1. THE Lord says, as you have just been hearing, "He that hateth me, hateth my Father also:" and yet He had said a little before, "These things will they do unto you, because they know not Him that sent me." A question therefore arises that cannot be overlooked, how they can hate one whom they know not? For if it is not God as He really is, but something else, I know not what, that they suspect or believe Him to be, and hate this; then assuredly it is not God Himself that they hate, but the thing they conceive in their own erroneous suspicion or baseless credulity; and if they think of Him as He really is, how can they be said to know Him not? It may be the case, indeed, with regard to men, that we frequently love those whom we have never seen; and in this way it can, on the other hand, be none the less impossible that we should hate those whom we have never seen. The report, for instance, whether good or bad, about some preacher, leads us not improperly to love or to hate the unknown. But if the report is truthful, how can one, of whom we have got such true accounts, be spoken of as unknown? Is it because we have not seen his face? And yet, though he himself does not see it, he can be known to no one better than to himself. The knowledge of any one, therefore, is not conveyed to us in his bodily countenance, but only lies open to our apprehension when his life and character are revealed. Otherwise no one would be able to know himself, because unable to see his own face. But surely he knows himself more certainly than he is known to others, inasmuch as by inward inspection he can the more certainly see what he is conscious of, what he desires, what he is living for; and it is when these are likewise laid open to us, that he becomes truly known to ourselves. And as these, accordingly, are commonly brought to us regarding the absent, or even the dead, either by hearsay or correspondence, it thus comes about that people whom we have never seen by face (and yet of whom we are not entirely ignorant), we frequently either hate or love.

2. But in such cases our credulity is frequently at fault; for sometimes even history, and still more ordinary report, turns out to be false. Yet, it ought to be our concern, in order not to be misled by an injurious opinion, seeing we cannot search into the consciences of men, to have a true and certain sentiment about things themselves. I mean, that in regard to this or that man, if we know not whether he is immodest or modest, we should at all events hate immodesty and love modesty: and if in regard to some one or other we know not whether he is unjust or just, we should at any rate love justice and abhor injustice; not such things as we erroneously fancy to ourselves, but such as we believingly perceive according to God's truth, the one to be desired, the other to be shunned; so that, when in regard to things themselves we do desire what ought to be desired, and utterly avoid what ought to be avoided, we may find pardon for the mistaken feelings which we at times, yea, at all times, entertain regarding the actual state of others which is hidden from our eyes. For this, I think, has to do with human temptation, without which we cannot pass through this life, so that the apostle said, "No temptation should befall you but such as is common to man."(1) For what is so common to man as inability to inspect the heart of man; and therefore, instead of scrutinizing its inmost recesses, to suspect for the most, part something very different from what is going on therein? And although in these dark regions of human realities, that is, of other people's inward thoughts, we cannot clear up our suspicions, because we are only men, yet we ought to restrain our judgments, that is, all definite and fixed opinions, and not judge anything before the time, until the Lord come, and bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and make manifest the counsels of the hearts; and then shall every man have praise of God.(2) When, therefore, we are falling into no error in regard to the thing itself, so that there is an accordance with right in our reprobation of vice and approbation of virtue; surely, if a mistake is committed in connection with individuals, a temptation so characteristic of man is within the scope of forgiveness.

3. But amid all these darknesses of human hearts, it happens as a thing much to be wondered at and mourned over, that one, whom we account unjust, and who nevertheless is just, and in whom, without knowing it, we love justice, we sometimes avoid, and turn away from, and hinder from approaching us, and refuse to have life and living in common with him; and, if necessity compel the infliction of discipline, whether to save others from harm or bring the person himself back to rectitude, we even pursue him with a salutary harshness; and so afflict a good man as if he were wicked, and one whom unknowingly we love. This takes place if one, for example's sake, who is modest is believed by us to be the opposite. For, beyond doubt, if I love a modest person, he is himself the very object that I love; and therefore I love the man himself, and know it not. And if I hate an immodest person, it is on that account, not him that I hate: for he is not the thing that I hate; and yet to that object of my love, with whom my heart makes continual abode in the love of modesty, I am ignorantly doing an injury, erring as I do, not in the distinction I make between virtue and vice, but in the thick darkness of the human heart. Accordingly, as it may so happen that a good man may unknowingly hate a good man, or rather loves him without knowing it (for the man himself he loves in loving that which is good; for what the other is, is the very thing that he loves); and without knowing it, hates not the man himself, but that which he supposes him to be: so may it also be the case that an unjust man hates a just man, and, while he opines that he loves one who is unjust like himself, unknowingly loves the just man; and yet so long as he believes him to be unjust, he loves not the man himself, but that which he imagines him to be. And as it is with another man, so is it also with God. For, to conclude, had the Jews been asked if they loved God, what other answer would they have given but that they did love Him, and that not with any intentional falsehood, but because erroneously fancying that they did so? For how could they love the Father of the truth, who were filled with hatred to the truth itself? For they do not wish their own conduct to be condemned, and it is the truth's task to condemn such conduct; and thus they hated the truth as much as they hated their own punishment, which the truth awards to such. But they know not that to be the truth which lays its condemnation on such as they: therefore they hate that which they know not; and hating it, they certainly cannot but also hate Him of whom it is born. And in this way, because they know not the truth, by whose judgment they are condemned, as that which is born of God the Father; of a surety also they both know not, and hate [the Father] Himself. Miserable men! who, because wishing to be wicked, deny that to be the truth whereby the wicked are condemned. For they refuse to own that to be what it is, when they ought themselves to refuse to be what they are; in order that, while it remains the same, they may be changed, lest by its judgment they fall into condemnation.


CHAPTER XV. 24, 25.

1. The Lord had said, "He that hateth me, hateth my Father also." For of a certainty he that hateth the truth must also hate Him of whom the truth is born; on which subject we have already spoken, as we were granted ability. And then He added the words on which we have now to discourse: "If I had not done among [in] them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin." To wit, that great sin whereof He also says before, "If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin." Their sin was that of not believing on Him who thus spake and wrought. For they were not without sin before He so spake to them and did such works among them; but this sin of theirs, in not believing on Him, is thus specially mentioned because really inclusive in itself of all sins besides. For had they been clear of this one, and believed on Him, all else would also have been forgiven.

2. But what is meant when, after saying, "If I had not done among them works," He immediately added, "which none other man did"? Of a certainty, among all the works of Christ, none seem to be greater than the raising of the dead; and yet we know that the same was done by the prophets of olden time. For Elias did so;(1) and Elisha also, both when alive in the flesh,(2) and when he lay buried in his sepulchre. For when certain men, who were carrying a dead person, had fled thither for refuge from an onset of their enemies, and had laid him down therein, he instantly came again. to life.(3) And yet there were some works that Christ did which none other man did: as, when He fed the five thousand men with five loaves, and the four thousand with seven;(4) when He walked on the waters, and gave Peter power to do the same;(5) when He changed the water into wine;(6) when He opened the eyes of a man that was born blind,(7) and many besides, which it would take long to mention. But we are answered, that others also have done works which even He did not, and which no other man has done. For who else save Moses smote the Egyptians with so many and mighty plagues,(8) as when He led the people through the parted waters of the sea,(9) when he obtained manna for them from heaven in their hunger,(10) and water from the rock in their thirst?(11) Who else save Joshua the son of Nun(12) divided the stream of the Jordan for the people to pass over,(13) and by the utterance of a prayer to God bridled and stopped the revolving sun?(14) Who save Samson ever quenched his thirst with water flowing forth from the jawbone of a dead ass?(15) Who save Elias was carried aloft in a chariot of fire?(16) Who save Elisha, as I have just mentioned, after his own body was buried, restored the dead body of another to life? Who else besides Daniel lived unhurt amid the jaws of famishing lions, that were shut up with him?(17) And who else save the three men Ananias, Azariah, and Mishael, ever walked about unharmed in flames that blazed and did not burn?(18)

3. I pass by other examples, as these I consider to be sufficient to show that some of the saints have done wonderful works, which none other man did. But we read of no one whatever of the ancients who cured with such power so many bodily defects, and bad states of the health, and troubles of mortals. For, to say nothing of those individual cases which He healed, as they occurred, by the word of command, the Evangelist Mark says in a certain place: "And at even, when the sun had set, they brought unto Him all that were diseased, and them that were possessed with devils. And all the city was gathered together at the door. And He healed many that were sick of divers diseases, and cast out many devils."(10) And Matthew, in giving us the same account, has also added the prophetic testimony, when he says: "That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sickness."(10) In another passage also it is said by Mark: "And whithersoever He entered, into villages, or cities, or country, they laid the sick in the streets, and besought Him that they might touch if it were but the border of His garment: and as many as touched Him were made whole."(21) None other man did such things in them. For so are we to understand the words in them, not among them, or in their presence; but directly in them, because He healed them. For He wished them to understand the works as those which not only occasioned admiration, but conferred also manifest healing, and were benefits which they ought surely to have requited with love, and not with hatred. He transcends, indeed, the miracles of all besides, in being born of a virgin, and in possessing alone the power, both in His conception and birth, to preserve inviolate the integrity of His mother: but that was done neither before their eyes nor in them. For the knowledge of the truth of such a miracle was reached by the apostles, not through any onlooking that they had in common with others, but in the course of their separate discipleship. Moreover, the fact that on the third day He restored Himself to life from the very tomb, in the flesh wherein He had been slain, and, never thereafter to die, with it ascended into heaven, even surpasses all else that He did: but just as little was this done either in the Jews or before their eyes; nor had it yet been done, when He said, "If I had not done among them the works which none other man did."

4. The works, then, are doubtless those miracles of healing in connection with their bodily complaints which He exhibited to such an extent as no one before had furnished amongst them: for these they saw, and it is in reproaching them therewith that He proceeds to say, "But now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father: but [this cometh to pass] that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause [gratuitously]." He calls it, their law, not as invented by them, but given to them: just as we say, "Our daily bread;" which, nevertheless, we ask of God in conjoining the words "Give us."(1) But one hates gratuitously who neither seeks advantage from the hatred nor avoids inconvenience: so do the wicked hate the Lord; and so also is He loved by the righteous, that is to say, gratuitously [gratis, freely,] inasmuch as they expect no other gifts beyond Himself, for He Himself will be all in all. But whoever would be disposed to look for something more profound in the words of Christ, "If I had not done among them the works which none other man did" (for although such were done by the Father, or the Holy Spirit, yet no one else did them, for the whole Trinity is one and the same in substance), he will find that it was He who did it even when some man of God did something similar. For in Himself He can do everything by Himself; but without Him no one can do anything. For Christ with the Father and the Holy Spirit are not three Gods, but one God, of whom it is written, "Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous things."(2) No one else, therefore, really himself did the works which He did amongst them; for any one else who did any such works, did them only through His doing. But He Himself did them without any doing on their part.


CHAPTER XV. 26, 27.

1. The Lord Jesus, in the discourse which He addressed to His disciples after the supper, when Himself in immediate proximity to His passion, and, as it were, on the eve of departure, and of depriving them of His bodily presence while continuing His spiritual presence to all His disciples till the very end of the world, exhorted them to endure the persecutions of the wicked, whom He distinguished by the name of the world: and from which He also told them that He had chosen, the disciples themselves, that they might know it was by the grace of God they were what they were, and by their own vices they had been what they had been. And then His own persecutors and theirs He clearly signified to be the Jews, that it might be perfectly apparent that they also were included in the appellation of that damnable world that persecuteth the saints. And when He had said of them that they knew not Him that sent Him, and yet hated both the Son and the Father, that is, both Him who was sent and Him who sent Him,--of all which we have already treated in previous discourses,--He reached the place where it is said, "This cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause." And then He added, as if by way of consequence, the words whereon we have undertaken at present to discourse: "But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, who proceedeth from the Father, He shall bear witness of me: and ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning." But what connection has this with what He had just said, "But now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father: but that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause"? Was it that the Comforter, when He came, even the Spirit of truth, convicted those, who thus saw and hated, by a still clearer testimony? Yea, verily, some even of those who saw, and still hated, He did convert, by this manifestation of Himself, to the faith that worketh by love.(1) To make this view of the passage intelligible, we recall to your mind that so it actually befell. For when on the day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit fell upon an assembly of one hundred and twenty men, among whom were all the apostles; and when they, filled therewith were speaking in the language of every nation; a goodly number of those who had hated, amazed at the magnitude of the miracle (especially when they perceived in Peter's address so great and divine a testimony borne in behalf of Christ, as that He, who was slain by them and accounted amongst the dead, was proved to have risen again, and to be now alive), were pricked in their hearts and converted; and so became aware of the beneficent character of that precious blood which had been so impiously and cruelly shed, because themselves redeemed by the very blood which they had shed.(2) For the blood of Christ was shed so efficaciously for the remission of all sins, that it could wipe out even the very sin of shedding it. With this therefore in His eye, the Lord said, "They hated me without a cause: but when the Comforter is come, He shall bear witness of me;" saying, as it were, They hated me, and slew me when I stood visibly before their eyes; but such shall be the testimony borne in my behalf by the Comforter, that He will bring them to believe in me when I am no longer visible to their sight.

2. "And ye also," He says," shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning." The Holy Spirit shall bear witness, and so also shall ye. For, just because ye have been with me from the beginning, they can preach what ye know; which ye cannot do at present, because the fullness of that Spirit is not yet present within you. "He therefore shall testify of me, and ye also shall bear witness:" for the love of God shed abroad in your hearts by the Holy Spirit, who shall be given unto you,(3) will give you the confidence needful for such witness-bearing. And that certainly was still wanting to Peter, when, terrified by the question of a lady's maid, he could give no true testimony; but, contrary to his own promise, was driven by the greatness of his fear thrice to deny Him.(4) But there is no such fear in love, for perfect love casteth out fear.(5) In fine, before the Lord's passion, his slavish fear was questioned by a bond-woman; but after the Lord's resurrection, his free love by the very Lord of freedom:(6) and so on the one occasion he was troubled, on the other tranquillized; there he denied the One he had loved, here he loved the One he had denied. But still even then that very love was weak and straitened, till strengthened and expanded by the Holy Spirit. And then that Spirit, pervading him thus with the fullness of richer grace, kindled his hitherto frigid heart to such a witness-bearing for Christ, and unlocked those lips that in their previous tremor had suppressed the truth, that, when all on whom the Holy Spirit had descended were speaking in the tongues of all nations to the crowds of Jews collected around, he alone broke forth before the others in the promptitude of his testimony in behalf of the Christ, and con-rounded His murderers with the account of His resurrection. And if any one would enjoy the pleasure of gazing on a sight so charming in its holiness, let him read the Acts of the Apostles:(7) and there let him be filled with amazement at the preaching of the blessed Peter, over whose denial of his Master he had just been mourning; there let him behold that tongue, itself translated from diffidence to confidence, from bondage to liberty, converting to the confession of Christ the tongues of so many of His enemies, riot one of which he could bear when lapsing himself into denial. And what shall I say more? In him there shone forth such an effulgence of grace, and such a fullness of the Holy Spirit, and such a weight of most precious truth poured from the lips of the preacher, that he transformed that vast multitude of Jews who were the adversaries and murderers of Christ into men that were ready to die for His name, at whose hands he himself was formerly afraid to die with his Master. All this did that Holy Spirit when sent, who had previously only been promised. And it was these great and marvellous gifts of His own that the Lord foresaw, when He said, "They have both seen and hated both me and my Father: that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause. But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, who proceedeth from the Father, He shall testify of me: and ye also shall bear witness." For He, in bearing witness Himself, and inspiring such witnesses with invincible courage, divested Christ's friends of their fear, and transformed into love the hatred of His enemies.



1. IN the words preceding this chapter of the Gospel, the Lord strengthened His disciples to endure the hatred of their enemies, and prepared them also by His own example to become the more courageous in imitating Him: adding the promise, that the Holy Spirit should. come to bear witness of Him, and also that they themselves could become His witnesses, through the effectual working of His Spirit in their hearts. For such is His meaning when He saith, "He shall bear witness of me, and ye also shall bear witness." That is to say, because He shall bear witness, ye also shall bear witness: He in your hearts, you in your voices; He by inspiration, you by utterance: that the words might be fulfilled, "Their sound hath gone forth into all the earth."(1) For it would have been to little purpose to have exhorted them by His example, had He not also filled them with His Spirit. Just as we see that the Apostle Peter, after having heard His words, when He said, "The servant is not greater than his lord: if they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you;"(2) and seen that already fulfilled in Him, wherein, had example been sufficient, he ought to have imitated the patient endurance of his Lord, yet succumbed and fell into denial, as utterly unable to bear what He saw his Master enduring. But when he really received the gift of the Holy Spirit, he preached Him whom he had denied; and whom he had been afraid to confess, he had no fear now in openly proclaiming. Already, indeed, had he been sufficiently taught by example to know what was proper to be done; but not yet was he inspired with the power to do what he knew: he had got instruction to stand, but not the strength to keep him from falling. But after this was supplied by the Holy Spirit, he preached Christ even to the death, whom, in his fear of death, he had previously denied. And so the Lord in this succeeding chapter, on which we have now to address you, saith, "These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended." As it is sung in the psalm, "Great peace have they who love Thy law, and nothing shall offend them."(3) Properly enough, therefore, with the promise of the Holy Spirit, by whose operation in their hearts they should be made His witnesses, He added, "These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended." For when the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit given unto us,(4) they have great peace who love God's law, so that nothing may offend them.

2. And then He expressly declares what they were to suffer: "They shall put you out of the synagogues." But what harm was it for the apostles to be expelled from the Jewish synagogues, as if they were not to separate themselves therefrom, although no one expelled them? Doubtless He meant to announce with reprobation, that the Jews would refuse to receive Christ, from whom they as certainly would refuse to withdraw; and so it would come to pass that the latter, who could not exist without Him, would also be cast out along with Him by those who would not have Him as their place of abode. For certainly, as there was no other people of God than that seed of Abraham, they would, had they only acknowledged and received Christ, have remained as the natural branches in the olive tree;(5) nor would the churches of Christ have been different from the synagogues of the Jews, for they would have been one and the same, had they also desired to abide in Him. But having refused, what remained but that, continuing themselves out of Christ, they put out of the synagogues those who would not abandon Christ? For having received the Holy Spirit, and so become His witnesses, they would certainly not belong to the class of whom it is said: "Many of the chief rulers of the Jews believed on Him; but for fear of the Jews they dared not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God."(1) And so they believed on Him, but not in the way He wished them to believe when He said: "How can ye believe, who expect honor one of another, and seek not the honor that cometh from God only?"(2) It is, therefore, with those disciples who so believe in Him, that, filled with the Holy Spirit, or, in other words, with the gift of divine grace, they no longer belong to those who, "ignorant of the righteousness of God, and going about to establish their own, have not submitted themselves to the righteousness of God;"(3) nor to those of whom it is said, "They loved the praise of men more than the praise of God:" that the prophecy harmonizes, which finds its fulfillment in their own case: "They shall walk, O Lord, in the light of Thy countenance: and in Thy name shall they rejoice all the day; and in Thy righteousness shall they be exalted: for Thou art the glory of their strength."(4) Rightly enough is it said to such, "They shall cast you out of the synagogues;" that is, they who "have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge;" because, "ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own,"(5) they expel those who are exalted, not in their own righteousness, but in God's, and have no cause to be ashamed at being expelled by men, since He is the glory of their strength.

3. Finally, to what He had thus told them, He added the words: "But the hour cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service: and these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me." That is to say, they have not known the Father, nor His Son, to whom they think they will be doing service in slaying you. Words which the Lord added in the way of consolation to His own, who should be driven out of the Jewish synagogues. For it is in thus announcing beforehand what evils they would have to endure for their testimony in His behalf, that He said, "They will put you out of the synagogues." Nor does He say, And the hour cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. What then? "But the hour cometh:" just in the way He would have spoken, were He foretelling them of something good that would follow such evils. What, then, does He mean by the words, "They will put you out of the synagogues: but the hour cometh"? As if He would have gone on to say this: They, indeed, will scatter you, but I will gather you; or, They shall, indeed, scatter you, but the hour of your joy cometh. What, then, has the word which He uses, "but the hour cometh," to do here, as if He were going on to promise them comfort after their tribulation, when apparently He ought rather to have said, in the form of continuous narration,(5) And the hour cometh? But He said not, And it cometh, although predicting the approach of one tribulation after another, instead of comfort after tribulation. Could it have been that such a separation from the synagogues would so discompose them, that they would prefer to die, rather than remain in this life apart from the Jewish assemblies? Far surely would those be from such discomposure, who were seeking, not the praise of men, but of God. What, then, of the words, "They will put you out of the synagogues: but the hour cometh;" when apparently He ought rather to have said, And the hour cometh, "that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service"? For it is not even said, But the hour cometh that they shall kill you, as if implying that their comfort for such a separation would be found in the death that would befall them; but "The hour cometh," He says, "that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service." On the whole, I do not think He wished to convey any further meaning than that they might understand and rejoice that they themselves would gain so many to Christ, by being driven out of the Jewish congregations, that it would be found insufficient to expel them, and they would not suffer them to live for fear of all being converted by their preaching to the name of Christ, and so turned away from the observance of Judaism, as if it were the very truth of God. For so ought we to understand the reference of His words to the Jews, when He said of them, "They will put you out of the synagogues." For the witnesses, in other words, the martyrs of Christ, were likewise slain by the Gentiles: they, however, thought not that it was to the true God, but to their own false deities, that they were doing service when they so acted. But every Jew that slew the preachers of Christ reckoned that he was doing God service; believing as he did that all who were converted to Christ were deserting the God of Israel. For it was also by the same reasoning that they were incited to the murder of Christ Himself: because their own words on this subject have also been put on record. "Ye perceive that the whole world is gone after him:(1) "If we let him live, the Romans will come, and take away both our place and nation." And those of Caiaphas: "It is expedient for us that one man should die for the people, and not that the whole nation should perish."(2) And accordingly in this address He sought by His own example to stimulate His disciples, to whom He had just been saying, "If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you;"(3) that as in slaying Him they thought they had done God a service, so also would it be in reference to them.

4. Such, then, is the meaning of these words: "They will put you out of the synagogues;" but have no fear of solitude: inasmuch as, when separated from their assembly, you will assemble so many in my name, that they, in very fear lest the temple, that was with them, and all the sacraments of the old law, should be deserted, will slay you: actually, in thus shedding your blood, full of the notion that they are doing God service. An illustration surely of the apostle's words, "They have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge;"(4) when they imagine that they are doing God service in slaying His servants. Appalling mistake! Is it thus thou wouldst please God by striking down the God-pleaser; and is the living temple of God by thy blows laid level with the ground, that God's temple of stone may not be deserted? Accursed blindness! But it is in part that it has happened to Israel, that the fullness of the Gentiles might come in: in part, I say, and not totally, has it happened. For not all, but only some of the branches have been broken off, that the wild olive might be ingrafted.(5) For just at the time when the disciples of Christ, filled with the Holy Spirit, were speaking in the tongues of all nations, and performing many divine miracles, and scattering divine utterances on every side, Christ, even though slain, was so beloved, that His disciples, when expelled from the congregations of the Jews, gathered into a congregation of their own a vast multitude of those very Jews, and had no fear of being left to solitude.(6) hereupon, accordingly, the others, reprobate and blind, being inflamed with wrath, and having a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge, and believing that they were doing God service, put them to death. But He, who was slain for them, gathered those together; just as He had also, before He was slain, instructed them in what was to happen, lest their minds, left ignorant and unprepared, should be cast into trouble by evils, however transient, that were unexpected and unprovided for; but rather by knowing of them beforehand, and sustaining them with patience, might be led onward to everlasting blessing. For that such was the cause of His making these announcements to them beforehand, is shown also by His words that followed: "But these things have I told you, that, when their time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them." Their hour was an hour of darkness, a midnight hour. But the Lord commanded His loving-kindness in the daytime, and made them sing of it in the night:(7) when the Jewish night threw no confusion of darkness into the day of the Christians, separated as it was from themselves; and when that which could slay the flesh had no power to darken their faith.



1. When the Lord Jesus had foretold His disciples the persecutions they would have to suffer after His departure, He went on to say: "And 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 here the first thing we have to look at is, whether He had not previously foretold them of the sufferings that were to come. And the three other evangelists make it sufficiently clear that He had uttered such predictions prior to the approach of the supper:(1) which was over, according to John, when He spake, and added, "And these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you." Are we, then, to settle such a question in this way, that they, too, tell us that He was near His passion when He said these things? Then it was not when He was with them at the beginning that He so spake, for He was on the very eve of departing, and proceeding to the Father: and so also, even according to these evangelists, it is strictly true what is here said, "And these things I said not unto you at the beginning." But what are we to do with the credibility of the Gospel according to Matthew, who relates that such announcements were made to them by the Lord, not only when He was on the eve of sitting down with His disciples to the passover supper, but also at the beginning, when the twelve apostles are for the first time expressed by name, and sent forth on the work of God?(1) What, then, is the meaning of what He says here, "And these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you;" but that what He says here of the Holy Spirit who was to come to them, and to bear witness, when they should have such ills to endure, this He said not unto them at the beginning, because He was with themselves?

2. The Comforter then, or Advocate (for both form the interpretation of the Greek word, paraclète), had become necessary on Christ's departure: and therefore He had not spoken of Him at the beginning, when He was with them, because His own presence was their comfort; but on the eve of His own departure it behoved Him to speak of His coming, by whom it would be brought about that with love shed abroad in their hearts they would preach the word of God with all boldness; and with Him inwardly bearing witness with them of Christ, they also should bear witness, and feel it to be no cause of stumbling when their Jewish enemies put them out of the synagogues, and slew them, with the thought that they were doing God service; because the charity beareth all things,(2) which was to be shed abroad in their hearts by the gift of the Holy Spirit.(3) In this, therefore, is the whole meaning to be found, that He was to make them His martyrs, that is, His witnesses through the Holy Spirit; so that by His effectual working within them, they would endure the hardships of all kinds of persecution, and, set aglow at that divine fire, lose none of their warmth in the love of preaching. "These things," therefore, He says, i "have I told you, that, when their time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them" (ver. 4). These things, I say, I have told you, not merely because ye shall have to endure such things, but because, when the Comforter is come, He shall bear witness of me, that ye may not keep them back through fear, and by whom ye yourselves shall also be enabled to bear witness. "And these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you," and I myself was your comfort through my bodily presence exhibited to your human senses, and which, as infants, ye were able to comprehend.

3. "But now I go my way to Him that sent me; and none of you," He says, "asketh me, Whither goest Thou?" He means that His departure would be such that none would ask Him of that which they should see taking place in broad daylight before their eyes: for previously to this they had asked Him whither He was going, and had been answered that He was going whither they themselves could not then come.(4) Now, however, He promises that He will go away in such a manner that none of them shall ask Him whither He goes. For a cloud received Him when He ascended up from their side; and of His going into heaven they made no verbal inquiry, but had ocular evidence.(5)

4. "But because I have said these things unto you," He adds, "sorrow hath filled 'your heart." He saw, indeed, what effect these words of His were producing in their hearts; for having not yet within them the spiritual consolation, which they were afterwards to have by the Holy Spirit, what they still saw objectively in Christ they were afraid of losing; and because they could have no doubt they were about to lose Him whose announcements were always true, their human feelings were saddened, because their carnal view of Him was to be left a blank. But He knew what was most expedient for them, because that inward sight, wherewith the Holy Spirit was yet to comfort them, was undoubtedly superior; not by bringing a human body into the bodies of those who saw, but by infusing Himself into the hearts of those who believed. And then He adds, "Nevertheless I tell you the truth, it is expedient for you that I go away. For if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you:" as if He had said, It is expedient for you that this form of a servant be taken away from you; as the Word made indeed flesh I dwell among you; but I would not that ye should continue to love me carnally, and, content with such milk, desire to remain infants always. "It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you." If I withdraw not the tender nutriment wherewith I have nourished you, ye will acquire no keen relish of solid food; if ye adhere in a carnal way to the flesh, ye will not have room for the Spirit. For what is this, "If I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you"? Was it that He could not send Him while located here Himself? Who would venture to say so? Neither was it, that where He was, thence the Other had withdrawn, or that He had so come from the Father as that He did not still abide with the Father. And still further, how could He, even when having His own abode on earth, be unable to send Him, who we know came and remained upon Him at His baptism;(1) yea, more, from whom we know that He was never separable? What does it mean, then, "If I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you;" but that ye cannot receive the Spirit so long as ye continue to know Christ after the flesh? Hence one who had already been made a partaker of the Spirit says, "Though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we [Him] no more."(2) For now even the very flesh of Christ he did not know in a carnal way, when brought to a spiritual knowledge of the Word that had been made flesh. And such, doubtless, did the good Master wish to intimate, when He said, "If I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you."

5. But with Christ's bodily departure, both the Father and the Son, as well as the Holy Spirit, were spiritually present with them. For had Christ departed from them in such a sense that it would be in His place, and not along with Him, that the Holy Spirit would be present in them, what becomes of His promise when He said, "Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the world;"(3) and, I and the Father "will come unto him, and will make Our abode with him;"(4) seeing that He also promised that He would send the Holy Spirit in such a way that He would be with them for ever? In this way it was, on the other hand, that seeing they were yet out of their present carnal or animal condition to become spiritual, with undoubted certainty also were they yet to have in a more comprehensive way both the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. But in no one are we to believe that the Father is present without the Son and the Holy Spirit, or the Father and the Son without the Holy Spirit, or the Son without the Father and the Holy Spirit, or the Holy Spirit without the Father and the Son, or the Father and the Holy Spirit without the Son; but wherever any one of Them is, there also is the Trinity, one God. But here the Trinity had to be suggested in such a way that, although there was no diversity of essence, yet the personal distinction of each one separately should be presented to notice; where those who have a right understanding can never imagine a separation of natures.

6. But that which follows, "And when He is come, He will convince the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, indeed, because they believe not on me; but of righteousness, because I go to the Father, and ye shall see me no more; and of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged" (vers. 8-11); as if it were sin simply not to believe on Christ; and as if it were very righteousness not to see Christ; and as if that were the very judgment, that the prince of this world, that is, the devil, is judged: all this is very obscure, and cannot be included in the present discourse, lest; brevity only increase the obscurity; but must rather be deferred till another occasion for such explanation as the Lord may enable us to give properly to the Jews, and not to the world, did He not say in another place, "If ye were of the world, the world would love his own"? Did He not reprove it of righteousness, when He said, "O righteous Father, the world hath not known Thee"?(2) And did He not reprove it of judgment when He declared that He would say to those on the left hand, "Depart ye into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels"?(3) And many other passages are to be found in the holy evangel, where Christ reproveth the world of these things. Why is it, then, He attributeth this to the Holy Spirit, as if it were His proper prerogative? Is it that, because Christ spake only among the nation of the Jews, He does not appear to have reproved the world, inasmuch as one may be understood to be reproved who actually hears the reprover; while the Holy Spirit, who was in His disciples when scattered throughout the whole world, is to be understood as having reproved not one nation, but the world? For mark what He said to them when about to ascend into heaven: "It is not for you to know the times or the moments, which the Father hath put in His own power. But ye shall receive the power of the Holy Spirit, that cometh upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth."(4) Surely this is to reprove the world. But would any one venture to say that the Holy Spirit reproveth the world through the disciples of Christ, and that Christ Himself doth not, when the apostle exclaims, "Would ye receive a proof of Him that speaketh in me, namely Christ?"(5) And so those, surely, whom the Holy Spirit reproveth, Christ. reproveth likewise. But in my opinion, because there was to be shed abroad in their hearts by the Holy Spirit that love(6) which casteth out the fear,(7) that might have hindered them from venturing to reprove the world which bristled with persecutions, therefore it was that He said, "He shall reprove the world:" as if He would have said, He shall shed abroad love in your hearts, and, having your fear thereby expelled, ye shall have freedom to reprove. We have frequently said, however, that the operations of the Trinity are inseparable;(8) but the Persons needed to be set forth one by one, that not only without separating Them, but also without confounding Them together, we may have a right understanding both of Their Unity and Trinity.

2. He next explains what He has said" of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment." "Of sin indeed," He says, "because they have believed not on me." For this sin, as if it were the only one, He has put before the others; because with the continuance of this one, all others are retained, and in the removal of this, the others are remitted. "But of righteousness," He adds, "because I go to the Father, and ye shall see me no more." And here we have to consider in the first place, if any one is rightly reproved of sin, how he may also be rightly reproved of righteousness. For if a sinner ought to be reproved just because he is a sinner, will any one imagine that a righteous man is also to be reproved because he is righteous? Surely not. For if at any time a righteous man also is reproved, he is rightly reproved on this account, that, according to Scripture, "There is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not." And accordingly, when a righteous man is reproved, he is reproved of sin, and not of righteousness. Since in that divine utterance also, where we read, "Be not made righteous over-much,"(9) there is notice taken, not of the righteousness of the wise man, but of the pride of the presumptuous. The man, therefore, that becomes "righteous over-much," by that very excess becomes unrighteous. For he makes himself righteous over-much who says that he has no sin, or who imagines that he is made righteous, not by the grace of God, but by the sufficiency of his own will: nor is he righteous through living righteously, but is rather self-inflated with the imagination of being what he is not. By what means, then, is the world to be reproved of righteousness, if not by the righteousness of believers? Accordingly, it is convinced of sin, because it believeth not on Christ; and it is convinced of the righteousness of those who do believe. For the very comparison with believers is itself a reproving of unbelievers. And this the exposition itself sufficiently indicates. For in wishing to open up what He has said, He adds, "Of righteousness, because I go to the Father, and ye shall see me no more." He does not say, And they shall see me no more; that is, those of whom He had said, "because they have believed not on me." Of them He spake, when expounding what He denominated sin, in the words, "because they have believed not on me;" but when expounding what He called righteousness, whereof the world is convicted, He turned to those to whom He was speaking, and said, "because I go to the Father, and ye shall see me no more." Wherefore it is of its own sins, but of others' righteousness, that the world is convicted, just as darkness is reproved by the light: "For al things," says the apostle, "that are reproved, are made manifest by the light."(1) For the magnitude of the evil chargeable on those who do not believe, may be made apparent not only by itself, but also by the goodness of those who do believe. And since the cry of unbelievers usually is, How can we believe what we do not see? so the righteousness of unbelievers just required this very definition, "Because I go to the Father, and ye shall see me no more." For blessed are they who see not, and yet do believe.(2) For of those also who saw Christ, the faith in Him that met with commendation was not that they believed what they saw, namely, the Son of man; but that they believed what they did not see, namely, the Son of God. But after His servant-form was itself also withdrawn from their view, then in every respect was the word truly fulfilled, "The just liveth by faith."(3) For "faith," according to the definition in the Epistle to the Hebrews, "is the confidence of those that hope,(4) the conviction of things that are not seen."

3. But how are we to understand, "Ye shall see me no more"? For He saith not, I go to the Father, and ye shall not see me, so as to be understood as referring to the interval of time when He would not be seen, whether short or long, but at all events terminable; but in saying, "Ye shall see me no more," as if a truth announced beforehand that they would never see Christ in all time coming. Is this the righteousness we speak of, never to see Christ, and yet to believe on Him; seeing that the faith whereby the just liveth is commended on the very ground of believing that the Christ whom it seeth not meanwhile, it shall see some day? Once more, in reference to this righteousness, are we to say that the Apostle Paul was not righteous when confessing that He had seen Christ after His ascension into heaven,(5) which was undoubtedly the time of which He had already said, "Ye shall see me no more"? Was Stephen, that hero of surpassing renown, not righteous in the spirit of this righteousness, who, when they were stoning him, exclaimed, "Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God"?(6) What, then, is meant by "I go to the Father, and ye shall see me no more," but just this, As I am while with you now? For at that time He was still mortal in the likeness of sinful flesh.(7) He could suffer hunger and thirst, be wearied, and sleep; and this Christ, that is, Christ in such a condition, they were , no more to see after He had passed from this e world to the Father; and such, also, is the righteousness of faith, whereof the apostle t says, "Though we have known Christ after f the flesh, yet now henceforth know we Him f no more."(8) This, then, He says, will be your . righteousness whereof the world shall be reproved, "because I go to the Father, and ye shall see me no more:" seeing that ye shall believe in me as in one whom ye shall not see; and when ye shall see me as I shall be then, we shall not see me as I am while with you meanwhile; ye shall not see me in my humility, but in my exaltation; nor in my mortality, but in my eternity; nor at the bar, but on the throne of judgment: and by this faith of yours, in other words, your righteousness, the Holy Spirit will reprove an unbelieving world.

4. He will also reprove it "of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged." Who is this, save he of whom He saith in another place, "Behold, the prince of the world cometh, and shall find nothing in me;"(9) that is, nothing within his jurisdiction, nothing belonging to him; in fact, no sin at all? For thereby is the devil the prince of the world. For it is not of the heavens and of the earth, and of all that is in them, that the devil is prince, in the sense in which the world is to be understood, when it is said, "And the world was made by Him;" but the devil is prince of that world, whereof in the same passage He immediately afterwards subjoins the words, "And the world knew Him not;"(10) that is, unbelieving men, wherewith the world through its utmost extent is filled: among whom the believing world groaneth, which He, who made the world, chose out of the world; and of whom He saith Himself, "The Son of man came not to judge the world, but that the world through Him might be saved."(11) He is the judge by whom the world is condemned, the helper whereby the world is saved: for just as a tree is full of foliage and fruit, or a field of chaff and wheat, so is the world full of believers and unbelievers. Therefore the prince of this world, that is, the prince of the darkness thereof, or of unbelievers, out of whose hands that world is rescued, to which it is said, "Ye were at one time darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord:"(12) the prince of this world, of whom He elsewhere saith, "Now is the prince of this world cast out,"(13) is assuredly judged, inasmuch as he is irrevocably destined to the judgment of everlasting fire. And so of this judgment, by which the prince of the world is judged, is the world reproved by the Holy Spirit; for it is judged along with its prince, whom it imitates in its own pride and impiety. "For if God," in the words of the Apostle Peter, "spared not the angels that sinned, but thrust them into prisons of infernal darkness, and gave them up to be reserved for punishment in the judgment,"(1) how is the world otherwise than reproved of this judgment by the Holy Spirit, when it is in the Holy Spirit that the apostle so speaketh? Let men, therefore, believe in Christ, that they be not convicted of the sin of their own unbelief, whereby all sins are retained: let them make their way into the number of believers, that they be not convicted of the righteousness of those, whom, as justified, they fail to imitate: let them beware of that future judgment, that they be not judged with the prince of the world, whom, judged as he is, they continue to imitate. For the unbending pride of mortals can have no thought of being spared itself, as it is thus called to think with terror of the punishment that overtook the pride of angels.


CHAPTER XVI. 12, 13.

1. In this portion of the holy Gospel, where the Lord says to His disciples, "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now," there meets us first this subject of needful inquiry, how it was that He said a little before, "All things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you,"(1) and yet says here, "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now." But how it was that He spake of what He had not yet done as if it were done, just as the prophet testifies that God has made those things which are still to come, when He says, "Who hath made those things which are still to come,"(2) we have already explained as well as we could when dealing with those words themselves. Now, however, you are perhaps wishing to know what those things were which the apostles were then unable to bear. But which of us would venture to assert his own present capacity for what they wanted the ability to receive? And on this account you are neither to expect me to tell you things which perhaps I could not comprehend myself were they told me by another; nor would you be able to bear them, even were I talented enough to let you hear of things that are above your comprehension. It may be, indeed, that some among you are fit enough already to comprehend things which are still beyond the grasp of others; and if not all about which the divine Master said, "I have yet many things to say unto you," yet perhaps some of them: but what they were which He Himself thus omitted to tell them, it would be rash to have even the wish to presume to say. For at that time the apostles were not yet fitted even to die for Christ, when He said to them, "Ye cannot follow me now," and when the very foremost of them, Peter, who had presumptuously declared that he was already able, met with a different experience from what he anticipated:(3) and yet afterwards a countless number both of men and women, boys and girls, youths and maidens, old and young, were crowned with martyrdom; and the sheep were found able for that which, when the Lord spake these words, the shepherds were still unable to bear. Ought, then, those sheep to have been asked, in that extremity of trial, when required to contend for the truth even unto death, and to shed their blood for the name or doctrine of Christ;--ought they, I say, to have been asked, Which of you would venture to account himself ready for martyrdom, for which Peter was still unfitted, even when taught face to face by the Lord Himself? In the same way, therefore, one may say that Christian people, even when desiring to hear, ought not to be told what those things are of which the Lord then said, "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now." If the apostles were still unable, much more so are ye: although it may be that many now can bear what Peter then could not, in the same way as many are able to be crowned with martyrdom which at that time was still beyond the power of Peter, more especially that now the Holy Spirit has been sent, as He was not then, of whom He went on immediately to add the words "Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will teach you all truth," thereby showing of a certainty that they could not bear what He had still to say, because the Holy Spirit had not yet come upon them.

2. Well, then, let us grant that it is so, that many can now bear those things when the Holy Spirit has been sent, which could not then, prior to His coming, be borne by the disciples: do we on that account know what it is that He would not say, as we should know it were we reading or hearing it as uttered by Himself? For it is one thing to know whether we or you could bear it; but quite another to know what it is, whether able to be borne or not. But when He Himself was silent about such things, which of us could say, It is this or that? Or if he venture to say it, how will he prove it? For who could manifest such vanity or recklessness as when saying what he pleased to whom he pleased, even though true, to affirm without any divine authority that it was the very thing which the Lord on that occasion refused to utter? Which of us could do such a thing without incurring the severest charge of rashness,--a thing which gets no countenance from prophetic or apostolic authority? For surely if we had read any such thing in the books confirmed by canonical authority, which were written after our Lord's ascension, it would not have been enough to have read such a statement, had we not also read in the same place that this was actually one of those things which the Lord was then unwilling to tell His disciples, because they were unable to bear them. As if, for example, I were to say that the words which we read at the opening of this Gospel, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God; the same was in the beginning with God:" and those which follow, because they were written afterwards, and yet without any mention of their being uttered by the Lord Jesus when He was here in the flesh, but were written by one of His apostles, to whom they were revealed by His Spirit, were some of those which the Lord would not then utter, because the disciples were unable to bear them; who would listen to me in making so rash a statement? But if in the same passage where we read the one we were also to read the other, who would not give due credence to such an apostle?

3. But it seems to me also very absurd to say that the disciples could not then have borne what we find recorded, about things invisible and of profoundest import, in the apostolic epistles, which were written in after days, and of which there is no mention that the Lord uttered them when His visible presence was with them. For why could they not bear then what is now read in their books, land borne by every one, even though not understood? Some things there are, indeed, in the Holy Scriptures which unbelieving men both have no understanding of when they read or hear them, and cannot bear when they are read or heard: as the pagans, that the world was made by Him who was crucified; as the Jews, that He could be the Son of God, who broke up their mode of observing the Sabbath; as the Sabellians, that the Father, and Son, and Holy Spirit are a Trinity; as the Arians, that the Son is equal to the Father, and the Holy Spirit to the Father and Son; as the Photinians, that Christ is not only man like ourselves, but God also, equal to God the Father; as the Manicheans, that Christ Jesus, by whom we must be saved, condescended to be born in the flesh and of the flesh of man: and all others of divers perverse sects, who can by no means bear whatever is found in the Holy Scriptures and in the Catholic faith that stands out in opposition to their errors, just as we cannot bear their sacrilegious vaporings and mendacious insanities. For what else is it not to be able to bear, but not to retain in our minds with calmness and composure? But what of all that has been written since our Lord's ascension with canonical truth and authority, is it not read and heard with equanimity by every believer, and catechumen also, before in his baptism he receive the Holy Spirit, even although it is not yet understood as it ought to be? How then, could not the disciples bear any of those things which were written after the Lord's ascension, even though the Holy Spirit was not yet sent to them, when now they are all borne by catechumens prior to their reception of the Holy Spirit? For although the sacramental privileges of believers are not exhibited to them, it does not therefore happen that they cannot bear them; but in order that they may be all the more ardently desired by them, they are honorably concealed from their view.

4. Wherefore, beloved, you need not expect to hear from us what the Lord then refrained from telling His disciples, because they were still unable to bear them: but rather seek to grow in the love that is shed abroad in your hearts by the Holy Spirit who is given unto you;(1) that, fervent in spirit, and loving spiritual things, you may be able, not by any sign apparent to your bodily eyes, or any sound striking on your bodily ears, but by the inward eyesight and hearing, to become acquainted with that spiritual light and that spiritual word which carnal men are unable to bear. For that cannot be loved which is altogether unknown. But when what is known, in however small a measure, is also loved, by the self-same love one is led on to a better and fuller knowledge. If, then, you grow in the love which the Holy Spirit spreads abroad in your hearts, "He will teach you all truth;" or, as other codices have it, "He will guide you in all truth:"(2) as it is said, "Lead me in Thy way, O Lord, and I will walk in Thy truth."(3) So shall the result be, that not from outward teachers will you learn those things which the Lord at that time declined to utter, but be all taught of God;(4) so that the very things which you have learned and believed by means of lessons and sermons supplied from without regarding the nature of God, as incorporeal, and unconfined by limits, and yet not rolled out as a mass of matter through infinite space, but everywhere whole and perfect and infinite, without the gleaming of colors, without the tracing of bodily outlines, without any markings of letters or succession of syllables,--your minds themselves may have the power to perceive. Well, now, I have just said something which is perhaps of that same character, and yet you have received it; and you have not only been able to bear it, but have also listened to it with pleasure. But were that inward Teacher, who, while still speaking in an external way to the disciples, said, "I have still many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now," wishing to speak inwardly to us of what I have said of the incorporeal nature of God in the same way as He speaks to the angels, who always behold the face of the Father,s we should still be unable to bear them. Accordingly, when He says, "He will teach you all truth," or "will guide yon into all truth," I do not think the fulfillment is possible in any one's mind in this present life (for who is there, while living in this corruptible and soul-oppressing body,(6) that can know all truth, when even the apostle says, "We know in part "?), but because it is effected by the Holy Spirit, of whom we have now received the earnest,(7) that we shall attain also to the actual fullness of knowledge: whereof iris said by the same apostle, "But then face to face;" and, "Now I know in part, but then shall I know even as also I am known;"(8) not as a thing which he knows fully in this life, but which, as a thing that would still be future on to the attainment of that perfection, the Lord promised us through the love of the Spirit, when He said, "He will teach you all truth,"' or "will guide you unto all truth."

5. As these things are so, beloved, I warn you in the love of Christ to beware of impure seducers and sects of obscene filthiness, whereof the apostle says, "But it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret:(9) lest, when they begin to teach their horrible impurities, which no human ear whatever can bear, they declare them to be the very things whereof the Lord said, "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now;" and assert that it is the Holy Spirit's agency that makes such impure and detestable things possible to be borne. The evil things which no human modesty whatever can endure are of one kind, and of quite another are the good things which man's little understanding is unable to bear: the former are wrought in unchaste bodies, the latter are beyond the reach of all bodies; the one is perpetrated in the filthiness of the flesh, the other is scarcely perceivable by the pure mind. "Be ye therefore renewed in the spirit of your mind,"(10) and "understand what is the will of God, which is good, and acceptable, and perfect;"(11) that, "rooted and grounded in love, ye may be able to comprehend, with all saints, what is the length, and breadth, and height, and depth, even to know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge, that ye may be filled with all the fullness of God."(12) For in such a way will the Holy Spirit teach you all truth, when He shall shed abroad that love ever more and more largely in your hearts.


CHAPTER XVI. 12, 13 (continued).

1. The Holy Spirit, whom the Lord promised to send to His disciples, to teach them all the truth which, at the time He was speaking to them, they were unable to bear: of the which Holy Spirit, as the apostle says, we have now received "the earnest,"(1) an expression whereby we are to understand that His fullness is reserved for us till another life: that Holy Spirit, therefore, teacheth believers also in the present life, as far as they can severally apprehend what is spiritual; and enkindles a growing desire in their breasts, according as each one makes progress in that love, which will lead him both to love what he knows already, and to long after what still remains to be known: so that those very things which he has some notion of at present, he may know that he is still ignorant of, as they are yet to be known in that life which eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man hath perceived.(2) But were the inner Master wishing at present to say those things in such a way of knowing, that is, to unfold and make them patent to our mind, our human weakness would be unable to bear them. Whereof you remember, beloved, that I have already spoken, when we were occupied with the words of the holy Gospel, where the Lord says, "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now." Not that in these words of the Lord we should be suspecting an over-fastidious concealment of no one knows what secrets, which might be uttered by the Teacher, but could not be borne by the learner, but those very things which in connection with religious doctrine we read and write, hear and speak of, as within the knowledge of such and such persons, were Christ willing to utter to us in the self-same way as He speaks of them to the holy angels, in His own Person as the only-begotten Word of the Father, and co-eternal with Him, where are the human beings that could bear them, even were they already spiritual, as the apostles still were not when the Lord so spoke to them, and as they afterwards became when the Holy Spirit descended? For, of course, whatever may be known of the creature, is less than the Creator Himself, who is the supreme and true and unchangeable God. And yet who keeps silence about Him? Where is His name not found in the mouths of readers, disputants, inquirers, respondents, adorers, singers, all sorts of haranguers, and lastly even of blasphemers themselves? And although no one keeps silence about Him, who is there that apprehends Him as He is to be understood, although He is never out of the mouths and the hearing of men? Who is there, whose keenness of mind can even get near Him? Who is there that would have known Him as the Trinity, had not He Himself desired so to become known? And what man is there that now holds his tongue about that Trinity; and yet what man is there that has any such idea of it as the angels? The very things, therefore, that are incessantly being uttered off-hand and openly about the eternity, the truth, the holiness of God, are understood well by some, and badly by others: nay rather, are understood by some, and not understood at all by others. For he that understands in a bad way, does not understand at all. And in the case even of those by whom they are understood in a right sense, by some they are perceived with less, by others with greater mental vividness, and by none on earth are apprehended as they are by the angels. In the very mind, therefore, that is to say, in the inner man, there is a kind of growth, not only in order to the transition from milk to solid food, but also to the taking of food itself in still larger and larger measure. But such growth is not in the way of a space-covering mass of matter, but in that of an illuminated understanding; because that food is itself the light of the understanding. In order, then, to your growth and apprehension of God, and in order that your apprehension may keep full pace with your ever-advancing growth, you ought to be addressing your prayer, and turning your hope, not to the teacher whose voice only reaches your ears, that is, who plants and waters only by outside labor, but to Him who giveth the increase.(3)

2. Accordingly, as I have admonished you in my last sermon, take heed, those of you specially who are still children and have need of a milk diet, of turning a curious ear to men, who have found occasion for self-deception and the deceiving of others in the words of the Lord, "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now," in order to the discovery of that which is unknown, while you still have minds that are incompetent to discriminate between the true and the false; and most especially on account of the obscene lewdnesses which Satan has instilled, by God's permission, into unstable and carnal souls, for this end, that His judgments may everywhere be objects of terror, and that pure discipline may best manifest its sweetness in contrast with the impurities of wickedness; and that honor may be given to Him, and fear and modesty of demeanor assumed by every one, who has either been kept from falling into such evils by His kingly power, or been raised out of them by His uplifting hand. Beware, with fear and prayer, of rushing into that mystery of Solomon's, where "the woman that is foolish and brazen-faced, and become destitute of bread," invites the passers-by with the words, "Come and make a pleasant feast on hidden bread, and the sweetness of stolen waters."(1) For the woman thus spoken of is the vanity of the impious, who, utterly senseless as they are, fancy that they know something, just as was said of that woman, that she had "become destitute of bread;" who, though destitute of a single loaf, promises loaves; in other words, though ignorant of the truth, she promises the knowledge of the truth. But it is bread of a hidden character she promises, and which she declares is partaken of with pleasure, as well as the sweetness of stolen waters; in order that what is publicly forbidden to be uttered or believed in the Church, may be listened to and acted upon with willingness and relish. For by such secrecy profane teachers give a kind of seasoning to their poisons for the curious, that thereby they may imagine that they learn something great, because counted worthy of holding a secret, and may imbibe the more sweetly the folly which they regard as wisdom, the hearing of which, as a thing prohibited, they are represented as stealing.

3. Hence the system of magical arts commends its nefarious rites to those who are deceived, or ready to be so, by a sacrilegious curiosity. Hence, also, those unlawful divinations by the inspection of the entrails of slain animals, or of the cries and flights of birds, or of multiform demoniacal signs, are distilled by converse with abandoned wretches into the ears of persons who are on the brink of destruction. And it is because of these unlawful and punishable secrets that the woman mentioned above is styled not merely "foolish," but also "audacious." But such things are alien not only to the reality, but to the very name of our religion. And what shall we say of this foolish and brazen-faced woman seasoning, as she does, so many wicked heresies, and serving up so many detestable fables with Christian forms of expression? Would that they were only such as are found in theatres, whether as the subjects of song or dancing, or turned into ridicule by a mimicking buffoonery; and not, some of them, such as makes us grieve at the foolishness, while wondering at the audacity that could have contrived them, against God! And yet all these utterly senseless heretics, who wish to be styled Christians, attempt to color the audacities of their devices, which are perfectly ahorrent to every human feeling, with the chance presented to them of that gospel sentence uttered by the Lord, "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now:" as if these were the very things which the apostles could not then bear, and as if the Holy Spirit had taught them what the unclean spirit, with all the length he can carry his audacity, blushes to teach and to preach in broad daylight.

4. It is such whom the apostle foresaw through the Holy Spirit, when he said: "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables."(2) For that mentioning of secrecy and theft, whereof it is said, "Partake with pleasure of hidden bread and the sweetness of stolen waters," creates an itching in those who listen with ears that are lusting after spiritual fornication, just as by a kind of itching also of desire in the flesh the soundness of chastity is corrupted. Hear, therefore, how the apostle foresaw such things, and gave salutary admonition about avoiding them, when be said, "Shun profane novelties of words; for they increase unto much ungodliness, and their speech insinuates itself as cloth a cancer."(3) He did not say novelties of words merely; but added, "profane." For there are also novelties of words in perfect harmony with religious doctrine, as is told us in Scripture of the very name of Christians, when it began to be used. For it was in Antioch that the disciples were first called Christians after the Lord's ascension, as we read in the Acts of the Apostles:(1) and certain houses were afterwards called by the new names of hospices(2) and monasteries; but the things themselves existed prior to their names, and are confirmed by religious truth, which also forms their defense against the wicked. In opposition also to the impiety of Arian heretics, they coined the new term, Patris Homousios;(3) but there was nothing new signified by such a name; for what is called Homousios is just this: "I and my Father are one,"(4) to wit, of one and the same substance. For if every novelty were profane, as little should we have it said by the Lord, "A new commandment I give unto. you;"(5) nor would the Testament be called New, nor the new song be sung throughout the whole earth. But there is profanity in the novelties of words, when it is said by "the foolish and audacious woman, Come and enjoy the tasting of hidden bread, and the sweetness of stolen waters." From such enticing words of false science the apostle also gives his prohibitory warning, in the passage where he says, "O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane novelties of expression, and oppositions of science falsely so called; which some professing, have erred concerning the faith."(6) For there is nothing that these men so love as to profess science, and to deride as utter silliness faith in those verities which the young are enjoined to believe.

5. But some one will say, Have spiritual men nothing in the matter of doctrine, which they are to say nothing about to the carnal, but to speak out upon to the spiritual ? If I shall answer, They have not, I shall be immediately met with the words of the Apostle Paul in his Epistle to the Corinthians: "I could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal. As unto babes in Christ I have given you milk to drink, and not meat to eat: for hitherto ye were not able; neither yet now are ye able; for ye are yet carnal;"(7) and with these, "We speak wisdom among them that are perfect;" and with these also, "Comparing spiritual things with spiritual: but the natural man perceiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him."(8) The meaning of all this, in order that these words of the apostle may no longer lead to the hankering after secrets through the profane novelties of verbiage, and that what ought always to be shunned by the spirit and body of the chaste may not be asserted as only unable to be borne by the carnal, we shall, with the Lord's permission, make the subject of dissertation in another discourse, so that for the time we may bring the present to a close.


CHAPTER XVI. 12, 33 (continuea).

1. From the words of our Lord, where He says, "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now," there arose a difficult question, which I recollect to have put off, that it might be handled afterwards at greater leisure, because my last discourse had reached its proper limits, and required to be brought to a close. And now, accordingly, as we have time to redeem our promise, let us take up its discussion as the Lord Himself shall grant us ability, who put it into our heart to make the proposal. And the question is this: Whether spiritual men have aught in doctrine which they should withhold from the carnal, but declare to the spiritual. For if we shall say, They have not, we shall meet with the reply, What, then, is to be made of the words of the apostle in writing to the Corinthians: "I could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal. As unto babes in Christ, I have given you milk to drink, and not meat to eat: for hitherto ye were not able; neither yet now are ye able; for ye are yet carnal?"(1) But if we say, They have, we have cause to fear and take heed, lest under such a pretext detestable doctrines be taught in secret, and under the name of spiritual, as things which cannot be understood by the carnal, may seem not only capable of being whitewashed by plausible excuses, but deserving also to be lauded in preaching.

2. In the first place, then, your Charity ought to know that it is Christ Himself as crucified, wherewith the apostle says that he has fed those who are babes as with milk; but His flesh itself, in which was witnessed His real death, that is, both His real wounds when transfixed and His blood when pierced, does not present itself to the minds of the carnal in the same manner as to that of the spiritual, and so to the former it is milk, and to the latter it is meat; for if they do not hear more than others, they understand better. For the mind has not equal powers of perception even for that which is equally received by both in faith. And so it happens that the preaching of Christ crucified, by the apostle, was at once to the Jews a stumbling-block, and to the Gentiles foolishness; and to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, the power of God, and the wisdom of God;"(1) but to the carnal, as babes who held it only as a matter of faith, and to the spiritual, as those of greater capacity, who perceived it as a matter of understanding; to the former, therefore, as a milk-draught, to the latter as solid food: not that the former knew it in one way out in the world at large, and the latter in another way in their secret chambers; but that what both heard in the same measure when it was publicly spoken, each apprehended in his own measure. For inasmuch as Christ was crucified for the very purpose of shedding His blood for the remission of sins, and of divine grace being thereby commended in the passion of His Only-begotten, that no one should glory in man, what understanding had they of Christ crucified who were still saying, "I am of Paul"?(2) Was it such as Paul himself had, who could say, "But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ"?(3) In regard, therefore, even to Christ crucified, he himself found food in proportion to his own capacity, and nourished them with milk in accordance with their infirmity. And still further, knowing that what he wrote to the Corinthians might doubtless be understood in one way by those who were still babes, and differently by those of greater capacity, he said, "If any one among you is a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandment of the Lord; but if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant."(4) Assuredly he would have the knowledge of the spiritual to be substantial, wherever not only faith had found a suitable abode, but a certain power of understanding was possessed; and whereby such believed those very things which as spiritual they likewise acknowledged. But "let him be ignorant," he says, who "is ignorant;" because it was not yet revealed to him to know that which he believes. When this takes place in a man's mind, he is said to be known of God; for it is God who endows him with this power of understanding, as it is elsewhere said, "But now, knowing God, or rather, being known of God."(5) For it was not then that God first knew those who were foreknown and chosen before the foundation of the world;(6) but then it was that He made them to know Himself.

3. Having ascertained this, therefore, at the outset, that the very things, which are equally heard by the spiritual and the carnal, are received by each according to the slender measure of his own capacity,--by some as babes, by others as those of riper years,--by one as milk nourishment, by another as solid food,--there seems no necessity for any matters of doctrine being retained in silence as secrets, and concealed from infant believers, as things to be spoken of apart to those who are older, or possessed of a riper understanding; and let us regard it as needful to act thus, just because of the words of the apostle, "I could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal." For even this very statement of his, that he knew nothing among them but Jesus Christ and Him crucified,(7) he could not speak unto them as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal; because even that they were not able to receive as spiritual. But all who were spiritual among them received with spiritual understanding the very same truths which the others only heard as carnal; and in this way may we understand the words, "I could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal," as if he said, What I did speak, ye could not receive as spiritual, but as carnal. For "the natural man"--that is, the man whose wisdom is of a mere human kind, and is called natural [literally, soulish] from the soul, and carnal from the flesh, because the complete man consists of soul and flesh--"perceiveth not the things of the Spirit of God;"(8) that is, the measure of grace bestowed on believers by the cross of Christ, and thinks that all that is effected by that cross is to provide us with an example for our imitation in contending even to death for the truth. For if men of this type, who have no desire to be aught else than men, knew how it is that Christ crucified is "made of God unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption, that, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord."(1) they would doubtless no longer glory in man, nor say in a carnal spirit, "I am of Paul, and I of Apollos, and I of Cephas;" but in a spiritual way, "I am of Christ."(2)

4. But the question is still further raised by what we read in the Epistle to the Hebrews: "When now for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need again to be taught which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk hath no experience in the word of righteousness; for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are perfect, even those who by habit have their senses exercised to distinguish good from evil."(3) For here we see, as if clearly defined, what he calIs the strong meat of the perfect; and which is the same as that which he writes to the Corinthans, "We speak wisdom among them that are perfect." (4) But who it was that he wished in this passage to be understood as perfect, he proceeded to indicate in the words, "Even those who by habit have their senses exercised to distinguish good from evil." Those, therefore, who, through a weak and undisciplined mind, are destitute of this power, wi11 certainly, unless enabled by what may be called the milk of faith to believe both the invisible things which they see not, and the comprehensible things which they do not yet comprehend, be easily seduced by the promise of science to vain and sacrilegious fables: so as to think both of good and evil only under corporeal forms, and to have no idea of God Himself save as some sort of body, and be able only to view evil as a substance; while there is rather a kind of falling away from the immutable Substance in the case of all mutable substances, which were made out of nothing by the immutable and supreme substance itself, which is God. And assuredly whoever not only believes, but also through the exercised inner senses of his mind understands, and perceives, and knows this, there is no longer cause for fear that he will be seduced by those who, while accounting evil to be a substance uncreated by God, make God Himself a mutable substance, as is done by the Manicheans, or any other pests, if such there be, that fall into similar foily.

5. But to those who are still babes in mind, and who as carnal, the apostle says, require to be nourished with milk, all discoursing on such a subject, wherein we deal not only with the believing, but also with the understanding and the knowing of what is spoken, must be burdensome, as being still unable to perceive such things, and be more fitted to oppress than to feed them. Whence it comes to pass that the spiritual, while not altogether silent on such subjects to the carnal, because of the Catholic faith which is to be preached to all, yet do not so handle them as, in their wish to simplify them to understandings that are still deficient in capacity, to bring their discourse on the truth into disrepute, rather than the truth that is in their discourse within the perceptions of their hearers. Accordingly in his Epistle to the Colossians he says: "And though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and that which is lacking(5) in your faith in Christ."(6) And in that to the Thessalonians: "Night and day," he says, "praying more abundantly, that we might see your face, and might perfect that which is lacking in your faith."(7) Here we are, of course, to understand those who were under such primary catechetical instruction, as implied their nourishment with milk and not with strong meat; of the former of which there is mention made in the Epistle to the Hebrews of an abundant supply for such as nevertheless he would now have had to be feeding on solid food. Accordingly he says: "Therefore leaving the word of the beginning of Christ, let us have regard to the completion; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of the baptismal font, and of the laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment." (8) This is the copious supply of milk, without which even they cannot live, who have already indeed their reason sufficiently in use to enable them to believe, but who cannot distinguish good from evil, so as to be not only a matter of faith, but also of understanding (which belongs to the department of solid food). But when he includes doctrine also in his description of the milk, it is that which has been delivered to us in the Creed and the Lord's Prayer.

6. But let us be far from supposing that there is any contrariety between this milk and the food of spiritual things that has to be received by the sound understanding, and which was wanting to the Colossians and Thessalonians, and had still to be supplied. For the supply of the deficiency implies no disapproval of that which existed. For even in the very food that we take, so far is there from being any contrariety between milk and solid food, that the latter itself becomes milk, in order to make it suitable to babes, whom it reaches through the medium of the mother's or the nurse's body; so did also mother Wisdom herself, who is solid food in the lofty sphere of angels, condescend in a manner to become milk for babes, when the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us.(1) But the man Christ Himself, who in His true flesh, true cross, true death, and true resurrection is called the pure milk of babes, is, when rightly understood by the spiritual. found to be the Lord of angels. Accordingly, babes are not to be so fed with milk as always to remain without understanding the Godhead of Christ; nor are they to be so withdrawn from milk as to turn their backs on His manhood. And the same thing may also be stated in another way in this manner: they are neither so to be fed with milk as never to understand Christ as Creator, nor so to be withdrawn from milk as ever to turn their backs on Christ as Mediator In this respect, indeed, the similitude of maternal milk and solid food scarcely harmonizes with the reality as thus stated, but rather that of a foundation: for when the child is weaned, so as to be withdrawn from the nourishment of infancy, he never looks again amongst solid food for the breasts which he sucked; but Christ crucified is both milk to sucklings and meat to the more advanced. And the similitude of a foundation is on this account the more suitable, because, for the Completion of the structure, the building is added without the foundation being withdrawn.

7. And since this is the case, do you, whoever you be, who are doubtless many of you still babes in Christ, be making advances towards the solid food of the mind, not of the belly. Grow in the ability to distinguish good from evil, and cleave more and more to the Mediator, who delivers you from evil; which does not admit of a local separation from you, but rather of being healed within you. But whoever shall say to you, Believe not Christ to be truly man, or that the body of any man or animal whatever was created by the true God, or that the Old Testament was given by the true God, and anything else of the same sort, for such things as these were not told you previously, when your nourishment was milk, because your heart was still unfit for the apprehension of the truth: such an one provides you not with meat, but with poison. For therefore it was that the blessed apostle, in addressing those who appeared to him already perfect, even after calling himself imperfect, said, "Let us, therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in anything ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you." And that they might not rush into the hands of seducers, whose desire would be to turn them away from the faith by promising them the knowledge of the truth, and suppose such to be the meaning of the apostle's words, "God shall reveal even this unto you," he forthwith added, "Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule."(2) If, then, thou hast come to some understanding of what is not at variance with the rule of the Catholic faith, whereto thou hast attained as the way that is guiding thee to thy fatherland; and hast so understood it as to feel it a duty to dismiss all doubts whatever on the subject: add to the building, but do not abandon the foundation. And surely of such a character ought to be any teaching given by eiders to those who are babes, as not to involve the assertion that Christ the Lord of all, and the prophets and apostles, who are much farther advanced in age than themselves, had in any respect spoken falsely. And not only ought you to avoid the babbling seducers of the mind, who prate away at their fables and falsehoods, and in such vanities make the promise, forsooth, of profound science contrary to the rule of faith, which we have accepted as Catholic; but avoid those also as a still more insidious pest than the others, who discuss truthfully enough the immutability of the divine nature, or the incorporeal creature, or the Creator, and fully prove what they affirm by the most conclusive documents and reasonings, and yet attempt to turn you away from the one Mediator between God and men. For such are those of whom the apostle says, "Because that, when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God."(3) For what advantage is it to have a true understanding of the immutable Good to one who has no hold of Him by whom there is deliverance from evil? And let not the admonition of the most blessed apostle by any means lose its place in your hearts: "If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed."(4) He does not say, More than ye have received; but, 'Other than ye have received." For had he said the former, he would be prejudging himself, inasmuch as he desired to come to the Thessalonians to supply what was lacking in their faith. But one who supplies, adds to what was deficient, without taking away what existed: while he that transgresses the rule of faith, is not progressing in the way, but turning aside from it.

8. Accordingly, when the Lord says, "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now," He means that what they were still ignorant of had afterwards to be supplied to them, and not that what they had already learned was to be subverted. And He, indeed, as I have already shown in a former discourse, could so speak, because the very things which He had taught them, had He wished to unfold them to them in the same way as they are conceived in regard to Him by the angels, their still remaining human weakness would be unable to bear. But any spiritual man may teach another man what he knows, provided the Holy Spirit grant him an enlarged capacity for profiling, wherein also the teacher himself may get some further increase, in order that both may be taught of God.(1) Although even among the spiritual themselves there are some, doubtless, who are of greater capacity and in a better condition than others; so that one of them attained even to things of which it is not lawful for a man to speak. Taking advantage of which, there have been some vain individuals, who, with a presumption that betrays the grossest folly, have forged a Revelation of Paul, crammed with all manner of fables, which has been rejected by the orthodox Church; affirming it to be that whereof he had said that he was caught up into the third heavens, and there heard unspeakable words "which it is not lawful for a man to utter."(2) Nevertheless, the audacity of such might be tolerable, had he said that he heard words which it is not as yet lawful for a man to utter; but when he said, "which it is not lawful for a man to utter," who are they that dare to utter them with such impudence and non-success? But with these words I shall now bring this discourse to a close; whereby I would have you to be wise indeed in that which is good, but untainted by that which is evil.



1. What IS this that the Lord said of the Holy Spirit, when promising that He would come and teach His disciples all truth, or, guide them into all truth: "For He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak"? For this is similar to what He said of Himself, "I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge."(1) But when expounding that, we said that it might be taken as referring to His human nature;(2) so that He seemed as the Son to announce beforehand that His own obedience, whereby He became obedient even unto the death of the cross,(3) would have its place also in the judgment, when He shall judge the quick and the dead; for He shall do so for the very reason that He is the Son of man. Wherefore He said, "The Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son;" for in the judgment He will appear, not in the form of God, wherein He is equal to the Father, and cannot be seen by the wicked, but in the form of man, in which He was made even a little lower than the angels; although then He will come in glory, and not in His original humility, yet in a way that will be conspicuous both to the good and to the bad. Hence He says further: "And He hath given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of man."(4) In these words of His own it is made clear that it is not that form that will be presented in the judgment, wherein He was when He thought it not robbery to be equal with God; but that which He assumed when He made Himself of no reputation.(5) For He emptied Himself in assuming the form of a servant;(6) in which, also, for the purpose of executing judgment, He seems to have commended His obedience, when He said, "I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge." For Adam, by whose disobedience, as that of one man, many were made sinners, did not judge as he heard; for he prevaricated what he heard, and of his own self did the evil that he did; for he did not the will of God, but his own: while this latter, by whose obedience, as that also of one man, many are made righteous,(1) was not only obedient even unto the death of the cross, in respect of which He was judged as alive from the dead; but promised also that He would be showing obedience in the very judgment itself, wherein He is yet to act as judge of the quick and the dead, when He said, "I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge." But when it is said of the Holy Spirit, "For He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak," shall we dare to harbor the notion that it was so said in reference to any human nature of His, or the assumption of any creature-form? For it was the Son alone in the Trinity who assumed the form of a servant, a form which in His case was fitted into the unity of His person, or, in other words, that the one person, Jesus Christ, should be the Son of God and the Son of man; and so that we should be kept from preaching a quaternity instead of the Trinity, which God forbid that we should do. And it is on account of this one personality as consisting of two substances, the divine and the human, that He sometimes speaks in accordance with that wherein He is God, as when He says, "I and my Father are one;"(2) and sometimes in accordance with His manhood, as in the words, "For the Father is greater than I;"(3) in accordance with which also we have understood those words of His that are at present under discussion, "I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge." But in reference to the person of the Holy Spirit, a considerable difficulty arises how we are to understand the words, "For He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak;" since in it there exists not one substance of Godhead and another of humanity, or of any other creature whatsoever.

2. For the fact that the Holy Spirit appeared in bodily form, as a dove,(4) was a sight begun and ended at the time: just as also, when He descended upon the disciples, there were seen upon them cloven tongues as of fire, which also sat upon every one of them.(5) Any one, therefore, who says that the dove was connected with the Holy Spirit in the unity of His person, as that it and Godhead (for the Holy Spirit is God) should go to constitute the one person of the Holy Spirit, is compelled also to affirm the same thing of that fire; and so may understand that he ought to assert neither. For those things in regard to the substance of God, which needed at any time to be represented in some outward way, and so exhibited themselves to men's bodily senses, and then passed away, were formed for the moment by divine power from the subservient creation, and not from the dominant nature itself; which, ever abiding the same, excites into action whatever it pleases; and, itself unchangeable, changes all things else at its pleasure. In the same way also did that voice from the cloud actually strike upon the bodily ears, and on that bodily sense which is called the hearing;(6) and yet in no way are we to believe that the Word of God, which is the only-begotten Son, is defined, because He is called the Word, by syllables and sounds: for when a sermon is in course of delivery, all the sounds cannot be pronounced simultaneously; but the various individual sounds come, as it were, in their own order to the birth, and succeed those which are dying away, so that all that we have to say is completed only by the last syllable. Very different from this, surely, is the way in which the Father speaketh to the Son, that is to say, God to God, His Word. But this, so far as it can be understood by man, is a matter for the understanding of those who are fitted for the reception of solid food, and not of milk. Since, therefore, the Holy Spirit became not man by any assumption of humanity, and became not an angel by any assumption of angelic nature, and as little entered into the creature-state by the assumption of any creature-form whatever, how, in regard to Him, are we to understand those words of our Lord, "For He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak"? A difficult question; yea, too difficult. May the Spirit Himself be present, that, at least up to the measure of our power of thinking on such a subject, we may be able to express our thoughts, and that these, according to the little measure of my ability, may find entrance into your understanding.

3. You ought, then, to be informed in the first place, and, those of you who can, to understand, and the others, who cannot as yet understand, to believe, that in that substantial essence, which is God, the senses are not, as if through some material structure of a body, distributed in their appropriate places; as, in the mortal flesh of all animals there is in one place sight, in another hearing, in another taste, in another smelling, and over the whole the sense of touch. Far be it from us to believe so in the case of that incorporeal and immutable nature. In it, therefore, hearing and seeing are one and the same thing. In this way smelling also is said to exist in God; as the apostle says, "As Christ also hath loved us, and hath given Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savor."(1) And taste may be included, in accordance with which God hateth the bitter in temper, and spueth out of His mouth those who are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot:(2) and Christ our God(3) saith, "My meat is to do the will of Him that sent me.."(4) There is also that divine sense of touch, in accordance with Which the spouse saith of the bridegroom: "His left hand is under my head, and his right hand shall embrace me."(5) But these are not in God's case in different parts of the body. For when He is said to know, all are included: both seeing, and hearing, and smelling, and tasting, and touching; without any alteration of His substance, and without the existence of any material element which is greater in one place and smaller in another: and when there are any such thoughts of God in those even who are old in years, they are the thoughts only of a childish mind.

4. Nor need you wonder that the ineffable knowledge of God, whereby He is cognizant of all things, is, because of the various modes of human speech designated by the names of all those bodily senses; since even our own mind, in other words, the inner man,--to which, while itself exercising its knowing faculty in one uniform way, the different subjects of its knowledge are communicated by those five messengers, as it were, of the body, when it understands, chooses, and loves the unchangeable truth,--is said both to see the light, whereof it is said, "That was the true light;" and to hear the word, whereof it is said, "In the beginning was the Word;"(6) and to be susceptible of smell, of which it is said, "We will run after the smell of thy ointments;"(7) and to drink of the fountain, whereof it is said, "With Thee is the fountain of life;"(8) and to enjoy the sense of touch, when it is said, "But it is good for me to cleave unto God;"(9) in all of which it is not different things, but the one intelligence, that is expressed by the names of so many senses. When, therefore, it is said of the Holy Spirit, "For He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak," so much the more is a simple nature, which is simple [uncompounded] in the truest sense, to be either understood or believed, which in its extent and sublimity far surpasses the nature of our minds. For there is mutability in our mind, which comes by learning to the perception of what it was previously ignorant of, and loses by unlearning what it formerly knew; and is deceived by what has a similarity to truth, so as to approve of the false in place of the true, and is hindered by its own obscurity as by a kind of darkness from arriving at the truth. And so that substance is not in the truest sense simple, to which being is not identical with knowing; for it can exist without the possession of knowledge. But it cannot be so with that divine substance, for it is what it has. And on this account it has not knowledge in any such way as that the knowledge whereby it knows should be to it one thing, and the essence whereby it exists another; but both are one. Nor ought that to be called both, which is simply one. "As the Father hath life in Himself," and He Himself is not something different from the life that is in Him; "so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself,"(10) that is, hath begotten the Son, that He also should Himself be the life. Accordingly we ought to accept what is said of the Holy Spirit, "For he shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak," in such a way as to understand thereby that He is not of Himself. Because it is the Father only who is not of another. For the Son is born of the Father, and the Holy Spirit proceedeth from the Father; but the Father is neither born of, nor proceedeth from, another. And yet surely there should not on that account occur to human thought any idea of disparity in the supreme Trinity; for both the Son is equal to Him of whom He is born, and the Holy Spirit to Him from whom He proceedeth. But what difference there is in such a case between proceeding and being born, would be too lengthy to make the subject of inquiry and dissertation, and would make our definition liable to the charge of rashness, even after we had discussed it; for such a thing is of the utmost difficulty, both for the mind to comprehend in any adequate way, and even were it so that the mind has attained to any such comprehension, for the tongue to explain, however able the one that presides as a teacher, or he that is present as a hearer. Accordingly, "He shall not speak of Himself;" because He is not of Himself. "But whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak:" He shall hear of Him from whom He proceedeth. To Him hearing is knowing; but knowing is being, as has been discussed above. Because, then, He is not of Himself, but of Him from whom He proceedeth, and of whom He has essence, of Him He has knowledge; from Him, therefore, He has hearing, which is nothing else than knowledge.

5. And be not disturbed by the fact that the verb is put in the future tense. For it is not said, whatsoever He hath heard, or, whatsoever He heareth; but, "whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak." For such hearing is everlasting, because the knowing is everlasting. But in the case of what is eternal, without beginning and without end, in whatever tense the verb is put, whether in the past, or present, or future, there is no falsehood thereby implied. For although to that immutable and ineffable nature, there is no proper application of Was and Will be, but only Is: for that nature alone is in truth, because incapable of change; and to it therefore was it exclusively suited to say, "I Am That I Am," and "Thou shall say unto the children of Israel, He Who Is hath sent me unto you:"(1) yet on account of the changeableness of the times amid which our mortal and changeable life is spent, there is nothing false in our saying, both it was, and will be, and is. It was in past, it is in present, it will be in future ages. It was, because it never was wanting; it will be, because it will never be wanting; it is, because it always is. For it has not, like one who no longer survives, died with the past; nor, like one who abideth not, is it gliding away with the present; nor, as one who had no previous existence, will it rise up with the future. Accordingly, as our human manner of speaking varies with the revolutions of time, He, who through all times was not, is not, and will not by any possibility be found wanting, may correctly be spoken of in any tense whatever of a verb.t The Holy Spirit, therefore, is always hearing, t because He always knows: ergo, He both knew, and knows, and will know; and in the same way He both heard, and hears, and will hear; for, as we have already said, to Him hearing is one with knowing, and knowing with Him is one with being. From Him, therefore, He heard, and hears, and will hear, of whom He is; and of Him He is, from whom He proceeds.

6. Some one may here inquire whether the Holy Spirit proceedeth also from the Son. For the Son is Son of the Father alone, and the Father is Father of the Son alone; but the Holy Spirit is not the Spirit of one of them, but of both. You have the Lord Himself saying, "For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father that speaketh in you;"(2) and you have the apostle, "God hath sent forth the spirit of His Son into your hearts."(3) Are there, then, two, the one of the Father, the other of the Son? Certainly not. For there is "one body," he said, when referring to the Church; and presently added, "and one Spirit." And mark how he there makes up the Trinity. "As ye are called," he says, "in one hope of your calling.'' "One Lord," where he certainly meant Christ to be understood; but it remained that he should also name the Father: and accordingly there follows, "One faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all."(4) And since, then, just as there is one Father, and one Lord, namely, the Son, so also there is one Spirit; He is doubtless of both: especially as Christ Jesus Himself saith, "The Spirit of your Father that dwelleth in you;" and the apostle declares, "God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts." You have the same apostle saying in another place, "But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you," where he certainly intended the Spirit of the Father to be understood; of whom, however, he says in another place, "But if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His."(5) And many other testimonies there are, which plainly show that He, who in the Trinity is styled the Holy Spirit, is the Spirit both of the Father and of the Son.

7. And for no other reason, I suppose, is He called in a peculiar way the Spirit; since though asked concerning each person in His turn, we cannot but admit that the Father and the Son are each of them a Spirit; for God is a Spirit,(6) that is, God is not carnal, but spiritual. By the name, therefore, which they each also hold in common, it was requisite that He should be distinctly called, who is not the one nor the other of them, but in whom what is common to both becomes apparent. Why, then, should we not believe that the Holy Spirit proceedeth also from the Son, seeing that He is likewise the Spirit of the Son? For did He not so proceed, He could not, when showing Himself to His disciples after the resurrection, have breathed sport them, and said, "Receive ye the Holy Spirit."(7) For what else was signified by such a breathing upon them, but that from Him also the Holy Spirit proceedeth? And of the same character also are His words regarding the woman that suffered from the bloody flux: "Some one hath touched me; for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me."(1) For that the Holy Spirit is also designated by the name of virtue, is both clear from the passage where the angel, in reply to Mary's question, "How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?" said, "The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power [virtue] of the highest shall overshadow thee;"(2) and our Lord Himself when giving His disciples the promise of the Spirit, said, "But tarry ye in the city, until ye be endued with power [virtue] from on high;"(3) and on another occasion, "Ye shall receive the power [virtue] of the Holy Ghost coming upon you, and ye shall be witnesses unto me."(4) It is of this virtue that we are to believe, that the evangelist says, "Virtue went out of Him, and healed them all."(5)

8. If, then, the Holy Spirit proceedeth both from the Father and from the Son, why said the Son, "He proceedeth from the Father"?(6) Why, do you think, but just because it is to Him He is wont to attribute even that which is His own, of whom He Himself also is? Hence we have Him saying, "My doctrine is not mine, but His that sent me."(7) If, therefore, in such a passage we are to understand that as His doctrine, which nevertheless He declared not to be His own, but the Father's, how much more in that other passage are we to understand the Holy Spirit as proceeding from Himself, where His words, "He proceedeth from the Father," were uttered so as not to imply, He proceedeth not from me? But from Him, of whom the Son has it that He is God (for He is God of God), He certainly has it that from Him also the Holy Spirit proceedeth: and in this way the Holy Spirit has it of the Father Himself, that He should also proceed from the Son, even as He proceedeth from the Father.

9. In connection with this, we come also to some understanding of the further point, that is, so far as it can be understood by such beings as ourselves, why the Holy Spirit is not said to be born, but to proceed: since, if He also were called by the name of Son, He could not avoid being called the Son of both, which is utterly absurd. For no one is a son of two, unless of a father and mother. But it would be utterly abhorrent to entertain the suspicion of any such intervention between God the Father and God the Son. For not even a son of human parents proceedeth at the same time from father and from mother: but at the time that he proceedeth from the father into the mother, it is not then that he proceedeth from the mother; and when he cometh forth from the mother into the light of day, it is not then that he proceedeth from the father. But the Holy Spirit proceedeth not from the Father into the Son, and then proceedeth from the Son to the work of the creature's sanctification; but He proceedeth at the same time from both: although this the Father hath given unto the Son, that He should proceed from Him also, even as He proceedeth from Himself. And as little can we say that the Holy Spirit is not the life, seeing that the Father is the life, and the Son is the life. And in the same way as the Father, who hath life in Himself, hath given to the Son also to have life in Himself; so hath He also given that life should proceed from Him, even as it also proceedeth from Himself.(8) But we come now to the words of our Lord that follow, when He saith: "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: therefore, said I, that He shall take of mine, and shall show it unto you." But as the present discourse has already been protracted to some length, they must be left over for another.


CHAPTER XVI. 13-15 (continued).

1. WHEN our Lord gave the promise of the coming of His Holy Spirit, He said, "He shall teach you all truth," or, as we read in some copies, "He shall guide you into all truth. For He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak." On these Gospel words we have already discoursed as the Lord enabled us; and now give your attention to those that follow. "And He will show you," He said, "things to come." Over this, which is perfectly plain, there is no need to linger; for it contains no question that demands from us any regular exposition. But the words that He proceeds to add, "He shall make me clearly known;(1) for He shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you," are not to be carelessly passed over. For by the words, "He shall make me clearly known," we may understand, that by shedding abroad [God's] love in the hearts of believers, and making them spiritual, He showed them how it was that the Son was equal to the Father, whom previously they had only known according to the flesh, and as men themselves had thought of Him only as man. Or at least that, filled themselves through that very love with boldness, and divested of all fear, they might proclaim Christ unto men; and so His fame be spread abroad through the whole world. So that He said, "He shall make me clearly known," as if meaning, He shall free you from fear, and endow you with a love that will so inflame your zeal in preaching me, that you will send forth the odor, and commend the honor of, my glory throughout the world. For what they were to do in the Holy Spirit, He said that the Spirit Himself would also do, as is implied in the words, "For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father that speaketh in you."(2) The Greek word, indeed, which is <greek>doxaQei</greek>, has been rendered by the Latin interpreters in their respective translations, clarificabit ("shall make clearly known") by one, and glorificabit ("shall glorify") by another: for the idea expressed in Greek by the one term <greek>doxa</greek>, from which is derived the verb <greek>doxaQei</greek>, may be interpreted both by claritas (brightness) and gloria (glory). For by glory every one becomes bright, and glorious by brightness; and hence what is signified by both words, is one and the same thing. And, as the most famous writers of the Latin tongue in olden time have defined it, glory is the generally diffused and accepted fame of any one accompanied with praise. But when this happened in the world in regard to Christ, we are not to suppose that it was the bestowing of any great thing on Christ, but on the world. For to praise what is good is not of benefit to that which receives, but to those who give the commendation.

2. But there is also a false glory, when the praise given is the result of a mistake, whether in regard to things or to persons, or to both. For men are mistaken in regard to things, when they think that to be good which is evil; and in regard to persons, when they think one to be good who is evil; and in regard to both, when what is actually a vice is esteemed a virtue; and when he who is praised for something is destitute of what he is supposed to have, whether he be good or evil. To credit vain-glorious persons(3) with the things they profess, is surely a huge vice, and not a virtue; and yet you know how common is the laudatory fame of such; for, as Scripture says, "The sinner is praised in the desires of his soul, and he who practises iniquity is blessed."(4) Here those who praise are not mistaken in the persons, but in the things; for that is evil which they believe to be good. But those who are morally corrupted with the evil of prodigality are undoubtedly such as those who praise them do not simply suspect, but perceive them to be. But further, if one feign himself a just man, and be not so, but, as regards all that he seems to do in a praiseworthy way in the sight of men, does it not for God's sake, that is, for the sake of true righteousness, but makes glory from men the only glory he seeks and hankers after; while those with whom his extolled fame is generally accepted think of him only as living in a praiseworthy way for God's sake,--they are not mistaken in the thing, but are deceived in the person. For that which they believe to be good, is good; but the person whom they believe to be good, is the reverse. But if, for example, skill in magical arts be esteemed good, and any one, so long as he is believed to have delivered his country by those same arts whereof all the while he is utterly ignorant, attain amongst the irreligious to that generally accepted renown which is defined as glory, those who so praise err in both respects; to wit, both in the thing, for they esteem that good which is evil; and in the person, for he is not at all what they suppose him. But when, in regard to any one who is righteous by God's grace and for God's sake, in other words, truly righteous, there is on account of that very righteousness a generally accepted fame of a laudatory kind, then the glory is indeed a true one; and yet we are not to suppose that thereby the righteous man is made blessed, but rather those who praise him are to be congratulated, because they judge rightly, and love the righteous. And how much more, then, did Christ the Lord, by His own glory, benefit, not Himself, but those whom He also benefited by His death?

3. But that is not a true glory which He has among heretics, with whom, nevertheless, He appears to have a generally accepted fame accompanied with praise. Such is no true glory, because in both respects they are mistaken, for they both think that to be good which is not good, and they suppose Christ to be what Christ is not. For to say that the only-begotten Son is not equal to Him that begat, is not good: to say that the only-begotten Son of God is man only, and not God, is not good: to say that the flesh of the Truth is not true flesh, is not good. Of the three doctrines which I have stated, the first is held by the Arians, the second by the Photinians, and the third by the Manicheans. But inasmuch as there is nothing in any of them that is good, and Christ has nothing to do with them, in both respects they are in the wrong; and they attach no true glory to Christ, although there may appear to be amongst them a generally accepted fame regarding Christ of a laudatory character. And accordingly all heretics together, whom it would be too tedious to enumerate, who have not right views regarding Christ, err on this account, that their views are untrue regarding both good things and evil. The pagans, also, of whom great numbers are lauders of Christ, are themselves also mistaken in both respects, saying, as they do, not in accordance with the truth of God, but rather with their own conjectures, that He was a magician. For they reproach Christians as being destitute of skill; but Christ they laud as a magician, and so betray what it is that they love: Christ indeed they do not love, since what they love is that which Christ never was. And thus, then, in both respects they are in error, for it is wicked to be a magician; and as Christ was good, He was not a magician. Wherefore, as we have nothing to say in this place of those who malign and blaspheme Christ,--for it is of His glory we speak, wherewith He was glorified in the world,--it was only in the holy Catholic Church that the Holy Spirit glorified Him with His true glory. For elsewhere, that is, either among heretics or certain pagans, the glory He has in the world cannot be a true one, even where there is a generally accepted fame of Him accompanied with praise. His true glory, therefore, in the Catholic Church is celebrated in these words by the prophet: "Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens; and Thy glory above all the earth."(1) Accordingly, that after His exaltation the Holy Spirit was to come, and to glorify Him, the sacred psalm, and the Only-begotten Himself, promised as an event of the future, which we see accomplished.

4. But when He says, "He shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you," listen thereto with Catholic ears, and receive it with Catholic minds. For not surely on that account, as certain heretics have imagined, is the Holy Spirit inferior to the Son; as if the Son received from the Father, and the Holy Spirit from the Son, in reference to certain gradations of natures. Far be it from us to believe this, or to say it, and from Christian hearts to think it. In fine, He Himself straightway solved the question, and explained why He said so. "All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore, said I, that He shall take of mine, and shall show it unto you." What would you more? The Holy Spirit thus receives of the Father, of whom the Son receives; for in this Trinity the Son is born of the Father, and from the Father the Holy Spirit proceedeth. He, however, who is born of none, and proceedeth from none, is the Father alone. But in what sense it is that the only-begotten Son said, "All things that the Father hath are mine" (for it certainly was not in the same sense as when it was said to that son, who was not only begotten, but the eider of two, "Thou art ever with me; and all that I have is thine),"(2) will have our careful consideration, if the Lord so will, in connection with the passage where the Only-begotten saith to the Father, "And all mine are Thine, and Thine are mine;"(1) so that our present discourse may be here brought to a close, as the words that follow require a different opening for their discussion.

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