Writings of John Chrysostom. The Epistle to the Romans

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St. Chrysostom:

The Homilies of St. John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople,

On the Epistle of St. Paul the Apostle to the Romans

Translated by Rev. J. B. Morris, M.A., of Exeter College, Oxford, and;

Rev. W. H. Simcox, Fellow of Queen's College, Oxford.

Revised, with notes, by George B. Stevens, Ph.D., D.D., Professor in Yale University.

Published in 1886 by Philip Schaff, New York: Christian Literature Publishing Co.


Homily XVII.

Rom. X. 1

"Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for them is, that they might be saved."

He is now going again to rebuke them more vehemently than before. [1481] Wherefore he again does away with every suspicion of hatred, and makes a great effort beforehand to correct misapprehension. Do not then, he says, mind words or accusations, but observe that it is not in any hostile spirit that I say this. For it is not likely that the same person should desire their salvation, and not desire it only, but even pray for it, and yet should also hate them, and feel aversion to them. For here he calls his exceeding desire, and the prayer which he makes (eudokian), "heart's desire." For it is not the being freed from punishment only, but that they may also be saved, that he makes so great a point of, and prays for. Nor is it from this only, but also from the sequel that he shows the goodwill that he hath towards them. For from what is open to him, as far as he can, he forces his way, and is contentious to find out some shadow at least of an excuse for them. And he hath not the power, being overcome by the nature of the facts.

Ver. 2. "For I bear them record," says he, "that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge."

Ought not this then to be a ground for pardoning and not for accusing them? For if it is not of man [1482] that they are separated, but through zeal, they deserved to be pitied rather than punished. But observe how adroitly he favors them in the word, and yet shows their unseasonable obstinacy.

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Ver. 3. "For they being ignorant," he says, "of God's righteousness."

Again the word would lead to pardon. But the sequel to stronger accusation, and such as does away with defence of any kind.

"And going about," he says, "to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God."

And these things he says to show, that it was from a petulancy and love of power that they erred, rather than from ignorance, and that not even this righteousness from the deeds of the Law did they establish. (Matt. xxi. 38; John. xii. 19, 42.) For saying "going about to establish" is what one would do to show this. And in plain words indeed he has not stated this (for he has not said, that they fell short of both righteousnesses), but he has given a hint of it in a very judicious manner, and with the wisdom so befitting him. For if they are still "going about" to establish that, it is very plain that they have not yet established it. If they have not submitted themselves to this, they have fallen short of this also. But he calls it their "own righteousness," either because the Law was no longer of force, or because it was one of trouble and toil. But this he calls God's righteousness, that from faith, because it comes entirely from the grace from above, and because men are justified in this case, not by labors, but by the gift of God. But they that evermore resisted the Holy Ghost, and vexatiously tried to be justified by the Law, came not over to the faith. But as they did not come over to the faith, nor receive the righteousness thereupon ensuing, and were not able to be justified by the Law either, they were thrown out of all resources.

Ver. 4. "For Christ is the end of the Law for righteousness to every one that believeth."

See the judgment of Paul. For as he had spoken of a righteousness, and a righteousness, lest they of the Jews which believed should seem to have the one but be excluded from the other, and to be accused of lawlessness (for even these there was no less cause to fear about as being still newly come in), and lest Jews should again expect to achieve it, and should say, Though we have not at present fulfilled it, yet we certainly will fulfil it, see what ground he takes. He shows that there is but one righteousness, and that has its full issue [1483] in this, and that he that hath taken to himself this, the one by faith, hath fulfilled that also. But he that rejects this, falls short as well of that also. For if Christ be "the end of the Law," he that hath not Christ, even if he seem to have that righteousness, hath it not. But he that hath Christ, even though he have not fulfilled the Law aright, hath received the whole. For the end of the physician's art is health. As then he that can make whole, even though he hath not the physician's art, hath everything; but he that knows not how to heal, though he seem to be a follower of the art, comes short of everything: so is it in the case of the Law and of faith. He that hath this hath the end of that likewise, but he that is without this is an alien from both. For what was the object of the Law? To make man righteous. But it had not the power, for no one fulfilled it. This then was the end of the Law and to this it looked throughout, and for this all its parts were made, its feasts, and commandments, and sacrifices, and all besides, that man might be justified. But this end Christ gave a fuller accomplishment of through faith. [1484] Be not then afraid, he says, as if transgressing the Law in having come over to the faith. For then dost thou transgress it, when for it thou dost not believe Christ. If thou believest in Him, then thou hast fulfilled it also, and much more than it commanded. For thou hast received a much greater righteousness. Next, since this was an assertion, he again brings proof of it from the Scriptures.

Ver. 5. "For Moses," he says, "describeth the righteousness which is of the Law."

What he means is this. Moses showeth us the righteousness ensuing from the Law, what sort it is of, and whence. What sort is it then of, and what does it consist in? In fulfilling the commandments. "He (R.T. the man), that doeth these things," He says, "shall live by (or in), them." (Lev. xviii. 5.) And there is no other way of becoming righteous in the Law save by fulfilling the whole of it. But this has not been possible for any one, and therefore this righteousness has failed them. (diapeptoken). But tell us, Paul, of the other righteousness also, that which is of grace. What is that then, and of what does it consist? Hear the words in which he gives a clear sketch of it. For after he had refuted [1485] the other, he next goes on to this, and says,

Ver. 6, 7, 8, 9. "But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven (that is, to bring Christ down from above): or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that is, the word of faith which we preach. That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

To prevent the Jews then from saying, How came they who had not found the lesser righteousness to find the greater? he gives a reason there was no answering, that this way was easier than that. For that requires the fulfilment of all things (for when thou doest all, then thou shalt live); but the righteousness which is of faith doth not say this, but what?

"If thou confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in thy heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." Then again that we may not seem to be making it contemptible by showing it to be easy and cheap, [1486] observe how he expands his account of it. For he does not come immediately to the words just given, but what does he say? "But the righteousness which is of faith saith on this wise; Say not in thine heart, Who shall go up into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down); or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.") For as to the virtue manifested in works there is opposed a listlessness, which relaxeth our labors, [1487] and it requireth a very wakeful soul not to yield to it: thus, when one is required to believe, there are reasonings which confuse and make havoc of the minds of most men, and it wants a soul of some vigor to shake them thoroughly off. And this is just why he brings the same before one. And as he did in Abraham's case, so he does here also. For having there shown that he was justified by faith, lest he should seem to have gotten so great a crown by a mere chance, as if it were a thing of no account, to extol the nature of faith, he says, "Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations. And being not weak in faith, he considered his own body now dead, and the deadness of Sarah's womb. He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; and being fully persuaded that what He had promised He was able also to perform" (Rom. iv. 18-21): so he showed that there is need of vigor, and a lofty soul, that takes in things beyond expectation, and stumbles not at appearances. This then he does here also, and shows that it requires a wise mind, and a spirit heavenly (Gr. heaven-reaching) and great. And he does not say merely, "Say not," but, "Say not in thine heart," that is, do not so much as think of doubting and saying with thyself, And how can this be? You see that this is a chief characteristic of faith, to leave all the consequences [1488] of this lower world, and so to seek for that which is above nature, and to cast out the feebleness of calculation, and so to accept everything from the Power of God. The Jews, however, did not merely assert this, but that it was not possible to be justified by faith. But himself turns even what had taken place to another account, that having shown the thing to be so great, that even after it had taken place it required faith, he might seem with good reason to bestow a crown on these: and he uses the words which are found in the Old Testament, being always at pains to keep quite clear of the charges of love of novelties, and of opposition to it. For this, which he here says of faith, Moses says to them of the commandment, [1489] so showing that they had enjoyed at God's hand a great benefit. For there is no need to say, he means, that one must go up to heaven, or cross a great sea, and then receive the commandments, but things so great and grand hath God made of easy access to us. And what meaneth the phrase, "The Word is nigh thee?" That is, It is easy. For in thy mind and in thy tongue is thy salvation. There is no long journey to go, no seas to sail over, no mountains to pass, to get saved. But if you be not minded to cross so much as the threshold, you may even while you sit at home be saved. For "in thy mouth and in thy heart" is the source of salvation. And then on another score also he makes the word of faith easy, and says, that "God raised Him from the dead." For just reflect upon the worthiness of the Worker, and you will no longer see any difficulty in the thing. That He is Lord then, is plain from the resurrection. And this he said at the beginning even of the Epistle. "Which was declared to be the Son of God with power ... by the resurrection from the dead." (Rom. i. 4.) But that the resurrection is easy too, has been shown even to those who are very unbelieving, from the might of the Worker of it. Since then the righteousness is greater, and light and easy to receive, is it not a sign of the utmost contentiousness to leave what is light and easy, and set about impossibilities? For they could not say that it was a thing they declined as burdensome. See then how he deprives them of all excuse. For what do they deserve to have said in their defence, who choose what is burdensome and impracticable, and pass by what is light, and able to save them, and to give them those things which the Law could not give? All this can come only from a contentious spirit, which is in a state of rebellion against God. For the Law is galling (epachthes), but grace is easy. The Law, though they dispute never so much, does not save; Grace yieldeth the righteousness resulting from itself, and that from the Law likewise. What plea then is to rescue them, since they are disposed to be contentious against this, but cling to that to no purpose whatever? Then, since he had made a strong assertion, he again confirms it from the Scripture. [1490]

Ver. 11-13. "For the Scripture saith," he proceeds, "Whosoever believeth on Him, shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek; for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon Him. For whosoever shall call upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved."

You see how he produces witnesses, whether to the faith, or to the confession of it. For the words, "Every one that believeth," point out the faith. But the words, "Whosoever shall call upon," set forth confession. Then again to proclaim the universality of the grace, and to lay their boasting low, what he had before demonstrated at length, he here briefly recalls to their memory, showing again that there is no difference between the Jew and the uncircumcised. "For there is," he says, "no difference between the Jew and the Greek." And what he had said about the Father, when he was arguing this point, that he says here about the Son. For as before he said in asserting this, "Is He the God of the Jews only? Is He not of the Gentiles also? Yes, of the Gentiles also: seeing it is one God" (Rom. iii. 29, 30):--So he says here also, "For the same Lord over all is rich unto all (and upon all)." (Rom. iii. 22.) You see how he sets Him forth as exceedingly desiring our salvation, since He even reckons this to be riches to Himself; so that they are not even now to despair, or fancy that, provided they would repent, they were unpardonable. For He who considereth it as riches [1491] to Himself to save us, will not cease to be rich. Since even this is riches, the fact of the gift being shed forth unto all. For since what distresseth him the most was, that they, who were in the enjoyment of a prerogative over the whole world, should now by the faith be degraded from these thrones, and be no wit better off than others, he brings the Prophets in constantly as foretelling, that they would have equal honor with them. "For whosoever," he says, "believeth on Him shall not be ashamed" (Is. xxviii. 16); and, "Whosoever shall call upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved." (Joel ii. 32.) And the "whosoever" is put in all cases, that they might not say aught in reply. But there is nothing worse than vainglory. For it was this, this most especially, which proved their ruin. Whence Christ also said to them, "How can ye believe, which receive glory one of another, and seek not the glory which cometh of God only?" (John v. 44.) This, with ruin, exposes men also to much ridicule and before the punishment in the other world involves them in ills unnumbered in this. And if it seem good, that you may learn this clearly, leaving for the present the heavens which that puts us out of, and the hell which it thrusts us into, let us investigate the whole matter as here before us. What then can be more wasteful than this? what more disgraceful, or more offensive? For that this disorder is a wasteful one is plain from the people who spend to no purpose whatsoever on theatres, horse-races, and other such irrelevant expenditures: from those that build the fine and expensive houses, and fit up everything in a useless style of extravagance, on which I must not enter in this discourse. But that a person diseased in this way must needs be extravagant, and expensive, and rapacious, and covetous, anybody can see. For that he may have food to give the brute, he thrusteth his hand into the substance of others. And why do I talk of substance? It is not money only but souls also that this fire devoureth, and it worketh not death here only, but also hereafter. For vanity is the mother of hell, and greatly kindleth that fire, and the venomous worm. One may see that it hath power even over the dead. And what can be worse than this? For the other passions are put an end to by death, but this even after death shows its force, and strives to display its nature even in the dead corpse. For when men give orders on their death-bed to raise to them fine monuments, which will waste all their substance, and take pains to lay out beforehand a vast extravagance in their funeral, and in their lifetime insult the poor that come to them for a penny and a single loaf, but when they are dead give a rich banquet to the worm, why seek any more exorbitant thraldom to the disease? From this mischief also irregular loves are conceived. For there are many whom it is not the beauty of the appearance, nor the desire of lying with her, but the wish to boast that "I have made conquest of such an one," hath even drawn into adultery. And why need I mention the other mischiefs that spring of this? For I had rather be long (3 mss. dienekhos) the slave of ten thousand savages, than of vanity once. For even they do not put such commands upon their captives, as this vice lays upon its votaries. Because it says, Be thou every one's slave, be he nobler or be he lower than thyself. Despise thy soul, neglect virtue, laugh at freedom, immolate thy salvation, and if thou doest any good thing, do it not to please God, but to display it to the many, that for these things thou mayest even lose thy crown. And if thou give alms, or if thou fast, undergo the pains, but take care to lose the gain. What can be more cruel than these commands? Hence grudging beareth sway, hence haughtiness, hence covetousness, the mother of evils. For the swarm of domestics, and the black servants liveried in gold, and the hangers on, and the flatterers, and the silver-tinselled chariots, and the other absurdities greater than these, are not had for any pleasure's sake or necessity, but for mere vanity. Yes, one will say, but that this affliction is an evil, anybody can see; but how we are to keep quite clear of it, this is what you should tell us. Well then, in the first place, if you persuade yourself that this disorder is a baneful one, you will have made a very good beginning towards correcting it. For when a man is sick, he speedily sends for the physician, if he be first made acquainted with the fact that he is sick. But if thou seekest for another way besides to escape from hence, look to God continually, and be content with glory from Him; and if thou find the passion tickling thee, and stirring thee to tell thy well-doings to thy fellow-servants, bethink thyself next, that after telling them thou gainest nothing. Quench the absurd desire, and say to thy soul, Lo, thou hast been so long big with thy own well-doings to tell them, and thou hast not had the courage to keep them to thyself, but hast blabbed them out to all. What good then hast thou gotten from this? None at all, but loss to the utmost, and avoidance of all that had been gathered together with much labor. And besides this, consider another thing also, which is, that most men's opinion is perverted, and not perverted only, but that it withers away so soon.

For supposing they do admire you for the time, when the occasion has gone by they will have forgotten it all, and have taken away from thee the crown God had given, and have been unable to secure to thee that from themselves. And yet if this were abiding, it were a most miserable thing to exchange that for this. But when even this hath gone, what defence shall we be able to make for betraying the abiding one for the sake of the unabiding one, for losing such blessings for the sake of credit with a few? And indeed even if they who praise were numerous, even for this they were to be pitied, and the more so the more numerous those who do it. But if thou art surprised at what I have said, hear Christ giving His sentence in this way, "Woe unto you, when all men speak well of you." (Luke vi. 26.) And so indeed it should seem. For if in every art you look to the workmen (demiourgous) in it to be judges of it, how come you to trust the proving of virtue to the many, and not most of all to Him Who knoweth it more surely then any, and is best able to applaud [1492] and to crown it? This saying then, let us inscribe both on our walls and our doors and our mind, and let us keep constantly saying to ourselves, "Woe unto us, when all men speak well of us." For even they that so speak slander one afterward as a vain person, and fond of honor, and covetous of their good word. But God doeth not so. But when He seeth thee coveting the glory that cometh of Him, then He will praise thee most, and respect (thaumasetai om. in most mss.) thee, and proclaim thee conqueror. Not so man; but, when he finds thee slavish instead of free, by gratifying thee often by bare words with false praise, he snatches from thee thy true meed, and makes thee more of a menial than a purchased slave. For those last men get to obey them after their orders, but thou even without orders makest thyself a slave. For thou dost not even wait to hear something from them, but if thou merely knowest wherein thou mayest gratify them, even without their command thou doest all. What hell then should we not deserve, for giving the wicked pleasure, and courting their service before they give orders, while we will not hearken to God, even when He every day commands and exhorts us? And yet if thou art covetous of glory and praise, avoid the praise that cometh of men, and then thou wilt attain to glory. Turn aside from fair speeches, and then thou wilt obtain praises without number both from God and from men. For there is no one we are used to give so much glory to, as the man who looks down upon glory, or to praise and respect so much as the man who thinks scorn of getting respected and praised. And if we do so, much more will the God of the universe. And when He glorifieth thee and praiseth thee, what man can be more justly pronounced blessed? For there is not a greater difference between glory and disgrace, than between the glory from above and that of men. Or rather, there is a much greater, aye an infinite difference. For if this, even when it does not get put beside any other, is but a base and uncomely one, when we come to scrutinize it by the other's side, just consider how great its baseness will be found to be! For as a prostitute stands at her place [1493] and lets herself out to any one, so are they that be slaves of vanity. Or rather, these be more base than she. For that sort of women do in many instances treat those enamoured of them with scorn. But you prostitute yourself to everybody, whether runaway slaves, or thieves, or cut-purses (for it is of these and such as these that the play-houses that applaud you consist), and those whom as individuals you hold to be nothing worth, when in a body, you honor more than your own salvation and show yourself less worthy of honor than any of them. For how can you be else than less worthy, when you stand in need of the good word of others, and fancy that you have not enough by yourself, unless you receive the glory that cometh of others? Do you not perceive, pray, beside what I have said, that as you are an object of notice, and known to every body, if you should commit a fault, you will have accusers unnumbered; but if unknown, you will remain in security? Yes, a man may say, but then if I do well I shall have admirers unnumbered. Now the fearful thing is, that it is not only when you sin, but even when you do aright, that the disorder of vanity does you mischief, in the former case subverting thousands, in the present bereaving thee entirely of thy reward. It is then a sad thing, and replete with disgrace of every kind, to be in love with glory even in civil matters. But when even in spiritual you are in the same plight what excuse is there left remaining for you, when you are not minded to yield God even as much honor as you have yourself from your servants? For even the slave "looketh to the eyes of his master" (Ps. cxxiii. 2), and the hireling to his employer, who is to pay him wages, and the disciple to his master. But you do just the contrary. Having left the God that hired thee, even thy Master, thou lookest to thy fellow-servants; and this knowing that God remembers thy well-doings even after this life, but man only for the present. And when thou hast spectators assembled in Heaven, thou art gathering together spectators upon earth. And where the wrestler struggles, there he would be honored; but thou, while thy wrestling is above, art anxious to gain thee a crown below. And what can be worse than madness like this? But let us look, if it seem proper, at the crowns also. For one is formed by haughtiness, and a second by grudging against another, and a third by dissimulation and flattery, another again by wealth, and another by servile obsequiousness. And like as children at their childish play put crowns of grass upon one another, and many a time laugh at him that is crowned behind his back; thus now also they that pass their praises upon thee, many a time joke by themselves at their putting the grass upon us. And would it were grass only! But now the crown is laden with much mischief, and ruins all our well-doings. Taking then the vileness of it into consideration, flee from the damage entailed. For how many would you have to praise you? A hundred? or twice, or thrice, or four times as many? Or rather, if you please, put them at ten times or twenty times as many, and let there be two or four thousand, or if you will, even ten thousand to applaud you. Still these be no better than so many daws cawing from above. Or rather taking the assemblage of the angels into consideration, these will seem more vile than even worms, and their good word of not so much solidity as a cobweb, or a smoke, or a dream.

Hear then how Paul, who saw through these things thoroughly, is so far from seeking after them, that he even deprecates them, in the words, "But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of Christ." (Gal. vi. 14.) This glory then be thou also emulous of, that thou mayest not provoke the Master, because in so doing thou art insulting God, and not thyself alone. For if thou even wert a painter, and hadst some pupil, and he were to omit showing thee his practice of the art, but set forth his painting publicly just to any body that chanted to observe it, thou wouldest not take it quietly. But if this even with thy fellow-servants were an insult, how much more with the Master! But if you have a mind to learn on other grounds to feel scorn for the thing, be of a lofty mind, laugh at appearances, increase thy love of real glory, be filled with a spiritual temper, say to thy soul as Paul did, "Knowest thou not that we shall judge angels?" (1 Cor. vi. 3) and having by this roused it up, go on to rebuke it, and say, Thou that judgest the angels, wilt thou let thyself be judged of off-scourings, and be praised with dancers, and mimics, and gladiators, and horse-drivers? For these men do follow after applause of this sort. But do thou poise thy wing high above the din of these, and emulate that citizen of the wilderness, John, and learn how he was above regarding the multitude, and did not turn him to look at flatterers, but when he saw all the dwellers in Palestine poured forth about him, and wondering, and astonished at him, he was not puffed up with such honor as this, but rose up against them, and discoursing to his great concourse as if to one youth, he thus rebuked them and said, "Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers!" (Matt. iii. 7.) Yet it was for him that they had run together, and left the cities, in order to see that holy personage, and still none of these things unnerved him. For he was far above glory, and free from all vanity. So also Stephen, when he saw the same people again, not honoring him, but mad upon him, and gnashing their teeth, being lifted above their wrath, said, "Ye stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart." (Acts vii. 51.) Thus also Elias, when those armies were present, and the king, and all the people, said, "How long halt ye upon both your hips?" (1 Kings xviii. 21, LXX. true sense of "halt.") But we flatter all, court all, with this servile obsequiousness buying their honor. Wherefore all things are turned upside down, and for this favor [1494] the business of Christianity is betrayed, and everything neglected for the opinion of the generality. Let us then banish this passion, and then we shall have a right notion of liberty, and of the haven, and the calm. For the vain man is ever like persons in a storm, trembling, and fearing, and serving a thousand masters. But he that is clear of this thraldom, is like men in havens, enjoying a liberty untainted. Not so that person, but as many acquaintances as he has, so many masters has he, and he is forced to be a slave to all of them. How then are we to get free from this hard bondage? It is by growing enamoured of another glory, which is really glory. For as with those that are enamoured of persons, the sight of some handsomer one doth by its being seen take them off from the first: so with those that court the glory which cometh from us men, the glory from heaven, if it gleameth on them, has power to lead them off from this. Let us then look to this, and become thoroughly acquainted with it, that by feeling admiration of its beauty, we may shun the hideousness of the other, and have the benefit of much pleasure by enjoying this continually. Which may we all attain to by the grace and love toward man, etc.


[1481] In ix. 30-33 Paul had stated that the reason of Israel's rejection was, that they sought after righteousness not by faith but by works, while the Gentiles sought it by faith and attained it. Chap. x. is an illustration and confirmation of this position. Its leading idea is, that the Jews could not be justified by works of the law, because a new system, that of faith, had come in with Christ and had displaced the old. The argument may be summarized thus: (1) Vv. 1, 2. Conciliatory introduction in which the apostle avows his love for his people. (2) Vv. 3, 4. Their method, however, of seeking righteousness by works is an effort to obtain a righteousness of their own, which is impossible. Christ has put an end to the system of works and He is himself the only means of attaining God's righteousness. At v. 5 begins the Scriptural argument concerning the two systems of works and faith. (3) Vv. 5-10. The principle of the system of works as stated by Moses is, keep the law and you will be saved by it. The principle of faith, on the other hand, is, not that of striving to reach something afar off, but of accepting the present truth. It is not struggle but acceptance; not attaining by merit, but receiving by grace. (4) Vv. 11-13. The Scriptures emphasize this principle of faith as the true principle of salvation, speaking of the assurance which it brings and that to all, regardless of nationality or outward condition. (5) Vv. 14, 15. But in order that men may accept this message, preachers must be sent to proclaim the glad tidings. (6) Vv. 16-21. This has been done in the case of the Jews. They cannot shelter themselves behind the excuse that they have not known God's message. The scriptures of the Old Testament reveal God and require faith in Him and also intimate the larger destination of the gospel for Gentiles as well as Jews.--G.B.S. [1482] Referring to the expression, "a zeal of God," see 1 Cor. iii. 3, Gr. [1483] Gr. "is summed up," anakephalaioutai. See Irenæus,...31, 32; iii. 21, 9, 10; xxii. 1 Massuet pp. 293, 294 O.T. where he says the creation is "recapitulated" in Christ. Also iv. 74, 78, v. 1; iv. 38, 1; 40. 3: v. 1, 2. Mass. pp. 436, 444, 451 O.T. much to the same purpose, and v. 29, p. 518 O.T. of the recapitulation or consummation of iniquity in Antichrist; the word is the same. [1484] By the "end of the law," the author seems to understand the ability to secure righteousness to men which was the ideal aim of the law but which it could not do. While this view is correct enough in itself, it seems not to present the full force of telos nomou which is best taken, with most recent interpreters, (as Meyer, Godet, De Wette, Olshausen, Dwight) to literally the end or termination of the law. Christ puts an end to the law system by fulfilling it. The meaning is well given in Meyer's paraphrase: "For the validity of the law has come to an end in Christ, in order that every believer may be a partaker of righteousness."--G.B.S. [1485] He seems to consider the words quoted from Lev. xviii. a sufficient refutation, as the Jews thought to be justified by the Law without fulfilling it. See Rom. ii. [1486] This term is admissible with respect to the method of attainment; but there are two other readings of the passage; one is "that the easiness may not seem to make it contemptible and cheap." [1487] "sinews" Field, from Catena. [1488] pasan akolouthian, i.e. the common order of cause and effect. [1489] St. Augustin Quæst. in Deut. lib. v. q. 54, discusses this passage and its application, and considers it to refer to the spiritual meaning of the Law. [1490] The following analysis of Paul's meaning in vv. 6-10 may be useful in connection with the exposition of Chrys. The apostle quotes Deut. xxx. 11-14 in which God assures the people that his commandments are not beyond their power to obey. He brings truth and duty near to them. These expressions are typical of the principles of the Christian faith. No striving, journeying or climbing are needful to reach Christ and his truth and law. Christian truth and duty are brought near in the apostolic message. After this presentation of the faith-idea in Old Testament language, which all might not grasp, he presents the message of the gospel in vv. 9, 10 in unmistakable terms. It includes two points, (1) confession, (2) faith, and the object of both is stated. It is Christ. Confess Christ; believe heartily in his resurrection (which would carry belief in all the essential facts of his life and person with itself). And then, reversing the order, and throwing kardia and stomati into special prominence, he repeats the assurance that faith and confession conduct to the true goal--eis dikaiosunen--eis soterian (10).--G.B.S. [1491] Hooker, v. 23, "The higher any cause is, the more it coveteth to impart virtue unto things beneath it." [1492] or "confirm" sunkrotein. [1493] Vide ad J. Polluc. vii. 201. [1494] exepesomen kai added after charitos in 2 mss. and in Ben from mss. "we have fallen from this grace, and the business of Christianity is treacherously given up." .

Homily XVIII.

Rom. X. 14, 15

"How then shall they call on Him in Whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in Him of Whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? and how shall they preach except they be sent? as it is written."

Here again he takes from them all excuse. For since he had said, "I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge," and that "being ignorant of God's righteousness, they submitted not themselves" to it: he next shows, that for this ignorance itself they were punishable before God. This he does not say indeed so, but he makes it good by carrying on his discourse in the way of question, and so convicting them more clearly, by framing the whole passage out of objections and answers. But look further back. The Prophet, saith he, said, "Whosoever shall call upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved." Now somebody might say perhaps, "But how could they call upon Him Whom they had not believed? Then there is a question from him after the objection; And why did they not believe? Then an objection again. A person certainly may say, And how could they believe, since they had not heard? Yet hear they did, he implies. Then another objection again. "And how could they hear without a preacher?" Then an answer again. Yet preach they did, and there were many sent forth for this very purpose. And whence does it appear that these are those persons sent? Then he brings the prophet in next, who says, "How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the Gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!" (Is. iii. 7.) You see how by the kind of preaching he points out the preachers. For there was nothing else that these men went about telling everywhere, but those unspeakable good things, and the peace made by God with men. And so by disbelieving, it is not we, he implies, whom you disbelieve, but Isaiah the prophet, who spake many years ago, that we were to be sent, and to preach, and to say what we do say. If the being saved, then, came of calling upon Him, and calling upon Him from believing, and believing from hearing, and hearing from preaching, and preaching from being sent, and if they were sent, and did preach, and the prophet went round with them to point them out, and proclaim them, and say that these were they whom they showed of so many ages ago, whose feet even they praised because of the matter of their preaching; then it is quite clear that the not believing was their own fault only. And that because God's part had been fulfilled completely. [1495]

Ver. 16, 17. "But they have not all obeyed the Gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (ib. liii. 1.)

Since they pressed him with another objection again to this effect, that if these were the persons sent upon the mission by God, all ought to have hearkened to them: observe Paul's judgment, and see how he shows that this very thing which made the confusion, did in fact do away with confusion and embarrassment. What offends you, O Jew, he would say, after so great and abundant evidence, and demonstration of the points? that all did not submit to the Gospel? Why this very thing, when taken along with the others, is of force to certify thee of the truth of my statements, even in that some do not believe. For this too the prophet foretold. Notice his unspeakable wisdom too; how he shows more than they were looking for, or expected him to have to say in reply. For what is it that you say? he means. Is it that all have not believed the Gospel? Well! Isaiah foretold this too from of old. Or rather, not this only, but even much more than this. For the complaint you make is Why did not all believe? But Isaiah goes further than this. For what is it he says? "Lord, who hath believed our report?" Then since he had rid himself of this embarrassment. by making the Prophet a bulwark against them, he again keeps to the line he was before upon. For as he had said that they must call upon Him, but that they who call must believe, and they who believe must hear first, but they who are to hear must have preachers, and the preachers be sent, and as he had shown that they were sent, and had preached; as he is going to bring in another objection again, taking occasion first of another quotation from the Prophet, by which he had met the objection a little back, he thus interweaves it, and connects it with what went before. For since he had produced the Prophet as saying, "Lord, who hath believed our report" (akohe)? he happily seizes on the quotation, as proving what he says, "So then faith cometh by hearing" (akohes). And this he makes not a mere naked statement. But as the Jews were forever seeking a sign, and the sight of the Resurrection, and were gaping after the thing much; he says, Yet the Prophet promised no such thing, but that it was by hearing that we were to believe. Hence he makes this good first, and says, "so then faith cometh by hearing." And then since this seemed a mean thing to say, see how he elevates it. For he says, I was not speaking of mere hearing, nor of the need of hearing men's words and believing them, but I mean a great sort of hearing. For the hearing is "by the word of God." They were not speaking their own, but they were telling what they learnt from God. And this is a higher thing than miracles. For we are equally bound to believe and to obey God, whether speaking or working miracles. [1496] Since both works and miracles come of His words. For both the heaven and everything else was established in this way. (Ps. xxxiii. 6-8.) After showing then that we ought to believe the prophets, who always speak God's words, and not to look after anything more, he proceeds next to the objection I mentioned, and says,

Ver. 18. "But I say, Have they not heard?"

What, he means, if the preachers were sent, and did preach what they were bid, and these did not hear? Then comes a most perfect reply to the objection.

"Yes, verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world." [1497]

What do you say? he means. They have not heard? Why the whole world, and the ends of the earth, have heard. And have you, amongst whom the heralds abode such a long time, and of whose land they were, not heard? Now can this ever be? Sure if the ends of the world heard, much more must you. Then again another objection.

Ver. 19. "But I say, Did not Israel know?"

For what if they heard, he means, but did not know what was said, nor understand that these were the persons sent? Are they not to be forgiven for their ignorance? By no means. For Isaiah had described their character in the words, "How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the Gospel of peace." (Is. lii. 7.) And before him the Lawgiver himself. Hence he proceeds.

"First Moses saith, I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people, and by a foolish nation I will anger you." (Deut. xxxii. 21.)

And so they ought even from him to have been able to distinguish the preachers, not from the fact of these disbelieving only, not from the fact of their preaching peace, not from the fact of their bringing the glad tidings of those good things, not from the word being sown in every part of the world, but from the very fact of their seeing their inferiors, those of the Gentiles, in greater honor. For what they had never heard, nor their forefathers, that wisdom did these [1498] on a sudden embrace (hephilosophoun). And this was a mark of such intense honor, as should gall them, and lead them to jealousy, and to recollection of the prophecy of Moses, which said, "I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people." For it was not the greatness of the honor alone that was enough to throw them upon jealousy, but the fact too that a nation had come to enjoy these things which was of so little account that it could hardly be considered a nation at all. "For I will provoke you to jealousy, by them which are no nation, and by a foolish nation will I anger you." For what more foolish than the Greeks (Heathen, see pp. 373, 377)? or what of less account? See how by every means God had given from of old indications and clear signs of these times, in order to remove their blindness. For it was not any little corner in which the thing was done, but in land, and in sea, and in every quarter of the globe. And they saw those in the enjoyment of countless blessings now, who had formerly been objects of their contempt. One should consider then that this is that people of which Moses said, "I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people, and by a foolish nation will I anger you." Was it Moses only then that said this? No, for Isaiah also after Him saith so. And this is why Paul said, "First Moses," to show that a second will come who says the same things in a clearer and plainer way. As then he says above, that Esaias crieth, so too here.

Ver. 20. "But Esaias is very bold, and saith."

Now what he means is something of this kind. He put a violence on himself, and was ambitious to speak, not some thing veiled over, but to set things even naked before your eyes, and choosing rather to run (Origen in loc.) into dangers from being plain spoken, than by looking to his own safety, to leave you any shelter for your impenetrableness; although it was not the manner of prophecy to say this so clearly; but still to stop your mouths most completely, he tells the whole beforehand clearly and distinctly. The whole! what whole? Why your being cast out, and also their being brought in; speaking as follows, "I was found of them that sought Me not, I was made manifest of them that asked not after Me." (Is. lxv. 1.) Who then are they that sought not? who they that asked not after Him? Clearly not the Jews, but they of the Gentiles, who hitherto had not known Him. As then Moses gave their characteristic mark in the words, "no people" and "a foolish nation," so here also he takes the same ground to point them out from, viz. their extreme ignorance. And this was a very great blame to attach to the Jews, that they who sought Him not found Him, and they who sought Him lost Him.

Ver. 21. "But unto Israel He saith, All the day long have I stretched forth My hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people." (Is. lxv. 2.)

Observe now that difficulty, which so many make a subject of question, is discovered laid up from of old in the words of the Prophet, and with a clear solution to it too. And what is this? You heard Paul say before. "What shall we say then? That the Gentiles which followed not after righteousness have attained unto righteousness. But Israel which followed after the law of righteousness hath not attained to the law of righteousness." (Rom. ix. 30, 31.) This Esaias also says here. For to say, "I was found of them that sought me not, I was made manifest unto them which asked not after me," is the same with saying, "that the Gentiles which followed not after righteousness have attained unto righteousness." Then to show that what was happening was not of God's grace only, but also of the temper of those who came to Him, as also the casting off of the others came of the disputatiousness of those who disobeyed, hear what he proceeds with. "But to Israel He saith, All the day long have I stretched forth My hands to a disobedient and gainsaying people;" here meaning by the day the whole period of the former dispensation. But the stretching out of the hands, means calling and drawing [1499] them to Him, and inviting them. Then to show that the fault was all their own, he says "to a disobedient and gainsaying people." You see what a great charge this is against them! For they did not obey Him even when He invited them, but they gainsaid Him, and that when they saw Him doing so, not once or twice or thrice, but the whole period. But others who had never known Him, had the power to draw Him to them. Not that he says they themselves had the power to do it, but to take away lofty imaginings even from those of the Gentiles, and to show that it was His grace that wrought the whole, He says, I was made manifest, and I was found. It may be said, Were they then void of everything? By no means, for the taking of the things found, and the getting a knowledge of what was manifested to them, was what they contributed themselves. [1500] Then to prevent these saying, But why wast Thou not made manifest to us also? he sets down what is more than this, that I not only was made manifest, but I even continue with My hands stretched out, inviting them, and displaying all the concern of an affectionate father, and a mother that is set on her child. See how he has brought us a most lucid answer to all the difficulties before raised, by showing that it was from their own temper that ruin had befallen them, and that they are wholly undeserving of pardon. For though they had both heard and understood what was said, still not even then were they minded to come to Him. And what is far more, He did not cause them to hear these things and to understand them only, but a thing which hath more force to rouse them up and draw them to Him, when they were disobedient and gain-saying, He added to the others. Now what is this? It is His exasperating them, and making them jealous. For ye know the domineering might of the passion, and how great the power is which jealousy is naturally possessed of for bringing all disputatiousness to an end, and rousing those who have grown remiss. And why need one say this of man when in brutes without reason, and children before they are of full age, the power it shows is so great? For a child often will not submit to its father when it is called, but continues obstinate. But when another child has notice taken of it, then it even though not called comes to its father's bosom, and what calling could not do, provoking to jealousy will. This then God also did. For He not only called and stretched out His hands, but stirred up in them the feeling of jealousy also, by bringing those far inferior to them (a thing which makes men excessively jealous) not into their good things, but (what was a much stronger step, and makes the feeling even more domineering,) into much greater good things, and of greater necessity than theirs, and such as they had never even fancied in a dream. But still they did not submit. What pardon then do they deserve who exhibit such excessive obstinacy? None. Yet this he does not say himself, but leaves it to the consciences of his hearers, to gather it from the conclusion of what he had stated, and again also confirms it by what he goes on to in his usual wisdom. And this he did also above, by introducing objections both in the case of the Law (see on Rom. vii. 7, pp. 420, I) and of the people, which presented an accusation beyond the true one; and then in the answer, which was to overthrow this, yielding as much as he pleased, and as the case allowed, so as to make what he was saying not unwelcome. And this he doth here, writing as follows:

Chap. xi. ver. 1. "I say then, Hath God cast away His people whom He foreknew? God forbid." [1501]

And he introduces the form a person would use in doubt, as though taking occasion from what had been said, and after making this alarming statement, by the denial of it he causes the sequel to be allowed with readiness; and what by all the former arguments he had been laboring to show that he makes good here also. What then is this? That even if there be but a few saved, the promise yet stands good. This is why he does not merely say "people," but "people which He foreknew." Then proceeding with the proof that the "people" were not cast off, "For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin."

I, he says, the instructor, the preacher. Now since this seemed contrary to what was said before in the words, "Who hath believed our report?" and, "All the day long have I stretched forth My hands to a disobedient and gainsaying people;" and, "I will provoke you to jealousy by them which are no people;" he was not satisfied with the deprecation, nor with having said, "God forbid," but makes it good by taking it up again and saying, "God hath not cast away His people." But this is not a confirmation, men may say, but an assertion. Observe then the confirmation, both the first, and that which follows it. For the first is that he was himself of that race. But He would not, if on the point of casting them off, have chosen from them him to whom He entrusted all the preaching, and the affairs of the world, and all mysteries, and the whole economy. This then is one proof, but the next, after it, is his saying, that "people whom He foreknew," that is, who He knew clearly were suited to it, and would receive the faith. (Pococke on Hos. p. 23. See Acts ii. 41; iv. 4; xxi. 20.) For three, five, even ten thousand were believers from among them. And so to prevent any from saying, Art thou the people, then? And because thou hast been called, hath the nation been called? he proceeds.

Ver. 2. "He hath not cast off His people, whom He foreknew."

As though he said, I have with me three, five, or ten thousand. What then? has the people come to be [1502] three, five, or ten thousand? that seed that compared with the stars of heaven for multitude, or the sand of the sea? Is this the way you deceive us and put a cheat upon us, by making the whole people thyself and the few that are with thee; and didst thou inflate us with idle hopes, and say that the promise has been fulfilled, when all are lost, and the salvation comes down to a few? This is all bombast and vanity! we cannot away with such sophistry as this! Now, that they may not say this, see how in the sequel he proceeds to the answer, not giving the objection indeed, but before it grounding the answer to it upon ancient history. What then is the answer?

Ver. 2-5. "Wot ye not," he says, "what the Scripture saith of Elias? how he (so most; mss. Sav. who) maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying, Lord, they have killed Thy prophets, and digged down Thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life. But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to Myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal. Even so then at this present time also, there is a remnant according to the election of grace."

What he means is nearly this. "God hath not cast off His people." For had He done so, He would have admitted none of them. But if He did admit some, He hath not cast them off. Still it is said, if He had not cast off, He would have admitted all. This does not follow; since in Elijah's time the part to be saved had come down to "seven thousand:" and now also there are probably many that believe. But if you do not know who they are, this is no wonder, for that prophet, who was so great and good a man, did not know. But God ordered things for Himself when even the prophet knew them not. But consider his judgment. Now in proving what was before him, he covertly augments the charge against them. For this is why he gave the whole passage, that he might parade before them their untowardness, and show that they had been so from of old. For if he had not wished this, but had directed his whole attention to prove that the people lay in the few, he would have said that even in Elijah's time, seven thousand were left. But now he reads to them the passage further back, as having been throughout at pains to show that it was no strange thing that they did with Christ, and the Apostles, but their habitual practice. For to prevent their saying that it was as a deceiver we put Christ to death, and as impostors that we persecute the Apostles, he brings forward the text which says, "Lord, they have killed Thy prophets, and digged down thine altars." (1 Kings xix. 14.) Then in order not to make his discourse galling to them, he attaches another reason to the bringing forward of the text. For he quotes it not as if it was on purpose to accuse them, but as if intent upon showing some other things. And he leaves them without any excuse even by what had before been done. For observe how strong the accusation is even from the person speaking. For it is neither Paul, nor Peter, nor James, nor John, but one whom they held in the greatest estimation, the chief of the Prophets, the friend of God, a man who had been so very zealous [1503] in their behalf as even to be given up to hunger for them, who even to this day hath never died. What then doth this man say? "Lord, they have killed Thy prophets, and digged down Thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life." What could be more brutal cruelty than this? For when they should have besought pardon for the offences they had already committed, they were minded even to kill him. And all these things put them quite beyond pardon. For it was not during the prevalence of the famine, but when the season was favorable, and their shame was done away, and the devils (i.e. false gods) had been put to shame, and the power of God had been shown, and the king had bowed beneath it, that they committed these audacities, passing from murder to murder, and making away with their teachers, and such as would bring them to a better mind. What then could they have to say to this? Were they too deceivers? Were they too impostors? Did they not know whence they were either? But they distressed you. Yes, but they also told you goodly things. But what of the altars? the altars too did not surely distress you? Did they too exasperate you? See of what obstinacy, of what insolence they were ever yielding proofs! This is why in another passage too Paul says, when writing to the Thessalonians, "Ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews, who both killed the Lord, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us, and please not God, and are contrary to all men (1 Thess. ii. 14, 15); which is what he says here too, that they both digged down the altars, and killed the prophets. But what saith the answer of God unto him? "I have reserved to Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal." (1 Kings xix. 18.) And what has this to do with the present subject? some may say. It hath a great deal to do with the present subject. For he shows here that it is the worthy that God useth to save even if the promise be made to the whole nation. And this he pointed out above when he said, "Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved." And, "Except the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed, we should have become as Sodoma." (Rom. ix. 27, 29.) And he points it out from this passage also. Wherefore he proceeds to say, "Even so then at this present time also, there is a remnant according to the election of grace." Observe that each word maintains its own rank, showing at once God's grace, and the obedient temper of them that receive salvation. For by saying election, he showed the approval of them, but by saying grace, he showed the gift of God.

Ver. 6. "And if by grace, then it is no more of works, otherwise grace is no more grace: but if it be of works, then is it no more grace, [1504] otherwise work is no more work."

He again springs upon the disputatiousness of the Jews, in what has just been quoted; and on this ground bereaves them of excuse. For you cannot, he means, so much as say, that the Prophets called indeed, and God invited, and the state of things cried aloud, and the provoking to jealousy was enough to draw us to Him, but what was enjoined was grievous, and this is why we could not draw nigh, since we had a display of works demanded of us, and laborious well-doings. For you cannot even say this. For how should God have demanded this of you, when this would just throw His grace into the shade? And this he said out of a wish to show that He was most desirous that they might be saved. (Deut. v. 29.) For not only would their salvation be easily brought about, but it was also God's greatest glory to display His love toward man. Why then are you afraid of drawing nigh, since you have no works demanded of you? Why are you bickering and quarrelsome, when grace is before you, and why keep putting me the Law forward to no purpose whatsoever? For you will not be saved by that, and will mar this gift also; since if you pertinaciously insist on being saved by it, you do away with this grace of God. Then that they might not think this strange, having first taken those seven thousand; he said that they were saved by grace. For when he says, "Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace;" he shows that they also were saved by grace. And not hereby only, but likewise by saying, "I have reserved unto Myself." For this is the language of One Who showeth that He Himself was the chief Contributor. And if by grace, it will be said, how came we all not to be saved? Because ye would not. For grace, though it be grace, saves the willing, not those who will not have it, and turn away from it, who persist in fighting against it, and opposing themselves to it. Observe how throughout the point he is proving is, "Not as though the Word of God had taken none effect," by showing that the worthy were those to whom the promise came, and that these, few though they be, may yet be the people of God; and indeed he had stated it in the beginning of the Epistle with much force, where he says, "For what if some did not believe" (Rom. iii. 3), and did not even stop at this, but proceeded, "Yea, let God be true, and every man a liar." (ib. 4.) And here again he confirms it another way, and shows the force of grace, and that always the one were being saved, the other perished. Let us then give thanks, that we belong to them that are being saved, and not having been able to save ourselves by works, were saved by the gift of God. But in giving thanks, let us not do this in words only, but in works and actions. For this is the genuine thanksgiving, when we do those things whereby God is sure to be glorified, and flee from those from which we have been set free. For if we, after insulting the King, instead of being punished have been honored, and then go and insult Him afresh, since we are detected in the utmost ingratitude, we should with justice have to suffer the utmost punishment, one greater far than the former. For the former insolence did not show us so ungrateful as that committed after honor and much attention shown us. Let us then flee those things from which we have been set free, and not give thanks with our mouths only, lest it be said of us also, "This people honoreth Me with their lips, but with their heart is far from Me." (Is. xxix. 13.) For how is it else than unseemly, when the "heavens declare the glory of God" (Ps. xix. 1), and thou, for whom the heavens were made that glorify Him, doest such things that through thee the God that made thee is blasphemed? It is for this that not only he that blasphemeth, but thyself also, wilt be liable to punishment. For the heavens also do not glorify God by sending forth a voice but by putting others upon doing it at the sight of them, and yet they are said "to declare the glory of God." Thus too they that furnish a life to be wondered at, even though they hold their peace, yet glorify God, when others through them glorify Him. For He is not so much reverenced because of the heaven, as of a spotless life. When then we are discoursing with the Gentiles, we cite (4 mss. read or point to the reading, "let us not cite") not the heavens before them, but the men, whom though they were in worse plight than brutes, He hath persuaded to be the Angels' competitors. And we (1 mss. "let us") stop their mouths by speaking of this change. For far better than the heaven is man, and a soul brighter than their beauty may he possess. For it, though visible for so long a time, did not persuade much. But Paul, after preaching a short time, drew the whole world unto him. (St. Aug. on Ps. xix. 4.) For he possessed a soul no less than the heaven, which was able to draw all men unto him. Our soul is not a match even for the earth: but his is equal to the heavens. That stands indeed keeping to its own boundary and rule; but the loftiness of his soul transcended all the heavens, and conversed with Christ Himself. (2 Cor. x. 15; Rom. xv. 19, etc.) And the beauty of it was so great, that even God heraldeth it forth. For the stars did the angels marvel at when they were made. (Job xxxviii. 7.) But this He marvelled at when He saith, "He is a chosen vessel unto Me." (Acts ix. 15.) And this Heaven doth a cloud many times overshadow. But Paul's soul no temptation overshadowed but even in storms he was clearer to the sight than the hard sky (statherhas mesembrias) at noon, and shone constantly as it had done before the clouds came on. For the Sun who shone in him sent not forth such rays as to be over-clouded by the concourse of temptations, but even then shone forth the more. Wherefore he says, "My grace is sufficient for thee, for My Strength is made perfect in weakness." (2 Cor. xii. 9.) Let us then strive to be like him, and then even to what we are this heaven will be as nothing, if we wish it, nor yet the sun, nor the whole world. For these are for us, and not we for them. Let us show that we are worthy of having had these made for us. For if we be found unworthy of these, how shall we be worthy a kingdom? For indeed all that live so as to blaspheme God are unworthy to see the sun. They who blaspheme Him are unworthy to enjoy the creatures who glorify Him: since even a son who insulteth his father is unworthy to be waited upon by the approved servants. Hence these will enjoy glory, and that great glory; but we shall have to undergo punishment and vengeance.

How miserable then will it be for the creation which was made for thee to be fashioned "according to the glorious liberty of the children of God," (Rom. viii. 21) but for us who were made children of God, through our much listlessness, to be sent away to destruction and hell, for whose sake the creation shall enjoy that great festal time? Now to keep this from coming to pass, let such of us as have a pure soul keep it still such, or rather let us make its brightness more intense. And let those of us that have a soiled one, not despair. For "if" (he says) "your sins be as purple, I will make them white as snow. And if they be as scarlet, I will make them white as wool." (Is. i. 18.) But when it is God that promiseth, doubt not, but do those things whereby thou mayest draw to thee these promises. Are they unnumbered, the fearful and outrageous acts done by thee? And what of this? For hitherto thou art not gone away into the grave where no man shah confess. (ib. xxxviii. 18; Ps. vi. 5.) Hitherto the arena (theatron) is not broken up for thee, but thou art standing within the line, and thou art able even by a struggle at the last to recover all thy defeats. Thou art not yet come to where the rich man was, for thee to hear it said, "there is a gulf betwixt you and us." (Luke xvi. 26.) The Bridegroom is not yet at hand, that one should fear to give you of his oil. Still canst thou buy and store up. And there is not one yet to say, "Not so; lest there be not enough for us and and you" (Matt. xxv. 9); but there are many that sell, the naked, the hungry, the sick, the imprisoned. Give food to these, clothing to those, visit the sick, and the oil will come more than from fountains. The day of account is not here. Use the time as need be, and make deductions from the debts, and to him that oweth "an hundred measures of oil, say, Take thy bill and write fifty." (Luke xvi. 6.) And with money, and with words, [1505] and with every other thing do in like manner, imitating that steward. And advise this to thyself, and also to thy relatives, for thou hast still the power of saying so. Thou art not yet come to the necessity of calling in another in their behalf, but thou hast power to give advice at once to thyself and to others. (ib. 28.) But when thou art gone away thither, neither of these things wilt thou have it in thy power to do at need. And with good reason. For thou who hast had so long a period fixed thee, and neither done thyself good, nor any else, how when thou art under the Judge's hands shalt thou be able to obtain this grace? Putting all these things together then, let us cling fast to our own salvation, and not lose the opportunity of this life present. For it is possible, it is, even at our last breath to please God. It is possible to gain approval by thy last will, not indeed in such way as in our lifetime, still it is possible. How, and in what way? If thou leavest Him among thine heirs, and givest Him also (kai autho) a portion of thine whole estate. Hast thou not fed Him in thy lifetime? At all events when departed, when thou art no longer owner, give Him a share of thy goods. He is loving unto man, He doth not deal niggardly by thee. It is a mark to be sure of a greater desire, and so it will be more rewarded, to feed Him in thy lifetime. But if thou hast not done this, at all events do the next best thing. Leave Him joint-heir (see p. 384) with thy children, and if thou art dilatory over this, bethink thyself that His Father made thee joint-heir with Him, and break down thy inhuman spirit. For what excuse wilt thou have if thou dost not even make Him a sharer with thy children, who made thee share the Heaven, and was slain for thee? And yet all that ever He did, He did not in repayment of a debt, but as bestowing a favor. But you after so great benefits, have been made a debtor as well. And yet, though things are so, it is as if receiving a favor, not as demanding payment of a debt, that He crowneth thee; and this too when what He is to receive is His own. Give then thy money, which is now no longer of any use to thee, and of which thou art no longer owner; and He will give thee a Kingdom which shall be of service to thee perpetually, and with it will bestow also the things of this life. For if He be made the joint heir of thy children, He doth lighten their orphanage for them, do away with plots against them, beat off insults, stop the mouths of pettifoggers. And if they themselves be unable to stand up for their bequeathments, He will Himself stand up, and not let them be broken through. But if He do even allow this, then He makes up of Himself all that was ordered in the will with still greater liberality, because He has been but mentioned in it. Leave Him then thine heir. For it is to Him that thou art upon the point of going. He will be thy Judge Himself in the trial for all that hath been done here. But there are some so miserable and pinched, that though they have no children, still they have not the courage to do this, but approve of giving that they have to hangers on, and to flatterers, and to this person and to that, sooner than to Christ, Who hath done them so great benefits. And what can be more unreasonable than this conduct? For if one were to compare men of this cast to asses, aye, or to stones, one shall not still be saying anything tantamount to their unreasonableness and senselessness. Nor could one find a similitude to put before you their madness and dementedness. For what pardon shall they obtain for not having fed Him in their lifetime, who, even when they are on the point of departing to Him, have not the inclination to give Him but a trifle out of those goods, of which they are no longer the owners, but are of such an inimical and hostile disposition, as not even to give Him a share in what is useless to themselves? Do you not know how many of mankind have not even been counted worthy to obtain an end of this kind, but have been snatched off suddenly? But thee doth God empower to give orders to thy kindred, and to speak with them about thy property, and set all that is in thy house in order. What defence then wilt thou have to set up, when even after receiving this favor from Him, thou hast treacherously given up the benefit, and art standing as it were in diametrical opposition to thy forefathers in the faith? For they even in their lifetime sold all, and brought it to the Apostle's feet. But thou, even at thy death, dost not give any share to them that need. What is the better part, and gives one much boldness, is to remedy poverty in one's lifetime. But if thou hast not been minded to do this, at all events do upon thy death-bed some noble act. For this is not what a strong love for Christ would do, yet still it is an act of love. For if thou wilt not have the high place with the Lambs, still even to be after them at all is no light thing, and so not to be placed with the goats nor on the left hand. But if thou wilt not do even this, what plea is to rescue thee, when neither the fear of death nor thy money having become henceforth of no use to thee, nor the leaving of safety behind thee to thy children, nor the laying up of much pardon there against the time to come, will make thee merciful to man? Wherefore I advise, as the best thing, that in your lifetime you give the larger half of your goods to the poor. But if there be any of so narrow a soul as not to have the heart to do so, at all events let them by necessity become merciful. For when you were living as if there were no death, then you clung close to your goods. But now since you have learnt that you are to die, at least now give over your opinion, and deliberate about your affairs as one that must die. Or rather as one that ought to enjoy immortal life for evermore. For if what I am going to say be distasteful, and big with horror, still it must be said. Reckon with thy slaves the Lord. Art thou giving thy slaves liberty? Give Christ liberty from famine, from distress, from imprisonment, from nakedness. Art thou horrified at the words? Is it not then more horrible when thou dost not even thus much? And here the word makes thy blood curdle. But when thou art gone to that world, and hast to hear things far more grievous than these, and seest the tortures which are incurable, what wilt thou say? To whom wilt thou flee for refuge? Whom wilt thou call to thy alliance and assistance? Will it be Abraham? He will not hearken to thee. Or those virgins? They will not give thee of their oil. Thy father then or thy grandfather? But none even of these, if he be ever so holy, will have it in his power to reverse that sentence. Weighing then all these things, to Him Who alone is Lord to blot out the bill against thee and to quench that flame, to Him make prayer and supplication, and propitiate Him, by now feeding Him and clothing Him continually: that in this world thou mayest depart with a good hope, and when thou art there thou mayest enjoy eternal blessings, which may we all attain to by the grace and love toward man, etc.


[1495] Vv. 14, 15 state a threefold objection to Paul's doctrine of the Jews' responsibility. Vv. 16-21 are the reply to this objection. Paul takes up three points which are summarized in the objections. (1) Shall the fact that they have not believed constitute any excuse? (16, 17). The apostle answers that the real fact is that the message of faith and of the Messianic salvation has been proclaimed to the Jews and a large part of them have rejected and disobeyed it. They must therefore have heard, for disobedience, on the one hand, and faith, on the other, depends upon hearing the message and hearing it depends upon God having spoken it. (2) Then comes the prior question concerning the hearing on which disobedience or hearing is dependent (18). Certainly they have heard, answers Paul, for we might apply to God's message the words of the Psalm (xix. 5) which describe the movements of the heavenly bodies, so plain and wide-spread have been God's messages concerning Christ and the principles on which his Gospel is based. (3) Since Israel has heard, does it not follow that they knew and are therefore inexcusable? (19). Yes. The Jews complain that God's promise has failed; that He has not preserved to them their promised prerogatives. Hence it is excusable for them to fall away from confidence in Him, etc. The apostle answers that this is an entire misunderstanding of their own providential history. The coming of the Gentiles into the kingdom of God was already foreshadowed in the Old Testament, e.g. Moses (Deut. xxxii. 21) speaks of Israel being made jealous and angry by a "no-people"--"a foolish nation" (heathen). And again, Isaiah (lxv. 1, 2) uses very bold words which the apostle applies to the relation of Jews and Gentiles. The three points placed in close relation are: (1) Israel has heard and (2) hence knows, and (3) is blameworthy for the rejection of the Messiah.--G.B.S. [1496] Four mss. The believing and obeying God equally when He speaks and when He works wonders. [1497] Ps. xix. 4(V and LXX. xviii). The mystical interpretation of this Psalm here indicated, is acknowledged by the Church in using it on Christmas day. An ancient Latin hymn has this paraphrase on a part of it: From Chastity, His Palace bright, Forth came the Bridegroom decked with light, Giant! God and Man in one! Glad His glorious race to run. From the Eternal Father sent Back to Him His circuit bent, Down to hell His path descends, At the throne of God it ends. Origen on this passage (t. iv. p. 627), and St. Augustin on the Psalm, enlarge upon its Christian interpretation. [1498] "They" "their" i.e. the Jews: "these" i.e. the Gentiles. [1499] This of course does not exclude the other interpretation of J. Martyr. Apol. i. 35. p. 27 O.T. Tryph. 97, p. 193 O.T. and others. See, on the contrary, St. John xii. 32, also St. Cyr. Hier. Cat. xiii. 27, and note, p. 157 O.T. add St. Cyprian, Test. ii. 20, p. 56, O.T. and note. [1500] As in Cornelius' case. See p. 379, and context. [1501] The central thought of chap. xi. is that Israel's rejection is not forever; the nation is to be restored. The order of thought is as follows: (1) The rejection is partial. The Scriptures furnish analogous examples of partial falls and rejections of the nation, 1-10. (2) The fall of Israel is temporary. Some branches were cut off because of unbelief and Gentile branches inserted in their place, but the natural branches shall yet be restored, 11-24. (3) Reflections upon the wise and gracious purposes of God in all these dispensations, 25-36.--G.B.S. [1502] Field with one ms. reads "What then? Is this the people? is that seed come to be 3, 5, or 10,000?" and mentions with approval the reading of the Catena "What then? are the people come down to thee and 3, 5, or 10,000?" [1503] Referring to his words, 1 Kings xix. 14, and to his sharing in the famine, xvii. 13. [1504] 4 mss. omit these words: most early mss. and versions of the N.T. omit the whole second half of the verse. [1505] All Field's mss. om. "words," which however may mean offence given by words. .

Homily XIX.

Rom. XI. 7

"What then? [1506] Israel hath not obtained that, which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it and the rest were blinded."

He had said that God did not cast off His people; and to show in what sense He had not cast them off, he takes refuge in the Prophets again. [1507] And having shown by them that the more part of the Jews were lost, that he might not seem to be again bringing forward an accusation of his own, and to make his discourse offensive, and to be attacking them as enemies, he takes refuge in David and Isaiah, and says,

Ver. 8. "According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber." (Is. xxix. 10.)

Or rather we should go back to the beginning of his argument. Having then mentioned the state of things in Elijah's time, and shown what grace is, he proceeds, "What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for." Now this is as much what an accuser would say, as what one who was putting a question. For the Jew, he means, is inconsistent with himself when he seeketh for righteousness, which he will not accept. Then to leave them with no excuse, he shows, from those who have accepted it, their unfeeling spirit, as he says, "But the election hath obtained it," and they are the condemnation of the others. And this is what Christ says, "But if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? Wherefore they shall be your judges." (Luke xi. 19.) For to prevent any one from accusing the nature of the thing, and not their own temper, he points out those who had obtained it. Hence he uses the word [1508] with great propriety, to show at once the grace from above and the zeal of these. For it is not to deny free-will that he speaks of their having "obtained" (as by chance, Gr. epetuche) it, but to show the greatness of the good things, and that the greater part was of grace, though not the whole. [1509] For we too are in the habit of saying, "so and so chanced to get" (same word), "so and so met with," when the gain has been a great one. Because it is not by man's labors, but by God's gift, that the greater part was brought about.

"And the rest was blinded."

See how he has been bold enough to tell with his own voice the casting off of the rest. For he had indeed spoken of it already, but it was by bringing the prophets in as accusers. But from this point he declares it in his own person. Still even here he is not content with his own declaration, but brings Isaiah the prophet in again. For after saying, "were blinded," he proceeds; "according as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber." Now whence came this blinding? He had indeed mentioned the causes of it before, and turned it all upon their own heads, to show that it was from their unseasonable obstinacy that they had to bear this. And now he speaks of it too. For when he says, "Eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear," he is but finding fault with their contentious spirit. For when they had "eyes to see" the miracles, and were possessed of "ears to hear" that marvellous Teaching, they never used these as were fitting. And the "He gave," do not imagine to mean here an agency, but a permission only. But "slumber" (kataanuxis lit. piercing) is a name he here gives to the habit of soul inclinable to the worse, when incurably and unchangeably so. For in another passage David says, "that my glory may sing unto Thee, and I may not be put to slumber" (Ps. xxx. 12, LXX.): that is, I may not alter, may not be changed. For as a man who is hushed to slumber in a state of pious fear would not easily be made to change his side; so too he that is slumbering in wickedness would not change with facility. For to be hushed [1510] to slumber here is nothing else but to be fixed and riveted to a thing. In pointing then to the incurable and unchangeable character of their spirit, he calls it "a spirit of slumber." Then to show that for this unbelief they will be most severely punished, he brings the Prophet forward again, threatening the very things which in the event came to pass.

Ver. 9. "Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumbling-block." (Ps. lxix. 22, 23.)

That is, let their comforts and all their good things change and perish, and let them be open to attack from any one. And to show that this is in punishment for sins that they suffer this, he adds, "and a recompense unto them."

Ver. 10. "Let their eyes be darkened that they may not see, and bow Thou down their back alway."

Do these things then still require any interpreting? Are they not plain even to those ever so senseless? And before our words, the very issue of facts has anticipated us in bearing witness to what was said. For at what time have they ever been so open to attacks? at what time such an easy prey? at what time hath He so "bowed down their backs?" At what time have they been set under such bondage? And what is more, there is not to be any unloosing from these terrors. And this the prophet hath also hinted. For he does not say only, "bow Thou down their back," but, "forever bow Thou down." But if thou art disposed to dispute, O Jew, about the issue, from what hath gone before learn also the present case. Thou didst go down to Egypt; and two hundred years passed, and God freed thee speedily from that bondage, and that though thou wert irreligious, and wentest a whoring with the most baneful whoredom. Thou wast freed from Egypt, and thou didst worship the calf, thou didst sacrifice thy sons to Baalpeor, thou didst defile the temple, thou didst go after every sort of vice, thou didst grow not to know nature itself. The mountains, the groves, the hills, the springs, the rivers, the gardens didst thou fill with accursed sacrifices, thou didst slay the prophets, didst overthrow the altars, didst exhibit every excess of wickedness and irreligion. Still, after giving thee up for seventy years to the Babylonians, He brought thee back again to thy former freedom, and gave thee back the temple, and thy country, and thy old form of polity [1511] and there were prophets again, and the gift of the Spirit. Or rather, even in the season of thy captivity thou wast not deserted, but even there were Daniel, and Ezekiel, and in Egypt Jeremiah, and in the desert Moses. After this thou didst revert to thy former vice again, and wast a reveller (exebakcheuthes 2 Macc. xiv. 33), therein, and didst change thy manner of life (politeian to the Grecian in the time of Antiochus the impious Dan. viii. 14; 1 Macc. iv. 54). But even then for a three years and a little over only were ye given up to Antiochus, and then by the Maccabees ye raised those bright trophies again. But now there is nothing of the sort, for the reverse hath happened throughout. And this is ground for the greatest surprise, as the vices have ceased, and the punishment hath been increased, and is without any hope of a change. For it is not seventy years only that have passed away, nor a hundred, nor yet twice as many but three hundred, and a good deal over, and there is no finding even a shadow of a hope of the kind. And this though ye neither are idolaters, nor do the other audacious acts ye did before. What then is the cause? The reality hath succeeded to the type, and grace hath shut out the Law. And this the prophet foretelling from of old said, "And ever bow Thou down their back." See the minuteness of prophecy, how it foretells their unbelief, and also points out their disputatiousness, and shows the judgment which should follow, and sets forth the endlessness of the punishment. For as many of the duller sort, through unbelief in what was to come to pass, wished to see things to come by the light of things present, from this point of time God gave proof of His power on either part, by lifting those of the Gentiles who believed, above the heaven, but bringing down such of the Jews as believed not to the lowest estate of desolation, and giving them up to evils not to be ended. Having then urged them severely both about their not believing, and about what they had suffered and were yet to suffer, he again allays what he had said by writing as follows:

Ver. 11. "I say then, Have they stumbled, that they should fall? God forbid."

When he has shown that they were liable to evils without number, then he devises an allayment. And consider the judgment of Paul. The accusation he had introduced from the prophets, but the allayment he makes come from himself. For that they had sinned greatly, he would say, none will gainsay. But let us see if the fall is of such kind as to be incurable, and quite preclude their being set up again. But of such kind it is not. [1512] You see how he is attacking them again, and under the expectation of some allayment he proves them guilty of confessed sins. But let us see what even by way of allayment he does devise for them. Now what is the allayment? "When the fulness of the Gentiles," he says, "shall have come in, then shall all Israel be saved," at the time of his second coming, and the end of the world. Yet this he does not say at once. But since he had made a hard onset upon them, and linked accusations to accusations, bringing prophets in after prophets crying aloud against them, Isaiah, Elijah, David, Moses, Hosea, not once or twice, but several times; lest in this way he should both by driving these into despair, make a wall to bar their access to the faith, and should further make such of the Gentiles as believed unreasonably elated, and they also by being puffed up should take harm in matter of their faith, he further solaces them by saying, "But rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles." But we must not take what is here said literally, but get acquainted with the spirit and object of the speaker, and what he aimed to compass. Which thing I ever entreat of your love. For if with this in our minds we take up what is here said, we shall not find a difficulty in any part of it. For his present anxiety is to remove from those of the Gentiles the haughtiness which might spring in them from what he had said. For in this way they too were more likely to continue unshaken in the faith, when they had learnt to be reasonable, as also those of the Jews were, when quit of despair, more likely to come with readiness to grace. Having regard then to this object of his, let us so listen to all that is said on this passage. What does he say then? And whence does he show that their fall was not irremediable, nor their rejection final? He argues from the Gentiles, saying as follows:

"Through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy."

This language is not his own only, but in the Gospels too the parables mean this. For He who made a marriage feast for His Son, when the guests would not come, called those in the highways. (Matt. xxii. 9). And He who planted the Vineyard, when the husbandmen slew the Heir, let out His Vineyard to others. (ib. xxi. 38, etc.) And without any parable, He Himself said, "I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the House of Israel." (ib. xv. 24.) And to the Syrophoenician woman, when she persevered, He said somewhat further besides. "It is not meet," He says, "to take the children's bread, and cast it to the dogs." (ib. xv. 26.) And Paul to those of the Jews that raised a sedition, "It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken unto you: but seeing ye judge yourselves unworthy, lo, we turn unto the Gentiles." (Acts xiii. 46.) And throughout it is clear that the natural course of things was this, that they should be the first to come in, and then those of the Gentiles; but since they disbelieved, the order was reversed; and their unbelief and fall caused these to be brought in first. Hence it is that he says, "through their fall salvation is come to the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy." But if he mentions what the course of things issued in, as if the chief design of Providence, do not feel surprised. For he wishes to solace their down-stricken souls, and his meaning is about this. Jesus came to them; they did not receive Him, though He did countless miracles, but crucified Him. Hence He drew the Gentiles to Him, that the honor they had, by cutting them to the heart for their insensibility might at least out of a moroseness against others persuade them to come over. For they ought to have been first admitted, and then we. And this was why he said, "For it is the power of God unto salvation unto every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile." (Rom. i. 16.) But as they had started off, we the last became first. See then how great honors he gathers for them even from this. One that he says, we were then called, when they were not willing; a second that he says, the reason of our being called was not that we only might be saved, but that they also, growing jealous at our salvation, might become better. What does he say then? that if it were not for the Jews' sake, we should not have been called and saved at all? We should not before them, but in the regular order. Wherefore also when He was speaking to the disciples, He did not say barely, "Go to the lost sheep of the House of Israel" (Matt. x. 6), but, "Go rather to the sheep," to show that to those parts also they must come after these. And Paul again saith not, "It was necessary that the word of God should have been spoken unto you," but "should first have been spoken unto you" (Acts xiii. 46), to show that in the second place it must be to us also. And this was both done and said, that they might not be able, shameless though they were, to pretend that they were overlooked, and that was why they did not believe. This then was why Christ, though he knew all things before, yet came to them first.

Ver. 12. "Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles, how much more their fulness?"

Here he is speaking to gratify them. For even if these had fallen a thousand times, the Gentiles would not have been saved unless they had shown faith. As the Jews likewise would not have perished unless they had been unbelieving and disputatious. But as I said, he is solacing them now they are laid low, giving them so much the more ground to be confident of their salvation if they altered. For if when they stumbled, he says, so many enjoyed salvation, and when they were cast out so many were called, just consider what will be the case when they return. But he does not put it thus, When they return. Now he does not say "how much more their" return, or their altering, or their well-doing, but "how much more their fulness," that is, when they are all about coming in. And this he said to show that then also grace and God's gift will do the larger part, or almost the whole.

Ver. 13, 14. "For I speak to you Gentiles; inasmuch as I am the Apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office; if by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them."

Again he endeavors much to get himself clear of untoward suspicion. And he seems to be blaming the Gentiles, and to be humbling their conceits, yet he gives a gentle provocation to the Jew also. And indeed he goes round about seeking to veil and allay this great ruin of theirs. But he finds no means of doing it, owing to the nature of the facts. For from what he had said, they deserved but the greater condemnation, when those who were far short of them had taken the good things prepared for them. This is why then he passes from the Jews to those of the Gentiles, and puts in between his discourse the part about them, as wishing to show that he is saying all these things in order to instruct them to be reasonable. For I praise you, he means, for these two reasons; one, because I am necessitated to do so as being your commissioned minister; the other, that through you I may save others. And he does not say, my brethren, my kinsmen; but, "my flesh." And next, when pointing out their disputatious spirit, he does not say, "if by any means I may" persuade, but, "provoke to jealousy and save;" and here again not all, but, "some of them." So hard were they! And even amid his rebuke he shows again the Gentiles honored, for they are causes of their salvation, and not in the same way. For they became purveyors of blessings to them through unbelief, but these to the Jews by faith. Hence the estate of the Gentiles seems to be at once equal and superior. For what wilt thou say, O Jew? that if we had not been cast out, he would not have been called so soon? This the man of the Gentiles may say too, If I had not been saved, thou wouldest not have been moved to jealousy. But if thou wouldest know wherein we have the advantage, I save thee by believing, but it is by stumbling that thou hast afforded us an access before thyself. Then perceiving again that he had touched them to the quick, resuming his former argument, he says,

Ver. 15. "For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be but life from the dead?"

Yet this again condemns them, since, while others gained by their sins, they did not profit by other men's well doings. But if he asserts that to be their doing which necessarily happened, be not surprised: since (as I have said several times) it is to humble these, and to exhort the other, that he throws his address into this form. For as I said before, if the Jews had been cast away a thousand times over, and the Gentiles had not shown faith, they would never have been saved. But he stands by the feeble party, and gives assistance to the distressed one. But see also even in his favors to them, how he solaces them in words only. "For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world," (and what is this to the Jews?) "what shall the receiving of them be but life from the dead?" Yet even this was no boon to them, unless they had been received. But what he means is to this effect. If in anger with them He gave other men so great gifts, when He is reconciled to them what will He not give? But as the resurrection of the dead was not by the receiving of them, so neither now is our salvation through them. But they were cast out owing to their own folly, but it is by faith that we are saved, and by grace from above. But of all this nothing can be of service to them, unless they show the requisite faith. Yet doing as he is wont, he goes on to another encomium, which is not really one, but which only seems to be, so imitating the wisest physicians, who give their patients as much consolation as the nature of the sickness allows them. And what is it that he says?

Ver. 16. "For if the first-fruits be holy, the lump also is holy; and if the root be holy, so are the branches;"

So calling in this passage by the names of the first-fruit and root Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, the prophets, the patriarchs, all who were of note in the Old Testament; and the branches, those from them who believed. Then since the fact met him that many had disbelieved, observe how he undermines (hupotemnetai, see p. 345) it again, and says,

Ver. 17. "And if some of the branches be broken off."

And yet above thou didst say that the more part perished, and a few were saved only. How came it then that speaking of those that perished, thou hast used a "some," which is indicative of fewness? It is not, he replies, in opposition to myself, but out of a desire to court and recover those that are distressed. Observe how in the whole of the passage one finds him working at this object, the wish to solace them. And if you deny it, many contradictions will follow. But let me beg you to notice his wisdom, how while he seems to be speaking for them, and devising a solace for them, he aims a secret blow at them, and shows that they are devoid of all excuse, even from the "root," from the "first-fruit." For consider the badness of the branches, which, when they have a sweet root, still do not imitate it; and the faultiness of the lump, when it is not altered even by the first-fruit. "And if some of the branches were broken off." However, the greater part were broken off. Yet, as I said, he wishes to comfort them. And this is why it is not in his own person, but in theirs, that he brings in the words used, and even in this gives a secret stroke at them, and shows them to have fallen from being Abraham's kinsmen. (Matt. iii. 9.) For what he was desirous of saying was, that they had nothing in common with them. (John viii. 39.) For if the root be holy, and these be not holy, then these are far away from the root. Then under the appearance of solacing the Jews, he again by his accusation smiteth them of the Gentiles. For after saying, "And if some of the branches were broken off," he proceeds.

"And thou being a wild olive wert grafted in."

For the less esteem the man of the Gentiles is of, the more the Jew is vexed at seeing him enjoy his goods. And to the other, the disgrace of the little esteem he was of, is nothing to the honor of the change. And consider his skilfulness. He does not say, "thou wert" planted "in," but "thou wert grafted in," by this again cutting the Jew to the heart, as showing that the Gentile man was standing in his own tree, and himself lying on the ground. Wherefore he does not stop even here, nor after he had spoken of grafting in does he leave off (and yet in this he declared the whole matter), but still he dwells over the prosperous state of the Gentile, and enlarges upon his fair fame in the words, "And with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree." And he seems indeed to have viewed him in the light of an addition. But he shows that he was no whit the worse on that account, but in possession of everything, that the branch which had come up out of the root had. Lest then on hearing the words, "and thou wert grafted in," thou shouldest suppose him to be lacking when compared with the natural branch, see how he makes him equal to it by saying, that "with them thou partakest of the root and fatness of the olive:" that is, hast been put into the same noble rank, the same nature. Then in rebuking him, and saying,

Ver. 18. "Boast not against the branches." He seems indeed to be comforting the Jew, but points out his vileness and extreme dishonor. And this is why he says not, "boast not," but, "boast not against" do not boast against them so as to sunder them. For it is into their place that ye have been set, and their goods that ye enjoy. Do you observe how he seems to be rebuking the one, while he is sharp upon the other?

"But if thou boast," he says, "thou bearest not the root, but the root thee."

Now what is this to the branches that are cut off? Nothing. For, as I said before, while seeming to devise a sort of weak shadow of consolation, and in the very midst of his aiming at the Gentile, he gives them a mortal blow; for by saying, "boast not against them," and, "if thou boast, thou bearest not the root," he has shown the Jew that the things done deserved boasting of, even if it was not right to boast, thus at once rousing him and provoking him to faith, and smiting at him, in the attitude of an advocate, and pointing out to him the punishment he was undergoing, and that other men had possession of what were their goods.

Ver. 19. "Thou wilt say then," he goes on, "The branches were broken off that I might be grafted in."

Again he establishes, by way of objection, the opposite to the former position, to show that what he said before, he had not said as directly belonging to the subject, but to draw them to him. For it was no longer by their fall that salvation came to the Gentiles, nor was it their fall that was the riches of the world. Nor was it by this that we were saved, because they had fallen, but the reverse. And he shows that the providence in regard to the Gentiles was a main object, even though he seems to put what he says into another form. And the whole passage is a tissue of objections, in which he clears himself of the suspicion of hatred, and makes his language such as will be acceptable.

Ver. 20. "Well," he praises what they said, then he alarms them again by saying, "Because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou art grafted in [1513] by faith."

So here another encomium, and for the other party an accusation. But he again lays their pride low by proceeding to say, "be not high-minded, but fear." For the thing is not matter of nature, but of belief and unbelief. And he seems to be again bridling the Gentile, but he is teaching the Jew that it is not right to cling to a natural kinsmanship. Hence he goes on with, "Be not high-minded," and he does not say, but be humble, but, fear. For haughtiness genders a contempt and listlessness. Then as he is going into all the sorrows of their calamity, in order to make the statement less offensive, he states it in the way of a rebuke given to the other as follows:

Ver. 21. "For if God spared not the natural branches," and then he does not say, neither will He spare thee, but "take heed, lest He also spare not thee." So paring (hupotemnomenos) away the distasteful from his statement, representing the believer as in the struggle, he at once draws the others to him, and humbles these also.

Ver. 22. "Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in His goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off."

And he does not say, Behold thy well doing, behold thy labors, but, "Behold the goodness of God" toward man, to show that the whole comes of grace from above, and to make us tremble. For this reason for boasting should make thee to fear: since the Lord (despotes) hath been good unto thee, do thou therefore fear. For the blessings do not abide by thee unmovable if thou turnest listless, as neither do the evils with them, if they alter; "For thou also," he says, "unless thou continue in the faith, wilt be cut off."

Ver. 23. "And they also, if they abide not in unbelief, shall be grafted in."

For it was not God that cut them off, but they have broken themselves off and fallen, and he did well to say have [1514] broken themselves off. For He hath never yet so (Sav. conj. ms. corr. houtos) cast them off, though they have sinned so much and so often. You see what a great thing a man's free choice is, how great the efficacy of the mind is. For none of these things is immutable, neither thy good nor his evil. You see too how he raises up even him in his despondency, and humbles the other in his confidence; and do not thou be faint at hearing of severity, nor thou be confident at hearing of goodness. The reason why He cut thee [1515] off in severity was, that thou mightest long to come back. The reason why He showed goodness to thee was, that thou mightest continue in (he does not say the faith, but) His goodness, that is, if thou do things worthy of God's love toward man. For there is need of something more than faith. You see how he suffers neither these to lie low, nor those to be elated, but he also provokes them to jealousy, by giving through them a power to the Jew to be set again in this one's place, as he also had first taken the other's ground. And the Gentile he put in fear by the Jews, and what had happened to them, lest they should feel elated over it. But the Jew he tries to encourage by what had been afforded to the Greek. For thou also, he says, wilt be cut off if thou growest listless, (for the Jew was cut off), and he will be grafted in if he be earnest, for thou also wast grafted in. But it is very judicious in him to direct all he says to the Gentile, as he is always in the habit of doing, correcting the feeble by rebuking the stronger. This he does in the end of this Epistle too, when he is speaking of the observance of meats. Then, he grounds this on what had already happened, not upon what was to come only. And this was more likely to persuade his hearer. And as he means to enter on consecutiveness of reasonings, such as could not be spoken against, he first uses a demonstration drawn from the power of God. For if they were cut off, and cast aside, and others took precedence of them in what was theirs, still even now despair not.

"For God is able," he says, "to graft them in again," since He doeth things beyond expectation. But if thou wishest for things to be in order, and reasons to be consecutive, you have from yourselves a demonstration which more than meets your wants.

Ver. 24. "For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree, which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a good olive tree, how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be grafted [1516] into their own olive tree."

If then faith was able to do what was contrary to nature, much more will it that which is according to nature. For if this person, who was cut off from those by nature his fathers, [1517] came contrary to nature unto Abraham, much more wilt thou be able to recover thine own. For the Gentile's evil lot is according to nature (he being by nature a wild olive), and the good contrary to nature (it being contrary to nature for him to be grafted into Abraham), but thy lot on the contrary is the good by nature. For it is not upon another root, as the Gentile, but on thine own that thou art to be fixed if thou art minded to come back. What then dost thou deserve, when after the Gentile had been able to do what was contrary to nature, thou art not able to do that which is according to nature, but hast given up even this? Then as he had said "contrary to nature," and, "wert grafted in," that you may not suppose the Jew to have the advantage, he again corrects this by saying that he also is grafted in. "How much more shall these," says he, "which be the natural branches be grafted into their own olive-tree?" And again, "God is able to graft them in." And before this he says, that if they "abide not still in unbelief, they shall be also grafted in." And when you hear that he keeps speaking of "according to nature," and "contrary to nature," do not suppose that he means the nature that is unchangeable, but he tells us in these words of the probable and the consecutive, and on the other hand of the improbable. For the good things and the bad are not such as [1518] are by nature, but by temper and determination alone. And consider also how inoffensive he is. For after saying that thou also wilt be cut off, if thou dost not abide in the faith, and these will be grafted in, if they "abide not still in unbelief," he leaves that of harsh aspect, and insists on that of kindlier sound, and in it he ends, putting great hopes before the Jews if they were minded not to abide so. Wherefore he goes on to say,

Ver. 25. "For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise your own conceits."

Meaning by mystery here, that which is unknown and unutterable, and hath much of wonder and much of what one should not expect about it. As in another passage too he says, "Behold, I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed." (1 Cor. xv. 51.) What then is the mystery?

"That blindness in part hath happened unto Israel." Here again he levels a blow at the Jew, while seeming to take down the Gentile. But his meaning is nearly this, and he had said it before, that the unbelief is not universal, but only "in part." As when he says, "But if any hath caused grief, he hath not grieved me, but in part" (2 Cor. ii. 5): And, so here too he says what he had said above, "God hath not cast off His people whom He foreknew" (Rom. xi. 2): and again, "What then? Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid" (ib. 11): This then he says here also; that it is not the whole people that is pulled up, but many have already believed, and more are likely to believe. Then as he had promised a great thing, he adduces the prophet in evidence, speaking as follows. Now it is not for the fact of a blindness having happened that he quotes the passage (for every one could see that), but that they shall believe and be saved, he brings Isaiah to witness, who crieth aloud and saith,

Ver. 26. "There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob." (Is. lix. 20.)

Then to give the mark that fixes its sense to salvation, to prevent any one from drawing it aside and attaching it to times gone by, he says,

Ver. 27. "For this is my covenant unto them, [1519] when I shall take away their sins."

Not when they are circumcised, not when they sacrifice, not when they do the other deeds of the Law, but when they attain to the forgiveness of sins. If then this hath been promised, but has never yet happened in their case, nor have they ever enjoyed the remission of sins by baptism, certainly it will come to pass. Hence he proceeds,

Ver. 29. "For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance."

And even this is not all he says to solace them, for he uses what had already come about. And what came in of consequence, that he states as chiefly intended, putting it in these words,

Ver. 28. "As concerning the Gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers' sakes."

That the Gentile then might not be puffed up, and say, "I am standing, do not tell me of what would have been, but what has been," he uses this consideration to bring him down, and says, "As concerning the Gospel, they are enemies for your sakes." For when you were called they became more captious. Nevertheless God hath not even now cut short the calling of you, but He waiteth for all the Gentiles that are to believe to come in, and then they also shall come. Then he does them another kind favor, by saying, "As touching election, they are beloved for the fathers sakes." And what is this? for wherein they are enemies, punishment is theirs: but wherein they are beloved, the virtue of their ancestors has no influence on them, if they do not believe. Nevertheless, as I said, he ceaseth not to solace them with words, that he may bring them over. Wherefore by way of fresh proof for his former assertion, he says,

Ver. 30-32. "For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief; even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they may also obtain mercy. For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that He might have mercy upon all."

He shows here that those of the Gentiles were called first. Then, as they would not come, the Jews were elected, and the same result occurred again. For when the Jews would not believe, again the Gentiles were brought over. And he does not stop here, nor does he draw the whole to a conclusion at their rejection, but at their having mercy shown them again. See how much he gives to those of the Gentiles, as much as he did to the Jews before. For when ye, he would say, "in times past did not obey," being of the Gentiles, then the Jews came in. Again, when these did not obey, ye have come. However, they will not perish forever. "For God hath concluded them all in unbelief," that is, hath convinced them, hath shown them disobedient; not that they may remain in disobedience, but that He may save the one by the captiousness of the other, these by those and those by these. Now consider; ye were disobedient, and they were saved. Again, they have been disobedient, and ye have been saved. Yet ye have not been so saved as to be put away again, as the Jews were, but so as to draw them over through jealousy while ye abide.

Ver. 33. "Oh, the depth of the riches, both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments!"

Here after going back to former times, and looking back to God's original dispensation of things whereby the world hath existed up to the present time, and having considered what special provision He had made for all occurrences, he is stricken with awe, and cries aloud, so making his hearers feel confident that certainly that will come to pass which he saith. For he would not have cried aloud and been awe-struck, unless this was quite sure to come to pass. That it is a depth then, he knows: but how great, he knows not. For the language is that of a person wondering, not of one that knew the whole. But admiring and being awe-struck at the goodliness, so far forth as in him lay, he heralds it forth by two intensitive words, riches and depth, and then is awestruck at His having had both the will and the power to do all this, and by opposites effecting opposites. "How unsearchable are His judgments." For they are not only impossible to be comprehended, but even to be searched. "And His ways past finding out;" that is, His dispensations for these also are not only impossible to be known, but even to be sought into. For even I, he means, have not found out the whole, but a little part, not all. For He alone knoweth His own clearly. Wherefore he proceeds:

Ver. 34, 35. "For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been His counsellor? Or who hath first given to Him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again?"

What he means is nearly this: that though He is so wise, yet He has not His Wisdom from any other, but is Himself the Fountain of good things. And though He hath done so great things, and made us so great presents, yet it was not by borrowing from any other that He gave them, but by making them spring forth from Himself; nor as owing any a return for having received from him, but as always being Himself the first to do the benefits; for this is a chief mark of riches, to overflow abundantly, and yet need no aid. Wherefore he proceeds to say, "For of Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things." Himself devised, Himself created, Himself worketh together (Vulg. sunkrathei, mss. sunkrothei ). For He is rich, and needeth not to receive from another. And wise, and needeth no counsellor. Why speak I of a counsellor? To know the things of Him is no one able, save Himself alone, the Rich and Wise One. For it is proof of much riches that He should make them of the Gentiles thus well supplied; and of much wisdom that He should constitute the inferiors of the Jews their teachers. Then as he was awe-struck he offers up thanksgiving also in the word, "To Whom be glory forever. Amen."

For when he tells of any great and unutterable thing of this kind, he ends in wonder with a doxology. And this he does in regard to the Son also. For in that passage also he went on to the very same thing that he does here. "Of whom is Christ according to the flesh, Who is over all God blessed forever. Amen. (Rom. ix. 5.)

Him then let us also imitate, and let us glorify God in all things, by a heedful way of life, and let us not feel confidence in the virtues of our ancestry, knowing the example that has been made of the Jews. For this is not, certainly it is not, the relationship of Christians, for theirs is the kinsmanship of the Spirit. So the Scythian becometh Abraham's son: and his son on the other hand more of an alien to him than the Scythian. Let us not then feel confidence in the well-doings of our fathers (most mss. "of others"), but if you have a parent who is a marvel even, fancy not that this will be enough to save you, or to get you honor and glory, unless you have the relationship of character to him. So too if you have a bad one, do not think that you will be condemned on this account, or be put to shame if at least you order your own doings aright. For what can be less honorable than the Gentiles? still in faith they soon became related to the Saints. Or what more nearly connected than the Jews? Yet still by unbelief they were made aliens. For that relationship is of nature and necessity, after which we are all relations. For of Adam we all sprung, and none can be more a relation than another, both as regards Adam and as regards Noah, and as regards the earth, the common mother of all. But the relationship worthy of honors, is that which does distinguish us from the wicked. For it is not possible for all to be relations in this way, but those of the same character only. Nor do we call them brothers who come of the same labor with ourselves, but those who display the same zeal. In this way Christ giveth men the name of children of God, and so on the other hand children of the devil, and so too children of disobedience, of hell, and of perdition likewise. So Timothy was Paul's son from goodness and was called "mine own son" [1520] (1 Tim. i. 2): but of his sister's son we do not know even the name. And yet the one was by nature related to him, and still that availed him not. But the other being both by nature and country far removed from him (as being a native of Lystra), still became most nearly related. Let us then also become the sons of the Saints, or rather let us become even God's sons. For that it is possible to become sons of God, hear what he says, "Be ye therefore perfect, as your father which is in Heaven." (Matt. v. 48.) This is why we call Him Father in prayer, and that not only to remind ourselves of the grace, but also of virtue, that we may not do aught unworthy of such a relationship. And how it may be said is it possible to be a son of God? by being free from all passions, and showing gentleness to them that affront and wrong us. For thy Father is so to them that blaspheme Him. Wherefore, though He says various things at various times, yet in no case does He say that ye may be like your Father, but when He says, "Pray for them that despitefully use you, do good to them that hate you" (ib. v. 44), then He brings in this as the reward. For there is nothing that brings us so near to God, and makes us so like Him, as this well-doing. Therefore Paul also, when he says, "Be ye followers of God" (Eph. v. 1), means them to be so in this respect. For we have need of all good deeds, chiefly however of love to man and gentleness, since we need so much of His love to man ourselves. For we commit many transgressions every day. Wherefore also we have need to show much mercy. But much and little is not measured by the quantity of things given, but by the amount of the givers' means. Let not then the rich be high-minded, nor the poor dejected as giving so little, for the latter often gives more than the former. We must not then make ourselves miserable because we are poor, since it makes alms-giving the easier for us. For he that has got much together is seized with haughtiness, as well as a greater affection to that (or "lust beyond that") he has. But he that hath but a little is quit of either of these domineering passions: hence he finds more occasions for doing well. For this man will go cheerfully into a prison-house, and will visit the sick, and will give a cup of cold water. But the other will not take upon him any office of this sort, as pampered up (phlegmainon) by his riches. Be not then out of heart at thy poverty. For thy poverty makes thy traffic for heaven the easier to thee. And if thou have nothing, but have a compassionating soul, even this will be laid up as a reward for thee. Hence too Paul bade us "weep with them that weep" (Rom. xii. 15), and exhorted us to be to prisoners as though bound with them. (Heb. xiii. 3.) For it is not to them that weep only that it yieldeth some solace that there be many that compassionate them, but to them who are in other afflicting circumstances. For there are cases where conversation has as much power to recover him that is cast down as money. For this then God exhorts us to give money to them that ask, not merely with a view to relieve their poverty, but that He may teach us to compassionate the misfortunes of our neighbors. For this also the covetous man is odious, in that he not only disregards men in a beggared state, but because he gets himself trained (aleiphetai) for cruelty and great inhumanity. And so he that, for their sakes, thinks little of money, is even on this account an object of love, that he is merciful and kind to man. And Christ, when He blesseth the merciful, blesseth and praiseth not those only that give the alms of money, but those also who have the will to do so. Let us then be so inclinable to mercy, and all other blessings will follow, for he that hath a spirit of love and mercy, if he have money, will give it away, or if he see any in distress, will weep and bewail it; if he fall in with a person wronged, will stand up for him; if he sees one spitefully entreated, will reach out his hand to him. For as he has that treasure-house of blessings, a loving and merciful soul, he will make it a fountain for all his brethren's needs, and will enjoy all the rewards that are laid up with God (Field with 4 mss. tho theho). That we then may attain to these, let us of all things frame our souls accordingly. For so, while in this world, we shall do good deeds without number, and shall enjoy the crowns to come. To which may we all attain by the grace and love toward man, etc.


[1506] Field punctuates so as to give the sense "Why then hath not Israel attained to that which he seeketh after? Nay, but the election hath obtained it;" which seems to be (at all events) St. Chrysostom's view of the passage. [1507] The course of thought here may be thus exhibited: God in his gracious promise made simple faith the condition of salvation, but Israel sought it in the line of works and has not attained it. But the election obtained it because the avowed principle of the election was grace, to which corresponds faith. In other words: those who complied with the express principle of the election and who sought salvation by faith, receiving it as a gift of divine grace, were accepted. Those who thought to establish their own righteousness have failed, and this failure corresponds to that judicial hardening with which God through Moses and Isaiah threatens the disobedient Israelites in the Old Testament.--G.B.S. [1508] Or "language." He has before remarked on the term election as implying an approved character; see on v. 5, p. 483. [1509] So on x. 21. But see on viii. 26, and xi. 22. [1510] Accommodated to the A.V. Gr. "to feel compunction": the word is used thus on Rom. viii. 26, p. 447. In Is. xxix. 10, it is for T+R+D+M+H+ a deep (often supernatural) sleep, as Gen. ii. 21, Gen. xv. 12; 1 Sam. xxvi. 12; Ps. lxxvi. 7. In Ps. xxx. (al. 29), Ps. xxx. 13, the verb is D+M+M% which signifies stillness (from horror or amazement). We speak of being penetrated with horror; here the notion of piercing is taken, and applied to fixing. See Schleusner on katanussomai. [1511] Most mss. "prophecy," which if right must be interpreted "theocracy." [1512] The following paraphrase of the apostle's argument in vv. 16-24 by which he would show that the Jews' rejection is but temporary may be serviceable in connection with the exposition of Chrysostom: granting then that the Jews have sadly stumbled, have they done so in order that (hina, according to a providential intention) they may fall (completely away from God and be lost to all hope)? No. There is a providential purpose in this sad lapse. God has overruled it for the salvation of the Gentiles. When the Jews rejected Christianity, then the gospel turned from them and went to the Gentiles, so that the rejection of the Jews facilitated the conversion of the heathen. And the acceptance of the Gentiles reacted again in favor of the Jews because it provoked them to jealousy and so stimulated them to accept the blessings which the Gentiles were receiving. Thus their fall has a twofold beneficial effect, (a) on the Gentiles, (b) through them on themselves. (vv. 11-12) Now, if so much good can come out of their fall, how much more out of their restoration! If their fault, by which they come so far short of their ideal mission, could be such an (indirect) blessing to the Gentiles, how much greater a blessing will the repairing of that defect prove? (vv. 13-16.) I say the return of the Jews will be a great blessing to you, my Gentile Christian brethren, and I urge this point with you. It is all to be to your advantage. In hoping and laboring for the conversion of my own people, I am still laboring in the line of my mission as apostle to the Gentiles. If I can save any of the Jews and stimulate their jealousy so that they will be desirous of availing themselves of the blessings of the gospel, I shall be doing the greatest possible good to the Gentile world. Why? (15) Because if their rejection is the "reconciliation of the world"--the means of securing salvation to the Gentiles, their reception back again shall be a veritable "resurrection from the dead,"--from it shall flow streams of spiritual life, compared with which that indirect blessing which sprang from their rejection is as nothing (16). And such is the divine, final destination of the Jewish people. They are still holy unto the Lord, a peculiar possession, and cannot be finally and utterly cast away. (vv. 17-24) Hence you Gentiles have no ground of glorying over the Jews, either in the fact that some of them have been cut off or that you have been grafted in. Israel is still the stock. At most you are but branches and that wild-olive branches! If now you seize upon what was said (in vv. 11-12) and maintain that the Jews were rejected to make place for you (19), I reply that there is another to the matter (20). From the point of view of the divine providence this is true, but from the point of view of the Jews' own action, unbelief explains their rejection. You have nothing to do with God's providential purposes in the case. What you have to do is to be obedient and faithful. If you draw an assurance from the one view, I shall draw a warning from the other and that too from the side with which you have to do and for which you are responsible. "Be not high-minded but fear." God will deal with you on the same principles upon which he has dealt with the Jews (21). These dispensations reveal the two sides of God's nature--his severity toward disobedience and his goodness to all who continue in relation to his goodness (22). Those portions of the nation which have been cut off shall be grafted in again unless they persist in unbelief (23). And if the branches from a wild-olive tree were grafted into the genuine olive tree, contrary to their nature, how much more natural to suppose that the branches which originally belonged to the true olive stock shall be returned and grafted again into that stock to which they naturally belong (24). There is no good ground for the opinion of Chrys. (11) that the salvation of Israel is to occur at the second coming and the end of the world.--G.B.S. [1513] So all mss. but one, but we need not suppose a various reading in the text, as there is no authority for it: rec. t. standest. [1514] exeklasthesan. In earlier Greek this use of the passive belongs to the second aorist, but in later times it extends to the first. [1515] Most mss. "cut thee not off," which is perhaps the better reading. See on the last verse. [1516] There is no authority for the reading of the old edd., "these, if according to nature they be grafted." [1517] ms. "from these that were his by nature by others." [1518] Ben. and several mss. phusika for phusei. Savile's reading would be a general position which is not so much to the purpose, such as that of St. Augustin, nullam esse naturam mali. This reading however will also bear that meaning. [1519] So LXX. except in when, etc., which the sequel implies. See Jer. xxxi. 31, 34. [1520] Field reads, So also Timothy was called Paul's son from goodness. .

Homily XX.

Rom. XII. 1

"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service."

After discoursing at large upon the love of God toward man, and pointing out His unspeakable concern for us, and unutterable goodness, which cannot even be searched into, he next puts it forward with a view of persuading those who have received the benefit to exhibit a conversation worthy of the gift. And though he is so great and good a person, yet he does not decline beseeching them, and that not for any enjoyment he was likely to get himself, but for that they would have to gain. And why wonder that he does not decline beseeching, where he is even putting God's mercies before them? For since, he means, it is from this you have those numberless blessings, from the mercies of God, reverence them, be moved to compassion by them. For they themselves take the attitude of suppliants, that you would show no conduct unworthy of them. I entreat you then, he means, by the very things through which ye were saved. As if any one who wished to make a person, who had had great kindnesses done him, show regard, was to bring him the benefactor himself as a suppliant. And what dost thou beseech? let me hear. "That ye would present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service." For when he had said sacrifice, to prevent any from thinking he bade them kill themselves, he forthwith added (Greek order) "living." Then to distinguish it from the Jewish, he calls it "holy, acceptable to God, your reasonable [1521] service." For theirs was a material one, and not very acceptable either. [1522] Since He saith, "Who hath required this at your hands?" (Isa. i. 12.) And in sundry other passages He clearly throws them aside. For it was not this, but this with the other, that He looked to have presented. Wherefore he saith, "The sacrifice of praise shall glorify Me." And again, "I will praise the name of my God with a song, and this shall please him better than a bullock that putteth forth horns and hoofs." (Ps. l. 23; lxix. 30, 31.) And so in another place He rejects it, and says, "Shall I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink goat's blood?" (ib. l. 13) and proceeds with, "Offer unto God a sacrifice of praise, and pay thy vows unto the Most High." (ib. 14.) So Paul also here bids us "present our bodies a living sacrifice." And how is the body, it may be said, to become a sacrifice? Let the eye look upon no evil thing, and it hath become a sacrifice; let thy tongue speak nothing filthy, and it hath become an offering; let thine hand do no lawless deed, and it hath become a whole burnt offering. Or rather this is not enough, but we must have good works also: let the hand do alms, the mouth bless them that cross one, and the hearing find leisure evermore for lections of Scripture. [1523] For sacrifice allows of no unclean thing: sacrifice is a first-fruit of the other actions. Let us then from our hands, and feet, and mouth, and all other members, yield a first-fruit unto God. Such a sacrifice is well pleasing, as that of the Jews was even unclean, for, "their sacrifices," it says, "are unto them as the bread of mourning." (Hos. ix. 4.) Not so ours. That presented the thing sacrificed dead: this maketh the thing sacrificed to be living. For when we have mortified our members, then we shall be able to live. For the law of this sacrifice is new, and so the sort of fire is a marvellous one. For it needeth no wood or matter under it; but our fire liveth [1524] of itself, and doth not burn up the victim, but rather quickeneth it. This was the sacrifice that God sought of old. Wherefore the Prophet saith, "The sacrifice of God is a broken spirit." (Ps. li. 17.) And the three Children offer this when they say, "At this time there is neither prince, or prophet, or leader, or burnt offering, or place to sacrifice before Thee, and to find mercy. Nevertheless, in a contrite heart and an humble spirit let us be accepted." (Song of 3 Ch. 15, 16.) And observe how great the exactness wherewith he useth each word. For he does not say, offer (poiesate Ex. xxix. 39. LXX.) your bodies as a sacrifice, but "present" (parastesate see below) them, as if he had said, never more have any interest in them. Ye have given them up to another. For even they that furnish (same word) the war-horses have no further interest in them. And thou too hast presented thy members for the war against the devil and for that dread battle-array. Do not let them down to selfish appliances. And he shows another thing also from this, that one must make them approved, if one means to present them. For it is not to any mortal being that we present them, but to God, the King of the universe; not to war only, but to have seated thereon the King Himself. For He doth not refuse even to be seated upon our members, but even greatly desireth it. And what no king who is but our fellow-servant would choose to do, that the Lord of Angels chooseth. Since then it is both to be presented (i.e. as for a King's use) and is a sacrifice, rid it of every spot, since if it have a spot, it will no longer be a sacrifice. For neither can the eye that looks lecherously be sacrificed, nor the hand be presented that is grasping and rapacious, nor the feet that go lame and go to play-houses, nor the belly that is the slave of self-indulgence, and kindleth lusts after pleasures, nor the heart that hath rage in it, and harlots' love, nor the tongue that uttereth filthy things. Hence we must spy out the spots on our body upon every side. For if they that offered the sacrifices of old were bid to look on every side, and were not permitted to offer an animal "that hath anything superfluous or lacking, or is scurvy, or scabbed" (Lev. xxii. 22, 23), much more must we, who offer not senseless animals, but ourselves, exhibit more strictness, and be pure in all respects, that we also may be able to say as did Paul, "I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand." (2 Tim. iv. 6.) For he was purer than any sacrifice, and so he speaks of himself as "ready to be offered." But this will be brought about if we kill the old man, if we mortify our members that are upon the earth, if we crucify the world unto ourselves. In this way we shall not need the knife any more, nor altar, nor fire, or rather we shall want all these, but not made with the hands, but all of them will come to us from above, fire from above, and knife also, and our altar will the breadth of Heaven be. For if when Elijah offered the visible sacrifice, a flame, that came down from above consumed the whole water, wood, and stones, much more will this be done upon thee. And if thou hast aught in thee relaxed and secular, and yet offerest the sacrifice with a good intention, the fire of the Spirit will come down, and both wear away that worldliness, and perfect (so Field: mss. "carry up") the whole sacrifice. But what is "reasonable (logike) service?" It means spiritual ministry, conversation according to Christ. As then he that ministereth in the house of God, and officiateth, of whatever sort he may be, then collects himself (sustelletai Ezech. xliv. 19), and becomes more dignified; [1525] so we ought to be minded all our whole life as serving and ministering. And this will be so, if every day you bring Him sacrifices (3 mss. "thyself as a sacrifice"), and become the priest of thine own body, and of the virtue of thy soul; as, for example, when you offer soberness, when alms-giving, when goodness and forbearance. For in doing this thou offerest "a reasonable service" (or worship, latreian), that is, one without aught that is bodily, gross, visible. Having then raised the hearer by the names bestowed, and having shown that each man is a priest of his own flesh by his conversation, he mentions also the way whereby we may compass all this. What then is the way?

Ver. 2. "And be not fashioned [1526] after this world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind."

For the fashion of this world is grovelling and worthless, and but for a time, neither hath ought of loftiness, or lastingness, or straightforwardness, but is wholly perverted. If then thou wouldest walk upright (or aright ortha), figure not thyself after the fashion of this life present. For in it there is nought abiding or stable. And this is why he calls it a fashion (schhema); and so in another passage, "the fashion of this world passeth away." (1 Cor. vii. 31.) For it hath no durability or fixedness, but all in it is but for a season; and so he calls it this age (or world, Gr. ai& 241;n), hereby to indicate its liableness to misfortune, and by the word fashion its unsubstantialness. For speak of riches, or of glory, or beauty of person, or of luxury, or of whatever other of its seemingly great things you will, it is a fashion only, not reality, a show and a mask, not any abiding substance (hupostasis). But "be not thou fashioned after this, but be transformed," he says, "by the renewing of your mind." He says not change the fashion, but "be transformed" (metamorphhou), to show that the world's ways are a fashion, but virtue's not a fashion, but a kind of real form, [1527] with a natural beauty of its own, lacking not the trickeries and fashions of outward things, which no sooner appear than they go to nought. For all these things, even before they come to light, are dissolving. If then thou throwest the fashion aside, thou wilt speedily come to the form. [1528] For nothing is more strengthless than vice, nothing so easily wears old. Then since it is likely that being men they would sin every day, he consoles his hearer by saying, "renew thyself" from day to day. This is what we do with houses, we keep constantly repairing them as they wear old, and so do thou unto thyself. Hast thou sinned to-day? hast thou made thy soul old? despair not, despond not, but renew it by repentance, and tears (Hilary on Ps. cxix.), and confession, and by doing of good things. And never fail of doing this. And how are we to do this?

"That ye may prove (things more expedient (diapheronta), and know [1529] ) what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God."

Either he means by this, be renewed, that ye may learn what is more expedient for you, and what the will of God. Or rather, that ye can get so renewed if ye learn the things expedient, and what God may will. For if thou see this, and know how to distinguish the nature of things, thou art in possession of the whole way of virtue. And who, it may be said, is ignorant of what is expedient, and what is the will of God? They that are flurried with the things of this world, they that deem riches an enviable thing, they that make light of poverty, they that follow after power, they that are gaping after outward glory, they that think themselves great men when they raise fine houses, and buy costly sepulchres, and keep herds of slaves, and carry a great swarm of eunuchs about with them; these know not what is expedient for them, or what the will of God is. For both of these are but one thing. For God willeth what things are expedient for us, and what God willeth, that is also expedient for us. What then are the things which God willeth? to live in poverty, in lowliness of mind, in contempt of glory; in continency, not in self-indulgence; in tribulation, not in ease; in sorrow, not in dissipation and laughter; in all the other points whereon He hath given us laws. But the generality do even think these things of ill omen; [1530] so far are they from thinking them expedient, and the will of God. This then is why they never can come near even to the labors for virtue's sake. For they that do not know so much even as what virtue may be, but reverence vice in its place, and take unto their bed the harlot instead of the modest wife, how are they to be able to stand aloof from the present world? Wherefore we ought above all to have a correct estimate of things, and even if we do not follow after virtue, to praise virtue, and even if we do not avoid vice, to stigmatize vice, that so far we may have our judgments uncorrupted. For so as we advance on our road, we shall be able to lay hold on the realities. This then is why he also bids you be renewed, "that ye may prove what is the will of God." But here he seems to me to be attacking the Jews too, who cling to the Law. For the old dispensation was a will of God, yet not the ultimate purpose, but allowed owing to their feebleness. But that which is a perfect one, and well-pleasing, is the new conversation. So too when he called it "a reasonable service," it was to set it in contrast with that other (v. note p. 496) that he gave it such a name.

Ver. 3. "For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith."

After saying above, "I beseech you by the mercies," here he says again, "by the grace." Observe the teacher's lowliness of mind, observe a spirit quite subdued! He means to say that he is in no respect worthy to be trusted in such an exhortation and counsel. But at one time he takes the mercies of God along with him, at another His grace. It is not my word, he would say, that I am speaking, but one from God. And he does not say, For I say unto you by the wisdom of God, or, for I say unto you by the Law given of God, but, "by the grace," so reminding them continually of the benefits done them, so as to make them more submissive, and to show that even on this account, they were under an obligation to obey what is here said. "To every man that is among you." Not to this person and to that merely, but to the governor and to the governed, to the slave and to the free, to the unlearned and to the wise, to the woman and to the man, to the young and to the old. For the Law is common to all as being the Lord's. And by this he likewise makes his language inoffensive, setting the lessons he gives to all, even to such as do not come under them, that those who do come under them may with more willingness accept such a reproof and correction. And what dost thou say? Let me hear. "Not to think more highly than he ought to think." Here he is bringing before us the mother of good deeds, which is lowliness of mind, in imitation of his own Master. For as He, when He went up into the mountain, and was going to give a tissue of moral precepts, took this for his first beginning, and made this the foundation, in the words, "Blessed are the poor in spirit" (Matt. v. 3); so Paul too, as he has now passed from the doctrinal parts to those of a more practical kind, has taught us virtue in general terms, by requiring of us the admirable sacrifice; and being on the point of giving a more particular portrait of it, he begins from lowliness of mind as from the head, and tells us, "not to think more highly of one's self than one ought to think," (for this is His will), (many mss. om. for etc.), "but to think soberly." But what he means is about this. We have received wisdom not that we should use it to make us haughty, but to make us sober-minded. And he does not say in order to be lowly in mind, but in order to sobriety, meaning by sobriety (sophrosune) here not that virtue which contrasts with lewdness, nor the being free from intemperance, but being sober and healthful in mind. And the Greek name of it means keeping the mind safe. [1531] To show then that he who is not thus modest (metriazonta), cannot be sober either, that is, cannot be staid and healthful minded (because such an one is bewildered, and out, of his wits, and is more crazed than any madman), he calls lowliness of mind, soberness of mind.

"According as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith." For since having gifts given them had made many unreasonably elated, both with these and with the Corinthians, see how he lays open the cause of the disease, and gradually removes it. For after saying that we should think soberly, he proceeds, "according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith," meaning here the gift by faith: and by using the word "dealt," he solaces him who had the less, and humbles him who had the greater share. For if God dealt it, and it is no achievement of thine, why think highly of thyself? But if any one says that faith here does not mean the gift, this would only the more show that he was humbling the vain boasters. For if that which is the cause of the gift (so Field with most mss.: Vulg. "If the faith by which miracles are wrought is the cause of the gift"), that faith by which miracles are wrought, be itself from God, on what ground dost thou think highly of thyself? If He had not come, or been incarnate, then the things of faith would not have fared well either. And it is from hence that all the good things take their rise. But if it is He that giveth it, He knoweth how He dealeth it. For He made all, and taketh like care of all. And as His giving came of His love towards man, so doth the quantity which He giveth. For was He Who had shown His goodness in regard to the main point, which is the giving of the gift, likely to neglect thee in regard to the measure? For had He wished to do thee dishonor, then He had not given them at all. But if to save thee and to honor thee was what He had in view (and for this He came and distributed such great blessings), why art thou confounded and disturbed, and abusest thy wisdom to foolishness, making thyself more disgraceful than one who is by nature so? For being foolish by nature is no ground of complaint. But being foolish through wisdom, is at once bereaving one's self of excuse, and running into greater punishment.

Such then are those, who pride themselves upon their wisdom, and fall into the excess of recklessness. [1532] For recklessness of all things makes a person a fool. Wherefore the Prophet calls the barbarian by this name. But "the fool," he says, "shall speak folly." (Is. xxxii. 6.) But that you may see the folly of him from his own words, hear what he says. "Above the stars of heaven will I place my throne, and I will be like the Most High." (ib. xiv. 14.) "I will take hold of the world as a nest, and as eggs that are left will I take them away." (ib. x. 14.) Now what can be more foolish than these words? And every instance of haughty language immediately draws on itself this reproach. And if I were to set before you every expression of them that are reckless, you would not be able to distinguish whether the words are those of a reckless man or a fool. So entirely the same is this failing and that. And another of a strange nation says again, "I am God and not man" (Ezech. xxviii. 2); and another again, Can God save you, or deliver you out of my hand?" (Dan. iii. 15.) And the Egyptian too, "I know not the Lord, neither will I let Israel go."( Ex. v. 2.) And the foolish body in the Psalmist is of this character, who hath "said in his heart, There is no God." (Ps. xiv. 1.) And Cain, "Am I my brother's keeper?" (Gen. iv. 9.) Can you now distinguish whether the words are those of the reckless or those of the fool? For recklessness going out of due bounds, and being a departure from reason (whence its name recklessness, aponoia), maketh men both fools and vainglorious. For likewise, "the beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord" (Prov. ix. 10), so then the beginning of folly is surely not knowing the Lord. If then knowing be wisdom, and not knowing Him folly, and this ignorance come of haughtiness (huperephania), (for the beginning of haughtiness is the not knowing of the Lord), then is haughtiness the extreme of folly. Such was Nabal, if not to Godward, at least toward man, having become senseless from his recklessness. But he afterwards died of fear. For when any falleth from the measure of wisdom, he becomes at once a coward and bold (thrasudeiloi Ar. Eth. iii.), his soul having been made feeble. For as the body when it loseth its proper tone having become out of condition, is a prey to any disease, thus too the soul when it hath lost its greatness of nature and lowly-mindedness, having gotten any feeble habit (hexin), becomes fearful, as well as bold and unreasonable, and loses its powers of self-consciousness. And he that has lost these, how is he to know things above himself? For as he that is seized with a frenzy, when he has so lost them, knoweth not even what is right before him; and the eye, when it is dimmed, darkeneth all the other members; so doth it happen with this recklessness. Wherefore these are more miserable than the mad, or than those silly by nature. For like them they stir laughter, and like them they are ill-tempered. And they are out of their wits as the others are, but they are not pitied as they are. And they are beside themselves, as are these, but they are not excused, as are these, but are hated only. And while they have the failings of either, they are bereaved of the excuse of either, being ridiculous not owing to their words only, but to their whole appearance also. For why, pray, dost thou stiffen up thy neck? or why walk on tiptoe? why knit up thy brows? why stick thy breast out? Thou canst not make one hair white or black, (Matt. v. 36) and thou goest with as lofty gait as if thou couldest command everything. No doubt thou wouldest like to have wings, and not go upon the earth at all! No doubt thou wouldest wish to be a prodigy! For hast thou not made thyself prodigious now, when thou art a man and triest to fly? or rather flying from within, and bloated in every limb? What shall I call thee to quit thee of thy recklessness? Shall I call thee ashes, and dust, and smoke, and pother? I have described thy worthlessness to be sure, but still I have not laid hold of the exact image I wanted. For I want to put their bloatedness before me, and all its emptiness. What image am I to find then which will suit with all this? To me it seems to be like tow in a blaze. For it seems to swell when lighted, and to lift itself up; but when it is submitted to a slight touch of the hand, it all tumbles down, and turns out to be more worthless than the veriest ashes. Of this sort are the souls of these men; that empty inflatedness of theirs even the commonest attack may humble and bring down. For he that behaves recklessly must of necessity be a thoroughly feeble person, since the height he has is not a sound one, but even as bubbles are easily burst, so are these men easily undone. But if thou dost not believe, give me a bold reckless fellow, and you will find him more cowardly than a hare even at the most trivial circumstance. For as the flame that rises from dry sticks is no sooner lighted than it becomes dust, but stiff logs do not by their nature easily kindle up, and then keep up their flame a long time burning; so souls that be stern and firm are not easily kindled or extinguished; but these men undergo both of these in a single moment. Since then we know this, let us practise humble-mindedness. For there is nothing so powerful as it, since it is stronger even than a rock and harder than adamant, and places us in a safety greater than that of towers and cities and walls, being too high for any of the artillery of the devil. As then recklessness makes men an easy prey even to ordinary occurrences, being, as I was saying, easier broken than a bubble, and rent more speedily than a spider's web, and more quickly dissolved than a smoke; that we then may be walking upon the strong rock, let us leave that and take to this. For thus in this life present we shall find rest, and shall in the world to come have every blessing, by the grace and love toward man, etc.


[1521] Reasonable is here used for what has been termed super-sensuous, as in the Syriac, and later Latin, see p. 498. [1522] Evidently Chrys. understands by logiken here rational as opposed to material service such as the Jews offered in animal sacrifices. Others have understood of it of spiritual service as opposed to the superstitious service of the heathen (Calvin). Others find in it a contrast with the irrational animals (zoa aloga) offered in sacrifice (Theodoret, Grotius). The first view is preferable. Christianus omnia recte reputat, et ex beneficio Dei miserentis colligit offcium suum, says Bengel.--G.B.S. [1523] theiais akroasesin. See Suicer in akroaomai. lit. "divine hearings." The place where those stood who were not yet admitted to Communion, but heard the Scriptures read, was called the akroasis or hearing; here the act of hearing is meant. [1524] 2 or 3 mss. "boileth" which Heyse prefers. [1525] semnoteros, which implies reverence as well as dignity. The word before probably refers also to dress. See Ex. xxviii. 43, but in this case the outward act so truly represents the inward, that it is difficult to separate them. [1526] A.V. conformed to. The translation is altered to express the distinction noticed in the comment. [1527] morphe. See Phil. ii. 6, 7, 8, and St. Chrysostom on the passage, Hom. vi. pp. 363, sqq. O.T. [1528] The two words here rendered: "be fashioned" and "be transformed" differ as the terms (schema and morphe) which underlie them differ. "The term morphe, form, strictly denotes, not an external pose suitable for imitation, like schema, attitude, but an organic form, the natural product of a principle of life which manifests itself thus." Godet. "Be not conformed, but be transformed" (A.V.) marks well the distinction.--G.B.S. [1529] See the note of Matthiæ on the place. Nearly all mss. have and know; it seems a slip of memory; see Rom. ii. 18. [1530] oionizontai v. Jung. ad J. Poll. v. 163. Dem. adv. Aristog. 1. (794, 5), it means to make a sign of detestation on meeting anything counted unlucky. [1531] sozousan ten phronesin, Aristot. Eth. vi. [1532] This word has been sometimes translated haughtiness, but means something more; usually the recklessness of despair, but sometimes that of pride. .

Homily XXI.

Rom. XII. 4, 5

"For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office; so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another."

Again he uses the same ensample as he does to the Corinthians, and that to allay the same passion. For great is the power of the medicine, and the force of this illustration for the correcting of this disease of haughtiness. Why (he means) dost thou think highly of thyself? Or why again does another utterly despise himself? Are we not all one body, both great and small? When then we are in the total number but one, and members one of another, why dost thou by thy haughtiness separate thyself? Why dost thou put thy brother to shame? For as he is a member of thee, so art thou also of him. And it is on this score that your claims to honor are so equal. For he has stated two things that might take down their haughty spirit: one that we are members one of another, not the small of the great only, but also the great of the small; and another, that we are all one body. Or rather there are three points, since he shows that the gift was one of grace. "Therefore be not high-minded." For it was given thee of God; thou didst not take it, nor find it even. Hence too, when he touches upon the gifts, he does not say that one received more, and another less, but what? different. For his words are, "having then gifts," not less and greater, but, "differing." And what if thou art not appointed to the same office, still the body is the same. And beginning with gifts, he ends with a good deed (4 mss. pl.); and so after mentioning prophecy, and ministry, and the like, he concludes with mercy, diligence, and succor. Since then it was likely that some would be virtuous, yet not have prophecy, he shows how that this too is a gift, and a much greater one than the other (as he shows in the Epistle to the Corinthians), and so much the greater, as that one has a reward, the other is devoid of a recompense. For the whole is matter of gift and grace. Wherefore he saith,

Ver. 6. "Having then gifts differing according to the grace of God that is given unto us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith."

Since then he had sufficiently comforted them, he wishes also to make them vie with each other, [1533] and labor more in earnest, by showing that it is themselves that give the grounds for their receiving more or less. For he says indeed that it is given by God (as when he says, "according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith;" and again, "according to the grace given unto us") (Rom. xii. 3), that he may subdue the haughty. But he says also that the beginnings lie with themselves, to rouse the listless. And this he does in the Epistle to the Corinthians also, to produce both these emotions. For when he saith, "covet earnestly the gifts," (1 Cor. xii. 31), he shows that they were themselves the cause of the differences in what was given. But when he says, "Now all these things worketh one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will" (ib. 11), he is proving that those who have received it ought not to be elated, so using every way open to him to allay their disorder. And this he does here also. And again, to rouse those who have fallen drowsy, he says, "Whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith." For though it is a grace, yet it is not poured forth at random, but framing its measure according to the recipients, it letteth as much flow as it may find the vessel of faith that is brought to be capable of. [1534]

Ver. 7. "Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering."

Here he names a comprehensive thing. For the Apostleship even is called a ministry, and every spiritual work is a ministry. This is indeed a name of a peculiar office (viz. the diaconate); however, it is used in a general sense. "Or he that teacheth, on teaching." See with what indifference he places them, the little first and the great afterwards, again giving us the same lesson, not to be puffed up or elated.

Ver. 8. "Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation."

And this is a species of teaching too. For "if ye have any word of exhortation," it says, "speak unto the people." (Acts xiii. 15.) Then to show that it is no great good to follow after virtue unless this is done with the proper rule, he proceeds, "He that giveth" (metadidous, imparteth), "let him do it with simplicity." For it is not enough to give, but we must do it with munificence also, for this constantly answereth to the name of simplicity. Since even the virgins had oil, still, since they had not enough, they were cast out from everything. "He that defendeth" (A.V. ruleth, prhoistamenos,) "with diligence;" for it is not enough to do undertake the defence. [1535] "He that showeth mercy, with cheerfulness." For it is not enough to show mercy, but it behooves us to do it with a largeness and an ungrudging spirit, or rather not with an ungrudging, but even with a cheerful and rejoicing one, for not grudging does not amount to rejoicing. And this same point, when he is writing to the Corinthians also, he insisted very strongly upon. For to rouse them to such largeness he said, "He that soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly, and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. (2 Cor. ix. 6.) But to correct their temper he added, "Not grudgingly or of necessity." (ib. 7.) For both the shower of mercy ought to have, both ungrudgingness and pleasure. And why dost thou bemoan thyself of giving alms? (Aristot. Eth. N. ii. 3 and iv. 1.) Why dost thou grieve at showing mercy, and lose the advantage of the good deed? For if thou grievest thou dost not do mercy, but art cruel and inhuman. For if thou grievest, how shalt thou be able to raise up him that is in sorrow? For it is much if he suspects no ill, even, when thou art giving with joyfulness. For since nothing seems to men such a disgrace as to be receiving from others, unless by an exceedingly cheerful look thou removest the suspicion, and showest that thou art receiving rather than giving, thou wilt even cast down the receiver rather than raise him up. This is why he says, "He that showeth mercy, with cheerfulness." For who that is receiving a kingdom, is of sad countenance? Who that is receiving pardon for his sins continueth of dejected look? Mind not then the expenditure of the money; but the increase that comes of that expenditure. For if he that soweth rejoiceth though sowing with uncertainty of return, much more should he do so that farms the Heaven. For in this way, even though thou give but little, thou wilt be giving much; even as how much soever thou givest with a sad countenance, thou wilt have made thy much a little. Thus the widow outweighed many talents by the two mites, for her spirit was large. And how is it possible, it may be said, for one that dwells with poverty in the extreme, and empties forth his all, to do this with a ready mind? Ask the widow, and thou wilt hear the way, and wilt know that it is not poverty [1536] that makes narrow circumstances, but the temper of a man that effects both this and its opposite. For it is possible even in poverty to be munificent (megalopsuchon), and in riches to be niggardly. Hence in giving he looks for simplicity, and in showing mercy for cheerfulness, and in patronizing for diligence. For it is not with money only that he wishes us to render every assistance to those in want, but both with words, and deeds, and in person, and in every other way. And after mentioning the chief kind of aiding (prostasian), that which lies in teaching, namely, and that of exhorting (for this is a more necessary kind, in that it nurtures the soul), he proceeds to that by way of money, and all other means; then to show how these may be practised aright, he bringeth in the mother of them, love.

Ver. 9. For, "Let love be without dissimulation," he says,

If thou hast this, thou wilt not perceive the loss of thy money, the labor of thy person, the toil of thy words, thy trouble, and thy ministering, but thou wilt bear all courageously, whether it be with person, or money, or word, or any other thing whatsover, that thou art to assist thy neighbor. As then he doth not ask for giving only, but that with simplicity, nor aiding, but that with diligence, nor alms, but that with cheerfulness; so even love too he requires not alone, but that without dissimulation. Since this is what love is. And if a man have this, everything else follows. For he that showeth mercy does so with cheerfulness (for he is giving to himself): and he that aideth, aideth with diligence; for it is for himself he is aiding: and he that imparteth doth this with largeness; for he is bestowing it on himself. Then since there is a love even for ill things, such as is that of the intemperate, that of those who are of one mind for money, and for plunder's sake, and for revels and drinking clubs, he clears it of all these, by saying, "Abhor (apostughountes) that which is evil." And he does not speak of refraining from it, but of hating it, and not merely hating it, but hating it exceedingly. For this word [1537] apo is often of intensive force with him, as where he speaks of "earnest expectation, [1538] looking out for," [1539] (complete) "redemption." [1540] For since many who do not evil things still have a desire after them, therefore he says, "Abhor." For what he wants is to purify the thought, and that we should have a mighty enmity, hatred and war against vice. For do not fancy, he means, because I said, "Love one another," that I mean you to go so far as to co-operate even in bad actions with one another; for the law that I am laying down is just the reverse. Since it would have you an alien not from the action only, but even from the inclination towards vice; and not merely an alien from this same inclination, but to have an excessive aversion and hatred of it too. And he is not content with only this, but he also brings in the practice of virtue. "Cleave to that which is good."

He does not speak of doing only, but of being disposed too. For this the command to "cleave to" it indicates. So God, when He knit the man to the woman, said, "For he shall cleave to his wife." (Gen. ii. 24.) Then he mentions reasons why we ought to love one another.

Ver. 10. "Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love."

Ye are brethren, he means, and have come of the same pangs. Hence even on this head you ought to love one another. And this Moses said to those who were quarrelling in Egypt, "Ye are brethren, why do ye wrong one to another?" (Exod. ii. 13.) When then he is speaking of those without, he says, "If it be possible, as much as in you lieth, live peaceably with all men." (Rom. xii. 18.) But when he is speaking of his own, he says, "Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love." For in the other case he requires abstinence from quarrelling, and hatred, and aversion: but here loving too, and not merely loving, but the loving of relatives. For not only must one's "love be without dissimulation," but intense also, and warm, and glowing. Because, to what purpose would you love without fraud, and not love with warmth? Whence he says, "kindly affectioned one towards another, that is, be friends, and warm ones too. Do not wait to be loved by another, but leap at it thyself, and be the first to begin it. For so wilt thou reap the wages of his love also. Having mentioned the reason then why we ought to love one another, he tells us also the way in which the affection may grow unchangeable. Whence he proceeds, "In honor preferring one another." For this is the way that affection is produced, and also when produced abideth. And there is nothing which makes friends so much, as the earnest endeavor to overcome one's neighbor in honoring him. [1541] For what he had mentioned before comes of love, and love of honor, as honor does too of love. Then that we may not honor only, he looks for something besides, when he says,

Ver. 11. "Not backward in zeal." [1542]

For this also gendereth love when with honor we also show a readiness to protect: as there is nothing that makes men beloved so much as honor and forethought. For to love is not enough, but there must be this also: or rather this also comes of loving, as also loving has its warmth from this, and they are confirmative one of another. For there are many that love in mind, yet reach not forth the hand. And this is why he uses every means to build up love. And how are we to become "not backward in zeal?"

"Fervent in spirit." See how in every instance he aims after higher degrees; for he does not say "give" only, but "with largeness;" nor "rule," but do it "with diligence;" nor "show mercy," but do it "with cheerfulness;" nor "honor," but "prefer one another;" nor "love," but do it "without dissimulation;" nor refrain from "evil" things, but "hate" them; nor hold to "what is good," but "cleave" to it; nor "love," but to do it "with brotherly affection;" nor be zealous, but be so without backwardness; nor have the "Spirit," but have it "fervent," that is, that ye may be warm and awakened. For if thou hast those things aforesaid, thou wilt draw the Spirit to thee. And if This abide with thee, It will likewise make thee good for those purposes, and all things will be easy from the Spirit and the love, while thou art made to glow from both sides. Dost thou not see the bulls (Hannibal. ap. Liv. xxii. 16) that carry a flame upon their back, how nobody is able to withstand them? So thou also wilt be more than the devil can sustain, if thou takest both these flames. "Serving the Lord." [1543] For it is possible to serve God in all these ways; in that whatever thou doest to thy brother passes on to thy Master, and as having been Himself benefited, He will reckon thy reward accordingly. See to what height he has raised the spirit of the man that worketh these things! Then to show how the flame of the Spirit might be kindled, he says,

Ver. 12. "Rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing instant in prayer."

For all these things are fuel for that fire. For when he had required the expenditure of money and the labor of the person, and ruling, and zeal, and teaching, and other laborious occupations, he again supplies the wrestler with love, with the Spirit, through hope. For there is nothing which makes the soul so courageous and venturesome for anything as a good hope. Then even before the good things hoped for, he gives another reward again. For since hope is of things to come, he says, "patient in tribulation." And before the things to come, in this life present thou wilt gain a great good (see on Rom. v. 4, p. 397) from tribulation, that of becoming hardy and tried. And after this he affords them another help, when he says, "continuing instant in prayer." When therefore love maketh things easy, and the Spirit assisteth, and hope lighteneth, and tribulation maketh thee tried and apt for bearing everything nobly, and thou hast along with these another very great weapon, to wit, "prayer" and the aidances that come of prayer, what further grievousness can there be in what he is enjoining? Surely none. You see how in every way he gives the wrestler firm footing and shows that the injunctions are perfectly easy. Consider again how he vindicates almsgiving, or rather not almsgiving absolutely, but that to the saints. For above when he says, "he that showeth mercy with cheerfulness," he makes us open-handed to everybody. Here, however, it is in behalf of the faithful that he is speaking. And so he proceeds to say,

Ver. 13. "Sharing with the necessity (chreiais, al. mneiais, memories) of the saints."

He does not say, Bestow upon, but "share with the necessity [1544] of the saints," to show that they receive more than they give, that it is a matter of merchandise, because it is a community. Do you bring in money? They bring you in boldness toward God. "Given to (Gr. pursuing) hospitality." He does not say doing it, but "given" to it, so to instruct us not to wait for those that shall ask it, and see when they will come to us, but to run to them, and be given to finding [1545] them.

Thus did Lot, thus Abraham. For he spent the whole day upon it, waiting for this goodly prey, and when he saw it, leaped upon it, and ran to meet them, and worshipped upon the ground, and said, "My Lord, if now I have found favor in Thy sight, pass not away from Thy servant." (Gen. xviii. 3.) Not as we do, if we happen to see a stranger or a poor man, knitting our brows, and not deigning even to speak to them. And if after thousands of entreaties we are softened, and bid the servant give them a trifle, we think we have quite done our duty. But he did not so, but assumed the fashion of a suppliant and a servant, though he did not know who he was going to take under his roof. But we, who have clear information that it is Christ Whom we take in, do not grow gentle even for this. But he both beseeches, and entreats, and falls on his knees to them, yet we insult those that come to us. And he indeed did all by himself and his wife, whereas we do it not even by our attendants. But if you have a mind to see the table that he set before them, there too you will see great bounteousness, but the bounteousness came not from excess of wealth, but of the riches of a ready will. Yet how many rich persons were there not then? Still none did anything of the kind. How many widows were there in Israel? Yet none showed hospitality to Elijah. How many wealthy persons again were there not in Elisha's day? But the Shunamite alone gathered in the fruits of hospitality; as did Abraham also, [1546] whom beside his largeness and ready mind it is just especially to admire, on this ground, that when he had no knowledge who they were that had come, yet he so acted. Do not thou then be curious either: since for Christ thou dost receive him. And if thou art always so scrupulous, many a time wilt thou pass by a man of esteem, and lose thy reward from him. And yet he that receiveth one that is not of esteem, hath no fault found with him, but is even rewarded. For "he that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet, shall receive a prophet's reward." (Matt. x. 41.) But he who out of this ill-timed scrupulousness passeth one that should be admired, shall even suffer punishment. Do not then busy thyself with men's lives and doings. For this is the very extreme of niggardliness, for one loaf to be exact about a man's entire life. For if this person be a murderer, if a robber, or what not, does he therefore seem to thee not to deserve a loaf and a few pence? And yet thy Master causeth even the sun to rise upon him! And dost thou judge him unworthy of food even for a day? I will put another case to you besides. Now even if you were positively certain that he were laden with countless iniquities, not even then wouldest thou have an excuse for depriving him of this day's sustenance. For thou art the servant of Him Who said, "Ye know not what spirit ye are of." (Luke ix. 55.) Thou art servant to Him Who healed those that stoned Him, or rather Who was crucified for them. And do not tell me that he killed another, for even if he were going to kill thee thyself, even then thou shouldest not neglect him when starving. For thou art a disciple of Him Who desired the salvation even of them that crucified Him Who said upon the Cross itself, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." (Luke xxiii. 34.) Thou art the servant of Him Who healed him that smote Him, Who upon the Cross itself crowned the man who had scorned Him. And what can equal this? For both the robbers at first scorned Him. Still to one of these He opened Paradise. [1547] And He bewails those who were upon the point of killing Him, and is troubled and confounded at seeing the traitor, not because He was going to be crucified, but because he was lost. He was troubled then as having foreknowledge of the hanging, and the punishment after the hanging. And though He knelt his wickedness, He bore with him [1548] to the last hour, and thrust not away the traitor, but even kissed him. Thy Master kisseth, and with His lips receiveth him who was on the very point of shedding His precious Blood. And dost thou count the poor not worthy even of a loaf, and reverencest not the Law which Christ laid down? Now by this He shows that we ought not to turn aside, not only from the poor, but not even from those that would lead us away to death. Do not tell me then, that so and so hath done me grievous mischief, but just consider what Christ did near the Cross itself, wishing to amend by His kiss the traitor by whom He was on the point of being betrayed. And see with how much power to shame him. For He says, "Judas, betrayest thou the Son of Man with a kiss?" (ib. 48.) Who is there He would not have softened? who is there that this address would not have made yielding? What beast? what adamant? yet not that wretched man. Do not then say, that such an one murdered such an one, and that is why I turn aside from him. For even if he were upon the point of thrusting a sword down into thee, and to plunge his hand into thy neck itself, kiss this very right hand! since even Christ kissed that mouth which wrought His death! And therefore do not thou either hate, but bewail and pity him that plotteth against thee. For such an one deserveth pity at our hands, and tears. For we are the servants of Him Who kissed even the traitor (I will not leave off dwelling over that continually), and spoke words unto him more gentle than the kiss. For He did not even say, O thou foul and villanous traitor, is this the sort of recompense thou returnest us for so great a benefit? But in what words? "Judas;" using his own name, which is more like a person bemoaning, and recalling him, than one wroth at him. And he does not say, thy Teacher, thy Master, and Benefactor, but, "the Son of Man." For though He were neither Teacher nor Master, yet is it with One Who is so gently, so unfeignedly affected towards thee, as even to kiss thee at the time of betrayal, and that when a kiss too was the signal for the betrayal; is it with Him that thou playest the traitor's part? Blessed art Thou, O Lord! What lowliness of mind, what forbearance hast Thou given us ensamples of! And to him He so behaved. But to those who came with staves and swords to Him, was it not so too? What can be more gentle than the words spoken to them? For when He had power to demolish them all in an instant, He did nothing of the kind, but as expostulating (entreptikhos), addressed them in the words, "Why, are ye come out as against a thief with swords and staves?" (Matt. xxvi. 55.) And having cast them down backwards (John xviii. 6), as they continued insensible, He of His own accord gave Himself up next, and forbore while He saw them putting manacles upon His holy hands, while He had the power at once to confound all things, and overthrow them. But dost thou even after this deal fiercely with the poor? And even were he guilty of ten thousand sins, want and famine were enough to soften down a soul ever so blunted. But thou standest brutalized, and imitating the rage of lions. Yet they never taste of dead bodies. But thou, while thou seest him a very corpse (tetaricheumenon lit. salter, or, a mummy) for distresses, yet leapest upon him now that he is down, and tearest his body by thine insults, and gatherest storm after storm, and makest him as he is fleeing to the haven for refuge to split upon a rock, and bringest a shipwreck about more distressing than those in the sea. And how wilt thou say to God, Have mercy upon me, and ask of Him remission of sins, when thou art insolent to one who hath done no sin, and callest him to account for this hunger and great necessity, and throwest all the brute beasts into the shade by thy cruelty. For they indeed by the compulsion of their belly lay hold of the food needful for them. But thou, when nothing either thrusts thee on or compels thee, devourest thy brother, bitest, and tearest him, if not with thy teeth, yet with words that bite more cuttingly. How then wilt thou receive the sacred Host (prosphoran), when thou hast empurpled thy tongue in human gore? how give the kiss of peace, with mouth gorged with war? Nay, how enjoy every common nourishment, when thou art gathering so much venom? Thou dost not relieve the poverty, why make it even more grinding? thou dost not lift up him that is fallen, why throw him down also? thou dost not remove despondency, why even increase it? thou givest no money, why use insulting words besides? Hast thou not heard what punishment they suffer that feed not the poor? to what vengeance they are condemned? For He says, "Depart to the fire prepared for the devil and his angels." (Matt. xxv. 41.) If then they that feed not are so condemned, what punishment are they to suffer, who besides not feeding, even insult? What punishment shall they undergo? what hell? That we kindle not so great evils against ourselves, whiles we have it in our power, let us correct this evil complaint also, and put a bridle on the tongue. And let us be so far from insulting, as even to invite them, both by words and actions, that by laying up much mercy for ourselves, we may obtain the blessings promised us. Which God grant that we may all attain unto by the grace and love towards man, etc.


[1533] Or feel they need an effort enagonious. See on Rom. xi. 21 p. 349. [1534] Prophecy is to be kata ten analogian tes pisteos (6). In the view of some (as Meyer) the man's own faith is meant. He should not exceed in his speaking the limits of his faith. Others (as Philippi) take "faith" in the objective sense as a body of doctrine and find the idea here which was later associated with the expression analogia fidei: the word pistis will not bear this meaning and the individual's own faith seems too narrow a criterion of prophecy. It seems better to understand the expression as meaning that the prophet is to regulate his utterance by the character and contents of the faith of the church; that he should in his prophetic utterances keep to the line of the Church's trust and hope and not feel at liberty to add new or heterogeneous elements. The terms diakonia (7) and didaskon seem to refer to the two offices of the church deacons and presbyters, although others hold the view (of Chrys.) that the words are merely general.--G.B.S. [1535] Near the end of Hom. 19, we have kan adikoumeno perituche prostesetai, which proves that he takes the word in the sense here given. "Unless," added by Ben. and 2 mss. "he do it with diligence and zeal." [1536] penia here seems distinguished from ptocheia, as in the Plutus. [1537] Viz. in composition. [1538] apokaradokia, Rom. viii. 19. [1539] apekdechomenoi, Rom. viii. 23. [1540] apolutrosis, Rom. viii. 23, see ad loc. Hom. xiv. p. 445. [1541] Chrys. evidently takes proegoumenoi (10) in the sense of excelling; others understand the word temporally and render anticipating. The word (hapaxl.) is better taken as in our vss. preferring, i.e. "going before, as guides, namely, with the conduct which incites others to follow," (Meyer).--G.B.S. [1542] A.V. not slothful in business; R.V. In diligence not slothful. [1543] Here the mss. and vss. vary between to kuri& 251; and to kairo (v. 11). The latter text gives the idea of serving the time or adapting one's self to the opportunity and is adopted by many (as Meyer, Godet) on the ground that the precept: serving the Lord is too general to be in point here among these specific exhortations. The mss. evidence for to kuri& 251;, however is too strong to be overthrown by a consideration so subjective (#, B, A, E, L, P, It. Syr. vs. D. F. G.).--G.B.S. [1544] St. Chrysostom (on 2 Tim. i. 16, p. 189 O.T.) adopts and argues on the reading, mneiais, for which there is some authority. See Brit. Crit. No. LI. pp. 80, 81. [1545] katadiokein. lit. hunt them down. [1546] So Field: the passage is corrupt in the mss. Vulg. "As did Abraham also then with largeness and ready mind. And on this ground he deserves one's admiration most, that when," etc. [1547] Some mss. add, "first of all men." [1548] Or "dealt kindly with him."

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