HOMILIES OF
ST. JOHN CHRYSOSTOM
ON THE GOSPEL
ACCORDING TO ST. JOHN
HOMILIES LXII TO LXVIII (JOHN 11 & 12)

HOMILY LXII.

JOHN xi. 1, 2.

"Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, of the town of Mary and her sister Martha. It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment."(1)

[1.] MANY men, when they see any of those who are pleasing to God suffering anything terrible, as, for instance, having fallen into sickness, or poverty, and any other the like, are offended, not knowing that to those especially dear to God it belongeth to endure these things; since Lazarus also was one of the friends of Christ, and was sick. This at least they who sent said, "Behold, he whom Thou lovest is sick." But let us consider the passage from the beginning. "A certain man," It saith, "was sick, Lazarus of Bethany." Not without a cause nor by chance hath the writer mentioned whence Lazarus was, but for a reason which he will afterwards tell us. At present let us keep to the passage before us. He also for our advantage informeth us who were Lazarus' sisters; and, moreover, what Mary had more (than the other), going on to say, "It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment." Here some doubting(2) say, "How did the Lord endure that a woman should do this?" In the first place then it is necessary to understand, that this is not the harlot mentioned in Matthew (Matt. xxvi. 7), or the one in Luke (Luke vii. 37), but a different person; they were harlots full of many vices, but she was both grave and earnest; for she showed her earnestness about the entertainment of Christ. The Evangelist also means to show, that the sisters too loved Him, yet He allowed Lazarus to die. But why did they not, like the centurion and the nobleman, leave their sick brother, and come to Christ, instead of sending? They were very confident in Christ, and had towards Him a strong familiar feeling. Besides, they were weak women, and oppressed with grief; for that they acted not in this way as thinking slightly of Him, they afterwards showed. It is then clear, that this Mary was not the harlot. "But wherefore," saith some one, "did Christ admit that harlot?" That He might put away her iniquity; that He might show His lovingkindness; that thou mightest learn that there is no malady which prevaileth over His goodness. Look not therefore at this only, that He received her, but consider the other point also, how He changed her. But, (to return,) why doth the Evangelist relate this history to us? Or rather, what doth he desire to show us by saying,

Ver. 5.(3) "Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus."

That we should never be discontented or vexed if any sickness happen to good men, and such as are dear to God.

Ver. 3.(4) "Behold, he whom thou lovest is sick."

They desired to draw on Christ to pity, for they still gave heed to Him as to a man. This is plain from what they say, "If thou hadst been here, he(5) had not died," and from their saying, not, "Behold, Lazarus is sick," but "Behold, he whom thou lovest is sick." What then said Christ?

Ver. 4. "This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby."

Observe how He again asserteth that His glory and the Father's is One; for after saying "of God," He hath added, "that the Son of God might be glorified."

"This sickness is not unto death." Since He intended to tarry two days where He was, He for the present sendeth away the messengers with this answer. Wherefore we must admire Lazarus' sisters, that after hearing that the sickness was "not unto death," and yet seeing him dead, they were not offended, although the event had been directly contrary. But even so they came to Him,(6) and did not think that He had spoken falsely.

The expression "that" in this passage denotes not cause, but consequence; the sickness happened from other causes, but He used it for the glory of God.

Ver. 6. "And having said this, He tarried two days."(7)

Wherefore tarried He? That Lazarus might breathe his last, and be buried; that none might be able to assert that He restored him when not yet dead, saying that it was a lethargy, a fainting, a fit,(8) but not death. On this account He tarried so long, that corruption began, and they said, "He now stinketh."

Ver. 7. "Then saith He to his disciples, Let us go into Judea."(9)

Why, when He never in other places told them beforehand where He was going, doth He tell them here? They had been greatly terrified, and since they were is this way disposed, He forewarneth them, that the suddenness might not trouble them. What then say the disciples?

Ver. 8. "The Jews of late sought to stone Thee, and goest Thou thither again?"

They therefore had feared for Him also, but for the more part rather for themselves; for they were not yet perfect. So Thomas, shaking with fear, said, "Let us go, that we also may die with Him" (ver. 16), because Thomas was weaker and more unbelieving(1) than the rest. But see how Jesus encourageth them by what He saith.

Ver. 9. "Are there not twelve hours of the day?"(2)

He either saith this,(3) that "he who is conscious to himself of no evil, shall suffer nothing dreadful; only he that doeth evil shall suffer, so that we need not fear, because we have done nothing worthy of death"; or else that, "he who 'seeth the light of this world' is(4) in safety; and if he that seeth the light of this world is in safety, much more he that is with Me, if he separate not himself from Me." Having encouraged them by these words, He addeth, that the cause of their going thither was pressing, and showeth them that they were about to go not unto Jerusalem, but unto Bethany.

Ver. 11, 12. "Our friend Lazarus," He saith, "sleepeth, but I go that I may awake him out of sleep."

That is, "I go not for the same purpose as before, again to reason and contend with the Jews, but to awaken our friend."

Ver. 12. "Then said His disciples, Lord, if he sleep he shall do well."

This they said not without a cause, but desiring to hinder the going thither. "Sayest Thou," asks one of them, "that he sleepeth? Then there is no urgent reason for going." Yet on this account He had said, "Our friend," to show that the going there was necessary. When therefore their disposition was somewhat reluctant, He said,

[2.] Ver. 14.(5) "He is dead."

The former word He spake, desiring to prove that He loved not boasting; but since they understood not, He added, "He is dead."

Ver. 15. "And I am glad for your sakes."

Why "for your sakes"? "Because I have forewarned you of his death, not being there, and because when I shall raise him again, there will be no suspicion of deceit." Seest thou how the disciples were yet imperfect in their disposition, and knew not His power as they ought? and this was caused by interposing terrors, which troubled and disturbed their souls. When He said, "He sleepeth," He added, "I go to awake him"; but when He said, "He is dead," He added not, "I go to raise him"; for He would not foretell in words what He was about to establish certainly by works, everywhere teaching us not to be vainglorious, and that we must not make promises without a cause. And if He did thus in the case of the centurion when summoned, (for He said, "I will come and heal him--Matt. viii. 7,) it was to show the faith of the centurion that He said this. If any one ask, "How did the disciples imagine sleep? How did they not understand that death was meant from His saying, 'I go to awake him?' for it was folly if they expected that He would go fifteen stadia to awake him"; we would reply, that they deemed this to be a dark saying, such as He often spake to them.

Now they all feared the attacks of the Jews, but Thomas above the rest; wherefore also he said,

Ver. 16. "Let us go, that we also may die with Him."

Some say that he desired himself to die; but it is not so; the expression is rather one of cowardice. Yet he was not rebuked, for Christ as yet supported his weakness, but afterwards he became stronger than all, and invincible.(6) For the wonderful thing is this; that we see one who was so weak before the Crucifixion, become after the Crucifixion, and after having believed in the Resurrection, more zealous than any. So great was the power of Christ. The very man who dared not go in company with Christ to Bethany, the same while not seeing Christ ran(7) well nigh through the inhabited world, and dwelt in the midst of nations that were full of murder, and desirous to kill him.

But if Bethany was "fifteen furlongs off," which is two miles, how was Lazarus "dead four days"?(8) Jesus tarried two days, on the day before those two one had come with the message,(9) (on which same day Lazarus died,) then in the course of the fourth day He arrived. He waited to be summoned, and came not uninvited on this account, that no one might suspect what took place; nor did those women who were beloved by Him come themselves, but others were sent.

Ver. 18. "Now Bethany was(1) about fifteen furlongs off."

Not without cause doth he mention this, but desires to inform us that it was near, and that it was probable on this account that many would be there. He therefore declaring this adds,

Ver. 19. "Many of the Jews came(2) to comfort them."(3)

But how should they comfort women beloved of Christ, when(4) they had agreed, that if any should confess Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue? It was either because of the grievous nature of the calamity, or that they respected them as of superior birth, or else these who came were not the wicked sort, many at least even of them believed. The Evangelist mentions these circumstances, to prove that Lazarus was really dead.

[3.] But why did not [Martha,] when she went to meet Christ,(5) take her sister with her? She desired to meet with Him apart, and to tell Him what had taken place. But when He had brought her to good hopes, she went and called Mary, who met Him while her grief was yet at its height. Seest thou how fervent her love was? This is the Mary of whom He said, "Mary hath chosen that good part." (Luke x. 42.) "How then," saith one, "doth Martha appear more zealous?" She was not more zealous, but it was because the other had not yet been informed,(6) since Martha was the weaker. For even when she had heard such things from Christ, she yet speaks in a groveling manner, "By this time he stinketh, for he hath been dead four days." (Ver. 39.) But Mary, though she had heard nothing, uttered nothing of the kind, but at once believing,(7) saith,(8)

Ver. 21. "Lord, if Thou hadst been here, my brother had not died."

See how great is the heavenly wisdom of the women, although their understanding be weak. For when they saw Christ, they did not break out into mourning and wailing and loud crying, as we do when we see any of those we know coming in upon our grief; but straightway they reverence their Teacher. So then both these sisters believed in Christ, but not in a right way; for they did not yet certainly know(9) either that He was God, or that He did these things by His own power and authority; on both which points He taught them. For they showed their ignorance of the former, by saying, "If thou hadst been here, our brother had not died"; and of the latter, by saying,(10)

Ver. 22. "Whatsoever(11) thou wilt ask of God, He will give it thee."

As though they spoke of some virtuous and approved mortal. But see what Christ saith;

Ver. 23. "Thy brother shall rise again."

He thus far refuteth the former saying, "Whatsoever thou wilt ask"; for He said not, "I ask," but what? "Thy brother shall rise again." To have said, "Woman, thou still lookest below, I need not the help of another, but do all of Myself," would have been grievous, and a stumblingblock in her way, but to say, "He shall rise again," was the act of one who chose a middle mode of speech.(12) And by means of that which follows, He alluded to the points I have mentioned; for when Martha saith,

Ver. 24. "I know that he shall rise again(13) in the last day," to prove more clearly His authority, He replieth,

Ver. 25. "I am the Resurrection and the Life."

Showing that He needed no other to help Him, if so be that He Himself is the Life; since if He needed another,(14) how could He be "the Resurrection and the Life"? Yet He did not plainly state this, but merely hinted it. But when she saith again, "Whatsoever thou wilt ask," He replieth,

"He that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live."

Showing that He is the Giver of good things, and that we must ask of Him.

Ver. 26. "And whosoever liveth and believeth in Me, shall never die."

Observe how He leadeth her mind upward; for to raise Lazarus was not the only thing sought; it was necessary that both she and they who were with her should learn the Resurrection. Wherefore before the raising of the dead He teacheth heavenly wisdom by words. But if He is "the Resurrection," and "the Life," He is not confined by place, but, present everywhere, knoweth how to heal. If therefore they had said, as did the centurion, "Speak the word, and my servant shall be healed" (Matt. viii. 8), He would have done so; but since they summoned Him to them, and begged Him to come, He condescendeth in order to raise them from the humble opinion they had formed of Him, and cometh to the place. Still while condescending, He showed that even when absent He had power to heal. On this account also He delayed, for the mercy would not have been apparent as soon as it was given, had there not been first an ill savor (from the corpse). But how did the woman know that there was to be a Resurrection? They(1) had heard Christ say many things about the Resurrection, yet still she now desired to see Him. And observe how she still lingers below; for after hearing, "I am the Resurrection and the Life," not even so did she say, "Raise him," but,

Ver. 27. "I believe that Thou art the Christ, the Son of God."

What is Christ's reply? "He that believeth on Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live,"(2) (here speaking of this death which is common to all.(3)) "And whosoever liveth and believeth on Me, shall never die" (ver. 26), signifying that other death. "Since then I am the Resurrection and the Life, be not thou troubled, though thy brother be already dead, but believe, for this is not death." For a while He comforted her on what had happened; and gave her glimpses of hope, by saying, "He shall rise again," and, "I am the Resurrection"; and that having risen(4) again, though he should again die, he shall suffer no harm, so that it needs not to fear this death. What He saith is of this kind: "Neither is this man dead, nor shall ye die." "Believest thou this?" She saith, "I believe that Thou art the Christ, the Son of God."

"Which should come into the world."

The woman seems to me not to understand the saying; she was conscious that it was some great thing, but did not perceive the whole meaning, so that when asked one thing, she answered another. Yet for a while at least she had this gain, that she moderated her grief; such was the power of the words of Christ. On this account Martha went forth first, and Mary followed. For their affection to their Teacher did not allow them strongly to feel their present sorrow; so that the minds of these women were truly wise as well as loving.

[4.] But in our days, among our other evils there is one malady very prevalent among our women; they make a great show in their dirges and wailings, baring(5) their arms, tearing their hair, making furrows down their cheeks. And this they do, some from grief, others from ostentation and rivalry, others from wantonness; and they bare their arms, and this too in the sight of men. Why doest thou, woman? Dost thou strip thyself in unseemly sort, tell me, thou who art a member of Christ, in the midst of the market-place, when men are present there? Dost thou pluck thy hair, and rend thy garments, and wail loudly,(6) and join the dance, and keep throughout a resemblance to Bacchanalian women, and dost thou not think that thou art offending God? What madness is this? Will not the heathen(7) laugh? Will they not deem our doctrines fables? They will say, "There is no resurrection--the doctrines of the Christians are mockeries, trickery, and contrivance. For their women lament as though there were nothing after this world; they give no heed to the words engraven in their books; all those words are fictions, and these women show that they are so. Since had they believed that he who hath died is not dead, but hath removed to a better life, they would not have mourned him as no longer being, they would not have thus beaten themselves,(8) they would not have uttered such words as these, full of unbelief, 'I shall never see thee more, I shall never more regain thee,' all their religion is a fable, and if the very chief of good things is thus wholly disbelieved by them, much more the other things which are reverenced among them." The heathen(9) are not so womanish, among them many have practiced heavenly wisdom; and a woman hearing that her child had fallen in battle, straightway asked, "And in what state are the affairs of the city?" Another truly wise, when being garlanded(10) he heard that his son had fallen for his country, took off the garland, and asked which of the two; then when he had learnt which it was, immediately put the garland on again. Many also gave their sons and their daughters for slaughter in honor of their evil deities; and Lacedaemonian women exhort their sons either to bring back their shield safe from war, or to be brought back dead upon it. Wherefore I am ashamed that the heathen show true wisdom in these matters, and we act unseemly. Those who know nothing about the Resurrection act the part of those who know; and those who know, the part of those who know not. And ofttimes many do through shame of men what they do not for the sake of God. For women of the higher class neither tear(11) their hair nor bare their arms; which very thing is a most heavy charge against them, not because they do not strip themselves, but because they act as they do not through piety, but that they may not be thought to disgrace themselves. Is their shame stronger than grief, and the fear of God not stronger? And must not this deserve severest censure? What the rich women do because of their riches, the poor ought to do through fear of God; but at present it is quite the contrary; the rich act wisely through vainglory, the poor through littleness of soul act unseemly. What is worse than this anomaly? We do all for men, all for the things of earth. And these people utter words full of madness and much ridicule. The Lord saith indeed, "Blessed are they that mourn" (Matt. v. 4), speaking of those who mourn(1) for their sins; and no one mourneth that kind of mourning, nor careth for a lost soul; but this other we were not bidden to practice, and we practice it.(2) "What then?" saith some one, "Is it possible being man not to weep?" No, neither do I(3) forbid weeping, but I forbid the beating yourselves, the weeping immoderately.(4) I am neither brutal nor cruel. I know that our nature asks(5) and seeks for its friends and daily companions; it cannot but be grieved. As also Christ showed, for He wept over Lazarus. So do thou; weep, but gently, but with decency, but with the fear of God. If so thou weepest, thou dost so not as disbelieving the Resurrection, but as not enduring the separation. Since even over those who are leaving us, and departing to foreign lands, we weep, yet we do this not as despairing.

[5.] And so do thou weep, as if thou wert sending one on his way to another land. These things I say, not as giving a rule of action, but as condescending (to human infirmity). For if the dead man have been a sinner, and one who hath in many things offended God, it behooveth to weep (or rather not to weep only, since that is of no avail to him, but to do what one can to procure(6) some comfort for him by almsgivings and offerings;(7)) but it behooveth also to rejoice at this, that his wickedness hath been cut short. If he have been righteous, it again(8) behooveth to be glad, that what is his is now placed in security, free from the uncertainty of the future; if young, that he hath been quickly delivered from the common evils of life; if old, that he hath departed after taking to satiety that which is held desirable. But thou, neglecting to consider these things, incitest thy hand-maidens to act as mourners, as if forsooth thou wert honoring the dead, when it is an act of extreme dishonor.(9) For honor to the dead is not wailings and lamentings, but hymns and psalmodies and an excellent life. The good man when he departeth, shall depart with angels, though no man be near his remains; but the corrupt, though he have a city to attend his funeral, shall be nothing profited. Wilt thou honor him who is gone? Honor him in another way, by alms-deeds, by acts of beneficence and public service.(10) What avail the many lamentations? And I have heard also another grievous thing, that many women attract lovers by their sad cries, acquiring by the fervor of their wailings a reputation for affection to their husbands. O devilish purpose! O Satanic invention!(11) How long are we but dust and ashes, how long but blood and flesh? Look we up to heaven, take we thought of spiritual things.(12) How shall we be able to rebuke the heathen,(13) how to exhort them, when we do such things? How shall we dispute with them concerning the Resurrection? How about the rest of heavenly wisdom? How shall we ourselves live without fear? Knowest not thou that of grief(14) cometh death? for grief darkening(15) the seeing part of the soul not only hindereth it from perceiving anything that it ought, but also worketh it great mischief. In one way then we offend God, and advantage neither ourselves nor him who is gone; in the other we please God, and gain honor among men. If we sink not down ourselves, He will soon remove the remains of our despondency; if we are discontented, He permitteth us to be given up to grief. If we are thankful, we shall not despond. "But how," saith some one, "is it possible not to be grieved, when one has lost a son or daughter or wife?" I say not, "not to grieve," but "not to do so immoderately." For if we consider that God hath taken away, and that the husband or son which we had was mortal, we shall soon receive comfort. To be discontented is the act of those who seek for something higher than their nature. Thou wast born man, and mortal; why then grievest thou that what is natural hath come to pass? Grievest thou that thou art nourished by eating? Seekest thou to live without this?(16) Act thus also in the case of death, and being mortal seek not as vet for immortality. Once for all this thing hath been appointed. Grieve not therefore, nor play the mourner, but submit to laws laid on all alike. Grieve for thy sins; this is good mourning, this is highest wisdom. Let us then mourn for this cause continually, that we may obtain the joy which is there, through the grace and lovingkindness of our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

HOMILY LXIII.

JOHN xi. 30, 31.

"Now Jesus was not yet come into the town, but was in that place where Martha met Him. The Jews then which were with her," and what follows.(1)

[1.] A great good is philosophy; the philosophy, I mean, which is with us. For what the heathen have is words and fables only; nor have these fables anything truly wise(2) in them; since everything among those men is done for the sake of reputation. A great good then is true wisdom, and even here(3) returns to us a recompense. For he that despises wealth, from this at once reaps advantage,(4) being delivered from cares which are superfluous and unprofitable;(5) and he that tramples upon glory from this at once receives his reward, being the slave of none, but free with the real freedom; and he that desires heavenly things hence receives his recompense, regarding present things as nothing, and being easily superior to every grief. Behold, for example, how this woman by practicing true wisdom even here received her reward. For when all were sitting by her as she mourned and lamented, she did not wait that the Master should come to her, nor did she maintain what might have seemed her due, nor was she restrained by her sorrow, (for, in addition to the other wretchedness, mourning women have this malady, that they wish to be made much of on account of their case,) but she was not at all so affected; as soon as she heard, she quickly came to Him.(6) "Jesus was not yet come into the town."(7) He proceeded somewhat slowly, that He might not seem to fling Himself upon the miracle, but rather to be(8) entreated by them. At least, it is either with an intention of implying this that the Evangelist has said the, "riseth up quickly," or else he showeth that she ran so as to anticipate Christ's arrival. She came not alone, but drawing after her the Jews that were in the house. Very wisely did her sister call(9) her secretly, so as not to disturb those who had come together, and not mention the cause either; for assuredly many would have gone back, but now as though she were going to weep, all followed her. By these means again it is proved(10) that Lazarus was dead.

Ver. 32. "And she fell at His feet."(11)

She is more ardent than her sister. She regarded not the multitude, nor the suspicion which they had concerning Him, for there were many of His enemies, who said, "Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died?" (ver. 37); but cast out all mortal things in the presence of her Master, and was given up to one thing only, the honor of that Master. And what saith she?

"Lord, if Thou hadst been here, my brother had not died."

What doth Christ? He converseth not at all with her for the present, nor saith to her what He said to her sister, (for a great multitude was by, and this was no fit time for such words,) He only acteth measurably and condescendeth; and to prove His human nature, weepeth in silence, and deferreth the miracle for the present. For since that miracle was a great one, and such as He seldom wrought, and since many were to believe(12) by means of it, lest to work it without their presence should prove a stumbling-block to the multitude, and so they should gain nothing by its greatness, in order that He might not lose the quarry,(13) He draweth to Him many witnesses by His condescension, and showeth proof of(14) His human nature. He weepeth, and is troubled; for grief is wont to stir up the feelings. Then rebuking those feelings, (for He "groaned(15) in spirit" meaneth, "restrained His trouble,") He asked,

Ver. 34. "Where have ye laid him?"

So that the question might not be attended with lamentation. But why doth He ask? Because He desired not to cast Himself on (the miracle), but to learn all from them, to do all at their invitation, so as to free the miracle from any suspicion.

"They say unto Him, Come and see."

Ver. 35. "Jesus wept."

Seest thou that He had not as yet shown any sign of the raising, and goeth not as if to raise Lazarus, but as if to weep? For the Jews show that He seemed to them to be going to bewail, not to raise him; at least they said,

Ver. 36, 37. "Behold how he loved him! And some of them said, Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died?"

Not even amid calamities did they relax their wickedness. Yet what He was about to do was a thing far more wonderful; for to drive away death when it hath come and conquered, is far more than to stay it when coming on. They therefore slander Him by those very points through which they ought to have marveled at His power. They allow for the time that He opened the eyes of the blind, and when they ought to have admired Him on account of that miracle, they, by means of this latter case, cast a slur upon it, as though it had not even taken place. And not from this only are they shown to be all corrupt, but because when He had not yet come, nor exhibited any action, they prevent Him with their accusations without waiting the end of the matter. Seest thou how corrupt was their judgment?

[2.] He cometh then to the tomb; and again(1) rebuketh His feelings. Why doth the Evangelist carefully in several places mention that "He wept," and that, "He groaned"?(2) That thou mayest learn that He had of a truth put on our nature. For when this Evangelist is remarkable for uttering great things concerning Christ more than the others, in matters relating to the body, here he also speaketh much more humbly than they.(3) For instance, concerning His death he hath said nothing of the kind; the other Evangelists declare that He was exceedingly sorrowful, that He was in an agony; but John, on the contrary, saith, that He even cast the officers backwards. So that he hath made up here what is omitted there, by mentioning His grief. When speaking of His death, Christ saith "I have power to lay down My life"(c. x. 18), and then He uttereth no lowly word; therefore at the Passion they(4) attribute to Him much that is human, to show the reality of the Dispensation. And Matthew proves this by the Agony, the trouble, the trembling,(5) and the sweat; but John by His sorrow. For had He not been of our nature, He would not once and again have been mastered by grief. What did Jesus? He made no defense with regard to their charges; for why should He silence by words those who were soon to be silenced by deeds? a means less annoying, and more adapted to shame them.

Ver. 39. "He saith, Take ye away the stone."

Why did not He when at a distance summon Lazarus, and place him before their eyes? Or rather, why did He not cause him to arise while the stone yet lay on the grave? For He who was able by His voice to move a corpse, and to show it again endowed with life, would much more by that same voice have been able to move a stone; He who empowered by His voice one bound and entangled in the grave-clothes to walk, would much more have been able to move a stone; why then did He not so? In order to make them witnesses of the miracle; that they might not say as they did in the case of the blind man, "It is he," "It is not he." For their hands(6) and their coming to the tomb testified that it was indeed he. If they had not come, they might have deemed that they saw a vision, or one man in place of another. But now the coming to the place, the raising the stone, the charge given them to loose the dead man bound in grave-clothes from his bands; the fact that the friends who bore him from the tomb, knew from the grave-clothes(7) that it was he; that his sisters were not left behind; that one of them said, "He now stinketh, for he hath been dead four days"; all these things, I say, were sufficient to silence the ill-disposed, as they were made witnesses of the miracle. On this account He biddeth them take away the stone from the tomb, to show that He raiseth the man. On this account also He asketh, "Where have ye laid him?" that they who said, "Come and see," and who conducted Him, might not be able to say that He had raised another person; that their voice and their hands might bear witness, (their voice by saying, "Come and see," their hands by lifting the stone, and loosing the grave-clothes,) as well as their eyes and ears, (the one by hearing His voice, the other by seeing Lazarus come forth,) and their smell also by perceiving the ill-odor, for Martha said, "He now stinketh, for he hath been dead four days."

Therefore I said with good reason, that the woman did not at all understand Christ's words, "Though he were dead, yet shall he live." At least observe, that she speaketh as though the thing were impossible on account of the time which had intervened. For indeed it was a strange thing to raise a corpse which had been dead four days, and was corrupt. To the disciples Jesus said, "That the Son of Man may be glorified," referring to Himself; but to the woman, "Thou shalt see the glory of God," speaking of the Father. Seest thou that the weakness of the hearers is the cause of the difference of the words? He therefore remindeth her of what He had spoken unto her, well nigh rebuking her, as being forgetful. Yet He did not wish at present to confound the spectators, wherefore He saith,(8)

Ver. 40. "Said I not unto thee, that if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?"

[3.] A great blessing truly is faith, great, and one which makes great those who hold it rightly with (good) living.(1) By this men (are enabled) to do the things of God in His(2) name. And well did Christ say,(3) "If ye have faith ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove, and it shall remove" (Matt. xvii. 20); anti again, "He that believeth on Me, the works that I do shall he do also, and greater works than these shall he do." (c. xiv. 12. ) What meaneth He by "greater"? Those which the disciples are seen after this to work. For even the shadow of Peter raised a dead man; and so the power of Christ was the more proclaimed. Since it was not so wonderful that He while alive should work miracles, as that when He was dead others should be enabled to work in His name greater than He wrought. This was an indisputable proof of the Resurrection; nor if (that Resurrection) had been seen by all, would it have been equally believed. For men might have said that it was an appearance, but one who saw that by His name alone greater miracles were wrought than when He conversed with men, could not disbelieve unless he were very senseless. A great blessing then is faith when it arises from glowing feelings, great love,(4) and a fervent soul; it makes us truly wise, it hides our human meanness, and leaving reasonings beneath, it philosophizes about things in heaven; or rather what the wisdom of men cannot discover,(5) it abundantly comprehends and succeeds in. Let us then cling to this, and not commit to reasonings(6) what concerns ourselves. For tell me, why have not the Greeks been able to find out anything? Did they not know all the wisdom of the heathen?(7) Why then could they not prevail against fishermen and tentmakers, and unlearned persons? Was it not because the one committed all to argument, the others to faith? and so these last were victorious over Plato and Pythagoras, in short, over all that had gone astray; and they surpass those whose lives had been worn out in(8) astrology and geometry, mathematics and arithmetic, and who had been thoroughly instructed in(9) every sort of learning, and(10) were as much superior to them as true and real philosophers are superior to those who are by nature foolish and out of their senses.(11) For observe, these men asserted that the soul was immortal, or rather, they did not merely assert this, but persuaded others of it. The Greeks, on the contrary, did not at first know what manner of thing the soul was, and when they had found out, and had distinguished it from the body, they were again in the same case, the one asserting that it was incorporeal, the other that it was corporeal and was dissolved with the body. Concerning heaven again, the one said that it had life and was a god, but the fishermen both taught and persuaded that it was the work and device(12) of God. Now that the Greeks should use reasonings is nothing wonderful, but that those who seem to be believers, that "they" should be found carnal,(13) this is what may justly be lamented.(14) And on this account they have gone astray, some saying that they know God as He knoweth Himself, a thing which not even any of those Greeks have dared to assert • others that God cannot beget without passion, not even allowing Him any superiority over men;(15) others again, that a righteous life and exact(16) conversation avail nothing. But it is not the time to refute these things now. [4.] Yet that a right faith availeth nothing if the life be corrupt, both Christ and Paul declare, having taken the more care for this latter part; Christ when He teacheth,(17) "Not every one that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven" (Matt. vii. 21); and again, "Many will say unto Me in that day, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy Name? And I will profess unto them, I never knew you; depart from Me, ye that work iniquity"(18) (Matt. xxii. 23); (for they who take not heed to themselves, easily slip away(19) into wickedness, even though they have a right faith;) and Paul, when in his letter to the Hebrews he thus speaks and exhorts them; "Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord." (Heb. xii. 14.) By "holiness," meaning chastity, so that it behooved each to be content with his own wife, and not have to do with(20) any other woman; for it is impossible that one not so contented should be saved; he must assuredly perish though he have ten thousand right actions, since with fornication it is impossible to enter into the kingdom of heaven. Or rather, this is henceforth(21) not fornication but adultery; for as a woman who is bound to a man, if she come together with(22) another man, then hath committed adultery, so he that is bound to a woman, if he have another, hath committed adultery. Such an one shall not inherit the kingdom of heaven, but shall fall into the pit. Hear what Christ saith concerning these,(1) "Their worm shall not die,(2) and the fire shall not be quenched." (Mark ix. 44.) For he can have no pardon, who after (possessing) a wife, and the comfort of a wife, then acts shamelessly towards another woman; since this is henceforth wantonness.(3) And if the many abstain even from their wives when it be a season of fast or prayer, how great a fire doth he heap up for himself who is not even content with his wife, but mingleth with another; and if it is not permitted one who has put away and cast out his own wife to mingle with another, (for this is adultery,) how great evil doth he commit who, while his wife is in his house, brings in another. Let no one then allow this malady to dwell in his soul; let him tear it up by the root. He doth not so much wrong his wife as himself. For so grievous and unpardonable is this offense, that if a woman separate herself from a husband which is an idolater without his consent, God punisheth her; but if she separate herself from a fornicator, not so. Seest thou how great an evil this is? "If," It saith, "any faithful woman have(4) a husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him." (1 Cor. vii. 13.) Not so concerning a harlot; but what? "If any man(5) put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, he causeth her to commit adultery." (Matt. v. 32.) For if the coming together maketh one body, he who cometh together with a harlot must needs become one body with her. How then shall the modest woman, being a member of Christ, receive such an one, or how shall she join to herself the member of an harlot. And observe the excess of the one (fornication) over the other (idolatry). The woman who dwelleth with an unbeliever is not impure; ("for," It saith, "the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife"--1 Cor. vi. 15;) not so with the harlot; but what? "Shall I then make the members of Christ the members of an harlot?" In the one case sanctification remains, and is not removed though the unbeliever dwelleth with his wife; but in the other case it departeth. A dreadful, a dreadful thing is fornication, and an agent for(6) everlasting punishment; and even in this world it brings with it ten thousand woes. The man so guilty is forced to lead a life of anxiety and toil; he is nothing better off than those who are under punishment, creeping(7) into another man's house with fear and much trembling, suspecting all alike(8) both slave and free. Wherefore I exhort you to be(9) freed from this malady, and if you obey(10) not, step not on the sacred threshold.(11) Sheep that are covered with the scab, and full of disease, may not herd with those that are in health; we must drive them from the fold until they get rid of the malady. We have been made members of Christ; let us not, I entreat, become members of an harlot. This place is not a brothel but a church; if then thou hast the members of an harlot, stand not in the church, lest thou insult the place. If there were no hell, if there were no punishment, yet, after those contracts, those marriage torches, the lawful bed, the procreation of children, the intercourse, how couldest thou bear to join(12) thyself to another? How is it that thou art not ashamed nor blushest? Knowest thou not that they who after the death of their own wife, introduce another into their own house, are blamed by many? yet this action hath no penalty attached to it: but thou bringest in another while thy wife is yet alive. What lustfulness is this! Learn what hath been spoken concerning such men, "Their worm," It saith, "shall not die, and the fire shall not be quenched." (Mark ix. 44.) Shudder at the threat, dread the vengeance. The pleasure here is not so great as the punishment there, but may it not came to pass that any one (here) become liable to that punishment, but that exercising holiness they may see Christ, and obtain the promised good things, which may we all enjoy, through the grace and lovingkindness of our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom with the Father and the Holy Ghost be glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

HOMILY LXIV.

JOHN xi. 41, 42.

"Jesus lifted up His eyes, and said, Father, I thank Thee that Thou hast heard Me; and I knew that Thou hearest Me always, hut because of the people which stand by, I said it." And what follows.

[1.] WHAT I have often said, I will now say, that Christ looketh not so much to His own honor as to our salvation; not how He may utter some sublime saying, but how something able to draw us to Him. On which account His sublime and mighty sayings are few, and those also hidden, but the humble and lowly are many, and abound(1) through His discourses. For since by these men were the rather brought over, in these He continueth; and He doth not on the one hand utter these(2) universally, lest the men that should come after should receive damage, nor, on the other hand, doth He entirely withhold those,(3) lest the men of that time should be offended. Since they who have passed from lowmindedness unto perfection,(4) will be able from even a single sublime doctrine to discern the whole, but those who were ever lowminded, unless they had often heard these lowly sayings,(5) would not have come to Him(6) at all. In fact, even after so many such sayings they do not remain firm, but even stone and persecute Him, and try to kill Him, and call Him blasphemer. And when He maketh Himself equal with God, they say, "This man blasphemeth" (Matt. ix. 3); and when He saith, "Thy sins be forgiven thee" (c. x. 20), they moreover call Him a demoniac. So when He saith that the man who heareth His words is stronger than death, or, "I am in the Father and the Father in Me" (c. viii. 51), they leave Him; and again, they are offended when He saith that He came down from heaven. (c. vi. 33, 60.) If now they could not bear these sayings, though seldom uttered, scarcely, had His discourse been always sublime, had it been of this texture, would they have given heed to Him? When therefore He saith, "As the Father commanded Me, so I speak"(7) (c. xiv. 31); and, "I am not come(8) of Myself" (c. vii. 28), then they believe. That they did believe then is clear, from the Evangelist signifying this besides, and saying, "As He spake these words, many believed on Him." (c. v. 30.) If then lowly speaking drew men to(9) faith, and high speaking scared them away,(10) must it not be a mark of extreme folly not to see at a glance how to reckon(11) the sole reason of those lowly sayings, namely, that they were uttered because of the hearers. Since in another place when He had desired to say some high thing, He withheld it, adding this reason, and saying, "Lest we should offend them, cast a hook into the sea." (Matt. xvii. 27.) Which also He doth here; for after saying, "I know that Thou hearest Me always," He addeth. "but because of the multitude which standeth around I said it, that they might believe." Are these words ours? Is this a human conjecture? When then a man will not endure to be persuaded by what is written, that(12) they were offended at sublime things, how, when he heareth Christ saying that He spake in a lowly manner that they might not be offended, how, after that, shall he suspect that the mean sayings belonged to His nature, not to His condescension?(13) So in another place, when a voice came down from heaven, He said, "This voice came not because of Me, but for your sakes." (c. xii. 30.) who is exalted may be allowed to speak lowly things of himself, but it is not lawful for the humble to utter concerning himself anything grand or sublime. For the former ariseth from condescension, and has for its cause the weakness of the hearers; or rather (it has for its cause) the leading them to(14) humblemindedness, and His being clothed in flesh, and the teaching the hearers to say nothing great concerning themselves, and His being deemed an enemy of God, and not being believed to have come from God, His being suspected of breaking the Law, and the fact that the hearers looked on Him with an evil eye, and were ill disposed towards Him, because He said that He was equal to God.(15) But that a lowly man should say any great thing of Himself, hath no cause either reasonable or unreasonable;(16) it can only be folly, impudence, and unpardonable boldness. Wherefore then doth Christ speak humbly, being of that ineffable and great Substance? For the reasons mentioned, and that He might not be deemed unbegotten; for Paul seems to have feared some such thing as this; wherefore he saith, "Except Him who did put all things under Him." (1 Cor. xv. 27.) This it is impious even to think of. Since if being less than Him who begat Him, and of a different Substance, He had been deemed equal, would He not have used every means that this might not be thought? But now He doth the contrary, saying, "If I do not the works of Him that sent Me,(1) believe Me not." (c. x. 37.) Indeed His saying, that "I am in the Father and the Father in Me" (c. xiv. 10), intimateth to us the equality. It would have behooved, if He had been inferior, to refute this opinion with much vehemence, and not at all to have said, "I am in the Father and the Father in me" (c. x. 30), or that, "We are One," or that, "He that hath seen Me, hath seen the Father." (c. xiv. 9.) Thus also, when His discourse was concerning power, He said, "I and the Father are One"; and when His discourse was concerning authority, He said again, "For as the Father raiseth up the dead and quickeneth them, even so the Son quickeneth whom He wilt" (c. v. 21); which it would be impossible that He should do were He of a different substance; or even allowing that it were possible, yet it would not have behooved to say this, lest they should suspect that the substance was one and the same. Since if in order that they may not suppose Him to be an enemy of God, He often even uttereth words unsuited to Him, much more should He then have done so; but now, His saying, "That they should honor the Son even as they honor the Father" (c. v. 23); His saying, "The works which He doeth, I do also" (c. v. 19); His saying that He is "the Resurrection, and the Life, and the Light of the world" (c. xi. 25; c. viii. 12), are the expressions of One making Himself equal to Him who begat Him, and confirming the suspicion which they entertained. Seest thou(2) how He maketh this speech and defense, to show that He broke not the Law, and that He not only doth not remove, but even confirmeth the opinion of His equality with the Father? So also when they said, "Thou blasphemest, because thou makest thyself God" (c. x. 33), from equality of works He established this thing.

[2.] And why say I that(3) the Son did this, when the Father also who took not(4) the flesh doeth the same thing? For He also endured that many lowly things should be said concerning Him for the salvation of the hearers. For the, "Adam, where art thou?" (Gen. iii. 9), and, "That I may know whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it" (Gen. xviii. 21); and, "Now I know that thou fearest God" (Gen. xxii. 12); and, "If they will hear" (Ezek. iii. 11); and, "If they will understand" (Deut. v. 29); and, "Who shall give the heart of this people to be so?" and the expression, "There is none like unto Thee among the gods, O Lord" (Ps. lxxx. 29); these and many other like sentences in the Old Testament, if a man should pick them out, he will find to be unworthy of the dignity of God. In the case of Ahab it is said, "Who shall entice Ahab for Me?" (2 Chron. xviii. 19.) And the continually preferring Himself to the gods of the I heathen in the way of comparison, all these things are unworthy of God. Yet in another way they are made worthy of Him, for He is so kind, that for our salvation He careth not for expressions which become His dignity. Indeed, the becoming man is unworthy of Him, and the taking the form of a servant, and the speaking humble words, and the being clothed in(5) humble (garments), unworthy if one looks to His dignity, but worthy if one consider the unspeakable riches(6) of His lovingkindness. And there is another cause of the humility of His words. What is that? It is that they knew and confessed(7) the Father, but Him they knew not. Wherefore He continually betaketh Himself to the Father as being confessed by them, because He Himself was not as yet deemed worthy of credit; not on account of any inferiority of His own, but because of the folly and infirmity of the hearers. On this account He prayeth, and saith, "Father, I thank Thee that Thou hast heard Me." For if He quickeneth whom He will, and quickeneth in like manner as doth the Father, wherefore doth He call upon Him?

But it is time now to go through the passage from the beginning? "Then they took up the stone where the dead man lay. And Jesus lifted up His eyes, and said, Father, I thank Thee that Thou hast heard Me. And I knew that Thou hearest Me always, but because of the people that stand by I said it, that they might believe that Thou hast sent Me." Let us then ask the heretic, Did He receive an impulse(9) from the prayer, and so raise the dead man? How then did He work other miracles without prayer? saying, "Thou evil spirit, I charge thee, come out of him" (Mark ix. 25); and, "I will, be thou clean" (Mark i. 41); and, "Arise, take up thy bed" (c. v. 8); and, "Thy sins be forgiven thee" (Matt. ix. 2); and to the sea, "Peace, be still." (Mark iv. 39.) In short, what hath He more than the Apostles, if so be that He also worketh by(10) prayer? Or rather I should say, that neither did they work all with prayer, but often they wrought without prayer, calling upon the Name of Jesus. Now, if His Name had such great power, how could He have needed prayer? Had He needed prayer, His Name would not have availed. When He wholly made man, what manner of prayer did He need? was there not then great equality of honor? "Let Us make," It saith, "man." (Gen. i. 26.) What could be greater sign of weakness, if He needed prayer? But let us see what the prayer was; "I thank Thee that Thou hast heard Me." Who now ever prayed in this manner? Before uttering any prayer, He saith, "I thank Thee," showing that He needed not prayer.(1) "And I knew that Thou hearest Me always." This He said not as though He Himself were powerless, but to show that His will and the Father's is one. But why did He assume the form of prayer? Hear, not me, but Himself, saying, "For the sake of the people which stand by, that they may believe that Thou hast sent Me." He said not, "That they may believe that I am inferior, that I have need of an impulse from above, that without prayer I cannot do anything; but, "That Thou hast sent Me." For all these things the prayer declareth, if we take it simply. He said not, "Thou hast sent me weak, acknowledging servitude, and doing nothing of Myself"; but dismissing all these things, that thou mayest have no such suspicions, He putteth the real cause of the prayer, "That they may not deem Me an enemy of God; that they may not say, He is not of God, that I may show them that the work hath been done according to Thy will." All but saying, "Had I been an enemy of God, what is done would not have succeeded," but the, "Thou heardest Me," is said in the case of friends and equals. "And I knew that Thou hearest Me always," that is, "in order that My will be done I need no prayer, except to persuade men that to Thee and Me belongeth one will." "Why then prayest Thou?" For the sake of the weak and grosser(2) sort.

Ver. 43. "And when He had thus spoken, He cried with a loud voice."

Why said He not, "In the name of My Father come forth"? Or why said He not, "Father, raise him up"? Why did he omit all these expressions, and after assuming the attitude of one praying, show by His actions His independent authority? Because this also was a part of His wisdom, to show condescension by words, but by His deeds, power. For since they had nothing else to charge Him with except that He was not of God, and since in this way they deceived many, He on this account most abundantly proveth this very point by what He saith, and in the way that their infirmity required. For it was in His power by other means to show at once His agreement with the Father and His own dignity, but the multitude could not ascend so far. And He saith, "Lazarus, come forth."

[3.] This is that of which He spake, "The hour is coming, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and they that hear shall live." (c. v. 28.) For, that thou mightest not think that He received the power of working from another, He taught thee this before, and gave proof by deeds, and said not, Arise, but, "Come forth," conversing with the dead man as though living. What can be equal to this authority? And if He doth it not by His own strength, what shall He have more than the Apostles, who say, "Why look ye so earnestly on us as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk?" (Acts iii. 12.) For if, not working by His own power, He did not add what the Apostles said concerning themselves, they will in a manner be more truly wise than He, because they refused the glory. And(3) in another place, "Why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions as you." (Acts xiv. 15.) The Apostles since they did nothing of themselves, spoke in this way to persuade men of this; but He when the like opinion was formed concerning Him, would He not have removed the suspicion, if at least He did not act by His own authority? Who would assert this? But in truth Christ doeth the contrary, when He saith,(4) "Because of the people which stand by I said it, that they might believe"; so that had they believed, there would have been no need of prayer. Now if prayer were not beneath His dignity, why should He account them the cause of His praying? Why said He not, "I do it in order that they may believe that I am not equal to Thee"; for He ought on account of the suspicion to have come to this point. When He was suspected of breaking the Law, He used the very expression, even when they had not said anything, "'Think not that I am come to destroy the Law" (Matt. v. 17); but in this place He establisheth their suspicion. In fact, what need was there at all of going such a round, and of using such dark sayings? It had been enough to say, "I am not equal," and to be rid of the matter. "But what," saith some one, "did He not say that, I do not My own will?" Even this He did in a covert way, and one suited to their infirmity, and from the same cause through which the prayer was made. But what meaneth "That Thou hast heard Me"? It meaneth,(5) "That there is nothing on My part opposed to Thee." As then the, "That Thou hast heard Me," is not the saying of one declaring, that of Himself He had not the power, (for were this the case, it would be not only impotence but ignorance, if before praying He did not know that God would grant the prayer; and if He knew not, how was it that He said, "I go that I may awake him," instead of, "I go to pray My Father to awake him?") As then this expression is a sign, not • of weakness, but of identity of will, so also is the, "Thou hearest Me always." We must then either say this, or else that it was addressed to their suspicions. If now He was neither ignorant nor weak, it is clear that He uttereth these lowly words, that thou mayest be persuaded by their very excess, and mayest be compelled to confess, that they suit not His dignity, but are from condescension. What then say the enemies of truth? "He spake not those words, Thou hast heard me," saith some one, "to the infirmity of the hearers, but in order to show a superiority." Yet this was not to show a superiority,(1) but to humble Himself greatly, and to show Himself as having nothing more than man. For to pray is not proper to God, nor to the sharer of the Throne. Seest thou then that He came to this(2) from no other cause than their unbelief? Observe at least that the action beareth witness to His authority.

"He called, and the dead man came forth wrapped."(3) Then that the matter might not seem to be an appearance, (for his coming forth bound did not seem to be less marvelous than his resurrection,) Jesus commanded to loose him, in order that having touched and having been near him, they might see that it was really he. And He saith,

"Let him go."

Seest thou His freedom from boastfulness? He doth not lead him on, nor bid him go about(4) with Him, lest He should seem to any to be showing him; so well knew He how to observe moderation.

When the sign had been wrought, some wondered, others went and told it to the Pharisees.(5) What then did they? When they ought to have been astonished and to have admired Him, they took counsel to kill Him who had raised the dead. What folly! They thought to give up to death Him who had overcome death in the bodies of others.

Ver. 47. "And they said, What do we? for this man doeth many miracles."

They still call Him "man," these who had received such proof of His divinity. "What do we?" They ought to have believed, and served, and bowed down to Him, and no longer to have deemed Him a man.

Ver. 58. "If we let him thus alone, the Romans will come,(6) and will take away both our nation and city."(7)

What is it which they counsel to do?(8) They wish to stir up the people, as though they themselves would be in danger on suspicion of establishing a kingdom. "For if," saith one of them, "the Romans learn(9) that this Man is leading the multitudes, they will suspect us,(10) and will come and destroy our city." Wherefore, tell me? Did He teach revolt? Did He not permit you to give tribute to Cæsar? Did not ye wish to make Him a king, and He fly from you? Did He not follow n a mean and unpretending(12) life, having neither house nor anything else of the kind? They therefore said this, not from any such expectation, but from malice. Yet it so fell out contrary to their expectation, and the Romans took their nation and city when they had slain Christ. For the things done by Him were beyond all suspicion. For He who healed the sick, and taught the most excellent way of life, and commanded men to obey their rulers, was not establishing but undoing a tyranny. "But," saith some one, "we conjecture from former (impostors)." But they taught revolt, He the contrary. Seest thou that the words were but a pretense? For what action of the kind did He exhibit? Did He lead about with Him(13) pompous(14) guards? had He a train of chariots? Did He not seek the deserts? But they, that they may not seem to be speaking from their own ill feeling,(15) say that all the city is in danger, that the common weal is being plotted against, and that they have to fear the worst. These were not the causes of your captivity, but things contrary to them; both of this last, and of the Babylonish, and of that under Antiochus which followed: it was not that there were worshipers among you, but that there were among you those who did unjustly, and excited God to wrath, this caused you to be given up into bondage. But such a thing is envy, allowing men to see nothing which they ought to see, when it has once for all blinded the soul. Did He not teach men to be meek? Did He not bid them when smitten on the right cheek to turn the other also? Did He not bid them when injured to bear it? to show greater readiness to endure evil, than others have to inflict it? Are these, tell me, the signs of one establishing a tyranny, and not rather of one pulling a tyranny down?

[4.] But, as I said, a dreadful thing is malice, and full of hypocrisy; this hath filled the world with ten thousand evils; through this malady the law courts are filled, from this comes the desire of fame and wealth, from this the love of rule, and insolence,(1) through this the roads have wicked robbers and the sea pirates,(2) from this proceed the murders through the world, through this our race is rent asunder, and whatever evil thou mayest see, thou wilt perceive to arise from this. This hath even burst into(3) the churches, this hath caused ten thousand dreadful things from the beginning, this is the mother of avarice, this malady hath turned all things upside down, and corrupted justice. For "gifts," It saith, "blind the eyes of the wise, and as a muzzle on the mouth turn away reproofs." (Ecclus. xx. 29, LXX. and marg. of E.V.) This makes slaves of freemen, concerning this we talk every day, and no good comes of it, we become worse than wild beasts; we plunder orphans, strip widows, do wrong to the poor, join woe to woe. "Alas! that the righteous hath perished from the earth!" (Mic. vii. 1, 2.) It is our part too henceforth to mourn, or rather we have need to say this every day. We profit nothing by our prayers, nothing by our advice and exhortation, it remaineth therefore that we weep. Thus did Christ; after having many times exhorted those in Jerusalem, when they profiled nothing, He wept at their hardness.(4) This also do the Prophets, and this let us do now. Henceforth is the season for mourning and tears and wailing; it is seasonable for us also to say now, "Call for the mourning women, and send for the cunning women, that they may cry aloud" (Jer. ix. 17); perhaps thus we shall be able to east out the malady of those who build splendid houses, of those who surround themselves with lands gotten by rapine. It is seasonable to mourn; but do ye take part with me in the mourning, ye who have been stripped and injured, by your mournings bring down my tears. But while mourning we will mourn, not for ourselves but for them; they have not injured you, but they have destroyed themselves; for you have the Kingdom of heaven in return for the injustice done you, they hell in return for their gain. On this account it is better to be injured than to injure. Let us bewail them with a lamentation not of man's making,(5) but that from the Holy Scriptures with which the Prophets also wailed. With Isaiah let us wail bitterly, and say, "Woe, they that add house to house, that lay field to field, that they may take somewhat from their neighbor; will ye dwell alone upon the earth? Great houses and fair, and there shall be no inhabitants in them." (Isa. v. 8, 9.)

Let us mourn with Nahum, and say with him, "Woe to him that buildeth his house on high." (Perhaps Jer. xxii. 13.) Or rather let us mourn for them as Christ mourned for those of old. "Woe to you that are rich, for ye have received your consolation." (Luke vi. 24.) Let us, I beseech you, not cease thus lamenting, and if it be not unseemly, let us even beat our breasts for the carelessness of our brethren. Let us not weep for him who is already dead, but let us weep for the rapacious man, the grasping, the covetous, the insatiable. Why should we mourn for the dead, in whose case it is impossible henceforth to effect anything? Let us mourn for these who are capable even of change. But while we are lamenting, perhaps they will laugh. Even this is a worthy cause for lamentation, that they laugh when they ought to mourn. For had they been at all affected by our sorrows, it would have behooved us to cease from sorrowing on account of their promise of amendment; but since they are of an insensible disposition, let us continue to weep, not merely for the rich, but for the lovers of money, the greedy, the rapacious. Wealth is not an evil thing, (for we may use it rightly when we spend it upon those who have need,) but greediness is an evil, and it prepares(6) deathless punishments. Let us then bewail them; perhaps there will be some amendment; or even if they who have fallen in do not escape, others at least will not fall into the danger, but will guard against it. May it come to pass that both they may be freed from their malady, and that none of us may ever fall into it, that we all may in common obtain the promised goods, through the grace and lovingkindness of our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

HOMILY LXV.

JOHN xi. 49, 50.

"And one of them, Caiaphas, being the High Priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all, nor consider that it is expedient that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not," &c.

[1.] "THE heathen are stuck fast in the destruction which they made; in the trap which they hid is their foot taken." (Ps. ix. 15, LXX.) This hath been the case with the Jews. They said that they would kill Jesus, lest the Romans should come and take away their place and nation; and when they had killed Him, these things happened unto them, and when they had done that by doing which they thought to escape, they yet did not escape. He who was slain is in Heaven, and they who slew have for their portion hell. Yet they did not consider these things; but what? "They desired," It saith, "from that day forth to kill Him" (ver. 53), for they said, "The Romans will come, and will take away our nation; and a certain one of them, Caiaphas, being High Priest that year, said," (being more shameless than the rest,) "Ye know nothing." What the others made matter of doubt, and put forth in the way of deliberation, this man cried aloud, shamelessly, openly, audaciously. For what saith he? "Ye know nothing, nor consider that it is expedient that one man should die, and that the whole nation perish not."

Ver. 51. "And this spake he not of himself, but being High Priest he prophesied."(1)

Seest thou how great is the force of the High Priest's authority? for, since he had in any wise been deemed worthy of the High Priesthood, although unworthy thereof, he prophesied, not knowing what he said; and the grace merely made use of his mouth, but touched not his accursed heart. Indeed many others have foretold things to come, although unworthy to do so, as Nebuchadnezzar, Pharaoh, Balaam; and the reason of all is evident. But what he saith is of this kind. "Ye still sit quiet, ye give heed but carelessly to this matter, and know not how to despise one man's safety for the sake of the community." See how great is the power of the Spirit; from an evil imagination It was able to bring forth words full of marvelous prophecy. The Evangelist calleth the Gentiles "children of God," from what was about to be: as also Christ Himself saith, "Other sheep I have" (c. x. 16), so calling them from what should afterwards come to pass.

But what is, "being High Priest that year"? This matter as well as the rest lind become corrupt; for from the time that offices became matters of purchase, they were no longer priests for the whole period of their lives, but for a year. Notwithstanding, even in this state of things the Spirit was still present. But when they lifted up their hands against Christ, then It left them, and removed to the Apostles. This the rending of the veil declared, and the voice of Christ which said, "Behold, your house is left unto you desolate." (Matt. xxiii. 38.) And Josephus, who lived a short time after, saith, that certain Angels who yet remained with them, (to see) if they would alter their ways, left them.(2) While the vineyard stood, all things(3) went on; but when they had slain the Heir, no longer so, but they perished. And God having taken it from the Jews, as a glorious garment from an unprofitable son, gave it to right-minded servants of the Gentiles, leaving the others desolate and naked. It was, moreover, no small thing that even an enemy should prophesy this. This might draw over others also. For in respect of his(4) will, matters fell out contrariwise, since,(5) when He died, the faithful were on this account delivered from the punishment to come. What meaneth, "That He might gather together those near and those afar off" (ver. 52)? He made them one Body. The dweller in Rome deemeth the Indians a member of himself. What is equal to this "gathering together"? And the Head of all is Christ.

Ver. 53. "From that day forth the Jews(6) took counsel to put Him to death."

And, in truth, had sought to do so before; for the Evangelist saith, "Therefore the Jews sought to kill Him"(c. v. 18); and, "Why seek ye to kill Me?" (c. vii. 19.) But then they only sought, now they ratified their determination, and treated the action as their business.

Ver. 54. "But Jesus walked no more openly in Jewry."(7)

[2.] Again He saveth Himself in a human manner, and this He doth continually. But I have mentioned the reason for which He often departed and withdrew. And at this time He dwelt in Ephratah, near the wilderness, and there He tarried with His disciples. How thinkest thou that those disciples were confounded when they beheld Him saving Himself after the manner of a man? After this no man followed Him. For since the Feast was nigh, all were running to Jerusalem; but they,(1) at a time when all others were rejoicing and holding solemn assembly, hide themselves, and are in danger. Yet still they tarried with Him. For they hid themselves in Galilee, at the time of the Passover and the Feast of Tabernacles; and after this again during the Feast, they only of all were with their Master in flight and concealment, manifesting their good will to Him. Hence Luke recordeth that He said, "I abode with you in temptations";(2) and this He said, showing that they were strengthened by His influence.(3)

Ver. 55.(4) "And many went up from the country to purify themselves."

Ver. 57. "And the High Priests and Pharisees had commanded that they should lay hands on Him."

A marvelous purification, with a murderous will, with homicidal intentions, and bloodstained hands!

Ver. 56. "And they said, Think ye that he will not come to the feast?"

By means of the Passover they plotted against Him, and made the time of feasting a time of murder, that is, He there would fall into their hands, because the season summoned Him. What impiety! When they needed greater carefulness, and to forgive those who had been taken for the worst offenses, then they attempted to ensnare One who had done no wrong. Yet by acting thus they had already not only profited nothing, but become ridiculous. For this end coming among them continually He escapeth, and restraineth them when they take counsel(5) to kill Him, and maketh them to be in perplexity, desiring to prick them by the display of His power; that when they took Him, they might know that what had been done was done, not by their power, but by His permission. For not even at that time could they take Him, and this though Bethany was near; and when they did take Him, He cast them backwards.

Chap. xii. ver. 1, 2. "Then six days before the Passover He came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, and feasted with them; and Martha served, but Lazarus sat at meat."(6)

This was a proof of the genuineness of his resurrection, that after many days he both lived and ate. "And Martha ministered"; whence it is clear that the meal was in her house, for they received Jesus as loving and beloved. Some, however, say, that it took place in the house of another. Mary did not minister, for she was a disciple. Here again she acted in the more spiritual manner. For she did not minister as being invited, nor did she afford her services to all alike. But she directeth(7) the honor to Him alone, and approacheth Him not as a man, but as a God. On this account she poured out the ointment,(8) and wiped (His feet) with the hairs of her head, which was the action of one who did not entertain the same opinion concerning Him as did others; yet Judas rebuked her, under the pretense forsooth of carefulness. What then saith Christ? "She hath done a good work for My burying."(9) But why did He not expose the disciple in the case of the woman, nor say to him what the Evangelist hath declared, that on account of his own thieving he rebuked her? In His abundant longsuffering He wished to bring him to a better mind.(10) For because He knew that he was a traitor, He from the beginning often rebuked him, saying, "Not all believe," and, "One of you is a devil." (c. vi. 64.) He showed them that He knew him to be a traitor, vet He did not openly rebuke him, but bare with him, desiring to recall him. How then saith another Evangelist, that all the disciples used these words? (Matt. xxvi. 70.) All used them, and so did he, but the others not with like purpose. And if any one ask why He put the bag of the poor in the hands of a thief, and made him steward who was a lover of money, we would reply, that God knoweth the secret reason; but that, if we may say something by conjecture, it was that He might cut off from him all excuse. For he could not say that he did this thing(11) from love of money, (for he had in the bag sufficient to allay his desire,) but from excessive wickedness which Christ wished to restrain, using much condescension towards him. Wherefore He did not even rebuke him as stealing, although aware of it, stopping the way to his wicked desire, and taking from him all excuse. "Let her alone," He saith, "for against the day of My burying hath she done(1) this." Again, He maketh mention of the traitor in speaking of His burial. But him the reproof reacheth not, nor doth the expression soften(2) him, though sufficient to inspire him with pity: as if He had said, "I am burdensome and troublesome, but wait a little while, and I shall depart." This too he intended in saying,

Ver. 8. "But Me ye have not always."(3)

But none of these things turned back(4) that savage madman; yet in truth Jesus said and did far more than this, He washed his feet that night, made him a sharer in the table and the salt, a thing which is wont to restrain even the souls of robbers, and spake other words, enough to melt a stone, and this, not long before, but on the very day, in order that not even time might cause it to be forgotten. But he stood out against all.

[3.] For a dreadful, a dreadful thing is the love of money, it disables both eyes and ears, and makes men worse to deal with than a wild beast, allowing a man to consider neither conscience, nor friendship, nor fellowship, nor the salvation of his own soul, but having withdrawn them at once from all these things, like some harsh mistress,(5) it makes those captured by it its slaves. And the dreadful part of so hitter a slavery is, that it persuades them even to be grateful for it; and the more they become enslaved, the more doth their pleasure increase; and in this way especially the malady becomes incurable, in this way the monster becomes hard to conquer. This made Gehazi a leper instead of a disciple and a prophet; this destroyed Ananias and her with him;(6) this made Judas a traitor; this corrupted the rulers of the Jews, who received gifts, and became the partners of thieves. This hath brought in ten thousand wars, filling the ways with blood, the cities with wailings and lamentations. This hath made meals to become impure, and tables accursed, and hath filled food with transgression; therefore hath Paul called it "idolatry": (Col. iii. 5), and not even so hath he deterred men from it. And why calleth he it "idolatry"? Many possess wealth, and dare not use it, but consecrate it, handing it down untouched, not daring to touch it, as though it were some dedicated thing. And if at any time they are forced to do so, they feel as though they had done something unlawful. Besides, as the Greek carefully tends his graven image,(7) so thou entrusteth thy gold to doors and bars; providing a chest instead of a shrine, and laying it up in silver vessels. But thou dost not bow down to it as he to the image? Yet thou showest all kind of attention to it.

Again, he would rather give up his eyes or his life than his graven image. So also would those who love gold. "But," saith one, "I worship not the gold." Neither doth he, he saith, worship the image, but the devil that dwelleth in it; and in like manner thou, though thou worship not the gold, yet thou worshipest that devil who springeth on thy soul, from the sight of the gold and thy lust for it. For more grievous than an evil spirit is the lust of money-loving, and many obey it more than others do idols. For these last in many things disobey, but in this case they yield everything, and whatever it telleth them to do, they obey. What saith it? "Be at war with all," it saith, "at enmity with all, know not nature, despise God, sacrifice to me thyself," and in all they obey. To the graven images they sacrifice oxen and sheep, but avarice saith, Sacrifice to me thine own soul, and the man obeyeth. Seest thou what kind of altars it hath, what kind of sacrifices it receiveth? The covetous shall not inherit the Kingdom of God, but not even so do they fear. (1 Cor. vi. 10.) Yet this desire is(8) weaker than all the others, it is not inborn, nor natural, (for then it would have been placed in us at the beginning;) but there was no gold at the beginning, and no man desired gold. But if you will, I will tell you whence the mischief entered. By each man's envying the one before him, men have increased the disease, and he who has gotten in advance provokes him who had no desire. For when men see splendid houses, and extensive lands, and troops of slaves, and silver vessels, and great heaps of apparel, they use every means to outdo them; so that the first set of men are causes of the second, and these of those who come after. Now if they would be sober-minded, they would not be teachers (of evil) to others; yet neither have these any excuse. For others there are also who despise riches. "And who," saith one, "despises them?" For the terrible thing is, that, because wickedness is so general, this seems to have become impossible, and it is not even believed that one can act aright. Shall I then mention many both in cities and in the mountains? And what would it avail? Ye will not from their example become better. Besides, our discourse hath not now this purpose, that you should empty yourselves of your substance: I would that ye could do so; however, since the burden is too heavy for you, I constrain you not; only I advise you that you desire not what belongs to others, that you impart somewhat of your own. Many such we shall find, contented with what belongs to them, taking care of their own, and living on honest labor. Why do we not rival and imitate these? Let us think of those who have gone before us. Do not their possessions stand, preserving nothing but their name; such an one's bath, such an one's suburban seat and lodging? Do we not, when we behold them, straightway groan, when we consider what toil he endured, what rapine committed? and now he is nowhere seen, but others luxuriate in his possessions, men whom he never expected would do so, perhaps even his enemies, while he is suffering extremest punishment. These things await us also; for we shall certainly die, and shall certainly have to submit to the same end. How much wrath, tell me, how much expense, how many enmities these men incurred; and what the gain? Deathless punishment, and the having no consolation; and the being not only while alive, but when gone, accused by all? What? when we see the images of the many laid up in their houses, shall we not weep the more? Of a truth well said the Prophet, "Verily, every man living disquieteth himself in vain" (Ps. xxxix. 11, LXX.); for anxiety about such things is indeed disquiet, disquiet and superfluous trouble. But it is not so in the everlasting mansions, not so in those tabernacles. Here one hath labored, and another enjoys; but there each shall possess his own labors, and shall receive a manifold reward. Let us press forward to get that possession, there let us prepare for ourselves houses, that we may rest in Christ Jesus our Lord, with whom to the Father and the Holy Ghost be glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

HOMILY LXVI.

JOHN xii. 8.

"Much people of the Jews therefore knew that He was there, and they came, not for Jesus' sake only, but that they might see Lazarus also, whom He had raised from the dead."

[1.] AS wealth is wont to hurl into destruction(1) those who are not heedful, so also is power; the first leads into covetousness, the second into pride. See, for instance, how the subject multitude of the Jews is sound, and their rulers corrupt; for that the first of these believed Christ, the Evangelists continually assert, saying, that "many of the multitude believed on Him" (c. vii. 31, 48); but they who were of the rulers, believed not. And they themselves say, not the multitude,(2) "Hath any of the rulers believed on Him?" But what saith one? "The multitude who know not God(3) are accursed" (c. vii. 49); the believers they call accursed, and themselves the slayers, wise. In this place also, having beheld the miracle, the many believed; but the rulers were not contented with their own evil deeds,(4) they also attempted to kill Lazarus.(5) Suppose they did attempt to slay Christ because He broke the Sabbath, because He made Himself equal to the Father, and because of the Romans whom ye allege, yet what charge had they against Lazarus, that they sought to kill him? Is the having received a benefit a crime? Seest thou how murderous is their will? Yet He had worked many miracles; but none exasperated them so much as this one, not the paralytic, not the blind. For this was more wonderful in its nature, and was wrought after many others, and it was a strange thing to see one, who had been dead four days, walking and speaking. An honorable action, in truth, for the feast, to mix up the solemn assembly with murders. Besides, in the one case(6) they thought to charge Him concerning the Sabbath, and so to draw away the multitudes; but here, since they had no fault to find with Him, they make the attempt on the man who had been healed. For here they could not even say that He was opposed to the Father, since the prayer stopped their mouths. Since then the charge which they continually brought against Him was removed, and the miracle was evident, they hasten to murder. So that they would have done the same in the case of the blind man, had it not been in their power to find fault respecting the Sabbath. Besides, that man was of no note, and they cast him out of the temple; but Lazarus was a person of distinction, as is clear, since many came to comfort his sisters; and the miracle was done in the sight of all, and most marvelously. On which account all ran to see. This then stung them, that while the feast was going on, all should leave it and go to Bethany. They set their hand therefore to kill him, and thought they were not(1) daring anything, so murderous were they. On this account the(2) Law at its commencement opens with this, "Thou shall not kill" (Ex. xx. 13); and the Prophet brings this charge against them, "Their hands are full of blood." (Isa. i. 15.)

But how, after not walking openly in Jewry, and retiring into the wilderness, doth He again enter openly?(3) Having quenched their anger by retiring, He cometh to them when they were stilled. Moreover, the multitude which went before and which followed after was sufficient to cast them into an agony; for no sign so much attracted the people as that of Lazarus. And another Evangelist saith, that they strewed their garments under His feet(4) (Matt. xxi. 8), and that "the whole city was moved" (Matt. xxi. 10); with so great honor did He enter. And this He did, figuring one prophecy and fulfilling another; and the same act was the beginning of the one and the end of the other. For the, "Rejoice, for thy King cometh unto thee meek" (Zech. ix. 9), belonged to Him as fulfilling a prophecy, but the sitting upon an ass was the act of one prefiguring a future event, that He was about to have the impure race of the Gentiles subject to Him.

But how say the others, that He sent disciples, and said, "Loose the ass and the colt" (Matt. xxi. 2), while John saith nothing of the kind, but that "having found a young ass, He sat upon it"? Because it is likely that both circumstances took place, and that He after the ass was loosed, while the disciples were bringing it, found (the colt), and sat upon it. And they took the small branches of palm trees and olives, and strewed their garments in the way, showing that they now had a higher opinion concerning Him than of a Prophet, and said,

Ver. 13. "Hosannah, blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord."

Seest thou that this most choked them, the persuasion which all men had that He was not an enemy of God? And this most divided the people, His saying that He came from the Father. But what meaneth,

Ver. 15. "Rejoice greatly,(5) daughter of Zion"?

Because all their kings had for the most part been an unjust and covetous kind of men, and had given them over to their enemies, and had perverted the people, and made them subject to their foes; "Be of good courage," It saith, "this is not such an one, but meek and gentle"; as is shown by the ass, for He entered not with an army in His train, but having an ass alone.

Ver. 16. "But this," saith the Evangelist, "the disciples knew not, that it was written of Him."(6)

[2.] Seest thou that they were ignorant on most points, because He did not reveal to them? For when He said, "Destroy this Temple, and in three days I will raise it up" (c. ii. 19), neither then did the disciples understand.(7) And another Evangelist saith, that "the saying was hid from them" (Luke xviii. 34), and they knew not that He should rise from the dead. Now this was with reason concealed from them, (wherefore another Evangelist saith, that as they heard it from time to time, they grieved and were dejected,(8) and this because they understood not the saying concerning the Resurrection,) it was with reason concealed, as being too high for them: but why was not the matter of the ass revealed to them? Because this was a great thing also. But observe the wisdom of the Evangelist, how he is not ashamed to parade their former ignorance. That it was written they knew, that it was written of Him they knew not. For it would have offended them if He being a King were about to suffer such things, and be so betrayed. Besides, they could not at once have taken in the knowledge of the Kingdom of which He spake; for another Evangelist saith, that they thought the words were spoken of a kingdom of this world. (Matt. xx. 21.)

Ver. 17. "But the multitude bare witness that He had raised Lazarus."(9)

For so many would not have been suddenly changed, unless they had believed in the miracle.

Ver. 19. "The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, Perceive ye how ye prevail nothing? behold, the world is gone after Him."

Now this seems to me to be said by those who felt rightly, but had not courage to speak boldly, and who then would restrain the others by pointing to the result, as though they were attempting impossibilities. Here again they call the multitude "the world." For Scripture is wont to call by the name "world" both the creation, and those who live in wickedness; the one, when It saith, "Who bringeth out His world(10) by number" (Isa. xl. 26); the other when It saith, "The world hateth not(1) you, but Me it hateth." (c. vii. 7.) And these things it is necessary to know exactly, that we may not through the signification of words afford a handle to the heretics.

Ver. 20. "And there were certain of the Greeks that came up to worship at the Feast."

Being now near to become proselytes, they were at(2) the Feast. When therefore the report concerning Him was imparted to them, they say,

Ver. 21. "We would see Jesus."(3)

Philip gives place to Andrew as being before him, and communicates the matter to him. But neither doth he at once act with authority; for he had heard that saying, "Go not into the way of the Gentiles" (Matt. x. 5): therefore having communicated with the disciple, he refers the matter to his Master. For they both spoke to Him. But what saith He?

Ver. 23, 24. "The hour is come, that the Son of Man should be glorified. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fill into the ground and die, it abideth alone."

What is, "The hour is come"? He had said, "Go not into the way of the Gentiles," (thus cutting away all excuse of ignorance from the Jews,) and had restrained the disciples. When therefore the Jews continued disobedient, and the others desired to come to Him, "Now," saith He, "it is time to proceed to My Passion, since all things are fulfilled. For if we were to continue to wait for those who are disobedient and not admit these who even desire to come, this would be unbefitting our tender care." Since then He was about to allow the disciples to go to the Gentiles after the Crucifixion, and beheld them springing on before, He said, "It is time to proceed to the Cross." For He would not allow them to go sooner, that it might be for a testimony unto them.(4) Until that by their deeds the Jews rejected Him, until they crucified Him, He said not, "Go and make disciples of all nations" (Matt. xxviii. 19), but, "Go not into the way of the Gentiles" (Matt. x. 5), and, "I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel" (Matt xv. 24), and, "It is not meet to take the children's bread and give it unto dogs." (Matt. xv. 26.) But when they hated Him, and so hated as to kill Him, it was superfluous to persevere while they repulsed Him. For they refused Him, saying, "We have no king but Caesar." (c. xix. 05.) So that at length He left them, when they had left Him. Therefore He saith, "How often would I have gathered your children together, and ye would not?" (Matt. xxiii. 37.)

What is, "Except a grain of corn fall into the ground and die"? He speaketh of the Cross, for that they might not be confounded at seeing, that just when Greeks also came to Him, then He was slain, He saith to them, "This very thing specially causeth them to come, and shall increase the preaching of Me." Then since He could not so well persuade them by words, He goeth about to prove this from actual experience, telling them that this is the case with corn; it beareth the more fruit when it hath died. "Now," saith He, "if this be the case with seeds, much more with Me." But the disciples understood not what was spoken. Wherefore the Evangelist continually putteth this,(5) as making excuse for their flight afterwards. This same argument Paul also hath raised when speaking of the Resurrection.

[3.] What sort of excuse then will they have who disbelieve the Resurrection, when the action is practiced each day, in seeds, in plants, and in the case of our own generation? for first it is necessary that the seed die, and that then the generation take place. But, in short, when God doeth anything, reasonings are of no use; for how did He make us out of those things that were not? This I say to Christians, who assert that they believe the Scriptures; but I shall also say something else drawn from human reasonings. Of men some live in vice, others in virtue; and of those who live in vice, many have attained to extreme old age in prosperity, many of the virtuous after enduring the contrary. When then shall each receive his deserts? At what season? "Yea," saith some one, "but there is no resurrection of the body." They hear not Paul, saying, "This corruptible must put on incorruption." (1 Cor. xv. 53.) He speaks not of the soul, for the soul is not corrupted; moreover, "resurrection" is said of that which fell, and that which fell was the body. But why wilt thou have it that there is no resurrection of the body? Is it not possible with God? But this it were utter folly to say. Is it unseemly? Why is it unseemly, that the corruptible which shared the toil and death, should share also the crowns? For were it unseemly,(6) it would not have been created at the beginning, Christ would not have taken the flesh again. But to show that He took it again and raised it up, hear what He saith: "Reach(7) hither thy fingers" (c. xx. 27); and, "Behold, a spirit hath not bones and sinews."(8) (Luke xxiv. 39.) But why did He raise Lazarus again, if it would have been better to rise without a body? Why doth He this, classing it as a miracle and a benefit? I Why did He give nourishment at all? Be not therefore deceived by the heretics, beloved: for there is a Resurrection and there is a Judgment, but they deny these things, who desire not to give account of their actions. For this Resurrection must be such as was that of Christ, for He was the first fruits, the first born of the dead. But if the Resurrection is this,(1) a purifying of the soul, a deliverance from sin, and if Christ sinned not, how did He rise again? And how have we been delivered from the curse, if so be that He also sinned? And now saith He, "The prince of this world cometh, and had nothing in Me"? (c. xiv. 30.) They are the words of One declaring His sinlessness. According to them therefore He either did not rise again; or that He might rise,(2) He sinned before His Resurrection. But He both rose again, and did no sin. Therefore He rose in the Body, and these wicked doctrines are nothing else than the offspring of vainglory. Let us then fly this malady. For, It is saith, "evil communications corrupt good manners." (1 Cor. xv. 33.) These are not the doctrines of the Apostles; Marcion and Valentius have newly invented them. Let us then flee them, beloved, for a pure life profits nothing when doctrines are corrupt; as on the other hand neither do sound doctrines, if the life be corrupt. The heathen were the parents of these notions, and those heretics reared them, having received them from Gentile philosophers, asserting that matter is uncreated, and many such like things. As then they asserted that there could be no Artificer(3) unless there were some uncreated subject matter, so also they disallowed the Resurrection. But let us not heed them, as knowing that the power of God is all sufficient.(4) Let us not heed them. To you I say this; for we will not decline the battle with them. But the man who is unarmed and naked, though he fall among the weak, though he be the stronger, will easily be vanquished. Had you given heed to the Scriptures, had you sharpened yourselves each day, I would not have advised you to flee the combat with them, but would have counseled you to grapple with them; for strong is truth. But since you know not how to use the Scriptures, I fear the struggle, lest they take you unarmed and cast you down. For there is nothing, there is nothing weaker than those who are bereft of the aid of the Spirit. If these heretics employ the wisdom of the Gentiles, we must not admire, but laugh at them, because they employ foolish teachers. For those men were not able to find out anything sound, either concerning God or the creation, and things which the widow among us is acquainted with, Pythagoras did not yet know, but said that the soul becomes a bush, or a fish, or a dog. To these, tell me, ought you to give heed? And how could it be reasonable to do so? They are great men in their district,(5) grow beautiful curls, and are enfolded in cloaks; thus far goes their philosophy; but if you look within there is dust and ashes and nothing sound, but "their throat is an open sepulcher" (Ps. v. 9), having all things full of impurity and corruption,(6) and all their doctrines (full) of worms. For instance, the first of them said that water was God, his successor fire, another one air, and(7) they descended to things corporeal; ought we then, tell me, to admire these, who never even had the thought of the incorporeal God? and if they did ever gain it afterwards, it was after conversing in Egypt with our people. But, that we bring not upon you much confusion, let us here close our discourse. For should we begin to set before you their doctrine, and what they have said about God, what about matter, what about the soul, what about the body, much ridicule will follow. And they will not even require to be accused by us, for they have attacked each other; and he who wrote against us the book concerning matter, made away with himself. Therefore that we may not vainly delay you, nor wind together(8) a labyrinth of words, leaving these things we will bid you keep fast hold of the listening to the Holy Scriptures, and not fight with(9) words to no purpose; as also Paul exhorteth Timothy (2 Tim. 2, 14), filled though he was with much wisdom, and possessing the power of miracles. Let us now obey him, and leaving trifling let us hold fast to real works, I mean to brotherly-kindness and hospitality; and let us make much account of alms-giving, that we may obtain the promised good things, through the grace and lovingkindness of our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for endless ages.(10) Amen.

HOMILY LXVII.

JOHN xii. 25, 26.

"He that loveth his life shall lose it, and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. If any man serve Me, let him follow Me."

[1.] SWEET is the present life, and full of much pleasure, yet not to all, but to those who are riveted to it. Since, if any one look to heaven and see the beauteous things there, he will soon despise this life, and make no account of it. Just as the beauty of an object is admired while none more beautiful is seen, but when a better appears, the former is despised. If then we would choose to look to that beauty, and observe the splendor of the kingdom there, we should soon free ourselves from our present chains; for a kind of chain it is, this sympathy with present things. And hear what Christ saith to bring us in to this, "He that loveth his life shall lose it, and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal; if any man serve Me let him follow Me"; and, "Where I am, there is(1) My servant also." The words seem like a riddle, yet they are not so, but are full of much wisdom. But how shall "he that loveth his life, lose it"? When he doeth its unseemly desires, when he gratifies it where he ought not. Wherefore one exhorteth us, saying, "Walk not in the desires of thy soul" (Ecclus. xviii. 30); for so wilt thou destroy it since it leadeth away from the path leading to virtue; just as, on the contrary, "he that hateth it in this world, shall save it." But what meaneth, "He that hateth it"? He who yields not to it when it commands what is pernicious. And He said not," he that yieldeth not to it," but, "He that hateth it"; for as we cannot endure even to hear the voice of those we hate, nor to look upon them with pleasure, so from the soul also we must turn away with vehemence, when it commands things contrary to what is pleasing to God. For since He was now about to say much to them concerning death, His own death, and saw that they were dejected(2) and desponding, He spake very strongly, saying, "What say I? If ye bear not valiantly My death? Nay, if ye die not yourselves, ye will gain noticing." Observe also how He softens the discourse. It was a very grievous and sad thing to be told, that the man who loves life should die. And why speak I of old times, when even now we shall find many gladly enduring to suffer anything. in order to enjoy the present life, and this too when they are persuaded concerning things to come; who when they behold buildings, and works of art, and contrivances, weep, uttering the reflection," How many things man inventeth, and yet becometh dust! So great is the longing after this present life." To undo these bonds then, Christ saith, "He that hateth his soul in this world, shall keep it unto life eternal." For that thou mayest know that He spake as exhorting them, and dissipating their fear, hear what comes next.

"If any man serve Me, let him follow Me."

Speaking of death, and requiring the following which is by works. For certainly he that serveth must follow him who is served. And observe at what time He said these things to them; not when they were persecuted, but when they were confident; when they thought they were in safety on account of the honor and attention of the many, when they might rouse themselves and hear, "Let him take up his cross, and follow Me" (Matt. xvi. 24); that is, "Be ever,"(3) He saith, "prepared against dangers, against death, against your departure hence." Then after He had spoken what was hard to bear, He putteth also the prize. And of what kind was this? The following Him, and being where He is; showing that Resurrection shall succeed death. For, saith He,

"Where I am, there is(4) My servant also."

But where is Christ? In heaven. Let us therefore even before the Resurrection remove thither in soul and mind.

"If any man serve Me, the Father shall love(5) him."

Why said He not, "I"? Because they did not as yet hold a right opinion concerning Him, but held a higher opinion of the Father. For how could they imagine anything great concerning Him, who did not even know that He was to rise again? Wherefore He said to the sons of Zebedee, "It is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared by my Father" (Mark x. 40), yet He it is that judgeth. But in this passage He also establisheth His genuine sonship.(6) For as the servants of His own Son, so will the Father receive them.

Ver. 27. "Now is My soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour."

"But surely this is not(1) the expression of one urging them to go even to death." Nay, it is that of one greatly so urging them. For lest they should say, that "He being exempt from mortal pains easily philosophizes on death, and exhorts us being himself in no danger," He showeth, that although feeling its agony? on account of its profitableness He declineth it not. But these things belong to the Dispensation, not the Godhead. Wherefore He saith, "Now is My soul troubled"; since if this be not the case, What connection hath that which was spoken, and His saying, "Father, save Me from this hour"? And so troubled, that He even sought deliverance from death, if at least it were possible to escape. These were the infirmities of His human nature.

[2.] "But," He saith, "I have not what to say, when asking for deliverance."

"For for this cause came I unto this hour."

As though He had said, "Though we be confounded, though we be troubled, let us not fly from death, since even now I though troubled do not speak of flying; for it behooveth to bear what is coming on. I say not, Deliver Me from this hour," but what?

Ver. 28. "Father, glorify Thy Name."

"Although My trouble urges Me to say this,(3) yet I say the opposite, 'Glorify Thy Name,' that is, Lead Me henceforth to the Cross"; which greatly shows His humanity, and a nature unwilling to die, but clinging to the present life, proving that He was not exempt from human feelings. For as it is no blame to be hungry, or to sleep, so neither is it to desire the present life; and Christ indeed had a body pure from sin, yet not free from natural wants, for then it would not have been a body. By these words also He taught something else. Of what kind is that? That if ever we be in agony and dread, we even then start not back from that which is set before us; and by saying,(4) "Glorify Thy Name" He showeth that He dieth for the truth calling the action, "glory to God." And this fell out after the Crucifixion. The world was about to be converted, to acknowledge the Name of God, and to serve Him, not the Name of the Father only, but also that of the Son; yet still as to this He is silent.

"There came therefore a Voice from Heaven, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again."

When had He "glorified it"? By what had been done before; and "I will glorify it again" after the Cross. What then said Christ?

Ver. 30.(5) "This Voice came not because of Me, but for your sakes."

They thought that it thundered, or that an Angel spake to Him. And how did they think this? Was not the voice clear and distinct? It was, but it quickly flew away from them as being of the grosset sort, carnal and slothful. And some of them caught the sound only," others knew that the voice was articulate, but what it meant, knew not. What saith Christ? "This Voice came not because of Me, but for your sakes." Why said He this? He said it, setting Himself against what they continually asserted, that He was not of God. For He who was glorified by God, how was He not from that God whose name by Him was glorified? indeed for this purpose the Voice came. Wherefore He saith Himself, "This Voice came not because of Me, but for your sakes," "not that I may learn by it anything of which I am ignorant, (for I know all that belongeth to the Father,) but for your sakes." For when they said, "An Angel hath spoken unto Him," or "It hath thundered," and gave not heed to Him, He saith, "it was for your sakes," that even so ye might be led to enquire what the words meant. But they, being excited, did not even so enquire, though they heard that the matter related to them. For to one who knew not wherefore it was uttered, the Voice naturally appeared indistinct. "The Voice came for your sakes." Seest thou that these lowly circumstances take place on their account, not as though the Son needeth help?

Ver. 31. "Now is the judgment of this world, now shall the prince of this world be cast down."(7)

What connection hath this with, "I have glorified, and will glorify"? Much, and closely harmonizing. For when God saith, "I will glorify,'' He showeth the manner of the glorifying. What is it? That one(8) should be cast down. But what is, "the judgment of this world"? It is as though He said, "there shall be a tribunal and a retribution." How and in what way? "He (9) slew the first man, having found him guilty of sin, (for 'by sin death entered'--Rom. v. 12 ;) but in Me this he found not. Why then did he spring upon Me and give Me over to death? Why did he put into the mind of Judas to destroy Me?" (Tell me not that it was God's dispensation, for this belongeth not to the devil, but His wisdom; for the present let the disposition of that evil one be enquired into.) "How then is the world judged in Me?" It shall be said, as if a court of justice were sitting, to Satan, "Well, thou hast slain all men, because thou didst find them guilty of sin. But why didst thou slay Christ? Is it not clear that thou didst it wrongfully?" Therefore in Him the whole world shall be avenged. But, that this may be still more clear, I will make it plain by an example. Suppose there is some cruel tyrant, bringing ten thousand evils on all those who fall into his hands. If such a one engaging with a king, or a king's son, slay him unjustly, his death will have power to get revenge for the others also. Suppose there is one who demands payment of his debtors, that he beats them and casts them into prison; then from the same recklessness that he leads to the same dungeon one who owes him nothing: such a man shall suffer punishment for what he hath done to the others. For that one shall destroy him.

[3.] So also it is in the case of the Son; for of those things which the devil hath done against us, of these shall the penalty be required by means of what he hath dared against Christ. And to show that He implieth this, hear what He saith; "Now shall the prince of this world be cast down," "by My Death."

Ver. 32. "And I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto Me."

That is, "even those of the Gentiles." And that no one may ask, "How shall he be cast down, if he is stronger even than Thou art?" He saith, "He is not stronger; how can he be stronger than One who draweth others to Him?" And He speaketh not of the Resurrection, but of what is more than the Resurrection, "I will draw all men to Myself." For had He said, "I shall rise again," it was not yet clear that they would believe; but by His saying, "they shall believe," both are proved at once, both this, and also that He must rise again. For had He continued dead, and been a mere man, no one would have believed. "I will draw all men to Myself." (c. vi. 44.) How then said He that the Father draweth? Because when the Son draweth, the Father draweth also. He saith, "I will draw them," as though they were detained by a tyrant, and unable of themselves alone to approach Him, and to escape the hands of him who keepeth hold of them. In another place He calleth this "spoiling; no man can(1) spoil a strong man's goods, except he first bind the strong man, and then spoil his goods." (Matt. xii. 29.) This He said to prove His strength, and what there He calleth "spoiling," He hath here called "drawing."

Knowing then these things, let us rouse ourselves, let us glorify God, not by our faith alone, but also by our life, since otherwise it would not be glory, but blasphemy. For God is not so much blasphemed by an impure heathen, as by a corrupt Christian. Wherefore I entreat you to do all that God may be glorified; for, "Woe," it saith, "to that servant by whom the Name of God is blasphemed," (and wherever there is a "woe," every punishment and vengeance straightway follows,) "but blessed is he by whom that Name is glorified." Let us then not be as in darkness, but avoid all sins, and especially those which tend to the hurt of others, since by these. God is most blasphemed. What pardon shall we have, when, being commanded to give to others, we plunder the property of others? What shall be our hope of salvation? Thou art punished if thou hast not fed the hungry; but if thou hast even stripped one who was clothed, what sort of pardon shalt thou obtain? These things I will never desist from saying, for they who have not heard to-day perhaps will hear tomorrow, and they who take no heed to-morrow perhaps will be persuaded the next day; and even if any be so disposed as not to be persuaded, yet for us there will be no account to give of them at the Judgment. Our part we have fulfilled; may we never have cause to be ashamed of our words, nor you to hide your faces, but may all be able to stand with boldness before the judgment-seat of Christ, that we also may be able to rejoice over you, and to have some compensation of our own faults, in your being approved in Christ Jesus our Lord, with whom to the Father and the Holy Ghost be glory for ever. Amen.

HOMILY LXVIII.

JOHN xii. 34.

"The people answered Him, We have heard out of the Law that Christ abideth for ever; and how sayest thou, The Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?"

[1.] Deceit is a thing easily detected, and weak, though it be daubed outside with ten thousand colors. For as those who whitewash decayed walls, cannot by the plastering make them sound, so too those who lie are easily found out, as in fact was the case here with the Jews. For when Christ said to them, "If I be lifted up I will draw all men unto Me; We have heard," saith one of them, "out of the Law, that Christ remaineth forever; and how sayest thou, that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?" Even they then knew that Christ was some Immortal One, and had life without end. And therefore they also knew what He meant; for often in Scripture the Passion and the Resurrection are mentioned in the same place. Thus Isaiah puts them together, saying, "He was led as a sheep to the slaughter" (Isa. liii. 7), and all that follows. David also in the second Psalm, and in many other places, connects these two things. The Patriarch too after saying, "He lay down, He couched as a lion," addeth, "And as a lion's whelp, who shall raise Him up?" (Gen. xlix. 9.) He showeth at once the Passion and the Resurrection. But these men when they thought to silence Him, and to show that He was not the Christ, confessed by this very circumstance that the Christ remaineth forever. And observe their evil dealing; they said not, "We have heard that Christ neither suffereth nor is crucified," but that "He remaineth forever." Yet even this which has been mentioned, would have been no real objection, for the Passion was no hindrance to His Immortality. Hence we may see that they understood many of the doubtful points, and deliberately went wrong. For since He had before spoken about death, when they now heard in this place the, "be lifted up," they guessed that death was referred to. Then they said, "Who is this Son of Man?" This too they did deceitfully. "Think not, I pray," saith one, "that we say this concerning thee, assert not that we oppose thee through enmity, for, lo, we know not concerning whom thou speakest, and still we declare our opinion." What then doth Christ? To silence them, and to show that the Passion is no impediment to His enduring forever, He saith,

Ver. 35. "Yet a little while," He saith, "is the light with you." Signifying that His death was a removal;(1) for the light of the sun is not destroyed, but having retired for a while appears again.

"Walk while ye have the light."(2)

Of what season doth He here speak? Of the whole present life, or of the time before the Crucifixion? I for my part think of both, for on account of His unspeakable lovingkindness, many even after the Crucifixion believed. And He speaketh these things to urge them on to the faith, as He also did before, saying, "Yet a little while I am with you." (c. vii. 33.)

"He that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth."

How many things, for instance, even now do the Jews, without knowing what they do, but walking as though they were in darkness? They think that they are going the right way, when they are taking the contrary; keeping(3) the Sabbath, respecting the Law and the observances • about meats, yet knowing not whither they walk. Wherefore He said,

Ver. 36. "Walk in the light,(4) that ye may become children of the light."

That is, "My children." Yet in the beginning the Evangelist saith, "Were born, not of bloods, nor of the will of the flesh, but of God" (c. i. 13); that is, of the Father; while here Himself(5) is said to beget them; that thou mayest understand that the operation of the Father and the Son is One. "Jesus having spoken these things," departed from them, and did hide Himself.(6)

Why doth He now "hide Himself"? They took not up stones against Him, nor did they blaspheme Him in any such manner as before; why then did He hide Himself? Walking in men's hearts, He knew that their wrath was fierce, though they said nothing; He knew it boiling and murderous, and waited not till it issued into action, but hid Himself, to allay their ill-will. Observe how the Evangelist has alluded to this feeling; he has immediately added,

Ver. 37. "Though He had done so many miracles,(7) they believed not on Him."

[2.] What "so many"? So many as the Evangelist hath omitted. And this(1) is clear also from what follows. For when He had retired, and given in, and had come to them again, He speaketh with them in a lowly manner, saying, "He that believeth on Me, believeth not on Me, but on Him that sent Me." (Ver. 44.) Observe what He doeth. He beginneth with humble and modest expressions, and betaketh Himself to the Father; then again He raiseth His language, and when He seeth that they are exasperated, He retireth; then He cometh to them again, and again beginneth with words of humility. And where hath He done this? Nay, where hath He not done it? See, for instance, what He saith at the beginning, "As I hear, I judge." (c. v. 30.) Then in a loftier tone, "As the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them, so also the Son quickeneth whom He will" (c. v. 21); again, "I judge you not, there is another that judgeth." Then again He retireth. Then coming to Galilee, "Labor not," He saith, "for the meat that perisheth" (c. vi. 27); and after having said great things of Himself, that He came down from Heaven, that He giveth eternal life, He again withdraweth Himself. And He cometh in the Feast of Tabernacles also, and doth the same. And one may see Him continually thus varying His teaching, by His presence, by His absence, by lowly, by high discourses. Which He also did here. "Though He had done so many miracles," it saith, "they believed not on Him."

Ver. 38. "That the saying of Esaias(2) might be fulfilled which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report, and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed?" And again,

Ver. 39--41. "They(3) could not believe," it saith, "because that Esaias said,(4) Ye shall hear with your ears, and not understand.(5) These things he said,(6) when he saw His glory, and spake of Him."

Here again observe, that the "because," and "spake," refer not to the cause of their unbelief, but to the event. For it was not "because" Isaiah spake, that they believed not; but because they were not about to believe, that he spake. Why then doth not the Evangelist express it so, instead of making the unbelief proceed from the prophecy, not the prophecy from the unbelief? And farther on he putteth this very thing more positively, saying, "Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said." He desires hence to establish by many proofs the unerring truth of Scripture, and that what Isaiah foretold fell not out otherwise, but as he said. For lest any one should say, "Wherefore did Christ come? Knew he not that they would give no heed to him?" he introduces the Prophets, who knew this also. But He came that they might have no excuse for their sin; for what things the Prophet foretold, he foretold as certainly to be; since if they were not certainly to be, he could not have foretold them; and they were certainly to be, because these men were incurable.

And if, "they could not," is put, instead of, "they would not," do not marvel,(7) for He saith also in another place, "He that is able to receive it, let him receive it." (Matt. xix. 12.) So in many places He is wont to term choice, power. Again, "The world cannot hate you, but Me it hateth." (c. vii. 7.) This one may even see observed in common conversation; as when a man saith, "I cannot love this or that person," calling the force of his will, power. And again, "this or that person cannot be a good man." And what saith the Prophet? "If the Ethiopian shall change his skin, or the leopard his spots, this people also shall be able to do good, having learned evil." (Jer. xiii. 23, LXX.) He saith not that the doing of virtue is impossible to them, but that because they will not, therefore they cannot. And by what he saith the Evangelist means, that it was impossible for the Prophet to lie; yet it was not on that account impossible that they should believe. For it was possible, even had they believed, that he should remain true; since he would not have prophesied these things if they had been about to believe. "Why then," saith some one, "did he not say so?" Because Scripture hath certain idiomatic phrases of this kind, and it is needful to make allowance for its laws.

"The seethings he spake when he saw His glory." Whose? The Father's. How then doth John speak of the Son? and Paul of the Spirit? Not as confounding the Persons, but as showing that the Dignity is one, they say it.(8) For that which is the Father's is the Son's also, and that which is the Son's is the Spirit's.(9) Yet many things God spake by Angels, and no one saith, "as the Angel spake," but how? "as God spake." Since what hath been said by God through the ministry of Angels would be of God; yet not therefore is what is of God, of the Angels also. But in this place John saith that the words are the Spirit's.

"And spake of Him." What spake he? "I saw the Lord sitting upon a high throne" (Isa. vi. 1), and what follows. Therefore he there calleth "glory," that vision, the smoke, the hearing unutterable Mysteries, the beholding the Seraphim, the lightning which leaped from the throne, against which those powers could not took. "And spake of Him." What said he? That he heard a voice, saying, "Whom shall I send? who shall go? And I said, Here am I, send me. And He said, Ye shall hear with your ears, and shall not understand, and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive." (Isa. vi. 8, 10.) For,

Ver. 40. "He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart, lest they at any time should see with their eyes, and understand with their heart."

Here again is another question, but it is not so if we rightly consider it. For as the sun dazzles the eyes of the weak, not by reason of(1) its proper nature, so it is with those who give not heed to the words of God. Thus, in the case of Pharaoh, He is said to have hardened his heart, and so it is with those who are at all contentious against the words of God. This is a peculiar mode of speech in Scripture, as also the, "He gave them over unto a reprobate mind" (Rom. i. 28), and the, "He divided them to the nations,"(2) that is, allowed, permitted them to go. For the writer doth not here introduce God as Himself working these l things, but showeth that they took place through the wickedness of others. For, when we are abandoned by God, we are given up to the devil, and when so given up, we suffer ten thousand dreadful things. To terrify the hearer, therefore, the writer saith, "He hardened," and "gave over." For to show that He doth not only not give us over, but doth not even leave us, except we will it, hear what He saith, "Do not your iniquities separate between Me and you?" (Isa. lix. 2, LXX.). And again, "They that go far away from Thee shall perish." (Ps. lxxiii. 27, LXX.) And Hosea saith, "Thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, and I will also forget thee" (Hos. iv. 6, LXX.); and He saith Himself also in the Gospels, "How often would I have gathered your children--and ye would not." (Luke xiii. 34.) Esaias also again, "I came, and there was no man; I called, and there was none to hearken." (Isa. l. 2, LXX.) These things He saith, showing that we begin the desertion, and become the causes of our perdition; for God not only desireth not to leave or to punish us, but even when He punisheth, doth it unwillingly; "I will not," He saith, "the death of a sinner, so much as that he should turn and live." (Ezek. xviii. 32, LXX.) Christ also mourneth over the destruction of Jerusalem,(3) as we also do over our friends.

[3.] Knowing this, let us do all so as not to remove from God, but let us hold fast to the care of our souls, and to the love towards each other; let us not tear our own members, (for this(4) is the act of men insane and beside themselves,) but the more we see any ill disposed, the more let us be kind to them. Since we often see many persons suffering(5) in their bodies from difficult or incurable maladies, and cease not to apply remedies. What is worse than gout in foot or hand? Are we therefore to cut off the limbs? Not at all, but we use every means that the sufferer may enjoy some comfort, since we cannot get rid of the disease. This also let us do in the case of our brethren, and, even though they be diseased incurably, let us continue to tend them, and let us bear one another's burdens. So shall we fulfill the law of Christ, and obtain the promised good things, through the grace and lovingkindness of our Lord Jesus Christ, with whom to the Father and the Holy Ghost be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

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