ST. JOHN CHRYSOSTOM
COMMENTARY ON THE EPISTLE OF ST. PAUL TO THE ROMANS HOMILIES 9-14
[Translated by Rev. J. B. Morris, M.A., of Exeter College, Oxford, and Rev. W. H. Simcox, fellow of Queen's College, Oxford; revised by George B. Stevens,
Ph.D., D.D., Professor in Yale University.]
HOMILY IX: ROM. IV. 23.
"Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him for righteousness; but for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on Him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead."
After saying many great things of Abraham, and his faith, and righteousness, and honor before God, lest the hearer should say, What is this to us, for it is he that was justified? he places us close to the Patriarch again. So great is the power of spiritual words. For of one of the Gentiles, one who was recently come near, one who had done no work, he not only says that he is in nothing inferior to the Jew who believes (i.e. as a Jew), but not even to the Patriarch, but rather, if one must give utterance to the wondrous truth, even much greater. For so noble is our birth, that his faith is but the type of ours. And he does not say, If it was reckoned unto him, it is probable it will be also to us, that he might not make it matter of syllogism. But he speaks in authentic words of the divine law, and makes the whole a declaration of the Scripture. For why was it written, he says, save to make us see (hat we also were justified in this way? For it is the same God Whom we have believed, and upon the same matters, if it be not in the case of the same persons. And after speaking of our faith, he also mentions God's unspeakable love towards man, which he ever presents on all sides, bringing the Cross before us. And this he now makes plain by saying,
Ver. 25. "Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification."
See how after mentioning the cause of His death, he makes the same cause likewise a demonstration of the resurrection. For why, he means, was He crucified? Not for any sin of His own. And this is plain from the Resurrection. For if He were a sinner, how should He have risen? But if He rose, it is quite plain that He was not a sinner. But if He was not a sinner, how came He to be crucified?--For others,--and if for others, then surely he rose again. Now to prevent your saying, How, when liable for so great sins, came we to be justified? he points out One that blotteth out all sins, that both from Abraham's faith, whereby he was justified, and from the Saviour's Passion, whereby we were freed from our sins, he might confirm what he had said. And after mentioning His Death, he speaks also of His Resurrection. For the purpose of His dying was not that He might hold us liable to punishment and in condemnation, but that He might do good unto us. For for this cause He both died and rose again, that He might make us righteous.
Chap. v. ver. 1. "Therefore being justified by faith, let us[1*] have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ."
What does "Let us have peace" mean? Some say, "Let us not be at variance, through a peevish obstinacy for bringing in the Law." But to me he seems to be speaking now of our conversation. For after having said much on the subject of faith, he had set it before righteousness which is by works, to prevent any one from supposing what he said was a ground for listlessness, he says, "let us have peace," that is, let us sin no more, nor go back to our former estate. For this is making war with God. And "how is it possible," saith one, "to sin no more?" How was the former thing possible? For if when liable for so many sins we were freed from all. by Christ, much more shall we be able through Him to abide in the estate wherein we are. For it is not the same thing to receive peace when there had been none, and to keel it when it has been given, since to acquire surely is harder than to keep. Yet nevertheless the more difficult hath been made easy, and carried out into effect. That which is the easier thing then will be what we shall easily succeed in, if we cling to Him who hath wrought even the other for us. But here it is not the easiness only which he seems to me to hint at, but the reasonableness. For if He reconciled us when we were in open war with Him, it is reasonable that we should abide in a state of reconciliation, and give unto Him this reward for that He may not seem to have reconciled untoward and unfeeling creatures to the Father.
Ver. 2. "By Whom also we have access," he says, "by faith unto this grace. (7 Mss. add, unto, etc.)
If then He hath brought us near to Himself, when we were far off, much more will He keep us now that we are near. And let me beg you to consider how he everywhere sets down these two points; His part, and our part. On His part, however, there be things varied and numerous and diverse. For He died for us, and farther reconciled us, and brought us to Himself, and gave us grace unspeakable. But we brought faith only as our contribution. And so he says," "by faith, unto this grace" What grace is this? tell me. It is the being counted worthy of the knowledge of God, the being forced from error, the coming to a knowledge of the Truth, the obtaining of all the blessings that come through Baptism. For the end of His bringing us near was that we might receive these gifts. For it was not only that we might have simple remission of sins, that we were reconciled; but that we might receive also countless benefits. Nor did He even pause at these, but promised others, namely, those unutterable blessings that pass understanding alike and language. And this is why he has set them both down also. For by mentioning grace he clearly points at what we have at present received, but by saying, "And we rejoice in hope of the glory of God," he unveils the whole of things to come. And he had well said, "wherein also we stand." For this is the nature of God's grace. It hath no end, it knows no bound, but evermore is on the advance to greater things, which in human things is not the case. Take an instance of what I mean. A person has acquired rule and glory and authority, yet he does not stand therein continuously, but is speedily cast out of it. Or if man take it not from him, death comes, and is sure to take it from him. But God's gifts are not of this kind; for neither man, nor occasion, nor crisis of affairs, nor even the Devil, nor death, can come and cast us. out of them. But when we are dead we then more strictly speaking have possession of them, and keep going on enjoying more and more. And so if thou feel in doubt about those to come; from those now present, and what thou hast already received, believe in the other also. For this is why he says, "And we rejoice (kauchw'metha) in hope of the glory of God," that you may learn, what kind of soul the faithful ought to have. For it is not only for what hath been given, but for what is to be given, that we ought to be filled with confidingness, as though it were already given. For one "rejoices" in what is already given. Since then the hope of things to come is even as sure and clear as that of what is given, he says that in that too we in like manner "rejoice." For this cause also he called them glory. For if it contributeth unto God's glory, come to pass it certainly will, though it do not for our sakes, yet for Him it will. And why am I saying (he means) that the blessings to come are worthy of being gloried in (kauchh'sews)? Why even the very evils of this time present are able to brighten up our countenances, and make us find in them even our repose. Wherefore also he added,
Ver. 3. "And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also."
Now, consider how great the things to come are, when even at things that seem to be distressful we can be elated; so great is God's gift, and such a nothing any distastefulness in them! For in the case of external goods, the struggle for them brings trouble and pain and irksomeness along with it; and it is the crowns and rewards that carry the pleasure with them. But in this case it is not so, for the wrestlings have to us no less relish than the rewards. For since there were sundry temptations in those days, and the kingdom existed in hopes, the terrors were at hand, but the good things in expectation, and this unnerved the feebler sort, even before the crowns he gives them the prize now, by saying that we should "glory even in tribulations." And what he says is not "you should glory," but we glory, giving them encouragement in his own person. Next since what he had said had an appearance of being strange and paradoxical, if a person who is struggling in famine, and is in chains and torments, and insulted, and abused, ought to glory, he next goes on to confirm it. And (what is more), he says they are worthy of being gloried in, not only for the sake of those things to come, but for the things present in themselves For tribulations are in their own selves a goodly thing. How so? It is because they anoint us unto patient abiding. Wherefore after saying we glory in tribulations, he has added the reason, in these words, "Knowing that tribulation worketh patience." Notice again the argumentative spirit of Paul, how he gives their argument an opposite turn. For since it was tribulations above all that made them give up the hopes of things to come, and which cast them into despondency, he says that these are the very reasons for confidingness, and for not desponding about the things to come, for "tribulation," he says, "worketh patience."
Ver. 4, 5. "And patience experience, and experience hope; and hope maketh not ashamed."[*]Tribulations; that is, are so far from confuting these hopes, that they even prove them. For before the things to come are realized, there is a very great fruit which tribulation hath--patience; and the making of the man that is tried, experienced. And it contributes in some degree too to the things to come, for it gives hope a vigor within us, since there is nothing that so inclines a man to hope for blessings as a good conscience. Now no man that has lived an upright life is unconfiding about things to come, as of those who have been negligent there are many that, feeling the burden of a bad conscience, wish there were neither judgment nor retribution. What then? do our goods lie in hopes? Yes, in hopes--but not mere human hopes, which often slip away, and put him that hoped to shame; when some one, who was expected to patronize him, dies, or is altered though he lives. No such lot is ours: our hope is sure and unmoveable. For He Who hath made the promise ever liveth, and we that are to be the enjoyers of it, even should we die, shall rise again, and there is absolutely nothing which can put us to shame, as having been elated at random, and to no purpose, upon unsound hopes. Having then sufficiently cleared them of all doubtfulness by these words of his, he does not let his discourse pause at the time present, but urges again the time to come, knowing that there were men of weaker character, who looked too for present advantages, and were not satisfied with these mentioned. And so he offers a proof for them in blessings already given. For lest any should say, But what if God be unwilling to give them to us? For that He can, and that He abideth and liveth, we all know: but how do we know, that He is willing, also, to do it? From the things which have been done already. "What things done?" The Love which He hath shown for us. In doing what? some may say. In giving the Holy Ghost. Wherefore after saying "hope maketh not ashamed," he goes on to the proof of this, as follows:
"Because the love of God is," he does not say "given," but "shed abroad in our hearts," so showing the profusion of it. That gift then, which is the greatest possible, He hath given; not heaven and earth and sea, but what is more precious than any of these, and hath rendered us Angels from being men, yea sons of God, and brethren of Christ. But what is this gift? The Holy Spirit. Now had He not been willing to present us after our labors with great crowns, He would never have given us such mighty gifts before our labors. But now the warmth of His Love is hence made apparent, that it is not gradually and little by little that He honors us; but He hath shed abroad the full fountain of His blessings, and this too before our struggles. And so, if thou art not exceedingly worthy, despond not, since thou hast that Love of thy Judge as a mighty pleader for thee. For this is why he himself by saying, "hope maketh not ashamed," has ascribed everything not to our well-doings, but to God's love. But after mentioning the gift of the Spirit, he again passes to the Cross, speaking as follows:
Ver. 6-8. "For while we were yet without strength, Christ in due time died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet pervadenture for a good man some would even dare to die.[*] But God commendeth His love towards us."
Now what he is saying is somewhat of this kind. For if for a virtuous man, no one would hastily choose to die, consider thy Master's love, when it is not for virtuous men, but for sinners and enemies that He is seen to have been crucified--which he says too after this, "In that, if when we were sinners Christ died for us,"
Ver. 9, 10. "Much more then, being now justified by His Blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life."
And what he has said looks indeed like tautology, but it is not to any one who accurately attends to it. Consider then. He wishes to give them reasons for confidence respecting things to come. And first he gives them a sense of shame from the righteous man's decision, when he says, that he also "was fully persuaded that what God had promised He was able also to perform;" and next from the grace that was given; then from the tribulation, as sufficing to lead us into hopes; and again from the Spirit, whom we have received. Next from death, and from our former viciousness, he maketh this good. And it seems indeed, as I said, that what he had mentioned was one thing, but it is discovered to be two, three, and even many more. First, that "He died:" second, that it was "for the ungodly;" third, that He "reconciled, saved, justified" us, made us immortal, made us sons and heirs. It is not from His Death then only, he says, that we draw strong assertions, but from the gift which was given unto us through His Death. And indeed if He had died only for such creatures as we be, a proof of the greatest love would what He had done be! but when He is seen at once dying, and yielding us a gift, and that such a gift, and to such creatures, what was done casts into shade our highest conceptions, and leads the very dullest on to faith. For there is no one else that will save us, except He Who so loved us when we were sinners, as even to give Himself up for us. Do you see what a ground this topic affords for hope? For before this there were two difficulties in the way of our being saved; our being sinners, and our salvation requiring the Lord's Death, a thing which was quite incredible before it took place, and required exceeding love for it to take place. But now since this hath come about, the other requisites are easier. For we have become friends, and there is no further need of Death. Shall then He who hath so spared his enemies as not to spare His Son, fail to defend them now they are become friends, when He hath no longer any need to give up his Son? For it is either because a person does not wish it, or because though he may wish it perhaps, yet he is unable to do it, that he does not save. Now none of these things can be said of God. For that He is willing is plain from His having given up His Son. But that He is able also is the very thing He proved likewise, from the very fact of His having justified men who were sinners. What is there then to prevent us any more from obtaining the things to come? Nothing! Then again, lest upon hearing of sinners, and enemies, and strengthless ones, and ungodly, thou shouldest be inclined to feel abashed and blush; hear what he says.
Ver. 11; "And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by Whom we have now received the atonement."
What meaneth the "not only so?" Not only were we saved, he means, but we even glory  for this very reason, for which some suppose we ought to hide our faces. For, for us who lived in so great wickedness to be saved, was a very great mark of our being exceedingly beloved by Him that saved us. For it was not by angels or archangels, but by His Only-begotten Son Himself, that He saved us. And so the fact of His saving us, and saving us too when we were in such plight, and doing it by means of His Only- begotten, and not merely by His Only begotten, but by His Blood, weaves for us endless crowns to glory in. For there is not anything that counts so much in the way of glory and confidence, as the being treated as friends (philei^sthai) by God, and finding a Friend (philei^n) in Him that loveth (agapw^nta) us. This it is that maketh the angels glorious, and the principalities and powers. This is greater than the Kingdom, and so Paul placed it above the Kingdom. For this also I count the incorporeal powers blessed, because they love Him, and in all things obey Him. And on this score the Prophet also expressed his admiration at them. "Ye that excel in strength, that fulfil His Word." (Ps. ciii. 20.) And hence too Isaiah extolleth the Seraphim, setting forth their great excellency from their standing near that glory, which is a sign of the greatest love.
Let us then emulate the powers above, and be desirous not only of standing near the throne, but of having Him dwelling in us who sitteth upon the Throne. He loved us when we hated Him, and also continueth to love us. "For He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust." (Matt. v. 45.) As then He loveth us, do thou love Him. For He is our Friend (philei^ ga`r). And how cometh it, some will say, that one who is our Friend threateneth hell, and punishment, and vengeance? It is owing to His loving us alone. For all He doeth and is busied with, is with a view to strike out thy wickedness, and to refrain with fear, as with a kind of bridle, thy inclinableness to the worse side, and by blessings and by pains recovering thee from thy downward course, and leading thee up to Him, and keeping thee from all vice, which is worse than hell. But if thou mockest what is said, and wouldest rather live continually in misery, than be punished for a single day, it is no marvel. For this is but a sign of thy unformed judgment (atelou^s gnw'mhs), drunkenness, and incurable disorder. Since little children even when they see the physician going to apply burning or the knife, flee and leap away screaming and convulsed, and choose to have a continual sore eating into their body, rather than to endure a temporary pain, and so enjoy health afterwards. But those who have come to discretion, know that to be diseased is worse than submitting to the knife, as also to be wicked is worse than to be punished. For the one is to be cured and to be healthy, the other to ruin one's constitution and to be in continual feebleness. Now that health is better than feebleness, surely is plain to every one. Thieves then ought to weep not when they have their sides pierced through, but when they pierce through walls and murder. For if the soul be better than the body (as it is), when the former is ruined there is more reason to groan and lament; but if a man does not feel it, so much the more reason to bewail it. For those that love with an unchastened love ought to be more pitied than those who have a violent fever, and those that are drunken, than those that are undergoing torture. But if these are more painful (some may say), how come we to give them the preference? Because there are many of mankind, who, as the proverb saith, like the worse, and they choose these, and pass by the better. And this one may see happening as well in victuals as in forms of government, in emulous aims of life too, and in the enjoyment of pleasure, and in wives, and in houses, and in slaves, and in lands, and in the case of all other things. For which is more pleasurable pray, cohabiting with women or with males? with women or with mules? Yet still we shall find many that pass over women, and cohabit with creatures void of reason, and abuse the bodies of males. Yet natural pleasures are greater than unnatural ones. But still many there are that follow after things ridiculous and joyless, and accompanied with a penalty, as if pleasurable. Well but to them, a man may say, these things appear so. Now this alone is ground enough to make them miserable, that they think those things to be pleasurable which are not so. Thus they assume punishment to be worse than sin which it is not, but just the contrary. Yet, if it were an evil to the sinner, God would not have added evils to the evil; for He that doeth everything to extinguish evil, would not have increased it. Being punished then is no evil to the man who has done wrong, but not being punished, when in that plight, is evil, just as for the infirm not to be cured. (Plat. Gorg. p. 478, sqq.) For there is nothing so evil as extravagant desire. And when I say, extravagant, I mean that of luxury, and that of ill-placed glory, and that of power, and in general that of all things which go beyond what is necessary. For such is he who lives a soft and dissolute life, who seems to be the happiest of men, but is the most wretched, as superinducing upon his soul harsh and tyrannical sovereigns. For this cause hath God made the present a life of labor to us, that He may rid us of that slavery, and bring us into genuine freedom. For this cause He threatened punishment, and made labors a part of our portion in life, so muzzling our vaunting spirit. In this way the Jews also, when they were fettered to the clay and brick making, were at once self-governed, and called continually upon God. But when they were in the enjoyment of freedom, then they murmured, and provoked the Lord, and pierced themselves through with countless evils. What then, it may be said, will you say to those frequent instances of men being altered for the worse by tribulations? Why, that this is no effect of tribulation, but of their own imbecility. For neither if a man had a weak stomach and could not take a bitter medicine which would act as a purgative, but was made even worse by it, would it be the drug we should find fault with, but the weakness of the part, as we should therefore here too with the yieldingness of temper. For he who is altered so by tribulation, is much more likely to be affected in this way by laxity. If he fails even when splinted, (or tied) (this is what affliction is), much more will he when the bandage is removed. If when braced up he is altered, much more when in a state of tumor (chaunou'menos). And how am I, one may ask, to keep from being so altered by tribulation? Why, if thou reflectest that, wish it or not, thou wilt have to bear the thing inflicted: but if thou dost it with a thankful spirit, thou wilt gain very greatly thereby but if thou art indignant at it, and ragest and blasphemest, thou wilt not make the calamity lighter, but thou wilt render its wave more troublous. By feeling then in this way, let us turn what is necessary into a matter of our own choice. What I mean is this--suppose one has lost his own son, another all his property: if you reflect that it is not in the nature of things for what has taken place to be undone; while it is to gain fruit from the misfortune, though irremediable, even that of bearing the circumstance nobly; and if instead of using blasphemous words, thou wert to offer up words of thanksgiving to the Lord, so would evils brought upon thee against thy will become to thee the good deeds of a free choice. Hast thou seen a son taken prematurely away? Say, "the Lord hath given, the Lord hath taken away." Do you see your fortune exhausted? Say, "naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither." (Job. i. 21.) Do you see evil men faring well, and just men faring ill and undergoing ills without number, and dost thou not know where to find the cause? Say, "I became even as it were a beast before Thee. Yet I am ever with Thee." (Ps. lxxiii. 22.) But if thou wilt search out the cause, reflect that He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world, and so you will throw off perplexity, for then every man will meet his deserts, even as Lazarus and the rich man. Call to mind the Apostles, for they too rejoiced at being scourged, at being driven about and undergoing numberless sufferings, because they were "counted worthy to suffer shame for His Name's sake." (Acts v. 41.) And do thou, then, if thou art sick, bear it nobly, and own thyself indebted to God for it, and thou shall receive the same reward with them. But how, when in feebleness and pain, art thou to be able to feel grateful to the Lord? Thou wilt if thou lovest Him sincerely. For if the Three Children who were thrown into the furnace, and others who were in prisons, and in countless other evils, ceased not to give thanks, much more will they who are in a state of disease, be able to do this. For there is not, assuredly there is not, anything which vehement desire doth not get the better of. But when the desire is even that of God, it is higher than anything, and neither fire, nor the sword, nor poverty, nor infirmity, nor death, nor aught else of the kind appeareth dreadful to one who hath gotten this love, but scorning them all, he will fly to heaven, and will have affections no way inferior to those of its inhabitants, seeing nothing else, neither heaven, nor earth, nor sea, but gazing only at the one Beauty of that glory. And neither the vexations of this life present will depress him, nor the things which are goodly and attended with pleasure elate him or puff him up. Let us then love with this love (for there is not anything equal unto it) both for the sake of things present and for the sake of things to come. Or rather, more than for these, for the nature of the love itself. For we shall be set free both from the punishments of this life and of that which is to come, and shall enjoy the kingdom. Yet neither is the escape from hell, nor the fruition of the kingdom, anything great in comparison of what is yet to be said. For greater than all these things is it to have Christ our beloved at once and our lover. For if when this happens with men it is above all pleasure; when both happen from God, what language or what thought is able to set before one the blessedness of this soul? There is none that can, save the experience of it only. That then we may by experience come to know what is this spiritual joy, and life of blessedness, and untold treasure of good things, let us leave everything to cling to that love, with a view as well to our own joy as to the glory of God. For unto Him is the glory and power, with His Only-begotten, and the Holy Ghost, now, and ever, and unto all ages evermore. Amen.
HOMILY X: ROM. V. 12.
"Wherefore as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death passed upon (dih^lthen 6 Mss. eis. . .) all men, for that all have sinned."
As the best physicians always take great pains to discover the source of diseases, and go to the very fountain of the mischief, so doth the blessed Paul also. Hence after having said that we were justified, and having shown it from the Patriarch, and from the Spirit, and from the dying of Christ (for He would not have died unless He intended to justify), he next confirms from other sources also what he had at such length demonstrated. And he confirms his proposition from things opposite, that is, from death and sin. How, and in what way? He enquires whence death came in, and how it prevailed. How then did death come in and prevail? "Through the sin of one." But what means, "for that all have sinned?" This; he having once fallen, even they that had not eaten of the tree did from him, all of them, become mortal.[*][
Ver. 13. "For until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed where there is no law."
The phrase "till the Law" some think he used of the time before the giving of the Law--that of Abel, for instance, or of Noah, or of Abraham-- till Moses was born. What was the sin in those days, at this rate? some say he means that in Paradise. For hitherto it was not done away, (he would say,) but the fruit of it was yet in vigor. For it had borne that death whereof all partake, which prevailed and lorded over us. Why then does he proceed, "But sin is not imputed when there is no law?" It was by way of objection from the Jews, say they who have spoken on our side, that he laid this position down and said, if there be no sin without the Law, how came death to consume all those before the Law? But to me it seems that the sense presently to be given has more to be said for it, and suits better with the Apostle's meaning. And what sense is this? In saying, that "till the Law sin was in the world," what he seems to me to mean is this, that after the Law was given the sin resulting from the transgression of it prevailed, and prevailed too so long as the Law existed. For sin, he says, can have no existence if there be no law. <t> If then it was this sin, he means, from the transgression of the Law that brought forth death, how was it that all before the Law died? For if it is in sin that death hath its origin, but when there is no law, sin is not imputed, how came death to prevail? From whence it is clear, that it was not this sin, the transgression, that is, of the Law, but that of Adam's disobedience, which marred all things. Now what is the proof of this? The fact that even before the Law all died: for "death reigned" he says, "from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned."
How did it reign? "After the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of Him that was to come." Now this is why Adam is a type of Christ. How a type? it will be said. Why in that, as the former became to those who were sprung from him, although they had not eaten of the tree, the cause of that death which by his eating was introduced; thus also did Christ become to those sprung from Him, even though they had not wrought righteousness, the Provider of that righteousness which through His Cross He graciously bestowed on us all. For this reason, at every turn he keeps to the "one," and is continually bringing it before us, when he says, "As by one man sin entered into the world"--and, "If through the offence of one many be dead:" and, "Not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift;" and, "The judgment was by one to condemnation:" and again, "If by one (or, the one) man's offence death reigned by one;" and "Therefore as by the offence of one." And again, "As by one man's disobedience many (or, the many) were made sinners." And so he letteth not go of the one, that when the Jew says to thee, How came it, that by the well-doing of this one Person, Christ, the world was saved? thou mightest be able to say to him, How by the disobedience of this one person, Adam, came it to be condemned? And yet sin and grace are not equivalents, death and life are not equivalents, the Devil and God are not equivalents, but there is a boundless space between them. When then as well from the nature of the thing as from the power of Him that transacteth it, and from the very suitableness thereof (for it suiteth much better with God to save than to punish), the preeminence and victory is upon this side, what one word have you to say for unbelief, tell me? However, that what had been done was reasonable, he shows in the following words.
Ver. 15. "But not as the offence, so is also the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto the many."
For what he says is somewhat of this kind. If sin had so extensive effects, and the sin of one man too; how can grace, and that the grace of God, not the Father only, but also the Son, do otherwise than be the more abundant of the two? For the latter is far the more reasonable supposition. For that one man should be punished on account of another does not seem to be much in accordance with reason. But for one to be saved on account of another is at once more suitable and more reasonable. If then the former took place, much more may the latter. Hence he has shown from these grounds the likelihood and reasonableness of it. For when the former had been made good, this would then be readily admitted. But that it is even necessarily so, he makes good from what follows. How then does he make it good?
Vet. 16. "And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift. For the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification."
And what is this that he is speaking of? It is that sin had power to bring in death and condemnation; but grace did not do away that one sin only, but also those that followed after in its train. Lest then the words "as" and "so" might seem to make the measure of the blessings and the evils equal, and that you might not think, upon hearing of Adam, that it was only that sin which he had brought in which was done away with, he says that it was from many offences that an indemnity was brought about. How is this plain? Because after the numberless sins committed after that in paradise, the matter issued in justification. But where righteousness is, there of necessity follows by all means life, and the countless blessings, as does death where sin was. For righteousness is more than life, since it is even the root of life. That there were several goods then brought in, and that it was not that sin only that was taken away, but all the rest along with it, he points out when he says, that "the gift was of many offences unto justification." In which a proof is necessarily included, that death was also torn up by the roots. But since he had said, that the second was greater than the first, he is obliged to give further grounds again for this same thing. For, before, he had said that if one man's sin slew all, much more will the grace of One have the power to save. After that he shows that it was not that sin only that was done away by the grace, but all the rest too, and that it was not that the sins were done away only, but that righteousness was given. And Christ did not merely do the same amount of good that Adam did of harm, but far more and greater good. Since then he had made such declarations as these, he wants again here also further confirmation of these. And how does he give this confirmation? He says,
Ver. 17. "For if by one man's offence death reigned by one, much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift and (so Field with most Mss.) of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ."
What he says, amounts to this nearly. What armed death against the world? The one man's eating from the tree only. If then death attained so great power from one offence, when it is found that certain received a grace and righteousness out of all proportion to that sin, how shall they still be liable to death? And for this cause, he does not here say" grace," but "superabundance of grace." For it was not as much as we must have to do away the sin only, that we received of His grace, but even far more. For we were at once freed from punishment, and put off all iniquity, and were also born again from above (John iii. 3) and rose again with the old man buried, and were redeemed, justified, led up to adoption, sanctified, made brothers of the Only-begotten, and joint heirs and of one Body with Him, and counted for His Flesh, and even as a Body with the Head, so were we united unto Him! All these things then Paul calls a "superabundance" of grace, showing that what we received was not a medicine only to countervail the wound, but even health, and comeliness, and honor, and glory and dignities far transcending our natural state. And of these each in itself was enough to do away with death, but when all manifestly run together in one, there is not the least vestige of it left, nor can a shadow of it be seen, so entirely is it done away. As then if any one were to cast a person who owed ten mites (obo'lous) into prison, and not the man himself only, but wife and children and servants for his sake; and another were to come and not to pay down the ten mites only, but to give also ten thousand talents of gold, and to lead the prisoner into the king's courts, and to the throne of the highest power, and were to make him partaker of the highest honor and every kind of magnificence, the creditor would not be able to remember the ten mites; so hath our case been. For Christ hath paid down far more than we owe, yea as much more as the illimitable ocean is than a little drop. Do not then, O man, hesitate as thou seest so great a store of blessings, nor enquire how that mere spark of death and sin was done away, when such a sea of gifts was brought in upon it. For this is what Paul intimated by saying that "they who have received the abundance of the grace and righteousness shall reign in life." And as he had now clearly demonstrated this, he again makes use of his former argument, clenching it by taking up the same word afresh, and saying that if for that offence all were punished, then they may be justified too by these means.[*] And so he says,
Ver. 18. "Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of One the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life."
And he insists again upon it, saying,
Ver. 19. "For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of One shall many be made righteous.
What he says seems indeed to involve no small question: but if any one attends to it diligently, this too will admit of an easy solution. What then is the question? It is the saying that through the offence of one many were made sinners. For the fact that when he had sinned and become mortal, those who were of him should be so also, is nothing unlikely. But how would it follow that from his disobedience another would become a sinner? For at this rate a man of this sort will not even deserve punishment, if, that is, it was not from his own self that he became a sinner. What then does the word "sinners" mean here? To me it seems to mean liable to punishment and condemned to death. Now that by Adam's death we all became mortals, he had shown clearly and at large. But the question now is, for what purpose was this done? But this he does not go on to add: for it contributed nothing to his present object. For it is against a Jew that the contest is, who doubted and made scorn of the righteousness by One. And for this reason after showing that the punishment too was brought in by one upon all, the reason why this was so he has not added. For he is not for superfluities, but keeps merely to what is necessary. For this is what the principles of disputation did not oblige him to say any more than the Jew; and therefore he leaves it unsolved. But if any of you were to enquire with a view to learn, we should give this answer: That we are so far from taking any harm from this death and condemnation, if we be sober-minded, that we are the gainers even by having become mortal, first, because it is not an immortal body in which we sin; secondly, because we get numberless grounds for being religious (philosophi'as). For to be moderate, and to be temperate, and to be subdued, and to keep ourselves clear of all wickedness, is what death by its presence and by its being expected persuades us to. But following with these, or rather even before these, it hath introduced other greater. blessings besides. For it is from hence that the crowns of the martyrs come, and the rewards of the Apostles. Thus was Abel justified, thus was Abraham, in having slain his son, thus was John, who for Christ's sake was taken off, thus were the Three Children, thus was Daniel. For if we be so minded, not death only, but even the devil himself will be unable to hurt us. And besides there is this also to be said, that immortality awaits us, and after having been chastened a little while, we shall enjoy the blessings to come without fear, being as if in a sort of school in the present life, under instruction by means of disease, tribulation, temptations, and poverty, and the other apparent evils, with a view to our becoming fit for the reception of the blessings of the world to come.
Ver. 20. "Moreover the Law entered: that the offence might abound."
Since then he had shown that the world was condemned from Adam, but from Christ was saved and freed from condemnation, he now seasonably enters upon the discussion of the Law, here again undermining the high notions of it. For it was so far from doing any good, he means, or from being any way helpful, but the disorder was only increased by its having come in. But the particle "that" again does not assign the cause, but the result. For the purpose of its being given was not "in order that" it might abound, for it was given to diminish and destroy the offence. But it resulted the opposite way, not owing to the nature of the Law, but owing to the listlessness of those who received it.[*] But why did he not say the Law was given, but "the Law entered by the way?" It was to show that the need of it was temporary, and not absolute or imperative. And this he says also to the Galatians, showing the very same thing another way. "For before faith came," he says, "we were kept under the Law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed." And so it was not for itself, but for another, that it kept the flock. For since the Jews were somewhat gross- minded, and enervated, and indifferent to the gifts themselves, this was why the Law was given, that it might convict them the more, and clearly teach them their own condition, and by increasing the accusation might the more repress them. But be not thou afraid, for it was not that the punishment might be greater that this was done, but that the grace might be seen to be greater. And this is why he proceeds,
"But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound."
He does not say did abound, but "did much more abound." For it was not remission from punishment only that He gave us, but that from sins, and life also. As if any were not merely to free a man with a fever from his disease, but to give him also beauty, and strength, and rank; or again, were not to give one an hungered nourishment only, but were to put him in possession of great riches, and were to set him in the highest authority. And how did sin abound? some will say. The Law gave countless commands. Now since they transgressed them all, trangression became more abundant. Do you see what a great difference there is between grace and the Law? For the one became an addition to the condemnation, but the other, a further abundance of gifts. Having then mentioned the unspeakable munificence, he again discusses the beginning and the root both of death and of life. What then is the root of death? It is sin. Wherefore also he saith,
Ver. 21. "That as sin reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life, through our Lord Jesus Christ."
This he says to show that the latter ranks as a king, the former, death, as a soldier, being marshalled under the latter, and armed by it. If then the latter (i.e. sin) armed death, it is plain enough that the righteousness destructive hereof, which by grace was introduced, not only disarms death, but even destroys it, and undoes entirely the dominion thereof, in that it is the greatest of the two, as being brought in not by man and the devil, but by God and grace, and leading our life unto a goodlier estate, and to blessings unlimited. For of it there will never be any end (to give you a view of its superiority from this also). For the other cast us out of our present life, but grace, when it came, gave us not the present life, but the immortal and eternal one. But for all these things Christ is our voucher. Doubt not then for thy life if thou hast righteousness, for righteousness is greater than life as being mother of it.
Chap. vi. ver. 1. "What then? shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid."
He is again turning off to exhortation, yet introducing it not directly, lest he should seem to many to be irksome and vexing, but as if it rose out of the doctrines. For if, even so diversifying his address, he was afraid of their being offended at what he said, and therefore said, "I have written the more boldly unto you in some sort," (Rom. xv. 15) much more would he have seemed to them, had he not done so, to be too. harsh. Since then he showed the greatness of the grace by the greatness of the sins it healed, and owing to this it seemed in the eyes of the unthinking to be an encouragement to sin (for if the reason, they would say, why greater grace was shown, was because we had done great sins, let us not give over sinning, that grace may be more displayed still), now that they might not say this or suspect it, see how he turns the objection back again. First he does it by his deprecation. "God forbid." And this he is in the habit of doing at things confessed on all hands to be absurd. And then he lays down an irrefragable argument. And what is it?
Ver. 2. "How shall we," he says, "that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?"
What does "we are dead" mean? Does it mean that as for that, and as far as it goes, we have all received the sentence of death? or, that we became dead to it by believing any being enlightened. This is what one should rather say, since the sequel makes this clearly right. But what is becoming dead to it? The not obeying it in anything any more. For this baptism effected once for all, it made us dead to it. But this must of our own earnestness thenceforth continually be maintained, so that, although sin issue countless commands to us, we may never again obey it, but abide unmovable as a dead man doth. And indeed he elsewhere saith that sin itself is dead. But there he sets that down as wishing to show that virtue is easy, (Rein. vii. 87) But here, as he earnestly desires to rouse the hearer, he puts the death on his side. Next, since what was said was obscure, he again explains, using what he had said also in the way of reproof.
Ver. 3, 4. "Know ye not," he says, "my brethren, that so many of us as were baptized into Christ were baptized into His death? therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death."
What does being "baptized into His Death" mean? That it is with a view to our dying as He did. For Baptism is the Cross. What the Cross then, and Burial, is to Christ, that Baptism hath been to us, even if not in the same respects. For He died Himself and was buried in the Flesh, but we have done both to sin. Wherefore he does not say, planted together in His Death, but in the likeness of His Death. For both the one and the other is a death, but not of the same subject; since the one is of the Flesh, that of Christ; the other of sin, which is our own. As then that is real, so is this. But if it be real, then a what is of our part again must be contributed. And so he proceeds,
"That as Christ was raised up from the dead by the Glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life."
Here he hints, along with the duty of a careful walk, at the subject of the resurrection. In what way? Do you believe, he means, that Christ died, and that He was raised again? Believe then the same of thyself. For this is like to the other, since both Cross and Burial is thine. For if thou hast shared in Death and Burial, much more wilt thou in Resurrection and Life. For now the greater is done away with, the sin I mean, it is not right to doubt any longer about the lesser, the doing away of death.
But this he leaves for the present to the conscience of his hearers to reason out, but himself, after the resurrection to come had been set before us, demands of us another, even the new conversation, which is brought about in the present life by a change of habits. When then the fornicator becomes chaste, the covetous man merciful, the harsh subdued, even here a resurrection has taken place, the prelude to the other. And how is it a resurrection? Why, because sin is mortified, and righteousness hath risen again, and the old life hath been made to vanish, and this new and angelic one is being lived in. But when you hear of a new life, look for a great alteration, a wide change. But tears come into my eyes, and I groan deeply to think how great religiousness (philosophi'an) Paul requires of us, and what listlessness we have yielded ourselves up to, going back after our baptism to the oldness we before had, and returning to Egypt, and remembering the garlic after the manna. (Num. xi. 5.) For ten or twenty days at the very time of our Illumination, we undergo a change, but then take up our former doings again. But it is not for a set number of days, but for our whole life, that Paul requires of us such a conversation. But we go back to our former vomit, thus after the youth of grace building up the old age of sins. For either the love of money, or the slavery to desires not convenient, or any other sin whatsoever, useth to make the worker thereof old. "Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away." (Heb. viii. 13.) For there is no body, there surely is none, to be seen as palsied by length of time, as a soul is decayed and tottering with many sins. Such an one gets carried on to the last degree of doting, yielding indistinct sounds, like men that are very old and crazed, being surcharged with rheum, and great distortion of mind, and forgetfulness, and with scales upon its eyes, and disgustful to men, and an easy prey to the devil. Such then are the souls of sinners; not so those of the righteous, for they are youthful and well-favored, and are in the very prime of life throughout, ever ready for any fight or struggle. But those of sinners, if they receive even a small shock, straightway fall and are undone. And it was this the Prophet made appear, when he said, that like as the chaff which the wind scattereth from the face of the earth (Ps. i. 4), thus are they that live in sin whirled to and fro, and exposed to every sort of harm. For they neither see like a healthy person, nor hear with simplicity, they speak not articulately, but are oppressed with great shortness of breath. They have their mouth overflowing with spittle. And would it were but spittle, and nothing offensive! But now they send forth words more fetid than any mire, and what is worst, they have not power even to spit this saliva of words away from them, but taking it in their hand with much lewdness, they smear it on again, so as to be coagulating, and hard to perspire through. Perhaps ye are sickened with this description. Ought ye not, then to be more so at the reality? For if these things when happening in the body are disgustful, much more when in the soul. Such was that son who wasted out all his share, and was reduced to the greatest wretchedness, and was in a feebler state than any imbecile or disordered person. But when he was willing, he became suddenly young by his decision alone and his change. For as soon as he had said, "I will return to my Father," this one word conveyed to him all blessings; or rather not the bare word, but the deed which he added to the word. For he did not say, "Let me go back," and then stay there; but said, Let me go back, and went back, and returned the whole of that way. Thus let us also do; and even if we have gotten carried beyond the boundary, let us go up to our Father's house, and not stay lingering over the length of the journey. For if we be willing, the way back again is easy and very speedy. Only let us leave the strange and foreign land; for this is what sin is, drawing us far away from our Father's house; let us leave her then, that we may speedily return to the house of our Father. For our Father hath a natural yearning towards us, and will honor us if we be changed, no less than those that are unattainted, if we change, but even more, just as the father showed that son the greater honor. For he had greater pleasure himself at receiving back his son. And how am I to go back again? one may say. Do but put a beginning upon the business, and the whole is done. Stay from vice, and go no farther into it, and thou hast laid hold of the whole already. For as in the case of the sick, being no worse may be a beginning of getting better, so is the case with vice also. Go no further, and then your deeds of wickedness will have an end. And if you do so for two days, you will keep off on the third day more easily; and after three days you will add ten, then twenty, then an hundred, then your whole life. (Cf. Hom. xvii. on St. Matt. p. 267, O. T.) For the further thou goest on, the easier wilt thou see the way to be, and thou wilt stand on the summit itself, and wilt at once enjoy many goods. For so it was when the prodigal came back, there were flutes, and harps, and dancings, and feasts, and assemblings: and he who might have called his son to account for his ill-timed extravagance, and flight to such a distance, did nothing of the sort, but looked upon him as unattainted, and could not find it in him even to use the language of reproach, or rather, even to mention barely to him the former things, but threw himself upon him, and kissed him, and killed the calf, and put a robe upon him, and placed on him abundant honors. Let us then, as we have such examples before us, be of good cheer and keep from despair. For He is not so well pleased with being called Master, as Father, nor with having a slave as with having a son. And this is what He liketh rather than that. This then is why He did all that He has done; and "spared not even His Only-begotten Son" (Rom. viii. 32), that we might receive the adoption of sons, that we might love Him, not as a Master only, but as a Father. And if He obtained this of us He taketh delight therein as one that has glory given him, and proclaimeth it to all though He needeth nothing of ours. This is what, in Abraham's case for instance, He everywhere does, using these words, "I am the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob." And yet it was the), of His household who should have found an honor in this; but now it is the Lord evidently who does this; for this is why He says to Peter, "Lovest thou Me more than these?" (John xxi. 17) to show that He seeketh nothing so much as this from us. For this too He bade Abraham offer his son to Him, that He might make it known to all that He was greatly beloved by the patriarch. Now this desire to be loved exceedingly comes from loving exceedingly. For this cause too He said to the Apostles, "He that loveth father or mother more than Me, is not worthy of Me." (Matt. x. 37.) For this cause He bids us esteem that even which is in the most close connection with us, our soul (or, life, v. 39, and John xii. 25), as second to the love of him, since He wisheth to be beloved by us with exceeding entireness. For we too, if we have no strong feelings about a person, have no strong desire for his friendship either, though he be great and noble; whereas when we love any one warmly and really, though the person loved be of low rank and humble, yet we esteem love from him as a very great honor. And for this reason He Himself also called it glory not to be loved by us only, but even to suffer those shameful things in our behalf. (ib. 23.) However, those things were a glory owing to love only. But whatever we suffer for Him, it is not for love alone; but even for the sake of the greatness and dignity of Him we long for, that it would with good reason both be called glory, and be so indeed. Let us then incur dangers for Him as if running for the greatest crowns, and let us esteem neither poverty, nor disease, nor affront, nor calumny, nor death itself, to be heavy and burdensome, when it is for Him that we suffer these things. For if we be right-minded, we are the greatest possible gainers by these things, as neither from the contrary to these shall we if not right-minded gain any advantage. But consider; does any one affront thee and war against thee? Doth he not thereby set thee upon thy guard, and give thee an opportunity of growing like unto God? For if thou lovest him that plots against thee, thou wilt be like Him that "maketh His Sun to rise upon the evil and good." (Matt. v. 45.) Does another take thy money away? If thou bearest it nobly, thou shalt receive the same reward as they who have spent all they have upon the poor. For it says, "Ye took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance." (Heb. x. 34.) Has any one reviled thee and abused thee, whether truly or falsely, he weaves for thee a very great crown if thou bearest meekly his contumely; since he too, who calumniates, provides for us an abundant reward. For "rejoice," it says, "and be exceeding glad, when men say all manner of evil against you falsely, because great is your reward in Heaven." (Matt. v. 12, 11.) And he too that speaketh truth against us is of the greatest service, if we do but bear meekly what is said. For the Pharisee spake evil of the Publican, and with truth, still instead of a Publican he made him a righteous man. (Luke xviii. 11.) And what need to go into particular instances. For any one that will go to the conflicts of Job may learn all these points accurately. And this is why Paul said, "God for us, who against us?" (Rom. viii. 31.) As then by being earnest, we gain even from things that vex us, so by being listless, we do not even improve from things that favor us. For what did Judas profit, tell me, by being with Christ? or what profit was the Law to the Jew? or Paradise to Adam? or what did Moses profit those in the wilderness? And so we should leave all, and look to one point only, how we may husband aright our own resources. And if we do this, not even the devil himself will ever get the better of us, but will make our profiting the greater, by putting us upon being watchful. Now in this way it is that Paul rouses the Ephesians, by describing his fierceness. Yet we sleep and snore, though we have to do with so crafty an enemy. And if we were aware of a serpent nestling by our bed, we should make much ado to kill him. But when the devil nestleth in our souls, we fancy that we take no harm, but lie at our ease; and the reason is, that we see him not with the eyes of our body. And yet this is why we should rouse us the more and be sober. For against an enemy whom one can perceive, one may easily be on guard; but one that cannot be seen, if we be not continually in arms, we shall not easily escape. And the more so, because he hath no notion of open combat (for he would surely be soon defeated), but often under the appearance of friendship he insinuates the venom of his cruel malice. In this way it was that he suborned Job's wife, by putting on the mask of natural affectionateness, to give that wretchless advice. And so when conversing with Adam, he puts on the air of one concerned and watching over his interests, and saith, that "your eyes shall be opened in the day that ye eat of the tree." (Gen. iii. 5.) Thus Jephtha too he persuaded, under the pretext of religion, to slay his daughter, and to offer the sacrifice the Law forbade. Do you see what his wiles are, what his varying warfare? Be then on thy guard, and arm thyself at all points with the weapons of the Spirit, get exactly acquainted with his plans, that thou mayest both keep from being caught, and easily catch him. For it was thus that Paul got the better of him, by getting exactly acquainted with these. And so he says, "for we are not ignorant of his devices." (2 Cor. ii. 11.) Let us then also be earnest in learning and avoiding his stratagems, that after obtaining a victory over him, we may, whether in this present life or in that which is to come, be proclaimed conquerors, and obtain those unalloyed blessings, by the grace and love toward man, etc.
HOMILY XI: ROM. VI. 5.
"For if we have been planted together[*] in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection,"
What I had before occasion to remark, that I mention here too, that he continually digresseth into exhortation, without making any twofold division as he does in the other Epistles, and setting apart the former portion for doctrines, and the latter for the care of moral instruction. Here then he does not do so, but blends the latter with the subject throughout, so as to gain it an easy admission. Here then he says there are two mortifyings, and two deaths, and that one is done by Christ in Baptism, and the other it is our duty to effect by earnestness afterwards. For that our former sins were buried, came of His gift. But the remaining dead to sin after baptism must be the work of our own earnestness, however much we find God here also giving us large help. For this is not the only thing Baptism has the power to do, to obliterate our former transgressions; for it also secures against subsequent ones. As then in the case of the former, thy contribution was faith that they might be obliterated, so also in those subsequent to this, show thou forth the change in thine aims, that thou mayest not defile thyself again. For it is this and the like that he is counselling thee when he says, "for if we have been planted together in the likeness of His Death, we shall be also in the likeness of His Resurrection." Do you observe, how he rouses the hearer by leading him straightway up to his Master, and taking great pains to show the strong likeness? This is why he does not say "in death," lest you should gainsay it, but, "in the likeness of His Death." For our essence itself hath not died, but the man of sins, that is, wickedness. And he does not say, "for if we have been" partakers of "the likeness of His Death;" but what? "If we have. been planted together," so, by the mention of planting, giving a hint of the fruit resulting to us from it. For as His Body, by being buried in the earth, brought forth as the fruit of it the salvation of the world; thus ours also, being buried in baptism, bore as fruit righteousness, sanctification, adoption, countless blessings. And it will bear also hereafter the gift of the resurrection. Since then we were buried in water, He in earth, and we in regard to sin, He in regard to His Body, this is why he did not say, "we were planted together in His Death," but "in the likeness of His Death." For both the one and the other is death, but not that of the same subject. If then he says, "we have been planted together in His Death, we shall be in that of His Resurrection," speaking here of the Resurrection which (Gr. be of His Resurrection) is to come. For since when he was upon the subject of the Death before, and said, "Know ye not, brethren, that so many of us as were baptized into Christ were baptized into His Death?" he had not made any clear statement about the Resurrection, but only about the way of life after baptism, bidding men walk in newness of life; therefore he here resumes the same subject, and proceeds to foretell to us clearly that Resurrection. And that you may know that he is not speaking of that resulting from baptism, but about the other, after saying, "for if we were planted together in the likeness of His Death," he does not say that we shall be in the likeness of His Resurrection,(1) but we shall belong to the Resurrection.(*) For to prevent thy saying, and how, if we did not die as He died, are we to rise as He rose? when he mentioned the Death, he did not say, "planted together in the Death," but, "in the likeness of His Death." But when he mentioned the Resurrection, he did not say, "in the likeness of the Resurrection," but we shall be "of the Resurrection" itself. And he does not say, We have been made, but we shall be, by this word again plainly meaning that Resurrection which has not yet taken place, but will hereafter. Then with a view to give credibility to what he says, he points out another Resurrection which is brought about here before that one, that from that which is present thou mayest believe also that which is to come. For after saying, "we shall be planted together in the Resurrection," he adds,
Ver. 6. "Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed."
So putting together both the cause and the demonstration of the Resurrection which is to come. And he does not say is crucified, but is crucified with Him, so bringing baptism near to the Cross. And on this score also it was that he said above, "We have been planted together in the likeness of His Death that the body of sin might be destroyed," not giving that name to this body of ours, but to all iniquity. For as he calls the whole sum of wickedness the old man, thus again the wickedness which is made up of the different parts of iniquity he calls the body of that man. And that what I am saying is not mere guesswork, hearken to Paul's own interpretation of this very thing in what comes next. For after saying, "that the body of sin might be destroyed," he adds, "that henceforth we should not serve sin." For the way in which I would have it dead is not so that ye should be destroyed and die, but so that ye sin not. And as he goes on he makes this still clearer.
Ver. 7. "For he that is dead," he says, "is freed (Gr. justified) from sin."
This he says of every man, that as he that is dead is henceforth freed from sinning, lying as a dead body, so must(2) he that has come up from baptism, since he has died there once for all, remain ever dead to sin. If then thou hast died in baptism, remain dead, for any one that dies can sin no more; but if thou sinnest, thou marrest God's gift. After requiring of us then heroism (Gr. philosophy) of this degree, he presently brings in the crown also, in these words.
Ver. 8. "Now if we be dead with Christ.":
And indeed even before the crown, this is in itself the greater crown, the partaking with our Master. But he says, I give even another reward. Of what kind is it? It is life eternal. For "we believe," he says, "that we shall also live with Him." And whence is this clear?
Ver. 9. "That Christ being raised from the dead, dieth no more."
And notice again his undauntedness,(3) and how he makes the thing good from opposite grounds. Since then it was likely that some would feel perplexed at the Cross and the Death, he shows that this very thing is a ground for feeling confident henceforward.
For suppose not, he says, because He once died, that He is mortal, for this is the very reason of His being immortal. For His death hath been the death of death, and because He did die, He therefore doth not die. For even that death Ver. 10. "He died unto sin."
"What does "unto sin"(1) mean? It means that He was not subject even to that one, but for our sin, that He might destroy it, and cut away its sinews and all its power, therefore He died. Do you see how he affrighteth them? For if He does not die again, then there is no second layer, then do thou keep from all inclinableness to sin. For all this he says to make a stand against the "let us do evil that good may come. Let us remain in sin that grace may abound." To take away this conception then, root and branch, it is, that he sets down all this. But in that "He liveth, He liveth unto God," he says,--that is, unchangeably, so that death hath no more any dominion over Him. For if it was not through any liability to it that He died the former death, save only for the sin of others, much less will He die again now that He hath done that sin away. And this he says in the Epistle to the Hebrews also, "But now once," he says, "in the end of the world hath He appeared to put away sin by the Sacrifice of Himself. And as it is appointed unto men once to die, and after that the judgment; so Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many, and unto them that look for Him shall He appear the second time without sin unto salvation." (Heb. ix. 26-28.) And he both points out the power of the life that is according to God, and also the strength of sin. For with regard to the life according to God, he showeth that Christ shall die no more. With regard to sin, that if it brought about the death even of the Sinless, how can it do otherwise than be the ruin of those that are subject to it? And then as he had discoursed about His life; that none might say, What hath that which you have been saying to do with us? he adds,
Ver. 11. "Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God."
He well says, "reckon," because there is no setting that, which he is speaking of, before the eyes as yet. And what are we to reckon? one may ask. That we "are dead unto sin, but alive unto God. In Jesus Christ our Lord." For he that so liveth will lay hold of every virtue, as having Jesus Himself for his ally. For that is what, "in Christ," means, for if He raised them when dead, much more when alive will He be able to keep them so.
Ver. 12. "Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof."
He does not say, let not the flesh live or act, but, "let not sin reign,"(2) for He came not to destroy our nature, but to set our free choice aright. Then to show that it is not through any force or necessity that we are held down by iniquity, but willingly, he does not say, let it not tyrannize, a word that would imply a necessity, but let it not reign. For it is absurd for those who are being conducted to the kingdom of heaven to have sin empress over them, and for those who are called to reign with Christ to choose to be the captives of sin, as though one should hurl the diadem from off his head, and choose to be the slave of a frantic woman, who came begging, and was clothed in rags. Next since it was a heavy task to get the upper hand of sin, see how he shows it to be even easy, and how he allays the labor by saying, "in your mortal body." For this shows that the struggles were but for a time, and would soon bring themselves to a close. At the same time he reminds us of our former evil plight, and of the root of death, as it was from this that, contrary even to its beginning, it became mortal. Yet it is possible even for one with a mortal body not to sin. Do you see the abundancy of Christ's grace? For Adam, though as yet he had not a mortal body, fell. But thou, who hast received one even subject to death, canst be crowned. How then, is it that "sin reigns?" he says. It is not from any power of its own, but from thy listlessness. Wherefore after saying, "let it not reign," he also points out the mode of this reigning, by going on to say "that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof." For it is not honor to concede to it (i.e. to the body) all things at will, nay, it is slavery in the extreme, and the height of dishonor; for when it doth what it listeth, then is it bereft of all liberties; but when it is put under restraints, then it best keeps its own proper rank.
Ver. 13. "Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin.... but as instruments of righteousness."
The body then is indifferent between vice and virtue, as also instruments (or arms) are. But either effect is wrought by him that useth it. As if a soldier fighting in his country's behalf, and a robber who was arming against the inhabitants, had the same weapons for defence. For the fault is not laid to the suit of armor, but to those that use it to an ill end. And this one may say of the flesh too which becomes this or that owing to the mind's decision, not owing to its own nature. For if it be curious after the beauty of another, the eye becomes an instrument of iniquity, not through any agency of its own (for what is of the eye, is but seeing, not seeing amiss), but through the fault of the thought which commands it. But if you bridle it, it becomes an instrument of righteousness. Thus with the tongue, thus with the hands, thus with all the other members. And he well calls sin unrighteousness. For by sinning a man deals unrighteously either by himself or by his neighbor, or rather by himself more than by his neighbor. Having then led us away from wickedness, he leads us to virtue, in these words:
"But yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead."
See how by his bare words he exhorts them, on that side naming "sin" and on this "God." For by showing what a difference there is between the rulers, he casts out of all excuse the soldier that leaveth God, and desireth to serve under the dominion of sin. But it is not only in this way, but also by the sequel, that he establishes this; by saying, "as alive from the dead." For by these he shows the wretchedness of the other, and the greatness of God's gift. For consider, he says, what you were, and what you have been made. What then were ye? Dead, and ruined by a destruction which could not from any quarter be repaired. For neither was there any one who had the power to assist you. And what have ye been made out of those dead ones? Alive with immortal life. And by whom? By the all-powerful God. Ye ought therefore to marshal yourselves under Him with as much cheerful readiness, as men would who had been made alive from being dead.
"And your members as instruments of righteousness."
Hence, the body is not evil, since it may be made an arm(1) of righteousness. But by calling it an arm, he makes it clear that there is a hard warfare at hand for us. And for this reason we need strong armor, and also a noble spirit, and one acquainted too with the ways of this warfare; and above all we need a commander. The Commander however is standing by, ever ready to help us, and abiding unconquerable, and has furnished us with strong arms likewise. Farther, we have need of a purpose of mind to handle them as should be, so that we may both obey our Commander, and take the field for our country. Having then given us this vigorous exhortation, and reminded us of arms, and battle, and wars, see how he encourages the soldier again and cherishes(2) his ready spirit.
Ver. 14. "For sin shall no more have dominion over you; for ye are not under the Law, but under grace."
If then sin hath no more dominion over us, why does he lay so great a charge upon them as he does in the words, "Let not sin reign in your mortal body," and, "yield not ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin?" What does that here said mean then? He is sowing a kind of seed in this statement, which he means to develop afterwards, and to cultivate in a powerful argument. What then is this statement? It is this; that our body, before Christ's coming, was an easy prey to the assaults of sin. For after death a great swarm of passions entered also. And for this cause it was not lightsome for running the race of virtue. For there was no Spirit present to assist, nor any baptism of power to mortify. (John vii. 39.) But as some horse (Plato Phaedr. to # 74) that answereth not the rein, it ran indeed, but made frequent slips, the Law meanwhile announcing what was to be done and what not, yet not conveying into those in the race anything over and above exhortation by means of words. But when Christ had come, the effort became afterwards more easy, and therefore we had a more distant goal (mei'zona ta` ska'mmata) set us, in that the assistance we had given us was greater. Wherefore also Christ saith, "Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. (Matt. v. 20.) But this he says more clearly in the sequel. But at present he alludes here briefly to it, to show that unless we stoop down very low to it, sin will not get the better of us. For it is not the Law only that exhorteth us, but grace too which also remitted our former sins, and secures us against future ones. For it promised them crowns after toils, but this (i.e. grace) crowned them first, and than led them to the contest. Now it seems to me that he is not signifying here the whole life of a believer, but instituting a comparison between the Baptism and the Law. And this he says in another passage also "The letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life."(2 Cor. iii. 6.) For the Law convinceth of transgression, but grace undoes transgression. As then the former by convincing establisheth sin so the latter by forgiving suffereth us not to be under sin. And so thou art in two ways set free from this thraldom; both in thy not being under the Law, and in thy enjoying grace. After then he had by these words given the hearer a breathing time, he again furnishes him a safeguard, by introducing an exhortation in reply to an objection, and by saying as follows.
Ver. 15. "What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the Law, but under grace? God forbid."
So he first adopted a form of adjuration, because it was an absurb thing he had named. And then he makes his discourse pass on to exhortation, and shows the great facility of the struggle, in the following words.(*)
Ver. 16. "Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
I do not, he would say, mention hell as yet, nor that great (Ms. Bodl. long) punishment, but the shame it is in this world, when ye become slaves, and slaves of your own accord too, and sin's slaves, and when the wages are such as a second death. For if before baptism, it wrought death of the body, and the wound required so great attendance, that the Lord of all came down to die, and so put a stop to the evil; if after so great a gift, and so great liberty, it seize thee again, while thou bendest down under it willingly, what is there that it may not do? Do not then run into such a pit, or willingly give thyself up. For in the case of wars, soldiers are often given up even against their will. But in this case, unless thou desertest of thyself, there is no one who will get the better of thee. Having then tried to shame them by a sense of duty, he alarms them also by the rewards, and lays before them the wages of both; righteousness, and death, and that a death not like the former, but far worse. For if Christ is to die no more, who is to do away with death? No one! We must then be punished, and have vengeance taken upon us forever. For a death preceptible to the senses is not still to come in this case, as in the former, which gives the body rest, and separates it from the soul. "For the last enemy, death, is destroyed" (1 Cor. xv. 26), whence the punishment will be deathless. But not to them that obey, for righteousness, and the blessings springing from it, will be their rewards.
Ver. 17. "But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered unto you." (Lit. "into which ye were delivered.")
After shaming them by the slavery, after alarming them by the rewards, and so exhorting them, he again rights them by calling the benefits to mind. For by these he shows that they were great evils from which they were freed, and that not by any labors of their own, and that things henceforth would be more manageable. Just as any one who has rescued a captive from a cruel tyrant, and advises him not to run away back to him, reminds him of his grievous thraldom; so does Paul set the evils passed away most emphatically before us, by giving thanks to God. For it was no human power that could set us free from all those evils, but, "thanks be to God," who was willing and able to do such great things. And he well says, "Ye have obeyed from the heart." Ye were neither forced nor pressed, but ye came over of your own accord, with willing mind. Now this is like one that praises and rebukes at once. For after having willingly come, and not having had any necessity to undergo, what allowance can you claim, or what excuse can you make, if you run away back to your former estate? Next that you may learn that it came not of your own willing temper only, but the whole of it of God's grace also, after saying, "Ye have obeyed from the heart," he adds," that form of doctrine which was delivered you." For the obedience from the heart shows the free will. But the being delivered, hints the assistance from God. But what is the form of doctrine?(1) It is living aright, and in conformity with the best conversation.
Ver. 18. "Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness."
There are two gifts of God which he here points out. The "freeing from sin," and also the "making them servants to righteousness," which is better than any freedom. For God hath done the same as if a person were to take an orphan, who had been carried away by savages into their own country, and were not only to free him from captivity, but were to set a kind father ever him, and bring him to very great dignity. And this has been done in our case. For it was not our old evils alone that He freed us from, since He even led us to the life of angels, and paved the way for us to the best conversation, handing us over to the safe keeping of righteousness, and killing our former evils, and deadening the old man, and leading us to an immortal life.
Let us then continue living this life; for many of those who seem to breathe and to walk about are in a more wretched plight than the dead. For there are different kinds of deadness; and one there is of the body, according to which Abraham was dead, and still was not dead. For "God," He says, "is not a God of the dead, but of the living." (Matt. xxii. 32.) Another is of the soul which Christ alludes to when He says, "Let the dead bury their dead." (ib. viii. 22. Another, which is even the subject of praise, which is brought about by religion (philosophi'as), of which Paul saith, "Mortify your members which are upon the earth." (Col. iii. 5.) Another, which is the cause even of this, the one which takes place in baptism. "For our old man," he says, "has been crucified" (ver. 6), that is, has been deadened. Since then we know this, let us flee from the deadness by which, even though alive, we die. And let us not be afraid of that with which common death comes on. But the other two, whereof one is blissful, having been given by God, the other praiseworthy (cf. Ar. Eth. i. 12), which is accomplished by ourselves together with God, let us both choose and be emulous of. And of those two, one doth David pronounce blessed, when he says, "Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven" (Ps. xxxii. 1); and the other, Paul holds in admiration, saying, and writing to the Galatians, "They that be Christ's have crucified the flesh." (Gal. v. 24.) But of the other couple, one Christ declares to be easy to hold in contempt, when He says, "Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul:" and the other fearful, for, "Fear" (He says) "Him that is able to destroy both body and soul in hell." (Matt. x. 28.) And therefore let us flee from this, and choose(1) that deadness which is held blessed and admirable; that of the other two, we may escape the one and not(2) fear the other: for it is not the least good to us to see the sun, and to eat and drink, unless the life of good words be with us. For what would be the advantage, pray, of a king dressed in a purple robe and possessed of arms, but without a single subject, and exposed to all that had a mind to attack and insult him? In like manner it will be no advantage to a Christian to have faith, and the gift of baptism, and yet be open to all the passions. In that way the disgrace will be greater, and the shame more. For as such an one having the diadem and purple is so far from gaining by this dress any honor to himself, that he even does disgrace to that by his own shame: so the believer also, who leadeth a corrupt life, is so far from becoming, as such, an object of respect, that he is only the more one of scorn. "For as many," it says, "as sinned without law, shall also perish without law; and as many as have sinned in the law, shall be judged by the law." (Rom. ii. 12). And in the Epistle to the Hebrews, he says, "He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who had trodden under foot the Son of God?" (Heb. x. 28, 29.) And with reason. For I placed (He might say) all the passions in subjection to thee by baptism. How then comes it that thou hast disgraced so great a gift, and hast become one thing instead of another? I have killed and buried thy former transgressions, like worms--how is it that thou hast bred others?--for sins are worse than worms, since these do harm to the body, those to the soul; and those make the more offensive stench. Yet we perceive it not, and so we are at no pains to purge them out. Thus the drunkard knows not how disgustful the stale wine is, but he that is not drunken has a distinct perception of it. So with sins also, he that lives soberly knows thoroughly that other mire, and the stain. But he that gives himself up to wickedness, like a man made drowsy with drunkenness, does not even know the very fact that he is ill. And this is the most grievous part of vice, that it does not allow those who fall into it even to see the greatness of their own bane, but as they lie in the mire, they think they are enjoying perfumes. And so they have not even the power of getting free, but when full of worms, like men that pride themselves in precious stones. so do they exult in these. And for this reason they have not so much as the will to kill them, but they even nourish these up, and multiply them in themselves, until they send them on to the worms of the world to come. For these are providers for those, and are not only providers, but even the fathers of those that never die; as it says, "their worm shall not die." (Mark ix. 44.) These kindle the hell which never extinguishes. To prevent this from happening then, let us do away with this fountain of evil, and extinguish the furnace, and let us draw up the root of wickedness from beneath, since you will do no good by cutting the tree off from above, if the root remains below, and sends up fresh shoots of the same kind again. What then is the root of the evils? Learn from the good husbandman (i.e. St. Paul 1 Cor. iii. 6-9), who has an accurate knowledge of such things, and tends the spiritual vine and cultivates the whole world. Now what does he say is the cause of all the evils? The love of money. For the "love of money is the root of all evils." (1 Tim. vi. 10). Hence come fightings, and enmities and wars; hence emulations, and railings, and suspicions, and insults; hence murders, and thefts, and violations of sepulchres. Through this, not cities and countries only, but roads and habitable and inhabitable parts, and mountains, and groves, and hills, and, in a word, all places are filled with blood and murder. And not even from the sea has this evil withdrawn, but even there also with great fury hath it revelled, since pirates beset it on all sides, thus devising a new mode of robbery. Through this have the laws of nature been subverted, and the claims of relationship set aside, and the laws of piety itself(1) broken through. For the thraldom of money hath armed, not against the living only, but even against the departed too, the right hands of such men. And at death even, they make no truce with them, but bursting open the sepulchres, they put forth their impious hands even against dead bodies, and not even him that hath let go of life will they suffer to be let go from their plotting. And all the evils that you may find, whether in the house or in the market- place, or in the courts of law, or in the senate, or in the king's palace, or in any other place whatsoever, it is from this that you will find they all spring. For this evil it is, this assuredly, which fills all places with blood and murder, this lights up the flame of hell, this makes cities as wretchedly off as a wilderness, yea, even much worse. For those that beset the high roads, one can easily be on one's guard against, as not being always upon attack. But they who in the midst of cities imitate them are so much the worse than them, in that these are harder to guard against, and dare to do openly what the others do with secrecy. For those laws, which have been made with a view to stopping their iniquity, they draw even into alliance and fill the cities with this kind of murders and pollutions. Is it not murder, pray, and worse than murder, to hand the poor man over to famine, and to cast him into prison, and to expose him not to famine only, but to tortures too, and to countless acts of insolence? For even if you do not do these things yourself to him, yet you are the occasion of their being done, you do them more than the ministers who execute them. The murderer plunges his sword into a man at once, and after giving him pain for a short time, he does not carry the torture any farther. But do you who by your calumnies, by your harassings, by your plottings, make light darkess to him, and set him upon desiring death ten thousand times over, consider how many deaths you perpetrate instead of one only? And what is worse than all, you plunder and are grasping, not impelled to it by poverty, without any hunger to necessitate you, but that your horse's bridle may be spattered over with gold enough, or the ceiling of your house, or the capitals of your pillars. And what hell is there that this conduct would not deserve, when it is a brother, and one that has shared with yourself in blessings unutterable, and has been so highly honored by the Lord, whom you, in order that you may deck out stones, and floors, and the bodies of animals with neither reason, nor perception of these ornaments, are casting into countless calamities? And your dog(2) is well attended too, while man, or rather Christ, for the sake of the hound, and all these things I have named, is straitened with extreme hunger. What can be worse than such confusion? What more grievous than such lawlessness as this? What streams of fire will be enough for such a soul? He that was made in the Image of God stands in unseemly plight, through thy inhumanity; but the faces of the mules that draw thy wife glisten with gold in abundance, as do the skins and woods which compose that canopy. And if it is a seat that is to be made, or a footstool, they are all made of gold and silver. But the member of Christ, for whom also He came hither from Heaven, and shed His precious Blood, does not even enjoy the food that is necessary for him, owing to thy rapaciousness. But the couches are mantled with silver on every side, while the bodies of the saints are deprived even of necessary clothing. And to thee Christ is less precious than anything else, servants, or mules, or couch, or chair, or footstool; for I pass over furniture of still meaner use than these, leaving it to you to know of it. But if thou art shocked at hearing this, stand aloof from doing it, and then the words spoken will not harm thee. Stand aloof, and cease from this madness. For plain madness it is, such eagerness about these things. Wherefore letting go of these things, let us look up, late as it is, towards Heaven, and let us call to mind the Day which is coming, let us bethink ourselves of that awful tribunal, and the exact accounts, and the sentence incorruptible. Let us consider that God, who sees all these things, sends no lightnings from Heaven; and yet what is done deserves not thunderbolts merely. Yet He neither doth this, nor doth He let the sea loose upon us, nor doth He burst the earth in twain, He quencheth not the sun, nor doth He hurl the heaven with its stars upon us. He doth not move aught from its place, but suffereth them to hole their course, and the whole creation to minister to us. Pondering all this then, let us be awestruck with the greatness of His love toward man, and let us return to that noble origin which belongs to us, since at present certainly we are in no better plight than the creatures without reason, but even in a much worse one. For they do love their kin, and need but the community of nature to cause affection towards each other. But thou who besides nature hast countless causes to draw thee together and attach thee to the member: of thyself; the being honored with the Word the partaking in one religion, the sharing in countless blessings; art become of wilder nature than they, by displaying so much carefulness about profitless things, and leaving the Temples of God to perish in hunger and nakedness, and often surrounding them also with a thousand evils. For if it is from love of glory that you do these things, it is much more binding on you to show your brother attention, than your horse. For the better the creature that enjoys the act of kindness, the brighter the crown that is woven for such carefulness. Since now while thou fallest into the contrary of all this, thou pullest upon thyself accusers without number, yet perceivest it not. For who is there that will not speak ill of thee? who that will not indite thee as guilty of the greatest atrocity and misanthrophy, when he sees that thou disregardest the human race, and settest that of senseless creatures above men, and besides senseless creatures, even the furniture of thy house? Hast thou not heard the Apostles say, that they who first received the word sold both "houses and lands" (Acts iv. 34), that they might support the brethren? but you plunder both houses and lands, that you may adorn a horse, or wood-work, or skins, or walls, or a pavement. And what is worse is, that it is not men only, but women too are afflicted with this madness, and urge their husbands to this empty sort of pains, by forcing them to lay out their money upon anything rather than the necessary things. And if any one accuse them for this, they are practised with a defence, itself loaded with much to be accused. For both the one and the other are done at once, says one. What say you? are you not afraid to utter such a thing, and to set the same store by horses and mules and couches and footstools, as by Christ an hungered? Or rather not even comparing them at all, but giving the larger share to these, and to Him meting out with difficulty a scant share? Dost thou not know that all belongs to Him, both thou and thine? Dost thou not know that He fashioned thy body, as well as gave thee a soul, and apportioned thee the whole world? but thou art not for giving a little recompense to Him. But if thou lettest a little hut, thou requirest the rent with the utmost rigor, and though reaping the whole of His creation, and dwelling in so wide a world, thou hast not courage to lay down even a little rent, but has given up to vainglory thyself and all thou hast. For this is that whereof all these things come. The horse is none the better above his natural excellence for having this ornament, neither yet is the person mounted upon him, for sometimes he is only in the less esteem for it; since many neglect the rider and turn their eyes to the horse's ornaments, and to the attendants behind and before, and to the fan-bearers. But the man, who is lackeyed by these, they hate and turn their heads from, as a common enemy. But this does not happen when thou adornest thy soul, for then men, and angels, and the Lord of angels, all weave thee a crown. And so, if thou art in love with glory, stand aloof from the things which thou art now doing, and show thy taste not in thy house, but in thy soul, that thou mayest become brilliant and conspicuous. For now nothing can be more cheap than thou art, with thy soul unfurnished, and but the handsomeness of thy house for a screen. But if thou art impatient of hearing me speak in this way, listen to what one of those that are without did, and at all events be shamed by their philosophy. For it is said that a certain one of them, who went into a palace that shone with gold in abundance, and glistened with the great beauty of the marbles and the columns, when he saw the floor strewed with carpets in all directions, spat in the face of the master of the house, and when found fault with for it said, that since there was no other part of the house where he could do this, he was obliged to do this affront to his face. See how ridiculous a man is, who displays his taste in exteriors, and how little he is in the eyes of all reasonable men. And with good reason. For if a person were to leave thy wife to be clad in rags, and to be neglected, and clothed thy maid-servants with brilliant dresses, thou wouldest not bear it meekly, but wouldest be exasperated, and say that it was insulting in the extreme. Reason then in this way about your soul. When you display your taste in walls then, and pavement, and furniture, and other things of the kind, and do not give liberally in alms, or practise the other parts of a religious life (philosophi'an); you do nothing less than this, or rather what is worse than this by far. For the difference between servant and mistress is nothing, but between soul and flesh, there is a great disparity. But if it be so with the flesh, much more is it with a house or a couch or a footstool. What kind of excuse then dost thou deserve, who puttest silver on all these, but for it hast no regard, though it be covered with filthy rags, squalid, hungry, and full of wounds, torn by hounds unnumbered (Luke xvi. 20, 21); and after all this fanciest that thou shall get thee glory by displaying thy taste in externals wound about thee? And this is the very height of phrenzy, while ridiculed, reproached, disgraced, dishonored, and falling into the severest punishment, still to be vain of these things! Wherefore, I beseech you, laying all this to heart, let us become sober-minded, late as it is, and become our own masters, and transfer this adorning from outward things to our souls. For so it will abide safe from spoiling, and will make us equal to the angels, and will entertain us with unaltering good, which may we all attain by the grace and love toward man, etc.
HOMILY XII: ROM. VI. 19.
"I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members (so 4 Mss. Say. the members of your flesh) servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.''
SINCE he had required great strictness of life, charging us to be dead to the world, and to Have died unto wickedness, and to abide with no notion towards the workings of sin, and seemed to be saying something great and burdensome, and too much for human nature; through a desire to show that he is not making any exorbitant demand, nor even as much as might be expected of one who enjoyed so great a gift, but one quite moderate and light, he proves it from contraries, and says, "I speak after the manner of men," as much as to say, Going by human reasonings; by such as one usually meets with. For he signifies either this, or the moderateness of it, by the term applied, "after the manner of men." For elsewhere he uses the same word. "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man" (1 Cot. x. 13), that is, moderate and small. "For as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness." And truly the masters are very different ones, but still it is an equal amount of servitude that I ask. For men ought to give a much larger one, and so much the larger as this is a greater and better mastership than the other. Nevertheless I make no greater demand "because of the infirmity," and that, he does not say of your free will or readiness of spirit, but "of your flesh," so making what he says the less severe. And yet on one side there is uncleanness, on the other holiness: on the one iniquity, and on the other righteousness. And who is so wretched, he says, and in such straits as not to spend as much earnestness upon the service of Christ, as upon that of sin and the devil? Hear then what follows, and you will see clearly that we do not even spend this little. For when (stated in this naked way) it does not seem credible or easy to admit, and nobody would endure to hear that he does not serve Christ so much as he did serve the devil, he proves it by what follows, and renders it credible by bringing that slavery before us, and saying how they did serve him.[*]
Ver. 20. "For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness."
Now what he says is somewhat of this kind, When ye lived in wickedness, and impiety, and the worst of evils, the state of compliance ye lived in was such that ye did absolutely no good thing at all. For this is, "ye were free from righteousness." That is ye were not subject to it, but estranged from it wholly. For ye did not even so much as divide the manner of servitude between righteousness and sin, but gave yourselves wholly up to wickedness. Now, therefore, since ye have come over to righteousness, give yourselves wholly up to virtue, doing nothing at all of vice, that the measure you give may be at least equal. And yet it is not the mastership only that is so different, but in the servitude itself there is a vast difference. And this too he unfolds with great perspicuity, and shows what conditions they served upon then, and what now. And as yet he says nothing of the harm accruing from the thing, but hitherto speaks of the shame.
Ver. 21. "What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed?"
So great was the slavery, that even the recollection of it now makes you ashamed; but if the recollection makes one ashamed, the reality would much more. And so you gained now in two ways, in having been freed from the shame; and also in having come to know the condition you were in; just as then ye were injured in two ways, in doing things deserving shame, and in not even knowing to be ashamed. And this is worse than the former. Yet still ye kept in a state of servitude. Having then proved most abundantly the harm of what took place then from the shame of it, he comes to the thing in question. Now what is this thing? "For the end of those things is death." Since then shame seems to be no such serious evil, he comes to what is very fearful, I mean death; though in good truth what he had before mentioned were enough. For consider how exceeding great the mischief must be, inasmuch as, even when freed from the vengeance due to it, they could not get free of the shame. What wages then, he says, do you expect from the reality, when from the bare recollection, and that too when you are freed from the vengeance, you hide your face and blush, though under such grace as you are! But God's side is far otherwise.
Ver. 22. "For now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life."
Of the former, the fruit was shame, even after the being set free. Of these the fruit is holiness, and where holiness is, there is all confidence. But of those things the end is death, and of these everlasting life. Do you see how he points out some things as already given, and some as existing in hope, and from what are given he draws proof of the others also, that is from the holiness of the life. For to prevent your saying (i.e. as an objection) everything lies in hope, he points out that you have already reaped fruits, first the being freed from wickedness, and such evils as the very recollection of puts one to shame; second, the being made a servant unto righteousness; a third, the enjoying of holiness; a fourth, the obtaining of life, and life too not for a season, but everlasting. Yet with all these, he says, do but serve as ye served it. For though the master is far preferable, and the service also has many advantages, and the rewards too for which ye are serving, still I make no further demand. Next, since he had mentioned arms and a king, he keeps on with the metaphor in these words:
Ver. 23. "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord."
After speaking of the wages of sin, in the case of the blessings, he has not kept to the same order (ta'xin, rank or relation): for he does not say, the wages of good deeds, "but the gift of God;" to show, that it was not of themselves that they were freed, nor was it a due they received, neither yet a return, nor a recompense of labors, but by grace all these things came about.[*] And so there was a superiority for this cause also, in that He did not free them only, or change their condition for a better, but that He did it without any labor or trouble upon their part: and that He not only freed them, but also gave them much more than before, and that through His Son. And the whole of this he has interposed as having discussed the subject of grace, and being on the point of overthrowing the Law next. That these things then might not both make them rather listless, he inserted the part about strictness of life, using every opportunity of rousing the hearer to the practice of virtue. For when he calls death the wages of sin, he alarms them again, and secures them against dangers to come. For the words he uses to remind them of their former estate, he also employs so as to make them thankful, and more secure against any inroads of temptations. Here then he brings the hortatory part to a stop, and proceeds with the doctrines again, speaking on this wise.
Chap. vii. ver. 1. "Know ye not, brethren, for I speak to them that know the Law."
Since then he had said, we are "dead to sin," he here shows that not sin only, but also the Law, hath no dominion over them. But if the Law hath none, much less hath sin: and to render his language palatable, he uses a human example to make this plain by. And he seems to be stating one point, but he sets down at once two arguments for his proposition. One, that when a husband is dead, the woman is no longer subject to her husband, and there is nothing to prevent her becoming the wife of another man: and the other, that in the present case it is not the husband only that is dead but the wife also. So that one may enjoy liberty in two ways. Now if when the husband is dead, she is freed from his power, when the woman is shown to be dead also, she is much more at liberty. For if the one event frees her from his power, much more does the concurrence of both. As he is about to proceed then to a proof of these paints, he starts with an encomium of the hearers, in these words, "Know ye not, brethren, for I speak to them that know the Law, that is, I am saying a thing that is quite agreed upon, and clear, and to men too that know all these things accurately,
"How that the Law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?"
He does not say, husband or wife, but "man," which name is common to either creature; "For he that is dead," he says, "is freed (Gr. justified) from sin." The Law then is given for the living, but to the dead it ceaseth to be ordained (or to give commands). Do you observe how he sets forth a twofold freedom? Next, after hinting this at the commencement, he carries on what he has to say by way of proof, in the woman's case, in the following way.
Ver. 2, 3. "For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the Law to her husband, so long as he liveth: but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the Law of her husband. So then, if while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she is called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man."
He keeps continually upon this point, and that with great exactness, since he feels quite sure of the proof grounded on it: and in the husband's place he puts the Law, but in the woman's, all believers. Then he adds the conclusion in such way, that it does not tally with the premiss; for what the context would require would be, "and so, my brethren, the Law doth not rule over you, for it is dead."[*] But he does not say so, but only in the premiss hinted it, and in the inference, afterwards, to prevent what he says. being distasteful, he brings the woman in as dead by saying,
"Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the Law."
As then the one or the other event gives rise to the same freedom, what is there to prevent his showing favor to the Law without any harm being done to the cause? "For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the Law to her husband as long as he liveth." What is become now (3 Mss. then) of those that speak evil of the Law? Let them hear, how even when forced upon it, he does not bereave it of its dignity, but speaks great things of its power; if while it is alive the Jew is bound, and they are to be called adulterers who transgress it, and leave it whiles it is alive. But if they let go of it after it has died, this is not to be wondered at. For in human affairs no one is found fault with for doing this: "but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband." You see how in the example he points out the Law as dead, but in the inference he does not do so. So then if it be while her husband liveth, the woman is called an adulteress. See how he dwells upon the accusations of those who transgress the Law, while it is yet living. But since he had put an end to it, he afterwards favors it with perfect security, without doing any harm hereby to the faith. "For if while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she is called an adulteress." Thus it would have been natural to say next, ye also, my brethren, now the Law is dead, will not be judged guilty of adultery, if ye become married to another husband. Yet he does not use these words, but what? "Ye are become dead to the Law;" if ye have been made dead, ye are no longer under the Law. For if, when the husband is dead, the woman is no longer liable to it, much more when herself is dead also she is freed from the former. Do you note the wisdom of Paul, how he points out that the Law itself designs that we should be divorced from it, and married to another? For there is nothing, he means, against your living with another husband, now the former is dead; for how should there be, since when the husband was alive it allowed this to her who had a writing of divorcement? But this he does not set down, as it was rather a charge against the woman; for although this had been granted, still it was not cleared of blame. (Matt. xix. 7, 8.) For in cases where he has gained the victory by requisite and accredited proofs, he does not go into questions beyond the purpose; not being captious. The marvel then is this, that it is the Law itself that acquits us who are divorced from it of any charge, and so the mind of it was that we should become Christ's. For it is dead itself, and we are dead; and the grounds of its power over us are removed in a twofold way. But he is not content with this alone, but also adds the reason of it. For he has not set down death without special purpose, but brings the cross in again, which had wrought these things, and in this way too he puts us under an engagement. For ye have not been freed merely, he means, but it was through the Lord's death. For he says,
"Ye are become dead to the Law by the Body of Christ."
Now it is not on this only he grounds his exhortation, but also on the superiority of this second husband. And so he proceeds: "that ye should be married to another, even to Him Who is raised from the dead."
Then to prevent their saying, If we do not choose to live with another husband, what theft? For the Law does not indeed make an adulteress of the widow who lives in a second marriage, but for all that it does not force her to live in it. Now that they may not say this, he shows that from benefits already conferred, it is binding on us to choose it: and this he Days down more clearly in other passages, where he says, "Ye are not your own;" and, "Ye are bought with a price;" and, "Be not ye the servants of men" (1 Cor. vi. 19, 20; vii. 23); and again, "One died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto Him which died for them." (2 Cor. v. 15.) This is then what he here alludes to in the words, "By the Body." And next he exhorts to better hopes, saying, "That we should bring forth fruit unto God." For then, he means, ye brought forth fruit unto death, but now unto God.
Ver. 5. "For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the Law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death."
You see then the gain to be got from the former husband! And he does not say when we were in the Law, so in every passage shrinking from giving a handle to heretics; but "when we were in the flesh," that is, in evil deeds, in a carnal life. What he says then is, not that they were in the flesh before, but now they went about without any bodies; but by saying what he does, he neither says that the Law is the cause of sins, nor yet frees it from odium. For it held the rank of a bitter accuser, by making their sins bare: since that, which enjoins more to him who is not minded to obey at all, makes the offence greater. And this is why he does not say, the "motions of sins" which were produced by the Law, but which "were through the Law" (Rom. ii. 27), without adding any "produced," but simply "through the Law," that is to say, which through the Law were made apparent, were made known. Next that he might not accuse the flesh either; he does not say which the members wrought, but "which did work (or were wrought) in our members," to show that the origin of the mischief was elsewhere, from the thoughts which wrought in us, not from the members which had them working in them. For the soul ranks as a performer, and the fabric of the flesh as a lyre, sounding as the performer obliges it. So the discordant tune is to be ascribed not to the latter, but to the former sooner than to the latter.
Ver. 6. "But now," he says, "we are delivered from the Law." (kathrgh'thhmen, "made of no effect.")
See how he again in this place spares the flesh and the Law. For he does not say that the Law was made of no effect, or that the flesh was made of no effect, but that we were made of no effect (i.e., were delivered). And how were we delivered? Why by the old man, who was held down by sin, being dead and buried. For this is what he sets forth in the words, "being dead to that, wherein we were held." As if he had said, the chain by which we were held down was deadened and broken through, so that that which held down, namely sin, held down no more. But do not fall back or grow listless. For you have been freed with a view to being servants again, though not in the same way, but "in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter." Now what does he mean here? for it is necessary to disclose it here, that when we come upon the passage, we may not be perplexed with it. When then Adam sinned (he means), and his body became liable to death and sufferings, it received also many physical losses, and the horse became less active and less obedient. But Christ, when He came, made it more nimble for us through baptism, rousing it with the wing of the Spirit. And for this reason the marks for the race, which they of old time had to run, are not the same as ours.  Since then the race was not so easy as it is now. For this reason, He desires them to be clear not from murder only, as He did them of old time, but from anger also; nor is it adultery only that He bids them keep clear of, but even the unchaste look; and to be exempt not from false swearing only, but even from true. (Matt. v. 21, 27, 33.) And with their friends He orders them to love their enemies also. And in all other duties, He gives us a longer ground to run over, and if we do but obey, threatens us with hell, so showing that the things in question are not matters of free-will offering for the combatants, as celibacy and poverty are, but are binding upon us absolutely to fulfil. For they belong to necessary and urgent requisites, and the man who does not do them is to be punished to the utmost. This is why He said, "Except your righteousness exceed the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven." (Matt. v. 20.) But he that does not see the kingdom, shall certainly fall into hell. For this cause Paul too says, "Sin shall not have dominion over you, because ye are not under the Law, but under grace." And here again, "that ye should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter." For it is not the letter that condemneth, that is the old Law, but the Spirit that helpeth. And for this reason among the ancients, if any were found practising virginity, it was quite astonishing. But now the thing is scattered over every part of the world. And death in those times some few men did with difficulty despise, but now in villages and cities there are hosts of martyrs without number, consisting not of men only, but even of women.  And next having done with this, he again meets an objection which is rising, and as he meets it, gives confirmation to his own object. And so he does not introduce the solution of it as main argument, but by way of opposing this; that by the exigency of meeting it, he may get a plea for saying what he wishes, and make his accusation not so unpalatable. Having then said, "in the newness of the Spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter," he proceeds.
Ver. 7. "What then? is the Law sin? God forbid."
Even before this he had been saying, that "the motions of sins, which were by the Law did work in our members" (ver. 5): and, "sin shall have no dominion over you, for ye are not under the Law." (vi. 14.) And that "where no law is, there is no transgression." (iv. 15.) And, "but the Law came in, that the offence might abound" (v. 20); and, "the Law worketh wrath." (iv. 15.) Now as all these things seem to bring the Law into disrepute, in order to correct the suspicion arising from them, he supposes also an objection, and says, "What then, is the Law sin? God forbid." Before the proof he uses this adjuration to conciliate the hearer, and by way of soothing any who was troubled at it. For so, when he had heard this, and felt assured of the speaker's disposition, he would join with him in investigating the seeming perplexity, and feel no suspicions of him. Wherefore he has put the objection, associating the other with him. Hence, he does not say, What am I to say? but "What shall we say then?" As though a deliberation and a judgment were before them, and a general meeting called together, and the objection came forward not of himself, but in the course of discussion, and from real circumstances of the case. For that the letter killeth, he means, no one will deny, or that the Spirit giveth life (2 Cor. iii. 6); this is plain too, and nobody will dispute it. If then these are confessedly truths, what are we to say about the Law? that "it is sin? God forbid." Explain the difficulty then. Do you see how he supposes the opponent to be present, and having assumed the dignity of the teacher, he comes to the explaining of it. Now what is this? Sin, he says, the Law is not. "Nay, I had not known sin, but by the Law." Notice the reach of his wisdom! What the Law is not, he has set down by way of objection, so that by removing this, and thereby doing the Jew a pleasure, he may persuade him to accept the less alternative. And what is this? Why that "I had not known sin, but by the Law. For I had not known lust, except the Law had said, Thou shalt not covet."
Do you observe, how by degrees he shows it to be not an accuser of sin only, but in a measure its producer? Yet not from any fault of its own, but from that of the froward Jews, he proves it was, that this happened. For he has taken good heed to stop the mouths of the Manichees, that accuse the Law; and so after saying, "Nay, I had not known sin, but by the Law;" and, "I had not known lust, except the Law had said, Thou shall not covet;" he adds,
Ver. 8. "But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence."
Do you see how he has cleared it of all blame? For "sin," he says, "taking occasion by the commandment," it was, and not the Law, that increased the concupiscence, and the reverse of the Law's intent was brought about. This came of weakness, and not of any badness. For when we desire a thing, and then are hindered of it, the flame of the desire is but increased. Now this came not of the Law; for it hindered us (3 Mss. endeavored) of itself to keep us off from it; but sin, that is, thy own listlessness and bad disposition, used what was good for the reverse. But this is no fault in the physician, but in the patient who applies the medicine wrongly. For the reason of the Law being given was, not to inflame concupiscence, but to extinguish it, though the reverse came of it. Yet the blame attaches not to it, but to us. Since if a person had a fever, and wanted to take cold drink when it was not good for him, and one were not to let him take his fill of it, and so increase his lust after this ruinous pleasure, one could not deservedly be found fault with. For the physician's business is simply prohibiting it, but the restraining himself is the patient's. And what if sin did take occasion from it? Surely there are many bad men who by good precepts grow in their own wickedness. For this was the way in which the devil ruined Judas, by plunging him into avarice, and making him steal what belonged to the poor. However it was not the being entrusted with the bag that brought this to pass, but the wickedness of his own spirit. And Eve, by bringing Adam to eat from the tree, threw him out of Paradise. But neither in that case was the tree the cause, even if it was through it that the occasion took place. But if he treats the discussion about the Law with somewhat of vehemence, do not feel surprise. For Paul is making a stand against the present exigency, and suffers not his language to give a handle even to those that suspected otherwise, but takes great pains to make the present statement correct. Do not then sift what he is now going on to say (4 Mss. "here saying") by itself, but put beside it the purpose by which he is led on to speak of these things, and reckon for the madness of the Jews, and their vigorous spirit of contention, which as he desires earnestly to do away with, he seems to bear violently (polu`s pnei^n) against the Law, not to find fault with it, but to unnerve their vigor. For if it is any reproach to the Law that sin taketh occasion by it, this will be found to be the case in the New Testament also. For in the New Testament there are thousands of laws, and about many more ("far more," Field) important matters. And one may see the same come to pass there also, not with regard to covetousness (lust, as v. 7) only, but to all wickedness generally. For He says, "if I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin," (John xv. 22.) Here then sin finds a footing in this fact, and so the greater punishment. And again when Paul discourseth about grace, he says, "Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be counted worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God." (Heb. x. 29.) Has not then the worse punishment its origin from hence, from the greater benefit? And the reason why he says the Greeks were without excuse was, because being honored with the gift of reason, and having gotten a knowledge of the beauty of the creation, and having been placed in a fair way for being led by it to the Creator, they did not so use the wisdom of God, as it was their duty. Seest thou that to the wicked in all cases occasions of greater punishment result from good things? But we shall not in this accuse the benefits of God, but rather upon this even admire them the more: but we shall throw the blame on the spirit of those who abuse the blessings to contrary purpose. Let this then be our line with regard to the Law also. But this is easy and feasible--the other is what is a difficulty. How is it that he says "I had not known lust except the Law had said, Thou shall not covet?" Now if man had not known lust, before he received the Law, what was the reason for the flood, or the burning of Sodom? What does he mean then? He means vehement lust: and this is why he did not say, lust, but" all manner of concupiscence," intimating, in that, its vehemency. And what, it will be said, is the good of the Law, if it adds to the disorder? None; but much mischief even. Yet the charge is not against the Law, but the listlessness of those who received it. For sin wrought it, though by the Law. But this was not the purpose of the Law, nay, the very opposite, Sin then became stronger, he says, and violent. But this again is no charge against the Law but against their obstinacy. "For without the Law sin is dead." That is, was not so ascertainable. For even those before the Law knew that they had sinned, but they came to a more exact knowledge of it after the giving of the Law. And for this reason they were liable to a greater accusation: since it was not the same thing to have nature to accuse them, and besides nature the Law, which told them distinctly every charge.
Ver. 9. "For I was alive without the Law once."
When, pray, was that? Before Moses. See how he sets himself to show that it, both by the things it did, and the things it did not do, weighed down human nature. For when "I was alive without the Law," he means, I was not so much condemned.
"But when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died."
This seems indeed to be an accusing of the Law. But if any one will look closely at it, it will be seen to be even an encomium of it. For it did not give existence to sin that before was not, but only pointed out what had escaped notice. And this is even a praise of the Law, if at least before it they had been sinning without perceiving it. But when this came, if they gained nothing besides from it, at all events this they were distinctly made acquainted with, the fact that they had been sinning. And this is no small point, with a view to getting free from wickedness. Now if they did not get free, this has nothing to do with the Law; which framed everything with a view to this end, but the accusation lies wholly against their spirit, which was perverse beyond all supposition. For what took place was not the natural thing,--their being injured by things profitable. And this is why he says "And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death." He does not say, "it was made," or "it brought forth" death, but "was found," so explaining the novel and unusual kind of discrepancy, and making the whole fall upon their own pate. For if, he says, you would know the aim of it, it led to life, and was given with this view. But if death was the issue of this, the fault is with them that received the commandment, and not of this, which was leading them to life. And this is a point on which he has thrown fresh light by what follows.
Ver. 11. "For sin taking occasion by the commandment deceived the, and by it slew me."
You observe how he everywhere keeps to sin, and entirely clears the Law of accusation. And so he proceeds as follows.
Ver. 12. "Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good."
But, if ye be so minded, we will bring before you the language of those who wrest these declarations. For this will make our own statements clearer. For there are some that say, that he is not here saying what he does of the Law of Moses, but some take it of the law of nature; some, of the commandment given in Paradise. Yet surely Paul's object everywhere is to annul this Law, but he has not any question with those. And with much reason; for it was through a fear and a horror of this that the Jews obstinately opposed grace. But it does not appear that he has ever called the commandment in Paradise "Law" at all; no, nor yet any other writer. Now to make this plainer from what he has really said, let us follow out his words, retracing the argument a little. Having then spoken to them about strictness of conversation, he goes on to say, "Know ye not, brethren, how that the Law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? Wherefore ye are become dead to the Law." Therefore if these things are said about the natural law, we are found to be without the natural law. And if this be true, we are more senseless ,than the creatures which are without reason. Yet this is not so, certainly. For with regard to the law in Paradise, there is no need to be contentious, test we should be taking up a superfluous trouble, by entering the lists against things men have made up their minds upon. In what sense then does he say, "I should not have known sin but by the Law?" He is speaking, not of absolute want of knowledge, but of the more accurate knowledge. For if this were said of the law of nature, how would what follows suit? "For I was alive," he says, "without the Law once." Now neither Adam, nor any body else, can be shown ever to have lived without the law of nature. For as soon as God formed him, He put into him that law of nature, making it to dwell by him as a security to the whole kind (Gr. Nature, see p. 365). And besides this, it does not appear that he has anywhere called the law of nature a commandment. But this he calls as well a commandment, and that "just and holy," as a "spiritual law." But the law of nature was not given to us by the Spirit. For barbarians, as well as Greeks and other men, have this law. Hence it is plain, that it is the Mosaic Law that he is speaking of above, as well as afterwards, and in all the passages. For this cause also he calls it holy, saying, "Wherefore the Law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good." For even though the Jews have been unclean since the Law, and unjust and covetous, this does not destroy the virtue of the Law, even as their unbelief doth not make the faith of God of none effect. So from all these things it is plain, that it is of the Law of Moses that he here speaks.
Ver. 13. "Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin that it might appear sin." (4 Mss. om. hh.)
That is, that it might be shown what great evil sin is, namely, a listless will, an inclinableness to the worse side, the actual doing (3 Mss. om. this clause), and the perverted judgment. For this is the cause of all the evils; but he amplifies it by pointing out the exceeding grace of Christ, and teaching them what an evil He freed the human race from, which, by the medicines used to cure it, had become worse, and was increased by the preventives. Wherefore he goes on to say: "That sin, by the commandment, might become exceeding sinful." Do you see how these things are woven together everywhere? By the very means he uses to accuse sin, he again shows the excellency of the Law. Neither is it a small point which he has gained by showing what an evil sin is, and unfolding the whole of its poison, and bringing it to view. For this is what he shows, by saying, "that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful." That is, that it may be made clear what an evil sin is, what a ruinous thing. And this is what was shown by the commandment. Hereby he also shows the preeminence of grace above the Law, the preeminence above, not the conflict with, the Law. For do not look to this fact, that those who received it were the worse for it; but consider the other, that the Law had not only no design of drawing wickedness out to greater lengths, but even seriously aimed at hewing down what already existed. But if it had no strength, give to it indeed a crown for its intention, but adore more highly the power of Christ, which abolished, cut away: and plucked up the very roots an evil so manifold and so hard to be overthrown. But when you hear me speak of sin, do not think of it as a substantial power, but evil doing, as it comes upon men and goes from them continually, and which, before it takes place, has no being, and when it has taken place, vanishes again. This then was why the Law was given. Now no law is ever given to put an end to things natural, but in order to correct a way of acting purposely wicked. And this the lawgivers that are without too are aware of, and all mankind in general. For it is the evils from viciousness alone that they are for setting right, and they do not undertake to extirpate those allotted us along with our nature; since this they cannot do. For things natural remain unalterable (Arist. Eth. b. 2, c. 1), as we have told you frequently in other discourses also.
And so let us leave these contests, and again practise ourselves in exhortation. Or rather, this last part belongs to those contests. For if we cast out wickedness, we should bring virtue in also: and by these means we shall clearly teach that wickedness is no natural evil, and shall be able easily to stop the mouths of them that enquire for the origin of evil, not by means of words only, but of actions also, since we share the same nature with them, but are freed from their wickedness. For let us not be looking at the laboriousness of virtue, but at the possibility of succeeding in it. But if we be in earnest, it will be at once light and palatable to us. But if you tell me of the pleasure of vice, tell out its end too. For it issueth in death, even as virtue leadeth us to life. Or if you think fit let us rather scrutinize them both even before their end; for we shall see that vice has a great deal of pain attached to it, and virtue great pleasure. For what pray is so painful as a bad conscience? or what more pleasing than a good hope? For there is nothing, assuredly there is nothing, which is used to cut us so deep, and press so hard on us, as the expectation of evil: nothing that so keeps us up, and all but gives us wings, as a good conscience. And this we may get a knowledge of even by what takes place before our eyes. For they that dwell in a prison, and are in expectation of sentence against them let them have the enjoyment of luxury repeated beyond count, live a more afflicting life than those that go a begging by the by-roads, yet with nothing upon their consciences to trouble them. For the expectation of a dreadful end will not let them perceive those pleasures which they have in their hands. And why do I speak of prisoners? Why, as for those that are living out of prison, and have a good fortune, yet have a bad conscience about them, handicraftsmen that work for their bread, and spend the whole day amid their labor, are in a far better plight than they. And for this reason too we say, How miserable the gladiators are (though seeing them as we do in taverns, drunken, luxurious, gormandizing), and call them the most miserable of men, because the calamity of the end which they must expect is too great to admit of comparison with that pleasure. Now if to them a life of this sort seems to be pleasing, remember what I am continually telling you, that it is no such marvel that a man who lives in vice should not flee from the misery and pain of vice. For see how a thing so detestable as that, yet seems to be delectable to those who practice it. Yet we do not on this account say, how happy they are, for this is just the very reason why we think them pitiable, because they have no notion of the evils they are amongst. And what would you say of adulterers, who for a little pleasure undergo at once a disgraceful slavery, and a loss of money, and a perpetual fear (Hor. Sat. II. vii. 58-67), and in fact the very life of a Cain, or rather one that is even much worse than his; filled with fears for the present, and trembling for the future, and suspecting alike friend and foe, and those that know about it, and those that know-nothing? Neither when they go to sleep are they quit of this struggle, their bad conscience shaping out for them dreams that abound with sundry terrors, and in this way horrifying them. Far otherwise is the chaste man, seeing he passes the present life unshackled and at full liberty. Weigh then against the little pleasure, the sundry fluctuations of these terrors, and with the short labor of continency, the calm of an entire life; and you will find the latter hath more of pleasantness than the former. But as for the man that is set upon plundering and laying hands upon other men's goods, tell me if he has not to undergo countless pains in the way of running about, fawning upon slaves, freemen, doorkeepers; alarming and threatening, acting shamelessly, watching, trembling, in agony, suspecting everything. Far otherwise is the man that holds riches in contempt, for he too enjoys pleasure in abundance, and lives with no fear, and in perfect security. And if any one were to go through the other instances of vice, he would find much trouble, and many rocks. But what is of greater importance is, that in the case of virtue the difficulties come first, and the pleasant part afterwards, so the trouble is even thus alleviated. But in the case of vice, the reverse. After the pleasure, the pains and the punishments, so that by these besides the pleasure is done away. For as he who waits for the crown, perceives nothing of present annoyance, so he that has to expect the punishments after the pleasures has no power of gathering in a gladness that is unalloyed, since the fear puts everything in confusion. Or rather if any one were to scrutinize the thing with care, even before the punishment which follows upon these things, he would find that even at the very moment when vice is boldly entered upon, a great deal of pain is felt. And, if you think fit, let us just examine this in the case of those who plunder other men's goods. Or those who in any way get together money, and setting aside the fears, and dangers, and trembling, and agony, and care, and all these things, let us suppose the case of a man, who has got rich without any annoyance, and feels sure about maintaining his present fortune (which he has no means of doing, still for all that let it be assumed for argument's sake). What sort of pleasure then is he to gather in from having so much about him? On the contrary, it is just this very thing that will not let him be glad-hearted. For as long as ever he desires other things besides, he is still upon the rack. Because desire gives pleasure at the time it has come to a stand. If thirsty, for instance, we feel refreshed, when we have drunk as much as we wish; but so long as we keep thirsty, even if we were to have exhausted all the fountains in the world, our torment were but growing greater; even if we were to drink up ten thousand rivers, our state of punishment were more distressing. And thou also, if thou wert to receive the goods of the whole world, and still to covet, wouldest make thy punishment the greater, the more things thou hadst tasted of. Fancy not then that from having gathered a great sum together thou shall have aught of pleasure, but rather by declining to be rich. But if thou covetest to be rich thou wilt be always under the scourge. For this is a kind of love that does not reach its aim; and the longer journey thou hast gone, the further off thou keepest from the end. Is not this a paradox then, a derangement, a madness in the extreme? Let us then forsake this first of evils, or rather let us not even touch this covetousness at all. Yet, if we have touched it, let us spring away from its first motions (prooimi'wn). For this is the advice the writer of the Proverbs gives us, when he speaks about the harlot: "Spring away," he says, "tarry not, neither go thou near to the door of her house" (Prov. v. 8): this same thing I would say to you about the love of money. For if by entering gradually you fall into this ocean of madness, you will not be able to get up out of it with ease, and as if you were in whirlpools, struggle as often as ever you may, it will not be easy for you to get clear; so after falling into this far worse abyss of covetousness, you will destroy your own self, with all that belongs to you. (Acts viii. 20.) And so my advice is that we be on our watch against the beginning, and avoid little evils, for the great ones are gendered by these. For he who gets into a way of saying at every sin, This matters nothing! will by little and little ruin himself entirely. At all events it is this which has introduced vice; which has opened the doors to the robber (5 Mss. devil), which has thrown down the walls of cities, this saying at each sin, "This matters nothing!" Thus in the case of the body too, the greatest of diseases grow up, when trifling ones are made light of. If Esau had not first been a traitor to his birthright, he would not have a become unworthy of the blessings. If he had not rendered himself unworthy of the blessings, he would not have had the desire of going on to fratricide. If Cain had not fallen in love with the first place, but had left that to God, he would not have had the second place. Again, when he had the second place, if he had listened to the advice, he would not have travailed with the murder. Again, if after doing the murder he had come to repentance, when God called him, and had not answered in an irreverent way, he would not have had to suffer the subsequent evils. But if those before the Law did owing to this listlessness come to the very bottom of misery, only consider what is to become of us, who are called to a greater contest, unless we take strict heed unto ourselves, and make speed to quench the sparks of evil deeds before the whole pile is kindled. Take an instance of my meaning. Are you in the habit of false swearing? do not stop at this only, but away with all swearing, and you will have no further need of trouble. For it is far harder for a man that swears to keep from false swearing, than to abstain from swearing altogether. Are you an insulting and abusive person? a striker too? Lay down as a law for yourself not to be angry or brawl in the least, and with the root the fruit also will be gotten rid of. Are you lustful and dissipated? Make it your rule again not even to look at a woman (Job xxxi. 1), or to go up into the theatre, or to trouble yourself with the beauty of other people whom you see about. For it is far easier not even to look at a woman of good figure, than after looking and taking in the lust, to thrust out the perturbation that comes thereof, the struggle being easier in the preliminaries (prooimi'ois). Or rather we have no need of a struggle at all if we do not throw the gates open to the enemy, or take in the seeds of mischief (kaki'as). And this is why Christ chastised the man who looks unchastely upon a woman (Matt. v. 28), that He might free us from greater labor, before the adversary became strong, bidding us cast him out of tile house while he may be cast out even with ease. For what need to have superfluous trouble, and to get entangled with the enemies, when without entanglement we may erect the trophy, and before the wrestling seize upon the prize? For it is not so great a trouble not to look upon beautiful women, as it is while looking to restrain one's self. Or rather the first would be no trouble at all, but immense toil and labor comes on after looking. Since then this trouble is less (most Mss. add, "to the incontinent"), or rather there is no labor at all, nor trouble, but the greater gain, why do we take pains to plunge into an ocean of countless evils? And farther, he who does not look upon a woman will overcome such lust not only with greater ease, but with a higher purity, as he on the other hand who does look, getteth free with more trouble, and not without a kind of stain, that is, if he does get free at all. For he that does not take a view of the beautiful figure, is pure also from the lust that might result. But he who lusteth to look, after first laying his reason low, and polluting it in countless ways, has then to cast out the stain that came of the lust, that is, if he do cast it out. This then is why Christ, to prevent our suffering in this way, did not prohibit murder only, but wrath; not adultery only, but an unchaste look even: not perjury only, but all swearing whatsoever. Nor does he make the measure of virtue stop here, but after having given these laws, He proceeds to a still greater degree. For after keeping us far away from murder, and bidding us to be clear of wrath, He bids us be ready even to suffer ill, and not to be prepared to suffer no more than what he who attacks us pleases, but even to go further, and to get the better of his utmost madness by the overflowingness of our own Christian spirit (th^s hoikei'as philosophi'as). For what He says is not, "If a man smite thee on thy right cheek, bear it nobly and hold thy peace;" but He adds to this the yielding to him the other too. For He says, "Turn to him the other also." (Matt. v. 39.) This then is the brilliant victory, to yield him even more than what he wishes, and to go beyond the bounds of his evil desire by the profuseness of one's own patient endurance. For in this way you will put a stop to his madness, and also receive from the second act again the reward of the first, besides putting a stop to wrath against him. See you, how in all cases it is we that have it in our power not to suffer ill, and not they that inflict it? Or rather it is not the not suffering ill alone, but even the having benefits (Sav. conj. pathei^n eu^, so 2 Mss.) done us that we have in our own power. And this is the truest wonder, that we are so far from being injured, if we be right-minded, that we are even benefited, and that too by the very things that we suffer unjustly at the hands of others. Reflect then; has such an one done you an affront? You have the power of making this affront redound to your honor. For if you do an affront in return, you only increase the disgrace. But if you bless him that did you the affront, you will see that all men give you victory, and proclaim your praise. Do you see how by the things wherein we are wronged, we get good done unto us if we be so minded? This one may see happening in the case of money matters, of blows, and the same in everything else. For if we requite them with the opposite, we are but twining a double crown about us, one for the ills we have suffered, as well as one for the good we are doing. Whenever then a person comes and tells you that "such an one has done you an affront, and keeps continually speaking ill of you to everybody," praise the man to those who tell you of him. For thus even if you wish to avenge yourself, you will have the power of inflicting punishment. For those who hear you, be they ever so foolish, will praise you, and hate him as fiercer than any brute beast, because he, without being at all wronged, caused you pain, but you, even when suffering wrong, requited him with the opposite. And so you will have it in your power to prove that all that he said was to no purpose. For he who feels the tooth of slander, gives by his vexation a proof that he is conscious of the truth of what is said. But he who smiles at it, by this very thing acquits himself of all suspicion with those who are present. Consider then how many good things you cull together from the affair. First, you rid yourself of all vexation and trouble. Secondly (rather this should come first), even "if you have sins, you put them off, as the Publican did by bearing the Pharisee's accusation meekly. Besides, you will by this practice make your soul heroic (Gr. philosophic), and will enjoy endless praises from all men, and will divest yourself of any suspicion arising from what is said. But even if you are desirous of taking revenge upon the man, this too will follow in full measure, both by God's punishing him for what he has said, and before that punishment by thy heroic conduct standing to him in the place of a mortal blow. For there is nothing that cuts those who affront us so much to the heart, as for us who are affronted to smile at the affront. As then from behaving with Christian heroism so many honors will accrue to us, so from being little- minded just the opposite will befall us in everything. For we disgrace ourselves, and also seem to those present to be guilty of the things mentioned, and fill our soul with perturbation, and give our enemy pleasure, and provoke God, and add to our former sins. Taking then all this into consideration, let us flee from the abyss of a little mind mikropsuchi'as, and take refuge in the port of patient endurance makrothumi'as, that here we may at once "find rest unto our souls" (Matt. xi. 29), as Christ also set forth, and may attain to the good things to come, by the grace and love toward man, etc.
HOMILY XIII: ROM. VII. 14.
"For we know that the Law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin."
After having said that great evils had taken place, and that sin, taking occasion by the commandment, had grown stronger, and the opposite of what the Law mainly aimed at had been the result, and after having thrown the hearer into a great deal of perplexity, he goes on next to give the rationale of these events, after first clearing the Law of any ill suspicion. For lest--upon hearing that it was through the commandment that sin took that occasion, and that it was when it came that sin revived, and through it deceived and killed--any one should suppose the Law to be the source of these evils, he first sets forth its defence with considerable advantage, not clearing it from accusation only, but encircling it also with the utmost praise. And this he lays down, not as granting it for his own part, but as declaring a universal judgment. "For we know," he says, "that the Law is spiritual." As if he had said, This is an allowed thing, and self-evident, that it "is spiritual," so far is it from being the cause of sin, or to blame for the evils that have happened. And observe, that he not only clears it of accusation, but bestows exceeding great praise upon it. For by calling it spiritual, he shows it to be a teacher of virtue and hostile to vice; for this is what being spiritual means, leading off from sin of every kind' And this the Law did do, by frightening, admonishing, chastening, correcting, recommending every kind of virtue. Whence then, was sin produced, if the teacher was so admirable? It was from the listlessness of its disciples. Wherefore he went on to say, "but I am carnal;" giving us a sketch now of man, as comporting himself in the Law, and before the Law.[*] "Sold under sin." Because with death (he means) the throng of passions also came in. For when the body had become mortal, it was henceforth a necessary thing for it to receive concupiscence, and anger, and pain, and all the other passions, which required a great deal of wisdom philosopi'as to prevent their flooding us, and sinking reason in the depth of sin. For in themselves they were not sin, but, when their extravagancy was unbridled, it wrought this effect. Thus (that I may take one of them and examine it as a specimen) desire is not sin: but when it has run into extravagance, being not minded to keep within the laws of marriage, but springing even upon other men's wives; then the thing henceforward becomes adultery, yet not by reason of the desire, but by reason of its exorbitancy. And observe the wisdom of Paul. For after praising the Law, he hastens immediately to the earlier period, that he may show the state of our race, both then and at the time it received the Law, and make it plain how necessary the presence of grace was, a thing he labored on every occasion to prove. For when he says, "sold under sin," he means it not of those who were under the Law only, but of those who had lived before the Law also, and of men from the very first. Next he mentions the way in which they were sold and made over.
Ver. 15. "For that which I do, I know not."
What does the "I know not" mean?--I am ignorant. And when could this ever happen? For nobody ever sinned in ignorance. Seest thou, that if we do not receive his words with the proper caution, and keep looking to the object of the Apostle, countless incongruities will follow? For if they sinned through ignorance, then they did not deserve to be punished. As then he said above, "for without the Law sin is dead," not meaning that they did not know they were sinning, but that they knew indeed, but not so distinctly; wherefore they were punished, but not so severely: and again; "I should not have known lust;" not meaning an entire ignorance of it, but referring to the most distinct knowledge of it; and said, that it also "wrought in me all manner of concupiscence, not meaning to say that the commandment made the concupiscence, but that sin through the commandment introduces an intense degree of concupiscence; so here it is not absolute ignorance that he means by saying, "For what I do, I know not;" since how then would he have pleasure in the law of God in his inner man? What then is this, "I know not?" I get dizzy, he means, I feel carried away, I find a violence done to me, I get tripped up without knowing how. Just as we often say, Such an one came and carried me away with him, without my knowing how; when it is not ignorance we mean as an excuse, but to show a sort of deceit, and circumvention, and plot. "For what I would, that I do not: but what I hate, that I do." How then canst thou be said not to know what thou art doing? For if thou willest the good, and hatest the evil, this requires a perfect knowledge. Whence it appears that he says, "that I would not," not as denying free will, or as adducing any constrained necessity. For if it was not willingly, but by compulsion, that we sinned, then the punishments that took place before would not be justifiable. But as in saying "I know not," it was not ignorance he set before us, but what we have said; so in adding the "that I would not," it is no necessity he signifies, but the disapproval he felt of what was done. Since if this was not his meaning in saying, "That which I would not, that I do:" he would else have gone on, "But I do what I am compelled and enforced to." For this is what is opposed to willing and power exousi'a(i). But now he does not say this, but in the place of it he has put the word, "that I hate," that you might learn how when he says, "that I would not," he does not deny the power. Now, what does the "that I would not" mean? It means, what I praise not, what I do not approve, what I love not. And in contradistinction to this, he adds what follows; "But what I hate, that I do."
Ver. 16. "If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the Law, that it is good."
You see here, that the understanding is not yet perverted, but keeps up its own noble character even during the action. For even if it does pursue vice, still it hates it the while, which would be great commendation, whether of the natural or the written Law. For that the Law is good, is (he says) plain, from the fact of my accusing myself, when I disobey the Law, and hate what has been done. And yet if the Law was to blame for the sin, how comes it that he felt a delight in it, yet hated what it orders to be done? For, "I consent," he says, "unto the Law, that it is good."
Ver 17, 18. "Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing."
On this text, those who find fault with the flesh, and contend it was no part of God's creation, attack us. What are we to say then? Just what we did before, when discusssing the Law: that as there he makes sin answerable for everything so here also. For he does not say, that the flesh worketh it, but just the contrary, "it is not I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me." But if he does say that "there dwelleth no good thing in it," still this is no charge against the flesh. For the fact that "no good thing dwelleth in it," does not show that it is evil itself. Now we admit, that the flesh is not so great as the soul, and is inferior to it, yet not contrary, or opposed to it, or evil; but that it is beneath the soul, as a harp beneath a harper, and as a ship under the pilot. And these are not contrary to those who guide and use them, but go with them entirely, yet are not of the same honor with the artist. As then a person who says, that the art resides not in the harp or the ship, but in the pilot or harper, is not finding fault with the instruments, but pointing out the great difference between them and the artist; so Paul in saying, that "in my flesh dwelleth no good thing," is not finding fault with the body, but pointing out the soul's superiority.. For this it is that has the whole duty or pilotage put into its hands, and that of playing. And this Paul here points out, giving the governing power to the soul, and after dividing man into these two things, the soul and the body, he says, that the flesh has less of reason, and is destitute of discretion, and ranks among things to be led, not among things that lead. But the soul has more wisdom, and can see what is to be done and what not, yet is not equal to pulling in the horse as it wishes. And this would be a charge not against the flesh only, but against the soul also, which knows indeed what it ought to do, but still does not carry out in practice what seems best to it. "For to will," he says, "is present with me; but how to perforth that which is good, I find not." Here again in the words, "I find not," he does not speak of any ignorance or perplexity, but a kind of thwarting and crafty assault made by sin, which he therefore points more clearly out in the next words.
Ver. 19, 20. "For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it but sin that dwelleth in me."
Do you see, how he acquits the essence of the soul, as well as the essence of the flesh, from accusation, and removes it entirely to sinful actions? For if the soul willeth not the evil, it is cleared: and if he does not work it himself, the body too is set free, and the whole may be charged upon the evil moral choice. Now the essence of the soul and body and of that choice are not the same, for the two first are God's works, and the other is a motion from ourselves, towards whatever we please to direct it For willing is indeed natural he'mphuton, and is from God: but willing on this wise is our own, and from our own mind.
Ver. 21. "I find then a law, that when I would do good, evil is present with me."
What he says is not very clear. What then is it that is said? I praise the law, he says, in my conscience, and I find it pleads on my side so far as I am desirous of doing what is right, and that it invigorates this wish For as I feel a pleasure in it, so does it yield praise to my decision. Do you see how he shows, that the knowledge of what is good and what is not such is an original and fundamental part of our nature, and that the Law of Moses praises it, and getteth praise from it? For above he did not say so much as I get taught by the Law, but "I consent to the Law;" nor further on that I get instructed by it, but "I delight in" it. Now what is" I delight?" It is, I agree with it as right, as it does with me when wishing to do what is good. And so the willing what is good and the not willing what is evil was made a fundamental part of us from the first. But the Law, when it came, was made at once a stronger accuser in what was bad, and a greater praiser in what was good. Do you observe that in every place be bears witness to its having a kind of intensitiveness and additional advantage, yet nothing further? For though it praises and I delight in it, and wish what is good the "evil is" still "present with me," and the agency of it has not been abolished. And thus the Law, with a man who determines upon doing anything good, only acts so far as auxiliary to him, as that it has the same wish as himself. Then since he had stated it indistinctly, as he goes on he gives a yet more distinct interpretation, by showing how the evil is present, how too the Law is a law to such a person only who has a mind to do what is good.
Ver. 22. "For I delight," he says, "in the law of God after the inward man."
He means, for I knew even before this what was good, but when I find it set down in writing, I praise it.
Ver. 23. "But I see another law warring against the law of my mind."
Here again he calls sin a law warring against the other, not in respect of good order, but from the strict obedience yielded to it by those who comply with it. As then it gives the name of master ku'rion Matt. vi. 24; Luke xvi. 13) to Mammon, and of god (Phil. iii. 19) to the belly, not because of their intrinsically deserving it, but because of the extreme obsequiousness of their subjects so here he calls sin a law, owing to those who are so obsequious to it, and are afraid to leave it, just as those who have received the Law dread leaving the Law. This then, he means, is opposed to the law of nature; for this is what is meant by "the law of my mind." And he next represents an array and battle, and refers the whole struggle to the law of nature. For that of Moses was subsequently added over and above: yet still both the one and the other, the one as teaching, the other as praising what was right, wrought no great effects in this battle; so great was the thraldom of sin, overcoming and getting the upper hand as it did. And this Paul setting, forth, and showing the decided kata` kr'atos victory it had, says, "I see another law warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity." He does not use the word conquering only, but "bringing me into captivity to the law of sin." He does not say the bent of the flesh, or the nature of the flesh, but "the law of sin." That is, the thrall, the power. In what sense then does he say, "Which is in my members?" Now what is this? Surely it does not make the members to be sin, but makes them as distinct from sin as possible. For that which is in a thing is diverse from that wherein it is. As then the commandment also is not evil, because by it sin took occasion, so neither is the nature of the flesh, even if sin subdues us by means of it. For in this way the soul will be evil, and much more so too, since it has authority in matters of action. But these things are not so, certainly they are not. Since neither if a tyrant and a robber were to take possession of a splendid mansion and a king's court, would the circumstance be any discredit to the house, inasmuch as the entire blame would come on those who contrived such an act. But the enemies of the truth, along with their impiety, fall unawares also into great unreasonableness. For they do not accuse the flesh only, but they also disparage the Law. And yet if the flesh were evil, the Law would be good. For it wars against the Law, and opposes it. If, however, the Law be not good, then the flesh is good.[*] For it wars and fights against it even by their own account. How come they then to assert that both belong to the devil, putting things opposed to each other before us? Do you see, along with their impiety, how great is their unreasonableness also? But such doctrines as these are not the Church's, for it is the sin only that she condemns; and both the Laws which God has given, both that of nature and that of Moses, she says are hostile to this, and not to the flesh; for the flesh she denies to be sin, for it is a work of God's, and one very useful too in order to virtue, if we live soberly.
Ver. 24. "O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?"
Do you notice what a great thraldom that of vice is, in that it overcomes even a mind that delighted in the Law? For no one can rejoin, he means, that I hate the Law and abhor it, and so sin overcomes me. For "I delight in it, and consent to it," and flee for refuge to it, yet still it had not the power of saving one who had fled to it. But Christ saved even one that fled from Him. See what a vast advantage grace has! Yet the Apostle has not stated it thus; but with a sigh only, and a great lamentation, as if devoid of any to help him, he points out by his perplexity the might of Christ, and says, "O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" The Law has not been able: conscience has proved unequal to it, though it praised what was good, and did not praise it only, but even fought against the contrary of it. For by the very words "warreth against" he shows that he was marshalled against it for his part. From what quarter then is one to hope for salvation?
Ver. 25. "I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord."
Observe how he shows the necessity of having grace present with us, and that the well-doings heroin belong alike to the Father and the Son. For if it is the Father Whom he thanketh, still the Son is the cause of this: thanksgiving. But when you hear him say, "Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" do not suppose him to be accusing the flesh. For he does not say "body of sin," but "body of death:" that is, the mortal body-- that which hath been overcome by death, not that which gendered death. And this is no proof of the evil of the flesh, but of the marring ephrei'as, thwarting) it has undergone. As if any one who was take captive by the savages were to be said to belong to the savages, not as being a savage, but as being detained by them: so the body is said to be of death, as being held down thereby, not as producing it. Wherefore also it is not the body that he himself wishes to be delivered from, but the mortal body, hinting, as I have often said, that from its becoming subject to suffering, it also became an easy prey to sin. Why then, it may be said, the thraldom of sin being so great before the times of grace, were men punished for sinning? Because they had such commands given them as might even under sin's dominion be accomplished. For he did not draw them to the highest kind of conversation, but allowed them to enjoy wealth, and did not forbid having several wives, and to gratify anger in a just cause, and to make use of luxury within bounds. (Matt. v. 38.) And so great was this condescension, that the written Law even required less than the law of nature. For the law of nature ordered one man to associate with one woman throughout. And this Christ shows in the words, "He which made them at the beginning, made them male and female." (ib. xix. 4.) But the Law of Moses neither forbade the putting away of one and the taking in of another, nor prohibited the having of two at once! (ib. v. 31.) And besides this there are also many other ordinances of the Law, that one might see those who were before its day fully performing, being instructed by the law of nature. They therefore who lived under the old dispensation had no hardship done them by so moderate a system of laws being imposed upon them. But if they were not, on these terms, able to get the upper hand, the charge is against their own listlessness. Wherefore Paul gives thanks, because Christ, without any rigorousness about these things, not only demanded no account of this moderate amount, but even made us able to have a greater race set before us. And therefore he says, "I thank my God through Jesus Christ." And letting the salvation which all agreed about pass, he goes from the points he had already made good, to another further point, in which he states that it was not our former sins only that we were freed from, but we were also made invincible for the future. For "there is," he says, "now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh." Yet he did not say it before he had first recalled to mind our former condition again in the words, "So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin."
Chap. viii. ver. 1. "There is therefore no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus."
Then as the fact that many fall into sin even after baptism presented a difficulty ante'pipten, he consequently hastened to meet it, and says not merely "to them that are in Christ Jesus," but adds, "who walk not after the flesh;" so showing that all afterward comes of our listlessness. For now we have the power of walking not after the flesh, but then it was a difficult task. Then he gives another proof of it by the sequel, in the words,
Ver. 2. "For the law of the Spirit of life hath made me free."
It is the Spirit he is here calling the law of the Spirit. For as he calls sin the law of sin, so he here calls the Spirit the law of the Spirit. And yet he named that of Moses as such, where he says, "For we know that the Law is spiritual." What then is the difference? A great and unbounded one. For that was spiritual, but this is a law of the Spirit. Now what is the distinction between this and that? The other was merely given by the Spirit, but this even furnisheth those that receive it with the Spirit in large measure. Wherefore also he called it the law of life in contradistinction to that of sin, not that of Moses. For when he says, It freed me from the law of sin and death, it is not the law of Moses that he is here speaking of, since in no case does he style it the law of sin: for how could he one that he had called "just and holy" so often, and destructive of sin too? but it is that which warreth against the law of the mind. For this grievous war did the grace of the Spirit put a stop to, by slaying sin, and making the contest light to us and crowning us at the outstart, and then drawing us to the struggle with abundant help. Next as it is ever his wont to turn from the Spirit to the Son and the Father, and to reckon all our estate to lean upon the Trinity? so doth he here also. For after saying, "Who shall deliver me from the body of this death," he pointed at the Father as doing this by the Son, then again at the Holy Spirit along with the Son. "For the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus hath made me free, he says. Then again, at the Father and the Son;
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 lie 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` sarko`s 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." 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:
Ver. 4. "That the righteousness 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 katw'rthwtai hhmi^n 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 dikai'wma 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. 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 koma(i)^n 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 grosset 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," logismo`n 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 Cor. v. 5.) How could he that had lived in fornication have been enlisted among Christ's fold? (2 Cor. ii. 6-11.) How could the Galatians who had "fallen from grace" (Gal. v. 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" (Matt. vii. 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," lie says, "ye root up also the wheat with them (ib. xiii. 29);that is, that which will spring gi'nesthai 4 Mss. ti'ktesthai 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 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,
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." (Gen. vi. 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 hot 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 xv. 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 Cor. ii. 14, psuchiko`s 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 thee 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 Cor. xi.) 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" ei'per. 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 Thess. i. 6.) Again, "Have ye suffered so many things in vain, if it be yet in vain?" (Gal. iii. 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, 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 vet 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. Say. "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 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?" (Rom. xiv. 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 v. 29.) This is why he did not say, shall raise up, but shall quicken. (Dan. xii. 2.) And this is a greater thing than resurrection, and is given to the just only. And the cause of this honor be 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. (Matt. xxv. 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 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, 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'a(i)), and at evening partake of necessary food only; or if you will let him even pass two or three days without food. 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. skirw^nta, Mss. truphw^nta 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 thee 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 some thing 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, kwmw(i)di'as, 1 Ms. kw'mou 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 eves open, seeing no one, but moving about at mere haphazard, and stumbling against such as fall in his way, and spewing: and convulsed, and exposing his nakedness m an unseemly manner. (See Habak. ii. 16.) And if his wife be there, or his daughter, or his maid-servant, or anybody else, they 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.
HOMILY XIV: ROM. VIII. 12, 13.
"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 Cor. vii. 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. ore. "if") One died for all, then all died(1) that they should not henceforth live unto themselves." (2 Cor. v. 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." (Rom. xiii. 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.(2) 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.(3) 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:
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(4) 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(5) 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 preeminence 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" (Ps. lxxxii. 6); and again, "I have nourished and brought up children" (Is. i. 2); and so, "Israel is My first-born" (Ex. iv. 22); and Paul too says, "Whose is the adoption" (Rom. ix. 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 katorthou'ntwn 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,
Ver. 15. "For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear."
Then not staying to mention that which stand's 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 Cor. x. 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 shall not be angry: so too, it is not, "Thou shall not commit adultery," but thou shall 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(1) 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 he 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?" (Deut. xxxii. 15. LXX.) Dost thou not hear Malachi reproaching them, and saying, that "one God formed you," and there is "one Father of you all?" (Mal. ii. 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(1) 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?
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." (Gal. iv. 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.
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" (Matt. xxi. 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 proceed. "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 sprat. 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 Cor. iv. 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 a'nesin 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."(1) 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,(2) 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.
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" apokaradoki'a, 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.(*) 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(1) 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 lh^xin 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 shall Thou fold them up, and they shall be changed." (Ps. cii. 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,(2) and the earth shall wax old like a garment, and they that dwell therein shall perish in like manner. (Is. li. 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 Cor. xv. 53) state, and so therefore will the creature be. And all this he showed by the way, by his saying "in like manner" (2 Pet. iii. 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 he 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 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, lie 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.
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 v. 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 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 apolu'trwsis, not a redemption 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." (Phil. iii. 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 Cor. xv. 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 Cor. vii. 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 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 2 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?"
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."[*]
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, 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 "the thorn" that was given him "in the flesh" (2 Cor. xii. 8), that is the dangers, he often besought God, and was entirely unsuccessful. And so was Moses, who in the Old Testament prays to see Palestine (Deut. iii. 26), and Jeremiah when he made supplication for the Jews (Jer. xv. 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 Cor. xiv. 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 oil 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, "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, anti gave besides blessings without number, was the Comforter. Hence it says, "all these things worketh one and the self-same Spirit." (1 Cor. xii. 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." (Ps. lxix. 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" (Ex. xxxii. 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 not, from being saved without effort haplw^s, 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. 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" (Jer. xi. 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 them that He said this, hear what it says. "Seest thou not what these are doing? "(Ez. vili. 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" (Jer. ii. 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. (Jer. xliv. 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 Sam. xv. 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. (Jer. xi. 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. (Dan. x. 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. (Josh. vii. 6.) For them Ezekiel too wailed and lamented when he saw them cut down. (Ez. ix. 8.) And Jeremy said, "Let me alone, I will weep bitterly." (Is. xxii. 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." (Col. iii. 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 epthumi'an, 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 philanthrwpi'as, 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, 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 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 preeminently 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 Say. 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 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 archh`n, 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 archh^s 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 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 and his snow-like cushions strwmnh`n 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 lie 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." (Matt. xxiv. 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 bodyguard, 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 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 sphodro`n pnei^n 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 suchlike 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, 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 thauma'setai, because when they were on the point of failing to ruin at one rime 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 claws 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.