse, nor did He in every instance acquaint them with the reasons of the commands, but merely enjoined them; but here, because we have the privilege of great liberty, we are even admitted to be counsellors. And he discourses as with friends, and says, "I need no other judges, do ye yourselves pass this sentence upon me, I take you for arbiters."

[3.] Ver. 16. "The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a communion of the Blood of Christ?"

What sayest thou, O blessed Paul? When thou wouldest appeal to the hearer's reverence, when thou art making mention of awful mysteries, dost thou give the title of "cup of blessing" to that fearful and most tremendous cup? "Yea," saith he; "and no mean title is that which was spoken. For when I call it 'blessing,' I mean thanksgiving, and when I call it thanksgiving I unfold all the treasure of God's goodness, and call to mind those mighty gifts." Since we too, recounting over the cup the unspeakable mercies of God and all that we have been made partakers of, so draw near to Him, and communicate; giving Him thanks that He hath delivered from error the whole race of mankind(2); that being afar off, He made them nigh; that when they had no hope and were without God in the world, He constituted them His own brethren and fellow-heirs. For these and all such things, giving thanks, thus we approach. "How then are not your doings inconsistent," saith he, "O ye Corinthians; blessing God for delivering you from idols, yet running again to their tables?"

"The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a communion of the Blood of Christ?". Very persuasively spake he, and awfully. For what he says is this: "This which is in the cup is that which flowed from His side, and of that do we partake." But he called it a cup of blessing, because holding it in our hands, we so exalt Him in our hymn, wondering, astonished at His unspeakable gift, blessing Him, among other things, for the pouring out of this self-same draught that we might not abide in error: and not only for the pouring it out, but also for the imparting thereof to us all. "Wherefore if thou desire blood," saith He, "redden not the altar of idols with the slaughter of brute beasts, but My altar with My blood." Tell me, What can be more tremendous than this? What more tenderly kind? This also lovers do. When they see those whom they love desiring what belongs to strangers and despising their own, they give what belongs to themselves, and so persuade them to withdraw themselves from the gifts of those others. Lovers, however, display this liberality in goods and money and garments, but in blood none ever did so. Whereas Christ even herein exhibited His care and fervent love for us. And in the old covenant, because they were in an imperfect state, the blood which they used to offer to idols He Himself submitted to receive, that He might separate them from those idols; which very thing again was a proof of His unspeakable affection: but here He transferred the service to that which is far more awful and glorious, changing the very sacrifice itself, and instead of the slaughter of irrational creatures, commanding to offer up Himself.

[4.] "The bread which we break, is it not a communion of the Body of Christ?" Wherefore said he not, the participation? Because he intended to express something more and to point out how close was the union: in that we communicate not only by participating and partaking, but also by being united. For as that body is united to Christ, so also are we united to him by this bread.

But why adds he also, "which we break?" For although in the Eucharist one may see this done, yet on the cross not so, but the very contrary. For, "A bone of Him," saith one, "shall not be broken." But that which He suffered not on the cross, this He suffers in the oblation for thy sake, and submits to be broken, that he may fill all men.

Further, because he said, "a communion of the Body," and that which communicates is another thing from that whereof it communicates; even this which seemeth to be but a small difference, he took away. For having said, "a communion of the Body," he sought again to express something nearer. Wherefore also he added,

Ver. 17. "For we, who are many, are one bread, one body." "For why speak I of communion?" saith he, "we are that self-same body." For what is the bread? The Body of Christ. And what do they become who partake of it? The Body of Christ: not many bodies, but one body. For as the bread consisting of many grains is made one, so that the grains no where appear; they exist indeed, but their difference is not seen by reason of their conjunction; so are we conjoined both with each other and with Christ: there not being one body for thee, and another for thy neighbor to be nourished by, but the very same for all. Wherefore also he adds,

"For we all partake of the one bread." Now if we are all nourished of the same and all become the same, why do we not also show forth the, same love, and become also in this respect one? For this was the old way too in the time of our forefathers: "for the multitude of them that believed," saith the text, "were of one heart and soul." (Acts iv. 32.) Not so, however, now, but altogether the reverse. Many and various are the contests betwixt all, and worse than wild beasts are we affected towards each other's members. And Christ indeed made thee so far remote, one with himself: but thou dost not deign to be united even to thy brother with due exactness, but separatest thyself, having had the privilege of so great love and life from the Lord. For he gave not simply even His own body; but because the former nature of the flesh which was framed out of earth, had first become deadened by sin and destitute of life; He brought in, as one may say, another sort of dough and leaven, His own flesh, by nature indeed the same, but free from sin and full of life; and gave to all to partake thereof, that being nourished by this and laying aside the old dead material, we might be blended together unto that which is living and eternal, by means of this table.

[5.] Ver. 18. "Behold Israel after the flesh: have not they which eat the sacrifices communion with the altar?"

Again, from the old covenant he leads them unto this point also. For because they were far beneath the greatness of the things which had been spoken, he persuades them both from former things and from those to which they were accustomed. And he says well, "according to the flesh," as though they themselves were according to the Spirit. And what he says is of this nature: "even from persons of the grosset sort ye may be instructed that they who eat the sacrifices, have communion with the altar." Dost thou see how he intimates that they who seemed to be perfect have not perfect knowledge, if they know not even this, that the result of these sacrifices to many oftentimes is a certain communion and friendship with devils, the practice drawing them on by degrees? For if among men the fellowship of salt(1) and the table becomes an occasion and token of friendship, it is possible that this may happen also in the case of devils.

But do thou, I pray, consider, how with regard to the Jews he said not, "they are par-takers with God," but, "they have communion with the altar;" for what was placed thereon was burnt: but in respect to the Body of Christ, not so. But how? It is "a Communion of the Lord's Body." For not with the altar, but with Christ Himself, do we have communion.

But having said that they have "communion with the altar," afterwards fearing lest he should seem to discourse as if the idols had any power and could do some injury, see again how he overthrows them, saying,

Ver. 19. "What say I then? That an idol is any thing? or that a thing sacrificed to idols is any thing?"

As if he had said, "Now these things I affirm, and try to withdraw you from the idols, not as though they could do any injury or had any power: for an idol is nothing; but I wish you to despise them." "And if thou wilt have us despise them," saith one, "wherefore dost thou carefully withdraw us from them?" Because they are not offered to thy Lord.

Ver. 20.(2) "For that which the Gentiles sacrifice," saith he, "they sacrifice to demons, and not to God."

Do not then run to the contrary things. For neither if thou wert a king's son, and having the privilege of thy father's table, shouldest leave it and choose to partake of the table of the condemned and the prisoners in the dungeon, would thy father permit it, but with great vehemence he would withdraw thee; not as though the table could harm thee, but because it disgraces thy nobility and the royal table. For verily these too are servants who have offended; dishonored, condemned, prisoners reserved for intolerable punishment, accountable for ten thousand crimes. How then art thou riot ashamed to imitate the gluttonous and vulgar crew, in that when these condemned persons set out a table, thou runnest thither and partakest of the viands? Here is the cause why I seek to withdraw thee. For the intention of the sacrificers, and the person of the receivers, maketh the things set before thee unclean.

"And I would not that ye should have communion with demon." Perceivest thou the kindness of a careful father? Perceivest thou also the very word, what force it hath to express his feeling? "For it is my wish," saith he, "that you have nothing in common with them."

[6.] Next, because he brought in the saying by way of exhortation, lest any of the grosser sort should make light of it as having license, because he said, "I would not," and, "judge ye;" he positively affirms in what follows and lays down the law, saying,

Ver. 21. "Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of demons: ye cannot partake of the Lord's table, and of the table of demons."

And he contents himself with the mere terms, for the purpose of keeping them away. Then, speaking also to their sense of shame, Ver. 22. "Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy?(1) are we stronger than He?" i.e.," Are we tempting Him, whether He is able to punish us, and irritating Him by going over to the adversaries and taking our stand with His enemies?" And this he said, reminding them of an ancient history and of their fathers' transgression. Wherefore also he makes use of this expression, which Moses likewise of old used against the Jews, accusing them of idolatry in the person of God. "For they," saith He, "moved Me to jealousy(2) with that which is not God; they provoked Me to anger with their idols." (Deut. xxxii. 21.)

Are we stronger than He?" Dost thou see how terribly, how awfully he rebukes them, thoroughly shaking their very nerves, and by his way of reducing them to an absurdity, touching them to the quick and bringing down their pride? "Well, but why," some one will say, "did he not set down these things at first, which would be most effectual to withdraw them?" Because it is his custom to prove his point by many particulars, and to place the strongest last, and to prevail by proving more than was necessary. On this account then, he began from the lesser topics, and so made his way to that which is the sum of all evils: since thus that last point also became more easily admitted, their mind having been smoothed down by the things said before.

Ver. 23, 24. "All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not. Let no man seek his own, but each his neighbor's good."

Seest thou his exact wisdom? Because it was likely that they might say, "I am perfect and master of myself, and it does me no harm to partake of what is set before me;" "Evenso," saith he, "perfect thou art and master of thyself; do not however look to this, but whether the result involve not injury, nay subversion." For both these he mentioned, saying, "All things are not expedient, all things edify not;" and using the former with reference to one's self, the latter, to one's brother: since the clause, "are not expedient," is a covert intimation of the ruin of the person to whom he speaks; but the clause, "edify not," of the stumbling block to the brother.

Wherefore also he adds, "Let no man seek his own;" which he every where through the whole Epistle insists upon and in that to the Romans; when he says, "For even Christ pleased not Himself:" (Rom. xv. 3.) and again, "Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit." (Cor. x. 33) And again in this place; he does not, however, fully work it out here. That is, since in what had gone before he had established it at length, and shown that he no where "seeks his own," but both "to the Jews became as a Jew and to them that are without law as without law," and used not his own "liberty" and "right" at random, but to the profit of all, serving all; he here broke off, content with a few words, by these few guiding them to the remembrance of all which had been said.

[7.] These things therefore knowing, let us also, beloved, consult for the good of the brethren and preserve unity with them. For to this that fearful and tremendous sacrifice leads us, warning us above all things to approach it with one mind and fervent love, and thereby becoming eagles, so to mount up to the very heaven, nay, even beyond the heaven. "For wheresoever the carcase is," saith He, "there also will be the eagles," (St. Mat. xxiv. 28.) calling His body a carcase by reason of His death. For unless He had fallen, we should not have risen again. But He calls us eagles, implying that he who draws nigh to this Body must be on high and have nothing common with the earth, nor wind himself downwards and creep along; but must ever be soaring heavenwards, and look on the Sun of Righteousness, and have the eye of his mind quick-sighted. For eagles, not daws, have a right to this table.(1) Those also shall then meet Him descending from heaven, who now worthily have this privilege, even as they who do so unworthily, shall suffer the extremest torments.

For if one would not inconsiderately receive a king--(why say I a king? nay were, it but a royal robe, one would not inconsiderately touch it with unclean hands;)--though he should be in solitude, though alone, though no man were at hand: and yet the robe is nought but certain threads spun by worms: and if thou admirest the dye, this too is the blood of a dead fish; nevertheless, one would not choose to venture on it with polluted hands: I say now, if even a man's garment be what one would not venture inconsiderately to touch, what shall we say of the Body of Him Who is God over all, spotless, pure, associate with the Divine Nature, the Body whereby we are, and live; whereby the gates of hell were broken down and the sanctuaries(1) of heaven opened? how shall we receive this with so great insolence? Let us not, I pray you, let us not slay ourselves by our irreverence, but with all awfulness and purity draw nigh to It; and when thou seest It set before thee, say thou to thyself, "Because of this Body am I no longer earth and ashes, no longer a prisoner, but free: because of this I hope for heaven, and to receive the good things therein, immortal life, the portion of angels, converse with Christ; this Body, nailed and scourged, was more than death could stand against; this Body the very sun saw sacrificed, and turned aside his beams; for this both the veil was rent in that moment, and rocks were burst asunder, and all the earth was shaken. This is even that Body, the blood-stained, the pierced, and that out of which gushed the saving fountains, the one of blood, the other of water, for all the world."

Wouldest thou from another source also learn its power? Ask of her diseased with an issue of blood, who laid hold not of Itself, but of the garment with which It was clad; nay not of the whole of this, but of the hem: ask of the sea, which bare It on its back: ask even of the Devil himself, and say, "Whence hast thou that incurable stroke? whence hast thou no longer any power? Whence art thou captive? By whom hast thou been seized in thy flight?" And he will give no other answer than this, "The Body that was crucified." By this were his goads broken in pieces; by this was his head crushed; by this were the powers and the principalities made a show of. "For," saith he, "having put off from himself principalities and powers, He made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it." (Col. ii. 15.)

Ask also Death, and say, "whence is it that thy sting hath been taken away? thy victory abolished? thy sinews cut out? and thou become the laughing-stock of girls and children, who wast before a terror even to kings and to all righteous men?" And he will ascribe it to this Body. For when this was crucified, then were the dead raised up, then was that prison burst, and the gates of brass were broken, and the dead were loosed,(1) and the keepers of hell-gate all cowered in fear. And yet, had He been one of the many, death on the contrary should have become more mighty; but it was not so. For He was not one of the many. Therefore was death dissolved. And as they who take food which they are unable to retain, On account of that vomit up also what was before lodged in them; so also it happened unto death. That Body, which he could not digest, he received: and therefore had to cast forth that which he had within him. Yea, he travailed in pain, whilst he held Him, and was straitened until He vomited Him up. Wherefore saith the Apostle, "Having loosed the pains of death." (Acts xi. 24.) For never woman labouring of child was so full of anguish as he was torn and racked in sunder, while he held the Body of the Lord. And that which happened to the Babylonian dragon, when, having taken the food it burst asunder in the midst(2) this also happened unto him. For Christ came not forth again by the mouth of death, but having burst asunder and ripped up in the very midst, the belly of the dragon, thus from His secret chambers (Psalm xix. 5.) right gloriously He issued forth and flung abroad His beams not to this heaven alone, but to the very throne most high. For even thither did He carry it up.

This Body hath He given to us both to hold and to eat; a thing appropriate to intense love. For those whom we kiss vehemently, we oft-times even bite with our teeth. Wherefore also Job, indicating the love of his servants towards him, said, that they ofttimes, out of their great affection towards him, said, "Oh! that we were filled with his flesh!" (Job xxxi. 31.) Even so Christ hath given to us to be filled with His flesh, drawing us on to greater love.

[8.] Let us draw nigh to Him then with fervency and with inflamed love, that we may not have to endure punishment. For in proportion to the greatness of the benefits bestowed on us, so much the more exceedingly are we chastised when we show ourselves unworthy of the bountifulness. This Body, even lying in a manger, Magi reverenced. Yea, men profane and barbarous, leaving their country and their home, both set out on a long journey, and when they came, with fear and great trembling worshipped Him. Let us, then, at least imitate those Barbarians, we who are citizens of heaven. For they indeed when they saw Him but in a manger, and in a hut, and no such thing was in sight as thou beholdest now, drew nigh with great awe; but thou beholdest Him not in the manger but on the altar, not a woman holding Him in her arms, but the priest standing by, and the Spirit with exceeding bounty hovering over the gifts set before us. Thou dost not see merely this Body itself as they did, but thou knowest also Its power, and the whole economy, and art ignorant of none of the holy things which are brought to pass by It, having been exactly initiated into all.

Let us therefore rouse ourselves up and be filled with horror, and let us show forth a reverence far beyond that of those Barbarians; that we may not by random and careless approaches heap fire upon our own heads. But these things I say, not to keep us from approaching, but to keep us from approaching without consideration. For as the approaching at random is dangerous, so the not communicating in those mystical suppers is famine and death. For this Table is the sinews of our soul, the bond of our mind, the foundation of our confidence, our hope, our salvation, our light, our life. When with this sacrifice we depart into the outer world, with much confidence we shall tread the sacred threshold, fenced round on every side as with a kind of golden armor.

And why speak I of the world to come? Since here this mystery makes earth become to thee a heaven. Open only for once the gates of heaven and look in; nay, rather not of heaven, but of the heaven of heavens; and then thou wilt behold what I have been speaking of. For what is there most precious of all, this will I show thee lying upon the earth. For as in royal palaces, what is most glorious of all is not walls, nor golden roofs, but the person of the king sitting on the throne; so likewise in heaven the Body of the King. But this, thou art now permitted to see upon earth. For it is not angels, nor archangels, nor heavens and heavens of heavens, that I show thee, but the very Lord and Owner of these. Perceivest thou how that which is more precious than all things is seen by thee on earth; and not seen only, but also touched; and not only touched, but likewise eaten; and after receiving It thou goest home?

Make thy soul clean then, prepare thy mind for the reception of these mysteries. For if thou wert entrusted to carry a king's child with the robes, the purple, and the diadem, thou wouldest cast away all things which are upon the earth. But now that it is no child of man how royal soever, but the only-begotten Son of God Himself, Whom thou receivedst; dost thou not thrill with awe, tell me, and cast away all the love of all worldly things, and have no bravery but that wherewith to adorn thyself? or dost thou still look towards earth, and love money, and pant after gold? What pardon then canst thou have? what excuse? Knowest thou not that all this worldly luxury is loathsome to thy Lord? Was it not for this that on His birth He was laid in a manger, and took to Himself a mother of low estate? Did He not for this say to him that was looking after gain, "But the Son of Man hath not where to lay His head?" (St. Mat. viii. 20.)

And what did the disciples? Did they not observe the same law, being taken to houses of the poor and lodged, one with a tanner, another with a tent-maker, and with the seller of purple? For they inquired not after the splendor of the house, but for the virtues of men's souls.

These therefore let us also emulate, hastening by the beauty of pillars and of marbles, and seeking the mansions which are above; and let us tread under foot all the pride here below with all love of money, and acquire a lofty mind. For if we be sober-minded, not even this whole world is worthy of us, much less porticoes and arcades. Wherefore, I beseech you, let us adorn our souls, let us fit up this house which we are also to have with us when we depart; that we may attain even to the eternal blessings, through the grace and mercy, &c.

HOMILY XXV

1 COR. x. 25.

"Whatsoever is sold in the shambles, eat, asking no question for conscience sake."

HAVING said that "they could not drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of the devils," and having once for all led them away from those tables, by Jewish examples, by human reasonings, by the tremendous Mysteries, by the rites solemnized among the idols(1); and having filled them with great fear; that he might not by this fear drive again to another extreme, and they be forced, exercising a greater scrupulosity than was necessary, to feel alarm, lest possibly even without their knowledge there might come in some such thing either from the market or from some other quarter; to release them from this strait, he saith, "Whatsoever is sold in the shambles, eat, asking no question." "For," saith he, "if thou eat in ignorance and not knowingly, thou art not subject to the punishment: it being thenceforth a matter not of greediness, but of ignorance."

Nor doth he free the man only from this anxiety, but also from another, establishing them in thorough security and liberty. For he cloth not even suffer them to "question;" i.e., to search and enquire, whether it be an idol-sacrifice or no such thing; but simply to eat every thing which comes from the market, not even acquainting one's self with so much as this, what it is that is act before us. So that even he that eateth, if in ignorance, may be rid of anxiety. For such is the nature of those things which are not in their essence evil, but through the man's intention make him unclean. Wherefore he saith, "asking no question."

Ver. 26. "For to the Lord belongeth the earth and the fulness thereof." Not to the devils. Now if the earth and the fruits and the beasts be all His, nothing is unclean: but it becomes unclean otherwise, from our intention and our disobedience. Wherefore he not only gave permission, but also,

Ver. 27. "If one of them that believe not biddeth you," saith he, "to a feast, and you are disposed to go; whatsoever is set before you, eat, asking no question for conscience sake."

See again his moderation. For he did not command and make a law that they should withdraw themselves, yet neither did he forbid it. And again, should they depart, he frees them from all suspicion. Now what may be the account of this? That so great curiousness might not seem to arise from any fear and cowardice. For he who makes scrupulous enquiry doth so as being in dread: but he who, on hearing the fact, abstains, abstains as out of contempt and hatred and aversion. Wherefore Paul, purposing to establish both points, saith, "Whatsoever is set before you, eat."

Ver. 28. "But if any man say unto you, This hath been offered in sacrifice unto idols; eat not, for his sake that showed it."

Thus it is not at all for any power that they have but as accursed, that he bids abstain from them. Neither then, as though they could injure you, fly from them, (for they have no strength;) nor yet, because they have no strength, indifferently partake: for it is the table of beings hostile and degraded. Wherefore he said, "eat not for his sake that showed it, and for conscience sake. For the earth is the Lord's and the fulness thereof."(*)

Seest thou how both when he bids them eat and when they must abstain, he brings forward the same testimony? "For I do not forbid," saith he, "for this cause as though they belonged to others: ("for the earth is the Lord's:") but for the reason I mentioned, for conscience sake; i.e., that it may not be injured." Ought one therefore to inquire scrupulously? "Nay" saith he "for I said not thy conscience, but his. For I have already said, 'for his sake that showed it."' And again, v. 29, "Conscience, I say, not thine own, but the other's."

[2.] But perhaps some one may say, "The brethren indeed, as is natural, thou sparest, and dost not suffer us to taste for their sakes, lest their conscience being weak might be emboldened to eat the idol sacrifices. But if it be some heathen, what is this man to thee? Was it not thine own word, 'What have I to do with judging them that are without?' (1 Cor. v. 12.) Wherefore then dost thou on the contrary care for them?" "Not for him is my care," he replies, "but in this case also for thee." To which effect also he adds,

"For why is my liberty judged by another conscience?" meaning by "liberty," that which is left without caution or prohibition. For this is liberty, freed from Jewish bondage. And what he means is this: "God hath made me free and above all reach of injury, but the Gentile knoweth not how to judge of my rule of life, nor to see into the liberality of my Master, but will condemn and say to himself, Christianity is a fable; they abstain from the idols, they shun demons, and yet cleave to the things offered to them: great is their gluttony.'" "And what then?" it may be said. "What harm is it to us, should he judge us unfairly?" But how much better to give him no room to judge at all'. For if thou abstain, he will not even say this. "How," say you, "will he not say it? For when he seeth me not making these inquiries, either in the shambles or in the banquet; what should hinder him from using this language and condemning me, as one who partakes without discrimination?" It is not so at all. For thou partakest, not as of idol-sacrifices, but as of things clean. And if thou makest no nice enquiry, it is that thou mayest signify that thou fearest not the things set before thee; this being the reason why, whether thou enterest a house of Gentiles or goest into the market, I suffer thee not to ask questions; viz. lest thou become timid(1) and perplexed,(2) and occasion thyself needless trouble. Ver. 30. "If I by grace partake, why am I evil spoken of for that for which I give thanks?" "Of what dost thou 'by grace partake?' tell me." Of the gifts of God. For His grace is so great, as to render my soul unstained and above all pollution. For as the sun sending down his beams upon many spots of pollution, withdraws them again pure; so likewise and much more, we, living in the midst of the world remain pure, if we will, by how much the power we have is even greater than his. "Why then abstain?" say you. Not as though I should become unclean, far from it; but for my brother's sake, and that I may not become a partaker with devils, and that I may not be judged by the unbeliever. For in this case it is no longer now the nature of the thing, but the disobedience and the friendship with devils which maketh me unclean, and the purpose of heart worketh the pollution. But what is, "why am I evil spoken of for that for which I give thanks? "I, for my part" saith he "give thanks to God that He hath thus set me on high, and above the low estate of the Jews, so that from no quarter am I injured. But the Gentiles not knowing my high rule of life will suspect the contrary, and will say, 'Here are Christians indulging a taste for our customs; they are a kind of hypocrites, abusing the demons and loathing them, yet running to their tables; than which what can be more senseless? We conclude that not for truth's sake, but through ambition and love of power they have betaken themselves to this doctrine.' What folly then would it be that in respect of those things whereby I have been so benefited as even to give solemn thanks, in respect of these I should become the cause of evil-speaking?" "But these things, even as it is," say you, "will the Gentile allege, when he seeth me not making enquiry." In no wise. For all things are not full of idol-sacrifices so that he should suspect this: nor dost thou thyself taste of them as idol-sacrifices. But not then scrupulous overmuch, nor again, on the other hand, when any say that it is an idol-sacrifice, do thou partake. For Christ gave thee grace and set thee on high and above all injury from that quarter, not that thou mightest be evil spoken of, nor that the circumstance which hath been such a gain to thee as to be matter of special thanksgiving, should so injure others as to make them even blaspheme. "Nay, why," saith he, "do I not say to the Gentile, 'I eat, I am no wise injured, and I do not this as one in friendship with the demons'?" Because thou canst not persuade him, even though thou shouldst say it ten thousand times: weak as he is and hostile. For if thy brother hath not yet been persuaded by thee, much less the enemy and the Gentile. If he is possessed by his consciousness of the idol-sacrifice, much more the unbeliever. And besides, what occasion have we for so great trouble?

"What then? whereas we have known Christ and give thanks, while they blaspheme, shall we therefore abandon this custom also?" Far from it. For the thing is not the same. For in the one case, great is our gain from bearing the reproach; but in the other, there will be no advantage. Wherefore also he said before, "for neither if we eat, are we the better; nor if we eat not, are we the worse." (c. viii. 8.) And besides this too he showed that the thing was to be avoided, so that even on another ground ought they to be abstained from, not on this account only but also for the other reasons which he assigned.

[3.] Ver. 31. "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God."

Perceivest thou how from the subject before him, he carried out the exhortation to what was general, giving us one, the most excellent of all aims, that God in all things should be glorified?

Ver. 32. "Give no occasion of stumbling, either to Jews, or to Greeks, or to the Church of God:" i.e., give no handle to anyone: since in the case supposed, both thy brother is offended, and the Jew will the more hate and condemn thee, and the Gentile in like manner deride thee even as a gluttonous man and a hypocrite.

Not only, however, should the brethren receive no hurt from us, but to the utmost of our power not even those that are without. For if we are "light," and "leaven," and "luminaries," and "salt," we ought to enlighten, not to darken; to bind, not to loosen; to draw to ourselves the unbelievers, not to drive them away. Why then puttest thou to flight those whom thou oughtest to draw to thee?. Since even Gentiles are hurt, when they see us reverting to such things: for they know not our mind nor that our Soul hath come to be above all pollution of sense. And the Jews too, and the weaker brethren, will suffer the same.

Seest thou how many reasons he hath assigned for which we ought to abstain from the idol-sacrifices? Because of their unprofitableness, because of their needlessness, because of the injury to our brother, because of the evil-speaking of the Jew, because of the reviling of the Gentile, because we ought not to be partakers with demons, because the thing is a kind of idolatry.

Further, because he had said, "give no occasion of stumbling," and he made them responsible for the injury done, both to the Gentiles and to the Jews; and the saying was grievous; see how he renders it acceptable and light, putting himself forward, and saying,

Ver. 33. "Even as I also please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of the many, that they may be saved."

Chap. xi. ver. I. "Be ye imitators of me, even as I also am of Christ."

This is a rule of the most perfect Christianity, this is a landmark exactly laid down, this is the point that stands highest of all; viz. the seeking those things which are for the common profit: which also Paul himself declared, by adding, "even as I also am of Christ." For nothing can so make a man an imitator of Christ as caring for his neighbors.Nay, though thou shouldest fast, though thou shouldest lie upon the ground, and even strangle thyself, but take no thought for thy neighbor; thou hast wrought nothing great, but still standest far from this Image, while so doing. However, in the case before us, even the very thing itself is naturally useful, viz; the abstaining from idol-sacrifices. But "I," saith he, "have done many of those things which were unprofitable also: e.g., when I used circumcision, when I offered sacrifice; for these, were any one to examine them in themselves, rather destroy those that follow after them and cause them to fall from salvation: nevertheless, I submitted even to these on account of the advantage therefrom: but here is no such thing. For in that case, except there accrue a certain benefit and except they be done for others' sake, then the thing becomes injurious: but in this, though there be none made to stumble, even so ought one to abstain from the things forbidden.

But not only to things hurtful have I submitted, but also to things toilsome For, "I robbed other Churches," saith he, "taking wages of them; (2 Cor. xI. 8.) and when it was lawful to eat and not to work, I sought not this, but chose to perish of hunger rather than offend another." This is why he says, "I please all men in all things." "Though it be against the law, though it be laborious and hazardous, which is to be done, I endure all for the profit of others. So then, being above all in perfection, he became beneath all in condescension."

[4.] For no virtuous action can be very exalted, when it doth not distribute its benefit to others also: as is shown by him who brought the one talent safe, and was cut in sunder because he had not made more of it. And thou then, brother, though thou shouldest remain without food, though thou shouldest sleep upon the ground, though thou shouldest eat ashes and be ever wailing, and do good to no other; thou wilt do no great work. For so also those great and noble persons who were in the beginning made this their chiefest care: examine accurately their life, and thou wilt see clearly that none of them ever looked to his own things, but each one to the things of his neighbor, whence also they shone the brighter. For so Moses (to mention him first) wrought many and great wonders and signs; but nothing made him so great as that blessed voice which he uttered unto God, saying, "If Thou wilt forgive their sin," forgive.'" but if not, blot me also out." (Exod. xxxii. 32.) Such too was David: wherefore also he said, "I the shepherd have sinned, and I have done wickedly, but these, the flock, what have they done? Let Thine hand be upon me and upon my father's house." (2 Sam. xxiv. 17.) So likewise Abraham sought not his own profit, but the profit of many. Wherefore he both exposed himself to dangers and besought God for those who in no wise belonged to him.

Well: these indeed so became glorious. But as for those who sought their own, consider what harm too they received. The nephew, for instance, of the last mentioned, because he listened to the saying, "If thou wilt go to the right, I will go to the left;" (Gen. xiii. 9.) and accept-ring the choice, sought his own profit, did not even find his own: but this region was burned up, while that remained untouched. Jonah again, not seeking the profit of many, but his own, was in danger even of perishing: and while the city stood fast, he himself was tossed about and overwhelmed in the sea. But when he sought the profit of many, then he also found his own. So likewise Jacob among the flocks, not seeking his own gain, had exceeding riches for his portion. And Joseph also, seeking the profit of his brethren, found his own. At least, being sent by his father, (Gen xxxvii. 14.) I he said not, "What is this? Hast thou not heard that for a vision and certain dreams they even attempted to tear me in pieces, and I was held responsible for my dreams, and suffer punishment for being beloved of thee? What then will they not do when they get me in the midst of them?" He said none of these things, he thought not of them, but prefers the care of his brethren above all. Therefore he enjoyed also all the good things which followed, which both made him very brilliant and declared him glorious. Thus also Moses,--for nothing hinders that we should a second time make mention of him, and behold how he overlooked his own things and sought the things of others:--I say this Moses, being conversant in a king's court, because he "counted the reproach of Christ (Heb. xi. 26.) greater riches than the treasures of Egypt;" and having cast them even all out of his hands, became a partaker of the afflictions of the Hebrews;--so far from being himself enslaved, he liberated them also from bondage.

Well: these surely are great things and worthy of an angelical life. But the conduct of Paul far exceeds this. For all the rest leaving their own blessings chose to be partakers in the afflictions of others: but Paul did a thing much greater. For it was not that he consented to be a partaker in others' misfortunes, but he chose himself to be at all extremities that other men might enjoy blessings. Now it is not the same for one who lives in luxury to cast away his luxury and suffer adversity, as for one himself alone suffering adversity, to cause others to be in security and honor. For in the former case, though it be a great thing to exchange prosperity for affliction for your neighbor's sake, nevertheless it brings some consolation to have partakers in the misfortune. But consenting to be himself alone in the distress that others may enjoy their good things,--this belongs to a much more energetic soul, and to Paul's own spirit.

And not by this only, but by another and greater excellency doth he surpass all those before mentioned. That is, Abraham and all the rest exposed themselves to dangers in the present life, and all these were but asking for this kind of death once for all: but Paul prayed (Rom. ix. 3.,) that he might fall from the glory of the world to come for the sake of others' salvation.(*)

I may mention also a third point of superiority. And what is this? That some of those, though they interceded for the persons who conspired against them, nevertheless it was for those with whose guidance they had been entrusted: and the same thing happened as if one should stand up for a wild and lawless son, but still a son: whereas Paul wished to be accursed in the stead of those with whose guardianship he was not entrusted. For to the Gentiles was he sent. Dost thou perceive the greatness of his soul and the loftiness of his spirit, transcending the very heaven? This man do thou emulate: but if thou canst not, at least follow those who shone in the old covenant. For thus shalt thou find thine own profit, if thou seekest that of thy neighbor. Wherefore when thou feelest backward to care for thy brother, considering that no otherwise canst thou be saved, at least for thine own sake stand thou up for him and his interests.

[5.] And although what hath been said is sufficient to convince thee that no otherwise is it possible to secure our own benefit: yet if thou wouldst also assure thyself of it by the examples of common life, conceive a fire happening any where to be kindled in a house, and then some of the neighbors with a view to their own interest refusing to confront the danger but shutting themselves up and remaining at home, in fear lest some one find his way in and purloin some part of the household goods; how great punishment will they endure? Since the fire will come on and burn down likewise all that is theirs; and because they looked not to the profit of their neighbor, they lose even their own besides. For so God, willing to bind us all to each other, hath imposed upon things such a necessity, that in the profit of one neighbor that of the other is bound up; and the whole world is thus constituted. And therefore in a vessel too, if a storm come on, and the steersman, leaving the profit of the many, should seek his own only, he will quickly sink both himself and them. And of each several art too we may say that should it look to its own profit only, life could never stand, nor even the art itself which so seeketh its own. Therefore the husbandman sows not so much corn only as is sufficient for himself, since he would long ago have famished both himself and others; but seeks the profit of the many: and the soldier takes the field against dangers, not that he may save himself, but that he may also place his cities in security: and the merchant brings not home so much as may be sufficient for himself alone, but for many others also.

Now if any say, "each man doeth this, not looking to my interest, but his own, for he engages in all these things to obtain for himself money and glory and security, so that in seeking my profit he seeks his own:" this also do I say and long since wished to hear from you, and for this have I framed all my discourse; viz. to signify that thy neighbor then seeks. his own profit, when he looks to thine. For since men would no otherwise make up their mind to seek the things of their neighbor, except they were reduced to this necessity; therefore God hath thus joined things together, and suffers them not to arrive at their own profit except they first travel through the profit of others.

Well then, this is natural to man, thus to follow after his neighbors' advantage; but one ought to be persuaded not from this reason, but from what pleases God. For it is not possible to be saved, wanting this; but though thou shouldest exercise the highest perfection of the work and neglect others who are perishing, thou wilt gain no confidence towards God. Whence is this evident? From what the blessed Paul declared. "For if I bestow my goods to feed the poor, and give my body to be burned, and have not love, it profiteth me nothing," (1 Cor. xiii. 3.) saith he. Seeth thou how much Paul requireth of us? And yet he that bestowed his goods to feed the poor, sought not his own good, but that of his neighbor. But this alone is not enough, he saith. For he would have it done with sincerity and much sympathy. For therefore also God made it a law that he might bring us into the bond of love. When therefore He demands so large a measure, and we do not render even that which is less, of what indulgence shall we be worthy?(1)

"And how," saith one, "did God say to Lot by the Angels, 'Escape for thy life?"' (Gen. xix. 17.) Say, when, and why. When the punishment was brought near, not when there was an opportunity of correction but when they were condemned and incurably diseased, and old and young had rushed into the same passions, and henceforth they must needs be burned up, and in that day when the thunderbolts were about to be launched. And besides, this was not spoken of vice and virtue but of the chastisement inflicted by God. For what was he to do, tell me? Sit still and await the punishment, and without at all profiting them, be burned up? Nay, this were the extremest folly.

For I do not affirm this, that one ought to bring chastisement on one's self without discrimination and at random, apart from the will of God. But when a man tarries long in sin, then I bid thee push thyself forward and correct him: if thou wilt, for thy neighbor's sake: but if not, at least for thine own profit. It is true, the first is the better course: but if thou reachest not yet unto that height, do it even for this. And let no man seek his own that he may find his own; and bearing in mind that neither voluntary poverty nor martyrdom, nor any other thing, can testify in our favor, unless we have the crowning virtue of love; let us preserve this beyond the rest, that through it we may also obtain all other, both present and promised blessings; at which may we all arrive through the grace and mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ; Whom be the glory world without end. Amen.

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