1 Corinthians 4
Homilies of Chrysostom
Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.
Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.
But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man's judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self.
But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man's judgment: yea I judge not mine own self. For I know nothing against myself, yet am I not hereby justified: but He that judgeth me is the Lord.

Together with all other ills, I know not how, there hath come upon man's nature the disease of restless prying and of unseasonable curiosity, which Christ Himself chastised, saying, (St. Matthew 7:1.) "Judge not, that ye be not judged." A kind of thing, which hath no pleasure as all other sins have, but only punishment and vengeance. For though we are ourselves full of ten thousand evils, and bearing the "beams" in our own eyes, we become exact inquisitors of the offences of our neighbor which are not at all bigger than "motes." And so this matter at Corinth was falling out. Religious men and dear to God were ridiculed and cast out for their want of learning; while others, brimful of evils innumerable, were classed highly because of their fluent speech. Then like persons sitting in public to try causes, these were the sort of votes they kept rashly passing: "such an one is worthy: such an one is better than such another; this man is inferior to that; that, better than this." And, leaving off to mourn for their own bad ways, they were become judges of others; and in this way again were kindling grievous warfare.

Mark then, how wisely Paul corrects them, doing away with this disease. For since he had said, "Moreover, it is required in stewards that a man be found faithful," and it seemed as if he were giving them an opening to judge and pry into each man's life, and this was aggravating the party feeling; lest such should be the effect on them, he draws them away from that kind of petty disputation, saying, "With me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you;" again in his own person carrying on the discourse.

[2.] But what means, "With me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you or of man's day?" (hemeras) "I judge myself unworthy," saith he, "of being judged by you." And why say I, "by you?" I will add, "by (kai to [tou]) any one else." Howbeit, let no one condemn Paul of arrogance; though he saith that no man is worthy to pass sentence concerning him. For first, he saith these things not for his own sake, but wishing to rescue others from the odium which they had incurred from the Corinthians. And in the next place, he limits not the matter to the Corinthians merely, but himself also he deposes from this right of judging; saying, that to decree such things was a matter beyond his decision. At least he adds, "I judge not mine own self."

But besides what has been said, we must search out the ground upon which these expressions were uttered. For he knew well in many cases how to speak with high spirit: and that, not of pride or arrogance, but of a certain excellent management [oikonomias aristes] seeing that in the present case also he saith this, not as lifting up himself, but as taking down other men's sails, and earnestly seeking to invest the saints with due honor. For in proof that he was one of the very humble, hear what he saith, bringing forward the testimony of his enemies on this point; "His bodily presence is weak, and his speech of no account; (2 Corinthians 10:10.) and again, "Last of all, as to one born out of due time, He appeared unto me also." (2 Corinthians 15:8.) But notwithstanding, see this lowly man, when the time called on him, to what a pitch he raises the spirit of the disciples, not teaching pride but instilling a wholesome courage. For with these same discoursing he saith, "And if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? 1 Corinthians 6:2. For as the Christian ought to be far removed from arrogance, so also from flattery and a mean spirit. Thus, if any one says, "I count money as nothing, but all things here are to me as a shadow, and a dream, and child's play;" we are not at all to charge him as arrogant; since in this way we shall have to accuse Solomon himself of arrogance, for speaking austerely (philosophounta) on these things, saying "Vanity of vanities (Ecclesiastes 1:2.) all is vanity." But God forbid that we should call the strict rule of life by the name of arrogance. Wherefore to despise these things is not haughtiness, but greatness of soul; albeit we see kings, and rulers, and potentates, making much of them. But many a poor man, leading a strict life despises them; and we are not therefore to call him arrogant but highminded: just as, on the other hand, if any be extremely addicted to them, we do not call him lowly of heart and moderate, but weak, and poor spirited, and ignoble. For so, should a son despise the pursuits which become his father and affect slavish ways, we should not commend him as lowly of heart, but as base and servile we should reproach him. What we should admire in him would be, his despising those meaner things and making much account of what came to him from his father. For this is arrogance, to think one's self better than one's fellow-servants: but to pass the true sentence on things cometh not of boasting, but of strictness of life.

On this account Paul also, not to exalt himself, but to humble others, and to keep down those who were rising up out of their places, and to persuade them to be modest, said, "With me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you or of man's day." Observe how he soothes the other party also. For whosoever is told that he looks down on all alike, and deigns not to be judged of any one, will not thenceforth any more feel pain, as though himself were the only one excluded. For if he had said, "Of you," only, and so held his peace; this were enough to gall them as if treated contemptuously. But now, by introducing, "nor yet of man's day," he brought alleviation to the blow; giving them partners in the contempt. Nay, he even softens this point again, saying, "not even do I judge myself." Mark the expression, how entirely free from arrogance: in that not even he himself, he saith, is capable of so great exactness.

[3.] Then because this saying also seemed to be that of one extolling himself greatly, this too he corrects, saying, "Yet am I not hereby justified." What then? Ought we not to judge ourselves and our own misdeeds? Yes surely: there is great need to do this when we sin. But Paul said not this, "For I know nothing," saith he, "against myself." What misdeed then was he to judge, when he "knew nothing against himself?" Yet, saith he, "he was not justified." (1 Corinthians 6:3.) We then who have our conscience filled with ten thousand wounds, and are conscious to ourselves of nothing good, but quite the contrary; what can we say?

And how could it be, if he knew nothing against himself that he was not justified? Because it was possible for him to have committed certain sins, not however, knowing that they were sins. From this make thine estimate how great shall be the strictness of the future judgment. It is not, you see, as considering himself unblameable that he saith it is so unmeet for him to be judged by them, but to stop the mouths of those who were doing so unreasonably. At least in another place, even though men's sins be notorious, he permits not judgment unto others, because the occasion required it. "For why dost thou judge thy brother," saith he, (Romans 14:10.) or, "thou, why dost thou set at nought thy brother?" For thou wert not enjoined, O man, to judge others, but to test thine own doings. Why then dost thou seize upon the office of the Lord? Judgment is His, not thine.

To which effect, he adds, "Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come; who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and make manifest the counsels of the hearts, and then shall each man have his praise from God." What then? Is it not right that our teachers should do this? It is right in the case of open and confessed sins, and that with fitting opportunity, and even then with pain and inward vexation: not as these were acting at that time, of vain-glory and arrogance. For neither in this instance is he speaking of those sins which all own to be such, but about preferring one before another, and making comparisons of modes of life. For these things He alone knows how to judge with accuracy, who is to judge our secret doings, which of these be worthy of greater and which of less punishment and honor. But we do all this according to what meets our eye. "For if in mine own errors," saith he, "I know nothing clearly, how can I be worthy to pass sentence on other men? And how shall I who know not my own case with accuracy, be able to judge the state of others?" Now if Paul felt this, much more we. For (to proceed) he spake these things, not to exhibit himself as faultless, but to shew that even should there be among them some such person, free from transgression, not even he would be worthy to judge the lives of others: and that if he, though conscious to himself of nothing declare himself guilty, much more they who have ten thousand sins to be conscious of in themselves.

[4.] Having thus, you see, stopped the mouths of those who pass such sentences, he travails next with strong feeling ready to break out and come upon the unclean person. And like as when a storm is coming on, some clouds fraught with darkness run before it; afterwards, when the crash of the thunders ariseth and works the whole heavens into one black cloud, then all at once the rain bursts down upon the earth: so also did it then happen. For though he might in deep indignation have dealt with the fornicator, he doth not so; but with fearful words he first represses the swelling pride of the man, since in truth, what had occurred was a twofold sin, fornication, and, that which is worse than fornication, the not grieving over the sin committed. For not so much does he bewail the sin, as him that committed it and did not as yet repent. Thus, "I shall bewail many of those," saith he, not simply "who have sinned heretofore," but he adds, "who have not repented of the uncleanness and impurity which they wrought." (2 Corinthians 12:21.) For he who after sinning hath practised repentance, is a worthy object not of grief but of gratulations, having passed over into the choir of the righteous. For, (Isaiah 43:26.) "declare thou thine iniquities first, that thou mayest be justified:" but if after sinning one is void of shame, he is not so much to be pitied for falling as for lying where he is fallen.

Now if it be a grievous fault not to repent after sins; to be puffed up because of sins, what sort of punishment doth it deserve? For if he who is elate for his good deeds is unclean, what pardon shall he meet with who has that feeling with regard to his sins?

Since then the fornicator was of this sort, and had rendered his mind so headstrong and unyielding through his sin, he of course begins by casting down his pride. And he neither puts the charge first, for fear of making him hardened, as singled out for accusation before the rest; nor yet later, lest he should suppose that what related to him was but incidental. But, having first excited great alarm in him by his plain speaking towards others, then, and not till then, he goes on to him, in the course of his rebuke to others giving the man's wilfulness a share beforehand.

For these same words, viz. "I know nothing against myself, yet am I not hereby justified," and this, "He that judgeth me is the Lord, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and make manifest the counsels of the hearts," glance not lightly both upon that person, and upon such as act in concert with him and despise the saints. "For what," saith he, "if any outwardly appear to be virtuous and admirable persons? He, the Judge, is not a discerner of externals only, but also brings to light all secrets."

[5.] On two accounts you see, or rather on three, correct judgement belongs not to us. One, because, though we be conscious to ourselves of nothing, still we need one to reprove our sins with strictness. Another, because the most part of the things which are done escape us and are concealed. And for a third besides these, because many things which are done by others seem to us indeed fair, but they come not of a right mind. Why say ye then, that no sin hath been committed by this or that person? That such an one is better than such another? Seeing that this we are not to pronounce, not even concerning him who knows nothing against himself. For He who discerns secrets, He it is who with certainty judges. Behold, for example; I for my part know nothing against myself: yet neither so am I justified, that is, I am not quit of accounts to be given, nor of charges to be answered. For he doth not say this, "I rank not among the righteous;" but "I am not pure from sin." For elsewhere he saith also, (Romans 6:7, dedikaiotai, toutestin apellaktai.) "He that hath died is justified from sin," that is, "is liberated."

Again, many things we do, good indeed, but not of a right mind. For so we commend many, not from a wish to render them conspicuous, but to wound others by means of them. And the thing done indeed is right for the well-doer is praised; but the intention is corrupt: for it is done of a satanical purpose. For this one hath often done, not rejoicing with his brother, but desiring to wound the other party.

Again, a man hath committed a great error; some other person, wishing to supplant him, says that he hath done nothing, and comforts him forsooth in his error by recurring to the common frailty of nature. But oftentimes he doth this from no mind to sympathize, but to make him more easy in his faults.

Again, a man rebukes oftentimes not so much to reprove and admonish, as publicly to (ekpompeusai kai ektragodesai) display and exaggerate his neighbor's sin. Our counsels however themselves men do not know; but, (Romans 8:27.) "He that searcheth the hearts," knows them perfectly; and He will bring all such things into view at that time. Wherefore he saith, "Who will bring to light the secret things of darkness and make manifest the counsels of the hearts."

[6.] Seeing then that not even where we "know nothing against ourselves," can we be clean from accusations, and where we do any thing good, but do it not of a right mind, we are liable to punishment; consider how vastly men are deceived in their judgments. For all these matters are not be come at by men, but by the unsleeping Eye alone: and though we may deceive men, our sophistry will never avail against Him. Say not then, darkness is around me and walls; who seeth me? For He who by Himself formed our hearts, Himself knoweth all things. (Psalm 139:12.) "For darkness is no darkness with Him." And yet he who is committing sin, well saith, "Darkness is around me and walls;" for were there not a darkness in his mind he would not have cast out the fear of God and acted as he pleased. For unless the ruling principle be first darkened, the entrance of sin without fear is a thing impossible. Say not then, who seeth me? For there is that (Hebrews 4:12.) "pierceth even unto soul and spirit, joints and marrow;" but thou seest not thyself nor canst thou pierce the cloud; but as if thou hadst a wall on all sides surrounding thee, thou art without power to look up unto the heaven.

For whatsoever sin thou wilt, first let us examine, and thou shalt see that so it is engendered. For as robbers and they who dig through walls when they desire to carry off any valuable thing, put out the candle and then do their work; so also doth men's perverse reasoning in the case of those who are committing sin. Since in us also surely there is a light, the light of reason, ever burning. But if the spirit of wickedness coming eagerly on with its strong blast quench that flame, it straightway darkens the soul and prevails against it, and despoils it straightway of all that is laid up therein. For when by unclean desire the soul is made captive, even as a cloud and mist the eyes of the body, so that desire intercepts the foresight of the mind, and suffers it to see nothing at any distance, either precipice, or hell, or fear; but thenceforth, having that deceit as a tyrant over him, he comes to be easily vanquished by sin; and there is raised up before his eyes as it were a wall without windows, which suffers not the ray of righteousness to shine in upon the mind, the absurd conceits of lust enclosing it as with a rampart on all sides. And from that time forward the unchaste woman is everywhere meeting him: standing present before his eyes, before his mind, before his thoughts. And as the blind, although they stand at high noon beneath the very central point of the heaven, receive not the light, their eyes being fast closed up; just so these also, though ten thousand doctrines of salvation sound in their ears from all quarters, having their soul preoccupied with this passion stop their ears against such discourses. And they know it well who have made the trial. But God forbid that you should know it from actual experience.

[7.] And not only this sin hath these effects, but every misplaced affection as well. For let us transfer, if you please, the argument from the unchaste woman unto money, and we shall see here also thick and unbroken darkness. For in the former case, inasmuch as the beloved object is one and shut up in one place, the feeling is not so violent; but in the case of money which sheweth itself every where, in silversmiths' shops, in taverns, in foundries for gold, in the houses of the wealthy, the passion blows a vehement gale. For when servants swaggering in the market place, horses with golden trappings, men decked with costly garments, are seen with desire by him who has that distemper, the darkness becomes intense which envelopes him. And why speak of houses and silversmiths' shops? for my part I think that such persons, though it be but in a picture and image that they see the wealth, are convulsed, and grow wild, and rave. So that from all quarters the darkness gathers around them. And if they chance to behold a portraiture of a King, they admire not the beauty of the precious stones, nor yet the gold, nor the purple robe, but they pine away. And as the wretched lover before mentioned, though he see but the image of the woman beloved, cleaveth unto the lifeless thing; so this man also, beholding a lifeless image of wealth, is more strongly affected in the same way, as being holden of a more tyrannical passion. And he must henceforth either abide at home, or if he venture into the Forum, return home with innumerable hurts. For many are the objects which grieve his eyes. And just as the former seeth nothing else save the woman, even so the latter hastens by poor persons, and all things else, that he may not obtain so much as a slight alleviation. But upon the wealthy he steadily fixeth his eyes; by the sight of them introducing the fire into his own soul mightily and vehemently. For it is a fire that miserably devours the person that falls into it; and if no hell were threatened nor yet punishment, this condition were itself punishment; to be continually tormented and never able to find an end to the malady.

[8.] Well: these things alone might suffice to recommend our fleeing from this distemper. But there is no greater evil than inconsideration which causes men to be rivetted unto things that bring sorrow of heart and no advantage. Wherefore I exhort that you cut off the passion at its beginning: for just as a fever on its first attack, does not violently burn up the patients with thirst, but on its increase and the heightening of its fire causes from that time incurable thirst; and though one should let them fill themselves full of drink, it puts not out the furnace but makes it burn fiercer: so also it happens in regard to this passion; unless when it first invadeth our soul we stop it and shut the doors; having got in, from that time it makes the disease of those who have admitted it incurable. For so both good things and bad, the longer they abide in us, the more powerful they become.

And in all other things too, any one may see that this cometh to pass. For so a plant but lately set in the ground is easily pulled up; but no more so when rooted for a long time; it then requires great strength in the lever. And a building newly put together is easily thrown down by those who push against it; but once well fixed, it gives great trouble to those who attempt to pull it down. And a wild beast that hath made his accustomed haunt in certain places for a long time is with difficulty driven away.

Those therefore who are not yet possessed by the passion in question, I exhort not to be taken captive. For it is more easy to guard against falling into it, than having fallen to get away.

[9.] But unto those who are seized by it and broken down, if they will consent to put themselves into the hands of the Word of healing, I promise large hope of salvation, by the Grace of God. For if they will consider those who have suffered and fallen into that distemper and have recovered, they will have good hopes respecting the removal of the disease. Who then ever fell into this disease, and was easily rid of it? That well-known Zacch?us. For who could be more fond of money than a publican? But all at once he became a man of strict life, (Philosophos) and put out all that blaze. Matthew in like manner: for he too was a publican, living in continual rapine. But he likewise all at once stripped himself of the mischief, and quenched his thirst, and followed after spiritual gain. Considering therefore these, and the like to them, despair not even thou. For if thou wilt, quickly thou shalt be able to recover. And if you please, according to the rule of physicians, we will prescribe accurately what thou shouldest do.

It is necessary then, before all other things, to be right in this, that we never despond, nor despair of our salvation. Next, we must look not only upon the examples of those who have done well, but also upon the sufferings of those who have persisted in sin. For as we have considered Zacch?us, and Matthew, even so ought we also to take account of Judas, and Gehazi, and Ahar, [perhaps Achan, Joshua 7. and Ahab, and Ananias, and Sapphira, in order that by the one, we may cast out all despair, and by the other cut off all indolence; and that the soul become not reckless of the remedies suggested. And let us teach them of themselves to say what the Jews said on that day, approaching unto Peter, (Acts 2:37, cf. xvi. 30.) "What must we do to be saved?" And let them hear what they must do.

[10.] What then must we do? We must know how worthless the things in question are, and that wealth is a run-away slave, and heartless, and encompasseth its possessors with ills innumerable. And such words, like charms, let us sound in their ears continually. And as physicians soothe their patients when they ask for cold water, by saying that they will give it, making excuses about the spring, and the vessel, and the fit time, and many more such, (for should they refuse at once, they make them wild with phrensy,) so let us also act towards the lovers of money. When they say we desire to be rich, let us not say immediately that wealth is an evil thing; but let us assent, and say that we also desire it; but in due time; yea, true wealth; yea, that which hath undying pleasure: yea, that which is gathered for thyself, and not for others, and those often our enemies. And let us produce the lessons of true wisdom, and say, we forbid not riches, but ill-gotten riches. For it is lawful to be rich, but without covetousness, without rapine and violence, and an ill report from all men. With these arguments let us first smooth them down, and not as yet discourse of hell. For the sick man endures not yet such sayings. Wherefore let us go to this world for all our arguments upon these matters; and say, "Why is it thy choice to be rich through covetousness? That the gold and the silver may be laid up for others, but for thee, curses and accusations innumerable? That he whom you have defrauded may be stung by want of the very necessaries of life, and bewail himself, and draw down upon thee the censure of thousands; and may go at fall of evening about the market place, encountering every one in the alleys, and in utter perplexity, and not knowing what to trust to even for that one night? For how is he to sleep after all, with pangs of the belly, restless famine besetting him, and that often while it is freezing, and the rain coming down on him? And while thou, having washed, returnest home from the bath, in a glow with soft raiment, merry of heart and rejoicing, and hastening unto a banquet prepared and costly: he, driven every where about the market place by cold and hunger, takes his round, stooping low and stretching out his hands; nor hath he even spirit without trembling to make his suit for his necessary food to one so full fed and so bent on taking his ease; nay, often he has to retire with insult. When therefore thou hast returned home, when thou liest down on thy couch, when the lights round thine house shine bright, when the table is prepared and plentiful, at that time call to rememberance that poor miserable man wandering about, like the dogs in the alleys, in darkness and in mire; except indeed when, as is often the case, he has to depart thence, not unto house, nor wife, nor bed, but unto a pallet of straw; even as we see the dogs baying all through the night. And thou, if thou seest but a little drop falling from the roof, throwest the whole house into confusion, calling thy slaves and disturbing every thing: while he, laid in rags, and straw, and dirt, has to bear all the cold.

What wild beast would not be softened by these things? Who is there so savage and inhuman that these things should not make him mild? and yet there are some who are arrived at such a pitch of cruelty as even to say that they deserve what they suffer. Yea, when they ought to pity, and weep, and help to alleviate men's calamities, they on the contrary visit them with savage and inhuman censures. Of these I should be glad to ask, Tell me, why do they deserve what they suffer? Is it because they would be fed and not starve?

No, you will reply; but because they would be fed in idleness. And thou, dost not thou wanton in idleness? What say I? Art thou not oft-times toiling in an occupation more grievous than any idleness, grasping, and oppressing, and coveting? Better were it if thou too wert idle after this sort; for it is better to be idle in this way, than to be covetous. But now thou even tramplest on the calamities of others, not only idling, not only pursuing an occupation worse than idleness, but also maligning those who spend their days in misery.

And let us farther narrate to them the disasters of others; the untimely bereavements, the dwellers in prison, those who are torn to pieces before tribunals, those who are trembling for life; the unlooked for widowhood of women; the sudden reverse of the rich: and with this let us soften their minds. For by our narrations concerning others, we shall induce them by all means to fear these evils in their own case too. For when they hear that the son of such an one who was a covetous and grasping man, or (e tou deinos instead of en; tou deinos) the wife of such an one who did many tyrannical actions, after the death of her husband endured afflictions without end; the injured persons setting upon the wife and the children, and a general war being raised from all quarters against his house; although a man be the most senseless of beings, yet expecting himself also to suffer the same, and fearing for his own lest they undergo the same fate, he will become more moderate. Now we find life full of many such histories, and we shall not be at a loss for correctives of this kind.

But when we speak these things, let us not speak them as giving advice or counsel, lest our discourse become too irksome: but as in the order of the narrative and by association with something else, let us proceed in each case unto that kind of conversation, and let us be constantly putting them upon stories of the kind, permitting them to speak of no subject except these which follow: How such an one's splendid and famous mansion fell down; How it is so entirely desolate that all things that were in it have come into the hands of others; How many trials have taken place daily about this same property, what a stir; How many of that man's relations (oiketai, probably oikeioi) have died either beggars, or inhabitants of a prison.

All these things let us speak as in pity for the deceased, and as depreciating things present; in order that by fear and by pity we may soften the cruel mind. And when we see men shrinking into themselves at these narrations, then and not till then let us introduce to their notice also the doctrine of hell, not as terrifying these, but in compassion for others. And let us say, But why speak of things present? For far, indeed, will our concern be from ending with these; a yet more grievous punishment will await all such persons: even a river of fire, and a poisonous worm, and darkness interminable, and undying tortures. If with such addresses we succeed in throwing a spell over them, we shall correct both ourselves and them, and quickly get the better of our infirmity.

And on that day we shall have God to praise us: as also Paul saith, "And then shall each man have praise from God." For that which cometh from men, is both fleeting, and sometimes it proceeds from no good intentions. But that which cometh from God both abideth continually, and shines out clearly. For when He who knew all things before their creation, and who is free from all passion, gives praise, then also the demonstration of our virtue is even unquestionable.

Knowing these things therefore, let us act so as to be praised of God, and to acquire the greatest blessings; which God grant us all to obtain, through the grace and loving-kindness of our Lord Jesus Christ, with Whom to the Father and the Holy Spirit be glory, power, honor, now and always, and unto all the ages of eternity. Amen.

For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord.
Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.
And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another.
Now these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and Apollos for your sakes; that in us ye might learn not to think of men above that which is written. [58]

So long as there was need of expressions as harsh as these, he refrained from drawing up the curtain, and went on arguing as if he were himself the person to whom they were addressed; in order that the dignity of the persons censured tending to counteract the censurers, no room might be left for flying out in wrath at the charges. But when the time came for a gentler process, then he strips it off, and removes the mask, and shows the persons concealed by the appellation of Paul and Apollos. And on this account he said, "These things, brethren, I have transferred in a figure unto myself and Apollos."

And as in the case of the sick, when the child being out of health kicks and turns away from the food offered by the physicians, the attendants call the father or the tutor, and bid them take the food from the physician's hands and bring it, so that out of fear towards them he may take it and be quiet: so also Paul, intending to censure them about certain other persons, of whom some, he thought, were injured, others honored above measure, did not set down the persons themselves, but conducted the argument in his own name and that of Apollos, in order that reverencing these they might receive his mode of cure. But that once received, he presently makes known in whose behalf he was so expressing himself.

Now this was not hypocrisy, but condescension (sunkatabasis) and tact (oikonomia). For if he had said openly, "As for you, the men whom ye are judging are saints, and worthy of all admiration;" they might have taken it ill and (kan apepedesan) started back. But now in saying, "But to me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you:" and again, "Who is Paul, and who is Apollos?" he rendered his speech easy of reception.

This, if you mark it, is the reason why he says here, "These things have I transferred in a figure unto myself for your sakes, that in us ye may learn not to be wise above what is written," signifying that if he had applied his argument in their persons, they would not have learnt all that they needed to learn, nor would have admitted the correction, being vexed at what was said. But as it was, revering Paul, they bore the rebuke well.

[2.] But what is the meaning of, "not to be wise above what is written?" It is written, (St. Matthew 7:3.) "Why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brothers's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?" and "Judge not, that ye be not judged." For if we are one and are mutually bound together, it behooveth us not to rise up against one another. For "he that humbleth himself shall be exalted," saith he. And (St. Matthew 20:26, 27; St. Mark 10:43; not verbatim.) "He that will be first of all, let him be the servant of all." These are the things which "are written."

"That no one of you be puffed up for one against another." Again, having dismissed the teachers, he rebukes the disciples. For it was they who caused the former to be elated.

And besides, the leaders would not quietly receive that kind of speech because of their desire of outward glory: for they were even blinded with that passion. Whereas the disciples, as not reaping themselves the fruits of the glory, but procuring it for others, would both endure the chiding with more temper, and had it more in their power than the leading men to destroy the disease.

It seems then, that this also is a symptom of being "puffed up," to be elated on another's account, even though a man have no such feeling in regard of what is his own. For as he who is proud of another's wealth, is so out of arrogance; so also in the case of another's glory.

And he hath well called it "being puffed up." For when one particular member rises up over the rest, it is nothing else but inflammation and disease; since in no other way doth one member become higher than another, except when a swelling takes place. (So in English "proud flesh.") And so in the body of the Church also; whoever is inflamed and puffed up, he must be the diseased one; for he is swollen above the proportion of the rest. For this [disproportion] is what we mean by "swelling." And so comes it to pass in the body, when some spurious and evil humor gathers, instead of the wonted nourishment. So also arrogance is born; notions to which we have no right coming over us. And mark with what literal propriety he saith, be not "puffed up:" for that which is puffed up hath a certain tumor of spirit, from being filled with corrupt humor.

These things, however, he saith, not to preclude all soothing, but such soothing as leads to harm. "Wouldest thou wait upon this or that person? I forbid thee not: but do it not to the injury of another." For not that we might array ourselves one against another were teachers given us, but that we might all be mutually united. For so the general to this end is set over the host, that of those who are separate he may make one body. But if he is to break up the army, he stands in the place of an enemy rather than of a general.

[3.] Ver. 7. "For who maketh thee to differ? For what hast thou which thou didst not receive?"

From this point, dismissing the governed, he turns to the governors. What he saith comes to this: From whence is evident that thou art worthy of being praised? Why, hath any judgment taken place? any inquiry proceeded? any essay? any severe testing? Nay, thou canst not say it: and if men give their votes, their judgment is not upright. But let us suppose that thou really art worthy of praise and hast indeed the gracious gift, and that the judgment of men is not corrupt: yet not even in this case were it right to be high-minded; for thou hast nothing of thyself but from God didst receive it. Why then dost thou pretend to have that which thou hast not? Thou wilt say, "thou hast it:" and others have it with thee: well then, thou hast it upon receiving it: not merely this thing or that, but all things whatsoever thou hast.

For not to thee belong these excellencies, but to the grace of God. Whether you name faith, it came of His calling; or whether it be the forgiveness of sins which you speak of, or spiritual gifts, or the word of teaching, or the miracles; thou didst receive all from thence. Now what hast thou, tell me, which thou hast not received, but hast rather achieved of thine own self? Thou hast nothing to say. Well: thou hast received; and does that make thee high-minded? Nay, it ought to make thee shrink back into thyself. For it is not thine, what hath been given, but the giver's. What if thou didst receive it? thou receivedst it of him. And if thou receivedst of him, it was not thine which thou receivedst: and if thou didst but receive what was not thine own, why art thou exalted as if thou hadst something of thine own? Wherefore he added also, "Now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?

[4.] Thus having, you see, made good his argument by concession, [59] (kata sundromen.) he indicates that they have their deficiencies; and those not a few: and saith, "In the first place, though ye had received all things, it were not meet to glory, for nothing is your own; but as the case really stands there are many things of which ye are destitute." And in the beginning he did but hint at this, saying, "I could not speak unto you as unto spiritual:" and, "I determined to know nothing among you, save Jesus Christ and Him crucified." But here he doth it in a way to abash them, saying,

Ver. 8. "Already ye are filled, already ye are rich:" that is, ye want nothing henceforth; ye are become perfect; ye have attained the very summit; ye stand, as ye think, in need of no one, either among Apostles or teachers.

"Already ye are filled." And well saith he "already;" pointing out, from the time, the incredibility of their statements and their unreasonable notion of themselves. It was therefore in mockery that he said to them, "So quickly have ye come to the end;" which thing was impossible in the time: for all the more perfect things wait long in futurity: but to be "full" with a little betokens a feeble soul; and from a little to imagine one's self "rich," a sick and miserable one. For piety is an insatiable thing; and it argues a childish mind to imagine from just the beginnings that you have obtained the whole: and for men who are not yet even in the prelude of a matter, to be high-minded as if they had laid hold of the end.

Then also by means of what followeth he puts them yet more out of countenance; for having said, "Already ye are full," he added, "ye are become rich, ye have reigned without us: yea and I would to God ye did reign, that we also might reign with you." Full of great austerity is the speech: which is why it comes last, being introduced by him after that abundance of reproof. For then is our admonition respected and easily received, when after our accusations we introduce our humiliating expressions, (ta eutreptika remata.) For this were enough to repress even the shameless soul and strike it more sharply than direct accusation, and correct the bitterness and hardened feeling likely to arise from the charge brought. It being certain that this more than anything else is the admirable quality of those arguments which appeal to our sense of shame, that they possess two contrary advantages. On the one hand, one cuts deeper than by open invective: on the other hand, it causes the person reprimanded to bear that severer stab with more entire patience.

[5.] "Ye have reigned without us." Herein there is great force, as concerns both the teachers and the disciples: and their ignorance, too, of themselves (to asuneideton.) is pointed out, and their great inconsideration. For what he saith is this: "In labors indeed," saith he, "all things are common both to us and to you, but in the rewards and the crowns ye are first. Not that I say this in vexation:" wherefore he added also, "I would indeed that ye did reign:" then, lest there should seem to be some irony, he added, "that we also might reign with you;" for, saith he, we also should be in possession (epituchoimen, ms. Reg., epituchomen Edd.) of these blessings. Dost thou see how he shews in himself all at once his severity and his care over them and his self-denying mind? Dost thou see how he takes down their pride?

For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?
Now ye are full, now ye are rich, ye have reigned as kings without us: and I would to God ye did reign, that we also might reign with you.
For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men.
Ver. 9. "For I think that God hath set forth us the Apostles last of all, as men doomed to death."

There is great depth of meaning and severity implied again in his saying, "us:" and not even with this was he satisfied, but added also his dignity, hitting them vehemently: "us the Apostles;" who are enduring such innumerable ills; who are sowing the word of Godliness; who are leading you unto this severe rule of life. These "He hath set forth last, as doomed to death," that is, as condemned. For since he had said, "That we also might reign with you," and by that expression had relaxed his vehemency in order not to dispirit them; he takes it up again with greater gravity, and saith, "For I think that God hath set forth us the Apostles last, as men doomed to death." "For according to what I see," saith he, "and from what ye say, the most abject of all men and emphatically the condemned, are we who are put forward for continual suffering. But ye have already a kingdom and honors and great rewards in your fancy." And wishing to carry out their reasoning to still greater absurdity, and to exhibit it as incredible in the highest degree, he said not merely, "We are last,'" but, "God made us last;" nor was he satisfied with saying, "last," but he added also, "doomed to death:" to the end that even one quite void of understanding might feel the statement to be quite incredible, and his words to be the words of one vexed and vehemently abashing them.

Observe too the good sense of Paul. The topics by which, when it is the proper time, he exalts and shews himself honorable and makes himself great; by these he now puts them to shame, calling himself "condemned." Of so great consequence is it to do all things at the befitting season. By "doomed to death," in this place he means "condemned," and deserving of ten thousand deaths.

[6.] "For we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men."

What means, "We are become a spectacle unto the world?" "Not in a single corner nor yet in a small part of the world suffer we these things," saith he; "but every where and before all." But what means, "unto angels?" It is possible to "become a spectacle unto men," but not so unto angels, when the things done are ordinary. But our wrestlings are such as to be worthy even of angelic contemplation. Behold from the things by which he vilifies himself, how again he shows himself great; and from the things about which they are proud, how he displays their meanness. For since to be fools was accounted a meaner thing than to appear wise; to be weak, than to be made strong; and unhonored, than glorious and distinguished; and that he is about to cast on them the one set of epithets, while he himself accepted the other; he signifies that the latter are better than the former; if at least because of them he turned the throng I say not of men only, but also of the very angels unto the contemplation of themselves. For not with men only is our wrestling but also with incorporeal powers. Therefore also a mighty theatre is set (mega theatron kathetai.)

Ver. 10. "We are fools for Christ's sake, but ye are wise in Christ."

Again, this also he spake in a way to abash them; implying that it is impossible for these contraries to agree, neither can things so distant from one another concur. "For how can it be," saith he, "that you should be wise, but we fools in the things relating to Christ?" That is: the one sort beaten and despised and dishonored and esteemed as nothing; the others enjoying honor and looked up to by many as a wise and prudent kind of people; it gives him occasion to speak thus: as if he had said, "How can it be that they who preach such things should be looked upon as practically engaged in their contraries?"

"We are weak, but ye are strong." That is, we are driven about and persecuted; but ye enjoy security and are much waited upon; howbeit the nature of the Gospel endureth it not.

"We are despised, but ye are honorable." Here he setteth himself against the noble and those who plumed themselves upon external advantages.

"Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwelling place; and we toil, working with our own hands." That is, "It is not an old story that I am telling but just what the very time present bears me witness of: that of human things we take no account nor yet of any outward pomp; but we look unto God only." Which thing we too have need to practice in every place. For not only are angels looking on, but even more than they He that presides over the spectacle.

[7.] Let us not then desire any others to applaud us. For this is to insult Him; hastening by Him, as if insufficient to admire us, we make the best of our way to our fellow servants. For just as they who contend in a small theatre seek a large one, as if this were insufficient for their display; so also do they, who contending in the sight of God afterwards seek the applause of men; giving up the greater praise and eager for the less, they draw upon themselves severe punishment. What but this hath turned every thing upside down? this puts the whole world into confusion, that we do all things with an eye to men, and even for our good things, we esteem it nothing to have God as an admirer, but seek the approbation which cometh from our fellow-servants: and for the contrary things again, despising Him we fear men. And yet surely they shall stand with us before that tribunal, doing us no good. But God whom we despise now shall Himself pass the sentence upon us.

But yet, though we know these things, we still gape after men, which is the first of sins. Thus were a man looking on no one would choose to commit fornication; but even though he be ten thousand times on fire with that plague, the tyranny of the passion is conquered by his reverence for men. But in God's sight men not only commit adultery and fornication; but other things also much more dreadful many have dared and still dare to do. This then alone, is it not enough to bring down from above ten thousand thunderbolts? Adulteries, did I say, and fornications? Nay, things even far less than these we fear to do before men: but in God's sight we fear no longer. From hence, in fact, all the world's evils have originated; because in things really bad we reverence not God but men.

On this account, you see, both things which are truly good, not accounted such by the generality, become objects of our aversion, we not investigating the nature of the things, but having respect unto the opinion of the many: and again, in the case of evil things, acting on this same principle. Certain things therefore not really good, but seeming fair unto the many, we pursue, as goods, through the same habit. So that on either side we go to destruction.

[8.] Perhaps many may find this remark somewhat obscure. Wherefore we must express it more clearly. When we commit uncleanness, (for we must begin from the instances alleged,) we fear men more than God. When therefore we have thus subjected ourselves unto them and made them lords over us; there are many other things also which seem unto these our lords to be evil, not being such; these also we flee for our part in like manner. For instance; To live in poverty, many account disgraceful: and we flee poverty, not because it is disgraceful nor because we are so persuaded, but because our masters count it disgraceful; and we fear them. Again, to be unhonored and contemptible, and void of all authority seems likewise unto the most part a matter of great shame and vileness. This again we flee; not condemning the thing itself, but because of the sentence of our masters.

Again on the contrary side also we undergo the same mischief. As wealth is counted a good thing, and pride, and pomp, and to be conspicuous. Accordingly this again we pursue, not either in this case from considering the nature of the things as good, but persuaded by the opinion of our masters. For the people is our master and the great mob (ho polus ochlos); a savage master and a severe tyrant: not so much as a command being needed in order to make us listen to him; it is enough that we just know what he wills, and without a command we submit: so great good will do we bear towards him. Again, God threatening and admonishing day by day is not heard; but the common people, full of disorder, made up of all manner of dregs, has no occasion for one word of command; enough for it only to signify with what it is well pleased, and in all things we obey immediately.

[9.] "But how," says some one, "is a man to flee from these masters?" By getting a mind greater than their's; by looking into the nature of things; by condemning the voice of the multitude; before all, by training himself in things really disgraceful to fear not men, but the unsleeping Eye; and again, in all good things, to seek the crowns which come from Him. For thus neither in other sort of things shall we be able to tolerate them. For whoso when he doeth right judges them unworthy to know his good deeds, and contents himself with the suffrage of God; neither will he take account of them in matters of the contrary sort.

"And how can this be?" you will say. Consider what man is, what God; whom thou desertest, and unto whom thou fliest for refuge; and thou wilt soon be right altogether. Man lieth under the same sin as thyself, and the same condemnation, and the same punishment. "Man is like to vanity," (Psalm 144:4. LXX,) and hath not correct judgment, and needs the correction from above. "Man is dust and ashes," and if he bestow praise, he will often bestow it at random, or out of favor, or ill will. And if he calumniate and accuse, this again will he do out of the same kind of purpose. But God doeth not so: rather irreprovable in His sentence, and pure His judgment. Wherefore we must always flee to Him for refuge; and not for these reasons alone, but because He both made, and more than all spares thee, and loves thee better than thou dost thyself.

Why then, neglecting to have so admirable (thaumaston) an approver, betake we ourselves unto man, who is nothing, all rashness, all at random? Doth he call thee wicked and polluted when thou art not so? So much the more do thou pity him, and weep because he is corrupt; and despise his opinion, because the eyes of his understanding are darkened. For even the Apostles were thus evil reported of; and they laughed to scorn their calumniators. But doth he call thee good and kind? If such indeed thou art, yet be not at all puffed up by the opinion: but if thou art not such, despise it the more, and esteem the thing to be mockery.

Wouldest thou know the judgments of the greater part of men, how corrupt they are, how useless, and worthy of ridicule; some of them coming only from raving and distracted persons, others from children at the breast? Hear what hath been from the beginning. I will tell thee of judgments, not of the people only, but also of those who passed for the wisest, of those who were legislators from the earliest period. For who would be counted wiser among the multitude than the person considered worthy of legislating for cities and peoples? But yet to these wise men fornication seems to be nothing evil nor worthy of punishment. At least, no one of the heathen laws makes its penal or brings men to trial on account of it. And should any one bring another into court for things of that kind, the multitude laughs it to scorn, and the judge will not suffer it. Dice-playing, again, is exempt from all their punishments: nor did any one among them ever incur penalty for it. Drunkenness and gluttony, so far from being a crime, are considered by many even as a fine thing. And in military carousals it is a point of great emulation; and they who most of all need a sober mind and a strong body, these are most of all given over to the tyranny of drunkenness; both utterly weakening the body and darkening the soul. Yet of the lawgivers not one hath punished this fault. What can be worse than this madness?

Is then the good word of men so disposed an object of desire to thee, and dost thou not hide thyself in the earth? For even though all such admired thee, oughtest thou not to feel ashamed and cover thy face, at being applauded by men of such corrupt judgment?

Again, blasphemy by legislators in general is accounted nothing terrible. At any rate, no one for having blasphemed God was ever brought to trial and punishment. But if a man steal another's garment, or cut his purse, his sides are flayed, and he is often given over unto death: while he that blasphemeth God hath nothing laid to his charge by the heathen legislators. And if a man seduce a female servant when he hath a wife, it seems nothing to the heathen laws nor to men in general.

[10.] Wilt thou hear besides of some things of another class which shew their folly? For as they punish not these things, so there are others which they enforce by law. What then are these? They collect crowds to fill theatres, and there they introduce choirs of harlots and prostituted children, yea such as trample on nature herself; and they make the whole people sit on high, and so they captivate their city; so they crown these mighty kings whom they are perpetually admiring for their trophies and victories. And yet, what can be more insipid than this honor? what more undelightful than this delight? From among these then seekest thou judges to applaud thy deeds? And is it in company with dancers, and effeminate, and buffoons, and harlots, that thou art fain to enjoy the sound of compliment? answer me.

How can these things be other than proofs of extreme infatuation? For I should like to ask them, is it or is it not, a dreadful thing to subvert the laws of nature, and introduce unlawful intercourse? They will surely [60] say, it is dreadful: at any rate, they make a show of inflicting a penalty on that crime. Why then dost thou bring on the stage those abused wretches; and not only bring them in, but honor them also with honors innumerable, and gifts not to be told? In other places thou punishest those who dare such things; but here even as on common benefactors of the city, thou spendest money upon them and supportest them at the public expense.

"However," thou wilt say, "they are (atimoi) infamous [61] ." Why then train them up? (paidotribeis) Why choose the infamous to pay honor to kings withal? And why ruin our (ektrachelizeis, Plutarch, peri paidon agoges, c. 17.) cities [62] ? Or why spend so much upon these persons? Since if they be infamous expulsion is properest for the infamous. For why didst thou render them infamous? in praise or in condemnation? Of course in condemnation. Is the next thing to be, that although as after condemnation you make them infamous, yet as if they were honorable you run to see them, and admire and praise and applaud? Why need I speak of the sort of charm [63] which is found in the horse races? or in the contests of the wild beasts? For those places too being full of all senseless excitement train the populace to acquire a merciless and savage and inhuman kind of temper, and practise them in seeing men torn in pieces, and blood flowing, and the ferocity of wild beasts confounding all things. Now all these our wise lawgivers from the beginning introduced, being so many plagues! and our cities applaud and admire.

[11.] But, if thou wilt, dismissing these things which clearly and confessedly are abominable, but seemed (ouk edoxen. perhaps "were not decreed.") not [so] to the heathen legislators, let us proceed to their grave precepts; and thou shalt see these too corrupted through the opinion of the multitude. Thus marriage is accounted an honorable thing (Hebrews 13:4) both by us and by those without: and it is honorable. But when marriages are solemnized, such ridiculous things [64] take place as ye shall hear of immediately: because the most part, possessed and beguiled by custom, are not even aware of their absurdity, but need others to teach them. For dancing, and cymbals, and flutes, and shameful words, and songs, and drunkenness, and revellings, and all the Devil's great heap (polus ho tou diabolou phorutos) of garbage is then introduced.

I know indeed that I shall appear ridiculous in finding fault with these things; and shall incur the charge of great folly with the generality, as disturbing the ancient laws: for, as I said before, great is the deceptive power of custom. But nevertheless, I will not cease repeating these things: for there is, there is surely a chance, that although not all, yet some few will receive our saying and will choose to be laughed to scorn with us, rather than we laugh with them such a laughter as deserves tears and overflowing punishment and vengeance.

For how can it be other than worthy of the utmost condemnation that a damsel who hath spent her life entirely at home and been schooled in modesty from earliest childhood, should be compelled on a sudden to cast off all shame, and from the very commencement of her marriage be instructed in imprudence; and find herself put forward in the midst of wanton and rude men, and unchaste, and effeminate? What evil will not be implanted in the bride from that day forth? Immodesty, petulance, insolence, the love of vain glory: since they will naturally go on and desire to have all their days such as these. Hence our women become expensive and profuse; hence are they void of modesty, hence proceed their unnumbered evils.

And tell me not of the custom: for if it be an evil thing, let it not be done even once: but if good, let it be done constantly. For tell me, is not committing fornication evil? Shall we then allow just once this to be done? By no means. Why? Because though it be done only once, it is evil all the same. So also that the bride be entertained in this way, if it be evil, let it not be done even once; but if it be not evil, let it even be done always.

"What then," saith one, "dost thou find fault with marriage? tell me." That be far from me. I am not so senseless: but the things which are so unworthily appended to marriage, the painting the face, the coloring the eyebrows, and all the other niceness of that kind. For indeed from that day she will receive many lovers even before her destined consort.

"But many will admire the woman for her beauty." And what of that? Even if discreet, she will hardly avoid evil suspicion; but if careless, she will be quickly overtaken, having got that very day a starting point in dissolute behavior.

Yet though the evils are so great, the omission of these proceedings is called an insult, by certain who are no better than brute beasts, and they are indignant that the woman is not exhibited to a multitude, that she is not set forth as a stage spectacle, common to all beholders: whereas most assuredly they should rather count it insult when these things do take place; and a laughing stock, and a farce. For even now I know that men will condemn me of much folly and make me a laughing stock: but the derision I can bear when any gain accrues from it. For I should indeed be worthy of derision, if while I was exhorting to contempt of the opinion of the many, I myself, of all men, were subdued by that feeling.

Behold then what follows from all this. Not in the day only but also in the evening, they provide on purpose men that have well drunk, besotted, and inflamed with luxurious fare, to look upon the beauty of the damsel's countenance; nor yet in the house only but even through the market-place do they lead her in pomp to make an exhibition; conducting her with torches late in the evening so as that she may be seen of all: by their doings recommending nothing else than that henceforth she put off all modesty. And they do not even stop here; but with shameful words do they conduct her. And this with the multitude is a law. And runaway slaves and convicts, thousands of them and of desperate character, go on with impunity uttering whatever they please, both against her and against him who is going to take her to his home. Nor is there any thing solemn, but all base and full of indecency. Will it not be a fine lesson in chastity for the bride to see and hear such things? [Savile reads this sentence with a question.] And there is a sort of diabolical rivalry among these profligates to outdo one another in their zealous use of reproaches and foul words, whereby they put the whole company out of countenance, and those go away victorious who have found the largest store of railings and the greatest indecencies to throw at their neighbors.

Now I know that I am a troublesome, sort of person and disagreeable, and morose, as though I were curtailing life of some of its pleasure. Why, this is the very cause of my mourning that things so displeasing are esteemed a sort of pleasure. For how, I ask, can it be other than displeasing to be insulted and reviled? to be reproached by all, together with your bride? If any one in the market place speak ill of thy wife, thou makest ado without end and countest life not worth living: and can it be that disgracing thyself with thy future consort in the presence of the whole city, thou art pleased and lookest gay on the matter? Why, what strange madness is this!

"But," saith one, "the thing is customary." Nay, for this very reason we ought most to bewail it, because the devil hath hedged in the thing with custom. In fact, since marriage is a solemn thing and that which recruits our race and the cause of numerous blessings; that evil one, inwardly pining and knowing that it was ordained as a barrier against uncleanness, by a new device introduces into it all kinds of uncleanness. At any rate, in such assemblages many virgins have been even corrupted. And if not so in every case, it is because for the time the devil is content with those words and those songs, so flagitious; with making a show of the bride openly, and leading the bridegroom in triumph through the market-place.

Moreover, because all this takes place in the evening, that not even the darkness may be a veil to these evils, many torches are brought in, suffering not the disgraceful scene to be concealed. For what means the vast throng, and what the wassail, and what the pipes? Most clearly to prevent even those who are in their houses and plunged [baptizomenoi] in deep sleep from remaining ignorant of these proceedings; that being wakened by the pipe and leaning to look out of the lattices, they may be witnesses of the comedy such as it is.

What can one say of the songs themselves, crammed as they are with all uncleanness, introducing monstrous amours, and unlawful connections, and subversions of houses, and tragic scenes without end; and making continual mention of the titles of "friend and lover," "mistress and beloved?" And, what is still more grievous, that young women are present at these things, having divested themselves of all modesty; in honor of the bride, rather I should say to insult her, exposing even their own salvation [65] , and in the midst of wanton young men acting a shameless part with their disorderly songs, with their foul words, with their devilish harmony. Tell me then: dost thou still enquire, "Whence come adulteries? Whence fornications? Whence violations of marriage?"

[12.] "But they are not noble nor decent women," you will say, "who do these things." Why then laugh me to scorn for this remonstrance, having been thyself aware of this law, before I said any thing. I say, if the proceedings are right, allow those well-born women also to enact them. For what if these others live in poverty? Are not they also virgins? ought not they also to be careful of chastity? But now here is a virgin dancing in a public theatre of licentious youths; and, I ask, seems she not unto thee more dishonored than a harlot?

But if you say, "Female servants do these things;" neither so do I acquit thee of my charge: for neither to these ought such things to have been permitted. For hence all these evils have their origin, that of our household we make no account. But it is enough in the way of contempt to say, "He is a slave," and, "They are handmaids." And yet, day after day we hear, (Galatians 3:28.) "In Christ Jesus there is neither bond nor free." Again, were it a horse or an ass, thou dost not overlook it but takest all pains not to have it of an inferior kind; and thy slaves who have souls like thine own dost thou neglect? And why do I say slaves, when I might say sons and daughters? What then must follow? It cannot be but grief (lupen, qu. lumen, "mischief.") must immediately enter in, when all these are going to ruin. And often also very great losses must ensue, valuable golden ornaments being lost in the crowd and the confusion.

[13.] Then after the marriage if perchance a child is born, in this case again we shall see the same folly and many practices [sumbola] full of absurdity. For when the time is come for giving the infant a name, caring not to call it after the saints as the ancients at first did, they light lamps and give them names, and name the child after that one which continues burning the longest; from thence conjecturing that he will live a long time. After all, should there be many instances of the child's untimely death, (and there are many,) great laughter on the devil's part will ensue, at his having made sport of them as if they were silly children. What shall we say about the amulets and the bells which are hung upon the hand, and the scarlet woof, and the other things full of such extreme folly; when they ought to invest the child with nothing else save the protection of the Cross [66] . But now that is despised which hath converted the whole world and given the sore wound to the devil and overthrown all his power: while the thread, and the woof, and the other amulets of that kind are entrusted with the child's safety.

May I mention another thing yet more ridiculous than this? Only let no one tax us with speaking out of season, should our argument proceed with that instance also. For he that would cleanse an ulcer will not hesitate first to pollute his own hands. What then is this so very ridiculous custom? It is counted indeed as nothing; (and this is why I grieve;) but it is the beginning of folly and madness in the extreme. The women in the bath, nurses and waiting-maids, take up mud and smearing it with the finger make a mark on the child's forehead; and if one ask, What means the mud, and the clay? the answer is, "It turneth away an evil eye, witchcraft and envy [67] ." Astonishing! what power in the mud! what might in the clay! what mighty force is this which it has? It averts all the host of the devil. Tell me, can ye help hiding yourselves for shame? Will ye never come to understand the snares of the devil, how from earliest life he gradually brings in the several evils which he hath devised? For if the mud hath this effect, why dost thou not thyself also do the same to thine own forehead, when thou art a man and thy character is formed; and thou art likelier than the child to have such as envy thee? Why dost thou not as well bemire the whole body? I say, if on the forehead its virtue be so great, why not anoint thyself all over with mud? All this is mirth and stage-play to Satan, not mockery only but hell-fire being the consummation to which these deceived ones are tending.

[14.] Now that among Greeks such things should be done is no wonder: but among the worshippers of the Cross, (ton stauron proskunousi) and partakers in unspeakable mysteries, and professors of such high morality, (tosauta philosophousin) that such unseemliness should prevail, this is especially to be deplored again and again. God hath honored thee with spiritual anointing; and dost thou defile thy child with mud? God hath honored thee, and dost thou dishonor thyself? And when thou shouldest inscribe on his forehead the Cross which affords invincible security; dost thou forego this, and cast thyself into the madness of Satan?

If any look on these things as trifles, let them know that they are the source of great evils; and that not even unto Paul did it seem right to overlook the lesser things. For, tell me, what can be less than a man's covering his head? Yet observe how great a matter he makes of this and with how great earnestness he forbids it; saying, among many things, "He dishonoreth his head." (1 Corinthians 11:4.) Now if he that covers himself "dishonoreth his head"; he that besmears his child with mud, how can it be less than making it abominable? For how, I want to know, can he bring it to the hands of the priest? How canst thou require that on that forehead the seal [68] should be placed by the hand of the presbyter, where thou hast been smearing the mud? Nay, my brethren, do not these things, but from earliest life encompass them with spiritual armor and instruct them to seal the forehead with the hand (te cheiri paideute sphragizein to metopon): and before they are able to do this with their own hand [69] , do you imprint upon them the Cross.

Why should one speak of the other satanical observances in the case of travail-pangs and childbirths, which the midwives introduce with a mischief on their own heads? Of the outcries which take place at each person's death, and when he is carried to his burial; the irrational wailings, the folly enacted at the funerals; the zeal about men's monuments; the importunate and ridiculous swarm of the mourning women [70] ; the observances of days; the days, I mean, of entrance into the world and of departure?

[15.] Are these then, I beseech you, the persons whose good opinion thou followest after? And what can it be but the extreme of folly to seek earnestly the praise of men, so corrupt in their ideas, men whose conduct is all at random? when we ought always to resort to the unsleeping Eye, and look to His sentence in all that we do and speak? For these, even if they approve, will have no power to profit us. But He, should He accept our doings, will both here make us glorious, and in the future day will impart to us of the unspeakable good things: which may it be the lot of us all to obtain, through the grace and loving-kindness of our Lord Jesus Christ; with Whom to the Father and the Holy Spirit be glory, power, honor, now and always, and unto everlasting ages. Amen.


[58] [The true text of this clause is well given in the Revised Version, "not to go beyond the things which are written."]

[59] [That is, conceding that they had the gifts which they claimed. C.]

[60] (pantes Savile; pantos Bened.) [Dr. Field adopts the former reading. C.]

[61] Bingham (b. xvi. c. 4. ?. 10.) proves that actors and the like were debarred from the Sacraments, except they renounced their calling, from very early times: from S. Cyprian, Ephesians 61, who says, "I think it inconsistent with the majesty of God and the discipline of the Gospel, to allow the chastity and glory of the Church to be defiled with so base contagion:" from Tertullian; de Spectac. 4; de Cor. Mil. 13; and from the Apostolical Constitutions, viii. 32.

[62] Gibbon, c. 31. from Ammianus, relates, that on occasion of a scarcity, when all strangers were expelled from Rome, an exception was made in favor of the actors, singers, dancers, &c.

[63] manganeias. Compare S. Augustin's account in the Confessions of the way in which some persons were bewitched by the gladiatorial shows; of which his friend Alypius in his youth was a remarkable instance. b. vi. ?. 13.

[64] S. Chrys. on Gen. Hom. 48. near the end, speaking of Rebekah's veiling herself at sight of Isaac; "See the noble breeding of the maiden.......and observe here, I pray you, how there is no place here for these superfluous and useless things; for a diabolical procession, for cymbals and flutes and dances, and those revels, the device of Satan, and invectives full of all indecency; but all wisdom, all gravity, all thoughtfulness.......Let Rebekah be the pattern of our wives, let our husbands emulate Isaac; be it their endeavor thus to bring home their brides." Then complaining, nearly as in the text, of the Fescennine verses, as they were called, and other bad customs, relics of heathenism, "Rather," says he, "should the maiden be trained in all modesty from the beginning, and priests called, and prayers and blessings be used to rivet fast the concord of their common habitation, that so both the bridegroom's love may increase, and the damsel's purity of soul be heightened. So by all ways shall the deeds of virtue enter into that house, and all the acts of the devil be far off and they shall pass their life with joy, God's Providence bringing them together." So again Hom. 56. of the marriage of Jacob and Leah: in which place he complains especially of the introduction of people from the stage and orchestra at wedding feasts. See both places in Bingham, xxii. iv. 8: as also the 53d Canon of Laodicea: "It is wrong for Christians attending marriages to practice theatrical gestures or dances, but to take their part soberly in the morning or evening meal, as becometh Christians."

[65] tes heauton proteinousai soterias. The Benedictine translates as if it were tas heauton: which is here followed. [The true reading as given by Field is ten heauton propinousai soterian. C.]

[66] Compare St. Chrys. on Coloss. Hom. viii. near the end.

[67] So on Col. ubi supra. "What is all this folly? Here we have ashes, and soot, and salt, and the silly old woman again brought into play. Truly it is a mockery and a shame. Nay,' says she, an evil eye has caught hold of the child!' How long will you go on with these diabolical fancies?" &c.

[68] i. e. the sign of the cross in baptism, made with consecrated balm or ointment, and called sphragis in the Apostolical Constitutions, iii. 17; vid. Bingham xi. 9. 6. St. Chrysostom, it may be remarked, takes for granted, 1. that infants would be brought to baptism; 2. that they would be brought to the priest.

[69] Compare the well-known passages in Tertullian and St. Cyprian: the first, "At all our goings out and comings in, &c. we trace upon the forehead the sign of the cross;" de Cor. Mil. 3.: the other, "Arm your foreheads with all boldness, that the sign of the cross may be safe." Ephesians 50:both in Bingham ubi supra.

[70] About this custom, of hiring heathen women as mourners, he speaks very strongly elsewhere; Hom. 32. in Matt., Hom. 4. in Heb., both which are quoted in Bingham, xxxiii. 18.

We are fools for Christ's sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we are despised.
"We are fools for Christ's sake:" (For it is necessary from this point to resume our discourse:) "but ye are wise in Christ: we are weak, but ye are strong: ye have glory, but we have dishonor."

Having filled his speech with much severity which conveys a sharper blow than any direct charge and having said, "Ye have reigned without us;" and "God hath set forth us last, as men doomed to death" he shows by what comes next how they are "doomed to death;" saying, We are fools, and weak, and despised, and hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwelling place, and toil, working with our own hands:" which were very signs of genuine teachers and apostles. Whereas the others prided themselves on the things which are contrary to these, on wisdom, glory, wealth, consideration.

Desiring therefore to take down their self-conceit and to point out that in respect of these things, so far from taking credit to themselves, they ought rather to be ashamed; he first of all mocks them, saying, "Ye have reigned without us." As if he had said, "My sentence is that the present is not a time of honor nor of glory, which kind of things you enjoy, but of persecution and insult, such as we are suffering. If however it be not so; if this rather be the time of remuneration: then as far as I see," (but this he saith in irony,) "ye, the disciples, for your part have become no less than kings: but we the teachers and apostles, and before all entitled to receive the reward, not only have fallen very far behind you, but even, as persons doomed to death, that is, condemned convicts, spend our lives entirely in dishonors, and dangers, and hunger: yea insulted as fools, and driven about, and enduring all intolerable things."

Now these things he said that he might hereby cause them also to consider, that they should zealously seek the condition of the Apostles; their dangers and their indignities, not their honors and glories. For these, not the other, are what the Gospel requires. But to this effect he speaks not directly, not to shew himself disagreeable to them: rather in a way characteristic of himself he takes in hand this rebuke. For if he had introduced his address in a direct manner, he would have spoken thus; "Ye err, and are beguiled, and have swerved far from the apostolical mode of instruction. For every apostle and minister of Christ ought to be esteemed a fool, ought to live in affliction and dishonor; which indeed is our state: whereas you are in the contrary case."

But thus might his expressions have offended them yet more, as containing but praises of the Apostles; and might have made them fiercer, censured as they were for indolence and vainglory and luxuriousness. Wherefore he conducts not his statement in this way, but in another, more striking but less offensive; and this is why he proceeds with his address as follows, saying ironically, "But ye are strong and honorable;" since, if he had not used irony, he would have spoken to this effect; "It is not possible that one man should be esteemed foolish, and another wise; one strong, and another weak; the Gospel requiring both the one and the other. For if it were in the nature of things that one should be this, and another that, perchance there might be some reason in what you say. But now it is not permitted, either to be counted wise, or honorable, or to be free from dangers. If otherwise, it follows of necessity that you are preferred before us in the sight of God; you the disciples before us the teachers, and that after our endless hardships." If this be too bad for anyone to say, it remains for you to make our condition your object.

[2.] And "let no one," saith he, "think that I speak only of the past:"

Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwellingplace;
Ver. 11. "Even unto this present hour we both hunger and thirst and are naked." Seest thou that all the life of Christians must be such as this; and not merely a day or two? For though the wrestler who is victorious in a single contest only, be crowned, he is not crowned again if he suffer a fall.

"And hunger;" against the luxurious. "And are buffeted;" against those who are puffed up. "And have no certain dwelling-place;" for we are driven about. "And are naked;" against the rich.

And labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it:
Ver. 12. "And labor;" now against the false apostles who endure neither toil nor peril, while they themselves receive the fruits. "But not so are we," saith he: "but together with our perils from without, we also strain ourselves to the utmost with perpetual labor. And what is still more, no one can say that we fret at these things, for the contrary is our requital to them that so deal with us: this, I say, is the main point, not our suffering evil, for that is common to all, but our suffering without despondency or vexation. But we so far from desponding are full of exultation. And a sure proof of this is our requiting with the contrary those who do us wrong."

Now as to the fact that so they did, hear what follows.

[Ver. 12, 13.] "Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we endure; being defamed, we entreat; we are made as the filth of the world." This is the meaning of "fools for Christ's sake." For whoso suffers wrong and avenges not himself nor is vexed, is reckoned a fool by the heathen; and dishonored and weak. And in order that he might not render his speech too unpalatable by referring the sufferings he was speaking of to their city, what saith he? "We are made the filth," not, "of your city," but, "of the world." And again, "the off-scouring of all men;" not of you alone, but of all. As then when he is discoursing of the providential care of Christ, letting pass the earth, the heaven, the whole creation, the Cross is what he brings forward; so also when he desires to attract them to himself hurrying by all his miracles, he speaks of his sufferings on their account. So also it is our method when we be injured by any and despised, whatsoever we have endured for them, to bring the same forward.

"The offscouring of all men, even until now." This is a vigorous blow which he gave at the end, "of all men;" "not of the persecutors only," saith he, "but of those also for whom we suffer these things: Oh greatly am I obliged to them." It is the expression of one seriously concerned; not in pain himself, but desiring to make them feel, (plexai) that he who hath innumerable complaints to make should even salute them. And therefore did Christ command us to bear insults meekly that we might both exercise ourselves in a high strain of virtue, and put the other party to the more shame. For that effect one produces not so well by reproach as by silence.

Ver. 14. [3.] Then since he saw that the blow could not well be borne, he speedily heals it; saying, "I write not these things to shame you, but to admonish you as my beloved children." "For not as abashing you," saith he, "do I speak these things." The very thing which by his words he had done, this he says he had not done: rather he allows that he had done it, not however with an evil and spiteful mind. Why, this mode of soothing is the very best, if we should say what we have to say and add the apology from our motive. For not to speak was impossible, since they would have remained uncorrected: on the other hand, after he had spoken, to leave the wound untended, were hard. Wherefore along with his severity he apologizes: for this so far from destroying the effect of the knife, rather makes it sink deeper in, while it moderates the full pain of the wound. Since when a man is told that not in reproach but in love are these things said, he the more readily receives correction.

However, even here also is great severity, and a strong appeal to their sense of shame, (entrope) in that he said not, "As a master" nor yet "as an apostle," nor yet "as having you for my disciples;" (which had well suited his claims on them;) but, "as my beloved children I admonish you." And not simply, children; but, "longed after." "Forgive me," saith he. "If anything disagreeable has been said, it all proceeds of love." And he said not, "I rebuke," but "I admonish." Now, who would not bear with a father in grief, and in the act of giving good advice? Wherefore he did not say this before, but after he had given the blow.

"What then?" some might say; "Do not other teachers spare us?" "I say not so, but, they carry not their forbearance so far." This however he spake not out at once, but by their professions and titles gave indication of it; "Tutor" and "Father" being the terms which he employs.

Ver. 15. [4.] "For though," saith he, "ye have ten thousand tutors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers." He is not here setting forth his dignity, but the exceeding greatness of his love. Thus neither did he wound the other teachers: since he adds the clause, "in Christ:" but rather soothed them, designating not as parasites but as tutors those among them who were zealous and patient of labor: and also manifested his own anxious care of them. On this account he said not, "Yet not many masters," but, "not many fathers." So little was it his object to set down any name of dignity, or to argue that of him they had received the greater benefit: but granting to the others the great pains they had taken for the Corinthians, (for that is the force of the word Tutor,) the superiority in love he reserves for his own portion: for that again is the force of the word Father.

And he saith not merely, No one loves you so much; a statement which admitted not of being called in question; but he also brings forward a real fact. What then is this? "For in Christ Jesus I begat you through the Gospel. In Christ Jesus." Not unto myself do I impute this. Again, he strikes at those who gave their own names to their teaching. For "ye," saith he, "are the seal of mine Apostleship." And again, "I planted:" and in this place, "I begat." He said not, "I preached the word," but, "I begat;" using the words of natural relationship. (tois tes phuseos onomasi) For his one care at the moment was, to shew forth the love which he had for them. "For they indeed received you from me, and led you on; but that you are believers at all came to pass through me." Thus, because he had said, "as children;" lest you should suppose that the expression was flattery he produces also the matter of fact.

Being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day.
I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you.
For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.
Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me.
Ver. 16. [5.] "I beseech you, be ye imitators of me, as I also am of Christ." (kathos kago Christou, omitted in our version: the Vulgate has it, see c. xi. 1.) Astonishing! How great is our teacher's boldness of speech! How highly finished the image, when he can even exhort others hereunto! Not that in self-exaltation he doth so, but implying that virtue is an easy thing. As if he had said, "Tell me not, I am not able to imitate thee. Thou art a Teacher, and a great one.' For the difference between me and you is not so great as between Christ and me: and yet I have imitated Him."

On the other hand, writing to the Ephesians, he interposes no mention of himself, but leads them all straight to the one point, "Be ye imitators of God," is his word. (Ephesians 5:1.) But in this place, since his discourse was addressed to weak persons, he puts himself in by the way.

And besides, too, he signifies that it is possible even thus to imitate Christ. For he who copies the perfect impression of the seal, copies the original model.

Let us see then in what way he followed Christ: for this imitation needs not time and art, but a steady purpose alone. Thus if we go into the study of a painter, we shall not be able to copy the portrait, though we see it ten thousand times. But to copy him we are enabled by hearing alone. Will ye then that we bring the tablet before you and sketch out for you Paul's manner of life? Well, let it be produced, that picture far brighter than all the images of Emperors: for its material is not boards glued together, nor canvass stretched out; but the material is the work of God: being as it is a soul and a body: a soul, the work of God, not of men; and a body again in like wise.

Did you utter applause here? Nay, not here is the time for plaudits; but in what follows: for applauding, I say, and for imitating too: for so far we have but the material which is common to all without exception: inasmuch as soul differs not from soul in regard of its being a soul: but the purpose of heart shews the difference. For as one body differs not from another in so far as it is a body, but Paul's body is like every one's else, only dangers make one body more brilliant than another: just so is it in the case of the soul also.

[6.] Suppose then our tablet to be the soul of Paul: this tablet was lately lying covered with soot, full of spider's webs; (for nothing can be worse than blasphemy;) but when He came who transformeth all things, and saw that not through indolence or sluggishness were his lines so drawn but through inexperience and his not having the tints (ta anthe) of true piety: (for zeal indeed he had, but the colors were not there; for he had not "the zeal according to knowledge:") He gives him the tint of the truth, that is, grace: and in a moment he exhibited the imperial image. For having got the colors and learnt what he was ignorant of, he waited no time, but forthwith appeared a most excellent artist. And first he shews the head of the king, preaching Christ; then also the remainder of the body; the body of a perfect Christian life. Now painters we know shut themselves up and execute all their works with great nicety and in quiet; not opening the doors to any one: but this man, setting forth his tablet in the view of the world, in the midst of universal opposition, clamor, disturbance, did under such circumstances work out this Royal Image, and was not hindered. And therefore he said, "We are made a spectacle unto the world;" in the midst of earth, and sea, and the heaven, and the whole habitable globe, and the world both material and intellectual, he was drawing that portrait of his.

Would you like to see the other parts also thereof from the head downwards? Or will ye that from below we carry our description upwards? Contemplate then a statue of gold or rather of something more costly than gold, and such as might stand in heaven; not fixed with lead nor placed in one spot, but hurrying from Jerusalem even unto Illyricum, (Romans 15:19.) and setting forth into Spain, and borne as it were on wings over every part of the world. For what could be more "beautiful" than these "feet" which visited the whole earth under the sun? This same "beauty" the prophet also from of old proclaimeth, saying, (Isaiah 52:7.) "How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the Gospel of peace!" Hast thou seen how fair are the feet? Wilt thou see the bosom too? Come, let me shew thee this also, and thou shalt behold it far more splendid than these beautiful, yea even than the bosom itself of the ancient lawgiver. For Moses indeed carried tablets of stone: but this man within him had Christ Himself: it was the very image of the King which he bore.

For this cause he was more awful than the Mercy Seat [71] and the Cherubim. For no such voice went out from them as from hence; but from them it talked with men chiefly about things of sense, from the tongue of Paul on the other hand about the things above the heavens. Again, from the Mercy Seat it spake oracles to the Jews alone; but from hence to the whole world: and there it was by things without life; but here by a soul instinct with virtue.

This Mercy Seat was brighter even than heaven, not shining forth with variety of stars nor with rays from the sun, but the very Sun of righteousness was there, and from hence He sent forth His rays. Again, from time to time in this our heaven, any cloud coursing over at times makes it gloomy; but that bosom never had any such storm sweeping across it. Or rather there did sweep over it many storms and oft: but the light they darkened not; rather in the midst of the temptation and dangers the light shone out. Wherefore also he himself when bound with his chain kept exclaiming, (2 Timothy 2:9.) "The word of God is not bound." Thus continually by means of that tongue was It sending forth its rays. And no fear, no danger made that bosom gloomy. Perhaps the bosom seems to outdo the feet; however, both they as feet are beautiful, and this as a bosom.

Wilt thou see also the belly with its proper beauty? Hear what he saith about it, (ch. viii. 13.) "If meat make my brother to stumble, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth: (Romans 14:21.) It is good neither to eat flesh nor to drink wine, nor anything whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak: (ch. vi. 13.) Meats for the belly and the belly for meats." What can be more beautiful in its kind than this belly thus instructed to be quiet, and taught all temperance, and knowing how both to hunger and be famished, and also to suffer thirst? For as a well-trained horse with a golden bridle, so also did this walk with measured paces, having vanquished the necessity of nature. For it was Christ walking in it. Now this being so temperate, it is quite plain that the whole body of vice besides was done away.

Wouldst thou see the hands too? those which he now hath? Or wouldest thou rather behold first their former wickedness? (Acts 8:3.) "Entering (this very man) into the houses, he haled," of late, "men and women," with the hands not of man, but of some fierce wild beast. But as soon as he had received the colors of the Truth and the spiritual experience, no longer were these the hands of a man, but spiritual; day by day being bound with chains. And they never struck any one, but they were stricken times without number. Once even a viper (Acts 28:3, 5.) reverenced those hands: for they were the hands of a human being no longer; and therefore it did not even fasten on them.

And wilt thou see also the back, resembling as it does the other members? Hear what he saith about this also. (2 Corinthians 11:24, 25.) "Five times I received of the Jews forty stripes save one; thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep."

[7.] But lest we too should fall into an interminable deep, and be carried away far and wide, going over each of his members severally; come let us quit the body and look at another sort of beauty, that, namely, which proceeds from his garments; to which even devils shewed reverence; and therefore both they made off, and diseases took flight. And wheresoever Paul happened to shew himself, they all retired and got out of the way, as if the champion of the whole world had appeared. And as they who have been often wounded in war, should they see but some part of the armor of him that wounded them feel a shuddering; much in the same way the devils also, at sight of "handkerchiefs" only were astonied. Where be now the rich, and they that have high thoughts about wealth? Where they who count over their own titles and their costly robes? With these things if they compare themselves, it will be clay in their sight and dirt, all they have of their own. And why speak I of garments and golden ornaments? Why, if one would grant me the whole world in possession, the mere nail of Paul I should esteem more powerful than all that dominion: his poverty than all luxury: his dishonor, than all glory: his nakedness than all riches: no security would I compare with the buffeting of that sacred head: no diadem, with the stones to which he was a mark. This crown let us long for, beloved: and if persecution be not now, let us mean while prepare ourselves. For neither was he of whom we speak glorious by persecutions alone: for he said also, (1 Corinthians 9:27. hupopiezo rec. text, hupopiazo) "I keep under my body;" now in this one may attain excellence without persecutions. And he exhorted not to (Romans 3:14.) "make provision for the flesh to fulfill the lusts thereof." And again, (1 Timothy 6:8.) "Having food and covering, let us be therewith content." For to these purposes we have no need of persecutions. And the wealthy too he sought to moderate, saying, (Ibid. 9.) "They that desire to be rich fall into temptation."

If therefore we also thus exercise ourselves, when we enter into the contest we shall be crowned: and though there be no persecution before us, we shall receive for these things many rewards. But if we pamper the body and live the life of a swine, even in peace we shall often sin and bear shame.

Seest thou not with whom we wrestle? With the incorporeal powers. How then, being ourselves flesh, are we to get the better of these? For if wrestling with men one have need to be temperate in diet, much more with evil spirits. But when together with fulness of flesh we are also bound down to wealth, whence are we to overcome our antagonists? For wealth is a chain, a grievous chain, to those who know not how to use it; a tyrant savage and inhuman, imposing all his commands by way of outrage on those who serve him. Howbeit, if we will, this bitter tyranny we shall depose from its throne, and make it yield to us, instead of commanding. How then shall this be? By distributing our wealth unto all. For so long as it stands against us, each single handed, like any robber in a wilderness it works all its bad ends: but when we bring it forth among others, it will master us no more, holden as it will be in chains, on all sides, by all men.

[8.] And these things I say, not because riches are a sin: the sin is in not distributing them to the poor, and in the wrong use of them. For God made nothing evil but all things very good; so that riches too are good; i. e. if they do not master their owners; if the wants of our neighbors be done away by them. For neither is that light good which instead of dissipating darkness rather makes it intense: nor should I call that wealth, which instead of doing away poverty rather increases it. For the rich man seeks not to take from others but to help others: but he that seeks to receive from others is no longer rich, but is emphatically poor. So that it is not riches that are an evil, but the needy mind which turns wealth into poverty. These are more wretched than those who ask alms in the narrow streets, carrying a wallet and mutilated in body. I say, clothed in rags as they are, not so miserable as those in silks and shining garments. Those who strut in the market-place are more to be pitied than those who haunt the crossings of the streets, and enter into the courts, and cry from their cellars, and ask charity. For these for their part do utter praises to God, and speak words of mercy and a strict morality. And therefore we pity them, and stretch out the hand, and never find fault with them. But those who are rich to bad purpose; cruelty and inhumanity, ravening and satanical lust, are in the words they belch out. And therefore by all are they detested and laughed to scorn. Do but consider; which of the two among all men is reckoned disgraceful, to beg of the rich or the poor. Every one, I suppose, sees it at once:--of the poor. Now this, if you mark it, is what the rich do; for they durst not apply to those who are richer than themselves: whereas those who beg do so of the wealthy: for one beggar asks not alms of another, but of a rich man; but the rich man tears the poor in pieces.

Again tell me, which is the more dignified, to receive from those who are willing and are obliged to you, or when men are unwilling, to compel and tease them? Clearly not to trouble those who are unwilling. But this also the rich do: for the poor receive from willing hands, and such as are obliged to them; but the rich from persons unwilling and repugnant, which is an indication of greater poverty. For if no one would like so much as to go to a meal, unless the inviter were to feel obliged to the guest, how can it be honorable to take one's share of any property by compulsion? Do we not on this account get out of the way of dogs and fly from their baying, because by their much besetting they fairly force us off? This also our rich men do.

"But, that fear should accompany the gift, is more dignified." Nay, this is of all most disgraceful. For he who moves heaven and earth about his gains, who can be so laughed to scorn as he? For even unto dogs, not seldom, through fear, we throw whatever we had hold of. Which I ask again, is more disgraceful? that one clothed with rags should beg, or one who wears silk? Thus when a rich man pays court to old and poor persons, so as to get possession of their property, and this when there are children, what pardon can he deserve?

Further: If you will, let us examine the very words; what the rich beggars say, and what the poor. What then saith the poor man? "That he who giveth alms will never have to give by measure (metriasei perhaps corrupt: conj. peinasei, "will never hunger); that he is giving of what is God's: that God is loving unto men, and recompenses more abundantly; all which are words of high morality, and exhortation, and counsel. For he recommends thee to look unto the Lord, and he takes away thy fear of the poverty to come. And one may perceive much instruction in the words of those who ask alms: but of what kind are those of the rich? Why, of swine, and dogs, and wolves, and all other wild beasts. For some of them discourse perpetually on banquets, and dishes, and delicacies, and wine of all sorts, and ointments, and vestures, and all the rest of that extravagance. And others about the interest of money and loans. And making out accounts and increasing the mass of debts to an intolerable amount, as if it had begun in the time of men's fathers or grandfathers, one they rob of his house, another of his field, and another of his slave, and of all that he has. Why should one speak of their wills, which are written in blood instead of ink? For either by surrounding them with some intolerable danger, or else bewitching them with some paltry promises, whomsoever they may see in possession of some small property, those they persuade to pass by all their relations, and that oftentimes when perishing through poverty, and instead of them to enter their own names. Is there any madness and ferocity of wild beasts of any sort which these things do not throw into the shade?

[8.] Wherefore I beseech you, all such wealth as this let us flee, disgraceful as it is and in deaths abundant; and let us obtain that which is spiritual, and let us seek after the treasures in the heavens. For whoso possess these, they are the rich, they are the wealthy, both here and there enjoying things; even all things. Since whoso will be poor, according to the word of God, has all men's houses opened to him. For unto him that for God's sake has ceased to possess any thing, every one will contribute of his own. But whoso will hold a little with injustice, shutteth the doors of all against him. To the end, then, that we may attain both to the good things here and to those which are there, let us choose the wealth which cannot be removed, that immortal abundance: which may God grant us all to obtain, through the grace and loving-kindness of our Lord Jesus Christ, &c.


[71] That is, probably, "of our Lord's Human Nature:" according to Theodoret on Romans 3:25. "The true Mercy Seat is the Lord Christ. The name suits Him as man, not as God: for as God, He Himself gives oracles from the Mercy Seat." And Theophylact on the same place: "It meant certainly the Human Nature, which was the Sheath of the Deity, covering It over." See Suicer on the word hilasterion. [This note is based upon a false reading, which has been corrected according to Field. C.]

For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ, as I teach every where in every church.
For this cause have I sent unto you Timothy, who is my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, who shall put you in remembrance of my ways which be in Christ Jesus. [72]

Consider here also, I entreat, the noble soul, the soul more glowing and keener than fire: how he was indeed especially desirous to be present himself with the Corinthians, thus distempered and broken into parties. For he knew well what a help to the disciples his presence was and what a mischief his absence. And the former he declared in the Epistle to the Philippians, saying, (Philippians 2:12. kai[] om. in rec. text.) "Not as in my presence only, but also now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling." The latter he signifies in this Epistle, saying, (ver. 18.) "Now some are puffed up, as though I were not coming to you; but I will come." He was urgent, it seems, and desirous to be present himself. But as this was not possible for a time, he corrects them by the promise of his appearance; and not this only, but also by the sending of his disciple. "For this," he saith, "I have sent unto you Timothy." "For this cause:" how is that? "Because I care for you as for children, and as having begotten you." And the message is accompanied with a recommendation of his person: "Who is my beloved and faithful child in the Lord." Now this he said, both to shew his love of him, and to prepare them to look on him with respect. And not simply "faithful," but, "in the Lord;" that is, in the things pertaining to the Lord. Now if in worldly things it is high praise for a man to be faithful, much more in things spiritual.

If then he was his "beloved child," consider how great was Paul's love, in choosing to be separated from him for the Corinthian's sake, And if "faithful" also, he will be unexceptionable in his ministering to their affairs.

"Who shall put you in remembrance." He said not, "shall teach," lest they should take it ill, as being used to learn from himself. Wherefore also towards the end he saith, (1 Corinthians 16:10, 11.) "For he worketh the work of the Lord, as I also do. Let no man therefore despise him." For there was no envy among the Apostles, but they had an eye unto one thing, the edification of the Church. And if he that was employed was their inferior, they did as it were support (sunekrotoun) him with all earnestness. Wherefore neither was he contented with saying, "He shall put you in remembrance;" but purposing to cut out their envy more completely,--for Timothy was young,--with this view, I say, he adds, "my ways;" not "his," but "mine;" that is, his methods, (tas oikonomias.) his dangers, his customs, his laws, his ordinances, his Apostolical Canons, and all the rest. For since he had said, "We are naked, and are buffered, and have no certain dwelling place: all these things," saith he, "he will remind you of;" and also of the laws of Christ; for destroying all heresies. Then, carrying his argument higher, he adds, "which be in Christ;" ascribing all, as was his wont, unto the Lord, and on that ground establishing the credibility of what is to follow. Wherefore he subjoins, "Even as I teach every where in every church." "Nothing new have I spoken unto you: of these my proceedings all the other Churches are cognizant as well as you." Further: he calls them "ways in Christ," to shew that they have in them nothing human, and that with the aid from that source he doth all things well.

[2.] And having said these things and so soothed them, and being just about to enter on his charge against the unclean person, he again utters words full of anger; not that in himself he felt so but in order to correct them: and giving over the fornicator, he directs his discourse to the rest, as not deeming him worthy even of words from himself; just as we act in regard to our servants when they have given us great offence.

Next, after that he had said, "I send Timothy, lest they should thereupon take things too easily, mark what he saith:

Now some are puffed up, as though I would not come to you.
Ver. 18. "Now some are puffed up, as though I were not coming unto you." For there he glances both at them and at certain others, casting down their highmindedness: since the love of preeminence is in fault, when men abuse the absence of their teacher for their own self-will. For when he addresses himself unto the people, observe how he does it by way of appeal to their sense of shame; when unto the originators of the mischief, his manner is more vehement. Thus unto the former he saith, "We are the offscouring of all:" and soothing them he saith, "Not to shame you I write these things;" but to the latter, "Now as though I were not coming to you, some are puffed up;" shewing that their self-will argued a childish turn of mind. For so boys in the absence of their master wax more negligent.

This then is one thing here indicated; and another is that his presence was sufficient for their correction. For as the presence of a lion makes all living creatures shrink away, so also does that of Paul the corrupters of the Church.

But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord will, and will know, not the speech of them which are puffed up, but the power.
Ver. 19. And therefore he goes on, "But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord will." Now to say this only would seem to be mere threatening. But to promise himself and demand from them the requisite proof by actions also; this was a course for a truly high spirit. Accordingly he added this too, saying,

"And I will know, not the word of them which are puffed up, but the power." For not from any excellencies of their own but from their teacher's absence, this self-will arose. Which again itself was a mark of a scornful mind towards him. And this is why, having said, "I have sent Timothy," he did not at once add, "I will come;" but waited until he had brought his charge against them of being "puffed up:" after that he saith, "I will come." Since, had he put it before the charge, it would rather have been an apology for himself as not having been deficient, instead of a threat; nor even so (houtos so the King's ms. outos the rec. text.) would the statement have been convincing. But as it is, placing it after the accusation, he rendered himself such as they would both believe and fear.

Mark also how solid and secure he makes his ground: for he saith not simply, "I will come:" but, "If the Lord will:" and he appoints no set time. For since he might perhaps be tardy in coming, by that uncertainty he would fain keep them anxiously engaged. And, lest they should hereupon fall back again, he added, "shortly,"

[3.] "And I will know, not the word of them that are puffed up, but the power." He said not, "I will know not the wisdom, nor the signs," but what? "not the word:" by the term he employs at the same time depressing the one and exalting the other. And for a while he is setting himself against the generality of them who were countenancing the fornicator. For if he were speaking of him, he would not say, "the power;" but, "the works," the corrupt works which he did.

Now why seekest thou not after "the word?" "Not because I am wanting in word but because all our doings are in power.'" As therefore in war success is not for those who talk much but those who effect much; so also in this case, not speakers, but doers have the victory. "Thou," saith he, "art proud of this fine speaking. Well, if it were a contest and a time for orators, thou mightest reasonably be elated thereat: but if of Apostles preaching truth, and by signs confirming the same, why art thou puffed up for a thing superfluous and unreal, and to the present purpose utterly inefficient? For what could a display of words avail towards raising the dead, or expelling evil spirits, or working any other such deed of wonder? But these are what we want now, and by these our cause stands." Whereupon also he adds,

Ver. 20. "For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power." By signs, saith he, not by fine speaking, we have prevailed: and that our teaching is divine and really announces the Kingdom of Heaven we give the greater proof, namely, our signs which we work by the power of the Spirit. If those who are now puffed up desire to be some great ones; as soon as I am come, let them shew whether they have any such power. And let me not find them sheltering themselves behind a pomp of words: for that kind of art is nothing to us.

[4.] Ver. 21. "What will ye? Shall I come unto you with a rod, or in love and a spirit of meekness?"

There is much both of terror and of gentleness in this saying. For to say, "I will know," was the language of one as yet withholding himself: but to say, "What will ye? Must I come unto you with a rod?" are the words of one thenceforth ascending the teacher's seat, and from thence holding discourses with them and taking upon him all his authority.

What means, "with a rod?" With punishment, with vengeance: that is, I will destroy; I will strike with blindness: the kind of thing which Peter did in the case of Sapphira, and himself in the case of Elymas the sorcerer. For henceforth he no longer speaks as bringing himself into a close comparison with the other teachers, but with authority. And in the second Epistle too he appears to say the same, when he writes, "Since ye seek a proof of Christ speaking in me."

"Shall I come with a rod, or in love?" What then? to come with a rod, was it not an instance of love? Of love it was surely [73] . But because through his great love he shrinks back in punishing, therefore he so expresses himself.

Further; when he spoke about punishment, he said not, "in a spirit of meekness," but, [simply,] "with a rod:" and yet of that too the Spirit was author. For there is a spirit of meekness, and a spirit of severity. He doth not, however, choose so to call it, but from its milder aspect (apo ton chrestoteron.) And for a like reason also, God, although avenging Himself, has it often affirmed of Him that He is "gracious and long-suffering, and rich in mercy and pity:" but that He is apt to punish, once perhaps or twice, and sparingly, and that upon some urgent cause.

[5.] Consider then the wisdom of Paul; holding the authority in his own hands, he leaves both his and that in the power of others, saying, "What will ye?" "The matter is at your disposal."

For we too have depending on us both sides of the alternative; both falling into hell, and obtaining the kingdom: since God hath so willed it. For, "behold," saith he, "fire and water: whichever way thou wilt, thou mayest stretch forth thine hand" (Ecclus. xv. 16.) And, "If ye be willing, and will hearken unto me, ye shall eat the good of the land; (Isaiah 1:19,) but if ye be not willing, the sword shall devour you."

But perhaps one will say, "I am willing; (and no one is so void of understanding as not to be willing;) but to will is not sufficient for me." Nay, but it is sufficient, if thou be duly willing, and do the deeds of one that is willing. But as it is, thou art not greatly willing.

And let us try this in other things, if it seem good. For tell me, he that would marry a wife, is he content with wishing? By no means; but he looks out for women to advance his suit, and request friends to keep watch with him, and gets together money. Again, the merchant is not content with sitting at home and wishing, but he first hires a vessel, then selects sailors and rowers, then takes up money on interest, and is inquisitive about a market and the price of merchandise. Is it not then strange for men to shew themselves so much in earnest about earthly things, but that when they are to make a venture for heaven, they should be content with wishing only? rather I should say, not even in this do they shew themselves properly in earnest. For he that wills a thing as he ought, puts also his hand unto the means which lead to the object of his desire. Thus, when hunger compels thee to take nourishment, thou waitest not for the viands to come unto thee of their own accord, but omittest nothing to gather victuals together. So in thirst, and cold and all other such things, thou art industrious and duly prepared to take care of the body. Now do this in respect of God's kingdom also, and surely thou shalt obtain it.

For to this end God made thee a free agent, that thou mightest not afterwards accuse God, as though some necessity had bound thee: but thou, in regard of those very things wherein thou hast been honored, dost murmur.

For in fact I have often heard people say, "But why did He then make my goodness depend on me?" Nay, but how was He to bring thee, slumbering and sleeping, and in love with all iniquity, and living delicately, and pampering thyself; how was He to bring thee up to heaven? If He had, thou wouldest not have abstained from vice. For if now, even in the face of threatening, thou dost not turn aside from thy wickedness; had he added no less than heaven as the end of thy race, when wouldest thou have ceased waxing more careless and worse by far? (cheiron pollo. pollon Bened.)

Neither again wilt thou be able to allege, He hath shewed me indeed what things were good but gave no help, for abundant also is His promise to thee of aid.

[6.] "But," say you, "Virtue is burdensome and distasteful; while with vice great pleasure is blended; and the one is wide and broad, but the other strait and narrow."

Tell me then, are they respectively such throughout, or only from the beginning? For in fact what thou here sayest, thou sayest, not intending it, in behalf of virtue; so potent a thing is truth. For suppose there were two roads, the one leading to a furnace, and the other to a Paradise; and that the one unto the furnace were broad, the other unto Paradise, narrow; which road wouldest thou take in preference? For although you may now gainsay for contradiction's sake, yet things which are plainly allowed on all hands, however shameless, you will not be able to gainsay. Now that that way is rather to be chosen which hath its beginning difficult but not its end, I will endeavor to teach you from what is quite obvious. And, if you please, let us first take in hand the arts. For these have their beginning full of toil, but the end gainful. "But," say you, "no one applies himself to an art without some one to compel him; for," you add, "so long as the boy is his own master, he will choose rather to take his ease at first, and in the end to endure the evil, how great soever, than to live hardly at the outset, and afterwards reap the fruit of those labors." Well then, to make such a choice comes of a mind left to itself, (orphanikes dianoias) and of childish idleness: but the contrary choice, of sense and manliness. And so it is with us: were we not children in mind, we should not be like the child aforesaid, forsaken (orphano) as he is and thoughtless, but like him that hath a father. We must cast out then our own childish mind, and not find fault with the things themselves; and we must set a charioteer over our conscience, who will not allow us to indulge our appetite, but make us run and strive mightily. For what else but absurdity is it to inure our children with pains at first unto pursuits which have laborious beginnings, but their end good and pleasant; while we ourselves in spiritual things take just the contrary turn?

And yet even in those earthly things it is not quite plain that the end will be good and pleasant: since before now untimely death, or poverty, or false accusation, or reverse of fortune, or other such things, of which there are many, have caused men after their long toil to be deprived of all its fruits. What is more, those who have such pursuits, though they succeed, it is no great gain which they will reap. For with the present life all those things are dissolved. But here, not for such fruitless and perishable things is our race, neither have we fears about the end; but greater and more secure is our hope after our departure hence. What pardon then can there be, what excuse for those who will not strip themselves for the evils to be endured for virtue's sake?

And do they yet ask, "Wherefore is the way narrow?" Why, thou dost not deem it right that any fornicator or lewd or drunken (kai ton methuonton inserted from the King's ms.) person should enter into the courts of earthly kings; and claimest thou for men to be let into heaven itself with licentiousness, and luxury, and drunkenness, and covetousness, and all manner of iniquity? And how can these things be pardonable?

[7.] "Nay," you reply, "I say not that, but why has not virtue a "broad way?" In good truth if we be willing, its way is very easy. For whether is easier, tell me; to dig through a wall and take other men's goods and so be cast into prison; or to be content with what you have and freed from all fear? I have not however said all. For whether is easier, tell me; to steal all men's goods and revel in few of them for a short time, and then to be racked and scourged eternally; or having lived in righteous poverty for a short time, to live ever after in delights? (For let us not enquire as yet which is the more profitable, but for the present, which is the more easy.) Whether again is it pleasanter, to see a good dream and to be punished in reality; or after having had a disagreeable dream to be really in enjoyment? Of course the latter. Tell me then, In what sense dost thou call virtue harsh? I grant, it is harsh, tried by comparison with our carelessness. However, that it is really easy and smooth, hear what Christ saith, (St. Matthew 11:30.) "My yoke is easy, and My burden is light." But if thou perceivest not the lightness, plainly it is for want of courageous zeal; since where that is, even heavy things are light; and by the same rule where it is not, even light things are heavy. For tell me, what could be sweeter and more easily obtained than the banquet of manna? Yet the Jews were discontented, though enjoying such delightful fare. What more bitter than hunger and all the other hardships which Paul endured? Yet he leaped up, and rejoiced, and said, (Colossians 1:24.) "Now I rejoice in my sufferings." What then is the cause? The difference of the mind. If then you frame this as it ought to be, you will see the easiness of virtue.

"What then," say you, "does she only become such through the mind of those who pursue her?" She is such, not from their mind alone, but by nature as well. Which I thus prove: If the one had been throughout a thing painful, the other throughout of the contrary sort, then with some plausibility might some fallen persons have said that the latter was easier than the former. But if they have their beginnings, the one in hardship, the other in pleasure, but their respective ends again just opposite to these; and if those ends be both infinite, in the one the pleasure, in the other the burthen; tell me, which is the more easy to choose?

"Why then do many not choose that which is easy?" Because some disbelieve; and others, who believe, have their judgment corrupt, and would prefer pleasure for a season to that which is everlasting. "Is not this then easy?" Not so: but this cometh of a sick soul. And as the reason why persons in a fever long after cool drink is not upon calculation that the momentary luxury is pleasanter than being burned up from beginning to end, but because they cannot restrain their inordinate desire; so also these. Since if one brought them to their punishment at the very moment of their pleasure, assuredly they never would have chosen it. Thus you see in what sense vice is not an easy thing.

[8.] But if you will, let us try this same point over again by an example in the proper subject matter. Tell me, for instance, which is pleasanter and easier? (only let us not take again the desire of the many for our rule in the matter; since one ought to decide, not by the sick, but by the whole; just as you might show me ten thousand men in a fever, seeking things unwholesome upon choice to suffer for it afterwards; but I should not allow such choice;) which, I repeat, brings more ease, tell me; to desire much wealth, or to be above that desire? For I, for my part, think the latter. If thou disbelieve it, let the argument be brought to the facts themselves.

Let us then suppose one man desiring much, another nothing. Which now is the better state, tell me, and which the more respectable? However, let that pass. For this is agreed upon, that the latter is a finer character than the former. And we are making no enquiry about this at present, but which lives the easier and pleasanter life? Well then: the lover of money will not enjoy even what he has: for that which he loves he cannot choose to spend; but would gladly even carve (katakopseie) himself out, and part with his flesh rather than with his gold. But he that despises wealth, gains this the while, that he enjoys what he has quietly and with great security, and that he values himself more than it. Which then is the pleasanter; to enjoy what one has with freedom, or to live under a master, namely wealth, and not dare to touch a single thing even of one's own? Why, it seemeth to me to be much the same as if any two men, having wives and loving them exceedingly, were not upon the same terms with them; but the one were allowed the presence and intercourse of his wife, the other not even permitted to come near his.

There is another thing which I wish to mention, indicating the pleasure of the one and the discomfort of the other. He that is greedy of gain will never be stayed in that desire, not only because it is impossible, for him to obtain all men's goods, but also because whatever he may have compassed, he counts himself to have nothing. But the despiser of riches will deem it all superfluous, and will not have to punish his soul with endless desires. I say, punish; for nothing so completely answers the definition of punishment as desire deprived of gratification; a thing too which especially marks his perverse mind. Look at it in this way. He that lusts after riches and hath increased his store, he is the sort of person to feel as if he had nothing. I ask then, what more complicated than this disease? And the strange thing is not this only, but that although having, he thinks he has not the very things which are in his hold, and as though he had them not he bewails himself. If he even get all men's goods, his pain is but greater. And should he gain an hundred talents, he is vexed that he hath not received a thousand: and if he received a thousand; he is stung to the quick that it is not ten thousand: and if he receive ten thousand, he utterly bemoans himself (katakoptetai) because it is not ten times as much. And the acquisition of more to him becomes so much more poverty; for the more he receives so much the more he desires. So then, the more he receives, the more he becomes poor: since whoso desires more, is more truly poor. When then he hath an hundred talents, is he not very poor? [74] for he desires a thousand. When he hath got a thousand, then he becomes yet poorer. For it is no longer a thousand as before, but ten thousand that he professes himself to want. Now if you say that to wish and not to obtain is pleasure, you seem to me to be very ignorant of the nature of pleasure.

[9.] To shew that this sort of thing is not pleasure but punishment, take another case, and so let us search it out. When we are thirsty, do we not therefore feel pleasure in drinking because we quench our thirst; and is it not therefore a pleasure to drink because it relieves us from a great torment, the desire, I mean, of drinking? Every one, I suppose, can tell. But were we always to remain in such a state of desire, we should be as badly off as the rich man in the parable of Lazarus for the matter of punishment; for his punishment was just this that vehemently desiring one little drop, he obtained it not. And this very thing all covetous persons seem to me continually to suffer, and to resemble him where he begs that he may obtain that drop, and obtains it not. For their soul is more on fire than his.

Well indeed hath one [75] said, that all lovers of money are in a sort of dropsy; for as they, bearing much water in their bodies, are the more burnt up: so also the covetous, bearing about with them great wealth, are greedy of more. The reason is that neither do the one keep the water in the parts of the body where it should be, nor the other their desire in the limits of becoming thought.

Let us then flee this strange and craving (xenen kai kenen: a play on the sound of the words,) disease; let us flee the root of all evils; let us flee that which is present hell; for it is a hell, the desire of these things. Only just lay open the soul of each, of him who despises wealth and of him who does not so; and you will see that the one is like the distracted, choosing neither to hear nor see any thing: the other, like a harbor free from waves: and he is the friend of all, as the other is the enemy. For whether one take any thing of his, it gives him no annoyance; or if whether, on the contrary, one give him aught, it puffs him not up; but there is a certain freedom about him with entire security. The one is forced to flatter and feign before all; the other, to no man.

If now to be fond of money is to be both poor and timid and a dissembler and a hypocrite and to be full of fears and great penal anguish and chastisement: while he that despises wealth has all the contrary enjoyments: is it not quite plain that virtue is the more pleasant?

Now we might have gone through all the other evils also whereby it is shewn that there is no vice which hath pleasure in it, had we not spoken before so much at large.

Wherefore knowing these things, let us choose virtue; to the end that we may both enjoy such pleasure as is here, and may attain unto the blessings which are to come, through the grace and loving-kindness, &c. &c.


[72] Iesou om. in rec. text, [but retained it Rev. Vers.]

[73] St. Augustin, cont. Parmen, iii. 3. "Are we to suppose that "the rod" at all excludes "love," because he has given this turn to his sentence, Shall I come unto you with a rod,' or in love?' Nay, the following clause, And in a spirit of meekness,' hints what was passing in his mind--that the rod also has in it love. But love in severity is one thing, love in meekness another thing. The love is the same, but it works diversely in divers cases."

[74] Savile reads this interrogatively, [as does also Dr. Field. C.]

[75] Crescit indulgens sibi dirus Hydrops, Nec sitim pellit, nisi causa morbi Fugerit venis, et aquosus albo corpore languor. Hor. Carm. ii. 2.

For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.
What will ye? shall I come unto you with a rod, or in love, and in the spirit of meekness?
The Homilies of St. John Chrysostom
Text Courtesy of Christian Classics Etherial Library.

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