Romans 8
Homilies of Chrysostom
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
Ver. 3. "For what the Law could not do," he saith, "in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh."

Again, he seems indeed to be disparaging the Law. But if any one attends strictly, he even highly praises it, by showing that it harmonizes with Christ, and gives preference to the same things. For he does not speak of the badness of the Law, but of "what it could not do;" and so again, "in that it was weak," not, "in that it was mischievous, or designing." And even weakness he does not ascribe to it, but to the flesh, as he says, "in that it was weak through the flesh," using the word "flesh" here again not for the essence and subsistency itself, but giving its name to the more carnal sort of mind. In which way he acquits both the body and the Law of any accusation. Yet not in this way only, but by what comes next also. For supposing the Law to be of the contrary part, how was it Christ came to its assistance, and fulfilled its requisitions, and lent it a helping hand by condemning sin in the flesh? For this was what was lacking, since in the soul the Lord had condemned it long ago. What then? is it the greater thing that the Law accomplished, but the less that the Only-Begotten did? Surely not. For it was God that was the principal doer of that also, in that He gave us the law of nature, and added the written one to it. Again, there were no use of the greater, if the lesser had not been supplied. For what good is it to know what things ought to be done, if a man does not follow it out? None, for it were but a greater condemnation. And so He that hath saved the soul it is, Who hath made the flesh also easy to bridle. For to teach is easy, but to show besides a way in which these things were easily done, this is the marvel. Now it was for this that the Only-Begotten came, and did not depart before He had set us free from this difficulty. But what is greater, is the method of the victory; for He took none other flesh, but this very one which was beset with troubles. So it is as if any one were to see in the street a vile woman of the baser sort being beaten, and were to say he was her son, when he was the king's, and so to get her free from those who ill treated her. And this He really did, in that He confessed that He was the Son of Man, and stood by it (i. e. the flesh), and condemned the sin. However, He did not endure to smite it besides; or rather, He smote it with the blow of His death, but in this very act it was not the smitten flesh which was condemned and perished, but the sin which had been smiting. And this is the greatest possible marvel. For if it were not in the flesh that the victory took place, it would not be so astonishing, since this the Law also wrought. But the wonder is, that it was with the flesh (meta sarkos) that His trophy was raised, and that what had been overthrown numberless times by sin, did itself get a glorious victory over it. For behold what strange things there were that took place! One was, that sin did not conquer the flesh; another, that sin was conquered, and conquered by it too. For it is not the same thing not to get conquered, and to conquer that which was continually overthrowing us. A third is, that it not only conquered it, but even chastised it. For by not sinning it kept from being conquered, but by dying also, He overcame and condemned it, having made the flesh, that before was so readily made a mock of by it, a plain object of fear to it. In this way then, He at once unnerved its power, and abolished the death by it introduced. For so long as it took hold of sinners, it with justice kept pressing to its end. But after finding a sinless body, when it had given it up to death, it was condemned as having acted unjustly. Do you observe, how many proofs of victory there are? The flesh not being conquered by sin, Its even conquering and condemning it, Its not condemning it barely, but condemning it as having sinned. For after having convicted it of injustice, he proceeds to condemn it, and that not by power and might barely, but even by the rules of justice. For this is what he means by saying, "for sin condemned sin in the flesh." As if he had said that he had convicted it of great sin, and then condemned it. So you see it is sin that getteth condemned everywhere, and not the flesh, for this is even crowned with honor, and has to give sentence against the other. But if he does say that it was "in the likeness" of flesh that he sent the Son, do not therefore suppose that His flesh was of a different kind. For as he called it "sinful," this was why he put the word "likeness." [1405] For sinful flesh it was not that Christ had, but like indeed to our sinful flesh, yet sinless, and in nature the same with us. And so even from this it is plain that by nature the flesh was not evil. For it was not by taking a different one instead of the former, nor by changing this same one in substance, that Christ caused it to regain the victory: but He let it abide in its own nature, and yet made it bind on the crown of victory over sin, and then after the victory raised it up, and made it immortal. What then, it may be said, is this to me, whether it was this flesh that these things happened in? Nay, it concerns thee very much. Wherefore also he proceeds:

That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
Ver. 4. "That the righteousness [1406] of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh."

What meaneth this word, righteousness? Why, the end, the scope, the well-doing. For what was its design, and what did it enjoin? To be without sin. This then is made good to us (katorthotai hemhin) now through Christ. And the making a stand against it, and the getting the better of it, came from Him. But it is for us to enjoy the victory. Then shall we never sin henceforth? We never shall unless we have become exceedingly relaxed and supine. And this is why he added, "to them that walk not after the flesh." For lest, after hearing that Christ hath delivered thee from the war of sin, and that the requisition (dikaioma) of the Law is fulfilled in thee, by sin having been "condemned in the flesh," thou shouldest break up all thy defences; therefore, in that place also, after saying, "there is therefore no condemnation," he added, "to them that walk not after the flesh;" and here also, "that the requisition of the Law might be fulfilled in us," he proceeds with the very same thing; or rather, not with it only, but even with a much stronger thing. [1407] For after saying, "that the righteousness of the Law might be fulfilled in us that walk not after the flesh," he proceeds, "but after the Spirit."

So showing, that it is not only binding upon us to keep ourselves from evil deeds, but also to be adorned (komhan) with good. For to give thee the crown is His; but it is thine to hold it fast when given. For the righteousness of the Law, that one should not become liable to its curse, Christ has accomplished for thee. Be not a traitor then to so great a gift, but keep guarding this goodly treasure. For in this passage he shows that the Font will not suffice to save us, unless, after coming from it, we display a life worthy of the Gift. And so he again advocates the Law in saying what he does. For when we have once become obedient to Christ, we must use all ways and plans so that its righteousness, which Christ fulfilled, may abide in us, and not come to naught.

Ver. 5. "For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh."

Yet even this is no disparaging of the flesh. For so long as it keeps its own place, nothing amiss cometh to pass. But when we let it have its own will in everything, and it passes over its proper bounds, and rises up against the soul, then it destroys and corrupts everything, yet not owing to its own nature, but to its being out of proportion, and the disorder thereupon ensuing. "But they that are after the Spirit do mind the things of the Spirit."

Ver. 6. "For to be carnally minded is death." He does not speak of the nature of the flesh, or the essence of the body, but of being carnally "minded," which may be set right again, and abolished. And in saying thus, he does not ascribe to the flesh any reasoning power of its own. Far from it. But to set forth the grosser motion of the mind, and giving this a name from the inferior part, and in the same way as he often is in the habit of calling man in his entireness, and viewed as possessed of a soul, flesh. "But to be spiritually minded." Here again he speaks of the spiritual mind, in the same way as he says further on, "But He that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the spirit" (ver. 27); and he points out many blessings resulting from this, both in the present life, and in that which is to come. For as the evils which being carnally minded introduces, are far outnumbered by those blessings which a spiritual mind affords. And this he points out in the words "life and peace." The one is in contraposition to the first--for death is what he says to be carnally minded is. And the other in contraposition to the following. For after mentioning peace, he goes on,

Ver. 7. "Because the carnal mind is enmity against God:" and this is worse than death. Then to show how it is at once death and enmity; "for it is not subject to the Law of God," he says, "neither indeed can be." But be not troubled at hearing the "neither indeed can be." For this difficulty admits of an easy solution. For what he here names "carnal mindedness" is the reasoning (or "way of thinking," logismon) that is earthly, gross, and eager-hearted after the things of this life and its wicked doings. It is of this he says "neither yet can" it "be subject" to God. And what hope of salvation is there left, if it be impossible for one who is bad to become good? This is not what he says. Else how would Paul have become such as he was? how would the (penitent) thief, or Manasses, or the Ninevites, or how would David after falling have recovered himself? How would Peter after the denial have raised himself up? (1 Corinthians 5:5.) How could he that had lived in fornication have been enlisted among Christ's fold? (2 Corinthians 2:6-11.) How could the Galatians who had "fallen from grace" (Galatians 5:4), have attained their former dignity again? What he says then is not that it is impossible for a man that is wicked to become good, but that it is impossible for one who continues wicked to be subject to God. Yet for a man to be changed, and so become good, and subject to Him, is easy. For he does not say that man cannot be subject to God, but, wicked doing cannot be good. As if he had said, fornication cannot be chastity, nor vice virtue. And this it says in the Gospel also, "A corrupt tree cannot bring forth good fruit" (Matthew 7:18), not to bar the change from virtue to vice, but to say how incapable continuance in vice is of bringing forth good fruits. For He does not say that an evil tree cannot become a good one, but that bring forth good fruit it cannot, while it continues evil. For that it can be changed, He shows from this passage, and from another parable, when He introduces the tares as becoming wheat, on which score also He forbids their being rooted up; "Lest," He says, "ye root up also the wheat with them" (ib. xiii. 29); that is, that which will spring (ginesthai, 4 mss. tiktesthai) from them. It is vice then he means by carnal mindedness, and by spiritual mindedness the grace given, and the working of it discernible in the right determination of mind, not discussing in any part of this passage, a substance and an entity, but virtue and vice. For that which thou hadst no power to do under the Law, now, he means, thou wilt be able to do, to go on uprightly, and with no intervening fall, if thou layest hold of the Spirit's aid. For it is not enough not to walk after the flesh, but we must also go after the Spirit, since turning away from what is evil will not secure our salvation, but we must also do what is good. And this will come about, if we give our souls up to the Spirit, and persuade our flesh to get acquainted with its proper position, for in this way we shall make it also spiritual; as also if we be listless we shall make our soul carnal. For since it was no natural necessity which put the gift into us, but the freedom [1408] of choice placed it in our hands, it rests with thee henceforward whether this shall be or the other. For He, on His part, has performed everything. For sin no longer warreth against the law of our mind, neither doth it lead us away captive as heretofore, for all that state has been ended and broken up, and the affections cower in fear and trembling at the grace of the Spirit. But if thou wilt quench the light, and cast out the holder of the reins, and chase the helmsman away, then charge the tossing thenceforth upon thyself. For since virtue hath been now made an easier thing (for which cause also we are under far stricter obligations of religious living), consider how men's condition lay when the Law prevailed, and how at present, since grace hath shone forth. The things which aforetime seemed not possible to any one, virginity, and contempt of death, and of other stronger sufferings, are now in full vigor through every part of the world, and it is not with us alone, but with the Scythians, and Thracians, and Indians, and Persians, and several other barbarous nations, that there are companies of virgins, and clans of martyrs, and congregations of monks, and these now grown even more numerous than the married, and strictness of fasting, and the utmost renunciation of property. Now these are things which, with one or two exceptions, persons who lived under the Law never conceived even in a dream. Since thou seest then the real state of things voiced with a shriller note than any trumpet, let not thyself grow soft and treacherous to so great a grace. Since not even after the faith is it possible for a listless man to be saved! For the wrestlings are made easy that thou mayest strive and conquer, nor that thou shouldest sleep, or abuse the greatness of the grace by making it a reason for listlessness, so wallowing again in the former mire. And so he goes on to say,

For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
Ver. 8. "So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God."

What then? Are we, it will be said, to cut our bodies in pieces to please God, and to make our escape from the flesh? and would you have us be homicides, and so lead us to virtue? You see what inconsistencies are gendered by taking the words literally. For by "the flesh" in this passage, he does not mean the body, or the essence of the body, but that life which is fleshly and worldly, and uses self-indulgence and extravagance to the full, so making the entire man flesh. For as they that have the wings of the Spirit, make the body also spiritual, so do they who bound off from this, and are the slaves of the belly, and of pleasure, make the soul also flesh, not that they change the essence of it, but that they mar its noble birth. And this mode of speaking is to be met with in many parts of the Old Testament also, to signify by flesh the gross and earthly life, which is entangled in pleasures that are not convenient. For to Noah He says, "My Spirit shall not always make its abode in these men, because they are flesh." (Genesis 6:3 as the LXX. give it.) And yet Noah was himself also compassed about with flesh. But this is not the complaint, the being compassed about with the flesh, for this is so by nature, but the having chosen a carnal life. Wherefore also Paul saith, "But they that are in the flesh cannot please God." Then he proceeds:

Ver. 9. "But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit."

Here again, he does not mean flesh absolutely, but such sort of flesh, that which was in a whirl and thraldom of passions. Why then, it may be said, does he not say so, nor state any difference? It is to rouse the hearer, and to show that he that liveth aright is not even in the body. For inasmuch as it was in a manner clear to every one that the spiritual man was not in sin, he states the greater truth that it was not in sin alone, that the spiritual man was not, but not even in the flesh was he henceforward, having become from that very moment an Angel, and ascended into heaven, and henceforward barely carrying the body about. Now if this be thy reason for disparaging the flesh, because it is by its name that he calls the fleshly life, at this rate you are also for disparaging the world, because wickedness is often called after it, as Christ also said to His disciples, "Ye are not of this world;" and again to His brethren, He says, "The world cannot hate you, but me it hateth." (John 15:19. ib. vii. 7.) And the soul too Paul must afterwards be calling estranged from God, since to those that live in error, he gives the name of men of the soul (1 Corinthians 2:14, psuchikos A.V. natural). But this is not so, indeed it is not so. For we are not to look to the bare words, but always to the sentiment of the speaker, and so come to a perfectly distinct knowledge of what is said. For some things are good, some bad, and some indifferent. Thus the soul and the flesh belong to things indifferent, since each may become either the one or the other. But the spirit belongs to things good, and at no time becometh any other thing. Again, the mind of the flesh, that is, ill-doing, belongs to things always bad. "For it is not subject to the law of God." If then thou yieldest thy soul and body to the better, thou wilt have become of its part. If on the other hand thou yield to the worse, then art thou made a partaker of the ruin therein, not owing to the nature of the soul and the flesh, but owing to that judgment which has the power of choosing either. And to show that these things are so, and that the words do not disparage the flesh, let us take up the phrase itself again, and sift it more thoroughly. "But ye are not in the flesh but in the Spirit," he says. What then? were they not in the flesh, and did they go about without any bodies? What sense would this be? You see that it is the carnal life that he intimates. And why did he not say, But ye are not in sin? It is that you may come to know that Christ hath not extinguished the tyranny of sin only, but hath even made the flesh to weigh us down less, and to be more spiritual, not by changing its nature, but rather by giving it wings. For as when fire cometh in company with iron, the iron also becomes fire, though abiding in its own nature still; thus with them that believe, and have the Spirit, the flesh henceforth goeth over into that manner of working, and becometh wholly spiritual, crucified in all parts, and flying with the same wings as the soul, such as was the body of him who here speaks. Wherefore all self-indulgence and pleasure he made scorn of, and found his self-indulgence in hunger, and stripes, and prisons, and did not even feel pain in undergoing them. (2 Corinthians 11. And it was to show this that he said, "For our light affliction, which is but for a moment," etc. (ib. iv. 17.) So well had he tutored even the flesh to be in harmony with the spirit. "If so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you" (eiper.) He often uses this "if so be," not to express any doubt, but even when he is quite persuaded of the thing, and instead of "since," as when he says, "If it is a righteous thing," for "seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you." (2 Thessalonians 1:6.) Again, "Have ye suffered so many things in vain, if it be yet in vain?" (Galatians 3:4.)

"Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ." He does not say, if ye have not, but he brings forward the distressing word, as applied to other persons. "He is none of His," he says.

Ver. 10. "And if Christ be in you."

Again, what is good he applies to them, [1409] and the distressing part was short and parenthetic. And that which is an object of desire, is on either side of it, and put at length too, so as to throw the other into shade. Now this he says, not as affirming that the Spirit is Christ, far from it, but to show that he who hath the Spirit not only is called Christ's, but even hath Christ Himself. For it cannot but be that where the Spirit is, there Christ is also. For wheresoever one Person of the Trinity is, there the whole Trinity is present. For It is undivided in Itself, and hath a most entire Oneness. What then, it may be said, will happen, if Christ be in us? "The body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness." You see the great evils that come of not having the Holy Spirit; death, enmity against God, inability to satisfy His laws, not being Christ's as we should be, the want of His indwelling. Consider now also what great blessings come of having the Spirit. Being Christ's, having Christ himself, vying with the Angels (for this is what mortifying the flesh is), and living an immortal life, holding henceforward the earnests of the Resurrection, running with ease the race of virtue. For he does not say so little as that the body is henceforward inactive for sin, but that it is even dead, so magnifying the ease of the race. For such an one without troubles and labors gains the crown. Then afterward for this reason he adds also, "to sin," that you may see that it is the viciousness, not the essence of the body, that He hath abolished at once. For if the latter had been done, many things even of a kind to be beneficial to the soul would have been abolished also. This however is not what he says, but while it is yet alive and abiding, he contends, it is dead. For this is the sign of our having the Son, of the Spirit being in us, that our bodies should be in no respect different from those that lie on the bier with respect to the working of sin (so the mss. Sav. "of the body." The preceding words are slightly corrupt.) But be not affrighted at hearing of mortifying. For in it you have what is really life, with no death to succeed it: and such is that of the Spirit. It yieldeth not to death any more, but weareth out death and consumeth it, and that which it receiveth, it keepeth it immortal. And this is why after saying "the body is dead," he does not say, "but the Spirit liveth,'" but, "is life," to point out that He (the Spirit) had the power of giving this to others also. Then again to brace up his hearer, he tells him the cause of the Life, and the proof of it. Now this is righteousness; for where there is no sin, death is not to be seen either; but where death is not to be seen, life is indissoluble.

Ver. 11. "But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up our Lord shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you."

Again, he touches the point of the Resurrection, since this was the most encouraging [1410] hope to the hearer, and gave him a security from what had happened unto Christ. Now be not thou afraid because thou art compassed about with a dead body. Let it have the Spirit, and it shall assuredly rise again. What then, shall the bodies which have not the Spirit not rise? How then must "all stand before the judgment-seat of Christ?" (Romans 14:10) or how will the account of hell be trustworthy? For if they that have not the Spirit rise not, there will not be a hell at all. What then is it which is said? All shall rise, yet not all to life, but some to punishment and some to life. (John 5:29.) This is why he did not say, shall raise up, but shall quicken. (Daniel 12:2.) And this is a greater thing than resurrection, and is given to the just only. And the cause of this honor he adds in the words, "By His Spirit that dwelleth in you." And so if while here thou drive away the grace of the Spirit, and do not depart with it still safe, thou wilt assuredly perish, though thou dost rise again. For as He will not endure then, if He see His Spirit shining in thee, to give thee up to punishment, so neither will He allow them, if He see It quenched, to bring thee into the Bride-chamber, even as He admitted not those virgins. (Matthew 25:12.)

Suffer not thy body then to live in this world, that it may live then! Make it die, that it die not. For if it keep living, it will not live: but if it die, then shall it live. And this is the case with resurrection in general. For it must die first and be buried, and then become immortal. But this has been done in the Font. It has therefore had first its crucifixion and burial, and then been raised. This has also happened with the Lord's Body. For that also was crucified and buried (7 mss. died) and rose again. This then let us too be doing: let us keep continually mortifying it in its works. I do not mean in its substance--far be it from me--but in its inclinations towards evil doings. For this is a life too, or rather this only is life, undergoing nothing that is common to man, nor being a slave to pleasures. For he who has set himself under the rule of these, has no power even to live through the low spirits, the fears, and the dangers, and the countless throng of ills, that rise from them. For if death must be expected, he hath died, before death, of fear. And if it be disease he dreads, or affront, or poverty, or any of the other ills one cannot anticipate, he is ruined and hath perished. What then can be more miserable than a life of this sort? But far otherwise is he that liveth to the Spirit, for he stands at once above fears and grief and dangers and every kind of change: and that not by undergoing no such thing, but, what is much greater, by thinking scorn of them when they assail him. And how is this to be? It will be if the Spirit dwell in us continually. For he does not speak of any short stay made thereby, but of a continual indwelling. Hence he does not say "the Spirit which" dwelt, but "which dwelleth in us," so pointing to a continual abiding. He then is most truly alive, who is dead to this life. Hence he says, "The Spirit is life because of righteousness." And to make the thing clearer, let me bring [1411] before you two men, one who is given up to extravagances and pleasures, and the deceitfulness of this life; and the other made dead to all these; and let us see which is more really the living one. For let one of these two be very rich and much looked up to, keeping parasites and flatterers, [1412] and let us suppose him to spend the whole day upon this, in revelling and drunkenness: and let the other live in poverty, and fasting, and hard fare, and strict rules (philosophi& 139;), and at evening partake of necessary food only; or if you will let him even pass two or three days without food. [1413] Which then of these two think we (3 mss. you) is most really alive? Men in general will, I know, reckon the former so, the man that takes his pleasure (Sav. skirthonta, mss. truphhonta) and squanders his goods. But we reckon the man that enjoys the moderate fare. Now then since it is still a subject of contest and opposition let us go into the houses of them both, and just at the very time too when in your judgment the rich man is living in truest sense, in the very season of self-indulgence, and when we have got in, let us look and see the real condition of each of these men. For it is from the actions that it appears which is alive and which dead. Shall we not find the one among his books, or in prayer and fasting, or some other necessary duty, awake and sober, and conversing with God? but the other we shall see stupid in drunkenness, and in no better condition than a dead man. And if we wait till the evening, we shall see this death coming upon him more and more, and then sleep again succeeding to that: but the other we shall see even in the night keeping from wine and sleep. Which then shall we pronounce to be most alive, the man that lies in a state of insensibility, and is an open laughing-stock to everybody? or the man that is active, and conversing with God? For if you go up to the one, and tell him something he ought to know, you will not hear him say a word, any more than a dead man. But the latter, whether you choose to be in his company at night or by day, you will see to be an angel rather than a man, and will hear him speak wisdom about things in Heaven. Do you see how one of them is alive above all men living, and the other in a more pitiable plight even than the dead? And even if he have a mind to stir he sees one thing instead of another, and is like people that are mad, or rather is in a worse plight even than they. For if any one were to do them any harm, we should at once feel pity for the sufferer, and rebuke the doer of the wrong. But this man, if we were to see a person trample on him, we should not only be disinclined to pity, but should even give judgment against him, now that he was fallen. And will you tell me this is life, and not a harder lot than deaths unnumbered? So you see the self-indulgent man is not only dead, but worse than dead, and more miserable than a man possessed. For the one is the object of pity, the other of hatred. And the one has allowance made him, the other suffers punishment for his madness. But if externally he is so ridiculous, as having his saliva tainted, and his breath stinking of wine, just consider what case his wretched soul, inhumed as it were in a grave, in such a body as this, is probably in. For one may look upon this as much the same as if one were to permit a damsel, comely, chaste, free-born, of good family, and handsome, to be trampled on, and every way insulted by a serving woman, that was savage, and disgustful, and impure; drunkenness being something of this sort. And who, being in his senses, would not choose to die a thousand deaths, rather than live a single day in this way? For even if at daylight he were to get up, and seem to be sober from that revelling (or absurd show, komodias, 1 ms. komou) of his, still even then it is not the clear brightness of temperance which he enjoys, since the cloud from the storm of drunkenness still is hanging before his eyes. And even if we were to grant him the clearness of sobriety, what were he the better? For this soberness would be of no service to him, except to let him see his accusers. For when he is in the midst of his unseemly deeds, he is so far a gainer in not perceiving those that laugh at him. But when it is day he loses this comfort even, and while his servants are murmuring, and his wife is ashamed, and his friends accuse him, and his enemies make sport of him, he knows it too. What can be more miserable than a life like this, to be laughed at all day by everybody, and when it is evening to do the same unseemly things afresh. But what if you would let me put the covetous before you? For this is another, and even a worse intoxication. But if it be an intoxication, then it must be a worse death by far than the former, since the intoxication is more grievous. And indeed it is not so sad to be drunk with wine as with covetousness. For in the former case, the penalty ends with the sufferings (several ms. "sufferer,") and results in insensibility, and the drunkard's own ruin. But in this case the mischief passes on to thousands of souls, and kindles wars of sundry kinds upon all sides. Come then and let us put this beside the other, and let us see what are the points they have in common, and in what again this is worse than it, and let us make a comparison of drunkards to-day. For with that blissful man, who liveth to the Spirit, let them not be put at all in comparison, but only tried by one another. And again, let us bring the money-table before you, laden as it is with blood. What then have they in common, and in what are they like each other? It is in the very nature of the disease. For the species of drunkenness is different, as one comes of wine, the other of money, but its way of affecting them is similar, both being alike possessed with an exorbitant desire. For he who is drunken with wine, the more glasses he has drunk off, the more he longs for; and he that is in love with money, the more he compasses, the more he kindles the flame of desire, and the more importunate he renders his thirst. In this point then they resemble each other. But in another the covetous man has the advantage (in a bad sense). Now what is this? Why that the other's affection is a natural one. For the wine is hot, and adds to one's natural drought, and so makes drunkards thirsty. But what is there to make the other man always keep desiring more? how comes it that when he is increased in riches, then he is in the veriest poverty? This complaint then is a perplexing one, and has more of paradox about it. But if you please, we will take a view of them after the drunkenness also. Or rather, there is no such thing as ever seeing the covetous man after his drunkenness, so continual a state of intoxication is he in! Let us then view them both in the state of drunkenness, and let us get a distinct notion which is the most ridiculous, and let us again figure to ourselves a correct sketch of them. We shall see then the man who dotes with his wine at eventide with his eyes open, seeing no one, but moving about at mere hap-hazard, and stumbling against such as fall in his way, and spewing, and convulsed, and exposing his nakedness in an unseemly manner. (See Habak. ii. 16.) And if his wife be there, or his daughter, or his maid-servant, or anybody else, they [1414] will laugh at him heartily. And now let us bring before you the covetous man. Here what happens is not deserving of laughter only, but even of a curse, and exceeding wrath, and thunderbolts without number. At present however let us look at the ridiculous part, for this man as well as the other has an ignorance of all, whether friend or foe. And like him too, though his eyes are open, he is blinded. And as the former takes all he sees for wine, so does this man take all for money. And his spewing is even more disgusting. For it is not food that he vomits, but words of abuse, of insolence, of war, of death, that draws upon his own head lightnings without number from above. And as the body of the drunkard is livid and dissolving, so also is the other's soul. Or rather, even his body is not free from this disorder, but it is taken even worse, care eating it away worse than wine does (as do anger too and want of sleep), and by degrees exhausting it entirely. And he that is seized with illness from wine, after the night is over may get sober. But this person is always drunken day and night, watching or sleeping, so paying a severer penalty for it than any prisoner, or person at work in the mines, or suffering any punishment more grievous than this, if such there be. Is it then life pray, and not death? or rather, is it not a fate more wretched than any death? For death gives the body rest, and sets it free from ridicule, as well as disgrace and sins: but these drunken fits plunge it into all these, stopping up the ears, dulling the eyesight, keeping down the understanding in great darkness. For it will not bear the mention of anything but interest, and interest upon interest, and shameful gains, and odious traffickings, and ungentlemanly and slavelike transactions, barking like a dog at everybody, and hating everybody, averse to everybody, at war with everybody, without any reason for it, rising up against the poor, grudging at the rich, and civil to nobody. And if he have a wife, or children, or friends, if he may not use them all towards getting gain, these are to him more his enemies than natural enemies. What then can be worse than madness of this sort, and what more wretched? when a man is preparing rocks for his own self on every side, and shoals, and precipices, and gulfs, and pits without number, while he has but one body, and is the slave of one belly. And if any thrust thee into a state office, thou wilt be a runaway, through fear of expense. Yet to thyself thou art laying up countless charges far more distressing than those, enlisting thyself for services not only more expensive, but also more dangerous, to be done for mammon, and not paying this tyrant a money contribution only, nor of bodily labor, torture to the soul, and grief, but even of thy blood itself, that thou mayest have some addition to thy property (miserable and sorrow-stricken man!) out of this barbarous slavery. Do you not see those who are taken day by day to the grave, how they are carried to tombs naked and destitute of all things, unable to take with them aught that is in the house, but bearing what clothes they have about them to the worm? Consider these day by day, and perchance the malady will abate, unless you mean even by such an occasion to be still more mad at the expensiveness of the funeral rites--for the malady is importunate, the disease terrible! This then is why we address you upon this subject at every meeting, and constantly foment your hearing, that at all events by your growing accustomed to such thoughts, some good many come. But be not contentious, for it is not only at the Day to come, but even before it, that this manifold malady brings with it sundry punishments. For if I were to tell you of those who pass their days in chains, or of one nailed to a lingering disease, or of one struggling with famine, or of any other thing whatsoever, I could point out no one who suffers so much as they do who love money. For what severer evil can befall one, than being hated by all men, than hating all men, than not having kindly feeling towards any, than being never satisfied, than being in a continual thirst, than struggling with a perpetual hunger, and that a more distressing one than what all men esteem such? than having pains day by day, than being never sober, than being continually in worries and harasses? For all these things, and more than these, are what the covetous set their shoulder to; in the midst of their gaining having no perception of pleasure, though scraping to themselves from all men, because of their desiring more. But in the case of their incurring a loss, if it be but of a farthing, they think they have suffered most grievously, and have been cast out of life itself. What language then can put these evils before you? And if their fate here be such, consider also what comes after this life, the being cast out of the kingdom, the pain that comes from hell, the perpetual chains, the outer darkness, the venomous worm, the gnashing of teeth, the affliction, the sore straitening, the rivers of fire, the furnaces that never get quenched. And gathering all these together, and weighing them against the pleasure of money, tear up now this disease root and branch, that so receiving the true riches, and being set free from this grievous poverty, thou mayest obtain the present blessings, and those to come, by the grace and love toward man, etc.


[1390] Chrys. gives no hint of any controversy as to the interpretation of the passage vii. 14-25. In modern times the question has been greatly disputed: Whom does the apostle represent by the "I" who is waging such an unsuccessful combat with sin? Passing by the views that he refers to himself personally (Hofmann) and that he refers to the Jewish people under the old dispensation (Grotius, Reiche), two opinions have prevailed among interpreters (1) that he is representing the regenerate man. (For the arguments by which this view is supported see Hodge on Romans in loco). (2) That he is here personating the unregenerate man who, however, has become awakened under the law to a sense of his sinful condition. This view is preferred on the following grounds. (1) The connection of 14-25 with the argument of 7-13, which shows the power of the law to awaken the consciousness of sin and can therefore apply only to the Jew aroused by the law. (2) The relation of the passage to chap. viii. In vii. 25the apostle mounts to the Christian plane and in ch. viii. exults in the liberation from the conflict just described which Christ brings to the soul. (3) Much of the language of vii. 14-25 is inconsistent with the consciousness of a regenerate man and especially with Paul's joyous and triumphant view of the Christian life. (4) The language throughout is appropriate, not, indeed, to the morally indifferent man, but to the unconverted Jew whom the law has awakened to a knowledge of his sin and need, and this is precisely the subject under consideration in the earlier verses of the Chap. So Tholuck, De Wette, Alford, Olshausen, Lange, Meyer, Weiss, Godet). Chrys. rather takes for granted, than states the same view, in saying that it is "a sketch of man as comporting himself in the law and before the law."--G.B.S.

[1391] The words of the Fathers on this subject become more definite after the Pelagian Controversy. St. Aug. contr. Julianum, i. 2, ?32. (Ben. t. 10), speak thus of concupiscence, (not in act, but as an inherited habit). "It is not however called sin in the sense of making one guilty, but in that it is caused by the guilt of the first man, and in that it rebels, and strives to draw us into guilt except grace aid us."

[1392] So Field from most mss. Sav. lawful marriage.

[1393] empodismos tais boulesesi. Arist. Rhet. ii.

[1394] This seems to have been Plato's view of free-will. See Tenneman, Plat. Philos. iv. p. 34, oudeis hekon poneros, etc.

[1395] So the mss. Sav. has tes technes, which seems to have been put in to show that it was not the maker, but the user of the instrument, that was meant.

[1396] Ver. and Sav. Marg. entithesi, which makes much the same sense; his conj. and 2 mss. antitithesi, "sets in opposition."

[1397] It is peculiarly interesting to see how vigorously Chrys. combats the idea that the flesh is essentially evil, as if it were a current notion of his time. This view--derived from heathen sources--exerted a powerful influence in the Church from early times and became the fruitful source of ascetic rigors.--G.B.S.

[1398] patheton, which may also mean liable to passions.

[1399] He is speaking of the actual precepts. Men under the Law were encouraged to higher aims, but it was in looking beyond the letter.

[1400] The typical fitness of this permission is illustrated by the case of Sarah and Hagar; the coincidence of typical with moral fitness is in many cases above our understanding.

[1401] So Field from 1:ms.: others "past sins:" Vulg. "our doings."

[1402] It may be right to consider tes zoes as forming part of the attribute of nomos in conformity with the Hebr. idiom; see Lee's Gram. Art. 224, 8.

[1403] "Thee" most mss., and Edd. before Field.

[1404] te triadi panta ta par hemon logizomenos, or "imputing all things (done) by us to the Trinity."

[1405] The Fathers lay great stress upon this phrase of the Apostles. August. contr. Faust. xiv. 5, argues, that this likeness consisted in our Lord's flesh being mortal; death being the penalty of sin: vid. also de Nuptiis et Concupisc. 1. 12. vid. also Basil, Ep. 261, where writing against the Apollinarians, he interprets this text to mean, that whereas Christ had all affections of human nature, which implied the reality of His assumption of it, He had not those which infringe our nature, i. e. which arise from sin. Athanasius, writing against the same heretics, observes, that Christ's sinlessness was like Adam's before the fall (In Apoll. ii. 6): or as St. Cyril observes, greater than before the fall because He has a physical inability to sin, arising from His personality being Divine, vid. Cyr. Alex. in Esai. l. i. Orat. 4, fin. At the same time He took the flesh, not of Adam unfallen, but fallen, such as ours. Vid. Leont. contra Nest. et Eutych. lib. 2 apud Canis. vol. i. p. 568. Gall. xii. 681. Fulgent. Ep. ad. Regin. Tertull. de Carn. Christi. xvi.

[1406] Aristotle defines dikaioma to be to dikaion hotan prachthe; but rather in the sense of correcting wrong than in the more general meaning: Eth. b. v. c. 7, ?7. It may mean here what the Law claims of right.

[1407] St. Chr. evidently used a text which read in v. 1 me kata sarka perip., but omitted alla kata Pneuma. Most mss. of the N.T. and all recent critical editions, omit both clauses there: here there is no doubt of either.

[1408] i. e. as exercised in coming to the font. Field proposes to soften the strong expression by reading, "it was by no natural necessity that He put, etc., but by freedom of choice He placed it."

[1409] to chreston for ton Christon Field, with the Catena and the Version of Musculus.

[1410] eleiphen, v. p. 170, n. Sav. eilephen.

[1411] See Ernesti in v. paragoge.

[1412] The Plutus evidently in his mind.

[1413] This was not uncommon in warmer climates, Euseb. ii. 17.

[1414] engelasetai mss., "he will be laughed at" or rather "she (the supposed spectator) will laugh at him." Field reads egelasate with one or two mss., and alters the punctuation; so that the passage will run "exposing, etc., even if his wife be there....or anybody else. Do you laugh heartily? Then let us bring before you," etc.

But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.
"Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die; but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live."

After showing how great the reward of a spiritual life is, and that it maketh Christ to dwell in us, and that it quickeneth our mortal bodies, and wingeth them to heaven, and rendereth the way of virtue easier, he next fitly introduces an exhortation to this purpose. "Therefore" we ought "not to live after the flesh." But this is not what he says, for he words it in a much more striking and powerful way, thus, "we are debtors to the Spirit." For saying, "we are debtors not to the flesh," indicates this. And this is a point he is everywhere giving proof of, that what God hath done for us is not matter of debt, but of mere grace. But after this, what we do is no longer matter of free-will offering, but of debt. For when he saith, "Ye are bought with a price, be not ye the servants of men" (1 Corinthians 7:23); and when he writes, "Ye are not your own" (ib. vi. 19); and again in another passage he calls these selfsame things to their mind, in these words, "If (most mss. om. "if") One died for all, then all died [1415] that they should not henceforth live unto themselves." (2 Corinthians 5:15.) And it is to establish this that he says here also, "We are debtors;" then since he said we are "not" debtors "to the flesh," lest you should again take him to be speaking against the nature of the flesh, he does not leave speaking, but proceeds, "to live after the flesh." For there are many things which we do owe it, as giving it food, warmth, and rest, medicine when out of health, clothing, and a thousand other attentions. To prevent your supposing then that it is this ministration he is for abrogating when he says, "We are not debtors to the flesh," he explains it by saying, "to live after the flesh." For the care that I am for abrogating is, he means, that which leadeth to sin, as I should be for its having what is healing to it. And this he shows further on. For when he says, "Make not provision for the flesh," he does not pause at this, but adds, "to fulfil the lusts thereof." (Romans 13:14.) And this instruction he gives us here also, meaning, Let it have attention shown it indeed, for we do owe it this, yet let us not live according to the flesh, that is, let us not make it the mistress of our life. For it must be the follower, not the leader, and it is not it that must regulate our life, but the laws of the Spirit must it receive. Having then defined this point, and having proved that we are debtors to the Spirit, to show next for what benefits it is that we are debtors, he does not speak of those past (a thing which serves as a most striking proof of his judgment), but those which were to come; although even the former were enough for the purpose. Yet still he does not set them down in the present case, or mention even those unspeakable blessings, but the things to come. For a benefit once for all conferred does not, for the most part, draw men on so much as one which is expected, and is to come. After adding this then, he first uses the pains and ills that come of living after the flesh, to put them in fear, in the following words; "For if ye live after the flesh ye shall die," so intimating to us that deathless death, punishment, and vengeance in hell. Or rather if one were to look accurately into this, such an one is, even in this present life, dead. And this we have made clear to you in the last discourse. "But if ye through the Spirit, do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live." You see that it is not the essence of the body whereof we are discoursing, but the deeds of the flesh. For he does not say, "if ye through the Spirit do mortify" the essence "of the body," but "the deeds of" it, and these not all deeds, but such as are evil. And this is plain in what follows: for if ye do this, "ye shall live," he says. And how is it in the nature of things for this to be, if it was all deeds that his language applied to? for seeing and hearing and speaking and walking are deeds of the body; and if we mortify these, we shall be so far from living, that we shall have to suffer the punishment of a manslayer. What sort of deeds then does he mean us to mortify? Those which tend toward wickedness, those which go after vice, which there is no other way of mortifying save through the Spirit. For by killing yourself you may put an end to the others. [1416] And this you have no right to do. But to these (you can put an end) by the Spirit only. For if This be present, all the billows are laid low, and the passions cower under It, and nothing can exalt itself against us. [1417] So you see how it is on things to come, as I said before, that he grounds his exhortations to us, and shows that we are debtors not owing to what has been already done only. For the advantage of the Spirit is not this only, that He hath set us free from our former sins, but that He rendereth us impregnable against future ones, and counts us worthy of the immortal life. Then, to state another reward also, he proceeds:

For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
Ver. 14. "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God."

Now this is again a much greater honor than the first. And this is why he does not say merely, As many as live [1418] by the Spirit of God, but, "as many as are led by the Spirit of God," to show that he would have Him use such power over our life as a pilot doth over a ship, or a charioteer over a pair of horses. And it is not the body only, but the soul itself too, that he is for setting under reins of this sort. For he would not have even that independent, but place its authority [1419] also under the power of the Spirit. For lest through a confidence in the Gift of the Font they should turn negligent of their conversation after it, he would say, that even supposing you receive baptism, yet if you are not minded to be "led by the Spirit" afterwards, you lose the dignity bestowed upon you, and the pre-eminence of your adoption. This is why he does not say, As many as have received the Spirit, but, "as many as are led by the Spirit," that is, as many as live up to this all their life long, "they are the sons of God." Then since this dignity was given to the Jews also, for it says, "I said ye are Gods, and all of you children of the Most High" (Psalm 82:6); and again, "I have nourished and brought up children" (Isaiah 1:2); and so, "Israel is My first-born" (Exodus 4:22); and Paul too says, "Whose is the adoption" (Romans 9:4)--he next asserts the great difference between the latter and the former honor. For though the names are the same, he means, still, the things are not the same. And of these points he gives a clear demonstration, by introducing a comparison drawn both from the persons so advanced (katorthounton) and from what was given them, and from what was to come. And first he shows what they of old had given them. What then was this? "A spirit of bondage:" and so he thus proceeds,

For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
Ver. 15. "For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear."

Then not staying to mention that which stands in contradistinction to bondage, that is, the spirit of freedom, he has named what is far greater, that of adoption, through which he at the same time brings in the other, saying, "But ye have received the Spirit of adoption."

But this is plain. But what the spirit of bondage may be, is not so plain, and there is need of making it clearer. Now what he says is so far from being clear, that it is in fact very perplexing. For the people of the Jews did not receive the Spirit. What then is his meaning here? It is the letter he giveth this name to, for spiritual it was, and so he called the Law spiritual also, and the water from the Rock, and the Manna. "For they did eat," he says, "of the same spiritual meat, and all drank of the same spiritual drink." (1 Corinthians 10:3, 4.) And to the Rock he gives this name, when he says, "For they drank of that spiritual Rock which followed them." Now it is because all the rites then wrought were above nature that he calls them spiritual, and not because those who then partook of them received the Spirit. And in what sense were those letters, letters of bondage? Set before yourself the whole dispensation, and then you will have a clear view of this also. For recompenses were with them close at hand, and the reward followed forthwith, being at once proportionate, and like a kind of daily ration given to domestic servants, and terrors in abundance came to their height before their eyes, and their purifications concerned their bodies, and their continency extended but to their actions. But with us it is not so, since the imagination even and the conscience getteth purged out. For He does not say, "Thou shalt do no murder," only, but even thou shalt not be angry: so too, it is not, "Thou shalt not commit adultery," but thou shalt not look unchastely. So that it is not to be from fear of present punishment, but out of desire towards Himself, that both our being habitually virtuous, and all our single good deeds are to come. Neither doth he promise a land flowing with milk and honey, but maketh us joint-heir with the Only-Begotten, so making us by every means stand aloof from things present, and promising to give such things especially as are worth the acceptance of men made sons of God, nothing, that is, of a sensible kind or corporeal, but spiritual all of them. And so they, even if they had the name of sons, were but as slaves; but we as having been made free, have received the adoption, and are waiting for Heaven. And with them He discoursed through the intervention of others, with us by Himself. And all that they did was through the impulse of fear, but the spiritual act through a coveting and a vehement desire. And this they show by the fact of their [1420] overstepping the commandments. They, as hirelings and obstinate persons, so never left murmuring: but these do all for the pleasing of the Father. So too they blasphemed when they had benefits done them: but we are thankful at being jeoparded. And if there be need of punishing both of us upon our sinning, even in this case the difference is great. For it is not on being stoned and branded and maimed by the priests, as they were, that we are brought round. But it is enough for us to be cast out from our Father's table, and to be out of sight for certain days. And with the Jews the honor of adoption was one of name only, but here the reality followed also, the cleansing of Baptism, the giving of the Spirit, the furnishing of the other blessings. And there are several other points besides, which go to show our high birth and their low condition. After intimating all these then by speaking of the Spirit, and fear, and the adoption, he gives a fresh proof again of having the Spirit of adoption. Now what is this? That "we cry, Abba, Father." And how great this is, the initiated know (St. Cyr. Jer. Cat. 23, ?11, p. 276, O.T.), being with good reason bidden to use this word first in the Prayer of the initiated. What then, it may be said, did not they also call God Father? Dost thou not hear Moses, when he says, "Thou desertedst the God that begot thee?" (Deuteronomy 32:15. LXX.) Dost thou not hear Malachi reproaching them, and saying, that "one God formed you," and there is "one Father of you all?" (Malachi 2:10. LXX.) Still, if these words and others besides are used, we do not find them anywhere calling God by the name, or praying in this language. But we all, priests and laymen, rulers and ruled, are ordered to pray herein. And this is the first language we give utterance to, after those marvellous throes, and that strange and unusual mode of labor. If in any other instances they so called Him, that was only of their own mind. But those in the state of grace do it through being moved by the in-working of the Spirit. For as there is a Spirit of Wisdom, after which they that were unwise became wise, and this discloses itself in their teaching: and a Spirit of Power there is, whereby the feeble raised up the dead, and drove out devils; a Spirit also of the gift of healing, and a Spirit of prophecy, and a Spirit of tongues, so also a Spirit of adoption. And as we know the Spirit of prophecy, in that he who hath it foretelleth things to come, not speaking of his own mind, but moved by the Grace; so too is the Spirit of adoption, whereby he that is gifted with it calleth God, Father, as moved by the Spirit. Wishing to express this as a most true descent, he used also the Hebrew [1421] tongue, for he does not say only, "Father," but "Abba, Father," which name is a special sign of true-born children to their fathers. After mentioning then the diversity resulting from their conversation, that resulting from the grace which had been given, and that from their freedom, he brings forward another demonstration of the superiority which goes with this adoption. Now of what kind is this?

The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
Ver. 16. "The Spirit Itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God."

For it is not from the language merely, he says, that I make my assertion, but from the cause out of which the language has its birth; since it is from the Spirit suggesting it that we so speak. And this in another passage he has put into plainer words, thus: "God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, Abba Father." (Galatians 4:6.) And what is that, "Spirit beareth witness with spirit?" The Comforter, he means, with that Gift, which is given unto us. For it is not of the Gift alone that it is the voice, but of the Comforter also who gave the Gift, He Himself having taught us through the Gift so to speak. But when the "Spirit beareth witness" what farther place for doubtfulness? For if it were a man, or angel, or archangel, or any other such power that promised this, then there might be reason in some doubting. But when it is the Highest Essence that bestoweth this Gift, and "beareth witness" by the very words He bade us use in prayer, who would doubt any more of our dignity? For not even when the Emperor elects any one, and proclaims in all men's hearing the honor done him, does anybody venture to gainsay.

And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
Ver. 17. "And if children, then heirs."

Observe how he enhances the Gift by little and little. For since it is a possible case to be children, and yet not become heirs (for it is not by any means all children that are heirs), he adds this besides--that we are heirs. But the Jews, besides their not having the same adoption as we, were also cast out from the inheritance. For "He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out the vineyard to other husbandmen" (Matthew 21:41): and before this, He said that "many shall come from the East and from the West, and shall sit down with Abraham, but the children of the Kingdom shall be cast out." (ib. viii. 11, 12.) But even here he does not pause, but sets down something even greater than this. What may this be then? That we are heirs of God; and so he adds, "heirs of God." And what is more still, that we are not simply heirs, but also "joints heirs with Christ." Observe how ambitious he is of bringing us near to the Master. For since it is not all children that are heirs, he shows that we are both children and heirs; next, as it is not all heirs that are heirs to any great amount, he shows that we have this point with us too, as we are heirs of God. Again, since it were possible to be God's heir, but in no sense "joint heir with" the Only-Begotten, he shows that we have this also. And consider his wisdom. For after throwing the distasteful part into a short compass, when he was saying what was to become of such as "live after the flesh," for instance, that they "shall die," when he comes to the more soothing part, he leadeth forth his discourse into a large room, and so expands it on the recompense of rewards, and in pointing out that the gifts too are manifold and great. For if even the being a child were a grace unspeakable, just think how great a thing it is to be heir! But if this be great, much more is it to be "joint heir." Then to show that the Gift is not of grace only, and to give at the same time a credibility to what he says, he proceeds, "If so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together." If, he would say, we be sharers with Him in what is painful, much more shall it be so in what is good. For He who bestowed such blessings upon those who had wrought no good, how, when He seeth them laboring and suffering so much, shall he do else than give them greater requital? Having then shown that the thing was a matter of return, to make men give credit to what was said, and prevent any from doubting, he shows further that it has the virtue of a gift. The one he showed, that what was said might gain credit even with those that doubted, and that the receivers of it might not feel ashamed as being evermore receiving salvation for nought; and the other, that you might see that God outdoeth the toils by His recompenses. And the one he has shown in the words, "If so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together." But the other in proceeding to add;

Ver. 18. "The sufferings of the present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in (Gr. eis) us."

In what went before, he requires of the spiritual man the correcting of his habits (Mar. and 6 mss. passions), where he says, "Ye are not debtors to live after the flesh," that such an one, for instance, should be above lust, anger, money, vainglory, grudging. But here having reminded them of the whole gift, both as given and as to come, and raised him up aloft with hopes, and placed him near to Christ, and showed him to be a joint-heir of the Only-Begotten; he now leads him forth with confidence even to dangers. For to get the better of the evil affections in us, is not the same thing with bearing up under those trials, scourges, famine, plunderings, bonds, chains, executions. For these last required much more of a noble and vigorous spirit. And observe how he at once allays and rouses the spirit of the combatants. For after he had shown that the rewards were greater than the labors, he both exhorts to greater efforts, and yet will not let them be elated, as being still outdone by the crowns given in requital. And in another passage he says, "For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory" (2 Corinthians 4:17): it being the deeper sort of persons he was then speaking to. Here, however, he does not allow that the afflictions were light; but still he mingles comfort with them by the compensation which good things to come afford, in the words, "For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared," and he does not say, with the rest (anesin) that is to come, but what is much greater, "with the glory which is to come." For it does not follow, that where rest is there is glory; but that where glory is there is rest, does follow: then as he had said that it is to come, he shows that it already is. For he does not say, that which is to be, but "which shall be revealed in us," as if already existing but unrevealed. As also in another place he said in clearer words, "Our life is hid with Christ in God." [1422] Be then of a good heart about it. For already hath it been prepared, and awaiteth thy labors. But if it vexes you that it is yet to come, rather let this very thing rejoice you. For it is owing to its being great and unutterable, and transcending our present condition, that it is stored up there. And so he has not put barely "the sufferings of this present time," but he speaks so as to show that it is not in quality only, but in quantity also, that the other life has the advantage. For these sufferings, whatever they are, are attached to our present life; but the blessings to come reach themselves out over ages without end. And since he had no way of giving a particular description of these, or of putting them before us in language, he gives them a name from what seems to be specially an object of desire with us, "glory." For the summit of blessings and the sum of them, this seems to be. And to urge the hearer on in another way also, he gives a loftiness to his discourse by the mention of the creation, gaining two points by what he is next saying, the contempt of things present, and the desire of things to come, and a third beside these, or rather the first, is the showing how the human race is cared for on God's part and in what honor He holds our nature. And besides this, all the doctrines of the philosophers, which they had framed for themselves about this world, as a sort of cobweb or child's mound, [1423] he throws down with this one doctrine. But that these things may stand in a clearer light, let us hear the Apostle's own language.

For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.
Ver. 19, 20. "For the earnest expectation of the creation waiteth," he says, "for the revelation of the sons of God. For the creation was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope."

And the meaning is something of this kind. The creation itself is in the midst of its pangs, waiting for and expecting these good things whereof we have just now spoken. For "earnest expectation" (apokaradokia, looking out) implies expecting intensely. And so his discourse becomes more emphatic, and he personifies this whole world as the prophets also do, when they introduce the floods clapping their hands, and little hills leaping, and mountains skipping, not that we are to fancy them alive, or ascribe any reasoning power to them, but that we may learn the greatness of the blessings, so great as to reach even to things without sense also. [1424] The very same thing they do many times also in the case of afflicting things, since they bring in the vine lamenting, and the wine too, and the mountains, and the boardings [1425] of the Temple howling, and in this case too it is that we may understand the extremity of the evils. It is then in imitation of these that the Apostle makes a living person of the creature here, and says that it groaneth and travaileth: not that he heard any groan conveyed from the earth and heaven to him, but that he might show the exceeding greatness of the good things to come; and the desire of freedom from the ills which now pervaded them. "For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same." What is the meaning of, "the creation was made subject to vanity?" Why that it became corruptible. For what cause, and on what account? On account of thee, O man. For since thou hast taken a body mortal and liable to suffering, the earth too hath received a curse, and brought forth thorns and thistles. But that the heaven, when it is waxen old along with the earth, is to change afterwards to a better portion (lhexin v. p. 384) hear from the Prophet in his words; "Thou, O Lord, from the beginning hast founded the earth, and the heavens are the work of Thy hands. They shall perish, but thou shalt endure; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment, and as a cloak shalt Thou fold them up, and they shall be changed." (Psalm 102:25, 26.) Isaiah too declares the same, when he says, "Look to the heaven above, and upon the earth beneath, for the heavens are as a firmament of smoke, [1426] and the earth shall wax old like a garment, and they that dwell therein shall perish in like manner." (Isaiah 51:6.). Now you see in what sense the creation is "in bondage to vanity," and how it is to be freed from the ruined state. For the one says, "Thou shalt fold them up as a garment, and they shall be changed;" and Isaiah says, "and they that dwell therein shall perish in like manner," not of course meaning an utter perishing. For neither do they that dwell therein, mankind, that is, undergo such an one, but a temporary one, and through it they are changed into an incorruptible (1 Corinthians 15:53) state, and so therefore will the creature be. And all this he showed by the way, by his saying "in like manner" (2 Peter 3:13), which Paul also says farther on. At present, however, he speaks about the bondage itself, and shows for what reason it became such, and gives ourselves as the cause of it. What then? Was it harshly treated on another's account? By no means, for it was on my account that it was made. What wrong then is done it, which was made for my sake, when it suffereth these things for my correction? Or, indeed, one has no need to moot the question of right and wrong at all in the case of things void of soul and feeling. But Paul, since he had made it a living person, makes use of none of these topics I have mentioned, but another kind of language, as desiring to comfort the hearer with the utmost advantage. And of what kind is this? What have you to say? he means. It was evil intreated for thy sake, and became corruptible; yet it has had no wrong done it. For incorruptible will it be for thy sake again. This then is the meaning of "in hope." But when he says, it was "not willingly" that it was made subject, it is not to show that it is possessed of judgment that he says so, but that you may learn that the whole is brought about by Christ's care, and this is no achievement of its own. And now say in what hope?

Ver. 21. "That the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption."

Now what is this creation? Not thyself alone, but that also which is thy inferior, and partaketh not of reason or sense, this too shall be a sharer in thy blessings. For "it shall be freed," he says, "from the bondage of corruption," that is, it shall no longer be corruptible, but shall go along with the beauty given to thy body; just as when this became corruptible, that became corruptible also; so now it is made incorruptible, that also shall follow it too. And to show this he proceeds. (eis) "Into the glorious liberty of the children of God." That is, because of [1427] their liberty. For as a nurse who is bringing up a king's child, when he has come to his father's power, does herself enjoy the good things along with him, thus also is the creation, he means. You see how in all respects man takes the lead, and that it is for his sake that all things are made. See how he solaces the struggler, and shows the unspeakable love of God toward man. For why, he would say, dost thou fret at thy temptations? thou art suffering for thyself, the creation for thee. Nor does he solace only, but also shows what he says to be trustworthy. For if the creation which was made entirely for thee is "in hope," much more oughtest thou to be, through whom the creation is to come to the enjoyment of those good things. Thus men (3 mss. fathers) also when a son is to appear at his coming to a dignity, clothe even the servants with a brighter garment, to the glory of the son; so will God also clothe the creature with incorruption for the glorious liberty of the children.

For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,
Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.
Ver. 22. "For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now."

Observe, how he shames the hearer, saying almost, Be not thou worse than the creation, neither find a pleasure in resting in things present. Not only ought we not to cling to them, but even to groan over the delay of our departure hence. For if the creation doth this, much more oughtest thou to do so, honored with reason as thou art. But as this was not yet enough to force their attention, he proceeds.

Ver. 23. "And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the first-fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves."

That is, having had a taste of the things to come. For even if any should be quite stone hard, he means what has been given already is enough to raise him up, and draw him off from things present, and to wing him after things to come in two ways, both by the greatness of the things that are given, and by the fact that, great and numerous as they are, they are but first-fruits. For if the first-fruits be so great that we are thereby freed even from our sins, and attain to righteousness and sanctification, and that those of that time both drave out devils, and raised the dead by their shadow (Acts 5:15), or garments (ib. xix. 12), consider how great the whole must be. And if the creation, devoid as it is of mind and reason, and though in ignorance of these things, yet groaneth, much more should we. Next, that he may give the heretics no handle, or seem to be disparaging our present world, we groan, he says, not as finding fault with the present system, but through a desire of those greater things. And this he shows in the words, "Waiting for the adoption." What dost thou say, let me hear? Thou didst insist on it at every turn, and didst cry aloud, that we were already made sons, and now dost thou place this good thing among hopes, writing that we must needs wait for it? Now it is to set this right by the sequel that he says, "to wit, the redemption [1428] of our body." That is, the perfect glory. Our lot indeed is at present uncertainty to our last breath, since many of us that were sons have become dogs and prisoners. But if we decease with a good hope, then is the gift unmovable, and clearer, and greater, having no longer any change to fear from death and sin. Then therefore will the grace be secure, when our body shall be freed from death and its countless ailments (or passions). For this is full redemption (apolutrosis), not a redemption [1429] only, but such, that we shall never again return to our former captivity. For that thou mayest not be perplexed at hearing so much of glory without getting any distinct knowledge of it, he partially exposes to thy view the things to come, setting before thee the change of thy body (Gr. changing thy body), and along with it the change of the whole creation. And this he has put in a clearer light in another passage, where he says, "Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious Body." (Philippians 3:21.) And in another place again he writes and says, "But when this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory." (1 Corinthians 15:54.) But to show, that with the corruption of the body the constitution of the things of this life will also come to an end, he wrote again elsewhere, "For the fashion of this world passeth away." (1 Corinthians 7:31.)

Ver. 24. "For we are saved by hope," he says.

Now since he had dwelt upon the promise of the things to come, and this seemed to pain the weaker hearer, if the blessings are all matter of hope; after proving before that they are surer than things present and visible, and discoursing at large on the gifts already given, and showing that we have received the first fruits of those good things, lest we should seek our all in this world, and be traitors to the nobility that faith gives us, he says, "For we are (Gr. were) saved by hope." And this is about what he means. We are not to seek our all in this life, but to have hope also. For this is the only gift that we brought in to God, believing Him in what He promised shall come, and it was by this way alone we were saved. If then we lose this hope, we have lost all that was of our own contributing. For I put you this question, he would say, Wert thou not liable for countless sins? wert thou not in despair? wert thou not under sentence? were not all out of heart about thy salvation? What then saved thee? It was thy hoping [1430] in God alone, and trusting to Him about His promises and gifts, and nothing besides hadst thou to bring in. If it was this then that saved thee, hold it fast now also. For that which afforded thee so great blessings, to a certainty will not deceive thee in regard to things to come. For in that it found thee dead, and ruined, and a prisoner, and an enemy, and yet made thee a friend, and a son, and a freeman, and righteous, and a joint-heir, and yielded such great things as no one ever expected even, how, after such munificence and attachment, will it betray [1431] thee in what is to follow? Say not to me, hopes again! expectations again! faith again! For it is in this way thou wert saved from the beginning, and this dowry was the only one that thou didst bring in to the Bridegroom. Hold it then fast and keep it: for if thou demandest to have everything in this world, thou hast lost that well-doing of thine, through which thou didst become bright, and this is why he proceeds to say, "But hope that is seen is not hope; for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?"

And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?
But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.
Ver. 25.--"But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it."

That is, if thou art to be looking for everything in this world, what need is there for hope? What is hope then? It is feeling confidence in things to come. What great demand then doth God make upon thee, since He Himself giveth thee blessings quite entire from His own stores? One thing only, hope, He asks of thee, that thou too mayest have somewhat of thine own to contribute toward thy salvation. And this he intimates in what he proceeds with: "For if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it." As then God crowneth him that undergoes labors, and hardnesses, and countless toils, so doth He him that hopeth. For the name of patience belongs to hard work and much endurance. Yet even this He hath granted to the man that hopeth, that He might solace the wearied soul. And then to show that for this light task we enjoy abundant aid, he proceeds:

Ver. 26. "Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities." [1432]

For the one point is thy own, that of patience, but the other comes of the Spirit's furnishings, Who also cherisheth (Gr. anointeth) thee unto this hope, and through it again lighteneth thy labors. Then that thou mightest know that it is not in thy labors only and dangers that this grace standeth by thee, but even in things the most easy seemingly, [1433] it worketh with thee, and on all occasions bears its part in the alliance, he proceeds to say,

"For we know not what we should pray for as we ought."

And this he said to show the Spirit's great concern about us, and also to instruct them not to think for certainty that those things are desirable which to man's reasonings appear so. For since it was likely that they, when they were scourged, and driven out, and suffering grievances without number, should be seeking a respite, and ask this favor of God, and think it was advantageous to them, by no means (he says) suppose that what seem blessings to you really are so. For we need the Spirit's aid even to do this. So feeble is man, and such a nothing by himself. For this is why he says, "For we know not what we should pray for as we ought." In order that the learner might not feel any shame at his ignorance, he does not say, ye know not, but, "we know not." And that he did not say this merely to seem moderate, he plainly shows from other passages. For he desired in his prayers unceasingly to see Rome. Yet the time when he obtained it was not at once when he desired it. And for "the thorn" that was given him "in the flesh" (2 Corinthians 12:8), that is the dangers, he often besought God, and was entirely unsuccessful. [1434] And so was Moses, who in the Old Testament prays to see Palestine (Deuteronomy 3:26), and Jeremiah when he made supplication for the Jews (Jeremiah 15:1), and Abraham when he interceded for the people of Sodom. "But the Spirit Itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered." This statement is not clear, owing to the cessation of many of the wonders which then used to take place. Wherefore I must needs inform you of the state of things at that time, and in this way the rest of the subject will be cleared. What therefore was the state of things then? God did in those days give to all that were baptized certain excellent gifts, and the name that these had was spirits. For "the spirits of the Prophets," it says, "are subject to the prophets." (1 Corinthians 14:32.) And one had the gift of prophecy and foretold things to come; and another of wisdom, and taught the many; and another of healings, and cured the sick; and another of miracles, and raised the dead; another of tongues, and spoke different languages. And with all these there was also a gift of prayer, which also was called a spirit, and he that had this prayed for all the people. For since we are ignorant of much that is profitable for us and ask things that are not profitable, the gift of prayer came into some particular person of that day, and what was profitable for all the whole Church alike, he was the appointed person to ask for in behalf of all, and the instructor of the rest. Spirit then is the name that he gives here to the grace of this character, and the soul that receiveth the grace, and intercedeth to God, and groaneth. For he that was counted worthy of such grace as this, standing with much compunction, and with many mental groanings falling before God, asked the things that were profitable for all. And of this the Deacon of the present day is a symbol when he offers up the prayers for the people. This then is what Paul means when he says, [1435] "the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings that cannot be uttered."

Ver. 27. "But He that searcheth the hearts."

You see that it is not about the Comforter that he is speaking, but about the spiritual heart. Since if this were not so, he ought to have said, "He that searcheth" the Spirit. But that thou mayest learn that the language is meant of a spiritual man, who has the gift of prayer, he proceeds, "And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit," that is, of the spiritual man.

"Because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God."

Not (he means) that he informs God as if ignorant, but this is done that we may learn to pray for proper things, and to ask of God what is pleasing to Him. For this is what the "according to God" is. And so this was with a view to solace those that came to Him, and to yield them excellent instruction. For He that furnished the gifts, and gave besides blessings without number, was the Comforter. Hence it says, "all these things worketh one and the self-same Spirit." (1 Corinthians 12:11.) And it is for our instruction that this takes place, and to show the love of the Spirit, it condescendeth even to this. And it is from this that the person praying getteth heard, because the prayer is made "according to the will of God."

You see from how many points he instructs them in the love that was shown them and the honor that was done them. And what is there that God hath not done for us? The world He hath made corruptible for us, and again for us incorruptible. He suffered His Prophets to be ill-treated for our sake, sent them into captivity for us, let them fall into the furnace, and undergo ills without number. Nay, He made them prophets for us, and the Apostles also He made for us. He gave up for us His Only-Begotten, He punisheth the devil for us, He hath seated us on the Right Hand, He was reproached for us. "For the reproaches of them that reproached thee," it says, "fell upon me." (Psalm 69:9.) Yet still, when we are drawing back after so great favor, He leaveth us not, but again entreats, and on our account inciteth others to entreat for us, that He may show us favor. And so it was with Moses. For to him He says, "Let Me alone, that I may blot them out" (Exodus 32:10), that He might drive him upon supplicating on their behalf. And now He doth the same thing. Hence He gave the gift of prayer. But this He doth, not as Himself standing in need of entreaty, but that we might [1436] not, from being saved without effort (haplhos), grow indifferent. For this cause it is on account of David, and of this person and that, He often says, that He is reconciled with them, to establish again this very thing, that the reconciliation may be with all due formality. [1437] Still He would have looked more loving toward man, if it had not been through this and the other prophet, but of Himself, that He told them that He ceased to be wroth. But the reason of His not holding to that point was, that this ground of reconciliation might not become an occasion for listlessness. Wherefore to Jeremiah also He said, "Pray not for this people, for I will not hear thee" (Jeremiah 11:14), not as wishing to stop his praying (for He earnestly longeth for our salvation), but to terrify them: and this the prophet also seeing did not cease praying. And that you may see that it was not through a wish to turn him from it, but to shame [1438] them that He said this, hear what it says. "Seest thou not what these are doing?" (Ezekiel 8:6, not verbally from LXX.) And when He says to the city "Though thou wash thee with nitre, and take thee much soap (Gr. herb), yet thou art stained before Me" (Jeremiah 2:22), it is not that He may cast them into despair that He so speaks, but that He may rouse them to repentance. For as in the case of the Ninevites, by giving the sentence without limitation, and holding out no good hope, He scared them the more, and led them to repentance, so He doth here also, both to rouse them, and to render the prophet more venerated, that in this way at least they may hear him. Then, since they kept on in a state of incurable madness, and were not to be sobered even by the rest being carried away, he first exhorts them to remain there. But when they kept not up to this, but deserted to Egypt, this indeed He allowed them, but requires of them not to desert to irreligion as well as to Egypt. (Jeremiah 44:8.) But when they did not comply in this either, He sendeth the prophet along with them, so that they might not after all suffer total wreck. (Ver. 28.) For since they did not follow Him when He called, He next followeth them to discipline them, and hinder their being hurried further into vice, and as a father full of affection does a child who takes all treatment in the same peevish way, conducting him about everywhere with himself, and following him about. This was the reason why He sent not Jeremiah only into Egypt, but also Ezekiel into Babylon, and they did not refuse to go. For when they found their Master love the people exceedingly, they continued themselves to do so likewise. Much as if a right-minded servant were to take compassion upon an intractable son when he saw his father grieving and lamenting about him. And what was there that they did not suffer for them? They were sawn asunder, they were driven out, they were reproached, they were stoned, they underwent numberless grievances. And after all this they would run back to them. Samuel, for instance, ceased not to mourn for Saul, miserably insulted as he was by him, and injured irreparably. (1 Samuel 15:35.) Still he held none of these things in remembrance. And for the people of the Jews, Jeremiah has composed Lamentations in writing. And when the general of the Persians had given him liberty to dwell securely, and with perfect freedom, wherever he pleased, he preferred above dwelling at home the affliction of the people, and their hard durance in a strange land. (Jeremiah 11:5.) So Moses left the palace and the sort of living herein, and hasted to be among their calamities. And Daniel abode for twenty days following without food, pinching himself with the most severe fast, that he might reconcile God to them. (Daniel 10:2.) And the three Children too, when in the furnace, and so fierce a fire, put up a supplication for them. For it was not on their account that they were grieved, as they were saved; but since they considered that then was the time for the greatest boldness of speech, they consequently prayed in their behalf; hence too they said, "In a contrite heart and an humble spirit let us be accepted." (Song. ver. 16.) For them Joshua also rent his garments. (Joshua 7:6.) For them Ezekiel too wailed and lamented when he saw them cut down. (Ezekiel 9:8.) And Jeremy [1439] said, "Let me alone, I will weep bitterly." (Isaiah 22:4.) And before this, when he did not venture openly to pray for a remittance of their sad estate, he sought for some limited period, when he says, "How long, O, Lord?" (ib. vi. 11.) For full of affectionateness is the whole race of the saints. Wherefore also St. Paul saith, "Put on therefore, as the elect saints of God, bowels of mercy, kindness, humbleness of mind." (Colossians 3:12.) You see the strict propriety of the word, and how he would have us continually merciful. For he does not say, "show mercy" only, but put it on, that like as our garment is always with us, so may mercy be. And he does not say merely mercy, but "bowels of mercy," that we may imitate the natural affection of relations.

But we do just the contrary, and if any one comes to ask a single penny of us, we insult them, abuse them, call them impostors. Dost thou not shudder, man, and blush to call him an impostor for bread? Why even supposing such an one is practising imposture, he deserves to be pitied for it, because he is so pressed with famine as to put on such a character. This then is a reproach to our cruelty. For since we had not the heart to bestow with readiness, they are compelled to practise a great many arts, so as to put a cheat off upon our inhumanity, and to soften down our harshness. Now if it was gold and silver that he asked of thee, then there would be some reason in thy suspicions. But if it is necessary food that he comes to thee for, why be showing thyself wise so unseasonably, and take so over exact an account of him, accusing him of idleness and sloth? For if we must talk in this way, it is not others but ourselves that we ought to address. When therefore thou art going to God to ask forgiveness for thy sins, then call these words to mind, and thou wilt know thou deservest to have these things said to thee by God, much more than the poor man by thee. And yet God hath never said such words to thee as "Stand off, since thou art an impostor, always coming to church and hearing My laws, but when abroad, setting gold, and pleasure (epithumian), and friendship, and in fact anything above My commandments. And now thou makest thyself humble, but when thy prayers are over thou art bold, and cruel, and inhuman. Get thee hence, therefore, and never come to Me any more." Yet this, and more than this, we deserve to have said to us; but still He never did reproach us in any such way, but is long-suffering and fulfils everything on His own part, and gives us more than we ask for. Calling this to mind then, let us relieve the poverty of those that beg of us, and if they do impose upon us, let us not be over exact about it. For such a salvation is it that we ourselves require, one with pardon, with kindness (philanthropias), with much mercy along with it. For it is not possible, it certainly is not, if our estate were searched into strictly, that we should ever be saved, but we must needs be punished and brought to ruin altogether. Let us not then be bitter judges of others lest we also get a strict account demanded of us. For we have sins that are too great to plead any excuse. And therefore let us show more mercy towards those who have committed inexcusable sins, that we also may lay up for ourselves the like mercy beforehand. And yet be as large-hearted as we may, we shall never be able to contribute such love toward man as we stand in need of at the hand of a God that loveth man. How then is it other than monstrous, when we are in need of so many things ourselves, to be over exact with our fellow servants, and do all we can against ourselves? For thou dost not in this way so much prove him unworthy of thy liberality, as thyself of God's love toward man. For he that deals over exactly with his fellow servant, will be the more sure to find the like treatment at God's hand. Let us not speak against ourselves, but even if they come out of idleness or wilfulness, [1440] let us bestow. For we also do many sins through wilfulness, or rather we do them all through wilfulness, and yet God doth not presently call us to punishment, but gives us a set time for penance, nurturing us day by day, disciplining us, teaching us, supplying us with all other things, that we too may emulate this mercy of His. Let us then quell this cruelty, let us cast out this brutal spirit, as benefiting thereby ourselves rather than others. For to these we give money, and bread, and clothing, but for ourselves we are laying up beforehand very great glory, and such as there is no putting into words. For we receive again our bodies incorruptible, and are [1441] glorified together and reign together with Christ. And how great this is we shall see from hence--or rather there is no means of making us see it clearly now. But to start from our present blessings, and to get from them at least some kind of scanty notice of it, I will endeavor so far as I may be able to put before you what I have been speaking of. Tell me then, if when you were grown old, and were living in poverty, and any one were to promise suddenly to make you young, and to bring you to the very prime of life, and to render you very strong, and pre?minently beautiful, and were to give you the kingdom of the whole earth for a thousand years, a kingdom in the state of the deepest peace, what is there that you would not choose to do, and to suffer to gain this promise? (4 mss. and Sav. Mar. object.) See then, Christ promises not this, but much more than this. For the distance between old age and youth is not to be compared with the difference of corruption and incorruption, nor that of a kingdom and poverty to that of the present glory and the future, but the difference is that of dreams and a reality. Or rather I have yet said nothing to the purpose, since there is no language capable of setting before you the greatness of the difference between things to come and things present. And as for time, there is no place for the idea of difference. For what mode is there for a man to compare with our present state a life that hath no limit? And as for the peace it is as far removed from any present peace, as peace is different from war; and for the incorruption, it is as much better as a clear pearl is than a clod of clay. Or rather, say as great a thing as one may, nothing can put it before you. For were I even to compare the beauty of our bodies then to the light of the sunbeam, or the brightest lightning, I shall not yet be saying aught that is worthy of that brilliancy. Now for such things as these what money so much that it were not worth the while to give up? what bodies, or rather what souls [1442] is it not worth one's while to give up? At present if any one were to lead thee into the palace, and in presence of all were to give thee an opportunity of conversing with the king, and make thee sit at his table, and join in his fare, thou wouldest call thyself the happiest of men. But when you are to go up to Heaven, and stand by the King of the universe Himself, and to vie with angels in brightness, and to enjoy even that unutterable glory, do you hesitate whether you ought to give up money? whereas if you had to put off life itself, you ought to leap and exult, and mount on wings of pleasure. But you, that you may get an office (archen), as a place to pillage from (for call a thing of this sort gain, I cannot), put all you have to hazard, and after borrowing of others, will, if need be, pawn your wife and children too without hesitation.

But when the kingdom of Heaven is set before you, that office (archhes) which hath none to supersede you in it, and God bids you take not a part of a corner of the earth, but the whole of Heaven entirely, are you hesitating, and reluctant, and gaping after money, and forgetful that if the parts of that Heaven which we see are so fair and delightful, how greatly so must the upper Heaven be, and the Heaven [1443] of Heaven? But since we have as yet no means of seeing this with our bodily eyes, ascend in thy thought, and standing above this Heaven, look up unto that Heaven beyond this, into that height without a bound, into that Light surcharged with awe, into the crowds of the Angels, into the endless ranks of Archangels, into the rest of the incorporeal Powers. And then lay hold again of the image (cf. Plat. Rep. vii. p. 516) thereof we have, after coming down from above, and make a sketch of the estate of a king with us, as his men in gold armor, and his pairs of white mules proudly decked with gold, and his chariots set with jewels [1444] and his snow-like cushions (stromnen Poll. x. 41), and the spangles that flutter about the chariot, and the dragons shaped out in the silken hangings, and the shields with their gold bosses, and the straps that reach up from these to the rim of them through so many gems, and the horses with the gilded trappings and the gold bits. But when we see the king we immediately lose sight of all these. For he alone turns our eyes to him, and to the purple robe, and the diadem, and the throne, and the clasp, and the shoes, all that splendor of his appearance. After gathering all these things together then with accuracy, then again remove your thoughts from these things to things above, and to that awful day in which Christ is coming. For then you will not see any pairs of mules, nor golden chariots, nor dragons and shields, but things that are big with a mighty awe, and strike such amazement that the very incorporeal Powers are astonished. For the "powers of the Heavens," He says, "shall be shaken." (Matthew 24:29.) Then is the whole Heaven thrown open, and the gates of those concaves unfold themselves, and the Only-begotten Son of God cometh down, not with twenty, not with a hundred men for His body-guard, but with thousands, ten thousands of Angels and Archangels, Cherubim and Seraphim, and other Powers, and with fear and trembling shall everything be filled, whiles the earth is bursting itself up, and the men that ever were born, from Adam's birth up to that day, are rising from the earth, and all are caught up; (1 Thess. iv. 17) when Himself appears with such great glory as that the sun, and the moon, and all light whatever, is cast into the shade, being outshone by that radiance. What language is to set before us that blessedness, brightness, glory? Alas! my soul. For weeping comes upon me and great groaning, as I reflect what good things we have fallen from, what blessedness we are estranged from. For estranged we are (I am now speaking of my own case still), unless we do some great and astonishing work; speak not then of hell to me now, for more grievous than any hell is the fall from this glory, and worse than punishments unnumbered the estrangement from that lot. But still we are gaping after this present world, and we take not thought of the devil's cunning, who by little things bereaves us of those great ones, and gives us clay that he may snatch from us gold, or rather that he may snatch Heaven from us, and showeth us a shadow that he may dispossess us of the reality, and puts phantoms before us in dreams (for such is the wealth of this world), that at daybreak [1445] he may prove us the poorest of men. Laying these things to heart, late though it be, let us fly from this craft, and pass to the side of things to come. For we cannot say that we were ignorant how exposed to accidents the present life is, since things every day din in our ears more loudly than a trumpet, the worthlessness, the ridiculousness, the shamefulness, the dangers, the pitfalls, of the present scene. What defence then shall we have to set up for pursuing things so subject to hazards, and laden with shame, with so much eagerness, and leaving things unfailing, which will make us glorious and bright, and giving our whole selves up to the thraldom of money? For the slavery to these things is worse than any bondage. And this they know who have been counted worthy to obtain their freedom from it. That ye then may also feel this goodly liberty, burst the bonds asunder, spring out of the snare. And let there be no gold lying by in your houses, but that which is more precious than millions of money, alms and love to man, for your treasure. For this gives us boldness toward God, but the other covers us with deep shame, and causes the devil to bear hard (sphodron pnhein) upon us. Why then arm thy enemy, and make him stronger? Arm thy right hand against him, and transfer all the splendor of thy house into thy soul, and stow away all thy fortune in thy mind, and instead of a chest and a house, let heaven keep thy gold. And let us put all our property about our own selves; for we are much better than the walls, and more dignified than the pavement. Why then do we, to the neglect of our own selves, waste all our attention upon those things, which when we are gone we can no longer reach, and often even while we stay here we cannot keep hold of, when we might have such riches as to be found not in this life only, but also in that, in the easiest circumstances? For he who carries about his farms and house and gold upon his soul, wherever he appears, appears with all this wealth. And how is this possible to be effected? one may ask. It is possible, and that with the utmost ease. For if you transfer them to Heaven by the poor man's hand, you will transfer them entire into your own soul. And if death should afterwards come upon thee, no one will take them from thee, but thou wilt depart to be rich in the next world too. This was the kind of treasure Tabitha had. Hence it was not her house that proclaimed her wealth, nor the walls, nor the stones, nor the pillars, but the bodies of widows furnished with dress, and their tears that were shed, and death that played the runaway, and life that came back again. Let us also make unto ourselves such-like treasures, let us build up for ourselves such-like houses. In this way we shall have God for our Fellow-worker, and we ourselves shall be workers together with Him. For Himself brought the poor from not being into being, and you will prevent them, after they have been brought into life and being, from perishing with hunger and other distress, by tending them and setting them upright, staying up the Temple of God in every quarter. What can be equal to this in respect both of utility and of glory? Or if as yet you have not gained any clear notion of the great adornment He bestowed upon thee when He bade thee relieve poverty, consider this point with thyself. If He had given thee so great power, that thou wert able to set up again even the Heaven if it were falling, wouldest thou not think the thing an honor far too great for thee? See now He hath held thee worthy of a greater honor. For that which in His esteem is more precious than the Heavens, [1446] He hath trusted thee to repair. For of all things visible there is nothing in God's esteem equal to man. For Heaven and earth and sea did He make for him, and finds more pleasure in dwelling with him than in the Heaven. And yet we, though with a knowledge of this, bestow no attention nor forethought upon the temples of God; but leaving them in a neglected state, we provide houses splendid and large for ourselves. This is why we are devoid of all good things, and greater beggars than the poorest poor, because we pride ourselves in these houses which we cannot take away with us when we go hence, and leave those alone which we might move away along with our own selves. For the bodies of the poor after dissolution must needs rise again; and God, Who hath given this charge, will bring them forth, and praise those who have taken care of them, and treat such with regard (thaumasetai), because when they were on the point of falling to ruin at one time by starvation, at another by nakedness and cold, these repaired them by all means in their power. But still, even with all these praises set before us, we loiter yet, and decline undertaking this honorable charge. And Christ indeed hath not where to lodge, but goeth about a stranger, and naked, and hungry, and you set up houses out of town, and baths, and terraces, and chambers without number, in thoughtless vanity; and to Christ you give not even a share of a little hut, while for daws and vultures you deck out upper chambers. What can be worse than such insanity as this? What more grievous than such madness? for madness it is in the last stage of it, or rather one has no name to suit it, use whatever one may. Yet still if we be so minded, it is possible to beat off the disorder, tenacious as it is; and not possible only, but even easy; and not easy merely, but even easier is it to get rid of this pest than of the sufferings of the body, since the Physician is so much greater. Let us then draw Him to ourselves, and invite Him to aid us in the attempt, and let us contribute our share, good-will, I mean, and energy. For He will not require anything further, but if He can meet with this only, He will confer all that is His part. Let us then contribute our share, that in this world we may enjoy a genuine health, and may attain to the good things to come, by the grace and love towards man, etc.


[1415] So St. Chrysostom reads, as appears from his Commentary on this passage.

[1416] Sav. tas men gar allas apokteinanta, seauton anelein estin; to give this sense we should punctuate tas men gar allas, apokt. heauton, anelein estin.

[1417] katexanistatai. The word used in the last Homily for the conduct of the covetous towards the poor. See p. 439.

[1418] See Galatians 5:25, where "live" means "have life," and is distinguished from "walk."

[1419] Or the command of it, exousian.

[1420] huperbainein means to go beyond as well as to go against. He refers to such things as St. Paul's refusing sustenance from the Ach?ans. 1 Corinthians 9:4, etc. The tenses prove this to be St. Chrysostom's meaning.

[1421] i. e. the Syriac, which the Hebrew means in the N.T. probably in all cases--it being then the language of the Hebrews.

[1422] Colossians 3:3. Ver. 4. confirms his application of it.

[1423] Perhaps alluding to Il. xv. 362.

[1424] Chrysostom's interpretation of he ktisis is undoubtedly correct in principle, although he probably gives to it too general an idea in calling it "this whole world"--reaching "even to things without sense also." It is more likely that the apostle has in mind distinctively the irrational creation. (So Meyer, Godet, Thayer, Dwight). Nature is subject to "vanity"--i. e. the law of decay and death, and is poetically spoken of as awaiting the revelation of the sons of God in the hope of sharing in it. The apostle explains that the ktisis was placed in this condition not of its own accord but on account of the will of God, who, however, subjected it to the forces of decay and death on the ground of hope. Hope was the attendant condition of this subjection which took place in consequence of the fall. Hence this condition is not final and the creation desires and groans to be delivered and to share in the "manifestation of the sons of God"--the revelation of them in their true character in the presence of the universe at the coming of Christ.--G.B.S.

[1425] phatnomata, Heb. syrvt. Amos 8:3. LXX. Hesych. sanidomata. See Schleusner, Lex. Gr. Vet. Test. for conjectures to account for the translation.

[1426] Eng. "shall vanish away like smoke." LXX. render nmlchv estereothe, they give the same for nth Isaiah 45:12.

[1427] dia ten. St. Chrysostom does not mean to say that one preposition is used for another, as his illustration shows. For the liberty of the sons of God is both the thing of which the creation partakes, and the cause of its partaking; so that the one is put in a sense which implies the other too.

[1428] apolutrosin. In the meaning of this word sometimes the manner, and sometimes the completeness of redemption predominates; see Romans 3:24, p. 377.

[1429] lutrosis, showing that the completeness is implied in the preposition, which should be observed in the doctrinal use of the term.

[1430] This blending of faith and hope illustrates the connection of faith and love, the Object of love being now known by faith, and appropriated by hope. The personification which follows is a powerful way of representing that in us which apprehends God as itself His gift.

[1431] So the mss. and Catena: the old reading was ou prosesetai, "will it not satisfy."

[1432] Magna est vis Gr?ci verbi sunantilambanesthai, said Calvin. The word means: "takes hold together with us, as if on the other side or as if instead of us" (Godet). The notion of lifting the other end of a burden, or perhaps, of taking hold of it in our place, seems to lie at the basis of this expressive word. Cf. Luke 10:40.--G.B.S.

[1433] These words show that St. Chrysostom does not mean that we do any good unaided, however much he insists on the freedom of our will.

[1434] See Bishop Bull, Serm. V. who discusses what this was.

[1435] St. Ambrose, Epist. 36, gives the same interpretation.

[1436] The peculiar position of the negative resembles that in Eur. Hec. 1131 (al. 1149), hin allos me tis eideie tade.

[1437] 6 mss. with glorying, i. e. with something good done on man's part.

[1438] entrepsaiperhaps "to urge him to compassion;" (there is no pronoun with this verb).

[1439] So all mss. but one, and that is obviously an emendation: both the passages cited are from Isaiah.

[1440] All mss. read kan di argian kan dia rh& 139;thumian, which order agrees with the stronger sense here given to rhathumia: "listlessness" is generally too little expressive of that readiness to yield to temptations which this word implies. But 1 ms. reads "rather all through vice," kakian, which tends to give the other word a lighter sense.

[1441] 6 mss. pres., and so all just above.

[1442] Or lives, but see above, p. 433, where the spirit seems to be considered apart from the soul.

[1443] See St. Augustin's Confessions, p. 250, Oxf. Tr. Clem. Recog. iii. 75; Aristot. Metaph. p. 997; 15, p. 1071, 23, Bekker.

[1444] lithokolleta, v. Jungerm. ad Polluc. x. 145, V. l. chrusokolleta.

[1445] Night being put for the time of our sojourn here. Cf. Romans 13:12.

[1446] Several mss. "which is more precious than the Heavens themselves."

Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God."

Here he seems to me to have mooted this whole topic with a view to those who were in danger; or, rather, not this only, but also what was said a little before this. For the words, "the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us;" and those, that "the whole creation groaneth;" and the saying, that "we are saved by hope;" and the phrase, "we with patience wait for;" and that, "we know not what we should pray for as we ought;" are all of them said to these. For he instructs them not to choose just what they may think, themselves, to be useful, but what the Spirit may suggest; for many things that seem to one's self profitable, do sometimes even cause much harm. Quiet, for instance, and freedom from dangers, and living out of fear, seemed to be advantageous for them. And what wonder if they did to them, since to the blessed Paul himself this seemed to be so? still he came afterwards to know that the opposite to all these are the things advantageous, and when he came to know it, he was content. So he that besought the Lord thrice to be freed from hazards, [1447] when once he heard Him say, "My grace is sufficient for thee, for My Power is perfected in weakness" (2 Corinthians 12:8, 9), was afterwards delighted at being persecuted, and insulted, and having irreparable ills done him. For, "I glory," he says, "in persecutions, in insults" (Eng. V. reproaches), "in necessities." (2 Corinthians 12:10.) And this was his reason for saying, "For we know not what we should pray for as we ought." And he exhorted all men to give up these matters to the Spirit. For the Holy Spirit is very mindful of us, and this is the will of God. Having then cheered them by all methods, he proceeds to what we have heard to-day, putting forward a reason strong enough to reclaim them. For he says, "we know that all things work together for good to them that love God." Now when he speaks of "all things," he mentions even the things that seem painful. For should even tribulation, or poverty, or imprisonment, or famines, or deaths, or anything else whatsoever come upon us, God is able to change all these things into the opposite. For this is quite an instance of His unspeakable power, His making things seemingly painful to be lightsome to us, and turning them into that which is helpful to us. And so he does not say, that "them that love God," no grievance approacheth, but, that it "works together for good," that is to say, that He useth the grievous things themselves to make the persons so plotted against approved. And this is a much greater thing than hindering the approach of such grievances, or stopping them when they have come. And this is what He did even with the furnace at Babylon. For He did not either prevent their falling into it, or extinguish the flame after those saints were cast into it, but let it burn on, and made them by this very flame greater objects of wonder, and with the Apostles too He wrought other like wonders continually. (St. Mark 16:18.) For if men who have learnt to be philosophic can use the things of nature to the opposite of their intention, and appear even when living in poverty in easier circumstances than the rich, and shine [1448] through disgrace: much more will God work for those that love Him both these and also greater things by far. For one needs only one thing, a genuine love of Him, and all things follow that. As then things seemingly harmful do good to these, so do even things profitable harm those who love Him not. For instance, the exhibition of miracles and wisdom in His teaching only injured the Jews, as did the rightness of doctrine; and for the former they called Him a possessed person (John 8:48), for the other one that would be equal to God (ib. v. 18): and because of the miracles (ib. xi. 47, 53), they even went about to kill Him. But the thief when crucified, when nailed to the Cross, and reviled, and suffering ills unnumbered, not only was not hurt, but even gained the greatest good therefrom. See how for those who love God all things work together for good. After mentioning then this great blessing, one which far exceeds man's nature, since to many this seemed even past belief, he draws a proof of it from past blessings, in these words, "to them who are called according to His [1449] purpose." Now consider, he means, from the calling, for instance, what I have just said. Why then did He not from the first call all? or why not Paul himself as soon as the rest? Does it not seem that the deferring was harmful? But it was still by the event shown to be for the best. The purpose he here mentions, however, that he might not ascribe everything to the calling; since in this way both Greeks and Jews would be sure to cavil. For if the calling alone were sufficient, how came it that all were not saved? Hence he says, that it is not the calling alone, but the purpose of those called too, that works the salvation. For the calling was not forced upon them, nor compulsory. All then were called, but all did not obey the call.

For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
Ver. 29. "For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the Image of His Son."

See what superb honor! for what the Only-begotten was by Nature, this they also have become by grace. And still he was not satisfied with this calling of them conformed thereto, but even adds another point, "that He might be the first-born." And even here he does not come to a pause, but again after this he proceeds to mention another point, "Among many brethren." So wishing to use all means of setting the relationship [1450] in a clear light. Now all these things you are to take as said of the Incarnation. [1451] For according to the Godhead He is Only-begotten. See, what great things He hath given unto us! Doubt not then about the future. For he showeth even upon other grounds His concern for us by saying, that things were fore-ordered [1452] in this way from the beginning. For men have to derive from things their conceptions about them, but to God these things have been long determined upon, [1453] and from of old He bare good-will toward us (pros hemhas diekeito), he says.

Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
Ver. 30. "Moreover whom He did predestinate, them He also called; and whom He called, them He also justified."

Now He justified them by the regeneration of the laver. "And whom He justified, them He also glorified" by the gift, by the adoption.

What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
Ver. 31. "What shall we then say to these things?"

As if he should say, Let me then hear no more about the dangers and the malicious devices from every quarter. For even if some disbelieve the things to come, still they have not a word to say against the good things that have already taken place; as, for instance, the friendship of God towards thee from the first, the justifying, the glory. And yet these things He gave thee by means seemingly distressing. And those things which you thought to be disgracing, the Cross, scourges, bonds, these are what have set the whole world aright. As then by what Himself suffered, though of aspect forbidding in man's eye, even by these He effected the liberty and salvation of the whole race; so also is He wont to do in regard to those things which thou endurest, turning thy sufferings unto glory and renown for thee. "If God be for us, who can be against us?"

Why, it may be said, who is there that is not against us? Why the world is against us, both kings and peoples, both relations and countrymen. Yet these that be against us, so far are they from thwarting us at all, that even without their will they become to us the causes of crowns, and procurers of countless blessings, in that God's wisdom turneth their plots unto our salvation and glory. See how really no one is against us! For it was this which gave new lustre to Job, the fact that the devil was in arms against him. For the devil moved at once friends against him, his wife against him, and wounds, and servants, and a thousand other machinations. And it turned out that none of them was against him on the whole. And yet this was no great thing to him, though it was great in itself, but what is a far greater thing is, that it turned out that they were all for him. For since God was for him, even things seemingly against him all became for him. And this happened with the Apostles also, inasmuch as both the Jews, and they of the Gentiles, and false brethren, and rulers, and peoples, and famines, and poverty, and ten thousand things were against them; and yet nothing was against them. For the things which made them the most bright and conspicuous, and great in the sight both of God and of men, were these. Just reflect then what a word Paul hath uttered about the faithful, and those who are truly (akribhos) crucified, such as not even the Emperor with his diadem can achieve. For against him there are abundance of barbarians that arm themselves, and of enemies that invade, and of bodyguards that plot, and of subjects many that oftentimes are ever and anon rebelling, and thousands of other things. But against the faithful who taketh good heed unto God's laws, neither man, nor devil, nor aught besides, can stand! For if you take away his money, you have become the procurer of a reward to him. If you speak ill of him, by the evil report he gains fresh lustre in God's sight. If you cast him into starvation, the more will his glory and his reward be. If (what seems the most severe stroke of all) you give him over to death, you are twining a crown of martyrdom about him. [1454] What then is equivalent to this way of life, being that against which nothing can be done, but even they that seem to devise mischief are no less of service to him than benefactors? This is why he says, "If God be for us, who can be against us?" Next, not being satisfied with what he had already said, the greatest sign of His love for us, and that which he always is dwelling over, that he sets down here also; I mean, the slaying of His Son. For He did not only justify us, he means, and glorify us, and make us conformed to that Image, but not even His Son did He spare for thee. And therefore he proceeds to say,

He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
Ver. 32. "He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?"

And here the words he uses are high-wrought (meth' huterbolhes) and exceedingly warm, to show his love. How then is He to neglect us, in whose behalf "He spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all?" For reflect what goodness it is not to spare even His own Son, but to give Him up, and to give Him up for all, and those worthless, and unfeeling, and enemies, and blasphemers. "How then shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? What he means then is much as follows; If He gave His own Son, and not merely gave Him, but gave Him to death, why doubt any more about the rest, since thou hast the Master? why be dubious about the chattels, when thou hast the Lord? For He that gave the greater thing to His enemies, how shall He do else than give the lesser things to His friends?

Ver. 33. "Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect?"

Here he is against those who say, that faith is no profit, and will not believe the complete change. (i. e. in baptism see p. 349.) And see how swiftly he stops their mouths, by the worthiness of Him that elected. He does not say, "Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's" servants? or of God's faithful ones? but "of God's elect?" And election is a sign of virtue. For if when a horse-breaker has selected colts fit for the race, no one can find fault with them, but he would get laughed at who should find fault; much more when God selecteth souls are they that "lay any charge against" them deserving of laughter.

"It is God that justifieth."

Ver. 34. "Who is He that condemneth?

He does not say, it is God that forgave our sins, but what is much greater, "It is God that justifieth." For when the Judge's sentence declares us just, and a Judge such as that too, what signifieth the accuser? Hence neither is it right to fear temptations, for God is for us, and hath shown it by what He hath done; nor again Jewish triflings, for He has both elected and justified us, and the wondrous thing is that it was also by the death of His Son that He did so. Who then is to condemn us, since God crowns us, and Christ was put to death for us, and not only was put to death, but also after this intercedeth for us? [1455]

For, "It is Christ," he says, "that died, yea rather, that is risen from the dead, Who is at the right hand of God, Who also maketh intercession for us."

For though seen now in His own dignity, He hath not left caring for us, but even "maketh intercession for us," and still keepeth up the same love. For He was not contented with being put to death alone. And this is a sign for the most part of very great love, to be doing not only what falls to His lot, but also to address Another on this behalf. For this is all he meant to signify by the interceding, using a way of speaking better suited to man, and more condescending, that he might point out love. Since unless we take the words, "He spared not," also with the same understanding, many inconsistencies will come of it. And that you may see that such is the point he is aiming at, after first saying, that He "is at the Right Hand," he next proceeds to say, that He "maketh intercession for us," when he had shown an equality of honor and rank, so that hence it may appear that the Intercession is not a sign of inferiority, [1456] but of love only. For being Life itself (autozoe) (Psalm 36:9.), and a Well of good things of every kind, and with the same power as the Father, both to raise up the dead and to quicken them, and do all besides that He doth, how could He need to be a suppliant in order to help us? (John 5:19, 21, 36.) He that of His own power set free those who were given over and condemned, even from that condemnation; and made them righteous, and sons, and led them to the very highest honors, and brought to pass things which had never been hoped for: how should He, after having achieved all this, and having shown our nature on the King's throne, require to be a suppliant to do the easier things? (Acts 7:55; Hebrews 10:12; Revelation 7:17.) You see how it is shown by every argument, that there is no other reason for his having mentioned intercession, save to show the warmth and vigorousness of His love for us; for the Father also is represented to us as beseeching men to be reconciled to Him. "For we are ambassadors of Christ, as though God did beseech you by us." (2 Corinthians 5:20.) Still, though God beseecheth, and men are "ambassadors in Christ's stead" to men, we do not understand on that account anything done unworthy of that dignity; but one thing only do we gather from all that is told us, namely, the intenseness of the love. This then let us do here also. If then the Spirit even "maketh intercession for us with groanings that cannot be uttered," and Christ died and intercedeth for us, and the Father "spared not His own Son" for thee, and elected thee, and justified thee, why be afraid any more? Or why tremble when enjoying such great love, and having such great interest taken in thee? In this way then, after showing His great providence over us from the first, he afterwards brings out what comes next in a bold style, and does not say, ye ought also to love Him, but, as if grown enthusiastic at this unspeakable Providence over us, he says,

Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.
Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
Ver. 35. "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?"

And he does not say of God, so indifferent is it to him whether he mentions the Name of Christ or of God. "Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?" Observe the blessed Paul's judgment. For he does not mention the things that we are daily getting taken by, love of money and desire of glory and the thraldom of anger, but things that are far more enthralling than these, and of power to put a force [1457] upon nature itself, and to wrench open the sternness of the resolution many times even against our will, are what he puts down here, tribulations and distresses. For even if the things mentioned are easy to tell up, still each single word has in it thousands of lines of temptation. For when he says, tribulation, he mentions prisons and bonds, and calumnies, and banishments, and all the other hardships, so in one word running through an ocean of dangers without stint, and exhibiting to us, in fact by a single word, all the evils that men meet with. Yet still he dares them all! Wherefore he brings them forward in the shape of questions, as if it was incontrovertible that nothing could move a person so beloved, and who had enjoyed so much providence over him. Then that this might not seem as if he had forgotten himself, he brings in the Prophet also, who declared this before, a long while ago and saith,

Ver. 36. "For Thy sake we are killed all the day long, we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter." (Psalm 44:22.)

That is, we are exposed to all to be evil entreated of them. But yet against so many and so great dangers and these recent horrors, the object of our conflicts is given as a sufficient consolation, or rather not sufficient only, but even much more. For it is not for men, nor for any other of the things of this life that we suffer, but for the King (he says) of the universe. But this is not the only crown, for he encircles them with another besides, and that varied and manifold. Since then, as they were men they could not have deaths without number to undergo, he shows that in this way the prize is none the less. For even if by nature it were fated to die once, by choice God hath granted us to suffer this every day, if we be so minded. Whence it is plain that we shall depart with as many crowns as we have lived days, or rather with many more. For it is possible in a day to die not once alone or twice, but many times. For he who is always ready unto this, keeps continually receiving a full reward. This then is what the Psalmist (Prophetes) hints at, when he says, "all the day." And for this reason the Apostle also brought him before them to rouse them up the more. For if, he means, those in the old dispensation, who had the land as their reward, and the other things which come to a close along with this life, did so look down upon the present life and the temptations and dangers of it, what pardon should we find if we deal so languidly after the promise of Heaven, and the Kingdom above, and its unutterable blessings, so as not to come even up to the same measure as they? And this he does not say indeed, but leaves it to his hearers' consciences, and is satisfied with the quotation alone. He shows too that their bodies become a sacrifice, and that we must not be disturbed or troubled at God having so ordered it. And he exhorts them in other ways besides. For to prevent any from saying that he is merely philosophizing here before having any experience of realities, he adds, "we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter," meaning the daily deaths of the Apostles. You see his courage and his goodness. For as they, he means, when slaughtered make no resistance, so neither do we. But since the feebleness of the mind of man, even after so great things, was afraid of the multitude of temptations, see how he again rouses the hearer, and gives him a lofty and exulting spirit, by saying,

Ver. 37. "Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us."

For what is indeed wonderful is this, not that we are conquerors only, but that we are so by the very things meant as plots against us. And we are not merely conquerors, but we are "more than conquerors," that is, are so with ease, without toil and labor. For without undergoing the real things, by only setting our mind aright, we raise our trophies against our enemies. And with good reason. For it is God that striveth together with us. Do not then be doubtful, if though beaten we get the better of our beaters, if driven out we overcome our persecutors, if dying we put the living to fight. For when you take the power and also the love of God into account, there is nothing to prevent these wondrous and strange things from coming to pass, and that victory the most advantageous should shine upon us. For they did not merely conquer, but in a wondrous way, and so that one might learn that those who plotted against them had a war not against men, but against that invincible Might. See the Jews then with these among them, and at a loss quite, and saying, "What are we to do to these men?" (Acts 4:16.) For it is marvellous indeed, that though they had hold of them and had got them liable to their courts, and imprisoned them and beat them, they were yet at a loss and in perplexity, as they got overcome by the very things whereby they expected to conquer. And neither kings nor people, nor ranks of demons, nor the devil himself, had power to get the better of them, but were all overcome at a very great disadvantage, finding that all they planned against them became for them. And therefore he says, "we are more than conquerors." For this was a new rule of victory for men to prevail by their adversaries, and in no instance to be overcome, but to go forth to these struggles as if they themselves had the issue in their own hands.

As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
Ver. 38, 39. "For I am persuaded, that neither death nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

These are great things here mentioned. But the reason we do not enter into them is, because we have not so great love. Yet still though they are great, as he wished to show that they were nothing beside the love wherewith he was loved of God; after it he then places his own, lest he should seem to be saying great things about himself. And what he says is somewhat of this kind. Why speak, he means, of things present, and evils inherited in this life? For even if a person were to tell me of things to come, and of powers; of things, such as death and life; of powers, such as angels and archangels, and all the superior orders of beings; even these would be little to me compared with the love of Christ. For even if a person were to threaten me with that future death to which there is no death, to separate me from Christ, nor if he promised the life without end, would I agree to it. Why mention kings here below and consuls? and this one or that? for if you tell me of angels, or all the powers above, or all existing things, or all that are to come, they are all small to me, both those in the earth, and those in heaven, and those under the earth, and those above heaven, compared to this charm. Then as though these were not enough to set before them the strong desire which he had, he gives a being to others again of like magnitude, and says, "nor any other creation." And what he means is nearly this, even if there were any other creation as great as the visible, and as great as the intelligible, [1458] none of them could part me from that love. This he says not as if the Angels attempted it, or the other Powers, far from it, but as wishing to show quite to the utmost the charm he had toward Christ. For Christ he loved not for the things of Christ, but for His sake the things that were His, and to Him alone he looked, and one thing he feared, and that was falling from his love for Him. For this thing was in itself more dreadful than hell, as to abide in it was more desirable than the Kingdom.

What then should we now deserve, when he is found not to esteem even the things in Heaven as compared with the desire for Christ, and we set more store by things of mire and clay than by Christ? And he out of desire of Him would take up with falling into hell, and being banished from the Kingdom, if the choice between the two were put to him: but we are not even above the present life. Are we worthy then to touch his very shoes, when we have come to be so far short of his largeness of mind? For he for Christ's sake does not think anything even of a kingdom; but we think slightingly of Himself, but things of His we make great account of. And would it were of things of His. But now it is not even this; but with a Kingdom held out to us, we let that alone, and keep pursuing shadows and dreams all our days. And yet God in His love toward man and exceeding gentleness, hath done the same as if an affectionate father should, on his son's becoming disinclined to a continual stay with him, manage to bring this about in another way. For since we have not the right feeling of desire after Him, He keeps putting divers other things before us, so as to hold us to Himself. Yet not even for this do we abide with Him, but we keep springing off to childish playthings. Not so Paul, but like a noble spirited child, who is open and attached to his father, he seeks only after the Father's presence, and other things he sets not so much store by; or rather, it is much more than a child. For he does not value the Father and things that are His at the same rate, but when he looks to the Father, he counts them nothing, but would choose rather to be chastised and beaten, so he was with Him, than to be apart from Him and indulge his ease. Let us then shudder, all of us that do not even feel above money for the sake of Christ, or rather such of us as do not feel above it for our own sakes. For it was Paul alone who suffered in good earnest all things for Christ's sake, not for the sake of the kingdom, or his own honor, but owing to his affection to Him. But as for us, neither Christ nor the things of Christ draw us from the things of this life; but as serpents, or snakes, or swine, or even as all of them at once, so do we keep dragging on in the mire. For wherein are we better than those brutes, when with so many and such great examples before us we still keep bowing down, and have not the heart to look up to Heaven for ever so little a time? Yet did God give up even His Son. But thou wilt not so much as share thy bread with Him, Who was given up for thee, Who was slain for thee. The Father for thy sake spared not Him, and this too when He was indeed His Son, but thou doest not look upon Him even when pining with starvation, and this too when thou shouldest but spend of His own, and spend it too for thy own good! What can be worse than such a breach of law as this? He was given up for thee, He was slain for thee, He goeth about in hunger for thee, it is of His own thou shouldest give, that thou mayest thyself get the gain, and still thou dost not give! What sort of stone is there than which these are not more senseless, who in despite of such great inducements, continue in this diabolical cruel-heartedness? For He was not satisfied even with death and the Cross only, but He took up with becoming poor also, and a stranger, and a beggar, and naked, and being thrown into prison, and undergoing sickness, that so at least He might call thee off. If thou wilt not requite Me, He says, as having suffered for thee, show mercy on Me for My poverty. And if thou are not minded to pity Me for My poverty, do for My disease be moved, for My imprisonment be softened. And if even these things make thee not charitable, for the easiness of the request comply with Me. For it is no costly gift I ask, but bread and lodging, and words of comfort; but if even after this thou still continuest unsubdued, still for the Kingdom's sake be improved for the rewards which I have promised. Hast thou then no regard even for these? yet still for very nature's sake be softened at seeing Me naked, and remember that nakedness wherewith I was naked on the Cross for thee; or, if not this, yet that wherewith I am now naked through the poor. I was then bound for thee, nay, still am so for thee, that whether moved by the former ground or the latter, thou mightest be minded to show some pity. I fasted for thee, again I am hungry for thee. I was athirst when hanging on the Cross, I am athirst also through the poor, that by the former as also by the latter I may draw thee to Myself, and make thee charitable to thine own salvation. Hence also of thee that owest Me the requital of benefits without number, I make not demand as of one that oweth, but crown thee as one that favoreth Me, and a kingdom do I give thee for these small things. For I do not say so much as put an end to My poverty, or give Me riches, and yet I did become poor for thee; yet still I ask for bread and clothing, and a small solace for My hunger. And if I be thrown into prison, I do not insist upon thy loosing My bonds and setting Me free, but one thing only do I seek after, that thou wouldest visit Me, Who was (or am) bound for thee, and I shall have received favor enough, and for this only will I give thee Heaven. And yet I delivered thee from most galling bonds, but for Me it is quite enough, if thou wilt but visit Me when in prison. For I am able indeed to crown thee even without all this; yet I would fain be a debtor to thee, that the crown may give thee some feeling of confidence. This is why, though I am able to support Myself, I come about begging, and stand beside thy door, and stretch out Mine hand, since My wish is to be supported by thee. For I love thee exceedingly, and so desire to eat at thy table, which is the way with those that love a person. And I glory (John 15:8) in this. And when the whole world are spectators, then am I to herald thee forth, and in the hearing of all men to display thee as My supporter. Yet we, when we are supported by any one, feel ashamed, and cover our faces; but He, as loving us exceedingly, even if we hold our peace, will then tell out what we did with much praise, and is not ashamed to say, that when Himself was naked we clothed Him, and fed Him when hungry. Let us then lay all these things to heart, and not be contented with passing mere praises upon them, but let us even accomplish what I have been speaking of. For what is the good of these applauses and clamors? I demand one thing only of you, and that is the display of them in real action, the obedience of deeds. This is my praise, this your gain, this gives me more lustre than a diadem. When you have left the Church then, this is the crown that you should make for me and for you, through the hand of the poor; that both in the present life we may be nourished with a goodly hope, and after we have departed to the life to come, we may attain to those good things without number, to which may all of us attain by the grace and love toward man, etc.


[1447] See p. 447, and on 2 Corinthians 12:7, Hom. 26, p. 294 O.T.

[1448] kai en toutois dialampei to kalon, Eth. i. 2. "even in these (misfortunes) the noble character shines forth."

[1449] The word His perhaps rightly inserted in our version, is not in the Greek, and Theodoret seems not have taken it so; he says, "for he calleth not any as it may be (haplos), but those who have a purpose" (a predisposition), prothesin, and so does St. Chrysostom below, and OEcumenius. See on Ephesians 1:11. Hom. ii. p. 112 O.T. and note. St. Augustin rejects this exposition and adopts that of our version, Ad Bonif. l. ii. ?22, De Corr. et. Gr. ?23.

[1450] sungeneian, but Mar. and 6 mss. eug. nobility.

[1451] Gr. Economy, see p. 338, note 3.

[1452] Or "marked out," protetuposthai.

[1453] See Sir Thomas Brown, Rel. Med. pt. i. p. 22.

[1454] Chrys. apprehends well the practical purpose for which the apostle introduced verses 28-30. Notwithstanding all the imperfections of the Christian's spiritual life (26, 27) and the trials which have been so fully described (1-24) we have the assurance that all these things are working in accordance with God's gracious plan for his ultimate good. In passing over from the idea of believers as those who love God to its counterpart that they are those called according to His purpose (not to be taken of the believer's purpose, as Chrys.) the apostle develops from this idea of purpose a series of conceptions designed to emphasize the believer's security. "You who love God can be sure of the outcome of all suffering in good for you are included in God's purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Ephesians 3:11.) You have all the strength and solidity of God's eternal plan on your side. When the divine purpose of redemption was before the mind of God in eternity, you were the prospective participants in it, as truly as you now are the real participants. What you are God from eternity intended you to be. The stability of his immutable counsel is pledged to you."--G.B.S.

[1455] The argument of vv. 33, 34 which is so condensed in form, may be paraphrased thus: "Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? No one shall. Why? Because their justifier is God himself. No one may accuse whom He acquits. Who, then, can appear against them and condemn them? No one can, for it is no less a person than Christ who died and rose on their behalf."--G.B.S.

[1456] Theodoret notices the same thing, ad loc. St. Basil, De Sp. S. c. xx. answers a similar argument against the equal Divinity of the Holy Spirit, by showing that it would apply to the Son if at all.

[1457] Shakespeare, Lear, act ii. . sc. iv. "We are not ourselves when nature being oppressed commands the mind to suffer with the body," etc.

[1458] Intelligible is used in old Platonist writers for invisible, as in German.

Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The Homilies of St. John Chrysostom
Text Courtesy of Christian Classics Etherial Library.

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