HOMILIES OF
ST. JOHN CHRYSOSTOM
ON THE EPISTLE OF
ST. PAUL THE APOSTLE
TO THE PHILIPPIANS
HOMILIES V TO VIII (CHAPTER 2)

HOMILY V.

PHILIPPIANS ii. 1-4.

"If there is therefore any comfort in Christ, if any consolation of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any tender mercies and compassions, fulfil ye my joy, that ye be of the same mind, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind; doing nothing through faction or through vainglory; but in lowliness of mind, each counting other better than himself; not looking each of you to his own things, but each of you also to the things of others."

THERE is nothing better, there is nothing more affectionate, than a spiritual teacher; such an one surpasses the kindness of any natural father. Do but consider, how this blessed one entreats the Philippians concerning the things which were to their own advantage. What says he, in exhorting them concerning concord, that cause of all good things? See how earnestly, how vehemently, with how much sympathy he speaks, "If there be therefore any comfort in Christ," that is, if ye have any comfort in Christ, as if he had said, If thou makest any account of me, if thou hast any care of me, if thou hast ever received good at my hands, do this. This mode of earnestness we use when we claim a matter which we prefer to everything else. For if we did not prefer it to everything, we should not wish to receive in it our recompense for all things, nor say that through it all is represented. We indeed remind men of our carnal claims; for example, if a father were to say, If thou hast any reverence for thy father, if any remembrance of my care in nourishing thee, if any affection towards me, if any memory of the honor thou hast received of me, if any of my kindness, be not at enmity with thy brother; that is, for all those things, this is what I ask in return.

But Paul does not so; he calls to our remembrance no carnal, but all of them spiritual benefits. That is, if ye wish to give me any comfort in my temptations, and encouragement in Christ, if any consolation of love, if ye wish to show any communion in the Spirit, if ye have any tender mercies and compassions, fulfil ye my joy. "If any tender mercies and compassions." Paul speaks of the concord of his disciples as compassion towards himself, thus showing that the danger was extreme, if they were not of one mind. If I can obtain comfort from you, if I can obtain any consolation from our love if I can communicate with you in the Spirit, if I can have fellowship with you in the Lord, if I can find mercy and compassion at your hands, show by your love the return of alI this. All this have I gained, if ye love one another.

Ver. 2. "Fulfil ye my joy."

That the exhortation might not seem to be made to people who were still deficient, see how he says not, "do me joy," but "fulfil my joy"; that is, Ye have begun to plant it in me, ye have already given me some portion of peacefulness, but I desire to arrive at its fulness? Say, what wouldest thou? that we deliver thee from dangers? that we supply somewhat to thy need? Not so, but "that ye be of the same mind, having the same love," in which ye have begun, "being of one accord, of one mind." Just see, how often he repeats the same thing by reason of his great affection! "That ye be of the same mind," or rather, "that ye be of one mind." For this is more than "the same."

"Having the same love." That is, let it not be simply about faith alone, but also in all other things; for there is such a thing as to be of the same mind, and yet not to have love. "Having the same love," that is, love and be loved alike; do not thou enjoy much love, and show less love, so as to be covetous even in this matter; but do not suffer it in thyself. "Of one accord," he adds, that is, appropriating with one soul, the bodies of all, not in substance, for that is impossible, but in purpose and intention. Let all things proceed as from one soul. What means "of one accord "? He shows when he says "of one mind." Let your mind be one, as if from one soul.

Ver. 3. "Doing nothing through faction."

He finally demands this of them, and tells[1] them the way how this may be. "Doing nothing through faction or vainglory." This, as I always say, is the cause of all evil. Hence come fightings and contentions. Hence come envyings and strifes. Hence it is that love waxes cold, when we love the praise of men, when we are slaves to the honor which is paid by the many, for it is not possible for a man to be the slave of praise, and also a true servant of God. How then shall we flee vainglory? for thou hast not yet told us the way. Listen then to what follows.

"But in lowliness ofmind, each counting other better than himself." Oh how full of true wisdom, how universal a gathering-word[2] of our salvation is the lesson he has put forth! If thou deemest, he means, that another is greater than thyself, and persuadest thyself so, yea more, if thou not only sayest it, but art fully assured of it, then thou assignest him the honor, and if thou assignest him the honor, thou wilt not be displeased at seeing him honored by another. Do not then think him simply greater than thyself, but "better," which is a very great superiority, and thou dost not think it strange nor be pained thereby, if thou seest him honored. Yea, though he treat thee with scorn, thou dost bear it nobly, for thou hast esteemed him greater than thyself. Though he revile thee, thou dost submit; Though he treat thee ill, thou bearest it in silence. For when once the soul is fully assured that he is greater, it falls not into anger when it is ill-treated by him, nor yet into envy, for no one would envy those who are very far above himself, for all things belong to his superiority.

Here then he instructs the one party to be thus minded. But when he too, who enjoys such honor from thee, is thus affected toward thee, consider what a double wall there is erected of gentle forbearance [comp. Phil. iv. 5 ]; for when thou esteemest him thus worthy of honor, and he thee likewise, no painful thing can possibly arise; for if this conduct when shown by one is sufficient to destroy all strife, who shall break down the safeguard, when it is shown by both? Not even the Devil himself. The defense is threefold, and fourfold, yea manifold, for humanity is the cause of all good; and that you may learn this, listen to the prophet, saying, "Hadst thou desired sacrifice, I would have given it: Thou wilt not delight in burnt offerings. The sacrifice for God is a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart God will not despise."[1] (Ps. li. 16, 17.) Not simply humility, but intense humility. As in the case of bodily substances, that which is "broken" will not rise against that which is "solid," but, how many ills soever it may suffer, will perish itself rather than attack the other, so too the soul, even if constantly suffering ill, will choose rather to die, than to avenge itself by attack.

How long shall we be puffed up thus ridiculously? For as we laugh, when we see children drawing themselves up, and looking haughty, or when we see them picking up stones and throwing them, thus too the haughtiness[2] of men belongs to a puerile intellect, and an unformed mind. "Why are earth and ashes proud?" (Ecclus. x. 9.) Art thou highminded, O man? and why? tell me what is the gain? Whence art thou highminded against those of thine own kind? Dost not thou share the same nature? the same life? Hast not thou received like honor from God? But thou art wise? Thou oughtest to be thankful, not to be puffed up. Haughtiness is the first act of ingratitude, for it denies[3] the gift of grace. He that is puffed up, is puffed up as if he had excelled by his own strength, and he who thinks he has thus excelled is ungrateful toward Him who bestowed that honor. Hast thou any good? Be thankful to Him who gave it. Listen to what Joseph said, and what Daniel. For when the king of Egypt sent for him, and in the presence of all his host asked him concerning that matter in which the Egyptians, who were most learned in these things, had forsaken the field, when he was on the point of carrying off everything from them, and of appearing wiser than the astrologers, the enchanters, the magicians, and all the wise men of those times, and that from captivity and servitude, and he but a youth (and his glory was thus greater, for it is not the same thing to shine when known, and contrary to expectation, so that its being unlooked for rendered him the more admirable); what then, when he came before Pharaoh? Was it "Yea, I know"? But what? When no one urged it on him, he said from his own excellent spirit, "Do not interpretations belong to God?"[4] Behold he straightway glorified his Master, therefore he was glorified. And this also is no small thing. For that God had revealed it to him was a far greater thing than if he had himself excelled. For he showed that his words were worthy of credit, and it was a very great proof of his intimacy with God. There is no one thing so good as to be the intimate friend of God. "For if," says the Scripture, "he [Abraham] was justified by works, he hath whereof to glory, but not toward God." (Rom. iv. 2.) For if he who has been vouchsafed grace maketh his boast in God, that he is loved of Him, because his sins are forgiven, he too that worketh hath whereof to boast, but not before God, as the other (for it [5] is a proof of our excessive weakness); he who has received wisdom of God, how much more admirable is he? He glorifies God and is glorified of Him, for He says, "Them that honor Me, I will honor." (1 Sam. ii. 30.)

Again, listen to him who descended from Joseph, than whom no one was wiser. "Art thou wiser,"[6] says he, "than Daniel?" (Ezek. xxviii. 3.) This Daniel then, when all the wise men that were in Babylon, and the astrologers moreover, the prophets, the magicians, the enchanters, yea when the whole of their wisdom was not only coming to be convicted, but to be wholly destroyed (for their being destroyed was a clear proof that they had deceived before), this Daniel coming forward, and preparing to solve the king's question, does not take the honor to himself, but first ascribes the whole to God, and says, "But as for me, O king, it is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have beyond all men." (Dan. ii. 30) And "the king worshiped him, and commanded that they should offer an oblation." (Dan. ii. 46.) Seest thou his humility? seest thou his excellent spirit? seest thou this habit of lowliness? Listen also to the Apostles, saying at one time, "Why fasten ye your eyes on us, as though by our own power or godliness we had made this man to walk? (Acts iii. 12.) And again, "We are men of like passions with you." (Acts xiv. 15.) Now if they thus refused the honors paid them, men who by reason of the humility and power of Christ wrought greater deeds than Christ (for He says, "He that believeth in Me shall do greater works than those that I do" (John xiv. 12, abr.)), shall not we wretched and miserable men do so, who cannot even beat away gnats,[1] much less devils? who have not power to benefit a single man, much less the whole world, and yet think so much of ourselves that the Devil himself is not like us?

There is nothing so foreign to a Christian soul as haughtiness. Haughtiness, I say, not boldness nor courage, for these are congenial. But these are one thing, and that another; so too humility is one thing, and meanness, flattery, and adulation another.

I will now, if you wish, give you examples of all these qualities. For these things which are contraries, seem in some way to be placed near together, as the tares to the wheat, and the thorns to the rose. But while babes might easily be deceived, they who are men in truth, and are skilled in spiritual husbandry, know how to separate what is really good from the bad. Let me then lay before you examples of these qualities from the Scriptures. What is flattery, and meanness, and adulation? Ziba flattered [2] David out of season, and falsely slandered his master. (2 Sam. xvi. 1-3.) Much more did Ahitophel flatter Absalom. (2 Sam. xvii. 1-4.) But David was not so, but he was humble. For the deceitful are flatterers, as when they say, "O king, live for ever." (Dan. ii. 4.) Again, what flatterers the magicians are.

We shall find much to exemplify this in the case of Paul in the Acts. When he disputed with the Jews he did not flatter them, but was humble-minded (for he knew how to speak boldly), as when he says, "I, brethren, though I had done nothing against the people, or the customs of our fathers, yet was delivered prisoner from Jerusalem." (Acts xxviii. 17.)

That these were the words of humility, listen how he rebukes them in what follows, "Well spake the Holy Ghost, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall in nowise understand, and seeing ye shall see, and in nowise perceive." (Acts xxviii. 25; ib. 26.)

Seest thou his courage? Behold also the courage of John the Baptist, which he used before Herod; when he said, "It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother Philip's wife." (Mark vi. 18.) This was boldness, this was courage. Not so the words of Shimei, when he said, "Begone, thou man of blood" (2 Sam. xvi. 7), and yet he too spake with boldness; but this is not courage, but audacity, and insolence, and an unbridled tongue. Jezebel too reproached Jehu, when she said, "The slayer of his master" (2 Kings ix. 31), but this was audacity, not boldness. Elias too reproached, but this was boldness and courage; "I do not trouble Israel, but thou and thy father's house." (1 Kings xviii. 18.) Again, Elias spake with boldness to the whole people, saying, "How long will ye go lame on both your thighs?" (1 Kings xviii. 21, LXX.) Thus to rebuke was boldness and courage. This too the prophets did, but that other was audacity.

Would you see words both of humility and not of flattery,[3] listen to Paul, saying," But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man's judgment; yea, I judge not mine own self. For I know nothing against myself, yet am I not hereby justified." (1 Cor. iv. 3, 4.) This is of a spirit that becomes a Christian; and again, "Dare any of you, having a matter against his neighbor, go to law before the unrighteous, and not before the saints"? (1 Cor. vi. 1.)

Would you see the flattery of the foolish Jews? listen to them, saying, "We have no king but Caesar." (John xix. 15.) Would you see humility? listen to Paul again, when he says," For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake." (2 Cor. iv. 5.) Would you see both flattery and audacity? "Audacity" ( 1 Sam. xxv. 10) in the case of Nabal, and "flattery" (1 Sam. xxiii. 20) in that of the Ziphites? For in their purpose they betrayed David. Would you see "wisdom" (1 Sam. xxvi. 5-12) and not flattery, that of David, how he gat Saul into his power, and yet spared him? Would you see the flattery of those who murdered Mephibosheth,[1] whom also David slew? In fine, and as it were in outline, to sum up all, audacity is shown when one is enraged, and insults another for no just cause, either to avenge himself, or in some unjust way is audacious; but boldness and courage are when we dare to face perils and deaths, and despise friendships and enmities for the sake of what is pleasing to God. Again, flattery and meanness are when one courts another not for any right end, but hunting after some of the things of this life; but humility, when one does this for the sake of things pleasing to God, and descends from his own proper station that he may perform something great and admirable. If we know these things, happy are we if we do them. For to know them is not enough. For Scripture says, "Not the hearers of a law, but the doers of a law shall be justified." (Rom. ii. 13.) Yea, knowledge itself condemneth, when it is without action and deeds of virtue. Wherefore that we may escape the condemnation, let us follow after the practice, that we may obtain those good things that are promised to us, by the grace and love of our Lord Jesus Christ.

HOMILY VI.

PHILIPPIANS ii. 5-8.

"Have this mind in you, which was also in Christ Jesus; who, being in the form of God, counted it not a prize to be on an equality with God, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men; and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, becoming obedient even unto death, yea, the death of the cross."

OUR Lord Jesus Christ, when exhorting His disciples to great actions, places before them Himself, and the Father, and the Prophets, as examples; as when He says, "For thus they did unto the Prophets which were before you" (Matt. v. 12; Luke vi. 23); and again, "If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you" (John xv. 20); and, "Learn of me, for I am meek" (Matt. xi. 29); and again, "Be ye merciful, as your Father which is in heaven is merciful." (Luke vi. 36.) This too the blessed Paul did; in exhorting them to humility, he brought forward Christ. And he does so not here only, but also when he discourses of love towards the poor, he speaks in this wise. "For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor." (2 Cor. viii. 9.) Nothing rouses a great and philosophic soul to the performance of good works, so much as learning that in this it is likened to God. What encouragement is equal to this? None. This Paul well knowing, when he would exhort them to humility, first beseeches and supplicates them, then to awe[2] them he says, "That ye stand fast in one Spirit"; he says also, that it "is for them an evident token of perdition, but of your salvation." (Phil. i. 27, 28.) And last of all he says this, "Have this mind in you, which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, counted it not a prize to be on an equality with God, but emptied Himself, taking upon Him the form of a servant." (Phil. ii. 5-7.) Attend, I entreat you, and rouse yourselves. For as a sharp two-edged sword, wheresoever it falls, though it be among ten thousand phalanxes, easily cuts through and destroys, because it is sharp on every side, and nought can bear its edge; so are the words of the Spirit. (Heb. iv. 12; Rev. i. 16.) For by these words he has laid low the followers of Arius of Alexandria, of Paul of Samosata, of Marcellus the Galatian, of Sabellius the Libyan, of Marcion that was of Pontus, of Valentinus, of Manes, of Apollinarius of Laodicea, of Photinus, of Sophronius, and, in one word, all the heresies. Rouse yourselves then to behold so great a spectacle, so many armies falling by one stroke, lest the pleasure of such a sight should escape you. For if when chariots contend in the horse race there is nothing so pleasing as when one of them dashes against and overthrows whole chariots with their drivers, and after throwing down many with the charioteers that stood thereon, drives by alone towards the goal, and the end of the course, and amid the applause and clamor which rises on all sides to heaven, with coursers winged as it were by that joy and that applause, sweeps over the whole ground; how much greater will the pleasure be here, when by the grace of God we overthrow at once and in a body the combinations and devilish machinations of all these heresies together with their charioteers? And if it seem good to you, we will first arrange the heresies themselves in order. Would you have them in the order of their impiety, or of their dates? In the order of time, for it is difficult to judge of the order of their impiety. First then let Sabellius[1] the Libyan come forward. What does he assert? that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, are mere names given to one Person. Marcion[2] of Pontus says, that God the Creator of all things is not good, nor the Father of the good Christ, but another righteous one,[3] and that he did not take flesh for us. Marcellus,[4] and Photinus,[5] and Sophronius assert, that the Word is an energy, and that it was this energy that dwelt in Him who was of the seed of David, and not a personal substance.

Arius confesses indeed the Son, but only in word; he says that He is a creature, and much inferior to the Father. And others say that He has not a soul. Seest thou the chariots standing? See then their fall, how he overthrows them all together, and with a single stroke. How? "Have the same mind in you," he says, "which was in Christ Jesus, who being in the form of God, counted it not a prize to be on an equality with God." And Paul[6] of Samosata has fallen, and Marcellus, and Sabellius. For he says, "Being in the form of God." If "in the form" how sayest thou, O wicked one, that He took His origin from Mary, and was not before? and how dost thou say that He was an energy? For it is written, "The form of God took the form of a servant." "The form of a servant," is it the energy of a servant, or the nature of a servant? By all means, I fancy, the nature of a servant. Thus too the form of God, is the nature of God, and therefore not an energy. Behold also Marcellus of Galatia, Sophronius and Photinus have fallen.

Behold Sabellius too. It is written, "He counted it not a prize to be on an equality with God." Now equality is not predicated, where there is but one person, for that which is equal hath somewhat to which it is equal. Seest thou not the substance of two Persons, and not empty names without things? Hearest thou not the eternal pre-existence of the Only-begotten?

Lastly, What shall we say against Arius,[7] who asserts the Son is of a different substance? Tell me now, what means, "He took the form of a servant"? It means, He became man. Wherefore "being in the form of God," He was God. For one "form" and another "form" is named; if the one be true, the other is also. "The form of a servant" means, Man by nature, wherefore "the form of God" means, God by nature. And he not only bears record of this, but of His equality too, as John also doth, that he is no way inferior to the Father, for he saith, "He thought it not a thing to seize,[8] to be equal with God." Now what is their wise reasoning? Nay, say they, he proves the very contrary; for he says, that," being in the form of God, He seized not equality with God." How if He were God, how was He able "to seize upon it"? and is not this without meaning? Who would say that one, being a man, seized not on being a man? for how would any one seize on that which he is? No, say they, but he means that being a little God, He seized not upon being equal to the great God, Who was greater than He. Is there a great and a little God? And do ye bring in the doctrines of the Greeks upon those of the Church? With them there is a great and a little God. If it be so with you, I know not. For you will find it nowhere in the Scriptures: there you will find a great God throughout, a little one nowhere. If He were little, how would he also be God? If man is not little and great, but one nature, and if that which is not of this one nature is not man, how can there be a little God and a great one?

He who is not of that nature is not God. For He is everywhere called great in Scripture; "Great is the Lord, and highly to be praised." (Ps. xlviii. 1.) This is said of the Son also, for it always calls Him Lord. "Thou art great, and doest wondrous things. Thou art God alone." (Ps. lxxxvi. 10.) And again, "Great is our Lord, and great is His power, and of His greatness there is no end." (Ps. cxlv. 3.)

But the Son, he says, is little. But it is thou that sayest this, for the Scripture says the contrary: as of the Father, so it speaks of the Son; for listen to Paul, saying, "Looking for the blessed hope, and appearing of the glory of our great God." (Tit. ii. 13.) But can he have said "appearing" of the Father? Nay, that he may the more convince you, he has added with reference to the appearing "of the great God." Is it then not said of the Father? By no means. For the sequel suffers it not which says, "The appearing of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ."[9] See, the Son is great also. How then speakest thou of small and great?

Listen to the Prophet too, calling him "The Messenger[10] of great counsel." (Isa. ix. 6.) "The Messenger of great counsel," is He not great Himself? "The mighty God," is He small and not great? What mean then these shameless and reckless men when they say, that being little He is a God? I repeat ofttimes what they say, that ye may the more avoid them. He being a lesser God seized not for Himself to be like the greater God ! Tell me now (but think not that these words are mine), if he were little, as they say, and far inferior to the Father in power, how could He possibly have seized to Himself equality with God? For an inferior nature could not seize for himself admission into that which is great; for example, a man could not seize on becoming equal to an angel in nature; a horse could not, though he wished it, seize on being equal to a man in nature. But besides all that, I will say this too. What does Paul wish to establish by this example? Surely, to lead the Philippians to humility. To what purpose then did he bring forward this example? For no one who would exhort to humility speaks thus; "Be thou humble, and think less of thyself than of thine equals in honor, for such an one who is a slave has not risen against his master; do thou imitate him." This, any one would say, is not humility, but arrogance.[1] Learn ye what humility is, ye who have a devilish pride! What then is humility? To be lowly minded. And he is lowly minded who humbles himself, not he who is lowly by necessity. To explain what I say; and do ye attend; he who is lowly minded, when he has it in his power to be high minded, is humble, but he who is so because he is not able to be high minded, is no longer humble. For instance, If a King subjects himself to his own officer, he is humble, for he descends from his high estate; but if an officer does so, he will not be lowly minded; for how? he has not humbled himself from any high estate. It is not possible to show humble-mindedness except it be in our power to do otherwise. For if it is necessary for us to be humble even against our will, that excellency comes not from the spirit or the will, but from necessity. This virtue is called humble-mindedness, because it is the humbling of the mind.

If he who has it not in his power to snatch at another's goods, continues in the possession of his own; should we praise him, think you, for his justice? I trow not, and why? The praise of free choice is taken away by the necessity. If he, who has it not in his power to usurp and be a king, remains a private citizen, should we praise him for his quietness? I trow not. The same rule applies here. For praise, O ye most senseless ones, is not given for abstaining from these things, but for the performance of good deeds; for the former is free indeed from blame, but partakes not yet of praise, while eulogy of the other is meet. Observe accordingly that Christ gives praise on this principle, when He says, "Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was an hungered, and ye gave Me meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave Me drink." (Matt. xxv. 34, 35.) He did not say, Because ye have not been covetous, because ye have not robbed; these are slight things; but because "ye saw Me an hungered, and fed Me." Who ever praised either his friends or his enemies in this sort? No one ever praised even Paul. Why say Paul? no one ever praised even a common man, as thou dost praise Christ, because he did not take that rule which was not his due. To admire for such things as this, is to give evidence of much evil. And why? because with evil men this is a matter of praise, as of one that stealeth, if he steal no more; but it is otherwise among good men. (Eph. iv. 28.) Because a man has not seized on a rule and an honor which was not his due, is he praiseworthy? What folly is this?

Attend, I entreat you, for the reasoning is long. Again, who would ever exhort to humility from such grounds as this? Examples ought to be much greater than the subject, to which we are exhorting, for no one will be moved by what is foreign to the subject, For instance, when Christ would lead us to do good to our enemies, He brought a great example, even that of His Father, "For He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sendeth rain on the just and the unjust." (Matt. v. 45.) When He would lead to endurance of wrong He brought an example, "Learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart." (Matt. xi. 29.) And again, "If I your Lord and Master do these things, how much more should ye"? (John xiii. 14.) Seest thou how these examples are not distant,[2] for there is no need they should be so distant, for indeed we also do these things, especially as in this case the example is not even near. And how? If He be a servant, He is inferior, and subject to Him that is greater; but this is not lowliness of mind. It was requisite to show the contrary, namely, that the greater person subjected himself to the lesser. But since he found not this distinction in the case of God, between greater and lesser, he made at least an equality. Now if the Son were inferior, this were not a sufficient example to lead us to humility. And why? because it is not humility, for the lesser not to rise against the greater, not to snatch at rule, and to be "obedient unto death."

Again, consider what he says after the example, "In lowliness of mind, each counting other better than themselves." (Phil. ii. 3.) He says, "counting," for as ye are one in substance, and in the honor which cometh of God, it follows that the matter is one of estimation. Now in the case of those who are greater and lesser, he would not have said "counting," but honor them that are better than yourselves, as he says in another place, "Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit to them." (Heb. xiii. 17.) In that instance subjection is the result of the nature of the case, in this of our own judgment. "In lowliness of mind," he says, "each counting other better than themselves," as Christ also did.

Thus are their explanations overthrown. It remains that I speak of our own after I have first spoken of theirs summarily. When exhorting to lowliness of mind, Paul would never have brought forward a lesser one, as obedient to a greater. If he were exhorting servants to obey their masters, he might have done so with propriety, but when exhorting the free to obey the free, to what purpose could he bring forward the subjection of a servant to a master? of a lesser to a greater? He says not, "Let the lesser be subject to the greater," but ye who are of equal honor with each other be ye subject, "each counting other better than themselves." Why then did he not bring forward even the obedience of the wife, and say, As the wife obeys her husband, so do ye also obey. Now if he did not bring forward that state in which there is equality and liberty, since in that the subjection is but slight, how much less would he have brought forward the subjection of a slave? I said above, that no one so praises a man for abstaining from evil, nor even mentions him at all; no one who desires to praise a man for continence would say, he has not committed adultery, but, he has abstained from his own wife; for we do not consider abstinence from evil as a matter of praise at all, it would be ridiculous.

I said that the "form of a servant" was a true form, and nothing less. Therefore "the form of God" also is perfect, and no less. Why says he not, "being made in the form of God," but "being in the form of God"? This is the same as the saying, "I am that I am." (Ex. iii. 14.) Form" implies unchangeableness, so far as it is form. It is not possible that things of one substance should have the form of another, as no man has the form of an angel, neither has a beast the form of a man. How then should the Son?

Now in our own case, since we men are of a compound nature, form pertains to the body, but in the case of a simple and altogether uncompounded nature it is of the substance. But if thou contendest that he speaks not of the Father, because the word is used without the article, in many places this is meant, though the word be used without the article. Why say I, in many places? for in this very place he says, "He counted it not a prize to be on an equality with God," using the word without the article, though speaking of God the Father.

I would add our own explanation, but I fear that I shall overwhelm your minds. Meanwhile remember what has been said for their refutation; meanwhile let us root out the thorns, and then we will scatter the good seed after that the thorns have been rooted out, and a little rest has been given to the land; that when rid of all the evil thence contracted, it may receive the divine seed with full virtue.

Let us give thanks to God for what has been spoken; let us entreat Him to grant us the guarding and safe keeping thereof, that both we and ye may rejoice, and the heretics may be put to shame. Let us beseech Him to open our mouth for what follows, that we may with the same earnestness lay down our own views. Let us supplicate Him to vouchsafe us a life worthy of the faith, that we may live to His glory, and that His name may not be blasphemed through us. For, "woe unto you," it is written, "through whom the name of God is blasphemed." (Isa. lii. 5, LXX. nearly.) For if, when we have a son, (and what is there more our own than a son,) if therefore when we have a son, and are blasphemed through him, we publicly renounce him, turn away from him, and will not receive him; how much more will God, when He has ungrateful servants who blaspheme and insult Him, turn away from them and hate them? And who will take up him whom God hates and turns away from, but the Devil and the demons? And whomsoever the demons take, what hope of salvation is left for him? what consolation in life?

As long as we are in the hand of God, "no one is able to pluck us out" (John x. 28), for that hand is strong; but when we fall away from that hand and that help, then are we lost, then are we exposed, ready to be snatched away, as a "bowing wall, and a tottering fence" (Ps. lxii. 3); when the wall is weak, it will be easy for all to surmount. Think not this which I am about to say refers to Jerusalem alone, but to all men. And what was spoken of Jerusalem? "Now will I sing to my well-beloved a song of my beloved touching His vineyard. My well-beloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill, and I made a fence about it, and surrounded it with a dike, and planted it with the vine of Sorech, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also dug a wine press in it, and I looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth thorns. And now, O men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, judge between Me and My vineyard. What should have been done to My vineyard, that I have not done to it? Wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth thorns? Now therefore I will tell you what I will do to My vineyard: I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be for a prey, and I will break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down. And I will leave My vineyard, and it shall not be pruned or digged, but thorns shall come up upon it, as upon a desert land. I will also command the clouds, that they rain no rain upon it. For the vineyard of the Lord of Sabaoth is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah His pleasant plant. I looked that it should do judgment, but it did iniquity, and a cry instead of righteousness." (Isa. v. 1-7, LXX.) This is spoken also of every soul. For when God who loveth man hath done all that is needful and man then bringeth forth thorns instead of grapes, He will take away the fence, and break down the wall, and we shall be for a prey. For hear what another prophet speaks in his lamentations: "Why hast thou broken down her fences, so that all they which pass by the way do pluck her? The boar out of the wood doth ravage it, and the wild beasts of the field feed on it." (Ps. lxxx. 12, 13.) In the former place He speaks of the Mede and the Babylonian, here nought is said of them, but "the boar," and "the solitary beast" is the Devil and all his host, because of the ferocity and impurity of his disposition. For when it would show us his rapacity, it saith, "As a roaring lion he walketh about, seeking whom he may devour" (1 Pet. v. 8): when his poisonous, his deadly, his destructive nature, it calleth him a snake, and a scorpion; "For tread," saith He, "upon serpents and scorpions, and upon all the power of the enemy" (Luke x. 19): when it would represent his strength as well as his venom, it calleth him a dragon; as when it says, This dragon "whom thou hast formed to take his pastime therein." (Ps. civ. 26.) Scripture everywhere calleth him a dragon, and a crooked serpent, and an adder (Ps. lxxiv. 13, 14); he is a beast of many folds, and varied in his devices, and his strength is great, he moves all things, he disturbs all things, he turns all things up and down. (Isa. xxvii. 1; li. 9; Ezek. xxix. 3; xxxii. 2.) But fear not, neither be afraid; watch only, and he will be as a sparrow; "for," saith He, "tread upon serpents and scorpions." If we will, He causes him to be trodden down under our feet.

See now what scorn is it, yea, what misery, to see him standing over our heads, who has been given to us to tread down. And whence is this? it is of ourselves. If we choose, he becomes great; and if we choose, he becomes of small power. If we take heed to ourselves, and take up our stand with Him who is our King, he draws himself in, and will be no better than a little child in his warfare against us. Whensoever we stand apart from Him, he puffeth himself up greatly, he uttereth terrible sounds, he grindeth his teeth, because he finds us without our greatest help. For he will not approach to us, except God permit him; for if he dared not to enter into the herd of swine, except by God's permission, how much less into men's souls. But God does permit him, either chastening or punishing us, or making us more approved, as in the case of Job. Seest thou that he came not to him, neither dared to be near him, but trembled and quaked? Why speak I of Job? When he leaped upon Judas, he dared not to seize on him wholly, and to enter into him, until Christ had severed him from the sacred band. He attacked him indeed from without, but he dared not enter in, but when he saw him cut off from that holy flock, he leaped upon him with more than wolfish vehemence, and left him not till he had slain him with a double death.

These things are written for our admonition. What gain have we from knowing that one of the twelve was a traitor? what profit? what advantage? Much. For, when we know whence it was that he arrived at this deadly counsel, we are on our guard that we too suffer not the like. Whence came he to this? From the love of money. He was a thief. For thirty pieces of silver he betrayed his Lord. So drunken was he with the passion, he betrayed the Lord of the world for thirty pieces of silver. What can be worse than this madness? Him to whom nothing is equivalent, nothing is equal, "before whom the nations are as nothing" (Isa. xl. 15), Him did he betray for thirty pieces of silver. A grievous tyrant indeed is the love of gold, and terrible in putting the soul beside itself. A man is not so beside himself through drunkenness[1] as through love of money, not so much from madness and insanity as from love of money.

For tell me, why didst thou betray Him? He called thee, when a man unmarked and unknown. He made thee one of the twelve, He gave thee a share in His teaching, He promised thee ten thousand good things, He caused thee to work wonders, thou wert sharer of the same table, the same journeys, the same company, the same intercourse, as the rest. And were not these things sufficient to restrain thee? For what reason didst thou betray Him? What hadst thou to charge Him with, O wicked one? Rather, what good didst thou not receive at His hands? He knew thy mind, and ceased not to do His part. He often said, "One of you shall betray Me." (Matt. xxvi. 21.) He often marked thee, and yet spared thee, and though He knew thee to be such an one, yet cast thee not out of the band. He still bore with thee, He still honored thee, and loved thee, as a true disciple, and as one of the twelve, and last of all (oh, for thy vileness!), He took a towel, and with His own unsullied hands He washed thy polluted feet, and even this did not keep thee back. Thou didst steal the things of the poor, and that thou mightest not go on to greater sin, He bore this too. Nothing persuaded thee. Hadst thou been a beast, or a stone, wouldest thou not have been changed by these kindnesses towards thee, by these wonders, by these teachings? Though thou wast thus brutalized, yet still He called thee, and by wondrous works He drew thee, thou wast more senseless than a stone, to Himself. Yet for none of these things didst thou become better.

Ye wonder perhaps at such folly of the traitor; dread therefore that which wounded him. He became such from avarice, from the love of money. Cut out this passion, for to these diseases does it give birth; it makes us impious, and causes[1] us to be ignorant of God, though we have received ten thousand benefits at His hands. Cut it out, I entreat you, it is no common disease, it knoweth how to give birth to a thousand destructive deaths. We have seen his tragedy. Let us fear lest we too fall into the same snares. For this is it written, that we too should not suffer the same things. Hence did all the Evangelists relate it, that they might restrain us. Flee then far from it. Covetousness consisteth not alone in the love of much money, but in loving money at all. It is grievous avarice to desire more than we need. Was it talents of gold that persuaded the traitor? For thirty pieces of silver he betrayed his Lord. Do ye not remember what I said before, that covetousness is not shown in receiving much, but rather in receiving little things? See how great a crime he committed for a little gold, rather not for gold, but for pieces of silver.

It cannot, it cannot be that an avaricious man should ever see the face of Christ! This is one of the things which are impossible. It is a root of evils, and if he that possesses one evil thing, falls from that glory, where shall he stand who bears with him the root? He who is the servant of money cannot be a true servant of Christ. Christ Himself hath declared that the thing is impossible. "Ye cannot," He says, "serve God and Mammon," and, "No man can serve two masters" (Matt. vi. 24), for they lay upon us contrary orders. Christ says, "Spare the poor"; Mammon says, "Even from the naked[2] strip off the things they have." Christ says, "Empty thyself of what thou hast"; Mammon says, "Take also what thou hast not." Seest thou the opposition, seest thou the strife? How is it that a man cannot easily obey both, but must despise one? Nay, does it need proof? How so? Do we not see in very deed, that Christ is despised, and Mammon honored? Perceive ye not how that the very words are painful? How much more then the thing itself? But it does not appear so painful in reality, because we are possessed with the disease. Now if the soul be but a little cleansed of the disease, as long as it remains here, it can judge right; but when it departs elsewhere, and is seized by the fever, and is engaged in the pleasure of the thing, it hath not its perception clear, it hath not its tribunal uncorrupt. Christ says, "Whosoever he be of you that renounceth not all that he hath, he cannot be My disciple" (Luke xiv. 33); Mammon says, "Take the bread from the hungry." Christ says, "Cover the naked" (Isa. lviii. 7); the other says, "Strip the naked." Christ says, "Thou shalt not hide thyself from thine own flesh," (Isa. lviii. 7) and those of thine own house;[3] Mammon says,[4] "Thou shall not pity those of thine own seed; though thou seest thy mother or thy father in want, despise them." Why say I father or mother? "Even thine own soul," he says, "destroy it also." And he is obeyed! Alas! he who commands us cruel, and mad, and brutal things, is listened to rather than He who bids us gentle and healthful things! For this is hell appointed; for this, fire; for this, a river of fire; for this, a worm that dieth not.

I know that many hear me say these things with pain, and indeed it is not without pain I say them. But why need I say these things? I could wish the things concerning the kingdom to be ever my discourse, of the rest, of the waters of rest, of the green pastures, as the Scripture says, "He maketh me to lie down in green pastures, He leadeth me beside the still waters" (Ps. xxiii. 2), there He maketh me to dwell. I could wish to speak of the place, whence "sorrow and sighing shall flee away." (Isa. li. 11.)

I could wish to discourse of the pleasures of being with Christ, though they pass all expression and all understanding. Yet would I speak of these things according to my power. But what shall I do? it is not possible to speak concerning a kingdom[5] to one that is diseased and in fever; then we must needs speak of health. It is not possible to speak of honor to one that is brought to trial, for at that time his desire is that he be freed from judgment, and penalty, and punishment. If this be not effected, how shall the other be? It is for this cause that I am continually speaking of these things, that we may the sooner pass over to those other. For this cause does God threaten hell, that none may fall into hell, that we all may obtain the kingdom; for this cause we too make mention continually of hell, that we may thrust you onward towards the kingdom, that when we have softened your minds by fear, we may bring you to act worthily of the kingdom. Be not then displeased at the heaviness of our words, for the heaviness of these words lightens our souls from sin.[1] Iron is heavy, and the hammer is heavy, but it forms vessels fit for use, both of gold and silver, and straightens things which are crooked i and if it were not heavy, it would have no power to straighten the distorted substance. Thus too our heavy speech has power to bring the soul into its proper tone. Let us not then flee from heaviness of speech, nor the strokes it gives; the stroke is nor given that it may break in pieces or tear the soul, but to straighten it. We know how we strike, how by the grace of God we inflict the stroke, so as not to crush the vessel, but to polish it, to render it straight, and meet for the Master's use, to offer it glittering in soundness, skillfully wrought against that Day of the river of fire, to offer it having no need of that burning pile. For if we expose not ourselves to fire here, we must needs be burned there, it cannot be otherwise; "For the day of the Lord is revealed by fire." (1 Cor. iii. 13.) Better is it that ye be burned for a little space by our words, than for ever in that flame. That this will indeed be so, is plain, and I have ofttimes given you reasons[3] which cannot be gain-said. We ought truly to be persuaded from the Scriptures, but forasmuch as some are contentious, we have also brought forward many arguments from reason. Nothing binders that I now mention them, and what were they? God is just. We all acknowledge this, both Greeks and Jews, and Heretics, and Christians. But many sinners have had their departure without punishment, many righteous men have had their departure after suffering ten thousand grievous things. If then God be just, where will He reward their good to the one, and their punishment to the other, if there be no hell, if there be no resurrection? This reason then do ye constantly repeat[4] to them and to yourselves, and it will not suffer you to disbelieve the resurrection, and whoso disbelieves not the resurrection will take care to live with all heed so as to obtain eternal happiness, of which may we all be counted worthy, by the grace and lovingkindness of our Lord Jesus Christ, with whom, &c.

HOMILY VII.

PHILIPPIANS ii. 5-11.

"Have this mind in you which was also in Christ Jesus: who, being in the form of God, counted it not a prize to be on an equality with God; but emptied Himself, taking upon Him the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, becoming obedient unto death, yea, the death of the cross. Wherefore also God highly exalted Him, and gave Him the Name which is above every name: that in the Name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things on earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

I HAVE stated the views of[2] the heretics. It is befitting that I now speak of what is our own. They say that the words, "He counted it not a prize," are of wrongfully seizing.[5] We have proved, that this is altogether vapid and impertinent, for no man would exhort another to humility on such grounds, nor in this sort does he praise God, or even man. What is it then, beloved? Give heed to what I now say. Since many men think, that, when they are lowly, they are deprived of their proper right, and debased, Paul, to take away this fear, and to show that we must not be affected thus, says that God, the only begotten, who was in the form of God, who was no whit inferior to the Father, who was equal to Him, "counted it not a prize to be on an equality with God."

Now learn what this meaneth. Whatsoever a man robs, and takes contrary to his right, he dares not lay aside, from fear lest it perish, and fall from his possession, but he keeps hold of it continually. He who possesses some dignity which is natural to him, fears not to descend from that dignity, being assured that nothing of this sort will happen to him. As for example, Absalom usurped the government, and dared not afterwards to lay it aside. We will go to another example, but if example cannot present the whole matter to you, take it not amiss, for this is the nature of examples, they leave the greater part for the imagination to reason out. A man rebels against his sovereign, and usurps the kingdom: he dares not lay aside and hide the matter, for if he once hide it, straightway it is gone. Let us also take another example; if a man takes anything violently, he keeps firm hold of it continually, for if he lay it down, he straightway loses it. And generally speaking, they who have aught by rapine are afraid to lay it by, or hide it, or not to keep constantly in that state which they have assumed. Not so they, who have possessions not procured by rapine, as Man, who possesses the dignity of being a reasonable being. But here examples fail me, for there is no natural preèminence amongst us, for no good thing is naturally our own; but they are inherent in the nature of God. What does one say then? That the Son of God feared not to descend from His right, for He thought not Deity a prize seized. He was not afraid that any would strip Him of that nature or that right, Wherefore He laid it[1] aside, being confident that He should take it up again. He hid it, knowing that He was not made inferior by so doing. For this cause, Paul says not, "He seized not," but," He counted it not a prize" ; He possessed not that estate by seizure, but it was natural, not conferred,[2] it was enduring and safe. Wherefore he refused not to take the form of an inferior.[3] The tyrant fears to lay aside the purple robe in war, while the king does it with much safety. Why so? because he holds his power not as a matter of seizure. He did not refuse to lay it aside, as one who had usurped it, but since He had it as His own by nature, since it could never be parted from Him, He hid it.

This equality with God He had not by seizure, but as his own by nature. Wherefore "He emptied Himself." Where be they who affirm, that He underwent constraint, that He was subjected? Scripture says, "He emptied Himself, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death." How did He empty Himself? By taking "the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men, and being found in fashion as a man." It is written, "He emptied Himself" in reference to the text, "each counting other better than himself." Since had He been subjected, had He not chosen it of His own accord, and of His own free will, it would not have been an act of humility. For if He knew not that so it must be, He would have been imperfect. If, not knowing it, He had waited for the time of action, then would He not have known the season. But if He both knew that so it must be, and when it must be, wherefore should He submit to be subjected? To show, they say, the superiority of the Father. But this shows not the superiority of the Father, but His own inferiority. For is not the name of the Father sufficient to show the priority of the Father? For apart from Him, the son has all the same things. For this honor is not capable of passing from the Father to the Son.

What then say the heretics? See, say they, He did not become man. The Marcionites, I mean.[4] But why? He was "made in the likeness of man." But how can one be "made in the likeness of men"? by putting on a shadow? But this is a phantom, and no longer the likeness of a man, for the likeness of a man is another man. And what wilt thou answer to John, when he says, "The Word became flesh"? (John i. 14.) But this same blessed one himself also says in another place, "in the likeness of sinful flesh." (Rom. viii. 3.)

"And being found in fashion as a man." See, they say, both" in fashion," and "as a man." To be as a man, and to be a man in fashion, is not to be a man indeed. To be a man in fashion is not to be a man by nature. See with what ingenuousness I lay down what our enemies say, for that is a brilliant victory, and amply gained, when we do not conceal what seem to be their strong points. For this is deceit rather than victory. What then do they say? let me repeat their argument. To be a man in fashion is not to be a man by nature; and to be as a man, and in the fashion of a man, this is not to be a man. So then to take the form of a servant, is not to take the form[5] of a servant. Here then is an inconsistency; and wherefore do you not first of all solve this difficulty? For as you think that this contradicts us, so do we say that the other contradicts you. He says not, "as the form of a servant," nor "in the likeness of the form of a servant," nor "in the fashion of the form of a servant," but "He took the form of a servant." What then is this? for there is a contradiction. There is no contradiction. God forbid! it is a cold and ridiculous argument of theirs. He took, say they, the form of a servant, when He girded Himself with a towel, and washed the feet of His disciples. Is this the form of a servant? Nay, this is not the form, but the work of a servant. It is one thing that there should be the work of a servant, and another to take the form of a servant. Why did he not say, He did the work of a servant, which were clearer? But nowhere in Scripture is "form" put for "work," for the difference is great: the one is the result of nature, the other of action. In common speaking, too, we never use "form" for "work." Besides, according to them, He did not even take the work of a servant, nor even gird Himself. For if all was a mere shadow,[1] there was no reality. If He had not real hands, how did He wash their feet? If He had not real loins, how did He gird Himself with a towel? and what kind of garments did he take? for Scripture says, "He took His garments." (John xiii. 12.) So then not even the work is found to have really taken place, but it was all a deception, nor did He even wash the disciples. For if that incorporeal nature did not appear, it[2] was not in a body. Who then washed the disciples' feet?

Again, what in opposition to Paul of Samosata? for what did he affirm? The very same. But it is no emptying of Himself, that one who is of human nature, and a mere man, should wash his fellow-servants. For what we said against the Arians, we must repeat against these too, for they differ not from one another, save by a little space of time; both the one and the other affirm the Son of God to be a creature. What then shall we say to them? If He being a man washed man, He emptied not, He humbled not Himself. If He being a man seized not on being equal with God, He is not deserving of praise. That God should become man, is great, unspeakable, inexpressible humility; but what humility is there in that one, who was a man should do the works of men? And where is the work of God ever called "the form of God"? for if he were a mere man, and was called the form of God by reason of His works, why do we not do the same of Peter, for he wrought greater deeds than Christ Himself? Why say you not of Paul, that he had the form of God? Why did not Paul give an example of himself, for he wrought a thousand servile works, and did not even refuse to say, "For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake." (2 Cor. iv. 5.) These are absurdities and trifles! Scripture says, He "emptied Himself." How did He empty Himself? tell me. What was His emptying? what His humiliation? was it because He wrought wonders? This both Paul and Peter did, so that this was not peculiar to the Son. What then means, "Being made in the likeness of men"? He had many things belonging to us, and many He had not; for instance, He was not born of wedlock. He did no sin. These things had He which no man has. He was not what he seemed only, but He was God also; He seemed to be a man, but He was not like the mass of men. For He was like them in flesh. He means then, that He was not a mere man. Wherefore he says, "in the likeness of men." For we indeed are soul and body, but He was God, and soul and body, wherefore he says, "in the likeness." For lest when you hear hat He emptied Himself, you should think that some change, and degeneracy, and loss is here; he says, whilst He remained what He was, He took that which He was not, and being made flesh He remained God, in that He was the Word. (John i. 14.)

In this then He was like man, and for this cause Paul says, "and in fashion." Not that His nature degenerated, nor that any confusion arose, but He became man in fashion. For when He had said that "He took the form of a servant," he made bold[3] to say this also, seeing that the first would silence all objectors; since when he says, "In the likeness of sinful flesh," he says not that He had not flesh, but that that flesh sinned not, but was like to sinful flesh. Like in what? in nature, not in sin, therefore was His like a sinful soul. As then in the former case the term similarity was used, because He was not equal in everything, so here also there is similarity, because He is not equal in everything, as His not being born of wedlock, His being without sin, His being not a mere man. And he well said "as a man," for He was not one of the many, but "as" one of the many. The Word who was God did not degenerate into man, nor was His substance changed, but he appeared as a man; not to delude us with a phantom, but to instruct us in humility. When therefore he says, "as a man," this is what He means; since he calls Him a man elsewhere also, when he says, "there is one God, one Mediator also between God and men, Himself man, Christ Jesus." (1 Tim. ii. 5.)

Thus much against these heretics. I must now speak against such as deny that He took a soul.[4] If "the form of God" is "perfect God," then the "form of a servant" is "a perfect servant." Again, against the Arians. Here concerning His divinity, we no longer find "He became," "He took," but "He emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men"; here concerning his humanity we find "He took, He became." He became the latter, He took the latter; He was the former. Let us not then confound nor divide the natures. There is one God, there is one Christ, the Son of God; when I say" One," I mean a union, not a confusion ; the one Nature did not degenerate into the other, but was united with it.

"He humbled Himself, becoming obedient unto death, yea, the death of the cross." See, says one, He voluntarily became obedient; he was not equal to Him whom He obeyed. O ye obstinate ones and unwise! This cloth not at all lower Him. For we too become obedient to our friends, yet this has no effect. He became obedient as a Son to His Father; He fell not thus into a servile state, but by this very act above all others guarded his wondrous Sonship, by thus greatly honoring the Father. He honored the Father, not that thou shouldest dishonor Him, but that thou shouldest the rather admire Him, and learn from this act, that He is a true Son, in honoring His Father more than all besides. No one hath thus honored God. As was His height, such was the correspondent humiliation which He underwent. As He is greater than all, and no one is equal to Him, so in honoring His Father, He surpassed all, not by necessity, nor unwillingly, but this too is part of His excellence; yea, words fail me. Truly it is a great and unspeakable thing, that He became a servant; that He underwent death, is far greater; but there is something still greater, and more strange; why? All deaths are not alike; His death scented to be the most ignominious of all, to be full of shame, to be accursed; for it is written, "Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree." (Deut. xxi. 23; Gal. iii. 13.) For this cause the Jews also eagerly desired to slay Him in this manner, to make Him a reproach, that if no one fell away from Him by reason of His death, yet they might from the manner of His death. For this cause two robbers were crucified with Him, and He in the midst, that He might share their ill repute, and that the Scripture might be fulfilled, "And he was numbered with the transgressors." (Isa. liii. 12.) Yet so much the more doth truth shine forth, so much the more doth it become bright; for when His enemies plot such things against His glory, and it yet shines forth, so much the greater does the matter seem. Not by slaying Him, but by slaying Him in such sort did they think to make Him abominable, to prove Him more abominable than all men, but they availed nothing. And both the robbers also were such impious ones, (for it was afterward that the one repented,) that, even when on the cross, they reviled Him; neither the consciousness of their own sins, nor their present punishment, nor their suffering the same things themselves, restrained their madness. Wherefore the one spake to the other, and silenced him by saying, "Dost thou not even fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation?" (Luke xxiii. 40.) So great was their wickedness. Wherefore it is written, "God also highly exalted Him, and gave Him the Name which is above every name." When the blessed Paul hath made mention of the flesh, he fearlessly speaks of all His humiliation. For until he had mentioned that He took the form of a servant, and while he was speaking of His Divinity, behold how loftily he doth it, (loftily, I say, according to his power; for he speaks not according to His own worthiness, seeing that he is not able). "Being in the form of God, He counted it not a prize to be equal with God." But when he had said, that He became Man, henceforth he fearlessly discourseth of His low estate, being confident that the mention of His low estate would not harm His Divinity, since His flesh admitted this.

Ver. 9-11. "Wherefore also God highly exalted Him, and gave Him the Name which is above every name: that in the Name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Let us say against the heretics, If this is spoken of one who was not incarnate, if of God the Word, how did He highly exalt Him? Was it as if He gave Him something more than He had before? He would then have been imperfect in this point, and would have been made perfect for our sakes. For if He had not done good deeds to us, He would not have obtained that honor! "And gave Him the Name." See, He had not even a name, as you say! But how, if He received it as His due, is He found here to have received it by grace, and as a gift? And that "the Name which is above every name": and of what kind, let us see, is the Name? "That at the Name of Jesus," saith He, "every knee should bow." They (the heretics) explain name by glory. This glory then is above all glory, and this glory is in short that all worship Him! But ye hold yourselves far off from the greatness of God, who think that ye know God, as He knoweth Himself, and from this it is plain, how far off ye are from right thoughts of God. And this is plain from hence. Is this, tell me, glory? Therefore before men were created before the angels or the archangels, He was not in glory. If this be the glory which is above every glory, for this is the name that is "above every name,") though He were in glory before, yet was He in glory inferior to this. It was for this then that He made the things that are, that He might be raised to glory, not from His own goodness, but because He required glory from us! See ye not their folly? see ye not their impiety?

Now if they had said this of Him that was incarnate, there had been reason, for God the Word allows that this be said of His flesh. It touches not His divine nature, but has to do altogether with the dispensation. What means "of things in heaven, and things in the earth, and things under the earth "? It means the whole world, and angels, and men, and demons; or that both the just and the living and sinners,

"And every tongue," should "confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." That is, that all should say so; and this is glory to the Father. Seest thou how wherever the Son is glorified, the Father is also glorified? Thus too when the Son is dishonored, the Father is dishonored also. If this be so with us, where the difference is great between fathers and sons, much more in respect of God, where there is no difference, doth honor and insult pass on to Him. If the world be subjected to the Son, this is glory to the Father. And so when we say that He is perfect, wanting nothing, and not inferior to the Father, this is glory to the Father, that he begat such a one. This is a great proof of His power also, and goodness, and wisdom, that He begat one no whit inferior, neither in wisdom nor in goodness. When I say that He is wise as the Father, and no whit inferior, this is a proof of the great wisdom of the Father; when I say that He is powerful as the Father, this is a proof of the Father's power. When I say that He is good as the Father, this is the greatest evidence of His goodness, that He begat such (a Son), in no whir less or inferior to Himself. When I say that He begat Him not inferior in substance but equal, and not of another substance, in this I again wonder at God, His power, and goodness, and wisdom, that He hath manifested to us another, of Himself, such as Himself, except in His not being the Father. Thus whatsoever great things I say of the Son, pass on to the Father. Now if this small and light matter (for it is but a light thing to God's glory that the world should worship Him) is to the glory of God, how much more so are all those other things?

Let us then believe to His glory, let us live to His glory, for one is no use without the other; when we glorify Him rightly, but live not rightly, then do we especially insult Him, because we are enrolled under Him as a Master and Teacher, and yet despise Him, and stand in no dread of that fearful judgment seat. It is no wonder that the heathen live impurely; this merits not such condemnation. But that Christians, who partake in such great mysteries, who enjoy so great glory, that they should live thus impurely, this is worst of all, and unbearable. For tell me; He was obedient to the uttermost, wherefore He received the honor which is on high. He became a servant, wherefore He is Lord of all, both of Angels, and of all other. Let us too not suppose then that we descend from what is our due, when we humble ourselves. For thus may we be more highly exalted; and with reason; then do we especially become admirable. For that the lofty man is really low, and that the lowly man is exalted, the sentence of Christ sufficiently declares. Let us however examine the matter itself. What is it to be humbled? Is it not to be blamed, to be accused, and calumniated? What is it to be exalted? It is to be honored, to be praised, to be glorified. Well. Let us see how the matter is. Satan was an angel, he exalted himself. What then? was he not humbled beyond all other? has he not the earth as his place? is he not condemned and accused by all? Paul was a man, and humbled himself. What then? is he not admired? is he not praised? is he not lauded? is he not the friend of Christ? Wrought he not greater things than Christ? did he not ofttimes command the devil as a captive slave? did he not carry him about as an executioner?[1] did he not hold him up to scorn? held he not his head bruised under his feet? did he not with much boldness beg of God that others too might do the same? Why am I saying? Absalom exalted himself, David humbled himself; which of the twain was raised up, which became glorious? For what could be a more evident proof of humility than these words which that blessed Prophet spoke of Shimei, "Let him curse, for the Lord hath bidden him." (2 Sam. xvi. 11.) And if you please, we will examine the very cases themselves.[2] The Publican humbled himself, although the case can hardly be called humility; but how? He answered in a right-minded manner. The Pharisee exalted himself. What then? let us also examine the matters. Let there be two men, both rich, and highly honored, and elevated by wisdom and power, and other worldly advantages; then let one of them seek honor from all, let him be angry if he receive it not, let him require more than is due and exalt himself; let the other despise the whole matter, bear himself unkindly towards no one on this account, and evade honor when offered to him. For it is not possible to obtain glory any other way than by fleeing from glory, for as long as we pursue it, it flies from us, but when we flee from it, then it pursues us. If thou wouldest be glorious, do not desire glory. If thou wouldest be lofty, do not make thyself lofty. And further, all honor him who does not grasp at honor, but spurn him who seeks it. For the human race somehow or other is fond of contention, and leans to contrary feeling. Let us therefore despise glory, for thus we shall be enabled to become lowly, or rather to become exalted. Exalt not thyself, that thou mayest be exalted by another; he that is exalted by himself is not exalted by others, he who is humbled by himself is not humbled by others. Haughtiness is a great evil, it is better to be a fool than haughty; for in the one case, the folly is only a perversion of intellect, but in the other case it is still worse, and is folly joined with madness: the fool is an evil to himself; but the haughty man is a plague to others too. This misery comes of senselessness. One cannot be haughty-minded without being a fool; and he that is brimfull of folly is haughty.

Listen to the Wise Man, who says, "I saw a man wise in his own conceit; there is more hope of a fool than of him." (Prov. xxvi. 12.) Seest thou how it was not without reason I said that the evil of which I am speaking is worse than that of folly, for it is written, "There is more hope of a fool than of him"? Wherefore, Paul too said, "Be not wise in your own conceits." (Rom. xii. 16.) Tell me what description of bodies do we say are in good health, those which are much inflated, and are inwardly full of much air and water, or those which are kept low, and have their surface such as marks restraint? It is manifest that we should choose the latter. So, too with the soul, that which is puffed up has a worse disease than dropsy, whilst that which is under restraint is freed from all evil. How great then are the good things which lowliness of mind bringeth to us! What wouldest thou have? Forbearance? freedom from anger? love to our fellow-men? soberness? attentiveness? All these good things spring from lowly-mindedness, and their contraries from haughtiness: the haughty man must needs be also insolent, a brawler, wrathful, bitter, sullen, a beast rather than a man. Art thou strong, and proud thereat? Thou shouldest rather be humble on this account. Why art thou proud for a thing of nought? For even a lion is bolder than thou, a wild boar is stronger, and thou art not even as a fly in comparison with them. Robbers too, and violaters of tombs, and gladiators, and even thine own slaves, and those perchance who are more stupid still, are stronger than thou. Is this then a fit subject for praise? Art thou proud of such a matter? Bury thyself for shame!

But art thou handsome and beautiful? This is the boast of crows! Thou art not fairer than the peacock, as regards either its color or its plumage; the bird beats thee in plumage, it far surpasseth thee in its feathers and in its color. The swan too is passing fair, and many other birds, with whom if thou art compared thou wilt see that thou art nought. Often too worthless boys, and unmarried girls, and harlots, and effeminate men have had this boast; is this then a cause for haughtiness? But art thou rich? Whence so? what hast thou? Gold, silver, precious stones! This is the boast of robbers also, of man-slayers, of those who work in the mines. That which is the labor of criminals becomes to thee a boast! But dost thou adorn and deck thyself out? Well, we may see horses also decked out, and among the Persians camels too, and as for men, all those who are about the stage. Art thou not ashamed to boast thyself of these things, if unreasoning animals, and slaves, and man-slayers, and effeminate, and robbers, and violaters of tombs, share with thee? Dost thou build splendid palaces? and what of this? Many jackdaws dwell in more splendid houses, and have more noble retreats. Dost thou not see how many, who were mad after money, have built houses in fields and desert places, that are retreats for jackdaws? But art thou proud on account of thy voice. Thou canst by no means sing with clearer and sweeter tones than the swan or the nightingale. Is it for thy varied knowledge of arts? But what is wiser than the bee in this; what embroiderer, what painter, what geometrician, can imitate her works? Is it for the fineness of thy apparel? But here the spiders beat thee. Is it for the swiftness of thy feet? Again the first prize is with unreasoning animals, the hare, and the gazelle, and all the beasts[1] which are not wanting in swiftness of foot. Hast thou traveled much? Not more than the birds; their transit is more easily made, they have no need of provisions for the way, nor beasts of burden, for their wings are all-sufficient for them; this is their vessel, this their beast of burden, this their car, this is even their wind, in short, all that a man can name. But art thou clear sighted? Not as the gazelle; not as the eagle. Art thou quick of hearing? the ass is more so. Of scent? the hound suffers thee not to surpass him. Art thou a good provider? yet thou art inferior to the ant. Dost thou gather gold? Yet not as the Indian ants. Art thou proud because of thy health? Unreasoning creatures are far better than we both in habit of body, and in independence; they fear no poverty. "Behold the birds of the heaven, that they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns." (Matt. vi. 26.) "And surely," He means, "God has not created the irrational animals superior to ourselves." Dost thou mark what want of consideration is here? Dost thou observe the lack of all investigation? Dost thou observe the great advantage which we derive from an investigation of the points? He, whose mind is lifted up above all men, is found to be even lower than the irrational creatures.

But we will have pity upon him, and not follow his example; nor because the limits of our mortal nature are too narrow for his conceit of himself, will we proceed to lower him to the level of the beasts that are without reason, but will lift him up from thence, not for his own sake, for he deserves no better fate, but that we may set forth the lovingkindness of God, and the honor which. He has vouchsafed us. For there are things, yes, there are things wherein the irrational animals have no participation with us. And of what sort are these? Piety, and a life based on virtue. Here thou canst never speak of fornicators, nor of effeminate persons, nor of murderers, for from them we have been severed. And what then is this which is found here? We know God, His Providence we acknowledge, and are embued with true philosophy concerning immortality. Here let the irrational animals give place. They cannot contend with us in these points. We live in self-command.[1] Here the irrational animals have nothing in common with us. For, while coming behind all of them, we exercise dominion over them; for herein lies the superiority of our dominion, that, while coming behind them, we yet reign over them: that thou mightest be instructed that the cause of these things is, not thyself, but God who made thee, and gave thee reason. We set nets and toils for them, we drive them in, and they are at our mercy.

Self-command, a compliant temper, mildness, contempt of money, are prerogatives of our race; but since thou who art one o those blinded by presumption hast none of these, thou doest well in entertaining notions either above the level of mankind, or beneath the very irrational creatures. For this is the nature of folly and of audacity; it is either unduly elevated, or on the other hand it is equally depressed, never observing a proper proportion. We are equal to angels in this respect, that we have a Kingdom pledged to us, the choir,[2] unto which Christ is joined. He that is a man may be scourged, yet does he not succumb. A man laughs at death, is a stranger to fear and trembling, he does not covet more than he has. So that they all who are not like this are beneath the irrational animals. For when in the things of the body thou wouldest have the advantage, but hast no advantage in the things that concern the soul, how art thou aught else than inferior to the irrational animals? For bring forward one of the vicious and unthinking, of those that are living in excess and to self. The horse surpasses him in warlike spirit, the boar in strength, the hare in swiftness, the peacock in grace, the swan in fineness of voice, the elephant in size, the eagle in keenness of sight, all birds in wealth. Whence then dost thou derive thy title to rule the irrational creatures? from reason? But thou hast it not? For whosoever ceases to make a due use of it, is again inferior to them; for when though possessing reason he is more irrational than they, it had been better if he had never from the first become capable of exercising reason. For it is not the same thing after having received dominion to betray the trust, as to let pass the season to receive it. That sovereign, who is below the level of his guards, had better never have had on the purple. And it is the very self-same thing in this case. Knowing then that without virtue we are inferior to the very irrational animals, let us exercise ourselves therein, that we may become men, yea rather angels, and that we may enjoy the promised blessings, through the grace and lovingkindness of our Lord Jesus Christ, with whom, &c.

HOMILY VIII.

PHILIPPIANS ii. 12-16.

"So then, my beloved, even as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God which worketh in you both to will and to work for His good pleasure. Do all things without murmurings and disputings: that ye may be blameless and harmless, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom ye are seen as lights in the world, holding forth the word of life; that I may have whereof to glory in the day of Christ."

THE admonitions which we give ought to be accompanied with commendations; for thus they become even welcome, when we refer those whom we admonish to that measure of zeal which they have themselves exhibited; as Paul, for instance, did here; and observe with what singular discretion; "So then, my beloved," he says; he did not say simply "be obedient," not until he had first commended them in these words, "even as ye have always obeyed "; i.e. "it is not other men, but your own selves, whom I bid you take example by." "Not as in my presence only, but much more in my absence." And why, "much more in my absence"? "Ye seemed perhaps at that time to be doing everything out of respect to me, and from a principle of shame, but that is no longer so; if then ye make it evident that ye now strive more earnestly, it is also made evident that neither then was it done out of consideration to me, but for God's sake." Tell me, what wouldest thou? "not that ye give heed to me, but that ye ' work out your own salvation with fear and trembling'"; for it is impossible for one, who lives devoid of fear, to set forth any high or commanding example; and he said not merely "with fear," but "and with trembling," which is an excessive degree of fear. Such fear had Paul: and therefore he said, I fear "lest having preached to others, I myself should be rejected." (1 Cor. ix. 27.) For if without the aid of fear temporal things can never be achieved, how much less spiritual matters; for I desire to know, who ever learnt his letters without fear? who has become a proficient in any art, without fear? But if, when the devil does not lie in the way, where indolence is the only obstacle, so much of fear is necessary merely in order that we may master that indolence which is natural to us; where there is so fierce a war, so great hindrances, how can we by any possibility be saved without fear? And how may this fear be produced? If we but consider that God is everywhere present, heareth all things, seeth all things, not only whatsoever is done and said, but also all that is in the heart, and in the depth of the soul, for He is "quick to discern the thoughts and intents of the heart" (Heb. iv. 12), if we so dispose ourselves, we shall not do or say or imagine aught that is evil. Tell me, if thou hadst to stand constantly near the person of a ruler, wouldest not thou stand there with fear? and how standing in God's presence, dost thou laugh and throw thyself back, and not conceive fear and dread? Let it never be that thou despisest His patient endurance, for it is to bring thee to repentance that He is longsuffering. Whenever thou eatest, consider that God is present, for He is present; whenever thou art preparing to sleep, or giving way to passion, if thou art robbing another, or indulging in luxury, or whatever thou art about, thou wilt never fall into laughter, never be inflamed with rage. If this be thy thought continually, thou wilt continually be in "fear and trembling," forasmuch as thou art standing beside the King. The architect, though he be experienced, though he be perfectly master of his art, yet stands with "fear and trembling," lest he fall down from the building. Thou too hast believed, thou hast performed many good deeds, thou hast mounted high: secure thyself, be in fear as thou standest, and keep a wary eye, lest thou fall thence. For manifold are the spiritual sorts of wickedness which aim to cast thee down. (Eph. vi. 12.) "Sense the Lord with fear," he says, "and rejoice unto Him with trembling." (Ps. ii. 11.) And how is rejoicing compatible with "trembling"? Yet this, be assured, is the only rejoicing; for when we perform some good work, and such as beseemeth those who do anything "with trembling," then only do we rejoice. "Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling": he says not "work," but "work out," i.e. with much earnestness, with much diligence; but as he had said, "with fear and trembling," see how he relieves their anxiety: for what does he say? "It is God that worketh in you." Fear not because said, "with fear and trembling." I said it not with this view, that thou shouldest give up in despair, that thou shouldest suppose virtue to be somewhat difficult to be attained, but that thou mightest be led to follow after it, and not spend thyself in vain pursuits; if this be the case, God will work all things. Do thou be bold; "for it is God that worketh in you." If then He worketh, it is our part to bring a mind ever resolute, clenched and unrelaxed. "For it is God that worketh in you both to will and to work." "If He does Himself work in us to will, how dost thou exhort us? for if He works Himself even the will, the words, which you speak to us, have no meaning, 'that ye have obeyed'; for we have not 'obeyed'; it is without meaning that thou sayest, 'with fear and trembling'; for the whole is of God." It was not for this that I said to you, "for it is He that worketh in you both to will and to work," but my object was to relieve your anxiety. If thou wilt, in that case He will "work in thee to will." Be not affrighted, thou art not-worsted; both the hearty desire and the accomplishment are a gift from Him: for where we have the will, thenceforward He will increase our will. For instance, I desire to do some good work: He has wrought the good work itself, and by means of it He has wrought also the will. Or he says this in the excess of his piety, as when he declares that our well-doings are gifts of grace.

As then, when he calls these gifts, he does not put us out of the pale of free will, but accords to us free will, so when he says, "to work in us to will," he does not deprive us of free will, but he shows that by actually doing right we greatly increase our heartiness in willing. For as doing comes of doing, so of not doing comes not doing. Hast thou given an alms? thou art the more incited to give. Hast thou refused to give? thou art become so much the more disinclined. Hast thou practiced temperance for one day? Thou hast an incitement for the next likewise. Hast thou indulged to excess? Thou hast increased the inclination to self-indulgence. "When a wicked man cometh into the depth of vice, then he despises." (Prov. xviii. 3.) As, then, when a man cometh into the depth of iniquity, he turns a despiser; so when he cometh into the depth of goodness, he quickens his exertions. For as the one runs riot in despair, so the second, under a sense of the multitude of good things, exerts himself the more, fearing lest he should lose the whole. "For His good pleasure," he says, that is, "for love's sake," for the sake of pleasing Him; to the end that what is acceptable to Him may take place; that things may take place according to His will. Here he shows, and makes it a ground of confidence, that He is sure to work in us, for it is His will that we live as He desires we should, and if He desires it, He Himself both worketh in us to this end,[1] and will certainly accomplish it; for it is His will that we live aright. Seest thou, how he does not deprive us of free will?

"Do all things without murmurings and disputings." The devil, when he finds that he has no power to withdraw us from doing right, wishes to spoil our reward by other means. For he has taken occasion to insinuate pride or vainglory, or if none of these things, then murmuring, or, if not this, misgivings. Now then see how Paul sweeps away all these. He said on the subject of humility all that he did say, to overthrow pride; he spoke of vainglory, that is, "not as in my presence only"; he here speaks of "murmuring and disputing." But why, I want to know, when in the case of the Corinthians he was engaged in uprooting this evil tendency, did he remind them of the Israelites, but here has said nothing of the sort, but simply charged them? Because in that case the mischief was already done, for which reason there was need of a more severe stroke and a sharper rebuke; but here he is giving admonitions to prevent its being done. Severe measures then were not called for in order to secure those that had not yet been guilty; as in leading them to humility he did not subjoin the instance in the Gospel, wherein the proud were punished, but laid the charge as from God's lips (Luke xvi. 237 xviii. 14?); and he addresses them as free, as children of pure birth, not as servants; for in the practice of virtue a rightminded and generous person is influenced by those who do well, but one of bad principles by those who do not do well; the one by the consideration of honor, the other of punishment. Wherefore also writing to the Hebrews, he said, bringing forward the example of Esau, "Who for one mess of meat sold his own birthright" (Heb. xii. 16); and again, "if he shrink back, my soul hath no pleasure in him." (Heb. x. 38.) And among the Corinthians were many who had been guilty of fornication. Therefore he said, "Lest when I come again my God should humble me before you, and I should mourn for many that have sinned heretofore, and repented not of the uncleanness, and fornication, and lasciviousness which they committed. (2 Cor. xii. 21.) That ye may be blameless," says he, "and harmless"; i.e. irreproachable, unsullied; for murmuring occasions no slight stain. And what means "without disputing"? Is it good, or not good? Do not dispute, he says, though it be trouble, or labor, or any thing else whatever. He did not say, "that ye be not punished," for punishment is reserved for the thing; and this he made evident in the Epistle to the Corinthians; but here he said nothing of the sort; but he says, "That ye may be blameless and harmless, children of God without blemish, in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom ye are seen as lights in the world, holding forth the word of life, that I may have whereof to glory in the day of Christ." Observest thou that he is instructing these not to murmur? So that murmuring is left for unprincipled and graceless slaves. For tell me, what manner of son is that, who murmurs at the very time that he is employed in the affairs of his father and is working for his own benefit? Consider he says, that you are laboring for yourself, that it is for yourself that you are laying up; it is for those to murmur, when others profit by their labors, others reap the fruit, while they bear the burden; but he that is gathering for himself, why should he murmur? Because his wealth does not increase? But it is not so. Why does he murmur who acts of free-will, and not by constraint? It is better to do nothing than to do it with murmuring, for even the very thing itself is spoilt. And do you not remark that in our own families we are continually saying this; "it were better for these things never to be done, than to have them done with murmuring"? and we had often rather be deprived of the services some one owes us, than submit to the inconvenience of his murmuring. For murmuring is intolerable, most intolerable; it borders upon blasphemy. Otherwise why had those men to pay a penalty so severe? It is a proof of ingratitude; the murmurer is ungrateful to God, but whoso is ungrateful to God does thereby become a blasphemer. Now there were at that time, if ever, uninterrupted troubles, and dangers without cessation: there was no pause, no remission: innumerable were the horrors, which pressed upon them from all quarters; but now we have profound peace, a perfect calm.

Wherefore then murmur? Because thou art poor? Yet think of Job. Or because sickness is thy lot? What then if, with the consciousness of as many excellencies and as high attainments as that holy man, thou hadst been so afflicted? Again reflect on him, how that for a long time he never ceased to breed worms, sitting upon a dunghill and scraping his sores; for the account says that "(after a long time had passed,) then said his wife unto him, How long wilt thou persist, saying, Yet a little while I bide in expectation? Speak some word against the Lord, and die."[1] (Job ii. 9, LXX.) But your child is dead? What then if thou hadst lost all thy children, and that by an evil fate, as he did? For ye know, ye know well, that it is no slight alleviation to take our place beside the sick man, to close the mouth, to shut the eyes, to stroke the beard, to hear the last accents; but that just man Was vouchsafed none of these consolations, they all being overwhelmed at once. And what do I say? Hadst thou, thine own self, been bidden to slay and offer up thine own son, and to see the body consumed, like that blessed Patriarch, what then wouldst thou have felt whilst erecting the altar, laying on the wood, binding the child? But there are some who revile thee? What then would be thy feelings did thy friends, come to administer consolation to thee, speak like Job's? For, as it is, innumerable are our sins, and we deserve to be reproached; but in that case he who was true, just, godly, who kept himself from every evil deed, heard the contrary of those laid to his charge by his friends. What then, tell me, if thou hadst heard thy wife exclaiming in accents of reproach; "I am a vagabond and a servant, wandering from place to place, and from house to house, waiting until the sun goes down, that I may rest from the woes that encompass me." (Job ii. 9, LXX.) Why dost thou speak so, O foolish woman? for is thine husband to blame for these things? Nay, but the devil. "Speak a word against God," she says, "and die";--and if thereupon the stricken man had cursed and died, how wouldest thou be the better?--No disease you can name is worse than that of his, though you name ten thousand. It was so grievous, that he could no longer be in the house and under cover; such, that all men gave him up. For if he had not been irrecoverably gone, he would never have taken his seat without the city, a more pitiable object than those afflicted with leprosy; for these are both admitted into houses, and they do herd together; but he passing the night in the open air, was naked upon a dunghill, and could not even bear a garment upon his body. How so? Perhaps there would only have been an addition to his pangs. For "I melt the clods of the earth," he says, "while I scrape off my sore."[2] (Job vii. 5, LXX.) His flesh bred sores and worms in him, and that continually. Seest thou how each one of us sickens at the hearing of these things? but if they are intolerable to hear, is the sight of them more tolerable? and if the sight of them is intolerable, how much more intolerable to undergo them? And yet that righteous man did undergo them, not for two or three days, but for a long while, and he did not sin, not even with his lips. What disease can you describe to me like this, so exquisitely painful? for was not this worse than blindness? "I look on my food," he says, "as a fetid mass." (Job vi. 7.) And not only this, but that which affords cessation to others, night and sleep, brought no alleviation to him, nay, were worse than any torture. Hear his words: "Why dost thou scare me with dreams, and terrify me through visions? If it be morning, I say, When will it be evening?" (Job vii. 14, 4), and he murmured not. And there was not only this; but reputation in the eyes of the world was added; for they forthwith concluded him to be guilty of endless crimes, judging from all that he suffered. And accordingly this is the consideration, which his friends urged upon him; "Know therefore that God exacteth less of thee than thine iniquities deserve." (Job xi. 6.) Wherefore he himself said, "But now they that are younger than I have me in derision, whose fathers I disdained to set with the dogs of my flock." (Job xxx. 1.) And was not this worse than many deaths? Yet though assaulted on all sides by a flood like this, when there raged around him a fearful storm, clouds, rain, lightnings, whirling winds, and waterspouts, he remained himself unmoved, seated as it were in the midst of this surge, thus awful and overwhelming, as in a perfect calm, and no murmur escaped him; and this before the gift of grace, before that aught was declared concerning a resurrection, before aught concerning hell and punishment and vengeance. Yet we, who hear both Prophets and Apostles and Evangelists speaking to us, and have innumerable examples set before us, and have been taught the tidings of a Resurrection, yet harbor discontent, though no man can say that such a fate as this has been his own. For if one has lost money, yet not all that great number of sons and daughters, or if he has, perchance it was that he had sinned; but for him, he lost them suddenly, in the midst of his sacrifices, in the midst of the service which he was rendering to God. And if any man has at one blow lost property to the same amount, which can never be, yet he has not had the further affliction of a sore all over his body, he has not scraped the humors that covered him; or if this likewise has been his fate, yet he has not had men to upbraid and reproach him, which is above all things calculated to wound the feelings, more than the calamities we suffer. For if when we have persons to cheer and console us in our misfortunes, and to hold out to us fair prospects, we yet despond, consider what it was to have men upbraiding him. If the words, "I looked for some to have pity, but there was no man, and for comforters, but I found none" (Ps. lxix. 20), describe intolerable misery, how great an aggravation to find revilers instead of comforters! "Miserable comforters are ye all" (Job xvi. 2), he says. If we did but revolve these subjects continually in our minds, if we well weighed them, no ills of this present time could ever have force to disturb our peace, when we turned our eyes to that athlete, that soul of adamant, that spirit impenetrable as brass. For as though he had borne about him a body of brass or stone, he met all events with a noble and constant spirit.

Taking these things to heart, let us do everything "without murmuring and disputing." Is it some good work that thou hast before thee, and dost thou murmur? wherefore? art thou then forced? for that there are many about you who force you to murmur, I know well, says he. This he intimated by saying, "in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation"; but it is this that deserves admiration, that we admit no such feeling when under galling provocation. For the stars too give light in the night, they shine in the dark, and receive no blemish to their own beauty, yea they even shine the brighter; but when light returns, they no longer shine so. Thus thou too dost appear with the greater lustre, whilst thou holdest straight in the midst of the crooked. This it is which deserves our admiration, the being "blameless "; for that they might not urge this plea,[1] he himself set it down by anticipation. What means "holding fast the word of life"? i.e. "being destined to live, being of those that are gaining salvation."[2] Observe how immediately he subjoins the rewards, which are in reserve. Lights[i.e. luminaries], he says, retain the principle of light; so do ye the principle[3] of life. What means "the word of life"? Having the seed of life, i.e. having pledges of life, holding life itself, i.e. "having in yourselves the seed of life," this is what he calls "the word of life." Consequently the rest are all dead, for by these words he signified as much; for otherwise those others likewise would have held "the word of life." "That I may have whereof to glory," he says; what is this? I too participate in your good deeds, he says. So great is your virtue, as not only to save yourselves, but to render me illustrious. Strange kind of "boasting," thou blessed Paul! Thou art scourged, driven about, reviled for our sakes: therefore he adds," in the day of Christ, that I did not run," he says, "in vain, nor labored in vain," but I always have a right to glory, he means, that I did not run in vain.

"Yea, and if I am offered." He said not, "and if I die even," nor did he when writing to Timothy, for there, too, he has made use of the same expression, "For I am already being offered." (2 Tim. iv. 6.) He is both consoling them about his own death, and instructing them to bear gladly the death that is for Christ's sake. I am become, he says, as it were a libation and a sacrifice. O blessed soul! His bringing them to God he calls a sacrifice. It is much better to present a soul than to present oxen. "If, then, over and above this offering," he says, "I add myself, my death as a libation, I rejoice." For this he implies, when he says, "Yea, and if I am offered upon the sacrifice and service, I joy and rejoice with you all; and in the same manner do ye also joy and rejoice with me." Why dost thou rejoice with them? Seest thou that he shows that it is their duty to rejoice? On the one hand then, I rejoice in being made a libation; on the other, I rejoice with you, in having presented a sacrifice; "and in the same manner do ye also joy and rejoice with me," that I am offered up; "rejoice with me, "who rejoice in myself." So that the death of the just is no subject for tears, but for joy. If they rejoice, we should rejoice with them. For it is misplaced for us to weep, while they rejoice. "But," it is urged, "we long for our wonted intercourse." This is a mere pretext and excuse; and that it is so, mark what he enjoins: "Rejoice with me, and joy." Dost thou miss thy wonted intercourse? If thou wert thyself destined to remain here, there would be reason in what thou sayest; but if after a brief space thou wilt overtake him who has departed, what is that intercourse which thou dost seek? for it is only when he is forever severed from him that a man misses the society of another, but if he will go the same way that thou wilt go, what is the intercourse which thou longest for? Why do we not bewail all that are upon foreign travel? Do we not just a little, and cease after the first or the second day? If thou longest for thy wonted intercourse with him, weep so far only. "It is no evil that I suffer," says he, "but I even rejoice in going to Christ, and do ye not rejoice." "Rejoice with me." Let us too rejoice when we see a righteous man dying, and yet more even when any of the desperately wicked; for the first is going to receive the reward of his labors, but the other has abated somewhat from the score of his sins.[1] But it is said, perhaps he might have altered, had he lived. Yet God would never have taken him away, if there had been really a prospect of an alteration. For why should not He who orders all events for our salvation, allow him the opportunity, who gave promise of pleasing Him? If He leaves those, who never alter, much more those that do. Let then the sharpness of our sorrow be everywhere cut away, let the voice of lamentation cease. Let us thank God under all events: let us do all things without murmuring; let us be cheerful, and let us become pleasing to Him in all things, that we may also attain the good things to come, by the grace and loving-kindness of our Lord Jesus Christ, with whom, &c.

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