The Homilies of St. John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople,
On the Acts of the ApostlesTranslated, with notes, by Rev. J. Walker, M.A., of Brasenose College;
Rev. J. Sheppard, M.A., of Oriel College, Oxford; and
Rev. H. Browne, M.A., of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.
revised, with notes, by Rev. George B. Stevens, Ph.D., D.D., Professor in Yale University.
Published in 1886 by Philip Schaff, New York: Christian Literature Publishing Co.
Homily XXXV.Acts XVI. 13, 14
"And on the sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont (Chrys. "was thought likely") to be made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which resorted thither. And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul."
See again Paul judaizing. "Where  it was thought," it says, both from the time and from the place, "that prayer would be.--Out of the city, by a river side:" for it is not to be supposed that they prayed only where there was a synagogue; they also prayed out of synagogue, but then for this purpose they set apart, as it were, a certain place, because as Jews they were more corporeal--and, "on the sabbath-day," when it was likely that a multitude would come together.  "And we sat down, and spake to the women which resorted thither." Mark again the freedom from all pride. "And a certain woman:" a woman and she of low condition, from her trade too: but mark (in her) a woman of elevated mind (philosophon). In the first place, the fact of God's calling her bears testimony to her: "And when she was baptized," it says, "she and her household"--mark how he persuaded all of them--"she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us  " (v. 15): then look at her wisdom, how she importunes (dusophei), the Apostles how full of humility her words are, how full of wisdom. "If ye have judged me faithful," she says. Nothing could be more persuasive. Who would not have been softened by these words? She did not request (or, "claim") did not entreat simply: but she left them to decide, and (yet) exceedingly forced them: "And she constrained us," it says, by those words. And again in a different way: for see how she straightway bears fruit, and accounts it a great gain. "If ye have judged me," that is, That ye did judge me is manifest, by your delivering to me such (holy) mysteries (i.e. sacraments, see p. 225, note 3): and she did not dare to invite them before this. But why was there any unwillingness on the part of Paul and those with them, that they should need to be constrained? It was either by way of calling her to greater earnestness of desire, or because Christ had said, "Enquire who is worthy, and there abide." (Luke x. 8.) (It was not that they were unwilling), but they did it for a purpose.  --"And it came to pass," it says, "as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us,  which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying: the same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which show unto us the way of salvation." (v. 16, 17.) What may be the reason that both the demon spoke these words, and Paul forbade him? Both the one acted maliciously, and the other wisely: the demon wished in fact to make himself credible.  For if Paul had admitted his testimony, he would have deceived many of the believers, as being received by him: therefore he endures to speak what made against himself, that he may establish what made for himself: and so the demon himself uses accommodation (sunkatabasei) in order to destruction. At first then, Paul would not admit it, but scorned it, not wishing to cast himself all at once upon miracles; but when it continued to do this, and pointed to their work (kai to ergon edeiknu) "who preach unto us the way of salvation," then he commanded it to come out. For it says, "Paul being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour. (a)  And when her masters saw that the hope of their gains was gone, they caught Paul and Silas." (v. 18, 19.) (d) So then Paul did all, both miracles and teaching, but of the dangers Silas also is partaker. And why says it, "But Paul being grieved?" It means, he saw through the malice of the demon, as he saith, "For we are not ignorant of his devices." (2 Cor. ii. 11.) (b) "And when her masters saw that the hope of their gains was gone." Everywhere money the cause of evils. O that heathen cruelty! they wished the girl to be still a demoniac, that they might make money by her. "They caught Paul and Silas," it says, "and dragged them into the marketplace unto the rulers, and brought them unto the magistrates, saying, These men, being Jews, do exceedingly trouble our city!" (v. 20): by doing what? Then why did you not drag them (hither) before this? "Being Jews:" the name was in bad odor. "And teach customs, which are not lawful for us to receive, neither to observe, being Romans." (v. 21.) They made a charge of treason of it (eis kathosiosin egagon). (e) Why did they not say, Because they cast out the demon, they were guilty of impiety against God? For this was a defeat to them: but instead of that, they have recourse to a charge of treason (epi kathosiosin): like the Jews when they said, "We have no king but Cæsar: whoso maketh himself a king speaketh against Cæsar." (John xix. 14, 12.) (c) "And the multitude rose up together against them: and the magistrates rent off their clothes, and commanded to beat them." (v. 22.) O the irrational conduct! They did not examine, did not allow them to speak. And yet, such a miracle having taken place, ye ought to have worshipped them, ought to have held them as saviors and benefactors. For if money was what ye wished, why, having found so great wealth, did ye not run to it? This makes you more famous, the having power to cast out demons than the obeying them. Lo, even miracles, and yet love of money was mightier. (f) "And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison."--great was their wrath--"charging the jailer to keep them safely" (v. 23): "who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks." (v. 24.) Observe, he also again thrust them into the "inner" prison: and this too was done providentially, because  there was to be a great miracle. 
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What tears do not these things call for! (Think) what they suffer, while we (live) in luxury, we in theatres, we perishing and drowning (in dissolute living), seeking always idle amusement, not enduring to suffer pain for Christ, not even as far as words, not even as far as talk. These things I beseech you let us ever call to mind, what things they suffered, what things they endured, how undismayed they were, how unoffended. They were doing God's work, and suffered these things! They did not say, Why do we preach this, and God does not take our part? But even this was a benefit to them, even apart  from the truth, in the thing itself; it made them more vigorous, stronger, intrepid. "Tribulation worketh endurance." (Rom. v. 4.) Then let us not seek loose and dissolute living. For as in the one case the good is twofold, that the sufferers are made strong, and that the rewards are great; so in the other the evil is twofold, that such are rendered more enervated, and that it is to no good, but only evil. For nothing can be more worthless than a man who passes all his time in idleness and luxury. For the man untried, as the saying is, is also unapproved; unapproved not only in the contests, but also in everything else. Idleness is a useless thing, and in luxury itself nothing is so unsuited to the end proposed as the leading a luxurious life: for it palls with satiety, so that neither the enjoyment of the viands is so great, nor the enjoyment of relaxation, but all becomes vapid, and runs to waste.
Then let us not seek after this. For if we will consider which has the pleasanter life, he that is toiled and hardworked, or he that lives in luxury, we shall find it to be the former. For in the first place,  the bodily senses are neither clear nor sound, but dull (chhaunai) and languid; and when those are not right, even of health there is plainly no enjoyment. Which is the useful horse, the pampered or the exercised? which the serviceable ship, that which sails, or that which lies idle? which the best water, the running or the stagnant? which the best iron, that which is much used, or that which does no work? does not the one shine bright as silver, while the other becomes all over rusty, useless, and even losing some of its own substance? The like happens also to the soul as the consequence of idleness: a kind of rust spreads over it, and corrodes both its brightness and everything else. How then shall one rub off this rust? With the whetstone of tribulations: so shall one make the soul useful and fit for all things. Else, how, I ask, will she be able to cut off the passions, with her edge turned (anakloses) and bending like lead? How shall she wound the devil?--And then to whom can such an one be other than a disgusting spectacle--a man cultivating obesity, dragging himself along like a seal? I speak not this of those who are naturally of this habit, but of those who by luxurious living have brought their bodies into such a condition, of those who are naturally of a spare habit. The sun has risen, has shot forth his bright beams on all sides, and roused up each person to his work: the husbandman goes forth with his spade, the smith with his hammer, and each artisan with his several instruments, and you will find each handling his proper tools; the woman also takes either her distaff or her webs: while he, like the swine, immediately at the first dawn goes forth to feed his belly, seeking how he may provide sumptuous fare. And yet it is only for brute beasts to be feeding from morning to night; and for them, because their only use is to be slaughtered. Nay, even of the beasts, those which carry burdens and admit of being worked, go forth to their work while it is yet night. But this man, rising from his bed, when the (noon-tide) sun has filled the market-place, and people are tired of their several works, then this man gets up, stretching himself out just as if he were indeed a hog in fattening, having wasted the fairest part of the day in darkness. Then he sits there for a long time on his bed, often unable even to lift himself up from the last evening's debauch, and having wasted (still) more time in this (listlessness), proceeds to adorn himself, and issues forth, a spectacle of unseemliness, with nothing human about him, but with all the appearance of a beast with a human shape: his eyes rheumy from the effect of wine,  * * * while the miserable soul, just like the lame, is unable to rise, bearing about its bulk of flesh, like an elephant. Then he comes and sits in (various) places, and says and does such things, that it were better for him to be still sleeping than to be awake. If it chance that evil tidings be announced, he shows himself weaker than any girl; if good, more silly than any child; on his face there is a perpetual yawn. He is a mark for all that would do harm, if not for all men, at least for all evil passions; and wrath easily excites such a man, and lust, and envy, and all other passions. All flatter him, all pay court to him, rendering his soul weaker than it is already: and each day he goes on and on, adding to his disease. If he chance to fall into any difficulty of business, he becomes dust and ashes,  and his silken garments are of no help to him. We have not said all this without a purpose, but to teach you, that none of you should live idly and at random. For idleness and luxury are not conducive to work, to good reputation, to enjoyment.  For who will not condemn such a man? Family, friends, kinsfolk (will say), He is indeed a very encumbrance of the ground. Such a man as this has come into the world to no purpose: or rather, not to no purpose, but to ill purpose against his own person, to his own ruin, and to the hurt of others. But that this is more pleasant--let us look to this; for this is the question. Well then, what can be less pleasant than (the condition of) a man who has nothing to do; what more wretched and miserable? Is it not worse than all the fetters in the world, to be always gaping and yawning, as one sits in the market-place, looking at the passers by? For the soul, as its nature is to be always on the move, cannot endure to be at rest. God has made it a creature of action: to work is of its very nature; to be idle is against its nature. For let us not judge of these things from those who are diseased, but let us put the thing itself to the proof of fact. Nothing is more hurtful than leisure, and having nothing to do: indeed therefore hath God laid on us a necessity of working: for idleness hurts everything. Even to the members of the body, inaction is a mischief. Both eye, if it perform not its work, and mouth, and belly, and every member that one could mention, falls into the worst state of disease: but none so much as the soul. But as inaction is an evil, so is activity in things that ought to be let alone. For just as it is with the teeth, if one eats not, one receives hurt to them, and if one eats things unfitting, it jars them, and sets them on edge:  so it is here; both if the soul be inactive, and if inactive in wrong things, it loses its proper force. Then let us eschew both alike; both inaction, and the activity which is worse than inaction. And what may that be? Covetousness,  anger, envyings, and the other passions. As regards these, let us make it our object to be inactive, in order that we may obtain the good things promised to us, through the grace and mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, with Whom to the Father, together with the Holy Spirit, be glory, might, honor, now and ever, world without end. Amen.
"And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken, and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one's bands were loosed."
What could equal these souls? These men had been scourged, had received many stripes, they had been misused, were in peril of their lives, were thrust into the inner prison, and set fast in the stocks: and for all this they did not suffer themselves to sleep, but kept vigil all the night. Do you mark what a blessing tribulation is? But we, in  our soft beds, with none to be afraid of, pass the whole night in sleep. But belike this is why they kept vigil, because they were in this condition. Not the tyranny of sleep could overpower them, not the smart of pain could bow them, not the fear of evil east them into helpless dejection: no, these were the very things that made them wakeful: and they were even filled with exceeding delight. "At midnight," it says, "and the prisoners listened to them:" it was so strange and surprising! "And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken, and immediately, all the doors were opened, and every one's bands were loosed. And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled." (v. 27.) There was an earthquake, that the keeper should be roused from sleep, and the doors flew open, that he should wonder at what had happened: but these things the prisoners saw not: otherwise they would all have fled:  but the keeper of the prison was about to slay himself, thinking the prisoners were escaped. "But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here" (v. 28.) (b) "Then he called for lights, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas; and brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" (v. 29, 30.) Do you mark how the wonder overpowered him? (a) He wondered more at Paul's kindness; he was amazed at his manly boldness, that he had not escaped when he had it in his power, that he hindered him from killing himself.  (c) "And they said, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house." (v. 31, 35) and (so) immediately gave proof of their kindness towards him. "And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway." (v. 33.) He washed them, and was himself baptized, he and his house. "And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house. And when it was day, the magistrates sent the sergeants, saying, Let those men go." (v. 34, 35.) It is likely the magistrates had learnt what had happened, and did not dare of themselves to dismiss them. "And the keeper of the prison told these words to Paul, saying, the magistrates have sent to let you go: now therefore depart, and go in peace. But Paul said unto them, they have beaten us openly uncondemned, being Romans, and have cast us into prison; and now do they thrust as out privily? nay verily; but let them come themselves and fetch us out. And the sergeants told these words unto the magistrates: and they feared, when they heard that they were Romans. And they came and besought them, and brought them out, and desired them to depart out of the city. And they went out of the prison, and entered into the house of Lydia: and when they had seen the brethren, they comforted them, and departed." (v. 36-40.) Even  upon the declaration of the magistrates Paul does not go out, but for the sake both of Lydia and the rest he puts them in fear: that they may not be supposed to have come out upon their own request, that they may set the rest in a posture of boldness. The impeachment was twofold: that "being Romans," and "uncondemned," they had openly cast them into prison. You see that in many things they took their measures as men.
(Recapitulation) "And at midnight," etc. (v. 25.) Let us compare, beloved, with that night these nights of ours, with their revellings, their drunkenness, and wanton excesses, with their sleep which might as well be death, their watchings which are worse than sleep. For while some sleep without sense or feeling, others lie awake to pitiable and wretched purpose, plotting deceits, anxiously thinking about money, studying how they may be revenged upon those who do them wrong, meditating enmity, reckoning up the abusive words spoken during the day: thus do they rake up the smouldering embers of wrath, doing things intolerable.  Mark how Peter slept. (ch. xii. 6.) Both there, it was wisely ordered (that he should be asleep); for the Angel came to him, and it behooved that none should see what happened; and on the other hand it was well ordered here (that Paul should be awake), in order that the keeper of the prison might be prevented from killing himself. "And suddenly there was a great earthquake." (v. 26.) And why did no other miracle take place? Because this was, of all others, the thing sufficient for his conversion, seeing he was personally in danger: for it is not so much miracles that overpower us, as the things which issue in our own deliverance. That the earthquake should not seem to have come of itself, there was this concurrent circumstance, bearing witness to it: "the doors were opened, and all their bonds were loosed." And it appears in the night-time; for the Apostles did not work for display, but for men's salvation. "And the keeper of the prison," etc. (v. 27.) The keeper was not an evil-disposed man that he "thrust them into the inner prison," (v. 24) was because of his "having received such a command," not of himself. The man  was all in a tumult of perturbation. "What shall I do to be saved?" he asks. Why not before this? Paul shouted, until he saw, and is beforehand with him saying, "We are all here. And having called for lights," it says, "he sprang in, and fell down at the feet" of the prisoner; he, the prison keeper, saying, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" (v. 28-30.) Why, what had they said? Observe, he does not, on finding himself safe, think all is well; he is overcome with awe at the miraculous power.
Do you mark  what happened in the former case, and what here? There a girl was released from a spirit, and they cast them into prison, because they had liberated her from the spirit. Here, they did but show the doors standing open, and it opened the doors of his heart, it loosed two sorts of chains; that (prisoner)  kindled the (true) light; for the light in his heart was shining. "And he sprang in, and fell before them;" and he does not ask, How is this? What is this? but straightway he says, "What must I do to be saved?" What then answers Paul? "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, thou and thine house." (v. 31.) For this above all, wins men: that one's house also should be saved. "And they spake the word to him, and to all that were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes," etc. (v. 32, 33), washed them and was washed: those he washed from their stripes, himself was washed from his sins: he fed and was fed.  "And rejoiced," it says: although there was nothing but words only and good hopes: "having believed in God with all his house (v. 34): this was the token of his having believed--that he was released of all. What worse than a jailer, what more ruthless, more savage? He entertained them with great honor. Not, because he was safe, he made merry, but, having believed God. (a) "Believe on the Lord," said the Apostle: therefore it is that the writer here says, "Having believed.  --(d) Now therefore," it says, "depart, and go in peace" (v. 36): that is, in safety, fearing no man. (b) "But Paul said unto them" (v. 37): that he may not seem to be receiving his liberty as one condemned, and as one that has done wrong: therefore it is that he says, "Having openly beaten us uncondemned," etc.--that it may not be matter of grace on their part. (e) And besides, they wish the jailer himself to be out of danger, that he may not be called to account for this afterwards. And they do not say, "Having beaten us," who have wrought miracles: for they (the magistrates) did not even heed these: but, that which was most effectual to shake their minds, "uncondemned, and being Romans." (c) Observe how diversely grace manages things: how Peter went out, how Paul, though both were Apostles. "They feared," (v. 38) it says: because the men were Romans, not because they had unjustly cast them into prison,  "And besought them to depart out of the city" (v. 39): begged them as a favor. And they went to the house of Lydia, and having confirmed her, so departed. For it was not right to leave their hostess in distress and anxiety. But they went out, not in compliance with the request of those rulers, but hasting to the preaching: the city having been sufficiently benefited by the miracle: for it was fit they should not be there any longer. For in the absence of them that wrought it, the miracle appeared greater, itself crying out more loudly: the faith of the jailer was a voice in itself. What equal to this? He is put in bonds, and looses, being bound: looses a twofold bond: him that bound him, he looses by being bound. These are indeed works of (supernatural) grace.
(f) Let us constantly bear in mind this jailer,  not the miracle: how, prisoner as he was (the Apostle), persuaded his jailer. What say the heathen? "And of what things," say they, "was such a man as this to be persuaded--a vile, wretched creature, of no understanding, full of all that is bad and nothing else, and easily brought over to anything? For these, say they, are the things, a tanner, a purple-seller, an eunuch, slaves, and women believed." This is what they say. What then will they be able to say, when we produce the men of rank and station, the centurion, the proconsul, those from that time to the present, the rulers themselves, the emperors? But for my part, I speak of something else, greater than this: let us look to these very persons of no consideration. "And where is the wonder?" say you. Why, this, I say, is a wonder. For, if a person be persuaded about any common things, it is no wonder: but if resurrection, a kingdom of heaven, a life of philosophic self-command, be the subjects, and, discoursing of these to persons of mean consideration, one persuades them, it will be more wonderful than if one persuaded wise men. For when there is no danger attending the things of which one persuades people, then (the objector) might with some plausibility allege want of sense on their part: but when (the preacher) says--to the slave, as you will have it--"If thou be persuaded by me, it is at thy peril, thou wilt have all men for thine enemies, thou must die, thou must suffer evils without number," and yet for all this, convinces that man's soul, there can be no more talk here of want of sense. Since, if indeed the doctrines contained what was pleasant, one might fairly enough say this: but if, what the philosohers would never have chosen to learn, this the slave does learn, then is the wonder greater. And, if you will, let us bring before us the tanner himself, and see what were the subjects on which Peter conversed with him: or if you will, this same jailer. What then said Paul to him? "That Christ rose again," say you; "that there is a resurrection of the dead, and a kingdom: and he had no difficulty in persuading him, a man easily led to anything." How? Said he nothing about the mode of life; that he must be temperate, that he must be superior to money, that he must not be unmerciful, that he must impart of his good things to others? For it cannot be said, that the being persuaded to these things also was from the want of power of mind; no, to be brought to all this required a great soul. For be it so, that as far as the doctrines went, they were rendered more apt to receive these by their want of intelligence: but to accept such a virtuous, self-denying rule of life, how could that be owing to any defect of understanding? So that the less understanding the person may have, if nevertheless he is persuaded to things, to which even philosophers were unable to persuade their fellow-philosophers, the greater the wonder--when women and slaves are persuaded of these truths, and prove it by their actions, of which same truths the Platos and all the rest of them were never able to persuade any man. And why say I, "any man?" Say rather, not themselves even: on the contrary, that money is not to be despised, Plato persuaded (his disciples) by getting, as he did, such an abundance of property, and golden rings, and goblets; and that the honor to be had from the many is not to be despised, this Socrates himself shows, for all that he may philosophize without end on this point: for in everything he did, he had an eye to fame. And if you were conversant with his discourses, I might go at great length into this subject, and show what a deal of insincerity (eironeian) there was in them,--if at least we may believe what his disciple says of him,--and how that all his writings have their ground-work in vainglory. But, leaving them, let us direct the discourse to our own selves. For besides the things that have been said, there is this also to be added, that men were persuaded of these things to their own peril. Be not thou therefore shameless, but let us think over that night, the stocks, and the hymns of praise. This let us also do, and we shall open for ourselves--not a prison, but--heaven. If we pray, we shall be able even to open heaven. Elias both shut and opened heaven by prayer. (James v. 17.) There is a prison in heaven also. "Whatsoever," He saith, "ye shall bind on earth, shall be bound in heaven." (Matt. xvi. 19.) Let us pray by night, and we shall loose these bonds. For that prayers loose sins, let that widow convince us, let that friend convince us, who at that untimely hour of the night persists and knocks (Luke xi. 5): let Cornelius convince us, for, "thy prayers," it says, "and thine alms are come up before God." (ch. x. 4.) Let Paul convince us, who says, "Now she that is a widow indeed and desolate, trusteth in God, and continueth in supplications night and day." (1 Tim. v. 5.) If he speaks thus of a widow, a weak woman, much more would he of men. I have both before discoursed to you on this, and now repeat it: let us arouse ourselves during the night: though thou make not many prayers, make one with watchfulness, and it is enough, I ask no more: and if not at midnight, at any rate at the first dawn. Show that the night is not only for the body, but also for the soul: do not suffer it to pass idly, but make this return to thy Master: nay rather (the benefit) itself returns to thee. Say, if we fall into any difficult strait, to whom do we not make request? and if we soon obtain our request, we breathe freely again. What a boon were it for thee, to have a friend to go to with thy request, who shall be ready to take it as a kindness, and to be obliged to thee for thy asking? What a boon, not to have to go about and seek one to ask of, but to find one ready? to have no need of others through whom thou mayest solicit? What could be greater than this? Since here is One who then does most, when we make not our requests of others than Himself: just as a sincere friend then most complains of us for not trusting in his friendship, when we ask of others to make request to him. Thus also let us act.  "But what," you will ask, "if I should have offended Him?" Cease to give offence, and weep, and so draw near to Him, and thou wilt quickly render Him propitious as to thy former sins. Say only, I have offended: say it from thy soul and with a sincere mind, and all things are remitted to thee. Thou dost not so much desire thy sins to be forgiven, as He desires to forgive thee thy sins. In proof that thou dost not so desire it, consider that thou hast no mind either to practice vigils, or to give thy money freely: but He, that He might forgive our sins, spared not His Only-begotten and True Son, the partner of His throne. Seest thou how He more desires to forgive thee thy sins (than thou to be forgiven )? Then let us not be slothful, nor put off this any longer. He is merciful and good: only let us give Him an opportunity.
And (even) this (He seeks), only that we may not become unprofitable, since even without this He could have freed us from them: but like as we (with the same view) devise and arrange many things for our servants to do, so does He in the matter of our salvation. "Let us anticipate His face with thanksgiving." (Ps. xcv. 2. "Let us come before His presence." E.V.), since He is good and kind. But if thou call not upon Him, what will He do? Thou dost not choose to say, Forgive; thou wilt not say it from thy heart, but with thy mouth only. What is it, to call in truth? (To call) with purpose of heart, with earnestness, with a sincere mind; just as men say of perfumes, "This is genuine, and has nothing spurious," so here. He who truly calls on Him, he who truly prays to Him, continually attends to it, and desists not, until he obtain (his request): but he who does it in a merely formal manner (aphosioumenos), and even this only by way of fulfilling a law, does not call in truth. Whosoever thou art, say not only, "I am a sinner," but be earnest also to rid thyself of this character; say not this only, but also grieve. If thou grievest, thou art in earnest: if thou art not in earnest, thou grievest not: if thou grievest not, thou triflest. What sort of man is he who shall say, "I am sick," and not to do all to be freed from his sickness? A mighty weapon is Prayer. "If ye," saith the Lord, "know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more your Father?" (Luke xi. 13.) Then wherefore art thou unwilling to approach Him? He loves thee, He is of more power than all besides. Both willing is He and able, what is there to hinder? Nothing. But then, on our part, let us draw near with faith, draw near, offering the gifts that He desires, forgetfulness of wrongs, kindness, meekness. Though thou be a sinner, with boldness shalt thou ask of Him forgiveness of thy sins, if thou canst show that this has been done by thyself: but though thou be righteous, and possess not this virtue of forgetfulness of injuries, thou art none the better for it. It cannot be that a man who has forgiven his neighbor should not obtain perfect forgiveness: for God is beyond comparison more merciful than we. What sayest thou? If thou sayest, "I have been wronged, I have subdued my anger, I have endured the onset of wrath because of Thy command, and dost Thou not forgive?"  Full surely He will forgive: and this is plain to all. Therefore let us purge our soul from all resentment. This is sufficient for us, in order that we may be heard; and let us pray with watching and much perseverance, that having enjoyed His bountiful mercy, we may be found worthy of the good things promised, through the grace and mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, with Whom to the Father, together with the Holy Spirit, be glory, might, honor, now and ever, world without end. Amen.
"Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews: and Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the Scriptures, opening and alleging that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ."
Again they haste past the small cities, and press on to the greater ones, since from those the word was to flow as from a fountain into the neighboring cities. "And Paul, as his manner was, went into the synagogue of the Jews." Although he had said, "We turn to the Gentiles" (ch. xiii. 46), he did not leave these alone: such was the longing affection he had towards them. For hear him saying, "Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved" (Rom. x. 1): and, "I wished myself accursed from Christ for my brethren." (ib. ix. 3.) But he did this  because of God's promise and the glory: and this, that it might not be a cause of offence to the Gentiles. "Opening," it says, "from the Scriptures, he reasoned with them for three sabbaths, putting before them that the Christ must suffer." Do thou mark how before all other things he preaches the Passion: so little were they ashamed of it, knowing it to be the cause of salvation. "And some of them believed, and consorted with Paul and Silas; and of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few." (v. 4.) The writer mentions only the sum and substance of the discoursing: he is not given to redundancy, and does not on every occasion report the sermons. "But the Jews which believed not (the best texts omit "which believed not"), moved with envy, took unto them certain lewd fellows of the baser sort, and gathered a company, and set all the city on an uproar, and assaulted the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people. And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also; whom Jason hath received: and these all do contrary to the decrees of Cæsar, saying that there is another king, one Jesus." (v. 5-7.) Oh! what an accusation! again they get up a charge of treason against them, "saying, there is another king (one) Jesus. And they troubled the people and the rulers of the city, when they heard these things. And when they had taken security of Jason, and of the other, they let them go." (v. 8, 9.) A man worthy to be admired, that he put himself into danger, and sent them away from it. "And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble," it says, "than they of Thessalonica: more noble," i.e. more gentle (epieikesteroi) (in their behavior): "in that they received the word with all readiness," and this not inconsiderately, but with a strictness wherein  was no passion, "searching the Scriptures whether these things were so." (v. 10, 11.) "Therefore many of them believed; also of honorable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few. But when the Jews of Thessalonica had knowledge that the word of God was preached of Paul at Berea, they came thither also, and stirred up the people. And then immediately the brethren sent away Paul to go as it were to the sea: but Silas and Timotheus abode there still." (v. 12-14.) See how he at one time gives way, at another presses on, and in many things takes his measures upon human considerations. "And they that conducted Paul brought him unto Athens: and receiving a commandment unto Silas and Timotheus for to come to him with speed, they departed." (v. 15.) But let us look again at what has been said.
(Recapitulation.) "Three sabbath-days," it says, being the time when they had leisure from work, "he reasoned with them, opening out of the Scriptures" (v. 2): for so used Christ also to do: as on many occasions we find Him reasoning from the Scriptures, and not on all occasions (urging men) by miracles. Because to this  indeed they stood in a posture of hostility, calling them deceivers and jugglers; but he that persuades men by reasons from the Scriptures, is not liable to this imputation. And on many occasions we find (Paul) to have convinced men simply by force of teaching: and in Antioch "the whole city was gathered together" (ch. xiii. 44): so  great a thing is this also, for indeed this itself is no small miracle, nay, it is even a very great one. And that they might not think that they did it all by their own strength, but rather that God permitted it,  two things resulted, namely, "Some of them were persuaded," etc. (c) "And of devout Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few:"  but those others did the contrary: "the Jews moved with envy," etc. (v. 4, 5) (b) and, from the fact that the being called was itself a matter of God's fore-ordering, (a) they neither thought great things of themselves as if the triumph were their own, nor were terrified as being responsible (for all). But how comes it that he said, "That we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision" (Gal. ii. 9), and yet discoursed to the Jews? (a) He did this as a thing over and above. (b) For  he did other things also more than he was obliged. For instance, Christ ordained that they should "live by the Gospel" (1 Cor. ix. 14; i. 17), but our Apostle did it not: Christ sent him not to baptize, yet he did baptize. Mark how he was equal to all. Peter to the circumcision, he to the Gentiles, to the greater part. (a) Since if it was necessary for him to discourse to Jews, how said he again: "For He that wrought effectually in him toward the circumcision, the same was mighty also in me toward the Gentiles" (Gal. ii. 8)? In the same way as those Apostles also had intercourse with the Gentiles, though they had been set apart for the circumcision, so likewise did our Apostle. The more part of his work indeed was with the Gentiles: still he did not neglect the Jews either, that they might not seem to be severed from them. And how was it, you will ask, that he entered in the first place into the synagogues, as if this were his leading object? True; but he persuaded the Gentiles through the Jews, and from the things which he discoursed of to the Jews. And he knew, that this was most suitable for the Gentiles, and most conducive to belief. Therefore he says: "Inasmuch as I am the "Apostle of the Gentiles." (Rom. xi. 13.) And his Epistles too all fight against the Jews.--"That the Christ," he says, "must needs have suffered." (v. 3.) If there was a necessity for His suffering, there was assuredly a necessity for His rising again: for the former  was far more wonderful than the latter. For if He gave Him up to death Who had done no wrong, much rather did He raise Him up again. "But the Jews which believed not took unto them certain of the baser sort, and set all the city on an uproar (v. 5): so that the Gentiles were more in number. The Jews thought not themselves enough to raise the disturbance: for because they had no reasonable pretext, they ever effect such purposes by means of uproar, and by taking to themselves base men. "And when they found them not," it says, "they haled Jason and certain brethren." (v. 6.) O the tyranny! dragged them without any cause out of their houses. "These all," say they, "do contrary to the decrees of Cæsar" (v. 7): for since they spoke nothing contrary to what had been decreed, nor made any commotion in the city, they bring them under a different charge: "saying that there is another king, one Jesus.  And they troubled the people," etc. (v. 8.) And what are ye afraid of, seeing He is dead? (b) "And when they had taken security," etc. (v. 9.) See how by giving security Jason sent Paul away: so that he gave his life (to the hazard) for him.  (a) "And brethren," etc. (v. 10.) See how the persecutions in every case extend the preaching. "Now these," it says, "were more noble than those in Thessalonica" (v. 11): i.e. they were not (men) practising base things, but some  were convinced, and the others (who were not), did nothing (of that sort). (b) "Daily," it says, "searching the Scriptures whether these things were so:" not merely upon a sudden impetus or (burst of) zeal. "More noble," it says: i. e. in point of virtue(a)"Therefore many of them," etc. (v. 12.) And here again are Greeks. (b) "But when the Jews of Thessalonica," etc. (v. 13), because there were lewd persons there. And yet that city was greater. But it is no wonder in the greater city the people were worse: nay, of course to the greater city there go the worse men, where the occasions of disturbances are many. And as in the body, where the disease is more violent for having  more matter and fuel, just so is it here. (a) But look, I beg you, how their fleeing was providentially ordered, not from cowardice: otherwise they would have ceased to preach, and would not have exasperated them still more. But from this (flight) two things resulted: both the rage of those (Jews) was quenched, and the preaching spread. But in terms befitting their disorderly conduct, he says, "Agitating the multitude." (b) Just what was done at Iconium--that they may have the additional condemnation of destroying others besides themselves. (ch. xiv. 2, 19.) This is what Paul says of them: "Forbidding to preach to the Gentiles, to fill up their sins alway, for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost." (1 Thess. ii. 16.) Why did he not stay? for if (at Lystra, ch. xiv. 19, 21) there, where he was stoned, he nevertheless stayed a long time, much more here. Why? (The Lord) did not wish them to be always doing signs; for this is itself a sign, not less than the working of signs--that being persecuted, they overcame without signs. So that just as now He prevails without signs, so was it on many occasions His will to prevail then. Consequently neither did the Apostles run after signs: as in fact he says himself, "We preach Christ crucified" (1 Cor. i. 23)--to them that crave signs, to them that crave wisdom, we give that which cannot even after signs persuade, and yet we do persuade! So that this was a mighty sign. See then, how when the preaching is extended, they are not in a hurry to run after signs.  For it was right that thenceforth the believers should be mighty signs to the rest. Howbeit, by retreating and advancing they did these things. (a) "And immediately," it says, "the brethren sent away Paul." (v. 14.) Here now they send Paul alone: for it was for him they feared, lest he should suffer some harm, the head and front of all being in fact none other than he. (b) "They sent him away," it says, "as it were to the sea:" that it might not be easy for them to seize him. For  at present they could not have done much by themselves; and with him they accomplished and achieved many things. For the present, it says, they wished to rescue him. (a) So far is it from being the case, that (supernatural) Grace worked all alike on all occasions: on the contrary, it left them to take their measures upon human judgment, (only) stirring them up and rousing them out of sleep, and making them to take pains.  Thus, observe, it brought them safe only as far as Philippi, but no more after that. "And receiving," it says, "a commandment unto Silas and Timotheus for to come to him with all speed, they departed." (v. 15.) For though he was a Paul, nevertheless he needed them. And with good reason are they urged by God to go into Macedonia, for there lay Greece moreover bright (before them). (ch. xvi. 9.)
See what zeal the rest of the disciples showed with respect to their leaders: not as it is now with us, who are separated and divided into great and small: some of us exalted, while others are envious: for this is the reason why those are envious, because we are puffed up, because we will not endure to be put upon a par with them. The reason why there is harmony in the body, is because there is no puffing up: and there is no puffing up, because the members are of necessity made to stand in need of each other, and the head has need of the feet. And God has made this to be the case with us, and, for all that, we will not endure it: although even without this, there ought to be love among us. Hear ye not how they that are without accuse us when they say, "Needs make friendships?" The laity have need of us; and we again exist for them. Since teacher or ruler would not exist, if there were not persons to be taught, nor would he perform his part, for it would not be possible. As the land has need of the husbandman, and the husbandman of the land, so is it here. What reward is there for the teacher to receive, when he has none to produce that he has taught? and what for the taught, who have not had the benefit of the best teaching? So that we need each other alike in turn, both the governed, them that govern,  and leaders, them that obey: for rulers are for the sake of many. Since no one is sufficient to do anything by himself alone, whether need be to ordain (cheirotonhesai), or to examine men's counsels and opinions, but they become more honorable by assembly and numbers. For instance, the poor need givers, the givers again need receivers. "Considering one another" he says, "to provoke unto love and to good works." (Heb. x. 24.) On this account the assembly of the whole Church has more power: and what each cannot do by himself singly, he is able to do when joined with the rest. Therefore most necessary are the prayers offered up, here, for the world, for the Church, from the one end of the earth to the other, for peace, for those who are in adversities. And Paul shows this when he says, "That for the gift bestowed upon us by the means of many persons thanks may be given by many on our behalf" (2 Cor. i. 11); that is, that He might confer the favor on many. And often he asks for their prayers. See also what God says with regard to the Ninevites: "And shall not I spare that city, wherein dwell more than six score thousand persons?" (Jonah iv. 11.) For if, "where two or three," He says, "are gathered together in My Name" (Matt. xviii. 20), they prevail much, how much more, being many? And yet thou mayest prevail, though thou be but one; yet not equally so. For why art thou but one? Why dost thou not make many? Why dost thou not become the maker of love? Why dost thou not create (kataskeuazeis) friendship? Thou lackest the chief excellence of virtue. For as men's being bad by agreement together more provokes God; so for men to be good by unanimity delights Him more. "Thou shalt not follow a multitude," He says, "to do evil." (Ex. xxiii. 2.) "They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable" (Rom. iii. 12), and have become as it were men singing in concert in their wickedness. Make for thyself friends in preference to domestics, and all besides. If the peacemaker is a son of God, how much more he who makes friends also? (Matt. v. 9.) If he who reconciles only is called a son of God, of what shall not he be worthy, who makes friends of those who are reconciled? Let us engage ourselves in this trade, let us make those who are enemies to each other friends, and those who are not indeed enemies, but are not friends, them let us bring together, and before all, our own selves. For as he who is at enmity in his house, and has differences with his wife, carries no authority when reconciling others, but will be told, "Physician, heal thyself" (Luke iv. 23), so will a man be told in this case. What then is the enmity that is in us? That of the soul against the body, that of vice against virtue. This enmity let us put an end to, this war let us take away, and then being in peace we shall also address others with much boldness of speech, our conscience not accusing us. Anger fights against gentleness, love of money against contempt of it, envy against goodness of heart. Let us make an end of this war, let us overthrow these enemies, let us set up these trophies, let us establish peace in our own city. We have within us a city and a civil polity, and citizens and aliens many: but let us banish the aliens, that our own people may not be ruined. Let no foreign nor spurious doctrine enter in, no carnal desire. See we not that, if any enemy has been caught in a city, he is judged as a spy? Then let us not only banish aliens, but let us drive out enemies also. If we see one, let us deliver up to the ruler, (that is), to conscience (tho nho), that imagination which is indeed an alien, a barbarian, albeit tricked out with the garb of a citizen. For there are within us many imaginations of this kind, which are by nature indeed enemies, but are clad in sheep's skins. Just as the Persians, when they have put off the tiara, and the drawers, and the barbarian shoes, and put on the other dress which is usual with us, and have shorn themselves close, and converse in our own tongue, conceal war under their outward garb: but once apply the tortures (basanous or "tests"), and thou bringest to light what is hidden: so here, examine (or "put to the test,") by torture again and again such an imagination as this, and thou wilt quickly see that its spirit is that of a stranger. But to show you also by way of example the sort of spies which the devil sends into us to spy out what is in us, come let us strip one of them, and examine it strictly at the tribunal: and if you please, let us bring forward some of those which were detected by Paul. "Which things," he says, "have indeed a show of wisdom in will-worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body: not in any honor to the satisfying of the flesh." (Col. ii. 23.) The devil wished to bring in Judaism: now if he had introduced it in its own form, he would not have carried his point. Accordingly, mark how he brought it about. "You must neglect the body," he says: "this is (the true) philosophy, not to admit of meats, but to guard against them: this is humility." And now again in our own times, in the case of the heretics, he wished to bring us down to the creature. See then how he dressed up his deceit. Had he said, "Worship a creature," he would have been detected: but what says he? "God" (viz. the Son and the Holy Ghost), he says, "is a created being." But let us lay bare for the decision of the judges the meaning of the Apostolic writings: there let us bring him: themselves will acknowledge both the preaching and the language. Many make gains "that they may have wherewith to give to the poor," unjust gains: this too is a wicked imagination. But let us undress it, let us convict it, that we may not be taken by it, but that having escaped all the devices of the devil, and holding to the sound doctrines with strictness, we may be able both to pass in safety through this life present, and to obtain the good things promised, through the grace and mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, with Whom to the Father, together with the Holy Ghost, be glory, might, honor, now and ever, world without end. Amen.
"Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry. Therefore disputed he in the synagogue with the Jews, and with the devout persons, and in the market daily with them that met with him."
Observe how he meets with greater trials among the Jews than among the Gentiles. Thus in Athens he undergoes nothing of this kind; the thing goes as far as ridicule, and there an end: and yet he did make some converts: whereas among the Jews he underwent many perils; so much greater was their hostility against him.--"His spirit," it says, "was roused within him when he saw the city all full of idols." Nowhere else were so many objects  of worship to be seen. But again "he disputed with the Jews in the synagogue, and in the market daily with them that met with him. Then certain of the philosophers of the Stoics and Epicureans encountered him." (v. 18.) It is a wonder the philosophers did not laugh him to scorn, speaking in the way he did. "And some said, What does this babbler mean to say?" insolently, on the instant:  --this is far from philosophy. "Other some said, He seemeth to be a setter forth of strange gods," from the preaching, because he had no arrogance. They did not understand, nor comprehend the subjects he was speaking of--how should they? affirming as they did, some of them, that God is a body; others, that pleasure is the (true) happiness.  "Of strange gods, because he preached unto them Jesus and the Resurrection:" for in fact they supposed "Anastasis" (the Resurrection) to be some deity, being accustomed to worship female divinities also.  "And having taken him, they brought him to the Areopagus" (v. 19)--not to punish, but in order to learn  --"to the Areopagus" where the trials for murder were held. Thus observe, in hope of learning (they ask him), saying, "May we know what is this new doctrine spoken of by thee? For thou bringest certain strange matters to our ears" (v. 20): everywhere novelty is the charge: "we would fain know therefore, what these things may mean." It was a city of talkers, that city of theirs. "For all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing. Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I look upon you as being in all things" (v. 21, 22)--he puts it by way of encomium: (the word) does not seem to mean anything offensive--deisidaimonesterous, that is, eulabesterous, "more religiously disposed. For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with his inscription, To an Unknown God. What therefore ye ignorantly worship, this declare I unto you." (v. 23.)--"On which was inscribed, To an Unknown God." The Athenians, namely, as on many occasions they had received gods from foreign parts also--for instance, the temple of Minerva, Pan, and others from different countries--being afraid that there might be some other god not yet known to them, but worshipped elsewhere, for more assurance, forsooth, erected an altar to that god also: and as the god was not known, it was inscribed, "To an Unknown God." This God then, he tells them, is Christ; or rather, the God of all.  "Him declare I unto you." Observe how he shows that they had already received Him, and "it is nothing strange," says he, "nothing new that I introduce to you." All along, this was what they had been saying: "What is this new doctrine spoken of by thee? For thou bringest certain strange matters to our ears." Immediately therefore he removes this surmise of theirs: and then says, "God that made the world and all things therein, He being Lord of heaven and earth"--for, that they may not imagine Him to be one of many, he presently sets them right on this point; adding, "dwelleth not in temples made with hands" (v. 24), "neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed anything"--do you observe how, little by little, he brings in the philosophy? how he ridicules the heathen error? "seeing it is He that giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; and hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth." This is peculiar to God. Look, then, whether these things may not be predicated of the Son also. "Being Lord," he saith, "of heaven and earth"--which they accounted to be God's. Both the creation he declares to be His work, and mankind also.  "Having determined," he says, "the times  assigned to them, and the bounds of their habitation," (v. 25, 26), "that they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after Him, and find Him, though He be not far from every one of us: for in Him we live, and move, and have our being: as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also His offspring." (v. 27, 28.) This is said by Aratus the poet. Observe how he draws his arguments from things done by themselves, and from sayings of their own. "Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art." (v. 29.) And yet for this reason we ought.  By no means: for surely we are not like (to such), nor are these souls of ours. "And imagination of man." How so? * * But some person might say, "We do not think this." But it was to the many that he was addressing himself, not now to Philosophy. How then did they think so unworthily of Him? Again, putting it upon their ignorance, he says, "Now the times of ignorance God overlooked." Having  agitated their minds by the fear, he then adds this: and yet he says, "but now he commandeth all men everywhere to repent." (v. 30.) "Because He hath appointed a day, in the which He will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom He hath ordained; whereof He hath given assurance unto all men, in that He hath raised Him from the dead." (v. 31.) But let us look over again what has been said.
(Recapitulation.) (b) "And while Paul waited," etc. (v. 16.) It is providentially ordered that against his will he stays there, while waiting for those others. (a) "His spirit," it says, "within him" paroxuneto. It does not mean there anger or exasperation: just as elsewhere it says, "There was paroxusmos between them." (ch. xv. 30.) (c) Then what is paroxuneto? Was roused: for the gift is far removed from anger and exasperation. He could not bear it, but pined away.  "He reasoned therefore in the synagogue," etc. (v. 17.) Observe him again reasoning with Jews. By "devout persons" he means the proselytes. For the Jews were dispersed everywhere before (mod. text "since") Christ's coming, the Law indeed being henceforth, so to say, in process of dissolution, but at the same time (the dispersed Jews) teaching men religion.  But those prevailed nothing, save only that they got witnesses of their own calamities. (e) "And certain philosophers," etc. (v. 18.) How came they to be willing to confer with him? (They did it) when they saw others reasoning, and the man having repute (in the encounter). And observe straightway with overbearing insolence, "some said, What would this babbler say? For the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit." (1 Cor. ii. 14.) Other some, He seemeth to be a setter-forth of strange deities: daimonion, for so they called their gods. "And having taken him, they brought him," etc. (v. 19.) (a) The Athenians no longer enjoyed their own laws, but were become subject to the Romans. (g) (Then) why did they hale him to the Areopagus? Meaning to overawe him--(the place) where they held the trials for bloodshed. "May we know, what is this new doctrine spoken of by thee? For thou bringest certain strange things to our ears; we would fain know therefore what these things mean. For all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing." (v. 20, 21.) Here the thing noted is, that though ever occupied only in this telling and hearing, yet they thought those things strange--things which they had never heard. "Then Paul standing in the midst of the Areopagus said, Ye men of Athens, I look upon you as being in all things more religiously disposed" (v. 22): (f) for the cities were full of gods (daimonon, al. eidolon): (h) this is why he says deisidaimonesterous. For as I passed by and viewed the objects of your worship --he does not say simply tous daimonas (the demons, or deities), but paves the way for his discourse: "I beheld an altar," etc. (v. 23.) This is why he says, "I look upon you as being more religiously disposed," viz. because of the altar. "God," he says, "that made the world." (v. 24.) He uttered one word, by which he has subverted all the (doctrines) of the philosophers. For the Epicureans affirm all to be fortuitously formed and (by concourse) of atoms, the Stoics held it to be body and fire (ekpurosin). "The world and all that is therein." Do you mark the conciseness, and in conciseness, clearness? Mark what were the things that were strange to them: that God made the world! Things which now any of the most ordinary persons know, these the Athenians and the wise men of the Athenians knew not. "Seeing He is Lord of heaven and earth:" for if He made them, it is clear that He is Lord. Observe what he affirms to be the note of Deity--creation. Which attribute the Son also hath.
For the Prophets everywhere affirm this, that to create is God's prerogative. Not as those affirm  that another is Maker but not Lord, assuming that matter is uncreated. Here now he covertly affirms and establishes his own, while he overthrows their doctrine.  "Dwelleth not in temples made with hands." For He does indeed dwell in temples, yet not in such, but in man's soul. He overthrows the corporeal worship. What then? Did He not dwell in the temple at Jerusalem? No indeed: but He wrought therein. "Neither is worshipped by men's hands." (v. 25.) How then was He worshipped by men's hands among the Jews? Not by hands, but by the understanding. "As though He needed anything:" since even those (acts of worship) He did not in this sort seek, "as having need. Shall I eat," saith He, "the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats?" (Ps. l. 13.) Neither is this enough--the having need of naught--which he has affirmed: for though this is Divine, yet a further attribute must be added. "Seeing it is He that giveth unto all, life and breath and all things." Two proofs of Godhead: Himself to have need of naught, and to supply all things to all men. Produce here Plato (and) all that he has philosophized about God, all that Epicurus has: and all is but trifling to this! "Giveth," he says, "life and breath." Lo, he makes Him the Creator of the soul also, not its begetter. See again how he overthrows the doctrine about matter. "And made," he says, "of one blood every nation of men to dwell upon all the face of the earth." (v. 26.) These things are better than the former: and what an impeachment both of the atoms and of matter, that (creation) is not partial (work), nor the soul of man either.  But this, which those say, is not to be Creator.  --But by the mind and understanding He is worshipped.--"It is He that giveth," etc. He not the partial (merikoi daimones) deities. "And all things." It is "He," he saith.--How man also came into being.  --First he showed that "He dwelleth not," etc., and then declared  that He "is not worshipped as though He had need of aught." If God,  He made all: but if He made not, He is not God. Gods that made not heaven and earth, let them perish. He introduces much greater doctrines, though as yet he does not mention the great doctrines; but he discoursed to them as unto children. And these were much greater than those. Creation, Lordship, the having need of naught, authorship of all good--these he has declared. But  how is He worshipped? say. It is not yet the proper time. What equal to this sublimity? Marvellous is this also--of one, to have made so many: but also, having made, Himself sustains them (sunkrathei) in being, "giving life and breath and all things. (b) And hath determined the times appointed, and the bounds of their habitation, that they should seek God, if haply they might feel after Him and find Him." (v. 27.) (a) It means either this, that He did not compel them to go about and seek God, but according to the bounds  of their habitation: (c) or this, that He determined their seeking God, yet not determined this (to be done) continually, but (determined) certain appointed times (when they should do so): showing  now, that not having sought they had found: for since, having sought, they had not found, he shows that God was now as manifest as though He were in the midst of them palpably (pselaphomenos). (e) "Though He be not far," he saith, "from every one of us," but is near to all. See again the power (or, "what it is to be God,") of God. What saith he? Not only He gave "life and breath and all things," but, as the sum and substance of all, He brought us to the knowledge of Himself, by giving us these things by which we are able to find and to apprehend Him. But we did not wish to find Him, albeit close at hand. "Though He be not far from every one of us." Why look now, He is near to all, to every one all the world over! What can be greater than this? See how he makes clear riddance of the parcel deities (tous merikous)! What say I, "afar off?" He is so near, that without Him we live not: "for in Him we live and move and have our being." (v. 28.) "In him;" to put it by way of corporeal similitude, even as it is impossible to be ignorant of the air which is diffused on every side around us, and is "not far from every one of us," nay rather, which is in us. (d) For it was not so that there was a heaven in one place, in another none, nor yet (a heaven) at one time, at another none. So that both at every "time" and at every "bound" it was possible to find Him. He so ordered things, that neither by place nor by time were men hindered. For of course even this, if nothing else, of itself was a help to them--that the heaven is in every place, that it stands in all time. (f) See how (he declares) His Providence, and His upholding power (sunkratesin); the existence of all things from Him, (from Him) their working (to energhein), (from Him their preservation) that they perish not. And he does not say, "Through Him," but, what was nearer than this, "In him."--That poet said nothing equal to this, "For we are His offspring." He, however, spake it of Jupiter, but Paul takes it of the Creator, not meaning the same being as he, God forbid! but meaning what is properly predicated of God: just as he spoke of the altar with reference to Him, not to the being whom they worshipped. As much as to say, "For certain things are said and done with reference to this (true God), but ye know not that they are with reference to Him." For say, of whom would it be properly said, "To an Unknown God?" Of the Creator, or of the demon? Manifestly of the Creator: because Him they knew not, but the other they knew. Again, that all things are filled (with the presence)--of God? or of Jupiter--a wretch of a man, a detestable impostor! But Paul said it not in the same sense as he, God forbid! but with quite a different meaning. For he says we are God's offspring, i.e. God's own,  His nearest neighbors as it were.
For lest, when he says, "Being the offspring of God" (v. 29), they should again say, Thou bringest certain strange things to our ears,  he produces the poet. He does not say, "Ye ought not to think the Godhead like to gold or silver," ye accursed and execrable: but in more lowly sort he says, "We ought not." For what (says he)?  God is above this? No, he does not say this either: but for the present this--"We ought not to think the Godhead like unto such," for nothing is so opposite to men. "But we do not affirm the Godhead to be like unto this, for who would say that?" Mark  how he has introduced the incorporeal (nature of God) when he said, "In Him," etc., for the mind, when it surmises body, at the same time implies the notion of distance. (Speaking) to the many he says, "We ought not to think the Godhead like unto gold, or silver, or stone, the shaping of art,"  for if we are not like to those as regards the soul, much more God (is not like to such). So far, he withdraws them from the notion. But neither is the Godhead, he would say, subjected to any other human conception. For  if that which art or thought has found--this is why he says it thus, "of art or imagination of man"--if that, then, which human art or thought has found, is God, then even in the stone (is) God's essence.--How comes it then, if "in Him we live," that we do not find Him? The charge is twofold, both that they did not find Him, and that they found such as these. The (human) understanding in itself is not at all to be relied upon.--But when he has agitated their soul by showing them to be without excuse, see what he says: "The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent." (v. 30.) What then? Are none of these men to be punished? None of them that are willing to repent. He says it of these men, not of the departed, but of them whom He commands to repent. He does not call you to account, he would say. He does not say, Took no notice (parheiden); does not say, Permitted: but, Ye were ignorant. "Overlooked," i.e. does not demand punishment as of men that deserve punishment. Ye were ignorant. And he does not say, Ye wilfully did evil; but this he showed by what he said above.  --"All men everywhere to repent:" again he hints at the whole world. Observe how he takes them off from the parcel deities! "Because He has appointed a day, in the which He will judge the world in righteousness by that Man whom He hath ordained, whereof He hath given assurance to all men, in that He raised Him from the dead." (v. 31.) Observe how he again declares the Passion. Observe the terror again: for, that the judgment is true, is clear from the raising Him up: for it is alleged in proof of that. That all he has been saying is true, is clear from the fact that He rose again. For He did give  this "assurance to all men," His rising from the dead: this (i.e. judgment), also is henceforth certain.
These words were spoken indeed to the Athenians: but it were seasonable that one should say to us also, "that all men everywhere must repent, because he hath appointed a day, in the which He will judge the world." See how he brings Him in as Judge also: Him, both provident for the world, and merciful and forgiving and powerful and wise, and, in a word possessing all the attributes of a Creator. "Having given assurance to all men," i.e. He has given proof in the rising (of Jesus) from the dead.  Let us repent then: for we must assuredly be judged. If Christ rose not, we shall not be judged: but if he rose, we shall without doubt be judged. "For to this end," it is said, "did He also die, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living." (Rom. xiv. 9.) "For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ, that every one may receive according to that he hath done." (Rom. xiv. 10, and 2 Cor. v. 10.) Do not imagine that these are but words. Lo! he introduced also the subject of the resurrection of all men; for in no other way can the world be judged. And that, "In that He hath raised Him from the dead," relates to the body: for that was dead, that had fallen. Among the Greeks, as their notions of Creation, so likewise of the Judgment, are children's fancies, ravings of drunken men. But let us, who know these things accurately, do something that is to the purpose: let us be made friends unto God. How long shall we be at enmity with Him? How long shall we entertain dislike towards Him? "God forbid!" you will say: "Why do you say such things?" I would wish not to say the things I say, if ye did not do the things ye do: but as things are, what is the use now in keeping silence from words, when the plain evidence of deeds so cries aloud? How then, how shall we love Him? I have told you thousands of ways, thousands of times: but I will speak it also now. One way I seem to myself to have discovered, a very great and admirable way. Namely,  after acknowledging to Him our general obligations,--what none shall be able to express (I mean), what has been done for each of us in his own person, of these also let us bethink ourselves, because these are of great force: let each one of us reckon them up with himself, and make diligent search, and as it were in a book let him have the benefits of God written down; for instance, if at any time having fallen into dangers he has escaped the hands of his enemies; if ever having gone out on a journey at an untimely hour, he has escaped danger; if ever, having had an encounter with wicked men, he has got the better of them; or if ever, having fallen into sickness, he has recovered when all had given him over: for this avails much for attaching us to God. For if that Mordecai, when the services done by him were brought to the king's remembrance, found them to be so available, that he in return rose to that height of splendor (Esther vi. 2-11): much more we, if we call to mind, and make diligent enquiry of these two points, what sins we have committed against God, and what good He has done to us, shall thus both be thankful, and give Him freely all that is ours. But no one gives a thought to any of these things: but just as regarding our sins we say that we are sinners, while we do not enquire into them specifically, so with regard to God's benefits (we say), that God has done us good, and do not specifically enquire, where, and in how great number and at what time. But from this time forth let us be very exact in our reckoning. For if any one can recall even those things which happened long ago, let him reckon up all accurately, as one who will find a great treasure. This is also profitable to us in keeping us from despair. For when we see that he has often protected us, we shall not despair, nor suppose that we are cast off: but we shall take it as a strong pledge of His care for us, when we bethink us how, though we have sinned, we are not punished, but even enjoy protection from Him. Let me now tell you a case, which I heard from a certain person, in which was a child, and it happened on a time that he was in the country with his mother, being not yet fifteen years old. Just then there came a bad air, in consequence of which a fever attacked them both, for in fact it was the autumn season. It happened that the mother succeeded in getting into the town before (they could stop her); but the boy, when the physicians on the spot  ordered him, with the fever burning within him, to gargle his throat, resisted, having forsooth his own wise view of the matter, and thinking he should be better able to quench the fire, if he took nothing whatever, therefore, in his unseasonable spirit of opposition, boy-like, he would take nothing. But when he came into the town, his tongue was paralyzed, and he was for a long time speechless, so that he could pronounce nothing articulately; however, he could read indeed, and attended masters for a long time, but  that was all, and there was nothing to mark his progress. So all his hopes (in life) were cut off, and his mother was full of grief: and though the physicians suggested many plans, and many others did so too, yet nobody was able to do him any good, until the merciful God loosed the string of his tongue (cf. Mark vii. 35), and then he recovered, and was restored to his former readiness and distinctness of speech. His mother also related, that when a very little child, he had an affection in the nose, which they call a polypus: and then too the physicians had given him over and his father cursed him (for the father was then living), and (even) his mother prayed for him to die;  and all was full of distress. But he on a sudden having coughed, owing to the collection of mucus, by the force of the breath expelled the creature (to therion) from his nostrils, and all the danger was removed. But this evil having been extinguished, an acrid and viscid running from the eyes formed such a thick gathering of the humors (tas lemas), that it was like a skin drawn over the pupil, and what was worse, it threatened blindness, and everybody said this would be the issue. But from this disease also was he quickly freed by the grace of God. So far what I have heard from others: now I will tell you what I myself know. Once on a time a suspicion of tyrants was raised in our city--at that time I was but a youth--and all the soldiers being set to watch without the city as it chanced, they were making strict  inquisition after books of sorcery and magic. And the person who had written the book, had flung it unbound (akataskeuaston) into the river, and was taken, and when asked for it, was not able to give it up, but was carried all around the city in bonds: when, however, the evidence being brought home to him, he had suffered punishment, just then it chanced that I, wishing to go to the Martyrs' Church, was returning through the gardens by the riverside in company with another person. He, seeing the book floating on the water at first thought it was a linen cloth, but when he got near, perceived it was a book, so he went down, and took it up. I however called shares in the booty, and laughed about it. But let us see, says he, what in the world it is. So he turns back a part of the page, and finds the contents to be magic. At that very moment it chanced that a soldier came by: * * * then having taken from within,  he went off. There were we congealed with fear. For who would have believed our story that we had picked it up from the river, when all were at that time, even the unsuspected, under strict watch? And we did not dare to cast it away, lest we should be seen, and there was a like danger to us in tearing it to pieces. God gave us means, and we cast it away, and at last we were free for that time from the extreme peril. And I might mention numberless cases, if I had a mind to recount all. And even these I have mentioned for your sakes, so that, if any have other cases, although not such as these, let him bear them in mind constantly: for example, if at any time a stone having been hurled, and being about to strike thee, has not struck thee, do thou bear this ever in thy mind: these things produce in us great affection towards God. For if on remembering any men who have been the means of saving us, we are much mortified if we be not able to requite them, much more (should we feel thus) with regard to God. This too is useful in other respects. When we wish not to be overmuch grieved, let us say: "If we have received good things at the hand of the Lord, shall not we endure evil things?" (Job ii. 10.) And when Paul told them from whence he had been delivered, (2 Tim. iv. 17) the reason was that he might put them also in mind. See too how Jacob kept all these things in his mind: wherefore also he said: "The Angel which redeemed me from my youth up" (Gen. xlviii. 16); and not only that he redeemed him, but how and for what purpose. See accordingly how he also calls to mind the benefits he had received in particular. "With my staff," he says, "I passed over Jordan." (Gen. xxxii. 10.) The Jews also always remembered the things which happened to their forefathers, turning over in their minds the things done in Egypt. Then much more let us, bearing in mind the special mercies which have happened to us also, how often we have fallen into dangers and calamities, and unless God had held his hand over us, should long ago have perished: I say, let us all, considering these things and recounting them day by day, return our united thanks all of us to God, and never cease to glorify Him, that so we may receive a large recompense for our thankfulness of heart, through the grace and compassion of His only begotten Son, with Whom to the Father, together with the Holy Ghost, be glory, might, honor, now and ever, world without end. Amen.
"And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked: and others said, We will hear thee again of this matter. So Paul departed from among them. Howbeit certain men clave unto him, and believed: among the which was Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman named Damaris, and others with them. After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth."
What can be the reason that, having persuaded (some so far as to say) that they would hear him again, and there being no dangers, Paul is so in haste to leave Athens? Probably he knew that he should do them no great good; moreover he was led by the Spirit to Corinth.  (b) For the Athenians, although fond of hearing strange things, nevertheless did not attend (to him); for this was not their study, but only to be always having something to say; which was the cause that made them hold off from him. But if this was their custom, how is it that they accuse him, "he seemeth to be a setter forth of strange gods?" (ch. xvii. 18.) Yes, but these were matters they did not at all know what to make of. Howbeit, he did convert both Dionysius the Areopagite, and some others. For those who were careful of (right) living, quickly received the word; but the others not so. It seemed to Paul sufficient to have cast the seeds of the doctrines. (a) To Corinth then, as I said, he was led by the Spirit, in which city he was to abide. (c) "And having found a certain Jew named Aquila, of Pontus by birth, lately come from Italy"--for the greater part of his life had been passed there--"and Priscilla his wife, because that Claudius had commanded all the Jews to depart from Rome." (v. 2.) For though it was in the reign of Nero that the war against the Jews was consummated, yet from the time of Claudius and thenceforward it was fanning up, at a distance indeed,  so that, were it but so, they might come to their senses, and from Rome they were now driven as common pests. This is why it is so ordered by Providence that Paul was led thither as a prisoner, that he might not as a Jew be driven away, but as acting under military custody might even be guarded there. (Having found these,) "he came to them, and because he was of the same craft, he abode with them and wrought: for by occupation they were tent-makers." (v. 3.) Lo, what a justification he found for dwelling in the same house with them! For because here, of all places, it was necessary that he should not receive, as he himself says, "That wherein they glory, they may be found, even as we" (2 Cor. xi. 12), it is providentially ordered that he there abides. "And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks. And when Silas and Timotheus were come from Macedonia, Paul was straitened in the word,  testifying to the Jews that Jesus is the Christ." (v. 4, 5.) "And when the Jews opposed and blasphemed," i.e. they tried to bear him down (epereazon), they set upon him--What then does Paul? He separates from them, and in a very awful manner: and though he does not now say, "It was need that the word should be spoken unto you," yet he darkly intimates it to them:--"and when they opposed themselves, and blasphemed, he shook his raiment, and said unto them, Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean: from henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles." (v. 6.) "And he departed thence, and entered into a certain man's house, named Justus, one that worshipped God, whose house joined hard to the synagogue." See how having again said, "Henceforth--" for all that, he does not neglect them; so that it was to rouse them that he said this, and thereupon came to Justus, whose house was contiguous to the synagogue, so that  even from this they might have jealousy, from the very proximity. "And Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his house." This also was, of all things, enough to bring them over. "And many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized. Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace: for I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee: for I have much people in this city." (v. 8-10.) See by how many reasons He persuades him, and how He puts last the reason which of all others most prevailed with him, "I have much people in this city." Then how was it, you may ask, that they set upon him? And  yet, the writer tells us, they prevailed nothing, but brought him to the proconsul. "And he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them. And when Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews made insurrection with one accord against Paul, and brought him to the judgment-seat." (v. 11, 12.) Do you mark why those men were ever contriving to give a public turn to the misdemeanors (they accused them of)? Thus see here: (b) "Saying, This fellow seduceth men contrary to the law to worship God. And when Paul was about to open his mouth, Gallio said: If indeed it were any wrong-doing or wicked lewdness, O ye Jews, reason would that I should bear with you. But if it be a question of words and names, and of your law, look ye to it; for I will be no judge of such matters. And he drave them from the judgment-seat." (v. 13-16.) This Gallio seems to me to have been a sensible man. (a) Thus observe, when these had said, "Against the law he seduceth men to worship God," he "cared for none of these things:" and observe how he answers them: "If indeed it were" any matter affecting the city, "any wrong-doing or wicked lewdness," etc. (c) "Then all the Jews  took Sosthenes the ruler of the synagogue, and beat him before the judgment-seat: and Gallio cared for none of these things" (v. 17): but their beating him he did not take as an insult to himself. So petulant were the Jews. But let us look over again what has been said.
(Recapitulation.) "And when they heard," (ch. xvii. 32) what great and lofty doctrines, they did not even attend, but jeered at the Resurrection! "For the natural man," it saith, "receiveth not the things of the Spirit." (1 Cor. ii. 14.) "And so," it says, "Paul went forth." (v. 33.) How? Having persuaded some; derided by others. "But certain men," it says, "clave unto him, and believed, among whom was also Dionysius the Areopagite and some others."  (v. 34.) "And after these things," etc. "And having found a certain Jew by name Aquila, of Pontus by birth, lately come from Italy, because that Claudius had ordered all Jews to depart from Rome, he came to them, and because he was of the same craft, he abode with them, and wrought: for by their occupation they were tent-makers." (ch.xviii. 1-3.) Being of Pontus, this Aquila * * * .  Observe how, not in Jerusalem, nor near it (the crisis), was hasting to come, but at a greater distance. And with him he abides, and is not ashamed to abide, nay, for this very reason he does abide, as having a suitable lodging-place, for to him it was much more suitable than any king's palace. And smile not thou, beloved, to hear (of his occupation). For (it was good for him) even as to the athlete the palæstra is more useful than delicate carpets; so to the warrior the iron sword (is useful), not that of gold. "And wrought," though he preached. Let us be ashamed, who though we have no preaching to occupy us, live in idleness. "And he disputed in the synagogue every sabbath day, and persuaded both Jews and Greeks" (v. 4): but "when they opposed and blasphemed" he withdrew, by this expecting to draw them more. For wherefore having left that house did he come to live hard by the synagogue? was it not for this? For it was not that he saw any danger here. But therefore it is that Paul having testified to them--not teaches now, but testifies--"having shaken his garments," to terrify them not by word only but by action, "said unto them, Your blood be upon your own heads" (v. 6): he speaks the more vehemently as having already persuaded many. "I," says he, "am clean." Then we also are accountable for the blood of those entrusted to us, if we neglect them. "From this time forth I will go to the Gentiles." So that also when he says, "Henceforth let no man trouble me" (Gal. vi. 17), he says it to terrify. For not so much did the punishment terrify, as this stung them. "And having removed thence he came into the house of one named Justus, that worshipped God, whose house was contiguous to the synagogue" (v. 7), and there abode, by this wishing to persuade them that he was in earnest (pros ta ethne epeigeto) to go to the Gentiles. Accordingly, mark immediately the ruler of the synagogue converted, and many others, when he had done this. "Crispus the ruler of the synagogue believed in the Lord, with his whole house: and many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized."--(v. 8.) "With his whole house:"  observe the converts in those times doing this with their entire household. This Crispus he means where he writes, "I baptized none save Crispus and Gaius." (1 Cor. i. 14.) This (same) I take to be called Sosthenes--(evidently) a believer, insomuch that he is beaten, and is always present with Paul.  "And the Lord said in the night," etc. Now even the number (of the "much people") persuaded him, but Christ's claiming them for His own (moved him) more.  Yet He says also, "Fear not:" for the danger was become greater now, both because more believed, and also the ruler of the synagogue. This was enough to rouse him. Not that he was reproved  as fearing; but that he should not suffer aught; "I am with thee, and none shall set upon thee to hurt thee." (v. 9, 10.) For He did not always permit them to suffer evil, that they might not become too weak. For nothing so grieved Paul, as men's unbelief and setting themselves (against the Truth): this was worse than the dangers. Therefore it is that (Christ) appears to him now. "And he continued a year and six months," etc. (v. 11.) After the year and six months, they set upon him. "And when Gallio was proconsul of Achaia," etc. (v. 12, 13), because they had no longer the use of their own laws.  (c) And observe how prudent he is: for he does not say straightway, I care not, but, "If," says he, "it were a matter of wrong-doing or wicked lewdness, O ye Jews, reason would that I should bear with you; but if it be a question of doctrine and words and of your law, see ye to it, for I do not choose to be a judge of such matters." (v. 14, 15.) (g) He taught  them that not such are the matters which crave a judicial sentence, but they do all things out of order. And he does not say, It is not my duty, but, "I do not choose," that they may not trouble him again. Thus Pilate said in the case of Christ, "Take ye Him, and judge him according to your law." (John xviii. 31.) But they were just like men drunken and mad. (d) "And he drave them from the judgment-seat" (v. 16)--he effectually closed the tribunal against them. "Then all" (the Jews) "having seized Sosthenes the ruler of the synagogue, beat him before the judgment-seat. And Gallio cared for none of these things." (v. 17). (a) This thing, of all others, set them on (to this violence)--their persuasion that the governor would not even let himself down (to notice it). (e) It was a splendid victory. O the shame they were put to! (b) For it is one thing to have come off victorious from a controversy, and another for those to learn that he cared nothing for the affair. (f) "And Gallio cared for none of these things:" and yet the whole was meant as an insult to him! But, forsooth, as if they had received authority (they did this). Why did he (Sosthenes), though he also had authority, not beat (them)? But they were (otherwise) trained: so that the judge should learn which party was more reasonable. This was no small benefit to those present--both the reasonableness of these, and the audacity of those. (h)  He was beaten, and said nothing.
This man let us also imitate: to them that beat us, let us return blow for blow, by meekness, by silence, by long-suffering. More grievous these wounds, greater this blow, and more heavy. For to show that it is not the receiving a blow in the body that is grievous, but the receiving it in the mind, we often smite people, but since it is in the way of friendship, they are even pleased: but if you smite any indifferent person in an insolent manner, you have pained him exceedingly, because you have touched his heart. So let us smite their heart. But that meekness inflicts a greater blow than fierceness, come, let us prove, so far as that is possible, by words. For the sure proof indeed is by acts and by experience: but if you will, let us also make the enquiry by word, though indeed we have often made it already. Now in insults, nothing pains us so much, as the opinion passed by the spectators; for it is not the same thing to be insulted in public and in private, but those same insults we endure even with ease, when we suffer them in a solitary place, and with none by to witness them, or know of them. So true is it that it is not the insult, as it is in itself, that mortifies us, but the having to suffer it in the sight of all men: since if one should do us honor in the sight of all men, and insult us in private, we shall notwithstanding even feel obliged to him. The pain then is not in the nature of the insult, but in the opinion of the beholders; that one may not seem to be contemptible. What then, if this opinion should be in our favor? Is not the man attempting to disgrace us himself more disgraced, when men give their opinion in our favor? Say, whom do the bystanders despise? Him who insults, or him who being insulted keeps silence? Passion indeed suggests, that they despise him who is insulted: but let us look into it now while we are free from that excitement, in order that we may not be carried away when the time comes. Say, whom do we all condemn? Plainly the man who insults: and if he be an inferior, we shall say that he is even mad; if an equal, that he is foolish; if a superior, still we shall not approve of it. For which man, I ask, is worthy of approval, the man who is excited, who is tossed with a tempest of passion, who is infuriated like a wild beast, who demeans himself in this sort against our common nature, or he who lives in a state of calm, in a haven of repose, and in virtuous equanimity? Is not the one like an angel, the other not even like a man? For the one cannot even bear his own evils, while the other bears even those of others also: here, the man cannot even endure himself; there, he endures another too: the one is in danger of shipwreck, the other sails in safety, his ship wafted along the favoring gales: for he has not suffered the squall of passion to catch his sails and overturn the bark of his understanding: but the breath of a soft and sweet air fanning upon it, the breath of forbearance, wafts it with much tranquillity into the haven of wise equanimity. And like as when a ship is in danger of foundèring, the sailors know not what they cast away, whether what they lay hands upon be their own or other men's property, but they throw overboard all the contents without discrimination, alike the precious and what is not such: but when the storm has ceased, then reckoning up all that they have thrown out, they shed tears, and are not sensible of the calm for the loss of what they have thrown overboard: so here, when passion blows hard, and the storm is raised, people in flinging out their words know not how to use order or fitness; but when the passion has ceased, then recalling to mind what kind of words they have given utterance to, they consider the loss and feel not the quiet, when they remember the words by which they have disgraced themselves, and sustained most grievous loss, not as to money, but as to character for moderation and gentleness. Anger is a darkness. "The fool," saith Scripture, "hath said in his heart, There is no God." (Ps. xiii. 1.) Perhaps also of the angry man it is suitable to say the same, that the angry man hath said, There is no God. For, saith Scripture, "Through the multitude of his anger he will not seek" (after God).  (Ps. x. 4.) For let what pious thought will enter in, (passion) thrusts and drives all out, flings all athwart. (b) When you are told, that he whom you abused uttered not one bitter word, do you not for this feel more pain than you have inflicted? (a) If you in your own mind do not feel more pain than he whom you have abused, abuse still; (but) though there be none to call you to account, the judgment of your conscience, having taken you privately, shall give you a thousand lashes, (when you think) how you poured out a flood of railings on one so meek, and humble, and forbearing. We are forever saying these things, but we do not see them exhibited in works. You, a human being, insult your fellow-man? You, a servant, your fellow-servant? But why do I wonder at this, when many even insult God? Let this be a consolation to you when suffering insult. Are you insulted? God also is insulted. Are you reviled? God also was reviled. Are you treated with scorn? Why, so was our Master also. In these things He shares with us, but not so in the contrary things. For He never insulted another unjustly: God forbid! He never reviled, never did a wrong. So that we are those who share with Him, not ye. For to endure when insulted is God's part: to be merely abusive, is the part of the devil. See the two sides. "Thou hast a devil" (John vii. 20; ib. xviii. 22), Christ was told: He received a blow on the face from the servant of the high-priest. They who wrongfully insult, are in the same class with these. For if Peter was even called "Satan" (Matt. xvi. 23) for one word; much  more shall these men, when they do the works of the Jews, be called, as those were called, "children of the devil" (John viii. 44), because they wrought the works of the devil. You insult; who are you, I ask (that you do so)? Nay, rather the reason why you insult, is this, that you are nothing: no one that is human insults. So that what is said in quarrels, "Who are you?" ought to be put in the contrary way: "Insult: for you are nothing." Instead of that the phrase is, "Who are you, that you insult?" "A better man than you," is the answer. And yet it is just the contrary: but because we put the question amiss, therefore they answer amiss: so that the fault is ours. For as if we thought it was for great men to insult, therefore we ask, "Who are you, that you insult?" And therefore they make this answer.
But, on the contrary, we ought to say: "Do you insult? insult still: for you are nobody:" whereas to those who do not insult this should be said: "Who are you that you insult not?--you have surpassed human nature." This is nobility, this is generosity, to speak nothing ungenerous, though a man may deserve to have it spoken to him. Tell me now, how many are there who are not worthy to be put to death? Nevertheless, the judge does not this in his own person, but interrogates them; and not this either, in his own person. But if it is not to be suffered, that the judge, sitting in judgment, should (in his own person) speak with a criminal, but he does all by the intervention of a third person, much more is it our duty not to insult our equals in rank; for  all the advantage we shall get of them will be, not so much to have disgraced them, as to be made to learn that we have disgraced ourselves. Well then, in the case of the wicked, this is why we must not insult (even them); in the case of the good there is another reason also because they do not deserve it: and for a third,  because it is not right to be abusive. But as things are, see what comes of it; the person abused is a man, and the person abusing is a man, and the spectators men. What then? must the beasts come between them and settle matters? for only this is left. For when both the wrong-doers and those who delight in the wrong-doing are men, the part of reconciler is left for the beasts: for just as when the masters quarrel in a house, there is nothing left but for the servants to reconcile them,--even if this be not the result, for the nature of the thing demands this,--just so is it here.--Are you abusive? Well may you be so, for you are not even human. Insolence seemed to be a high-born thing; it seemed to belong to the great; whereas it belongs rather to slaves; but to give good words belongs to free men. For as to do ill is the part of those, so to suffer ill is the part of these.--Just as if some slave should steal the master's property, some old hag,--such a thing as that is the abusive man. And like as some detestable thief and runaway,  with studied purpose stealing in, looks all around him, wishing to filch something: so does this man, even as he, look narrowly at all on every side, studying how to throw out some (reproach). Or perhaps we may set him forth by a different sort of example. Just as if  one should steal filthy vessels out of a house, and bring them out in the presence of all men, the things purloined do not so disgrace the persons robbed, as they disgrace the thief himself: just so this man, by bringing out his words in the presence of all men, casts disgrace not on others but on himself by the words, in giving vent to this language, and be-fouling both his tongue and his mind. For it is all one, when we quarrel with bad men, as if one for the sake of striking a man who is immersed in putrefying filth should defile himself by plunging his hands into the nastiness. Therefore, reflecting on these things, let us flee the mischief thence accruing, and keep a clean tongue, that being clear from all abusiveness, we may be enabled with strictness to pass through the life present, and to attain unto the good things promised to those that love Him, through the grace and mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, with Whom to the Father and the Holy Ghost together be glory, might, honor, now and ever, world without end. Amen.
"And Paul after this tarried there yet a good while, and then took his leave of the brethren, and sailed thence into Syria, and with him Priscilla and Aquila; having shorn his head in Cenchrea: for he had a vow."
See how the Law was breaking up; see how they were bound by conscience. This, namely, was a Jewish custom, to shear their heads agreeably with a vow. But then there ought to be also a sacrifice (ch. xxi. 26), which was not the case here.  --"Having yet tarried:" after the beating of Sosthenes.  For it was necessary that he should yet tarry, and comfort them concerning these things. "He sailed for Syria." Why does he desire again to come to Syria? It was there that "the disciples were ordered to be called Christians" (ch. xi. 26): there, that he had been "commended to the grace of God" (xiv. 26): there, that he had effected such things concerning the doctrine. "And with him Priscilla"--lo, a woman also  --"and Aquila." But these he left at Ephesus. With good reason, namely, that they should teach. For having been with him so long time, they were learning many things: and yet he did not at present withdraw them from their custom as Jews. "And he came to Ephesus, and left them there: but he himself entered into the synagogue, and reasoned with the Jews. When they desired him to tarry longer time with them, he consented not; but bade them farewell, saying, I must by all means keep this feast that cometh in Jerusalem." Therefore  it was that he was hindered from coming into Asia, being impelled to what was of pressing moment. Thus observe him here, entreated (by them) to stay, but because he could not comply, being in haste to depart, "he bade them farewell." However, he did not leave them without more ado, but with promise (to return): "But I will return again unto you, if God will. And he sailed from Ephesus." (v. 19-21.) "And when he had landed at Cæsarea, and gone up, and saluted the Church, he went down to Antioch. And after he had spent some time there, he departed, and went over all the country of Galatia and Phrygia in order, strengthening all the disciples." (v. 22-23.) He came again to those places which he had previously visited. "And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the Scriptures, came to Ephesus." (v. 24.) Lo, even learned men are now urgent, and the disciples henceforth go abroad. Do you mark the spread of the preaching? "This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the Spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John. And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly." (v. 25-26.) If this man  knew only the baptism of John, how is it that he was "fervent in the Spirit," for the Spirit was not given in that way? And if those after him needed the baptism of Christ, much  more would he need it. Then what is to be said? For it is not without a meaning that the writer has strung the two incidents together. It seems to me that this was one of the hundred and twenty who were baptized with the Apostles: or, if not so, then the same that took place in the case of Cornelius, took place also in the case of this man. But neither does he receive baptism. That expression, then, "they expounded more perfectly," seems  to me to be this, that he behooved also to be baptized. Because the other twelve knew nothing accurate, not even what related to Jesus. And it is likely  that he did in fact receive baptism. But if these (disciples) of John,  after that baptism again received baptism, was this needful for the disciples also? And wherefore the need of water? These are very different from him, men who did not even know whether there were a Holy Ghost.  "He was fervent," then, "in the Spirit, knowing only the baptism of John:" but these "expounded to him more perfectly. And when he was disposed to pass into Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him; who, when he was come, helped them much which had believed through grace." (v. 27.) He wished then also to depart into Achaia, and these  also encouraged (him to do so), having also given him letters. "Who when he was come, helped them much which had believed through grace: for he mightily convinced the Jews, and that publicly, showing by the Scriptures that Jesus was Christ." (v. 28.) "And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul, having passed through the upper coasts"--meaning what we have read as to Cæsarea and the other places--"came to Ephesus, and having found certain disciples (ch. xix. 1), "he said to them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on Him who should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus." (v. 2-4.) For that they did not even believe in Christ is plain from his saying, "that they should believe on Him that was to come after him." And he did not say, The baptism of John is nothing, but, It is incomplete. Nor does he add this (in so many words), but he taught them, and many received the Holy Ghost. "When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied. And all the men were about twelve" (v. 5-7): so that it was likely they had the Spirit, but it did not appear.  "And all the men were about twelve."
(Recapitulation.) "And they came to Ephesus, and there he left them" (v. 19): for he did not wish to take them about with him, but left them at Ephesus. But they subsequently dwelt at Corinth, and he bears high testimony to them, and writing to the Romans, salutes them. (Rom. xvi. 3.) Whence it seems to me that they afterwards went back to Rome, in the time of Nero,  as having an attachment for those parts whence they had been expelled in the time of Claudius. "But  he himself went into the synagogue." It seems to me that the faithful still assembled there, for they did not immediately withdraw them. "And when they besought him to stay, he consented not" (v. 20, 21), for he was hastening to Cæsarea. "And having arrived at Cæsarea," etc., "passing through the region of Galatia and Phrygia, confirming all the disciples." (v. 22, 23.) Through these regions also he merely passes again, just enough to establish them by his presence. "And a certain Jew, Apollos by name," etc. (v. 24.) For he was an awakened man, travelling in foreign parts for this very purpose. Writing of him the Apostle said, "Now concerning Apollos our brother."  (1 Cor. xvi. 12.) (b) "Whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard," etc. (v. 26.) It was not for nothing that he left them at Ephesus, but for Apollos' sake, the Spirit so ordered it, that he might come with greater force to the attack (hepibhenai) upon Corinth. What may be the reason that to him they did nothing, but Paul they assault? They knew that he was the leader, and great was the name of the man. "And when he was disposed to pass into Achaia" (v. 27) i.e. in faith, he did all by faith; "the brethren wrote," etc. nowhere envy, nowhere an evil eye. Aquila teaches, or rather this man lets himself be taught. He was minded to depart, and they send letters. (a) "For he mightily convinced the Jews, and that publicly," etc. (v. 28.) Now by this, that he "publicly" convinced them, his boldness was shown: by the clearness of his arguing, his power was declared: by his convicting them out of the Scriptures, his skill (of learning). For neither boldness by itself contributes aught, where there is not power, nor power where there is not boldness. "He mightily convinced," it says. (b) "And it came to pass," etc. (ch. xix. 1.) But whence had those, being in Ephesus, the baptism of John? Probably they had been on a visit at Jerusalem at the time (of John's preaching), and did not even know Jesus. And he does not say to them, Do ye believe in Jesus? but what? "Have ye received the Holy Ghost?" (v. 2.) He knew that they had not, but wishes themselves to say it, that having learnt what they lack, they may ask. "John verily baptized," etc. (v. 4.) From the baptism itself he (John) prophesies:  and he leads them (to see) that this is the meaning of John's baptism. (a) "That they should believe on Him that was to come:" on what kind (of Person)? "I indeed baptize you with water, but He that cometh after me, shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost." (Matt. iii. 11.) "And when Paul," it says, "had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied." (v. 6.) (b) The gift is twofold: tongues and prophesyings. Hence is shown an important doctrine, that  the baptism of John is incomplete. And he does not say, "Baptism" of forgiveness, but, "of repentance." What  (is it) then? These had not the Spirit: they were not so fervent, not even instructed. And why did (Apollos) not receive baptism?  (The case) seems to me to be this: Great was the boldness of the man. "He taught diligently the things concerning Jesus," but he needed more diligent teaching. Thus, though not knowing all, by his zeal he attracted the Holy Ghost, in the same manner as Cornelius and his company.
Perhaps it is the wish of many, Oh that we had the baptism of John now! But (if we had), many would still be careless of a life of virtue, and it might be thought that each for this, and not for the kingdom of heaven's sake, aimed at virtue. There would be many false prophets: for then "they which are approved" would not be very "manifest." (1 Cor. xi. 19.) As, "blessed are they that have not seen and yet have believed" (John 20, 29), so they that (believe) without signs. "Except," saith (Christ), "ye see signs, ye will not believe." (Ib. iv. 48.) For we lose nothing (by lack of miracles), if we will but take heed to ourselves. We have the sum and substance of the good things: through baptism we received remission of sins, sanctification, participation of the Spirit, adoption, eternal life. What would ye more? Signs? But they come to an end (alla katargheitai). Thou hast "faith, hope, charity," the abiding things: these seek thou, these are greater than signs. Nothing is equal to charity. For "greater than all," saith he, "is charity." (cf. 1 Cor. xiii. 5.) But now, love is in jeopardy, for only its name is left behind, while the reality is nowhere (seen), but we are divided each from the other. What then shall one do to reunite (ourselves)? For to find fault is easy, but how may one make friendship, this is the point to be studied; how we may bring together the scattered members. For be it so, that we have one Church, or one doctrine--yet this is not the (main) consideration: no, the evil is, that  in these we have not fellowship--"living peaceably," as the Apostle says, "with all men" (Rom. xii. 18), on the contrary, we are at variance one with another. For be it that we are not having fights every day, yet look not thou to this, but (to this), that neither have we charity, genuine and unswerving. There is need of bandages and oil. Let us bear it in mind, that charity is the cognizance of the disciples of Christ: that without this, all else avails nothing: that it is an easy task if we will. Yes, say you, we know all this, but how (to go to work) that it may be achieved? What (to do), that it may be effected? in what way, that we may love one another? First, let us put away the things which are subversive of charity, and then we shall establish this. Let none be resentful, none be envious, none rejoicing in (others') misfortunes: these are the things that hinder love; well then, the things that make it are of the other sort. For it is not enough to put away the things that hinder; the things that establish must also be forthcoming. Now Sirach tells us the things that are subversive (of friendship), and does not go on to speak of the things which make union. "Reproaching," he says, "and revealing of a secret, and a treacherous wound." (cf. Ecclus. 22, 27.) But in speaking of the men of those times, these things might well be named, seeing they were carnal: but in our case, God forbid they should be (even) named. Not  from these things do we bring our inducements for you, but from the others. For us, there is nothing good without friendship. Let there be good things without number, but what is the benefit--be it wealth, be it luxury--without friendship? No possession equal to this, even in matters of this life, just as there is nothing worse than men hating (us). "Charity hides a multitude of sins" (1 Pet. iv. 8): but enmity, even where sins are not, suspects them to be. It is not enough not to be an enemy; no, one must also love. Bethink thee, that Christ has bidden, and this is enough. Even affliction makes friendships, and draws (men) together. "What then," say you, "now, when there is no affliction? say, how (are we to act) to become friends?" Have ye not other friends, I ask? In what way are ye their friends, how do ye continue such? For a beginning, let none have any enemy: this (in itself) is not a small matter: let none envy; it is not possible to accuse the man who envies not. (b) How then shall we be warmly affected? What makes love of persons? Beauty of person. Then let us also make our souls beautiful, and we shall be amiable one to another: for it is necessary, of course, not only to love, but also to be loved. Let us first achieve this point, that we may be loved, and the other will be easy. How to act that we may be loved? Let us become beautiful, and let us do this, that we may always have lovers. Let none make it his study to get money, to get slaves, to get houses, (so much) as to be loved, as to have a good name. Better is a name than much wealth. For the one remains, the other perishes: and the one it is possible to acquire, the other impossible. For he that has got an evil character, will with difficulty lay it aside: but by means of his (good) name the poor man may quickly be rich. Let there be a man having ten thousand talents, and another a hundred friends; the latter is more rich in resources than the former. Then let us not merely do this, but let us work it as a kind of trade. "And how can we?" say you. "A sweet mouth multiplieth its friends, and a gracious tongue." Let us get a well-spoken mouth, and pure manners. It is not possible for a man to be such, and not to be known.
(a) We have one world that we all inhabit, with the same fruits we all are fed. But these are small matters: by the same Sacraments we partake of the same spiritual food. These surely are justifications of loving! (c) Mark  how many (inducements and pleas) for friendship they that are without have excogitated; community of art or trade, neighborhood, relationships: but mightier than all these are the impulses and ties which are among us: this Table is calculated more (than all else) to shame us into friendliness. But many of us who come thereto do not even know one another. The reason, it may be said, is that there are so many of them. By no means; it is only our own sluggish indifference. (Once) there were three thousand (ch. ii. 41)--there were five thousand (iv. 4)--and yet they had all one soul: but now each knows not his brother, and is not ashamed to lay the blame on the number, because it is so great! Yet he that has many friends is invincible against all men: stronger he than any tyrant. Not such the safety the tyrant has with his body-guards, as this man has with his friends. Moreover, this man is more glorious than he: for the tyrant is guarded by his own slaves, but this man by his peers: the tyrant, by men unwilling and afraid of him; this man by willing men and without fear. And here too is a wonderful thing to be seen--many in one, and one in many. (a) Just as in an harp, the sounds are diverse, not the harmony, and they all together give out one harmony and symphony, (c) I could wish to bring you into such a city, were it possible, wherein (all) should be one soul: then shouldest thou see surpassing all harmony of harp and flute, the more harmonious symphony. (b) But the musician is the Might of Love: it is this that strikes out the sweet melody, (d) singing,  (withal) a strain in which no note is out of tune. This strain rejoices both Angels, and God the Lord of Angels; this strain rouses (to hear it) the whole audience that is in heaven; this even lulls (evil) passions--it does not even suffer them to be raised, but deep is the stillness. For as in a theatre, when the band of musicians plays, all listen with a hush, and there is no noise there; so among friends, while Love strikes the chords, all the passions are still and laid to sleep, like wild beasts charmed and unnerved: just as, where hate is, there is all the contrary to this. But let us say nothing just now about enmity; let us speak of friendship. Though thou let fall some casual hasty word, there is none to catch thee up, but all forgive thee; though thou do (some hasty thing), none puts upon it the worse construction, but all allowance is made: every one prompt to stretch out the hand to him that is falling, every one wishing him to stand. A wall it is indeed impregnable, this friendship; a wall, which not the devil himself, much less men, can overpower. It is not possible for that man to fall into danger who has gotten many friends. (Where love is) no room is there to get matter of anger, but  only for pleasantness of feeling: no room is there to get matter of envying; none, to get occasion of resentment. Mark him, how in all things both spiritual and temporal, he accomplishes all with ease. What then, I pray you, can be equal to this man? Like a city walled on every side is this man, the other as a city unwalled.--Great wisdom, to be able to be a creator of friendship! Take away friendship, and thou hast taken away all, thou hast confounded all. But if the likeness of friendship have so great power, what must the reality itself be? Then let us, I beseech you, make to ourselves friends, and let each make this his art. But, lo! you will say, I do study this, but the other does not. All the greater the reward to thee. True, say you, but the matter is more difficult. How, I ask? Lo! I testify and declare to you, that if but ten of you would knit yourselves together, and make this your work, as the Apostles made the preaching theirs, and the Prophets theirs the teaching, so we the making of friends, great would be the reward. Let us make for ourselves royal portraits. For if this be the common badge of disciples, we do a greater work than if we should put ourselves into the power to raise the dead. The diadem and the purple mark the Emperor, and where these are not, though his apparel be all gold, the Emperor is not yet manifest. So now thou art making known thy lineage. Make men friends to thyself, and (friends) to others. There is none who being loved will wish to hate thee. Let us learn the colors, with what ingredients they are mixed, with what (tints) this portrait is composed. Let us be affable: let us not wait for our neighbors to move. Say not, if I see any person hanging back (for me to make the first advances), I become worse than he: but rather when thou seest this, forestall him, and extinguish his bad feeling. Seest thou one diseased, and addest to his malady? This, most of all, let us make sure of--"in honor to prefer one another, to account others better than one's self" (Rom. xii. 10), deem not this to be a lessening of thyself. If thou prefer (another) in honor, thou hast honored thyself more, attracting  to thyself a still higher extinction. On all occasions let us yield the precedence to others. Let us bear nothing in mind of the evil done to us, but if any good has been done (let us remember only that). Nothing so makes a man a friend, as a gracious tongue, a mouth speaking good things, a soul free from self-elation, a contempt of vain-glory, a despising of honor. If we secure these things, we shall be able to become invincible to the snares of the Devil, and having with strictness accomplished the pursuit of virtue, to attain unto the good things promised to them that love Him, through the grace and mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, with Whom to the Father and the Holy Ghost together be glory, dominion, honor, now and ever, world without end. Amen.
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