Homilies of Chrysostom
Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia;
How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality.
For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves;
Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints.
And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God.
Insomuch that we desired Titus, that as he had begun, so he would also finish in you the same grace also.
Therefore, as ye abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also.
Therefore that  ye abound  in every thing; in faith and utterance, and knowledge, and in all earnestness.
See again his exhortation accompanied with commendations, greater commendations. And he said not, that ye give,' but "that ye abound; in faith," namely, of the gifts, and "in utterance," the word of wisdom, and "knowledge," namely, of the doctrines, and "in all earnestness," to the attaining of all other virtue.
"And in your love," that, namely of which I have before spoken, of which I have also made proof.
"That ye may abound in this grace also." Seest thou that for this reason it was that he began by those praises, that advancing forward he might draw them on to the same diligence in these things also.
I speak not by commandment, but by occasion of the forwardness of others, and to prove the sincerity of your love.
Ver. 8. "I speak not by way of commandment."
See how constantly he humors them, how he avoids offensiveness, and is not violent nor compulsory; or rather what he says hath both these, with the inoffensiveness of that which is uncompelled. For after he had repeatedly exhorted them and had greatly commended the Macedonians, in order that this might not seem to constitute a necessity, he says,
"I speak not by way of commandment, but as proving through the earnestness of others, the sincerity also of your love."
Not as doubting it,' (for that is not what he would here imply,) but to make it approved, display it and frame it unto greater strength. For I therefore say these things that I may provoke you to the same forwardness. And I mention their zeal to brighten, to cheer, to stimulate your inclinations.' Then from this he proceeded to another and a greater point. For he lets slip no mode of persuasion, but moves heaven and earth  in handling his argument. For he exhorted them both by other men's praises, saying, Ye know "the grace of God which hath been given in the Churches of Macedonia;" and by their own, "therefore that ye abound in everything, in utterance and knowledge." For this hath power to sting man more that he falls short of himself, than that he does so of others. Then he proceeds afterwards to the head and crown of his persuasion.
For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.
Ver. 9. "For ye know the grace of our Lord, that though He was rich, yet for our sakes He became poor, that we through His poverty might become rich."
For have in mind,' says he, ponder and consider the grace of God and do not lightly pass it by, but aim at realizing  the greatness of it both as to extent and nature  , and thou wilt grudge nothing of thine. He emptied Himself of His glory that ye, not through His riches but through His poverty, might be rich. If thou believest not that poverty is productive of riches, have in mind thy Lord and thou wilt doubt no longer. For had He not become poor, thou wouldest not have become rich. For this is the marvel, that poverty hath made riches rich.' And by riches here he meaneth the knowledge of godliness, the cleansing away of sins, justification, sanctification, the countless good things which He bestowed upon us and purposeth to bestow. And all these things accrued to us through His poverty. What poverty? Through His taking flesh on Him and becoming man and suffering what He suffered. And yet he owed not this, but thou dost owe to Him.
And herein I give my advice: for this is expedient for you, who have begun before, not only to do, but also to be forward a year ago.
Ver. 10. "And herein I give you  my advice for your profit."
See how again he is careful to give no offence and softens down what he says, by these two things, by saying, "I give advice," and, "for your profit." For, neither do I compel and force you,' says he, or demand it from unwilling subjects; nor do I say these things with an eye so much to the receivers benefit as to yours.' Then the instance also which follows is drawn from themselves, and not from others.
"Who were the first to make a beginning a year ago, not only to do, but also to will."
See how he shows both that themselves were willing, and had come to this resolution without persuasion. For since he had borne this witness to the Thessalonians, that "of their own accord with much intreaty," they had prosecuted this giving of alms; he is desirous of showing of these also that this good work is their own. Wherefore he said, "not only to do, but also to will," and not "begun," but "begun before, a year ago." Unto these things therefore I exhort you, whereunto ye beforehand bestirred yourselves with all forwardness.
Ver. 11. "And now also ye have completed  the doing of it."
He said not, ye have done it, but, ye have put a completion to it,
"That as there was the readiness to will, so also [there may be] the completion also out of your ability."
That this good work halt not at readiness but receive also the reward that follows upon deeds.
[2.] Ver. 12. "For if the readiness is there, it is acceptable according as a man hath, not according as he hath not."
See wisdom unspeakable. In that (having pointed out those who were doing beyond their power, I mean the Thessalonians, and having praised them for this and said, "I bear them record that even beyond their power;") he exhorteth the Corinthians to do only "after" their power, leaving the example to do its own work; for he knew that not so much exhortation, as emulation, inciteth unto imitation of the like; wherefore he saith, "For if the readiness is there, it is acceptable according as a man hath, not according as he hath not."
Fear not,' he means, because I have said these things, for what I said was an encomium upon their munificence  , but God requires things after a man's power,' "according as he hath, not according as he hath not." For the word "is acceptable," here implies is required.' And he softens  it greatly, in confident reliance upon this example, and as winning them more surely by leaving them at liberty. Wherefore also he added,
Ver. 13. "For I say not this, that others may be eased, and ye distressed."
And yet Christ praised the contrary conduct in the widow's case, that she emptied out all of her living and gave out of her want. (Mark 12:43.) But because he was discoursing to Corinthians amongst whom he chose to suffer hunger; "for it were good for me rather to die, than that any man should make my glorying void;" (1 Corinthians 9:15.) he therefore uses a tempered exhortation, praising indeed those who had done beyond their power, but not compelling these to do so; not because he did not desire it, but because they were somewhat weak. For wherefore doth he praise those, because "in much proof of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality:" and because they gave "beyond their power?" is it not very evident that it is as inducing these also to this conduct? So that even if he appears to permit a lower standard; he doth so, that by it he may raise them to this. Consider, for instance, how even in what follows he is covertly preparing the way for this. For having said these things, he added,
Ver. 14. "Your abundance being a supply for their want."
For not only by the words he has before used but by these also, he is desirous of making the commandment light. Nor yet from this consideration alone, but from that of the recompense also, again he maketh it easier; and uttereth higher things than they deserve, saying, "That there may be equality at this time, and their abundance" a supply "for your want." Now what is it that he saith? Ye are flourishing  in money; they in life  and in boldness towards God.' Give ye to them, therefore, of the money which ye abound in but they have not; that ye may receive of that boldness wherein they are rich and ye are lacking.' See how he hath covertly prepared for their giving beyond their power and of their want. For,' he saith, if thou desirest to receive of their abundance, give of thine abundance; but if to win for thyself the whole, thou wilt give of thy want and beyond thy power.' He doth not say this, however, but leaves it to the reasoning of his hearers; and himself meanwhile works out his object and the exhortation that was meet, adding in keeping with what appeared, the words, that "there may be equality at this time." How equality? You and they mutually giving your superabundance, and filling up your wants. And what sort of equality is this, giving spiritual things for carnal? for great is the advantage on that side; how then doth he call it "equality?" either in respect of each abounding and wanting, doth he say that this [equality] takes place; or else in respect of the present life only. And therefore after saying "equality," he added, "at this time." Now this he said, both to subdue the high-mindedness of the rich, and to show that after our departure hence the spiritual possess the greater advantage. For here indeed we all enjoy much equality of honor; but then there will be a wide distinction and a very great superiority, when the just shine brighter than the sun. Then since he showed that they were to be not only giving, but also receiving, and more, in return; he tries by a further consideration to make them forward, showing that if they did not give of their substance to others, they would not gain anything by gathering all together within. And he adduces an ancient story, thus saying,
Now therefore perform the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to will, so there may be a performance also out of that which ye have.
For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not.
For I mean not that other men be eased, and ye burdened:
But by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their want, that their abundance also may be a supply for your want: that there may be equality:
As it is written, He that had gathered much had nothing over; and he that had gathered little had no lack.
Ver. 15. "As it is written, He that gathered much had nothing over, and he that gathered little had no lack."
Now this happened in the case of the manna. For both they that gathered more, and they that gathered less, were found to have the same quantity, God in this way punishing insatiableness. And this he said at once both to alarm them by what then happened, and to persuade them never to desire to have more nor to grieve at having less. And this one may see happening now in things of this life not in the manna only. For if we all fill but one belly, and live the same length of time, and clothe one body; neither will the rich gain aught by his abundance nor the poor lose aught by his poverty.
[3.] Why then tremblest thou at poverty? and why pursuest thou after wealth? I fear,' saith one, lest I be compelled to go to other men's doors and to beg from my neighbor.' And I constantly hear also many praying to this effect, and saying, Suffer me not at any time to stand in need of men?' And I laugh exceedingly when I hear these prayers, for this fear is even childish. For every day and in every thing, so to speak, do we stand in need of one another. So that these are the words of an unthinking and puffed up spirit, and that doth not clearly discern the nature of things. Seest thou not that all of us are in need one of another? The soldier of the artisan, the artisan of the merchant, the merchant of the husbandman, the slave of the free man, the master of the slave, the poor man of the rich, the rich man of the poor, he that worketh not of him that giveth alms, he that bestoweth of him that receiveth. For he that receiveth alms supplieth a very great want, a want greater than any. For if there were no poor, the greater part of our salvation would be overthrown, in that we should not have where to bestow our wealth. So that even the poor man who appears to be more useless than any is the most useful of any. But if to be in need of another is disgraceful, it remains to die; for it is not possible for a man to live who is afraid of this. But,' saith one, I cannot bear blows arched [in scorn.]' Why dost thou in accusing another of arrogance, disgrace thyself by this accusation? for to be unable to endure the inflation of a proud soul is arrogant. And why fearest thou these things, and tremblest at these things, and on account of these things which are worthy of no account, dreadest poverty also? For if thou be rich, thou wilt stand in need of more, yea of more and meaner. For just in proportion to thy wealth dost thou subject thyself to this curse. So ignorant art thou of what thou prayest when thou askest for wealth in order to be in need of no man; just as if one having come to a sea, where there is need both of sailors and a ship and endless stores of outfit, should pray that he might be in need of nothing at all. For if thou art desirous of being exceedingly independent of every one, pray for poverty; and [then] if thou art dependent on any, thou wilt be so only for bread and raiment; but in the other case thou wilt have need of others, both for lands, and for houses, and for imposts, and for wages, and for rank, and for safety, and for honor, and for magistrates, and those subject to them, both those in the city and those in the country, and for merchants, and for shopkeepers. Do you see that those words are words of extreme carelessness? For, in a word, if to be in need one of another appears to thee a dreadful thing, [know that] it is impossible altogether to escape it; but if thou wilt avoid the tumult, (for thou mayest take refuge in the waveless haven of poverty,) cut off the great tumult of thy affairs, and deem it not disgraceful to be in need of another; for this is the doing of God's unspeakable wisdom. For if we stand in need one of another, yet even the compulsion of this need draweth us not together unto love; had we been independent, should we not have been untamed wild beasts? Perforce and of compulsion God hath subjected us one to another, and every day we are in collision  one with another. And had He removed this curb, who is there who would readily have longed after his neighbor's love? Let us then neither deem this to be disgraceful, nor pray against it and say, Grant us not to stand in need of any one;' but let us pray and say, Suffer us not, when we are in need, to refuse those who are able to help us.' It is not the standing in need of others, but seizing the things of others, that is grievous. But now we have never prayed in respect to that nor said, Grant me not to covet other men's goods;' but to stand in need, this we think a fit subject of deprecation  . Yet Paul stood in need many times, and was not ashamed; nay, even prided himself upon it, and praised those that had ministered to him, saying, "For ye sent once and again to my need;" (Philip. iv. 16.) and again, "I robbed other Churches, taking wages of them that I might minister unto you." (2 Corinthians 11:8.) It is no mark therefore of a generous temper, but of weakness and of a low minded and senseless spirit, to be ashamed of this. For it is even God's decree that we should stand in need one of another. Push not therefore thy philosophy beyond the mean. But,' saith one, I cannot bear a man that is entreated often and complieth not.' And how shall God bear thee who art entreated by Him, and yet obeyest not; and entreated too in things that advantage thee? "For we are ambassadors on behalf of Christ," (2 Corinthians 5:20.) saith he, "as though God were entreating by us; be ye reconciled unto God." And yet, I am His servant,' saith he. And what of that? For when thou, the servant, art drunken, whilst He, the Master, is hungry and hath not even necessary food, how shall thy name of servant stand thee in stead? Nay, this itself will even the more weigh thee down, when thou indeed abidest in a three-storied dwelling whilst He owns not even a decent shelter; when thou [liest] upon soft couches whilst He hath not even a pillow. But,' saith one, I have given.' But thou oughtest not to leave off so doing. For then only wilt thou have an excuse, when thou hast not what [to give], when thou possessest nothing; but so long as thou hast, (though thou have given to ten thousand,) and there be others hungering, there is no excuse for thee. But when thou both shuttest up corn and raisest the price, and devisest other unusual tricks of traffic; what hope of salvation shalt thou have henceforth? Thou hast been bidden to give freely to the hungry, but thou dost not give at a suitable price even. He emptied Himself of so great glory for thy sake, but thou dost not count Him deserving even of a loaf; but thy dog is fed to fulness whilst Christ wastes with hunger; and thy servant bursteth with surfeiting whilst thy Lord and his is in want of necessary food. And how are these the deeds of friends? "Be reconciled unto God," (2 Corinthians 5:20.) for these are [the deeds] of enemies and such as are in hostility.
[4.] Let us then think with shame on the great benefits we have already received, the great benefits we are yet to receive. And if a poor man come to us and beg, let us receive him with much good will, comforting, raising him up with [our] words, that we ourselves also may meet with the like, both from God and from men. "For whatsoever ye would that they should do unto you, do ye also unto them." (Matthew 7:12.) Nothing burdensome, nothing offensive, doth this law contain. What thou wouldest receive, that do,' it saith. The return is equal. And it said not, what thou wouldest not receive, that do not,' but what is more. For that indeed is an abstinence from evil things, but this is a doing of good things, in which the other is involved. Also He said not that do ye also wish, but do, to them.' And what is the advantage? "This is the Law and the Prophets." Wouldest thou have mercy shown thee? Then show mercy. Wouldest thou obtain forgiveness? Then grant it. Wouldest thou not be evil spoken of? Then speak not evil. Longest thou to receive praise? Then bestow it. Wouldest thou not be wronged? Then do not thou plunder. Seest thou how He shows that virtue is natural, and that we need no external laws nor teachers? For in the things we wish to receive, or not to receive from our neighbors, we legislate unto ourselves. So that if thou wouldest not receive a thing, yet doest it, or if thou wouldest receive it, yet doest it not, thou art become self-condemned and art henceforth without any excuse, on the ground of ignorance and of not knowing what ought to be done. Wherefore, I beseech you, having set up this law in ourselves for ourselves, and reading this that is written so clearly and succinctly, let us become such to our neighbors, as we would have them be to ourselves; that may we both enjoy present immunity  , and obtain the future good things, though the grace and love towards men of our Lord Jesus Christ, with Whom to the Father, together with the Holy Spirit, be glory, power, honor, now and for ever, and world without end. Amen.
 hos, R.T. hosper.
 perisseuete, R.T. perisseuete. [There is no reason for following Chrysostom in his variation from the common text. C.]
 panta kinei.
 hose kai helike.
 St. Chrysostom inserts humin, and for touto gar humin sumpherei reads, pros to humon sumpheron.
 hepetelesate. The Textus Receptus gives hepitelesate, which appears to be required in what follows. [The aorist seems to be peculiar to Chrysostom. C.]
 i. e. holiness of life.
But thanks be to God, which put the same earnest care into the heart of Titus for you.
But thanks be to God, Which put  the same earnest care for you into the heart of Titus.
Again he praises Titus. For since he had discoursed of almsgiving, he afterwards discourseth also of those who are to receive the money from them and carry it away. For this was of aid  towards this collection, and towards increasing the forwardness of the contributors. For he that feels confidence as to him that ministereth  , and suspects not those who are to be receivers, gives with the fuller bountifulness. And that this might be the case then also, hear how he commends those that had come for this purpose, the first of whom was Titus. Wherefore also he saith, "But thanks be to God, Which put (literally, gave') the same earnest care into the heart of Titus." What is "the same?" Which he had also in respect to the Thessalonians, or "the same" with me. And mark here wisdom. Showing this to be the work of God, he also gives thanks to Him that gave, so as to incite by this also. For if God stirred him up and sent him to you, He asks through Him. Think not therefore that what has happened is of men.' And whence is it manifest that God incited him?
For indeed he accepted the exhortation; but being more forward, of his own accord he went unto you.
Ver. 17. "For indeed he accepted our exhortation, but being himself very earnest, he went forth of his own accord."
Observe how he also represents him as fulfilling his own part, and needing no prompting from others. And having mentioned the grace of God, he doth not leave the whole to be God's; again, that by this also he may win them unto greater love, having said that he was stirred up from himself  also. For, "being very earnest, he went forth of his own accord," he seized at the thing, he rushed upon the treasure, he considered your service to be his own advantage; and because he loved you exceedingly, he needed not the exhortation I gave; but though he was exhorted by me also, yet it was not by that he was stirred up; but from himself and by the grace of God.'
And we have sent with him the brother, whose praise is in the gospel throughout all the churches;
Ver. 18. "And we have sent together with him the brother whose praise in the Gospel is spread through all the Churches."
And who is this brother? Some indeed say, Luke, because of the history which he wrote, but some, Barnabas; for he calls the unwritten preaching also Gospel. And for what cause does he not mention their names; whilst he both makes Titus known (vid. also ver. 23.) by name, and praises him for his cooperation in the Gospel, (seeing that he was so useful that by reason of his absence even Paul could do nothing great and noble; for, "because I found not Titus my brother, I had no relief for my spirit,"--c. ii. 13.) and for his love towards them, (for, saith he, "his inward affection is more abundant towards you;"--c. vii. 15.) and for his zeal in this matter ("for," he saith, "of his own accord he went")? But these he neither equally commends, nor mentions by name? What then is one to say? Perhaps they did not know them; wherefore he does not dwell upon their praises because as yet they had had no experience of them, but only says so much as was sufficient for their commendation unto them (i. e. the Corinthians,) and to their escaping all evil suspicion. However, let us see on what score he eulogizes this man himself also. On what score then does he eulogize? First, praising him from his preaching; that he not only preached, but also as he ought, and with the befitting earnestness. For he said not, he preaches and proclaims the Gospel,' but, "whose praise is in the Gospel." And that he may not seem to flatter him, he brings not one or two or three men, but whole Churches to testify to him, saying, "through all the churches." Then he makes him respected also from the judgment of those that had chosen him. And this too is no light matter. Therefore after saying, "Whose praise in the Gospel is spread through all the churches," he added,
And not that only, but who was also chosen of the churches to travel with us with this grace, which is administered by us to the glory of the same Lord, and declaration of your ready mind:
Ver. 19. "And not only so."
What is, "and not only so?" Not only on this account,' he says, is respect due to him, that he is approved as a preacher and is praised by all.'
"But he was also appointed by the churches along with us."
Whence it seems to me, that Barnabas is the person intimated. And he signifies his dignity to be great, for he shows also for what office he was appointed. For he saith,
"To travel with us in the matter of this grace which is ministered by us." Seest thou how great are these praises of him? He shone as a preacher of the Gospel and had all the churches testifying to this. He was chosen by us; and unto the same office with Paul, and everywhere was partner with him, both in his trials and in his dangers, for this is implied in the word "travel." But what is, "with this grace which is ministered by us?" So as to proclaim the word, he means, and to preach the Gospel; or to minister also in respect of the money; yea rather, he seems to me to refer to both of these. Then he adds,
"To the glory of the same Lord, and to show your readiness  ." What he means is this: We thought good,' he says, that he should be chosen with us and be appointed unto this work, so as to become a dispenser and a minister of the sacred money.' Nor was this a little matter. For, "Look ye out," it saith, "from among you seven men of good report;" (Acts 6:3.) and he was chosen by the churches, and there was a vote of the whole people taken. What is, "to the glory of the same Lord, and your readiness?" That both God may be glorified and ye may become the readier, they who are to receive this money being of proved character, and no one  able to engender any false suspicion against them. Therefore we sought out such persons, and entrusted not the whole to one person only, that he might escape this suspicion also; but we sent both Titus and another with him. Then to interpret this same expression, "to the glory of the Lord and your ready mind:" he added,
Ver. 20. "Avoiding this, that any man should blame us in the matter of this bounty which is ministered by us."
What can this be which is said? A thing worthy of the virtue of Paul; and showing the greatness of his tender care and his condescension. For,' he says, that none should suspect us, nor have the slightest cavil against us, as though we purloined aught of the money placed in our hands; therefore we send such persons, and not one only, but even two or three.' Seest thou how he clears them of all suspicions? Not on account of the Gospel, nor of their having been chosen merely; but also, from their being persons of proved character, (and for this very reason) having been chosen, that they might not be suspected. And he said not that ye should not blame,' but that no other person should.' And yet it was on their account that he did this; and he implied as much in saying, "to the glory of the same Lord, and your readiness:" however, he does not wish to wound them; and so expresses himself differently,
"Avoiding this." And he is not satisfied with this either, but by what he adds, soothes again, saying,
"In the matter of this bounty which is ministered by us," and mingling his severity with praise. For that they might not feel hurt, and say, Is he obliged then to eye us stealthily, and are we so miserable as ever to have been suspected of these things?' Providing a correction against this too, he says, the money sent by you is of large amount, and this abundance, that is, the large amount of the money, is enough to afford suspicion to the evil-minded had we not offered that security  .'
Ver. 21. For "we take thought for things, honorable not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men."
What can compare with Paul? For he said not, Perdition and woe to him who chooses to suspect anything of the kind: so long as my conscience does not condemn me, I waste not a thought on those who suspect.' Rather, the weaker they were, the more he condescended. For it is meet not to be angry with, but help, him that is sick. And yet from what sin are we so removed as he was from any such suspicion? For not even a demon could have suspected that blessed saint of this unfaithfulness. But still although so far removed from that evil suspicion, he does everything and resorts to every expedient  , so as not to leave a shadow even to those who might be desirous in any way  of suspecting something wrong; and he avoids not only accusations, but also blame and the slightest censure, even bare suspicion.
[2.] Ver. 22. "And we have sent with them our brother."
Behold, again he adds yet another, and him also with an encomium; both his own judgment, and many other witnesses [to him].
"Whom," saith he, "we have many times proved earnest in many things, but now much more earnest." And having praised him from his own good works, he extols him also from his love towards them; and what he said of Titus, that "being very earnest he went forth of his own accord;" this he says of this person also, saying, "but now much more earnest;" laying up beforehand for them the seeds of [the proof of their] love toward the Corinthians.
And then, after having showed forth their virtue, he exhorts them also on their behalf, saying,
Ver. 23. "Whether any inquire about Titus; he is my partner and my fellow-worker to youward."
What is, "Whether about Titus?" If,' says he, it be necessary to say any thing, this I have to say,' "that he is my partner and fellow-worker to youward." For he either means this; or, if ye will do anything for Titus, ye will do it unto no ordinary person, for he is "my partner."' And whilst appearing to be praising him, he magnifies them, showing them to be so disposed towards himself as that it were sufficient ground of honor amongst them that any one should appear to be his "partner." But, nevertheless, he was not content with this, but he also added another thing, saying, "fellow-worker to youward." Not merely "fellow-worker," but in matters concerning you, in your progress, in your growth, in our friendship, in our zeal for you;' which last would avail most especially to endear  him unto them.
"Or our brethren:" or whether you wish,' he says, to hear any thing about the others: they too have great claims to be commended to you. For they also,' he saith, are our brethren, and,
"The messengers of the Churches,"' that is, sent by the Churches. Then, which is greater than all,
"The glory of Christ;" for to Him is referred whatever shall be done to them. Whether then ye wish to receive them as brethren, or as Apostles of the Churches, or as acting for the glory of Christ; ye have many motives for good will towards them. For on behalf of Titus, I have to say, that he is both "my partner," and a lover of you; on behalf of these, that they are "brethren," that they are "the messengers of the churches," that they are "the glory of Christ." Seest thou that it is plain from hence also, that they were of such as were unknown to them? For otherwise he would have set them off by those things with which he had also set off Titus, namely, his love towards them. But whereas as yet they were not known to them, Receive them,' he says, as brethren, as messengers of the churches, as acting for the glory of Christ.' On which account he adds;
Ver. 24. "Wherefore show ye unto them, to the person  of the churches, the proof of your love, and of our glorying on your behalf."
Now show,' he saith, how ye love us; and how we do not lightly nor vainly boast in you: and this ye will show, if ye show forth love towards them.' Then he also makes his words more solemn, by saying, "unto the person of the churches." He means, to the glory, the honor, of the churches. For if ye honor them, ye have honored the churches that sent them. For the honor passeth not to them alone, but also to those that sent them forth, who ordained them, and more than these, unto the glory of God.' For when we honor those that minister to Him, the kind reception  passeth unto Him, unto the common body of the churches. Now this too is no light thing, for great is the potency of that assembly.
[3.] Certain it is at least that the prayer of the churches loosed Peter from his chains, opened the mouth of Paul; their voice in no slight degree equips those that arrive unto spiritual rule. Therefore indeed it is that both he who is going to ordain calleth at that time for their prayers also, and that they add their votes and assent by acclamations which the initiated know: for it is not lawful before the uninitiated to unbare all things. But there are occasions in which there is no difference at all between the priest and those under him; for instance, when we are to partake  of the awful mysteries; for we are all alike counted worthy of the same things: not as under the Old Testament [when] the priest ate some things and those under him others, and it was not lawful for the people to partake of those things whereof the priest partook. But not so now, but before all one body is set and one cup. And in the prayers also, one may observe the people contributing much. For in behalf of the possessed, in behalf of those under penance, the prayers are made in common both by the priest and by them; and all say one prayer, the prayer replete with pity. Again when we exclude from the holy precincts those who are unable to partake of the holy table, it behoveth that another prayer be offered, and we all alike fall upon the ground, and all alike rise up. Again, in the most awful mysteries themselves, the priest prays for the people and the people also pray for the priest; for the words, "with thy spirit," are nothing else than this. The offering of thanksgiving again is common: for neither doth he give thanks alone, but also all the people. For having first taken their voices, next when they assent that it is "meet and right so to do," then he begins the thanksgiving. And why marvellest thou that the people any where utter aught with the priest, when indeed even with the very Cherubim, and the powers above, they send up in common those sacred hymns? Now I have said all this in order that each one of the laity also may be wary  , that we may understand that we are all one body, having such difference amongst ourselves as members with members; and may not throw the whole upon the priests but ourselves also so care for the whole Church as for a body common to us. For this course will provide for our  greater safety, and for your greater growth unto virtue. Here, at least, in the case of the Apostles, how frequently they admitted the laity to share in their decisions. For when they ordained the seven, (Acts 6:2, 3.) they first communicated with the people; and when Peter ordained Matthias, with all that were then present, both men and women. (Acts 1:15, &c.) For here  is no pride of rulers nor slavishness in the ruled; but a spiritual rule, in this particular usurping  most, in taking on itself the greater share of the labor and of the care which is on your behalf, not in seeking larger honors. For so ought the Church to dwell as one house; as one body so to be all disposed; just as therefore there is both one Baptism, and one table, and one fountain, and one creation, and one Father. Why then are we divided, when so great  things unite us; why are we torn asunder? For we are compelled again to bewail the same things, which I have lamented often. The state in which we are calls for lamentation; so widely are we severed from each other, when we ought to image the conjunction  of one body. For in this way will he that is greater, be able to gain even from him that is less. For if Moses learnt from his father-in-law somewhat expedient which himself had not perceived, (Exodus 18:14, &c.) much more in the Church may this happen. And how then came it that what he that was an unbeliever perceived, he that was spiritual perceived not? That all those of that time might understand that he was a man; and though he divide the sea, though he cleave the rock, he needeth the influence of God, and that those acts were not of man's nature, but of God's power. And so let another rise up and speak; and so now, if such and such an one doth not say expedient things, let another rise up and speak; though he be an inferior, yet if he say somewhat to the purpose  , confirm his opinion; and even if he be of the very meanest, do not show him disrespect. For no one of these is at so great a distance from his neighbor, as Moses' father-in-law was from him, yet he disdained not to listen to him, but even admitted his opinion, and was persuaded, and recorded it; and was not ashamed to hand down the circumstances to history; casting down [so] the pride of the many. Wherefore also he left this story to the world  engraven as it were on a pillar, for he knew that it would be useful to many. Let us then not overlook those who give us behoveful counsel, even though they be of the meaner sort, nor insist that those counsels prevail which we have ourselves introduced; but whatever shall appear to be best, let that be approved by all. For many of duller sight have perceived things sooner than those of acute vision, by means of diligence and attention. And say not, "why dost thou call me to council, if thou hearkenest not to what I say?" These accusations are not a counsellor's, but a despot's. For the counsellor hath only power to speak his own opinion; but if something else appear more profitable, and yet he will carry his own opinion into effect, he is no longer a counsellor but a despot, as I said. Let us not, then, act in this manner; but having freed our souls from all arrogancy and pride, let us consider, not how our counsels only may stand, but how that opinion which is best may prevail, even though it may not have been brought forward by us. For no light gain will be ours, even though we should not have discovered what behoveth, if ourselves accepted what has been pointed out by others; and abundant is the reward we shall receive from God, and so too shall we best attain to glory. For as he is wise that speaketh that which is behoveful, so shall we that have accepted it, ourselves also reap the praise of prudence and of candor. Thus if both houses and states, thus too if the Church be ordered, she will receive a larger increase  ; and so too shall we ourselves, having thus best ordered our present lives, receive the good things to come: whereunto may we all attain, through the grace and love towards men of our Lord Jesus Christ, to Whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
 [The author here has the aorist, but elsewhere has the present participle which seems to be better sustained, and is adopted in the Rev. Vers. C.]
 Or, in respect to that which is ministered.'
 [The Rev. Vers. adopts a reading which omits same before Lord's, and puts our for your.]
 Or nothing.'
 ten asphaleian.
 kan hoposoun.
 eis prosopon. A.V. before,' but St. Chrysostom seems to understand the words, unto the person of.' [Nearly all expositors take the phrase to mean "in the face (or presence) of the churches." C.]
 ta tes euphemias.
 Literally, enjoy.'
 The reading of this passage has for the first time been rendered sound by Mr. Field's labors.
 i. e., in the Church.
 Or, so many.
 ton suntelounton.
 to bio. See Wisdom x. 8. for this use of the word.
Avoiding this, that no man should blame us in this abundance which is administered by us:
Providing for honest things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men.
And we have sent with them our brother, whom we have oftentimes proved diligent in many things, but now much more diligent, upon the great confidence which I have in you.
Whether any do inquire of Titus, he is my partner and fellowhelper concerning you: or our brethren be inquired of, they are the messengers of the churches, and the glory of Christ.
Wherefore shew ye to them, and before the churches, the proof of your love, and of our boasting on your behalf.