|<< 1 Corinthians 13 >>|
Homilies of Chrysostom
1Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
2And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
3And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
4Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
Love suffereth long, and is kind; love envieth not; love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up.
Thus, whereas he had showed, that both faith and knowledge and prophecy and tongues and gifts and healing and a perfect life and martyrdom, if love be absent, are no great advantage; of necessity he next makes an outline of its matchless beauty, adorning its image with the parts of virtue as with a sort of colors, and putting together all its members with exactness. But do not thou hastily pass by, beloved, the things spoken, but examine each one of them with much care, that thou mayest know both the treasure which is in the thing and the art of the painter. Consider, for example, from what point he at once began, and what he set first, as the cause of all its excellence. And what is this? Long-suffering. This is the root of all self-denial. Wherefore also a certain wise man said, "A man that is long-suffering  is of great understanding; but he that is hasty of spirit is mightily foolish  ."
And comparing it too with a strong city, he said that it is more secure than that. For it is both an invincible weapon and a sort of impregnable tower, easily beating off all annoyances. And as a spark falling into the deep doth it no injury, but is itself easily quenched: so upon a long-suffering soul whatever unexpected thing falls, this indeed speedily vanishes, but the soul it disturbs not: for of a truth there is nothing so impenetrable as long-suffering. You may talk of armies, money, horses, walls, arms, or any thing else whatsoever; you will name nothing like long-suffering. For he that is encompassed with those, oftentimes, being overcome by anger, is upset like a worthless child, and fills all with confusion and tempest: but this man, settled as it were in a harbor, enjoys a profound calm. Though thou surround him with loss, thou hast not moved the rock; though thou bring insult upon him, thou hast not shaken the tower: and though thou bruise him with stripes, thou hast not wounded the adamant.
Yea, and therefore is he called long-suffering, because he hath a kind of long and great soul. For that which is long is also called great. But this excellence is born of love, both to them who possess and to them who enjoy it contributing no small advantage. For tell me not of those abandoned wretches, who, doing evil and suffering none, become worse: since here, not from his long-suffering, but from those who abuse it, this result arises. Tell me not therefore of these, but of those gentler persons, who gain great benefit therefrom. For when, having done ill, they suffer none, admiring the meekness of the sufferer, they reap thereby a very great lesson of self command.
But Paul doth not stop here, but adds also the other high achievements of love, saying, "is kind." For since there are some who practise their long-suffering with a view not to their own self-denial, but to the punishment of those who have provoked them, to make them burst with wrath; he saith that neither hath charity this defect. Wherefore also he added, "is kind." For not at all with a view to light up the fire, in those who are inflamed by anger, do they deal more gently  with them, but in order to appease and extinguish it: and not only by enduring nobly, but also by soothing and comforting, do they cure the sore and heal the wound of passion.
"Envieth not." For it is possible for one to be both long-suffering and envious, and thereby that excellency is spoiled. But love avoids this also.
"Vaunteth not itself;" i. e., is not rash  . For it renders him who loves both considerate, and grave, and steadfast. In truth, one mark of those who love unlawfully is a defect in this point. Whereas he to whom this love is known, is of all men the most entirely freed from these evils. For when there is no anger within, both rashness and insolence are clean taken away. Love, like some excellent husbandman, taking her seat inwardly in the soul and not suffering any of these thorns to spring up.
"Is not puffed up." For so we see many who think highly of themselves on the score of these very excellencies; for example, on not being envious, nor grudging, nor mean-spirited, nor rash: these evils being incidental not to wealth and poverty only, but even to things naturally good. But love perfectly purges out all. And consider: he that is long-suffering is not of course also kind. But if he be not kind, the thing becomes a vice, and he is in danger of falling into malice. Therefore she supplies a medicine, I mean kindness, and preserves the virtue pure. Again, the kind person often becomes over-complaisant; but this also she corrects. For "love," saith he, "vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up:" the kind and long-suffering is often ostentatious; but she takes away this vice also.
And see how he adorns her not only from what she hath, but also from what she hath not. For he saith that she both brings in virtue, and extirpates vice, nay rather she suffers it not to spring up at all  . Thus he said not, "She envieth, indeed, but overcometh envy;" nor, "is arrogant, but chastiseth that passion;" but, "envieth not, vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up;" which truly is most to be admired, that even without toil she accomplishes her good things, and without war and battle-array her trophy is set up: she not permitting him that possesseth her to toil and so to attain the crown, but without labor conveying to him her prize. For where there is not passion to contend against sober reason, what labor can there be?
[2.] "Doth not behave itself unseemly.  " "Nay, why," saith he, "do I say, she is not puffed up,' when she is so far from that feeling, that in suffering the most shameful things for him whom she loves, she doth not even count the thing an unseemliness?" Again, he did not say, "she suffereth unseemliness but beareth the shame nobly," but, "she doth not even entertain any sense at all of the shame." For if the lovers of money endure all manner of reproaches for the sake of that sordid traffic of theirs, and far from hiding their faces, do even exult in it: much more he that hath this praiseworthy love will refuse nothing whatsoever for the safety's sake of those whom he loves: nay, nor will any thing that he can suffer shame him.
And that we may not fetch our example from any thing base, let us examine this same statement in its application to Christ, and then we shall see the force of what hath been said. For our Lord Jesus Christ was both spit upon and beaten with rods by pitiful slaves; and not only did He not count it an unseemliness, but He even exulted and called the thing glory; and bringing in a robber and murderer with Himself before the rest into paradise, and discoursing with a harlot, and this when the standers-by all accused Him, He counted not the thing to be disgraceful, but both allowed her to kiss His feet, and to bedew His body with her tears, and to wipe them away with her hair, and this amid a company of spectators who were foes and enemies; "for love doeth nothing unseemly."
Therefore also fathers, though they be the first of philosophers and orators, are not ashamed to lisp with their children; and none of those who see them find fault with them, but the thing is esteemed so good and right as to be even worthy of prayer. And again, should they become vicious, the parents keep on correcting, caring for them, abridging the reproaches they incur, and are not ashamed. For love "doth nothing unseemly," but as it were with certain golden wings covereth up all the offences of the beloved.
Thus also Jonathan loved David; and hearing his father say, (1 Samuel 20:30.) "Thou son of damsels that have run away from their homes  , thou womanly bred,  " he was not ashamed, though the words be full of great reproach. For what he means is this: "Thou son of mean harlots who are mad after men, who run after the passers-by, thou unnerved and effeminate wretch, who hast nothing of a man, but livest to the shame of thyself and the mother who bare thee." What then? Did he grieve at these things, and hide his face, and turn away from his beloved? Nay, quite the contrary; he displayed his fondness as an ornament. And yet the one was at that time a king, and a king's son, even Jonathan; the other a fugitive and a wanderer, I mean, David. But not even thus was he ashamed of his friendship. "For love doth not behave itself unseemly. Yea, this is its wonderful quality that not only it suffers not the injured to grieve and feel galled, but even disposes him to rejoice. Accordingly, he too, of whom we are speaking, after all these things, just as though he had a crown put on him, went away and fell on David's neck. For love knows not what sort of thing shame may be. Therefore it glories in those things for which another hides his face. Since the shame is, not to know how to love; not, when thou lovest, to incur danger and endure all for the beloved.
But when I say, "all," do not suppose I mean things injurious also; for example, assisting a youth in a love affair, or whatsoever hurtful thing any one may beseech another to do for him. For such a person doth not love, and this I showed you lately from the Egyptian woman: since in truth he only is the lover who seeks what is profitable to the beloved: so that if any pursue not this, even what is right and good, though he make ten thousand professions of love, he is more hostile than any enemies.
So also Rebecca aforetime, because she exceedingly clung to her son, both perpetrated a theft, and was not ashamed of detection, neither was she afraid, though the risk was no common one; but even when her son raised scruples  to her, "upon me be thy curse, my son," she said. Dost thou see even in a woman the soul of the Apostle  how, even as Paul chose, (if one may compare a small thing with a great,) to be anathema for the Jews' sake, (Romans 9:3.) so also she, that her son might be blessed, chose to be no less than accursed. And the good things she gave up to him, for she was not, it seems, to be blessed with him, but the evils she was prepared to endure herself alone: nevertheless, she rejoiced, and hasted, and this where so great a danger lay before her, and she was grieved at the delay of the business: for she feared lest Esau might anticipate them and render her wisdom vain. Wherefore also she cuts short the conversation and urges on the young man, and just permitting him to answer what had been said, states a reason sufficient to persuade him. For she said not, "thou sayest these things without reason, and in vain thou fearest, thy father having grown old and being deprived of clearness of sight:" but what? "upon me be thy curse, my son. Only do thou not mar the plot, nor lose the object of our chase, nor give up the treasure."
And this very Jacob, served he not for wages with his kinsmen twice seven years? Was he not together with the bondage subject to mockery in respect of that trick? What then? Did he feel the mockery? Did he count it behaving himself unseemly, that being a freeman, and free born, and well brought up, he endured slaves' treatment among his own kinsmen: a thing which is wont to be most vexing, when one receives opprobrious treatment from one's friends? In no wise. And the cause was his love, which made the time, though long, appear short. "For they were," saith he, (Genesis 29:20.) "in his sight as a few days." So far was he from being galled and blushing for this his bondage. Justly then said the blessed Paul, "Love doth not behave itself unseemly."
[3.] 1. "Seeketh not its own, is not provoked."
Thus having said, "doth not behave itself unseemly," he showeth also the temper of mind, on account of which she doth not behave herself unseemly. And what is that temper? That she "seeketh not her own." For the beloved she esteems to be all, and then only "behaveth herself unseemly," when she cannot free him from such unseemliness; so that if it be possible by her own unseemliness to benefit her beloved, she doth not so much as count the thing unseemliness; for the other party thereafter is yourself, when you love  : since this is friendship, that the lover and the beloved should no longer be two persons divided, but in a manner one single person; a thing which no how takes place except from love. Seek not therefore thine own, that thou mayest find thine own. For he that seeks his own, finds not his own. Wherefore also Paul said, "Let no man seek his own, but each his neighbor's good." (1 Corinthians 10:24.) For your own profit lies in the profit of your neighbor, and his in yours. As therefore one that had his own gold buried in the house of his neighbor, should he refuse to go and there seek and dig it up, will never seek it; so likewise here, he that will not seek his own profit in the advantage of his neighbor, will not attain unto the crowns due to this: God Himself having therefore so disposed of it, in order that we should be mutually bound together: and even as one awakening a slumbering child to follow his brother, when he is of himself unwilling, places in the brother's hand that which he desires and longs for, that through desire of obtaining it he may pursue after him that holds it, and accordingly so it takes place: thus also here, each man's own profit hath he given to his neighbor, that hence we may run after one another, and not be torn asunder.
And if thou wilt, see this also in our case who address you. For my profit depends on thee, and thy advantage on me. Thus, on the one hand it profits thee to be taught the things that please God, but with this have I been entrusted, that thou mightest receive it from me, and therefore mightest be compelled to run unto me; and on the other hand it profits me that thou shouldest be made better: for the reward which I shall receive for this will be great; but this again lieth in thee; and therefore am I compelled to follow after thee that thou mayest be better, and that I may receive my profit from thee. Wherefore also Paul saith, "For what is my hope? are not even ye?" And again, "My hope, and my joy, and the crown of my rejoicing." (1 Thess. ii. 19.) So that the joy of Paul was the disciples, and his joy they had. Therefore he even wept when he saw them perishing.
Again their profit depended on Paul: wherefore he said, "For the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain. (Acts 28:20.) And again, "These things I endure for the elect's sakes that they may obtain eternal life. (2 Timothy 2:10.) And this one may see in worldly things. "For the wife," saith he, "hath not power over her own body, nor yet the husband; but the wife over the husband's, and the husband over the wife's." (1 Corinthians 7:4.) So likewise we, when we wish to bind any together, do this. We leave neither of them in his own power, but extending a chain between them, we cause the one to be holden of the other, and the other of the one. Wilt thou also see this in the case of governors? He that judges sits not in judgment for himself, but seeking the profit of his neighbor. The governed on the other hand, seek the profit of the governor by their attendance, by their ministry, by all the other things. Soldiers take up their arms for us, for on our account they peril themselves. We for them are in straits; for from us are their supplies.
But if thou sayest, "each one doth this seeking his own," this also say I, but I add, that by the good of another one's own is won. Thus both the soldier, unless he fight for them that support him, hath none that ministers to him for this end: and this same on the other hand, unless he nourish the soldier, hath none to arm himself in his behalf.
[4.] Seest thou love, how it is everywhere extended and manages all things? But be not weary, until thou have thoroughly acquainted thyself with this golden chain. For having said, "seeketh not her own," he mentions again the good things produced by this. And what are these?
"Is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil.  " See love again not only subduing vice, but not even suffering it to arise at all. For he said not, "though provoked, she overcomes," but, "is not provoked." And he said not, "worketh no evil," but, "not even thinketh;" i. e., so far from contriving any evil, she doth not even suspect it of the beloved. How then could she work any, or how be provoked? who doth not even endure to admit an evil surmise; whence is the fountain of wrath.
Ver. 6. "Rejoiceth not in unrighteousness:" i. e., doth not feel pleasure over those that suffer ill: and not this only, but also, what is much greater, "rejoiceth with the truth." "She feels pleasure," saith he, "with them that are well spoken of," as Paul saith, "Rejoice with them that rejoice, and weep with them that weep." (Romans 12:15.)
Hence, she "envieth not," hence she "is not puffed up:" since in fact she accounts the good things  of others her own.
Seest thou how by degrees love makes her nursling an angel? For when he is void of anger, and pure from envy, and free from every tyrannical passion, consider that even from the nature of man he is delivered from henceforth, and hath arrived at the very serenity of angels.
Nevertheless, he is not content with these, but hath something even more than these to say: according to his plan of stating the stronger points later. Wherefore he saith, "beareth all things." From her long-suffering, from her goodness; whether they be burdensome, or grievous, or insults, or stripes, or death, or whatsoever else. And this again one may perceive from the case of blessed David. For what could be more intolerable than to see a son rising up against him, and aiming at the usurpation, and thirsting for a father's blood? Yet this did that blessed one endure, nor even so could he bear to throw out one bitter expression against the parricide; but even when he left all the rest to his captains, gave a strong injunction respecting his safety. For strong was the foundation of his love. Wherefore also it "beareth all things."
Now its power the Apostle here intimates, but its goodness, by what follows. For, "it hopeth all things," saith he, "believeth all things, endureth all things." What is, "hopeth all things?" It doth not despair," saith he, "of the beloved, but even though he be worthless, it continues to correct, to provide, to care for him."
"Believeth all things." "For it doth not merely hope," saith he, "but also believeth from its great affection." And even if these good things should not turn out according to its hope, but the other person should prove yet more intolerable, it bears even these. For, saith he, it "endureth all things."
[5.] Ver. 8. "Love never faileth."
Seest thou when he put the crown on the arch, and what of all things is peculiar to this gift? For what is, "faileth not?" it is not severed, is not dissolved by endurance. For it puts up with everything: since happen what will, he that loves never can hate. This then is the greatest of its excellencies.
Such a person was Paul. Wherefore also he said, "If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh;" (Romans 11:14.) and he continued hoping. And to Timothy he gave a charge, saying, "And the Lord's servant must not strive, but be gentle towards all....in meekness correcting those that oppose themselves, if God peradventure may give them the knowledge of the truth.  " (2 Timothy 2:24, 25.)
"What then," saith one, "if they be enemies and heathens, must one hate them?" One must hate, not them but their doctrine: not the man, but the wicked conduct, the corrupt mind. For the man is God's work, but the deceit is the devil's work. Do thou not therefore confound the things of God and the things of the devil. Since the Jews were both blasphemers, and persecutors, and injurious, and spake ten thousand evil things of Christ. Did Paul then hate them, he who of all men most loved Christ? In no wise, but he both loved them, and did everything for their sakes: and at one time he saith, "My heart's desire and my supplication to God is for them that they may be saved:" (Romans 10:1; ix. 3.) and at another, "I could wish that myself were anathema from Christ for their sakes." Thus also Ezekiel seeing them slain saith, "Alas, O Lord, dost Thou blot out the remnant of Israel?" (Ezekiel 9:8.) And Moses, "If Thou wilt forgive their sin, forgive." (Exodus 32:32.)
Why then saith David, "Do not I hate them, O Lord, that hate Thee, and against Thine enemies did I not pine away? I hate them with perfect hatred." (Psalm 139:21, 22.)
Now, in the first place, not all things spoken in the Psalms by David, are spoken in the person of David. For it is he himself who saith, "I have dwelt in the tents of Kedar;" (Psalm 120:5.) and, "By the waters of Babylon, there we sat down and wept:" (cxxxvii. 1.) yet he neither saw Babylon, nor the tents of Kedar.
But besides this, we require now a completer self-command. Wherefore also when the disciples besought that fire might come down, even as in the case of Elias, "Ye know not," saith Christ, "what manner of spirit ye are of. (Luke 9:55.) For at that time not the ungodliness only, but also the ungodly themselves, they were commanded to hate, in order that their friendship might not prove an occasion of transgression unto them. Therefore he severed their connections, both by blood and marriage, and on every side he fenced them off.
But now because he hath brought us to a more entire self-command and set us on high above that mischief, he bids us rather admit and soothe them. For we get no harm from them, but they get good by us. What then doth he say? we must not hate, but pity. Since if thou shalt hate, how wilt thou easily convert him that is in error? how wilt thou pray for the unbeliever? for that one ought to pray, hear what Paul saith: "I exhort therefore, first of all, that supplications, prayer, intercessions, thanksgivings be made for all men." (1 Timothy 2:1.) But that all were not then believers, is, I suppose, evident unto every one. And again, "for kings and all that are in high place." But that these were ungodly and transgressors, this also is equally manifest. Further, mentioning also the reason for the prayer, he adds, "for this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; who willeth that all men should be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth." Therefore, if he find a Gentile wife consorting with a believer, he dissolves not the marriage. Yet what is more closely joined than a man to his wife? "For they two shall be one flesh," (Genesis 2:24.) and great in that instance is the charm, and ardent the desire. But if we are to hate ungodly and lawless men, we shall go on to hate also sinners; and thus in regular process thou wilt be broken off from the most even of thy brethren, or rather from all: for there is not one, no, not one, without sin. For if it be our duty to hate the enemies of God, one must not hate the ungodly only, but also sinners: and thus we shall be worse than wild beasts, shunning all, and puffed up with pride; even as that Pharisee. But not thus did Paul command us, but how? "Admonish the disorderly, encourage the faint-hearted, support the weak, be long suffering toward all." (1 Thess. v. 14.)
[6.] What then doth he mean when he saith, "If any obeyeth not our word by this epistle, note that man, that ye have no company with him?" (2 Thessalonians 3:14.) In the first place, he saith this of brethren, however not even so without limitation, but this too with gentleness. For do not thou cut off what follows, but subjoin also the next clause: how, having said, "keep no company," he added, "yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother." Seest thou how he bade us hate the deed that is evil, and not the man? For indeed it is the work of the devil to tear us asunder from one another, and he hath ever used great diligence to take away love that he may cut off the way of correction, and may retain him in error and thee in enmity, and thus block up the way of his salvation. For when both the physician hates the sick man and flies from him, and the sick man turns away from the physician, when will the distempered person be restored, seeing that neither the one will call in the other's aid, nor will the other go to him?
But wherefore, tell me, dost thou at all turn away from him and avoid him? Because he is ungodly? Truly for this cause oughtest thou to welcome and attend him, that thou mayest raise him up in his sickness. But if he be incurably sick, still thou hast been bidden to do thy part. Since Judas also was incurably diseased, yet God left not off attending upon him. Wherefore, neither do thou grow weary. For even if after much labor thou fail to deliver him from his ungodliness, yet shalt thou receive the deliverer's reward, and wilt cause him to wonder at thy gentleness, and so all this praise will pass on to God. For though thou shouldest work wonders, and raise the dead, and whatsoever work thou doest, the Heathen will never wonder at thee so much, as when they see thee displaying a meek, gentle, mild disposition. And this is no small achievement: since many will even be entirely delivered from their evil way; there being nothing that hath such power to allure men as love. For in respect of the former they will rather be jealous of thee, I mean the signs and wonders; but for this they will both admire and love thee: and if they love, they will also lay hold of the truth in due course. If however he become not all at once a believer, wonder not nor hurry on, neither do thou require all things at once, but suffer him for the present to praise, and love, and unto this in due course he will come.
[7.] And that thou mayest clearly know how great a thing this is, hear how even Paul, going before an unbelieving judge, made his defence. "I think myself happy," saith he, "That I am to make my defence before thee." (Acts 26:2.) And these things he said, not to flatter him, far from it; but wishing to gain him by his gentleness. And he did in part gain him, and he that was till then considered to be condemned took captive his judge, and the victory is confessed by the person himself who was made captive, with a loud voice in the presence of all, saying, "With but little persuasion thou wouldst fain make me a Christian." (Acts 26:28, 29.) What then saith Paul? He spread his net the wider, and saith, "I would to God, that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, might become such as I am, except these bonds." What sayest thou, O Paul? "except these bonds?" And what confidence remains for thee, if thou art ashamed of these things, and fliest from them, and this before so great a multitude? Dost thou not every where in thy Epistles boast of this matter, and call thyself a prisoner? Dost thou not every where carry about this chain in our sight as a diadem? What then hath happened now that thou deprecatest these bonds? "I myself deprecate them not," saith he, "nor am I ashamed of them, but I condescend to their weakness. For they are not yet able to receive my glorying; and I have learned from my Lord not to put a piece of undressed cloth upon an old garment:' (S. Matthew 9:16.) therefore did I thus speak. For, in fact, unto this time they have heard ill reports of our doctrine, and abhor the cross. If therefore I should add also bonds, their hatred becometh greater; I removed these, therefore, that the other might be made acceptable. So it is, that to them it seems disgraceful to be bound, because they have not as yet tasted of the Glory which is with us. One must therefore condescend: and when they shall have learned of the true life, then will they know the beauty also of this iron, and the lustre which comes of these bonds." Furthermore, discoursing with others, he even calls the thing a free gift, saying, "It hath been granted in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer in His behalf." (Philip. i. 29.) But for the time then present, it was a great thing for the hearers not to be ashamed of the cross: for which cause he goes on gradually. Thus, neither doth any one introducing a person to a palace, before that he beholds the vestibule, compel him, yet standing without, to survey what is within: since in that way it will not even seem admirable, unless one enter in and so acquaint one's self with all.
So then let us also deal with the heathen sort: with condecension, with love. For love is a great teacher, and able both to withdraw men from error, and to reform the character, and to lead them by the hand unto self-denial, and out of stones to make men.
[8.] And if thou wouldest learn her power, bring me a man timid and fearful of every sound, and trembling at shadows; or passionate, and harsh, and a wild beast rather than a man; or wanton and licentious; or wholly given to wickedness; and deliver him into the hands of love, and introduce him into this school; and thou wilt speedily see that cowardly and timid creature made brave and magnanimous, and venturing upon all things cheerfully. And what is wonderful, not from any change in nature do these things result, but in the coward soul itself love manifests her peculiar power; and it is much the same as if one should cause a leaden sword, not turned into steel but continuing in the nature of lead, to do the work of steel. As thus: Jacob was a "plain man  , (Genesis 25:27.) dwelling in a house  , and unpracticed in toils and dangers, living a kind of remiss and easy life, and like a virgin in her chamber, so also he was compelled for the most part to sit within doors and keep the house; withdrawn from the forum and all tumults of the forum, and from all such matters, and even continuing in ease and quietness. What then? After that the torch of love had set him on fire, see how it made this plain and home-keeping man strong to endure and fond of toil. And of this hear not what I say, but what the patriarch himself saith: how finding fault with his kinsman, his words are, "These twenty years am I with thee." (Genesis 31:36.) And how wert thou these twenty years? (For this also he adds,) "Consumed by the heat in the day time, and with the frost by night, and sleep departed from mine eyes." Thus speaks that "plain man, keeping at home," and living that easy life.
Again, that he was timid is evident, in that, expecting to see Esau, he was dead with fear. But see again, how this timid man became bolder than a lion under the influence of love. For putting himself forward like some champion before the rest, he was ready to be first in receiving that savage and slaughter-breathing brother as he supposed him to be, and with his own body to purchase the safety of his wives: and him whom he feared and shuddered at, he desired to behold himself foremost in the array. For this fear was not so strong as his affection for his wives. Seest thou how, being timid, he became suddenly adventurous, not by changing his character, but being invigorated by love? For that after this also he was timid, is evident by his changing from place to place.
But let no man consider what has been said to be a charge against that righteous man: since being timid is no reproach, for this is a man's nature; but the doing any thing unseemly for timidity's sake. For it is possible for one that is timid by nature to become courageous through piety. What did Moses? Did he not, through fear of a single Egyptian, fly, and go away into banishment? Nevertheless, this fugitive who could not endure the menace of a single man, after that he tasted of the honey of love, nobly and without compulsion from any man, was forward to perish together with them whom he loved. "For if thou wilt forgive their sin," saith he, "forgive; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of Thy book which thou hast written. (Exodus 32:32.)
[9.] Moreover, that love makes also the fierce moderate, and the wanton chaste, we have no longer need of any examples: this being evident to all men. Though a man be more savage than any wild beast, no sheep so gentle as he is rendered by love. Thus, what could be more savage and frantic than Saul? But when his daughter let his enemy go, he uttered not against her even a bitter word. And he that unsparingly put to the sword all the priests for David's sake, seeing that his daughter had sent him away from the house, was not indignant with her even as far as words; and this when so great a fraud had been contrived against him: because he was restrained by the stronger bridle of love.
Now as moderation, so chastity, is an ordinary effect of love. If a man love his own wife as he ought to love, even though he be never so much inclined to wantoness, he will not endure to look upon another woman, on account of his affection for her. "For love," (Cant. viii. 5.) saith one, "is strong as death." So that from no other source doth wanton behavior arise than from want of love.
Since then love is the Artificer of all virtue, let us with all exactness implant her in our own souls, that she may produce for us many blessings, and that we may have her fruit continually abounding, the fruit which is ever fresh and never decays. For thus shall we obtain no less than eternal blessings: which may we all obtain, through the grace and mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, with Whom to the Father, and also the Holy Ghost, be glory, power, and honor, now and for ever, and world without end. Amen.
 "He that is slow to wrath," Auth. Vers. Proverbs 14:31.
 "exalteth folly," Auth. Vers.
 ou propeteuetai. Theod. in loc. gives the word the same turn. "She inquires not into matters which concern her not, (for that is to perpereusthai,) she feels not about for the measures of the Divine Substance, nor asks questions in His dispensations, as some use to do. He that loveth, cannot endure to do any thing rash.
 ten archen, Saville. ten areten, Bened.
 Or, doth not think herself treated unseemly. Theod. in loc. "There is no mean or lowly thing which for the brethren's sake she refuses to do, under the notion that to do so would be an unseemly thing."
 korasion automolouson. Auth. "of the perverse and rebellious woman."
 LXX, gunaikotraphes.
 hakribologoumenou, "made some minute objection."
 This view of Rebecca's conduct is generally sanctioned by the Fathers: so St. Augustin: "That which Jacob did by direction of his mother so as to appear to deceive his father, if you consider it diligently and faithfully, non est mendacium sed mysterium.' And if we term that sort of thing a lie, by the same rule we must also account as lies all parables and figures whatsoever." contr. Mendac. ad Consentium, c. 24. St. Ambrose, (de Jacob et vita beata, ii. 6.) "In the mind of that pious mother the mystery overweighed the tie of affection. She was not so much preferring Jacob to his brother, as offering him to the Lord, who, she knew, had power to preserve the gift presented unto Him." This seems to mean that in consecrating Jacob to be the first-born, she knowingly separated him from herself, and so made a greater sacrifice. S. Chrys. himself says, "Rebecca did this not of her own mind, but in obedience to the divine oracle," (on Gen. Hom. liii. 1. 414.) And he proceeds to point out God's hand in certain minute details of the transaction. It appears from St. Jerome, (1.169.) that Hippolytus, Iren?us' disciple, early in the third century, took the same view. St. Gregory Nazianzen seems to be the only writer who has left a contrary judgment on record: saying, "he pursued a noble object by ignoble means." The general result of the reflections of the Fathers on the subject seems to be, that as where we have God's express command or approbation, we are sure of the rectitude of what would otherwise be wrong, so there may be circumstances rendering such command or approbation more or less "probable," which ought at least to stay us from censure: and that marked providential interference, and mysterious allusion, throughout, are to be considered as such circumstances. [In the foregoing note the translator has correctly stated the patristic view of Rebecca's conduct, a view which most moderns heartily reject as dishonoring to God and of evil influence upon his people. But while we cannot with Chrysostom cite the wife of Jacob as an example of love, yet there is some extenuation for her. The case is neatly stated by the Bishop of Ely in the Speaker's Commentary. "Rebekah had no doubt treasured up the oracle which had assured her, even before their birth, that her younger son Jacob whom she loved should bear rule over Esau, whose wild and reckless life and whose Canaanitish wives had been a bitterness of soul to her. She probably knew that Jacob had bought Esau's birthright. Now believing rightly that the father's benediction would surely bring blessing with it, she fears that these promises and hopes would fail. She believed but not with that faith which can patiently abide till God works out his plans by His providence. So she strove, as it were, to force forward the event by unlawful means; even, as some have thought that Judas betrayed Christ that he might free Him to declare Himself a king and take the kingdom." Every character in the history comes in for some share of blame, but the greatest seems due to her who originated the whole plot, who swept away the scruples of her favorite son, and taught him to perpetrate the boldest fraud and falsehood upon his venerable father. The overweening idolatrous affection which led to such doings is very different from the love which the Apostle inculcates and praises. C.]
 ekeinos gar autos esti loipon.
 [The revised version renders this clause, "taketh not account of evil"--a rendering as old as Theodoret. C.]
 Fronto Duc?us reads kaka.
 metanoian eis om.
 oikian. LXX. rec. vers. "tents."
5Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
6Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
7Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
8Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
But whether there be prophecies, they shall be done away; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall be done away.
Having shown the excellency of love from its being requisite both to the spiritual gifts, and to the virtues of life; and from rehearsal of all its good qualities, and by showing it to be the foundation of exact self-denial; from another, a third head, again he points out its worth. And this he doth, first from a wish to persuade those who seemed to be accounted inferior that it is in their power to have the chief of all signs, and that they will be no worse off than the possessors of the gifts, if they have this, but rather much better: secondly, with regard on the other hand to them that had the greater gifts and were lifted up thereby, studying to bring them down and to show that they have nothing unless they have this. For thus they would both love one another, envy as well as pride being hereby taken away; and reciprocally, loving one another, they would still further banish these passions. "For love envieth not, is not puffed up." So that on every side he throws around them an impregnable wall, and a manifold unanimity, which first removes all their disorders, and thereby again waxes stronger. Therefore also he put forward innumerable reasons which might comfort their dejection. As thus: both "the same Spirit," saith he, is the giver; and He "giveth to profit withal; and divideth as he will," and it is a gift which He divideth, not a debt. Though thou receive but a little, thou dost equally contribute to the body, and even thus thou enjoyest much honor. And he that hath the greater, needs thee who hast the less. And, "Love is the greatest gift, and the more excellent way.'"
Now all this he said doubly to bind them to each other, both by their not considering themselves disparaged while they had this; and because, after pursuit and attainment of it, they henceforth would not feel human infirmity; both as having the root of all gifts, and as no longer capable of contentiousness even though they had nothing. For he that is once led captive by love is freed from contentiousness.
And this is why, pointing out to them how great advantages they shall thence reap, he sketched out its fruits; by his praises of it repressing their disorders: inasmuch as each one of the things mentioned by him was a sufficient medicine to heal their wounds. Wherefore also he said, "suffereth long," to them that are at strife one with another; "is kind," to them that stand mutually aloof, and bear a secret grudge; "envieth not," to them that look grudgingly on their superiors; "vaunteth not itself," to them that are separated; "is not puffed up," to them that boast themselves against others; "doth not behave itself unseemly," to them that do not think it their duty to condescend; "seeketh not her own," to them that overlook the rest; "is not provoked, taketh not account of evil," to them that are insolent; "rejoiceth not in unrighteousness, but rejoiceth with the truth," to them again that are envious; "beareth all things," to them that are treacherous; "hopeth all things," to the despairing; "endureth all things, never faileth," to them that easily separate themselves.
[2.] Now then after that in every way he had shown her to be very exceedingly great, again he doth so from another most important head, by a fresh comparison exalting her dignity, and saying thus; "but whether there be prophecies, they shall be done away; whether there be tongues, they shall cease." For if both these were brought in in order to the faith; when that is every where sown abroad, the use of these is henceforth superfluous. But the loving one another shall not cease, rather it shall even advance further, both here and hereafter, and then more than now. For here there are many things that weaken  our love; wealth, business, passions of the body, disorders of the soul; but there none of these.
But although it be no marvel that prophecies and tongues should be done away, that knowledge should be done away, this is what may cause some perplexity. For this also he added, "Whether there be knowledge, it shall be done away." What then? are we then to live in ignorance? Far from it. Nay, then specially it is probable that our knowledge is made intense. Wherefore also he said, "Then shall I know, even as also I am known." For this reason, if you mark it, that you might not suppose this to be done away equally with the prophecy and the tongues, having said, "Whether there be knowledge, it shall be done away," he was not silent, but added also the manner of its vanishing away, immediately subjoining the saying,
9For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
Ver. 9. 10. "We know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away."
It is not therefore knowledge that is done away, but the circumstance that our knowledge is in part. For we shall not only know as much but even a great deal more. But that I may also make it plain by example; now we know that God is every where, but how, we know not. That He made out of things that are not the things that are we know; but of the manner we are ignorant. That He was born of a virgin, we know; but how, we know not yet. But then shall we know somewhat more and clearer concerning these things. Next he points out also how great is the distance between the two, and that our deficiency is no small one, saying,
10But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
11When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
Ver. 11. "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I felt as a child, I thought as a child; but now that I am become a man, I have put away childish things."
And by another example too he manifests the same thing again, saying,
12For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
Ver. 12. "For now we see in a mirror." Further, because the glass sets before us the thing seen indefinitely, he added, "darkly  ," to show very strongly that the present knowledge is most partial.
"But then face to face." Not as though God hath a face, but to express the notion of greater clearness and perspicuity. Seest thou how we learn all things by gradual addition?
"Now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I have been known." Seest thou how in two ways he pulls down their pride? Both because their knowledge is in part, and because not even this have they of themselves. "For I knew Him not, but He made Himself known  to me," saith he. Wherefore, even as now He first knew me, and Himself hastened towards me, so shall I hasten towards Him then much more than now. For so he that sits in darkness, as long as he sees not the sun doth not of himself hasten to meet the beauty of its beam, which indeed shows itself as soon as it hath begun to shine: but when he perceives its brightness, then also himself at length follows after its light: This then is the meaning of the expression, "even as also I have been known." Not that we shall so know him as He is, but that even as He hastened toward us now, so also shall we cleave unto Him then, and shall know many of the things which are now secret, and shall enjoy that most blessed society and wisdom. For if Paul who knew so much was a child, consider what those things must be. If these be "a glass" and "a riddle," do thou hence again infer, God's open Face, how great a thing It is.
[3.] But that I may open out to thee some small part of this difference, and may impart some faint ray of this thought to thy soul, I would have thee recall to mind things as they were in the Law, now after that grace hath shone forth. For those things too, that came before grace, had a certain great and marvellous appearance: nevertheless, hear what Paul saith of them after grace came: "That which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that surpasseth." (2 Corinthians 3:10.)
But that what I say may be made yet clearer, let us apply the argument to some one of the rites then performed, and then thou wilt see how great is the difference. And if thou wilt, let us bring forward that passover and this, and then shalt thou be aware of our superiority. For the Jews indeed celebrated it, but they celebrated it "so as in a mirror, and darkly." But these hidden mysteries they never at any time did even conceive in their mind, nor what things they prefigured. They saw a lamb slain, and the blood of a beast, and door-posts sprinkled with it; but that the Son of God incarnate shall be slain, and shall set free the whole world, and shall grant both to Greeks and Barbarians to taste of this Blood, and shall open heaven to all, and shall offer what is there to the whole human race, and having taken His blood-stained flesh shall exalt it above the heaven, and the heaven of heavens, and, in a word, above all the hosts on high, of the angels and archangels and all the other powers, and shall cause it shining in unspeakable glory,--to sit down upon the throne itself of the King, on the right hand of the Father these things, I say, no one, either of them or of the rest of mankind, either foreknew or was able ever to conceive.
[4.] But what say those who shrink from nothing?  That the expression, "now I know in part," is spoken in dispensations; for that the Apostle had the perfect knowledge of God. And now he calls himself a child? How sees he "in a mirror?" How "darkly," if he hath the sum of knowledge? And why doth he refer to it as something peculiar to the Spirit, and to no other power in the creation, saying, "For who among men knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the things of God none knoweth, save the Spirit of God." (1 Corinthians 2:11.) And Christ again sayeth that this belongs to Himself alone, thus saying, "Not that any man hath seen the Father, save He which is from God, He hath seen the Father," (John 6:46.) giving the name, "sight," to the most clear and perfect knowledge.
And how shall he who knoweth the Essence, be ignorant of the dispensations? since that knowledge is greater than this.
"Are we then," saith he, "ignorant of God?" Far from it. That He is, we know, but what He is, as regards His Essence, we know not yet. And that thou mayst understand that not concerning the dispensations did he speak the words, "now I know in part," hear what follows. He adds then, "but then shall I know, even as also I have been known." He was surely known not by the dispensations, but by God.
Let none therefore consider this to be a small or simple transgression, but twofold, and threefold, yea and manifold. For not only is there this impiety that they boast of knowing those things which belong to the Spirit alone; and to the only-begotten Son of God, but also that when Paul could not acquire even this knowledge "which is in part" without the revelation from above, these men say that they have obtained the whole from their own reasonings. For neither are they able to point out that the Scripture hath any where discoursed to us of these things.
[5.] But however, leaving their madness, let us give heed to the words which follow concerning love. For he was not content with these things, but adds again, saying,
Ver. 13. "And now abideth, faith, hope, love, these three; and the greatest of these is love."
For faith indeed and hope, when the good things believed and hoped for are come, cease. And to show this Paul said, "For hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopeth for that which he seeth." Again, "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the proving of things not seen." (Romans 8:24; Hebrews 11:1.) So that these cease when those appear; but love is then most elevated, and becomes more vehement. Another encomium of love. For neither is he content with those before mentioned, but he strives to discover yet another. And observe: he hath said that it is a great gift, and a still more excellent way to these. He hath said, that without it there is no great profit in our gifts; he hath shadowed out its image at length; he intends again and in another manner to exalt it, and to show that it is great from its abiding. Wherefore also he said, "But now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love." How then is love the greater? In that those pass away.
If now so great is the virtue of love, with good reason doth he add and say, "Follow after love." For there is surely need of "following," and a kind of vehement running after her: in such sort doth she fly from us, and so many are the things which trip us up in that direction. Wherefore we have ever need of great earnestness in order to overtake her. And to point out this, Paul said not, "follow love," but, "pursue  " her; stirring us up, and inflaming us to lay hold on her.
For so God from the beginning contrived ten thousand ways for implanting her in us. Thus, first, He granted one head to all, Adam. For why do we not all spring out of the earth? Why not full grown, as he was? In order that both the birth and the bringings up of children, and the being born of another, might bind us mutually together. For this cause neither made He woman out of the earth: and because the thing of the same substance was not equally sufficient to shame us into unanimity, unless we had also the same progenitor, He provided also for this: since, if now, being only separated by place, we consider ourselves alien from one another; much more would this have happened if our race had had two originals. For this cause therefore, as it were from some one head, he bound together the whole body of the human race. And because from the beginning they seemed to be in a manner two, see how he fastens them together again, and gathers them into one by marriage. For, "therefore," saith He, "shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife; and they shall be for one flesh." (Genesis 2:24  .) And he said not, "the woman," but, "the man," because the desire too is stronger in him. Yea, and for this cause He made it also stronger, that it might bow the superior party to the absolute sway of this passion, and might subjugate it to the weaker. And since marriage also must needs be introduced, him from whom she sprang He made husband to the woman. For all things in the eye of God are second to love. And if when things had thus begun, the first man straightway became so frantic, and the devil sowed among them so great warfare and envy; what would he not have done, had they not sprung from one root?
Further, in order that the one might be subject, and the other rule; (for equality is wont oftentimes to bring in strife;) he suffered it not to be a democracy, but a monarchy; and as in an army, this order one may see in every family. In the rank of monarch, for instance, there is the husband; but in the rank of lieutenant and general, the wife; and the children too are allotted a third station in command. Then after these a fourth order, that of the servant. For these also bear rule over their inferiors, and some one of them is oftentimes set over the whole, keeping ever the post of the master, but still as a servant. And together with this again another command, and among the children themselves again another, according to their age and sex; since among the children the female doth not possess equal sway. And every where hath God made governments at small distances and thick together, that all might abide in concord and much good order. Therefore even before the race was increased to a multitude, when the first two only were in being, He bade him govern, and her obey. And in order again that He might not despise her as inferior, and separate from her, see how He honored her, and made them one, even before her creation. For, "Let us make for man," saith He, "a help meet," implying that she was made for his need, and thereby drawing him unto her who was made for his sake: since to all those things are we more kindly disposed, which are done for our sakes. But that she, on the other hand, might not be elated, as being granted him for help, nor might burst this bond, He makes her out of his side, signifying that she is a part of the whole body. And that neither might the man be elated therefore, He no longer permits that to belong to him alone which before was his alone, but effected the contrary to this, by bringing in procreation of children, and herein too giving the chief honor unto the man, not however allowing the whole to be his.
Seest thou how many bonds of love God hath wrought? And these indeed by force of nature He hath lodged in us as pledges of concord. For both our being of the same substance leads to this; (for every animal loves its like;) and the woman being produced from the man, and again the children from both. Whence also many kinds of affection arise. For one we love as a father, another as a grandfather; one as a mother, another as a nurse; and one as a son or grandson or great-grandson again, and another as a daughter, or grand-daughter; and one as a brother, another as a nephew; and one as a sister, another as a niece. And why need one recount all the names of consanguinity?
And He devised also another foundation of affection. For having forbidden the marriage of kindred, he led us out unto strangers and drew them again unto us. For since by this natural kindred it was not possible that they should be connected with us, he connected us anew by marriage, uniting together whole families by the single person of the bride, and mingling entire races with races.
For, "marry not," saith the Lord, (Leviticus 18:6.) "thy sister, nor thy father's sister, nor any damsel which hath such consanguinity with thee," as utterly hinders the marriage;" naming the degrees of such relationship. It is enough for thine affection towards them that ye were the fruit of the same birth-pangs, and that the others are in a different relation to thee. Why dost thou narrow the breadth of love? Why dost thou idly throw away a ground of affection towards her, such as that thou mightest thereby provide thyself with distinct source for affection to spring from; I mean, by taking a wife from another family, and through her a chain of kinsmen, both mother, and father, and brethren, and their connexions!
[7.] Seest thou by how many ways He hath bound us together? Nevertheless, not even this sufficed Him, but He likewise made us to stand in need of one another, that thus also He might bring us together, because necessities above all create friendships. For no other reason neither suffered He all things to be produced in every place, that hence also He might compel us to mix with one another. But having set us in need of one another, He on the other hand made the intercourse easy. Since if this were not so, the matter would have turned out painful and difficult in another way. For if one that wanted a physician, or a carpenter, or any other workman, had need to set off on a long foreign sojourn, the whole had come to nought. Here then is why He founded cities also, and brought all into one place. And accordingly that we might easily keep up intercourse with distant countries, He spread the level of the sea between us, and gave us the swiftness of winds, thereby making our voyages easy. And at the beginning He even gathered all men together in one spot, and did not disperse them until they who first received the gift abused their concord unto sin. However, He hath drawn us together in every way; both by nature, and by consanguinity, and by language, and by place; and as he willed not that we should fall from paradise; (for had He willed it, He would not have placed there at all "the man whom He had formed," but he that disobeyed was the cause;) so neither was it His will that men should have divers tongues; since otherwise He would have made it so from the beginning. But now "the whole earth was of one language, and all had one speech." (Genesis 11:1.)
Here is the reason why, when it was needful that the earth should be destroyed, not even then did He make us of other matter, nor did He translate the righteous man, but leaving him in the midst of the deluge, like a kind of spark of the world, He rekindled our race from thence, even by the blessed Noah. And from the beginning He made one sovereignty only, setting the man over the woman. But after that our race ran headlong into extreme disorder, He appointed other sovereignties also, those of Masters, and those of Governors, and this too for love's sake. That is, since vice was a thing apt to dissolve and subvert our race, He set those who administer justice in the midst of our cities as a kind of physicians, that driving away vice, as it were a plague to love, they might gather together all in one.
And that not only in cities, but also in each family there might be great unanimity, He honored the man with rule and superiority; the woman on the other hand He armed with desire: and the gift also of procreation of children, He committed in common to both, and withal He furnished also other things apt to conciliate love: neither entrusting all to the man, nor all to the woman; but "dividing these things also severally to each;" to her entrusting the house, and to him the market; to him the work of feeding, for he tills the ground; to her that of clothing, for loom and distaff are the woman's. For it is God Himself who gave to woman-kind skill in woven work. Woe be to covetousness, which suffers not this difference to appear! For the general effeminacy  hath gone so far as to introduce our men to the looms, and put shuttles into their hands, and the woof, and threads. Nevertheless, even thus the forethought of the divine economy shines out. For we still greatly need the woman in other more necessary things, and we require the help of our inferiors in those things which keep our life together.
[8.] And so strong is the compulsion of this need that though one be richer than all men, not even thus is he rid of this close conjunction, and of his want of that which is inferior to himself. For it is not, we see, the poor only who need the rich, but the rich also the poor; and these require those more than the others them. And that thou mayest see it more clearly, let us suppose, if it seem good, two cities, the one of rich only, but the other of poor; and neither in that of the rich let there be any poor man, nor in that of the poor any rich; but let us purge out both thoroughly, and see which will be the more able to support itself. For if we find that of the poor able, it is evident that the rich will more stand in need of them.
Now then, in that city of the affluent there will be no manufacturer, no builder, no carpenter, no shoe-maker, no baker, no husbandman , no brazier, no rope-maker, nor any other such trade. For who among the rich would ever choose to follow these crafts, seeing that the very men who take them in hand, when they become rich, endure no longer the discomfort caused by these works? How then shall this our city stand? "The rich," it is replied, "giving money, will buy these things of the poor." Well then, they will not be sufficient for themselves, their needing the others proves that. But how will they build houses? Will they purchase this too? But the nature of things cannot admit this. Therefore they must needs invite the artificers thither, and destroy the law, which we made at first when we were founding the city. For you remember, that we said, "let there be no poor man within it." But, lo, necessity, even against our will, hath invited and brought them in. Whence it is evident that it is impossible without poor for a city to subsist: since if the city were to continue refusing to admit any of these, it will be no longer a city but will perish. Plainly then it will not support itself, unless it shall collect the poor as a kind of preservers, to be within itself.
But let us look also upon the city of the poor, whether this too will be in a like needy condition, on being deprived of the rich. And first let us in our discourse thoroughly clear the nature of riches, and point them out plainly. What then may riches be? Gold, and silver, and precious stones, and garments silken, purple, and embroidered with gold. Now then that we have seen what riches are, let us drive them away from our city of the poor: and if we are to make it purely a city of poor persons, let not any gold appear there, no not in a dream, nor garments of such quality; and if you will, neither silver, nor vessels of silver. What then? Because of this will that city and its concerns live in want, tell me? Not at all. For suppose first there should be need to build; one does not want gold and silver and pearls, but skill, and hands, and hands not of any kind, but such as are become callous, and fingers hardened, and great strength, and wood, and stones: suppose again one would weave a garment, neither here have we need of gold and silver, but, as before, of hands and skill, and women to work. And what if one require husbandry, and digging the ground? Is it rich men who are wanted, or poor? It is evident to every one, poor. And when iron too is to be wrought, or any such thing to be done, this is the race of men whereof we most stand in need. What respect then remains wherein we may stand in need of the rich? except the thing required be, to pull down this city. For should that sort of people make an entrance, and these philosophers, for (for I call them philosophers, who seek after nothing superfluous,) should fall to desiring gold and jewels, giving themselves up to idleness and luxury; they will ruin everything from that day forward.
[9.] "But unless wealth be useful," saith one, "wherefore hath it been given by God?" And whence is it evident, that being rich is from God? "The Scripture saith, The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine,' and to whomsoever I will, I will give it." (Haggai 2:8.) Here, if I were not doing an unseemly thing, I could at this moment laugh loudly, in derision of those who say these things: because as little children admitted to a King's table, together with that food they thrust into their mouth everything that comes to hand; so also do these together with the divine Scriptures privily bring in their own notions. For this, "the silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine," I know to have been spoken by the Prophet; but that, "to whomsoever I will, I will give it," is not added, but is brought in by these offscourings  of the people. And as to the former, why it was said, I will explain. The Prophet Haggai, because he was continually promising to the Jews after their return from Babylon, that he would show the temple in its former appearance, and some doubted of the thing spoken, and considered it to be well nigh impossible that after being reduced to dust and ashes, the house should appear again such as it was;--he, to remove their unbelief, in the person of God saith these things; as if he said, "Why are ye afraid? and why do ye refuse to believe? The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine,' and I need not to borrow from others, and so to beautify the house." And to show that this is the meaning he adds, "and the glory of this house, the latter glory shall be greater than the glory of the former." Let us not then bring in spiders' webs upon the royal robe. For if any person, detected in weaving a counterfeit thread in a purple vest, is to suffer the severest punishment, much more in spiritual things; since neither is it an ordinary sin, which is hereby committed. And why say I, by adding and taking away? By a mere point, and by a mere circumstance of delivery in the reading, many impious thoughts have not seldom been brought into being.
"Whence then the rich," saith one? "for it hath been said, Riches and poverty are from the Lord.'" Let us then ask those who object these things against us, whether all riches and all poverty are from the Lord? Nay, who would say this? For we see that both by rapine, and by wickedly breaking open of tombs, and by witchcraft, and by other such devices, great wealth is gathered by many, and the possessors are not worthy even to live. What then, tell me, do we say that this wealth is from God? Far from it. Whence then? From sin. For so the harlot by doing indignity to her own body grows rich, and a handsome youth oftentimes selling his bloom with disgrace brings himself gold, and the tomb-spoiler by breaking open men's sepulchres gathers together unjust wealth, and the robber by digging through walls. All wealth therefore is not from God. "What then," saith one, "shall we say to this expression?" Acquaint thyself first with a kind of poverty which proceeds not from God, and then we will proceed to the saying itself. I mean, that when any dissolute youth spends his wealth either on harlots, or on conjurors, or on any other such evil desires, and becomes poor, is it not very evident that this hath not come from God, but from his own profligacy? Again, if any through idleness become poor, if any through folly be brought down to beggary, if any, by taking in hand perilous and unlawful practices; is it not quite evident, that neither hath any one of these and other such persons been brought down to this their poverty by God?
"Doth then the Scripture speak falsely?" God forbid! but they do foolishly, who neglect to examine with due exactness all things written. For if this on the one hand be acknowledged, that the Scriptures cannot lie; and this on the other hand proved, that not all wealth is from God; the weakness of inconsiderate readers is the cause of the difficulty.
[10.] Now it were right for us to dismiss you, having herein exculpated the Scripture, that ye may suffer this punishment at our hands for your negligence concerning the Scriptures: but because I greatly spare you and cannot any longer bear to look on you confused and disturbed, let us also add the solution, having first mentioned the speaker, and when it was spoken, and to whom. For not alike to all doth God speak, as neither do we deal alike with children and men. When then was it spoken, and by whom, and to whom? By Solomon in the Old Testament to the Jews, who knew no other than things of sense, and by these proved the power of God. For these are they who say, "Can He give bread also?" and, "What sign showest Thou unto us? Our fathers did eat manna in the desert:--whose God is their belly." (Psalm 78:24; Matthew 12:38; John 6:31; Philip. iii. 19.) Since then they were proving Him by these things, He saith to them, "This is also possible with God to make both rich and poor;" not that it is of course He Himself who maketh them, but that He can, when He will. Just as when he saith, "Who rebuketh the sea, and maketh it dry, and drieth up all the rivers," (Nahum 1:4.) and yet this was never done. How then doth the prophet say so? Not as though it were a doing always, but as a thing that was possible for Him to do.
What kind of poverty then doth He give, and what kind of wealth? Remember the patriarch, and thou shalt know the kind of wealth that is given by God. For He made both Abraham rich, and after him Job, even as Job himself saith; "If we have received good from the Lord, shall we not also receive evil?" (Job 2:10.) And the wealth of Jacob thence had its beginning. There is also a poverty which cometh from Him, that which is commended, such as He once would have introduced to the knowledge of that rich man, saying, "If thou wouldest be perfect, sell thy goods, and give to the poor, and come, follow Me." (Matthew 19:21.) And to the disciples again, making a law and saying, "Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor two coats." (Matthew 9:10.) Say not then that all wealth is His gift: seeing that cases have been pointed out of its being collected both by murderers, and by rapine, and by ten thousand other devices.
But again the discourse reverts to our former question: viz. "if the rich are no way useful to us, wherefore are they made rich?" What then must we say? That these are not useful who so make themselves rich; whereas those surely who are made so by God are in the highest degree useful. And do thou learn this from the very things done by those whom we just now mentioned. Thus Abraham possessed wealth for all strangers, and for all in need. For he who on the approach of three men, as he supposed, sacrificed a calf and kneaded three measures of fine flour, and that while sitting in his door in the heat of the day; consider with what liberality and readiness he used to spend his substance on all, together with his goods giving also the service of his body, and this at such an advanced age; being a harbor to strangers, to all who had come to any kind of want, and possessing nothing as his own, not even his son: since at God's command he actually delivered up even him; and along with his son he gave up also himself and all his house, when he hastened to snatch his brother's son out of danger; and this he did not for lucre's sake, but of mere humanity. When, for instance, they who were saved by him would put the spoils at his disposal, he rejected all, even to "a thread and a shoe-latchet." (Genesis 14:23.)
Such also was the blessed Job. "For my door," saith, "was open to every one who came: (Job 20:15.) "I was eyes to the blind, and feet to the lame: I was a father of the helpless, the stranger lodged not without, and the helpless, whatever need they had, failed not of it, neither suffered I one helpless man to go out of my door with a empty bosom." And much more too than these, that we may not now recount all, he continued to do, spending all his wealth on the needy.
Wilt thou also look upon those who have become rich but not of God, that thou mayest learn how they employed their wealth? Behold him in the parable of Lazarus, how he imparted not so much as a share of his crumbs. Behold Ahab, how not even the vineyard is free from his extortion: behold Gehazi: behold all such. Thus they on the one hand who make just acquisitions, as having received from God, spend on the commands of God: but they who in act of acquiring offend God, in the expending also do the same: consuming it on harlots and parasites, or burying and shutting it up, but laying out nothing upon the poor.
"And wherefore," saith one, "doth God suffer such men to be rich?" Because He is long-suffering: because He would bring us to repentance; because He hath prepared hell; because "He hath appointed a day in which He is to judge the world." (Acts 17:31.) Whereas did He use at once to punish them that are rich and not virtuously, Zacch?us would not have had an appointed time  for repentance, so as even to restore fourfold whatever he had unjustly taken, and to add half of his goods; nor Matthew, to be converted and become an Apostle, taken off as he would have been before the due season; nor yet many other such. Therefore doth He bear with them, calling all to repentance. But if they will not, but continue in the same, they shall hear Paul saying that "after their hardness and impenitent heart they treasure up unto themselves wrath against the day of wrath, and revelation, and righteous judgment of God: (Romans 2:5.) which wrath that we may escape, let us become rich with the riches of heaven, and follow after the laudable sort of poverty. For thus shall we obtain also the good things to come: the which may we all obtain through the grace and mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, with Whom to the Father, with the Holy Ghost, be glory, power, and honor, now and for ever, and world without end. Amen.
 en ainigmati.
 egnorise, made me know Him.
 The Heretics here referred to were the Eunomians or Anomoeans, so called from Eunomius their chief Teacher, (for Aetius first promulgated their opinions,) and from their maintaining not merely the inequality but the dissimilarity (to anomoion) of the Son's nature to that of the Father. By this he carried out Arianism, and made it more consistent and more impious. It seems that he arbitrarily selected the term hagennetos, "unbegotten," as setting forth not merely the attribute of the Father, but the very substance of the Godhead, and upon this proceeded, of course, to deny the proper divinity of the Son, because He was confessed to be gennetos, "begotten." And he not only thus implied, but expressly maintained, that knowing thus much of God, we know His whole Nature: whence it followed, that St. Paul's professions of ignorance referred not to the Substance, but to some parts of the Providence of God, called here, "dispensations." Against this result of Eunomius' impiety, St. Chrysostom preached the series of five Homilies, "On the Incomprehensible Nature of God:" in the first of which, (t. vi. 393. ed. Saville,) he argues on this passage almost in the same words. The same fallacy may be seen refuted by St. Basil also, Ep. 234, 235; Epiph. H?r. 76. p. 989, &c.: Theodoret, ii. 418; and by others. The whole doctrine as grounded on the word hagennetos is exposed at large by St. Basil in his five books against Eunomius, t. i. ed. Bened. In the Appendix to that volume, Eunomius's own treatise is given. The whole forms a melancholy example, how men may deceive themselves by following after simplification and logical consistency, without due reverence for sacred things.
 eis sarka mian.
13And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.