HOMILIES OF
ST. JOHN CHRYSOSTOM
ON THE GOSPEL
ACCORDING TO ST. JOHN
HOMILIES LXXVI TO LXXXI (JOHN 14 TO 17)

HOMILY LXXVI.

JOHN xiv. 31; xv. 1.

"Arise, let us go hence. I am the true Vine, (ye are the branches,(3) ) and My Father is the Husbandman."

[1.] IGNORANCE makes the soul timid and unmanly, just as instruction in heavenly doctrines makes it great and sublime. For when it has enjoyed no care, it is in a manner timid, not by nature but by will.(4) For when I see the man who once was brave,(5) now become a coward, I say that this latter feeling no longer belongs to nature, for what is natural is immutable. Again, when I see those who but now were cowards all at once become daring, I pass the same judgment, and refer all to will. Since even the disciples were very fearful, before they had learned what they ought, and had been deemed worthy of the gift of the Spirit; yet afterwards they became bolder than lions. So Peter, who could not bear the threat of a damsel, was hung with his head downwards, and was scourged, and though he endured ten thousand dangers, would not be silent, but enduring what he endured as though it were a dream, in such a situation spake boldly; but not so before the Crucifixion. Wherefore Christ said, "Arise, let us go hence." "But why, tell me? Did he not know the hour at which Judas would come upon Him? Or perhaps He feared lest he should come and seize them, and lest the plotters should be upon him before he had furnished his most excellent teaching." Away with the thought! these things are far from His dignity. "If then He did not fear, why did He remove them, and then after finishing His discourse lead them into a garden known to Judas? And even had Judas come, could He not have blinded their eyes, as He also did when the traitor was not present?(1) Why did He remove them?" He alloweth the disciples a little breathing time. For it was likely that they, as being in a conspicuous place, would tremble and fear, both on the account of the time and the place, (for it was the depth of night,) and would not gives heed to His words, but would be continually turning about, and imagining that they heard those who were to set upon them; and that more especially when their Master's speech made them expect evil. For, "yet a little while," He saith, "and I am not with you," and, "the ruler of this world cometh." Since now when they heard these and the like words they were troubled, as though they should certainly be taken immediately, He leadeth them to another place, in order that thinking themselves in safety, they might listen to Him without fear. For they were about to hear lofty doctrines. Therefore He saith, "Arise, let us go hence." Then He addeth, and saith,(3) "I am the Vine, ye are the branches." What willeth He to imply by the comparison? That the man who gives no heed to His words can have no life, and that the miracles about to take place, would be wrought by the power of Christ. "My Father is the Husbandman." "How then? Doth the Son need a power(4) working within?" Away with the thought! this example does not signify this. Observe with what exactness He goeth through the comparison. He saith not that the "root" enjoys the care of the Husbandman, but, "the branches." And the foot is brought in in this place for no other purpose, but that they may learn that they can work nothing without His power, and that they ought to be united with Him by faith as the branch with the vine.

Ver. 2. "Every branch in Me that beareth not fruit the Father(5) taketh away."

Here He alludeth to the manner of life, showing that without works it is not possible to be in Him.

"And every branch that beareth fruit, He purgeth it."(6)

That is, "causeth it to enjoy great care." Yet the root requires care rather than the branches, in being dug about, and cleared, yet about this He saith nothing here, but all about the branches. Showing that He is sufficient to Himself, and that the disciples need much help from the Husbandman, although they be very excellent. Wherefore He saith, "that which beareth fruit, He purgeth it." The one branch, because it is fruitless, cannot even remain in the Vine, but for the other, because it beareth fruit, He rendereth it more fruitful. This, some one might assert, was said with relation also to the persecutions then coming upon them. For the "purgeth it," is "pruneth," which makes the branch bear better. Whence it is shown, that persecutions rather make men stronger. Then, test they should ask concerning whom He said these things, and lest He should throw them back into anxiety, He saith,

Ver. 3. "Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you."

Seest thou how He introduceth Himself as tending the branches? "I have cleansed you," He saith; yet above He declareth that the Father doth this. But there is no separation(7) between the Father and the Son. "And now your part also must be performed." Then to show that He did not this as needing their ministry,(8) but for their advancement, He addeth,

Ver. 4.(9) "As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself except it abide in the vine, so neither can he who abideth not in Me."(10)

For that they might not be separated from Him by timidity, He fasteneth and glueth to Himself their souls slackened through fear, and holdeth out to them good hopes for the future. For the root remains, but to be taken away, or to be left, belongs to the branches. Then having urged them on in both ways, by things pleasant and things painful, He requireth first what is to be done on our side.

Ver. 5. "He that abideth in Me, and I in him."(11)

Seest thou that the Son contributeth not less than the Father towards the care of the disciples? The Father purgeth, but He keepeth them in Himself. The abiding in the root is that which maketh the branches to be fruit-bearing. For that which is not purged, if it remain on the root, bears fruit, though perhaps not so much as it ought; but that which remains not, hears none at all. But still the "purging" also hath been shown to belong to the Son, and the "abiding in the root," to the Father, who also begat the Root. Seest thou how all is common,(12) both the "purging," and the enjoying the virtue which is from the root?

[2.] Now it were a great penalty, the being able to do nothing, but He stayeth not the punishment at this point, but carrieth on His discourse farther.

Ver. 6. "He is cast forth,"(1) He saith.

No longer enjoying the benefit of the husbandman's hand. "And is withered." That is, if he had aught of the root, he loses it; if any grace, he is stripped of this, and is bereft of the help and life which proceed from it. And what the end? "He is cast into the fire." Not such he who abideth with Him. Then He showeth what it is to "abide," and saith,

Ver. 7. "If My words abide in you."(2)

Seest thou that with reason I said above, that He seeketh the proof by works? For when He had said, "Whatsoever ye shall ask I will do it" (c. xiv. 14, 15), He added, "If ye love Me, ye will keep(3) My commandments." And here, "If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you."

"Ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you."

This He said to show that they who plotted against Him should be burnt up, but that "they" should bear fruit. Then transferring the fear from them to the others, and showing that they should be invincible, He saith,

Ver. 8. "Herein is My Father glorified, that ye be My disciples, and bear much fruit."

Hence He maketh His discourse credible, for if the bearing fruit pertains to the glory of the Father, He will not neglect His own glory. "And ye shall be My disciples." Seest thou how he that beareth fruit, he is the disciple? But what is, "In this is the Father glorified"? "He rejoiceth when ye abide in Me, when ye bear fruit."

Ver. 9. "As the Father hath loved Me, so have I loved you."

Here at length He speaketh in a more human manner, for this, as spoken to men,(4) has its peculiar force. Since what a measure of love did He manifest, who chose to die, who counted worthy of such honor those who were His slaves, His haters, His open enemies, and led them up to the heavens! "If then I love you, be bold; if it be the glory of My Father that ye bear fruit, imagine nothing ill." Then that He may not make them supine, observe how He braceth them again,

"Continue ye in My love."

"For this ye have the power to do." And how shall this be?

Ver. 10. "If ye keep My commandments, even as I have kept my Father's commandments."(5)

Again, His discourse proceedeth in a human way; for certainly the Lawgiver would not be subject to commandments. Seest thou that here also, as I am always saying, this is declared because of the infirmity of the hearers? For He chiefly speaketh to their suspicions, and by every means showeth them that they are in safety, and that their enemies are being lost, and that all, whatever they have, they have from the Son, and that, if they show forth a pure life, none shall ever have the mastery over them. And observe that He discourseth with them in a very authoritative manner, for He said not, "abide in the love of My Father," but, "in Mine"; then, lest they should say, "when Thou hast set us at war with all men, Thou leavest us, and departest," He showeth that He doth not leave them, but is so joined to them if they will, as the branch in the vine. Then, lest from confidence they should become supine, He saith not that the blessing cannot be removed if they are slack-minded. And in order not to refer the action to Himself, and so make them more apt to fall, He saith, "Herein is My Father glorified." For everywhere He manifesteth His own and His Father's love towards them. Not the things of the Jews, then, were "glory," but those which they(6) were about to receive. And that they might not say, "we have been driven from the possessions of our fathers, we have been deserted, we have become naked, and destitute of all things, "Look," He saith, "on Me. I am loved by the Father, yet still I suffer these things appointed. And so I am not now leaving you because I love you not. For if I am slain, and take not this for a proof of not being loved by the Father, neither ought ye to be troubled. For, if ye continue in My love, these dangers shall not be able to do you any mischief on the score of love."

[3.] Since then love is a thing mighty and irresistible, not a bare word, let us manifest it by our actions. He reconciled us when we were His enemies, let us, now that we have become His friends, remain so. He led the way, let us at least follow; He loveth us not for His own advantage, (for He needeth nothing,) let us at least love Him for our profit; He loved us being His enemies, let us at least love Him being our friend. At present we do the contrary; for every day God is blasphemed through us, through our plunderings, through our covetousness. And perhaps one of you will say, "Every day thy discourse is about covetousness." Would that I could speak about it every night too; would that I could do so, following you about in the market-place, and at your table; would that both wives, and friends, and children, and domestics, and tillers of the soil, and neighbors, and the very pavement and walls, could ever shout forth this word, that so we might perchance have relaxed a little. For this malady hath seized upon all the world, and occupies the souls of all, and great is the tyranny of Mammon. We have been ransomed by Christ, and are the slaves of gold. We proclaim the sovereignty of the one, and obey the other. Whatever "he" commands we readily obey, and we have refused to know family, or friendship, or nature, or laws, or anything, for him. No one looks up to Heaven, no one thinks about things to come. But there will be a time, when there will be no profit even in(1) these words. "In the grave," it saith, "who shall confess to Thee?" Gold is a desirable thing, and procures us much luxury, and makes us to be honored, but not in like manner as doth Heaven. For from the wealthy man many even turn aside, and hate him, but him who lives virtuously they respect and honor. "But" saith some one "the poor man is derided, even though he be virtuous. Not among men, but brutes.(2) Wherefore he ought not so much as to notice them. For if asses were to bray and daws chatter at us, while all wise men commended us, we should not, losing sight of this latter audience, have regard to clamors of the brutes; for like to daws, and worse than asses, are they who admire present things. Moreover, if an earthly king approve thee, thou makest no account of the many, though they all deride thee; but if the Lord of the universe praise thee, seekest thou the good words of beetles and gnats? For this is what these men are, compared with God, or rather not even this, but something viler, if there be aught such. How long do we wallow in the mire? How long do we set sluggards and belly-gods for our judges? They can prove dicers well, drunkards, those who live for the belly, but as for virtue and vice, they cannot imagine so much as a dream. If any one taunt thee because thou hast not skill to draw the channels of the watercourses,(3) thou wilt not think it any terrible thing, but wilt even laugh at him who objects to thee ignorance of this kind; and dost thou, when thou desirest to practice virtue, appoint as judges those who know nothing of it? On this account we never reach that art. We commit our case not to the practiced, but to the unlearned, and they judge not according to the rules of art, but according to their own ignorance. Wherefore, I exhort you, let us despise the many; or rather let us desire neither praises, nor possessions, nor wealth, nor deem poverty any evil. For poverty is to us a teacher of prudence, and endurance, and all true wisdom. Thus Lazarus lived in poverty, and received a crown; Jacob desired to get bread only; and Joseph was in the extreme of poverty, being not merely a slave, but also a prisoner; and on this account we admire him the more, and we do not so much praise him when he distributed the corn, as when he dwelt in the dungeon: not when he wore the diadem, but when the chain; not when he sat upon the throne, but when he was plotted against and sold.(4) Considering then all these things, and the crowns twined for us after the conflicts, let us admire not wealth, and honor, and luxury, and power, but poverty, and the chain, and bonds, and endurance in the cause of virtue. For the end of those things is full of troubles and confusion, and their lot is bound up with this present life; but the fruit of these, heaven, and the good things in the heavens, which neither eye hath seen, nor ear heard; which may we all obtain, through the grace and lovingkindness of I our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever. Amen.

HOMILY LXXVII.

JOHN xv. 11, 12.

"These things have I spoken unto you, that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. This is My commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you."

[1.] ALL things good then have their reward, when they arrive at their proper end, but if they be cut off midway, shipwreck ensues. And as a vessel of immense burden, if it reach not the harbor in time, but founder in the midst of the sea, gains nothing from the length of the voyage, but even makes the calamity greater, in proportion as it has endured more toils; so are those souls which fall back when near the end of their labors, and faint in the midst of the struggle. Wherefore Paul said, that glory, and honor, and peace, should meet those who ran their course with patient continuance in well-doing. A thing which Christ now effecteth in the case of the disciples. (Rom. ii. 7.) For since He had accepted them, and they rejoiced in Him, and then the sudden coming of the Passion and His sad words were likely to cut short their pleasure after having conversed with them sufficiently to soothe them, He addeth, "These things have I spoken unto you, that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be fulfilled"; that is, "that ye might not be separated from Me that ye might not cut short your course. Ye were rejoicing in Me, and ye were rejoicing exceedingly, but despondency hath fallen upon you. This then. I remove, that joy may come at the last, showing that your present circumstances are fit cause, not for pain, but for pleasure. I saw you offended; I despised you not; I said not, 'Why do ye not continue noble?' But I spake to you words which brought comfort with them. And so I wish ever to keep you in the same love. Ye have heard concerning a kingdom, ye rejoiced. In order therefore that your joy might be fulfilled, I have spoken these things unto you." But" this is the commandment, that ye love one another as I have loved you." Seest thou that the love of God is intertwined with Our own, and connected like a sort of chain? Wherefore it sometimes saith that there are two commandments, sometimes only one. For it is not possible that the man who hath taken hold on the first should not possess the second also. For at one time He said, "On this the Law and the Prophets hang"(1) (Matt. xxii. 40); and at another, "Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets." (Matt. vii. 12.) And, "Love is the fulfilling of the Law." (Rom. xiii. 10.) Which He saith also here; for if to abide proceeds from love, and love from the keeping of the commandments, and the commandment is that we love one another, then the abiding in God proceeds from love towards each other. And He doth not simply speak of love, but declareth also the manner, "As I have loved you." Again He showeth, that His very departure was not of hatred but of love. "So that I ought rather to be admired on this account, for I lay down My life for you."(2) Yet nowhere doth He say this in these words, but in a former place, by sketching the best shepherd, and here by exhorting them, and by showing the greatness of His love, and Himself, who He is. But wherefore doth He everywhere exalt love? Because this is the mark of the disciples, this the bond of virtue.(3) On this account Paul saith such great things of it, as being a genuine disciple of Christ, and having had experience of it.

Ver. 14, 15. "Ye are My friends(4)--henceforth I call you not servants, for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth. Ye are My friends, for(5) all things which I have heard of My Father I have made known unto you."

How then saith He, "I have many things to tell you, but ye cannot bear them now"? (c. xvi. 12.) By the "all" and the "hearing" He showeth nothing else, but that He uttered nothing alien, but only what was of the Father. And since to. speak of secrets appears to be the strongest proof of friendship, "ye have," He saith, "been deemed worthy even of this communion." When however He saith "all," He meaneth, "whatever things it was fit that they should hear." Then He putteth also another sure proof of friendship, no common one. Of what sort was that?

Ver. 16. "Ye have not chosen Me, but I have: chosen you."

That is, I ran upon your friendship. And He stayed not here, but,

"I set you,"(6) He saith, (that is, "I planted you,") "that ye should go," (He still useth the metaphor of the vine,) that is, "that ye should extend yourselves"; "and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain."

"Now if your fruit remain, much more shall ye. For I have not only loved you," He saith, "but have done you the greatest benefits, by extending your branches through all the world." Seest thou in how many ways He showeth His love? By telling them things secret, by having in the first instance run to meet their friendship. by granting them the greatest blessings, by suffering for them what then He suffered. After this, He showeth that He also remaineth continually with those who shall bring forth fruit; for it is needful to enjoy His aid, and so to bear fruit.

"That whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in My Name, He may give it you."

Yet it is the part of the person asked to do the thing asked; but if the Father is asked, how is it that the Son doeth it? It is that thou mayest learn that the Son is not inferior to the Father.

Ver. 17. "These things I command you, that ye love one another."

That is, "It is not to upbraid, that I tell you that I lay down My life for you, or that I ran to meet you, but in order to lead you into friendship." Then, since the being persecuted and insulted by the many, was a grievous and intolerable thing, and enough to humble even a lofty soul, therefore, after having said ten thousand things first, Christ entered upon this matter.(7) Having first smoothed their minds, He thus proceedeth to these points, showing that these things too were for their exceeding advantage, as He had also shown that the others were. For as He had told them that they ought not to grieve, but rather to rejoice, "because I go to the Father," (since He did this not as deserting but as greatly loving them,) so here also He showeth that they ought to rejoice, not grieve. And observe how He effecteth this. He said not, "I know that the action is grievous, but bear for My sake, since for My sake also ye suffer," for this reason was not yet sufficient to console them; wherefore letting this pass, He putteth forward another. And what is that? It is that this thing(1) would be a sure proof of their former virtue. "And, on the contrary, ye ought to grieve, not because ye are hated now but if ye were likely to be loved"; for this He implieth by saying,

Ver. 19. "If ye were of the world, the world would love its own."(2)

So that had ye been loved it would be very clear that ye had shown forth signs of wickedness. Then, when by saying this first, He did not effect his purpose, He goeth on again with the discourse.

Ver. 20. "The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you."(3)

He showed that in this point they would be most His imitators. For while Christ was in the flesh, men had war with Him, but when He was translated, the battle came in the next place upon them. Then because owing to their fewness they were terrified at being about to encounter the attack of so great a multitude, He raiseth their souls by telling them that it was an especial subject of joy that they were hated by them; "For so ye shall share My sufferings. Ye should not therefore be troubled, for ye are not better than I," as I before told you, "The servant is not greater than his lord." Then there is also a third source of consolation, that the Father also is insulted together with them.

Ver. 21. "But all these things will they do unto you for My Name's sake, because they know not Him that sent Me."

That is, "they insult Him also." Besides this, depriving those others of excuse, and putting also another source of comfort, He saith,

Ver. 22. "If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin."(4)

Showing that they shall do unjustly both what they do against Him and against them. "Why then didst Thou(5) bring us into such calamities? Didst Thou not foreknow the wars, the hatred?" Therefore again He saith,

Ver. 23. "He that hateth Me, hateth My Father also."

From this also proclaiming beforehand no small punishment against them. For, since they continually pretended that they persecuted Him on account of the Father, to deprive them of this excuse He spake these words. "They have no excuse. I gave them the teaching which is by words, that by works I added, according to the Law of Moses, who bade all men obey one speaking and doing such things, when he should both lead to piety, and exhibit the greatest miracles."(6) And He spake not simply of "signs," but,

Ver. 24. "Which none other man did."(7) And of this they themselves are witnesses, speaking in this way; "It was never so seen in Israel" (Matt. ix. 33); and, "Since the world began was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind" (c. ix. 32); and the matter of Lazarus was of the same kind, and all the other acts the same, and the mode of wonder-working new, and all beyond(8) thought. "Why then," saith one, "do they persecute both Thee and us?" "Because ye are not of the world. If ye were of the world, the world would love its own." (Ver. 19.) He first remindeth them of the words which He spake also to His own brethren (c. vii. 7); but there he spake more by way of a reflection,(9) lest He should offend them, while here, on the contrary, He revealed all. "And how is it clear that it is on this account that we are hated?" "From what was done to Me. For, tell Me, which of My words or deeds could they lay hold on, that they would not receive Me?" Then since the thing would be astounding to us, He telleth the cause; that is, their wickedness. And He stayeth not here either, but introduceth the Prophet (Ps. xxxv. 19; lxix. 4), showing him proclaiming before of old time, and saying, that,

Ver. 25. "They hated Me without a cause.''(10)

[3.] Which Paul doth also. For when many wondered how that the Jews believed not, he brings in Prophets foretelling it of old, and declaring the cause; that their wickedness and pride were the cause of their unbelief. "Well then; if they kept not Thy saying, neither will they keep ours; if they persecuted Thee, therefore they will persecute us also; if they saw signs, such as none other man wrought; if they heard words such as none other spake, and profited nothing; if they hate Thy Father and Thee with Him, wherefore," saith one, "hast Thou sent us in among them? How after this shall we be worthy of belief? which of our kindred will give-heed to us?" That they may not therefore be troubled by such thoughts, see what sort of comfort he addeth.

Ver. 26, 27. "When the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of Truth, which proceedeth from the Father, He shall testify of Me. And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with Me from the beginning."

"He shall be worthy of belief, for He is the Spirit of Truth." On this account He called It not "Holy Spirit," but "Spirit of Truth." But the, "proceedeth from the Father," showeth that He(1) knoweth all things exactly, as Christ also saith of Himself, that "I know whence come and whither I go" (c. viii. 14), speaking in that place also concerning truth. "Whom will send." Behold, it is no longer the Father alone, but the Son also who sendeth. "And ye too," He saith, "have a right to be believed, who have been with Me, who have not heard from others." Indeed, the Apostles confidently rely on this circumstance, saying, "We who did eat and drink with Him." (Acts x. 41.) And to show that this was not merely said to please, the Spirit beareth witness to the words spoken. (Acts x. 44.)

Chap. xvi. ver. 1. "These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended."

That is, "when ye see many disbelieve, and yourselves ill-treated."

Ver. 2. "They shall put you out of the synagogues."

(For "the Jews had already agreed, that if any one should confess Christ, he should be put out of the synagogues"--c. ix. 22.)

"Yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service."

"They shall so seek after" your murder, as of an action pious and pleasing to God." Then again He addeth the consolation,

Ver. 3. "And these things will they do,(3) because they have not known the Father, nor Me."

"It is sufficient for your comfort that ye endure these things for My sake, and the Father's." Here He remindeth them of the blessedness of which He spake at the beginning, "Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for My sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad; for great is your reward in heaven." (Matt. v. 11, 12.)

Ver. 4. "These things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember them."(4)

"So, judging from these words, deem the rest also trustworthy. For ye will not be able to say, that I flatteringly told you only those things which would please you, nor that the words were words of deceit; for one who intended to deceive, would not have told you beforehand of matters likely to turn you away. I have therefore told you before, that these things might not fall upon you unexpectedly, and trouble you; and for another reason besides, that ye might not say, that I did not foreknow that these things would be. Remember then that I have told you." And indeed the heathen always covered their persecutions of them by a pretense of their wickedness, driving them out as corrupters; but this did not trouble the disciples who had heard beforehand, and knew for what they suffered. The cause of what took place was sufficient to rouse their courage. Therefore He everywhere handleth this, saying, "they have not known Me"; and, for My sake they shall do it"; and, "for My Name's sake, and for the Father's sake"; and, "I suffered first"; and, "from no just cause they dare these things."

[4.] Let us too consider these things in our temptations, when we suffer anything from wicked men, "looking to the Beginner(5) and Finisher of our faith" (Heb. xii. 2), and considering that it is by wicked men, and that it is for virtue's sake, and for His sake. For if we reflect on these things, all will be most easy and tolerable. Since if one suffering for those he loves is even proud of it, what feeling of things dreadful will he have who suffers for the sake of God? For if He, for our sake, calleth that shameful thing, the Cross, "glory" (c. xiii. 31), much more ought we to be thus disposed. And if we can so despise sufferings, much more shall we be able to despise riches, and covetousness. We ought then, when about to endure anything unpleasant, to think not of the toils but of the crowns; for as merchants take into account not the seas only, but also the profits, so ought we to reckon on heaven and confidence towards God. And if the getting more seem a pleasant thing, think that Christ willeth it not, and straightway it will appear displeasing. And if it be grievous to you to give to the poor, stay not your reckoning at the expense, but straightway transport your thoughts to the harvest which results from the sowing; and when it is hard to despise the love of a strange woman, think of the crown which comes after the struggle, and thou shalt easily bear the struggle. For if fear diverts a man from unseemly things, much more should the love of Christ. Difficult is virtue; but let us cast around her form the greatness of the promise of things to come. Indeed those who are virtuous, even apart from these promises, see her beautiful in herself, and on this account go after her, and work because it seems good to God, not for hire; and they think it a great thing to be sober-minded, not in order that they may not be punished, but because God hath commanded it. But if any one is too weak for this, let him think of the prizes. So let us do in respect of alms-doing, let us pity our fellow-men, let us not, I entreat,(1) neglect them when perishing with hunger. How can it be otherwise than an unseemly thing, that we should sit at the table laughing and enjoying ourselves, and when we hear others wailing as they pass through the street, should not even turn at their cries, but be wroth with them, and call them "cheat"? "What meanest thou, man? Doth any one plan a cheat for a single loaf of bread?" "Yes," saith some one. Then in this case above all let him be pitied; in this case above all let him be delivered from his need. Or if thou art not minded to give, do not insult either; if thou wilt not save the wreck, do not thrust it into the gulf. For consider, when thou thrustest away the poor man who comes to thee, who thou wilt be when thou callest upon God. "With what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again." (Matt. vii. 2.) Consider how he departs, crushed, bowed down, lamenting; besides his poverty having received also the blow from your insolence. For if ye count the begging a curse, think what a tempest it makes, begging to get nothing, but to go away insulted. How long shall we be like wild beasts, and know not nature itself through greediness? Many groan at these words; but I desire them not now, but always, to have this feeling of compassion. Think, I pray you, of that day when we shall stand before the judgment-seat of Christ, when we shall beg for mercy, and Christ, bringing them forward, shall say, "For the sake of a single loaf, of a single obol, so great a surge did ye raise in these souls!" What shall we reply? What defense shall we make? To show that He will bring them forward, hear what He saith; "Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of these, ye did it not to Me." (Matt. xxv. 45.) They will no more say anything to us, but God on their behalf will upbraid us. Since the rich man saw Lazarus too,(2) and Lazarus said nothing to him, but Abraham spake for him; and thus it will be in the case of the poor who are now despised by us. We shall not see them stretching out their hands in pitiful state, but being in rest; and we shall take the state which was theirs (and would that it were that state only, and not one much more grievous) as a punishment. For neither did the rich man desire to be filled with crumbs "there," but was scorched and tormented sharply, and was told, "Thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things." (Luke xvi. 25.) Let us not then deem wealth any great thing; it will help us on our way to punishment, if we take not heed, just as, if we take heed, poverty also becomes to us an addition of enjoyment and rest. For we both put off our sins if we bear it with thankfulness, and gain great boldness before God.

[5.] Let us then not be ever seeking security here, in order that we may enjoy security there; but let us accept the labors which are in behalf of virtue, and cut off superfluities, and seek nothing more than we need, and spend all our substance on those who want. Since what excuse can we have, when God promiseth heaven to us, and we will not even give Him bread? when He indeed for thee maketh the sun to rise, and supplieth all the ministry of the Creation, but thou dost not even give Him a garment, nor allow Him to share thy roof? But why speak I of sun and moon? He hath set His Body before thee, He hath given thee His Precious Blood; and dost thou not even impart to Him of thy cup? But hast thou done so for once? This is not mercy; as long as, having the means, thou helpest not, thou hast not yet fulfilled the whole duty. Thus the virgins who had the lamps, had oil, but not in abundance. Why, thou oughtest, even didst thou give from thine own, not to be so miserly, but now when thou givest what is thy Lord's, why countest thou every little? Will ye that I tell you the cause of this inhumanity? When men get together their wealth through greediness, these same are slow to give alms; for one who has learnt so to gain, knows not how to spend. For how can a man prepared for rapine adapt himself to its contrary? He who takes from others, how shall he be able to give up his own to another? A dog accustomed to feed on flesh cannot guard the flock; therefore the shepherds kill such. That this be not our fate, let us refrain from such feasting. For these men too feed on flesh, when they bring on death by hunger. Seest thou not how God hath allowed to us all things m common? If amid riches He hath suffered men to be poor, it is for the consolation of the rich, that they may be able by showing mercy towards them to put off their sins. But thou even in this hast been cruel and inhuman; whence it is evident, that if thou hadst received this same power in greater things, thou wouldest have committed ten thousand murders, and wouldest have debarred men from light, and from life altogether.(1) That this might not take place, necessity hath cut short insatiableness in such matters.

If ye are pained when ye hear these things, much more I when I see them taking place. How long shalt thou be rich, and that man poor? Till evening, but no farther; for so short is life, "and all things so near their end,(2) and all things henceforth so stand at the door, that the whole must be deemed but a little hour. What need hast thou of bursting a storehouses, of a multitude of domestics and house-keepers? Why hast thou not ten thousand proclaimers of thy almsdoing? The storehouse utters no voice, yet will it bring upon thee many robbers; but the storehouses of the poor will go up to God Himself, and will make thy present life sweet, and put away all thy sins, and thou shalt gain glory from God, and honor from men. Why then grudgest thou thyself such good things? For thou wilt not do so much good to the poor, as to thyself, when thou benefitest them. Thou wilt right their present state; but for thyself thou wilt lay up beforehand the glory and confidence which shall be hereafter. And this may we all obtain, by the grace and lovingkindness of our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom with the Father and the Holy Ghost be the glory and the might for ever. Amen.

HOMILY LXXVIII.

JOHN xvi. 4-6.

"These things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you. But now I go My way to Him that sent Me; and none of you asketh Me, Whither goest Thou? But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart."

[1.] GREAT is the tyranny of despondency, and much courage do we need so as to stand manfully against the feeling, and after gathering from it what is useful, to let the superfluous go. It hath somewhat useful; for when we ourselves or others sin, then only is it good to grieve; but when we fall into human vicissitudes, then despondency is useless. And now when it has overthrown the disciples who were not yet perfect, see how Christ raiseth them again by His rebuke. They who before this had asked Him ten thousand questions, (for Peter said, "Whither goest Thou?" [c. xiii. 36]; and Thomas, "We know not whither Thou goest, and how can we know the way?" [c. xiv. 5 and 8]; and Philip, "Show us Thy Father";) these men, I say, now hearing, "they will put you out of the synagogues," and "will hate you," and "whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service," were so cast down as to be struck dumb, so that they spake nothing to Him. This then He maketh a reproach to them, and saith, "These things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you; but now I go unto Him that sent Me, and none of you asketh Me, Whither goest Thou? but because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart." For a dreadful thing is immoderate sorrow, dreadful and effective of death. Wherefore Paul said, "Lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up by overmuch sorrow." (2 Cor. ii. 7.)

"And these things," saith He, "I told you not at the beginning." Why did He not tell them at the beginning? That none might say that He spake guessing from the ordinary course of events. And why did He enter on a matter of such unpleasantness? "I knew these things," He saith, "from the beginning, and spake not of them; not because I did not know them, but 'because I was with you.'" And this again was spoken after a human manner, as though He had said, "Because ye were in safety, and it was in your power to question Me when ye would, and all the storm blew upon Me, and it was superfluous to tell you these things at the beginning." "But did He not tell them this? Did He not call the twelve, and say unto them, 'Ye shall be brought before governors and kings for My sake,' and, 'they shall scourge you in the synagogues'? (Matt. x. 18, 17). How then saith He, 'I told you not at the beginning'?" Because He had proclaimed before the scourgings and bringing before princes, still not that their death should appear so desirable that the action should even be deemed a service to God. For this more than anything was suited to terrify them, that they were to be judged as impious and corrupters. This too may be said, that in that place He spake of what they should suffer from the Gentiles, but here He hath added in a stronger way the acts of the Jews also, and told them that it was at their doors.

"But now I go to Him that sent Me, and no man of you saith, Whither goest Thou? But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart." It was no slight comfort to them to learn that He knew the excess of their despondency. For they were beside themselves from the anguish caused by their being left by Him, and from their awaiting the terrible things which were to come, since they knew not whether they should be able to bear them manfully. "Why then after this did He not tell them that they bad been vouchsafed the Spirit?" That thou mightest learn that they were exceedingly virtuous. For if, when they had not yet been vouchsafed the Spirit, they started not back, though overwhelmed with sorrow, consider what soft of men they were likely to be after having enjoyed the grace.(1) If they had heard this at that time, and so had endured, we should have attributed the whole to the Spirit, but now it is entirely the fruit of their own state of mind, it is a clear manifestation of their love for Christ, who applieth a touchstone to their mind as yet defenseless.

Ver. 7. "But I tell you the truth."(2)

Observe how He consoleth them again. "I speak not," He saith," to please you, and although you be grieved ten thousand fold, yet must ye hear what is for your good; it is indeed to your liking that I should be with you, but what is expedient for you is different. And it is the part of one caring for others, not to be over gentle with his friends in matters which concern their interests, or to lead them away from what is good for them."

"For if I go not away, the Comforter will not come."(3)

What here say those who hold not the fitting opinion concerning the Spirit? Is it "expedient" that the master depart, and the servant come? Seest thou how great is the honor of the Spirit?

"But if I depart, I will send Him unto you." And what the gain?

Ver. 8. "He, when He is come, will reprove(4) the world."(5)

That is, "they shall not do these things unpunished if He come. For indeed, the things that have been already done, are sufficient to stop their mouths; but when these things are also done by Him, when doctrines are more perfect and miracles greater, much more shall they be condemned when they see such things done in My Name, which make the proof of the Resurrection more certain. For now they are able to say, 'this is the carpenter's son, whose father and mother we know'; but when they see the bands of death loosed, wickedness cast out, natural lameness straightened, devils expelled, abundant supply of the Spirit, and all this effected by My being called on, what will they say? The Father hath borne witness of Me, and the Spirit will bear witness also." Yet He bare witness at the beginning. Yea, and shallalso do it now. But the, "will convince,"

Ver. 9. "Of sin"(6)

This meaneth, "will cut off all their excuses, and show that they have transgressed unpardonably."

Ver. 10. "Of righteousness, because I go to the(7) Father, and ye see Me no more."

That is, "I have exhibited a blameless(8) life, and this is the proof, that, 'I go to the Father.'" For since they continually urged this against Him, that He was not from God, and therefore called Him a sinner and transgressor, He saith, that the Spirit shall take from them this excuse also. "For if My being deemed not to be from God, showeth Me to be a transgressor, when the Spirit shall have shown that I am gone thither, not merely for a season, but to abide there, (for the, 'Ye see Me no more,' is the expression of one declaring this,) what will they say then?" Observe how by these two things, their evil suspicion is removed; since neither doth working miracles belong to a sinner, (for a sinner cannot work them,) nor doth the being with God continually belong to a sinner. "So that ye can(9) no longer say, that 'this man is a sinner,' that 'this man is not from God.'"

Ver. 11. "Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged."

Here again He mooteth the argument concerning righteousness, that He had overthrown His opponent. Now had He been a sinner, He could not have overthrown him; a thing which not even any just man had been strong enough to do. "But that he hath been condemned through Me, they shall know who trample on him hereafter, and who clearly know My Resurrection, which is the mark of Him who condemneth him. For he was not able to hold Me. And whereas they said that I had a devil, and that I was a deceiver, these things also shall hereafter appear to be false;(10) for I could not have prevailed against him, had I been subject to sin; but now he is condemned and cast out."

[2.] Ver. 12. "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now."

"Therefore it is expedient for you that I depart, if ye then will bear them when I departed." "And what hath come to pass? the Spirit greater than Thou, that now indeed we bear not, but It will fit us to bear? Is It working more powerful and more perfect?" "Not so; for He too shall speak My words." Wherefore He saith,

Ver. 13-15.(1)"He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak; and He will show you things to come. He shall glorify Me; for He shall receive of Mine, and shall show it unto you. All things that the Father hath are Mine."(2)

For since He had told them, that "'He shall teach you, and bring to your remembrance (c. xiv. 26), and shall comfort you in your afflictions," (which He Himself did not,) and that "it is expedient for you that I should depart" (ver. 7), and that He should come, and, "'now ye are not able to bear' (ver. 12), but then ye shall be able," and, that "He shall lead you into all truth" (ver. 13); lest hearing these things they should suppose the Spirit to be the greater, and so fall into an extreme opinion of impiety, therefore He saith, "He shall receive of Mine," that is, "whatsoever things I have told you, He shall also tell you." When He saith, "He shall speak nothing of Himself," He meaneth, "nothing contrary, nothing of His own opposed to My words." As then in saying respecting Himself, "I speak not of Myself" (c. xiv. 10), He meaneth that He speaketh nothing beside what the Father saith, nothing of His own against Him, or differing from Him, so also with respect to the Spirit. But the, "of Mine," meaneth, "of what I know," "of My own knowledge"; "for the knowledge of Me and of the Spirit is one."

"And He will tell you things to come." He excited their minds, for the race of man is for nothing so greedy,(3) as for learning the future. This, for instance, they continually asked Him, "Whither goest Thou?" "Which is the way?" To free them therefore from this anxiety, He saith, "He shall foretell you all things, so that ye shall not meet with them without warning."

"He shall glorify Me." How? "In My name He shall grant His inward workings." For since at the coming of the Spirit they were about to do greater miracles, therefore, again introducing the Equality of Honor, He saith, "He shall glorify Me."

What meaneth He by, "all truth"? for this also He testifieth of Him, that "He shall guide us into all truth." (Ver. 13.) Because He was clothed with the flesh, and because He would not seem to speak concerning Himself, and because they did not yet know clearly concerning the Resurrection, and were too imperfect, and also because of the Jews, that they might not think they were punishing Him as a transgressor; therefore He spake no great thing continually, nor plainly drew them away from the Law. But when the disciples were cut off from them,(4) and were for the future without; and when many were about to believe, and to be released from their sins; and when there were others who spake of Him, He with good reason spake not great things concerning Himself. "So that it proceeded not from ignorance of Mine," He saith, "that I told you not what I should have told you, but from the infirmity of the hearers." On this account having said, "He shall lead you into all truth," He added, "He shall not speak of Himself." For to show that the Spirit needeth not teaching, hear Paul saying, "So also the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God." (1 Cor. ii. 11.) "As then the spirit of man, not learning from another, knoweth; so also the Holy Spirit 'shall receive of Mine,'" that is, "shall speak in unison with what is Mine."

"All things that the Father hath are Mine." "Since then those things are Mine, and He shall speak from the things of the Father, He shall speak from Mine."

[3.] "But why did not the Spirit come before He departed?" Because the curse not having yet been taken away, sin not yet loosed, but all being yet subject to vengeance, He could not come. "It is necessary then," saith He, "that the enmity be put away, that we be reconciled to God, and then receive that Gift." But why saith He, "I will send Him"? (Ver. 7.) It meaneth, "I will prepare you beforehand to receive Him." For, how can that which Is everywhere, be "sent"? Besides, He also showeth the distinction of the Persons. On these two accounts He thus speaketh; and also, since they were hardly to be drawn away from Himself, exhorting them to hold fast to the Spirit, and in order that they might cherish It. For He Himself was able to have wrought these things, but He concedeth to the Spirit(5) the working of miracles,(6) on this account, that they might understand His(7) dignity. For as the Father could have brought into being things which are, yet the Son did so, that we might understand His power, so also is it in this case. On this account He Himself was made Flesh, reserving the inward working(8) for the Spirit, shutting up the mouths of those who take the argument of His ineffable love for an occasion of impiety. For when they say that the Son was made flesh because He was inferior to the Father, we will reply to them, "what then will ye say of the Spirit?" He took not the flesh, and yet certainly on this account ye will not call Him greater than the Son, nor the Son inferior to Him Therefore, in the case of baptism also the Trinity is included. The Father is able to effect the whole, as is the Son, and the Holy Ghost; yet, since concerning the Father no man doubts, but the doubt was concerning the Son, and the Holy Ghost, They are included in the rite, that by Their community in supplying those unspeakable blessings, we may also fully learn Their community in dignity. For that both the Son is able by Himself to do that which in the case of baptism(1) He is able to do with the Father, and the Holy Ghost the same, hear these things said plainly. For to the Jews He said, "That ye may know that the Son of Man hath power on earth to forgive sins" (Mark ii. 10); and again, "That ye may become children of light" (c. xii. 36): and, "I give to them eternal life." (c. x. 28.) Then after this, "That they might have life, and might have it more abundantly." (c. x. 10.) Now let us see the Spirit also performing the same thing. Where can we see it? "But the manifestation of the Spirit," it saith, "is given to every man to profit withal" (1 Cor. xii. 7; c. vi. 63); He then that giveth these things, much more remitteth sins. And again, "It is the Spirit that quickeneth"; and, "Shall quicken you(2) by His Spirit which dwelleth in you" (Rom. viii. 11); and, "The Spirit is Life because of righteousness" (Rom. viii. 10); and, "If ye are led by the Spirit, ye are not under the Law." (Gal. v. 18.) "For ye have not received the Spirit of bondage again to fear, but ye have received the Spirit of adoption." (Rom. viii. 15.) All the wonders too which they then wrought, they wrought at the coming of the Spirit. And Paul writing to the Corinthians, said, "But ye have been washed, but ye have been sanctified in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,(8) and by the Spirit of our God." (1 Cor. vi. 11.) Since then they had heard many things of the Father, and had seen the Son work many things, but as yet knew nothing clearly of the Spirit, that Spirit doeth miracles, and bringeth in the perfect knowledge. But (as I said before) that He may not thence be supposed to be greater, on this account Christ saith, "Whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak; and He will show you things to come." Since, if this be not so, how could it be otherwise than absurd, if He was about to hear then, and on account of those who were being made disciples? For according to you,(4) He would not even then know, except on account of those who were about to hear. What could be more unlawful than this saying? Besides, what would He have to hear? Did He not speak(5) all these things by the Prophets? For if He was about to teach concerning the dissolution of the Law, it had been spoken of: if concerning Christ, His Divinity and the Dispensation, these had been spoken of also. What could He say more dearly after this?

"And shall show you things to come." Here most of all Christ showeth His(6) Dignity, for to foretell things to come is especially the property of God. Now if He(7) also learn this from others, He will have nothing more than the Prophets, but here Christ declareth a knowledge brought into exact accordance with God, that it is impossible that He should speak anything else. But the, "shall receive of Mine," meaneth, "shall receive, either of the grace(8) which came into My Flesh, or of the knowledge which I also have, not as needing it, nor as learning it from another, but because it is One and the same." "And wherefore spake He thus, and not otherwise?" Because they understand not yet the word concerning the Spirit, wherefore He provideth for one thing only, that the Spirit should be believed and received by them, and that they should not be offended. For since He had said, "One is your Teacher, even Christ" (Matt. xxiii. 10), that they might not deem that they should disobey Him in obeying the Spirit, He saith, "His teaching and Mine are One; of what I should have taught, of those things shall He also speak. Do not suppose His words are other than Mine, for those words are Mine, and confirm My opinion.(9) For One is the will of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." Thus also He willeth us to be, when He saith, "That they may be one, as Thou and I are One."(10) (c. xvii. 11.)

[4.] There is nothing equal to unanimity and concord; for so one is manifold. If two or ten are of one mind, the one is one no longer, but each one is multiplied tenfold, and thou wilt find the one in the ten, and the ten in the one; and if they have an enemy, he who attacks the one, as having attacked the ten, is vanquished; for he is the mark not for one, but for ten opponents.(11) Is one in want? No, he is not in want, for he is wealthy in his greater part, that is, in the nine; and the needy part, the lesser, is concealed by the wealthy part, the greater. Each of these hath twenty hands, twenty eyes, and as many feet. For he sees not with his own eyes alone, but with those of others; he walks(12) not with his own feet alone, but with those of others; he works not with his own hands alone, but with theirs. He hath ten souls, for not only doth he take thought for himself, but those souls also for him. And if they be made a hundred, it will still be the same, and their power will be extended. Seest thou the excess of love, how it makes the one both irresistible and manifold, how one can even be in many places, the same both in Persia and in Rome, and that what nature cannot do, love can? for one part of him will be here, and one there, or rather he will be wholly here and wholly there. If then he have a thousand or two thousand friends, consider again whither his power will extend. Seest thou what an increase-giving thing is love? for the wonderful thing is this, its making one a thousand. Why then do we not acquire this power and place ourselves in safety? This is better than all power or riches,(1) this is more than health, than light itself, it is the groundwork of good courage. How long do we set our love on one or two? Consider also the action in the contrary way. Suppose a man without a friend, a mark of the utmost folly, (for a fool will say, "I have no friend,") what sort of life will such a one lead? For though he be infinitely rich, in plenty and luxury, possessed of ten thousand good things, yet is he desolate and bare of all. But in the case of friends not so; though they be poor men, yet are they better provided than the wealthy; and the things which a man undertakes not to say for himself, a friend will say for him, and whatever gratifications he is not able to procure for himself, he will be enabled to obtain by means of another, and much more; and it will be to us the groundwork of all enjoyment and safety, since one who is guarded by so many spearmen cannot suffer harm. For the king's body guards are not equal in their strictness to these. The one perform their watch through compulsion and fear, the others through kindness and love; and love is far mightier than fear. The king fears his own guards; the friend is more confident in them than in himself, and by reason of them fears none of those that plot against him. Let us then engage in this traffic; the poor man, that he may have consolation in his poverty; the rich, that he may possess his wealth in safety; the ruler, that he may rule with safety;(2) the ruled, that he may have benevolent rulers. This is the source of kindness, this the groundwork of gentleness; since even among beasts, those are the most fierce and untamable which are not gregarious. For this cause we dwell in cities, and have public places, that we may converse with one another. This also Paul commanded, saying, "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together" (Heb. x. 25); for no evil is so great as solitariness, and the state which is without compact and intercourse. "What then," saith some one, "of the solitaries, and of those who have occupied the summits of the mountains?" That neither are they without friends; they have indeed fled froth the turmoil of common life, but they have many of one soul with them, and closely bound together one to another; and they have retired that they might rightly accomplish this thing.(3) For since the rivalry of business causes many disputes, therefore, removing from among men, they cultivate(4) love with much exactness. "But how," saith some one, "if a man be alone can he have ten thousand friends?" I, for my part, desire, if it be possible, that men should know how to dwell one with another; but for the present let the properties of friendship remain unshaken.(5) For it is not place which makes friends. They, for instance, have many who admire them; now these would not have admired had they not loved them. Again, they pray for all the world, which is the greatest proof of friendship. For this cause we salute one another at the Mysteries, that being many we may become one; and in the case of the uninitiated,(6) we make our prayers common, supplicating for the sick, and for the produce of the world, for land and sea. Seest thou all the power of love? in the prayers, in the Mysteries, in the exhortations? This is that which causeth all good things. If we hold carefully to this, we shall both rightly dispense things present, and also obtain the Kingdom; which may we all obtain through the grace and lovingkindness of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom and with whom, to the Father and the Holy Ghost, be glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

HOMILY LXXIX.

JOHN xvi. 16, 17.

"A little while, and ye shall not see(1) Me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see Me, because I go to the Father. Then said some of His disciples among themselves, What is this that He saith?" [And what follows.(2)]

[1.] NOTHING is wont so to cast down the soul that is anguished and possessed by deep despondency, as when words which cause pain are continually dwelt upon. Why then did Christ, after saying, "I go," and, "Hereafter I will not speak with you," continually dwell on the same subject, saying "A little while, and ye shall not see Me, because I go to Him that sent Me"?(3) When He had recovered them by His words concerning the Spirit, He gain casteth down their courage. Wherefore doth He this? He testeth their feelings, and rendereth them more proved, and well accustometh them by hearing sad things, manfully to bear separation from Him; for they who had practiced this when spoken of in words, were likely in actions also, easily to bear it afterwards. And if one enquire closely, this very thing is a consolation,(4) the saying that, "I go to the Father." For it is the expression of One, who declares that He shall not perish, but that His end is a kind of translation. He addeth too another consolation; for He saith not merely, "A little while, and ye shall not see Me," but also, "A little while, and ye shall see Me"; showing that He will both come to them again, and that their separation would be but for a little while, and His presence with them continual. This, however, they did not understand. Whence one may with reason wonder how, after having often heard these things, they doubt, as though they had heard nothing. How then is it that they did not understand? It was either through grief, as I suppose, for that drove what was said from their understanding; or through the obscurity of the words. Because He seemed to them to set forth two contraries, which were not contrary. "If," saith one of them, "we shall see Thee, whither goest Thou? And if Thou goest, how shall we see Thee?" Therefore they say, "We cannot tell what He saith." That He was about to depart, they knew; but they knew not that He would shortly come to them. On which account He rebuketh them, because they did not understand His saying. For, desiring to infix in(5) them the doctrine concerning His death, what saith He?

Ver. 20.(6) "Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament "--which belonged to the Death and the Cross--"but the world shall rejoice."

Because by reason of their not desiring His death, they quickly ran into the belief that He would not die, and then when they heard that He would die, cast about, not knowing what that "little" meant, He saith, "Ye shall mourn and lament."

"But your sorrow shall be turned into joy."(7) Then having shown that after grief comes joy, and that grief gendereth joy, and that grief is short, but the pleasure endless, He passeth to a common(8) example; and what saith He?

Ver. 21. "A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow."(9)

And He hath used a comparison which the Prophets also use continually, likening despondencies to the exceeding pains of childbirth. But what He saith is of this kind: "Travail pains shall lay hold on you, but the pang of childbirth is the cause of joy"; both confirming His words relative to the Resurrection, and showing that the departing hence is like passing from the womb into the light of day. As though He had said, "Marvel not that I bring you to your advantage through such sorrow, since even a mother to become a mother, passeth in like manner through pain." Here also He implieth something mystical, that He hath loosened the travail pangs of death, and caused a new man to be born of them,(10) And He said not, that the pain shall pass away only, but, "she doth not even remember it," so great is the joy which succeedeth; so also shall it be with the Saints. And yet the woman doth not rejoice because "a man hath come into the world," but because a son hath been born to her; since, had this been the case, nothing would have hindered the barren from rejoicing over another who beareth. Why then spake He thus? Because He introduced this example for this purpose only, to show that sorrow is for a season, but joy lasting: and to show that (death) is a translation unto life; and to show the great profit of their pangs. He said not, "a child hath been born," but, "A man." For to my mind He here alludeth to His own Resurrection, and that He should be born not unto that death which bare the birth-pang, but unto the Kingdom. Therefore He said not, "a child hath been born unto her," but, "A man hath been born into the world."

Ver. 22, 23.(1) "And ye now therefore have sorrow--[but I will see you again, and your sorrow shall be turned into joy]."(2) Then, to show that He shall die no more, He saith, "And no man taketh it from you. And in that day ye shall ask Me nothing."

Again He proveth nothing else by these words, but that He is from God. "For then ye shall for the time to come know all things." But what is, "Ye shall not ask Me"? "Ye shall need no intercessor, but it is sufficient that ye call on My Name, and so gain all things."

"Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask My Father in My Name."(3)

He showeth the power of His Name, if at least being neither seen nor called upon, but only named, He even maketh us approved(4) by the Father. But where hath this taken place? Where they say, "Lord, behold their threatenings, and grant unto Thy servants that with boldness they may speak Thy word" (Acts iv. 29, 31), "and work miracles in Thy Name." "And the place was shaken where they were."

Ver. 24. "Hitherto ye have asked nothing."(5) [2.] Hence He showeth it to be good that He should depart, if hitherto they had asked nothing, and if then they should receive all things whatsoever they should ask. "For do not suppose, because I shall no longer be with you, that ye are deserted; My Name shall give you greater boldness." Since then the words which He had used had been veiled, He saith,

Ver. 25. "These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs, but the time cometh when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs."

"There shall be a time when ye shall know all things clearly." He speaketh of the time of the Resurrection. "Then,"

"I shall tell you plainly of the Father."

(For He was with them, and talked with them forty days, being assembled with them, and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God--Acts i. 3, 4,)--"because now being in fear, ye give no heed to My words; but then when ye see Me risen again, and converse with Me, ye will be able to learn all things plainly, for the Father Himself will love you, when your faith in Me hath been made firm."

Ver. 26. "And I will not ask the Father."(6)

"Your love for Me sufficeth to be your advocate."

Ver. 27, 28. "Because(7) ye have loved Me, and have believed that I came out from God. I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world; again I leave the world, and go to the Father."

For since His discourse concerning the Resurrection, and together with this, the hearing that "I came out from God, and thither I go," gave them no common comfort, He continually handleth these things. He gave a pledge, in the first place, that they were right in believing on Him; in the second, that they should be in safety. When therefore He said, "A little while, and ye shall not see Me; and again a little while, and ye shall see Me" (ver. 17), they with reason did not understand Him. But now it is no longer so. What then is, "Ye shall not ask Me"? "Ye shall not say, 'Show us the Father,' and, 'Whither goest Thou?' for ye shall know all knowledge, and the Father shall be disposed towards you even as I am." It was this especially which made them breathe again, the learning that they should be the Father's friends wherefore they say,

Ver. 30.(8) "Now we know that Thou knowest all things."

Seest thou that He made answer to what was secretly harboring" in their minds?

"And needest not that any man should ask Thee."

That is, "Before hearing, Thou knowest the things which made us stumble, and Thou hast given us rest, since Thou hast said, 'The Father loveth you, because ye have loved Me.'" After so many and so great matters, they say, "Now we know." Seest thou in what an imperfect state they were? Then, when, as though conferring a favor upon Him, they say, "Now we know," He replieth, "Ye still require many other things to come to perfection; nothing is as yet achieved by you. Ye shall presently betray Me to My enemies, and such fear shall seize you, that ye shall not even be able to retire one with another, yet from this I shall suffer nothing dreadful." Seest thou again how con descending His speech is? And indeed He makes this a charge against them, that they continually needed condescension. For when they say, "Lo, now Thou speakest plainly, and speakest no parable" (ver. 29), "and therefore we believe Thee" He showeth them that now, when they believe, they do not yet believe, neither doth He accept their words. This He saith, referring them to another season. But the,

Ver. 32.(1) "The Father is with Me," He hath again put on their account; for this they(2) everywhere wished to learn. Then, to show that He did not give them perfect knowledge by saying this, but in order that their reason might not rebel, (for it was probable that they might form some human ideas, and think that they should not enjoy any assistance from Him,) He saith,

Ver. 33. "These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me ye might have peace."(3)

That is, "that ye should not cast Me from your thoughts, but receive Me." Let no one, then, drag these words into a doctrine; they are spoken for our comfort and love. "For not even when we suffer such things as I have mentioned shall your troubles stop there,(4) but as long as ye are in the world ye shall have sorrow, not only now when I am betrayed, but also afterwards. But rouse your minds, for ye shall suffer nothing terrible. When the master hath gotten the better of his enemies, the disciples must not despond." "And how," tell me, "hast Thou conquered the world'?" I have told you already, that I have cast down its ruler, but ye shall know hereafter, when all things yield and give place to you.

[3.] But it is permitted to us also to conquer, looking to the Author of our faith, and walking on that road which He cut for us.

So neither shall death get the mastery of us. "What then, shall we not die?" saith some one. Why, from this very thing(4) it is clear that he shall not gain the mastery over us. The champion truly will then be glorious, not when he hath not closed with his opponent, but when having closed he is not holden by him. We therefore are not mortal, because of our struggle with death, but immortal, because of our victory; then should we have been mortal, had we remained with him always. As then I should not call the longest-lived animals immortal, although they long remain free from death, so neither him who shall rise after death mortal, because he is dissolved by death. For, tell me, if a man blush a little, should we say that he was continually ruddy? Not so, for the action is not a habit. If one become pale, should we call him jaundiced? No, for the affection is but temporary. And so you would not call him mortal, who hath been for but a short time in the hands of death. Since in this way we may speak of those who sleep, for they are dead, so to say, and without action. But doth death corrupt our bodies? What of that? It is not that they may remain in corruption, but that they be made better. Let us then conquer the world, let us run to immortality, let us follow our King, let us too set up a trophy,(6) let us despise the world's pleasures. We need no toil to do so; let us transfer our souls to(7) heaven, and all the world is conquered. If thou desirest it not, it is conquered; if thou deride it, it is worsted. Strangers are we and sojourners, let us then not grieve at any of its painful things. For if, being sprung from a renowned country, and from illustrious ancestors, thou hadst gone into some distant land, being known to no one, having with thee neither servants nor wealth, and then some one had insulted thee, thou wouldest not grieve as though thou hadst suffered these things at home. For the knowing clearly that thou wast in a strange and foreign land, would persuade thee to bear all easily, and to despise hunger, and thirst, and any suffering whatever. Consider this also now, that thou art a stranger and a sojourner, and let nothing disturb thee in this foreign land; for thou hast a City whose Artificer and Creator is God, and the s sojourning itself is but for a short and little time. Let whoever will strike, insult, revile; we are in a strange land, and live but meanly; the dreadful thing would be, to suffer so in our own country, before our fellow-citizens, then is the greatest unseemliness and loss. For if a man be where he had none that knows him, he endures all easily, because insult becomes more grievous from the intention of those who offer it. For instance, if a man insult the governor, knowing that he is governor, then the insult is bitter; but if he insult, supposing him to be a private man, he cannot even touch him who undergoeth the insult. So let us reason also. For neither do our revilers know what we are, as, that we are citizens of heaven, registered for the country which is above, fellow-choristers of the Cherubim. Let us not then grieve nor deem their insult to be insult; had they known, they would not have insulted us. Do they deem us poor and mean? Neither let us count this an insult. For tell me, if a traveler having got before his servants, were sitting a little space in the inn waiting for them, and then the innkeeper, or some travelers, should behave rudely to him, and revile him, would he not laugh at the other's ignorance? would not their mistake rather give him pleasure? would he not feel a satisfaction as though not he but some one else were insulted? Let us too behave thus. We too sit in an inn, waiting for our friends who travel the same road; when we are all collected, then they shall know whom they insult. These men then shall hang(1) their heads; then they shall say, "This is he whom we" fools "had in derision." (Wisd. v. 3.)

[4.] With these two things then let us comfort ourselves, that we are not insulted, for they know not who we are, and that, if we wish to obtain satisfaction, they shall hereafter give us a most bitter one. But God forbid that any should have a soul so cruel and inhuman. "What then if we be insulted by our kinsmen? For this is the burdensome thing." Nay, this is the light thing. "Why, pray?" Because we do not bear those whom we love when they insult us, in the same way as we bear those whom we do not know. For instance, in consoling those who have been injured, we often say," It is a brother who hath injured you, bear it nobly; it is a father; it is an uncle." But if the name of "father" and "brother" puts you to shame much more if I name to you a relationship more intimate than these; for we are not only brethren one to another, but also members, and one body. Now if the name of brother shame you, much more that of member. Hast thou not heard that Gentile proverb, which saith, that "it behooveth to keep friends with their defects"? Hast thou not heard Paul say, "Bear ye one another's burdens"? Seest thou not lovers? For I am compelled, since I cannot draw an instance from you, to bring my discourse to that ground of argument. This also Paul doth, thus saying, "Furthermore we have had fathers in our flesh, which corrected us, and we gave them reverence." (Heb. xii. 9.) Or rather, that is more apt which he saith to the Romans, "As ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity, even so now yield your members servants to righteousness." For this reason let us confidently keep hold of(2) the illustration. Now dost thou not observe lovers, what miseries these suffer when inflamed with desire for harlots, cuffed, beaten, and laughed at, enduring a harlot, who turns away from and insults them in ten thousand ways; yet if they see but once anything sweet or gentle, all is well to do with them, all former things are gone, all goes on with a fair wind, be it poverty, be it sickness, be it anything else besides these. For they count their own life as miserable or blessed, according as they may have her whom they love disposed towards them. They know nothing of mortal honor or disgrace, but even if one insult, they bear all easily through the great pleasure and delight which they receive from her; and though she revile, though she spit in their face, they think, when they are enduring this, that they are being pelted with roses. And what wonder, if such are their feelings as to her person? for her very house they think to be more splendid than any, though it be but of mud, though it be filling down. But why speak I of walls? when they even see the places which they frequent in the evening, they are excited. Allow me now for what follows to speak the word of the Apostle. As he saith, "As ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness, so yield your members servants unto righteousness"; so in like manner now I say, "as we have loved these women, let us love one another, and we shall not think that we suffer anything terrible."(3) And why say I, "one another"? Let us so love God. Do ye shudder, when ye hear that I require as much love in the case of God, as we have shown towards a harlot? But I shudder that we do not show even thus much. And, if you will, let us go on with the argument, though what is said be very painful. The woman beloved promises her lovers nothing good, but dishonor, shame, and insolence. For this is what the waiting upon a harlot makes a man, ridiculous, shameful, dishonored. But God promiseth us heaven, and the good things which are in heaven; He hath made us sons, and brethren of the Only-begotten, and hath given thee ten thousand things while living, and when thou diest, resurrection, and promiseth that He will give us such good things as it is not possible even to imagine, and maketh us honored and revered. Again, that woman compels her lovers to spend all their substance for the pit and for destruction; but God biddeth us sow the heaven, and giveth us an hundred-fold, and eternal life. Again, she uses her lover like a slave, giving commands more hardly than any tyrant; but God saith, "I no longer call you servants, but friends." (c. xv. 15.)

[5.] Have ye seen the excess both of the evils here and the blessings there(4)? What then comes next? For this woman's sake, many lie awake, and whatever she commands, readily obey; give up house, and father, and mother, and friends, and money, and patronage, and leave all that belongs to them in want and desolation; but for the sake of God, or rather for the sake of ourselves, we often do not choose to expend even the third portion of our substance, but we look on the hungry, we overlook him, and run past the naked, and do not even bestow a word upon him. But the lovers, if they see but a little servant girl of their mistress, and her a barbarian, they stand in the middle of the market-place, and talk with her, as if they were proud and glad to do so, unrolling an interminable round of words;(1) and for her sake they count all their living as nothing, deem rulers and rule nothing, (they know it, all who have had experience of the malady,) and thank her more when she commands, than others when the) serve. Is there not with good reason a hell? Are there not with good reason ten thousand punishments? Let us then become sober, let us apply to the service of God as much, or half, or even the third part of what others supply to the harlot. Perhaps again ye shudder; for so do I myself. But I would not that ye should shudder at words only, but at the actions; as it is, here indeed our(2) hearts are made orderly, but we go forth and cast all away. What then is the gain? For there, if it be required to spend money, no one laments his poverty, but even borrows it to give, perchance, when smitten. But here, if we do but mention almsgiving, they pretend to us children, and wife, and house, and patronage, and ten thousand excuses. "But," saith some one, "the pleasure is great there." This it is that I lament and mourn. What if I show that the pleasure here is greater? For there shame, and insult, and expense, cut away no little of the pleasure, and after these the quarreling and enmity; but here there is nothing of the kind. What is there, tell me, equal to this pleasure, to sit expecting heaven and the kingdom there, and the glory of the saints, and the life that is endless? "But these things," saith some one, "are in expectation, the others in experience." What kind of experience? Wilt thou that I tell thee the pleasures which are here also by experience? Consider what freedom thou enjoyest, and how thou fearest and tremblest at no man when thou livest in company with virtue, neither enemy, nor plotter, nor informer, nor rival in credit or in love, nor envious person, nor poverty, nor sickness, nor any other human thing. But there, although ten thousand things be according to thy mind, though riches flow in as from a fountain, yet the war with rivals, and the plots, and ambuscades, will make more miserable than any the life of him who wallows with those women.(3) For when that abominable one is haughty, and insolent, you needs must kindle quarrel to flatter her. This therefore is more grievous than ten thousand deaths, more intolerable than any punishment. But here there is nothing of the kind. For "the fruit," it saith, "of the Spirit is love, joy, peace." (Gal. v. 22.) Here is no quarreling, nor unseasonable pecuniary expense, nor disgrace and expense too; and if thou give but a farthing, or a loaf, or a cup of cold water, He will be much beholden to thee, and He doth nothing to pain or grieve thee, but all so as to make thee glorious, and free thee from all shame. What defense therefore shall we have, what pardon shall we gain, if, leaving these things, we give ourselves up to the contrary, and voluntarily cast ourselves into the furnace that burns with fire? Wherefore I exhort those who are sick of this malady, to recover themselves, and return to health, and not allow themselves to fall into despair. Since that son(4) also was in a far more grievous state than this, yet when he returned to his father's house, he came to his former honor, and appeared more glorious than him who had ever been well-pleasing. Let us also imitate him, and returning to our Father, even though it be late, let us depart from that captivity, and transfer ourselves to freedom, that we may enjoy the Kingdom of heaven, 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 LXXX.

JOHN xvii. 1.

"These words spake Jesus, and lifted up His eyes to heaven, and saith, Father, the hour is come; glorify Thy Son, that Thy Son also may glorify Thee."

[1.] "He that hath done and taught,''(1) it saith, "the same shall be called great in the Kingdom of heaven." And with much reason; for to show true wisdom in words, is easy, but the proof which is by works is the part of some noble and great one. Wherefore also Christ, speaking of the endurance of evil, putteth Himself forth, bidding us take example from Him. On this account too, after this admonition, He betaketh Himself to prayer, teaching us in our temptations to leave all things, and flee to God. For because He had said, "In the world ye shall have tribulation," and had shaken their souls, by the prayer He raiseth them again. As yet they gave heed unto Him as to a man; and for their sake He acteth thus, just as He did in the case of Lazarus, and there telleth the reason; "Because of the people that stand by I said it, that they might believe that Thou hast sent Me." (c. xi. 42.) "Yea," saith some one, "this took place with good cause in the case of the Jews; but wherefore in that of the disciples?" With good cause in the case of the disciples also. For they who, after all that had been said and done, said, "Now we know that Thou knowest" (c. xvi. 30), most of all needed to be established. Besides, the Evangelist doth not even call the action prayer; but what saith he? "He lifted up His eyes to heaven," and saith rather that it was a discoursing with the Father. And if elsewhere he speaks of prayer, and at one time shows Him kneeling on His knees, at another lifting His eyes to heaven, be not thou troubled; for by these means we are taught the earnestness which should be in our petitions, that standing we should look up, not with the eyes of the flesh only, but of the mind, and that we should bend our knees, bruising our own hearts. For Christ came not merely to manifest Himself, but also about to teach virtue ineffable. But it behooveth the teacher to teach, not by words only, but also by actions.Let us hear then what He saith in this place.

"Father, the hour is come; glorify Thy Son, that Thy Son also may glorify Thee."

Again He showeth us, that not unwilling He cometh to the Cross. For how could He be unwilling, who prayed that this might come to pass, and called the action "glory," not only for Himself the Crucified, but also for the Father? since this was the case, for not the Son only, but the Father also was glorified. For before the Crucifixion, not even the Jews knew Him "Israel," it saith, "hath not known Me" (Isa. i. 3); but after the Crucifixion, all the world ran to Him. Then He speaketh also of the manner of the glory, and how He will glorify Him.

Ver. 2. "As Thou hast given Him power over all flesh," "that nothing which Thou hast given Him should perish."(3)

For to be always doing good, is glory to God. But what is, "As Thou hast given Him power over all flesh"? He now showeth, that what belongs to the preaching is not confined to the Jews alone, but is extended to all the world, and layeth down beforehand the first invitations to the Gentiles. And since He had said, "Go not into the way of the Gentiles" (Matt. x. 5), and after this time is about to say, "Go ye, and make disciples of all nations" (Matt. xxviii. 19), He showeth that the Father also willeth this. For this greatly offended the Jews, and the disciples too; nor indeed after this did they easily endure to lay hold on the Gentiles, until they received the teaching of the Spirit; because hence arose no small stumblingblock for the Jews. Therefore, when Peter after such a manifestation of the Spirit came to Jerusalem, he could scarcely, by relating the vision of the sheet, escape the charges brought against him. But what is, "Thou hast given Him power over all flesh"? I will ask the heretics, "When did He receive this power? was it before He formed them, or after?" He himself saith, that it was after that He had been crucified,(4) and had risen again; at least then He said, "All power is given unto Me" (Matt. xxviii. 18), and, "Go ye and make disciples of all nations." What then, had He not authority over His own works? Did He make them, and had He not authority over them after having made them? Yet He is seen doing all in times of old, punishing some as sinners? (for, "Surely I will not hide," it saith, "from My servant Abraham, that which I am about to do"--Gen. xviii. 17, LXX.,) and honoring others as righteous. Had He then the power at that time, and now had He lost it, and did He again receive it? What devil could assert this? But if His power was the same both then and now, (for, saith He, "as the Father raiseth up the dead and quickeneth them, even so the Son quickeneth whom He will "--c. v. 21,) what is the meaning of the words? He was about to send them to the Gentiles; in order therefore that they might not think that this was an innovation, because He had said, "I am not sent, save unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel" (Matt. xv. 24), He showeth that this seemeth good to the Father also. And if He saith this with great meanness of circumstance, it is not wonderful. For so He edified both those at that time, and those who came afterwards; and as I have before said, He always by the excess of meanness firmly persuaded them that the words were those of condescension.

[2.] But what is, "Of all flesh"? For certainly not all believed. Yet, for His part, all believed; and if men gave no heed to His words, the fault was not in the teacher, but in those who received them not.

"That He should give eternal life to as many as Thou hast given Him."

If here also He speaketh in a more human manner, wonder not. For He doth so both on account of the reasons I have given, and to avoid the saying anything great concerning Himself; since this was a stumblingblock to the hearers because as yet they imagined nothing great concerning Him. John, for example, when He speaks in his own person, doth not so, but leadeth up his language to greater sublimity, saying, "All things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made" (c. i. 3, 4, 9, 11); and that He was "Life"; and that He was "Light"; and that "He came to His own": he saith not, that He would not have had power, had He not received it, but that He gave to others also "power to become sons of God." And Paul in like manner calleth Him equal with God. But He Himself asketh in a more human way, saying thus, "That He should give eternal life to as many as Thou hast given Him." (Phil. ii. 6.)

Ver. 3. "And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent."

"The only true God," He saith, by way of distinction from those which are not gods; for He was about to send them to the Gentiles. But if they(1) will not allow this, but on account of this word "only" reject the Son from being true God, in this way as they proceed they reject Him from being God at all.(2) For He also saith, "Ye seek not the glory which is from the only God." (c. v. 44.) Well then; shall not the Son be God? But if the Son be God, and the Son of the Father who is called the Only God, it is clear that He also is true, and the Son of Him who is called the Only true God. Why, when Paul saith, "Or I only and Barnabas" (1 Cor. ix. 6), doth he exclude Barnabas? Not at all; for the "only" is put by way of distinction from others. And, if He be not true God, how is He "Truth"? for truth fir surpasses what is true. What shall we call the not being a "true" man, tell me? shall we not call it the not being a man at all? so if the Son is not true God, how is He God? And how maketh He us gods and sons, if He is not true? But on these matters we have spoken more particularly in another place; wherefore let us apply ourselves to what follows.

Ver. 4. "I have glorified Thee on the earth." Well said He, "on the earth"; for in heaven He had been already glorified, having His own natural glory, and being worshiped by the Angels. Christ then speaketh not of that glory which is bound up with His(3) Essence, (for that glory, though none glorify Him, He ever possesseth in its fullness,) but of that which cometh from the service of men. And so the, "Glorify Me," is of this kind; and that thou mayest understand that He speaketh of this manner of glory, hear what follows.

"I have finished the work which Thou gavest Me that I should do it."

And yet the action was still but beginning, or rather was not yet beginning. How then said He, "I have finished"? Either He meaneth, that "I have done all My part"; or He speaketh of the future, as having already come to pass; or, which one may say most of all, that all was already effected, because the root of blessings had been laid, which fruits would certainly and necessarily follow, and from His being(4) present at and assisting in those things which should take place after these. On this account He saith again in a condescending way, "Which Thou gavest Me." For had He indeed waited to hear and learn, this would have fallen far short of His glory. For that He came to this s of His own will, is clear from many passages. As when Paul saith, that "He so loved us, as to give Himself for us" (Eph. v. 2); and, "He emptied Himself, and took upon Him the form of a servant" (Phil. ii. 7); and, "As the Father hath loved Me, so have I loved you." (c. xv. 9.)

Ver. 5. "And now, O Father, glorify Thou Me with Thine Own Self,(6) with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was."

Where is that glory? For allowing that He was(7) with reason unhonored among men, because of the covering(8) which was put around Him; how seeketh He(1) to be glorified with the Father? What then saith He here? The saying refers to the Dispensation; since His fleshly nature had not yet been glorified, not having as vet enjoyed incorruption, nor shared the kingly throne. Therefore He said not "on earth," but "with Thee."

[3.] This glory we also shall enjoy according to our measure, if we be sober. Wherefore Paul saith, "If so be that we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together." (Rom. viii. 17.) Ten thousand tears then do they merit, who through sluggishness and sleep plot against themselves when such glory is set before them; and, were there no hell, they would be more wretched than any, who, when it is in their power to reign and to be glorified with the Son of God, deprive themselves of so great blessings. Since if it were necessary to be cut in pieces, if to die ten thousand deaths, if to give up every day ten thousand lives and as many bodies, ought we not to submit to such things(2) for such glory? But now we do not even despise money, which hereafter, though unwilling, we shall leave: we do not despise money, which brings about us ten thousand mischiefs, which remains here, which is not our own. For we are but stewards of that which is not our own, although we receive it from our fathers. But when there is hell besides, and the worm that dieth not, and the fire that is not quenched, and the gnashing of teeth, how, tell me, shall we bear these things? How long will we refuse to see clearly, and spend our all on daily fightings, and contentions, and unprofitable talk, feeding, cultivating earth, fattening the body and neglecting the soul, making no account of necessary things, but much care about things superfluous and unprofitable? And we build splendid tombs, and buy costly houses, and draw about with us herds of all kinds of servants, and devise different stewards, appointing managers of lands, of houses, of money, and managers of those managers; but as to our desolate soul, we care nothing for that. And what will be the limit to this? Is it not one belly that we fill, is it not one body that we clothe? What is this great bustle of business? Why and wherefore do we cut up and tear to pieces the one(3) soul, which we have had assigned to us,(4) in attending to the service of such things, contriving for ourselves a grievous slavery? For he who needs many things is the slave of many things, although he seem to be their master. Since the lord is the slave even of his domestics, and brings in another and a heavier mode of service; and in another way also he is their slave, not daring without them to enter the agora, nor the bath, nor the field, but they frequently go about in all directions without him. He who seems to be master, dares not, if his slaves be not present, to go forth from home, and if whilst unattended he do but put his head out of his house, he thinks that he is laughed at. Perhaps some laugh at us when we say this, yet on this very account they would be deserving of ten thousand tears. For to show that this is slavery, I would gladly ask you, wouldest thou wish to need some one to put the morsel to thy mouth, and to apply the cup to thy lips? Wouldest thou not deem such a service worthy of tears? What if thou didst require continually supporters to enable thee to walk, wouldest thou not think thyself pitiable, and in this respect more wretched than any? So then thou oughtest to be disposed. now. For it matters nothing whether one is so treated by irrational things,(5) or by men.

Why, tell me, do not the Angels differ from us in this respect, that they do not want so many things as we do? Therefore the less we need, the more we are on our way to them; the more we need, the more we sink dozen to this perishable life. And that thou mayest learn that these things are so, ask those who have grown old which life they deem happiest, that when they were helplessly(6) mastered, or now when they are masters of these things? We have mentioned these persons, because those who are intoxicated with youth, do not even know the excess of their slavery. For what of those in fever, do they call themselves happy when, thirsting much, they drink much and need more, or when, having recovered their health, they are free from the desire? Seest thou that in every instance the needing much is pitiable, and far apart from true wisdom, and an aggravation of slavery and desire? Why then do we voluntarily increase to ourselves wretchedness? For, tell me, if it were possible to live uninjured without roof or wails, wouldest thou not prefer this; wherefore then dost thou increase the signs of thy weakness? Do we not for this call Adam happy, that he needed nothing, no house, no clothes? "Yes," saith some one, "but now we are in need of them." Why then do we make our need greater? If many persons curtail many of the things actually needed, (servants, I mean, and houses, and money,) what excuse can we have if we overstep the need? The more thou puttest about thee, the more slavish dost thou become; for by whatever proportion thou requirest more, in that proportion thou hast trenched upon thy freedom. For absolute(7) freedom is, to want nothing at all; the next is, to want little; and this the Angels and their imitators especially possess. But for men to succeed in this while tarrying in a mortal body, think how great praise this hath. This also Paul said, when writing to the Corinthians, "But I spare you," and, "lest such should have trouble in the flesh."(1) (1 Cor. vii. 28.) Riches are called "usables,"(2) that we may "use" them rightly, and not keep and bury them; for this is not to possess them, but to be possessed by them. Since if we are going to make this our aim how to multiply them, not that we may employ them rightly, the order is reversed, and they possess us, not we them. Let us then free ourselves from this grievous bondage, and at last become free. Why do we devise ten thousand different chains for ourselves? Is not the bond of nature enough for thee, and the necessity of life, and the crowd of ten thousand affairs, but dost thou twine also other nets for thyself, and put them about thy feet? And when wilt thou lay hold on heaven, and be able to stand on(6) that height? For a great thing, a great thing is it, that even having cut asunder all these cords, thou shouldest be able to lay hold on the city which is above. So many other hindrances are there; all which that we may conquer, let us keep to the mean estate(7) [and having put away superfluities, let us keep to what is necessary.] Thus shall we lay hold on eternal life, through the grace and lovingkindness of our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever' and ever. Amen.

HOMILY LXXXI.

JOHN xvii. 6.

"I have manifested Thy Name unto the men which Thou gavest Me out of the world; Thine they were, and Thou gavest them Me, and they have kept Thy word."

[1.] "MESSENGER of great counsel" (Isa. ix. 6, LXX.), the Son of God is called, because of the other things which He taught, and principally because He announced the Father to men, as also now He saith, "I have manifested Thy Name unto the men." For after having said, "I have finished Thy work," He next explaineth it in detail, telling what sort of work. Now the Name indeed was well known. For Esaias said, "Ye shall swear(3) by the true God." (Isa. lxv. 16.) But what I have often told you I tell you now, that though it was known, yet it was so only to Jews, and not to all of these: but now He speaketh concerning the Gentiles. Nor doth He declare this merely, but also that they knew Him as the Father. For it is not the same thing to learn that He is Creator, and that He hath a Son. But He "manifested His(4) Name" both by words and actions.

"Whom Thou gavest Me out of the world."

As He saith above, No man cometh unto Me except it be given him" (c.vi 65); and, Except My Father(5) draw him" (c. vi. 64); so here too, "Whom thou gavest Me. (c. xiv. 6.) Now He calleth Himself "the Way"; whence it is clear that He establisheth two things by what is said here, that He is not opposed to the Father, and that it is the Father's will to entrust them to the Son.

"Thine they were, and Thou gavest them Me." Here He desireth to teach(8) that He is greatly loved by the Father. For that He needed not to receive them, is clear from this, He made them, He careth for them continually. How then did He receive them? This, as I said before, showeth His unanimity with the Father. Now if a man choose to enquire into the matter in a human manner, and as the words are spoken, they(9) will no longer belong to the Father. For if when the Father had them, the Son had them not, it is evident that when He gave them to the Son, He withdrew from His dominion over them. And again, there is a yet more unseemly conclusion; for they will be found to have been imperfect while they yet were with the Father, but to have become perfect when they came to the Son. But it is mockery even to speak thus. What then doth He declare by this?(10) "That it hath seemed good to the Father also that they should believe on the Son."

"And they have kept Thy word."

Ver. 7. Now they have known that all things whatsoever Thou hast given Me are of Thee."

How did they "keep Thy word"? "By believing in Me, and giving no heed to the Jews. For he that believeth in Him, it saith, 'hath set to his seal that God is true.'" (c. iii. 33.) Some read, "Now I know that all things whatsoever Thou hast given Me are of Thee." But this would have no reason; for how would the Son be ignorant of the things of the Father? No the words are spoken of the disciples. "From the time," He saith, "that I told them these things, they have learnt that all that Thou hast given Me is from Thee; nothing is alien, nothing peculiar to Me, with Thee."(1) (For whatever is peculiar, puts most things in the condition of being alien.(2) "They therefore have known that all things, whatsoever I teach, are Thy doctrines and teachings." "And whence have they learnt it?" From My words;(3) for so have I taught them. And not only this have I taught them, but also that "I came out from Thee." For this He was anxious to prove through all the Gospel. Ver. 9. "I pray for them."(4)

"What sayest Thou?" "Dost Thou teach the Father, as though He were ignorant? Dost Thou speak to Him as to a man who knoweth not?" "What then meaneth this distinction?" Seest thou that the prayer is for nothing else than that they may understand the love which He hath towards them? For He who not only giveth what He hath of His own, but also calleth on Another to do the same, showeth greater love. What then is, "I pray for them"? "Not for all the world," He saith, but "for them whom Thou hast given Me." He continually putteth the "hast given," that they might learn that this seemeth good to the Father. Then, because He had said continually, "they are Thine," and, "Thou gavest them unto Me," to remove any evil suspicion, and lest any one should think that His authority was recent, and that He had but now received them, what saith He?

[2.] Ver. 10. "All Mine are Thine, and Thine are Mine; and I am glorified in them."

Seest thou the equality of honor? For lest on hearing, "Thou hast given them Me," thou shouldest deem that they were alienated from the authority of the Father, or before this from that of the Son, He removed both difficulties by speaking as He did. It was as though He said, "Do not when thou hearest that 'Thou hast given them to Me,' deem that they are alienated from the Father, for what is Mine is His; nor when thou hearest, 'Thine they were,' think that they were aliens from Me, for what is His is Mine." So that the, "Thou hast given," is said only for condescension; for what the Father hath is the Son's, and what the Son hath is the Father's. But this cannot even be said of a son after the manner of man, but because They(5) are upon a greater Equality of honor.(6) For that what belongs to the less, belongs to the greater also, is clear to every one, but the reverse not so; but here He converteth(7) these terms, and the conversion declares(8) Equality. And in another place, declaring this, He said, "All things that the Father hath are Mine," speaking of knowledge. And the "hast given Me," and the like expressions, are to show that He did not come as an alien and draw them to Him, but received them as His own. Then He putteth the cause and the proof, saying, "And I am glorified in them," that is, either that "I have power over them," or, that "they shall glorify Me, believing in Thee and Me, and shall glorify Us alike." But if He is not glorified equally in them, what is the Father's is no longer His. For no one is glorified in those over whom he hath no authority. Yet how is He glorified equally? All die for Him equally as for the Father; they preach Him as they do the Father; and as they say that all things are done in His Name, so also in the Name of the Son.

Ver. 11. "And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world." (9)

That is, "Although I appear no longer in the flesh, yet by these am I glorified." But why doth He say continuously, that, "I am not in the world"; and that, "because I leave them I commit them to Thee"; and that, "when I was in the world I kept them"? for if one should take these words in their simple sense, many absurdities will follow. For how could it be reasonable to say, that He is no longer in the world, and that when He departeth He committeth them to another? since these are the words of a mere man parting from them forever. Seest thou how He speaketh for the most part like a man, and in a way adapted to their state of mind, because they thought that they had a greater degree of safety from His presence? Wherefore He saith, "While I was with them, I kept them." (c. xiv. 28.) Yet He telleth them, "I come to you"; and," I am with you till the end." (Matt. xxviii. 20.) How then(10) saith He these words, as if about to be parted from them? He addresseth Himself, as I said before, to their thoughts,(11) that they may take breath a little when they hear Him speaking thus, and delivering them over to the care of the Father. For since, after hearing many exhortations from Him, they were not persuaded, He then holdeth converse with the Father, manifesting His affection for them. As though He had said, "Since Thou callest Me to Thyself, place these in safety; for I come to Thee." "What sayest Thou? Art Thou not able to keep them?" "Yea, I am able." "Wherefore then speakest Thou thus?" "That they may have My joy fulfilled"(1) (ver. 13); that is, "may not be confounded, as being imperfect." And by these words He showed that He had spoken all these things so, to give them rest and joy. For the saying appears to be contradictory. "Now I am no longer in the world, and these are in the world." This was what they were suspecting. For a while therefore He condescendeth to them, because had He said, "I keep them," they would not have so well believed; wherefore He saith, "Holy Father, keep them through Thine own Name "; that is, "by thy help."

Ver. 12. "While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Thy Name."

Again He speaketh as a man and as a Prophet, since nowhere doth He appear to have done anything by the Name of God.

"Those that Thou gavest Me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled."

And in another place He saith, "Of all that Thou gavest Me, I will surely lose nothing."(3) (c. vi. 39.) Yet not only was he(3) lost, but also many afterwards; how then saith He, "I will in nowise lose"?(4) "For My part, I will not lose." So in another place, declaring the matter was more clearly, He said, "I will in nowise cast out." (c. vi. 37.) "Not through fault of Mine, not because I either instigate or abandon them; but if they start away of themselves, I draw them not by necessity."

Ver. 13. "But now I come to thee."

Seest thou that the discourse is composed rather in a human manner? So that should any wish from these words to lower the Son, he will lower the Father also. Observe, in proof of this, how from the beginning He speaketh(5) partly as though informing and explaining to Him, partly as enjoining. Informing, as when He saith, "I pray not for the world"; enjoining, as, "I have kept them until now," "and none of them is lost"; and, "do Thou therefore now keep them," He saith. And again, "Thine they were, and Thou hast given them unto Me "and "While I was in the world I kept them." But the solution of all is, that the words were addressed to their infirmity.

But after having said that "none of them was lost but the son of perdition," He added, "that the Scripture might be fulfilled." Of what Scripture doth He speak? That which foretelleth many things concerning Him. Not that He perished on that account, in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled. But we have before spoken at length on this point, that this is the peculiar manner of Scripture, which puts things which fall out in accordance with it, as though they were caused by it.(6) And it is needful to enquire exactly into all, both the manner of the speaker, his argument, and the laws of Scripture, if at least we are minded not to draw wrong conclusions. For, "Brethren, be not children in your minds." (1 Cor. xiv. 20.)

[3.] This it is necessary to consider well,(7) not only for the understanding the Scriptures, but also for earnestness in one's way of life. For so little children do not desire great things, but are wont to admire those which are worth nothing; they are pleased at seeing chariots, and horses, and the muleteer, and wheels, all made out of earthenware; but if they see a king sitting upon a chariot, and a pair of white mules, and great magnificence, they do not even(8) turn their heads. And they deck out as brides dolls made of the same material, but the actual brides, real and beautiful, they do not even notice; and this is their case in many other matters. Now this many men also undergo at this time; for when they hear of heavenly things, they do not even give heed to them, but toward all the things of clay they are as eager as children, and stupidly admire the wealth which is of earth, and honor the glory and luxury of the present life. Yet these are just as much toys as those; but the other are the causes of life, and glory, and repose. But as children deprived of their playthings cry, and do not know how even to desire the realities, so also are many of those who seem to be men. Wherefore it saith, "Be not children in your minds." (1 Cor. xiv. 20.) Desirest thou riches, tell me, and desirest thou not the wealth that lasteth, but childish toys? If thou shouldest see a man admiring a leaden coin, and stooping to pick it up, thou wouldest pronounce his penury to be extreme; and dost thou, who collectest more worthless things than this, number thyself among the rich? How can this consist with reason? We will call him rich who despises all present things. For no one, no one will choose to laugh at these little things, silver and gold, and other things of show, unless he have the desire of greater things; just as the man would not despise the leaden coin,(1) unless he possessed coins of gold. Do thou, therefore, when thou seest a man running by all worldly things, deem that he doth so from no other motive than because he looks to a greater world. So the husbandman despises a few grains of wheat, when he expects a larger harvest. But if, when the hope is uncertain, we despise things which are, much more ought we to do so in a case where the expectation is sure. Wherefore I pray and beseech you not to bring loss on yourselves, nor, keeping hold of mire, rob yourselves of the treasures which are above, bringing your vessel to port laden with straw and chaff. Let each say what he will concerning us, let him be angry at our continual admonitions, let him call us silly, tedious, tiresome, still we will not desist from exhorting you on these matters continually, and from continually repeating to you that of the Prophet, "' Break off thy sins by almsgiving, and thine iniquities by showing mercy to the poor' (Dan. iv. 27), and bind them upon thy neck."(3) Do not act in this way to-day, and desist to-morrow. For even this body has need of daily food; and so too hath the soul, or rather that much more; and if it give not,(3) it becomes weaker and more vile. Let us then not neglect it when it is perishing, choking. Many wounds it receives each day, by being lustful, angry, slothful, reviling, revengeful, envious. It is therefore necessary to prepare also remedies for it, and no small remedy is that of almsgiving, which can be placed on every wound. For, "Give alms," it saith, "of such things as ye have, and behold all things are clean unto you." (Luke xi. 41.) "Alms," not covetousness, for that which proceeds from covetousness endures not, though thou give to those who need. For almsgiving is that which is free from all injustice, "this" makes all things clean. This is a thing better even than fasting, or lying on the ground; they may be more painful and laborious, but this more profitable. It enlightens the soul, makes it sleek,(4) beautiful, and vigorous. Not so doth the fruit of the olive hold up the athletes, as this oil recovers the combatants of piety. Let us then anoint our hands, that we may lift them up well against our adversary. He that practiceth showing mercy to him that needeth, will soon cease from covetousness, he who continues in giving to the poor, will soon cease from anger. and will never even be high-minded. For as the physician continually tending wounded persons is easily sobered, beholding human nature in the calamities of others; so we, if we enter upon the work of aiding the poor, shall easily become truly wise, and shall not admire richest nor deem present things any great matter, but despise them all, and soaring aloft to heaven, shall easily obtain the eternal blessings, 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.

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