Writings of Augustine. On the Gospel According to St. John.

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St. Augustin:

Lectures or Tractates

On the Gospel According to St. John.

Translated by Rev. John Gibb, D.D., Professor in the Presbyterian Theological College at London

Published for Dr. Dods, by T. & T. Clark, Edinburgh, 1873.

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Tractate XV.

Chapter IV. 1-42

1. It is nothing new to your ears, beloved, that the Evangelist John, like an eagle, takes a loftier flight, and soars above the dark mist of earth, to gaze with steadier eyes upon the light of truth. From his Gospel much has already been treated of and discussed through our ministry, with the Lord's help; and the passage which has been read to-day follows in due order. What I am about to say, with the Lord's permission, many of you will hear in such wise that you will be reviewing what you know, rather than learning what you know not. Yet, for all that, your attention ought not to be slack, because it is not an acquiring, but a reviewing, of knowledge. This has been read, and we have in our hands to discourse upon this passage--that which the Lord Jesus spoke with the Samaritan woman at Jacob's well. The things spoken there are great mysteries, and the similitudes of great things; feeding the hungry, and refreshing the weary soul.

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2. Now when the Lord knew this, "when He had heard that the Pharisees had learned that He was making more disciples than John, and baptized more (though Jesus baptized not, but His disciples), He left Judea, and departed again into Galilee." We must not discourse of this too long, lest, by dwelling on what is manifest, we shall lack the time to investigate and lay open what is obscure. Certainly, if the Lord saw that the fact of their coming to know that He made more disciples, and baptized more, would so avail to salvation to the Pharisees in following Him, as to become themselves His disciples, and to desire to be baptized by Him; rather would He not have left Judea, but would have remained there for their sakes. But because He knew their knowledge of the fact, and at the same time knew their envy, and that they learned this, not to follow, but to persecute him, He departed thence. He could, indeed, even when present, cause that He should not be taken of them, if He would not; He had it in His power not to be put to death, if He would not, since He had the power not to be born, if He would not. But because, in everything that He did as man, He was showing an example to them who were to believe on Him (that any one servant of God sinneth not if he retire into another place, when he sees, it may be, the rage of his persecutors, or of them that seek to bring his soul into evil; but if a servant of God did this he might appear to commit sin, had not the Lord led the way in doing it), that good Master did this to teach us, not because He feared it.

3. It may perhaps surprise you why it is said, that "Jesus baptized more than John;" and after this was said, it is subjoined, "although Jesus baptized not, but His disciples." What then? Was the statement made false, and then corrected by this addition? Or, are both true, viz. that Jesus both did and also did not baptize? He did in fact baptize, because it was He that cleansed; and He did not baptize, because it was not He that touched. The disciples supplied the ministry of the body; He afforded the aid of His majesty. Now, when could He cease from baptizing, so long as He ceased not from cleansing? Of Him it is said by the same John, in the person of the Baptist, who saith, "This is He that baptizeth." Jesus, therefore, is still baptizing; and so long as we continue to be baptized, Jesus baptizeth. Let a man come without fear to the minister below; for he has a Master above.

4. But it may be one saith, Christ does indeed baptize, but in spirit, not in body. As if, indeed, it were by the gift of another than He that any is imbued even with the sacrament of corporal and visible baptism. Wouldest thou know that it is He that baptizeth, not only with the Spirit, but also with water? Hear the apostle: "Even as Christ," saith he, "loved the Church, and gave Himself for it, purifying it with the washing of water by the Word, that He might present to Himself a glorious Church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing." [329] Purifying it. How? "With the washing of water by the Word." What is the baptism of Christ? The washing of water by the Word. Take away the water, it is no baptism; take away the Word, it is no baptism.

5. This much, then, on the preliminary circumstances, by occasion of which He came to a conversation with that woman, let us look at the matters that remain; matters full of mysteries and pregnant with sacraments. "And He must needs pass through Samaria. He cometh then to a city of Samaria which is called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground which Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Now Jacob's fountain was there." It was a well; but every well is a fountain, yet not every fountain a well. For where the water flows from the earth, and offers itself for use to them that draw it, it is called a fountain; but if accessible, and on the surface, it is called only a fountain: if, however, it be deep and far down, it is called a well, but in such wise as not to lose the name of fountain.

6. "Jesus therefore, being wearied with His journey, sat thus on the well. It was about the sixth hour." Now begin the mysteries. For it is not without a purpose that Jesus is weary; not indeed without a purpose that the strength of God is weary; not without a purpose that He is weary, by whom the wearied are refreshed; not without a purpose is He weary, by whose absence we are wearied, by whose presence we are strengthened. Nevertheless Jesus is weary, and weary with His journey; and He sits down, and that, too, near a well; and it is at the sixth hour that, being wearied, He sits down. All these things hint something, are intended to intimate something, they make us eager, and encourage us to knock. May Himself open to us and to you; He who has deigned to exhort us, so as to say, "Knock, and it shall be opened to you." It was for thee that Jesus was wearied with His journey. We find Jesus to be strength, and we find Jesus to be weak: we find a strong and a weak Jesus: strong, because "in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God: the same was in the beginning with God." Wouldest thou see how this Son of God is strong? "All things were made by Him, and without Him was nothing made:" and without labor, too, were they made. Then what can be stronger than He, by whom all things were made without labor? Wouldest thou know Him weak? "The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us." The strength of Christ created thee, the weakness of Christ created thee anew. The strength of Christ caused that to be which was not: the weakness of Christ caused that what was should not perish. He fashioned us by His strength, He sought us by His weakness.

7. As weak, then, He nourishes the weak, as a hen her chickens; for He likened Him self to a hen: "How often," He saith to Jerusalem, "would I have gathered thy children under my wings, as a hen her chickens; but thou wouldest not!" [330] And you see, brethren, how a hen becomes weak with her chickens. No other bird, when it is a mother, is recognized at once to be so. We see all kinds of sparrows building their nests before our eyes; we see swallows, storks, doves, every day building their nests; but we do not know them to be parents, except when we see them on their nests. But the hen is so enfeebled over her brood, that even if the chickens are not following her, if thou see not the young ones, yet thou knowest her at once to be a mother. With her wings drooping, her feathers ruffled, her note hoarse, in all her limbs she becomes so sunken and abject, that, as I have said, even though thou seest not her young, yet thou perceivest her to be a mother. In such manner was Jesus weak, wearied with His journey. His journey is the flesh assumed for us. For how can He, who is present everywhere, have a journey, He who is nowhere absent? Whither does He go, or whence, but that He could not come to us, except He had assumed the form of visible flesh? Therefore, as He deigned to come to us in such manner, that He appeared in the form of a servant by the flesh assumed, that same assumption of flesh is His journey. Thus, "wearied with His journey," what else is it but wearied in the flesh? Jesus was weak in the flesh: but do not thou become weak; but in His weakness be strong, because what is "the weakness of God is stronger than men."

8. Under this image of things, Adam, who was the figure of Him that was to be, afforded us a great indication of this mystery; rather, God afforded it in him. For he was deemed worthy to receive a wife while he slept, and that wife was made for him of his own rib: since from Christ, sleeping on the cross, was the Church to come,--from His side, namely, as He slept; for it was from His side, pierced with the spear, as He hung on the cross, that the sacraments of the Church flowed forth. But why have I chosen to say this, brethren? Because it is the weakness of Christ that makes us strong. A remarkable figure of this went before in the case of Adam. God could have taken flesh from the man to make of it a woman, and it seems that this might have been the more suitable. For it was the weaker sex that was being made, and weakness ought to have been made of flesh rather than of bone; for the bones are the stronger parts in the flesh. He took not flesh to make of it a woman; but took a bone, and of the bone was the woman shaped, and flesh was filled in into the place of the bone. He could have restored bone for bone; He could have taken, not a rib, but flesh, for the making of the woman. What, then, did this signify? Woman was made, as it were, strong, from the rib; Adam was made, as it were, weak, from the flesh. It is Christ and the Church; His weakness is our strength.

9. But why at the sixth hour? Because at the sixth age of the world. In the Gospel, count up as an hour each, the first age from Adam to Noah; the second, from Noah to Abraham; the third, from Abraham to David; the fourth, from David to the removing to Babylon; the fifth, from the removing to Babylon to the baptism of John: thence is the sixth being enacted. Why dost thou marvel? Jesus came, and, by humbling Himself, came to a well. He came wearied, because He carried weak flesh. At the sixth hour, because in the sixth age of the world. To a well, because to the depth of this our habitation. For which reason it is said in the psalm: "From the depth have I cried unto Thee, O Lord." [331] He sat, as I said, because He was humbled.

10. "And there came a woman." Figure of the Church not yet justified, but now about to be justified: for this is the subject of the discourse. She comes ignorant, she finds Him, and there is a dealing with her. Let us see what, and wherefore. "There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water." The Samaritans did not belong to the nation of the Jews: they were foreigners, though they inhabited neighboring lands. It would take a long time to relate the origin of the Samaritans; that we may not be detained by long discourse of this, and leave necessary matters unsaid, suffice to say, then, that we regard the Samaritans as aliens. And, lest you should think that I have said this with more boldness than truth, hear the Lord Jesus Himself, what He said of that Samaritan, one of the ten lepers whom He had cleansed, who alone returned to give thanks: "Were there not ten cleansed? And where are the nine? There was not another to give glory to God, save this stranger." [332] It is pertinent to the image of the reality, that this woman, who bore the type of the Church, comes of strangers: for the Church was to come of the Gentiles, an alien from the race of the Jews. In that woman, then, let us hear ourselves, and in her acknowledge ourselves, and in her give thanks to God for ourselves. For she was the figure, not the reality; for she both first showed forth the figure and became the reality. For she believed on Him who, of her, set the figure before us. "She cometh, then, to draw water." Had simply come to draw water, as people are wont to do, be they men or women.

11. "Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink. For His disciples were gone away into the city to buy meat. Then saith the Samaritan woman unto Him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, who am a Samaritan woman? For the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans." You see that they were aliens: indeed, the Jews would not use their vessels. And as the woman brought with her a vessel with which to draw the water, it made her wonder that a Jew sought drink of her,--a thing which the Jews were not accustomed to do. But He who was asking drink was thirsting for the faith of the woman herself.

12. At length, hear who it is that asketh drink: "Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink, thou wouldest, it may be, have asked of Him, and He would have given thee living water." He asks to drink, and promises to give drink. He longs as one about to receive; He abounds as one about to satisfy. "If thou knewest," saith He, "the gift of God." The gift of God is the Holy Spirit. But as yet He speaks to the woman guardedly, and enters into her heart by degrees. It may be He is now teaching her. For what can be sweeter and kinder than that exhortation? "If thou knewest the gift of God," etc.: thus far He keeps her in suspense. That is commonly called living water which issues from a spring: that which is collected from rain in pools and cisterns is not called living water. And it may have flowed from a spring; yet if it should stand collected in some place, not admitting to it that from which it flowed, but, with the course interrupted, separated, as it were, from the channel of the fountain, it is not called "living water:" but that is called living water which is taken as it flows. Such water there was in that fountain. Why, then, did He promise to give that which He was asking?

13. The woman, however, being in suspense, saith to Him, "Lord, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep." See how she understood the living water, simply the water which was in that fountain. "Thou wouldst give me living water, and I carry that with which to draw, and thou dost not. The living water is here; how art thou to give it me?" Understanding another thing, and taking it carnally, she does in a manner knock, that the Master may open up that which is closed. She was knocking in ignorance, not with earnest purpose; she is still an object of pity, not yet of instruction.

14. The Lord speaks somewhat more clearly of that living water. Now the woman had said, "Art thou greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank of it himself, his children, and his cattle?" Thou canst not give me of the living water of this well, because thou hast nothing to draw with: perhaps thou promisest another fountain? Canst thou be better than our father, who dug this well, and used it himself, and his? Let the Lord, then, declare what He called living water. "Jesus answered and said unto her, Every one that drinketh of this water shall thirst again: but he that drinketh of the water that I shall give him, shall not thirst forever; but the water which I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water, springing up into everlasting life." The Lord has spoken more openly: "It shall become in him a fountain of water, springing up into everlasting life. He that drinketh of this water shall not thirst forever." What more evident than that it was not visible, but invisible water, that He was promising? What more evident than that He was speaking, not in a carnal, but in a spiritual sense?

15. Still, however, the woman has her mind on the flesh: she is delighted with the thought of thirsting no more, and fancies that this was promised to her by the Lord after a carnal sense; which it will be indeed, but in the resurrection of the dead. She desired this now. God had indeed granted once to His servant Elias, that during forty days he neither hungered nor thirsted. Could not He give this always, seeing He had power to give it during forty days? She, however, sighed for it, desiring to have no want, no toil. To be always coming to that fountain, to be burdened with a weight with which to supply her want, and, when that which she had drawn is spent, to be obliged to return again: this was a daily toil to her; because that want of hers was to be relieved, not extinguished. Such a gift as Jesus promised delighted her; she asks Him to give her living water.

16. Nevertheless, let us not overlook the fact that it is something spiritual that the Lord was promising. What means, "Whoso shall drink of this water shall thirst again?" It is true as to this water; it is true as to what the water signified. Since the water in the well is the pleasure of the world in its dark depth: from this men draw it with the vessel of lusts. Stooping forward, they let down the lust to reach the pleasure fetched from the depth of the well, and enjoy the pleasure and the preceding lust let down to fetch it. For he who has not despatched his lust in advance cannot get to the pleasure. Consider lust, then, as the vessel; and pleasure as the water from the depth of the well: when one has got at the pleasure of this world, it is meat to him, it is drink, it is a bath, a show, an amour; can it be that he will not thirst again? Therefore, "Whoso shall drink of this water," saith He, "will thirst again;" but if he shall receive water of me, "he shall never thirst." "We shall be satisfied," it saith, "with the good things of Thy house." [333] Of what water, then, is He to give, but of that of which it is said, "With Thee is the fountain of life"? For how shall they thirst, who "shall be drunk with the fatness of Thy house"? [334]

17. What He was promising them was a certain feeding and abundant fullness of the Holy Spirit: but the woman did not yet understand; and not understanding, how did she answer? "The woman saith unto Him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw." Want forced her to labor, and her weakness was pleading against the toil. Would that she heard the invitation, "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will refresh you!" [335] This is, in fact, what Jesus was saying to her, that she might no longer labor: but she did not yet understand.

18. At length, wishing her to understand, "Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither." What means this, "Call thy husband"? Was it through her husband that He wished to give her that water? Or, because she did not understand, did He wish to teach her through her husband? Perhaps it was as the apostle says concerning women, "If they wish to learn anything, let them ask their husbands at home." But this the apostle says of that where there is no Jesus present to teach. It is said, in short, to women whom the apostle was forbidding to speak in the Church. [336] But when the Lord Himself was at hand, and in person speaking to her, what need was there that He should speak to her by her husband? Was it through her husband that he spoke to Mary, while sitting at His feet and receiving His word; while Martha, wholly occupied with much serving, murmured at the happiness of her sister? [337] Wherefore, my brethren, let us hear and understand what it is that the Lord says to the woman, "Call thy husband." For it may be that He is saying also to our soul, "Call thy husband." Let us inquire also concerning the soul's husband. Why, is not Jesus Himself already the soul's real husband? Let the understanding be present, since what we are about to say can hardly be apprehended but by attentive hearers: therefore let the understanding be present to apprehend, and perhaps that same understanding will be found to be the husband of the soul.

19. Now Jesus, seeing that the woman did not understand, and willing her to understand, says to her, "Call thy husband." "For the reason why thou knowest not what I say is, because thy understanding is not present: I am speaking after the Spirit, and thou art hearing after the flesh. The things which I speak relate neither to the pleasure of the ears, nor to the eyes, nor to the smell, nor to the taste, nor to the touch; by the mind alone are they received, by the understanding alone are they drawn up: that understanding is not with thee, how canst thou apprehend what I am saying? `Call thy husband,' bring thy understanding forward. What is it for thee to have a soul? It is not much, for a beast has a soul. Wherein art thou better than the beast? In having understanding, which the beast has not." Then what is "Call thy husband"? "Thou dost not apprehend me, thou dost not understand me: I am speaking to thee of the gift of God, and thy thought is of the flesh; thou wishest not to thirst in a carnal sense, I am addressing myself to the spirit: thy understanding is absent. `Call thy husband.' Be not as the horse and mule, which have no understanding." Therefore, my brethren, to have a soul, and not to have understanding, that is, not to use it, not to live according to it, is a beast's life. For we have somewhat in common with the beasts, that by which we live in the flesh, but it must be ruled by the understanding. For the motions of the soul, which moves after the flesh, and longs to run unrestrainedly loose after carnal delights, are ruled over by the understanding. Which is to be called the husband?--that which rules, or that which is ruled? Without doubt, when the life is well ordered the understanding rules the soul, for itself belongs to the soul. For the understanding is not something other than the soul, but a thing of the soul: as the eye is not something other than the flesh, but a thing of the flesh. But whilst the eye is a thing of the flesh, yet it alone enjoys the light; and the other fleshy members may be steeped in light, but they cannot feel the light: the eye alone is both bathed in it, and enjoys it. Thus in our soul there is a something called the understanding. This something of the soul, which is called understanding and mind, is enlightened by the higher light. Now that higher light, by which the human mind is enlightened, is God; for "that was the true light which enlighteneth every man coming into this world." Such a light was Christ, such a light was speaking with the woman: yet she was not present with the understanding, to have it enlightened with that light; not merely to have it shed upon it, but to enjoy it. Therefore the Lord said, "Call thy husband," as if He were to say, I wish to enlighten, and yet there is not here whom I may enlighten: bring hither the understanding through which thou mayest be taught, by which thou mayest be ruled. Thus, put the soul without the understanding for the woman; and having the understanding as having the husband. But this husband does not rule the wife well, except when he is ruled by a higher. "For the head of the woman is the man, but the head of the man is Christ." [338] The head of the man was talking with the woman, and the man was not present. And so the Lord, as if He said, Bring hither thy head, that he may receive his head, says, "Call thy husband, and come hither;" that is, Be here, be present: for thou art as absent, while thou understandest not the voice of the Truth here present; be thou present here, but not alone; be thou here with thy husband.

20. And, the husband being not yet called, still she does not understand, still she minds the flesh; for the man is absent: "I have not," saith she, "a husband." And the Lord proceeds and utters mysteries. Thou mayest understand that woman really to have had at that time no husband; she was living with some man, not a lawful husband, rather a paramour than a husband. And the Lord said to her, "Thou hast well said, I have not a husband." How then didst Thou say, "Call thy husband"? Now hear how the Lord knew well that she had not a husband. "He says to her," etc. In case the woman might suppose that the Lord had said, "Thou hast well said, I have not a husband," just because He had learned this fact of her, and not because he knew it by His own divinity, hear something which thou hast not said: "For thou hast had five husbands, and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband; this thou hast said truly."

21. Once more He urges us to investigate the matter somewhat more exactly concerning these five husbands. Many have in fact understood, not indeed absurdly, nor so far improbably, the five husbands of this woman to mean the five books of Moses. For the Samaritans' made use of these books, and were under the same law: for it was from it they had circumcision. But since we are hemmed in by what follows, "And he whom thou now hast is not thy husband," it appears to me that we can more easily take the five senses of the body to be the five former husbands of the soul. For when one is born, before he can make use of the mind and reason, he is ruled only by the senses of the flesh. In a little child, the soul seeks for or shuns what is heard, and seen, and smells, and tastes, and is perceived by the touch. It seeks for whatever soothes, and shuns whatever offends, those five senses. At first, the soul lives according to these five senses, as five husbands; because it is ruled by them. But why are they called husbands? Because they are lawful and right: made indeed by God, and are the gifts of God to the soul. The soul is still weak while ruled by these five husbands, and living under these five husbands; but when she comes to years of exercising reason, if she is taken in hand by the noble discipline and teaching of wisdom, these five men are succeeded in their rule by no other than the true and lawful husband, and one better than they, who both rules better and rules for eternity, who cultivates and instructs her for eternity. For the five senses rule us, not for eternity, but for those temporal things that are to be sought or shunned. But when the understanding, imbued by wisdom, begins to rule the soul, it knows now not only how to avoid a pit, and to walk on even ground--a thing which the eyes show to the soul even in its weakness; nor merely to be charmed with musical voices, and to repel harsh sounds; nor to delight in agreeable scents, and to refuse offensive smells; nor to be captivated by sweetness, and displeased with bitterness; nor to be soothed with what is soft, and hurt with what is rough. For all these things are necessary to the soul in its weakness. Then what rule is made use of by that understanding? Not one to discern between black and white, but between just and unjust, between good and evil, between the profitable and the unprofitable, between chastity and impurity, that it may love the one and avoid the other; between charity and hatred, to be in the one, not to be in the other.

22. This husband had not yet succeeded to those five husbands in that woman. And where he does not succeed, error sways. For when the soul has begun to be capable of reason, it is ruled either by the wise mind or by error: but yet error does not rule but destroys. Wherefore, after these five senses was that woman still wandering, and error was tossing her to and fro. And this error was not a lawful husband, but a paramour: for that reason the Lord saith to her, "Thou hast well said, I have not a husband. For thou hast had five husbands." The five senses of the flesh ruled thee at first; thou art come to the age of using reason, and yet thou art not come to wisdom, but art fallen into error. Therefore, after those five husbands, "this whom thou now hast is not thy husband." And if not a husband, what was he but a paramour? And so, "Call," not the paramour, but "thy husband," that thou mayest receive me with the understanding, and not by error have some false notion of me. For the woman was still in error, as she was thinking of that water; whilst the Lord was now speaking of the Holy Ghost. Why was she erring, but because she had a paramour, not a husband? Put away, therefore, that paramour who corrupts thee, and "go, call thy husband." Call, and come that thou mayest understand me.

23. "The woman saith unto Him, Sir, I see that thou art a prophet." The husband begins to come, he is not yet fully come. She accounted the Lord a prophet, and a prophet indeed He was; for it was of Himself He said, that "a prophet is not without honor, save in his own country." [339] Again, of Him it was said to Moses, "A Prophet will I raise up to them of their brethren, like unto thee." [340] Like, namely, as to the form of the flesh, but not in the eminence of His majesty. Accordingly we find the Lord Jesus called a Prophet. Hence this woman is now not far wrong. "I see," she saith, "that thou art a prophet." She begins to call the husband, and to shut out the paramour; she begins to ask about a matter that is wont to disquiet her. For there was a contention between the Samaritans and the Jews, because the Jews worshipped God in the temple built by Solomon; but the Samaritans, being situated at a distance from it, did not worship there. For this reason the Jews, because they worshipped God in the temple, boasted themselves to be better than the Samaritans. "For the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans:" because the latter said to them, How is it you boast and account yourselves to be better than we, just because you have a temple which we have not? Did our fathers, who were pleasing to God, worship in that temple? Was it not in this mountain where we are they worshipped? We then do better, say they, who pray to God in this mountain, where our fathers prayed. Both peoples contended in ignorance, because they had not the husband: they were inflated against each other, on the one side in behalf of the temple, on the other in behalf of the mountain.

24. What, however, does the Lord teach the woman now, as one whose husband has begun to be present? "The woman saith unto Him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me." For the Church will come, as it is said in the Song of Songs, "will come, and will pass over from the beginning of faith." [341] She will come in order to pass through; and pass through she cannot, except from the beginning of faith. Rightly she now hears, the husband being present: "Woman, believe me." For there is that in thee now which can believe, since thy husband is present. Thou hast begun to be present with the understanding when thou calledst me a prophet. Woman, believe me; for if ye believe not, ye will not understand. [342] Therefore, "Woman, believe me, for the hour will come when ye shall neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we worship what we know; for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour will come." When? "And now is." Well, what hour? "When the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth," not in this mountain, not in the temple, but in spirit and in truth. "For the Father seeketh such to worship Him." Why does the Father seek such to worship Him, not on a mountain, not in the temple, but in spirit and in truth? "God is Spirit." If God were body, it were right that He should be worshipped on a mountain, for a mountain is corporeal; it were right He should be worshipped in the temple, for a temple is corporeal. "God is Spirit; and they that worship Him, must worship in spirit and in truth."

25. We have heard, and it is manifest; we had gone out of doors, and we are sent inward. Would I could find, thou didst say, some high and lonely mountain! For I think that, because God is on high, He hears me the rather from a high place. Because thou art on a mountain, dost thou imagine thyself near to God, and that He will quickly hear thee, as if calling to Him from the nearest place? He dwells on high, but regards the lowly. "The Lord is near." To whom? To the high, perhaps? "To them who are contrite of heart." [343] 'Tis a wonderful thing: He dwelleth on high, and yet is near to the lowly; "He hath regard to lowly things, but lofty things He knoweth from afar;" [344] He seeth the proud afar off, and He is the less near to them the higher they appear to themselves to be. Didst thou seek a mountain, then? Come down, that thou mayest come near Him. But wouldest thou ascend? Ascend, but do not seek a mountain. "The ascents," it saith, "are in his heart, in the valley of weeping." [345] The valley is humility. Therefore do all within. Even if perhaps thou seekest some lofty place, some holy place, make thyself a temple for God within time. "For the temple of God is holy, which temple are ye." [346] Wouldest thou pray in a temple? Pray in thyself. But be thou first a temple of God, for He in His temple heareth him that prays.

26. "The hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth. We worship that which we know: ye worship ye know not what; for salvation is of the Jews." A great thing has He attributed to the Jews; but do not understand Him to mean those spurious Jews. Understand that wall to which another is joined, that they may be joined together, resting on the corner-stone, which is Christ. For there is one wall from the Jews, another from the Gentiles; these walls are far apart, only until they are united in the Corner. Now the aliens were strangers and foreigners from the covenants of God. [347] According to this, it is said, "We worship what we know." It is said, indeed, in the person of the Jews, but not of all Jews, not of reprobate Jews, but of such as were the apostles, as were the prophets, as were all those saints who sold all their goods, and laid the price of their goods at the apostles' feet. "For God hath not rejected His people which He foreknew." [348]

27. The woman heard this, and proceeded. She had already called Him a prophet; she observes that He with whom she was speaking uttered such things as still more pertained to the prophet; and what answer did she make? See: "The woman saith unto Him, I know that Messias will come, who is called Christ: when He then is come, He will show us all things." What is this? Just now she saith, The Jews are contending for the temple, and we for this mountain: when He has come, He will despise the mountain, and overthrow the temple; He will teach us all things, that we may know how to worship in spirit and in truth. She knew who could teach her, but she did not yet know Him that was now teaching her. But now she was worthy to receive the manifestation of Him. Now Messias is Anointed: Anointed, in Greek, is Christ; in Hebrew, Messias; whence also, in Punic, Messe means Anoint. For the Hebrew, Punic and Syriac are cognate and neighboring languages.

28. Then, "The woman saith unto Him, I know that Messias will come, who is called Christ: when He then is come, He will tell us all things. Jesus saith unto her, I that speak with thee am He." She called her husband; he is made the head of the woman, and Christ is made the head of the man. Now is the woman constituted in faith, and ruled, as about to live rightly. After she heard this, "I that speak with thee am He," what further could she say, when the Lord Jesus willed to manifest Himself to the woman, to whom He had said, "Believe me?"

29. "And immediately came His disciples, and marvelled that He talked with the woman." That He was seeking her that was lost, He who came to seek that which was lost: they marvelled at this. They marvelled at a good thing, they were not suspecting an evil thing. "Yet no man said, What seekest Thou, or why talkest Thou with her?"

30. "The woman then left her water-pot." Having heard, "I that speak with thee am He," and having received Christ the Lord into her heart, what could she do but now leave her water-pot, and run to preach the gospel? She cast out lust, and hastened to proclaim the truth. Let them who would preach the gospel learn; let them throw away their water-pot at the well. You remember what I said before of the water-pot: it was a vessel with which the water was drawn, called hydria, from its Greek name, because water is hydor in Greek; just as if it were called aquarium, from the Latin. She threw away her water-pot then, which was no longer of use, but a burden to her, such was her avidity to be satisfied with that water. Throwing her burden away, to make known Christ, "she ran to the city, and says to those men, Come, and see a man that told me all things that ever I did." Step by step, lest those men should get angry and indignant, and should persecute her. "Is this Christ? Then they went out of the city, and came to Him."

31. "And in the meanwhile His disciples besought Him, saying, Master, eat." For they had gone to buy meat, and had returned. "But He said, I have meat to eat which ye know not of. Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought Him aught to eat?" What wonder if that woman did not understand about the water? See; the disciples do not yet understand the meat. But He heard their thoughts, and now as a master instructs them, not in a round-about way, as He did the woman while He still sought her husband, but openly at once: "My meat," saith He, "is to do the will of Him that sent me." Therefore, in the case of that woman, it was even His drink to do the will of Him that sent Him. That was the reason why He said, "I thirst, give me to drink;" namely, to work faith in her, and to drink of her faith, and to transplant her into His own body, for His body is the Church. Therefore He saith, "My meat is to do the will of Him that sent me."

32. "Say ye not, that there are yet four months, and then cometh harvest?" He was aglow for the work, and was arranging to send forth laborers. You count four months to the harvest; I show you another harvest, white and ready. Behold, I say unto you, "Lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are already white for the harvest." Therefore He is going to send forth the reapers. "For in this is the saying true, that one reapeth, another soweth: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together. I have sent you to reap that on which ye have not labored: others have labored, and ye are entered into their labor." What then? He sent reapers; sent He not the sowers? Whither the reapers? Where others labored already. For where labor had already been bestowed, surely there had been sowing; and what had been sown had now become ripe, and required the sickle and the threshing. Whither, then, were the reapers to be sent? Where the prophets had already preached before; for they were the sowers. For had they not been the sowers, whence had this come to the woman, "I know that Messias will come"? That woman was now ripened fruit, and the harvest fields were white, and sought the sickle. "I sent you," then. Whither? "To reap what ye have not sown: others sowed, and ye are entered into their labors." Who labored? Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Read their labors; in all their labors there is a prophecy of Christ, and for that reason they were sowers. Moses, and all the other patriarchs, and all the prophets, how much they suffered in that cold season when they sowed! Therefore was the harvest now ready in Judea. Justly was the corn there said to be as it were ripe, when so many thousands of men brought the price of their goods, and, laying them at the apostles' feet, having eased their shoulders of this worldly baggage, began to follow the Lord Christ. Verily the harvest was ripe. What was made of it? Of that harvest a few grains were thrown out, and sowed the whole world; and another harvest is rising which is to be reaped in the end of the world. Of that harvest it is said, "They that sow in tears shall reap with joy." [349] But to that harvest not apostles, but angels, shall be sent forth. "The reapers," saith He, "are the angels." [350] That harvest, then, is growing among tares, and is awaiting to be purged in the end of the world. But that harvest to which the disciples were sent first, where the prophets labored, was already ripe. But yet, brethren, observe what was said: "may rejoice together, both he that soweth and he that reapeth." They had dissimilar labors in time, but the rejoicing they shall enjoy alike equally; they shall receive for their wages together eternal life.

33. "And many Samaritans of that city believed on Him, because of the saying of the woman, who testified, He told me all that ever I did. And when the Samaritans came to Him, they besought Him that He would tarry with them; and He tarried there two days. And many more believed because of His word; and said to the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy words; for we have heard Him ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Saviour of the world." This also must be slightly noticed, for the lesson is come to an end. The woman first announced Him, and the Samaritans believed her testimony; and they besought Him to stay with them, and He stayed there two days, and many more believed. And when they had believed, they said to the woman, "Now we believe, not because of thy word; but we are come to know Him ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Saviour of the world:" first by report, then by His presence. So it is to-day with them that are without, and are not yet Christians. Christ is made known to them by Christian friends; and just upon the report of that woman, that is, the Church, they come to Christ, they believe through this report. He stays with them two days, that is, gives them two precepts of charity; and many more believe, and more firmly believe, on Him, because He is in truth the Saviour of the world.

Footnotes

[329] Eph. v. 25-27. [330] Matt. xxiii. 37. [331] Ps. cxxx. 1. [332] Luke xvii. 17. [333] Ps. lxv. 4. [334] Ps. xxxvi. 9, 10. [335] Matt. xi. 28. [336] 1 Cor. xiv. 34. [337] Luke x. 40. [338] 1 Cor. xi. 3. [339] Luke iv. 24. [340] Deut. xviii. 18. [341] Cant. iv. 8, LXX. [342] Isa. vii. 9, LXX. [343] Ps. xxxiv. 18. [344] Ps. cxxxviii. 6. [345] Ps. lxxxiv. 6. [346] 1 Cor. iii. 17. [347] Eph. ii. 11-22. [348] Rom. xi. 2. [349] Ps. cxxvi. 5. [350] Matt. xiii. 39. .


Tractate XVI.

Chapter IV. 43-54

1. The Gospel Lesson of to-day follows that of yesterday, and this is the subject of our discourse. In this passage the meaning, indeed, is not difficult of investigation, but worthy of preaching, worthy of admiration and praise. Accordingly, in reciting this passage of the Gospel, we must commend it to your attention, rather than laboriously expound it.

Now Jesus, after His stay of two days in Samaria, "departed into Galilee," where He was brought up. And the evangelist, as he goes on, says, "For Jesus Himself testified that a prophet hath no honor in his own country." It was not because He had no honor in Samaria that Jesus departed thence after two days; for Samaria was not His own country, but Galilee. Whilst, therefore, He left Samaria so quickly, and came to Galilee, where He had been brought up, how does He testify that "a prophet hath no honor in his own country"? Rather does it seem that He might have testified that a prophet has no honor in his own country, had He disdained to go into Galilee, and had stayed in Samaria.

2. Now mark well, beloved, while the Lord suggests and bestows what I may speak, that here is intimated to us no slight mystery. You know the question before us; seek ye out the solution of it. But, to make the solution desirable, let us repeat the theme. The point that troubles us is, why the evangelist said, "For Jesus Himself testified that a prophet hath no honor in his own country." Urged by this, we go back to the preceding words, to discover the evangelist's intention in saying this; and we find him relating, in the preceding words of the narrative, that after two days Jesus departed from Samaria into Galilee. Was it for this, then, thou saidst, O evangelist, that Jesus testified that a prophet hath no honor in his own country, just because He left Samaria after two days, and made haste to come to Galilee? On the contrary, I should have thought it more likely, that if Jesus had no honor in His own country, He should not have hastened to it, and left Samaria. But if I am not mistaken, or rather, because it is true, and I am not mistaken; for the evangelist saw what he was saying better than I can see it, saw the truth better than I do, he who drank it in from the Lord's bosom: for the evangelist is the same John who, among all the disciples, reclined on the Lord's breast, and whom the Lord, owing love to all, yet loved above the rest. Is it he, then, that should be mistaken, and I right in my opinion? Rather, if I am piously-minded, let me obediently hear what he said, that I may be worthy of thinking as he thought.

3. Hear then, dearly beloved, what I think in this matter, without prejudice to your own judgment, if you have formed a better. For we have all one Master, and we are fellow-disciples in one school. This, then, is my opinion, and see whether my opinion is not true, or near the truth. In Samaria He spent two days, and the Samaritans believed on Him; many were the days He spent in Galilee, and yet the Galileans did not believe on Him. Look back to the passage, or recall in memory the lesson and the discourse of yesterday. He came into Samaria, where at first He had been preached by that woman with whom He had spoken great mysteries at Jacob's well. After they had seen and heard Him, the Samaritans believed on Him because of the woman's word, and believed more firmly because of His own word, even many more believed: thus it is written. After passing two days there (in which number of days is mystically indicated the number of the two precepts on which hang the whole law and the prophets, as you remember we intimated to you yesterday), He goes into Galilee, and comes to the city Cana of Galilee, where He made the water wine. And there, when He turned the water into wine, as John himself writes, His disciples believed on Him; but, of course, the house was full with a crowd of guests. So great a miracle was wrought, and yet only His disciples believed on Him. He has now returned to this city of Galilee. "And, behold, a certain ruler, whose son was sick, came to Him, and began to beseech Him to go down" to that city or house, "and heal his son; for he was at the point of death." Did he who besought not believe? What dost thou expect to hear from me? Ask the Lord what He thought of him. Having been besought, this is what He answered: "Except ye see signs and wonders, ye believe not." He shows us a man lukewarm, or cold in faith, or of no faith at all; but eager to try by the healing of his son what manner of person Christ was, who He was, what He could do. The words of the suppliant, indeed, we have heard: we have not seen the heart of the doubter; but He who both heard the words and saw the heart has told us this. In short, the evangelist himself, by the testimony of his narrative, shows us that the man who desired the Lord to come to his house to heal his son, had not yet believed. For after he had been informed that his son was whole, and found that he had been made whole at that hour in which the Lord had said, "Go thy way, thy son liveth;" then he saith, "And himself believed, and all his house." Now, if the reason why he believed, and all his house, was that he was told that his son was whole, and found the hour they told him agreed with the hour of Christ's foretelling it, it follows that when he was making the request he did not yet believe. The Samaritans had waited for no sign, they believed simply His word; but His own fellow-citizens deserved to hear this said to them, "Except ye see signs and wonders, ye believe not;" and even there, notwithstanding so great a miracle was wrought, there did not believe but "himself and his house." At His discourse alone many of the Samaritans believed; at that miracle, in the place where it was wrought, only that house believed. What is it, then, brethren, that the Lord doth show us here? Galilee of Judea was then the Lord's own country, because He was brought up in it. But now that the circumstance portends something,--for it is not without cause that "prodigies" are so called, but because they portend or presage something: for the word "prodigy" is so termed as if it were porrodicium, quod porro dicat, what betokens something to come, and portends something future,--now all those circumstances portended something, predicted something; let us just now assume the country of our Lord Jesus Christ after the flesh (for He had no country on earth, except after the flesh which He took on earth); let us, I say, assume the Lord's own country to mean the people of the Jews. Lo, in His own country He hath no honor. Observe at this moment the multitudes of the Jews; observe that nation now scattered over the whole world, and plucked up by the roots; observe the broken branches, cut off, scattered, withered, which being broken off, the wild olive has deserved to be grafted in; look at the multitude of the Jews: what do they say to us even now? "He whom you worship and adore was our brother." And we reply, "A prophet hath no honor in his own country." In short, those Jews saw the Lord as He walked on the earth and worked miracles; they saw Him giving sight to the blind, opening the ears of the deaf, loosing the tongues of the dumb, bracing up the limbs of the paralytics, walking on the sea, commanding the winds and waves, raising the dead: they saw Him working such great signs, and after all that scarcely a few believed. I am speaking to God's people; so many of us have believed, what signs have we seen? It is thus, therefore, that what occurred at that time betokened what is now going on. The Jews were, or rather are, like the Galileans; we, like those Samaritans. We have heard the gospel, have given it our consent, have believed on Christ through the gospel; we have seen no signs, none do we demand.

4. For, though one of the chosen and holy twelve, yet he was an Israelite, of the Lord's nation, that Thomas who desired to put his fingers into the places of the wounds. The Lord censured him just as He did this ruler. To the ruler He said, "Except ye see signs and wonders, ye believe not;" and to Thomas He said, "Because thou hast seen, thou hast believed." He had come to the Galileans after the Samaritans, who had believed His word, before whom He wrought no miracles, whom He without anxiety quickly left, strong in faith, because by the presence of His divinity He had not left them. Now, then, when the Lord said to Thomas, "Come, reach hither thy hand, and be not faithless, but believing;" and he, having touched the places of the wounds, exclaimed, and said, "My Lord, and my God;" he is chided, and has it said to him, "Because thou hast seen, thou hast believed." Why, but "because a prophet has no honor in his own country?" But since this Prophet has honor among strangers, what follows? "Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed." [351] We are the persons here foretold; and that which the Lord by anticipation praised, He has deigned to fulfill even in us. They saw Him, who crucified Him, and touched Him with their hands, and thus a few believed; we have not seen nor handled Him, we have heard and believed. May it be our lot, that the blessedness which He has promised may be made good in us: both here, because we have been preferred to His own country; and in the world to come, because we have been grafted in instead of the branches that were broken off!

5. For He showed that He would break off these branches, and ingraft this wild olive, when moved by the faith of the centurion, who said to Him, "I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof; but only speak the word, and my child shall be healed: for I also am a man put under authority, having soldiers under me; and I say to one, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. Jesus turned to those who followed Him, and said, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith in Israel." Why not found so great faith in Israel? "Because a prophet has no honor in his own country." Could not the Lord have said to that centurion, what He said to this ruler, "Go, thy child liveth?" See the distinction: this ruler desired the Lord to come down to his house; that centurion declared himself to be unworthy. To the one it was said, "I will come and heal him;" to the other, "Go, thy son liveth." To the one He promised His presence; the other He healed by His word. The ruler sought His presence by force; the centurion declared himself unworthy of His presence. Here is a ceding to loftiness; there, a conceding to humility. As if He said to the ruler, "Go, thy son liveth;" do not weary me. "Except ye see signs and wonders, ye believe not;" thou desirest my presence in thy house, I am able to command by a word; do not wish to believe in virtue of signs: the centurion, an alien, believed me able to work by a word, and believed before I did it; you, "except ye see signs and wonders, believe not." Therefore, if it be so, let them be broken off as proud branches, and let the humble wild olive be grafted; nevertheless let the root remain, while those are cut off and these received in their place. Where does the root remain? In the patriarchs. For the people Israel is Christ's own country, since it is of them that He came according to the flesh; but the root of this tree is Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the holy patriarchs. And where are they? In rest with God, in great honor; so that it was into Abraham's bosom that the poor man, on being promoted, was raised after his departure from the body, and in Abraham's bosom was he seen from afar off by the proud rich man. Wherefore the root remains, the root is praised; but the proud branches deserved to be cut off, and to wither away; and by their cutting off, the humble wild olive has found a place.

6. Hear now how the natural branches are cut off, how the wild olive is grafted in, by means of the centurion himself, whom I have thought proper to mention for the sake of comparison with this ruler. "Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith in Israel; therefore I say unto you, that many shall come from the east and from the west." How widely the wild olive took possession of the earth! This world was a bitter forest; but because of the humility, because of this "I am not worthy--many shall come from the east and from the west." And grant that they come, what shall become of them? For if they come, they are cut off from the forest; where are they to be ingrafted, that they may not wither? "And shall sit down," saith He, "with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob." At what banquet, in case thou dost not invite to ever living, but to much drinking? Where, "shall sit down? In the kingdom of heaven." And how will it be with them who came of the stock of Abraham? What will become of the branches with which the tree was full? What but to be cut off, that these may be grafted in? Show us that they shall be cut off: "But the children of the kingdom shall go into outer darkness." [352]

7. Therefore let the Prophet have honor among us, because He had no honor in His own country. He had no honor in His country, wherein He was formed; let Him have honor in the country which He has formed. For in that country was He, the Maker of all, made as to the form of a servant. For that city in which He was made, that Zion, that nation of the Jews He Himself made when He was with the Father as the Word of God: for "all things were made by Him, and without Him was nothing made." Of that man we have to-day heard it said: "One Mediator of God and men, the man Christ Jesus." [353] The Psalms also foretold, saying, "My mother is Sion, shall a man say." A certain man, the Mediator man between God and men, says, "My mother Sion." Why says, "My mother is Sion"? Because from it He took flesh, from it was the Virgin Mary, of whose womb He took upon Him the form of a servant; in which He deigned to appear most humble. "My mother is Sion," saith a man; and this man, who says, "My mother is Sion," was made in her, became man in her. For He was God before her, and became man in her. He who was made man in her, "Himself did found her; the Most High [354] was made man in her most low." Because "the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us." "He Himself, the Most High, founded her." Now, because He founded this country, here let Him have honor. The country in which He was born rejected Him; let that country receive Him which He regenerated.

Footnotes

[351] John xx. 29. [352] Matt. viii. 5-12. [353] 1 Tim. ii. 5. [354] Ps. lxxxiv. 7. .


Tractate XVII.

Chapter IV. 1-18

1. It ought not to be a matter of wonder that a miracle was wrought by God; the wonder would be if man had wrought it. Rather ought we to rejoice than wonder that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ was made man, than that He performed divine works among men. It is of greater importance to our salvation what He was made for men, than what He did among men: it is more important that He healed the faults of souls, than that He healed the weaknesses of mortal bodies. But as the soul knew not Him by whom it was to be healed, and had eyes in the flesh whereby to see corporeal deeds, but had not yet sound eyes in the heart with which to recognise Him as God concealed in the flesh, He wrought what the soul was able to see, in order to heal that by which it was not able to see.

He entered a place where lay a great multitude of sick folk--of blind, lame, withered; and being the physician both of souls and bodies, and having come to heal all the souls of them that should believe, of those sick folk He chose one for healing, thereby to signify unity. If in doing this we regard Him with a commonplace mind, with the mere human understanding and wit, as regards power it was not a great matter that He performed; and also as regards goodness He performed too little. There lay so many there, and yet only one was healed, whilst He could by a word have raised them all up. What, then, must we understand but that the power and the goodness was doing what souls might, by His deeds, understand for their everlasting salvation, than what bodies might gain for temporal health? For that which is the real health of bodies, and which is looked for from the Lord, will be at the end, in the resurrection of the dead. What shall live then shall no more die; what shall be healed shall no more be sick; what shall be satisfied shall no more hunger and thirst; what shall be made new shall not grow old. But at this time, however, the eyes of the blind, that were opened by those acts of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, were again closed in death; and limbs of the paralytics that received strength were loosened again in death; and whatever was for a time made whole in mortal limbs came to nought in the end: but the soul that believed passed to eternal life. Accordingly, to the soul that should believe, whose sins He had come to forgive, to the healing of whose ailments He had humbled Himself, He gave a significant proof by the healing of this impotent man. Of the profound mystery of this thing and this proof, so far as the Lord deigns to grant us, while you are attentive and aiding our weakness by prayer, I will speak as I shall have ability. And whatever I am not able to do, that will be supplied to you by Him by whose help I do what I can.

2. Of this pool, which was surrounded with five porches, in which lay a great multitude of sick folk, I remember that I have very often treated; and most of you will with me recollect what I am about to say, rather than gain the knowledge of it for the first time. But it is by no means unprofitable to go back upon matters already known, that both they who know not may be instructed, and they who do know may be confirmed. Therefore, as being already known, these things must be touched upon briefly, not leisurely inculcated. That pool and that water seem to me to have signified the Jewish people. For that peoples are signified under the name of waters the Apocalypse of John clearly indicates to us, where, after he had been shown many waters, and he had asked what they were, was answered that they were peoples. [355] That water, then--namely, that people--was shut in by the five books of Moses, as by five porches. But those books brought forth the sick, not healed them. For the law convicted, not acquitted sinners. Accordingly the letter, without grace, made men guilty, whom on confessing grace delivered. For this is what the apostle saith: "For if a law had been given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law." Why, then, was the law given? He goes on to say, "But the Scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe." [356] What more evident? Have not these words expounded to us both the five porches, and also the multitude of sick folk? The five porches are the law. Why did not the five porches heal the sick folk? Because, "if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law." Why, then, did the porches contain those whom they did not heal? Because "the Scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe."

3. What was done, then, that they who could not be healed in the porches might be healed in that water after being troubled? For on a sudden the water was seen troubled, and that by which it was troubled was not seen. Thou mayest believe that this was wont to be done by angelic virtue, yet not without some mystery being implied. After the water was troubled, the one who was able cast himself in, and he alone was healed: whoever went in after that one, did so in vain. What, then, is meant by this, unless it be that there came one, even Christ, to the Jewish people; and by doing great things, by teaching profitable things, troubled sinners, troubled the water by His presence, and roused it towards His own death? But He was hidden that troubled. For had they known Him, they would never have crucified the Lord of glory. [357] Wherefore, to go down into the troubled water means to believe in the Lord's death. There only one was healed, signifying unity: whoever came thereafter was not healed, because whoever shall be outside unity cannot be healed.

4. Now let us see what He intended to signify in the case of that one whom He Himself, keeping the mystery of unity, as I said before, deigned to heal out of so many sick folk. He found in the number of this man's years the number, so to speak, of infirmity: "He was thirty and eight years in infirmity." How this number refers more to weakness than to health must be somewhat more carefully expounded. I wish you to be attentive; the Lord will aid us, so that I may fitly speak, and that you may sufficiently hear. The number forty is commended to our attention as one consecrated by a kind of perfection. This, I suppose, is well known to you, beloved. The Holy Scriptures very often testify to the fact. Fasting was consecrated by this number, as you are well aware. For Moses fasted forty days, and Elias as many; and our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ did Himself fulfill this number of fasting. By Moses is signified the law; by Elias, the prophets; by the Lord, the gospel. It was for this reason that these three appeared on that mountain, where He showed Himself to His disciples in the brightness of His countenance and vesture. For He appeared in the middle, between Moses and Elias, as the gospel had witness from the law and the prophets. [358] Whether, therefore, in the law, or in the prophets, or in the gospel, the number forty is commended to our attention in the case of fasting. Now fasting, in its large and general sense, is to abstain from the iniquities and unlawful pleasures of the world, which is perfect fasting: "That, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we may live temperately, and righteously, and godly in this present world." What reward does the apostle join to this fast? He goes on to say: "Looking for that blessed hope, and the appearing of the glory of the blessed God, and our Saviour Jesus Christ." [359] In this world, then, we celebrate, as it were, the forty days' abstinence, when we live aright, and abstain from iniquities and from unlawful pleasures. But because this abstinence shall not be without reward, we look for "that blessed hope, and the revelation of the glory of the great God, and of our Saviour Jesus Christ." In that hope, when the reality of the hope shall have come to pass, we shall receive our wages, a penny (denarius). For the same is the wages given to the workers laboring in the vineyard, [360] as I presume you remember; for we are not to repeat everything, as if to persons wholly ignorant and inexperienced. A denarius, then, which takes its name from the number ten, is given, and this joined with the forty makes up fifty; whence it is that before Easter we keep the Quadragesima with labor, but after Easter we keep the Quinquagesima with joy, as having received our wages. Now to this, as if to the wholesome labor of a good work, which belongs to the number forty, there is added the denarius of rest and happiness, that it may be made the number fifty.

5. The Lord Jesus Himself showed this also far more openly, when He companied on earth with His disciples during forty days after His resurrection; and having on the fortieth day ascended into heaven, did at the end of ten days send the wages, the Holy Ghost. These were done in signs, and by a kind of signs were the very realities anticipated. By significant tokens are we fed, that we may be able to come to the enduring realities. We are workmen, and are still laboring in the vineyard: when the day is ended and the work finished, the wages will be paid. But what workman can hold out to the receiving of the wages, unless he be fed while he labors? Even thou thyself wilt not give thy workman only wages; wilt thou not also bestow on him that where with he may repair his strength in his labor? Surely thou feedest him to whom thou art to give wages. In like manner also doth the Lord, in those significant tokens of the Scriptures, feed us while we labor. For if that joy in understanding holy mysteries be withdrawn from us, we faint in labor, and there will be none to come to the reward.

6. How, then, is work perfected in the number forty? The reason, it may be, is, because the law was given in ten precepts, and was to be preached throughout the whole world: which whole world, we are to mark, is made up of four quarters, east and west, south and north, whence the number ten, multiplied by four, comes to forty. Or, it may be, because the law is fulfilled by the gospel, which has four books: for in the gospel it is said, "I came not to destroy the law, but to fulfill it." Whether, then, it be for this reason or for that, or for some other more probable, which is hid from us, but not from more learned men; certain it is, however, that in the number forty a certain perfection in good works is signified, which good works are most of all practised by a kind of abstinence from unlawful lusts of the world, that is, by fasting in the general sense.

Hear also the apostle when he says, "Love is the fulfilling of the law." [361] Whence the love? By the grace of God, by the Holy Spirit. For we could not have it from ourselves, as if making it for ourselves. It is the gift of God, and a great gift it is: for, saith he, "the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, which is given to us." [362] Wherefore love completes the law, and most truly it is said, "Love is the perfecting of the law." Let us inquire as to this love, in what manner the Lord doth commend it to our consideration. Remember what I laid down: I want to explain the number thirty-eight of the years of that impotent man, why that number thirty-eight is one of weakness rather than of health. Now, as I was saying, love fulfills the law. The number forty belongs to the perfecting of the law in all works; but in love two precepts are committed to our keeping. Keep before your eyes, I beseech you, and fix in your memory, what I say; be ye not despisers of the word, that your soul may not become a trodden path, where the seed cast cannot sprout, "and the fowls of the air will come and gather it up." Apprehend it, and lay it up in your hearts. The precepts of love, given to us by the Lord, are two: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind;" and, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." [363] With good reason did the widow cast "two mites," all her substance, into the offerings of God: with good reason did the host take "two" pieces of money, for the poor man that was wounded by the robbers, for his making whole: with good reason did Jesus spent two days with the Samaritans, to establish them in love. Thus, whilst a certain good thing is generally signified by this number two, most especially is love in its twofold character set forth to us thereby. If, therefore, the number forty possesses the perfecting of the law, and the law is fulfilled only in the twin precepts of love, why dost thou wonder that he was weak and sick, who was short of forty by two?

7. Therefore let us now see the sacred mystery whereby this impotent man is healed by the Lord. The Lord Himself came, the Teacher of love, full of love, "shortening," as it was predicted of Him, "the word upon the earth," [364] and showed that the law and the prophets hang on two precepts of love. Upon these hung Moses with his number forty, upon these Elias with his; and the Lord brought in this number in His testimony. This impotent man is healed by the Lord in person; but before healing him, what does He say to him? "Wilt thou be made whole?" The man answered that he had not a man to put him into the pool. Truly he had need of a "man" to his healing, but that "man" one who is also God. "For there is one God, and one Mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus." [365] He came, then, the Man who was needed: why should the healing be delayed? "Arise," saith He; "take up thy bed, and walk." He said three things: "Arise, Take up thy bed, and Walk." But that "Arise" was not a command to do a work, but the operation of healing. And the man, on being made whole, received two commands: "Take up thy bed, and Walk." I ask you, why was it not enough to say, "Walk?" Or, at any rate, why was it not enough to say, "Arise"? For when the man had arisen whole, he would not have remained in the place. Would it not be for the purpose of going away that he would have arisen? My impression is, that He who found the man lacking two things, gave him these two precepts: for, by ordering him to do two things, it is as if He filled up that which was lacking.

8. How, then, do we find the two precepts of love indicated in these two commands of the Lord? "Take up thy bed," saith He, "and walk." What the two precepts are, my brethren, recollect with me. For they ought to be thoroughly familiar to you, and not merely to come into your mind when they are recited by us, but they ought never to be blotted out from your hearts. Let it ever be your supreme thought, that you must love God and your neighbor: "God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself." These must always be pondered, meditated, retained, practised, and fulfilled. The love of God comes first in the order of enjoying; but in the order of doing, the love of our neighbor comes first. For He who commanded thee this love in two precepts did not charge thee to love thy neighbor first, and then God, but first God, afterwards thy neighbor. Thou however, as thou dost not yet see God dost earn to see Him by loving thy neighbor; by loving thy neighbor thou purgest thine eye for seeing God, as John evidently says, "If thou lovest not thy brother whom thou seest, how canst thou love God, whom thou dost not see?" [366] See, thou art told, "Love God." If thou say to me, "Show me Him, that I may love Him;" what shall I answer, but what the same John saith: "No man hath seen God at any time"? And, that you may not suppose yourself to be wholly estranged from seeing God, he saith, "God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God." [367] Therefore love thy neighbor; look at the source of thy love of thy neighbor; there thou wilt see, as thou mayest, God. Begin, then, to love thy neighbor. "Break thy bread to the hungry, and bring into thy house him that is needy without shelter; if thou seest the naked, clothe him; and despise not those of the household of thy seed." And in doing this, what wilt thou get in consequence? "Then shall thy light break forth as the morning light." [368] Thy light is thy God, a "morning light" to thee, because He shall come to thee after the night of this world: for He neither rises nor sets, because He is ever abiding. He will be a morning light to thee on thy return, He who had set for thee on thy falling away from Him. Therefore, in this "Take up thy bed," He seems to me to have said, Love thy neighbor.

9. But why the love of our neighbor is set forth by the taking up of the bed, is still shut up, and, as I suppose, needs to be expounded: unless, perhaps, it offend us that our neighbor should be indicated by means of a bed, a stolid, senseless thing. Let not my neighbor be angry if he be set forth to us by a thing without soul and without feeling. The Lord Himself, even our Saviour Jesus Christ, is called the corner-stone, to build up two in Himself. He is called also a rock, from which water flowed forth: "And that rock was Christ." [369] What wonder, then, if Christ is called rock, that neighbor is called wood? Yet not any kind of wood whatever; as neither that was any kind of rock soever, but one from which water flowed to the thirsty; nor any kind soever of stone, but a corner-stone, which in itself coupled two walls coming from different directions. So neither mayest thou take thy neighbor to be wood of any kind soever, but a bed. Then what is there in a bed, pray? What, but that the impotent man was borne on it; but, when made whole, he carries the bed? What does the apostle say? "Bear ye one another's burdens, and so shall ye fulfill the law of Christ." [370] Now the law of Christ is love, and love is not fulfilled except we bear one another's burdens. "Forbearing," saith he, "one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." [371] When thou wast weak thy neighbor bore thee: thou art made whole, bear thy neighbor. So wilt thou fill up, O man, that which was lacking to thee. "Take up thy bed, then." But when thou hast taken it up, stay not in the place; "walk." By loving thy neighbor, by caring for thy neighbor, dost thou perform thy going. Whither goest thy way, but to the Lord God, whom we ought to love with the whole heart, and with the whole soul, and with the whole mind? For we are not yet come to the Lord, but we have our neighbor with us. Bear him, then, when thou walkest, that thou mayest come to Him with whom thou desirest to abide. Therefore, "take up thy bed, and walk."

10. The man did this, and the Jews were offended. For they saw a man carrying his bed on the Sabbath-day, and they did not blame the Lord for healing him on the Sabbath, that He should be able to answer them, that if any of them had a beast fallen into a well, he would surely draw it out on the Sabbath-day, and save his beast; and so, now they did not object to Him that a man was made whole on the Sabbath-day, but that the man was carrying his bed. But if the healing was not to be deferred, should a work also have been commanded? "It is not lawful for thee," say they, to do what thou art doing, "to take up thy bed." And he, in defence, put the author of his healing before his censors, saying, "He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed, and walk." Should I not take injunction from him from whom I received healing? And they said, "Who is the man that said unto thee, Take up thy bed, and walk?"

11. "But he that was made whole knew not who it was" that had said this to him. "For Jesus," when He had done this, and given him this order, "turned away from him in the crowd." See how this also is fulfilled. We bear our neighbor, and walk towards God; but Him, to whom we are walking, we do not yet see: for that reason also, that man did not yet know Jesus. The mystery herein intimated to us is, that we believe on Him whom we do not yet see; and that He may not be seen, He turns aside in the crowd. It is difficult in a crowd to see Christ: a certain solitude is necessary for our mind; it is by a certain solitude of contemplation that God is seen. A crowd has noise; this seeing requires secrecy. "Take up thy bed"--being thyself borne, bear thy neighbor; "and walk," that thou mayest come to the goal. Do not seek Christ in a crowd: He is not as one of a crowd; He excels all crowd. That great fish first ascended from the sea, and He sits in heaven making intercession for us: as the great high priest He entered alone into that within the veil; the crowd stands without. Do thou walk, bearing thy neighbor: if thou hast learned to bear, thou, who wast wont to be borne. In a word, even now as yet thou knowest not Jesus, not yet seest Jesus: what follows thereafter? Since that man desisted not from taking up his bed and walking, "Jesus seeth him afterwards in the temple." He did not see Jesus in the crowd, he saw Him in the temple. The Lord Jesus, indeed, saw him both in the crowd and in the temple; but the impotent man does not know Jesus in the crowd, but he knows Him in the temple. The man came then to the Lord: saw Him in the temple, saw Him in a consecrated, saw Him in a holy place. And what does the Lord say to him? "Behold, thou art made whole; sin no more, lest some worse thing befall thee."

12. The man, then, after he saw Jesus, and knew Him to be the author of his healing, was not slothful in preaching Him whom he had seen: "He departed, and told the Jews that it was Jesus that had made him whole." He brought them word, and they were mad against him; he preached his own salvation, they sought not their own salvation.

13. The Jews persecuted the Lord Jesus because He did these things on the Sabbath-day. Let us hear what answer the Lord now made to the Jews. I have told you how He is wont to answer concerning the healing of men on the Sabbath-day, that they used not on the Sabbath-day to slight their cattle, either in delivering or in feeding them. What does He answer concerning the carrying of the bed? A manifest corporal work was done before the eyes of the Jews; not a healing of the body, but a bodily work, which appeared not so necessary as the healing. Let the Lord, then, openly declare that the sacrament of the Sabbath, even the sign of keeping one day, was given to the Jews for a time, but that the fulfillment of the sacrament had come in Himself. "My Father," saith He, "worketh hitherto, and I work." He sent a great commotion among them: the water is troubled by the coming of the Lord, but yet He that troubles is not seen. Yet one great sick one is to be healed by the troubled water, the whole world by the death of the Lord.

14. Let us see, then, the answer made by the Truth: "My Father worketh hitherto, and I work." Is it false, then, which the Scripture has said, that "God rested from all His works on the seventh day"? And does the Lord Jesus speak contrary to this Scripture ministered by Moses, whilst He Himself says to the Jews, "If ye believed Moses, ye would believe me; for He wrote of me"? See, then, whether Moses did not mean it to be significant of something that "God rested on the seventh day." For God had not become wearied in doing the work of His own creation, and needed rest as a man. How can He have been wearied, who made by a word? Yet is both that true, that "God rested from His works on the seventh day;" and this also is true that Jesus saith, "My Father worketh hitherto." But who can unfold it in words, man to men, weak to weak, unlearned to them that seek to learn; and if he chance to understand somewhat, unable to bring it forth and unfold it to men, who with difficulty, it may be, receive it, even if what is received can possibly be unfolded? Who, I say, my brethren, can unfold in words how God both works while at rest, and rests while working? I pray you to put this matter off while you are advancing on the way; for this seeing requires the temple of God, requires the holy place. Bear your neighbor, and walk. Ye shall see Him in that place where ye shall not require the words of men.

15. Perhaps we can more appropriately say this, that in the saying, "God rested on the seventh day," he signified by a great mystery the Lord and our Saviour Jesus Christ Himself, who spoke and said, "My Father worketh hitherto, and I work." For the Lord Jesus is, of course, God. For He is the Word of God, and you have heard that "in the begin ning was the Word;" and not any word whatsoever, but "the Word was God, and all things were made by Him." He was perhaps signified as about to rest on the seventh day from all His works. For, read the Gospel, and see what great works Jesus wrought. He wrought our salvation on the cross, that all things foretold by the prophets might be fulfilled in Him. He was crowned with thorns; He hung on the tree; said, "I thirst," received vinegar on a sponge, that it might be fulfilled which was said, "And in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink." [372] And when all His works were completed, on the sixth day of the week, He bowed His head and gave up the ghost, and on the Sabbath-day He rested in the tomb from all His works. Therefore it is as if He said to the Jews, "Why do ye expect that I should not work on the Sabbath? The Sabbath-day was ordained for you for a sign of me. You observe the works of God: I was there when they were made, by me were they all made; I know them. `My Father worketh hitherto.' The Father made the light, but He spoke that there should be light; if He spoke, it was by His Word He made it: His Word I was, I am; by me was the world made in those works, by me the world is ruled in these works. My Father worked when He made the world, and hitherto now worketh while He rules the world: therefore by me He made when He made, and by me He rules while He rules." This He said, but to whom? To men deaf, blind, lame, impotent, not acknowledging the physician, and as if in a frenzy they had lost their wits, wishing to slay Him.

16. Further, what said the evangelist as he went on? "Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but said also that God was His Father;" not in any ordinary manner, but how? "Making Himself equal with God." For we all say to God, "Our Father which art in heaven;" we read also that the Jews said, "Seeing Thou art our Father." [373] Therefore it was not for this they were angry, because He said that God was His Father, but because He said it in quite another way than men do. Behold, the Jews understand what the Arians do not understand. The Arians, in fact, say that the Son is not equal with the Father, and hence it is that the heresy was driven from the Church. Lo, the very blind, the very slayers of Christ, still understood the words of Christ. They did not understand Him to be Christ, nor did they understand Him to be the Son of God: but they did nevertheless understand that in these words such a Son of God was intimated to them as should be equal with God. Who He was they knew not; still they did acknowledge such a One to be declared, in that "He said God was His Father, making Himself equal with God." Was He not therefore equal with God? He did not make Himself equal, but the Father begat Him equal. Were He to make Himself equal, He would fall by robbery. For he who wished to make himself equal with God, whilst he was not so, fell, and of an angel became a devil, [374] and administered to man that cup of pride by which himself was cast down. For this fallen said to man, envying his standing, "Taste, and ye shall be as gods;" [375] that is, seize to yourselves by usurpation that which ye are not made, for I also have been cast down by robbery. He did not put forth this, but this is what he persuaded to. Christ, however, was begotten equal to the Father, not made; begotten of the substance of the Father. Whence the apostle thus declares Him: "Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God." What means "thought it not robbery"? He usurped not equality with God, but was in that equality in which He was begotten. And how were we to come to the equal God? "He emptied Himself, taking upon Him the form of a servant." [376] But He emptied Himself not by losing what He was, but by taking to Him what He was not. The Jews, despising this form of a servant, could not understand the Lord Christ equal to the Father, although they had not the least doubt that He affirmed this of Himself, and therefore were they enraged: and yet He still bore with them, and sought the healing of them, while they raged against Him.

Footnotes

[355] Rev. xvii. 15. [356] Gal. iii. 21, 22. [357] 1 Cor. ii. 8. [358] Rom. iii. 21. [359] Tit. ii. 12, 13. [360] Matt. xx. 10. [361] Rom. x. 10. [362] Rom. v. 5. [363] Matt. xxii. 37-40. [364] Isa. x. 23; xxviii. 22. [365] 1 Tim. ii. 5. [366] 1 John iv. 20. [367] 1 John iv. 16. [368] Isa. lviii. 7, 8. [369] 1 Cor. x. 4. [370] Gal. vi. 2. [371] Eph. iv. 2. [372] Ps. lxix. 22. [373] Isa. lxiii. 16. [374] Isa. xiv. 14. [375] Gen. iii. 5. [376] Phil. ii. 6. .


Tractate XVIII.

Chapter V. 19

1. John the evangelist, among his fellows and companions the other evangelists, received this special and peculiar gift from the Lord (on whose breast he reclined at the feast, hereby to signify that he was drinking deeper secrets from His inmost heart), to utter those things concerning the Son of God which may perhaps rouse the attentive minds of the little ones, but cannot fill them, as yet not capable of receiving them; while to minds, of somewhat larger growth, and coming to a certain age of inner manhood, he gives in these words something whereby they may both be exercised and fed. You have heard it when it was read, and you remember how this discourse arose. For yesterday it was read, that "therefore the Jews sought to kill Jesus, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God." This that displeased the Jews, pleased the Father. This, without doubt, pleases them too that honor the Son as they honor the Father; for if it does not please them, they will not be pleasing. For God will not be greater because it pleases thee, but thou wilt be less if it displeases thee. Now against this calumny of theirs, coming either of ignorance or of malice, the Lord speaks not at all what they can understand, but that whereby they may be agitated and troubled, and, on being troubled, it may be, seek the Physician. And He uttered what should be written, that it might afterwards be read even by us. Now we have seen what happened in the hearts of the Jews when they heard these words; what happens in ourselves when we hear them, let us more fully consider. For heresies, and certain tenets of perversity, ensnaring souls and hurling them into the deep, have not sprung up except when good Scriptures are not rightly understood, and when that in them which is not rightly understood is rashly and boldly asserted. And so, dearly beloved, ought we very cautiously to hear those things for the understanding of which we are but little ones, and that, too, with pious heart and with trembling, as it is written, holding this rule of soundness, that we rejoice as in food in that which we have been able to understand, according to the faith with which we are imbued; and what we have not yet been able to understand, that we lay aside doubting, and defer the understanding of it for a time; that is, even if we do not yet know what it is, that still we doubt not in the least that it is good and true. And as for me, brethren, you must consider who I am that undertake to speak to you, and what I have undertaken: for I have taken upon me to treat of things divine, being a man; of spiritual things, being carnal; of things eternal, being a mortal. Also from me, dearly beloved, far be vain presumption, if my conversation would be sound in the house of God, "which is the Church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth." [377] In proportion to my measure I take what I put before you: where it is opened, I see with you; where it is shut, I knock with you.

2. Now the Jews were moved and indignant: justly, indeed, because a man dared to make himself equal with God; but unjustly in this, because in the man they understood not the God. They saw the flesh, the God they knew not; they observed the habitation, of the inhabitant they were ignorant. That flesh was a temple, within it dwelt God. It was not the flesh that Jesus made equal to the Father, it was not the form of a servant that He compared to the Lord; not that which He became for us, but that which He was when He made us. For who Christ is (I speak to Catholics) you know, because you have rightly believed; not Word only, nor flesh only, but the Word was made flesh to dwell among us. I recite again concerning the Word what you know: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God:" here is equality with the Father. But "the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us." Than this flesh the Father is greater. Thus the Father is both equal and greater; equal to the Word, greater than the flesh; equal to Him by whom He made us, greater than He who was made for us. By this sound catholic rule, which you ought particularly to know, which you who know it hold fast, from which your faith ought not in any case to slip, which is to be wrested from your heart by no arguments of men, let us measure the things we do understand; and the things which, it may be, we do not understand, let us defer, to be hereafter measured by this rule, when we shall be competent to do this. We know Him, then, as equal to the Father, the Son of God, because we know Him in the beginning as God the Word. Why, then, sought the Jews to slay Him? "Because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God:" seeing the flesh, not seeing the Word. Let Him therefore speak against them, the Word through the flesh; let Him, the dweller within, speak for through His dwelling-place, that whoso can, shall know who He is that dwells within.

3. What saith He then to them? "Then answered Jesus, and said unto them," being indignant because He made Himself equal with God, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son cannot do anything of Himself, but what He seeth the Father doing." What the Jews answered to these words is not written: and perhaps they said nothing. Certain, however, who wish to be esteemed Christians, are not silent, but from these words somehow conceive certain opinions in contradiction to us, which are not to be despised, both for their and for our sakes. The Arian heretics, namely, while they assert that the Son, who took upon Himself flesh, is less than the Father, not by the flesh, but before taking flesh, and not of the same substance as the Father, take a handle of misrepresentation from these words, and reply to us: "You see that the Lord Jesus, observing the Jews to be moved with indignation at his making himself equal to God the Father, subjoined such words as these, to show that he was not equal with God. For the Jews," say they, "were provoked against Christ, because he made him self equal with God; and Christ, wishing to cure them of this impression, and to show them that the Son is not equal to the Father, that is, to God, saith this, as if he said, Why are ye angry? Why are ye indignant? I am not equal to God, since `the Son cannot do anything of himself, except what he seeth the Father doing.' Now," say they, "he who `cannot do anything of himself, but what he seeth the Father doing,' is surely less, not equal."

4. In this distorted and depraved rule of his own heart, let the heretic hear us, not as yet chiding, but still as it were inquiring, and let him explain to us what he thinks. For, I suppose, whoever thou art (for we may regard him as here present in person), thou dost hold with us, that "in the beginning was the Word." I do hold it, saith he. And that "the Word was with God"? This too, saith he, I hold. Proceed then, and hold the stronger saying that follows, that "the Word was God." Even this, says he, I hold: but yet, this, God the greater; that, God the less. Now this somehow smells of the pagan: I thought I was speaking with a Christian. If there is God the greater, and God the less, then we worship two Gods, not one God. Why, saith he; dost not thou, too, affirm two Gods, equal the one to the other? This I do not assert: for I understand this equality as implying therein also undivided love; and if undivided love, then perfect unity. For if the love that God put in men doth make of many hearts of men one heart, and doth make many souls of men into one soul, as it is written of them that believed and mutually loved one another, in the Acts of the Apostles, "They had one soul and one heart toward God:" [378] if, therefore, my soul and thy soul become one soul, when we think the same thing and love one another, how much more must God the Father and God the Son be one God in the fountain of love!

5. But to these words, by which thy heart is disturbed, bend thy thought, and reflect with me on that which we were seeking out concerning the Word. We already hold that "the Word was God:" I join to this another thing, that, having said, "This was in the beginning with God," the evangelist immediately subjoined, "All things were made by Him." Now will I urge thee by questioning, now will I move thee against thyself, and sue thee against thyself: only keep this in memory concerning the Word, that "the Word was God, and all things were made by Him." Hear now the words by which thou wast moved to assert that the Son is less, forsooth, because He said, "The Son cannot of Himself do anything, but what He seeth the Father doing." Just so, saith he. Explain to me this a little: This is, I presume, how thou thinkest: that the Father doeth certain things, and the Son observes how the Father doeth, that He may also Himself be able to do those things which He seeth the Father doing. Thou hast set up two artisans, as it were: the Father and the Son just like master and learner, like as artisan fathers are wont to teach their sons their craft. Behold, I come down to thy carnal sense: for the moment I think as thou doest: let us see if this our conception finds an issue in harmony with the things which we have just now alike spoken and alike hold regarding the Word, that "the Word was God," and that "all things were made by Him." Suppose, then, the Father, as an artisan, doing certain works, and the Son as a learner, who "cannot of Himself do anything, but what He seeth the Father doing:" He keenly watches, in a manner, the Father's hands, that, as He seeth Him fashioning aught, so He may Himself in like manner fashion something similar by His own works. But the Father here doeth all those things that He doeth, and wishes the Son to give heed to Him, and to do the like also Himself; by whom doeth the Father? Come! now is the time for thee to stand to thy former opinion, which thou didst recite with me, and didst hold with me; that "in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God, and all things were made by Him." But thou, after holding with me, that all things were made by the Word, dost again, with thy carnal wit and childish fancy, imagine with thyself God making something, and the Word giving heed; so that when God has made, the Word also may make the like. Now, what does God make without the Word? For if He doeth aught, then were not all things made by the Word; thou hast given up the position which thou didst hold. But if all things were made by the Word, correct what thou didst understand amiss. The Father made, and made only by the Word: in what way does the Word give heed to see the Father making without the Word, what the Word may do in like manner? Whatever the Father hath made, He made it by the Word; else is it false that "all things were made by Him." But it is true that "all things were made by Him." Perhaps this did not seem enough for thee? Well, "and without Him was nothing made."

6. Withdraw, then, from this wisdom of the flesh, and let us inquire in what manner it is said, "The Son cannot of Himself do anything, but what He seeth the Father doing." Let us inquire, if we are worthy to apprehend. For I confess it is a great thing, and altogether difficult; to see the Father doing through the Son: not the Father and the Son doing each His particular works, but the Father doing every work whatsoever by the Son; so that not any works are done by the Father without the Son, or by the Son without the Father, because "all things were made by Him, and without Him was nothing made." These truths being most firmly established in the foundation of faith, what now is the nature of this "seeing"? Thou seekest, as I suppose, to know the Son doing: seek first to know the Son seeing. For what, in fact, saith He? "The Son cannot of Himself do anything, but what He seeth the Father doing." Note what He said, "but what He seeth the Father doing." The seeing comes first, the doing follows: He seeth in order to do. As for thee, why seekest thou at present to know how He doeth, whilst thou understandest not as yet how He seeth? Why runnest thou to that which comes later, leaving that which comes first? He declares Himself as seeing and doing, not doing and seeing; because "He cannot of Himself do anything, but what He seeth the Father doing." Wilt thou that I explain to thee how He doeth? Do thou explain to me how He seeth. If thou canst not explain this, neither can I that. If thou art not yet competent to understand this, neither am I to understand that. Wherefore let each of us seek, each knock, that each may merit to receive. Why dost thou, as if thou wert learned, unjustly blame me who am unlearned? I in respect of the doing, thou in respect of the seeing, being both unlearned, let us inquire of the Master, not childishly wrangle in His school. We have already, however, learned together that "all things were made by Him." Therefore it is manifest that it is not a different kind of works that the Father doeth, that, seeing them, the Son may do other works like them; but the very same doeth the Father by the Son, because all things were made by the Word. Now, as to how God doeth, who knows? How made He, I will not say the world, but thine own eye, in thy carnal attachment to which thou comparest visible things with invisible? For thou conceivest of God such things as thou art wont to see with these eyes. But if God might be seen with these eyes, He would not have said, "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." Accordingly, thou hast an eye of the body to see an artificer, but thou hast not yet the eye of the heart to see God: hence, what thou art wont to see in an artificer, thou wouldest transfer to God. Leave earthly things on the earth; set thy heart on high.

7. What then, beloved, are we going to explain that which we have asked, how the Word seeth, how the Father is seen by the Word, what the seeing of the Word is? I am not so bold, so rash, as to promise to explain this, for myself or for you: however I estimate your measure, still I know my own. Therefore, if you please, not to delay it longer, let us run over the passage, and see how carnal hearts are troubled by the words of the Lord; to this end troubled, that they may not continue in that which they hold. Let this be wrested from them, as some toy is wrested from children, with which they amuse themselves to their hurt, that, as persons of larger growth, they may have more profitable things planted in them, and may be able to make progress, instead of crawling on the earth. Arise, seek, sigh, pant with desire, and knock at what is shut. But if we do not yet desire, not yet earnestly seek, not yet sigh, we shall only be throwing pearls to all indiscriminately, or finding pearls ourselves, regardless of what kind. Wherefore, beloved, I would move a longing desire in your heart. Good character leads to right understanding: the kind of life leads to another kind of life. One kind of life is earthly, another is heavenly: there is a life of beasts, another of men, and another of angels. The life of beasts is excited with earthly pleasures, seeks earthly pleasures alone, and grovels after them with immoderate desire: the life of angels is alone heavenly; the life of men is midway between that of angels and of beasts. If man lives after the flesh, he is on a level with the beasts; if he lives after the Spirit, he joins in the fellowship of angels. When thou livest after the Spirit, examine even in the angelic life whether thou be small or well-grown. For if thou art still a little one, the angels say to thee, "Grow: we feed on bread; thou art nourished with milk, with the milk of faith that thou mayest come to the meat of sight." But if there be still a longing for filthy pleasures, if the thoughts be still of deceit, if lies are not avoided, if perjuries be heaped on lies, shall a heart so foul dare to say, "Explain to me how the Word sees;" even if I be able to do so, even if I myself now see? And further, though not perhaps of this character myself, and I am nevertheless far from this vision, how must that man be weighed down with earthly desires, who is not yet rapt with this desire from above! There is a wide difference between loathing and desiring; and again, between desiring and enjoying. If thou livest as do the beasts, thou loathest: the angels have full enjoyment. If, on the other hand, thou livest not as the beast, thou hast no longer loathing: something thou desirest, and dost not receive: thou hast, by the very desire, begun the life of the angels. May it grow in thee, and be perfected in thee; and mayest thou receive this, not of me, but of Him who made both me and thee!

8. Yet the Lord also has not left us to chance, since, in that He said, "The Son cannot of Himself do anything, but what He seeth the Father doing," He meant us to understand that the Father doeth, not some works which the Son may see, and the Son doeth other works after He has seen the Father doing; but that both the Father and Son do the very same works. For He goes on to say, "For what things soever He doeth, these also doeth the Son in like manner." Not after the Father hath done works, doeth the Son other works in like manner; but, "whatever He doeth, these also the Son doeth in like manner." If these the Son doeth which the Father doeth, then it is by the Son that the Father doeth: if by the Son the Father doeth what He doeth, then the Father doeth not some, the Son others; but the works of the Father and of the Son are the same works. And how doeth the Son also the same? Both "the same," and "in like manner." In case you should think them the same, but in a different manner, the "same," saith He, and "in like manner." And how could they be the same and not in like manner? Take an example, which I presume is not too big for you: when we write letters they are first formed by our heart, then by our hand. Certainly: why otherwise have you all agreed, but because you perceived it to be so? It is as I have said, it is manifest to us all. The letters are made first by our heart, then by our body; the hand serves, the heart commands; both the heart and the hand make the same letters. Dost think the heart doeth some letters, the hand some others? The same indeed doeth the hand, but not in like manner: our heart forms them intelligibly, but our hand visibly. See how the same things are made, but not in like manner. Hence it was not enough for the Lord to say, "What things soever the Father doeth, these also the Son doeth;" He must add, "and in like manner." For what if thou shouldst understand this just as thou understandest whatever thy heart doeth, this also thy hand doeth, but in a different manner? Here, however, he added, "These also the Son doeth in like manner." If He both doeth these, and in like manner doeth, then awake; let the Jew be crushed, let the Christian believe, let the heretic be convinced: The Son is equal to the Father.

9. "For the Father loveth the Son, and showeth Him all things that Himself doeth." Here is that "showeth." "Showeth," as it were, to whom? Of course, as to one that sees. We return to that which we cannot explain, how the Word seeth. Behold, man was made by the Word; but man has eyes, ears, hands, divers members in the body: he is able by the eyes to see, by the ears to hear, by the hands to work; the members are diverse, their offices diverse. One member cannot do the office of another; yet, by reason of the unity of the body, the eye sees both for itself and for the ear, and the ear hears for itself and for the eye. Are we to suppose that something like this holds good in the Word, seeing all things are by Him; and Scripture has said in the psalm, "Understand, ye brutish among the people; and ye fools, at length be wise. He that planted the ear, shall He not hear? And He that formed the eye, shall He not see?" [379] Hence, if the Word is He that formed the eye, for all things are by the Word; if the Word is He that planted the ear, for all things are by the Word: we cannot say the Word doth not hear, the Word doth not see; lest the psalm reprove us, and say, "Fools, at length be wise." Therefore, if the Word heareth and seeth, if the Son heareth and seeth, are we yet to search for eyes and ears in Him in separate places? Does He by one part hear, by another see; and cannot His ear do what His eye doth; and cannot His eye do what His ear can? Or is He not all sight, all hearing? Perhaps yes; nay, not perhaps, but truly yes; whilst, however, that seeing of His, and that hearing of His, is in a way far other than it is with us. Both to see and to hear exist together in the Word: seeing and hearing are not diverse things in Him; but hearing is sight, and sight is hearing.

10. And we, who see in one way, and hear in another way, how know we this? We return perhaps to ourselves, if we are not the trangressors to whom it is said, "Return, O trangressors, to your heart." [380] Return to your heart: why go from yourselves, and perish from yourselves? Why go the ways of solitude? You go astray by wandering: return ye. Whither? To the Lord. 'Tis quickly done: first return to thine own heart; thou hast wandered abroad an exile from thyself; thou knowest not thyself, and yet thou art asking by whom thou wast made! Return, return to thy heart, lift thyself away from the body: thy body is thy place of abode; thy heart perceives even by thy body. But thy body is not what thy heart is; leave even thy body, return to thy heart. In thy body thou didst find eyes in one place, ears in another place: dost thou find this in thy heart? Or hast thou not ears in thy heart? Else of what did the Lord say, "Whoso hath ears to hear, let him hear?" [381] Or hast thou not eyes in thy heart? Else of what saith the apostle, "The eyes of your heart being enlightened?" [382] Return to thy heart; see there what, it may be, thou canst perceive of God, for in it is the image of God. In the inner man dwelleth Christ, in the inner man art thou renewed after the image of God, in His own image recognize its Author. See how all the senses of the body bring intelligence to the heart within of what they have perceived abroad; see how many ministers the one commander within has and what it can do by itself even without these ministers. The eyes report to the heart things black and white; the ears report to the same heart pleasant and harsh sounds; to the same heart the nostrils announce sweet odors and stenches; to the same heart the taste announces things bitter and sweet; to the same heart the touch announces things smooth and rough; and the heart declares to itself things just and unjust. Thy heart sees and hears and judges all other things perceived by the senses; and, what the senses do not aspire to, discerns things just and unjust, things evil and good. Show me the eyes, ears, nostrils, of thy heart. Diverse are the things that are referred to thy heart, yet are there not diverse members there. In thy flesh, thou hearest in one place, seest in another; in thy heart, where thou seest, there thou hearest. If this be the image, how much more mightily He whose the image is! Therefore the Son both heareth and seeth; the Son is both the hearing itself and the seeing: to hear is to Him the same thing as "to be;" and to see is to Him the same thing as "to be." To see is not the same thing to thee as to be; for if thou lose thy sight, thou canst be; and if thou lose thy hearing, thou canst be.

11. Do we think we have knocked? Is there raised up within us something whereby we may even slightly conjecture whence light may come to us? It is my opinion, brethren, that when we speak of these things, and meditate upon them, we are exercising ourselves. And when we are exercising ourselves, and are as it were bent back again by our own weight to our customary thoughts, we are like weak-eyed persons, when they are brought forth to see the light, if perchance they had no sight at all before, and begin in some sort to recover their sight by the assiduous care of physicians. And when the physician would test the progress of recovery, he tries to show them something which they sought to see, but could not while they were blind: and while the eyesight is now somewhat recovered, they are brought forth to the light; and as they see it, are beaten back in a manner by the very glare; and they answer the physician, as he points out the object, This moment I did see, but now I cannot. What then does the physician? He brings them back to their usual ways, and applies the eye-salve to nourish the longing for seeing that which was seen only for a moment, so that by the very longing he may cure more completely; and if any stinging salves are applied for the recovery of sound ness, let the patient bear it bravely, and, inflamed with love of the light, say to himself, When will it be that with strong eyes I shall see what with sore and weak eyes I could not? He urges the physician, and begs him to heal him. Therefore, brethren, if, it may be, something like this has taken place in your hearts, if somehow you have raised your heart to see the Word, and, beaten back by its light, you have fallen back to your wonted ways; pray the Physician to apply sharp salves, the precepts of righteousness. There is that which thou mayest see, but not that whereby thou canst see. Thou didst not believe me before that there is that which thou mayest see: thou art now, as by the guidance of reason, brought to it: thou hast drawn near, strained thine eyes to see it, throbbed, and shrunk back. Thou knowest for certain that there is what thou mayest see, but that thou art not yet meet to see it. Therefore be healed. What are the eye-salves? Do not lie, do not swear falsely, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not defraud. But thou art used to these, and it is with some pain thou art drawn away from old habits: this is what bites, but yet heals. For I tell thee freely, by fear of myself and of thee, if thou give up the healing, and scorn to become meet to enjoy this light, by weakness of thine eyes, thou wilt love darkness; and by loving darkness, wilt remain in darkness; and by remaining in darkness, wilt be cast even into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. If the love of light has effected nothing in thee, let the fear of pain effect something.

12. I think I have spoken long enough, and yet I have not concluded the Gospel lesson: if I go on to declare what remains, I shall burden you, and I fear lest even what has been drawn may be lost; therefore let this be enough for you now, beloved. We are debtors, not now, but always as long as we live; because we live for you. However, do you, by good living, comfort this life of ours, so weak, toilsome, and full of peril in this world; do not afflict and wear us out by your evil manners. For if, when offended with your evil life, we flee from you and separate ourselves from you, and no longer come to you, will ye not complain, and say, And if we were sick, ye might care for us; and if we were weak, ye might have visited us? Behold, we do care for you; behold, we do visit you; but let it not be with us as you have heard from the apostle, "I fear lest I have bestowed labor upon you in vain." [383]

Footnotes

[377] 1 Tim. iii. 1. [378] Acts iv. 32. [379] Ps. xciv. 8, 9. [380] Isa. xlvi. 8. [381] Luke viii. 8. [382] Eph. i. 18. [383] Gal. iv. 11. .


Tractate XIX.

Chapter V. 19-30

In the former discourse, so far as the subject impressed us, and so far as our poverty of understanding attained to, we have spoken by occasion of the words of the Gospel, where it is written: "The Son cannot do anything of Himself, but what He seeth the Father doing,"--what it is for the Son--that is, the Word, for the Son is the Word--"to see;" and as all things were made by the Word, how it is to be understood that the Son first sees the Father doing, and then only Himself also doeth the things which He has seen done, seeing that the Father has done nothing except by the Son. For "all things were made by Him, and without Him was nothing made. We have not, however, delivered to you anything as fully explained, and that because we have not understood anything thus clearly set forth. For, indeed, speech sometimes fails even where the understanding makes way; how much more doth speech suffer defect, where the understanding has nothing perfect! Now, therefore, as the Lord gives us, let us briefly run over the passage, and even to-day complete the due task. Should there perchance remain somewhat of time or of strength, we will reconsider (so far as it may be practicable for us and with you) what it is for the Word "to see" and "to be shown to;" since, in fact, all that is here spoken is such that, if understood according to man's sense, carnally, the soul full of vain fancies makes for us only certain images of the Father and the Son, just as of two men, the one showing, the other seeing; the one speaking, the other hearing,--all which are idols of the heart. And if now at length idols have been cast down from their own temples, how much more ought they to be cast down from Christian hearts!

2. "The Son," saith He, "cannot do anything of Himself, but what He sees the Father doing." This is true: hold this fast, while at the same time ye do not let slip what ye have gotten in the beginning of the Gospel, that "in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God," and especially that "all things were made by Him." Join this that ye have now heard to that hearing, and let both agree together in your hearts. Thus, "The Son cannot of Himself do anything, except what He seeth the Father doing," is yet in such wise that what the Father doeth, He doeth only by the Son, because the Son is His Word: and, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God;" also, "All things were made by Him." For what things soever He doeth, the Son also doeth in like manner; not other things, but these and not in a different, but in like manner.

3. "For the Father loveth the Son, and showeth Him all things that Himself doeth." To that which He said above, "except what He seeth the Father doing," seems to belong this also, "He showeth Him all things that Himself doeth." But if the Father doth show what He doeth, and the Son cannot do except the Father hath shown, and if the Father cannot show unless He hath done, it will follow that it is not through the Son that the Father doeth all things; moreover, if we hold it fixed and unshaken, that the Father doeth all by the Son, then He shows the Son before He doeth. For if the Father doth show to the Son after He has done, that the Son may do the things shown, which being shown were already done, then doubtless something there is that the Father doeth without the Son. But the Father doeth not anything without the Son, because the Son of God is God's Word, and all things were made by Him. It remains, then, that possibly what the Father is about to do, He shows as about to be done, that it may be done by the Son. For if the Son doeth those things which the Father showeth as already done, surely it is not by the Son that the Father hath done the things which He thus showeth. For they could not be shown to the Son unless they were first done, and the Son would not be able to do them unless they were first shown; therefore were they made without the Son. But yet it is a true thing, "All things were made by Him;" therefore they were shown before they were made. But this we said must be put off, and returned to after briefly scanning the passage, if, as we said, some portion of time and of strength should remain to us for a reconsideration of the matters deferred.

4. Attend now to a wider and more difficult question. "And greater works than these," saith He, "will He show Him, that ye may marvel." "Greater than these." Greater than which? The answer readily occurs: than the cures of bodily diseases which ye have just heard: For the whole occasion of this discourse arose about the man who was thirty and eight years in infirmity, and was healed by the word of Christ; and in respect of this cure, the Lord could say, "Greater works than these He will show Him, that ye may marvel." For there are greater, and the Father will show them to the Son. It is not "hath shown," as of a thing past, but "will show," of a thing future; or, is about to show. Again a difficult question arises: Why, then, is there something with the Father that has not yet been shown to the Son? Is there something with the Father that was still hid from the Son when He spoke these words? For surely, if it be "will show," that is to say, "is about to show," then He has not yet shown; and He is about to show to the Son at the same time as to these persons, since it follows, "that ye may marvel." And this is a thing hard to see, how the Eternal Father doth show something, as it were in time, to the coeternal Son, who knoweth all things that are with the Father.

5. But what are the greater works? For perhaps this is easy to understand. "For as the Father," saith He, "raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them, even so the Son quickeneth whom He will." To raise the dead, then, are greater works than to heal the sick. But "as the Father raiseth the dead, and quickeneth them, so also the Son quickeneth whom He will." Hence, the Father some, the Son others? But all things are by Him: therefore the Son the same persons as the Father doth; since the Son doeth not other things and in a different manner, but "these" and in "like manner." Thus clearly it must be understood, and thus held. But keep in memory that "the Son quickeneth whom He will." Here, too, know not only the power of the Son, but also the will. Both the Son quickeneth whom He will, and also the Father quickeneth whom He will--the Son the same persons as the Father; and hence the power of the Father and of the Son is the same, and also the will is the same. What follows then? "For the Father judgeth not any man, but hath given all judgment to the Son, that all men may honor the Son, even as they honor the Father:" this He subjoined, as rendering a reason of the foregoing sentence. A great question comes before us; give it your earnest attention. The Son quickeneth whom He will, the Father quickeneth whom He will; the Son raiseth the dead, just as the Father raiseth the dead. And further, "the Father judgeth not any man." If the dead must be raised in the judgment, how can it be said that the Father raiseth the dead, if He judgeth not any man, since "He hath given all judgment to the Son"? But in that judgment the dead are raised; some rise to life, others to punishment. If the Son doeth all this, but the Father not, inasmuch as "He judgeth not any man, but hath given all judgment to the Son," it will appear contrary to what has been said, viz., "As the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them, so also the Son quickeneth whom He will." Consequently the Father and the Son raise together; if they raise together, they quicken together: hence they judge together. How, then, is that true, "For the Father judgeth not any man, but hath given all judgment to the Son"? Meanwhile let the questions now proposed engage your minds; the Lord will cause that, when solved, they will delight you. For so it is, brethren: every question, unless it stirs the mind to reflection, will not give delight when explained. May the Lord Himself then follow with us, in case He may perhaps reveal Himself somewhat in those matters which He foldeth up. For He foldeth up His light with a cloud; and it is difficult to fly like an eagle above every obscure mist with which the whole earth is covered, and to behold the most serene light in the words of the Lord. In case, then, He may perhaps dissipate our darkness with the heat of His rays, and deign to reveal Himself somewhat in the sequel, let us, deferring these questions, look at what follows.

6. "Whoso honoreth not the Son, honoreth not the Father that sent Him." This is a truth, and is plain. Since, then, "all judgment hath He given to the Son," as He said above, "that all may honor the Son, even as they honor the Father," what if there be those who honor the Father and honor not the Son? It cannot be, saith He: "Whoso honoreth not the Son, honoreth not the Father that sent Him." One cannot therefore say, I honored the Father, because I knew not the Son. If thou didst not yet honor the Son, neither didst thou honor the Father. For what is honoring the Father, unless it be in that He hath a Son? It is one thing when thou art taught to honor God in that He is God; but another thing when thou art taught to honor Him in that He is Father. When thou art taught to honor Him in that He is God, it is as the Creator, as the Almighty, as the Spirit supreme, eternal, invisible, unchangeable, that thou art led to think of Him; but when thou art taught to honor Him in that He is Father, it is the same thing as to honor the Son; because Father cannot be said if there be not a Son, as neither can Son if there be not a Father. But lest, it may be, thou honorest the Father indeed as greater, but the Son as less,--as thou mayest say to me, "I do honor the Father, for I know that He has a Son; nor do I err in the name Father, for I do not understand Father without Son, and yet the Son also I honor as the less,"--the Son Himself sets thee right, and recalls thee, saying, "that all may honor the Son," not in a lower degree, but "as they honor the Father." Therefore, "whoso honoreth not the Son, honoreth not the Father that sent Him." "I," sayest thou, "wish to give greater honor to the Father, less to the Son." Therein thou takest away honor from the Father, wherein thou givest less to the Son. For, being thus minded, it must really seem to thee that the Father either would not or could not beget a Son equal to Himself: if He would not, He lacked the will; if He could not, He lacked the ability. Dost thou not therefore see that, being thus minded, wherein thou wouldst give greater honor to the Father, therein thou art reproachful to the Father? Wherefore, so honor the Son as thou honorest the Father, if thou wouldest honor both the Father and the Son.

7. "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whoso heareth my word, and believeth on Him that sent me, hath eternal life, and cometh not into judgment, but is passed," not is passing now, but is already passed, "from death into life." And mark this, "Whoso heareth my word, and"--He says not, believeth me, but--"believeth Him that sent me." Let him hear the word of the Son, that he may believe the Father. Why heareth Thy word, and yet believeth another? When we hear any one's word, is it not him that utters the word we believe? is it not to him who speaks we lend our faith? What, then, did He mean, saying, "Whoso heareth my word, and believeth Him that sent me," if it be not this, because "His word is in me"? And what is "heareth my word," but "heareth me"? So, too, "believeth Him that sent me," because, believing Him, he believeth His word; but again, believing His word, he believeth me, because I am the Word of the Father. There is therefore peace in the Scriptures, and all things duly disposed, and in no way clashing. Cast away, then, contention from thy heart; understand the harmony of the Scriptures. Dost thou think that the Truth should speak things contrary to itself?

8. "Whoso heareth my word, and believeth Him that sent me, hath eternal life, and cometh not into judgment, but is passed from death unto life." You remember what we laid down above, that "as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them, so also the Son quickeneth whom He will." He is beginning already to reveal Himself; and behold, even now, the dead are rising. For "whoso heareth my word, and believeth Him that sent me, hath eternal life, and will not come into judgment." Prove that he has risen again. "But is passed," saith He "from death unto life." He that is passed from death unto life, has surely without any doubt risen again. For he could not pass from death to life, unless he were first in death and not in life; but when he will have passed, he will be in life, and not in death. He was therefore dead, and is alive again; he was lost, but is found. [384] Hence a resurrection does take place now, and men pass from a death to a life; from the death of infidelity to the life of faith; from the death of falsehood to the life of truth; from the death of iniquity to the life of righteousness. There is, therefore, that which is a resurrection of the dead.

9. May He open the same more fully, and dawn upon us as He begins to do! "Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is." We did look for a resurrection of the dead in the end, for so we have believed; yea, not we looked, but are manifestly bound to look for it: for it is not a false thing we believe, when we believe that the dead will rise in the end. When the Lord Jesus, then, was willing to make known to us a resurrection of the dead before the resurrection of the dead, it is not as that of Lazarus, [385] or of the widow's son, [386] or of the ruler of the synagogue's daughter, [387] who were raised to die again (for in their case there was a resurrection of the dead before the resurrection of the dead); but, as He says here, "hath," says He, "eternal life, and cometh not into judgment, but is passed from death into life." To what life? To life eternal. Not, then, as the body of Lazarus: for he indeed passed from the death of the tomb to the life of men, but not to life eternal, seeing he was to die again; whereas the dead, that are to rise again at the end of the world, will pass to eternal life. When our Lord Jesus Christ, then, our heavenly Master, the Word of the Father, and the Truth, was willing to represent to us a resurrection of the dead to eternal life before the resurrection of the dead to eternal life, "The hour cometh," saith He. Doubtless thou, imbued with a faith of the resurrection of the flesh, didst look for the hour of the end of the world, which, that thou shouldst not look for here, He added, "and now is." Therefore He saith not this, "The hour cometh," of that last hour, when "at the command and the voice of the archangel and the trump of God, the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven, and the dead in Christ shall rise first; then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet Christ in the air: and so shall we be ever with the Lord." [388] That hour will come, but is not now. But consider what this hour is: "The hour cometh, and now is." What happens in that hour? What, but a resurrection of the dead? And what kind of resurrection? Such that they who rise live for ever. This will be also in the last hour.

10. What then? How do we understand these two resurrections? Do we, it may be, understand that they who rise now will not rise then; that the resurrection of some is now, of some others then? It is not so. For we have risen in this resurrection, if we have rightly believed; and we ourselves, who have already risen, are looking for another resurrection in the end. Moreover, both now are we risen to eternal life, if we perseveringly continue in the same faith; and then, too, we shall rise to eternal life, when we shall be made equal with the angels. [389] But let Himself distinguish and open up what we have made bold to speak; how there happens to be a resurrection before a resurrection, not of different but of the same persons; nor like that of Lazarus, but into eternal life. He will open it clearly. Hear ye the Master, while dawning upon us, and as our Sun gliding in upon our hearts; not such as the eyes of flesh desire to look upon, but on whom the eyes of the heart fervently long to be opened. To Him, then, let us give ear: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour cometh, and now is, when the dead"--you see that a resurrection is asserted--"shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and they that hear shall live." Why hath He added, "they that hear shall live"? Why, could they hear unless they lived? It would have been enough, then, to say, "The hour cometh, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God." We should immediately understand them to be living, since they could not hear unless they lived. No, saith He, not because they live they hear; but by hearing they come to life again: "Shall hear, and they that hear shall live." What, then, is "shall hear," but "shall obey"? For, as to the hearing of the ear, not all who hear shall live. Many, indeed, hear and do not believe; by hearing and not believing, they obey not; by not obeying, they live not. And so here, they that "shall hear" are they that "shall obey." They that obey, then, shall live: let them be sure and certain of it, shall live. Christ, the Word of God, is preached to us; the Son of God, by whom all things were made, who, for the dispensation's sake, surely took flesh, was born of a virgin, was an infant in the flesh, a young man in the flesh, suffering in the flesh, dying in the flesh, rising again in the flesh, ascending in the flesh, promising a resurrection to the flesh, promising a resurrection to the mind--to the mind before the flesh, to the flesh after the mind. Whoso heareth and obeyeth, shall live; whoso heareth and obeyeth not, that is, heareth and despiseth, heareth and believeth not, shall not live. Why shall not live? Because he heareth not. What is "heareth not"? Obeyeth not. Thus, then, "they that hear shall live."

11. Turn your thoughts now to what we said had to be deferred, that it may now, if possible, be opened. Concerning this very resurrection He immediately subjoined, "For as the Father hath life in Himself, even so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself." What means that, "The Father hath life in Himself"? Not elsewhere hath He life but in Himself. His living, in fact, is in Him, not from elsewhere, nor derived from another. He does not, as it were, borrow life, nor, as it were, become a partaker of life, of a life which is not what Himself is: but "hath life in Himself," so that the very life is to Him His very self. If I should be able yet further in some small measure to speak from this matter, by proposing examples for informing your understanding, will depend on God's help and the piety of your attention. God lives, and the soul also lives; but the life of God is unchangeable, the life of the soul is changeable. In God is neither increase nor decrease; but He is the same always in Himself, is ever as He is: not in one way now, in another way hereafter, in some other way before. But the life of the soul is exceedingly various: it lived foolish, it lives wise; it lived unrighteous, it lives righteous; now remembers, now forgets; now learns, now cannot learn; now loses what it had learned, now apprehends what it had lost. The life of the soul is changeable. And when the soul lives in unrighteousness, that is its death; when again it becomes righteous, it becomes partaker of another life, which is not what itself is, inasmuch as by rising up to God, and cleaving to God, of Him it is justified. For it is said, "To him that believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness." [390] By forsaking God, it becomes unrighteous; by coming to Him, it is made righteous. Does it not seem to thee as it were something cold, which, when brought near the fire, grows warm; when removed from the fire, grows cold? A something dark, which, brought near the light, grows bright; when removed from the light, grows dark? Something such is the soul: God is not any such thing. Moreover, man may say that he has light now in his eyes. Let thine eyes say then, if they can, as by a voice of their own, "We have light in ourselves." I answer: Not correctly do you say that you have light in yourselves: you have light, but in the heavens; you have light, but in the moon, in candles, if it happen to be night, not in yourselves: for, being shut, you lose what you perceive when open. Not in yourselves have you light; keep the light if you can when the sun is set: 'tis night, enjoy the light of night; keep the light when the candle is withdrawn; but since you remain in darkness when the candle is withdrawn, you have not light in yourselves. Consequently, to have light in oneself is not to need light from another. Behold, whoso understands wherein He shows that the Son is equal with the Father, when He saith, "As the Father hath life in Himself, so hath He given to the Son also to have life in Himself;" that there may be only this difference between the Father and the Son, that the Father hath life in Himself, which none gave Him, whilst the Son hath life in Himself which the Father gave.

12. But here also arises a cloud that must be scattered. Let us not lose heart, let us strive in earnest. Here are pastures of the mind; let us not disdain them, that we may live. Behold, sayest thou, thyself confessest that the Father hath given life to the Son, that He may have life in Himself, even as the Father hath life in Himself; that the Father not lacking, the Son may not lack; that as the Father is life, so the Son may be life; and both united one life, not two lives; because God is one, not two Gods; and this same is to be life. How, then, is the Father said to have given life to the Son? Not so as if the Son had been without life before, and received life from the Father that He might live; for if it were so, He would not have life in Himself. Behold, I was speaking of the soul. The soul exists; though it be not wise, though it be not righteous, though it be not godly, it is soul. It is one thing for it to be soul, but another thing to be wise, to be righteous, to be godly. Something there is, then, in which it is not yet wise, not yet righteous, not yet godly. Nevertheless it is not therefore nothing, it is not therefore non-life; for it shows itself to be alive by certain of its own actions, although it does not show itself to be wise, godly, or righteous. For if it were not living it would not move the body, would not command the feet to walk, the hands to work, the eyes to look, the ears to hear; would not open the mouth for speaking, nor move the tongue to distinction of speech. So, then, by these operations it shows itself to have life, and to be something which is better than the body. But does it in any wise show itself by these operations to be wise, godly, or righteous? Do not the foolish, the wicked, the unrighteous walk, work, see, hear, speak? But when the soul rises to something which itself is not, which is above itself, and from which its being is, then it gets wisdom, righteousness, holiness, which so long as it was without, it was dead, and did not have the life by which itself should live, but only that by which the body was quickened. For that in the soul by which the body is quickened is one thing, that by which the soul itself is quickened is another. Better, certainly, than the body is the soul, but better than the soul itself is God. The soul, even if it be foolish, ungodly, unrighteous, is the life of the body. But since its own life is God, just as it supplies vigor, comeliness, activity, the functions of the limbs to the body, while it exists in the body; so, in like manner, while God, its life, is in the soul, He supplies to it wisdom, godliness, righteousness, charity. Accordingly, what the soul supplies to the body, and what God supplies to the soul, are of a different kind: the soul quickens and is quickened. It quickens while dead, even if itself is not quickened. But when the word comes, and is poured into the hearers, and they not only hear, but are made obedient, the soul rises from its death to its life--that is, from unrighteousness, from folly, from ungodliness, to its God, who is to it wisdom, righteousness, light. Let it rise to Him, and be enlightened by Him. "Come near," saith he, "to Him." And what shall we have? "And be enlightened." [391] If, therefore, by "coming to" ye are enlightened, and by "departing from" ye become darkened, your light was not in yourselves, but in your God. Come to Him that ye may rise again: if ye depart from Him, ye shall die. If by coming to Him ye live, and by departing from Him ye die, your life was not in yourselves. For the same is your life which is your light. "Because with Thee is the fountain of life, and in Thy light we shall see light." [392]

13. Not, then, in like manner as the soul is one thing before it is enlightened, and becomes a better thing when it is enlightened, by participation of a better; not so, I say, was the Word of God, the Son of God, something else before He received life, that He should have life by participation; but He has life in Himself, and is consequently Himself the very life. What is it, then, that He saith, "hath given to the Son to have life in Himself"? I would say it briefly, He begot the Son. For it is not that He existed without life, and received life, but He is life by being begotten. The Father is life not by being begotten; the Son is life by being begotten. The Father is of no father; the Son is of God the Father. The Father in His being is of none, but in that He is Father, 'tis because of the Son. But the Son also, in that He is Son, 'tis because of the Father: in His being, He is of the Father. This He said, therefore: "hath given life to the Son, that He might have it in Himself." Just as if He were to say, "The Father, who is life in Himself, begot the Son, who should be life in Himself." Indeed, He would have this dedit (hath given) to be understood for the same thing as genuit (hath begotten). It is like as if we said to a person, "God hath given thee being." To whom? If to some one already existing, then He gave him not being, because he who could receive existed before it was given him. When, therefore, thou hearest it said, "He gave thee being," thou wast not in being to receive, but thou didst receive, that thou shouldst be by coming into existence. The builder gave to this house that it should be. But what did he give to it? He gave it to be a house. To what did he give? To this house. Gave it what? To be a house. How could he give to a house that it should be a house? For if the house was, to what did he give to be a house, when the house existed already? What, then, does that mean, "gave it to be a house"? It means, he brought to pass that it should be a house. Well, then, what gave He to the Son? Gave Him to be the Son, begot Him to be life--that is, "gave Him to have life in Himself" that He should be the life not needing life, that He may not be understood as having life by participation. For if He had life by par ticipation, He might, by losing, be without life. Do not take, nor think, nor believe this to be possible respecting the Son. Wherefore the Father continues the life, the Son continues the life: the Father, life in Himself, not from the Son; the Son, life in Himself, but from the Father. Begotten of the Father, that He might live in Himself; but the Father, not begotten, life in Himself. Nor did He beget the Son less than Himself to become equal by growth. For surely He by whom, being perfect, the times were created, was not assisted by time towards His own perfection. Before all time, He is co-eternal with the Father. For the Father has never been without the Son; but the Father is eternal, therefore also the Son co-eternal. Soul, what of thee? Thou wast dead, didst lose life; hear then the Father through the Son. Arise, take to thee life, that in Him who has life in Himself thou mayest receive the life which is not in thee. He that giveth thee life, then, is the Father and the Son; and the first resurrection is accomplished when thou risest to partake of the life which thou art not thyself, and by partaking art made living. Rise from thy death to thy life, which is thy God, and pass from death to eternal life. For the Father hath eternal life in Himself; and unless He had begotten such a Son as had life in Himself, it could not be that as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them, so also the Son should quicken whom He will.

14. But what of that resurrection of the body? For these who hear and live, whence live, except by hearing? For "the friend of the Bridegroom standeth and heareth Him, and rejoiceth greatly because of the Bridegroom's voice:" [393] not because of his own voice; that is to say, they hear and live by partaking, not by coming into being; and all that hear live, because all that obey live. Tell us something, O Lord, also of the resurrection of the flesh; for there have been those who denied it, asserting that this is the only resurrection which is wrought by faith. Of which resurrection the Lord has just now made mention, and inflamed our desire, because "the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and shall live." It is not some of those who hear shall live, and others shall die; but "all that hear shall live," because all that obey shall live. Behold, we see a resurrection of the mind; let us not therefore let go our faith of the resurrection of the flesh. And unless Thou, O Lord Jesus, declare to us this, whom shall we oppose to those who assert the contrary? For truly all sects that have undertaken to engraft any religion upon men have allowed this resurrection of minds; otherwise, it might be said to them, If the soul rise not, why speakest thou to me? What meanest thou to do in me? If thou dost not make of the worse a better, why speakest thou? If thou dost not make a righteous of the unrighteous, why speakest thou? But if thou dost make righteous of the unrighteous, godly of the ungodly, wise of the foolish, thou confessest that my soul doth rise again, if I comply with thee and believe. So, then, all those that have founded any sect, even of false religion, while they wished to be believed, could not but admit this resurrection of minds: all have agreed concerning this; but many have denied the resurrection of the flesh, and affirmed that the resurrection had taken place already in faith. Such the apostle resisteth, saying, "Of whom is Hymeneus and Philetus, who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection hath taken place already, and overthrow the faith of some." [394] They said that the resurrection had taken place already, but in such manner that another was not to be expected; and they blamed people who were looking for a resurrection of the flesh, just as if the resurrection which was promised were already accomplished in the act of believing, namely, in the mind. The apostle censures these. Why does he censure them? Did they not affirm what the Lord spoke just now: "The hour cometh, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and they that hear shall live"? But, saith Jesus to thee, it is of the life of minds that I am hitherto speaking: I am not yet speaking of the life of bodies; but I speak of the life of that which is the life of bodies, that is, of the life of souls, in which the life of bodies exists. For I know that there are bodies lying in the tombs; I know also that your bodies will lie in the tombs. I am not speaking of that resurrection, but I speak of this; in this, rise ye again, lest ye rise to punishment in that. But that ye may know that I speak also of that, what do I add? "For as the Father hath life in Himself, even so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself." This life which the Father is, which the Son is, to what does it pertain? To the soul or to the body? It is not surely the body that is sensible of that life of wisdom, but the rational mind. For not every soul hath capacity to apprehend wisdom. A brute beast, in fact, has a soul, but the soul of the brute beast cannot apprehend wisdom. It is the human soul, then, that can perceive this life which the Father hath in Himself, and hath given to the Son to have in Himself; because that is "the true light which enlighteneth," not every soul, but "every man coming into this world." When, therefore, I speak to the mind itself, let it hear, that is, let it obey and live.

15. Wherefore, keep not silent, O Lord, concerning the resurrection of the flesh; lest men believe it not, and we continue reasoners, not preachers. But "as the Father hath life in Himself, even so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself." Let them that hear, understand; let them believe that they may understand; let them obey that they may live. And that they may not suppose that the resurrection is finished here, let them hear this further: "and hath given Him authority to execute judgment also." Who hath given? The Father. To whom hath He given? To the Son; namely, to whom He gave to have life in Himself, to the same hath He given authority to execute judgment. "Because He is the Son of man." For this is the Christ, both Son of God and Son of man. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. This was in the beginning with God." Behold, how He hath given Him to have life in Himself! But because "the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us," was made man of the Virgin Mary, He is the Son of man. What, therefore, hath He received as Son of man? Authority to execute judgment. What judgment? That in the end of the world. Then also there will be a resurrection, but a resurrection of bodies. So, then, God raiseth up souls by Christ, the Son of God; bodies He raiseth up by the same Christ, the Son of man. "Hath given Him authority." He should not have this authority did He not receive it; and He should be a man without authority. But the same who is Son of God is also Son of man. For by adhering to the unity of person, the Son of man with the Son of God is made one person, and the Son of God is the same person which the Son of man is. But what characteristic it has, and wherefore, must be distinguished. The Son of man has soul and body. The Son of God, which is the Word of God, has man, as the soul has body. And just as soul having body does not make two persons, but one man; so the Word, having man, maketh not two persons, but one Christ. What is man? A rational soul, having a body. What is Christ? The Word of God, having man. I see of what things I speak, who I the speaker am, and to whom I am speaking.

16. Now hear concerning the resurrection of bodies, not me, but the Lord about to speak, on account of those who have risen again by a resurrection from death, by cleaving to life. To what life? To a life which knows not death. Why knows not death? Because it knows not mutability. Why knows not mutability? Because it is life in itself. "And hath given Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of man." What judgment, what kind of judgment? "Marvel not at this" which I have said,--gave Him authority to execute judgment,--"for the hour is coming." He does not adds "and now is:" therefore He means to make known to us a certain hour in the end of the world. The hour is now that the dead rise, the hour will be in the end of the world that the dead rise: but that they rise now in the mind, then in the flesh; that they rise now in the mind by the Word of God, the Son of God; then in the flesh by the Word of God made flesh, the Son of man. For it will not be the Father Himself that will come to judgment, notwithstanding the Father doth not withdraw Himself from the Son. How, then, is it that the Father Himself will not come? In that He will not be seen in the judgment. "They shall look on Him whom they pierced." [395] That form which stood before the judge, will be Judge: that form will judge which was judged; for it was judged unjustly, it will judge justly. There will come the form of a servant, and that same will be apparent. For how could the form of God be made apparent to the just and to the unjust? If the judgment were to be only among the just, then the form of God might appear as to the just. But because the judgment is to be of the just and of the unjust, and that it is not permitted to the wicked to see God,--for "blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God," [396] --such a Judge will appear as may be seen by those whom He is about to crown, and by those whom He is about to condemn. Hence the form of a servant will be seen, the form of God will be hid. The Son of God will be hid in the servant, and the Son of man will be manifest, because to Him "hath He given authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of man." And because He alone will appear in the form of a servant, but the Father not, since He has not taken upon Him the form of a servant; for that reason He saith above: "The Father judgeth not any man, but hath given all judgment to the Son." Rightly then had it been deferred, that the propounder might Himself be the interpreter. For before it was hidden; now, as I think, it is already manifest, that "He gave Him authority to execute judgment," that "the Father judgeth not any man, but hath given all judgment to the Son:" because the judgment is to be by that form which the Father hath not. And what kind of judgment? "Marvel not at this, for the hour is coming:" not that which now is, for the souls to rise; but that which is to be, for the bodies to rise.

17. Let Him declare this more distinctly, that the heretical denier of the resurrection of the body may not find a pretext for sophistical cavil, although the meaning already shines out clearly. When it was said above, "The hour is coming," He added, "and now is;" but just now, "The hour is coming," He has not added, "and now is." Let Him, however, by the open truth, burst asunder all handles, all loops and pegs of sophistical attack, all the nooses of ensnaring objections. "Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in which all that are in the graves." What more evident? what more distinct? Bodies are in the graves; souls are not in the graves, either of just or of unjust. The soul of the just man was in the bosom of Abraham; the unjust man's soul was in hell, tormented: neither the one nor the other was in the grave. Above, when He saith, "The hour is coming, and now is," I beseech you give earnest heed. Ye know, brethren, that we get the bread of the belly with toil; with how much greater toil the bread of the mind! With labor you stand and hear, but with greater we stand and speak. If we labor for your sake, you ought to labor with us for your own sake. Above, then, when He said, "The hour is coming," and added, "and now is," what did He subjoin? "When the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and they that hear shall live." He did not say, "All the dead shall hear, and they that hear shall live;" for He meant the unrighteous to be understood. And is it so, that all the unrighteous obey the gospel? The apostle says openly, "But not all obey the gospel." [397] But they that hear shall live, because all that obey the gospel shall pass to eternal life by faith: yet all do not obey; and this is now. But certainly, in the end, "All that are in the graves," both the just and the unjust, "shall hear His voice, and come forth." How is it He would not say, "and shall live"? All, indeed, will come forth, but all will not live. For in that which He said above, "And they that hear shall live," He meant it to be understood that there is in that very hearing and obeying an eternal and blessed life, which not all that shall come forth from the graves will have. Here, then, both in the mention of graves, and by the expression of a "coming forth" from the graves, we openly understand a resurrection of bodies.

18. "All shall hear His voice, and shall come forth." And where is judgment, if all shall hear and all shall come forth? It is as if all were confusion; I see no distinguishing. Certainly Thou hast received authority to judge, because Thou art the Son of man: behold, Thou wilt be present in the judgment; the bodies will rise again; but tell us something of the judgment itself, that is, of the separation of the evil and the good. Hear this further, then: "They that have done good into the resurrection of life; they that have done evil into the resurrection of judgment." When above He spoke of a resurrection of minds and souls, did He make any distinction? No, for all "that hear shall live;" because by hearing, viz. by obeying, shall they live. But certainly not all will go to eternal life by rising and coming forth from the graves,--only they that have done well; and they that have done ill, to judgment. For here He has put judgment for punishment. There will also be a separation, not such as there is now. For now we are separated, not by place, but by character, affections, desires, faith, hope, charity. Now we live together with the unjust, though the life of all is not the same: in secret we are distinguished, in secret we are separated; as grain on the floor, not as grain in the granary. On the floor, grain is both separated and mixed: separated, because severed from the chaff; mixed, because not yet winnowed. Then there will be an open separation; a distinguishing of life just as of the character, a separation as there is in wisdom, so also will there be in bodies. They that have done well will go to live with the angels of God; they that have done evil, to be tormented with the devil and his angels. And the form of a servant will pass away. For to this end He had manifested Himself, that He might execute judgment. After the judgment, He shall go hence, will lead with Him the body of which He is the head, and deliver up the kingdom of God. [398] Then will openly be seen that form of God which could not be seen by the wicked, to whose vision the form of a servant must be shown. He says also in another place on this wise: "These shall go away into everlasting burning" (speaking of certain on the left), "but the just into life eternal;" [399] of which life He says in another place: "And this is eternal life, that they may know Thee the one true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent." [400] Then will He be there manifested, "who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God." [401] Then He will manifest Himself, as He has promised to manifest Himself to them that love Him. For "he that loveth me," saith He, "keepeth my commandments; and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father; and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him." [402] He was present in person with those to whom He was speaking: but they saw the form of a servant, they did not see the form of God. They were being led on His own beast to His dwelling to be healed; but now being healed, they will see, because, saith He, "I will manifest myself to him." How is He shown equal to the Father? When He says to Philip, "He that seeth me seeth my Father also." [403]

19. "I cannot of myself do anything: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just." Else we might have said to Him, "Thou wilt judge, and the Father will not judge, for `all judgment hath He given to the Son;' it is not, therefore, according to the Father that Thou wilt judge." Hence He added, "I cannot of myself do anything: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not my own will, but the will of Him that sent me." Undoubtedly the Son quickeneth whom He will. He seeketh not His own will, but the will of Him that sent Him. Not my own, my proper will; not mine, not the Son of man's; not mine to resist God. For men do their own will, not God's, when they do what they list, not what God commands; but when they do what they list, so as yet to follow God's will, they do not their own will, notwithstanding they do what they list to do. Do what thou art bidden willingly, and thus shall thou both do what thou willest, and also not do thine own will, but His that biddeth.

20. What then? "As I hear, I judge." The Son "heareth," and the Father "showeth" to Him, and the Son seeth the Father doing. But we had deferred these matters, in order to handle them, so far as might lie in our abilities, with somewhat greater plainness and fullness, should time and strength remain to us after finishing the perusal of the passage. If I say that I am able to speak yet further, you perhaps are not able to go on hearing. Again, perhaps, in your eagerness to hear, you say, "We are able." Better, then, that I should confess my weakness, that, being already fatigued, I am not able to speak longer, than that, when you are already satiated, I should continue to pour into you what you cannot well digest. Then, as to this promise, which I deferred until today, should there be an opportunity, hold me, with the Lord's help, your debtor until to-morrow.

Footnotes

[384] Luke xv. 32. [385] John xi. 43. [386] Luke vi. 14. [387] Matt. v. 41. [388] 1 Thess. iv. 15, 16. [389] Luke xx. 36. [390] Rom. iv. 5. [391] Ps. xxxiii. 5. [392] Ps. xxxv. 10. [393] John iii. 29. [394] 2 Tim. ii. 17, 18. [395] John xix. 37. [396] Matt. v. 8. [397] Rom. x. 16. [398] 1 Cor. xv. 24. [399] Matt. xxv. 46. [400] John xvii. 3. [401] Phil. ii. 6. [402] John xiv. 21. [403] John xiv. 19. .


Tractate XX.

Chapter V. 19

1. The words of our Lord Jesus Christ, especially those recorded by the Evangelist John,--who not without cause leaned on the Lord's bosom, that he might drink in the secrets of that higher wisdom, and by evangelizing give forth again what by loving he had drunk in,--are so secret and profound of understanding, that they trouble all who are perverse of heart, and exercise all who are in heart upright. Wherefore, beloved, give heed to these few words that have been read. Let us see if in any wise we can, by His own gift and help who has willed His words to be recited to us, which at that time were heard and committed to writing that they might now be read, what He means in what ye have now heard Him say: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son cannot of Himself do anything, but what He seeth the Father doing: for what things soever the Father doeth, these same the Son also doeth in like manner."

2. Now you need to be reminded whence this discourse arose, by reason of what precedes this passage, where the Lord had cured a certain man among those who were lying in the five porches of that pool of Solomon, and to whom He had said, "Take up thy bed, and go unto thy house." But this He had done on the Sabbath; and hence the Jews, being troubled, were falsely accusing Him as a destroyer and transgressor of the law. He then said to them, "My Father worketh even until now, and I work." [404] For they, taking the observance of the Sabbath in a carnal sense, fancied that God had, as it were, slept after the labor of framing the world even to this day; and that therefore He had sanctified that day, from which He began to rest as from labor. Now, to our fathers of old there was ordained a sacrament of the Sabbath, [405] which we Christians observe spiritually, in abstaining from every servile work, that is, from every sin (for the Lord saith, "Every one that committeth sin is the servant of sin"), and in having rest in our heart, that is, spiritual tranquillity. And although in this life we strive after this rest, yet not until we have departed this life shall we attain to that perfect rest. But the reason why God is said to have rested is, that He made no creature after all was finished. Moreover, the Scripture called it rest, to admonish us that after good works we shall rest. For thus we have it written in Genesis, "And God made all things very good, and God rested on the seventh day," in order that thou, O man, considering that God Himself is said to have rested after good works, shouldest not expect rest for thyself, until after thou hast wrought good works; and even as God after He made man in His own image and likeness, and in him finished all His works very good, rested on the seventh day, so mayest thou also not expect rest to thyself, except thou return to that likeness in which thou wast made, which likeness thou hast lost by sinning. For, in reality, God cannot be said to have toiled, who "said, and they were done." Who is there that, after such facility of work, desires to rest as if after labor? If He commanded and some one resisted Him, if He commanded and it was not done, and labored that it might be done, then justly He should be said to have rested after labor. But when in that same book of Genesis we read, "God said, Let there be light, and there was light; God said, Let there be a firmament, and the firmament was made, [406] and all the rest were made immediately at His word: to which also the psalm testifies, saying, "He spake, and they were made; He commanded, and they were created," [407] --how could He require rest after the world was made, as if to enjoy leisure after toil, He who in commanding never toiled? Consequently these sayings are mystical, and are laid down in this wise that we may be looking for rest after this life, provided we have done good works. Accordingly, the Lord, restraining the impudence and refuting the error of the Jews, and showing them that they did not think rightly of God, says to them, when they were offended at His working men's healing on the Sabbath, "My Father worketh until now, and I work:" do not therefore suppose that my Father so rested on the Sabbath, that thenceforth He doth not work; but even as He now worketh, so I also work. But as the Father without toil, so too the Son without toil. God "said, and they were done;" Christ said to the impotent man, "Take up thy bed, and go unto thy house," and it was done.

3. But the catholic faith has it, that the works of the Father and of the Son are not separable. This is what I wish, if possible, to speak to you, beloved; but, according to those words of the Lord, "he that is able to receive it, let him receive it." [408] But he that is not able to receive it, let him not charge it on me, but on his own dullness; and let him turn to Him that opens the heart, that He may pour in what He freely giveth. And, lastly, if any one may not have understood, because I have not declared it as I ought to have declared it, let him excuse the weakness of man, and supplicate the divine goodness. For we have within a Master, Christ. Whatever ye are not able to receive through your ear and my mouth, turn ye in your heart to Him who both teacheth me what to speak, and distributeth to you in what measure He deigns. He who knows what to give, and to whom to give, will help him that seeketh, and open to him that knocketh. And if so be that He give not, let no one call himself forsaken. For it may be that He delays to give something, but He leaves none hungry. If, indeed, He give not at the hour, He is exercising the seeker, He is not scorning the suitor. Look ye, then, and give heed to what I wish to say, even if I should not be able to say it. The catholic faith, confirmed by the Spirit of God in His saints, has this against all heretical perverseness, that the works of the Father and of the Son are inseparable. What is this that I have said? As the Father and the Son are inseparable, so also the works of the Father and of the Son are inseparable. How are the Father and the Son inseparable, since Himself said, "I and the Father are one?" [409] Because the Father and the Son are not two Gods, but one God, the Word and He whose the Word is, One and the Only One, Father and Son bound together by charity, One God, and the Spirit of Charity also one, so that Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is made the Trinity. Therefore, not only of the Father and Son, but also of the Holy Spirit; as there is equality and inseparability of persons, so also the works are inseparable. I will tell you yet more plainly what is meant by "the works are inseparable." The catholic faith does not say that God the Father made something, and the Son made some other thing; but what the Father made, that also the Son made, that also the Holy Spirit made. For all things were made by the Word; when "He spoke and they were done," it is by the Word they were done, by Christ they were done. For "in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God: all things were made by Him." If all things were made by Him, "God said, Let there be light, and there was light; in the Word He made, by the Word He made.

4. Behold, then, we have now heard the Gospel, where He answered the Jews who were indignant "that He not only broke the Sabbath, but said also that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God." [410] For so it is written in the foregoing paragraph. When, therefore, the Son of God, the Truth, made answer to their erring indignation, saith He, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son cannot of Himself do anything, but what He seeth the Father doing;" as if He said, "Why are ye offended because I have said that God is my Father, and that I make myself equal with God? I am equal in that wise that He begat me; I am equal in that wise that He is not from me, but I from Him." For this is implied in these words: "The Son cannot do anything of Himself, but what He seeth the Father doing." That is, whatever the Son hath to do, the doing it He hath of the Father. Why of the Father hath He the doing it? Because of the Father He hath it that He is Son. Why hath He it of the Father to be Son? Because of the Father He hath it that He is able, of the Father that He is. For, to the Son, both to be able and to be is the self-same thing. It is not so with man. Raise your hearts by all means from a comparison of human weakness, that lies far beneath; and should any of us perhaps reach to the secret, and, while awe-struck by the brilliance as it were of a great light, should discern somewhat, and not remain wholly ignorant; yet let him not imagine that he understands the whole, lest he should become proud, and lose what knowledge he has gotten. With man, to be and to be able are different things. For sometimes the man is, and yet cannot what he wills; sometimes, again, the man is in such wise, that he can what he wills; therefore his being and his being able are different things. For if man's esse and posse were the same thing, then he could when he would. But with God it is not so, that His substance to be is one thing, and His power to be able another thing; but whatever is His, and whatever He is, is consubstantial with Him, because He is God: it is not so that in one way He is, in another way is able; He has the esse and the posse together, because He has to will and to do together. Since, then, the power of the Son is of the Father, therefore also the substance of the Son is of the Father; and since the substance of the Son is of the Father, therefore the power of the Son is of the Father. In the Son, power and substance are not different: the power is the self-same that the substance is; the substance to be, the power to be able. Accordingly, because the Son is of the Father, He said, "The Son cannot of Himself do anything." Because He is not Son from Himself, therefore He is not able from Himself.

5. He appears to have made Himself as it were less, when He said, "The Son cannot of Himself do anything, but what He seeth the Father doing." Hereupon heretical vanity lifts the neck; theirs, indeed, who say that the Son is less than the Father, of less authority, of less majesty, of less possibility, not understanding the mystery of Christ's words. But attend, beloved, and see how they are confounded in their carnal intellect by the words of Christ. And this is what I said a little before, that the word of God troubles all perverse hearts, just as it exercises pious hearts, especially that spoken by the Evangelist John. For they are deep words that are spoken by him, not random words, nor such as may be easily understood. So, a heretic, if he happen to hear these words, immediately rises and says to us, "Lo, the Son is less than the Father; hear the words of the Son, who says, `The Son cannot do anything of Himself, but what He seeth the Father doing.'" Wait; as it is written, "Be meek to hear the word, that thou mayest understand." [411] Well, suppose that because I assert the power and majesty of the Father and of the Son to be equal, I was disconcerted at hearing these words, "The Son cannot do anything of Himself, but what He seeth the Father doing." Well, I, being disconcerted at these words, will ask thee, who seemest to thyself to have instantly understood them, a question. We know in the Gospel that the Son walked upon the sea; [412] when saw He the Father walk upon the sea? Here now he is disconcerted. Lay aside, then, thy understanding of the words, and let us examine them together. What do we then? We have heard the words of the Lord: "The Son cannot of Himself do anything, but what He seeth the Father doing." The Son walked upon the sea, the Father never walked upon the sea. Yet certainly "the Son cannot of Himself do anything, but what He seeth the Father doing."

6. Return then with me to what I was saying, in case it is so to be understood that we may both escape from the question. For I see how I, according to the catholic faith, may escape without tripping or stumbling; whilst thou, on the other hand, shut in on every side, art seeking a way of escape. See by what way thou hast entered. Perhaps thou hast not understood this that I said, See by what way thou hast entered: hear Himself saying, "I am the door." [413] Not without cause, then, art thou seeking how thou mayest get out; and this only thou findest, that thou hast not entered by the door, but fell in over the wall. Therefore raise thyself up from thy fall how thou canst, and enter by the door, that thou mayest go in without stumbling, and go out without straying. Come by Christ, not bringing forward of thy own heart what thou mayest say; but what He shows, that speak. Behold how the catholic faith gets clear of this question. The Son walked upon the sea, planted the feet of flesh on the waves: the flesh walked, and the divinity directed. But when the flesh was walking and the divinity directing, was the Father absent? If absent, how doth the Son Himself say, "but the Father abiding in me, Himself doeth the works?" [414] If the Father, abiding in the Son, Himself doeth His works, then that walking upon the sea was made by the Father, and through the Son. Accordingly, that walking is an inseparable work of Father and Son. I see both acting in it. Neither the Father forsook the Son, nor the Son left the Father. Thus, whatever the Son doeth, He doeth not without the Father; because whatever the Father doeth, He doeth not without the Son.

7. We have got clear of this question. Mark ye that rightly we say the works of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit are inseparable. But as thou understandest it, lo, God made the light, and the Son saw the Father making light, according to thy carnal understanding, who wilt have it that He is less, because He said, "The Son cannot of Himself do anything, but what He seeth the Father doing." God the Father made light; what other light did the Son make? God the Father made the firmament, the heaven between waters and waters; and the Son saw Him, according to thy dull and sluggish understanding. Well, since the Son saw the Father making the firmament, and also said, "The Son cannot of Himself do anything, but what He seeth the Father doing," then show me the other firmament made by the Son. Hast thou lost the foundation? But they that are "built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner-stone," are brought into a state of peace in Christ; [415] nor do they strive and wander in heresy. Therefore we understand that the light was made by God the Father, but through the Son; that the firmament was made by God the Father, but through the Son. For "all things were made through Him, and without Him was nothing made." Cast out thine understanding, which ought not to be called understanding, but evidently foolishness. God the Father made the world; what other world did the Son make? Show me the Son's world. Whose is this world in which we are? Tell us, by whom made? If thou sayest, "By the Son, not by the Father," then thou hast erred from the Father; if thou sayest, "By the Father, not by the Son," the Gospel answers thee thus, "And the world was made by (through) Him, and the world knew Him not." Acknowledge Him, then, by whom the world was made, and be not among those who knew not Him that made the world.

8. Wherefore the works of the Father and of the Son are inseparable. Moreover, this, "The Son cannot do anything of Himself," would mean the same thing as if He were to say, "The Son is not from Himself." For if He is a Son, He was begotten; if begotten, He is from Him of whom He is begotten. Nevertheless, the Father begat Him equal to Himself. Nor was aught wanting to Him that begat; He who begat a co-eternal required not time to beget: who produced the Word of Himself, required not a mother to beget by; the Father begetting did not precede the Son in age, so that He should beget a Son younger than Himself. But perhaps some one may say, that after many ages God begat a Son in His old age. Even as the Father is without age, so the Son is without growth; neither has the one grown old nor the other increased, but equal begat equal, eternal begat eternal. How, says some one, has eternal begat eternal? As a temporary flame generates a temporary light. The generating flame is coeval with the light which it generates: the generating flame does not precede in time the generated light; but from the moment the flame begins, from that moment the light begins. Show me flame without light, and I show thee God the Father without Son. Accordingly, "the Son cannot do anything of Himself, but what He seeth the Father doing," implies, that for the Son to see and to be begotten of the Father, is the same thing. His seeing and His substance are not different; nor are His power and substance different. All that He is, He is of the Father; all that He can is of the Father; because what He can and what He is is one thing, and all of the Father.

9. Moreover, He goes on in His own words, and troubles those that understand the matter amiss, in order to recall the erring to a right apprehension of it. After He had said, "The Son cannot of Himself do anything, but what He seeth the Father doing;" lest a carnal understanding of the matter should by chance creep in and turn the mind aside, and a man should imagine as it were two mechanics, one a master, the other a learner, attentively observing the master while making, say a chest, so that, as the master made the chest, the learner should make another chest according to the appearance which he looked upon while the master wrought; lest, I say, the carnal mind should frame to itself any such twofold notion in the case of the divine unity, going on, He saith, "For what things soever the Father doeth, these same also the Son doeth in like manner." It is not, the Father doeth some, the Son others like them, but the same in like manner. For He saith not, What things soever the Father doeth, the Son also doeth others the like; but saith He, "What things soever the Father doeth, these same also the Son doeth in like manner." What things the Father doeth, these also the Son doeth: the Father made the world, the Son made the world, the Holy Ghost made the world. If three Gods, then three worlds; if one God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, then one world was made by the Father, through the Son, in the Holy Ghost. Consequently the Son doeth those things which also the Father doeth, and doeth not in a different manner; He both doeth these, and doeth them in like manner.

10. After He had said, "these doeth," why did He add, "in like manner doeth"? Lest another distorted understanding or error should spring up in the mind. Thou seest, for instance, a man's work: in man there is mind and body; the mind rules the body, but there is a great difference between body and mind: the body is visible, the mind is invisible: there is a great difference between the power and virtue of the mind and that of any kind of body whatever, be it even a heavenly body. Still the mind rules its own body, and the body doeth; and what the mind appears to do, this the body doeth also. Thus the body appears to do this same thing that the mind doeth, but not "in like manner." How doeth this same, but not in like manner? The mind frames a word in itself; it commands the tongue, and the tongue produces the word which the mind framed: the mind made, and the tongue made; the lord of the body made, and the servant made; but that the servant might make, it received of its lord what to make, and made while the lord commanded. The same thing was made by both, but was it in like manner? How not in like manner? says some one. See, the word that my mind formed, remains in me; that which my tongue made, passed through the smitten air, and is not. When thou hast said a word in thy mind, and uttered it by thy tongue, return to thy mind, and see that the word which thou hast made is there still. Has it remained on thy tongue, just as it has in thy mind? What was uttered by the tongue, the tongue made by sounding, the mind made by thinking; but what the tongue uttered has passed away, what the mind thought remains. Therefore the body made that which the mind made, but not in like manner. For the mind, indeed, made that which the mind may hold, but the tongue made what sounds and strikes the ear through the air. Dost thou chase the syllables, and cause them to remain? Well, not in such manner the Father and the Son; but "these same doeth," and "in like manner doeth." If God made heaven that remains, this heaven that remains the Son made. If God the Father made man that is mortal, the same man that is mortal the Son made. What things soever the Father made that endure, these things that endure made also the Son, because in like manner He made; and what things soever the Father made that are temporal, these same things that are temporal made also the Son, because He made not only the same, but also in like manner made. For the Father made by the Son, since by the Word the Father made all things.

11. Seek in the Father and Son a separation, thou findest none; no, not if thou hast mounted high; no, not even if thou hast reached something above thy mind. For if thou turnest about among the things which thy wandering mind makes for itself, thou talkest with thine own imaginations, not with the Word of God; thine own imaginations deceive thee. Mount also beyond the body, and understand the mind; mount also beyond the mind, and understand God. Thou reachest not unto God, unless thou hast passed beyond the mind; how much less thou reachest unto God, if thou hast tarried in the flesh! They who think of the flesh, how far are they from understanding what God is!--since they would not be there even if they knew the mind. Man recedes far from God when his thoughts are of the flesh; and there is a great difference between flesh and mind, yet a greater between mind and God. If thou art occupied with the mind, thou art in the midway: if thou directest thy attention beneath, there is the body; if above, there is God. Lift thyself up from the body, pass beyond even thyself. For observe what said the psalm, and thou art admonished how God must be thought of: "My tears," it saith, "were made to me my bread day and night, when it was said to me daily, Where is thy God?" As the pagans may say, "Behold our gods, where is your God?" They indeed show us what is seen; we worship what is not seen. And to whom can we show? To a man who has not sight with which to see? For anyhow, if they see their gods with their eyes, we too have other eyes with which to see our God: for "blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." [416] Therefore, when he had said that he was troubled, when it was daily said to him, "Where is thy God?" "these things I remembered," saith he, "because it is daily said to me, Where is thy God?" And as if wishing to lay hold of his God, "These things," saith he, "I remembered, and poured out my soul above me." [417] Therefore, that I might reach unto my God, of whom it was said to me, "Where is thy God? I poured out my soul," not over my flesh, but "above me;" I transcended myself, that I might reach unto Him: for He is above me who made me; none reaches to Him but he that passes beyond himself.

12. Consider the body: it is mortal, earthy, weak, corruptible; away with it. Yes, perhaps thou sayest, but the body is temporal. Think then of other bodies, the heavenly; they are greater, better, more magnificent. Look at them, moreover, attentively. They roll from east to west, they stand not; they are seen with the eyes, not only by man, but even by the beast of the field. Pass beyond them too. And how, sayest thou, pass beyond the heavenly bodies, seeing that I walk on the earth? Not in the flesh dost thou pass beyond them, but in the mind. Away with them too: though they shine ever so much, they are bodies; though they glitter from heaven, they are bodies. Come, now that perhaps thou thinkest thou hast not whither to go, after considering all these. And whither am I to go, sayest thou, beyond the heavenly bodies; and what am I to pass beyond with the mind? Hast thou considered all these? I have, sayest thou. By what means hast thou considered them? Let the being that considers appear in person. The being that considers all these, that discriminates, distinguishes, and in a manner weighs them in the balance of wisdom, is really the mind. Doubtless, then, better is the mind with which thou hast contemplated all these things, than these things which thou hast contemplated. This mind, then, is a spirit, not a body. Pass beyond it too. And that thou mayest see whither thou art to pass beyond, compare that mind itself, in the first place, with the flesh. Heaven forbid that thou shouldest deign so to compare it! Compare it with the brightness of the sun, of the moon, and of the stars; the brightness of the mind is greater. Observe, first, the swiftness of the mind; see whether the scintillation of the thinking mind be not more impetuous than the brilliance of the shining sun. With the mind thou seest the sun rising. How slow is its motion compared with thy mind! What the sun is about to do, thou canst think in a trice. It is about to come from the east to the west; to-morrow rises from another quarter. Where thy thought has done this, the sun still lags behind, and thou hast traversed the whole journey. A great thing, therefore, is the mind. But how do I say is? Pass beyond it also. For the mind, notwithstanding it be better than every kind of body, is itself changeable. Now it knows, now knows not; now forgets, now remembers; now wills, now wills not; now errs, now is right. Pass therefore beyond all changeableness; not only beyond all that is seen, but also beyond all that changes. For thou hast passed beyond the flesh which is seen; beyond heaven, the sun, moon, and stars, which are seen. Pass, too, beyond all that changes. For when thou hadst done with those things that are seen, and hadst come to thy mind, there thou didst find the changeableness of thy mind. Is God at all changeable? Pass then, beyond even thy mind. Pour out thy soul "above thee," that thou mayest reach unto God, of whom it is said to thee, "Where is thy God?"

13. Do not imagine that thou art to do something beyond a man's ability. The Evangelist John himself did this. He soared beyond the flesh, beyond the earth which he trod, beyond the seas which he looked upon, beyond the air in which the fowls fly, beyond the sun, the moon, the stars, beyond all the spirits unseen, beyond his own mind, by the very reason of his rational soul. Soaring beyond all these, pouring out his soul above him, whither did he arrive? What did he see? "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God." If, therefore, thou seest no separation in the light, why seekest thou a separation in the work? See God, see His Word inhering to the Word speaking, that the speaker speaks not by syllables, but this his speaking is a shining out in the brightness of wisdom. What is said of the Wisdom itself? "It is the radiance of eternal light." [418] Observe the radiance of the sun. The sun is in the heaven, and spreads out its brightness over all lands and over all seas, and it is simply a corporal light.

If, indeed, thou canst separate the brightness from the sun, then separate the Word from the Father. I am speaking of the sun. One small, slender flame of a lamp, which can be extinguished by one breath, spreads its light over all that lies near it: thou seest the light generated by the flame spread out; thou seest its emission, but not a separation. Understand, then, beloved brethren, that the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost are inseparably united in themselves; that this Trinity is one God; that all the works of the one God are the works of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. All the rest which follows, and which refers to the discourse of our Lord Jesus Christ, now that a discourse is due to you to-morrow also, be present that ye may hear.

Footnotes

[404] John v. 17. [405] Ex. xx. 8. [406] Gen. i. 3, 6, 7. [407] Ps. xxxiii. 9. [408] Matt. xix. 12. [409] John x. 30. [410] John v. 18. [411] Ecclus. v. 13. [412] Matt. xiv. 25. [413] John x. 7. [414] John xiv. 10. [415] Eph. ii. 14-20. [416] Matt. v. 8. [417] Ps. xli. 4, 5. [418] Wisd. vii. 26. .


Tractate XXI.

Chapter V. 20-23

1. Yesterday, so far as the Lord vouchsafed to bestow, we discussed with what ability we could, and discerned according to our capacity, how the works of the Father and of the Son are inseparable; and how the Father doeth not some, the Son others, but that the Father doeth all things through the Son, as through His Word, of which it is written, "All things were made by Him, and without Him was nothing made." Let us to-day look at the words that follow. And of the same Lord let us pray for mercy, and hope that, if He deem it meet, we may understand what is true; but if we should not be able to do this, that we may not go into what is false. For it is better not to know than to go astray; but to know is better than not to know. Therefore, before all things, we ought to strive to know. Should we be able, to God be thanks; but should we not be able meanwhile to arrive at the truth, let us not go to falsehood. For we are bound to consider well what we are, and what we are treating of. We are men bearing flesh, walking in this life; and though now begotten again of the seed of the Word of God, yet in Christ renewed in such manner that we are not yet wholly rid of Adam. For truly our mortal and corruptible part that weighs down the soul [419] shows itself to be, and manifestly is, of Adam; but what in us is spiritual, and raises up the soul, is of God's gift and of His mercy, who has sent His only Son to partake our death with us, and to lead us to His own immortality. The Son we have for our Master, that we may not sin; and for our defender, if we have sinned and have confessed, and been converted; an intercessor for us, if we have desired any good of God; and the bestower of it with the Father, because Father and Son is one God. But He was speaking these things as man to men: God concealed, the man manifest, that He might make them gods that are manifest men; and the Son of God made Son of man, that He might make the sons of men sons of God. By what skill of His wisdom He doeth this, we perceive in His own words. For as a little one He speaks to little ones, but Himself little in such wise that He is also great, and we little, but in Him great. He speaks, in deed as one cherishing and nourishing children at the breast that grow by loving.

2. He had said, "The Son cannot of Himself do anything, but what He seeth the Father doing." We, however, understood it not that the Father doeth something separately, which when the Son seeth, Himself also doeth something of the same kind, after seeing His Father's work; but when He said, "The Son cannot of Himself do anything, but what He seeth the Father doing," we understood it that the Son is wholly of the Father--that His whole substance and His whole power are of the Father that begat Him. But just now, when He had said that He doeth in like manner these things which the Father doeth, that we may not understand it to mean that the Father doeth some, the Son others, but that the Son with like power doeth the very same which the Father doeth, whilst the Father doeth through the Son, He went on, and said what we have heard read to-day: "For the Father loveth the Son, and showeth Him all things that Himself doeth." Again mortal thought is disturbed. The Father showeth to the Son what things Himself doeth; therefore, saith some one, the Father doeth separately, that the Son may be able to see what He doeth. Again, there occur to human thought, as it were, two artificers--as, for instance, a carpenter teaching his son his own art, and showing him whatever he doeth, that the son also may be able to do it. "Showeth Him," saith He, "all things that Himself doeth." Is it therefore so, that whilst He doeth, the Son doeth not, that He may be able to see the Father do? Yet, certainly, "all things were made by Him, and without Him was nothing made." Hence we see how the Father showeth the Son what He doeth, since the Father doeth nothing but what He doeth through the Son. What hath the Father made? He made the world. Hath He shown the world, when made, to the Son in such wise, that the Son also should make something like it? Then let us see the world which the Son made. Nevertheless, both "all things were made by Him, and without Him was nothing made," and also "the world was made by Him." [420] If the world was made by Him, and all things were made by Him, and the Father doeth nothing save by the Son, where doth the Father show to the Son what He doeth, if it be not in the Son Himself, through whom He doeth? In what place can the work of the Father be shown to the Son, as though He were doing and sitting outside, and the Son attentively watching the Father's hand how it maketh? Where is that inseparable Trinity? Where the Word, of which it is said that the same is "the power and the wisdom of God"? [421] Where that which the Scripture saith of the same wisdom: "For it is the brightness of the eternal light?" [422] Where what was said of it again: "It powerfully reaches from the end even to the end, and ordereth all things sweetly"? [423] Whatever the Father doeth, He doeth through the Son: through His wisdom and his power He doeth; not from without doth He show to the Son what He may see, but in the Son Himself He showeth Him what He doeth.

3. What seeth the Father, or rather, what doth the Son see in the Father, that Himself also may do? Perhaps I may be able to speak it, but show me the man who can comprehend it; or perhaps I may be able to think and not speak it; or perhaps I may not be able even to think it. For that divinity excels us, as God excels men, as the immortal excels a mortal, as the eternal excels the temporal. May He inspire and endow us, and out of that fountain of life deign to bedew and to drop somewhat on our thirst, that we may not be parched in this wilderness! Let us say to Him, Lord, to whom we have learnt to say Father. We make bold to say this, because Himself willed it; if only we so live that He may not say to us, "If I am a Father, where is mine honor? if I am Lord, where is my fear?" Let us then say to Him, "Our Father." To whom do we say, "Our Father"? To the Father of Christ. He, then, who says "Our Father" to the Father of Christ, says to Christ, what else but "Our Brother"? Not, however, as He is the Father of Christ is He in like manner our Father; for Christ never so conjoined us as to make no distinction between Him and us. For He is the Son equal to the Father, the eternal Son with the Father, and co-eternal with the Father; but we became sons through the Son, adopted through the Only-begotten. Hence was it never heard from the mouth of our Lord Jesus Christ, when speaking to His disciples, that He said of the supreme God His Father, "Our Father;" but He said either "My Father" or "Your Father." But He said not "Our Father;" so much so, that in a certain place He used these two expressions: "I go to my God," saith He, "and to your God." Why did He not say, "Our God"? Further, He said, "My Father, and your Father;" He said not, "Our Father." He so joins as to distinguish, distinguishes so as not to disjoin. He wills us to be one in Him, but the Father and Himself one.

4. How much soever then we may understand, and how much soever we may see, we shall not see as the Son seeth, even when we shall be made equal with the angels. For we are something even when we do not see; but what are we when we do not see, other than persons not seeing? And that we may see, we turn to Him whom we may see, and there is formed in us a seeing which was not before, although we were in being. For a man is when not seeing; and the same, when he doth see, is called a man seeing. For him, then, to see is not the same thing as to be a man; for if it were, he would not be man when not seeing. But since he is man when not seeing, and seeks to see what he sees not, he is one who seeks, and who turns to see; and when he has well turned and has seen, he becomes a man seeing, who was before a man not seeing. Consequently, to see is to him a thing that comes and goes; it comes to him when he turns to, and leaves him when he turns away. Is it thus with the Son? Far be it from us to think so. It was never so that He was Son, not seeing, and afterwards was made to see; but to see the Father is to Him the same thing as to be Son. For we, by turning away to sin, lose enlightenment; and by turning to God we receive enlightenment. For the light by which we are enlightened is one thing; we who are enlightened, another thing. But the light itself, by which we are enlightened, neither turns away from itself, nor loses its lucidity, because as light it exists. The Father, then, showeth a thing which He doeth to the Son, in such wise that the Son seeth all things in the Father, and is all things in the Father. For by seeing He was begotten; and by being begotten He seeth. Not, however, that at any time He was not begotten, and afterwards was begotten; nor that at any time He saw not, and afterwards saw. But in what consists His seeing, in the same consists His being, in the same His being begotten, in the same His continuing, in the same His unchanging, in the same His abiding without beginning and without end. Let us not therefore take it in a carnal sense that the Father sitteth and doeth a work, and showeth it to the Son; and the Son seeth the work that the Father doeth, and doeth another work in another place, or out of other materials. For "all things were made by Him, and without Him was nothing made." The Son is the Word of the Father. The Father said nothing which He did not say in the Son. For by speaking in the Son what He was about to do through the Son, He begat the Son through whom He made all things.

5. "And greater works than these will He show Him, that ye may marvel." Here again we are embarrassed. And who is there that may worthily investigate this so great a secret? But now, in that He has deigned to speak to us, Himself opens it. For He would not speak what He would not have us understand; and as He has deigned to speak, without doubt He has excited attention: for does He forsake any whom He has roused to give attentive hearing? We have said that it is not in a temporal sense that the Son knoweth,--that the knowledge of the Son is not one thing, and the Son Himself another; nor one thing His seeing, Himself another; but that the seeing itself is the Son, and the knowledge as well as the wisdom of the Father is the Son; and that that wisdom and seeing is eternal and co-eternal with Him from whom it is; that it is not something that varies by time, nor something produced that was not in being, nor something that vanishes away which did exist. What is it, then, that time does in this case, that He should say, "Greater works than these He will show Him"? "He will show," that is, "He is about to show." Hath shown is a different thing from will show: hath shown, we say of an act past; will show, of an act future. What shall we do here, then, brethren? Behold, He whom we had declared to be co-eternal with the Father, in whom nothing is varied by time, in whom is no moving through spaces either of moments or of places, of whom we had declared that He abides ever with the Father seeing, seeing the Father, and by seeing existing; He, I say, here again mentioning times to us, saith, "He will show Him greater works than these." Is He then about to show something to the Son, which the Son doth not as yet know? What, then, do we make of it? How do we understand this? Behold, our Lord Jesus Christ was above, is beneath. When was He above? When He said, "What things soever the Father doeth, these same also the Son doeth in like manner." Whence know we that He is now beneath? Hence: "Greater works than these He will show Him." O Lord Jesus Christ, our Saviour, Word of God, by which all things were made, what is the Father about to show Thee, that as yet Thou knowest not? What of the Father is hid from Thee? What in the Father is hid from Thee, from whom the Father is not hid? What greater works is He about to show Thee? Or greater than what works are they which He is to show Thee? For when He said, "Greater than these," we ought first to understand the works than which are they greater.

6. Let us again call to mind whence this discourse started. It was when that man who was thirty-eight years in infirmity was healed, and Jesus commanded him, now made whole, to take up his bed and to go to his house. For this cause, indeed, the Jews with whom He was speaking were enraged. He spoke in words, as to the meaning He was silent; hinted in some measure at the meaning to those who understood, and hid the matter from them that were wroth. For this cause, I say, the Jews, being enraged because the Lord did this on the Sabbath, gave occasion to this discourse. Therefore let us not hear these things in such wise as if we had forgotten what was said above, but let us look back to that impotent man languishing for thirty-eight years suddenly made whole, while the Jews marvelled and were wroth. They sought darkness from the Sabbath more than light from the miracle. Speaking then to these, while they are indignant, He saith, "Greater works than these will He show Him." "Greater than these:" than which? What ye have seen, that a man, whose infirmity had lasted thirty-eight years, was made whole; greater than these the Father is about to show to the Son. What are greater works? He goes on, saying, "For as the Father raiseth the dead, and quickeneth them, so also the Son quickeneth whom He will." Clearly these are greater. Very much greater is it that a dead man should rise, than that a sick man should recover: these are greater. But when is the Father about to show these to the Son? Does the Son not know them? And He who was speaking, did He not know how to raise the dead? Had He yet to learn how to raise the dead to life--He, I say, by whom all things were made? He who caused that we should live, when we were not in being, had He yet to learn how we might be raised to life again? What, then, do His words mean?

7. But now He condescends to us, and He who a little before was speaking as God, now begins to speak as man. Notwithstanding, the same is man who is God, for God was made man; but was made what He was not, without losing what He was. The man therefore was added to the God, that He might be man who was God, but not that He should now henceforth be man and not be God. Let us then hear Him also as our brother whom we did hear as our Maker. Our Maker, because the Word in the beginning; our Brother, because born of the Virgin Mary: Maker, before Abraham, before Adam, before earth, before heaven, before all things corporeal and spiritual; but Brother, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Judah, of the Israelitish virgin. If therefore we know Him who speaks to us as both God and man, let us understand the words of God and of man; for sometimes He speaks to us such things as are applicable to the majesty, sometimes such as are applicable to the humility. For the selfsame is high who was made low, that He might make us high who are low. What, then, saith He? "The Father will show" to me "greater than these, that ye may marvel." To us, therefore, He is about to show, not to Him. And since it is to us that the Father is to show, for that reason He said, "that ye may marvel." He has, in fact, explained what He meant in saying, "The Father will show" to me. Why did He not say, The Father will show to you; but, He will show to the Son? Because also we are members of the Son; and like as what we the members learn, He Himself in a manner learns in His members. How doth He learn in us? As He suffers in us. Whence may we prove that He suffers in us? From that voice out of heaven, "Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?" [424] Is it not Himself that will sit as Judge in the end of the world, and, setting the just on the right, and the wicked on the left, will say, "Come, ye blessed of my Father, receive the kingdom; for I was hungry, and ye gave me to eat"? And when they shall answer, "Lord, when saw we Thee hungry?" He will say to them, "Since ye gave to one of the least of mine, ye gave to me." [425] Let us at this time question Him, and let us say to Him, Lord, when wilt Thou be a learner, seeing Thou teachest all things? Immediately, indeed, He makes answer to us in our faith, When one of the least of mine doth learn, I learn.

8. Let us rejoice, then, and give thanks that we are made not only Christians, but Christ. Do ye understand, brethren, and apprehend the grace of God upon us? Marvel, be glad, we are made Christ. For if He is the head, we are the members: the whole man is He and we. This is what the Apostle Paul saith: "That we be no longer babes, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine." But above he had said, "Until we all come together into the unity of faith, and to the knowledge of the Son of God, to the perfect man, to the measure of the age of the fullness of Christ." [426] The fullness of Christ, then, is head and members. Head and members, what is that? Christ and the Church. We should indeed be arrogating this to ourselves proudly, if He did not Himself deign to promise it, who saith by the same apostle, "But ye are the body of Christ, and members." [427]

9. Whenever, then, the Father showeth to Christ's members, He showeth to Christ. A certain great but yet real miracle happens. There is a showing to Christ of what Christ knew, and it is shown to Christ through Christ. A marvelous and great thing it is, but the Scripture so saith. Shall we contradict the divine declarations? Shall we not rather understand them, and of His own gift render thanks to Him who freely bestowed it on us? What is this that I said, "is shown to Christ through Christ"? Is shown to the members through the head. Lo, look at this in thyself. Suppose that with thine eyes shut thou wouldest take up something, thy hand knows not whither to go; and yet thy hand is at any rate thy member, for it is not separated from thy body. Open thine eyes, now the hand sees whither it may go; while the head showed, the member followed. If, then, there could be found in thyself something such, that thy body showed to thy body, and that through thy body something was shown to thy body, then do not marvel that it is said there is shown to Christ through Christ. For the head shows that the members may see, and the head teaches that the members may learn; nevertheless one man, head and members. He willed not to separate Himself, but deigned to attach Himself to us. Far was He from us, yea, very far. What so far apart as the creature and the Creator? What so far apart as God and man? What so far as justice and iniquity? What so far as eternity and mortality? Behold, so far from us was the Word in the beginning, God with God, by whom all things were made. How, then, was He made near, that He might be what we are, and we in Him? "The Word was made flesh, and dwelt in (among) us." [428]

10. This, then, He is about to show us; this He showed to His disciples, who saw Him in the flesh. What is this? "As the Father raiseth the dead, and quickeneth them, so also the Son quickeneth whom He will." Is it that the Father some, the Son others? Surely all things were made by Him. What do we say, my brethren? Christ raised Lazarus; what dead man did the Father raise, that Christ might see how to raise Lazarus? When Christ raised Lazarus, did not the Father raise him? or was it the doing of the Son alone, without the Father? Read ye the passage itself, and see that He invokes the Father that Lazarus may rise again. [429] As a man, He calls on the Father; as God, He doeth with the Father. Therefore also Lazarus, who rose again, was raised both by the Father and by the Son, in the gift and grace of the Holy Spirit; and that wonderful work the Trinity performed. Let us not, therefore, understand this, "As the Father raiseth the dead, and quickeneth them, so also the Son quickeneth whom He will," in such wise as to suppose that some are raised and quickened by the Father, others by the Son; but that the Son raiseth and quickeneth the very same whom the Father raiseth and quickeneth; because "all things were made by Him, and without Him was nothing made." And to show that He has, though given by the Father, equal power, therefore He saith, "So also the Son quickeneth whom He will," that He might therein show His will; and lest any should say, "The Father raiseth the dead by the Son, but the Father as being powerful, and as having power, the Son as by another's power, as a servant does something, as an angel," He indicated His power when He saith, "So also the Son quickeneth whom He will." It is not so that the Father willeth other than the Son; but as the Father and the Son have one substance, so also one will.

11. And who are these dead whom the Father and the Son quicken? Are they the same of whom we have spoken--Lazarus, or that widow's son, [430] or the ruler of the synagogue's daughter? [431] For we know that these were raised by Christ the Lord. It is some other thing that He means to signify to us,--namely, the resurrection of the dead, which we all look for; not that resurrection which certain have had, that the rest might believe. For Lazarus rose to die again; we shall rise again to live for ever. Is it the Father that effects such a resurrection, or the Son? Nay verily, the Father in the Son. Consequently the Son, and the Father in the Son. Whence do we prove that He speaks of this resurrection? When He had said, "As the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them, so also the Son quickeneth whom He will." Lest we should understand here that resurrection which He performs for a miracle, not for eternal life, He proceeded, saying, "For the Father judgeth not any man, but all judgment hath He given to the Son." What is this? He was speaking of the resurrection of the dead, that "as the Father raiseth the dead, and quickeneth them, so also the Son quickeneth whom He will;" and immediately thereupon added as a reason, concerning the judgment, saying, "for the Father judgeth not any man, but all judgment hath He given to the Son." Why said He this, but to indicate that He had spoken of that resurrection of the dead which will take place in the judgment?

12. "For," saith He, "the Father judgeth no man, but all judgment hath He given to the Son." A little before we were thinking that the Father doeth something which the Son doeth not, when He said, "The Father loveth the Son, and showeth Him all things that Himself doeth;" as though the Father were doing, and the Son were seeing. In this way there was creeping in upon our mind a carnal conception, as if the Father did what the Son did not; but that the Son was looking on while the Father showed what He was doing. Then, as the Father was doing what the Son did not, just now we see the Son doing what the Father doeth not. How He turns us about, and keeps our mind busy! He leads us hither and thither, will not allow us to remain in one place of the flesh, that by changing He may exercise us, by exercising He may cleanse us, by cleansing He may render us capable of receiving, and may fill us when made capable. What have these words to do with us? What was He speaking? What is He speaking? A little before, He said that the Father showeth to the Son whatever He doeth. I did see, as it were, the Father doing, the Son waiting to see; presently again, I see the Son doing, the Father idle: "For the Father judgeth not any man, but all judgment hath He given to the Son." When, therefore, the Son is about to judge, will the Father be idle, and not judge? What is this? What am I to understand? What dost Thou say, O Lord? Thou art God the Word, I am a man. Dost Thou say that "the Father judgeth not any man, but hath given all judgment to the Son"? I read in another place that Thou sayest, "I judge not any man; there is one who seeketh and judgeth." [432] Of whom sayest Thou, "There is one who seeketh and judgeth," unless it be of the Father? He maketh inquisition for thy wrongs, and judgeth for them. How is it to be understood here that "the Father judgeth not any man, but all judgment hath He given to the Son"? Let us ask Peter; let us hear him speaking in his epistle: "Christ suffered for us," saith he, "leaving us an example that we should follow His steps; who did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth; who, when He was reviled, reviled not again; when He suffered wrong, He threatened not, but committed Himself to Him that judgeth righteously." [433] How is it true that "the Father judgeth not any man, but hath given all judgment to the Son"? We are here in perplexity, and being perplexed let us exert ourselves, that by exertion we may be purified. Let us endeavor as best we may, by His own gift, to penetrate the deep secrets of these words. It may be that we are acting rashly, in that we wish to discuss and to scrutinize the words of God. Yet why were they spoken, but to be known? Why did they sound forth, but to be heard? Why were they heard, but to be understood? Let Him greatly strengthen us, then, and bestow somewhat on us so far as He may deem worthy; and if we do not yet penetrate to the fountain, let us drink of the brook. Behold, John himself has flowed forth to us like a brook, conveyed to us the word from on high. He brought it low, and in a manner levelled it, that we may not dread the lofty One, but may draw nigh to Him that is low.

13. By all means there is a sense, a true and strong sense, if somehow we can grasp it, in which "the Father judgeth not any man, but hath given all judgment to the Son." For this is said because none will appear to men in the judgment but the Son. The Father will be hidden, the Son will be manifest. In what will the Son be manifest? In the form in which He ascended. For in the form of God He was hidden with the Father; in the form of a servant, manifest to men. Not therefore "the Father judgeth any man, but all judgment hath He given to the Son:" only the manifest judgment, in which manifest judgment the Son will judge, since the same will appear to them that are to be judged. The Scripture shows us more clearly that it is the Son that will appear. On the fortieth day after His resurrection He ascended into heaven, while His disciples were looking on; and they hear the angelic voice: "Men of Galilee," saith it, "why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same that is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him going into heaven." [434] In what manner did they see Him go? In the flesh, which they touched, which they handled, the wounds even of which they proved by touching; in that body in which He went in and out with them for forty days, manifesting Himself to them in truth, not in falsity; not a phantom, or shadow, or ghost, but, as Himself said, not deceiving them, "Handle and see, for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have." [435] That body is now indeed worthy of a heavenly habitation, not being subject to death, nor mutable by the lapse of ages. It is not as it had grown to that age from infancy, so from the age of manhood declines to old age: He remains as He ascended, to come to those to whom He willed His word to be preached before He comes. Thus will He come in human form, and this form the wicked will see; both they on the right shall see it, and they that are separated to the left shall see it: as it is written, "They shall look on Him whom they pierced." [436] If they shall look on Him whom they pierced, they shall look on that same body which they struck through with the spear; for a spear does not pierce the Word. This body, therefore, will the wicked be able to look on which they were able to wound. God hidden in the body they will not see: after the judgment He will be seen by those who will be on the right hand. This, then, is what He means when He saith, "The Father judgeth not any man, but all judgment hath He given to the Son,"--that the Son will come to judgment manifest, apparent to men in human body; saying to those on the right, "Come, ye blessed of my Father, receive the kingdom;" and to those on the left, "Go into everlasting fire, which is prepared for the devil and his angels." [437]

14. Behold, that form of man will be seen by the godly and by the wicked, by the just and the unjust, by the believers and unbelievers, by those that rejoice and by those that mourn, by them that trusted and by them that are confounded: lo, seen it will be. When that form shall have appeared in the judgment, and the judgment shall have been finished, where it is said that the Father judgeth not any, but hath given all judgment to the Son, for this reason, that the Son will appear in the judgment in that form which He took from us. What shall be after this? When shall be seen the form of God, which all the faithful are thirsting to see? When shall be seen that Word which was in the beginning, God with God, by which all things were made? When shall be seen that form of God, of which the apostle saith, "Being in the form of God, He thought it not robbery to be equal with God"? [438] For great is that form, in which, moreover, the quality of the Father and Son is recognized; ineffable, incomprehensible, most of all to little ones. When shall this form be seen? Behold, on the right are the just, on the left are the unjust; all alike see the man, they see the Son of man, they see Him who was pierced, Him who was crucified they see: they see Him that was made low, Him who was born of the Virgin, the Lamb of the tribe of Judah they see. But when will they see the Word, God with God? He will be the very same even then, but the form of a servant will appear. The form of a servant will be shown to servants: the form of God will be reserved for sons. Wherefore let the servants be made sons: let them who are on the right hand go into the eternal inheritance promised of old, which the martyrs, though not seeing, believed, for the promise of which they poured out their blood without hesitation; let them go thither and see there. When shall they go thither? Let the Lord Himself say: "So those shall go into everlasting burning, but the righteous into life eternal." [439]

15. Behold, He has named eternal life. Has He told us that we shall there see and know the Father and Son? What if we shall live for ever, yet not see that Father and Son? Hear, in another place, where He has named eternal life, and expressed what eternal life is: "Be not afraid; I do not deceive thee; not without cause have I promised to them that love me, saying, `He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me; and he that loveth me, shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will show myself to him.'" [440] Let us answer the Lord, and say, What great thing is this, O Lord our God? What great thing is it? Wilt Thou show Thyself to us? What, then, didst Thou not show Thyself to the Jews also? Did not they see Thee who crucified Thee? But Thou wilt show Thyself in the judgment, when we shall stand at Thy right hand; will not also they who will stand on Thy left see Thee? What is it that Thou wilt show Thyself to us? Do we, indeed, not see Thee now when Thou art speaking? He makes answer: I will show myself in the form of God; just now you see the form of a servant. I will not deceive thee, O faithful man; believe that thou shall see. Thou lovest, and yet thou dost not see: shall not love itself lead thee to see? Love, persevere in loving; I will not disappoint thy love, saith He, I who have purified thy heart. For why have I purified thy heart, but to the end that God may be seen by thee? For "blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." [441] "But this," saith the servant, as if disputing with the Lord, "Thou didst not express, when Thou didst say, `The righteous shall go into life eternal;' Thou didst not say, They shall go to see me in the form of God, and to see the Father, with whom I am equal." Observe what He said elsewhere: "This is life eternal, that they may know Thee the one true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent." [442]

16. And immediately, then, after the judgment mentioned, all which the Father, not judging any man, hath given to the Son, what shall be? What follows? "That all may honor the Son, even as they honor the Father." The Jews honor the Father, despise the Son. For the Son was seen as a servant, the Father was honored as God. But the Son will appear equal with the Father, that all may honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. This we have, therefore, now in faith. Let not the Jew say, "I honor the Father; what have I to do with the Son?" Let him be answered, "He that honoreth not the Son, honoreth not the Father. Thou liest every way; thou blasphemest the Son, and dost wrong to the Father. For the Father sent the Son, and thou despisest Him whom the Father sent. How canst thou honor the sender, who blasphemest the sent?"

17. Behold, says some one, the Son has been sent; and the Father is greater, because He sent. Withdraw from the flesh; the old man suggests oldness in time. Let the ancient, the perpetual, the eternal, to thee the new, call off thy understanding from time to this. Is the Son less because He is said to have been sent? I hear of a sending, not a separation. But yet, saith he, among men we see that he who sends is greater than he who is sent. Be it so; but human affairs deceive a man; divine things purge him. Do not regard things human, in which the sender appears greater, the sent less; notwithstanding, things human themselves bear testimony against thee. Just as, for example, if a man wishes to ask a woman to wife, and, not being able to do this in person, sends a friend to ask for him. And there are many cases in which the greater is chosen to be sent by the less. Why, then, wouldst thou now raise a captious objection, because the one has sent, the other is sent? The sun sends out a ray, but does not separate it; the moon sends out her sheen, but does not separate it; a lamp sheds light, but does not separate it: I see there a sending forth, not a separation. For if thou seekest examples from human things, O heretical vanity, although, as I have said, even human things in some instances refute thee, and convict of error; yet consider how different it is in the case of things human, from which you wish to deduce examples for things divine. A man that sends remains himself behind, while only the man that is sent goes forward. Does the man who sends go with him whom he sends? Yet the Father, who sent the Son, has not departed from the Son. Hear the Lord Himself saying, "Behold, the hour is coming, when every one shall depart to his own, and ye will leave me alone; but I am not alone, because the Father is with me." [443] How has He, with whom He came, sent Him? How has He, from whom He has not departed, sent Him? In another place He said, "The Father abiding in me doeth the works." [444] Behold, the Father is in Him, works in Him. The Father sending has not departed from the Son sent, because the sent and the sender are one.

Footnotes

[419] Wisd. ix. 15. [420] John i. 3, 10. [421] 1 Cor. i. 24. [422] Wisd. vii. 26. [423] Wisd. viii. 1. [424] Acts ix. 4. [425] Matt. xxv. 31-40. [426] Eph. iv. 14. [427] 1 Cor. xii. 27. [428] John i. 14. [429] John xi. 41-44. [430] Luke vii. 14. [431] Luke viii. 54. [432] John viii. 15. [433] 1 Pet. ii. 21-23. [434] Acts i. 3-11. [435] Luke xxiv. 39. [436] Zech. xii. 13. [437] Matt. xxv. 34, 41. [438] Phil. ii. 6. [439] Matt. xxv. 46. [440] John xiv. 21. [441] Matt. v. 8. [442] John xvii. 3. [443] John xvi. 32. [444] John xiv. 10. .


Tractate XXII.

Chapter V. 24-30

Upon the discourses delivered yesterday and the day before, follows the Gospel lesson of to-day, which we must endeavor to expound in due course, not indeed proportionably to its importance, but according to our ability: both because you take in, not according to the bountifulness of the gushing fountain, but according to your moderate capacity; and we too speak into your ears, not so much as the fountain gives forth, but so much as we are able to take in we convey into your minds,--the matter itself working more fruitfully in your hearts than we in your ears. For a great matter is treated of, not by great masters, nay, rather by very small; but He who, being great, for our sakes became small, gives us hope and confidence. For if we were not encouraged by Him, and invited to understand Him; if He abandoned us as contemptible, since we were not able to partake His divinity if He did not partake our mortality and come to us to speak His gospel to us; if He had not willed to partake with us what in us is abject and most small,--then we might think that He who took on Himself our smallness, had not been willing to bestow on us His own greatness. This I have said lest any should blame us as over-bold in handling these matters, or despair of himself that he should be able to understand, by God's gift, what the Son of God has deigned to speak to him. Therefore what He has deigned to speak to us, we ought to believe that He meant us to understand. But if we do not understand, He, being asked, gives understanding, who gave His Word unasked.

2. Lo, what these secrets of His words are, consider well. "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whoso heareth my word, and believeth on Him that sent me, hath eternal life." Surely we are all striving after eternal life: and He saith, "Whoso heareth my word, and believeth Him that sent me, hath eternal life." Then, would He have us hear His word, and yet would He not have us understand it? Since, if in hearing and believing is eternal life, much more in understanding. But the action of piety is faith, the fruit of faith understanding, that we may come to eternal life, when there will be no reading of Gospel to us; but after all pages of reading and the voice of reader and preacher have been removed out of the way, He, who has at this time dispensed to us the gospel, will Himself appear to all that are His, now present with Him with purged heart and in an immortal body never more to die, cleansing and enlightening them, now living and seeing how that "in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God." Therefore let us consider at this time who we are, and ponder whom we hear. Christ is God, and He is speaking with men. He would have them to apprehend Him, let Him make them capable; He would have them see Him, let Him open their eyes. It is not, however, without cause that He speaks to us, but because that is true which He promises to us.

3. "Whoso heareth my words," saith He, "and believeth Him that sent me, hath eternal life, and shall not come into judgment, but is passed from death unto life." Where, when do we come from death to life, that we come not into judgment? In this life there is a passing from death to life; in this life, which is not yet life, there is a passing hence from death unto life. What is that passing? "Whoso heareth my words," He said, "and believeth Him that sent me." Observing these, thou believest and passest. And does a man pass while standing? Evidently; for in body he stands, in mind he passes. Where was he, whence he should pass, and whither does he pass? He passes from death to life. Look at a man standing, in whom all that is here said may happen. He stands, he hears, perhaps he did not believe, by hearing he believes: a little before he did not believe, just now he believes; he has made a passage, as it were, from the region of unbelief to the region of faith, by motion of the heart, not of the body, by a motion into the better; because they who again abandon faith move into the worse. Behold, in this life, which, just as I have said, is not yet life, there is a passing from death to life, so that there may not be a coming into judgment. But why did I say that it is not yet life? If this were life, the Lord would not have said to a certain man, "If thou wilt come into life, keep the commandments." [445] For He saith not to him, If thou wilt come into eternal life; He did not add eternal, but said only life. Therefore this life is not to be named life, because it is not a true life. What is true life, but that which is eternal life? Hear the apostle speaking to Timothy, when he says, "Charge them that are rich in this world, not to be high-minded, nor to trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us all things richly to enjoy; let them do good, be rich in good works, ready to distribute, to communicate." Why does he say this? Hear what follows: "Let them lay up in store for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold of the true life." [446] If they ought to lay up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, in order to lay hold of the true life, surely this in which they were is a false life. For why shouldest thou desire to lay hold of the true, if thou hast the true already? Is the true to be laid hold of? There must then be a departing from the false. And by what way must be the departing? Whither? Hear, believe; and thou makest the passage from death into life, and comest not into judgment.

4. What is this, "and thou comest not into judgment"? And who will be better than the Apostle Paul, who saith, "We must all appear before the judgment-seat of Christ, that every one may there receive what he has done in the body, whether it be good or evil"? [447] Paul saith, "We must all appear before the judgment-seat of Christ;" and darest thou promise to thyself that thou shalt not come into judgment? Be it far from me, sayest thou, that I should dare promise this to myself. But I believe Him that doth promise. The Saviour speaks, the Truth promises, Himself said to me, "Whoso heareth my words, and believeth Him that sent me, hath eternal life, and makes a passage from death unto life, and shall not come into judgment." I then have heard the words of my Lord, and I have believed; so now, when I was an unbeliever, I became a believer; even as He warned me, I passed from death to life, I come not into judgment; not by my presumption, but by His promise. Does Paul, however, speak contrary to Christ, the servant against his Lord, the disciple against his Master, the man against God; so that, when the Lord saith, "Whoso heareth and believeth, passeth from death to life," the apostle should say, "We must all appear before the judgment-seat of Christ"? Otherwise, if he comes not into judgment who appears before the judgment-seat, I know not how to understand it.

5. The Lord our God then reveals it, and by His Scriptures puts us in mind how it may be understood when judgment is spoken of. I exhort you, therefore, to give attention. Sometimes judgment means punishment, sometimes it means discrimination. According to that mode of speech in which judgment means discrimination, "we must all appear before the judgment-seat of Christ that" a man "may there receive what things he has done in the body, whether it be good or ill." For this same is a discrimination, to distribute good things to the good, evil things to the evil. For if judgment were always to be taken in a bad sense, the psalm would not say, "Judge me, O God." Perhaps some one is surprised when he hears one say, "Judge me, O God." For man is wont to say, "Forgive me, O God;" "Spare me, O God." Who is it that says, "Judge me, O God"? Sometimes in the psalm this very verse even is placed in the pause, [448] to be given out by the reader and responded by the people. Does it not perhaps strike some man's heart so much that he is afraid to sing and to say to God, "Judge me, O God"? And yet the people sing it with confidence, and do not imagine that they wish an evil thing in that which they have learned from the divine word; even if they do not well understand it, they believe that what they sing is something good. And yet even the psalm itself has not left a man without an insight into the meaning of it. For, going on, it shows in the words that follow what kind of judgment it spoke of; that it is not one of condemnation, but of discrimination. For saith it, "Judge me, O God." What means "Judge me, O God, and discern my cause from an unholy nation"? According to this judgment of discerning, then, "we must all appear before the judgment-seat of Christ." But again, according to the judgment of condemnation, "Whoso heareth my words," saith He, "and believeth Him that sent me, hath eternal life, and shall not come into judgment, but makes a passage from death to life." What is "shall not come into judgment?" Shall not come into condemnation. Let us prove from the Scriptures that judgment is put where punishment is understood; although also in this very passage, a little further on, you will hear the same term judgment put for nothing else than for condemnation and punishment. Yet the apostle says in a certain place, writing to those who abused the body, what the faithful among you know; and because they abused it, they were chastised by the scourge of the Lord. For he says to them, "Many among you are weak and sickly, and deeply sleep." For many therefore even died. And he went on: "For if we judged ourselves, we should not be judged by the Lord;" that is, if we reproved ourselves, we should not be reproved by the Lord. "But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world." [449] There are therefore those who are judged here according to punishment, that they may be spared there; there are those who are spared here, that they may be the more abundantly tormented there; and there are those to whom the very punishments are meted out without the scourge of punishment, if they be not corrected by the scourge of God; that, since here they have despised the Father that scourgeth, they may there feel the Judge that punisheth. Therefore there is a judgment into which God, that is, the Son of God, will in the end send the devil and his angels, and all the unbelieving and ungodly with him. To this judgment, he who, now believing, passes from death unto life, shall not come.

6. For, lest thou shouldest think that by believing thou art not to die according to the flesh, or lest, understanding it carnally, thou shouldest say to thyself, "My Lord has said to me, Whoso heareth my words, and believeth Him that sent me, is passed from death to life: I then have believed, I am not to die;" be assured that thou shalt pay that penalty, death, which thou owest by the punishment of Adam. For he, in whom we all then were, received this sentence, "Thou shalt surely die;" [450] nor can the divine sentence be made void. But after thou hast paid the death of the old man, thou shalt be received into the eternal life of the new man, and shalt pass from death to life. Mean while, make the transition of life now. What is thy life? Faith: "The just doth live by faith." [451] The unbelievers, what of them? They are dead. Among such dead was he, in the body, of whom the Lord says, "Let the dead bury their dead." [452] So, then, even in this life there are dead, and there are living; all live in a sense. Who are dead? They who have not believed. Who are living? They who have believed. What is said to the dead by the apostle? "Arise, thou that sleepest." But, quoth an objector, he said sleep, not death. Hear what follows: "Arise, thou that sleepest, and come forth from the dead." And as if the sleeper said, Whither shall I go? "And Christ shall give thee light." [453] Christ having enlightened thee, now believing, immediately thou makest a passage from death to life: abide in that to which thou hast passed, and thou shalt not come into judgment.

7. Himself explains that already, and goes on, "Verily, verily, I say unto you." In case, because He said "is passed from death to life," we should understand this of the future resurrection, and willing to show that he who believes is passed, and that to pass from death to life is to pass from unbelief to faith, from injustice to justice, from pride to humility, from hatred to charity, He saith now, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour cometh, and now is." What more evident? "And now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and they that hear shall live." We have already spoken of these dead. What think we, my brethren? Are there no dead in this crowd that hear me? They who believe and act according to the true faith do live, and are not dead. But they who either do not believe, or believe as the devils believe, trembling, [454] and living wickedly, confessing the Son of God, and without charity, must rather be esteemed dead. This hour, however, is still passing. For the hour of which the Lord spoke will not be an hour of the twelve hours of a day. From the time when He spoke even to the present, and even to the end of the world, the same one hour is passing; of which hour John saith in his epistle, "Little children, it is the last hour." [455] Therefore, is now. Whoso is alive, let him live; whoso was dead, let him live; let him hear the voice of the Son of God, who lay dead; let him arise and live. The Lord cried out at the sepulchre of Lazarus, and he that was four days dead arose. He who stank in the grave came forth into the air. He was buried, a stone was laid over him: the voice of the Saviour burst asunder the hardness of the stone; and thy heart is so hard, that Divine Voice does not yet break it! Rise in thy heart; go forth from thy tomb. For thou wast lying dead in thy heart as in a tomb, and pressed down by the weight of evil habit as by a stone. Rise, and go forth. What is Rise, and go forth? Believe and confess. For he that has believed has risen; he that confesses is gone forth. Why said we that he who confesses is gone forth? Because he was hid before confessing; but when he does confess, he goes forth from darkness to light. And after he has confessed, what is said to the servants? What was said beside the corpse of Lazarus? "Loose him, and let him go." How? As it was said to His servants the apostles, "What things ye shall loose on earth, shall be loosed in heaven." [456]

8. "The hour cometh, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and they that hear shall live." From what source shall they live? From life. From what life? From Christ. How do we prove that the source is Christ the life? "I am," saith He, "the way, the truth, and the life." [457] Dost thou wish to walk? "I am the way." Dost thou wish not to be deceived? "I am the truth." Wouldest thou not die? "I am the life." This saith thy Saviour to thee: There is not whither thou mayest go but to me; there is not whereby thou mayest go but by me. Therefore this hour is going on now, this act is clearly taking place, and does not at all cease. Men who were dead, rise; they pass over to life; at the voice of the Son of God they live; from Him they live, while persevering in the faith of Him. For the Son hath life, whence He has it that they that believe shall live.

9. And how hath He? Even as the Father hath. Hear Himself saying, "For as the Father hath life in Himself, so also hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself." Brethren, I shall speak as I shall be able. For these are those words that perplex the puny understanding. Why has He added, "in Himself"? It would suffice to say, "For as the Father hath life, so also hath He given to the Son to have life." He added, "in Himself:" for the Father "hath life in Himself," and the Son hath life in Himself. He meant us to understand something in that which He saith, "in Himself." And here a secret matter is shut up in this word; let there be knocking, that there may be an opening. O Lord, what is this that Thou hast said? Wherefore hast Thou added, "in Himself"? For did not Paul the apostle, whom Thou madest to live, have life? He had, said He. As for men that were dead to be made alive, and at Thy word to pass unto life by believing; when they shall have passed, will they not have life in Thee? They shall have life; for I said also a little before, "Whoso heareth my words, and believeth Him that sent me, hath eternal life." Therefore those that believe in Thee have life; and Thou hast not said, "in themselves." But when Thou speakest of the Father, "even as the Father hath life in Himself;" again, when Thou speakest of Thyself, Thou saidst, "So also hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself." Even as He hath, so gave He to have. Where hath He? "In Himself." Where gave He to have? "In Himself." Where hath Paul life? Not in himself, but in Christ. Where hast thou, believer? Not in thyself, but in Christ. Let us see whether the apostle says this: "Now I live; but not I, but Christ liveth in me." [458] Our life, as ours, that is, of our own personal will, will be only evil, sinful, unrighteous; but the life in us that is good is from God, not from ourselves; it is given to us by God, not by ourselves. But Christ hath life in Himself, as the Father hath, because He is the Word of God. With Him, it is not the case that He liveth now ill, now well; but as for man, he liveth now ill, now well. He who was living ill, was in his own life; he who is living well, is passed to the life of Christ. Thou art made a partaker of life; thou wast not that which thou hast received, but wast one who received: but it is not so with the Son of God as if at first He was without life, and then received life. For if thus He received life, He would not have it in Himself. For, indeed, what is in Himself? That He should Himself be the very life.

10. I may perhaps declare that matter more plainly still. One lights a candle: that candle, for example, so far as regards the little flame which shines there--that fire has light in itself; but thine eyes, which lay idle and saw nothing, in the absence of the candle, now have light also, but not in themselves. Further, if they turn away from the candle, they are made dark; if they turn to it, they are illumined. But certainly that fire shines so long as it exists: if thou wouldst take the light from it, thou dost also at the same time extinguish it; for without the light it cannot remain. But Christ is light inextinguishable and co-eternal with the Father, always bright, always shining, always burning: for if He were not burning, would it be said in the psalm, "Nor is there any that can hide himself from his heat?" [459] But thou wast cold in thy sin; thou turnest that thou mayest become warm; if thou wilt turn away, thou wilt become cold. In thy sin thou wast dark; thou turnest in order to be enlightened; if thou turnest away, thou wilt become dark. Therefore, because in thyself thou wast darkness, when thou shalt be enlightened, thou wilt be light, though in the light. For saith the apostle, "Ye were once darkness, but now light in the Lord." [460] When he had said, "but now light," he added, "in the Lord." Therefore in thyself darkness, "light in the Lord." In what way "light"? Because by participation of that light thou art light. But if thou wilt depart from the light by which thou art enlightened, thou returnest to thy darkness. Not so Christ, not so the Word of God. But how not? "As the Father hath life in Himself, so hath He given also to the Son to have life in Himself;" so that He lives, not by participation, but unchangeably, and is altogether Himself life. "So hath He given also to the Son to have life." Even as He hath, so has He given. What is the difference? For the one gave, the other received. Was He already in being when He received? Are we to understand that Christ was at any time in being without light, when Himself is the wisdom of the Father, of which it is said, "It is the brightness of the eternal light?" [461] Therefore what is said, "gave to the Son," is such as if it were said, "begat the Son;" for by begetting He gave. As He gave Him to be, so He gave Him to be life, so also gave Him to be life in Himself. What is that, to be life in Himself? Not to need life from elsewhere, but to be Himself the plenitude of life, out of which others believing should have life while they lived. "Hath given Him," then, "to have life in Himself." Hath given as to whom? As to His own Word, as to Him who "in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God."

11. Afterwards, because He was made man, what gave He to Him? "And hath given Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of man." In that He is the Son of God, "As the Father hath life in Himself, so also hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself;" in that He is the Son of man, "He hath given Him authority of executing judgment." This is what I ex plained to you yesterday, my beloved, that in the judgment man will be seen, but God will not be seen; but after the judgment, God will be seen by those who have prevailed in the judgment, but by the wicked He will not be seen. Since, therefore, the man will be seen in the judgment in that form in which He will so come as He ascended, for that reason He had said above, "The Father judgeth not any man, but hath given all judgment to the Son." He repeats the same thing also in this place, when He says, "And hath given Him authority of executing judgment, because He is the Son of man." As if thou wert to say, "hath given Him authority of executing judgment." In what way? When He had not that authority of executing judgment? Since "in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God;" since "all things were made by Him," did He not already have authority of executing judgment? Yes, but according to this, I say, "He gave Him authority of executing judgment, because He is the Son of man:" according to this, He received authority of judging "because He is the Son of man." For in that He is the Son of God, He always had this authority. He that was crucified, received; He who was in death, is in life: the Word of God never was in death, but is always in life.

12. Now, therefore, as to a resurrection, perhaps some one of us was saying: Behold, we have risen; he who hears Christ, and believes, and is passed from death to life, also will not come into judgment. The hour cometh, and now is, that whoso heareth the voice of the Son of God shall live: he was dead, he has heard; behold, he doth rise. What is this that is said, that there is to be a resurrection afterwards? Spare thyself, do not hasten the sentence, lest thou hurry after it. There is, indeed, this resurrection which comes to pass now; unbelievers were dead, the unrighteous were dead; the righteous live, they pass from the death of unbelief to the life of faith. But do not thence believe that there will not be a resurrection afterwards of the body; believe that there will be a resurrection of the body also. For hear what follows after the declaration of this resurrection which is by faith, lest any should think this to be the only resurrection, or fall into that desperation and error of men who perverted the thoughts of others, "saying that the resurrection is past already," of whom the apostle saith, "and they overthrow the faith of some." [462] For I believe that they were saying to them such words as these: "Behold, when the Lord saith, And he that believeth in me is passed from death unto life;" the resurrection has already taken place in believing men, who were before unbelievers: how can a second resurrection be meant?" Thanks to our Lord God, He supports the wavering, directs the perplexed, confirms the doubting. Hear what follows, now that thou hast not whereof to make to thyself the darkness of death. If thou hast believed, believe the whole. What whole, sayest thou, am I to believe? Hear what He saith: "Marvel not at this," namely, that He gave to the Son authority of making judgment. I say, in the end of the world, saith He. How in the end? "Do not marvel at this; for the hour cometh." Here He has not said, "and now is." In reference to that resurrection of faith, what did He say? "The hour cometh, and now is." In reference to that resurrection which He intimates there will be of dead bodies, He said, "The hour cometh;" He has not said, "and now is," because it is to come in the end of the world.

13. And whence, sayest thou, dost thou prove to me that He spoke about the resurrection itself? If thou hear patiently, thou wilt presently prove it to thyself. Let us go on then: "Marvel not at this; for the hour cometh, in which all that are in the graves." What more evident than this resurrection? A while ago, He had not said, "they that are in the graves," but, "The dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and they that hear shall live." He has not said, some shall live, others shall be damned; because all who believe shall live. But what does He say concerning the graves? "All that are in the graves shall hear His voice, and shall come forth." He said not, "shall hear and live." For if they have lived wickedly, and lay in the graves, they shall rise to death, not to life. Let us see, then, who shall come forth. Although, a little before, the dead by hearing and believing did live, there was no distinction there made: it was not said, The dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and when they shall have heard, some shall live, and some shall be damned; but, "all that hear shall live:" because they that believe shall live, they that have charity shall live, and none of them shall die. But concerning the graves, "They shall hear His voice, and come forth: they that have done well, to the resurrection of life; they that have done ill, to the resurrection of judgment." This is the judgment, that punishment of which He had said a while before, "Whoso believeth in me is passed from death to life," and shall not come into judgment.

14. "I cannot of myself do anything; as I hear I judge, and my judgment is just." If as Thou hearest Thou judgest, of whom dost Thou hear? If of the Father, yet surely "the Father judgeth not any man, but hath given all judgment to the Son." When dost Thou, being in a manner the Father's herald, declare what Thou hearest? I speak what I hear, because what the Father is, that I am: for, indeed, speaking is my function; because I am the Father's Word. For this Christ says to thee. Thereupon, of thine. What is "As I hear I judge," but "As I am"? For in what manner does Christ hear? Let us inquire, brethren, I beg of you. Does Christ hear of the Father? How doth the Father speak to Him? Undoubtedly, if He speaks to Him, He uses words to Him; for every one who says something to any one, says it by a word. How doth the Father speak to the Son, seeing that the Son is the Father's Word? Whatever the Father says to us, He says it by His Word: the Word of the Father is the Son; by what other word, then, doth He speak to the Word Himself? God is one, has one Word, contains all things in one Word. What does that mean, then, "As I hear, I judge?" Just as I am of the Father, so I judge. Therefore "my judgment is just." If Thou doest nothing of Thyself, O Lord Jesus, as carnal men think; if Thou doest nothing of Thyself, how didst Thou say a while before, "So also the Son quickeneth whom He will"? Just now Thou sayest, Of myself I do nothing. But what does the Son declare, but that He is of the Father? He that is of the Father is not of Himself. If the Son were of Himself, He would not be the Son: He is of the Father. That the Father is, is not of the Son; that the Son is, is of the Father. Equal to the Father; but yet the Son of the Father, not the Father of the Son.

15. "Because I seek not my own will, but the will of Him that sent me." The Only Son saith, "I seek not my own will," and yet men desire to do their own will! To such a degree does He who is equal to the Father humble Himself; and to such a degree does He extol Himself, who lies in the lowest depth, and cannot rise except a hand is reached to Him! Let us then do the will of the Father, the will of the Son, the will of the Holy Ghost; because of this Trinity there is one will, one power, one majesty. Yet for that reason saith the Son, "I came not to do mine own will, but the will of Him that sent me;" because Christ is not of Himself, but of the Father. But what He had that He might appear as a man, He assumed of the creature which He himself formed.

Footnotes

[445] Matt. xix. 17. [446] 1 Tim. vi. 17-19. [447] 2 Cor. v. 10. [448] Diapsalma. [449] 1 Cor. xi. 30, 32. [450] Gen. ii. 17. [451] Hab. ii. 14; Rom. i. 17. [452] Matt. viii. 22. [453] Eph. i. 14. [454] Jas. ii. 19. [455] 1 John ii. 18. [456] Matt. xviii. 18. [457] John xiv. 6. [458] Gal. ii. 20. [459] Ps. xix. 7. [460] Eph. v. 8. [461] Wisd. vii. 26. [462] 2 Tim. ii. 18. .


Tractate XXIII.

Chapter V. 19-40

1. In a certain place in the Gospel, the Lord says that the prudent hearer of His word ought to be like a man who, wishing to build a house, digs deeply until he comes to the foundation of stability on the rock, and there establishes in security what he builds against the violence of the flood; so that, when the flood comes, it may be rather beaten back by the strength of the building. than bring ruin on that house by the force of its pressure. [463] Let us regard the Scripture of God to be, as it were, the field where we wish to build something. Let us not be slothful, nor be content with the surface; let us dig deeply until we come to the rock: "And that rock was Christ." [464]

2. The passage read to-day has spoken to us of the witness of the Lord, that He does not hold the witness of men necessary, but has a greater witness than men; and He has told us what this witness is: "The works," saith He, "which I do bear witness of me." Then He added, "And the Father that sent me beareth witness of me." The very works also which He doeth, He says that He has received from the Father. The works, therefore, bear witness, the Father bears witness. Has John borne no witness? He did clearly bear witness, but as a lamp; not to satisfy friends, but to confound enemies: for it had been predicted long before by the person of the Father, "I have prepared a lamp for mine Anointed: I will clothe His enemies with confusion; but upon Him shall flourish my sanctification." [465] Be it that thou wert left in the dark in the night-time, thou didst direct thy attention to the lamp, thou didst admire the lamp, and didst exult at its light. But that lamp says that there is a sun, in which thou oughtest to exult; and though it burns in the night, it bids thee to be looking out for the day. Therefore it is not the case that there was no need of that man's testimony. For wherefore was he sent, if there was no need of him? But, on the contrary, lest man should stay at the lamp, and think the light of the lamp to be sufficient for him, therefore the Lord neither says that this lamp had been superfluous, nor yet doth He say that thou oughtest to stay at the lamp. The Scripture of God utters another testimony: there undoubtedly God hath borne witness to His Son, and in that Scripture the Jews had placed their hope,--namely, in the law of God, given by Moses His servant. "Search the Scripture," saith He, "in which ye think ye have eternal life: the same bears witness of me; and ye will not come to me that ye may have life." Why do ye think that in the Scripture ye have eternal life? Ask itself to whom does it bear witness, and understand what is eternal life. And because for the sake of Moses they were willing to reject Christ, as an adversary to the ordinances and precepts of Moses, He convicts those same men as by another lamp.

3. For, indeed, all men are lamps, since they can be both lighted and extinguished. Moreover, when the lamps are wise, they shine and glow with the Spirit; yet also, if they did burn and are put out, they even stink. The servants of God remain good lamps by the oil of His mercy, not by their own strength. The free grace of God, truly, is the oil of the lamps. "For I have labored more than they all," saith a certain lamp; and lest he should seem to burn by his own strength, he added, "But not I, but the grace of God that was with me." [466] All prophecy, therefore, before the coming of the Lord, is a lamp. Of this lamp the Apostle Peter says: "We have a more sure word of prophecy, to which ye do well giving heed, as unto a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day-star arise in your hearts." [467] Accordingly the prophets are lamps, and all prophecy one great lamp. What of the apostles? Are not they, too, lamps? They are, clearly. He alone is not a lamp. For He is not lighted and put out; because "even as the Father hath life in Himself, so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself." The apostles also, I say, are lamps; and they give thanks because they were both lighted by the light of truth, and are burning with the spirit of charity, and supplied with the oil of God's grace. If they were not lamps, the Lord would not say to them, "Ye are the light of the world." For after He said, "Ye are the light of the world," He shows that they should not think themselves such a light as that of which it is said, "That was the true light, that enlighteneth every man coming into this world." But this was said of the Lord at that time when He was distinguished from John (the Baptist). Of John the Baptist, indeed, it had been said, "He was not the light, but that he might bear witness of the light." [468] And lest thou shouldst say, How was he not the light, of whom Christ says that "he was a lamp"?--I answer, In comparison of the other light, he was not light. For "that was the true light that enlighteneth every man coming into this world." Accordingly, when He said also to the disciples, "Ye are the light of the world," lest they should imagine that anything was attributed to them which was to be understood of Christ alone, and thus the lamps should be extinguished by the wind of pride, when He had said, "Ye are the light of the world," He immediately subjoined, "A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid; neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but an a candlestick, that it may shine on all that are in the house." But what if He did not call the apostles the candle, but the lighters of the candle, which they were to put on a candlestick? Hear that He called themselves the candle. "So let your light shine," saith He, "before men, that they, seeing your good works, may glorify," not you, but "your Father who is in heaven." [469]

4. Wherefore both Moses bore witness to Christ, and John bore witness to Christ, and all the other prophets and apostles bore witness to Christ. Before all these testimonies He places the testimony of His own works. Because through those men too, it was God and none other that bore witness to His Son. But yet in another way God bears testimony to His Son. God reveals His Son through the Son Himself, He reveals Himself through the Son. To Him, if a man shall have been able to reach, he shall need no lamps; and by truly digging deep, he will carry down his building to the rock.

5. The lesson of to-day, brethren, is easy; but on account of what was due yesterday (for I know what I have delayed, not withdrawn, and the Lord has deigned to allow me even to-day to speak to you), recall to mind what you ought to demand, if perhaps, while preserving piety and wholesome humility, we may in some measure stretch out ourselves, not against God, but towards Him, and lift up our soul, pouring it out above us, like the Psalmist, to whom it was said, "Where is thy God?" "On these things," saith he, "I meditated, and poured out my soul above me." [470] Therefore let us lift up our soul to God, not against God; for this also is said, "To Thee, O Lord, I have lifted up my soul." [471] And let us lift it up with His own assistance, for it is heavy. And from what cause is it heavy? Because the body which is corrupt weighs down the soul, and the earthly tabernacle depresses the mind while meditating on many things. [472] Let us try, then, whether we may not be able to withdraw our mind from many things in order to concentrate it on one, and to raise it to one (which indeed we cannot do, as I have said, unless He assist us who wills our souls to be raised to Himself). And so we may apprehend in some measure how the Word of God, the only begotten of the Father, the co-eternal and equal with the Father, doeth not anything except what He seeth the Father doing, whilst yet the Father Himself doeth not anything but through the Son, who seeth Him doing. Since the Lord Jesus, as it seems to me,--willing here to make known some great matter to those that give attention to it, and to pour into those that are capable of receiving, and to rouse, on the other hand, the incapable to assiduity, in order that, while not yet understanding, they may by right living be made capable,--has intimated to us that the human soul and rational mind which is in man, not in the beast, is invigorated, enlightened, and made happy in no other way than by the very substance of God: that the soul itself gets somewhat by and of the body, and yet holds the body subject to it, while the senses of the body can be soothed and delighted by things bodily, and that because of this kind of fellowship of soul and body in this life, and in this mutual embrace of theirs, the soul is delighted when the bodily senses are soothed, and saddened when they are offended; while yet the happiness by which the soul itself is made happy cannot be realized but by a participation of that ever-living, unchangeable life, of that eternal substance, which is God: that as the soul, which is inferior to God, causes the body, which is inferior to itself, to live, so that alone which is superior to the soul can cause that same soul to live happily. For the soul is higher than the body, and higher than the soul is God. It bestows something on its inferior, while there is something bestowed on itself by the superior. Let it serve its Lord, that it may not be trampled on by its own servant. This, brethren, is the Christian religion, which is preached through the whole world, while its enemies are dismayed; who, where they are conquered, murmur, and fiercely rage against it where they prevail. This is the Christian religion, that one God be worshipped, not many gods, because only one God can make the soul happy. It is made happy by participation of God. Not by participation of a holy soul does the feeble soul become happy, nor by participation of an angel does the holy soul become happy; but if the feeble soul seeks to be happy, let it seek that by which the holy soul is made happy. For thou art made happy, not of an angel, but the angel as well as thou of the same source.

6. These things being premised and firmly established,--that the rational soul is made happy only by God, that the body is enlivened only by the soul, and that the soul is a something intermediate between God and the body,--direct your thoughts to, and recollect with me, not the passage read to-day, of which we have spoken enough, but that of yesterday, which we have been turning over and handling these three days, and, to the best of our abilities, digging into until we should come to the rock. The Word Christ, Christ the Word of God with God, Christ the Word and the Word God, Christ and God and Word one God. To this press on; O soul, despising, or even transcending all things else, to this press on. There is nothing more powerful than this creature, which is called the rational mind, nothing more sublime: whatever is above this, is but the Creator. But I was saying that Christ is the Word, and Christ is the Word of God, and Christ the Word is God; but Christ is not only the Word, since "the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us:" [473] therefore Christ is both Word and flesh. For when "He was in the form of God, He thought it not robbery to be equal with God." And what of us in our low estate, who, feeble and crawling on the ground, were not able to reach unto God, were we to be abandoned? God forbid. "He emptied Himself, taking upon Him the form of a servant;" [474] not, therefore, by losing the form of God. He became man who was God, by receiving what He was not, not by losing what He was: so God became man. There thou hast something for thy weakness, something for thy perfection. Let Christ raise thee by that which is man, lead thee by that which is God-man, and guide thee through to that which is God. And the whole preaching and dispensation by Christ is this, brethren, and there is not another, that souls may be raised again, and that bodies also may be raised again. For each of the two was dead; the body by weakness, the soul by iniquity. Because each was dead, each may rise again. What each? Soul and body. By what, then, can the soul rise again but by Christ God? By what the body, but by the man Christ? For there was also in Christ a human soul, a whole soul; not merely the irrational part of the soul, but also the rational, which is called mind. For there have been certain heretics, and they have been driven out of the Church, who fancied that the body of Christ did not have in it a rational mind, but, as it were, the animal life of a beast; since, without the rational mind, life is only animal life. But because they were driven out, and driven out by the truth, accept thou the whole Christ, Word, rational mind, and flesh. This is the whole Christ. Let thy soul rise again from iniquity by that which is God, thy body from corruption by that which is man. There, most beloved, hear ye what, so far as it appears to me, is the great profundity of this passage; and see how Christ here speaks to the effect, that the only reason why He came is, in order that souls may have a resurrection from iniquity, and bodies from corruption. I have already said by what our souls are raised, by the very substance of God; by what our bodies are raised, by the human dispensation of our Lord Jesus Christ.

7. "Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son cannot of Himself do anything, but what He seeth the Father doing; for what things soever He has done, these also the Son doeth in like manner." Yes, the heaven, the earth, the sea; the things that are in heaven, on the earth, and in the sea; the visible and invisible, the animals on the land, the plants in the fields, the creatures that swim in the waters, that fly in the air, that shine in heaven; besides all these, angels, virtues, thrones, dominations, principalities, powers; "all were made by Him." Did God make all these, and show them when made to the Son, that He also should make another world full of all these? Certainly not. But, on the contrary, what does He say? "For what things soever He has made, these," not others, but "these also the Son doeth," not differently, "but in like manner." "For the Father loveth the Son, and showeth Him all things which Himself doeth." The Father showeth to the Son that souls may be raised, for souls are raised up by the Father and the Son; nor can souls live except God be their life. If souls, then, cannot live unless God be their life, just as themselves are the life of bodies; what the Father shows to the Son, that is, what He doeth, He doeth through the Son. For it is not by doing that He shows to the Son, but by showing He doeth through the Son. For the Son sees the Father showing before anything is done; and from the Father's showing and the Son's vision, is done what is done by the Father through the Son. So are souls raised up, if they can see that conjunction of unity, the Father showing, the Son seeing, and the creature made by the Father's showing and the Son's seeing; and that thing made by the Father's showing and the Son's seeing, which is neither the Father nor the Son, but beneath the Father and the Son, whatever is made by the Father through the Son. Who sees this?

8. Behold, again we humble ourselves to carnal notions, and descend to you, if indeed we had at any time ascended somewhat from you. Thou wishest to show something to thy son, that he may do what thou doest; thou art about to do, and thus to show the thing. Therefore, what thou art about to do, in order to show it to thy son, thou doest not surely by thy son; but thou alone doest that thing which, when done, he may see, and do another such thing in like manner. This is not the case there; why goest thou on to thy own similitude, and blottest out the similitude of God within thee? There, the case is wholly otherwise. Find a case in which thou showest to thy son what thou doest before thou doest it; so that, after thou hast shown it, it will be by the son thou doest. Perhaps something like this now occurs to thee: Lo, sayest thou, I think to make a house, and I wish it to be built by my son: before I build it myself, I point out to my son what I mean to do: both he doeth, and I too by him to whom I pointed out my wish. Thou hast retreated, indeed, from the former similitude, but still thou liest in great dissimilitude. For, lo, before thou canst make the house, thou dost inform thy son, and point out to him what thou meanest to do; that, upon thy showing before thou makest, he may make what thou hast shown, and so thou mayest make by him: but thou wilt speak words to thy son, words will have to pass between thee and him; between the person showing and the person seeing, between speaker and hearer, flies articulate sound, which is not what thou art, nor what he is. That sound, indeed, which goes out of thy mouth, and by the concussion of the air touches thy son's ear, and filling the sense of hearing, conveys thy thought to his heart; that sound, I say, is not thyself, nor thy son. A sign is given from thy mind to thy son's mind, but that sign not either thy mind or thy son's mind, but something else. Is it thus that we think the Father has spoken to the Son? Were there words between the Father and the Word? Then how is it? Or, whatever the Father would say to the Son, if He would say it by a word, the Son Himself is the Word of the Father, would He speak by a word to the Word? Or, since the Son is the great Word, had smaller words to pass between the Father and Son? Was it so, that some sound, as it were a temporal, fleeting creature, had to issue from the mouth of the Father, and strike upon the ear of the Son? Has God a body, that this should proceed, as it were, from His lips? And has the Word the ears of a body, into which sound may come? Lay aside all notions of corporeal forms, regard simplicity, if thou art single-minded. But how wilt thou be single-minded? If thou wilt not entangle thyself with the world, but disentangle thyself from the world. For by disentangling thyself, thou wilt be single-minded. And see, if thou canst, what I say; or if thou canst not, believe what thou dost not see. Thou speakest to thy son; thou speakest by a word: neither art thou, nor is thy son, the word that sounds.

9. I have, sayest thou, another method of showing; for so well instructed is my son, that he hears without my speaking, but I show him by a nod what to do. Lo, show him by a nod what thou wilt, yet certainly the mind holds within itself that which it would show. By what dost thou give this nod? With the body,--namely, with the lips, the look, the brows, the eyes, the hands. All these are not what thy mind is: these, too, are media; there was something understood by these signs which are not what thy mind is, not what the mind of thy son is; but all this which thou doest by the body is beneath thy mind, and beneath the mind of thy son: nor can thy son know thy mind, unless thou give him signs by the body. What, then, do I say? This is not the case there; there all is simplicity. The Father shows to the Son what He is doing, and by showing begets the Son. I see what I have said; but because I see also to whom I have said it, may such understanding be some time or other formed in you as to grasp it. If ye are not able now to comprehend what God is, comprehend at least what God is not: you will have made much progress, if you think of God as being not something other than He is. God is not a body, not the earth, not the heaven, not the moon, or sun, or stars--not these corporeal things. For if not heavenly things, how much less is He earthly things! Put all body out of the question. Further, hear another thing: God is not a mutable spirit. For I confess,--and it must be confessed, for it is the Gospel that speaks it,--"God is a Spirit." But pass beyond all mutable spirit, beyond all spirit that now knows, now knows not; that now remembers, now forgets; that wills what before it willed not, that wills not what before it willed; either that suffers these mutabilities now or may suffer them: pass beyond all these. Thou findest not any mutability in God; nor aught that may have been one way before, and is otherwise now. For where thou findest alternation, there a kind of death has taken place: since, for a thing not to be what it was, is a death. The soul is said to be immortal; so indeed it is, because it ever lives, and there is in it a certain continuous life, but yet a mutable life. According to the mutability of this life, it may be said to be mortal; because if it lived wisely, and then becomes foolish, it dies for the worse; if it lived foolishly, and becomes wise, it dies for the better. For the Scripture teaches us that there is a death for the worse, and that there is a death for the better. In any case, they had died for the worse, of whom it said, "Let the dead bury their dead;" [475] and, "Awake, thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light;" [476] and from this passage before us, "When the dead shall hear, and they that hear shall live." For the worse they had died; therefore do they come to life again. By coming to life they die for the better, because by coming to life again they will not be what they were; but for that to be, which was not, is death. But perhaps it is not called death if it is for the better? The apostle has called that death: "But if ye be dead with Christ from the elements of this world, why do ye judge concerning this world as if ye were still living?" [477] And again, "For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God." He wishes us to die that we may live, because we have lived to die. Whatever therefore dies, both from better to worse, and from worse to better, is not God; because neither can supreme goodness proceed to better, nor true eternity to worse. For true eternity is, where is nothing of time. But was there now this, now that? Immediately time is admitted, it is not eternal. For that ye may know that God is not thus, as the soul is,--certainly the soul is immortal,--what, however, saith the apostle of God, "Who alone hath immortality," unless that he openly says this, He alone hath unchangeableness, because He alone hath true eternity? Therefore no mutability is there.

10. Recognize in thyself something which I wish to say within, in thyself; not within as if in thy body, for in a sense one may say, "in thyself." For there is in thee health, thy age whatever it be, but this in regard to the body. In thee is thy hand and thy foot; but there is one thing in thee, within; another thing in thee as in thy garment. But leave outside thy garment and thyself, descend into thyself, go to thy secret place, thy mind, and there see, if thou canst, what I wish to say. For if thou art far from thyself, how canst thou come near to God? I was speaking of God, and thou believedst that thou wouldst understand. I am speaking of the soul, I am speaking of thyself: understand this, there I will try thee. For I do not travel very far for examples, when I mean to give thee some similitude to thy God from thy own mind; because surely not in the body, but in that same mind, was man made after the image of God. Let us seek God in His own similitude; let us recognize the Creator in His own image. There within, if we can, let us find this that we speak of,--how the Father shows to the Son, and how the Son sees what the Father shows, before anything is made by the Father through the Son. But when I shall have spoken, and thou hast understood, thou must not think that spoken of to be something just such as our example, that thou mayest therein keep piety, which I wish to be kept by thee, and earnestly admonish thee to keep: that is, if thou art not able to comprehend what God is, do not think it a small matter for thee to know what He is not.

11. Behold, in thy mind, I see some two things, thy memory and thy thought, which is, as it were, the seeing faculty and the vision of thy soul. Thou seest something, and perceivest it by the eyes, and thou committest it to the care of the memory. There, within, is that which thou hast committed to thy memory, laid up in secret as in a storehouse, as in a treasury, as in a kind of secret chamber and inner cabinet. Thou thinkest of something else, thy attention is elsewhere; what thou didst see is in thy memory, but not seen by thee, because thy thought is bent on another thing. I prove this at once. I speak to you who know; I mention by name Carthage; all who know it have instantly seen Carthage within the mind. Are there as many Carthages as there are minds of you? You have all seen it by means of this name, by means of these syllables known to you, rushing forth from my mouth: your ears were touched; the sense of the soul was touched through the body, and the mind bent back from another object to this word, and saw Carthage. Was Carthage made there and then? It was there already, but latent in the memory. Why was latent there? Because thy mind was engaged on another matter; but when thy thought turned back to that which was in the memory, thence it was shaped, and became a kind of vision of the mind. Before, there was not a vision, but there was memory; the vision was made by the turning back of thought to memory. Thy memory, then, showed Carthage to thy thought; and that which was in it before thou didst direct thy mind to the memory, it exhibited to the attention of thy thought when turned upon it. Behold, a showing is effected by the memory, and a vision is produced in thought; and no words passed between, no sign was given from the body: thou didst neither nod, nor write, nor utter a sound; and yet thought saw what the memory showed. But both that which showed, and that to which it showed, are of the same substance. But yet, that thy memory might have Carthage in it, the image was drawn in through the eyes, for thou didst see what thou didst store up in thy memory. So hast thou seen the tree which thou rememberest; so the mountain, the river; so the face of a friend, of an enemy, of father, mother, brother, sister, son, neighbor; so of letters written in a book, of the book itself; so of this church: all these thou didst see, and didst commit to thy memory after they were seen; and didst, as it were, lay up there what thou mightst by thinking see at will, even when they should be absent from these eyes of the body. Thou sawest Carthage when thou wast at Carthage; thy soul received the image by the eyes; this image was laid up in thy memory; and thou, the person who wast present at Carthage, didst keep something within thee which thou mightst be able to see with thyself, even when thou shouldst not be there. All these things thou didst receive from without. What the Father shows to the Son, He does not receive from without: all comes to pass within, because there would be no creature at all without, unless the Father had made it by the Son. Every creature was made by God; before it was made it was not in being. It was not therefore seen, after being made and retained in memory, that the Father might show it to the Son, as the memory might show to thought; but, on the contrary, the Father showed it to be made, the Son saw it to be made; and the Father made it by showing, because He made it by the Son seeing. And therefore we ought not to be surprised that it is said, "But what He seeth the Father doing," not showing. For by this it is intimated that, with the Father, to do and to show is the same thing; that hence we may understand that He doeth all things by the Son seeing. Neither is that showing, nor that seeing, temporal. Forasmuch as all times are made by the Son, they could not certainly be shown to Him at any point of time to be made. But the Father's showing begets the Son's seeing, just in the same manner as the Father begets the Son. For the showing produces the seeing, not the seeing the showing. And if we were able to look into this matter more purely and perfectly, perhaps we should find that the Father is not one thing, His showing another; nor the Son one thing, His seeing another. But if we have hardly apprehended this,--if we have hardly been able to explain how the memory exhibits to the thought what it has received from without,--how much less can we take in or explain how God the Father shows to the Son, what He has not from elsewhere, or that which is not other than Himself! We are only little ones: I tell you what God is not, do not show you what God is. What shall we do, then, that we may apprehend what He is? Can ye do this by or through me? I say this to the little ones, both to you and to myself; there is by whom we can: we have just now sung, just now heard, "Cast thy care upon the Lord, and He will nourish thee." [478] The reason why thou art not able, O man, is because thou art a little one; being a little one, thou must be nourished; being nourished, thou wilt become full-grown; and what as a little one thou couldst not, thou shalt see when full-grown; but that thou mayest be nourished, "cast thy care upon the Lord, and He will nourish thee."

12. Therefore let us now briefly run over what remains, and do you see how the Lord makes known to us the things which I have been here commending to your attention. "The Father loveth the Son, and showeth Him all things which Himself doeth." Himself raiseth up souls, but by the Son, that the souls raised up may enjoy the substance of God, that is, of the Father and of the Son. "And greater works than these He will show Him." Greater than which? Than healings of bodies. We have treated of this already, and must not linger upon it now. Greater is the resurrection of the body unto eternity than this healing of the body, wrought in that impotent man, to last only for a time. "And greater works than these He will show Him, that ye may marvel." "Will show," as if the act were temporal, therefore as to a man made in time, since God the Word is not made, He by whom all times were made. But Christ was made man in time. We know in what consulship the Virgin Mary brought forth Christ, conceived of the Holy Ghost. Wherefore He, by whom as God the times were made, was made man in time. Hence, just as in time, "He will show Him greater works," that is, the resurrection of bodies, "that ye may marvel" at the resurrection of bodies wrought by the Son.

13. He then returns to that resurrection of souls: "For as the Father raiseth the dead, and quickeneth them, so also the Son quickeneth whom He will;" but this according to the Spirit. The Father quickeneth, the Son quickeneth; the Father whom He will, the Son whom He will; but the Father quickeneth the same as the Son, because all things were made by Him. "For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them, so also the Son quickeneth whom He will." This is said of the resurrection of souls; but what of the resurrection of bodies? He returns, and says: "For the Father judgeth not any man, but all judgment hath He given to the Son." The resurrection of souls is effected by the eternal and unchangeable substance of the Father and Son. But the resurrection of bodies is effected by the dispensation of the Son's humanity, which dispensation is temporal, not co-eternal with the Father. Therefore, when He mentioned judgment, in which there should be a resurrection of bodies, He saith, "For the Father judgeth not any man, but all judgment hath He given to the Son;" but concerning the resurrection of souls, He saith, "Even as the Father raiseth the dead, and quickeneth them, so also the Son quickeneth whom He will." That, then, the Father and the Son together. But this concerning the resurrection of bodies: "The Father judgeth not any man, but hath given all judgment to the Son; that all may honor the Son, even as they honor the Father." This is referred to the resurrection of souls. "That all may honor the Son." How? "Even as they honor the Father." For the Son works the resurrection of souls in the same manner as the Father doth; the Son quickeneth just as the Father doth. Therefore, in the resurrection of souls, "let all honor the Son as they honor the Father." But what of the honoring on account of the resurrection of the body? "Whoso honoreth not the Son, honoreth not the Father that sent Him." He said not even as, but honoreth and honoreth. For the man Christ is honored, but not even as God the Father. Why? Because, with respect to this, He said, "The Father is greater than I." [479] And when is the Son honored even as the Father is honored? When "in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God; and all things were made by Him." And hence, in this second honoring, what saith He? "Whoso honoreth not the Son, honoreth not the Father that sent Him." The Son was not sent, but because He was made man.

14. "Verily, verily, I say unto you." Again He returns to the resurrection of souls, that by continual repetition we may apprehend His meaning; because we could not keep up with His discourse hastening on as on wings. Lo, the Word of God lingers with us; lo, it doth, as it were, dwell with our infirmities. He returns again to the mention of the resurrection of souls. "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whoso heareth my word, and believeth Him that sent me, hath eternal life;" but hath it as from the Father. "For whoso heareth my word, and believeth Him that sent me, hath eternal life" from the Father, by believing the Father that sent the Son. "And shall not come into judgment, but is passed from death to life." But from the Father, whom he believes, is he quickened. What, dost Thou not quicken? See that the Son also "quickeneth whom He will." "Verily, verily, I say unto you, That the hour cometh when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and they that hear shall live." Here He did not say, they shall believe Him that sent me, and therefore shall live; but by hearing the voice of the Son of God, "they that hear," that is, they that obey the Son of God, "shall live." Therefore, both from the Father shall they live, when they will believe the Father; and from the Son shall they live, when they will hear the voice of the Son of God. Why shall they live both from the Father and from the Son? "For even as the Father hath life in Himself, so also hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself."

15. He has finished speaking of the resurrection of souls; it remains to speak more evidently of the resurrection of bodies. "And hath given Him authority also to execute judgment:" not only to raise up souls by faith and wisdom, but also to execute judgment. But why this? "Because He is the Son of man." Therefore the Father doeth something through the Son of man, which He doeth not from His own substance, to which the Son is equal: as, for instance, that He should be born, crucified, dead, and have a resurrection; for not any of these is contingent to the Father. In the same manner also the raising again of bodies. For the raising to life of souls the Father effects from His own substance, by the substance of the Son, in which the Son is equal to Him; because souls are made partakers of that unchangeable light, but not bodies; but the raising again of bodies, the Father effects through the Son of man. For "He hath given Him authority also to execute judgment, because He is the Son of man;" according to that which He said above, "For the Father judgeth not any man." And to show that He said this of the resurrection of bodies, He goes on: "Marvel not at this, for the hour cometh:" not, and now is; but, "the hour cometh, in which all that are in the graves (this ye have already heard sufficiently explained yesterday) shall hear His voice, and come forth." Where? Into judgment: "They that have done well, into the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, into the resurrection of judgment." And dost Thou do this alone, because the Father hath given all judgment to the Son, and judgeth not any man? I, saith He, do it. But how doest Thou it? "I cannot of myself do anything; as I hear, I judge; and my judgment is just." When He was treating of the resurrection of souls, He did not say, I hear; but, I see. For I hear refers to the command of the Father as giving order. Therefore, now as a man, just as He than whom the Father is greater; as from the form of a servant, not from the form of God, "As I hear, I judge; and my judgment is just." Whence is the man's judgment a just one? My brethren, mark well: "Because I seek not my own will, but the will of Him that sent me."

Footnotes

[463] Matt. vii. 24, 25. [464] 1 Cor. x. 4. [465] Ps. cxxxii. 17. [466] 1 Cor. xv. 10. [467] 2 Pet. i. 19. [468] John i. 9. [469] Matt. v. 14-16. [470] Ps. xlii. [471] Ps. xxv. 1. [472] Wisd. ix. 15. [473] John i. 14. [474] Phil. ii. 6. [475] Matt. viii. 22. [476] Eph. v. 14. [477] Col. ii. 20. [478] Ps. liii. 23. [479] John xiv. 28. .


Tractate XXIV.

Chapter VI. 1-14

1. The miracles performed by our Lord Jesus Christ are indeed divine works, and incite the human mind to rise to the apprehension of God from the things that are seen. But inasmuch as He is not such a substance as may be seen with the eyes, and His miracles in the government of the whole world and the administration of the universal creation are, by their familiar constancy, slightly regarded, so that almost no man deigns to consider the wonderful and stupendous works of God, exhibited in every grain of seed; He has, agreeably to His mercy, reserved to Himself certain works, beyond the usual course and order of nature, which He should perform on fit occasion, that they, by whom His daily works are lightly esteemed, might be struck with astonishment at beholding, not indeed greater, but uncommon works. For certainly the government of the whole world is a greater miracle than the satisfying of five thousand men with five loaves; and yet no man wonders at the former; but the latter men wonder at, not because it is greater, but because it is rare. For who even now feeds the whole world, but He who creates the cornfield from a few grains? He therefore created as God creates. For, whence He multiplies the produce of the fields from a few grains, from the same source He multiplied in His hands the five loaves. The power, indeed, was in the hands of Christ; but those five loaves were as seeds, not indeed committed to the earth, but multiplied by Him who made the earth. In this miracle, then, there is that brought near to the senses, whereby the mind should be roused to attention, there is exhibited to the eyes, whereon the understanding should be exercised, that we might admire the invisible God through His visible works; and being raised to faith and purged by faith, we might desire to behold Him even invisibly, whom invisible we came to know by the things that are visible.

2. Yet it is not enough to observe these things in the miracles of Christ. Let us interrogate the miracles themselves, what they tell us about Christ: for they have a tongue of their own, if they can be understood. For since Christ is Himself the Word of God, even the act of the Word is a word to us. Therefore as to this miracle, since we have heard how great it is, let us also search how profound it is; let us not only be delighted with its surface, but let us also seek to know its depth. This miracle, which we admire on the outside, has something within. We have seen, we have looked at something great, something glorious, and altogether divine, which could be performed only by God: we have praised the doer for the deed. But just as, if we were to inspect a beautiful writing somewhere, it would not suffice for us to praise the hand of the writer, because he formed the letters even, equal and elegant, if we did not also read the information he conveyed to us by those letters; so, he who merely inspects this deed may be delighted with its beauty to admire the doer: but he who understands does, as it were, read it. For a picture is looked at in a different way from that in which a writing is looked at. When thou hast seen a picture, to have seen and praised it is the whole thing; when thou seest a writing, this is not the whole, since thou art reminded also to read it. Moreover, when thou seest a writing, if it chance that thou canst not read, thou sayest, "What do we think that to be which is here written?" Thou askest what it is, when already thou seest it to be something. He of whom thou seekest to be informed what it is that thou hast seen, will show thee another thing. He has other eyes than thou hast. Do you not alike see the form of the letters? But yet you do not alike understand the signs. Well, thou seest and praisest; but he sees, praises, reads and understands. Therefore, since we have seen and praised, let us also read and understand.

3. The Lord on the mount: much rather let us understand that the Lord on the mount is the Word on high. Accordingly, what was done on the mount does not, as it were, lie low, nor is to be cursorily passed by, but must be looked up to. He saw the multitude, knew them to be hungering, mercifully fed them: not only in virtue of His goodness, but also of His power. For what would mere goodness avail, where there was not bread with which to feed the hungry crowd? Did not power attend upon goodness, that crowd had remained fasting and hungry. In short, the disciples also, who were with the Lord, and hungry, themselves wished to feed the multitudes, that they might not remain empty, but had not wherewithal to feed them. The Lord asked, whence they might buy bread to feed the multitude. And the Scripture saith: "But this He said, proving him;" namely, the disciple Philip of whom He had asked; "for Himself knew what He would do." Of what advantage then was it to prove him, unless to show the disciple's ignorance? And, perhaps, in showing the disciple's ignorance He signified something more. This will appear, then, when the sacrament of the five loaves itself will begin to speak to us, and to intimate its meaning: for there we shall see why the Lord in this act wished to exhibit the disciple's ignorance, by asking what He Himself knew. For we sometimes ask what we do not know, that, being willing to hear, we may learn; sometimes we ask what we do know, wishing to learn whether he whom we ask also knows. The Lord knew both the one and the other; knew both what He asked, for He knew what Himself would do; and He also knew in like manner that Philip knew not this. Why then did He ask, but to show Philip's ignorance? And why He did this, we shall, as I have said, understand afterwards.

4. Andrew saith: "There is a lad here, who has five loaves and two fishes, but what are these for so many?" When Philip, on being asked, had said that two hundred pennyworth of bread would not suffice to refresh that so great a multitude, there was there a certain lad, carrying five barley loaves and two fishes. "And Jesus saith, Make the men sit down. Now there was there much grass: and they sat down about five thousand men. And the Lord Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks;" He commanded, the loaves were broken, and put before the men that were set down. It was no longer five loaves, but what He had added thereto, who had created that which was increased. "And of the fishes as much as sufficed." It was not enough that the multitude had been satisfied, there remained also fragments; and these were ordered to be gathered up, that they should not be lost: "And they filled twelve baskets with the fragments."

5. To run over it briefly: by the five loaves are understood the five books of Moses; and rightly are they not wheaten but barley loaves, because they belong to the Old Testament. And you know that barley is so formed that we get at its pith with difficulty; for the pith is covered in a coating of husk, and the husk itself tenacious and closely adhering, so as to be stripped off with labor. Such is the letter of the Old Testament, invested in a covering of carnal sacraments: but yet, if we get at its pith, it feeds and satisfies us. A certain lad, then, brought five loaves and two fishes. If we inquire who this lad was, perhaps it was the people Israel, which, in a childish sense, carried, not ate. For the things which they carried were a burden while shut up, but when opened afforded nourishment. And as for the two fishes, they appear to us to signify those two sublime persons, in the Old Testament, of priest and of ruler, who were anointed for the sanctifying and governing of the people. And at length Himself in the mystery came, who was signified by those persons: He at length came who was pointed out by the pith of the barley, but concealed by its husk. He came, sustaining in His one person the two characters of priest and ruler: of priest by offering Himself to God as a victim for us; of ruler, because by Him we are governed. And the things that were carried closed are now opened up. Thanks be to Him. He has fulfilled by Himself what was promised in the Old Testament. And He bade the loaves to be broken; in the breaking they are multiplied. Nothing is more true. For when those five books of Moses are expounded, how many books have they made by being broken up, as it were; that is, by being opened and laid out? But because in that barley the ignorance of the first people was veiled, of whom it is said, "Whilst Moses is read, the veil is upon their hearts;" [480] for the veil was not yet removed, because Christ had not yet come; not yet was the veil of the temple rent, while Christ is hanging on the cross: because, I say, the ignorance of the people was in the law, therefore that proving by the Lord made the ignorance of the disciple manifest.

6. Wherefore nothing is without meaning; everything is significant, but requires one that understands: for even this number of the people fed, signified the people that were under the law. For why were there five thousand, but because they were under the law, which is unfolded in the five books of Moses? Why were the sick laid at those five porches, but not healed? He, however, there cured the impotent man, who here fed multitudes with five loaves. Moreover, they sat down upon the grass; therefore understood carnally, and rested in the carnal. "For all flesh is grass." [481] And what were those fragments, but things which the people were not able to eat? We understand them to be certain matters of more hidden meaning, which the multitude are not able to take in. What remains then, but that those matters of more hidden meaning, which the multitude cannot take in, be entrusted to men who are fit to teach others also, just as were the apostles? Why were twelve baskets filled? This was done both marvellously, because a great thing was done; and it was done profitably, because a spiritual thing was done. They who at the time saw it, marvelled; but we, hearing of it, do not marvel. For it was done that they might see it, but it was written that we might hear it. What the eyes were able to do in their case, that faith does in our case. We perceive, namely, with the mind, what we could not with the eyes: and we are preferred before them, because of us it is said, "Blessed are they who see not, and yet believe." [482] And I add that, perhaps, we have understood what that crowd did not understand. And we have been fed in reality, in that we have been able to get at the pith of the barley.

7. Lastly, what did those men who saw this miracle think? "The men," saith he, "when they had seen the sign which He had done, said, This is indeed a prophet." Perhaps they still thought Christ to be a prophet for this reason, namely, that they were sitting on the grass. But He was the Lord of the prophets, the fulfiller of the prophets, the sanctifier of the prophets, but yet a prophet also: for it was said to Moses, "I will raise up for them a prophet like unto thee." Like, according to the flesh, but not according to the majesty. And that this promise of the Lord is to be understood concerning Christ Himself, is clearly expounded and read in the Acts of the Apostles. [483] And the Lord says of Himself, "A prophet is not without honor, except in his own country." [484] The Lord is a prophet, and the Lord is God's Word, and no prophet prophesies without the Word of God: the Word of God is with the prophets, and the Word of God is a prophet. The former times obtained prophets inspired and filled by the Word of God: we have obtained the very Word of God for our prophet. But Christ is in such manner a prophet, the Lord of prophets, as Christ is an angel, the Lord of angels. For He is also called the Angel of great counsel. [485] Nevertheless, what says the prophet elsewhere that not an ambassador, nor an angel, but Himself coming will save them; [486] that is, He will not send an ambassador to save them, nor an angel, but Himself will come. Who will come? The Angel himself? Certainly not by an angel will He save them, except that He is so an angel, as also Lord of angels. For angels signify messengers. If Christ brought no message, He would not be called an angel: if Christ prophesied nothing, He would not be called a prophet. He has exhorted us to faith and to laying hold of eternal life; He has proclaimed something present, foretold something future because He proclaimed the present, thence He was an angel or messenger; because He foretold the future, thence He was a prophet; and that, as the Word of God He was made flesh, thence He was Lord of angels and of prophets.

Footnotes

[480] 2 Cor. iii. 15. [481] Isa. xl. 6. [482] John xx. 29. [483] Acts vii. 37. [484] John iv. 44. [485] Isa. ix. 6, LXX. [486] Isa. xxxv. 4.


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